« PreviousContinue »
The design of the exercises presented in this manual, is to furnish the groundwork of practical elocution, and whatever explanations are needed for the training of the organs and the cultivation of the voice. The system of instruction, adopted in the present volume, is founded on Dr. Rush's treatise, “ The Philosophy of the Human Voice," and is designed as a practical synopsis of that work, with the addition of copious examples and exercises, selected for the purpose of facilitating the application of theory to practice. We hope, however, that the use of this manual will induce students and teachers to consult, for themselves, that invaluable source of instruction, for an ample and complete statement of the theory of vocal culture, in connection with an exact analysis of the vocal functions.
The manual now offered as an aid to the business of instruction, contains, — besides a compendious view of the system of Dr. Rush, — the practical methods of instruction introduced by Mr. James E. Murdoch, and taught by Mr. Francis T. Russell, in that part of elocution which comprises phonation, or the formation of vocal tone, and orthophony, or the training of the vocal organs, on the rudiments of articulation, force, “stress,” pitch, and the other elements of "expression,” — including the whole organic discipline of “vocal gymnastics."
The exercises imbodied in the following pages, are designed equally for the assistance of two classes of students, — at very different stages of progress in general education, but requiring, alike, the benefit of a thorough-going course of practice in elocution ; — young learners, whose habits of utterance are, as yet, forming; and adults, whose professional duties involve the exercise of public speaking. To the former, this manual will furnish the materials for a progressive cultivation and development of the vocal organs, for the useful purposes of education, and as a graceful accomplishment. To the latter, it affords the means of correcting erroneous habit in the use of the organs of speech, and of acquiring the command of an easy, healthful, and effective mode of managing the voice, in the act of reading or speaking in public.
The plan adopted, in arranging the subsequent exercises, presents the various departments of elocution in the following order : 11. The function of BREATHING, as a preliminary to the use of the voice. -2. The practice of ENUNCIATION, in the act of articulating elementary sounds and syllables, and of pronouncing words. — 3. The study of the various “QUALITIES” of the voice, as an instrument of sound, and the training of the organs, with reference to the formation of “purity,” fulness, vigor, and pliancy of voice. -4. The study and practice of FORCE, “ STRESS, ,” “MELODY," pitch, " slide," " wave," "monotone,” and “semitone,” “TIME,” “quantity,” “ movement," rhythm,” metre, and pause, with a view to organic discipline and the command of the voice, in EMPHASIS and " EXPRESSION," — the appropriate utterance of thought and emotion.
To adapt the work to the purposes of practical instruction, and to render it convenient, as a class-book, those parts which are most important to learners, are distinguished by “leaded” lines, and larger type ; and these are intended either to be impressed, in substance, on the memory, or to be practised as exercises. The portions of the work which are in smaller type, contain the theory and the explanations requisite for the guidance of the adult student and the teacher.
The sentential or grammatical department of elocution, — that which concerns the modifications of voice, for the purposes of strictly intellectual communication, the adapting of the voice to the structure of sentences in prose, and stanzas in poetry, - involves a more extensive study of " slides,” (inflections,) emphasis, and pausing, together with prosodial elocution, or the regulation of the voice in the reading of verse. The full discussion and practice of these branches, are reserved for a separate course of study, as prescribed in the “ American Elocutionist,” to which the present manual is intended as an introduction. In that volume will also be found an extended course of practice in articulation and in pronunciation, with remarks on the character of cadence ; and, in addition to the vocal part of elocution, an outline of the principles of gesture, and a collection of pieces for practice in reading and declamation.
The stereotype process, adopted in this new edition of the present work, enables the publishers to offer it in a more compact shape, without diminishing the actual extent of the matter; while the new arrangement of the chapters, and the addition of the Tables of Orthophony, will, it is thought, render the volume more useful as a manual for schools and academies.
1 The arrangement adopted in this improved edition of the Orthophony, is intended to facilitate the business of instruction, by presenting more prominently those parts of elocution which are most important in practice. The chapter on the structure and action of the vocal organs, has been transferred, therefore, to the appendix. But adult students may derive advantage from perusing it, before commencing the practice of the various exercises.
ORTHOPHONY,1 OR THE SYSTEMATIC CULTIVATION OF
The term orthophony is used to designate the art of cultivating the voice, for the purposes of speech, reading, declamation, recitation, or singing. This art, like all others, is founded on certain principles, the knowledge of which constitutes science. The principles of orthophony, are derived from the sciences of anatomy and physiology, as regards the structure and action of the vocal organs, from the science of acoustics, as regards the formation of sound, in general, and from the science and art of music, as regards the regu lation of vocal sound, in particular.
Orthophony is, to elocution, what solfeggi, and other rudimental exercises, are to music, - a course of elementary discipline, for the systematic cultivation of the voice. We may, it i true, read well, just as we may sing well, “ by ear,” or the teaching of nature, merely. But cultivation gives us, in both these uses of the voice, the immense advantages of knowledge, science, and skill. Furnished with these aids, and directed by discerning judgment and good taste, the cultivated reader or speaker has all the advantages of the cultivated singer, as regards the true and effective use of his organs.
The preparatory training and discipline of the voice, for the purposes of reading, recitation, and declamation, are of incalculable value, whether as regards the organic results connected with the
The terms phonation, (the act of producing vocal sound,) and phonology, (the science of voice,) are in current use among physiologists. But the systematic cultivation of the vocal organs, on the elements of expressive utterance, is a branch of education for which our own language furnishes no appropriate designation. The compiler of this manual has ventured to adopt, as a term convenient for this purpose, the word orthophony, -a modification of the corresponding French word, “orthophonie,” used to designate the art of training the vocal organs. The etymology of this term, when traced to the original Greek words, - signifying correct and voice, - sanctions its use in elocution, on the same ground with that of “orthoëpy," in grammar.
easy, vigorous, and salutary exertion of the voice, or the healthy expansion of the chest, and the inspiring glow of vivid emotion, which is indispensable to effective expression. Dr. Rush's exact and scientific analysis of elocution, in its connection with the action of the organs of voice, enables the teacher to carry elementary cultivation to an extent previously unattainable, and, even yet, too little known by those who have not paid special attention to the subject. The actual benefits, however, arising from the practical applications of Dr. Rush's system, are equally felt in the exactness of intelligence, which it imparts, regarding all the expressive uses of the voice, and the force, freedom, and brilliancy of effect, which it gives to the action of the vocal organs, whether in the utterance of expressive emotion, or of distinctive meaning addressed to the understanding, by the process of unimpassioned articulation.
The methods of practical training, founded on the theory and the suggestions of Dr. Rush, are attended by a permanent salutary influence of the highest value. They produce a free and powerful exertion of the organs of respiration, a buoyancy of animal life, an exhilaration of spirits, and an energetic activity of the whole corporeal frame, — all highly conducive to the well-being of the juvenile pupil, not less than to his attainment of a spirited, effective, and graceful elocution. The correspondent benefits conferred on adults, by a vigordus course of vocal gymnastics, are of perhaps still higher moment, for the immediate purposes of life and usefulness. The sedentary habits of students and professional men, render them liable not only to organic disability of utterance, and to injury of the lungs, but to numerous faults of habit, in their modes of exerting the organs of speech, faults which impair or counteract the intended effect of all their efforts in the form of public reading or speaking. The daily practice of vocal exercises, is the only efféctual means of invigorating the organic system, or correcting faults of habit in utterance, and the surest means, at the same time, of fortifying the inward frame against the exhausting effects of professional exertion, when either pursued too long in succession, or practised at too distant intervals, - both serious evils, and nearly equal in the amount of injury which they occasion.
The compiler of the present work, could enumerate many cases, in which, voice and health, equally impaired, have been restored in a few months, or even weeks, of vocal training, - and still more in which new and brilliant powers of expression, have been elicited in individuals who have commenced practice with little hope of success,