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of the four notes will again change its meaning. Excellence in these minor points is derived from the mind : it is the intellect working with mechanical means which raises artists of every description above the mass. We cannot, therefore, urge too strongly upon the young vocalist to exercise her understanding at the same time that she practises her voice and her fingers.
We will endeavour to describe a more modern ornament of Italian origin for which we know no name, but which is full of elegance and feeling. It is generally used at the end of a musical phrase where the same note is repeated, and it consists in a gentle glide to the third above, which last note is just touched, and the next note descending dwelt upon inore at length, ending upon the second note of the original phrase, for instance, g, b, a, g: when properly executed, it resembles a sort of gurgling sound; and when applied in pathetic passages, requires little effort to imagine it a sigh or gentle sob. When given wlth more boldness it confers dignity, and when lightly executed it imparts a playful character.
The appogiatura is another addition, the use of which calls for the discretion and judgment of the performer. It is too common to need description; it requires legato execution, and may be varied in rapidity, accent, and tone, according to the expression required. The Italians almost invariably introduce the appogiatura, when the same note occurs twice in succession: this frequently happens in recitative, when the rule is that the singer instead of taking the first note as it is written introduces the note above, or the half note below, as an appogiatura. Another modern application of this ornament consists
in repeating the appogiatura a second, or even a third time before taking the note which it precedes. The execution of the repetition should be soft, like a throb of the voice, if we may be allowed the expression.
The portamento, or carrying the voice from one interval to another, comes perhaps under the head of legato execution. It consists in sliding the voice through the intervening notes. Italian singers rarely omit so to connect the notes: in English music it must be employed with caution, and under all circumstances it ought to be used without violence; otherwise, it has a ludicrous effect, and resembles a caricatured imitation of the Italian manner.
It has long been the fashion to conclude English songs with a cadence, why, we know not, unless it be to give the singer further opportunity of displaying his execution and invention. The Italians have better taste, and although they may be justly accused of ending all their arias alike, yet this is a less obvious absurdity than commencing a long roulade upon a word of no meaning, when the sentiment has drawn to a close, and passion has vented its fervor. The singer has every opportunity in the course of an air to show her taste and ability, and these are not unfrequently best displayed by a sparing rather than a redundant use of ornament. It is desirable to possess the power of esecution, but equally so to employ it judiciously.
We have now treated of tone, execution, elocution, ornament, and expression. We come next to style, or the peculiar mode in which all these means are employed. It seems impossible that a succession of notes arranged to certain words should be so performed by two or more persons as to bear a different character, and yet that each performance should be equally successful. This is undoubtedly the case in acting. Actors give the same passage different readings, and accompany it by different action, yet each may claim equal excellence; how else, indeed, should there be variety or novelty, the two great charms of life? So is it with singers. No two voices have the same character, and although trained by the same master and in the same method, yet they are totally dissimilar; and as no two minds are alike, the nature of the intellect gives other varieties which are manifested in conception, imagination, and feeling. For instance, one singer will be distinguished for tenderness, another for dignity, a third for pathos. One will employ mere beauty of voicing, another great power, a third will adopt contrast, a fourth delicate or powerful execution. Some will introduce appropriate but far-fetched ornaments; others, when the character of the words is not decided, will alter the time of a composition from quick to slow, or the contrary, so as to surprise by novelty, or to gain the opportunities of displaying some acquirement or natural gift peculiar to herself. It is also to be remarked, that different kinds of compositions have each their peculiar character. The music of the church in all its subdivisions, chamber music in all its varieties, such as the canzonet, the air, the bravura, the ballad, &c., are distinct species which call into action the same qualifications, but demand an application fitted to the particular nature of the composition. There is also some regard due to the age and country of the composer. Attention to these points implies a general knowledge of the art and its history, and requires more than mere mechanical excellence. All these differences constitute style; for as they belong to mind, or the attainments resulting from long and diligent study, they will manifest them. selves in every attempt, however extensive the field upon which they are exerted. It follows, therefore, that style is a consequence of sedulous practice united to a good understanding, and the experience which comes of hearing and observing; and hence it is that amateurs seldom acquire style. It is lamentable how little the reasoning powers are exercised and cultivated in female education ; were it otherwise, the time and money now wasted upon accomplishments would be employed to the advantage and pleasure of the pupil, and of all who expect from her the fruits of those long years which she has expended on her studies.
Those parents, then, who desire their daughters to become singers, must first ascertain how far nature has lent her aid ; next, what degree of excellence it is probable they may attain, and whether the talent is to be einployed as a means of profit or of mere amusement; and, finally, how much time they can rationally spare from duties and studies of more importance. The next step is to adopt the methods most likely to secure the euds proposed. An honest and capable instructor is essential; but an explanation, such as we have endeavoured to convey of the best method, although necessarily general, will materially assist the pupil, because she will understand why that method is desirable, and being thus led to reflect upon the subject, she will be more likely to apply it advantageously. When some progress in the art has been made, hearing the best models frequently, listening with the mind as well as with the ears, will do more than many lessons carelessly given and thoughtlessly received.
THE YORKSHIRE INSTITUTION FOR THE
BY CHARLES BAKER,
(From the Quarterly Journal of Education, No. XIV.)
In a report of the Birmingham Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, recently published, appeared a statement that the number of deaf-mutes in England and Wales alone was not less than eight thousand. This statephent was noticed in many of the London and provincial newspapers, and was received in some parts of the country with discredit. From various sources of information, whose accuracy can no longer be disputed, it is ascertained that the proportion of deaf and dumb persons in South Britain is one in seventeen hundred, which, with an aggregate population of fourteen millions, fully establishes the correctness of the Birmingham Report. Returns, in fact, have been procured in various parts of the kingdom on which this proportion is founded. The proportion throughout Europe is 1565.
With such a fact as this resting on unimpeachable evidence, the situation of these helpless beings, in respect to moral culture and improvement, becomes a subject of important and anxious investigation. The difficulty of addressing instruction to minds shut out from the ordinary means of intercourse entails miseries upon this unhappy portion of the community which