Resonant Consonants

K, l, m, n, p, s, and r at the end of a word or syllable

must be made resonant by joining to the end of the word or syllable a

rather audible [)e] (eh); for instance, Wandel^e, Gretel^e,


A thing that no one teaches any longer, or knows or is able to do, a

thing that only Betz and I knew, and with me will probably disappear

entirely, is the dividing and ending of syllables that must be

ected under certain conditions. It may have originated with the

Italian school.

I was taught it especially upon double consonants. When two come

together, they must be divided; the first, as in Him-mel, being

sounded dull, and without resonance, the syllable and tone being kept

as nasal as possible, the lips closed, and a pause being made between

the two syllables; not till then is the second syllable pronounced,

with a new formation of the second consonant.

And this is done, not only in case of a doubling of one consonant, but

whenever two consonants come together to close the syllable; for

instance, win-ter, dring-en, kling-en, bind-en; in these the nasal

sound plays a specially important part.

The tediousness of singing without proper separation of the syllables

is not appreciated till it has been learned how to divide the

consonants. The nasal close of itself brings a new color into the

singing, which must be taken into account; and moreover, the word is

much more clearly intelligible, especially in large auditoriums, where

an appreciable length of time is needed for it to reach the listener.

By the nasal close, also, an uninterrupted connection is assured

between the consonant and the tone, even if the latter has to cease,

apparently, for an instant.

I teach all my pupils thus. But since most of them consider it

something unheard of to be forced to pronounce in this way, they very

rarely bring it to the artistic perfection which alone can make it

effective. Except from Betz, I have never heard it from any one. After

me no one will teach it any more. I shall probably be the last one. A