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their bases, the vocal bands are adjusted so as to form a small narrow opening through which the breath passes, and in passing causes the edges of the bands to vibrate. The vibrations produce tone or voice.

The pitch of the tone depends chiefly upon the tension of the bands; and the loudness, upon the strength of their vibrations; while the fullness, resonancy and volume of the voice depend upon the size and passivity of the resonance chambers, the freedom and elasticity of the vocal ligaments, and the pressure of the supporting aircolumn, and especially upon the "passive-activity" (a carelessly-careful condition) of all the parts employed in the production of tone.

5. The Glottis. Properly, this is the opening between the vocal bands, but the entrance to the larynx, and also to its entire cavity, is more commonly known by this


The rim of the glottis forms the upper border of the larynx, the entrance to which is guarded by,

6. The Epiglottis. This is a tongue-shaped cartilage that shuts upon the rim of the glottis whenever we swallow, thus closing the passage-way to the lungs and preventing strangulation. It is attached to a U-shaped bone (the os hyoides), to which the tongue is also joined. The hyoid is a "floating bone," not forming a part of the skeleton, and is chiefly employed in keeping the parts at the base of the tongue in place.

The ordinary condition of the Epiglottis is a position in which it rests against the base of the tongue, allowing free inhalation and exhalation of the air in its passage to and from the lungs through the glottis. It is like a trap-door held open by springs, that must be pulled upon to be closed.

In the act of swallowing, it shuts from the front backward, allowing the food and saliva to pass safely over the top of the larynx into the oesophagus or "gullet." This act is also accompanied by an elevation of the uvula and soft palate, thus closing the entrance to the nasal passage and preventing food from passing in that direction.

Though a useful sentinel, keeping guard over the glottis, in the production of tone, the Epiglottis is often a mischievous meddler. Any contraction of the muscles about the base of the tongue, or those of the jaw or neck, is apt to contract the muscles that control the action of the epiglottis, causing it partially to close the entrance of the larynx. This has the effect of producing the throaty tone so often heard in uncultivated voices. In fact, it is one of the most common faults in the production of tone. This contraction of the throat is commonly caused by nervousness, embarrassment, or undue excitement or haste on the part of the speaker. The habit of cramping the throat is often thus formed until it becomes a "second nature,"-very difficult to break up. Hence, an avoidance of any contraction about the throat is the first essential condition in the proper production of tone, either for speaking or singing.

The other vocal organs are,

The Resonance Chambers, comprising,

1. The Trachea, a hollow tube below the larynx ;

2. The cavity within the larynx ;

3. The Pharynx or back mouth;

4. The Mouth proper;

5. The Vestibule of the nose; and 6. The Nasal cavities.

The walls that inclose all these variously shaped chambers have a delicate lining called the mucous membrane, the healthy condition of which has much to do with clearness and other qualities of voice.

It is within these several cavities that the tone produced by the vibration of the vocal bands is resounded, adding much to the various characteristics and qualities of the voice, such as fullness, volume, resonancy, etc.

The Resonance Chambers serve the same purpose to the vocal ligaments that the body of the violin does to the violin strings, or the tube of the clarionet to the tongue of that instrument. There would be but little loudness or character produced by the vibration of the violin strings detached from the instrument, whatever might be their tension or however great their agitation. It is owing to their position on the body of the violin, and the manner of their connection, that the attuned strings of that wonderful instrument are enabled to give forth the sweetest sounds that human mechanism can execute, sounds that almost vie with those produced by that still more wonderful instrument-that divine mechanism—the human voice.


ORGANS OF ARTICULATION.-See Plate I. Articulatory organs are all situated above the larynx. They comprise,

1. The Hard Palate, or roof of the mouth;

2. The Soft Palate, forming, with the Uvula, a pendent veil or curtain at the passage-way between the mouth and the pharynx;

3. The Tongue;

4. The Teeth ;

5. The Lips; and

6. The walls of the Nose.

These are the parts that manufacture, out of the tone and breath, articulate elements of speech.

Thus, for example, the element represented by b is made by obstructing the tone with the compressed lips; m, by diverting the sound thus formed into the nasal cavities; and p, by the sudden separation of the compressed lips, causing a percussive explosion of the breath. By a similar manipulation of tone and breath, with the tip of the tongue pressed against the upper gum of the front teeth, the articulate elements represented by d, n, and t are produced. So, with the back surface of the tongue brought in contact with the soft palate in the back part of the mouth, the elements symbolized by g (hard), ng (as in ring), and k, are articulated in like manner.

Other explanations of the action and uses of the organs of speech will be given under the respective heads of Breathing, Voice Culture, and Articulation.

Since the limitation of knowledge upon any subject of science is inversely to the amount of investigation and study given to the subject, it is to be hoped that the student of elocution will not confine his knowledge of the Anatomy of the organs of speech to the brief descriptions and explanations given in this manual, but that the little here given will induce him to study the subject as treated in the large anatomical books and charts, and also avail himself of the use of the laryngoscope, by means of which the vocal bands may be seen in action.


The above cut is from Dr. Cohen's Health Primer, "The Throat and Voice," Phila.


This represents an almost vertical view of some of the more important Vo cal Organs. The picture in the mirror is not only inverted, but also reversed. The vocal bands are separated as in the expiration of the breath, while between them are seen the three upper rings of the windpipe.

The tip of the epiglottis is shown near the upper edge of the mirror, and the rim of the glottis " at the sides and below.

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