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

. (page 179 of 194)
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 179 of 194)
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work is divided into three parts, each conta^
fifty psalms; and since it is only in the 1

, The bars In the original are only sectional, coinciding*!
punctuation of the text.



that these accents appear, (together with
ther ingenious system of red and black
:ets, showing the rhyming structure of the
,) we may perhaps conclude that the work
lot all printed at once, and that it was only
•ds the end — possibly after the promulgation
izabeth's injunctions — that it was thought
ible to have tunes composed,
seems certain that the first complete edition
s version, containing the whole Psalms, the
gelical Hymns, and the Spiritual Songs, was
jlied in 1562, and that another followed in
; but the earliest now in existence is the one
)4, of which the title is as follows : —

; whole 1)00116 of Psalms collected into Englysh
by Thomas Sternhold, J. Hopkins, and others,
red with the Hebrew, with apt notes to sing them
, faithfully perused and allowed according to
r appoynted in the Queenes maiestyes Iniunctions.
neet,' etc., as in the edition of 15(10. ' Imprinted
idon by John Daye, dwelling over Aldersgate.
;ratia et privilegio regite Maiestatis per septen-

i number of tunes in this edition is 65 ; of
14 had appeared in all the previous edi-
7 in the editions of 1560 and 1561 only,
■ in the edition of 1561 only, and 4 in
3ition of 1560 only. The rest were new.
ng more had been taken from the French
jr ; but two times which Eavenscroft calls

I Dutch' v\rere adopted. One of them,
' Wisdome's prayer ' Preserve us, Lord,
y dear word,' was identified by Burney
the so-called Luther Chorale set to simi-
srds. It will have been observed that a
ierable re-arrangement of the tunes had
to taken place in every new edition ; the
which were taken on from previous edi-

generally remained attached to the same
s as belbre, but the number of new tunes,

II as of those omitted, was always large,
however, the compilers rested content ;

lenceforward, notwithstanding that a new
a was published almost yearly, the changes
30 gradual that it will only be necessary
e note of them at intervals. The tunes
inted without bars, and in notes of unequal
I. Semibreves and minims are both used,
I what seems at first sight so unsystematic
— since they do not correspond with the
ts of the verse — that few of the tunes, as
stand, could be divided into equal sections ;
)me could not be made to submit to any
signature whatever. In this respect they
ble the older ecclesiastical melodies. The
)f imitation, however, was probably far
ihe composer's mind, and the object of his
Jarity was no doubt variety of effect ; the
lotion of the monotonous swing of the alter-
ight and six with accents constantly recur-
n similar positions. To the eye the tunes
r somewhat confused ; but upon trial it
e found that the long and short notes have
adjusted with great care, and, taking a
tune together, with a fine sense of rhythm-
al.ince. The modes in which these com-
)ns are written are such as we should
I. IV. PT. 6.



expect to meet with in works of a popular, as
opposed to an ecclesiastical, character. The
great majority of the tunes will be found to be
in the modes which have since become our major
and minor scales. The exact numbers are as
follows :— 28 are in Modes XIII. and XIV., 23
in Modes IX. and X., 12 in Modes I. and IT.,
one in Mode VII., and one in Mode VIII. All
these modes, except the last two, are used both in
their original and transposed positions.

A knowledge of music was at this time so
genei-al, that the number of persons able to sing
or play these tunes at sight was probably very
considerable. Nevertheless, in the edition of
1564, and again in 1577, there was published
'An Introduction to learn to sing,' consisting of
the scale and a few elementary rules, for the
benefit of the ignorant. The edition of 1607
contained a more elaborate system of rules, and
had tlie sol-fa joined to every note of the tunes
throughout the book ; but this was not repeated,
nor was any further attempt made, in this work,
to teach music.

For comjjetent musicians, a four-part setting
of tlie church tunes was also provided by the
same publisher : —

The whole psalmes in foure partes, which may be song
to al musicall instrumentes, set forth for the encrease of
vertne, and abolishyng of other vayne and triflyng
ballades. Imprinted at London by .John Day, dwelling
over Aldersgate, beneath Saynt Martyns. Cum gratia et
privilegio Regise Maiestatis, per septennium. 1563. 1

Notwithstanding this title, only the first verse
of each Psalm is given ; enough to accompany
the notes once, and no more: it is therefore only
a companion to Sternhold ; not, like almost all
subsequent works of the kind, a substitute.
But in other respects it was designed on a much
larger scale than anything that appeared after-
wards. It is in four volumes, one for each voice.
Every composition, long or short, occupies a
page ; and at the head of each stands one of
the fine pictorial initial letters which appear
in all Day's best books about this time. But
it is aa regards the quantity of the music that
it goes farthest beyond all other collections of
the same kind. The composers of subsequent
Psalters thought it quite sufficient, as a rule,
to furnish each of the 65 church tunes with
a single setting; but here, not only has each
been set, but frequently two and sometimes
three and four composers have contributed
settings of the same tune ; and as if this were
not enough, they have increased the work by as
many as 30 tunes, not to be found in Sternhold,
and for the most part probably original. The
total result of their labours is a collection
of 141 compositions, of which 4 are by N.
Southerton, n by R. Brimle, 17 by J. Hake,
27 by T. Causton, and 81 by W. Parsons. It
is worthy of remark that while all the contem-
porary musicians of the first rank had already
been employed upon contributions to the liturgi-
cal service, not only by way of MSS., but also
in the printed work, ' Certayne notes,' etc. issued

1 A second edition was published in 1565




,^ -r> ;„ T crio — tlie composers to whom the
i;,,, except °"^„:t™rr.S; ?S"ot=>"e »nd

interehLuio j averao-e profiCTent at tms

jilt ■'m c>:.l?«-Al.1seWiti»- ^^
i;::,t cases « «.ucl. *, .»^, » tt^^ ^"f tjj
simple settings of 'f , j"?"™ ^ . the p»rts

SLT» ^"flt^^n SrSeove', st.U ret.™
"„Se "f the objectionable "«»»»• f-'f/,
V.V the school of this period from the earner
Knt, thich Tye h'ad refused to .ccep^.
Brimle offends in tbe same way but to a iar
greater extent : indeed, unless he ^s t)een
cniellv used by the printer, he is sometimes
?min ell -ible. In one of his compositions, for


melodj^ he has written as follows .—


ous-in all such cases the melody was sooi
or later altered. As these expedients do >
occurTn subsequent Psalters, two other sp
nielJs are here given of a more rational b
than the one quoted above.

MODE IX. Transposed CFhial^D).^^^^^

Mode I. Transposed (Final, G)- ^ ^^^

The difficulty arising from the P-ff^es^^^^^^^^

the melody in this passage was one that otten

^resen e^itself durLg the process o setting

the earliest versions of the church tunes, it

a L whenever the melody, in closing, passed

tytL interval of a whole tone fromthe seventh

o? the scale to the final When this happen d

the final cadence of the mode was ot course

mposSile, and some sort of exped>en became

neces'^ary. Since, however, no substitute lor

the prober close co.ld be really safsfactory-

because no matter how cleverly it ^^^g ^e

treated, the result must necessarily be ambigu-

1 Causton. a Gentleman ot the Chapel Boral. had been a contri-


between inner parts. „»,pnt nothing extraordinary to

3 This passage, however ■will P"'!"' , ,?'° ' j„„,es taken from
those who may happen to ha" exammed the^ ta^^^^^.^^
Eisby. Pigott. and others in Morleys riame^™;^^ ^^ that the
to PractlcaH Musick. J^™"" ''i^/lij^Xwerenot at all eenerally
laws which govern the treatment of discords were^ beginning of

understood by English "'"^'f'^/- "f° ^, a'ent that discords (not
Henry the Eighth's reign: it '^,«"'*^^,f '„!,"' ^r^d. but. what is
passing) were not only <:°°/*°*'y **''i" "XsoCely free In its
more strange, the discordant ""J^. .^J. „^,^^°^^^^^^^^
progression. It might either rise or fa"at pleasure, it b v
by skip or by degree, either to concord "y^^'X"? discord And
remain to become the preparation of a 5"'Pe''ded discord Ana
thl,«a,the practice of musicians otwhom Morley says that they
were skilful men for the time wherein they Uvea.

Both Parsons'* and Hake fppear to havej
excellent musicians. The style of the fome

somewhat severe, sr/^'''T'%^!T«ttpr w^
always strong and solid. _ In t^^ Matter we
more sweetness; and it is cbaracteristic of^
that more frequently than the others, he mJ
ueVtbe soft harmony of the imperfect tm
Us fiit inversion. It should be mentioned
of the I J tunes set by him m this coUect
7 were church tunes, and lo liad previ"
Ippeared in Crespin's edition of gernhoW,
had afterwards been dropped. His aaJU.
Sierefore, were none of them origin^ ^
other point remains to be noticed. Modula
in these settings, is extremely rare ; -
when it would seem-to modern ears at le.
to be irresistibly suggested by tbe pr^ -
the melody, the apparent ingenuity Mthu
it has been avoided is very curious. In
tune given to the ..nd P-hn \ ^
which is in Mode Xlli (tinai, <_;, ^"■

. ,n Este. ^^^^^^^fl.^Z.t^^^l'^T^^^''^^^^^ '
order to make a t"<^ A"^' ''°f''P°f '„«"'• »E^'"' ''"' ^"' "


. W. Parsons must not wonfounaed^^^^
1 ^wlr^dftrd^^thHetr^n^aLTh^aiid executed


■ begins with a phrase which obviously
jests a modulation to the dominant : —

which has been treated by Parsons as
»ws : — ^

he importance of this Psalter, at once the
; and the most liberal of its kind, entitles it to
)mplete example of its workmanship. The
i chosen is that to the 137th Psalm, an
jllent specimen of the English imitations of
French melodies, and interesting also as
ig one of the two tunes which, appearing
ng the first printed — in Crespin's edition of
•nhold, — are in use at this day. It was
ently a favourite with Parsons, who has set
iree times ; twice placing it in the tenor, and
! in the upper voice. The latter setting is
one here given : — '

Mode XIV. Transposed.

Psahn cxxrm, -^ Pabsons.

When as we sat In Ba - bi - Ion,






S^ -s>-

— ^^ — ^


«• m



9 ry -

vers round

a - bout:



re - mem-

: «" —


-^ g -






-«S>- -G>-







(thing Is more Interesting than to trace the progress of a pas-
>f this kind through subsequent psalters, and to notice how
, sooner or later, the modulation comes :—


Mode XIII. Transposed.

1 W. CoBBOLD (Este's Psalter, 1592).

— « e frV — © -J

me XL

— e-




" J — »—^ — ■ — H—

i j 1

-i 4 f -R- -^



T. MORLET (Barley's Psalter).

1 1 ,


— 1 &—■ — « - n -ip; — Tj —

(J —


-4-1 e ?°. li

me J3.


— e—



^. A -^ -Q- .0-


~? ° " ■ ' r^

must be confessed that the tune is more beautiful without its
g. raisous has not only avoided everj kind of modulation,


St • on, the teares for grief burst ont:

:s: -p p- S: :g:



-^ p

r-^ ■

1 i ^

We hanged our harpes and

In -


, the

vA\ - low

— —


— ^

e I

:& ^ r 1 ,

'1 .-^ - 4



— ^

\~T ^ ^ ^ i —


-f r -


trees np - on : For In

that place men

1 1



their use,


m \-


— ^— —


— ^-

-S> — T^—m

-y— ^ y - ^^ ^-^



— ^^-

~~r^ — r:;— ■

' 1




had plant - ed ma - ny



—■^ ^ ^ — <^ — -

—-— H-

Sh- -«t -iS^ .^ -^-

«=!— T


-2; fs ^ -

^ 1

^^ ■ 1 '

•^ —


1 ■ "" '


At the end of the book are to be found a few
miscellaneous compositions, some in metre and
some in prose, evidently not specially intended
for this work, but adopted into it. Some of
these are by the musicians employed upon the
Psalter ; but th«re are also two by Tallis, and
one each by Shephard and Edwards.

The ample supply of four-part settings con-
tained in I>ay's great collection seems to have so
fai- satisfied the public craving, that during the
next sixteen years no other publication of the
same kind was attempted. Nor had the work
which appeared at the end of that period been
composed with any kind of desire to rival or
succeed the existing one ; it had, in fact, never
been intended for the public, and was brought
out without the permission, or even the know-
ledge of its author. Its title was as foUovvs : —

The Paalmfis of David in English meter with notes of
foure partes set unto them hy Guilielmo Damon, for
John Bull, to the use of the godly Christians for
recreatyng themselves, instede of fond and unseemly
Ballades. Anno 1579 at London Printed by John Daye.
Cum pri^'ilegio.

The circumstances of this publication, as they
were afterwards related, were shortly these. It
was Damon's custom, on the occasion of each of
his visits to his friend, Mr. John Bull, to com-
pose, and leave behind him, a four-part setting
of some one of the church tunes ; and these,
when the collection was complete. Bull gave
to the printer, without asking the author's con-
but liai even refused closes which the ear desires, and which he
might have taken without having recourse to chrumatic notes. It
remained for later musicians to bring out the beauty of the melody.

3D 2



sent. The preface, by one Edward Hake, is
a kind of apology, partly for the conduct of
the above-mentioned Mr. Jolin Bull, ' citizen
and goldsmith of London.' and partly for the
settings themselves, of which he says that they
were ' by peece meale gotten and gathered
together from the fertile soyle of his honest
frend Guilielmo Damon one of her Maiesties
Musitions,' who * never meant them to the use
of any learned and cunnyng Musition, but alto-
gether respected the pleasuryng of his private
frend.' The settings — one only to each tune —
are very much of the kind that might be ex-
pected from the circumstances. Tbey are in
plain counterpoint, with the tune in the tenor ;
evidently the work of a competent musician, but
without special merit. The book contains 14
tunes not to be found in Day, and among these
are the first four of those single common measure
tunes which later quite took the place in popular
favour of all but a few of the older double kind.
They had not as yet been named, but they were
afterwards known as Cambridge, Oxford, Canter-
bury, and Southwell. Two of the church tunes
have been drojDped ; and it should also be remarked
that in many tunes the value of the notes has
been altered, the alteration being, in all cases,
the substitution of a minim for a semibreve.

Warton mentions a small publication, 'VII
Steppes to heauen, alias the vij [penitential]
Psalmes reduced into meter by Will Hunnys,'"^
which he says was brought out by Henry
Denham in 15S1 ; and ' Seuen sobs of a sorrow-
full soule for sinue,' published in 15S5, was,
according to the same authority, a second edition
of the same work with a new title. The later
edition contains seven tunes in double common
measure, in the style of the church tunes,
exceedingly well written, and quite up to the
average merit of their models. Burney and
Lowndes both mention a collection of settings
with the following title : —

Musicke of six and five parts made upon the common
tunes used in singing of the Psalmes by Joha Cosyn,
London by John Wolfe 1585. 1

Another work, called by Canon Havergal tlio
'Psalter of Henrie Denham,''^ is said to have
been published in 1588.

Damon seems to have been considerably
annoyed to find that compositions which he
thought good enough for Mr. Bull, had been
by Mr. Bull thought good enough for the public;
and, as a protest against the injustice done to
his reputation, began, and lived long enough to
linish, two other separate and complete settings
of the church tunes, in motet fashion ; the tunes
in the first being in the tenor, and in the second
in the upper voice. They were brought out
after his death by a friend, one William Swayne,
bom whose preface we learn the particulars of
tlie publication of 1579. The titles are as
Jollows : —

1. The former hooke of the Musicke of M. William

n "1?° ''"■'^ *"^° °^ ^^^' ™aiesties Musitions : conteining

all the tunes of David's Psalmes, as they are ordinarily

» These works the writer has not been able to meet with.


soung in the Church : most excellently by him compo
into4parts. luwhichsett theTenorsingeththe Cliu,
tune. Published for the recreation of such as deliijli
Musicke : by W. Swayne Gent. Printed by T. Kste,
assigne of W. Byrd. 1591.

2. The second Booke of the Musicke of M. Willi
Damon, conteining all the tunes of David's Psaln
differing from the former in respect that the high
part singeth the Church tune, etc.

In both these works the compositions are
the same rather ornate style ; points of imitati
are frequently taken upon the plain song, 1
parts from time to time resting, in the usi
manner of the motet. Their whole aim is,
fact, more ambitious than that of any otl
setting of the church tunes. Twelve of 1
original tunes have been dropped ; and one
single common measure, added, — the tune aft
wards known as Windsor or Eton. [See Winds

Este, the publisher of these two works, m
have been at the same time engaged upon 1
pre])aration of his own famous Psalter, for in 1
course of the next year it was brought out, w
the following title : —

The whole booke of psalmes : with their won
Tunes, as they are song in Clmrches, composed i
foure parts: All which are so, placed that foure i
sing ech one a seuei'al part in this hooke. Wherein
Chiirch tunes are carefully corrected, and thei'eu
added other short tunes usually song in London, ;
other places of this Realme. With a table in the en<
the hooke of such tunes as are newly added, with
number of ech Psalme placed to the said Tune. Ci
piled by sondry avthors who haue so laboured her
that the vnskili'ull with small practice may attaini
sing that part, which is fittest for their voice. Imprit
at London by Thomas Est, the assign^ of William Bj
dwelling in Aldersgate streete at the signe of the Bi
Horse and are there to be sold. 1592. 2

It seems to have been part of Este's plar
ignore his predecessor. He has dropped n
of the tunes whi<;li were new in Damt
Psalters, and the five which he has taken
appear in his ' Note of tunes newly added
this booke.' Four of these five were those afi
wards known as Cambridge, Oxford, Canterbt
and Windsor, and the first three must alrei
have become great favourites with the pub
since Cambridge has been repeated 29 tin
Oxford 27 times, and Canterbury 33 tin
The repetition, therefore, is now on a i
principle : the older custom was to rej
almost every tune once or twice, but in 1
Psalter the repetition is confined ahnost entii
to these tliree tunes. Five really new tni
all in single common measure, have been adt
To three of tliese, names, for the first time,
given ; they are ' Glassenburie,' ' Kenti
(afterwards Rochester), and 'Chesshire.' .
other two, though not named as yet, afterffS
became London and Winchester.

For the four-part settings Este engage
composers, ' being such,' he says in his prefi
' as I know to be expert in the Arte and Bi
cient to answere such curious carping Mu8iti<
whose skill hath not been employed to
furthering of this work.' This is no em
boast : 1 7 of the settings are by John Farm
12 by George Kirbye ; 10 by Richard Allis

2 A second eUtion was published in 1594, and a third in 1604. /
work was reprinted by the Musical Antiquarian Society InlSH <



Giles Farnaby ; 7 by Edward Blancks ; 5
)hii Douland ; 5 by William Cobbold ; 4 by
und Hooper ; 2 by Edward Johnson, and
Michael Cavendish. It will be observed
though most of these composers are eminent
adrigalists, none of them, except Hooper,
Derhaps Johnson, are known as experts in
cclesiastical style : a certain interest there-
belongs to their settings of plainsong ; a
of composition which they have nowhere
ipted except in this work.^ The method of
nent is very varied : in some cases the
lerpoint is perfectly plain ; in others plain
xed with florid ; while in Others again the
prevails throughout. In the plain settings
eat advance upon the best of those in Day's
er will be observed. Indeed, in one respect,
! melodious progression of the voices, —
ice was scarcely possible ; since equality
.erest in the parts had been, from the very
ning, the fundamental principle of com-
mon. What advance there is will be found
in the direction of harmony. Tlie ear is
Red more often than before by a harmonic
•ession appropriate to the progression of the
Modulation in the closes, therefore, be-
3 more frequent ; and in some cases, for
al reasons, a partial modulation is even
duced in the middle of a section. In all
3, a close containing the prepared fourth,
r struck or suspended, and accompanied by
iftli, is the most usual termination ; but the
Itimate harmony is also sometin;es i^re-
1 by the sixth and fifth together upon
fourth of the scale. The plain style
been more often, and more successfully,
ed by Blancks than by any of the other.s.
ontrives always to unite solid and reason-
harmony with freedom of movement and
dy in the parts ; indeed, the melody of his
r voice is often so good that it might be
as a tune by itself. But by far the greater
ber of the settings in this work are in the
d style, in which the figuration introduced
'sts chiefly of suspended concords (discords
J still reserved for the closes), passing notes,
short points of imitation between two of the
i at the beginning of the section. It is
:ult to say who is most excellent in this
aer. Farmer's skill in contriving the short
;s of imitation is remarkable, but one must
admire the richness of Hooper's harmony,
en's smoothness, and the ingenuity and
irce shown by Cobbold and Kirbye. The
last, also, are undoubtedly the most suc-
al in dealing with the more florid style,
|h, in fact, and perhaps for this reason, tliey
attempted more often than any of their
iates. They have produced several coni-
jions of great beauty, in which most of the
as of counterpoint have been introduced,
^h without ostentation or apparent effort.
rnaby and Johnson were perhaps not in-

jmer had published, in the previous year, forty canons, two in
jion one plainsong. These however were only contrapuntal



eluded in the original scheme of the work, since
they do not appear till late, Johnson's first setting
being Ps. ciii. and Farnaby 's Ps. cxix. They need
special, but not favourable, mention; because,
although their compositions are thoroughly able,
and often beautiful — Johnson's especially so — it
is they who make it impossible to point to Este's
Psalter as a model throughout of pure writing.
The art of composing for concerted voices in the
strict diatonic style had reached, about the year
1580, probably the highest point of excellence it
was capable of. Any change must have been for
the worse, and it is in Johnson and Farnaby
that wo here see the change beginning.^

There is, however, one Psalter which can be
said to show the pure Elizabethan counterpoint
in perfection throughout. It is entirely the work
of one man, Richard Allison, already mentioned
as one of Este's contributors, who published it

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 179 of 194)