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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Beethoven . 26



7ol. VI. (dated Sept. 1841)

Haydn. . . 12

Beethoven . l.S

Kozeluch . . 1

Hogarth . . 21

Bishop ... 5


Welsh Melodies.

The Preface is dated May, 1803.

Vol. I. Kozeluch 10

Haydn 20


Vol. n. Kozeluch 1-t

Haydn 17

Kozeluch and Haydn I


Vol. III. Haydn 4

Beethoven . . . . 2(j


As a means of extending the knowledge of the
otch melodies, Thomson, at the beginning of
J intercourse with Pleyel and Kozeluch, ordered
latas based upon such airs. Both composed

works of this kind ; but how many does not
appear. It is evident from a letter of Beethoven
to Thomson (Nov. i, 1806) that besides arrange-
ments of melodies, the latter had requested trios,
quintets, and sonatas on Scotch themes from him
also. Beetlioven's price for compositions, which
could only sell in Great Britain and Ireland,
was such as could not be acceded to, and none
were written. About 1818-20 he wrote varia-
tions on a dozen Scotch melodies, which Thomson
published, but which never paid the cost of
printing either in Great Britain or Germany. At
the lowest estimate Beethoven received for his
share in Thomson's publications not less than
£550. George Hogarth, who married Thomson's
daughter, told the writer that the Scotch songs
only paid their cost.

In the winter of 1860-61 there appeared in
Germany a selection of tliese songs from Bee-
thoven's MSS., edited by Franz Espagne, in the
preface to which he writes : ' The songs printed
in Thomson's collection are, both as to text and
music, not only incorrectly printed, but wilfully
altered and abridged.' These groundless charges
were made honestly, but with a most plentiful
lack of knowledge. They need not be discussed
here, as they were amjily met and completely
refuted in the Vienna 'Deutsche Musikzeitung'
of Nov. 23 and Dec, 28, 1861. All Beethoven's
Scotch and Irish songs are contained in Breit-
kopf 's complete edition of his works. Series 24,
Nos. 257-260. [A.W.T.]

THOMSON, John, first Professor of Music
at Edinburgh University, was the son of an
eminent clergyman, and was born at Ednam,
Kelso, Oct. 28, 1805. His father afterwards
became minister of St. George's Church, Edin-
burgh. He made the acquaintance of Mendels-
sohn during the visit of the latter to Edinburgh
in the summer of 1829, and showed him much
attention, which Mendelssohn requited by a
warm letter of introduction to his family in
Berlin, in which he says of Thomson ' ' he is
very fond of music ; I know a pretty trio of his
composition and some local pieces which please
me very well ' {ffctnz gut gefallen). During his
visit to Germany he studied at Leijjzig, kept
up his friendship with Mendelssohn, and made
the intimate . acquaintance of Schumann, Mo-
scheles, and otlier musicians, and of Schnyder
von Wartensee, whose pupil he became. In 1839
he was elected the first Eeid Professor at Edin-
burgh, a result which was doubtless not unin-
fluenced by the warm testimonials from his
Leipzig friends which he submitted. He gave
the first Eeid Concert on Feb. 12, 1841, and
the book of words contains analytical remarks
by him on the principal pieces — probably the
first instance of such a thing. Thomson died
May 6, 1841, deeply lamented. He wrote three
operas or dramatic pieces, ' Hermann, or the
Broken Spear,' ' The House of Aspen,' and ' The
Shadow on the Wall.' The last two were brought
out at the Royal English Opera (Lyceum), on

1 He spells the name Thompson, but it must surely be the same
man. See ■ Die Famille Mendelssohn,' i. 243.




Oct. 27, 1834, and April 21, 1835 respectively,
and had each a long run. Two of his songs,
' Harold Harfager,' and 'The Pirates' Serenade,'
are mentioned as spirited and original. [G.]

THORNE, Edward H., bom at Cranbourne,
Dorsetshire, May 9, 1834, received his musical
education at St. George's Chapel, Windsor, where
he was articled to Sir George Elvey. In 1832
he was appointed to the Parish Church, Henley,
and in 1862 to Chichester Cathedral, which
appointment he resigned in 1870 in order to
devote himself more closely to the more con-
genial work of teaching the pianoforte. Mr.
Thome removed to London, and has been suc-
cessively organist at St. Patrick's, Brighton;
St. Peter's, Cranley Gardens ; and St. Michael's,
Comhill. His published works comprise several
services, including a Magnificat and Nunc Di-
inittis for chorus, soli, and orchestra, written for
the Festival of the Sons of the Clergy ; the 1 25th
Psalm ; a festival march, toccata and fugue,
funeral march, overture, and six books of volun-
taries for the organ ; some pianoforte pieces ;
several songs and part-songs ; the 47th Psabn
(for female voices), etc. His unpublished works
include trios for piano-violin, and violoncello;
sonatas for the violoncello, and the clarinet ; the
57th Psalm for tenor solo, chorus, and orchestra ;
and many other compositions. [W.B.S.]

THORNE, John, of York, an eminent musi-
cian in the middle of the 16th century, is men-
tioned by Morley in his ' Introduction.' He
was probably attached to York Cathedral. A
3-voice motet by him, 'Stella cceli,' is printed
in Hawkins's Historj'. He was also a skilled
logician. He died Dec. 7, 1573, and was buried
in York Cathedral. [W. H. H.]

THOROUGHBASS (Thoroughbase, Figured-
Bass; Lat. Bassus generalis, Bassus continuus ;
Ital. Continuo, Basso continuo^; Germ. General-
bass ; Fr. Basse continue, Basse chiffrie). An
instrumental Bass-Part, continued, without in-
terruption, throughout an entire piece of Music,
and accompanied by Figures, indicating the gene-
ral Harmony.

In Italy, the Figured-Bass has always been
known as the Basso continuo, of which term our
English word, Thorough {i.e. Through) bass, is a
sufficiently correct translation. But, in England,
the meaning of the term has been perverted,
almost to the exclusion of its original intention.
Because the Figures placed under a Thorough-
bass could only be understood by a performer
well acquainted with the rules of Harmony, those
rules were vulgarly described as the Rules of
Thoroughbass ; and, now that the real Thorough-
bass is no longer in ordinary use, the word sur-
vives as a synonym for Harmony — and a very
incorrect one.

The invention of this form of accompaniment
was long ascribed to Lodovico Viadana (1566-
1644), on the authority of Michael Praetorius,
Johann Cruger, Walther, and other German

• Not to be mistaken for Basto oslinato (Fr. Batse conlreinU) which
Indicates a Ground-Bass.

historians of almost equal celebrity, fortified I
some directions as to the manner of its perforn
ance, appended to Viadana's ' Concerti eccles
astici.' But it is certain that the custom of v
dicating the Intervals of a Chord by means ■
Figures placed above or below the Bass-not
was introduced long before the publication 1
Viadana's directions, which first appeared in
reprint of the 'Concerti' issued in 1612, and ai
not to be found in any earlier edition; while
true Thoroughbass is given in Peri's ' Euridice
performed and printed in t6oo ; an equally con
plete one in Emilio del Cavaliere's Oratorio, 'I
rappresentazione dell' anima e del corpo,' put
lished in the same year; and another, in Caccini
'Nuove Musiche ' (Venice, 1602). There is. i]
deed, every reason to believe that the inventic
of the Continuo was synchronous with that of tl
Monodic Style, of which it was a necessary co:
tingent; and that, like Dramatic Recitative,
owed its origin to the united eflforts of the ei
thusiastic reformers who met, during the closir
years of the 1 6th century, at Giovanni Bardi
bouse in Florence. [See Viadana, Lcdovico
MoNODiA ; Recitative ; also vol. ii. p. 98.]

After the general establishment of the Moni
die School, the Thoroughbass became a necessar
element in every Composition, written, eitht
for Instruments alone, or for Voices with Instri
mental Accompaniment. In the Music of th
1 8th century, it was scarcely ever wanting. I
the Operas of Handel, Euononcini, Hasse, an
their contemporaries, it played a most importar
part. No less prominent was its position i
Handel's Oratorios ; and even in the Minuet
and Gavottes played at Ranelagh, it was equall
indispensable. The ' Vauxhall Songs ' of Shielc
Hook, and Dibdin, were printed on two Staves
on one of which was written the Voice-Parl
with the Melody of the Ritomelli, inserte
in single notes, between the verses, while th
other was reserved for the Thoroughbass. I:
the comparatively complicated Cathedral Musi
of Croft, Greene, and Boyce, the Organ-Par
was represented by a simple Thoroughbass
printed on a single Stave, beneath the Vocn
Score. Not a chord was ever printed in full
either for the Organ, or the Harpsichord ; for th^
most ordinary Musician was expected to play, a
sight, from the Figured-Bass, just as the mos
ordinary Singer, in the days of Palestrina, wa
expected to introduce the necessary accidenta
Sharps, and Flats, in accordance with the law
of Cantus Fictus. [See Musica Ficta.]

The Art of playing from a Thoroughbass stil
survives — and even flourishes — among our bes
Cathedral Organists. The late Mr. Turle, anc
Sir John Goss, played with infinitely greatei
effect from the old copies belonging to theii
Cathedral libraries, than from modern 'arrange
ments ' which left no room for the exercise 0:
their skill. Of course, such copies can be usee
only by those who are intimately acquaintec
with all the laws of Harmony : but, the applica-
tion of those laws to the Figured Bass is exceed-
ingly simple, as we shall now proceed to show.


1. A wholesome rule forbids the insertion of
" ' any Figure not absolutely necessary for the ex-
pression of the Composer's intention.

2. Another enacts, that, in the absence of any
- special reason to the contrary, the Figures shall be

written in their numerical order ; the highest
occupying the highest place. Thus, the full
figuring of the Chord of the Seventh is, in all
. ordinary cases, s ; the performer being left at
liberty to play the Chord in any position he may
6nd most convenient. Should the Composer
write s, it will be understood that he has some


particular reason for wishing the Third to be
placed at the top of the Chord, the Fifth below
it, and the Seventh next above the Bass ; and
;he performer must be careful to observe the
iirections implied in this departure from the
jeneral custom.

3. In conformity with Rule i, it is understood
ibat all Bass-notes unaccompanied by a Figure
«e intended to bear Common Chords. It is only
lecessary to figure the Common Chord, when it
bUows some other Harmony, on the same Bass-
lote. Thus, at (a), in Example i, unless the
jommon Chord were figured, the | would be
iontinued throughout the Bar ; and in this case,
iwo Figures are necessary for the Common Chord,
}ecause the Sixth descends to a Fifth, and the
Fourth to a Third. At (6) two Figures are equally
lecessary ; otherwise, the performer would be
jerfectly justified in accompanying the lower G
vith the same Chord or the upper one. Instances
nay even occur in which three Figures are
ie»ied, as at (c), where it is necessary to show
hat the Ninth, in the second Chord, descends
o an Eighth, in the third. But, in most ordi-
lary cases, a 3, a 5, or an 8, will be quite suf-
ident to indicate the Composer's intention.



The First Inversion of the Triad is almost
ilways sufficiently indicated by the Figure 6,
ha aiddition of the Third being taken as a matter
»f course ; though cases will sometimes occur in
vhich a fuller formula is necessary; as at (a),
n Example 2, where the 3 is needed to show
ihe Resolution of the Fourth, in the preceding
Harmony ; and at (b), where the 8 indicates the
Resolution of the Ninth, and the 3, that of the
BVmrth. We shall see, later on, how it would
lave been possible to figure these passages in a
nore simple and convenient way.

A small treatise which was once extraordin-
uily popular in England, and is even now used
» the exclusion of all others, in many ' Ladies
"Schools,' foists a most vicious rule upon the
Student, with regard to this Chord ; to the effect
;hat, when the Figure 6 appears below the

Supertonic of the Key, a Fourth is to be added to
the Harmony. We remember, when the treatise
was at the height of its popularity, hearing Sir
Henry Bishop inveigh bitterly against this abuse,
which he denounced as subversive of all true
musical feeling ; yet the pretended exception to
the general law was copied into another treatise,
which soon became almost equally popular. No
such rule was known at the time when every one
was expected to play from a Thoroughbass.
Then, as now, the Figure 6 indicated, in all
cases, the First Inversion of the Triad, and
nothing else ; and, were any such change now
introduced, we should need one code of laws for
the interpretation of old Thorough-Basses, and
another for those of later date.





The Second Inversion of the Triad cannot be
indicated by less than two Figures, |. Cases
may even occur, in which the addition of an 8 is
needed ; as, for instance, in the Organ-Point at
(a), in Example 3 ; but these are rare.




In nearly all ordinary cases, the Figure 7 only
is needed for the Chord of the Seventh ; the ad-
dition of the Third and Fifth being taken for
granted. Should the Seven th be accompanied by
any Intervals other than the Third, Fifth, and
Octave, it is, of course, necessary to specify them ;
and instances, analogous to thosie we have already
exemplified when treating of the Common Chord,
will sometimes demand even the insertion of a 3
or a 5, when the Chord follows some other Har-
mony, on the same Bass-note. Such cases are
very common in Organ Points.

The Inversions of the Seventh are usually indi-
cated by the formulje, %, *, and * ; the Intervals
needed for the completion of the Harmony being
understood. Sometimes, but not very often, it
will be necessary to write 5, *. or 4. In some
rare cases, the Third Inversion is indicated by a
simple 4 : but this is a dangerous form of abbre-
viation, unless the sense of the passage be very
clear indeed ; since the Figure 4 is constantly
used, as we shall presently see, to indicate another
form of Dissonance. The Figure 2, used alone,
is more common, andalways perfectly intelligible;
the 6 and the 4 being understood.



The Figures ^, whether placed under the
Dominant, or under anyother Degree of the Scale,
indicate a Chord of the Ninth, taken by direct
percussion. Should the Ninth be accompanied by
other Intervals than the Seventh, Fifth, or Third,
such Intervals must be separatelynoticed. Should
it appear in the form of a Suspension, its figuring
will be subject to certain modifications, of which
we shall speak more particularly when describing
the figuring of Suspensions generally.

The formulae 4 and 7 are used to denote the
a 4

chord of the Eleventh — i.e. the chord of the
Dominant Seventh, taken upon the Tonic Bass.
The chord of the Thirteenth — or chord of the
Dominant Ninth upon the Tonic Bass — is repre-

sented by e or 7. or 1. In these cases, the 4 re-

•^ * 4 5
presents the Eleventh, and the 6 the Thirteenth :
for it is a rule with modern Composers to use
no higher numeral than 9 ; though in the older
Figured Basses — such as those given in Peri's
' Euridice,' and Emilio del Cavaliere's ' La llap-
presentazione dell' anima e del corpo,' — the
numerals, 10, 11, 12, is, and 14, are constantly
used to indicate reduplications of the Third,
Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh, in the Octave

Accidental Sharps, Flats, and Naturals are ex-
pressed in three different ways. A Jt, b, or IJ, used
alone — that is to say, without the insertion of a
numeral on its own level — indicates that the Tliird
of the Chord is to be raised or depressed a Semi-
tone, as the case may be. This arrangement is
entirely independent of other numerals placed
above or hclow the Accidental Sign, since these
can only refer to other Intervals in the Chord.
Thus, a Bass-note with a single b beneath it, must
be accompanied by a Common Chord, with a flat-
tened Third. One marked f must be accom-

panied by the First Inversion of the Chord of the
Seventh, with its Third flattened. It is true
that, in some Thoroughbasses of the last century,
we find the forms Jj, b3, orgs; but the Figure
is not really necessary.

A dash drawn through a 6, or 4, indicates that
the Sixth or Fourth above the Bass-note, must
be raised a Semitone. In some of Handel's
Thoroughbasses, the raised Fifth is indicated by
5 ; but this form is not now in use.

In all cases except those already mentioned,
the necessary Accidental Sign must be placed
before the numeral to which it is intended that
it should apply; as bc, J?, [Jo, bs, b4, [3-I, gc,
etc.; or, when two or more Intervals are to be

altered, ^%, ^''L b-5, etc. ; the Figure 3 being always

suppressed in modern Thoroughbasses, and the
Accidental Sign alone inserted in its place when
the Third of the Chord is to be altered.

By means of the^e formula;, the Chord of the
Augmented Sixth is easily expressed, either in its
Italian, French, or Gennan furm. For instance,
with the Signature of G major, and Eb for a Bass-
note, the Italian Sixth would be indicated by B,
the French by j, the German by 1,5, or ^s-


The employment of Passing-Notes, Appog-
aturas, Suspensions, Organ-Points, and other p •
sages of like character, gives rise, sometimes,!
very complicated Figuring, which, however, u '
be simplified by means of certain formula;, wh 1
save much trouble, both to the Composer and ts

A horizontal line following a Figure, on 1 1
same level, indicates that the note to which 1 1
previous Figure refers is to be continued, in t
of the upper Parts, over the new Bass- note, wh •
ever may be the Harmony to which its retentii."
gives rise. Two or more such lines indicate tli,
two or more notes are to be so continued; ai
in this manner, an entire Chord may frequcii
be expressed, without the employment of a 11
Figure. This expedient is especially useful in t
case of Suspensions, as in Example 4, the f
Figuring of which is shown above the Contiii:
and, beneath it, the more simple form,abbreviat
by means of the horizontal lines, the arrangemt
of which has, in some places, involved a departi
from the numerical order of the Figures.
Ex. 4.

Any series of Suspended Dissonances may
expressedon this principle — purposely exaggerat
in the example — though certain very comni'
Susjiensions are denoted by special formu
which very rarely vary. For instance, 4 3
always understood to mean J ^ — the Commi
Chord, with its Third delayed by a suspend'
Fourth — in contradistinction to ^ § already me
tioned; 9 8 means the Suspended Ninth i
solving into the Octave of the Common Chort
3 8 indicates the Double Suspension of the Nin
and Fourth, resolving into the Octave and Thir(

In the case of Appoggiaturas, the horizont
lines are useful only in the Parts which accompai
the Discord. In the Part which iictuallycontai;
the Appoggiaturn, the absence of the Concord
Preparation renders them inadmissible, as at (■
in Example 5.

Passing-Notes, in the upper Parts, are not ofti
noticed in the Figuring, since it is rarely necessa;
that they should be introduced into the Orgs
or Harpsichord Accompaniment ;, indee
they should be very slow, in which case tiiey a
very easily figured, in the manner shown at (_b)
Example 5.







The case of Passing- Notes in the Bass is very
ferent. They appear, of course, in the Continue
elf; and the fact that they really are Passing-
)te8, and are, therefore, not intended to bear in-
pendent Harmonies, is sufficiently proved by
system of horizontal lines indicating the con-
luance of a Chord previously figured ; as in
;ample 6, in the first three bars of which the
iad is figured in full, because its intervals are
itinued on the three succeeding Bass-Notes.


- g=J?


I i

But in no case is the employment of horizontal
38 more useful than in that of the Organ Point,
ich it would often be very difficult to express
irly without their aid. Example 7 shows the
st convenient way of figuring complicated Sus-
isions upon a sustained Bass-Note.

Ex. 7.

Handel. |s

Q the Inverted Pedal-Point, the lines are still
f e valuable, as a means of indicating the con-
i ance of the sustained note in an upper Part ;



as in Example 8, in which the Figure S marks the
beginning of the C, which, sustained in the Tenor
Part, forms the Inverted Pedal, while the hori-
zontal line indicates its continuance to the end of
the passage.
Ex. 8.

When, in the course of .1 complicated Move-
ment, it becomes necessary to indicate that a cer-
tain phrase — such as the well-known Canto-fermo
in the ' Hallelujah Chorus' — is to be delivered in
Unison, — or, at most, only doubled in the Octave —
the passage is marked Tasio Solo, or, T. S. — i. e.
' with a single touch' (= key).^ When the Sub-
ject of a Fugue appears, for the first time, in the
Bass, this sign is indispensable. When it first
appears in an upper Part, the Bass Clef gives
place to the TrelDle, Soprano, Alto, or Tenor, as
the case may be, and the passage is written in
single Notes, exactly as it is to be played. In
both these cases it is usual also to insert the first
few Notes of the Answer, as a guide to the Ac-
companyist, who only begins to introduce full
Chords when the figures are resumed. In any
case, when the Bass Voices are silent, the lowest
of the upper Parts is given in the Thoroughbass,
eitherwith or without Figures, in accordance with
the law which regards the lowest sound as the
real Bass of the Harmony, even though it may
be sung by a Soprano Voice. An instance of this
kind is shown in Example 9.
Ex. 9. I _1 I I I ' Handbl.





We shall now present the reader with a general
example, serving as a practical application of the
rules we have collected together for his guidance ;
selecting, for this purpose, the concluding bars
of the Chorus, 'All we like sheep,' from Handel's
' Messiah.'

Ex. 10. Handel.


—m I » • '-r^-g-'g-T-I-'

L. I - - \r



4» 6 6 , » b7

1 A'i latply as the last century, the keys of the Organ and Harpsi-
chuiU Welti called "XuucUes' Ujr Euglbh writers.




b 9 8 b7 6
b,7 6 ,5 4f
b - b 2

The Figuring here givencontainsnothing which
the Modern Professor of Harmony can safely
neglect to teach his pupils. The misfortune is,
that pupils are too often satisfied with writing
their exercises, and too seldom expected to flay
from a Thorouglibass at sight. Many young stu-
dents could write the figured Chords correctly
enough ; but few care to acquire sufficient fluency
of reading and execution to enable them to ac-
company a Continuo effectively, though this power
is indispensable to the correct rendering, not only
of the works of Handel and Bach, but even of the
Oratorios and Masses of Haydn and Mozart —
the latest great works in which the Organ Part is
written on a single Stave. [W.S.R.]

OB Festivals of the. These Meetings were
first held in 1724, if not earlier, but became
permanent in that year, when the Three Choirs
assembled at Gloucester for the performance of
cathedral service on a grand scale, with or-
chestral accompaniment. Their establishment
was mainly promoted by Rev. Thomas Bisse,
chancellor of Hereford, and brother of Dr. Philip
Bisse, bishop of the diocese, and the proceeds
were apiilied in aid of a fund for the relief of the
widows and orphans of the poorer clergy of the
three dioceses, or of the members of the three
choirs.^ In 1725 a sermon was preached at
Worcester for the benefit of the charity, and in
1726 a remarkable one by the Rev. Thomas Bisse
at Hereford. The meetings have since con-
tinued to be held, in unbroken succession, up to
the present time, the i6oth meeting having
taken place at Gloucester in 1883. They are
held alternately in each of the three cities,
each having thereby in its turn a triennial fes-
tival. On tlieir first establishment it was cus-
tomary for the members of the Three Choirs

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 25 of 194)