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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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obtained. [G.A.C.]

TRIO. A composition for three voices or
instruments. [See Terzetto.] The term is also
applied to the secondary movement of a march,
minuet, and many other kinds of dance music.

I. The Trio proper was originally called
Sonata a trc, being in fact a sonata for three
instruments, such as Bach affords us specimens
of in a sonata for fiute, violin and figured bass,
and another for 2 violins and ditto (Bachge-
sellschaft, vol.ix. 1S59). Handel also left several
trios for strings, besides one for oboe, violin,
and viola. These compositions are all for two
more or less florid parts in contrapuntal style
upon a ground bass, and gradually paved the
way for the string quartet. When the pianoforte



came to form n part of the combination, Pianoforte
t_nos,_as they are called, caused all others to re-
tire into the background, instances of modern
string trios being rare. Trios for three strin-ed
instruments are Mt to labour under the disad-
vantage of producing an insufficient body of tone
and a free use of double stops is necessary if
complete chords are desired. The string trio
therefore demands music of a florid, polyphonic,
Bachish character (if we may such an ex-
pression; rather than matter built on a hannonic
basis, and Beethoven has turned his appreciation
01 this tact to the best account in the three trios
op. 9. while on the other hand the greater num-
ber ot Haydn s string trios are very thin and
poor. Mozart s only composition of this kind is
the mteresting Divertimento in Eb, which is in
SIX movements. Beethoven also composed a little-
known Trio for 2 oboes and cor anglais, which
he afterwards rewrote for 2 violins and viola
(.op. 67). Other unusual combinations of instru-
ments are shown in the trios of Eeicha for ?

OP r^f AV ^'°™j'^^ ^•■^^'^'^ f°'- ' flutes and
cello, of Kuhlau and Quantz for 3 flutes. One
especial kind of trio demands mention here
the Organ trio, a composition in which the three
parts are furnished by the two hands on separate
manuals and the pedals. Such are the 6 well-
known Organ sonatas of J. S. Bach, and in more
modern tunes those of J. G. Schneider, Henry
Smart, and Rheinberger. ^^^my

As regards the large and important class of
trios into which the pianoforte enters, it should
be noticed that that instrument takes ometimes
too prominent and sometimes too unworthy a
part. Some of the early H.nydn trios, for in-
stance, are entitled Sonatas for Piano ,•/// ac-
compammentsof Violin and Cello, and that in C
which stands first in the collections (probably a
very early work) is purely a solo sonata, tl'e two
stringed instruments scarcely ever doing more
than doub e the melody or bass. The cello in!
deed constantly performs this ignoble office in
the Haydn trios, which are therefore scarce v
more worthy of the name than the mass S
libri ''^^^'•'^^^"^ents for piano 'with ad
lib tum accompaniment for flute or violin and
eel o which continued to be written up to the

Mozar 1 '"■'' ^^.'^ "^ "^^ P^^^^^t <Sntury.'
Mozart, whose genius inclined more towards
po yphony than_ Haydn's, naturally succeeded

viola i, S'"^"IV^ ^^ ^^"P'^"°' ^^^'-i^et. and
Viola is the best, those with violin bein- unpre-
tentious. Of Beethoven's six well-known pkno-

in d',f/'^«*^'*•'" P ^"P- 97). l^eing the latest
an date (iSio), is also the finest. Here we see

r>ZXf ^'^"i ''* ""^-? °^ *^^ '^''^^ instruments
possible. There is also a trio of his for piano,
c lannet, and cello, a not over eff-ective ^com-
binat on for which he also arranged his Septet.
bciubert characteristically^ contented himself
N\ ith tlie ordmary means at hand, and his two -reat
works in Bb and Eb (both 1827) are wellTnowm
-I he modem trio, which begins with Mendels-

naufrvoKrp"!;' "" "'' "' ^^^'^'^'^ '">"'' '" '"e article on hi,
2 See vol. iii. p. 3C3u.


sohn;s two in D minor and C minor, is scarcel-
legitimate development of the old. The resour.
and technique of the pianoforte have greatly '
creased with the improvement of the instrumei
but tlie violin remains where it was. Thus t
balance is destroyed, the piano becomes almc
equal to an orchestra, and the strings are i
humble servants. To compensate them for tlu
vyant of power it becomes necessary to confii
tliem to the principal melodies, while tl
piano adds an ever-increasing exuberance in tl
way ot arpeggio accompaniments. In spite
the great beauty of Mendelssohn's two prim'
types the precedent was a dangerous one, as tt
too-brilhant trios cf Rubinstein, Raff; and othej
amply demonstrate. On the other hand, Schil
inann, in his two fine trios in D minor anl
J^ major (ops. 63 and 80), in steerinc- clear cl
this bravura style for the piano-as indeed h i|
always did— has sometimes given the string part |i
rather the air of orchestral accompaniments,- bu i"
against this slight defect must be set a wealth o ,:
new treatment and many beauties, as in th«:
slow movement of the D minor, a Jong-drawr
melody treated in canon, with an indescribablv
original effect. There is also the set of four
pieces (Miihrchenerzahlungen, op. 132) forpiano-
forte, clarinet, and viola; a late work, and less
striking than the trios. It would be unfair to
omit mention of Spohr as a trio writer, thouo-h
in this department, as in most otliers, he left the
art as he found it : and of his five trio.s the
mefodious op. 119, in E minor, is the only one
now played. Mention should also be made of
Sterndale Bennett's solitary specimen in A mrajor
were it only for the original 'Serenade,' ' in
which a melody on the piano is accompanied
pizzicato by the strings. Of Raff's four trios, t;;he
second (op. 112), in G, is most attractive from the
melodious character of its subjects, otherwise ilt
IS open to the objection hinted above. Brahm^»
has written three PF. trios, of which the latest,
(op. 87 in C) one of his most recent works, ha«
been highly admired; the second also (for horn o
cello, op. 40) is a fine and most individual worl
He at least cannot be accused of treating eithe
of the instruments with undue favouritism.

II. fo-tfee^itiOTJt the short exten^-of-the piec
and the necessity of its constant repetition, be
sides perhaps an unconscious feeling of formal re-
quirements, gave rise to the custom of writing
a second minuet to be played alternately with
the first. This was usually of a broader,
qoiieter character, for tlie sake -of -contrast, and
though it was at first in the same key, in ac-
cordance with the custom of the Suite, there is an
example in one of Bach's Clavier Suites where
fr»~««e»»^-nM«««t-^B -m-41ie tonic minor, ami-
in_ at least two other cases is in the relative
minor, both practices which afterwards, under
Haydn and Mozart, became., establiahett^xniBe
IW -fcbe-*ecMMl -mimiet acquired the-name-«f
Trio IS not quite clear. Bach only calls it so in
the few instances in which it is written in three
parts— as opposed to the minuet in two— such
as that m the third French Suite. This parti-




cular case, by the way, is perhaps the earliest ,
instance cf the occurrence of the always-misun- I
tkrstood direction, ' Minuetto Da Capo. By
the time of Haydn the terra Trio is firmly
established, and even in his earliest works (such
as the first quartets) there are two minuets,
each with a trio. Haydn also experimented m
usinc' keys for the trio a little more remote
from the tonic than those already mentioned,
even anticipating Beethoven's favourite use ot
the major key a third below. These innovations
become almost necessary in the modern striving
for new forms of contrast. Beethoven_ affords
perhaps the only instances (in Symphonies JNos.
4 and 7) of a scherzo and tri o tvvice repea ted,
but Setw H iai m was ftmdr-frFwriliii>; two trios
to-Ms, having adopted the device m three ot his
symphonies, besides his Pianoforte Quintet and
Quartet. J^tot-thaL-h^ wft^ tb^fif6fc"te-w«te
a sec2Bd-*#io— a plan-whieh-4t3S-OTic^-ftrand
'^^Zmovrevs ; there is at least one instance in
Each (Concerto in F for strings and wind)_ where
the minuet has three trios, and another m Mo-
zart (Divertimento in D for ditto) of two minuets,
one with three trios and another with two.
Schumann was so given to dividing his pieces
up and enclosing the several sections m double
bars, that he seems occasionally in the pianoforte
works to lose himself in a chain of trios, as tor
instance, in the ' Blumenstiick,' ' Humoreske,
and ' Novelletten.' In his six Intermezzi (op.
a), he adopted the more rational term ' Altei-
nativo* for his subordinate sections, while m
the rjf minor Sonata the middle part of the
Scherzo is itself called an Intermezzo, this title
sienifying its entire want of relationship to the
rest of the movement, which is no small part
of its charm. ^ir-*m, as well as a subor-
dinate section in a rondo, etc., whwh^^u:e*e»ts
o ^Uiw'n from tom> ^^^j^-^ ^winor or the
reserse,4».awBeti»e9^sif»ply headed ' Minore' or
Ola^eiote-Us-th^-case^a-y-l)©. This is common
inHriydn and not infrequent in Beethoven
(PF. Sonata inEb, op. 7 ; in E major, op. 15, etc).
Schumann, Raff, and other modern composers,
have also occasionally given this heading. 1h-
TOedem4»«»ier-«io»ft^-t^e trio exists, it is olten
tali£n_as_aii_uiiderstood thing and not specially
Bft^RtiOet}. (Chopin, Sonata in B minor, Grieg m
E minor, etc., and see Beethoven, 9th Symphony.)
Speaking ^eaexaiiy-vf^^ff^Y eay-feh«*-t«^^B«9*
oliviou.s key for the trie of a minuet, scherzo,
march, etc., written in a major key, is the sub-
dominant, as it stands in place of a third subject,
the main movemeat having appropriated tlie tome
and dominant keys. But where, as in modern
Marches, there are more trios than one and stiU
another key has to be sought, the relationship
Qf the key a third above or below— distant but
still real-is turned to account. Military marches
and most dances intended to be danced to^^ace
written with a separate trio, or trios, so that they
caabe repeated as often as necessary, but in con-
cert pieces (such as Weber's Invitational la
Valse; the marches by Mendelssohn and others)
the sections answering to trio are not ot.ea

so designated, the piece being written ojf,
ill extenso. L ' '^

TRIPLET (Fr. Triolet: Ital. Terzina; Ger.
Triole). In modern notation each note is equal
to two of the next lower denomination, and the
division of a note into three is not provided for,
althouc'h in the ancient ' measured music it was.
therule. rSeoDoT,vol.i.p.455-] On this account
notes worth one third of the next longer kind
have to be written as halves, and are then grouped
in threes by means of curved lines, with the figure
3 usually placed over the middle note as an
additional distinction. Such a group is called a
Triplet, and is executed at a slightly increased
«peed, so that the three triplet-notes are equal to
two ordinary notes of the same species : for ex-
ample —

Beethoven. Sonata, op. 3. no. i.


Triplets may be formed of notes of any kind,
and also of rests, or of notes and rests together.
Beethoven. Soiiatn, op. 23.

So also a group of two notes, one twice the length

of the other, is read as the equivalent pf a triplet,

provided it is marked with the distinctive figure 3.

Schumann. Tri o, op. 63 .



In instrumental music, when the fingering is
marked, there is some risk of the figure 3 of
a triplet bein- confounded with the indication
Lihe third finger. To obviate this, the two
Wires ai alwafs printed in different type or,
better still, the triplet figure as enclosed m
b ackets, thus (3). This plan -hich l^s recent^
been rather extensively adopted, appears to have
been first introduced by Moscheles, in his edition
of Beethoven, published by Cramer & Co.

Groups of a similar nature to triplets, bi.U

consisting of an arbitrary number of notes, are
1 also frequently met with in instrumental music.

These "roups, which are sometimes called ^utn-
1 tolas, sexiolets, etc., according to the number of
! notes thev contain, always have their number
I written above them, as an indication that they

are played at a different (usually a quicker)
' rate from ordinary notes of the same form. Their
! pvoiier speed is found by referring them to or-
I din'iry groups of the same kind ot notes; thus,



if the general rhythm of the bar indicates four
semiquavers to a beat, as in common time, a
group of 5, 6, or 7 semiquavers would be made
equal to 4 semiquavers, while a group of 8 notes
of the value of one beat would of course be
written as demisemiquavers ; if however the
natural grouping of the bar were in threes, as
in 9-16 time, a group of 4 or 5 (or sometimes 2)
semiquavers would be equal to 3, while a group
of 6 would require to be written as deujisemi-
quavers. [F.T.]

TRIPLE TBIE (Fr. Misnye a trois temps;
Ger. Tripeltakf). The rhythm of three beats in
a bar, the accent falling on the first beat. In
quick tempo this single accent is sufficient, but
in slow and expressive movements a second
weaker accent is generally required to avoid
monotony. This second accent is variously placed
by different writers, some assigning it to the
second beat (see Hauptniann 'Harmonik und
Metrik,' p. 226) while others place it on the
third. [Accent, vol. i. p. 1 2.] The truth appears
to be that it may occupy either position according
to the requirements of the phrasing. A com-
parison of the following examples will serve as a
jiroof of this.

JiEETHOVEV. Trin, op. 70, no. 2.



Beethove.v. Quartet, op. 130 (Alia danza ii'desca).


"When a bar of triple time consists of two
notes only the accent is always on the longer
note. Compare the first and last bars of the
following example : —

ScHUMANM. Estrella (Cameval, op. 9).

The kinds of triple time in general use are
mrviked with the figures 3-8, 3-4, and 3-2, in-
dicating respectively three quavers, crotchets, or
minims in a bar. A time of three semiquavers,
marked 3-16, is also occasionally met with (Schu-
mann, 'Versteckens,' op. S^) ; and in old music
a time of three semibreves, called tripla major,
and indicated bj' a large figure 3. [For an ex-
ample of this see vol. iii. p. 7^)6.] When three
bars of triple time are united in one, as in q-8,
etc., the time is called 'compound triple.' [See
Compound Time.] [F.T.]

TRISTAN UND ISOLDE. An opera ; words
and music by R. Wagner; completed in 1859,
i. e. after the completion of the ' Rheingold ' and
' Walkiire.' but Vjefore that of the otlier two
pieces of the Niblungen Ring. It was produced
at Munich, .June 10, 1865 ; in London, at Drur^'
Lane (Franke & PoUini's German Opera), June


20, 188 ». Wagner's title for it is 'Tristan
Isolde. Eiue Handlung ' — an action. [C

TROCHEE (Lat. Trochcem Chorius). A m|
trical foot, consisting of a long syllable followed '
a short one — the exact opposite of the Iambus :-
' Trochee trips from long to short.'

Trochaic Metres are very common, both il
Hymnody and Lyric Poetry ; and, in both,
pleasing variety is sometimes produced by thl
occasional substitution of a Trochee for a SpondeJ
an Iambus, or even a Pyrrhic foot. A char
ing instance of the employment of Trochail
Rhythm, both in Music and Poetry, will be fouml
in the Melody and Verses of Dowland's airl
' Now, oh, now, I needs must part,' the rhythmiij
Ictus of the Poetry being, of course, dependeni
upon Accent, and not upon Quantity.




-^ — '^


Now. oh, now.

needs must part, etc.


TROMBA. The Italian word for Tnunpet,!
by which the instrument is usually designated*
in orchestral scores — Trombe in F, Trombe in
D, etc. The part is usually written in C, and
transposed accordingly by the player. In the
scores of Bach, the term Trombe da tirarsi, i. >■.
' Slide Trumpets,' is found. [See Tibaksi.] [G.]

TROMBA MARINA (Tkcmmscheidt.


Marine Trumpet). A portable monochord
played with the bow, probably the oldest bowed
instrument known, and the archetype of all
others. [See Violin.] The country of its origin
is uncertain, but is probably Germany. Once
extensively employed in Germany and France
as a popular instrument, and even used in the ser-
vice of the church, it was almost disused early in
the last century : but it figured in the ' Musique
des Escuries ' of the French monarchs, down to the
year 1767: and L. Mozart, in his Violin-school
(1 756), describes it as then in use. It was in use
later still in German nunneries, and is still
played in at least two, those of Marienstern,
near Camenz, and Marienthal near Ostritz, both
in Ober Lausitz (kingdom of Saxony).^

Most existing specimens date from the latter
half of the 17th century. In its latest form
the instrument has a fiddle head fitted with
an iron screw. Some heads have rack-wheels
to facilitate tuning : others have iron screw
button tops, a double iron ring working on the
screw, into the outer ring of which the string
is knotted. It has a round neck or handle about
the size of a broomstick, dove-tailed into a top
block or shoulder which forms the end of the
body. The latter is a resonant box or drum
(whence the name TrwmjH Scheldt) broadening
towards the bottom, where it rests on the
jrround, and having a thin pine belly, quite flat.
The back or shell of the drum is polygonal, being
built up of very thin straight staves of maple.

1 Kfihlmann. Geschichte der Bogeninstrumente, pp. 29. 31.


^ te number of staves in the shell is usually
either five or seven : the joints are fortified in-
ternally, and sometimes externally also, with

slips of cartridge paper or vellum. ' Three pine
iars are glued transversely across the belly

before it is glued

to the outer edges

of the shell. The

belly is sometimes

pierced with a

rose. Insomespe-

.cimens the drum

is constructed in

two separate por-
tions. In others,

of later date, the

bottom of the

drum spreads out

at the edges like

the bell of a

trumpet. The

total length is

usually somewhat

less than six feet ;

some specimens

are a few inches

over that length.
The string is

a very thick vio-
loncello string,
stretched over a
peculiar bridge.
This is of hard
and close-grained
wood, and rests
firmly on the belly
with th e right foot
only, upon which
side the string bears with its whole weight. Pro-
perly, the bridge should be shaped something like
a shoe, the heel being the right foot, the toe, the
left. The left foot touches the belly lightly :
and when the string is put in vibration this foot
rattles rapidly on the belly, like an organ reed.
To increase the tone, a thin metallic plate is some-
times attached to the foot, and some bridges have
a mechanical apparatus for adjusting its tension.
The marine trumpet is played with a heavy
violoncello bow, plentifully rosined. The open
string is ordinarily tuned to CO : and when
sounded with the bow, it yields a powerful note,
of harsh and nasal character, something like an
S ft. wooden organ reed-pipe. Played by stopping
in the ordinary way, the marine trumpet pro-
duces tones far less melodious than the bray of
an ass. But this is not its legitimate use. It
is properly played wholly in natural harmonics,
and by reference to the article Harmonics, it
will be seen how the following scale arises.



1 In Mersenne's time, and doubtless in the original instrument, the
drum was merely a shallow triangular wooden box, tapering like a
sword-sheath, and open at the lower end: hence the name scheidt

Riihlmann omits the three last notes from the
scale : but the writer has seen them marked on
several specimens. The facility with which the
marine trumpet yields the natural harmonics is
due to its single string and its lopsided bridge.
Paganini's extraordinary efl'ects in harmonics on
a single string, were in fact produced by tem-
porarily converting his violin into a small marine
trumpet. As is well known, that clever player
placed his single fourth string on the treble side
of the bridge, screwing it up to a very high
pitch, and leaving the bass foot of the bridge
comparatively loose. He thus produced a power-
ful reedy tone, and obtained unlimited command
over the harmonics.^ According to information
procured by Riihlmann from Marienthal, the
Trummscheidt will bear lowering to Bb and rais-
ing to Eb, but no more. According to him, it
can also be made to yield the notes D and F in
the lower octave, though less distinctly. The nuns
use the instrument in their choral singing. On
the festivals of the church, and sometimes as
a special compliment to a new-comer on her
matriculation they jubilate upon four marine
trumpets accompanied by drums ; one takes
a principal part, the others are seconds.^^

An inspection of the scale will explain how
the marine trumpet became pa?- excellence the
Nonnen-geige : its scale corresponds with thp
female voice, with which its tone, resembling
that of a clarinet, but more piercing and nasal,
has something in common. Added to this it iu
extremely easy to play : the neck being rested on
the breast or shoulder, and the string lightly
touched with the thumb where the letters are
marked on the neck, it yields its few notes with
absolute accuracy. It was anciently used as a
street instrument by mendicant musicians : and
those who have heard it will agree with an an-
cient author that it sounds best at a distance.
M. Jourdain, in a well-known passage in the
comedy of the ' Bourgeois Gentilhomme ' (1670).
expresses a preference for it, thereby proclaim-
ing his uncultivated taste.* About the end of
the 1 7th century the acoustical peculiarities of
the Trummscheidt were the object of much
investigation by the learned societies of England
and France : the reader who desires to pursue
the subject will find the necessary clues in
Vidal and Hawkins. The name 'marine trum-
pet ' (tromba marina) was probably given to the
Trummscheidt on its introduction into Italy,
on account of its external resemblance to the

2 The interesting experiments of Dr. Huggins. printed in a recent
number of the Transactions of the Koyal Society, tend to show that
the principle ofthe violin bridge is radically identical with that of
tlie marine trumpet bridge, one foot serving as ai)Oin« d'appui, the
other as the conductor of vibration.

3 The quartet of marine trumpets appears to be of ancient date.
Hawkins (ch. 158) quotes from the London Gazette, Feb. 4, 1674, an
advertisement of ' A rare Concert of four Trumpets Marine, never
heard of before in England," to be heard daily at the Fleece Tavern
near St. James's.

4 The music-master recommends the citizen to have a concert at
his hous- every Wednesday or Thursday, and thus describes the
requirements: '11 vous faudra trois voix, un dessus, une haute-
coiitre, et une basse, qui seront accompagnees dune basse de viole,
d'un theorbe, et dun clavecin pour les basses continues, avec deux
dessus de violon pour jouer les ritomelles.' M. Jourdain : ' II y
faudra mettre aussi une trompette marine. La trompette marine
est un instrument qui me plait, et qui est harmonieux."



larce speaking-trumpet used on board Italian
vessels, which is of the same length and tapering
shape. Little doubt on this point can remain
in the mind of any one who compares the figures
of the two objects in old pictures and engrav-
ino'S, or the objects themselves as they stand side
by side in the Munich museum. The name was
jDcrhaps confirmed by the character of the tone,
and by the circumstance that both instruments
have the same harmonic scale.

Specimens are not uncommon : several will be
found in the museums of Bologna, ^Munich, Salz-
burg, Nuremberg, etc., and there are two good
ones in the collection of the Conservatoire in
Paris, one of which has sympathetic strings at-
tached to the belly internally. The South Ken-
sington Museum possesses a handsome but rather
undersized French specimen (oddly described in
the Catalogue as "probably Dutch') also having
sympathetic strings inside. A specimen was
some years since exposed for sale in the window
of Cramer's music shop in Regent Street, but
the writer cannot learn what has become of it.

The Trummscheidt, in the middle ages, was
sometimes fitted with two, three, and even four
strings, one or more of which were Bourdons or
drones. In this form it undoubtedly became the

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