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Rīdes on the võlleyed lightning through the hēavens, Or, yõked with whirlwinds and the northern blāst, Swēeps the long trāck of day.
Then high she soars
Thence, far effused,
So spake the Son, and into terror changed
Among them he arrived ; in his right hand
Plagues. They, astonished, all resistance lost,
One spirit in them ruled ; and every eye
MODULATION implies the variations of the voice that are heard in reading or speaking.
Good reading depends very much upon a proper modulatior.. When skillfully employed, it gives life, spirit, and beauty, to what would otherwise be monotonous and uninteresting.
In order for a reader or speaker to acquire a free, easy, and natural control of his vocal organs, it will be necessary, in the first place, to become perfectly familiar with all the elementary sounds. These have already been presented on a preceding page. and, when uttered as there directed, must necessarily receive a concentration of organic effort, that will be likely to accompany
QUESTIONS. What is modulation? What effect has it when skillfully employed How may a reader acquire a free, easy, and natural control of his voice ?
their utterance when combined, and thus secure a more distinct articulation of words.
In the next place, as has also been recommended, it will be important, frequently to practice the pronunciation of such syllables and words as contain a combination of elements of difficult articulation; and, in connection, to take up short sentences and give them all the varieties of intonation and inflections, with all the vocal keys and forms of utterance. In addition to exercises of the above character, the practice of often reading and speaking with a clear, distinct, and forcible enunciation, is also strongly recommended.
Such exercises will not only improve the voice in all its essential requisites, but will also strengthen the lungs, invigorate the muscular system, and contribute much to bodily health.
Modulation embraces several distinct principles, but the following are among the most important:I. EXPRESSION.
EXPRESSION implies the peculiar tones of voice, and the manner of utterance expressive of the thoughts, feelings, and emotions of the reader or speaker.
Expression includes several particulars which are important to be explained, before giving any rules or directions as aids to its proper application :
QUESTIONS. What will be the effect of such exercises ? What principles of mod. ulation are introduced in this work? What is expression ? What particulars are explained under expression ?
1. Pitch. Pitch of voice refers to the note, or key, on which we read or speak.
In every person's voice, this key-note may have as many variations as the notes on the scale of music; but it is sufficient for all practical purposes, to consider it as having only three general distinctions.
1. The high pitch, as heard when the voice is raised above the ordinary conversational tone, or in calling to a person at a distance.
2. The middle pitch, as heard in common conversation.
3. The low pitch, as heard when the voice falls below the conversational tone, or in the grave under-key.
The pitch, or key, must always be governed by circumstances. The character of the subject, the largeness of the audience, and the space to be filled by the voice of the speaker, will be his best guide. He should not commence too abruptly on a high key, nor on one so low as scarcely to be audible at a medium distance; but, on one so graduated, as to admit sufficient compass above and below it, to enable him to rise and fall with ease, and thus, without any unnatural effort, to be heard by the entire audience.
2. Quantity. Quantity is here used to signify the volume, or loudness, with which one speaks on the same key, or pitch.
Learners frequently suppose that loudness means a higher noto and, when requested to " speak louder,” immediately raise the key, without increasing the quantity. A person may, however. speak loud or soft on the same note, or key. Almost any voice,
QUESTIONS. What is pitch ! How many general distinctions has pitch? What are they? What is the best guide to an appropriate pitch in reading or speaking ? What caution is here given ? What is quantity? What mistake do learners sono times make in regard to it!
although naturally weak and feeble, may, by proper exercise, be so trained, that the utterance of sentences can be given with rotundity and fullness, as well as comparative ease. To gain this point, it will be necessary to practice repeating sentences on the same key, but with a gradual increase in the volume of sound at each repetition.
To illustrate this, the following exclamation may first be spoken in a very feeble voice, and then repeated on the same pitch, doubling the quantity at each repetition. The dots at the end of the exclamation, exhibit to the eye the increase, of volume at each reading.
Banished from Rome!.
3. Compass of Voice. Compass of voice in reading or speaking, includes both the power, or capacity, to range above and below the governing key-note, and the requisite degree of force and volume in delivery.
It comprises every variety of force and volume, and every distinction of tone on the ascending and descending scale of sounds, so far as a clear and distinct articulation can be preserved. Hence, the cultivation of the voice in this respect, should in no case be neglected. It is of the utmost importance to the public speaker, and he should spare no pains to acquire so perfect a control of his voice, that he can adapt it to all kinds of composition, from language involving the most spirited sentiment an 1 emotions, to the grave, dignified, and sublime.
To aid in accomplishing this desirable end, the student should be exercised in pronouncing short sentences on a key as low as
QUESTIONS. How may rotundity and fullness of voice be acquired? What exercise is recommended? What is compass of voice? What does it comprise ? What 15 said of its importance? How may compass of voice be acquired ?