There still remains the trill, which is best practised in the

beginning as follows:--

The breath is led very far back against the head cavities by the

[=a], the larynx kept as stiff as possible and placed high. Both

tones are connected as closely, as heavily as possible, upward

nasally, downward on the larynx, for which the y, again, is

admirably suited. They must be attacked as high as poss
ble, and very

strongly. The trill exercise must be practised almost as a scream.

The upper note must always be strongly accented. The exercise is

practised with an even strength, without decrescendo to the end; the

breath streams out more and more strongly, uninterruptedly to the


Trill exercises must be performed with great energy, on the whole

compass of the voice. They form an exception to the rule in so far

that in them more is given to the throat to do--always, however, under

the control of the chest--than in other exercises. That relates,

however, to the muscles.

The breath vibrates above the larynx, but does not stick in it,

consequently this is not dangerous.

The exercise is practised first on two half, then on two whole, tones

of the same key (as given above), advancing by semitones, twice a day

on the entire compass of the voice. It is exhausting because it

requires great energy; but for the same reason it gives strength.

Practise it first as slowly and vigorously as the strength of the

throat allows, then faster and faster, till one day the trill

unexpectedly appears. With some energy and industry good results

should be reached in from six to eight weeks, and the larynx should

take on the habit of performing its function by itself. This function

gradually becomes a habit, so that it seems as if only one tone were

attacked and held, and as if the second tone simply vibrated with it.

As a matter of fact, the larynx will have been so practised in the

minute upward and downward motion, that the singer is aware only of

the vibrations of the breath that lie above it, while he remains

mindful all the time only of the pitch of the upper note.

One has the feeling then as of singing or holding only the lower

tone (which must be placed very high), while the upper one vibrates

with it simply through the habitude of the accentuation. The union of

the two then comes to the singer's consciousness as if he were

singing the lower note somewhat too high, halfway toward the upper

one. This is only an aural delusion, produced by the high vibrations.

But the trill, when fully mastered, should always be begun, as in the

exercise, on the upper note.

Every voice must master the trill, after a period, longer or shorter,

of proper practice. Stiff, strong voices master it sooner than small,

weak ones. I expended certainly ten years upon improving it, because

as a young girl I had so very little strength, although my voice was

very flexible in executing all sorts of rapid passages.

To be able to use it anywhere, of course, requires a long time and

much practice. For this reason it is a good plan to practise it on

syllables with different vowels, such as can all be supported on

[=a], and on words, as soon as the understanding needed for this is

in some degree assured.

If the larynx has acquired the habit properly, the trill can be

carried on into a piano and pianissimo and prolonged almost

without end with crescendi and decrescendi, as the old Italians

used to do, and as all Germans do who have learned anything.