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That breathing which brings the diaphragm into action, which is indicated by the external movement of the upper part of the abdomen outward, is called “ diaphragmatic,” “abdominal,” or “deep breathing." This fills the lungs completely, and is evidently the normal breathing. Many physiologists have taught, and still teach, that while men and children breathe abdominally, women breathe with the chest.
Dr. Martin, among the leaders of scientific specialists, says: “In both cases the diaphragmatic breathing is the most important. Women are again warned of the danger and folly of tight lacing, which prevents natural breathing."
“ Diaphragmatic" breathing, with the “chest” breathing, is known as “compound” breathing. This gives the greatest lung capacity, and at the same time makes possible the use of the muscles of expiration in the forced breathing of vocal effort. Very clearly, then, diaphragmatic or abdominal breathing, aside from its relation to health, is indispensably necessary to the speaker. Without it, he will frequently “run out” of breath, and find it impossible to project strong tone.
Exercises. The following are the exercises prescribed for deep vocal support and control :
SERIES I. 1. Breathe while lying upon the back. In this position it is hardly possible to breathe other than deeply.
2. (1) Stand erect with lifted chest, place the fingers of both hands (palms toward the body) against the upper part of the abdomen. Slowly expel the breath from behind the fingers; now breathe against the fingers.
(2) Take the same position, breathe in suddenly, avoid lifting the shoulders, breathe out slowly.
3. Practise frequently while sitting, walking, and standing, prompt or instantaneous filling of the lungs, holding the breath for an instant, then as slowly as possible letting the breath out.
In breathing to support life, and especially during sleep, inspiration is slow and expiration is sudden; but in forced breathing, for speaking purposes, inspiration is sudden and expiration is slow; hence the value of practice in slow or controlled expiration.
4. Take the second exercise under number 2, and slightly vocalize the vowel ä (far) while breathing out.
5. Take an erect attitude, with hands passive at the side, and with more voice and with more force chant the sentence, “Breathe, breathe out all."
“ An all-pervading voice."
TENNYSON. 6. Take the same position, chant in measured monotone, moderate force :
“ The ocean old, centuries old,
Strong as youth, and as uncontrolled,
LONGFELLOW. An essential of the exercises given in Series I. is the recognition of the fact that the deep respiratory muscles are the active, and the throat muscles the relatively passive agents,
All feeling of tension and discomfort of the throat and neck muscles must be avoided ; and instead, the feeling of relaxation and of the open vocal passage should be maintained. The tones are made to “float out."
Again, the same vocal exercises should be given with special attention to lifting the uvula and the soft palate. Determine this by looking in a glass. Afterward be guided by the feeling of the lifted position. A slight gaping effort also lifts the soft palate.
Before proceeding to Series II., the student should acquire some skill in Series I.
SERIES II. In this series, the form of the tone is explosive or dynamic, instead of diffusive. The general observations under Series I. are applicable here.
1. Stand erect, with lifted chest, fingers on the upper part of the abdomen, gentle force, diaphragmatic stroke, vocalize, hä (far). 2. The same exercise with slightly increased force:
• Up drawbridge, groom,
“ Forward, the light brigade,
TENNYSON. For variety, the student or teacher, keeping in mind the leading object, may add other exercises. After some skill in Series I. and II. is achieved, practice should be directed to the following slightly different aspect of vocal development.
Placing the Voice. The most casual observer unhesitatingly describes one voice as "throaty," and another as “nasal.” It is obvious that all such descriptions are taken from the locations that determine the vocal quality. All may not agree as to the location of the most satisfactory voice. It seems, however, to possess the entire vocal apparatus. At one time the head tones and at another time the chest tones predominate. It is certain that a proper enlargement and shaping of the pharynx and mouth, together with a suitable fronting of the tone, is indispensable to the good voice. This gives the condition for sympathetic vibration, hence for developing that most pleasing quality of effective voice,
full resonance. 3. Exercise for shaping the pharynx and mouth.
(1) Stand erect, with lower jaw relaxed and falling (mouth open), slight gaping, diaphragmatic impulse,
slightly prolong the syllable, "hủh.” The result is a full, unobstructed resonance.
(2) Eliminating the technical exaggeration, but retaining the typical form and resonance, gradually transfer the same to any ordinary selection.
4. Stroke of the glottis. The sluggish, thick, and sliding action of the vocal cords must be overcome by practice in their prompt action. Giving a stroke of the glottis on the syllable, “ung," well answers this purpose. This exercise is an excellent preparative to the use of the syllable, “hůh.”
5. Fronting the voice. The proper placing of the voice, as has been shown, involves fronting the tone. If the pharynx and mouth cavity are properly shaped, the tone is deflected to the front of the mouth-cavity, and hence is more skilfully converted into the different vowels and consonants. Another consequence of fronting, is the development of the facial or bright resonance of the voice. It favors also distinct enunciation. For fronting the tone, hum,“ing,” “ng,” “lē,” “mē,” “hi,” “gē.” Explode “bim, bim," etc.
“By thirty hills I hurry down,
Or slip between the ridges,
In practice for vocal development, especially for relaxed or unobstructed vocal passage, the student should utilize the emotions which naturally contribute to this end. Emotions of the sublime, of tenderness and sympathy, favorably affect vocal development. I have found that the semi-confidential and sympathetic attitude toward the audience has a decidedly good effect in overcoming the vocal defects enumerated.
6. Purity of tone. For Purity of Tone, the several exercises for support, for the stroke of the glottis and for
fronting are directly beneficial. Carefully avoid all blowing and puffing, and convert all of the breath into tone. To hold a candle-flame in front of the mouth, and avoid blowing it while speaking, is a certain proof of pure tone. Practise selections of cheerful, ringing tones as, “Ye bells in the steeple," etc.
7. For flexibility. Practise the intervals of the musical scale; the word “char-coal,” “cuck-oo,” slowly at first, then rapidly, changing the pitch on each syllable. Slide, or slur, up, down, on syllables as, “ā," "ä,” etc. Any pitch out of the range of the individual's habitual pitches is repugnant to the ear, and care must be taken not to allow the ear to dominate and restrain the voice.
8. For strength. Practise projecting the tone to a distant auditor. In this, sustain the voice as in calling, “Boat, ahoy!” and other distant calls. Practise dynamic tones, , striking with radical stress, and at the same time avoid sympathetically squeezing the throat.
In work for vocal development the student must constantly keep in mind that the voice may be coaxed into proper conduct, but not driven, and that strength must not be urged beyond other qualities. But few persons, according to my observation, are disposed to give the necessary patience and time to secure the best results in vocal development.
SEC. II. Kinds of Voice. - Each emotion, and the sets of feelings called moods, unless inhibited by volition, and this can be done only to a limited extent, express themselves in corresponding vocal forms. The more pronounced of these forms we have called kinds of voice. They are as follows:
Voice of pure tone. First, may be distinguished the voice in which pure tones are used. It especially utilizes the facial or brilliant resonance. It is a normal voice, and is expressive of plain thought and the emotions of the