Intonation

Intonation: the pattern or melody of pitch changes in connectedspeech, especially the pitch pattern of a sentence,which distinguishes kinds of sentences or speakers of different language cultures (dictionary.com). According to Ong, actors must work on the intonation of their words in order to properly express the meaning of the passage. However, she sends a very short time explaining this in relation to her main point of that section. She does so in such a way that I don’t know if I even fully understand the relation she is making. In a way, to be a great actor, you must also exhibit the skills of a great writer. You must be able to deduce the meaning of an article, passage, speech, to the fullest extent, or risk the meaning being lost forever. This is the test that most writers work on for their entire careers. As an actor and a writer, I know that neither of these occupations or hobbies come easily, and the intonation is in fact very important. I do not, however, think that either is better or worse or requires more skill than the other. In my experience, it has been easier to get my point across on paper than it has been on the stage. However, while I have been writing this article and losing my train of thought and overall purpose of this post multiple times, maybe the opposite is becoming true…

2 thoughts to “Intonation”

  1. This post is really interesting. You made the point that to be a good actor (and writer) you have to be able to interpret texts and their meanings. I guess I’ve never thought of that before – but then again, the last time I acted was in fifth grade (ah, Drama Club! Such fond, awkward memories!). I suppose that it could be argued that writing *is* easier than acting – at least in the sense that in writing you can pause to organize your thoughts and revise things without your audience knowing (and booing).

  2. I love the honesty of your last line, and the way you equalize writing and acting rather than saying one is more difficult or better in some way. They are different skills that do require intonation, but different types.

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