George Grove.

A dictionary of music and musicians (A.D. 1450-1889) by eminent writers, English and foreign : with illustrations and woodcuts (Volume 4) online

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Geometrical, and Harmonical Proportion.

In Lib. II., comprising fifty-one chapters,
Zarlino demonstrates the superiority of the
system known as the Syntonous, or Intense
Diatonic, of Ptolomy, above aU other systems

1 Cafl5 calls It an ' opera." This is manifestly a misnomer, since
the ' opera.' properly so called, was not then invented. In all prob-
ability, the piece consisted of a chain of madrigals, strung together
after the manner of the ' .\mflparnasso ' of Orazio Vecchi.

2 Hawkins and Burney say 1599.

3 Ambros mentions an edition of 15o7, but we have never met with
a copy.

* Ambros mentions an edition of 1S62.



whatsoever. In this system, the Tetrachord
is divided into a Greater Tone, a Lesser Tone,
and a Greater Hemitone — the Diatonic Semi-
tone of modern music — as represented by the
fractions -g, ^f^, i|. The system was not a new

Fio. 1.






i8o I

i6o ^° 144 J6 135

1 120 '° 108

I 96

15 90

.Ton.maj jTon.minjSem.maj .Ton.maj .Ton.min jron,maj ^Sem.maj,

one : and Zarlino, naturally enough, made no
attempt to claim the honour of its invention.
The constitution of the Lesser Tone had been
demonstrated, by Didymus, as early as tlie 6oth
year of the Christian asra. The misfortune was,

Fig. 3.

Tonus minor

/ Tonus major \

/ Tonus major


Bb \




oemitonium ^/ i
majus ^^ 1

V^^ Semitonium
\ ^\^ majus



^V"^ Tonus minor /

\ Tonus minor ^n


f Schisma\

that Didymus placed the Lesser below the
Greater; an error which was corrected about
the year 130, by Claudius Ptolomy, who gave
his name to the system. The merit of Zarlino
lay in his clear recognition of the correctness of
this division of the Tetrachord, which, in Lib. II.
Cap. xxxix, p. 147 of the complete edition, he
illustrates as in Fig. i, above.'

By following the curves in Fig. i we may

5 Want of space compels ns to omit one or two unimportant details
of the Diagram, »s giveu in the edition of 1589.



ascertain the exact proportions, in Just In-
tonation, of the Diatonic Semitone, the Greater
and Lesser Tone, the Major and Minor Third,
the Perfect Fourth, and the Perfect Fifth, in
different parts of the Octave. Like Pietro Aron
(' Toscanello della Musica,' Venice, 1523),
Ludovico Fogliano ('Musica teoretica,' Veaice,
T529), and other theoretical writers of the 16th
century, Zarlino was fond of illustrating his
theses by diagrams of this kind : and it was, no
doubt, the practical utility of the custom that
tempted Des Cartes to illustrate this self-same
system by the Canonical Circle (Fig. 2), which
later theorists extended, so as to include the
proportions, in commas,' of every possible Diatonic
Interval within the limits of the Octave (Fig. 3).

Fig, 3.'i-

Acute Maj.z"'-

Grave Maj.z'^ .


It needs but a very slight examination of the
foregoing diagrams to prove that the Syntonous
Diatonic of Ptolomy, coincided, to the minutest
particular, with the system advocated by Kepler
(Harmonices Mundi, Lib. Ill, Cap. 7.) Mersenne
(Harm. Univers. Lib. II), Des Cartes (Compen-
diumMusicEe^.and all the most learned theoretical
writers of later date, who, notwithstanding our
acceptance of Equal Temperament as a practical
necessity, entertain but one opinion as to the true
division of the Scale in Just Intonation — the
opinion defended by Zarlino, three centuries ago.

Lib. III. of the ' Istitutioni ' treats of the
laws of Counterpoint, which, it must be confessed,
are not always set forth, here, with the clearness
ibr which Zacconi is so justly remarkable. In the
examples with which this part of the work is
illustrated, an interesting use is made of the well-
known Canto fermo which forms so conspicuous a
feature in ' Non nobis Domine,' and so many
other works of the i6th and 17th centuries.

Fig. 4.



Lib. IV. treats of the Modes : — more es-
pecially in the later forms introduced by the
Early Christians, and systematised by S.Ambrose,
and S. Gregory. In common with Glareanus,
and all the great theorists of the Polyphonic

' A comma is the ninth part of a Greater Tons

Plagal Modes.



Pinal, C.



Final, D.



Final, E.



Final, F.



Final, G.



Final, A.


School, Zarlino insists upon the recognition
of twelve Modes, and twelve only ; reject-
ing the Locrian and Hypolocrian forms as
inadmissible, by reason of the False Fifth in-
separable from the one, and the Tritonus which
forms an integral part of the other. But, though
thus entirely at one with the author of the
Dodecachordon on the main facts, he arranges
the Modes in a different order of succession.*
Instead of beginning his series with the Dorian
Mode, he begins with the Ionian, arranging his
series thus : —

Authentic Modes.

L Ionian. Final, C.

m. Dorian. Final, D.

V. Phrygian. Final, E.

VII. Lydian. Final, F.

IX. Mixolydian. Final, G.

XL iEolian. Final, A.

This arrangement — which no other great
theorist of the century has followed^ — would
almost seem to have been dictated by a prophetic
anticipation of the change which was to lead
to the abandonment of the Modes, in favour of a
newer tonality : for, the series here begins with
a form which corresponds exactly with our
modern Major Mode, and ends with the prototype
of the descending Minor Scale of modern music.

In the course of the work, Zarlino introduces
some very valuable memoranda, and occasionally
records as facts some very curious superstitions.
In one place he tells us that the human pulse
is the measure of the beats in music — a state-
ment fortunately corroborated by other early
writers, and furnishing us with a comparative
estimate of the duration of the two beats which
are included in the normal Semibreve. In
another, he asserts that Josquin treated the
Fourth as a Consonance. In a third, he
records his ohservation that untaught singers
always sing the Third and Sixth Major — which
is in all probability true. Occasionally, too, he
diverges into the region of romance, and assures
us that deer are so delighted with music that
hunters use it as a means of capturing them.

The ' Dimostrationi armoniche,' occupying
312 folio pages, is disposed in the form of five
Dialogues, carried on by Adriano Willaert,
Claudio Merulo, and Francesco Viola, Maestro
di CappeUa of Alfonso d'Este, Duke of Ferrara.
Zarlino teUs us, that, in the year 1562, the
friends met at the house of Willaert, who was
then laid up with the gout ; and, that their con-
versation is faithfully reported in the five Ea-
gionamenti of the Dimostrationi. The first of
these treats chiefly of the Proportions of In-
tervals ; the second, and third, of the ratios of
the Consonances, and Lesser Intervals ; the
fourth, of the division of the Monochord ; and
the fifth, of the Authentic and Plagal Modes.

2 See Lib. rv. cap. i. p. 399. in edition of 1589.

3 See Modes, the Ecclesiastical.




Not long after the publication of these works,
Vincenzo Galilei — who had formerly been
Zarlino's pupil — printed, at Florence, a tract,
entitled ' Discorso intorno alle opere di messer
Gioseffe Zailino di Chioggia,' in which he vio-
lently attacked his former master's principles ;
and, in 1581, he followed up the subject, in his
famous ' Dialogo della miisica antica et della
moderna,' in the second edition of which (Fior-
enza, 1602), the title-page bore the words, 'in
sua difesa contra Joseffo Zarlino.' Galilei at-
tacked, in very uncourteous terms, the division
of the Scale advocated by Zarlino ; and proposed
to substitute for it the Ditonic Diatonic Tetra-
chord, consisting of two Greater Tones and a
Limma;^ as set forth by Pythagoras — a division
which all modern theorists agree in utterly re-
jecting. While accu-ing Zarlino of innovation,
he inconsistently complained that the S\'ntonous
Diatonic was advocated by Lodovico Fogliano,
half a century before his time. This is perfectly
true^: and in all probability, it was this division
of the Scale that the Aristoxenians unconsciously
sang by ear. But Galilei was not satisfied with
an empirical scale ; and his admiration for the
Greeks blinded him to the fact that his theory,
reduced to practice, would have been intolerable.
His favourite instrument, the Lute, imperatively
demanded some reasonable power of Tempera-
ment : and Zarlino, who was, in every respect,
in advance of his age, actually proposed, that,
for the Lute, the Octave should be divided into
twelve equal Semitones — that is to say, he advo-'
Dated in the i6th century the practice that we,
in the 19th, have only seen universally adopted
within the last thirty-five years. That he ex-,
tended the system to the Organ, is sufficiently
proved by the fact that his Organ, at S. INIark's,
remained in the condition in which it was left by ,
Monteverde.^ It is evident, therefore, that he
idvocated Equal Temperament for keyed instru-
nents, and Just Intonation for unaccompanied(
^ocal Music, and instruments of the Violin
•ribe — a system which has been successfully
)ractised by the most accomplished vocalists and
dohnists of the present century.

In defence of his principles, and in answer to
Jalilei's caustic diatribes, Zarlino published, in
.'58S, his ' Sopplimenti mu.sicali,' containing
>30 pages of valuable and interesting matter,
uuch of which is devoted to the reinforcement
)f the principles laid down in the ' Istitutioni,'
,ind the ' Dimostrationi.' The system of Equal
I Temperament, as applied to the Lute, is set
orth in detail in Lib. IV. Cap. xxvii. et seq.
Ji Lib. VI. the author recapitulates much of
i^hat he has previously said concerning the
Ixodes; and in Lib. VIII. he concludes the
I'olume with a dissertation on the organ ; illus-
' rating his subject, at p. 291. by an engraving of
he soundboard of a very early Organ removed

1 The Limma. or remaining portion of a Perfect Fourth, after two
Jreater Tones have been subtracted from it. is less than a Diatonic
emitone by one comma.

2 See Fogliano's ' JIusica teorica ' (Venice, 1529), Sect. n. De
tilitate toni majoris et minoris.'

* BoQtempi, Uiat. Uus. Fane Ima, CoioU. IT.

from a Church at Grado ; and giving many par-
ticulars concerning Organs of very early date.

In 1589, Zarlino reprinted the * Sopplimenti,'
preceded by the 'Istitutioni,' and the 'Dimo-
strationi,' in the complete edition of his works
already mentioned, together with a fourth
volume, containing a ' Trattato della pazienzia,'
a ' Discourse on the true date of the Crucifixion
of Our Lord,' a treatise on ' The Origin of the
Capuchins,' and the 'Resolution of some doubts
concerning the correctness of the Julian Calen-
dar.' He survived the issue of the four volumes
but a very short time : but his death, in 1590, was
far from terminating the controversy concerning
his opinions ; for Galilei published the second
edition of his 'Dialogo' as late as 1602 ; and,
in 1704, Giovanni Maria Artusi published an
equally bitter attack, at Bologna, entitled ' Im-
presa del R. P. Gio. Zarlino di Chioggia, etc'
In truth, Zarlino was too far in advance of his
age to meet with fair treatment from his oppo-
nents, though we of the 19th century can agree
with every word of his arguments.

The works of Zarlino are now very scarce
and costly. Perfect and complete copies will be
found at the British Museum and the Royal
CoUege of Music. [W.S.R.]

ZAUBERFLOTE, DIE, i.e. The Magic flute.
Mozart's last opera, in two acts. The book was by
Schikaneder and was first proposed to Mozart
early in 1791 ; the music was written partly in
a 'garden pavilion' close to the theatre, and
partly in the Casino at Josephsdorf on the
Kahlenberg. It was produced at the Theatre
auf der Wieden, Vienna, Sept. 30 of the same
year (by which time the Requiem was begun),
and had not at first a great success ; but this
soon altered, and by Oct. 12, 1795, it had been
performed at the one theatre 200 times. The
overture was as usual written last — with the
march. Mozart was a great Freemason, and the
work is said to abound with Masonic indica-
tions, especially in the noble trombone chords —
which should not be ' tied ' ; and elsewhere
Ithroughout the opera,* A likeness has been dis-
'covered between the subject of the Allegro and
that of a sonata of Clementi's once played by
Clementi to the emperor in Mozart's presence;
and it has certainly a curious resemblance to an
overture by CoUo of 1779.^ The air 'Ein Mad-
chen oder Weibchen ' is taken from the two last
lines of the chorale ' Nun lob mein Seel den
Herren.' The melody sung by the men in armour
is that of another much older chorale, ' Ach
Gott vom Himmel sieh darein,' with a closing
phrase added by Mozart. [See Appendix, ACH

In Paris, 'arrange par Lachnitch,' as 'Les
Mystferes d'Isis,' Aug. 20, 1801. [See Lachnith.]
In London, in Italian, as ' II Flauto Magico,' At
the King's Theatre, for Naldi's benefit, June 6,
1811; in German, at Covent Garden, May 27,
1883; in English, as 'The Magic Flute,' Drury
Lane, Mar. 10, 1838. [G.]

4 Jahn's Mozart, Eng. transl.. liL 309, 310. 315. 317, 320.
s Ibid. iu. 315, 316.



ZAVEETAL, the original Bohemian name
(Zavrtal) of a musical family, several members
of which have become prominent both in Ger-
many and this country, (i) Josef Rddolf,
horn-player, born at Polep, Leitmeritz, Bohemia,
Nov. 5, 1819, was educated at the Prague Con-
servatorium. He entered the Austrian army as
bandmaster in 1840, and gradually rose. In
1S46 he established the Pension Society for
bandmasters of the Austrian army. After several
promotions, in 1864 he became director of military
music to Maximilian, Emperor of Mexico. Shortly
after this he left Austria for England, and in
1 868 was made bandmaster of the 4th King's
Own Regiment, and in 1871 was placed at the
head of the band (wind and string) of the Royal
Engineers, a post which he still holds. (2)
Wenceslas Hugo, brother of the foregoing,
born at Polep, Aug. 31, 1821, clarinettist and
composer. He has been bandmaster of several
regiments in the Austrian army, during the
Franco-Italian war saw much service, and was
recognised as a very eminent bandmaster. In
1866 he quitted the service, and in 1874 came
to this country, where he resides at Helensburgh,
near Glasgow, much esteemed as a teacher of
music, and where his compositions are much re-
lished. In 1847 he married Carlotta Maironi, an
eminent musician, who died in 1S73. His son, (3)
Ladislaus, born at Milan Sept. 29, 1849, "'^^
taught music by his parents, and first appeared
at Milan in 1864. Four years later he produced
an opera at Treviso. Next year he was made
conductor and composer to the theatre at Milan.
In 1 87 1 he removed to Glasgow, where he re-
mained teaching and conducting for ten years.
In 18S1 he succeeded the late James Smythe
as master of the Band (wind and string) of the
Royal Artillery, at Woolwich. An opera of
his, ' Una notte a Firenze,' was successfully pro-
duced at Prague in 1886, and another, ' Myrrha,'
at the same city Nov. 7, 1S86. He was created
Cavaliere of the Order of the Crown of Italy. [G.]

ZELMIRA. Opera seria in 2 acts ; words
by Tottola, music by Rossini. Produced at
Naples, Feb. 16, 1822. [G.]

ZELTER, Carl Friedrich, Director of the
Berlin Singakademie, and founder of the Lieder-
tafeln now so general throughout German}', was
born at Berlin, Dec. 11, 1758. His father, who
was a mason, embodied in a series of maxims his
lofty ideal of the mason's prerogatives. Carl's
mother taught him ' pretty Bible sayings and
severe modesty ' ; his father, more intent on
building houses in Germany than castles in Spain,
declared that ' handicraft ranks before every-
thing; the handicraftsman is the true citizen;
the law which binds him protects him,' etc.,
etc. — aphorisms which were soon forgotten by
Carl, who practised on a small fiddle presented
to him on his eighth Christmas Eve, and at ten
years of age employed a whole summer in the
construction of an organ ' with a pedal that

' Similar travesties are found in Zlazenger, Shoobert, and other
German names in the London Director?.


could be trod upon.' He has recorded the first ^^ j

indelible impression that he received on hearing *t
Graun's opera 'Phaeton,' to which his parents!^ ..;
treated him in the Carnival of 1770. 'The
grand powerful masses of tone riveted my at-
tention far more than the melody and construC'
tion of the airs. ... I thought the orchestra i
riddle as wonderful as it was beautiful. I was
seated amongst the musicians. ... I swam in
a sea of delight,' etc., etc. Of the opera
itself he says little, except that the sweet un-
known Italian words added to the magic of the
whole, so that he afterwards agreed with the
Great Frederic as to the profanity of allowing
Art to speak in the vulgar tongue, and sym-
pathised heartily with the royal dislike of the
German opera. When nearly 14, his father
sent him to the Gymnasium, but here, though
the lessons got on tolerably well, his relations
with his fellow-students were so stormy that th«
place became too hot to hold him ; he was rusti'
cated for a time, and a bar sinister drawn across
his name — ' Est petulans, petulantior, petulan-
tissimus.' He was then handed over to the organist
of the Gymnasium, who had a school of his own
This was only a temporary expedient, for Zelter
returned to the Gymnasium, where some of the
masters were well disposed towards him, not-
withstanding his taste for practical jokes. At
the age of 17, after another course of the or
ganist's teaching, necessitated by a little afiPair oi
honour, he left school, and now his real education
began. Though apprenticed to his father's trade,
he was but a half-hearted mason. He made friends
with any one who happened to have musical pro
clivities, and amongst others with the town
musician, George, an original even in those
days. In his household Zelter was always a wel
come guest ; George appreciated his musical
skill and enthusiasm, and gave him free access
to all his musical instruments. Meantime
Zelter was ripening into a capable musician.
In 1777 his apprenticeship was declared over,
and a great longing seized him to join his friend
Hackert, the artist, in a journey to Italy, s
longing which often returned upon him througl
his life, though he never fulfilled it. Hacken
went without him, and he remained at homt
to do a good deal of love-making. His lov<
aflfairs, described minutely in his autobiography
are of little interest, except perhaps his flirtatioi
with an artistic Jewess, at whose father's house
Moses Mendelssohn and other scholars used U
meet. The lady and her lover quarrelled ova) ^
the theory of suicide, and parted company be- ^
cause they differed about Goethe's treatment o
Werther, who, in Zelter's opinion, ought to hav<
shot Albrecht instead of himself. The episodt
is worth I'ecording, as it marks the first con-
nection of the names of Goethe and Mendels-
sohn with that of Zelter. In spite of sue!
distractions, Zelter passed his examination easilj
and successfully, and was made a master masoi
in consequence. When he was 18, his firsi
Cantata was performed in St. George's Church
and Marpurg the theorist thought so highly of it


:faat Zelter applied to Kimberger and Fasch
or further instruction in musical science. In
jratitude for liis old master's teaching, he ulti-
aately became the biographer of Fasch/ the
jnpil of Sebastian Bach, and the original founder
)f the Berlin Singakademie. From 1 792 to 1800,
Zelter acted as accompanyist to that institu-
jon, and at the death of Fasch he succeeded
o the Directorship. A few years previously,
belter's music to some of Goethe's songs
lad so attracted the poet, that a correspondence
legan which shows that Goethe was capable
)f a real affection for at least one of his blind-
|»t worshippers.^ There are frequent allusions
n these letters to the progress of the Sing-
ikademie, over which in his later years Zelter
•eigned as a musical dictator from whose decision
;here was no appeal. Its influence was unques-
tionably due to the man who revived Sebastian
Bach's music, and was the first to inspire his
Dupil, Felix Mendelssohn, with his own love for it.
Che Akademie consisted originally of only 30
nembers, who met weekly at different private
houses, and during Fasch's life they practised
little except his compositions. It was reserved
for Zelter to enlarge the area of selection, and
under him some of the greatest works of the time
were added to the repertoire. The Liedertafel,
a more modem institution, at first consisted of
25 men, singers, poets and composers. The
society met once a month for supper and music,
the songs were the compositions of the guests
themselves, and the gatherings are amusingly
described in Zelter's letters to Goethe. As the
teacher and fiiend of Felix Mendelssohn, Zelter
is entitled to lasting gratitude, for though his
judgment of contemporary art was at times mis-
taken, his faith in his pupil never waned.
Mendelssohn, on the other hand, never ceased
to regard him as 'the restorer of Bach to the
Germans.' The real history of the first per-
formance of the Matthew Passion is to be found
in Devrient's 'Recollections of Mendelssohn,' and
in ' Erinnerungen aus meinem Leben,' by A. B.
Marx. [SeeMENDELSSOHN,vol.ii. p.26oa.] The
joint enthusiasm of Mendelssohn and Devrient
for Bach's music had been kindled by the study
of the score of the ' Passion,' which Zelter had
bought years before as waste paper at an
auction of the goods of a deceased cheese-
monger. In spite of his devotion to every one
of the name of Bach, Zelter rashly ventured
on simplifying some of the recitatives and choral
parts, after the method of Graun. The purity
of the work was saved by Felix Mendelssohn's
grandmother, who prevailed on the fortunate
possessor of the score to present the treasure
to her grandson. Not only was the work well
bestowed and rescued from sacrilege, but its
publication and performance inaugurated a
fresh era in the art of music. The ex-
pediency of printing the work was discussed
at a dinner party given by Schlesinger, the

1 Karl Frledrich Christian Fasch, von Karl Friedrich Zelter.
4to. Berlin. 1^01. with a Portrait (drawn by Schadow).

2 Priefwechsel zwischen Goethe und Zelter, 6 Tola. Berlin, 1833-4.
Translated by A. D. Coleridge, 1687.



publisher. Marx was appealed to for an
opinion. ' All I can say is, that it is the great-
est thing I know in Church music,' was his
reply, whereupon old Schlesinger struck the
table with his fist, and called out, * I will pub-
lish it, should it cost me three thousand thalers.
I will do it for the honour of the house.'
The zeal of Mendelssohn and Devrient, in
league to prevail on Zelter to allow a public
performance, eventually triumphed over every
obstacle. Their old teacher was at first in-
credulous ; it may well have been that he was
conscious of the original sin of tampering with
the score, and felt that the ' lynx eyes ' of Felix
had silently convicted him. The concession was
wrung from him with difficulty, but once given
he put the forces of the Akademie at his pupil's
disposal. The first and ever-memorable per-
formance of the ' Passion ' music was given
March ii, 1829, under Mendelssohn's baton,
his friend Edward Deviient singing the part
of Christ. For Goethe, Zelter had the devotion
of a faithful dog, the great man's slightest wish
was law to him ; nay, so strong was the miisi-
cian's adoration of the poet, that after the
suicide of his favourite step-son, he writes that
even in the midst of his misery he is happy — yes,
truly happy, for has not the sympathy of his
immortal friend moved him to use the brotherly
Du instead of the ordinary Sie in his letter
of condolence ? ' Mark my words ; Zelter will
not live long now,' said Mendelssohn, when he
heard of Goethe's death in 1832; and he was
right. Zelter sank almost immediately, and died
on the 15 th May following. He is best described
in his own words, ' strong, healthy, fuU of sap
and good-will,' a rough diamond and of good
hard lasting stuff. He composed several songs
and quartets for the Liedertafel of Berlin, and

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