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neither of these obstacles ought to seem serious to a Government with a large majority, a resolute will, and a clear purpose.

The problem before the Statutory Commission is undoubtedly intricate and difficult, but it is not insoluble. The Royal Commission has provided the needful facts and suggestions, and in the hands of the experts whom the Government proposes to enlist under the skilful and experienced guidance of Lord Davey such statutes and regulations as will be satisfactory both to the parties most nearly interested and to the whole nation will probably be framed. A more interesting task, or one involving graver and more permanent consequences, has seldom been entrusted to an advisory body. They will seek to bring into harmonious and mutually helpful relations the various scattered agencies concerned in the higher and professional education of London. They will try to retain the spirit of all that is best in the academic traditions of the older universities, and will at the same time feel free to take a large and generous view of the new intellectual requirements and the changed conditions of our time. They will recognise that while it is the first business of a university to foster literæ humaniores —the studies which help to make the accomplished and capable man-a second duty is to ennoble and liberalise the professions. Hence they will not leave outside their purview the institutions which are training for a life's work the lawyer, the physician, the engineer, the schoolmaster, and the electrician. They will find means of recognising and assisting so much of the work done under the name of. University Extension' or Evening Classes as shall be proved to possess a really disciplinal and academic character. They will have regard to the organisation of Post-graduate' studies, and to the encouragement of research and advanced learning by means other than examinations. They will, it may be hoped, find it possible to perform this duty without impairing in the least degree the present usefulness of the university in directing, testing, and rewarding non-collegiate study. Above all, they will provide room for future expansion, and will remember that every institution in the world which has real vitality in it must be ready to avail itself from time to time of new opportunities of acquiring strength and rendering itself useful to the community.

Thus the moment is opportune, and the way seems to be open at last for the settlement of this long debated question on an equitable and permanent basis. It is manifest that the present Government and Parliament would derive much honour and do a signal public service if the sixtieth year of Her Majesty's memorable reign were distinguished by the establishment of a great university, on a scale worthy of its imperial position and commensurate with the intellectual needs of the metropolis.

J. G. FITCH.

THE TRUE NATURE OF "FALSETTO'

it as

It is the object of the following pages to show that behind the familiar term 'falsetto’a great truth lies concealed—a truth which is of much importance, not only to the musician and the scientist, but also to the general public. As commonly employed, the word may be said to denote that kind of voice with which a man can imitate the voice of a woman. The highest authorities on the subject of voice production hold two opinions concerning this voice. Some look upon an unnatural or artificial voice, and say that it ought not to be used under any circumstances whatever. Others maintain that it is one of two or more vocal registers, and is perfectly natural, but intended by nature to be employed only for a few notes at the top of the male voice. The latter of these opinions is undoubtedly the more reasonable and the more defensible, but neither of them is consistent with facts. The experiments which I have made with the so-called falsetto during the last five or six years render each of them untenable. It seems strange that in this pre-eminently scientific age no such experiments should ever have been made by others. Yet this would appear to be the case; or, at any rate, if similar experiments have been carried out before, they have, so far as I know, never been made public.

Many years before these experiments commenced I had formed a very definite and decided opinion as to the character and capabilities of the so-called falsetto. This was owing to certain experiences with my own voice. The conclusions, however, which at that time forced themselves upon me were of so startling & nature, and so utterly at variance with all that I had ever read or heard on the subject, that I felt the impossibility of getting them accepted, and therefore the uselessness of making them known, until, by experiments with other voices, I had furnished myself with further evidence of their correctness. Opportunities of thus verifying my conclusions did not present themselves for a good many years, and it was not until the year 1890 that I was enabled to begin the series of experiments to which I now wish to direct attention. The result of these experiments was such as to fully confirm me in the views which I had long entertained, by the establishment of the remarkable fact that by bringing down the so-called falsetto to within a few notes of the bottom of the vocal compass, and by exercising it frequently and persistently, it is possible at this low pitch to gradually strengthen and develop it until it acquires all the robustness of the ordinary chest voice.' When this process of development is completed, the voice may be said to be entirely transformed. The old chest voice' is discarded, and in place of the two registers of which the voice formerly consisted there is now only one register, which extends from one extremity of the voice to the other. This new voice, while as regards strength and volume of tone it bears a great resemblance to the discarded chest voice,' for which it may easily be mistaken, differs from it in three important particulars : firstly in the peculiar beauty and sweetness of its quality, secondly in its exceptionally extended compass, and thirdly in the perfect ease with which it can be carried to its upper limit.

One of the voices with which I was most successful was that of a young man of about six-and-twenty years of age, who when he came to me had already had some little training. His voice, which was tenor, consisted of the two registers commonly known as 'chest voice' and falsetto. The break’ between these two registers was quite conspicuous, and the difficulty in producing the upper notes of the 'chest’ register was unmistakable. He had been taught to exercise the chest voice and let the so-called falsetto alone. I advised him to do exactly the reverse. On getting him to bring the upper register down as far as G in the fourth space of the bass stave, nearly an octave lower than it is supposed to be of any practical use, I found it, as was to be expected, exceedingly weak and breathy. Below that point it was little better than a whisper. On this weak and 'breathy'voice he now began to work under my directions, by means principally of octave and arpeggio exercises. After about three months of regular and diligent practice, a very remarkable increase of strength was observable in all the notes as far down as the G just mentioned. These notes had lost their falsetto character, and had begun to sound like 'chest' notes. In a few more months the improvement had extended itself to the lower notes as far as the low D. Thus the development process went on until, in less than a year, the transformation was complete. The old chest voice' had been entirely discarded and superseded, and in its place was what may be described as a new kind of chest voice,' with an available compass of two octaves and a fourth, extending from the low A flat to the high D flat, every note strong and of good quality, and every note produced in exactly the same way as the so-called falsetto.

Another case was that of a young man who came to me from Scotland. His also was a tenor voice. When I first saw him he had come to London only on a visit. He had been exercising his voice on the method of the late Emil Behnke. In this method, as many of my readers are probably aware, the terms “thick' and 'thin' register are used instead of the terms chest voice' and falsetto. Following out the principles there laid down, he had been employing the thick register for the lower three-fourths of his voice and the thin register for the upper fourth. I told him that, in my opinion, every time he exercised the thick register he undid the good that was done by the exercise of the thin register, and that the only way to develop his voice fully was to take the thin register all the way down. He could not bring himself to believe this all at once; consequently, when he got back to Scotland, while he so far followed my advice as to use the thin register much lower down than formerly, he still continued to employ the thick register for the middle and lower portion of his voice. The result of this was that, although the thin register was considerably strengthened, a complete development of the voice was prevented. Subsequently he returned to London and put himself regularly under my instruction. He then gave up the exercise of the thick register altogether, and in course of time succeeded in making another thick register out of the thin one, thus proving not only the impropriety of these terms themselves, but also the unsoundness of the pseudo-scientific theory which brought them

into vogue.

These two cases may be taken as specimens of others which have been treated in a similar way with a similar result. In each case the mode of production which I have caused to be employed throughout the whole compass of the voice has been that of the so-called falsetto. In one or two cases this kind of voice was called, by the pupil's former teacher, either 'head voice' or 'thin register,' and the pupil had been allowed to use it for a few notes at the top of his compass. But in the majority of cases former teachers had called it falsetto, and had absolutely forbidden its use.

Interspersed with the successful cases there have, of course, been many failures. There has also been a considerable number of what may be called partial successes.

Some of the failures were cases in which pupils were prevented by their business pursuits from getting regular and sufficient practice, but most of them were those of young men who lacked the necessary patience and perseverance. Several of the partial successes were men over forty years

of
age.

In these and some other cases complete success seemed to be unattainable. Nevertheless, they proved of great value, for they served to make plain another remarkable and apparently unknown fact-viz., that the so-called falsetto not only strengthens that voice itself, but is beneficial to the chest voice' also. It is generally supposed that its exercise to any great extent is productive of serious injury to the chest voice,' and the assertion has been made, and is endorsed by high authority, that, if it be exercised exclusively, the chest voice' will be entirely destroyed. There is not a vestige of truth in this assertion. The many careful and prolonged experiments which I have made disprove it completely; and not only do they do this, but they also show that, while the so-called falsetto is improved by being exercised, the 'chest voice’ is improved by being let alone.

There is another point to which reference must now be made. It is commonly taught and believed that every adult male voice possesses by nature at least two registers. In the course of my investigations, however, I have met with untrained voices, both tenors and basses, which possess only one register-voices which Nature has taken the liberty of making in her own way, in defiance of all the great authorities, and in utter disregard of all their pet theories. Of course it may be asserted that these voices do

possess separate registers, but they are so well blended that no · break’ is perceptible, and therefore they appear to have one register only. But if we wish to discover the truth, we must take facts as we find them, not imagine or invent them to suit our own theories. Now it is certainly a fact that there are adult male voices in which, even when examined with the aid of the laryngoscope, no 'break’ can be detected at any point throughout their entire compass. We have this fact recorded by Sir Morell Mackenzie in his work, The Hygiene of the Vocal Organs, although it in no way supports the theory which he himself favours. If, then, there are voices in which no ' break’ or change of production can be found, even when the laryngoscope is brought into operation and the ear is assisted by the eye, there is surely some reason for assuming that, in these cases, no 'break’ or change exists. Perhaps it may be said that physiology teaches us that there are, and must be, separate registers. This is a common supposition, but it is a mistake. Physiology teaches us nothing of the kind. Physiologists have to deal with the fact that most voices possess separate registers, and they try to account for it; but, so far as I have been able to discover, there is nothing in the mechanism of the larynx to show the necessity for more than one mode of production, and no physiologist has ever yet succeeded in satisfactorily explaining how it is that these separate registers exist.

The voices which Nature has made with only one register, by a secret process of her own, are exceptionally fine voices, and in adult males they have the peculiarity that they seem to be all 'chestvoice. But there is one striking difference between this and the ordinary chest voice'-it can be carried with perfect ease to the highest limit of the voice. Now the question arises, how is this kind of voice produced ? In answer to this question I point to the

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