Sensation And Position Of The Tongue

We feel the placing of its tip against or beneath the front teeth; and

place the tip very low, so that it really curves over in front. (See


Its hinder part must be drawn back toward the palate, in the

pronunciation of every letter.

Furthermore, by looking in the mirror we can see that the sides of

the tongue are raised as soon as we wish to form a furrow in it; that

s we must do to produce the palatal resonance. (Only in the

head tone--that is, the use of the resonance of the head cavities

without the added palatal resonance--has the tongue no furrow; it

must, however, lie very high, since otherwise its mass, when it lies

flat, presses against the larynx and produces pinched or otherwise

disagreeable tones.)

The best way is to get the mass of the tongue out of the way by

forming the furrow in it. In high notes, when the larynx must stand as

high as possible, the back of the tongue also must stand very high;

but since there is a limit to this, we are often compelled to make the

larynx take a lower position.

The correct position of the tongue, preparatory to singing, is gained

by saying the vowel sound aou, as if about to yawn.

The tongue must not scrape around upward with its tip. As soon as the

tip has been employed in the pronunciation of the consonants l, n,

s, t, and z, in which its service is very short and sharp, it

must return to its former position, and keep to it.

It is best to watch the movements of the tongue in the mirror until we

have formed the correct habit permanently. The more elastic the tongue

is in preparing the form for the breath to pass through, the stiller

will it appear, the stiller will it feel to us. It is well, however,

for a considerable time to watch in a mirror all functions of the

organs that can be seen; the expression of the face, the position of

the mouth, and the movement of the lips.