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I? ^3 

CornuGHT BY 


1882, 1884, 1893 




The rapid sale of the first English edition 
of my ** Gymnastics of the Voice," and the 
speedy necessity of a second edition, lead me 
to hope that the book will have as prosperous 
a career here in my adopted country as in my 
native land. To do all in my power for this 
end, I have, in accordance with the desire of 
my publisher, undertaken a complete change in 
the arrangement of the text, — the substance of 
which, however, remains entirely unchanged^ — 
for the purpose of making it more intelligible 
to the general public and better adapted for 
use in schools. Furthermore, I have added 
many new and important exercises — never 
before in printy and used by me only^ in a thirty 
years' practice of teaching, — together with 
several fresh illustrations, while some of the 
old cuts have been replaced by better ones. 


vi Preface to Second American Edition. 

I venture to hope that the form in which I 
now present it to the public, prepared, as it has 
been, with the greatest care, will go some little 
way to meet the requirements of the modern 
system of education in this country, 

I cannot close without noticing the fact, that 
my system of breathingy and all pertaining 
thereto, has recently been adopted by other 
authors, who have not made mention, with one 
solitary word, of the source from which they 
drew. Several, however, — among them the 
author of the excellent book, " The Old Italian 
School of Singing," — have made use of my 
ideas and have further developed them, pub- 
licily acknowledging all they owed to my 
book, and its share in inciting them to further 
researches. While fully conscious of the honor 
done me by the adoption of my ideas, I may 
yet be pardoned for desiring the credit of them, 
as some return for the labor and thought their 
elaboration has cost me. 





Twenty-three years have elapsed since the publication 
in Germany of my ** Gymnastics of the Voice," which met 
with so much favor that a fourth edition has already 
appeared. At that time, I stood alone in the field, but 
many others have since taken up the subject. I have not 
been able, however, to discover a real system, not even 
in the United States, where I have passed sixteen of my 
forty-two years of study, acting and general experience as 
a teacher of oratory and the dramatic art. 

At the request of many of my friends, I now venture 

to present, in the language of my adopted country, the 

system which has been followed by such favorable results 

in my native land. 

The Author. 
New York, 1882. 

• • 





When I made the attempt, twenty-three years ago, to 
write " Gymnastics of the Voice," I was almost alone in 
this field. So far as I know, no one had published a 
method of vocal gymnastics for speakers and singers, based 
upon physiological laws. Some of my colleagues greeted 
my book with an ironical smile ; others were unable to 
see the necessity of such a work, while only a few admitted 
its practicability. The press, however, judged differently. 
From all sides favorable criticisms were pronounced ; 
'* Gymnastics of the Voice " was declared to be, beyond 
all doubt, a most helpful book for oral expression in 
speech and in song, and it received greater praise than 
the author had even dared to expect. 

Since that time others have had a great deal to do with 
the human voice. All sorts of books, by laymen and scien- 
tists, have appeared. Especially in the last ten years has 
this kind of literature grown to large proportions, contain- 
ing much of value with much that is superficial and even 
positively erroneous and harmful. It would seem, on first 
thought, that all these new treatises would have superseded 
and driven out of the market a book which was first pub- 

Preface to Fourth German Edition, ix 

lished nearly a quarter of a century ago. Yet, during this 
period, "Gymnastics of the Voice" has passed through 
three editions; and so soon after the issue of the third 
edition, a fourth is demanded. This is certainly the best 
proof that in this book are treated topics which are want- 
ing in other books, or which are passed over superficially, 
but which are of the greatest importance to the speaker and 

And this is the fact. Among the many books on the 
' human voice which have since appeared, there is none 
that can show such a system of breathing in song and 
speech as that given in " Gymnastics of the Voice." This 
distinguishing and indispensable feature was at once re- 
cognized and commended by the press, which declared 
such a method absolutely essential for the cultivation of 
voice and speech. 

In regard to the new edition, the author can say that, 
without in the least injuring the pith, the book has been 
thoroughly revised and entirely re-written. Many addi- 
tions and explanations have been made, they being the 
results of daily teaching and riper experience, as well as of 
recent scientific progress. Through the kind liberality of 
the publisher, illustrations are for the first time added, 
which will increase still more the practical usefulness and 
value of the book. 

" Gymnastics of the Voice," in its new, enlarged and 

improved form, will serve, then, as my salutation from 

over the ocean to all of my friends, and all those who 

know of my efforts, and who, by their friendly sympathy 

and interest, encourage me to press on in this field of 


The AyT^0R* 
New York, 1882, 





Diagram showing the food and air tracks Frontispiece. 

FiGURB. Pace. 

I. Base position 23 

II-III. Head and neck exercises 24-25 

IV-VIL Trunk exercises 26-28 

VIII-XII. Arm exercises 3C>-34 

XIII. The form of the abdominal wall, freed from all 

its insertions and stretched out flat, and the 
position of the muscular fibres of the ab- 
dominal muscles 38 

XIV. Diagrammatic section of the body. The dia- 

phragm in inspiration and expiration 41 

XV. An anterior view of the thorax 42 

XVI. A posterior view of the thorax 43 

XVII. View of parts seen when the mouth is widely 

opened 45 

XVIII. Representation of section through head and 

neck 47 

XIX. A connected view of the hyoid-bone, thyrdid 

body, larynx, windpipe and lungs 49 

XX. Image of the larynx and surrounding parts, seen 

from above 5^ 

XXI. View of the interior of the larynx, the posterior 

half being cut away 53 

XXII. The glottis in action 58 

XXIII. Section of the head, showing the oral cavity 

and tongue in producing A' 106 

xii List and Explanation of Illustrations. 

Figure. Page. 

XXIV. Section of the head showing E (as m he) 107 

X"XV. Section of the head showing O^^ (as in cool) .. 108 

XXVt. Section of the head showing T, D 117 

XXVII. Section of the head showing Th (in thin and 

thine) Il8 

XXVIII. Section of the head showing Z (in azure, sh in 

push) 120 

XXIX. Section of the head showing iV. 123 

XXX. Section of the head showing IC, G' 124 

XXXI. Section of the head showing JC, C?". 125 

XXXII. Position of the larynx in chest-tones 183 

XXXIII. Position of the larynx in falsetto tones 183 

Respiratory gymnastics 143-149 

Figures I-XII are taken from my book, ''iEsthetic Physical Culttire." Figures 
XVII-XXI are taken from Dr. Louis Elsberg's The Throat and its Functions (by 
permission of the author). Figures XXIII-XXXI are taken from Dr. Ernst 
Brttcke's Grund^H^ie der Physiologic und Systemaiik der S^rachlaute; Vienna: 
Gerold's Sohn, 1855 ; 2d edition, 1876. Figures XXXII-XXXIII ar^ taken from 
Dr. Stoerk's Soroche und Gcsang; Vienna, x88x. 



"Preface to the Second American Edition ^..^..44<«^^ v 

Preface to the First American Edition vii 

From the Preface to the Fourth German Edition viii 




Introduction. 3 


Voice and Speech. 

General description and definitions ii 


The Muscles. 

Section I. — ^The muscles in general 17 

Section 2. — Directions for practice 21 

Section 3. — Exercises for the muscles of respiration and of the 

neck 23 

Head and Neck Exercises 24 

1. Turning head to right and left 24 

2. Bowing of the head forward, backward, 

or to right and left 24 

3. The head circle. 25 

XIV Contents. 

Section 3. — {Continued, 



Trunk Exercises 26 

1. Shoulders up and down 26 

2. Shoulders backward and forward 26 

3. Shoulder circle 26 

4. Turning of the trunk (torso) 27 

5. Inclination of the torso forward, back- 

ward, and to right and left.. .••• 27 

6. The torso circle. ...»«. .•••.•. ••••.... 29 

7. Elevating the torso •• • 29 

Arm Exercises....... 30 

{a) With Outstretched Arms, 

1. Lifting and moving arms forward, down- 

ward and sideway 30 

2. The arm circle 31 

3. Turning and revolving the arms 31 

4. Balancing and oblique movements 32 

{b) With the Aid of the Shoulder and Elbaw^ 

^ Joints, 

1 . Attraction and repulsion 32 

2. Elbows back 33 

3. Movements of the arms behind the back. 33 

4. Stick circling backward and forward. .... 34 


Divisions of the Muscles. 

Section i. — ^The abdominal muscles .....•••...• 37 

Section 2. — ^The diaphragm 40 

Contents. xv 


Organs of Respiration. 

Section I. — ^The chest (thorax) 42 

Section 2. — ^The oral cavity 44 

Section 3. — ^The nasal cavity (nasal fossae) 45 

Section 4. — ^The pharynx 48 

Section 5. — ^The larynx (voice box) 48 

tion 6. — ^The trachea (windpipe) 52 

Section 7. — ^The air-receivers (lungs) 52 

• •• 




Production of the Voice. 

Section I. — General remarks 57 

1. The direct attack .60 

2. The indirect attack 60 

3. The spiritus lenis and the spiritus asper 60 

4. Whispering 62 

5. The force of the voice 63 

6. The influence of the air-pressure 64 

7. The timbre 66 

Exercise for the rising and sinking of the 

larynx 66 

8. Thecompass - 68 

9. The mutation of voice 69 

10. Registers of the voice .' 70 

Section 2. — ^The chest-register 71 

Section 3. — ^The falsetto register 72 


xvi Contents. 


Production of the Voice in Singing and Speaking. 

Section i. — ^The qualities of tone :... 74 

1. Metal 75 

2. Clearness 75 

3. Strength 76 

4. Evenness jf^ 

5. Power of duration 76 - 

Section 2. — Position df the body 77 

Section 3. — Position of the lips and organs in the oral cavity. . - 78 

Section 4. — Importance ot a movable tongue 81 

Section 5. — Correct use of the tongue 82 

Exercises for the tongue 83 

Exercise for the soft-palate 87 

Exercise for the lips 87 

Exercise for the lower jaw 88 

Section 6. — How to prevent unnatural straining of the muscles . 90 

Section 7. — ^Tones produced by incorrect use of the organs .... 90 

Section 8. — How to prevent nasal tone 92 

Section 9. — Depression of the larynx 93 

Section 10. — ^The conditions necessary for a beautiful tone 94 


Preservation and Strengthening of the Vocal Or- 
gans 96 

Contents. xvii 




The Vowels and the Consonants. Pagb. 

General observations • 103 

The Vowels. 

Section i. — ^Thepure vowels 104 

Section 2. — ^The nasal vowels.-... ill 

Section 3. — ^The diphthongs 113 

The Consonants. 

Section i. — ^The labial sounds 115 

Section 2. — ^The dental sounds 116- 

Exercise to remove lisping 118 

Section 3. — ^The lingual sounds I20 

Exercise for acquiring the pure R 121 

Section 4. — ^The nasal sounds 123 

Section 5. — ^The palatal sounds 123 

Correction of Defects. 
Section i. — Connection of a final consonant with the initial vowel 

of the following word 127 

Section 2. — ^Imperfect vowelattack 127 

Section 3. — ^Adding wrong consonants and swallowing syllables. 128 

Section 4. — ^Intoning between words 128 

Section 5. — ^Wrong use of the lower jaw 129 

Section 6. — ^Exercise for the correct use of the lower jaw 131 

Section 7. — How the wrong use of the lower jaw may be recog- 
nized 132 


xviii Contents. 




Instinctive Respiration. Pagb. 

Section i . — ^Voluntary and involuntary breathing 135 

Section 2. — ^Three main modes of taking breath 137 

1. Abdominal or diaphragmatic breathing 137 

2. Shoulder or collar-bone breathing 137 

3. Side or rib-breathing 137 

Artistic Respiration (in Song and Speech). 

Section i. — Strengthening the lungs 142 

Respiratory Gymnastics . 

Exercises for breathing without interruption. 143 
Exercises for breathing with interruption.. 146 
Exercises for breathing by increasing length 
of each successive respiration, and by alter- 
nating the different modes of taking breath. 147 

Exercise for closing the glottis at will 148 

Section 2. — Beginning of speech or song 150 

Section 3. — State of readiness 150 

Section 4. — Closure of the glottis 150 

Section 5. — Inspiration and expiration to be done as slowly as 

possible, and uniformly , 151 

Section 6. — Even during any unusual activity of the lungs, as 
in moments of excitement or passion, it is quite 

necessary to breathe as slowly as possible 151 

Section 7. — ^Abdominal or diaphragmatic breathing. — Rib or 

side-breathing 152 

Section 8. — ^The necessity of consciousness of the diaphragm 

and the abdominal muscles 155 

Contents. xix 

Section 8. — Continued. Page. 

Exercises to acquire consciousness of diaphragmatic 

action 155-157 

Section 9. — ^The diaphragm and abdominal muscles usually act 

combined 157 

Section 10. — Correct application of the diaphragm and the ab- 
dominal muscles 161 

Section 1 1. — Peculiar phenomena during the application of the 

diaphragm and abdominal muscles 162 

Section 12. — Inspiration to be performed noiselessly, and visible 

only to such a degree as is absolutely necessary. 163 

Exercise for inaudible inspiration 165 

Section 13. — Cases in which breathing is audible (yawning, sigh- 
ing,panting,sniffing,hawking, aspirating, snoring, 
sobbing, coughing, sneezing, laughter, weeping). 168 

Section I4. — ^The air not to be aspirated during phonation 173 

Exercises for the singer 173 

Exercises for the speaker 174 

Section 15. — Path traversed by the sounding air-column 176 

Section 16. — Position and attack 180 

Section 1 7. — How to increase the compass of the voice 184 

Section i8. — Inspiration to be performed completely and at the 

right time 186 

Section 19. — Breathing after an impassioned phrase 195 

Section 20. — Breathing while the body is in any position 196 

Section 21. — Not more air to be exhaled than is absolutely 

essential 197 

Section 22. — Breathing through the nostrils 199 

Section 23. — Time and duration of the exercises 200 

Section 24. — What to do if, through carelessness, the lungs are 

emptied too soon ^. 203 

Section 25. — ^Wearing apparel in regard to breathing 204 

Section 26. — Expression ....•..•••••.. 206 

XX Contents. 








It has often been our lot to meet highly talented 
persons with the most healthy and powerful organs 
of speech, who, as soon as they attempted to use 
them artistically, not only made a very disagreeable 
impression upon us, but frequently even forced us 
to leave the place in which they were speaking. 
On departing, we would exclaim with regret : — 
** It's too bad that they do not know how to employ 
the means given them by nature — what great re- 
sults they could accomplish ! " 

Then they did not understand how to use their 
organs? Is singing, is speech, then, an art? Are 
there laws and rules which must be obeyed and fol- 
lowed in order to make our speech pleasing and. 
effective ? 

Yes ! song and speech, with proper breathing, 
are an art. There are laws and rules according to 
which our vocal organs must work. But how shall 
speech and song be made beautiful, pleasing and 
effective; how shall the difficult art of breathing be 

4 Introduction. 

acquired, when the majority of persons not only 
have no knowledge of these rules, but even cannot 
name the organs engaged in breathing, speaking, or 
singing ! They say : " I have breathed from birth. 
The Creator has given me good lungs, therefore I 
can speak." And the more they scream the better 
they think they have spoken ! 

The mere possession of organs, however, is not 
of itself sufficient for the purposes of speech anrt 
song. We must know how to use them ; and the 
better we can do this, producing the greatest effects 
with the least expenditure of force, the higher is our 
culture, the more favorably do we impress the hearer, 
and the greater are the results obtained. This is 
proven by those persons of ordinary, yes, feeble 
organs, who, by the right training and employment 
of them, not only cause the screamers to be forgot- 
ten, but accomplish results that astonish the ignorant, 
who judge only according to the degree of physical 
power. All people cannot have figures like an 
Apollo; cannot possess a voice as resonant as a 
bell and as powerful as a lion's roar, yet they can be 
asked to cultivate and rightly use their organs. The 
assertion, that the art of acting and of oratory re- 
quires no rules ; that, indeed, it will not submit to 
any, but that the inspiration of the moment must do 

Introduction. 5 

everything, is made continually by certain dramatic 
novices. They learn their parts by heart — a 
thorough understanding and mental assimilation of 
the matter is out of the question, — and play them 
just as it happens to go. Then, if by some chance, 
owing, perhaps, to their excellent talents, they do 
display some energy or force, they believe they have 
proof of the correctness and infallibility of their 
principle : — " Genius acts upon the instant and needs 
no preparation." If a person, in addition to excep- 
tional natural abilities, possesses also a thorough 
education, he is almost sure to attribute his success 
not to the training, but to the fine gifts he has re- 
ceived at the hands of nature, so little inclined are 
people to consider culture essential. 

It is to be regretted that so little is done for the 
proper training of the vocal organs, and that the art 
of correct breathing is almost unknown. Even dis- 
tinguished artists, known as such far and wide, are 
suffering under the bane of totally wrong or at least 
defective breathing. While the soldier does not 
begin to use arms until he has perfect control of his 
body and limbs, and has mastered their various 
movements ; while the painter is not allowed to paint 
a large picture before he has learned to draw its 
parts; while musical students have to practice for 

6 Introduction. 

weeks and months the most simple exercises, — 
the orator, declaimer, actor, and often the singer, 
will appear in public without any, or with only a 
very superficial knowledge of the right use of the 
vocal organs, and proceed at mere hap-hazard. 

One may often hear a speaker say : "I don't 
know how it happens that having spoken half an 
hour, I am dry in the throat, I have pain in the 
chest, the larynx, etc, !" We hear a singer inquire 
timidly: " What must I do to avoid getting out of 
breath in certain difficult passages?" We often 
hear that a speaker or singer feels apprehension be- 
fore the execution of this or that piece and says : 
"Would it were over!" And when we go to the 
bottom of the matter we always find that such per- 
sons have never had any proper training of their 
organs ; and are, as a consequence, unable to per- 
form their part with the necessary calmness, and also 
lack the necessary strength and power of endurance. 

The. remark is not seldom made, even by profes- 
sionals : ** What is the use of method? Let every- 
body breathe and speak as nature permits ; in dra- 
matic art the soul-inspiration will furnish the means, 
anything else is secondary !" Who would deny that 
talent and inspiration are the soul of dramatic art? 
Who would claim that there canine any art, for which 

Introduction. 7 

the inner, heart-felt inspiration is not the first re- 
quirement? Has there ever been any great painter, 
sculptor, musician, composer, poet, etc., without 
this soul-afflatus? But, on the other side, it is a 
most legitimate claim, that in no art more than in 
dramatic art is it necessary to bring the soul-inspira- 
tion into harmony with the external organs by which 
it has to become manifest. 

While other artists mainly use only special parts 
of their organism (the musician his hands or lungs, 
the dancer his legs, etc.), the dramatic actor can 
only excel by a harmonious use of all his organs. 
While the painter may have an imperfect or even 
infirm body, and still be a great artist by virtue of 
mental gifts and a good eye, the dramatic actor 
must possess the most perfect control of all his 
organs, physical and mental. The truth of this claim 
becomes particularly evident, when we see dramatic 
actors, such as have attained to a certain distinction 
in their art, suffering from special defects, as bad gait 
or attitude, indistinct articulation or faulty breath- 
ing, — defects which painfully disturb the total effect, 
while a less gifted, but more perfectly trained dra- 
matic actor, makes a most pleasant and agreeable 

This refutes the assertion, that nothing but genius, 

8 Introduction. 

soul-inspiration, is required for the dramatic art, and 
that everything else is of secondary importance. 

If we turn from the votaries of dramatic art to 
other classes of public speakers, and observe minis- 
ters, members of legislative assemblies, lawyers, 
academic professors, — although we certainly can- 
not accuse them of defective mental training, still 
the same ignorance in regard to vocal art and ora- 
tory becomes apparent, with rare exceptions. 

Especially is it a matter of deep regret, that this 
defect shows itself so frequently in a class of public 
speakers with such a high vocation, but who so rarely 
are fully competent to fulfil it, I mean the defect 
of all knowledge of vocal art in most members of 
the ministry. In this profession it has been hereto- 
fore thought that nothing was required but mental 
and spiritual training and a voice, without putting 
any special claims on the latter point ; for there are 
ministers who have so inferior physical means in 
that respect, that they cannot be heard or under- 
stood in a hall of ordinary dimensions. What is 
the result of it? The pulpit is the principal place 
where all can hear public speaking on subjects of 
momentous interest. Not every one can or will 
visit the theatre, but everybody can go to church ; 
this is, therefore, the place where a true, perfect 

Introduction. 9 

vocal art should show itself and exercise its cul- 
tivating influence on the people. The remark often 
heard in this respect, that a pulpit speaker ought 
only to care for what he says, not Itow he says it, 
cannot be made any longer. How can a perfect 
sermon be brought to a true appreciation without a 
perfect delivery? Let less stress, therefore, be put 
on the sinful state of man and more stress on the 
sinful neglect of a true aesthetic form and culture, 
and let there be given a good example in this re- 
spect by an artistic training and cultivation of 
nature's gifts; for only in this way can the true 
moral sense in the people be fed and cultivated. 
Let the people be attracted and accustomed to go 
to church by the perfection of pulpit oratory. Let 
the noble thoughts be clothed in a noble form ! 

But, while we have expressed regret at the defects 
which are noticeable in pulpit speakers, we must 
also say, with congratulation, that the satisfaction is 
great, when now and then we meet a pulpit speaker 
with whom the external form of delivery shows as 
much perfection as the inner substance of his dis- 
course, who will render the Word of God in that 
purity and nobility, as our imagination longs for, 
whose discourse does not furnish an involuntary 

10 Introduction. 

picture of human infirmity. Such, only, have fully 
realized the importance of their office. 

In regard to acquiring perfection in the dramatic 
art in general, as well as for a logical and aesthetic 
training in declamation, I refer to the writings of 
Lessing, Goethe, Schiller, and others. My object 
in this work has only been to write a gymnastic of 
the voice for speakers and singers ; that is, a guide 
based on physiological laws for the development and 
correct use of the physical organs, combined with a 
system of correct and practical breathing ; and as 
language is intimately connected with this subject, I 
have something to say thereupon, but only so far as 
regards the production of the different vowel and 
consonantal sounds. 




Human language consists of sounds (tones), or 
modifications of the sounds^ of noises combined with 
sounds^ and of noises without any sound (tone). 

The sounds are the human voice ; the modifica- 
tions of the sounds are the vowels ; the noises com- 
bined with sounds (tones) are the sounding conso- 
nants ; and the noises without any sound are the voice- 
less consonants. (Particulars given in Part III.) 

Human language, therefore, originates from un- 
articulated sounds (tones), which, with help of cer- 
tain organs^ are changed in articulated sounds 
(words), or by a longer duration in singing tones. 

Speech is the medium by which the mind of man 
communicates with the outer world. It is not our 
object to speak of this mode of communication, or 
of the mental processes required therefor, but of the 
bddily, material means, the organs^ which man has 
received from God, at the hands of nature, for the 

12 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

purpose of manifesting his mind, as. also of their 
cultivation and correct use, in order that the mech- 
anism of the organs of voice and speech may be 

The human vocal organ is the m4>st perfect musi- 
cal instrument imaginable. It can, by proper exer- 
cise, be improved and refined almost indefinitely 
from its originally crude condition. It possesses great 
endurance and power of resistance to external in- 
fluences, and still it is only, so to speak, an accidental 
function, an addition to other important arrange- 
ments necessary to life, a small appendage to the 
respiratory apparatus, but using the entire large 
compass of the latter for its own purposes. 

The elements of voice and speech are identical, and 
speech is distinguished from voice only by a differ- 
ent application of the same elements, and, further- 
more, by the fact that the voice — joining these fun- 
damental elements instinctively, accidentally and 
unsystematically — produces only the expression of 
the bodily impulses^ impressions^ and sensations^ 
while speech unites, according to laws of thought 
and to certain well-defined principles, the same ele- 
ments into syllables^ these into words, the words into 
sentences, and thereby forms a strict order with the 
greatest variety. 


Voice and Speech. 13 

Speech is, therefore, nothing but audible thought, 
and is as reason itself, — the attribute of man alone 

As voice is always, or almost always, intended for 
communication at a distance, the loudeVy further 
audible elements of voice — i, e,y the vowels — pre- 
ponderate ; the weaker, hissing sounds (noises), 
which are necessary to speech, that is, to audible 
thought, are less frequently used. While, therefore, 
the sounding elements predominate in the voice, and 
the hissing sounds in speech, the signs of both ap- 
pear united in song. 

The tone is the same in speech as in song. Its 
manifestations in both cases can be made apparent 
in exactly the same manner, .and a difference is to be 
found only in the duration of the sound. The voice 
is produced by the air contained in the lungs pass- 
ing through the larynx, thereby inducing sounding 
vibrations of the vocal cords. 

In speaking, the vocal cords vibrate only for a 
second ; in the next moment the vibrations are in- 
terrupted by others. The S9und first produced has, 
therefore, no time to make use, for its perfection, of 
all the means of consonance, etc. ; and, therefore, re- 
ceives a feebler and emptier impress. 

It is not thus with the sound oi song. This must — 
and just here lies the most essential part of singing — 

ics OF THE Voice. 

nind, as also of their 
order that the mech- 

!id ipccck may be 

: most perfect musi- 

an, by proper e 

almost indefinitely 

It possesses great 

ice to external in- 

an acci^ntal 

iportant^^ 1.5c- 

ippend^" *ie 

g the 


Voice and Speech. 13 

Speech is, therefore, nothing but audible thought, 
and is as reason itself, — the attribute of man alone 

As voice is always, or almost always, intended for 
communication at a distance, the louder^ further 
audible elements of voice — i,e,^ the vowels — pre- 
ponderate ; the weaker, hissing sounds (noises), 
which are necessary to speech, that is, to audible 
thought, are less frequently used. While, therefore, 
the sounding elements predominate in the voice, and 
the hissing sounds in speech, the signs of both ap- 
pear united in song. 

The tone is the same in speech as in song. Its 
manifestations in both cases can be made apparent 
in exactly the same manner, .and a difference is to be 
found only in the duration of the sound. The voice 
is produced by the air contained in the lungs pass- 
ing through the larynx, thereby inducing sounding 
vibrations of the vocal cords. 

In speaking, the vocal cords vibrate only for a 
second ; in the next moment the vibrations are in- 
terrupted by others. The S9und first produced has, 
therefore, no time to make use, for its perfection, of 
all the means of consonance, etc. ; and, therefore, re- 
ceives a feebler and emptier impress. 

It is not thus with the sound oisong. This must — 
and just here lies the most essential part of singing — 

12 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

purpose of manifesting his mincl, as. also of their 
cultivation and correct use, in order that the nuch- 
anism of the organs of voice and speech may be 

The human vocal organ is the tnost perfect musi- 
cal instrument imagiiiable. It can, by proper exer- 
cise, be improved and refined almost indefinitely 
from its originally crude condition. It possesses great 
endurance and power of resistance to external in- 
fluences, and still it is only, so to speak, an accidental 
function, an addition to other important arrange- 
ments necessary to life, a small appendage to the 
respiratory apparatus, but using the entire large 
compass of the latter for its own purposes. 

The elements of voice and speech are identical, and 
speech is distinguished from voice only by a differ^ 
ent application of the same elements, and, further- 
more, by the fact that the voice — joining these fun- 
damental elements instinctively, accidentally and 
unsystematically — produces only the expression of 
the bodily impulses, impressions, and sensations, 
while speech unites, according to laws of thought 
and to certain well-defined principles, the same ele- 
ments into syllables, these into words, the words into 
sentences, and thereby forms a strict order with the 
greatest variety. 

Voice and Speech. 13 

Speech is, therefore, nothing but audible thought, 
and is as reason itself, — the attribute of man alone 

As voice is always, or almost always, intended for 
communication at a distance, the louder^ further 
audible elements of voice — i.e,^ the vowels — pre- 
ponderate ; the weaker, hissing sounds (noises), 
which are necessary to speech, that is, to audible 
thought, are less frequently used. While, therefore, 
the sounding elements predominate in the voice, and 
the hissing sounds in speech, the signs of both ap- 
pear united in song. 

The tone is the same in speech as in song. Its 
manifestations in both cases can be made apparent 
in exactly the same manner, .and a difference is to be 
found only in the duration of the sound. The voice 
is produced by the air contained in the lungs pass- 
ing through the larynx, thereby inducing sounding 
vibrations of the vocal cords. 

In speaking, the vocal cords vibrate only for a 
second ; in the next moment the vibrations are in- 
terrupted by others. The S9und first produced has, 
therefore, no time to make use, for its perfection, of 
all the means of consonance, etc. ; and, therefore, re- 
ceives a feebler and emptier impress. 

It is not thus with the sound oi song. This must — 
and just here lies the most essential part of singing — 

12 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

purpose of manifesting his minid, as. also of their 
cultivation and correct use, in order that the mech- 
anism of the organs of voice and speech may be 

The human vocal organ is the tnost perfect musi- 
cal instrument imagiiiable. It can, by proper exer- 
cise, be improved and refined almost indefinitely 
from its originally crude condition. It possesses great 
endurance and power of resistance to external in- 
fluences, and still it is only, so to speak, an accidental 
function, an addition to other important arrange- 
ments necessary to life, a small appendage to the 
respiratory apparatus, but using the entire large 
compass of the latter for its own purposes. 

The elements of voice and speech are identical, and 
speech is distinguished from voice only by a differ^ 
ent application of the same elements, and, further- 
more, by the fact that the voice — joining these fun- 
damental elements instinctively, accidentally and 
unsystematically — produces only the expression of 
the bodily impulses^ impressions^ and sensations^ 
while speech unites, according to laws of thought 
and to certain well-defined principles, the same ele- 
ments into syllables^ these into wordsy the words into 
sentences^ and thereby forms a strict order with the 
greatest variety. 

Voice and Speech. 13 

Speech is, therefore, nothing but audible thought, 
and is as reason itself, — the attribute of man alone 

As voice is always, or almost always, intended for 
communication at a distance, the louder^ further 
audible elements of voice — i, e,y the vowels — pre- 
ponderate ; the weaker, hissing sounds (noises), 
which are necessary to speech, that is, to audible 
thought, are less frequently used. While, therefore, 
the sounding elements predominate in the voice, and 
the hissing sounds in speech, the signs of both ap- 
pear united in song. 

The tone is the same in speech as in song. Its 
manifestations in both cases can be made apparent 
in exactly the same manner, .and a difference is to be 
found only in the duration of the sound. The voice 
is produced by the air contained in the lungs pass- 
ing through the larynx, thereby inducing sounding 
vibrations of the vocal cords. 

In speaking, the vocal cords vibrate only for a 
second ; in the next moment the vibrations are in- 
terrupted by others. The S9und first produced has, 
therefore, no time to make use, for its perfection, of 
all the means of consonance, etc. ; and, therefore, re- 
ceives a feebler and emptier impress. 

It is not thus with the sound oi song. This must — 
and just here lies the most essential part of singing — 

12 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

purpose of manifesting his minid, as. also of their 
cultivation and correct use, in order that the fnech-- 
anism of the organs of voice and speech may be 

The human vocal organ is the most perfect musi- 
cal instrument imaginable. It can, by proper exer- 
cise, be improved and refined almost indefinitely 
from its originally crude condition. It possesses great 
endurance and power of resistance to external in- 
fluences, and still it is only, so to speak, an accidental 
function, an addition to other important arrange- 
ments necessary to life, a small appendage to the 
respiratory apparatus, but using the entire large 
compass of the latter for its own purposes. 

The elements of voice and speech are identical, and 
speech is distinguished from voice only by a differ- 
ent application of the same elements, and, further- 
more, by the fact that the voice — joining these fun- 
damental elements instinctively, accidentally and 
unsystematically — produces only the expression of 
the bodily impulses, impressions, and sensations, 
while speech unites, according to laws of thought 
and to certain well-defined principles, the same ele- 
ments into syllables, these into words, the words into 
sentences, and thereby forms a strict order with the 
greatest variety. 

Voice and Speech. 13 

Speech is, therefore, nothing but audible thought, 
and is as reason itself, — the attribute of man alone 

As voice is always, or almost always, intended for 
communication at a distance, the louder^ further 
audible elements of voice — i. ^., the vowels — pre- 
ponderate ; the weaker, hissing sounds (noises), 
which are necessary to speech, that is, to audible 
thought, are less frequently used. While, therefore, 
the sounding elements predominate in the voice, and 
the hissing sounds in speech, the signs of both ap- 
pear united in song. 

The tone is the same in speech as in song. Its 
manifestations in both cases can be made apparent 
in exactly the same manner, jand a difference is to be 
found only in the duration of the sound. The voice 
is produced by the air contained in the lungs pass- 
ing through the larynx, thereby inducing sounding 
vibrations of the vocal cords. 

In speakings the vocal cords vibrate only for a 
second ; in the next moment the vibrations are in- 
terrupted by others. The S9und jSrst produced has, 
therefore, no time to make use, for its perfection, of 
all the means of consonance, etc. ; and, therefore, re- 
ceives a feebler and emptier impress. 

It is not thus with the sound of song. This must — 
and just here lies the most essential part of singing — 

12 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

purpose of manifesting his mind, as. also of their 
cultivation and correct use, in order that the mech'- 
anism of the organs of voice and speech may be 

The human vocal organ is the most perfect musi- 
cal instrument imaginable. It can, by proper exer- 
cise, be improved and refined almost indefinitely 
from its originally crude condition. It possesses great 
endurance and power of resistance to external in- 
fluences, and still it is only, so to speak, an accidental 
function, an addition to other important arrange- 
ments necessary to life, a small appendage to the 
respiratory apparatus, but using the entire large 
compass of the latter for its own purposes. 

The elements of voice and speech are identical, and 
speech is distinguished from voice only by a differ- 
ent application of the same elements, and, further- 
more, by the fact that the voice — joining these fun- 
damental elements instinctively, accidentally and 
unsystematically — produces only the expression of 
the bodily impulses^ impressions^ and sensations^ 
while speech unites, according to laws of thought 
and to certain well-defined principles, the same ele- 
ments into syllablesy these into words, the words into 
sentences, and thereby forms a strict order with the 
greatest variety. 

Voice and Speech. 13 

Speech is, therefore, nothing but audible thought, 
and is as reason itself, — the attribute of man alone 

As voice is always, or almost always, intended for 
communication at a distance, the louder^ further 
audible elements of voice — i.e,y the vowels — pre- 
ponderate ; the weaker, hissing sounds (noises), 
which are necessary to speech, that is, to audible 
thought, are less frequently used. While, therefore, 
the sounding elements predominate in the voice, and 
the hissing sounds in speech, the signs of both ap- 
pear united in song. 

The tone is the same in speech as in song. Its 
manifestations in both cases can be made apparent 
in exactly the same manner, jand a difference is to be 
found only in the duration of the sound. The voice 
is produced by the air contained in the lungs pass- 
ing through the larynx, thereby inducing sounding 
vibrations of the vocal cords. 

In speakings the vocal cords vibrate only for a 
second ; in the next moment the vibrations are in- 
terrupted by others. The S9und jSrst produced has, 
therefore, no time to make use, for its perfection, of 
all the means of consonance, etc. ; and, therefore, re- 
ceives a feebler and emptier impress. 

It is not thus with the sound oisong. This must — 
and just here lies the most essential part of singing — 

14 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

be continued for quite a length of time. A sound 
in song, suddenly interrupted immediately after its 
beginning, no longer retains the character of a sound 
sungf but evidently that of one spoken. 

The chief obstacle in the way of singers and ora- 
tors, despite their good vocal organs, is ignorance of 
the correct use of the respiratory organs. Correct 
breathing, however, is the basis of speech as well as 
of song ; for the voice, as much as speech, can origin- 
ate only in and by the air expelled from the lungs. 

Singing and speaking are, on the whole, only a 
branch of respiration, whose main function in life is 
the oxygenation of the blood and the production of 
animal heat. The inspired air, which, after perform- 
ing this function, is expelled, has, nevertheless, been 
useful before mixing with the atmospheric air by 
acting as the motive power for the vocal cords, and 
by becoming a tone, the result of having been, in its 
return, set into a new vibratory movement. 

The voice, then, is, as we have said, produc(?d by 
the air contained in the lungs passing through the 
larynx, thereby inducing sounding vibrations of the 
vocal cords. If the voice is to be formed into words, 
we need, besides the respiratory organs and the 
larynx, those organs which are situated above the 

larynx, and to which the pharyngeal cavity, the nasai 

Voice and Speech. 15 

and oral cavities, including the tongue^ palate, teeth 
and lips, belong. 

Only by the right application of these organs can 
pure tones and correct formation of words be pro- 
duced. The slightest misuse, the smallest deviation 
from the right path, is the cause of such strange 
sounds, such peculiar word- formations, as we fre- 
quently hear, and in which palatal^ nasal and gut- 
tural tones predominate. 

The reader can infer the importance of breathing 
in song and in speech from these few introductory 
remarks, which may be summed up in this sentence : 
The air which streams from the lungs is the primary 
cause of all vocal phenomena, and the larynx is the 
generator of the voice. 

The organs which we require for respiration are 
the following : 

First, The chest (thorax) with the muscles of 

Secondly, The air-passages through which at- 
mospheric air is drawn into the air-receivers (lungs), 
and which are composed of the oral and nasal cav- 
ities, the pharynx, the larynx, the trachea (wind- 
pipe) and bronchi. 

Thirdly, The lungs (air-receivers). 

All rnQvements of the human body are brought 

1 6 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

about by the action of the muscles Avhich are at- 
tached to movable apparatuses, and are made to 
operate through the medium of the nerves. 

Without the proper co-operation of the muscles^ it is 
impossible to accomplish anything. 

Thoughts originate in the brain, the brain acts 
upon the nerves, the nerves act upon the muscles, 
and the muscles upon the bones ; and only after this 
process are we able to undertake an act. 

It, therefore, becomes necessary, above all, to un- 
derstand the constitution of the muscles in general, 
as well as their preservation and development, and 
especially the inner character and working of those 
which pertain to our subject. 

So much for voice and speech in general. Let 
us enter into details. 




The Muscles in General. 

The muscles consist of muscular tissue (flesh), 
which possesses the property of contracting and ex- 

The contraction of a muscle is followed after a 
time, either voluntarily or through exhaustion, by 
an abatement of contraction, a state of rest, during 
which a change of material (nutrition) can be carried 
on better; whilst, during contraction, a greater con- 
sumption of blood and of the nerve-power occurs. 

By frequently recurring, gradually increasing ac- 
tivity of the muscles, and by partaking of the neces- 
sary meat diet, these can be made to increase con- 
siderably in power and size ; whereas a surplus of 
fat and inactivity will cause them to become flabby 
and powerless. 

What wonderful strength and versatility is achieved 
by man through habituating (correctly exercising) 


1 8 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

the muscles to certain functions, the exercise being, 
of course, gradually increased and interrupted by 
the necessary repose, is attested by all those whose 
chief occupation consists in the use of the muscles, 
such as gymnasts, athletes^ dancers^ pianistSy etc. 

As in the contraction of a muscle a larger amount 
of blood is required, so in its relaxation a greater 
blood-formation occurs ; it is perfectly natural that 
a muscle in constant change (in contraction and re- 
laxation, i, e.y activity and rest) is strengthened much 
more, and tires itself much less, than one whose ac- 
tivity is either constantly or for a long time one- 

It is owing to this that continued standing is more 
fatiguing than continued walking. 

When a muscle is either too much strained, or 
kept in motion too long, lameness frequently follows. 

Only continued exercise of the muscles, alternat- 
ing with the required rest, will eventually succeed in 
enabling them to make those movements which the 
human will dictates. At the commencement of 
these exercises one is seldom able to do this, and 
can hardly, while exercising certain muscles for cer- 
tain purposes, prevent other muscles, which are not 
requisite for those functions, from co-operating. 

Observe any person who is beginning to learn 

The Muscles. ig 

gymnastics, dancing, fencing, or piano-playing, and 
you will find our assertion confirmed. 

It is in the highest degree amusing to watch a 
young, imaginative, talented and impassioned person 
when reciting for the first time. Not only the re- 
quired, but all the muscles move in a spasmodic and 
ugly way, and the face generally expresses, if not 
exactly the contrary, yet only partly, the disposition 
of the mind. 

We note the misapplication of the muscles most 
generally in cases where the human voice is used in 
either singing or speaking, and this is the frequent 
cause of defective speaking and singing. 

Many may be astonished, even provoked, because 
they must hear so much about the muscles, — they 
who want to become neither athletes nor dancers, 
but simply singers or orators. This, however, can- 
not be helped. Nature is so obstinate that she de- 
mands a correct muscular movement as well from 
the singer and the orator as from the athlete and 
dancer (of which we shall learn more further on) ; 
nature makes no exception of them ; but that our 
reader or scholar may be disposed to follow the 
further description of the muscles with pleasure, it 
will be well for him to bear in mind what we said in 
Chapter I, viz. : " Thoughts originate in the 


20 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

brain, the brain acts upon the nerves, the nerves act 
upon the muscles, and the muscles upon the bones ; 
and only after this process are we able to undertake 
an act." 

Here, again, we come upon something which will 
be still more distasteful to the class of persons we 
have referred to, viz. : That their brains and nerves 
must also be employed whilst singing and speaking. 
Perhaps, in the end, this curious writer will require 
that the brain and nerves should also be educated ! 
Of course ; for the first task is to educate our brain 
through mental exercises, because only a brain edu- 
cated and imaginative, well exercised in thinking, 
and that, too, in quick and decisive thinking, will be 
able to act upon the nerves and muscles. Only after 
continued practice shall we be able to bring into 
operation such muscles as should be employed. 

To strengthen the muscles, and with them the 
entire body, and make them obedient to our will, 
we must practice systematically. Gymnastics are, 
of all bodily exercises, the best qualified for this 
purpose, because very nearly all the movements of 
the human body are embraced in them ; but we 
must observe very closely the following rules, if we 
do not want to receive more harm than good through 
these exercises. 

Directions for Practice. 21 


Directions for Practice. 

J. The most suitable time for practice is shortly before 
breakfast, dinner or supper. The best time is in the 
morning before breakfast. After exercise, a pause of 
half, or at least a quarter of an hour must ensue before 
eating, as digestion cannot be well carried on in an ex- 
cited state of the muscles. No exercise must be taken 
upon a full stomach. 

2. Success results only from perseverance. If Ihe 
desired end is to be reached, practice must be carried on 
with great regularity. 

3. Before beginning, all oppressive clothing must be 
removed ; neck, chest and abdomen must be free from 
pressure. Women must remove every sort of corset. 

4. If, during practice, a decided rush of blood to the 
head is remarked, or a quickened pulsation of the heart 
wiih rapid breathing, the exercise must be carried on very 
circumspectly and moderately, with long pauses ; that is, 
between every two exercises there must be a normal action 
of the lungs. 

5. During exercise, the breath must not be held in. On 
the contrary, draw the air slowly, and in deep draughts, 
into the lungs, and expel it just as slowly, not forgetting 
to contract the abdominal muscles. 

A ri^ht action of the lungs is indispensable for the preservation of 
man, since upon this depend the soundness of the lungs, the proper 
circulation of the blood, and the health of the whole body. 

The pauses between the exercises are, therefore, used for deep 
breathing, which is practiced by inhaling the air slowly, and in as 
great quantities as possible, and expelling it just as slowly. 

Diseases of all sorts result, in great measure, from defective breath- 
ing, as very many, and hysteric^ persons in particular, breathe onlv 
with the upper half of the lungs, thus injuring the lower half througn 
lack of expansion. This frequently leads to consumption in youm, 
and to asthma in old age. 

22 Gymnastics of the Voicfi. 

6. The movements must be slow, but decided and 

It is well in exercising to observe a certain measure, with counts 
either loud or silent, which niay cease as perfection is acquired by 

In the beginning make an exercise five to eight times ; after a few 
days, ten to fifteen times ; after three or four weeks, twenty to thirty 
times. Never repeat an exercise oftener. 

Above all, guard against entire fatigue of the muscles. As soon as 
an undue sense of weariness comes on, the exercise must be stopped 
or deferred until it is over. Be content with small results at first 
Strength and ease will come with practice. 

That disagreeable tension of the muscles which ensues at first, need 
not cause alarm in regard to the health, and induce one to abandon 
gymnastic practice Injury results only from senseless over-excita- 
tion of the muscles. A gradual progress in exercise should be ob- 
served; a safe and steady passage from easy to difficult things. 

7. Exercise must be carried on in pure air. If within 
doors, the place should be thoroughly ventilated by open- 
ing doors and windows before the practice begins„ It 
must not be prosecuted in jerks and starts. Women 
should be exceedingly careful in this regard. 

The double organs (arms, shoulders and hips) should 
be exercised right and left alternately. 

Particular attention should be given to the perfecting 
of the respiratory muscles (chest and abdominal), and 
one should be particularly cautious not to over-exert them. 
Always allow a certain lapse of time for rest before begin- 
ning to exercise anew, and bear in mind that only a slow 
and gradual exercise, continued for a Ions: time, and inter- 
rupted only by the proper rest, will enable us to achieve 
our aim. 

Exercises for the Muscles. 



Exercises for the Muscles of Respiration and of 

THE Neck. 

The person exercising must stand perfectly erect, with 
straightened knees, the heels close together, the toes turned 
slightly outward so that the feet shall form the sides of a 
right angle, the chest thrown outward (not excessively), 
the shoidders thrown back, and the hands hanging loosely 

Fig. I. 

at the side or set akimbo. From this position he 
should begin all his exercises. We call it the Base 
Fbsition (Fig. I). 


24 Gymnastics of the Voice, 



I. Jhimingthe Head to the Right and Left (6, 8, lo times)* 

The head is turned slowly to the right without lower- 
ing it, as far as the muscles of the neck allow (Fig. 
II). Remaining some time in this position greatly 

Fig. II. 

strengthens the muscles of the throat and neck. The 
same practice is then observed by turning the head to 
the left, while the body remains in its base position^ and the 
shoulder-muscles are motionless. 

The object of this practice is to give freedom to the muscles of the 
neck. This is very necessary, for in gesture it constantly occurs, 
notably in persons of high rank, that a slight turn of the head to one 
side or the other, without the least movement of the body, is of great 
significance. When, through inflexibility of the muscles of the neck, 
arising from want of exercise, the whole body turns with it, as we 
often observe in persons without gymnastic training, or when singers 
cannot turn their heads during singing without causing the tone to 
cease suddenly, — the effect is bad. 

2. Bowing of the Head Forward^ Backward, or to the Right 

and Left (6, 8, lo). 

The head is bowed in a fourfold way, the trunk 
remaining erect, without stretching the neck-muscles too 

* The figures in parentheses after each exercise indicate the number of times the 
exercise is to be repeated; the first number to govern the pupil in the beginning (A 
his practice, the second number after two weeks, the third number after eight lueeks. 
The last number is then retained. 

Exercises for the Muscles. 25 

The backward inclination of the neck, especially in 
women, should be slight (Fig. III). 

Fig. III. 

From this fourfold exercise of the head proceeds one 
exercise : — 

3. The Head Circle (10, 20, 30). 

The four head movements are united by a circular line 
(Fig. Ill, « — ^), and also make a funnel-shaped movement 
without the head passing to its normal position. From 
the forward inclination of the head we pass to the left 
side, to the back, to the right side, and again to the for- 
ward movement, repeating the whole exercise in reversed 
order ; the upper part of the body remaining in its base 
position, and the uninterrupted circular form slightly indi- 

A strong, muscular neck is not a feminine trait, surely ; but women 
often greatl]^ strengthen the muscles of the head and neck by gym- 
nastic exercises. While the neck has to sustain the not inconsider- 
able weight of the head, an oblique carriage of the head may be easily 
brought on if the neck, from weakness or relaxation of its muscles, 
cannot perform the required service. In case of this oblique carriage 
of the nead, mothers and teachers have sometimes used collars set 
with bristles so arranged that the bristles at once cause a disagree- 
able sensation if the neck inclines to one side. Tissot tells of the 
superior of a convent who corrected this habit by instituting a sort 
of game in which a ball or some other slippery object was carried on 
the head, the pupil who let it fall paying a forfeit. 

A lady pupil came to the author of this work, — a singer who, after 
two years* study with another teacher, could not sing a note without 
turning her head considerably toward the right shoulder, which, while 
giving her an awkward appearance, also greatly injured the tone. He 
adopted the followmg method: As soon as she began to sing he had 
her turn her head to the left shoulder, not allowing her to sing a note 

26 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

in saiy other position. After some months when he saw that the in- 
clination to the right shoulder had wholly disappeared, he let her 
hold her head erect. Now in singing there was a conflict between 
the right and left muscles, but the effort to obey neither much facili- 
tated the erect position of the head, and the oblique leaning was 
wholly cured. 



I. Shoulders Up and Down (30, 40, 50). 

Raise both shoulders as high and as forcibly as possi- 
ble, then allow them slowly to return to their original 

Fig IV. 

position. A too sudden lowering in frequent exercising 
would jar the head (Fig. IV). 

Begin the exercise with both shoulders, then alternate, 
retaining strictly the base position^ except in regard to the 
arms, which, without bending the elbows or keeping them 
too stiff, will be drawn along by the shoulders. 

2. Shoulders Backward and Forward i^y 12, 20). 

Draw the shoulders backward and forward singly, and 
afterward both together. From the combination of these 
movements we have exercise 

3. Shoulder Circle (8, 1 2, 20). 

Move the shoulders upward, backward, downward, for- 
ward and again upward, without interruption, not in jerks, 
but so as to describe a circle ; then the same in reverse 
order, that is, upward, forward, downward, backward, etc 

Exercises for the Muscles. 


In all these exercises we must be very careful that only 
the muscles which are to be exercised be active, and that 
all the others are perfectly at rest. 

4. Turning of the Trunk (10, 20, 30, to and fro). 

In this exercise the trunk is turned on its axis, alter- 
nately to the right and to the left, without moving the 
hips, the vertical position being- always retained, the legs 
kept firmly in the base position, and the arms set akimbo 
(Fig. V). 


Fig. V. 

5. Inclination of the Torso Forward, Backward (10, 20, 30), 
and Right and Left (20, 30, 40). 

With the legs in the base position and the arms set 
akimbo, the trunk, kept straight from the hips to the crown 
of the head, is bent slowly forward until it forms a right 
angle with the legs, and then is brought slowly back to the 
base position ; without stopping it is in like manner bent 

backward as far as possible, returning again to the base 



Gymnastics of the Voice. 

position. This exercise must be performed at first slowly, 
then more quickly, and at last with a certain stress, as 
though the upper part of the body were about to be thrown 
to the ground and were suddenly ierked back to the base 

I ' 



I 1 

I I 


Fig. VI. 

position, and then beyond (Fig. VI). In the same way 
the trunk should be bent to the right (Fig. VII, dj) and left 
(Fig. VII, lf)y but without the already-mentioned stress. 

Fw. VII, 

Exercises for the Muscles. 29 

The sideward movement, and still more so the backward 
movement, can be executed only to a limited extent. 
From the combination of these movements we have 

6. The Torso Circle (8, 16, 30). 

In this exercise the trunk, perfectly straight, moves 
round on the hips without changing front. (Fig. VII. 
The arrows indicate the direction of the movement a^ b^ c, 
from right to left, and then vice versa,) This exercise will 
be best executed with the arms set akimbo. The back 
and the abdominal muscles are by these movements 
especially developed, and this is absolutely necessary for 
singing and speaking, as well as for every very exerting 
position. This exercise, too, must finally be performed 
with '^articular stress 

7. Elevating the Torso {/^^ 8, 12). 

The pupil should lay himself flat on the floor, on his 
back, with his arms folded over his chest or laid along 
his sides, and must then, without changing the position 
of the legs or separating the feet, raise himself slowly 
without a throw to a sitting posture, and, after a couple 
of seconds, let the body sink again to the floor. Many 
will at first find it impossible to perform this exercise, 
especially persons with weak abdominal muscles. These 
should place a pillow under the head, or place the toes 
under some firm object. After a while they will be able 
to dispense with these aids. 

This exercise has for its object the strengthening of the abdominal 
muscles, which, as I have already said, is necessary not only for our 
health, but also for oratory and song. 



Gymnastics of the Voice, 



{a) With outstretched arms, i. e., by simple 


I. Lifting and Moving the Arms Forward up. Downward 
back and Sideway up (lo, 20, 30). 

Having placed the body in the ba^e position, move-the 
outstretched arms slowly forward (Fig. VIII, df, ^), raising 
them to the sides of the head until they touch the ears and 
Stand perpendicularly (Fig. VIII, d\ and then let them swing 
back gently to the base position and beyond (Fig. VIII, e). 
Both these movements should at first be performed slowly, 
but gradually quicker and quicker until we obtain the full 
swing. The raising of the arms sideway is performed 
first with the back of the hand, and then the palm turned 






Fig. VIII. 

upward, the arms being raised until they touch the sides 
of the head, and then made to return to the base position. 
Here, too, we pass over gradually to complete swinging of 
the arm; After having attained perfect control over the 
shoulder-joints, we proceed to 

Arm Exercises. 31 

2. Arm Circle (8, 12, 20). 

The pupil should endeavor, with outstretched arms, to 
describe a broad circle from the front backward, and vice 
versa, in the following way : Having raised the arms as in the 
preceding exercise, he should continue to move them round 
backward until they return to the base position. The move- 
ment should be slow at first, then quicker and quicker up to 
a full swing. The curve described will, at the beginning, 
be rather an ellipse than a circle, but after long practice 
it will be possible to approach very nearly to a circular 
motion The shoulder-muscles, as well as all those en- 
circling the thorax, are by this means put into a free and 
general activity. The effect will be an increased flexibility 
of the shoulder-joints, and a strengthening of the respira- 
tory muscles, which also involves the widening of the 

3. Diming and Revolving the Arms (30, 40, 50). 

Raise the outstretched arms laterally to the level of the 
shoulders, the back of the hand upward (Fig. IX, b), then 

turn the palm upward (Fig. IX, a\ and continue reversing 
in this way, the wrists being kept as stiff as possible. 
Then make the same exercise with clenched hands. This 
exercise can be best performed by imagining yourself in 
the act of driving a gimlet into a post. 


32 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

4. Balancing and Oblique Movements ifi, 12, 16). 

The pupil should raise the outstretched arms forward to 
the level of the shoulders, the palms turned toward each 
other; then move them round backward horizontally, 
with a stress, as though he wished 10 bring the upper sur- 
faces of his hands together behind his back, which is 
impossible to accomplish entirely ; and, finally move 
them forward with the same stress, etc. Movement to be 
slow at first, then quicker and quicker up to a full swing. 

{b) With the aid of the shoulder and elbow- 

I. Attraction and Repulsion (10, 20, 30). 

The pupil should bring the lower arms with clenched 
fists from the base position up till the fists nearly touch the 
shoulders (Fig. X) ; then, with a violent throw, make the 
arms return to the base position. 

This exercise should be ^executed downward (10, 20, 
30), upward (^, 8, 12, Fig. IC), forward (10, 20, 30, Fig. XI), 
backward (6, 10, 16, to a certain extent. Fig. XI), and 


Fig. X. 

sideward (Fig. X). The upper arms remain in the bc^e 
position in the downward movement ; in all other cases 

Arm Exercises. 3 3 

Fig. XI. 

they follow the movement of the lower arms. We should 
observe in regard to the feet, that the weight of the body 
should fall more on the toes than on the heels, so as to 
make the shock to the brain as slight as possible. 

2. Elbows Back (8, 12, 16). 

Place both arms akimbo, and move the elbows back as 
far as possible. The back must be held perfectly erect. 
The particular stress of this movement is in the thrusting 
back of the elbows, which must be made to correspond 
with each inspiration. 

3. Movements of the Arms Behind the Back (8, 12, 16). 

Fold the hands on the back, near the region of the 
loins, so that the palms face each other ; now endeavor 
to extend the arms without loosening the hands, and raise 
them thus extended upward as far as possible (Fig. XII). 
Lower them and continue in this way, first slowly, then 
with increased rapidity. The spine must not be curved 
during this exercise. 

In these movements the shoulders are powerfully and firmly drawn 
back and down, and the front walls of the thorax mechanically 
extended, which is conducive to breathing. 

34 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

Fig. XII 

4. Stick Circling Backward and Forward (^^ 12, 16). 

Let the pupil grasp near the ends, the backs of his hands 
upward, a rounded stick, one inch in thickness, and which 
reaches from the floor at least as high as his shoulder. 
Begin with holding the stick across the front of the body, 
passing it over the head and behind him as low as possible 
without bending the arms, and then back again. While 
passing backward take a deep inhalation and hold the 
stick behind the back as long as the breath can be held ; 
in going forward a strong expiration takes place. The 
principal effect is on the shoulders, arm extensors, spinal 
and abdominal muscles. 

This exercise is difficult to do at first, but after practice grows 
much easier. 

What is said here of the muscles in general pertains 
particularly to the muscles of the larynx. These must be 
exercised with the utmost care, and in a slowly and gradu- 
ally increasing manner (as we shall see further on), un- 
less we wish a total incapability of action to ensue. 



The muscles are divided into voluntary and in- 

To the latter belong the diaphragm, the heart and 
the intestines. 

To the voluntary belong all the remaining 

We must distinguish (^) muscles of the head, {b) 
muscles of the trunk, (^) muscles of the upper 
limbs and {d) muscles of the lower limbs. 

After having treated of muscles in general, we 
have only; to observe particularly the muscles of the 
trunk, since our method of tone-formation, as far as 
breathing is concerned, is based chiefly upon the 
correct activity of the abdominal muscles and the 

Of the muscles of the trunk we only require to 
observe more closely the chest and abdominal mus- 
cles, as well as the diaphragm. 

The muscles of the' chest serve in breathing to 
move the chest, as also at times the arms, and to 

36 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

lower the shoulders. They lie upon the front sur- 
face of the thorax (without covering the middle), 
toward and at the sides, and fill out the spaces be- 
tween the ribs. 

The abdominal muscles serve particularly (for our 
purpose) for expiration. Besides this they shield 
the intestines, promote the bending of the body, 
and help to contract the abdominal cavity. 

"The ribs are attached to the spine so as to be freely movable upon 
it; but when left to themselves they take a position which is inclined 
obliquely downward and forward. Two sets of muscles, called in- 
tercostalSf pass between the successive pairs of ribs on each side. 
The outer set, called external intercostalsy run from the rib above 
obliquely downward and forward to the rib below. The other set, in- 
ternal intercostals, cross these in direction, passing from the rib above, 
downward and backward, to the rib below. The action of these mus- 
cles is somewhat puzzling at first, but is readily understood if the fact 
that when a muscle contracts, it tends to make the distance between its 
two ends as short as possible, be borne in mind. Consequently the 
external intercostals must raise, and the internal intercostals must 
depress, the bony ribs."* 

The other muscles of the chest, which connect 
the ribs with parts of the spine above them, and 
with the shoulders, require no special description. 
The function of all these muscles is merely either to 
raise single groups of ribs, or to raise them and at 
the same time force them outward so as to consider- 
ably expand the chest. 

* Huxley's *' Lessons in Elementary Physiology." 

The Abdominal Muscles. 37 


The Abdominal Muscles. 

The abdominal muscles are, like all voluntarily 
movable muscles, thicker in the middle than at 
either end, where they terminate in shorter or longer 
tendons, by which they are fastened to the bones or 
to other tendons. They lie in layers one upon 
another, form the fore and side covering of the ab- 
dominal cavity, and are always found in pairs. This 
is because the single muscle does not extend the 
whole width of the abdomen, but only to the middle 
where it ends with its tendon on the musculus rectus y 
in the middle of the latter and in or on the linea 
alba (by which the musculus rectus is equally 
divided). A similar formation is found on the 
other side, so that the two muscles are connected 
by their tendons and practically form one. These 
muscles are called, — 

1. Musculus rectus abdominis. 

2. Musculus transversus abdominis. 

3. Musculus obliquus desccftdens. (The external 

4. Musculus obliquus ascendens, (The internal 

Imagine the entire wall of the abdomen freed from 

38 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

all its insertions, and stretched out flat, and it will 
show about the following form and position ot its 
muscular fibres (Fig, XIII). 

In a perpendicular line from a to b, musculus 
rectus abdominis ; transversely from c to d, musculus 
transversus abdominis ; obliquely from e to f, mus- 
culus obliquus descendens ; obliquely from g to A, 
musculus obUqtius ascendens. 

The action of tlie muscle oblique descendens, and 
that of the ascendens, if acting separately, are dis- 
similar. The descendens, marked e, f, e, f, when 
alone active, or specially so, presses the contents of 
the abdomen upward, the ascendens, g, k, g. h, 
more downward. Owing to this the first- mentioned 

The Abdominal Muscles. 39 

oblique descendens is active particularly in singing 
and speaking. 

If, however, the descendens and ascendens of both 
sides co-operate, i. e,, all four act uniformly and 
simultaneously, then the combined action in all 
parts of the abdomen, especially at the sides, will be 
a contraction of the abdominal cavity from the front 

The musculi transversi abdominis^ marked Cy 
d, contract the abdominal cavity in a horizontal 
direction. The shortening of the fibres causes the 
side walls of the abdomen to become flattened, and 
the middle wall to be drawn nearer to the vertebral 
column. Their fibres can all contract simultaneously, 
or one division can be especially active ; in every 
case, however, both sides operate simultaneously. 
The upper fibres, which are attached to the ribs, 
can only then contract powerfully when the ribs are 

The musculi recti abdominis^ those marked ^, ^, 
draw the sternum down, contracting the abdominal 
cavity in a vertical direction. These muscles are 
comparatively the least active, being very narrow, 
whilst the musculi transversi abdominiSy which are 
spread over the entire abdomen, are the most active. 

The co-operation of all the muscles causes con- 

40 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

traction in all parts of the abdominal cavity ; and 
through this contraction, as before stated, expira- 
tion is brought about and strengthened. 


The Diaphragm. 

The diaphragm is a flat and sinewy muscle. It is 
attached to the interior surface of the lower ribs, 
and also to the vertebral column. It forms a wall 
between the thoracic and the abdominal cavity. The 
part of the muscle extending toward the chest-cavity 
is arched. In the act of inspiration it contracts, 
/. ^., it flattens itself, and by this means increases the 
chest-cavity ; but that an empty space should not 
result in consequence, we must, by means of the 
larynx and trachea, inhale fresh air into the lungs. 
Through relaxation, /. e,y by the re-arching of the 
diaphragm, the lower part of the chest-cavity is 
made smaller; and, in this way, the air from the 
lungs is expelled (Fig. XIV). 

The diaphragm, although considered an involun- 
tary organ, can, owing to the diverse nature of its 
nervous fibres, be made voluntary to a certain 
extent ; and it is this which enables us to sing and 
speak y as far as inspiration and expiration are con- 

The Diaphragm. 


Tr-, irachn: 

St, Ucmum (breaslb: 

ine); Z>, diaphragm (midriff) : ^i, Abdomai. 

The shading 

roughly indicala ihc 

suiioiiaiy air. 

We shall see further on how much depends upon 
our ability to cause the diaphragm to perform cer- 
tain movements, upon the power of controlling its 




The Chest (Thorax). 

The bony frame of the chest is composed of the 

following parts: The upper twelve (cervical or 

a» the brcautoiw ; £> tt 

dorsal) vertebrae, the ribs (twelve on either side, Fig. 

XV, 1-12), the sternum (a bone in the anterior and 

The Chest. 43 

the median line of the chest), beginning at the base 
of the neck and reaching to the so-called " pit of the 
stomach " (Fig. XV, a) and the clavicle (Fig, 
XV, b, b). 

Most of the ribs are connected with the sternum 
by cartilages. 

The cavity (of the chest) formed in this way con- 
tains the heart and the lungs, and is divided from 
the abdominal cavity by a large muscle, the dia- 
phragm, as has been described. 

By means of muscles and tendons, which surround 
the bony walls of the chest, these latter possess the 

44 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

capacity to expand, and consequently to increase 
the thoracic cavity. Upon the degree of this power 
of expansion depends the size of the lungs, as they, 
being attached to the chest-walls by enclosing mem- 
branes (called pleurae), can only expand in propor- 
tion to the increase of the thoracic cavity. 

The functions of the chest, in respect to respira- 
tion, will be fully explained in Part IV. 


The Oral Cavity (Fig. XVII). 

By the term " oral cavity " we understand the 
free space enclosed by the tongue, palate (soft-palate 
and uvula), and lips. It forms the entrance to the 
stomach and to the lungs, and contains the muscle 
most important to speech, the tongue^ which is 
attached to the floor of the oral cavity. 

The roof of the oral cavity is called the " palate," 
which consists of two portions, the a^tterior being 
named the bony or hard-palate , the posterior (from 
the centre of which depends the uvula) y the soft- 
palate. The hard-palate also composes the floor of 
the nasal cavity. The sides of the oral cavity are 
formed by the jaw-bones and the teeth. The ton- 
sils are placed at the sides of the soft-palate. The 


The Oral Cavitv, 


opening (fauces), which lies between the soft-palate 
and the back part of the tongue, is of great import- 
ance during singing and speaking, as we shall see 
further on. 


The Nasal Cavity — Nasal Foss-e (Fig. XVIII). 

The part of the human body wherein nature has 
placed the olfactory nerves (nerves of smell), is called 
the " nose." We distinguish the outer from the inner 
nose. Our attention is here called only to the inner 
nose, the nasal cavity. This is lined with mucous 

46 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

membrane (within which the nerves of smell are dis- 
tributed), and is intended not only for the sense of 
smell, but also quite especially for respiration. It is 
divided by a cartilaginous, vertical partition into two 
parts ; its floor is, as already stated, formed by the 
hard-palate. The external orifices are called ** nos- 
trils ;" the internal ones are the nares {choance). The 
latter communicate with the pharynx, and by means 
of this with the oral cavity, the larynx and the 


A, the naso-pftarynx ; B, the oro-pharynx ; C, the iaryngo-pharynjc / 4 is the 
superior and 5 the inferior turbinated process of the ethmoid bone ; 6, the turbinated 
bone; 7, the hard and 8 the soft-palate; 9, the uvula; 10, anterior palatine arch; 
II, lower jaw-bone ; 12, tonsil ; 13, orifice of the eustachian tube ; 14, Kosenmueller's 
fossa; 15, tongue; 16, hyoid-bone; 17, posterior palatine arch ; 18, vallecula; 19, 
epiglottis ; 20, thyroid cartilage ; 21, ventricular fold ; 22, vocal cord ; 23, arytenoid, 
caj-tilage ; 24, cuneiform cartilage ; 25, cricoid cartilage ; 26, anterior muscle ; 27, 
supra-arytenoid cartilage ; 28, lateral muscle ; 29, thyroid body ; 30, windpipe ; 31, 

The air-capacity of the nasal fossae exerts a great 
influence upon singing and speaking; less in expira- 
tion than in inspiration. 

48 Gymnastics of the Voice. 


The Pharynx (Fig. XVIII, A, B, C). 

By the term ** pharynx " we understand that part 
of the alimentary canal which is placed behind the 
nose, mouth and larynx. Above it is connected 
with the nose through the two large apertures called 
posterior nares ; below it is continuous with the 
oesophagus, and attached to the larynx. It is divisi- 
ble into three portions, the middle of which is called 
oro-pharynx (Fig. XVIII, B), the upper portion, 
nasO'pkaryfix (Fig. XVIII, A), and the lower por- 
tion laryngO'pharynx (Fig. XVIII, C). 


The Larynx (Voice Box ; Figs. XIX, XX, XXI). 

The larynx is a hollow body composed of carti- 
lages which are united by ligaments. The cartilages 
consist of the shield or thyroid cartilage, the ri7tg or 
cricoid cartilage, the two pyramid or arytenoid car- 
tilages, the epiglottis (the cover of the larynx), and 
of four more which, however, are not of so great 

It is lined with mucous membrane, surrounded 
by muscles, and its function is to admit the air to 
the lungs, but more particularly to produce the 
voice. It forms the upper part of the windpipe 

The Pharynx — The Larynx. 

(Fig. XIX), is connected with it below, and is situated 
at the upper and fore part of the neck, beneath the 

50 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

root of the tongue, with which it is connected by 

ir base of die tongue ; a, e^HgloLtic &KDuinj or middle glosw-epLglotlk ]igainenl; 
3. v3]l«u1a; 4, epig[otIa; 5. cushion of the epiglomB; 6, lateral glouo-epigloctic 

10, vocal cord 11, ventricular fold ; is, ventricle : 13. postenor vocal ptoccsa : 14, 

aryMnad eaililage; ij, lupra-arylenoid cartilage; 16, cuneifoim cartilage; 17, 

ary-epiglouic fold; iB, posterior laryngeal wall, entrance to the cesophagus; ig, 
pyKlbrmanui; ». hyoid fold of mucous meinbiBne. 


.0 Fig. XIX, p 


of the thyroid cartiLage, and 3, 

I is Ihe epiglottis, i the hydd or ton 
is the ihyioid gartiiage ; s. S are the su 

the Ihyro-hvnd tigameni ; 6 is the cricoid cartilage, 9 the bifurcaQon ; ai B, B. S are 
seen OachealcMtilapnous rings; 7 shows ihe thyroid body, 10 the leftbmnchus and 
II the right bronchus. ^, A show io oudine the Iwo lobes of the left lung into 
which the bronchial tubes a, a are seen Id enter. The Ihree lobes of the right lung 
are indicated by B. B. B, with ihe corresponding bronchial tubes i, ^ *. In die 
upper lobe of the right lung is indioaled in outline the manner in which the bronchial 
tubes subdivide into smaller -uid smaUci tubes which finally terminate in air.pasBHges 
and air-ceHsofthe primary lobules. 

The Pharynx — The Larynx. 51 

means of the hyoid-bone (lingual bone). Right 
through the centre of the larynx two highly elastic 
cords extend from the shield cartilage, anteriorly, 
to the two pyramid cartilages posteriorly. They 
are called the vocal cords. On the one side they 
are firmly attached to the laryngeal wall, and the 
opposite sharp edge projects into the interior of the 
laryn^c. They meet at an acute angle at the depres- 
sion between the two wings of the shield cartilage, 
but diverge from there backward, and leave an 
interval for the passage of air. This interval or free 
space, the glottisy or rima glottidis (chink of the 
glottis), is either an equilateral trimgle, or, as in very 
deep inspirations, an almost perfect oval (Fig. XX). 

By the air forced from the lungs, the vocal cords 
can be put into sounding vibrations, whereby voice 
is produced. 

Under the shield cartilage is the ring cartilage, 
which connects the larynx with the trachea (wind- 
pipe). Over the rima glottidis we find the epiglottis, 
a protecting cover, projecting from before and below 
in an oblique direction backward and upward over 
the larynx. It is a pear-shaped, flat cartilage, which 
shuts down upon and closes the glottis when food 
and drink are to pass into the stomach, so that they 
must glide over the cover (Figs. XIX, XX, XXI). 


52 Gymnastics of the Voice. 


Most changes of voice arise from narrowing and 
widening, and from lengthening and shortening, of 
the glottis, as well as from contraction and relaxa- 
tion of the vocal cords. 


Trachea (Windpipe, Fig. XIX). 

The trachea is a cartilaginous tube, which can, 
like the rest of the air-passages, expand, contract 
and shorten by means of elastic fibres. It measures 
from three and one-half to four and one-half inches 
in length. Its superior end is connected with the 
larynx ; thence it descends vertically into the chest, 
and divides in the region of the third dorsal vertebra 
into two canals, the bronchi (the left and the right 
bronchus), one of which leads into the right, the 
other into the left lung. The interior of the trachea 
also is lined by mucous membrane. 


The Air-Receivers (I.ungs, Fig. XIX). 

The lungs occupy the greatest part of the thoracic 
cavity. They are divided into the right and left 
lung, connected above by the bronchi, branches of 
the windpipe, and between which the heart and the 

Trachea — The Air- Receivers. 


largest artery (aorta) are situated. Each lung has 
a broad, concave base, by which it rests upon the 
diaphragm, and a rounded apex, which stands behind 
the first rib. 

Each lung is divided by deep fissures, the right 
into three, the left into two lobes and these again 
into numerous small lobules 

upper portion of Ihe epigloina; 7, cushion of the eraglotuj; B, veniri 
vocal conl; a, i, f ibowiug dit 4!T«r«iii ponions of ihe inierioi diukIg. 


54 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

The activity of the lungs consists in /aspiration 
and ^;rpiration. In the former the chest expands ; 
in the latter it contracts. 

The lungs do not represent a simple hollow space, 
like common bellows, but a very complicated tubular 
system. The substance of the lungs consists, especi- 
ally at their periphery, almost entirely of very minute 
lobules, each of which possesses a narrow outlet 
(duct). These ducts combine to form gradually 
larger and larger canals, until, finally, the two before- 
mentioned canals, the bronchi, are formed, which 
in their turn form, by their union, the trachea 

In inspiration the air passes through the glottis, 
trachea and bronchi to the air-cells of the lungs, 
whereby these are forced to expand. 

The expansion of the lungs depends upon the 
size or expansibility of the thorax. It is, therefore, 
necessary to strive, by appropriate exercises, to 
make the chest capable of expansion. 

The main function of the lungs is the removal of 
carbonic acid from the blood, and the introduction 
of oxygen. 







' General Remarks. 

We have learned from the introductory remarks 
that the voice is produced by the air contained in 
the lungs passing through the larynx, and thereby 
inducing sounding vibrations of the vocal cords. 

The sound, then, is not produced in the oral cavity 
by any certain position of its organs ; it exists the 
moment the air escapes from the glottis, although it 
certainly gains or loses by the position of the organs 
of the oral cavity and by the pharynx. It gains in 
euphony by a correct, natural position of the tongue, 
of the soft-palate, i, e.y by more passive than active 
position of these parts ; and loses when these parts, 
acting in a wrong way, spoil the sound. 

We know that the vocal cords, during respiration, 
diverge widely ; that thereby an orifice, the glottis, 
of the shape of an equilateral triangle, or, in very 
deep respirations, of an oval, is left between them 
(Fig. XXII, i). But to be put into sounding vibra- 


Gymnastics of the Voice. 

tions, the previously diverging vocal cords must be 
brought into complete (Fig. XXII, 4) or partial con- 
tact (Fig. XXII, 6). 






1, Inspiration. 

2, Expiration. 

3, Spiritus asper 

4, Low chest ) 

> tones. - 

5, High chest) 

6, Low falsetto y 

> tones. 

7, High falsetto ) 

Production of the Voice. 59 

The previously large triangular or oval glottis con- 
tracts to a narrow chink, and the current of air is 
thereby for a time either entirely interrupted by per- 
fect closure, or decreases in rapidity by incomplete 
closure, an impediment being formed to the expira- 
tion. Through this hindrance above, by the con- 
tinuous pressure of the true expiratory muscles (the 
abdominal muscles), a great tension of the air con- 
tained in the lungs arises, and with that greater force 
of the air-current previously passing freely through 
the trachea, but now restrained by a narrow exit, it 
thereby becoming possible to bring the vocal cords 
into a vibratory and sounding motion. 

The vocal cords having approached so closely 
that by their vibrations (alternate opening and 
closing of the respiratory canal, that is, continual 
interruptions of the air-current are produced) the 
air-current is brought into strong, sounding vibra- 
tions, and we receive the most beautiful sounds that 
can arise only from a union of the vibrations of the 
vocal cords and those of the air-current. 

This approach of the vocal cords occurs in differ- 
ent ways. There are, accordingly, various modes 
of beginning the tone (" attack ") : the " direct 
attack " and the " indirect attack." 

6q Gymnastics of the Voice. 

I. TAe Direct Attack. 
In the " direct attack " the vocal cords come into 
contact throughout their entire length, from the front 
backward, so that the lower part of the larynx is 
completely separated from the upper, and the 
apprpach of the vocal cords is rapid and -decided ; 
at the same time the vocal cords become shortened, 
and must, therefore, with the immediately following 
intonation, alter their degree of tension, their shape, 
length and thickness, according to the sound which 
?s to be produced, and must separate somewhat. A 
tone thus produced will be marked and separated 
from other tones. 

2. The Indirect Attack. 
In the ** indirect attack," on the contrary, the 
glottis is not completely closed by the approach of 
the vocal cords. Here their length, tension, shape, 
etc., are at once such as are required for the produc- 
tion of the desired tone, and, consequently, the vibra- 
tions begin immediately after the' approach of the 
vocal cords without any change in the length or 
tension, as is necessary in the " direct attack." 

3. The Spiritus Le?iis and the Spiritus Asper. 
Philologists have long ago subdivided this " in- 
direct attack," and distinguish the soft — the so-called 

Production of the Voice. 6i 

Spifitus Unis — and the aspirated (coriinlenCiilg with 
an It) — the spiritus asper. 

In the ** direct attack " th^ Vodal cords eome 
together rapidly, and completely close the glottis. 
In the spiritus lenis they approach just as rapidly, 
but do not come into contact In the spiritus asper 
the approach is very slow and hesitating, as though 
there were a power which endeavored to retard their 
progress (Fig. XXII, 3). Whereas the "direct 
attack " is distinguished from the " indirect " by the 
closure of the glottis, the subdivisions of the " in- 
direct " are distinguished not by the closure, but by 
the rapidity of the approach of the vocal cords. In 
the " direct attack " there is, moreover, a momentary 
interruption of the column of air, but not in the 
" indirect." 

A perfectly normally formed tone of the human 
larynx is one by whose production the entire expira- 
tory air, passing at once through the glottis, is 
brought into permanent vibrations. We distinguish 
here the normally formed from the aspirated tone, 
which is impaired by wild air (that is, air not 
brought into permanent vibration), in which, there- 
fore, the conditions of tone-formation are not perfect 
or not unimpaired. In fA^^/- tones the glottis is 
momentarily closed at the beginning of the tone and 

62 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

at the termination of each vibration. The vocal 
cords vibrate in their entire width and length. In 
falsetto tones the glottis remains open, and the 
vocal cords vibrate only at their edges. 

We can, therefore, assume that there are four 
chief ways of expiration which are distinguished by 
a gradually increasing approach, to each other, of the 
vocal cords: 

1 . Inaudible expiratiojt — entirely open glottis. 

2. Audible expiration — cojitr acted glottis; the 
noise of the letter h, spiritus asper. 

3. The ** indirect attack " — the vocal cords are so 
near each other that the exhalijig air sounds^ spiritus 
lenis ; and 

4. The " direct attack " — completely closed glottis^ 
which only opens when the tone commences to be 

4. Whispering, 

The second kind of expiration, the noise A, is used 
for the so-called whispering voice. But whispering 
must not be confounded with low speaking. The 
lowest speaking may still be full of sound, and should, 
for that reason, not be called whispering. It is not 
low sound, but the total lack of sound, that charac- 
terizes the latter. It is called whisper-woicQ because, 

Production of the Voice. 63 

with the exception of the loud sound, it has all the 
essential marks of voice. Here, also, we find a 
** direct attack " and two " indirect attacks," as we 
have just become acquainted with them, and only 
the loud sound is missing. If, on account of a 
disease in the mucous membrane covering the vocal 
cords, the latter are in such a condition as to be una- 
ble to approach each other, then not only sounds of 
the whispering voice, but even the laryngeal noises, 
become impossible, or can be clearly heard only by a 
great strain and force of the exhaled current of air. It 
is, therefore, entirely wrong to explain the origin of 
the noise h in the manner in which it has been gen- 
erally explained ; viz., that the air, escaping from 
the larynx, bounds against the pharynx, or any part 
of the oral cavity, and that there a noise is produced. 
Not in the oral cavity, nor in the pharynx, but in 
the larynx is the noise h produced. Through air 
that is exhaled only, can a sound be formed. Air 
that is inhaled, at the utmost produces a noise. 

5. The Force of the Voice. 

The force of the voice is dependent on the condi- 
tion of the organs of respiration — the chest, the 
lungs, the larynx, etc., — but its metal depends on 
the condition of the mucous membrane that covers 

64 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

the larynx as well as all air-passages. The ability 
of contraction and vibration of the vocal cords, as 
well as the higher or lower position of the larynx, 
and the shortening or lengthening of the glottis, 
decide the height or the depth of the voice. The 
fewer the vibrations of the sounding body in a cer- 
tain period of time, the deeper, the more vibrations, 
the higher will the sound be. The deepest audible 
tone has sixteen vibrations, the highest thirty-eight 
thousand vibrations in a second. 

6. The Influence of the Air-pressure, 

As to the influence of the air-pressure upon the 
quality of the loud voice ^ it is certain that by a stronger 
pressure of air the sound of the voice will become 
stronger, but it will also become higher. 

If, by a stronger pressure of air against the vocal 
cords, you wish to prevent the heightening of the 
sound, a consequent remission in the contraction of 
the vocal cords is necessary ; if, on the contrary, the 
strength of the sound is to be weakened without 
suffering a change in its height, then, with the de- 
creasing of the pressure of air, the contraction of 
the vocal cords must increase. We find an example 
in the " crescendo " and ** decrescendo." 

A metallic piano can be produced only when the 

Production of the Voice. 65 

muscles of the vocal cords work with greater energy, 
while the pressure of air from beneath becomes 
weaker through the diminished contraction of the 
abdominal muscles. 

The peculiarity of so many singers in producing 
the higher notes of the chest-register by a greater 
expenditure of breath and a pressure of the muscles 
of the neck, is entirely wrong. It is a law in nature 
that the larynx rises by heightening and falls by the 
deepening of the sound, but there should be no 
pressure on the muscles of the neck, for thereby the 
natural function of the larynx is hindered. 

A too great expenditure of breath, or concussion 
of the vocal cords, will be followed by screaming 
tones, and* not only that, but the vocal cords will in 
time lose their elasticity, and with this their ability 
of vibrating. This is the cause of the ruin of so 
many voices. 

Now, is the tone produced by the vocal cords in 
the larynx sufficient for speaking and singing ? 
Certainly not. 

The tone produced in the larynx could not be 
used for music without the resonator. This is com- 
posed of the cavities above the larynx, viz., the 
pharynx, the oral and nasal cavities. Through 


66 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

these the sound produced in the larynx by the vocal 
cords receives a greater variety in tone-quality, more 
fulness, roundness, and in general its beauty. 

7. TAe Timbre. 

The peculiar, variable character which everything 
that is spoken or sung, every tone-register, every 
tone, apart from its intensity, can assume as soon as 
the sound produced in the larynx has entered into 
the pharynx, Garcia (the inventor of the laryngo- 
scope) calls timbre (the real tone-quality). 

This timbre of the human voice allows (according 
to Garcia) of several modifications, — guttural, nasal, 
round, hollow and dismal ; but these may be reduced 
to two main timbres — the light and the dark. 

If the mouth is opened wide^ and //*, on account of 
the high position of the larynx^ the opening of the 
pharynx is but small, the LIGHT timbre is produced ; 
if the mouth is opened little , and if on account of t/ie 
low position of the larynx y the width of the pharynx 
is greaty the DARK timbre is produced, (More on 
this in Part IV.) 



Speak \S\Qpure vowels E, A, A', O, O', 0"as described 
in Part III, " General Observations," without any exer- 
tion of the outer muscles of the larynx. You will find that 

Production of the Voice. 6j 

in beginning with E and ending with O" the larynx grad- 
ually sinks J on the other hand, in beginning with O" and 
ending with E the larynx gradually rises (see E and O" 
in the description of these vowels, Part III). 

This is the process of nature, and you cannot hinder it except by 
force, in which case you will produce squeezed tones. When you 
have spoken the pure vowels often in the way above-mentioned, you 
will get the consciousness and the ability to carry out these movements 
at will, without speaking the pure vowels. 

An excellent exercise for promoting the ability to 
carry downward the larynx, is to practice the sing- 
ing of the chest-tones with the mouth closed, as this 
can be effected easily only with depressed larynx 
and raised palate. If we raise or press upon the 
larynx, we shall have nothing but squeezed tones. 

By means of the light timbre the chest-tones 
receive their lustre. It is particularly adapted to 
the expression of delicate and joyful feelings, but by 
too great a strain the voice sounds screaking. The 
dark timbre gives to the chest-tone the rounded 
fulness and might. It is particularly adapted to the 
expression of the solemn, of pain and sorrow. If 
exaggerated, the tone is smothered, and becomes 
hollow and rough. 

According to Garcia, the effect of the timbre 
can also be distinctly felt in the falsetto tones, 
although in a less striking degree than in the chest 

68 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

We have been often asked : " What is your opinion ? Shall I prac- 
tice only the dark or only the light timbre? My teacher always 
said that I should practice the first.'* 

What shall we answer to this question ? And let it not be believed 
that this teacher is the only one who thinks so ; numerous examples 
prove the contrary. Here and there we still find people who are of 
the opinion that we can cultivate a nice voice existing alone, and not 
dependent upon the feelings of man. This is certainly possible, and 
to our sorrow we must too often listen to such a voice ; but such 
tones will not be able to reproduce man's feelings. If this is to be 
the case, the voice must be cultivated in such a way as to be capable 
of producing every shade of sound. As already stated, the two prin- 
cipal timbres are light and dark, and each of these, by correct cultiva- 
tion of the voice, allows as many shades as man is able to produce. 

In singing or speaking only feelings are expressed, be they feelings 
of pain or of joy. Sounds without feeling are, consequently, not sing- 
ing. Many modem singers do not sing feelings, but sounds ; and it is 
impossible that it should be otherwise. Feelings can appear in the 
sound only when the voice is used in a perfectly correct manner, and 
when the voice is free from all mannerism. Where this is not the 
case w^ hear sounds which, by means of all sorts of expedients, as, 
for instance, lower, louder, slower or quicker singing, are to be 
shaded differently, but always we hear the same shade of tone and 
lack of all feeling. Consequently, in art the human voice cannot 
be said to exist without feeling, and this does not express itself in 
the light or the dark, but in both timbres. 

In old age the vocal organs lose in elasticity, 
whereby the organs of respiration become wider, 
and, consequently, the voice loses its metal. 

8. The Compass, 

The human voice has a compass of about two, 
two and one-half, to (as the celebrated Catalani) 
three octaves, and is divided into different kinds, 
called soprano, alto, tenor and bass ; or soprano, 
mezzo-soprano, alto, tenor, baritone and bass. 

This diversity in the human voice is caused by the 
construction of the vocal organs, i, ^., by longer or 

Production of the Voice. 69 

shorter vocal cords, smaller or larger size of the 
larynx, and even by the elasticity of the air-passages 
and the force of their resonant wallS; 

The vocal cords of children and of women are 
shorter (consequently the glottis also, and, therefore, 
their voice is higher and finer) than those of men. 

9. The Mutation of Voice, 

The period of mutation {i. e,, the development of 
the boy to youth and the girl to womanhood) has 
great influence upon the voice, and should not be 
neglected by parents and teachers. It is indicated 
by the voice becoming hoarse and rough, and fre- 
quently producing double sounds (more to be noticed 
in the male than in the female sex), and, if the voice 
is to develop naturally and to advantage, the vocal 
organs should be spared. We do not mean to say 
(what so many affirm to be absolutely necessary) 
that during the period of mutation all exercises in 
singing are to cease* This is necessary only when 
the voice is entirely hoarse. On the contrary, even 
in this period, exercises for the voice are very ad- 
vantageous for the development of the vocal cords. 
It should be well understood that the exercises must 
be easy, very moderate, in no way forced, and not 
long continued, 

70 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

10. Registers of t/te Voice. 

Man can produce different kinds of tone, accord- 
ing to the way he allows the air to pass from his 
lungs, by more or less stretched vocal cords. 

A tone can be produced twice from the same 
vocal cord by strong breath and weak stretch, and 
by weak breath and strong stretch ; in this way the 
several registers of the human voice originate. 

Every compass of voice in individuals of moder- 
ately good voice is composed of two to three rows 
or registers of tones, partly following or lying over 
each other, which allow various sounds to be heard, 
and which are caused by various vibrating mechan- 
isms of the vocal cords. By a register of tones 
we understand a continuous longer or shorter row 
(scale) of tones, which are produced by an instru- 
ment by one and the same vibrating mechanism, 
whereby the general timbre of the tones may not 
be changed. As soon as a noticeable difference in 
the color of the tone (timbre) takes place, then the 
tone always belongs to a register different from that 
of the first tone. 

Notwithstanding all seeming differences of opinion 
upon the registers of the human voice, experience 
clearly shows that there are principally two registers 
of voice in the male vocal organs — chest and fal- 

Production of the Voice. 71 

setto register. In the female organ three registers 
may be clearly distinguished : — a low, a j;niddle and 
a high one, of which the hearing can noticeably dis- 
tinguish the low from the middle one. 


Chest-Register (Fig. XXII, 4 and 5, and Fig. XXXII). 

In every singer, whose vorfee has not been cul- 
tivated in a wrong way, we hear that he can strike 
the general row of his natural tones, from the lowest 
up to a certain height, with a full breath ; these are 
the tones that a man uses in general speaking and 
declaiming, but which women use only under cer- 
tain circumstances. They are correctly called chest- 
tones because by the man, at least, they are formed 
not only with full chest, i, e.y with full, well-used 
breath, and are allowed to swell strongly, but because 
they resound in the full extent of the chest, and 
thereby reach their fulness and size. The hearer 
has the feeling of the full, the natural, the healthy, 
the strong. In the woman^ however, these tones of 
the low register make the impression of something 
foreign to the female nature, and here they are the 
expression of a state of emotions which we are apt 
to. find in a man, but not in a woman. 

72 Gymnastics of the Voice. 


Falsetto Register (Fig. XXII, 6 and 7, and Fig. 


If a singer tries to reach higher notes with his 
vocal organ than he is able to do with his chest- 
mechanism, we not only find a certain change in the 
mechanism of the tone, but also a noticeable change 
of the timbre ; we feel that not all that was set into 
vibration by the chest-tones is vibrating now, and 
the tones produced do not make the impression of 
the full, the natural, the marked, the strong, upon 
us, but remind us rather of something abnormally 
weak or feminine. In woman this register, which 
does not here deserve the name oi falsetto, but should 
be called middle register, is altogether different. 
The falsetto or middle register is the chief one of 
woman; it sounds better, fuUer and nicer than a 
man's falsetto, and it is more consistent with the 
feminine disposition and character than her chest- 
register, which sounds better in a man. While a 
man usually sings, speaks and declaims in the chest- 
register, most women, single as well as married, use 
their middle register. 

The falsetto register does not commence only at 
the end of the chest-register ; it can ev^n cpnimence 

Production of the Voice. 73 

in the middle, and in women still lower; and for this 
reason a certain number of tones can be sung in 
both registers. 

The entire number of tones which can be pro- 
duced in a larynx, therefore, consists of three 
divisions, viz. : 

1 . Tones which can be produced by the chest-voice 

2. Tones which are possible in the falsetto voice 
only ; and 

3. Tones which can be produced by both the chest 
and falsetto voice. 

The tones und^r (i) are the lowest, those under 
(2) the highest, and those under (3) embrace a 
middle register depending for its larger or smaller 
size upon the individual to whom it belongs. 

The cultivation of those tones which can be pro- 
duced by both chest and falsetto voices, requires 
great study, and in their correct use (/. e.y already 
to take the falsetto tone where the chest-tone might 
still be taken, and vice versa still to remain two or 
three tones in falsetto, where the chest-tone might 
already be taken) frequently lies the wonderful 
sympathy, the irresistible attraction of the speech 
and song of so many speakers and singers. 





The Qualities of Tone. 

As already stated, the tone originates in the glottis 
by means of air expelled from the lungs through the 

The qualities a tone must have to give entire 
satisfaction are : 

1. Metallic. 

2. Clear {of the right height^. 

3. Strong and full. 

4. Firniy not tremblings and 

5. Durable. 

Let us look more closely at the premises which 
cause these qualities. 

A strong, healthy chest and good respiratory and 
vocal organs must be named as the first condition 
for the production of a tone ; without these a good 
tone is impossible, although it is not thereby said 

Production of the Voice. 75 

that these qualities alone will cause a good sound to 
be produced. 

The quality of the mucous membrane covering the 
vocal cords, as well as the power of vibration of the 
vocal cords themselves, the width of the fauces and 
the oral cavity, the amount of air the nose is able 
to hold, as well as the pharynx, the thickness of the 
soft-palate with the uvula and of the tonsils, greatly 
influence the tone. All of these may be influenced 
to advantage. The sooner this is done, the more 
advantageous it will be. 

We know >that the tone produced in the larynx 
only reaches its variety in timbre, its fulness, its 
roundness, and altogether its beauty, in the res- 
onator. We add thereto, but only by correct use of 
the resonator. 

"Can the resonator be used incorrectly?" I have been often 
asked. Certainly ! The resonators of artificial instruments cannot 
be used incorrectly, for they cannot be changed ; but the resonator of 
the human vocal organs is capable of great changes — changes which 
are caused on one hand by speech, on the other hand by incorrect 
use of the organs at and in the resonator to which lips, teeth, tongue, 
soft-palate and tonsils belong. 

In order to use these organs correctly, it is necessary that we should 
attain a complete mastery over them by means of gymnastics, and 
know how they should be used. In this mastery great results can be 
obtained if we have the will to attain them. 

The Metal and Clearness, 

The metal and clearness of a tone depend upon 
the condition of the mucous membrane covering the ' 

"](> Gymnastics of the Voice. 

vocal cords, and the slightest change in this (dryer, 
moister, thicker, harder than necessary) has a dis- 
advantageous influence upon the metal of the tone. 

The Strength, 

The strength of the tone may be increased if the 
chest and lungs are widened by means of deep 
breathing and gymnastic exercises. (See Part IV.) 
As these exercises also strengthen the organs of 
respiration, the evenness of the tone is also in- 
fluenced, as this depends upon the evenness with 
which the air is expelled from the lungs. 

The Evenness, 

The evenness of the tone depends upon correct 
breathing, and will be treated under " Breathing." 

The Power of Duration, 

The power of duration of a tone depends upon 
the strength of the muscles of the larynx, and can be 
attained only if these parts are nourished by animal 
food and by a gradual heightening in singing, but 
never without allowing the necessary rest to follow. 

This is the case not only with the singer, but also 
with the orator, as we shall see further on. 

Production of the Voice. ^^ 

How the voice gains in height and depth will be 
shown in Part IV. 

Before the muscles of the vocal organs have 
attained the necessary strength, the voice will always 
more or less vary from the correct pitch, as well as 
tremble. This may also be in case of poor musical 
hearing and of poor method of teaching. Strengthen- 
ing of the voice, cultivation of the hearing yCmd correct 
method of teaching are the chief conditions for the 
prevention of singing out of tune. 

Tonsils that are too large must be made smaller 
by means of caustic or tincture of iodine. 

What the condition of the organs of respiration 
should be has already been told in the discussion 
upon the lungs, the windpipe, the larynx and the 
muscles, and will be treated further in Part IV. 
Here we must only speak of the production of the 
tone and of the position of the necessary organs. 


Position of the Body. 

When the body is in a quiet position during the 
production of the tone, the following directions are 
to be observed : 

The body should not be distorted in any of its 

78 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

parts. It must stand straight, with protruded chest, 
the shoulders back. The chin should not be held 
high or^low, but should have a horizontal position. 

The neck must set free and unforced upon the 
shoulders, and not, as we frequently see, between\\\^vi\. 
The shoulders should not accompany the tone or 
word with rising and falling in order to give it a 
particular expression. It is understood that shrug- 
ging of the shoulders, as well as some few cases in 
which the shoulders may move, are excepted. To 
the latter, among others, belongs the representation 
of fright, whereby the neck, and, con9equently, the 
head fall between the shoulders, etc. 

The arms should not be pressed against the sides 
of the body, but should hang light and unforced (in 
which case the pushing back of the elbows, an often 
noticeable mistake of women, will be prevented), 
and when they are moved it must be done without 
any excessive straining of the muscles. 


Position of the Lips and Organs in the Oral 


The organs in the oral cavity and the lips must 
be placed according to rule: — The jaws separate a 

Production of the Voice. 79 

little, the lips are slightly drawn back from the teeth 
(in a as in father y a as mfate) as in a friendly smile, 
whereby the tips of the teeth become visible, but 
without allowing any strain to appear, or that one 
lip is drawn back more than the other. But in e 
(in eve)y (in old)y 00 (in ooze)y the lips should be 
held as is described in Part III ; but they should 
not, as we often find in noted singers, be pushed too 
far forward, whereby they get the appearance of a 
carp's mouth ; nor may they close on one side of 
the mouth and open wider on the other, thereby 
forcing the tone to pass unclearly and poorly from 
the side of the mouth. 

We often find other mannerisms of holding the 
lips, and for that reason we mention them : One is 
the so-called pointing of the mouthy whereby the 
opening through which the tone has to pass be- 
comes so small that a clear, full tone is impossi- 
ble ; and the other is the holding and pressing of 
the under lip upon the teeth, while the upper lip 
is pulled from the teeth 

T he mannerism of opening the mouth wide during 
production of high tones and of reducing it to its 
minimum opening in production of deep tones, is 
entirely incorrect. The width of the jaws and open- 
ing of the mouth (during production of tone) is 

8o Gymnastics of the Voice. 

normal when we can put the thumb between the 
teeth. The singer should always attempt to reach 
the normal opening, although this opening under- 
goes various modifications by the formation of 
different vowels. 

I cannot understand why singing teachers are not stricter abont the 
position of the mouth and of the organs of the oral cavity, as a pure, 
clear tone is impossible with incorrect position of these organs. 

I once had a pupil who (having had a few years* musical education 
in Paris) sang witn the most dis^vantageous and ugliest position of 
the mouth ; it required the greatest strictness on my part, and the 
most continual diligence on me part of the pupil to change these in- 
correct positions of the lips, for they had become her second nature. 

Singing teachers cannot, therefore, be told too often : before all, be 
particular about the correct jwsition of the mouth as well as of the 
organs of the oral cavity. 

The soft-palate must be raised as much as possi- 
ble, the tonsils (altogether the side walls of the soft- 
palate) should not be pressed together. 

The knowledge how to hold the palate is of the greatest import* 
ance to singers and speakers. The disagreeable singing of so many 
comes from their not naving learned how to lead and break the waves 
of tone correctly by means of the soft-palate. This is an art the at- 
tainment of which requires a long period of time, but the singer must 
obtain possession of it, for he who cannot regulate his palate, will 
never learn how to sing. 

The fauces must be as wide as possible and 
should not be decreased in width by the tonsils- 

Production of the Voice. 8i 


Importance of a Movable Tongue. 

tn Ae production of tone unconnected with speech 
(^singing the vowel ahy see Part III), the tongue must 
lie horizontally in the mouth, the tip touching the 
lower row of teeth, but without rising over it. In 
the middle of the tongue a small depression is 
formed, similar to the form of a cylinder cut through 
lengthwise. Not under any circumstance should it 
extend into the oral cavity in the shape of an 
arch, which happens more or less in forming the , 
other vowels (see Part III, "The Vowels"), nor 
should it contract spasmodically at its root, nor press 
downward upon the larynx whereby the oral cavity 
becomes smaller, and the resonance of the tone is 
injured. If a word is connected with a sound, the 
different vowels demand their several rights (see 
Part III), but we should always strive to bring the 
tongue into the position required by the rules for 
the formation of tone. It is only necessary to re- 
move the tip of the tongue from -the lower teeth in 
the formation of the different dental and palatal con- 
sonants (see Part III, " The Consonants "). Its en- 
tire activity consists in the mobility of its tip and 

82 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

the raising of its back, but never in spasmodic con- 
traction backward, downward nor towcird the soft- 
palate ; and exactly this occurs in the incorrect use 
of the tongue. 

Chiefly necessary for easy speech, there- 

As soon as the tongue is contracted spasmodically in any direc- 
tion, a squeezed, disagreeable, unclear sound is produced, which 
most people regard as characteristic of the voice of the individual who 
uses it, but which, if formed by the same organs according to rule, 
may become a beautiful tone. No one need, therefore, believe that 
these squeezed, disagreeable sounds are natural qualities not to be 
got rid of; they are only the result of a poor method, and we will 
undertake (let it be well understood if the person has the necessary 
diligence) to free any one's voice from this nightmare. 

Laryngeal, nasal, and palatal tones occur as fre- 
quently in speaking as in singing, but they are more 
noticeable in the latter. 

A palate-tone speaker or singer need, therefore, 
not console himself with the idea that it is his fate 
to be obliged to use these sounds, but should accuse 
himself as the murderer of his voice. 


Correct Use of the Tongue. 

The correct use of the tongue is very difficult to 
attain, and only by means of gymnastic exercises 
for the tongue, such as are given below, will the 


scholar be able to make it movable, so that instead 
of being in his way it will aid him. 

It is not to be believed how little most speakers (singers, only, partly 
excepted) understand how to use their tongue correctly. "With most 
it is nothing but a helpless lump of meat which is in the way of every 
tone and word, and I have often met colleagues who were not able to 
move their tongue independently. I have even heard some say : 
" My tongue is in my way." This sounds as if in shooting a soldier 
should say: "My gun hinders me, I wish I could. shoot without it," 
Some will smile at this saying, and yet I have often heard it and 
understand it very well. Ihe tongue really hinders by incorrect use 
(before it has been mastered by means of exercises), and clear singing 
and quick, flowing speech are impossible without correct action of the 

Most peculiarities and singularities in pronunciation have been 
altered by means of correct use of the tongue; and still we find 
numerous artists who, if we wish to prove to them that their poor 
^nging is caused by the spasmodic contortions of their tongue, laugh 
in our face. 

These exercises are to be practiced not with the 
tongue alone, but also with the soft-palate, lower jaw 
and lips. 



Tongue Exercises (before a looking-glass). 

Exercise /. 

Open the mouth wide, but not too wide (this is meant 
for all exercises); let the tongue rest quietly without any 
pressure flat on the bottom of the oral cavity, the point 
touching but not pressing the front teeth ; breathe Hghtly 
in and out through the mouth (four, six times), not allow- 
ing the tongue to move in the very least. 

Exercise II, 

Protrude the tongue as far as possible without any 
oressure and independent of the muscles of the larynx ; 

84 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

keep it out four seconds, then draw it back as far as pos- 
sible. Keep it back four seconds without closing the 
mouth. Begin slowly (six times), growing faster by 
degrees (ten, fifteen times in succession). Protrude the 
tongue during expiration, draw it back during a deep 
inspiration through the mouth, the nostrils held closed by 
thumb and fore finger. 

This exercise is to be repeated frequently while he who practices 
should try to become conscious of the muscles by means of which 
this is accomplished (for the knowledge of the muscles to be used at 
all times is the chief requirement). He will find that in drawing 
back the tongue its root will contract and thereby push down the 
larynx ; while in protruding the tongue, its root will come forward and 
the larynx will be drawn up. With this exercise let him combine the 
raising of the soft-palate, for while (during the production of a tone) 
the tongue should not form an arch which protrudes into the oral 
cavity, the soft-palate should not be drawn too far downward, in order 
to fulfil the first condition of a full, clear tone, viz. : wide fauces an^^ 
wide oral cavity. 

Exercise III, 

Open the mouth wide, move the tip of the pointed 
tongue to the corners of the mouth alternately to the right 
and left (six times), having the direct intention to strike the 
comers (for purposeless work is only a mechanical action 
and will not lead to success) ; then growing faster by 
degrees (ten, fifteen times in succession). Do not hold 
the breath during this exercise, but breathe quietly and 
regularly through the mouth. 

Exercise IV, 

Open the mouth wide, touch with the tip of the sharply- 
pointed tongue the middle of the upper and of the lower 
lip alternately; begin slowly, with the direct intention of 
letting only the outermost tip, not the entire front part of the 
tongue, touch the middle of the lips (six times), then grow- 
ing faster (ten, fifteen times). 

Exercise V, 

Open the mouth wide, place the tip of the pointed 
tongue into one corner of the mouth, proceed with 

Exercises for the Tongue. 85 

sharply-pointed tongue in dotting fashion along the upper 
lip to the other corner ; then on the under lip to the 
starting point ; repeat the same movement backward to 
the starting point. 

Exercise VI. 

Open the mouth wide, touch with the tip of the very 
sharply-pointed tongue the roots of the upper middle 
incisors, as if to make a dot there, and then, totuhingthe 
palate in such dotting fashion with the tip of the tongue, 
proceed back as far as possible ; then go forward again, 
always breathing through the mouth (inspiration while the 
tongue goes back, expiration while it goes forward, six 
times), both ways. 

Exercise VII, 

Touch, in the same manner, the bottom of the oral 
cavity, backward and forward. 

Exercise VIII 

Open the mouth wide, touch with the tip of the sharply- 
pointed tongue the middle of the upper lip, then of the 
lower lip and, without pausing, the right and left comers 
of the mouth (ten, twelve times), slowly at first, growing 
faster by degrees, alternating thus : upper middle, lower 
middle, right corner, left corner, upper middle, lower mid- 
dle, left corner, right corner, always with the sharply- 
pointed tongue. 

Exercise IX. 

Open the mouth wide, touch with the tip of the sharply- 
pointed tongue the middle of the right side of the upper 
lip, then that of the left side of the upper lip ; first slowly 
(six times), then faster (six times), without any movement 
of the lower jaw. 

Exercise X. 

Repeat the same exercise with the lower lip, without 
movement of the lower jaw. 

8^ Gymnastics op the Voice. 

£xrrcise XI. 

Combine these two exercises in the following manner : 
Begin at the upper right side, proceed to the lower left, 
thence to the upper left and then to the lower right, so 
that this figure, X would be produced ; at first slowly 
(six times), then faster (six times). 

Exercise XIL 

Open the mouth wide; proceed with the tip of the 
sharply-pointed tongue from the right to the left, brushing 
the upper lip and passing along the lower lip back to the 
right without interruption (six times), slowly ; thert (six 
times), growing faster by degrees ; repeat from the left to 
the right in the same manner. 

Exercise XIIL 

Repeat the same exercise along the inner side of the 
lips. During this exercise touch the lips sharply with the 
tip of the tongue. Do not open the mouth too wide here. 

Exercise XJV. 

Repeat the same exercise along the outer side of the 

Let it be borne in mind that the purpose of these exer- 
cises is to sharpen the tongue, and that they must be 
faithfully performed. 

Exercise XV, 

Protrude the root of the lowered tongue without allow- 
ing its tip to pass beyond the front teeth (ten, twelve 

Exercise XVJ. 

Sing a tone {ah), holding it as long as possible, without 
allowing it to lose its clear character, and at the same 
time try to make a circling movement with the tip of the 
tongue ; and later, when this exercise has been fully 

The Soft-Palate — The Lips. 87 

mastered, try to make a horizontal movement with the 
tip of the tongue from one side of the mouth to the other, 
first slowly and then gradually increasing in rapidity. 

To hold down the tongue by means of a stick or the handle of a 
tooth-brush, I do not consider at all beneficial. He who does not learn 
to move the muscles of the tongue independently, will not derive any 
aid by forcibly holding down the tongue, or the aid will only last as 
long as the forcible pressure continues. The only radical cure for 
the incorrect activity of the muscles of the tongue lies in its perfect 
control, atid this control can only be obtained by means of the exercises 

He who, during the activity of the muscles of the 
larynx, is able thus to move the tongue, will also be 
able to keep it in an inactive state. 

The Soft-Palate, 

Eocercise XVII. 

The exercise for the soft-palate consists in opening the 
mouth wide, and attempting to raise the soft-palate with- 
out singing. Here also it would be serviceable if the 
raising of the palate occurred during deep inspiration 
through the mouth, the nostrils being closed. 

The Lips. 

Exercise XVIII 

The eocercise for the lips is the following : Attempt to 
move them singly ; for instance, draw the under lip 
downward without allowing the upper lip to move, and 
vice versa. Produce a tone, hold it a while, and make 
the same movements of the lips. He who has mastered 
the muscles of the lips singly, can let them rest when they 
are not to act. 

88 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

The Lower Jaw, 

Exercise XIX. 

Sing and hold a tone, moving the lower jaw (without 
any pressure upon the larynx) horizontally to right and 
left, and then describe a slightly circling movement. The 
object of this is to free the muscles used in chewing. 

Great diligence is needed to attain the ability of 
moving the lower jaw correctly, and we consider it 
very necessary to call attention to a mannerism, 
which we shall do in Part III, under " Correction of 
Defects." In passing, we will remark that a certain 
stiffness or incorrect use of the lower jaw is the con- 
sequence of the habit of setting other unnecessary 
muscles into activity in the use of the larynx and 
the tongue. 

I have met speakers and singers whom I really pitied. The veins 
of their neck swelled to the thickness of a small finger ; the neck 
itself attained an unusual size, their face became red as fire and their 
eyes, whose whites had become reddish, protruded from their sockets. 
And all this on account of incorrect activity of their muscles, ignorance 
of the correct method of breathing and ill-treatment of their vocal 
and articulating organs. The consequences thereof were a quick, 
noticeable tiredness, even after slight tasks, and finally a total disa- 
bility of the vocal organs. And it is curious that these people look 
for the cause in everything else but in this mistake. 

A particular peculiarity of people who speak and 
sing in this manner, is the compression of the upper 
chest by the shoulders and arms, and a permanent 
shaking of the head, as well as the lifting of the 
chin by spasmodic action of the muscles of the neck. 

The Lower Jaw. 89 

I have known singers who thought they could not sing a high tone 
without crossing the arms upon their chest, as if imploring, and 
thus, instead of freeing the chest of all pressure, pressed it together. 

A false activity of the muscles occurs oftener, both in speaking and 
singing, than we think. A young man, who, after twelve years of 
troublesome practice in art, had not, with all diligence, passed the 
beginning; whose organs, though good, were almost spoiled^ by wrong 
use, determined to become my pupil. After three months* activity, 
having freed him from the nightmare that lay upon his organs as well 
as upon his heart, he was satisfied with the total change that had 
come over his being. He confessed to me that he had formerly not 
been able to appear upon the stage without straining all his muscles 
in the most unnatural manner; and when reproached for not being 
able to walk, stand, or move, he had sorrowfully asked himself^ 
"What shall I do?" Despairing, he began to think that nature had 
neglected him, and that he must waste his life — and he was a good- 
looking young man, blessed with all other advantages. When he 
had become entirely changed, the regret for the twelve years he had 
wasted mastered him and he wept. I could only comfort him by 
holding before him the fine prospect for his future career. I could 
name dozens of similar instances, but will only make the following 
remarks : 

We are too apt to regard every peculiarity of an 
organ (caused by incorrect use) as something pecu- 
liarly given by nature to that organ only, and we 
can be assured that (not counting a certain timbre 
peculiar to each voice) such an organ would sound 
altogether different, and would hardly be recogniza- 
ble if, in the production of the tone, the activity of 
the muscles were a correct one. Many persons, by 
a slight but noticeable speaking through the nose, 
by a mannerism of always speaking high or low, 
strong or weak, pointed or screaming, through the 
teeth, or otherwise forced, attain a certain individual 
coloring which is lost as soon as the organs are used 

go Gymnastics of the Voice. 

When a person is inclined to use the larynx incor- 
rectly, or generally to act with incorrect muscular 


activity, then, as a general thing, all the muscles are 
strained unnaturally, and thus hinder the free devel- 
opment of the organs. 


How TO Prevent Unnatural Straining of the 


An unnatural straining of the muscles can only 
be overcome by the pupil, while speaking and sin;g- 
ing in a certain tempo, making certain movements 
with his arms in a different tempo, and also by slightly 
turning the head to the right and left while the tone 
continues, and by generally preventing the limbs 
from assuming a stiff attitude. 

section 7. 
Tones Produced by Incorrect Use of the Organs. 

Four tone-colors in particular are produced by 
incorrect position of the organs : -^ 

I . Palatal tones, 
- 2. Nasal tones, 

3. Guttural tones, 

4. Dental tones. 

To Prevent Straining of Muscles. 91 

The theory of the palatal and nasal tones is the 
following: In both kinds of sound the position of 
the larynx, the lingual bone and soft-palate changes 
in comparison with their position without these kinds 
of sound. In the palatal tone their position is higher, 
in the nasal sound it is deeper. In both cases the 
middle of the tongue is pressed upward toward the 
palate, and the more one or the other of these 
sounds is expressed, the more is this done. In the 
palatal tone the current of air is too much impeded 
by the contracted soft-palate and the spasmodically- 
arched tongue, whereby the space above the larynx 
becomes too small. If the larynx is forcibly pressed 
downward, and the pharynx contracted, the so-called 


throat or guttural tone is produced. 

If the soft-palate is allowed to hang loosely or is 
not held firmly against the posterior wall of the 
throat (as the formation of every pure tone requires), 
so that the vibrations of the air-column are directly 
communicated to the air in the posterior nasal 
cavity, there results what is known as the nasal tone. 

It is, therefore, a mistake to suppose that the nasal tone can result 
only through the escape of too much air through the nasal passages. 
The nasal tone may be produced even when the nose is kept closed, 
so that it can only proceed from the vibration of the air in the pos- 
terior nasal cavity. How the palatal tone may be ^t rid of will be 
shown in Part JV^ 

92 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

When the jaws are not separated sufficiently the 
result is the dental tone. 

It is, of course, plain that there ought to be no gaps in the teeth, 
and that in case tnere are any, recourse must be had to artificial 


How TO Prevent Nasal Tone. 

To prevent the tone in song or speech from having 

a nasal character, the following exercise should be 

resorted to : 

Exercise XX, 

Bring the organs into the proper position for the pro- 
duction of a tone (as has been described) ; then sing or 
speak while keeping the nose shut, and see that, in spite 
of this, the tone does not become nasal. 

This exercise is excellent, for, the nose being shut, 
the palate must in consequence be elevated and the 
tongue be kept perfectly immovable, if the tone is 
not to become nasal. 

The larynx, being movably seated on the likewise 
movable and extensible trachea and connected with 
the loosely suspended hyoid-bone, must always be 
drawn more or less downward and be held fixed by 
the force of the muscles, if any definite tone is to be 
produced in it, for the more or less greatly increased 
air-pressure tends to press the larynx upward and 
to alter the number of vibrations of the tone. 

Depression of the Larynx. 93 


Depression of the Larynx. 

The depression cf the larynx should not be the 
same for every gradation of tone (as many teachers 
of singing demand of their pupils), but its position 
should vary with the formation of the different vowels, 
each of which requires it to be in a special position. 

Having described the correct use of the resonator 
and its internal and external organs, we must state 
that the fundamental principle with regard to tone- 
formation, as far as the resonator and its organs are 
concerned, is that the air poured from the lungs 
must not be allowed to be affected either by the 
tongue, the palate, or the tonsils, or by forcibly 
raising or depressing the larynx, and should be 
made to pass over the flatly or, better still, concavely 
held tongue, and escape between the jaws held in 
exactly the right position. The manner will be 
explained under the head of " Breathing." 

Let the tones (the sound-waves "i issue from the 
lungs without any pressure of the vocal organs, and 
they will always reflect our sensations. If the con- 
trary is the case, we have tones compressed, not 
susceptible of modulation, and whose unnatural 
formation cannot, for a moment, be concealed. 

94 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

I cannot refrain from making a general observation here. I have 
often heard those of my pupils, whom I have enabled to get rid of palatal 
tones, and whose voice has received an easier and freer develop- 
ment generally, make the strange remark that it was no longer an 
exertion for them to sing or to speak. So little idea have such persons 
of the effect of a method, that they imagine that, when they adopt a 
^ven method, the exercise of it will be accompanied with a certain 
amount of extra exertion. 

The organs having been placed in exactly the 
right position, the air must be allowed to pass out 
very gently from the lungs. Most singers and speak- 
ers are particularly apt to fail in this ; for, to emit 
the air properly from the lungs, requires special 
skill, — a skill which, unfortunately, we seldom find 
in artists. 

There are six conditions which singers and speak- 
ers have to fulfil, if they desire to bring forth correct 
and beautiful tones, or to achieve success in their art : 


The Conditions Necessary for a Beautiful Tone. 

1 . The air must pour out slowly. • 

2. It must not be violently ejected, but should, so 
to say, be spun out. 

3. It must impinge against the roots of the upper 
incisors, at the hard-palate (see Part IV). 

4. The inspiration must be inaudible. 

5. No more air must be permitted to escape than 

Conditions for a Beautiful Tone. 95 

is absolutely required for the tone; and, conse- 

6. The tone must not have an aspirated character. 

As the fulfilment of these conditions is intimately 
connected with the whole question of correct 
breathing, a more detailed explanation will be found 
under that head, where some other points connected 
with tone-formation are also discussed. // is not 
proposed here to lay down a complete method of sing- 
ings but to set forth the correct method of tone-forma- 
tion for singers and speakers. 



Whoever desires to preserve his voice (whether 
the singing or speaking voice) must closely observe 
the following rules. It is to be regretted that cir- 
cumstances do not always permit of their observance, 
yet their neglect through any avoidable cause can 
never be justified. Such neglect has often to be 
atoned for with a long indisposition, if not with the 
loss of the voice. 

1. In the first place, the air we inhale must not 
be too cold and too raw ; inflammation of the mu- 
cous membrane of the larynx, and especially of the 
vocal cords (hoarseness), is the usual consequence. 

2. The air must be pure and not vitiated with 
smoke (especially tobacco smoke), dust, or noxious 
gases. Frequently recurring catarrhs of the larynx 
cause a thickening of the mucous membrane of the 
vocal cords, and an unmetallic, harsh voice is the 
natural consequence. 

3. After prolonged singing, exerting discourse, or 

To Strengthen Vocal Organs. 97 

after the inhalation of warm air, the larynx should 
never be exposed internally or externally to cold air ; 
an inflammation of the mucous membrane, however 
slight, is generally the result 

It is easy to guard against either of these kinds 
of exposure ; but this is generally not done, through 
want of precaution and through a false shame. It 
has been shown that most persons fail, not so much 
on account of the weakness of their organs, as be- 
cause they have the insane belief that they are able 
to stand everything ; that they must accustom the 
larynx to exposure, to cold air and the wind, after 
severe exertion and the inhalation of warm air. 

Those, who are so careless, will have to stand the 
consequences ; but we advise those who are more 
careful, and we lay it down as a positive rule for 
them, to protect the neck in such cases, externally, 
with some covering, and to prevent the entry of cold 
air into the larynx, by keeping the mouth closed and 
breathing through the nose, or by keeping a silk 
handkerchief before the mouth. 

There is still something to be said in regard to 
male dramatic actors, which is of great importance 
in respect to health. In consequence of the coif- 
fures and wigs of every kind, with which they have 


98 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

to burden the head, sometimes for hours at a time, 
they are apt to become extremely heated. Now, in 
winter, when such a headgear is removed, and the 
actor goes forth into the open air, with nothing on 
the head but a modern hat (the most insufficient 
portion of our attire), it is impossible to avoid catch- 
ing cold. A very good protection against this con- 
sists in an embroidered hood of fine wool or silk, 
covering the head and neck and leaving only the 
face exposed. Over this, he can put on his useless 
hat. This covering should not be put off until he 
reaches his room, the temperature of which should 
be uniform with that of the hall which he has quitted. 

4. Our food also has great influence on our organs 
of speaking and singing. All very sharp and ex- 
citing condiments and drinks should be avoided (as 
pepper, mustard, spirits, acids, etc.). But, above 
all, it is necessary after any severe exertion of the 
larynx, to abstain from very cold drinks. The 
chewing of tobacco is also very pernicious. 

5. Extreme care should be taken to avoid any too 
severe or too prolonged exertion of the larynx, in 
shouting, as well as in speaking or singing, generally. 

It will, perhaps, be objected that, in this way, it would be impossi- 
ble to attempt anything with one's voice, or to undertake a long role. 
This is not the case, however. A lon^ part, even if it be of twenty 
pages, does not produce as much exertion as all the accumulated talk 

To Strengthen Vocal Organs. 99 

And gossip that go on among the actors within the dressing>rooms 
and behind the scenes. We have known actors to have become more 
fatigued by loud and excited talk before the beginning of the per- 
formance than their entire role would have caused them. Such per- 
sons are sure to get their vocal cords and muscles into poor condition. 
We have often heard artists exclaim, in the course of a perform- 
ance : " I am altogether out of trim to-day; my whole part is going 
to be spoiled; and I thought I was in such excellent condition." 
They seemed to be unaware that they had themselves caused the 

6. The neck should be strengthened with cold 
ablutions (begun in the warm season), and must not 
be too closely covered. 

It is strange how people treat such fine and delicate organs as the 
vocal apparatus. While a watch (which, in case it is broken, can 
readily oe repaired) is handled with the utmost care, and while every- 
thing is avoided that may in anyway possibly injure it, they imagine 
that their vocal organs can stand almost anything, organs which, 
when once injured, can never be restored, or, at best, but partially. 
They indulge, indiscriminately, in almost everything that can act in- 
juriously upon them. Tlie)r stay up half the night, and sometimes all 
night, smotdng, or shut up in a room where others are smoking, and 
the next morning they complain of hoarseness, roughness of the 
throat, in other words, of irritation of the larynx. Instead of feeling 
guiltv, however, about these bad consequences, they wrongly assign 
lor tnem some insignificant cause, and they point to the perform- 
ances of artists, who have habitually exposed their organs to these 
deleterious influences, as an evidence that such habits may be in- 
dulged in with impunity. It is true we have seen dramatic celebrities 
who have abused their finely endowed organs, and have abused 
them long (in proportion to the extent of their resources) ; still 
their achievements, as a whole, have always clearly manifested 
that their organs had not been spared, that they would have 
been able to achieve much more, have stood much higher in their 
vocation, if they had acted otherwise. We have seen most of them 
compelled to retire prematurely from the field of their activity, 
because their powers were ruined, or even hurried to an early grave. 
If there have been now and then artists who could afford to trifle with 
their vocal organs, this must be no argument that should justify us 
in attempting the same. If a man happens to make a crazy leap from 
a tower without breaking his limbs, does that show that we could do 
it with like impunity, nay, that we ought to attempt it ? Let every 
one answer this question for himself. 




General Observations. 

The signs, which we employ to designate the 
single sounds of speech, are called letters. The 
letters collectively constitute the alphabet, the 
arrangement of which is different in different lan- 

The letters are divided into vowels and consonants. 

T\\Q pure vowels are: 

E (as in he), A (as in hay), A (as in ah), 
O (as in or), O (as in oft), O^ (as in cool). 

The consonants are divided into sounding and 
voiceless consonants. 

The sounding zovi^ovizxiXs are L, M, N, R, the nasal 
N {ng, nk in sing, sink), V, Z (in zone), Z (in azure), 
V (in ye), W (in woe), Th (in then), B, D, G (in 

The voiceless consonants are K and its equivalents 
C(hard) and Q; F, P, T, S i^Visii) and its equiva- 
lent C (soft, in cider) ; Th (in thifi), Sh and H. 

Ch, J and X are compound consonants. 




Pure Vowels. 

The vowels are the fundamental sounds of all 
speech, and are uttered almost instinctively, for they 
are produced by the simple flow of the air from the 
lungs (which air has been formed into sound in the 
larynx), and the lengthening, shortening and narrow- 
ing of the resonator (/. e.y the pharynx, and the oral 
and nasal cavities). 

According to Dr. Ernst Brticke, of Vienna, the 
three vowel sounds of E (as in he)^ A (as in ah)^ 
and O^ (as in coot), are the fundamental sounds on 
which the system of vowels rests ; the other vowels 
being only intermediate sounds resulting from these 

Of these three vowels A is produced without any 
change in the resonator ; O^ by lengthening it and 
narrowing its exterior end ; and E by shortening 
and narrowing it. 

The Vowels. 105 

Or, with respect to the length of the resonator, we 
may say it is greatest with 0'\ and least with Ey and 
intermediate with A\ 

These three fundamental vowels are, accordingly, 
to be formed in the following ways : 

Let us begin with A\ 

Separate the jaws so far as to admit the thumb 
between the teeth; keep the lips perfectly still, 
without pressing them against the teeth or thrusting 
them out, but in such a way as to leave the extrem- 
ities of the front teeth slightly visible ; then perform 
a sounding expiration. 

The tongue should lie perfectly flat and inactive, 
at the bottom of the oral cavity ; or, better still, it 
may be made to assume a longitudinally concave 
position. A' is the only vowel in the production of 
which the hyoid-bone preserves the same position 
as when the organs are inactive ; the larynx; how- 
ever, is carried upward, somewhat, so that the sound- 
ing air-column, issuing from it, shall strike more 
forcibly against the roots of the upper incisors than 
against any other part (Fig. XXIII). 

The transition from A^ to E is effected by the 
elevation of the larynx and hyoid-bone, without 
their relative positions being altered; from A^ to O" 
by the larynx being drawn downward as far as pos- 

i J 

-■ C->j •> J -. 

io6 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

sible away from the hyoid-bone, which is carried for 
ward somewhat. 

Fig. XXIII. 

The descrip^on of the single parts of Fig. XXIII, which are the same in all the 
figures from XXIII to XXXI, is as follows : i is the boundary between the hard 
and the soft-palate ; 2 is the uvula touching the posterior wall of the pharynx dur- 
ing the production of pure vowels and consonants, hanging down only in production 
of nasal sounds ; 3 is the naso-pharynx, 4 the oro-pharynx, 5 the epiglottis, 6 the 
hyoid-(lingual) bone, 7 the right true vocal cord (the line above being the Jalse vocal 
cord), 8 the thyroid (shield) cartilage, 9 the right arytenoid (pjrramid) cartilage. 

The production of ^ (as in he) requires the greatest 
narrowing of the oral passage, and the greatest 
shortening of the resonator. The first is effected 
in this way : the middle portion of the tongue is 
brought on both sides in contact with the palate, 
while its tip is made to press against the lower in- 
cisors (without, however, projecting beyond them), 
and its body being placed so as to present a longi- 
tudinal cavity through which the air passes. The 
second IS effected by carrying the larynx upward as far 
^as possible, while thp je30iiator at the opposite end 

The Vowels. 107 

is shortened by drawing the corners of the mouth 
back in the direction of the ears (Fig. XXIV). 

It may be as well to remark in this place, that the positions which 
the mouth and other organs have to assume in the production of the 
vowels, should never in any way be strained, nor the muscles held 
in the least degree in an unnatural state of tension ; the position of 
the lips especially, despite their flexibility, must never be such as to 
become unseemly y so as, for example, to give to the face the expression 
of a grin (which is apt to be the case in the production of -£). 

In the production of (7' (as in cool)^ the larynx 
occupies the most depressed position. The reson- 
ator IS consequently the longest, and is narrowed at 
its exterior end. The lips are thrust forward in such 
a way as to leave only a small, nearly circular open- 
ing between them. The tip of the tongue, which 
with E was pressed against the lower incisors, is 
drawn back a little from the teeth and held on a 
level with the edges of the lower incisors, while 
the back of the tongue is slightly arched (Fig. 

io8 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

Fig. XXV. 

The essential conditions o{ A\ E and O^ may 
thus be briefly stated together : 

Mouth most widely opened ; oral passage in no 
way narrowed either in the middle or at the end ; 
tongue kept still, and larynx carried upward a little, 
so that the sounding air-column issuing from it shall 
strike with most force against the roots of the upper 

Mouth widest ; tongue very much arched, with 
its tip pressing against the inner surface of the lower 
incisors ; larynx carried farthest upward. 


Lowest position of the larynx ; back of the tongue 
slightly arched ; lips thrust forward so as to form a 
narrow, nearly circular opening. 

The Vowels. 109 

As has already been said, A', E and (7' are the 
fundamental vowel sounds; and the other vowels 
are merely intermediate sounds. The changes which 
take place in the resonator in passing from A' to B 
and producing the intermediate vowel sounds, A (as 
in an) and A (as in maU) are as follows : 

The resonator is gradually shortened and, likewise, 
narrowed ; that is to say, the lower jaw is brought 
closer and closer to the upper, the corners of the 
mouth are drawn away more and more, and the 
tongue presses more and more toward the palate, 
until at £ — where its tip presses against the lower 
incisors — it becomes most arched. 

In passing from A' to O", and producing the inter- 
mediate vowel sounds O (as in or) and (7, the reso- 
nator is gradually lengthened, and its exterior end, 
the mouth, narrowed. 

In passing from A' to (7, the only change that 
takes place is that the lips are pushed out a little 
and made to form a rounded opening, while the 
larynx is carried downward somewhat. 

To verify the foregoing assertion, that it is mainly 
the position of the lips that determines the sound of 
(7, let the pupil pronounce, in the way given above, 
the vowel A' ; let the jaws, tongue and larynx retain 
their position, and set the lips only for the production 

no Gymnastics of the Voice. 

of (7; now try to pronounce -^ once more; it will 
be impossible. The sound ofA'^ although the tongue 
and larynx have retained their position, has .been 
changed into (7, by the rounding and thrusting for- 
ward of the lips ; all that is necessary, besides, to 
the perfect formation of (7, is a slight depression of 
the larynx. Now pronounce C first, and then set 
the lips for the formation of A' ; it will be no longer 
possible to produce a clear (7, though there still will 
be no clear sound of A' in consequence of the larynx 
being slightly too much depressed, yet the poor (7 
will have disappeared. 

In order to fully appreciate the nature of these 
changes, let the pupil pronounce, alternately, (7 and -^4' 
(speaking or singing) from six to ten times in succes- 
sion, commencing the vowel with ** indirect attack," 
OAoaoaoaoUy and he will soon perceive that the 
position of the lips only is changed, while the larynx 
scarcely moves. It is, indeed, possible to produce 
an O without pushing out the lips ; that is to say, 
without lengthening the open end of the resonator, 
but this can only be done by a further depression 
of the larynx ; /. e,, by lengthening the resonator at 
the opposite end, and even then we shall not produce 
the pure sound of (7, 

The Nasal Vowels. in 


The Nasal Vowels. 

In the production of the pure vowel sounds, the 
soft-palate is held against the posterior wall of the 
throat, so as to divide the throat into halves, the 
upper being in connection with the nasal cavity, and 
the lower with the oral cavity and the larynx. When 
this takes place, the air cannot escape through the 
nose. The old theory, that in the production of the 
pure vowels, the air escapes both through the mouth 
and nose, has been very ably controverted by Briicke. 
In the formation of the nasal vowels, the soft-palate 
hangs loosely, and the air emitted from the lungs 
escapes through the nose, as well as through the 

In the French language the nasal vowel sounds 
are extremely frequent {sangy singulier, ombrey enfitiy 
enlevevy etc.). 

In the English language there are no nasal vowel 
sounds ; but when a vowel is followed by the con- 
sonants ngox 7iky forming a part of the same syllable 
(as in singy tongue, bank), then the vowel becomes, to 
a certain extent, a nasal or semi-nasal vowel, which 
differs from the French nasal sounds in that in its 
production the air does not escape both through the 

112 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

nose and mouth (as in sang^ etc.), but only through 
the nose, the oral cavity after the formation of the 
vowel being closed by the tongue. 

Kempelen makes the following observations in 
regard to the pronunciation of ng : *-* In the French 
nasal sounds {sang, singulier, etc.) the nasal and 
oral cavities are both open, so that the sounding air- 
column, which, with all the other letters, passes 
through only one of the two passages, divides into 
two streams ; accordingly, the part passing through 
the nose must necessarily be weaker than in the case 
of every other nasal sound, in which the entire 
sounding column passes through the nose. But the 
reason why the French nasal tone appears to such a 
degree to sound through the nose, much more so 
than is the case with all other nasal tones, will soon 
become very evident if we regard such tone from a 
different stand-point, according to which it is nothing 
more than a vowel sound in which the nose is also 
open. If I wish to pronounce the French en, I pro- 
duce an A (in ah) with the nose left open ; this 
gives the perfect en. And so it is with all other 
vowels, as with on in bonH, ain in ainsi, etc. Now 
with all (pure) vowels the nose must remain closed. 
If it is not, the vowel becomes at once impure, and 
the ear which hears the nasal sound where it is out 

The Diphthongs. ^ 113 

of place, becomes so offended that one is induced to 
think that he hears nothing but the nasal sound, 
and that produced with the greatest exertion." 


The Diphthongs. 

If we begin uttering a simple vowel and then 
change the position of the mouth to that of another 
vowel, keeping up the sound while this movement 
takes place, and no longer, there results a new sound 
which we term a diphthong (as ou^ oi^ etc.). 

In order to acquire the ability to produce the vow- 
els pure, and strictly in accordance with physiologi- 
cal laws, particular care should be taken with A {ah), 
the fundamental vowel par excellence. If we form 
this vowel incorrectly, it will be very difficult to 
form the others correctly ; that is, the slightest mis- 
placement of the vocal organs in the production of 
A (as when the larynx is too much elevated or 
depressed, the tongue raised, etc.) will be repeated 
in the formation of the other^vowels. When the 
pupil can produce a perfect A\ he then has the 
ability to correctly form all the other vowels. 




The characteristic feature of the vowels is that 
their sound can be continued as long as the voice 
lasts, the sounding air-column being variously modi- 
fied, but never interrupted in the resonator. With 
the consonants just the reverse is the case. They are 
formed by impeding or interrupting the stream of 
air, or by narrowing the oral passage. 

The consonants are divided, according to the 
positions of the vocal organs that are mainly in 
strumental in their formation, intoi — 

1 . Labial Sounds, 

2. Dental Sounds, 

3. Lingual Sounds, 

4. Nasal Sounds, 

5. Palatal Sounds. 

Labial Sounds. fij 


Labial Sounds. 

F {ph)f V, TV, p, bj m. 


IS produced by bringing the upper incisors against 
the lower lip, raising the upper lip somewhat ; and, 
while this position is maintained, causing the air to 
pass out, but not as a sounding expiration. 

The teeth should by no means be pressed against 
the lower lip, nor should they be placed too far 
forward or back, and the lower lip should not be 
stretched or pushed out too far. In the formation 
of this consonant, the upper lip is passive. 

is produced by placing the mouth in the same posi- 
tion as for /, but causing the effluent air to sound, 
instead of blowing it out, as in /. 

W (as in woe) 
IS formed by rounding the lips, as in articulating oo 
(in ooze)y but slightly compressing them and hold- 
ing them closer to the teeth ; a brief vocal murmur 
is formed by the breath. 

ii6 Gymnastics of the Voice. 


is formed by closing the lips tightly, separating the 
nasal from the oral cavity, by means of the soft- 
palate, and emitting the air compressed within the 
oral cavity, by suddenly opening the lips. 

The only difference between b and / is that with 
b a vocal sound is already heard when the mouth 
opens, while with / the sound begins only after the 
mouth has been opened. We may, in fact, say that 
with b the lips are opened by theji^oice, and with p 
simply by the air. With / the lips must be closed 
tightly, but not so with b, 

is formed by placing the mouth in the position re- 
quired for by and performing a sounding expiration 
through the nose. 


Dental Sounds. 

7', d^ ik (in thin\ th (in thine), z (in azure), sh (in pusk)^ s and c (in 

sin, cider), z (in zone). 

is formed by placing the lateral edges of the tongue 
against the upper molars and pressing its tip against 

Dental Sounds. 117 

the roots of the upper incisors, and, having in this 
way closed the oral passage, by forcibly expelling 
the air, as with/ (Fig. XXVI). 

Fig XXVI. 

differs from / in the same way that b does from / / 
that is to say, d is formed with the sounding breath, 
and t with a voiceless breath. 

^ (in zone) 
is formed by placing the mouth in the position re- 
quired for t (but with this difference, that the tip of 
the tongue is not pressed against the roots of the 
upper teeth), and then performing a sounding expira- 
tion in which the air is made to pass out very gently 
between the upper teeth and the tongue, which is 
kept in a horizontal position. While in the forma- 
tion of t the tongue is kept slightly convex, it must 
be kept nearly concave with Zy that is to say, the 

ii8 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

tongue, especially the anterior half, should form a 
sort of gutter, through which the stream of air gently 

When, instead of the tongue being placed in the^- 
position, its tip is held so low as to touch the edges 
of the upper incisors or to protrude between the 
teeth, there results a sound which the English call 
th, but which with other nations is called a lisp 
(Fig. XXVII). 


The distinction between th in thin and th in thine 
is, that with the first we simply expel the air, while 
the second is formed with a sounding expiration. 
The position of the tongue is the same for both. 

Exercise to Remove Lisping. 

Those who are troubled with the defect of lisping should 
draw in the tongue, and the tip, which is bent back, should 
be somewhat raised. It is better, in exercising, to raise 
the tip of the tongue too much at the outset, rather than 

Dental Sounds. 119 

too little ; the stiffness thereby occasioned will disappear 
with the continuance of the exercises. 

A good exercise is to take words beginning with z and 
utter them in the following manner : Take, for instance, 
the word zone ; first pronounce the z with a sounding ex- 
piration ; keep up this buzzing tone for a time, and then 
add on the one. Exercise in this way all the words begin- 
ning with z. Having become accustomed to pronouncing 
the z without thrusting forward and out the tongue, it will 
be easy to pronounce all the dental letters correctly. 

Whoever forms the consonants according to the 
strictly physiological rules here laid down, will not 
find it necessary, in order to learn to pronounce this 
or that sound, to take pebbles into the mouth, as is 
said to have been done by Demosthenes, who, of 
course, knew nothing of the science of the physi- 
ology of the vocal sounds such as exists at the 
present day. 

We must repeat what has been said in Part II, 
in speaking of the position of the tongue, that the 
surest and quickest way of getting rid of any curable 
defect is to obtain a complete control of the muscle 
through whose false activity the defect has been 

S and C. 

The sharp sound of s and c (in siny cider) is pro- 
duced by keeping the tongue in the same position as 
with z, but not causing the escaping air to produce 


a vocal sound. The tongue must be drawn in more 
than with z. 

Z (as in azure) 

is formed by a partially vocal sound modified by 
gently raising the whole forepart of the tongue 
toward the roof of the mouth, and allowing the 
breath to escape between it and the teeth (Fig. 

Sh (as in push) 
is formed in the same way, but by means of " aspira- 
tion," not " vocality," in the emission of the breath. 


Lingual Sounds. 

is produced by placing the mouth in the position 
required for d, but leaving an opening on both sides, 


Lingual Sounds. 121 

in the region of the molars, through which a sound- 
ing breath is emitted. 

is produced by vibrating the tip of the tongue, 
which is held flat in the mouth, with the tip some- 
what elevated. 

There are two kinds of r — the lingual or pure r, 
and the uvular or impure r (see ** Oral Cavity" in 
Part I) ; with the first the vibrating part is the tip 
of the tongue, the uvula remaining passive; with 
the secondy it is the uvula, the tongue remaining 

A method for acquiring the ability to pronounce the pure r cor- 
rectly, which was proposed by Talma, the celebrated actor and 
professor, at the EcoU de Declamation^ has proved very successful 
with my pupils through many years of experience, and I, therefore, 
reproduce it here. It is thus given by Fournier : 

Exercise for Acquiring the Pure R, 

Take for the exercise the yfoxdtravaily giving it the French 
pronunciation; write tdavail, substituting a d for the r. 
Then let the pupil, who should try to completely banish 
the idea of the letter r, pronounce the / and d several times, 
unconnected, adding each time the concluding portion of 
the word, thus : td-avaiL He will imperceptibly interpose 
a short e (as in met) between the / and ^, and divide this 
new word into three syllables, ie-davail. When this exer- 
cise has been repeated several times, the pupil should utter 
the same word closely connected, but slowly, tedavaiL 
Let it be pronounced gradually faster and faster ; by the 
rapid articulation the interposed e will be dropped, and 
there will remain tdavaiL The pupil should then continue 

122 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

to pronounce this word as rapidly as possible, closely con- 
necting the sound of / with that of d^ and laying special 
stress on the first letter. He will, already, by this^new 
slep in the exercise, unconsciously convey to the listener 
the impression of the letter r, which sound appears to 
result from the rapid combination of / and d. The r will 
be insensibly articulated, and the letter d will disappear, " 
permitting the newly-formed sound to be more decided. 
By means of this exercise, the pronunciation of r will be 
acquired in the natural way. 

What the American writers say on r, we read in 
" Orthophony," by James E. Murdoch and William 
Russell, edition of 1877: 

*^R (as in rap), differs from the r (as in far) in having a harder andv, 
clearer sound, executed by a forcible but orief vibration of the tip of 
the tongue against the first projecting ridge of the interior gum, im- 
mediately over the upper teeth ; while the latter has a soft, murmur- 
ing sound, caused by a slight vibration of the whole forepart of the 
tongue, directed toward the middle part of the roof of the mouth. 

" The common errors of careless usage substitute the soft for the 
hard r, and omit the soft r entirely ; thus, /aA for ^ar. Another 
class of errors consists in rolling, or unduly prolonging, the sound 
of the hard r, and substituting the hard for tiie soft sound. 

** The greater prolongation of sound, which takes place in the aver- 
age of singing notes, or in impassioned recitation, renders a slight 
comparative roll of the hard r unavoidable, at the beginning of a 
word. But it is a gross error of taste to prolong this sound, in the 
style of foreign accent, as in French and Italian pronunciation, or to 
substitute the rough sound of the hard r for the delicate murmur of 
the soft r." 

An English gentleman used to say: ** Our r is 
something between ah and nothing." 

Nasal Sounds — Palatal Sounds. 123 


Nasal Sounds. 

N (Fig. XXIX) 
is produced by taking the position required for dy 
and making a sounding expiration through the nose. 

Fig XXIX. 

is produced by a sounding expiration through the 
nose, with the oral cavity shut off from the pharynx, 
by raising the back part of the tongue. 


Palatal Sounds. 

^and g, and their equivalent c hard (as in €ake\ ; ^hard (as in give) ; 

V (as in^<?), 

• K. 

The sound of k is produced by closing the oral 
passage by means of the middle or posterior portion 


Gymnastics of the Voice. 

of the tongue and the middle or posterior portion 
of the palate, by forcing the air against this barrier, 
and then forcibly expelling it by suddenly withdraw- 
ing the obstruction. 


is formed like k. It occurs only in the combination 
quy which is pronounced like kw (queen, quarter, 

G (in give) 

is produced by taking the position required for k, 
but making a sounding expiration; g, therefore, 
bears the same relation to yfe as ^ to /, or as d to /. 
There are two k's and two ^s, the oral passage 
being in the one case closed more anteriorly than in 
the other. The one is heard in kept, kitchen, and in 

Fig, XXX. 

get, give gate, etc. (Fig. XXX) ; the other in cough, 
cool, diViA ghost, gall, garden, etc, (Fig. XXXI). 

Palatal Sounds. 125 

F (in ye) 

IS formed from ^ (in give) by not completely closing 
the oral cavity, the position of the tongue being such 
as to permit the air to escape through a small 

is produced by so contracting the glottis as to make 
the emission of the air audible (spiritus asper), (Fig. 
XXII, 3). It may rightly be said that this noise, /^, 
originates in the glottis y and is not, as was until re- 
cently held, produced by the air emitted from the 
lungs striking against the walls of the throat, or of 
the oral cavity. 

Ch (as in church) ^ J, 

Ch is a compound of / and sh, 

5^ is a compound of d and ^ (in azure). 

126 Gymnastics of the Voice. 


is equivalent to ks or gs ; the first combination is 
heard in axe^ and the second in example. 

Having become acquainted with the correct forma- 
tion of the letters, we have still to consider the ques- 
tion of the transition of the organs, from one posi- 
tion to another, in articulating different sounds. 
When a sentence contains a number of words, whose 
articulation requires great changes in the position 
of the organs, there will be a certain harshness, a 
want of smoothness, in the delivery. On the con- 
trary, where the transitions are slight, the utterance 
is smooth and easy. A fine ear will avoid all harsh- 
ness in the utterance of a sentence, but without its 
meaning being thereby, in the least, affected. 





Connecting a Final Consonant with the Initial 
Vowel of the Following Word. 

This not only occasions great indistinctness in the 
delivery, for instance, instead of ** I woke up early,*' 
" I wo-ku-pearly ;" but often gives a different sig- 
nification to the sentence, for instance, ** Can you 
remember that rain?" ''Can you remember tha- 
train;" "First-rate," •* Fir-strait," etc. 

section 2. 

Imperfect Vowel Attack. 

It is generally the habit in uttering the initial vowel 
of a word, not to separate the lips beforehand, which 
is absolutely necessary if correct utterance is desired. 
The consequence is the prefixing of all kinds of 
sounds in the nature of initial consonants, which 
disfigure the speech. We sometimes hear, for ex- 
ample, nantbition for ambition y nenemy for enemy ^ etc. 

It is always necessary, in beginning a sentence with 

128 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

a vowel sound, to open the mouth slightly before- 
hand, and to remove the tongue from the palate, 
with which it lies in contact when the mouth is kept 
closed in a state of repose. We must likewise be 
careful to give the distinct pronunciation to a final 
consonant before an initial vowel. 


Adding Wrong Consonants and Swallowing 


Words are frequently disfigured by inserting or 
adding consonantal sounds; for example, lawr^ 
idear^ drawring. A not unfrequent habit is the 
swallowing of parts of words ; for instance, particlar 
{p3irticu\ar) y gograpAy (geography), lectHc (electric), 
fah for far^ etc. 


Intoning between Words. 
An unpleasant habit, which is unfortunately very 
frequent, must be noticed here. It is the peculiarity 
of introducing unnecessary sounds between the 
words, as : " Have you "seen that . . a . . representa- 
tion?" This is as when the notes struck on a mu- 
sical instrument continue to sound beyond the proper 

Intoning Between Words. 129 

These sounds facilitate the passing over from one 
word to another, which generally accounts for the 
habit. Sometimes, however, this defective way of 
speaking is the result of inability to think fast. In 
any case, we should seek to get rid of it. 


Wrong Use of the Lower Jaw. 

Imperfect speech, however, is not merely due to 
the defective pronunciation of the sounds, but is 
also, in a great measure, the consequence of keep- 
ing the lower jaw too far forward (the lower incisors 
projecting beyond the line of the upper) or of moving 
it to one side. 

This is a grave defecty and no pains should be 
spared to avoid it. 

The lower incisors must be kept in their natural 
position, a little back of the line of the upper. (Those 
cases in which nature has placed the lower jaw too 
far forward do not concern us here.) In impassioned 
and loud speaking, great skill is needed to resist the 
inclination to push out the jaw too far. It is easy 
to recognize the nature of tifls defect. Take a sen- 
tence and pronounce it with due regard to the 
position of the lower incisors, taking care in moving 


I30 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

them up and down to keep them always behind the 
line of the upper ; the pronunciation will be most 
distinct, provided, of course, that the vocal organs 
are correctly applied. Then pronounce the same 
sentence with the lower jaw too far forward, if only 
in the' least degree, and the vowels will become 
surprisingly indistinct. The inclination to thrust- 
forward the lower jaw is greatest with O and O^ ; 
and to add to this defect, the lips are thrust forward 
^ too far, so that in consequence of the empty space 
between them and the teeth, the consonants also 
become indistinct. 

In pronouncing, for example, such a syllable as 
vote, one is generally inclined, after setting the lips 
for Vy to thrust them out too violently and too far, in 
order to get them into the position for o. The transi- 
tion, however, from the ^/-position to the ^-position 
is not an easy one. The lips cannot be brought out 
from the z/-position quick enough, and there is, in 
consequence, an unpleasant noise, which occasions 
indistinctness ; apart from which the projecting lips 
produce the impression of a fish-mouth. Or else 
one pronounces the z;%ith the lips already in the 
^-position, and indistinctness is likewise the result. 

It will be well, therefore, to observe the following: 
the correct formation of the vowel 0\ as well as of 

Wrong Use of the Lower Jaw. 131 

0\ requires, it is true, a thrusting forward of the 
lips, as the resonator is thereby lengthened ; but we 
ought to possess the ability to produce this lengthen- 
ing without depending too much on the lips. This 
will, however, be possible only if we lengthen the 
resonator at the other end, by carrying the larynx 
far downward, which should be done without press- 
ing upon the organ. By doing this we shall be 
enabled to combine all the labial consonants with O 
and O^ with correctness and distinctness. In this 
way alone is it possible to carry on an easy, rapid 
and lively conversation, without anything of what is 
said being lost. 

A person can produce the vowel sounds O and 
O^ without thrusting forward the lips at all, by carry- 
ing downward the larynx far enough, but this is in 
no way necessary ; the lips may be thrust forward, 
but only slightly, so that no unnecessary sounds 
shall slip in. 


Exercise for the Correct Use of the Lower Jaw. 

The following exercise will give one the ability to 
keep the lower jaw in the proper position : 

Draw back the corners of the mouth as far as possible 
without giving the face the appearance of a grin; then take 


132 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

a long sentence and repeat it (keeping the comers of the 
mouth well drawn back) at first very slowly and softly, and 
then in a more and more rapid, impassioned and vehe- 
ment manner. Having done this for a sufficient time, 
repeat the same sentence in all these various ways without 
drawing back the corners of the mouth, and taking care 
not to thrust out the lower jaw and the lips. By draw- 
ing back the comers of the mouth the speaker will be 
compelled to keep the lower jaw in the right position, or 
else he must be forcibly thrusting it forward. Finally, 
speak the sentence with the lips in the right position. 


How THE Wrong Use of the Lower Jaw May be 


If anyone desires to know whether he has this 
defect or not, he may employ the following test : 

Let him take a narrow, flat stick of ivory or other ma- 
terial, four or five inches long (as the handle of a tooth- 
brush), and press it in a vertical position against the mid- 
dle of the chin, so that its upper extremity is kept tight 
against the inner surface of die upper incisors, and let 
him, while keeping the stick firmly in this position, sing 
various tones. If the defect is present, he will be sur- 
prised to see how much force will be required to keep 
the stick quite vertical, that is, to keep the chin, or, in 
other words, the lower jaw from pushing outward. This 
operation may serve as an exercise for acquiring the 
ability to use the lower jaw correcdy. 






Voluntary and Involuntary Breathing. 

To comprehend a system or method of breathing 
correctly in singing and speaking, it is necessary to 
know how man really does breathe. 

Breathing takes place involuntarily and to a cer- 
tain extent voluntarily. 

Involuntary respiration is divided into two parts : 
inspiration and expiration ; voluntary respiration into 
three : inspiration y holding the breathy and expiration. 
This second mode (threefold respiration) is what 
really characterizes artistic respiration. 

In inspiration the chest is expanded ; in expira- 
tion the expanded parts return to their original 
state. The expansion of the chest, during inspira- 
tion, takes place in two ways : one by the movement 
of the ribs upward and outward, together with the 
sternum (breastbone) and clavicle (collar-bone), the 
other by the contraction of the ordinarily arched 

136 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

diaphragm, — the fleshy partition between the cavi- 
ties of the chest and abdomen. We have described 
the diaphragm, under the " Organs of Respiration," 
and of its importance in phonetic expiration we shall 
shortly have more to say. We can, therefore, breathe 
at will either with the ribs or the diaphragm ; and 
hence we have t:A^j/-breathing and abdominal 

Neither of these movements entirely excludes the 
other ; they are rather both present at the same time^ 
but usually one predominates. 

In deep^ abdominal respiration, the entire trunk 
bends backward ; the abdomen protrudes through 
the agency of the diaphragm, the lower ribs expand 
and are pushed forward^ the upper ones backward. 

In ^^^^/-breathing we distinguish two kinds : If 
the upper ribs are especially drawn up, we have the 
so-called shoulder or collar-bone breathing, in which 
the shoulders, and principally the shoulder-blades, 
are very perceptibly raised; the collar-bones and 
the ribs naturally accompany them directly upward ; 
the walls of the abdomen at such times press the 
intestines together and backward; the abdomen, 
especially the epigastrium^ recedes. The whole 
trunk becomes elongated ; hence the lungs, and 
especially their tips, are lengthened and expanded. 

Voluntary and Involuntary Breathing. 137 

If, however, the lower ribs are especially drawn 
outward, so-called rib or jiiaSf-breathing results, by 
which the chest, above all, increases in breadth. 
The whole trunk bends more' or less forward; the 
abdomen recedes so that its fore arch, especially the 
region of the stomach, is drawn flat and even inward. 


Three Main Modes of Taking Breath. 

We have, then, three main kinds of respiratory 
movements : — 

1. Abdominal or diaphragmatic breathing, 

2. Shoulder or collar-bone breathing, and 

3. Side or rib-breathing. 

In abdominal or diaphragmatic respiration there 
is complete expansion of the lungs. In the two 
other modes of respiration this expansion is incom- 
plete or partial ; since in the one (collar-bone breath- 
ing) the upper, in the other (rib-breathing) the 
middle region is affected. 

Since the appearance of the first edition of this work, in which for 
the first time, in a popular scientific treatise, diaphragmatic breathing 
was taught and designated as the only true method of breathing, the 
author has heard a great deal of talk about the diaphragm. Wherever 
tone-formation was discussed the subject of diaphragmatic breathing 
has been brought up. The writer, however, has had very frequently 
to hear complaints from pupils, who had gone through a long course 
of instruction at the hands of singing teachers, that while their 
teachers had insisted upon their breathing with the diaphragm, the 
way to do this had not feeen taught them. Many of them have even 

138 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

declared that when they did breathe in the way in which they had 
been instructed, the least quantity of air was introduced into the 
lungs. From this it is evident that both teachers and pupils have 
hada wrong conception of the nature of diaphragmatic or abdominal 
breathing, and have practiced it falsely, having mistaken for it the 
simple and feeble contraction of the diaphragm which takes place in 
sleep as well as in a state of perfect repose, and which almost of itself 
alone (but not altogether alone) keeps up the respiration at such times. 
They have made tne mistake of supposing that this purely diaphrag- 
matic breathing was meant. But this is altogether an error. Of the 
two kinds of respiratory movements termed diaphragmatic and rib- 
breathing, neither, it is firmly settled, excludes the other entirely; 
they are, on the contrary, always associated, but usually in such a way 
that one or the other predominates. During the activity of the dia- 
phragm, in. sleep or m perfect repose, the lower seven or eight ribs 
remain almost inactive; but in a state of wakefulness and bodily 
exertion there is the full abdominal respiration ; that is to say, the 
full activity of the diaphragm combined with rib or side-breathmg to 
a certain extent ; this latter consisting in the raising upward and out- 
ward of the lower seven or eight ribs to one-half or three-fourths of 
the utmost possible limit. The raising of the lower seven or eight 
ribs is an essential condition of the full activity of the diaphragm, of 
which they form the frame, inasmuch as its fibres are attached to the 
J ribs and can contract effectually only when these are forced upward 
and outward and held firm in that position. There can be no such 
thing, therefore, as perfect diaphragmatic or abdominal respiration 
unless this condition is present. It is in the correct diaphragmatic 
respiration, and not by the exclusive activity of the diaphragm, that 
the greatest quantity of air is admitted into the lungs. We may, 
indeed, cause the principal respiratory movements to take place each 
by itself alone, thus producing a forced action, but in this case an un- 
satisfactory result is obtained. As long as we allow nature to act 
unhindered, a forced action cannot take place. It is in the combination 
of the respiratory movements that the free action of nature appears, 
and according to the mtiscles mainly involved we designate each kind 
0/ respiratory movement. 

Shoulder-breathing is found mostly in women ; 
side and especially abdominal breathing among men. 

Without entering upon the old dispute of phy- 
siologists, as to whether women naturally breathe 
clavicularly, or whether the disadvantageous manner 
of dressing is the cause, we here contend that women 
should make the same respiratory movements in the 

Voluntary and Involuntary Breathing. 139 

art of song and speech as men. (See Chapter II, 
Section 7.) 

While, then, inspiration takes place by means of 
the muscles of inspiration, and so becomes an active 
process, expiration takes place during ordinary res- 
piration, less by means of the muscles than through 
the return of the previously expanded parts to their 
original state, resulting from their elasticity, — usually 
a "^MX^Y passive process. 

This is, however, the case only in so far as expi- 
ration promotes animal life ; i. e.y as long as it is 
involuntary ; as soon as it becomes voluntary, and 
is used to remove foreign substances that impede 
respirati(5n, or is made the agency of voice and 
speech, then several groups of muscles are brought 
into activity, because the simple expiratory pressure 
is too weak to accomplish the desired end, and ex- 
piration, too, becomes an active process. 

The activity of the muscles which now steps in, 
has two duties to perform : first, to support and 
strengthen expiration ; secondly, to retard and 
check it. 

'Y\i^ first is done by the abdominal muscles which 
draw down the ribs, compress the abdomen, and so, 
while pressing the intestines and the diaphragm up- 
ward, narrow the cavity of the chest from below also. 

I40 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

The second is accomplished mainly by the dia- 
phragm, whose chief function is to regulate the 
voluntary retardation, to counteract the pressure of 
the intestines when forced upward by the abdominal 
muscles. (See Chapter II, Section 9.) 

In inspiration the glottis widens^ in expiration it 
contractSy in order to make the expirations slower. 
This is the case with all the air-passages, because 
they are elastic. 

In strong, quick inspiration the larynx sinks 
slightly ; in expiration it resumes its original position. 
It is in our power to use either one of the 
groups of the respiratory mu^les. If, however, we 
permanently prevent an expansion of the lower ribs 
by a too great narrowing of the waist, the natural 
consequence will be that these parts will finally lose 
entirely the ability to expand, and, therefore, the 
diaphragm will be unable to take any part in phonetic 

After having learned how man breathes instinc- 
tively, we shall now show how it is necessary to 
breathe in singing and speaking. 




What the singer and speaker must chiefly be in- 
tent upon, is to spare the respiratory organs. This, 
however, can be effected only by regular, slow, in- 
audible and correct breathing. In a state of repose 
these conditions may be easily fulfilled ; but with 
every considerable exertion we perceive that the 
respiratory organs work faster, that the blood flows 
quicker through the veins, and it appears impossi- 
ble to breathe slower at such moments. In reality 
it would never be possible to wholly prevent the 
quickening of the respiration ; still a great deal can 
and must be done to preserve the organs by a sys- 
tein, by a correct method, and by their constant 

To make the lungs capable of unusual exertion, it 
is first necessary to exercise them carefully and 
slowly, with the necessary pauses, and thus to 

* For the convenience of the student, this entire subject is divided into twenty- 
six distinct parts. 

142 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

strengthen them.- Most people believe that it is 
sufficient to have lungs in order to be able to speak 
continuously and with a strong voice! 


Strengthening the Lungs. 

The exercises of the muscles of respiration have 
been described in treating of the muscles. The 
following marks explain the set of exercises we 
have- prepared, for the enlargement of the lungs 
and for increasing their elasticity. These exercises 
consist simply in respiration, beginning with the 
inspiration of a small quantity of air, the quantity 
being gradually increased until it becomes as great 
as the lungs can possibly hold. Let a line be drawn 
obliquely upward from left to right (/) representing 
the inspiration ; another line drawn obliquely down- 
ward from left to right (\) representing the expira- 
tion. When two such lines incline against each 
other, so as to form an angle (/\), it indicates that 
expiration follows^, inspiration without a pause. 
When the lines do not come to a junction (/ \) 
the space between them indicates a pause. A figure 
inserted in the space (/^\) indicates the retention 
of the breath for so many seconds ; thus, in this in- 

Strengthening the Lungs. 143 

stance, there is an interval of three seconds during 
which not a particle of air must be permitted to pass 
from or enter the lungs. We have selected musical 
notation lines for these diagrams, so as to clearly 
represent the progression in the increasing respira- 


First Series. 

Exercises for Breathing without Interruption, 

These exercises should not be performed as mere 
muscle-movements y but should always be accom- 
panied by breathing. It is true that we can perform 
them without breathing by mere contraction and re- 
laxation of the diaphragm or other muscles. This, 
however, is a forced action of the muscles, and would 
result in no benefit. 

In the following exercises the duration of the 
respiration is to be increased, as indicated in the 
diagrams, without pauses. The inspiration should 
take place through the nose, and the expiration 


Gymnastics of the Voice. 

through the mouth. The inspiration and expiration 
should be of equal length. 

Exercise L 

Rhythmical movement of the diaphragm, gentle, 
as in sleep. 

Exercise II. 

Raising of the lowermost ribs; movement of 
diaphragm twice as great as in Exercise I. 

Exercise III 

Raising of the lower seven or eight ribs, together 
with the lower portion of the sternum, to half of the 
utmost extent possible ; movement of diaphragm 
three times as great as in Exercise I. 

Respiratory Gymnastics. * 145 

Exercise IV, 

Complete activity of all the muscles used in in- 
spiration, without the clavicles (shoulder-blades). 

The pupil should spend most time on Exercise 
IV, and perform it in the following manner : 

After the lungs are completely filled, retain the air in 
them two or three seconds, and then emit it slowly through 
a very thin blowing-tube. Repeat this exercise six times 
in succession three times a day, and do not proceed to 
the " Second Series " until after the elapse of two weeks, 
while the time for holding the breath grows gradually 
longer, thus : ^ve seconds for four days, /en seconds for 
eight days, twenty seconds for sixteen days, thirty-five 
seconds for thirty days ; then practice on thirty-five seconds 
for six weeks, and not until after two or three months 
make any attempt to hold the breath iox forty five to sixty 
seconds, and this latter number only if it can be done 
with ease ; under no circumstances is force to be applied. 



Gymnastics of the Voice. 

Second Series. 

Exercises for Breathing with Interruption, 

In the following exercises the duration of the 
respiration is to be increased, as indicated in the 
diagrams, with pauses. 

Exercise V, 

Exercise VI. 

Exercise VI L 

Respiratory Gymnastics. 147 

Third Series. 

Exercises for Breathing by hicreasing the Length of 
each Successive Respiration ^ and by Alternating 
the Different Modes of Taking Breath. 

Exercise VIII . 

Perform Exercise VIII four times every day, six times 
in succession, but only after the requisite facility in the 
preceding exercises has been attained. 

Exercise IX. 

Perform Exercises VI and VII alternately with each of 
the three modes of respiration, abdominal, side din& shoulder- 
breathing^ — in order to develop the lungs uniformly. 

With careful exercise it will, after a short time, be 
apparent that the lungs are capable of inhaling a 
greater quantity of air than before, and that one is 
enabled to retain the breath with ease, which is of 
incalculable utility. 

I have seen people who were unable to retort the inspired air even 
for a second ; who had such short breath that they considered them- 
selves invalids, although they were in perfect health ; who did not 
even know what position the organs of the mouth assume when the 
breath is retained. By means of careful, persevering, and not too 
fatiguing exercise, under proper direction, their breath (as they have 
expressed it) became longer, that is, they were enabled, after going 
through these gymnastics with their respiratory organs, to take in a 
much greater quantity of air into the lungs than they could before, 
and naturally to emit so much more. 

148 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

For those who are unable to retain their breath, 
the following directions will be of service : 

In order to be able to retain the breath, we must 
close the glottis; under ordinary conditions — that 
is, when there is a natural cause — this takes place 
spontaneously, as, for example, in the applicatioh of 
abdominal pressure* The action of abdominal 
pressure is induced by the need of protecting the 
abdominal organs in any unusual exertion of the 
body, as in bending, lifting, etc., and is brought 
about by closing the glottis after the lungs have 
been filled with air and exercising a downward 
pressure with the diaphragm and abdominal muscles. 
Merely thinking of abdominal pressure gives one 
the ability to close the glottis at pleasure. 

Another means of arriving at the conscious- 
ness of the muscular movements required for the 
closing of the glottis is the following : 

Exercise X. 

Closing the Glottis at Will. 

Pronounce the vowel A with " direct attack " (as has 
been taught in the beginning of Part II, ten, fifteen times 
in succession), but in such a way as to keep the glottis 
closed before every A for a few seconds before pronounc- 
ing the vowel. By this means we can obtain a full con- 

* The combined activity of the abdominal muscles and the diaphragm I call 
abd(fminal ^ssurt. 

Respiratory Gymnastics. 149 

sciousness of the muscles of the vocal cords, and acquire 
the ability to use them, that is, the power of closing the 
glottis at will. 

The closing of the glottis does not suffice by itself, 
however, for the retention of the breath. One must 
also possess the ability to keep the ribs (raised out- 
ward by the external intercostals, and the contracted 
— drawn downward — diaphragm) fixed in their posi- 
tion ; for, with the sinking of the ribs and the return 
movement of the diaphragm upward, the air is forci- 
bly expelled from the lungs. In fact, it is necessary 
to be able, without the closing of the glottis, to re- 
tain the breath by merely keeping the ribs fixed in 
the position of inspiration and the diaphragm pressed 

More exercises than I have here given would be useless. They 
would lead the pupil into mechanical movements of the muscles y pre- 
vent all independence on his part, and finally make a mere machine 
of him. If the pupil has talent, then the exercises already given 
fully suffice for fundamental practice ; if he has no aptitude, then a 
tenfold number would not avail him. 


It may as well be remarked here, that certain 
gymnastics of the lungs, as well of the other organs, 
must be performed daily just so long as the artist 
desires to practice his art with success ; for just as 
the dancer through long inactivity loses the elasticity 
of his limbs, so the singer or the speaker fares with 
his lungs. 

150 Gymnastics of the Voice. 


Beginning of Speech or Song. 

The orator or singer must not begin a single sen- 
tence, not even the smallest, before having suffi- 
ciently filled his lungs. But it must not be under- 
stood that the lungs are to be so completely filled 
that not another atom of air could be contained in 
them, but only seven-eighths filled ; for keeping the 
lungs completely filled increases the difficulty of 
holding the breath ; and, therefore, also of singing 
and speaking. 


State or Readiness. 

This condition, lungs sufficiently well filled^ we 
call " the state of readiness." 

The sensation of having the lungs filled must not 
be absent during singing or speaking, until a pause 
is reached. 


Closure of the Glottis. 

After an inspiration, the glottis should be closed 
for a moment, i, e.y the breath held back before one 
commences to spes^k QX sing. But if we begin at 

Slow Respiration. 151 

the same instant that the last atom of air has entered 
the lungs, too much air will naturally pour out at 
the first words, thus rendering them unmetallic and 


Inspiration and Expiration to be Done as Slowly 
AS Possible, and Uniformly. 

This condition must be fulfilled whenever the con- 
struction of the sentence will permit. Slow breath- 
ing will be mainly brought about by right use of the 
diaphragm and the abdominal muscles, and keeping 
the ribs raised. (More on this subject in Sections 
7 and 9.) 


Even During any Unusual Activity of the Lungs, 
AS IN Moments of Excitement or Passion, it is 
Quite Necessary to Breathe as Slowly as Pos- 

It must not be considered impossible to attain 
this ; the activity of the human organs depends un- 
doubtedly, to a certain degree, upon our will, and 
though this is less the case with the lungs than 
with the other organs, it is still here also possible to 
arrive at really wonderful results by regular exer- 
cises, interrupted only by necessary rest. 

152 Gymnastics of the Voice. 


Abdominal or Diaphragmatic Breathing. — Rib or 


We have shown in treating of the respiratory 
movements, that man can execute inspirations and 
expirations in three different modeSy namely, by 
shoulder^ side or abdominal respiration. We must 
here urge that singers and orators should make habit- 
ual use only of the two latter modes of respiration 
(side, and especially abdominal respiration), and 
shoulder-respiration only when the temporary position 
of the body does 7tot permit of the other two. 

The upper part of the thorax is, at the same time, 
also active in a certain way; when expanded for 
inspiration, it remains, more or less, in this condition 
during speaking and singing, so as not to impede 
inspiration and expiration, which would be the case 
if the upper ribs should constantly rise and fall. 

If we permit the inspired air to escape from the 
lungs only by means of the upper part of the thoracic 
wall (shoulder-breathing), as is generally the case 
with women, the following phenomena will result : 

1 . The tone will not be quite clear and metallic. 

2. It will not be full, 

3. // will not be firm or strong. 

Diaphragmatic Breathing. . 153 

4. // will not be sufficiently prolonged, 

5 . The air will not pass from the lungs slowly and 
uniformly eiiough; but, on the contrary y in puffs ; and 

6. The plastic lines of the body will be disturbed 
by heaving of the bosom and shaking of tfie s/ioulders^ 
not to mention the increased exertion required. 

The tone produced in such a way will, likewise, 
always be somewhat heavy, for the movement of the 
upper chest-muscles causes an involuntary partici- 
pation of the muscles of the neck and larynx, and 
thereby disturbs these muscles, so that the tone not 
unfrequently becomes compressed and trembling 
and loses its clearness, and especially its fulness, 
because, the upper part of the air-passages being 
pressed together, the resonance of the sound is, in 
consequence, diminished. But by mainly using the 
lower part of the chest (side and especially abdom- 
inal respiration) all these phenomena are absent. 

The following comparison may serve to prove that 
this method is the correct one : 

Imagine a tube, whose walls can be compressed 
at will, filled with water. We can press the water in 
it upward in two ways : either we compress the walls 
of the tube, or we drive the water upward by means 
of a piston^ which we apply to the lower end. In 
the former case (that is, by compression of the walls), 

154 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

the stream becomes trembling, irregular, frequently 
interrupted; in the latter case (that is, pressure by 
means of a piston), the stream becomes strong, uni- 
form, uninterrupted, as we can see in any engine- 
hose, which is correctly handled. 

It is the same with man and his lungs. The back^ 
front and the sides of the chest are the walls of the^ 
tube ; the diaphragnty lower ribs and abdominal ntus- 
cles are the piston. 

Herein lies the proof of our theory of the dia- 
phragmatic or abdominal respiration. 

To dispel any doubt as to the possibility of mastering this mode of 
respiration, I take the following important example from the world 
of art:— 

Wilhelmine Schroder-Devrient, the greates dramatic singer, at- 
tained a wonderful degree of perfection in respiratory control 
(through unremitting practice, as she herseli Informed me). She 
sang the most difficult passages without the slightest movement of 
the upper portion of the chest, and it was she who gave the incite- 
ment to the preparation of this work, when, twenty-six years ago, I 
had the good fortune of attracting the notice of that remarkable lady, 
an artist who at the age of fifty-two stood unrivaled among dramatic 

It is true, all I learned irom her was that I breathed in a wrong 
manner ; and on my arguing that I breathed with the full action of 
the chest, I was answered: ** It is with the abdomen that you must 
breathe, with the abdomen." This was all the explanation I re- 
ceived. And just as the student in Goethe*s Faust exclaims: 

" I feel as stupid from all you've said, 
As if a mill-wheel whirled in my head ! " 

so it was with me from that moment. 

After the lapse of three years (passed in sleepless nights, and in 
laboriously seeking for the solution of this riddle by means of study 
and experiment) appeared the first German edition of the present 

Diaphragmatic Breathing. 155 

Therefore, in order to avoid the occurrence of the 
above-mentioned phenomena, it is necessary to 
empty the lungs, not by causing the sternum and 
the upper ribs to sink to their normal position; but, 
while the sternum and the upper part of the chest 
generally are held raised upward and outward, by 
the combined action of the diaphragm and the 
abdominal myscles (abdominal respiration). * 

Although women make the respiratory movement 
more with the upper part of the chest, still they 
must, by exercises and a correct method, learn to 
use the lower ribs, the diaphragm and the abdom- 
inal muscles. 


The Necessity of Consciousness of the Diaphragm 
AND THE Abdominal Muscles. 

As I have been met countless times bv the question ** How am I 
to breathe by means of the diaphragm, wnen I have not the conscious- 
ness of the diaphragm, and do not in the least know by what means 
the diaphragm and the abdominal muscles are set into motion ? " I do 
not deem it at all superfluous to set down a special paragraph on this 

Exercise I, {For Consciousness of Diaphragm.)^ 

Lie down on the back, the head somewhat elevated ; 
put the lungs into the " state of readiness " (see Section 

* In my first American edition I left out this exercise because I was constantly 
told, " be brief, be brief to suit the American taste." Now, however, having been 
reproached by Americans, who know my German " Gymnastics of the Voice," for 
having left out so many matters, I add, among other things, this section, which occurs 
n the very first German edition of this work. 

rs6 Gymnastics of the Voicfi. 

3) ; for the better recognition of the matter lay the hand 
on the abdomen, and now, without allowing the upper 
portion of the chest to sink, emit the air slowly from the lungs, 
and it will be perceived by the slowly falling hand that 
the abdomen shrinks ; that is to say, the diaphragm relaxes 
from the contraction by which it pushed the abdomen 
outward ; and thus, pressing on the lungs, drives the air in 
them up and out. 

Inhale air again immediately and the hand will rise ; 
that is to say, the abdomen will be pushed out, as before. 
This is the result of the action of the diaphragm ; and by 
continued practice, interrupted by the necessary pauses, 
the consciousness of directing the diaphragm at will, will 
slowly be attained; for, although the diaphragm is an 
involuntary muscle, yet it can be, as we have learned in 
Part I, partially controlled by our will. 

Now practice the exercise in an erect position; and, 
while singing a tone, it will soon be perceived that (with- 
out action of the abdominal muscles) the sounding expira- 
tion brings about but a faint result. Now let the abdom- 
inal muscles assist ; contract them slowly, that is to say, 
press the abdomen inward while exhaling (and this can be 
done only by means of the abdominal muscles) ; exert a 
counter-pressure with the diaphragm which slowly sub- 
sides in proportion to the degree of pressure of the ab- 
dominal muscles, and it will be found that the effect is 
much stronger. (More in Section 9.) 

Another means of attaining consciousness of the 
action of the diaphragm in a short time, is to closely 
observe the manner of expiration while coughing. 
Coughing consists of a deep inspiration followed by- 
one or more successive powerful expiratory impulses. 
Every expiratory impulse is preceded by a move- 
ment (contraction) of two groups of muscles: one 
of the abdominal muscles, working from without in- 

Consciousness of Diaphragm. t57 

ward ; the other, of thef diaphragm, working from 
within outward* After th^ ^dntraistiori of these 
muscle-groups (the glottis remaining tightly clofied) 
has attained a certain degree of tension, the dia- 
phragm suddenly ceases its contraction, and the 
compressed air in the lungs is driven noisily through 
the forcibly opened glottis by the still greater con- 
traction of the abdominal muscles. This process is 
usually involuntary, but may be rendered completely 
voluntary. The noise (cough) is various. Accord- 
ing to its cause it will be strong, moderately strong, 
or weak ; and we find the contraction of the above 
muscles varying in the same degree. 

Exercise II. 

The pupil should practice the different degrees from weak 
to strong cough ^ whereby he will arrive at a consciousness 
of the diaphragm and its action, also of the abdominal 
muscles and their action, as will be described in the next 


The Diaphragm and Abdominal Muscles Usually 

Act Combined. 

After inspiration, that is, when the diaphragm has, 
by its contraction, pressed the intestines downward, 
thereby pushing the abdomen, forward and extend- 
ing the abdominal muscles, — then begins a slow 

is8 Gymnastics of the Voicfi. 

contraction of the abdominal muscles for the pur- 
pose of expiration, whereby the intestines are pushed 
upward. The diaphragm, by remaining in: a state 
of contraction, exerts, meanwhile, a counter-pressure. 

Upon the gradually increased contraction of the 
abdominal muscles (that is, the increased pressure 
of the abdominal muscles upon the abdominal vis- 
cera upward), follows a gradual relaxation of the 
contraction of the diaphragm, whereby a uniform 
pressure is exerted upon the lungs, and in conse- 
quence of which the air passes through the glottis 
in the same uniform way. This can be continued 
until a new inspiration becomes necessary ; in which 
case, then (either slowly or with lightning rapidity, 
according to necessity) the previous state of both 
groups of muscles is reproduced by the freshly in- 
spired aif, only to recommence their antagonistic 

The stronger the upward pressure of the abdom- 
inal muscles on the intestines and the slighter, 
relatively, the resistance offered by the diaphragm, 
the more rapidly the air will escape from the lungs. 
On the other hand, the feebler the pressure of the 
abdominal muscles and the slower the resistance of 
the diaphragm relaxes, the less rapidly will the air 
escape from the lungs. 

Diaphragm and Abdominal Muscles. 159 

The stronger the antagonistic action of the abdom- 
inal muscles and the diaphragm, the greater is the 
pressure on the air in the lungs, and the louder and 
more powerful the tone. 

If the antagonistic action of both these groups of 
muscles is in equilibrium, a cessation of expiration 
takes place. This is the case with the stutterer 
where the diaphragm sometimes falls into a state of 
spasmodic contraction which cannot be overcome 
by the abdominal muscles. 

This function of the diaphragm, to retard the 
escape of air, is supported by the ability of the vocal 
cords to approach at will, whereby the glottis is so 
diminished in size, that an impediment is offered to 
the escape of air. 

This antagonism of the two muscle-groups, the 
diaphragm against the abdominal muscles, admits 
of countless modifications, according to their respec- 
tive degrees of contraction, and is of the utmost 
importance. Without this arrangement, without this 
ability to quicken or retard the expiration at will, it 
would not be in the power of man to modulate the 
voice, or to speak successive words in one breath. 

The chest would collapse so rapidly, and the 
current of air escape so fast, that only one or two 

i6o Gymnastics of the Voicfi. 

sounds of equal strength could be uttered in quick 
succession. The expressio7t of feelings mainly dud 
to the various modifications of the expiration, would 
be impossible. 

This air-current, set in motion in the most diverse 
ways, weak or strong, interrupted or continuous, is 
the power by which are produced all sounds and 
noises that form the elements of voice in the larynx 
and pharynx, and in the nasal and oral cavities. 

From the foregoing we perceive that the action 
of the abdominal muscles directly promotes the 
phonetic expiration ; whilst that of the diaphragm 
operates indirectly, checking and regulating the up- 
ward pressure of the abdominal muscles. 

That the diaphragm may act in the above-men- 
tioned way, it is necessary that the lower ribs, which 
form its frame, should remain in the position they oc- 
cupied at the endoi the inspiration (raised outward) 
as long as possible ; because a quick relaxation of 
these ribs hinders the contraction of the diaphragm, 
without which the downward pressure against the 
intestines is impossible, or at best very limited. 

Diaphragmatic Breathing. i6i 


Correct Application of the Diaphragm and the 

Abdominal Muscles. 

It must be particularly noticed that we should 
work less with the muscles which pass vertically over 
the stomach (musculi recti)^ than with those which 
cover the sides (musculi transversi and external 
oblique and internal oblique). 

A painful pressure upon the stomach is expe- 
rienced when the musculi recti work much more than 
the musculi transversi and external and internal 
oblique; they should work less. We must have 
such a control over the diaphragm and the abdomi- 
nal muscles that the air can be emitted at will in any 

If we are asked to state more particularly whe7t it 
is best to apply side-breathing and when abdominal 
breathing, we should say : every tone-formation for 
lively and quick speech in light conversation and 
in song, is best attained by side-breathing, with the 
abdominal muscles strongly drawn in and held firm, 
^but every tone-formation for sustained and weighty 
speech, for heroic song, can succeed only when pro- 
duced by full abdominal respiration. 


1 62 Gymnastics of the Voice. 


Peculiar Phenomena During the Application of 
THE Diaphragm and Abdominal Muscles. 

Every one, who has learned this method of breath- 
ing, will, by exact observation of the rules and 
with a firm determination, be able to carry them 
out. Before long, however, it will strain him so 
much that he will begin to doubt whether he ever 
will be in a position to make this method second 
nature. But the scholar must not allow himself to 
be discouraged; for this strain results from three 
causes : 

1 . From being unaccustomed to make a more than 
ordinary use of these muscles.* 

2. From their over-exertion, as the scholar, having 
become convinced of the efficacy of this method, 
tries to arrive as quickly as possible at the desired 

3. From the occasional wrong application of the 
abdominal muscles; for the scholar, at first, will 
press upon the stomach more or less, since he uses 
the musculi recti too much and allows the lower rib? 
to sink, instead of keeping them firmly raised. 

* We have already learned in treating of the muscles, that it is only by the force of 
h^bit that they can De brought to WQrk with m9r9 tbjui ordinary activity. 

Diaphragmatic Breathing. 163 

These three causes can be removed only by long 
continued, careful, correct practice, interrupted by 
the necessary pauses. 

It must not be supposed that the mere knowledge 
of a method is sufficient for its application; for the 
application of a rule, practice, time and great per- 
severance are necessary. 


Inspiration to be Performed Noiselessly, and Visi- 


Loud breathing is not only unbecoming, but also 
destructive of the organs, especially the vocal cords. 
This can be explained by the following: We 
have already learned that in inspiration the glottis 
expands, while the larynx slightly sinks, and during 
expiration it contracts, while the larynx not only 
regains its former position, but rises still higher. 
This is so by nature, and, if we acted accordingly, 
many mistakes would be avoided. But there are 
»iany who in inspiration compress the glottis as 
much as it contracts in expiration, by falsely using 
the muscles of the larynx, thereby hindering the 
descent of the "larynx; this causes the disagreeable 

1 64 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

sound of the air brought into friction against the 
walls of the glottis (the vocal cords). 

This constantly recurring, forcible crowding 
through of the air produces dryness of the mucous 
membrane, even inflammation, whidh greatly 
hinders the formation of sound and not unfrequently 
leads to the total ruin of the vocal cords. 

It is necessary, therefore, to pay particular atten- 
tion that no incorrect muscular activity be developed, 
that the glottis, instead of being compressed, be 
widely opened, and the larynx be permitted to sink 
naturally. This will result if the air be inhaled only 
by means of the muscles of inspiration, the glottis 
regarded merely as a passage, and the vocal cords 
not used for muscles of inspiration. In this respect 
it is with the glottis as with the nose, when we 
breathe through the latter. 

Audible inspiration has also another cause. Most 
singers and speakers possess the fault of discharg- 
ing the air from the lungs entirely before inhaling 
fresh air. When the latter is done, it is impossible 
(except, perhaps, in the case of the most perfect 
orators and singers) to avoid making the inspiration 
audible and disturbing. 

To make inspiration inaudible, it is necessary that 
the aperture, through which the air is inhaled, be aa 

Inaudible InspiratioxV. 165 

large as possible, that the laiynx, and with it the 
root of the tongue, be drawn downward as far as 
possible, and the soft-palate raised. 

Through long practice this process can be exe- 
cuted with astonishing rapidity, as is absolutely 
necessary in quick singing and speaking. The 
ability to regulate the diaphragm at will, !s also 
necessary, because just as soon as the larynx sinks, 
the diaphragm contracts, and the abdomen is made 
to protrude. If we observe these rules, it is almost 
impossible to inspire audibly. 

The exercise, which the pupil will have to make 
in order to understand the foregoing and to be able 
to practice it by himself, will be as follows : 

Exercise for Inaudible Inspiration. 

Fill the lungs with air, then strike any particular tone, 
and prolong it, singing until all the air in the lungs has 
been exhausted. Now take a fresh, quick inspiration in- 
audibly, and go on at once with the same tone, and re- 
peat this several times, until a consciousness of the mus- 
cles involved in the operation is arrived at. The position 
assumed by the organs will soon become familiar. It will 
be perceived that the soft-palate has been quickly drawn 
upward, and that the root of the tongue and the larynx 
have been drawn downward, and that the diaphragm has 
contracted. These movements all take place spontane- 
ously ; the pupil has only to become conscious of them 
and to perfect them. 

Inaudible inspiration is a thing so important that 
too ^eat pains cannot be taken with its practice j 

1 66 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

and, with sufficient industry, what the pupil has 
deemed unattainable, will finally become second 

Through the inability to inspire inaudibly, the finest artistic 
achievements have fallen short of the attainable effect, and the 
greatest artists have lacked the hip^hest degree of perfection. Two 
of our most famous artistic celebrities were afflicted with the defect 
of audible inspiration, which they preserved to the last. And strange 
to say, even in these cases the world has held fate responsible for the 
defect. People say, " What an artist would this man be if that 
defect were only absent ! " which is like saying, ** If this man hadn't 
a hump ! " We cannot get rid of a hump, but we can of audible 
breathmg. In such cases, therefore, we ought not to bestow pity, 
but to express condemnation. It is the duty of the actor and the 
orator to learn how to use the vocal organs, and no one has a right 
to plead natural defects ; for, if they really exist, then such a person 
has no business to appear before the public. 

The failure to comply with what the foregoing 
pages have taught, produces results more or less 
unpleasant to the hearer ; the non-fulfilment of what 
is urged in the present section acts like a shaft which 
rebounds back to the breast of the archer ; for, be- 
sides the torment occasioned to the listener, the ruin 
of the vocal cords of the artist is the inevitable re- 
sult, and cases in which this does not occur must be 
looked upon as rare exceptions. 

In the heading of this section we have said that 
inspiration should be noticeable only as far as is 
absolutely necessary. This necessity presents itself 
to the concert singer less frequently than to the dra- 
matic singer or speaker. The concert singer must 
mainly strive for the production only of the most • 


Emotional Breathing. 167 

perfect tone-formation (which, as we' have seen, is 
attained chiefly by diaphragmatic and rib or side- 
breathing) ; whereas the dramatic actor must bring 
before the spectator's eyes, people in the most dif- 
ferent states of emotion. 

The outburst of emotion, however, whether 
powerful or weak, requires in nature a swelling of 
the breast (the seat of emotion), which becomes 
outwardly visible through the lungs filling themselves 
with air. This swelling of the breast should also be 
visible in dramatic acting; but let the scholar be 
careful not to attempt to accomplish this by raising 
the shoulders. This would be a movement which we 
have already expressly condemned. There should 
be an outward and forward movement of the breast, 
and the shoulders should be drawn slightly back, 
but not upward. The ordinary conversational tone 
in speech and song is produced by simple dia- 
phragmatic breathing (without visible motion of the 
breast) ; but every inward excitement, even when 
only very slight, is manifested at once by the activity 
of the breast, which becomes more marked as the 
excitement is greater. 

1 68 Gymnastics of the Voice. 


Cases in which the Breathing is Audible. 

There are cases in which audible breathing is not 
only permissible, but becomes a necessity. If, for 
instance, an oppressed chest seeks relief by a deep 
sigh, this is done with a loud and slow evacuation 
of the lungs. A person, after much walking or 
running, after extraordinary muscular exertion, will 
breathe audibly. A sudden fright checks breath- 
ing ; the renewed escape of air will be audible, A 
painful, loud, prolonged Oh I Ah I Yea ! Nay / will 
immediately after its formation change into perfect 
aspiration, and so close. We may also remark that 
the dramatic performer and orator requires tnuch 
more air than he would believe for such exclama- 
tions, if he desires to prevent their being weak and 
without effect. 

This fault is noticeable in all those who try to 
finish these exclamations with the small quantity of 
air which may have been left in the lungs, and who 
do not know that for such short exclamations, as 
well as for all others, the lungs must always previ- 
ously be put into a ** state of readiness." 

JLet U9 npw cpnsider $everc^l variations of breadth- 

Cases in Which Breatminc is Audible. 169 

ing, in which audible inspiration and expiration are 

They are the following: 

1 . Yawning. 

2. Sighing. 

3. Panting. 

4. Sniffing. 

5. Hawking. 

6. Aspirating. 

7. Snoring. 

8. Sobbing. 

9. Coughing. 

10. Sneezing. 

11. Loud laughter. 

12. Weeping. 

Through external causes, these variations appear 
of their own accord ; in art, however, where all out- 
ward causes are absent, and imagination must sup- 
ply their place, such changes are very difficult of 
production. Hence the unnatural laughter and 
weeping of beginners on the stage, and even of 
actors who have been on the stage for many years. 
// iSy therefore^ absolutely necessary to learn the 
physiological process required in these modifications 
of breathing. 

176 GvMNAstlcs OP tHE Voice. 

1 . Yawning consists in a deep and long inspira- 
tion, followed sometimes by a short, often by a long, 
loud expiration. The mouth, as well as the glottis, 
must be opened widely. 

2. Sighing is a slow, deep, and often intermissive 
inspiration, taking place usually through the mouth, 
frequently, also, through the nose, followed by a long, 
slow, at times trembling, and audible expiration. 

3. Panting is a short, violent inspiration and ex- 

4. Sniffing Q,ovi^\?\s> in short and rapidly succeeding 
inspirations through the nose, while the mouth is 
kept closed by the tightly compressed lips. 

5. Hawking results when we drive air quickly and 
powerfully through the glottis, partly with opdn, 
partly with closed mouth. It is produced by slow 
expiration; oftener, however, by jerks. 

6. Aspirating is a hollow, monotonous and gentle 
expiration through the mouth, either slow or coming 
in short puffs. 

7. Snoring results from a vibfation of the soft- 
palate in inspiration and expiration through the 
mouth. It can also be produced by breathing 
through the nose, the mouth remaining closed, but 
not as easily, and certainly not as loud, as the other 

Cases in Which BREATHiNci is Audible, ijri 

way. It IS less a modification of breathing than an 
attendant noise. 

8. Sobbing consists in a cramped contraction of 
the . diaphragm which shakes the whole body and 
allows itself to be heard at varying intervals through 
one or more quickly following noises. The noise 
itself is produced in the glottis by inspiration, which 
takes place quickly. 

9. Coughing is the result of one deep inspiration 
followed by one or more impulsive expirations in 
succession, as has been fully stated in Sec- 
tion 8. This process is usually involuntary ; it can, 
however, be brought about quite voluntarily. 

10. S^^^-S"/;/^ consists in a quick, deep inspiration, 
followed, usually, by a very powerful expiration 
sounding like the combination ts. This expiration 
represents the actual sneeze. Directly before this 
expiration the nasal cavities are closed by the con- 
tact of the soft-palate with the posterior wall of the 
throat, and they are opened again with the expira- 
tion. The muscles of the face are drawn together 
in the region of the nose and eyes more or less ac- 
cording to circumstances, and resume their original 
position with the expiration. 

11. Loud laughter and weeping diVe the most diffi- 
cult to produce without external causes, and it 

i;5 Gymnastics 6f the Voice. 

requires long practice to attain a certain degree of 
perfection. Most actors laugh and cry unnaturally 
on the stage ; that is to say their laugh does not 
originate as it does in nature. Laughing consists 
in sounding expirations, which, broken off short, 
succeed one another quickly or • in slower tempo ; 
it always, however, originates in a shaking of the 
diaphragm, which must be more marked as the 
laugh is more violent. We justly say, " My sides 
shook with laughter." The sides can be made to 
shake, however, only by means of the diaphragm. 
Therefore, we call an unnatural laugh, which is not 
brought about by shaking the diaphragm, a laryn- 
geal laugh; since it is produced principally by a 
continued monotonous opening and closing of the 

In laughing, expiration goes on with quickly suc- 
ceeding narrowing and widening of the glottis; 
at every narrowing there ensues a jerky noise 
which derives that quality from the action of the 
diaphragm. If we desire suddenly to stop violent 
laughter, we have only to close the glottis, /. ^., to 
hold back the breath ; but if the desire to laugh is 
too violent, and the closed glottis can no longer 
restrain expiration, there invariably results a sudden 
expulsion of the air which will drive the lips apart 

The Air not to be Aspirated. 173 

and thus cause a loud noise. Commonly speaking, 
we call this ** bursting out." 

12. Weeping consists in inspiration and expira- 
tion ; the first takes place quickly and deeply, the 
second slowly and in jerks with narrowed glottis. 
The expiration is the real weeping, and is frequently 
interrupted by fresh inspirations. Yet the inspira- 
tion can be slow and deep and the expiration quick, 
according to circumstances. 


The Air not to be Aspirated during Pronation. 

In the formation of a sound (in the beginning as 
well as in its duration) no wild air — that is, air not 
brought into permanent vibration, — should be au- 
dible. Herein many singers, and actors especially, 
fail. The remedy for it will be found in the follow- 
ing exercises : 

Exercises for the Singer. 

The pupil, after bringing the lungs to the "state of 
readiness," should produce a tone with the vowel A firm 
and decided, with the full closure of the glottis ( " direct 
attack," see beginning of Part II) ; but piano, and with- 
out any pressure upon the vocal cords. The tone, at 
first short, should be frequently repeated and somewhat 
prolonged each time, special care being taken that it 
shoula not begin with an h, and that there should be nc' 
aspiration during its continuance. 

174 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

Having gone through this exercise for a time, he should 
now attempt to sing the scale within an octave, but no 
longer, as before, giving each tone separately, but, on the 
contrary, seeking to combine the tones ("indirect 
attack'*), and still without aspirating. Not being per- 
mitted to exhale more air than is necessary, he will be 
under the necessity of keeping the vocal cords in the 
proper tension, and, in a general way, of increasing the 
activity of the muscles, by which an aspirated tone will 
be less possible. These exercises should all be performed 
pianoy and only when the pupil has acquired a pretty full 
control of the vocal cords, should there be any attempt 
to pass over to crescendo. 

Exercises for the Speaker. 


Pronounce a short sentence (a line) in one tone ; begin 
with the lungs quite full, and after each syllable take as 
much breath (quick and inaudible) as was required for the 
preceding syllable, so that the lungs shall always be in a 
" state of readiness." The replenishing of the lungs, in 
this quiet and slow manner, after each syllable, is intended 
to bring abdominal breathing fully to our consciousness, 
and to make the necessary muscular movements our 
second nature. Each syllable being pronounced with 
full lungs and with careful avoidance of aspiration, the 
tone will gradually become sonorous, and in this way the 
pupil will most readily accustom his ear to recognize 
metallic quality and clearness in tones. When the pupil 
has for a time pronounced the sentence in this manner, 
he should start afresh with a slight change, reproducing 
now half the sentence without taking breath, but pro- 
nouncing the syllables as he did before, when he took^ 
breath after each, so that the syllables shall all be uttered 
singly and in the same tone. When this has been done 
for a time, he should proceed a step farther, uttering the 
whole sentence in ope breath, but still continuing to 
syllabicate ; and, finally, he should utter the whole sen- 
tence in one breath, not syllabically but rhetorically, aU 

ways b^ing careful not to aspirate, 

The Air not to be Aspirated 175 

The pupil should, in addition, make the following 
exercise : utter the whole sentence in the manner of the 
chromatic scale; that is, begin with a high tone and 
descend a half tone with each syllable; and having 
reached the end of the sentence, repeat it in like manner 
but with each syllable ascending a half tone, his whole 
attention being directed toward maintaining the correct 
position of the vocal cords, as has been described in 
treating of chest-tones ; that is to say, he ought always to 
have that sensation in the larynx which he has when utter- 
ing a vowel sound (A', for example) with the spiritus lenis 
and not with the spiritus asper (Aah). By this exercise 
the voice will be fitted for every modulation. 

The pupil should perform these exercises within the 
compass possessed by his voice. If, for example, this 
embraces ten tones, he should first utter the whole sen- 
tence with all its variations in the lowest tone without any 
pressure either of the inner (intrinsic) or of the outer 
(extrinsic) muscles of the larynx ; he should then do the 
same thing with the next tone, then with the third, and 
so on until he reaches the limit of his compass. 

The scholar should here be particularly warned 
against the attempt to give the tone too great 
strength and fulness in vocal exercises. If he 
does this he either presses upon the larynx or 
squeezes the vocal cords together ; and the tone be- 
comes raw, hoarse and full of mannerisms. With- 
out the least pressure he should form the tone very 
softly, strengthening it gradually ; for only long and 
careful practice, not forced expulsion of air, can add 
strength aqd fyln^ss to the tope, 

176 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

section ib. 

Path Traversed by the Sounding Air-Column. 

The air, which has been expelled from the langs 
through the glottis and set into sounding motion by 
the vocal cords, acquires — on account of the mani- 
fold reflection which it constantly undergoes on the 
way from the epiglottis along the walls of the 
pharynx and the oral cavity, according to physical 
laws — the same curves and the same dimensions 
which this canal shows in itself; its direction, there- 
fore, is decided by the position of the walls, between 
which it takes its course. Apart from the natural 
walls of this canal the form of the sound-waves de- 
pends also on the position of the larynx (higher or 
lower), on that of the root of the tongue as well as of 
the tongue generally, and also on the position of the 
soft-palate ; and they are thereby induced to strike 
with greater intensity in some places than in others. 

Let us take, for example, three such points and 
mark them in our explanation : ayb^c ; a is the 
point where the posterior nasal orifices (posterior 
nares) are situated; that .is, the pharyngo-nasal 
cavity ; b is the soft-palate, and c the hard-palate 
at the roots of the upper incisors. 

As the timbre (that is the real quality of a tone) 

Path of the Sounding Air-Column. 177 

of the sounding air-column depends more or less 
upon the condition of the walls (harder or softer, 
drier or moister) upon which it impinges, each one 
of these points, a, 6, c, might cause another timbre, 
because each offers in part at least a different kind 
of wall. 

If the column of sound strikes with greater in- 
tensity on point a (the pharyngo-nasal cavity), we 
obtain the so-called nasal tone. 

irthe column of sound strikes with particular in- 
tensity upon b (the soft-palate), the sound is full 
but dully and is permissible only where a dull color- 
ing of the tone is absolutely necessary. (See "Tim- 
bre," page 66.^ 

But in cases where the palatal tone is to be got- 
ten rid of, the point b is of the utmost importance, 
as a confirmed palatal-tone singer can only rid him- 
self of the palatal tone by directing the sounding 
air-column upon this point. 

If, through the position of the larynx and situa- 
tion of the tongue, the canal is so formed that the 
sound-column strikes with more intensity on point c 
(the hard-palate at the roots of the upper incisors), 
the sound will be clear and possess the qualities of 

the best tone to be derived from these vocal organs. 


178 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

Here, therefore (to express it popularly), will be the 
right " touch." 

The singer, as well as the orator, requires much 
study to be able to guide the sound-column just to 
this point. He can readily determine whether or not 
he has directed the sound-column to this point by 
observing if at this spot a slight sensation^ not un- 
like a cool breathy is produced. 

This manipulation must not be considered very 
difficult. The Creator has given us such Vocal 
organs that in their normal condition, that is, if we 
do not misuse the organs, the air-column always 
strikes with greater intensity against the roots of the 
upper incisors than it does agairtst any other point 
without any exertion on our part ; and only under 
falsely developed conditions or through a passion 
for achieving something extraordinary, do we change 
the position of the organs and induce a false 
" touch " and, consequently, an incorrect sound. 

If we correctly pronounce the vowel A\ we have 
already the proper tone, for this is nothing else 
than the correct sound of the vowel A ; as, in fact, 
correct tone-formation depends solely on the right 
formation of the vowels. 

Only when we can form a clear, correct A (as in 
far^ are wd able to pronounce with ease, and with- 

Path of the Sounding Air-Column. 1^9 

out depriving the sound of its purity and fulness, 
every other vowel withjthe same clearness, although 
the position of the tongue and larynx is different 
from that in -^'; for the slight changes in the posi- 
tion of some of the organs, which are necessary in 
song in the case of certain vowels, are easily learned 
with a little attention. For instance, that with A 
(hay) and E (he) the larynx must be lower, and the 
root of the tongue be pushed somewhat forward 
and downwardy so that the sounds produced with 
these vowels are not too thin and pointed. 

The purity awd the accuracy of A are the princi- 
pal requisites for speech and song. If we are not 
able to form a pure A\ it is impossible to acquire a 
correct tone ; without a correct formation of sound, 
however, there can be no correct song. We may, 
therefore, justly say that, as a correct A is the foun- 
dation of all vowels, the correct formation of sound 
is the foundation of song. 

The hard-palate consists, as its name implies, of 
a hard, the soft-palate, of a soft mass. The " touch" 
of the air-column on the third point, c, will, there- 
fore, lend to the sound more metal and hardness; 
that on the second point, b, more tenderness. 

The moving the "point of touch" forward or 
backward, is left to the judgment of the singer or 

i8o Gymnastics of the Voice. 

speaker who has, in fact must have, the power to 
determine the course of the air-column, so that it 
shall strike with greater intensity on this or that 
spot. The nearer the ** point of touch " is brought 
from c backward to ^ by a sinking of the larynx, 
the softer, but also the more obscure, does the tone 
become ; and the farther forward it moves from b to 
^, by raising the larynx, the sharper and clearer do 
we find the tone. 

If the ** point of touch " goes beyond Cy the tone 
becomes shrill and completely a dental tone, 


Position and Attack. 

We have substituted these terms as the nearest to expressing the 
German Ansatz and Einsatz. 

Until recently, opinions varied greatly concerning 
the signification of the words position (preparatory 
grouping of the muscles of the larynx for the pro- 
duction of a tone) and attack (the beginning of the 
tone). Lately, however, Dr. Carl Stoerk, of Vienna, 
has furnished new and interesting information, at 
least in regard to position. In a pamphlet entitled 
** Speaking and Singing," published in Vienna, 1881, 
he treats this subject in so excellent a manner, that 
it would be futile for us to try to present it in a more 

Position and Attack. i8i 

interesting way. We will, therefore, let Professor 
Stoerk speak in his own words : 

"Whenever conversation turns on phonetics, singing 
teachers or pupils, the word position is always heard men- 
tioned. This word is often mere empty sound ; its signi- 
fication appears lost in obscurity. Students, as well as 
teachers, fondly fancy to possess a peculiar, particular 
position. As often as a pupil changes his master he says : 
* I have now got a ne:w position.* Position and attack seem 
closely allied conceptions, and yet each is quite different 
from the other. By position we understand a peculiar 
grouping of the muscles of the larynx in the throat, in 
order to give the larynx a certain position in which it can 
produce the desired phonetic result. A singer has 2i posi- 
tion and so has a speaker. The whisper of an actor is 
quite different frpm that of an ordinary person. Just so 
an actor, who has spoken loudly for a number of hours, 
must have a dSSsx^nX, position from that of one not required 
to perform such a task. If a person sees a heavy load 
approaching him, he must, in order to keep it off or force 
it back, cause a certain group of muscles to enter into 
action with a certain amount of power ; that is to say, he 
puts himself on guard. This we know from experience. 
We know from practice which group of muscles to put into 
action, and with what degree of energy in any given case. 
These explanations may be applied to the larynx in regard 
to the so-called position. That is to say, the larynx, with 
its muscles, must so place itself that it rests in the correct 
position for a certain manifestation of power. There is a 
good and a bad position. The good is that in which only 
those muscles necessary for the intended tone-production 
are employed. 

i82 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

" We know that the larynx descends for deep tones and 
ascends for high ones. A certain degree of position has 
then been conferred on man by nature. Strange to say, 
there are singing teachers who allege that they have made 
the larynxes of their pupils quite independent of phona- 
tion for ascending and descending. How does the nor- 
mal position look ? For the position of the deep and chest- 
notes, where the object is to have the greatest possible 
number of muscles act and to effect a rounding of the 
larynx, not a square stretching of frame, let it be so 
placed that, if possible, it be exactly held in that position 
in which it ordinarily lies. The correct grouping and 
holding of all these muscles, which must have a firm ten- 
sion, constitute a coxxQci position, 

" There is still another thing necessary, however. When, 
for instance, a person grows fatigued in one set of mus- 
cles — ^let us say the inner muscles of the larynx, — this 
deficiency must be covered by the action of other muscles. 
If it be conceived that every movement of a muscle is 
not the result of the contraction of one muscle alone, but 
of the combined contraction of several groups of muscles, 
then it will be understood how phonation is brought about 
by the action of a number of muscles. All these muscles 
must act simultaneously, and when one of them grows 
tired another must be all the more tensely drawn. 

" If we look with the laryngoscope into the larynx 
while it is set for chest-notts, as Fig. XXXII shows, then 
the larynx must be broadly stretched, the false vocal cords 
more tense than the true, the soft-palate drawn up so that 
only a part of the air is carried into the nose, and the 
muscles of the throat lie close to the sides ; this is the 
correct position for a normal chest-voice. At the moment 
of exhaustion, the muscles, which reach to the tongue 

Position and Attack. 


for the support of the larynx, rise, and at the instant 
when the correct tension is produced, the arches advance 
a little. There are persons, however, who always have 
this tension; that is to say, they sing with a wrong 

" In falsetto singing the arrangement is, of course, an 
entirely different one. The frame of the larynx is here 
more oval (Fig, XXXIII). The miiscles, from the larynx 
to the sternum, must be more tense, as also those imbed- 
ded in the arches ; a free space must be left toward the 
central line, as in falsetto voice the correct position is to 
have the soft-palate quite drawn up, the larynx elevated 
and the resonator shortened. Were the palate not closed 
the tone would not be carried to a distance. To prevent 
this, the soft-palate rises and the arches approach each 
Other. If this does not happen there is a wrong action 
of the organs ; the position is incorrect. Through the 
soft-palate not being drawn up, a nasal tone would be 

" In normal singers, fatigue is often the effect of wrong 
position. An overtired singer will give forth a pinched 

1 84 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

tone. Normally, the space, which I have designated as a 
canal from the larynx to the lips, is open. When the 
singer grows tired, however, he narrows this space by 
elevation of the tongue and sinking of the epiglottis, 
whereby sufficient room for free exit of the air isno longer 
given ; the air is, so to say, pressed together. 

" This state of affairs, which in normal singers ensues 
only when they are fatigued, is with others quite a com- 
mon thing. Such persons have a Yfxong position J^ 

In regard to attack, Prof. Stoerk tells us nothing 
new, — nothing that we have not already learned in 
this book, or will yet learn in Section XXI, that is : 
The note must sound forth instantaneously at the 
correct pitch and without any previous aspiration; 
hence not as spiritus asper (h), but as spiritus lenis, 
(See beginning of Part II.) No more pressure 
of the muscles must be applied than the desired 
tone requires, be it in piano, forte, or mezza voce. 
This the singer must learn to do, and then we say he 
has a correct attack. This can be acquired only by 
a good ear, which will contribute greatly to its per- 
feet development. 


How TO Increase the Compass of the Voice. 

A belief still prevails among pupils and teachers — 
especially among piano teachers who, without any 

How TO Increase the Compass. 185 

knowledge of the human voice, but simply because 
they can perform on the piano, pretend also to be 
able to give instruction in vocal music — that it is 
possible to alter the compass of the voice at will, 
to make it ascend or descend in the scale, 
according to one's desire. This belief is the ruin of 
many a voice which, with proper training, might 
have achieved fine results. 

Nature has provided every human being with vocal 
organs ; but the structure of these organs varies in 
different persons ; the vocal cords being longer or 
shorter, the larynx larger or smaller, the air-passages 
more or less elastic, and the resounding walls of the 
passages stronger or weaker. 

If it is sought to increase somewhat the compass 
of the voice, especially to increase the upward range, 
then the only way to do this is for the pupil to make 
the sumof the tones which he can readily produce and 
can properly designate as the compass of his voice, 
the exclusive subject of his study ; to cultivate these 
tones alone, with a correct method. Only in this 
way will the vocal cords gradually acquire increased 
elasticity^ extensibility and /t?ze/^r of vibration, — quali- 
ties which are the essential condition of the forma- 
tion of high tones. 

If the teacher fails to examine closely the natural 

1 86 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

compass of the voice, but, on the contrary, en- 
deavors from the start, without any previous exer- 
cise of the tones that can be readily produced, to 
forcibly increase the compass in its upward range, 
then the ruin of the voice is certain. No forcing is 
permissible in the exercises ; and it is an error to 
suppose that anything can be gained by hurry- 
ing on the instruction. The vocal organs can only 
by slow degrees be brought to produce the desired 

If the voice has been thoroaghl^ trained within its natural compass, 
the pnpU wil perceive with surprise and delight that its compass has 
actually been mcreased, without anything special having been done 
toward this object, and that the acquired tones, few though Uiey be, 
can be produced just as easily as the old ones. 

The tones thus freshly won should be incorporated 

in the regular exercises, special care being taken in 


exercising them, and they should be made uniform 
with the rest 


Inspiration to be Performed Completely and at 

THE Right Time. 

It is possible to expel all the air from bellows, but 
the lungs, which we can compare to bellows in regard 
to inspiration and expiration, differ from these in so 

far that no full expiration can ever take place, ThQ 

Inspiration at the Right Time. 187 

art of singing and even speaking requires that much 
less air be drawn from the lungs than they can give. 

In an organ or other similar instrument the stock 
of air must never be entirely exhausted in playing ; 
in like manner during continued activity of our 
vocal organs, we must retain a certain amount of 
air, so that we may at any time produce any required 
degree of respiratory pressure. Toward the extreme 
end of an expiration the strength of the air-current 
diminishes considerably ; by waiting until this occurs, 
the lack of breath requires an inspiration, which, 
being longer than the desired duration, produces 
perhaps, an inappropriate pause in singing or 

As we do not, like the organ instruments, possess 
several bellows for filling our lungs .of which one 
maintains the air-current during the inactivity of the 
others, it is necessary to refill the lungs with air at 
every favorable moment of rest, before they have 
been completely emptied. 

The want of several bellows is supplied in the 
human vocal organs by their ability (unlike every 
artificial instrument) to produce great effects with 
the smallest quantity of air. 

Many believe that perfection in rhetoric consists 
in speaking as long as possible, without renewing the 

1 88 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

air in the lungs, or, as it is generally called, speak- 
ing with one breath. This remark applies also to 
singing. They, therefore, take great pride in over- 
looking all commas, or, frequently, also other marks 
of punctuation, and in speaking two or three lines 
of the most diverse thoughts, or singing several dif- 
ferent passages, without inspiring once^ as they boast- 
ingly say. 

This is entirely false. Long breath is undoubt- 
edly of great importance, but only in passages in 
which inspiration cannot take place without inter- 
rupting the thought; in calm speech, which requires 
little consumption of air, it is also permitted to 
inspire less ; that means less frequentl>\ In all im- 
passioned or emphatic speech and song, however, it 
is ^^ first rule to inspire as often as the thought per- 
mits. This is an absolute necessity^ for violent speech 
requires much more air than calm speech. 

But apart from this, it is necessary for the simple 
reason that with constantly renewed breath the 
thought becomes more clearly defined, for expres- 
sion depends not only upon the words, but also upon 
the coloring of the tone, and the singer or speaker 
would never succeed in making very perceptible 
distinctions with one inspiration. By repeated 
inspiration, the lungs being always, even after the 

Inspiration at the Right Time. 189 

slightest thought, put into the *' state of readiness," 
the sound will be powerful, clear and metallic; 
whereas the strongest man, with fully developed 
lungs, by speaking much with one inspiration, will 
express only the first part of the sentence clearly 
and purely, while the latter part will be lacking in 
metal, purity and strength. 

If, for instance, we express the following thoughts : 
" Oh^ this woman ! What did I say ? Have you 
seen her?'' — and we speak this, as is frequently 
done, with one inspiration, we shall clearly perceive 
that the beginning of the last thought, ** Have you, 
etc.," is less clear and pure, and the end consider- 
ably weaker and less metallic than the commence- 
ment, " Oh, this woman / " 

If, however, we say, " Oh, this woman .^" (short 
inspiration) " What did I say ? " (short inspiration, 
so that the lungs always return to the "state of 
readiness ") and then, ^^ Have you seen her?'' the last 
sentence will have the same coloring, the same 
power, the same metal, as the first. 

It will be readily understood, from what we have 
said, that these inspirations must be neither audible 
nor visible. 

We must also remember that it is not only neces- 
sary to inspire frequently, but to inhale sufficient air 

I90 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

with each inspiration. This is of great importance. 
If, by one inspiration, we do not bring sufficient 
air into the lungs, we shall have less in the next, 
still less in the following, etc. ; and, in consequence, 
we shall be compelled to take a long, rapid inspira- 
tion (requiring much more time than the thought 
permits, sometimes even in the midst of a sentence) 
and make our breathing audible and unpleasant. 

To prevent this, every inspiration, the shortest as 
well as the longest, must supply the lungs with as 
much air as the speaker has consumed in the pre- 
ceding sentence; or, as this would be difficult to 
determine, to speak more plainly : the lungs, after 
every sentence, even if this consists of but two words, 
must be brought to the " state of readiness," as has 
been said in Section 3. 

Particular attention should be paid to the strict 
observance of this last rule, for the non-observance 
or superficial application of the same is the cause of 
so many imperfections in rhetoric and in song, in 
regard to breathing. 

The singer or speaker should, immediately after 
finishing a phrase, be it long or short (slowly in a 
long pause, rapidly in a short one), inaudibly bring 
the lungs to the ** state of readiness ; " and, if utter- 
ance is resumed after a few seconds, he should retain 

" Inspiration at the Right Time. 191 

the air until then ; but if a somewhat longer pause 
(not, however, permitting a positive rest) occurs, he 
should keep the lungs fully supplied by drawing 
short, inaudible inspirations with expanded chest, 
by means of the diaphragm (the feeblest inspiration 
will suffice if made frequently). 

In this way, he will be enabled to breathe without 
permitting the air contained in the lungs to escape 
entirely, as is done in a full expiration. If he now 
begins a new sentence, after having kept the air- 
receivers constantly filled, he avoids the unbecoming, 
visible and audible " preparation " by which, as it 
must be performed rapidly, head, shoulders and 
chest are moved in an unsightly manner. 

We have spoken of a slow and a rapid inspiration. 
Special attention must be called to this rapid in- 
spiration which we term the *' short *' one, and which 
is of the utmost importance in song and speech. We 
may attain in this such a point of perfection that 
after every comma, even if this is repeated after 
every two or three words, it may with the greatest 
advantage be applied in rapid speech. It naturally 
requires much practice, but we can and must succeed. 

Without the ability to make at will this " short " 
hispiration, which must always be inaudible, it is 
simply impossible to take part in a lively dialogue, 

192 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

as by taking a deeper and slower inspiration, an 
involuntary pause (if ever so small) would check the 
flow of speech, and lessen considerably the vivacity 
of the dialogue. This rapid inspiration must, there- 
fore, be practiced carefully, and must by no means 
be audible or visible. 

Much time will usually elapse before the speaker 
acquires the ability to refill the lungs immediately 
after having completed a sentence, for his thoughts 
are generally still occupied with the just-completed 
sentence, and he forgets to inspire immediately. 

Only by continued practice will this become second 
nature^ and it will be impossible for him to speak 
without this shorty rapid inspiration. 

Many, who have understood the necessity of 
frequent inspiration, make, however, the following 
mistake : As soon as they have completed a sentence, 
they close the mouth tightly, compress the lips, and 
then inspire through the nose ; in consequence of 
this there results a noise like that of audible sniffing. 
This is just as incorrect as the audible inspira- 
tion through the contracted glottis. 

We remarked at the beginning of this section, that 
a long breath is of great importance in passages 
where taking breath wpulcj disturb the expression 

Inspiration at the Right Time. 193 

of the thought. We shall explain this more fully by 
means of a few examples. 

There are moments in which a deeply-excited per- 
son is too much affected to contain himself suf- 
ficiently to follow the slow succession of words; he 
gives vent to his feelings in mute actions, then 
gestures, postures, glances precede the words as the 
lightning does the thunder. 

There are cases, however, in which a person, car- 
ried away by excitement, suddenly recalls all the 
required expressions. Words rush to his lips as 
quickly as thoughts originate in his mind; both 
arise instantaneously, and follow each other without 
an interval. 

The utterance of the actor or orator should, in 
this case, be compressed, produced hastily, as if 
with one outburst, but he must avoid giving the 
public the impression of exertion, by being sud- 
denly forced to draw a long breath. Drawing a 
long breath always is a means of rest, which, done 
at an improper point, subdues the fire of the 
moment and destroys its effect. If, for instance, 
the actor representing Shakespeare's Shylock, in 
Act III, Scene i, where he addresses Salarino, say- 
ing, — ^^Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew 
hands, organs, dimensions^ senses, affections, pas- 


194 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

sionsf should wish to take breath after each 
comma, or even only once, the extraordinary 
gradation of passion contained in these words 
would be utterly destroyed. In this and similar 
cases it is absolutely necessary to command a long, 
powerful and effective breath, if we wish to give full 
expression to the thought and produce the greatest 
possible effect. 

Passion does not always yield to the rules of 
grammar ; it does not always stop where grammar 
requires; it has usually no regard for periods, 
commas, etc. ; it omits or transfers them according 
to the irregularity of its outbursts. 

To be fully able to represent this artistically, 
a complete mastery of the respiratory organs is 
absolutely necessary. Only then, as far as regards 
strength and power in expenditure of air, will the 
orator be able to produce an effect like to that of the 
roaring whirlwind, or the soft, gentle breathing of 
the zephyr.* 

When Shylock, continuing, says : ^^Fed with the 
same foody hurt with the same weapons y subject to the 
same diseases^ healed by the same meanSy warmed 
and cooled by the same winter and summer y as a 

* Artists like Salvini and Rossi, whom the author lately saw and admired, ax« ex-^ 
vnples of this imagery. 

Breathing after an Impassioned Phrase. 195 

Christian is ; " in this case the actor should make a 
short, rapid inspiration after every comma (with the 
exception of the last before **as a Christian''), 

For only by means of these short and rapid in- 
spirations can these lines be spoken fluently and 
with the requisite fervor and rapidity. Long in- 
spirations in this case would destroy the wonderful 
rhetorical construction which Shakespeare has 

It naturally requires a long time to become such 
an adept in the practice of this short and rapid 
inspiration as to make its application appear second 
nature. The shorty quick inspiration is accomplished 
by side-breathing ; the slow inspiration by abdominal 

When the lungs have become somewhat strained by singing, the 
best way to refresh them is to make a few successive respirations 
faster than usual. 


Breathing after an Impassioned Phrase. 

Most speakers and singers, on coming to the end 
of an impassioned passage in like impassioned man- 
ner, fill their lungs again visibly and audibly. This 
is altogether wrong. 

There may, indeed, be situations where to make 
a quick and audible inspiration is not only permissi- 

196 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

ble, but necessary (as, for example, in the expres- 
sion of anger or rage, or in a comic position), but in 
general the rule must be observed to make slow and 
deep inspirations. • 

Breathing while the Body is in any Position. 

When a person has finished an impassioned locu- 
tion, and the body has for a moment assumed an 
expectant or defiant attitude, he, as a general thing, 
retains the breath while that posture lasts (of course, 
only if the duration be short). But in art it is dif- 
ferent. While it should seem as though the breathy 
like every member of the frame ^ up to the muscles of 
the facey were perfectly stilly the actor should fill the 
lungs welly slowly y inaudibly and invisibly (employ- 
ing that method of respiration best conforming to 
the momentary position of his frame), in order to. 
have the lungs in a "state of readiness" for his next 
utterance, so that he should appear to have enough 
air in the lungs for any expiratory movement. 

In those cases in which the body has assumed a 
decided, fixed posture, and it is sought to retain it 
for a time in this position as firm and immovable as 
possible, and where a long and deep inspiration, a 
prolonged retention of the breath and a complete 


Exhale no more Air than Necessary. 197 

expiration are necessary, then the position of the 
body will determine the mode of respiration to be 
resorted to — whether abdominal j shoulder or side- 
breathings or a combination of these movements. For 
the attitude of the frame, previous to respiration, 
will permit certain portions of the lungs to expand 
more freely than others ; that is to say, to become 
more easily filled with air, so that the mode of res- 
piration is thereby determined to a greater or less 


Not more Air to be Exhaled than is Absolutely 


It is astonishing with how little air man may pro- 
duce sounds, and that the sounds, produced with 
little air (if the vocal cords are in normal condition) , 
are the finest in piano or in forte y because too much 
air imparts to the tone a hoarseness, frequently a 
screeching sound, and both these qualities destroy 
the tone. 

If the rule, to produce a great effect with little air, 
must be generally observed, it is especially necessary 
where the utterance is rapid and forcible ; here it is 
necessary to speak, as it were, with diminished con- 
sumption of breath, that is, here we must scrupu- 

198 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

lously observe the principle to expire only as much 
air as is absolutely necessary. 

It is especially important to confine ourselves to a 
small consumption of air, if we wish to change from 
a chest to a falsetto tone (be it in singing or 
speaking) . 

In such cases, that the transition may not be 
unpleasantly audible, we use but a small quantity of 
air ; in fact it is in this way only that the transition 
can be made aesthetically. 

The slow emission of air from the lungSy for 
phonetic purposes, is effected by permitting the 
feeling of expansion, produced in the lower chest 
and in the abdominal muscles by a full inspiration, 
to gradually subside ; that is to say, by keeping the 
upper chest immovable^ by allowing the contracted 
lower external intercostals (see page 36), which 
raise the ribs, to slowly relax, also allowing the con- 
tracted diaphragm to gradually relax ; and by the 
slow contraction — which begins simultaneously — 
of the lower internal intercostals (see page 36), 
which draw the ribs down, and of the abdominal 
muscles, especially the musculi transversi (see Fig. 
XIII, Cy d), which draw back the abdomen. In 
addition to the foregoing, the emission of inspired 
air is made slow by diminishing the opening of the 

Breathing Through the Nostrils. 199 

glottis, as much as possible, but without pressing 
the vocal cords together. On the other hand, by 
the rapid sinking of the ribs, the quick yielding 
of the diaphragm, the immediate relaxation of the 
vocal cords and the sudden widening of the glottis, 
the air is at once expelled from the lungs, as we 
have learned in Section 7. 

Breathing Through the Nostrils, 

Breathing through the nostrils is very essential, 
because not only is this less noticeable than breath- 
ing through the mouth (with which we inhale usu- 
ally less air than by means of the nostrils), but it 
has also the advantage of not drying the mucous 
membrane of the oral cavity, the entrance to the 
throat, the throat itself and the vocal cords, as the 
frequent inspiration through the mouth is apt to do. 
And the moisture of these parts is one of the most 
importa7tt qualities required in originating a tone. 

Every singer or speaker should, therefore, breathe 
as far as possible through the nose, and should make 
use of every opportunity that presents itself for do- 
ing so. But where is there such an opportunity? 
Wherever he has two or three seconds* time, which is 
quite ample for a full inspiration. 

200 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

But in inspiring through the nose, we should not 
move the muscles as though we wished to smell ; 
this checks the air which is to be inhaled, and be- 
comes unpleasantly audible. Inspiration should be 
performed solely with the inspiratory muscles (the 
diaphragm and the external intercostals), the nostrils 
to be used only as openings for the passage of the 
air. We should also be careful not to compress the 
lips, while inspiring through the nostrils. Compress- 
ing the lips tightly reduces the opening of the nostrils, 
whereby inspiration is rendered infinitely more diffi- 
cult, and a noise is produced as in audible smelling. 

With regard to the health, breathing through the nostrils is also of 
the greatest importance. Those who are especially interested in this, 
should read Catlin's " Shut Your Mouth. " 


Time and Duration of the Exercises. 

I propose the following method of exercise, which many years* ex- 
perience with my pupils has shown to be attended with excellent 
results : 

Having risen in the morning and refreshed the 
body, or at least the neck and the bust, with a cold 
ablution (or taken a bath in summer), the pupil 
should dress, not too heavily or too tightly, and per- 
form a quarter of an hour's bodily exercise, as has 
been described in Part I, with the proper intervals 

Time and Duration of the Exercises. 201 

of rest. After that, wait a quarter of an hour ; then 
take breakfast, and half or three-quarters of an hour 
after it begin the exercises with the vocal organs. 
The exercise (whether singing or speaking) should 
never be performed continuously for more than ten 
minutes ; allow a pause of five minutes and begin 
anew. When, through several weeks' exercise, the 
muscles have been brought up to a certain point of 
endurance, the time should be extended to a quarter 
of an hour, the interval of rest remaining five min- 
utes. In the first four weeks the total duration of the 
daily exercise must not exceed an hour in the fore- 
noon and an hour in the afternoon. After four weeks 
another half hour may be added, and at the end of 
eight weeks the exercises may be made as long as 
one's powers will readily allow ; the moment, how- 
ever, that any unpleasant sensation begins to mani- 
fest itself, the exercise should be suspended. 

In regard to the method of the exercises, it is 
merely necessary to observe here that they should 
be performed, if possible, at regular hours of the 
day ; that one should begin with the less difficult, 
and gradually proceed to those which are more 
exerting; for it is only through their gradually 
increased activity, combined with the constantly 
recurring intervals of rest^ that the rpuscle§ c^n be 

202 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

effectually strengthened, as we have seen when treat- 
ing of these organs. After a meal, the singer or 
actor should not begin until the main work of diges- 
tion has been accomplished ; that is, after two or 
two and one-half hours. 

The following extract from Angelini Buontempis' "History of 
Music," bears witness to the extreme care which the Italian singing 
schools, founded by Pope Sylvester at the beginning of the fourth 
century and carefully fostered by the church, bestow^ on the per- 
fecting of their pupils : 

" Tne pupils of the Roman school were obliged to practice difficult 
intonations for one hour daily in order to attain facility of execution ; 
another hour- was employed m the practice of trills; another hour for 
rapid passages ; another hour in the study of literature, and still 
another hour in the improvement of taste and expression — all in the 

{)resence of the master, who took care that the pupils sang before a 
ooking-glass, in order that they might learn to avoid every sort of 
grimace or wrong movement of the muscles, such as wrinkling the 
forehead, winking the eyes, or distorting the mouth. All this was 
the occupation oi the morning only. In the afternoon a half-hour 
was devoted to the theory of sound ; another half-hour to simple 
counterpoint ; one hour to the study of the rules of composition, 
which tne master gave them, and their application on paper ; another 
hour to literature, and the rest of the day was given to playing on the 
piano, to the construction of a psalm, a motet, or any other sort of 
work in accordance with the pupil's taste and talent. These were 
the usual exercises on days wnen the scholars were not permitted to 
leave the school. On the other hand, however, when tney had per- 
mission to go out, they frequently went to the Porta Angelica, near 
Mount Marius, there to sing against the echo, for the purpose of 
learning, by the answer, their own errors. At other times they were 
employed to sing at public performances in the churches of Kome, 
or they went thither for the purpose of hearing the many masters 
who flourished under the papal government (1624-1644) in order to 
work at home, after these models." 

In all that has been stated, we believe to have 
fully explained the system of inspiration and ex- 
piration, and by a close and scrupulous observance 
of the rules laid down, the orator and the singer will 
ineet with qerts^in success. As, however, a strict 

Remedy if Lungs Emptied too Soon. 203 

compliance with all the details is not always persisted 
in, at least at the outset, and as, after all, there might 
arise some perplexity in regard to inspiration, we 
have deemed it necessary to provide for such a 
contingency, by a few special instructions, which, 
however, are to be applied only in cases of such 


What to do if, through Carelessness, the Lungs 

ARE Emptied too Soon. 

If, in spite of all due care, it should happen, that, 
as is generally said, the breath gives out, and we 
are compelled to inspire before the last two or three 
words of the sentence, and by this spoil every 
thought and destroy every effect (as, unfortunately, 
so frequently happens), t/tere is but one remedy ; it is 
the following : 

In our system of inspiration, the activity of the 
abdominal muscles is of the utmost importance, and 
in such an emergency it is these alone that can save ' 
us from the disagreeable division of a sentence and 
the complete spoiling of the effect. 

In case that the supply of air gives out, and we 
are unable to draw any more air from the lungs by 
the action of the ribs, we must bring the abdominal 

204 Gymnastics of the Voice. 

muscles into greater activity ; and, by pressure upon 
the abdominal organs which, forced upward, exercise 
a pressure upon the lungs, enable ourselves to force 
as much air from the lungs, as we still require for 
the remaining words. 

It is wonderful how this manipulation, which is 
the only correct one^ helps us over every obstacle ; 
we must, however, not abuse it^ but apply it only on 
the most urgent occasions; otherwise we must 
strictly conform to the prescribed rules. 

section 2b. 
Wearing Apparel in Regard to Breathing. 

Singers and speakers should always see that their 
attire allows the necessary play to the organs of 
respiration. With concert singers, declaimers and 
public speakers this is at all times practicable ; but 
it is not always so in the case of dramatic performers. 
Among the various kinds of costumes which they 
have to put on, there are some the cut of which is 
not favorable to free respiration, inasmuch as they 
compress one or the other of the groups of respi- 
ratory muscles 

The actor can easily avoid this by making himself 
acquainted in time with his costume and causing any 

Apparel in Regard to Breathing. 205 

necessary alterations to be made. Many a fine 
effect has been lost to the dramatic artist by his 
having become aware too late that his attire greatly 
compressed his respiratory organs. 

Such considerations, however, will weigh lightly 
with our ladies, whose figures resemble a wasp rather 
than a human being, and with our beaux, who are 
so thoroughly of opinion, that **the smaller the 
waist, the greater the work of art ; " and we, there- 
fore, advise the former, as long as they persist in 
lacing, to see to it that not all the groups of respira- 
tory muscles are thereby affected. 

Whoever desires a healthy development of the lungs ^ 
must be careful to relieve the respiratory organs from 
all pressure. 

We have now reached the end of our " System ol 
Correct Breathing in Singing and Speaking." 

I may incur the reproach that my rules lead to pedantry and stiff- 
ness. " Who," it may be asked, "will or who can follow these rules 
with such strictness ? They are too complicated ! " 

To this my answer is : No rule, however simple, will ever attain 
the desired result, unless we practice it with the greatest perseverance, 
with the utmost patience ; until it has become second nature, until it 
can no longer be noticed, because warm, fresh life has taken the place 
:f the cold, lifeless rule. 

2o6 Gymnastics of the Voice. 



A general remark concerning expression may still 
be in place here at the end. 

We should always seek to preserve a certain nobility 
of expression. In our ordinary life the muscles of 
the face are contracted by pain in a way unpleasant 
to the sight In crying the glottis closes and emits 
short, broken and disagreeable sounds. But it is a 
different thing in art. Here we must strive to throw 
an aesthetic veil over every emotion, whether of pain 
or of pleasure. In the representation of the deepest 
emotion, originating in the recesses of the heart and 
reflected in the features and voice, we should never 
allow the look, the tone or the words to go beyond 
the limits of the fine and the exalted ; we should 
have such a command over our respiratory and vocal 
organs that, while the glottis emits the most pro- 
found tones of pain or of pleasure, these should never 
be ignoble, unpleasant or ugly, except indeed, it be 
the intention to produce a characteristic or comic 

If this principle were strictly observed, that is, 
were the artist to apply himself more assiduously to 
securing a full command of the muscles, we should 

Expression. 207 

then not see what so often happens, especially with 
ladies, the features greatly distorted in the repre- 
sentation of emotion. In fact, many persons, in 
their ordinary conversation, change their naturally 
not ignoble features to their disadvantage ; and it is 
rightly said of them that " they are handsomest 
when they are silent" 





Injustice to T^rof, Guttmann, as well as injustice to 
myself, I state that his exact language has been used, and 
that I have made verbal changes only when they were 
necessary to make clear his meaning. This will explain 
the peculiar style, which leaves no doubt that a foreigner 
is speaking, 

I first met Oskar Guttmann just after my return from 
a several years* sojourn in Europe, where I had been under 
the treatment of a number of leading speech-specialists for 
my own defect of speech, I had been drilled in the 
analytic and synthetic oral use of the German language, 
and was familiar with the technical terms employed in 
such instruction. I mention this to show that probably no 
other American pupil of Prof Guttmann as fully under- 
stood the teacher and entered as thoroughly into the spirit 
of the teaching as I did ; for T^rof, Guttmann, although 
quite familiar with the English language, still was not 
master of it, and frequently was unable to find an English 
expression for his thought. With me he would drop from 
English into German and from German into English, 
whenever the occasion demanded or inclination prompted. 
Hence I believe that I have had exceptional advantages 
over other American pupils, and that I have priority of 
right to speak for Prof, Guttmann now that he can no 
longer speak for himself. Besides, I feel that it is a duty 
imposed upon me. 

* \ 

Oskar Guttmann was not understood or appreciated. 
We had a great teacher among us, and we heeded him not, 
I, for one, confess it with sorrow and humiliation. He 
went to his grave in obscurity and in poverty, heart- 
broken, with his mission unfulfilled. He possessed knowl- 
edge that should have been given to the world. Gladly 
would he have adopted a professional h^ir, had one 
worthy been found. He left no such an heir. 

I became Oskar Guttmann' s pupil and, subsequently, 
his publisher. He confided to me many ideas, both in 
oral and in written form, that proved him to have been 
an investigator and a formulator in advance of his time. 
Others have reaped the harvest that belonged to him. My 
task it is — and a pleasant one, too — to put in perma- 
nent and accessible form that part of his professional 
activity that pertains to stuttering and stammering, in the 
hope that it will set free many now chafing in the bonds 
of fettered speech. 



During many years of professional activity and of 
devotion to the investigating of the laws underlying 
the origin, developing and strengthening of voice 
and speech and the removal of defects, I have ob- 
served that directions for exercises, in the comprehen- 
sion of which the eye takes part, yield much quicker 
and surer results than exercises that are merely de- 
scribed in words. Whatever the pupil hears or reads 
and at the same time sees, impresses itself upon him 
far more speedily and produces surprisingly quicker 

Therefore, I have prepared Tables to be used by 
the pupil during the practice lesson. Each of these 
Tables contains a separate piece of poetry or prose, 
the words of which are accompanied by constantly 
recurring fixed signs, arranged into a system some- 
what comparable to the notes in music. 

These signs, though far from having or pretend- 
ing to have the significance of notes, are, neverthe- 
less, of the utmost importance to the student, for 
they show him the exact place where he must pro- 
duce the voice, the sounding-consonant, the voice- 

214 Cure of Stammering. 

less consonant (which is capable of prolongation), 
the explosive consonant ; and, to a certain extent, 
they even show him the duration of all these. 
These signs arouse in the student the feeling for 
correct breathing, for production of sound and 
correct speech, syllabically as well as rhetorically. 

The practice of such a piece of poetry or of prose 
must be carried on in 07ie tone (that is, on one 
pitch), the one which the student can produce with- 
out the slightest exertion, and in six different ways, 

1. Speaking the whole line syllabically, and tak- 
ing after every syllable a new breath fully and 

2. Speaking two syllables in one breath syllabi- 
cally, and inhaling again. 

3. Speaking half of the line in one breath syllab- 
ically, and inhaling again. 

4. Speaking the whole line in one breath syllab- 

5. Speaking the whole line in one breath rapidly, 
and always syllabically. 

6. Speaking the whole line not syllabically, but 
rhetorically, without any force, guided only by feeling. 

The replenishing of the lungs in this quiet, slow 
manner, after each syllable, is intended to bring 
breathing fully to the student's consciousness. Each 

Cure of Stammering. 215 

syllable being pronounced with full lungs and with 
careful avoidance of aspiration, the tone will gradu- 
ally become sonorous, and in this way will most 
readily accustom his ear to recognize metallic qual- 
ity and clearness in tones. The purpose of this 
way of breathing, first after one syllable, then after 
two, then after four, eight, etc., always combined 
with tone and words, is gradually to accustom the 
lungs to the reception of a greater quantity of air. 
If this be done without words, the student will not 
feel the necessity or estimate the correct quantity of 
air for breathing, and the whole will be merely a 
muscular movement. 

The reason why the student should undertake the 
first five treatments of the sentence in only one tone, 
and that the one he can most easily produce, is grad- 
ually to bring the correct action of the vocal cords, 
which at first is quite involuntary, so forcibly to his 
consciousness, and to make it so nearly second na- 
ture, that in the rhetorical part (in the formation of 
a higher or a lower tone) he will at once feel an in- 
correct or a defective movement, and be able to 
change it into the correct one. 
. The manner in which the Tables are arranged — 
that breathing, voice and speech are, from the start, 
simultaneously active — is intended to improve the 
prevaling mode of instruction, which consists more 

216 Curb of Stammering. 

or less in treating the various parts as parts me- 
chanically, a practice which never, or seldom, leads 
to a favorable result ; for the human organ of voice 
and speech acts from childhood as a whole^ and 
should be treated as such in the exercises. The 
student must always have the feeling that he inhales 
for a certain purpose, for singing and talking, 
and must not exhale the air aimlessly. 

The various parts are cared for in these Tables by 
giving them a shorter or a longer duration in the 
exercises, always, however, with due regard to the 
whole, as will be seen in the explanation of the Ta- 

These Tables, prepared by me long ago, 
but never printed or published, and used only in 
my private instruction, after having stood the test 
of thirty years' successful practice and proved of 
great benefit to innumerable students, I now, for 
the first time, commit to the public in print for the 
use of teachers as well as for self-instruction. 


*«- ' 


[Copyright, 1885, by Oskab Guttmann.] 

The following figures are the graphic represen- 
tation of my system. 

Fig. 1, a. Fig. 1, b. Fig. 2. Fig. 3. Fig. 4. Fig. 5. 

»»» I 1 f— 

h hah ah hah ah ah 


(Fig. 1, a) 

A vertical dotted line denotes 
inaudible inspiration, quiet and 

A horizontal dotted line (^ig- 1? b) de- 
notes inaudible expiration, quiet and even ; 

Several successive horizontal arrowheads »»» 
(Pig. 2) denote audible expiration (whispering); 

A horizontal straight line (^ig- 3) denotes 

sounding expiration, voice (with " indirect attack," 
that is, soft, undefined, or more or less aspirated : 


A horizontal straight line beginning with a verti- 
cal dash I (^ig* 4) denotes ^^ direct attack ;" 

218 Cure of Stammerikg. 

that is, firm and decided, with closure of the glottis : 


Every interruption of a straight line by a vertical 

dash 1 1 (Fig* S) denotes that at 

each such point, the resumption of the voice must 
be effected with " direct attack." 

Audible expiration (Fig. 2) is used for producing 
simple voiceless and certain compound voiceless 

The simple voiceless consonants are : 

K and its equivalent C (hard) and Q ; F, jP, 
Ty S (as in sit) and its equivalents C (soft, as 
in cider); Th (as in thin)^ Sh and S. 
The compound voiceless consonants are : 

Ch (compound of t and sh) and X (equivalent 
to ksy as in axe). 
Sounding expiration (Figs. 3, 4, 5) is used for 
producing all vowels (the human voice), as well as 
the simple and compound sounding consonants. 
The pure vowels are : 

U (as in he), A (as in hay), A (as in ah)y O 
(as in or), O (as in oh), O (as in cool). 
The simple sounding consonants are : 

X, 31, N, a, the nasal iV (iig, nk as in si7igj 
sink), V, Z (as in zone), Z (as in azure), Y{bs 
in ye), W (as in woe)y Th (as in then), B, Dj 
G (as in give). 

Cure of Stammering. 219 

The compound sounding consonants are : 

J (compound of d and z^ as in azure)^ and X 

(equivalent to gs^ as in example). 

If we set Figs. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 before and under 

words in the necessary distance one from the other 

for the exercises, and pronounce them as indicated 

later on, we shall have Figs. 6, 7, 8, 9. 

Fig. 6. 


> . 

In this sentence we have one inaudible inspiration 
(the vertical dotted line); one audible expiration 
(the arrowhead) ; passing at once to the sounding 
expiration (the long straight line), which lasts un- 
interrupted till the end of the sentence, as the sound- 
ing consonants V, Y, TH, M, N, L, can be pro- 
duced only by the voice. 

Fig. 7. 

NO 1 1 HA ¥E N T 

I > > 

In this sentence we have one inaudible inspiration 
(the vertical dotted line) ; one sounding expiration — 
voice — (the horizontal straight Une under NO); one 
inaudible inspiration before I; one sounding expira- 
tion with " direct attack " under I; one audible ex- 

220 Cure of Stammerikg. 

piration under H; one sounding expiration under 
AVE NO ; and one audible expiration under T. 

Fig. 8. 

^> » ^»» 

In this sentence we have only one inaudible 
inspiration (the vertical dotted line) ; one slight 
audible expiration (as the H in WHAT is produced 
before the W); one sounding expiration under 
WA; one audible expiration under T; one sounding 
expiration under DOES I; one audible expiration 
under T and one under C; one sounding expiration 
under 0; one audible expiration under S,* and one 
under T. 

Fig. 9. 


In this sentence we have one inaudible inspira- 
tion; one sounding expiration with "indirect at- 
tack " under ONE, as this word is spoken as if it 
were written WON; one audible expiration; and 
one sounding (expiration. 

Under every consonant of audible expiration 
(Fig. 2) lies one arrowhead. 

If two consonants of this expiration form only 

*Why there are three is explained later on. 

Curb of StamMeHiKg. 221 

one sound, then only one arrowhead lies under both. 

If two, three or more arrowheads are under such 
a consonant, this denotes a holding of it. 

Examples are Figs. 10, 11, 12. 

Fig. 10. 


» » 

Produce every consonant in the word STEPS 
short and decidedly phonetic, not by name; hold 
the E (as voice) a certain time. 

Fig. 11. 


In this word two consonants form only one sound, 
therefore only one arrowhead is under both. 

Fig. 12. 

>» ^»> »» 

Here there are three arrowheads under F, S, and 
F; therefore, hold their sound. 

Before beginning the consonant or consonants at 
commencement of a word or syllable, and during 
the duration of its or their sound, the cavity of the 
mouth must be formed for the following vowel, so 
that no intermediate sound may be heard in the 

222 Cube of Stammering. 

transition from the consonant to the vowel, a fault 
which must ensue if the cavity of the mouth, dur- 
ing the production of the consonant, is formed for 
another vowel, as, for instance, seo for so, which 
results because during the production of the sound 
8y the cavity is generally formed for e. In order to 
avoid this lack of clearness in pronunciation, prac- 
tice the syllable so, reversed, os, and hold the sound 
of the s for some time ; then, without interruption, 
add o ; do this several times, and then pronounce so. 

The vowels can sound as long as the air, stream- 
ing from the lungs, lasts; likewise the sounding 
consonants, except 5, J), G (as in give). Of the 
voiceless consonants, only H, Fy S (as in sit) and C 
(as in cider)y Th (as in thin), and Sh (as in push) can 
sound as long as the air lasts. jP, Ty K and B, Z), 
G (as in give) must be considered only as explo- 
sives, the first three produced by mere air, the last 
three by the voice. 

The horizontal straight line always denotes the 
uninterrupted voice; should it, however, be neces- 
sary for the voice to be interrupted, not by a new 
breath, but by a new " attack " of the vowel, for the 
sake of greater distinctness, we shall obtain, accord- 
ing to our system (Figs. 4 and 5), Figs. 13 and 14. 


Cure of Stammering. 223 

Fig. 13. 

f 1 

Fig. 14. 

1 — 1 

In such cases, denoted by a vertical dash, the 
voice must be suddenly interrupted for a moment, 
and the beginning vowel be produced with " direct 
attack." If we fail therein, we hear in (Fig. 13), 


(1) Before beginning to use the Tables, prac- 
tice Figs. 1 (a and b), 2, 3, 4 as a whole; that is, 
after a full, deep, inaudible inhalation, exhale inau- 
dibly for two or three seconds, and, without interrup- 
tion, pass over to audible expiration for the same 
length of time, then to sounding expiration with 
" indirect attack," then to sounding expiration with 
" direct attack," so that the whole process is one 
expiration, graphically represented in Fig. 15. 

Fig. 15. 
>>»= 1 

224 Curb of Stammerikg. 

Practice the exercise, with pauses, until the activ- 
ity of the vocal cords has become fully evident to 
your feeling, and you are able to produce, with 
facility, the whole figure or any of its parts. 

(2) Before the practice of a Table, inhale slowly 
and deeply, and exhale slowly and completely, half- 
a-dozen times ; after that, practice for half-a-dozen 
times the exercise just described above. 

(3) Pronounce distinctly all consonants phoneti- 
cally and not by name ; * repeat this several times, 
and at the sounding consonants as well as at those 
voiceless ones which are capable of prolongation, 
hold the consonant for some time (in order to bring 
its origin and character well to your consciousness) ; 
diminish the time at every repetition, until, finally, 
the consonant merely represents its ordinary dura- 
tion in language, graphically represented in Figs. 
16 and 17. 

Fig. 16. Fig. 17. 

F F F F 
»» >» » > 

Voieeless consonants. 

¥ ¥ Y Y 

Sounding consonants. 

These exercises are very important, as the conso- 
nants are rarely spoken correctly, but usually with 
too long or too short duration. The visible signs 

* For correct formation of the consonants and particidars in breathing 
see preceding parts of this book. 

Cube of Stammering. 225 

under the words, which gradually dimmish in space 

or number, awaken and sharpen in the student the 

feeling for the proper duration of the consonant. 

(4) While practicing, give a certain duration 
(without pedantic counting) to the horizontal 
straight lines (Figs. 3, 4, 5) which represent the 
voice and vowels. The voice must be heard without 
tremolo, without pressure, without the least change in 
pitch; nor must the character of the vowels be 
changed. The tone must, like a well-drawn wire, be 
even in thickness, rounding and strength, through- 
out its entire length. 

(5) Give to the three successive arrowheads no 
longer duration than their collective space merits in 
comparison to the straight line (voice). 

(6) Give to the voiceless consonants, those which 
cannot be prolonged and under which there is only 
one arrowhead, only such duration as the time of 
their production demands, i. e., a quarter of a sec- 

(7) Give to the sounding consonants no longer 
duration than their position on the straight line in 
comparison to the whole line allows. 

(8) Give to the vowels, as representatives of the 
voice, the longest duration. 

(9) In Nos. 1 and 2 of the six different ways in 
which a line must be practiced, let the duration of 

226 Cure of Stammering. 

the vowels and consonants remain unchanged, as 
is denoted in the Tables ; in Nos. 3 and 4 shorten 
(as indicated in the Tables) by degrees the dura- 
tion of the sounding consonants, as well as of those 
voiceless consonants that can be prolonged; and in 
No. 5 (rapid speaking) and No. 6 (rhetorical speak- 
ing) let the duration be only so long as the rhetor- 
ical delivery demands. The duration of the vowels 
must likewise be shortened by degrees, which is not 
indicated on the Tables, and, consequently, the 
time grows faster, but pronunciation remains syllab- 
ical up to the rhetorical part, in which syllabication 
ceases, without destroying the distinctness of the 
Kne or any of its parts in the least ; at this stage 
the whole must be the undoubted expression of 
inner feeling. 

(10) If, for practice, you take, for instance, the 
verse : 

The very law which moulds a tear, 

And bids it trickle from its sonrce, 
That law preserves the earth a sphere, 

And guides the planets in their course, 

you can treat it in two ways. Either you take the 
four Knes as a whole, practicing them syllabically but 
speaking them right through ; or you take only a 
line at a time for exercise, practicing in the sixfold 
manner explained in the beginning, always adding 
the next, after the preceding one has been fully 

Cure of Stammering. 227 

practiced, and taking them together in the rhetor- 
ical part ; hence, after practicing the last line, the 
whole is delivered rhetorically. 

(11) I have in the Tables, in all rhetorical parts, 
purposely omitted to indicate emphasis on any par- 
ticular words. Those who understand a sentence 
(and understand it they must, if they want to speak 
it) will emphasize the right word ; those who do not 
understand a sentence, will, in spite of designated 
emphasis, speak only mechanically — and nothing 
blunts the mind more than this. 

(12) After the student has placed the Table in 
front of him at the height of his eyes, as on a music- 
stand, has read the verse he wishes to practice sev- 
eral times, and fully comprehends its contents, let 
him begin, in an erect, though by no means forced 
attitude, chest and abdomen free from any con- 
straining article of dress, chin neither raised nor 
drooping, to practice in the sixfold manner described 
in the beginning. This practice must not exceed a 
period of ten minutes, followed by a rest of five 
minutes. Practice again for ten minutes, rest five, 
and then practice ten minutes for the third time, 
so that the entire time of actual practice occupies 
half an hour. 

In the afternoon, repeat the practice in the 
manner just described. A longer practice than this 

228 Cure of Stammering. 

should not be undertaken during the first fortnight. 
Later on, the time may be extended to three-quarters 
of an hour in the forenoon and the same in the 
afternoon, always, however with the necessary rest 
of five minutes, which must then ensue after every 
fifteen tninutes' practice. 

Cure of Stammbring. 229 

poem for practice. 


Oh ! that the Chemist^s magic art 

Could crystallize this sacred treasure : 

Long should it glitter near my heart, 
A secret source of pensive pleasure. 

The little brilliant ere it fell, 

Its lustre caught from Chloe's eye ; 
Then, trembling, left its coral cell — 

The spring of Sensibility. 

Sweet drop of pure and pearly light, 

In thee the rays of Virtue shine ; 
More calmly clear, more mildly bright, 

Than any gem that g^lds the mine. 

Benign restorer of the soul. 

Who ever fly'st to bring relief, 
When first we feel the rude control 

Of Love or Pity, Joy or Grief. 

The sage^s and the poet's thsme 

In every clime, in every age, 
Thou charm'st in Fancy's idle dream, 

In Reason's philosophic page. 

The very law which moulds a tear, 

And bids it trickle from its source ; 
That law preserves the earth a, sphere. 

And guides the planets in their course. 

— Samuel Rogers* 

Note to Student. — Only one stanza (the last) 
is tabulated. All of the other stanzas are to be 
practiced in the same manner. 




M> A 



••••««• •••■ — •••» 

.« s 

Is H 

^ ■»■■■■>■ 


P - 

If » •— < ••••••tM 


ai -i 



«•••««•••• ■•••«•«••••••« ••••«•«•«••••• 















> »■»»«»»»" ••• »•' 











*-^ ai -i 



■■•*■•• MMMMMM** 













s -p. 



»i 5 

— ■SA 

M M mm «« 

* »i m 







< s 


ri .- 







■ ■wii mm CM 

^ S 












■ ■■■!■■» — M>WI 






••»•••• ••f«>Mt»*Mi ^^nn^f^mm ttrnftft— 

W •• 


























is CO 

id d 

232 Cure of Stammering. 



When all Thy mercies, O my God, 

My rising soul surveys, 
Transported nvith the view, I'm lost 

In wonder, love and praise. 

Oh, how shall words with equal warmth 

The gratitude declare 
That glows within my ravished heart ? 

But Thou canst read it there. 

Thy providence my life sustained, 

And all my wants redressed. 
When in the silent womb I lay. 

And hung upon the breast. 

To all my weak complaints and cries 
Thy mercy lent an ear, ^ 

Ere yet my feeble thoughts had learnt 
To form themselves in prayer. 

Unnumbered comforts to my soul 

Thy tender care bestowed, 
Before my infant heart conceived 

From whence these comforts flowed. 

When in the slippery paths of youth 

With heedless steps I ran, 
Thine arm, unseen, conveyed me safe, 

And led me up to man. 

T])lirough hidden dangers, toils and death. 

It gently cleared my way, 
And through the pleasing snares of vice. 

More to be feared than they. 

Curb op Stammering. 233 

When worn with sickness, oft hast Thou 

With health renewed my face, 
And, when in sins and sorrows sunk, 

Reyived my soul with grace. 

Thy bounteous hand with worldly bliss 

Hath made my cup run o*er, 
And in a kind and faithful friend 

Hath doubled all my store. 

Ten ihousand thousand precious gifts 

My daily thanks employ, 
Nor is the least a cheerful heart 

That tastes those gifts with joy. 

Through every pe'riod of my life 

Thy goodness I'll pursue ; 
And after death, in distant worlds, 

The glorious theme renew. 

When Nature fails, and day and night 

Divide Thy works no more, 
My ever grateful heart, O Lord, 

Thy mercy shall adore. 

Through all eternity to Thee 

A joyful song I'll raise ; 
But oh I eternity's too short. 
To utter all Thy praise. 
^^ — Joseph Addison. 

Note to Student. — Practice the entire poem in a 
similar manner. Other poems and pieces of prose 
should be likewise practiced until a thorough cure 
is effected. 










— . 











•«•••••••>■••■ »■■<—•—< 





'•—— — •— ••«•»••••• 

H fa" 



iSA ^ 


A — 1 

COi I 









Si k 

















1 "S 













P E 

H I "^ 



f 3 


Hi d 





ALTHOUGH stuttering does not make its disa- 
greeable presence fully felt until the afficted 
individual becomes completely aware of his defect 
in all its horror, yet we can, by careful observation, 
in many cases, perceive slight indications of it in the 
first attempts at speech made by children, and not 
rarely we meet with three-year-old children who 
already stutter in a marked degree. Now, instead 
of exerting one's self to the utmost in such cases to 
counteract the evil, to kill in its germ what further 
development will make so dangerous, people are 
generally either indifferent to it, or do not consider 
the matter of sufficient importance, or else follow 
some such advice as : "Just let the matter alone; the 
evil will decrease as the child grow;s older." This 
way of dealing with the trouble is just as wrong as it 
would be to postpone the necessary orthopedic treat- 
ment of a child, tending to bodily deformity, to a 
later period. The child grows, indeed, but the evil, 
instead of decreasing, grows with its growth, so that 

Cure of Stammering. 237 

its removal is at last rendered almost impossible. 
What at first was but carelessness and a bad habit 
becomes, later on, a lasting defect and second 
nature. This explains the great number of stutterers. 
An unpardonable mistake in the treatment of a 
child inclined toward defective utterance consists in 
the encouragement of the so-called baby-language : 

Down in de bright deen meadow 
De pitty daisies' home, etc. 

When the child speaks to its parents in this or in 
a similar language, sDme parents are delighted with 
the quaintness of the charming three-year-old prat- 
tler ; and, instead of immediately teaching it to speak 
correctly, they answer in the same indistinct fashion, 
as though they, too, were children. The child is 
thereby not only not shown its own mistakes, but is 
cpnfirmed in them, and grows more and more into 
this defective manner of speech, whence stammering 
and frequently stuttering arise. 

It is altogether useless, nay, even in a high degree 
injurious, to scold, or, worse still, to strike a child 
for defective utterance or stuttering. It is requi- 
site that those who surround such a child should be 
most gentle and calm, for everything harsh or abrupt 
startles, and nothing is more adapted to promote 
stuttering than terror and f ear^ 

238 Cube of Stammering. 

With grown-up persons, or with children over 
tight years, explanations or prescribed rules may ex- 
ercise a beneficial effect; with children below eight 
years this is altogether useless. Here only the 
means that nature prescribes can be applied — that 
is, imitation and habit. Whatever a child of such 
a tender age sees or hears, it imitates, and very often 
with surprising fidelity. Hence, the creation of a 
dialect which is spoken by the children just as by 
the parents. The persons surrounding the child are 
everything in its development, and it depends prin- 
cipally on them how its natural' abilities are devel- 
oped and what defects make their appearance. Per- 
sons in contact with a child of this age ought not to 
have defects of any kind, as, for instance, in breath- 
ing, in the production of voice, in speaking, and in 
language. They ought not to speak too rapidly, too 
hastily, or in detached phrases ; the child, forced by 
nature to rely on imitation, will assume all these de- 
fects. Hence, let the family be very careful that 
the child hears only good speaking. 

As soon as a mother perceives that a child has the 
habit of repeating, and quickly repeating, syllables 
or letters, or, indeed, of incorrectly pronouncing 
words or syllables or letters, she must not let this 
pass by unnoticed, or even perhaps laugh at the 
matter in amusement, mimicking the incorrectly 

Cure of Stammering. 239 

spoken words and exaggerating the defects ; but she 
must with the greatest calmness, and without start- 
ling the child by too sudden interruption, slowly 
and distinctly utter in correct manner the wrongly 
pronounced word, syllable, or letter, and cause the 
little one to repeat it in like manner. Let the 
mother, however, be careful not to do this with a 
forced distinctness of utterance, for, as the child will 
imitate her, it will now fall into the error of affecta- 
tion, which will increase just as much as any other 
defect. If the mother has failed to understand the 
child, let her cause it slowly to repeat its words, 
always, however, without startling it by too sudden 
or violent commands ; and let her make it a rule 
never to comply with a wish which the child has 
not clearly and distinctly uttered. A story is told 
of a mother who cured her child of stuttering by 
forcing it to pronounce everything in a long-drawn, 
almost singing manner ; for instance : " Plea-se le-t 
me- ha-ve a-n a-pple." Not until the child had 
thus spoken was its wish complied with. Such 
positive determination is absolutely indispensable 
to mothers and teachers. 

Though, as I have already said, rules and laws are 
of no avail in the case of a child of from 3 to 7 
years, yet it must be accustomed to a certain 
fixed manner of utterance. Above all, it must be 

240 Cure of Stammering. 

accustomed always to take breath before beginning 
to speakj whereby it gains air, time, and tranquil- 
ity to speak. When a person wishes to speak, he 
must first take breath. This the child usually fails 
to do; it begins with half -filled, sometimes with 
nearly empty, limgs to express its thoughts, and 
hence is forced after one or two words to take 
breath convulsively in order to continue to speak ; 
for instance, " If you [a pant for air] want to go 
there, etc." This injurious manner of respiration is 
very prevalent among vivacious children of from 
3 to 5 years. If this defect of speech be not 
broken, many defects, among them stuttering, will 
ensue in time. It is, therefore, just at this age that 
a child requires to be treated with the greatest 
attention, love and patience, and must not be left to 
itself in the development of its speech. 

A very good means of training a child to speak 
properly, as, indeed, to concentrate its wandering 
thoughts, is to tell it stories. Let the mother relate 
little stories to the child, using only easily under- 
stood words, short sentences, which can be compre- 
hended by the child, and let her have the child 
repeat part after part slowly and distinctly, being 
careful to notice every mistake of the child in 
breathing and speaking, as well as in the language 
itself, and to correct every phonetic defect in a 

Cure of Stammerikg. 241 

pleasant and gentle manner, not allowing the slight- 
est mistake to pass unnoticed. 

If it is particularly difficult for the child to utter 
correctly certain words, syllables, or letters, let the 
mother repeat these slowly, loudly, and distinctly 
(though not in a forced manner) until the child can 
pronounce them correctly. Let the mother be care- 
ful that the vowels are always pronounced clearly — 
that is, with the correct vowel shades and with the 
necessary duration — and the consonantal sounds are 
made short but decided. The letters of the alpha- 
bet (vowels and consonants) require a certain time 
for their formation, and must have a certain dura- 
tion in speech. The vowel is the carrier of sound; 
on it we must tarry when it becomes necessary; 
upon it we must put every degree of emphasis, every 
shade of accent, for it is the expression of our feel- 
ing. It is the body of the language. The conso- 
nant is only the dress. Both must be rightly pro- 
duced in order to obtain the right results ; and, as a 
beautiful body in an ugly dress loses much of its 
beauty, aye, is often disfigured, so it is with a syllable 
or a word the vowels of which are rightly produced, 
while the consonants are falsely or defectively cre- 
ated. The greatest faults of speaking are too great 
an expenditure of strength and too long a duration of 
time in the creation of the consonants, and too short 

242 Cure of Stammering. 

a duration of time, lack of strength, and neglect to 
give the vowel shades in the creation of the vowels. 
It is very injurious to a child inclined to stutter 
if its questions — and it puts many — are either not 
answered at all or very impatiently. The child 
finally becomes imbued with a sort of reluctance to 
put any questions, withdraws into itself, forgets to 
question and consequently to speak at all. Persons 
whose task it is to be with children and instruct 
them must, in such cases, never become impatient 
and irritated, and repel the child in a quick and 
angry manner, but must give a loving and clear 
explanation to its queries. It will, perhaps, be said 
that it is not always possible for a mother to do this, 
and yet thousands of mothers have done it, and 
thousands will do it in time to come ; for the future 
of a child is based on the first eight years of its 
life, which Ue altogether in the mother's hands. If 
this part of a child's life (from three to eight years) 
be allowed to pass without proper education in the 
utterance of speech ; if the child, who at first shows 
only slight traces of stuttering, be suffered to devel- 
op fully into a stutterer, then it will have to under- 
go the long, tedious cure which requires 6, 10, 15 
months, and even more, and which is infinitely 
more troublesome and wearisome to pupil and 

Cure of Stammering. 243 

As in children who are inclined to stutter the 
activity of the lungs is very sUght, it is necessary, 
before all, to begin with exercises that will strengthen 
the lungs and the muscles of breathing. For the 
help of mothers and teachers, I will give some 
simple aids : Discard all tight-fitting garments of the 
child; let it stand perfectly erect, with straightened 
knees, heels close together, the toes turned slightly 
outward so that the feet shall form the sides of a 
right angle, chest thrown outward (not excessively), 
shoulders thrown back, without being raised, and 
hands hanging loosely at the sides of the body. 
Prom this position the child should begin all his 
exercises. We will call it "Base Position." 


(1) Let the child in the Base Position breathe in 
and out several times in succession while standing, 
by the downward movement of the diaphragm — the 
fleshy partition between the chest and the abdomi- 
nal cavity— rwithout raising the shoulders. 

Let the child then hold its hands at the waist in 
the back in such a manner that the palms meet and 
the fingers are intertwined. During inspiration the 
arms must be stretched downward, without, however, 
disengaging the hands, and during expiration should 
return to their first position. In these movements 

244 Cure of Stammerikg. 

the shoulders should not be raised and the back 
must be kept perfectly straight. The inspiration 
must take place through the nostrils, the expiration 
through the mouth. Breathing through the nos- 
trils is very essential. It has the advantage of not 
drying the mucous membrane of the cavity of 
the mouth, the entrance to the throat, the throat 
itself, and the vocal cords, as frequent inspiration 
through the mouth is apt to do ; and the moisture 
of this part is an essential condition required in 
speaking. After every inspiration, expiration must 
follow immediately without any exertion. At first 
but three such inspirations and expirations should be 
taken at a time, easy, natural, and inaudible, twice in 
the forenoon and twice in the afternoon. After two 
weeks increase gradually to five of these breathings; 
after four weeks to eight, and after six weeks to ten 
at a time. Continue these exercises for three 
months, and during this time see that the inspira- 
tions gradually grow deeper and the expirations 
more energetic. After the lapse of two months, 
practice the following exercises : 

(2) After every inspiration let the child hold the 
breath three seconds, and then breathe out energet- 
ically. After four weeks increase this pause to five 
seconds, and after ten weeks to eight.' Do not pro- 
ceed any further. When the child has exercised 

Cure of Stammering. 245 

like this until it is five years old, then let it increase 
the pause two seconds after every two weeks until 
twenty seconds have been reached, and not until it 
is eight years old let it increase to thirty seconds. 
During these breathing-exercises see that the child 
does not speak att all, or very little. After them it 
should not be permitted to leap or run. At other 
times let it move freely, as much as possible in the 
open air. These breathing-exercises can be begun 
with a child when it is three years old, without, 
at first, however, any holding of the breath. Not 
until it increases in strength ought the pauses to be 
taken, but they should not be overdone. With 
these breathing exercises combine voice- develop- 

Voice- JSxercises. 

(1) Do all things before the child that you wish 
it to imitate. 

(a) Breathe in and out inaudibly (through the 
mouth). Let the child imitate this, and repeat it 
until it learns it. (6) Breathe (through the mouth) 
in and out audibly; that is, after the inaudible 
inspiration utter a long and drawn-out (whispering) 
hah until the child repeats correctly, (c) After an 
inaudible inspiration, breathe out audibly hah; con- 
tinue this a couple of seconds, and, without taking 

246 Cure of Stammering. 

fresh breath, turn the whisper into voice, holding 
this as long as possible. Do not go any further before 
the child can imitate this. When changing from 
the whisper into voice, do not do it by .saying ah^ 
but merge the whisper into voice in such a manner 
that only the hah is heard with voice, {d) Begin 
with voice hah^ continue a few seconds, and, without 
taking fresh breath, merge into whisper hah^ and 
hold it two seconds, {e) Begin with voice aA, hold 
the tone a few seconds, and, without taking fresh 
breath, merge into whisper hah. (f) Speak in one 
expiration hah (whisper), ah (voice), hah (whisper), 
ah (voice), (g) Speak in one expiration ah (voice), 
hah (whisper), ah (voice), hah (whisper). (A) Speak 
in one expiration ah hah (whisper), ah hah (voice), 
both syllables of equal length ; (i) then the first 
syllable ah (whisper) short, and (^j) the second 
hah (whisper) long; (A;) then ah hah (voice), both 
syllables of equal length; (I) then the first syllable 
short and the second long. These expirations, 
in a whisper as well as with voice, must be carried 
out very gently, without any compression whatever 
of the vocal cords, and have the purpose of giving 
to the child, who knows nothing of the vocal cords 
and to whom no explanation would be of any use, 
the feeling of correctly and gently using them. 
(m) Speak to the child each of the following pure 

Cure of Stammeeikg. 247 

vowels: e (as in he)y a (as in hay)^ o (as in or), o' 
(as in 0^, o" (as in cool)^ in the same manner as 
you practiced the vowel ah in &, c, eZ, 6, /, g, A, 
1, ky ly and always take heed that the child distinctly 
distinguishes the vowels. 

(2) Utter all the consonants (by their sound, not 
their name) clearly and distinctly to the child, and 
let the child repeat each one until it is able to utter 
it in the same manner. The consonants are divided 
into sounding-consonants — Z, m, n, r, nffy v^ z (in 
zoney) z (in azure), y (in ye), w (in woe,) th (in 
thine) y 6, d, g (in give) ; and voiceless consonants — 
k, c (in cup), and q^fyp^ t, s (in sit), c (in cider), th 
(in thin), sh, and h. Ch is a compound of t and 
sh ; j is a. compound of d and z (in azure) ; x is 
equivalent to ks (in axe) or to gs (in example). 

(3) Practice combinations of the vowels with 
consonants — syllables and words. It is not neces- 
sary to give any examples, as the mother can easily 
find them for herself. I would merely draw atten- 
tion to the fact that it is necessary to begin with 
easy words, after which one may proceed to more 
difficult ones. These exercises cannot be practiced 
too often. 

When the child has attained the age of six or 
seven years, it must begin to practice gymnastic 
exercises, which put the entire body into action, and 

248 Cure of Stammerikg. 

which it is unnecessary to specify, as the principal 
ones are generally well-known. The breathing 
and voice-exercises must, however, not be neglected. 
Gymnastic exercises must always take place in pure 
air ; in summer in the open air, in winter in properly 
ventilated, moderately warm rooms where there is no 
draught. As long as the child is not old enough to 
attend school, it must daily exercise as much as pos- 
sible in the fresh air, and must as much as possible 
breathe through the nostrils, the mouth being kept 



WHEN this method for the cure of stammering was in another 
form many copies were ordered by the Bryant School for 
Stammerers for its pupils and such applicants who could not attend 
upon its personal instruction. Indeed, it may be said that Mr. Bryant 
has endeavored to take up and carry on the work where Prof. Gutt- 
mann relinquished it ; and if, as is likely the case, there are those who 
from lack of time or other causes find it difiicult to attain a cure alone, 
no more conscientious, careful, painstaking, successful teacher can be 
found than Mr. Bryant. He has had many years of experience with 
those who suffer from defects in their speech, besides being well along 
in the study of medicine, nervous diseases and kindred subjects. It 
is well to remember in this connection that a little showing is some- 
times, worth volumes of written or printed instructions. 

Some time ago Mr. Edgar S. Werner, the publisher of Werner'a 
Mdgazine, said: 

** In 1879 Werner's Magazine was started under the name of TJie 
Voice. Its scope was outlined as follows : * The Voice hopes to be a 
tongue to the thousands who are measurably deprived of one of the 
noblest faculties given to man. In it they may express their thoughts, 
tell of their wrongs and make an appeal which, perhaps, will brin^ 
relief. It will be opposed to the so-called ** secret methods," and will 
do its best to expose them and those who practice swindling arts. It 
will, however, encourage those who are doing conscientiously what 
they can to remedy defective utterance.* 

*' This marked an era in the treatment of vocal defects and in the 
formulating of a vocal science. One of the first copies of this magazine 
fell into the hands of Mr. F. A. Bryant, who, by reason of his own 
affliction, was deeply interested in such matters. He, by following 
the treatment outlined there, in the Klencke and GQnther methods, 
overcame his own impediment. In this way this magazine was in- 
strumental in leading Mr. Bryant to found a school for stammerers in 
New York City, which has become the largest and most successful 
institution of its kind in the country. 

**The Mann and Colvin method, the method of the American 
Vocal Institute, of Mr. Zug, of Mr. I. R. Aldrich, and of others— 
wlvatever of good there was m tlieniy Mr. Bryant has succeeded to, and 
uses in his school for stammerers. Having passed through the ordeal 
himself, his heart is in the work, and his long training and experience 
qualify him especially for it, so much so that the Jsew York Herald 
and other papers have described the workings of the school, and 
spoken in terms of praise of the results obtained. 


"A recent visit to Mr. Bryant's school showed two class-rooms 
full of pupils ranging from ten to twenty-five years, each case being 
peculiar to itself. The pupils presented an interesting study to the 
psychologist. In dealing with stammerers, one seems to come into 
closer and more tangible relations with the human soul, arriving, as it 
were, at the spot where body and soul interlace ; and the success of a 
teacher depends largely upon his understanding this and upon his 
ability to restore the harmony of these disturbed conditions. 

*'The method of treatment pursued by Mr. Bryant and his asso- 
ciates might be concisely stated in these four words: Respiration, 
Vocalization, Articulation and Mentalization ; in other words. Breath, 
Voice, Speech and Thought. The problem is how to coordinate them 
and to get them to work logically, harmoniously and fluently. Speech 
seems to be a very simple thing, but let any part of its machinery ^et 
out of gear, and only the greatest knowledge and skill, combined with 
long practical experience, can restore it to normal activity. Mr. 
Bryant's aim is to teach the pupil, first, to know what is to be done; 
secondly, how to do it ; and, thirdly, to give the pupil the ability to do 
it. Rare, indeed, is it that two pupils are equally strong or equally 
weak in either of these points. One may know how to use his organs 
of speech, but has not the power to apply his knowledge. Another 
one may have sufficient power, but does not know practically how to 
use his vocal organs. Just here is required the manipulative skill of 
the speech-specialist. To straighten a bent stick it is necessary to 
bend it the other way — but just how far to bend it, that's the question. 
No rule can be laid down. Only the knowledge and experience of the 
living teacher can straighten the crooked speech-stick. 

**The mechanics of speech are in themselves easy enough, but 
speech is something more than a mechanical act — it is the oral expres-* 
sion of thought, and it is just in the expression of his own thoughts 
that the stammerer experiences trouble. Mr. Bryant realizes this, 
and through all the exercises, whether they be respiratory, vocalic or 
articulatory, the pupil's mind is also exercised and made to go through 
gymnastics the same as his bodily organs are called upon to do. He 
is taught to think aright, to keep a model of perfect speech constantly 
before the mind. Mr. Bryant works upon the theory that there are 
mental as well as physical gymnastics. 

**The theory of the cure of stammering, as outlined here, seems ' 
easy enough ; but to put it into practical and successful effect, is most 
difficult. It is too great an undertaking even for such eminent 
practitioners as Drs. Hammond, Lusk, Seguin, Starr, and other 
specialists, who, whenever they are consulted by stammerers, advise 
them to go to Mr. Bryant, whose work they are familiar with, and 
whose method they endorse." 

For those who wish to communicate with Mr. Bryant his address 
is appended ; and arrangements have been made whereby a fine illus- 
trated pamphlet will be sent, if this book is mentioned. The address 
iSf Prof. Ff At Bryant, 9 "Weal YouiX^^uVci «>\iQQt, Kew York, 


bo Trftin the Voice. Italo Campaoini. 
a Catechism of Vocal-Culture. Frederic 
7, Boot. In several numbers. 
Manuscript Society of New York. Pro- 
ram of the First Ftiblic Concert, with the 
omposers' Autographs. 
B Should Think. Frederic A. Lyman, 
iweet September.*' Music by Hope Tem- 
le. With Lesson on its rendering. Burn- 
er Salter. Full music. 
Object Lessons in Simple Harmony. Eotte 
. Chittenden. 

lerthe Crest of the Moon.'* Bong with 
ill music and lesson on its rendenng, by 
Has G. Pratt, the composer. 
>n and Influence of Music. Symposium 
I the views of eminent people of various 
rof essions. In several numbers, 
omn's Su:hing. " Song with full words and 
Lusic and lesson on its interpretation, by 
.. J. Goodrich, the composer. 
-Cultivation. Thomas Chater. 
-Culture Compulsory in Schools. Mme. 
tuisa Cappiani. 

ization : Its First Use and Modifications, 
ciation in Song. Frederic S. Law. 
elsflohn's ** Elijah." How to Study it. 
homas Chater. 

Church Choir. Louis Arthur Russell, 
cial Teeth: Their Relation to the Art of 
Inging. Fannie Edgar Thomas. 
. William Stelnway. 
I Work Abroad. Lamperti at Dresden, 
aphical Sketches of the Officials of the 
f. T. State Music Teacher^ Association. 
< vs. Fresh Air in the Studio. Fannie Ed- 
ar Thomas. 

Distinct Singing. Sumner Salter. 

Pen Pictures of Some of New York's Promi- 
nent Singing Teachers. Fannie E. Thomas. 

Public School Music. Julia Ettie Crane. 

The Madrigal. Thomas Ratliif e. 

Sleep in Relation to Voice. Luisa Cappiani. 

"Miserere." Mabel Wagnalls. A Musical Story. 

A Study of Chorus Choirs. A Symposium of 
the Views of Organists. 

Art of listening. A. J. Goodrich. 

Genesis of Russian Sacred Music. D. E. Hervey. 

Psycho-Physical Voice Culture. Geo. Chainey. 

Origin of Music. James McK. Cattell. 

Musical Vagabondage. Fannie Edgar Thomas. 

"She Wandered Down the Mountain Side." 
Song by Frederic Clay. Hints for its in- 
terpretation by T. Ratliffe. 

Mr. H. E. Holt's Normal Music School. J. Rand. 

Distinct Singing. Charles A. White. 

Italian Registers. Frederick Helmore. 

Sensitiveness of Singers. F. Roena MedinL 

Tonic-Sol-Fa Jubilee in London. 

Singing at Sight. Frederic W. Root.' 

TnuospositioQ. A. J. Goodrich. 

Influence of Music on Character. H. D. Wilkins. 

Stren^h vs. Beauty in Music. Silas G. Pratt. 

Singing amongAnhnals. Rev. J. G. Wood. 

Mr. Lyman Wheeler's Method of Teaching 
Voice. Susan A. Rice. 

Symposium for Singers. Important Points Dis- 
cussed by leading Vocalists and Teachers. 

Difficulties in Teaching Vocal Music. F. E. 

Death of Jenny Lind. Poem. With notes by 
P. L. Blatchf ord. 

Origin of Music. Herbert Spencer. 

The Musician a Public Educator. E. Dickinson. 


ions in Delsartism. Moses True Brown, 
etic Physical Culture. Oskar Guttmann. 
Inded in December No. 
irical Dancing and Pantomime. Stewart 
). Headlam. Ended in August No. 
>graph among the Zunians. J. W. Fe wkes. 
to I^onounce. Alfred Ayres. Continua- 
on of series. 

>rate Sketch with Portrait of Genevieve 
tebbins Thompson. Elsie M. Wilbor. 
■ence Between Song and Speech. Caroline 
'>. LeRow. 

I Liddon's Preaching. J. W. Churchill, 
h and Portrait of George Lansing Ray- 
Lond. Elsie M. Wilbor. 
Work in a Girls' High School. C. B. LeRow. 
: Philosophy of Dress. Annie H. Webster. 
Art. A Study of Pantomime and Action. 
rankliniH. Sargent. Ended in March No. 
Edna Chaffee Noble's Method of Teaching 

h and Portrait of Frank A. Bryant. His 
[ethod of Curing Stammering. Edgar S. 

ng in Concert. Caroline B. LeRow. 
ell Phillips and His Oratory. Rev. H. A. 

ler's Class in Elocution. C. B. Le Row. 
b Bible Reading. Rev. Geo. R. Kramer, 
est Form of Mental Life. " C. B. LeRow. 
berial Tone. Robert McL. Cumnock. 

Improved Dress Movement at Chautauqua. 
Helen Potter. Photographs of Mrs. Frank 
Stuart Parker's Gowns. Illustration of Ella 
Wheeler Wilcox's Improved Gown. 

Music of Language. S. E. Bengough. 

A Point of a Point. Caroline B. LeRow. 

Suppression vs. Expression— The Repression 
Society Demands of the Individual. 

Preparing Elocution Teachers. Mrs. Frank 
Stuart Parker. 

Harvard Summer School of Physical Training 
with the Complete Swedish Gymnastics. 
Elsie M. Wilbor. 

Delsarte Echoes from Chautauqua. Cedro Day- 
men, and R. Anna Morris. 

Visit to Longfellow's Home. Elsie M. Wilbor. 

Beauty and Artistic Dress. Helen Potter. 

Summer Class in Elocution — Visit to Dr. Emer- 
son's School. Elsie M. Wilbor. 

List of Periodical Literature on Subjects Allied 
to those Treated in Werner's Voice Maga- 
zine. Began in November. 

Stammering : Its Nature and Treatment. Emil 

Relation of Speaker to Audience. C. B. LeRow. 

Tableaux Mouvants and Poses Plastiques. Clara 
Tileston Power Edgerly. 

Should a Reading Lesson be Prepared ? Caro- 
line B. LeRow. 

Parisian Dramatic Schools. Nettie Hooper. 

About 150 Recitations, Pantomimes, Drills, etc. 

iPQl^tr, 2pc. ; ^l.liO for E|itir$ Y9ir. Address, Edgar S. Werner, New York. 




M. FAbbe Delanmosne and Hme. Angeliqae Amand 

(pupils of delsartb), and the 


« I 


' Cp of Angefe" and " Chart of Blan." 

Printed in Colors as Drawn by Delsarte. 

These writings, now given to the public for the first time, were lately purchased of Mme. 
DELSARTE, with the understanding that they were all the manuscripts left by her illustri- 
ous husband. They are published in the same condition DELSARTE left them in, thereby 
affording the best means of becoming acquainted with the thoughts and methods of the 
unparalleled master C>f the science and the art of expression. Tn them is found THE GEN- 
UINE DELSARTE SYSTEM unmixed with the views and purposes of other persons, but 
presented just as the master expounded it. 



** I am at this moment meditating a book, singular for more than one reason, whose 
form will be no less novel than its contents, ^he title is, ^ The History of an Idea Pursued 
for Forty Years.' It will be my task to connect, and condense into a single narrative, all the 
circumstances of my life, which had as logical consequences the niuuerous discoveries which 
it has been granted me to follow up. I know not what f ato Is reserved for this book, but. 
however it may be, I crave, sire, your majesty's permission to offer the dedication to you." 


of G/eat Value to aU Delsarteans, Teachers of Elocution, Public Speakers, Singers, 

Actors^ Sculptors, Painters, Psychologists, Theologians, Scholars in 

any Department of Science, Art, and Thought 

TAaxij Charts, Diagrams, Cuts, etc. Teacher's price, 92.50 net. NOT FOR SALE AT 
BOOK-STORES. Send draft on New York, postal order or registered letter direct to the 


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