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The Brain and the Voice in Speech and Song   By: (1853-1926)

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First Page:

THE BRAIN AND THE VOICE IN SPEECH AND SONG

BY

F.W. MOTT, F.R.S., M.D., F.R.C.P.

1910

PREFACE

The contents of this little book formed the subject of three lectures delivered at the Royal Institution "On the Mechanism of the Human Voice" and three London University lectures at King's College on "The Brain in relation to Speech and Song." I have endeavoured to place this subject before my readers in as simple language as scientific accuracy and requirements permit. Where I have been obliged to use technical anatomical and physiological terms I have either explained their meaning in the text, aided by diagrams and figures, or I have given in brackets the English equivalents of the terms used.

I trust my attempt to give a sketch of the mechanism of the human voice, and how it is produced in speech and song, may prove of interest to the general public, and I even hope that teachers of voice production may find some of the pages dealing with the brain mechanism not unworthy of their attention.

F.W. MOTT

LONDON

July, 1910

CONTENTS

THEORIES ON THE ORIGIN OF SPEECH

THE VOCAL INSTRUMENT: THREE QUALITIES OF MUSICAL SOUNDS, LOUDNESS, PITCH AND TIMBRE

THE VOCAL INSTRUMENT AND ITS THREE PARTS

(1) THE BELLOWS AND ITS STRUCTURE: VOLUNTARY CONTROL OF BREATH

(2) THE REED CONTAINED IN THE VOICE BOX OR LARYNX: ITS STRUCTURE AND ACTION

(3) THE RESONATOR AND ARTICULATOR, ITS STRUCTURE AND ACTION IN SONG AND SPEECH

PATHOLOGICAL DEGENERATIVE CHANGES PRODUCING SPEECH DEFECTS AND WHAT THEY TEACH

THE CEREBRAL MECHANISM OF SPEECH AND SONG

SPEECH AND RIGHT HANDEDNESS

LOCALISATION OF SPEECH CENTRES IN THE BRAIN

THE PRIMARY SITE OF REVIVAL OF WORDS IN SILENT THOUGHT

CASE OF DEAFNESS ARISING FROM DESTRUCTION OF THE AUDITORY CENTRES IN THE BRAIN CAUSING LOSS OF SPEECH

THE PRIMARY REVIVAL OF SOME SENSATIONS IN THE BRAIN

PSYCHIC MECHANISM OF THE VOICE

ILLUSTRATIONS

FIG.

1. The thoracic cage and its contents

2. The diaphragm and its attachments

3. Diagram illustrating changes of the chest and abdomen in breathing

4. Diagram of the cartilages of the voice box or larynx with vocal cords

5. Front view of the larynx with muscles

6. Back view of the larynx with muscles

7. Diagram to illustrate movements of cartilages in breathing and phonation

8. Section through larynx and windpipe, showing muscles and vocal cords

9. The laryngoscope and its use

10. The glottis in breathing, whispering, and vocalisation

11. The vocal cords in singing, after French

12. Vertical section through the head and neck to show the larynx and resonator

13. Diagram (after Aikin) of the resonator in the production of the vowel sounds

14. K├Ânig's flame manometer

15. Diagram of a neurone

16. Left hemisphere, showing cerebral localisation

17. Diagram to illustrate cerebral mechanism of speech, after Bastian

18. The course of innervation currents in phonation

THE BRAIN AND THE VOICE IN SPEECH AND SONG

In the following pages on the Relation of the Brain to the mechanism of the Voice in Speech and Song, I intend, as far as possible, to explain the mechanism of the instrument, and what I know regarding the cerebral mechanism by which the instrument is played upon in the production of the singing voice and articulate speech. Before, however, passing to consider in detail the instrument, I will briefly direct your attention to some facts and theories regarding the origin of speech.

THEORIES ON THE ORIGIN OF SPEECH

The evolutionary theory is thus propounded by Romanes in his "Mental Evolution in Man," pp. 377 399: "Starting from the highly intelligent and social species of anthropoid ape as pictured by Darwin, we can imagine that this animal was accustomed to use its voice freely for the expression of the emotions, uttering danger signals, and singing. Possibly it may also have been sufficiently intelligent to use a few imitative sounds; and certainly sooner or later the receptual life of this social animal must have advanced far enough to have become comparable with that of an infant of about two years of age... Continue reading book >>




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