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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fessor, was born at Vienna in 1832, and developed
dramatic feeling together with a powerful voice
so early in life that, notwithstanding the counsels
of prudence, she was heard (at a provincial
theatre) in the part of Adalgisa when only 15.
An engagement followed in 1850 at the Hanover
Court Theatre, where she won much applause as
Martha, Susanna, Leonora (' Stradella,') etc.
Two years later similar success attended her per-
formances, at ^1 annlieim, of more arduous parts,
such as Elvira and Valentine. Thus seeminglj'
launched upon a brilliant career, Caroline Prucli-
ner must have cruelly felt the total loss of her
voice in 1855, when she was barely 24 years of
age ; and it speaks well for the courage and the
temper of the budding prima donna that she at
once recognised the extent of the disaster and
resigned herself in the best possible way by
devoting herself to teach the art she loved,
especially that branch of it which is concerned
with the nursing of the vocal organs (as a part
of voice-training), and the healing of injuries
done by forcing and other iU-usage. Friiulein
Pruckner applied her newly acquired science to
her own case ; and to some extent her voice re-
covered its power. It was at Luib's Poly-
hymnia that she entered upon her professorial
life; after two years, in 1S70, she opened an
independent School of Opera in the Feinfalter
StraiUe, whence a move was eflfected in 1887 to


the Hohenstaufengasse. Her ' Theorie und Pra5 J
der Gesangskunst ' (Schlesinger 1872) has gain |
for the authoress a wide celebrity, and on t
appearance of a second edition (1883), the Gra
Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin decorated i
with a gold medal for art and science. The pi
duction of new songs and cantatas is an imp«
tant feature of the concerts and lectures givi
at the Schools of Song and Opera by Frauk
Pruckner and her pupils. [L.M.1!

PSALTER, THE English Metrical, or pai
phrastic rhyming translation of the Psalms a
Evangelical Hymns, intended to be sung, da!
from the third year of King Edward the Sixi
the year 1549 ; but if we may believe the accom
usually given of the subject, the practice
singing compositions of this nature in England
far older, having existed among the sympathia
with the new doctrines, long before the ReS
mation ; it may even have had its beginnii
among the followers of WyclifFe or Wal'
Lollard. With regard to this supposition, c
thing only is certain : Sternhold's translatiom
the nucleus of the metrical psalter which I
come down to us — were not by any means 1
first. Sir Thomas Wyat the elder had aires
translated the seven penitential psalms, and i
Earl of Surrey three others; and in 1549, 1
year in which Sternhold's first small work t
published, without tunes, there appeared
metrical translation of the Ps:dter compk
together with the Evangelical Hymns, 1
music set in four parts, of which the title is
follows : —

The Psalter of David newely translated into Englt
metre in such sort that it maye the more decently, 1
wyth more delyte of the myude, be read and songi
al men. Wherunto is added a 1 note of four par
with other thynges, as shall appeare in the Epistk
the Eeadar. Translated and Imprinted bj Bol
Crowley in the yere of our Lorde MDXLIX. the '.
daye of September. And are to be sold in Eley rei
in Holboiu'ne. Cuiu privilegio ad Imprimendum

In the ' Epistle to the Readar ' the mumc

described thus : —

A note of song of iiii parts, which agreth -with
meter of this Psalter in such sort, that it servethfol
the Psalmes thereof, conteyninge so many notes in
part as be syllables in one meter, as appeareth by
dyttie that is printed with the same.

This book is extremely interesting, not ffl
in itself, but because it points to previous wo
of which as yet nothing is known. In his pref
the author says : — ' I have made open »
playne that which in other translations
obscure and harde,' a remark which must sur
apply to something more than the meagre O
tributions of Surrey and Wyat ; and indeed "
expression of the title, ' the Psalter of D»'«
newly translated,' seems clearly to imply'
existence of at least one other complete versi
The metre is the common measure, printed t

1 ' Note" or ' note of song." was. or rather had been, the mo*
scription of music set to words. At this date it was probaWf
fashioned, since it seldom occurs again. In 15*4. Cranmer, l«
letter to Henry VIII. respecting his Litany, speaks of the who
the music sometimes as ' the note." and sometimes as the ' sane

2 The unique copy of this book is in the library of ^^J
College. Oilord. Thanks are due to the College lor permiwl
examine it.




low, in four lines of eight and six alternately,
in two lines of fourteen, making a long
ming couplet.^ The verse, compared with
er work of the same kind, is of average merit :
author was not, like Surrey or Wyat, a poet,
a scholar turned puritan preacher and
iter, who pretended to nothing more than a
islation as faithful as possible, considering the
essities of rhyme. But the most interesting
ig in the book is the music, which here
jws :—

Mode TX.
t man Is happy 2 and blessed, that hath not eons a -stray:
Counter Tenor /-.

16 counsell of wycked men, nor stode tn synners waye.

ts interest is of several kinds. In the first
!e it is the earliest music to an English metrical
don as yet discovered. It is also a double
nt, a musical form hitherto supposed unknown
a hundred years later ; and it thus shows
what a simple transition tlie passage from
ating the prose psalter to singing the metrical
might be accomplished. It would be unwise
irgue from this single specimen that it was
iccomplished, or that we see here the typical
y English metrical psalm-tune ; but certainly
discovery of this little composition, so ob-
isly intermediate in character, very much
inishes the probability that anything like the
rale form, which soon afterwards prevailed,

I known in England at this time.

^e now enter upon the history of what after-
ds became the authorized version. In the
r 1548 or 1549 — it is uncertain which, but
ribly early in 1549 — appeared a smaU. volume
b the following title : —

irtayne Psalmes chosen out of the Psalter of David
drawen into Englishe Metre by Thomas Sternhold,
me of ye Kjmges Maiesties Bobes. London, iid-
IttS Wbitchiirche.'

B volume, which is without date, contains
psalms only, in the double common measure,
Four lines of fourteen, by Sternhold alone,
bout music. Sternhold died in 1549, ^^^ °^
;. 14 of that year another edition was pub-
ed, with a new title : —

II Bnch psalmes of David as Thomas Stemehold
^•oome of ye Kinges Maiesties Kobes didde in his
time draw into English metre. Newly imprinted by
rard WMtchurche.

his was the usual way of printing the common measore In
■ley's day. and for many years afterwards,
n the original the reciting note is divided into semibreves, one
ich syllable.

Besides the original 19, this edition contains
18 by Sternhold; and, printed as a second
part, a supplement of 7 by J. Hopkins, without
music. This is the volume which in previous
accounts of the subject^ has been usually
described as the first edition ; and no mention is
made of Hopkins's supplement. It has also been
usual to describe the contents as 'fifty-one
psahns ' ; the actual number, it will be seen, is 44.
Lowndes mentions a second edition of this work
in the following year : — 'by the widowe of Jhou
Harrington, London, 1550.'

In this year also William Hunnis, a gentleman
of the Chapel Royal, published a small selection
of metrical psalms, in the style of Sternhold,
with the following title : —

Certayne Psalms chosen out of the Psalter of David,
and drawen furth into English Meter by William
Hunnis. London, by the wydow of John Herforde,

A copy of this work is in the public library
of Cambridge. There is no music. In 1553 ap-
peared a third edition of the volume dated 1 549,
again published by Whitchurche. This edition
contains a further supplement of 7 psalms, by
Whittingham, thus raising the number to 51.-
There is still no music. Lowndes mentions an-
otlier edition of the same year, 'by Thorn.
Kyngston and Henry Sutton, London.'

To this year also belongs a small volume con-
taining 19 psalms in the common measure,
which is seldom mentioned in accounts of the
subject, but which is nevertheless of great
interest, since it contains music in four parts.
The title is as follows : —

Certayne Psalmes select out of the Psalter of David,
and draweu into Englyshe Metre, with notes to every
Psalrae in iiij parts to Synge, by F. S. Imprinted at
London by Wyllyam Seres, at the Sygne of the Hedge
Hogge, 1553 .*

In the dedication, to Lord Russell, the author
gives his full name, Francys Seagar. The music
is so arranged that all the four voices may sing
at once from the same book : the parts are
separate, each with its own copy of words ; the
two higher voices upon the lett-hand page, the
two lower upon the right ; all, of course, turning
the leaf together. Though the music continues
throughout the book, the actual number of
compositions is found to be only two, one being
repeated twelve times, the other seven. The
first is here given : —

Mode II. Transposed.'

Eles - - sed be the lord

Bles - sed, etc.

8 Except in that given by Warton, who speaks of several editions
during Sternhold's lifetime ; it is impossible however to corroborate

< The nnique copy of this book is In the library of Emmanuel
College. Cambridge. Thanks are due to the College for permissioD
to examiTie it,
6 The original is without bars.


my re • fuK*-


my whole powre strength and

my whole, etc.
myght: y' "^"^ In-structe my hands to Tfarre.

and my fyn - gera to fyght.

It will be perceived that we have not yet
quite arrived at a tune. The part next above
the bass, in descending by one degree upon the
final, performs the office of a cantus firmus, but
exhibits no other characteristic of a tune that
could be sung alone. The composition is in fact
a little motet, full of points of imitation, but
capable of repetition. It is written in a stjde
which will be easily recognised by those who
are acquainted with Dr. Tye's music to his
metrical Acts of the Apostles (also published
in this year) or with the four-part song ' In going
to my naked bed ' ; a native style, founded upon
the secular part-songs of Fayrfax, Cornysshe,
Newark, and Banister, which had been growing
up during the reign of Henry the Eighth. We see
it here, however, in an imperfect shape, and its
development into a flowing, consecutive common
measure tune is only to be found in Tye's work.^
It is true that Tye, in the last line of his compo-
sitions generally, and occasionally elsewhere,
somewhat injured the rhythmical continuity by
introducing a point of imitation ; but that was so
obviously a concession to scholarship, and could
with so little difficulty have been altered, that
we may certainly ascribe to him the invention
of an English form of psalm tune, in four parts,
suitable for popular use, and far more beautiful
than the tunes in chorale form to which it was
compelled to give way. The influence of Geneva
was at this time exceedingly powerful in England,
and the tendency, slight as it is, to florid descant
in Tye's work, must have been to the reformers
extremely objectionable; for just as unisonous
psalm-singing was to the papist the sign of heresy,
so not less to the reformer was florid descant the
sign of popery. To this, no doubt, it is owing
that no more tunes were written in this style.

' One of Tye's tunes has already been printed entire in this work.
See article Wlh'ssoa OB Eton ivhb.


The publications of this year probably tool
place before July, which was the month of th
king's death ; and nothing further was producei
in this country during the reactionary reign of hi
successor. But in 1556 an edition of SternhoL
was published in Geneva, for the use of the Pro
teatants who had taken refuge there, which i
extremely important in the history of the sut
ject, since it contains the first instalment of thos
famous ' Church tunes,' some at least ofwhic
have been sung, Sunday after Sund.ay, in ou
English churches, from that day to this. Th
book appeared with a new title : —

One and fiftie Psalmes of David in English metr
whereof 37 were made by Thomas Sterneholde and tl:
rest by others. Conferred with the hebrewe, and 1
certeyn places corrected as the text, and sens ot tb
Prophete required.2

The date is gathered from the second part (
the book, which contains the Geneva catechim
form of prayer, and confession, and is printc
' by John Crespin, Geneva, 1556.' No additi0
it will be seen, had been made to the number I
translations : it only remains, therefore, to speai
of the tunes. In one respect this edition difiEai
from all others. Here a new tune is given «
every Psalm ; in subsequent editions the tuiM
are repeated, sometimes more than once. The
are printed without harmony, in the tenor or all
clef, at the head of the Psalm ; the first vMl
accompanying the notes. The question has ofte
been discussed, what the Church tunes are; whi
their origin, and who their author. Bumey saj
they are 'mostly German' ; but that is imposB
ble, since the translations in the edition of Steri
hold which the emigrants took with_ them '
Geneva were all, except one or two, in doub
common measure ; and there are no foreign tua
of this date which will fit that peculiarly Englis
metre. The true answer is probably to be four
in Eavenscroft's classified index of the tunes ^
his Psalter, published in 162 1 ; where, under tl
heading of 'English tunes imitating the Hif
Dutch, Italian, French and Netherlandish tune
will be found almost all the original ' Chur(
tunes ' which remained in use in his day. A
cording to this excellent authority, therefore, tl
' Church tunes," as a whole, are English compos
tions. Furthermore, considering that they a
pear for the first time in this volume, pubhsh.
at Geneva, three years after the emigration,
becomes exceedingly probable that they are in
tations of those which the emigrants found in u
at Geneva among the French Protestants ; wta
were chiefly, if not entirely, the tunes compos
by Guillaume Franc for the Psalter of Marot ai
B^za. [See BoDRGEOis and Fkanc in App.] Sor
of the French tunes evidently at once became gre
favourites with the English Protestants. Aire*
in this volume we find two most interesti
attempts to adapt the famous French tune n(
known as the Old Hundredth to the doul
common measure. One is set to the 3rd 1 sal
the other to the 68th. In both the first line
note for note the same as in the French tun
the difference begins with the difference

2 The unique copy of this book is in the Bodleian Library.


tre, in the second line. We find further that
the translation of the Psalter proceeded to-
:ds completion, Keith and Whittingham,
dents in Genev^a, rendered some of the later
hns into special metres, and re-translated
ers — among them the looth, in order to pro-
3 for the adoption of the most admired French
es intact : these will be mentioned in detail,
iar as they have been as yet identified, later
The question of authorship is of secondary
irest. There were at this time, no doubt,
ly English musicians capable of composing
n, among the organists or singing men
he Cathedrals and Chapels Royal, who are
wn to have entered almost as warmly as
clergy into the religious discussions of the
e, and of whom many took refuge at Geneva
\g with the clergy. Immediately upon the
;h of Mary, in 1558, this work found its way
England. The tunes at once became popular,
a strong and general demand was made for
pty to sing them in the churches. In the
)wing year permission was given, in the 49th
ion of the injunctions for the guidance of the
^y ; where, after commanding that the former
ir of service (Edward's) be preserved, Eliza^
1 adds : —

id yet nevertheleaa, for the comforting of such as
fht in music, it may he permitted, that in the be-
ing or in the end of Common Prayer, either at
aing or evening, there may be sung an hymn, or
1 like song, to the praise of Almighty God, in the
melody and music that may be conveniently devised,
ng respect that the sentence of the hymn may be
irstood and perceived.

i permission, and the immediate advantage
i was taken of it, no doubt did much to
ease the popular taste for psalm-singing, and
lasten the completion of the Psalter. For in
course of the next year, 1560, a new edition
jared, in which the number of Psalms is
id to 64, with the following title :^ —

limes of David in Englishe Metre, by Thomas
leholde and others : conferred with the Ebrue, and
rteine places corrected, as the sense of the Prophete
Lred : and the Note joyned withall. Very mete to
sed of all sorts of people privately for their godly
;e & comfort, laying aparte all ungodly songes &
ides, which tende only to the nourishing of vice,
jorruptiug of youth. Newly set foarth and allowed,
rding to the Queues Maiesties Iniunctions. 1560.

re is no name either of place or of printer,
in aU probability it was an English edition.
lough no mention is made of them in the
, this work includes metrical versions of
e of the Evangelical Hymns, the ten Com-
dments, the Lord's Prayer, and the Creed,
oay have included a few more of the same
i, but the only known copy of the work is
Jrfect at the end, where these additions are
ted as a kind of supplement. The practice
speating the tunes begins here, for though the
ber of psalms has been increased, the number
mes has diminished. There are only 44, of
:h 23 have been taken on from the previous
on ; the rest are new. Among the new tunes
be found five adopted from the French Psalter,
le manner described above. They are as fol-
ic uniqne copy of this work is in the library of Christ Church,
1. Thanks are due to the College for permission to examine it.



lows: — The tunes to the French 121st, 124th,
and 1 30th, have been set to the same psalms in
the English version; the French 107th has been
compressed to suit the English 1 20th ; and the
French 1 24th, though set to the same psalm in the
English version, has been expanded by the inser-
tion of a section between the third and fourth of
the original ; the French psalm having four lines
of eleven to the stanza, the English five. The
tune for the metrical commandments is the same
in both versions.

By the following year 23 more translations were
ready; and another edition was brought out,
again at Geneva :^ —

Fours score and seven Psalmes of David in English
Mitre, by Thomas Stemeholde and others: conferred
with the Hebrewe, and in certeine places corrected, as
the sense of the Prophet requireth. Whereunto are
added the Songe of Simeon, the then commandments and
the Lord's Prayer. 1561.

From the ' Forme of Prayers,' etc., bound up
with it, we gather that it was ' printed at Geneva
by Zacharie Durand.' The number of tunes had
now been largely increased, and raised to a point
beyond which we shall find it scarcely advanced
for many years afterwards. The exact number
is 63 ; of which 2 2 had appeared in both previous
editions, 14 in the edition of 1560 only, and 2 in
the edition of 1556 only. The rest were new.
Among the new tunes will again be found several
French importations. The tunes for the English
50th and 104th are the French tunes for the same
psalms. The looth is the French 134th, the
113th the French 36th, the 122nd the French
3rd, the 125th the French 21st, the 126th the
French 90th. The 145th and 148th are also
called ' French ' by Ravenscroft.^ Thus far there
is no sign of any other direct influence. The
imported tunes, so far as can be discovered, are
all French ; and the rest are English imitations
in the same style.

Before we enter upon the year 1562, which
saw the completion of Sternhold's version, it is
necessary that some account should be given
of another Psalter, evidently intended for the
public, which had been in preparation for some
little time, and was actually printed, probably
in 1560, but which was never issued; — the
Psalter of Archbishop Parker. The title is aa
follows : —

The whole Psalter translated into English metre,
which contayneth an hundreth and fifty psalmes,
Imprinted at London by John Daye, dwelling over
Aldersgate beneath S. Martyn's. Cum gratia et privi-
legio Begise maiestatis, per decennium.

The privilege suflBciently proves the intention to
publish. It seems at first sight curious, that
while it has been necessary to speak of the
copies of published works hitherto referred to as
unique, it should be possible to say of this, which
was never given to the public, that at least four
or five examples are in existence. The reason,
however, is no doubt to be found in the fact that

2 The unique copy of this book Is In the Library of S. Paul's
Cathedral. Thanks are due to the Dean and Chapter for permission
to examine it.

3 The imported tunes sometimes underwent a slight alteration,
necessitated by the frequency of the feminine rhymes in the French
version. By this method a new character was often gWen to the tune.



Ws translation, ^vLich U i" -™»» "^.M'
pverv way far superior to that of Steinhaia.,
tafthou.* the author has evidently aimed at
Se .inipUcity and directness of his onginal ho


was every day becoming more manifest, or as it

has been sometimes sup'posed, to a change in tl>e

authors opinion as to the dedrabihty of psalm

Sng. In any case, it is much to be regretted,

since it involved the suppression of nme tunes

specially composed by Tallis, in a style pecubar

to himself which, if the work had been published

wouW at alT events have once more estabhshed

Te standard of an English tune m fojir p-^^'

broad, simple, and efiective, - \ J^^f ^^ °J

congregational use; and, ^^"^ . t^% *f ^'"'S

Snt of view, finer than anything of the kind

flat has been done since. Whether it would

iave prevailed or not, it is in.pos.ible to say

We have seen how, m the case of Tye, the in

fluence of Geneva triumphed over the beauty

of Ws music; and that influence had become

longer in the interval. On the other hand, the

tende^ncy to florid descant, so ^a^f ^j,! «f Vh"

formers, was absent from the work of Tallis The

compositions in this book are Panted n the

manner then customary, m separate parts, all

nrbeing visible at once. They are m nearly

plain counterpoint; the final close - Bomet.mes

slightly elaborated, but generally the efTect -

which is one of great richness, solemn or sweet

according to the nature of the P^^*^''- ^]: .^-'f^"

is obtained by very simple means Eight of the

tunes are i/the first '^^'^K^'f'^'Xl'Vu
tended for the psalms; the mnth,in Mode Xiii,
is supplementary, and is set to a translation of
'Veni Creator.' Two of them have been revived,
and are now well known. One appears in our
hvmnals as 'Tallis,' and is the supplementary
fme in Mode XIIL; the other, generally set to
■p^.ll,^n -Rpn's evening hymn, and known as
to the iktter, it should be mentioned that m the
original it is twice as long as in the modern form,
every section being repeate-i before proceeding to
the next. With this exception the melodies ap-
pear as they were written ; but, as regards the
three other Jarts, only such fragments have been
retained as have happened to suit the_ taste or
convenience of compilers. In the original, too,
the tenor leads in the canon ; this is reversed in
the modern arrangement. Tlie example here
given, wliich is the tune in Mode I, is in a
more severe and solemn strain than the two just
mentioned. Tlie treatment of the B— natural in


the first half of the tune, and flat in the latte
half— is in the finest manner of Dorian harmony,

f"i 1

thought up. on. re-mem-hrln^Goa;»__Pr^^t:.

we hong » - mong^h^ Sa^2!!! trees,^ ."


Harpe, and Or - gan, all: Ko Joy ^ 1-^: -
.eep - ing eyes, to r^J_'J'L^lj:^^

The instruction with regard to the tunes iij
follows : — , r, „

rsucl fs will syog or play them privatlye.

The method of fitting the psalms to appropt
tunes is very simple. At the head of «
nsalm stands an accent -grave, acute,
Siiflex-indicating its nature as sad. p
or indifferent, according to the author s^^"*
the tunes bear corresponding accents,

Online LibraryGeorge GroveA dictionary of music and musicians (A.D. 1450-1889) by eminent writers, English and foreign : with illustrations and woodcuts (Volume 4) → online text (page 178 of 194)