Vocal Quality

trainees  exaggerate  the  speaking  movements,  making sure  to  use  the  jaw,  mouth,  lips  and  tongue  to overarticulate each word in the same sentences. Play the tape back to let them hear the difference. Here is another exercise for you to use for general voice training. First, while in a sitting position, have them say the sentences aloud in a normal speaking voice. Second, again stand comfortably erect and direct them to say the sentences aloud. As they breathe, have them try to keep most of the movement in the center of their   bodies.   Place   the   trainees’   hands   on   their waistlines,  with  their  fingers  extending  to  the  front  and their thumbs to the rear. They should feel the expansion in this area. Third, have them place a book against their stomachs.  Direct  them  to  inhale.  Notice  how  the expansion of their stomachs forces the book out from 1/4 to 3/4 inch. Exhale. The contraction in the trainees’ stomachs permits the books to go back in. Let them get the feel of this action. Have them repeat the exercise while  concentrating  on  their  breathing. VOCAL  QUALITY The announcer’s voice is not the only part of the announcer. It implies the whole announcer and is a product  of  not  only  the  physical  self  but  also  the emotional and mental being. The voice can be taught to be more effective through training of those muscles that cause it to be weak metallic, harsh, breathy or nasal in quality, and to those mental or emotional characteristics that provoke the voice to be grating, melancholy or cold in  tone.  The  announcer’s  muscles  and  mental  attitude must function collectively with precision, accuracy and ease.  All  of  these  elements  are  responsible  for  the fundamentals  of  speech. RESONANCE When you start to speak, the first vocal tones are dull and weak. The sounds must be enhanced and given color  to  be  heard.  The  color  or  quality  of  the  voice denotes richness and emotional meaning. The vocal loudness and changes that happen within the cavities of the human voice are known as resonance. The two types of resonance are sounding board and cavity. A vibrating tuning fork held free cannot be heard by the ear with ease except at a short distance. However, when you hold its stem against a solid object, the tone will be heard throughout a room. This is because the tuning fork and the solid object vibrate in unison, or together, with the exact number of vibrations of the tuning fork. The tone increases because the size of the vibrator, the solid object, has been increased. The sound quality  of  the  louder  tone  changes  from  solid  object  to solid object, depending on the size and its composition. This is sounding board resonance. A musical instrument that uses the theory of sounding board resonance is the violin. If you were to hold a tuning fork inside an open pipe  and  cup  your  hand  over  that  end,  the  tone  is amplified and sent through the other end. The enclosed column of air is set to vibrating sympathetically and the focus  resulting  from  the  enclosure  produces  ampli- fication. Again, the quality of sound varies with the composition of the pipe; that is, brass, copper, and so forth.  The  quality  of  sound  depends  on  the  size  of  the pipe, its length, diameter, shape, openings and internal makeup. This is an example of cavity resonance. The saxophone is another. The three main cavity resonators, or pipes, of the voice are the throat, mouth and nose. All three are located above the main vibrators–the vocal cords. The mouth is the most variable of the three, while the nose and sinus cavity are the least variable of the cavity resonators. Beneath the vibrators are the invariable  vibrators–the  windpipe  and  bronchial  tubes which, according to their size, openness and health, may emphasize certain overtones (see fig. 8-19). Because they are fixed and untrainable, you must keep them physically fit. The bones, cartilage and muscles of the chest cavity, neck and head are the sounding boards of a person’s voice. During speech, they vibrate in varying degrees and alter sound, loudness and selection of overtones. These, also, you must keep physically fit. Keep the throat open, detached of unnecessary tension and with enough flexibility to react to any type or subtlety of feeling. This means that your talking with a smile really Figure 8-19.—Articulatory organs and resonance cavities. 8-40


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