Page images

6. Joy and Admiration. [Alonzo's exclamation, on beholding his son Ferdinand,

whom he had supposed drowned.] (“Pure Tone" : “Impassioned expulsive ” force : 66 Tremor"

of joy, throughout.)

“ Now all the blessings Of a glad father compass thee about !”

(“ Pure Tone": Impassioned expulsive” force : Ecstatic

tremor " of joy, wonder, and love.) Miranda. “Oh! wonder ! How many goodly creatures are there here ! How beauteous mankind is! Oh! brave new world, That has such people in 't!”

The various modes of " stress” have been so copiously illustrated, that it seems unnecessary to add special exercises, at the close of this chapter. Before proceeding to the next subject, however, the student will derive much benefit from reviewing the examples of the different forms of stress,”

,” and practising them in conjunction with the elementary sounds and combinations, and with the addition of the following words, as classified for this purpose.

[blocks in formation]

Subtonics." Maim Nun Rap Far Sing Babe Did

Gag madam nine rip bear hang bulb

died gig mime

rock hear tongue bib dared Gog Valve Zone Azure Ye Woe Lull THine Joy revolve zeal measure yon way

loll THey judge velvet zest pleasure you war lily

THan jar


" Atonics."

Pipe Tent Cake Fife Cease He Thin Push Church pulptat

cark fief assess hail thank hush chaste pop

tut casque fitful stocks hand thaw harsh chat

Words comprising elements of opposite character and for


Awe An Arm End|Eve In Ooze Up Ice In Old On all add ah! ebb leel if fool us isle if own odd always at art ell

|ear it poor ugh !sides it lore off Lull Cake Maim Tent Rap

Far loll cark madam tat

rip bear lily kick mime tut

rock hear

Nun Cease nine assess noun stocks

Zone Thin Azure Fife disease thinketh measure fief disowns thanketh pleasure fitful

Teachers who are instructing classes, will find great aid in the use of the black board, for the purpose of visible illustration, in regard to the character and effect of the different species of "stress." Exercises such as the following, may be prescribed for simultaneous practice in classes.


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

(Repeat six times in suc(Radical Stress.") D All, cession, with constantly

increasing force.) ("Vanishing Stress.") (" Median Stress.) ("Compound Stress.") (" Thorough Stress.") (" Tremor.")

To commence with a definite idea of the mode of stress in each instance, set out from the standard of a given emotion decidedly marked, and let the degree of emotion and the force of utterance be increased at every stage. Thus, let D represent the “ radical stress on the sound of a, in the word all, in the following example of authoritative command: Attend ALL!” the "vanishing stress" on the same element, in the following example of impatience and displeasure : “I said ALL, not one or two."

the “ median stress on the same element, in reverence and adoration : “ Join ALL ye creatures in His praise !"

compound stress,” in astonishment and surprise: “What ALL? did they all fail?"

the “thorough stress,” in defiance :

- come ALL!the “ tremor of sorrow :

“ Oh! I have lost you The practice of the examples and the elements should extend to the utmost excitement of emotion and force of voice. Ocular references may seem, at first sight, to have little value in a subject which relates to the ear. But notes and characters, as used in music, serve to show how exactly the ear may be taught through the eye ; and even if we admit the comparatively indefinite nature of all such relations, when transferred to the forms of speech and of reading, the suggestive power of visible forms has a great influence on the faculty of association, and aids clearness and precision of thought, and a corresponding definiteness and exactness in sound.

the "

" Come one

ALL ! '



The word "melody" may be applied to speech, in the same general sense as in the technical language of music, to designate the effect produced on the ear, by the successive notes of the voice, in a passage of music or of dis


The use of this term presupposes, both in music and in speech, a certain "pitch,” or initial note, whether predominating in a passage, or merely commencing it, and to which the subsequent sounds stand in the relation of higher or lower or identical.

The term “ melody," used as above, does not ncessarily imply a melodious or pleasing succession of sounds, or the reverse. It has regard merely to the fact just mentioned, that the successive sounds to which this term is applied, are comparatively higher or lower on the musical scale, or in strict unison with the first sound of a series. In this technical sense, the word “ melody” applies to speech as well as to music.

Regarded in connection with the sense of beauty or of pleasure, however, we perceive at once a marked difference between the “ melody" of music and that of speech. The former has, comparatively, the effect of poetry : beauty is its chief element; and it yields to the ear an exquisite sense of pleasure. The latter may, as in the recitation or the reading of verse, possess a degree of this charm, though comparatively an imperfect one. But it may, on the contrary, possess no such beauty: it may exhibit a succession of the most harsh and grating sounds, intended to jar and pain the ear, by the violence of discordant and disturbing passion; or it may, at least, be but a tame and insipid succession of articulation, in the utterance of a fact addressed exclusively to the understanding, as in the common relations of magnitude, shape, or number. The melody of speech, in such cases, intentionally divests itself of whatever quality in tone is adapted, whether to pleasure or to pain, and adheres to the customary intonation of dry fact and plain prose.

In the latter case, however, not less than in the former, the relations of sounds to each other, as measured by the musical scale, can be distinctly traced ; and, on this account, the “melody of speech,” or of “ reading," is a phrase as truly significant as that of the “ melody of a strain of music."

“ PITCH." The word “ melody," used in its technical sense, occupies, then, the same ground in elocution as in music, and refers us, in the first instance, to an initial or commencing sound to which others in a series may be compared as high or low or neither. To this sound the term “pitch” is applied, as designating the particular point of the scale, as high or low, on which the voice is thrown out. Thus, we speak of the deep tones or low notes of an organ, as contrasted with the shrill sound of a fife, of the grave tone of the voice of a man, or of the comparatively high pitch of that of a woman; or of the low voice of devotion, as contrasted with the high, shrill scream of excessive fear, or the piercing shriek of terror.

The correct practice of elocution, as in appropriate speaking, recitation, or reading, implies the power of easily and instantly shifting the "pitch” of the voice, according to the natural note of emotion required for every shade of expression depicted in the composition which is spoken, recited, or read. Nature, or, - more properly speaking, the Author of the human constitution, has so contrived the organization of the corporeal frame, in conjunction with the sensibility of the soul, that certain notes of the voice are necessarily associated with certain emotions. Thus a repetition of low and subdued tones, overheard from an adjoining apartment, suggests to us the thought that its occupant is employed in the exercise of devotion; because solemn and reverential feeling is uniformly associated in voice with low notes of the scale. A succession of high and vivid tones, overheard, might suggest the idea of a lively conversation, or an earnest debate, or a fierce dis

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »