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TO THE TEACHER:-Drill the pupils separately and in unison, in various keys and through as wide a range of inflection as possible without straining their voices. The object of this practice is not to lay down cast-iron rules, to be followed mechanically, but to give the pupil command over his voice. The minute shades of inflection which give so many subtile and beautiful effects in conversation, and occasional departures from the general type of melodic movement in phrases and sentences, especially in what are known as 'final cadences," should be allowed and encouraged when they are true to nature. Be careful, however, that they do not degenerate into mannerisms or tunes. Teach the pupil to associate inflection with conditions of the mind, rather than with the For instance, instead of saying "give this word a falling inflection," say "speak more positively" or more earnestly." When the ear is deficient, this is the only method; but, if patiently followed, it will prove efficacious even in the most obdurate cases.
EXAMPLES FOR PRACTICE.
Notice that no two of these examples are to be read exactly like; each expresses some feeling that is not in the others. These delicate shades of meaning cannot be indicated by the marks of inflection. Endeavor to express the emotions that are indicated by the words in brackets. BRUTUS. I did send to you for gold, to pay my legions, Which you denied me. [Contempt and anger.]
CASSIUS. I denied you not.
BRU. You did.
CAS. I did not! He was but a fool
That brought my answer back.—Shakespeare.
Let your companions be select; let them be such as you can love for their good qualities, and whose virtues you are desirous to emulate. [Persuasively.]
I do not rise to waste the night in words;
Let that plebeian talk, 'tis not my trade;
But here I stand for right—let him show proofs
For Roman right, though none, it seems, dare stand
Have you heard the story the gossips tell
And do you now put on your best attire ?
That comes in triumph over Pompey's blood?
[Surprise and reproach.]
Did you ever notice what life and power the Holy Scriptures have when well read? Have you ever heard of the wonderful effect produced by Elizabeth Fry on the criminals of Newgate, by simply reading to them the parable of the Prodigal Son? Princes and peers of the realm, it is said, counted it a privilege to stand in the dismal corridors, among felons and murderers, merely to share with them the privilege of witnessing the marvelous pathos which genius, taste, and culture could infuse into that simple story. [Earnestly.]-Hart.
Who can look down upon the grave, even of an enemy, and not feel a compunctious throb that he should ever have warred with the poor handful of earth that lies mouldering before him? [Reflectively and with sympathy.]—Addison.
Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,
Is the immediate jewel of their souls; [Very earnestly.]
Who steals my purse steals trash; 'tis something, nothing; ently.] 'Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands;
But he that filches from me my good name
Robs me of that which not enriches him,
And makes me poor indeed. [Seriously.]—Shakespeare.
Swaying the Hip.
Stand in the Speaker's Position, let us say upon the right foot. Place the hands upon the hips at the broadest part (not at the waist). Slowly push the hip across with the right hand until the weight of the body has been changed to the left side. Let everything else follow the movement of the hip. When this exercise is properly performed, the body will be in perfect poise upon the left foot. Return again in the same way to the right foot, and repeat many times.
Avoid jerks and twists of the body everywhere.
Standing as before, carry the hip outward at the strong side as far as possible, without losing the balance or stiffening the body. The shoulders will, of course, move in the opposite direction. Be careful not to bend the knee nor let the chest collapse. Return to the erect position and repeat. Then change the weight to the opposite foot and practise in the same way. (See Fig. 3.)
When the voice has little or no inflection, we are said to speak in monotone. The monotone is appropriate to passages of great solemnity. It is often heard when we call to someone at a distance. It is usually indicated as in the following examples:
Lord of the universe, shield us and guide ūs!
Come back, come back, Horatius!
Back, Lartius! Back, Herminius!
In suspense and reflection the voice approaches the
Hush! Hark! Did stealing steps go by?
The curfew tolls the knell of parting day.
TO THE TEACHER:-Practise Exercises V. and VI. with the feet apart at various widths, and, as soon as the movement is understood, with the arms hanging at the sides. Later, have the pupil go through the exercises with the free foot behind and around the strong ankle, also swaying the arms above the head. Be careful to distinguish between Melody, discussed in Lesson V., and Inflection. Melody has to do with pitch-relation between different words or syllables; Inflection notes the variation in pitch of the syllable itself. In the last example, for instance, while the Inflection of each word approaches the monotone, there is decided downward progression in the Melody of the line.
EXAMPLES FOR PRACTICE IN MONOTONE.
Be careful not to chant. There is always in speech some degree of inflection, except when suggesting or imitating a musical sound. Notice the varied shades of expression required in these examples. Think of the emotion rather than of imitating a particular tone.
The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces,
A boom!-the lighthouse gun!
And once behind a rick of barley.