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warms up; as emotion rises, the voice rises, and his speaking becomes either yelling or screeching. But this is as unnecessary as it is undesirable. True, climax is often given in a higher key, but generally speaking, force can best be voiced by the combined strength and volume that the lower register alone can supply. There is a deepening of the feelings which come welling out through a lower key. So learn to increase your force and keep the voice down in key. Do not raise the voice and rap the hearers over the heads, in expressing force, but rather keep the voice down and lift the audience from their seats.

Modulation. Variation from the average key is one of the ways to avoid a monotonous delivery. By the relative degree and ease of such variation, we say one speaker's voice is flexible and another's stiff. A dead level in speaking is one way of putting an audience asleep. This monotony in key is sometimes heard from the pulpit. A key suited to the deeply emotional is carried also into the expression of the unemotional; so that the announcement of a Sundayschool picnic is given in the same low, sepulchral tone as the announcement of a funeral sermon.

No instrument, least of all the voice, can be well played in a single key. Variation is restful to both hearer and speaker. A song-note is uniform while it lasts, a speechnote is constantly varying. During the enunciation of a single word or syllable, the voice, in speaking, may move through its whole compass. The tension of holding the vocal cords in one position during a given note renders singing more fatiguing. In the trial of Hastings, Edmund Burke spoke four days in delivering his opening speech and nine days in closing. To have sung during this time would have been an impossible feat. And to speak at such length, Burke must have relieved the tension of an unvarying key.


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If one speaks habitually in the "upper register," he has what is known as a "head-tone," if in the "lower register," a chest-tone." In the one case he makes the head the roof of the mouth the sounding-board for his tones; in the other case, the chest. A prevailing head-tone is the more common fault. In such cases, the speech-note should be lowered and the vowels rolled out from the lungs rather than from the throat. Think of the chest as the centre of voice-reverberation, and by conscious effort centre it there.

Again, key should vary with the matter. The manuals of elocution give an elaborate classification of degrees in pitch, with rules as to how matter of a certain character fits into a certain "degree," but all this is largely dogmatic and artificial. At any rate, it is a case where the rule is worse than its violation. We know that the key in explanatory or narrative matter is higher than in the expression of deep feeling. In the one case the sole object is to get something lying easily in the speaker's mind into the minds of the hearers; in the other case, there goes with the thought something of the speaker's life and character: the impression lies deeper, and for its expression a deeper note must perforce be struck. This is a single phase of the matter. On the other hand, strong feeling-as an outburst of indignation may often best be expressed in a high key. The point is, to get control and variety of key. The rest can best be left to the requirements of the varied and changing emotions of a given address.

Exercises in Key.

1. Test the compass of your voice by (a) giving the open vowel sounds ah, aw, ō, ow — up and down the musical scale. (b) Repeat in a monotone from the lowest to the highest key, and vice versa, "Repeat it over and over again.”

2. Render the following in a rising series, like climbing a stair

way, giving the first line very low, and each succeeding line higher, let "ghosts" be the climax-highest of all.

"Amidst the mists
With angry boasts,
He thrusts his fists
Against the posts,
And still insists

He sees the ghosts."

3. Practise Exercise 1 (a) without separating the notes, i.e. let the voice slide up and down the scale. This movement of the voice is called the rising or falling slide, as the case may be, and is widely serviceable. A flexible voice, for example, will slide easily from a low to a high key, in an interrogatory. Practise the rising slide in asking, “Are you going home to-day?" Overdo it, perhaps, by using the whole compass of the voice. Suppose now your hearer does not understand your question, and you impatiently repeat, using the falling slide, "Are you going home to-day?"

4. In the selection, "Conservatism," p. 11, take the sentence, "Then at last, . . . " etc., begin low, gradually and naturally rise, bringing out the expression, to the word "hearts," and thence use the falling slide.

5. Note the "deeper note," previously alluded to, that is struck in the second sentence of the example following, after Grady has explained what "some one has said," and turns to express his own feelings and sentiments thereon:

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"Some one has said, in derision, that the old men of the South sitting down amid their ruins, reminded him of The Spanish hidalgoes sitting in the porches of the Alhambra and looking out to sea for the return of the lost Armada.' There is pathos, but no derision in this picture to me. These men were our fathers. Their lives were stainless. Their hands were daintily cast, and the civilization they builded in tender and engaging grace hath not been equalled."


6. Again, note the prevailingly deeper note that must be struck to adequately express the second paragraph of Conservatism" (p. 11), as compared with the first paragraph.


Key is the average pitch of the individual voice. By practice the speaker can and should use his best individual key-range, adapt the key of his voice to the key of the room in which he is speaking, and by modulation avoid monotony.

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Definition. Emphasis is the art of giving to each word its due importance. It is to speaking what wordarrangement is to rhetoric. It consists of any means that the speaker may employ, whereby particular attention is called to words of special significance. Such words are uttered in a way to excite the hearer's special attention. In its broader sense, emphasis is applied to sentence and paragraph relation, and to the discourse as a whole. In this broader signification, a speech might be judged by the emphasis used, for the emphasis is the speech. The purpose in this chapter, however, is to deal primarily with wordemphasis.

Basis of Good Emphasis. Like all other elements of expression, this matter of emphasis is the double work of mind and voice. You cannot emphasize a word unless the mind first perceives its importance for the purpose of the thoughtexpression. The primary requisite, then, is a vivid, vigorous mental concept; the rest is to have the voice give expression to such concept.

Ways of Emphasizing.—There are three principal ways of emphasizing a word or phrase: (1) by Pause, (2) by Time, and (3) by Stress.

1. Pause-emphasis. Special attention may be called to a word or phrase by pausing before or after, or both before

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