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III. VOCAL TRAINING.-INFLECTION AND EMPHASIS.
Introductory Remarks. In the lower-grade classes, children learn to read easy lessons “naturally," that is, without rules or principles. They learn partly by imitating the teacher, and partly by using the easy tones of conversation. But, in the higher grammar grades, it is desirable that pupils should learn the elementary principles or rules that govern good reading.
While there are a few teachers who think that it is not possible to teach reading by means of rules, the great majority of instructors recognize that it is quite as necessary to deal with principles in elocution, as it ^ is in arithmetic or grammar.
“Any art,” says Professor William Russell, “which is grounded on recognized principles, may, certainly, be taught by rules deduced from these principles. Every teacher who corrects the emphasis, the inflections, or the pauses, which his pupils use in reading, must have, in every instance, a reason for his correction. All such reasons are rules; and these it is the duty of the teacher to impart. These, in fact, are themselves the instructions which he has to give.
"Every attentive teacher of reading will endeavor to put his pupils in possession of even those less palpable principles which regulate the nicest modulations of the voice, in the most delicate tones of feeling. But, in the applications of inflection, emphasis, and pause, which
, determine the meaning of every sentence of audible language, a definite rule is indispensable to intelligible or effective instruction.”
Inflection, as the term is used in elocution, is an upward or downward slide of the voice on the emphatic words of a sentence. Emphasis is a special force of voice applied to the most expressive words.
Words that are read with a marked rising or falling inflection, are also emphatic words; and the stronger the emphasis, the more marked is the inflection. Inflection may, therefore, be considered as one form of emphasis.
FORMS OF INFLECTION. The rising inflection, indicated by the acute accent ('), is used in direct questions, and, in general, whenever the sense is incomplete.
The falling inflection, indicated by the grave accent (), is used in complete declarative, exclamatory, or very emphatic statements, and, in general, wherever the sense is complete, or does not depend on something to follow.
The circumflex, a combination of the rising and falling inflections on the same sound or word, indicated thus, (or ^), is used in surprise, sarcasm, irony, wit, humor, and in expressing a pun, or a double meaning. The rising circumflex is used in place of the direct rising inflection to add force to the emphasis, and the falling circumflex in place of the direct falling infection.
The monotone (--), that is, one uniform tone, is merely the absence of any marked rising or falling slide above or below the general level of the sentence.
THE UPWARD AND DOWNWARD SLIDES. The length of the rising or the falling inflection, in ascending or descending the scale, depends on the force of the idea, or strength of the emotion to be expressed, indicated, in general, by the emphasis to be applied. The degrees. of inflection may be roughly indicated as corresponding to the second, third, fifth, and eighth notes of the musical scale, including the semitones, or chromatic notes of the minor, second, third, fifth, and eighth notes.
Teachers that understand vocal music will represent these slides by a blackboard diagram.
1. Repeat the long vowel sounds, ā, ē, i, o, ü: (1) With the slight rising inflection. (2) Falling. (3) Rising circumflex. (4) Falling circumflex. (5) Monotone.
2. The same with the high rising inflection; the strong falling inflection; emphatic circumflex.
3. Count to fifty, with alternate rising and falling inflection, thus: óne, twò, etc.
4. Repeat each of the long vowels three times, thus: ā, ā, ā,-(1) With the rising inflection. (2) Falling. (3) Circumflex. (4) Monotone.
5. Repeat five times with high rising circumflex: áh! indeed!
1. Repeat five times with the rising fifth on ah, and the eighth on indeed: ál! indeed!
2. Repeat five times with the rising fifth: áh! áo kh! 3. Repeat five times with the falling fifth, oh!
òh o! oh!
4. Sőems, Madam!—nay, it is!
5. I would never lay down my arms; nèver, nèver, nerer!
6. "Green !” cries the other in a fury. “Why, sir, d'ye think I've lost my yes?”
7. Rising eighth and falling eighth: 7, ä, 00. 8. O noble judge! O excellent young man! 9. O wise young judge, how I do hônor thee! 10. And darst thou then
To beard the lion in his dén?
The Douglas in his hull?
Read, in concert, the words of the following table:
1. With the rising inflection.
ā, e.—āle, māde, brāid, gāuġe, veil, plāy, weight. ä.—älms, chärt, heart, läugh, hännt, äunt, päth. a, ô.—all, awe, law, fall, haul, bawl, crawl, ônght. ă.—ădd, thăt, brăt, hånd, lănd, plăid, băde. â, ê.—âir, bâre, dâre, prâyer, thêre, hâir, scârçe. å.—ask, eásk, tásk, påss, gråss, dance, glance. a, 7. —whạt, spot, wad, wand, was, watch. ē.—ēat, beat, beet, thēşe, sēize, freeze, leaves. ě.—ěnd, lět, threat, gět, ġěm, brěad, yět, said. ē, i.-vērge, hệard, learn, čarn, ērr, first, thirst. e, ā.--they, weigh, nāy, neigh, sleigh, prey, prāy. 1.-ice, isle, aīsle, wine, heīght, while, rhyme. 1.—ill, it, win, thỉn, been, ĝin, since, zinc. i, č.—whir, sīr, dirt, vērse, bērth, ĉarl, čarth. î, ē.-pïque, elïque, ereek, oblïque', ravïne'. 7.-old, thoşe, groan, force, pour, roar, more. ð.—ödd, on, blot, spot, got, god, röd, phlox. 0, 00, u.—move, proof, lose, loose, roof, choose. Ô, a.-ôr, nôr, war, fôr, lôrd, côrd, fôught, caught. ó, ú.—dóne, doth, dost, dúst, blood, flood, come. o, oo, y.—wolf, would, wood, could, should, good. ū.—ūşe, māte, mūşe, feūd, lieī, view, new, few. ŭ, 0.—ūp, būt, hūt, són, blood, gŭn, důck, some. û.—ûrge, pûrge, sûrge, cûrd, ûrn, bûrn, chûrn. 9, 0, 0.-rule, sehool, brute, route, wound, rude. ụ, 00, 0.-put, pull, push, bull, wool, wolf, foot. oi, oy.—oil, toy, boil, coil, roil, joy, boy, eloy. ou, ow._out, noun, proud, now, how, gout, pout.
18. ALFRED TENNYSON.
1. Alfred Tennyson, the present Poet Laureate of England, is the son of a clergyman, and was born in Somersby, England, in 1809. He began to write tales and verses from the time he could use a pen. He resided in London during the first twenty years of his poetic career, and has since 1851 lived mostly in the Isle of Wight. There is nothing eventful in his biography, and beyond a small circle he is seldom met. His earliest poems did not attract much attention, and it was not until 1842 that he established his reputation as the first living poet of England.
2. He is the most musical and picturesque of poets. His descriptions of scenery are like the unrolling of a panorama of beautiful landscapes. One is struck with the beauty and force of the Saxon words, which the poet uses in preference to any other element in our language. He delights to sing of heroic deeds, and to celebrate noble souls.
3. Read “The May Queen," "The Miller's Daughter," “The Death of the Old Year,” “Ring Out, Wild Bells,” "Dora," "Enoch Arden," "The Holy Grail," and "In Memoriam.”
CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE.
Read this poem to the class, line by line, and require pupils to repeat after you; next, lot cach pupil read one stanza from the platform, and then ire the class to memorize the poem for recitation.
1. Hálf a league, hálf a league,
Half a league onward,
Rode the six hundred.