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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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tural resources. As a composer he was among
the first to apply the extended modern sonata-
form to the violin concerto, and to avail himself
of the resources of the modern orchestra in his
orchestral accompaniments. In both respects he
was no doubt much influenced by Haydn, whose
symphonies were played in Paris and London as
early as 1 765, and with whom, as we have already
noticed, he came into frequent personal contact.
His ideas, though neither of striking originality
nor great force, are invariably refined and digni-
fied. The Allegros are as a rule of pathetic
character, and even in their quicker passages
broad and reposeful. Some of his Adagios have
great sentimental charm — they are however
frequently mere outlines, whicli, according to
the fashion of the time, the performer filled

> See rohl, ' Mozart and Haydn in London."



VIRDUNG.

out and adorned by cadenzas, shakes and oth
ornamental passages. The Finales, with
few exceptions, strike the modern ear as som
what antiquated. Of his 29 published Concertc
the 22nd (in A minor) is stiU played in publi
being remarkable for its fine subjects and tl
symphonic treatment of the orchestra. Tl
Adagio in E especially is a perfect gem. Tl
exceptionally interesting and effective instr
mentation of this concerto has been ascribed
Cherubini, but there is no valid evidence for th
assumption. It is evident enough from Viott'
earlier works that his musical education, apa
from violin-playing, was anything but complete-
the form is clumsy, the harmonies poor; it
also true that it was by no means an unusu
thing for a virtuoso to get assistance for tl
scoring of his concertos ; but the steady pr
gress to complete mastery of form observable
Viotti's later works, coupled with his long exp
rience as leader and conductor, make it incredit
that a man of his talent and musical instin
should not have acquired the necessary pro
ciency for writing an effective score.

His violin duets deserve special mention. Th(
have not the richness of effect of Spohr's duel
but next to them they are the most valuab
contributions to this branch of violin litoratui
His quartets, sonatas, trios, etc., are antiquatt
and entirely forgotten. He published (accordii
to Fetis) 29 Violin Concertos, 2 Concertantes f
2 violins, 21 Quartets for stringed instrument
21 Trios for 2 violins and a viola, 51 Violin-duet
18 Sonatas for solo violin with bass, and a Sona
for piano and violin. Some of the duets he al
arranged for piano and violin. Cherubini pu
lished an arrangement of some of the trios f
piano and violin. The study of some of his co
certos still forms part of the regular course of j
schools of violin-playing.

The most eminent of Viotti's direct pupils we
Rode and Baillot. The influence whicli he e
ercised on the style of violin-playing general
by his brilliant example was not less strong
Germany than in France.

Baillot published a memoir of Yiotti (Pari
1S25). [P.E

VIPtDUNG, Sebastian, author of the olde
work describing the precursors of model
musical instruments. It is entitled ' Musii
getutscht und auszgezogen durch Sebastianu
Virdung Priesters von Amberg und alles gesai
ausz den noten in die tabulaturen diser benantt
dryer Instrumenten der Orgeln : der Lauten : ui
den Floten transferieien zu lernen. Kurtzli(
gemacht zu eren dem hochwirdigen hoch gebo
nen fiirsten unnd Jierren : herr Wilhalmen Bi
chove zum Straszburg seynem gnedigen herrer
We read in the dedication that the Bishop
1 5 10 had required of Virdung that he shea
send to him the ' Gedicht der Deutschen Musicf
Virdung replied that on account of the grei|
cost he had decided to postpone printing tl]
great work, but to pacify the Bishop and h:
own friend Andreas Sylvanus, he sends this pr ,
sent extract, in which the latter appears as tl ^



VIRDUNG.



VIRGINAL.



303



iterlocutor. The place of publication is Basel ;
le date 1 5 1 1 . The work, which is written in
ialogue, begins with a description of the key-
Dard instruments ; then follow the others in use
; the time. He describes the ke3-board, the organ
id clavichord, concluding with the tablature of
lose instruments and of the lute and flute. The
oodcuts, taken in tiieir order, will best briefly in-
icate the nature of the book. The clavicordium
the clavichord ' gebunden,' or fretted, as is
jvious from the twisted keys, and he explains
lis peculiarity in the text. It shows its mono-
lord origin by the strings being all of the same
ingth. The soundboard is very narrow. The
irginal is an instrument of the same oblong
inn, but has a triangular scale of stringing, by
a error of the engraver turned the wrong way,
he soundboard, psaltery-wise, covers the in-
irior. The compass of keyboard of both these
istruments is three octaves and a note from the
iss clef-note f to g"', the lowest fj being
aiitted ; but Virdung goes on to say that the
jmpass had already, in 1 5 1 1 , been extended by
;peating the lowest octave, that is, descending
) F below the bass clef. The clavicimbalum is
ke the virginal, but with difi'erent compass
ihe organ short octave), apparently from Bl] in
de bass clef to d"'; but the B, we believe,
junded G. [See Spinet and Virginal,] This
I the ' cla\ncimbanum ' of Sagudino, on which he
ills us little Mary Tudor played ; — the Italian
nnetta ; French espinette. The claviciterium is
gured as an upright virginal, with the same
eyboai'd ; but the keyboards of all these instru-
lents and the organs also are inverted in the
rinting. Virdung says it has jacks (' federkile ')
ike a vii-ginal, but cat-gut strings. It was, hesays,
ewly invented ; he had only seen one. This is
he only early reference we have anywhere met
(ith to the clavicytherium. Rimbault's early
ate for it in his History of Music and the chro-
lological order of keyboard instruments, are alike
rithout foundation and misleading; and further

confuse matters, he has been deceived by

1 blunder in Luscinius, the Latin translator
1536) of Virdung, by which the horizontal cla-
icimbalum appears as the claviciterium, and
ice v°rs^. Count Correr's interesting upright
irginal, or spinetta, to be ascribed to the
sist years of the 15th century, and shown
n the Loan Collection of the International In-
entions Exhibition, 18S5, has Virdung's com-
>ass, but adds the bass E and Fjf, which we
ssurae to represent C and D short octave,
i^irdung appears to know nothing about the
larpsichord or later clavicembalo, yet there
s a flue and authentic specimen of this two-
misons instrument, dated 1521, of Roman
nake, in South Kensington Museum, Virdung's
yra is the hurdy - gurdy. His lute has 1 1
;trings, 5 pairs and chanterelle, 6 notes; his
luintern, or treble lute, 10 strings, or 5 notes.
rhe Gross Geigen is a bass viol with the bridge
)mitted by the draughtsman. The Harffen is
,he regular mediseval David's harp, such as
fatrick Egan was still making in Dublin as a



revival or fancy instrument some 50 or 60 years
since. The Psalterium is a triangular small
harp strung across. The Hackbrett shows the
common dulcimer. The 'Clein' Geigen is a
small viol ; the Trumscheit, or Tromba Marina,
a kind of bowed monochord. The last-named
instruments, being without frets, Virdung re-
gards as useless. Tiie wind instruments follow : —
Schalmey, Bombardt (oboes), Schwegel, Zwerch-
pfeiff" (German flute), Floten (set of flauti dolci
or recorders), Ruszpfeifl', Krumhorn, Hemsen
horn, Zincken (ancient cornets), Platerspil, Krum-
horn er (set of Cromornes, the origin of the ' Cre-
mona ' in the modem organ), SackpfeifF (bag-
pipes), Busaun (trombone), Felttrumet (cavalry
trumpet), Clareta (clarion), Thurner horn (a
kind of French horn). The organs are Orgel
(with 3 divisions of pipes), Positive (a chamber
organ), Regale (a reed organ), and Portative (pipe
regal), with, as we have said, short-octave com-
pass like the clavicimbalum, the keyboards
being reversed in the printing. The organ and
portative end at g''' instead of A"\ Lastly are
Ampos, Zymeln und Glocken (anvil and various
bells, Virdung appearing to believe in the anvil
myth). He has trusted to his own or another's
imagination in reproducing St. Jerome's instru-
ments, only the drums and perhaps psalteries
being feasible. His keyboards come next, and
are evidently trustworthy. His diagram of the
diatonic keyboard, with two Bbs only, agreeing
with Guido's hand, is the only evidence we are
acquainted with for this disposition of the clavi-
chord with twenty natural and two raised keys,
which Virdung says lasted long. The latter
part of the book is occupied with the Tablatures.
His lute rules meet with objections from Arnold
Schlick the younger, ' Tabulatur etlicher Lobge-
sange' (Mentz, 151 2), Mendel's Lexicon says
that copies of Virdung's book are only to be
found in the Berlin and Vienna Libraries. How-
ever, Mr. Alfred Littleton, of Sydenham, owns
an original copy. A facsimile reproduction of
200 copies was brought out in 18S2 at Berlin,
edited by Robert Eitner, being the nth volume
published for the Gesellschaf t fur Musikforschung,
who had previously published Arnold Schlick's
•Spiegel der Orgelmacher,' also of 1511, and
referred to by Virdung. Mendel further says
there are at Munich four 4-part German songs by
Virdung in the rare collection of Peter Schoeffer
CMentz, 1513). They are numbered 48, 49, 52
and 54. [A.J.H.]

VIRGINAL or VIRGINALS (Fr, Clavecin
rectangulaire). Virdung (Musica getuscht und
auszgezogen ; Basel, 151 1) is the oldest authority
we can cite who describes this keyboard instru-
ment. His woodcut of it shows a rectangular
or oblong spinet, which agrees in form with
what we are told of the spinetta of 1503, said
by Banchieri (Conclusione nel suono dell' organo ;
Bologna, 1608) to have been the invention of the
Venetian Spinetti. Banchieri derives the name
' spinetta ' from this maker ; in later Italian the
oblong spinet, which is the same as Virdung's
virginal, is called ' spinetta tavola,' Virdung's



S04



VIRGINAL.



virginal is, in fact, of the same shape as is
clavichord, and has the same arrangement of
keyboard (from the bass clef note F), but the
soundboard of the clavichord is nnrrow ; the jack-
action of the virginal is derived from the psaltery
plectrum, while the tansrent of the clavichord
comes from the monochord bridge. Virdung con-
fesses he linows nothing of the invention of either,
bv whom or where. If the 'proverb' quoted by
liimbault, as formerly inscribed on a wall of the
Manor House of Leckingfield, Yorkshire, be as
old as the time of Henry the Seventh (1485-1509'),
it contains a reference earlier than Virdung. Kim-
bault's ' History of the Pianoforte ' is a store-
house of citations, and we borrow from them
with due acknowledgment of the source and
their great value. This proverb reads,

A slac strynpe in a Virginall soundithe not arifrht,
It doth abide no wrestinge it is so loose and liglit;
The sound-borde crasede, forsith the instrumeute,
Throw misgovernance, to make notes which was not
his intente.

The house is destroyed, but the inscriptions are
preserved in a MS. at the British Museum.
According to Praetorius, who wrote early in the
1 7th century, Virginal was then the name of the
quadrangular spinet in England and in the
Netherhinds. In John IMinshen's 'Ductor in Lin-
guas,' 161 7, against 'Virginalls' we read, 'Instru-
luentum Musicum propria Virginum ... so called
because virgins and maidens play on them. Latin,
Clavicymbalum, Cymbaleum Virginseum.' Other
lexicographers follow. Most to the pui-pose is
Elount, Glossograi)hia,' 1656 : ' Virginal (virgi-
nalis), maidenly, virginlike, hence the name of
that musical instrument called Virginals, because
maids and virgins do most conmionly play on
them.' But another reason may be given for the
name ; that keyed stringed instruments were
used to accompany the hymn ' Angelus ad
Virginem,' as similar instruments without keys,
the psaltery, for instance, had been before them.
(See Chaucer's ' Miller's Tale.') From Henry
the Seventh's time to nearly the close of the
17th century, 'Virginal' in England included
all quilled keyboard instruments, the harpsi-
chord and trapeze-shaped spinet, as well as the
rectangular virginal of Virdung and Praetorius.
For instance, in the ' Privy Purse Expenses of
Henry the Eighth (Sir X. H. Nicholas editor;
London, 1827) there is an entry : 'i53o(April)
Item the vj daye paied to WiUiam Lewes for ii
payer of Virginalls in one coffer with iiii stoppes,
brought to Grenwiche iii li ... and for a little
payer of Virginalls brought to the More, &c.'
This two pair of Virginals in one case with four
stops looks very like a double harpsichord.
Again, in the inventory of the same king's
musical instruments, compiled by Philip Van
Wilder, a Dutch lute-player in the royal service,
— the manuscript is in the British Museum^' a
payre of new long virginalls made harp fashion
of Cipres, with keys of Ivory, etc' Still later,
in 1638, from 'Original unpublished papers
illustrative of the lite of Sir Peter Rubens '
(London, 1859), we find a correspondence be-



VIRGINAL.

tween Sir F. Windebanck, private secretary
Charles the First, and the painter Gerbier, reh .
ing to a Ruckers ' virginal ' the latter had und(
taken to procure : ' Cest une double queue air
nommee [/. e. 'virginal'] ayant quatre registres '
le clavier plac^ au bout.' There can be no dou
about either of these ; although called virgina
they were at the same time double harpsiclion
Huyghens (Correspondance, Jonkbloetet Lnm
Leyden, 1882) shows how invariably the cla\
cimbal or espinette was ' virginal ' in Englan
Henry the Eighth played well, according to co
temporary authority, on the virginal, and 1
had a virginal player attached to the Coui
one John Heywood, who died at JNIechlin aboi
1565.* The same Heywood was one of Edwai
the Sixth's three virginal players. Mary, Eliz
beth and James the First retained as man
Queen Mary is said to have equalled, if not su
passed, Queen Elizabeth in music, playing tl
regals and lute, as well as the virginals. Oj
Cowts used to repair her virginals (Privy Pur
expenses of the Princess Mary, Sir F. Madile;
ed. ; London, 1S31). Queen Elizabeth's Vi
ginal Book was in MS., and the first engrave
music for this tribe of instruments, includin
harpsichords, was the ' Parthenia, the tir;
musicke that ever was printed for the A^h
ginals'; London, 161 1. After the restoratiu
of the Stuarts, we find in different publicatior
for the harpsichord and virginal, the instrument
clearly separated.

John Playford, in 'Musick's Handmaid,' dis
tinguishes them, and in 1672, ' Introduction t
the skill of Musick,' names Mr. Stephen Kee
as a maker of ' Harpsycons and Virginals
John Loosemore, Adam Leversidge, and Tliouia
White appear to have been at that time foremos
English makers ; they adopted the Italian coffei
shaped instrument, combining with it Flemis
fashions in painting. Pepys, describing (Sejit. ;
1666) the flight of the citizens at the time of th
Great Fire, says, 'I observed that hardly on
lighter or boat in three that had the goods of
house in, but there was a paire of virginals i
it.' The plural, or rather dual, in organs, regal:
virginals, with the following 'pair,' signifies
graduation or sequence, as now-a-days ' a pair c
stairs.' In spite of the interesting statement <
Pepys the destruction of virginals by this terribl
catastrophe must have been very great, for ver
few musical instruments are found in this countr
anterior in date to theGreat Fire. InQueen Anne'
reign we hear no more of the virginal ; the ' spii
net' is the favourite domestic instrument.

'Queen Elizabeth's Virginal,' which bears he
royal arms and is the property of the Gresle
family, a familiar object in the Tudor room t
the Historic Loan Collection of the Invention
Exhibition, 1885, is really a pentagonal spinel
evidently of Italian make. With reference t
Stephen Keene, a beautiful spinet of his mak
(spinetta traversa), belonging to Sir Georg

' Mr. W. H. J. Weale owns a medal struck for Michael Mercator
Venlo'i in ln39. Mercator was maker of Virginals to Floris d'E^moD
Cartliual Wolsey, aud beury VIII. He was burn U91, died 1514.



"^aRGINAL.

rove, has been examined with respect to the
(undboard barring ; we reproduce the diagram
lowing the barring, exhibited with the instru-
eiit in the same collection. Mersenne (Har-



VIRGINAL MUSIC.



305




5TEPHANVS



LoM)iNi Fecit



onie Universelle, 1636) mentions the skill of
le contemporary French spinet-makers in thus
•eparing their soimdboaids. But that the



Italians were their models is conclusively shown
by the Antoni Patavini Spinet of 1550, belong-
ing to Brussels, which we have now been able
to examine, and the date of which there is no
reason to dispute.

Notwithstanding the statement of Praetorius,
we have not found the name Virginal common in
the Netherlands. The ' Clavecin Rectangulaire '
is 'Vierkante Clavisimbal.' The Ruckers, as
well as other Antwerp makers, made these oblong
instruments and so called them.- Although not
bearing upon Virginals, except in the general
Old English sense, we take this opportunity to
describe the Ruckers instruments that have
come to light since the last addition (vol. iii,
p. 652) in the catalogue of them given, pp. 197-9
in the same volume.



Hans Ruckers de Gude (the Elder).
(Continuation of Tables in vol. iii. pp. 197, 652.)



1 Form.


Date.


Dimeiisions.


General Deacription,


Present Owner.


Source of inform-
ation.


Bent side.

Trapeze.
Bent side.


1612

1591
1612


ft. in. ft. in.
7 6 by 2 11

5 7 by 1 U
7 6 by 3


2 Iceyboards (put in by Messrs. Broadwood, ia?5).
Kose No. 1. Case and compass as No. 47. In-
scribed Joannes Bvckers me fecit .^ntvee-
PIAE, 1612. Found at Windsor Castle. 1SS3.
This may have been the large Harpsichord
left by Handel to Smith, and given by the
latter to King George III.


H. SI. The Queen.


A. J. Hipkins.


2 keyboards; black naturals. Eose No. 1. No
name of original maker, but inscribed 'Mis
en ravalement par Pascal Taskin, 1774," mean-
ing that the compass of keys vtas extended.
This beautiful instrument, painted in-
side and out with Louis XIV. subjects by
Vander Meulen. is said to have belonged to
Mavie Antoinette. It will be remembered as
having adorned the Louis Seize Eoom of the
Historic Collection, Inventions Exhibition,
Loudon, 1885.


the Academic Royale
Ghent.
Lord Powerscourt.


A. J. Hipkins.



Andbies Rockers de Oude (the Elder).



1636 I 7 8 by 3 12 keyboards. Kose No. 6. Buff stop. 'Mis en
I ravalement par Pascal Taskin, 1782." Case
and top Lacquer with Japanese figures. Ex-
I hlbited, Londou, 1885.



Museo Civico, Turin.



A. J. Hipkins.



Lastly, to complete the short-octave theories
lit forth in Spinet, which we are enabled to
3 by nearer examination of instruments con-
ibuted to the present Historic Loan Collection
1885), the natural keys of the Patavini Spinet
lentioned above are marked with their names.
he lowest E key is clearly inscribed Do-C ; on
le next, the F, is written F. This writing is
ot so early as 1550, because Do was not then
3ed for Ut. The probable date is about one
undred years later, when the solmisation was
nally giving way before the simple alphabetic
otation. There are other instances. Then as
) the cut sharps : ^ the small Maidstone clavi-

l The oldest spinet with cut sharps in the Historic Loan Collection
according to the Facies. by Edward Blount ; but on the first key,
.d less legibly on the jacks, is written 'Thomas Hitchcock his make
1664.' A similar autographic inscription of this maker, but dated
03. has been brought forward by Mr. Taphouse oC Oxiord. W e are
us enabled to find Thomas Hitchcock's working time. We think
>hn Hitchcock came after him.
VOL. IV. PT. 3.



chord, said to have been Handel's, has the two
nearer or front divisions intended for fourths
below the next higher naturals, the two further
or back divisions being the usual semitones.
The first explanation, as offered in vol. iii,
p. 6546, may be therefore assumed to be true,
and this, as well as the preceding hypothesis,
established as facts. [A.J.H.]

VIRGINAL IHUSIC, COLLECTIONS OF.

I. The most remarkable, and in many respects
the most valuable collection of English 17th cen-
tury instrumental music is that contained in the
volume known for the last century by the mis-
leading name of Queen Elizabeth's Virginal
Booh. This book, which is now preserved in
the Fitzwilliam Museum at Cambridge, is a
small folio volume containing 220 folios of paper

2 See ■ De Liggeren der Antwerpsche SInt Lucasgilde," by Eombonts
and Van Lerius. Antwerp and the Hague, 1K72



306



VIRGINAL MUSIC.



ruled by hand for music in 6-Hne staves, 209 of
which are filled with music written in a small but
distinct handwriting. The volume measures
33f^ centimetres in height by 22 centimetres in
breadth, and the binding (a fine specimen of Eng-
lish 1 7th-century workmanship) is of crimson mo-
rocco, enriched with beautiful gold tooling, the
sides being sprinkled with fleurs-de-lis. The
water-mark on the paper is a crozier-case, mea-
suring 45 inches in height and 2 1 inches in its
widest part. It is possible that this mark indi-
cates that the paper was manufactured at Basel,
as the arms of that town are similar to it. The
manuscript has in places been cut by the binder,
but the binding is probably not of later date than
the bulk of the book. Nothing is known of the
history of the volume before the early part of the
18th century, when it was first noticed as being
in the possession of Dr. Pepusch, but there is
sufficient evidence to prove that it can never
have belonged, as is generally supposed, to
Queen Elizabeth. As has been already stated,
the whole of the manuscript is in one handwrit-
ing ; in many cases the compositions it contains
bear the dates at which they were composed, and
these dates (as will be seen from the list printed
below) are in no sort of chronological order. The
latest dated composition contained in the collec-
tion is an ' Ut, re, mi, fa, sol, la, a 4 voci,' by the
Amsterdam organist Jehan Peterson Swellinck
(1577-S1-1621), which occurs on page"2i6, and
bears the date 1612, nine years after the death
of Queen Elizabeth, to whom the book is said to
have belonged. But there is another piece in
the volume which proves that the collection must
have been written even later than this. At page
255 is a short compo.sition by Dr. John Bull, en-
titled ' D. Bull's Juell ' {i. e. ' Dr. Bull's Jewel ').
Another copy of this occurs on folio 49/) of a
manuscript collection of Bull's instrumental mu-
sic preserved in the British Museum (Add. M8S.
23,623), which is particularly valuable as con-
taining the dates at which most of the composi-
tions were written, and this copy bears the
inscription ' Het Juweel van Doctor Jan Bull
quod fecit anno 1621. December.' The volume
must thei-efore havebeen written later than this,
and in all probability it dates from the third
decade of the I7tb century, the character of the
handwriting, as well as the absence of composi-
tions by musicians of a later date precluding the
possibility of its being of more recent origin.
Mr. Chappell, at the beginning of his work on
the 'Popular Music of the Olden Time' ' (p. xv.)
surmises that this collection may have been
made for, or by, an English resident in the
Netherlands, and that Dr. Pepusch obtained it
in that country. This conjecture he founds upon
the fact that the only name which occurs in an
abbreviated form throughout the book is that of

1 The edition of this work referred to in this article is that pub-
lished hy Chappell & Co. in two volumes, without a date. The full
title-page runs as follows: 'The Ballad Literature and Topular
Music of the Olden Time: a History of the Ancient Songs, Ballads.
and the Dance Tunes of England, with numerous Anecdotes and
entire Ballads. AKo a Short Account of the Minstrels. By W.
Chappell, F.s.A. The whole of the Airs harmonized by G, A. Mac-
farreu.'



VIRGINAL MUSIC.

Treglan, and that a sonnet signed ' Fr. Tregian'i
is prefixed to Verstegan's 'Restitution of De-';
cayed Intelligence,' which was published at
Antwerp in 1605. '^^^ abbreviated name oc-
curs as follows: at p. 1 11 is a composition of
William Byrd's headed 'Treg. Ground' ; at p.
152 is a ' Pavana Dolorosa. Treg.,' set by Peter
Philips and dated 1593; at p. 196 is a short
piece entitled 'Heaven and Earth,' to which no



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 71 of 194)