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3. The fault of falling into a melodic swing, and pausing at regular intervals, is to be guarded against.
4. Probably no fault under this head is more common than that of hurriedly pouring out words, with little or no recognition of differentiated parts. Such delivery is fluent, but fluency is not eloquence.
As restlessness and anxiety precipitate the speaker into false pausing and pitch, he should direct his attention to ease and time-taking, and by effort of will apply pause, pitch, and rate according to the requirements of transition. Always distinctly aim at making the thought clear.
ELEMENTS OF FORCE
SEC. I. A Good Voice. A voice
be clear, ringing, and easily heard at a distance, and still not be a good voice.
For a voice may have those qualities, and at the same time be harsh, throaty, strident, and be limited in range of pitch, and, most serious of all, deficient in musical quality. To be good, a voice must be, not only an organ of clear enunciation, but be capable also of expressing all shades and complexities of emotions. This capability is due, in the main, to its musical quality. A voice of this kind contributes primarily to force; but inasmuch as a musical voice is agreeable in itself, it also satisfies the æsthetic demands.
A good voice is characterized by Strength, Flexibility, Purity, Range of Pitch, and Resonance.
1. Strength refers to those qualities that render the voice capable of sustained effort, and to its capacity for loudness. Its further and most satisfactory manifestation is a wellsupported tone that gives the impression of solidity. Strength is favorably affected by a healthy condition of the lungs, and of the muscles and membrane of the vocal passage; but it is secured principally by the strength and proper use of the muscles of respiration. If the diaphragmatic and other muscles of respiration fail to act strongly and accurately, a feeble, relaxed tone, lacking in the power of projection, results. While it is true that a strong resilience of the lungs aids in strength of tones, vocal strength does not, as popularly supposed, depend mainly upon “strong lungs,” but upon the strength and upon the
sustained resistance of the inspiratory, against the expiratory act of breathing.
In ordinary breathing, the rather long act of inspiration is followed by a sudden relaxation of the inspiratory muscles, and quick expulsion of the breath. This process, although normal in ordinary breathing, is reversed in the production of voice. Hence, in speaking, the tendency is still to sudden expulsion of breath, and consequent feeble tone. This must give place to strong and sustained muscular action, resulting in slow and firm dealing out of the breath.
2. Flexibility. By flexibility of voice is meant the ability to change easily from pitch to pitch, on successive syllables, either by sliding, or by a distinct change from one pitch to another. It includes also the “vanish” or slide of the voice on the single vowel. For instance, is properly a compound tone composed of ā + e.
As ordinarily pronounced by a good voice, the latter part (e) of the sound glides to a lower pitch. Harsh tones result in part from a lack of this “vanishing,” or gliding. From these considerations it is at once evident that the music of the tone is enriched by flexibility.
3. Purity of tone. To be most effective, a voice must be composed of pure tones; that is, tones free from waste of breath. Upon this quality the carrying power of the voice primarily depends. It is also one of the conditions of rich resonance. Vocalizing while panting and puffing after violent exercise gives an exaggerated exhibition of breathy voice. But sudden collapse, running too long on one breath, and faulty adjustment of the vocal cords, are the more common causes of impure tones.
4. Range of pitch. That many speakers use a limited range of pitch, usually too high or too low, is a matter of common observation. The use of the medium pitch, ranging above and below according to the emotional demands, is
quite as necessary in speech as in music. The nature and power of this use hardly need extended treatment.
5. Resonance. Even persons unskilled in vocal analysis call one voice “harsh;” another, “thick;” another, "throaty;" and so on; and, on the other hand, they say another is “ringing;” another, “rich and full ;” and still another is called "pleasant,” or “musical.” The last term is not only a popular, but also an accurate description of a voice rich in resonance. This property of voice variously called “timbre,” “klang," " color," " quality," is that which gives individuality to voice, or which distinguishes one voice from another; for each voice has its own way of combining its partial with its fundamental tones, and it can be distinguished from another, just as we distinguish a flute from a violin or an organ, by the characteristics of its resonance. The meaning of fundamental and partial tones, and the part they play in resonance, may be made clear by a brief discussion of the physical basis of voice.
Sound. Physical acoustics is a section of the theory of elastic bodies. Elastic bodies vibrating, set the air in vibration, producing wave-like 'motions that reach to distant points. These wave-like motions radiate in all directions, and are similar to the agitation produced by throwing a stone into a placid sheet of water. The air vibrations, if sufficiently rapid, striking upon the ear, produce the sensation of sound.
Sounds are distinguished as (a) musical tones and as (6) noises. Musical tones result from rapid periodic vibrations of sonorous bodies. Noises result from non-periodic vibrations.
Musical tones are distinguished as to -
Vibrations of sonorous bodies producing sound may be seen by the naked eye; felt, as in touching a tuning-fork; and by mechanical contrivances their amplitude, form, and rapidity may be determined.
Force, or loudness of sound, depends upon amplitude of vibration. The wider the vibration, the louder the sound.
Pitch, or place in the scale, depends upon the rapidity or rate of vibration. The greater the number of vibrations in a second, the higher the pitch. The highest audible number of vibrations is 38,000 per second; the lowest, 20 per second; from 40 to 4,000 (7 octaves) only are valuable for music or speech. The number of vibrations is very accurately determined by means of an instrument called the siren, consisting of a perforated disk in rapid revolution.
Quality is that peculiarity which distinguishes the musical tones of a flute from a violin, or that distinguishes different voices, and depends upon the form of vibration.
A string or resonant body is found to vibrate not only the entire length, but at the same time in sections which are aliquot parts of the whole.
The sounds of these sectional vibrations, combined with the sound of the whole or prime vibration, give a compound tone that ordinarily reaches the ear as one tone. The tones of these sectional vibrations are called overtones, or partials, and mingling with the tone of the prime vibration, give the quality of tone. The prime tone is generally the loudest and lowest, and names the pitch of the compound. The “ upper partial tones are harmonics of the prime.
Compound Tones. The most important of the series of these upper partial tones are as follows:
The first upper partial is an octave above the prime, and makes double the number of vibrations in the same time.
The second upper partial is a twelfth above the prime, making three times the number of vibrations in the same time as the prime.
The third upper partial is two octaves above the prime, with four times as many vibrations.
The fourth upper partial is two octaves and a major third above the prime, with five times as many vibrations.
The fifth upper partial tone is two octaves and a major fifth above the prime, with six times as many vibrations.
The sixth upper partial is two octaves and a sub-minor seventh above the prime, with seven times as many vibrations.