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To recognize the accuracy of these explanations of the meanings of the inflections, we have only to notice how the significance of the following sentences is changed upon our uttering them with a rising () or falling (') or with a circumflex inflection, ending with a rising ()or a falling (a)movement. If so I will gó.
If so I will go.
It must be so.
John declaims well.
Of course it is.
Is n't she beautiful? You—you meant no hărm. You-you meant no hârm. Sidney Lanier, in his “Science of English Verse," has directed attention, as had been done before, to the way in which this truth, with reference to the different meanings that may be conveyed by the simple movements of the voice, wholly aside from the words used, is brought out by Shakespear in his All's Well that Ends Well, where he makes the clown declare:
I have an answer will serve all men.
* * Clown.-From below your duke to beneath your constable ; it will fit any question.
Countess.-It must be an answer of most monstrous size, that must fit all demands.
Clown.-But a trifle, neither, in good faith, if the learned should speak truth of it. Here it is, and all that belongs to 't ... Ask me if I am a courtier
.. Count.— I pray you, sir, are you a courtier ?
Clown.-0 Lord, sir,--there's a simple putting off,-more, more, a hun. dred of them.
Count.—Sir, I am a poor friend of yours, that loves you.
Count.— I think, sir, you can eat none of this homely meat.
Count.- I play the noble housewife with the time
To entertain it so merrily with a Fool.
-All's Well that Ends Well, ii., 2.
In dramatic elocution, rising, falling, or circumflex movements of the voice, simply imitate things with which movements or sounds of these kinds are in some way associated. The following, for instance, require movements of the voice in both directions:
He saw a crowd assembled round
With all his might and main.
- The Bishop of Rum-ti-Foo : Gilbert. But the babe with a dig that would startle an ox,
With his “C'ck ! Oh, my !
Go along wiz 'oo, fie !"
Now a father it shocks,
And it whitens his locks,
- Precocious Baby: Gilbert,
As has been said, the blending of the effects of high and low key with those of the rising and falling of phrases and syllables, leads to what is termed melody, the general character of which represents the mental motive as influ
enced by the soul, or the higher emotive nature. If the key be greatly varied, therefore, it represents a minimum of self-control or poise; if slightly varied or monotonous, a maximum of this,-statements which will be sufficiently illustrated while we go on to apply, as we shall now do, all these elocutionary principles of pitch to the subject immediately before us.
Probably few have noticed to what an extent pitch enters as a factor into the effects of poetry. They know in a general way, of course, that in early modes of communicating thought, intonations, like gestures, were almost as significant as words; but they do not realize that the same is true in our own day, least of all that changes in pitch are and always must be elements entering into the significance of the effects produced by poetic rhythm. They know, again, if at all acquainted with the history of the art, that there was a time when poetry was associated with both dancing and music. It was so, as we are told, in the time of King David, who, on one occasion, at least, danced as well as sang his psalms before the ark. In Greece, not only lyric but dramatic poetry was chanted, and often accompanied by the lyre. As late as the sixteenth century, declamation accompanied by music, flourished in England and in Italy. In the latter country it then passed into the opera, which did not follow, as some suppose, but preceded all that is noteworthy in the development of the pure music, unaccompanied by words, of modern times. In our own day, however, when poetry is merely read, the movements of the waltz, the polka, the sonata, the symphony, seem to belong to an art so different, that it is difficult to conceive that it was once appropriate to speak of ballad poetry, because the Italian ballare meant to dance, or of a sonnet, because the lute
was sounded while poetry was being chanted. The truth is, however, that even to-day, also, poetry and music are allied. As has been said already, the chanting of verse was not originally the cause of its tunes, but the result of them, springing from an endeavor to develop artistically the tunes natural to speech. These tunes our poetry, notwithstanding its present separation from music, still retains. They differ from those of music, yet are analogous to them. Let us consider the more important of the resemblances and differences between the two.
As most of us know, science has ascertained that all musical sounds result from regularly recurring vibrations caused by cords, pipes, reeds, or other agencies. About thirty-three of these vibrations per second produce the lowest tone used in music, and about three thousand nine hundred and sixty, the highest. That the number of vibrations in any note may be increased and its pitch made higher, it is necessary to lessen the length or size of the cord, or of whatever causes the vibrations. When the vibrating cord is lessened by just one half, the tone produced is separated from its former tone by an interval of sound which in music is termed an octave. Between the two extremes of pitch forming the octave, eleven half tones, as they are called, caused by sounds resulting from different lengths of the cord, between its whole length and its half length, have been selected, for reasons to be given in another place, and arranged in what is termed a musical scale. These half-tones, seven of them constituting the do, re, me, fa, sol, la, and si of the gamut, are all that can be used in music between the two notes forming the octave. There are about seven octaves, or, what is the same thing, seven scales, each containing twelve sounds of different pitch,-in all, about eighty-four de.
grees of pitch that are used in music. In the speaking voice only about two octaves are used, so that in this regard its range is more narrow than that of music. Between any two octave notes, however, the speaking voice can use whatever sounds it chooses; it is not confined to the twelve that constitute the musical scale. For instance, the note of the bass voice called by musicians C, is sounded by producing one hundred and thirty-two vibrations a second, and C of the octave above by producing two hundred and sixty-four vibrations. Between the two, therefore, it is possible to conceive of forming one hundred and thirtyone distinct tones, each vibrating once a second oftener than the sound below it. It is possible, too, to conceive that the speaking voice can use any of these tones. Music, however, between the same octave notes, can use but eleven tones. Therefore, the different degrees of pitch used in speech, though not extending over as many octaves, are much more numerous than those used in music. For this reason, the melodies of speech cannot be represented by any system through which we now write music. There are not enough notes used in music to render it possible to make the representation accurate. Nor probably would much practical benefit be derived from an attempt to construct a system of speech-notation; though it, like other things, may be among the possibilities of acoustic development in the future.
In applying to poetic form the principles determining pitch in elocution, let us take up first those in accordance with which certain syllables are uttered on a high or low key. The former key seems suggested by vowels formed at the mouth's front, as in beet, bate, bet, bit, bat, etc.; the latter by back vowels, as in fool, full, foal, fall, etc. The best of reasons underlies this suggestion. It is the fact that