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Ix this department we shall, very briefly, refer to a few things, that demand the early attention of those who desire to make singing a healthy as well as pleasing exercise. The attention of the student is first directed to the position we take in singing. Standing is the best. Head erect, though not stiffly so; arms hanging by the side; mouth in that position as if you were just ready to smile. Now we are ready for the study of Respiration. This exercise is divided into two parts: 1st. That of inhaling or supplying the lungs with air. 2d. That of exhaling or throwing from the lungs, after retaining it an instant, the air that we inhaled. To do this properly, requires system and systematic practice. The organ which chiefly goveras the act of respiration is the Diaphragm, assisted, however, by the adominal muscles. The Diaphragm, in a state of rest, is in an arched form. When we inhale, it gradually loses this form; and, rising a little, becomes an almost plane, or level surface. When we exhale, it resumes its natural or arched position. In your practice observe the following rules: 1st. Close the mouth with the exception of a very slight opening, and then inhale or draw in slowly and gently, giving the lungs all the air they can comfortably contain. 2d. After retaining the air for two or three seconds, let it pass from the lungs, in the same easy, quiet manner. The air, being now pretty nearly forced from the lungs, keep them in that condition, two or three second, then repeat the exercise. (See note.)
By placing the hand at the base of the chest, the student will readily perceive the movement of the Diaph: agm; he will find that, as this org in rises to a level surface, the lower ribs gradually expand, returning to their natural position as the Diaphragm sinks to its normal state.
NOTE 1. In order to aid the student, we divide the exercise of respiration as follows: three to five seconds, inhaling; three to five seconds, retaining the air in the lungs; three to five seconds, exhaling; three to five seconds, lungs empty. Be careful, however, not to crowd the organs at first, for we have known serious results occurring from too much practice at one time.
This organ also takes part in the act of respiration, and is the organ of sound. It is that protuberance seen in the front part of the throat, familiarly known as Adam's Apple. (For description see Physiology.) The singer's success depends almost entirely on the healthy condition of this organ. It can be made to move up and down in the throat, according to the kind of tone to be produced. For instance, in a groan the Larynx descends to the lowest point possible in the throat. On the con
trary, in a shriek, it ascends to the highest point. If, therefore, the tones we use in singing are of a solemn or grave character, the Larynx will be more or less low in the throat; if the tones are shrill, sharp or thin, then it will be more or less high. If the organ is stiff and clumsy the execution will be the same. If it is elastic, and springy, then the facility for execution will, in the same ratio, increase.
Is the cavity seen in the back part of the throat. This organ has great powers of expansion and contraction, and when expanded to its greatest point, the Larynx is forced down the throat; on the contrary, when contracted the Larynx is raised more or less high. So, when the tones used are grave, sombre, full of pathos, then the Pharynx is expanded,-when the tones are clear, penetrating or acute, then it is contracted: thus modifying the sound. The student will at once see that upon his abil ity to control their powers of expansion and contraction, depends, in a great meashis success in giving character to his singing.
REGISTERS OF THE VOICE.
We simply give the opinion of great Physiologists in saying that there are but two registers of the voice, called chest and fals tto; and the passing from one register to the other is the great difficulty experienced by the singer. It is only to be overcome by patience and long practice. We can produce several qualities of sound in the falsetto register, and the change, from one quality to another, is very easily discerned, as the tone changes from a reedy sound to that clear character peculiar to the flute.
THE TIMBRES OF THE VOICE.
The two principal qualities or timbres of the voice, that we study, and which are used most in music, are called the clear and sombre. As we have said before, in the production of the grave or sombre timbre, the Pharynx enlarges, the air column increases in size, and the Larynx is lowered in the throat. When, however, we use the clear timbre, the Pharynx contracts its capacity, the larynx rises in the throat, and the air column is smaller, but has more force. In voice-training, the clear timbre is always used; that is, we use the natural tone of the voice, preserving as nearly as we can, the natural position of the organ. The sombre voice, however, is full of pathos and feeling, hence is the most desirable, but its cultivation and study is postponed until we have fully established the clear timbre.
Slow and even.
Slow and even.
Slow and even.
SHOCK OF THE GLOTTIS.
No. 25. No.
No. 25.-See that the position is right. Mouth and organs of the throat to be in an easy, relaxed condition. Inhale slowly, and when the lungs are full of air, without stiffening either the larynx or any other part of the throat or mouth, attack neatly the tones by a slight motion of the glottis with the vowel A. Let the A proceed from as low a point in the throat as is possible, so that no obstacle may oppose the emission of the tone. The action of the glottis is similar to that of the lips when we pronounce the letter P.
Use Falsetto from G.
A A A A A
A A A A A A A A A A