« AnteriorContinuar »
EXERCISES ON PITCH.
As his corse to the rampart we hurried;
O’er the grave where our hero we buried.
The sod with our bayonets turning,
And the lantern dimly burning."
Middle Notes. "My thoughts, I must confess, are turned on peace; Already have our quarrels filled the world With widows and with orphans: Scythia mourns Our guilty wars; and earth’s remotest regions Lie half unpeopled by the feuds of Rome.
'Tis time to sheath the sword and spare mankind." “We took up arms, not to revenge ourselves,
But free the Commonwealth. When this end fails, Arms have no further use. Our country's cause, That drew our swords, now wrests them from our
hands, And bids us not delight in Roman blood Unprofitably shed. What men could do, Is done already. Heaven and earth will witness, If Rome must fall, that we are innocent."
High Notes. “But thou, O Hope! with eyes so fair,
What was thy delighted measure ?
Still it whispered promised pleasure, And bade the lovely scenes at distance hail ! Still would her touch the strain prolong;
And from the rocks, the woods, the vale, She called on Echo still through all her song:
And where her sweetest theme she chose,
A soft responsive voice was heard at every close; And Hope enchanted smil'd, and wav'd her golden
EXERCISES ON TIME.
Moderate. " If the relation of sleep to night, and, in some instances, its converse, be real, we cannot reflect without amazement, upon the extent to which it carries us. Day and night are things close to us: the change applies immediately to our sensations; of all the phenomena of nature, it is the most obvious, and the most familiar to our experience: but, in its cause, it belongs to the great motions which are passing in the heavens. Whilst the earth glides around her axle, she ministers to the alternate necessities of the animals dwelling upon her surface, at the same time that she obeys the influence of those attractions which regulate the order of many thousand worlds. The relation, therefore, of sleep to night, is the relation of the inhabitants of the earth to the rotation of their globe: probably it is more; it is a relation to the system of which that globe is a part; and still farther, to the congregation of systems, of which theirs is only one. If this account be
true, it connects the meanest individual with the uni. verse itself: a chicken, roosting upon its perch, with the spheres revolving in the firmament."
The mountain nymph, sweet Liberty;
(Haste, the loom of hell prepare;)
Hurtles in the darkened air.
Each her thundering falchion wield;
Hurry, hurry, to the field !" The preceding exercises will be found serviceable in training the organs and forming the voice to the appropriate style of public reading and speaking. They are not meant, however, to supersede a regular course of culture, on the plan prescribed in Dr. Rush's Philosophy of the Voice, an advantage, now accessible to students in Boston and Cambridge, at the Vocal and Gymnastic Institute of Mr. J. E. Murdoch.
Introductory Observations. The use of inflection is to give significance to speech, and constitutes that part of modulation which is addressed to the understanding. It ranks next to a distinct articulation, as the means of rendering consecutive oral expression intelligible. It has, too, a certain effect of local melody,—so to term it,--in the successive clauses of a sentence, without which aid we could not discriminate between the commencement and the completion of a thought addressed to the ear.
Propriety of tone, even in the plainest forms of prose reading, is wholly dependent on the right use of inflections; and the absence, or the wrong application, of these modifications of voice, indicates either a want of ear, or of right understanding as to the sense of what is read. In the reading of verse, appropriate inflections are the only means of avoiding the two great evils of monotony and chant.
Reading, without inflections, becomes lifeless, as may be observed in what is usually called a "schoolboy tone.' This fault not only divests language of its meaning, but substitutes a ludicrous monotony for the natural, animated, and varied expression of the voice, in actual communication. The hearer unavoidably loses all interest in what is monotonously read; for it makes no appeal either to his feelings or to his under-' standing.
But it is not monotony, or the mere absence of inflection, or a formal mannerism, that is the only ground of complaint, as regards the too common style of reading. The ear undisciplined by proper early training, acquires habits of false intonation, and for the appropriate slides of the voice, substitutes, often, such
as are quite at variance with the sense of what is read, or utterly repugnant to the ear of cultivated taste.*
SIMPLE RISING AND FALLING INFLECTIONS, OR SLIDES. DEFINITIONS.P Inflection, as a term applied to elocution, signifies the inclining, or sliding, of the voice, either upward or downward. I
There are two simple inflections,—the upward, or rising, usually denoted by the acute accent (TM)-the downward, or falling, marked with the grave accent ().
The former occurs in the tone of a question which admits of being answered by yes or no, or by any other form of affirmation or negation; and the latter in that of the answer; thus,
“Is it a difficult affair?"_“Yes."
Note 1. In the tones of strong emotion, the rising inflection runs up to a very high note, and the falling
* A striking example of this fault occurs in the prevalent nse of the wave,' double slide, or circumflex,'-in the colloquial accent, and the local reading intonation of New England,-a fault which even well-educated persons often unconsciously display on the gravest occasions, although the appropriate use of the circumflex belongs only to the language of wit, or drollery, or to sarcastic and ironical expression.
This tone is strikingly exemplified in every emphatic word of what are popularly termed • Yankee stories,' but may be traced, in a reduced form, in the current tones of New England, whether in speaking or in reading.
+ The importance of clear and correct ideas in the study of a subject new to many learners, has induced the author to adopt as systematic and exact an arrangement as possible, though at the risk, perhaps, of apparent formality. Those parts of this work which are distinguished by leaded lines, are intended to be committed to memory. On all others, the learner should be closely examined.
I Teachers and students will find here, as in all other departments of elocution, a copious source of instruction in Dr. Rush's elaborate work on the Philosophy of the Human Voice.