a 'dying fall' [in voice]

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Senior Member
Thank you
So, what is meant by "dying fall" in the sentence that follow: "Jeffrey Aspren had never been in it that I knew of, but some note of his voice seemed to abide there by a roundabout implication and in a 'dying fall'."

Split off from previous thread:
Source of quote: The Aspren Papers by Henry James
Cagey, moderator.
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  • Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    The author references Shakespeare's Twelfth Night:
    If music be the food of love, play on,
    Give me excess of it; that surfeiting,
    The appetite may sicken, and so die.
    That strain again! It had a dying fall;
    It is a musical term referring to a section of music that becomes lower and lower in volume.


    New Member
    English - British
    When spoken a 'dying fall' is a drop in tone as the speaker reaches the end of the sentence. This is noticeable in some of the accents from the English Midlands - Derby, Nottingham, Birmingham etc.
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