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Title: Resonance in Singing and Speaking
Author: Fillebrown, Thomas, 1836-1908
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Efforts to develop my own voice, and the voices of my patients after
operations for cleft palate, aided by anatomical study, resulted in a
plan for the focusing and development of the human voice quite
different from any other yet published, or, so far as I know, yet
proposed. This plan has proved so successful in my later life that I
feel emboldened to offer it for the consideration of speakers and

While twenty-five years ago few of the principles here described were
acknowledged or even recognized, within the last decade almost all
have been advocated separately by different teachers or writers. At
the present time, therefore, originality consists only in the
classification of the principles into a systematic, progressive whole,
and in arranging a simpler and more practical method of applying them,
thus making the desired results much more quickly attainable.

It is attempted in this volume only to describe the value of each
element in the production of the perfect tone and to demonstrate the
principles which, if properly and faithfully applied, will develop the
best that is possible in each individual voice and prepare the pupil
to enter upon the more advanced arts of speaking and singing.

In 1903 I prepared a series of papers on _The Art of Vocalism_, which
were published in _The Étude_ in May, June, and July of that year.
These articles are incorporated in this work. In connection with
different organs and conditions, important principles are stated and
restated. This repetition is thought desirable in order that the
fundamentals may be kept prominently before the mind and impressed
upon the attention.

I believe that a careful study of this volume will prove of essential
service to teachers and advanced pupils of singing and oratory,
especially to young teachers just entering upon their duties. Its
method will be found adapted to the instruction of pupils of all
grades, from the kindergarten to the Conservatory of Music and the
School of Oratory.

I shall be gratified if this outcome of years of experience, constant
study, and tested methods shall prove helpful to those who seek
mastery of the art of beautiful speaking and singing.

[Illustration: [signature] Thomas Fillebrown]


      PREFACE                                            vii

      INTRODUCTION                                         1

   I. THE VOCAL INSTRUMENT                                 6


 III. BREATH CONTROL                                      23

  IV. BREATHING EXERCISES                                 33

   V. REGISTERS                                           38

  VI. RESONANCE IN GENERAL                                43

 VII. HEAD AND NASAL RESONANCE                            51

VIII. PLACING THE VOICE                                   56

  IX. THROAT STIFFNESS                                    74

   X. SOME GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS                         77

  XI. THE PSYCHOLOGY OF VOCAL CULTURE                     82

      BOOKS CONSULTED                                     86

      INDEX                                               89





When a youth it was my lot to be surrounded by examples of faulty
vocalism, such as prevailed in a country town, and to be subjected to
the errors then in vogue, having at the same time small opportunity
for training in the application of principles, even as then
imperfectly taught. At middle life I had given up all attempt at
singing and had difficulty in speaking so as to be heard at any
considerable distance or for any considerable length of time.
Professional obligations to my patients, however, compelled me later
to take up the subject of vocal physiology. This I did, guided by the
ideas current on the subject.

About 1880 I became satisfied that many of the current ideas were
incorrect, and determined to start anew, and to note in detail the
action of each organ used in vocalization and articulation. To this
end I sought vocal instruction and advice, which, modified by my own
observations, have produced the most gratifying results.

Up to that time it had been held that the nasal cavities must be cut
off from the mouth by the closing of the soft palate against the back
of the throat; that the passage of ever so little of the sound above
the palate would give a nasal twang, and that the sound was reinforced
and developed only in the cavities of the throat and mouth. My
practice in Oral Surgery, coupled with my own vocal studies exposed
this fallacy and revealed to me the true value of nasal resonance.

The late Mme. Rudersdorff had begun to recognize the effect of nasal
resonance, but she left no published record of her conclusions. It
does not appear that she or her contemporaries realized the true value
of the nasal and head cavities as reinforcing agents in the production
of tone, or appreciated their influence upon its quality and power.

There are perhaps few subjects on which a greater variety of opinion
exists than on that of voice culture, and few upon which so many
volumes have been written. Few points are uncontested, and exactly
opposite statements are made in regard to each.

Formerly great stress was laid upon the distinction between "head
tones" and "chest tones," "closed tones" and "open tones." The whole
musical world was in bondage to "registers of the voice," and the one
great task confronting the singer and vocal teacher was to "blend the
registers," a feat still baffling the efforts of many instructors.

Many teachers and singers have now reached what they consider a
demonstrated conclusion that registers are not a natural feature of
the voice; yet a large contingent still adhere to the doctrine of
"register," depending for their justification upon the unreliable
evidence furnished by the laryngoscope, not realizing that there will
be found in the little lens as many different conditions as the
observers have eyes to see. Garcia himself, the inventor of the
laryngoscope, soon modified his first claims as to its value in vocal

On this point we have the testimony of his biographer, M.S. McKinley:

"As far as Garcia was concerned, the laryngoscope ceased to be of any
special use as soon as his first investigations were concluded. By his
examination of the glottis he had the satisfaction of proving that all
his theories with regard to the emission of the voice were absolutely
correct. Beyond that he did not see that anything further was to be
gained except to satisfy the curiosity of those who might be
interested in seeing for themselves the forms and changes which the
inside of the larynx assumed during singing and speaking."

Of similar purport is the word of the eminent baritone, Sir Charles
Santley, who, in his _Art of Singing_, says:

"Manuel Garcia is held up as the pioneer of scientific teaching of
singing. He was--but he taught singing, not surgery! I was a pupil of
his in 1858 and a friend of his while he lived;[1] and in all the
conversations I had with him I never heard him say a word about larynx
or pharynx, glottis or any other organ used in the production and
emission of the voice. He was perfectly acquainted with their
functions, but he used his knowledge for his own direction, not to
parade it before his pupils."

[Footnote 1: Garcia died July 1, 1906, at the age of 101.]

The eminent London surgeon and voice specialist, Dr. Morell Mackenzie,
says of the laryngoscope, "It can scarcely be said to have thrown any
new light on the mechanism of the voice"; and Dr. Lennox Browne
confesses that, "Valuable as has been the laryngoscope in a
physiological, as undoubtedly it is in a medical sense, it has been
the means of making all theories of voice production too dependent on
the vocal cords, and thus the importance of the other parts of the
vocal apparatus has been overlooked."

Not only in regard to "registers" but in regard to resonance, focus,
articulation, and the offices and uses of the various vocal organs,
similar antagonistic opinions exist. Out of this chaos must some time
come a demonstrable system.

A generation ago the art of breathing was beginning to be more an
object of study, but the true value of correct lateral abdominal
breathing was by no means generally admitted or appreciated. It was
still taught that the larynx (voice-box) should bob up and down like a
jack-in-a-box with each change of pitch, and that "female breathing"
must be performed with a pumping action of the chest and the
elevation and depression of the collar bone.

Fortunately, teachers and singers recognized a good tone when they
heard it, and many taught much better than they knew, so that the
public did not have to wait for the development of accurate knowledge
of the subject before hearing excellent singing and speaking. Yet many
singers had their voices ruined in the training, and their success as
vocalists made impossible; while others, a little less unfortunate,
were still handicapped through life by the injury done by mistaken
methods in early years. Jenny Lind's perfect vocal organs were quite
disabled at twelve years of age by wrong methods, and they recovered
only after a protracted season of rest. As a consequence her beautiful
voice began to fail long before her splendid physique, and long before
her years demanded. Singers taught in nature's way should be able to
sing so long as strength lasts, and, like Adelaide Phillips, Carl
Formes, and Sims Reeves, sing their sweetest songs in the declining
years of life. Martel, at seventy years of age, had a full, rich
voice. He focused all his tones alike, and employed deep abdominal

The whole matter of voice training has been clouded by controversy.
The strident advocates of various systems, each of them "the only true
method," have in their disputes overcast the subject with much that is
irrelevant, thus obscuring its essential simplicity.

The "scientific" teachers, at one extreme, have paid too exclusive
attention to the mechanics of the voice. The "empiricists" have gone
to the other extreme in leaving out of account fundamental facts in
acoustics, physiology, and psychology.

The truth is that no purely human function, especially one so subtle
as singing, can be developed mechanically; nor, on the other hand, can
the mere _ipse dixit_ of any teacher satisfy the demands of the modern


The positions here advocated, because they seem both rational and
simple, are:

=1. That the singing and speaking tones are identical, produced by the
same organs in the same way, and developed by the same training.=

=2. That breathing is, for the singer, only an amplification of the
correct daily habit.=

=3. That "registers" are a myth.=

=4. That "head tones, chest tones, closed tones, open tones," etc., as
confined to special parts of the range of the voice, are distracting
distinctions arising from false education.=

=5. That resonance determines the quality and carrying power of every
tone, and is therefore the most important element in the study and
training of the voice.=

=6. That the obstacles to good speaking and singing are psychologic
rather than physiologic.=

=7. That, in the nature of things, the right way is always an easy



Since the vocal organism first became an object of systematic study,
discussion has been constant as to whether the human vocal instrument
is a stringed instrument, a reed instrument, or a whistle. Discussion
of the question seems futile, for practically it is all of these and
more. The human vocal organs form an instrument, _sui generis_, which
cannot be compared with any other one thing. Not only is it far more
complex than any other instrument, being capable, as it is, of
imitating nearly every instrument in the catalogue and almost every
sound in nature, but it is incomparably more beautiful, an instrument
so universally superior to any made by man that comparisons and
definitions fail.


The human vocal instrument has the three elements common to all
musical instruments,--a motor, a vibrator, and a resonator; to which
is added--what all other instruments lack--an articulator.

1. The respiratory muscles and lungs for a =motor=.

2. The vocal cords for a =vibrator=.

3. The throat, mouth, and the nasal and head cavities for a =resonator=.

4. The tongue, lips, teeth, and palate for an =articulator=.

These elements appear in as great a variety of size and proportion as
do the variations of individual humanity, and each element is,
moreover, variable according to the will or feeling of the individual.
This susceptibility to change constitutes a modifying power which
gives a variety in tone quality possible to no other instrument and
makes it our wonder and admiration. The modification and interaction
of these various parts produced by the emotions of the singer or
speaker give qualities of tone expressive of the feelings, as of pain
or pleasure, grief or joy, courage or fear.

[Illustration: FIGURE 1.--Section of the head and throat locating the
organs of speech and song, including the upper resonators. The
important maxillary sinus cannot well be shown. It is found within the
maxillary bone (cheek bone). The inner end of the line marked _Nasal
cavity_ locates it.]


The minute differences in these physical conditions, coupled with the
subtler differences in the psychical elements of the personality,
account for that distinctive physiognomy of the voice called =timbre=,
which is only another name for individuality as exhibited in each
person. The same general elements enter into the composition of all
voices, from the basso profundo to the high soprano.

That the reader may better understand the proportion and relations of
the different parts of the vocal apparatus, a sectional drawing of the
head is here produced, showing the natural position of the vocal
organs at rest. As the drawing represents but a vertical section of
the head the reader should note that the sinuses, like the eyes and
nostrils, lie in pairs to the right and left of the centre of the
face. The location of the maxillary sinuses within the maxillary or
cheek bones cannot be shown in this drawing.

The dark shading represents the cavities of the throat, nose, and
head. The relations of the parts are shown more accurately than is
possible in any diagram. It will be noticed that the vibrations from
the larynx would pass directly behind the soft palate into the nasal
chamber, and very directly into the mouth. The nasal roof is formed by
two bones situated between the eyes; the sphenoid or wedge-bone, which
is connected with all other bones of the head, and the ethmoid or
sieve-like bone. The structure of these two bones, especially of the
ethmoid, consists of very thin plates or laminæ, forming a mass of air
cavities which communicate by small openings with the nasal cavity
below. Thus, the vibrations in the nose are transmitted to the air
spaces above, and the effective qualities of the head vibrations are
added to the tone.


The larynx or voice-box contains the vocal cords. Just above the vocal
cords on each side is a large, deep cavity, called the ventricle.
These cavities reinforce the primary vibrations set up by the cords
and serve to increase their intensity as they are projected from the
larynx. The larynx is the vibrating organ of the voice. It is situated
at the base of the tongue and is so closely connected with it by
attachment to the hyoid bone, to which the tongue is also attached,
that it is capable of only slight movement independent of that organ;
consequently it must move with the tongue in articulation. The
interior muscles of the larynx vary the position of its walls, thus
regulating the proximity and tension of the vocal cords. The male
larynx is the larger and shows the Adam's apple. In both sexes the
larynx of the low voice, alto or bass, is larger than that of the high
voice, soprano or tenor. The larynx and tongue should not rise with
the pitch of the voice, but drop naturally with the lower jaw as the
mouth opens in ascending the scale. The proper position of the tongue
will insure a proper position for the larynx. The less attention the
larynx receives the better.


The vocal cords are neither cords nor bands, but instead are thick
portions of membrane extending across the inner surface of the larynx.
On account of familiarity the name _vocal cords_ will still be used.
They are fairly well represented by the lips of the cornet player when
placed on the mouthpiece of the instrument. The pitch of the tone is
fixed by the tension of the vocal cords and the width and length of
the opening between them. Their tension and proximity are
self-adjusted to produce the proper pitch without any conscious
volition of the singer. They can have no special training, needing
only to be left alone. The work of the vocal cords, though essentially
important, is, when naturally performed, light and consequently not
exhausting. If the larynx and all of its supporting muscles are
relaxed as they are in free and easy breathing, then when the air
passes out through the larynx, the vocal cords will automatically
assume a tension sufficient to vocalize the breath and give the note
the proper pitch. The normal action of the cords will never cause
hoarseness or discomfort. The sound should seem to be formed, not in
the throat,--thus involving the vocal cords,--but in the resonance


The epiglottis is the valve which closes over the upper opening of the
larynx. It not only closes the mouth of the larynx when food is
swallowed, but aids materially in converting into tone the vibrations
set up by the vocal cords.


The pharynx extends from the larynx to the nasal cavity. The size of
the opening into the nasal chamber is controlled by the soft palate
and is frequently entirely closed. The size of the pharynx is varied
by the contraction and relaxation of the circular muscles in its
tissue; when swallowing its walls are in contact. The pharynx acts as
does the expanding tube of brass instruments. It increases the force
and depth of the tone waves. The wider the pharynx is opened, without
constraint, the fuller the resonance and the better the tone.


The under jaw furnishes attachment for the muscles of the tongue and
hyoid or tongue bone. It also controls, owing to the connections of
the larynx with the hyoid bone, the muscles that fix the position of
the larynx.

The pterygoid muscles, which move the under jaw forward and backward,
do not connect with the larynx, so their action does not compress that
organ or in any way impede the action of the vocal apparatus. A
relaxed under jaw allows freer action of the vocal cords and ampler
resonance. The under jaw should drop little by little as the voice
ascends the scale, thus opening the mouth slightly wider with each
rise in the pitch of the tone. In ascending the scale it is well to
open the throat a little wider as you ascend. The delivery will be
much easier, and the tone produced will be much better. At the highest
pitch of the voice the mouth should open to its full width. At the
same time care must be taken _not_ to draw the corners of the mouth
back, as in smiling, because this lessens the resonance of the tone
and gives it a flat sound.

The under jaw must have considerable latitude of motion in
pronunciation, but by all means avoid chewing of the words and cutting
off words by closing the jaw instead of finishing them by the use of
the proper articulating organs, which are the tongue and lips.


Writers on the voice have almost universally claimed that the
principal office of the soft palate is to shut off the nasal and head
cavities from the throat, and to force the column of vibrations out
through the mouth, thus allowing none, or at most a very small part,
to pass into the nasal passages.

This contention implies that the vibrations are imparted to the upper
cavities, if at all, through the walls of the palate itself, and not
through an opening behind the palate. This is entirely at variance
with the facts as verified by my own experience and observation and
the observation of others who are expert specialists. The true office
of the soft palate is to modify the opening into the nose and thus
attune the resonant cavities to the pitch and timbre of the note given
by the vocal cords and pharynx. To develop the vowel sounds, the soft
palate should be drawn forward, allowing a free passage into the nose;
it should be closed only to form the consonants which require a
forcible expulsion of breath from the mouth.

The uvula, the pendulous tip of the soft palate, serves as a valve to
more accurately adjust the opening behind the soft palate to the pitch
of the voice. In producing a low tone the soft palate is relaxed and
hangs low down and far forward. As the voice ascends the scale the
tension of the soft palate is increased and it is elevated and the
uvula shortened, thus decreasing the opening behind the palate, but
never closing it. In fact the larger the opening that can be
maintained, the broader and better the tone. The author was himself
unable fully to appreciate this until he had become able to sense the
position of the soft palate during vocalization.


The hard palate and upper teeth form in part the walls of the mouth.
As they are solid fixtures, nothing can be done in the way of
training. They furnish a point of impingement in articulation, and
play their part in sympathetic resonance.

The bones which form the roof of the mouth serve also for the floor of
the nasal cavity.

The under teeth also serve as walls of resistance to support the
tongue during the performance of its functions.


The nasal and head cavities are resonating chambers incapable of
special training, but their form, size, and the use made of them have
a wonderful effect upon the resonance of the voice. If the vibrations
are strong here, all other parts will vibrate in harmonious action.

When responding to the perfectly focused tone the thin walls of the
cavities and the contained air vibrate with surprising force, often
for the moment blinding the singer when sounding a note intensely.

Having in my surgical work demonstrated the existence of a hitherto
unrecognized connecting passage or canal between the air cavities of
the face and those of the forehead,[2] the play of resonance in the
cavities above the nostrils is more easily understood. The function of
the cavities known as the _frontal sinuses_ (see Fig. 1) has long been
a mystery, but now that their direct connection with the lower
cavities is proven, and the great significance of resonance is also
beginning to be recognized, the mystery disappears. The same may be
said of the other sinuses--_ethmoidal_, _sphenoidal_, and _maxillary_,
and their interconnection.

[Footnote 2: Dr. Fillebrown's paper, _A Study of the Relation of the
Frontal Sinus to the Antrum_, was read before the American Dental
Association, at Saratoga, August 5, 1895. His investigation showed
that the funnel-shaped passage known as the _infundibulum_ extends
from the _frontal sinus_ directly into the antrum or _maxillary
sinus_. This was afterwards confirmed by Dr. W.H. Cryer and others.]


In instruments changes in the length and form of the resonance
chambers affect the pitch as well as the quality of the tone. This is
demonstrated in the trombone, French horn, and other wind instruments.
The lengthening of the tube of the trombone lowers the pitch of the
tone, and the projection of the hand of the performer into the bell of
the French horn has the effect of raising the pitch of the sound. If
the variation in length or form is only slight, the result is sharp or
flat, and the instrument is out of tune. In the human instrument all
the organs act together as a unit; so the fact that the cavities alone
may affect the pitch is practically of no great significance.


The tongue and the lips are the articulating organs, and the former
has an important part to play in altering through its movements the
shape of the mouth cavity.

The tip of the tongue should habitually rest against the under front
teeth. The tip of the tongue, however, must frequently touch the roof
of the mouth near the upper front teeth, as when pronouncing the
consonants _c_, _d_, _g_ or _j_, _l_, _n_, _s_, and _t_. The back part
of the tongue must rise a little to close against the soft palate when
pronouncing _g_ hard, and _k_, and hard _c_, _q_, and _x_. The soft
palate comes down so far to meet the tongue that the elevation of the
latter need be but very slight.

When speaking, the demand is not so imperative, but when singing, the
body of the tongue should lie as flat as possible, so as to enlarge
the mouth, especially when giving the vowel sounds.

If the tongue is sometimes disposed to be unruly, it is the result of
rigidity or misplaced effort in the surrounding parts. This tendency
will only be aggravated by artificial restraint of any kind. The true
way is to dismiss tongue consciousness, _let go_, and a normal
flexibility will easily manifest itself.


The lips, equally with the tongue, are organs of articulation. The
upper lip is the principal factor of the two; the under lip seems to
follow the lead of the upper. The lips need much training, and it can
readily be given them. While practising to educate the lips, both lips
should be projected forward and upward, at the same time pronouncing
the word "too." Bring the edge of the upper lip as high toward the
nose as possible in practice. This will bring the corners of the mouth
forward and lift the lips clear and free from the teeth, and thus add
one more resonance cavity. This position of the lips also gives
freedom for pronunciation. "The upper lip plays the most active part
in the shaping of the vowels. It should never be drawn against the
teeth when producing vowel tones; indeed, there should be often a
little space between the upper lip and the teeth, so that the
vibrations of the sound-waves can have free play."


The nostrils should be dilated as much as possible, as a free, wide,
open nose gives a free, well-rounded tone, while a contracted nostril
induces the nasal tone so much dreaded. A proper training of the
facial muscles makes this dilation possible. Lifting the upper lip and
projecting it forward aids the action to a great degree.

There is a strong tendency to unity of action between the nostrils and
the lips and the soft palate. The soft palate moves downward and
forward when the upper lip protrudes and the nostrils dilate, and
moves backward and upward when the nostrils are contracted and the
upper lip allowed to rest upon the teeth.

As a rule the best singers have full, round, wide, open nostrils,
either given by nature or acquired by practice.


Not only must the lips and nose be trained, but the muscles of the
face also. These muscles are capable, if educated, of doing important

The artist on the operatic stage or the speaker on the platform,
without facial expression begotten of muscular activity, may lessen by
half his power over an audience. To train the facial muscles is a
complicated task. To do this, stand before a mirror and make all the
faces ever thought of by a schoolboy to amuse his schoolmates. Raise
each corner of the lip, wrinkle the nose, quilt the forehead, grin,
laugh. The grimaces will not enter into a performance, but their
effect upon it will be markedly beneficial.



A generation ago the speaking voice was even less understood than the
singing voice. That the two were intimately connected was but half
surmised. Only an occasional person recognized what is now generally
conceded, that a good way to improve the speaking voice is to
cultivate the singing voice.

In 1887 I published a paper in the _Independent Practitioner_ defining
the singing voice and the speaking voice as identical, and contending
that the training for each should be the same so far as tone formation
is involved, a conclusion at which I had arrived several years before.
Subsequent experience has only served to confirm this opinion.

The past has produced many good speakers, among them Henry Clay,
Daniel Webster, Edwin Booth, Wm. Charles Macready, and Edward Everett.
Of the last Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote: "It is with delight that one
who remembers Edward Everett in his robes of rhetorical splendor,
recalls his full blown, high colored, double flowered periods; the
rich, resonant, grave, far-reaching music of his speech, with just
enough of the nasal vibration to give the vocal sounding-board its
proper value in the harmonies of utterance." These examples of correct
vocalization, however, were exceptions to the general rule; they
happened to speak well, but the physiologic action of the vocal organs
which produced such results in those individual cases was not
understood, and hence the pupil ambitious to imitate them and develop
the best of which his voice was capable had no rule by which to
proceed. Few could speak with ease, still fewer could be heard by a
large assembly, and sore throats seemed to be the rule.


In singing the flow of tone is unbroken between the words, but in
speaking it is interrupted. In singing tone is sustained and changed
from one pitch to another by definite intervals over a wide compass
that includes notes not attempted in speech. In speaking tone is
unsustained, not defined in pitch, is limited to a narrow compass, and
the length of the tones is not governed by the measure of music.

Notwithstanding these differences, singing and speaking tones are
produced by the vocal organs in the same way, are focused precisely
alike, have the same resonance, and are delivered in the same manner.
It has been said that speech differs from song as walking from
dancing. Speech may be called the prose, and song the poetry of

During the past decade the knowledge of the speaking voice has been
greatly broadened, and the art of cultivating tone has made progress.
The identity of the singing and speaking voice is becoming more fully
recognized, and methods are being used to develop the latter similar
to those in use for the training of the former. As Dr. Morell
Mackenzie says: "Singing is a help to good speaking, as the greater
includes the less."

The recognition of this truth cannot fail to be a great aid to the
progress of singing in the public schools, since every enlargement of
exercises common to both speaking and singing helps to solidarity and
_esprit de corps_ in teaching and in learning.

An accurate sense of pitch, melody, harmony, and rhythm is necessary
to the singer, but the orator may, by cultivation, develop a speaking
voice of musical quality without being able to distinguish _Old
Hundred_ from _The Last Rose of Summer_.


It is a matter of common observation that American singers, although
they may be painstaking in their French and German, are indifferent,
even to carelessness, in the clear and finished enunciation of their
native tongue. Mr. W.J. Henderson, in his recent work, _The Art of the
Singer_, says: "The typical American singer cannot sing his own
language so that an audience can understand him; nine-tenths of the
songs we hear are songs without words." Happily this condition is
gradually yielding to a better one, stimulated in part by the examples
of visiting singers and actors. In story-telling songs and in
oratorio, slovenly delivery is reprehensible, but when the words of a
song are the lyric flight of a true poet, a careless utterance becomes

Beauty of tone is not everything; the singing of mere sounds, however
lovely, is but a tickling of the ear. The shortcoming of the Italian
school of singing, as of composition, has been too exclusive devotion
to sensuous beauty of tone as an end in itself. The singer must never
forget that his mission is to =vitalize text with tone=. The songs of
Schubert, Schumann, Franz, Brahms, Grieg, Strauss, and Wolf, as well
as the Wagnerian drama, are significant in their inseparable union of
text and music. The singer is therefore an interpreter, not of music
alone, but of text made potent by music.

Pronunciation, moreover, concerns not only the listener, but the
singer and speaker, for pure tone and pure pronunciation cannot be
divorced, one cannot exist without the other. In his interesting work,
_The Singing of the Future_, Mr. Ffrangcon-Davies insists that, "the
quickest way to fine tone is through fine pronunciation."

We cannot think except in words, nor voice our thought without speech.
Vocal utterance is thought articulate. Therefore, instead of prolonged
attention to tone itself, training should be concentrated upon the
uttered word. The student should aim "to sing a word rather than a
tone." Correct pronunciation and beautiful tone are so interdependent
as to be inseparable.

The singer and speaker require all sounds in their purity. To seek to
develop the voice along the narrow limits of any single vowel or
syllable, as for instance the syllable _ah_, is harmful. Not only is
this vowel sound, as Lilli Lehmann says, "the most difficult," but the
proper pronunciation of all words within the whole range of the voice
is thereby impeded. Diction and tone work should therefore go hand in
hand. "The way in which vowel melts into vowel and consonants float
into their places largely determines the character of the tone
itself." Without finished pronunciation speech and song of emotional
power are impossible. Gounod, the composer, says, "Pronunciation
creates eloquence." Mr. Forbes-Robertson, the English master of
dramatic diction, speaking for his own profession says: "The trouble
with contemporary stage elocution springs from the actor's very desire
to act well. In his effort to be natural he mumbles his words as too
many people do in everyday life. Much of this can be corrected by
constantly bearing in mind the true value of vowels, the percussive
value of consonants, and the importance of keeping up the voice until
the last word is spoken. There must be, so to speak, plenty of wind in
the bellows. The great thing is to have the sound come from the front
of the mouth.... The actor must learn to breathe deeply from the
diaphragm and to take his breath at the proper time. Too often the
last word is not held up, and that is very often the important
word.... Schools for acting are valuable, ... but, after all, the
actors, like other folk, must be taught how to speak as children in
the home, at school, and in society."

In pronunciation the words should seem to be formed by the upper lip
and to come out through it. By this method it will be found easy to
pronounce distinctly. The words will thus be formed outside the mouth
and be readily heard, as is a person talking in front of, instead of
behind, a screen. A single, intelligent trial will be sufficient to
show the correctness of the statement. Thinking of the upper lip as
the fashioner of the words makes speaking easy and singing a delight.

To smile while talking gives to the words a flat, silly sound, hence
the corners of the mouth should be kept well forward.



1  n_ee_
2  n_i_t
3  n_e_t
4  n_a_y
5  n_ai_r
6  n_a_t
7  n_i_gh
8  N_a_h
7' n_o_t
6' n_a_w
5' n_e_r
4' n_u_t
3' n_o_
2' n_oo_k
1' n_oo_.]

It may fasten this in mind to remember that at one end of the vowel
scale is--_me_, at the other--_you_.

The teeth and lips are most closed at the extremes of this scale, and
gradually open toward _ah_, with which vowel they are widest apart.

In the series 1-8 the tongue is highest in the centre for _ee_ and
gradually descends until it lies flat in the mouth for _ah_.

The _upper_ pharynx is most closed in 1, most open in 8, and closes
more and more in the descending series 7'-1'.

The _lower_ pharynx gradually opens in the descending series 7'-1'.

The researches of Helmholtz, Koenig, Willis, Wheatstone, Appunn, Bell,
and others have shown that each vowel sound has its own characteristic
pitch. The Scale of Vowel Sounds given above corresponds closely to
the order of resonance pitch from the highest _ee_ to the lowest _oo_.
In the natural resonance of the vowels _ee_ is highest in the head,
_ah_ is midway in the scale, and _oo_ is lowest in resonance.


Figure 2 shows the best position of the lips to give the sound of
_ee_. Hold the under jaw without stiffness and as far from the upper
teeth as is consistent with delivery of the pure sound of this vowel.

Figure 3 shows the best position of the lips to produce the vowel

Figure 4 shows the position of the lips for the vowel sound of long
_o_. The opening of the lips should be made as round as is the letter
_o_. When preparing the lips to give the sound of _o_, the inclination
is strong to drop the lower jaw; in practice, to develop action of the
lips, the under jaw would better be held quite immovable. It will be
found possible to produce all of the vowel sounds without any change
except in the form of the opening of the lips. The vowel sound of _i_
is an exception; for as a compound of _ah_ and _ee_, the extremes of
the vowel scale, it requires two distinct positions for its utterance
with a movement of transition between; it is not, therefore, a good
vowel for initial practice.

[Illustration: FIGURE 2.]

[Illustration: FIGURE 3.]

[Illustration: FIGURE 4.]

[Illustration: FIGURE 5.]

Figure 5 shows that the sound _aw_ is produced from _o_ by raising the
edge of the upper lip outward and upward, and flattening the raised
portion laterally.

Figure 6 shows the position for producing _ah_. It differs from the
position assumed for _aw_ in that the opening of the lips is larger,
the upper lip is raised higher, the flat portion is wider, and the
under lip is a little relaxed. The form of the opening to produce _aw_
is oval; the form for _ah_ is more nearly square.

[Illustration: FIGURE 6.]

[Illustration: FIGURE 7.]

Figure 7 shows the under jaw relaxed, as it should be in practice, to
enlarge the throat and give roundness and largeness to the tone. The
use of the word _hung_ will accomplish this end.

The vowel sounds illustrated above are embodied in a series of vocal
exercises to be found in Chapter VIII on _Placing the Voice_.



It has been said that "breathing is singing." This statement is
equally applicable to speaking. While the aphorism is not literally
true, it is true that without properly controlled breathing the best
singing or speaking tone cannot be produced, for tone is but vocalized
breath; hence in the cultivation of the voice, breathing is the first
function to receive attention.

For singer or speaker, the correct use of the breathing apparatus
determines the question of success or failure; for without mastery of
the motive power all else is unavailing. For a voice user, therefore,
the first requisite is a well-developed chest, the second, complete
control of it.

It must not be supposed that a singer's breathing is something strange
or complex, for it is nothing more than _an amplification of normal,
healthy breathing_. In contrast, however, to the undisciplined casual
breathing of the general public, the singer is a professional


There are two sets of respiratory muscles, one for inspiration and
another for expiration,--twenty-two or more in all. The principal
muscles of inspiration are the diaphragm and the intercostal muscles
that elevate the ribs. The chief muscles of expiration are the four
sets of abdominal muscles and the intercostal muscles that depress the
ribs. The diaphragm is _not_ a muscle of _expiration_.


The diaphragm is in form like an inverted bowl (Fig. 8). It forms the
floor of the thorax (chest) and the roof of the abdomen. It is
attached by a strong tendon to the spinal column behind, and to the
walls of the thorax at its lowest part, which is below the ribs. In
front its attachment is to the cartilage at the pit of the stomach. It
also connects with the transverse abdominal muscle. The diaphragm
being convex, in inspiration the contraction of its fibres flattens it
downward and presses down the organs in the abdomen, thus increasing
the depth of the thorax. Expiration depends wholly on other muscles.

[Illustration: FIGURE 8.]

The muscles so far mentioned are all that need "conscious education;"
the others will act with them voluntarily, automatically. The
abdominal muscles relax during inspiration and the diaphragm relaxes
during expiration, thus rendering the forces nearly equal, though the
strength is in favor of the expiratory muscles. This is what is
needed, for the breath while speaking or singing must go out under
much greater tension than is necessary for inhalation. Inspiration
should be as free as possible from obstruction when singing or
speaking. Expiration must be under _controlled_ pressure.


The lungs are spongy bodies which have no activity of their own beyond
a little elasticity. They are controlled by the muscles of

Figure 8 shows the organs of the body in their natural positions. The
diaphragm is relaxed and curved upward, as in expiration. During
inspiration the diaphragm is drawn down until it lies nearly flat.


The intercostal muscles raise the ribs. The diaphragm is drawn down by
contraction, thus adding to the enlargement of the chest by increasing
its depth. The abdominal muscles relax and allow the stomach, liver,
and other organs in the abdomen to move downward to make room for the
depressed diaphragm. This causes a vacuum in the chest. The lungs
expand to fill this vacuum and the air rushes in to fill the expanding


The intercostal, and a part of the abdominal, muscles depress the ribs
and lessen the chest cavity anteriorly and laterally. The abdominal
muscles compress the abdomen and force up the diaphragm which is now
relaxed, thus lessening the depth of the thorax. This pressure forces
the air from the lungs and prepares them for another inspiration.


That the lateral-abdominal--more accurately chest-abdominal--breathing
is correct and natural for both male, and female, and that the
shoulders should remain as fixed as were Demosthenes' under the points
of the swords hung over them, is now so generally admitted as to need
no argument here. If any one has still a doubt on the subject let him
observe a sleeping infant. It affords a perfect example of
lateral-abdominal breathing, and no one can have a suspicion of sex
from any difference in this function. Among the lower animals sex
shows no difference in breathing at any age. All the peculiarities of
female breathing are the results of habits acquired in after life.

Chest and shoulder heaving are vicious and evidence impeded breathing.
The singer who, forgetting the lower thorax, breathes with the upper
only is sure to fail. Therefore breathe from the _lower_ part of the
trunk, using the whole muscular system coördinately--_from below_
upward. In other words breathe deeply, and _control deeply_, but with
the whole body--from below, not with the upper chest only, or with
lateral expansion only, or abdominal expansion only.

Every teacher and pupil should remember that "singing and speaking
require wind and muscle," hence the breathing power must be fully
developed. Weak breathing and failure to properly focus the voice are
the most frequent causes of singing off the key. They are much more
common and mischievous than lack of "ear."

Dr. May tested the breathing of 85 persons, most of them Indians, and
found that 79 out of the 85 used abdominal breathing. The chest
breathers were from classes "civilized" and more or less "cultured."

Nature has provided that for quiet breathing when at rest the air
shall pass through the nose. But when a person is taking active
exercise, and consequently demands more air, he naturally and of
necessity opens the mouth so as to breathe more fully. While speaking
or singing the air is necessarily taken in through the mouth.


Firmness of tone depends upon steadiness of breath pressure.
Steadiness of tone depends upon a control of the breath which allows a
minimum volume of air to pass out under sufficient tension to produce

The tension and flow of breath can be gradually lessened until the
tone vanishes and not even a whisper remains.

Power and largeness of tone depend first upon the =right use of the
resonant cavities=, and second upon the =volume of breath used under
proper control=.

In producing high tones the breath is delivered in less amount than
for the low tones, but under greater tension. Absolute control of the
breath is necessary to produce the best results of which a voice is
capable. Full control of the breath insures success to a good voice;
without it the best voice is doomed to failure.

When muscular action is fully mastered, and the proper method of
breathing understood and established, the muscles of inspiration and
expiration will act one against the other, so that the act of
breathing may be suspended at any moment, whether the lungs are full,
or partly full, or empty. This is muscular control of the breath.
Correct breathing is health giving and strength giving; it promotes
nutrition, lessens the amount of adipose tissue, and reinforces every
physical requisite essential to speaking and singing.


It cannot be too widely advertised that the surest remedy for that
torture of singers and speakers, nervousness, is the great
tranquillizer,--quiet, deep breathing, deeply controlled. The breath
of nervousness is quick, irregular, and shallow, therefore, take a
few, slow, deliberate, deep, and _rhythmic_ inhalations of pure air
through the nostrils, and the panting gasp of agitation will vanish.
As a help toward deepening the breath and overcoming the spasmodic,
clavicular habit, inhale quietly and slowly through the nose, or
slowly sip the air through the nearly closed lips as if you were
sipping the inmost breath of life itself.


To acquire control of breathing, proper exercises must be
intelligently and persistently followed. In mankind, nature seems to
have been diverted from her normal course so that we seldom find an
individual who breathes correctly without education in the matter.
What we have said on breathing is based on the premise that
respiration involves coördinate action of the body from collar-bone to
the base of the abdomen; that is, expanding and contracting the chest
and abdomen simultaneously. This is called "lateral-abdominal"
breathing; as the chest is the thoracic cavity, "abdomino-thoracic"
has been suggested as brief and more strictly scientific.

Work on any other lines fails to develop the full power and quality of
the voice. Weak breathing is a prime cause of throaty tones. In such
cases an effort is made to increase the tone by pinching the larynx.
But this compresses the vocal cords, increases the resistance to the
passage of the breath, and brings rigidities that prevent proper
resonance. The true way is to increase the wind supply, as does the


The following figures show the outline of correct breathing. The inner
abdominal line shows the limit of expiration; the outer line shows the
limit of full inspiration.

Figure 9 shows the limit of full expiration and inspiration of the
male, side view.

Figure 10 shows the lateral expansion of the ribs in both expiration
and inspiration, front view of the male.

The expansion cannot be great at this part of the chest, as the side
is so short a distance from the backbone to which the ribs are
attached. The movement of the ribs in front is much greater, as Fig. 9

Figure 11 shows the front expansion and contraction in the breathing
of the female, side view.

Figure 12 shows the lateral expansion of the chest in the female,
front view.

These diagrams are made from photographs, and thus true to life. It
will be noticed that there is no difference in the breathing outline
between these subjects. The female subject, though a good singer, had
had no training in breathing. She previously insisted that she used
only the chest breathing, and did not use the abdominal muscles, but
actual test revealed the condition to be that shown in Figure 11 and
convinced her that she was mistaken.

[Illustration: FIGURE 9.]

[Illustration: FIGURE 10.]

[Illustration: FIGURE 11.]

[Illustration: FIGURE 12.]

It is not unlikely that many other singers who now think they are
using only the high chest respiration would, if subjected to the same
test, find themselves similarly mistaken.

The contraction incident to forced expiration is much more tense than
the enlargement of forced inspiration. When singing or speaking,
forced inspiration is not used. Experience shows that the change in
size of the body during speaking or singing is usually small.
Occasionally, long passages in music demand that the expulsive power
of the breathing apparatus be used to its limit.


The quantity of air taken in with a single inspiration is, in quiet
breathing, according to Prof. Mills,[3] from twenty to thirty cubic
inches, but this may be increased in the deepest inspiration to about
one hundred cubic inches. In forcible expiration about one hundred
cubic inches may be expelled, but even then the residual air that
cannot be expelled is about one hundred cubic inches.

[Footnote 3: Dr. Wesley Mills, _Voice Production_, 1906.]

It is not, however, the quantity of breath inhaled that is
significant, it is the amount _controlled_. Get, therefore, all the
breath necessary, and keep it, but without undue effort and _without

To test the amount of breath used in prolonged vocalization, a person
skilled in the art of breathing, after an ordinary inspiration, closed
his lips, stopped his nostrils, and began to vocalize. He found that
the mouth with distended cheeks held sufficient breath to continue a
substantial tone for twenty-three seconds.

While these experiments show that very little amount or force of
breath is needed to produce effective tones, the impression must exist
in the mind of the performer that there is a free flow of breath
through the larynx; otherwise the tone will seem restricted and will
be weak. The forced holding back of the breath begets a restraint that
has a bad effect on the singer's delivery. While the breath must be
controlled, there is such a thing as an exaggerated "breath control"
that makes free delivery of the voice impossible.

It is quite possible to _overcrowd_ the lungs with air. Do not,
therefore, make the mistake of always taking the largest possible
breath. Reserve this for the climaxes, and inhale according to the
requirements of the phrase and its dynamics. The constant taking of
too much breath is a common mistake, but trying to sing too long on
one breath is another.


The breath force when properly employed seems to be expended in
starting the vibrations in the larynx; the vibrations are then
transmitted to the air in the resonance cavities, and there the
perfected tone sets the outer air in motion, through which the tone
vibrations are conveyed to the ear of the listener.


The correctly trained singer or speaker will never allow the breath
power to be exhausted. Some breath should be taken in at every
convenient interval between the words, according to the punctuation,
but never between syllables of a word; this is correct phrasing. In
this way the lungs are kept nearly full, and breathing is at its best.

The chief cause of breath exhaustion is _wasted_ breath. This waste
comes from exhaling more breath (more motive power) than the tone
requires, and _breath that does not become tone is wasted_. This fault
is largely induced by lack of proper resonance adjustment.

The singer should always feel able to sing another note or to speak
another word. To sing or speak thirty or forty counts with one breath
is useful practice but poor performance. Occasionally, long runs in
singing may compel an exception. Half-empty lungs lower the pitch of
the tone, lessen the resonance, and weaken the voice, rendering the
last note of the song and the last word of the sentence inaudible. The
breathing must not be forced, but enough air must be furnished to
produce the proper full vibrations.


What then does perfect control of the breath mean?

1. Ability to fill the lungs to their capacity either quickly or

2. Ability to breathe out as quickly or slowly as the occasion

3. Ability to suspend inspiration, with the throat open, whether the
lungs are full or not, and to resume the process at will without
having lost any of the already inspired air.

4. Ability to exhale under the same restrictions.

The above four points are common to speaking and singing, but singing
involves further:

5. Ability to sing and sustain the voice on an _ordinary_ breath.

6. Ability to _quietly_ breathe as often as text and phrase permit.

7. Ability to breathe so that the fullest inspiration _brings no

8. Ability to so economize the breath that the _reserve is never

9. The ability to breathe so naturally, so unobtrusively, that
_neither breath nor lack of breath is ever suggested to the
listener_--this is the very perfection of the art.



Enough has been said in the preceding chapter to make clear the
necessity of breath control, and to show what constitutes this control
for the singer--the professional breather.

If the singer's breathing is nothing but an amplification of normal,
healthy breathing, why dwell upon it, why not let it develop of

Unfortunately, many teachers have taken this attitude, overlooking the
fact that, although life is dependent on normal, healthy breathing,
such breathing is, in civilized communities, not the rule but the
exception, simply because normal living is rare; the artificiality of
modern life forbids it. The high pressure under which most people live
induces mental tension together with the consequent nervous and
muscular tension. We are, without being conscious of it, so habituated
to unnatural tension that automatic breathing is shallow and irregular
instead of being deep and rhythmic.

The task, therefore, is to reclaim a neglected birthright--natural
breathing--to make it habitual and amplify it.


1. Breathing exercises to be invigorating and purifying demand plenty
of fresh air.

2. At first do not practise longer than ten minutes at a time, three
times a day.

3. Gradually lengthen the time without overdoing. When tired stop.

4. The best time is before dressing in the morning, with the window
open. The worst time is directly after a meal.

5. Maintain throughout an easy, flexible poise.

6. Breathe as _deeply_ as possible without abdominal distention. The
greatest expansion should be felt at the lower end of the breast-bone.

7. Breathe as _broadly_ as possible, expanding the sides without

8. Breathe as _high_ as possible without shoulder movement or

9. Use not the high breath alone, or the mid-breath, or the low
breath, but use the _complete_ breath.

10. Breathe _rhythmically_ by counting mentally.

11. Breathe _thoughtfully_ rather than mechanically.

12. Do not crowd the lungs or lay stress on the mere quantity of air
you can inhale. The intake of breath is, for the singer, secondary to
its control, economy, and application in song. Increase of lung
capacity will duly appear.

13. When not singing, speaking or practising an exercise that demands
it, _keep your mouth shut_.


Dress the neck and body loosely, so as to give the throat and trunk
perfect freedom. Place the hands on the hips, so as to free the chest
from the weight of the arms. Stand erect, evenly upon the balls of the
feet; the body straight, but not strained. Raise the back of the head
slightly without bending the neck. This action will straighten the
spine, place the chest forward, and bring the abdomen backward into
its proper relation.

The great majority of people are shallow breathers, chest breathers,
who when told to take a "deep breath" do not know what is meant. It is
therefore necessary for them first to learn what a deep breath is, and
then how to take it.

Exercise I


Before rising in the morning, remove your pillow and while flat on
your back place one hand lightly on the abdomen, the other on the
lower ribs. Relax the whole body, giving up your whole weight to the
bed. Inhale through the nostrils slowly, evenly, and deeply, while
mentally counting one, two, three, four, etc. As you inhale, notice
(_a_) the gradual expansion of the abdomen, (_b_) the side expansion
of the lower ribs, (_c_) the rise and inflation of the chest, without
raising the shoulders. Hold the breath while mentally counting four
(four seconds), then suddenly let the breath go, and notice the
collapse of the abdomen and lower chest. Remember _the inspiration
must be slow and deep, the expiration sudden and complete_. Practise
this preliminary exercise for not more than ten minutes each morning
for a week. The second week hold the breath six seconds, instead of
four, and gradually increase the time, without overdoing.

While, for a novice, the exercises may be taken at first in bed, this
is but a preliminary to their practise standing in easy poise as
directed in the preceding section.

Exercise II


Inhale as in I; hold the breath four counts (seconds) or more; then
expel the air vigorously in one breath through the wide open mouth.
The beginner is often helped in acquiring a deep breath by slowly
sipping breath. Therefore as a variant to Exercise II practise:

Exercise III


Through the smallest possible opening of the lips, while mentally
counting, inhale very slowly and steadily; hold two to four counts,
then expel the air all at once through the wide open mouth.

Exercise IV


To more completely arouse dormant muscles that should play an
important part in breathing, place the hands against the sides, thumbs
well back, take, through the nostrils or the slightly parted lips,
six short catch-breaths, moving the ribs _out at the side_ with each
catch-breath. Hold the breath two counts, and exhale through the mouth
with six short expiratory puffs, drawing the ribs _in at the side_
with each puff.

Exercise V


Inhale as in I, while mentally counting one, two, three, four, etc.,
until the inhalation seems complete. Hold the breath four or more
counts; then exhale through the nostrils slowly and evenly while
mentally counting to the number reached in the inspiration. With
practice the number of counts will gradually increase. Do not,
however, force the increase. The muscles that control inspiration are
powerful; do not, therefore, make the mistake of seeking to control
expiration by contraction of the glottis. Practise these exercises
with an open throat and depend on the breathing muscles for control of
the outgoing air. Remember that _singing is control of breath in

Exercise VI


Inhale through the nostrils quickly, deeply, and forcefully (one
count); hold two counts; exhale through the nostrils evenly, steadily,
and as slowly as possible while mentally counting one, two, three,
four, etc. With practice gradually increase the number of counts for
the exhalation.

Exercise VII


The Cavalier, Don Carlo Broschi, better known as Farinelli
(1705-1782), the world's greatest singer in bravura and coloratura,
was a pupil of Porpora and Bernacchi. There was no branch of the art
which he did not carry to the highest perfection, and the successes of
his youth did not prevent him from continuing his study, or, when his
name was famous, from acquiring by much perseverance another style
and a superior method. His breath control was considered so marvelous
in that day of great singers, it is said, that the art of taking and
keeping the breath so softly and easily that no one could perceive it
began and died with him. He is said to have spent several hours daily
in practising the following exercise:

As in Exercise III, sip the breath slowly and steadily through the
smallest possible opening of the lips; hold it a few counts, then
exhale very slowly and steadily through the smallest possible opening
of the lips.

Farinelli's exercise is not for beginners.

Exercise VIII


For ventilating and sweeping the lungs, for quick refreshment after
fatigue, and for use always at the close of your exercises, inhale
through the nostrils slowly a complete breath; hold two to four
counts, purse the lips tightly and expel through them a small puff of
air, hold two counts, puff one, hold two counts, puff one, and so on
until the exhalation is complete. A few trials should convince you
that this simple exercise is of great value.


In both singing and speaking, the sustained delivery of long phrases
or sentences sometimes makes unusual demands on the breath supply. It
is a law of good singing that every phrase should end with the breath
unexhausted. When the flow of text and music forbid the taking of a
full breath, half-breaths must be quietly taken at convenient points.
Instead of letting the whole reservoir of motive power exhaust itself
and then completely refill it, we should, by taking these
half-breaths, maintain a reserve. A notable advocate of the use of the
half-breath in singing is that past mistress of sustained and smooth
delivery, Marcella Sembrich.



The subject of registers has always been the _bête noire_ of
vocalists, a source of controversy and confusion. The term "register,"
as commonly used, means a series of tones of a characteristic clang or
quality, produced by the same mechanism. The term "break" is generally
used to indicate the point at which a new register with sudden change

The advocates of registers lay stress either on the changes in
laryngeal action, or the changes in tone quality. Before the days of
the laryngoscope, registers were treated simply as different qualities
of tone, characterizing a certain portion of the voice's compass.

Those who encourage the cultivation of register consciousness claim to
do so for the sake of the differences in tone-color which they
associate with the different "registers." The purpose of the following
chapters is to show that the quality or color of a tone is altogether
a matter of resonance, and _not_ a question of laryngeal action.

Moreover, the mechanism of the larynx is not voluntary in its action,
but automatic, and even if a singer knew how the vocal cords should
act it would not help him in the least to govern their action. The
fact is that the results of laryngoscopic study of the vocal cords
have been disappointing and contradictory and investigators have
failed to define what correct laryngeal action is. There are those who
even deny that the vocal cords govern the pitch of the voice.

In her thoughtful _Philosophy of Singing_, Clara Kathleen Rogers,
while upholding "registers," says that considered physiologically "the
different registers of the voice should be regarded by the singer as
only so many _modifications in the quality of tone_, which
modifications are inherent in the voice itself." She then adds
significantly: "These modifications are not brought about by conscious
adjustments of the parts employed, as any interference with the parts
will produce that obstacle to quality we call a 'break.'"

One of the greatest of modern singers, Mme. Lilli Lehmann, in her
interesting work, _How to Sing_, says: "Do registers exist by nature?
No. It may be said that they are created through long years of
speaking in the vocal range that is easiest to the person, or in one
adopted by imitation." She speaks of three ranges of the voice, or,
rather, three sections of the vocal range, as chest, middle, and head,
saying, "All three form registers _when exaggerated_." After speaking
of the hopeless confusion that results from clinging to the
appellations of chest, middle, and head _register_, confounding voice
with register, she concludes:

"As long as the word 'register' is kept in use the registers will not
disappear, and yet the register question must be swept away, to give
place to another class of ideas, sounder views on the part of
teachers, and a truer conception on the part of singers and pupils."

The trend of recent thought on this subject is further shown in
Ffrangcon-Davies' important work, _The Singing of the Future_, where,
having in mind "the useless torture to which thousands of students
have been subjected," he characterizes "breaks" and "registers" as
"paraphernalia supplied by credulity to charlatanism"; and adds: "How
many a poor pupil has become a practical monomaniac on the subject of
_that break in my voice between D and D sharp_!"

My own studies convince me that there is but one register, or, rather,
no such thing as register, save as it applies to the compass of the
voice; and that chest, middle, head, and all other registers are
creations of false education. Training based upon the theory of many
registers results in an artificial and unnatural division of the


The organ of the voice has long been considered the analogue of every
other instrument except in regard to registers. Investigation
indicates that it is analogous in this respect also. Compare the voice
instrument with the pianoforte, violin, and organ and the similarity
will plainly appear. The artificial instruments undergo no change when
making a tone of higher or lower pitch other than the attuning of the
vibrator to the pitch desired. All other parts remain the same. So
when the voice is correctly focused and delivered, the only change
incident to altered pitch is that made in the vibrator so as to give
the proper number of vibrations for the pitch required. If the scale
is sung down, using the same vowel sound for the whole scale, the
comparison will be appreciated; the pupil will not be conscious of any
change in the vocal organ or experience any difficulty in descending
the scale. Faithful advocates of the theory of many registers say:
"Whenever in doubt about the production of a tone, sing _down_ to it
from some tone above it, never _upward_ from a tone below," for they
find that singing down "blends the registers." This we believe is
because in singing down muscular and nerve tension is gradually
relaxed and consequently there is no "register" change in the voice.

A study of the church organ will, I think, make this matter clear. The
organ has many so-called registers, as the _vox humana_, _flute_,
_oboe_, etc. These differ in the character of tone produced, because
of the size and shape of the different sets of pipes and the material,
wood or metal, of which they are made. But each similarly constructed
set of pipes forms only one register, and the pitch of the set varies
from low to high without any abrupt change in quality. All the tones
are produced by the same methods and means, the bellows, the vibrator,
and the pipe. In length and diameter, the pipe is proper to the tone
produced: a short pipe of small diameter for the high tones, and a
long, wide pipe for the bass tones.

The short vibrations of the high tones are perceived by the ear as
affecting the air only, while the tones of the lowest bass pipes
shake the solid foundations as well as the superstructure. So with the
human voice. The coarser tissues cannot answer to the short vibrations
of the upper tones, because they cannot move so quickly, while they
can, and do, respond to the vibrations of the low tones. This may
cause some difference in degree, but not in kind. With all tones
focused alike, the low tones of the human organ may be regarded as
head tones plus the vibrations of the coarser tissues.

It has been said of registers that they are "acoustic illusions which
disappear in the perfectly trained voice." As soon as the singer has
learned to use his voice normally all these defective changes


The following incident illustrates the fact that registers are an
artificial creation: A young lady who had been a patient of the author
since her childhood studied elocution in a metropolitan city, and to
improve her voice took vocal music lessons of a teacher of more than
local repute. He found no end of trouble in teaching her to "blend the
registers," and she had utterly failed to acquire the art. One summer
she came back for professional services and told her troubles. During
the few weeks of her stay she followed the author's suggestions, and
was fully convinced of their correctness and efficiency. Upon
returning to her lessons, she followed, without any explanations, the
method that had been outlined for her. Her success in "blending the
registers" was a surprise to her teacher who heartily congratulated
her upon what she had accomplished during the summer.

Another case is that of a young lady who was under the author's
direction as to vocal culture from childhood. As early as four years
of age she was taught by the use of a few exercises to focus the voice
in the nose and head, and to recognize the head vibrations by a light
touch of the finger. When about seven years old, she took ten lessons
of a teacher on the same lines, and at fifteen years of age took
another brief course. In the meantime she had only the practice
obtained by singing with the pupils in the schools she attended.
Later, of her own volition, she sang more, and carefully applied the
principles she had been taught, with the result that her voice
compassed nearly two octaves, evenly and smoothly, with no break or
change of focus or quality, or other intimation of "register," and she
developed a speaking voice of more than ordinary quality and

It has also been my lot to aid in the development of the voices of
many patients after a surgical operation for cleft palate. Success has
proven the correctness and efficacy of the principles set forth in
these pages.

A majority of the more than fifty authors whose works I have examined
have laid great stress on the distinction between head and chest
tones, open and closed tones, pure and impure tones, have warned
against the nasal tone, and have constantly advocated a natural tone.
That there is no essential difference between a head tone and a chest
tone has already been discussed and, it would seem, conclusively
proven. Any tone, closed or open, is pure and musical if properly
focused and delivered, and the singer is at liberty to use either upon
any note of the scale if it will serve better to express the sentiment
he wishes to convey to the hearer. The cooing of the love song, the
cry of alarm for help, and the shout of the military charge require
very different qualities of voice to express the feelings, yet each
may be musical and will be so if properly delivered.



The intimate relationship existing between voice culture and the
science of acoustics was formerly slightly perceived. The teaching of
singing, as an art, then rested altogether on an empirical basis, and
the acoustics of singing had not received the attention of scientists.

With the publication in 1863 of Helmholtz's great work[4] a new era
began, although singer and scientist yet continue to look upon each
other with suspicion. Teachers of the voice, casting about for a
scientific basis for their work, were greatly impressed with
Helmholtz's revelations in regard to vocal resonance--the fact that
tones are modified in quality as well as increased in power by the
resonance of the air in the cavities of pharynx and head.

[Footnote 4: _Die Lehre von den Tonempfindungen als physiologische
Grundlage für die Theorie der Musik._ (The Sensations of Tone as a
Physiological Basis for the Theory of Music.)]

Writing in 1886, Edmund J. Meyer speaks of the importance of a "study
of the influence of the different resonance cavities as the voice is
colored by one or the other, and the tuning each to each and each to
all"; yet, he adds, "the subject is seldom heard of outside of books."

The basic importance of resonance in the use of the voice is still too
little recognized, though obvious enough in the construction of
musical instruments. With the exception of a few instruments of
percussion, all musical instruments possess three elements,--a
_motor_, a _vibrator_, and a _resonator_. The violin has the moving
bow for a motor, the strings for a vibrator, and the hollow body for a
resonator. The French horn has the lungs of the performer for a motor,
the lips for a vibrator, and the gradually enlarging tube, terminating
in the flaring bell, for a resonator. In the pianoforte the
hammer-stroke, the strings, and the sounding-board perform the
corresponding offices. Though improvements in other parts of the piano
have done much to increase the volume of the tone, yet in the radical
change of form, size, and other physical qualities of the
sounding-board consists the evolution of the modern pianoforte from
the primitive clavichord.

In all these instruments the quality and power of the tone depend upon
the presence of these three elements,--the perfection of their
construction, their proper relation as to size and position, and the
perfect adaptation of each part. A split sounding-board spoils the
pianoforte, the indented bell destroys the sweet tone of the French
horn, and a cracked fiddle is the synonym for pandemonium itself.

The quality and power of resonance is well illustrated by a
tuning-fork, which, if set in vibration, can, unaided, scarcely be
heard by the person holding it. But if rested on a table, or a plate
of glass, or, better still, on the bridge of a violin, its tones may
be distinctly heard throughout a large hall.

The vibrating violin string when detached from the body of this
instrument, although attuned to pitch, gives absolutely no musical
sound; the lips of the player placed on the mouthpiece detached from
the tube and bell of the brass instrument produce only a splutter; and
a pianoforte without a sounding-board is nil. The air column in the
tube of the French horn, and the sounding-board of the pianoforte
develop the vibrations caused by the lips and strings into musical
tones pleasing to the ear. The tuning-fork alone can scarcely be
heard, while the induced vibrations it sets up through properly
adjusted resonance may be audible far away.

The vocal cords alone cannot make music any more than can the lips of
the cornet player apart from his instrument. _The tone produced by the
vibrations alone of the two very small vocal bands must, in the nature
of things, be very feeble._

Ninety-and-nine persons if asked the question, what produces tone in
the human-voice, would reply, "the vibrations of the vocal cords,"
and stop there, as if that were all; whereas the answer is very
incomplete--not even half an answer.

A great deal of the irrational and injurious "teaching" of singing
that prevails everywhere, and of the controversy that befogs the
subject, is due to the widely prevalent notion that the little vocal
cords are the principal cause of tone, whereas they are in themselves
insignificant as sound producers.

=It is the vibrations of the air in the resonance chambers of the human
instrument, together with the induced vibrations of the instrument
itself, which give tone its sonority, its reach, its color, and
emotional power.=

That this is not an empirical statement but a scientific fact, a few
simple experiments will demonstrate.

Tone, in the musical sense, is the result of rapid periodic vibration.
The pitch of tone depends upon the _number_ of vibrations in a given
period; the loudness of tone depends upon the _amplitude_ of the
vibrations; the quality of tone depends upon the _form_ of the
vibrations; and the form of the vibrations depends upon the

The fact that pure white light is a compound of all the tints of the
rainbow into which it may be resolved by the prism is well known, but
the analogous fact that a pure musical tone is a compound of tones of
different rates of vibration, tones of different pitch, is not so much
a matter of common knowledge, and not so obvious.

Analysis shows that a musical tone consists of a fundamental note and
a series of overtones.[5] The ear is quite capable of recognizing many
of these overtones and may be trained to do so. The most obvious can
be readily separated from a fundamental by a simple experiment.

[Footnote 5: For fuller exposition see Tyndall on _Sound_, or the
section devoted to _Acoustics_ in any text-book on Physics.]

The overtones arrange themselves in a definite order, as follows: (1)
the fundamental or prime tone; (2) an overtone one octave above the
fundamental; (3) an overtone a fifth above No. 2; (4) an overtone a
fourth above No. 3 (two octaves above the fundamental); (5) an
overtone a major third above No. 4; (6) an overtone a minor third
above No. 5. There are others in still higher range but those
indicated are easily demonstrated on the piano. For C they would be as

[Music illustration]

Experiment I

Step to your piano, noiselessly press and hold down the key of No. 2,
then strike the fundamental No. 1, with force and immediately release
it. As a result No. 2 will sound clearly, and if your ears are keen
you will at the same time hear No. 6. In succession hold down the keys
of 3, 4, 5, and 6, while you strike and release the fundamental No. 1.
If your piano is "in tune" you will probably hear No. 6 when holding
the key of any other note of the series.

In a musical tone of rich quality the overtones just indicated are
present in their fulness, while tone that is weak and thin is made so
by the absence or weakness of the overtones. I have stated that the
quality of a tone depends on the _form_ of its vibrations, and that
the form of its vibrations is determined by the character of the
_resonator_. We can now amplify this by saying that while the relative
presence or absence of overtones determines the clang or color of a
tone, their presence or absence is determined by the _character of the

An English writer records that he was once in the garden at the back
of a house while a gentleman was singing in the drawing-room. The
tone-quality was good, and the pitch so unusually high he hastened to
learn who sang tenor high C so beautifully. On entering the room,
instead of the tenor he had supposed, he found the singer was a
baritone, and the note sung was only middle C. The fundamental tone
had not reached him in the garden but the first overtone, an octave
above it, had. Concrete illustrations will make the subject still

Experiment II

If an ordinary tuning-fork when vibrating is held in the hand its
intrinsic tone is too weak to carry far. Rest the handle of the
vibrating fork on a bare table or the panel of the door, and the sound
is greatly augmented. _The vibrations of the fork have by contact
induced similar vibrations in the wooden table or panel which
reinforce the primary tone._

Experiment III

Place the handle of the vibrating tuning-fork on a small upturned
empty box, or, better still, in contact with the body of a violin, and
the sound will be stronger than in the previous experiment, because to
the vibrations of the wood are added the vibrations of the air
enclosed in the box or the violin. _To the resonance of the wood has
been added the sympathetic resonance of the confined air._

Experiment IV

Hold the vibrating fork over the mouth of an empty fruit-jar and there
will probably be little or no reinforcement; but gently pour in water,
thereby shortening the air column within the jar, and the sound of the
fork will be gradually intensified until at a certain point it becomes
quite loud. If you pour in still more water the sound will gradually
become feebler. This shows that _for every tone an air column of a
certain size most powerfully reinforces that tone_.

Experiment V

As a sequence to the last experiment, take two fruit-jars of the same
size, and, having learned to what point to fill them for the greatest
resonance, fill one jar (after warming it) to the required point with
hot water, the other with cold water, and you will find that the
resonance of the heated, therefore expanded, air is much less than the
denser air of the cold jar. This shows that _the degree of density of
the air affects its resonance_.

Experiment VI

To demonstrate the resonance of the oral cavity, apart from the voice,
hold a vibrating tuning-fork before the open mouth. Vary the shape and
size of the cavity until the sound of the fork suddenly increases in
volume, showing that the right adjustment for resonance has been made.
_This intensification of the sound is due to the vibration of the air
in the mouth cavity, together with the sympathetic vibration of the
surrounding walls._

Experiment VII

As an illustration of sympathetic resonance without contact, sing
forcibly a tone that is within easy range, and at the same time
silently hold down the corresponding key of the piano. On ceasing to
sing you will hear the tone sounding in the piano. This may be further
illustrated by playing on the open string of one violin while another,
tuned to the same pitch, rests untouched near by. Through _sympathetic
resonance_ the corresponding string of the second violin will vibrate
and sound its note. The louder the first violin is played the louder
will be the sympathetic tone of the second.

The deep pedal-tones of a church organ often induce sympathetic
resonance that may be felt beneath the feet of the listener. One
writer, a singer, speaks of living in the same house with two
deaf-mutes. He lodged on the first floor, they on the third. One day,
meeting at luncheon, one of the deaf-mutes told the singer that he had
begun practice earlier that morning than usual. Surprised, the writer
asked how he knew. The deaf-mute replied that they always knew when he
was singing because they felt the floor of their room vibrate.

If tone vibrations can be transmitted so readily throughout a house,
it is not difficult to understand how easily the vibrations of bone
and tissue can be transmitted until the whole framework of the body
responds in perceptible vibration.

It is said that Pascal at the age of twelve wrote a dissertation on
acoustics suggested by his childish discovery that when a metal dish
was struck by a knife the resulting sound could be stopped by touching
the vibrating dish with a finger.

With this in mind it is not difficult to understand how compression of
the human instrument by the pressure of tight clothing without, or by
false muscular tension within, must interfere with its free vibration
and so rob the produced tone of just so much of perfection.

From these experiments we can understand that, while the tones of the
voice are initiated by or at the vocal cords, the volume and character
of the tones are dependent upon _resonance_,--the vibration of the air
in the various resonance chambers of the body, together with the
sympathetic vibration of the walls of these chambers and the bony
framework that supports them.

In respect to resonance, as in other respects, the human voice is far
superior to all other instruments, for their resonators are fixed and
unchanging, while the human resonator is flexible,--in Helmholtz's
words "admits of much variety of form, so that many more qualities of
tone can be thus produced than on any instrument of artificial

We are now prepared to realize the error of the common notion that
loudness of tone is due entirely to increase of breath pressure on the
vocal cords. Simple experiments with the tuning-fork have shown that
while the volume of sound it gives forth is due in part to the
amplitude of its vibrations, its loudness is _chiefly_ due to the
character of the _resonance_ provided for it.

The larger the resonance chamber the greater is its reinforcing
capacity. The largest air chamber in the body is the chest, which
serves not only as a wind-chest, but as a resonance chamber. The
necessity for chest expansion, therefore, is not, as generally
supposed, merely for air, but to increase its size as a resonance

In view of the laws of tone, how great is the common error of speaking
of the larynx as if it alone were the vocal organ, when the principal
vibrations are _above_ the vocal cords in the chambers of _resonance_!

Since the musical value, the beauty of tone, as well as its volume,
comes only from right use of the resonator, our principal business
must be the acquiring control of the vibratory air current _above the
larynx_. The acquirement of this control involves the proper focusing
or placing of the tone, with the free uncramped use of all the vocal
organs; power will then take care of itself.



Of the four component factors in the production of speech and song,
the first, the _motor_, has been considered in Chapter III, and the
second, the _vibrator_, in Chapter I.

In one respect there is marked contrast between these two factors.
Until right habits are so thoroughly formed that the singer's
breathing is automatically controlled, conscious effort is necessary,
while the action of the vibrator, the vocal cords, is involuntary, not
subject to conscious control.

The subtle adjustments of the delicate mechanism of the larynx belong
to the realm of reflex action--to a spontaneous activity that, left
unhindered, does its part in perfect nicety.

The vocal cords must, in their action, be free from the disturbance of
uncontrolled breath action below them, or the hindrance due to
misdirected effort above them. To direct consciousness to the vocal
cords is to cramp them and prevent that free vibration and that
perfect relaxation of the throat without which pure tone and true
pitch are impossible.

As a surgeon I well know the value of thorough anatomical knowledge,
but from the singer's standpoint I cannot too strongly emphasize the
unwisdom of directing the attention of sensitively organized pupils to
their vocal mechanism by means of the laryngoscope. This instrument
belongs to the physician, not to the singer.

The importance of the third factor, the _resonator_, has been
considered in Chapter V, on Resonance, but the fourth element in voice
production, _articulation_, is so coördinated to resonance that the
significance and primacy of the latter are too often overlooked.

Placing or "focusing the voice" I have found to be chiefly a matter
of control and use of the resonator, consisting of chest, pharynx,
mouth, and the nasal and head cavities.

A tone lacking in resonance is ineffective,--devoid of carrying
power,--is diffuse and unfocused; while a resonant tone, no matter how
soft dynamically, has carrying power and is focused in its vibration.

Now "voice placing" depends primarily on correct _vowel placing_,
which in turn depends on proper adjustment of the resonators, which
again depends chiefly on the positions and motions of the organs of
articulation. The interdependence of tone quality and pronunciation is
therefore obvious.

Constant emphasis must be laid upon the fact that focusing a tone is a
matter of resonance, and that perhaps the most important element in
this is _nasal_ resonance. In this country, particularly, teachers
have, in their desire to overcome the too common nasal twang,
mistakenly sought to shut out the nasal chamber from all participation
in speech and song.

There are those who, partly recognizing the importance of _head_
resonance, would secure it while ignoring _nasal_ resonance. It is
impossible to secure head resonance in this fashion, for it is only
through free nasal resonance that the coördinate resonance in the air
sinuses above the nasal cavity and connected with it can be

The fear of nasal twang and failure to distinguish between it and true
nasal resonance has been the stumbling block. They are very
different,--one is to be shunned, the other to be cultivated. The
first is an obvious blemish, the second is an important essential of
good singing.

Nasal tones are caused by a raised or stiffened tongue, a sagging soft
palate, a stiffened jaw, or by other rigidities that prevent free tone
emission and which at the same time--note this--prevent true nasal

As tone, or vocalized breath, issues from the larynx, it is divided
into two streams or currents by the pendent veil of the soft palate.
One stream flows directly into the mouth, where it produces oral
resonance; the other stream passes through the nasopharynx into the
hollow chambers of the face and head, inducing nasal and head

It is commonly supposed that tone passing in whole or in part through
the nasal cavities must be nasal in quality; whereas a tone of
objectionable nasal quality can be sung equally well with the nostrils
either closed or open.

Browne and Behnke state the matter thus: "However tight the closure of
the soft palate may be, it is never sufficient to prevent the air in
the nasal cavities being thrown into co-vibrations with that in the
mouth. These co-vibrations are, in fact, necessary for a certain
amount of the brilliancy of the voice, and if they are prevented by a
stoppage of the posterior openings of the nasal passages, the voice
will sound dull and muffled. This is of course due, to an _absence of
nasal resonance_, and must on no account be described as nasal
_twang_. It is, indeed, the very opposite of it."

Nasal tone quality and nasal resonance must not be confounded. A nasal
tone is constricted, while a tone with nasal resonance is free. Again,
a tone may be unmarred by the nasal quality, yet if it lacks nasal
resonance it lacks vibrancy, carrying power.

Nasal tones are produced, not because the vibrations pass through the
nasal passage, but because they are obstructed in their passage
through them. A nasal tone is always a cramped tone, due to
impediment, tension, or muscular contraction, particularly in the

The congestion and consequent thickening of the mucous membrane lining
the cavities of the nose and head, resulting from a cold, make the
tone muffled and weak, owing to the inability of the parts to respond
to the vibrations and add to the tone normal nasal resonance.

The elder Booth (Junius Brutus), about 1838, suffered from a broken
nose which defaced his handsome visage and spoiled his splendid voice.
His disability was so great that afterward he seldom played. That the
cause of this impairment of Booth's voice was due to the contraction
and more or less complete obstruction of the nasal passages is too
evident to call for comment.

Many singers have sweet but characterless voices that lack the
fulness, power, and ring they might have because they fail to avail
themselves of the augmenting power of the resonance cavities. The
singer must learn to habitually use all of the resonance cavities and
use them simultaneously.

Lilli Lehmann, in _How to Sing_, says that, "although the nasal sound
can be exaggerated,--which rarely happens,--it can be much
neglected,--something that very often happens." The context makes
clear that what in the English translation of the great singer's book
is called "nasal sound" is exactly what we term _nasal resonance_.

After charging the monotonous quality or lack of color in the voice of
a famous opera star to lack of nasal resonance, Madame Lehmann speaks
of the consummate art of Marcella Sembrich who "in recent years
appears to have devoted very special study to nasal resonance, whereby
her voice, especially in the middle register, has gained greatly in
warmth." She says further that nasal resonance "cannot be studied
enough. It ought always to be employed." "How often," she says, "have
I heard young singers say, 'I no longer have the power to respond to
the demands made upon me,' whereas the trouble lies only in the
insufficient use of the resonance of the head cavities."

From the foregoing, the conclusion follows that the head vibrations
are not only an essential element, but that nasal resonance is a most
important element in imparting to tone its brilliance and carrying
power. Without thought of the mechanism of _how_ nasal resonance is
produced, the singer has control over it by direct influence of the
will. The tones, low as well as high, should seem to start in the nose
and head, and the vibrations of the perfect tone can be plainly felt
upon any part of the nose and head. Without the head vibrations no
tone can be perfect, for nothing else will compensate for the lack of
these. Vocal organs used as here described will suffer no fatigue
from reasonable use; hoarseness will be to them a thing unknown, and
"minister's sore throat" an unheard of complaint. Not only is faulty
voice production a source of great discomfort, but it is the cause of
many diseases of the chest, throat, and head.

The gentle practice in easy range of the exercises given in the
chapter following, will do much to restore a normal condition.



What is called "placing the voice" or "tone production" or "focusing
the voice" is, as already stated in the previous chapter, chiefly a
matter of resonance--of control of the resonator. Now vocalization is
largely vowelization, and vocal tones are a complex of sound and
resonance. The character of a vowel is given it by the shape of the
vowel chamber; and the shaping of the vowel chamber depends upon
delicate adjustment of the movable parts,--jaw, lips, cheeks, tongue,
veil of the palate, and pharynx. While this adjustment is made through
more or less conscious muscular action, the parts must never be forced
into position; local effort to this end will invariably defeat itself.
The important consideration in all voice movements is a flexible,
_natural_ action of all the parts, and all the voice movements are so
closely allied, so sympathetically related, that if one movement is
constrained the others cannot be free. It is a happy fact that _the
right way is the easiest way_, and a fundamental truth that =right
effort is the result of right thought=. From these axiomatic principles
we deduce the very first rule for the singer and speaker,--=THINK the
right tone, mentally picture it; then concentrate upon the picture,
not upon the mechanism=.


There are two sound criterions for judging the correctness of vocal
action,--first, the _ease_ of the action, its naturalness, its
flexibility. As Mills concisely states it: "He sings or speaks best
who attains the end with the least expenditure of energy." Second, the
_beauty_ of the result. Harsh, unlovely tones are a sure indication of
misplaced effort, of tension somewhere, of wrong action. On the other
hand the nearer the tones approach to perfection the closer does the
organism come to correct action. _Beauty of tone_, then, is the truest
indication of proper vocal action.

Judgment as to the relative beauty of a tone depends on the training
of the ear. Pupils should habitually listen to their own voices, for
between the hearing and feeling of the voice a knowledge of progress
can be obtained. The function of the ear in governing voice production
is thus stated by Prof. Mills: "The nervous impulses that pass from
the ear to the brain are the most important guides in determining the
necessary movements." Mr. Ffrangcon-Davies maintains that, "The
training of the ear is one-half of the training of the voice." The
student should improve every opportunity to hear the best singers and
speakers, for both consciously and unconsciously we learn much by
imitation. Good examples are often our best teachers.

Keeping well in mind the principles stated above, we are now ready to
begin their application in placing the voice--that is, in setting it
free--not by learning some strange and difficult action, but by
cultivating normal action.


The following exercises are designed for the primary development of a
correct tone and for the test of the perfection of every tone at every
stage of development. They are based upon the assumption that all
tones of the voice should be focused and delivered precisely alike.
Their use should constitute a part of the daily practice of the singer
or speaker.

I give but few exercises for each point to be gained. Intelligent
teachers and pupils will add an infinite variety to suit each case,
but the exercises given appear to me to be the best for initial
practice. It is important that each exercise in its order shall be
thoroughly mastered before taking up the next. Only in this way can
rapid progress be made, for it is not the multiplicity of exercises,
but the thoughtful application of principles in the few, that leads to

The sound of _hng_ will always place the voice in proper focus by
developing the resonance of the nose and head. The thin bones of the
nose will first respond to the sound and after practice the vibrations
can be felt on any part of the head and even more distinctly on the
low than on the high tones. To attain this, repeat the sound _hung_
times without number, prolonging the _ng_ sound at least four counts.
To insure the proper course of the vowel sounds through the nasal
passages, follow _hung_ with the vowel _ee_, as this vowel is more
easily focused than any other; then with _oo_, _oh_, _aw_ and _ah_.

_Ah_ is by far the most difficult sound to focus and should never be
used for initial practice. Much valuable time has been lost by the
custom of using this sound at first. It should come last.

The _h_ is chosen to introduce the vowel sound because in the
preparation to produce the sound of the letter _h_ the epiglottis is
wide open and the vocal cords entirely relaxed, and because less
change of the tongue is required when the vowel sound follows.

Preliminary Exercise

_Practise this softly on any pitch easy for the voice._

[Music illustration: Hung-ee. Hung-oo. Hung-oh. Hung-aw. Hung-ah.
Hung-ee _etc._]

Begin the tone quietly on an easy pitch and continue it softly to the
end. Later, after these exercises are mastered on one pitch, use every
note within the easy compass of the voice. Leave stridency of tone to
the locust. It is no part of a perfect tone. It never appeared in the
voices of the most famous singers. Those who allowed themselves to use
it passed off the stage early in life. Much better results will be
obtained by practising without any accompaniment. The sound of the
piano or other instrument distracts the pupil, prevents both pupil and
teacher from hearing the voice, and hinders progress.


The manner in which Exercise I and those that follow is practised is
of the utmost importance. Therefore carefully note and apply the

1. Fully pronounce the word _hung_ (_u_ as in _stung_) at once, and
prolong the tone, not on the vowel sound but on the _ng_ sound. This
establishes the proper head and nasal resonance at the very beginning
of the exercise.

2. In passing from _ng_ to _ee_ be very careful not to change the
initial focus or lose the sensation of nasal and head resonance. Do
not therefore move the lips or the chin. The only change at this point
is the slight movement of the tongue required to pronounce _ee_, which
must be a pure vowel without a trace of the preceding _g_.

3. In passing from _ee_ to _oo_, from _oo_ to _oh_, and so on, do so
with the least possible movement of lips and chin. _The initial
sensation of nasal and head resonance must not be lost._

4. Each vowel sound must be distinct in enunciation and pure in
quality. Avoid blurring one with the other. Give each its true

5. As jewels of different hue hung on a string, so must this exercise
be the stringing of vowels on a continuous stream of sound.

Exercise I


This is an exercise for focusing or placing the voice and developing
the vibrations of the nasal and head cavities, the most essential
parts of the resonant apparatus. If the nostrils are kept fully open,
no nasal twang will be heard. The strength of the tone will correspond
to the force of the vibrations of the nose and head, which can be
plainly felt by resting the finger lightly upon the side of the nose.
The vibrations may eventually be plainly felt on the top and back of
the head.

Attack, that is, begin the tone, _softly_ and on no account force it
in the least. Pronounce the full word _at once_, prolong the _ng_ four
counts as indicated, and sing the five vowel sounds on a continuous,
unbroken tone. Articulate entirely with the lips and without moving
the under jaw. In this, as in the following exercises, keep the under
jaw relaxed and open the mouth so as to separate the teeth as wide
apart as is consistent with the action of the lips. See also the
illustrations of proper lip position given at the close of Chapter II.

_Practice this exercise on any pitch easy for the voice._

[Music illustration: Hung-ee-oo-oh-aw-ah _etc._]

Repeat this many times until the nose and head vibrations are fully
recognized and established. After mastery of this exercise is
acquired, any words ending in _ng_ may be repeated. The word _noon_
sung quietly on each note of the voice with the final consonant
prolonged will be found helpful.


When the placing of the voice is accomplished on the one tone
(Exercise I), the speaker can go on with practice in reading and
reciting, allowing the voice to change its pitch at its will, only
being careful that all the tones are alike in quality.

A profitable exercise for speakers is to pronounce any word or
syllable ending with _ng_, as _ming_, _bing_, _sing_, _ring_, _ting_,
and follow it with some familiar lines in a monotone, being sure that
the tone is the same and produces the same vibrations in the nose and

In the case of a person already a public speaker, this new _régime_
may not immediately manifest itself in performance, but gradually the
right principles will assume control, and speaking be done with ease
and effectiveness. Continual daily practice of exercises should be
kept up.

If a speaker has a musical ear and some musical knowledge, he will
derive great benefit by following out the practice of the exercises
for singers. In no way can the voice for speaking be improved so
rapidly or decisively as by musical training.

Exercise II


As in Exercise I, sing softly, seeking purity of vowel sounds and
quality of tone. Fully pronounce _hung_ at once, prolonging the _ng_
four counts as indicated. Pass from one vowel to the next with the
least possible change in the position of the lips and chin. The stream
of sound is to be unbroken, the tone focus unchanged, and the
sensation of resonance in the upper chambers continuous.

[Music illustration: Hung-ee-oo-oh-aw-ah _etc._]

[Music illustration: Hung-ee-oo-oh-aw-ah _etc._]

Exercise III


Follow the directions for Exercise I. Sing quietly in a pitch that is
easy for the voice, and modulate up or down by half steps.

[Music illustration: Hung-ee-oo-oh-aw-ah _etc._]

Exercise IV


The last exercise carried the voice an interval of a third; this
carries the voice an interval of a fifth. Follow carefully the
directions of Exercise I. Be sure to pronounce _hung_ at once,
prolonging the tone not on the vowel but on the _ng_. _Sing softly._
Vary the pitch to suit the voice.

[Music illustration: Hung-ee-oo-oh-aw-ah _etc._]

Exercise V


The last exercise carried the voice an interval of a fifth, this one
has a range of a sixth, while Exercise VI has a range of an octave.
Carefully follow the Important Directions on page 60.

_Sing softly_ in a pitch that is easy for the voice.

[Music illustration: Hung-ee-oo-oh-aw-ah _etc._]

[Music illustration: Hung-ee-oo-oh-aw-ah _etc._]

Exercise VI


Pronounce the word _hung_ at once, opening the mouth well. Prolonging
the _ng_ sound as indicated will insure the proper focus.

Sing the five vowel sounds throughout the scale as indicated. At first
practise only on scales that are in easy range.

[Music illustration:

1. Hung-ee
2. Hung-oo
3. Hung-oh
4. Hung-aw
5. Hung-ah



[Music illustration:

1. Hung-ee
2. Hung-oo
3. Hung-oh
4. Hung-aw
5. Hung-ah


Exercise VII


Produce the _hung_ at once, and add the vowel. _Be sure that the vowel
sound follows the same course as the "ng" sound which precedes it, and
produces the same sensation in the nose._

The vowels are arranged in the order chosen because _ee_ is the most
easily focused while _ah_ is by far the most difficult to focus, and
hence the worst possible sound for initial practice. _Think_ of the
tone as being made in the nose and head.

Let there be no break or stopping of the tone when passing from the
_ng_ sound to the vowel. Simply change the tone into the vowel desired
by the proper change in the articulating organs.

Sing the five vowel sounds connectedly, being sure that each vowel is
correctly placed before passing to the next. The proper use of the
lips will aid greatly in focusing the vowels. Start with the scale
that is in comfortable range.

[Music illustration: Hung-ee-oo-oh-aw-ah _etc._]

[Music illustration: Hung-ee-oo-oh-aw-ah _etc._]

Exercise VIII


Open the mouth well and be sure that the vowel sounds are delivered as
in the previous exercises; this will insure largeness with proper

When practising this exercise, be careful, as with the others, that
each vowel sound in its order is correctly given before passing to the
next. Only in this way can rapid progress be made.

The words _bing_, _sing_, _ting_, _fling_, _swing_ are excellent to
use for further practice.

[Music illustration:

1. Hung-ee
2. Hung-oo
3. Hung-oh
4. Hung-aw
5. Hung-ah


[Music illustration:

1. Hung-ee
2. Hung-oo
3. Hung-oh
4. Hung-aw
5. Hung-ah


Exercise IX


The important point in this flexible exercise is to _keep the
vowel-color, the focus or resonance, unchanged throughout the phrase_.
Begin quietly, give the _ng_ freedom and the upper resonance will
adjust itself. This phrase is longer than in previous exercises; be
sure then that you still have breath at the end--breath enough to sing
further. Sing quietly. Pitch the exercise to suit the voice.

[Music illustration:

1. Hung-ee
2. Hung-oo
3. Hung-oh
4. Hung-aw
5. Hung-ah


Exercise X


Sing each vowel sound separately before passing to the next. Be sure
to start each vowel sound in purity and maintain it without change.
Pitch the exercise to suit the voice.

[Music illustration:

1. Ee
2. Oo
3. Oh
4. Aw
5. Ah


For variants on the above use as initial consonants _b_, _p_, _m_,
_f_, _v_, _d_, _k_, _n_, _t_, and _l_.

Exercise XI


When practising this exercise protrude the lips and raise them toward
the nose as far as possible; also make an effort to enlarge and widen
the nostrils. This exercise may be practised more quickly than the
preceding, but never at the expense of clearness of vowel distinction.
Carry the exercise higher or lower, and in different keys, to suit
individual voices. With a slight initial accent sing each two-measure
section smoothly as one phrase. Avoid accenting each separate vowel
sound. To do so would produce a series of jerks.

[Music illustration: Ee-oo-oh-aw-ah _etc._]

After practising the above as written modify it as follows:

 1. Bee-boo-boh-baw-bah.
 2. Pee-poo-poh-paw-pah.
 3. Mee-moo-moh-maw-mah.
 4. Fee-foo-foh-faw-fah.
 5. Vee-voo-voh-vaw-vah.
 6. Dee-doo-doh-daw-dah.
 7. Kee-koo-koh-kaw-kah.
 8. Nee-noo-noh-naw-nah.
 9. Tee-too-toh-taw-tah.
10. Lee-loo-loh-law-lah.

Exercise XII


Be careful not to blur the vowel sounds; each must be distinct and
pure, and the change from one to the next must be made with a minimum
of effort and without disturbing the focus of the tone.

[Music illustration: Ee-oo-oh-aw-ah _etc._]

The divisions (_a_ and _b_) of each of the above four variants may be
regarded as distinct exercises or not. For further practice use as
initial consonants any or all of the following: _b_, _p_, _m_, _f_,
_v_, _d_, _k_, _n_, _t_, and _l_.

Exercise XIII


As in the previous exercises practise quietly with unvarying focus and
aim to finish the phrase with breath unexhausted. Pitch the exercise
to suit the voice.

[Music illustration:



Exercise XIV


Sing this scale exercise in medium range, without blurring either the
vowel sounds or the notes.

[Music illustration:

1. Hung-ee
2. Hung-oo
3. Hung-oh
4. Hung-aw
5. Hung-ah


[Music illustration:

1. Hung-ee
2. Hung-oo
3. Hung-oh
4. Hung-aw
5. Hung-ah


The exercises thus far given have employed the five vowel sounds found
most helpful in gaining a free resonance. These should now be
supplemented by the use of _all_ the vowel sounds. It is obvious that
unless the singer is at home with every vowel and on any pitch in his
vocal range perfect pronunciation is impossible. In Chapter II a Scale
of Vowel Sounds is given. For convenience it is repeated here:


1  n_ee_
2  n_i_t
3  n_e_t
4  n_a_y
5  n_ai_r
6  n_a_t
7  n_i_gh
8  N_a_h
7' n_o_t
6' n_a_w
5' n_e_r
4' n_u_t
3' n_o_
2' n_oo_k
1' n_oo_.]

Having so far mastered the previous exercises as to establish a free
head and nasal resonance, take the Scale of Vowel Sounds and apply it
to the now familiar exercises.

Next, as suggested in Exercise X, use as initial consonants in
connection with the Vowel Scale the consonants _b_, _p_, _m_, _f_,
_v_, _d_, _k_, _n_, _t_ and _l_.

Keep before you the formula that articulation should _seem_ to be done
entirely with and through the upper lip; _i.e._, the _thought_ should
be that the words are projected through the upper lip.

When by practise of the exercises given the voice has been focused and
resonance established without any instrument, scale exercises and
simple vocalises may be taken up with or without the piano.

In practising scales start each a semitone higher until the _easy
limit_ of the voice is reached, and no farther. Gain will be more
rapid by working to deliver the tones within the voice's normal
compass. Then when occasional effort is made the organs will be found
ready to deliver the highest pitch of which the voice is capable.

When sufficient progress has been made in mastering the execution of
scales and easy vocalises, the pupil will be ready to begin the study
of songs. If one foregoes the singing of songs during the few weeks
occupied with primary lessons, results are obtained much more quickly.

While practising exercises or songs the less the pianoforte is used,
except to compare the pitch, the better. Such practice increases the
confidence of the performer. The instrument prevents the singer's
listening to the tone he is producing and judging of its

Pupils with high or very low voices may continue their practice higher
or lower as the voice is soprano, or bass, or contralto, but much
practice on the extremes of the voice is unadvisable. If pure tones
are produced in the medium range of the voice the highest or lowest
tones will be found ready when called for. Therefore practise the
extremes of the voice only enough to know the limits of the voice and
to be assured the tones are there.

When the singer can perform the preceding simple exercises and know
that the tones are all focused, or placed and delivered, precisely
alike, he is ready to practise any scale, down or up, and to execute
any musical exercise or song for which he is intellectually fitted.



What is the most frequent obstacle to good singing, the difficulty
with which pupil and teacher most contend? Throat stiffness. What more
than anything else mars the singing of those we hear in drawing-rooms,
churches, and the concert room? Throat stiffness.

This is the vice that prevents true intonation, robs the voice of its
expressiveness, limits its range, lessens its flexibility, diminishes
its volume, and makes true resonance impossible.

This great interferer not only lessens the beauty of any voice, but
directly affects the organ itself. The muscles of the larynx are small
and delicate, and the adjustments they make in singing are exceedingly
fine. When, however, the voice user stiffens his throat, these
delicate muscles in their spontaneous effort to make the proper
adjustments are compelled to contract with more than their normal
strength. Every increase in throat stiffness demands a corresponding
increase in muscle effort, an overexertion that persisted in must
result in injury to the organ itself. Such misuse of the voice is
bound to show injurious results. Every throat specialist knows this,
and an untold multitude of those who, beginning with promise, have had
to give up singing as a career, learn it too late.

Singers are so accustomed to the sound of their own voices as to be
usually quite unconscious of their own throat stiffness, though they
may recognize it in their neighbor.

Unfortunately throat stiffness by its very nature tends to aggravate
itself, to constantly increase while the voice becomes less and less
responsive to the singer's demands.

There are a number of contributing causes to throat stiffness, but the
principal cause is _throat consciousness_ and misplaced effort, due
largely to current misconceptions regarding the voice. A common notion
is that we sing with the throat, whereas we sing _through_ it. Akin to
this error is the notion, as common as it is fallacious, that force of
tone, carrying power, originates in the larynx, whereas the initial
tone due to the vibration of the vocal cords is in itself
comparatively feeble. As shown at length in Chapters VI and VII,
volume of tone, its color and carrying power, is acoustically and
vocally a matter of _resonance_.

Many there are who sing by dint of sheer force and ignorance, but
their careers are necessarily short. The too common vulgar striving
for power rather than for beauty or purity of tone induces unnatural
effort and strain that both directly and sympathetically affect the
throat with stiffness.

Unnatural effort in breathing, over-effort in breath control, as well
as singing without adequate breath, all induce tension that is
reflected at once in the sensitive throat.

Impatience of results, American hurry, beget unnatural effort and
tension. "Unclasp the fingers of a rigid civilization from off your
throat." The student of the violin or the piano soon learns that only
by a long and patient preparation can he fit himself to entertain even
his admiring friends. The embryo singer, on the contrary, expects with
far less expenditure of time and effort to appear in public.

The human voice is a direct expression of the man himself; it
registers spontaneously his mental and emotional states, even when he
would wish them hidden. Mental conditions tinged with impatience, with
fear, or with anything that begets tension of any sort are reflected
instantly in the voice, robbing it of its better qualities and
inducing stiffness in the throat.

Reduced to its lowest terms voice culture to-day is a struggle with
throat stiffness.

The causes indicate the remedy. Foremost, then, is dropping all throat
consciousness, all thought of the throat, all drawing of attention to
it. The larynx must be left uncramped, unhindered to do its work in
free unconsciousness, which it will do if not disturbed by tension in
its neighborhood, or by misdirected thought.

The stream of consciousness must in singing be directed to the
breathing which is below the throat, and to resonance and
pronunciation which are above it. These functions are more or less
consciously controlled until at last mastery makes their action

I would once more emphasize the fact that the free use of all the
resonance chambers, and the recognition of the great function of
resonance, will do more than anything else to set the voice free and
emancipate the singer from all interfering rigidity.




Pupils are constantly urged to sing and speak naturally, because the
"natural" tone is correct. This is exceedingly indefinite. It is
natural for a child to imitate the first sound it hears, whether it be
correct or incorrect. In either case the child imitates it, and for
that child it becomes the natural tone. The child reared in the
wilderness, beyond the hearing of a human voice, will imitate the
notes of the whip-poor-will, the chatter of the monkey, and the hoot
of the owl, and for him they are natural tones.

To be natural is the hardest lesson to learn and it is only the result
of imitation or prolonged discipline. Untrained naturalness is the
perfection of awkwardness. The involuntary functions of organic life
are the only ones naturally performed correctly. Nature's method of
breathing, circulation, and digestion can be depended upon until
disarranged by subsequent conditions, but unless proper vocalization
is established by imitation and discipline this function is sure to be
corrupted by false examples.


After the child begins to talk, the sooner his vocal education begins
the better. Even at that early age he can be made to understand the
merits of head vibrations and by simple exercises produce them, and
once taught will never forget them. Vocalizing, like every other art,
is most easily learned by imitation, and the advantage of the early
years, when that faculty is most active, should not be lost. In olden
times the importance of this was fully realized. More than three
centuries ago, old Roger Ascham wrote: "All languages, both learned
and mother tongues, are begotten and gotten solely by imitation. For
as ye used to hear so ye learn to speak. If ye hear no other, ye speak
not yourself; and of whom ye only hear, of them ye only learn."
Nineteen centuries ago Quintillian wrote: "Before all let the nurses
speak properly. The boy will hear them first and will try to shape his
words by imitating them."

If the right way of using the voice is early taught it will be a guard
against the contraction of bad habits which can only be corrected
later with infinite trouble. It certainly would be unwise to put a
young child under continued training; but even in the kindergarten the
right method of voice production can and should be taught. Teachers of
kindergarten and primary schools should be familiar with the
principles of voice training and be able to start the pupils at once
on the right road.


The sooner this branch of education is made a part of the curriculum
of our common schools, the sooner shall we produce a race of good
speakers and singers.

If, during the pupil's school life, proper attention is paid to these
primary principles and to _correct articulation_, a large majority of
students will graduate from our common schools prepared to advance in
the art of elocution or of singing without being obliged first to
unlearn a vast amount of error and to correct a long list of bad

If each day in the public schools a few minutes only are devoted to
the subject by a teacher who understands it and who will call the
attention of the pupils to the proper applications of the principles
in their daily recitations, it will be found amply sufficient to
develop and establish a good speaking and singing voice.


If artistry is to be attained, every organ must be individually well
trained. Yet, during performance, no one part should be given undue
prominence. The voice should be the product of all the organs equally
well developed. Continued practice will enable the performer to
correlate the whole--blend the strength of all in one.

It goes without saying that no one in singing or speaking should
appear to be governed by a "method." During the early stages of
education, pupils should be amenable to rules and methods, but they
must not expect to be acceptable performers until able to forget their
lessons and simply and unconsciously make use of all the advantages of
their training. Even when the education is finished, and the _prima
donna_ has made her successful debut, continued daily repetition of
primary exercises is necessary to maintain excellence and insure the
progress that every performer desires. Our best singers to-day are as
diligent students of the technique of the voice as are the tyros
struggling with the first elements.


Human life is divided into three periods: _first_, that of effort to
get an education; _second_, of effort to maintain it; and _third_, of
effort to resist the natural decline which comes with advancing years.
The singer and speaker must drill to develop the voice, must drill to
keep it in condition, and must drill to resist the encroachments of
senility. Eternal vigilance is the price of vocal success.


The application of the principles here discussed will show that a
musical voice is not the product of mysterious systems, but a matter
of scientific certainty. The essentials are good breathing, good
focusing, good resonance, and good articulation. These four elements
are so interdependent that one cannot be perfected without the other.
With these attained, the intellect, the sentiment, and the emotion of
the performer will culminate in artistic excellence.


The nervousness or fear which manifests itself in constraint and
rigidity of the muscles and sometimes in stage fright is a serious
hindrance to progress. The effectual offset to this painful condition
is repose.

The art of inducing a condition of repose can be readily acquired by
any one who will carefully and faithfully do as follows: Place
yourself in an easy lying or lounging position in a quiet place, with
fresh air. Physical repose prepares for and invites mental repose. Now
allow the mind to work care free at its own sweet will without any
attempt to control it. Close the eyes and _breathe slowly, gently, and
deeply, with steady rhythm_. In two or three minutes a sensation of
quiet restful repose will be experienced, which may be continued for
several minutes or may even lead to a natural sound sleep.

This result may not be attained at the first or the second trial, but
a few repetitions of the exercise will insure success in almost every
case. After the art is attained in this formal way, ability to induce
the same repose when sitting upright, or while standing, will be
quickly developed.

This repose is the fitting preparation for a lesson or a performance
and may be induced during the progress of either, to allay any
trepidation incident to the situation. A mastery of this simple art
will make progress in the work of voice development much more rapid,
and make attainable a degree of discipline that is impossible without
it. It will prove for the beginner a sure prevention of stage fright
and a great relief to the most chronic sufferer from this malady.


The _vibrato_ is a rhythmic pulsation of the voice. It often appears
in untrained voices; in others it appears during the process of
cultivation. Some have thought it the perfection of sympathetic
quality; others esteem it a fault.

The vibrato is caused by an undulating variation of pitch or power,
often both. The voice does not hold steadily and strictly to the
pitch, and according to the amount of the variation a corresponding
vibrato, or tremolo, is produced.

The action of stringed instruments illustrates this statement. The
finger of the violinist vibrates on the string by rocking rapidly back
and forth and the vibrato is the result.

The same is true of the human instrument. By variation of the tension,
the vocal apparatus sends forth several tones in alternation, of a
slightly different pitch, which together produce the effect.

Three sources are ascribed for the vibrato; one is a rapid, spasmodic
vibration of the diaphragm, causing variation of breath pressure;
another is the alternate tension and relaxation of the larynx and
vocal cords; a third is that commonest of faults--throat stiffness.
Either cause is possible, and variation in the pitch or intensity of
the tone is the result. Sufficient investigations have not been made
to make the matter certain, but tremolo, trembling of the vocal
organs, and muscular stiffness, or unnatural tension, seem to go

It is quite possible in the early stages of culture so to train the
voice as to use the vibrato or not at will, but if not early
controlled this, like other bad habits, gains the mastery. Excessive
vibrato has spoiled many good voices. It is not a fundamental quality
of the voice. A little vibrato may occasionally be desirable when
properly and skilfully used; more than this is to be shunned as a
dangerous vice.



Mental conception precedes execution. The picture must exist in the
artist's mind before it can be drawn on the canvas. The architect must
mentally see the majestic cathedral in all its details before he can
draw the plans from which it can be built. In the field of physical
activity no movement is made until the mind has gone before and
prepared the way. A person's ability to do is in a great degree
measured by his determination to do, but sitting in a rocking-chair
and thinking will never make an athlete. Mental action is necessary,
but only through trained muscular action can the mental action
materialize in a finished performance.

So too the mind must anticipate the action of the vocal organs, but
the organs themselves must be led to interpret the mental concept
until such action becomes spontaneous. Action in turn quickens the
mental process, and the mental picture becomes more vivid.

Note with emphasis that the mental concept _precedes_ the action and
governs it. Therefore, instead of producing tone by local effort, by
conscious muscular action of any sort, correctly _think the tone_,
correctly shape and color it _mentally_. =Every vocal tone is a mental
concept made audible.= The beginner and the confirmed bungler alike
fail in this prime essential--they do not make this mental picture of
tone before singing it. Kindred to this is deficiency in hearing, in
discriminating between good tone color and poor. The student must
constantly compare his tone as it is sung with the picture in his
mind. Training the voice is therefore largely a training of mind and
ear, a developing of nicety in discrimination. Singing is mental
rather than physical, psychologic rather than physiologic. Think
therefore of the effect desired rather than of the process.

In considering the details of voice production analytically we are apt
to forget that man, notwithstanding his complexity, is a _unit_ and
acts as a unit. Back of all and underlying man's varied activity is
the psychical. In the advanced stages of the art of speech and song
this psychical element is of pre-eminent importance.

The speaker who essays to give expression to his own thoughts must
have his ideas sharply defined and aflame in order to so utter them
that they will arouse his hearers to enthusiasm. The speaker or singer
who would successfully interpret the thoughts of others must first
make those thoughts his very own. When this is attained, then the
voice, action, and the whole spirit of the performer, responding to
the theme, will beget a like responsiveness in his audience.


Books upon books have been written on voice training, and will
continue to be written. The preceding pages have been devoted to the
fundamental subject of tone production, but it is time to suggest that
back of the voice and the song is the singer himself with his complex
personality. Back of the personality is the soul itself, forever
seeking utterance through its mask of personality. All genuine impulse
to sing is from the soul in its need for expression. Through
expression comes growth in soul consciousness and desire for greater
and greater self-expression.

Singing is far more than "wind and muscle," for, as Ffrangcon-Davies
puts it, "The whole spiritual system, spirit, mind, sense, _soul_,
together with the whole muscular system from feet to head, will be in
the wise man's singing, _and the whole man will be in the tone_."

Of all the expressions of the human spirit in art form, the sublimated
speech we call song is the most direct. Every other art requires some
material medium for its transmission, and in music, subtlest of all
the arts, instruments are needed, except in singing only.


In song the singer himself is the instrument of free and direct
expression. Freedom of expression, complete utterance, is prevented
only by the singer himself. No one hinders him, no one stands in the
way but himself. The business of the teacher is to _set free_ that
which is latent. His high calling is by wise guidance to help the
singer to get out of his own way, to cease standing in front of
himself. Technical training is not all in all. Simple recognition of
the existence of our powers is needed even more. Freedom comes through
the recognition and appropriation of inherent power; recognition comes
first, the appropriation then follows simply. The novice does not know
his natural power, his birthright, and must be helped to find it,
chiefly, however, by helping himself, by cognizing and re-cognizing

No student of the most human of all arts--singing--need give up if he
has burning within him the _song impulse_, the _hunger to sing_. This
inner impulse is by its strength an evidence of the power to sing; the
very hunger is a promise and a prophecy.


The deterrents to beautiful singing are physical in appearance, but
these are outer signs of mental or emotional disturbance. Normal
poise, which is strength, smilingly expresses itself in curves, in
tones of beauty.

_Mental discord_ results in angularity, rigidity, harshness.

_Impatience_ produces feverishness that makes vocal poise impossible;
and impatience induces the modern vice of forcing the tone. Growth is
a factor for which hurried forcing methods make no allowance.

_Excess of emotion_ with its loss of balance affects the breathing and
play of the voice.

_Exertion_, trying effort, instead of easy, happy activity induces
hampering rigidities.

_Intensity_, over-concentration, or rather false concentration,
emotional tension, involves strain, and strain is always wrong.

_Over-conscientiousness_, with its fussiness about petty detail, and
insistence on non-essentials, is a deterrent from which the robust are
free. _Over-attention to the mechanics_ of voice production is a
kindred deterrent. Both deterrents prevent that prime characteristic
of expression--spontaneity.

_Anxiety_ is a great contractor of muscle, a great stiffener. Anxiety
always forgets the _power_ within, and falsely says to the
song-hunger, "You shall never be satisfied."

_Self-repression_ is a great deterrent that afflicts the more
sensitive, particularly those of puritanic inheritance. It is a
devitalizer and a direct negative to expression, which is vital, is

All of these deterrents are negative and may be overcome by fuller
recognition of the inner power that by its very nature must
perpetually seek positive expression.


In conclusion, the student can perpetually find encouragement in a
number of happy facts.

Man is endowed by nature, except in rare instances, with a perfect
vocal apparatus. When abnormal conditions are found they are usually
in the adult voice, and are due solely to misuse. In other words
defects are not inherent but acquired and _can be removed_.

By nature the human voice is beautiful, for the tendency of nature is
always in the direction of beauty. Whatever is unlovely in singing, as
in all else, is _un_natural. True method is therefore never artificial
in its action, but simple, because the natural is always simple.

Finally, no, not finally, but firstly and secondly and thirdly and
perpetually, every student of singing and every teacher of it must
constantly bear in mind the happy law:



TITLE                           AUTHOR                   PUBLISHED

An Essay on the History
and Theory of Music, and
of the Qualities and Capacity
of the Human Voice              Isaac Nathan             London, 1823.

Elements of Vocal Science       Richard Mackenzie Bacon  London, 1824.

Orthophony; or the Cultivation
of the Voice in Elocution       William Russell          Boston, 1859.

Vocal Physiology                Charles Alex. Guilmette  New York, 1860.

Die Lehre von den
Tonempfindungen als
physiologische Grundlage
für die theorie der Musik       H.L.F. Helmholtz         Brunswick, 1863.

The Sensations of Tone as
a Physiological Basis for
the Theory of Music             H.L.F. Helmholtz

(Translation of above)          (Translated by A.J.
                                Ellis)                   London, 1875.

Sound                           John Tyndall             London, 1867.

Principles of Elocution and
Voice Culture                   Benj. W. Atwell          Providence, 1868.

The Voice, Its Artistic
Production, Development
and Preservation                George J. Lee            London, 1870.

The Cultivation of the
Speaking Voice                  John Pyke Hullah         Oxford, 1870.

Voice Building                  Horace R. Streeter       Boston, 1871.

Principles of Elocution and
Voice Culture                   Benjamin Atwell          Boston, 1872.

Hints for Pronunciation in
Singing                         Georgiana Weldon         London, 1872.

The Voice in Singing            Emma Seiler              Philadelphia, 1872

The Voice as an Instrument      Ange A. Pattou           New York, 1878.

The Vocal Process               John Howard              New York, 1878.

Speech in Song                  Alexander J. Ellis       London, 1878.

Voice and Vocalization          Wm. P. Robert            London, 1879.

The Human Voice and
Connected Parts                 Joseph Montgomery Farrar London, 1881.

The Mechanism of the
Human Voice                     Emil Behnke              London, 1882.

Gymnastics of the Voice         Oskar Guttmann           Albany, 1882.

The Art of Voice Production
with Special Reference
to the Methods of
Correct Breathing               Ange A. Pattou           New York, 1882.

The Old Italian School of
Singing                         Leo Kofler               Albany, 1882.

The Secrets of the Voice in
Singing                         Emilio Belari            New York, 1883.

Deep Breathing                  Sophia A. Ciccolina      New York, 1883.

Artistic Voice in Speech
and Song                        Charles Lunn             London, 1884.

Voice, Song and Speech          Lennox Browne and Emil
                                Behnke                   London, 1884.

Modern Singing Methods,
Their Use and Abuse             John Franklin Botume     Boston, 1885.

The Diaphragm and Its
Functions                       J.M.W. Kitchen           Albany, 1885.

The Voice from a Practical
Standpoint                      Edmund J. Meyer          New York, 1886.

The Hygiene of the Vocal
Organs                          Morrell Mackenzie, M.D.  London, 1886.

How to Sing                     Wm. Henry Daniell        New York, 1887.

The Art of Breathing as
the Basis for Tone Production   Leo Kofler               New York, 1887.

The Voice. How to Train
It                              Edward Barrett Warman    Boston, 1890.

Scientific Voice. Artistic
Singing and Effective
Singing                         Thomas Chater            London, 1890.

Voice Figures                   Mrs. Margaret Watts
                                Hughes                   London, 1891.

The Human Voice; Its
Cultivation                     W.H. Griffiths           London, 1892.

The Philosophy of Singing       Clara Kathleen Rogers    New York, 1893.

The What and How of
Vocal Culture                   F. Rowena Medini         New York, 1893.

Exercises in Vocal Technique    John Franklin Botume     Boston, 1894.

Text-Book on the Natural
Use of the Voice                George E. Thorp and
                                William Nicholl          London, 1895.

Respiration for Advanced
Singers                         John Franklin Botume     Boston, 1897.

Voice Building and Tone
Placing                         Henry Holbrook Curtis,
                                M.D.                     New York, 1896.

Twenty Lessons on the
Development of the
Voice                           George E. Thorp          London, 1896.

Voxometric Revelation
(The Problem Surrounding
the Production of
the Human Voice Finally
Discovered)                     Alfred Augustus North    London, 1896.

The Art of Singing              Wm. Shakespeare          London and
                                                         Boston, 1898.

The Rightly-Produced
Voice                           Edward Davidson Palmer   London, 1898.

How to Train Children's
Voices                          T. Maskell Hardy         London, 1899.

How to Sing (Meine
Gesangskunst)                   Lilli Lehmann            New York, 1902.

Scientific Tone Production      Mary Ingles James        Boston, 1903.

English Diction for Singers
and Speakers                    Louis Arthur Russell     Boston, 1905.

The Training of Boys'
Voices                          Clarke Ellsworth Johnson Boston, 1906.

Voice Production in Singing
and Speaking                    Wesley Mills, M.D.       Philadelphia, 1906.

The Art of the Singer           W.J. Henderson           New York, 1906.

The Commonplaces of
Vocal Art                       Louis Arthur Russell     Boston, 1907.

The Singing of the Future       David Ffrangcon-Davies   London, 1908.

The Art of Singing and
Vocal Declamation               Sir Charles Santley      London, 1908.


ABDOMINAL BREATHING, employed by Martel, 4, 26;
  lateral, 3.
  (See also _Chest-abdominal breathing_ and
   _Lateral abdominal breathing_.)

  experiments in, 46-48;
  Pascal on, 49.

ACTOR, enunciation of the, 19;
  importance of deep breathing for, 19.

ADAM'S APPLE, the male larynx, 9.

AGE to begin study of voice, 77.

AH-sound, narrow limits of, 18;
  how produced, 22;
  Lilli Lehmann on, 19;
  place of, in practice, 57.

AIR CAVITIES (see _Sinuses_).

ANXIETY, a deterrent to beautiful singing, 85.


APPUNN, on pitch of vowel sounds, 20.

ARTICULATION, differing opinions concerning, 3;
  relation of, to resonance, 51;
  through upper lip, 72.
  (See also _Pronunciation_.)



ASCHAM, ROGER, on voice culture through imitation, 77.

AW-sound, lip position for, 22;
  in exercises, 59, etc.

BEAUTY OF TONE, a criterion of correct vocal action, 56.

BELL, on pitch of vowel sounds, 20.

BOOTH, EDWIN, as a good speaker, 16.

BOOTH, JUNIUS BRUTUS, impairment of his voice, 53.

  importance of, in both speaking and singing, 23;
  muscles of respiration in, 23;
  the diaphragm in, 23;
  muscles in, 24;
  the lungs in, 25;
  inspiration, 25;
  expiration, 25;
  correct method of, 25;
  a cure for nervousness, 27;
  necessity of exercises, 27;
  economy a factor in, 30;
  exaggerated, 30;
  initial use of, 31;
  exercises for, 33-37;
  of Farinelli, 37.

BREATH FORCE, initial use of, 31;
  reserve, 31;
  wasted, 31.

BREATH MASTERY, meaning of, 32.

BREATHING, art of, 3;
  an amplification of the daily habit, 5;
  defined as singing, 23;
  correct, 25, 28;
  not differing in sex, 26;
  vicious habits of, 26;
  controlling deeply, 26;
  tests of, 26;
  nose versus mouth, 26;
  regularity of, 26;
  in obtaining power and largeness of tone, 27;
  for high tones, 27;
  relation of, to nervousness, 27;
  rhythmic, 27;
  necessity of exercises, 27;
  illustrations of, 28, 29;
  exercises in, 33-37;
  economy in, 30;
  tests in, by Professor Mills, 30;
  exaggerated control of, 30;
  exhaustion, 31;
  initial force in, 31;
  reserve power in, 31;
  mastery of, 32.
  (See also _Abdominal breathing_.)

BROSCHI, DON CARLO, breath control of, 36.

BROWNE, DR. LENNOX, on the laryngoscope, 3.

BROWNE and BEHNKE, on nasal resonance, 53.

CHEST, expansion of and resonance, 49.

  illustrated in sleeping child, 25;
  tests in, 26;
  illustrated, 28, 29.

CHEST TONES, former emphasis given to, 2;
  wrongly termed, 5.

CLAY, HENRY, as a good speaker, 16.

CLOSED TONES, former emphasis given to, 2;
  wrongly termed, 5.

CRYER, DR. W.H., on the frontal sinus, 12.

CULTURE OF THE VOICE (see _Voice culture_).

DEEP BREATHING, importance of, for the actor, 19.
  (See also _Breathing_.)


DIAPHRAGM, in breathing, 19;
  not a muscle of expiration, 23;
  described, 23, 24;
  in inspiration, 24;
  in expiration, 24;
  illustrated, 24, 29.


EAR, function of, in tone production, 57;
  training of, 57.

EE-sound, lip position for, 20;
  in exercises, 57, 59, etc.

EFFORT, TENSE, a deterrent to beautiful singing, 84.

EMOTION, effect on tone quality, 7;
  excess of, a deterrent to beautiful singing, 84.

EMPIRICISTS, where they have failed, 4.


ESSENTIALS, application of, 79.


ETHMOIDAL SINUSES, illustrated, 7;
  function of, 12.

EVERETT, EDWARD, as a good speaker, 16.

  necessity of, 27, 33;
  preliminary suggestions, 33, 34;
  attitude in taking, 34;
  I, to show what a deep breath is, 34;
  II, slow inhalation with sudden expulsion, 35;
  III, sipping the breath, with quick exhalation, 35;
  IV, for rib expansion, 35;
  V, slow inhalation with slow expiration, 36;
  VI, rapid inspiration with slow expiration, 36;
  VII, Farinelli's great exercise, 36;
  VIII, the cleansing breath, 37;
  half breath, 37.

  I, to establish nasal and head resonance, 58-61;
  for speakers, 60, 61;
  II, to establish head and nasal resonance, 61;
  III, IV, V, upper resonance, 62-64;
  VI, to enlarge the throat and thus magnify the tone, 64;
  VII, for production of the vowel sounds in proper focus, 65;
  VIII, to enlarge the throat and focus the vowels, 66;
  IX, quick changing notes without changing resonance, 67;
  X, for agility, 67, 68;
  XI, to develop the use of the lips and under jaw, 68, 69;
  XII, for facility and quick vowel change, 69, 70;
  XIII, ascending and descending scale, 71;
  XIV, the long scale, 71;
  additional, 72, 73;
  repose as a preparation for, 80.

EXPIRATION, muscles of, 23, 24;
  under controlled pressure, 24;
  described, 25;
  the lungs in, 25;
  illustrated, 28, 29.

FACE, training muscles of, 15.

FARINELLI, breath control of, 36.

FFRANGCON-DAVIES, on pronunciation, 18;
  on registers, 39;
  on function of ear in voice training, 57;
  definition of singing of, 83.

FOCUSING THE VOICE (see _Voice placing_).

FORBES-ROBERTSON, on diction, 19.

FORMES, CARL, voice of, in declining years, 4.


FRONTAL SINUSES, function of, 12;
  illustration of, 7.

GARCIA, MANUEL, inventor of laryngoscope, 2;
  use of laryngoscope, 2;
  Sir Charles Stanley on, 3.

GOUNOD, on pronunciation, 19.

HALF-BREATH, Sembrich and, 37.

HARD PALATE, function of, 12.

HARSHNESS, an indication of tension, 56.

HEAD CAVITIES, a resonator for the voice, 6;
  effect of, on resonance, 12.

HEAD TONES, in previous years, 2;
  wrongly termed, 5.

HELMHOLTZ, on pitch of vowel sounds, 20;
  on acoustics, 43, 49.

HENDERSON, W.J., on pronunciation, 18.

HIGH TONES, breath control necessary for, 27.

HOLMES, OLIVER WENDELL, on Edward Everett's voice, 16.

HYOID BONE, 8, 10.

I-sound, described, 21.

IMPATIENCE, a deterrent to beautiful singing, 84.

INSPIRATION, muscles of, 23, 24;
  process of, described, 25;
  illustrated, 28, 29.
  (See also _Breath control_ and _Breathing_.)

INSTRUMENT, MUSICAL, elements of, 43, 44.

INTENSITY, INVOLVING STRAIN, a deterrent to beautiful singing, 84.

KINDERGARTEN TEACHERS, instruction by, 78.

KOENIG, on pitch of vowel sounds, 20.

LARYNGOSCOPE, and registers, 2;
  Garcia the inventor of, 2;
  usefulness of, 2;
  limitations of, 3;
  disappointing results of, 38;
  not an instrument for the singer, 51.

LARYNX, moving, 3;
  viewed through the laryngoscope, 3;
  illustrated, 7;
  description of, 8, 9;
  relation of size of, to pitch, 9;
  automatic action of, 38;
  not alone the vocal organ, 50;
  reflex action of, 51;
  force of tone does not originate in, 75;
  must be left uncramped, 75.


LEHMANN, MADAME LILLI, on use of Ah, 19;
  on registers, 39;
  on nasal resonance, 54.


LIND, JENNY, effects of wrong methods on, 4.

LIPS, in articulation, 14;
  position of, 20-22;
  illustrated, 21, 22.

LUNGS, a motor for the voice, 6;
  illustrated, 24;
  described, 25;
  overcrowding, 31.

MACKENZIE, DR. MORELL, on the laryngoscope, 3;
  on singing and speaking, 17.

MACREADY, WM. CHARLES, as a good speaker, 16.

MARTEL, voice of, at seventy, 4.


MAY, DR., breathing tests made by, 26.

MCKINLEY, M.S., on Garcia and the laryngoscope, 2.

MENTAL DISCORD, a deterrent to beautiful singing, 84.

MEYER, EDMUND J., on resonance, 43.

MILLS, DR. WESLEY, on breath measure, 30;
  on ease of vocal action, 56;
  on the function of the ear in tone production, 57.


MOUTH, theory of its function, 1;
  a resonator for the voice, 6.


MUSIC TEACHERS, scientific, 4;
  empirical, 4.

NASAL CAVITIES, as reinforcing agents in tone production, 2;
  a resonator for the voice, 6;
  illustrated, 7;
  formation of, 8;
  vibrations in, 8;
  effect on resonance, 12;
  Edward Everett's use of, 16;
  as a resonator, 52, 53;
  obstruction of, in Booth, 53.

NASAL RESONANCE, erroneous theories concerning, 1, 2;
  Madame Rudersdorff recognized effect of, 2;
  involved in head resonance, 52;
  versus nasal tone quality, 53;
  Lilli Lehmann on, 54;
  Sembrich's study of, 54;
  importance of, 54.

NATURAL VOICE, what is meant by, 77.

NERVOUSNESS, a cure for, 27, 80.

NOSTRILS, relation of, to tone quality, 14.

O-sound, lip position for, 20;
  illustrated, 21;
  in exercises, 59, etc.

OO-sound, lip position for, 20, 21;
  in exercises, 59, etc.



ORATORIO, faulty diction in, 18.

OVER-CONSCIENTIOUSNESS, a deterrent to beautiful singing, 84.

OVERTONES, 45, 46.

PERSONALITY, effect on the voice, 83.

PHARYNX, function of, 10.

PHILLIPS, ADELAIDE, voice of, in declining years, 4.

PITCH OF TONE, influence of resonance cavities on, 12, 13.

PLACING THE VOICE (see _Tone production_).

POWER OF TONE, dependent on resonant cavities and breath control, 27.


PRONUNCIATION, indifference of American singers to, 17;
  W.J. Henderson on, 18;
  change of attitude toward, 18;
  importance of, to singer, 18;
  relation of, to tone, 18;
  Ffrangcon-Davies on, 18;
  sing words rather than tones, 18;
  Lilli Lehmann on, 19;
  emotional power impossible without, 19;
  Gounod on, 19;
  Forbes-Robertson on, 19;
  upper lip in, 19;
  effect of smile on, 19.


PTERYGOID MUSCLES, and the under jaw, 10.

PUBLIC SCHOOLS, voice training in, 78.

REEVES, SIMS, voice of, 4.

  blending the, 2, 41;
  not a natural feature of the voice, 2;
  fallacy of theory of, 2;
  a myth, 5;
  the _bête noire_ of vocalists, 38;
  defined, 38;
  Clara Kathleen Rogers on, 38;
  Lilli Lehmann on, 39;
  Ffrangcon-Davies on, 39;
  of the organ, 40;
  of voice and instruments compared, 40, 41;
  an artificial creation, 41, 42.

  how to induce, 80.

RESONANCE, differing opinions concerning, 3;
  principle of, 5;
  nasal and head cavities in, 12;
  influence of resonance cavities on pitch, 12;
  pitch of vowels in, 20;
  and power, 27;
  and breath force, 31;
  in general, 43-50;
  development of science of, 43;
  quality and power of, 44;
  significance of, 45;
  experiments to demonstrate, 46-50;
  induced, 47;
  sympathetic, 47, 48;
  density of air and, 47;
  volume and character of tones dependent on, 49;
  head and nasal, 51-55;
  relation of articulation to, 51;
  focusing tone a matter of, 52;
  effect of its absence, 54;
  exercises to establish, 58-72.


RESPIRATION (see _Breath control_ and _Breathing_).

RESPIRATORY MUSCLES, a motor for the voice, 6;
  described, 23, 28;
  action of, 25;
  illustrated, 24, 29.

ROGERS, CLARA KATHLEEN, on registers, 38.

RUDERSDORFF, MADAME, and nasal resonance, 2.

SANTLEY, SIR CHARLES, on Garcia and the laryngoscope, 3.


SELF-REPRESSION, a deterrent to beautiful singing, 84.

SEMBRICH, MARCELLA, and the half-breath, 37;
  use of nasal resonance, 54.

SINGING, subtlety of, 4;
  obstacles to, 5, 74, 84;
  versus speaking, 5, 17;
  mission of singer, 18;
  defined as breathing, 23;
  age to begin, 77;
  in public schools, 78;
  by method, 79;
  vibrato in, 80;
  psychology of, 82-85;
  sublimated speech, 83;
  defined by Ffrangcon-Davies, 83;
  freedom in, 84;
  deterrents to, 84.

SINUSES, illustrated, 7;
  pairs of, 8;
  function of, 12.

SMILE, EFFECT OF, on pronunciation, 19.

SOFT PALATE, office of, 11, 52.

SPEAKING, obstacles to, 5;
  tones of, identical with singing tones, 5;
  difference from singing, 17;
  expression in, 83.

SPEAKING VOICE, misunderstood, 16;
  connection with singing voice, 16;
  how cultivated, 16;
  identity with singing voice, 17;
  and pronunciation, 18, 19.


SPHENOIDAL SINUSES, illustrated, 7;
  pairs of, 8;
  function of, 12.

STAGE ELOCUTION, criticism of Forbes-Robertson on, 19.

TEETH, function of, in use of voice, 12.

THROAT, theory of sound in, 1;
  a resonator, 6;
  illustrated, 7;
  relation to voice, 8.
  (See _Larynx_ and _Pharynx_.)

THROAT STIFFNESS, most frequent obstacle to good singing, 74;
  effect on larynx, 74;
  difficulty in recognizing one's own, 74;
  throat consciousness a common cause of, 74;
  induced by lack of breath mastery, 75;
  American hurry begets, 75;
  voice culture a struggle with, 75;
  remedies for, 75, 76.

TIMBRE OF VOICE, defined and explained, 7, 8.

TONE, defined, 45;
  analyzed 45;
  experiments to determine composition and resonance of, 46-50;
  focusing of, 52;
  vocal, a mental concept, 82;
  whole man in, 83.

TONE PRODUCTION, largely a matter of resonance, 56;
  effect of right thought on, 56;
  judged by naturalness and beauty of result, 56;
  function of the ear in governing, 57;
  cultivating normal, 57;
  exercises to aid in, 58-73;
  effect of throat stiffness on, 74;
  natural, 77;
  age to begin study of, 77.

TONE QUALITY, variety in, 6;
  effect of emotion upon, 7, 75, 84;
  relation of pronunciation to, 18;
  how to secure purity of, 18, 19;
  experiments to determine, 46-50;
  and resonance, 5, 44, 45, 49, 50;
  cause of nasal, 52-54;
  beauty or harshness of, a criterion of judgment, 56, 57;
  effect of throat stiffness on, 74-76;
  dependent on mind and ear, 82;
  related to personality of singer, 83;
  natural and unnatural, 85.

TONGUE, as an articulator, 6;
  illustrated, 7;
  connection with larynx, 9;
  position of, in speaking and singing, 13;
  tongue consciousness, 14.

  in ascending the scale, 10.

UPPER LIP, in pronunciation, 19;
  in practising, 68;
  in articulation, 72.

UVULA, office of, 11.


VIBRATO, 80, 81.

VIBRATOR, of the voice, 6;
  of instruments, 43.

VITALIZING TEXT WITH TONE, the singer's mission, 18.

VOCAL CORDS, vibrator for the voice, 6;
  in the larynx, 8;
  described, 9;
  not the principal cause of tone, 44, 45, 49;
  necessity of free action of, 51.

VOCAL INSTRUMENT, discussion of, 6-15;
  beauty and complexity of, 6;
  three elements of, 6, 7;
  illustrated, 7;
  relation of parts of, 8;
  larynx, 8, 9;
  vocal cords, 9;
  epiglottis, 10;
  pharynx, 10;
  under jaw, 10;
  soft palate, 11;
  hard palate and teeth, 12;
  nasal and head cavities, 12;
  tongue, 13;
  lips, 14;
  nostrils, 14;
  face, 15;
  defects in, 85.

VOCAL TONE, an audible mental concept, 82.

VOICE CULTURE, opinions concerning, 2;
  wrong methods of a generation ago, 3, 4;
  cannot be developed mechanically, 4;
  principles advocated, 5;
  the right way the easy way, 5;
  resonance an important factor of, 5, 43, 45, 50, 52, 54;
  should begin in childhood, 77;
  learned by imitation, 77;
  Roger Ascham on, 77, 78;
  in public schools, 78;
  artistry in, 78, 79;
  three periods of, 79;
  application of essentials of, 79;
  repose as a preparation for, 80;
  the vibrato in, 80;
  psychology of, 82-85;
  personality in, 83;
  freedom in, 84;
  deterrents in, 84, 85.

VOICE PLACING, 51, 52, 56-73.

VOICE TIMBRE, defined, 7, 8.

VOWEL SOUNDS, 11, 18, 19;
  singer's scale of, 20, 72;
  each has its own pitch, 20;
  lip position for, 20-22;
  placing of, 52;
  exercises for practice, 58-73.

WEBSTER, DANIEL, as a good speaker, 16.

WHEATSTONE, on pitch of vowel sounds, 20.

WILLIS, on pitch of vowel sounds, 20.



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=Manual of Harmony.= Ernst Friedrich Richter. Trans.
by J.C.D. Parker. A practical guide to the
study of harmony.                                               2 00 A

=Harmonic Analysis.= Benjamin Cutter. Teaches one
to analyze the harmonic structure of both classic
and modern music.                                               1 50 A

=Counterpoint.= Sir J. Frederick Bridge. This book has
freshness and plainness combined with thoroughness,
and must commend itself to young students
and teachers.                                                   1 25 A

  do.                                     _Paper_                 90 A

=Counterpoint Simplified.= Francis L. York. A concise
text-book of formal counterpoint. (Sequel
to author's "Harmony Simplified").                              1 50 A

=Guide to Musical Composition.= H. Wohlfahrt. Tr.
by J.S. Dwight. On the invention of melodies,
their transformation, development and suitable
accompaniment.                                                  1 25 A


=Instrumentation.= Ebenezer Prout, Mus. Doc. A
valuable guide and assistant to students who
wish to gain a knowledge of the proper blending
of orchestral instruments, their compass,
capabilities, etc.                                              1 50 A

  do.                                     _Paper_                 90 A

=Lessons in Music Form.= Percy Goetschius, Mus. Doc.
A manual of analysis of all the structural factors
and designs employed in musical composition.                    1 50 A

=Musical Forms.= Ernest Pauer. The students of musical
form, and especially those who study composition,
will find this a very valuable and
thorough work.                                                  1 75 A

  do.                                     _Paper_                 90 A

=Sound and Its Relation to Music.= Clarence G. Hamilton,
A.M. A handbook of acoustics as relating
to music. Based on the latest discoveries and
experiments.                                                    1 50 A


=Essentials in Conducting.= Karl W. Gehrkens, A.M.
On personal requirements, technic of the baton,
interpretation, rehearsing, program making, etc.                1 75 A

=Outlines of Music History.= Clarence G. Hamilton, A.M.
A compact, clearcut work for class use and the
general reader. Fully illustrated.                              2 25 A

=Music Appreciation.= Clarence G. Hamilton, A.M.
Based on methods of literary criticism, this
unique text-book is for those who wish to listen
to music with quickened hearing and real understanding.
With 24 portraits, 28 diagrams and
over 200 music cuts.                                            2 50 A

=Music Club Programs From all Nations.= Arthur
Elson. Outlines the various schools from all
nations with a rich series of programs and over
one hundred portraits.                                          2 00 A

=Some Essentials in Musical Definitions.= M.F.
MacConnell. Covers the needed information on
all points connected with musical theory, and
therefore of special value to piano, singing,
violin, and organ students.                                     1 25 A



=This notable series has been planned to embrace all the masterpieces
of song and piano literature; to gather into superbly made volumes of
uniform size and binding the best work of the best composers, edited
by men of authority. Each volume is independent, complete in itself,
and sold by itself.=

Paper, Cloth Back, per Volume  $2 50 A
Cloth, Gilt, per Volume.          3 50 A


=Bach Piano Album=

Vol. I. Shorter Compositions. Edited by Dr. Ebenezer Prout.

=Bach Piano Album=

Vol. II. Larger Compositions. Edited by Dr. Ebenezer Prout.

=Beethoven Piano Compositions=

Vols. I and II. Edited by Eugen D'Albert.

=Brahms, Johannes=

Selected Piano Compositions. Edited by Rafael Joseffy.

=Chopin, Frederic=

Forty Piano Compositions. Edited by James Huneker.

=Chopin, Frederic=

The Greater Chopin. Edited by James Huneker.

=Grieg, Edvard=

Larger Piano Compositions. Edited by Bertha Feiring Tapper.

=Grieg, Edvard=

Piano Lyrics and Shorter Compositions. Edited by Bertha Feiring

=Haydn, Franz Josef=

Twenty Piano Compositions. Edited by Xaver Scharwenka.

=Liszt, Franz=

Twenty Original Piano Compositions. Edited by August Spanuth.

=Liszt, Franz=

Twenty Piano Transcriptions. Edited by August Spanuth.

=Liszt, Franz=

Ten Hungarian Rhapsodies. Edited by August Spanuth and John Orth.

=Mendelssohn, Felix=

Thirty Piano Compositions. Edited by Percy Goetschius, Mus. Doc. With
a Preface by Daniel Gregory Mason.

=Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus=

Twenty Piano Compositions. Edited by Carl Reinecke.

=Schubert, Franz=

Selected Piano Compositions. Edited by A. Spanuth.

=Schumann, Robert=

Fifty Piano Compositions. Edited by Naver Scharwenka.

=Wagner, Richard=

Selections from the Music Dramas. Edited by Otto Singer.

       *       *       *       *       *

=Anthology of French Piano Music=

Vol. I. Early Composers. Vol. II. Modern Composers. Edited by Isidor

=Anthology of German Piano Music=

Vol. I. Early Composers. Vol. II. Modern Composers. Edited by Moritz

=Early Italian Piano Music=

Edited by M. Esposito.

=Modern Russian Piano Music=

Vols. I and II. Edited by Constantin von Sternberg.

=Twenty-four Negro Melodies.=

Transcribed for Piano by S. Coleridge-Taylor.


=Brahms, Johannes=

Forty Songs. High Voice. Low Voice. Edited by James Huneker.

=Franz, Robert=

Fifty Songs. High Voice. Low Voice. Edited by William Foster Apthorp.

=Grieg, Edvard=

Fifty Songs. High Voice. Low Voice. Edited by Henry T. Finck.

=Handel, George Frideric=

Vol. I. Songs and Airs. High Voice. Vol. II. Songs and Airs. Low
Voice. Edited by Dr. Ebenezer Prout.

=Jensen, Adolf=

Forty Songs. High Voice. Low Voice. Edited by William Foster Apthorp.

=Liszt, Franz=

Thirty Songs. High Voice. Low Voice. Edited by Carl Armbruster.

=Schubert, Franz=

Fifty Songs. High Voice. Low Voice. Edited by Henry T. Finck.

=Schumann, Robert=

Fifty Songs. High Voice. Low Voice. Edited by W.J. Henderson.

=Strauss, Richard=

Forty Songs. High Voice. Low Voice. Edited by James Huneker.

=Tchaikovsky, P.I.=

Forty Songs. High Voice. Low Voice. Edited by James Huneker.

=Wagner, Richard=

Lyrics for Soprano. Edited by Carl Armbruster.

=Wagner, Richard=

Lyrics for Tenor. Edited by Carl Armbruster.

=Wagner, Richard=

Lyrics for Baritone and Bass. Edited by Carl Armbruster.

=Wolf, Hugo=

Fifty Songs. High Voice. Low Voice. Edited by Ernest Newman.

=Fifty Mastersongs=

High Voice. Low Voice. Edited by Henry T. Finck.

=Fifty Shakspere Songs=

High Voice. Low Voice. Edited by Charles Vincent, Mus. Doc.

=Modern French Songs=

High Voice. Low Voice. Vol. I. Bemberg to Franck. Vol. II. Georges to
Widor. Edited by Philip Hale.

=One Hundred English Folk-songs=

Medium Voice. Edited by Cecil J. Sharp.

=One Hundred Folk-Songs of all Nations.=

Medium Voice. Edited by Granville Bantock.

=One Hundred Songs by Ten Masters=

High Voice. Low Voice. Edited by Henry T. Finck. Vol. I. Schubert,
Schumann, Franz, Rubinstein and Jensen. Vol. II. Brahms, Tchaikovsky,
Grieg, Wolf and Strauss.

=One Hundred Songs of England=

High Voice. Low Voice. Edited by Granville Bantock.

=Seventy Scottish Songs=

High Voice. Low Voice. Edited by Helen Hopekirk.

=Sixty Folk-songs of France=

Medium Voice. Edited by Julien Tiersot.

=Sixty Irish Songs=

High Voice. Low Voice. Edited by William Arms Fisher.

=Sixty Patriotic Songs of All Nations=

Medium Voice. Edited by Granville Bantock.

=Songs by Thirty Americans=

High Voice. Low Voice. Edited by Rupert Hughes.

=Songs From the Operas for Soprano=

Edited by H.E. Krehbiel.

=Songs From the Operas for Mezzo Soprano=

Edited by H.E. Krehbiel.

=Songs From the Operas for Alto=

Edited by H.E. Krehbiel.

=Songs From the Operas for Tenor=

Edited by H.E. Krehbiel.

=Songs From the Operas for Baritone and Bass=

Edited by H.E. Krehbiel.

Other volumes are in preparation. Booklets, giving full particulars,
with portraits of Editors, and contents of volumes published, FREE on

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