DECLAMATION ( Fr. declamation, Lat. dechonatio, declamation, from dechnnurc, to de claim, from de. down + cl(1 mare, to shout ) The art of speaking according to rules, whereby the sense of the ivords, as well as the feeling and sentiment, is naturally and characteristically represented. Recitation, therefore, whether spoken or sung, is subject to the laws of declama t ol. from which it derives its value and signifi cance. Perfect declamation implies correctness of speech, distinctness and clearness of enuncia tion, and a well-toned voice. Declaniation is therefore clearly of a musical nature. Declama tion in music. however. di&rs from the declama tion of speaking in that the singer must adhere to what the composer has written. The com poser fixes the whole of the intonation, modula tion, and phrasing, and also the tempi and ex pression. and not infrequently sacrifices the cor rectness of the declamation to the charm of sonic peculiar melodic phrase or pleasing rhythm, or a vocal musical embellishment. The truth and
beauty of correct musical declamation are al ways endangered by a translation of the original words into another language. a work which, with the greatest care and ability, it is in many cases almost impossible to accomplish word for word, or syllable for syllable, so as to tit accurately to the accent of the music. The master-works of many great composers thus suffer much from careless translation. In earlier times attempts were made to establish declamation as a science. The ancients had a kind of note, or sign of in tonation, which they placed over or under the words, possibly to decide whether the accent should be given by a high or by a low tone. and thus to regulate the modulation of the voice. That the theatrical declamation of the ancients resembled the musical recitative of the present day is generally admitted.