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VOCAL DEFECTS

The defects most commonly found in untrained voices are breathiness, throatiness, and nasality. The following exercises, if practised persistently, will remedy these defects:

Breathiness. This is caused by allowing breath to escape unvocalized. The remedy lies in applying to the vocal cords just the quantity of breath required to produce a given tone. It should be noted that clear and robust sounds depend upon breathing gently.

1. Inhale deeply. Exhale on singing ah. Apply the air very gently to the vocal cords, hold back the unused breath and aim to increase the purity of tone.

2. Count one to ten in a loud whisper, inhaling after each number. Repeat with half breath and half voice. Repeat with pure tone. Project into the distance.

3. Practise the following in pure, clear-cut voice: hup, he, ha, haw, hah, ho, hoo.

Throatiness. This defect arises from smallness of throat or rigidity. First, relax the throat muscles and practise exercises for depressing the root of the tongue, raising the soft palate and lowering the larynx. Practise the various tongue exercises, keeping the lips perfectly still. Sing 00-oh-ah in well-projected voice. Sing le, la, law, lah, lo, loo.

Nasality. When the vocal current is allowed to escape through the nostrils, a nasal tone is produced. To avoid this, the soft palate must be well raised and the tone projected directly towards the lips.

1. With soft palate raised sing ah and oh in pure projected tone.

2. With the thumb and first finger gently close the nostrils and pronounce several times with the utmost nasality : O precious hours." Keep the nostrils closed and try to repeat with a pure tone. Repeat with nostrils open.

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