Voice Training In Speech And Song - online tutorial

The Structure And Use Of The Vocal Organs, And The Means Of Securing Distinct Articulation.

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55i Classification of the Vowels.—Vowels are usually divided into long and short, and to each long vowel there is supposed to be a corresponding short vowel; really this is not strictly true in the case of English sounds, for the difference between them is one of quality as well as quantity. The principal vowel sounds used in singing may be represented as follows: oo, oh, aw, ah, ay, ee, and each should be sung as if it consisted of a single sound. In speech oh and ay are pronounced as if they consisted of two distinct sounds, ohoo and ayee, and hence should be called diphthongs, a diphthong being a com­bination of two vowel sounds. The five letters which represent our English vowels are diphthongs and are pronounced ayee, ee-y, ahe, ohoo, y-oo. Confusion always exists between the sound and the letters that represent that sound; phoneticians to some extent get over the difficulty by the use of symbols, giving one sign for each sound. To help the student, both the sound and its phonetic sign are given (the signs used being those of the Association Phonetique Internationale, as in Dumville's
Science of Speech).