Page 16 - Voice for Life Yellow Workbook
P. 16

 Experimenting with diphthongs
• Sing the word ‘day’. First, sing it so
A diphthong is two vowel sounds which are pronounced as one syllable. For example, the word ‘day’ contains the vowel sounds ‘eh’ and ‘ee’. When this word is spoken, the tongue moves quickly from one sound to the next.
When singing a diphthong, consider how to treat the individual vowel sounds. Imagine the diphthong is to be sung on a long note. Should each vowel sound be equal in length, or should one be longer than the other?
Usually, when singing a diphthong, the first vowel sound should be as long as possible. The second vowel sound should be placed as late as possible, as long as it is clear and does not delay the vowel or consonant which follows it.
  that each vowel sound lasts an equal length of time (as in bar 1, below).
• Then sing it so that the first vowel sound is very short and the second is as long as possible (as in bar 2).
• Finally, sing the word again, making the first vowel sound as long as possible, changing to the second vowel sound as close to the end of the note as possible (as in bar 3).
123 
Day Day Day deheedehee dehee
The version in bar 3 is what you should normally aim to achieve in your singing. Practise this using other words containing diphthongs, for example, ‘sound’ or ‘main’.
        Diction tips
• Sometimes it is necessary to shorten a note to create time to breathe and ensure that the next word starts cleanly, without sounding rushed. When you do this, be careful to place the final consonant of the word together with the other singers.
• The relationship between the volume of consonants and the volume of vowels depends on the style of music. Listen to a recording of yourself. Does the volume of vowels and consonants sound right? If you are not sure, ask your choir trainer.
• When deciding on the style of your diction, think about the room where you will be singing. The size, shape and contents of a room can alter its acoustic characteristics. If you can, practise in the room or listen to other performers to hear how the acoustics change. You can then adjust your diction as necessary and settle into a performance quickly.
How often you practise is just as important as how long you practise for. Even a short daily session keeps your voice and muscles in good condition.
If you don’t have time for a long session every day, do a few warm-ups and basic exercises, wherever you are. If you do this, your longer practice sessions will be more productive when you have time for them, as your voice will still be in good shape.
  16 Module A: Using the voice well

   14   15   16   17   18