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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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decline of the Italian Opera is much to
deplored. The modem instrumentalist, and
fortunately in many cases the modem compa
avows his contempt for singing. But as sureb
singing — that is, the Italian School of singing-
allowed to die out, its decease will react u)
instrumental music. Instrumental music g
its legato and the more subtle parts of its
of phrasing from the singer; while the sin
owes his precision and more musicianly qui
ties to the instrumentalist. The two branc
help one another, and while the vocalist ackuc
ledges his obligation to the instrumentalist it
rank ingratitude on the part of the instrum
talist not to be equally candid. If persisted
his ingratitude will be suicidal. The conduc
of an opera or a choral class is too often unawj
of the danger of an arduous rehearsal of t\
three, or four hours' duration to so delicate
instrument as the human throat. By such
amount of practice the voice becomes uttei
fatigued. If the muscles of the lar^Tix i
strong, the fatigue shows itself in hoarsene
or a difficulty in making the voice speak readi
the delicate white membrane which lines t
vocal cords becoming slightly abraded. Th
the voice must be forced to make it sound.
this membrane is capable of supporting a go
de;d of ' leathering,' then the muscles will til
show the fatigue, and the voice will not


to keep in tune. ' If both muscles and
brane are strong, the chest will feel the
le, even the ribs getting tired, and head-
will set in. If these local signs of distress
bsent, general fatigue of the whole physique
come on. Every organism has its alloted
int of energy, and no more. If the abrasion
e white membrane is frequently renewed,
•isation will be the consequence, and then
■bye to all sweetness. We may get loudness,
I more than we want — that is, if extinction
i voice has not taken place — but no manage-
. no control ; and we shall have a tone that
iy wishes to hear a second time. This
ment is not in the least degree overdrawn,
e difficult question of the mode of forming
ifierent registers is occupying investigators,
vdll continue to occupy them for some time
me. For the essential difiFerences between
speaking and singing voice, as also for
Is of registers and other important matters,
iNGiNG, Alto, Mezzo-Soprano, Soprano,
ter-Tenor, Tenor, Baritone, Bass Voice,
/ocE Di Petto. [H.C.D.]

)ICES. Though the human voice, in so
i its tone and capabilities are concerned, is
•ally independent of changes like those
gh which every Orchestral Instrument
necessarily pass before it arrives at its per-
condition, it has none the less witnessed
fes of treatment at least as noticeable as
of the Instrumental Orchestra itself,
e Madrigalists and Ecclesiastical Composers
le 1 6th century wrote for a far greater
by of voices than those now generally recog-
;^ and distributed them on principles which
ience has proved to be incompatible with
tssential characteristics of modem Music,
system was based upon the division of all
!8 into two great classes — the Acute, and
rave. The Acute class comprised the Voices
lys, in their unbroken condition — that is to
oefore the change of timbre and compass
I has already been described in the article
ltion ; the rare high natural Voices of adult
singers, which are still occasionally heard
dy and Spain ; and the almost innumerable
iies of Soprano and Contralto Voices pro-
le by artificial means. The Grave class re-
ited the adult male Voice, in all its natural
lies : — Tenors, of every species, Basses, and
Contra-Bassi, of immense profundity, like
still cultivated in Russia, and some other
)ean countries. Female Voices were not
ted into the Church Choir, and therefore
no place in the system adopted by Eccle-
Kvl Composers.

• Voices of the Acute class, five Clefs were
the G Clef, on the first and second lines ;
he C Clef, on the first, second, and third.
3rave Voices, the C Clef on the third,
1, and fifth lines, and F Clef, in the same
positions; the F Clef on the fifth line

1 description of the peculiarities of each individual Voice, the
■ill consult the articles SoraAKO. Alto, CosiBiLTO, Tenob,
K, and BilS3.



being appropriated to the Contr.i-Basso, and
the C Clef on the fifth line, to the Contra-l'enore
— a very low Tenor Voice bearing no resem-
blance whatever to the ' Counter-Tenor ' of our
English Composers.

This formidable array of Clefs was, however,
accompanied by a very simple form of nomen-
clature ; the terms Cantus, Altus, Tenor, and
Bassus, being used to designate Voices of every
possible variety. When Acute Voices only were
employed, they wei-e described as Cantus I and
II, and Altus I and II ; and the Composition
was then said to be written for Acute Equal
Voices. In this case, the lowest Voice permis-
sible was an Alto, sung by a Boy, or by an
adult singer, or an artificial Voice, In Composi-
tions for Grave Equal Voices, the highest part
was sung by the natural Voice of an adult Alto —
an organ now very rarely heard — or by a high
Tenor ; the lower parts by ordinary Tenors and
Basses. When Acute and Grave Voices were
employed together, the Composition was said
to be for Mixed Voices. In Compositions of
this kind, the lowest part was described as the
Bassus, even when written in the Tenor Clef.
In like manner, a middle part was frequently
labelled Tenor, though written in the Alto, or
even in the Mezzo-Soprano Clef; while Baritone
parts, written with the F Clef on the third line,
were invariably labelled Bassus. Parts written
with the C Clef on the first line were labelled
Cantus, or Altus, according to their position
with regard to the other Voices ; the term
Cantus being usually applied to them when they
occupied the highest position in the harmony,
and Altus, when the G Clef was used for a still
higher part, written above them. Parts written
with the C Clef on the second line — the Mezzo-
vSoprano of modern Music — were almost always
labelled Altus.

The selection of Clefs was governed, partly by
the compass of the Voices, and partly by the
nature of the Mode in which the Composition
was written. The number of Clefs employed
arose from the repugnance of Composers to
ledger-lines, with which they were not altogether
unacquainted, though they avoided them, as
much as possible, by selecting Clefs which enabled
them to write the whole of a vocal part within
the limits of the Stave — an easy matter, with
Polyphonic Composers of the best period, who
frequently confined whole parts within the range
of an Octave, as in the ' Missa Papae Marcelli,'
in which, by writing the Cantus part in the
Treble (G) Clef, the Altus in the Mezzo-Soprano,
the two Tenors in the Alto, and the two Basses
in the Tenor, Palestrina has avoided the use of a
single ledger-line, from beginning to end.

The connection of the Clefs with the Mode
was a more complicated matter. Certain com-
binations were used for the Modes, at their
natural pitch (the Chiavi nalurali) ; and certain
others for the transposed Modes {Chiavi tras-
portate, or Chiaveite)? These however were

" Examples of some of these combinations mar be seen in vol. Ui.
p. 429 a.


chiefly used for Mixed Voices. In Compositions
for Equal Voices, whether Acute, or Grave, the
arrangement of the Clefs was more frequently dic-
tated by the compass of the Voices, than by the
transposition, or nontransposition of the Modes.

The terms Cantus, Altus, Tenor, and Bassus,
sufficed for Compositions written for any number
of Voices. In the ' Missa Papae Marcelli,' and
innumerable like Compositions, we find parts for
Tenor I and II, and Bassus I and II. In these
cases, the second Voice is always of exactly the
same compass as the first ; and, instead of sing-
ing constantly below it — as it certainly would
now — sustains an equally important part, con-
tinually repeating the same passages, and crossing
above, or below, its fellow-part, without reserve.

Another common arrangement, in Compositions
for more than four Voices, was to label the fifth
Voice, Quintus, or Pars Quinta, and the sixth,
Sextus, or Pars Sexta ; and this, without re-
ference to the nature of the Voice : consequently,
in old Part-Books, we constantly find, in the
volume labelled Quintus, parts for Cantus, Altus,
Tenor, and Bassus, all indiscriminately mingled
together. But here, again, the arrangement was
governed by a law as strict as that which regu-
lated the conduct of Tenor or Bassus I and II.
The Quintus and Sextus were exact duplicates
of two other ])arts, with which they corresponded,
throughout, both in compass and importance ;
so that, in fact, it was a matter of absolute in-
difference whether parts then associated were
labelled Altus and Quintus, or, Altus I and
Altus II. And the constant crossing of the
parts, to which this arrangement gave rise, was
used as a means of producing the most varied
and beautiful effects. They used the device with
unlimited freedom ; frequently making one Voice
cross over two — as in Palestrina's 'Missa brevis,'
where the Altus crosses below the Tenor and
Bassus, and sings the lowest part of the harmony.
The following example will show the immense
advantage derivable from th^ distribution of
certain passages between two Voices of strongly
contrasted timbre.

^ Cantus.

i 1~



In ex

- eel

- sis.


ex -

eel - sis.


11 F^

T 1

In ex
1 Tenore.

1 ^— (®-

- eel

— s> —

- sis.




- eel - sis.

In ex -

eel -



ex -

eel - sis.






In ex - eel - sis.

Crossing their Voices thus, the Polyphonic
Composers frequently wrote passages, which,
had the parts been arranged in the ordinary
manner, would have exhibited glaring cases of


Consecutive Fifths and Octaves, but wl;
thanks to this device, enriched their harmo
with indescribable beauty. The practice h
ever died out with the School of Palestri
and in modern Music the parts rarely cross
any serious extent.

The opening of the 17th century witnessf
radical change in the distribution of Voices
well as in all other matters connected with the
of Composition. Except in Italy, artifi
Soprani and Contralti were heard only at
Theatre. The beauty of the female Voice
universally recognised, both in its Soprano
Contralto registers ; and cultivated with assidu
In Germany, Boys were taught, as now, to (
both Soprano and Contralto parts, with ec
success. In England, a different plan was adop' "
After the Great Rebellion, the difficulty of obti
ing Choir-Boys was so great, that Treble p;
were either summarily dispensed witii, or plaj
as a -pis allcr, upon Cornets. Adult Voices w
however, more easily attainable; and adult sinj
learned to execute Alto, and even low Tr<
parts, in Falsetto. And thus arose the cult;
tion of the peculiar form of Voice now called
Counter-Tenor ; an unnatural register which 1
holds its ground in English Cathedrals, wit'
pertinacity which leads to the lamentable negl(
if not the ab.solute exclusion, of one of the n
beautiful Voices in existence — the true Boy C
tralto. This sweeping change in the constitut
of our Cathedral Choirs naturally led to a chai
of corresponding magnitude in the character of
Music written for them. In the Verse-Anthe
of Humfrey, Wise, Blow, Purcell, and ot
Masters of the School of the Restoration,
Falsetto part, under its title of Counter-Ten
holds a very important position indeed ; and S
more prominent is the role accorded to it by Cn
Boyce, and other writers of a later generatii
In truth, the new Voice, at first an unavoida
necessity, soon became the prevailing fashio
and Music was written for it, even at the til
when the Chapel Royal at Whitehall was grat
with the most talented and accomplished staff
Choir-Boys on record. So general was the ciist(
of confiding the Alto part to Counter-Tei
singers, that it was adopted, even at the ' Ol
torio Concerts' of the i8th century. The Ai
parts in Handel's Choruses were sung chiefly;
not wholly, in Falsetto. It was not until 17
that Dr. Arne first had the hardihood to empll
female Voices in the Choruses of his Oratoii
'Judith' ; and it is doubtful whether, even the
they were entrusted with the Alto parts. Happi'
for Art, the value of the female Contralto is n(
no less freely recognised in England than
other countries; and it is only in Cathedral Choil
and Choral Societies connected with them, th
the Falsetto Counter-Tenor safely holds its groun

In Germany, the Falsetto Voice has alwa
been held in very low estimation indeed ; whi
the true Boy-Contralto has been almost as exte
sively cultivated as the rich low tones of tl
deeper female register.^ We have heard tl

' Spohr, on his first visit to this country, expressed the grest



excellent effect produced, at the Thomas-
[e, in Leipzig, and at the Cathedrals of
^ne, Mayence, and Eegensburg, by unac-
anied Choirs, in which the Alto parts
entrusted entirely to the fresh young Voices
veil-trained body of Boy-Choristers, whose
r registers were cultivated, with success,
•me considerable time after they were pre-
id, by the approach of the inevitable muta-
from singing Treble.' Such Voices cannot
Fectively used in combination with the Fal-
Counter-Tenor ; but they combine perfectly
the rich female Contralto, with which they
be profitably associated, in Choral Music of

.is extensive modification in materials was
ved by a corresponding modification of treat-
. Acute Equal Voices are now understood
ean the Voices of Women and Children ;
jrave Equal Voices, those of Men. When
wo classes are employed together, each main-
its own accustomed level, in the distribution
le general harmony, more strictly, by far,
was the case under the older system. The
•ast between the timbre of a Tenor, and that
Contralto, is too great to allow the two to
: together in the intimate association which
ed so marked a feature in the Polyphonic
ols ; and even when two Voices of the same
are employed, they seldom correspond
bly in compass. The Second Soprano really
1 a second part, and only rises above the
in very exceptional cases ; while the Second
is always understood to be responsible for
owest sounds in the harmony. This dispo-
a of the parts accords perfectly with the
re of the Voices employed ; and has been
ed, by long experience, to be more perfectly
ted than any other to the requirements of
3m Music, which, during its progress towards
action, has demanded, from time to time,
ges in the arrangement of the Vocal Orches-
ittle less revolutionary than those effected in
[nstrumental Band. [W.S.E.]

DICING. A term used in organ-building
:press the method of obtaining a particular
ity of tone, in an organ yjipe, and of regu-
ig a series of pipes so that their tone shall be
orm throughout. The quality of the tone
lue-pipes is mainly dependent on (i) their
iral shape, (2) their scale; but, after the pipe-
er has turned out a set of pipes of true propor-
the ' voicer ' can produce a great variety of
ities by regulating (i) the quantity of wind
itted to the pipe, (2) the thickness of the
et of wind,' (3) the angle at which it im-
es on the upper lip, (4) by imparting a
ial surface to the edge of the lip itself or
lUtting it higher; and in other ways. The
ing of Eeed pipes is dependent chiefly on
the quantity of air admitted, (2) the shape

s to our English Oounter-Tenors ; and it may possibly have
I similar experience which induced Mendelssohn to inaugurate,
' St. Paul.' the practice of writing Oratorio Choruses tor Soprano
II. instead of Soprano and Alto.

le great Lablache sang, as a boy, with an exquisitely beautiful
]f this kind.

and thickness of the tongue, (3) its position,
(4) the relation between the length of tube and
the pitch of the note produced.

Voicing thus requires both a delicate ear and
skilful hand ; it is, in fact, the most artistic part
of an organ-builder's work. But few are equally
good voicers both of reed and flue-pipes, and
better voicing is obtained from a specialist than
from a 'general' hand. In testing the voicing of
an organ-stop, an opinion should first be formed as
to the merit of the particular quality selected by
the voicer; next, the pipes should be consecu-
tively sounded in order to trace whether the
quality of tone is uniform. This applies both to
flue and reedpipes. [J.S.]

VOIGT (pronounced Vogt), Henriette, ncc
Kunze, born in 1809, a distinguished German
amateur musician, and prominent figure in the
musical life of Leipzig.

She was the pupil of L. Berger, and became a
remarkable performer, and the warm friend
of her teacher.^ Schumann was introduced
to her by Ludwig Schunke, who almost lived
in the Voigts' house before his early death,
and their intimacy became very close. A cha-
racteristic story illustrating this is told in the
article on Schumann in this Dictionary, vol. iii.
p. 389 and we may here quote Schumann's own
expression — 'Ich dichte, wenn ich an Sie denke,'
which may be rendered 'The thought of you
inspires me.' He alludes to her occasionally in
his ' Davidsbxindler ' articles under the name of
' Eleonore ' ; and his entry in her album was
very characteristic, consisting only of a huge
crescendo mark -=r:ii;il[^ reaching across the
whole page, with his name below it. This, on
enquiry, he explained to predict the continual
increase of their friendship. Mendelssohn's con-
tribution to her album was the first sketch of the
Gondellied in Fj minor (op. 30, no. 6) ; and
though there is no mention of. her either in his
collected Letters or in the Tamilie Mendels-
sohn,' there is ample testimony to his esteem for
her talents and her person in his 'Eight Letters'
to her, published in 1871.^ Hauptmann^ and
C. Lowe have also left the most appreciative refer-
ences to her ability and taste : indeed she was,
with Madame Frege, at the head of the amateurs
of Leipzig in that most brilliant time.

Her husband, Carl Voigt, to whom she was mar-
ried in Nov. 1830, was a Leipzig merchant, and as
great an enthusiast for music as herself. He died
June 15, 1881, in his 76th year, leaving 300^. to
the Gewandhaus Concerts for a performance of
Beethoven's Ninth Symphony every year, or at
the least every two years. A few words about
that Symphony, attributed to him, will be found
in Schumann's 'Ges. Schriften,' 1st ed. i. 27.

Madame Voigt died on Oct. 15, 1839, ^^ ^^^
31st year. Schumann gave a sketch of her in
the 'Neue Zeitschiiit fiir Musik' for the 15th
of the following November, under the title of

1 See his letter ofl»36, given by Schumann, N. Z. M. xi. ir9.

2 Acht Briefe und ein Facsimile, &c. Leipzig, Gruiiow, l!>71. Trans-
lated by M. E. von G. in MacmiUau's Magazine, No. 110.

3 Letters to Uauser, No. 43.



' Erinnerung an eine Freundin,' which is re-
printed in his ' Ges. Schriften,' and contains
some charming extracts from her journal, giving
a high idea of the range of her knowledge and
the depth of her sensibility.

See Jansen's 'Davidsbiindler' — a very interest-
ing book (Breitkopf & Hiirtel, 1SS3). [G.]

with two ranks of pipes, one tuned about three
beats a second sharper than the other. The
pipes are sometimes of the Dulciana type ; some-
times (generally in the case of French organ-
builders) two small Gambas, and occasionally the
ranks are dissimilar, one aKeraulophon,and one
a Dulciana. The custom is to tune one rank
with the organ and one sharper, but this has
the effect of making the organ sound disagree-
ably flat after using the stop, and the plan ad-
vocated by Mr. Sedley Taylor of tuning one rank
slightly above and one below the general pitch of
the organ is no doubt preferable, though it pre-
cludes the use of either alone, or in combination
with the other stops. The Voix Celestes has its
proper place in the swell organ, and in large build-
ings its wavy floating effect is not unpleasing.
Like other 'fancy' stops it should be used with
reserve. The name Vox Angelica is ambiguous,
some builders make it a synonym for Voix Ce-
lestes, and others for the rank of pipes which is
tuned to the rest of the organ. [W.Pa.]

VOLKM ANN, Friedrich IloBERT,born April
6, 1S15, at Lommatsch in Saxony. His father,
cantor and schoolmaster of the town, taught the
boy music, with such effect that by the time he
was twelve he took the services in church. He
then had instruction from Friebel, the 'Town
musician,' in violin and cello, and from
Anacker, music - director of the Seminary at
Freyberg, In 1836 he went to Leipzig, to
study systematically, and made the acquaintance
of C. F. Becker, and also of Schumann, who
exercised gieat influence on him; in 1839 ^^
published his first work, ' Phantasiebilder in
Leipzig.' His next step was to visit Prague
and enter on the career of teacher and composer.
From 1854 to 1858 he resided at Vienna, but
ended by taking up his permanent quarters in
Pesth, where his principal works have been com-
posed. These comprise 2 Symphonies, in D minor
(,op. 44), and Bb (op. 53), a Festival overture in
F ' (op. 50), 2 Serenades for Strings, ops. 62, 63 ;
Concertos for Cello in A minor (op. 33), and PF.
in C (op. 42) ; 2 PF. trios in F (op. 3), and Bb
minor (op. 5) ; String Quartets in A minor and
G minor (op. 9), in G major (op. 14), in E minor
(op- 34). in ^ minor (op. 35), and in Eb (op.
37), and many works for piano, both 4 hands
and solo. His vocal compositions are also nu-
merous: — 2 Masses for male voices (op. 28, 29) ;
3 sacred songs for mixed choir (op. 38) ; old
German hymn for 2 choirs of male voices (op.
64) ; ' Sappho,' dramatic scene for soprano solo

' riayed at Crystal Palace, Oct. 3. WH.


and orchestra (op. 49) ; 'An die Nacht,' for a'
solo and orchestra ; songs for solo voice a
piano, etc. The overture to his 'Music
Shakespeare's Richard the Third ' (op. 73), w
performed at the Crystal Palace Oct. 30, 1875
the Scotch air 'The Campbells are coming' bei;
introduced as 'an old English war-song.'
later composition is a 'Schlummerlied' i
harp, clarinet and horn, which is mentioned
op. 76 in Hofmeister's List for 18S3.

As a pianoforte composer Volkmann belon
to the romantic school. His compositions oft«
bear fanciful titles, but they are poetical, ai
moreover so strongly marked with Hungarij
characteristics that he may truly be said to ha'
borrowed colour, rhythm, and embellishmen
from his adopted home. His two Symphonie
his Quartets in G minor and A minor, his P]
Trio in Bb minor, have been acknowledged
high terms by critics in Germany. His CeL
Concerto is also a favourite and excellent wot'.
In England he is little known, though his
minor Quartet has been given at the Monds
Popular Concerts, and his two Overtures at tl
Crystal Palace, and sundry of his PF, pieces I
different artists in their recitals. [G

VOLKSLIED, or the early Song of the Ge
man people, has already been treated, wi(
regard both to its development and its influem
on the history of music, under the head of SoN(
[See vol. iii, p. 617.] It remains, however, 1
mention the principal existing collections (
Volkslieder, whether in manuscript or print, 5
public or private libraries ; and a list of them
here appended. Some collections of Minn«
singers' and Meistersingers' melodies, and likewis
some collections of chorales must be include
in the list ; because, as the article referred 1
shows, these different forms of the Song ni
borrowed from one another and have melodit
in common. Collections bearing the names <
particular composers must also be mentionet
because many apparently original melodies c
composers of the i6th and 17th centuries ar
in reality well-known Volkslieder, merely hai
monised or treated with contrapuntal devicei
Tlie list cannot therefore be limited to collet
tions of Volkslieder proper, but care has bee:
taken to enumerate only such as offer example
of the pure Volkslied, melody or verse.

For convenience of reference, the best work
on the subject will be included in the las
section of the list, viz. Modern Collections

Collections of Volkslieder.

A. MSS. from the lOtk to the 11th centvry.

1. The WolfenbUttel MSS. (10th century); preeeryei
in the Ducal Iiibrary of WolfenbUttel, and containin,
some of the oldest secular songs in Germany.

2. The S. Gall Cod. Lat., No. 393 (11th century).

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