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Title: Psycho Vox - or The Emerson System of Voice Culture
Author: Emerson, Charles Wesley
Language: English
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      Text enclosed by underscores is in italics (_italics_).
      Text enclosed by equal signs is in bold face (=bold=).

[Illustration: Portrait with inscription - Yours faithfully
Charles Wesley Emerson]

                          P S Y C H O   V O X


                        CHARLES WESLEY EMERSON.
              _Founder of the Emerson College of Oratory_,
                             BOSTON, MASS.

                         [Illustration: logo]

                       EMERSON PUBLISHING COMPANY
                             MILLIS, MASS.

                            COPYRIGHT, 1897.
                       BY CHARLES WESLEY EMERSON.


  Voice, the Natural Reporter of the Individual.

  Organs that Produce, Reinforce, and Give Resonant Forms to the Voice.

  Relation of the Proper Use of the Voice to Health.

  Relation of the Proper Use of the Voice to the Nervous System.

  Relation of Pitch to Resonance.

  Methods for Cultivating the Voice.



  Quality of Voice.

  Vocal Technique.


                    “_When a man lives with God, his_
               _voice shall be as sweet as the murmur of_
               _the brook and the rustle of the corn._”

                             =PSYCHO VOX.=

                    =_VOICE, THE NATURAL REPORTER OF
                            THE INDIVIDUAL._=

It is true in nature, in both organic and inorganic matter, that sound
reports the quality of substance, that is, the quality of the sound
indicates the quality of the object which produces it. This is very
apparent in the animal kingdom. The naturalist knows by the tone of the
bird’s voice what kind of bird it is. The hunter knows by the voice of a
wild animal heard in the distance whether it is carniverous or
herbiverous; for in the voice of the former he hears something which is
savage, something which tears, while in the latter he hears the softer
tones of the milder animal.

In this treatise I shall consider the human voice as the natural
reporter of the individual, his character, and his physical and mental
states. I am not considering the individual in any narrow sense, but in
the sense of his entire being—body and mind.

Modern research shows that the mind affects all parts of the body,—the
brain most immediately. I would not be understood, however, to imply
that the brain thinks, or that any part of the body thinks; but that the
soul uses the body in this world as a medium through which to manifest
its thoughts, emotions, and purposes. One of nature’s laws is
expression. What is inmost shall be outermost. What is spoken in secret
“shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.” This law is never supplanted,
never circumscribed, it always was, is, and ever will be constant in its

The mind expresses its degree of development through the vocal
mechanism. As the individual rises in development, more thought is
expressed in his voice. The voice of a baby has little mind in it; it
reports little more than physical sensations. If its physical sensations
are agreeable, the “coo” tells it more clearly than words could. As the
mind continues to develop, one power after another manifests itself in
the voice until we hear thought, affection, and choice speaking in
unmistakable tones.

The voice is educated through inducing right states of mind while using
it. Mont Blanc rises shoulder to shoulder with other mountains; then,
towering above them, its brow pierces the clouds. One speaking while
inspired with a sense of its sublimity need not be told not to speak on
a high pitch, for he will feel no impulse so to do. Education means to
draw out; therefore all true education is from within. If there ever was
an age of the world in which this needed to be said, it is to-day.
Materialism has spread all over the civilized world, influencing men in
religion and in education. I admit that man is influenced by
environment, but it must be remembered that man is not confined to
material environment alone, his immediate environment is Spirit. Man
learns not only from without, but from within; not through sense merely,
but through soul.

Singing is heart speaking to heart; inward life speaking to inward life.
The power of moving the feelings is the power by which the world is
governed. A person may possess reason, but reason must speak in the form
of feeling before it becomes effective in influencing others.
Elementally considered, the singing and the speaking voices are one.
Good teaching for the one is good teaching for the other. The first step
in educating the voice is to teach the pupil to think in sounds. The
voice is capable of expressing every mental activity—intellectual as
well as emotional. The voice rarely fails to reveal the lower order of
feelings, as physical pleasure or pain; it can also reveal the higher
realm of feelings,—benevolence, love of truth for its own sake, love of
good, sympathy with all conscious being, hope, faith, and all spiritual

The mind must be trained to the perception of beautiful vocal sounds; it
must hold these sounds as ideals while practising with the voice. It is
at this point that the chief difficulty in vocal culture arises, viz.,
that of keeping the mind constantly and exclusively concentrated upon
its ideals. If a person holds the right ideal steadily before his mind
while properly practising, repetition will cause this ideal to take
dominating possession of the tones, and thus shape them to itself and
become incarnated in them.

I once heard a most interesting conversation between two gentlemen, one
of whom was a Russian violinist. A young Italian had been entertaining a
company by playing upon a violin. The Russian asked to see the
instrument, and said to a gentleman sitting near, “This is a very old
violin—probably a hundred years old.” The other replied, “I suppose it
must be very valuable, then, for we are told that the longer a violin is
played upon the better it becomes.” “Ah, my friend,” continued the
Russian, “that all depends upon what kind of music has been played upon
it. The tone of this violin indicates to my mind that it has
deteriorated in value in consequence of its having been compelled to
discourse music of an inferior quality.”

What a revelation in nature! The molecules that compose the wood of a
violin can be marshalled into harmony by the music played upon it! If in
the mind of the violinist there is melody and harmony of a high order,
it finds its way through his fingers into the bow that touches the
strings, and all the molecules of the resounding wood waltz into
harmonious forms. What a spectacle for the eye of reason to see all
these molecules begin to form into line and step out to the concord of
sweet sounds born of the mind of the musician!

If this principle is true of the violin, is it not pre-eminently true of
the vocal organism which was designed by its infinite Creator for the
especial purpose of responding to the activities of the mind that
inhabits it? As the mind thinks mystery, grandeur, or solemnity, the
vocalized breath is shaped into corresponding forms of expression. In
the throat is a beautiful instrument, made by Him who made the soul to
require such an organ for its expression.

It is a fatal mistake to consider the voice as something separate from
the man. The true voice is the soul incarnated in tone.

The mission of the voice is to communicate to others what is in the soul
of each. The eyes of no two persons receive the same rays of light. All
men know more than one man, because each person has his own individual
point from which to view life and the world. If we listen not to the
report of others, our lives will contain but little truth. A person with
a grand intellect lies as open to the thoughts of others as the placid
lake to the stars which it nightly reflects. Narrow minds will entertain
only those thoughts which come to them through some channel in favor of
which they maintain a prejudice. The receptive mind will “prove all
things” by entertaining all things, and then “hold fast that which is

This power to communicate thought through sound is beautiful and
mysterious. A person listening to an orchestral composition often finds
that the thoughts awakened in him correspond to those which inspired the

I know that Beethoven believed in God’s government on earth, because
once while listening to one of his compositions, which no words
accompanied, visions arose before my mind. I saw the early condition of
this world; I heard a sound as if a thousand wild animals were tearing
each other into fragments with snarls, and yells, and fierce cries. The
blood was flowing, and their eyes were shooting fire. I next saw men
tearing each other as the beasts had done before. I saw the glitter of
arms and the coats of mail; I saw the onset and heard the shock of the
charge. I saw men fall, and then there went up a groan of agony which
finally merged into a cry toward heaven for help. It was a universal
prayer of suffering humanity. Then there came a voice to which all
heaven seemed to contribute, a voice that was helpful, a voice of
forgiveness, a voice that seemed to soothe the cry of agony, and fully
answer the prayer. Old things had passed away, and behold, all things
had become new. There was a new heaven and a new earth wherein dwelt
righteousness. Human beings I saw, not as “trees walking,” but as gods
crowned with love, glory, and immortality.

It was then I was made to realize what the apostle meant when he said he
was caught up into heaven and saw things unlawful to utter,—not against
the laws of man, but above the laws of language. The composition of
Beethoven made me think what words could not tell.

In the poem, “_Aux Italiens_,” Owen Meredith describes the power exerted
upon the minds of others through a composition of Verdi when rendered by

        Of all the operas that Verdi wrote,
          The best, to my taste, is the Trovatore;
        And Mario could soothe with a tenor note
          The souls in purgatory.

        The moon on the tower slept soft as snow,
          And who was not thrilled in the strangest way,
        As we heard him sing, while the gas burned low,
          “_Non ti scordar di me!_”

        The Emperor there, in his box of state,
          Looked grave, as if he had just then seen
        The red flag wave from the city gate,
          Where his eagles in bronze had been.

There was something in the voice of the singer which caused the
Emperor’s mind to see the red flag standing where “his eagles in bronze
had been.”

        The Empress, too, had a tear in her eye.
          You’d have said that her fancy had gone back again
        For one moment under the old blue sky
          To the old, glad life in Spain.

The tones of Mario caused the Empress to see her early home; and the
chief character in the poem to see his first love, and to even smell the
flower he had seen her wear.

        Meanwhile, I was thinking of my first love,
          As I had not been thinking of aught for years,
        Till over my eyes there began to move
          Something that felt like tears.

        .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .

        For I thought of her grave below the hill,
          Which the sentinel cypress tree stands over,
        And I thought,—“Were she only living still,
          How I could forgive her and love her!”

        And I swear, as I thought of her thus, in that hour,
          And of how, after all, old things were best,
        That I smelt the smell of that jasmin-flower
          Which she used to wear in her breast.

An orator, by his tones as well as by his words, causes definite mental
activities to take possession of his audience, thus influencing them
with the action of their own minds. The language of tone is the language
of the spheres, it is the language of the invisible world, it is the
language of the angels.

The soul knows what tones to employ for the purpose of communicating its
own activities to other souls. The impulse of the soul constructs the
form of the tone which communicates its thought to the audience. There
is no such thing as true voice which soul has not formed. The proper
study of the voice is a study of the manifestations of the soul. Life is
rich and valuable if we live from the interior. Life is disappointing,
life is the blasting of all highest hopes, life is the shatterer and
annihilator of all ideals, if we live not from the soul.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word
was God.” “All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything
made that was made.” Think what an estimate the Bible puts upon the
“Word!” The Word, which is the fruition of the soul in manifestation, is
used as a symbol of the relation of Jesus Christ to the Father. The Word
is represented as being the Truth, the Life, the Creative Energy, and
the Being of God Himself. Man’s word, when he lives truly, is but an
expression, a moving out upon the world, and upon the hearts of others,
of the love, the truth, the worship of his soul.

True words, then, are not sounds separate from the spirit; they are the
incarnated soul. I would never teach voice, I would never teach oratory,
if words were not, in their true nature, Divine things, if they were not
forms of the spirit and of the soul!

                   =_ORGANS THAT PRODUCE, REINFORCE,
                     AND GIVE RESONANT FORMS TO THE

                             VOICE DEFINED.

The human voice is that sound, caused by the vibration of the vocal
cords in the larynx and reinforced by the resonant chambers, which
reports the physical and mental states of man.

                            CAUSE OF VOICE.

Voice is caused by the contraction of the muscles of expiration, which
brings sufficient pressure upon the lungs to drive the air from them out
between the vocal cords, thus causing their edges to vibrate, thereby
throwing the column of breath into such rapid vibration as to produce

                       ORGANS THAT PRODUCE VOICE.

                    Larynx, (Including Vocal Cords),
                        Muscles of Respiration.


The larynx is the principal organ of voice. It is situated in the front
of the neck, and forms the prominence sometimes called “Adam’s apple”;
it also forms a part of the anterior boundary of the pharynx. At the
upper part it has the form of a triangular box, with one angle directly
in front. It is composed of nine cartilages moved by muscles, and lined
with mucous membrane. Six of its cartilages are in pairs; three are
single. The three single cartilages are the thyroid, cricoid, and
epiglottis; the three pairs are the arytenoid, cuneiform, and cornicula
laryngis. The larynx is sometimes called a music-box; from it proceeds
the sound called voice.


                              VOCAL CORDS.

Across the larynx are stretched the true vocal cords.


[Illustration: =THE GLOTTIS DILATED.=]


Each cord consists of a band of yellow tissue, covered by mucous

By means of the action of the muscles of the larynx that connect with
the cartilages which enter into its structure, the vocal cords are so
adjusted that when the muscles of expiration force the air, which is
compressed in the lungs, out between these cords, their edges are set in
vibration. This is the beginning of the sound which we call voice, but
before it is heard in speech or song it is reinforced by the chambers of


[1] For the function of the false, or superior vocal cords, see pp.
68-71, _Physical Culture_.


The various degrees of pitch in the compass of the voice depend upon the
rate of vibration of the vocal cords. This rate of vibration, the
pressure of breath being the same, is caused by the different degrees of
tension of the vocal cords. If the vocal cords are drawn thin and short,
the pitch will be high; as the tension diminishes, the pitch will be
lower. The greater the number of vibrations to the second, the higher
will be the pitch. A sound consisting of sixteen vibrations to the
second produces the lowest pitch that has been recognized by the human
ear as sound; while more than 38,000 vibrations per second have not been

The lowest rate of vibration on record of any voice is about forty-four
vibrations per second, while the highest rate in any voice on record is
a little over nineteen hundred.


Different degrees of loudness of voice are caused by different degrees
of amplitude of the waves of vibration.

                               THE LUNGS.

The two lungs are the essential organs of respiration; the right lung
has three lobes, the left, two. The base of each lung rests upon the
convex surface of the diaphragm.


The root of each lung is formed by the bronchus and blood-vessels, which
enter the lung a little above the middle of its inner surface, and
connect it to the heart and trachea. With the exception of the root, the
surface of each lung is free and moves in the cavity of the thorax. The
bronchus is one of two tubes which arise from the bifurcation of the
trachea. It conducts the air from the trachea to either lung. The
bronchial tubes are sub-divisions, or ramifications, of the bronchus and
terminate in the air-cells.

                       _MUSCLES OF RESPIRATION._

Inasmuch as voice is vocalized breath, it is important to give attention
to respiration.

The principal muscles used in the ordinary movements of inspiration

                         I. Diaphragm.
                        II. Levatores costarum.
                       III. External intercostals.

The principal muscles used in expiration are:—

               I. Internal intercostals
                  with the infracostals.

              II. Triangularis sterni.

                                         { Transversalis.
             III. Abdominal muscles      { Rectus.
                                         { Internal oblique.
                                         { External oblique.

There are many accessory muscles which aid in violent respiratory
movements, both inspiratory and expiratory. All the muscles which
elevate the scapula may act through it upon the ribs; the three scalene
muscles act directly upon the first rib.

The principal muscles of inspiration may be assisted by the

                       I. Serratus posticus superior.
                      II. Serratus magnus.
                     III. Pectoralis major.
                      IV. Pectoralis minor.

The principal muscles of expiration may be aided by the following

                       I. Serratus posticus inferior,
                      II. Longissimus dorsi,
                     III. Sacro lumbalis,

and all the muscles which tend to depress the ribs.

[Illustration: =THE DIAPHRAGM.=]


The diaphragm separates the cavity of the thorax from the cavity of the
abdomen, and constitutes the floor for the heart and lungs to rest upon,
and also a close-fitting cover for the contents of the abdomen.
Therefore it is evident that the moving of the diaphragm moves the
organs which are immediately above and those below it. In reposeful
breathing the enlargement of the cavity of the chest is chiefly
accomplished by the contraction of the diaphragm. As it contracts it
presses upon the abdominal viscera. The abdominal muscles antagonize the
diaphragm by pressing back the abdominal viscera, thus causing its
ascent as soon as the diaphragm has become relaxed.

As the diaphragm contracts, the air rushes through the nostrils or mouth
to fill the lungs. By lifting the ribs the thorax can be sufficiently
enlarged to meet ordinary demands for breath; therefore the lungs would
not immediately suffer if the diaphragm was not contracted. The
principal sufferers in such a case would be the stomach, liver, and
intestines, for without this exercise which the contraction of the
diaphragm gives them they would not as vigorously perform their

It is taught in many works on physiology that men inhale by means of the
contraction of the diaphragm chiefly, while in adult women the diaphragm
is exercised little, if any, during respiration. This statement was
first given in early physiologies without due warrant from close
observation. This idea, having once found its way into a standard work,
has continued in successive works until now. This theory is of such
vital interest to all that the authority for it should be carefully
examined. It is a fact that more women than men breathe wholly by means
of elevating and lowering the ribs; it is also a well-observed fact that
the healthiest women and the healthiest men breathe alike, with no
movement of the upper part of the chest during reposeful respiration. It
is only when an unusual amount of air is required that the healthiest
men and women ever move the upper part of the chest during respiration;
then the diaphragm is exercised vigorously, and the movements of the
ribs take place only for the purpose of enlarging the cavity of the
thorax beyond what it is possible for the diaphragm alone to accomplish.
During the last twenty-five years I have cured hundreds of people, both
men and women, of dyspepsia and its attendant weaknesses by teaching
them how to exercise the diaphragm in respiration, and in the production
of tone. To say nothing of the incorrect way in which women breathe, I
find that a majority of men breathe improperly.

The shape of the diaphragm, when it is relaxed, resembles an open
umbrella. When the diaphragm is flattened by contraction it no longer
retains its dome-like shape, and thus gives greater depth to the thorax.

                     DURING THE PRODUCTION OF TONE.

During expiration of breath the diaphragm is fully relaxed, while during
the production of tone it should be somewhat contracted. In the proper
adjustment of the diaphragm and abdominal muscles during voice
production, the diaphragm by its contraction resists, to some extent,
the pressure caused by the contraction of the abdominal muscles, and
thus only gradually yields to the force brought against it by the
contraction of these muscles, in consequence of which a firm and steady
support is given to the voice.

                      BREATHING THROUGH THE NOSE.

The question is often asked, “Should one breathe through the nose or
through the mouth?” Nature has so constructed the organs of respiration
and determined their action that a person in health breathes through the
nose, while a person in ill health often breathes through the mouth. By
“breathing through the nose,” of course, is meant reposeful breathing.
In extraordinary breathing some persons are obliged to breathe through
the mouth, but this is always an indication of exhaustion or weakness.
Every person should, if possible, maintain the habit of breathing
through the nose.

[Illustration: Median Section of _Mouth_, _Nose_, _Pharynx_, and
_Larynx_:—_a_, septum of nose; below it, section of hard palate; _b_,
tongue; _c_, section of velum pendulum palati; _d_, _d_, lips; _u_,
uvula; _r_, anterior arch or pillar of fauces; _i_, posterior arch; _t_,
tonsil; _p_, pharynx; _h_, hyoid bone; _k_, thyroid cartilage; _n_,
crycoid cartilage; _s_, epiglottis; _v_, glottis; 1, posterior opening
of nares; 3, isthmus faucium; 4, superior opening of larynx; 5, passage
into œsophagus; 6, mouth of right Eustachian tube.]

                    _ORGANS WHICH REINFORCE VOICE._

The organs that reinforce voice are its resonant chambers, viz.:—


Resonance means resounding or sounding again, and is caused by means of
the air conveying the vibrations of one substance to another substance.
This is familiarly illustrated in the echo.

There are two classes of resonant chambers; one class is comparatively
fixed, and consists of the nares and trachea; the other class may, for
convenience, be termed the transient forms of resonance. [2]A transient
resonant chamber is one that is formed on the instant for a particular
purpose, and may be broken as quickly.

Elements of speech are formed by producing a succession of definitely
formed but transient molds of resonance.

The pharynx is for the purpose of reinforcing the tone, giving it
projection and some assistance in proper direction. All the other
transient resonant molds are for the purpose of producing elements of


[2] See Tyndall on sound, page 227.

                        NARES (Nasal cavities).

The nares are the cavities in the head extending through the nose to the
pharynx. The walls of the nares are smooth, and, with their turbinated
bones, suggest the inside of a sea-shell.


The pharynx is a membranous sac. It has seven openings, the two
posterior nares, the two Eustachian tubes, the larynx, the œsophagus,
and the isthmus faucium, which is the opening into the mouth.



The trachea, or windpipe, is a cylindrical tube extending from the lower
part of the larynx to where it divides into the bronchi. The interior
surface is firm and beautiful.


                              Upper gum,
                              Hard palate,
                              Soft palate,

Although the quality of the voice produced by the vocal cords of the
human being cannot be distinguished from that produced by the vocal
cords of the lower animals the organs which resound it give it a
distinct quality.

No one of these agents alone molds the tone, but their proper relation
to each other constitutes resonant molds as definite as those into which
melted ore is cast to give it form and stamp. This proper relationship
cannot be secured by exercising the organs in any strictly mechanical
way, but only by forming definite ideal tones in the mind and exercising
the voice while these ideal tones are firmly fixed as steady objects of
thought. If these mental objects drop from the mind at any time during
the vocal practice, no mechanical ingenuity can possibly take their
places in rightly affecting the voice.

Later in this work, I shall more fully elaborate this point.

                           VOICE TO HEALTH._=

Many years of observation and study have convinced me that the voice
exerts a powerful effect upon the whole physical system. It either
builds up the body, sustains its power and adds to its health, or it
devitalizes the body and brings a dangerous strain upon the entire

The voice cannot be a reporter of the person, mental and physical,
without holding the most delicate relations to mind and body. The
exercise of the voice subtly and vitally affects the organs that promote
health and give life. I could give many illustrations showing that the
wrong use of the voice has injured health, and that its right use has
promoted health; but if the principles involved in this chapter are
fully understood, I need not relate incidents to prove that the voice is
a life-giver or a death-dealer, depending entirely upon _how_ it is

The Greeks were taught the right use of the voice as a part of their
physical, intellectual, and moral culture. In modern times we have
neglected voice culture to a very great extent, and have suffered much
ill health in consequence.



Great wisdom is exhibited in the construction of the human lungs. In the
arrangement of the air cells, the greatest possible amount of surface is
presented in order that the air may freely enter the blood. The lungs
are largely made up of blood vessels, bronchial tubes, and air cells.
When a person breathes, the oxygen, entering the lungs through the
trachea and the bronchial tubes, penetrates the thin walls of these
cells and passes at once into the blood. When the blood enters the lungs
it is dark in color, but when it leaves the lungs it is of a light
vermilion hue. The oxygen which has been taken into the lungs has
wrought this change. So wonderful is this element of nature that some
have called it life. If there is an elixir of life in the material world
surely it is oxygen, for it has to do minutely and intimately with every
power of the human body. The more a person breathes this oxygen as it is
mixed in the common air, the more life and power he possesses.

It is essential to perfect health that every avenue to the lungs should
be kept open and free, and that the air cells should be kept clear, for
if the walls of the cells thicken, oxygen cannot penetrate them. If
these cells are not properly filled during respiration, the walls
thicken, and substances collect in the cells. If any trouble occurs in
the air cells, except for traumatic reasons, it will first be found in
the apexes of the lungs. In the production of tone, whether on a low,
high, or medium pitch, the vocal cords are drawn so closely together
that the air cannot immediately escape from the lungs; therefore, unable
to get out readily, it is pressed up into the apexes of the lungs by the
expiratory muscles, filling the air cells to the utmost, thus keeping
them clear and their walls thin and healthy. In correct singing or
speaking, the apexes of the lungs are filled with air. Tubercule seeks
devitalized tissue for its development. Therefore tuberculosis usually
begins in the apexes of the lungs because they are not kept clear and
healthy through proper respiration and vocal exercise. Voice was given
to man to make him strong and expressive, to give him life and power.


The stomach is the principal organ of digestion. Out of the nutriment
taken into it all the tissues of the body are renewed. It lies under the
diaphragm, and is held in place by the abdominal muscles. The stomach is
moved during respiration, descending with every inspiration, and rising
with every expiration.

In addition to this exercise during the production of tone, the stomach
is held firmly between the diaphragm and abdominal muscles. At the close
of the tone the muscles which thus hold the stomach relax.

[Illustration: A view of the Organs of Digestion, opened in nearly their
whole length; a portion of the œsophagus has been removed on account of
want of space in the figure; the arrows indicate the course of
substances along the canal: 1, the upper lip, turned off the mouth; 2,
its frænum; 3, the lower lip, turned down; 4, its frænum; 5, 5, inside
of the cheeks, covered by the lining membrane of the mouth; 6, points to
the opening of the duct of Steno; 7, roof of the mouth; 8, lateral
half-arches; 9, points to the tonsil; 10, velum pendulum palati; 11,
surface of the tongue; 12, papillæ near its point; 13, a portion of the
trachea; 14, the œsophagus; 15, its internal surface; 16, inside of the
stomach; 17, its greater extremity or great cul-de-sac; 18, its lesser
extremity or smaller cul-de-sac; 19, its lesser curvature; 20, its
greater curvature; 21, the cardiac orifice; 22, the pyloric orifice; 23,
upper portion of duodenum; 24, 25, the remainder of the duodenum; 26,
its valvulæ conniventes; 27, the gall-bladder; 28, the cystic duct; 29,
division of hepatic ducts in the liver; 30, hepatic duct; 31, ductus
communis choledochus; 32, its opening into the duodenum; 33, ductus
Wirsungii, or pancreatic duct; 34, its opening into the duodenum; 35,
upper part of jejunum; 36, the ileum; 37, some of the valvulæ
conniventes; 38, lower extremity of the ileum; 39, ileo-colic valve; 40,
41, cœcum, or caput coli; 42, appendicula vermiformis; 43, 44, ascending
colon; 45, transverse colon; 46, 47, descending colon; 48, sigmoid
flexure of the colon; 49, upper portion of the rectum; 50, its lower
extremity; 51, portion of the levator-ani muscle; 52, the anus.]

[Illustration: LIVER. The inferior or concave surface of the liver,
showing its subdivisions into lobes: 1, center of the right lobe; 2,
center of the left lobe; 3, its anterior, inferior, or thin margin; 4,
its posterior, thick, or diaphragmatic portion; 5, the right extremity;
6, the left extremity; 7, the notch in the anterior margin; 8, the
umbilical or longitudinal fissure; 9, the round ligament or remains of
the umbilical vein; 10, the portion of the suspensory ligament in
connection with the round ligament; 11, pons hepatis, or band of liver
across the umbilical fissure; 12, posterior end of longitudinal fissure;
13, 14, attachment of the obliterated ductus venosus to the ascending
vena cava; 15, transverse fissure; 16, section of the hepatic duct; 17,
hepatic artery; 18, its branches; 19, vena portarum; 20, its sinus, or
division into right and left branches; 21, fibrous remains of the ductus
venosus; 22, gall-bladder; 23, its neck; 24, lobulus quartus; 25,
lobulus Spigelii; 26, lobulus caudatus; 27, inferior vena cava; 28,
curvature of liver to fit the ascending colon; 29, depression to fit the
right kidney; 30, upper portion of its right concave surface over the
renal capsule; 31, portion of liver uncovered by the peritoneum; 32,
inferior edge of the coronary ligament in the liver; 33, depression made
by the vertebral column.]

                    EFFECT OF VOICE UPON THE LIVER.

The liver is a glandular organ, intended for the secretion of bile from
the blood. It is situated under the diaphragm and partially over the
stomach; therefore the exercises which produce pressure and relief upon
the stomach, exert the same effect upon the liver. That the liver may
properly perform its function it is necessary for it to be thus
exercised. One cannot speak or sing well without moving the diaphragm,
and when this is moved it moves nearly all the organs contained in the
trunk of the body, and especially promotes the healthy activity of the
lungs, stomach, liver, and intestines.


Mucous membrane lines all those passages by which the internal parts
communicate with the exterior, and is continuous with the skin at the
various orifices of the surface of the body. The mucous membrane,
beginning with the lips, lines the mouth, throat, œsophagus, stomach,
and in short, the entire alimentary canal. It also lines the nares,
larynx, bronchial tubes, and air cells. It is one because unbroken. Its
function is to secrete mucous for the purpose of preventing dryness.

Sympathetic relations exist throughout the whole human system, and
especially between different parts of the same organ; if one part of the
mucous membrane is injured, another part is as liable to suffer as that
immediately injured. If congestion takes place in any part of this
mucous membrane, it may cause congestion in some remote part of the
membrane, without affecting the intervening parts. There is a certain
common misuse of the voice which creates in the pharynx an irritation
called “clergyman’s sore throat.” By the law of sympathy, this
congestion is likely to be communicated from the pharynx to the mucous
membrane of the stomach. It may also attack the mucous membrane of the
bronchial tubes and through them affect the lungs.

Although this disease caused by the misuse of the voice is called
“clergyman’s sore throat,” it is not confined to clergymen; it prevails
to a considerable extent among school teachers, lawyers, and
auctioneers. It is dangerous for one to enter upon any form of public
speaking without having a sufficient knowledge of the voice to use his
own correctly. This is true not merely because it gives power to speak
more effectively, but because it enables one to preserve his own health,
and thereby prolong his usefulness. “Clergyman’s sore throat” is caused
by making too close a chamber of resonance in the pharynx while
speaking. This is a confirmed habit with a very large number of persons;
in fact, it might almost be said to be a prevailing difficulty, but it
does not always cause a sore throat until the voice is more constantly
used than it ordinarily is in private life.

A clergyman or others may for years have practised this habit without
feeling the effect upon the throat; but as soon as they come to speak
steadily for a half hour or more, and that, too, for the purpose of
being heard in a large room, begin to realize a huskiness which soon
develops into an irritation of the throat.

This finally develops into a congestion, and sooner or later into a
cough, which results in the breaking down of the powers of the
individual, and if it does not receive immediate and proper attention
consumption may be the result. No medicine, however good, can give more
than a temporary relief. So long as the cause (which is the misuse of
the voice), remains, the difficulty must return. Sometimes “clergyman’s
sore throat” is not introduced by huskiness; the first symptom observed
is that of dryness or irritation. This is especially true if the voice
is characterized by a metallic element. All these evils can be cured by
proper vocal education, providing the patient does not wait too long.



The vocal organs may be said to be tools, and the nerves the workmen
appointed to use them.

Nerves are whitish and elastic bundles of fibers, with their
accompanying tissues. They transmit nervous impulses between nerve
centers and various parts of the animal body.

    “Nerves are composed of one or more (sometimes nearly a hundred)
    nerve fibers, each fiber forming a means of communication
    between two parts more or less distant from each

The brain is contained in the cranium, and may be said to be the
controller of the entire nervous system. From it proceed twelve pairs of
cranial nerves.

I. Olfactory, nerve of smell,—distributed in the mucous membrane of the

II. Optic, nerve of sight,—distributes its branches to the eye ball.

III. Motor oculi,—motor of the eye.

IV. Patheticus,—assists in moving the eye.

V. Trigeminus,—nerve of sensation, motion, and taste.

VI. Abducens,—assists the movements of the eye.

VII. Facial (or nerve of expression),—moves the face, ear, palate, and
  tongue. By means of this nerve the tongue is directly connected with the
  brain, and receives its impulse of action therefrom.

VIII. Auditory,—nerve of hearing.

IX. Glosso-pharyngeal, nerve of sensation and taste,—it is distributed to
  the back of the tongue, middle ear, tonsils, and pharynx.

X. Pneumogastric,—the
  nerve. It is a nerve of sensation and motion, probably receiving its motor
  influence from its spinal accessory.

XI. Spinal accessory furnishes motor power to the pneumogastric.

XII. Hypo-glossal,—motor of the tongue. It communicates with the
  pneumogastric and sympathetic nerves.



                 *        *        *        *        *

My principal object in writing of the relation of the voice to the
nervous system is to show anatomical and physiological reasons for
denominating the voice the reporter of the states of mind.

We have before us the names of the nerves which connect the organs of
speech with the organ of thought. Through some of the cranial nerves the
mind immediately discharges its impulses upon certain organs, both
consciously and subconsciously. This is illustrated by the motor occuli,
patheticus, and abducens, which move the eye sometimes consciously and
sometimes subconsciously. This shows that these nerves may, and often
do, act upon the eye, without any conscious plan or purpose on the part
of the individual.

The mind often manifests, through the cranial nerves, states of mind of
which the person is unconscious. While consciousness is the power by
which one knows his own states of mind, there is no proof that
consciousness takes note of all one’s states of mind. The proof that it
does not is found in the fact that people, through involuntary acts,
often manifest mental activities of which they are unconscious.
Spontaneous expression is truest.

The facial nerve causes the muscles of the face to portray the thoughts
and feelings of the soul more truthfully than any artist could delineate
them with pencil and brush. Before we can properly teach vocal culture
and oratorical expression we must understand the principle of
spontaneous manifestation by means of cranial nerves as distinct from
purposeful forms of expression. The facial nerve not only acts as a
motor of expression through the face, causing it to reveal thought and
emotion, but acts in the same manner upon the tongue, causing it to form
and modulate tones in song and speech.

Again note the nature of the hypo-glossal cranial nerve, which is not
only a motor of the tongue, causing it to act spontaneously, but is
distributed also to the muscles of the neck which are concerned in the
movements of the larynx. The purpose of this distribution is probably to
associate the action of the tongue with that of the larynx which is
necessary for articulate speech. All the motions of the tongue are
performed through the medium of these nerves.

[Illustration: The drawing exhibits the cerebral connection of all the
cerebral nerves except the first. It is from a sketch taken from two
dissections of this part. D. Posterior optic tubercle. The generative
bodies of the thalamus are just above it. E. Cerebellum. H. Spinal cord.
I. Tuber cinereum. K. Optic thalamus divided perpendicularly. W. Corpus
restiforme. X. Pons Varolii. _b b._ Optic nerves: this nerve is traced
on the left side back beneath the optic thalamus and round the crus
cerebri. It divides into four roots; the first (_g g_) plunges into the
substance of the thalamus, the next runs over the external geniculate
body and surface of the thalamus, the third goes to the anterior optic
tubercle, the fourth runs to D, the testis or posterior optic tubercle.
C. Third pair common oculo-muscular, arising by two roots like the
spinal roots of the spinal nerves, the upper from the gray neurine of
the locus niger, the lower from the continuation of the pyramidal
columns in the crus cerebri and Pons Varolii, _p t_. _d_, Fourth pair,
apparently arising from the inter-cerebral commissure (I _c_), but
really plunging down to the olivary tract (_o t_) as it ascends to the
optic tubercles. _e m._ Motor or non-ganglionic root of the fifth pair,
arising from the posterior edge of the olivary tract. _e._ Sensory root
of the fifth pair running down between the olivary tract and restiform
body to the sensory tract. _f._ Sixth pair, or abducens, arising from
the pyramidal tract. _g._ Seventh pair, facial nerve, or portio dura,
arising by an anterior portion from the olivary tract and by a posterior
portion from the cerebellic fibers of the anterior columns as they
ascend on the corpus restiforme, W. _h._ Eighth pair, portio mollis, or
auditory nerve, with its two roots embracing the restiform body. _i._
Ninth pair, or glosso-pharyngeal; and _j._ Tenth pair, or par vagum,
plunging into the restiform ganglion. J J. Fibers of the optic nerve
plunging into the thalamus; immediately below these letters is the
corpus geniculatum externum. _k._ Eleventh pair, or lingual nerve; the
olivary body has been nearly sliced off and turned out of its natural
position; some of the filaments of the lingual nerve are traced into the
deeper portion of the ganglion, which is left in its situation; others
which are the highest are evidently connected with the pyramidal tract.]

[Illustration: The course and distribution of the Hypoglossal or Ninth
pair of nerves; the deep-seated nerves of the neck are also seen: 1, the
hypoglossal nerve; 2, branches communicating with the gustatory nerve;
3, a branch to the origin of the hyoid muscles; 4, the descendens noni
nerve; 5, the loop formed with the branch from the cervical nerves; 6,
muscular branches to the depressor muscles of the larynx; 7, a filament
from the second cervical nerve, and 8, a filament from the third
cervical, uniting to form the communicating branch with the loop from
the descendens noni; 9, the auricular nerve; 10, the inferior dental
nerve; 11, its mylohyoidean branch; 12, the gustatory nerve; 13, the
chorda tympani passing to the gustatory nerve; 14, the chorda tympani
leaving the gustatory nerve to join the submaxillary ganglion; 15, the
submaxillary ganglion; 16, filaments of communication with the lingual
nerve; 17, the glosso-pharyngeal nerve; 18, the pneumogastric or par
vagum nerve; 19, the three upper cervical nerves; 20, the four inferior
cervical nerves; 21, the first dorsal nerve; 22, 23, the brachial
plexus; 24, 25, the phrenic nerve; 26, the carotid artery; 27, the
internal jugular vein.]

The study of the functions of the cranial nerves convinces me that the
state of mind which conceives a tone acts upon the organs of speech
through the cranial nerves in a way to give vocal expression. In perfect
expression the conception and the expression are absolutely synchronous.

                  =_RELATION OF PITCH TO RESONANCE._=

In the production of a good tone there is an exact relation between
pitch and resonance. This relation is provided for in nature and a
disobedience to it brings an unpleasant quality into the voice. This is
true in both speech and song, for the speaking and singing voices rest
upon the same fundamental principles. Speech is one application or use
of the voice, song is another. The voice of true speech is as melodic as
the voice of song. There are, however, many persons who use their voices
better when they sing than when they speak, while others use their
voices better in speaking than in singing.

There is a difference between tone and noise. Voice is produced by a
succession of vibrating waves of air. In a musical tone the waves are
regular in their succession; in noise they are irregular.

Resonance, or echo, is produced by the universal law of reflex action
which manifests itself in light, sound, etc. How interesting and
delightful is the echo! It makes the mountains, like the morning stars,
sing together for joy. Listen to a thunder storm among the mountains.
There is a sudden explosion, then a silence, as the vibrating waves of
mighty amplitude pass over the valley to wake the voice of the mountain
beyond, which, standing like a sentinel on guard, speaks in thunder
tones to the next, and that repeats the sublime echo until all the
mountains join in the chorus, answering back to the heavens. This law of
sympathy, undulating from mountain to mountain, so inspired the Greeks
that they said the gods spoke to each other from mountain peak to
mountain peak.

Every pitch in the human voice has its corresponding chamber of
resonance, formed by the nares, by the trachea, by the pharynx, or by
the mouth, and sometimes by more than one of these. The transient
resonant chambers are formed by the adjustment of the lips, and by the
relation of the tongue to the upper gum, the hard palate, the soft
palate, and the pharynx. With the exception of the pharynx, these and
the nasal forms constitute the resonant chambers which produce the
different elements of speech in our language. The tone, though smooth
when it leaves the vocal cords, may be made harsh by the transient
resonant chambers. The nares resound different intervals of the scale in
different portions of their length, never resounding two intervals in
the same portion.

The cultivation of the voice is produced, first, through perfecting the
forms of the transient chambers of resonance; second, through
establishing perfect freedom and regularity in the action of the vocal
cords; third, through developing the rhythmic impulses of the tone. No
person ever speaks continuously in a perfect monotone; the pitch is
constantly changing with the varying thoughts; as the pitch changes, the
resonant chambers change the quality. Nature, unhindered, never reports
the same quality on two different degrees of pitch. It is not that the
individual, while speaking, intends to change the quality; but nature
has so arranged the vocal organs and so determined the laws of
acoustics, that unless the voice be interfered with by wrong mental
determination, she herself changes the quality as the voice rises or

It is a law of acoustics that a low pitch is resounded in a
comparatively large resonant chamber; a high pitch in a comparatively
small one. A simple and instructive experiment in illustration of this
principle is this: Take a large bottle, strike a C tuning fork, hold it
over the empty bottle, and no sound will be heard. The bottle does not
respond, because the cavity is too large for the pitch of the fork. If
water is poured into the bottle, the air column inside thereby being
shortened until the proper sized chamber is formed, by then holding the
high-pitched tuning fork over it, the sound of the fork will be
resounded by the resonant chamber and the tone will burst forth quite
loudly. Use any number of tuning forks, each on a different key, and a
resonant chamber can thus be made which will resound each fork.

I once tried an experiment with two tuning forks which were fastened to
sounding boxes and which had been tuned to exactly the same pitch. I
struck one fork and stopping its vibration, the sound of the other,
vibrating responsively, was distinctly heard. The same result was
achieved when one of the tuning forks was placed in a remote part of the
room. I also placed the fork upon the piano, struck it, and the string
of the same pitch, in connection with its overtones, responded. In order
that any resonant cavity may resound, the pitch that belongs to that
cavity must be struck. Every room in a house, in consequence of its
size, its form, and the material of which it is constructed, resounds to
a certain pitch. Sometimes in the course of conversation the globe of a
chandelier in the room resounds. This is because the pitch which is
agreeable to its size, form, and substance is struck.


Overtones are tones above in pitch, but harmonic with the fundamental
tone. They are caused by the vibration of the aliquot parts of a string
as distinct from that of its whole length. These parts being shorter
vibrate with greater rapidity, thereby giving a higher pitch than the
fundamental note, though in perfect harmony with it. An overtone can be
discovered by holding near one of the vibrating aliquot parts a chamber
of the right size, form, and substance to reinforce the tone of one of
these parts. This resonance would be loud enough to be distinguished
from the fundamental tone.

The vocal cords act in like manner with the string described, and
produce fundamental tones and overtones. In the vocal mechanism which
produces the human voice, the resonant chambers are so graded in size as
to correspond exactly with the fundamental note and all its overtones;
therefore, an overtone as distinct from the fundamental tone is never
heard, but reveals its presence only by enriching the voice.


                      FREEDOM AND RIGHT DIRECTION.

Freedom of tone is secured by the delicate adjustment and elasticity
in the action of those parts which form the transient resonant molds.
The hindrances to freedom of voice are produced by holding the vocal
organs too rigid and close while forming these molds.

I have spoken of the deleterious effect upon the health caused by the
misadjustment of the tongue in its relation to the pharynx, which
results in “clergyman’s sore throat.” Another malformation of a resonant
chamber is produced by holding a portion of the tongue too near the
posterior portion of the roof of the mouth. A third is produced by
holding the tongue too near the hard palate; a fourth by holding the
tongue too near the front teeth. All these false adjustments are
reported in throaty, rasping, and squeezed tones of the voice. The first
object in the cultivation of the voice should be to establish habitual
openness and freedom throughout the vocal aperture and this, too, by the
shortest possible method. This method should consist, not in giving
definite attention to first one portion of the vocal tube and then to
another, but in securing a unified action of all the parts. By vocal
practice, while holding the right mental concept, a clear and open
passage from the vocal cords to the anterior portion of the nares can
easily be secured.

                     DOMINANT CENTER OF THE VOICE.

The tone must be idealized with reference to place and form. The student
should imagine the tone outside that resonant chamber of the nares most
distant from the vocal cords. This will bring the consciousness outside
that part of the nose which is between the eyes. The anterior portion of
the nares is, so far as place and consequent resonance are concerned,
the dominant center of the voice. My reason for calling this the
dominant center of the voice is that when the tone is perfectly directed
toward this chamber, all the resonant passages open freely through the
entire nares, mouth, and pharynx to the vocal cords; and also the tongue
has a tendency to relax its rigidity.

                            MENTAL CONCEPT.

It is important, however, that the mind should not think of this
locality as being in the nares, but outside, and think of it, too, as an
ever expanding and luminous globe which moves in a forward and downward

Beauty of voice is largely due to the fact that the vocal aperture is in
the form of a curve. Unpleasant qualities in the voice are caused by the
vocal column being made to move in angles instead of curves. That the
voice may be shaped to the vocal aperture, it is necessary to hold in
the mind a curve as an object of thought. Voice is in the mind before it
is expressed in sound. The mental form precedes, causes and accompanies
the physical form.

This curve should become a fixed mental object during all vocal
practice, whether in speaking or in singing. Holding this object must
become a habit so firmly established that the mind will ultimately act
above consciousness in forming it. The vocal organs always react upon
ideals held in the mind. Thus, if a flat object is held in the mind
while using the voice, the tone tends to flatness; if a round one, it
tends to roundness; if a narrow form, it tends to narrowness; if a
contracting figure, it tends to contraction; if a free, elastic,
expansive one, it tends to freedom, elasticity, and expansiveness. The
figure of an expanding globe gives the voice the qualities last
described. This figure, moving in the form of a curve, unites to the
above qualities that of beauty, for the curve always awakens in the
imagination the sense of the beautiful.

Tone is vocalized breath. It is observable that the higher order of
animals usually begin their tones in the form of the nares resonance.
When the cow lows for her young the tone is resounded in the nares
before the mouth opens. The same thing is to be noticed in the mother
horse calling to her young. She begins the tone with the nares
resonance, and as the impulse increases she opens her mouth to let forth
the whinnie so full of feeling. No animal excels the house cat in the
correct use of the voice. She begins her tone as a nares resonance, and
when her mouth opens, the tone which is moving in the right direction
indicates that her vital energies are fully aroused. She acts upon the
same principle that a man does in aiming a gun. He aims before he fires.
Nature aims the tone before she gives the explosion. The mightiest of
all voices is that of the lion. He distinctly guides his tone with the
nares resonance. If he did not so direct it, the blast of tone which
shakes the very earth would rend his throat.

Many people injure their throats by letting on a power of voice which is
not properly guided. The only reason a person’s throat ever suffers from
continued use of the voice is because the tone is not properly directed.
Some public speakers after using their voices for an hour, or even half
an hour, feel an irritation in their throats, but if their tones were
properly directed, they could use their voices without injury as long as
their general strength would permit. The moment the current of tone is
turned from its proper direction, the voice is being injured.

All the muscles of respiration work in a harmonious manner with each
other when the tone is properly directed; they work improperly together
in a way to produce friction when the tone is not centered.

                            _TONE QUALITY._

One prevailing difficulty with voices which are not perfectly educated
is that the wrong quality is given for the pitch. Each interval of the
scale requires a different resonant quality, and this necessitates a
difference in the sizes of the resounding chambers. This difference is
provided for in the graded sizes of the different portions of the nares,
and in the pharynx and trachea. However, notwithstanding the freedom of
the resonant chambers here mentioned, this proper quality of the voice
would be interfered with in the speaking and singing _words_, or even
_elements of words_, the freest of which are vowels, unless the
transient chambers of resonance were perfectly formed. If words seem to
interrupt and injure a singing tone, it is because the transient
resonant chambers in which they are formed are not properly constructed.

The only way to perfect the forms of the transient resonant chambers is
by holding the elements of speech in the mind as distinct objects of
thought while speaking or singing them. Such is the natural service of
the vocal organs to the mental concepts, that these mental objects will,
through the cranial nerves which control the organs of speech,
externalize themselves by producing exact molds of resonance. It takes
time and practice to develop the power of holding the elements as
distinct objects of thought; it takes still more time and practice to
develop the power of holding these sounds as mental objects while the
mind materializes them in the voice. This power, like all powers, grows
in the ratio of repetition guided by continued mental concentration.

One should never attempt to locate the tone in any particular resonant
chamber by saying, “Now I will practise for head resonance, or now I
will practise for chest resonance.” I have known such attempts to result
in much injury to the voice. If the direction of the tone is kept
steadily toward the globe of light in front of the nares, while at the
same time imagining this globe to move in a forward and downward curve,
and if, in addition, the transient molds of resonance are perfectly
formed, each interval of the scale will be resounded in its proper
resonant chamber. The high notes will be resounded in the front part of
the nares, then as the voice descends in pitch it will be resounded
farther back in the nares, until the note is so low that the posterior
part only can resound it; finally, as the pitch continues to grow lower,
the nares cannot resound it at all. At this point the pharynx takes it
up until the pitch becomes so low that the trachea, being larger than
the pharynx, produces the resonance which is heard in the chest only.
After the proper direction has been established, viz., toward the globe
of light in front of the anterior portion of the nares, it should never
be changed, for this direction keeps the nares, pharynx, and trachea
open and free, so that each pitch of the voice will be resounded in that
portion of the resonant chambers which by its size is suited to its
pitch. What I have thus far said of the resonant chambers in the nares,
pharynx, and trachea applies to the fundamental tone; but while the
fundamental tone is resounding in the trachea, pharynx, or nares
posteri, smaller portions of the nares and transient resonant chambers
may be resounding the overtones, so that many resonant chambers may be
resounding at the same time, thereby giving the richest possible quality
to the tones of voice.


                            NARES RESONANCE.

EXERCISE I.—While the lips are closed, give a nares tone represented by
the letter _m_; then opening the mouth, without changing in any degree
the character of the tone and not allowing any breath or voice to pass
through the mouth, prolong the tone, holding before the mind the ideal
concept for direction of tone previously described. The lips should be
again closed just before the tone ceases. Repeat this on different
intervals of the scale, ranging from a comparatively high pitch to a
comparatively low one.

The reason the sound represented by _m_ should be used in securing this
freedom and direction of tone is because this letter best represents the
tone which proper resonance of the nares produces. In vocal practice,
one should begin on a comparatively high pitch and descend to a lower
one, because the front of the nares resounds the high notes of the
scale, and therefore assists in fixing consciousness of the direction of
tone. Then, too, while using the voice, the mind should never hold as an
object of thought the idea of going up to a tone, for the reflex action
of such an idea upon the vocal organs is to produce a squeezed and
strained effect. The mind should develop the consciousness of being
higher than the note it would give, so as to feel as if descending upon
a note, rather than trying to reach to its height. If this first
exercise, which gives direction to the vocalized column of air, is
practised on successive intervals of the scale, it will fix this
direction as a habit. Hence, it is very important that there should be
much repetition in descending and ascending the scale; otherwise, the
voice might be open and resonant on some notes, while on others it would
be constricted and forced, and consequently bring those false breaks
into the voice which have been called registers. Registers are not
natural to the voice, but created by its wrong use.


EXERCISE II.—Sing the sound represented by _m-nom_ on the different
intervals of the scale, commencing on a comparatively high pitch,
descending and ascending a number of times. Begin the tone with the pure
nares resonance as described in the previous exercise. Allow the sound
which is represented by _m-n_ to blend with the resonance which
constitutes the vowel _o_, closing the lips before the tone ceases. In
this exercise we blend the vowel _o_ with the resonance in the front of
the nares, thus directing the mind, which guides the vocal action, as
far as possible from the throat, where it would cause constriction.

                 *        *        *        *        *

EXERCISE III.—To gain greater facility for uniting the free resonant
elements of speech in a forward and downward curve, other words may be
practised, viz., _Most-men-want-poise-and-more-royal-margin_.

Each word should first be sung separately on each note of the scale,
repeating the word several times on each interval. With each repetition
the mind should be concentrated upon the ideal form of the word, thus
making the resonant mold more and more perfect.

A few words of explanation in regard to the vocal elements used will
make the exercise more clearly understood.

M-O-S-T. The resonance in forming the _s_ being near the teeth, and that
forming _t_ being a puff of breath at the point of the tongue, aid in
fixing the attention of the mind upon the imagined curve.

M-E-N. The added resonant element in this word is _e_, which, by being
joined to _m_ on the one side and _n_ on the other, will assist in
directing the mind to the curve while giving the vowel _e_.

W-A-N-T. Here we have the aid of the letters _n_ and _t_ together with
the position of the lips for _w_ in assisting to join the vowel _a_, as
heard in _awe_, to the expanding globe moving in the forward and
downward curve.

P-O-I-S-E. In this word we are again aided in locating the resonance by
the necessity of forming the sounds of _p_ and _z_ at the very front of
the mouth.

A-N-D. Here the student has his chief assistance in the resonant
element, represented by the letter _n_, and somewhat by the letter _d_,
for bringing the attention of the mind to the globe in its relation to
the curve while forming the resonant element represented by the letter

M-O-R-E. Here again the student has the assistance of the frontal nares
element, represented by the letter _m_ with the vowel _o_, which by this
time he has joined with it. The new resonant element in this word is
_r_. In forming this element there seems to be a prevailing tendency to
constrict the throat, but now, by joining it with elements which have
been associated in the mind with the expanding globe, this stricture is

R-O-Y-A-L. The next word to be joined to this chain is _r-o-y-a-l_. Here
we are depending upon previous practice in giving it the luminous curve

M-A-R-G-I-N. The new elements in this word are the sound of _a_ as heard
in _far_ (_ä_), and the vocal element represented by _g_. The letter _g_
represents an element, in forming which many people constrict the
throat, giving what is called a “throaty” tone. Our object in using _a_,
as heard in _far_, in this connection, is to introduce the largest and
freest transient chamber of resonance which the organs of the mouth are
capable of forming. The Italian _ä_ has been much used in vocal
practice, and it is a good element, providing it is not introduced too
early in a student’s course of study, and if in its introduction it is
always joined to the frontal nares mold as in _ma_. After practising
upon the elements of speech described above, the student may practise
them in the sentence form. _Most men want poise and more royal margin._
Repeat this exercise upon various intervals of the scale, beginning upon
a comparatively high pitch, and descending to a comparatively low one.

By the practice of these exercises the student develops the ability to
make each word and element of speech perfect without breaking the
steady, sustained current of the tone.

                 *        *        *        *        *

EXERCISE IV. Sing _ma-za-ska-a_, commencing upon a comparatively high
pitch, descending and ascending the scale.

After having made the true forms of the above-mentioned elements of
speech habitual, the student may concentrate his practice upon the
resonant form of _a_, as heard in _far_. Thus, this vocal element, being
joined with the consonants _m_ and _z_, is aided in making its most
perfect resonant mold, while _s_, being forward to give the right
direction, and _k_, being strongly projected by the pharynx resonant
chamber, the _ä_ is sent forward, like a ball from a gun, thereby
developing projection of tone until at last the student may venture to
practise upon _ä_ alone.

While expressing these separate elements, each must be held in the mind
as a luminous globe moving in the forward and downward curve. Repeat
this exercise on different intervals of the scale. It may also be given
in the form of arpeggios.

In practising these exercises, the student must be careful never to
strain the voice either for the purpose of reaching a high or a low
note. He should attempt to reach no pitch until it is perfectly easy for
him to do so. He should practise most upon those notes which are easily
within the compass of his voice, not continuing to repeat an element on
the same interval of the scale, but changing at least one note with each
successive repetition, that the voice may develop an evenness and the
habit of reaching the resonant chamber which gives the right quality for
the pitch.


It is obvious that the vocal exercises above described develop musical
expressiveness both in song and speech. Rhythm is an act of the feelings
more than it is of the intellect. The student should allow the feeling
of rhythm to take full possession of him while he executes the musical
variations. Rhythm causes the force of the voice to exert itself
melodically. Were it not for rhythm, the tone would move forward in a
sort of sameness in force. One can no more endure to listen to a voice
that is not rhythmical in force than he can to one that is monotonous in
pitch. The feelings are benumbed by monotony, while they rejoice in
harmonious variety. Originally the word rhythm meant motion. Later it
was used to express the relation of measure to motion. To-day the word
meter and the word rhythm are sometimes used synonymously.

Rhythm is the name of the sense of relationship existing between
duration and motion. Without rhythm there can be no real melody. In
poetry the rhythm celebrates the exact relationship the thoughts sustain
to each other. The rhythm creates a deeper interest, and consequently a
deeper feeling, than would be created if this relationship were not
celebrated by the regular recurrence of certain pleasing sounds. In
prose composition the relationship between the thoughts may be as
perfect, but this relationship, although expressed melodically, is not
as rhythmically emphasized.

Thought in voice form always manifests itself rhythmically. In
sculpture, painting and architecture, that which corresponds to rhythm
in music and poetry is called symmetry. Symmetry involves proportion,
and gives a feeling of life to these forms of art.

                         =_QUALITY OF VOICE._=

There are certain characteristics of voice which are denominated
“qualities.” Among these are: Color, Form and Equilibrium. By color of
voice I mean that quality which affects us when we hear it, just as
color affects us when we see it; so that color as applied to voice is
really the name of the feeling it produces, which is the same as that
produced by color received through the sense of sight.

We judge of form of voice as we judge of color of voice, that is, by its
effect upon the feelings. There are certain tones which affect us as
certain forms do.

When we see objects in equilibrium, we speak of them as being well
poised, or centered; they give us the feeling of certainty; right tones
affect us in the same way. Other tones which lack center give us the
same kind of mental pain which things do when we perceive they are not
in equilibrium.

Color appeals to the feelings; form appeals to the intellect;
equilibrium appeals to the will, so that color, form and equilibrium
appeal to the mind as a unit.

                     _THE FOUR FORMS OF EMPHASIS._

                            Force (Energy),

Each form possesses a distinct meaning and expresses definite states of

Force indicates the degree of energy a particular thought arouses in an
individual. Pitch includes slide or inflection, and indicates the
feeling aroused by the thought. Volume indicates the condition of the
will—whether it is perfectly free or struggling against difficulties.
Time indicates the value the intellect places upon the thought. All
forms of emphasis may be reduced to these four; and these four may be
combined in an infinite variety of ways.

                          PROJECTION OF TONE.

The state of mind which will project the tone is that of reciprocity,
that is, concentrating the mind upon persons in a distant portion of the
audience, as if receiving from them and giving to them, thus
establishing a sympathy between the speaker and the hearer. This will
project the tone without noise. The mental effort of a speaker should be
to draw his audience nearer that they may hear, rather than to place his
mind exclusively on sending his voice to a great distance. This effort
to draw the hearers nearer will give the voice carrying quality without
interfering with its naturalness and sympathy.

                      THE FIRST AND SECOND VOLUMES
                    OF THE EVOLUTION OF EXPRESSION._=

The doctrine of evolution is one of the latest, and if well
understood, and looked at from a sufficiently high point of view,
appears the grandest of all the revelations which science has given. The
theory applied to organic being is substantially this: there is,
potentially, in every organism a higher manifestation. Its evolution is
secured by the relation of its organic tendency to its environment.

In taking a limited or superficial view of the doctrine of evolution,
some have been led to look at matter as the only environment. It is this
which has made the age materialistic. We are hardly aware of the extent
to which this tendency to materialism biases and influences us in regard
to religious and secular education. Those who have the most faith in God
and His providence are scarcely conscious of how much they are affected
by the prevailing thought that material environment alone shapes and
influences the development of individuals and the destiny of the human
race. If we recognize that the spirit of God is our most immediate
environment, the study of evolution is safe.

This view is suggested even by the study of physical science. The
scientist, in his analysis of matter, ascertains that it is divisible
into molecules, and that nothing is an absolute solid. Each molecule has
a sphere of its own, in which it acts separately, and, in a certain
sense, independently of other molecules, and vibrates as freely as
oscillates the pendulum of a clock. You say, “The pendulum of a clock
has room to oscillate.” This is equally true of each molecule; it has
room to vibrate without interfering with other molecules or preventing
them from vibrating. All the molecules that compose a certain substance
are rushing toward each other; but a sacred sphere encloses each,
thereby establishing its eternal separateness. This revelation of
science of the eternal separateness of molecules points to the silent
sea of Thought which encloses every molecular island. What is this
silent sea of thought but the presence of Deity? If He encloses every
molecule, does He not surround the human soul? Is it unscientific to
say, in the language of scripture, “In Him we live, and move, and have
our being”? Whither shall I go to escape His presence? “If I ascend into
heaven, Thou art there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, Thou art
there. If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uppermost
parts of the sea, even there Thy hand shall lead me and Thy right hand
shall hold me.” If we take a sufficiently broad view, science itself
will lead us up the shining way to where we shall recognize His presence
on the throne of the universe.

If we follow this doctrine of evolution, step by step, it will lead us
to perceive that God is in every fact of nature. Watch an acorn as it
develops into the sturdy oak. No scientist will say that a material
environment is its only condition of growth. He will say, “There is life
in the acorn itself.” What is this life? Here the great scientist bows
his head. The power of life in the acorn suggests to him the presence of
the Infinite. Were it not for God’s purpose manifested in giving the
acorn life, the germ could not develop under the influence of the
moisture, the sunlight, and the earth. Its dominating environment, then,
is the presence of Him who relates it to its material surroundings.

Without the Infinite Mind in the universe there could be no evolution.
No man can be broadly and fully educated unless there is joined in his
mind both the light of science and the light of revelation. Prophecy
outruns science, and is the herald of truth. Science, no surer, and
vastly slower, follows with its confirmations. The doctrine of
evolution, studied in the light of divine revelation, becomes of great
value to us.

We cannot understand the doctrine of the Evolution of Expression until
we first see evolution written on the broad expanse of nature. The four
volumes of the Evolution of Expression taught in this college represent
the four principal steps in the unfolding of the powers of the orator.
It has been said that poets are born, not made. This statement contains
only a modicum of truth. We say such a one was born a poet because very
early in life he seemed to show poetic feeling and to express his
thoughts in poetic forms. All great poets, musicians, and orators have
been educated; some may not have studied under masters, but all have
applied themselves to the means of education which was within their

The study of eloquence has been, to a great extent, a sealed book. It
was observed that when the orator spoke on a lofty subject, his voice
became grand, and was called “orotund”; when he spoke on common
subjects, his voice became simple; this was called “pure tone”; when he
spoke on subjects of mystery and sublimity, the voice became “aspirate
orotund.” All these things were noted; and teachers of oratory said to
their pupils, “As the orators used the orotund, aspirate, pure tone,
etc., we will teach you these forms of voice.” When Webster spoke of the
value of the Constitution of the United States, and used an orotund
voice, as only a Webster could, was he thinking of his voice? No; he was
thinking of convincing his hearers of the great value of the Union.
Shall I affect people as did Webster by using these tones when reading a
passage from his speech? No. The human soul says, “I will respond to
anything genuine; but I can never be impressed, though I may be amused,
by those who try to imitate the genuine.” Webster’s thoughts, like vast
waves of the ocean, surged through his voice and formed themselves into
tones clear, direct, incisive, and sublime.

I recognize but one power in education, and that is mind. When God
created my body, He ordained that my soul should rule it. When He made
the mouth, larynx, muscles of respiration, etc., He ordained that the
soul should rule them. My soul, master; they, servants. The servant
knows his rightful master’s commands, but the stranger he will not obey.
The infinite God rules all worlds, and all parts of all worlds. As God
is the master of the illimitable universe, so He has placed within man’s
body, which is man’s little universe, a natural master—the soul. All
its agents must be commanded and employed by the master within.

For many years there has been an attempt to reduce vocal culture to the
conscious manipulation of the vocal organs. This was once my method of
teaching; but I have changed entirely and most radically. I believe and
have taught for many years that certain mental states produce definite
effects upon the vocal organs. Our object in this college is to induce
such states of mind as shall produce the desired effects in vocal
expression. The mental states operate directly through the cranial
nerves upon the vocal organs, and instantaneously change their activity.

In my early teaching I made an attempt to cultivate the voice by dealing
directly with the vocal organs themselves, but later I discovered that
certain states of mind caused all the vocal organs to act in right
relations to each other for the production of different tones. I also
found that certain states of mind affect and control all the muscles
which aid in voice production. To ascertain what states of mind produce
certain effects, and how to induce these states of mind, was my field of
study for a number of years. At last I was rewarded by discovering what
states of mind would induce the desired forms of expression, and also
what methods to use to cause the right activities of mind which would,
without fail, bring the proper tones of voice in expression. It devolves
upon the teacher to know how to induce the states of mind which will
produce the required action of the vocal organs, and through this the
desired tone. Every day in our work here in the Evolution of Expression,
we are obeying the true pedagogy of vocal technique. The methods by
which we induce certain states of mind in a pupil are definite and
technical. If I were writing for a teachers’ manual, I would tell the
teacher how to induce in the pupil the proper states of mind; but my
present purpose is simply to show that certain states of mind will
produce definite effects in the voice.

One who watches the effects of this method of teaching, which depends
for results upon inducing the required states of mind, will marvel at
the results. Not only can more be accomplished in three months than
could be accomplished by the old methods in three years, but results can
be attained by this that could never be reached by any mechanical

We are now prepared to consider the Evolution of Expression, the study
of which involves the technique employed in this college for the
cultivation of the voice as well as oratorical expression.

                          ANIMATION OF VOICE.

The name of the first chapter in the first volume is Animation of Voice.
This is the name of an effect, not a cause. A certain state of mind will
produce Animation of Voice, therefore I work to induce in the pupils the
right state of mind, which is as sure to manifest itself in Animation of
Voice as a sufficient amount of excellent gunpowder set on fire in a
good cannon is to discharge its contents.

The first physiological condition of the vocal organs in Animation of
Voice is _freedom_. The second condition is _nerve energy_. If an
elocutionist should be engaged in some public or private school to teach
oratory and voice culture, he would probably be requested first to teach
the boys to open their mouths. Every previous effort to do this having
failed, an elocutionist is engaged for one hour a week to pry open the
mouths of the boys. The elocutionist might begin by saying, “John, you
do not open your mouth wide enough.” John tries, but fails. The teacher
might go through the class in this way, but with no better success. At
last comes recess, and the teacher, listening to the boys in the yard,
hears John, who had the lockjaw in the schoolroom, telling the boys
about some incident—his mouth fully open. The elocution teacher was
_outside_ of the boy; and the key that would unlock his jaw was _inside_
of him. How stiff, hard, grinding, and throaty was his voice in the
schoolroom, but now how open and free!

The nerves which control the organs of speech, and the muscles that
govern what is called facial expression have their roots directly in the
brain. Superficially, they are attached to its under surface, but they
also run up into the cerebrum. The man within touches the keys in the
brain, and the vibrations extend to the organs of speech and the muscles
of facial expression. I strike a key of a piano, and at a remote
distance from the key the string vibrates, filling the room with tone.
So this man within touches a nerve center in the brain, which
corresponds to a key upon the piano, and this causes the vocal organs to
respond in a way to give true expression to the thought.

Nature gave John an object lesson by showing him a horse running away,
and as he tells his story she smiles and says, “I am making an orator of
John.” John opens his mouth; there is freedom in the vocal organs,
plenty of nerve energy—and the result is Animation of Voice. It was
John’s desire to have the other boys see with their minds the things he
was telling them of that caused his mouth to open. There was no such
inducement in the schoolroom. A boy wants to know that he is of some use
in the world. He will open his mouth when he has a proper impulse for so
doing. To impart is natural to a boy; if he has anything good, and it is
not too material, he likes to share it. The first thing to cultivate, in
order to open the vocal organs and free them from all hindrances, is the
disposition _to impart to others what the_ _mind has seen_. To be
interested in the subject is not sufficient; it is the desire to
_impart_ which will open the vocal organs, free them and give them nerve

                          SMOOTHNESS OF VOICE.

The second chapter in this volume is Smoothness of Voice. When the mind
of the speaker is steadily concentrated upon the thought for the
exclusive purpose of causing other minds to act upon it, the tones under
the repetition of drill gradually tend to evenness. To get this result,
I once worked with pupils to make them hold the diaphragm and abdominal
muscles in right relation to each other, and in one way or another, to
manipulate all the organs which are actually employed in sustaining the
tones; but I found that as soon as a thought was held steadily in the
mind of the pupil, together with a dominating purpose to communicate
that thought to others in a way to affect their minds in a definite
manner the voice began to show evenness of support.

                            VOLUME OF VOICE.

The third chapter is Volume of Voice. Volume is from the Latin word
_volumen_, which signifies a roll. Originally, it signified the form of
a written parchment. It now contains several significances, among
others, that of a certain form and quality of voice. By Volume, when
applied to voice, I mean that form and quality which affect the ear as a
large column of free tone. This column of tone is so perfectly guided
that the sides of the vocal tube never interfere with its progress. If
the voice touches any side of the tube, Volume will not be reported in
the tone; for in Volume all limitation is taken away, and the voice,
like Browning’s Squadron, escapes through a narrow channel as if “its
inch of way were the wide seas profound.” The vessel must keep its inch
of way; an inch to the right or an inch to the left, and it is dashed
against the rocks. A tenth of an inch to the right or left, or upward or
downward, and the vocal column is dashed against the vocal tube, and
Volume is destroyed. Nothing but the right thought can properly direct
this vibrating column of air. The desire to reveal the value and depth
of the thought brings to the voice this quality called Volume.

Volume indicates the relation the will sustains to the thought, that is,
whether the will is free in action. Notice the soliloquy of Launcelot
Gobbo in the “Merchant of Venice.” The boy’s conscience tells him to
serve the Jew, while his inclination prompts him to run away. His voice
is squeezed because his will is not free. No man has half a will while
there is contention in his mind. When a man serves the good with all his
mind, heart and strength, his voice will have no hindrances in it. “As
for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” The voice of the man who
lives in obedience to this divine service is free and reports Volume.
The impulse springing from the well-formed thought knows how to hold the
larynx, the sides of the throat, the soft palate, and the tongue in a
way to guide the voice free and unhindered along the prescribed avenue
through which it ought to pass.

                         FORMING THE ELEMENTS.

The fourth chapter is Forming the Elements of speech. The pupil in his
study at first considers the various aspects of the whole subject which
has been presented. At this point the aim is to impart each separate
thought of the various aspects of the subject. In this chapter of
Forming the Elements, the pupil’s mind being dominated by the desire to
place each thought separately and distinctly in the minds of his
hearers, the vocal organs act with great exactness and precision, and in
more and more perfect relation with each other. By repeated drill in
seeking to fix the attention of the hearers upon each thought, great
distinctness of utterance is gained, and the elements of speech become
more beautifully and accurately formed.

In Animation we put such thoughts before the student as shall make the
tones open and free and full of nerve energy; in Smoothness we give such
objects of thought as shall make him sustain the tones; in Volume we
give thoughts that will guide the stream of tone through the vocal tube
without interference; and in Forming the Elements we help the student by
putting such objects of thought before him in connection with the text
as shall enable him to concentrate the mind upon each separate idea.


The first volume of Evolution of Expression deals with each composition
as a whole in its various aspects. The second volume deals with the
_Parts_ of the composition considered as wholes. When the mind in its
development in expression is able to deal definitely with each separate
part of the discourse by itself, it is revealed by slides in the voice,
each new and distinct thought causes the voice to give a new and
distinctive slide. I am using the word “Slide” in the same sense in
which the word “inflection” is often used.

Slide is the continuation of the voice from one pitch to another. An
ascending slide is one in which the voice is continued from a lower to a
higher pitch. A downward or falling slide is one in which the voice is
continued from a certain pitch to a lower one. The rising circumflex is
one in which the voice starts on a certain pitch, continues to a lower,
and then rises to a higher. In the falling circumflex the voice starts
on a certain pitch, rises to a higher one, and then falls to a lower
without ceasing.

The physiological condition of the vocal organs which produces Slide is
determined entirely by the tension of the vocal cords. With the same
degree of tension and power of stroke, a long string vibrates more
slowly than a short one.

If the vocal cords are sound and healthy we are perfectly unconscious of
their existence. We cannot teach the vocal cords how much to contract or
lengthen when giving a certain pitch. We are compelled to leave it to
the mind not only to hear the pitch, but to impel the proper contraction
of the vocal cords in its production.

If the mind can control unconsciously the contraction of the muscles of
the larynx, it can as easily control the tongue, the size of the throat,
the pectoral muscles, and, in short, all the muscles that influence the

                              VITAL SLIDE.

When the mind has separated one thought distinctly from the other main
thoughts of the subject, and has become intensely attracted to it with a
special desire to communicate it as distinct from the others to the
minds of the hearers, all the muscles will act in a way to produce Vital

This principle of Vital Slide may be illustrated by “The Forging of the
Anchor.” When the mind becomes aroused with this selection there is in
the quality of the voice something of the spirit of the fife, the drum,
and the military movement.

        Swing in your strokes in order; let hand and foot keep time;
        Your blows make music sweeter far than any steeple’s chime;
        But while ye swing your sledges, sing, and let the burden be,
        The anchor is the royal king, and royal craftsmen we.

It is the energy of the mind which causes the energy of the muscles. The
energy of the contraction of the muscles causes the report of that
energy in the voice.

Under Vital Slide we consider the relation of the muscles of respiration
to the vocal cords. There are two sets of respiratory muscles, the
muscles of inspiration and the muscles of expiration. If the thought
requires for expression an increase of vitality in the voice, the
muscles of expiration contract more strongly, thus giving greater
density to the air in the lungs. The air, being an elastic substance, in
seeking egress or relief presses strongly against the vocal cords, which
are forced apart with such energy as to give an expression of greater
vitality to the tone produced.

It is not necessary to exert the will consciously on the different
muscles which act upon the vocal organs. It is not necessary to call the
roll and say, “Triangularis sterni, Diaphragm, Abdominal muscles,
Intercostals, contract! Abdominal muscles, you must contract only just
enough to overcome the contraction of the diaphragm. Now, all
together—one, two, three, contract!” One should not think anything
about these muscles. He should be no more conscious of their action than
he is of the beating of his heart.

                            SLIDE IN VOLUME.

In giving Volume of voice, the vocal aperture is made as open as it can
be and still have the elements of speech definitely formed; and the
vibrating column of air is guided through the aperture without being
biased by it. The chief agents which guide the voice through this
aperture are the sides of the throat and the tongue in its proper
relation to the pharynx, hard palate, and soft palate. When we combine
Slide with Volume there must be an exact relation between the
contraction of the vocal cords and the proper position and action of
these vocal organs.

Freedom of will expressed in volume is that quality of voice which
suggests no hindrance, no limitation. The “voice of thunder” is not
known by its degree of noise, for it may be so distant as to be only
perceptible to the senses, yet it is still recognized as thunder from
its illimitable quality, in other words, its volume. Loudness is not a
necessary quality of volume, but illimitation is. Listen to the voice of
a young martyr, who has been condemned by the Roman emperor to be flung
into the amphitheater, there to be devoured by ferocious beasts. Her
father, who does not see the truth as she sees it, pleads with her to
abjure her faith and worship the old gods. She turns to him and says,
“Father, _I_ would, but _Christ in me_ will not.” Light shines in the
eyes of the old man as he looks at her and says, “I believe God is in
thee.” Her will was absorbed in the divine will, and that divinity spoke
through her. Even He who made the world spoke in her voice. The roar of
the lion, though terrible, could not drown her tones, though low,
devout, and tender.

Some who heard the voice from heaven saying, “This is my beloved Son in
whom I am well pleased,” said it thundered. This does not indicate that
the voice was loud, but that it had the quality of illimitation, and so
impressed the imagination as nature’s voice. It is the Christ, speaking
through man’s voice that has turned this world “upside down”; that has
lifted up the cross of Christ, before whom all the kings of earth
tremble, and become like chaff on the summer threshing floor.

                           FORMING PICTURES.

The fourth chapter in Volume II. is Forming Pictures. The picturesque
voice is that voice which causes the imagination of the hearers to
create pictures of the things described by the language of the speaker.
It is the unnoticed voice, the voice which attracts no attention to
itself. The picturesque voice is not an end, but a means, and therefore
may properly be called the artistic voice, because it so appeals to the
imagination of the hearer as to cause images to arise in his mind. This
voice may be called the suggestive voice because it suggests what tone
cannot literally actualize, but that which can be perceived only by the

The characteristics of this voice are elasticity and shading.

In this quality of the voice which I have termed elasticity, the vocal
organs do not seem to report themselves, but only the thought and
sentiment. By shading, I mean the degree of density in the tone where
the thought and not the word seems to be stressed. The vocal organs are
held under firm but most delicate control. Here the voice may suggest
great noise but make none, and in all ways cause the mind of the hearer
to listen to sounds it does not really make.

The picturesque voice springs from the desire to make other minds think
what it cannot literalize. The state of mind which produces this voice
is that of asking the hearer to imagine real things that cannot be
presented to the senses. For an illustration of this, read the poem,
“Midsummer,” by Trowbridge.

There is a voice of fact and a voice of power. The voice of fact gives
information; the voice of power appeals to the imagination. The artistic
voice is the voice of the imagination. One of the offices of the
imagination is that of image making. In children this power is very
noticeable. When some children think of a thing, an image of it rises in
their minds; they suppose this image to be a fact of experience, and,
with no thought of falsehood, describe it as such. Because of this they
are frequently whipped for lying; and this power of mental image making,
which, if properly developed, would be of inestimable value to the
child, instead of being guided, is cruelly interfered with and arrested.

This power of mental image making is always highly developed in great
artists. Great musical composers first hear the music in their minds,
and then make it intelligible to others through the noted page. The
great painter carries objects in his mind long before he puts them on
canvas, and is able as well to create new objects suggested by things he
has seen. An architect sees in his mind the magnificent temple, when as
yet not a stone of which it is to be built has left the quarry. John B.
Gough declared that sometimes he was unable to distinguish persons whom
he saw in the audience from those which his imagination created.

Wordsworth did not write “The Daffodils” while looking at the flowers as
sense objects. It was afterwards, when he saw them as they lived in his
imagination, that he wrote of them in a way that has made them real to
the imaginations of others.

        “For oft when on my couch I lie,
           In vacant or in pensive mood,
         They flash upon that inward eye,
           Which is the bliss of solitude;
         And then my heart with pleasure fills,
           And dances with the daffodils.”

I have dwelt upon the physiology of the voice, showing its relation to
psychology. In the third and fourth volumes of the Evolution of
Expression we deal with the direct relation of psychology to Oratory.

                 *        *        *        *        *



Animation of voice                                                102-104


Breathing through the nose                                             30


Center, dominant, of the voice                                     73, 74
Cerebrum, cut of                                                       52
Cerebral connection of cerebral nerves, cut of                         62
Chambers, fixed resonant                                               33
Chambers, transient resonant                                           33
Clergyman’s sore throat                                             49-50


Diaphragm, cut of                                                      26
Diaphragm, description of                                              27
Diaphragm during the expiration of breath and the production           30
     of tone, difference in the action of the


Emphasis, four forms of                                                92
Exercises for forming transient resonant chambers for               83-85
     beautiful word elements
Exercises for securing freedom and proper direction of tone         81-82
     and for establishing right habits in the use of the voice
Expiration, muscles of                                             23, 24


Forming the elements                                             107, 108
Forming pictures                                                  114-117


Glottis, cuts of                                                       17


Health, relation of the proper use of the voice to                     39


Inspiration, muscles of                                            23, 24


Larynx, cut of                                                         16
Larynx, description of                                                 14
Liver, cut of                                                          45
Liver, effect of the voice upon the                                    47
Loudness                                                               20
Lungs, cut of                                                          21
Lungs, description of                                                  20
Lungs, effect of the voice upon the                                 40-42


_Ma-za-ska-a_                                                       87-88
Mental concept                                                      74-76
_M-nom_                                                                83
_Most-men-want-poise-and-more-royal-margin_                         83-86
Mucous membrane, effect of voice upon the                              47


Nares, description of                                                  34
Nares, cut of                                                          32
Nares resonance                                                    81, 82
Nerves, description of cranial                                      53-54
Nerves, cut of cranial                                             56, 57
Nerve, cut of Hypoglossal                                              63
Nervous system, relation of the proper use of the voice to the         53


Organs, name of organs that produce voice                              14
Organs, description of organs that produce voice                    14-33
Organs, name of organs that reinforce voice                            33
Organs, description of organs that reinforce voice                  33-37
Organs, name of organs that give resonant forms to voice               37
Organs, description of organs that give resonant forms to voice     37-39
Overtones                                                          70, 71


Pharynx, description of                                                34
Pharynx, cut of                                                        32
Pitch                                                              19, 20


Respiration, muscles of                                                23
Resonance, relation of pitch to                                     66-70
Rhythm                                                             89, 90


Slide                                                            109, 110
Slide in volume                                                   112-114
Smoothness of voice                                                   105
Stomach, effect of the voice upon the                                  42
Stomach, cut of                                                        44


Trachea, description of                                                37
Trachea, cut of                                                        36
Technique, vocal, as illustrated in the first and second volumes   94-117
     of the Evolution of Expression
Tone, projection of                                                 92-93
Tone quality                                                        77-80


Vital organs, relation of the proper use of the voice to               40
Vital slide                                                       110-112
Vocal cords, description of                                            14
Vocal cords, cuts of                                                   17
Voice, the natural reporter of the individual                        1-12
Voice defined                                                          13
Voice, cause of                                                        13
Voice, methods for cultivating the                                  72-88
Voice, right direction and freedom of the                          72, 73
Voice, quality of                                                      91
Volume of voice                                                   105-107

                 *        *        *        *        *

                              THE WORKS OF

                         CHARLES WESLEY EMERSON

                 *        *        *        *        *

                         PHILOSOPHY OF GESTURE
                    or, EXPRESSIVE PHYSICAL CULTURE

The psychological and physiological basis and teaching principles of the
Emerson System of Expressive Physical Culture and Responsive Drill-Value
of Art Models, Aesthetic Laws of Expression explained with illustrations
drawn from classic art.

                 *        *        *        *        *

                               PSYCHO VOX

Considering the voice as the natural reporter of the individual. The
relation of the proper use of the voice to the nervous system and to
health. Exercises for securing freedom and proper direction of tone and
for establishing right habits in the use of the voice.

                 *        *        *        *        *

                            PHYSICAL CULTURE

How to attain health, strength, grace and beauty, bodily education
without the use of apparatus. Thirty-eight illustrations prepared
especially for this work. A hand book for student and teacher.

                 *        *        *        *        *

                        EVOLUTION OF EXPRESSION
                              Four Volumes

Selections chosen from classical literature. Explanatory notes for the
study of each chapter. Compiled with special reference to the needs of
teachers and students of both literature and expression. The only
published work on the principles underlying the Emerson System of
Oratory or Expression.

                 *        *        *        *        *

                       THE PERFECTIVE LAWS OF ART
                              Four Volumes

A compilation of selections illustrating the sixteen perfective laws of
art applied to oratory. This work is adapted to the use of all advanced
students in expressive reading. It consists of sixteen chapters, with a
key to the study of each chapter.

                 *        *        *        *        *

                              SIX LECTURES
                               One Volume

Lectures embracing advanced principles of Education. The Power of the
Ideal, The Law of Power in Oratory, How to read the Bible, The relation
of Art to Man, etc.

A book of vital interest to students of Oratory, to teachers of all
branches of education and to professional men.

                 *        *        *        *        *

                       EMERSON PUBLISHING COMPANY
                 PUBLISHERS               MILLIS, MASS.

                 *        *        *        *        *

=Transcriber’s Notes:=

Typographical errors have been corrected as noted below:

Page 34, The pharnyx is for the ==> The pharynx is for the

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