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of a good-natured old man. The four first chapters are a eulogium on psalmody and parochial music; the fifth contains a recommendation of the organ for that purpose. The sixth chapter we shall transcribe as a specimen of the style and manner of the whole.
6. How to procure an organist. «The certain way I will propose shall be this; namely, first, I will suppose you have a parish clark, and such an ope as is able to set and lead a psalm, although it be never so indifferently.
“Now this being granted, I may say that I will, or any musick master will, or many more inferiors, as virginal players, or many organ makers, or the like; I say, any of those will teach such a parish clark how to pulse or strike most of our common psalm tubes, usually sung in our churches, for a trifle, viz. twenty, thirty, or forty shillings, and so well that he need never bestow more cost to perform that duty sufficiently during his life.
«« This I believe no judicious person in the art will doubt of. And then, when this clark is thus well accomplished, he will be so doated upon by all the pretty ingenious children and young men in the parish, that scarcely any of them but will be begging now and then a shilling or two of their parents to give the clark, that he may teach them to pulse a psalm tune; the which any such child or youth will be able to do in a week or fortnight's time very well.
“« And then, again, each youth will be as ambitious to pulse that psalm tune in publick to the congregation, and no doubt but shall do it sufficiently well.
" • And thus by little and little the parish, in a short time, will swarm or abound with organists, and sufficient enough for that service.
6. For you must kõow, apd I entreat you to believe rrue, that seriously it is one of the most easy pieces of performances in all instrumental music to pulse one of our psalm tubes truly and well, after a very little showing upon the organ.
“'. The clark likewise will quickly get in his money by this means.
“ • Aod. I suppose no parent will grudge it him, but rather rejoice io it.
“ • Thus you may perceive how easily and certainly these two great difficulties may be overcome, and with nothing so 'much as a willing mind.
66. Therefore, be but willingly resolved, and the work will soon be done.
5. And now again metbioks I see some of you tossiug up your caps, and crying aloud, we will have an organ, and an organist too ; for 'tis but laying out a little dirty money, and how can we lay it out better than in that service we offer up unto God ? And who should we better bestow it upon, if not upon him and his service ?"
“ • This is a very right and an absolute good resolve; persist in it and you will do well, and doubtless find much content and satisfaction in your so doing.
ú. For there lies linked to this an unknown and upapprehended great good benefit, which would redound certainly to all or most young children, who, by this means, would, in their minorities, be so sweetly tinctured or seasoned, as I may say, or brought into a kind of familiarity or acquaintance with the harmless iopocent delights of such pure and undefilable practices, as that it would be a great means to wio then to the love of virtue, and to disdain, contemn, and slight, those common, gross, ill practices, which most children are incident to fall into io their ordinary and accustomed pursuits.'
“ But lest bis arguments in favour of the general use of the organ shoula fail, the author, in the eighth chapter, shows how psalas may be periormed io churches without that instrumeot. In the eleventh and twellih chapters he treats of cathedral music, and lameots seriously its decline in this kingdom.
“ Io parochial psalmody the author recommends what he calls shortsquare-even, and uniform ayres, and is bold to say, that many of our psalm tunes are so excellently good, that art cannot mend them or make them better.' lo speaking of the difficulty of singing in tune, even with a good voice, he observes, that“ with an unskilful-inharmonious-ccarse-grained-hoarse-voice, it is impossible. T'is sad to bear what whining, tolling, yelling, or screcking there is in our country congregations, where, if there be no organ to compel them to harmonical unity, the people seem affrighted, or distracted." The liberal use of compounds by the ingenious Master Mace gives his language a very Grecian appearance.
“ The second part of the work treats of the lute, and professes to lay open all the secrets relating to that instrumeut, which, till the author's time, had only been known to the masters of the science.
«« The third part is on the viol and music in general; and in this be censures the abuse of music, in the disproportionate number of bass and treble instvikments in the concerts of his time, in which he says it was not unusual to hare but one small-weak-sounding bass-viol to two or three scolding violins, as he calls them.
“He gives directions for procuring and maintaining the best music imagioable, and exhibits, first, the plan of a music room contrived by himself for concerts, with galleries for auditors, capable of holding two hundred persons. The instruments are a table organ (an invention of his own) and a chest of viols, two violins, and basses of strength sufficient “ that they may not oul-cry the rest of the music.” To these he adds two theorboes, three full sized lyra-viols, lusty and smart speaking: because that in consort they often retort against the treble, imitating, and often standing instead of that part, a second treble. “ And being thus stored, you have a ready entertaininent for the greatest priuce in the world."
“He afterwards gives directions for playing the viol, with a few lessons by way of example; and concludes with a chapter on music io general, which, however, contains nothing more than some reflections of the author on the mysteries of music, which, he says, have a tendency to strengthen faith, and are a security against the sin of atheism.
“ Mace does not appear to have held any considerable rank among musicians, por is he celebrated either as a composer for, or a performer on, the lute. His book, however, proves him to have been an excellent judge of the instrument, and contains such a variety of directions as to render it a work of great utility. We find in it many curious observations on the choice of stringed iustruments, the various kinds of wood of which they are made, the method of preserving them, and the mode of using strings." (Vol. I. p. 248.)
We shall now present our readers with another extract of rather a different nature, which seems to give a greater sanction to the stories which are related of the power of music than any other history which we have read. Besides, we think that those of our readers who are jealous of our national honoúr will read with additional interest the history of a composer whose works appear to have been the study, and to have formed the style, of our countryman Henry Purcell.
“ Alessandro Stradella flourished about the middle of the seventeenth century. He was a fine singer and an excellent performer on the barp, an iostrument in which he took much delight. For some years be held the situation of composer to the Opera at Vepice, under an appoiotment from the magistrates of that republic.
“ He was likewise a teacher of music there; and, amongst others of whose instruction he had the superintendence, there was a young lady of rank, named Hortensia, who lived in a criminal intercourse with a Venetian nobleman. His frequent access to this lady produced a mutual affection, and they agreed to elope together. They embarked for Rome in a fine night, and, aided by a favourable wind, effected
« On discovering the lady's flight, the Venetian had recourse to the usual methods of the country in obtaining satisfaction for real or supposed injuries. He dispatched two assassins, with instructions to murder both Stradella and the lady wherever they should be found, giving them a sum of money in hand, and making them the promise of a larger sum if they succeeried in the attempt. Being arrived at Na-. ples, they were informed that those of whom they were in pursuit were at Rome, where the lady passed as Stradella’s wife : on this intelligence they wrote to their employer, requesting letters of recommendation to the Venetiap ambassador at Rome, in order to secure an asylum to which they could fly as soon as the deed was perpetrated.
“ Having received these letters, they made the best of their way to Rome. Ai their arrival they were informed, that on the evening of the succeeding day Stradella was to give an oratorio in the church of San Giovenni Laterano. They attended the performance, determining to follow the composer and his mistress out of the church, and, seizing a convenient opportunity, to make the fatal blow. The music soon afterwards commenced; but so exquisitely pathetic was it in some parts, that, long before it was concluded, the suggestions of humanity had begun to operate upon them. They were seized with remorse, and reflected with horror on the thought of depriving a man of life who could give to his auditors so much delight as they had felt. In short, they entirely desisted from their purpose, and determined, instead of
taking away his life, to exert all their efforts to preserve it. They awaited his coming out of the church, and, after first thanking him for the pleasure they had received in hearing his music, informed bim of the bloody errand on which they had been sent: expatiating on the irresistible charms - which, of savages, had made them men, and had rendered it impossible for them to effect their bloody purpose. They concluded by earnestly advising that he and the lady should depart immediately from Rome, promising that they would forego the remainder of the reward, and would deceive their employer, by making him believe they had quitted that city on the morning of their arrival.”
We shall make no further extracts, because we think that we have already quoted enough from the work to show our readers that they may expect some amusement from its perusal; and we purposely avoid extracting the accounts of those composers whose works are more generally known, because we wish to refer our readers to the work itself for their histories.
We must not, however, so far forget ourselves as to part with an author without finding some fault with his work; and as we cannot convict him of many positive failings, we must be content to notice his omissions. We do not mean to enter into an estimate of the talents and performances of the various composers whose memoirs are contained in the work before us; but while names wbich it would be invidious to mention are recorded, we cannot help being surprised at the omission of those of Lampugnani, Pleyel, Richter, Hoffineister, D'Alembert, Roussier, our own countrymen Callcott, Horsley, Clarke, King, and many others. We men. tion these names because they are the first which occur to us, without meaning to class them together, or to give any opinion on their respective merits; but surely their claim to notice is superior to that of some whose memoirs our author has taken the trouble to publish. We mention this the rather because he appears to contemplate a supplement, and even if their lives should furnish little that would be interesting, yet some account of their works would not be unacceptable.
In looking through the work before us we have been struck with one circumstance, which, we believe, has not been generally attended to. Music has been frequently compared with poetry and painting, but those who have made the coinparison do not appear to have paid sufficient attention to the different periods of time which they have respectively required to bring them to their present state of perfection. What was music in the days of Michael Angelo, Raphael, and Ariosto? what was it in England when Milton wrote and Lely painted ? Excepting occasionally in the music of the church, and in madrigals formed on the same model, we shall find little but a display of offensive pedantry, and an ostentation of difficulty and puerile contrivance.
« Ces sont des notes et rien que des notes; there is nothing in them which excites rapture. They may be heard by a lover of music with as little emotion as the clapper of a mill, or the rumbling of a postchaise.” We are aware that the period of which we have spoken has been mentioned as the time when inusic was at its highest perfection.--"Now I am upon this subject,” says Sir John Hawkins, * “ I will tell the reader a secret, which is, that music was in its greatest perfection from about the middle of the sixteenth to the beginning of the seventeenth century; when, with a variety of treble instruments, a vitious taste was introduced, and vocal harmony received its mortal wound. In this period flourished Luca Marenzio, Monteverde, Horatio Vecchi, Cifra, and the Prince of Venosa; and, to the honour of this nation, our own Tallis and Bird; and some years after, in the more elegant kinds of composition, such as madrigals, canzonets, &c., Wilbye, Weelkes, Bennet, Morley, Bateson, and others, whose works show deep skill and fine invention."
We have a great respect for the composers above named, and judging of them from such of their works as have reached us, we are not inclined to dispute their title to some portion of admiration. But when the worthy knight represents music as being at its highest perfection during their time, we can by no means agree with him. We may admire their science, and the ingenious contrivances of their compositions, but we will venture to say that the works of Handel alone contain, united with an equal degree of science, more melody, feeling, and expression, and infinitely more of
every thing that is lovely and impassioned in music, than is to be found in all their works. It is, however, unnecessary to contest this point, at least while we are speaking of the rapid progress of music, because if, in truth, it did arrive at its greatest perfection at the period to which Sir John Hawkins alludes, the space of time which it required to bring it to maturity was less than we imagine, and its progress more remarkable. At all events, we believe there are few, except those who “ love for antiquity's sake," who can admire any except the choral compositions of those days. The contemporary works of the poet and the painter still challenge our admiration; but who would care to hear performed 6
a fantasy for viols, or a monotonous ayre with a tablature for the lute?” Who would prefer “ choice ayres to synge to the theorbo” to the melodies of Handel or Pergolesi? In short, if we compare the progress of music during the three last centuries with that of other arts and sciences, we cannot but ob
• Notes on Walton's Angler, p. 287. Tol. IV. New Series. 67