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MODULATION. Modulation consists in such a use of the voice as will convey the thought in the best manner. It has reference to Quality, Melody, Form, Force, Time and Stress.
QUALITY OF VOICE. The Quality, or kind of voice, may be Pure or Impure. In ordinary conversation, reading or speaking, we should always use the Pure; but, in expressing fear, anger, contempt, hatred, loathing, etc., we should employ a different quality of tone. When we feel the influence of these passions, we can easily make use of the proper form, but we should so control our voice that, in reading or speaking, in the absence of passion, we can assume the tone best adapted to give expression to the sentiment.
The Pure quality is used in all cases when there is not a demand for the Impure. Great attention should be given to the cultivation of the conversational voice, until à habit of correct speech is acquired. This tone should always be full, rich and resonant. Of it, there are two varieties—the Simple and the Orotund.
The Simple Pure is used in ordinary conversation, reading and speaking.
EXAMPLES. And he said, A certain man had two sons : and the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.
Two brown heads with tossing curls,
The Orotund is a full, round tone used in expressing grandeur, awe, sublimity, courage, reverence, veneration and other holy emotions.
2. O thou that rollest above, round as the shield of my fathers whence are thy beams, 0 Sun, thy everlasting light! Thou comest forth in thy awful beauty-the moon, cold and pale, sinks in the western wave!
The Impure quality of voice is used to express the action of the baser passions. It is also used in mimicry. The Impure Qualities are the Aspirate, Pectoral, Guttural and Falsetto.
The Aspirate is the intense whisper, with little or no vocality. It is used to denote fear, secrecy, great caution, etc.
EXAMPLES.—(Pure, or Whisper). 1. Soldiers, you are now within a few steps of the enemy's outpost. Our scouts report them slumbering around their watch-fires, and entirely unprepared for our attack. Let every man keep the strictest silence, under pain of instant death.
Hark! I hear the bugles of the enemy! They are on their march along the bank of the river. We must retreat instantly, or be cut off from our boats. I see the head of their column already rising over the height. Our only safety is in the screen of this hedge. Keep close to it; be silent; and stoop as you run. For the boats ! Forwardi
Hark! what was that? Hark! Hark to the shout!
And now the work of life and death
The Pectoral is the deep tone of despair and anger. It is used to denote great solemnity, and in describing the supernatural. It is orotund, very low in pitch, and is formed wholly in the throat.
O, I have passed a miserable night,
she skies they were ashen and sober,
The Guttural is a harsh throat-tone, lacking the orotund quality of the Pectoral—the language of hatred, intense anger. loathing and contempt.
I loathe ye in my bosom,
I scorn ye with mine eye,
And fight ye till I die!
“Curse on him !" quoth false Sextus; “will not the villain
drown? But for this stay, ere close of day we should have sacked the
The Falsetto is a shrill, high-pitched tone, used in expressing pain or terror. It is also employed in imitating the female voice.
1. When the lorn damsel, with a frantic screech
And cheeks as hueless as a brandy peach,
“Now, Socrates, dearest,” Xantippe replied,
Say our cow house, our barn yard, our pig pen.”
Of my houses, my lands, my gardens, my trees.”
“Goodwife," quoth John, “did you see that moose ?
Whar sorra was the cat ?”
_“Na, na, Guidman,
An' what think ye o' that?
Melody in Elocution is the effect produced upon the ear by the succession of vocal notes. It has reference to Pitch, Slides, and Cadence.
Pitch relates to the elevation or depression of the tone. It varies according to the sentiment. It may be Natural, Low or High.
Natural Pitch is used in all ordinary discourse.
1. England's sun was slowly setting o'er the hills so far away,
Filling all the land with beauty at the close of one sad day;
and white, Struggling to keep back the murmur, “Curfew must not ring
When Music (heavenly maid !) was young,
Low Pitch is used in language serious, grave, sublime, grand, solemn, reverential and vehement.
I had a dream that was not all a dream.
Silence how dead, and darkness how profound.
High Pitch is used to express sentiment lively, joyous or impassioned. It is also characteristic of fear and grief.