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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 35 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 35 of 59)
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of speech, when impresed with both the radical, and vanishing
streses.

The compound stress, tho never aplied to the narow intervals of
the scale, is distinguishable, on the wider spaces of the fifth, and
octave. It may likewise be executed on the various forms of the
wave ; the final stres being then laid on the last constituent.

After what has been said respectively of the radical and the
vanishing stres, this under consideration being a compound of
thenij it is scarcely necesary to add, that it more forcibly denotes
the state of mind singly indicated by each constituent. This alter-
nation of the radical, with the vanishing stres, is beautifuly ex-
emplifie^piration, for the j)urpose of energetic expresion.

The dipthongal tonics do not receve the aspiration with the
same efect as the monothongs ; there being something in the char-
acter of the former that prevents as great a change upon them, as
takes place on the monothongs, by the union.

It was shown formerly that whispering, which is only the ar-
ticulated form of aspiration, has its pitch, upon a succesion of dif-
erent alphabetic elements; yet whatever may be the dificulties of
this articulated intonationj the simple suflation, when engrafted on
the tonics, pases concretely thru all the intervals of the scale, and
unites itself with every form of stres.

To show how far this function asists in the expresion of speech,
let us keep in mind what was said above, on the instinctive union of
a vehement exertion of the voice, with its aspiration ; and consider
further, two forms under which the simple aspiration is employed.

One is a sort of facetious coment of surprise and incredulity, in
comon use, consisting of an efort of aspiration modified by the
tongue and lips, into what is caled, in the fifth section, the suflated
whisper. The movement of this suflated interjection is that of an
unequal direct wave ; the first constituent being a tone or wider
interval, acording to the required expresionj and the second, a
descent to the lowest audible pitch.*

The other effort of aspiration, is made by the larynx alone, and

* The Elocutionist has certainly not talked without his books; but he
seems never to have been concerned at not coniini^ to his hearinc^, among
their number and confusion^ and has been, and still is, sorely afraid of ad-
mitiiiijj a full and precise nomenclature into them. Our anal^'sis now enables
us to point out the form of intonation in the prolonged and derisive inter-
jection. Whew, of the gramarian ; tho neither gramar nor elocution has taken
the trouble to find it out, and to tell us, what it is. When the Kcader uters
this suflated interjection, by a descent from a very high to a very low pitch,
he will have an ilustration of what was said in the fifth section, on the scale
of Whisper^ for this .suflation, having c-ve at its uper extreme, and 00-7.P1 at
its lower, will prove, by tho position of these elements on the scale, that it
pases thru two octaves; tho rajiidity of tho concrete movement, as it seems,
preventing the clear perception of tho intermediate elements. In this case,
the interjection difers from that described in the te.xtj and is the suflation of
whew on a double downward octave.



386 THE ASPIRATION.

constitutes the function of Sighing. It consists of a simple inspi-
ration, followed by an expiration, more or less prolonged on a
faling second or Avider interval, or a semitonic wave, acording to
the character and intensity of the expression. A sigh is the well
known out-pouring of distres, grief, and anxiety, and of fatigue
and exhaustion, both of body and mind. As these diferent cases
include the general powers of expresion, in simple and natural
aspiration, we can infer j what will be the efect when this aspiration
is joined with the vocality of speech.

It may seem, but can only seem, to be an exception to the con-
sistency of nature, that a voice, which can asume the quiet form
of whisjjer, should with changeful pur^^ose, be found united with
vocality in the most forcible exertion of speech. Yet aspiration
conjoined with the vehement forms of stres, becomes one of the
signs of the greatest vocal energy. Its union therefore with a
rising or faling interval of the scale in the Natural voice, increases
the expresive power of that interval ; and perhaps adds the efect
of sneer to intonations, that in their purely vocal form severaly
convey surprise, interogation, irony, and comand.

Should this union of aspiration and vocality be given with an
abatement of voice, aproximating towards a whisper or a sigh, it
becomes the sign of earnestnes in various states of mind. The
folowing lines, when utered in a pure vocality, will not have their
proper expresion.

Hah ! dost thou not see, by the moon's trembling light,
Directing his steps, where advances a Knight,
His eye big with vengeance and fate ?

Nor would their purpose be efected by an aspirated vocifera-
tion. But when subdued to a kind of union of the natural with
the whispered voice, the earnestnes of the apealing interogation is
at once, obvious and expresive.

Should an abated voice be aspirated on the Tremulous move-
ment of a second or wider interval, it may denote aprchension or
fear. When this abatement is aspirated on a simple rise or fall,
or on a wave of the semitone, it is an aproximation to the sigh ;
and adds intensity to the plaintivcnes or distres of the semitone
on a pure vocality. When a tremor is supcradcd to the aspirated



THE EMPHATIC VOCULE. 387

semitone, tlie voice exerts its ultimate means, for denotinj^ the
deepest sadnes, without the assistance of crying and tears.

Aspiration when combined with diforont forms of strcs, and
witli the gutural voice, to be described presently, severaly denotes
sneer, contempt, and scorn : hence the means of joining with nearly
every interval of intonation the expresion of these various states
of mind. J^ven the simple rising and faling movements, indi-
cating inquiry, surprise, and emphatic afirmation, may thus be
made contemptuous; the efect being more strongly marked by
aspiration on the wave in its unequal form.






SECTION XLIII.

Oj the Emphatic Vocule.

We learned, on the subject of the alphabetic elements, that
when the articulative oclusion is removed from the atonies and
subtonics, there is a slight and momentary but sudden issue of
voice which completes their vocality, and is the only sound of the
aspirated abrupt elements. This was caled the Vocule. It is a
moderate degree of Abruptnes. Like all other voices, it is suscep-
tible of force ; and constitutes the function named at the head of
this section. The emphatic vocule denotes great energy ; and necefS-
arily folows a word, terminated by one of the abrupt elements.

The vocules of b, d, and 7, are vocal. Those of k, p, and t, are
aspiratedj yet under a forcible emphasis, are sometimes changed
to vocality. The use of this unarticulated explosion, at the end of
an emphatic word is justified only under a vehement state of mind;
and cautious management is necesary to prevent its forcible uter-
ance from pasing into rant or afectation.

When an abrupt element precedes a tonic, the vocule is lost in
the tonic, which then seems to isue directly from the abrupt
element. In the word light, the vocule is distinctly heard at its
termination ; but if t imediately precedes the tonic i, as in tile, the



388 THE EMPHATIC VOCULE.

vocule is lost, and t is then only a peculiar radical opening of i.
This is a proper coalescence, except the abrupt element terminates
a word. For in this case, a junction of the vocule with the tonic
of a folowing word, may confuse pronunciation by destroying that
clear limit which should give a separated individuality to every
word of a sentence. This fault is sometimes even purposely
asuraedj to remedy a want of physical energy in uterance. Per-
sons who atempt to give unusual force to their radical stress, and
who cannot readily explode the voice on a tonic, avail themselves
of the facility of bursting-out from the final abrupt element of a
word into a succeding tonic. If the phrase bad angels, should re-
quire force, either for emphasis, or for a distant auditorvj the ex-



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 35 of 59)