James Rush.

The philosophy of the human voice : embracing its physiological history; together with a system of principles, by which criticism in the art of elocution may be rendered inteligible [i.e. intelligible], and instruction, definite and comprehensive to which is added a brief analysis of song and recita online

. (page 1 of 59)
Online LibraryJames RushThe philosophy of the human voice : embracing its physiological history; together with a system of principles, by which criticism in the art of elocution may be rendered inteligible [i.e. intelligible], and instruction, definite and comprehensive to which is added a brief analysis of song and recita → online text (page 1 of 59)
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Copyright, 1879, by The Library Companv of Philadelphia.





















Of the General Divisions of Vocal Sound, with

a more particular acount of its Pitch,
Of the Radical and Vanishing movement ; and

its diferent forms in Speech, Song, and Reci-
Of the Elenientarj^ Sounds of the English

Language ; with their relations to the Radi-
cal and Vanish,
Of the Influence of the Radical and Vanish,

in tire production of the various ))henojnena

of Sylablcs,
Of the Causative Mechanism of the Voice, in

relation to its diferent Vocalities and to its

Of the'Expresion of Speecli,
Of the Pitch of the Voice,
Of the Melody of Speech ; with an inquiry

how far the terms Key and Modulation are

aplicable to it.
Of Vocality of the Voice,
Of Abruptness of Speech,
Of the Time of the Voice,
Of the Intonation at Pauses,
Of the Grouping of Speech,
Of the Interval of the Rising Octave,
Of the Interval of the Rising Fifth,
Of the Interval of the Rising Third,
Of the Intonation of Interogative Sentences,
Of the Interval of the Rising Second,












SECTION XIX. Of the Interval of the Kising Semitone; and

of the Chromatic Melody founded thereon, 282

XX. Of the Downward Radical and Vanish, 29.5

XXI. Of the Downward Octave, 299

XXII. Of the Downward Fifth, 301

XXIII. Of the Downward Third, 303

XXIV. Of the Downward Second and Sejiiitone, 307

XXV. Of the Wave of the Voice, 309

XXVI. Of the Equal- Wave of the Octave, 315

XXVII. Of the Equal- Wave of the Fifth, 31 G

XXVIII. Of the Equal- Wave of the Third, 317

XXIX. Of the Equal-Wave of the Second, 318

XXX. Of the Equal- Wave of the Semitone, 328

XXXI. Of the Wave of Unequal Intervals, 330

XXXII. Of the Intonation of Exclamatory Sentences, 340

XXXIII. Of the Tremor of the Voice, 354

XXXIV. Of Force of Voice, 364

XXXV. Of the Radical Stress, 360

XXXVI. Of the Median Stress, 371

XXXVII. Of the Vanishing Stress, 375

XXXVIII. Of the Compound Stress, 377

XXXIX. Of the Thoro Stress, 378
XL. Of the Loud Concrete, 381
XLI. Of the Time of the Concrete, 382
XLII. Of the Aspiration, 383
XLIII. Of the Emphatic Vocule, 387
XLIV. Of the Gutural Vibration, 389
XLV. Of Acent, 390
XLVI. Of Empha.sis, 395

Of Emphasis of Vocality, 396

Of Emphasis of Force, 397

Of the Radical Emphasis, 398

* Of the Median Emphasis, 399

Of the Vanishing Emphasis, 400

Of the Compound Emphasis, 401
Of the Emphasis of the Thoro Stress, and the

Loud Concrete, 402

Of the Aspirated Emphasis, 408

Of the Emphatic Vocule, 404


SECTION XLYI. Of the Gutural Emphasis, 405

Of the Temporal Emphasis, ib.

Of the Emphasis of Pitch, 407

Of the Emphasis of the Rising Octave, 409

Of the Emphasis of the Rising Fifth, 411

Of the Emphasis of the Rising Third, 412

Of the p]mphasis of the Rising Semitone, 413

Of the Downward Concrete, 415

Of the Downward Octave, 417

, Of the Downward Fifth, 419

Of the Downward Third, 420

Of the Emphasis of the Wave, 422
Of the Equal-Single-Direct Wave of the Octave, 423
Of the Equfll-Single-Direct Wave of the Fifth, 425

Of the Unequal-Single Wave, 42G

Of the Emphasis of the Tremor, 428

A Recapitulating View of Emphasis, 430

XLVII. Of the Drift of the Voice, 437

Of the Diatonic Drift, 438

Of the Drift of the Semitone, 439

Of the Drift of the Downward Vanish, ib.

Of the Drift of the Wave of the Second, ib.

Of the Drift of the Wave of the Semitone, ib.

Of the Drift of Quantity, 440

Of the Drift of Force, ib.

Of the Drift of the Loud Concrete, ib.

Of the Drift of Median Stress, ib.

The Partial Drift of the Tremor, ib.

The Partial Drift of Aspiration, 441

The Partial Drift of Gutural Vibration, ib.

The Partial Drift of Interogation, ib.

The Partial Drift of the Phrases of Mclodj'', ib.

XLVIII. Of the Vocal Signs of ThOt and Pasion, 448

Note. On the Voice of Sub-animals, 456
Of Th6t or Pasion indicated

By the Piano of the Voice, 461

By the Forte of the Voice, ib.

By Quicknes of Voice, ib.

By Slownes of Voice, 462



SECTION XLVIII. By Vocality of Voice, 462
By the Rising and Faling Semitone, ib.
By the Eising and Faling Second, ib.
By the Rising Third, Fifth and Octave, 463
By the Downward Third, Fifth and Octave, ib.
By the Wave of the Semitone, ib.
By the "Wave of the Second, 464
By the Waves of the Third, Fifth and Octave, ib.
By the Radical Stress, 465
By the Median Stress, ib^^
By the Vanishing Stress, ib.
By the Compound Stress, 466
By the Thoro Stress, ib.
By the Tremor of tlie Second, and Wider In-
tervals, ib.
By the Tremor of the Semitone, ib.
By the Aspiration, ib.
By the Guttural Vibration, 467
By the Emphatic Vocule, ib.
By the Broken Melody, ib.
XLIX. Of the Means of Instruction in Elocution, 478
Of Practice on the Alphabetic Elements, 483
Of Practice on the Time of Elements, 487
Of Practice on the Vanishing Movement, 488
Of Practice on Force, 489
Of Practice on Stress, ib.
Of Practice on Pitch, 490
Of Practice on Melody, 492
Of Practice on the Cadence, ib.
Of Practice on the Tremor, 493
Of Practice on Vocality, ib.
Of Practice in Rapidity of Speech, 495
L. Of the Rythmus of Speech, 504
LI. Of the Faults of Readers, 517
Of the Faults in Vocality, 529
Of Faults in Time, ib.
Of Faults in Force, 580
Of Faults in Pitch, 588
Of Faults in the Concrete Movement, ib.
Of Faults in the Semitone, 534


SECTION LI. Of Faults in the Second, 685

Of Faults in the Melody of Speech, 686

First Fault in Melody, ib.

Second Fault in Melody, 637

"third Fault in Melody, ib.

Fourth Fault in Melody, 638

Fifth Fault in Melody, 639

Sixth Fault in Melody, ib.

Seventh Fault in Melody, 640

Of Faults in the Cadence, 643

Of Faults in the Intonation at Pauses, 646

Of Faults in the Third, 646

Of Faults in the Fifth, ib.

Of Faults in the Downward Movement, 647

Of Faults in the Discrete Movement, ib.

Of Faults in the "Wave, ib.

Of Faults in Drift, 649

Of Faults in the Grouping of Speech, 652

Of the Fault of Mimicry, 653

Of Monotony of Voice, 656

Of Ranting in Speech, 657

Of Afectation in Speech, ib.

Of Mouthing in Speech, ib.

Of the Faults of Stage-Personation, 561

Conclusion, 676

A Brief Analysis of Song and Recitative, 685

Of Song, 686

Of Recitative, 617


All the reprints of this Worlt have sucesively receved aditions. The
recorded analysis and principles of the First edition having been derived
from exact observation and experiment, remain almost without alteration.
The arangement has however been slightly changed. Three new sections^
severaly on Pitch, Abruptnes, and Exclamatory sentences, with other di-
visions, have been added, in amplification of preceding views : and there will
be found thruout the Work, aditional facts, principles, and ilustrations, to-
gether with esthetic reflections on the subject of vocal Science and Art ; while
variations without number have been made in the explanatory phraseology.
It would have been both embarasing and useles to have marked the places of
all the aditional facts, principles, divisions, and nomenclature. It is enuf,
to state the amount. The several editions, without the prefaces, and deduct-
ing the blank portions not comon to all, contain respectively in leters, esti-
mated by pages and lines, about the folowing numbers :


First 742,000 leters, January, 1827.

Second 814,000 " June, 1833.

Third 8-50,000 " December, 1844.

Fourth 1,024,000 " January, 1855.

Fifth 1,232,000 " May, 1859.

Sixth 1,248,000 " April, 1867.

The first writing of the Work ocupied about three years of leisure from
Profesional and Social engagements. The subsequent aditions may alto-
gether have employed about eighteen months.



To prevent surprise and misapprehension, on the subject of the
unusual orthography in the present Edition, we here give a short ac-
count of tlie purpose, the motives, and the manner of its application.

As somebody first omitted the superfluous u from tlie English
word labour, it is here the intention cautiously to remove the un-
pronounced t, of several words similar to perceive, and to lessen
the double consonants of tlie language. We are no more bound
to respect an old literary habit of spelling, when advantage is to
be gained, and only prejudice to be shocked by the change, than
upon proof against it, to respect a conventional creed on any other
subject. Orthography has been variously altered for the worse,
as well as for tlie better, by ' nobody knows who,' as if the inno-
vator feared to be caught by the norma loquendi or fashionable rule
of the pen. The little here offered is directed by the Grammar,
which teaches to give the letters that make the sound of the word ;
and we add, to give no more : following the classical Latin, which
gives much nearer than we do, letter for sound ; though it is yet
too soon always to do this. We must except from our propasal of
improvement, cases that would have a temporary awkwardness to
the eye ; and that from the deficiency of our vowel symbols, afford
no habitual rule to direct tlie sound of a sylable.

Nor have we been mindless of euphony, and therefore prefer
the smooth and gliding quantity and sound of impunc to the
half hiccupy catch of impugn; have given the strong accent to 6r
2 (ix)


and grd in orthography, to avoid the like guttural og; and have
changed the lip-issuing eu {yeu or ceu) to the free oral u, in via-
nuver. If it be said, these words are so pronounced: then write
them so. Ours is the English language; we have therefore, when
justified by the ear and the eye, rejected or changed the consonant
sylables, vre, tre, and que, of the French. Thus individually trymg
to do slowly in part, what the crowd of Reviews, Magazines, News-
papers, and Governments, with their influence and patronage could,
under a wise commission, accomplish by a broad and rapid sweep.

To an observant and reflective Reformer, it would be as easy in
principle and rule, to correct a false orthography, though as diffi-
cult in practice, as to change a metaphysical and corrupt religion ;
for it is only returning to Nature's ordination of sound and sign,
in the former case, and in the latter, to the simplicity of humble
submission to that physical superiority of God and Nature over
the mind and conduct of man, which the reflective study of their
works will always insure. But as the crowd of writers of what-
ever class, and the vulgar may corrupt, yet never reform, the pro-
posal and attempt are left for the adventurous individual who must
take the fearful odds against him.

Who, except a corrector of the Press, and a drilled memorial
scholar, knows always, unhesitatingly how to spell ? Nobody !
This both with the studious and the ignorant arises, in the English
language, from there being a deficiency of the vowel symbols, and
a redundancy of consonants. It would then seem easy, to add a
few to one, and to reduce the number of the other. This however,
in opposition to scholastic usage, would be a hopeless task : for the
self-relying personal power of the wonder-working Hercules has not
reached our time: though we do not mean like Bishop Wilkins, and
otliers, to offer a ' Real Character,' or a newly invented alphabet of
symbols: an attempt, however philosophic, as practically vain, as
trying to change a man to a Seraph by feathering-out his arms into
wings ; which the Satirist on the learned and ingenious Prelate's
' Essay ' seemed to have thought, in his Fable of a flying humanity.

The sixth Edition of this Work, besides other changes, shows a
partial rejection of the double consonants. Here it is proposed to
reject them all ; for they are almost universally unnecessary, es-
pecially at the end of words, where even the self excusing pedant


cannot find an apology for applying them: and though they are
sometimes improperly used to indicate the character of a preceding
voAvel ; this would be done more precisely, by increasing the num-
ber of the vowel symbols, and denoting their proper time and sound.
As an exception to the above general rule, I have not removed the
redundant consonants from monosylables, and a few dissylables ; it
would be at present awkward, and might draw attention and pro-
voke opposition by its oddity; though a reader might in time
become reconciled to the change when others effect it.

It is shown in the third section and elsewhere in this work, that
the physiology of consonant sounds does not only prove the doub-
ling to be unnecessary, but practically forbids it. All the conso-
nants close their utterance either by a faint vocal or by an aspirate
jet, a vocula, or little voice or vocule as I have called it; more
audible as an aspirate severally in the final k, p, and t, in nick, skip,
and hate; and slightly, in what has been called, guttural murmur,
at the close of all the vocal consonants. This vocule is the means
of the easy coalescence of the consonants with the vowels ; making
all the consonants flow severally into them. Now vowels having
no final vocule, two or more do not coalesce vnth each other; nor
do double consonants, even with their vocule, unite into one syla-
ble; therefore two proximate vowels, and two proximate conso-
nants, if pronounced, must respectively make two sylabic efforts.
And hence double consonants, within a sylable, cannot together, be
uttered by a single vocal impulse.

I have looked over the dictionary with reference to double con-
sonants. At the end of a word and within a sylable, they are as
above stated, useless to the voice. They appear however, double
at the connection of successive sylables, as in the Avord command.
Are they necessary here? Only in some cases. In the grciitcr
number, the consonant at the end of the preceding sylable coalesces
with the preceding vowel, and would coalesce with the vowel of
the succeeding sylable, if the second consonant did not prevent it.
In the hasty current of speech, and of declamation, the second m
is not pronounced, and is therefore useless ; the final consonant of
the preceding sylable skipping the second consonant, and gliding
into the next vowel a. If the utterance is slow, or the second
sylable, as in commdnd is emphatic, then the a is to be strongly


exploded; and this is to be eiFected by making a momentary pause
before the second m, and bursting by its vocule into the emphatic a;
in which case the double consonant is used. Or this may be done
by the same process with the first m; rejecting the second. Some
sylables are altogether consonants, as ble, and Jle, in bubble and
shuffle; but these are no exception to the rule of the single conso-
nant, at the junction of sylables, and of its gliding into the following
vowel, for these and their similars are pronounced, bubel and shufel.

I have omitted the silent guttural gh wherever it occurs, and
propose to supply its place by the letters, au, o, u, ou or uf, as in
thaut, tho, thru,plou, and enuf. The same gh is omitted as useless in
might, right, sight, and that family of words ; e being added to mite,
and the rest, to indicate the long sound of i. From would and its
family I is rejected. So far as I have reduced these changes to prac-
tice, they are easily legible by the literal sound. Thaut and caut, site
and mite, wud and cud, while acceptable to the ear, will soon cease
to shock the eye. The distinction between mite the auxiliary, and
mite the noun, and mite the insect will at once be determined by the
connection of the first with the verb, and the use of the last two in
the nominative or objective case. And so of rite the adjective and
of rite as a noun ; of site, vision, and of site, situation, where the
grammatical construction will make the distinction obvious; and
so of the rest not stated here ; upon all which, the facilities of one
side may explain and justify the difficulties of the other.

I leave the desperate case of the redundant and deficient vowels
to some future Hercules, to use his club on the thousand forms of
Antaeus that will continue to rise against him. If this work
would not at present be strangled in the attempt, it would propose
and use a new and simple analogical type, for three of the form of
a; but we leave these and other reforms in spelling to futurity.

What is here proposed and exemplified in part, will be sufficient
to make the hair of the literary formalist and the reviewer stand
on-end, at this havoc with their language. Let them calm their
horror; it will not tear it up by the roots, to prevent its lying
down again, and covering the baldness of their superanuated error.

The reform here offered will be acceptable to those who dare
to use it. Others will stone the innovation as the metaphysical
and stiffnecked Israelites served their unconforming Prophets.



After the publication of tlie ' Xatural History of the Intelect/
the Author was disposed to dilate the former Title-page of the
present Work to what it was originaly intended to embracej the
promise of a description of the voice, as the preparatory part of
that ' History.'* The purpose of the History was in the mind of
the Authorj with only short memorandums of his penj for nearly
half a century, interupted however, time after time by profesional,
and by social engagements ; but finaly gathered, and reduced to a
writen system, within the few last years of that period. Before it
apeared in print, he declared to no one, either relative, or other
asociate, the subject of his inquiry : thereby preventing all antici-
pative or conjectural scientific, or literary gosip which might in a
friendly maner, or otherwise have interfered with the quiet secrecy
of his ocupation. He has however, for causes, left the title of the
Philosophy of the Human Voice unchanged.

To the observant Reader of the two publications, any altera-
tion is unecesar)^ ; for he will find certain principles, remarks, and
prospective views contained in the ' Philosophy,' systematicaly un-
folded in the 'HLstor}';' which if developed earlier, in the 'Phi-
losophy,' would have been premature, not comprehended, or most
probably unoticed ; but which must now show him the maner of a

* For an acount of the purposes of the double coma here introduced, see a
note on the first page of the Introduction.



direct conection between the functions of the mind and the voice.
For it will be learned that the two Works are to be considered as
the first and second parts of one great interwoven vocal and in-
telectual subject: there being in the ' Philosophy of the Voice'
constant reference to its mental aplication; and in the 'History
of the Intelect/ ocasional cals for knowledge of the thdtive and
expresive power of the voice.

And here the Author adds. to this Sixth Edition, a record j how
the ' Philosophy ' continues to be regarded by the ocupants of the
eminent and influential places of instructionj with orators, players,
and other suitors to the ear of the public ; who finding they can
suced, each to his own satisfaction, in his limited purposes of Elo-
cutionj after the old fashion of learningj leave this Work to the
patronage of those early instructors and improvers, who are thus
laying the foundation for some lasting usefulnes and pleasure in
science and in art.

Philadelphia, November 27, 1866.



What has been ofcrecl in the several Prefaces to this Work, is
to be taken as only a brief notice of the maner in which it has
been regarded, within the period of thirty years from its publica-
tion ; and is intended, rather for an ocasional inquirer of a future
age, to whom it may be interesting, than for the present genera-
tion, who, while indiferent to the AVork itself, can have no curi-
osity about its early progres and its subsequent fate.

Having however, thru more sources than one, heard the remark,
that its prefaces are looked upon as the only inteligible part of the
Volumej I have, to avoid driving even an unwiling intelect alto-
gether away, retained them in their present places and not transfered
them as I had intended, to an Apendix ; being further induced
thereto, by the consideration, that with the record of its progres,
which is the principal object, they contain ocasional reflections, in-
timating a general view of its design. Still, if the future Reader
should feel no interest in early opinions, either friendly or adverse
to it, he may pas on to the Introduction ; which as a constituent
part of the subject, regards what the Art of Speech has already
acomplishedj and what is yet to be done in its purposes, both of
Instruction, and Taste. But to continue the record.

Since the date of the fourth edition, in eighteen liundred and
fifty-five, thftse who hold a certain influence, in the higher depart-
ments of learningj still true to the Mede-and-Persian normality
of the Majesterial mind, which docs not alow itself to altcrj con-



tinue to maintain, with here and there a rebelious exception, the
same indiference to the Analysis ; with a sly, if not an open opo-
sition to its creeping advancement: altho they might find in its
pages, something they have pretended to be in search of.

There is however another, tho humble class, for until our pur-
poses and means are comprehended, we are obliged so to call our-
selvesj who are still laboring with gradual succes to enlarge the
number of scholars and advocates of the New Elocution, and who,
in their unheeded exertions, are contented with this sarcastic reflec-
tion on the lazy pride and unproductive favoritism of Scholastic
Patronagej There never was a wise or holy reformation, that the
Lowly and Despised did not first assist the master of it.

But in regarding their exertions, especialy thruout the Northern
Statesj under the influence of Mr. William Russell, Principal of
the Normal Institute at Lancaster, Massachusetts, and of his able
Coadjutors j in extending the work of widely reforming, if not
founding anew the whole Art of Speech, without a single Judas to
desert, for he could not betray them ; I was acidentaly told, that in
an English Review, of high authority, and extended circulation,
Some Body has, for the thirty pieces of silver, come along
with the servants of the High Priests of the old elocution, to lay,
and this is all I would hear, not only unmerciful hands on the
' Philosojjhy of the Human Voicej ' but unmerciful sneers on its
Author : being in his hardy onset, safely asured, that none of our
company would defensively think of cuting off an ear, from one so
deaf to the sound of the speaking voice, as to furnish the verdict
of his having already lost both of his dull, and as a ' paid volun-
teer' in partizan-acoustics, his criminaly dull and worthies ears in
some other way.*

* If we were disposed to be sportfuly clasical, we might, from our presump-
tuous Keviower having the knack of so readily transmuting pen, ink, paper,
and ignorance, into pay^ have otherwise represented him as the ' ingenium
pingue,' the gross-wittcd Midas; for whose audacious decision against the
musical claims of Apolloj the indignant yet compromising God did not cut-off,
but only closed his ears from music and speech, in providing for their sub-
animal wants, by the apropriate gift of greater extension.

Nee Delius aurcs
Humanam stolidas patitur retinere figuram :


Besides, we profess to be only like peaceful and industrious
bees, gathering from nature an abundant store for future use;
yet wishing it to be remembered, that the busy colectors are, by

Online LibraryJames RushThe philosophy of the human voice : embracing its physiological history; together with a system of principles, by which criticism in the art of elocution may be rendered inteligible [i.e. intelligible], and instruction, definite and comprehensive to which is added a brief analysis of song and recita → online text (page 1 of 59)