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produce “ pure” or “expressive” vocal sound, one of the following effects, according to the degree of feeling, is produced on the voice 1st, an absolute whisper, as in extreme fear ; 2d, a partial or half whisper, as in extreme earnestness ; 3d, an “aspirated” or partially hoarse utterance accompanying the “ orotund quality,” and occasionally, in the tones of impassioned emphasis, transcending it, so as to leave the harsh effect of the breath predominating on the ear. This form of voice belongs to the characteristic utterance of anger revenge, fear, awe, and similar emotions.
EXERCISES IN “ASPIRATED" UTTERANCE.
1. — WHISPERING.
11. — HALF-WHISPER.
111. — “ASPIRATED OROTUND.”
“ Suppressed” Force. — Arce.
[From the Hymn of the Sea.] Bryant.
Descends the fierce tornado. — The vast hulks
“ Impassioned” Force. — Anger and Scorn.
[Helen M'Gregor to Morris.] Scott. “ But you — wretch! you could live and enjoy yourself, while the noble-minded are betrayed, — while nameless and birthless villains tread on the neck of the brave and long-descended, -- you could enjoy yourself, like a 'butcher's dog in the shambles, battening on garbage, while the slaughter of the brave went on around you! This enjoyment you shall not live to partake of: you shall die, base dog! and that before yon cloud has passed over the sun.”
FORCE, OR “ VOLUME” OF VOICE.
The force of the voice is usually in the ratio of feeling. The intensity of emotion, — except in cases which exemplify the force of passion as overcoming the power of utterance,- is indicated by the comparative force of the voice, on emphatic and expressive sounds, through all stages, from whispering to shouting. The exercises prescribed under the head of " quality,” comprise all these gradations of force. But a distinct perception of the nature and effect of force, as an element of expression,” will be much aided by reviewing these exercises for the special purpose of watching the result of the various stages of force implied in the examples of "quality" arranged as follows:
1. Whispering.–2. The half-whisper.-3. The successive examples of “Pure Tone,” under Subdued and Moderate Force. - 4. The examples of “ Effusive, Expulsive, and Explosive Orotund;” reserving for the last stage, the example of “Sustained Force of Pure Tone,” in Calling, and the example of “Expulsive Orotund,” in Shouting.
Passages, such as the example of “ Expulsive Orotund” in Declam
atory Style, should be frequently practised for the purpose of training the voice to that gradual and successive increase of force, which belongs to all eloquent and impressive utterance in which the principle of climax prevails. The volume of voice, in such practice, should be moderate, at first, but swell out, by successive stages, till it becomes ample and powerfully impressive to the ear.
The daily repetition of a few lines of each class of examples, will, in a few weeks, secure a clear, firm, round, and full tone, and will impart a healthy force to the vocal organs.*
“ Radical Stress.” The word “stress," as a term in elocution, is used to denote the location of force of voice, in single and successive sounds. It regards force as perceptibly more intense at the beginning, middle, or end of a vocal sound, or at more than one of these points.
Some emotions, fear, anger, and courage, for example, cause the voice to strike the ear with great force, at the first or initial part of a characteristic or emphatic sound. The mode of utterance, in these cases, is explosive in its character, and instantaneous in its effect, the very opposite to the gradual swell of musical expression. The maximum of the force being on the first part of the sound, has induced Dr. Rush, the great authority in elocution, to denominate this mode of utterance “radical stress.”
Repeat, for illustration, the examples given under the head of “ explosive orotund.”
“Radical stress” is reduced to the slightest and most delicate shade, when it is not used for impassioned effect, but merely for distinct and vivid articulation, as in the utterance of the ordinary language of narrative, descriptive, or didactic style, when no effect of impressive emotion is intended, but only a clear, exact communication of thought to the understanding. This mode of stress may be appropriately denominated the “unimpassioned radical.” For examples and practice, refer to all the exercises given under the Moderate Force of “ Pure Tone.” These should be repeated till the voice has acquired a perfect command of the clear, exact utterance which arises from the vivid effect of the appropriate “ radical stress.”
* A more extensive course of organic training, will be found by referring to the Manual on Orthophony.
“ Median Stress.” When the main force of the voice, comes on with a gradual increase, reaching its height at the middle of an accented sound, it exemplifies what is termed“ median stress.” This mode of utterance belongs to the slow “ movement” and prolonged tones of tranquillity, pathos, solemnity, and grandeur, or to the swelling force of bold and impassioned language, in the style of triumph, exultation, and admiration. In the expression of the former class of emotions, it is deliberately expanded and amplified: in that of the latter it is compressed and compacted.
Repeat, for illustrations of the expanded “stress” exemplified in the first-mentioned emotions, the exercises under “Pure Tone," on Tenderness, Grief, and Sorrow, with those on Tranquillity, and those on Solemnity,- the exercises, also, on “ Effusive Orotund.” Repeat, as illustrations of the compressed“ median stress,” the examples of “ Expulsive Orotund.” .
“ Vanishing Stress.” Impatient feeling and strong determination, are expressed by a “stress” which lies upon the “ vanish” or last part of a sound, and is accordingly denominated “ vanishing stress.” It comes on the ear with a peculiar jerking effect, contrasting with the steady, unimpassioned tenor of the voice, as the action of tugging does with that of pulling.
EXAMPLES OF “VANISHING STRESS.”
“For he made me mad
“ Compound Stress.” Surprise and contempt are expressed by what is termed “ compound stress,"— a mode of voice in which the force strikes both upon the first and last part of a sound. It is, in fact, “ radical” and “ vanishing stress” applied to the same syllable.
EXAMPLES OF “COMPOUND STRESS.”
Surprise and Astonishment. (Lord Chatham's Indignation at the Proposal of Lord Suffolk.] . “ What! to attribute the sacred sanctions of God and nature to the massacres of the Indian scalping-knife!”
“ Thou slave! thou wretch! thou coward ! - :
“ Thorough Stress.” Extremes of violent emotion are expressed by a force which is powerfully impressed on all the parts of a sound which can receive effect to the ear, — the beginning, the middle, and the end. This form of utterance is, in coincidence with its effect, termed a thorough stress.”
EXAMPLE OF “ THOROUGH STRESS.”
- Though the treasure
« Tremor." When the “ stress” peculiar to any emotion, is interrupted by a tremulous action of the organs, it is termed, in elocution, the “ tremor.” This mode of utterance belongs to fear, grief, joy, and other emotions, in their excess.