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A general history of the science and practice of music online

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Sir And. 'Tis not the first time I have constrain'd
one to call me knave. Begin, fool ; it begins ' Hold
* thy peace.'

Clown. I shall never begin if I hold my peace.

Sir And. Good I'faith : come begin. [They sing
a catch.]

The above conversation has a plain allusion to the
first of the catches here inserted, ' Hold thy peace,*
the humour of which consists in this, that each of the
three persons that sing calls, and is called, knave in
turn : —


HOLD thy peace, aud

preethee hold thy peace.

Thou knaye.




dye, whose name was Je • soi^


demn*d to

808, whose name was Je -

Hey downe downe,

downe a downe a downe, hey downe downe a downe.

leave and hoe rum-be -lo, hey ti-o-lo tro - \y lo, hey tro - lo tw - ly, hey tro-lo tro - ly


sleep'st Uiou or wak*8t thou, Jef - fe - ly Cook,

My heart of gold as true as Steele, as I me leant in-to the bowers,

the rost it bums, tume round a - bout a-bout a-bout, round a-bout a-bout, round a • bout a -

* That thr tooffs occasionally Introduced in Shakespeare's plays were
such as were familiar in his tiroe, 1> clearly shewn by Dr. Percy, in his
ReHques of Ancient CnxHsh Poetry, who has been so fortunate as to
recover many uf them ; the above may be added to the number a« may
also thia alluded to in the same scene of Twelfth Night, by the words
Thrte merry men be wee.'

The Wisemen were but seven ; nor more shall be for me.

The Muses were but nine. The worthies three timet three. tare wt.

And three merry boyes. and three merry boyes, and three merry boye*
The Vertues they are sev'n. and three the greater be.
The CflBsars they were twelve, and the fatal si»ters three. [ara we.

And three meny girles, and three meny girles, aiid three, merry giiiva

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Thomas be her boote,

She met with Kate of Malmes-bu-ry, why weep*8tthou ma - pie?


^^:^= e-iJ^iLri^

r ^-n-£ ^ ^^°^c_i4'-^^-jE. , " ' r f II


bout. O Fiy-er, how fares thy ban -de-low, ban -de-low, Fry-er, how fares thy ban - de-low, ban - de-low ?




fol - - low

t ^ '^ J^-^p^^^^^

mer - n - ly my

-P-=pi^- g:


Take heed of time, tane, and



tune, and ear,

Hey hoe, have with you now to West- min - ster,

but before you come

and then wkh-out all doubt

we need not fear

to sing this catch through - out.
^ -M m — > « m — . — 'at-

she might be.

she would needs to the court She said, to sell milk and fir-men - ty.

be - - cause the way is far, some pret-ty talk

let*s hear.

you are the ve - ry same I took you for to be.



HOW should we sing well and not be wea - r}-,

and not be wea

ry, Since we lack mo - ney to

Since we lack mo - ney to make us mer - ry,


g==f =f =


" r I r



Since we lack mo - ney to make us mer - ry.

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Book VDL

Of the several examples of fagues and rounds, or
to adopt the common mode of speech, of fugnes on a
plain -song, and canons in the nnison, above given, it
is necessary to remark that the former are adduced,
as being some of the most ancient specimens of that
strict kind of composition perhaps any where to be
met with : farther than this, they are studies, perhaps
juvenile ones, ot Bird, and are alluded to by Morley
in his Introduction. And here it is to be noted, that
the plain-song of the fugue in page 295, differs from
that of the others, and from its serpentine figure is
said to be ' per naturam synophe/ It seems that
Mr. Gfalliard had some trouble to resolve or render
these several compositions in score, for in his manu-

script he remarks that they are very difficult and
curious : and it is more than conjectured that many
of the grave and acute signatures that occur in some
of them, were inserted by him with some degree of
hesitation ; it was nevertheless thought proper to re*
tain them, even under a doubt of their propriety,
rather than attempt to correct the studies of so ex*
cellent a judge of harmony. As to the rounds or
canons in the unison that follow, they are exemplars
of that species of vocal harmony which they are cited
to explain : they are of the sixteenth century, and we
know of no compositions of the kind more ancient,
except the canon given in book V. chap. xlv. of the
present work.


Having in a regular course of succession traced
the several improvements in music, including therein
the reformation of the scale by Guide, and the in-
vention of counterpoint, and of the canto figurato,
with all the various modifications of fugue and canon,
it remains to speak of the succeeding writers in their

Alanius Varbnius, of Montaubon, in Tholouse,
about the year 1503, wrote Dialogues, some of which
treat of the science of harmony and its elements.

LuDovicus O^Lius Rhodiginus flourished about
the year 1510 ; he wrote nothing professedly on the
subject of music, yet in his work De Antiquarum
Lectionem, in thirty books, are interspersed many
things relating thereto, particularly in lib. V. cap.
23, 25, 26. Kircher, in the Musurgia, tom. I. pag. 27,
cites from him a relation to the following effect, viz. :
That he, Caslius Ehodiginus, being at Home, saw a
parrot, which had been purchased by Cardinal Asca-
nius, at the price of an hundred golden crowns, which
parrot did most articulately, and as a man would,
repeat in words the Creed of the Christian faith.
Cselius Rhodiginus was tutor to Julius Csesar Scaliger,
and died in 1525, of grief, as it is said, for the fate
of the battle of Pavia, in which his patron Francis
the First, from whom he had great expectations, was
taken prisoner. He is taxed with having borrowed
some things from Erasmus, without making the usual

Gregorius Ebisohius, of Friburg, was the author
of a work entitled Margarita Philosophica,* i. e. the
Philosophical Pearl, a work comprehending not only
a distinct and separate discourse on each of the seven
liberal sciences, in which, by the way, judicial astro-
logy is considered as a branch of astronomy, but a
treatise on physics, or natural philosophy, metaphy-
sics, and ethics, in all twelve books ; that on music is
taken chiefly from Boetius, yet it seems to owe some
part of its merit to the improvements of Franchinus.
The Margarita Philosophica is a thick quarto; it
was printed at Basil in 1517, and in France six years
after ; the latter edition was revised and corrected by
Orontius Fin»us, of the college of Navarre, f

* This book, the Margarita Philosophica, it ftequentiy mentioned in
a work entitled II Mosico Testore, by Zaccaria Tevo, printed at Venice
in 1706, in which many passages are ated from it verbatim.

t Bayle Oboxcx vimb.

Johannes Ooohleus, of Nuremberg, was famous
about the year 1525, for his Polemical writings. He
was the author of Kudimenta Musicae et Greometriay
printed at Nuremberg, and the tutor of Glareanus, as
the latter mentions in his Dodecachordon, a doctor in
divinity, and dean of the church of Francfort on the
Maine. He was bom in 1503, but the time of his
death is uncertain, some writers making it in 1552,
and others sooner. From his great reputation, as a
scholar and divine, it is more &an probable that he
was one of the learned foreigners consulted touching
the divorce of Henry the Eighth, for the name of
Johannes Cochlaeus occurs in the list of them. Peter
Aron, in his Toscanello, celebrates him by the title
of Phonascus of Nuremberg.

LuDOvious FoLiANus, of Modcua, published at
Venice, in 1529, in folio, a book intitled Musica
Theoretica; it is written in Latin, and divided into
three sections, the first contains an investigation of
those proportions of greater and lesser inequality
necessary to be understood by musicians ; the second
treats of the consonances, where, by the way, it is to
be observed that the author discriminates with re-
markable accuracy between the greater and lesser
tone ; and by insisting, as he does in this section De
Utilitate Toni m^oris et minoris, plainly discovers
that he was not a P3rthagorean, which is much to be
wondered at, seeing that the substance of his book
appears for the most part to have been taken from
Boetius, who all men know was a strict adherer to
the doctrines of Pythagoras. It is therefore said, and
with great appearance of reason, that it is to Folianus
that the introduction into practice of the intense or
S3mtonous diatonic, in preference to the di tonic dia-
tonic, is to be attributed. This particular will appear
to be more worthy of remark, when it is known, that
about the middle of the sixteenth century it became
a matter of controversy which of those two species of
the diatonic genus was best accommodated to practice.
Zarlino contended for the intense or syntonous dia-
tonic of Ptolemy, or rather Didymus, for he it was
that first distinguished between the greater and lesser
tone. Vincentio Galilei, on the other hand, preferred
that division of Aristoxenus, which, though irrational
according to the judgment of the ear, gave to the
tetrachord two tones and a half. In the cooise of

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Chap. LXVni.



the diBpute, which was condacted with great warmth
on both sides, Galilei takes great pains to inform his
reader that Zarlino was not the first that discovered
the supposed excellence of that division which he pre-
ferred, for that Ludovico Fogliano, sixty or seventy
years before, had done the same '* and in the table
or index to his book, article Lodovico Fogliano,
which contains a summary of his arguments on this
head, he speaks thus : * Lodovico Fogliano fa il prime
' che considerasse che il diatonico che si canta hoggi,
' non era il ditoneo, ma il syntono ;' which assertion
contains a solution of a doubt which Dr. Wallis en-

■ Dial, della Musiea antica e modema, pag. 112.

tertained, namely, whether Zarlino or some more
ancient writer first introduced the syntonous or in-
tense diatonic into practice, f

The third section of Folianus's book is principally
on the division of the Monochord, in which he under-
takes to shew the necessity of setting ofif D, and also
of Bb twice.

Many of the divisions, particularly in the first
chapter of the second section, are exemplified by
cuts, which as they shew the method of using the
Monochord, with the ratios of the consonances, and
are in other respects curious, are here inserted.

t Append, de Veter. Hannon. quarto, pag. 818.

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Johannes Probchius, a doctor of divinity, and
prior of the Carmelites at Augsburg, was the author
of Opusculum Rerum Musicalium, printed at Stras-
burg in 1535, a thin folio, and a very methodical and
concise book, but it contains little that can be said to
be original.

Andreas Ornithoparcus, a master of arts in the
university of Meyning, was the author of a very
lei^med and instructive treatise on music, intitled
Micrologus, printed at Cologne in 1535, in oblong
quarto. It is written in Latin, and was translated
into English by our countryman John Douland, the
celebrated lutenist, and published by him in 1609.
This worfc contains the substance of a course of lec-
tures which Ornithoparcus had publicly read in the
universities of Tubingen, Heidelberg, and Mentz. It
is divided into four books, the contents whereof are
as follow.

The first book is dedicated to the governors of the
state of Lunenburg. The first three chapters contain
a general division of music into mundane, humane,
and instrun^ental, according to Boetius, which the
author again divides into organical, harmonical, spe-
culative, active, mensural, and plain music, and slso
the rudiments of singing by the hexachords, accord-
ing to the introductory or scale of Guido. In his
explanation whereof he relates that the Ambrosians
distinguished the stations of the cliffs by lines of
different coloura, that is to say, they gave to F pa ut
a red, to C sol fa ut a blue, and to bb a sky -coloured
line ; but that the Gregorians, as he calls them, whom
the church of Rome follow, mark all the lines with

* That the use of the tetraehord syDemmenon, or rather of its
eharacteristic b round, was to avoid the tritonus or superfluous fourth"
between F 7A ut and b mi, must appear upon reflection, but this author
has made it apparent in the following, which is the fourth of his rules
for Acta music.

one colour, and describe each of the keys by its first
letter, or some character derived from it.

In the fourth chapter hb limits the number of tones
to eight ; and, speaking of the ambit or compass of
each, says there are granted but ten notes wherein
each tone may have his course ; and for this assertion
he cites the authority of St. Bernard, but adds, that
the licentious ranging of modem musicians hath
added an eleventh to each.

The fifth and sixth chapters contain the rules for
solfaing by the hexachords, and for the mutations.

In the seventh chapter he speaks of the consonant
and dissonant intervals, and cites Ambrosius Nolanns
and Erasmus to shew, that as the disdiapason is the
natural compass of man's voice, all music should be
confined to that interval.

In the eighth and ninth chapters he teaches to
divide, and recommends the use of the Monochord,
by the help whereof he says any one may by himself
learn any song, though never so weighty.

Chapter X. is intitled De Musica ficta, which he
thus defines : * Fained musicke is that which the
' Greeks call Synemmenon, a song made beyond the
* regular compass of the scale ; or it is a song which
' is full of conjunctions.'

By these conjunctions are to be understood con-
junctions of the natural and moUe hexachords by the
chord Synemmenon, characterized by b ; and in this
chapter are discernible the rudiments of transposition,
a practice which seems to have been originally
suggested by that of substituting the round, in the
place of the square b, from which station it was first
removed into the place of E la hi, and has since been
made to occupy various other situations ; * as has
also the acute signature $, which although at first in-
vented to perfect the interval between Jj mi and F
PA UT, which is a semidiapente or imperfect fifth, it
is well known is now made to occupy the place of
G SOL RE UT, C SOL PA UT, aud other chords.

The eleventh chapter treats of transposition, which
the author says is twofold, that is to say, of the song
and of the key, but in truth both are transpositions of
the song, which may be transposed either by an actual
removal of the notes to some other line or space than
that in which they stand, or bv the removal of the cliff
to some other line, thereby giving by elevation or de-
pression to each note a different power.

The ecclesiastical tones are the subject of the
twelfth and thirteenth chapters of the first book :
in these are contained rules for the intonation of
the Psalms, in which the author takes occasion to
cite a treatise of Pontifex, i. e, pope John XXII.,
who it seems wrote on music, and an author named
Michael Galliculo de Muris, a most learned man,
author of certain rules of the true order of singing.

In treating of the tones Ornithoparcus follows for

< Marking fa in b fa it mi, or in any other place, if the song tt^m
<that shall make an immediate rising to a fourth, a fifth, or an eighth,
' even there fa must necessarily be marked to eschew a tritone, a semi-
'diapente, or a semidiapason, and in usual and forbidden moods, as
' appeareth in the example underwritten : —

' An Ezerdse of Ficta Musicke.

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the most part St Bernard and Pranchinus ; his for-
mula of the eight tones, as also ol the Peregrine or
wandering tone, differs but very little from that of
Franchinus in his Practica Music®, herein before

In the thirteenth and last chapter of this book the
author shews that divers tnen are delighted with
divers modes, an observation that Guide had made
before in Uie thirteenth chapter of his Micrologus,
and to this purpose he says: 'Some are delighted
'with the crabbed and courtly wandering of the

* first tone ; others do affect the hoarse gravity of
' the second ; others take pleasure in the severe, and
' as it were disdainful stidking of the third ; others

* are drawn with the flattering sound of the fourth ;
' others are moved with the modest wantonness of the

* fifth ; others are led with the lamenting voice of the

* sixth ; others do willingly hear the warlike leapings
' of the seventh ; others do love the decent, and as it
' were matronal-like carriage of the eighth/

The seeond book is dedicated to the author's
' worthy and kind friend George Brachius, a most

* skilful musician, and chief doctor of the Duke of

* Wittenberg his chappell/

In the second chapter of this book the author
explains the nature of mensural music, and the
figures used therein : these he says were anciently
five, but that those of after ages have drawn out
others for quickness sake ; those described by him
are eight in number, viz., the large, long, breve,
semibreve, minim, crotchet, quaver, and semiquaver;
but it is worthy of notice that he gives to the semi-
breve two forms, the one resembling a lozenge, agree-
able to the character of the semibreve now or lately
in use, the other that of an equilateral triangle or half

The third chapter contains an explanation of the
ligatures from Franchinus, but much too concise to be

The fourth chapter treats of mood, time, and pro-
lation, of which three terms the following is his
definition: *The degrees of music, by which we
' know the value of the principal figures, are three, to

* wit, mood, time, and prolation. Neither doth any
' of them deale upon all notes, but each onely with
' certaine notes that belong to each. As mood dealeth

* with larges and longs, time with breefes, prolation
'witl) semibreefes.' This general definition is fol-
lowed by one more particular, which is here given in
the translator's own words : —

'A Moode (as Franchinus saith in the second
' booke, cap. 7. of his Pract.) is the measure of longs
'in larges, or of breefes in longai. Or it is the
' beginning of the quantitie of larges and longs,

* measuring them either by the number of two, or
the number of three.

* Time is a breefe which containes in it two or three
' semibreefes. Or it is the measuring of two or three
'semibreefes in one breefe. And it is twofold, to

* wit, perfect : and this is a breefe measured with

* three semibreefes. Whose signe is the number of
'three joined with a circle or a semicircle, or a
' perfect circle set without a number, thus 3. C 3. 0.

' The imperfect is wherein a breefe is measured only
' by two semibreefes. Which is knowne by the num-
' ber of two joyned with a perfect circle, or a semi-
' circle, or a semicircle without a number, thus O 2.

' Wherefore prolation id the e&sential quantitie of
'semibreefes; or it is the setting of two or three
' minims against one semibreefe ; dnd it is twofold,
' to wit, the greater (which is a semibreefe measured
'by three minims, or the comprehending of three
'minims in one semibreefe) whose signe is a point

* inclosed in a signe thus, Q (J . The l^er pro-
'lation is a semibreefe measured with two minims

* onely, whose signe is the absence of a ^ricke. For

* Franchinus saith, they carry with them the imper-
' fecting of the figure when the signes are wanting.'

In the course of this explanation the author ts^es
occasion to mention the extrinsical and intrinsical
signs in mensural music ; the former he says are the
circle, the number, and the point As to the circle,
when entire it originally denoted perfection, as it was
called, or a progression by three, or in what we now
call triple time. When tiie circle was discontinued,
or cut through by a perpendicular or oblique stroke,
it signified imperfection, or a progression by two, or,
as we should say, in duple time ; when the circle had
a point in the centre it signified a quicker progression
in the proportions of perfect and imperfect, according
as the circle was either entire or mutilated, as above.
As to the figm*es 3 and 2, used as extrinsic signs, they
seem intended only to distinguish the greater mood,
which gave three longs to the large, from the lesser,
which gave three breves to the long ; but the pro-
priety of this distinction is not easy to be discovered.
As these characters are now out of use, and a!te
supplied by others of modem invention, it is not
necessary to be very inquisitive about theiii;* it
is however very certain that the musicians, from
the beginning of the sixteenth century, downwards,
seem to betray an universal ignorance of their original
use and intention ; and since the commencement of
that period, we nowhere find the fcircle used to denote
perfect or triple time ; on the contrary, the character
for the several epecies of it are intended to bespeak
the relation which the intended progression in triple
time bears to common or imperfect time ; for instance
-| is a progression by three of these notes, two whereof
would nu^e a bar or measure of duple time, that is to
say, minims ; f and f are progressions in triple time
by crotchets and quavers ; and this observation Will

* It may not be improper )iere to take notice, that notwithstandiiig
the complaints of Motley of the confusion in which the Cantus Hen-
surabllis was involved, and his absolute despair ol testoring the characters
anciently used in it, an author, who lived a few years after him, Thomas
Ravenscroft, a bachelor of music, published a book with this title, vis. :

* A breefe discourse of the true (but neglected) use of charact'ring the

* degrees by their perfection, imperfection, and diminution in mensurable
'musicke, against the common practice and custom of these times.
' Examples whereof are ezprest in the harmony of 4 voyces, concerning

* thfe pleasure ot 5 usual recreations, 1 hunting, 2 hawking, 8 daunchig,
'4 drinking, 5 enamouring.' London, 1614, quarto.

The author has discovered, as well in the apology and the preface to
this book, as in the discourse itself, a great share of musical erudition ;
but the arguments severally contained in them failed to convince the
world that the revival of an obsolete practice, which fh>m its intricacy
and inutility had insensibly grown into disuse, could in any way tend to
the perfecnon of the science; and experience has shewn that that
method of charactering the degrees, which, as he contends is the on^
true one, is not essential in the nota^n of music.

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serve to explain various other signatures not here
mentioned. As to these other numbers f V, the de-
nominator in each having a duple ratio, they are clearly
the characteristics of common time ; but though the
entire circle is no longer used as a characteristic of
time, yet the discontinued or mutikted circle is in
daily practice. Some ignorant writers on music* from
its resemblance to the letter C, suppose to be the initial
of the word Common ; adding, that where a perpen-
dicular stroke is drawn through it, it signifies a quick,
and where it is inverted a still quicker succession of
notes.* But this appropriation of the epithet common
to duple time is unwarrantable, for %n truth duple
time IS no more common than triple, the one occur^
rina as often in muMcal compositions as the other.

The intrinsic signs used in music are no other than
the rests which correspond with the measures of notes,
and that alteration of the value of notes, which con-
sists in a variety of colour, as black full, black void,
red full, and red void, mentioned by Morley and other

The sixth chapter treats of Tact, thus defined by
the author : ' Tact is a successive motion in singing,
' directing the equality of the measure. Or it is a

* certain motion made by the hand of the chief singer

* according to the nature of the marks, which n^otion

* directs a song according to measure.

• Tact is threefold, the greater, the lesser, and the

* proportionate ; the greater is a measure made by

Online LibraryJohn HawkinsA general history of the science and practice of music → online text (page 90 of 123)