A Manual For The Study of The Human Voice
Condensed version by: Print From Vintage
“Every person with a superior voice is a capitalist. There is always a ready market for this talent, be it as a speaker or singer”
– Eugene Feuchtinger
The world, as we know it, was created by the sound of the voice of God. “Let there be Light,” were the first words ever spoken, and the power of this voice was so great, that an entire universe was created thereby.
This book has been scanned from an original copy dated from the early 1900’s. It is an EXTREMELY valuable book! When Eugene Feuchtinger began teaching the science of the voice around the turn of the century, it was revolutionary and this method has been essentially lost since! The voice instructors today will regrettably teach you the wrong methods and you will end up with a damaged voice. I cannot emphasis how important it is for EVERY person to study this manual and to have absolute control over their voice and use it for the purpose that it was intended in this life because the voice is something that can be used in everyday situations and even provide you with something valuable to contribute to the world!
With that said, Welcome to your vocal journey!
The supposition was, that if you speak or sing frequently and for a sufficient length of time for many years, the vocal organ would become strong; but this is entirely erroneous. What would you think of a piano teacher, whose pupil has told him that the piano at home was in bad shape, that many strings were loose and several keys refused to respond to the touch, if he should say to this pupil: “Just continue to take lessons and practice daily, the piano will improve as you go on?”
“This book will create your voice.” Your part is to follow these instructions implicitly.
There is nothing in all infinity, whether great or small, which was not created through the “Word,” hence, there is nothing which is of greater importance than the word and the tone out of which the word is made. Our very thoughts are inseparable from language.
Poor speech habits are a serious handicap. They impair clearness and accuracy of communication in business and social life. A general insistence on correct speech, distinct utterance and clear tone would not only increase human usefulness and make life pleasanter, but it would also lessen disease, because it would promote better hygiene of the entire voice tract – mouth, nose throat and lungs. Not only improving the voice but avoiding most throat affections.
While, of course, our daily speech offers by far the largest field for the use of the voice, there is another field in which the voice is the most important factor; that is, the increasing field of song. A good singer has the world at his feet.
No longer need you spend useless years in expensive study to find in the end that your voice is not large enough, or the compass too small to insure the success that was promised. Or worse still, to be told that your long efforts have ruined your voice, that your most highly-prized possession has been lost forever.
The quality and strength of the voice is a wonderful asset to every man and woman in his or her fight for recognition, and yet the voice is universally neglected, or is unconsciously destroyed through incorrect training.
The human voice in an unexplored gold mine. Almost every person will discover that they possess in their voice a latent talent that has been overlooked, a bank account standing to his credit against which they have drawn but few, if any, checks.
In referring to the general neglect of the voice, it must be stated that man has not been to blame; for never until now has there been a reliable, unfailing method of developing it. The real secret of voice building was only discovered and made practical about 100 years ago. Since then, however, many systems of voice training have been tried by many teachers, but the result has always been the same—if the vocal organ was normal and possessed sufficient strength, the voice developed naturally, provided the particular system did not succeed in ruining the organ; but, if the vocal organ was originally weak, the voice failed to grow and the pupil passed from teacher to teacher, sustained by promises of future results that never were realized.
WHY OTHER SYSTEMS HAVE FAILED
A physical organ or a piece of machinery can only do work in keeping with its condition or strength. To overtax that which is already weak, is to break it down and destroy its usefulness. Before we can successfully follow any kind of sport or do any particular class of work, the muscles and functions of the body must possess the strength necessary for the purpose. To make the attempt without this qualification is to fail. Teachers have been trying to make their pupils sing, trying to force them to do certain things with the vocal organ that only a thoroughly strong, supple organ could do, and never stopping to ascertain if the muscles which control that organ were strong enough to withstand the strain.
However, this is exactly what voice teachers everywhere, for hundreds of years, have done. They have subjected weak organs to strains which they could not withstand and as a consequent result the voice breaks down. However, they knew no better, and hence, they are not to blame. They did not know how to strengthen the all-important voice muscles, so they had to do the best they could with the imperfect material which came to them. Their business was to teach the principles of singing and not to create the voice. The student was expected to supply that.
“This book will create your voice.” Your part is to follow these instructions implicitly.
A superior voice is not developed by forcing a weak or imperfect organ to sing scales or other exercises for months and years. The secret of a grand voice lies in the vocal organ itself. The organ must first be made strong and flexible before it can produce the desired voice. In a perfect vocal organ expression and singing are as natural as breathing. The so-called prodigies, endowed with beautiful voices, required little training; they were simply born with a perfect vocal organ and the training they received merely taught them to use their voices in the particular way the public and the operatic manager thought they should be used. VERY FEW people are born with the vocal organ fully developed in strength, yet all organs CAN be strengthened and built up, no matter how weak they may be; and no matter how strong a vocal organ is, it can be improved. What this means to humanity it would be hard to estimate.
This method is not simply a course in singing or speaking, asking you to sing certain scales or exercises or to recite certain pieces in such and such a way, claiming, as has been done in the past, that these exercises will develop your voice.
Singers: is your voice small or large? Is there a break in the voice and on what note? Is your voice thin? Is it sweet or harsh? Do you sing with ease or with loss of breath?
Speakers: Is your voice musical, rotund, full, or is it harsh, thin or husky? Can you articulate distinctly without effort? Have you any special speech defects, such as stammering, stuttering, or lisping? Do your facial muscles twitch when speaking or singing? Any tightness about the throat while singing or speaking?
EXERCISE – Place your finger on lightly against the “Adam’s apple” and sing or speak in your usual way. Does the “Adam’s apple” rise, fall or stand still?
With a mirror examine your tongue, speak or sing “ah,” as in father. Does the tongue rise up near the back or fall? Does it make a groove in the middle? Touch your tongue near the back, just were the throat begins. Does it feel hard or soft?
All of these questions are of the utmost importance. They are an ABSOLUTELY sure indication of the condition of your voice organism. Knowing these things, you will be taught the correct condition and to develop these muscles by means of special exercises which cover each point, as needed.
You can place ABSOLUTE confidence in this system – it is not an experiment. After reading this, you will realize what a blessing such a method will become to humanity. The next great movement of culture; for nothing refines, elevates and idealizes the human mind and character like a beautiful voice. Its influence for good is unmeasurable.
The pleasure of possessing a fine voice is no longer restricted to the few, but is now the privilege of all.
Even if your voice is only fairly good or ALTOGETHER poor, you can still develop it, by these lessons, into a beautiful voice, but; of course, it will take more time than if your voice is already good at the start.
This method of voice building is unlike any system of voice training that has ever been used before or since its 10 year run in the early 1900’s. To that end, no time or money is wasted trying to train an imperfect organ to do things which are impossible for it to do. Instead, this method goes straight to the root of the trouble – the physical condition of the organ itself. One must exercise and build up the controlling muscles until they are fully capable of doing the work required of them.
Voices are ruined by forcing the vocal organ to greater exertion than it has the strength to sustain. People speak or sing imperfectly, not because they breathe badly nor because they do not place the tone properly or articulate indistinctly, but because their vocal organ is faulty – is not prepared to do the work.
This method corrects the fault, converts the weakness into strength and produces results that will be permanent.
This method does not waste your time, exhaust your nerves and confuse your understanding. It goes straight to the point and tells you exactly what to do and how to do it, always, of course, showing the reason for the wisdom of each action.
The instructions for the most part can be carried out quietly, privately, in your own room. Remember, this method strengthens and develops the muscles which control the vocal cords and which determine the quality of the voice.
Every man, woman and child should study this method. Much of our success depends upon the condition of our vocal organ, which includes the mouth, throat and lungs. Every person with a superior voice is a capitalist. There is always a ready market for this talent, be it as a speaker or singer, at a high rate of remuneration.
If your voice is weak, uncertain, lacks power or volume, tires easily, gets husky or harsh, or if you suffer from stammering or any kind of throat trouble, it shows that there is a defect in the vocal organ or in the attached muscles. Besides being unpleasant, this condition is really dangerous. Unless corrected it is certain to become worse as you grow older. This method of voice building overcomes these defects.
Ninety out of ever hundred persons could profit by the use of this method, even though they may not wish to become professional singers or speakers. There are few positions or callings that could not be made more profitable through the addition of a better speaking or singing voice. If you have the ambition to raise yourself above the position you now occupy socially, professionally or commercially, you should learn the secret contained in this great, long suppressed discovery.
You should learn this method, use it and prepare yourself to be heard in the world. Only those who enter public life and do things worth while, things that help humanity, are remembered and honored. Consider the possibilities contained in a perfect voice to sway the public’s feelings and win personal fame. Remember that you carry within your throat an instrument that, if rightly exercised, can be used to earn you an independent living and possibly a fortune. And furthermore, you will possess the advantage of having your stock in trade (your voice) always with you and at your immediate command. Certainly this is your opportunity to develop a talent that you can always be proud of. Nothing is so much admired or wins for its owner such favor as does a “Perfect Voice.”
POINTS TO REMEMBER: It is not difficult to master, but requires patience and perseverance. Learn to practice your exercises DAILY, if only for a few moments, for that is the way to accomplish wonders. A half hour each day is FAR better than ten hours a week spent at one time.
Don’t expect to learn it all in one lesson. I have read this book three times before transcribing its main points to you here.
Things you will need: A flashlight (for good viewing of the open mouth) and a mirror.
To avoid skimming over these exercises rapidly, for you cannot gain any permanent benefit in this matter, take on each lesson separately. This is how it was done a century ago. This is how it ought to be done today. Remember, you are entering into a great work, not only for yourself but for all of humanity as well. Please, give it your undivided attention. Concentrate your efforts and be determined to win.
You may find it a good method to first read a lesson straight through and then go over it slowly the second time. It should be studied carefully until you feel that you have it mastered thoroughly. If you are engaged in singing or speaking before the public, be careful to apply what you learn in each lesson. The results will astonish you.
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