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DISCRETE OR RADICAL PITCH-Continued.
IN the preceding three chapters we have considered many of the uses both of Concrete and Discrete Pitch. Enough has been said of the modes of employing them for every purpose of emphasizing words. A little more may perhaps be said with advantage on the mode of employing them, especially the latter, on the unemphatic syllables in discourse.
In reference to the pitch of unemphatic syllables, two things which have been already noticed, must be very carefully borne in mind. 1. They must all have the slide of the tone upwards, if we wish to connect them closely with succeeding words, and downwards, if we wish to separate them. 2. No two of them must ever have between them an interval of discrete pitch, wider than a tone.
The great thing to be avoided in reading a number of unemphatic words, is monotony. There are two
*The Grammar of Elocution contains a pretty complete account of all the combinations of discrete pitch and slide, which may be allowed to enter into unemphatic speech. It has been found, on trial, almost impossible to invent a series of examples which should present a full view of them, without the introduction of diagrams; a step which, on many accounts, it was felt desirable to avoid. If any teacher should think, that the information rendered on this subject in the text, is not sufficiently minute, we would refer him to the chapter on 'Simple Melody of Speech,' as it stands in that work. The examples may be orally explained to the class, and the diagrams copied out on the black board. Few classes of children, however, we apprehend, would be much bene. fited by the explanation.
kinds of monotony, one of which is almost as disagreeable as the other. The first is that of sounding too many syllables together, on the same note of radical pitch. You may have an example of it, in the way in which a child who could just spell out his words, would read the sentence 'I-will-be-a-good-boy.' The only way to avoid this kind of monotony is to recollect, that we must never give the same radical pitch to more than three or four syllables successively. The voice must be continually rising and falling through the tone. Unless indeed the subject be a somewhat solemn one, we must not let even three or four syllables run along on the same note.
The second kind of monotony is that which we almost always hear, when people try to read poetry. It consists in running over and over again through the same, or nearly the same, succession of notes, in the different clauses of a sentence. There are not many persons who will not fall into it, in reading such a verse as this of Addison's,
'When all thy mercies, O my God,
It will require very great attention to get rid of this monotony, even in reading prose.
It should be remembered, that we always take most notice of the way in which the voice is managed, at the pauses which take place in a sentence. If they are all made with the same rise or fall of the voice, the monotony which they will cause, will be very apparent, as well as unpleasant to every one. The greatest pains
should be taken to make the intonation at the pauses as diversified as possible, always recollecting, however, that, unless the words happen to be emphatic, we cannot employ any intervals of pitch wider than the tone.
There is a particular intonation required before the long pause, which occurs between important sentences or paragraphs. It is called the Cadence. It has several forms, which are to be used according to the nature of the closing syllables of the sentence.
1. The first, or perfect form of the cadence is employed, when the last two syllables are neither of them emphatic. Each of these syllables is made to fall a tone in radical pitch below the one before it, the last syllable having, of course, the downward slide of the
'I could not have slept this night in my bed, nor even reposed my head upon my pillow, without giving vent to my steadfast abhorrence of such enormous and preposterous prin- ci
'Nothing came amiss.
'None but a fool would measure his satisfaction by what the world thinks
*In the Grammar of Elocution two forms of the cadence are given, which are here omitted. It was thought difficult to explain them by merely written examples to children. The teacher will be able to satisfy himself with regard to them, by a reference to the Grammar. If he thinks it worth while, he may easily display them ORALLY to his class.
2. In the second form of the cadence, the voice passes through a downward slide of a third on the last syllable but one. The last syllable then has its radical pitch, on the same note on which the previous slide had ended, and falls in its concrete pitch through the interval of a tone.
'He went his way therefore, and washed, and came
'He said, He is a PRO
'One dead, uniform silence reigned over the whole
3. The third form of the cadence is made, by letting the last syllable fall a tone in its radical pitch below the one before it, and then giving it the downward slide of the third.
'They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him OUT.'
'Andrew, in a sorrowful tone, (as is usual on those occasions,) prayed heaven to prolong his life, and health to enjoy it him
'He then embraced his friends, stripped himself of part of his apparel, and laid his head upon the BLOCK.'
And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty
THE second of the elements of expression has been stated to be the force, or degree of loudness, with which we speak. Every body knows that we speak much louder at some times than at others. Every body knows too, that loud speaking gives a very different meaning to a sentence, from what softer and less forcible speaking does. For example, the sentence 'Take care, Sir,' if uttered with great force and loudness, would seem like an angry threat, but, if uttered in a milder tone, it would appear a very friendly warning. Such feelings as anger, joy, pain, terror, or confidence, are generally expressed by the use of considerable force. Secresy, sorrow, doubt, or shame, will require much less.
This general rule must suffice to direct the pupil for what purposes he is to employ this element throughout a speech or sentence. If the sentiment contained be of the first class, he must use a good deal of force throughout. His own judgment must tell him how much is required.
It is not, however, only to the general loudness of voice with which whole sentences are to be spoken, that we have to attend. We must see on what words in a sentence it is to be most used, and also in what manner it may in each case be best used, so as to convey the exact meaning we wish to give.
every sentence, some syllables must have greater force than others. It is false, Sir, utterly false."'