William Russell.

Orthophony; or, The cultivation of the voice in elocution. a manual of elementary exercises, adapted to Dr. Rush's Philosophy of the human voice, and the system of vocal culture introduced by Mr. James E. Murdoch. Designed as an introduction to Russell's American elocutionist. online

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Online LibraryWilliam RussellOrthophony; or, The cultivation of the voice in elocution. a manual of elementary exercises, adapted to Dr. Rush's Philosophy of the human voice, and the system of vocal culture introduced by Mr. James E. Murdoch. Designed as an introduction to Russell's American elocutionist. → online text (page 2 of 26)
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much breath as you can contain. In that of expiration, retain
dl you can, and give out as little as possible, — merely suffi-
vient to keep the sound of h audible. But keep it going on
ts long as you can sustain it. In this style of respiration, the
breath merely effuset itself into the surrounding air.

' Tne object in view, in this apparently minute direction, is, to secnn
perfect freedom and repose of body. A constrained or a lounging posture, ii
utterly at variance with a free, unembarrassed use of the voice, or the produo
tion of a clear and full sound.


4. Exercise in "Expulsive" or forcible Breathing.
Draw in a very full breath, as before, and emit it, with a
Kvely expulsive force, in the sound of k, but little prolonged
— in the style of a moderate whispered cough. The breath
m this style of expiration, is projected into the air. Kepeat
this exercise, as directed, in thj statement preceding

5. Exercise in "Explosive" or abrupt Breathing.
Draw in tlie breath, as already directed, and emit it with a
snidden and violent explosion, in a very brief sound of the let-
ter h, — in the style of an abrupt and forcible, but whispered
cough. The breath is, in this mode of expiration, thrown
out with abrupt violence. Repeat this exercise, as before

Note to Adult Students and Teachers.

The haliil of keeping the chest open and erect, is indispensable to ths pro-
duction of a full, round tone of voice. But it is of still higher value, as ona
of the main sources of health, animation, and activity.

The effect, on the student, of the preceding exercises in breathing, is usually
soon perceptible in an obvious enlargement of the chest, an habitually erect
Attitude, an enlivened style of movement, a great accession of general bo<Uly
rigor, an exhilarated state of feeling, and an augmented activity of miad.
To persons whose habits are studious and sedentary, and especially to
^males, the vigorois exercise of thewrgans of respiration ud of voice, i>, jp
Terr fvt.\ of view, so invaluable discipline.





Classified by the Ear, as Sounds.
I. Tonic," or Vocal and Diphtrongal Elements.

Simple, — having oiie unchanging sound.

l^e element of sound, in every instance, is indicated by ilaJic type, anif
should be repeated, by itself, after the pronunciation of the whole wor 1, in t
fuil, cecar, exact, and distmct style.

1, .4-11 ; 2, .4-nn ; 3, A-n ; 4, £-ve ; 5, Oo-ze, (long ;)
L-oo-k, (short ;f 6, £-rr;' 7, £-nd; 8, 7-n; ^,Ai-x;* 10,
U-p; 11, 0-rf 12, 0-n.=

Compound, — beginning with one sound and ending in another
13, ^-le; 14, I-ce ; 15, 0-ld; 16, Ow-r; 17, Oi-\; 18, Use
'verb, long ;) Use, (noun, short.)


Simple. — 1, L-u-ll; 2, M-a.i-m; 3, N-a-n; 4, iZ-ap, {hard
hvil not rolled;) 5, Fa-r, (soft, not silent ;) 6, Si-ng; 7,B-a.-be
8, n-i-d; 9,G-a-g; 10, F-al-pe; 11, Z-one; 12, A-2-ure
13, r-e; 14, M^-oe ; 15, TH-en. Compound.— 16, J-oy.

ni. Atonic,' Aspirate,'" or Mute" Elements.

Simple. — 1, P-i-pe; 2, T-en-t ; 3, C-a-ke; 4, F-i-fei b
C-ea-se ; 6, H-e ; 7, Th-in ; 8, Pu-sA. Compound. — 9

' So called from their comparatively musical sound, and susceptibiiiCT of
tol«. See pag-es 19,20.

3 The same in quality, but not in quantity, with the preceding.
8 Middle sound, between ur and air.

* Middle <ound, between a-le and e-nd.
' A sound closer than that of a in a-ll.
« Closer than o in o-r.

' So called from their iTifcriority in tone, when contrasted with tonics
B So called from their partial vocalUy, when contrasted with aionie* a

• So called from their want of tone.
'" Formea by a process « ireathing.
" De/icieiu m ixmnd





Clattified tuxording to t}i£ action of the OrgaTis of Speech '»

I. Oral and Laryngial Sounds.

[Formed by the mouth and larynx.]

Is jnactisin^ the sounds, the mouth should be freely opened, and fim;
!>e.d in the position proper for the formation of each sound, and every positios
carefully observed.

l,A-\l; 2, A-rm; 3, A-n; 4, £-ve ; 5, Oo-ze, L-oo-k-
6, E-rr ; 7, £-nd ; 8, 7-n ; 9, Ai-T ; 10, i7-p ; 11, 0-r ; 12, 0-n
13, -4-le; 14, J-ce; 15, 0-ld; 16, Ou-t; 17, Oi-\; 18, U-ae
(verb, long ;) Use, (noun, short.)

n. Labial, or Ltp Sounds.
J,B-a-ie; 2, P-i-pe ; 3, M-ai-ra; 4, PF-oe ; 5, F-al-ee
6, F-i-/e.

ni. Palatic, or Palate Sounds.
1, C-a-Ae; 2, G-a.-g ; 3, Y-e.

rV". Aspirate, or Breathing Souno

y. Nasal, ok Nostril Sounds.

1, 2V-U-M; 2, Si-ra^.

VI, Lingual, or Tongue Sound*

1, L-u-ZZ; 9, iZ-ap; 3, Fa-r.

Syllabic Combinations,
To be practised with great farce, precision, and distinctnetn

I. Initial Syllables.

JSj cZ,^, g'Z, pi, spl; Br, cr, dr,fr, gr, pr, spr, tr, itr, shr
&>ii, sn, sp, sk, St.

II. Final Syllables.

Ld, If, Ik, Im, Ip, Ise, Is, (Zz,) It, Ive ; m'd, nd, nee, ris, (w
nk, (ngk,) nt ; rb, rd, rk, rm,, rn, rse, rs, (rz,) rt, rve, rb'a
ik'd, rm'd, m'd, rs'd, rv'd; sm, [zm,) s'n, {zn,) sp, st ; ks, ct
k'd, {kt,)f'd, [ft,] p'd, [pt ;) d'n, k'n, p'n, v'n ; bit, {hi,) fU
(T^O g^^i {gl') P^i (P^') ^^> {dl,) tie, [tl,) rl ; 1st, nst, rst, dst
rdsi rmdst, rndst ; bl'd, pl'd, rVd ; ngs, ngst, ng'd ; bhi
(biz,) cles, (clz,) Jks [Jiz,) gles, (glz ;) ims (zmz.) i'nt {zm^
tps, sts ; sties, {.ilz,' uteris, {snz.)

a* ■




1'he term orthoeiy' comprehends all that pait ol elocution vrhiisl
pertains to the organic functions of articulation, and its audible result
which ve term enunciation. It vdll be a matter of convenience, si
the same time, to take into view the subject of pronunciation, or, in
other words, enunciation as modified by the rules of sound and accent
which are drawn from the usage of a particular language. To pro-
nounce a word properly, implies that we enunciate correctly all its
syllables, and articulate distinctly the sounds of its letters.

We commence with the study of articulation, as a funcuon of the
smaller organs of voice, including the larynx and the circumjacent
parts, the mouth and its various portions and appurtenances. Our
preceding observations applied to the use of the larger organs, — the
cavity and muscles of the chest, &c. , and referred to the act of respira-
tion, preparatory to the production of vocal sound, whether in speech
or in music. We are now occupied with the functions of speech.

Propriety of pronunciation is justly regarded as an inseparable
result of cultivation and taste. We recognize an educated person by
his mode of pronouncing words ; and we detect slovenliness in mental
habit, or the absence of culture, with no less certainty, in the same
way. Whatever thus holds true of pronunciation, — a thing subject
to the law of prevailing good custom, merely, and liable, therefore,
to various interpretations in detail, — is still more emphatically appli-
cable to distinct enunciation, the unfailing characteristic of correct
intellectual habits, and the only means of exact and intelligible com-
munication by speech.

But a distinct enunciation is wholly dependent on the action of the
organs, — on their positions and their movements, — on the force and
precision of their execution. The breath having been converted into
sound by the use of the component portions of the larynx, passes on
lo be modified or articulated into definite forms by the various por-
tions of the mouth, and by the action of the tongue.

A person of perfect organization and in perfect health, — in an
undisturbed condition of feeling, and, consequently, with a clear state
c<f thought, — utters his ideas distinctly and impressively, without
special study. But defective organization, neglected liabit, falsn
tendencies of feeling, and confused conceptions, are so prevalent, thai
very few individuals in a community, can be selected as naturally
perfect in. the function of articulation. With most persons, and
especially m youth, the negligence of unguarded habit impairs tlia
distinctness and clearness of oral expression. The comparatively
inactive life of the student, subjects him, usually, to imperfection in
this, as in most other active uses of the organic frame ; and everj
individual, — whatever be his advantages, as such, — needs a tho-

lA term derived from the Greek language, and jompourded of two votuU
r. gnifving correct speech,.



» .(^h orgaiue training, before he can pass successfully to the com-
^-rati'tely forcible and exact mode of using the organs, -vhich distin-
giiishes public reading and speaking fro.a private communication.
The latter occupies but little space, and needs but a slight effort of
attestion or of will, to effect it : the former implies large space, and
correspondent voluntary exertion of the organs, with the du3 precision
which stamps, at once, every sound distinctly on the ear, and renders
unnecessary any repetition of an imperfectly understood word oi
phrase, — a thing allowable in conversation, but impracticabh in
public speaking.

The functions of the organs in articulation, must obvii. si) be
determined by the character of the sound which, in any case, is to be
executed. We shall find advantage, therefore, in first coi.sidt ring
the character of the component elementary sounds of our language,
as a guide to the mode of exerting the organs in producing them.

Dr. Rush, in his Philosophy of the Voice, has adopted an arrange-
ment of the elementary sounds of our language, which differs from
that of grammarians, and is founded on a more strict regard to the
vocal properties of each element, — a classification which is more
convenient for the purposes of elocution, as well as more exact in
lelation to the facts of speech. Dr. Rush's arrangement we shall
follow in this branch of our subject ; as it is best adapted to the pur-
poses of instruction.

On a very few points of detail, however, we shall take the liberty
to vary from Dr. Rush's system, where precision and accuracy of in-
struction seem to require such variation.

Dr. Rush's mode of classifying the elementary sounds of tjur Ian
guage, presents, first, those wluch he has denominated "Tonic'
elements, as possessing the largest capacity for prolongation ol
sound, and other modifications of tone. The following are the


I. Simple Sounds.

9. At,
10. U,

as in Ai'^
as in J7-p



as in .4-11.

11. 0,

as in 0-r.



as in A-im.

12. 0,

as in 0-t).



as in A-n.
as in E-ve.

II. Compound Sound'



as in Oo-ze.

13. A,

as in A-\e,


as in L-oo-k.

14. /,

as in I-ce.



as in JS-rr.

15. 0,

as in 0-lJ.



as in E-nd.

16. Ou

as in Om-t



as "ti I-n.

The following elements of the same class, are omitted bj 'tr
Rush. But tl.ey seem to be indispensable in teaclung vluuk

' A shorJ^r quantity, bu*. the .«■ \r e in quality^ wi'.fi oo in <


requires exact and close discriminations, in order to obta.i accuracy'
in practice.

17 Oi, as in Oi-\. 18. U, as in TJ-se, sounding

long in the verb, short in the noun.

[The student's attention should be directed to the foUowing obser
rations, previous to practising the preceding sounds ]

The a, in such words as ale. Dr. Rush has very justly represented
8s consisting of two elements : — 1. The " radical," or initial sound
with which the name of the letter a commences ; and 2. The deli
oate " vanish," or fina. sound, with which, in full pronunciation, and
Xii singing, it closes, — bordering on e, as in eve, — but barely per
:eptible to the ear. This element obviously differs, in this respect,
from the acute i of the French language, which begins and enda
with precisely the same form of sound, and position of the organs oi
speech; while the English a, as in ah, requires a slight upward
movement of the tongue, to close it with propriety ; and hence its
"vanish," approaches to the sound of e.

The i of ice, in like manner, wUl, on attentive analysis, be found
to consist of two simple elements : — 1st, a, as in at ; 2d, i, as in in.
Walker, in his system of orthoepy, defines this element as commenc-
ing with the a in father. But such breadth of sound, is, in our own
-lav, justly regarded as the mark of a drawling and rustic pronun-
ciation, while good taste always shrinks from the too flat sound,
which this element receives in the style of dialectic error in Scotland
cr Ireland, or m the style of fastidious and affected refinement, as if
" ayee."

The of old, although not so commonly recognized as a com-
pound element, will be found, on analysis, to belong properly to that
class. Thus, if we observe closely the pronunciation of a native of
continental Europe, in speaking EngUsh, we shall find that the letter
in such words as old, sounds a little too broad, and does not closo
properly. The foreign pronunciation lacks the delicate " vanish,
tpproaching to oo, in ooze, although not dwelling on that form ot
sound, but only, as it were, approximating to it ; as the letter a, in
ust and full utterance for public speaking, and for singing, closes
vith a slight approach to e, in eve, but does not dwell on that

That this compound form of the " tonic " o, in old, is a genuine
endency of the organs, in the pronunciation of our language, may be
ibserved in the current fault of the utterance which characterizes th^
jopular style of England, and in which the vanish of this element ia
irotruded to such an extent as to justify American caricaturists in
representing it by the spelling of " powsi rowd," for post road.

The element ou, in our, is obviously a compound of o, as in done,
— the same with u, in up, — and a short, or " vanishing " quantity
of 00 in 0026. The negligent style of popular error, makes th^s
element commence with a, as in arm, or a in at; and the local style
of rustic pronunciation in New England, makes it conunence witli t
in end.

Ai, as in the word air, though not recognized by Dt, Rush, nor b>

tonic" elements. 2i

many othei vriteis on eldjution, as a separate element from o, in ale
IB obviouslv a distiiiet sound, approaching to that of e in end, but not
'ormin^ so ulose a sound to the oar, nor executed by so much musLU-
lar pressure in the organs. The literal flat sound, however, of a in
.&, if given in the class of words air, rare, care, &c., constitutes the
oeculiarity of local usage in Ireland, as contradistinguished from that
,f England.

Popular usage, in England and America, inclines, no doubt, to the
opposHe extreme, and makes a, in air too nearly like a prolonged
Mnaa of a, as in an. In the southern regions of the United States,
this sound is even rendered as broad as that of a in arm. But while
good taste avoids such breadth of sound, as coarse and uncouth, it
jtill preserves the peculiar form of this element, as diflTering both from
J in (He, and e in end, and lying, as it were, between them.

U, in up, seems to have been merged by Dr. Rush in the element
., in err, which would imply that the latter word is pronounced
' urr.^^ But this is obviously the error of negligent usage, whether
n the United States, or in England. In the latter country, it is the
characteristic local error of Wales.

In the usage of New England and of Scotland, there is, no doubt,
i too prevalent tendency to pronounce err, earth, mercy, &c., with a
dound too rigidly close, like that of e in merit ; thus, "Air," " airth,"
" maircy." But cultivated and correct pronunciation, while it avoids
this preciseness, draws a clear, though close distinction, between the
vowel sounds in urn and earn.

Mr. Smart, in his Practice of Elocution, describes the element in
question, with perfect exactness and just discrimination.

" Er and ir are pronounced by unpolished speakers just like ur, as
indeed, in some common words, such as her, sir, &c., they are pro-
nounced, even by the most cultivated : but in words of les? common
occurrence, there is a medium between ur and air, which elegant
usage has established, as the just utterance of e and i joined to the
smooth r."'

O, in or, and o, in on, arc apparently considered by Dr. Rush and
by Walker, as modifications of a in all. Admitting, however, the
identity of quality in these elements, — their obvious diflftrence in
quantity, and in the position and pressure of the muscles by which,
as =ounds, they are formed, together with the precision and correct-
ne^s of articulation, demand a separate place for them in elementary
exercises designed for the purposes of culture, which always implies
a definite, exact, and distinctive formation of sounds.

Oi, in oil, though omitted in the scheme of Dr. Rush, are e'°idently
untitled to a distinct place in the classification of the elements of our
anguage, on the same ground on which a separate designation is
asugned to ou in our.

This compound element, oi, is formed by commencing with the o
Ti on, and terminating with the t in in. Popular and negligent
usage, inclines to t^-j p.-rors in this diphthong : — 1st, that of com-
meaoir^g with o, In oKn instead of o, in on; 2d, that of termlDating

' Tni practKs rf r^ncution. By B. H. Smart. «ptoii! lUSt


with a shon sound of «, as in n/e, instead of i, in in. Tlie appropii-

aw sounds are as mc?ntioned above.

The fompound elemem u, as in use, although obviously foimcd
of a short quantity of e, in eve, and of oo, in ooze, is entitled to a
place in ilie classification of the elements of our language, not merely
as being a sound represented by a distinct character, as in the name
of the letter u, but as constituting a peculiar diphthon ^al element.


These i,lements are so denominated by Dr. Rush " from thei.' icfe-
nority to the ' tonics,' in all the emphatic and elegant purposes of
speech, while they admit of being ' intonated,' or carried ' coneiete-
y,' (continuously,) through the intervals of pitch."


L, as in L-ulU



as in G-a-g.


M, as in M-ai-m.



as in V-al-vt


N, as in JV-u-w.



as in Z-one.


R, as in i?-ap.



as in A-z-ure


R, as in Fa-r.'



as in Y-e.


Ng, as in Si-rag:.



as in W-oc


B, as in jB-a-ie.



as in TH-en,


D, as in D-\-d.

Compound of 8. and 12.
16. J, as in /-oy.

Ihe first six of the "suhtonic" elements, I, m, n, r (hard,)
r (,soft,) and ng, have an unmixed " vocality " throughout : the
seventh, eighth and ninth, h, d, g, have a " vocality," terminating in
a sudden andexplosive force of sound : the remaining " subtonics,"
V, z, zh, y, w, th j, have an " aspiration," (whispering sound of thfl
breath,) joined with their vocality.

The fourth of these elements, — r, as in rap, — differs from thfl
fifth, — r, as mfar, in having a harder and clearer sound, executed
by a forcible but brief vibration of the tip of the tongue, against tha
first projecting ridge of the interior gum, immediately over the upper
teeth ; while the latter has a soft murmuring nund, caused by a
slight vibration of the whole forepart of the tongue, directed toyraidi
the middle part of the roof of the mouth.

I'he common errors of careless usage, substitute the " soft " foi
the " .:ia1 " r, and omit the " soft " r, entirely ; thus "fah," foi
far. Another class of errors, consists in rolling, or unduly prolong

* In arranging the " subtonics," words have, in as many cases as practice
ble, been selected for examples, which contain a repetition of the element
under conside-ation. The design of this slight deviation from Dr. Rush, "s t<.
present each elemen as impressively as possible to the ear,

* Added to Dr. Rush's arrangement, for the reasons nentioned insubseqreat
«aervatians on tt is «.lement. — See last narasrapb bu one^f this page.

'•atonic" elements.


mg, the oound jf the " hard" r, and substituting tlie hard far the
" Boft " sound.

The greater prolong-ation of sound, which takes place in the ave-
rage of singing notes, or in impassioned recitation, renders a s ipht
comparative " roll " of the " hard " r unavoidable, at the beginning
of a word. But it is a gross error of taste, to prolong this sound, in
the style of foreign accent, as in French and Italian pronunciation, or
tn substitute the rough sound of the " hard " r, for the delicate mur-
mrr of the " soft " r.

The " subtonic " elements nnmbered 13 and 14, — y, as in ye f rd
w as in woe,- — are, it may be remarked, not nroperly separate cla-
mente from e, in eve, and oo in ooze, but only exueinely short " qu,»ii-
tities " of the same " qualities " of vowei sound which are exhibited
m these words. They require, however, a closer position of the
organs for their execution ; and, hence, for the purposes of practical
instruction, they may be advantageously studied as distinct elemea
tary sourds.


These eloments are thus designated by Dr. Rush, from their want
of" tonic" property, — " their limited power of variation in pitch."
" They are all, properly, ' aspirations,' and have not the sort of
sound called 'vocaUty.' They are produced by a current of the
whispering breath, through certain positions of parts, in the internal
and external mouth."

1. P, as in P-i-pe.

2. T, as in T-en-t.

3. C, " hard," and K, as in


4. F, as in F-i-fe.

5. C, " soft," and S, as in


6. H, as in H-e.

7. Th, as in TA-in.

8. Sh, as in Pu-sA.

Compound of 2. and 8.

9. Ch, as in Ch-vn-ttt,.

To some persons the foregoing analysis may seem unnecessanly
minute. But exactness in articulation cannot exist without close dis-
ciimination and careful analysis. Many of the worst errors in the
enunciation of words, are owing to slight oversights about the '.rue
sound of a letf^r. Without strict attention to details, there can, in
tlds particular, be no security for accurate execution. The very
lommon error, for example, of reading or singing the wordyatM aj
if it were written "fai-ccth," is merely an act of negligence regard-
ing the " vanish," or final portion of sound, in the diphthong, at,

I Mil which Dr. Rush has recognized as a distinct elemunt, are but appa*
rently such. They differ, in no res^iect, from tlie separate eieirents, v ana A
— onl" that, in the tnodem orthography of words, they are inverted, as U
.fi«ir or.ler. The ancient orthography of the language, placed vbem us thflf
vanA ID orthoepy — Hw i ihusHweal, Hwen, &c.


whish, — aith)ugli it is unavoidably analyzed by the voice, tu the
utterance of singing, to a greater extent than in that of reading, —
siiould never be dissected, in the unnatural style which has just been

We have omitted, — as will have been observed, — that part of
Dr. Rush's analysis which presents the " tonic" elements o, as in
awe, (identical witli a, in all,) a in arm, and a in an, as diphthong:''
Correct reading and approjiriate singing, alike forbid the " vanish '
of these sounds to be rendered apparent to. the ear. It is one of t'le
acknowledged improprieties of enunciation, which permits the wi .d
awe to terminate in any form approaching, — even in the most dislanl
JegTee, — the negligent style of" awer."

Let it be admitted that the " vanish," or final portion of the £<"jnd,
in such elements, is but an unavoidable, accidental " vocule," insepa-
rably attached to the " radical " or initial sound, when we utter it by
itself; and it becomes, from its very nature, a thing which judgmen.-
md taste would alike require to be sunk out of notice to the ear, n>
the enunciation of syllables, or words.

The preceding arrangement of the elementary sounds of the lan-
guage, as presented by Dr. Rush, exhibits tliem in a manner very
nlear and distinct, as results of organic action, — or as sounds formed
by the voice. But to ascertain their character, with perfect accuracy
of knowledge, for the purposes of vocal practice and culture, it
becomes important to examine them closely, in connection with the
exact position and movement of the organs, during the process of

Classified, in this light, the audible elements of our language may
be conveniently designated by the terms in use previous to Dr

Online LibraryWilliam RussellOrthophony; or, The cultivation of the voice in elocution. a manual of elementary exercises, adapted to Dr. Rush's Philosophy of the human voice, and the system of vocal culture introduced by Mr. James E. Murdoch. Designed as an introduction to Russell's American elocutionist. → online text (page 2 of 26)