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CONTROL OF THE BREATH.
The chest enlarged in this manner can take in the largest quantity of air in the easiest possible manner.
32. Compression of Air. — Having taken in the requisite quantity of air it is necessary to economise it for voice. It must be compressed by a contraction of the abdominal muscles while the diaphragm and intercostals keep contracted and hold the ribs outwards. The floor of the chest is pushed upwards by the contraction of the abdominal muscles, and air is made to pass through the glottis, the vocal cords vibrate, the column of air is resisted at the top by the roof of the mouth and by the roof of the nose, the compression is kept up from below by the abdominals as long as voice is made, which is really the result of the vibrations of the compressed column of air from the diaphragm upwards. The column is easily held controlled between the roofs of the mouth and nose and the floor of the chest, and only just that portion allowed to flow out of the nose and mouth that is required.
33. The Resistance.—The cords, having a backward pressure from the upper end of the vocal apparatus almost equal to the pressure from the diaphragm, can vibrate both ways, upwards and downwards, quite easily and cannot possibly be strained. Nor is there, if this method is properly used, any danger of the shock of the glottis occurring which has caused so much loss of voice among voice-users. The vocal attack can be made with precision by this contraction of the abdominal muscles (the abdominal press), and the finish of a sound can be made equally distinct by taking off the abdominal press, that is by relaxing the abdominal muscles.
34. Sustaining the Breath.—In speaking or reading, the subject-matter is divided up into phrases, and if the