The Lips

Of special importance for the tone and the word are the movements of

the lips, which are so widely different in the bright and in the dark

vowels. These movements cannot be too much exaggerated in practising.

The same strength and elasticity to which we have to train the muscles

of the throat and tongue must be imparted to the lips, which must be

as of iron. Upon their cooeperation much of the life of the tone

and it can be used in many shadings, as soon as one is able

to exert their power consciously and under the control of the will.

Every vowel, every word, every tone, can be colored as by magic in all

sorts of ways by the well-controlled play of the lips; can, as it

were, be imbued with life, as the lips open or close more or less in

different positions. The lips are the final cup-shaped resonators

through which the tone has to pass. They can retard it or let it

escape, can color it bright or dark, and exert a ceaseless and ever

varying influence upon it long before it ceases and up to its very


No attempt should be made to use the play of the lips until complete

mastery of the absolutely even, perfect tone, and of the muscular

powers, has been acquired. The effect must be produced as a result of

power and practice; and should not be practised as an effect per