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Chapter 3 Voice and Diction. Objectives To develop a more effective speaking voice through relaxation, proper breathing, and good posture To learn habits.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 3 Voice and Diction. Objectives To develop a more effective speaking voice through relaxation, proper breathing, and good posture To learn habits."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 3 Voice and Diction

2 Objectives To develop a more effective speaking voice through relaxation, proper breathing, and good posture To learn habits of good diction in order to develop distinctive, effective voices To use voice quality, pitch, volume, pause, and rate effectively in interpreting character, mood, and meaning.

3 Focus Activity

4 Relaxation Proper sounds are made through vowel sounds and vowel sounds are made through a relaxed and open throat, jaw and lips.  A tense or tight throat will cause hoarseness when you try to project your voice in practice or performance. Warm Ups

5 Breath Control What is the difference between regular breathing and breathing for speech?  Regular breathing The inhalation and exhalation periods are of equal length.  Breathing for speech Requires a very brief inhalation period and a slow, controlled exhalation period. In breathing for speech, you should inhale through the mouth since this allows for more rapid intake of breath than through the nose. Controlled breathing is more important to the actor than deep breathing.

6 Breathe from diaphragm? What does that mean?  Means that the chest cavity stays relatively still, while the lower ribs rise and fall slightly. Requires less chest breathing Allows you to breathe more deeply Provides the control you need to project long passages without running out of breath.  Practice daily!!!

7 Four characteristics of the Voice Must be used for effective voice:  Quality  Pitch  Volume  Rate

8 Quality/Tone Individual sound of your voice  Depends on the shape and size of your vocal mechanism, which you will not be able to change You CAN learn to make the most of what you’ve got by keeping your throat open and controlling your breath.  If your voice sounds harsh or raspy, it usually is the result of a closed throat.  If your voice sounds breathy, you are probably using more breath than you need. Voice quality may also be affected by emotion  Tone is the vocal element you use to create different emotional colors when you speak or sing. Tone Exercises

9 Pitch Relative highness or lowness of the voice at any given time Pitch is determined by the rapidity with which the vocal folds vibrate  Most persons use only four or five notes in ordinary speaking, but a good speaker can use two octaves or more  Pitch gives meaning to speech. Excited, interested, enthusiastic = higher pitch on important words to emphasize them and lower pitch on unimportant words to subordinate them Conflict increases, excitement stirs, comedy builds = higher pitch Variety in pitch is called INFLECTION  Without variety in pitch, speakers are unable to hold the attention of their audiences.  Overcome this by practice and conscious attention  As an actor, you must learn to control the number, length, and direction of your pitch changes. Observe others – notice what different emotions do to the pitch of their voices

10 Volume The relative strength, force, or intensity with which sound is made  NOT loudness!  Depends upon the pressure with which the air from the lungs strikes the vocal folds.  Explosive and Expulsive What is the difference?  Explosive – sudden sharp breath pressure – commands, shouts, loud laughter, screams  Expulsive – pressure held steady, breath released gradually – used for reading long passages without loss of breath and in building to a dramatic climax  Volume is used in combination with other voice characteristics to express various feelings

11 Volume Remember that when you are onstage, it is important to remember that you must use more energy to convey impressions of all kinds than is necessary offstage  Think about where your voice is to go and keep your throat relaxed Exercise 1 Greater force to emphasize  Exercise 2

12 Pause and Rate Use the punctuation in your speech for help in determining pauses. Logical and dramatic pauses demand thought and feeling on your part or you will not have your audience thinking and feeling with you.  Pause Chart The speed at which words are spoken is called RATE  Steadily increasing speed creates a feeling of tension and excitement  Slow, deliberate delivery impressed the hearer with their significance.

13 Diction/Articulation Diction refers to the selection and pronunciation of words Proper breathing technique, great tone, and perfect pitch will make no difference at all if you have poor diction Poor articulation is generally the result of carelessness and sluggish speech  On stage, every word counts, unlike in everyday speech  If your speech is to be an asset in your daily usage, you must use clear, correct, pleasing speech that carries well. Practice reading aloud daily Record and analyze your speech and the speech of others

14 Vowel Sounds Spelling is not reliable for pronunciation  Letter A Father Cat Came IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) p. 85  Created to represent the sounds found in all languages Helpful when working with dialects Confusing Vowel Sounds p. 86  Each word should sound different!!!

15 Consonant Sounds Voiceless consonant – no vibration Voiced consonant – vibration Plosive, Fricative, Nasal  Plosive – air is stopped and suddenly released  Fricative – air passage is narrowed  Nasal – mouth is completely closed; air through nose

16 Avoid these common habits of sloppy speech: “Didn’t you?”, “Wouldn’t you?” and “Did you?” should be separated to avoid saying “Didncha?”, “Wouldnja?”, and “Didja?”  Mumbling, muttering, or dropping words at the end of sentences and letters at the end of words  Using the vocal apparatus, especially the tongue, in a lazy manner, resulting from indistinctness  Being too meticulous, artificial, or theatrical Voice and Diction in Acting  It is an actor’s responsibility to avoid spoiling lines by blurring pronunciation, muffling enunciation or speaking with a nervous rhythm

17 Five Principles to Guide You: 1. Vowels are the sounds actors can work with in interpretation. Vowels can be lengthened, shortened, and inflected. 2. Verbs are the strongest words in the language. Except for forms of be, verbs should be stressed. 3. Look for “color words” – those that are vividly descriptive. Look especially for those words whose sounds suggest their meaning (onomatopoeias) such as crash, stab, grunt, splash. 4. Rarely stress negative, pronouns, and articles. 5. When a word or phrase is repeated, stress each repetition more than the preceding repetition.

18 Tongue Twisters Rubber baby buggy bumpers To make the bitter batter better, Betty bought better butter, beating the better butter into the batter to make the batter better. The dedicated doctor diagnosed the dreaded disease as December dithers. Fickle fortune framed a fine finale for a fancy finish. Could creeping cat keep crafty claws clear of kitchen curtains? Many mortals miss mighty moments more from meager minds than major mistakes. Some people say I lisp when I say soup, soft soap, or something similar, but I don’t perceive it myself. Round and round the ragged rock the rugged rascal ran. Which is the witch that wished the wicked wishes?

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