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Account Current, Dr. and Cr.,
Brutus' Oration on the death of Cæsar,
Childe Harold's Address to the Ocean, .
Derzhavin, . 114
Speech of Satan to his Legions,
Song of the Shirt, The, .
Hood, . 189
Hood, . 217
As ELOCUTION is intimately connected with the voice, and as every reader may not be prepared to enter upon a minute development of its various principles, the following Preliminary Observations may be of some advantage.
Voice is sound, produced by the agitation of air when forcibly expelled from the lungs.
The attributes of the voice are general and special. The general attributes are pitch and force, and are common to all voices. The special attributes are those peculiarities which render one voice more agreeable or disagreeable than another, as, sweetness, harshness, etc.
The acuteness and gravity of the voice depend on the contractions and dilatations of the vocal tube.
The degree of loudness of the voice is in proportion to the expulsive effort, and to the resistance which the air meets on its passage through the glottis.
When air is forcibly expelled from the lungs, and not sufficient resistance given to its egress to produce what is generally understood by the term voice, an aspirated or whispered sound is the result.
From voice articulated by the motions of the lips, tongue, and other parts of the mouth, is produced oral language. Hence oral language is not inaptly termed articulated voice.
There are two varieties of oral language—song and speech. In several respects they resemble each other. Thus the notes, both of song and speech, vary in pitch, force, and time. The most striking difference between them is this : a note of song is maintained in one range of pitch from its commencement to its termination ; but a note of speech is varied in pitch during its pro gation. If you prolong the letter a in one range of pitch, thus :
you will have an example of a note of song. If you utter it interrogatively and affirmatively, thus :
d. you will have two varieties of the note of speech; the voice in the interrogation moving from a grave pitch to one more acute; in the affirmation, from acute to grave.
Perhaps enough has been said by way of preliminaries. The principles here mentioned, together with the various others, are methodically presented, discussed, and illustrated in the course of the work.
THE MODEL ELOCUTIONIST.
ELOCUTION is vocal delivery. It may be said to comprise both a science and an art. The science embraces the principles which constitute the basis of reading and speaking; the art, the practical application of these principles.
Elocution is naturally divided into two parts; namely, Vocal Gymnastics and Gesture.
Vocal Gymnastics is the philosophy of the human voice, as well as the art of training the vocal organs in speech and song.
Gesture is the various postures and motions employed in vocal delivery
VOCAL GYMNASTICS. VOCAL GYMNASTICS is the philosophy of the human voice, as well as the art of training the vocal organs in speech
Vocal Gymnastics is subdivided as follows:1. ARTICULATION.
3. FORCE. 2. PITCH.
4. TIME. Articulation is the act of forming, with the organs of speech, the elements of vocal language.
Pitch is the degree of the elevation of sounds.
Time is the measure of sounds in regard to their duration.
ARTICULATION is the act of forming, with the organs of speech, the elements of vocal language.
These elements may be formed separately, as in the utterance of the letters of the alphabet, as well as conjunctively, as in the pronunciation of words.
By the utterance of the letters of the alphabet is not meant the
pronunciation of the mere names of the letters, but the formation of the various sounds which the letters represent.
A good articulation is the perfect utterance of the elements of vocal language.
The first step towards becoming a good elocutionist, is a correct articulation. “A public speaker, possessed of only a moderate voice, if he articulates correctly, will be better understood, and heard with greater pleasure, than one who vociferates without judgment. The voice of the latter may indeed extend to a considerable distance, but the sound is dissipated in confusion. Of the former voice not the smallest vibration is wasted, every stroke is perceived at the utmost distance to which it reaches; and hence it has often the appearance of penetrating even farther than one which is loud, but badly articulated.
“ In just articulation, the words are not to be hurried over, nor precipitated syllable over syllable; nor, as it were, melted together into a mass of confusion: they should not be trailed, or drawled, nor permitted to slip out carelessly, so as to drop unfinished. They should be delivered from the lips as beautiful coins newly issued from the mint, deeply and accurately impressed, neatly struck by the proper organs, distinct, in due succession, and of due weight."
* Austin's Chironomia.