Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 4.djvu/337

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VOCALION.

you have obtained a totally different tone from that of Harmoniu m s an d other reed organs. I was particularly struck with the nobility and purity of the sound, and also with the great variety in the timbre which the instrument displayed.*

The Vocalion exhibited is 6 ft. square, and stands on a somewhat larger pedestal, contain- ing the bellows, wind-chest, etc. It has three Manuals, denominated Choir, Great and Swell ; two stops in the pedals and three in each manual, as well as three extra ones of lighter quality, called 'complementary.' In the suc- cessive steps of the invention since 1874, it is understood that Mr. Baillie Hamilton has been much assisted by the practical knowledge and skill of Mr. Hermann Smith. [G.]

VOCALISE and VOCALIZZO are the French and Italian terms for an exercise or piece of music to be vocalised. [H.C.D.]

VOCALISE, TO; VOCALISATION. To vocalise is, as its name implies, to sing upon ^ a vowel, whether one note or a series of notes, in contradistinction to singing to separate syllables. Vocalisation is therefore one part of the operation of pronunciation, the other being articulation. Perfect vocalisation involves purity of whatever vowel-sound is at the moment being sung, and this purity of course requires that only those parts of the organs of speech be called into action that are absolutely necessary to bring about the position of the resonance chambers proper to its formation.

This sounds like a truism too obvious to re- quire statement, but it must be remembered that it is quite possible to bring into play or convulse parts of the mechanism that are not necessary, without altering the vowel-sound, though the quality of the voice, the production, suffers, and will be tonguey, throaty, palatal, or veiled, ac- cording to the part thus unnecessarily brought into play. In such cases, if the resonance-pitch of the vowel-sound could be ascertained, it might be found to be precisely the same und er these different conditions, while the tone of voice, pure in the one case, might be very bad in the other. No special organ or mechanism should present itself to the mind of the hearer. So far as to the pro- duction of a single note. In a succession of notes, whether slow or quick, the passage from note to note should take place without the smallest change either of vowel-sound or of tone-quality, and without the slightest escape of useless breath, and consequent cessation of vocal sound between the notes, or evidence of mechanical effort. The passage must in fact be a portamento or carrying of the voice, but so quickly executed that the notes shall be perfectly distinct and the porta- mento unrecognisable, except where in slow passages it is required for special expression. Passages of agility (fioritura, coloratura) executed in the manner above indicated give that gorgeous flood of musical sound which was one of the many gifts of the great soprano Jenny Lind. [H.C.D.]

VOCE DI PETTO, Chest voice (Ger. Brust- ttimme) ; VOCE DI TESTA, Head voice (Kopf-

VOL. IV. PT. 3.

��VOCE DI PETTO.

��321

��stimme). Terms applied in some cases to certain registers or series of notes produced by a special mechanism or state of the voice organs ; in others to a different mode of producing the same notes. Nearly the whole question of registers, and in great part of quality or timbre, is involved in uncertainty indeed, it is scarcely too much to say, mystery. All voice is produced in the larynx. The sound thus given forth can be modified both in pitch and quality by numerous pairs of intrinsic and extrinsic laryngeal muscles, muscles acting upon the trachea or windpipe, on the pharynx, on the soft palate, on the throat, tongue, and nostrils, front and back, on the lips and cheeks. All these parts are concerned in the formation of the resonance chambers. The bare fact that the voice is produced in the larynx is ascertainable by anybody through the medium of the laryngoscope, but to arrive only thus far the throat has to be forced into a position directly antagonistic to the production of those very qua- lities of tone that form the subject of desired investigation. Open chest voice, there is every reason to believe, is in great part produced by the drawing down of the larynx by means of the sterno-thyroid muscles, so that it becomes part of a compact mass of bone, tissue, and cartilage all vibrating together. This arrangement of parts is aided by the elasticity and compress- ibility of the windpipe ; and since the lowering of the larynx (carrying down with it, as it does, a considerable portion of the root of the tongue), brings about a corresponding lengthening and enlargement of the throat, the vibration of the chest, and the sonority imparted to the sound by the resonance chambers above the larynx, go to make up together what we call the open chest register. The second, or close chest register, next comes into play. This is a register common to all voices, male and female, and is called by Manuel Garcia, falsetto. The third register, Head-voice, is, in the male, generally known by this term falsetto, the third register of the female voice being called Head-voice, and it is difficult to understand on what ground Garcia (the pioneer of close investigation of the physiology of the voice- organs) applies the term to the middle register. It is perhaps somewhat bold to combat the opinion of this eminent man, but falsetto (a word in general use in Italy as well as in England) seems very appropriate to that register which in the male seems to be scarcely natural, but to belong to another individual, and even to another sex.

The above-mentioned middle register corre- sponds to Randegger's ' upper series of chest notes,' and the 'closing* for the formation of this series of notes is a point of the highest im- portance with Visetti and all foremost Italian and other teachers.

Unfortunately it is not possible to point out exactly how the operation is performed. It can only be arrived at by numerous ideal ex- planations, and by imitation. In using this middle register, the chest is still felt to vibrate, thus justifying the use of the term close chest notes, but not quite in the same degree as in the

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