« ForrigeFortsæt »
I have thus endeavoured to describe the concrete movement of sound, and its discrete progression through the diatonic scale. But the discrete form of pitch appears under further subdivisions, which are effected in the following manner.
In any series of seven notes, as the first marked in the preceding vertical diagram of the scale, and in that of the keyboard, let us assume the Fifth, as the first of a new series. This, with its octave, will extend to the place numbered twelve. Six of its places in their rising order will have right positions ; and thus far the intervals of tone and semitone will exhibit the proper successions of the diatonic scale. But the interval between the tenth and eleventh is a semitone, and that between the eleventh and twelfth, a tone: whereas, by the rule of the scale the order should be reversed. For the tenth, eleventh and twelfth, marked in the diagrams, are respectively the sixth, seventh and eighth of the new series assumed from the fifth. If now the intervals from eleven to twelve be subdivided into two semitones, as shown by a cross in the vertical diagram, and a star in that of the key-board, and if the transit be made from the tenth place to this point of division, two semitones, making thus one whole tone, will be passed over, the interval from this middle point to the twelfth will be a semitone, and in this way the constituent intervals of the diatonic scale will be obtained.
And further, if we take the fifth above the key-note of this new series, or the fourth below it, which are represented respectively by the ninth and the second of the diagrams, and which are considered the same, because they have the like position of second in the two series, as shown in the keyboard : then a similar subdivision of the whole tone, between the fifteenth and sixteenth, will be necessary, with the use of the former subdivision, to construct the scale. And thus progressively, by taking the fifth of the last series, or the fourth below it, every place of the scale may become the first of a series ; and every whole tone may thereby be divided, as shown by the black keys in the diagram of the key-board. This division produces a series of semitones. When therefore the progression is made by them, the order of degrees is called the Semitonic or more commonly the Chromatic Scale.
But it is necessary for my purpose in the future history of speech, that the succession of discrete sounds should be exhibiled under still more reduced divisions. These consist in a transition from place to place in pitch, over intervals much smaller than a semitone : each point being, as it were, rapidly touched by a short and abrupt emission of voice. This description may be illustrated by the manner of that noise in the throat which is called gurgling; and by the neighing of a horse. The analogy here regards principally the momentary duration, frequency and abruptness of sound; for the gurgling is generally made by a quick iteration in one unvarying line of pitch. But in the scale now under consideration, each successive pulse of sound is taken at a minute interval above the last, till the series reaches the octave. We can not tell the precise extent of these small intervals; nor the number of pulses in given portions of the scales, since this function is executed in a manner, and with a rapidity which prevent discrimination. Nor are these points material now. My purpose requires it to be known that the voice does rise and fall, with short and abrupt iterations through the whole extent of pitch, by steps less than a semitone. Whether the discrete space is that fractional part of a tone which is called a comma, or some division or multiple of it, I leave to be determined among theorists, by other means than that of the ear alone.
Let us then call this species of movement the Tremulous Scale.
I have thus described four modes of the progressions of pitch: and though in speaking of the concrete, I did not call its slide a scale, since its unbroken line has no analogy with the interrupted steps of a discrete succession : yet with a full understanding of its nature, there can be no objection to its being so called.
There are then Four scales of pitch. The Concrete, in which, from the outset to the termination of the voice, there is no appreciable interval, or interruption of continuity.
The Diatonic, whose transitions are principally by whole tones.
The Chromatic, consisting of an entire succession of semitones : and,
The Tremulous, which with its minute intervals, has never, so far as I know, been employed upon musical instruments :
the trill or shake being, as I shall show hereafter, a totally distinct function.
For the purpose of explanation, the scales have been represented separately, though in the practice of the voice they are variously united : and I have been thus particular in their detail, since speech makes use of them all. The concrete is constantly found : and we shall hereafter learn in what manner the diatonic, chromatic and tremulous scales are joined with it.
The term Melody is applied to a regulated vocal or instrumental use of all those modes of pitch which are described in the above named scales. The full meaning of the term embraces the further relations of time, rythmus and pause : but I here speak of pitch alone. That agreeable effect of tune called melody is produced by a succession of the notes of the scale, under every permutation, of which, its seven elements, in a proximate or skipping progression, are capable. We shall find hereafter that the melody of speech, is founded on the same principle of varied intervals : whilst it has at the same time peculiarities, arising from its concrete and tremulous movements, and from not being affected by the doctrine of what in music is called Key.
The term Key is applied to each of the several series of the diatonic scale, which may be made upon musical instruments. And as it appears by the diagram of the key-board, that the semitonic divisions of the whole tones of the scale make twelve places, from each of which a diatonic succession may be arranged, so the scale of the piano-forte admits of twelve different keys. The first note of the succession is called, as we said formerly, the key-note. The relationship of this to the other notes of the scale is such, that a melody will appear unfinished, if its last sound be not the key-note of the scale, or the octave to it, which is its nearest concord.
It is a condition in music, that a melody formed of the varied permutations of the notes of any one key shall not employ the constituent notes of another. Thus in the vertical diagram, there is a series, with its key-note at number one; and another with its key-note at five. But to form the last we found it necessary to divide the tone between the eleventh and twelfth points, in order to obtain the final semitone of the diatonic scale: and it appears that all the notes are common to the two series, except the seventh of this last. Now a melody or tune begun on the first series, can not employ that seventh and be agreeable to the ear, but with an express design to leave the first series, and afterwards to carry on the tune altogether by the notes of the last. This transition from one series to another is called Modulation, or Changing the key.
Intonation signifies the act of performing the movements of pitch through the several scales, in song and in instrumental execution. It therefore regards merely the changes of sound between acuteness and gravity. Thus we say,--the emphasis and accent of speech have long been subjects of inquiry, but its intonation has been entirely overlooked. Intonation is said to be correct or true, when the discrete steps or concrete slides over the intended interval are made with exactness. Deviation from this precision is called singing or playing false.
The term Cadence means the consummation of the desire for a full close in the melody, by the resting of its last sound in the key note.
I have thus endeavoured to prepare the reader for all that relates to the science and nomenclature of music, in the following description of speech. When the analytic principles of the voice will have become familiar, through general instruction and practice, the Art of Speaking will seem to offer less difficulty, by having an acknowledged system and nomenclature of its own. Now we are obliged to study another art, in order to make one of it.
In the preceding explanations, I have gone rather beyond what is absolutely necessary for comprehending the proper science of Analytic Elocution, now to be first set forth: for I have described, with some care, the nature of Key and Modulation in music, although speech is not constructed upon the principles of either. I presumed, however, that it would not be uninteresting to some inquirers to know wherein the differences of the cases consist.
I feel how perplexing it is, I was about to say, it is impossible, to render the separated parts of a science, so well divided in method yet so closely related in detail, as that of music, clearly intelligible. But if what has been said will enable the reader to understand the system and particulars of the four
scales, and to execute them, he will not have much difficulty in pursuing our further history of a new and beautiful science of the human voice.
Of the Radical and Vanishing movement of the voice, and
its different forms in Speech, Song and Recitative.
We have been willing to believe, on faith alone, that nature is wise in the contrivance of speech. Let us now show, by our works of analysis, how she manages the simple elements of the voice, in the production of their unbounded combinations.
When the lettera,' as heard in the word day,' is pronouneed simply as an alphabetic element, without intensity or emotion, and as if it were a continuation and not a close of utterance, two sounds are heard continuously successive. The first has the nominal sound of this letter; and issues from the organs with a certain degree of-fulness. The last is the element
e,' as heard in 'eve,' which gradually diminishes until its close. During the pronunciation, the voice rises by the concrete movement through the interval of a tone; the beginning of the 'a' and the termination of the 'e' being severally the inferior and superior extremes of that tone.
As the description here given, may not in practice, be at once recognized by the reader, on account of the limited extent of the concreto, its delicate structure, and momentary duration, I shall endeavour to throw some particular light of explanation upon it.
That the sound expressed by the letter a,' when thus uttered concretely, has the diphthongal character, will be obvious