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tion of a firm, easy, and graceful carriage of the body, with appro priate motion of the arms and limbs, – in the systematic practice of gesture, in its various forms, for the purpose of obtaining a free, forcible, and effective use of the arm, as a natural accompaniment to speech, — or in the practice of attitude and action combined, in the most vivid style of lyric and dramatic recitation, so as to attain a perfect control over the whole corporeal frame, for the purposes of visible expression.
Some preliminary exercises, such as the preceding, having been performed, and a sufficient period for rest and tranquil breathing having elapsed, the next stage of preparatory action may be as in the following directions :
1. Attitude of the Body, and Position of the Organs.
Place yourself in a perfectly erect, but easy posture; the weight of the body resting on one foot; the feet at a moderate distance, the one in advance of the other;' the arms akimbo: the fingers pressing on the abdominal muscles, in front, and the thumbs on the dorsal muscles, on each side of the spine ; the chest freely expanded and fully projected; the shoulders held backward and downward; the head perfectly vertical.
2. Exercises in Deep Breathing. Having thus complied with the preliminary conditions of a free and unembarrassed action of the organs, draw in and give out the breath very fully, and very slowly, about a dozen times in succession. Let the breathing be deep and tranquil, but such as to cause the chest to rise fully, and fall freely, at every effort.
3. Exercise in “ Effusive,” or tranquil Breathing. Draw in a very full breath, and send it forth in a prolonged sound of the letter h. In the act of inspiration, take in as much breath as you can contain. In that of expiration, retain all you can, and give out as little as possible, — merely sufficient to keep the sound of h audible. But keep it going on, as long as you can sustain it. In this style of respiration, the breath merely effuses itself into the surrounding air.
1 The object in view, in this apparently minute direction, is, to secure perfect freedom and repose of body. A constrained or a lounging posture, is utterly at variance with a free, unembarrassed use of the voice, or the production 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 lively expulsive force, in the sound of h, but little prolonged, - in the style of a moderate whispered cough. The breath, in this style of expiration, is projected into the air. Repeat this exercise, as directed, in the statement preceding.
5. Exercise in “Explosive," or abrupt Breathing. Draw in the breath, as already directed, and emit it with a sudden and violent explosion, in a very brief sound of the letter 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 directed.
Note to Adult Students and Teachers. The habit of keeping the chest open and erect, is indispensable to the production of a full, round tone of voice. But it is of still higher value, as one 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 bodily vigor, an exhilarated state of feeling, and an augmented activity of mind. To persons whose habits are studious and sedentary, and especially to females, the vigorous exercise of the organs of respiration and of voice, is, in every point of view, an invaluable discipline.
FIRST TABLE OF ORTHOPIONY.
Classified by the Ear, as Sounds.
SIMPLE,— having one unchanging sound. The element of sound, in every instance, is indicated by ilalic type, and should be repeated, by itself, after the pronunciation of the whole word, in a full, clear, exact, and distinct style.
1, A-ll; 2, A-rm; 3, A-n; 4, E-ve; 5, Oo-ze, (long ;) L-oo-k, (short ;)? 6, E-rr ;3 7, E-nd; 8, I-n; 9, Ai-r;4 10, U-p; 11, O-r;5 12, O-n. COMPOUND,—beginning with one sound and ending in another. 13, A-le; 14, I-ce; 15, 0-ld; 16, Ou-r; 17, Oi-l; 18, U-se, (verb, long ;) U-se, (noun, short.)
II. SUBTONIC," SUBVOCAL, OR SEMIVOWELS ELEMENTS. SIMPLE.—1, L-u-ll ; 2, M-ai-m ; 3, N-u-n; 4, R-ap, (hard, but not rolled ;) 5, Fa-r, (soft, not silent;) 6, Si-ng; 7, B-a-be; 8, D-i-d; 9, G-a-g; 10, V-al-ve; 11, Z-one; 12, A-z-ure; 13, Y-e; 14, W-oe; 15, TH-en. COMPOUND. — 16, J-oy.
III. Aronic,9 ASPIRATE, 10 OR Mutell ELEMENTS. SIMPLE.—1, P-i-pe; 2, T-en-t; 3, C-a-ke; 4, F-i-fe; 5, C-ea-se; 6, H-e; 7, Th-in; 8, Pu-sh. COMPOUND. – 9, Ch-ur-ch.
1 So called from their comparatively musical sound, and susceptibility of tone. See pages 19, 20.,
2 The same in quality, but not in quantity, with the preceding. 3 Middle sound, between ur and air. 4 Middle sound, between a-le and e-nd. 5 A sound closer than that of a in a-ll. 6 Closer than o in o-r. 7 So called from their inferiority in tone, when contrasted with tonics.
8 So called from their partial vocality, when contrasted with atonics or mutes.
9 So called from their want of tone. 10 Formed by a process of breathing. 11 Deficient in sound.
SECOND TABLE OF ORTHOPHONY.
[Formed by the mouth and larynx.] In practising the sounds, the mouth should be freely opened, and firmly held in the position proper for the formation of each sound, and every position carefully observed.
1, A-ll; 2, A-rm; 3, A-n; 4, E-ve; 5, 0o-ze, L-00-k; 6, E-rr; 7, E-nd ; 8, I-n; 9, Ai-r; 10, U-p; 11, O-r; 12, O-n; 13, A-le; 14, I-ce; 15, O-ld; 16, Ou-r; 17, Oi-l; 18, U-se, (verb, long ;) U-se, (noun, short.)
II. LABIAL, OR LIP Sounds. 1, B-a-be; 2, P-i-pe; 3, M-ai-m; 4, W-oe; 5, V-al-ve; 6, F-i-fe.
III. PALATIC, OR PALATE Sounds. 1, C-a-ke; 2, G-a-g; 3, Y-e.
. IV. ASPIRATE, OR BREATHING SOUND. H-e.
V. NASAL, Ok Nostril Sounds. 1, N-u-m; 2, Si-ng; 3, I-a-k.
VI. LINGUAL, OR TONGUE Sounds. 1, L-u-ll ; 2, R-ap; 3, Fa-r.
· SYLLABIC COMBINATIONS,
I. INITIAL SYLLABLES..
II. Final SYLLABLES. Ld, lf, lk, lm, lp, Ise, ls, (lzy) lt, lve ; m’d, nd, nce, ns, (nz,) nk, (ngk,) nt; rb, rd, rk, rm, rn, rse, rs, (rz,) rt, rve; rb'd, rk'd, rm'd, rn'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; ble, (bl,) file, (fi) gle, (gl) ple, (pl) dle, (di,) tle, (tl,) rl; Ist, nst, rst, dst, rdst, rmdst, rndst ; blid, pl’d, rld; ngs, ngst, ng'd; bles, (blz,) cles, (clz,) fles, (flz,) gles, (glz ;) sms, (zmz,) s’ns, (znz,) sps, sts; stles, (slz,) stens, (snz.) .
The term orthoëpyl comprehends all that part of elocution which pertains to the organic functions of articulation, and its audible result, which we term enunciation. It will be a matter of convenience, at 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 pronounce 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 function 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 respiration, 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 applicable to distinct enunciation, the unfailing characteristic of correct intellectual habits, and the only means of exact and intelligible communication 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 to be modified or articulated into definite forms by the various portions 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 of thought, - utters his ideas distinctly and impressively, without special study. But defective organization, neglected habit, false tendencies of feeling, and confused conceptions, are so prevalent, that very few individuals in a community, can be selected as naturally perfect in the function of articulation. With most persons, and especially in youth, the negligence of unguarded habit impairs the 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 every individual,- whatever be his advantages, as such, - needs a tho
1 A term derived from the Greek language, and compounded of two words signifying correct speech.