The Choirmaster's Manual/Chapter 4

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CHAPTER IV


ON THE ATTACK


Good attack is of vital importance. To accomplish a good attack, a slight, sharp inward movement of the abdomen is necessary. Practise notes of scale on "la." The advantage of "la" over "ah" as usually taught for attack is, that the consonant sends the tone forward with the tongue; the disadvantage is, that the consonant often deceives. The best method is to practise first on "la," then on the vowel-sound alone.

Exercise 5.

\relative f' { \key f \major \time 3/2 f2 f f | g g g | a a a | bes bes bes | c c c }
\addlyrics { La la la la la la la la la la la la la la la }
\addlyrics { Ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah }
and upward.


Excerise 6.

\relative f' { \key f \major \time 4/4 f4 r f r f2 r |
g4 r g r g2 r | a4 r a r | a2 r }
\addlyrics { La la la la la la la la la }
\addlyrics { Ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah }
and upward.


Exercise 7.

\relative f' { \key f \major \time 3/2 f2 f f | g g g | a a a | bes bes bes }
\addlyrics { La le li la le li la le li la le li }
\addlyrics { Ah e i ah e i ah e i ah e i }
[1] and upwards.


Exercise 8.

\relative f' { \key f \major \time 4/4 f4 r f r f2 r |
g4 r g r g2 r | a4 r a r | a2 r }
\addlyrics { La le li la le li la le li }
\addlyrics { Ah e i ah e i ah e i }
and upward.


(Keep tongue as flat as possible, and mouth open for "le" just as wide as for "la." Most boys want to close it. The higher up the scale, the more open the mouth. All consonants must be made by tongue or lips.

DON'T MOVE THE JAW. Fix the eyes on some spot in the room during vocalizing; it helps to keep head and jaws still.)

In Exs. 6 and 8, take breath between each attack. In taking breath the vocal cords must be open, and in attacking the note brought sharply together again.


  1. Pronounce lah, ley, lee, and ah, ay, ee.