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3. From Rapture to Grief.
Alas! the forsaken hall!” 4. From Triumph and Exultation, to Grave, Pathetic, and
Solemn feeling, and thence returning to Triumph and
And the spears that light the deep?
Where the lords of battle sweep!
Maid, greet thy lover home!
Io! thy son is come!”
“ Who murmured of the dead?
6. From Tranquillity to Joy and Triumph, Awe, Scorn, Awe,
Horror, Exultation, Defiance, Awe, — successively.
[ISRAEL'S TRIUMPH OVER THE KING of Babylon.] —Isaiah. [Tranquillity : “Middle Pitch :'] “The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet:-[Joy and Triumph: “High Pitch :'] they break forth into singing. Yea, the fir-trees rejoice at thee, and the cedars of Lebanon, saying, 'Since thou art laid down, no feller is come up against us.'— [Awe: “Low Pitch :'] Hell from beneath is moved for thee, to meet thee at thy coming : it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth: it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations. - [Narrative : “Middle Pitch :'] All they shall speak, and say unto thee,- [Scorn: "High Pitch :'] • Art thou also become weak as we? Art thou become like unto us?'— [Awe : “Low Pitch :"] Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols:'[Horror : “Very Low Pitch :”] “the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee.'— [Exultation : “Middle Pitch :'] · How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations !'- [Defiance : “ High Pitch :'] • For thou hast said in thy heart, “ I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High.”— [Awe : "Low Pitch :"] . Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.”
The same “ transitions” of “ pitch” which occur in passing from one paragraph or stanza to another, may also take place within the limits of a single sentence, if the feeling obviously changes from clause to clause, - as in the following extract.
Reverence and Awe. (" Low pitch :” rising gradually to “middle,” in the fourth line.)
ADORATION, — Porteous.
Deepest Reverence and Awe.
(“Very low pitch.")
Reverence and Adoration.
(Pitch still lower.) “ May sea and land, and earth and heaven be joined, To bring the eternal Author to my mind!”
(“Very low pitch.”) “When oceans roar, or thunders roll, May thoughts of Thy dread vengeance shake my soul!"
THE "PHRASES” OF “SENTENTIAL MELODY.” If we bring our analysis of a sentence into still closer distinctions of melody and pitch, we pass from clauses to phrases. The “ melody
of phrases " and their relative “ pitch," involve topics too numerous and too intricate for discussion in an elementary work. These subjects will be found fully explained in the work of Dr. Rush. We will select a few points of practical application and of primary importance. The phrases of melody," in a sentence, admit of being arranged in two classes : — 1st, those which prevail in the body of a sentence; 2d, that which occupies the last three syllables of a sentence, and forms the cadence. The former is termed the “ current melody ;' the latter, the “ melody of the cadence.”
The investigation of melody and pitch, in phrases, requires attention to the important distinction of " discrete” and 5 concrete” sounds. 6 Discrete” sounds consist of notes produced at intervals, or in close succession, but in detached and distinct forms, as in running up or down the keys of a piano, or the chords of a harp; or producing similar sounds on a violin, by twitching the strings with the finger, instead of gliding over them with the bow; or in the laughing utterance of delighted surprise, as when we laugh a 6 fifth” or an "octave "up the scale, on the interrogatory interjection “ eh?” or when, in the laughing utterance of derision, we run down the scale, in the same way, in the long-drawn sound of the word “no!” In these last-mentioned instances, every note is executed by a distinct and separate little jet, or tittle, of voice. To such sounds, then, the word " discrete" in its proper etymological sense, may be justly applied, as intimating that they exist apart.
- Concrete” sounds, on the other hand, are produced by a succession of notes gliding into each other so imperceptibly to the ear, that they cannot be detached from each other; as when the violinist, in playful execution, sometimes makes his instrument seem to hold dialogue, in the tones of question and answer, by drawing the bow across the strings, while he slips his left hand, upward and downward, so as to shorten or lengthen the strings, and thus cause the sounds to glide up or down the scale, in one continuous stream of “ mewing ” sound. A parallel illustration may be drawn from the natural use of the voice, when we pronounce the interrogatory "eh?” of surprise, in a serious mood, but with great earnestness, merely causing the voice to slide smoothly up the scale, through the interval of a “ fifth” or an "octave," or when we utter the word " no!” in the tone of full and bold denial, and make the voice sweep continuously down the scale, through a similar interval.
In the 6s current melody of a sentence, every syllable includes a “ radical” and a “ vanishing movement," united, which, in unimpassioned expression, occupy the space, on the scale, of one tone, or pass from one note to the next above it on the scale. The succession of “ concrete” tones, is uniformly at the interval of a tone, upward or downward on the scale, as the case may be. The rise of voice within each syllable may therefore be called its “ concrete pitch ;" and the place that each syllable takes above or below another, the 6 radical pitch."
The “ melody of phrases," prescribes no fixed succession of radical pitch, although it usually avoids a repetition of the same “ radical pitch,” unless for special effect, in extreme cases; and it forbids the see-saw tone of exact alternation, or measured recurrence, of " radical pitch."
The convenience of using specific and exact terms, in relation to 6 melody” and “ pitch," as they exist in speech, renders the following distinctions important to the student of elocution.
When two or more " concretes” occur in succession, on the same “ radical pitch," they form a “ monotone,” or produce upon the ear the effect of unity or sameness of sound or tone. This concrete pitch is often used in conjunction with the low notes of awe, sublimity, and solemnity, for impressive effect, resembling that of the deep tolling of a large bell. 66 Monotone, however, is not to be confounded with monotony, the besetting fault of school reading, and which consists chiefly in omitting or slighting the “ radical stress,” and sometimes abolishing even the “ radical movement” of elements. “ Monotone” is the sublimest poetic effect of elocution: monotony, one of the worst defects.
When the “ radical pitch" is one note above or below that of the preceding tone, it is termed a “ Rising” or a “ Falling Ditone."
- When the radicals of three successive “ concretes,” rise or fall, they become a “Rising” or a “ Falling Tritone." — When there is a series of three or more, alternately a tone above and below each other, they form an “ Alternate Phrase.”
When three “ concretes” gradually descend in their “ radical pitch” at the close of a sentence, the có vanish” of the last, instead of ascending, descends ; so as to give the peculiar closing effect to the cadence. This descent is, accordingly, for distinction's sake, termed the “ Triad of the Cadence.”
It is in this peculiar 5 phrase " of " sentential melody," that the very general fault, popularly called “ a tone,” exists. The common style of cadence, instead of being spoken, is usually such as causes it to be sung, more or less, by deviating from the melody of the “ triad,” and, at the same time, losing " radical,” and assuming “median stress,” accompanied by a half-musical wave or undulation of voice. A clear, distinct, and exact succession of “ radical pitch," in the form of the “ triad,'' would, in most cases, destroy the false tone, and impart to reading more resemblance than it often possesses, to speech or to conversation.
The student will derive much assistance, in this branch of elocution, from repeating the “ tonic elements," and appropriate words selected from the exercises in the chapter on enunciation, with a view, first, to observe the “ concrete” character of the elementary sounds of speech in their initial “ radical ” and rising “ vanish.” Let letters, syllables, and words, then be practised, successively, in the forms of the phrases of the “ monotone,” 6 falling ” and “ rising " " ditone,” and “ tritone," and the “ triad of the cadence.”
The following illustration, selected from the work of Dr. Rush, will suggest the idea how the exercises in this department may be practised in classes, by the use of the chart of exercises, or of the black-board.
The object in view, in the use of such diagrams as the following, is not to exhibit the strict application of any rule or principle of elo