Auxiliary Vowels

Like the auxiliary verbs will and have, [=a], [=e], and oo

are auxiliary vowels, of whose aid we are constantly compelled to

avail ourselves. It will perhaps sound exaggerated when I present an

example of this, but as a matter of fact pronunciation is consummated

in this way; only, it must not become noticeable. The method seems

singular, but its object is to prevent the leaving of any empty

resonance space, and to obv
ate any interruptions that could affect

the perfection of the tone.

For example, when I wish to sing the word Fraeulein, I must first,

and before all else, think of the pitch of the tone, before I attack

the f. With the f, the tone must be there already, before I have

pronounced it; to pass from the f to the r I must summon to my

aid the auxiliary vowel oo, in order to prevent the formation of any

unvocalized interstices in the sound. The r must not now drop off,

but must in turn be joined to the oo, while the tongue should not

drop down behind, but should complete the vibrations

thus, in a straight line. (See plate.)

It is very interesting to note how much a word can gain or lose in

fulness and beauty of tone. Without the use of auxiliary vowels no

connection of the resonance in words can be effected; there is then no

beautiful tone in singing, only a kind of hacking. Since it must be

quite imperceptible, the use of auxiliary vowels must be very

artistically managed, and is best practised in the beginning very

slowly on single tones and words, then proceeding with great care to

two tones, two syllables, and so on. In this way the pupil learns to

hear. But he must learn to hear very slowly and for a long time,

until there is no failure of vibration in the tone and word, and it is

all so impressed upon his memory that it can never be lost. The

auxiliary vowels must always be present, but the listener should be

able to hear, from the assistance of the oo, only the warmth and

nobility of the tone, from the a and e only the carrying power and

brilliancy of it.