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I. Ideas expressive of affirmation, assurance, confidence, positiveness, decision, determination, conclusiveness, and all finality of thought or purpose tend to take the falling inflection.
The following words of Patrick Henry illustrate the use of very decisive falling inflections :
We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament.
II. Ideas expressive of uncertainty, hesitation, doubt, indecision, suspense, concession, interrogation, and all lack of finality of thought or purpose tend to take the rising inflection.
III. Ideas expressive of greater intensity of thought or purpose than those usually expressed by rising or falling inflections, or ideas manifesting a double motive, tend to take the bending inflection.
n 1. Ah, I am delighted! This is remarkable! A wonderful piece of art!
Here the ecstasy of the speaker is manifested by very emphatic bends of the voice on the words Ah," "delighted," " remarkable," "wonderful,” which give much more color and purpose to the speaker's words than would rising or falling inflections. U
U 2. Hath a dog money? Is it possible a cur can lend three thousand ducats ?
The bitter sarcasm of Shylock manifests itself by decided bendings of the voice on the words “dog" and
cur,” or perhaps upon other words of these sentences, producing an effect quite different from what it would be with either rising or falling inflections.
PRACTICAL EXERCISES FOR SECURING VOCAL FLEXIBILITY
BY MEANS OF PITCH
EXERCISES IN KEY
I. Utter with distinct enunciation a, e, i, o, u, in a monotone, with the voice keyed to a normal, middle plane of pitch ; repeat with the voice keyed to a high plane of pitch; repeat with the voice keyed to a low plane of pitch. Practice different adjustments of the voice in pitch, as : high, middle, low ; low, middle, high ; middle, low, high. Work for ease of adjustment till the voice may be keyed without effort to any desired plane of pitch.
II. Count with clear enunciation 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, in a monotone, with the following adjustments of the voice : middle, high, low; middle, low, high; low, middle, high; high, middle, low.
III. Find passages from literature similar to those on page 193 that are characteristically of high, middle, or low key. Read these passages with an easy adjustment of the voice to the proper key.
EXERCISES IN FLEXIBILITY BY SKIPS OF THE VOICE
IV. Pitch the voice low and let it climb the scale by gradually ascending steps on a, e, i, o, u; pitch the voice high and let it descend in the same manner; pitch the voice low and let it ascend and descend by repeating a, e, i, o, u; practice the same exercises with the numerals 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
V. Let the voice rise by gradual steps in the following sentences :
1. What is it that gentlemen wish ?
Let the voice descend by gradual steps in the following sentences :
1. It is impossible !
Let the voice gradually ascend and descend in the following sentences :
1. I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided.
3. In proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate.
4. The question before the house is one of awful moment to this country.
5. I consider it nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery.
NOTE. The sentences above should be read with definite action of the voice up or down the scale for practice in vocal flexibility. No doubt they might very properly be read in other ways.
VI. Read slowly the following sentences, observing carefully the definite steps of the voice through the range of pitch that are necessary to bring out the meaning:
1. The war, then, must go on. We must fight it through.
2. If the war must go on, why put off longer the Declaration of Independence ?
3. Why then, why then do we not as soon as possible change this from a civil to a national war?
4. And, since we must fight it through, why not put ourselves in a state to enjoy all the benefits of victory, if we gain the victory?
5. If we fail, it can be no worse for us. But we shall not fail.
EXERCISES IN FLEXIBILITY BY GLIDES OF THE VOICE
VII. Speak clearly a, e, i, o, u, with a marked rising inflection of the voice on each ; repeat by giving to each a decided falling inflection; give a with rising inflection, e with falling, and alternate the inflections in the same way on i, o, u; give a with falling inflection, e with rising, and alternate in the same way on i, o, u.
VIII. Count 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, varying the direction of the inflections as in Exercise I. Count 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, varying
the length of the inflections thus : five very long rising inflections; five very short rising inflections; five very long falling inflections ; five very short falling inflections; then with alternating inflections, long and short.
IX. Speak the sentence "He is a worthy gentleman,” expressing:
1. High admiration for the man.
X. Read the following lines, observing carefully the inflections necessary to bring out the meaning :
1. This uncounted multitude before me and around me proves the feeling which the occasion has excited. These thousands of human faces, glowing with sympathy and joy, and from the impulses of a common gratitude turned reverently to heaven in this spacious temple of the firmament, proclaim that the day, the place and the purpose of our assembling have made a deep impression on our hearts.
2. Venerable men! you have come down to us from a former generation. Heaven has bounteously lengthened out your lives, that you might behold this joyous day. You are now where you stood fifty years ago, this very hour, with your brothers and your neighbors, shoulder to shoulder, in the strife for your country. Behold, how altered !
WEBSTER, " First Bunker Hill Oration”