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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and reproduced at Paris, Nov. 21, 1S20. The
piece was a failure. [G.]

TOSI, Pier Francesco, the son of a musi-
cian of Bologna, must have been born about 1 650,
since we learn from the translator of his book
that he died soon after the beginning of George
IPs reign (1730) above eighty years old.^ In
the early part of his life he travelled a great deal,
but in 1693 we find him in London, giving regu-
lar concerts,^ and from that time forward he
resided there almost entirely till his death, in
great consideration as a singing-master and a
composer. A volume in the Harleian Collection
of the British Museum (no. 1272) contains seven
songs or cantatas for voice and harpsichord, with
his name to them. Galliard praises his music
for its exquisite taste, and especially mentions
the pathos and expression of the recitatives.
When more than seventy Tosi published the work
by which his name is still known, under the
modest title of 'Opinioni de' cantori antichi e
moderni, o sieno osservazioni sopra il canto figu-
rato. . . .' (Bologna 1723), which was translated
after his death into English by Galliard —
' Observations on the Florid Song, or sentiments
of the ancient and modern singers,' London, 1742
— second edition, 1 743 ; and into German by
Agricola — 'Anleitung zur Singkunst,' Berlin,
1757. It is a practical treatise on singing, in
which the aged teacher embodies his own ex-
perience and that of his contemporaries, at a
time when the art was probably more thoroughly
taught than it has ever been since. Many of its
remarks would still be highly useful. [G.M.]

TOSTI, Francesco Paolo, an Italian com-
poser, born April 7, 1S27, at Ortona sul mare, in
the Abruzzi. In 1 858 his parents sent him to the
Royal College of St. Pietro a Majellaat Naples,
where he studied the violin under Pinto, and
composition under Conti and the venerable Mer-
cadante. The young pupil made wonderful pro-
gress, and was by Mercadante appointed macstrino
or pupil teacher, with the not too liberal salary
of 60 francs a month. He remained in Naples
until the end of 1869, when, feeling that his
health had been much impaired by overwork,
he went back to Ortona with the hope of regain-
ing strength. However, as soon as he got home
he was taken seriously ill with bronchitis, and
only after seven months recovered sufficiently to
go to Rome and resume work. During his illness
he wrote * Non m'ama pih ' and ' Lamento d'a-
more'; but it was with difficulty that the young
composer could induce a publisher to print these
songs, which have since become so popular, and
it was not till a considerable time after they

1 Galliard's Prefatory Discourse, p. viii.

2 Bawkiiis, ' History,' v. 5.





sold well that lie disposed of the copyright for the
insignificant sura of £20 each. Sigr. Sgambati,
the well-known composer, and leader of the new
musical school in Kome, was among the first to
recognise Tosti's talent, and in order to give his
friend a fair start in the fashionable and artistic
world, he a^^sisted him to give a concert at the ' Sala
Dante,' the St. James's Hall of Kome, whore he
achieved a great success, singing several of his
own compositions, and a ballad purposely written
for him by Sgambati, ' Eravi un vecchio sine.'
The Queen of Italy, then Princess Margherita di
Savoja, honoured the concert with her presence,
and showed her appreciation by immediately ap-
pointing him as her teacher of singing. Shortly
afterwards he was entrusted with the care of the
Musical Archives of the Italian Court. It was
in 1875 that M. Tosti first visited London, where
he was well received in the best circles, both as
an artist and as a man. Since then he has paid
a yearly visit to the English capital, and in iSSo
was called in as teacher of singing to the Royal
Family of England.

M. Tosti has written Italian, French, and
English songs : and though the Italian outnumber
by far both the English and French, his popularity
rests mainly on his English ballads. The wind
and tide of fashion are fully in his favour, yet it
would be unsafe to determine what place he will
ultimately hold amongst song composers. What
can even now be said of him is th;it he has an
elegant, simple and facile inspiration, a style of
his own, a genuine Italian flow of melody, and
great skill in finding the most appropriate and
never-failing effects for drawing-room songs. He
is still in the full strength of intellectual power
and life, and each new composition shows a
higher artistic aim and a nobler and more vigor-
ous expression of thought than the last. There
is therefore good ground to hope that his future
works may win for him from critics of all nations
the high estimation in which he is now held by
English and Italian amateurs.

He has publisheJ, up to the end of 18S3, 35
songs, in addition to 4 Vocal Albums, antl 15
duets, ' Canti Popolari Abruzzesi.' Of his songs
the most popular in London are 'For ever,' 'Good-
bye,' ' Mother,' 'At Vespers,' ' Amore,' ' Aprile,'
' Vorrei morire,' and ' That Day.' [G.M.]

TOSTO. Piu TOSTO^ (phdot) is an expression
occasionally used by Beethoven, as in the second
of the Sonatas for PF. and cello (op. 5) —
' Allegro molto, piti tosto presto ' ; or the second
of the three Sonatas for PF. and violin (op. 1 2) —
'Andante, piu tosto Allegretto.' The meaning
in these cases is ' Allegro molto, or rather presto,'
and ' Andante, or rather Allegretto.' It has the
same force with 'quasi' — 'Andante quasi Alle-
gretto' (op. 9, no. 2.) i.e. 'Andante, as if Alle-
gretto.' [G.]

TOUCH (Ger. Anscldag). This term is used
to express the manner in which the keys of the

I 'Rather than the Madonna del Granduca shaU leave Florence."
said L'avour,'Piii(<w(o mijacciojare la guerra.' (Tiiites of June 12, 1664,
p. So.)

pianoforte or organ are struck or pressed by the jecs
fingers. It is a subject of the greatest importance, m
since it is only by means of a good touch that a lelm
satisfactorymusical eff'ect can be produced. Touch ngei
on a keyed instrument is therefore analogous tc sei
a good production of the voice on the part of a m
singer, or to good bowing on that of a violinist, nt

I. Pianoforte. To the student of the pianoforte. >!''
cultivation of touch is not less necessary thao ik
the acquirement of rapidity of finger, since the m
manner in which the keys are struck exercises tril
a very considerable influence on the quality o! err
the sounds produced, and therefore on the effeci igo
of the whole passage. A really good touch ail
implies absolute equality of the fingers and a m
perfect control over all possible gradations of tone, t*
together with the power of producing difFerenl el'
qualities of sound at the same time, as in the in
playing of fugues, and polyphonic music generally oii(
In fact all the higher qualities of pianoforte l^
technique, such as crispness, delicacy, expression; it
sonority, etc., depend entirely upon touch. i

Generally speaking, pianoforte music demands ite
two distinct kinds of touch, the one adapted foi oi
the performance of brilliant passages, the othei m
for sustained melodies. These two kinds are in lis
many respects opposed to each other, the first rfi
requiring the fingers to be considerably raised »rt
above the keys, which are then struck with re
firmness and rapidity, while in the other the keys itp
are closely pressed, not struck, with more or leas m
of weight according to the amount of tone desired. «i
This quality o{ j^ercussion in brilliant passages is m
to some extent a characteristic of modem piano-p
foite-playing, the great players of former times lii
ha\'ing certainly used it far more sparingly than ai
at present. Thus Hummel (Pianoforte School) Ik
says that the fingers must not be lifted too high e
fi'om the ke^s ; and going back to the time of i^
Bach, we read that he moved only the end joint k
of the fingers, drawing them gently inwards 'aa ii|i
taking uji coin from a table.' [See vol. ii. p. 736 ft.]'"
But the action of the clavichords, and after them
of the Viennese pianos, was extremely light, the .
slightest pressure producing a sound, and theren
is no doubt that the increase of percussion hasji
become necessary in order to overcome the greater
resistance off'ered by the modern keyboard, a
resistance caused by the greater size of the instru-
ments, and consequent weight of the hammers,
which had increased in the lowest octave of
Broad wood pianos from 2^ oz. in 1817 to 4 oz. in
1874, ^^'^ which, although now somewhat less,
being in 1SS4, 3 oz., is still considerably in excess
of the key-weights of the earliest pianos.

It seems possible that the great improvement
manifested by modern pianofortes in the direction
of sonorit}' and sustaining power may have given
rise to a certain danger that the cultivation of the
second kind of touch, that which has for its object
the production of beautiful tone in cantabile, may
be neglected. This, if it were so, would be very
much to be regretted. The very fact that the
pianoforte is at its best unable to sustain tone
equably, renders the acquirement of a 'singing'
touch at once the more arduous and the more


pessary, and this was recognised and insisted
:)on by Emanuel Bach. For an expressive
elody to be hammered out with unsympathetic
igers of steel is far worse than for a passage to
se somewhat of its sparkle through lack of per-
;ssion. B;ethoven is reported to have said

at in adagio the fingers should feel 'as if glued

the keys,' and Thalberg, who himself possessed
1 extraordinarily rich and full tone, writes ^ that

melody should be played 'without forcibly
riking the keys, but attacking them closely, and
.■rvously, and pressing them with energy and
gour.' ' When,' he adds, ' the melody is of a
nder and graceful character the notes should be
leaded, the keys being pressed as though with

boneless hand {main desossee) and lingers of
jlvet ; the keys should be felt rather than
ruck.' In an interesting paper on ' Beauty of
•uch and tone,' communicated to the Musical
ssociation by Mr. Orlando Steed, the opinion

maintained that it is impossible to produce any
ifference of qualHtj, apart from greater or less
itensity of sound, in a single note, no matter
Dw the blow may be struck (though the author
Imits that the excessive blow will produce a
isagreeable sound). But it is shown by Helm-
oltz ^ that the limhre or sound-quality of piano-
>rte strings, variation in which is caused by
reater or less intensity of the upper partial tones,
epends upon two conditions among others,
amely, upon the length of time the hammer
jmains in contact with the string, and upon the
ardness of the l)ammer itself, and it is a ques-
on whether the nature of the blow may not be
ightly afl'ected in both these respects by dif-
rences of touch. It would seem possible that
le greater rebound of the hammer which would
B the consequence of a sharp blow upon the key
light render the actual contact with the string
lorter, while the greater force of the blow might
)mpress and so slightly harden the soft surface
F the felt with which the hammer is covered ;
ad the natural result of both these supposed
ianges would be to increase the intensity of the
irtial tones, and thus render the sound thinner
ad harder. Moreover when the key is struck
om any considerable distance a certain amount
r noise is always occasioned by the impact of
le finger upon the surface of the key, and this
ives a certain attack to the commencement of
le sound, like a hard consonant before a vowel,
■hich conduces to brilliancy of effect rather than
noothness. The fact is, that Touch depends on
) many and such various conditions, that though
;s diversities can be felt and recognised by any
rdinarily attentive listener, they are by no means
asy to analyse satisfactorily.

In relation to phrasing, touch is of two kinds,
^gato and staccato : in the first kind each finger
i kept upon its key until the moment of striking
be next ; in the second the notes are made short
nd detached, the hand being rapidly raised from
he wrist, or the fingers snatched inwards from
he keys. Both kinds of touch are fully described

1 L'art du chant applique au piano.

2 The Seasatiuus ot Toue, translated bjr A. J. Ellis, p. 121.



in the articles on Legato, Staccato, Dash, and

Sometimes two difi'erent kinds of touch are
required at the same time from one hand. Ex. i,
from Thalberg's Don Giovanni Fantasia, op. 42,
is an instance of the combination of legato and
staccato touch, and Ex. 2. is an exercise recom-
mended by Thalberg for the cultivation of dif-
ferent degrees of cantahile tone, in which the
large notes have to be played with full tone, the
others jnano, without in the least spreading the

^ t ^t ^
An excellent study on the same subject has been
published by Saint-Saens, op. 52, no. 2. [F.T.]

II. Orrfan. Until recent times Touch was
an impossibility upon large organs. Burney, in
his Tour, in 1772, speaks of a touch so heavy
that ' each key requires a foot instead of a
finger to press it down ; again of a performance
by a M. Binder, at Dresden, who at the con-
clusion was in as violent a heat with fatigue
and exertion as if he had run eight or ten
miles full speed over ploughed fields in the
dog days ! Of an organ in Amsterdam he
reports that each key required almost a two
pound weight to put it down ! The mechanism
of English organs was probably never so bad as
this, but it is said that Mendelssohn, after playing
at Christ Church, Newgate Street, was covered
with perspiration. The pneumatic action has solved
this difficulty. Still the question of organ touch
is complicated by the peculiarities of the instru-
ment and the varieties of mechanism. Many
organs exist with four keyboards (even five
may be met with), and the necessarily differ-
ent levels of these make it almost impossible
to keep the hand in a uniform position for all
of them. It is rare to find any two of these
manuals with a similar touch, and the amount
of force required to press down the key varies
within wide limits. Even 011 the same key-
board the touch is appreciably heavier in the
bass, and inequalities occur between adjacent
notes. A recently regulated mechanism is
sometime in a state of adjustment so nice, that
the slightest pressure upon the key produces a
squeak or wail. This same mechanism after a
time will be so changed by use and variations
of temperature as to allow of the key being
pressed almost to its limit without producing
any sound.

These considerations will show that the deli-
cate differences which are characteristic of the
pianoforte touch are impossible with the organ.
Fortunately they are not needed, but it must




not be supposed that touch on the organ is of
no importance. The keys must be pressed
rather than struck, but still with such decision
that their inequalities may be neutralised,
otherwise the player will find that some notes
do not speak at all. Perhaps the most impor-
tant part of organ touch is the release of the
key, which can hardly be too decided. The
organ punishes laxity in this direction more
severely thau any instrument. Shakes on the
organ should not be too quick ; with the pneu-
matic action they are sometimes almost impos-
sible. Care should be taken in playing staccato
passages on slow speaking stops of the Gamba
kind, especially in the lower part of the key-
board. The crispness should be not in the
stroke but in the release of the key. It is
generally said that the hand should be hehl
rather higher above tlie keys than in the case
of the piano, but as has been before pointed out,
it is difficult to keep the same position towards
keys so differently placed in relation to tlie
IDerformer as the upper and lower of four or even
three manuals.

Modern key makers have invented a new
danger by lessening the space between the black
keys, so tliat in a chord where the
white keys must be played between 7f7°$-
the black, it is impossible for some
lingers to avoid depressing the adjacent notes

Pedal touch has within recent times become
a possibility, and passages for the feet are now
as carefully phrased as those for the fingers.
Mendelssohn's organ sonatas afford the earliest
important examples. Freedom in the ancle joint
is the chief condition of success in this. The
player must be warned that large pipes will not
.speak quickly, and that a staccato must be pro-
duced by allowing the pedal key to rise quickly
rather than by a sharp stroke. [W.Pt.J

TOUCH in bell-ringinf^ denotes any number
of changes less than a peal, the latter term being
properly used only for ' the performance of the
full number of changes which may be rung on a
given number of bells.' By old writers the word
touch is used as equivalent to sound, in which
sense it occurs in Massinger's 'Guardian' (Act ii.
So. 4), where Severino says 'I'll touch my horn
— (blows his horn).' An earlier example will be
found in the Romance of Sir Gawayne and the
Green Knight (c, 1320) line 120, p. 4 of the
edition of 1864. The word appears also to have
been used in English music during two centuries
for a Toccata. 'A touche bj' Mr. Byrd ' is found
in the MS. of a virginall piece in the British
Museum ; and ' Mr. Kelway's touches,' as a
heading to several passages of a florid character,
a))pears in a MS., probably in the handwriting
of Dr. B. Cooke, in the Library of the Royal
College of Music. [W.B.S.]

TOURDION, or TOEDION. 'A turning, or
winding about ; also, a tricke, or pranke ; also,
the daunce tearmed a Round.' (Cotgrave.) The
early French dances were divided into two classes,
'Dauses Basses' or 'Danses Nobles,' and 'Danses
■par haut.' The former of these included all regular


dances, the latter were mere improvised rornp^ * *
or ' baladinages.' Tlie regular Basse Dance con* *S^
sisteJ of two parts, the first was twice repeated} *P
and the last, or ' Tourdion,' was probably some« " '
thing like our modern round dances. The Tour* '*''
dion was therefore the French equivalent for thd " ?
German Nachtanz, Proportio, or Hoppeltanz, and """'
the Italian Saltarello. [See vol. iii. p. 221 6.} «»'
Tabourot says that the Tourdion was nearly tb« *'"
same as the Galliard, but the former was mori ^
rapid and smooth than the latter. [See vol. ij » -
p. 5 78 o.] Hence he defines it as a ' Gaillarde pai * '
terre,' i.e. a galliard deprived of its characteristic 8112
jumps and springs. Both dances were in 3-tir
The following is the tune of the Tourdion giv^
in the ' Orchesographie ':





<z ) i : > i :^


=^^ — ' — ^ - . ■



3 Do

' is)- ^■-

Further particulars as to these dances may be *
found in the ' Provinciales ' of Antonio de Arena K
(1537)- [See Tkihoris.] [W.B.S.]f

TOURJfiE, Eben, Mus. Doc, father of the
Conservatory or class system of musical instruc-
tion in America, was bom at Warwick, Rhode
Island, June l, 1S34. His family being in humble
circumstances it became necessary to put him W^^
work at the early age of eight; but his thirst forjr
knowledge was so great, that he soon became a''~
laborious student at the East Greenwich seminary.
Having a good alto voice he sang in the chuir
of the Methodist Church, learning his part by •;'
rote. But it chanced that the organist was'
about to withdraw, and j'oung Tourjee was in-
vited to fill her place. He was at that time
but thirteen, and knew absolutely nothing of the
instrument ; but he managed to pick out the
tunes required for the following Sunday, and
played them with such success that he was ap-
pointed to the position. He at once began to
study with a teacher in Providence, often walking
thirteen miles each way. At the age of fifteen he
became clerk in a music store in Providence, and
thus had opportunities for studj' which he did not
fail to improve. At the age of seventeen he
opened a music store in Fall River, where he also
taught music in the public schools and formed
classes in piano, voice, and organ, charging the
moderate sum of one dollar to each pupil for
twenty lessons. This was in 1851, and was
really the beginning of the class-system, which
he has since so largely developed. He also edited
and published a musical paper with much ability.
He afterwards removed to Newport, and con-
tinued his wox-k as organist and choirmaster of
Old Trinity Church there, and as Director of
the local Choral Society. In 1S59 ^^ founded
a Musical Institute at East Greenwich, ^^here


le had an opportunity of carrying out his ideas
•egarding class-teaching under more favourable
buspices than before. In 1863 he visited Europe,
n order to gain information regarding tlie
nethods employed in France, Germany, and Italy
n conservatory teaching. He took this oppor-
unity of studying with many eminent masters,
imongst others August Haupt, of Berlin. On his
■eturn to America he removed to Providence,
md established the 'Providence Conservatory
>f Music,' which had great success. In 1867
le extended his work by founding 'The New
dlngland Conservatory of Music,' in Boston, and
;ontinued for a time to keep both schools in oper-
ition. He drew round him the most eminent
.eachers in Boston, and placed a good musical
iducation within the reach of the poorest students.
".n 1869 his executive and organising abilities
vere made use of by the projectors of the great
Peace Jubilee,' and there is no doubt that the
success of that enterprise was largely due to his
sfforts. During the same year the degree of
Doctor of Music was conferred upon him by
Sliddletown University. Since the foundation of
Boston University he has been the highly hon-
)ured Dean of the College of Music attached
.hereto. But his greatest work has been the
jstablishment of the great Conservatory just
nentioned, from which have graduated thousands
)f pupils, filling honourable positions as teachers,
jiauists, organists, and vocalists, and proving
ihemselves able musicians.

Dr. Tourjee has not accumulated wealth, for
;he needs of others have always been more promi-
lent with him than his own. Many are the
iharitable enterprises in which he has been active,
md the persons who have been aided by his bounty,
^mong the positions which he has filled may be
lamed that of President of the ' Boston Young
Men's Christian Association,' 'City Missionary
society,' and 'National Music Teachers' Associ-
ition.' He is ever genial in manner, and untiring
n work. He is at present in robust health, and
t is to be hoped that his useful life maybe spared
or long. [G.]

TOURS, Berthold, born Dec. 17, 1838, at
Rotterdam. His early instruction was derived
rom his father, who was organist of the St.
Laurence church, and from Verhulst. He after-
tvards studied at the Conservatoires of Brussels
ind Leipzig, and then accompanied Prince
jreorge Galitzin to Russia, and remained there
for two years. Since 1861 he has resided in
London, writing, teaching, and playing in the
band of the Royal Italian Opera, and other good
Drchestras. In 1878 he became musical adviser
and editor to Messrs. Novello, Ewer, & Co.,
md in that capacity has arranged several im-
portant works from the orchestral scores, such
as Beethoven's Mass in C, four of Schubert's
Masses, 'Elijah,' Gounod's 'Redemption,' etc.
etc., besides writing the 'Primer of the Violin'
in the series of that firm. Mr. Tours's composi-
tionf, are numerous. He has written for the piano
and other instruments, and a large number of
songs, some of which have been very popular.



But his best work is to be found in his Hymn-
tunes, Anthems, and Services, for the Anglican
Church, particularly a Service in F and an
Easter Anthem, 'God hath appointed a day,'
which are greatly in demand. [G.}

TOURTE, FKAN901S, the mosb famous of vio-
lin-bow-makers, born in Paris 1747, died there
1835. His father and elder brother were bow^
makers also ; and the reputation which attaches
to the family name is not due to Fran9ois alone.
Xavier Tourte, the elder brother, known in France
as 'Tourte I'aine, ' was also an excellent workman :
tradition says that the brothers commenced busi-
ness in partnership, Franfois making the sticks,
and Xavier the nuts and fittings. They quarrelled
and dissolved partnership, and each then set up
for himself, Xavier reproducing as well as he could
the improvements in the stick which had been

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 35 of 194)