Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 3.djvu/512

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500

��SINGING.

��resonance of the chambers, the larynx giving no musical sound, but only a rush of air through the glottis. I gives the highest sound and U the lowest, the pitch of the notes being fixed by Helmholtz. 1 The importance of these three experiments consists in their clearly showing how the smallest deviation from a certain posi- tion produces a marked change of, resonance in the note, and an alteration in the colour of the vowel-sound.

The subject of Analysis of Language, so ex- haustively treated by Professor Max Muller in connexion with ethnological research, and very critically entered into by Mr. Ellis in ' Speech in Song,' for the purpose of aiding the singer, is a very large one, and the following diagram of vowel-sounds, and table of consonants, are

��SINGING.

designed only to bring immediately under notice in a concentrated form the connexion between pure vowel-formation and articulation, and pure voice-production, and treat only of the principal sounds of the five languages already enumerated, as they must be sung.

The Italian vowels will be the starting-point, because they are the pure elementary sounds of language in general. On the line of the Phonic circle will be found all the vowel-sounds in the formation of which there is no initial contrac- tion of the edge of the lips and no action of the point of the tongue. These sounds are placed in the order of vocal colour, and the numbers represent their importance for singing. The order of vowel-formation, in accordance with whispered vowel-sound, is as follows.

��ia

��OBDER OF WHISPERED VOWEL-FORMATION.

[For Equivalents, see Table opposite.] e" E* a" uw 6" eu e u* A*

��U u

��The three primary elementary sounds of vocal language A I U> , . T ..

The two secondary elementary sounds of vocal language E / prO1 ""**! as in Italian.

a English in bat.

ai* French normal in malade.

a English in past.

��Short English In but, same sound long in vocal part of er,ir t ur

��A English a in father.

��Short English in met

Close Italian and German . . . e Close French

Short English in till, Ml .... i

��English e

(Initial consonant y, quickly articulated.)

���. . . English au or aw.

��. Close Italian, English, Ger- man, and French.

��. . English oo in boon.

(consonant w, quickly ar- ticulated.)

u ..... English, short in good,coul<l, and transient in ou, as in out, and in ow, as in blow.

It will be observed that all the sounds on the line of the circle are produced without any initial action of the point of the tongue or of the outer edge of the lips, such action only taking place in the formation of the sounds

being raised, affording a very small flat exit for the voice, and requiring more lung-pressure in its emission. U gives the largest space in the resonance chambers, the tongue being retracted upon itself, with its root and the larynx drawn down. With the contraction and protrusion of the lips necessary to its formation it cannot be a sonorous vowel. If these sounds are purely pro- nounced, without that baneful stiffening of the root of the tongue so very general in this country, the secondary sounds 4 and 5 can be found by passing from one primary sound to another, and the other gradations in the same way. The sounds within the circle require the action of the lips and tongue. The three sounds 8, 14, and 9, above the circle, require care. The short flat English a in ' bat,' as spoken, begets a position of

��In forming the German modified vowels 10, 12 and 19, there is more or less contraction of the inner edge of the lips. In the French u there is great contraction of the outer edge of the lips, and the end of the tongue presses slightly against the inside of the under lip, making the exit for the voice as small as is compatible with the emis- sion of a vowel-sound. The three primary vowels A, I, U (Italian sound), give three definite, ultimate positions of the resonance chambers. A gives the most perfect tube, and therefore the largest, roundest sound. It is a mid-position with the best proportion of parts, and produces the normal singing vowel, the most gratifying of all the vowels as a question of sound. I has the mouth filled with tongue, its root and the larynx

i See Elite's translation.

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