Voice Production in Singing and Speaking - Based on Scientific Principles (Fourth Edition, Revised and Enlarged)
111 Pages

Voice Production in Singing and Speaking - Based on Scientific Principles (Fourth Edition, Revised and Enlarged)


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Project Gutenberg's Voice Production in Singing and Speaking, by Wesley Mills This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org Title: Voice Production in Singing and Speaking Based on Scientific Principles (Fourth Edition, Revised and Enlarged) Author: Wesley Mills Release Date: November 20, 2006 [EBook #19880] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK VOICE PRODUCTION IN SINGING *** Produced by David Newman, Linda Cantoni, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net VOICE PRODUCTION IN SINGING AND SPEAKING BASED ON SCIENTIFIC PRINCIPLES BY WESLEY MILLS, M.A., M.D., F.R.S.C. EMERITUS PROFESSOR OF PHYSIOLOGY IN McGILL UNIVERSITY AND LECTURER , ON VOCAL PHYSIOLOGY AND HYGIENE IN THE McGILL UNIVERSITY CONSERVATORIUM OF MUSIC, MONTREAL, CANADA FOURTH EDITION, REVISED AND ENLARGED CONTENTS PHILADELPHIA & LONDON J.B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY COPYRIGHT, 1906, BY J.B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY The Rights of Translation and all other Rights Reserved COPYRIGHT, 1913, BY J.B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY Electrotyped and Printed by J.B. Lippincott Company, Philadelphia, U.S.A. Illustrations of the appearance of the larynx during phonation in two special cases. (Grünwald.) EXPLANATION OF THE COLORED ILLUSTRATIONS. They contrast with each other in that the one (upper) is too red; the other, too pale. The upper represents appearances such as one gets with the laryngoscope when the subject has a very severe cold, or even inflammation of the larynx, including the central vocal bands. In this particular case, a young woman of twentyfive years of age, there was inflammation with a certain amount of weakness of the internal thyro-arytenoid muscles. Speaking was almost impossible, and such voice as was produced was of a very rough character. In the lower illustration we have the appearances presented in a man affected with tuberculosis of the lungs and larynx. The pallor of the larynx is characteristic. There is weakness of the internal thyro-arytenoid muscle on the right side, which results in imperfect tension of the vocal band on that side, so that the voice is uncertain and harsh. Such illustrations are introduced to impress the normal by contrast. The reader is strongly advised to compare these figures with others in the body of the work, especially those of Chapter VII. PREFACE TO THE FOURTH REVISED AND ENLARGED EDITION. IN addition to certain emendations, etc., introduced throughout the work, I have thought it well to add a chapter in which the whole subject is treated in a broad and comprehensive way in the light of the latest scientific knowledge. In this review the psychological aspects of the subject have not been neglected, and the whole has been related to practice to as great an extent as the character of the book permits. It is significant that on both sides of the Atlantic there is a growing conviction that the foundations for speaking and singing as an art must be made as scientific as the state of our knowledge will permit. THE AUTHOR. January, 1913. PREFACE TO THE THIRD EDITION. NO preface to the Second Edition was written, so few were the changes that were made in the work, and the same might apply to this Third Edition. However, the fact that within a period of less than two years, a Second English and a Third American Edition have been called for, seems to the Author to be so conclusive an endorsement of the application of science to vocal art, that he may be entitled at least to express his gratification at the progress the cause, to which he has devoted his pen, is making. It would seem that the better portion at least of that public that is interested in the progress of vocal art has made up its mind that the time has come when sense and science must replace tradition and empiricism. THE AUTHOR. MONTREAL, September, 1908. PREFACE. THE present work is based on a life study of the voice, and has grown out of the conviction that all teaching and learning in voice-culture, whether for the purposes of singing or speaking, should as far as possible rest on a scientific foundation. The author, believing that practice and principles have been too much separated, has endeavored to combine them in this book. His purpose has not been to write an exhaustive work on vocal physiology, with references at every step to the views of various authors; rather has he tried always to keep in mind the real needs of the practical voice-user, and to give him a sure foundation for the principles that must underlie sound practice. A perusal of the first chapter of the work will give the reader a clearer idea of the author's purpose as briefly expressed above. The writer bespeaks an unprejudiced hearing, being convinced that in art as in all else there is but one ultimate court of appeal: to the scientific, the demonstrable—to what lies at the very foundations of human nature. In conclusion, the author desires to thank those publishers and authors who have kindly permitted the use of their illustrations. THE AUTHOR. MCGILL UNIVERSITY, Montreal, October, 1906. TABLE OF CONTENTS. List of Illustrations [Pg ix] CHAPTER I. THE CLAIMS AND IMPORTANCE OF VOCAL PHYSIOLOGY. Science and art—The engineer, architect, physician, nurse, and others, compared with the vocal teacher and learner—Unfavorable tendencies—The old masters—The great elocutionists—Causes of failure—The lack of an adequate technique—Correct methods are physiological—Summary of the advantages of teaching and learning based on scientific principles—Illustrations of the application of physiological principles to actual cases—The evils from which speakers and singers suffer owing to wrong methods—Speaking and singing based on the same principles—Relation of hygiene to physiology 17 CHAPTER II. GENERAL PHYSIOLOGICAL PRINCIPLES. Relations of animals to each other—Common properties of living matter—Explanation of these—The mammal and man—The stimulus and its results—The one-celled animal—Various "systems"necessary —Complexity of structure and function—Harmony through the nervous system—The rule of nervous centres —Means by which they are influenced, and by which they influence—Reflex action—Muscular mechanisms and neuro-muscular mechanisms—Work of the singer and speaker largely reflex in character—Summary 34 CHAPTER III. BREATHING CONSIDERED THEORETICALLY AND PRACTICALLY. Breathing the great essential—Misconceptions—Purpose of breathing as a vital process—The respiratory organs—Their nature—Relations of the lungs to the chest-wall—Expansion of the chest—Its diameters—The [Pg x] muscles of respiration—Personal observation—The diaphragm—Varying quantities of air breathed —Breathing when properly carried out by the singer or speaker is healthful 44 CHAPTER IV. BREATHING FURTHER CONSIDERED THEORETICALLY AND PRACTICALLY. Relations of the nervous system to breathing—The respiratory centre—Reflex action in breathing—Methods of preventing nervousness—Tones produced by the outgoing breath—Waste of breath—The happy combination for good singing or speaking 57 CHAPTER V. BREATHING WITH SPECIAL REGARD TO PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS. The well-developed chest—The voice-user a kind of athlete—The tremolo—Exercises recommended for the