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18. The thyro-hyoidean membrane connects the thyroïd cartilage with the instrument just described, and facilitates the functions of both, in elevating or depressing the pitch of the voice.
19. The crico-thyroïd ligament, attaches, as its name implies, the cricoid to the thyroïd cartilage; and (20.) the crico-thyroïd muscle facilitates their consentaneous movement, in the production of vocal sound, acute or grave.
21. The pharynx, or swallow, situated immediately behind and above the larynx, although not directly concerned in the production of sound, has, — by resonant space, — a great effect on its character. Persons in whom this organ is large, have usually a deep-toned voice; those in whom it is small, have comparatively a high pitch. When it is allowed to interfere with the sound of the voice, through negligence of habit, or bad taste, it causes a false and disagreeable guttural swell in the quality of the voice.'
22. The nasal passages. Through these channels the breath is inhaled in the usual tranquil function of breathing. The innermost part of the nostrils is united into one resonant channel, and opens
nto the back part of the mouth, behind the “ veil,” or pendent and movable part, of the palate, which serves as a curtain to part the nasal arch from the anterior portion of the mouth.
23. The internal tubes of the ears. Above the valve of the orifice of the windpipe, on each side of the root of the tongue, is a small opening, leading to a tube which communicates with the ear, and whose orifice is always opened, in the act of opening the mouth. These tubes have a great effect in rendering vocal tone clear and free; as is perceived in the case of obstructions arising from disease, from accident, or from cold, which impart a dull and muffled sound to the voice. “« The ear,” says an eminent writer on this subject, “ being formed of very hard bone, and containing the sonorous membrane of the drum, the sound of the voice entering it, through the airtubes, must necessarily be increased by its passage along what may be termed the whispering galleries of the ear.”
The effect of these passages, as conductors of vocal sound, may be traced in the fact, that the middle and innermost parts of the nostrils, open into several hollows, or cells, in the adjacent bones of the face and forehead. By this arrangement, the whole cavity of the head is rendered subservient to the resonance of the voice. That degree of clear, ringing, bell-like sound, which is so obvious a beauty of the human voice, seems to be dependent on this circumstance. Hence, too, the stifled tone caused by obstruction arising from cold, from accident, from the deleterious effect of snuff-taking, or from malformation of organic parts.
The fault of utterance which is termed nasal tone, arises from lowering too far the veil of the palate, — the membrane which separates the mouth from the nasal passages, and raising too high the root of the tongue, in producing a vocal sound. The consequence of these
1 For a full and highly instructive statement of the effect of the pharynx on utterance, see a “Treatise on the Diseases and Hygiène of the Organs of the Voice, by Colombat de l'Isère.” Translated by Dr. J. F. W. Lane, and published by Otis, Broaders, & Co., Boston
errors, is that an undue proportion of breath is forced against the nasal passages, and that these urgans are at once overcharged, and obstructed. Hence, the twanging and false resonance which consti
24. The cavity, and, more particularly (25) the roof, or ridgy arch, of the mouth, — in the anterior part of it, — together with (26) the palate, and (27) the veil, or pendent and movable part of the palate, and (28) the uvula, or the terminating tag of the veil of the palate, in the back part of the mouth, as well as (29) the upper gum, and (30) the teeth, in the fore part of it, all serve important purposes in modifying the sound of the voice, and aiding the function of speech.
The most satisfactory mode of forming a correct idea of these organs, is, to inspect the interior of the mouth, by the use of a looking-glass. In this way, the position and action of all these parts, in the function of speech, may be distinctly observed.
The mouth, by its arched structure, exerts a great influence in moulding the sound of the voice. It serves at once to give it scope, and partial reverberation. It gives sweetness and smoothness to tone; as we perceive in contrasting the voice duly modified by it, with that which loses its softening effect, in undue nasal ring, or guttural suffocation.
To give the voice the full effect of round, smooth, and agreeable tone, the free use of the cavity of the mouth, is indispensable: the whole mouth must be thrown open, by the unimpeded action and movement of the lower jaw. A smothered, imperfect, and lifeless utterance, is the necessary consequence of restraint in the play of this most effective implement of speech. A liberal opening of the mouth, is the only condition on which a free and effective utterance can be produced.
30. The teeth. These instruments, by their hard and sonorous texture, serve to compact and define the volume of the voice, while they aid one of the important purposes of distinct articulation, in the function of speech. Úsed with exact adaptation to their office, they give a clear and distinct character to enunciation ; but remissly exerted, they cause a coarse hissing, resembling the sibilation of the inferior animals.
31. The tongue. The various positions and movements of this organ, are the chief means of rendering vocal sound articulate, and thus converting it into speech. They exert, at the same time, a powerful influence on the quality of the voice, by contracting or enlarging the cavity of the mouth, and giving direction to vocal sound: it is the position and action of the root of the tongue, which render the voice guttural, nasal, or oral, in its effect on the ear.
32. The lips. These important aids to articulation, not only give distinctness to utterance, but fulness of effect to the sounds of the voice. Imperfectly used, they produce an obscure mumbling, instead of definite enunciation ; and, too slightly parted, they confine the voice within the mouth and throat, instead of giving it free egress and emissive force. In vigorous speech, rightly executed, the lips are slightly rounded, and even partially, though not boldly, projected. They thus become most effective aids to the definite projection and conveyance of vocal sound: they emit the voice well moulded, and, as it were, exactly aimed at the ear.
Figures 33 and 34 are intended to exhibit the effect of the epiglottis on the character of vocal sound. - When the voice is thrown out with abruptness, or even with a clear, decided force and character of sound, there is first a momentary occlusion of the gl ended, in impassioned utterance, by the downward pressure of the epiglottis, (the lid of the glottis,) as in the act of swallowing : see figure 33. To this preparatory rallying of the muscular apparatus, and its accompanying effect of resistance, - the natural preliminary to a powerful and sudden effort, - succeeds an abrupt and instantaneous explosion of breath and sound, produced by the sudden upward impulse of the abdominal muscles and the diaphragm, acting on the pleura, and the air-cells of the lungs, and forcing the breath upward, through the bronchi and the trachea, to the larynx. The brearh, thus impelled, bursts forth, parting, in the act, the glottis from the epiglottis, (34) and issues from the mouth, in the form of vocal sound. Such is the history of the function of vocal explosion,
the inseparable characteristic of all impassioned utterance, and, in greater or less degree, accompanying all vivid expression, and all distinct articulation. ADDITIONAL BREATHING EXERCISES.
Sighing: The following exercises may be practised in addition to those which are prescribed at the beginning of this volume.
Sighing, as a natural effort, designed to relieve the lungs and accelerate the circulation, when depressing emotions or organic impediments cause a feeling as if the breath were pent up, consists in a sudden and large inspiration and a full, strong, effusive expiration. In vocal training, it becomes a most efficacious means of free, unembarrassed respiration, and, consequently of organic energy and of full voice. It should be repeated as the other exercises, and practised both through the nostrils and the mouth; the former being its gentler,
- the latter, its more forcible form. It should be practised, also, in the tremulous style of inspiration, in which the sigh resembles a series of prolonged and subdued sobs.
Sobbing Sobbing, as an instinctive act, consists in a slightly convulsive, subdued and whispering gasp, by which an instantaneous supply of breath is obtained, when the stricture caused by the suffocating effect of grief, would otherwise obstruct or suspend too long the function of inspiration. The practice of the sob facilitates the habit of easy and rapid inspiration, and the expression of pathetic emotion.
Gasping. Gasping is an organic act corresponding somewhat to sobbing, but much more violent, as belonging to the expression of fierce emotions.
Its effects as an exercise, in disciplining the organs, are very powerful, and its use in vehement expression in dramatic passages, highly effective, and, indeed, indispensable to natural effect.
Panting. Panting, as a natural act, in a highly excited state of circulation, whether caused by extreme muscular exertion, or by intense emotion, consists in sudden and violent inspiration and expiration, the latter process predominating in force and sound. It is the only form of respiration practicable in high organic excitement. The practice of panting as an exercise, imparts energy to the function of respiration, and vigor to the organs. Its effect is inseparable from the expression of ardor and intense earnestness in emotion.
ANALYSIS OF «SLIDES.”
Before proceeding to the study of the other forms of the “slide," it will be an important aid to definite ideas and appropriate applications of those which have been exemplified, to pause here, and review the practice of the forms of " concrete
»; and * radical pitch,'. on elementary sounds, on syllables, and words, and to add a thorough and extensive course of practice on all gradations of the " slide,' especially its three chief forms, — the “ third,” “fifth,' tave,” both upward and downward.
The following diagram may be used as an ocular suggestion, to prompt and regulate the ear; each character being intended to represent the sound of an element, syllable, or word. The exercise commences with a slide of the second,” the usual interval, in “ crete pitch,” between the “radical ” and the “ vanish ” of an element, - as uttered in the common progression of the unemphatic and inexpressive melody” of speech or reading, - and extends through all other intervals to that of the "octave.” The forms which are of most frequent occurrence in reading, are repeated separately.
The bulb of each character in the diagram, represents the “ radical,” – the stem, the “ vanish."
But it will be of great use, as a matter of practice, with a view to facility in the command of the voice, to add to the sound of the slide,"
,” the effects of “ effusion,”?" expulsion," and " explosion ;'' radical,” median," “ vanishing," compound,"
thorough stress,” and “ tremor;" together with those of “pure tone,” tund,” and “ aspiration;" and all stages of force, from the softest “ subdued,” to that of “ shouting.”
The "slide" being, in speech and reading, the only means of marking to the ear the peculiar character of many emotions, and the distinctions of thought and language, as well as the relative portions of sentences ; the frequent practice of this element of vocal expression, becomes exceedingly important. Equally so is a discrin inating and appropriate use of the “ slide.” Speech or reading, divested of its aid, becomes merely mechanical, unmeaning articulation; as we observe the fact in the syllabic reading of little children.