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CONTROL OF THE BREATH.
30. Breathing for Voice.—Inasmuch as the outgoing air has to be carefully regulated and compressed for voice, it is necessary to secure that method of breathing whereby the muscles are placed in the most advantageous position to do their work economically and efficiently. During inspiration the front abdominal wall should be kept quite still, that is to say the abdominal muscles should not be actually contracted or relaxed, but in a condition of tonicity. The ribs not being fixed will be carried upwards and outwards by the contraction of the intercostal muscles and of the diaphragm, and the chest will be increased in size from side to side; the base of the sternum will be carried upwards and forwards, and the chest will be increased in size from before backwards; the diaphragm flattens, and the chest will be increased in size from above downwards. Air will flow into the expanded chest to fill up what would otherwise be a vacuum. This completes the inspiration. If the ribs are fixed, the diaphragm in its contraction will be carried downwards, the organs in the abdomen will be pushed downwards and the front abdominal wall will be protruded; this constitutes the so-called abdominal breathing, that has proved so harmful to the voice, to the health, and to the figure,