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Full text of "A general history of music, from the earliest ages to the present period (1789)"

LIBRARY OF 
WELLESLEY COLLEGE 




PURCHASED FROM 

HARRIET A. SHAW PUUD 
20/BbT 



A QENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2011 with funding from 

Boston Library Consortium Member Libraries 



http://www.archive.org/details/generalhistoryof00burn2 




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A 

GENERAL HISTORY 

OF MUSIC 

From the Earliest Ages to the 

Present Period 

(1789) 

by 

CHARLES BURNEY 

Mus.D., F.R.S. 



VOLUME THE SECOND 
WITH CRITICAL AND HISTORICAL NOTES 

by 

FRANK MERCER 



New York 
HARCOURT, BRACE AND COMPANY 



APR 3 1941 



^0 \ % lo-] 

MUSIC LIBRARY 



Ml 



A. 



Made and printed in Great Britain 

by The Marshall Press Ltd., 
Miljord Lme, Strand, London, W.Q.I. 



CONTENTS 



Book III. 

Page 

Essay on Musical Criticism ... 7 

Chapter I. The Progress of Music in England from 
the Time of King Henry VIII to the Death of 
Queen Elizabeth. .,, , *.•* ••• ^ 

Chapter II. Of the'- State of Music in Italy during 
the Sixteenth Century : including an Account of 
Theorists, with the Progress of Practical Music 
in the Church, as well as of Madrigals, 
Ricercari, or Fantasias, and Secular Songs, of 
that Period 128 

Chapter III. Of the Progress of Music in 

Germany during the Sixteenth Century ... 201 

Chapter IV. Of the State of Music in France 

during the Sixteenth Century ... ... ... 210 

Chapter V. Of the Progress of Music in Spain 

during the Sixteenth Century ... ... ... 235 

Chapter VI. Concerning the Music of the 

Netherlands during the Sixteenth Century ... 242 

Chapter VII. Of the Progress of Music in England 
from the Death of Queen Elizabeth, till the end 
of the Seventeenth Century ... ... ... 260 

Chapter VIII. Of the Music of Italy in the Church 

and Chamber during the Seventeenth Century 411 

Chapter IX. Progress of the Violin in Italy, from 

the Sixteenth Century to the Present Time ... 433 

Chapter X. Of the Progress of Music in Germany 

during the Seventeenth Century ... ... 456 

Chapter XL Of the State of Music in France 

during the Seventeenth Century ... ... 464 

Chapter XII. ' Progress of Church Music in 

England after the death of Purcell ... ... 475 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

Book IV. 

Page 

Essay on the Euphony or Sweetness of 

Languages and their Fitness for Music ... 497 

Chapter I. Of the Invention of Recitative, and 
Establishment of the Musical Drama, or Opera, 
in Italy 506 

Chapter II. Rise and Progress of the Sacred 

Musical Drama, or Oratorio ... ... ... 560 

Chapter III. Of the Opera Buffa, or Comic-opera, 
and Intermezzi, or Musical Interludes, during 
the Seventeenth Century ... ... ... 592 

Chapter IV. Of Cantatas, or narrative Chamber- 
Music 601 

Chapter V. Attempts at Dramatic Music in 
England, previous to the Establishment of the 
Italian Opera 639 

Chapter VI. Origin of the Italian Opera in 
England, and its Progress there during the 
present Century ... ... ... ... ... 651 

Chapter VII. Progress of the Musical Drama at 

Venice, during present Century ... ... 905 

Chapter VIII. Progress of the Musical Drama at 
Naples, and account of the eminent composers 
and School of Counterpoint of that City ... 914 

Chapter IX. Opera Composers employed at 
Rome, and Tracts published in Italy on the 
Theory and Practice of Music, during the 
present Century ... ... ... ... ... 937 

Chapter X. Of the Progress of Music in Germany, 

during the present Century 941 

Chapter XI. Of the Music of France during the 

present Century ... ... ... ... ... 964 

Chapter XII. General State of Music in England 

during the present Century 983 

Conclusion 1024 



Appendix I. A Selection of Charles Burney's 

Letters 1027 

Appendix II. Memoir of Charles Burney 1043 

Appendix III. Some lesser-known Gramophone 

Records of Music referred to in this History ... 1053 

Indices 1055 



ESSAY ON 
MUSICAL CRITICISM 



AS Music may be defined the art of pleasing by the succession 
and combination of agreeable sounds, every hearer has a 
right to give way to his feelings, and be pleased or dissatisfied 
without knowledge, experience, or the fiat of critics; but then he has 
certainly no right to insist on others being pleased or dissatisfied 
in the same degree. I can very readily forgive the man who 
admires a different Music from that which pleases me, provided he 
does not extend his hatred or contempt of my favourite Music to 
myself, and imagine that on the exclusive admiration of any one 
style of Music, and a close adherence to it, all wisdom, taste, and 
virtue depend. 

Criticism in this art would be better taught by specimens of 
good composition and performance than by reasoning and specula- 
tion. But there is a certain portion of enthusiasm connected with 
a love of the fine arts, which bids defiance to every curb of criticism; 
and the poetry, painting, or Music that leaves us on the ground, 
and does not transport us into the regions of imagination beyond 
the reach of cold criticism, may be correct, but is devoid of genius 
and passion. There is, however, a tranquil pleasure, short of 
rapture, to be acquired from Music, in which intellect and sensation 
are equally concerned; the analysis of this pleasure is, therefore, 
the subject of the present short Essay; which, it is hoped, will 
explain and apologize for the critical remarks which have been 
made in the course of this History, on the works of great masters, 
and prevent their being construed into pedantry and arrogance. 

Indeed, musical criticism has been so little cultivated in our 
country, that its first elements are hardly known. In justice to the 
late Mr. Avison, it must be owned, that he was the first, and 
almost the only writer, who attempted it. But his judgment was 
warped by many prejudices. He exalted Rameau and Geminiani 
at the expence of Handel, and was a declared foe to modern 
German symphonies. There have been many treatises published 
on the art of musical composition and performance, but none to 
instruct ignorant lovers of Music how to listen, or to judge for 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

themselves. So various are musical styles, that it requires not only 
extensive knowledge, and long experience, but a liberal, enlarged, 
and candid mind, to discriminate and allow to each its due praise: 

Nullius addictus jurare in verba magistri. 

A critic should have none of the contractions and narrow partialities 
of such as can see but a small angle of the art; of whom there are 
some so bewildered in fugues and complicated contrivances that 
they can receive pleasure from nothing but canonical answers, 
imitations, inversions, and counter-subjects; while others are equally 
partial to light, simple, frivolous melody, regarding every species 
of artificial composition as mere pedantry and jargon. A chorus of 
Handel and a graceful opera song should not preclude each other : 
each has its peculiar merit; and no one musical production can 
comprise the beauties of every species of composition. It is not 
unusual for disputants, in all the arts, to reason without principles; 
but this, I believe, happens more frequently in musical debates 
than any other. By principles, I mean the having a clear and 
precise idea of the constituent parts of a good composition, and of 
the principal excellencies of perfect execution. And it seems, as 
if the merit of musical productions, both as to composition and 
performance, might be estimated according to De Piles' steel-yard, 
or test of merit among painters. If a complete musical composition 
of different movements were analysied, it would perhaps be found 
to consist of some of the following ingredients : melody, harmony, 
modulation, invention, grandeur, fire, pathos, taste, grace, and 
expression; while the executive part would require neatness, accent, 
energy, spirit, and feeling; and, in a vocal performer, or instru- 
mental, where the tone depends on the player, power, clearness, 
sweetness; brilliancy of execution in quick movements, and 
touching expression in slow. 

But as all these qualities are seldom united in one composer or 
player, the piece or performer that comprises the greatest number 
of these excellences, and in the most perfect degree, is entitled to 
pre-eminence : though the production or performer that can boast 
of any of these constituent qualities cannot be pronounced totally 
devoid of merit. In this manner, a composition, by a kind of 
chemical process, may be decompounded as well as any other 
production of art or nature. 

Prudent critics, without science, seldom venture to pronounce 
their opinion of a composition, decisively, till they have heard the 
name of the master, or discovered the sentiments of a professor; 
but here the poor author is often at the mercy of prejudice, or envy. 
Yet the opinion of professors of the greatest integrity is not equally 
infallible concerning every species of musical merit. To judge 
minutely of singing for instance, requires study and experience in 
that particular art. Indeed, I have long suspected some very great 
instrumental performers of not sufficiently feeling or respecting real 
good singing. Rapid passages neatly executed seem to please them 



ESSAY ON MUSICAL CRITICISM 

infinitely more than the finest messa di voce, or tender expression 
of slow notes, which the sweetest voice, the greatest art, and most 
exquisite sensibility can produce. They frequently refer all 
excellence so much to their own performance and perfections, that 
the adventitious qualities of singers who imitate a hautbois, a flute, 
or violin, are rated higher than the colouring and refinements that 
are peculiar to vocal expression; which instrumental performers 
ought to feel, respect, and try to imitate, however impossible it may 
be to equal them : approximation would be something, when more 
cannot be obtained. Of Composition and the genius of particular 
instruments, whose opinion, but that of composers and performers, 
who are likewise possessed of probity and candour, can be trusted? 
There are, alas ! but too many professors who approve of nothing 
which they themselves have not produced or performed. Old 
musicians complain of the extravagance of the young; and these 
again of the dryness and inelegance of the old. 

And yet, among the various styles of composition and perform- 
ance, the partial and capricious tastes of lovers of Music, and the 
different sects into which they are divided, it seems as if the following 
criteria would admit of little dispute. 

In Church Music, whether jubilation, humility, sorrow, or 
contrition are to be expressed, the words will enable the critic to 
judge; but of the degree of dignity, gravity, force, and originality 
of the composition, few but professors can judge in detail, though 
all of the general effect. 

In hearing Dramatic Music little attention is pointed by the 
audience to any thing but the airs and powers of the principal 
singers; and yet, if the character, passion, and importance of each 
personage in the piece is not distinctly marked and supported; if 
the airs are not contrasted with each other, and the part of every 
singer in the same scene specifically different in measure, compass, 
time, and style, the composer is not a complete master of his 
profession. 

Good singing requires a clear, sweet, even, and flexible voice, 
equally free from nasal and guttural defects. It is but by the tone 
of voice and articulation of words that a vocal performer is superior 
to an instrumental. If in swelling a note the voice trembles or 
varies its pitch, or the intonations are false, ignorance and science 
are equally offended; and if a perfect shake, good taste in embellish- 
ment, and a touching expression be wanting, the singer's reputation 
will make no great progress among true judges. If in rapid 
divisions the passages are not executed with neatness and articulation; 
or in adagios, if light and shade, pathos, and variety of colouring 
and expression are wanting, the singer may have merit of certain 
kinds, but is still distant from perfection. 

Of perfect performance on an instrument, who can judge 
accurately but those who know its genius and powers, defects and 
difficulties? What is natural and easy on one instrument, is often 
not only difficult but impracticable on an other. Arpeggios, for 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

instance, which are so easy on the violin and harpsichord, are almost 
impossible on the hautbois and flute. And the rapid iteration of 
notes which give the violin player such little trouble, are 
impracticable on the harpsichord with the same finger. Those 
instruments of which the tone and intonation depend on the player, 
as the violin, flute, hautbois, &c. are more difficult than harps and 
keyed-instruments, where the player is neither answerable for the 
goodness of the tone nor truth of intonation. However, there are 
difficulties on the harpsichord of another kind, to ballance the 
account, such as the two hands playing two different parts in 
dissimilar motion at once, and often three or four parts with each 
hand. Of a good shake, a sweet tone, and neat execution, almost 
every hearer can judge; but whether the Music is good or bad, the 
passages hard or easy, too much or too little embellished by the 
player, science and experience only can determine. 

In Chamber Music, such as cantatas, single songs, solos, trios, 
quartets concertos, and symphonies of few parts the composer has 
less exercise for reflection and intellect, and the power of pleasing 
in detached pieces by melody, harmony, natural modulation, and 
ingenuity of contrivance, fewer restraints, and fewer occasions for 
grand and striking effects, and expression of the passions, than in 
a connected composition for the church or the stage. Many an 
agreeable lesson, solo, sonata, and concerto, has been produced by 
musicians who would be unable to compose a Te Deum for voices 
and instruments, or to interest and satisfy an audience during a 
single act of an opera. We never have heard of Corelli, Geminiani, 
or Tartini attempting vocal melody, and the Music merely 
instrumental of the greatest vocal composers is often meagre, 
common, and insipid. There are limits set to the powers of every 
artist, and however universal his genius, life is too short for universal 
application. 

It was formerly more easy to compose than play an adagio, 
which generally consisted of a few notes that were left to the taste 
and abilities of the performer; but as the composer seldom found 
his ideas fulfilled by the player, adagios are now made more 
chantant and interesting in themselves, and the performer is less 
put to the torture for embellishments. 

In 1752, Quantz classed Quartettos at the head of instrumental 
Music, calling them the touch-stone of an able composer; adding, 
that they had not yet been much in fashion. The divine Haydn, 
however, has since that time removed all kind of complaint on that 
account, having produced such quartets for number and excellence, 
as have never been equalled in any species of composition at any 
other period of time. 

In composing and playing a Solo, the least complicated of all 
Music in parts- much knowledge, selection, invention, and refine- 
ment are necessary. Besides consulting the genius of the instrument 
and power of the performer, new, interesting, and shining passages 
must be invented, which will at once please and surprise the 



ESSAY ON MUSICAL CRITICISM 

hearer, and do honour to the composer and performer. And who 
can judge of the originality of the composition, its fitness for the 
instrument, or degree of praise due to the performer, but those who 
have either studied composition, practised the same instrument, 
or heard an infinite variety of Music and great performers of the 
same kind? 

The famous question, therefore, of Fontenelle : Sonate, que veux 
tu} to which all such recur as have not ears capable of vibrating 
to the sweetness of well-modulated sounds, would never have been 
asked by a real lover or judge of Music. But men of wit of all 
countries being accustomed to admiration and reverence in speaking 
upon subjects within their competence, forget, or hope the world 
forgets, that a good poet, painter, physician, or philosopher, is no 
more likely to be a good musician without study, practice, and 
good ears, than another man. But if a lover and judge of Music 
had asked the same question as Fontenelle; the Sonata should 
answer: " I would have you listen with attention and delight to 
the ingenuity of the composition, the neatness of the execution, 
sweetness of the melody, and the richness of the harmony, as well 
as to the charms of refined tones, lengthened and polished into 
passion." 

There is a degree of refinement, delicacy, and invention which 
lovers of simple and common Music can no more comprehend than 
the Asiatics harmony (a). It is only understood and felt by such 
as can quit the plains of simplicity, penetrate the mazes of art and 
contrivance, climb mountains, dive into dells, or cross the seas in 
search of extraneous and exotic beauties with which the monotonous 
melody of popular Music has not yet been embellished. What 
judgment and good taste admire at first hearing, makes no 
impression on the public in general, but by dint of repetition and 
habitude. A syllogism that is very plain to a logician, is incompre- 
hensible to a mind unexercised in associating and combining 
abstract ideas. The extraneous, and seemingly forced and affected 
modulation of the German composers of the present age, is only too 
much for us, because we have heard too little. Novelty has been 
acquired, and attention excited, more by learned modulation in 
Germany, than by new and difficult melody in Italy. We dislike 
both, perhaps, only because we are not gradually arrived at them; 
and difficult and easy, new and old, depend on the reading, hearing, 
and knowledge of the critic. The most easy, simple, and natural 
is new to youth and inexperience, and we grow nice and fastidious 
by frequently hearing compositions of the first class, exquisitely 
performed. 



(a) The Chinese, allowed to be the most ancient and longest civilised people existing, 
after repeated trials, are displeased with harmony, or Music in parts; it is too confused and 
complicated for ears accustomed to simplicity. 



A GENERAL HISTORY 
OF MUSIC 



t^> 



BOOK III 



u&* 



Chapter I 

The Progress of Music in England from the Time of 
King Henry VIII to the Death of Queen Elizabeth 



A SKETCH of the State of Music in this country during th8 
reign of Henry the Eighth, has already been given in the 
preceding volume; where cotemporary specimens have 
likewise been exhibited of the musical productions of our country- 
men. Though I can readily believe the motet (Quam pulcra es), 
which goes under the name of this Prince, fo be genuine, as it is 
not too masterly, clear, or unembarrassed for the production of a 
Royal Dilettanti; yet the anthem printed in Dr. Boyce's collection,* 
upon a more careful examination, seems not only too good for his 
Majesty, but almost for any other English master during his reign : 
however, though no marks of superior genius may be discoverable 
in his compositions, Henry, who was doubtless a judge and an 
encourager of the art, had, besides the household band on the 
establishment, according to the ancient custom of our Sovereigns 
(a), supernumerary musicians in his service; as we find in Rymer's 
Fcedera (b) a grant to William Betum of £20 sterling per annum 

(a) See Book II. p. 697. (b) Pro cafitoli Organista Regis. Rymer in anno. 

* This refers to "Cathedral music, being a collection in score of the most valuable and 
useful compositions for that service by the several "English masters of the last two hundred 
years" 3 vols., 1760-78; reprinted 1788. An enlarged edition was published in 1849. 

13 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

(c), A.D. 1537, and another grant of £50 per annum to the eldest 
of four brothers, musicials, of the name of Basam, 1540. The 
second brother had 2s. Ad. per diem, and the two youngest 20d. 
(d). 

The fluctuating state of religion in England, during this 
turbulent reign, was such as must have kept the inhabitants in 
perpetual terror both for soul and body; as what was ordered under 
severe pains and penalties to be practised and believed as necessary 
to salvation at one period, at another was pronounced illegal, 
heretical, and damnable. Music in the church, however, appears 
to have undergone no other change at this time than in being applied 
in some parts of the service to the English instead of the Latin 
language; but though choral music was not much affected by the 
small progress that was made in the reformation under this Prince, 
yet it was in frequent danger of utter abolition by the violence of 
the times, and fanaticism of the most furious reformers. 

After Henry's breach with the Roman Pontiff, several slight 
alterations were made in the Liturgy, yet still the service was in 
Latin, and sung in the usual manner. 

The King's Primer, in English, was published in 1535. 

In 1536, Tyndal's translation of the whole Bible was not only 
printed, but ordered to be received into churches. 

In 1538, a folio translation of the Bible was ordered to be had 
in every church; this was Tyndal's, with a few alterations by 
Coverdale. 

In 1539, the Bloody Act, or Six Articles of Convocation, passed; 
and in the same year, a book of Ceremonies was published, in 
which (e) is the following passage favourable to choral music: 
" The sober, discrete, and devout singing, music, and playing with 
organs, used in the church, in the service of God, are ordained to 
move and stir the people to the sweetness of Godis word, the 
which is ther sung : and by that sweet harmony both to excite them 
to prayer and devotion, and also to put them in remembraunce 
of the heavenly triumphant church, where is everlasting joy, 
continual laud, and praise to God (/)." 

On the contrary, the furious reformers, according to one of 
The Seventy-eight Fautes and Abuses of Religion, in the Protestation 
of the Clargie of the Lower House within the province of 
Canterbury, presented to the King 1536, declared, that " Synging, 
and saying of mass, matins, or even song, is but roryng, howling, 
whistelyng, mumrrrying, conjuring, and jogelyng, and the playing 
at the organys a foolish vanitie (g)." 

At Henry's funeral, however, all the ceremonies of the Romish 
church seem to have been performed in the ancient manner: 

(c) William Beton, organ-maker, had likewise a salary of 20I. a year from Edward VI. 

(d) Rymer in anno. 

(«) Sect. Service of the Church. 

if) Strype's Eccles. Memorials. Append, to Vol. I. p. 284. 

(g) lb. Append. 178. 

14 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

" Wednesday 16th Feb. 1547, the Bishop of Ely began the mass 
of the Trinity. His Dean and Subdeacon were two Bishops mitred, 
which mass was solemnly sung in prick-song di scant, and organ 
playing, to the offertory (h)." — " Then three Bishops came down 
to the herse; after them followed the Archbishop of Canterbury, 
and stood a little behind the Bishops with his crosses. Then the 
Quire with one voice did sing circumdederunt me, with the rest of 
the canticle funeral; and the Bishops censing the corps, with 
ceremonies thereunto appertaining (i). When the mold was brought 
and cast in the grave by the Prelate executing, at the words 
pulverem pulveri, and cinerem cineri (k), first the Lord Great 
Chaumberlain and al others aforesaid in order, with heavy and 
dolorous lamentations brake their staves, &c. with exceeding sorrow 
and heaviness, not without grievous sighs and tears very piteous 
and sorrowful to behold. — Then the trumpets sounded with great 
melody and courage, to the comfort of al them that were there 
present (/). And al these things were don afore six of the clock 
of the same day (m)." 

Edward VI [r. 1547-53] 

Music seems not to have been omitted in the education of 
Henry's successor, Edward VI. For not only Cardan, in his 
character of this young Prince (n), tells us, that " he was not 
ignorant of Logic, of the principles of Natural Philosophy, nor of 
Music." But in his own journal, preserved in the collection of 
records, &c. in the appendix to Burnet's History of the Reformation 
(o), he says, July 20th, 1550, " M. le Mareschal St. Andre, the 
French Ambassador, came to me in the morning to mine arraying, 
and saw my bed-chamber, and went a hunting with hounds; and 
saw me shoot, and saw all my guards shoot together. He dined 
with me, heard me play on the lute, (saw me) ride; came to me 
to my study; supped with me, and so departed to Richmond." 

The musical establishments of the Houshold and Chapel Royal, 
during this reign, seem to have been nearly as ample as those of 
any other English Sovereign, before or after this period (p). And 
as not only the number and name's, but the salaries of the several 
musicians in the service of the Court, during this reign, are 

(A) Strype, Vol. II. Repository, p. 15, from an ancient MS. (i) lb. p. 17. 

(k) Here is a proof that the service was still in Latin. 

(I) This was after proclaiming King Edward. (m) Ibid. 

(») See Burnet's Hist. Ref. part. ii. p. 2. (o) Part ii. p. 31. 

{p) Those of Edward IV. have been given in the Second Book, p. 697, from the Liber 
Niger, whence the "Chaplenes and Gentlemen Clerkes of the Chappelle," to the number of 
twenty-four, should have been added: for it appears that the knowledge of Music was a 
necessary qualification to their election by the Dean of the Chapel; as they were required to 
be "endowed with uirtues morrolle and specikatyve, as of the Musicke, shewing (f. knowing, 
well seen) in descante, clean uoyced, well releshed and pronounsinge. Eloquente in readings, 
suffityente in organes playinge," &c. Here it is necessary to correct a mistake that was made 
in the reference to the Liber Niger Domus Regis, in the Second Book, p. 697, where, instead 
of these words, "as oublished, with additions, by Batman," the reader should be directed to No. 
293, of the Harl. MSS. in the British Museum, and to No. 1147, 2, 3, 11, of the Ashmol. Collect. 
Oxi. tor Ordinances touching the King's Household, made in the time of Edward II. as well as 
in that of Edward IV. 

15 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 



recorded in a MS. of the British Museum, 
the reader in the language of the times. 



I shall present them to 



AND PLAYERS. 



hauing by the 



Harpers. 

Singers. 

Rebecke. 

Sagbuts. 

Vyalls. 



Bagpiper. 
Minstrilles. 



MUSITIONS 

Trumpeters 

Serjeante. Benedict Browne 

Trumpeters, in No. 16, euery of them 

yere 24I. 6s. 8d. 

Luters. Philip Van Welder, and Peter Van Welder 

William Moore 

Bernard De Ponte 

Thomas Kent and Thomas Bowde, gl. 2s. td. each . . 

John Seuernicke 

In number six, whereof five hauinge 24/. 6s. 8d. by 

the yere, and one at 36/. 10s 

In number 8, whereof 6 at 30/. 8s. 4d. the yeere, and 

one at 2/. and another at 18/. 5s 

Richard Woodward 

In noumber 9, whereof 7 at 18I. 5s. a piece, 1 at 

24I. 6d. 8d. and 1 at 3/. 6s. 8d 

Dromslades (q). In noumber 3, whereof Robert Bruer, master 

drummer 

Alexander Pencax and John Hodgkin, 18Z. 

5s. a piece 

Players on the Flutes : Oliver Rampons 

Pier Guye 

Players on Virginals (r) : John Heywoode 

Anthony de Chounte 

Robert Bewman 

Musitions Straungers : 

The four brethren Venetians, viz. John, Anthonye, 

Jasper, and Baptiste 

Augustine Bassane 

William Trosses and William Deniuat 

Players of Interludes, in noumber 8 : 

Euery of them at 3/. 16s. 8d. by yeere Camera 7, 23*. 

6s. 8d. in Sccio, one 3/. 6s. 8d 

Makers of Instruments: William Beton, Organ-maker 
William Tresorer, Regal-maker 

Sumi 
Total noumber of persons 

OFFICERS OF THE CHAPPELL. 

Master of the Children, Richard Bowyer: 

Largess to the children at high feasts 

Allowance for breakfast for the childre . 
Gentlemen of the Chappell 32, euery of them yd. 



Fee 


i s. 
24 6 


d. 
8 


Fee 
Fee 
Fee 

Fee 


389 6 
40 
18 5 
20 

IS 5 
24 6 


8 






8 


Fee 


158 3 


4 


Fee 
Fee 
Fees 


220 15 
12 3 

127 15 
27 13 




4 


4 




18 5 





Ff>e 
Fee 
fee 
Fee 
Fee 


36 10 
18 5 
34 8 
50 
30 8 
12 3 





4 

4 
4 


Fee 
Fee 
Fee 


16 6 
36 10 
76 


8 
J 



Fee 
Fee 
Fee 


26 13 
20 
50 


4 




totalis 


1732 
73 


c 


Fee 


40 
9 13 
16 




4 




Emery Tuckfield 

Robt. Chamberleyn 

Willm. Barber 

John Bendebowe 

Robt. Morecock 

Richd. Alyeworth 

Thos. Palfreyman 

Richd. Farrant 

John Kye 

John Angel 

Win. Huchins 
2 at 4<2. ob. a day either of them 
5 at 4d. the day euery of them 
Hugh Williams, at 40s. a yeere 



Nich. Archibald 
Willm. Grauesend 
Robt. Richmounte 
Willm. Mawpley 
Robert Phelips 
Thos. Birde 
Robt. Perry 
Thos. Wayte 
Thos. Talles 
Thos. Wright 
Robert Stone 



ob 



a day : 

William Walker 
Richd. Bowyer 
Nich. Millowe 
George Edwards 
J. Shepparde 
Wm. Hynnes, 

or Hunnes 
Thos. Manne 
Roger Kenton 
Lucas Caustell 
Edward Addams 



Summa Totalis 



365 



46 2 I 



476 15 5 



Musitions, 73 

Officers of the Chappell, 41 

Total of both 



1732 o 
476 15 5 Number of persons 114. 



2209 5 



(?) Perhaps from Trommel schlager, drum-beater. Germ* 

(r) The Virginal is a keyed instrument of one string, jack, and quill, to each note, like 
a spinet; but in shape resembling the present small Piano-forte. It has been imagined to have 
been invented in England during the _ reign of Queen Elizabeth, and to have been thus 
denominated in honour of that virgin Princess; but we have here not only a proof of its use in 
this kingdom before she was Queen, but a drawing and description of it appeared in Luscinius's 
Musurgia, before she was born.** 

* The word is from the Dutch "Dromstade," meaning a drummer. The variant 
"Drumsted" is also used. ,.-•.. 

■**This is not correct. The Musurgia of Luscinius, which is chiefly a Latin translation of 
Virdung's Musica getutscht appeared in 1536. Elizabeth was born in 1533. . ... 

16 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

The number of boys in the chapel is not specified, though 
there is an allowance for their maintenance and teaching. 

In the journal of this amiable young Prince, we find that use 
was made of these musicians upon all great occasions : for he tells 
us, that, April 29th, 1549, " The Count d'Enguien, brother to 
the Duke of Vendosme, and next heir to the Crown (of France) after 
the King's children; the Marquis de Means, (Meun) brother to the 
Scotch Queen; and Monsieur Montmorency, the Constable's son, 
came to the Court, where they were received with much Mustek at 
dinner." And the next year, when he was visited by the Queen 
Dowager of Scotland, after a great public entertainment, which 
was given with the utmost splendour and magnificence, to this 
Princess, in Westminster, he says, "After dinner, when she had 
heard some Mustek, I brought her to the Hall, and so she went 
away." And it appears that Music, which, at present, only 
augments the noise and confusion of a city feast, was thought, 
during the sixteenth century, the most elegant regale that could be 
given to Princes in every Court of Europe. An engraving, by 
Hollar, from an ancient illumination, and inserted in Ashmole's 
History of the Order of the Garter (s), represents Ferdinand, Prince 
of Spain, on the day of his investiture, sitting with the habit and 
ensigns of the Order, attended by the four Commissioners of 
Legation, two on each side; on the left are the officers of his Court, 
and on his right two men and a boy, each singing out of a Music 
Paper, and behind them three other persons, supposed likewise to 
be singing. Glareanus, at the end of his Dodecachordon, in 
relating the circumstance already mentioned in the Second Book 
(t), of Lewis XII. of France desiring Jusquin to compose a song 
for him, in which he could bear a part, tells us, that it was 
produced the next day, after dinner, at the time that his Majesty 
usually called for Music (u). 

Indeed, according to Roger Ascham (x), the Emperor Charles 
V. was entertained with Music, during his repast, in the manner 
of my Lord Mayor; for he tells us, in a letter written from Augsburg, 
January 20, 1551, that he had stood by the Emperor's table, and 
that " his Chapel sung wonderful cunningly all the dinner while." 
This seems an abuse of Music; for though one of the Benedictine 
monastic rules is, that " no Monk shall speak a word in the 
refectory during meals;" and another says, " Let them listen to 
the lecturer reading scripture to them whilst they feed themselves," 
a rule that is still observed in our Universities by the under 
graduates in the halls of some of the colleges, during dinner; yet 
we may suppose that the original intention of these lectures was 
to counteract sensuality. But Music at a city feast, by interrupting 
conversation, has a contrary effect, and serves only to enforce the 

(s) P. 404- (i) P. 737- 

(m) Postridie quum pransus fuisset Rex, ac Cantilenis more Regio recreandus esset. 
(x) See his works, published by Bennet, p. 375. 
VOL. ii. 2. 17 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

precept, Hoc age, by telling the company that at such times "Delays 
are dangerous (y)." 

It was during the reign of Edward VI. that Metrical Psalmody, 
in the same manner that it is still practised in our parochial 
churches, had its beginning, or at least became general in England, 
by the version of Thomas Sternhold, John Hopkins, and others; 
which, though it now appears bald, coarse, and despicable, was 
then equally refined with the poetical taste of the most polite 
courtiers and polished scholars of the nation (z). But time, which 
has added strength and energy to the prose translation of the Psalms, 
as well as other parts of Scripture, and made them still more 
venerable, has rendered the verse of these translators a disgrace to 
our literature and religion. But I shall trace this manner of singing 
hereafter to a much higher period, and give a chronological account 
of its progress in the principal reformed churches, till the close of 
the sixteenth century; as the subject seems to require a particular 
description.* 

With respect to the cathedral service, as far as concerns chanting 
and the responses in unison, an ample account has been given, in 
the Second Book (a), concerning the manner in which it was set 
and published by John Marbeck, in 1550; but to resume the 
consideration of Choral Music from the death of Henry VIII. and 
to point out by what degrees the great work of reformation was 
accomplished, I shall give a chronological summary of the principal 
events relative to Music in our Ecclesiastical History, from the best 
writers on the subject. 

(y) Indeed, in these important moments, no conversation can be carried on without 
manifest loss; for during the shortest story that can be told, or even the mere repetition o4 a 
bon mot, the fat of a haunch of venison, or, which is still a greater misfortune, the whole 
calapask and calapee of a turtle have disappeared ! 

A friend of the author, having been invited two or three successive years to an annual 
venison feast, found at last, that being less a helluo than the rest of the company, he had 
constantly lost his dinner by telling a long story of an uncommon malady which had carried 
off his father; but the next time he was invited to meet the same company, when a wag, who 
sat near him, wishing to employ him again in the same manner, that he might avail himself 
of his inactivity, begged him, just as the haunch was served, to relate the manner in which his 
father died; my friend, to cut the matter short, said, "Sir, my father died suddenly," — and 
immediately went to work with as much vigour as the rest. 

(z) Fuller, in his quaint and quibbling way, tells us that Sternhold, "who was Groom of 
the Robes to Henry VIII, and afterwards of the Bed-chamber to Edward VI. was one of them 
who translated the Psalms into English meeter, being then accounted an excellent poet; though 
he who wore bayes then, deserves not ivie now." 

Church Hist, of Brit. Vol. I. Cent. XVI. Book v. p. 252, publ. 1655. 

(a) See p. 803. 

* Sternhold's translation was not the first effort. The elder, Sir Thos. Wyat [1503-42] had 
translated the seven penitential psalms, whilst three others had been done by the Earl of 
Surrey. Miles Coverdale had also issued thirteen of the better known psalms. Coverdale's 
version was based upon early German hymn books and entitled. 

"Goostly psalmes and spirituall songes drawen out of the holy Scripture, for the coforte and 
consolacyon of such as loue to rejoyce in God and his worde" (no date, but probably c 1539-46). 

The only known copy of this work is in the Queen's College Library at Oxford, but a 
reprint was made in 184O by the Parker Society. 

Sternhold's collection (without music) was published by Whitchurche in 1549 with the title: 

"Certayne Psalmes chosen out of the Psalter of David and drawen into English Metre by 
Thomas Sternhold, Grome of ye Kynges Majesties Robes." 

In the same year the same publisher issued an enlarged edition : 

"All such psalmes of David as Thomas Sternhold late grome of ye Kinges Maiesties Robe 
didde in his lyfetime draw into English Metre." 

Of the additions Sternhold was responsible for 18 and J. Hopkins for seven. There was 
no music in this edition. 

In 1549, R. Crowley published a metrical translation of the whole psalter with music. This 
is the earliest known volume with music. There is a copy at Brasenose College, Oxford. 

18 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

The compline, being a part of the Evening Prayer, a kind of 
final chorus, was sung in English in the King's chapel, 1547, before 
any act of Parliament enjoined it (b). 

In the 21st injunction, 1547, "and that in time of high mass, 
he that sayeth or singeth a Psalm, shall read the Epistle and Gospel 
in English (c)." 

23d — " Immediately before high mass the litany shall be 
distinctly said or sung, &c. {d)." 

The same year the compline was sung in the King's chapel on 
Monday in Easter week, April 11th, in the English tongue. 

On the 19th of June, at St. Paul's, and in other London 
churches, a dirige was sung for the death of Francis I. of France, 
and next day the Archbishop of Canterbury sung a mass of requiem 
in the choir of St. Paul (e). 

In September the litany was sung in the English tongue at St. 
Paul's, Bishop Bonner being in the Fleet prison. Images taken down 
soon after. 

The English Liturgy, or Book of Common Prayer, was published, 
and ordered to be generally used, 1548; but the books could not be 
furnished to the whole kingdom till next year, 1549, when on 
Whitsunday it was first used in St. Paul's church. This year all 
antiphonaries, missals, breviaries, offices, horaries, primers, and 
processionals, were called in, and destroyed. Calvin, Peter Martyr, 
Bucer and the Zwinglians, breed schisms among the reformers, 
and augment the number of puritans and fanatics throughout the 
nation (/). 

It seems as if, till this reign, 1549, parish churches had used 
the plain chant as well as cathedrals : for at a visitation this year, 
complaint was made that the priests read the prayers with the same 
tone of voice that they had used formerly in the Latin service (g), 
&c. however, in the Forty-one [42 Articles] Articles of Religion, 
prepared in this reign, 1551, not a word is said concerning 
cathedral chanting, musical service, or parochial psalmody. 
Edward, who died July 6th, 1553, was buried by Archbishop 
Cranmer, according to the reformed rites of the church, August 8th, 
though .Mary was his successor. 

The principal composers of services and full anthems during 
the short reign of Edward, were Dr. Christopher Tye, John 
Shephard, Robert Johnson, Robert Parsons, Robert White, Richard 
Farrant, and Thomas Tallis. Dr. Tye,* though not inserted in 
the list of Musicians of the Chapel Royal or Household in this 
reign, was doubtless at the head of all our ecclesiastical composers 

(b) Strype's Memorials, Vol. II. p. 25. See too Heylin's Hist, of the Reformation, p. 42. 
Fuller's Church Hist. Vol. 1. p. 406. Burnet, Vol. I. p 333. And Collier, Vol. I. p. 263. 

(c) Heylin's Eccles. Hist. p. 35. [d) lb. p. 36. 
(e) lb. p. 40. (/) lb. 

{g) Burnet, Part ii. p. 101. 

* There is no mention in the Chapel Royal cheque book or in the Lord Chamberlain's 
Tye published in 1553 he speaks of himself as "Doctor in Musyke, and one of the Gentylmen of 
records of Dr. Tye being a member of the Chapel Royal. In "The Acts of the Apostles" which 
hys Graces most honourable Chappell." 

19 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

of that period: Neither the state of the church, nor religious 
principles of its nominal members, were so settled as to render it 
possible to determine, in these times, who among quiet and obedient 
subjects were protestants, and who catholics; for, during the conflict 
between the zealots of both religions, the changes were so violent 
and rapid, that great flexibility or great dissimulation must have 
been practised by those who not only escaped persecution, but still 
continued in offices, either of Church or State. The few who 
seem to have been truly pious and conscientious on both sides, 
suffered martyrdom in support of their opinions; the rest seem to 
have been either unprincipled or fluctuating between the two 
religions. One of the principal evils which the champions for reforma- 
tion combated, was the use of the Latin language in the service of 
the church; however, the best choral compositions produced by the 
masters of these times, that are come down to us, are to Latin 
words. Specimens have been already given (h) of Dr. Tye's clear 
and masterly manner of composing for the church in that language, 
when he was at least a nominal catholic, either during the reign 
of Henry VIII. or Queen Mary; and the late worthy Dr. Boyce 
has given an admirable example of his abilities in the anthem for 
four voices, " I will exalt thee, O Lord," inserted in the second 
volume of his excellent Collection of Cathedral Music, by English 
Masters. There is hardly any instance to be found in the productions 
of composers for the church during his time, of a piece so constantly 
and regularly in any one key as this is in the key of C minor, and 
its relatives; the harmony is pure and grateful; the time and melody, 
though not so marked and accented as in those of the best composi- 
tions of the present century, are free from pedantry, and the 
difficulties of complicated measures, which this composer had the 
merit of being one of the first to abandon (t). That he translated 
the first fourteen chapters of the Acts of the Apostles into metre, in 
imitation of Sternhold's Psalms, which were the delight of the 
Court in which he lived, was doubtless an absurd undertaking, 
and was not rendered less ridiculous by the elaborate music to which 
he set them, consisting of fugues and canons of the most artificial 
and complicated kind (&). Dr. Tye, however, if compared with 
his cotemporaries, was perhaps as good a poet as Sternhold, and as 
great a musician as Europe could then boast; and it is hardly fair 
to expect more perfection from him, or to blame an individual 
for the general defects of the age in which he lived.* 

(h) Book II., p. 811. 

(0 The point, in the second part of his anthem, to these words, "Thou hast turned my 
sorrow into joy," is admirable in respect of harmony and contrivance; indeed, I can 
recollect nothing in Palestrina or Tallis superior to it. 

(ft) Mr. Warton (Hist, of Poetry, Vol. III. p. 192), seems to take literally what the 
author in his dedication to Edward VI. says of his notes; but he only assumes that coquettish 
kind of modesty which is expected from an author, in speaking of his own productions : and 
when he says, "though they be not curious," he does not mean that they were "plain and 
unisonous:" nor was that "the established character of this sort of Music." 

* Tye's settings of the Acts of the Apostles are, on the whole, simple and melodious, but 
in one or two some complexities occur Burney could not have examined the entire collection 
and Davy (p. 130) suggests that his criticism is based upon the elaborate double Canon given 
by Hawkins. 

20 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

Of Shepherd, Johnson, and Parsons, notice has already been 
taken, and a specimen of the composition of each inserted in the 
preceding volume. Richard Farrant, one of the Gentlemen of 
Edward's and Elizabeth's chapel, and some time Master of the 
children of St. George's chapel at Windsor, died about 1585.* 
Dr. Boyce has published several of his productions, which are 
grave and solemn, but somewhat dry and uninteresting. As White 
and Tallis chiefly distinguished themselves during the time of Queen 
Elizabeth, we shall class them among composers of that reign. 



Queen Mary [r. 1553-8] 

During the short reign of Queen Mary, Ecclesiastical Music 
was again transferred to Latin words, which seems to have been 
the principal change that the renewal of Roman catholic rites and 
ceremonies had occasioned in choral singing; as metrical psalmody 
had not yet been generally received in our parochial churches, 
though a proviso was made for it, in the Act of Uniformity for 
the use of the Common Prayer, so early as the reign of Edward VI. 

This gloomy and bigotted Princess was herself a performer on 
the virginals and lute, as appears by a letter sent to her by Queen 
Katherine, her mother, after her separation from the King, in which 
" she encourages her to suffer chearfully, to trust to God, and keep 
her heart clean. She charged her in all things to obey the King's 
commands, except in matters of religion. She sent her two Latin 
books, the one De Vita Christi, and the other the Epistles of St. 
Jerom; in them, says the Queen, I trust you shall see good things. 
And sometimes, for your recreation, use your virginals, or lute, 
if you have any (/)." 

Fuller tells us (m), that " eight weeks and upwards passed 
between the proclaiming of Queen Mary and her assembling the 
Parliament : ** during which time two religions were together set on 
foot, Protestantisme and Poperie; the former hoping to be continued, 
the latter labouring to be restored: — and during this interim the 
churches and chapels in England had a mongrel celebration of their 
divine services betwixt reformation and superstition. For the 
obsequies for King Edward were held by the Queen in the Tower, 
August 7th, 1553, with the dirige sung in Latin, and on the morrow 
a masse of requiem, and on the same day his corps were buried at 
Westminster with a sermon service, and communion in English." 

In October following, the laws of her predecessor, Edward, 
concerning religion, were all repealed. And in November 1554, 

(I) Collect, of Records to Burnet's Hist. Ref. Part. ii. p. 242. No. 2. 

(w) Ch. Hist of Brit. cent. xvii. b. viii. 

* Farrant died before 1585. There are two entries in the Cheque Book, one giving his 
death as occurring on 30th Nov., 1580, and the other on 30th Nov., 1581. 

** Mary's first Parliament met on Oct. 5th, 1553. 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

Bishop Bonner "set up the old worship at Paul's, on St. Katherine's 
day; and it being the custom, that on some holy-days, the quire 
went up to the steeple to sing the anthems, that fell on that 
night: — and the next day, being St. Andrew's, he did officiate 
himself, and had a solemn procession (»).'* 

After this period, during the subsequent years of Mary's reign, 
the public service was every where performed in the Roman 
catholic manner, throughout the kingdom ; and we may imagine, 
that the numerous compositions to Latin words, which have been 
preserved, of Dr. Tye, White, Tallis, Bird, and the rest of our 
most eminent harmonists, were produced and performed at this 
time, while the Romish religion had the ascendant. And indeed 
it appears by a record now in the possession of the Antiquarian 
Society, that the list of Mary's chapel establishment contains nearly 
the same names as those which have been already given in that of 
her brother Edward. 



Queen Elizabeth [r. 1558-1603] 

In speaking of Choral Music during the long and prosperous 
reign of Queen Elizabeth, our nation's honour seems to require 
a more diffuse detail than at any other time : for perhaps we never 
had so just a claim to equality with the rest of Europe, where Music 
was the most successfully cultivated, as at this period ; when indeed 
there was but little melody any where. Yet, with respect to 
harmony, canon, fugue, and such laboured and learned 
contrivances as were then chiefly studied and admired, we can 
produce such proofs of great abilities in the compositions of our 
countrymen, as candid judges of their merit must allow to abound 
in every kind of excellence that was then known or expected. 

Elizabeth, as well as the rest of Henry VIII. 's children, and 
indeed all the Princes of Europe at that time, had been taught 
Music early in life. For Camden (o), in giving an account of 
her studies, says, that " she understood well the Latin, French, 
and Italian tongues, and (was) indifferently well seen in the Greek. 
Neither did she neglect Musicke, so far forthe as might become a 
Princess, being able to sing, and play on the lute prettily and 
sweetly." 

There is reason to conclude that she continued to amuse herself 
with Music many years after she ascended the Throne. Sir James 
Melvil (p) gives an account of a curious conversation which he had 
with this Princess, to whom he was sent on an embassy by Mary 
Queen of Scots, in 1564. After her Majesty had asked him how 

(«) Burnet's Hist. Ref. Part ii. p. 276. 

(0) Annates, or the History of Elizabeth, late Queen of England. Transl. by R N Gent. 
^d edit. 1635. fol. p. 6. 

(p) Memoirs, 2d edit. Edinburgh 1735. 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

his Queen dressed? What was the colour of her hair? Whether 
that or her's was best? Which of them two was fairest? And 
which of them was highest in stature? " Then she asked what 
kind of exercises she used? " " I answered," says Melvil, " that 
when I received my dispatch, the Queen was lately come from 
the Highland hunting: that when her more serious affairs 
permitted, she was taken up with reading of histories: that 
sometimes she recreated herself in playing upon the lute and 
virginals. She asked if she played well? I said, reasonably for a 
Queen (q)." 

" The same day after dinner, my Lord of Hunsden drew me 
up to a quiet gallery, that I might hear some Musick, (but he said 
that he durst not avow it), where I might hear the Queen play 
upon the virginals. After I had hearkened a while, I took by 
the tapestry that hung before the door of the chamber, and 
seeing her back was toward the door, I entered within the chamber, 
and stood a pretty space hearing her play excellently well. But 
she left off immediately, so soon as she turned about and saw me. 
She appeared to be surprised to see me, and came forward, seeming 
to strike me with her hand ; alledging, she used not to play before 
men, but when she was solitary, to shun melancholy. She asked 
how I came there? I answered, as I was walking with my Lord 



(q) This Princess, besides her personal cnarms, captivating powers of conversation, 
knowledge of six several languages, and a sufficient skill in Music for a person of her high rank, 
had an inclination, at least, towards Poetry. Brantome says, "Elle se meloit d'etre Poete 
et composoit des vers, dont j'ai vu aucuns dc beaux et tres bien-faits," &c. The following 
specimen of her versification is given in the Diet, du Vieux Langage, p. 337. 

Chanson de Marie Stuart, Reine d'Ecosse, en i>artant de 
Calais pour Londres. 

Adieu plaisant pays de France, 
ma patrie la plus cheriel 
Que a norrit ma jeune enfance. 
Adieu France, adieu mes beaux jours\ 
La nef qui dijoint nos amours, 
N'a cy de moi que la moitie, 
Une part te reste, elle est tienne, 
Je la fie a ton amitie, 
Pour que de Vautre il te souvienne. 

Song written by Mary Queen of Scots in sailing from 
Calais to London, 1560. 

Farewell the sweet, the ever blest abode ! 
Farewell the country to my soul most dear! 
Where none but pleasure's flow'ry paths I trod. 
Far from the gloomy haunts of strife and fear. 
The ship that wafts me from thy happy shore. 
Is only freighted with the meaner partf ; 
And, while my youthful pleasures I deplore, 
Leaves thee in full possession of my heart. 

There is in the British Museum, No. 1265, a cantata, set by Giacomo Carisshni, on the 
death of this Princess, which begins by a recitative, in which she addresses herself to the 
executioner : Ferma, lascia ch'io parli; this is followed by an air, in adagio, that is full of 
uncommon simplicity, and energy of passion : A morire, a morire; but it is too soon as yet to 
give specimens of such music. 

t Shakspeare has the same thought in his lxxiv. sonnet : 
" My spirit's thine, the better part of me" — 

See Suppl. to Johnson and Steevens's edit. Vol. I. p. 640. 

23 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

Hunsden, as we passed by the chamber door, I heard such a melody 
as ravished me, whereby I was drawn in ere I knew how ; excusing 
my fault of homeliness, as being brought up in the Court of France 
where such freedom was allowed ; declaring myself willing to 
endure what kind of punishment her Majesty should be pleased to 
inflict upon me for so great offence. Then she sate down low 
upon a cushion, and I upon my knees by her ; but with her own 
hand she gave me a cushion, to lay under my knee ; which at first 
I refused, but she compelled me to take it. — She enquired whether 
my Queen or she played best. In that I found myself obliged to 
give her the praise." 

If her Majesty was ever able to execute any of the pieces that are 
preserved in a MS. which goes under the name of Queen Elizabeth' s 
Virginal Book, she must have been a very great player: as some of 
these pieces, which were composed by Tallis, Bird, Giles, Farnaby, 
Dr. Bull, and others, are so difficult, that it would be hardly 
possible to find a master in Europe who would undertake to play 
one of them at the end of a month's practice. But of this MS. 
we shall have further occasion to speak hereafter. 

Besides the lute and virginals, it has been imagined that 
Elizabeth was a performer on the violin, and on an instrument 
something like a lute, but strung with wire, and called the 
poliphant* (r). A violin of a singular construction, with the arms 
of England, and the crest of Dudley, Earl of Leicester, this Queen's 
favourite, engraved upon it, was purchased at the sale of the late 
Duke of Dorset's effects. The date of its make, 1578 (s). It is 
very curiously carved ; but the several parts are so thick and 
loaded with ornaments, that it has not more tone than a mute, or 
violin with a sordine ; and the neck, which is too thick for the 
grasp of the hand, has a hole cut in it for the thumb of the player, 
by which the hand is so confined as to be rendered incapable of 
shifting, so that nothing can be performed upon this instrument 
but what lies within the reach of the hand in its first position. 
Playford (t) tells us, that " Queen Elizabeth was not only a lover 
of this divine science (Music) but a good proficient therein ; and I 
have been informed (says he) by an ancient musician, and her 
servant, that she did often recreate herself on an excellent 
instrument, called the poliphant, not much unlike a lute, but strung 
with wire." 

Among the Sloane MSS. in the British Museum, No. 1520, 
there is a list of the officers of the Court of Revenue in this reign ; 

(r) Quere, polyphon'i from ojoXvs multus, 4><° vr li vox, sonus: i.e., an instrument of 
many strings, or sounds. 

(s) The instrument is at present the property of Mr. Bremner, in the Strand. It is from 
the arms and crest that are engraved upon it, that conjecture has made Queen Elizabeth 
its original possessor. 

(t) Pref. to his Introduction, nth edit. 1687. 

* A drawing of this instrument is in the B.M. (Harl. MSS. 2034. III). It is reproduced by 
Pulver on p. 176 of his Dictionary of Old English Music and Musical Instruments. 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

in which is included the musical establishment of her Majesty's 
household, about the year 1587.* 

MUSYTYONS. 

£ s. d. £ s. d. 

The servant Fee 24 6 8 Six children to sing Rebeck 2 Fee 28 6 6 

Trompeters 16. Fee to every of them 24 6 8 Sackbutt, 6 whereof 5 having 24 6 8 

Lutes, harps, and singers. by the year, and one at 36 10 

Chief luter, Fee 40 Vialls 8, whereof 6 at 30 8 4 

Chief harper 20 p one at 20 

Rest of the luters 19 and thother at 10 o 

The other of the harps 900 Players on the virginalls 3, one at 50 o 

And 800 and thother 2 at 30 o o 

Bagpiper, Fee 12 13 4 a piece. 

Minstrells 9. whereof 7 at 18 5 Musitions straungers 7, whereof 

every of them; one at 24 6 6 have 30 10 o 

and thother at 66 o 8 and one 38 o 

Prumsleds 3, every of them 18 5 a Players of enterludes 8, every of 

Players on the flute, 2 at 18 5 them p. ann 66 8 

a piece Organ-maker 20 
Makers of instruments ) 

Regall-maker / 20 o 

Her Majesty's chapel establishment was nearly the same, in 
number and salaries, as that of her brother and sister, Edward and 
Mary. Indeed, it seems as if the religious scruples of musicians 
had been considerably diminished by the severity with which 
Testwood had been treated in the time of Henry VIII. and the 
peril into which Marbeck's zeal for reformation had involved him. 
(u). For in comparing the chapel establishments of Edward, 
Mary, and Elizabeth, we find, that however the creeds of these 
Monarchs differed, their musicians had constantly tuned their 
consciences to the Court pitch : i.e. in perfect unison with the orders 
of their Sovereign, the Supreme Head of the Church. 

Camden (x) says, that " the Romish religion remained a full 
moneth and more after the death of Queen Mary, in the same state as 
before (y)." For Elizabeth, who began her reign November 
17th, 1558, had a solemn service performed for her sister Mary at 
Westminster, December 5th, and another December 20th, for the 
Emperor Charles V. (z); and these, as well as her own coronation, 
were celebrated in the Romish manner. 

Burnet (a) says, that " Elizabeth had been bred up from her 
infancy with a hatred of the Papacy, and a love to the Reformation : 
but yet as her first impressions in her father's reign were in favour 
of such old rites as he had still retained; so in her own nature she 
loved state, and some magnificence, in religion as well as in every 
thing else." 

Neal, in his History of the Puritans (b), says, that the service of 
her chapel was not only sung with organs, but with other 
instruments, such as cornits, sacbuts, &c. on festivals. In 1559, she 

(») Testwood, a singing-man in the choir of Windsor, was burnt for his intemperate zeal 
in the cause of Protestantism, 1544, when Marbeck was likewise condemned, but afterwards 
pardoned. 

(*) Ubi supra, p. 30. (y) Fuller says six weeks. Vol. II. p. 51. 

(2) Heylin, p. 277. (a) Hist. Ref. Part ii, p. 376. 

(b) P. 156. 

* There is a list similar, in many respects, to the following in the L.C. Vol. 617, folio igd, 
dated 1593 

25 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

published injunctions for the clergy, in the forty-ninth of which 
there is one for Choral Music (c). " For the encouragement, and 
the continuance of the use of singing in the Church of England. 
it is injoined; that is to say, that in divers collegiat, as well as 
seme parish churches, heretofore there hath been livings appointed 
for the maintenance of men and children for singing in the church, 
by means whereof the laudable exercise of Musick hath been had 
in estimation, and preserved in knowledge; the Queen's Majesty 
neither meaning in any wise the decay of any that might conveniently 
tend to the use and continuance of the said science, neither to have 
the same so abused in any part of the church, that thereby the 
Common Prayer should be worse understood by the hearers, willeth 
and commandeth, that, first, no alterations be made of such assign- 
ments of living as heretofore hath been appointed to the use of 
singing or Musick in the church, but that the same so remain, and 
that there be a modest and distinct song, so used in all parts of 
the common prayers of the church, that the same may be plainly 
understood as if it were without singing; and yet nevertheless, for 
the comforting of such as delight in Musick, it may be permitted, 
that in the beginning or in the end of common prayer, either at 
morning or evening, there may be sung an hymn, or such like song, 
to the praise of Almighty God, in the best melody and musick that 
may be conveniently devised, having respect that the sentence of 
the hymn may be understood and perceived." 

"According to which order," says Heylin, " as plain-song was 
retained in most parish churches for the daily Psalms, so in her 
own chapels, and in the quire of all cathedrals, and some colleges, 
the hymns were sung after a more melodious manner, with organs 
commonly, and sometimes with other musical instruments, as the 
solemnity required. No mention is made here," adds this writer, 
" of singing David's Psalms in metre, though afterwards they 
first thrust out the hymns which are herein mentioned, and by 
degrees also did they the Te Deum, the Magnificat, and the Nunc 
Dimittis." 

It was by the moderation, liberality, and intelligence of this 
injunction, that Choral Music was saved from utter extirpation in 
this country; for the outcry and violence of the puritans against 
playing upon organs, curious singing, and tossing about the Psalms 
from side to side (meaning antiphonal, or alternate singing), were 
at this time so great, that they could only be restrained by an 
exertion of all the power and firmness of this Princess.* 

" In 1560, the Church of England, as it was first settled and 
established under Queen Elizabeth, may be regarded as brought 
to perfection. The government of the church by Archbishops and 
Bishops; its doctrines reduced to its ancient purity, according to 

(c) See Sparrow's Collect, of Articles, Injunctions, and Canons, 4to, 16S4, and Heylin, 
p. 289. 

* The attitude of the Puritans towards music is dealt with later in this volume (Chapter 
headed Interregnum). 

26 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

the Articles agreed on in Convocation, 1552; the Liturgy, conform- 
able to the primitive patterns, and all the rites and ceremonies 
therein prescribed accommodated to the honour of God, and increase 
of piety. The festivals preserved in their former dignity; the 
sacrament celebrated in most reverend manner; Music2 retained 
in all such churches in which provision had been made for the 
maintenance of it, or where the people could be trained up at least 
to plain-song. All which particulars were either established by 
the laws, commanded by the Queen's injunctions, or otherwise 
retained by virtue of some ancient usages not by law prohibited. 
Nor is it much to be admired, that such a general conformity to 
those ancient usages was constantly observed in all cathedrals, and 
the most part of the parish churches, considering how well they were 
precedented by the Court itself, in which the Liturgy was officiated 
every day both morning and evening, not only in the public chapel, 
but the private closet; celebrated in the chapel with organs and 
other musical instruments, and the most excellent voices, both 
of men and children, that could be procured in all the kingdom 
(d)." 

When Elizabeth first met her Parliament [Jan. 1559], she 
desired them to consider religion without heat, partial affection, or 
using any reproachful terms of Papist or Heretic, and that they 
would avoid the extremes of idolatry and superstition on the one 
hand, and contempt and irreligion on the other. And thus this 
wise Princess seems always to have steered, according to the true 
spirit of the Church of England, between the two extremes of 
superstitious bigotry, and irreverent fanaticism; a golden mean that 
seems best to suit with our mixed government, which is neither 
wholly monarchical nor democratical, but, when well administered, 
a perfect compound of both; being neither necessarily so 
parsimonious nor indigent as to degrade the King, or the great 
officers and magistrates of the realm, below that dignity which 
impresses reverence and respect; nor to require a ruinous pomp and 
luxury; but consistent with such splendor, magnificence, and 
encouragement of elegant arts and liberal science as become a great 
and affluent state, equally secured from regal tyranny, and popular 
insolence. One of the wisest, or at least the most liberal exercises 
of this Queen's prerogative, seems to have been the proclamation 
which she issued in the second year of her reign against defacing 
the monuments in churches; for so savage was the rage of the 
puritans and fanatics of this time, that under the pretence of 
destroying popery and idolatry, they ruined and demolished in our 
public buildings whatever was sufficiently elegant and venerable to 
distinguish us from Barbarians.* 

Elizabeth, who succeeded to the crown in November, 1558, on 
the 28th of April, 1559, gave the royal assent to the bill for the 

(d) Heylin, p. 296. 

* The destruction and defacing of monuments, etc., in Churches was not by the order of 
Puritans. 

27 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

Uniformity of Common Prayer, or English Liturgy, which was to 
take effect the 12th of May; but so eager was her Majesty to hear 
the reformed service, that she anticipated its restoration, by having 
it performed in her chapel on Sunday, May the 2d, four days after 
the act had passed (e). This Liturgy was printed the same year 
by Grafton, with the following title: " The Boke of Common 
Prayer, and Administration of the Sacraments, and other Rites and 
Ceremonies of the Church of England." And the licence 
contained in the rubrics, allowing it to be either said or sung, and 
ordaining that in choirs and places where they sing, the anthem 
shall follow certain parts of the service, is a plain indication that 
the choral, as well as the parochial service, was authorised and 
established. 

I have found no other Music printed expressly for the cathedral 
service to English words during the reign of Edward VI. than that 
of Marbeck (/), which was mere canto jermo, without counterpoint; 
but the year after the publication of the English Liturgy by Queen 
Elizabeth, the following choral work appeared: "Certaine notes set 
forth in four and three parts to be song at the morning Communion 
and evening praier, very necessary for the Church of Christe to be 
frequented and used: & unto them added divers godly praiers & 
Psalmes in the like forme to the honour & praise of God." 

" Imprinted at London over Aldersgate beneath S. Martins by 
John Day, 1560. Cum gratia & privilegio Regie Maiestatis." 

The authors of these compositions were Tallis, Cawston, 
Johnson, Oakland, Shepherd, and Taverner.* 

For the performance of this kind of Music in our cathedrals, 
great diligence was used, and indeed some violence, in the manner 
of procuring singers. It seems as if our Monarchs of former times 
had either rewarded the talents of their singers no more liberally 
than sailors, or that musicians were then less sensible of the honour 
of attending royalty than at present ; for it appears by a precept, 
preserved in Rymer's Fcedera (g), so early as the reign of the gentle 
Henry VI. 1454, that they attended with such reluctance as to 
make it necessary to impress them into the service (h). Luckily 
his present Majesty is reduced to the exercise of no such stretch of 

(e) Strype, Vol. I. p. igi. 

if) See Book II. p. 803. (g) Tom. XI. p. 375- 

(70 The form of the placard is the following: 

De Ministrallis propter solatium Regis providendis. 

"Rex, dilectis sibi, Walthero Halyday, Roberto Marshall, Willielmo Wykes, & Johanni 
Clyff, salutem. ...,,. . . , ,, 

"Sciatis quod 110s, considerantes quahter quidem Alinistrallt nostrt jam tarae viam 
universes carnis sunt ingressi, aliisque, loco ipsorum-, propter solatium nostrum, de necesse 
indigentes, assignavimus vos, conjunctim & divisim, ad quosdam pueros, membris naturalibus 
elegantes, in Arte Ministrellatus instructos, ubicunque inveniri poterint, tarn infra libertates, 
quam extra, capiendum, & in servitio nostra ad vadia nostra ponendum," &c. The requisition 
that the boys thus impressed should be not only skilled in the art of minstrelsy, but 
handsome and elegantly shaped, seems to point at the theatrical use that was frequently made 
of the choristers of cathedrals, as well as the private chapels of Noblemen, in acting plays, 
mysteries, and moralities, on particular festivals. 

* The B.M. (K. 7, e. 7) has a medius part book and the Bodleian a Bassus part book 
(Douce B. 24S) of this publication. 

28 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

power in procuring recruits, either for his band of music or chapel ; 
for so many more volunteers now crowd to the standards of the 
Chamberlain of the Household, and Dean of the Chapel Royal, 
than can be received, that it is more necessary to press them to 
depart, than to enter into the service. 

In the time of Henry VIII. when Music was more cultivated in 
England than it had ever been before, a similar power was given to 
the Deans of cathedrals and collegiate churches for supplying their 
several choirs with children possessed of good voices by this 
arbitrary and oppressive method. John Tusser, the unfortunate 
author of the Five Hundred Pointes of Good Husbandrie [1557] 
one of the most pleasant and instructive poems of the time, tells 
us, that he was impressed from Wallingford college, in Berkshire, 
into the King's chapel. Soon after, by the interest of friends, he 
was removed to St. Paul's, where he received instructions in Music 
from John Redford, an excellent contrapuntist, and organist of 
that cathedral. There seems, however, to have been care taken 
of the general education of boys so impressed, as we find that 
Tusser was sent from St. Paul's to Eton school, and thence to 
Cambridge. He afterwards tried his fortune in London about the 
Court, under the auspices of his patron Lord Paget, where he 
remained ten years ; then he retired into the country, and embraced 
the occupation of a farmer, in the several counties of Sussex, 
Suffolk, and Essex ; but not prospering, he procured a singing- 
man's place in the cathedral of Norwich ; where he does not seem to 
have remained long before he returned to London. But being 
driven thence by the plague, he retired to Trinity college, 
Cambridge ; returning afterwards, however, to the capital, he 
there ended his restless life in 1580 ; not, as has been said, very 
aged, if he was born about 1523 (i). 

Records are still extant to prove that the immediate descendants 
of Henry VIII. continued the full exercise of this prerogative of 
impressing singers for the chapel royal. 

1550. " A commission to Philip Van Wilder, Gent, of the 
privy chamber to Edward VI. (k), in any churches or chapels, or 
other places within England, to take to the King's use such, and 
as many singing children or choristers, as he or his deputy shall 
think good (/)." 

1551. A warrant was issued to Richard Gowre, master of the 
children of the King's chapel, to take up, from time to time, as 
many children to serve in the chapel as he should think fit (m). 

In the first year, however, of Edward's reign, a privilege which 
had been granted by Henry VIII. to Windsor, exempting the 

(i) Hist, of Poetry, Vol. III. p. 298, et seq. where is given an ample and interesting 
account of Tusser and his writings. 

(k) Philippe de Vuildre was a Flemish musician, who settled in England; there is a 
pater-noster of his composition, Libro quarto Ecchsiasticarum cantionum, published at 
Antwerp, 1554. See the Museum Collection [K. 8. i. 4] 1500? 

(I) Dated in February. Strype, Vol. II. p. 539. 

(m) lb. June. 

29 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

singers of that chapel from being impressed for any other service, 
was renewed. Queen Mary confirmed this privilege likewise in the 
first year of her reign (n). And among the MSS. of the Ashmolean 
Museum (o), at Oxford, a copy of Queen Elizabeth's warrant, of 
the same purport, is preserved entire (p), which is so curious, and 
different from the present spirit of our government, that I shall 
present it to the reader. 

" Eliz. R. Whereas our castle of Windsor hath of old been 
well furnished with singing men and children. — We willing it 
should not be of less reputation in our days, but rather augmented 
and encreased — declare, that no singing men or boys shall be taken 
out of the said chapel by virtue of any commission, not even for 
our Household chapel. And we give power to the bearer of this 
to take any singing men or boys from any chapel, our own 
Household and St. Paul's only excepted. Given at Westminster, the 
8th day of March, in the second year of our reign. 

" Elizabeth R." 

This Princess, who relinquished no prerogative which had been 
exercised by her ancestors, kept in full force during her whole 
reign that of issuing placards or writs for impressing singing-boys 
for her chapel, as well in the capital as at Windsor. The original 
of one of these, signed by herself, being preserved in the Sloane 
Collection, British Museum (q), it seems to merit a place here ; as 
it will not only manifest the care that was taken to supply the royal 
chapel with the best treble voices which could be found throughout 
the kingdom, but convey to the reader an idea of the state of our 
civil liberty during the sixteenth century. 

By the Queen. 




" Whereas we have authorised our servaunte Thomas Gyles, 
maister of the children of the cathedrall churche of St. Paule, within 
our citie of London, to take up suche apte and meete children as are 
most fitt to be instructed and framed in the arte and science of 

(n) Sloane MSS. Brit. Mus. No. 1124 from Dr. Evans's Collections, A. 

(o) lb. No. 1124. Hugget's MSS. Vol. IX. 

{p) No. 1113. (9). The original is in the chapter-house, at Windsor. 

(q) No. [87]. 

30 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

Musicke and singing, as may be had and founde out within any 
place of this our realme of England or Wales, to be by his education 
and bringing up made meete and hable to serve us in that behalf, 
when our pleasure is to call for them. Wee therefore by the 
tenoure of these presents will and require you that ye permitt and 
suffer from henceforthe our said servaunte Thomas Gyles, and his 
deputie or deputies, and every of them, to take up in anye cathedrall 
or collegiate churches, and in every other place or places of this 
our realme of England and Wales, suche childe and children as he 
or they, or anye of them, shall find and like of, and the same childe 
and children, by virtue hereof, for the use and service aforesaid, 
with them, or anye of them, to bring awaye without anye your 
lette, contradictions, staye, or interruptions to the contrarie. 
Charginge and commanding you, and everie of you, to be 
aydinge, helpinge, and assistinge unto the above named Thomas 
Gyles, and his deputie or deputies, in and aboute the execution 
of the premisses, for the more spedie, effectuall, and better 
accomplyshing thereof from tyme to tyme, as you, and everie of 
you, doe tender our will and pleasure, and will answere for doinge 
the contrarie at your perille. 

Yeven under our Signet at our Manour of Greenwiche, 26 
day of Aprill, in the xxvii yeare of our reign. 

To all and singular Deanes, Provostes, Maisters and 
Wardens of Collegies, and all Ecclesiastical Persons and 
Ministers, and to all other our Officers, Mynisters, and 
Subjects, to whome in this case it shall appertayne, and 
to everye of them greetinge." 

Notwithstanding the attention that was paid to Choral Music by 
her Majesty, and the Deans of cathedrals throughout the kingdom, 
it was in frequent danger of utter abolition by the fury with which 
some of the reformers, actuated by a spirit of change and extirpation 
rather than of reformation, attacked every thing that was right, 
wrong, or even indifferent, in the ancient service of the church (r). 

By the statute of the 27th of Henry VIII. cap. 15, 1536, the 
year of the suppression of the monasteries, power was given to the 
King to nominate thirty-two persons among the clergy and laity 
to examine all canons, constitutions, and ordinances, provincial 
and synodical, to compile a body of such ecclesiastical laws as 
should in future be observed throughout the realm. Nothing 
material, however, was done in this important work during the 
life of Henry; but in the next reign it was again taken into 
consideration, and a commission granted to eight Bishops, eight of 
the inferior clergy, eight civilians, and eight common lawyers, which 

(r) One of Latimer's injunctions to the Prior and Convent of St. Mary-house, in Worcester, 
s ° early as the year 1537, when Bishop of that diocese, runs thus: "Item. Whenever there 
shall be any preaching in your monastery, that all manner of singing, and other ceremonies, 
be utterly laid aside."— Burnet, P. ii. Collect. Ree, No. 23. 

3* 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

constituted the Ecclesiastical Court of Convocation. The result of 
their debates was published under the title of Reformatio Legum 
Ecclesiastic arum, in 1571, by Fox, the martyrologist; and after- 
wards, in 1640, when the fury of religious disputation was at its 
height. But as these laws were framed during the violence of 
contention between the puritans and Roman catholics, and never 
received the royal assent, they have been only had in remembrance 
from time to time for polemical purposes. 

Reformation was doubtless at this time necessary, and sincerely 
wished by the most reasonable and truly pious Christians in the 
kingdom; yet the fanaticism with which it was carried on by 
others, made the lovers of Choral Music, who had a veneration 
for this part of the solemn service of the church, tremble for its 
safety during the compilation of these laws (s). 

The reasonable complaints made in them against the abuse of 
Music, and those subtilties in figurative melody, which were then 
termed curious singing, are nearly the same as those of the Council 
of Trent, about the same time (t); and seem with equal wisdom 
and good taste to be levelled at the pedantry of operose Music and 
complicated measures, which not only rendered the words, but the 
Music, difficult to be comprehended. And the fears of those who 
wished well to our cathedral service were abated, on finding that the 
thirty-two commissioners had not wholly condemned Church Music, 
but confined their censures to that species of singing which was 
productive of confusion, and that rendered unintelligible those 
parts of the service which required the greatest reverence and 
attention. 

In 1565, our ecclesiastical composers, encouraged, probably, by 
the reception of the former publication, and favour of the Queen, 
printed another collection of offices, with musical notes, under the 
following title : ' ' Morning and Evenyng prayer and Communion, 
set forthe in four partes to be song in Churches, both for men and 
children, wyth dyvers other godly praiers & Anthems, of sundry 
meins doynges." 

The musicians who contributed to this collection were Thomas 
Cawston, Heath, Robert Hasleton, Knight, Johnson, Tallis, Oak- 
land and Shepard. In order to gratify the musical reader's 

(s) Among the proposals prepared by the puritans for further reformation, 1562, there is 
one, "That the Psalms may be sung distinctly by the whole congregation; and that organs 
may be laid aside." Neal's Hist. Purit. p. 180 and Strype in Ann. Burnet likewise, P. iii. p. 103, 
tells us, that "Organs and curious singing were near being banished the church; their 
continuance being carried by only one vote, and that given by the proxy of an absent 
member." 

(t) Qua propter partite voces et distincte pronuntient, el cantus sit illorum clarus et 
aptus, ut ad auditorum omnia sensum, et intelligentiam proveniant; itaque vibratam illam, et 
operosam musicam, qua jigurata dicitur, auferri placeat, quce sic in multitudinis auribus 
tutnultuatur, ut sape linguam non possit ipsam loquentem intelligere. Reform. Leg. 
Eccles. Tit. Divinis Officiis, cap. v. 

The Council of Trent, 1562. made a decree against curious singing, prohibiting, among 
other things, L'uso delle Musiche nelle chiese con mistura di canto, suono lascivo, tutte le 
attioni secolari, colloquie projani, strepiti, gridori. — Hist, del Concil. Trid. 

32 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

curiosity, I shall select from this publication the following com- 
position by the admirable Tallis, as one of the most early to which 
I have seen his name prefixed in print. 



A Prayer. 



This Contra Tenor 
is for Children 



This Meane is 
for Children 



This Tenor is for Men 



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33 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 



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Imprinted at London by John Day dwellyng over Aldersgate, 
beneath Saynte Martynes. Cum gratia & privilegio Regise 
Majestatis. 

The Bookes are to be solde at hys shop under the gate, 1565. 

The two publications by John Day, fixed for near a century the 
style of our Choral Music; of which the movement was grave, the 
harmony grateful, and the contrivance frequently ingenious. 
Yet, besides the censures of the puritans, modern times have often 
charged this kind of Music with obscuring the sense of what was 
sung, by too frequent fugue, as well as by an utter inattention to the 
accent and expression of the words. These imperfections, however, 
were not peculiar to the productions of our countrymen during 
the sixteenth century, but were general in the compositions for the 
church of every author, in every language, throughout Europe. 

In 1570, Cartwright, one of the most violent and intolerant 
reformers, attacked Cathedral Music; and afterwards Field and 
Wilcox, two puritan ministers, and Brown. Against these the 
pious, learned, and excellent Hooker, then Master of the Temple, 
undertook its defence (x).* 

In 1571, in the confession of the puritans, they say, " Concern- 
ing singing of Psalms, we allow of the people's joining with one 



(w) Transcribed from a printed copy in the possession of the Revd. Dr. 
Queen's College, Oxford, and corrected from several typographical errors. 



Monkhouse, 



(x) See his Eccles. 
Music. 



Politie, book v. sect. 38 and 39. Eulogium and defence of Church 



* The first four books of Hooker's Ecclesiastical Polity were not published until 1593 or 4, 
although completed by 1592. The fifth book, which contains the defence of Church music was 
not completed until 1597. 



34 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

voice in a plain tune, but not of tossing the Psalms from one side 
to the other, with intermingling of organs (y). And in 1586, 
at the time that the puritans were framing innumerable bills of 
further reformation in the church, a pamphlet was dispersed, in 
spite of all the restrictions at that time laid on the press, entitled 
" A Request of all true Christians to the House of Parliament;" 
which, among other things, prays, " That all cathedral churches 
may be put down, where the service of God is grievously abused 
by piping with organs, singing, ringing and trowling of Psalms 
from one side of the choir to another, with the squeaking of 
chanting choristers, disguised (as are all the rest) in white surplices; 
some in corner caps and silly copes, imitating the fashion and 
manner of Antichrist the Pope, that man of sin, and child of 
perdition, with his other rabble of miscreants and shavelings {£)." 

All this fanatical cant was greatly discountenanced by the 
Queen, though it was wholly out of her power, extensive as it was, 
to suppress the levelling principles of these enemies to all elegance 
and comfort; whom nothing less than the utter subversion of 
Church and State, which they effected in the next century, would 
satisfy. 

Having shewn the manner in which Figurative Music was 
established in our cathedrals, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, 
it now remains to trace the origin and progress of Metrical or 
Parochial Psalmody, different from the plain-song, or chanting, 
of cathedrals and collegiate churches. 

Singing of this kind, among the reformers and schismatics, 
seems in all ages to have been the favourite mode of addressing 
the Divinity: for not only the Arians practised it in their 
processions (a), but the Albigenses, who may be called the first 
protestant martyrs (b); and who, according to ecclesiastical writers, 
when Simon Montford, their persecutor, in 1210, had lighted a pile 
of wood for their destruction, precipitated themselves in the 
flames, to the number of a hundred and forty, singing Psalms (c). 

The disciples of Wickliff, in England, during the fourteenth 
century, and those of John Huss and Jerom of Prague, in the 

(y) Neal, p. 290. (z) lb. p. 480. (a) See Book II, p. 413. 

(6) The term Protestant, however, did not subsist till the year 1529, when it was given 
to such as adhere to the doctrines of Luther; because the chiefs of his party protested 
against the decree of the Diet of Spire, made the same year by Ferdinand, Archduke of 
Austria, and other catholic Princes. 

(c) The sect of Waldenses had its rise in the twelfth century; its errors were first 
condemned in the Council of Thoulouse, 1119. Can. 2. Again in the Council of Lateran, 
1139. And in the Council of Tours, 1163. And the end of this century the disciples of Peter 
Valdo. called Vaudois, Waldenses, and the poor of Lyons, joined these heretics. _ And all the 
several sects were called by the general name of Albigeois, from the city of Albi, where they 
were established. The first crusade against the Albigenses was published 1210. The inquisition 
for extirpating the whole sect was established at Thoulouse, 1229. And in 1233, they seem to 
have been totally destroyed, except a few that had escaped, and joined the Waldenses in the 
Valleys of Piedmont, France, and Savoy. There they persevered in their opinions till the time 
of Zwingle, to whom they sent deputies, desiring him to become their chief. Zwingle, who 
was a Swiss by nation, born 1487, perished by the sword, while he was fighting valiantly at 
the head of his sect, 1531, in support of his religious opinions. 

35 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

fifteenth, were Psalm-singers; and the Hymn Book of the Picards, 
and Bohemian brethren, printed with musical notes, at Ulm, 1538, 
shews, that the melodies used by these sects originated from the 
chants to which the ancient Latin hymns of the Romish church 
were sung (d). For in this book there are translations and 
imitations in German metre of most of the hymns and proses still 
used in the Romish church: such as the Stabat Mater dolorosa, 
Te Deum laudamus; O lux beata Trinitas; Pange lingua gloriosi, 
&c. Some of these melodies indeed are in triple time, which never 
is the case in canto fermo, or cathedral psalmody (e). But Stabat 
Mater, and lux, in this book, are set to old Romish chants, and 
Te Deum to the same that is inserted in the preface of Meibomius 
to the ancient Greek musical writers, as the most ancient melody 
which the church has preserved (/). 

Among the first reformers who interested themselves about the 
manner of performing the Psalms, we have not only Wickliff , Huss, 
Jerom of Prague, and Zwingle, but Luther, Cranmer, Calvin, 
Beza, Buchanan, and John Knox ; who, though each of them had 
different ideas on the subject of Sacred Music, yet they agreed in 
stripping it of all the energy and embellishments of measure and 
melody, as indeed the Calvinists did likewise of harmony. Nor 
were the original institutes of psalmody more favourable to Poetry 
than Music ; for by giving to each syllable, whether long or short, 
a note of the same length, all prosody, rhythm, and numerical 
cadence, are destroyed. And however beautiful the poetical 
measures may be to read, when sung in this drawling and 
isochronous manner, they not only afford the ear no pleasure, but 
become unintelligible. 

The bold and intrepid reformer, Luther, was the first who 
shook the Papal Throne, and had sufficient abilities and address to 
gain proselytes to his doctrines among the Princes of his country, 
as well as the people. No religion is ever firmly established till 
embraced by the Sovereign, and supported by government. The 
Christians were not only oppressed and persecuted for more than 
three centuries, but regarded with horror, till the conversion of 
Constantine. Luckily for Luther, preaching against the sale of 
indulgencies, Peter-pence, celibacy, monasteries, and papal 
tyranny in general, coincided with the interest of the Nobles, and 
power of the Prince. His opinions, therefore, in spite of imperial 
authority, catholic zeal, and persecution, were adopted with greater 



(d) Ein hubsch new Gesang buch, &c, or, a fine new Hymn Book, " containing the 
Usage of the Church, and the Hymns belonging to the country of Fulneck, in the kingdom of 
Bohemia, and by the Christian brotherhood of the sect called Picards, who have hitherto been 
reckoned heretics, and anathematized as unworthy of salvation. By these the following 
Hymns are sung, to the honour and glory of God." I was favoured with this scarce and 
curious book by my honoured friend, Mr. Emanuel Bach, at Hamburgh, from the collection oi 
nis father, the celebrated Sebastian Bach. 

(e) See fol. ix. xiii. xxviii. &c. of this Hymn Book. 
(/) See Book II. of this Hist. p. 767, et seq. 

36 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

rapidity in the northern parts of the world, than those of Mahomet 
had been in the south (g). 

With respect to Music, Luther, being himself a judge and lover 
of the art, was so far from banishing it from the church, that he 
rather augmented the occasions for its use (h). Indeed Luther 
must have had an insatiable passion for Poetry, or at least for 
rhyme, and Music ; as, besides translating, himself, most of the 
ancient ecclesiastical hymns, the creed, Lord's prayer, and many 
other parts of his Liturgy, into German verse, in order 
to be sung, he wrote his catechism in verse, which was set to 
Music, in four parts, by Henry of Gottingen ; and even the 
confession of Augsburg was done into verse, and likewise set to 
Music (t). 

It appears that the ancient ecclesiastical tones still regulated the 
Music of the Lutheran church at the time of the reformation ; and 
most of the old melodies to the evangelical hymns are composed in 
some of them (k). The Cantaten, or anthems and services of 
this reformed church, in the German language, are, however, as 
elaborate and florid as the motets to Latin words, used in Italy 
during the celebration of the mass. But in the Hymnologia, and 
metrical psalmody of this, as well as all other protestant churches, 
there seems to have been one common principle, totally inimical to 
Poetry, which is that of destroying all quantity, and distinction of 
syllables, by making them all of the same length (I). The modern 

(g) Luther began to preach against indigencies 1517. In 1520, he and his doctrines were 
anathematised by Leo X., after which he published his Captivity of Babylon. In 1521, his 
writings were burnt at Rome, and the Pope's bulls and decretals at Wittemberg. In the same 
year he pleaded before the Imperial Diet, at Worms, contrary to the advice of his friends, 
who told him, that he would share the same fate as John Huss and Jerom of Prague, who 
were both burned for heresy; when he protested, that "if he were certain there were as many 
devils at Worms, as tiles on the houses, he would still go thither." (Havne's Life, p. 34). The 
same year he procured the abolition of the ancient mass at Wittemberg. In 1523, 
Lutheranism was established in Denmark and Sweden; and in 1525, in Saxony, Brunswic, 
Hesse, Strasburg, and Francfort. In 1530, the Confession of Augsburg was presented; and 
before his death, which happened in 1546, his doctrines were received in almost every part 
of the German empire, except Austria and Bavaria. 

(h) Henry VIII. who began, and his children who finished the reformation of religion 
in England, being likewise delighted with Music, and able to distinguish harmony and melody 
from noise and jargon, took care to support its dignity in the service of our cathedrals; which 
has not been the case with the founders of other protestant sects. 

(?) In Luther's epistle to Senfelius, of Zurich, the musician, and scholar of Henry Isaac, 
he places Music above all arts and sciences, except theology, as that and religion are alone 
able to sooth and calm the mind. In the same epistle Luther says, "We know that Music is 
intolerable to dasmons." Scimus Musicam dcemonibus etiam invisam & intolerabilem esse; and 
therefore thus concludes: "I verily think and am not ashamed to say, that, next to divinity, 
no art is comparable to Music." Plani judico, nee pudet asserere, post theologiam esse nullam 
artem, qua possit Musicce aequari. 

{k) It was by degrees that the Latin language gave place to the German in the Lutheran 
Liturgy. Concerning the Lord's Supper he says, (To. II. Ep. p. 72), "I wish the mass might 
be used in the mother tongue, rather than promise it, as it is not in my power, being a matter 
requiring both Music and Spirit." He first celebrated the mass in the German language, 
1525, as he himself says (To. II. Ep. p. 301). "This day we attend the Prince's command, 
the next Lord's Day we will publickly sing in the name of Christ; and mass shall be in the 
mother tongue for the lay people. But the daily service shall be in Latin, however we will 
have the lessons in the vulgar tongue." Yet the Psalms, and ancient chants of the Romish 
church, were still long retained in the Lutheran service, as appears by a book with the 
following title : Psalmodia, hoc est cantica sacra veteris ecclesitz selecta, per Lucam Lossium 
collecta, cum prcefatione Phillippi Melancthonis. WittebergcB, 1561. No German Liturgy, 
Agenda, or Kirchenordnung, for this sect, appears to have been printed during the life of 
Luther. The most ancient I can find in Draudius is the Agendbuchlein der Kirchen, zu Basil 
& Mulhausen, 1565. Becken printed at Leipsic, 1621, the Psaltry of David, in the German 
language, with the melodies used in the Lutheran church. 



(/) These equal syllables alone admire, 

Though oft the ears the open vowels tire. — Pope's Essay on Criticism, v. 344. 



37 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

Methodists, indeed, have introduced a light and ballad-like kind of 
melody into their tabernacles, which seems as much wanting in 
reverence and dignity, as the psalmody of other sects in poetry and 
good taste. 

Music, in itself an innocent art, is so far from corrupting the 
mind, that, with its grave and decorous strains, it can calm the 
passions, and render the heart more fit for spiritual and pious 
purposes ; particularly when united with language, and the 
precepts of religion. It has already been said (m), that " Music, 
considered abstractedly, is in itself a language ; " and we may add, 
that it is more universally understood by mankind in general, whose 
nerves vibrate in unison with its selected tones, than any other 
language among all the dialects of the earth. That articulation 
must be rough and violent indeed, which, without singing, can 
easily be comprehended in buildings so vast as some of the Christian 
churches ; in such it is the spirit, not the letter of supplication or 
thanksgiving which must employ the mind (n). St. Paul says, 
' ' I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding 
also (o)." And in this sense, even Instrumental Music, without 
words, if composed with propriety, and performed with reverence, 
seems worthy of a share in sacred rites. As there never was a 
national religion without Music of some kind or other, the dispute 
concerning that which is most fit for such solemnities, is reduced to 
one short question : If Music be admitted into the service of the 
church, is that species of it which the most polished part of mankind 
regard as good, or that which they regard as bad, the most 
deserving of such an honour? 

That Metrical Psalmody, in slow notes of equal length, had its 
origin in Germany, and was brought thence by reformers to other 
parts of Europe, is demonstrable : for the 128th Fsalm, Beati omnes 
qui timent Dominum, had been translated into German verse, in 
order to be sung in this manner, by John Huss, in the beginning 
of the fifteenth century ; which translation was afterwards 
modernized in the same measure, and to the same tune, by Luther 
(p). And the same melody which we sing to the 100th Psalm, is 
not only given to the 134th, in all the Lutheran Psalm-books, but 
by Goudimel and Claude Le Jeune, in those of the Calvinists ; 
which nearly amounts to a proof that this favourite melody was not 
produced in England. It is said to have been the opinion of 
Handel, that Luther himself was its author ; but of this I have been 
able to procure no authentic proof. Tradition, however, gives to 

{m) See Book II. p. 527. 

(«) Indeed speech itself, when very loud and slow, becomes singing : that is, each 

syllable is rendered a musical tone, which may be fixed, and its unison found in a musical 

instrument of the same pitch. As may be proved in calling very loud to any one at a 
distance. 

(o) 1 Cor. ch. xiv. ver. 15. 

{p) John Huss was likewise the author of the German Easter Hymn, Jesus Christus unser 
heyland, &c, which was also modernised and re-published by Luther, 1525, and from which 
the modern Methodists have taken the Easter Hymn, "Jesus Christ is risen to-day," &c. Luther 
has Kyrie eleison for the burden of his hymn, instead of Hallelujah. 

38 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

this celebrated Heresiarch, as he is called by the Roman catholics, 
several of the ancient melodies which are still used in Germany: 
particularly the following psalm and hymn tunes, that are preserved 
in the Choral and Gesang Biichern, and still sung in all the Lutheran 
churches (q). 



PSALM CXXVIII. 

First translated into German by John Huss, and afterwards 
modernised and set to Music by Martin Luther. 

SEELIG 1ST DER GEPREISER, &c. 



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(q) The 30th Psalm was the first which Luther versified; then the 12th, 46th, 14th, 53d, 
67th, 124th, and 128th, which last Huss had done before, and it was only modernised by 
Luther. The following are the titles of the three first Psalm and Spiritual Song books which 
he published at Wittenberg: 

I. ENCHIRIDION, or Etlich Christlich lieder, und Psalm, &c, 1524. 

II. Etliche Christliche Gesenge und Psalmen, with a preface by Luther, 1525. 

III. Geystliche Gesenge. — "Spiritual Songs, which ■ (blessed by God) are sung in the 
Church, taken from the sacred writings of the true and holy Evangelists." Wittemberg, 1525. 
with the same preface as that to the preceding publication. To this he prefixes his name.* 

It has been erroneously imagined by Sir John Hawkins, Vol. III. p. 447, and Mr. 
Warton, Vol. III. p. 165, that no Psalms or Hymns in the vulgar tongue were used in the 
church, or printed in Luther's time, and that Clement Marot's Psalms were the first of the 
kind with which France and Germany were instantly infatuated : For, besides the numerous 
Hymns and Metrical Psalms of Luther and his friends, there was a complete translation of 
the Psalms published at Augsburg, in German verse, 1523, by John Boschenstein, under the 
title Psalter des Koniglichen Propheten Dauids geteutscht, &c. "The Psalter ot the Royal 
Prophet David, Germanized." &c. Kurtzgefassete Historie der Hymnop, p. 20. 

It does not appear in the Life or Letters of Luther and Calvin, that these reformers had 
ever conferred or corresponded together; and yet Mr. Warton, Vol. III. p. 164, says, that 
it was by the "advice of Luther," that Calvin established his Psalmody, with which both 
Germany and France were soon over-run. Germany was certainly furnished with innumerable 
Psalmodists and Hymnologists long before Calvin, who was born 1509, became the head of a 
sect. He was but thirty-six when Luther died. 

* The earliest Protestant hymnbook was Walther's Etlich christlich lieder _ (the 
" Achtliederbuch") published in 1524 (B.M. 1220, f. 26). The Enchiridion was published in the 
same year. 1524 also saw the publication of Walther's Geystliche gesangk Buchleyn with a 
preface by Luther. This book contained 35 tunes for 32 hymns, of which 24 were by Luther. 
In 1529 Klug published for Luther the Geistliche Lieder. No copy of this edition is known, but 
from an edition of 1535 it is gathered that Luther was responsible for 29 of the 50 German 
hymns of the collection. All of Luther's hymns were issued in a collection published by 
Bapst at Leipzig in 1545 (B.M. 3437, e. 51). This was the last hymnbook to be published for 
Luther. 



39 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 



Original Melody to the Easter Hymn, as sung by the Followers of 
John Huss and Martin Luther ; from Miiller's " Psalmen und 
Choral-Buch," printed at Franckfort on the Mayne, 1754. 



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* The first appearance of this hymn was probably in the lost Geistliche Lieder of 1529, but 
was probably composed about 1527. 



40 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

If Metrical Psalmody can ever be tolerated and defended, it must 
be in favour of such venerable melodies as these ; which, when 
cloathed in good harmony, have a solemnity of effect, that totally 
precludes every idea of secular Music. 

When Luther published Psalms in the German tongue, and 
introduced them into the church, he wrote to Spalatinus, 1524 (r), 
informing him, that he intended, according to the example of the 
prophets and ancient fathers of the church, to make Psalms or 
spiritual songs for the common people, that the Word of God might 
continue among them in Psalms, if not otherwise. " We seek for 
poets," says he, " where we may. — I cannot perform the work so 
neatly as I would, and therefore desire you to try how near you 
can come to Heman, Asaph, or Jeduthun (s)." 

What he says concerning ceremonies is liberal: " I condemn 
no ceremonies but those which are contrary to the Gospel (t)." 
And when he speaks of human learning, his sentiments must be 
allowed to be still more enlarged: " I am persuaded," says he (u), 
" that Theology could not be kept wholly sincere without the skill 
of other arts. For formerly, when the knowledge of other learning 
was decayed or despised, Theology fell to the ground, and remained 
in a miserable state. Nay, I perceive that the revelation of God's 
Word would never have become so glorious unless the arts and 
languages had been sufficiently cultivated, to prepare the way for 
divinity, as John the Baptist did for Christ. — I think they are 
extremely mistaken who imagine the knowledge of philosophy and 
nature to be of no use to religion." 

Not so the gloomy, stern, and inflexible Calvin [1509-64]; 
whose doctrine was so rigid and comfortless, that he seems to have 
shut up local monasteries, merely to make Carthusians of all 
mankind. The Reformation, indeed, had been established at 
Geneva in 1535, a year before the arrival of Calvin in that city; 
that is, the Bishop was deposed, and the opinions of Zwingle or 
Luther were generally received. But these innovations would not 
satisfy the new reformer, who, on his return, determined not only 
to strip the church of all its ancient rites and ceremonies, but the 
inhabitants of all religious liberty. For in establishing a form of 
ecclesiastical discipline and jurisdiction, he ordered disobedience to 
be punished with censures, pains, excommunication, and even 
death, in the case of Servetus; to which, though it bred much 
disturbance in the city, and offended many, as worse than Papal 
tyranny, he firmly adhered (x). 

When Calvin first arrived at Geneva, 1536, the inhabitants, 
unsettled in their belief, and agitated like chaff in a whirl- wind by 

(/) Op. omnia, torn II. Ep. p. 230. 

(s) See his Life, by Hayne, p. 127. 

(t) Tom. II. Epist. 371. 

(m) lb. p. 307. Luther's works were published at Wittemberg in Latin and German, in 
nineteen volumes, large folio, and at Jena in twelve. See Draudius Bibl. Class Libror. Germ. 
p. 207. 

U) Bayle, in Art. 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

difference of opinion (y), agreed in nothing but the determination 
to get rid of popery. The reformer, during this contentious disposi- 
tion, refusing to administer the sacraments, was ordered to depart, 
and did not return till 1541. 

The only amusement which Calvin seems ever to have allowed 
his followers was Psalmody, and that of the most unmeaning and 
monotonous kind; without harmony, variety of accent, rhythm, 
and most of the constituent parts of mere melody. Not a musical 
instrument was suffered within the walls of Geneva for more than 
a hundred years after the Reformation; and all Music, except this 
Metrical Psalmody, was proscribed wherever the doctrines of this 
reformer were received. The inhabitants of Iceland, so celebrated 
for the Poetry and Music of the Scalds, whose souls, in spite of 
the rigour of the climate, seemed to glow with as great a love for 
those arts as the bards of ancient Greece, were eternally silenced 
and glaces by the comfortless religion of Calvin (z)* 

The Metrical Psalmody which John Huss, the Bohemian 
brethren, and Martin Luther, published in the German language 
for the use of the common people, was soon imitated in other 
countries. The celebrated poet, Clement Marot, in France, having, 
about the year 1540 [1539], versified and dedicated to Francis I. 
about thirty of the Psalms, from a prose translation by the famous 
Hebrew Professor Vatable, they soon acquired such favour at 
Court, as to be sung, in spite of the censures of the Sorbonne, by 
the King, Queen, and chief personages of the kingdom, to the tunes 

(y) Which di qua, di la, di qui, di su, gli mena. Dante Inf. V. 44. 

(z) The learned seem to agree, that the Scalds of this country were the first cultivators 
of Poetry and Music among the moderns; nof can a better reason, perhaps, be assigned, why 
these arts, which were formerly in such high estimation among the people of this bleak and 
rugged region, should be totally discountenanced and banished at present, than that of their 
having been regarded with horror by the puritanical disciples of Calvin; who have thus 
deprived the more than half-starved inhabitants of an innocent amusement, which might have 
helped at least to alleviate wretchedness, and make their existence somewhat less like that of 
the sinners with Count Ugolino, in Dante's infernal ice-house : 

Eran Vonihre doTenti nella ghiaccia, 

Mettendo i denti in nota di cicogna. 

Ognuna in giu tenea colta la faccia : 

Da bocca il freddo, e dagli occhi'l cuor tristo 

Tra lor testimonianza si -procaccia. 
Sir Joseph Banks and Dr. Solander, when they visited this island in 1773, brought thence 
a very ancient musical instrument, of a narrow and long form, which used to be played on 
with a bow: and of which they did me honour to make me a present. It is called by the 
natives the Long-Spiel, and has four strings oT _ copper, one of which is used as a drone. 
Pieces of wood are placed at different distances upon the finger-board to serve as frets. 
Though this individual instrument has the appearance of great antiquity, yet, _ rude and 
clumsy as it is, there can be no doubt but that it was still more imperfect in its first 
invention. For to have placed these frets, implies some small degree of meditation, experience, 
and a scale; and as to the bow, that wonderful engine! which the ancients, with all theii 
diligence and musical refinements, had never been able to discover, it seems, from this 
instrument, to have been known in Iceland at least as early as in any other part of Europe. 
Sir Joseph Banks and Dr. Solander, when they found the Long-Spiel on the island, had very 
great difficulty in discovering a person among the inhabitants who either could, or would, 
dare to play on it. At length a wicked Icelander was found, who being rendered more 
courageous and liberal than the rest by a few glasses of generous gin, ventured, in secret, to 
exhilarate these philosophers — with a Psalm-tune. 

* Iceland adopted the Lutheran and not the Calvinistic form of the Reformation. Far 
from killing the spirit of poetry in Iceland the Reformation revived what had almost become a 
lost art. The great period of Icelandic literature finished shortly after the 13th cent., and 
according to Chamber's Cyclopadia (1925 ed.) the 15th century is "almost blank as far as 
literary activity is concerned." P. A. Scholes (The Puritans and Music, p. 333) : "Thus it will 
be seen that at the very moment when, as Burney alleges, literature was killed, it, in fact, took 
on a new life." 

42 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

of the most favourite songs of the times (a). Marot, who had long 
been suspected by the catholics of heresy, and once thrown into 
prison for his religious opinions, fearing new persecution, flew to 
Geneva, where he put into French verse twenty more of the Psalms. 
These, with the thirty that had been published at Paris, were 
printed at Geneva in 1543, with a preface by Calvin himself, but 
without Music. Marot dying the next year, Theodore Beza versified 
the rest of the Psalms in the same manner, and the whole hundred 
and fifty were published at Strasburg, in 1545.* Bayle (b) says, 
that during the whole sixteenth century there was no French poetry 
that approached the salt and natural grace of that with which 
Marot furnished it. And Menage says (c), that the French owe 
the Rondeau, the Madrigal, and modern form of the Sonnet, to this 
poet, who first confined himself to the mixture of masculine and 
feminine rhymes, though he did not always strictly adhere to their 
alternate use, as a law. The sale of his fifty Psalms was so rapid, 
that they could not be printed fast enough to supply the public 
demand for them; more than ten thousand copies having been sold 
in a very short time. When those of Beza were added to them, 
their favour still continued, and they were sung not only by the 
Lutherans and Calvinists, but the Roman catholics. As yet, 
indeed, they had never been used in the conventicles of the 
sectarists, but in private, merely as moral and spiritual songs, to 
secular tunes, such as were easy to learn, and play on viols, and 
other instruments. 

It was not till the year 1553, when these Psalms appeared in 
the same book as the Catechism of Calvin, and the Genevan 
Liturgy, that the catholics took the alarm, and prohibited the 
further publication and use of them. After which, to sing a Psalm 
in France was a declaration of heretical principles, and Psalmodist 
became another name for Reformer, Huguenot, and Calvinist (d). 
Indeed, the purposes to which this lamentable Music was often 
applied, during the struggles and growth of Calvinism, seems to 
have been worse than the Music itself, as, according to writers of 

(a) Florimond de Remond. Hist, de la Naissance et Progres de I'Heresie 
(6) Diet, in Art. 

(c) Obs. stir les Poesies de Malherbe, p. 402. 

(d) Flor. de Remond, ubi supra. Des Maizeaux says, that the French protestants had 
other Metrical Psalms in their church-service before those of Clement Marot and Theodore 
Beza, but neither he nor Bayle seems to know that these were mere translations of the 
German Psalms and Hymns, by Huss, Luther, and others; as appears by the fragments given 
in Bayle's Dictionary, article, Marot. These were probably sung to the same tunes at Zurich 
and Geneva as in Germany. 

* Whilst in exile at Strassbourg, Calvin compiled (about 1539) a Psalter with music, which 
contained 18 psalms. Marot was responsible, for 12 of these translations, which differ slightly 
from the edition compiled in 1542. Marot had translated 30 psalms by 1539, and there was an 
edition of these from Antwerp in 1541. 

In 1542 a Psalter with music was published at Strassbourg, which is said to have been 
printed at Rome by command of the Pope, and is therefore known as the pseudo-Roman 
psalter. It contains the 30 psalms translated by Marot and a Pater noster. The collection 
known as the Cinguante Pseaumes, containing 49 Psalms and the Song of Simeon, was 
published with music at Geneva in 1543- 

For Beza's share in the completion of the Psalter, see editor's note, p. 44. 

43 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

the opposite party, it was made the signal of tumult, sedition, 
sacrilege, and rebellion (e). 

After this account of the poetry and use of Marot's Psalms, 
previous to their reception into the church, it seems necessary to 
speak of the Music to which they were first set for that purpose. It 
has been long generally imagined, that Louis Bourgeois and Claude 
Goudimel were the first who composed the melodies to which these 
Psalms were sung in the church of Geneva ;* but this is no otherwise 
true, than that they set different parts to them : and Bayle says (/), 
" I am surprised that De Pours, in his Divine Melodie du Saint 
Psalmiste, makes no mention of him who first composed the 
common tunes to the Psalms of Clement Marot, that are used in 
the church of Geneva ; for they have never been sung there in 
different parts. A professor in the university of Lausanne," 
continues he, " has informed me, that a certificate under Beza's 
own hand, in the name of the ecclesiastical society, still subsists, for 

(e) Maimburg {Hist, du Calvinisme, liv. ii. p. 96) says, that after the French had lost 
the battle of St. Quintin, 1557, the Huguenots taking advantage of this public calamity, held 
their assemblies in open daylight in the most public streets of Paris, where they met in great 
bodies, to roar out the Psalms of Clement Marot. 

Mezerai (Hist, de France, Tom. II. p. 1139, Fol.) says, that the protestants rejoiced so 
much at the death of Henry II. in 1559, that they composed Hymns, Songs, and Thanksgivings 
to God, on the occasion. 

And Strada (De Bello Belgico, lib. iii.) gives several instances of the seditious use of 
Psalmody in the Low Countries a few years after the publication of Marot's version. About 
the year 1562, he says, that two French Calvinist preachers, in the night, the one at 
Valenciennes, and the other at Tournay, assembled a great croud in the market-place, to 
whom they recommended their new Gospel, in a long fanatical discourse; and when they had 
done, they were followed through the streets by the multitude singing David's Psalms in 
French. In another part of his work (lib. v.) he says, that on the 21st of August, 1566, the 
heretics came into the great church at Antwerp with weapons concealed under their cloaths, 
as if they were resolved, after the slight skirmishes which had happened for some days past, 
to come to a battle; and waiting till vespers were over, they shouted with a hideous cry of 
"Long live the Ghetises," a name which they had taken at a drunken bout, to distinguish 
their faction by. Nay, they commanded the image of the Blessed Virgin to repeat their 
acclamation, in which, if she refused to comply, they madly swore they would beat and kill 
her. And though John Immersellius, the praetor of the town, with some aparitors, ordered 
them to keep the peace, they would not listen to him; and well-meaning people running away 
to get out of the tumult, the heretics shut the doors after them, and like conquerors possessed 
themselves of the church; where finding no resistance, when the clock struck the last hour 
of the day, and the darkness increased their confidence, one of them, in order to give 
formality to their wickedness, began to sing a Geneva Psalm. And then, as if a trumpet had 
sounded a charge, the spirit moving them all together, they fell upon the effigies of the 
mother of our Saviour, and upon Christ himself, and his Apostles; some tumbled them down, 
and trampled on them; others thrust swords into their sides, or chopped off their heads with 
axes; broke the picture frames, defaced the painted walls, demolished the organs and 
ancient painted windows, threw down the statues from their niches and pedestals, and 
committed every possible violence, outrage, and impiety, even to the greasing their shoes with 
the chrisme or holy oil, and getting drunk with th.e consecrated wine, which they found in 
the vestry prepared for the altar. 

(/) Art. Marot. 

* There has been much controversy as to the composers who were responsible for the 
melodies of the Geneva Psalter. It has been variously attributed to Bourgeois, Goudimel, Le 
Jeune, Franc, and others. It does not appear likely that either Le Jeune or Goudimel could 
have participated in this production as neither of these composers ever visited Geneva, nor as 
far as is known, had they any direct intercourse with Calvin. Again, the 1st edition of the 
Psalter was issued in 1542, when Le Jeune was about 12 years' old, and he was only about 21 
when Marot's complete work was published. Goudimel was still a member of the Roman 
Catholic Church in 1557 when most of the Genevan Psalter had been published. 

By the end of 1542 Marot had translated 49 Psalms and the Song of Simeon. After 
Marot's death in 1544, no further psalms were published until 1551, when Beza supplied 
another 34 translations. Seven more were added in 1554 and the work completed in 1562. 

The musical side of the Psalter was put into the hands of Bourgeois and a notice in the 
Archives of Geneva (28th July, 1552) puts on record that he had set Beza's translations to 
music in 1551 and was responsible for the arrangement of the music of the earlier editions. It 
is not likely that Bourgeois had any connection with the Genevan Psalter after 1557 as he 
left the city in that year. 

The responsibility for the 40 tunes added in 1562 has not been ascertained with any 
degree of certainty. 

44 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

Guillaume Franc, dated 1552, declaring him to have been the 
first who set Music to the translation of the Psalms, as they are sung 
in churches."* He is likewise acknowledged to be the author 
of that Music in a Geneva edition of 1584 : so that though Louis 
Bourgeois set eighty-three Psalms to Music in four, five, and six 
parts, which were printed at Lyons, 1561;** and Goudimel set the 
whole psalter of Marot, in four parts, which was printed at Paris, 
1565 [1st ed. 1564] by Adrian Le Roy and Robert Ballard ; yet, 
as the Psalms are there said to be set en forme de mottets, or 
Anthems, they seem to have been of too elaborate a species of 
composition for the conventicles of Calvin, where it is thought 
necessary for the whole congregation to be on a level ; and where, 
if one singer were degraded by having a lower part assigned him 
than another, it would destroy that entire equality of condition, 
upon which the happiness of these solitary sons of liberty so much 
depends. 

The chronology, therefore, of Calvinistical Psalmody, seems to 
be this: Zwinglius, the chief of the protestants in Switzerland, 
before the arrival of Calvin at Geneva, had introduced among 
them the same kind of metrical psalmody as John Huss and the 
Bohemian brethren had recommended to their followers in 
Germany ; and this seems to have been continued till the year 1543, 
when the Psalms of Clement Marot, with a preface by Calvin 
himself, were first published at Geneva [1542] (g), with the single 
melodies of Guillaume Franc (h), an obscure musician, if such he 
may be called, whose name has never had admission in any 
catalogue of books, or been prefixed to any musical publication that 
I have been able to discover. Ever since that time it has been 
upon these melodies, which perhaps the German protestants had 
used before, that Bourgeois, Goudimel, Claude Le Jeune, and many 
other able harmonists, have worked, in constructing parts to them, 
either in plain, or florid counterpoint. 

The eighty-three French Psalms which Louis Bourgeois set in 
four, five, and six parts, were printed both at Paris and Lyons, in 
1561, with a royal privilege (i). 

is) Jeremie De Pours, Divine Melodie du Saint Psahniste, p. 570. 

{h) Theodore Beza, Voyez I' Art. Marot, Diet, de Bayle. 

(») This author published at Geneva, 1550, Le droit Chemin de Musique. And in the 
patent of Charles IX. for printing the Psalms of Marot at this time, it is said, not only that 
"they are translated according to the true Hebrew text, and put into good French verse," 
but "good Music, as persons of profound learning in the said languages, as well as in the 
Art of Music, who have examined them, allow." This honourable testimony in favour of the 
Music seems to belong to that of Louis Bourgeois, published at a time which exactly agrees 
with the date of the patent, as appears by the following article in Draudius, Bibl. exotica, p. 
208 : Loys Bourgeois : Psalmes 83, de David en Musique, a 4, 5 & 6 parties, a Paris, chez 
Ant. Le Clerc, 1561; a publication which seems to have escaped Du Pours, Bayle, and Des 
MaizeaHx. 

* Research made by Baulacre in 1745 and others, shows that there is no foundation for this 
story and that it refers to an edition published in 1565 for use at Lausanne. In this edition 
27 melodies were written or adapted by Franc. It is true that in 1552 Franc had obtained 
permission to print an edition of a Psalter for use at Lausanne, but no copy of this work is 
known, and there is no record of publication. 

** The set of 83 Psalms by Bourgeois was published at Paris in 1561. He also published 
from Lyons in 1547 a set of 50 psalms and another collection of 24. These harmonised versions 
were for private use as the Genevan Church did not allow harmonised psalmody. 

45 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

The success of Clement Marot, in versifying the Psalms, excited 
so much emulation in other rhymers of inferior abilities, either to 
put the Psalms into metre, or write religious hymns in imitation of 
them, under the title of Chansons Spirituelles, that the kingdom of 
France seems at this time to have abounded in them, even to 
satiety. Nor was this species of psalmody confined to the 
Huguenots ; the catholics seem at first to have been equally zealous 
in its cultivation (k). 

Among the most celebrated composers of Music to Calvinistical 
Psalms and Spiritual Songs, must be ranked Claude Goudimel 
[fl. 1549-72] a musician, of Franche-Compte, who seems to have 
lost his life at Lyons, on the day of the massacre of Paris, for setting 
the Psalms of Marot. Goudimel has been much celebrated by 
the Calvinists in France for this Music, which was never used in 
the church of Geneva, and by the catholics in Italy, for instructing 
Palestrina in the art of composition, though it is doubtful whether 
this great Harmonist and Goudimel had ever the least acquaintance 
or intercourse together. He set the Chansons Spirituelles of the 
celebrated Marc- Ant. De Muret, in four parts, which were printed 
at Paris, 1555. We may suppose Goudimel, at this time, to have 
been a Catholic, as the learned Muret is never ranked among 
heretics by French biographers. Ten years after, when he set the 
Psalms of Clement Marot, this version was still regarded with less 
horror by the catholics than in later times ; for the Music which 
Goudimel had set to it was printed at Paris by Adrian Le Roy, and 
Robert Ballard, with a privilege, 1565. It was reprinted in 
Holland, in 1607, for the use of the Calvinists, but seems to have 
been too difficult; for we are told by the editor of the Psalms of 
Claude Le Jeune, which were printed at Leyden, 1633, and 
dedicated to the States-General, that, " in publishing the Psalms 
in parts, he had preferred the Music of Claude Le Jeune to that of 
Goudimel ; for as the counterpoint was simply note for note, the 
most ignorant in Music, if possessed of a voice, and acquainted with 
the Psalm-tune, might join in the performance of any one of them ; 
which is impracticable in the compositions of Goudimel, many 
of whose Psalms being composed in fugue, can only be performed 
by persons well skilled in Music (/)."* 

Claude Le Jeune [c. 1523 — c. 1600] of whom some account 
will be given elsewhere, had but few of his works printed during 

(k) Certon, master of the boys at the Holy Chapel, at Paris, set and published thirty- 
one Psalms of David, in four parts, 1545) and Rinvoysy, master of the boys in the Cathedral 
of Diion, about the same time set all the Psalms in four parts. These two composers must 
have been Roman Catholics, as several others seem to have been, by the licence they 
obtained for publishing their Psalms and Spiritual Songs at Paris during the civil war, 
occasioned by religious encroachments and persecutions. The authors, therefore, of _ the 
following publications must certainly be ranked among Catholic Psalmodists: Contrepoisons 
des LII. Chansons de Marot, intittilies Psalmes; a Rouen, 1560. And Plaisans et 
Armonie'ux Cantiques de Devotion, qui sont un second Contrepoison aux LII. Chansons de 
Clement Marot, a Paris, 1561. Draud. Libri Gallici, p. 187. 

(/) A work, entitled. La Fleur des Chansons des deus plus excellens Musiciens du Terns, 
Orlande Lassus & Claude Goudimel, was published in France, 1576. 

* The first edition of the psalms of Marot was in 1564. A revised edition was issued in 
1565 and an edition was published at Geneva in the same year. An edition with German text 
was published in 1573. Henry Expert reprinted the whole work m 1895-97 from an edition 
of 1580. 

46 



p 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

his life. The first book of his Melanges, in 6 parts, published at 
Antwerp, 1585, and his Dodecachorde, or twelve Psalms of David, 
according to the twelve ancient modes, 1598, are all the works, 
except detached motets and songs, of this author, that I have been 
able to find, which were not posthumous. A second book of his 
Melanges, 1612 ; his Psalms of simple counterpoint, in four and five 
parts, 1627 [1st ed. 1613] ; and his Octonaires de la Vanite & 
Inconstance du Monde, a trois & quatre parties, were published 
after his decease, by his sister Cecilia Le Jeune, and his nephew 
[1606]. Of his Psalms I have three editions, printed in different 
forms, and in different countries : for though, according to Bayle, 
they have never been sung in the church of Geneva, yet, in 
Holland, and in France, before the revocation of the edict of Nantz, 
as they were universally sung in Calvinistical churches and 
conventicles, except at Geneva, they went through more editions 
perhaps than any musical work since the invention of printing.* 

Claude Le Jeune was, doubtless, a great master of harmony, 
which no judge of musical composition, who takes the trouble to 
score his Metrical Psalms in plain counterpoint, will dispute. The 
following is the Music he has set to the 134th Psalm of the French 
version; in the taille, or tenor part of which, is the old melody of our 
100th Psalm. 



Harmony to the Hundredth Psalm-Tune, by Claude Le Jeune. 



Dessus 



Haute 
Contre. 




Edition of Leyden, 1635. 



* Cecilia also published in 1606 the "Psaumes en vers," which was reprinted by Expert, 
who also reprinted the Octonaire de la vanitd. 

47 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

The manner in which he first set twelve of the Psalms, in four 
and five parts, that were dedicated to the Duke de Bouillon, 1598, 
at that time head of the French protestants, very much resembled 
the style in which our old masters used to write upon a plain song : 
as one of the parts is continually singing an ancient melody or 
well-known Psalm-tune, while the rest are discanting, or singing 
in florid counterpoint upon it. In some of these, as well as his 
posthumous works, under the title of Second Book of Melanges, 
1612, and Octonaires de la Vanite et Inconstance du Monde. 
1641 [1606], besides fine harmony, there is great merit and 
ingenuity in the melody and contrivance. 

Having traced Metrical Psalmody, in modern languages, from 
its minute beginning in Germany, Switzerland, and France, it is 
time to relate its arrival and progress in England, during the 
sixteenth century. 

Several of the Psalms were translated into English metre during 
the reign of Henry VIII. by Sir Thomas Wyatt, and printed 1549. 
The Earl of Surrey wrote a sonnet in their praise, and translated 
others himself; but both his version and that of Wyatt are lost 
(m). Indeed almost all our poets, good and bad, have attempted 
to translate, or rather versify, the Psalms; but for want of success 
in this, as well as in writing original hymns, or sacred songs, Dr. 
Johnson has admirably accounted in his Life of Waller (n). 

In the Act of Uniformity for the use of the Common Prayer in 
English, 1548 [1549], there was a proviso for the singing of Psalms 
and Prayers taken out of the Bible, " which were much sung by 
all who loved the reformation; — at which time some poets, such as 
the age afforded," says Bishop Burnet (o), " translated David's 
Psalms into verse; and it was a sign by which men's affections to 
that work were every where measured, whether they used to sing 
these, or not." 

" Singing Psalms in public," says Strype (p), " had been 
customary among the gospellers, according to the manner of the 
protestants, in other countries; yet without any authority. This 
practice was now authorised by virtue of a proviso, which ran in 
this tenor: ' Provided also, that it shal be lawful for al men, as 
wel in churches, chapels, oratories, or other places, to use openly 
any Psalm or Prayer taken out of the Bible, at any due time; not 
letting or omitting thereby the service, or any part thereof 
mentioned in the said book.' Hence it is that in the title page of 
our present books, the Hymns and Psalms in metre carry these 
words : ' Set forth and allowed to be sung in all churches of all 
the people together before and after morning and evening prayer, 
and also before and after sermons; and moreover in private houses, 
for their godly solace and comfort.' Which may serve to explain 

{m) See Warton's Hist, of Engl. Poetry, Vol. III. p. 39. 

(n) Vol. I. p. 109. 1st edit. 

(0) Hist of the Reform. Part. ii. p. 94. 

(p) Memorials, Vol. II. p. 86. 

4 S 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

to us, what the ordinary times of their singing together these 
Psalms were : namely, before they began the morning service, and 
after it was don. Likewise, when there was a sermon, before it 
began, and after it was finished (q). As for the Psalms or Hymns 
thus allowed, they seem to be those that are yet set before and 
after our present singing, don by Dr. Cox, W. Whittingham, 
Robert Wisdom, eminent divines in those times, and others; and 
some of David's Psalms, don by Sternhold, Hopkins, and others. 
It is certain that Sternhold composed several at first for his own 
solace (r). For he set and sung them to his organ. Which Music 
King Edward VI. sometime hearing, (for Sternhold was a Gentle- 
man of his privy chamber), was much delighted with them, which 
occasioned his publication and dedication of them to the said King. 
After, when the whole book of Psalms, with some other Hymns, 
were completely finished in verse, (don, as it seems, by Hopkins, 
and certain other exiles in Queen Mary's reign), this clause in the 
aforesaid act gave them then authority for their public use in the 
church hitherto (s)." 

Heylin's account of the introduction of Metrical Psalmody 
agrees with that of Strype in most particulars; yet he, and almost 
all writers on the subject are mistaken in asserting, that " it was 
a device first taken up in France by one Clement Marot;" for it 
has already been shewn, that Luther, and before his time, John 
Huss, and the Bohemian brethren, had Metrical Psalms and 
Hymns in the German language, which they sung to unisonous 
and syllabic tunes, that were either adopted or imitated by all 
posterior reformers. Clement Marot had been charged by the 
Roman catholics with ignorance of the Hebrew language; but, says 
Heylin, " however unlearned he may have been, his version is 
not to be compared with that barbarity and botching which every 
where occurs in the translations of Sternhold and Hopkins : which, 
notwithstanding they were at first only allowed in private devotion, 
they were by little and little brought into the church: permitted, 
rather than allowed, to be sung before and after sermons; afterwards 
printed, and bound up with the Common Prayer Book; and at last 
added by the stationers at the end of the Bible. For though it is 
expressed in the title-page of these Singing Psalms, that they were 
set forth and allowed to be sung in all churches before and after 

(?) This is nearly the Genevan formulary, and that of Scotland, now; as it was that of 
the puritans at all times. 

"During the reign of Queen Mary, 1554, the puritan exiles, who retired to Frankfort, 
agreed with the Calvinists that the public service should begin with the General Confession of 
Sins, then the people to sing a Psalm in metre, in a plain tune; after which the minister to 
pray for the assistance of God's holy spirit, and so proceed to the sermon; after sermon, a 
general prayer for all estates, at the end of which was joined the Lord's Prayer, and a 
rehearsal of the Articles of Belief; then the people were to sing another Psalm," &c. — Neal's 
History of the Puritans, or Protestant Nonconformists, 2d. edit. 1732, p. 109. 

(r) Sternhold, who died 1549, versified only fifty-one of the Psalms, which were printed 
the same year, without Musical Notes. Nor was any melody published with them till 1502. 
Hopkins, a clergyman and schoolmaster in Suffolk, versified fifty-eight; Whittingham, five; 
among which is the 119th; Norton, twenty-seven; Wisdome, one; the 25th and 7th have the 
initials of W.K., and the 106th those of T. C. 

(s) Eccles. Memor. B. i. ch. ii. p. 86. 

Vol,, ii. 4. 49 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

morning and evening prayer, and also before and after sermons; 
yet this allowance seems rather to have been a connivance than 
an approbation: no such allowance being any where found by 
such as have been most industrious and concerned in the search. 
At first, it was pretended only that the said Psalms should be 
sung before and after morning and evening prayer and before and 
after sermons; which shews they were not to be intermingled in 
the public Liturgie. But in some tract of time, as the puritan 
faction grew in strength and confidence, they prevailed so far in 
most places, as to thrust the Te Deum, the Benedictus, the 
Magnificat, and the Nunc Dimittis, quite out of the church (t)." 

The first edition of Sternhold's fifty-one Psalms, printed in 
1549, by Edward Whitchurch,* had the following title: " All such 
psalmes of David as Thomas Sternehold, late groome of ye Kinges 
Maiesties Robes didde in his lyfetime draw into English metre." 
These were reprinted in 1552; but both impressions were without 
musical notes; and in all probability those that were not in 
possession of the tunes used by the German protestants, applied to 
them such ballad airs as would best suit the metre; as had been 
done in France, when the version of Clement Marot was in favour 
at the Court of Francis I. Sternhold lived to write a dedication, 
for the first edition of his Psalms, to King Edward VI. following 
in this the example of Marot, who had dedicated his first thirty 
Psalms to the King of France. 

In the reign of Queen Mary all the Protestants, except those who 
courted martyrdom, sung these Psalms sotto voce; but after the 
accession of Queen Elizabeth, like orgies, they were roared aloud 
in almost every street, as well as church, throughout the kingdom. 

Archbishop Parker, .during his exile, translated the Psalms into 
English verse, which he afterwards printed, but never published.** 
He adhered to the Lutheran manner in setting them, by preserving 
the eight modes of the Romish church; and gave, as specimens, 
eight tunes, in four parts, which the strict Calvinists did not allow. 

The entire version of the Psalter, however, was not published 
till 1562, when it was tacked, for the first time, to the Common 
Prayer, under the following title : ' ' The whole booke of Psalms 
collected into Englysh meter by T. Sternhold, I. Hopkins, and 
others, conferred with the Ebrue (u), with apt notes to singe them 
withal. Faithfully perused and alowed according to thorder 
appointed in the Queene's maiestie's Iniunctions. Imprinted at 
London by John Day dwelling over Aldersgate. 1562." 

There was no base or other part, but the mere tunes, in this 
edition; which tunes are chiefly German, and still used on the 

(/) History of the Reform, of the Church of England, p. 127. 

(a) This manner of printing the word Ebrue (Hebrew) is peculiar to the Calvinists; and 
one of the criteria by which the Geneva edition of the Bible is known. 

* See editor's note, p. 18, with regard to Sternhold. 

** This Psalter had nine tunes composed by Tallis, of which two— "Tallis" and "Canon" - 
are still in use. Eight copies of this work, which was printed in 1567 or 8, are known (B.M. 
Gren. 12025). 

50 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

continent by Lutherans and Calvinists, as appears by collation (x) : 
particularly the melodies set to the 12th, 14th, 113th, 124th, 127th, 
and 134th Psalms. The versifying the Hymns Veni Creator, The 
humble Suit of a Sinner, Te Deum, Benedictus, Magnificat, Nunc 
Dimittis, Athanasian Creed, and Lord's Prayer, and singing them 
in the manner of Psalms, was done by the Bohemian brethren even 
before Luther's time (y). And Robert Wisdome's prayer against 
the Pope and Turk, which gave rise to Bishop Corbet's pleasant 
verses, addressed to his ghost, was but a literal translation of 
Luther's Hymn upon the same occasion. And the tune to this 
prayer, printed by Ravenscroft, being likewise Luther's composition, 
and inserted as such in the German Hymn-books, as the reader 
may be curious to see this melody, I shall insert it here from the 
German Gesang-Buch. 



Luther's Prayer against the Turks and Pope. 



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William Damon seems to have been the first who composed 
parts to these old melodies,* in England, which were published 

(x) In the Gesang-Buch and Choral-Buck of Lutheran Psalm and Hymn tunes, published 
1741 and 1754, at Halle and Frankfort, there are many of our old Psalm tunes, as well as in 
those of Goudimel and Claude Le Jeune. 

(y) Ein hubsch new Gesang-Buch — von der Christlichen Bruderschajjt, &c, Ulm, i^S. 
See an account of this book above, p. 36, note (d). 

(z) Bishop Corbet's Epigram, addressed to the Ghost o] Robert Wisdome : 
Thou once a body, now but ayre, 
Arch-botcher of a Psalm or Prayer, 

From Carfax come! \ 
And patch us up a zealous lay, 
With an old ever and for ay. 

Or all and some. 

Or such a spirit lend me 

As may a Hymn down send me 

To purge my braine : 
But, Robert, look behind thee. 
Lest Turk or Pope should find thee, 

And go to bed again. 

Poems, London, 1647, 12°, p. 49. 
t He was buried in Carfax church, Oxford. 

* Damon's work is not the first 4-part version as John Day published in 1563 a 4-part 
version of the whole Psalter: "The whole psalmes in foure partes, which may be song to al 
musicall instrumentes, set forth for the encrease of vertue, and abolishyng of other vayne and 
triflying ballades." 



51 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

with the following title : ' ' The Psalmes of David in English meter 
with notes of foure partes set unto them by Guilielmo Damon, for 
John Bull, to the use of the godly Christians for recreatyng them- 
selves, instede of fond and unseemely Ballades. Anno 1579 at 
London. Printed by John Daye. Cum privilegio." These parts 
not being well received by the public, he published others in 1591, 
and dedicated them to the Lord Treasurer Burleigh (a). In 1585, 
Cosyns published sixty Psalms, in six parts, in plain counterpoint, 
to the melodies which Day had printed before (6).* 

But the most ample and complete edition of the Psalms, in 
parts, that appeared in England during the sixteenth century, was 
the following: " The whole booke of psalmes: with their wonted 
Tunes, as they are song in Churches, composed into foure parts: 
All which are so placed that foure may sing ech one a seueral part 
in this booke. . . . Compiled by sondry avthors. Imprinted at 
London, by T. Est, 1594." These authors were John Dowland, 
E. Blancks, E. Hooper, J. Farmer, R. Allison, G. Kirby, W. 
Cobbold, E. Johnson, and G. Farnaby, who are said in the title-page 
to have " so laboured herein, that the vnskilfull with small practice 
may attaine to sing that part, which is fittest for their voice."** 

The former publications contained only forty tunes, but this 
furnishes one to every Psalm. To the tenor part is assigned the 
principal melody, as in the Psalms of Claude Le Jeune, and others, 
on the continent. The additional parts are cantus, alius, and base. 
The counterpoint is constantly simple, of note against note; but in 
such correct and excellent harmony as manifests the art to have 
been very successfully cultivated in England at that time. 

In 1594, likewise, John Mundy, Gentleman, Bachiler of Musicke, 
and one of the Organists of hir Majesty's free chappel of Windsor, 
published " Songs and Psalmes composed into three, four, and five 
parts, for the use and delight of all such as either love or learne 
Musicke." These are dedicated to the unfortunate Earl of Essex, 
with all the punning, quibbling, and efforts at wit, which the taste 
of the times encouraged, and indeed required. Maister John does 
not seem, however, to have been a very dexterous contrapuntist; 
but let the musical reader judge of his skill by the following 
composition, which is the best that I have been able to select. 



(a) I am in possession of a Miserere, in five parts, composed by William Damon; it was 
lent to me by Dr. Pepusch about the year 1746. The harmony is clear and good, and the 
subject extremely simple and uniform, tho parts constantly singing a tetrachord in moto 
contrario. a . G F E D &c. 

A . B Cf D 

(b) Musike of six and jive -partes; made upon the common tunes used in singing of the 
Psalmes. By John Cosyn. These melodies were not now called by the names of particular 
cities or towns, as they were, afterwards, by Ravenscroft and others. 

* The Altus part is in the B.M. (K. 8. b. 6). 

** The 1st edition of this Psalter was in 1592 (B.M. k. 2. c. 7). The Musical Antiquarian 
Society reprinted the work in 1844. 

52 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

Four part Song By John Mundy Published 1694. 



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53 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 



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In 1599, another collection of Psalms appeared in folio, which 
the Italians would have called S«Zmi Concertati, as they were 
intended for instruments as well as voices. " The Psalms of David 
in Meter, the plaine song being the common tunne to be sung and 
plaide upon the Lute, Orpharyon, Citterne or Base Violl, severally 
or altogether, the singing part to be either Tenor or Treble to the 
instrument, according to the nature of the voyce, or for fowre 
voyces. With tenne short Tunnes in the end, to which for the 
most part all the Psalmes may be usually sung, for the use of such 
as are of mean skill, and whose ley sure least serveth to practize. 
By Richard Allison Gent. Practitioner in the Art of Musicke, and 
are to be solde "at his house in the Dukes place niere Aide-Gate 
London, printed by William Barley, the asigne of Thomas Morley, 
1599" [B.M. K. 7, f. 10]. 

The melodies in this collection are the same as in the earlier 
editions of the version by Sternhold and Hopkins. The parts are 
so disposed in this publication, that four persons sitting round a 
table may perform from the same book. If the author's friends 
may be credited, who have written verses in praise of the work, it 

54 






MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

abounds with uncommon excellence. However, the puff-direct, in 
the shape of friendly panegyrics prefixed to books, was no more 
to be depended on by the public in Queen Elizabeth's time, than 
the puffs oblique of present newspapers. The book has no merit, 
but what was very common, at the time it was printed.* 

The next publication of Psalm-tunes, in four parts,** and 
perhaps the most complete which ever appeared in this country, 
was that of Thomas Ravenscroft, Bachelar of Musick; a professor 
not only well acquainted with the practice of his art, but who 
seems to have bestowed much time in the perusal of the best 
authors, and in meditation on the theory (c). This book, 
published in small octavo, 1621 and 1633, contains a melody for 
every one of the hundred and fifty Psalms, many of them by the 
editor himself, of which a considerable number is still in use: as 
Windsor, St. David's, Southwell, and Canterbury; there are 
others likewise which are sung by the German, Netherlandish, and 
French protestants. To these the base, tenor, and counter-tenor 
parts have been composed by twenty-one English musicians; 
among whom we find the names of Tallis, Dowland, Morley, Bennet, 
Stubbs, Farnaby, and John Milton, the father of our great poet. 
The tunes which are peculiar to the measure of the 100th Psalm, 
the 113th, and 119th, were originally Lutheran, or, perhaps, of 
still higher antiquity. And though Ravenscroft has affixed the 
name of Dr. John Dowland*** to the parts which have been set to 
the 100th Psalm, yet, in the index, he has ranked the melody 
itself with the French tunes; perhaps, from having seen it among 
the melodies that were set to the French version of Clement Marot 
and Theodore Beza's Psalms, by Goudimel and Claude Le Jeune. 
Ravenscroft, in imitation of these harmonists, always gives the 
principal melody, or, as he calls it, the playn-song, to the tenor. 
This part, indeed, he sometimes erroneously terms Fa-burden (d). 
His publication is, in some measure, historical: for he tells us 
not only who composed the parts to old melodies, but who increased 
the common stock, by the addition of new tunes; as well as which 
of them were originally English, Welch, Scots, German, Dutch, 
Italian, French, and imitations of these. 

No tunes of triple time occur in Claude Le Jeune, and but five 
in Ravenscroft: the principal of which are Cambridge, Martyrs, 
Manchester, and the 81st. This last is still much used, and often 

(c) We shall have further occasion to speak oE this author, among musical writers, 
hereafter; at present, Psalmody being our chief pursuit, we shall endeavour to keep it in view, 
till entirely run down. 

(d) This is a corruption of faux-bourdon, and falso bordone, which originally implied 
such simple harmony as arises from a series of thirds and sixths to the base. See Book II. p. 461. 

* This censure is undeserved, for without doubt Allison's Psalter was the best that had 
appeared. He also published in 1606, "An Howres Recreation in Musicke, apt for Instrumentes 
and Voyces," which was edited by Dr. Fellowes in the E.M.S. Vol. 33. 

** At least two Psalters were published between Allison's and Ravenscroft's. Robert Tailour 
published one in 1615 and Barley issued one before 1614. 

***Dowland is called Doctor in the Accounts for 1623 (Bundle 392, Roll 61), but there is no 
record of his proceeding to this degree at either Cambridge, Oxford, or Dublin. He was 
admitted Batchelor of Music, Oxford, in 1588, and some years prior to that at Cambridge. 

55 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

played by chimes; it is called an imitation of a foreign tune, and 
has the name of Richard Allison prefixed to it. Miiller's German 
edition of the Psalm tunes at Frankfort is exactly that of Claude 
Le Jeune, in two parts only; except, that he has transposed some 
of the melodies, and inserted easy leading and connective notes, to 
assist, not only the singer, but sometimes the tunes themselves; 
which without them, would now be very bald and uncouth. Many 
of these old melodies are still sung to German Hymns as well as 
Psalms. 

In the reign of Charles I. the Psalms were paraphrased by Mr. 
George Sandys, the ancestor of the present Lord Sandys, and put 
into better verse than they ever appeared in before or since; and 
the measures being different from those of Sternhold and Hopkins, 
were new set for private devotion by Henry Lawes [in 1637] , whose 
melodies are not so superior to those which were made by his 
predecessors as the poetry deserved. His brother William and he 
had first set them in three parts, to florid counterpoint; and these 
were published 1648. Of the others, in two parts, John Playford, 
in the next reign, was the last editor, 1676.* 

But the most curious and beautiful publication of the kind, 
during the seventeenth century, that has come to my knowledge, 
was that of twenty-two of " The Psalms of David, in fowre 
Languages, Hebrew, Greeke, Latin, and English, and in 4 parts, 
set to the tunes of our Church, with corrections, 1652." Both 
words and music are very neatly engraved on near sixty copper- 
plates, in 16mo. The English version is that of Sternhold, 
retouched, not always for the better; the music, selected from 
Ravenscroft. The editor was Dr. William Slater, of Brazen Noze 
college, Oxon; who, in 1621, published Pales Albion, or the History 
of Britain, in Latin and English, folio. 

This book, as well as Ravenscroft 's, soon becoming scarce, 
honest John Playford furnished the lovers of Psalmody with the 
whole Book ot Psalms and Hymns, in three parts [1677]; which 
being printed in a pocket volume, and at a very reasonable price, 
excited and encouraged a passion for this species of Music through- 
out the kingdom, equal to that of the Calvinists, and other 
protestants on the continent (e). Playford's Psalms afforded to 
the performers an innocent, and, as was imagined, a pious amuse- 
ment, which certainly could neither injure nor offend any but those 
of nicer ears and taste, who, during divine service, were necessarily 
obliged to hear them. For it seems hardly credible that an action 
in itself so harmless and insipid as vociferating a Metrical Psalm, 

(e) Since that time, the parochial tunes have been so generally and firmly established, 
that it would be difficult to prevail on the whole nation to agree in admitting any new 
melodies of this kind, by whomever composed. Diligent and zealous organists sometimes 
compose, and prevail on their own particular congregation to learn new tunes to the old or 
new version; but their celebrity and use seldom extend even to the neighbouring parish of* the 
same town. The only two tunes that have been so honoured as to be adopted, and used 
throughout the kingdom within the last hundred years, are perhaps those of the 104th Psalm, 
and the Easter Hymn. 

* The two-part setting of Sandys' version of the Psalms was published in 1637. The music 
is by Henry Lawes. Other editions appeared in 1648 and 76. 

56 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

in which there was little sense, less poetry, and no Music, should be 
made subservient to such pernicious purposes as the contempt and 
subversion of established religion and government. 

Menestrier (/) says, that Psalms and Hymns were the Opera 
Songs of the fifteenth and sixteenth century; and Varillas (g), 
that the airs applied to the first French version of the Psalms, were 
those of the best songs of the times. Indeed all melody seems now 
to have been Psalmodic, however gay the subject of the words to 
which it was applied. Macropedias, author of Latin Mysteries 
and Moralities, in a farce or drama called Bassarus, Fabula 
festivissima, printed at Utrecht, 1553, terminates every scene with 
the following lively tune: 



gj 3 °- - o noil J uoii oliot i 'o ||j J n a n Qua i i |g j ^ o gg gjl 



W. 

Andrisca, Fabula Lepidissima, written 1537, has melodies set 
to the choruses in the same measure, which is likewise that used 
by this author in the Mysteries or Moralities, called the Prodigal 
Son, Lazarus, Joseph, Adam, &c. except one or two in the Prodigal 
Son, still more dolorous. 

Lovers of mere harmony might receive great pleasure from 
Metrical Psalmody, in parts, devoid as it is of musical measure, 
and syllabic quantity, if it were well performed; but that so seldom 
happens, that the greatest blessing to lovers of Music in a parish- 
church, is to have an organ in it sufficiently powerful to render 
the voices of the clerk, and of those who join in his out-cry, wholly 
inaudible. Indeed all reverence for the Psalms seems to be lost 
by the wretched manner in which they are usually sung; for, 
instead of promoting piety and edification, they only excite 
contempt and ridicule in the principal part of the congregation, 
who disdain to join, though they are obliged to hear, this indecorous 
jargon. There can be no objection to sober and well-disposed 
villagers meeting, at their leisure hours, to practice Psalmody 
together, in private, for their recreation; but it seems as if their 
public performance might be dispensed with during Divine Service, 
unless they had acquired a degree of excellence far superior to what 
is usually met with in parish-churches, either in town or country, 
where there is no organ. 

All these particulars concerning Psalm-singing may appear 
superfluous ; but the History of Psalmody during these times, is 
not only the History of Music, but of the Reformation, in some 
parts of Europe, where little else was to be heard, except these 
lamentable strains, and the comfortless doctrines and terrific 
denunciations of fanatical preachers. Indeed Christians of all 
denominations now thought that, by such metrical and musical 

(/) Des Repres. en Mus. p. 124. 

(g) Hist, de VHeresie. liv. xxi. p. 49. An. 1559. 

57 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

devotion, they were performing a pious and salutary work ; and, 
because it was amusing and delightful to themselves, that nothing 
could be more acceptable to the Divinity than these vocal effusions. 
Roger Ascham, in a letter from Augsburg, dated the 14th of May, 
1551, says, " Three or four thousand singing at a time in a church 
of this city is but a trifle (h)." And according to Beza, in 1558, 
some of the Geneva sects (Huguenots) being in the Prez aux Clercs, 
a public place at Paris, near the University, began to sing Psalms, 
in which others, who were there at the time, joined. This was 
continued for several days by great numbers, among whom was 
the King of Navarre, and many Huguenot Nobles. And in Bishop 
Jewel's Letters to Peter Martyr, March 5, 1560, he says, " A 
change now appears more visible among the people ; which nothing 
promotes more than the inviting them to sing Psalms. This was 
begun in one church in London, and did soon spread itself, not 
only through the city, but in the neighbouring places: sometimes 
at Paul's Cross, there will be six thousand people singing 
together (i)." 

Italy, indeed, does not seem to have been equally infected by 
this malady with the rest of Europe ; however, an experiment was 
made of the force of the virus in that climate, by Diodati of Lucca, 
a Genevan minister, who versified the Psalms in his native tongue, 
and had them secretly printed with unisonous Music, and dispersed 
through Italy. Yet, though his countrymen seem to have been 
insensible to the charms of Puritanical Psalmody, the Latin Psalms, 
Motets, Cantiones, Lamentations, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs, 
which were set and sung in and out of the church, were 
innumerable. 

In Scotland, Psalmody was practised by the reformers very 
early ; but to prose words, till about the year 1555, when it appears 
that Elizabeth Adamson, a follower of Knox, died singing metrical 
Psalms. And at the time of an insurrection, it is said of the 
insurgents, who had insulted the Bishops and the Queen Regent in> her 
own palace, after destroying the statue of Saint Giles, that " search 

(h) See Ascham's Works, published by Bennet, 4to. p. 382. 

(«') Master Mace, in his Mustek's Monument, tells us, with quaint rapture, that the Psalm- 
singing at the siege of York, during the grand rebellion in the year 1644, "was the most 
excellent that has been known or remembered any where in these our latter ages. Most 
certain I am," continues he, "that to myself it was the very best Harmonical Musick that ever 
I heard; yea far excelling all other either private or publick Cathedral Musick, and infinitely 

beyond all verbal expression or conceiving." "Abundance of people of the best rank and 

quality being shut up in the city, viz., Lords, Knights, and Gentlemen of the countries round 
about, besides the souldiers and citizens, who all or most of them came constantly every 
Sunday to hear public prayers and sermon, the number was so exceeding great, that the 
church was (as I may say) even cramming and squeezing full. 

"Now here you must take notice, that they had then a custom in that church (which I hear 
not of in any other cathedral, which was) that always before the sermon, the whole 
congregation sang a Psalm, together with the quire and the organ; and you must also know, 
that there was then a most excellent-large-plump-lusty-full-speaking-organ, which cost (as I am 
credibly informed) a thousand pounds. 

"This organ, I say (when the Psalm was set before the sermon) being let out, into all its 
fulness of stops, together with the quire, began the Psalm. 

"But when that vast-conchording unity of the whole congregational-chorus, came (as I may 
say) thundering in, even so, as it made the very ground shake under us; (Oh the unutterable 
ravishing soul's delight !) in the which I was so transported, and wrapt up into high 
contemplation, that there was no room left in my whole man, viz., body, and spirit, for any 
thing below divine and heavenly raptures." 

58 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

was made for the doers, but none could be deprehended: for the 
brethren assembled themselves in such sort, in companies, singing 
Psalms, and praising God, that the proudest of the enemies were 
astonished (&)." 

In our own country, for more than a century after the 
Reformation, the spirit of change being fomented by an intercourse 
with the Calvinists in France, Geneva, Holland, Frankfort, and 
Scotland, prevented the restless and turbulent part of the nation 
from being satisfied with the important points which had been 
gained, by being liberated from Papal power, and from such 
doctrines as were deemed erroneous ; by having divine service 
performed in our own language ; and by the abolition of such rites 
and ceremonies as were thought to be the offspring of ignorance, 
priestcraft, and superstition. For the sluices of innovation once 
thrown open, such torrents of incongruous opinions, such wild 
expositions of Scripture, such absurd and fanatical ideas of purity 
and divine dispensations, deluged the whole kingdom, that nothing 
less than the direct reverse of all that virtue, wisdom, and piety had 
once thought right, would content the zealots, who wanted to 
persuade mankind that they were gifted with a New Light, by which 
they could not only see their road in this world better than the rest 
of their species, but in the next. 

Some call it Gift, and some New Light, 

A lib'ral art that costs no pains 

Of study, industry, or brains. Hudibras. 

Many of the Roman-catholic ceremonies and superstitions seem 
to have been more puerile and popular than noxious ; and whether 
the multitude is able to comprehend a pure, refined, philosophic, 
and spiritual religion, divested of all that captivates or deceives the 
senses, is still to prove: for history tells us of no people, however 
civilized and polished, whose religious worship has been merely 
intellectual. 

More than sufficient has, I fear, been already said on the dull 
subject of Unisonous and Metrical Psalmody ; and yet, before the 
article is finally closed, I cannot help trying to obviate the principal 
objection that has been urged against the admission of a better 
species of Music in the service of the church. 

The Puritans, who, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, had 
devoted our cathedral service to destruction, and who seemed to 
wish not only to hear the Psalms, but the whole Scriptures, 
syllabically sung in metre, assigned as a reason for such an abuse of 
words, as well as annihilation of Poetry and Music, the absolute 
necessity of such a simple kind of Music as would suit the whole 
congregation (I). But why is the whole congregation to sing any 

(k) Neal's History of the Puritans, 2d edit. p. 99, and 105. 

{I) It is said in the Nineteenth of Fifty-two Articles of Reformation, drawn up in the 
reign of King Edward VI. and intended for the Royal Assent, but which never received it, that 
"In the Anthems (of cathedrals) all figured Music should be taken away." Burnet's Hist. Ref. 
Vol. II. p. 200. 

59 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

more than preach, or read prayers? Indeed it seems to have been 
the wish of illiterate and furious reformers, that all religious offices 
should be performed by Field-preachers and Street-singers ; but it 
is well known by all who read the Scriptures, or hear them read, 
that both singing-men and singing-women were appointed to perform 
distinct parts of religious rites among the ancient Hebrews as well 
as Christians ; and it does not appear by any passages in the Bible, 
by any thing which the most ancient and learned commentators 
have urged concerning the performance of the Psalms, or by 
Rabbinical traditions, that they were all originally intended to be 
sung by the multitude, or whole congregation, indiscriminately. 
Singing implies not only a tuneable voice, but skill in Music: for 
Music either is, or is not an Art, or something which nature and 
instinct do not supply; if it be allowed that title, study, practice, and 
experience may at least be as necessary to its attainment as to that 
of a mechanical trade or calling. Every member of a conventicle, 
however it may abound with cordwainers and taylors, would not 
pretend to make a shoe or a suit of cloaths; and yet in our churches 
all are to sing. Such singing as is customary in our parochial service 
gives neither ornament nor dignity to the Psalms, or portions of 
Scripture, that are drawled out, and bawled with that unmusical 
and unmeaning vehemence which the satirist has described : 

-So swells each wind-pipe- 



Such as from lab'ring lungs enthusiastic flows, 

High sound, attemper'd to the vocal nose. Dunciad. 

It cannot be for the sake of the sentiments, or instructions, which the 
words contain ; these are better understood when read by the 
clergyman and clerk; and why, after being read, they should be sung, 
unless Music is supposed to add to their energy or embellishment, 
is not easy to discover ( m) . 

After bestowing so many pages on Lutheran, Calvinistical, and 
English Psalmody, of the sixteenth century, it is time to speak of a 
superior species of Church-Music, which, during the reign of 
Queen Elizabeth, was no where more successfully cultivated than 
in our own country, by Robert White, Thomas Tallis, William 
Bird, Thomas Morley, and others. 

To do justice to the musical learning and genius of these 
harmonists would require a dissertation of considerable length, 
with specimens of their compositions, that would occupy more 
space than I shall be able to spare; but as my late worthy friend, 
Dr. Boyce, in his excellent Collection of English Cathedral-Music, 
has inserted examples of the style of all our greatest masters, 
except White; and as many of their productions are preserved in 
manuscript by the curious, there will be the less occasion to exhibit 
them here. 

(m) In many conventicles, and even parish churches, each line of a Psalm is pronounced 
aloud by the clerk, before it is sung by the congregation; which is confessing that even their 
own syllabic and unisonous singing is not sufficiently plain to render the words intelligible; and 
indeed they are more disguised and injured by psalmodic singing than by the most rapid 
and artificial cantilina of florid song. 

60 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

As none but the highest mountains and most lofty promontories 
of a country are visible at a great distance, so none but the most 
towering and exalted characters of a remote age are prominent to 
posterity. In proportion as we recede from any period of time, 
inferior actors, however they may have distinguished themselves to 
their cotemporanes, are rendered invisible, and, like telescopic 
stars, can only be discovered by the assistance of art. In Musical 
History, therefore, it is only a few protuberant and gigantic 
characters that the general eye can see stalking at a distance. 
History, indeed, sometimes lends her hand to a deserving name, 
that has been obscured or eclipsed by accident or injustice, and 
lifts it from oblivion. 

Robert White [c. 1530-74] who preceded Bird and Tallis, and 
who died before their fame was well established, was an excellent 
composer of church services in the style of Palestrina; which, 
however, he did not imitate, as he was anterior to him*, and a great 
master of harmony before the productions of this chief of the Roman 
school were published, or at least circulated, in other parts of 
Europe (n). The works of White seem never to have been printed; 
but in the library of Christ Church, Oxford, a sufficient number of 
them in manuscript has been preserved, to excite not only wonder, 
but indignation, at the little notice that has been taken of him by 
musical writers (o). Morley, indeed, has given him a place in the 
list of composers at the end of his Introduction, and ranks him 
with Orlando di Lasso, among excellent men, who had ventured 
to begin a composition with a fourth and sixth (p); he likewise 
(q) places him with Fairfax, Taverner, Shepherd, Mundy, Parsons, 
and Bird, " famous Englishmen who have been nothing inferior 
to the best composers on the continent." And no musician had 
then appeared who better deserved to be celebrated for knowledge 
of harmony, and clearness of style, than Robert White, as the 
following Anthem for five voices will sufficiently shew. 



(n) White was dead in 1581, when his Latin Full Anthems and Services were beautifully 
transcribed in a set of books, still preserved at Oxford, as we find by a distich at the end 
of a prayer, in five parts, upon a plain song: "Precamur Sancte Domine." 

Maxima Musarum nostrarum gloria White 
Tu peris; ceternum sed tua Musa manet. 

(0) The collection of printed and manuscript Music, bequeathed to Christ Church, Oxon, 
by that great judge and patron of the art, Dr. Aldrich, joined to that of its late organist, Mr. 
Richard Goodson, which was very considerable, is one of the most complete, in old masters, 
that I have seen. To these valuable books I have not only been honoured with free access 
by the Rev. Dean and Canons, but allowed, in the most liberal manner, to take many of the 
most curious in the collection out of the library, for a considerable time, in order to consult 
and make extracts from them at my leisure. 

(p) Annotations. 

(<?) P. 151. 

* Palestrina who was born in 1525 or 26, was slightly the elder of the two. A few 
compositions by Whyte have been published by Arkwright (O.E.E. No. 21). In Burn's 
Anthems and Services (2nd series c. 1847) will be found an anthem in 8-parts. C K. Scott 
includes a work by Whyte in Euterpe, vol. 8. Vol. 8 of the T.CM. has his Church Music. 

The MS. of the Bittes, of three Parte, once in the possession of Dr. Burney appears to 
have been lost. 

6l 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 



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64 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

Besides this composition, and a great number of others, to Latin 
words, which I have scored from the Christ Church books, and 
which were probably produced at the latter end of Henry VIII. 's 
reign, or during the time of Queen Mary, when the Romish service 
was still in use, I am in possession of a small manuscript, which, 
by the writing and orthography, seems of the sixteenth century, 
entitled, " Mr. Robert Whyte, his Bitts, of three Parte Songes, in 
Partition; with Ditties, 11, withoute Ditties, 16." These are short 
fugues or intonations in most of the eight ecclesiastical modes, in 
which the harmony is extremely pure, and the answer to each 
subject of fugue brought in with great science and regularity. 

Though Choral Music had been cultivated by several able 
harmonists before Tallis and Bird had distinguished themselves; 
yet, as few compositions, anterior to the time in which these 
admirable masters flourished, have been preserved, and of these 
few, scarce any continue to be used in our cathedral service, they 
may with truth be called the fathers of our genuine and national 
Sacred Music. Indeed I have been able to find, in all my 
researches, no choral compositions in other parts of Europe, of 
equal antiquity, superior to those which have been preserved of 
these authors, the pride of our country, and honour of their 
profession ! 

Thomas Tallis [c. 1505-85], the master of Bird, and one of 
the greatest musicians, not only of this country, but of Europe, 
during the sixteenth century, in which'so many able contrapuntists 
were produced, was born early in the reign of Henry VIII. but 
though it has been frequently asserted that he was organist of the 
Chapel Royal during the reigns of that Monarch, Edward VI., 
Queen Mary, and Queen Elizabeth; yet it would be difficult to 
prove that, in the three first of these reigns, laymen were ever 
appointed to any such office. In the reign of Henry, and his 
daughter Mary, when the Roman catholic religion prevailed, the 
organ, in convents, was usually played by monks; and in 
cathedrals and collegiate churches and chapels, by the canons, and 
others of the priesthood. The first lay organists of the Chapel 
Royal upon record were Dr. Tye, Blithman, the master of Dr. 
Bull, Tallis, and Bird; all during the reign of Queen Elizabeth.* 

Though the melody of the cathedral service was first adjusted to 
English words by Marbeck (r), yet Tallis enriched it with harmony. 
Indeed the melody used by Tallis is not exactly similar to that of 
Marbeck, it is only of the same kind: consisting of fragments of 
the ancient ecclesiastical can to fermo. But the harmony in which 
he has clothed it is admirable; and the modulation being so antique, 
chiefly in common chords or fundamental harmony to each note 
of the diatonic scale, often where the moderns have sixths, 
sevenths, and their inversions, produces a solemn and very 

(r) See Book II. p. 804. 

* Tallis was joint organist at the Chapel Royal with Byrd in 1575 as is shown by the 
title page of the Cantiones Sacra which they published in that year. 

Vol,, ii. 5. 65 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

different effect from any Music that has been composed during the 
present century (s). 

There are two compositions by Tallis for the organ, preserved 
in Queen Elizabeth's Virginal Book, one of which is dated 1561 
[1562], and the other 1564; both built upon a dull and unmean- 
ing ground, or fragment of plain-chant, (fcslix namque), and both 
alike dry, elaborate, and difficult, to hands formed by modern 
Music. The little melody and rhythm in the compositions of these 
times required all the harmony that could be crowded into them. 
Notes are multiplied without end, and difficulties created without 
effect. It is not by the Instrumental Music, which had been but 
little cultivated, that we must judge of the genius of old masters; 
but by Vocal, in parts : where the harmony and contrivance 
compensate for want of accent, taste, and invention. A Prayer, 
in four parts, published by Tallis in 1565, has been already given 
(t); but the Latin Motets and Hymns, or Cantiones sacra, which 
he published jointly with those of his disciple Bird, are perhaps the 
best of his compositions that have been preserved. These appeared 
in 1575, under the following title: Cantiones qua ab Argumento 
sacra vocantur quinque et sex Partium. Autoribus Thoma Tallissio 
et Gulielmo Birdo, Anglis, Serenissimce Regince Majestati a privato 
sacello Generosis et Organistis. At the time of this publication, a 
very arbitrary and monopolising patent was granted by Queen 
Elizabeth to these composers, for twenty-one years, not only for 
the publication of their own productions, vocal and instrumental, 
but those of all other musicians, whether English, French, or 
Italian, as well as for the sole ruling and vending of Music-paper 

Most of these excellent compositions, of which the words were 
originally Latin, were afterwards adjusted to English words by Dr. 

(s) As all melody, in which the semitones are avoided, must resemble that of Scotland : 
so all harmony, in which neither the tritonus nor false fifth occur, and where the second, third, 
and sixth of the key, are only accompanied with ccmmon chords, must remind us of that 
which prevailed in the sixteenth century; and though so ancient, appear new to our ears, 
from its long disuse. 

(t) See above, p. 33. 

(u) " The Extract and Effect of the Qvenes Maiesties letters patents to Thomas Tallis and 
William Birde, for the printing of Musicke : 

"Elizabeth, by the grace of God Quene of Englande, Fraunce, and Irelande, Defender 
of the Faith, &c. To all printers, bokesellers, and other officers, ministers, and subiects, 
greting : Knowc ye, that we for the especiall affection and good wil that we haue and beare 
to the science of Musicke, and for the aduauncement thereof, by our letters patents dated the 
xxii. of lanuary, in the xvii. yere of our raigne, have graunted full priuiledge and licence 
vnto our welbeloued seruaunls Thomas Tallis and William Birde, Gent, of our Chappell, and 
to the overlyuer of them, and to the assignes of them, and the suruiuer of them, for xxi. 
yeares next ensuing, to imprint any and so many as they will of set songe or songes in partes, 
either in English, Latine, French, Italian, or other tongues that may serue for Musicke either 
in churche or chamber, or otherwise to be either plaid or soonge; and that they may rule, and 
cause to be ruled, by impression, any paper to serue for printing of pricking of any songe or 
songes, and may sell and vtler any printed bokes and papers of any songe or songes, or any 
booke, or quieres of such ruled paper imprinted. Also we straightly by the same forbid all 
printers, bookeseller;. subiects and straungers, other than as is aforesaid, to do any the 
premisses, or to bring, or cause to be brought out of any forren realms into any our dominions, 
any songe or songes made and printed in any forren countrie, to sell or put to sale, vppon 
Paine of our high displeasure; and the offender in any of the premisses for euery time to 
forfet to us, our heires, and successors, fortie shillings; and to the said Thomas Tallis and 
William Birde, or to their assignes, and to the assignes of the suruiuer of them, all and every 
the said bokes, papers, songe, or songes. We haue also by the same willed and commaunded 
our printers, maisters and wardens of the misterie of stationers, to assist the said Thomas 
Tallis and William Birde, and their assignes, for the dewe executing of the premisses." 

66 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

Aldrich, and others, for the use of our cathedrals.* The canons, 
inversions, augmentations, diminutions, and other learned and 
fashionable contrivances of the times, which were of very difficult 
accomplishment, are carried to a wonderful degree of ingenuity in 
these productions. 

Dr. Thomas Tudway, of Cambridge, made a very valuable 
collection of English Church Music, in score, from the Reformation 
to the Restoration, in six volumes, thick 4to. for Lord Harley, 
afterwards Earl of Oxford, which is now among the Harleian 
manuscripts, in the British Museum, No. 7337. In the first volume 
of this collection we have the whole service of Tallis in D minor, 
in four parts, consisting of the Te Deum, Benedictus, Kyrie Eleison, 
Credo, Magnificat, Nunc Dimittis, and Litany, as printed in 1760, 
by Dr. Boyce; with several anthems in four and five parts: as, 
" Wipe away my sins; With all our hearts and mouths; O Lord, 
give thy holy spirit; I call and cry: " and his anthem, " Discomfit 
them, O Lord! " erroneously said by Dr. Tudway to have been 
set for the victory over the Spanish Armada, 1588. 

In Christ Church, Oxford, are manuscript scores of his Preces, 
Litany, and Anthems, among others by Bird, Farrant, Bull, 
Gibbons, and Child. Five of his motets and full anthems, in five 
parts, to Latin and English words, are likewise here preserved 
among the works of other English masters, in Dr. Aldrich' s 
collection. But the most curious and extraordinary of all his 
labours, was his Song of Forty Parts,** which is still subsisting 
(x). This wonderful effort of harmonical abilities is not divided 
into choirs of four parts: soprano, altus, tenor, and base, in each, 
like the compositions a molti cori, of Benevoli, and others; but 
consists of eight trebles, placed under each other; eight mezzi 
soprani, or mean parts; eight counter-tenors; eight tenors; and 
eight bases; with one line allotted to the organ. All these several 
parts, as may be imagined, are not in simple counterpoint, or filled 
up in mere harmon}^ without meaning or design, but have each 
a share in the short subjects of fugue and imitation, which are 
introduced upon every change of words. The first subject is begun 
in G, by the first mezzo soprano, or medius, and answered in D, 
the fifth above, by the first soprano; the second medius in like 
manner beginning in G, is answered in the octave below by the 
first tenor, and that by the first counter-tenor in D, the fifth above; 
then the first base has the subject in D, the eighth below the 
counter-tenor; and thus all the forty real parts are severally 
introduced in the course of thirty-nine bars, when the whole vocal 
phalanx is employed at once, during six bars more (y). After which 

(x) After being in the possession of the Earl of Oxford, it was attracted into the vortex 
of Dr. Pepusch; but is, at present the property of Mr. Robert Bremner, Music-printer, in the 
Strand. 

(y) The entire composition consists of one hundred and thirty-eight bars, in alia breve 
time. 

* It must not be assumed that all the works of Tallis to English words were adaptations 
from Latin texts. Grove's (Vol. V. p. 260) gives 18 Anthems which are original settings of 
English words. 

Volume VI. of the T.C.M. is devoted to Latin Church Music by him. 

** A copy of the 40-part motet Spent in alium non habui is in the B.M. (Add. MSS. 29968). 
and other copies exist. 

67 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

a new subject is led off by the lowest base, and pursued by other 
parts, severally, for about twenty-four bars, when there is another 
general chorus of all the parts; and thus this stupendous, though 
perhaps Gothic, specimen of human labour and intellect, is carried 
on in alternate flight, pursuit, attack, and choral union to the end; 
when the Polyphonic Phenomenon is terminated by twelve bars of 
universal chorus, in quadragintesimal harmony (z). 

This venerable musician died in November, 1585, and was 
buried in the old parish church of Greenwich, in Kent. The 
following epitaph, which Dr. Boyce has printed in the first volume 
of his Collection of Cathedral Music, Strype, in his Continuation 
of Stow's Survey, printed 1720, says he found engraved in Gothic 
letters, on a brass plate in the chancel. 

lEnterreB fjere Botfj In a toorfyg toggjjt, 

WLfyo for long tgme in fflwitn oore tfje bell : 
Hts name to sbeto bias Thomas Tailis ijsgfjt, 

En fyonest bertuous Igff fje tJijfci ereell. 
He serb'U long tgme in ©tjappel tottf) grete pragse 

jFotoer Soberejognes retgnes, (a rinng not often seene) ; 
$ mean 3fttng Henry anB ^rgnee Edward's trages, 

<&,uene Marie an& Elizabeth our <&rtene, 
He margeti toas, tfjougi) eljtlftren ije ijafcf none, 

&nB Igb'B in lobe full tijree antr tijtrtg geres 
®2Etti) logal snomse, b)l>os name gelept bias Jone, 

Mfjo l)ere entomtj'U, ijtm eompang nob) Bears. 
as Ije BgB lj>be, so also BgB ije Bg, 

In m»lQ anB quget sort, © ijaong man ! 
2To ^5oti ful oft for merej) tftD fje erg, 

Wherefore i)e Igbes, let Betlj Bo mljat lie ean. 

The stone to which this plate was affixed had been renewed by 
Dr. Aldrich; but the old church having been pulled down, about 
the year 1720, in order to be rebuilt, no memorial remains of Tailis, 
or any other illustrious person, who had been interred there, anterior 
to that period (a). 

(z) If ever any other compositions than those of Handel were to be performed in 
Westminster-Abbey, during the stupendous Annual Congress of Musicians, it seems as if this, 
and others of Tailis, Bird, Gibbons, and Purcel, should have the advantage of such a correct 
and numerous choral band. 

(a) In the tenor part of the beautiful set of manuscript books in the musical library of 
Christ Church, Oxon, already mentioned, containing many admirable compositions, chiefly to 
Latin words, by the best English masters of the sixteenth century, among which are several by 
Tailis, which were entered in these books during his life; we find at the end of No. 42, the 
following distichs : 

Quatuor illustris vixit sub Regibns iste 

Tallissius magno dignus honore senex. 
Sub quibus eximius si Mttsicus esset habendus 
Tallissius semper gloria prima fuit. 
In the base part, p. 20, is likewise this distict : 

Talis et tantus Tallissi Musicus, ut si 
Fata senex auferrent Musica muta joret. 
And p. 43, it is said, Mortuus est 23° Novembris, 1585. Sepultus Grenovici in Chori Ecclesia 
Parochialis. Which being recorded at the time, invalidates Dr. Tudway's supposition, that his 
anthem, "Discomfit them, Lord," was composed for the Spanish invasion, 1388. 

68 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVI CENTURY 



I shall here insert two movements, by this admirable contra- 
puntist, from the Cantiones Sacrce, (No. I. and No. XIII.) which 
are become very scarce; and though they are somewhat long, 
and will require more plates than I can well afford to give, yet, 
if foreigners should ever deign to look into my book, it is my wish, 
for the honour of our nation, they should see, that long before 
the works and reputation of Palestrina had circulated throughout 
Europe, we had Choral Music of our own, which for gravity of 
style, purity of harmony, ingenuity of design, and clear and 
masterly contexture, was equal to the best productions of that 
truly venerable master. 

All that is likely to disturb modern eyes and ears in the first 
of these compositions, is the frequent use of the 3d. with the f , (at 
this mark +), which occurs likewise in most of Tallis's other 
productions: a combination that later contrapuntists have long 
since avoided. The ear, however, may tolerate this triple dissonance 
on most occasions, except when it immediately precedes a close, 
(as at this sign -ff ), where it must offend every cultivated and 
well-organised ear. 

In the second example, the answers to the two first subjects 
of fugue, or imitation, are curious: being very ingeniously given 
in the third below each part; which, though uncommon, is pleasing, 
and productive of good effects, from the alternate use of major 



and minor keys : j=^P 



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At the 



introduction of new words, there are six other subjects of fugue 
and double counterpoint in this movement; all which are treated 
in a very masterly manner. 



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n 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

William Bird [1543-1623] the worthy and admirable scholar of 
the profound Tallis, is supposed to have been the son of Thomas 
Bird, one of the Gentlemen of Edward the Sixth's chapel, in which 
he was, himself, a singing-boy.* By the great number of his 
ecclesiastical compositions to Latin words, and the several portions 
of the Romish ritual which he so frequently set to Music, and 
published late in life, he seems to have been long a zealous adherent 
to that religion. He must, however, have conformed to the church 
establishments of Queen Elizabeth's reign ; for, in 1563, he was 
chosen organist of Lincoln cathedral, where he continued till 1569, 
when, upon the accidental death of Robert Parsons (b), who was 
drowned at Newark upon Trent, he was appointed Gentleman of the 
Chapel Royal. Notwithstanding which office, he seems to have 
composed the chief part of his Choral Music to Latin words, and to 
have published it in that language, as late as the middle of the 
reign of King James I. 

In 1575, it appears by the title-page of the Cantiones Sacrce, and 
the patent annexed to that work, that he and Tallis were not only 
Gentlemen of the Royal Chapel, but Organists to her Majesty 
Queen Elizabeth.** Indeed both must have been great performers 
on the organ , :o have been able to play such of their pieces for that 
instrument as are still preserved ; in which the passages, though 
awkward to performers who are only accustomed to modern Music, 
must have been suggested by hands that were habituated to the 
complicated, and now, almost, invincible difficulties of the sixteenth 
century. And though the compositions for keyed-instruments, by 
these great masters of harmony, are totally unimpassioned, and 
without grace it is impossible not to regard their ingenuity and 
contrivance in the texture of the parts, with respect and wonder ! 

If we consider the elaborate style of composition which prevailed, 
particularly in the church, during the time of Bird, and that he, like 
his master Tallis, was not only ambitious of vanquishing its usual 
difficulties in the construction of fugues and canons, but sought new 
complications, perplexities, and involutions in the motion and 
arrangement of the parts, the following list of his works will not 
only manifest diligence, but fecundity. 

Besides the great share he had in the Cantiones Sacra, published 
in conjunction with his master Tallis, in 1575, when his name first 
appears as an author ; and without enumerating many admirable 
compositions for the church and chamber, still subsisting, but which 
were never printed, or, at least, not till after his decease, he published 



(b) See Book II. p. 795. 

* The first authentic record of Byrd is his appointment as organist at Lincoln Cathedral 
in 1563. It is probable that on his being admitted as a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal he 
did not relinquish his post at Lincoln immediately, as we hear of his daughter Elizabeth being 
baptized there in 1571-2. In December of the same year William Butler succeeded him as 
organist, and Byrd then terminated his connection with Lincoln. 

** After the death of Tallis in 1585 he remained as sole Organist of the Chapel Royal. 
74 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

Psalms, Sonnets, and Songs of Sadnes and Pielie, of five parts 
(c), 1588. 

Liber primus sacrarum Cantionum, quinque vocum (d), 1589. 

Songs of sundrie Natures, some of Gravitie, and others of Myrth, 
fit for all Companies and Voyces (e), 1589. 

Gradualia ac Cantiones Sacrce, Lib. primus et secundus (/), 1607 
and 1610. 

The last work published by himself, was entitled, 

Psalms, Songs, and Sonnets: some solemne, others joyfull, 
framed to the Life of the Words (g): fit for Voyces or Viols, of three, 
four, five, and six partes, 1611. 



(c) This work is dedicated to Sir Christopher Hatton, Lord Chancellor, calling it his first 
production to English words. At the back of the title we have 

"Reasons briefly set downe by th' Auctor, to persuade every one to learn to sing. 

"First, It is a knowledge easily taught, and quickly learned, wher there is a good master, 
and an apt scoler. 

"2. The exercise of singing is delightful to nature, and good to preserve the health of man. 

"3. It doth strengthen all parts of the breast, and doth open the pipes. 

"4. It is a singular good remedie for a stuttering and stammering in the speech. 

"5. It is the best means to preserve a perfect pronunciation, and to make a good orator. 

"6. It is the only way to know where nature hath bestowed the benefit of a good voyce : 
which gift is so rare, as there is not one among a thousand that hath it : and in many that 
excellent gift is lost, because they want an art to expresse nature. 

"7. There is not any Musicke of instruments whatsoever, comparable to that which is made 
of the voyces of men where the voyces are good, and the same well sorted and ordered. 

"8. The better the voyce is, the meeter it is tc honour and serve God therewith : and the 
voyce of man is chiefly to be employed to that end. 

" Omnis-spiritus laudet Dominum. 
Since singing is so good a thing, 
I wish all men would learn to sing." 

{d) The style of these Sacred Songs, which are dedicated to Edward Somerset, Earl of 
Worcester, is peculiarly grave and solid. 

(e) Dedicated to Lord Hunsdon; to whom, as well as in the preface, he observes, that 
"since the publishing his last labours in' Musicke, the exercise and love of the art had 
exceedingly increased." 

(/) The first book of these admirable pieces of harmony is dedicated to the Earl of 
Northampton, who had prevailed on King James to augment the salaries of the Gentlemen of 
the Chapel Royal. The second book is dedicated to Lord Petre. These composiitons are 
equally grave and solemn with those of Palestrina, to the same words, and seem in no respect 
inferior to the choral works of that great master. 

(g) Notwithstanding this boast, he does not seem to have been more attentive to accent, 
or successful in attempts at expression, in these songs, than elsewhere. Indeed among his 
Songs of sundrie natures, the obvious imitation of the words, by musical intervals, in setting 
the 130th Psalm, "From Depth of Sinne"; and that of the trussing, or soaring and stooping 
of the falcon, in "The greedy Hawke with sooden Sight of Lure," have not escaped him. But 
imitative and picturesque Music, and such beauties as proceed from light and shade, and 
variety of effect, were not in contemplation till some time after the musical Drama was 
cultivated; so that, deficient as the compositions of our countrymen of the sixteenth century 
may be, in these particulars, they are not more deserving of censure than those of the best 
masters of Italy, France, and Flanders, of the same period. After pointing out, therefore, the 
general inattention at this time to prosody, accent, and quantity, in setting to Music every 
language, ancient and modern, it would be more candid to others, and, perhaps, kind to 
ourselves, to examine the compositions of old masters by such rules as were at that period 
established, than by ex post facto laws. We should then find a grateful purity of harmony, 
such as the age allowed, in which a sparing use was made of such discords only as were least 
offensive; an ingenuity of design and contrivance; a solemnity of style, and a sober modulation; 
which, though not appropriated to Ecclesiastical Music only, in the time of Tallis and Bird, 
renders its performance peculiarly grave, and the sensations it excites totally remote from all 
those which are now produced by modern Music of any kind, ecclesiastical or secular. 

75 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

Dr. Tudway's collection, in the British Museum, contains a 
whole service in D minor, by Bird, with responses, and the anthems, 
Sing joyfully unto God — Lord, turn thy Wrath — (all published 
in the second and third volumes of Dr. Boyce's Cathedral Music). — 
Lord, make thy Servant — Save me, God — Prevent us, Lord. 
Civitas sancti tuo, one of his Sacrarum Cantionum, or Sacred Songs, 
published 1589, has been long sung in our cathedrals to the English 
words, " Bow thine ear, O Lord," and is one of the admirable pieces 
of harmony in the second volume of Boyce's printed collection. 

Dr. Aldrich, who was a great admirer and collector of the works 
of Bird, and who adapted English words to most of his compositions 
which have been used in our cathedrals, and that were originally 
set to parts of the Romish service, in Latin, has bequeathed to Christ 
Church, Oxon, beautiful and correct copies of most of his 
productions. In the small quarto set of books, already mentioned, 
near forty of his compositions are preserved ; and in another set, 
many more, with those of Tallis, Taverner, Tye, White, Redforde, 
both the Mundys, Shepherd, Bull, and other cotemporary English 
masters. 

His pieces for the organ and virginals are almost innumerable. 
In a magnificent folio manuscript, curiously bound in red Morocco, 
already mentioned (h), which is generally known by the name of 
Queen Elizabeth's Virginal Book,* there are near seventy of 
his compositions (i) . 

The first piece by Bird, in this book, and the eighth in the 
collection, is a Fantasia, which generally implies a Fugue, in which 
the subject is as frequently changed as in ancient Choral Music, 
where new words require new accents and intervals ; for as yet, it 
was not the custom in composing fugues to confine a whole movement 

(/[) Vide p. 24. 

(i) This book, equally valuable for its antiquity and contents, was purchased at Dr. 
Pepusch's sale, in 1762, by Mr. Robert Bremner, whose property it is at present. The writing 
is small, but uncommonly neat, upon six lines. The compositions are in general extremely 
elaborate and difficult; particularly those by Bird, Dr. Bull, and Giles Farnabie, who have all 
contributed largely to the furnishing of this volume, which contains near three hundred pieces. 
The first movement in the book is an old English tune, called Walsingham, beginning in C 
natural, and ending in A major, which Dr. Bull has varied, in a most full and complicated 
style, thirty different ways. Signora Margarita, the wife of Dr. Pepusch, when she quitted the 
Opera stage, applied cloely to the practice of the harpsichord; upon which instrument she 
became a great proficient. However, with all her own diligence and talents, assisted by the 
science and experience of her husband, she was never able to vanquish the difficulties of this 
piece, by Dr. Bull. And several of Dr. Pepusch's friends and pupils, who went frequently to 
his apartments at the Charter-house, have assured me, that though this manuscript was 
constantly open upon her harpsichord desk, she never advanced to the end of the variations; 
as seems likewise manifest from the colour, as well as wear and tear, of the leaves, which are 
much more clean and entire in every other part of the book, than at the first strains of this 
composition. 

* This is now known as the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book and is deposited in the Fitzwilliam 
Museum, Cambridge. A modern reprint was edited by J. A. Fuller MaitJand and W. Barclay 
Squire, and published by B. and H. between 1894-99 in monthly parts. 

A cheap reprint of this important collection is urgently needed. The complete work 
contains 297 pieces for the virginals, of which number Byrd contributed 72 original works or 
settings of music by other composers. 

76 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

to one theme : and here Bird introduces five or six, wholly different 
and unconnected with each other (k). 

The subject of the second composition, by Bird, in the Royal 
Virginal Book, is the tune of an old ballad, " Jhon come kiss me 
now; " of which, with great labour and ingenuity, he has varied 
the accompaniments sixteen different ways ; for while the treble, 
base, or some inward part is always playing the original air, three 
other parts are moving in fugue, or running rapid and difficult 
divisions (l). No. 52, is another Fancie ; and 56, a Pavan, by 
Bird ; which implied a grave majestic dance, in common time, 
similar to the movement of the Peacock (m). This strain was 
usually followed by the Galliard ; which, on the contrary, was a gay 
and lively dance, in triple time, but on the same subject as the 
preceding Pavan (n). No. 58, is entitled, The Carman's Whistle. 
From No. 58 to 69, the compositions are all by Bird ; consisting 
chiefly of old tunes, with variations ; among which is Fortune, a 
plaintive and expressive melody, to which the ballad, called Titus 
Andronicus 's Complaint, inserted in Reliques of ancient English 
Poetry, Vol. I. p. 204, was originally written. It has been 
imagined that the rage for variations, that is, multiplying notes, 
and disguising the melody of an easy, and, generally, well-known 
air, by every means that a spacca nota, or note splitter, sees 
possible, was the contagion of the present century ; but it appears 
from the Virginal Book, that this species of influenza, or corruption 
of air, was more excessive in the sixteenth century, than at any 
other period of Musical History. 

(k) The first regular fugue, for the organ, upon one subject, that I have seen, was 
composed by Peter Philips, about the end of the sixteenth century, and is inserted in the 
Virginal Book of Queen Elizabeth, which contains eighteen or twenty of his compositions. He 
was an Englishman, but resided chiefly abroad, being for some time organist of the collegiate 
church of St. Vincent, at Soignies, in Germany; and afterwards engaged in the service of the 
Archduke Albert of Austria. Draudius (Bibl. Class, et Exotica,) has given the titles of several 
of his vocal compositions; and Peacham (p. 102) says, " Nor must I forget our rare 
countryman, Peter Philips, organist to their Altezza's, at Bruxels, now one of the greatest 
masters of Musicke in Europe. Hee hath sent us over many excellent songs, as well motets as 
madrigals : he affecteth altogether the Italian veine." Second Edit, 1634. This author has 
manifested considerable abilities in treating a single subject, which he has introduced no less 
than thirty-nine times: simple; in augmentation; and in diminution. The harmony is very 
full, but the modulation being chiefly confined to the key-note, and its fifth, is somewhat 
monotonous; and the divisions, in accompanying the subject, are now become too common and 
vulgar to afford pleasure, or even to be heard with patience, by fastidious judges of modern 
melody. It has been said by M. Marpurg (Traite de la Fugue), that fugues enjoy the privilege 
of greater longevity than any other species of Music; {les fugues composees il y a cent ans 
sont encore aussi neuves que si elles I'avoient ete de nos jours); but then the subjects must 
be sober, pleasing, and rigorously pursued, without extraneous episodes, or fashionable 
divisions, which being the agremens, or trimmings, of the times, become antiquated, and often 
ridiculous, in a very few years. The simplicity of Corelli's style has doubtless greatly 
contribued to the longevity of his compositions; and it seems as if the more transient general 
use and favour of Purcell's productions, who flourished about the same time, may be ascribed 
to the temporary graces and embellishments with which, for the use of ignorant singers, he 
loaded his melodies, which his other excellencies of invention, modulation, and expression of 
words, could not save from neglect. And in the course of my musical reading, I have 
constantly found, by the Riffwramenti recommended at different times bv musicians of taste 
in Italy, that written graces have the same fate in every country : they are the jurbelows and 
flounces of the day, which become the sooner obsolete and ridiculous, in proportion to the 
degree of caprice and fantasticalness with which they are made. 

(I) I should have inserted this air, and the variations, but that they are too numerous, 
and indeed too difficult, ever to be vanquished by many of my musical readers. 

(m) It is sometimes, however, written by the Italians, Padoana, as if it was peculiar to 
the city of Padua. 

(«) See Morley's Introd. p. 187, 1st edit, 

77 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

Crowded and elaborate as is the harmony, and uncouth and 
antiquated the melody, of all the pieces in this collection by various 
composers, there is a manifest superiority in those of Bird over all 
the rest, both in texture and design (o). In a later age his genius 
would have expanded in works of invention, taste, and elegance ; 
but at the period in which he flourished, nothing seems to have 
been thought necessary for keyed-instruments, except variations to 
old tunes, in which all the harmony was crowded, which the singers 
could grasp, and all the rapid divisions of the times, which they 
could execute. Even nominal Fancies were without fancy, and 
confined to the repetition of a few dry and unmeaning notes in 
fugue, or imitation. Invention was so young and feeble, as to be 
unable to go alone ; and old chants of the church, or tunes of the 
street, were its leading-strings and guides. 

Though the Reformation had banished superstition from the 
land, fragments of canio fermo, like rags of Popery, still remained in 
our old secular tunes, and continued to have admission in the new. 
Indeed the melodies of all the rest of Europe had no other model 
than the chants of the church, till the cultivation of the Musical 
Drama ; whence all the rhythm, accent, and grace of modern Music, 
have manifestly been derived. 

As The Carman's Whistle has more air, and is less complicated 
in the texture of the parts, than the rest of Bird's Virginal Music, 
I shall present it to the reader, as a specimen of the manner in which 
these vulgar tunes were played, on keyed-instruments, by the best 
masters of Queen Elizabeth's time. 



The Carman's Whistle with Variations, by W. Bird.* 




(o) La Volta, an Italian dance, Wohey's Wilde, and Callino Castorame, all artificially 
wrought, and manufactured for the Virginal Book, by Bird, were melodies of the best and 
most chearful kind, of the times, and are still airy and pleasing. 

* As this piece is so well known it has not been given entire, but enough is printed to 
enable the reader to get a good idea of Byrd's manner of writing for the virginals. 

78 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

jjggwngg *'■ 




Besides the great number of Bird's compositions for keyed- 
instruments, which are preserved in the Virginal Book of Queen 
Elizabeth, another manuscript collection of his pieces still subsists, 
under the title of Lady N evil's Music Book* It is a thick quarto, 
very splendidly bound and gilt, with the family arms beautifully 
emblazoned and illuminated on the first page, and the initials H N 
at the lowest left hand corner. The Music is all written in large, 
bold characters, with great neatness, on four staved paper, of six 
lines, by Jo. Baldwine, a singing-man at Windsor, and a celebrated 
copyist of Queen Elizabeth's time. The pieces contained in this 
collection, sixteen of which are entered in that Queen's Virginal 
Book, amount to forty-two, with variations to many of them, of 

* This fine MS. was in the possession of Dr. Burney, and at the sale of his effects in 1S26 
realised £\i os. 6d. It is now in the possession of the Marquess of Abergavenny, and was 
published by Curwen in 1926, edited by Miss Hilda Andrews. The MS. contains 42 pieces, all 
by Byrd, and according to an inscription at the end was finished in 1591: "By me Jo. Baldwine 
of Windsore. Laudes Deo." 

Other collections of virginal music are : Will Foster's Virginal Book, which has 78 pieces 
and dates from 1624. A number of the works by Bull and Byrd is also found in the 
Fitzwilliam Book. This book does not appear to have been printed. 

Benjam Cosyn's Virginal Book has 98 pieces and is not dated. It probably was completed 
before May 1622. A selection of pieces from this MS. has been published by J. and W. 
Chester, Ltd. 

Parthenia was published in 1611. A reprint was issued by the Musical Antiquarian Society 
in 1847 and also by Madame Farrenc in part vi. of her "Tresor des Pianistes." 

Parthenia lnviolata, the second book of keyboard music printed in England (c. 1611-14) is a 
companion volume to Parthenia. Only one copy of Parthenia lnviolata is known, and this is 
now in the New York City Public Library. It is described in an article by E. Brennecke, Jun., 
in the Musical Times for August, 1934. 

There are many more virginal pieces in MSS. in the B.M. and on the Continent, and it is 
high time that a collected edition of all known Virginal Music was undertaken. 



7y 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

the most laboured and difficult kind. The notes, both white and 
black, are of the lozenge form, like those of the printed Music of 
the same period. A A 4 

Lady Nevill seems to have been the scholar of Bird, who 
professedly composed several of the pieces for her Ladyship's 
use (p). 

None of Bird's pieces for keyed instruments seem to have been 
printed, except eight movements in a thin folio book of lessons 
that was engraved on copper, and published in the reign of King 
James I. under the following title: " Parthenia, or the Maiden- 
head of the first Musicke that ever was printed for the Virginalls. 
Composed by three famous masters : William Byrd, Dr. John Bull, 
and Orlando Gibbons, Gentlemen of his Majesties most illustrious 
Chappel (q)." These lessons, though not equally difficult with 
some of those in the Virginal Books of Queen Elizabeth and Lady 
Nevill, are rather more dry and ungraceful. 

The canon, Non nobis Domine,* appears in none of his works 
published by himself, or collected by others, before the year 1652; 
when Hilton inserted, and prefixed the name of Bird to it, in a 
collection of Catches, Rounds, and Canons. But as no claim was 
laid to it by, or in favour of, any other composer, before or since 
that time, till about the middle of the present century, when it was 
given to Palestrina by Carlo Ricciotti, who published, in Holland, 
among his concertos, a fugue in eight parts, on the same subject, 



(p) The first composition in the book is entitled Ladye Nevill's Grownde; the second, 
Qui passe; for my Lady Nevill. The rest are entered in the following order: \ The March 
before the Battell. This in Queen Elizabeth's book is called, "The Earl of Oxford's March." 
The Battell; the March of Footemen; the March of Horsemen; the Trumpetts; the Irish 
Marche; the Bagpipe and Drone; the Flute and Broome; the March to fight; Tantara; the Battells 
be joyned; the Retreat; the Galliarde for the Victorie; the Barley Breake; the Galliarde Gygg; 
t the Hunt's upp; t Ut. re. mi. fa. sol. la. Then follow nine Pavians, and nine Galliardes, 
several of which are in the Royal Virginal Book. After which is the Voluntarie Lesson; t Will 
you walk the Woods soe wylde (composed in 1590); f the May den's Songe; a Lesson of 
Voluntarie; the second Grownde; | Have with you to Walsingham; All in a Garden grene; the 
Lord Willobie's Welcome Home; f the Carman's Whistle; f Hugh Ashton's Grownde; a 
Fancie, for my Lady Nevill; f Sellinger's Rownde; Munser's (Monsieur's) Almaine; the tenth 
Pavian; a Fancie; a Voluntarie.— The pieces with this mark t are in Queen Elizabeth's 
Virginal Book. 

It is recorded by the copyist that his labour was "ffinished and ended the leventh of 
September; in the yeare of our Lorde God, 1591, and in the 33 yeare of the raigne of our 
Sofferaine Ladie Elizabeth, by the Grace of God, &c. By me, Jo. Baldwyne, of Windsore." 

(3) Bird being here called "Gentilman of his Majesties chappel," seems to imply, that he 
was still living when it was published. King James died 1525, and Bird 1523. The three 
first movements in this collection, consisting of a Preludium; Pavana; Sir William Peder; and 
a Galiardo; are in G minor, and may be called a Suite of Lessons. The fourth and fifth 
movements, Preludium; and Galiardo, Mrs. Marye Brownlo, in C; and the sixth, seventh and 
eighth, Pavana, the Earle of Salisbury; Galiardo primo; and Galiardo secundo, Mrs. Marye 
Brownlo, in A minor; constitute what may likewise be regarded as two other Suites de Pieces, 
or Sets of Lessons. 

* The author of this canon is not mentioned in either the 1652 or 1658 editions of Catch as 
Catch Can. It is however generally attributed to Byrd and in Playford's Musical Banquet, 
1651, it is found on the title page with his name. 

80 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

there seems no doubt remaining of our countryman Bird having 
been the author of that pleasing and popular composition (r) . 

Bird died in 1623, surviving his master Tallis thirty-eight years; 
and if we suppose him to have been twenty in the year 1563, when 
he was chosen organist of Lincoln, he must have been eighty at his 
decease. Peacham, in his Complete Gentleman, speaks of him 
with great reverence (s); as does his pupil, Morley, in his 
Introduction, as well as every professor and musical writer of his 
own and later times. At this remote period but little, however, 
can be known of his private life, which was too studious and 
sedentary to have furnished history, at any time, with events of 
general interest (t). That he was a diligent cultivator of his art 
appears from his numerous works, which are more the productions 
of meditation and study, than of haste and enthusiasm. That he 
was pious, the words he selected, and the solemnity and gravity 
of style with which he set them, sufficiently evince. Of his moral 
character and natural disposition, there can perhaps be no 
testimonies more favourable, or less subject to suspicion, than those 
of rival professors, with whom he appears to have lived during a 
long life with cordiality and friendship. And, of the goodness of his 
heart, it is, to me, no trivial proof, that he loved, and was beloved, 
by his master, Tallis (u), and scholar, Morley (x); who, from their 
intimate connexion with him, must have seen him en robe de 
chambre, and been spectators of all the operations of temper, in 
the opposite situations of subjection and dominion. 

(f) Zarlino, Palestrina, and many others of the old Italian masters, have made the same 
series of sounds the subject of incidental points in their compositions, but in none of their 
works have I been able to discover a regular Canon on the same; motivo. Morley has worked 
upon it, p. 160, but calls it "a most common point." — This celebrated canon has been lately 
said, by the ingenious aifthor of "Letters on various Subjects," to contain "some passages not 
to be endured." And indeed the established and fundamental rules for the use of discords are 
thrice violated in this favourite composition; for bar 6 and 9, the 7th is resolved on the 8th; and 
bar 10, an unprepared 7th ascends to the 8th. while the base is stationary. But I believe this 
last fault is occasioned by our performing this species of canon in a manner different from 
that used by our ancestors; who finished, one at a time, as they began. I am sorry, however, 
to be of a different opinion from a writer of acknowledged good taste in the polite arts, with 
respect to Catches of all ki?ids; but it seems to me as if the censure he has passed on them 
were too severe, and too general. There are surely some catches, not only ingeniously 
composed, but of which the humour is at once pleasant and innocent, and which may, therefore, 
without degrading human nature, in their turn, have admission into good company during times 
of hilarity, as well as elegies, and the musical Comedies Larmoianles, or serious glees, in the 
more maudlin moments of artificial melancholy. Catches acted on a stage, or over-acted in a 
room. I pretend not to defend. Humour is the gift of too few for it ever to be found equally 
distributed to a whole club, or company of singers, either in public or private. 

(s) "For Motets and Musicke of piety and devotion, as well for the honour of our nation, 
as the merit of the man, I preferre above all others our Phoenix, Mr. William Byrd, whom in 
that kind I know not whether any may equall. I am sure none excell, even by the 
judgement of France and Italy, who are very sparing in their commendation of strangers, in 
regard of that conceipt they hold of themselves. His Cantiones Sacrce, as also his Gradualia, 
are meere angelicall and divine; and being of himselfe naturally disposed to gravity and piety, 
his veine is not so much for light madrigals or canzonets; yet his Virginella, and some others 
in his first set, cannot be mended by the first Italian of them all." Second Impression, p. 100. 

(t) With respect to what Ant. Wood asserts in his Fasti, that "Bird was excellent in 
mathematics," it is, in his usual way, supported by no proof; and indeed mathematicshave so 
little to do with practical Music, either in composition or performance, that those musicians who 
are most ignorant of the ratio or philosophy of sounds seem constantly to have arrived at the 
highest degree of excellence in the selection, combination, and refinement of them in practice, 
by the mere assistance of experience, and the gift of good ears and powerful nerves. 

(u) The Cantiones Sacrce were composed and published jointly by these great masters 
in I575- 

(.t) His Introduction is dedicated to his master Bird. 
VOL. ii. 6. 81 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

Indeed, the best memorials of a professional man's existence are 
his surviving works; which, from their having been thought worthy 
of preservation by posterity, entitle him to a niche in the Temple 
of Fame, among the benefactors of mankind. The physician who 
heals the .diseases, and alleviates the anguish of the body, certainly 
merits a more conspicuous and honourable place there; but the 
musician, who eminently sooths our sorrows, and innocently diverts 
the mind from its cares during health, renders his memory dear to 
ths grateful and refined part of mankind, in every civilised nation. 

Of this great harmonist's Sacred Music, besides what is contained 
in the collections of Dr. Tudway and Dr. Boyce, as admirable 
monuments still remain in all our cathedrals, it seems the less 
necessary to insert specimens here. I shall, however, present the 
lovers of antiquity with a Sacred and a Secular Song, as examples 
of his clear and learned style : the first is valuable for the gravity 
and simplicity of the subjects in fugue, as well as for the purity of 
the harmony; and the second is rendered extremely curious by the 
ingenuity and abilities with which each theme proposed by the 
superius is perpetually answered by the other parts, from the 
beginning to the end of the composition.* 

The second of the following compositions, in order to hear the 
effect of the harmony and contrivance, may be performed as an 
instrumental piece, with three violins, tenor, and base; or sung as 
a single song, making the Superius the vocal part, and the other 
parts the accompaniments. 



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82 



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Thomas Morley [1557 — c. 1603], a disciple of Bird, Bachelor 
of Music, and one of the Gentlemen of Queen Elizabeth's chapel, 
acquired more celebrity by his treatise, entitled, A plaine and easie 
Introduction to Practical Musicke, than by his performance or 
compositions, though eminent for both. 

If due allowance be made for the quaintness of the dialogue and 
style of the times, and the work be considered as the first regular 
treatise on Music that was printed in our language, the author will 
merit great praise for the learning and instruction it contains. At 
present, indeed, its utility is very much diminished, by the disuse 
of many things which cost him great pains to explain; as well as 
by the introduction of new methods of notation, new harmonies, 
and new modulations, since his time, which, to render intelligible, 
require a more recent elementary treatise. Yet though this work 
is redundant in some particulars, and deficient in others, it is still 
curious, and justly allowed to have been excellently adapted to the 
wants of the age in which it was written. However, its late 
republication in the original form, totidem verbis, whatever honour 
it may reflect on the memory of the author, somewhat disgraces 
later times, which have not superseded this, by producing a better 
and more complete book of general instructions in English, after 
the lapse of so many years, and the perpetual cultivation and 
practice of the art, in our country, both by native musicians and 
foreigners (y). 



(y) Analysis of Morley's Introduction: The Gammut and Time-table employ the eight or 
nine first pages of this work. After which, Moods, Ligatures, Points of Imperfection, and 
Alteration, Augmentation, and Diminution, all now obsolete, occupy fifty pages. The old and 
exploded proportions given under the names of Figuration, Tripla in the minim, Quintupla, 
Sesquialtera, Induction, and Scsquitertia, would now be studied a pure perte, as no good ear 
can bear, or sound judgment make use of them. 

The second part likewise is wasted in frivolous dialogue and now useless matter. The 
definitions of concords and discords, indeed, and their use in discant, or plain counterpoint, 
are the subjects of conversation; but the knowledge it conveys is so inadequate to present 
purposes and the student is led to it by such an indirect road, that it is to be feared he will 
be so bewildered in the pursuit, as to acquire but little clear gain for his trouble. Indeed the 
prohibitions are such as will lead a student of the present time into doubt and error. Page 75, 
he utterly condemns, as against the principles of Music, the use of two fifths, though one be 
false. Indeed the use of the Tritonus and false fifth is constantly avoided by old harmonists; 
which is excluding the use of one of the most abundant sources of beauty and passion in 

86 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

Having spoken of Morley as a theorist, I shall proceed to 
consider his merit as a practical musician. And, in comparing his 
compositions with those of his predecessors, they do not appear so 
original as I at first imagined them. During the time of writing his 
Introduction, he must of course have consulted the productions of 
many authors; and he has not done it unprofitably, as a composer, 
any more than a theorist. It has been said, that " we often 
remember what we read, without recollecting that we ever had 
read it; hence it frequently happens, that what we take for invention 
is only reminiscence (z) "', which is a charitable apology for seeming 
plagiarism. The melodies, however, of Morley, are somewhat more 
flowing and polished than those of the old authors, on whose 
property his memory, perhaps imperceptibly, had fastened: but 
besides these, it is plain that he sometimes condescended to use 
the same materials as his cotemporaries, and to interweave the 

modern Music. Whoever first combined the sharp 3d and 7th to the 5th of the key, and 

inverted this chord into 4 to the second, £ to the sharp seventh, and 4 to the fourth of 

a key, conferred as refreshing a benefit on the craving lovers of Music, as Moses on the thirsty 
Israelites, in producing water with his wand from the rock on mount Horeb. These 
combinations, though unknown to old masters, are utterly indispensable in the present Regie 
de I'Octave. 

To say the truth, Maister Morley is not very nice or accurate in these examples of 
counterpoint which are given as his own, and left as models of perfection. Page 76, in the last 
examples, there are two faults, which would not be pardoned by modern ears or judgment : in 
the first of the two, bar 5, the fourth between C and G, is insipid and unmeaning; and in the 
second of the examples, bar 5, the modulation from the chord of D major to C, is used sans 
liaison, and, in two parts, without a warrantable or good effect, -p q Few of the examples 
are elegant, or worthy of imitation, now; and it appears as if the attentive examination of 
good modern compositions, in score, would be of infinitely more service to a student, than the 
perusal of all the books on the subject of Music that were written during the sixteenth and 
seventeenth centuries. Corelli, Handel, and Germiniani, for Fugues; Haydn, Vanhal, Boccherini, 
J. Chr. Bach, Abel, Giardini, &c. for Symphonies, Quartets, Trios, and other Music for violins; 
Alberti. Domenico Scarlatti, Emanuel Bach, Schobert, Eichner, Haydn, and Kozeluch, for 
harpsichord and Piano forte pieces; Pergolesi, Hasse, Jomelli, Galuppi, Piccini, Sacchini, 
Paesiello. and Sarti, for vocal compositions; and, above all, Handel for organ and choral 
Music : all easy to be found in our own country, and all models of perfection in correctness ol 
composition, knowledge of instruments, rhythm, modulation, new effects, pathos, fire, invention, 
and grace. 

It has been my wish constantly to do justice to the learning and contrivance of old 
masters, and to recommend the study and performance of their works to my readers, as curious 
and historical specimens of the best Music of their own times; but not as the sole studies and 
models of perfection to young professors, who wish to please, prosper, and are expected to 
keep pace with modern improvements. To such I would first recommend the study of the 
best modern authors; and then, as matters of curiosity and amusement, to enquire into the 
productions and genius of former times, in order to extend their knowledge and views, and 
prevent embarrassment or surprize, whenever they happen to be called upon to perform or 
speak of such works. 

The third part of Morley's Treatise contains more curious specimens of useful knowledge 
in old counterpoint, than the rest of the book. He is much obliged, however, to Tigrini, whose 
Compendium was published 1588, and others, for many of his examples, whose names ought 
not to have been concealed. Tigrini has indeed been pillaged with such haste, that a 
typographical error has not been corrected; a few of these cadences have even been 
disingenuously disguised, and their places transposed. 

Upon the whole, though the book is curious, and full of information concerning the Music 
of the sixteenth century, it must be owned, that the language in which it is written, is at once 
uncouth and affected; and that neither the melody nor harmony it recommends and teaches, 
is of this world, at least, of this age; no certain scale is given of major or minor keys; nor is 
the modulation he uses, that of the present times. Indeed no keys are determined except F 
major, and D and A minor; and though so much is written concerning the moods, or measure, 
yet nothing is said of accent, or the preparation, use, and resolution of discords in general. 

U) Essais de Trublet, To. I. p. 26. 

87 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

favourite passages of the times into his works, oi which the following 
is a chronological list : * 

Canzonets, or little short Songs, of three voices 

[reprinted 1606 & 1631] 1593. 

Madrigals, to four voices [2nd Edition 1600] 1594. 

Ballets, or Fa las, to five voices [2nd Edition 1600] ... 1595. 

Madrigals, to five voices 1595. 

Canzonets, or little short Airs, to five and six voices ... 1597. 

Of the following publications he was little more than the 
editor : 

Madrigals, to five voices, collected out of the best Italian 

authors 1598. 

The Triumphs of Oriana, to five and six voices: 
composed by divers several aucthors. Newly 
published by Thomas Morley, Batchelor of Musicke, 
and Gentleman of hir Majesties honourable chappel 
(a) 1601. 

Consort Lessons,** made by divers exquisite authors, for 
six different instruments to play together, viz. the 
treble lute, pandora, citterne, base violl, flute, and 
treble violl. Dedicated to the Lord Mayor, 2d edit. 
(6) 1611. 

A plaine and easie Introduction to Practicall Musicke, 

1597 & 1608. 

(a) These madrigals, in number twenty-four, of which the Music of the 13th and 24th was 
composed by Morley, were v/ritten, set, and published, in honour of Queen Elizabeth, who is 
figured under the name of Oriana. The composers of the rest were Michael Este, Daniel 
Norcome. John Mundy, Batchelor of Music, Ellis Gibbons, John Benet, John Hilton, B.M., 
George Marson, B.M., Richard Carlton, John Holmes, Richard Nicholson, Thomas Tomkins, 
Michael Cavendish, William Cobbold, John Farmer, John Wilby. Tnomas Hunt, B.M., Thomas 
Weilkes, John Milton, father of the great poet, George Kirbye, Robert Jones, John Lesley, and 
Edward Johnson, B.M. 

As Italy gave the Ton to the rest of Europe but particulariy to England, in all the fine 
arts, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, it seems as if the idea of employing all the best 
composers in the kingdom to set the songs in the Triumphs of Oriana to Music, in honour of 
our Virgin Queen, had been suggested to Morley, and his patron, the Earl of Nottingham, by 
Padre Giovenale, afterwards Bishop of Saluzzo. who employed thirty-seven of the most 
renowned Italian composers to set Canzonetti and madrigals in honour of the Virgin Mary, 
published under the following title: Tempio Armonico delta beatissima Virgine nostra Signora, 
fabbricatole per opera del Reverendo P. Giovenale, A. P. della Congregatione dell' Oratorio. 
Prima Parte, a tre voci. Stampata in Roma da Nicolo Mutii. 1599. in 4to. 

(b) Master Morley supposing, perhaps, that the harmony which was to be heard through 
the clattering of knives, forks, spoons, and plates, with the gingling of glasses, and clamorous 
conversation of a city-feast, need not be very accurate or refined, was not very nice in setting 
parts to these tunes, which are so far from correct, that almost any one of the city waits would, 
in musical cant, have vamped as good an accompaniment sur le champ, or rather sur le chant. 
which seems the original and true reading of that phrase. (See Book II. what has been said 
of Extemporary Discant. p. 506). I remember, very early in my musical life, to have heard 
one of the town waits, at Shrewsbury, vamp a base upon all occasions, he bein? utterly unable 
to read any one that was written; and as my ears were seldom much oliended by the 
dissonance. I suppose that, by habit, he contrived at least to begin and end in the right key, 
and was quick in pursuing accidental modulation. 

* Burney does not mention the charming Canzonets for two voices which were published 
in 1595, and there are no Madrigals to 5 voices for that year. German translations of the 1593 
set appeared in 1612 and 24, and an Italian edition of the 1st set of Ballets was published in 
1595 (London). A German version of this set was printed at Nurcmburg in 1609. 

The volumes in the E.M.S. devoted to his works are Vols. I (2 parts), II, III and IV. 

** The 1st edition of the Consort Lessons was in 1.599, and it is quite probable that Burney 
never saw a complete set of parts. For an account of the discovery of the missing parts see 
The Story of English Music, p. 171 (Scott Publ. Co.). 

In 1600 The First Booke of Ayres or little Short Songs; to sing and play to the Lute 
with the Base Viole, was published. The popular song, "It was a lover and his lass" is found 
in this volume, 

88 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

It does not appear that any of Morley's Church Music was 
printed during his life. Dr. Tudway, however, has inserted several 
valuable choral compositions, by him, in the collection made for 
Lord Harley, 1715; among which are his " Funeral or Dirge 
Anthems, as performed at Westminster Abbey at Royal and Noble 
Funerals," and printed by Dr. Boyce, in the first volume of his 
Cathedral Services; and an Evening Verse Service, in five parts, in 
D minor, which has never been printed. In Queen Elizabeth's 
Music-book there are likewise five different sets of lessons, or pieces 
for the virginal, composed by Morley. 

As so many of his pieces have been lately printed in score for 
the new edition of his Introduction, I shall only give here, as 
specimens of his lighter style of composition, the two following 
canzonets; in the performance of which, those who are not 
accustomed to the Music of the sixteenth century, will be much 
embarrassed with the broken phrases and false accents of the 
melody, in which there is so total a want of rhythm, as renders the 
time extremely difficult to keep with accuracy and firmness. 



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The Burial Service, set by Morley, which is supposed to be the 
first that was composed after the Reformation, still continues to be 
used in Westminster Abbey, on great and solemn occasions (c). 

(c) I heard this Service admirably performed in the year 1760, by the three united choirs 
of Westminster, St. Paul's, and the Chapel-Royal, at the funeral of his late Majesty, George II. 
in Westminster Abbey, where it had a most solemn effect. Nothing seems better suited to 
so awful an occasion than this Music, in a minor key, and chiefly in simple counterpoint, but 
with a grave, and now uncommon, harmony and modulation, which added to the grandeur ot 
the effect The few short points of fugue and imitation introduced in this composition are such 
as were not common when the service was produced, nor have any of them been debased 
since by vulgar use. As this composition is so admirably printed by Dr. Boyce and may be 
easily consulted. I shall detain the musical reader with a few remarks on it, referring to that 
copy without reprinting it here. And I shall begin by observing, that the four first bars are 
remarkably solemn, and that the major third to G, after being strictly in G minor, the 
preceding part of the phrase, is unexpectedly grand and pleasing. The point at And though 
after my skin, worms destroy this body," is admirably conducted. And, though in simple 
counterpoint only, the harmony and modulation to "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken 
away " convey something peculiarly majestic and grateful to my ears. The points at He 
cometh up, and is cut down," and " Of whom may we seek for succour, diversify and give 
relief to the plain counterpoint in an ingenious manner; but the passage, Shut not thy 
merciful ears to our prayers " is extremely beautiful in the three essentials of good Music : 
melody, harmony, and accent. Every part is chantante, or sings, without any seeming 
subserviency to the rest; and the words, which seldom happens in Music of the sixteenth 
centurv are well expressed, if we except the length given to the particle to in the treble and 
counter-tenor parts, which might easily be corrected by assigning the two first sounds to the 
more important word "ears," and allowing only a crotchet to the following preposition. And 
in this manner the words of many of our old and venerable compositions for the church might 
be adjusted in order to obviate the objections that are justly made to the want of attention 
in their authors to accent and syllabic quantity : and this seems to be infinitely more desirable 
than the superseding these admirable specimens of choral harmony, in favour of more insipid 
modern oroductions, which can boast of no other perfection than that, which, according to 
PoDe is "in the power of every dull grammarian and critic, who Commas and points can set 
exactly right " But this alone will not constitute good Music, without genius, invention, 
melody, harmony, modulation, and variety of measures and effects I shall only mention one 
point more in Morley's Burial Service, where the greatest Musical Art is united with the 



92 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

It is uncertain when this ingenious and studious musician died; 
but it is supposed to have been about the year 1604. 

The prosperous reign of Queen Elizabeth was perhaps not 
rendered more illustrious by the musical productions of Tallis, 
Bird, and Morley, than the performance of Doctor John Bull 
[c. 1562-1628], 'whose abilities on the organ and virginal seem to 
have been truly wonderful. This great musician was born about 
1563 in Somersetshire. His Music-master was William Blitheman, 
organist of the chapel-royal to Queen Elizabeth, in which capacity 
he was very much celebrated. Bull, on the death of his master, in 
1591 * was appointed his successor in the Queen's chapel; and in 
1596, at the recommendation of her Majesty, he had the honour 
of being the first that was appointed Music-professor to Gresham 
college. And though unable to compose and read his lectures in 
Latin, according to the founder's original intention, such was his 
favour with the Queen and the public, that the executors of Sir 
Thomas Gresham, by the ordinances, bearing date 1597, dispensed 
with his knowledge of the Latin language, and ordered " The 
solemn Musick lecture to be read twice every week, in manner 
following, viz. the thoretique part for one half hour, or thereabouts; 
and the practique, by concert of voice or instruments, for the rest 
of the hour: whereof the first lecture should be in the Latin tongue, 
and the second in English. — But because at this time Mr. Doctor 
Bull, who is recommended to the place by the Queen's most 
excellent Majesty, being not able to speak Latin, his lectures are 
permitted to be altogether in English, so long as he shall continue 
in the place of Music lecturer there (d)." 

At first, application was made to the two Universities, by the 
Lord Mayor and corporation of London, jointly with the Mercer's 
company, left trustees of this institution, to nominate two persons 
in all the liberal arts fitly qualified to read lectures in their several 
faculties; but this application was not continued, as some jealousy 
seems to have been awakened at Oxford and Cambridge, lest this 
new college should be prejudicial to those ancient seats of learning. 

happiest verbal expression, at "Surfer us not at our last hour," and where the supplication is 
made in each part with great reverence and solicitude. Indeed I see but one passage which I 
could wish otherwise than the author has left it: and, that is at "I heard a voice from 
Heaven," where the word "from" being in the same harmony as the substantive "Heaven," 
is insipid and unmeaning. The natural combination for that leading and unaccented part of 
the bar, seems to be C, with a 6th. I cannot conclude this note without requesting such of 
my readers as understand and feel good composition, to attend to the solemn, unusual, and 
pleasing effect produced in many places of this service by mere common chords : particularly 
at these words, "He fleeth as it were a shadow"; and by the fiat 6th given to G, when the 
tar is habituated to expect a 5th : as at these words, "Blessed are the dead which die in the 
Lord." 

(d) Ward's Lives of the Professors of Gresham College, Pref. p. viii. The first lecture 
read by Bull, at Gresham College was printed the same year that it was pronounced, under 
this title : "The Oration of Maister John Bull, Doctor of Musicke, and one of the Gentlemen 
of hir Majesties Royall Chappell, as he pronounced the same, beefore divers worshipful persons, 
the Aldermen and Commoners of the citie of London, with a great multitude of other people, 
the 6th day of October, 1597, in the new erected Colledge of Sir Thomas Gresham, Knt.. 
deceased: made in the commendation of the founder, and the excellent science of Musicke." 
Imprinted at London by Thomas Este. 

* Earlier dates of importance in Bull's career are : 
1582. Appointed organist at Hereford Cathedral. 

1585. Re-entered the Chapel Royal. 

1586. Mus. Bac, Oxford. 

1592. Mus. Boc, Oxford and Cambridge. 

93 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

What effect this liberal foundation had on other faculties let the 
friends and patrons of each particular science say; but as to Music, 
it is hardly possible to read the lives of the Professors without 
lamenting that the design of so noble an institution, established on 
such an extensive plan, should be so entirely frustrated as to become 
wholly useless to that city and nation for whose instruction it was 
benevolently intended. Dr. Bull, the only person on the list of 
Music professors, who seems to have been able to inform by theory, 
or amuse by practice, those who attended the musical lectures, 
resigned his professorship in 1607 (<?). So that except about nine 
years from the date of the establishment, to the present times, it 
does not appear that the science of sound, or practice of the musical 
art, has been advanced by subsequent professors. For in the 
following list, given by Dr. Ward, up to the year 1740, including 
Dr. Clayton, elected 1607; John Taverner, 1610, who was no 
relation of the musician of that name, mentioned in the second 
book; Richard Knight, 1638; William Petty, 1650, afterwards the 
famous Sir William Petty; Dr. Thomas Baynes, 1660; William 
Perry, 1681;* John Newy, 1696; Dr. Robert Shippen, 1705; Dr. 
Edward Shippen, his brother, 1710; John Gordon, 1723; and 
Thomas Brown, 1739; though all men of learning and abilities in 
other faculties, yet no one of them had ever distinguished himself, 
either in the theory or practice of Music; nor are any proofs 
remaining that they had ever studied that art, the arcana of which 
they were appointed to unfold! What an abuse of reason and 
munificence does it seem, that those who had never meditated on 
the art, or been taught, themselves, should be fixed upon to teach, 
and direct the studies of others! 

A silly story has been told by Ant. Wood (/), concerning a feat 
performed by Dr. Bull, who, at St. Omer's, when he first visited 
the continent, to a composition originally written in forty parts, 
added forty more in a few hours; which is so impossible, as not to 
be worth relating. 

After the decease of Queen Elizabeth, he was appointed organist 
to King James. And July the 16th, 1607, when his Majesty and 
Prince Henry .dined at Merchant-Taylor's hall, the royal guests 
were entertained with Music, both vocal and instrumental, as well 
as with several orations. And while his Majesty was at table, 
according to Stow, " Mr. Doctor Bull, who was free of that 
company, being in a citizens gowne, cappe, and hood, played most 
excellent melody upon a small payre of organs, placed there for that 
purpose onely (g)." In December, of the same year, he resigned 
his professorship of Gresham college, but for what reason does not 
appear, as he continued in England several years afterwards. 

(e) Indeed during more than a year of his professorship, Mr. Thomas Bird, son of the 
venerable William Bird, exercised the office of a substitute to Dr. Bull, while he travelled 
on the continent for the recovery of his health. 

(/) Fasti Oxon. Vol. I. c. 131. 

(g) Chron. p. 891, edit. 1615. 

* Grove's does not include the name of William Perry in ':he list of Gresham Professors. 

94 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

In 1613 he quitted England,* and entered into the service of the 
Archduke, in the Netherlands. He afterwards seems to have been 
settled at Lubeck, at which place many of his compositions in the 
list published by Dr. Ward, are dated; one of them as late as 1622, 
the supposed year of his decease. 

Dr. Bull has been censured for quitting his establishment in 
England; but it is probable that the increase of health and wealth 
was the cause and consequence. Indeed, he seems to have been 
praised at home, more than rewarded; and it is no uncommon thing 
for one age to let an artist starve, to whom the next would willingly 
erect statues. The professorship of Gresham college was not then 
a sinecure. His attendance on the chapel royal, for which he had 
forty pounds per annum, and on the Prince of Wales, at a similar 
salary, though honourable, were not very lucrative appointments 
for the first performer in the world, at a time when scholars were 
not so profitable as at present; and there was no public playing, 
where this most wonderful musician could display his abilities, and 
receive their due applause and reward. 

A list of more than two hundred of Dr. Bull's compositions, 
vocal and instrumental, is inserted in his Life, which, when it was 
written in 1740, were preserved in the collection of Dr. Pepusch. 
The chief part of these were pieces for the organ or virginal; near 
sixty of them I have now before me, in the Music-book of Queen 
Elizabeth, and the printed collection, called Parthenia. An 
In nomine, of five parts, I have scored from the Christ Church set 
of manuscript books in Dr. Aldrich's collection, and have atten- 
tively perused his choral composition jn the collections of Dr. 
Tudway and Dr. Boyce, which is the same verse anthem, with 
different words, for two voices, with a chorus (h). In all his vocal 
Music that I have seen, there seems to be much more labour and 
study, than genius. Tallis and Bird had so long accustomed 
themselves to write for voices, that the parts in their compositions 
are much more natural and flowing than those of Bull. In looking 
at the single parts of Tallis and Bird, there are notes and passages 
which appear wholly insipid and unmeaning, as melody; but 
which, when heard in harmony with any other part, produce 
admirable effects. 

Indeed, possessed as he was of such extraordinary powers of 
execution on keyed-instruments, I have been frequently astonished, 
in perusing Dr. Bull's lessons, at the few new and pleasing passages 
which his hand suggested to his pen. It has been said, that the 
late Dr. Pepusch preferred Bull's compositions to those of Couperin 

(k) In Dr. Tudway's MS. the words are "Almighty God, who by the leading of a star"; 
and in Dr. Boyce's printed copy, "O Lord my God, I will exalt thee." In Dr. Ward's list of 
Bull's works, we have the initial words of the following anthems: "Deliver me, O God"; "In 
thee, O Lord"; with two Misereres, one of two, and another of three voices; an In nomine, of 
five parts; and five madrigals and motets, to English words, for four, five and six voices. 

* Bull left England without permission and a formal protest was made to the Archduke by 
Trumbull, the English Ambassador to the Netherlands. Trumbull's report and a letter from 
Bull about the affair are preserved in the B.M. (Add. MSS. 6194). Bull died at Antwerp in 
1628. 

95 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

and Scarlatti, not only for harmony and contrivance, but air and 
modulation: an assertion which rather proves that the Doctor's 
taste was bad, than Bull's Music good. Though I should greatly 
admire the hand, as well as patience, of any one capable of playing 
his compositions; yet, as Music, they would afford me no kind of 
pleasure : Ce sont des notes & 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. 

After such frequent mention of the extreme difficulty of these 
old pieces, in mercy to modern performers, it may with truth be 
said, that the loss, to refined ears, would not be very great, if they 
should for ever remain unplayed and undeciphered. For being 
generally built on some old and vulgar psalmodic tunes, unmean- 
ing in themselves, the crowded harmony and multiplied notes with 
which they are loaded, have not rendered them more pleasing. 
Indeed the infallible consequences of a young practitioner bestow- 
ing such time and labour on them as may be necessary to subdue 
the difficulties of execution they contain, would be corruption of 
taste, and neglect of more useful studies. A preference to such 
obsolete Music, at the exclusion of all other, would be like studying 
and speaking no other language than that of Chaucer, which, 
though once the dialect of the Court, is now, if used at all, only 
that of the lowest clowns and rustics, in provinces the most remote 
from the capital. 

The Instrumental Music of Queen Elizabeth's reign seems to 
partake of the pedantry and foppery of the times: eternal fugues 
upon dry and unmeaning subjects were the means of establishing 
reputation for learning and contrivance; as dull divisions and 
variations, in which the change was generally from bad to worse, 
seem to have been the only qualifications which entitled a professor 
to eminence for taste and invention. 

The very terms of Canon and Fugue imply restraint and labour. 
Handel was perhaps the only great Fughist, exempt from pedantry. 
He seldom treated barren or crude subjects; his themes being almost 
always natural and pleasing. Sebastian Bach,* on the contrary, 
like Michael Angelo in painting, disdained facility so much, that 
his genius never stooped to the easy and graceful. I never have 
seen a fugue by this learned and powerful author upon a motivo, 
that is natural and chantant; or even an easy and obvious passage, 
that is not loaded with crude and difficult accompaniments. 

* It would be interesting to know how much of J. S. Bach's music was known to Burney. 
A few works for the clavier had been published, viz. : 
Clavierubung, Part I. 6 Partitas. 1726-31. 

„ Part II. Italian Concerto and Partita in B minor, 1735. 

Part III. 4 Duets, Catechism Choral Prelude, and Prelude and Fugue 

in E flat. 
Part IV. The Goldberg Variations. 
The Musikalisches Opfer, some of the Chorales arranged for organ, selected by Emmanuel 
Bach from the Church Cantatas, and The Art of Fugue published by Marpurg in 1752. 

During his musical tour in Germany, Dr. Burney visited Carl Philip Emmanuel Bach in 
1772, but" it does not appear that any of J. S. Bach's music was played ! 

96 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

As the youth of Bull must necessarily have been spent in 
subduing the difficulties of other composers, he seems, in his riper 
years, to have made the invention of new difficulties of every kind, 
which could impede or dismay a performer, his sole study. It 
seldom happens that those possessed of great natural force of hand, 
on any instrument, submit to the drudgery of much dry study; 
but this gift was so far from relaxing the labour and diligence of 
Dr. Bull, that he entered deeper into all the arcana of the art, and 
pedantry of the times, than most of his cotemporaries. That he 
was " exquisitely skilled in canon," has been given as one of the 
most irrefragable proofs of his being a great musician; and canons, 
recte et retro, and per arsin et thesin, in triangular, and other 
fantastical forms, are carefully preserved, as stupendous specimens 
of his abilities. 

Walsingham has been a subject upon which Dr. Bull and Bird 
have exercised their abilities in the most elaborate manner. In 
the fifteenth century, popular tunes were the foundations upon 
which the greatest contrapuntists constructed even the masses which 
they set to Music; and in the next, the English, no longer in want 
of these tunes in the church, polished, and tricked them up for the 
chamber, with every art and embellishment they could devise. 

Both Bird and Bull have likewise worked on the hexachord, ut 
re mi fa sol la, ascending and descending; upon which theme they 
have constructed elaborate and ingenious lessons, of the most 
difficult execution. That of Bull has passages for the left hand, 
which perhaps none but himself could play during his own time, 
and which I have never seen introduced in any compositions of the 
present century, except those of Sebastian Bach, or heard executed, 
but by Palscha, near forty years ago; who must have vanquished 
them by the incessant labour of several years, out of his short life; 
for he was then but eight years old. A new, but similar difficulty, 
has lately been devised for keyed-instruments, in the rapid 
divisions for one hand, in octaves, which great application only 
can vanquish. The execution of long and rapid divisions of thirds 
and sixths, and even of common chords, is not frequently wanted 
in modern Music, and therefore they would baffle and embarrass 
the greatest performers, who have not worked at such passages with 
unremitting labour. But besides these difficulties, there are others 
of measure, in Bull's Lessons, where, in four parts, the left hand 
has two of six crotches in a bar, while the right plays nine to each 
semibreve of the hexachord. 

Specimens of the difficulties abounding in the compositions of 
the golden age of Queen Elizabeth, shall be laid before the musical 
reader, in order to invalidate the vulgar cant of such as are 
determined to blame whatever is modern, and who, equally devoid 
of knowledge and feeling, reprobate as trash the most elegant, 
ingenious, and often sublime compositions, that have ever been 
produced since the laws of harmony were first established. 

Voi.. ii. 7. 97 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

Indeed, we should suppose that the pieces of Bull were composed 
to be tried, not played; for private practice, not public use; as they 
surpass every idea of difficulty that can be formed from the lessons 
of Handel Scarlatti, Sebastian Bach; or, in more modern times, 
Emanuel Bach, Miithel, and Clementi. 

There are near twenty lessons in Queen Elizabeth's book, by 
Giles Farnaby [c. 1560-c. 1600], little less difficult than those of 
Bird and Bull (i). These great musicians, the wonder and delight 
of their times, seem to have had no conception of brilliancy or 
embellishment, but what arose from breaking common chords into 
Arpeggio, or rapidly running up and down the scale in notes tied 
three, and often four times. They seem, however, to have been 
the greatest players in Europe, till Frescobaldi introduced a superior 
style of treating the organ, divested of rapid and frivolous divisions, 
which disgrace that most noble and comprehensive of all 
instruments (k). 

At present, the pieces of Bird, Bull, and Farnaby, must doubtless 
appear dry and monotonous, for want of air, variety of movement, 
and modulation; yet before these qualities were cultivated, expected, 
or indeed existing, they fed the ear with pure and simple harmony, 
in a manner which none but keyed-instruments could effect; and 
perhaps their favour with professional musicians was not a little 
augmented, by the learning of their contexture, and difficulty of 
execution. For however the old masters may be celebrated for 
their simplicity and sobriety of style, and the moderns indiscri- 
minately censured for multiplied notes, rapidity of performance, 
tricks, whip-syllabub, froth, tumbling, and mere difficulties: it 
would not be very easy to find, among the most complicated pieces 
of modern times, difficulties equally insurmountable with those in 
which these old Fancies and variations abound. 

Before I quit the organ and virginal pieces in Queen Elizabeth's 
book, it may be worth remarking, that throughout the collection, 
consisting of upwards of four hundred folio pages, written extremely 
small and close, no transposed keys are used; all the pieces being 
confined to the modes of the church, in which no sharp was ever 
placed on the clef; or flat, except sometimes on B : so that few of 
the keys are determined by such characteristic intervals or 
modulation, as at present belong to each of the twenty-four. 

In the following tune, called Dr. Bull's Jewel, of only three 
strains of eight bars each, the modulation from C natural to B flat, 
and from B flat to C, is sudden and violent in the first part, though 
it begins and ends in the same key; in the second part, the transition 

(t) Giles Farnaby was of Christ Church, Oxford, and, in 1592, admitted Bachelor of 
Music. There are extant of his compositions, Canzonets to jour voices, with a Song of eight 
parts, London, 1598. He assisted Ravenscroft in putting parts to some of the Psalm-tunes, 
published at the beginning of the next century. [His Canzonets are published in the E.M.S., 
Vol. XX, and Noveilo and Co., Ltd., issue a volume of his virginal music] 

(k) We shall have occasion hereafter to speak of this admirable musician, whose fugues 
upon marked and pleasing subjects, were treated with such genius and learning, as have never 
been surpassed, unless by those of Sebastian Bach apd Handel, which seem to include every 
perfection of which this ingenious and elaborate species of composition is capable. 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

from G natural to B flat, and then back again to G, is unexpected 
by modern ears. And in the last strain, after the second had 
closed in G natural, the modulating instantly into F, is such a 
violation of all present rules and sensations, as seems rude and 
barbarous. Indeed, Bull seems to have had a bad taste in 
modulation, and to have been as harsh and strained in this 
particular, as Bird was natural and pleasing. 

I shall insert here likewise, from the same Virginal Book, an 
Allemand, by old Robert Jhonson (I), as a proof how much secular 
modulation was governed by ecclesiastical, and how undetermined 
the keys were, at this time, by any rules in present use. This 
short air begins in D minor; but in the first bar, we have the chord 
of C natural, as fifth oi the key of F; then, at the third bar, the 
author returns, in no disagreeable manner, to D minor, ending, in 
the church style, with a sharp third. The second part is chiefly 
in D and G minor, but ends, alia Capella, in D major (m). 

On the following plates, the musical reader will not only find 
specimens of Bull's Difficulties, with tunes by him and old Jhonson, 
but the favourite ancient ballad-air called Fortune, mentioned 
above, p. 77. 

Specimens of Dr. Bull's difficult Passages, from Queen Elizabeth's 
Virginal Book. Variations to the Accompaniments of the 
Hexachord. 



Doubling upon Jig time. 



I 






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CI) See Book II. p. 795 and 814, for an account and specimen of this composer. 

(m) Padre Martini (Saggio di Contrap. prima Parte, 23), recommends the terminating 
minor movements with a sharp third; a practice which Rousseau (Diet, de Mus.) censures as 
Gothic, and a proof of a bad taste. If the first of these excellent writers wished only to 
preserve its use in_ the church, and the second to banish it elsewhere, they were both right, 
however their opinions may seem to clash. The learned author of the Saggio di Conirappunto, 
who was so perfectly acquainted with all the beauties and effects of Choral Music, is certainly 
more to be relied on in whatever concerns it, than the animated author of the Dictionaire de 
Musique] who, with the most refined taste and exalted views, with respect to Dramatic 
Compositions, had neither time nor opportunity sufficiently to explore the mysteries of Canto 
fermo, or to become a very profound contrapuntist. For my own part, though I never wish 
to hear a Song in a minor key, end with a sharp third, which the French call Tierce de 
Picardie, on account of the great number of cathedrals in that province, where it continues 
still in use; yet there is something so solemn and grateful in these terminations of ecclesiastical 
compositions, that I should be very sorry if the practice were not continued. And if we 
consider the relation and composition of the several stops in an organ, we shall find, that as 
every single key in the chorus of that instrument has a complete chord with a sharp third to 
it, when we dwell on a chord with a flat third, while the tierce, cornet, sesquialier, and 
sometimes the furniture, are sounding the sharp third, it affords an additional reason for the 
origin and continuance of the practice, besides the peculiar properties of tonal modulation. 



99 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 




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Our secular Vocal Music, during the first years of Elizabeth's 
reign, seems to have been much inferior to that of the church, if 
any judgment can be fairly formed of it from a Book of Songs, 
printed by John Daye, in 1571, under the following title: " Songes 
of three, fower, and five voyces, composed and made by Thomas 
Whythorne, Gent, the which Songes be of sundrie sortes, that is to 
say, some long, some short, some hard, some easie to be songe, and 
some between both; also some solemne, and some pleasaunt or 
mery: so that according to the Skil of the Singers, (not being 
Musitians), and disposition or delite of the Hearers, they may here 
find Songes to their contentation and liking." 

(a) A Point which continued in favour from the time of Jusquin to that of Handel, is here 
well adjusted to the Manual of Keyed-Instruments. 

(6) For account of this Tune, see above, Page 77. 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

Both the words and music of these Songs, which were published 
before those of Bird had appeared, are truly barbarous; but it is 
not now certain that they were ever in much public favour. We 
have at present Music-books published in England, every day, 
without genius or science to recommend them. Now, if it should 
happen that one of these, by escaping the broom of Time, should 
reach posterity, and fall into the hands of some future antiquary, 
critic, or historian, who should condemn all the compositions of 
the present age by one, that had, perhaps, been never performed 
or heard of by cotemporary judges and lovers of good Music, the 
sentence would surely be very unjust.* 

Our countrymen were not at first taught to admire the Music of 
Italy, by the sweetness of the language to which it was originally 
set, or by fine singing, but by Italian madrigals, with a literal 
translation into English, adjusted to the original Music, and 
published by N. Yonge, 1588 (n). These being selected from the 
works of Palestrina, Luca Marenzio, and other celebrated masters 
on the continent, seem to have given birth to that passion for 
madrigals which became so prevalent among us afterwards, when 
the composers of our own nation so happily contributed to gratify 
it.** 

If allowance be made for the wretched state of Lyric Poetry 
in England at the time these madrigals were translated, which 
was long before the publication of the sonnets of Spencer, or 
Shakspeare, the undertaking seems to have been tolerably 
executed. Indeed, sometimes with such care and felicity as to 
transfuse the expression of the original words into that of the 
version. The Italians themselves, at this time, had but little 
melody or rhythm in their Music; but their Poetry having been 
long cultivated, and brought to a much greater degree of perfection 
than ours could then boast, it indicated to the musical composer 
traits of melody, more airy and marked, perhaps, than we could 
derive from the prosody or phraseology of our own language. The 
translator of these madrigals, whoever he was, for the editor does 
not tell us, seems in general to have imitated the original Italian 

(«) Musica Transalpina, Madrigales translated of jour, jive, and sixe parts, chosen out 
of divers excellent Authours, with the first and second Part of la Virginella, made by Maister 
Bird upon two Stanzas of Ariosto, and brought to speak English with the rest. The editoi 
was an Italian merchant,*** who having opportunities of obtaining from his correspondents the 
newest and best compositions from the continent, had them frequently performed at his house, 
for the entertainment of his musical friends. 

* Burney's criticism is rather unjust. It may be said, however, that these songs are, on 
the whole, historically rather than musically important. The work comprises 76 compositions, 
and is the only published collection of secular music between Wynkyn de Worde's song book 
of 1530 and the set of Psalms, Sonets and Songes by William Byrd published in 1588. 

Philip Heseltine has edited and published twelve of the songs. 

Vi'hythorne also published, in 1590, some Duos, or songs for two voices. 

Some part books of the 1571 publication are to be found in the B.M.; the Bodleian, and 
Christ Church. 

Beyond the fact that he was bom about 1528, nothing is known regarding this composer. 

** In the Fellow's Library at Winchester College is a set of four MS. Part-books on one 
of which is written the date 1564. This seems to show that Italian Madrigals were sung ip 
England long before 1588. 

*** Burney is mistaken with regard to Yonge who was probably a member of the Choir at 
St. Paul's. 

103 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

measure and structure of verse, as well as ideas; and though they 
abound with Concetti, to which not only Italian poets, but those 
of all the rest of Europe were then so much addicted, the general 
taste of the times was indulged in Poetry as well as Music, and 
metre and melody were at once furnished with new models. 

If these books were not become too scarce for such observations, 
to be worth writing or perusal, I could point out several of the 
particular madrigals, where the verbal accent and poetical passion 
have been happily transferred to the Music, by the translation: as 
Number V. by Baldassar Donato, " O grief, if yet my grief be not 
believed, cry with thy voice out-stretched," &c. 

However, the perpetual double rhymes in Italian madrigals and 
sonnets have so much .distressed our translator to supply them in 
English, that, as the preservation of the original Music obliged him 
to render his version totidem syllabis, his embarrassments on this 
account are sometimes truly ridiculous (o). No. VII. in which the 
old British termination of the present tense of the indicative mood 
of our verbs is conveniently preserved, was doubtless not thought 
the worst, as it is applied to several compositions in the collection. 

In vayne he seeks for beauty that excelleth, 

That hath not sene hir eyes where Love sejorneth, 
How sweetly here and there the same she turneth. 

He knows not how Love heateth, and he quelleth, 

That knows not how she sighes, and sweet beguileth. 
And how she sweetly speakes, and sweetly smileth (f>). 

These madrigals were celebrated, near forty years after their 
publication, by Peacham, who has pointed out the peculiar 
excellence of several, particularly those of Luca Marenzio, which, 
he says, " are Songs the Muses themselves might not have been 
ashamed to have composed;" and of those by Alfonso Ferrabosco, 
the Father, he says, " they cannot be bettered for sweetness of ayre 
and depth of judgment." Upon the ditty (words) of one of these, 
/ saw my Ladie weeping, (he says) Master Byrd, and Alfonso, in 
a friendly emulation, exercised their invention." The words of 
the 'Nightingale, and Fayre Susanna, were so much admired, that 
they seem to have been set by all the best composers of the times. 
A few lines of each will perhaps convey to the reader an adequate 
idea of the poetical beauty of these favourite songs. 

(o) It seems as if the constant double rhymes in Italian poetry, which throw the accent 
on the pcnultima, instead of the final syllable, of a verse, gave a peculiar cast to the melody in 
which it is clothed, and rendered it specifically different from that of English songs, in which 
but few double rhymes occur. The constant and regular mixture of masculine and feminine 
rhymes in French poetry may likewise have had a latent effect on the vocal melody of France, 
different from that of the other two neighbouring nations. But, after mentioning these 
suspicions, I shall leave the further investigation of so subtle a subject to philosophers, not 
only possessed of the necessary knowledge, but an equal zeal for the cultivation of Philology, 
Poetry, and Music. 

<p) These lines, if we substitute the modern termination of the present tense, would be 
much less uncouth than they now appear. And the last couplet will remind the classical 
reader of Horace's 

Dulce ridentem Lalagcn amabo, dulce loqueritem. 

No. II. of the second set is still a better specimen : 

Zephyrus brings the thyme that sweetly scenteth. 

104 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

The Nightingale. 

But my poore hart with sorrowes over-swelling. 

Through bondage vyle, binding my freedom short, 
No pleasure takes in these his sports excelling, 

Nor of his song receiveth no comfort. 

Fayre Susanna. 

To them she sayd, if I, by craft procur'd, 

Do yeld to you my body to abuse it, 
I lose my soule; and if I shall refuse it. 

You will me judge to death reproachfully. 
But better it is in innocence to chuse it. 

Then by my fault t'offend my God on hye. 

Indeed, in more than twenty sets, published between the year 
1588 and 1624, during a period of near forty years, including 
almost four hundred and fifty madrigals and songs in parts, it 
would be difficult to find any one, of which the words can be 
perused with pleasure (q). The sonnets of Spenser and Shakspeare, 
many of which are worthy of their authors, were indeed not 
published till about the end of the sixteenth century; but afterwards, 
it is wonderful that none of them were set by our best musical 
composers, except one of Shakspeare's, which will be mentioned 
hereafter. 

The second collection of the same kind that appeared in 
England, was published in 1590, by Thomas Watson, Gent, under 
the following title : " The First Part of Italian Madrigals Englished, 
not to the Sense of the original Dittie, but after the Affection of the 
Noate." This collection, as we are told in the title-page, includes 
" Two excellent Madrigalls of Master William Byrd's, composed 
after the Italian Vaine, at the Request of the said Thomas Watson." 
The poet is as much distressed for double rhymes to suit the stanza 
and Music of these madrigals as in the former publication. That 
indeed which Bird set, first in four parts, and then in six, seems 
original English, and is the best of the collection. 

This sweet and merry month of May, 

While Nature wantons in her prime. 
And birds do sing, and beasts do play, 

For pleasure of the joyful time; 

I chose, the first for holly daie, 

And greet Eliza with a ryme : 
O beauteous Queene of second Troy, 

Take well in worth a single toy. 

The editor seems to have been a man of some learning, as well 
as knowledge in Music, as he dedicates the work, in a Latin copy 
of verses, to the Earl of Essex, then at the summit of favour with 
Queen Elizabeth; and addresses Luca Marenzio, from whom most 
of the madrigals were taken, in another. 

In 1597, Yonge published a second collection of madrigals, out 
of sundry Italian authors; in which, among others, there are three 
by Croce, three by Luca Marenzio, and six by Ferabosco. The 
words of these have as little claim to poetical merit as those of 

(q) Those genuine English songs, set and published by Bird, must be excepted, in some 
of which there is not only wit, but poetry. 

I05 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

the former set. There is, however, some Bacchanalian humour, 
perhaps, in the following, applied to the Music of Ferabosco. 

The wine that I so deerly got, 

Sweetly sipping, my eyes hath bleared 
And the more I am bar'd the pot, 

The more to drink my thirst is stered; 
But since thereby my heart is chercd, 
Maugre ill-luck and spiteful slanders. 
Mine eyes shall not be my commanders; 
For I maintaine, and ever shall, 
Better the windows bide the dangers, 
Than to spoil both house and all. 

In Morley's collection, of the same kind (r), published 1598, 
the words are still more unmeaning and ungrammatical, than in 
the three preceding collections. 

In 1597, Thomas Weelkes and George Kirbye published their 
First Books of English Madrigals; in 1598 appeared those of John 
Wilbye; and the year following, Thomas Bennet's. 

Of these four composers, the best madrigalists of our country, 
many productions have lately been revived at the Concert of 
Ancient Music, and Catch-Club; where, by the perfection of 
performance, effects have been produced, of which it is probable 
the authors themselves, even in the warm and enthusiastic moments 
of conception, had but little idea: so that from the care, accuracy, 
and expression, with which they are sung by the performers of these 
well-disciplined societies, it may perhaps with truth be said, that 
they are not only renovated, but rendered much better compositions 
than the authors intended them to be. 

Of the excellent madrigals by George Kirbye [d. 1634], as 
several have lately been revived at the Concert of Ancient Music, 
and Catch-Club, there seems the less necessity to insert specimens, 
or give a further account of them here. 

In the first set of madrigals, by John Wilbye [1574-1638], the 
following are well known : Lady, when I behold the roses sprouting; 
— and Flora gave me fairest flowers; — but Hard by a crystal 
fountain, which, according to Hearn (s), used to be annually sung 
by the Fellows of New college, Oxon, I am unable to find.* These 
words are adjusted to the Music of Giov. Croce, in the second book 
of Musica Transalpina, and are set by Morley in the Triumphs of 
Oriana; but appear not either in the first or second set of madrigals, 
published by Wilbye, and I know of no other. 

John Bennet, one of our best madrigalists, seems to have a 
melody more phrased and chant ante than most of his cotemporaries. 
Besides his Madrigals to four voices, published in 1599, mentioned 
above, and of which several have lately been called into notice by 

(r) Madrigals to fine voyces, celected out of the best Italian authors. 

(s) Lib. Nig. Scacc. p. 587. 

* In Dr. Fellowes' E.M.S. these composers are included as follows : — 
Kirbye, Vol. 24. 
J. Wilbye, Vols. 6 and 7. 
J. Bennet, Vol. 23. 
Thos. Weelkes, Vols. 9-13. 
The Triumphs of Oriana is Vol. 32 of the series. 

106 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

the admirers of Old Music, he contributed largely to the 
compositions inserted in a work published by Thomas Ravenscroft 
[c. 1590-c. 1633] in 1614, entitled, A briefe Discourse of the true 
but neglected Use of charact'ring the Degrees in mensurable 
Musicke, &c. But as this is a theoretical tract belonging to the next 
reign, its merit will be considered hereafter. 

In the first set of madrigals by Thomas Weelkes [d. 1623], to 
three, four, five, and six voices, of the II. III. and IV. the words 
are by Shakspeare, and were published, with the Music, two years 
before they appeared elsewhere. In 1599, however, they were 
inserted in our great Dramatist's collection of poems, called the 
Passionate Pilgrim, to which he prefixed his name. In 1600, they 
likewise had a place in a collection of songs by different authors, 
under the title of England's Helicon (t). Many of Weelkes's 
madrigals are well known, and justly ranked among the best secular 
compositions of the time; I shall, however, give, as a specimen of 
his style, the three that were written by Shakspeare, not because 
the Music is superior to the rest> but because the words were 
produced by an author whose memory is so dear to the nation, that 
every fragment of his works becomes daily more interesting. 

Madrigal by Thos. Weelkes, a 3. The Words by Shakspeare from 
his Passionate Pilgrim. The Music printed 1597. 



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In scoring most of the twenty-four madrigals in the Triumphs 
of Oriana, so frequently mentioned, though no less a number than 
twenty-two different composers were employed, and among these, 
Bennet, Kirby, Weelkes, Wilbye, and Morley, they all resemble 
each other so much in modulation and style, that they might very 
well pass for the productions of one and the same composer. There 
is no one that towers above the rest sufficiently to give a modern 
ear the least idea of invention or originality (u). However, it is 



(u) The harmony of these Minor Musicians, or second class of English masters of the 
sixteenth century, is pure and regular; but, however well received, and justly admired by their 
cotemporaries, they are, in general, so monotonous in point of modulation, that it seldom 
happens that more than two keys are used from the beginning to the end of a movement; 
which renders the performance of more than one or two at a time, insipid and tiresome. "If," 
says a worthy Nobleman, and enthusiastic admirer of Handel, "some of that great master's 
oratorio choruses were well performed, by voices only, in the manner of madrigals, how 
superior would their effect be to the productions of your Bennets, Kirbys. Weelkes's, and 
Wilbye's!" The idea was so just, that I wish to hear it put into execution: as there is 
doubtless more nerve, more science, and fire, in the worst of Handel's choruses, than in the 
greatest efforts of these old madrigalists. 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

but candid and natural to suppose, that many passages and traits 
of harmony, which now seem dull, vulgar, and common, were 
comparatively ingenious, elegant, and new, at the beginning of the 
seventeenth century. 

The most agreeable madrigal in this collection seems to be the 
twelfth, composed by William Cobbold [1559/60-1639], a 
musician, whose name occurs no where else, within my reading 
and memory, except in Thomas Este's edition of the Psalm-tunes, 
in parts, 1592.* The beginning, however, of this madrigal is not 
very happy; and the modulation, Throughout, is chiefly confined 
to the key-note, and its fifth. Yet, at the fourth bar, a pleasing 
subject is led off, and pursued with ingenuity; and as there are 
several other points, in the course of this song, which discover art 
and experience in the composer, I should insert it here as a specimen 
of the contents of this celebrated publication, were it not too long. 
We should suppose, from the words of these madrigals, that our 
Lyric Poetry, which has never been much cultivated by real judges 
and lovers of Music, was in a state of utter barbarism when they 
were written; if the sonnets of Spenser and Shakspeare did not bear 
testimony to the contrary. Indeed Bird's songs, published long 
before, contain considerable poetical merit, for the time; and it is 
to be feared that the blame will ultimately fall on the musical 
composers, who seem to have been more deficient in taste and 
judgment, than the nation in good poets, when they set such 
wretched trash to Music. These madrigals or songs, written in 
honour of a great and learned Queen; dedicated to the Earl of 
Nottingham, one of the first Nobles of her Court, who is said to 
have stimulated exertion in the poets and musicians of the time, 
by a prize; and set and published by one of the Gentlemen of her 
Chapel, in conjunction with the best musicians then alive; are 
inferior, in poetry, to the present Christmas carols of London 
bell-men. 

Some of the other composers employed in the Triumphs of 
Oriana, having distinguished themselves elsewhere, have a title to 
particular notice here; though they continued to flourish late in 
the next reign. These are John Mundy, Michael Este, John Hilton, 
Thomas Tomkins, John Farmer, and John Milton: of whose 
compositions I shall speak " as they are — nothing extenuate, or 
set down aught in malice;" nor shall I ever praise, or censure upon 
system, by previously determining, unheard and unexamined, that 
the ancient Music is always better than the modern, or the modern 
than the ancient. The rest being of the common mass of musicians, 
who contributed but little, either by invention or refinement, 
towards the advancement of their art, have no claim to a separate 
niche in its annals. 

John Mundy [d. 1630], Bachelor of Music, and one of the 
Organists of her Majesty's free chapel of Windsor, was an able 

* Cobbold was organist at Norwich Cathedral about 1599 — 1608. There are some MSS. of 
his in the B.M. (Add. MSS. 18936-9, and 31421) and also in the Library of the Royal College 
of Music. 

Vol. ii. 8. 113 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

performer on the organ and virginal, as is manifested by several 
compositions for those instruments, preserved in Queen Elizabeth's 
Virginal Book; and among the rest, a Fantasia, in which he 
endeavours to convey an idea of Faire Wether; Lightning; Thunder; 
Calme Wether, and a Faire Day; in which attempt, if he has failed, 
it was not for want of hand, as the passages are such as seem to 
imply a great command of the instrument. Some of his Songs, 
and Psalms [1594], which I have scored, are above mediocrity in 
harmony and design. Indeed, I think I can discover more air in 
some of his movements than in any of his cotemporary musicians 
of the second class (x). 

Michael Este [c. 1580, d. 1648], Bachelor of Music, and 
Master of the Boys of Litchfield cathedral, has little concern with 
Queen Elizabeth's reign, except in setting one of the madrigals in 
the Triumphs of Oriana. He was a very voluminous composer of 
madrigals, and other Vocal Music; having published six books, of 
three, four, five, and six parts; which, in the beginning of the last 
century, either from the constancy of the public, or the barrenness 
of the composers, was sufficient to give him the reputation of great 
fertility. One of his three part songs, How merrily we live, has 
been lately revived, and honoured with the public favour; and there 
are several others among his works, that equally deserve it. 

Of John Hilton [d. before 1612], an early publisher, and an 
ingenious composer of Catches, we shall likewise have occasion to 
speak at a later period; for though he furnished a madrigal to the 
Triumphs of Oriana, in 1601, he continued to flourish more than 
fifty years after.* 

Thomas Tomkins [c. 1575-1656], a scholar of Bird, M. B. and 
Gentleman of his Majesty's chapel, was an excellent musician. He 
published songs of three, four, five, and six parts, without a date. 
It has been imagined that they were printed before the year 1600; 
but there are two stubborn circumstances against this conjecture: 
the first is, that in the very title of his book, he calls himself 
organist of his Majesty's chapel royal; which certainly throws the 
publication into the reign of King James I. who was crowned in 
1603; the second is likewise furnished in the body of the book itself, 
where he dedicates each song to some relation, friend, or eminent 
musician; and among the rest, the twenty-fourth song is addressed 
to Mr. Dr. Heather. Now it is upon record, that Heather, who 
founded the Music-Professorship at Oxford, was honoured with his 
degree of Doctor in that university, May 18th, 1622; and as 
another of these songs is dedicated by Tomkins to his " ancient and 
much reverenced master, William Bird," who died 1623, it seems 

(x) See above, his Four-part Song, already printed, p. 53. 

* John Hilton of The Triumphs of Oriana was not the John Hilton who published Catches, 
etc. The Oriana Hilton was probably dead before 1612, and may have been the father of the 
other John Hilton who was born in 1599 and died in 1657. Grove's suggests that some of the 
compositions attributed to the younger Hilton may be by the Oriana Hilton. 

114 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

to fix the time of the publication to be the latter end of the year 
1622, or beginning of 1623.* 

There are two very curious compositions by Tomkins, in the 
third volume of Dr. Tudway's collection, in the British Museum: 
the one is a full anthem, in twelve parts; and the other an anthem 
in canon throughout, of four parts in one, both well worthy the 
disciple of the admirable Bird. Indeed, by the compositions I have 
scored, or examined in score, of Tomkins, he seems to me to have 
had more force and facility than Morley. In his songs there is 
melody and accent, as well as pure harmony and ingenious 
contrivance. 

John Farmer [c. 1565-c. 1605] published his First Set of 
English Madrigals, to four voices, in 1599; professing in his preface 
to have " fully linked his Musick to number, as each gives to other 
their true effect, which is to move delight; a virtue," he adds, " so 
singular in the Italians, as under that ensign only they hazard 
their honour." This boast made me examine his accentuation of 
the words of his madrigals, with some expectation of finding greater 
accuracy in that particular, than was general at the time; but, on 
the contrary, his assertion is so far from true, that there appears 
more false accent in his songs, than in those of his cotemporaries.** 

We come now to John Milton [c. 1563-1646/7], the father of 
our great poet, who, though a scrivener by profession, was a 
voluminous composer, and equal in science, if not genuis, to the 
best musicians of his age; in conjunction, and on a level with whom, 
his name and works appeared in numerous musical publications of 
the time, particularly in those of old Wilbye; in the Triumphs of 
Oriana, published by Morley; in Ravenscroft's Psalms; in the 
Lamentations, published by Sir William Leighton; and in MS. 
collections, still in the possession of the curious (y)*** 

(y) Mr. Warton, in his Notes upon Milton's Poems on Several Occasions, tells us, from 
the MS. Life of the Poet, by Aubrey, the antiquary, in the Mus. Ashm. Oxon, that "Milton's 
father, though a scrivener, was not apprenticed to that trade : having been bred a scholar, and 
of Christ Church, Oxford; and that he took to trade in consequence of being disinherited." 
Mr. Warton, therefore observes, that Milton, in his Latin Epistle to his father, addresses him 
in a language which he understood. Aubrey adds, "that the elder Milton died very old in 
1647, and was interred from his house in Barbican, in St. Giles's church, Cripplegate; where 
the great poet was afterwards buried, near his father, in 1674." 

* In the E.M.S. the above-named composers are represented as follows : — 

J. Mundy, Vol. 35, Part 2. 

M. Este (or East), Vols. 29-31. 

T. Tomkins, Vol. 18 and also in T.C.M., Vol. 8. 
The correct date of publication of Tomkin's set is 1622. A feature of his book is that each of 
the 2S compositions is dedicated to a different person, instead of the whole being dedicated to 
one individual as was the custom. 

** His madrigals are in Vol. 8 of the E.M.S. In 1591 he published "Divers and sundry 
wails of two parts in one, to the number of fortie, upon one playn song," etc. The Bodleian 
Lib. possesses the only known copy. 

The composition of canons and involved contrapuntal exercises became a popular mode o< 
musical recreation. There is a record in the Stationer's Register of two sets by Byrd and 
Ferrabosco, but these have been lost. 

George Waterhouse wrote over a thousand canons upon one plain song. These are to be 
found .in the Cambridge MSS. 

For examples of the contrapuntal exercises of the late 16th cent., see an article by Miss 
Warner in Music and Letters, Vol. II. January, 1921. 

*** Compositions in MS. by Milton are in the B.M. (Add. MSS. 29372-7), and at Christ 
Church (Oxford) is a 4-part church composition and also some Fancies for instruments. Six 
Anthems by him have been reprinted by Arkwright in his O.E.E. 

115 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

His son celebrates his musical abilities in an admirable Latin 
poem, Ad patrem, where, alluding to his father's musical science, 
he says, that Apollo had divided his favours in the sister arts 
between them; giving Music to the father, and Poetry to the son. 

Nee lu perge, precor, sacras contemnere musas. 
Nee vanas inopesque puta, quorum ipse peritus 
Munere, mille sonos numeros componis ad aptos. 
Millibus et vocem modulis variare canoram 
Doctus. Arionii meriio sis nominis hares. 
Nunc tibi quid mirum, si vie ger.uisse poetam 
Contigerit, charo si tarn prope sanguine juncti 
Cognatas artes, studiutnque affine sequamur} 
Ipse volens Phoebus se dispertire duobus. 
Altera dona mihi, dedit altera dona parenti, 
Dividuumque Deum genitorque puerque tenemus (z). 

Ver. 56, usque 66. 

His effusions of gratitude for the education he had received from 
his parent's bounty, and his apology for cultivating poetry, of 
which he gives a charming eulogium, seem to contain ideas as 
beautiful and sublime, as any in his Paradise Lost. 

There was, at this time, a kind of maudlin piety, which had 
seized Christians of all denominations; among Calvinists it exhaled 
itself in Psalmody ; and in others, not less dolorous, in 
Lamentations (a). The Italians sung them in Latin, like the Salmi 
Penitentiali; and of both, as well as others in their own language, 
the sixteenth century was extremely prolific. In these Lamentations, 
whence I shall give one that was set by Milton's father, the poetry 
is too mean and gloomy for any readers but modern saints or 
methodists : indeed some of it seems much inferior to that of 
Sternhold and Hookins. However, the best English composers 
of the times thought them worthy of the best Music they could 
set to them, in four and five parts. Sir William Leighton, Knt. 
who set many of them himself, was the editor; and in the list of 
composers we have Bird, Dr. Bull, Orlando Gibbons, Dowland, 
Robert Jhonson, Forde, Hooper, Kindersley, Nat. Gyles, 
Coperario, Pilkington, Lupo, Peirson, Jones, Alfonso Ferrabosco, 
Ward, Weelkes, Wilbye, and Milton (b). 

John Dowland was born in 1562 [1563-1626], and admitted 
to a Bachelor's degree in Music, at Oxford, in 1588, at the same 
time as Morley (c). His instrument was the lute; for his perform- 
ed) Nor blame, Oh much lov'd sire ! the sacred Nine, 

Who thee have honour'd with such gifts divine; 

Who taught thee how to charm the list'ning throng, 

With all the sweetness of a siren's song; 

Blending such tones as ev'ry breast inflame, 

And made thee heir to great Arion's fame. 
By blood united, and by kindred arts, 

On each Apollo his refulgence darts : 

To thee points out the magic pow'r of sound; 

To me, the mazes of poetic ground; 

And foster'd thus, by his parental care, 

We equal seem Divinity to share. 

(a) Even the Lute was to weep, and be sorrowful : for Dowland published about this 
time Lachrymce, or Seven Teares figured in seaven Passionate Pavins. [Modern edition edited 
by Peter Warlock and published by the Oxford Press.] 

(6) The Teares or Lamentations of a Sorrowful Soule. Composed with musical Ayres 
and Songs, both for Voices and divers Instruments. Fol. Lond. 1614. 

(c) He is stiled Doctor by Tomkins, Peacham, and Ravenscroft; but A. Wood is silent 
concerning his ever having obtained that degree. 

Il6 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

ance upon which he was so much celebrated, that Anthony Wood 
(d), who never could have heard him, scrupled not to say, " He 
was the rarest musician that his age did behold." 

After being at the pains of scoring several of Dowland's 
compositions, I have been equally disappointed and astonished at 
his scanty abilities in counterpoint, and the great reputation he 
acquired with his cotemporaries, which has been courteously 
continued to him, either by the indolence or ignorance of those who 
have had occasion to speak of him, and who took it for granted 
that his title to fame, as a profound musician, was well founded. 
There are among the Lamentations, published by Leighton, 
mentioned before, several by Dowland, which seem to me inferior 
in every respect to the rest: for, besides want of melody and 
design, with the confusion and embarrassment of a Principiante 
in the disposition of the parts, there are frequently unwarrantable, 
and, to my ear, very offensive combinations in the harmony; such 
as a sharp third, and flat sixth; an extreme flat fourth and 
sixth, &c. 



I make no doubt but that Dowland was a captivating performer 
on the lute, to which Shakspeare has borne testimony in his 
Passionate Pilgrim, (No. VI.) where addressing his friend, he says: 

If Music and sweet Poetry agree, 

As they must needs, the sister and the brother, 

Then must the love be great 'twixt thee and me, 
Because thou lov'st the one, and I the other. 

Dowland to thee is dear, whose heav'nly touch 

Upon the lute doth ravish human sense; 
Spenser to me, whose deep conceit is such, 

As passing all conceit needs no defence. 

Thou lov'st to hear the sweet melodious sound 

That Phoebus' lute, the Queen of Music makes; 

And I in deep delight am chiefly drown'd. 
When as himself to singing he betakes. 

One god is god of both, as poets feign; 

One knight loves both, and both in thee remain. 

Suppl. to Shakspeare, Vol. I. p. 713. 

It has frequently happened that a great performer has been 
totally devoid of the genius and cultivation necessary for a 
composer; and, on the contrary, there have been eminent composers 
whose abilities in performance have been very far from great. 
Close application to the business of a composer equally enfeebles 
the hand and the voice, by the mere action of writing, as well as 
want of practice; and if the art of composition, and a facility of 
committing to paper musical ideas, clothed in good harmony, be 
not early acquired, even supposing that genius is not wanting, the 
case seems hopeless; as I never remember the difficulties of 
composition thoroughly vanquished, except during youth. 

(d) Fasti, 1588. 

117 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

I think I may venture to say from the works of Dowland, which 
I have had an opportunity of examining, that he had not studied 
composition regularly at an early period of his life; and was but 
little used to writing in many parts.* In his prefaces, particularly 
that to his Pilgrim's Solace [1612], he complains much of public 
neglect; but these complaints were never known to operate much in 
favour of the complainants, any more than those made to a mistress 
or lover whose affection is diminishing, which seldom has any 
other effect than to accelerate aversion. As a composer, the public 
seem to have been right in withdrawing that favour from Dowland, 
which had been granted on a bad basis; but with regard to his 
performance, we have nothing to say : as at this distance of time 
there is no judging what proportion it bore to that of others who 
were better treated. 

I have my doubts likewise concerning the genius, at least, of the 
second Ferrabosco, who had the Poets and Dilettanti all on his 
side; but whose works, that have come under my inspection, seem 
wholly unworthy of a great professor. The elder, Alfonso 
Ferrabosco [d. 1588], was a native of Italy, and a composer of 
great eminence, throughout Europe (e); his son [d. 1627/8], who 
is said to have been born at Greenwich, published Ayres, with an 
accompaniment for the lute, in London, 1609, which contain as 
little merit of any kind as I have ever seen in productions to which 
the name of a master of established reputation is prefixed: these 
he dedicated, with no great humility, to Prince Henry, the eldest 
son of James I. 

Three herald minstrels, ycleped Ben Jonson, T. Campion, and 
N. Tompkins, proclaimed the high worth and qualities of these 
Ayres in three encomiastic copies of verses, prefixed to the 
works; but these friendly bards, who praise not with a very sparing 
hand, seem to have less exalted ideas of the author's merit and 
importance, than himself; " For," says he to the Prince, " I could 
now with that solemne industry of many in Epistles, enforce all 
that hath been said in praise of the Faculty of Musique, and make 
that commend the worke; but I desire more, the worke should 
commend the Faculty : and therefore suffer these few Ayres to owe 
their grace rather to your Highnesse judgment, than any other 
testimonies. I am not made of much speech; only I know them 
worthy of my name; and therein, I took paines to make them 
worthy of yours. 

Your Highnesse most humble Servant, 

Alfonso Ferrabosco." 

(e) It is of him that Morley and Peachum speak, and of whom there are compositions in 
almost all the collections of motets and madrigals printed in Italy during the middle and latter 
end of the sixteenth century. Some of his motets appear with those of Cipriani Rore, printed 
at Venice so early as 1544, and are written with great purity.** 

* Dowland's Songs or Ayres have been published by Dr. Fellowes in the English School oi 
Lutenist Song-writers, 1st series, 6 vols. 

** The early motets mentioned here are by Domenico Ferrabosco (1513-74) who also 
a volume of madrigals in 1542. He was the father of the elder Alphonso. 

Il8 






MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

As these Ayres are short and scarce, the musical critic in the 
following plates shall have it in his power to discover such beauties 
in them as may have escaped my observation. 

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119 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 



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MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

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121 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 



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The preceding plates exhibit specimens of the composition of 
Milton, Dowland, and Ferrabosco ; of which, notwithstanding the 
greater celebrity of the two last musicians, Milton's production is 
the best, not only in point of ingenuity, but correctness (/). 

Instrumental Music seems as yet to have made but a small 
progress towards that perfection at which it has since arrived: 
indeed, the lute and virginal were the only instruments for which 
any tolerable Music seems to have been expressly composed. The 
violin* was now hardly known, by the English, in shape or name ; 
and, therefore, that superior power of expressing almost all that a 
human voice can produce, except the articulation of words, seemed 
at this time so utterly impossible, that it was not thought a 

(/) The places in Dowland's second composition marked with a f, will not be found very 
grateful to nice ears. 

* Two violinists are mentioned amongst the members of Henry VIII's band, but these were 
probably viol players. There were a few violinists in Queen Elizabeth's band, but nearly a 
century had to elapse before the viol was ousted. 




MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

gentleman's instrument, or one that should be admitted into good 
company. Viols of various sizes, with six strings, and fretted like 
the guittar, began indeed to be admitted into chamber-concerts: 
for when the performance was public, these instruments were too 
feeble for the obtuse organs of our Gothic ancestors; and the low 
state of our regal Music in the time of Henry VIII. 1530, may 
be gathered from the accounts given in Hall's and Hollingshead's 
Chronicles, of a Masque at Cardinal Wolsey's palace, Whitehall, 
where the King was entertained with " a Concert of Drums and 
Fifes." But this was soft Music compared with that of his heroic 
daughter Elizabeth, who according to Henxner (g), used to be 
regaled during dinner "with twelve trumpets, and two kettle-drums; 
which together with fifes, cornets, and side drums, made the hall 
ring for half an hour together. ' ' * 

The Lute, of which hardly the sound or shape is known at 
present, was, during the two last centuries, the favourite chamber- 
instrument of every nation in Europe (h). Sir Thomas Wyat, the 
elder, has left us a Sonnet to his Lute, written very early in the 
sixteenth century ; and Congreve, at the end of the last, has 
celeberated the performance of Mrs. Arabella Hunt on that 
instrument. 

Indeed choral compositions, madrigals, and songs in this style, 
always of many parts, being the only Vocal Music that was in 
favour with masters and their most powerful patrons, precluded 
much refinement in the performance: as fugues, canons, and full 
choruses, of which they chiefly consisted, are founded upon 
democratic principles, which admit of no sovereignty; and whatever 
good they contain is equally distributed to all ranks in the musical 
state. The art of Singing, therefore, in these times, further than 
was necessary to keep a performer in tune and time, must have 
been unknown : ** the possessor of the most exquisite voice had no 
more frequent opportunities allowed of displaying it, than the most 
disagreeable ; solo songs, anthems, and cantatas, being productions 
of later times. The penalty for the crime of playing a solo at the 
Concert of Ancient Music, is five guineas ; but at this time, if instead 
of that sum being forfeited, five hundred had been offered to the 
individual who could perform such a feat, fewer candidates would 
have entered the lists than if the like premium had been offered for 
flying from Salisbury steeple over Old Sarum, without a balloon. 

It is therefore upon the Church Music, Madrigals, and Songs in 
Parts, of our countrymen, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, 

(g) Itinerarium, Edit. 1757, p. 53. Strawberry-hill. 

(h) Vincenzo Galilei says, that the Lutes made in England, in his time, were the best. 
Dial, della Mus. 

* There is nothing in Henxner's account to lead one to suppose that this was any more 
than a call to dinner. 

Burney is also unhappy in his remarks on the first episode. It is true that a good deal of 
noise was made on the occasion mentioned, but it was for the purpose of surprising the 
Cardinal. 

** One can hardly understand this statement in view of the fact that Burney knew, even 
if he did not admire, the work of the Lutenist song writers. 

123 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

that we must rest their reputation ; and these, in point of harmony 
and contrivance, the chief excellencies of such compositions, appear 
in nothing inferior to those of the best cotemporary productions of 
the continent. Taste, rhythm, accent, and grace, must not be 
sought for in this kind of Music ; indeed we might as well censure 
the ancient Greeks for not writing in English, as the composers ot 
the sixteenth century for their deficiency in these particulars, which 
having then no existence, even in idea, could not be wanted or 
expected; and it is necessarily the business of artists to cultivate and 
refine what is in the greatest esteem among the best judges of their 
own nation and times. And these, at this period, unanimously 
thought every species of musical composition below criticism, 
except canons and fugues. Indeed what is generally understood by 
taste in Music, must ever be an abomination in the church ; for as it 
consists in new refinements or arrangements of notes, it would be 
construed into innovation, however meritorious, till consecrated by 
age : thus the favourite points and passages in the madrigals of the 
sixteenth century, were in the seventeenth received as orthodox in 
the church ; as those of the opera songs and cantatas of the 
seventeenth century are used by the gravest and most pious 
ecclesiastical composers of the eighteenth. 

It does not, however, appear just and fair to slight old 
compositions, though a totally different style at present prevails. 
History does not imply constant perfection: the vices, follies, and 
even caprice of Princes, as well as of mankind in general, constitute 
as necessary a part of their annals as their virtues. The fugues and 
canons of the sixteenth century, like the Gothic buildings in which 
they were sung, have a gravity and grandeur peculiarly suited to the 
purpose of their construction ; and when either of them shall, by 
time or accident, be destroyed, it is very unlikely that they should 
ever be replaced by others in a style equally reverential and 
stupendous. They should therefore be preserved as venerable relics 
of the musical labours and erudition of our forefathers, before the 
lighter strains of Secular Music had tinctured melody with its 
capricious and motley flights. 

Indeed, while there was little melody, less rhythm, and a timid 
modulation, Music could not support itself without fugue : as it is 
necessary that the French Dramas, for want of blank verse, or 
nervous prose, should be written in rhyme. And as simple subjects 
are best for fugue, and the composers of this period spent their 
whole lives in their contexture, it seems natural to suppose that 
they should be superior to those of the present age, when musicians 
have so much more to do. A fugue is now seldom produced but 
upon some particular occasion, or in an ostentatious fit of pedantry, 
as a specimen of that science which professors at other times affect 
to despise. 

The modulation of the sixteenth century, though it has a grave 
and uncommon effect in the Church-Music of that time, is not 
accommodated to musical students of the present times ; for being 
confined to the ecclesiastical modes, it precludes the use of the most 



124 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

agreeable keys in Music. Zarlino (i), who, like Glareanus, allowed 
of twelve modes, speaks of himself and a few others having 
composed in the eleventh, or key of C natural, which was not one of 
the ancient original eight ecclesiastical modes, to which they were 
led by the vulgar musicians of the streets and villages, who generally 
accompanied rustic dances with tunes in this key, which was then 
called II modo lascivo, or the wanton key. Here we have an 
instance of the mischief of system : for what was prohibited by the 
laws of ecclesiastical modulation to men of science, was suggested by 
nature to the hands and ears of ignorance and rusticity, who dared 
to please the sense, without first obtaining the permission of 
intellect. 

Bird, and other old masters, have been censured by the 
Reverend Mr. Mason, in his excellent Essay on Church-Music (k), 
for inattention to prosody, accent, and quantity, in setting English 
words; and indeed, besides the negligence in that particular 
common to all the composers of their time, the accentuation of our 
language has received such changes since the time of Tallis, Bird, 
and our other best church composers, that it seems absolutely 
necessary for the words to be newly adjusted to the melodies by 
some judicious person, equally tender of the harmony of these 
admirable compositions., as of the prosody of our language ; 
constantly taking care to place the accent of each word upon the 
accented part of each bar in the Music (I). 

With respect to the most unexceptionable manner of singing in 
the church, it is difficult to suggest any one that will obviate all 
objections. In our cathedral chanting, and the canto fermo of the 
Romish church, some of the words are uttered with too much 
rapidity, while others at the mediatio, or half-close, and termination, 
are protracted to an unreasonable length. In our Parochial 
Psalmody, as there is no distinction of syllables, but all are made 
as long as the lungs of the clerk and congregation will allow; so 

(0 P. 333- 

(k) A copious Collection of those Portions of the Psalms of David, Bible, and Liturgy, 
which have been set to Music, and sung as Anthems in the Cathedral and Collegiate Churches 
of England.— Published for the Use of the Church at York; to which is prefixed a Critical and 
Historical Essay on Cathedral Music. York, 1782. 

(I) It is much to be lamented that this task was not performed by the late Dr. Boyce, 
when he revised and prepared these Services for publication. In the Te Deum of both Tallis 
and Bird, printed in his first and third volumes, the accent in all the parts is given to the 
second syllable of the words holy , glory', glorious, and upon the first in apostles. In Tallis's 
Service, Vol. I. p. 5, long syllables are made short, and short, long: The goodly' fellowship of_ 
the prophets praise thee. The noble army — The holy church throughout all, &c. The 
father. P. 7. Servants. 8. We worship; ever. 9. upon. Mercy lighten, &c. 

In Bird's Service, p. 2, we have to thee. 4. also of glory'. 5. To deliver; abhor; the 
kingdom; the glory ; iky' precious. 7. People; we worship; ever; world. 8. upon. 9. Mercy"; 
lighten our trust. 

In Tallis's Benedictus, p. 11. Perform the mercy promised. Covenant is made a dissyllable, 
and has only two notes allowed to it. P. 12. perform; being delivered. In the beginning of 
the Sanctus, by Tallis, p. 33, the words are likewise very ill accented. 

Where no fugue or imitation is concerned, all the voices should pronounce the same word, 
in the same accent, at the same time; which would greatly facilitate to the congregation the 
intelligence of what is sung; this is often unnecessarily prevented by ligatures, and divisions 
in one part more than another. 

A few slight arrangements of this kind in the words, would render these Services, as well 
as Morley's Burial Service, and others in Boyce's collection, as unexceptionable with regard 
to accentuation of the words, as texture of the parts in the harmony. 

125 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

with respect to Services, Full Anthems, and the Romish Mass in 
Music, besides the artificial contexture of the parts, divisions upon 
particular words, and repetitions of whole sentences, the nature of 
canon and fugue is such, that the singers are constantly pronouncing 
different words at the same time, with the clamour of ill-bred 
disputants, who are all talking at once. 

Salvator Rosa, who was as severe with his pen, as bold and 
original with his pencil, in his Satires has not spared the pedantry 
of false refinements, and abuse of Church Music. However, almost 
all his coarse censures, except those levelled at the Castrati, may 
be found in Erasmus (m). The bitterness of invective with which 
these two writers have loaded Ecclesiastical Music and Musicians 
will have the more weight, when it is remembered, that Erasmus 
had been himself a singing-boy in the cathedral of Utrecht; and 
that Salvator Rosa, besides being an excellent painter and poet, 
was a good musician. 

Salvator, in his first Satire, after treating Secular Music and 
Musicians with extreme uncharitableness and severity, criminates 
those of the church with more than puritanical fury. 

Who blushes not to hear a hireling band, 

At times appointed to subdue the heart. 
Profane the temple with Sol-fa in hand, 

When tears repentant from each eye should start? 

What scandal 'tis within the sacred wall, 

To hpar them grunt the vespers, bark the mass, 

The Gloria, Credo, Pater-noster bawl, 
With the vile fury of a braying ass ! 

And still more scandalous, in such a place, 

We see infatuate Christians list'ning round, 
Instead of supplicating God for grace, 

To Tenor, Base, and subtilties of sound. 

And while such trivial talents are display'd 

In howls and squeaks, which wound the pious ear, 

No sacred word is with the sound convey'd, 
To purify the soul, or heart to chear. 

Like drunken Bacchanals they shameless roar, 
Till with their noise and jargon all are weary; 

And in the Sanctuary they God adore, 

Sing to a vile Chaconne the Miserere (n). 

A certain degree of simplicity is necessary, in Choral Music, to 
render it suitable to the purposes of devotion, which seem to 

(w) Commentary on the first of Corinthians, xiv. 19. 

(n) Vergognosa follia d'un petto insano ! 
Nel tempo eletlo a prepararsi il core 
Si sta nel tempio con le Solfe in mono. — 
Che scandalo e il sentir ne sacri rostri 
Crunnir il vespro, ed abbajar la messa, 
Ragghiar la Gloria, il Credo, e i Paternostri. — 
Quando stillar dovrian gl' occhi in humore, 
L'impazziio Christian gl' orecchi intenti 
Tiene all' arte d'un Basso, 6 d'un Tenore. — 
Apporta d'urli, e di mugiti impressa 
L'aria a gl' orecchi altrui tedj, e molestie, 
Ch'udir non puossi una sol voce espressa. 
Sicche pien di baccano, e d'immodestie 
II sacrario di Dio sembra al vedere 
Un area di Noe fra tante bestie. 
E si sente per tutto a piu potere, 
Ond' e, che ogn'un si scandalizza, e tedia, 
Cantar su la Ciaccona il Miserere. 

126 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

demand a clear, distinct, and articulate pronunciation of the words, 
and that the duration of the notes, whether applied to verse or 
prose, should be proportioned to the length of the syllables : indeed, 
I see no other method of accomplishing this end in choruses, than 
by simple counterpoint of note against note, in all the parts, at least 
the first time the words are uttered; afterwards, as the congregation 
will be already in possession of their sense and import, nothing will 
be lost, on the side of instruction, if they should be repeated in 
canon, fugue, or other musical contrivance (o). 

When the verse of a Psalm or Hymn is set in fugue, if the part 
that leads off the subject were to pronounce the whole verse or 
sentence, to complete the sense, before the answer is introduced, it 
would perhaps obviate the objection that is made to this ingenious 
species of composition, on account of the confusion occasioned by 
the several parts singing different words at the same time. 

I have dwelt the longer on the state of Music in England during 
the long and fortunate reign of Queen Elizabeth, for the honour of 
our country; as I fear no other period will be found in which we 
were so much on a level with the rest of Europe, in musical genius 
and learning. And however uncouth the compositions of these 
times may appear to those who think all Music barbarous but that 
of the present day; it seems as if those productions, which, at any 
period of an art, universally afforded delight to the best judges of 
their merit, were well entitled to examination and respect, however 
the revolutions of taste and fashion may have diminished their 
favour. 



(o) The solemn Music of the church, without words, Dryden emphatically calls 
Inarticulate Poesy. Pre], to Tyrannick Love; or, the Royal Martyr. And such should bt the 
Voluntaries of our organists, at least in the middle of the service. 

127 



Chapter II 

Of the State of Music in Italy during the Sixteenth 
Century: including an Account of Theorists, with the 
Progress of Practical Music in the Church, as well as of 
Madrigals, Ricercari, or Fantasias, and Secular Songs, of 

that Period 



MELODY, itself the child of Fancy, was still held in 
Gothic chains; and though there was no rhythm, or 
symmetry of measure, the subject of every movement was 
symmetric and invariable. To check Imagination's wild vagaries, 
and restrain her wanton flights in the solemnity of supplication, 
humility of contrition, funereal sorrow, or even the grateful song of 
gladness and thanksgiving, when addressed to the Divinity, during 
the celebration of sacred rites in the temple, is not only required 
by propriety, but duty. Yet, as the confining Music merely to 
religious purposes borders on fanaticism, so the treating secular and 
light subjects with ecclesiastical gravity; making a fugue of every 
movement, and regarding grace, elegance, and fertility of invention, 
as criminal, or, at best, as frivolous, are equally proofs of want of 
taste, and want of candour. But these points will be best discussed 
when we come to treat of Lyric and Dramatic Compositions, and 
trace the progress which Instrumental Music has made during the 
present century. 

What kind of Music the Italians cultivated before the general use 
of counterpoint was established, I know not; but we find in the 
Lives of their first Painters, that many of them had been brought 
up to Music, as a profession. Leonardo da Vinci was a great 
performer on several instruments, and invented a new species of 
tyre, in the shape of a horse's skull (a). Italy had likewise at this 
time singers with great talents for execution and expression, 
according to Castiglione, who, in his Cortegiano, speaking of the 
variety and power of contrast in the arts, observes, that ' ' Instances 
of dissimilar things producing similar effects that are equally pleasing 
and meritorious may be given in them all; particularly Music, in 
which the movement is sometimes grave and majestic, and 

{a) Da Tescliio di Cavallo. — Vasari, Vite di Pitt. [See also E. McCurdy's, "The Mind of 
Leonardo da Vinci" (Jon. Cape, 1932 ed.) p. 31 and 2.] 

128 



MUSIC IN ITALY DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

sometimes gay and animated, yet equally delightful to the hearer. 
Thus, in singing, what can be more different than the performance 
of Bidon and Marchetto Cara? The one artificial, rapid, 
nervous, vehement, and impassioned, elevates and inflames the 
soul of every hearer; while the other, more gentle, pathetic, 
and insinuating, sooths, calms, and affects by a sorrowful and 
tender sweetness, which penetrates the heart, and affords it the most 
exquisite pleasure of a different kind." This description the late 
Mr. Galliard (b) has thought applicable to the different powers of 
the two great female singers, Faustina and Cuzzoni, the superiority 
of whose abilities was so disputable when they performed on the 
same stage in England, 1727, that the patrons and friends of the 
one became inveterate enemies to those of the other. 

Great natural powers will sometimes astonish and charm without 
much assistance from art; and so late as the year 1547, Pietro 
Aaron (c) gives a list of such extraordinary performers as were 
able to sing by book, cantori a libro; by which we may suppose that 
the art was new and uncommon. And according to Tartini (d), 
" The old Italian songs being only made for a single voice, were 
simple in the highest degree; partaking of the nature of recitative, 
but largo;" (as the gondoliers at Venice still sing the stanzas of 
Tasso). " None were confined to regular bars; and the key was 
determined by the kind and compass of voice that was to sing 
them." 

However, during the sixteenth century, when the works of 
Palestrina appeared, the Italians may with justice be said to have 
given instructions to the rest of Europe, in counterpoint, as, ever 
since operas were established, they have done in singing. But 
before we proceed to give specimens of the composition of this 
admirable composer and his co temporaries, it seems necessary to 
speak of the chief Theorists of Italy, who established the principles 
upon which their productions were founded; and as not only the 
Italian School of Music, but that of every other country, seems 
much indebted to the labours of Franchinus Gaffurius, and the 
many useful books he published, I shall place him at the head of 
their Musical Classics. 

Franchinus Gafurius, or Gafforio, of Lodi (e), born 1451, 
was the son of Betino, a soldier in the service of Gonzago, Duke 
of Mantua, and Catherine Fixaraga, of the same place. He was 
first intended for Priest's orders, but after studying Music for two 
years under Fryar John Goodenach, a Carmelite, he manifested 
so much genius for that science, that it was thought expedient to 
make it his profession. After learning the rudiments of Music at 
Lodi, he went to Mantua, where he was patronized by the Marquis 
Lodovico Gonzago; and where during two years he pursued his 

( b) Transl. of Tosi, p. 170. (c) Lucidario in Musica, fol. 31. 

(d) Trattato di Musica, p. 17. 

(e) Walther mistakenly makes him a native of Lyons, in France. Laudensis. 

Voi,. ii. 9. 129 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

studies with unwearied assiduity night and day, and acquired 
great reputation both in the speculative and practical part of his 
profession (/). From this city he went to Verona, where he read 
public lectures on Music for two years more, and published several 
works; after which he removed to Genoa, whither he was invited 
by the Doge Prospero : there he entered into Priest's orders. From 
Genoa he was invited to Milan by the Duke and Duchess Galeazzo, 
but they being soon after expelled that city, he returned to Naples, 
where Philip of Bologna, Professor Royal, received him as his 
colleague; and he became so eminent in the theory of Music, that 
he was thought superior to John Tinctor, William Guarnieri, 
Bernard Yeart, and many celebrated and learned musicians, with 
whom he now conversed and disputed. He there composed and 
published his profound Treatise on the Theory of Harmony, 1480; 
which was afterwards corrected, enlarged, and republished at 
Milan, 1492; but the plague raging in Naples, and that kingdom 
being likewise much incommoded by a war with the Turks, he 
retreated to Otranto, in Apulia; whence, after a short residence, 
he returned to Lodi, where he was protected and favoured by 
Pallavicino, the Bishop, and opened a public school, in which, 
during three years, he formed many excellent scholars. He was 
offered great encouragement at Bergamo, if he would settle there; 
but the war being over, and the Duke of Milan, his old patron, 
restored, he preferred the residence of that city to any other. It 
was here that he composed and polished most of his works; that 
he was caressed by the first persons of his time for rank and 
learning; and that he read Lectures by public authority to crowded 
audiences, for which he had a faculty granted him by the 
Archbishop and chief magistrates of the city in 1483, which exalted 
him far above all his cotemporary brethren : and- how much he 
improved the science by his instructions, his lectures, and his 
writings, was testified by the approbation of the whole city; to 
which may be added the many disciples he formed, and the almost 
infinite number of volumes he wrote, among which several will 
live as long as Music and the Latin tongue are understood. He 
likewise first collected, revised, commended, and translated into 
Latin the old Greek writers on Music: Aristides Quintilianus, 
Manuel Briennius, Bacchius sen. and Ptolemy's Harmonics. The 
order of the works he published is as follows: Theoricum Opus 
Harmonicce Disciplines mentioned above, Neapolis, 1480. Milan, 
1492. This was the first book on the subject of Music that issued 
from the press after the invention of Printing, if we except the 
Definitiones Term. Musicce, of John Tinctor (g). Practica Musicce 
utriusque Cantus. Milan, 1496. Brescia, 1497, 1502. And 
Venice, 1512. Angelicum ac Divinum Opus Musicce Materna 

(/) His biographers inform us not when or where Franchinus met with Bonadies, of 

whom he so frequently makes honourable mention in his works, constantly calling him 

Prceceptor mens. P. Martini has given a fragment, from a Kyrie Eleison, composed by 
Bonadies in 1473, when Gaforio was twenty-two years old. 

(g) See Book II. p. 717. Note (y). 
I30 



MUSIC IN ITALY DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

Lingua Scrip. Milan, 1508 [1496] (h). Be Harmonica Musicor. 
Instrumentorum. Milan, 1518. This work, we are told by 
Pantaleone Melegulo, of Lodi, his countryman, from whom some 
account of the author appeared in the first edition, was written 
when Gaff orio was fifty years of age, that is to say, in the year 
1501; and though the subject is dark and difficult, it was 
absolutely necessary for understanding the ancient authors. If, 
says Pantaleone, a life spent in labour for the advancement of 
science, and in a series of laudable actions, can entitle a human 
being to fame in this world, and felicity in the next, the claim 
of Gafforio to both seems indisputable.* 

The doctrines of this excellent theorist, who died 1520 [d. 1522] 
have been so frequently cited in the course of the preceding 
volume, that, after the ample list of his writings just given, a table 
of their contents, or further extracts from them, seem unnecessary. 

Pietro Aaron [d. ca. 1545], a Florentine, of the order of 
Jerusalem, and canon of Rimini, was a voluminous writer on Music. 
He first appears as an author in 1516, when a small Latin tract in 
three books, Be Institutione Harmonica, which he wrote originally 
in Italian, was translated into Latin, and published at Bologna, 
by his friend, Joh. Ant. Flaminius, of Imola. 

His second [third] publication is entitled Toscanello delta 
Musica.** This treatise, the most considerable of all his writings, 
was first printed at Venice, 1523; then in 1529; and lastly, with 
additions, in 1539. In the Dedication to this work the author 
tells us, that he had been admitted into the Papal chapel, at Rome, 
during the Pontificate of Leo X. in speaking of whom, he says, 
" Though this Pontiff had acquired a consummate knowledge in 
most arts and sciences, he seemed to love, encourage, and exalt 
Music more than any other; which stimulated many to exert 
themselves with uncommon ardor in its cultivation. And among 
those who aspired at the great premiums that were held forth to 
talents, I became," says he, " a candidate myself; for being born 
to a slender fortune, which I wished to improve by some reputable 
profession, I chose Music; at which I laboured with unremitting 
diligence, till the irreparable loss I sustained, by the death of my 
munificent patron, Leo." 

Those who have read Boethius and Franchinus, will not find 
many new discoveries or precepts in this treatise of Pietro Aaron. 
However, as the writings of his celebrated predecessors were chiefly 
in Latin, his works became perhaps the more useful and acceptable 
to the secular musicians of Italy, from the language in which 
they were published. 77 Toscanello is divided into two books: the 
first contains a common-place panegyric on Music, and an enumera- 
tion of its inventors, with definitions and explanations of musical 
terms and character. In the second book, after the usual parade 

(h) The title only of this book is Latin, the rest is in Italian. 

* Copies of most of Gafforio's works are to be found in the B.M. 

** His second publication was Gli errori di Franchino Gafuri, etc., issued in 1521. 

131 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

of science concerning the genera of the ancients, he proceeds to 
counterpoint, for which he gives a decalogue, or ten precepts (i). 
After this, we have a short explanation of arithmetical, geometrical, 
and harmonical proportion, with directions for dividing the 
monochord, according to the principles of Guido. 

His third work, published at Venice, 1525, was likewise written 
in Italian ; for which, as it had been so long the custom for Latin 
to be the vehicle of science, he makes an apology. This Treatise 
is upon the tones, or keys, of Canto-figurato, which he regulates 
entirely by those of Canto-fermo (k). 

Pietro Aaron upon all occasions manifestly exalts the character 
of Bartholomeo Ramis,* a Spaniard, at the expence of 
Franchinus. Ramis was the first modern who sustained the 
necessity of a temperament (/) ; he was answered by Nicholas 
Burtius, 1487 (m), who imagined the honour of Guido to be injured 
by the Spaniard, as Guido used the Pythagorean proportions, and 
had never thought of a temperament. Burtius again was handled 
very roughly by Spataro, the disciple of Ramis (n) ; and the 
venerable theorist, Franchinus, finding himself very rudely treated 
in this dispute, by the favourers of temperament, in 1522, when he 
was upwards of seventy years of age, took up the defence of 
Pythagoras, as Fontenelle (o), at near a hundred, did of Des Cartes. 
After this, the war became general, and continued to rage with 
great violence for more than a century, between the friends of 
tempered scales, and the adherents to ancient proportions, and 
equal harmony. 

The fourth tract of Pietro Aaron is called Lucidario in Musica 
di alcune Oppenioni Antiche e Moderne — Composto doll' eccellente, 
e consumato Musico Pietro Aaron, &c. Ven. 1545 (p). In this 
work we have discussions of many doubts, contradictions, questions, 
and difficulties, never solved before. Here the timidity of early 
contrapuntists appears, in the use of accidental semitones, which 
the pure diatonic scales of Canto-fermo did not allow. 

(j) Franchinus and the more ancient writers gave no more than eight rules of counterpoint. 

(k) Trattato delta Naiura, e Cognizione di tutti li Tuoni di Canto figurato. 

(I) De Musica, Tractatus, sive Musica practica. 1482. 

(m) Musices Opusculum cum Defens. Guidonis Aretini adversus uendam Hispanum 
veritatis prevaricator. Bonon, 1487. — This tract, printed in black letter, is in the Ashmol. 
Collect, among Anthony Wood's books. 

(n) Joannes Spadarius Bononiensis. Musices ac Bartolomii Rami Pareie ejus Prmceptoris 
honesta Defensio in Nicol. Burtij Parmens. Opusc. Bologna, 14.91. 

(o) Theorie des Tourbillons, 1752; I'annce de sa Mori. The editor of this Theory calls 
it, Preservatif contre la Seduction de Newtonianisme. Pref. 

(p) The splendid and magnificent titles given to authors in books, published by 
themselves, are no otherwise reconcileable to modern ideas of literary humility, than by 
supposing them to proceed from the courtesy of the printer; as the recommendatory verses 
which succeeded these hyperbolical title-pages, and continued in fashion as late as the 
publication of Pope's works, did from the partiality of friends. One of the tracts of 
Franchinus, and that which least deserved it, is styled Angelicum ac Divinum Opus Musicce; 
and the Lucidario in Musica, as the author himself seems to inform us, was composed by the 
excellent and consummate musician, Pietro Aaron, &c, &c. 

* Better known as Ramos di Peraja. He was born c. 1440, was settled in Rome in 1491, 
and died between that date and 1521. His Musica practica {Bologna, 1482) was reprinted by 
J. Wolf in 1901. 

132 



MUSIC IN ITALY DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

The following passages, which in 1545 were thought licentious, 
have since become the common materials and ground-work of 
composition. 



in „ -i 


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3 — S" 4 - 1 

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9 M 


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76 


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■ '1 



The Use of the False Fifth, prohibited by Franchinus, L. III. 
cap. 3. is allowed by P. Aaron, Lucidario, Lib. II. 



Two 5ths, one false, one true. 



' 1 — 1 


F*= 




' Q O "" 




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J ilOH 


O O Q rffO llQll 
J O w-O O noil 


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ol P 
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np_ 





For the extent of the several modes, he very frequently confirms 
his opinion by the authority of Marchetto da Padua, whom he 
calls 77 nostro eccellentissimo Marchetto Padovano (q). It is easy to 
discover through verbal respect for the person of Franchinus, that 
this author wishes on all occasions to depreciate his doctrines. 

Another small work, entitled Compendiolo di molti dubbj Segreti 
et Sentenze intorno il Canto-fermo e figurato, by this author, has 
no date, and seems but a kind of supplement to his Lucidario. 

The next writer upon Music to Pietro Aaron, in Italy, is 
Lodovico Fogliano [d. 1539], who published, in 1529, a Latin 
tract upon the Theory of Sound (r). This work is divided into three 
sections : in the first, he treats of musical proportions ; in the second, 
of consonances ; and in the third, of the division of the monochord. 
In the second section, the foundation seems to have been laid for 
another branch of the musical controversy already mentioned, which 
was afterwards agitated with great warmth ; this author contending, 
contrary to the doctrines of Boethius, from whom two-thirds of his 
book are taken, for the distinction of greater and less tone, in the 
diatonic tetrachord (s). Of the nature of this dispute some idea 
may be derived from the account given of the ancient musical sects 
in Greece, in the first volume of this work (t), where the discovery 
of a temperament is given to Didymus. 

In 1531, Giov. Spataro, already mentioned among the enemies 
of Franchinus, published at Venice a work, entitled Tractato di 



(q) P. Aaron is obliged to this author for the title of his book; as Marchettus calls 
written in 1274, Lucidarium in Arte Musicce plants. See Book II. p. 519. 

(r) Musica Theorica. Fol. 

(si De Utilitate Toni majoris et minoris. (t) P. 356. 



work. 



133 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

Musica, in which he renews his attack with redoubled scurrility. 
Quarrels of this kind, which are never interesting to any but the 
combatants and their partizans, are rendered still more offensive to 
others, by time ; as the truths for which they would be thought to 
contend, are either too well known, or too much forgotten, to merit 
the attention of posterity. 

In 1538 [1533], Giov. Maria da Terentio Lanfranco 
published his Scintille di Musia, a work which is frequently cited 
with great praise by subsequent writers ; as is the following: 

Recanetum di Musica aurea, published at Rome, the same year, 
by Steffano Vanneo [b. 1493]. It was written originally in 
Italian, and translated into Latin by Vincenzio Rossetto, of Verona. 
And this is all that I am able to say of these two books, as they are 
now become so scarce, that I have never been so fortunate as to 
procure copies of them.* 

Dialoghe delta Musica, by Antonfrancisco Doni [1513-1574], 
published at Venice, 1544, is likewise among the Libri rari. I have 
never seen it, except in the library of Padre Martini, where I 
transcribed a considerable part of it. The author, a whimsical and 
excentric character, tinctured with buffoonery, was not only a 
practical musician and composer by profession, but connected and 
in correspondence with the principal writers and artists of his time. 
His Libraria must have been an useful publication when it first 
appeared ; as it not only contains a catalogue and character of all 
the Italian books then in print, but of all the MSS. that he had seen, 
with a list of the academies then subsisting, their institution, mottos, 
and employment ; but what rendered this little work particularly 
useful to my enquiries, is the catalogue of all the Music that had been 
published at Venice since the invention of Printing ; to this list 
I shall have frequent occasion to refer hereafter. The author has 
published a collection of his letters, and the answers to them ; and a 
wild satirical rhapsody, which he calls La Zucca, or the Pumpkin. 
In all his writings, of which he gives a list of more than twenty, 
the author aspires at singularity, and the reputation of a comical 
fellow ; in the first he generally succeeds, and if he fail in the 
second, " his stars are more in fault than he (u)." 

At the beginning of his Dialogue on Music, the author gives a 
list of composers then living at Venice, amounting to seventeen; of 
whom seven are Netherlanders, the rest chiefly Italian. In the 
course of the dialogue, compositions by most of them are 
performed.** In the first conversation the interlocutors are Michele, 

(u) Apostolo Zeno, in his notes on the Bibl della Eloq. Hal. of Fontanini, seems to give 
a very just character of this whimsical writer, when he says, II Doni solito setnpre tener 
dubbioso il lettore ne suoi jantastici scritti tra la verita, e la falsita, talchi non 
siscuopre, quando da senno, e quando da burla egli parli. To. II. p. 180, edit, di Venezia, 1753. 
"It is so much the practice of Doni, in all his fantastical writings, to blend truth with falsehood, 
that the reader is unable to discover when he is ludicrous, or when serious." 

* The original Italian MS., completed in 1531, was not published. The Latin translation 
by Rosetti was issued in 1533. 

Book 1 treats ot the Gregorian Chant and the Modes. 
Book II. Mensural Music. 
Book III. Counterpoint. 
** The Dialogo della Musica is fully described by Alfred Einstein in Music and Letters for 
July, 1934- 

134 






MUSIC IN ITALY DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

Hoste, Bargo, and Grullone, all performers, who sing madrigals and 
songs by Claudio Veggio and Vincenzo Ruffo. In the second 
conversation, instruments are joined to the voices : Anton, da Lucca 
first playing a voluntary on the lute, Fa cose divine ; then Buzzino il 
violone ; Lod. Bosso, S. G. Battista, Pre Michele, Pre Bartolomeo, 
and Doni himself, play on viols ; these all perform in pieces of 
Riccio da Padua, Girolamo Parabosco, Berchem, Archadelt (x), 
&c. Here Doni speaks with triumph and exultation of the superior 
state of Music in his time, compared with that of any former period : 
for, says he, " there are musicians now, who, if Josquin were to 
return to this world, would make him cross himself. In former 
times people used to dance with their hands in their pockets ; and 
if one could give another a fall, he was thought a wit, and a dexterous 
fellow. Ysach (Henry Isaac, detto Arrigo Tedesco), then set the 
songs, and was thought a Master ; at present he would hardly be 
a Scholar (y) . " 

Fior Angelico di Musica, published at Venice, 1547, by P. 
Angelo da Picitono, an ecclesiastic, is a work which, however 
difficult to find at present, is, from its dulness and pedantry, still 
more difficult to read. 

Two dialogues on Music, by Luigi Dentice, a Neapolitan 
gentleman, were published at Rome in 1553. Of these, though the 
subject turns chiefly upon the musical proportions, and modes of 
the ancients, in attempting to explain which, Boethius seems to 
have been the author's principal guide; yet, in the second dialogue, 
we have an account of what was then a modern concert, from which 
an idea may be formed of the state of practical Music at Naples, 
when this book was written. One of the interlocutors, speaking 
with rapture of a performance which he had heard at the palace of 
Donna Giovanna d'Arragona (z), tells us, that the principal 
musicians who played on instruments, and were of the first class, 
were Giovan Leonarda de l'Harpa Napolitano, Perino da Firenze, 

(x) Parabosco was organist of St. Marc's church, at Venice, and, according to Crescimbeni, 
Stor. del. Volg. Poes. a most admirable performer. "Whoever," says Ant. Fran. Doni. 
Libraria Tratt. imo. "is endowed by Heaven with the power of receiving and communicating 
pleasure, should imitate Parabosco; who, not content with that musical excellence, with which 
he has given such delight, both in public and private, and acquired such fame, has afforded 
equal pleasure by his literary and poetical talents, in the publication of works, that are as 
much esteemed for their wit and learning, as originality." He then gives a list of his Tragedies, 
Comedies, Miscellaneous Poems, and Letters; adding, that "he hoped his Novels would soon 
appear in print, which, for their invention and style, he thought the most admirable productions 
of the kind that he had ever read." They were afterwards published under the title of Gli 
Disporti, 1586, and I purchased them at the sale of the late Mr. Beauclerc's books; but find, 
on perusal, that Doni spoke of them as he did, perhaps, of his musical abilities, with the 
partiality of a friend. Several of the motels and madrigals of Parabosco are inserted in the 
collections that were published about the middle of the sixteenth century, some of which I 
took the trouble to score, but found in them no subject, and but little design, _ or contrivance. 
And if his literary abilities did not impose on the writers who speak of his musical productions, 
his character as a composer must have been established on works superior to these, which are 
mere remplissage._ The compositions of the two Netherlanders, Jachet Berchem, and 
Archadelt, of which we shall give specimens hereafter, are infinitely superior to those of 
Parabosco. 

(y) "Hannibal," says Capt. Bluff, "was a very pretty lellow in those days, it must be 
granted. — But alas. Sir ! were he alive now, he would be nothing, nothing in the earth." 
[Capt. Noll Bluff is a character in Congreve's play, The Old Bachelor.'] 

(2) The Emperor Charles V. of the House of Arragon, was at this time in possession of 
the kingdom of Naples. 

135 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

Battista Siciliano, and Giaches da Ferrara; and that the singers were 
Giulio Cesare Brancazzo, Francisco Bisballe, Conte de Briatico, 
Scipione di Palia, and a Soprano, whose name, as his perfomance 
was censured, the author has concealed; but of the others, he says ; 
they were most perfect musicians, and sung in a wonderful manner 
(a). It appears by this dialogue, that the vocal performers were not 
accompanied by a band, but that each sung to his own instrument. 
Pochi Musice si travano che cantono sopra gli Stormenti che 
m'abbian finito di contentare, perche tutti errano in qualche cosa, o 
nella intonatione, o nella pronontiatione, o nel suonare, o nel fare i 
Passaggi, o vero nel remettere & rinforzare la voce quando bisogna; 
le quali Cose, parte per arte & parte per natura s ' acquistano . 
" There are few musicians," says the author, " who sing to their 
instruments, that have entirely satisfied me : as they have almost 
all some defect of intonation, utterance, accompaniment, execution 
of divisions, or manner of diminishing and swelling the voice 
occasionally; in which particulars both art and nature must conspire 
to render a performer perfect." The interlocutors then celebrate the 
talents of two female singers: Donna Maria di Cardona Marchese 
della Padula, and Signora Fagiola, as being possessed of all the 
requisites of vocal perfection. 

It may be concluded from this conversation, that the Soprano 
among the male singers was an Evirato; that much art and refine- 
ment were expected in vocal performers, besides singing in time 
and tune; and that, by the titles of Count and Marchioness given 
to some of the personages whose talents are celebrated, whether 
they are regarded as professors or Diletanti, it appears that the 
successful cultivation of Music in the city of Naples was at this time 
in great estimation. 

During the sixteenth century, and a great part of the next, many 
of the most eminent musical theorists of Italy employed their time 
in subtle divisions of the scale, and visionary pursuits after the 
ancient Greek genera; nor was this rage wholly confined to theorists, 
but extended itself to practical musicians, ambitious of astonishing 
the world by their deep science and superior penetration, though 
they might have employed their time more profitably to themselves, 
and the art they professed, in exploring the latent resources of 
harmonic combinations and effects in composition, or in refining the 
tone, heightening the expression, and extending the powers of 
execution, upon some particular instrument. These vain enquiries 
certainly impeded the progress of modern Music; for hardly a 
single tract or treatise was presented to the public, that was not 
crowded with circles, segments of circles, diagrams, divisions, 
sub-divisions, commas, modes, genera, species, and technical terms 
drawn from Greek writers, and the now unintelligible and useless 
jargon of Boethius. 

In 1555, Nicolo Vicentino [b. 1511] published at Rome a 
work, with the following title : L'Antica Musica ridotta alia moderna 

(a) Miracolosamente. 
136 



MUSIC IN ITALY DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

Prattica; or, "Ancient Music reduced to modern Practice," with 
precepts and examples for the three genera and their species; to 
which is added, an account of a new instrument for the most 
perfect performance of Music, together with many musical secrets.* 

Vincentino having the title of Don prefixed to his name, seems 
to have been an ecclesiastic, of the Benedictine order. He was a 
practical musician, and appears to have known his business; in his 
treatise he has explained the difficulties in the Music of his time, 
with such clearness, as would have been useful to the student, and 
honourable to himself, if he had not split upon enharmonic rocks, 
and chromatic quick-sands. He gives a circumstantial account of 
a dispute between him and another musician at Rome, Vincentio 
Lusitanio, who sustained that modern Music was entirely diatonic; 
while Vicentino was of opinion, that the present Music was a 
mixture of all the three ancient genera, diatonic, chromatic, and 
enharmonic. This dispute having produced a wager of two gold 
crowns, the subject was discussed in the Pope's chapel, before judges 
appointed by the disputants, and determined against Vicentino; 
whether justly or unjustly, depends upon the precise sense assigned 
to the term Chromatic by the several disputants. 

What use was made of the enharmonic genius in the Music of the 
sixteenth century, I know not; but whenever other sounds are 
used than those of the scale, strictly diatonic, by introducing F, C, 
or G sharp, or any flat, except that of B, which the Greeks them- 
selves allowed in the Synemmenon Tetrachord, and the most 
scrupulous writers upon Canto-fermo, in the modes of the church, 
the diatonic is mixed with the chromatic; and to this licence the first 
contrapuntists were reduced, at a cadence in D and A minor, as well 
as G major. 

We are now arrived at a period when it becomes necessary to 
speak of Zarlino, the most general, voluminous, and celebrated 
theorist of the sixteenth century. Gioseffo Zarlino da Chioggia, 
Maestro di Capella of St. Mark's church, at Venice, was born in 
1540, and author of the following musical treatise, which, though 
separately printed, and at different periods, are generally bound up 
together in one thick folio volume. Institutioni Harmoniche, 
Venice, 1558, 1562, 1573, and 1589. Dimostrationi Harmon. 
Ven. 1571 [1578], and 1589. Sopplimenti Musicali, Ven. 1588. 
We discover by these dates, that Zarlino first appeared as an author 
at the age of eighteen; and from that period till he had arrived at 
forty-nine, he was continually revising and augmenting his works. 
The musical science of Zarlino, who died 1599,** may be traced in a 
right line from the Netherlands; as his master Willaert, the founder 
of the Venetian school, was a disciple of John Mouton, the scholar 
of the great Josquin. 

* The instrument referred to was a clavier with several keyboards called the 
" Archicembalo" upon which he hoped, with the help of a small choir to demonstrate his 
theories. For a description of the controversy with Lusitanio see Hawkins' History of Music. 

** Zarlino was born in 1517 and died in 1590. Copies of his works are in the B.M. 
(785 — 1- 13-14) and also in the Leeds Public Library. 

137 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

A commentary upon the voluminous writings of this author 
would occupy too large a portion of my work; and to refer the 
curious reader to the analysis of his several treatises, by Artusi, 
would be doing him little service, as the writings of Artusi will be 
difficult to find. There are few musical authors whom I have more 
frequently consulted than Zarlino, having been encouraged by his 
great reputation, and the extent of his plan, to hope for satisfaction 
from his writings concerning many .difficulties in the Music of the 
early contrapuntists; but I must own, that I have been more 
frequently discouraged from the pursuit by his prolixity, than 
enlightened by his science : the most trivial information is involved 
in such a crowd of words, and the suspence it occasions is so great, 
that patience and curiosity must be invincible indeed, to support a 
musical enquirer through a regular perusal of all his works (b). 

However, as there is perhaps more pedantry discovered by 
writers upon Music in general than on any other art, from their 
ambition of being thought profoundly skilled in the useless jargon 
of ancient Greek theorists; if we make allowances for Zarlino' s 
infirmity in that particular, many useful precepts, and much curious 
information concerning the Music of the sixteenth century, may be 
collected from his works. 

He begins his Institutes with a panegyric upon Music, in the 
usual strain; then we have its division into mundane and humane, 
faithfully drawn from Boethius; after this, there is a great waste of 
words, and parade of science, in attempting to explain the several 
ratios of greater and less inequality, proportion, and proportion- 
ality, &c. where, in his commenting on Boethius, we have divisions 
of musical intervals that are impracticable, or at least inadmissible, 
in modern harmony. 

In his account of the ancient system, he discovers much reading; 
and that is what he chiefly wishes the reader should know. 

In describing the diatonic genus, in which the tetrachord is 
divided into tone major, tone minor, and major semitone : -f , ^-, 
and x |, for which division, commonly called the syntonous, or 
intense of Ptolemy, he constantly contends, we have the substance 
of his dispute with Vincenzio Galilei, which will be mentioned 
hereafter. The second part of his Institutions is chiefly employed 
in measuring and ascertaining intervals by means of the Mono chord, 
and an instrument called the Mesolabe, which is said to have been 
invented either by Archytas of Tarentum, or Eratosthenes, for the 
purpose of halving an interval. Whether the practical musicians 
of antiquity applied these calculations to their flutes and lyres, I 
know not; but of this I am most certain, that the greatest performers 

(6) It has often astonished me to find the Italians, who are in general possessed of such 
animation and impetuosity, so prolix and verbose in their prose writings; and that a people of 
such exquisite taste in the fine arts, should have so little in literature. It seems as if their 
old authors were so conscious of the sweetness of their language, that they thought their 
readers could never have enough of it; and therefore, giving them credit for no previous 
knowledge, they kindly mounted up to the principles of things, and informed them in belle 
parole, that in the regular enunciation of the letters of the alphabet, A precedes B, and B is 
immediately subsequent to A. I find among the most enthusiastic admirers of the Italian 
language and poetry, but few who have had patience to read many of their old prose writers, 
Boccacio and Machiavelli excepted. 

138 



MUSIC IN ITALY DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

of modern times are Aristoxenians, and make the Ear the only 
instrument of calculation; which, by means of harmony, and the 
constant opportunities of comparison which the base or other 
accompaniment affords them, during performance, is rendered a 
much more trusty guide than it could be in playing a single 
part (c). 

The elements of counterpoint, and fundamental rules of 
composition, which chiefly concern the practical musician, are given 
in the third part of the Institutes; and these are more ample, and 
illustrated with more examples, than in any preceding writer; 
particularly the laws of canon and fugue, for which no instructions 
have been given by Franchinus, though they were in such high 
favour during his time. P. Aaron and Vicentino have indeed 
started the subject, but the pursuit of it was left to Zarlino. 

In the fourth part of the Institutes we have a short historical 
account of the inventors of the several ecclesiastical modes: it is 
indeed a mere skeleton of assertions, or conjectures without proof, 
more derived from traditional than written evidence. He here 
likewise gives instructions for composing in all these modes, in 
which he religiously keeps within their legal limits, and submits 
to all the restraints which antiquity had prescribed (d). 

He gives excellent rules for composing motets and madrigals; 
but it is remarkable, that he advises the composer to make the 
Tenor proceed regularly through the sounds of the mode he shall 
chuse; and above all, that this part be so much the more smooth, 
regular, and beautiful, as the rest are to be built upon it; whence, 
says he, its sounds may be called the nerves and ligaments of all 
the other parts : by which it appears, that the cantilena, or principal 
melody, was not given, as it is by modem composers, to the 
soprano, or highest part; that castrati were not so common as at 
present; and that the tenor being the kind of voice most easily 
found, and more generally good than that of any other pitch, was 
judiciously honoured with the principal melody. 

Zarlino says, that so great was the rage in his time for 
multiplying parts in musical compositions, that some masters, not 
content with three or four, which sufficed to their predecessors, had 

(c) It seems, however, as if the ancient instruments, upon which all the tones were 
fixed, had more need of the assistance of calculation and mathematical exactness in 
regulating their intervals than those of the violin-tribe, at present; which, except in the open 
strings, which often lead the performer to erroneous intonation, depend on the strength and 
dexterity of the musician's hand, and accuracy of his ear, during performance. See an 
ingenious and useful work, called Essay upon Tune, published at Edinburgh, 1781; where the 
imperfections in the scales of modern instruments are clearly shewn, and remedies for 
correcting them prescribed. 

(d) Padre Martini, Saggio di Contrappunto, in recommending the study and imitation of 
ancient masters, has well described the difficulties they had to encounter; where, after 
confronting the ecclesiastical scales with the secular, we have the following passage: "From 
an attentive and comparative view of these scales, any one desirous of learning the art of 
counterpoint for the service of the church, will see what diligence and efforts were necessary 
to unite the different qualities of Canto-fermo and Canto-figurato; and by carefully examining 
the examples given of both, will discover what artifices were used by ancient masters to avoid 
such sounds as differed from the Canto-fermo, and with what parsimony they admitted such 
accidents as Canto-figurato requires, particularly in the third and fourth tones; where, instead 
of modulating into B mi, the fifth of the mode or key, as is constantly practised at present, 
they have passed to the key of A in the fourth tone, and C in the third; by which means they 
have been able, dexterously, to unite the different qualities of Canto-fermo with those of 
Canto-figurato." P. I. p. 30, & 53. 

139 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

increased them to fifty; from which, he truly observes, nothing but 
noise and confusion could arise (e). However, in another part of 
his book (/), he tells us, that Adriano Willaert had invented masses 
a Due Cori, over a tre, or, as some call them, a Cori Spezzati 
which had an admirable effect. We know not how Okenheim 
disposed his thirty-six parts, in the motet already mentioned (g) ; but 
they would have furnished nine choirs of four voices each. In 
the large churches of Italy, where the performers are divided into 
two bands, placed in opposite galleries, all the imitations and solo 
parts are distinctly heard, and when united in at least eight real 
parts, completely fill the ears of the audience with all the charms 
of congregated sound (h). 

Zarlino has very exalted ideas of the qualifications requisite to a 
Complete Musician, and tells us (i), that it is necessary he should 
have a knowledge in Arithmetic for the calculation of musical 
proportions; of Geometry, to measure them; of the Monochord and 
Harpsichord, to try experiments and effects; that he should be 
able to Tune instruments, in order to accustom the ear to distinguish 
and judge of intervals; that he should Sing with truth and taste, 
and perfectly understand Counterpoint; that he should be a 
Grammarian, in order to write correctly, and set words with 
propriety; that he should read History, to know the progress of his 
art; be a master of Logic, to reason upon, and investigate the more 
abstruse parts of it; and of Rhetoric, to express his thoughts with 
precision; and further, that he would do well to add to these 
sciences some acquaintance with Natural Philosophy, and the 
Philosophy of Sound; that his ears being perfectly exercised and 
purified, may not be easily deceived. And adds, that he who 
aspires at the title of perfect musician, has occasion for all these 
qualifications, as a deficiency in any one of them will frequently 
render the rest useless. An additional qualification is now become 
necessary to be added to those enumerated by Zarlino, which is a 

(e) Dalle quali ne nasce gran&e strepito, & gran rumore, & qnasi confusione. 

(/) P. III. p. 268. 

(g) Book II. p. 728. 

(h) I have never heard this species of composition attempted in our cathedrals, when a 
powerful band of instruments and additional voices are joined to the usual choral performers. 
Indeed, all our chanting and common choir service, derived from the ancient antiphonal 
singing, is of this kind: the performers being equally divided, and placed on each side the 
choir, form two bands, one of which is called the Dean's side, and the other the chanters' : 
Decani, Cantoris; but the number of voices in our cathedral establishments is not sufficient to 
produce the great effects which might be obtained from the united force of all the vocal and 
instrumental performers that are assembled upon particular occasions, such as the Feast of the 
Sons of the Clergy at St. Paul's; the Triennial Meetings of the three choirs of Worcester, 
Hereford, and Gloucester; the Feast of St. Cecilia, at Salisbury; and occasional performance 
of oratorios in other cathedrals and churches of the kingdom; but above all, from the 
stupendous congress of musicians at Westminster-abbey. The admirable pieces composed for 
two orchestras by the late Mr. J. C. Bach, with which the public has been so delighted, lose 
much of their effect for want of distance between the two orchestras. Such elaborate 
compositions would have a fair trial, if a powerful band were placed in each of the galleries 
at tne Pantheon. 

(i) P. IV. p. 342, & seq. 

140 



MUSIC IN ITALY DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

perfect knowledge of the genius and powers of all the instruments 
for which a musician writes; otherwise he will not only embarrass 
performer by useless and unmeaning difficulties, but lose oppor- 
tunities of producing effects by the bow of a violin, the coup de 
langue of flutes, and a selection of the purest and best tones on other 
wind-instruments. 

The quotations from other masters, and the little circumstances 
which frequently occur concerning them, are curious and amusing; 
but it has been often a cause of wonder, that Palestrina, his country- 
man and cotemporary, some of whose works were printed at Venice, 
in the very place of Zarlino's residence, before the last edition of his 
treatises came out, should never once have been mentioned among 
the great musicians whom he has celebrated. Of his master and 
friend, Adrian Willaert, he always speaks with reverence and 
affection; referring to his compositions in illustration of his rules 
and precepts. And in the dialogue Delle Dimostrationi H. armoniche, 
which he places under the year 1562,* the interlocutors are all 
musicians: consisting of Francesco Viola, Maestro di Capella to 
Alphonso d'Este, Duke of Ferrara; Claudio Merula, Organist of 
St. Mark's church, at Venice; Adriano Willaert, Maestro di Capella 
to the Republic, at whose house they assembled; Signor Desiderio, 
a philosopher of Pavia; and Zarlino. The plan is manifestly an 
imitation of Baldassare Castiglione's Cortegiano, as Castiglione's 
was of the dialogues of Cicero, and Cicero's of Plato. 

The subjects discussed in these Ragionamenti are too speculative 
and mathematical to render their conversation very brilliant; foi 
what can possibly enliven the propositions and demonstrations 
concerning the sesquioctave tones, ratios of consonances, 
parallelograms, diagonal lines, angles of incidence, division of the 
monochord, &c. 

After all the eulogiums bestowed upon Zarlino by the learned, 
who are ignorant of Music, it would perhaps be more difficult to 
prove that the art of composition, or science of sound, was greatly 
advanced by his writings, than that much better Music was produced 
in the Roman school by Palestrina, and others, who never perused 
them, than by himself, or any of his disciples. The truth is, that 
Zarlino was not a man of genius, though possessed of great 
diligence, and a considerable share of learning; hence, his precepts 
are better than his examples. The pains he took to be correct 
degenerated into pedantry; and his compositions, of which he has 
given several specimens in his theoretical works, are totally devoid 
of facility and pleasing effects. He has been cited, in the second 
Book (k), in support of the modern Greeks being partial to the 
fourth, as a concord; but his own fondness for that interval in the 

(k) P. 445- 

* 1562 was the year of publication of the 2nd edition of the Institutioni armoniche. The 
1st edition of the Dimostrationi armoniche was from Venice in 1571. 

14I 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

two parts which he has set to a plain song, in which there are no 
fewer than ten naked and insipid fourths, will appear by the 
specimen of his style, No. I. on the following plates. 

If the Canto-fermo upon which these parts were constructed was 
not made on purpose, or rendered subservient to his design by 
alterations, the composing a canon upon it, was certainly an enter- 
prize of very great difficulty. Indeed the labour appears but too 
plainly in this, as in every composition of Zarlino. How much more 
successful is his cotemporary, Palestrina, in elaborate under- 
takings! He never seems to meet with a difficulty; all flows as if 
Canto-fermo and fugue were out of the question; as the musical 
reader will discover in the short movement, No. II. extracted from 
his Magnificat, in the second tone, in which art and simplicity are 
so well united, that a regular fugue, almost in canon, is carried on 
without the least appearance of restraint! But Fugue seems as 
natural to Palestrina, as Rhyme to Dryden. 



No. I. 



Canon. Zarlino Jpst. Harmon P. 3. Cap. Ediz. 1573. 




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142 



MUSIC IN ITALY DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

No. II. 

Palestrina. Extracted from his Magnificat in the 2d. Tone. 



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If we compare the example of Zarlino with that of Palestrina, 
the harmony of the celebrated theorist, though strictly regular, will 
be found to be dry, ungrateful, and totally devoid of entertain- 
ment. He is merely able to do just what may be done; but nothing 
comes from him spontaneously, as if rules were forgotten, and art 
was become nature. 

The best composition which I have ever seen, by Zarlino, is an 
Antiphon, in one of his works, entitled, Modulationes sex Vocibus 
(/). Three of the six parts are in strict canon, in moto contrario, 
and the other three in free fugue. This composition, which is 
built upon a fragment of Canto-fermo, and extremely artificial, 
is printed in only four parts; as the canon, three in one, was to be 
deciphered by the following motto: Prima locum servat, thesim 
altera sentit, & arsim octavam duo post tempora tertia habet. It 
is too long for insertion here, or I would give the curious reader an 
opportunity of seeing the ingenuity of the author's contrivance, in 

(k) Corelli has taken this for one of the subjects of his double Fugue in the same Key. 
Concerto V. 

(/) Per Philip bum Usbertum edit a. Venetiis, 1556 [1566]. See also Paolucci's Arte Prattica 
di Contrappunto, To. II. p. 250. Ven. 1766. 

143 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

a full score of six parts, without the trouble of solving so difficult a 
musical problem: a labour which, if any one should have the 
patience to accomplish, it is very doubtful whether he would think 
himself sufficiently repaid for so hard a task, by the pleasure which 
this production would afford him, either in contemplation or 
performance. 

Zarlino has been celebrated by Thuanus, and many other 
cotemporary as well as later writers, who never speak of Palestrina, 
or perhaps knew that he had existed; and yet, if that divine 
musician, instead of composing the most exquisite Music that ever 
had admission into the Christian church, had been the author of 
one dull book upon the theory of his art. he would have had his 
merit blazoned, and his name handed down to the latest posterity, 
by journalists, biographers, and all the literary heralds! 

Vincentio Galilei [c. 1533-1591], a Florentine nobleman, 
and father of the great Galileo Galilei, had received instructions in 
Music from Zarlino; but being a performer on the Lute, and of 
course a friend to the doctrines of Aristoxenus, which Zarlino, a 
favourer of tempered scales, constantly combats, he censured his 
master in a small tract, entitled, Discorso intorno all' Opere di 
Zarlino; which not passing unnoticed in the second volume of the 
theorist's works, Galilei, in 1581, published Dialogo della Musica 
antica e modema, in sua difesa contra Giuseppe Zarlino, in which 
he becomes an open antagonist. To analyse the reasoning on both 
sides of this controversy, would afford the reader very little 
satisfaction, as it would be difficult to render the subject interesting; 
I shall therefore only observe, that besides the dispute with Zarlino, 
this work contains many miscellaneous articles, some of which are 
amusing and curious; however, there are others which are 
contradictory, and hazarded without sufficient information or 
enquiry; and the author manifests no deep research into 
antiquity, when he boldly asserts, p. 101, that the BatUria, or 
beating time, was not practised by the ancients (m); and p. 133, 
that the monochord was invented by the Arabians. 

It was the opinion of Galilei (n), that in his time there were not 
more than four great performers on the organ, who were likewise 
composers, in all Italy, which more abounded with musicians than 
any other part of the world; and these were Annibale Padovano, 
Claudio da Coreggio, Giuseppi Guami, and Luzzasco Luzzaschi. 
He mentions the Viola d' Arco and Violone (o), but not the Violin. 
And complains of the musical Embroiderers of his time, who, by 
their changes and divisions, so disguised every melody, that it was 
no longer recognizable, but resembled the representations of the first 
painters in oil, Cimabue and Giotto, which required the names to 
be written under them for the convenience of the spectator, who 

(m) See proofs to the contrary, Vol. I, p. 75. 

(») P. 138. 

(o) P. 141, & 147. 
144 



MUSIC IN ITALY DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

without such assistance would be unable to distinguish a rose from 
a lily, a rabbit from a hare, a sparrow from a linnet, or a lobster 
from a trout. 

He says (p), that the Italians who were in possession of the harp 
before the time of Dante, had it from Ireland; and adds, that it 
is only a cithara with many strings; having, when Galilei wrote, 
four octaves and a tone in compass. And as the harp came from 
the cithara, so "the harpsichord had its origin from the harp: being 
nothing more than a horizontal harp, as every one who examines 
its figure with that idea, must see. The Cetera, or guittar, he 
says, was furnished to Italy by the English, who were formerly 
famous for making such instruments. 

Galilei is said to have been assisted in this controversy by 
Girolomo Mei, a Florentine nobleman, mathematician, philosopher, 
and theoretical musician (q). 

Gio. Maria Artusi [c. 1550-1613] of Bologna, though he is 
ranked only among the minor writers on Music, yet if his merit and 
importance are estimated by the celebrity and size of his volumes, he 
certainly deserved the attention of students and collectors of musical 
tracts. In his Arte del Contrappunto ridotta in tavole, published at 
Venice, 1586, he has admirably analysed and compressed the 
voluminous and diffused works of Zarlino and other anterior writers 
on musical composition, into a compendium, in a manner almost 
as clear and geometrical as M. d'Alembert has abridged the 
theoretical works of Rameau (r). In 1589, Artusi, who, like most 
of the musical writers of Italy, was an ecclesiastic, published a 
second part of his Arte del Contrappunto, which is a useful and 
excellent supplement to his former compendium (s). And in 1600 
and 1603, this intelligent writer published at Venice the first and 
second part of another work: Delle Imperfettioni delta moderna 
Musica. Here the author gives a curious account of the state of 
instrumental music in his time ; and in describing a grand concert 
that was made by the nuns of a convent at Ferrara, in 1598, on 
occasion of a double wedding between Philip the III. king of Spain 
with Margaret queen of Austria, and the archduke Albert with the 

ip) P. 143- 

{q) Battista Doni, in his Trattato 2do. sopra gl' Instruments di Tasti, or Keyed-Instruments, 
says, that in the beginning of his musical studies, his partiality for the music of the ancients 
was greatly increased by the perusal of the Dialogue of Galilei, in which Mei had the greatei 
part {dove it Mei ebbe la meggior parte), and still more by a Treatise written by this learned 
personage (Mei) De Modis Musicce, a MS. presented to the Vatican Library by Monsig. 
Guarengo. Op. Om. To. I p. 324. Doni has supported this assertion by no proof; but in the 
Vatican Library, among the queen of Sweden's MSS. there is a volume of inedited tracts and 
letters, written by Girolamo Mei, upon the Music of the Ancients, in which are discoverable, 
not only opinions similar to those of Galilei, but frequently the words in which they are 
expressed in his Dialogue; particularly in a letter from Mei, dated Rome, 1572, in answer to 
two that he had received from Galilei, in which he seems to have been consulted concerning 
the usual difficulties which those have to encounter who undertake to discuss the music of the 
ancients. I procured a copy of this letter entire, and considerable extracts from the other 
writings of Mei, which indeed contain the whole substance of Gailei's Dialogue, except what 
concerns the controversy with Zarlino relative to the musical scales and proportions of the 
ancients. 

(r) Elemens de Musique — Suivant les principes de Rameau. 

(s) The whole work was reprinted, with additions, con aggiunte, 1598. 

Vol. ii. 10. 145 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

infanta Isabella, the king's sister, he enumerates the several 
instruments that were employed, and points out their excellencies 
and defects. Among these, though the Violin is just mentioned, 
yet nothing is said of its properties, while the cornet, trumpet, viol, 
double-harp, lute, flute, and harpsichord, are honoured with 
particular remarks, both on their construction and use ; but among 
these, the cornet, which has been supplanted in the favour of the 
public by the hautbois, seems to have stood the highest in the 
author's estimation. The elder Doni, in his dialogue written about 
fifty years before, mentions the Cornet more frequently than any 
other instrument: 77 divino Antonio da Cornetto, perfettissimo — & 
M. Battista dal Fondaro con il suo Cornetto ancora ; che lo suona 
miracolosamente . 

I have not been able to discover what instrument is to be 
understood in this dialogue, when Girolamo Parabosco says, lo 
suonerd lo strumento : and when it is said, M. Gio. Vaniacopo 
Buzzino suonando di Violone il Soprano, come egli fa 
miracolosamente, I am utterly unable to guess what instrument is 
meant, unless the word Violone, by a typographical error, has been 
printed for Violino. But to return to Artusi's Remarks upon 
Instruments : his hero on the cornet was Girolamo da Udine. In 
speaking of defects in the intonations of different instruments, I 
expected the violin would be celebrated for its superior perfection in 
that particular ; but by the author's silence on the subject, I am 
convinced that it was either then but little used in concert, or was 
very ill played. 

Orazio Tigrini, Canon of Arezzo, published at Venice, in 1588, 
a Musical Compendium ; Compendio della Musica, which he 
dedicated to Zarlino, from whom he received a letter of thanks for 
the laurel-crown with which he had bound his brows ; which 
letter is prefixed to the work, with complimentary verses 
innumerable from other friends. This Compendium is not only 
well digested by the author, but rendered more clear and pleasant 
in the perusal, by the printer, who has made use of large Roman 
types, instead of Italic, in which most of the books that were 
published in Italy, before the present century, were printed. This 
author (t) is the first, in my recollection, who has censured the 
impropriety and absurdity of composing Music for the church upon 
the subject of old and vulgar ballad tunes. The cadences which he 
has given (u) in three, four, five, and six parts, and which are good 
examples of ecclesiastical counterpoint, have been almost all used 
by Morley (x), without once mentioning Tigrini's name, either in 
the text or catalogue of authors whom he has cited. Zarlino, who 
had adopted the four new ecclesiastical tones proposed by Glareanus, 
was followed by Tigrini, with whom they seem to have stopped : as 

{t) Lib. II. cap. xin. 

(u) L. III. cap. xxvi. 

(x) Introduction, Part III. from p. 129 to 142. Old edit. 
146 



MUSIC IN ITALY DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

no more than the eight ancient tones appear afterwards to have been 
acknowledged by orthodox ecclesiastical composers ; and Zarlino 
himself, in the last editions of his works, relinquished the idea of 
twelve modes : as no new harmony or modulation was furnished by 
the additional four to the contrapuntist, without violating the ancient 
rules of Canto-fermo, which confine all its melody to the different 
species of octave. It appears from this Compendium, that 
Contrapunto alia mente, or extemporary discant upon a plain-song, 
was still practised in the churches of Italy : as p. 125, instructions 
are given for this species of musical divination. 

In the same year Don Pietro Pontio, at Parma, printed his 
Musical Discourses: Raggionamenti di Musica. This last work, 
which is in dialogue, was written by an eminent composer, of 
whose productions there are still excellent specimens subsisting. 
The author, however, though a practical musician, could not shun 
the pedantry of the times ; but instead of going directly to work 
like a man of business, loses his time in calculating ratios, or 
transcribing them from Boethius, or other authors who had pillaged 
him already, bestowing upon the reader twenty pages of his small 
quarto tract upon speculative definitions, and arithmetical, 
geometrical, and harmonical proportions ; to which, if a practical 
musician understood them, he would never apply for help while he 
had the free use of his hands and ears. At length, having impressed 
his reader with a due sense of his profound science and erudition, 
the author, descending from the Spheres, deigns to treat of the 
Music of this nether world ; and in his second Raggionamento gives 
precepts and examples for the use of all the concords and discords ; 
in the third he goes through all the ecclesiastical tones ; and in the 
fourth and last, all the moods and divisions of time ; terminating his 
discourse with short instructions for composing masses, motets, 
psalms, madrigals, and ricercari (y). In the course of this little 
work, the author, though a composer himself, frequently refers to 
the productions of others. Among these, his favourites seem to 
have been Josquin, Giachetto, Morales, Adriano, Cipriano, 
Palestrina, and Vincenzio Ruffo. The theorists he cites are chiefly 
Franchinus, P. Aaron, Lanfranco, Fogliano, Zarlino, and Galilei. 
As a specimen of his own abilities in composition, I shall present 
the reader with a movement selected by the learned Padre Martini 
(z), from the second book of his Magnificats. The subject of the 
composition is the Romish chant of the Magnificat in the eighth mode 
or tone, which is led off by the treble, accompanied by the 
counter-tenor and base in counterpoint. At the fifth bar, the 
second tenor begins the chant, and at the seventh, is answered by 
the first tenor, in the 5th, at the distance of which interval these two 
parts continue in strict canon to the end. 

(y) This term, which implied any work of fancy, and original invention, was succeeded 
by Fantasia, as Fantasia was by Sonata. Adrian Willaert, and others of his time, composed 
Ricercari, without words, for the voice, which were a species of Solfeggi. 

(z) Saggio di Contrap. P. I. p. 178. 

147 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

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MUSIC IN ITALY DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

The last Treatise upon Music which appeared in Italy during 
the sixteenth century, was the Prattica di Musica, by P. Lodovico 
Zacconi [1555-1627], of Pesaro, the first part of which was printed 
at Venice, 1592, and the second 1596;* a publication in which the 
author not only proposes to give instructions for the regular 
composition, but the accurate performance, of every species of 
Music. The idea is splendid; but the world has been so frequently 
deceived by the titles of books, that authors are obliged to abate 
in their promises, in proportion as the expectations of the public are 
diminished. If Arts and Sciences could be acquired by the dead 
letter of silent instruction, every one who could read, in Italy, 
might, during the times under consideration, have been a musician. 
But though no ingenious occupation was perhaps ever yet 
completely taught by books, without a master, or by a master, 
without books, yet they are excellent helps to each other. It is 
hardly possible for a didactic work to satisfy all the doubts that 
arise in an enquiring mind during solitary meditation; particularly 
in the first stages of a student's journey through the rugged roads 
of Science. But when he has made some progress, if he should be 
separated from his guide, the way becomes daily so much more 
straight and smooth, that by the help of these kinds of charts, he 
will be enabled to advance with tolerable speed and facility, by 
himself. 

Zacconi's work, though sometimes dry and tedious, contains 
much useful and practical knowledge. And as he is almost the 
only Italian writer on the subject of Music who has not bewildered 
himself in enquiries concerning the systems of the ancient Greeks, 
or the philosophy of sound, he has had the more leisure for 
analysing the art, and facilitating the student's progress. This 
author regarded Okenheim, Josquin, Isaac, Brumel, Mouton, and 
Senfelio, as ancients compared with Willaert, Morales, Cipriano, 
Zarlino, and Palestrina; and these last, ancient, with respect to 
himself, and cotemporaries; and says (a), that as the ancient Greeks 
and Romans produced their musical effects by mere melody, united 
with poetry, and Josquin and other early contrapuntists, by notes 
of .different lengths, harmonized, and worked into perpetual fugue; 
so the more modern, though the rules of harmony are the same, 
by a different disposition of concords, inventions, and contrivances, 
produce a greater variety of effects. 

He likewise observes (b), that " every age has vainly thought 
its Music brought to as great a degree of perfection as was possible; 
but it is always found that the next age continues to change, and 
still to think the same. Okenheim, the master of Jusquin, and 
even in the days of Jusquin, John Mouton, his scholar, had the 
same ideas of their own improvements; yet, since their time, Music 

(a) Lib. I. cap. x. 

(6) Cap. xxiii. 

* The second part of this treatise did not appear until 1619. The first part was issued in 
1502 and reprinted in 1596. 

149 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

has not stood still, but made great advances towards perfection, 
being more light and pleasing (c)." 

The change in musical modes has continued to our own time, 
and will doubtless continue to the end of all time (d); for melody, 
as has been already observed, being a child of Fancy and 
Imagination (e), will submit to no theory or laws of Reason and 
Philosophy; and therefore, like Love, will always continue in 
childhood (/). 

Zacconi's chief labour and merit in the third book have been the 
explanation of the moods, and correction of errors in the notation 
o.f old composers, to which his work will serve as a useful Errata. 
In Book I. he dwells much on the superiority of the singing and 
singers of his own time, over all that preceded them (g); and has 
a long chapter (h) upon the manner of gracing and embellishing a 
melody, where he tells us, Che stile si tenghi nel far di gorgia; 
dell' uso de i moderni passagi, come si fiorischino le cantilene; and 
speaks of acconciature, as the modern Italians do of riffioramenti, 
or graces. The divisions, however, into which he breaks passages, 
in order to embellish them, if adopted by an Opera-singer of the 
present times, would be like a modern fine lady appearing at Court 
in the furbelows and flounces of Queen Elizabeth, or a fine 
gentleman in the peruque of Sir Cloudesley Shovel. 

After this account of the musical Theorists in Italy, we shall 
resume our enquiries into the state of Composition, and endeavour 
to trace its progress in the several Schools of that country. 

Roman School of Composition 

Andrea Ad ami (i) tells us, that the records of the Pontifical 
Chapel were destroyed at the burning of Rome, in 1527, by the 
army of the Emperor Charles V. and that the names of composers 

(c) We as frequently mistake concerning the past as the future, and judge, from what we 
hear, of all that is to be heard in Music. It has been generally imagined that there were no 
good fugues or choruses, particularly accompanied with instrumental parts, till Handel's time; 
but Colonna, long before, had composed many in the same rich and bold style. We supposed 
that Tallis and Bird almost invented, and greatly surpassed all others in the Church style; 
but whoever examines the works of Constantio Festa, Palestrina, Orlando di Lasso, Costanzo 
Porta, Cipriano di Rore, and many of their cotemporaries, and even predecessors, will be 
obliged to acknowledge, that the opinion was formed sans connoissance de cause. Palestrina, 
however, has not only been said to have flourished in the time of Leo X. who died before he 
was born, but imagined the Father of good Church Music, and the first, even in Italy, who 
settled the laws of harmony, and fugue. This opinion has been formed and adopted with 
equal haste and ignorance of Musical History, and the progress of the art; for we find that 
Okenheim, Josquin, Henry Isaac, De la Rue, Brumel, Mouton, Feven, or Feum, Richefort, 
Morales, &c, &c, were all great composers before Palestrina had existence; and this has 
already been proved, not only from the writings of others, but from their own works, which 
still subsist. 

(d) P. 217 and 337. {e) See above, p. 128. 

(/) A description of the godling, given in a song, seems applicable to melody : 
Love is just like April weather. 
Ne'er the same an hour together; 
Froward, fickle, wanton, wild : 
Nothing, nothing but a Child. 

(g) Cap. LIX. (h) Fol. 58 Cap. LXVI. 

(*') Osserv, per ben regol. il Coro. 

150 



MUSIC IN ITALY DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

and singers had been entered in the chapel books since that event 
in a very confused manner, till the time of Palestrina. However, 
from the dates affixed to memorandums concerning some of them, 
we may gather, that not only Netherlanders and Spaniards had 
been employed to compose, and sing in the chapel, before the time 
of Palestrina, but natives of Italy; of these Adami names, as 
Maestri di Capella, Lodovico Magnasco da Santa Fiora, afterwards 
Bishop of Assisi, between the time of Josquin and Arcadelt; Carlo 
d' Argentilly (k), an excellent composer, some of whose works, 
transcribed in 1543, are preserved in the Vatican library; and 
Simone Bartolini Perugino, sent at the head of eight singers to the 
Council of Trent, 1545. 

In Anton-Francesco Doni's Dialogo delta Musica, printed at 
Venice in 1544, when Palestrina was only fifteen years* old, we 
find, among the names of many Tramontane composers, several 
natives of Italy, as well as in his Libraria, edit, of 1550, which was 
not the first. Indeed most of the performers mentioned in his 
Dialogues are Italians; but in his Libraria, where we have a list of 
such Music as had been printed at Venice before 1550, are the 
Motets and Madrigals, in four parts, of Animuccia; Anselmo, two 
books; Antonio Cimello, Bernardino, two books; Bertoldo 
Baldassare Donato, Claudio Veggio, Fran. Corteccia, Fran. Biffetto 
Candonio, Ferabosco, Fama, Giov-Gero, Gian da Ferrara, Giordan, 
Gabriel Martinengo, Hoste da Reggio, Lod. Novello Mascarate, 
Martoretta, Perisson, two books; Paolo Aretino, two books of 
Madrigals and Lamentationi; Pietro Paolo Raguzzoni, and Vincenzo 
Ruffo. 

Among the composers of motets and madrigals, in five parts, 
sixteen are Italians; of duos and trios eleven; and in his list of 
masses published by Petruccio, as already related, besides those 
composed by Josquin, Giachet, and Morales, a set by Gasparo 
Alberti is mentioned, who seems by his name to have been an 
Italian, and perhaps was the same musician as is called Gaspar by 
Franchinus and the printer Petruccio T** 

Pietro Aaron, in his Lucidario in Musica, described above, seems 
to defend the Italians from the injustice with which they had been 
treated in proverbial national characters, which say, that the 
"French sing, the English shout,*** the Spaniards cry, the Germans 
howl, and the Italians make the noise of goats: Caprizare (I)." 
"These general censures," he says, "can only have proceeded from 
envy and malignity, as Nature has not been so partial to the 
French, but that the Italians and other people have had as 

{k) This seems a French name, Italianized. 

{I) In a set of MS. Music-books belonging to Christ-church, Oxford, transcribed 1581, we 
have these national characters in Latin : Galli cantant, Angli jubilant, Hispani plangunt, 
Germani ululant, Itali caprizant. 

* Palestrina was about 19 years eld in 1544. 

t- *?t^ e Gas P a r compositions published by Petruccio were by Weerbecke, who used to sign 
himself Gaspard. 

***The original text is. "Angli jubilant"; "jubilant" is- badly translated here. 

15,1 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

excellent musicians as they; indeed it may with truth be said, that 
the natives of every country in Europe have been at school in Italy, 
which is the standard of excellence in all the arts, and where there 
not only have been, but still are, so many admirable singers, that 
it would be tedious to enumerate them; however, in justice to my 
country, I must name a few, who will be long remembered." He 
then gives a list of fifteen singers, by book, Cantori a Libro; twelve 
singers to the lute; and eleven female singers, both by book, and 
to the lute (m). 

The Italians themselves place Palestrina at the head of the 
Roman School; however, it is easy to prove that this celebrated 
establishment was not formed by Palestrina, as that wonderful 
harmonist, though perhaps the first in abilities, did not precede all 
his countrymen as Maestro di Capella either of St. Peter's Church, or 
the Pontifical Chapel. The imperfect list given by Adami, 
mentions several who were placed at the head of the chapel anterior 
to Palestrina; and all the accounts of this gifted man allow that he 
succeeded Giovanni Animuccia as Maestro di Capella of St. Peter's, 
at Rome, in 1569 [1571]. 

Giovanni Animuccia [c. 1500-71], a native of Florence, was no 
less admired on account of his musical abilities, than respected for the 
excellence of his morals. He is celebrated by Adami (n), and Padre 
Martini (o), as one of the companions of St. Filippo Neri, who 
first applied Music to the purpose of attracting company to the 
Chiesa Nuova, or New Church, at Rome, on Sunday evenings, to 
hear his pious discourses, or Orations', whence sacred dramas, or 
mysteries and moralities, in Music, were afterwards called 
Oratorios. Animuccia composed the first Laudi* or hymns in 
parts, that were performed on these occasions; which, from a desire 
of rendering them more interesting, being sung in the cathedral and 
antiphonal manner, in alternate stanzas, and in dialogue, with a 
solo part now and then for a fine voice and favourite singer, were, 
at length, wrought into regular dramas (p). 

In a manuscript which I procured at Rome, under the title of 
Studij di Palestrina, besides the intonations of the church in counter- 
point, there are chants in four and five parts, not only by himself, 
but the following great composers of the Roman School, during 
the sixteenth century: Jusquin, Morales, P. Aaron, Anton Cifra, 
Bernard, and Giov. Maria Nanino, Animuccia, Palestrina, Anerio, 
Soriano, Rubino, Giovanelli, Ruffo, Vecchio, Montanaro, 
Magiurana, Matalarte, Rosello or Ruscello, Tortora, Anibale, and 
Benevoli. 

(w) It is not clear what was meant by the expressions of singing by book, and singing to 
the lute; unless to distinguish those who accompanied themselves upon that instrument, from 
others who likewise sung by note, but without accompaniment. 

(n) P. 172. (0) Sagg. di Contrap. P. I. p. 129. 

(p) Oratorios still continue to be performed at Rome on Sunday evenings before the 
sermon, in the Chiesa Nuova. See Ital. Tour. Art. Rome. 



* The first book published by Animuccia was in 1565 (or 1563) and the second in 1570. 
A much earlier collection of Laudi Spirituali was published in 1485. 



152 



MUSIC IN ITALY DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

Some of these admirable fragments of choral harmony and 
modulation are in contrappunto semplice, of note against note, and 
some figurato, where the parts move in notes of different lengths, 
but not fugato, or in fugue or imitation. 

The following chant to the Miserere, in almost simple counter- 
point, has the name of Animuccia prefixed to it. 



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But compositions of a higher class are still subsisting of this 
master. His madrigals and motets, of four and five parts, published 
at Venice, 1548 [1547, 1551, 1554, and 1565], and his masses at 
Rome, 1567, dedicated to the Canons of the Vatican, were the most 
celebrated. From these Padre Martini (q) has selected two move- 
ments, as illustrations of his own excellent precepts for composing 
in the sixth and eighth tones, a capella; and to these I refer the 
admirers of ancient choral compositions, as they are too long for 
insertion here. 

It has been frequently observed, that the life of a studious man, 
whose mind is more active than his body, affords few materials for 
biography, even if every transaction of his life were known; but at 
a remote period, when every lineament and trace of character is 
obliterated, it is with difficulty that the time and place, even of his 
existence, can be established, or the works enumerated which his 
genius and diligence have produced. 

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, whose works have been 
so justly admired and celebrated, is of this class; for little more 
has been recorded of his life than if it had been wholly spent in 
a hermitage. His birth, however, has been fixed, with some 
degree of certainty, in the year 1529 [1525 or 6], at Palestrina, the 
Prceneste of the ancients. Italy being divided into many independent 
states, each of which has a distinct and separate honour to maintain, 
the natives are not only very careful in settling the spot where a 
man of genius was born, but of recording the place where he was 
educated, with the name of his master; and as the painters of 
Italy are appropriated to different schools, so are the musicians; and 
a composer or performer of great abilities is seldom mentioned 
without his country, by which it is known that he is of the Roman, 
Venetian, Neapolitan, Lombard, or Bolognese School, each of which 



(g) Sagg. di Contrap. P. I. p. 129 and 181. 



153 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

has some peculiar characteristic that enables one intelligent musician 
of Italy immediately to discover the school of another, by his 
works, or performance. To these distinctions, the natives of other 
countries so little attend, that when it is known that a musician 
comes from Italy, no further enquiry is made. 

From this ancient custom of naming the master with the scholar 
and his country, all the writers of Italy who have given any account 
of Palestrina have thought it necessary to say that he was a scholar 
of Gaudio Mell, Flamingo, a Fleming;* by whom they have been 
generally understood to mean Claude Goudimel, a native of 
Franche-Comte, and a Huguenot, who was one of the first that set 
the translation of the Psalms, by Clement Marot and Theodore 
Beza, to Music; and who was murdered at Lyons in 1572, on the 
fatal day of the Massacre of Paris (r). 

There are certain difficulties in this account and supposition, 
which it is not easy to solve : Antimo Liberati (s), Andrea Adami (t), 
Padre Martini (u) , and others, as Italians, could have no interest in 
falsifying or misrepresenting facts, in order to prove the greatest 
composer for the church which their country has ever produced, 
the disciple of a foreigner; yet they not only assert this, but likewise 
that Gio. Maria Nanino, a learned Roman composer, was a 
fellow-student with him under Goudimel; that they were united in 
strict friendship, and opened a college, or Music-school, together, 
at Rome, in which they had many scholars, and among the rest 
Bernardino Nanino, the younger brother of- Gio. Maria, Antonio 
Cifra, and others. Who Mell was, if different from Goudimel, I 
know not; of his works or name I have met with no memorial; 
Walther, indeed, speaks of one Renatus, and Mattheson of Rinaldus 
De Mell, a Flemish composer, who flourished about 1538, and who 
published Litanie de B. Virgine, at Antwerp, in 1589; yet though 
these dates correspond sufficiently well with the age of Palestrina, it 
does not appear by these or any concurrent circumstances that he, 
or Goudimel, was ever at Rome, or that Palestrina had taken 
a Tramontane journey to acquire instructions in Flanders or 
Franche-Comte. Indeed the fact is not of sufficient importance 
to merit a long discussion; I shall therefore leave it as I found it: 
for who can be very solicitous to know of what Master Palestrina 
learned the mechanical rules of his art, which were established and 
very well known, at least a century before his superior genius turned 
them to so good account? 

In some miscellaneous publications during our author's younger 
time, before his fame was established, we find him frequently called 

(r) See above, p. 46. 

(s) Lettera Scritta in risposta ad una del Signor Ovidio Persapegi, 1688, p. 22. 

(t) Osserv. per ben regolare Coro della il Cap. Pontij. p. 169. 

(«) In a MS. list of the Roman School of contrapuntists, with which he favoured the 
author of this work. 

* It is now established beyond doubt the Palestrina was born in 1525 or 26. Whoever Gaudio 
Mell was. he could not have been Goudimel, for there is no evidence of this composer ever 
visiting Rome. For Goudimel's connection with the Genevan Psalter, see editor's note, p. 44. 

154 



MUSIC IN ITALY DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

Gianetto da Palestrina (x). He has this title in the Secondo Libro 
delle Muse, a set of madrigals so called, that was printed at Venice, 
1559; and in another set, under the title of Amorosi ardori di diversi 
eccellenti Musici, as well as in the second book of Cipriano's 
Madrigals, printed likewise at Venice, 1571, in four parts, where 
there is a Canzon di Gianetto, sopra di Pace non trovo, con 14 
Stanze, published about the same time. It has, however, been 
doubted whether this was not a different composer from the same 
city; but having scored these several pieces from the printed copies, 
preserved in the British Museum, and elsewhere, I find them so 
much alia Palestrina, that I have not the least doubt concerning 
their author. Indeed, critical enquirers, who wish to be more 
perspicacious than their predecessors, sometimes carry research and 
doubt so far as to dispute the most trivial as well as the best 
authenticated facts. Thus, with respect to Palestrina, the records of 
the Pontifical Chapel; the fidelity of Antimo Liberati, and Andrea 
Adami, both of the same chapel, and curious enquirers, who lived 
on the spot almost a century nearer his time than the present; and 
the respectable authority of the candid and cautious Padre Martini, 
are all rejected, seemingly to answer very little purpose. 

However, the few circumstances and outlines of Palestrina's life 
that have been preserved from oblivion, and seem the most 
indisputable, are: that he was born in the year 1529 (y) [1525/6] 
that having distinguished himself as a composer, about 1555, he 
was admitted into the Pope's Chapel, at Rome; in 1562 [1561], at 
the age of 33 [c. 36], he was elected Maestro di Capella of Santa 
Maria Maggiore, in the same city ; as upon the death of Giovanni 
Animuccia, in 1571, he was honoured with a similar appointment at 
St. Peter's ; and lastly, having brought choral harmony to a degree 
of perfection that has never since been exceeded, he died in the 
year 1594, at the age of sixty-five (z) [Feb. 2nd, 1594, at the age 
of 68] . 

The following account of his death and burial was entered in the 
register of the Pontifical Chapel by Oppolito Gamboce, Puntatore, 
who at that time had the care of the records. 

" February the 2d. 1594. This morning died the most excellent 
musician, Signor Giovanni Pierloisci, our dear companion, and 

(x) It has ever been a common practice with the Italians, in familiarity and good-humoui, 
to call a young person of the name of Giovanni, Gianetto; as John with us, during youth, is 
styled Jack, or Johnny. Indeed, if farther proof were necessary that this title was sometimes 
given to the great Giovanni Palestrina, it could be furnished from his mass upon the subject of 
an old Italian song, Vestiva i Colli, which is the third in his ninth Book of Masses, being 
printed in one of the Antwerp collections, under the name of Gianetto Palestrina. 

(y) This date invalidates a note of Mr. Galliard's translation of Tosi, p. 3 § 4, and 
somewhat diminishes the force of a nourish in Dr. Brown's Rise, Union, Separation, and 
Corruption of Music and Poetry, in which it is said that Palestrina was "one of the ornaments 
of Leo X.'s time"; as, unluckily, that Pontiff dying in 1521, quitted the world eight years 
before Palestrina arrived in it. 

U) The few incidents that are recorded of this divine harmonist have already been 
extracted by the author of this work from Andrea Adami, and inserted in a preface to the 
Miserere of Allegri, and other pieces that are performed in the Pope's Chapel during Passion- 
week, printed by Bremner, 1773, to which the reader is referred. 

155 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

Maestro di Capella of St. Peter's Church, whither his funeral was 
attended not only by all the musicians of Rome, but by an infinite 
concourse of people, when Libera me Domine was sung by the whole 
college." To this account Adami adds that of Torrigio (a), who 
says: " In St. Peter's Church, near the altar of St. Simon and St. 
Jude, was interred, in consequence of his extraordinary abilities, 
Pierluigi da Palestrina, the great musical composer, and Maestro 
di Capella of this church. His funeral was attended by all the 
musicians of Rome, and Libera me Domine, as composed by 
himself, in five parts, was sung by three choirs. Upon his coffin 
was this inscription : Joannes Petrus Aloysius Prcenestinus Musicce 
Princeps." 

It would be endless to transcribe all the eulogiums that have 
been bestowed upon Palestrina, by musical writers, though he has 
seldom been mentioned by others ; but it is left to artists to take care 
of their own fame: none but Painters have written the Lives of 
Painters, or Musicians those of Musicians. Heroes, indeed, are 
consigned to historians ; and the learned are seldom negligent of 
themselves. 

Indeed very honourable mention was made of our great 
contrapuntist during his life-time by Giovanni Guidetto [b), 
chaplain to Pope Gregory XIII. who being appointed to collate, 
correct, and regulate the choir service of St. Peter's Church, 1582, 
says, that he was unwilling to depend solely on his own judgment 
in this undertaking, and therefore had applied to that Prince of 
Musicians, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, to superintend and 
correct the whole work, an office which he was so obliging as to 
undertake; " and if," says he, " the compilation be found to have 
any merit, it must be chiefly ascribed to his kind assistance (c)." 

Some judgment may be formed, says the learned author of the 
Essay on Counterpoint, so often mentioned (d), of the great 
veneration in which he was held by the professors of his own time, 
from a collection of Psalms, in five parts, that was published in 1592, 
and dedicated to Palestrina by fourteen of the greatest masters of 
Italy at that time ; among these were Pietro Pontio, already 
mentioned, and Costanzo Porta, who will be distinguished hereafter, 
as a composer, whose abilities, in point of learning and contrivance, 
were truly wonderful. 

By the friendly assistance of Signor Santarelli, I procured at 
Rome a complete catalogue of all the genuine productions of 
Palestrina, with the several dates and forms of their publication, 

[a) Grotte Vaticane. Parte II. p. 166. 

[b) Director Chori ad Usum Sacros. Basilic. Vatic. Epist. ad Capitul. 

[c) Licet in Musicis notis collocandis, conjungendis, separandis, augendis, expungendis, 
cum vetustis Vaticanee nostra Basilica, turn recentioribus Antiphonarius, ac Psalteriis usus 
fuerim, nequaquam tamen, aut Mis, aut judicio meo fidere volui, sed viro Musica Artis facile 
principi Joanni Petro Aloisio Praenestino Capella nostra Magistro, opus totum inspiciendum, ac 
corrigendum tradidi, &c. 

[d) Saggio di Contrap. P. II. p. 74. 
156 




MUSIC IN ITALY DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

title of each piece, and the name and residence of the printer. These 
are classed in the following manner : 

Masses in four, five, and six parts, twelve books ; of which 
Lib. I. appeared at Rome in folio, 1554, when the author was in 
the twenty-fifth year of his age ; and in that city only went through 
three several editions during his life. Lib. II. of his Masses, which 
includes the celebrated composition entitled Missa Papce Marcelli, 
was published likewise at Rome, in 1567. Of this production it has 
been related by Antimo Liberati, in the letter above cited, and 
after him by Adami, Berardi, and other musical writers, that the 
Pope and Conclave having been offended and scandalized at the 
light and injudicious manner in which the mass had been long set 
and performed, determined to banish Music in parts entirely from 
the church ; but that Palestrina, at the age of twenty-six, during the 
short pontificate of Marcellus Cervinus, intreated his Holiness to 
suspend the execution of his design till he had heard a mass, 
composed in what, according to his ideas, was the true ecclesiastical 
style. His request being granted, the composition, in six parts, 
was performed at Easter, 1555, before the Pope and College of 
Cardinals ; who found it so grave, noble, elegant, learned, and 
pleasing, that Music was restored to favour, and again established in 
the celebration of sacred rites. This mass was afterwards printed, 
and dedicated to the successor of Marcellus, Pope Paul IV. by whom 
Palestrina was appointed Maestro di Capella to the Pontifical 
Chapel (e). 

The rest of his masses appeared in the following order: Lib. III. 
Romce per Valerium Doricum, 1570, in folio — Ven. 1599. Lib. 
IV. Venet. per Ang. Gardanum, 1582, quarto. V. Roma?, 1590. 
VI. [Rome 1593-4] Ven. 1596 (/). VII. 1594. VIII. and IX. 
Ven. 1599. X. and XI. Ven. 1600. And XII. without date, or 
name of the printer [1601]. Beside this regular order of 
publication, these masses were reprinted in different forms and 
collections, during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, in 
most of the prinicipal cities of Italy ; of which editions I was 
furnished with memorandums (g) [XIII. — 1601]. 

The next division of Palestrina' s works consists of Motets for 
five, six, seven, and eight voices, five books, at Rome and Venice. 
1569, 1588, 1589, 1596, and 1601. Motets for four voices, Lib. 
I. Romce, 1590. II. Venet. 1604. Two book of Offertorij, 



(e) The friends of Choral Music will doubtless be curious to have a faithful and minute 
account of a composition which had sufficient power to preserve their favourite art from 
disgrace and excommunication; and having before me an accurate score of it, which Signor 
Santarelli himself procured for me out of the Sistine Chapel, where it is still performed, I can 
venture to assert, that it is the most simple of all Palestrina's works : no canon, inverted 
fugue, or complicated measures, have been attempted throughout the composition; the style 
is grave, the harmony pure, and by its facility the performer and hearer are equally exempted 
from trouble. 

(/) This, and all that were published after the author's decease, which happened in 1594, 
must have been second editions. 

(g) Signor Santarelli was so obliging as to consult the archives of the Pope's Chapel, in 
order to complete the catalogue of his favourite Palestrina's works, concerning many of which . 
he furnished me with interesting and curious remarks. 

157 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

a 5 & a 6 voc. Roma, 1593. Lamentationi, a 4 voc. Roma, 
1588. Hymns for five voices, Ven. 1598. Litanie a 4, Few. 1600. 
Magnificat, 8 Tonum. Roma. 1591. Madrigali Spirituali, two 
books, Rome and Venice, 1594. 

In the copy whence this motet was taken, it is written in D 
Minor, but it is so much more pleasing in F Major, that it seems 
to have been originally composed in that Key. 



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But a more curious instance of Musical imitation and Expression 
occurs in one of his Madrigali Spirituali, where the words 
Amarissimo fele are expressed by the following crude discords. 




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To the above ample list of the works of this great and fertile 
composer, are to be added, La Cantica di Salomone, a 5; two other 
books of Magnificats, a 4, 5, & 6 voc. One of Lamentationi, a 5; 
and another of secular Madrigals. These have been printed in 
miscellaneous publications after the author's death; and there still 
remain in the Papal Chapel, inedited, another mass, a 4, upon the 
hexachord, ut, re, mi, fa, sol, la; with his Missa Defunctorum, a 
5, and upwards of twenty motets, chiefly for eight voices, a due 
cori* 



* The following are the dates of publication of Palestrina's chief works other than Masses : 
Motets: 4-voices, 1563 and 81; for more than 4 voices 1569, 72, 75, 84 (two sets). 
Madrigals: 1555, 81 (1st book of Spiritual Madrigals); 1586, and 94 (2nd book of 

Spiritual Madrigals). 
Lametitations : 1588. 

Hymni Totius Anni, 1589; Magnificat Octotonum, 1591; Offertoria Totius Anni, 1593 
(two books); Litanies, 1593. 
A complete edition of the works of Palestrina was issue by B. and H. in 33 volumes between 
1862-94. 

160 



MUSIC IN ITALY DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

Nothing more interesting remains to be related of Palestrina, 
than that most of his admirable productions still subsist. Few of 
his admirers are indeed possessed of the first editions, or of all his 
works complete, in print or manuscript; yet curious and diligent 
collectors in Italy can still, with little difficulty, furnish themselves 
with a considerable number of these models of counterpoint and 
ecclesiastical gravity. 

If we consider the operose and slow manner in which works of 
this kind are conducted, from the many real parts they contain, and 
of which some are generally moving in canon, and the rest always 
in fugue, we shall be as much astonished at the number of his 
productions, as pleased with their effects. Indeed the works of 
Aristotle, Cicero, or the elder Pliny, among the ancients, or of 
Fabricius, among the moderns, were hardly more numerous. With 
the union, indeed, of great erudition and great industry we are not 
surprised; but Genius is not often so voluminous. 

"Palestrina having brought his style to such perfection, that the 
best compositions which have been produced for the church since 
his time are proverbially said to be alia Palestrina, it seems as if 
this were the place to discuss its merit. 

Though good taste has banished fugue, canon, and elaborate 
compositions from Dramatic Music, yet sound judgment has still 
retained them in the Church; to which, from the little use that is 
made of them elsewhere, they are now in a manner appropriated 
(h). On this account, like the Canto-fermo of the Romish service 
however one chant may resemble another, and the subject and 
modulation of fugues may be stolen, yet they will still be in the 
style of Choral Music, and never awaken ideas of secular songs or 
profane transactions, as they will at least be grave and decorous, if 
not learned and ingenious. 

In the compositions of Palestrina there is, indeed, no unity of 
melody, but as all the parts have an equal share of importance, and 
as hardly a note appears in them without some peculiar intention 
and effect, they cannot, like the remplissage of a modern concerto 
or opera song, be composed with as much rapidity as they could 
be transcribed; little invention and few flights of fancy are required; 
yet there is a degree of happiness and genius in finding a few 
uncommon notes that are favourable to fugue and canon, as well 
as in creating new and graceful passage in melody. Indeed, both 
the choral and secular style have their peculiar difficulties, beauties, 
and defects. 

Whoever is accustomed to the vocal fugues of Palestrina, 
Carissimi, or Handel, will be fastidious with respect to those of 
ether composers of equal learning. Preaching upon a text has been 
called a Gothic contrivance; and yet what admirable lessons of 
piety and virtue have been produced under the denomination of 

[h) Indeed there seems no more impropriety in their being occasionally used in the 
chamber, than private prayer, or family devotion. It is the Church and Stage that I wish 
wholly to be separated; for it has long appeared to me, that whoever brings the rites of the 
Church to the Theatre or theatrical levity to the Church, is guilty of want of taste, judgment, 
and due reverence for the religion of his country. 

Vol. ii. ii. 161 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

Sermons ! Fire., genius, and harmonical resources are discoverable 
in fugues, as well as in modern songs, solos, or concertos; a musical 
student, therefore, unacquainted with the laws of fugue, is 
advanced but a little way in composition; as the hearer who receives 
no pleasure from ingenious contrivance and complicated harmony, 
is but a superficial judge. My wish is to resolve the discords of 
contention, to augment the pleasure of both parties, and extend the 
compass of their views; that, like the Music composed a due cori, 
the friends of harmony and melody may agree, though performing 
different parts, at a distance from each other. 

But to return to Palestrina. It appears from the writings of this 
most venerable and exquisite harmonist, that he had not only 
studied the greatest masters of his own time, but of the preceding 
century; and after vanquishing the difficulties of their style and 
contrivances, he demonstrated, by his early works, that he could 
put them all in practice, with the admirable improvement of a more 
polished harmony, and flowing melody; consulting in every 
difficult enterprize the Ear more frequently than the Eye (i). 

However, with all his merit of simplicity, he was not the first 
to quit the strange proportions which pedantry, and an affectation 
of mystical science, had introduced, as he uses them all in his mass 
upon the melody of L'Homme Arme, which is full of vain and 
useless difficulties (k). He likewise, for some time, adhered to the 
absurd practice of composing masses upon vulgar tunes, as appears 
by the titles as well as subjects of those in his second and third 
books. However, he discontinued this Gothic custom, after the 
year 1570, when, perhaps, a better taste became general. 

The first instance I have seen of an attempt to express the 
sentiment of the poet by extraneous modulation and unusual 
discords, is in a madrigal of our author's second book, a 4. Alia 
riva del Tebro, where, after a flat sixth to D, the fourth of the key 

of A, we have a s unprepared, or rather a pedale; which, in the 
sixteenth century, was a very bold and uncommon combination 
(/); and, upon the whole, it appears to me, notwithstanding the 
general gravity and elaboration of Palestrina's style, that genius 
glows in all his productions, in spite of the trammels of Canto-fermo, 
canon, fugue, inversions, diminutions, augmentations, or whatever 
would chill or petrify any other than himself. 

It is hoped that no apology will be necessary for the length of 

(*') He not only knew, says Padre Martini, how to avoid the roughness, but the languor 
of anterior composers; and with a harmony more full and grateful, he infused a modest and 
decent chearfulness in the melody of every part : and without incommoding the singer by 
unnatural difficulties, formed a complete whole. Saggio di Contrap. Parte I. p. 51. 

(k) Indeed, Palestrina's mass upon L'Homme Armi is so difficult to decipher, that 
Zacconi has selected and written a Commentary upon it, for the use of those who study 
Musical Proportions. It is, however, notwithstanding Zacconi has bestowed 13 folio pages in 
explaining the notation, and solving the canons, still extremely difficult to score; and if, as 
has been said, the "combination in Palestrina's harmony naturally suggest themselves to a nice 
and unprejudiced ear," it is wonderful that such composers are not more common. 

(/) Many of the best works of Palestrina, and other great composers in the church style, 
with an excellent Commentary upon them, have lately been very correctly published, in 
score, by the learned Padre Martini, in his Saggio di Contrappunto, so often cited. But for 
instances of Palestrina's expression of words, by modulation, see above, at the bottom of the 
plate, p. 160. 

162 



MUSIC IN ITALY DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

this article, which " the reader can make as short as he pleases." 
In a general History of Ancient Poetry, Homer would doubtless 
occupy the most ample and honourable place; and Palestrina, the 
Homer of the most Ancient Music that has been preserved, merits 
all the reverence and attention which it is in a musical historian's 
power to bestow. 

Giovanni Maria Nanino [b. c. 1545-d. 1607], da Vallerano was 
admitted into the Pontifical Chapel, as a tenor singer, in 1577. He 
was a fellow-student and in strict friendship with Palestrina. These 
two excellent masters opened a Music-school together at Rome, 
where they formed many great scholars, among whom was Giov. 
Bernardino Nanino [c. 1560-1623], a younger brother of Maria, 
according to Walther, but called by P. Martini, his nephew, and 
Antonio Cifra. Antimo Liberati informs us of a circumstance, 
which will be readily believed; that Palestrina had no relish for the 
drudgery of attending a school, having his thoughts so much 
absorbed in his own studies; and that, leaving the care of the 
disciples to Nanino, his visits were not very frequent or long, 
calling only from time to time in order to explain to them such 
uncommon difficulties and doubts as impeded the progress of their 
studies, and to adjust the disputes which arose among the professors, 
who in great numbers constantly attended the lectures there. 
Though Nanino was regarded by the Romans as one of the most 
learned musicians of his time, yet Sebastian Raval, a Spaniard, 
then at Rome, thinking they were all mistaken, and that he was 
himself very much his superior, challenged him and his countryman 
Soriano, another friend of Palestrina, to a musical combat, which 
was to be determined by a weapon they had both frequently wielded, 
the pen : in this engagement, however, the Spaniard was defeated. 
Many different sets of madrigals, by Nanino, were published at 
Venice during the latter end of the sixteenth century, which are now 
difficult to find (m) ; there are, however, in the Studij di Palestrina, 
described above, several of his chants, which are excellent.* 

Bernardino Nanino, whom Antimo Liberati likewise calls the 
younger brother of Maria, has been celebrated by this writer as 
a person of very extraordinary abilities, who, by an inventive and 
original style, joined to a perfect knowledge of harmony, had greatly 
improved the art of composition (n). The only productions which 
I have seen of this master are two or three chants in the Studij di 
Palestrina. 

(m) P. Martini, Storia della Musica, has given in his catalogue of authors the titles of two 
very curious works : the first of these, by G. M. Nanino, is called Centocinquanta sette 
Contrappunti e Canoni, < 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11 Voc. Sopra de Canto-fermo intitolato la Base 
di Costanzo Festa; the second is styled Trattato di Contrap. con la regola per far Contrappunto 
a mente, di G. M. Nanino e Bernardino Nanino, suo Nipote. 

(n) As the expressions of Liberati, who is a high colourist, are very strong, the reader 
shall have them in the original words : speaking of the School of Palestrina and Maria 
Nanino, and the scholars it produced, he says, "Tra i quali ju primieramente Bernardino suo 
iratello minore, che riussi di mirabile ingegno e diede maggior lume alia projessione con la 
novita della sua vaghissima harmonia in ogni stile, e plena di grand' osservanza e dolcezza." 

* G. M. Nanino published Motets in 1586; Madrigals in 1579, 81, and 86, and other works. 
Several specimens were reprinted in Proske's M.D. His brother, G. B., also published many 
books of madrigals and motets, and as a composer must be regarded as one of the best of 
the period. 

163 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

Felice Anerio \c. 1560-1614] is said by Walther to have been a 
disciple of Maria Nanino, and by Adami to have succeeded 
Palestrina as Maestro di Capella of the Pontifical Chapel. These two 
circumstances alone imply no common degree of merit; and, 
according to Adami, many admirable compositions by this author 
were preserved in the Pope's Chapel, and in daily use, and he seems 
to have been regarded as a great master of his profession. His 
madrigals for six voices were printed at Antwerp, 1599; and 
canzonets for four voices, at Francfort, in 1610, which for a time 
enjoyed a considerable share of public favour (o).* 

Antonio Cifra [c. 1575-c. 1638], a disciple of Palestrina and the 
elder Nanino, after being employed as Maestro di Capella to 
several churches in Rome, and to the Archduke Charles of Austria, 
brother to the Emperor Ferdinand II. was invited to Loretto, 
where, in the same capacity, he spent the rest of his days. His 
publications, though very numerous, are excellent in their kind: 
correct, artificial, and as flowing as the respect to Canto-fermo and 
ancient rules would then admit. His abilities are much celebrated 
by Antimo Liberati; and it is observed by Walther, that in the 
latter part of this composer's life many musical improvements and 
discoveries were made, in which he had a considerable share. One 
of his works, printed at Venice, 1629, contains motets and psalms 
for twelve voices, a tre cori; and Padre Martini, in his Saggio di 
Contrappunto (p), has inserted an Agnus Dei, for seven voices, from 
a mass by this author, entitled Conditor Alme Syderum; in which it 
is contrived that two of the parts of this movement are in perpetual 
canon, alia roverscia, while the other five parts are in close, but 
free, fugue. The subject of this inverted canon is an ancient chant 
of the church to the Advent hymn. The answer is made in the 
sixth above the subject, in precisely the same intervals, in moto 
contrario. 

The skill, perseverance, and resources which the author has 
manifested in this composition, would astonish secular composers of 
the present times. It would, however, comfort them, and keep off 
despair, if they were to see what a wretched figure this learned 
author cuts in secular Music. In 1614, he published at Venice a 
work, entitled, Scherzi et Arie a una, due, tre, et quattro Voci, per 
cantar nel Clavicembalo, Chitarone, b altro simile Istromento. 
Nothing can" be more confused, uncouth, and inelegant, than the 
melodies of this work, in which he meant to be gay and gallant. In 
the first air, as it is called, there are faint glimmerings of taste in 

io) Canzonets for four and five voices are said by Adami, p. 174, to have been invented 
by Alessandro Romano, a singer, admitted in the Pope's Chapel 1560, who was likewise so 
exquisite a performer on the viol, that he obtained the cognomen of Alessandro della Viola. He 
likewise composed motets, accompanied by many instruments, which seem to have been the 
first of the kind. 

(j>) P. I., p. 88. 

* His chief published compositions were : 
3 books of Madrigals, 1587, 90, and 98. 
3 books of Sacred Madrigals for 5 voices, 1585. 
2 Books of Hymns and Motets, etc., 1596 and 1602, and volumes of Responsoria and 

Litanies, etc. 
Proske, in M.D., has reprinted 12 motets and a mass. 

164 



MUSIC IN ITALY DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

a few of the passages and closes; but the whole movement is 
unphrased, unaccented, and more inclining to recitative than air. 
We cannot help respecting these old masters for their science in 
ecclesiastical compositions, in which they have left such admirable 
examples of pure harmony and ingenious contrivance; yet, 
whenever, like Mr. Vellum, in Addison's comedy of the Drummer, 
they chuse to be jocular, or to attempt grace and gaiety, they 
become grotesque and ridiculous. Harmony and fugue are long-lived; 
but no powers of invention can give longevity to divisions and 
embellishments, which are either written for particular talents, or 
the gratification of caprice and fashion. 

Ruggiero Giovanelli [1560-1625], of Velletri, who, though he 
was not admitted in the Pope's Chapel till 1599, had distinguished 
himself, and received the meed of merit long before, by being first 
elected Maestro di Capella of the church of S. Luigi [1584], S. 
Appoiiinare, and afterwards, upon the demise of Palestrina, had 
the singular honour of being appointed his successor, in the same 
office, at St. Peter's [1594]. Giovanelli published many motets, 
psalms, madrigals, and masses; compositions which, at this time, 
supplied the place of services, anthems, oratorios, opera songs, 
and cantatas, throughout Europe.* 

After the examples already given of Palestrina' s style of writing, 
that of the five masters last mentioned, as they were all of the same 
school, and nearly the same period, needs no illustration. Indeed, 
the works of cotemporary composers, at this time, of grave and 
sober science, were more likely to resemble each other than at a later 
period, when imagination was unchained, and her wild and wanton 
effusions had insinuated themselves into every musical production. 
There are, however, in the Studij di Palestrina, chants by all these 
great contrapuntists, which are relics of harmony and modulation, 
truly ecclesiastic and venerable. 

Ears not accustomed to ancient modulation would at first be 
surprised, and perhaps, offended, with some of the transitions in 
these fragments; but they must be differently organised from mine, 
if, after the prejudice of habitude is a little subdued, they should 
continue insensible to the solemnity and grandeur of such harmonical 
combinations. 

The most chearful species of secular Music that was now cultivated 
by masters of the first class, was that of Madrigals: a style of 
composition that was brought to its highest degree of perfection 
about the latter end of the sixteenth century, by the superior genius 
of Luca Marenzio [d. 1599] . This ingenious and elegant composer 
was born at Coccaglia, in the diocese of Brescia, and the scholar of 
Giovanni Contini (q). His inclination leading him very early to the 
composition of madrigals, he cultivated that style more successfully 
than any of his predecessors, and the number he composed and 

(?) This was a voluminous composer: in 1565 he published Cantiones, 6 Vocum; Introitus 
& Halleluja, 5 Voc. for Festivals : Hymnos, 4 Vocum; Threnos HieremicB, 4 Voc. for Passion- 
week; and a Mass in four parts. 

* Specimens of his work will be found in Torchi's A.M. I., Vol. II. and Morley included 
translations of four madrigals in his Madrigals to 5 Voices, 1508. 

165 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

published is prodigious (r). Of this style he was called in Italy 
77 phi dolce Cigno; and the proud antagonist of Nanino, Sebastian 
Raval, the Spaniard, who was editor of some of his works, styles 
him a divine composer. He was some time Maestro di Capella to 
cardinal Luigi d'Este; and, according to Adami and others, 
caressed and patronised by many Princes and great personages, 
particularly the King of Poland, and Cardinal Cinthio Aldobrandini, 
nephew to Pope Clement VIII. Upon his return to Rome, after 
quitting Poland, he was admitted into the Pope's Chapel, and dying 
in that city, 1599, he was buried in the church of S. Lorenzo, in 
Lucina (s). 

Our countryman, Peacham (t), speaks of his " delicious aire 
and sweet invention in madrigals;" and says, " that he excelled 
all other whatsoever, having published more sets than any author 
else, and hath not an ill song." Adding that " his first, second, 
and third parts of Thyrsis, Veggo dolce il mio ben, &c. are songs 
the Muses themselves might not have been ashamed to have 
composed." To all this I can readily subscribe, and will not dispute 
his stature, or the colour of his hair, when he further tells us, that 
" he was a little black man;" but when he asserts, that " he was 
Organist of the Pope's Chapel, at Rome, a good while," he loses 
all credence with me : as there never yet was an Organ in the Pope's 
Chapel; nor is it likely, however great his musical merit may have 
been, that the niece of any reigning Pope could have been sent for to 
Poland, with so little ceremony, as he tells us, in the character of a 
lutenist and singer, in order to gratify the curiosity of his Polish 
Majesty, and the affection of Luca Marenzio. Indeed, the whole 
account savours of hear-say evidence and absurdity; and is so much 
the more incredible, as no other musical writers, who were eager to 
record every memorial they could procure concerning Luca 
Marenzio, have ventured to relate these circumstances. 

There are no madrigals so agreeable to the ear, or amusing to 
the eye, as those of this ingenious and fertile composer. The subjects 
of fugue, imitation, and attack, are traits of elegant and pleasing 
melody; which, though they seem selected with the utmost care 
for the sake of the words they are to express, yet so artful are the 
texture and disposition of the parts, that the general harmony and 
effect of the whole are as complete and unembarrassed as if he had 
been writing in plain counterpoint, without poetry or contrivance. 

The first set of his madrigals for five voices, however, seems the 
most elaborate; the fugues and imitations here are more ingenious 

(r) At Venice, between the years 1587 and 1601, were printed nine books of his madrigals 
for five voices; the two last were posthumous. I was so fortunate as to purchase a manuscript 
score of all these nine sets at Rome. Besides these, this author composed six books of 
madrigals, in six parts. Madrigals for three voices; another set for five, and still another for 
six voices, different from all the former. Canzonets for the Lute. Motetti, a 4, & Sacras 
Cantiones, 5, 6, ac 7 Vocibus modulandas. All these works were first printed at Venice; and 
afterwards at Antwerp, and many of them in London, to English words: See Musica 
Transalpina, two books, and a collection of Italian madrigals, with English words, published 
in 1589, by Thomas Watson. Quadrio, To. II. P. ii. p. 324, gives a long list of his Villanelle, 
a 3 Voci; and Draudius, p. 1614, of his motets, a 4, for all the festivals throughout the year. 
Ven. 1588. Et ejusd. Completorium & Antiphone, a 6, 1595. 

(s) Adami, Osserv. per ben reg. il Coro Pontif. p. 185. 

it) Complete Gentleman, p. 101, edit, of 1634. 

166 



MUSIC IN ITALY DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

and frequent than in his other works. He has, indeed, in those of 
later date more melody; but as yet there was too little to compensate 
for the want of contrivance. Whoever takes the trouble to score 
and examine this set, will discover marks of real genius with respect 
to harmony and modulation, with many attempts at melody of a 
more graceful kind than is to be found in the works of his 
cotemporaries; as we may reasonably conclude this to have been one 
of his early productions, of nearly the middle of the sixteenth 
century (u). 

The words of his ninth book of five-part madrigals are all from 
the Canzoniere of Petrarca, and of these the composition seems the 
most free and fanciful of all his works.* 

Though the madrigals of the sixteenth century appear now so 
grave as to be scarcely distinguishable from the Music of the church, 
yet the masters of that period had very distinct and characteristic 
rules for composing in both styles. Pietro Pontio, who had himself 
produced many that were excellent, in giving instructions for 
composing madrigals, says, that " the subjects of fugue and 
imitation in them should be short, and the notes of a quicker kind, 
and more syncopated than in Church Music; otherwise they would 
not be madrigals. The parts likewise should frequently move 
together; but the greatest care should be taken to express the 
sense of the words as exactly as musical imitation will allow, not 
only by quick and slow passages, or notes ascending and descending 
occasionally, but by modulation, which, when the sentiment of 
the poet implies harshness, cruelty, pain, sorrow, or even joy, 
pleasure, or the like, will assist the expression more than single 
notes." Here he refers to the fourth madrigal of Orlando di 
Lasso, Book I. for an example of the happy expression of words. 
Though composers were now very timid in the use of flats, sharps, 
and transposed keys, yet licences were taken in madrigals which 
were inadmissible in Music a Capella (x). The answers to subjects 
delivered were more imitations than regular replies, according to 
the strict laws of fugue; yet, with respect to the melody of the 
short passages or musical sentences which were used, and the 
harmony with which they are accompanied, great pains seem to have 
been taken in polishing both. Indeed, as this was the chief Music 
of the chamber, where it is probable the critics and lovers of Music 
attended, for neither public concerts nor operas had as yet existence, 
there can be no doubt but that every refinement was bestowed on 
this species of composition, which the ideas of musical perfection 
could then suggest. 

(a) I have never met with more than one entire movement, in triple time, among all the 
works of this excellent composer; and that is in the eighth set for five voices : La mia Clori e 
brunetta. In a collection of his madrigals for six voices, published at Antwerp, 1594 [B.M. K. 
3- f. 15.] . some of the movements are gay and spirited, and contain passages that continued in 
fashion more than a hundred years after publication, as appears by the use that Purcel and 
Handel have made of them; and indeed there are others which modern Italians have not 
disdained to adopt. 

{x) In the eighth madrigal of Luca Marenzio's ninth book, a 5. Solo e j>ensoso, a bold 
and curious composition, the upper part ascends from the key note G, to A, the ninth above, 
by a series of fifteen semitones', and then descends from A to D by the same intervals. 

* Proske and Harberl have reprinted many of Marenzio's motets. The B.M. [C. 210] has 
copies of his madrigals for 5 and 6 voices. 

167 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

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Venetian School 

Having recorded all that seems to merit attention concerning 
the most able musicians of the Roman School, and their works, 
during the sixteenth century, I shall now pass to Venice, a city 
which has always patronised and encouraged Music, more, perhaps, 
than any other in Europe; for, from the peculiarity of its local 
position, having no field-sports, suburban diversions, or land near 
enough for the purpose of riding or walking for recreation, it was 
natural for them to cherish and refine such amusements as were 
compatible with their insulated situation. 

At the head of this School the Italians themselves place Adrian 
Willaert [c. 1480-1562], the disciple of John Mouton, and master 
of Zarlino. Willaert, or, as he is usually called in Italy, Adriano, 
was born at Bruges, in Flanders,* and, during his youth, studied 
the Law, at Paris; if with the view of making it his profession, there 
must have been an early conflict between Legislation and Music, 
which, having a powerful advocate in his own heart, gained the 
cause : for, by his own account (y), he went to Rome in the time of 
Leo X. where he found that his motet, Verbum bonum [dulce] et 
suave, was performed as the composition of Josquin; he therefore 
had been a composer some time before he went to Rome. 

The account which Zarlino (z) gives of this motet having 
passed for a production of Josquin, excited my curiosity to see it; 
and finding it among the Motetti delta Corona, in the British 
Museum, I scored it, and discovered that the predilection for a great 
name had operated too powerfully in favour of this composition 
while Josquin was imagined to be the author of it; for it is neither 



(y) See Book II. p. 736. 
(z) P. I. p. 175. 






* Jacques de Meyere, a contemporary of Willaert, states that he was born at Roulers, near 
Courtrai. The Musica Nuova mentioned below was published at Venice in 1559, although the 
dedication by Viola is dated 1558. The book contains a portrait of Willaert. There is a copy 
in the B.M. (K. 3. m. 14). 

170 



MUSIC IN ITALY DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

written with the clearness, dexterity, nor even correctness, of that 
wonderful contrapuntist : there is not only confusion in the parts 
and design, in many places, but something very harsh and 
unpleasing in the harmony, particularly in the closes without a 
sharp seventh, both in the key-note, and its fifth (a). Some of them 
would doubtless have been made sharp, in performance, by the 
singers of those times, in compliance with a rule for sharpening 
ascending sevenths, in minor keys, and flattening them in 
descending. 

The list of his works, in Walther's Dictionary, though ample, 
is far from complete. The motet, Verbum bonum, just mentioned, 
was published at Fossombrone in 1519, forty -three years before 
Zarlino made him an interlocutor in his dialogue (Ragionamente), 
at Venice; and it can hardly be imagined that no others of his 
compositions appeared till 1542, when, we are told, that his motets 
for six voices were published (b). Indeed, for near fifty years after 
his name first appeared, hardly a collection of motets or madrigals 
was published to which he did not contribute; but the most splendid 
and curious work of this author, that I have seen, is preserved in the 
British Museum. It was published at Ferrara [Venice], 1558, by 
his scholar and friend, Francesco Viola, another of the inter- 
locutors in Zarlino's Ragionamente, under the title of Musica Nova, 
in three, four, five, six, and seven parts. In the dedication of this 
work to Alfonso d'Este, Duke of Ferrara, the editor, his Maestro di 
Capella, calls Adriano his master, and says, that he is strongly 
attached to him, not only for his wonderful abilities in Music, but 
integrity, learning, and the friendship with which he has long 
honoured him. Zarlino, in like manner, omits no opportunity of 
exalting the character of his master. These are honourable 
testimonies of regard, which seem the more worthy of being recorded, 
as, either from the worthlessness of the master, or ingratitude of 
the scholar, they are but seldom bestowed. 

In the cantus part there is a wooden cut of the author: "Adriani 
Willaert Flandrii Effigies." And indeed the compositions are of 
that kind for which he was most renowned, and such as the editor 
thought would constitute the most durable monument of his glory. 
In the tenor part there are many canons of very curious construction; 
some with two and three clefs, and a different number of flats 
and sharps for the several parts, which are moving in different 
keys at the same time; and one particularly curious, in seven parts : 
Praeter rerum seriem, of which three are in strict canon of the fourth 
and fifth above the guide; the tenor leading off in G, the sextus 

(a) This motet is in six parts, soprano, two contratenors, tenor, baritono, and bass. 

(b) In the Fior de Motetti, Lib. I. Ven. 1539, there is a Pater-noster, in four parts, by 
Adriano; and in the same year the first book of his motets, for four voices, was republished in 
the same city by Ant. Gardano, in folio, under the following pompous title : Famosissimi 
Adriani Willaert, Chori Divi Marci illustrissima Reipublica Venetiarum Magistri, Musica 
Quatuor Vocum {qua vulgb Motectce nuncupatur) noviter omni studio, ac diligentia in lucent 
edita. This edition, which, we find by the title, was not the first, is preserved in the British 
Museum. 

171 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

following in C, and the septima pars in D, while the rest move 
in free fugue. 

Zarlino (c) assigns to Adriano the invention of pieces for two or 
more choirs; and Piccitoni (d) says, that he was the first who made 
the bases in compositions of eight parts, move in unisons or octaves; 
particularly when divided into two choirs, and performed at a 
distance from each other, as then, they had occasion for a powerful 
guide. The dexterity and resources of this author, in the 
construction of canons, are truly wonderful, as is, indeed, his total 
want of melody; for it is scarcely possible to arrange musical sounds, 
diatonically, with less air or meaning, in the single parts. But there 
are many avenues through which a musician may travel to the 
Temple of Fame; and he that pursues the track which the learned 
have marked out, will perhaps not find it the most circuitous and 
tedious; at least Theorists, who are the most likely to record the 
adventures of passengers on that road, will be the readiest to give 
him a cast. A learned and elaborate style conceals the want of 
genius and invention, more than the free and fanciful productions 
of the present times. 

Adriano lived to a great age, and filled a very high musical 
station (e). His works and scholars were very numerous; and 
among those to whom he communicated the principles of his art, 
there were several who afterwards arrived at great eminence; such 
as Cipriano Rore (/), Zarlino, and Costanzo Porta (g). 



Neapolitan School 

This School of Counterpoint, which has been so successfully 
cultivated, was established in the fifteenth century, during the time 
of Ferdinand of Arragon, King of Naples, who reigned from 1458 
to 1494, and who, according to Biancardi (h), was not only an 
encourager of learning, but learned himself. During this period 
Naples abounded with extraordinary men of every profession, 
among whom Franchinus Gafurius, John Tinctor, William 
Guarnerio, and Bernard Yeart, cultivated both the theory and 
practice of Music in that city, with great diligence and success . Of 
Tinctor and Gafurius, an account has already been given (i); but 

(c) P. III. p. 268. 

(d) Guida Armonica. 

(e) Maestro di Capella of St. Mark's church, at Venice. 

(/) In the title of a book, published at Venice, 1549, there are Fantasie, or Ricercari, 
composed dallo eccellentissimo Adrian Vuigliart, and Cipriano Rore, suo discepolo. 

(g) P. Martini, in his Saggio di Contrappunto, P. II. p. 266, calls Adrian Willaert the 
•naster of Costanzo Porta. 

(h) Vite de Re di Napoli, &c. p. 343, 344. 

(»") Book I. p. 106, Book II. p. 712, and in the present volume, p. 129. 

X72 



MUSIC IN ITALY DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

as it is only in the writings of these authors, last mentioned, that 
the names and professional merit of the other two are recorded, 
time and oblivion seem to have carried them beyond the reach of 
further historical enquiry. 

Padre Martini (k) places Rocco Rodio [b. c. 1530], author of 
Regole di Musica, printed at Naples, 1620 [1600, 1609, 1626], at 
the head of the Neapolitan School, after John Tinctor (Z). Among 
theorists (m), during the sixteenth century, the Neapolitans indeed 
had but few whose writings have reached the present times. Luigi 
Dentice, who published Dialogues on Music in 1553, has been 
already mentioned (n); and Scipione Cerreto [1551, d. after 1631], 
author of a treatise in quarto, Delia Prattica Musicale vocale & 
strumentale, though it was only published at Naples in 1601, yet 
as the writer was then arrived at his fifty-fifth year, he may be said 
to have acquired his knowledge in the preceding century. This 
book contains much curious and useful information with respect 
to the Music and musicians of Naples during his time; when it 
appears by the copious list which he gives of favourite performers 
on the lute, organ, viol, guittar, trumpet, and harp, that the art 
was very much cultivated by professors, and cherished by the 
natives of that city. 

Walther (o), indeed, enumerates among Neapolitan cultivators 
of Music, at the beginning of the sixteenth century, the celebrated 
Aquivivus, Duke of Atri, who, in the first book of his Commentary 
on Plutarch's Treatise on Moral Virtue, published at Naples, 1526, 
folio, twenty-two Chapters on Music, which he treats in the same 
dry and unprofitable way, with respect to the practice of harmony, 
as Boethius; and Marcangelo Accorso, or Accursius, (not the 
great civilian), who being a profound critic and philosopher, was 

(k) Storia della Musica, Tom. I. p. 447. 

(I) It is difficult to ascertain the exact period when Rocco Rodio flourished. I have been 
so fortunate as to find an edition of his Precepts, to which P. Martini alludes, that was printed 
at Naples, i6oq; but this date tells us nothing, as the work had certainly appeared much 
earlier in another form. Battista Olifante, the editor of this edition, seems not to give the 
rules of Rocco Rodio in his own words, but explanations of the doctrines and examples he had 
left. If this exposition of the rules established by Rocco Rodio was written by himself, he must 
have flourished late in the sixteenth century: as Adriano Willaert and Cipriano Rore are both 
mentioned in the text; and both these masters were living after the year 1550. The full title of 
my edition is the following : Regole di Musica di Rocco Rodio, sotto brevissime risposte ad 
alcuni dubij propostogli da un Cavaliero, intorno alle varie opinioni de Contrapontisti. Con la 
Dimostratione di tutti i Canoni sopra il Canlo-jermo, con li Contraponti doppij, e rivoltati, e 
loro regole. Aggiontavi un' altra breve Dimostratione de dodici Tuoni regolari, finti e 
trasportati. Et di nuovo da Don Batt. Olifante, Aggiontivi un Trattato di Proportions 
necessario a detto Libro, e ristampato. In Napoli, MDCVIIII. 

The rules and examples for composing canons of all kinds are remarkably short and 
clear, in this tract, which is so scarce, that I have never seen it in any public library or 
catalogue of books; and P. Martini, who mentions the work, seems never to have been in 
possession of it. My copy was purchased at the sale of the late Mr. Kelway's books, 1782. 

{m\ I do not confine the word Theory to mere speculative doctrines, concerning the 

generation and ratio of sounds, but call every didactic writer, who gives instructions for the 

composition of Music, a Theorist; supposing that there is a theory for harmony, or the 
combination of sounds, as well as for calculating their proportions. 

(n) See above, p. 135. 
(o) Musicalisches Lexicon. 

173 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

accused by his enemies of bestowing too much time and attention 
on Music and Poetry (p). 

But though we know of but few musical treatises that were 
produced by Neapolitans during this period, the names and celebrity 
of many practical musicians have been recorded, and the works of 
a considerable number of composers preserved, which have been 
scored and examined, in order to speak of them here, not from 
tradition, but actual perusal. 

The first Secular Music in parts, after the invention of counter- 
point, that I have been able to discover on the continent, is the 
harmony that was set to the rustic and street tunes of the kingdom 
of Naples; and these, under the several denominations of Arie, 
Canzonette, Villotte, and Villanelle, alia Napolitana, were as much 
in fashion all over Europe during the sixteenth century, as 
Provengal songs were in preceding times, and Venetian ballads 
have been since. Besides the old tunes which were collected, and 
published in four parts, others were composed, not only by the 
natives, but in imitation of these short familiar airs, by almost all 
the principal composers of other places, of which innumerable 
volumes were printed at Venice, Antwerp, and elsewhere, under 
the same titles (q). 

But the most genuine, and the best that I have seen, are the 
Canzone Villanesche, alia Napolitana, by Perissone Cambio, 1551 
[1545-1551], and those of Baldassare Donato [1548-1603], 
published at Venice, in very good counterpoint of four parts, 1555.* 
In these little national songs there is generally more humour in the 
words, and more air and vivacity in the melody, than in any other 
songs, equally ancient, that I have seen. They seem to have been 
sung about the streets, in parts, as the words of several imply. In 
one of them, a singing-master speaks, who offers to teach the 
Guidonian hand, or gammut, in an hour; and in one of the following, 
the syllables ut, re, mi, fa, &c. are ingeniously applied in most of 
the parts, to such sounds as require them, in solmisation. 



(p) In a fable, called Tesludo, which he annexed to his Diatribes, Accursius, addressing 
himself to two Princes of the House of Brandenburg, says, "You know how they exclaimed, 
that to play on instruments or understand Music was unworthy of a philosopher; and how 
much I was insulted for joining the study of Optics to that of the Belles Lettres, and for 
writing Italian as well as Latin verses." 

Ipsi principes, turn fidibus scire Musicen callere, 
Philosopho indignum prczdicant, &c. 

This author, who spent thirty-three years at the Court of Charles V. by whom he was much 
respected, died about the year 1540. Padre Martini, among Neapolitan writers on Music, 
enumerates Gio. Camillo Maffei da Solofra, of whose writing was published at Naples, in 1563, 
Discorso Filosofica della Voce, e del Modo d'imparare di Cantar, di Garganta, raccolte da D. 
Valeria de' Paoli di Limosinano; a book that I have never seen, nor do I very well 
comprehend the title. 

{q) Of the poetry to which these tunes were sung, Crescimbeni and Quadrio give an 
account by the name of Villanelle. Adrian Willaert, Ven. 1540. Macque, 1555. Textore, 1566. 
Riccio, 1577. Bernardino Draghi, 1581. Pinelli, 1585. Luca Marenzio, 1584, 1586, 1592. 
Ferrabosco, 1593, and Orlando di Lasso, 1594, all published Canzonette and Villanelle, alia 
Napolitana. 

* Donato's Canzone, etc., were published in 1550 and were reprinted several times. 
[74 



MUSIC IN ITALY DURING THE XVI CENTURY 



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175 



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176 



MUSIC IN ITALY DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

In this last Villanella, and in some others of the same author, the 
effect of iteration has been tried; and by that expedient alone, more 
energy and interest seem to have been given to the melody, than I 
have discovered in any other of higher, or, indeed, equal antiquity. 
If, however, we analyse this air, we shall find no regularity of 
metre : the first phrase consisting of five bars and a half, a limping, 
incommensurate, and untoward quantity in all the arts; and yet, by 
the arrangement and repetition of some of the notes, the ideas of 
an air is impressed on the ear, though it seems wild and irregular. 

Indeed, with respect to Air, which consists in symmetry and 
grace, it was long wholly unprincipled; and till the establishment 
of Operas, no better was perhaps produced than are to be found 
among the Neapolitan Villanelle : for during these times, even the 
key was seldom ascertained; and the number of bars are indeed 
still more regular by chance and sensibility, perhaps, than principle. 
The repetition of a lucky series of notes, by which they are deeper 
impressed on the mind of the hearer, was hardly begun to be 
practised so late as the sixteenth century; though in the next, the 
secret was not only found, but men of small genius and resources 
availed themselves of it to a disgusting degree. 

Besides composers and compilers of Villanelle (r), Gioan 
Leonardo Primavera, called dell' Arpa, published at Naples, 1570 
[1565-84], three Books of Songs, of which he was author both of 
the Poetry and Music (s); and Luzzasco Luzzaschi, one of the four 
whom Galilei honoured with the name of musician (t), published 
at Naples, 1576, Madrigals, that were much admired throughout 
Italy, where this author's fame as an organist was higher than that 
of any of his cotemporaries, except Claudio Merula. Antonio 
Cieco Valente, likewise, published Versi Spirituali sopra tutte le 
Note, con diversi Capricci per sonar negli Organi. Nap. 1580. 

But no Neapolitan composer, of this high period, is mentioned 
with such unlimited praise, as Don Carlo Gesualdo, Prince of 
Venosa [c. 1560-1613]; it will be necessary, therefore, to stop and 
pay our respects to the abilities of this celebrated and illustrious 
Dilettante, in consideration of the honour he has done the art of 
which we are tracing the history. 

This Prince, whose fame has been extended by his musical 
productions more than by his high rank, though his rank will be 
found reciprocally to have added lustre to the compositions, was 
nephew to Cardinal Alfonso Gesualdo, Archbishop of Naples, and 
had his title from the place which gave birth to Horace (u), the 
Venusium of the ancients. Pomponius Nenna, a voluminous and 
celebrated composer of madrigals, had the honour to instruct him in 
Music. His productions consist of six sets of madrigals for five 

(r) Draudius, Bibl. Class, tells us, that Giul. Policreto, Ant. Scandello, Pierantonio 
Bianchi, Ascanio Trombetto, and Regolo Vicoli, authors of Neapolitan songs, published them 
in six volumes, at Venice, 1571. 

(s) This author is one of the musicians celebrated by Luigi Dentice. See above, p. 135. 

(t) Dial, della Mus. Ant. e Mod. 

{u) Satira I. Lib. ii. v. 35, & Lib. iii. Od. iv. v. 9. 

Vol. ii. 12. xjy 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

voices, and one for six. The principal editor of his works was 
Simone Molinaro, Maestro di Capella at Genoa, who, in 1585,* 
published the first five books in separate parts; and, in 1613, the 
same madrigals, with the addition of a sixth book, in score (x). 

The numerous editions of these madrigals in different parts of 
Europe, and the eulogiums bestowed on the author by persons who 
rank high in Literature, as well as Music, made me extremely 
curious to see and examine them. Gerard Vossius (y), Bianconi 
(z), Bapt. Doni (a), Tassoni (b), and many others, speak of him 
as the greatest composer of modern times; as one who, quitting the 
beaten track of other musicians, had discovered new melodies, new 
measures, new harmonies, and new modulation; so that singers, 
and players on instruments, despising all other Music, were onlj 
pleased with that of this Prince (c). 

Tassoni tells us, that James I. King of Scotland, had not only 
composed Sacred Music, but invented a new species of plaintive 
melody, different from all others; " in which he has been imitated 
by the Prince of Venosa, who, in our times, has embellished 
Music with many admirable inventions (d)." This assertioi 
greatly increased my desire to examine works in which so manj 
excellencies were concentred; particularly as I had long been 
extremely desirous of tracing the peculiarities of the national 
melodies of Scotland, from a higher source than David Rizzio. But, 
in a very attentive perusal of all the several parts of the whole six 

(x) Partitura delli sei Libri de' Madrigale a cinque Voci, dell' illustrissimo & eccellentissimo 
Principe di Venosa, D. Carlo Gesualdo, Fatica di Simone Molinaro, Maestro di Capella nel 
Duomo di Genova. 

The first and second books were re-published, in parts, at Venice, in 1603, and dedicated 
to the author by Scipione Stella, a Neapolitan monk, and himself likewise a composer of 
madrigals; both the dedications are dated 1594. An edition of the third book was published 
at Venice, 1619, by Gardano. The fourth book was also reprinted at the same place, and 
dedicated to the author, by Hettorre Gesualdo, 1604; and a third impression of the fifth book, 
with a new edition of the sixth, were both published at Venice, by Gardano, 1616. Copies of 
all these, except the fifth book, are preserved in the collection of Music bequeathed to Christ 
Church, Oxon, by_Dr. Aldrich, and Goodson, with the use of which I have long been indulged, 
by the liberal spirit of the Dean and Canons. 

(y) De Natur. Art. Lib. III. cap. lix. § 26. 

(z) Chronol. Mathematicorum, ad sec. xvi. 

(a) Op. Omn. To. I. p. 93, 243, and To. II. p. 42. 

(b) Pensieri diversi. 

(c) Hie enim Rhythmis in musicam revocatis, eos, turn ad cantum, turn ad sonum, 
modulos adhibuit, ut caeteri omnes Musici ei primas libenter detulerint. Ejusque modos cantores, 
ac jidicines omnes, rehquis post habitis, ubique avide complectuntur. Blancanus. 

Opinions of ancient things are more frequently taken upon trust than formed upon real 
examination : thus Rousseau, who had too much taste and knowledge to like such compositions 
had he heard or seen them, tell us, after Vossius and Blanchini, that "the elegant and learned 
Madrigals of the Prince of Venosa, were admired by all the Masters, and sung by all the 
Ladies of his time." Diet, de Mus. Art. Madrig. 

{d) Noi ancora possiamo connumerar tra nostri Iacopo Re di Scozia, che non pur cose 
Sacre compose in canto, ma trovb da se Stesso una nuova musica, lamentabile, e mesta, 
dijferente da tutte I'altre. Nel che poi e Stato imitato da Carlo Gesualdo, Principe di Venosa, 
che in questa nostra eta ha illustrata anch' egli la Musica con nuove mirabili inventioni. Lib. 
X. cap. xxiii. 

Angelo Berardi, in his Miscellania Musicale, gives Tassoni's op'nion on this subject, as his 
own, without knowing whether it was well founded. 

* This date is incorrect. Gesualdo's 1st and 2nd sets were published in 1594, the 3rd set 
in 1595, the 4th in 1596, the 5th and 6th in 1611. In 1603 was published a collection of 
Sacrce Cantiones, for 5, 6 and 7 voices, and a set of 6-part madrigals was published 
posthumously in 1626. Some of the sets were reprinted at various times. 

Torchi in A.M.I. , Vol. 4; Ricordi in Rascolta Nazionale, Vols. 59-62; Barclay Squire in 
Selected Madrigals (B. and H.) have published works by Gesualdo. 

Gray and Heseltine have written a life (London, 1926). 

178 



MUSIC IN ITALY DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

books of the Prince of Venosa 's madrigals, I was utterly unable to 
discover the least similitude or imitation of Caledonian airs in any 
one of them; which, so far from Scots melodies, seem to contain no 
melodies at all; nor, when scored, can we discover the least 
regularity of design, phraseology, rhythm, or, indeed, any thing 
remarkable in these madrigals, except unprincipled modulation, 
and the perpetual embarrassments and inexperience of an Amateur, 
in the arrangement and filling up of the parts. 

The passage in Tassoni, which has so often been cited by Scots 
writers, seems to imply, not only that James, King of Scotland, 
had invented a new species of melody, but that his melody had been 
imitated by the Prince of Venosa; at least, this is the sense in which 
the passage has been understood by the Scots, and indeed by 
myself, till on finding no kind of similarity betweeen the national 
tunes of North Britain and the melodies of the Prince of Venosa, 
I examined the passage anew, with more attention; when it 
appeared to me as if Tassoni's words did not imply that the Prince 
of Venosa had adopted or imitated the melodies of King James; 
but that these princely Dilettanti were equally cultivators, and 
inventors, of Music. 

This illustrious Dilettante seems to merit as little praise on 
account of the expression of words, for which he has been celebrated 
by Doni, as for his counterpoint (e); for the syllables are constantly 
made long or short, just as it best suited his melody; and in the 
repetition of words, we frequently see the same syllable long in one 
bar, and short in another, or the contrary; by which it is manifest 
that their just accentuation was never thought of. 

The remarks of Tassoni, if he meant otherwise, certainly must, 
have been hazarded either from conjecture or report; as is but too 
frequently practised by men of letters, when they become musical 
critics, without either industry or science sufficient to verify their 
assertions. 

The Prince of Venosa was perpetually straining at new expression 
and modulation, but seldom succeeded to the satisfaction of 
posterity, however dazzled his cotemporaries may have been by his 
rank, and the character he bore among the learned, who so 
frequently get their musical information from tradition, that whether 
they praise or censure, it is usually sans connoissance de cause. 

Dilettanti usually decide in the same summary way, with an 
additional prejudice in favour of their own little knowledge, and a 
disposition to censure whatever they are unable to acquire, be it 
science or execution. 

Cicero has long since said, that " it is not with Philosophy and 
Science, as with other arts; for what can a man say of Geometry 
or Music, who has never studied them? He must either hold his 
tongue, or talk nonsense (/)." 

(e) II Principe Venosa con V espressione di Melodia poteva vestire qualsivoglia Concetto. 
Trattato defla Musica scenica, p. I. cap. xvii. 

([) Non est enim Philosophia similis artinm reliquarum. Nam quid faciet in Geometria, 
qui non didicerit? Quid in musicis? Aut taceat oportebit, aut ne sanus quidem judicetur. 
Cic. de Orat. iii. p. 188. Vol. I. Edit. Lambin. 

179 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

With respect to the excellencies which have been so liberallv 
bestowed on this author, who died in 1614 [1613], they are all 
disputable, and such as, by a careful examination of his works, 
he seemed by no means entitled to. They have lately been said 
to consist in '• fine contrivance, original harmony, and the sweetest 
modulation conceivable." As to contrivance, it must be owned 
that much has been attempted by this Prince; but he is so far from 
being happy in this particular, that his points of imitation are 
generally unmanageable, and brought in so indiscriminately on 
concords and discords, and on accented and unaccented parts of 
a bar, that, when performed, there is more confusion in the general 
effect than in the Music of any other composer of madrigals with 
whose works I am acquainted (g). His original harmony, after 
scoring a great part of his madrigals, particularly those that have 
been the most celebrated, is difficult to discover; for had there been 
any warrantable combinations of sounds that Palestrina, Luca 
Marenzio, and many of his predecessors, had not used before him, 
in figuring the bases, they would have appeared (h). And as to 
his modulation, it is so far from being the sweetest conceivable, 
that, to me, it seems forced, affected, and disgusting (i). 

(g) Battista Doni, another Dilettante, says, "that he never aimed at Canons, or such 
Sophistry." Appen. Tom. I. p. 177. He is, however, always struggling at fugue and 
imitation. 

(h) The frequent use of the sharp third and minor sixth, if it be reckoned among his 
harmonies, does little honour to the delicacy of his ear; for even Purcell and Handel, with 
all their own weight, and the due reverence of the public for their superior genius and abilitie, 
were not imitated in the use of this combination. It is, indeed, admitted by Handel in his 
Organ Fugues, more through necessity than choice, in order to bring in an answer, or make 
one subject serve as an accompaniment to another; but it has always the effect of a wrong 
note in the performance. Padre Martini gently censures this harmony in Palestrina, and 
Angleria says it is buono per autorita, e non per regola; it is, however, so detestable to my 
ears, that no authority, rule, or effect, can justify its use. In Opera songs, indeed, it is 
tolerated in notes of taste, appoggiaturas, and passages of passion; but in church music, and 
regular counterpoint, to admit it in the texture of the fundamental harmony, can never be 
recommended to students in composition, who wish to please the natural and uncorrupted ear 
of the public. 

(«) Whenever he attempts chromatic, the base is as unprincipled as unpleasing. In the 

5# 
b # # tl 6 # 5# # # 
key of G, with a flat third, he begins in the following manner : G E D G F# F# Bfl B E 
5# 

* 6 7 6# b 

C#. And in the key of E minor, we have this passage in the base : C Ab Db C Eb Ab 

b7 6b te 
b6 b 4b \ % ... 

G F E, lib. iv. p. 3. Through the whole book he seems to be trying confusions; for in 

# 
the same key, p. 11, we have D Eb D Db C — B Gf E. P. 13. in F natural, at the end 
of the madrigal, E Cjf F# D C F£ ! and p. 14 in a movement that begins and ends in G^. 

, A 

we have G Eb Efl F Bb Db DJJ G ! ! Most of these sounds, it must be observed, are 
fundamental, and accompanied with common chords. But such extraneous modulation, as it 
was neither learned nor pleasing, was never adopted by other Contrapuntists. It is not every 
one who ventures to violate established rules, that has knowledge and genius sufficient to 
find either a series or combination of sounds which has escaped all other Composers, and 
which, by the pleasure it affords the ear, is above the reach of censure. New modulation, 
when guided by science and a nice ear, is always welcome, and certain in its effect; but when 
it only consists of such licentious and offensive deviations from rule, as have been constantly 
rejected by the sense and intellect of great Professors, it can only be applauded by ignorance, 
depravity, or affectation. 



180 






MUSIC IN ITALY DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

The following madrigal, being the seventeenth of his sixth book, 
is presented to the musical reader as a specimen of his style, and 
harsh, crude, and licentious modulation; in which, the beginning 
a composition in A minor, with the chord of C sharp, with a sharp 
third, is neither consonant to the present laws of modulation, nor 
to those of the ecclesiastical tones; to which, as keys were not 
settled and determined on the fixed principles of major and minor, 
in the time of Venosa, composers chiefly adhered. But a more 
offensive licence is taken in the second chord of this madrigal than 
in the first; for it is not only repugnant to every rule of transition 
at present established, but extremely shocking and disgusting to the 
ear, to go from one chord to another in which there is no relation, 
real or imaginary; and which is composed of sounds wholly 
extraneous and foreign to any key to which the first chord belongs. 

I have bestowed more remarks on this Prince of Musicians, 
and more time in the examination of his works than they perhaps 
now deserve, in order to furnish my readers with what seems, to 
my comprehension, a truer idea of their worth than that which 
partiality and ignorance have hitherto given. 



Madrigal. By the Prince of Venosa. 



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182 






MUSIC IN ITALY DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

The Lombard School 

The Lombard School would furnish an ample list of eminent 
musicians .during the sixteenth century, whose compositions are still 
extant, if the limits of my plan would afford room for specimens; 
but as it is difficult, at this distance of time, not only to furnish 
criteria of the difference between one composer and another of the 
same country, but between school and school of different countries, 
I shall content myself with affording a niche in this part of my 
work to two or three of the principal founders of this class of 
contrapuntists. Padre Martini very justly places at the head of the 
Lombard School, Father Costanzo Porta [c. 1530-1601], of 
Cremona, a scholar of Willaert, and fellow-student with Zarlino. 
He was at first Maestro di Capella at Padua [1564], next at Osimo, 
in the March of Ancona [1552-64]; then at Ravenna [1567]; and 
lastly, at Loretto [1575]; where he died in 1601. He was author 
of eighteen different works for the church, full of elaborate and 
curious compositions, which have been always sought and admired 
by masters, and collectors of learned Music. This author seems 
not only to have vanquished all the difficult contrivances for which 
John Okenheim, Jusquin del Prato, and Adrian Willaert, from 
whose school he sprung, were celebrated, but considerably 
augmented their number: for, as orators, lawyers, and commenta- 
tors have the art of twisting and subverting words to any meaning 
that favours their cause or hypothesis, so Costanzo Porta had 
equal power over any series of musical notes, in a canon or fugue; 
which he could not only work in recte et retro, but invert, augment, 
diminish, divide, or subdivide, at his pleasure. In this faculty he 
very much resembled our Tallis, his cotemporary. He began 
to flourish towards the latter end of the reign of Henry VIII. as 
did Tallis. According to Draudius, his five-part motets were 
published at Venice in 1546 [1555]; and between that period 
and 1599, the rest of his works were published, either by 
himself or scholars, of whom he had a great number; 
particularly Lodovico Balbo, who flourished about 1578, and 
Giacomo Antonio Piccioli, 1588, both voluminous composers, 
in their master's artificial and elaborate style, and consequently 
great canonists. 

The composition of Costanzo Porta, inserted on the following 
plates, is in seven parts, and was taken from the author's Fifty- two 
Motets, for five, six, seven, and eight voices, printed in 1580, 
while he was Maestro di Capella at the Holy Church at Loretto; 
it consists of four parts in canon, two per moto retto, and two per 
moto contrario, while the other three are in free fugue. Though 
long, it is so curious, and constructed with so much art, that it is 
exhibited as an example of that scientific species of writing, by 
which alone the abilities of a contrapuntist were measured in the 
sixteenth century, when there were no musical dramas, or full 
pieces for instruments, and but few single songs, or solos of any 
kind, to exercise genius and invention. Masses and motets for the 

183 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 



church, and madrigals for the chamber, in three, four, five, six, 
and more parts, comprised almost all the Music that was then 
composed. 

Besides Costanza Porta, and his scholars, the Lombard School 
can boast of many able and distinguished composers during the 
latter end of the sixteenth century; among whom are Giuseppe 
Caimo, Gio. Giacomo Gastoldi, Giuseppe Biffi, and Gio. Paolo 
Cima, all voluminous composers at Milan: with Pietro Pontio, of 
Parma, already mentioned; Orazio Vecchi, of Modern; and Claudio 
Monteverde, of Cremona. 

Gastoldi [d. early XVIIth cent.], sometimes called Castaldi, 
born at Caravaggio, was author of thirty musical works; the titles 
and dates of which may be seen in Draudius and Walther. Of 
these I have only seen his Ballads, printed at Antwerp, 1596 
[Venice, 1591-5], under the following title: Balletti a 5. co i versi 
per cantare, sonare, e ballare; con una Mascherata de Cacciatori a 
6. e un Concerto de' Pastori, a 8. This puts the derivation of our 
word Ballad out of all doubt, which originally meant a song that was 
sung and danced at the same time (k) . The tunes of Gastoldi are 
all very lively, and more graceful than any I have seen before the 
cultivation of melody for the stage. The first edition of these 
ballads was published at Venice, 1591; many of them are called 
Fa las, under which title our Morley, four years after, published 
short airs, in five parts : so that it seems as if the name of Fa la, 
silly as it is, was not originally English. For two Fa las of 
Castoldi, see the plates p. 188. 

Fuga a Sette Voci. 

DEL COSTANZO PORTA. 

Subjectum ordinarium, & contrapositum septem vocum, in se tantum, continens Quatuor 
partes, nempe, Cantum, Tenorem, Sextam partem, & Septimam. Consequentia Quatuor 
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A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 



// Bell' humor e. Balletto a 5 Voci. First Published 1581. 

Di Gio : Giacomo Gastoldi da Caravaggio. 



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The counterpoint, as well as the melody of these Ballads, is 
excellent; except at the places marked with a cross: where the 
Chord of F Natural immediately succeeding the Chord of G, is too 
unrelative and sudden a Modulation for modern ears. 

Concerning the compositions of Biffi and Cima, though 
numerous, and still preserved in many collections, I am unable to 
speak, having seen none of them in score; however, not only of 
Pietro Pontio, of whom a specimen has already been given (I), but 
of Orazio Vecchi and Monteverde I have scored many. These 
two last musicians are deserving of particular notice, not only on 
account of their numerous compositions for the church and 
chamber, but for their early attempts at Dramatic Music. In this 
last capacity, their abilities will be considered hereafter; at present, 
we shall only speak of their other productions. 

Orazio Vecchi, born at Milan [c. 1551-1605], and many years 
Maestro di Capella at Mantua, obtained a great reputation, not 
only as an able musician, but poet. His numerous canzonets for 

{l) Page 148. 



189 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

three and four voices, published at Milan and Venice, from 1580 
to 1613, were re-printed and sung all over Europe. Our country- 
man Peacham, who had received instructions in Music from this 
composer, during his residence in Italy, speaks of him in the 
following manner: " I bring you now mine own master, Horatio 
Vecchi, of Modena, who, beside goodness of aire, was most 
pleasing of all other for his conceipt and variety, wherewith all his 
works are singularly beautified, as well his madrigals of five and 
six parts, as those his canzonets, printed at Norimberge (m)." He 
then instances and points out the beauties of several of his composi- 
tions, that were most in favour during that time. Besides secular 
Music, Vecchi composed two books of Sacred Songs, in five, six, 
seven, and eight parts; Masses of six and eight voices; and four-part 
Lamentations (n).* 

Claudio Monteverde, of Cremona [1567-1643], was one of the 
most eminent composers of the period now under consideration. He 
first distinguished himself as a performer on the Tenor Viol; and 
being taken into the service of the Duke of Mantua, applied 
himself to the study of composition under the direction of 
Marcantonio Ingegneri, of Cremona, Maestro di Capella of that 
court, and a considerable composer for the church. Soon after he 
went to Venice, where the republic appointed him Maestro of St. 
Mark's church [1613], a place which has been always filled by 
professors of great abilities. Here, in 1582, he published 
Madrigals for three [1584], four [1583], and five voices [1587] in 
the style of the times; but his courage increasing with experience, 
in his subsequent productions he dared to violate many rules of 
counterpoint, which, having been long established, were held 
sacred by orthodox professors. He had, therefore, many 
opponents, who treated him as an ignorant corrupter of the art. 
Among these, the principal was Gio. Maria Artusi, of Bologna, who, 
in the first part of his tract on the Imperfection of Modern Music, 
published in 1600, as well as in the second, which appeared in 
1603, inveighed with great asperity against Morteverde. Musicians 
entered the lists on both sides, and the war became general. 
Monteverde defended himself in prefaces and letters prefixed to his 
works; but his best defence was the revolution he brought about in 
counterpoint; for his licences pleasing the public ear, were soon 
adopted not only by Dilettante, but professors. 

As the innovations of Monteverde, form a memorable epoch in 
the history of the art, it seems necessary to acquaint the musical 

(m) Complete Gentleman, p. 102. 

(n) Sacrarum Cantionum, Ven. 1597, Messe, 1607, and Lamentationi, 1608. Miton is said, 
by his nephew Phillips, in the life which he prefixed to the English translation of his State 
Letters, to have collected, during his travels, a chest or two of choice music-books of the 
best Masters of Italy at that time, but particularly of Luca Marenzio, Monteverde, Orazio Vecchi, 
&c. Draudius and Walther, after some Italian writers, speak of Orfeo Vecchi as a composer 
cotemporary with Orazio. [Orfeo Vecchi was born c. 1540 and died before 1604.] 

* The Madrigal opera, Amfipamasso, is dealt with in a later chapter. Torchi in A.M.I. . 
Vol. II., prints examples of his work. 



19O 






MUSIC IN ITALY DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

reader in what they consisted. The laws of harmony, like those of 
tragedy, comedy, and epic poetry, when once established check 
invention, and frequently impel men of real genius to become 
imitators. Unluckily musicians had not such perfect models before 
them, as antiquity has furnished to poets in the dramatic works of 
Sophocles, Euripides, and Terence, or the epic poems of Homer 
and Virgil. In the infancy of musical composition, men saw but 
a little way into the latent resources of harmonic combinations; 
rules were formed upon few and narrow principles, derived from 
monotonous and insipid compositions, when timidity was feeling 
its way in the dark, and every deviation from the practice of the 
first contrapuntists was thought licentious. However, men were too 
great friends to the pleasure of the ear, not to encourage such 
happy licences as those with which Monteverde was charged; and 
since that time, every fortunate breach of an old rule seems to be 
regarded as the establishment of a new, by which means, the code 
is so enlarged that we may now almost pronounce every thing to 
be allowable in a musical composition, that does not offend 
cultivated ears. 

Monteverde was the first who used double discords, such as the 
|, ?, and i, as well as the flat fifth, and the seventh unprepared; 
and as he was possessed of more genius and science than the Prince 
of Venosa, his innovations were not merely praised, and then 
avoided, but abused, and adopted by other composers. 

Monteverde' s New Discords, in five Parts. 




1 1 1 & rn ' 6 * * 



But it was not only by the use of these discords that he improved 
music, for by quitting ecclesiastical modulation in his secular 
productions, he determined the key of each movement, smoothed 
and phrased the melody, and made all his parts sing in a more 
natural and flowing manner than had been done by any of his 
predecessors (o). In the first set of Monteverde's madrigals the 



(o) Monteverde. in composing for the church, adhered religiously to the tonal laws of 
ancient practice, delta prima pratica, as appears by an Agnus Dei from his Mass, called In ulo 
tempore, for six voices, inserted by Padre Martini in the second part of his Saggto di Lontrap. 
p. 242, which is constructed in strict fugue, with great purity of harmony and modulation And 
as it was in his madrigals and operas that he ventured to violate such established rules ol 
counterpoint as precluded variety, energy, pathos, and every bold expression of words, which 
has since been so necessary in the picturesque and impassioned scenes of Dramatic Music; 
Padre Martini calls these licences la seconda pratica, differing in many particulars from that of 
all the masters who preceded Monteverde. 

191 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

composition is not only correct, and simple, but so dry and 
fanciless, as to threaten no attempts at such new harmonies and 
effects, as would bring about a revolution in the art. And it seems 
to have been by design, and in his dramatic experiments at the 
expression of words, that he ventured to violate ancient rules, and 
militate against prejudice and pedantry: for neither his Church 
Music, nor the two first books of his madrigals, contain any licences 
that would offend or surprise orthodox ears, even in the fifteenth 
century. But in his fifth and last book of madrigals, almost every 
species of discord and modulation is hazarded, for the use of which 
the boldest composers of modern times have been often thought 
licentious. 

Of his merit, as a dramatic composer, we shall have occasion to 
speak elsewhere : but something so free, facile, and similar to 
music of much later times appears through all the trammels of 
fugue and contrivance in the melody, harmony, and modulation of 
his madrigals, that I cannot refuse a place to one of them here.* 



Madrigal, by Claudio Monteverde. dal Libro 3. a 5 Voce. 



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* The collected works of Monteverde have been issued, edited by Malipiero, in 14 volumes. 



192 






MUSIC IN ITALY DURING THE XVI CENTURY 



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MUSIC IN ITALY DURING THE XVI CENTURY 



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Bologna School 

The works of but few practical musicians of this School are 
preserved or recorded during the sixteenth century, though in the 
next, the masters of the cathedral of S. Petronio, and other 
professors of the city of Bologna, were at least equal to those of the 
first class in any other part of Europe. 

An account has already been given (p) of a musical controversy, 
carried on in the beginning of the sixteenth century, between 
Franchinus and Spataro, of Bologna, a disciple of Bartholomeo 
Ramis, a Spaniard, and professor of Music in the same city where 
Spataro published a tract, in 1521, called Errori di Franchino 
Gafurio. In the same year was born, at Bologna, II Cavaliere 
Ercole Bottrigari, a man of rank, fortune, and erudition, who 
seems to have spent his whole life, which extended to eighty-eight 
years, in the study of Music, and in musical controversy. He 
was author of a great number of tracts, chiefly polemical; some of 
which were printed (q), but many, consisting of translations and 
commentaries of ancient musical authors, with annotations on 
those of his own time, still remain in manuscript; and of these 
Padre Martini is in possession of the greatest part. 

(p) See above, p. 132. 

(q) II Patrizio. ovvero de Tetracordi Armonici di Aristosseno, Bologna, 1593. II melone, 
dtscorsi Armonici, 1602, &c. *«««. 



195 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

Artusi, an excellent musical critic (r), and a native of Bologna, 
contributed considerably to the progress of the art by his several 
writings; and Andrea Rota [c. 1553-97], of the same city, who 
published five-part madrigals, in 1579, appears to have been an 
admirable contrapuntist. Padre Martini (s) has exhibited a move- 
ment of his composition, Da pacem Domine, in six parts, which 
does honour to his abilities in writing a. Capella, in which style he 
seems to have been equal to any of the masters of this learned 
period. The subject is a fragment of the ancient Antiphona, to 
which these words used to be sung, and upon which the first 
Contralto and Tenor move in perpetual canon; the Soprano, second 
Contralto, and Base, in free, but close fugue; while the Baritono, 
after resting nine bars, sustains the whole canto fermo, from the 
beginning to the end. This composition is constructed with great 
art and contrivance, and is truly grave, solemn, and reverential. 

Florentine School 

Though neither the city of Florence, nor any part of Tuscany, 
is included among the Schools into which the Music of Italy is 
usually classed, yet this, as well as every other art, has had great 
obligations to the activity, ingenuity, and talents of the inhabitants 
of this Dutchy; for it is well known that the Florentines, under the 
auspices of the Medici Family, at a time when almost all the rest 
of Europe was immersed in barbarism, were the first to polish their 
own language, revive the ancient good taste of their ancestors, the 
Etruscans, in all the fine arts, and to disseminate their discoveries 
and improvements, not only through the rest of Italy, but almost 
every civilized part of the world. 

The reader has been already informed (t), that the oldest 
melodies, I was able to find in Italy to Italian words, were in a 
collection of Laudi Spirituali, or Sacred Songs of Praise, produced 
and preserved at Florence; for the performance of which, a society, 
which still subsists, was formed in that city so early as the year 
1310. It has likewise been shewn (u), how much Music was 
cultivated, encouraged, and practised there in the time of Boccaccio; 
and the extraordinarv abilities of two Florentine Musicians in 
performing upon the organ , at the latter end of the same century, 
and beginning of the next, have already been recorded (x). 

These, if there were no other to be found, would be sufficient 
proofs that the Florentines could not justly be anathematised by 
the other Italian States, like the Cynsethians, in Greece (y), for being 
afAovooi; as there is no period of their history, since the 
inventions of their countryman Guido d'Arezzo, in which they have 

p. 30. 
organist, and 



w 


See p. 145, of the present 


volume. 




(s) 


Saggio 


di Cc 


ntrap. 


P. 


I 


« 


Book II. 


p, 629. 








(«) 


Book II. p. 


637 ff 






Antonio 


Ibid. p. 

Landino 


643 et seq. in 
dagl' organi. 


the 


account 


of 


Francesco 


Cieco 


the 


blind 


(y) 


See Book I. p. 152. 





















196 



MUSIC IN ITALY DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

not contributed their share towards the cultivation and performance 
of good Music. 

We have seen (z) in how many parts the Canti 
Carnascialeschi or Carnival Songs [published by Grizzini, Florence, 
1559], were sung through the streets of Florence, in the time of 
Lorenzo il Magnifico; and to the history of Music there, during that 
gay and happy period, may be added the favour of Antonio 
Squarcialuppi, organist of the Duomo at Florence, not only with 
that Prince (a), but with his fellow-citizens; who, for his great 
musical talents, erected a monument to his memory, in their 
cathedral, of which he was organist, which still subsists, with an 
inscription which I copied myself on the spot, in the year 1770 (b). 

The learned and eloquent Politian, tutor to Leo X. and the other 
children of Lorenzo il Magnifico, who left among his works a 
discourse on Music, is said to have died in the act of playing on the 
Lute, 1494. We shall have farther occasion to speak of this 
illustrious Tuscan, in tracing the origin of the Musical Drama in 
Italy. 

Francesco Corteccia [d. 1571], a celebrated organist and 
composer, was Maestro di Capella to the grand Duke Cosmo II. 
thirty years. In his youth he published, at Venice, a set of Madrigals 
for four voices; afterwards Motets, and lastly Responsoriaet Lectiones 
Hebdomadcs Sanctes. I scored one of his motets, but found it dry 
and uninteresting, both in fancy and contrivance : he died in 1581 
[1571], Signor Betinelli, who, in his Sorgimento d' Italia, has lately 
celebrated his abilities, in all probability took his character of him 
fiom tradition. He was succeeded at the court of Florence by the 
celebrated Alessandro Striggio [c. 1535-87], a lutenist and 
voluminous composer, whom our Morley frequently mentions and 
cites in his Introduction. He is much commended by Garzoni in 
his Piazza Universale, and by the historians of Italian poetry, 
Crescimbeni and Quadrio, as one of the earliest composers of Music 
in Italy for the stage (c). In the preface to Descrizione degV 
intermedii fatti nel pallazzo del gran Duca Cosimo, per onorare la 
presenza delta serenissima altezza dello eccellentissimo Arciduca 
d' Austria, V anno 1569; it is said that the music to these Inter- 
ludes, which seem to have been only madrigals, was set by 
Alessandro Striggio, Nobilissimo Gentiluomo Mantovano (d). 

His madrigals, in six parts, were published at Venice, 1566.* A 

(r) Book II. p. 758. (a) See his life by Niccolo Valore. 

(6) Multum profecto debet Musica Antonio Squarcialupo, organistce. Is enim ita gratiam 
conjunxit, ut quartam sibi viderentur Charites Musicam adscivisse Sororem. Florentia civitas 
grati animi ofjicium rata ejus memoriam propagate, cujus manus scepe mortales in dulcetn 
admirationem adduxerat, civi suo monumentum donavit. 

(c) See Quadrio, Tom. V. p. 503, for account of his Intermezzi. 

(d) Intermedie che vi jece le Musiche Soavissime, e dottissime, il Virtuoso Alessandro 
Striggio, &c. 

* The dates of the 1st edition and of the 1st edition of the second volume of madrigals 
are unknown. 

In the B.M. is a copy of some Intermedii written in 1566 for the occasion of the marriage 
of Francesco de Medici to Johanna of Austria. The 1st, 2nd, and 5th of these interludes are 
by Striggio. See article by 0. G. Sonneck in the Musical Antiquary, Vol. Ill, p. 40. 

Torchi in A.M. I., Vol. I, prints 5 madrigals by him. 

197 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

copy of these is preserved in the Christ-church collection, at Oxford. 
Some of them, however, were printed seven years earlier in the 2do 
Libro de la Muse, from which I scored several in the British 
Museum; but I did not find them remarkable either for genius or 
science. There seems an attempt at singularity, in accelerating the 
parts, but clearness is wanting in the harmony, and accent in the 
melody; the subjects of imitation were neither new nor striking at 
the time they were composed; and the modulation is almost wholly 
confined to two keys. Compared with the best compositions of 
his time, they would only be allowed, perhaps, to be good for a 
Dilettante. 

Vincenzo Galilei, of whom we have already spoken (e), was 
a Florentine : it is, therefore, indisputable that Florence was not 
deficient in men of abilities and talents, either in the theory or 
practice of Music, during the time that the inhabitants of the other 
parts of Italy began to distinguish themselves in the art. 

But besides the works of such musicians as have been classed 
under the several Schools of Italy, there are many excellent 
productions of this high period, preserved in the collections of the 
curious, by Italian composers, the particular place of whose birth 
and residence has not been recorded : among these there is one who, 
for his genius and abilities, well deserves a place in every history of 
Music : this is Constantius Festa [d. 1545] , of whose composition 
the musical reader will be enabled to judge, by the following motet 
and madrigal. 



Motetus. 



CONSTANTII FESTI. 



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MUSIC IN ITALY DURING THE XVI CENTURY 




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There is a motet, by this ancient master, inserted in the fourth 
book of Motetti delta Corona, which was printed so early as 1519, 
ten [six] years before Palestrina was born. 

In the third book of Arkadelt's madrigals, printed at Venice, 
1541, there are also seven compositions by Costanzo Festa, in which 
more rhythm, grace, and facility appear, than in any production of 
his cotemporaries, that I have seen. Indeed, he seems to have been 
the most able contrapuntist of Italy during this early period; and 
if Palestrina and Constantius Porta be excepted, of any period, 
anterior to that of Carissimi. The preceding motet, for three voices, 
printed in 1543, is, in the church style of the times, a model of 
elegance, simplicity, and pure harmony; the subjects of imitation 
are as modern, and the parts sing as well, as if it was a production 
of the present century. I could not resist the pleasure of scoring 
his whole first book of three-part madrigals, from the second 
edition printed at Venice, 1559 [1st ed. 1537] ; for I was astonished, 
as well as delighted, to find compositions so much more clear, 
regular, phrased, and unembarassed, than I expected. 

And now, having traced the progress which the inhabitants oi 
the several States of Italy had made in Music, as far as the end of 
the sixteenth century; we shall quit, for the present, this elegant, 
ingenious, and enthusiastic people, and endeavour to describe the 
improvements which the art received, about the same time, in other 
parts of Europe. 



(a) The ancient partiality for the 4th prevails in this Madrigal. 



Chapter III 

Of the Progress of Music in Qermany 
during the Sixteenth Century 

THE inhabitants of this extensive empire have so long made 
Music a part of general education (/), and able professors of 
all countries have been so much patronized by its princes, 
whose passion for the art, and establishments in its favour, have at 
all times powerfully stimulated diligence in its votaries; that they 
are, at least, entitled to the second place among its most successful 
cultivators. Indeed, their instrumental Music seems at present 
superior to that of every other country in Europe. But though 
treatises innumerable, written during the sixteenth century on the 
subject of Music, are preserved, yet it would be extremely difficult to 
furnish many specimens of composition equally ancient, though 
much was produced; for the Germans seem as fickle in their musical 
taste as the Italians, and have been still more willing to consign 
their old authors to untimely neglect and oblivion. However, it 
seems the duty of an historian to record, at least, the names of 
artists who were once dear to their cotemporaries; and, in spite of 
the ingratitude of posterity, to endeavour to renovate a sense of 
their virtues and talents (g). 

Specimens of composition by Henry Isaac, a very able German 
contrapuntist of the fifteenth century, before the Italians had 
distinguished themselves in the art, have been given in the second 
Book (h). Qaudrio (i) says, that he was Maestro di Capella of 
the church of San Giovanni, at Florence, and the first who, in 
different ballad-airs, set the songs of Lorenzo de' Medici, in three 
parts, for a processional masquerade. He flourished about 1475. 
And we are told that Bernhard, a German, so early as the year 
1470, invented pedals for the organ, at Venice; a discovery which 
reflects great honour upon the organists of their country, as it 
implies ideas of harmony and effects beyond the power of human 
hands; in the use of which, the difficulties had been so entirely 
vanquished, as to allow the player to superadd to his performance, 

(/) See The Present State of Music in Germany. 

(g) In the Elector of Bavaria's Collection of Music during the sixteenth century, the most 
complete in Europe, among innumerable Italian composers, there are many works preserved, 
by German masters, of that period. 

(k) Book II. p. 760 et seq. (•') Tom. II. p. 321. 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

those of the feet. The fact is not only related by German writers, 
but by Sabellicus (k), an Italian, Bernhard's cotemporary, who 
resided at Venice at the time of the invention.* 

Geo. Reischius, of Friburg, author of a work in twelve books, 
comprising a distinct treatise on all the seven liberal sciences, in 
Lstin, called Margarita Philosophica (/), first published in 1503, in 
which one of the books is appropriated to Music, is the most ancient 
German writer on the subject that I have been able to find. His 
book, however, though frequently cited by Italians, contains no 
instructions for the practice of harmony, as the author, though 
posterior to Gaffurio, chiefly follows Boethius. 

Michael Rcswick, in 1519, published likewise at Leipsic, 
Compendium Musicce, a Musical Compendium, which was too short 
and superficial to afford much assistance to the student. However, 
the next year, John Galliculus, who was cotemporary with 
Luther, and is said, by Schamelius and Walther, to have composed 
several of the Lutheran hymn and psalm-tunes, published, at 
Leipsic, a more ample treatise, which he reprinted in 1548 and 
in 1553, addressed to Geo. Rhaw, the learned bookseller and 
musician of Wittemburg, of whom we shall soon have occasion to 
speak farther. This tract, which has for title Libellus de 
Compositione Cantus** contains twelve chapters, which are chiefly 
employed on counterpoint (m). 

But the most general and extensive treatise on practical Music 
that was produced in Germany, after the writings of Gaffurio had 
appeared, was the Micrologus of Andreas Ornithoparchus, 
Master of Arts in the University of Meyning, which was published 
at Cologn, 1535; though Walther thinks that was not the first 
edition.*** The author chiefly cites John Tinctor, Franchinus, and 
the tract written by our countryman John Cotton, whom he calls 
Pope John XXII. His treatise, though the best of the time, seems 
too meagre and succinct to have been of great use to the students of 
such Music as was then practised. It was, however, translated into 
English, in 1609, seventy years after its first publication, by our 
countryman John Douland, the celebrated lutenist; a labour which 
he might have well spared himself, as Motley's Introduction, which 

(k) Sabellicus died in 1507. at 70 years of age; it is in the 8th book of his Enneads, or 
History of the World, that the circumstance is related. 

(I) The Philosophical Pearl. 

(m) There is another Galliculus (Michael), a Cistertian Monk of Zell, who,_ in 1520, 
published a short treatise de vero psallendi modo, to which Ornithoparchus refers his readers 
who are curious concerning the ecclesiastical chants. This book is in Ant. Wood's Coll. in the 
Ashmol. Museum, Oxford. 

* There is, however, a description of a two manual organ with pedals, which is said to have 
been built in 1120 at Utrecht. In any case there can be no doubt that organ pedals were 
known long before 1470. Some writers ascribe the invention of pedals to Vaelboke of Brabant 
in the early 14th cent! 

** The original title of this work was Isagoge de compositione cantus, and it was 
published at Leipzig in 1520. In 1538 Rhau published it from Wittenberg with the title printe ' 
by Burney. 

***The first edition of the Micrologus was in 1517 (Leipzig). Further editions were issue 
1517, 19, 33, and 35. The B.M. (K. I. h. 16) has a copy of the 2nd edition, and also a cop 
of Dowlands translation (K. 2, i. 7). 

202 



MUSIC IN GERMANY DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

was so much more full and satisfactory, precluded all want of such 
a work as that of Ornithoparchus, in England. 

Between the publication of this work and the Dodecachordon of 
Glareanus [1547], which was only twelve years, five or six more 
musical treatises appeared in Germany : such as Opusculum Return 
Musicalium, by John Froschius, Strasburg, 1535. Enchiridion 
utriusque Musicce practices, for the use of children, by Geo. Rhaw, 
Wittemberg, 1536 [1st ed. 1520] (n). De Arti canendi, by 
Sebaldus Heyden, Nuremberg, 1537. This treatise, which 
extends not to composition, pretends to teach nothing more than 
the mere characters and rudiments of reading Music. Compendium. 
Musices, by Lampadius, a chanter of the church atLuneberg, 1537, 
12mo. This little work, which is in dialogue, and designed for 
incipients, has, at the end, a few short rules for composition, with 
examples. Harmonics Poeticcs, by Paul Hofhaimer, Nuremburg, 
1539. The second part contains a notation of all the rhythms and 
measures of the feet of Latin verse (o). Musurgia, seu Praxis 
Musicce, by Ottomarus Luscinius [1487-1537], a Benedictine 
Monk, born at Strasburg, but an inhabitant of Augsburg. This 
work, which was published in 1542,* in small oblong 4to, is chiefly 
curious and valuable for the representations of such musical 
instruments as were used in Germany at the time it was written; 
which, though but coarsely cut in wood, are accurately represented. 
There are, among keyed-instruments, the Virginal, Spinet, and 
Clavichord, all three in the form of a small modern Piano Forte; 
an upright Harpsichord; a Regal, or portable Organ, chiefly 
composed of reed-stops, and in Roman Catholic countries used in 
processions; and a Large, or Church-organ. Of bowed-instruments, 
we have here only the Monochord, Rebec, or three-stringed Violin, 
and the Viol da Gamba. The Vielle, Lute, Harp, and Dulcimer; 
Cornet, Schalmey, or Base Clarinet, both played with reeds; Flutes 
of various size, among which is the Zwerchpfeiff , Flute Traversiere, 
or, as we call it, German-flute. Four other wind-instruments, peculiar 
to Germany and northern countries, are here exhibited: as, first, 
the Ruspfeijf, or Russian Flute; second, the Krumhorn, or crooked 
Horn, a kind of Shawm, in imitation of which we have a reed-stop 
in our old Organs, called the Cromhom, which has by some been 
imagined to be a corruption of the word Cremona; third, Gemsen 
Horn, or wild goat's Horn; and, fourth, the Zincke, or small 
Cornet. After these we have the Bagpipe, Trumpet, Sacbut, Side- 
drum, Kettle-drum, French-horn, Bugle-horn, and even the 

in) Walther speaks of an edition of this useful little work, in 1531. It contains all that 
was necessary for beginners, till they proceeded to the study of composition, concerning which 
tne author is wholly silent. Glareanus, p. 220, has given a specimen of his counterpoint. 

(0) The two last-mentioned tracts are likewise among Anthony Wood's printed books, 
m the Ashmol. Museum. Paul Hofhaimer is celebrated by Luscinius not only as an admirable 
performer on the organ, on whom the Emperor Maximilian conferred great honours, but as a 
composer of the very first class, whose productions, which were not only learned and correct, 
but florid and pleasing, had remained unrivalled during thirty years. [There has been a 
modern reprint of the Harmonics poeticcs.] 

* The Musurgia was published in 1536 and is chiefly a Latin translation of Virdung's 
Musica getutscht (Basle 1511). 

203 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

Jews-harp, and Clappers. Most of these instruments being in 
common use, and well known, need no representation after the 
rude types of them given by Luscinius, as they have been since 
much better delineated and engraved in Mersennus, Kircher, and 
in still later musical writers. 

We are now arrived at the period when the Dodecachordon was 
published by Henry Loris or Lorit, commonly called Glareanus, 
from Glaris, a town in Swisserland, where he was born, in 1488. 
Glareanus may be more properly ranked among men of letters, and 
Dilettanti in Music, than musician by profession; and his abilities, 
as a scholar and critic, have been much less disputed by the learned, 
than his knowledge of Music, by musicians. 

He studied at Cologn, Basil, and Paris; his preceptor in Music 
was John Cochlaeus; and in literature, Erasmus, with whom he 
lived in strict friendship, and by whom he was warmly recom- 
mended, in a letter still extant, to the Archbishop of Paris (p). 
He is called by Walther, a philosopher, mathematician, historian, 
geographer, theologian, and poet; indeed, he distinguished himself 
in most of these characters. Gerard Vossius calls him a man of 
great and universal learning; and for his poetry, the Emperor 
Maxirnilian I. honoured him with the laurel crown. 

His treatise on Music, which was published at Basil, in 
Swisserland, 1547, has been already so frequently mentioned, and 
so many extracts have been given from it, in the second Book, 
that little more seems necessary to be said of it here, except to 
explain the title and chief design of the work. AQAEKAXOPAON 
implies twelve modes; to which number he wished to augment the 
ecclesiastical tones, which had never before exceeded eight, from 
the time of St. Gregory. Zarlino, and a few more, adopted the 
opinion of Glareanus, but soon relinquished it, on finding that they 
had made no converts. Indeed, the whole twelve modes of 
Glareanus contain no other intervals than those to be found in 
the key of C and A natural, or in the different species of octave, 
in those two keys; and though his augmentation extends the 
compass of sounds used in the modes, it offers no new arrangement 
of intervals, as may be seen by his title-page, when it tells us that 
the authentic modes are D, E, F, G, A, C, and the plagal A, B, 
C, D, E, G; where we perceive that A, C, E, G, are repeated, 
by being made both authentic and plagal. 

If instead of twelve modes, Glareanus had augmented the eight 
to twenty-four, by assigning two to each semitone in the octave, 
he would have done real service to the Music of his time; but his 
cotemporaries were not yet ready for such an innovation, being 
still held too fast in the trammels of the Church to dare use any 
other sounds than those which time had consecrated, and authority 
admitted within its pale. 

His book, however, contains many curious anecdotes and 
compositions of the greatest musicians of his time, which were 

(p) Epist. 235. 
204 



MUSIC IN GERMANY DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

excellent studies for his countrymen and cotemporaries, and, if 
scored, would be still very instructive and useful to young contra- 
puntists. Glareanus died 1563, aged 75. 

Gregory Faber, 1552, published at Basil, Musices Practices 
Erotematum, in two books, octavo, containing 230 pages; which, 
when they were written, could have been but of small use to a 
student without the colloquial commentary of a master; and now, 
when there are more and different things to teach, the utility of 
this work is contracted into a very narrow compass. 

In 1556, Herman Finck [1527-58] published at Wittemberg, 
Practica Musicce [B.M. 1042, K.l], with examples of various 
characters, propositions, canons, and opinions of the ecclesiastical 
tones. 

The next theoretical or didactic publication in Germany, that I 
have met with, is the Erotematum Musicce of Frederic 
Beurheisius, Nuremburg, 1573; but, upon examination, this 
appears to be a short elementary tract, which contained nothing 
new or uncommon, even at the time it was written. 

In 1580, the Dodecachordon, of Glareanus, was very severely 
handled by Jacob Bilenius, whom Walther calls a doctor and 
excellent musician. Criticism, doubtless, sometimes checks modest 
genius and effusions of originality; but every art approaches 
perfection with the greater rapidity, when the productions of 
ignorance and inexperience are submitted to its lash. Glareanus 
offended pious ecclesiastics by his innovations in the modes of 
the church; and those who had a reverence for antiquity, by his 
dislocation and new arrangement of the Grecian modes; among 
these, Salinas, Battista Doni, and Meibomius, have severely 
censured him for his superficial acquaintance with the musical 
writings of the Greeks that have been preserved, and his absurd 
application of the ancient names of their modes to modern 
compositions, that are constructed upon principles entirely different. 

In 1582, Eucherus Hofman published at Stralsund, where he 
was corrector of the public school, a treatise on the Tones or Modes 
of the Church; Doctrina de Tonis, seu Modis Musicis. This author, 
who is a follower of Glareanus, pretends that the science of modes, 
or canto fermo, which is the most excellent and useful part of 
Music, is but little understood by the moderns; and that he .draws 
his information from musicians of the highest antiquity. 

Cyriacus Snegasius, in 1590, published at Erford, a tract 
upon Harmonics, or the Use of the Monochord, an instrument for 
measuring and ascertaining the proportion of sounds by a single 
string, of which he ascribes the invention to the Arabians; the only 
new idea I could find in the book, of which the original title is, 
Nova et exquisita Monochordi dimensio. 

The same author published, likewise, in 1590, an elementary 
tract, entitled Isagoges Musicce, in two books, the chief merit of 
which seems brevity; consisting of little more than definitions of 
musical terms, with short examples in notation. 

205 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

Sethus Calvisius [1556-1615], or Calvitz, who, according to 
Walther (q), was the son of a poor peasant, and born in Thuringia, 
1556, was a very learned theorist, and good practical musician; 
of which he has left ample proofs to posterity in his short treatise 
called MEAOIIOIA, sive Melodies condendce ratio, quam vulgb 
musicam poeticam vocant, ex veris fundamentis extract a et 
explicata, 1592. This ingenious tract contains, though but a small 
duodecimo volume, all that was known, at the time, concerning 
Harmonics and practical Music; as he has compressed into his little 
book the science of most of the best writers on the subject; to which 
he has added short compositions of his own, to illustrate their 
doctrines and precepts. With respect to composition, he not only 
gives examples of concords and discords, and their use in combina- 
tion, but little canons and fugues of almost every kind then known. 
He composed, in 1615, the 150th psalm in twelve parts, for three 
choirs, as an Epithalamium on the nuptials of his friend Casper 
Ankelman, a merchant of Hamburg, and published it in folio at 
Leipsig, the same year. Several of his hymns and motets appear 
in a collection of Lutheran Church-music, published at Leipsic, 
1618, in eight volumes quarto, under the following title: 
Florilegium portens CXV. selectissimas cantiones, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 
voc. prcestantissimorum auctorum. Some of these I have had the 
curiosity to score, and found the laws of harmony and fugue 
preserved inviolable. 

How much the musicians in Germany were enlightened by such 
numerous treatises, I know not; but as they were all written in Latin, 
it seems as if they could not have been read with much profit by 
every student and professor who was in want of their assistance; and 
perhaps all these theories had less effect in stimulating and guiding 
genius, than the many excellent examples of composition published 
by Glareanus in his Dodecachordon, and the learned musician and 
Bookseller Rhaw [c. 1488-1548] who printed, at Wittemburg, 1538, 
not only Select Harmony for four voices, consisting of two Latin 
Passiones, the one by John Galliculus, and the other by Jacob 
Otrecht, with Masses, Lamentations of Jeremiah, and Motets by 
John Walther, Lewis Senfels, Simon Cellarius, Benedict Dux, Eckel, 
Lemlin, Stoel, and Henry Isaac, to which Melancthon furnished him 
with a Latin preface; but in 1544, published, in oblong quarto, 123 
German Sacred Songs, of four and five parts, for the use of schools. 
Prefixed to the second part of this publication, containing 
ecclesiastical hymns, set by sfxteen different German composers, 
there is a print of the editor, Geo. Rhaw, Typographus, Wittemb. 
anno cetatis suce LIV.* 

The titles, at least, of many other Teutonic compositions of the 
sixteenth century, by Alexander Agricola [d. c. 1506]** Utendal, 

(q) Musical Lexicon. 

* The Passion Music by Otrecht (Obrecht) is the earliest known example of the Motet 
Passion. Obrecht died in 1505. 

** Agricola published Motets in 1501-02, 4-part scngs in 1503, and a volume of masses in 
1504. All these were printed at Venice by Petrucci. 

206 



MUSIC IN GERMANY DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

Knefal, Amerback, Hoenel, Paix, Rosthius, Hasler, Aichinger, &c. 
are preserved; but though the musical treatises above mentioned are 
still subsisting, it would be very difficult to find the musical 
compositions of these venerable authors; for literary productions 
have ever enjoyed greater longevity than musical. 

Alexander Utendal [d. 1581], who published, in 1571, Cantiones 
Sacras, for five and six voices, and afterwards Masses, Motets, and 
French Songs, of many parts, is the first German composer recorded 
by M. Marpurg, in his Traite de la Fugue, though he was much 
posterior to those who furnished examples of composition to Rhaw 
and Glareanus (r). 

John Knefal, in 1571, published likewise Cantiones, for five, six, 
and seven voices; and, in 1575, others, accommodated as well to 
instruments as voices. There are the first vocal pieces concertanti, 
or accompanied with instruments, that I have seen, by a German 
composer. 

Jacob Hasnel, Handl, or Gallus, a native of Grain, in Germany, 
acquired great reputation, about the year 1580, by a motet of his 
composition, in twenty-four parts, for four choirs. 

Elias Nich. Amerbach, Leon Hasler, and Jaques Paix, all famous 
performers on the organ, published fugues, and other pieces for that 
instrument, during the latter end of the sixteenth century. 

Several particulars concerning the use of Music in Germany, 
during the same century, may be gathered from Montagne, who 
travelled through that country, in 1580. At Kempten, in Bavaria, 
he says, that, " the Catholic church of this city, which is Lutheran, 
is well served; for on Thursday morning, though it was not a holyday, 
mass was celebrated in the abbey, without the gates, in the same 
manner as at Notre Dame, in Paris, on Easter-day, with Music and 
Organs, at which none but the priesthood were present (s)." 

At the church of the Lutherans, Montagne heard one of the 
ministers preach in German to a very thin congregation, " when 
he had done, a psalm was sung, in German likewise, to a melody a 
little different from ours. At each stave the organ, which had been 
but lately erected, played admirably, making a kind of response to 
the singing (t)." This is an early instance of the use of interludes, 
in accompanying psalmody on the organ. "As a new-married 
couple," continues Montagne, " went out of church, the violins and 
tabors attended them {u)." This circumstance is mentioned to 
prove, that the violin was then a common instrument in Germany.* 

At Lansperg, the same author tells us, that " the town-clock, 
like many others in this country, struck quarters, et diet-on que celui 

(r) Utendal's name occurs in Morley's list of composers, whose works he had perused 
"for finding the true use of the moods."— Introd. ad Calcem. 

(s) Journ. d' un Voyuge, Tom. I. p. 102. 

(t) Ibid. p. 106. See Germ. Tour, Vol. II. p. 220. 

(u) Les Violons (not Violes) et Tambourins. 

* The instrument mentioned may have been a violin, but the violin could not have been a 
common instrument in Germany so early as 1580. 

207 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

de Nurembergh sone les minutes." This is likewise an early proof 
of chimes, in Bavaria, whence they are said to be brought into the 
Low Countries.* 

It is here that this author gives an account of the Cantor or 
Chanter, who directs the singing in Lutheran churches. " Two 
seats are placed, one for the minister, and for the preacher, when 
there is one, and another below for the person who leads off the 
psalm. After each verse the congregation waits till he has pitched 
and begun the next; then they all sing together, Pele mele, right or 
wrong, as loud as ever they can {%)." 

Besides the theoretical writers on Music, and composers of this 
vast empire already mentioned, the talents and abilities of 
innumerable practical musicians, and performers of this early period, 
are celebrated; particularly by Luscinius and Ornithoparchus. This 
last author dedicates the fourth book of his Micrologus to Arnold 
Schlinck, a celebrated blind organist, in the service of the Count 
Palatine. But great organs and great organists seem, for more 
than two centuries, to have been the natural growth of Germany. 
The organ which is still subsisting in St. Martin's church, at 
Groningen, North Holland, and of which some of the stops are 
composed of the sweetest toned pipes I ever heard, was partly made 
by the celebrated Rodolph Agricola, the elder (y). And from that 
time to the present the number of organ-builders, whose names are 
well known to the lovers of that noble instrument in Germany, is 
hardly credible in any other country. But to shew my English 
readers what a serious concern the erection of an organ is in this part 
of the world, I shall close my account of the progress of Music in 
Germany, during the sixteenth century, by relating the manner in 
which the magistrates of Groningen contracted with David Beck, of 
Halberstadt, to construct an organ for the castle-church of that city. 

In the year 1592, articles were drawn up between the magistrates 
and organ-builder, in which it was agreed by the former, that for 
an instrument, the contents of which were minutely described, a 

(x) Deuz chaises, I'une pour le ministre, et lors il y en avoit un qui prechoit, et au dessous 
une autre bu est celui qui achemine (entonne, commence) le chant des psalmes. A chaque 
verset Us attendent que celui-la donne le ton au suivant;ils chantent pesle-mesle, qui veut, et 
convert qui veut. See Germ. Tour, Tom I. p. 116. 

(y) Rod. Agricola, who died in the flower of his age, 1485, was a prodigy in literature and 
science. Vossius says he was a great philosopher; that he understood Latin, Greek, and 
Hebrew, and was a great musician. Walther, that he not only set to Music_ in four parts 
many hymns in his mother-tongue, in seiner mutter-sprache, but played on the lute and sung 
admirably. Erasmus in a pompous eulogium, places him among the first of mortals. But 
Agricola himself, thought little of his fame, and published none of his own works, which 
were, however, very numerous. Card. Bembo regarded him as the first man of his age; and 
Paul Jovius expressly says, that Agricola shamed the Jews for Hebrew, and the Athenians 
and Romans by his Greek and Latin. He was born at Bastion, a small town in Friseland, 
near Groningen, and died at forty-three. Melchior Adam extends his praises so far as to say, 
that in eloquence he had the cadence of Lactantius, the period of Pliny, the penetration of 
Socrates, the richness and variety of Cicero, the points and subtilty of Quintilian, and the 
vehemence and prejudices of St. Cyprian. Several celebrated Germans of the name of 
Agricola have contributed to the progress of Music, by their writings and compositions, 
particularly Martin and Alexander Agricola; the first having published from 1529 to 1556, 
when he died, many very useful theoretical tracts at the time; and the latter, in the beginning 
of the same century, according to Sebaldus Heyden, was an excellent composer. [The works 
of Rod. Agricola were published at Cologne in 1539 by Alard Amstelredam.J 

* Mechanical chimes were being made in England in 1335 by Peter Lightfoot, Abbot of 
Glastonbury. 

208 



MUSIC IN GERMANY DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

certain sum stipulated should be paid to the latter upon its 
completion, provided it was approved, after trial and examination, 
by such organists as they should nominate for that purpose. The 
instrument in its construction employed the builder four years; and 
in 1596, the most eminent organists in Germany being invited, the 
names of all those who signed the certificate of approbation, to the 
amount of fifty-three in number, are recorded in a book called 
Organum Gruningense redivium, published by Andrew 
Werckmeister, 1705 (z). 



{z) This organist and voluminous writer on Music, who was born in 1645, was appointed, 
by the father of the late king of Prussia, inspector-general of all the organ-work in his 
dominions. He published two books, called Orgel Probe,* which are very curious and 
instructive, concerning the history and construction of organs in Germany. 

* This work was first published in 1681. Other editions followed in 1698, 1716, 54 and 83. 
Dutch translations were issued in 1755 and 75. 

Voi,. ii. 14. 209 



Chapter IV 

Of the State of Music in France 
during the Sixteenth Century 



THE inhabitants of this kingdom, though ever active in the 
cultivation of the arts, made but small progress in any of 
them, if we except the art of war, during the sixteenth 
century. " Before the reign of Francis I.," says Perrault (a), 
" nothing was thought worthy of attention by the king and nobles 
of France, that was not military; and it seems as if the chace, tilts, 
and tournaments, and the game of chess, which are images of war, 
had been the only pleasures which they were capable of tasting: 
dancing itself was only animated by the fife and drum, and 
architecture gave no other form to their palaces than that of a 
fortress." Even during the reign of this active and splendid 
prince (b), Music does not seem to have received much 
improvement, either in the court or kingdom of France. 

According to Marot, however, the spinet seems to have been an 
instrument in common use among the French ladies at this time; 
for in the dedication of his version of the psalms to his fair country- 
women, he tells them, that, he hopes, divine hymns will supersede 
love-songs, and fill their apartments with the praises of Jehovah, 
in accompanying them on the spinet. 

E vos doigts sur les Espinettes, 
Pour dire Sainctes Chansonettes (c). 

Specimens of the abilities of several great French musicians have 
been given in the first volume, among the most early cultivators of 
counterpoint; but it does not appear that the works or names of so 
many able composers have been preserved of those who flourished 
in France, during the time of Francis I. and his successors in the 
sixteenth century, as in Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, or 
England, during the same period; and M. La Borde (d), a very 
diligent and patriotic enquirer after every species of Music that 
can do honour to his country, has furnished us with but few 

(a) Pref. a la Traduction de Vitruve. (6) From 1515 to 1547. 

(c) Oeuvres de Clement Marot. a Lyon, 1551. 12 mo. p. 192. Parmi les Traductions. 

(d) Essai sur la Musique. 
iio 



MUSIC IN FRANCE DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

examples of counterpoint produced in France before the seventeenth 
century. Orlando di Lasso, born at Mons, whom we have classed 
in the Flemish School (e), and Claude le Jeune, a native of 
Valenciennes, who in downright courtesy is granted to France (/), 
are the chief composers of the preceding century of whose works he 
has exhibited examples; except Charles d' Heifer, whose name, 
country, or period of existence, is neither to be found in M. La 
Borde's work, nor in any other that I have been able to consult. 

Rabelais' list of celebrated musicians of his acquaintance (g) 
would however, have furnished more names for France: among 
those whom Lodovico Guicciardini (h) has not claimed for the 
Netherland, these shall now be mentioned, and a few more who 
deserve a place in a general history of their art, though they were 
not quite of the first class among professors then flourishing in 
Europe. But France seems not only to have produced fewer practical 
musicians, but theorists, during this century, than any other, since 
the invention of counterpoint; for in Latin, I hardly find any 
musical tract of the least importance, except the Elementa Musicalia 
of Faber Stapulensis, printed 1552; and in the French language, 
though the titles of eight or ten small elementary tracts are come 
down to us, the books themselves have been thought so little worth 
preserving, that they are now not to be found in the most numerous 
and general receptacles of literature in Europe. 

This paucity of French musicians cannot, however, have been 
occasioned by any sudden paroxysm of mental relaxation, 
indolence, or insensibility; for not only during the middle and lower 
ages, but even since the arrival of Lulli in France to the present 
times, their national poetry and Music have been cultivated, 
cherished, and pursued, with a degree of ardour and passion that 
has hardly ever been equalled in any other nation. The truth is, 
that from the death of Francis I. to the total suppression of the 
league, in the time of Henry IV. the kingdom never enjoyed that 
internal peace and domestic tranquillity, which are necessary to the 

k cultivation of the liberal arts; for during this period the inveterate 
enmity of Spain, and implacable fury of bigotry and fanaticism 
which involved the nation in a civil war of forty years, must have 
been invincible impediments to the progress, and even use, of 
Music; which, among all the miraculous powers ascribed to it by 
the ancients, has never been said to drive away the evil spirits of 
party rage and religious rancour. 

» During the reign of Francis I. which was frequently turbulent 
and unfortunate, though we hear but of few great musicians at his 

»(e) Mons was under the dominion of the Spaniards till the year 1696, when it was taken 
by Lewis XIV. but was restored at the Peace of Ryswick, and now belongs to the Emperor. 
(/) Valenciennes belonged to the house of Austria till 1677, when it was surrendered to 
Louis XIV. 

(g) Tom. V. p. 52 fiartie id du Rabelais modeme, Amst. 1752. 
{h) Descrit, di tutti i Paesi Bassi. Fol. Anversa, 1588, p. 42. 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

capital, yet so many excellent masters of harmony subsisted, 
particularly in the Low Countries, that Music in parts became 
common all over Europe. 

The first French composer I shall name, during the reign of this 
prince, is Clement Jannequin, who, though he is placed by 
Walther in the middle of the sixteenth century, must have flourished 
much earlier; as a curious composition by him, called La Battaille, 
printed in the tenth book of French Songs for four voices or 
instruments, is preserved in the British Museum [K. 3. a. 10] ; which 
though it did not appear in this edition, by Tylman Susato, of 
Antwerp, till 1545, must have been composed long before that time; 
for the song was written and set on occasion of the famous and 
obstinate battle of Marignan, which lasted two days, and was 
fought during the first year of Francis I. 1515, between the French 
and Swiss, who disputed their passage to the Milanese. 

As the whole title of this tenth book of songs suggests reflections 
upon the state of Music at this early period, different from any 
which there has yet been occasion to make, it shall have a place 
here. 

Le Dixiesme livre des Chansons, contenant La Battaile a 4, de 
Clement Jannequin, avec la cinquiesme partie de Phillippe Verdelot, 
si placet, et deux Chasses du Lievre a 4 Parties, et le Chant des 
Oyseaux a 3, 1545. 

La Battaille, ou defaite des Suis- 1» . , _ ~, T 
< , • • j n/r • \ a 4 ou a 5, Clem. Jannequin. 

ses a la youmee de Marignan. { > j i 

Le Chant des Oyseaux, a 3. Nic. Gombert (i). 

La Chasse du Lievre, a 4. Incognito Authori. 

La Chasse du Lievre, a 4. Nic. Gombert. 

In the Battle-piece, which, as well as each of the compositions 
printed with it, is, at least, as long as seven or eight of the songs 
contained in the other books of this collection, there are several 
movements, in each of which, the noise and din of war, during this 
memorable conflict, are imitated. In the Song of Birds, and in 
each composition called the Chace, or hunting of the hare, the 
composers have severally tried to express the words with more 
exactness than I have seen attempted before. Indeed, the best 
counterpoint and the most ingenious contrivances, with respect to 
musical composition, anterior to this period, are contained in the 
masses and motets of the church; where nothing like expression, 
or even the true accent of words, is attempted.* The songs in parts 

(*") This author has been already mentioned among the Flemish composers, in the 
preceding volume, p. 753. 

* Burney scored La Bataille and his MS. is now in the B.M. {Add. MSS._ 11588). 

It was first published by Attaingnant in 1529 and was reprinted many times. In the 1545 
edition (Susato) a part for a 5th voice was added by Philip Verdelot. Expert reprinted the 
original 4-voice edition of 1529 in L.M.M.F. Other works by Jannequin have been reprinted 
by F. Commer and the Prince de la Moskowa. 

212 



MUSIC IN FRANCE DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

already given from the Fairfax MS. (k) are likewise totally deficient 
in these particulars. But here, though clumsily done, musical 
imitation is attempted, and, it seems, for the first time. Indeed, 
our countryman, Ravenscroft, a hundred years later, has not been 
more successful in his harmony of four voices, with which he 
endeavours to express " the pleasure of the five usual recreations 
of Hunting, Hawking, Dancing, Drinking, and Enamouring (I). 

The name and works of Jannequin had penetrated into Italy 
early in the sixteenth century (m). I am sorry that this singular 
composition is not only too long for insertion, but of such a kind 
as is incapable of extract; otherwise, I should have wished to 
present my curious readers with the Military terms then used in 
battle; the imitation of guns, trumpets, fifes, and drums; with the 
clashing of arms; all wnich are described in old French, and 
sometimes imitated in the Music, which is all vocal (n). 

I shall give a list in chronological order of French musicians 
who chiefly distinguished themselves after the death of Francis I. 
for during his reign, I meet with none that were very eminent. 

We are told (o) that Certon [d. 1572], master of the boys of 
the Holy Chapel, at Paris, published in 1546 [1554], a work 
containing thirty-one psalms of David, set to Music in four parts; 
but are not informed whether the Music was good or bad, or if 
the words were Latin or from the version of Clement Marot, which 
about this time was in great favour at the French court.* 

Of this composer, however, whose name, though not mentioned 
by Walther, occurs in Rabelais' list of celebrated musicians, there 
is an admirable motet, Diligebat autem eum Jesus, in the first 
book of Cipriani's motets, published at Venice, in 1544; which 
appears to me equal, if not superior, to any composition of the same 

(k) See Book II. p. 775, et seq. 

(I) These compositions are given by Ravenscroft in illustration of the doctrine contained in 
his Brief Discourse, published 1614. 

(m) See Zarlino. the elder Doni's Catalogue of Music, P. Pontio, and Zacconi. A work 
of his, called Inventions Musicales, in four and five parts, was published at Paris and Lyons, 

I544- 

(») A more successful attempt, however, at musical painting was made in the spring oi 
1783, in London, with instruments, by M. Kloefler, a German musician of genius, knowledge, 
and experience, who undertook to imitate by sounds, in a kind of musical pantomime, every 
circumstance belonging to an army, even to a council of war. It was unluckily out of my 
power to attend this performance myself, but I have been assured that the composer, with the 
assistance of an excellent band, kept his word in the most essential parts of his promises; that 
there was much good Music, much ingenuity of imitation, and far greater effects produced by 
musical painting, than had been imagined possible by those who had given the greatest 
encouragement to expectation. But even this effort at imitative Music has been far exceeded 
since, by the Bataglia of Sigr. Raimondi, which has been often performed, and justly 
applauded, not only for the intelligence and ingenuity with which military sensations have been 
excited, but as an elegant and agreeable composition. 

(0) Essai sur la Musique, Tom. III. p. 404. 

* Modern editions of Certon's works : 

Henry Expert in Repertoire Populaire. 

Ch. Border in Chansonnier du xvie siecle. 
The Motet Society in Ancient Church Music, prints a 3-part work. 

213 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

kind that I have seen by a native of France. The tenor part in this 
motet, which is in five parts, does not sing the same words as the 
other four, but is constantly making supplication to St. John, in a 
fragment of simple melody, or Canto fermo, repeated in the 
key-note and the fifth of the key, after two bars rest, from the 
beginning to the end of the composition. 

Didier Lupi II. another of Rabelais' favourite musicians, set 
Chansons Spirituelles, Sacred Songs, in 1548 (p); as did Guillaume 
Bellen, the Canticles in four parts, 1560. Joachim Burck was 
author, likewise, of twenty-five pieces, chiefly ecclesiastical, for 
voices and instruments, 1561; and Philibert Jambe de Fer, set 
Marot's Psalms, in many parts, the same year. Pierre Santerne 
set all the psalms which were printed at Poitiers, 1567 (q), and 
Noe Faignient composed songs, motets, and madrigals, in three 
parts, 1568. 

Among these are found the original words of a song, called 
Susanna, which was in such favour at the time, as to be set by 
several of the principal composers of Europe, particularly by 
Cyprian Rore, and Orlando di Lasso. Peacham, in speaking of 
Orlando, instances this song as a delightful composition, " upon 
which ditty many have since exercised their invention " (r). 

John D'Etree, a performer on the hautbois in the service ol 
Charles IX. published four books of Danseries, first writing down 
the common lively tunes, which, till then, had been probably 
learned by the ear, and played by memory, about the several 
countries specified in the title (s). 

The name of Crespel appears in many of the best collections 
of motets and songs that were published about the middle of the 

(p) This and several other curious books were purchased in 1782, at the sale of the late 
excellent organist's collection of Music, Mr. Jos. Kelway, master to her majesty, to whose 
professional merit, with which alone I was acquainted, it seems but justice to take this 
early opportunity of bearing testimony. During many years of his life his manner of playing 
the organ, at St. Martin's in the Fields, was so masterly and original, that it was the fashion 
for the first musicians in London to frequent that Church, in order to hear him; and, among 
the rest, I have often seen Mr. Handel there. Mr. Kelway was an enthusiast who had nothing 
symmetric or studied in his voluntaries, which, if they resembled any written Music, were 
more in the wild and desultory style of Geminiani, his master, than any other. He composed 
too little to write with facility; and, by despising every thing that was common, and a 
determination to be new and masterly, he seems, in the few works which he published, to 
want grace, melody, and experience. His extempore flights, however, on the organ, and 
his manner of executing the Lessons of Scarlatti, on the harpsichord, will long be regretted by 
those who had the pleasure of hearing him; for till a new style of Music and execution on 
keyed-instruments was introduced here, by the use of piano fortes, the fire and precision ol 
his performance were such as few of the greatest professors of any country ever attained. 

(g) In these publications, the psalmodic rage which, about the middle of the sixteenth 
century, and which has already been traced from its source, begin to appear. 

(r) I found the Music of Orlando di Lasso in a set of Dr. Aldrich's books, at Christ 
Church, Oxford, without the words, and had the curiosity to score it; but though the harmony 
and imitations are masterly, the melody is so much divided among all the five parts, that it 
is not very easy to determine which was intended by the author to be the principal. Indeed, 
the effect of each is rather heavy, psalmodic, and doleful, than airy or pathetic. 

(s) The editor of these books tells us, that they contained Les chant des branles communs, 
gais, de champagne, de Bourgogne, de Poitou, d'Ecosse, de Malte, des Sabots, de la Guerre, 
& autres gaiilardes, ballets, voltes, basses dances, hauberrois, allemandes. Printed at Paris, 1564. 

214 






MUSIC IN FRANCE DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

century. And in the first book of the Lou vain Collection, printed 
1558, there is a song by this composer, in four parts: Fille qui 
prend facieulx Mary, in which a double fugue is carried on, the 
first subject by the soprano and counter-tenor, and the second by 
the mezzo soprano and base, in such an ingenious manner as does 
honour to his memory (t). 

Ronsard, the favourite bard of France, during the reigns of 
Henry II. Francis II. Charles IX. and Henry III. had his songs 
frequently set to Music; particularly by Anthony Bertrand, who 
published them in four parts, 1578, under the title of Amours de 
Ronsard; and by Francis Regnard, in four and five parts, 1579 
[1st ed. 1575]. This was during the life of the poet, whose 
decease did not happen till 1585, when he was honoured with a 
public and magnificent funeral, at which the eloquent Cardinal 
Du Perron pronounced an oration, and the first personages in the 
kingdom attended in such numbers that Cardinal Bourbon and 
many other princes and nobles were obliged to return, after 
attempting in vain to penetrate the croud, in order to join the 
procession. The burial-service on this occasion was new set, en 
musique nombree, that is to Music in parts, in florid counterpoint, 
accompanied with instruments instead of Canto-fermo; and was 
sung by the best singers in France, those in his majesty's service 
being there by command; the king justly lamenting the death of a 
person who had been so great an ornament to his kingdom (u). 
It is said by the biographers of this poet, that he was very fond of 
Music and sung agreeably. 

But another poet of great reputation at this time, and a friend 
of Ronsard, John Anthony Baif [c. 1532 — c. 89], set his own 
verses to Music; not to such Music as might be expected from a 
man of letters, or a Dilettante, consisting of a single melody, but 
to counterpoint, or Music in parts. Of this kind he published, in 
1561 [1562], twelve Hymns, or Spiritual Songs; and, in 1578, 
several books of Songs, all in four parts, of which both the words 
and the Music were his own. When men of learning condescend to 
study Music a fond, professors think the art highly honoured by 
their notice; but poets are very unwilling to return the compliment, 
and seldom allow a musician to mount Parnassus, or set his foot 
within the precincts of their dominions. Baif, however, was 
allowed to be as good a musician as poet; and what entitles him 
to the more notice here, is the having established an academy, 
or concert, at his house, in the suburbs of Paris, where the 
performance was frequently honoured with the presence of Charles 
IX. Henry III. and the principal personages of the court (x). 

Charles IX. of whose reign even French Roman Catholics are 
ashamed, was as fond of Music as Ptolemy Auletes, Nero, our 

(f) This collection is in the Brit. Museum. 

(«) Binet, Vie de Ronsard. 

{%) See Mersennus in Genes, p. 1683, for an account of this establishment. 

215 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

Henry VIII. and several other princes, whose hearts it could not 
mend. Many musicians were patronised by this king, particularly 
Francis Costeley, his organist and valet de chambre; Adrian Le 
Roy, a lutenist, and Stephen, a singer, both brothers in-law to 
Ballard, the first printer of Music in France: with Granier, who 
composed hymns, proses, canticles and songs, some of which he 
dedicated to queen Margaret, sister to Charles IX. Mersennus (y) 
gives a curious description of a viol sufficiently spacious to contain 
young pages, who sung the treble of ravishing airs, while he who 
played the base part on the viol sung the tenor, in order to form a 
complete concert in three parts, such as Granier and others used 
to perform in the presence of queen Margaret. Besides these 
musicians, Antoine Sue-iet, surnamed Cardot, a singer, stood so 
high in this prince's favour, that, in the year 1572, so fatal to the 
Hugonots, he made him bishop of Montpellier. 

This seems the place to speak of poor Goudimel, the greatest 
musician in France at this time, whose compositions are become so 
scarce, that his name and reputation are more preserved in pity of 
his misfortunes, by Protestant historians, than by any knowledge 
of the excellence of his works, which are now only in the hands 
of tradition. Of the psalms and tragical end of this musician, an 
account has already been given (z) ; and with respect to his having 
been master of Palestrina, that point has likewise been discussed 
(a) : indeed, his history is here resumed, in consequence of the claim 
which the French lay to him as a native of their country, which 
might well be disputed, as Franche Compte, the place of his birth, 
was not taken by Louis XIV. till the year 1668, near a century 
after Goudimel was massacred at Lyons. But though he was not 
strictly obliged to France for his birth, he was indisputably its 
debtor for his death. 

The earliest mention of Goudimel, as a composer, that I have 
been able to discover, is in a work entitled Liber quartus 
Ecclesiasticarum Cantionum qualuor vocum vulgb Moteta vocant, 
printed at Antwerp, by Susato, 1554, eighteen years before his 
death ;* the first part of which will be inserted on the next plates, 
p. 218 et seq. as a specimen of very pure and correct harmony, 
constructed entirely upon the principles of the Romish ecclesiastical 
modes, probably before he became a disciple of Calvin (b). 

[y) Harmonic Univ. Liv. iv. des Insirumens, p. 191. 

(2) Page 46. (a) Page 154. 

(b) Draudius, Bibl. Class. Tom. II. p. 169, gives the following title of his Psalms, without 
the date: Claud. Condinelli ad Psalmos^ Davidis Harmonics, 4 vocum. Paris ap. Adrian 
Regium, 40. But in another place, Bibl. b.xot. p. 209, he gives us the French title in a more 
correct and satisfactory manner: Claude Goudimel. Les Pseaumes de David, mises en 
Musique a quartre parties, en forme dc Motets. A Paris, par Adrian Le Roy, et Rob. Ballard, 
15O5. Chansons Spirituelles de M. Ant. de Muret, mises en Musique a 4 parties, par le mime: 
a Paris, Nicol. du Chemin, 1555. 

Claudii Goudimelli F lores Cantionum, 4 voc. Ludg., 1574. La jleur des Chansons des deux 
plus exccllens musiciens de notre terns assavoir d'Orlande de Lassus et de Claude. Goudimel, 
d Lyon. 1576. Les Pseaumes mises en rime Francois, par Clement Marot et Theodore Beze, 
mises en Musique a 4 parties, par Claude Goudimel, i2mo., 1607. 

* Earlier publications are to be found in collections of Chansons issued at Paris from 1549, 
by Du Chemin, Re Roy and Ballard. 

2l6 



MUSIC IN FRANCE DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

Another great psalmodist and follower of Calvin, whom the 
French rank among their best composers of the sixteenth century, 
was Claudin or Claude Le Jeune [c. 1523 — c. 1600], a native of 
Valenciennes (c). Though Le Jeune was his family name, and not 
added to Claude merely to distinguish him from Claude Goudimel, 
these composers are frequently confounded; and I am inclined to 
believe that Claudin is sometimes an appellation given to Goudimel 
as well as Claude Le Jeune: for among the Motetti del Frutto, 
published at Venice, 1539, there is a motet by Claudin, which could 
hardly be Claude Le Jeune, who was living in 1598; at which time 
a print of him was prefixed to his Dodecachorde, or Compositions 
upon the twelve Modes of Glareanus, in which he does not appear 
above forty years of age. He was not only in the service of Henry 
IV. but in great favour at the court of his predecessor Henry III. 
particularly in the year 1581, at the wedding of the Due de Joyeuse, 
when his Music is said, by several writers of the times, to have had 
marvellous effects. Thomas d'Embry (d), who was his intimate 
friend, and had the story from Claudin himself, relates what 
happened upon this occasion in a less suspicious manner than the 
rest. " This great musician," says he, "at first caused a spirited 
air to be sung, which so animated a gentleman who was there, that he 
clapped his hand on his sword, and swore it was impossible for him 
to refrain from fighting with the first person he met; upon which 
Claudin caused another air to be performed, of a more soothing 
kind, which soon restored him to his natural temperament. Such 
power," continues he, " have the key, movement, measure, and 
inflexions of voice over the affections." 

His works consisted chiefly of miscellaneous songs, and psalms; 
de melanges, des chansons, des pseaumes, of which he published 
many books. His melanges consist of songs and motets, in French, 
Italian, and Latin. His songs are chiefly French, and in many 
parts like the madrigals of Italy; of his Psalms, an account has 
already been given (e). Many of his single productions appear in 
the collections of the times, that were published in Italy and the 
Low Countries: I have scored several of them, but have been 
generally disappointed in my expectations of excellence. In 
comparing them with the best cotemporary composers of Italy and 
the Netherlands, he appears to have been more a man of study and 
labour than of genius and facility. 

The best of his compositions that I have found, except his psalms, 
the musical reader may see on the plates, p. 220-222. 



(c) See above, p. 47. 

(d) Comment, sur la Vie d'Appollonius, Lib. I. chap. xvi. p. 282. 

(e) Ubi supra. 



217 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

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The determined spirit of fugue perhaps never appeared stronger 
than in this song, where there is, indeed, great art and skill, but so 
little melody and rhythm, that the time and modulation are equivocal 
from the beginning to the end: for the subject is begun on an 
accented part of a measure, and answered upon an unaccented; and 
though the melody manifestly begins and ends in the chord of G, 
yet by keeping F constantly natural, there is a stronger impression 
throughout of the key of C than of any other (/). Indeed, this 
composition renders the assertion of Mersenne very probable, who 
tells us that " when Claudin first presented his pieces of five, six, 
and seven parts to the masters of Italy and Flanders, they would 
not look at them; and his compositions would never have been 
performed by them if he had not written something in two parts; 
in which, however, he at first succeeded so ill, that he confessed 
himself ignorant of the true principles of his art (g)." 

The names and works of several minor musicians of France, of 
the latter end of the sixteenth century, are recorded in catalogues; 
but though I have been able to procure none of them, I shall point 
them out to the curious reader, whose enquiries may be more 
successful. 

Jean de Castro composed and published from 1570 to 1592 
[1599], many songs, sonnets, and madrigals. 

Louis Bisson transformed Nicholas du Chemin's four-part songs 
into duets, and published songs of his own, in 1576, which were 
esteemed. 

Francois Roussell composed songs of four, five, and six parts, 
1577. 

Jean Pervin printed at Lyons, songs of four to eight parts, 1578. 

Nicholas de la Grotte, organist to the French king Henry III. 
composed and printed songs in many parts, 1583. 

Jean Chardavoine made a collection of songs in the manner of 
Vaudevilles, 1585. 

Jean Serven set Buchanan's Latin version of the psalms, in four, 
five, six, and eight parts, which were printed at Lyons, 1579, quarto; 



(/) This was still adhering to the ancient modes of the Church, and may be called a Rag 
of Popery; for however reformed the author may have thought himself in religion, his Music 
was still Papistical. 

(g) Harm. Univ. Lib. iv. p. 197 and Dissert. Vol. I, p. 148. 



MUSIC IN FRANCE DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

and French songs, in the same number of parts, that were likewise 
published at Lyons, 1587. 

The Lute was the most favourite and general instrument in 
France, as well as other parts of Europe, about the end of the 
sixteenth century; and James and Charles Hedington, natives of 
Scotland, are said to have been excellent performers upon it, and 
much in favour with Henry IV. the most amiable prince in history; 
who, though he is not said to have either understood or felt Music 
much, had the art of attaching his servants by his condescension 
and benevolence more than many others have been able to do by 
temporary rapture and munificence. 

Julien Perichon was another celebrated lutenist during his reign, 
whose performance seemed more agreeable to Henry than that of 
any other. 

The Violin seems to have been brought into favour at the court 
of France before any honourable mention is made of it elsewhere, 
by the arrival of Baltazarini [d. c. 1587] , a great performer on that 
instrument; who, at the head of a band of Violin-players, was sent 
from Piedmont, by Marshal Brissac to Catherine de Medicis [1555], 
and appointed by that princess her first valet de chambre and 
superintendant of her Music (h). Baltazarini having contributed 
greatly to the amusement of the royal family and nobility, by his 
ingenuity in suggesting magnificent plans, machinery, and 
decorations, for Balets, Divertissimens, and other dramatic 
representations, received the quaint title of Beaux-joy eux, by which 
he ever after continued to be called: and Henry III. having, in 
1581, married his favourite minion, the Due de Joyeuse, to 
Mademoiselle de Vaudemont, sister to his queen Louise de Lorraine, 
almost ruined his kingdom in balls, masquerades, tilts, tournaments, 

(h) The Violin with four strings, tuned 5ths, and without the finger board being fretted, 
is an instrument of much later invention than the treble-viol, with six strings, tuned chiefly 
by 4ths : thus, 



and with a fretted finger-board. Galilei {Dial. p. 147) says that "both the violin and base, or 
violoncello, were invented by the Italians, perhaps by the Neapolitans"; and I am unable to 
confute that opinion. Corelli's violin, now in the possession of Signor Giardini, was made in 
1578, and the case painted by Annibal Caracci, probably several years after the violin was 
finished, at which time Anib. Carach was but eight years old. Montagne, who was at Verona, 
1580, says that there were organs and violins to accompany the mass, in the great church. 
Journ. du Voyage. 

M. Bonnet, in his patriotic Hist, de la Mus. et de ses Effets, Tom. I. p. 212, however 
unwilling he was to allow Italian Music to be superior to that of his own country, makes in 
an unguarded moment two very important concessions in favour of Italy: first, allowing that 
the most curious books and manuscripts in the Bibliotheque du Roy were brought thither by 
Qu. Catharine de Medicis, from Florence, out of the collection of her great grandfather, 
Lorenzo il Magnifico" : secondly, that "what contributed most to the i>erjection of Music in 
France, was the great number of Italian musicians who followed that princess, and excited 
emulation in his country men; it was then that they began to change their rude and simple 
method, in order to conform, in some measure, to the delicacy of the Italians both in vocal 
and instrumental Music." To the conclusion of this period, few of the present patrons of 
Italian Music, or even the exclusive admirers of Rameau, will perhaps subscribe, where he 
says, that "since the time of Catharine de Medicis, Music in France was brought to the 
highest perfection possible, by the great genius of the Sieur Lulli, the most celebrated musician 
we have ever had in our country." Such is the transient state of this art, that as soon as a new 
style is in fashion, it seems necessary for a country not only to burn all the old Music, but 
even the books in which it is intemperately praised ! 

223 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

and every species of expensive festivity, which could be devised on 
the occasion (i). 

The queen likewise, in honour of her sister's nuptials, gave an 
entertainment at the Louvre, in which a Ballet was exhibited, called 
Ceres [Circe] and her Nymphs, which was then a new kind of 
spectacle in France, avec une grande Musique, composed by the 
celebrated Claude le Jeune. The Entrees de Balets, in this fete, were 
invented by Baltazar de Beaujoyeux, the famous Piedmontese 
performer on the violin, who having published an account of his 
devises in a book which is now become extremely scarce, I shall 
present my readers with a sketch of its contents (k). 

The description of this Balet, which is printed in quarto, 
dedicated to the king, Henry III. is preceded by innumerable copies 
of complimentary verses to the author, in Latin and French, all in 
the fade and tumid style of the times on such occasions. In the 
preface, Beaujoyeux tell us, that " he had blended together Poetry, 
Music, and Dancing, in a manner, which if ever done before, must 
have been in such remote antiquity, that it may now well be called 
new; as the ancients never recited verses without Music, so Orpheus 
never played without song. I have, however, given the first place 
to Dancing (/)," says he, " and assigned the second and third to 
Poetry and Music, in order to gratify at once the eye, ear, and 
understanding. ' ' 

And this seems the origin of the Balet Heroique, as well as Balet 
Historique, in France; where Dancing has been long more 
successfully cultivated than elsewhere, and where is still holds the 
first place on the stage. It would be a vain imagination now to 
expect any Musical Drama to succeed in France without Dancing, 
either analogue, or en divertissimens; interwoven in its texture, or 
introduced between the acts. And, unluckily for Music, the 
theatres, in other parts of Europe, have so far adopted the Costume 
of the French stage, that no Opera, however excellent in poetry, 
composition, and performance, can support itself without the aid of 
such splendid ballets as double the expence of the exhibition. 
Indeed, it has for some time seemed probable, that singing at the 
Italian Opera, in England, would soon be so totally neglected and 
forgotten, that posterity would only know by tradition that it had 

(») // y eut chaque jours des divertissemens nouveaux, qui consistoient en concerts, bals, 
mascarades, combats a pied et a cheval, joutes, tournois, et generalement tout ce qu' on peut 
imaginer pour contribuer au plasir d' une cour la plus magnifique et la plus galante qu' on eut 
jamais vu en France, dont la depense jut estimee monter a pres de quatre millions. Menestriei 
des Representations en Musique, p. 192, & Hist, de la Mus. Tom. I, p. 217. 

A more modern French writer estimates the expence of this fete at 112,000 crowns, equal 
to six millions of the present French Livres, and ^250,000 sterling. 

(k) My copy, the only one I ever saw, was purchased at the sale of the late honourable 
Topham Beauclerc's library; and has for title, Balet comique de la Royne, faict aux nopces de 
Monsieur le Due de Joyeuse & Mademoyselle de Vaudemont sa sceur. Par Baltazar de 
Beaujoyeulx, Valet de Chambre du Roy, & de la Royne sa mere. A Paris, 1582. Par Adrian 
le Roy, & Robert Ballard. The types and paper are equal in beauty to those of Elzevir in the 
next century. And the Music, though cut in wood, is much more clear and neat than any I 
ever saw of the kind.* 

(/) /' ay toutefois donnd le premier iiltre & honneur a la Dance, &c. 

* The Ballet had been a popular form of entertainment in France for at least 200 years 
before this date. Froissart in his Chronicles recounts one performed in 1392, at which several 
of the performers were burnt to death. 

224 



MUSIC IN FRANCE DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

ever constituted the principal part of such an amusement. At some 
future period, not very distant perhaps, somebody or other may 
be bold to say, that " there used formerly, as I have been told, to 
be singing at the Opera; " which the fine gentlemen of the time, 
who only enter the theatre for the Dance, and constantly to the great 
comfort of lovers of Music who are near them, retire into the 
Coffee-room when it is over, will find it difficult to believe. 

What the Dancing at the superb and costly fete, described by de 
Beaujoyeux, may have been, I know not; but of the Music, which 
is printed, we are enabled to judge : and, upon scoring a great part 
of it, both vocal and instrumental, I find it very contemptible, even 
for the time when it was composed. The counterpoint, indeed, is 
not incorrect; nor can the French be justly accused of ever being 
deficient in the mechanical rules of composition, since they were first 
established; but for fancy, air, and rhythm, there is not a passage 
in this whole performance, except in a few of the dances, by which 
we are reminded of their existence (m). 

In the Operas of Lulli and Rameau, the Music of the dances was 
always infinitely more admired by foreigners than that which was 
sung; because it was necessarily more marked and accented: that 
is, in what was danced, some determined measure and movement 
was always perceptible; but this was so little the case in what was 
sung, that it is related of Faustina, the celebrated singer and wife of 
Hasse, that in her way through Paris to England, being carried to 
the serious French Opera, she remained silent there full half an 
hour, and then cried out, " but when shall we have an air (n) ? " So 
confounded were airs and recitatives together, at this theatre, it was 
a natural enquiry for an Italian to make. But had this excellent 
performer heard the Music to de Beaujoyeux's Balet, which was 
composed long before the invention of recitative, she might have 
asked the same question; for there is in it nothing that resembles 
an air, or which seems to imply a selection of notes, or to suggest a 
reason for one sound being higher or lower, quicker or slower, than 
another. 

It must be remembered, that the Music of this old French Ballet 
was not composed by Baltazarini, the Italian, who only acted as 
Ballet-master on the occasion, but by Messrs. de Beaulieu, and 
Salmon, of the king's band, whom his majesty had ordered to assist 
him in composing and preparing all that was most perfect in Music 
for this festival; " and M. Beaulieu," says Baltazarini, " whom all 
professors regard as an excellent musician, has, on this occasion, even 

(>n) It seems as if Dancing could not subsist without a marked measure; indeed, when 
Poetry is sung to sounds without measure, it becomes worse than prose. In the same year 
that this Balet was performed at Paris, a book was published at Venice with the following 
title : II Ballerino di M. Fabritio Caroso da Sermoneta, diviso in due Trattati; con Intavolatura 
di Liuto, & il Soprano della Musica nella sonata di ciascun Ballo, 1.581. The tunes for all these 
dances, though not very beautiful in other respects, are well accented, phrased, and divided 
into an equal number of bars, with as much symmetry as those of the present times. And 
there is a circumstance attending this publication of importance to a musical historian, which 
is, that the pulsations of the measure throughout the Music of these dances, are regularly 
barred, which is not the case with that of Le Balet de la Royne, nor with any Music of the 
sixteenth century that I have seen. 

(w) MS. papers of M. Diderot. 
Vol,, ii. 15. 225 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

surpassed himself, assisted by Maistre Salmon, whom M. Beaulieu 
and others highly esteem in his art." 

The instruments employed in the performance of this Music 
were des orgues, doulces (douces). In the vault, or roof of the 
building, were placed ten bands of Music (dix concerts de Musique) 
of different kinds, which were to serve sometimes as echos to the 
singers; by which is meant the players of the Ritornels, or 
Symphonies of the vocal airs. There were other performers for the 
interludes, or pieces between the songs (o). 

Of the excellence of this Music a judgment may be formed by the 
specimens on the following plates.* And to convince the musical 
readers of the wretched state of melody at this time in France, it 
will be sufficient to present them with the two Solo verses p. 228 and 
229 in writing which, the inventor had not even the embarrassment 
of a base to check his fancy; and yet, it does not seem possible to 
produce a more unmeaning melody by any other arrangement of 
the same notes. 

Dix Violins are said to come in, five of a side, pour jouer la 
premiere entree du Balet. These violins seem merely introduced to 
play to the dancers, without being suffered to accompany the singing, 
or join in the concerts or symphonies. The only fragment of 
tolerable melody, which the whole book can furnish, is what 
Baltazarini calls un son fort gay, nomme la Clochette (p). 

Extracts from Le Balet comique de la Royne, Published by 
Baltasar de Beaujoyeulx, 1582, one year after the Performance. 
The Music was Composed par les Sieurs Beaulieu et Salmon, by 
command of his Majesty King Henry III of France, on occasion of 
the Nuptials of the Duke de Joyeuse. 



Le Chant des Sereines, or Siren's Song. A 4 Parties. 



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(o) The instruments mentioned are hautboys, comets, sacbouttes, violoncelli, lutes, lyres, 
harps, flutes, and le flageolet, played by le Sieur Juvigny, its original inventor. 

{p) In scoring the dances, in five parts, they suggest a reason for the accent appearing 
stronger in them than in any other old French Music; which is, that they are almost all in 
simple counterpoint, of note against note, which prevents confusion in the measure, and gives 
energy to every passage that is well phrased by the composer. There are a few passages in the 
other dances in gavot time, which afterwards became common throughout Europe. 

(a) Either the Time is changed here to Triple, or the Bar is to be compleated by some 
rule of Prolation to which I am a stranger. 

* J. B. Weckerlin published a vocal score of Circe in his Collection des chefs — d'osuvres de 
I'opera francais. 

226 



MUSIC IN FRANCE DURING THE XVI CENTURY 




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This Movement is repeated to six different stanzas, which the 
Sirens sing to the preceding Music. 

Though this Movement begins and ends on the Chord of G, yet 
the Key is so far from being ascertained, that no two Bars, or 
indeed half Bars, are in the same Key. 



227 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 



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I have dwelt the longer on this performance as it is the only 
French Theatrical Music extant of the time. And in comparing 
it with that of Lulli, it appears that he did not disdain to comply 
with the national taste, which had been long established, with 
respect to measure and melody: he certainly added much to both, 
but conformed to the Genre. 

Francis Eustache du Caurroy, born 1549, was the most 
celebrated musician of his time : being called by his cotemporaries 
le prince des professeurs de Musique, the prince of musicians. 
He was Maestro di Capella to Charles IX. Henry III. and IV. 
Canon of the Holy Chapel at Paris, and Prior of S. Aioul de 
Provins. This composer was very much beloved by the learned 
and elegant Cardinal du Perron, who not only wrote verses 
frequently for him to set to Music, but, after his decease, 1609, 
honoured his memory with an epitaph, which is inscribed on his 

(b) Queen of France, wife of Henry III. 

(c) This Roulement and that on the preceding page will serve as specimens of the 
divisions then in fashion. 



229 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

tomb,* near the pulpit of the Church des grands Augustins (q). 

This tomb is said to have been erected by the successor of ,du 
Caurroy, Nicholas Forme; and an act of generosity and goodness 
of heart, so uncommon, deserves to be recorded, however difficult 
it ma} 7 be to produce testimonies of his musical abilities. 

I am sorry that the compositions of du Caurroy do not correspond 
with the expectations which his great patron and panegyrist has 
excited, or with those which Mersennus encourages, when he 
proposes it as a problem of difficult solution, whether Claude le 
Jeune or Du Caurroy was the best composer? I have scored one 
of his canons which is given as a miraculous effort of genius, and 
said to be in six parts, though three of them are mere remplissage , 
that have nothing to do with the subject, and I find it miserable (r). 

It is observed, by the author of Essay sur la Musique (s), that 
none of Caurroy' s works remain, except a Mass for the dead for 
four voices, without accompaniment; " of which," says he, " it is 
impossible to judge, being in perpetual (meaning, perhaps, plain) 
counterpoint, and composed in square notes, like plain-chant." 
It is hardly possible to suppose this learned musician is not able 
to read square notes, or to judge of the perpetual counterpoint, if 
he had thought it worth studying. And it is unlucky that he was 
unable to find a work called Melanges de la Musique de Eustache 
du Caurroy, Maistre de la Musique de la Chappelle du Roy, 
published at Paris by his nephew [grand-nephew] Andre Pitart, 
and dedicated to the Due de Bouillon, 1610; because, he would 
there have found the very Noels, or Christmas Carols, which have 
only arrived at his knowledge by tradition (t). It does not, 
however, appear that they contain many pretty melodies or minuets. 

(q) In this epitaph it is said, in the flourish of friendship and monumental praise, 

quern virum, nee Hispania, 

Nee Gallia, nee Italia modo, sed omnis 
Europa, Musicorum principem, invidia 

Admirante, conjessa est 

but in all my musical reading and enquiries I have never found that either his name or works 
had penetrated into Italy, Germany, or England. It has perhaps with as little truth been 
said by the panegyrist of our Dr. Blow, that his compositions had been sung at St. Peter's 
Church in Rome. It must be owned, however, that the praise we bestow on our old 
ecclesiastical composers, Tallis and Bird, the cotemporaries of du Caurroy, though less 
splendid and extensive, is somewhat more sincere and solid; for we still continue to perform 
their works in our cathedrals. 

(r) There are no people in the universe so grateful to their musicians as the French; noi 
so much perhaps for the love of the art, or abilities of the artists, as the honour of theii 
country; and it seems on this principle, that long after their performance is forgotten, and 
every vestige of their productions annihilated; when their genius and talents rest so entirely 
on tradition, that to furnish specimens of composition by Orpheus and Amphion would be 
scarce more difficult; still making the most of the faint whispers of Fame, they augment their 
force by uttering them through her Stentorophonic Tube, or speaking-trumpet, till they become 
audible to all mankind. Indeed, their writers, like the ancient monks of Psalmody Island, in 
the diocese of Nismes, who vowed eternal praise, laus perpetua, never let a single circumstance, 
which will reflect honour on their country, remain a moment unsung. 

(s) Tom. III. p. 403- 

(t) C'est une tradition generalement repandue que nos Noels, tant connus et tant chantes 
etoient des Gavottes et des Menuets, d'un Ballet que du Caurroy avoit compose", pour Charles 
IX. Si cela est, outre le Talent du Contrepoint, il avoit celui de composer de Jolis Chants, 
lb. There certainly is not one minuet or single movement in triple-time throughout the Melanges, 
which are now before me, and consist of Noels, Hymns, Chansons, and Fantasies to the 
number of thirty. Nor is it easy to prove, that the dance called a Minuet (Menuet, Fr..) was 
invented so early as the reign of Charles IX. at least no such term appears in any Glossaries 
of the times. Cotgrave defines Menuet "a sweet apple that yields excellent cyder." 

* This monument was destroyed during the Revolution. Expert in L.M.M.F., Vol. 17, has 
reprinted some of Caurroy's music, and some instrumental Fantaisies have been published by 
Senart, Paris. The Noel which Burney inserts is to be found in the Melanges. 

230 



MUSIC IN FRANCE DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

The Fantasies [Paris, 1610] are extremely dry and destitute of 
ideas; many of them being only Discants upon hymn tunes, used 
as themes or Canto-fermo, like those of Claude le Jeune in his 
Dodecachorde, but less ingenious and pleasing. 

The following Noel, or Carol, is the most pleasing composition 
that I have been able to find in this collection. 



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232 



MUSIC IN FRANCE DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

Jaques Mauduit [1557-1627] is said to have been a great 
musician in the time of Henry IV. who accompanied wonderfully 
on the Lute (u). We are likewise told, that he added a sixth string 
to viols, which had originally but five; and that he was the first 
in France who introduced these instruments in concert, instead of 
base- viols (x).* 

Pere Mersenne, who had a particular regard for this musician, 
has given us an engraved head and eloge of him in his Harmonie 
Universelle (y); with the chief part of which I shall present the 
reader, and then close my account of the Music and Musicians of 
France, during the sixteenth century. 

" Jaques Mauduit, descended from a noble family, was born 
1557. He had a liberal education, and travelled during his youth 
into Italy, where he learned the language of that country, together 
with Spanish and German, which, with the literature he had 
acquired at college, enabled him to read the best authors of almost 
every kind. He had a general knowledge of most sciences as 
well as of mechanics; and studjring Music with unwearied diligence, 
without any other assistance than that of books, he rendered himself 
so eminent that he was honoured, even .during his life, with the 
respectable title of Pere de la Musique," Father of Music. " And 
with reason," says his panegyrist, " being the inventor of good 
Music in France, by the many excellent works he published, both 
vocal and instrumental, which have been long the ornament of our 
concerts. 

"His merit obtained him admission into the famous Academy 
of Music, instituted by the learned Baif, 1583; and many writers 
of his time seem to have produced their poetical effusions, in order 
to have them immortalised by the airs of Mauduit. 

" The first composition in which he distinguished himself as a 
learned harmonist, was his Mass of Requiem, which he set for the 
funeral of his friend, the celebrated poet Ronsard; it was afterwards 
performed at the funeral of Henry IV. and, lastly, at his own, 
1627, under the direction of his son Louis Mauduit, at which time 
Mersennus officiated in the sacred function, as priest. 

" He left behind him innumerable masses, hymns, motets, 
fancies, and songs. A small hereditary place at the court of requests 
descended to him from his father, which he seemed to exercise for 
no other purpose than to oblige and serve his friends. At the 
siege of Paris, when the Fauxbourg was taken by storm, he 
ventured through the victorious soldiers to the house of his friend 
Baif, then dead, and saved all his manuscripts, at the hazard of 
his own life. 

(u) Essai sar la Musique, Tom. III. p. 519. 

(x) Harm. Univers. de Mersenne, i>ref. generate. 

(y) Liv. 7 des Instrum. p. 63. 

* Long before the time of Mauduit, the number of strings on the viol was six. Specimens 
dating from about 1450 prove this. See G. R. Hayes' The Viols and other Bowed Instruments, 
p. 8 (Oxford Press, 1930). 

Permission to form the Academie Francaise de Musique et de Poesie was given in 1570. 
Expert in L.M.M.R.F. has published some Chansons by Mauduit. 

^33 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

" Upon a similar occasion, in which there was still greater 
difficulty and danger, he saved the douze modes de Claude le Jeune, 
and his other manuscript works, at the time that this composer 
was seized at the gate of St. Denis, as a Hugonot; so that all those 
who have since received pleasure from the productions of this 
excellent master, are obliged to Mauduit for their preservation, 
as he saved them from destruction by seizing the arm of a serjeant 
at the very instant that he was going to throw them into the flames; 
persuading the soldiery that these papers were perfectly innocent 
and free from Calvinistical poison, or any kind of treason against 
the League : and it was by his zeal and address, with the assistance 
of an officer of his acquaintance, that Claude escaped with his 
cwn life." 

Such are the praises bestowed on Jaques Mauduit, by his friend 
the learned and benign Mersennus, whose diligence, science, and 
candour, far surpassed his taste. The Requiem, by Mauduit, is 
printed in the Harm. Univ. in five separate parts; but in scoring it, 
neither the harmony nor modulation offer any thing that is either 
curious or uncommon, at any period of counterpoint. It is in 
literally plain counterpoint of crotchets and minims moving all 
together, as in our cathedral chanting. The chief merit of this 
production is in the exact accentuation of the words, a V antique: 
a minim for a long syllable, and a crotchet for a short. 

Mersennus, in his Commentary on Genesis, has illustrated his 
musical remarks with many of his friend Mauduit's compositions, 
whence I have not been able to extract the least fragment that will 
do honour to this composer, or his country. 



234 



Chapter V 

Of the Progress of Music in Spain 
during the Sixteenth Century 



IT seems as if the Spaniards were placed lower among European 
musicians at this time than in equity they ought, by those 
who imagine Morales to have been the first practical musician 
of eminence in that country, and Salinas the only theorist that was 
produced there during the sixteenth century. Indeed, we know 
but little of the state of Music in the interior parts of that kingdom 
during this period; but, if we may judge by the musicians it 
furnished to the Papal Chapel, both composers and singers, we 
may conclude, that the richest and most powerful nation in Europe, 
as Spain then was, would not breed musicians as the Africans do 
slaves, or the Circassians women, merely to transport them for the 
use or pleasure of others; they could doubtless then have afforded 
to keep a few for their own amusement. 

The Spaniards, so far from neglecting Music, seem to have taken 
it very early into the circle of the sciences in their universities; for 
Salinas tells us (z), that the musical professorship, which was 
conferred upon him at Salamanca, had been founded and endowed 
by Alfonzo, king of Castile, surnamed the Wise (a). And 
Bartolomeo Ramis, the opponent of Franchinus, in 1482, we have 
already seen (6), was public professor of Music at Toledo, and 
afterwards at Bologna. Of Guillerm de Podio, a priest, we have 
likewise a work entitled Ars Musicorum, sive Commentarium 
Musicce Facultatis, published 1495, and another written in the 
Spanish language, by Francesco Trovar : Libro di Musica Pratica, 
Barcelona, 1519. Arte di Canto Llano, del Alfonso de Castillo, 
Salamanca, 1504. El Maestro o Musica de viguela de mano, by 
Don Ludovicus Milan, a nobleman of Valentia, 1534. Silva di 
Sirenas, or a treatise on the Vitruela, or viol, by Henrico de 
Valderrabano, Valladolid, 1547. Arte de la Musica, by Melchior 
de Torres, alcala de Herrares, in New Castile, 1554. At the same 
place likewise was published, in 1557, Tratado de Cifra nueva para 

(z) De Musica, in preef. 

(a) This Prince, who reigned from 1252 to 1284, was the great astronomer, whence the 
Alphonsine Tables had their name. 

(b) Supra, p. 132. 

235 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

Tecla, Harpa y Vieguela Canto Llano, de Organo y Contrapunto, 
by Lud. Venegas de Hinestroia. There was likewise published at 
Alcala by Cyprian de la Huerga, a Cistertian monk, who died 
1560, a treatise De Ratione Musicce et Instrumentorum usu apud 
veteres Hebrceos; and, at Granada, 1555, Libro de la Declaration 
de Instrumentos, by Joan Bermudo. 

All these writers on the subject of Music, and many more, 
appeared in Spain before Salinas; of whom, and of his treatise, in 
consideration of its scarcity, as well as the great reputation he 
acquired as a theorist, it seems necessary to give a more ample 
account. 

Francis Salinas [1513-90], a native of Burgos in Spain, was 
blind from his infancy, having, as he says, sucked in that calamity 
with the infected milk of his nurse. His parents, soon perceiving 
that the study of Music might be pursued by him in spite of this 
misfortune, had him taught very early to sing, and play upon the 
organ. It was by mere accident that he acquired any knowledge 
in the learned languages; for while he was a boy, a young woman, 
celebrated for her knowledge in the Latin tongue, and who was 
going to take the veil, having a great desire to learn to play on the 
organ, came to his father's house, and, in return for the lessons 
which she received from Salinas in Music, taught him Latin. After 
this, he was so eager to pursue the study of literature, that he 
prevailed on his parents to send him to Salamanca, where, during 
some years, he applied himself closely to the study of the Greek 
language, philosophy, and the arts in general (c). But being unable 
to support himself longer in that university, he was introduced 
in the king's palace to Peter Sarmentus, archbishop of Compostella, 
who received and treated him very kindly, and who being soon 
after created a cardinal, carried Salinas with him to Rome [1538]. 
Here he had not only an opportunity of conversing with the learned, 
but of consulting ancient manuscripts, particularly those on Music, 
in the Greek language, which have been since collected and 
published by Meibomius and Dr. Wallis (d). In these studies 
he spent thirty years; when the death of his patrons, Cardinal 
Carpensis, Cardinal Burgos, and the Viceroy of Naples, by whom, 
he says (e), he was more beloved than enriched, determined him 
to return to Spain, and pass the reminder of his days in humble 
obscurity: but, on his arrival at Salamanca, he was appointed 
public professor of Music, and read lectures in that university both 
on the theory and practice of the art [1567-87]. However, by 
his long study of Boethius, as well as the ancient Greek theorists, 
his doctrines seem to have been chiefly speculative, and confined 

(c) Dr. Smith, who seems never to have seen Salinas's treatise on Music, though he 
quotes it, says that "after his return into Spain, he applied himself to the Latin and Greek 
languages, and caused all the ancient musicians to be read to him, &c." Harmonics, p. 50, 1st 
Edit. It is not, perhaps, of much consequence, whether Salinas studied the learned languages 
in youth or age; but inaccurate assertions on one subject, throw doubts upon others. 

(d) Antiq. Mus. Auct. seplem, Amst. 1652. Claud. Ptol. Harm. & Man. Bryennii, Lond. 
1699. 

(e) In Prcsj. 
236 



MUSIC IN SPAIN DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

to calculations of ratios, divisions of the monochord, systems of 
temperament, and the musical pedantry of the times, without 
bestowing a thought upon harmony, modulation, or even melody; 
except such as the ecclesiastical modes and species of octave 
supplied. 

However, the treatise upon Music written by Salinas is not only 
scarce, but, on many accounts, valuable; as it is written with 
clearness, by a practical musician- who satisfactorily explains several 
parts of ancient Music, which, though of little use to the modern, 
will at least gratify the curious; and though he treats of sects and 
subtil ties, concerning which the present students either in the 
theory or practice of the art, are not much interested; yet as the 
curiosity of some enquirers is boundless, and as the doctrines now 
exploded or contemned are here collected into a point, those who 
fancy they can be amused or instructed by the perusal of such 
discussions, will think themselves in possession of a great literary 
treasure, when they are so fortunate as to find this work, which has 
for title, Francisci Salin^e Burgensis, abbatis Sancti Pancratii 
de Rocca Scalegna in regno Neapolitano, et in academia Salamanti- 
censi Musicce professoris, de Musica libri septem, in quibus ejus 
doctrines Veritas tarn quce ad Harmoniam, quam quce ad Rhythmum 
pertinet, juxta sensus ac rationis indicium ostenditur, et demon- 
strate. Salamanticse, 1577. [B.M. 786. 1. 24.] 

The first book, containing twenty-eight chapters, is merely 
speculative, treating of nothing but the different methods of 
calculating the ratios of sound; and of arithmetical, geometrical, and 
harmonical proportion. Second, Definitions of sound, intervals, 
concords perfect and imperfect, and discords; greater and less tone 
and semi-tone, the diesis, apotome, limma, and comma; twenty- 
nine chapters : in one of which he takes up the gauntlet in defence 
of the 4th being a concord, which practical musicians had then but 
lately began to rank among discords (/). Third, treats of the three 
genera, diatonic, chromatic, and enharmonic, such as were used by 
the ancients; for the moderns have no chromatic strictly ancient 
nor enharmonic of any kind (g). He says nothing of the major 
or minor modes or keys in present use, which are more the business 
of a modern musician than the chromatic or enharmonic of the 
ancient Greeks and Romans. It is in this book that the author 
has incurred the displeasure of the Abbe Roussier, by treating of 
the different methods of correcting false consonances and intervals 



(/) Salinas says, that he had with pleasure often heard it used in the Greek church at 
Naples; and that the prince of all contrapuntists, Josquin des Pres, in the beginning of the 
verse resurrexit, of two parts only, in Mass sur I'Homme Arme, in the 6th tone, has used it 
naked and unaccompanied by any other interval, which he would not have done, if he had 
regarded it as a discord. 

(g) Dr. Pepusch has asserted, in his letter to M. de Moivre, that Salinas had discovered 
the true enharmonic genus of the ancients. How much it is to be lamented that neither Salinas 
nor Dr. Pepusch has obliged the longing world with enharmonic compositions in counterpoint, 
to confirm their converts in the faith, and not only renovate, but extend the use of this 
long lost genus! As it is, the discovery of Salinas, and positive assertion of Dr. Pepusch 
remain, to vulgar ears, as useless, and as much matters of faith, as the Music of the spheres. 

237 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 



by temperament (h). Fourth, chiefly treats of the different species 
of diapason and octave; of the hexachords, said to have been 
invented by Guido, and of their correspondence and connexion 
with the tetrachords of the Greeks. Of the ancient modes or tones 
of Aristoxenus and Ptolemy, of the doctrines of Pythagoras, 
Aristoxenus, and Boethius; all which he freely censures. The 
participation or equal division of semitones by Aristoxenus, 
defended. The doctrines of Didymus, Ptolemy, Bryennius; and 
of the more modern theorists, Faber, Franchinus, Glareanus, 
Fogliano, and Zarlino; thirty-three chapters: in the last of which 
there is an encomium upon Zarlino, and an epitome of his writings. 
The fifth, sixth, and seventh books chiefly concern rhythm, and 
the feet of ancient Greek and Roman verses; all these he has 
expressed in musical notes; and though he uses only two kinds, the 
semibreve and minim, for the long and short syllables, the variety 
of measure arising from this mixture is wonderful! These four 



sounds only 



-o-^r 



affording thirty-four 



different mutations of measure, in the arrangement of long and 
short notes and syllables. Salinas seems of opinion, that the 
ancients had no Music strictly instrumental; but that all melody was 
originally derived from the different order of syllables in versification, 
and had been first set to words, before it was played by instruments; 
and this was the opinion of the late Rousseau (i). Even for the 
movement and measures of dance-tunes, such as the pavan and 
passa-mezzo, he finds corresponding Latin and Spanish verses; and 
the most curious parts of these last chapters, to me, are the little 
fragments of old Spanish melody, which belong to his specimens of 
versification. Some of them are very graceful and pleasing, 
particularly those in triple time, which resemble the Neapolitan 
measures more than any other in present use. I shall exhibit here, 
to the musical reader's view, characteristic fragments of several 
kinds of Latin and Spanish metre, in notation. 



Page 262. 



Page 267. 






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choice with Zarlino or Salinas; but an expedient to obviate the greater imperfections which 
would accrue to harmony, by partial perfection (all that can be attained), on fixed instruments. 



(i) Diet. Mus. Art. Musique. Edit. 8vo. p. 3°9- 



238 



MUSIC IN SPAIN DURING THE XVI CENTURY 



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It must be remembered, that melody had at this time received 
no polish at the Opera, and that these are mere elementary sounds, 
of one note to one syllable, which obscure not the meaning of the 
words by lengthened tones or refinements. Such Music, in plain 
counterpoint, be the parts ever so numerous, would never impede 
articulation, or disguise poetry. This seems the kind of composition 
that would be the most likely to satisfy those musical Purists, who 
are equally displeased with florid counterpoint, and metrical 
psalmody; accusing the one of taking too great liberties with the 
words, and the other of making no distinction of syllables. 

Salinas is said to have been an admirable performer on the organ; 
an instrument which seems peculiarly happy in its construction for 
the display of great musical talents, after the privation of sight: 
for not only Salinas, but Francesco Cieco, the first great organist 
upon record; Pothoff, the late excellent organist at Amsterdam; 
and our own Stanley who delighted the lovers of that instrument 
more than fifty years, seem, with respect to their performance, 
rather to have gained than lost by this calamity. Milton, we are 
told, could amuse himself, and Handel, we know, had the power of 
delighting others upon this instrument, after total blindness, though 
it came on late in life. 

Salinas died in 1590, at seventy-seven years of age. 

The writers already enumerated, sufficiently prove that the 
theory of Music has not been neglected, though it has been thought 
" not to have been at all cultivated in Spain before the time of 
Salinas; " and the number of composers and singers of that 
country, who were employed in the Pontifical Chapel at Rome only, 
if all inserted here, would furnish a list of Spanish musicians so 
far from scanty, that few readers would have patience to peruse it; 
for before the year 1600, when, according to Santarelli, Castrati 



239 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

were first employed in the service of the Papal Chapel to sing the 
soprano or highest part, it was the custom to have it performed by 
Spaniards in Falset (k). Near twenty of these are named from the 
records of the Chapel by Adami (I); and among these some were 
learned musicians, and excellent composers. Salinas speaks of 
Escobedo as a profound theorist; and we have already had a proof 
of the high opinion that was entertained of his science at Rome, by 
the choice that was made of him, as an umpire, in the musical 
dispute between Vicentino and Lusitanio (m); and the works of 
D. Cristofero Morales [c. 1500-53]* were celebrated and published 
all over Europe, from the year 1540 to 1564. He preceded 
Palestrina, who was not twelve [sixteen] years old when Morales 
first appeared as a composer. Several of his productions were 
published at Venice, among those of Costanzo Festa, Adrian 
Willaert, and Arkadelt, with whom he was cotemporary, besides the 
following works, to which no other name was prefixed than his 
own. 

Two books of masses, the first for five voices [1544] , the second 
was dedicated to Pope Paul III. for four, 1544, Venice [Rome]. 
Magnificat 8 tonorum, 4 voc. Ven. 1562. Lamentationes Hieremia, 
4, 5, & 6 vocum, Ven. 1564. Adami (») tells us that his famous 
motet, Lamentabatur Jacob, which was preserved in the archives of 
the Pontifical Chapel, at the beginning of the present century, and 
annually sung on the first Sunday in Lent, is a wonderful 
composition (o). 

Several of his motets were published at Venice 1543, among the 
Motettce trium Vocum ab pluribus Authoribus composta**; the style 
of which, though learned for the time, is somewhat dry, and the 
harmony, by his frequent use of unaccompanied 4ths and 9ths, 
uncouth and insipid; yet, till supplanted by the more pleasing 
works of Palestrina, his compositions were in very high favour at 
Rome, in the Papal Chapel, where he was a singer during the 
Pontificate of Paul III. 

(k) Du Cange derives the word Falset from Fausetum, a term used, during the middle 
ages, in the same sense; and this, he supposes, from faucibus, whence the high tones of voice 
proceed. Pipeth was sometimes used in a similar sense to express piping, or such high singing 
as imitated the sound of pipes or small flutes. These feigned voices, as we should call them, 
seem to have been much in request, for the treble parts of vocal compositions, at the beginning 
of the last century, when women were not allowed to sing; as appears from a letter written 
by the celebrated traveller Pietro della Valle, to Bapt. Doni, of which more notice will be 
taken hereafter. 

Lodovico Falsetto, Gio. Luca Falsetto, Giuseppino Tenore, and Melchior Basso, singers 
mentioned in this letter, had their cognomens from their species of voice. Singing in falset had 
very early admission in the Church, during times of Discant. 

(I) Such as Bartol. Escobedo, Ant. Calasans, Ernest Bultezo, Francesco Palavera, 
Cristofero Morales, Juan Sanchez, Francesco Bastamente, Juan di Figueroa, T. Gomez di 
Palenza, Juan di Pareds, Fran, di Priora Toletano, Fran. Sottoda Langa, Juan Pantos 
Toletano, Diego Vasquez di Conca, Fran. Spionosa, Tomaso, Lod. da Vottoria, and Diego 
Lorenza, who were all Spaniards employed during the sixteenth century. 

(to) Vide supra, p. 137. (w) Osservazioni, p. 165. 

(o) 11 quale in vero h una maraviglia dell' arte. lb. 

* Some of his works have been reprinted by Rochlitz; Schlessinger; and Martini. Burney 
scored two motets and a magnificat. (B.M. add. MSS. 11,584). 

** These are preserved in the Brit. Mus. [K. 3. d. 7]. 
240 



MUSIC IN SPAIN DURING THE XVI CENTURY 

Tomaso Lodovico da Vittorio [b. c. 1535-1611], another 
Spanish performer in the Pope's Chapel, and an excellent 
harmonist, was the first who published, in a very large size, 
Motetti, for all the festivals throughout the year, in separate parts, 
on two pages facing each other; the notes were so large, that four, 
and frequently eight singers, performed their parts out of the same 
book. Kerl afterwards printed masses in the same manner; and at 
Milan, in the year 1770, I saw the whole choir, at the Duomo in 
that city, sing a mass from a book of this kind (p) . The Motetti of 
Vittoria, which are preserved in Dr. Aldrich's Collection at Christ 
Church, Oxford, were printed at Rome, 1585. The author was 
Maestro di Capella to the Church of St. Apolinare in that city, 
before his admission into the Papal Chapel; and, among other 
works, published masses, in 1583, which he dedicated to Philip II. 
king of Spain. His burial service, or Messa de' Morte, was much 
celebrated about this time, as were his penitential psalms. Peacham, 
who styles him ' ' a very rare and excellent author, whose vein was 
grave and sweet," tells us, that he quitted Rome, and resided at 
the court of Bavaria, about the year 1594. Our countryman 
distinguishes, among his French songs, Susane un jour, which 
Orlando, and several other eminent composers, of these times, had 
set.* 

The works of Guerrero of Seville, Flecha of Catalonia, Ortiz and 
Cabezon of Madrid, Infantas of Cordova, Duran of Estramadura, 
and Azpilcueta of the kingdom of Navarre, appear in the musical 
catalogues for the sixteenth century of Italy, the Netherlands, and 
Spain (q). And this list might be swelled, for the honour of Spain, 
with many more sonorous names of composers and performers of 
that kingdom, who had contributed to the delight of several 
countries in Europe, besides their own; but a sufficient number has 
already been specified to acquit the Spaniards of the charge of 
having made a slow progress in an art, which, at this time, and 
indeed at all times, is so connected with the language, poetry, and 
general civilization of a country, that it is often regarded as a mark 
of barbarism to have neglected its cultivation. 



(j>) See Present State of Music in France and Italy, p. 88. 

(q) Vide Antonii Bibl. Hispanatn. 

* A complete edition of his works, in 8 volumes, has been published by B. and H., edited 
by F. Pedrell. 

Vol. ii. 16. 241 



Chapter VI 

Concerning the Music of the Netherlands 
during the Sixteenth Century 



THE abilities of John Tinctor, John Okenheim, Jusquin des 
Pres, Jacob Hobrecht, John Mouton, and Adrian Willaert, 
the first great luminaries and founders of this excellent School 
of Counterpoint, have been already celebrated in the course of this 
work, and specimens given of their style. Flemish and French 
musicians are so constantly confounded by the natives of France 
in their musical writings, that few readers are able to separate them. 
And yet the list which Lodovico Guicciardini (r) gives, in 1556, 
of the great musicians, natives of the Netherlands, who were then 
dispersed all over Europe, robs the French of many eminent 
masters, whom they have long accustomed themselves to regard 
as their countrymen. 

The French in writing upon Music, contrary to their custom 
on other occasions, forgetting the conquests of Louis le Grand in 
Flanders, chuse to regard its inhabitants as having been always 
under the dominion of France; but the most complete refutation 
of this opinion is the book of Guicciardini itself, and the charts 
annexed, all dedicated to the emperor Charles V. at that time 
sovereign of the towns which gave birth to the musicians in .dispute. 

But as this subject has been discussed in the first volume (s), 
a more minute scrutiny into the claims that the French may have 
to musicians which the Netherlands produced in places under the 
dominion of Spain, or the house of Austria, during the fifteenth 
and sixteenth centuries, would perhaps appear invidious; and as 
I am seeking musical talents, wherever I can find them, without 
any other wish than to restore them to the right owners; after 
specifying the place of each musician's birth, when it can be 
ascertained, I shall leave the right of appropriation to be settled 
by the French and Netherlanders themselves : only first observing, 
that as the French never scruple allowing the Flemish School of 
Painting to be different from their own, it seems as if the same 
distinction should be admitted with respect to Music, at least, 
during the times under present consideration. 

(r) Descrit. de' tutti i Paesi Bassi, p. 42. 
(s) Book II, p. 711. 

242 






MUSIC IN THE NETHERLANDS IN THE XVI CENTURY 

The great musicians which Flanders and the Netherlands 
produced, after Jusquin, Obrecht, and Willaert, of whose 
compositions many still remain, are the following: Verdelot, 
Gombert, Arkadelt, Jacket Berchem, Canis, Courtois, Clement non 
Papa, Crequillon, Giaches de Wert, Pevernage, Verdonk, Baston, 
Waelrant, Lupus Lupi, Richafort, Manchicourt, Philip de Monte, 
Cipriano de Rore, and Orlando di Lasso. To these might be added 
Claude Goudimel, and Claude le Jeune, who were neither of them 
born in France; but as the greatest part of their lives was spent 
in that kingdom, where they likewise died, an account of these 
celebrated musicians and their works have been already given in a 
preceding article. 

Verdelot seems to have been best known in Italy; for though 
Rabelais mentions him among the musicians of his acquaintance 
in France, I find his name and works more frequently in Italian 
catalogues and books than in any other (t). He is frequently 
cited by Zarlino, Pietro Pontio, and others, among the best 
composers of his time, which was about the middle of the sixteenth 
century; I have, however, scored several of his productions, which 
are always to Latin or Italian words; but, though the harmony is 
pure, I find no characteristic excellence in any one of them that 
inclines me to give it a place here. The same may be said of such 
of the works as I have seen, of Giaches de Wert, Lupus Lupi, 
Philip de Monte, Peverinage, Waelrant, and Verdonk, all 
composers, a dozzina, who flourished about the middle of the same 
century; but it would be great injustice to several other cotemporary 
contrapuntists of the Netherlands not to endeavour to revive the 
memory of their abilities. 

Among these some distinction is due to Nicholas Gombert, a 
scholar of Jusquin, who has been already mentioned (w), but not 
with sufficient respect; for in scoring more of his numerous works, 
I find him a great master of harmony, and a disciple worthy of his 
illustrious master. He is claimed by French writers as a native 
of France; but both Lod. Guicciardini and Daniel Federman, in 
their descriptions of the Netherlands, rank him among the musicians 
of that country. He was long Maestro di Capella to the emperor 
Charles V. [1530-4] and furnished a very considerable portion 
of almost all the numerous collections of songs and motets that 
were printed at Antwerp and Louvain, during the middle of the 
sixteenth century; besides a set of masses which were published 
at Venice in 1541, and two sets of motets, 1550 and 1564, all in 
four parts. The Museum collections contain a great number of 
his French songs, in four, five, and six parts. 

Jacques Arkadelt [c. 1514-75] was a scholar of Jusquin, and 
seems to have spent the chief part of his life in Italy, as the first 

(t) The only time that I have met with his name in any Tramontane publication, is in 
a tenth book of French Songs, printed at Antwerp, 1544; where, to a long vocal composition, 
called la Bataille, a 4, de Clement Jannequin, a fifth part is added of Philip Verdelot. See 
above, account of this composition, p. 259. 

(u) Book II, p. 753. 

243 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

editions of his principal works were printed at Venice, between 
the year 1539 and 1575 (x). 

The number of his motets that was published then, in different 
collections of the times, is very considerable; but his madrigals were 
received with such avidity, that four books of them, in four parts, 
were published at Venice, by Ant. Gardano, in one year, 1541;* 
and his reputation, for this species of composition, was so great 
in Italy, that, according to Adami (y), his name was sometimes 
prefixed to the productions of others, in order to forward their 
sale. The following madrigal, which the same writer says was a 
favourite, is selected from his first book, as a specimen of his style. 

Madrigal. Dal Primo Libro di Madrigali d'Archadelt a Quatro 
con nuova Gionta Impressi. 

Apud. Ant. Gardane. Ven. 1545. 



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(x) French Songs, Cantiones Gallicte, as Draudius calls them, by this composer, were 
published at Lyons, 1572, under the title of L 'Excellence des Chansons Musicales, 4to. 

(y) Osservazioni, p. 161. 

* Arcadelt was a native of Bruges. The first three books of madrigals were published 
before 1539, and the 4th and 5th books appeared in 1544. Fine copies of ttr first four books are 
in the B.M. (K. 2 h. 3-6). 



244 



MUSIC IN THE NETHERLANDS IN THE XVI CENTURY 




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The sudden unrelative modulation from F to E[? in the 6th bar 
of this Madrigal, which has a very antique effect, seems to have 
originated from the rule which prohibited the use of the false 5th 
to the sharp 7th of a key. 

Why du Verdier and others have called Arkadelt a Frenchman, 
I know not : his master, at least, was a Netherlander, and his name 
has a very Flemish appearance. He was at Venice in the elder 
Doni's time, and composed chiefly to Latin and Italian words. 
Whatever country gave him birth, he was an excellent composer; 
and, for the time in which he lived, his melodies are uncommonly 
natural, smooth, and graceful. 

The works of Jacket Berchem,* or, as he is called by the 
Italians, with whom he was in great favour, Giachetto, (Berchem 
being only the name of a village near Antwerp, where he was born), 
chiefly appear in collections of motets and madrigals, published at 
Venice; particularly in the first and second books of Motetti del 

* Later authorities doubt his identity with Giachetto da- Mantova. It appears difficult to 
identify the composers of many of the works inscribed Jacket. See the M.f.M. for 1899, p. 129, 
for an article on tTiis composer. 



245 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

Frutto, and Fior de Motetti, printed in 1539, by Ant. Gardano, 
whose name is likewise prefixed to several of these motets, as the 
composer of them. Berchem's name also appears, with those of 
the greatest composers in Europe, in the middle of the sixteenth 
century, in a collection of motets for three voices; Motetti trium 
vocum ab pluribus authoribus composita, quorum nomina sunt 
Jachetus, Morales, Constantius Festa, Adrianus Wilgliardus, Ven. 
1543. These compositions, which are preserved in the British 
Museum, have a clearness, simplicity, and purity of harmony and 
design, that have never been exceeded. In the first book of motets 
by Cipriano de Rore, published likewise at Venice, 1544, there is 
an Epithalamium, in the form of a motet for five voices, by Berchem, 
which, in the elaborate style of the times, is admirable; but his 
principal productions, to Italian words, were three books of songs, 
or stanzas, selected from Ariosto's Orlanda Furioso, set for four 
voices, and published at Venice, by Gardano, twenty-eight years 
after the death of that great poet (z). Jacket Berchem, according 
to Walther, who had his information from Federman's description 
of the Netherlands, was living in 1580. 

John Richefort, or Ricciafort, is placed by Walther in the 
middle of the sixteenth century; but he was certainly a composer 
many years before that period, as we find his name not only in 
the second book of Motetti delta Corona, published at 
Fossembrone, 1519, and preserved in the British Museum [K.i.d. 
14], in which collection he was author of the fourth motet: 
Miseremini mei; but to a motet in a music-book, preserved at 
Cambridge, of Henry VIII. when prince of Wales. Glareanus (a) 
says that " great praise is due, in our times, to the vocal composi- 
tions of John Richafort." In the Museum collection of French 
songs, in four, five, and six parts, printed in the Netherlands 
during the sixteenth century, there is one by this author for three 
tenors and a base, which, though it would be thought somewhat 
monotonous by modern ears, has great merit for the artful 
contexture of the parts, which are moving throughout in close fugue 
and imitation. The words, indeed, of these old songs are generally 
as rude and devoid of meaning as those of our own country, equally 
ancient; this, however, contains a general censure of indiscriminate 
urbanity. 

Thomas Crequilon [d. c. 1557] was likewise in the service of 
Charles V. somewhat later than Gombert. He published a great 
number of different works, and, among the rest, a mass for six 

(z) In the commentary of an anonymous author upon the seventy-ninth stanza of the 
Orlando Furioso, lib. xvii. published the latter end of the sixteenth century, is the following 
remark: "In a musical work printed in oblong quarto, under this title: Primo, secondo, e 
terzo libro del Capriccio di Jachetto Berchem, con la Musica da lui composta sopra le Stanze del 
Furioso, novamente Stampati e dato in luce. In Venezia, appresso di Antonio Gardano, 1561; 
we meet with ninty-three stanzas, selected from different parts of the great poem of our author, 
among which, p. 66 and 67, instead of the usual seventy ninth stanza, Tu gran Leone, &c, are 
two others." 

For this remark I am obliged to my worthy friend, Mr. Hoole, the excellent translator of 
the three great Italian poets, Ariosto, Tasso, and Metastasio. 

(a) Dodecachordon, p. 288. 

246 



MUSIC IN THE NETHERLANDS IN THE XVI CENTURY 

voices in 1556, upon the subject of an old French song: Mille 
Regrets; and, in 1576, a book of Sacred Songs (Opus Sacrarum 
Cantionum) for five, six, and eight voices, at Louvain [B.M. A. 84] ; 
besides a book of French songs for four, five, and six voices; of 
which kind a great number, by this author, are contained in 
different collections, published in the Low Countries, during the 
reign of Charles V. fB.M. K. 3, a 3 & 11, etc.]- 

Almost all the secular songs, in parts, published in Italy during 
the sixteenth century, were called madrigals', but such as were 
published in the Netherlands, to French words, were only entitled 
chansons; of this kind no less than fourteen sets, of about thirty in 
each, for four, five, and six voices, were printed at Antwerp 
between the years 1544 and 1555, by Tylman Susato; and, about 
the same time, six sets for four voices, at Louvain, by Pierre 
Phalaise. 

As frequent references to these songs, which are preserved in 
the British Museum, occur in the course of this volume, I shall give 
the title of the first set of each, a full length. 

Premier livre des Chansons a quatre parties, au quel sont 
contenues trente et une nouvelles Chansons, convenable tant a la 
voix comme aux instrumentz. Imprimees en Anvers par Tylman 
Susato, imprimeur et correcteur de Musique, demeurant au diet 
Anvers, 1544 [K. 8, i. 4]. 

Premier livre des Chansons, a quatre parties nouvellement 
composez et mises en Musique, convenable tant aux instrumentz 
comme a la voix. Imprime a Lovain, par Pierre Phalaise, Van. 
1553. To most of these sets a patent is prefixed, in French, from 
Charles V. for three years, in which his titles are emperor of the 
Romans, king of Germany, Spain, Castile, &c. 

Both Susato and Phalaise, the editors of these songs, and of 
innumerable other publications, were themselves composers: the 
same may be said of Rhaw of Wittemberg, Gardane and Scotto of 
Venice, Ballard in France, and Tallis and Bird in England; and 
there are sometimes pieces inserted of their composition in these 
collections, which would disgrace none of the authors in whose 
company they appear. 

Gian le Coick, or le Coq, is author of several songs in the 
collections of the times, particularly of one in five parts, that was 
printed at Antwerp, by Susato, 1545, in the sixth book of Chansons 
a 5 et a 6 parties. In this song, the two upper parts are in canon, 
in which the second part inverts the melody of the first, while the 
other three move in free fugue. Tout e rebours va mon affaire, is 
the motto of this canon, and all the information given for the 
drawing the second treble out of the first. This kind of composition 
is curious and valuable merely from the difficulty of its construction; 
for no contrivance can be less amusing, or, indeed, perceptible to 
the ear, than a constant inversion of the melody at the distance only 
of a semibreve. In painting, if one or two similar figures were 
placed with the feet in the air, it would be easily discovered, though 

247 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

the artist would not perhaps much increase his reputation for 
superior skill. Indeed, this canon is truly a Gothic contrivance, 
with no other merit than that of la difficulty vaincue. 

In the same book of songs, there is another instance of patience 
and pedantry producing a chef d'ceuvre insupportable; for here is a 
similar kind of canon in the two lowest parts of a five-part song, by 
Jan Cortois, or Courtois [ft. c. 1550], at the distance of two bars: 
here it is said, that " when one part ascends the other falls," which 
in old French is expressed thus: Quant lung monte V autre avalle. 
Great art and labour have been bestowed on this composition to 
very little purpose; but as genius and invention were not at this 
time necessary requisites in a musician, it was thought expedient to 
seek reputation by other means. 

Cornelius Canis [d. c. 1561], however, whose name frequently 
appears in the Antwerp and Louvain collections of songs, is author 
of several canons which are not only ingeniously constructed, but 
of good effect in the performance. Of this kind is the following, from 
the fifth book, printed 1544, in which all the several parts sing as 
well as they usually did at this early period of counterpoint, when 
wholly unrestrained by canon or fugue. 

As four or the five parts repeat the subject in the same key, the 
effect would have been monotonous and insipid, had not this defect 
been obviated by the canon ad secundam, which perpetually varies 
the modulation, by repeating in a major key, what the upper part 
proposes in a minor, and e contra. The accidental sharps, as usual 
with the old masters, are omitted in the ancient copy, being left to 
the divination of the singers. The passage at this mark + , was the 
effect of habit and fashion about this time, as it very frequently 
occurs in all cotemporary compositions; at present the intercalary 
note would be inserted, thus: 



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to hear. 

Chanson par Cornelius Canis. 




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248 



MUSIC IN THE NETHERLANDS IN THE XVI CENTURY 




249 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

Lod. Guicciardini tells us that this musician was dead when he 
wrote his Description of the Low Countries, 1556; as was Jacob 
Clemens non Papa [d. ante. 1558], an excellent Netherlandish 
composer, who had been principal Maestro di Capella to the 
emperor Charles V. Seven books of his motets, in four parts 
(Cantionum Sacrarum),were published after his decease, at Louvain, 
1567 [1559], as was his Missa Defunctorum, 1580. I have found 
no better Music of the kind than that of this composer; his style 
is clear, his harmony pure, and every subject of fugue or imitation, 
simple and natural. In each of the great number of his different 
works, that I have scored, there is always some excellence; the 
last, however, that is seen, always appears the best. The parts in 
his French songs sing better, and the composition is in general 
more pleasing, and like the best productions of a much later period, 
than any songs in the same collection (b). 

Pierre Manchicourt, a native of Bethune, in Artois (c), and 
director of the Music in the cathedral of Dornick, who flourished 
about this time, and whose name frequently appears among the 
composers of motets and songs, in four and five parts, does not 
reward lovers of Music for the trouble of scoring his productions so 
amply as Clemens non Papa, and, indeed, in three or four of them 
that I examined, he seems not only a dry, but clumsy 
contrapuntist. 

Josquin Baston, however, of nearly the same period, wrote in 
a clean and clear manner. We may imagine, by the first of his 
names, that he was some way connected with the great Jusquin; 
perhaps his relation, godson, or scholar. He was living, according 
to Lod. Guicciardini, in 1556. A song of his composition was 
printed in the second book of the Louvain collection, 1559 (d); 
the words of which would not only serve as a specimen of the 
coarse poetry, but gallantary of the times; there is, however, a 
facility, rhythm, and melody in the Music, that was not then very 
common; the kev too is well defined; but all the compositions of 
this period, in the fifth or sixth ecclesiastical mode, which we 
should now write in F and G major, are the more pleasing to 
modern ears, on account of the key being ascertained. 

In the third book of the Louvain collection of songs in four parts, 
printed 1554, there is one by Petrus Heylanus, a Netherlander, 
who either composed but little, or has been very unjustly treated 
by posterity; as I find his name no where else. The points of 
imitation in this song, though airy and familiar, are brought in 
almost as closely and constantly as if in perpetual canon; indeed, 
it would not be easy to find a composition in which more art is 
discovered, with such seeming facility (e). It would occupy more 

(b) Premier Livre des Chansons a 4 parties, a Louvain, 1558. 

(c) This city was first taken by the French, 1645. Moreri. 

(d) This must have been the second edition, as the third book in the Museum collection 
was printed in 1554. 

(e) In this composition there is another instance of a flat 7th in the base, to avoid a false 
5th, like the passage already remarked in the madrigal of Arkadelt : II bianco e dolce cigno, 
P- 245. 

250 






MUSIC IN THE NETHERLANDS IN THE XVI CENTURY 

space here than so obscure a composer is entitled to, or I should 
gladly insert this song, as a curiosity, during the sixteenth century, 
for melody and close imitation. 

Jacob de Kerl [c. 1531-1591], canon of the cathedral at 
Cambray, was born at Ipres, in Flanders. His compositions, 
which are chiefly for the church, were published in different parts 
of Europe, from 1562 to 1573 [1558-85]. His masses were printed 
at Venice, in large folio, 1562. The style in which they are 
composed is dry and uninteresting; for though the harmony is good, 
and the answers to fugues are warrantable, yet the ingenuity and 
contrivances of a Jusquin or a Palestrina are necessary to keep 
attention awake, with so little melody and modulation as the strict 
adherence to the ecclesiastical modes, which was then thought 
necessary, would allow. 

Cyprian Rore [c. 1516-65], or, as the Italians call him, 
Cipriano di Rore, one of the most voluminous and renowned 
composers of the sixteenth century, was born at Mechlin, in 
Flanders, 1516. In the title-page of a book, published at Venice, 
1549, he is called the scholar of Adrian Willaert (/). In the 
preface to the Canti Carnascialeschi, published at Florence, 1559, 
he is called Cantore; as if he had been merely a singer in the service 
of the house of Medicis. However, he seems to have spent the 
greatest part of his life in Italy, as a composer; in which character 
he is mentioned with great respect by Zarlino, Vincenzo Galilei, 
Pietro Pontio, and almost every Italian musical writer of his time. 
And, after having been successively Maestro di Capella to the duke 
of Ferrara, the republic of Venice, where he was the immediate 
predecessor of Zarlino, and the duke of Parma, he died at the court 
of that prince, 1565, aged forty-nine (g). His motets and madrigals 
were first published at Venice, 1544 [1542], and again, together 
with his masses, and many other works, after his decease, in 1562 
and 1565. His Cantiones Sacras, or motets, were likewise published 
at Louvain, 1573* [B.M. A. 70 h]. 

Orlando de Lasso, a native of Mons, in Hainault, born 1520 
[1530/2-1594], was the cotemporary of Cyprian Rore, and so much 

(f) Fantasie e Recerchari a 3 voci, accommodate da cantare e sonare per ogni instrumenlo, 
composte da M. Giuliano Tiburtino, da Tievoli, Musico eccellentissimo, con la giunta di alcuni 
altri recerchari e madrigali a tre voci, composti da lo eccelldntissimo Adrian Vuigliart el 
Cipriano Rore suo discepolo, &c. [B.M. A. 287]. 

(g) The following inscription still remains on his tomb, in the great church at Parma : 

Cypriano Roro, Flandro. 

Artis Musicts 

viro omnium peritissimo, 

cujus nomen famaque 

nee vetustate obrui 

nee oblivione deleri poterit, 

Hercules Ferrariens. Ducis II. 

deinde Venetorum, 

Postremo. 

Octavii Farnesii Parma et Placenlix 

Ducis II. Chori Prafecto, 

Lodovicus frater, fil. et hceredes 

Mcestissimi posuerunt. 

Obiit anno M.D. LXV. mtatis XLIX. 

* His 1st book of Madrigals appeared in 1542. Many examples of his work are to be 
found in the B.M. (A. 70, h.). 

251 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

resembled him in genius, abilities, and reputation, that I shall unite 
them in the same article, and with it close the account of the 
Flemish and Netherlandish School of Counterpoint. Orlando not 
only spent many years of his life in Italy, but had his musical 
education there, having been carried thither, surreptitiously, when 
a child, on account of his fine voice. The historian Thuanus, 
who has given Orlando a place among the illustrious men of his 
time, tells us that it was a common practice for young singers to 
be forced away from their parents, and detained in the service of 
princes; and that Orlando was carried to Milan, Naples, and Sicily, 
by Ferdinand Gonzago. Afterwards, when he was grown up, and 
had probably lost his voice, he went to Rome, where he taught 
Music during two years; at the expiration of which he travelled 
through different parts of Italy and France with Julius Cesar 
Brancatius, and at length, returning to Flanders, resided many 
years at Antwerp, till being invited, by the duke of Bavaria, to 
Munich, he settled at that court, and married. He had afterwards 
an invitation, accompanied with the promise of great emoluments, 
from Charles IX. king of France to take upon him the office of 
master and director of his band; an honour which he accepted, 
but was stopped on the road to Paris by the news of that monarch's 
death. After this event he returned to Munich, whither he was 
recalled by William, the son and successor of his patron Albert, 
to the same office which he had held under his father. Orlando 
continued at this court till his death, in the year 1593 [,d. 1594], 
at upwards of seventy years of age. His reputation was so great, 
that it was said of him: Hie ille Orlandus Lassum, qui recreat 
orbem* 

As he lived to a considerable age, and never seems to have 
checked the fertility of his genius by indolence, his compositions 
exceed, in number, even those of Palestrina. There is a complete 
catalogue of them in Draudius (i), amounting to upwards of fifty 
different works, consisting of masses, magnificats, passiones, motets, 
and psalms; with Latin, Italian, German, and French songs, printed 
in Italy, Germany, France, and the Netherlands. 

To form a comparative idea of the style of these two composers 
with that of Palestrina, the specific difference seems to be this : that 
the two Netherlanders, by having spent the chief part of their time 
in the courts of princes, had acquired a lighter and more secular 
cast of melody than Palestrina, who residing constantly at Rome, 
and writing chiefly for the church, had a natural and characteristic 
gravity in all his productions. Indeed, the compositions a Capella 
of Cyprian Rore and Orlando Lasso are much inferior to those of 
Palestrina, in this particular; for by striving to be grave and solemn 
they only become heavy and dull; and what is unaffected dignity 

(i) Bibl. Class. 

* The year 1520 is now considered as being too early for the birth of Lassus. Somewhere 
between 1530 and 32 is thought to be correct. Burney does not seem to have known the later 
Church music which establishes the fame of Lassus. 

A complete edition of all the known works of Lassus was commenced by B. and H. in 1894. 

252 



MUSIC IN THE NETHERLANDS IN THE XVI CENTURY 

in the Roman, is little better than the strut of a dwarf upon stilts 
in the Netherlanders. They were, however, great masters of 
harmony, and, out of the church, prepared the colours, and 
furnished the musician's pallet with many new tints of harmony 
and modulation, which were of great use to subsequent composers, 
particularly in dramatic painting. 

In the same collection of songs, printed 1555, we have a Latin 
poem set by Orlando di Lasso in the manner of a madrigal in which 
the modulation is curious; but, though elaborate and recherchee, 
it is pleasing, and has had many imitators. 

Cyprian and Orlando were the first who hazarded what are now 
called chromatic passages. At the end of the fourteenth book of 
songs in four parts, printed at Antwerp, by Tylman Susato, there is 
an irregular Latin ode, by Cypriano, set likewise in the madrigal 
style, in which not only an A %, but an A|? occurs in the same 
movement, and almost every accident usual in modern Music. I 
shall insert part of this composition, as a specimen of the authors's 
frequent attempts at new harmonies and modulation, which, when 
laid before the learned musical reader in score, will afford him much 
better information concerning the real history and progress of the 
art of counterpoint, at this time, than all the catalogues of books, 
and descriptions of their contents, which diligence and language 
could furnish. 

Many of the forced, crude, and unexpected modulations in the 
motet of Cyprian Rore, however they may have been admired for 
their boldness and novelty, were never adopted by subsequent 
composers. Beautiful, natural, and pleasing passages and effects 
are soon rendered common by plagiarism and imitation; whereas 
the unnatural and difficult are long left in the possession of the 
original proprietor. Perhaps in a series of years some other 
composer, unable to astonish by his inventions in a natural way, and 
determined to produce something that shall, at least, seem new, 
will propose them again to the public, who will again reject, and so 
on, ad infinitum. But these musical hunters after novelty, without 
genius to find it, forget that such passages or modulations must have 
presented themselves to thousands in the course of their studies and 
ricercate, but that good taste and sound judgment had rejected them. 
It is at all times easy to produce new arrangements and combinations 
of sounds, if nature, grace, and propriety be renounced; but at 
once to be new and natural, belongs only to genius of the first order. 
The songs in this collection by Orlando, are said by the publisher 
to be composed a la nouvelle composition d' aucuns d' Italie. I find 
but little melody in any of them, though much modulation, different 
from the other Flemish masters of this period. There is another 
essential difference in the notation, as the diminutions into crotchets 
and quavers, particularly in the songs alia Napolitana, are more 
frequent than in any other compositions of the middle of the sixteenth 
century. The chromatic accidental semitones are expressed by a 
sharp, and no longer left to the mercy and sagacity of the singer, as 
was before the constant custom. The occasional changes in the 

253 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 



intervals, which are necessary in counterpoint, though formed upon 
ecclesiastical melodies, were at first smuggled into harmony, perhaps 
by singers whose good ears suggested them, though the composer had 
not dared to point them out, lest he should be accused of corrupting 
the modes. Orlando seems the first who, in spite of ancient 
prejudice and pedantry, when he wished to alter a note, dared to 
express his intentions in writing. In his more gay and comic style, 
however, the modulation is overcharged with wanton and 
unnecessary transitions from one key to another, without remaining 
long enough in any one to fix it in the hearer's attention. 

Of the two following compositions by Orlando di Lasso and 
Cipriano de Rore, to Latin words, the first is in hexameter and 
pentameter, and the second, an irregular ode, partly in the choral 
measures of the Greek tragedies. At this mark +, in Orlando's 
composition, the first A# occurs that I had ever seen used in 
counterpoint of equal antiquity; and this seems to have been 
suggested by the words novumque melos. Which of these 
productions was first composed I know not, as they were both 
published together at Antwerp, 1555. 



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The madrigals, in general, of both Cyprian and Orlando, to 
Italian words, are excellent, in the style of the times; but of these 
there need no examples, after the number of learned and elaborate 
compositions with which the reader has been presented from the 
works of their cotemporaries. Wherever innovation has been 
attempted, which tends to a revolution in the art, it seems the duty of 
an historian to point it out; and the two chromatic compositions have 
been inserted above, with that v intent. Indeed, the laboured and 
equivocal modulation of these composers, though often learned and 



Voi,. ii. 17. 



257 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

ingenious, sometimes borders so much on caprice and affectation as 
to fatigue the attention, and disgust the ear. 

The pedantry of crude harmonies and learned modulation, only 
suits depraved ears that are grown callous to every thing that is 
easy and natural. The Italians, when they quitted madrigals, and 
no longer aspired at the applause of fastidious chamber-critics, whose 
approbation was bestowed on no compositions that did not smell of 
the lamp, simplified their secular Music, and instead of puzzling and 
goading the hearer with complicated contrivances and extraneous 
modulation, aimed at grace and facility in their melodies, which they 
clothed with such plain and tranquil harmony, as, instead of disguise 
and suffocation, added greatly to their energy and effect. Dramatic 
Music was not yet even in idea, and concerts, or other assemblies of 
gay and unlearned hearers, seem now not to have existed; so that 
musical composers could not be said to write for the public, who 
will ever prefer such pleasure and amusement as give them the 
least trouble. Authors of all kinds, who seek for applause, conform 
to the taste of their judges; and we find, in our own times, that those 
musicians who are qualified by their genius and abilities to direct and 
govern the public opinion, think it necessary, however false and 
corrupt it may be, to humour and flatter it, by all the concessions in 
their power. The art never long remains stationary at any one point 
of cultivation; and if perfection could be attained, its reign would 
inevitably be short. In Music, the learned are few, and silent; the 
ignorant numerous, and noisy : in the chamber it was right to please 
the former, and in the theatre, where 

' ' the fair, the gay, the young 

Govern the numbers of each song, ' ' 

there is no choice. A public and mixed audience is such a 
many-headed monster, that all its ears cannot be pleased at the same 
time; and whether the good or the bad predominate, the greater 
number must be gratified at the expence of the less. 

Two of Orlando di Lasso's sons, Ferdinand and Rodolph, were 
able musicians, and both in the service of Maximilian, duke of 
Bavaria; the eldest as chapel-master, and the other as organist to 
that prince. These collected their father's motets, as well those 
which had been published during his life, as those which remained 
unpublished at his decease, and printed them in a very splendid and 
sumptuous manner at Munich, in seven volumes, large folio, 1604,* 
with a dedication to their patron the sovereign of Bavaria. The 
general reception, however, of these compositions, seems not to have 
equalled the expectations of the editors : other productions had taken 
possession of the public ear and favour. It is, I fear, in vain to 
hope for the revival of old Music; too many are interested in the 
success of the new; and such are the vicissitudes of what are called 
taste and expression in this art, that if sufficient probity and zeal 
could be found in fashionable performers to incline them to attempt 

* Six volumes were published in 1604 and the seventh in 1610. 
25S 



MUSIC IN THE NETHERLANDS IN THE XVI CENTURY 

doing justice to the productions of former times, it is hardly possible 
for them to succeed; the accent, energy, and expression are either lost 
in the execution, or unintelligible to the hearers. There is, indeed, 
as little chance for a musician of the present age to perform such 
productions in the manner of the times in which they were composed, 
as to pronounce a foreign language as well as his own; and if, against 
all calculation, he should succeed, this Music will still be an unknown 
tongue to the public. 



259 



Chapter Vll 

Of the Progress of Music in England from the 

Death of Queen Elizabeth, till the End of the 

Seventeenth Century 



James I 

ELIZABETH, in the early part of her life, seems to have 
studied Music, and to have made a considerable progress on 
the Virginals (k). Her reign was long, and, in general, 
tranquil; and in spite of the fanatical spirit of the times, and the 
outcry of the Puritans against every species of Church-music, except 
syllabic psalmody, our Cathedral service, by the diligence and 
abilities of Dr. Tye, Tallis, Bird, Morley, and others, was brought 
to a pitch of perfection, which was hardly surpassed by that of 
Italy itself. 

This, however, does not appear to have been the consequence of 
royal munificence; for Elizabeth, though extremely fond of splendour 
and shew, was so parsimonious in rewarding talents, that she 
suffered the gentlemen of her chapel, till the time of her death, to 
solicit in vain for an augmentation of salary, which the difference 
in the value of money, and way of living since the first establish- 
ment of the Chapel-Royal, seemed to have made necessary. And 
though, among the nobility, the principal professors seem to have 
met with solid patronage, yet Dr. Bull and Dowland quitted the 
kingdom in pursuit of better elsewhere. 

The accession of James I. to the crown of England [1603] 
occasioned no immediate accession of science, or refinement in the 
polite arts : as the country he quitted was still less polished than that 
in which he arrived. Nor does it appear that this prince, either 
from nature or education, was enabled to receive any pleasure from 
Music; however, early in his reign, the gentlemen of his chapel, 
assisted by the influence and solicitation of several powerful 
noblemen, who pleaded their cause, severally obtained an increase 
of ten pounds to their annual stipend. 

(k) See above p. 24. 
260 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVII CENTURY 

An entry is made of this event in the cheque-book of the Chapel 
Royal, signed, not only by five of the great officers of state, but by 
the subdean, chaplains, and gentlemen of the chapel then living. 

Among these petitioners there is but one name, that of Edmund 
Hooper (I) [c. 1553-1621], which ever appears afterwards in the lists 
of musicians eminent for composition or performance, except Bird, 
Bull, and Gyles, who had distinguished themselves in the preceding 
reign. 

Dr. Nathaniel Giles [c. 1558-1633], a native of Worcestershire, 
took a bachelor's degree 1585, and was soon after appointed 
organist and master of the boys at Windsor. On the death of 
Hunnis, in 1597, he was appointed master of the children of the 
Chapel Royal; in 1622, he was admitted to the degree of doctor in 
Music at Oxford; and on the accession of Charles I. was appointed 
organist of his majesty's chapel. He was a learned and able musician 
of the old school, and composed many services and anthems for the 
Church, which were regarded as masterly productions. Gyles, 
however, like Ravenscroft, had a strong tincture of pedantry in his 
disposition, which inclined him to regard with more reverence than 
they deserved the complicated measures, prolations, augmentations, 
diminutions, and other dissimular motions of the several parts of 
polyphonic compositions, commonly called by the reformers curious 
singing. There is extant a lesson of descant by Master Gyles, before 
he had taken his doctor's degree, of thirtie-eighte proportions of 
sundrie kindes. Most of these were become obsolete, unintelligible, 
and useless, by the general reception of more simple, easy, and 
modern characters and dvisions of time.* And it seems as if Gyles 
and Ravenscroft wished, in pure pedantry, to revive the old 
perplexities; as Dr. Pepusch, a century later, tried hard to bring us 
back to the ancient ecclesiastical modes or species of octave. It is 
difficult to determine which is most injurious to Music, or the greatest 
impediment to its improvement, the pedantry which draws us back 
to useless and exploded customs, or wanton and licentious 
innovation, which quits the true and fundamental principles of the 
art, in order to pursue visionary schemes of reformation and 
singularity. Good Music is ever to be found between these two 
extremes; and though Pedantry takes hold of one hand, in order to 
draw her back to rusticity or exploded learning; and Innovation 
seizes the other to drag her from the right path, into the company 
of caprice, affectation, and singularity; she pursues her slow and 
steady course towards taste, elegance, simplicity, and invention, 
under the guidance of Judgment and Science. 

To insert many examples of composition, during a barbarous 
age, particularly if some value be not given to them by their scarcity 

(i) This musician was likewise organist of Westminster Abbey, and author of several 
anthems which are still performed in our provincial cathedrals, as well as one of the 
Harmonists who set parts to the edition of the psalm-tunes, published 1594 [1592]. He died 1621. 

* There is a number of compositions by Dr. Giles in the B.M. (Add. MSS. 17792-6; 30478-9; 
17784, 17820, 31418, 30085-7), and also at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, and Christ 
Church, Oxford. Hawkins in his History reprinted the Lessons of Descant. 

261 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

is doing the reader but little kindness. Indeed, we are now 
approaching better times, when productions of a superior class will 
pour in upon us, and deserve insertion; of which, to point out the 
peculiar beauties and excellence will be a much more pleasing employ- 
ment, than to censure or ridicule the defects of such as were 
produced during this reign. 

Anthems, masques, madrigals, songs, and catches, seem to 
comprise the whole of our vocal Music for the Church, the Stage, 
and the Chamber, at this time. And with respect to instrumental 
productions under the title of Fancies, &c. as they were chiefly 
composed for lutes and viols, which are now laid aside, if they had 
been replete with genius and learning, justice could not have been 
done to them in the performance. Luckily the chief part of them are 
of so artless and insipid a kind, that no loss would accrue to 
judicious and reasonable lovers of Music by their utter annihilation. 

The best English musicians of the early part of the seventeenth 
century have been included in the end of the sixteenth. There are 
many names come down to us of others who published works that 
were still-bom, and can hardly be said ever to have existed. With 
accounts of these and their authors I shall not long detain the 
reader: the history of men who have done nothing cannot be too 
short, as they can neither be made profitable nor pleasant. 

Batson, Anmer, Litchfield, Pilkington, and Ward, published 
madrigals, and other vocal Music, about this time; Jones, Corkine, 
and Adson Ayres; but all so much alike, so unmarked, unmeaning, 
and vapid, that there is not sufficient difference of style, melody, 
or modulation in them to enable the most penetrating critic to assign 
them to one composer more than another. And it would be as 
vain for a cultivated and refined ear to hope for amusement in them, 
as a plagiarist to seek for plunder. 

It has been inferred that prince Henry was a lover of Music, and 
a performer, from the list of musicians on his establishment; but 
this seems to have been more a matter of dignity and ancient usage, 
than the prince's choice for the gratification of a particular passion : 
as it may be supposed that there never was a prince of Wales 
without ministrels, or musicians in his service. And no memorials 
remain of this promising young prince ever availing himself of the 
advantage of such a band, in honouring them with his commands 
in any particular exercise of their skill and talents. 

In the list of his musical establishment, however, 1611, the 
names of several musicians appear who merit some notice: these, 
besides Dr. Bull, were Robert Johnson, Thomas Lupo, Thomas 
Cutting, Thomas Ford, and nine more, at £.40. per annum salary 
to each. Johnson, who was probably the son of the old composer 
of that name, mentioned in the preceding volume, seems to have 
been an active professor during the reigns of king James and Charles 
I. his name frequently appearing in the publications of the times 

262 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVII CENTURY 

(w); as does that of Lupo, not only in printed but manuscript 
instrumental Music, particularly Fantasias for lutes and viols, of 
which many have been preserved in the collections made by the 
nobility and gentry who then patronized the art. Cutting was a 
celebrated performer on the lute, in the service of the lady Arabella 
Stuart, the king's niece; to whom his queen and prince Henry wrote 
letters, requesting her to permit him to engage in the service of the 
king of Denmark, her majesty's brother («). Ford [c. 1580-1648] 
published some pieces for four voices, accompanied by lutes and 
viols, 1607; and several of his catches appear in the first collections 
that were published of these facetious and social compositions. 

The reader will perhaps be best enabled to judge of the musical 
productions of this reign by seeing them separately classed under 
the three principal divisions of the art, as it has admission in the 
Church, the Theatre, and Chamber. 

Indeed, amidst many dull and worthless secular productions, the 
Church was furnished with some good compositions; but these, it 
is to be feared, will only prove, that such Music may be produced 
at all times with less genius than that which requires imagination, 
as well as science, to support it; as it depends more on mechanical 
rules and labour than invention. 

Thomas Tomkins, a scholar of Bird, who took a bachelor's 
degree in Music, at Oxford, 1607, was an excellent contrapuntist, 
who supplied the Church with a great number of admirable 
compositions. Many of them are preserved in Dr. Tudway's 
collection, British Museum, and in Christ-church and Magdalen 
College, Oxford. 

Elway Bevin must be remembered among the musical 
luminaries of this reign.* He was a scholar of Tallis, which is 
discoverable by his works; but it is not quite so easy to discover 
how it could have been at the recommendation of his master 
who died 1585, that he was sworn in gentleman extraordinary of 
the Chapel Royal, as has been said, 1589 [1605]. His service in 
D minor, printed in Boyce's collection, has the true ancient cast 
of modulation, the ferrugo pretiosa upon it, which gives a dignity 
to its effects, for which we can now hardly account. The accents, 
as usual with the old masters, are often erroneously placed; but if 
that imperfection be removed or regarded with indulgence, the 
composition must be allowed, in point of harmony and modulation, 
to be admirable. And there are some grand effects produced by- 
pauses and long notes without changing or infringing the original 



(m) His instrument seems to have been the lute or harp, as he is allowed £.20. per annum 
for strings. See the grant in Rymer. He first set the Tempest of Shakspeare. 

(») These letters, with the answers to them, are among the Harleian MSS. in the British 
Museum : No. 6986, 42, 43, 44. 

* There is no record of Bevin being a pupil of Tallis. There are MSS. by Bevin in the 
B.M. of which might be mentioned, "Hark, Jolly Shepherds" in 20 parts. Other MSS. by him 
are at Oxford, in the Music School and Christ Church. 

263 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

measure, that afford me very pleasing sensations. Elway Bevin 
was, indeed, a man of genius, and it is to be lamented that more 
of his compositions have not been preserved. Besides his appoint- 
ment in the Chapel Royal, he was organist of Bristol cathedral 
[1589-1637], and the master of Dr. Child. But, notwithstanding 
his abilities and great age, he was dismissed from all his employ- 
ments, in 1636, on being discovered to adhere to the Romish 
communion.* 

In 1631 he published a work full of harmonical erudition, 
entitled " A brief e Instruction, &c. and Art of Canon," which, 
however useless it may be deemed now, must have been of singular 
service to young students in times when canons were regarded as 
the greatest efforts of human intellect, and the solution of these 
enigmas was equally difficult with that of the most abstruse and 
complicated problems in Euclid. Micheli Romano published a 
similar work at Venice, 1615 (o), and Valentini another at Rome, 
1655 (p). 

But the best English composer for the Church, during the reign 
of James I. seems, without exception, to have been Orlando 
Gibbons [1583-1625]; who, though not blest with longevity, yet, 
during his short life, contributed amply to the Music of the Church, 
which he enriched with numerous compositions, that are still fresh 
and in constant use among the best productions within its pale. 

This excellent musician, a native of Cambridge, was brother 
of Edward Gibbons, bachelor of Music, organist of Bristol,** 
gentleman of the Chapel Royal, and master of Mathew Lock; and 
of Ellis Gibbons, author of two madrigals in the Triumphs of Oriana, 
who is stiled by Ant. Wood, "the admirable organist of Salisbury." 
In 1604, at the age of twenty-one, Orlando was appointed organist of 
the Chapel Royal, in the room of Arthur Cock. In 1622, he was 
honoured at Oxford with a doctor's degree in Music, at the same 
time as his friend Dr. Heyther [Heather], when both were 
countenanced and favoured with indulgencies in the university in 
consequence of letters from the learned Camden, who recommended 
them with friendly zeal to its notice. According to Ant. Wood, 
the academical exercise in six or more parts, performed at this 
time for Heyther' s degree, was composed by Orlando Gibbons, " as 
one or more eminent musicians then living had several times told 
him." So that grown- gentlemen, as well as boys, through idleness 
or ignorance, are sometimes reduced to the humiliating necessity 



(o) Musica vaga et artificiosa, continente motetti con oblighi, e canoni diversi, tanto i>er 
quelli chc li dilettano sentire varie curiosita, quanto per quelli che vorrano professare d' intendere 
diversi studii della Musica. Folio. 

(p) Canoni Musicali del Signor Pier Francesco Valentini Romano. 

* There is no evidence to support this statement. 

** It is now known that Edward Gibbons was not connected in any way with Bristol 
Cathedral, and there does not appear to be any truth in the statement that Ellis Gibbons was 
organist at Salisbury Cathedral. 

264 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVII CENTURY 

of having recourse to the charity of friends, before they can exhibit 
an exercise (q) . 

The harmony of Gibbons's service in F, printed by Dr. Boyce, 
is pure, clear, and grateful; and the melody more accented and 
flowing than I have found in any choral Music of equal antiquity 
(r). The two parts in one, of the Gloria Patri, though they may 
be the cause of some confusion in the words, discover no restraint 
or stiffness in the melody, which continues to move with the same 
freedom, as if ho canon had existence. And though the purists, 
on account of the confusion arising from all the parts singing 
different words at the same time, pronounce the style, in which his 
full anthems are composed, to be vicious; yet the lovers of fugue, 
ingenious contrivance, and rich, simple, and pleasing harmony, 
must regard them as admirable productions, alia Palestrina, a style 
in which Tallis and Bird acquired so much renown. 

Besides his admirable choral compositions, O. Gibbons was 
author of melodies in two parts to the hymns and spiritual songs 
of the Church, translated by Geo. Withers [1623], and of several 
others works which will be mentioned elsewhere. 

Dr. Tudway, in the dedication of the first volume of his 
manuscript " Collection of the most celebrated Services and 

(q) A manuscript copy of the exercise performed for Dr. Heyther's degree, is said to 
have been found, signed with the name of Orlando Gibbons. It is an anthem for eight voices, 
taken from the forty-seventh psalm; and appears to be the very same composition as the 
anthem of Orlando Gibbons, to the words "O clap your hands together all ye people," printed 
in Boyce's Cath. Mus., Vol. II., p. 59. 

Writing in eight real parts, fugato, in this close manner, is perhaps more difficult than in 
the same number of parts, a due cori. As the exercise for the degree with which I was 
honoured at Oxford, was required, by the statutes, to be composed in eight real parts; previous 
to supplicating for it in that university, besides the anthem consisting of solo, verse, and 
choral movements, accompanied by instruments, I prepared a vocal chorus, which the musical 
reader will find on the next plates, in eight real parts, in the same full and rigid manner as 
Orl. Gibbons's "O clap your hands together," before I had seen that or any other of the same 
kind. It was, however, not performed : as the late worthy Music-professor, Dr. William Hayes 
said, that though this movement alone would have well entitled me to a doctor's degree, it 
would not be wanting, the choruses of the anthem being sufficiently full to satisfy him and the 
university of my abilities to write in many parts. 

Upon shewing Mr. C. P. Emanuel Bach the score of the exercise that was performed at 
Oxford, 1769, he honoured it so far as to beg a copy of it, and afterwards had it performed, 
vocally and instrumentally, in St. Catharine's church at Hamburgh, under his own direction, 
1773. It was repeatedly performed at Oxford, after it had fulfilled its original destination; 
and once the principal soprano part had the advantage of being exquisitely sung by Miss 
Linley, now Mrs. Sheridan. It is hoped that the reader will pardon this egotism, which has 
been extorted from me by occasional and sinister assertions, "that I neither liked nor had 
studied Church Music." 

(r) A few false accents, however, occur, and harmonies not generally received, such as 
the ? ; (see Boyce, ubi supra, Vol. I. p. 125, line i. 129, and elsewhere in the same service) 
5 when the base is neither stationary nor preparing for a close; and (p. 126) the combination 
of 1 . But these are licences, which, in their transient use, can give but a momentary 
uneasiness to the most fastidious and learned ear. Vol. II. p. 52 1. i. bar 3d of the same 
admirable collection, there is a false relation in the harmony, which no ear can tolerate; nor do 
I imagine that the author ever intended that one part should sing Fff, while another was 
singing F£, not merely in passing notes, but fundamental. The second F, in the tenor, should 
certainly be natural, or the counter tenor should have F#. And in the penultima bar of the 
same anthem, Bfl and C would please my ear much more than Bb and G; in the first soprano, 
p. 64, 1. i bar fourth, I should also like the interval of the false 5th to C#, in the first tenor, 
better than Cy which, so near a close in D, disappoints a modern ear. However, this is 
a V 'antique; and, at the time this anthem was composed, a false 5th in melody and in harmony, 
was equally prohibited, though that prejudice now no longer exists, and we find the greatest 
beauties arise from the use of both. 

265 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

Anthems used in the Church of England," addressed to lord 
Harley, for whom it was made; after a just and warm eulogium 
on the abilities of Tallis and Bird, says that " none of the later 
composers could ever make appear so exalted a faculty in 
compositions for the Church, except that most excellent artist, 
Orlando Gibbons, organist and servant to king Charles I. whose 
whole service, with several anthems, are the most perfect pieces of 
church compositions which have appeared since the time of Tallis 
and Bird; the air so solemn, the fugues and other embellishments 
so just and naturally taken, as must warm the heart of any one, 
who is endued with a soul fitted for divine raptures." To this 
encomium every candid judge of harmony will readily subscribe; 
but when the doctor tells us, that the celebrated service in F was 
composed by Orlando Gibbons in 1635, he furnishes no very 
favourable proof of his knowledge in chronology; as it is recorded 
on the monument erected to his memory by his widow, that he 
died ten years before that period. For in 1625, being commanded, 
ex officio, to attend the solemnity of the marriage of his royal 
master, Charles I. with the princess Henrietta of France, at 
Canterbury, for which occasion he had composed the Music, he 
was seized with the small-pox,* and dying on Whitsunday, in the 
same year, was buried in that cathedral. 

The court, during this reign, seems to have been wholly 
inattentive to Music. No royal concerts are on record, and the only 
secular use that appears to have been made of the art, within its 
precincts, was in the Masques performed for the amusement of 
his majesty and the royal family, in which occasional songs and 
symphonies were introduced. 

Masques, which preceded the regular musical drama, required 
such splendid and expensive decorations, that, like the first operas 
of Italy and France, they seem to have been confined to the 
palaces of princes, and the mansions of the nobility; and those of 
Ben Jonson, Beaumont and Fletcher, Sir William Davenant, Milton, 
and others, appear to have been all originally written for private 
performers and particular occasions. 

As the incidental songs in these dramas, and in our plays, with 
the overtures and act-tunes, included the whole of Theatrical 
Music, during the reigns of our first James and Charles, I shall 
endeavour to save my reader the trouble of seeking indications of 
its use in the writings of our dramatic poets, by collecting and 
explaining such passages as immediately concern or allude to Music 
in the principal pieces of the times. 

In Gammer Gurton's Needle, the first regular comedy in our 
language, written 1551, we have a song, and an instance of the 
early use of Music between the acts of each piece in our theatres; 

* Gibbons' death was not occasioned by small-pox. A letter and a medical certificate were 
discovered by Barclay Squire which state that he was at first "lethargical" and after 
convulsions "he grew apoplecticall and so died." The complete keyboard works of Orlando 
Gibbons have been edited by Margaret H. Glyn and published in 5 volumes by Stainer and Bell. 

266 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVII CENTURY 

for which, at the end of the second act of this play, we have the 
following instructions to the musicians : 

" Into the town will I, my friendes to visit there, 
And hither straight again to see th' end of this gere. 
In the mean time, fellowes, pype up your fidles (s). 1 

say, take them, 
And let your friendes hear such mirth as ye can make 

them." 

In the Tragi-comedy of King Cambyses, Music is introduced at 
the banquet. 

-they be at hand, sir, with stick and fidle; 



They can play a new dance called Hey didle didle." 

In another part of this play a psalm is sung (t). 

Exhibitions on a public stage are of great antiquity in our 
country, and had their beginning, as Stow tells us, at Clerks well, 
or Clerkenwell; a name it acquired from the annual meeting of the 
London parish clerks, in order to play some large history of Holy 
Scripture. " For example, of later times, in the yeare 1369, the 
xiv. of Richard II. I read, the parish clarkes of London, on the 
18th of July, played interludes at Skinner's Well, neere unto 
Clarkes Well, which play continued three dayes together, the king, 
queen, and nobles being present. Also the yeare 1409, x. Henry 
IV. they played a play, at the Skinner's Well, which lasted eight 
days, and was of matter from the creation of the world. There 
were to see the same, the most part of the nobles and gentiles in 
England." 

" Skinner's Well," says the same author, " was so called, for 
that the skinners of London held there certaine playes yeerely, 
played of Holy Scripture; in place whereof, the wrestlings have of 
later yeeres been kept, and are in part continued at Bartholomew- 
tide (u)." 

According to Hall's Chronicle, the first Masque performed in 
England, was at Greenwich, 1512, " after the manner of Italie;" 
and Hollingshed says, that " there was not only a Masque, but a 
good comedy of Plautus performed in 1520." In 1530, a Masque 
was performed at Whitehall, " consisting of Music, dancing, and 
a banquet, with a display of grotesque personages and fantastic 
dresses." This piece seems only to have wanted machinery to 
fulfil the idea of a complete Masque, such as were afterwards 
written by Ben Jonson and others, which, with a constant musical 
declamation in recitative mixed with air, would have formed an 
opera exactly similar to the Musical drama of Italy, in the ensuing 

(s) This shews the early use of fidles in the play-house; but how these fidles were to pype, 
is not easy to discover. 

(t) In the running title of this play, it is called a Comedy of King Cambises; but in the 
title-page it is said to be "a lamentable Tragedy full of pleasant mirth, &c" 

(w) Stow's Survey of London, black letter, 1598. 

267 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

century. Langbaine tells us, that Jocasta, a tragedy by Geo. 
Gascoigne and Fran. Kenwelmushe, was first acted in 1556; and 
Giles Jacob says, that each act of this play was introduced by 
dumb show, and concluded by a chorus; but whether this chorus 
was sung or not, is as yet unsettled by the critics. However, as 
it does not appear that the choruses to Shakspeare' s historical plays 
were ever sung, there seems no reason for concluding that this 
chorus was performed in a different manner. 

The next directions concerning Music, which I find in any of 
our regular old plays, is in " the order given for dumb show " 
before each act of the tragedy of Gorbuduc, or Ferrex and Porrex, 
written by lord Buckhurst in 1561, three years before Shakspeare 
was born. 

First, the Music of violins began to play. 

Second act. The Music of Cornets. 

Third act. The Music of flutes. 

Fourth act. The Music of hautbois. 

Fifth act. Drums and flutes. 

In 1580, masques and poems of various kinds, written by 
Gascoigne and others, were performed in a splendid manner before 
queen Elizabeth, on her visit to the earl of Leicester, of which 
festival there are several minute accounts extant, particularly in 
Sir W. Dugdale's History of Warwickshire, 1656, from a book 
entitled " The Princely Pleasures of Kenelworth Castle." 

Riccoboni says, that James I. on coming to the crown, in 1603, 
granted a licence to a company of players, in which Interludes 
are included; but an interlude then was another word for a play, 
whether comedy, tragedy, or farce. Masques are not mentioned 
in this patent; but as masques, at this time, were court entertain- 
ments, or performed in the houses of the nobility, on particular 
occasions of festivity, the necessary machinery and decorations 
rendered such exhibitions too expensive for the ordinary public 
theatres. Indeed, the several parts in the masques of the sixteenth 
and seventeenth centuries were usually represented by the first 
personages in the kingdom; if at court, the king, queen, and princes 
of the blood often performed in them. And this was the custom 
in France and other parts of Europe (x). 

The English seem at all times to have received more delight 
from dramas, in which the dialogue is spoken and the songs are 
incidental, than from such as were sung throughout. Shakspeare 

(x) The French and German writers on our musical drama confound masque with 
mascarade and mascherata, and interlude with the Italian intermezzo; but we had interludes 
long before the Italians had intermezzi, and our poems, or dramas, called masques, bear no 
resemblance to an Italian mascherata. M. de Missy, who, in the Bibl. Brit. 1740, has given a 
regular series of our masques, particularly of the seventeenth century, is constantly mistaken in 
these particulars. In MS. Memoirs of Music, written by the Hon. Roger North, of Rougham, in 
Norfolk, brother of the lord Keeper, to which I was allowed access by his descendant the 
late Dr. Montague North, canon of Windsor; it is said, that "during the reign of king James I. 
the greatest encouragement was given to Music and musicians in the performance of masques 
at court; which being at once balls and operas, found employment for a great number of 
professors, who appeared in the royal theatres in a splendid uniform, composed of silk mantles 
and scarfs of various colours, with rich caps. And, for the better decoration of the scene, the 
master represented the character of Apollo." A custom practised in the early days of 
musical dramas in Italy. 

268 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVII CENTURY 

and Beaumont and Fletcher have frequently introduced masques 
for Music in their plays (y). Of the fourteen comedies of 
Shakspeare there are but two or three in which he has not 
introduced singing; even in most of his tragedies, this wonderful 
and exquisite dramatist has manifested the same predilection for 
Music. And as Homer and Chaucer have furnished illustration 
to my subject, why should not Shakspeare? 

In the Tempest, the use that is made of Music is admirable, as 
well as the description of its effects. Act I. Sc. 5. Ariel, invisible, 
playing and singing to Ferdinand, says : 

" Where should this Music be, i' th' air or earth? 
It sounds no more : and sure it waits upon 
Some god o' th' island." 

and afterwards: 

" This is no mortal business, nor no sound 
That the earth owns: I hear it now above me." 

Indeed, the serious part of this most fanciful play is very 
fortunately calculated for an opera. Shadwefl, in the last century, 
made one of it, in the manner of what were then called operas on 
our stage (z). 

Act II. Sc. 1. " Enter Ariel playing solemn Music." I never 
could understand this indication: no Music seems to be heard by 
the characters on the stage, nor do they take any notice of it 
through the whole scene. Afterwards, when with Music and a song 
he acquaints Gonzalo of the danger he is in, his mission has 
meaning. " While you here do snoring lie, &c." 

Even Caliban talks well about Music : 

" the isle is full of noises, 

Sounds and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not." 

Ariel never appears or is employed without Music, which is 
sweetly described, and introduced with perfect propriety. 
Prospero calls for medicinal Music: 

" A solemn air, and the best comforter 
To an unsettled fancy, cure thy brains." 

Midsummer Night's Dream. 

Act II. Sc. 5. " Come now a roundel, and a Fairy song." 
— If, as Dr. Gray says, a roundel is " a dance in a ring," a 
roundelay was the song and tune to such dance; as ballad, from 

(y) It seems doubtful whether this species of drama acquired the title of masque from 
the actors appearing in masques, a I'antique, or from the characters being imaginary, and 
the actors in disguise. 

(z) It has been lately performed, more as a musical masque than opera or play, at Drury- 
lane, to the Music of the late Mr. T. Linley, as it used to be to that of Dr. Arne and others. 
The songs in this play. Dr. Wilson, who reset and published two of them, tells us, in his 
Court [Cheerfull] Ayres, or Ballads, published at Oxford, 1660, that "Full fathom five, and 
Where the bee sucks, had been first set by Robert Johnson, a composer cotemporary with 
Shakspeare." 

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A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

ballata Italian, so roundelay, from rondelet old French, rondeau 
modern. 

The ideas and language of Fairyism are wonderfully imagined 
and supported in this play; and the use assigned to Music happy 
and fertile. 

Act IV. Sc. 1. " Rural Music, tongs, &c." Poker and tongs, 
marrow-bones and cleavers, salt-box, hurdy-gurdy, &c. are the old 
national instruments of Music on our island. 

Queen. " Music ho! Music: such as charmeth sleep." 
Still Music, meaning such soft and gentle Music as tranquillizes, 
soothes, and lulls to sleep. 

Act. V. Sc. 1. In the list of sports ready for the nuptial feast 
of Theseus, is " the battle with the Centaurs; to be sung by an 
"Athenian eunuch to the harp." This seems to imply a more 
ancient practice of castration for the voice than can be found in 
Opera Annals. 

Speaking of Quince, in the clown's prologue, Hippolita says, 
"indeed, he hath play'd on his prologue, like a child on a recorder 
(a); a sound, but not in government." 

Two songs alluded to in the last scene of this play are lost. 

Oberon. " And this ditty after me 

Sing and dance it trippingly." 

Queen. " First rehearse this song by rote, 
To each word a warbling note; 
Hand in hand, with Fairy grace, 
Will we sing, and bless this place." 

Two Gentlemen of Verona. 

Though this comedy furnishes fewer occasions for Music than 
the two preceding dramas, yet musicians are employed in it as well 
as musical allusions. As Ben Jonson, in his masque of Cynthia's 
Revels, speaks of the gamut or syllables of solmisation, ut, re, mi, 
fa, sol, la, which psalm-singers had made well-known to his 
audience; so Shakspeare, in this play, Act I. Sc. 3. introduces all 
the musical terms then in use : as, a tune, a note, a light, a heavy 
tune, burden, melodious, to reach high, keep in tune, sing out, 
too sharp, too flat, concord, harsh, descant, the mean base, &c. 

Act IV. Sc. last, there is a laboured description of the powers 
of poetry and Music; Orpheus's lute; concert, spelt as now: 

" to their instruments 

Tune a deploring dump," or lament 

(lamentatione) , sung by a wretched and sorrowing lover in the 
dumps. 

(a) A Recorder is a flageolet, or birdpipe. 
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MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVII CENTURY 

Sc. 2. A serenata, or notturno is introduced: 

" now must I to her window, 

And give some evening Music to her ear." 

Enter Musicians. 

" now, gentlemen, 

Let's tune, and to it lustily." 
Song. " Who is Sylvia? what is she? &c." 

Measure for Measure. 

Though this play has less Music in it than the three preceding, 
yet at the beginning of Act. IV. a song, from his own passionate 
pilgrim: " Take, oh, take those lips away," is sung to Mariana 
by a boy, who is sent away on the arrival of the duke, in the 
character of a friar; when apologizing for the seeming levity of 
listening to Music, she says: 

" I cry you mercy, sir, and well could wish, 
You had not found me here so musical." 

To which the duke answers: 

" 'Tis good; though Music oft hath such a charm 
To make bad good; and good provoke to harm." 

This is a heavy charge, which it would not have been easy for 
Shakspeare to substantiate, and does not very well agree with what 
he says in the Tempest of the innoxious efficacy of Music: "Sounds 
and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not." Music may be 
applied to licentious poetry; but the poetry then corrupts the 
Music, not the Music the poetry. It has often regulated the 
movements of lascivious dances; but such airs heard, for the first 
time, without the song or dance, could convey no impure ideas to 
an innocent imagination; so that Montesquieu's assertion is still 
in force : that ' ' Music is the only one of all the arts, which does 
not corrupt the mind." 

Merchant of Venice. 

Act II. Sc. 1. A flourish of cornets when the Moorish prince 
comes in. 

Ibid. Sc. 6. " The vile squeaking of the wry-neck 'd Fife." 
Act III. Sc. 2. " Let Music sound, while he doth make his 

choice; 

Then, if he lose, he makes a swan-like end, 

Fading in Music. 

he may win; 

And what is Music then? then Music is 

As are those dulcet sounds at break of day, 

That creep into the dreaming bridegroom's ear, 

And summon him to marriage." 

Music within. 

2? I 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

A song while Bassanio examines the caskets: 
" Tell me where is fancy bred, &c." 

The passages in the fifth act of this interesting play, are 
beautiful, numerous, and celebrated: 

" And bring your Music forth into the air, &c." 

' ' soft stillness and the night 

Become the touches of sweet harmony." 
Jessica. " I am never merry when I hear sweet Music." — This 
is the initial of a well-known, and now proverbial, eulogium on 
modulated sound: " The man that has no Music in his soul. 
&c. (b)." 

As you like it. 

Act II. Sc. 1. A song: " Under the green-wood tree, &c " 
Remarks on Music by Jaques. Then another song: 

" Blow, blow, thou winter's wind." 
Music. Song: " What shall he have that kill'd the deer." 
Song: " 'Twas a lover and his lass." 
Still Music. Song: " Then is there mirth in heav'n." 
Another song: " Wedding is great Juno's crown." 

Love's Labour lost. 

Act III. Armado. " Warble child; make passionate my sense 
of hearing. ' ' 

This is a most beautiful and comprehensive request: none of 
the fine arts can subsist, or give rapture, without passion. Hence 
mediocrity is more intolerable in them than in other inventions. 
Music without passion is as monotonous as the tolling of a bell. 

But no song is printed: though the author tells us there is 
singing. Dr. Johnson says, " here is apparently a song lost." 

Music as for a Masquerade. 
Songs for Spring and Autumn : 
' When daisies pied." — And " When isicles hang on the wall." 

Winter's Tale. 
Two nonsensical songs, by the rogue Autolychus: 
' When daffodils begin to peere." — " Jog on, jog on, the foot- 
path way." 
" He's main musical." This Autolychus is the true ancient 
minstrel, as described in the old Fabliaux. See this Hist. Book 
II. p. 593. 

A three-part catch, ready planned by the poet, and another 
pedlar's song: " Will you buy any tape? " 

(b) See Pref. to Book I. Hist, oj Mus., p. 18. 
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MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVII CENTURY 

Twelfth Night. 
Act I. Sc. 1. This play opens with a beautiful eulogium on 
Music : 

" If Music be the food of love, play on, &c." 
The use of Evirati, in the same manner as at present, seems to 
have been well known at this time (about 1600) (b). For Viola 
says: 

" I'll serve the duke; 

Thou shalt present me as a Eunuch to him, 
It may be worth thy pains, for I can sing T 
And speak to him in many sorts of Music, 
That will allow me very worth his service." 
And the Duke's sensibility to the power of Music is disclosed in 
the first interview, when he says to Viola: 

" thy small pipe 

Is as the maiden's organ, shrill and sound, 
And all is semblative — a women's part. 
I know thy constellation is right apt 

For this affair," supposing her to be a Eunuch. 

Act II. Sc. 3. The Clown is asked for a love-song, and sings: 

" O mistress mine, where are you roaming? &c." And 

" What is love? 'tis not hereafter, &c." 

Ibid. They sing a catch, beginning " Hold thy peace." (bb). 

Sc. 4. Scraps of songs and catches are roared out by Sir Toby, 

Sir Andrew, and Clown, as " Three merry men be we. — Tilly, 

valley, lady! — There dwelt a man in Babylon, lady, lady. — 

the twelfth day of December. — Farewel, dear heart, since I must 

needs begone. — His eyes do shew his days are almost done. — Shall 

I bid him go? what, an if you do? — Shall I bid him go, and spare 

not? O no, no, no, you dare not." All these, probably, were well 

known in Shakspeare's time. 

Sc. 5. The Duke, who is as constant in his passion for Music, 
as for Olivia, says : 

" give me some Music now — 

Now, good Cesario, but that piece of song, 
That old and antique song, we heard last night; 
Methought, it did revive my passion much; 
More than light airs, and recollected terms 
Of these most brisk and giddy-paced times (c). 

how dost thou like this tune? — 

It gives a very echo to the seat. 
Where love is thron'd, (d). 

(b) Shakspeare died 1616; and though this play was not printed till 1623, yet it certainly 
was written several years before the decease of the author. 

{bb) The reader will see the original Music of this catch, among others, hereafter. 

(c) Measures, in the musical sense. Mr. Stillingfleet, and other croakers, have eagerly 
cited this passage as a satire on modern fine Music and singing; but, I believe, Shakspeare 
meant the reverse; and points at merry jigs and vulgar levity of strain. 

(d) The heart. Pope's idea of the sound being an echo to the sense, seems derived from 
this passage. 

Vol.. ii. 18. 273 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

Ibid. " — the song we had last night — 

it is old and plain; 

The spinsters and the knitters in the sun, 
And the free maids that weave their thread with bones 
Do use to chaunt it: it is silly sooth (e), 
And dallies with the innocence of love, 
Like the old age (/)." 
Song: " Come away, come away, death." 
Act IV. Sc. 4. The Clown, as elsewhere, is much addicted to 
singing. Song, by the Clown : 

" When that I was a little tiny boy, &c." serves as an epilogue 
to this entertaining play. 

In The Taming of the Shrew, no other use is made of Music than 
to introduce ministrels at the wedding, and disguise Hortensio in 
the character of a man well seen in Music, to facilitate his admission 
to the presence and courtship of Bianca; an expedient, however, 
which was unsuccessful. 

More fragments of old ballads are here quoted than in any 
other of Shakspeare's plays; though, as Dr. Warburton said, " he 
seemed to bear the ballad-makers a very particular grudge, and 
often ridicules them with exquisite humour." 

In The Comedy of Errors Music has no admission or concern. 

Much ado about Nothing. 

Music at the masquerade, Act II. Sc. 2. And in Benedict's 
dainty description of such an all-accomplished woman as could ever 
incline him to wed, he adds to her qualifications, Music : ' ' — of 
good discourse, an excellent musician, and her hair of what colour 
it shall please God." Sc. 8. 

Act II. Sc. 9. The song: " Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no 
more," is introduced by several reflections on Music, and the 
affectation of singers. Baltazar, the musician and servant to Don 
Pedro, was perhaps thus named from the celebrated Baltazarini, 
called De Beaujoyeux, an Italian performer on the violin, who was 
in the highest fame and favour at the court of Henry III. of France, 
1577 (g). In the last act, sc. 8, the epitaph and song are beautiful 
and well calculated for Music. 

All's Well that ends Well. 

Act I. Sc. 5. Flourish of cornets for the king of France's 
entrance and exit. 

Act III. Sc. 8. A tucket afar off (h). Ibid. A march afar 
off. 

Act V. Sc. 3. Sound trumpets. 

(e) Simple truth. Johnson. (/) Times of simplicity. lb. (g) See above, p. 223. 

ik) This word is manifestly a corruption of the Italian word toccata, a flourish. 
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MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVII CENTURY 

Historical Plays. King John. 
No Music but trumpets and the din of war. 

King Richard II. 

Act I. Sc. 4. Military instruments are admirably described: 

" rou'd up with boist'rous untun'd drums, 

And harsh resounding trumpets dreadful bray." 

Ibid. Mowbray, duke of Norfolk, on being ordered into 
banishment, says: 

" My native English, now I must forego; 
And now my tongue's use is to me no more, 
Than an unstringed viol, or a harp; 
Or, like a cunning instrument cas'd up, 
Or being open, put into his hands 
That knows no touch to tune the harmony." 

Act II. Sc. 1. " the tongues of dying men 

Inforce attention, like deep harmony: 

— more are men's ends mark'd, than their lives before; 

The setting sun, and Music in the close, 

As the last taste of sweets, is sweetest last " 

Ibid. Sc. 3. Speaking of John of Gaunt's death — '"all is said, 
His tongue is now a stringless instrument." 

Act. V. Sc. 10 Richard in his prison, says — " Music do I hear? 
Ha, ha; keep time: how sow'r sweet Music is, 
Where time is broke, and no proportion kept? " 
Here he plays on musical terms for several lines. 

All instruments, played with the bow, in Shakspeare's time, were 
fretted, except violins. 

In the Taming of the Shrew, act II, sc. 3. he could not resist the 
temptation of quibbling on the term fret. 

" Frets call you them? quoth she : I'll fume with them." 

" then call'd me rascal, fidler, 

And twangling Jack," 
alluding to a famous street-musician of the time. 

First Part, Henry IV. 
Act I. Sc. 2. Falstaff says he's as melancholy as the " drone 
of a Lincolnshire bagpipe." 

Act II. Sc. 3. " An I have not ballads made on you all, and 
sung to filthy tunes, let a cup of sack be my poison." 

Act III. Sc. 3. " thy tongue 

Makes Welch as sweet as ditties highly penn'd, 
Sung by a fair queen in a summer's bower, 
With ravishing division (i) to her lute." 

(i) Divisions were very uncommon in vocal Music during the time of Shakspeare. 

275 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

Second Part of Henry IV. 

Induction. " Rumour is a pipe, 

Blown by surmises, jealousies, conjectures; 
And of so easy and so plain a stop, 
That the blunt monster with uncounted heads, 
The still discordant wavering multitude, 
Can play upon it (k)." 

I advanced no farther, regularly, in my hunt through the 
pleasant wilds of Shakspeare; but in dipping accidentally, the 
following passages struck me as worthy of notice. 

Henry V. Act I. Sc. 2. There is a manifest allusion to the 
different parts of Music : 

'"' For government, though high, and low, and lower, 
Put into parts, doth keep in one consent (I), 
Congreeing in a full and natural close, 
Like Music." 

In Othello, Act IV. Sc. 13. Desdemona says : 

" My mother had a maid, called Barbara ; 
She was in love; and he, she lov'd, prov'd mad, (false) 
And did forsake her: she had a song of willow. 
An old thing 'twas, but it express' d her fortune, 
And she died singing it. That song, to-night, 
Will not go from my mind; I've much ado, 
Not to go hang my head all o' one side, 
And sing it like poor Barbara." 

King Lear, Act I. Sc. 7. " O, these eclipses portend these 
divisions! fa, sol, la, mi." 

None of the commentators have hitherto been sufficiently skilled 
in Music to see the meaning of these syllables in solmisation, which 
imply a series of sounds so unnatural, that ancient musicians 
prohibited their use. Mi contra fa est diabolus. Shakspeare, 
however, shews by the context, that he was well acquainted with the 
property of the musical intervals contained in the Tritonus, or sharp 
4th, which consisting of three tones, without the intervention of a 
semitone, is extremely difficult to sing, and disagreeable when sung, 
if mi, or fa, is the last note of the phrase or passage. 

But to return to Masques, which were certainly the precursors 
of operas in England, and belong to the chain of dramas which 
completed the union of Poetry and Music on our stage : and it does 

{k) This allusion to the flute is well supported. 

(I) In a note on this passage, consent (or rather concent) has been defined unison. But 
concent is connected harmony, in general, and not confined to any specific consonance. 
Concentio and concentus are both used by Cicero for the union of voices or instruments in 
what we should now call a chorus, or concert. 

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MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVII CENTURY 

not appear, on examination, that the Italian Mascherate, published 
by Lasca, which have been thought their prototypes, were dialogued 
or performed on any stage. They seem to have been only 
processional songs, sung through the street by the representatives of 
different professions and trades, masqued, during carnival time. 
And the interludes which De Missy and Riccoboni, and their 
translators, think we had from the Italian intermezzi, seem to want 
analogy: as interlude, with us, was a general name for every species 
of stage representation, out of the Church. 

Masques in England certainly bear some resemblance to operas : 
as they are in dialogue; performed on a stage; ornamented with 
machinery, dances, and decorations; and have always Music, vocal 
and instrumental. But then the essential and characteristic 
criterion, recitative, is wanting, without which the resemblance is 
imperfect. Our musical pieces, which are sometimes honoured with 
the name of opera, differ in this particular so much, that they more 
resemble masques than the dramas which are entitled to that 
appellation; for, in English musical dramas, the dialogue is all 
declaimed or spoken in the same manner as in our old masques; and 
in Italy, whence we have both name and thing, an opera consists of 
both recitatives and airs, and is sung from beginning to the end. 

In the Maid's Tragedy, by Beaumont and Fletcher, it is said of 
masques, that " they must commend their king, and speak in praise 
of the assembly; bless the bride and bridegroom in person of some 
god; they are tied to rules of flattery (m)." 

It has already been observed, that masques were generally 
written for the use, and, consequently, the pleasure of courts; it was 
therefore natural for the authors to render them as palatable to their 
patrons and constituents as possible. It does not appear that either 
Beaumont or Fletcher was often called upon to contribute his quota 
to these splendid exhibitions; and the passage just cited has in it 
something of sour and austere, that seems to savour of pique or 
republicanism. 

Most of the numerous masques, that were performed at court 
and elsewhere, during this and the subsequent reign, were written 
by Ben Jonson, and set to Music either by Alfonso Ferrabosco, jun. 
[d. c. 1628] or Nicholas Laniere [1588-1666]. Of the dramatic 
Music of these celebrated musicians of their time, it would now be 
difficult to produce many specimens. However, one of Ferrabosco's 
songs in the Volpone of Ben Jonson, acted 1605, being printed among 
his Ayres, No. 6. will have a place on the next plates. 

It is recorded, in the folio edition of Ben Jonson's works, printed 
1640, that in 1617, his whole masque [Lovers made men], which 
was performed at the house of Lord Hay, for the entertainment of 
the French ambassador, was set to Music after the Italian manner, 

(w) Milton, in his Paradise Lost, speaks contemptuously of this species of drama : 

" court amours 

Mix'd dance, and wanton Mask, or midnight ball, &c." 

277 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

stilo recitativo, by Nic. Laniere (n), who was not only ordered to 
set the Music, but to paint the scenes. 

This short piece being wholly in rhyme, though without variation 
in the measure, to distinguish airs from recitation, as it was all in 
musical declamation, may be safely pronounced the first attempt at 
an opera in the Italian manner, after the invention of recitative. 

But in the same year, in the masque, by the same author, called 
the Vision of Delight, presented at court during Christmas, there is 
a manifest distinction of air from recitative; in both which styles 
the whole piece, in verses of different measures, was performed. It 
is opened by Delight, personified, who, stilo recitativo, " spake in 
song." Then Night, likewise personified, sung: " Break Fancy 
from thy cave of cloud, &c." This air ends in a chorus or quire. 
After which Fancy spake, in stilo recitativo. Then Peace sung: 
" Why look you so, &c." After which an air that terminates in a 
quire. The song ended, Wonder spake (in recitative.) Then 
dancing, singing, and chorus. 

Here we have all the characteristics of a genuine opera, or 
musical drama of modern times, complete: splendid scenes and 
machinery; poetry; musical recitation; air; chorus; and dancing. 

Though the Music of this masque is not to be found, yet of 
Laniere 's Musica narativa we have several examples, printed by 
Play ford in the collections of the time; particularly the Ay res and 
Dialogues, 1653 [and 1659], and the second part of the Musical 
Companion, which appeared in 1667; and in which his Music to 
the dialogues is infinitely superior to the rest : there is melody, 
measure, and meaning in it. His recitative is more like that of his 
countrymen at present, than any cotemporary Englishman's. 
However, these dialogues were composed before the laws and 
phraseology of recitative were settled, even in Italy. His cantata 
of Hero and Leander was much celebrated during these times, and 
the recitative regarded as a model of true Italian musical 
declamation* [B.M. Add. MSS. 14,399 and 33,236]. 

Vocal Music for the Chamber, or for social and private purposes, 
distinct from that of the Church and Theatre, during the reign of 
James I. consisted chiefly of madrigals, which had been composed 
in the preceding century, and of which the favour began to fade. 
To these, however, were added an excellent set by Orlando Gibbons, 
1612, and eight several sets, at different times, by Michael Este, 
with others of an inferior class, Batson, Pilkington, Litchfield, 
and Ward. Besides these of the madrigal kind, but more dry, 
fanciless, and frivolous, Ayres of four and more parts, were 

(n) Nicolo Laniere was an Italian who came into England early in the last century; there 
is a fine portrait of him at the Grange in Hampshire, by Vandyke. It was the sight of this 
portrait that determined Charles I. to employ that excellent painter. Laniere professionally 
practised Music painting, and engraving; but his greatest excellence was in Music. His own 
portrait, painted by himself, is in the Music-school at Oxford. He etched a considerable 
number of plates for a drawing-book; was an able connoisseur in pictures; and had the art of 
giving modern paintings an air of antiquity, and putting off copies for originals. Granger's 
Biog. Hist, of Engl. Vol. I. p. 539. 

* There is a remarkable MS. in the B.M. (Add. MSS. 10444) which contains a collection 
of 75 dance tunes for Masques. This MS. is fully described in an article by W. J. Lawrence, 
in Music and Letters, for January, 1922. 

278 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVII CENTURY 

published by Ford, Bartlett, Sir William Leighton, Ravenscroft, 
Bennet, and Attey. Of songs for a single voice, but few were 
printed,* and these with only a single accompaniment for the lute 
or viol, without symphony or ritornel. Ferrabosco's ayres to the 
lute have been already mentioned; and no other compositions of 
this kind seem to have been produced, except by Adson, under the 
title of Court Ayres, and Ayres to sing to the Lute and Basse-violl, 
by William Corkine, Robert Jones, and John Danyel; all obscure 
musicians, and of mean abilities. 

Among vocal productions for the Chamber, and for social 
purposes, must not be forgotten Canons, Rounds, and Catches' 
of which ingenious and exhilerating species of composition, the 
first collection that was ever printed, appeared during this reign 
under the title of " Pammelia (o) Musicks Miscellanie; or mixed 
varietie of " pleasant Roundelays and delightful Catches of 3, 4, 5, 
6, 7, 8, 9, 10 parts in one (ft). None so ordinarie as musicall, 
none so musicall as not to all very pleasing and acceptable. London, 
printed by William Barley, for R. B. and H. W. and are to be 
sold at the spread eagle at the north doore of Paules," quarto, 
1609. The names of none of the composers of these epigrammatic 
and pointed effusions have been preserved; but many of them seem 
of great antiquity, which is discoverable both by the words and 
style of composition.** Great musical science is manifested in the 
canons, and the harmony and contrivance of the rest are excellent. 
The words, indeed, except those of the canons, which consist of 
small portions of the psalms and other parts of scripture, in Latin 
(which seems to imply that they were set before the Reformation), 
are, in general, devoid of wit, humour, poetry, and common sense 
(q). It has been before observed, in the course of this work (r), 

(o) A word perhaps formed from ■aa.v meAos. 

(i>) Canons, rounds, and catches were never published in score till after the institution of 
the present Catch-club in 1762; and, therefore, one line often contained the whole composition; 
the places where the several parts were to begin being indicated by signs or numbers. A 
Round is sometimes called a canon in the unison, and sometimes, but erroneously, a Catch; 
but it is distinct from both; being no more than a song of as many strains, or sections, as 
parts; which, instead of being begun together, are performed after each other always singing 
different words and different notes in harmony with the rest; till a signal is given, by holding 
up the hand, for finishing upon the perfect chord of the key note, where the author has placed 
this final mark, T* A Catch is sung in the same manner as a Round, the second performer 
beginning the first strain, when the leader begins the second; however, in the course of the 
performance, some latent meaning or humour is produced by the manner in which the 
composer has arranged the words for singing, which would not appear in perusing them. 

(q) In the same year was published another collection, entitled "Deuteromelia, or the 
second part of Musick's melodie, or melodious Musicke of pleasant Roundelaies, &c. London, 
printed for Thomas Adams, dwelling in Paules churchyard, at the sign of the white lyon, 1609." 
This publication is much inferior to the preceding, and chiefly consists of songs for three voices, 
in which different stanzas are sung to the same Music, after the manner of what are now 
called Glees. 

W Book II., p. 785. 

* Burney is wrong when he says that only a few songs for a single voice were printed 
during the reign of James 1st. This was the period of the great school of the luternist song- 
writers. A full list of their publications is given by Warlock in The English Ayre, and a 
large number of them has been edited and published by Dr. Fellowes as "The English School 
of Lutenist Song Writers." 

** Thomas Ravenscroft was the editor of Pammelia and its companion volumes, Deuteromelia 
(1609), and Melismata (1611). 

Deuteromelia contains the famous Three Blind Mice, whilst Melismata has a setting of the 
Three Ravens. These three volumes and a Briefe Discourse mentioned on p. 107 are in the 
B.&L (K. 1. e. 8-11L 

37a 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

that our lyric poetry, during the sixteenth and part of the seven- 
teenth century, was in a barbarous state, and far inferior to the 
Music of the times. But the composers seemed so little solicitous 
about the words they had to set, as frequently to prefer the 
syllables of solmisation Ut re mi fa sol la; Hey down down, deny 
down; or merely Fa la, to songs of Spenser and Shakspeare. I 
shall, however, for the sake of the musical composition, as well as 
to shew the humour and taste of the times, gratify the lovers of 
such scarce and curious productions, with specimens of the contents 
of this primitive Catch-book. 



Catch in 5 Parts from Pammelia, the first Book of Catches, Canons, 
Rounds and Glees, that was Printed in England. 



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MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVII CENTURY 



Canon, Four in One. 




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281 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

Song in Ben Jonson's Volpone, Set by Alfonso Ferrabosco, 1605. 




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The reign of our first James is a very early period in the 
cultivation of Music, merely instrumental. The words Concerto 
and Sonata seem at this time not to have been invented, even in 
Italy; as the Crusca dictionary gives no instance of so early a use 
of them in music-books. Concento and suono implied nearly the 
same things in the days of Boccaccio, as concerto and sonata since; 
but concertare and concertanti were at first applied to the union of 



282 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVII CENTURY 

instruments with voices, in motets and madrigals, by doubling the 
voice-parts. It was not till late in the seventeenth century that 
instrumental pieces, of many parts, began to be called concertos, 
and of few, sonatas. 

The earliest compositions I have found in Italy, for three or 
more instruments of the same species, are Ricercari and Fantasie. 
But of these, none seem to have been printed, when the elder Doni 
published the second edition of his Libreria, 1557; as all the 
instrumental Music that appears in his catalogue of musical 
compositions, which had then been published in Italy, are 
Intabolature da organi, et da leuto, d' Anton da Bologna, di Giulio 
da Modena di Francesco di Milano, di Jaches Buas, phi di died 
volumi, e la continua. 

About the beginning of the seventeenth century madrigals, 
which were almost the only compositions, in parts, for the 
Chamber, then cultivated, seem to have been suddenly supplanted 
in the favour of lovers of Music by a passion for Fantasias of three, 
four, five, and six parts, wholly composed for viols and other 
instruments, without vocal assistance. And this passion seems to 
have arisen, from the calling in these instruments to reinforce the 
voice-parts, with which they played in unison, in the performance 
of motetti and madrigals, thence termed concertati. At length, 
the instrumental performers discovered, that both the poetry and 
singing of the times might be spared without any great loss or 
injury to musical effects; as the words, if good, were rendered 
unintelligible by fugue, imitation, and multiplicity of parts; and 
the singing, being often coarse and out of tune, could be better 
supplied by their own performance. Thus vocal Music not only 
lost its independence, but was almost totally driven out of society : 
as the ancient Britons, calling in the Saxons to assist them in their 
conflicts with the Picts, were themselves subdued and forced from 
their possessions, by too powerful auxiliaries. 

I am the better enabled to speak of the instrumental Music of 
this period, by being fortunately in possession of several consider- 
able manuscript collections of fancies; particularly one in six parts, 
folio, which had been made for the L'Estrange family, in Norfolk, 
by the celebrated composer of Charles the first's reign, Mr. John 
Jenkins [1592-1678], and collated with other copies, and corrected 
not only by himself, but by six or eight other eminent masters of 
the times (s). 

These pieces, which consist more of motets, madrigals, and in 
nomines, originally designed for voices, than fantasie made 
expressly for instruments, were the productions of William Bird, 
Alfonso Ferabosco, sen. and jun. William White, John Ward, 
Thomas Ravenscroft, William Cranforde, Thomas Lupo, Giovanni 
Coperario, and others. The style would appear now very dry and 

(s) At the decease of the late Sir Henry L'Estrange, Bart., of Hunston, in Norfolk, and 
toe last survivor of that ancient family, I was favoured with this collection by his nephew, 
Nic. Styleman, esq., of Snettisham, in the same county. 

283 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

fanciless, in spite of the general title of these pieces. Indeed, it 
would be difficult to select one of them that would afford any other 
amusement to my readers, than that of discovering how ingenious 
and well disposed the lovers of Music, during the former part of the 
last century, must have been, to extract pleasure from such 
productions. 

Infinite pains, however, seem to have been taken in collating 
and correcting these books; which only prove that however insipid 
and despicable we may think their contents, our forefathers were of 
a different opinion; and that, contemptible as they now seem, they 
were the best which the first musicians of the age could then 
produce. There is an infancy in every human production, that is 
perfectible. The instruments to which these fansies were adapted, 
were viols of different sizes, of which it was usual, during the last 
century, for most musical families to be in possession of a chest, 
consisting of two trebles, two tenors, and two basses, with six strings 
upon each, all tuned alike, by 4ths and 3ds, and the necks fretted. 

The compass, and accordatura, of this instrumental family were 
the following: 



Tenor-viol, or 
Viol da Braccio: 



Treble Viol. 



Bass-viol, or 

Viol da Gamba. 



m 



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-& 



-s- 



i 



The passages given to these several instruments, at this time, discover 
no kind of knowledge of the expressive power of the bow; and even 
Orl. Gibbons, who composed so well for voices in the Church, seems 
very little superior to his cotemporaries in his productions for 
instruments. Indeed, his madrigals of five parts, as well as those 
of many others, are said in the title-page to be apt for viols and 
voices: a proof that with us, as well as the ancient Greeks, and 
other nations, there was at first no Music expressly composed for 
instruments; consequently, the powers of these instruments must 
have been circumscribed; and when this Music was merely played, 

* Burney is wrong in giving Viol da Braccio as an alternative name for the Tenor-viol. 
Two extracts from Praetorius make this clear. 

I. Viole de gamba. 2. Viole de bracio, oder de brazzo : Und haben den Namen daher, dass 
die ersten zwischen den beyden Beinen gehalten werden : Denn gamba ist ein italienisch Wort, 
und heisst ein Bein, le gambe, die Beinen. Unnd dieweil diese viel grbssere corpora, und wegen 
des Kragens lenge, die Saiten auch ein lengern Zug haben, so geben sie weit ein lieblichern 
Resonanz, als die andern de bracio, welche uff dem Arm gehalten werden. 

(Praetorius, Syntagma Musicum, 1618. Tom. II. Cap. xx. p. 44.) 

Viola, Viola de bracio : Item, Violino de brazzo; Wird sonsten eine Geige ( ! ) vom 
gemeinen Volck aber eine Fiddel unnd daher de bracio genennet, dass sie auf dem Arm 
gehaltern wird. 

Deroselben Bass — , Tenor — , und Discantgeige (welche Violino oder Violetta picciola, auch 
Rebecchino genennet wird) seynd mit 4 saiten: . . . und werden alle durch Quinten gestimmet. 

{Op cit. Tom. II. Cap. xxii. p. 46.) 

284 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVII CENTURY 

without the assistance of the human voice and of poetry, capable 
of no great effects. The subjects of Orlando Gibbons's madrigals 
are so simple and unmarked, that if they were now to be executed 
by instruments alone, they would afford very little pleasure to the 
greatest friends of his productions, and those of the same period. 
At the time they were published, however, there was nothing better 
with which to compare them, and the best Music which good ears 
can obtain, is always delightful, till better is produced. Air, 
accent, grace, and expression, were now equally unknown to the 
composer, performer, and hearer; and whatever notes of one 
instrument were in harmony with another, were welcome to the 
player, provided he found himself honoured from time to time 
with a share of the subject, or principal melody; which happening 
more frequently in canons, and fugues, than in any other species 
of composition, contributed to keep them so long in favour with 
performers of limited powers, however tiresome they may have 
been to the hearers, when constructed on dull and barren themes. 

Music is so much a work of art, study, exercise, and experience, 
that every style must be best treated, even by men of the greatest 
genius, in proportion to the attention and labour they bestow on 
that particular species of composition. Orlando Gibbons, who 
appears to such advantage as a Church composer, is utterly con- 
temptible in his productions for instruments, of whose powers he 
was ignorant. Indeed, all instrumental Music, but that of the 
organ, seems to have been in a very rude state at this time 
throughout Europe; and, if we except the fugues of Frescobaldi, 
all the Music, even for keyed-instruments, is dry, difficult, 
unaccented, and insipid. 

Simpson in his Compendium, §xv. p. 115, speaking of fancies, 
says, that " this kind of Music (the more is the pity) is now (1667) 
much neglected, by reason of the scarcity of auditors that under- 
stand it; their ears being better acquainted and more delighted with 
light and airy Music." He instances as the best composers of 
fancies, in England, Alfonso Ferabosco, Coperario, Lupo, Mico, 
White, Ward, Dr. Colman, and Jenkins. Page 118, the same 
author says, that " the lovers of instrumental Music need not have 
recourse to outlandish authors for compositions of this kind; no 
nation," says he, "in my opinion, being equal to the English in 
that way; as well for their excellent, as for their various and 
numerous consorts of three, four, five, and six parts, made properly 
for instruments, of which Fansies are the chief." 

It may perhaps be necessary here to mention, that James I. 
upon what beneficial principle it is now difficult to discover, by 
letters-patent incorporated the musicians of the city of London into 
a Company [1604], and they still continue to enjoy privileges in 
consequence of their constituting a fraternity and corporation; 
bearing arms azure, a swan argent within a tressure counter-fmre, 
or: in a chief, gules, a rose between two lions, or: and for their 
crest the celestial sign Lyra, called by astronomers the Orphean 

285 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

Lyre (t). Unluckily for the bon-vivans of this tuneful tribe, they 
have no hall in the city for festive delights! However, on days 
of greatest gourmandise, the members of this body are generally 
too busily employed in exhilerating others, comfortably to enjoy 
the fruits of good-living themselves. And here historical integrity 
obliges me to say, that this company has ever been held in derision 
by real professors, who have regarded it as an institution as foreign 
to the cultivation and prosperity of good Music, as the train-bands 
to the art of war. Indeed, the only uses that have hitherto been 
made of this charter seem the affording to aliens an easy and cheap 
expedient of acquiring the freedom of the city, and enabling them 
to pursue some more profitable and respectable trade than that of 
hdling; as well as empowering the company to keep out of proces- 
sions and city-feasts every street and country-dance player of 
superior abilities, to those who have the honour of being styled 
the waits of the corporation (u). 

About the end of this reign a Music-lecture, or Professorship, 
was founded in the university of Oxford [2nd Feb., 1626/7], by 
Dr. William Heyther. It is imagined that he was stimulated to 
this act of beneficence by the example and precepts of his friend 
Camden, who having a few years before his decease determined 
to found a history-lecture in the same university, dispatched his 
friend Heyther on a mission thither, with the deed of endowment 
property executed, and addressed to the vice-chancellor Dr. Piers 
(x). It was in consequence of this embassy that Heyther obtained 
his degree of doctor in Music, with little expence and trouble; and 
perhaps it was in gratitude for the kindness he received from the 
university upon this occasion, as well as in imitation of his learned 
friend Camden, that he endowed the professorship, which is both 
theoretical and practical. At the time of this endowment, in order 
to promote the practice of the art, " he gave to the Music-school 
an harpsicon, a chest of viols, and divers music-books, both printed 
and manuscript." 

(t) See the dedication of Butler's Principles of Music, 1636. 

(u) The present ldng of France has lately dethroned the king of the minstrels, and 
disfranchised and suppressed a similar establishment. See Essai sur la Mus. Tom. I., p. 419, 
and Mercure de France, pour Avril, 1773. 

[x) The following letter from Dr. Piers to Camden, which is printed in the collection of 
epistles to and from that illustrious antiquary, published by Dr. Thomas Smith, 1691, p. 329, will 
clear up a point concerning which Ant. Wood has thrown a doubt : whether Orlando Gibbons 
had ever been admitted to an academical degree in Music. 

Ep. CCLXIII. 
G. Piersius. G. Camdeno. 
"Worthy Sir, 
"The university returns her humble thanks to you with this letter. We pray for your health 
and long life, that you may live to see the fruits of your bounty. We have made Mr. Heather 
a doctor in Musick; so that now he is no more master but doctor Heather; the like honour for 
your sake we have conferred on Mr. Orlando Gibbons, and made him a doctor too, to 
accompany Dr. Heather. We have paid Mr. Dr. Heather's charges of his journey, and 
likewise given him the Oxford courtesie, a pair of gloves for himself and another for his wife. 
Your honour is far above these things. And so desiring the continuance of your loving favour 
to the university, and to me your servant, I take my leave. 

"Yours ever to be commanded, 
Oxon, 18 May, 1622. "William Piers." 

"Mr. Whear shall make his oration this term; and I shall write to you from time to time 
what orders the university will commend to your wisdom, concerning your history lecture." 

286 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVII CENTURY 

It is the more likely that Heyther was instigated by Camden to 
found this professorship, who had himself been a chorister at 
Magdalen College, Oxford, and may be supposed to have still 
retained a love for Music; and that Camden had a great ascendance 
over him may be inferred from the intimate friendship which had 
long subsisted between them. Their several employments recipro- 
cally obliged them to reside in Westminster : for Camden was master 
of Westminster-school, and Heyther a gentleman of the King's 
Chapel. In town they resided under the same roof; and, in 1609, 
when a pestilential disease had reached the house next to that of 
Camden and himself, by which Camden was afterwards infected, 
he retired to the residence of his friend Heyther at Chislehurst, and 
by the assistance of Dr. Giffard, his physician, was cured. But of 
his friendly regard for Dr. Heyther, he gave ample testimony at 
his decease, by appointing him his executor, and bequeathing to 
him and his heirs an estate of £.400 a year, for the term of ninety- 
nine years, he and they paying to the history-professor £.140 per 
annum; at the expiration of which term, the estate was to vest in 
the university (y). 



Charles I [1625] 

This prince who, during the life of his father, had been a 
scholar of Coperario, on the vicl da gamba, and, according to 
Play ford, had made a considerable progress on that instrument; 
when he ascended the throne, not only discovered a great affection 
for Music in general, but manifested a particular attention and 
partiality to compositions for the church (z). At his private 
concerts he is said to have condescended to honour with his notice 
several of his musical servants, who had the good fortune to be 
frequently in his presence; and to gratify them in a way the most 
flattering and agreeable to every artist of great talents, with smiles 
and approbation, when either their productions or performance 
afforded him pleasure. And, indeed, whatever political crimes may 
be laid to the charge of this prince, he was certainly a most liberal 
and gracious master to his domestics, and possessed a singular 
power of attaching them to his person by kindness and 
condescension, still more than by royal bounty and munificence. 

Upon his accession to the crown, Nicholas Laniere was appointed 
master of the king's Music; and in Rymer's Fcedera (a), is the 
following grant in favour of him and the rest of his majesty's band. 

(y) Biog. Brit. art. Camden, 133, in not. 

(2) Playford (Pref. to his Introd.) speaking of the musical skill of our princes of the 
house of Tudor, says ; "Nor was his late majesty Charles I. behind any of his predecessors in 
the love and promotion of this science, especially in the service of Almighty God, and with 
much zeal he would hear reverently performed, and often appointed, the service and 
anthems himself, especially that sharp service composed by Dr. William Child being of (from) 
his knowledge in Music, a competent judge therein; and would play his part exactly well 
on the base-viol, especially of those incomparable fancies of Mr. Coperario to the organ." 

(a) Tom. XVIII. p. 728. 

287 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

" Charles, by the grace of God, &c. To the treasurer and 
under-treasurer of our exchequer nowe beeing, and that hereafter 
for the tyme shall be, greetinge, Whereas wee have beene graciously 
pleased, in consideration of service done, and to be done unto us 
by sundrie of our musicians, to graunt unto them the several 
annuities and yearly pensions hereafter following, (that is to say) 
to Nicholas Laniere, master of our Music, two hundred poundes 
yearly for wages; to Thomas Foord fourscore poundes yearly for 
his wages, that is, for the place which he formerly held, fortie 
pounds yearly, and the place which John Ballard, lately deceased, 
held, and now bestowed upon him, the said Thomas Foord, fortie 
poundes yearly; to Robert Johnson, yearly for his wages, fortie 
poundes, and for stringes twentie poundes by the yeare; to Thomas 
Day yearly for his wages fortie poundes, and for keeping a boy 
twentie-fower poundes by the yeare; also to Alfonso Ferabosco, 
Thomas Lupo, John Laurence, John Kelly, John Cogshall, Robert 
Tayler, Richard Deering, John Drewe, John Laniere, Edward 
Wormall, Angelo Notary, and Jonas Wrench, to everie of them 
fortie poundes a piece yearly for their wages (b). And to Alfonso 
Bales and Robert Marshe, to each of them twentie poundes a piece 
yearly for their wages. 

" Theis are therefore to will and command you, out of our 
treasure in the receipt of our exchequer, to cause payment to be 
made to our said musicians above mentioned, and to everie of them 
severally and respectively, the said several annuities and allowances, 
as well presently upon the sight hereof for one whole yeare ended 
at the feast of th' annunciation of the blessed Virgin Mary last 
past before the date hereof, as alsoe from the feast hitherto, and 
soe from tyme to tyme hereafter at the fower usual feasts or termes 
of the yeare, (that is to say) at the feast of the nativity of St. 
John the Baptist, St. Michael th' Archangell, the birth of our 
Lord God, and th' annunciation of the blessed Virgin Marie, by 
even and equall portions, during their natural lives, and the lives 
of everie of them, respectively, together with all fees, profits, 
commodities, allowances, and advantages whatsoever to the said 
places incident and belonging, in as large and ample manner as any 
our musicians in the same places heretofore, have had and enjoyed 
the same; and theis presents, or the inrollment thereof, shall be your 
sufficient warrant and dischardge in this behalfe. In witnes 
whereof, &c. 

" Witnes ourself at Westminster, the eleaventh day of July. 
Per breve de privato sigillo, &c." Charles. 

The names, however, of such musicians as were in a more 
peculiar manner honoured with this prince's notice, afterwards, do 
not appear in the grant; as it was observed, that his majesty was 
particularly delighted with the choral compositions of Dr. Child; 

(b) This, at the present valuation of money, would be near /200 per annum. See Chron. 
Preciosum. 

288 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVII CENTURY 

the performance on the lute of Dr. Wilson; and the Music of William 
and Henry Lawes, which was introduced in the masques that 
were exhibited at court. 

The productions for the Church during this reign, though 
superior in excellence to those of any other species, yet, if we 
except those of Dr. Giles and Elway Bevin, who more properly 
belong to the reign of king James, are so few in number, that the 
augmentation they make to our former stock lies in a very small 
compass. 

Dr. William Child [c. 1606-97], according to Ant. Wood was 
a native of Bristol, and disciple of Elway Bevin. In 1631, being 
then of Christ-church College, Oxford, he took his degree of 
bachelor in Music; and, in 1636,* was appointed one of the organists 
of St. George's Chapel at Windsor, in the room of Dr. John Munday, 
and soon after one of the organists of the Royal Chapel at 
Whitehall. After the Restoration he was appointed chanter of the 
King's Chapel, and one of the chamber musicians to Charles II. 
[c. 1660]. In 1663, the university of Oxford conferred on him the 
degree of doctor in Music, at an act celebrated in St. Mary's 
Church. Dr. Child, after having been organist of Windsor Chapel 
sixty-five years, died in that town, 1697, at ninety years of age. In 
the inscription on his grave-stone, in the same chapel, it is recorded 
that he paved the body of that choir at his own expence; he likewise 
gave £.20 towards building the town-hall at Windsor, and £.50 to 
the corporation to be disposed of in charitable uses, at their 
discretion (c). 

His works are " Psalms for three voices, &c. with a continued 
base either for the organ or theorbo, composed after the Italian 
way. London, 1639. Catches, Rounds, and Canons, published 
in Hilton's catch that catch can, 1652. Divine Anthems and 
compositions to several pieces of poetry, some of which were 
written by Dr. Thomas Pierce of Oxford." Some of his secular 
compositions likewise appeared in a book entitled Court Ayres, 
printed 1655, which will be mentioned hereafter. But his principal 
productions are his services and full anthems, printed in Dr. Boyce's 
collection. His service in E minor has something more varied and 
interesting, in the modulation, than in most of his other works; and 
in his celebrated service in D sharp [D Major], there is a glow of 
rich harmony, which, without any great compass of genius or 

(c) The following epitaph is also on his grave-stone in St. George's Chapel : 
" Go happy soul, and in thy seat above 
Sing endless hymns of thy great Maker's love. 
How fit in heavenly songs to bear a part ! 
Before well practis'd in the sacred art; 
Whilst hearing us, sometimes the choire divine. 
Will sure descend, and in our consort join; 
So much the Musick thou to us hast given, 
Has made our earth to represent their heaven." 

* Dr. Child's appointment as joint organist with Nath. Giles at St. George's Chapel, 

Windsor, was in 1632. In 1634 he was the sole organist. 1632 was also the date of his 

appointment as one of the organists to the Chapel Royal. The date of his degree exercise 
is 1639. 

VOL. 11. 19. 289 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

science, is extremely pleasing, the more so, perhaps, from being 
composed in a key which is more perfectly in tune than most others 
on the organ. His full anthems are not without imagination and 
fire. Page 97, (Boyce, Vol. II.) " and upon our solemn feast-day, 
&c." the modulation and contrivance are admirable to the end of 
the anthem. His style was so remarkably easy and natural, 
compared with that to which choirmen had been accustomed, that 
it was frequently treated by them with derision. Indeed, his 
modulation, at present, is so nearly modern, as not to produce that 
solemn, and, seemingly, new effect on our ears, which we now 
experience from the productions of the sixteenth century (d). 

Adrian Batten [c. 1590-1637], organist and vicar-choral of 
St. Paul's during the reign of Charles I. and II. was merely a good 
harmonist of the old school, without adding any thing to the 
common stock of ideas in melody or modulation with which the 
art was furnished long before he was born. Nor did he correct 
any of the errors in accent with which former times abounded (e). 
So that his imitations of anterior composers were entire. He seems 
to have jogged on in the plain, safe, and beaten track, without 
looking much about him, nor if he had, does he seem likely to have 
penetrated far into the musical terra incognita. 

Thomas Tomkins [1573-1656], the son of Thomas Tomkins, 
chanter of the choir at Gloucester, was of a family that produced 
more able musicians, during the sixteenth and seventeenth 
centuries, than any other which England can boast. He had 
several brothers, musicians, who distinguished themselves both in 
composition and performance; among whom was Giles Tomkins. 
according to Anthony Wood, a most excellent organist of the 
cathedral at Salisbury; John Tomkins, organist of St. Paul's 
cathedral, and afterwards gentleman of the Chapel Royal; and 
Nicholas Tomkins, one of the gentlemen of the privy chamber to 
Charles I. Thomas, the subject of the present article, the disciple 
of Bird, and bachelor of Music [1607], was afterwards organist of 
the cathedral of Worcester [c. 1596], gentleman of his majesty's 
chapel, and, at length, organist [1621]. Though he contributed 
to the Triumphs of Oriana in the reign of queen Elizabeth (/), he 
was living after the breaking out of the grand rebellion, about 
which time he published a work in ten books or separate parts, 

(d) Farrant and Dr. Child were the two first English composers for the Church who in 
setting the Te Deum, have accented the word holy right. Indeed, both give a ligature to it the 
first time, though the second is correct. Child has erred, however (p. 147, Boyce, Vol. I.) at 
"the glorious." And p. 155, the sharp 3d and flat 6th twice used, prove, that his ear was not 
offended with their effect. The young musical student will do well neither to imitate this, 
otherwise respectable composer, in such a combination, nor in that of * (Boyce, Vol. II. 1. ii. 
bar 1.) though it sometimes appears in the works of the best masters of the sixteenth century. 
There are several inedited and valuable compositions by Dr. Child preserved in Dr. Tudway's 
manuscript "Collection of English Church Music," British Museum. 

(e) In the word kindness, which is thrice repeated in the anthem, "O praise the Lord," 
the accent is thrown on the second syllable, see Boyce, Vol. II. p. 76. Take heed— vexed — 
within had wings — like a dove! In his anthem, "Deliver us Lord," the want of a B flat in 
the second bar is disagreeable, and renders the key very equivocal. 

(/) See above, p. 114. 
290 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVII CENTURY 

entitled Musica Deo sacra et Ecclesice Anglicance,* consisting of 
anthems, hymns, and other compositions suited to the church 
service (g). 

A set of his vocal Church Music, in four and five parts, MS. is 
lodged in Magdalen College, and a printed copy in Christ-church, 
Oxford. The manuscript copy was presented to Magdalen College 
by James Clifford, who, in 1663, published a collection of the 
words, with the names of the composers of such services and anthems 
as continued to be sung in our cathedrals. To this book Ant. 
Wood and others frequently refer in speaking of our choral Music. 

Besides the compositions by Tomkins, mentioned above, in the 
collection made for Lord Harley, Brit. Mus. there are likewise 
several very learned and curious compositions by this author; 
particularly full anthems in eight, ten, and twelve real parts, 
fugato. About this time there was a rage for multiplying parts in 
musical compositions, all over Europe; and Herculean labours of 
this kind, atchieved by Tallis, Bird, Benevoli, and others, have 
been already mentioned. 

The attention and favour constantly bestowed on our choral 
service by Charles I. perhaps stimulated John Barnard, minor 
canon of St. Paul's cathedral, to publish, in 1641, dedicated to his 
majesty, the first book of the following admirable collection of 
English Church Music, consisting of " Services and Anthems, such 
as are now used in the cathedrals and collegiate churches of this 
kingdom, never before printed, whereby such books as were here- 
tofore with much difficulty and charges transcribed for the use of 
the quire, are now, to the saving of much labour and expence, 
published for the general good of all such as shall desire them either 
for public or private exercise. Collected out of divers approved 
authors by John Barnard, one of the minor canons of the cathedral 
church of St. Paul. London, printed by Edward Griffin, and are 
to be solde at the signe of the three lutes, in Paul's alley, 1641 " 
[B.M.K. 7.e.2.]. Two years after this valuable collection was 
published, organs were ordered to be taken down, and cathedral 
service abolished! 

It is much to be lamented, that the publications of Barnard and 
Tomkins were not in score, as a complete copy of all the several 
parts of either cannot now perhaps be found out of Oxford, in the 

(g) The copy of these compositions, in Christ-church Coll. Oxford, is dated 1664. If this 
was not a second edition, it is probable, that his son was either the author, or at least the 
editor of the work. By a copy of his songs, in the same collection, that have been said above 
to be of uncertain date, they appear to have been printed 1622. 

Butler, in his Principles of Mustek, published 1636, speaking of the Lydian mood of the 
ancients, which he seems to have persuaded himself he understood, says, "of this mood is that 
passionate lamentation of the musical king, for the death of his son Absalom, composed in five 
parts by Mr. Thomas Tomkins, now organist of his majesty's chapel. The melodious harmony 
of which, when I heard it in the Music-school (Oxon), whether I should more admire the 
sweet well governed voices, with consonant instruments, of the singers, or the exquisite 
invention, wit and art of the composer, it was hard to determine." Page 5. And p. 92 he calls 
Mr. Thomas and Mr. J. Tomkins aureum par Musicorum. 

* The Musica Deo Sacra was not published until 1668 that is eight years after the 
Restoration and twelve years after the death of Tomkins. Vol. 18 of the E.M.S. contains his 
Songs of 3, 4. 5 and 6 parts. These were first printed in 1622. Vol. 8 of the T.C.M. is devoted 
to his Church Music. 

The Musica Deo Sacra has been scored by the Rev. A. Ramsbotham. 

291 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

whole kingdom ! Each of the separate parts of Barnard's collection 
was printed in folio,* and contained services for morning and 
evening, and the communion, preces, and responses, by the following 
fathers of our Church Music: Dr. Tye, Tallis, Bird, Morley. 
Strogers, Bevin, Orlando Gibbons, Mundy, Parsons, Dr. Giles, and 
Woodson; with the litany by Tallis, and a great number of full 
anthems, in four, five, and six parts, by Tye, White, Farrant, 
Shepherd, Bull, Parsons, Morley, Hooper, Mundy, Giles, Gibbon, 
Batten, Weelkes, and Ward. 

Though the following masters are not the immediate authors of 
choral compositions, yet, as their productions are chiefly of a sacred 
kind, this seems a proper place in which to mention them. 

Martin Pierson [c. 1580-c. 1651], bachelor in Music, and master 
of the choristers of St. Paul's, when John Tomkins was organist 
of that cathedral, published " Mottects, or grave Chamber 
Musique, containing songs of hue parts of severall sorts, some ful, 
and some verse and chorus, but all fit for voyces and vials, with an 
organ part; which for want of organs may be performed on 
virginals, baselute, bandora, or Irish harpe. Also a mourning 
song of sixe parts for the death of the late Hon. Sir Fulke Grevil, 
knight, composed acording to the rules of art, by M. P. bachelor 
of Musique, 1630." This musician died about 1650; and bequeathed 
£. 100 to the poor of Marsh, in the parish of Dunnington, and isle 
of Ely, to be laid out in a purchase for their annual use. His 
partiality for this village, in the heart of the fens, probably arose 
from its being the place of his birth. 

Richard Deering [d. 1630], bachelor in Music, a composer 
much respected in his time for purity of harmon}/ and gravity of 
style, was of an ancient baronet's family in Kent which still subsists, 
and had his musical education in Italy; where, according to Ant. 
Wood (Fasti Oxonienses) " he obtained the name of a most 
admirable musician." On his return from that country, he exercised 
his profession in England with great reputation, till, being a Roman 
Catholic, and prevailed on by urgent entreaties, he accepted the 
place of organist to the English nuns at a convent in Bruxelles 
[1617]. At length, after the marriage of Charles I. he returned to 
England on being appointed organist to his queen Henrietta [1625], 
in whose service he continued till, by the turbulence of the times, 
he was forced to leave the kingdom. His works consist of Cantiones 
sacrce quinque Vocum, cum basso continuo ad Organum, Antwerp, 
1597;** Cantica sacra ad Melodiam Madrigalium elaborate senis 
Vocibus, Antwerp, 1618; Cantica sacra duas et tres Voces composita 

* It is doubtful if Burney ever saw a complete set of parts of this collection. At Hereford 
Cathedral were 8 of the 10 part books. In 1862 the Sacred Harmonic Scty. purchased a set 
of 8 of the parts, which fortunately contained the two missing from the Hereford collection. 
From these and a MS. of Adrian Batten it was possible to score the whole work. This was 
done by John Bishop of Cheltenham, but not published. The MS. is now in the B.M. 

A full list of the contents will be found in Grove's, art. Barnard, Vol. I. p. 226. 

* There is great doubt as to the date of this book. He certainly published a work with 
the same title in 1617, but there does not exist any work by Dering with the date 1597. 
There is doubt as to the authenticity of the Dering examples in the 1674 publication. 

292 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVII CENTURY 

cum basso continuo ad Organum, London, 1662. dedicated by the 
editor, John Playford, to the Queen Dowager, the author having 
been dead four or five years. A second set of Cantica sacra was 
published in 1674, composed by Deering, Dr. Christ. Gibbons, 
Ben Rogers, Matthew Lock, and others. 

Deering's compositions, of which I have scored several, are in a 
very sober, innocent, psalmodic, dry, and uninteresting style; for 
though he seems to have been a regular-bred and correct 
contrapuntist, yet I have never been able to discover in any of 
his works a single stroke of genius, either in his melody or 
modulation. 

There are anthems both by William and Henry Lawes in Dr. 
Tudway's collect. Brit. Mus. which belong to this reign; but they 
do not enable us to account for the great reputation which these 
musicians so long enjoyed. There is, however, in the same 
collection, an anthem in four parts, by John Hilton: " Lord, for 
thy tender mercy's sake," which has considerable merit on the 
side of air as well as harmony. 

Masques appear to have been still more the favourite amusements 
of the court during the early and tranquil part of this reign than in 
that of James; and the queen, who seems to have brought with her 
from France, at least as great a love for dramatic exhibitions as she 
found here, frequently represented the principal character in the 
piece herself. Most of the court masques were written by Ben 
Jonson, who, in his station of poet-laureat, seems to have furnished 
more of these dramas, than birth-day or new-years odes. 

In 1630 [1631], he produced his masque entitled Love's 
Triumph, which was decorated by Inigo Jones, and performed by 
the king and thirteen noblemen and gentlemen at court. And the 
same year, another, called Chloridia, which was represented by the 
queen and ladies of the court. In 1631 [1632] , among several other 
court dramas, Tempe restored, a masque written by Aurelian 
Townshend, and decorated by Inigo Jones, was performed by her 
majesty and fourteen ladies. But, in 1633, there were no less than 
five masques performed at different places before the king and 
court. A very circumstantial account of one of these has been left 
in a manuscript, by lord commissioner Whitelocke, which is now 
the property of Dr. Morton of the British Museum. 

This masque, entitled the Triumphs of Peace, and written by 
James Shirley, a dramatist of the second class, in the reign of 
Charles I. and author of near forty plays, was acted at Whitehall, 
and the whole expence defrayed by the gentlemen of the four inns of 
court, as a testimony of duty and loyalty, on his majesty's return 
from Scotland, after terminating the discontents in that kingdom. 
As the subject is closely connected with the history of dramatic 
Music, during this period, I shall give, from the authentic narrative 
with which I have been favoured, such passages as are most 
characteristic of the times, in the author's own words. 

293 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

" About Allhollantide this year (1633), severall of the principal 
members of the tower Innes of court, amongst whom, some were 
servaunts of the king, had a designe that these Innes of court 
should present their service to the king and queen, and testify their 
affections to them, by the outward and splendid visible testimony 
of a royall Masque of all the 4 societies joyning together, to be 
by them brought to the court, as an expression of their love and 
dutie to their majesties. 

' This was hinted att in the court and by them intimated to the 
chief e of those societies, that it would be well taken from them, 
and some held it the more seasonable, bicause this action would 
manifest the difference of their opinion from Mr. Prynne's new 
learning, and serve to confute his Histrio-mastix against 
enterludes (A).* 

" This designe tooke well with all the Innes of court, especially 
the younger sort of them, and in order to putt it in execution, the 
benchers of each society mett, and agreed to have this solemnity 
performed, in the noblest and most stately manner that could be 
invented. 

' The better to effect this, it was resolved, in each house to 
choose two of their members, whom they should judge fittest for 
such a busines, to be a commute, by joint assistance to carry on 
that affayre. 

In the middle Temple were chosen of this committee Mr. 
Edward Hyde and Whitelocke (the author); for the Inner Temple, 
Sir Edward Herbert, and Mr. Selden; for Lincoln's Inne, Mr. 
Atturney Noy, and Mr. Gerling; and for Greyes Inne, Sir John 
Fynch, and Mr. . 

' This committee being empowered by the benchers made 
severall sub-committees, one of which was to take care of the 
poeticall part of the busines; another of the properties of the masques 
and antimasquers, and other actors; another of the properties of 
the masquers and antimasquers, and other actors; another of the 
dauncing; and to me, in particular, was committed the whole care 
and charge of all the Musicke for this great masque. I made 
choice of Mr. Symon Ives, an honest and able musitian, of 
excellent skill in his art, and of Mr. Lawes, to compose the aiers, 



(h) This virulent book was published the preceding year, and in the table of contents 
referring to that part of his work which treated of female players, it having been said, 
"women actors notorious whores," it was construed into a reflexion on the queen and her 
ladies, who frequently performed in Court-masques; and he was sentenced, in the star- 
chamber, to be imprisoned for life, fined £.5,000, expelled Lincoln's Inn, "disbarred and 
disqualified to practice the law, degraded of his degree in the university, to be set in the 
pillory, his ears cut off, and his book burnt by the hands of the common hangman; which 
rigorous sentence," says Whitelock, "was as rigorously executed." 

* The Hislriomastix was published in 1633, and contains justifiable attacks upon the gross 
indecencies of the contemporary stage, and upon the use to which light music was put. He 
begins the section on Music as follows: "That Musicke of itselfe is lawfull, usefull, and 
commendable; no man, no Christian dares denie, since the Scriptures, Fathers, and generally 
all Christian, all Pagan Authors extant, do with one consent averre it." 

294 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVII CENTURY 

lessons, and songs for the masque, and to be masters of all the 
Musicke under me (i). 

" I also made choice of 4 of the most excellent musitians of the 
Queen's Chapell, M. La Ware, M. Du Val, M. Robert, and M. 
Mari, with divers others of forrein nations, who were most eminent 
in their art, not in the least neglecting my own countrymen, 
whose knowledge in Musicke rendered them useful in this action, 
tc beare their parts in the Musicke, which I resolved if I could 
to have so performed, as might excell any that ever before this time 
had bin in England. 

" Herein I kept my purpose, causing the meetings of all the 
musitians to be frequent at my house in Salisbury Court; and 
there I have had togither att one time, of English, French, Italian, 
German, and other masters of Musicke, fourty lutes, besides other 
instruments, and voyces of the most excellent kind in consort. 

" The time for presenting this masque at Whitehall was agreed 
to be on Candelmas night to end Christmas, and the several parts 
of it being brought neer to a readiness for action, Hyde and 
Whitelocke were sent to the lord Chamberlain, the earle of 
Pembroke and Montgomery, and to Sir Henry Vane, the comtroller 
of the king's house, to advise with them, to take order about the 
sceane, and preparing things in the banquetting house. 

" The dauncers, masquers, antimasquers, and musitians did 
before hand practise in the place where they were to present the 
masque, and the sceanes were artfully prepared (by Inigo Jones) 
att the lower end of the banquetting house, and all things were in 
readyness. 

" The grand masquers were fower gentlemen of each Innes of 
court, most suitable for their persons, dauncing, and garbe for 
that busines, and it was ordered, that they should be drawne in 
fower rich chariotts, fower masquers in each chariot, by six horses 
in each. 

" And to prevent difference about the order of their going, it 
was propounded by Wh. and assented to by the committee, that 
the chariots should be made after the fashion of the Roman 
tryumphant chariots, and being of an ovall forme in the seats, 
there would be no difference of place in them. 

" For the severall colours, and from the precedence of the 
chariots, it was agreed, that one of each house, of the committee, 
should throwe the dice, and as that happened, the society to be 
bound of which he that threw was a member. 

" I threw the dice for the middle Temple, and by my cast, had 
the place for the second chariot, and silver and blew for my colours, 

(i) The compositions of Simon Ives are not devoid of merit; some of his Rounds and 
Catches, published in Hilton's collection, still live, and are ingenious and pleasant : as, "Come 
honest friends and jovial boys, &c." Though the commissioner does not tell us which Lawes 
it was, he chose for Ives's colleague, it appears, in the words of the masque, published by the 
author, Ja. Shirley, that it was William. The names of all the masquers, with the house or 
inn of court to which they belonged, and an epigram addressed to each, was published in a 
little book, written by Francis Linton, called The Innes of Court Anagrammatist, or The 
Masquers masqued in Anagrammas, 4to. 1634. 

295 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

which colours, I have ever since kept in my liveryes, and uppon 
all solemn occasions. 

" Candlemas day being come, and all things being in readyness, 
the masquers, horsemen, musitians, dauncers, and all that were 
actors in the business, sett forth from Ely house, in Holborne, 
every one in their order, towards Whitehall, their way being 
directed through Chancery-lane, and from thence through Temple 
Barre, and so the high way to the court. 

' ' The first that marched were twenty footmen in scarlet liveries 
with silver lace, each one having his sword by his side, a baton in 
one hand, and a torch lighted in the other, these were the marshalls 
men, who cleered the streets, made way, and were all about the 
marshall waiting his commands. 

" After them, and sometimes in the midst of them, came the 
marshall, Mr. Darrell, afterwards knighted by the king, an 
extraordinary hansome, proper gentleman, one of Lincoln's Inne, 
agreed uppon by the committee for this service. 

" He was mounted uppon one of the king's best horses, and 
richest saddles, and his own habit was exceeding rich and glorious, 
his horsemanship very gallant, and, besides his marshall men, he 
had two lacquayes, who carried torches by him, and a page in 
livery, that went by him carrying his cloake. 

" After him followed one hundred gentlemen of the Innes of 
court in very rich clothes, five and twenty chosen out of each 
house, of the most proper and hansome young gentlemen of the 
societies. 

" Every one of them was gallantly mounted, on the best horses, 
and with the best furniture, that the king's stable and the stables 
of all the nobility in towne could afforde, and they were forward 
on this occasion to lend them. 

" The richness of the apparell and furniture, glittering by the 
light of the multitude of torches attending them, with the motion 
and stirring of their mettled horses, and the many and various gay 
liveries of their servants, butt especially the personal beauty and 
gallantry of the hansome young gentlemen made the most glorious 
and splendid show, that ever was beheld in England. 

" After the horsemen came the antimasquers, and as the horse- 
men had their Musicke, about a dozen of the best trumpets, proper 
for them, so the first antimasque, being of cripples and beggars 
on horseback, had their Musicke of keys and tonges, and the like, 
snapping and yett playing in consort before them. These beggars 
were mounted on the poorest, leanest jades that could be gotten 
out of the dust-cartes or elsewhere, and the variety and change from 
such noble Musicke and gallant horses as went before them, unto 
their pittiful Musicke and horses, made both of them the more 
pleasing. 

"After the beggars antimasque came men on horsebacke playing 
uppon pipes, whistles, and instruments, sounding notes like those 
of birds of all sorts, and in excellent consort, and were followed 

296 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVII CENTURY 

by the antimasque of birdes. This was an owle in an ivybush, 
with many severall sorts of other birdes, in a cluster about the 
owle gazing as it were upon her, these were little boys putt into 
covers of the shapes of those birds, rarely fitted, and sitting on 
small horses, with footmen going by them, having all of them 
torches in their hands. 

" After this antimasque came other musitians on horsebacke 
playing uppon bagpipes, hornepipes, and such kind of northerne 
Musicke. First in this antimasque rode a fellow upon a little horse 
with a great bitt in his mouth, and uppon the man's head was a 
bitt with headstall and raines, fastened, and signified a projector, 
that none in the kingdome might ride their horses, butt with such 
bitts as they should buy of him. Another projector, who begged 
a patent of monopoly to feed capons with caretts, and several 
other projectors were in like manner personated, which pleased the 
spectators the more, bicause by it, an information was covertly 
given to the king, of the unfittness and ridiculousness of these 
projects, against the law, and the atturney Noy who had most 
knowledge of them, had a great hand in this antimasque of the 
projectors. 

" After this and severall other antimasques were past, there 
came sixe of the chief e musitians on horsebacke, uppon footclothes, 
and in the habits of Heathen priests, and footmen carrying of 
torches by them. Then a sumptuous chariot drawn by sixe horses 
with large plumes of feathers, in which were about a dozen persons 
in severall habits of gods and goddesses. Then other large open 
chariots with musitians in like habit, butt all with some variety 
and distinction. These going before the grand masquers played on 
excellent loude Musicke all the way as they went. 

" The chariot in which sate the 4 grand masquers of Grayes 
Inne was drawn by 4 horses all on breast, coursed to their heeles 
all over with cloth of tissue, of the colour of crimson and silver, 
huge plumes of red and white feathers on their heads and buttocks, 
and the coachman's cap and feather, his long coate and his very 
whippe and cushion, of the same stuffe and colour. These maskers 
had habits, doublets, trunke-hose and cappes of the most rich 
cloth of tissue, and wrought as thicke with silver spangles as they 
could be placed, with large white silke stockings up to their trunke 
hose, and rich sprigges in their cappes, themselves proper and 
beautiful young gentlemen. On each side of the chariot were 4 
footmen in liveries of the colour of the chariot, carrying huge 
flambois in their hands, which with the torches gave such a lustre 
to the paintings, spangles and habits, that hardly any thing could 
be invented to appear more glorious. 

" After this followed the other three chariots with the grand 
masquers of the Middle Temple, Inner Temple, and Lincoln's Inne, 
alike richly habited and attended; and as the sixeteen grand 
masquers were most hansome and lovely, and the equipage so full 

297 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

of state and height of gallantrye, it may be said, that it never was 
outdone by any representation mentioned in our former glories. 

' The torches and flaming huge flambois, borne by the side of 
each chariot, made it seem lightsome as att noon day, butt more 
glittering, and gave a full and clear light to all the streets and 
windowes as they passed. 

" The marche was slowe, in regard of their great number, butt 
more interrupted by the multitude of the spectators, in the streets, 
besides the windowes, and they all seemed loth to part with so 
glorious a spectacle. 

' This gave opportunity to Hyde and Whitelocke, who usually 
were togither, to take a coach, and by the other way, to gett 
before them to Whitehall, where they found the fayre banquetting 
house, so crowded with fayre ladyes, glistering with their rich 
clothes, and richer Jewells, and with lords and gentlemen of great 
quality, that there was scarce roome for the king and queen to 
enter in. They saw that all things were in readiness there, and 
the lord Chamberlein carryed them up to the chamber of the 
beautiful and ingenious countess of Caernarvon his daughter, whose 
company was no smalle pleasure and refreshment. 

" The king and queen stood at a windowe, looking streight 
forward into the street, to see the masque come by, and being 
delighted with the noble bravery of it, they sent to the marshall 
to desire that the whole show might fetch a turne about the 
Tiltyeard, that their majestyes might have a double view of them; 
which was done accordingly, and then they allighted att Whitehall 
gate, and were conducted to severall roomes and places prepared 
for them. 

" The horsemen of the masque, and other gentlemen of the 
Innes of court, sate in the gallery reserved for them, and those of 
the committee that were present were with them; only Hyde and 
Whitelocke were placed below among the grandees, and neare the 
sceane, that they might be ready to give assistance, if there should 
be occasion, and as an extraordinary favour to them att that time, 
and in that presence. 

" The king and queen and all their noble train being come in, 
the masque began, and was incomparably performed, in the 
dauncing, speeches, Musicke, and sceanes; the daunces, figures, 
properties, the voices, instruments, songs, aiers, composures, the 
words and actions were all of them exact, none fayled in their parts, 
and the sceanes were most curious and costly. 

" The queen did the honour to some of the masquers to daunce 
with them herselfe, and to judge them as good dauncers as ever 
she sawe, and the great ladyes were very free and civill in dauncing 
with all the masquers as they were taken out by them. 

" Thus they continued in their sports untill it was allmost 
morning, and then the king and queen retiring, the masquers and 
Innes of court gentlemen were brought to a stately banquett, and 
after that was dispersed, every one departed to his own quarters. 

298 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVII CENTURY 

" The queen, who was so delighted with these solemnities, 
desired to see this show acted over again. 'Whereupon, an intima- 
tion given to my lord Major of London, he invited the king and 
queen and the masquers to the citty, and entertained them with 
all state and magnificence, att Merchant Taylor's hall. Thither 
marched through the citty, the same show that went to Whitehall, 
and the same masque was again represented in the same state and 
equipage as before. This also gave great contentment to their 
majestyes, and no less to the cittizens, especially those of the 
younger sort, and of the female sexe, and it was to the great honour 
and no less charge of the lord Major and freemen. 

" After these dreames past, and these pompes vanished, all men 
were satisfied by the committee justly and bountifully. 

" For the Musicke, which was particularly committed to my 
charge, I gave to Mr. Ives, and to Mr. Lawes £.100 a piece, for 
their rewards; for the 4 French gentlemen, the queen's servants, I 
thought that a handsome and liberall gratifying of them would be 
made known to the queen, their mistris, and well taken. by her. 
I therefore invited them one morning to a collation, att St. 
Dunstan's taverne, in the great room, the oracle of Apollo, where 
each of them had his plate lay'd for him, covered, and the napkin 
by it, and when they opened their plates they found in each of them 
forty pices of gould, of their master's coyne, for the first dish, and 
the}' had cause to be much pleased with this surprisall. 

" The rest of the musitians had rewards answearable to their 
parts and qualities; and the whole charge of the Musicke came to 
about one thousand pounds. The clothes of the horsemen reckoned 
one with another at £.100 a suit, att the least, amounted to 
£.10,000. The charges of all the rest of the masque, which were 
borne by the societies were accounted to be above twenty thousand 
pounds. 

" I was so conversant with the musitians, and so willing to 
gaine their favour, especially at this time, that I composed an Aier 
myself, with the assistance of Mr. Ives, and called it Whitelocke's 
Coranto; which being cried up, was first played publiquely, by 
the Blackefryar's Musicke, who were then esteemed the best of 
common musitians in London. Whenever I came to that house 
(as I did sometimes in those dayes), though not often, to see a play, 
the musitians would presently play Whitelocke's Coranto, and it 
was so often called for, that they would have it played twice or 
thrice in an afternoon. The Queen hearing it, would not be 
persuaded that it was made by an Englishman, bicause she said 
it was fuller of life and spirit than the English aiers use to be; 
butt she honoured the Coranto and the maker of it with her 
majestyes royall commendation. It grew to that request, that all 
the common musitians in this towne, and all over the kingdome, 
gott the composition of it, and played it publiquely in all places, for 
above thirtie years after." 

Among other moral reflexions, addressed to his family on such 
vanities as he had been describing, lord commissioner Whitelocke 

299 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

adds : ' ' yet I am farre from discommending the knowledge of this 
art (Music), and exercise of this recreation for a diversion, and so 
as you spend not too much of your time in it, that I aduise you 
in this as in other accomplishments, that you indeavour to gett to 
some perfection, as I did, and it will be the more ornament and 
delight to you. I have here inserted this Aier, in order to preserve 
it for your use, if any of you shall delight in it (k)."* 



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The same year, besides the Faithful Shepherdess of Fletcher, 
which was represented at court, to which Sir William Davenant 
furnished a kind of prelude, or prologue, which was set to Music, 
the masque called Caelum Britannicum, written by Thomas Carew, 
was performed at Whitehall, by the King, Queen, duke of Lenox, 
earls of Devonshire, Holland, and many other nobles of the court 

(k) Whitelocke's labours remembered in the annates of his life, written for the use of his 
children, MS. N 

{I) Though the masques of this reign are frequently said, in the title-page, and dramatis 
persona, to have been performed by the king, queen, and nobles of their court, yet it does not 
appear, that these great personages often took part in the dialogue or songs of the piece; but 
generally appeared on the stage in the splendid ballets only, _ as dancers, representing 
mythological or allegorical characters. Indeed, the queen, at the time of the first masques of 
this reign, can hardly be supposed sufficiently exercised in our language to undertake a part 
in which declamation was necessary. 

* Some of Lawes' music to The Triumph of Peace has come down to us. Prof. E. J. Dent 
in The Foundations of English Opera (Cambridge Press, 1928) has printed some extracts. 



300 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVII CENTURY 

Inigo Jones was the machinest, and Henry Lawes the musician. 
The vocal Music, however, was only introduced at the latter end, 
where about a hundred verses were sung. 

In 1634, an Entertainment, entitled Love's Welcome, written 
by Ben Jonson, was represented before their majesties at Bolsover, 
the seat of the earl of Newcastle. But this year furnishes a 
memorable sera in the annals of Poetry and Music, by having given 
birth to the Mask of Comus. 

This drama, written by Milton, was set by Henry Lawes, who 
performed in it the part of Thyrsis; and, in 1637, being likewise 
the editor of the poem, when it was first published, dedicated it to 
John Lord Viscount Brackley, who had represented the part of 
the Elder Brother, at Ludlow Castle.* 

This young nobleman was but twelve years old at the time of the 
exhibition. His brother, Thomas, who played the Second Brother, 
was still younger; and lady Alice Egerton, who acted the part of the 
Lady in Comus, could not be more than thirteen years old. These 
personages, and many more of the family, were buried at Gadesden, 
in Hertfordshire, where their monuments are still to be seen. The 
family lived at Ashridge, formerly a royal palace, in the parish of 
Gadesden, and still the residence of their illustrious descendant, the 
present duke of Bridgewater. Milton, when he wrote this mask, 
lived at Harefield, in the neighbourhood of Ashridge. The two 
brothers had appeared at court, 1633, in the mask of Caelum 
Britannicum, even before they performed in Comus. Their sister, 
lady Penelope Egerton, acted at court (or rather danced), with the 
queen in Ben Jonson's mask of Chloridia, 1630 (m). 

A letter from Sir Henry Wootton to the author, concerning 
Comus, is still extant; in which he says, " I should much commend 
the tragical (serious) part, if the lyrical did not ravish me with a 
certain Dorique delicacy in your songs and odes, whereunto I must 
plainly confess to have seen yet nothing parallel in our language : 
" Ipsa mollities.*' The letter is dated 1638, and first appeared 
prefixed to Comus, in the edition of 1645, when the author first set 
his name to the poem. 

Comus was published, by Lawes, without the author's name, 
which Sir H. Wootton, in 1638, thanks Milton himself for 
disclosing to him by letter. The editor, in his dedication to lord 
Brackley, says, that " although not openly acknowledged by the 
author, yet it is legitimate offspring, so lovely, and so much to be 
desired, that the often copying of it hath tired my pen, to give 
my severall friends satisfaction, and brought me to the necessity 
of producing it to the publick view." 



(m) See the notes of Mr. T. Warton's excellent edition of Milton's Poems upon several 
Occasions. 

* The identity of the author of Comus was not made known until an edition published 
in 1645. The original music was first published by the Mermaid Scty. in 1904. 

30I 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

Milton put a fine eulogium on the musician Lawes, into his 
own mouth, in the character of the Attendant Spirit, who says, 

" -but I must put off 

These my sky robes, spun out of Iris woof, 

And take the weed and likeness of a swain, 

That to the service of this house belongs (n), 

Who with his soft pipe, and smooth-dittied song, 

Well knows to still the wild winds when they roar, 

And hush the waving woods, nor of less faith — (o)." 

A very small part of this mask, in its original state, was sung : 
Sweet Echo; Sabrina fair; Back shepherds back; and the passages 
beginning, To the ocean now I fly; and Now my task is smoothly 
done, are said to have been all the portions of this drama that were 
set to Music by Henry Lawes; and this opinion is founded on a 
manuscript copy of the Music to~ these strains, in the composer's 
own hand-writing; however, besides the Music for the measure, or 
dance of Comus's attendants, between the verses 144 and 145, and 
the soft Music, prescribed before verse 659, we are told in the drama, 
after verse 889, that " Sabrina rises, attended by water-nymphs, 
and sings, 

" By the rushy fringed bank, &c." 

And before verse 966, it is said, " This second song presents them 
(the two brothers and the lady) to their father and mother." 

So that though no more of the original Music is to be found 
than that said to subsist in the composer's ov/n hand writing, yet 
more seems to have been produced, even by Milton's own direction. 

The notes set by Lawes to the song of Sweet Echo, neither 
constitute an air, nor melody; and, indeed, they are even too 
frequently prolonged for recitative. It is difficult to give a name, 
from the copious technica with which the art of Music is furnished, 
to such a series of unmeaning sounds. Nor does the composer, 
otherwise than comparatively, seem to merit the great praises 

(n) Lawes taught Music in lord Bridgewater's family, and the lady Alice, who played the 
Lady in the mask, was his scholar. To this lady, nineteen years after, when she was lady 
Vaughan and Carbury, and to her sister Mary, lady Herbert of Cherbury, he dedicated the 
first book of his Ayres and Dialogues, for one, two, and three Voyces, &c, London. In his 
dedication to these ladies, he says, "no sooner I thought of making these publick, than of 
inscribing them to your ladyships; most of them being composed, when I was employed by 
your ever honoured parents to attend your ladyships education in Musick; who, as in other 
accomplishments, fit for persons of your quality, excelled most ladies, especially in vocal 
Musicke, wherein you were so absolute, that you gave life and honour to all I set and taught 
you." 

(o) Again, v. 494, an encomium is pronounced upon him, with more delicacy and propriety 
by the Elder Brother : 

" Thyrsis? whose artful strains have oft delay 'd 
The huddling brook to hear his madrigal, 
And sweeten'd every musk-rose of the dale ! " 

Yet still another is put into his own mouth, v. 623: 

" He lov'd me well, and oft would beg me sing, 
Which when I did. he on the tender grass 
Would sit, and hearken e'en to extasy." 

302 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVII CENTURY 

bestowed upon him by Milton and others for his " exact accom- 
modation of the " accent of the Music and the quantities of the 
verse," which perhaps, without a very nice examination, has been 
granted to him by late writers. As no accompaniment, but a dry 
base, seems to have been given to this song by the composer, it is 
difficult to imagine how the Lady was able 

-to wake the courteous Echo 



To give an answer from her mossy couch." 

Here was a favourable opportunity suggested to the musician for 
instrumental ritomels and iterations, of which, however, he made 
no use. 

I shall here present the critical reader with the song as set by 
Lawes, and then refer to such places as seem indefensible, even 
on the side of accent and quantity. 



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A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

The long note given to the first syllable of the word violet, to 
sad (sad song), have (have hid), sweet (sweet queen), tell (tell me), 
and the first syllable of the word daughter, on the unaccented part 
of the bar, are all inaccuracies of musical accentuation. And in the 
last bar, line first of this page, the interval from F sharp to E 
natural, the seventh above, is certainly one of the most disagreeable 
notes in melody that the scale could furnish. 

I should be glad, indeed, to be informed by the most exclusive 
admirer of old ditties, what is the musical merit of this song, 
except insipid simplicity, and its having been set for a single voice, 
instead of being mangled by the many-headed monster, Madrigal? 

In 1635 [1636], was performed at the duke of York's palace in 
the Middle Temple, The Triumphs of the Prince d' Amour, a 
masque written by Sir William Davenant, of which the vocal and 
instrumental Music, with the symphonies, are said to have been 
composed by William and Henry Lawes. 1636, The King and 
Queen's Entertainment, at Richmond, a masque. Simon Hopper is 
said to have conducted the dancing, and Charles Hopper to have 
composed the Music. It was contrived expressly, for the queen to 
see prince Charles dance in it, who was then but six years old. In 
1637 [1638], Britannia Triumphans, a masque, by Sir William 
Davenant and Inigo Jones, was performed at Whitehall; as was 
Microcosmus, another drama of the same kind, at the play-house 
in Salisbury Court; which seems to have been the first English 
masque represented on a public stage.* Luminalia, or the Festival 
of Light, a masque, was also represented by the queen and the 
ladies of court, with decorations by Inigo Jones. 1638, The 
Glories of Spring, a masque, by Nabbs; and The Temple of Love, 
another, by Sir William Davenant, and represented by the Queen 
and her ladies at Whitehall, was one of the most magnificent of the 
times. In this drama about one hundred and fifty verses were sung. 

In 1639 [1640], Salmacida Spolia, a masque, written likewise by 
Sir William Davenant, and set to Music by Lewis Richard, master 
of his majesty's Music (p), with machines and decorations by Inigo 
Jones, was the last drama of this kind in which their majesties 
condescended to perform in person. Other scenes more tragic and 
difficult to support, were preparing for these unfortunate princes, 
in which they exhibited, to the wondering world, a spectacle that 
required no mimic pathos to render it interesting! 

During the reign of James I. the national rage for dramatic 
representations seems to have been excessive, as we are told that 
no less than seventeen play-houses were then open in London; and 
in that of his successor, though their number was considerably 
diminished, yet six were still allowed for the amusement of the 
public : however, as these were little better than booths, erected in 

(J>) This musician's name has occurred no where else in my researches. 

* Microcosmus was written by Nabbes. Probably the first mask for the theatre was The 
World Tost at Tennis, written by Thos. Middleton and Wm. Rowley in 1638, and produced at 
the Princes' Arms, a well-known Inn. 

304 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVII CENTURY 

tennis-courts, cock-pits, the large rooms of inns, taverns, ale-houses, 
or in the gardens or yards of such places, it does not appear that 
any one of them was sufficiently splendid or commodious for the 
reception of their majesties and the first personages in the kingdom; 
so that the royal passion for dramatic amusements vented itself 
wholly within the walls of the court, for the meridian of which the 
performance of masques was totally calculated. And the king, 
over whose countenance and reign his subsequent misfortunes seem 
to have cast such a gloom, at this time not only partook of all the 
innocent and decorous gaieties of his court, but sometimes, in 
particular masques, contributed to them himself, by his own 
performance (q). 

This prince, however his judgment, or that of his counsellors, 
may have misled him in the more momentous concerns of govern- 
ment, appears to have been possessed of an invariable good taste 
in all the fine arts; a quality which, in less morose and fanatical 
times, would have endeared him to the most enlightened part of the 
nation : but now his patronage of poetry, painting, architecture, and 
Music, was ranked among the deadly sins, and his passion for the 
works of the best artists in the nation, profane, pagan, popish, 
idolatrous, dark, and damnable. As to the expences of his govern- 
ment, for the levying which he was driven to illegal and violent 
expedients, if compared with what has been since peaceably and 
chearfully granted to his successors, his extravagance in supporting 
the public splendor and amusements of his court, will be found more 
moderate, and perhaps more innocent, than that of secret service in 
later times; and however gloomy state-reformers may execrate this 
prince, it would be ungrateful, in professors of any of the fine arts, 
to lose all reverence for the patron of Ben Jonson, Vandyke, Inigo 
Jones, and Dr. Child. 

Charles I. very early in his reign manifested a disposition to 
encourage the liberal arts; particularly Music, by the charter 
granted to Nicholas Laniere, already mentioned. In the eleventh 
year of his reign he granted a more extensive charter to the most 
eminent musicians living at the time, incorporating them by the 
style and titles of marshall, wardens, and cominality of the arte and 
science of Musick in Westminster, in the county of Middlesex; 
investing them with various extraordinary powers and privileges, 
which charter he confirmed in the fourteenth year of his reign. 

The patent roll of this charter, which bears date 15 Jul. xi. Car. 
is deposited in the Chapel of the Rolles; of which the following is 
the purport. 

" Whereas Ed. IV. by his letters patent under the greate seale 
of his realme of England, bearing date the foure and twentieth 
day of Aprill, in the nynth yeare of his reigne, did for him and 

{q) The early pictures of this prince exhibit a much more serene and chearful countenance 
than those that were painted during his troubles; particularly the admirable whole length at 
Versailles, by Vandyke, which my worthy friend Sir Robt. Strange has so exquisitely 
engraved. 

Vor,. ii. 20. 305 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

his heires give and graunte licence unto Walter Haliday Marshall 
and John Cliff, and others, then minstrells of the said king, that 
they by themselves should in deed and name be one body and 
cominality, perpetual and capable in the lawe, and should have 
perpetual succession : and that as well the minstrells of the said 
king, which then were, as other minstrells of the said king, and 
his heires which should be afterward, might at their pleasure name, 
chuse, ordeine, and successively constitute from amongst them- 
selves, one marshall able and fitt to remaine in that office during 
his life, and alsoe twoe wardens every yeare, to governe the said 
fraternity and guild." 

This* charter being manifestly intended to counteract the power 
and effects of the musician's company in the city, recites that 
" certaine persons, suggesting themselves to be freemen of a 
pretended society of minstrells in the cittie of London, in prejudice 

of the previledges aforesaid did by unlawful suggestions procure 

of and from king James of ever blessed memory, letters patent — to 
incorporate them by the name of master, wardens, and cominality 
of the arte or science of the musicians of London. And amongst 
divers others priviledges, to graunte unto them the survey, scrutiny, 
correction, and government of all and singular the musicians and 
minstrells within the said cittie of London, suburbs, liberties, and 
precincts of the said cittie, or within three miles of the said cittie. 
By colour whereof they endeavoured to exclude the musicians and 
minstrells enterteyned into the king's service, and all others expert 
and learned in the said arte and science of Musick, from teaching 
and practising the same within the said cittie, and three miles 
thereof, that would not subject themselves unto their said, pretended 
fraternity, or purchase their approbation thereunto, although greate 
part of them were altogether unskilfull in the said art and science 
of Musick. 

It further recites, that " at the prosecution of Nicholas Laniere, 
Thomas Ford, Jerome Laniere, Clement Laniere, Andrewe Laniere, 
Thomas Day, John Cogshall, Anthony Roberts, Daniell Farrant, 
John Laniere, Alfonso Ferabosco, Henry Ferabosco, Edward 
Wormall, and John Drewe, musicians enterteyned in the king's 
service, a scire facias had bin brought in the king's name against 
the said pretended master, wardens, and cominality of the art and 
science of the musicians of London, in the high court of Chancery, 
for the cancelling and making voide of the said letters patent; and 
that judgement at their said prosecution had been had and given 
by the said court accordingly, and the said letters patent vacated 
and cancelled thereuppon." 

The king therefore, " for and in consideration of the good and 
faithful service which his said musicians had done and performed 
unto him, and in pursuance of the intent and meaninge of the said 
king Edward the Fourth, in his said recited letters patent 
mentioned, of his speciall grace, certaine knowledge, and mere 
motion, doth for him, his heires and successors, will, ordeine, &c." 

306 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVII CENTURY 

The powers granted to this company extended throughout the 
whole realm of England, the county palatine of Chester only 
excepted, in favour of the ancient claim of the Dutton family to 
sovereignty over the minstrels of that palatinate (r) ; and none were 
suffered to exercise and practise the art or science of Music without 
a licence granted to them by this company, after trial of their 
abilities. Powers with which, it is to be feared, no men, or set of 
men, can ever be safely trusted : as envy, selfishness, and mere love 
of rule and importance, will incline them to shut the door on merit, 
as a more formidable crime and disqualification than dulness or the 
want of talents; instances of which unseraphic spirit have, however 
strange, manifested themselves even in our own times. 

From 1639, till the violent death of this monarch, every year 
was marked by some calamity or tragical event: in 1640, open 
discontents and preparations for rebellion; 1641, Strafford beheaded; 
1642, civil war began ; 1643, the liturgy and cathedral service 
abolished; 1644 [January, 1645], archbishop Laud beheaded; 1645, 
the king obliged to quit Oxford, and take the field ; 1646, being 
defeated at Naseby [1645], he surrenders his person to the Scots, 
who deliver him to the parliament, by whom he is kept in different 
prisons till his execution, 1649. 

The total suppression of cathedral service in 1643,* gave a 
grievous wound to sacred Music; not only checking its cultivation, 
but annihilating as much as possible the means of restoring it, by 
destroying all the church-books, as entirely as those of the Romish 
communion had been at the time of the Reformation. Nothing now 
but syllabic and unisonous psalmody was authorised in the Church; 
organs were taken down, organists and choirmen turned adrift, and 
the art of Music, and indeed all the arts but those of killing, canting, 
and hypocrisy, were discouraged. 

This accounts for much of the barbarism into which Music was 
thrown during the reigns of James and Charles I. which were wasted 
in an almost perpetual struggle between privilege and prerogative, 
democracy and tyranny; the crown fearful and unwilling to grant 
too much, and the people, almost all Puritans and Levellers, deter- 
mined to be satisfied with nothing that could be offered, rendered 
approximation utterly impracticable. 

During such contentions, what leisure or disposition could there 
be for the culture of arts which had no connexion with the reigning 
interests and passions of men? The fine arts have been very truly 
and emphatically called the Arts of Peace, and the celebrated periods 
in which they made the most considerable strides towards perfection, 
were calm and tranquil. 

M See Book II., p. 651. 

* It is not fair to the Puritans to think that their objection to elaborate music in Church 
was something peculiar to their party or age. For an account of the antiquity of this objection 
see. P. A. Scholes' The Puritans and. Music, Chapter xii. 

The same may be said with regard to the silencing and demolition of Organs. In 1563 the 
Lower House of Convocation negatived by only one vote a motion for the removal of all 
organs, and a tract in the B.M. (Royal MSS.) entitled the Praise of Music, relates that "Not so 
few as one hundred organs were taken down, and the pipes sold to make pewter dishes." More 
evidence of a like nature will be found in chapter 15 of the work cited above. 

307 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

But no war is so fatal to elegance, refinement, and social comforts 
and amusements, as a civil war: it is not national hatred then, but 
personal, which sharpens the sword and actuates vengeance. In a 
foreign war, though we wish to humble and debilitate a rival nation, 
we pity, and often esteem, suffering individuals ; but when the 
objects of animosity are near us, and in a manner irritate the sight, 
we never think we can be safe but by extirpation. We not only 
assail their persons and property, but every sublunary enjoyment. 
The Loyalists, in Charles's time, were attached to the hierarchy and 
ancient rites of the Church, which included the use of the organ, 
and the solemn and artificial use of voices; but if they had any one 
custom or enjoyment which excited in the Puritans a more 
acrimonious hatred towards them than another, it was that of 
celebrating religious rites with good Music. The Cavaliers, in their 
turn, were equal enemies to the coarse, vociferous and clamorous 
psalmody of the Puritans ; so that a reciprocal and universal 
intoleration prevailed throughout the kingdom, during more than 
half a century : for though the mutual hatred of contending parties 
did not burst into open war till late in Charles's reign, it was secretly 
fermenting all the time his father sate on the throne; and, indeed, 
nothing but the vigour and vigilance of Elizabeth's government 
curbed the mutinous spirit of the times, while she was at the helm. 

During the grand rebellion and interregnum, musicians who 
had employment either in the chapels royal, cathedrals, or public 
exhibitions in the capital, were forced to sculk about the country, 
and solicit an asylum in the houses of private patrons, whose 
mansions, and abilities to protect them, must have been very 
precarious. And, indeed, if they could have been rendered 
permanent, they would not so much have contributed to the 
advancement of the art, as the pride, effort, and emulation of 
working for a severe and fastidious public would have done. Many 
a man of creative genius and gigantic abilities, has been manacled 
by idleness, vanity, and self-applause in a private station, where, 
safe from rivals, and certain of the approbation of a small, and 
perhaps ignorant and partial circle of friends, he has degenerated 
into listlessness, conceit, and affectation. 

As there were few appeals to the public judgment in musical 
productions or performances during these turbulent times, the 
private patrons, as well as the professors of the art themselves, were 
easily satisfied; as appears by the wretched and vapid compositions 
that were published, and the unlimited praises bestowed on them 
in encomiastic verses, still worse than the Music. 

But though the musicians selected by Charles, for his private 
concerts, were not men of great genius or abilities, yet his majesty 
cannot be accused of either ignorance or partiality in his choice of 
them, for the nation at that time could boast of no better. 

William and Henry Lawes were at this time in such general favour, 
that though the kingdom was divided into factions, and men not 
only varied more in their principles, but disputed them with more 

308 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVII CENTURY 

violence, than at any other period of our history, yet there was but 
one opinion concerning the abilities of these musicians. 

William Lawes [killed 1645], the elder son of Thomas Lawes, 
a vicar-choral of the cathedral church of Salisbury, and a native of 
that city, was placed early in life under Coperario* for his musical 
education, at the expence of the earl of Hertford (r). His first 
preferment was in the choir of Chichester, but he was soon called to 
London, where in 1602 [/3], he was sworn a gentleman of the 
Chapel Royal; which place, however, he resigned in 1611, and 
became one of the private, or chamber musicians, to Charles, then 
prince, and afterwards king.** Fuller says, " he was respected and 
beloved of all such persons as cast any looks towards virtue and 
honour; " and he seems well entitled to this praise. He manifested 
his gratitude and loyalty to his royal master by taking up arms in 
his cause against the parliament. And though to exempt him from 
danger, lord Gerrard, the king's general made him a commissary in 
the royal army, yet the activity of his spirit disdaining this intended 
security, at the siege of Chester, 1645, he lost his life by an accidental 
shot. The king is said, by Fuller, to have been so affected at his 
loss, that though he was already in mourning for his kinsman lord 
Bernard Stuart, killed at the same siege, his majesty put " on 
particular mourning for his dear servant William Lawes, whom he 
commonly called the Father of Mustek (s)." 

His chief compositions were Fantasias for viols, and songs and 
symphonies for Masques. Though his brother Henry, in the preface 
to the Choice Psalmes for three voices, which they published jointly 
[1648], boasts that " he composed more than thirty several sorts of 
Music for voices and instruments, and that there was not any 
instrument in use in his time but he composed for it as aptly as if 
he had only studied that." In Dr. Aldrich's Collection, Christchuch, 
Oxon. [I. 5, 1-6] there is a work of his called Mr. William Lawes's 
Great Consort, " wherein are six setts of Musicke, 6 books." His 
Royal Consort for two treble viols, two viol da gambas, and a 
through-base (t), which was always mentioned with reverence by his 
admirers in the last century, is one of the most dry, aukward, and 
unmeaning compositions I ever remember to have had the trouble 
of scoring. It must, however, have been produced early in his life, 
as there are no bars, and the passages are chiefly such as were used in 

(r) This musician was an Englishman; but having been in Italy, at his return he changed 
his name from Cooper to Coperario. 

(s) Wiltshire. 

(t) Here the term thorough base occurs, without figures or reference to its being 
accompanied with chords, and only implies a constant base, without rests. 

_ * He could hardly have come into contact with Coperario (John Cooper) until 1602, in 
which year Lawes came to London. 

** He resigned from the Chapel Royal on either the 1st or 5th May, 1611. In October 
of the same year, however, he is re-admitted to the Chapel Royal but "without paie." His 
admittance as a musician to the King ordinary for the lutes and voices is dated April 30, 1635. 
His salary, under a warrant dated May 14, 1635, is /40 per annum. 

309 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

queen Elizabeth's time.* In the music-school at Oxford are two 
large manuscript volumes of his works in score, for various 
instruments; one of which includes his original compositions for 
masques, performed before the king, and at the Inns of court. 

His anthem for four voices, in Dr. Boyce's second volume, is the 
best and most solid composition that I have seen of this author; 
though it is thin and confused in many places, with little melody, 
and a harmony in the chorus, p. 201, which I am equally unable to 
understand or reconcile to rule or to my own ears. He must have 
been considerably older than his brother Henry, though they 
frequently composed in conjunction. I am, however, unable to 
clear up this point of primogeniture : Henry's name is placed first in 
the Choice Psalmes, published in 1648; in the preface to which he 
says, " as for that which is my part in this composition — it takes 
precedence of order only, not of worth." And yet he says of his 
own tunes just before, " they had their birth at the same time as 
his." Besides the psalms at the end of Sir William Davenant's 
masque called the Triumphs of the Prince d' Amour, 1635 [1636], 
it is said, that " the Musick of the songs and symphanies were 
excellently composed by Mr. William and Mr. Henry Lawes, his 
majesty's servants." 

Several of the songs of William Lawes occur in the collections 
of the times, particularly in John Playford's Musical Companion 
[1672], part the second, consisting of dialogues, glees, ballads, and 
ayres, the words of which are in general coarse and licentious. The 
dialogue part, which he furnished to this book is a species of 
recitative, wholly without accompaniment; and the duet at last, 
which is called a chorus, is insipid in melody, and ordinary in 
counterpoint. His boasted canons, published by his brother Henry 
at the end of their psalms, as proofs of his great abilities in harmony, 
when scored, appear so far from finished compositions, that there 
is not one of them totally free from objections, or that bears the 
stamp of a great master. 

Henry Lawes [1595-1662], the brother of William, was likewise 
a disciple of Coperario. By the cheque-book of the Chapel Royal 
it appears that he was sworn in Pisteller, in January 1625 [-26] (u), 
and in November following, gentleman of the Chapel; after this he 
was appointed clerk of the cheque, and one of the public and private 
musicians to king Charles I. [1631]. As the reputation of Henry 
was still higher, and more firmly established than that of his brother, 
it seems to require more ample discussion. 

I have examined with care and candour all the works I can find 
of this composer, which are still very numerous, and am obliged to 

Cm) Skinner, Junius, Cotgrave, Howel, Baily, Johnson, and all the Lexicographers are 
silent concerning this word; and unless it implied a reader of the epistles, I am utterly 
ignorant of its import. Pistel, in Chaucer, implies not only an epistle, but a short lesson. 
Tyrwhitt. 

* The Royal Consort contains 66 short pieces for the viols and a few airs for violin and 
bass. It is in the B.M. (Add. MSS. 10,445; 3*,43i and 2). Over fifty vocal works are also 
in the last volume. Pieces by Lawes were published in Playford's Select. Musical Ayres and 
Dialogues; in Catch as Catch Can; in Musick's Hand Maide; and in Court Ayres there are 53 
two-part pieces by him. 

3IO 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVII CENTURY 

own myself unable, by their excellence, to account for the great 
reputation he acquired, and the numerous panegyrics bestowed upon 
him by the greatest poets and musicians of his time. His temper 
and conversation must certainly have endeared him to his 
acquaintance, and rendered them partial to his productions; and the 
praise of such writers as Milton and Waller is durable fame. Tallis, 
Bird, of Gibbons, who were all infinitely superior to Lawes, never 
had their abilities blazoned by cotemporary poets or historians of 
eminence. Fenton, the editor of Waller's works, tells us, that " the 
best poets of his time were ambitious of having their verses set to 
Music by this admirable artist; " and, indeed, he not only set some 
of the works of almost every poet of eminence in Charles I. reign, 
but of young noblemen and gentlemen who seem only to have tried 
their strength on the lyre for his use, and of whose talents for poetry 
no other evidence remains than what is to be found in Lawes's 
publications (x). 

Waller has more than once bestowed his fragrant incense on this 
musician. Peck says, that " Milton wrote his masque at the request 
of Lawes; " but whether Milton chose Lawes, or Lawes Milton 
for a colleague in Comus, it equally manifests the high rank in 
which he stood with the greatest poets of his time. It would be 
illiberal to cherish such an idea; but it does sometimes seem as if 
the twin-sisters, Poetry and Music, were mutually jealous of each 
other's glory: " the less interesting my sister's offspring may be," 
says Poetry, " the more admiration will my own obtain." Upon 
asking some years ago, why a certain great prince continued to 
honour with such peculiar marks of favour an old performer on the 
flute, when he had so many musicians of superior abilities about 
him? I was answered, " because he plays worse than himself." 
And who knows whether Milton and Waller were not secretly 
influenced by some such consideration? and were not more pleased 
with Lawes for not pretending to embellish or enforce the sentiments 
of their songs, but setting them to sounds less captivating than the 
sense. 

But bad as the Music of Lawes appears to us, it seems to have 
been sincerely admired by his cotemporaries, in general. It is not 
meant to insinuate that it was pleasing to poets only, but that it 
was more praised by them than any other Music of the same time. 
Though that of Laniere, Hilton, Simon Ives, Dr. Child, and others, 
seems preferable; and the poets, whose praise is fame, perhaps 
taught others to admire. 

The time was now come for simplifying harmony and purifying 
melody in England, as well as in Italy; and the beginning of this 
enterprize was not fortunate here any more than in that country : 

(x) In his first book of Ayres and Dialogues for one, two, and three voyces, published in 
I 653. four years after he lost his royal master and patron, besides a preface by himself, and 
encomiastic verses by Waller, Edward and John Phillips, the nephews of Milton, and others; 
there are songs, some of them excellent, by Thomas earl of Winchelsea, William earl of 
Pembroke, John earl of Bristol, lord Broghill, Thomas Carey, son of the earl of Monmouth, 
Henry Noel son of lord Camden, Sir Charles Lucas, and Carew Raleigh, son of Sir Walter 
Raleigh. 

311 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

harmony and contrivance were relinquished without a compensation. 
Simplicity, indeed, was attained; but devoid of accent, grace, or 
invention. And this accounts for the superiority of Church Music 
over secular at this period in every part of Europe, where canon, 
fugue, rich harmony, and contrivance, were still cultivated; while 
the first attempts at air and recitative were aukward, and the bases 
thin and unmeaning. Indeed, the composers of this kind of Music 
had the single merit to boast of affording the singer an opportunity 
of letting the words be perfectly well understood; as their melodies, 
in general, consisted of no more notes than syllables, while the treble 
accompaniment, if it subsisted, being in unison with the voice-part, 
could occasion no embarrassment or confusion. 

But there seems as little reason for sacrificing Music to poetry, 
as poetry to Music; and when the sentiments of the poem are neither 
enforced nor embellished by the melody, it seems as if the words 
might be still better articulated and understood by being read or 
declaimed than when drawled out in such psalmodic Ayres as those 
of Henry Lawes and his cotemporaries. It has, however, been 
asked " whoever reads the words of a song but the author? " And 
there are certainly many favourite songs, which nothing but good 
Music and good singing could ever bring into notice. However, 
there are poems, I will not call them songs, on subjects of wit and 
science, which must ever be enfeebled by Music ; while others, 
truly lyric and confined to passion and sentiment, travel quicker to 
the heart, and penetrate deeper into the soul by the vehicle of 
melody, than by that of declamation (y). But the time is not yet 
come for these discussions : when there is no poetry truly lyric, there 
can be no graceful or symmetric melody; and, during the last 
century, there was certainly none which merited that title, in any 
language of Europe. 

Though Henry Lawes severely censures the admirers of Italian 
Music in his preface, yet his first cantata, Theseus and Ariadne, is 
both in poetry and Music, an imitation of the famous scene in 
Monteverde's opera of Arianna, which was afterwards formed into a 
single heroic song, entirely like this, in stilo recitativo, without any 
air from beginning to end [1653]. After the operas of Rinuccini 
which had been set by Jacopo Peri, Giulio Caccini, and Monteverde, 
in that manner, at the beginning of the seventeenth century, had met 
with such universal applause in Italy, from the lovers of poetry and 
simplicity, and enemies to madrigals and Music of many parts, this 
kind of composition had many imitators, not only in Italy, but 
throughout Europe. All the melodies of Henry Lawes remind us 
of recitative or psalmody, and scarce any thing like an air can be 
found in his whole book of Ayres. As to his knowledge and 

(y) I want not to set up one art against another, or to give a preference to singing over 
declamation; but to assign to each its due place and praise. There are passages in our best 
plays which could never be sung by the finest performer that ever existed, to so much effect as 
they have been spoken by a Garrick or a Siddons; while in Metastasio's charming dramas, there 
are lines and stanzas, by which an audience, has been often more completely enrapt, when well 
set and well sung by a mellifluous and touching voice, than by the most exquisite declamation 
of the greatest actors that ever existed. 

312 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVII CENTURY 

resources in counterpoint, I am certain that they were neither great 
nor profound. 

His works were chiefly published under the title of Ayres and 
Dialogues, of which he printed three several books, the first in 1653; 
the second, 1655; and the third, 1658. Besides these, many of his 
songs and dialogues were published by Play ford in collections, 
entitled Select musical Ayres and Dialogues, by Dr. Wilson, Dr. 
Charles Colman, Nicholas Laniere, and others [1652, 3, & 9]. 

Though most of the productions of this celebrated musician are 
languid and insipid, and equally devoid of learning and genius, I 
shall point out what seem the most meritorious of his Ayres in these 
collections. 

Book I. p. 11. 



fH 



ps* 



aai 



:©•: 



CRKE-ISSS OF LOV£ ttr/D FXBE 



FROM FSARS, 



he. 



is one of the most pleasing little airs that I have seen of this author. 
I shall insert the following song entire, not so much on account 
of the beauty of the melody or harmony, though it is one of the 
best in those particulars, as for the singularity of the measure, which 
is such as seldom occurs. Harry Carey's ballad, Of all the girls 
that are so smart, &c. which is a slower kind of hornpipe, resembles 
it the most of any air I can recollect. 



Song set by Henry Lawes. 



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Ei&, hb trefr two 



, .. . 1 V ^ W 

ohu. I J>io es- ■ vy with Biesoin i ueanrSi ve£Pin& 



r Lo-ven 



mr 



w=w 



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E Z o- 



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I 



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'> <•■ >• Pd 



s=3^ 



J cm ed, HwG/r&tri 



VHifi, thrt uves im toue.$ Loves m 



VniM. 



m 



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-Hro- 



Ce: 



" Little love serves my turn," p. 18 of the same collection, is 
the gayest air I have seen by H. Lawes. His other most pleasing 
ballads are those beginning, " If when the sun," p. 18, and Ben 
Johnson's song, " Still to be neat, still to be dress'd," see 
Playford's Collection. But the best of all his songs seems "Come 
from the dungeon to the throne," p. 167 of Playford's second part; 
and " Amidst the myrtles as I walk," is pleasing psalmody. 

The tunes which he set to Sandys's excellent version of the 
psalms [1637], as well as those to the Choice Psalmes of the same 
paraphrase which were composed by Hen. Lawes and his brother, 
in a kind of anthem or motet style, though ushered into the word, 
in 1648, by such innumerable panegyrics in rhyme, are so far from 



3i3 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

being superior to the syllabic psalmody of their predecessors who 
clothed Sternhold and Hopkins in Narcotic strains, that they seem 
to possess not only less pleasing melody, but less learned harmony, 
than may be found in anterior publications of the same kind. 
And this seems to be the opinion of the public: as they were 
never adopted by any vociferous fraternity, or admitted into the 
pale of a single country church, that I have been able to discover, 
since they were first printed. One of these, first published by 
Henry, to the seventy-second psalm, has, indeed, long had the 
honour of being jingled by the chimes of St. Lawrence Jewry, six 
times in the four and twenty hours, in a kind of Laus perpetua, 
such as was established in Psalmody-Island mentioned in Book II. 
p. 414, Note (e). 

During the Civil War, Henry Lawes supported himself by 
teaching ladies to sing (z); however, he retained his place in the 
Chapel Royal, and, at the Restoration, composed the coronation 
anthem. Yet he did not long survive this event, for, in Oct. 1662, 
he died, and was buried in Westminster Abbey. 

Dr. John Wilson [1595-1673/4], a native of Feversham, in 
Kent, was a gentleman of Charles the First's chapel, and servant 
in ordinary to his majesty, in the character of chamber-musician. 
His instrument was the lute, upon which he is said to have excelled 
all the Englishmen of his time; and, according to Ant. Wood, his 
royal master was so pleased with his talents, and had even such 
a personal regard for him, that he not only listened to him with 
the greatest attention, but frequently condescended to lean or lay 
his hand on his shoulder, while he was playing. 

For the excellence of his performance we must now wholly 
depend on tradition, as the compositions he has left behind him 
for the lute are but feeble testimonies of a great hand. Nor will 
his vocal productions, or Fantasias, either in print or manuscript, 
generate very exalted ideas of his genius or abilities as a composer. 
That he was admired by his majesty, and by the lovers of Music 
at Oxford, where he was honoured with the degree of doctor in 
Music, 1644 [1645], and where he long resided, proves more the 
low state of the art at this time, before the ears of the public were 
rendered discriminative, by a variety of great and rival talents, 
than his own perfections. Little had been heard, and but little 
was expected. Swift says, " we admire a little wit in a woman, 
as we do a few words spoke plain by a parrot ' ' : and it might 
more seriously be said, that the best Music, during times of 
ignorance and inexperience, is perhaps more admired than the most 
exquisite productions and performance of a more enlightened 
perio.d. Nothing can prove this more clearly than the unbounded 

(z) It lias, however, been roundly asserted, that "singing follows so naturally the 
smallest degTee of proficiency on any instrument, that the learning of both is unnecessary; 
and, in fact, those that teach the harpsichord are now the only singing-masters we know of, 
except a few illiterate professors, who travel about the country, and teach psalmody by the 
notes, at such rates as the lower sort of people are able to pay." 

And a writer living in London had the courage to publish this opinion so lately as the 
year 1776 ! in spite of all the Palmas, Cocchis, Tedeschinis, Ventos, Sacchinis, Piozzis, 
Mortellaris. Parsonses, who wanted to persuade the world that they were singing-masters. 

314 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVII CENTURY 

and hyperbolical praises bestowed in France on the operas of 
Lulli, of which at present the whole nation is ashamed. 

Dr. Wilson, indeed, seems to have set words to Music more 
clumsily than any composer of equal rank in the profession; but 
as he was respected by his cotemporaries, and held an exalted rank 
in his art, a list shall here be inserted of his works; not so much 
for their intrinsic worth, as to enable curious enquirers to judge for 
themselves of the progress which Music had made in this kingdom, 
when such productions were in high favour, not only with the 
greatest personages but principal professors of the times (a). 

" Psalterium Carolinum, the devotions of his sacred majesty 
in his solitudes and sufferings, rendered in verse, set to Music for 
3 voices and an organ or theorbo." Folio, 1657. 

" Cheerful Aires or Ballads first composed for one single voice, 
and since set for 3 voices." Oxon. 1660. 

" Aires to a voice alone, to a theorbo or bass viol "; these are 
printed in a collection [Playford's] entitled " Select Aires and 
Dialogues," folio, 1653. 

" Divine Services and Anthems," the words of which are in 
Clifford's Collection, Lond. 1663. 

He also composed Music to several of the odes of Horace, and 
to some select passages in Ausonius, Claudian, Petronius Arbiter, 
and Statius; these were never published, but are preserved in a 
manuscript volume curiously bound in blue Turkey leather, with 
silver clasps, which the doctor presented to the university, with an 
injunction that no person should be permitted to peruse it till after 
his decease. It is still among the archives of the Bodleian Library. 

The compositions of Dr. Wilson will certainly not bear a severe 
scrutiny either as to genius or knowledge. It is, however, not easy 
to account for the ignorance in counterpoint which is discoverable 
in many lutenists of these times; for having harmony under their 
fingers, as much as the performers on keyed-instruments, it 
facilitates their study, and should render them deeper contra- 
puntists than the generality of flute-players, whose flimsy 
compositions are proverbial. 

On the surrender of the garrison of the city of Oxford, 1646, 
Dr. Wilson left the university, and was received into the family of 
Sir William Walter, of Sarsden, in Oxfordshire; but, in 1656, he 
was constituted Music-professor, and had lodging assigned him in 
Baliol College, where, being assisted by some of the Royalists, he 
lived very comfortably, exciting in the university, according to 
A. Wood, such a love of Music, as in a great measure accounts 
for that flourishing state in which it has long subsisted there, and 
for those numerous private music-meetings, of which this writer, 
in his own life, has given such an amusing relation. At the 
Restoration, Dr. Wilson was appointed chamber-musician to 

(a) See the verses prefixed to the Psalterium Carolinum, and Ant. Wood's character oi 
them, Athen. Oxon. xi. Fasti., col. 42. 

315 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

Charles II. and, on the death of Henry Lawes, 1662, was again 
received into the Chapel Royal; when, quitting the University, he 
resided constantly in London till the time of his decease, at near 
seventy-nine years of age, in 1673. 

John Hilton, a bachelor in Music of the university of 
Cambridge [1626], organist of St. Margaret's, Westminster, and 
also clerk of that parish, deserves a niche in the musical history 
of this period. He began to flourish in the latter end of Queen 
Elizabeth's reign; as his name appears among the composers who 
contributed to the Triumphs of Oriana. His genius for composition, 
however, did not much expand, at least publickly, during the next 
reign; though early in that of Charles I. he published Fa Las for 
three voices [1627], and in 1652, an excellent collection of Catches, 
Rounds, and Canons, for three and four voices, under the quaint 
title of Catch that Catch can', among which there are many by 
himself, that were deservedly admired by his cotemporaries, and 
which still afford great pleasure to the lovers of this species of 
humorous and convivial effusions (b). He died during the 
Protectorship, and was buried in the cloister of Westminster Abbey. 
He is said to have had an anthem sung in that church, before his 
body was brought out for interment; but as not only the cathedral 
service was suppressed during this period, but the liturgy itself, 
and every species of choral Music, the fact seems unlikely, and 
ill-founded.* 

Daring the most tranquil part of Charles's reign, it seems as if 
musicians must have chiefly subsisted on the household and chapel 
establishments, the munificence of their sovereign, and private 
patronage of the great; as, in summer, no such places as Vauxhall, 
Ranelagh, or other public gardens, furnished them with employ- 
ment, or afforded them an opportunity of displaying their talents; 
and in winter, there were no public concerts, either in the capital, 
or in provincial towns; and, except the theatres, which employed 
but small bands, there seem to have been no public means of 
subsistence for singers out of the church, or, except organists, for 
instrumental performers any where. Luxury was now less diffused 
through the kingdom than in subsequent times; for, in proportion 
as commerce has been extended, individuals have become rich, while 
the state has been impoverished. Nothing renders men less 
parsimonious and circumspect in their expences, than a sudden and 

(6) The first thirty-two Rounds, &c, in this collection, are by Hilton himself, and the 
best that preceded those pf Purcell; yet there are compositions in the subsequent part of the 
book, by Bird, Cranford, Ellis, Brewer, Webb, Jenkins, Deering, Henry and William Lawes, 
Thomas Holmes, Edmond Nelham, John Cobb, Dr. Wilson, Simon Ives, and two or three 
canons, by Thomas Ford, that are excellent. 

* The John Hilton of the Triumphs of Oriana was not John Hilton the organist of St. 
Margaret's. It is not improbable that the Hilton of the Oriana was the father of the Hilton of 
St. Margaret's. John the younger was born in 1599, and thus was only two years' old when 
the Triumphs of Oriana appeared. 

The Fa Las for three voices were published by the Musical Antiquarian Society in 1844. 
Hilton died in March, 1656-7. Anthony Wood relates that the "Anthem was sung in the House 
over the corps before it went to the church, and kept time on his coffin." His burial is 
recorded in the Registers of St. Margaret's, Westminster, and not in the cloisters of the Abbey. 

316 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVII CENTURY 

unexpected influx of ready money. Our ancestors, whose income 
was circumscribed, had little to spare for new modes and expensive 
pleasures. The great were munificent, but the rest were necessarily 
ceconomical. 

Though the musical publications, during this contentious and 
turbulent reign, were but few, and though most of them have 
already been incidentally mentioned, they shall here be 
chronologically arranged, for the reader's more easy inspection. 

1627. Fa Las for three Voices, by John Hilton. Morley, in 
imitation of Gastoldi, first published songs in English, under this 
trivial title. He was followed by Weelks, and Weelks by Hilton, 
who seem to have been the last that adopted it. The syllables fa 
la are used, in these light and gay compositions, as a kind of 
refrein or burden, at the end of each couplet, or stanza. 

1629. French Court- Ay res with their Ditties Englished, of 4 
and 5 parts, collected, translated, and published by Edward Filmer, 
gent, dedicated to the Queen, folio. These Ay res were chiefly 
composed by Pierre Guedron, with two by Anthoine Boisset. There 
is very little musical merit discoverable in these songs; which are, 
however, highly extolled in several copies of verses prefixed to the 
book, and, among the rest, in one by Ben Jonson. The editor seems 
to have taken great pains in translating the words, totidem syllabis, 
in order to accommodate them to the original melodies. 

1631. A brief e Instruction and Art of Canon, by Elway Bevin. 
See above, p. 264. 

1624 [1622]. The Compleat Gentleman, by Henry Peacham, 
quarto. This book, though written in the reign of King James, seems 
not to have been published till this year. Among the numerous essays 
it contains, there is one on Music, which though not profound, yet 
will supply a lover of musical history with the knowledge and 
opinions of an enquiring and enlightened Dilettante, during the 
early part of the last century. 

1636. The Principles of Musik in singing and setting, with the 
twofold Use thereof, ecclesiastical and civil, by Charles Butler, 
Magd. Coll. Oxf. master of arts, 4to. This tract, which is dedicated 
to Charles I. seems to have been the only theoretical or didactic 
work, published on the subject of Music, during his reign. The 
author appears to have been a learned and ingenious man. He had 
previously published the Principles of Grammar, in which he had 
proposed a new and more simple orthography for our language, of 
which Dr. Johnson has given an account in the grammar prefixed to 
his Dictionary. The Saxon and new characters he uses, in order 
to explode such letters as are redundant, or of uncertain powers, 
render this musical tract somewhat difficult to peruse. It is, 
however, better digested, more compressed, and replete with useful 
information, than any work of the kind that appeared for more than 
a century after Morley's Introduction. The quotations are perhaps 

317 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

too numerous, and the display of musical erudition may be thought 
to border on pedantry; yet, allowing these to be censurable, the 
book contains more knowledge, in a small compass, than any other 
of the kind, in our language. 

1637. Comus was published by Henry Lawes, but without the 
Music. 

1638 [1637, Grove's]. Sandys's Paraphrase of the Psalms was 
published, with tunes by Henry Lawes. 

1639. Aires and Madrigals for two, three, four, and five voices, 
with a thorough-bass, for organ, or theorbo-lute,* in the Italian 
way, by Walter Porter [c. 1595-1659]. These seem to have been 
the last madrigals that were published in England; where, as well 
as on the Continent, their favour being faded, this composer was 
not possessed of sufficient genius or renown to revive it. , This 
musician, who was a gentleman of the Chapel Royal to Charles I. 
published likewise Hymns and Motets, for two voices, 1657; and 
the Psalms of Sandys's version, set likewise for two voices, with a 
thorough base for the organ. 

1641. Barnard's selected Church-Music, of which an account 
has been already given. And, soon after, but without a date, 
Musica deo sacra el Ecclesice Anglicance, by Thomas Tomkins, a 
publication which has likewise been already recorded.** 

1648. The last musical publication during the unfortunate life 
of Charles I. was " Choice Psalmes put into Musick for three 
Voices, by Henry and William Lawes, Brothers and Servants to his 
Majestic With divers Elegies, set to Musick by sev'rall Friends 
upon the Death of William Lawes. And at the End of the 
Thorough Base are added nine Canons of three and foure Voices, 
made by William Lawes." 

It is but justice to say, that these psalms are very inaccurately 
printed; yet, in scoring them, it is not difficult to distinguish the 
author's faults from those of the printer. There is, indeed, no 
felicity discoverable throughout the work; no attempt at air, 
expression, or new modulation; all the movements being in one 
even tenor of mediocrity. 

Of these productions, dedicated to the King but a very short time 
before his execution, and recommended by four copies of verses, 
one of which is a sonnet by Milton, an opinion has already been 
given. However, to remove all suspicion of prejudice against two 
men, of whose abilities I wished and expected to have had just 
cause to speak with more reverence, the two following psalms from 
this work are selected, in defence of my candour and fidelity. 

* This may be a reprint of a volume of Madrigals and Ayres published in 1632, the only 
known copy of which is now in the B.M. (K. 8. s. 20). 
Porter is said to have been a pupil of Monteverdi. 

** The Musica Deo Sacra was not published until 1668. See Editor's note, p. 291. 

3i8 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVII CENTURY 



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319 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 



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It does not appear that either of the brothers had studied 
counterpoint regularly, or acquired that facility and unembarrassed 
arrangement of the parts; that purity of harmony, and graceful 
selection of sounds, in melody, which are manifest in the works 



320 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVII CENTURY 

of the best masters of Italy of the last and present century, and 
which are perhaps only to be attained early in life, by the diligent 
study of plain counterpoint upon canto jermo, or melodies equally 
simple.* 

Indeed, there seems no other way of accounting for the great 
favour and celebrity of these musicians, than by imagining them to 
have been possessed of qualities which endeared them to mankind, 
exclusive of their skill in Music; for, besides the many panegyrics 
bestowed on them by the first poets of their time, there are in this 
book of psalms no less than eight elegies on the death of William, 
set to Music by the first musicians of the age: Dr. Wilson, John 
Taylor, John Cobb, Capt. Edm. Forster, Simon Ives, John Hilton, 
John Jenkins, and his brother Henry. 

There was but little instrumental Music of any kind printed 
during this period;** and, for keyed-instruments, nothing appeared 
from the time that Parthenia was engraved [c. 1611], till 1657, 
when a book of lessons for the virginal was published in the names 
of Dr. Bull, Orlando Gibbons, Rogers, and others. At a time 
when all other instrumental Music was so easy and simple, as to 
appear now perfectly artless and insipid, the extreme complication 
and difficulty of all the Music that was composed for the organ and 
virginal, is truely marvellous; and, indeed, though frequent 
complaints are made concerning the difficulty of the harpsichord 
and piano-forte-music of our times, it may be asserted, with the 
utmost truth, that it has been simplified and rendered more prac- 
ticable in every part of Europe, during the present century, while 
compositions for almost every other instrument are daily rendered 
more difficult. 



Interregnum, 

From the death of Charles I. till the Restoration, though the 
gloomy fanaticism of the times had totally prohibited the public 
use of every species of Music, except unisonous and syllabic 
psalmody, yet it seems to have been more zealously cultivated, 
in private, during the usurpation, if we may judge by the number 
of publications, than in the same number of years, at any former 
period.*** 

Several musicians began their career during this time, who 
afterwards arrived at great eminence. Among these was John 

* MSS. in the Bodleian Library disprove this assertion in the case of William Lawes. 

** In 1635 a reprint of Parthenia was published. East's pieces for viols appeared in 1638. 
We confess our inability to get any particulars regarding the book of Virginal Music which 
Bumey states was published in 1657. 

*** It is unfortunate that statements such as this have been repeated without any shadow 
of justification by writer after writer, until at last that fictitious figure "the stage Puritan," 
has been created. 

It is true that the Puritans objected to elaborate music in the Church Service, but that 
they objected, as a body, to music, or frowned upon its use, is a belief that cannot be 
substantiated. May we again draw attention to P. A. Scholes' book, The Puritan and Music. 

Vol. ii. 21. 321 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

Jenkins [1592-1678], a voluminous composer of Fancies for viols, 
which were in great esteem during this rude state of instrumental 
Music. His first publication, however, was vocal, being a collection 
of songs under the title of " Theophila, or Love's Sacrifice," folio, 
1651 [1652]. None of the infinite number of pieces that he 
composed for viols, which occur in all the manuscript collections 
of the times, were printed; yet, in 1660, he published twelve 
Sonatas for two violins and a base, with a thorough-base for the 
organ or theorbo, which were reprinted in Holland, 1664.* These 
were professedly in imitation of the Italian style, and the first of 
tin kind which had ever been produced by an Englishman. It 
was at this time an instance of great condescension for a musician 
of character to write expressly for so ribald and vulgar an instru- 
ment, as the violin was accounted by the lovers of lutes, guitars, 
and all the fretful tribe. 

The Hon. Roger North, whose manuscript Memoirs of Musick 
have already been mentioned, is very diffuse on the subject of 
Jenkins, the circumstances of whose life have suggested to him 
many moral reflexions on the instability of musical renown. " It 
is of small importance," says he, " to the state of the world, or 
condition of human life, to know the names and styles of those 
composers of our own country, who have excelled the Italians 
themselves in every species of Music, but that for the voice; 
therefore the oblivion of all such things is no great loss. But for 
curiosity sake, as other no less idle antiquities are courted, it would 
doubtless afford satisfaction to professors and lovers of the art, 
if they could acquire true information concerning their names, 
characters, and works: of the latter, much knowledge might be 
obtained, if the old collections, not yet rotten, of many patrons of 
Music were accessible. In these we might still find the productions 
of Alfonso Ferabosco, Coperario, Lupo, Mico, Este, and divers 
others, especially of John Jenkins, whose musical works are more 
voluminous, and, in their time, were more esteemed than all the 
rest, though they now (1728) lie in the utmost contempt. 

' ' I shall endeavour to give a short account of this master, with 
whom it was my good chance to have had an intimate acquaintance 
and friendship (c). He lived in King James's time, and flourished 
in that of King Charles I. His talents lay chiefly in the use 
of the lute and base, or rather Lyra- viol. He was one of the court 



(c) Mr. North, the author of these Memoirs, was born in 1650, and lived till 1733, when 
he had arrived at his eighty-third year. He had an organ, built by father Smith, for a 
gallery of sixty feet long, which he erected on purpose for its reception, at Rougham, his 
family seat in Norfolk. This instrument, though entirely composed of wooden pipes, was 
spritely, and infinitely more sweet in its tone, than any one of metal that I ever heard. Jenkins 
was born at Maidstone, in Kent, 1592, and lived to the great age of eighty-six, eighteen years 
after the Restoration. 

* It is doubtful if these volumes of Sonates were ever published. In the B.M. (Add. MSS. 
31430) there are some works by Jenkins which the catalogue suggests are the 12 Sonates 
published in 1660. Davy confesses his inability to verify the existence of these publications. 

Some cf Jenkins' work is to be found in Smith's Musica Antiqua (1812). 

322 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVII CENTURY 

musicians, and was once brought to play upon the lyra-vioi before 
King Charles I. as an extraordinary performer. And when he 
had done, the King said he did wonders upon an inconsiderable 
instrument (d). He left London during the Rebellion and passed 
his time at musical gentlemen's houses in the country, where he 
was always courted, and at home, wherever he went; and in most 
of his friends houses there was a chamber called by his name. 
For, besides his musical excellencies, he was an accomplished and 
ingenious person, and of such inoffensive and amiable manners, 
that he was esteemed and respected for his virtues and disposition, 
long after age had deprived him of his musical powers. 

" It is not possible to give an account of his compositions, they 
were so, numerous that he himself outlived the knowledge of them. 
A Spanish nobleman sent some papers to Sir Peter Lely, containing 
fragments of a Consort (Concerto), in 4 parts, of a sprightly kind, 
such as were then called Fancies, desiring that he would procure 
for him the rest, coute qui coute. Lely gave me these papers, 
as the likelyest person to get them perfected. I shewed them to 
Jenkins, who said he knew the Consort to be his own; but when 
or where composed he knew not, and was unable to recollect any 
more about it. 

" His Fancies were full of airy points, grave and triple 
movements, and other variety. And all that he produced till his 
declining age, was lively, active, decided, and fanciful. And of 
this kind he composed so much, that the private (or chamber) 
Music, in England, was in a great measure supplied by him; and 
they were the more coveted, because his style was new, and, for 
the time, difficult; for he could hardly forbear divisions, and some 
of his Consorts were too full of them. But it must be owned, that 
being an accomplished master on the viol, all his movements laid 
fair for the hand, and were not so hard as they seemed. 

" His vein was less happy in vocal Music, though he was fond 
of setting words, and, occasionally, of teaching to sing; but he 
had neither voice nor manner fit for it. In his spritely moments 
he made Catches (e), and strains that we called rants, with a piece 
called the Cries of Newgate, which was all humour and very 
whimsical. But of all his conceits, none flew about with his name 
so universally as the small piece called his Bells. In those days 
the country fidlers were not so well supplied with light Music from 
London, as since; and a master that furnished them with new tunes, 
that they were able to play, was a benefactor." 

(d) The lyra viol was a viol da gamba, with more strings, but differently tuned from the 
common six-string base. Its notation, like that of the lute, was written in entablature.' 1 

(e) Nothing of this kind now remains of Jenkins, but h : s little round : "A boat, a boat, 
haste to the ferry," which is a happy selection and combination of pleasing sounds. [Also, 
"Come, pretty maidens."] 

* See Playford's Mustek's Recreation on the Viol, Lyra-way (1661). The original title of 
this work was Musick's Recreation on the Lyra Viol. 

323 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

The Five Bell Consorte. 



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324 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVII CENTURY 



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What gave rise to this trio, or Consort, as it was called, seems to 
have been a book called Tintinnalogia, or 2/ze 4^ o/ Ringing, 
published 1668;* a work not beneath the notice of musicians who 
wish to explore all the regions of natural melody : 
as in this little book they will see every possible 
change in the arrangement of Diatonic sounds, 
from 2 to 12; which being reduced to musical 
notes, would point out innumerable passages, 
that, in spite of all which has hitherto been 
written would be new in melody and musical com- 
position. The reader will be able to form some 
judgment of the wonderful variety which the 
changes in bells afford to melody, by the annexed 
calculations; whence it appears, that even in the 
plain and simple arrangement of natural sounds 
according to the species of octave, without the 
intervention of either flat or sharp, eight notes will 
furnish 40320 different passages, and twelve 
notes, 479 millions 1600! so that supposing, 
according to the usual calculation, that only 720 
changes could be rung in an hour, it would 
require seventy-five years, ten months, and ten 
days, to ring the whole number of changes upon 
twelve bells! ! Mersennus, in his Harm. 



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* Burney is wrong in this assumption as the Five Bell Consort was published in 1662 in 
Playford's Courtly Masquing Ayres. The author of Tintinnalogia was Fabian Stedman of 
Cambridge. 



325 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

Universelle, published 1636, has enumerated these changes, and 
reduced to musical notation those of the hexachord, as an illustration 
of the amazing variety which may be given to the arrangement ot 
only six sounds in melody. It must not, however, be imagined that 
all the changes, in the above table, would be equally agreeable, or 
even practicable, if introduced in an air; yet, in the almost infinite 
number offered to a musician's choice, many would doubtless 
frequently occur, which would not only be pleasing, but new. Out 
of the great number of peals, which are given in numbers, on five, 
six, and eight bells, in the Tintinnalogia, it is extraordinary, that 
melody has not been consulted in the choice of changes : there seems 
a mechanical order and succession in them all, without the least idea 
of selecting such as are most melodious and agreeable. Even the 
clams, or the collision of two bells together, in counterpoint, has 
been settled by ringers without the least knowledge of harmony. 

" Jenkins," continues Mr. North, " was certainly a great master 
of divisions, and encouraged Sympson, the division-violist, by a 
copy of verses at the beginning, and by some examples at the end 
of his book. Unluckily all his earliest and most lively works are 
lost and forgotten, and none remain but those of his latter time, 
composed while he lived in country families, to the capacity of his 
performers. As a man, he was certainly allowed a considerable 
share of terrestrial happiness; for he had uninterrupted health, was 
superior in his conduct to his profession, enjoyed the esteem of all 
■who knew him, was easy in his temper, and never distressed in his 
circumstances; and having, with philosophic calmness, seen himself 
out-run by the world, he died in peace, after living like a good 
Christian, at the house of Sir Phil. Wodehouse, at Kimberley, in 
Norfolk, where, and at Hunston, the seat of the family of Sir Roger 
L' Estrange, in the same county, he spent many of the last years 
of his life (/)." 

In spite of Puritanism, fanatic gloom, and psalm-roaring saints, 
when Hilton ventured, in 1652, forty-three years after Pammelia 
[1609], to publish " Catch that Catch can, or a choice Collection of 
Catches, Rounds, and Canons, for 3 and 4 Voices," they helped to 
solace the Royalists in private, during the triumphs of their enemies, 
and suppression of all public amusements. Though many of 
these Rounds and Catches were afterwards reprinted by 
Playford, and retailed in later collections; the book, which is of a 
small oblong form, is not only scarce, but valuable; as it contains 
several canons and ingenious compositions which are not yet 
common. 



(/) The parish register of Kimberjey says, that John Jenkins, Esq., was buried Oct. 29th, 
167S. In Blomfield's History of Norfolk, Vol. I. p. 759, an epitaph is inserted, which is said 
to have been copied from his grave-stone in the middle of that church, but it is now gone. 
Ant. Wood says,"he was a little man with a gTeat soul." 

326 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVII CENTURY 

Canon in the 4th above and 5th below. From Hilton's " Catch 
that catch can." 

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327 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

The Canon, Non nobis domine, reversed. 



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No. 1. A 7th unprepared & unresolved. 

2. A naked 4th. 

3. A 5th made a discord unprepared, and resolved 

upwards. 

4. An unmeaning 4th. 

5. The same licence as No. 3. 

6. 2d and 4th unresolved. 



Canon in the Unison. 



By Thos. Ford. 



Down 



loud op ■ 



oil i»y 



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5Mit m/ira jne /?'»e 



fiHIO WRI.K. 



328 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVII CENTURY 



Catch, mentioned in Shakespear's Twelfth Night, Act 2d. 
Sc. 3d. and supposed to be lost. See above p. 273 



^ 



a «-» jj 



-k-V-M*- 



Hoa> TW peats. \ ™ l ™ £ Zg"- 7> '2 p&,c£. 

at ■ *+ . m ** i * 3F-A 1 



3E^ 



THOU K/yfivs 



Homrny psacs 

THOI) KNKVe. 



THCU KNAVE. 



In 1653, a translation was published, with a learned 
commentary and notes by lord Browncker, the first president of the 
Royal Society after its institution, of Des Cartes's short essay, 
entitled Musicce Compendium. This little work added nothing but 
method and geometrical precision to the praecognita of Music, except 
a few very unphilosophical notions concerning the sympathetic 
effects of sound. It was, however, the first importation relative to 
the art, since Douland's translation of Ornithopharchus; and such 
was the reputation of the author, till Newton confuted his 
philosophy, that this little tract was purchased with avidity by the 
lovers of the science, as a valuable acquisition. 

Though Henry Lawes was much celebrated as a composer, his 
works were wholly circulated through the kingdom in manuscript, 
till this year, 1653, when he published the first book of his Ayres 
and Dialogues, in folio. And the same year, whether before or 
after the book of Lawes had appeared, I know not, John Playford 
[1623-1686?] first became a publisher of Music,* by printing, in 
the same size as Lawes, " Select musical Ayres and Dialogues, in 
3 Divisions: first, Ayres for a Voyce alone, to the Theorbo, or 
Base-viol; second, Choice Dialogues for 2 Voyces, for 2 ditto; third, 
Short Ayres and Songs of 3 Voyces, which may be sung by one or 
two Voices to an Instrument." The composers of these songs are 
Dr. John Wilson, Dr. Charles Colman, Messrs. William and Henry 
Lawes, Laniere, Webb, Smegergil, Edward Colman, and Jeremy 
Savile, the principal English musicians then living: and yet the 
whole collection does not contain one ayre which now seems worth 
engraving, either as a specimen of individual genius, or national 
taste.** 

In 1655, Playford published the first edition of his "Introduction 
to the Skill of Music," a compendium compiled from Morley, Butler, 

* Playford had issued The English Dancing Master towards the end of 1650, but bearing 
the date 1651. The Introduction to the Skill of Music is dated 1654 (or 1655), and the last 
edition was published in 1730. According to Kidson, British Music Publishers, the copy dated 
1654 is probably unique. 

Burney's statement that Playford was the first music printer during the 17th cent, 
obviously means that he was the most important. 

For a full list of Playford's publications during the Protectorate see Davy, pp. 253 and 254. 

** Smegergill was a little known composer of the period. In the 1653 edition of Playford's 
Select Musical Ayres, he is mentioned as "Mr. William Smegergill alias Caesar." According to 
Anth. Wood he was a noted Lute player. 



329 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

and other more bulky and abstruse books, which had so rapid a sale, 
that, in 1683, ten editions of it had been circulated through the 
kingdom. The book, indeed, contained no late discoveries, or new 
doctrines, either in the theory or practice of the art; yet the form, 
price, and style, were so suited to every kind of musical readers, 
that it seems to have been more generally purchased and read, than 
any elementary musical tract that ever appeared in this or any other 
country. 

John Playford was born in the year 1613 [1623], and seems, 
by what means is now not known, to have laid in a considerable 
stock of musical knowledge, previous to becoming the vender of the 
chief productions of the principal composers of the time. As he was 
the first, so he seems the most intelligent printer of Music during the 
last century; and he and his son appear to have acquired the esteem 
of the first masters of the art; and, without a special licence, or 
authorised monopoly, to have had almost the whole business of 
furnishing the nation with musical instruments, music-books, and 
music-paper, to themselves; as, during more than the first fifty 
years of the present century, Walsh and his son had afterwards. 

In 1655, this diligent editor published, in two separate books, 
small 8vo, " Court Ayres, by Dr. Charles Colman, William Lawes, 
John Jenkins, Simpson, Child, Cook, Rogers, &c." 

These being published at a time when there was properly no 
court, were probably tunes which had been used in the masques 
performed at Whitehall during the life of the late King. 

This year, another volume of " Ayres and Dialogues " [2nd 
vol.] was published by Henry Lawes. All the public theatres being 
now shut, Music seems to have been more cultivated, as a domestic 
amusement, than ever. In the violent invectives published at this 
time by the Puritans, Music, its patrons, and professors, were not 
spared. Gosson was the first writer who endeavoured to prove that 
theatrical exhibitions were immoral, and wholly inconsistent with 
the purity of the Christian Religion; and in this severe censure 
players and pipers, by whom he means musicians, were alike 
involved : as appears by his little book, published in 1579, entitled, 
'" The School of Abuse, containing a pleasant invective against 
poets, pipers, plaiers, jesters, and such like caterpillers, of a 
common welth; setting up the flagge of defiance to their mischieuous 
exercise, and ouerthrowing their bulwarkes by prophane writers, 
natural reason, and common experience."* 

These opinions were adopted and rendered still more acceptable 
to the fanaticism of the times by additional invectives and scurrility 
from the unbridled pen of William Prynne, who, in the book for 
which he lost his ears, asserts that ' ' stage-players (the very pompes 
of the divell, which we rennouce in baptisme, if we believe the 
fathers) are sinfull, heathenish, lewde, ungodly spectacles, and 
most pernicious corruptions; condemned in all ages as intolerable 

* The School of Abuse was not the first published attack on the theatre. In 1577, John 
Northbrooke had published, A Treatise against Dicing, Dancing, Plays, and Interludes, etc., 
which was reprinted by the Shakespeare Society in 1843. 

330 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVII CENTURY 

mischiefes to churches, to republickes, to the manners, mindes, 
and soules of men. And that the profession of play-poets, of stage- 
players, together with the penning, acting, and frequenting of stage- 
players, are unlawfull, infamous, and misbecoming Christians." 
And though stage-plays are the principal objects of his satire, he is 
not less severe in his censure of Music, vocal and instrumental; 
asserting that one unlawful concomitant of plays is "amorous, 
obscene, lascivious, lust-provoking songs, and poems," which he 
says were so odious in the time of Queen Elizabeth, that church- 
wardens were enjoined, in the first year of her reign, to enquire 
" whether any minstrells or any other persons did use to sing or 
say any songs or ditties that be evile and uncleane." And cites 
Clemens Alexandrinus to prove that "cymbals and dulcimers were 
instruments of fraud; that pipes and flutes are to be abandoned 
from a sober feast; and that chromaticall harmonies are to be left 
to impudent malapertnesse in wine, to whorish Musicke crowned 
with flowers."* — But this is a sufficient specimen of the elegance 
of his style, and candour of his reasoning. Prynne, however, spoke 
but the language and sentiments of the sectaries of his time; and 
Stubbs, another writer of the same class, calls those who play to 
the lord of misrule and his company in country towns, baudy pipers 
and thundering drummers and assistants in the devil's daunce (g). 

Prynne's Histrio-mastix, in spite, and, perhaps, on account of 
the rigour of his punishment, had a manifest effect in augmenting 
the horror in which theatrical representations were held by the 
Puritans, and even in diminishing the passion of the Royalists for 
these spectacles. Yet, though the public theatres were shut up, 
many plays seem to have been written and printed during the 
Usurpation, if we may depend on the dates given to them by 
Langbaine and Giles Jacob. However, in May 1656, Sir William 
Davenant obtained a permission to open a kind of theatre at Rutland- 
house, in Charterhouse-square, for the exhibition of what he called 
" an Entertainment in Declamation and Music, after the Manner of 
the Ancients." And Anthony Wood, imagining it to have been 
the first Italian opera performed in England, says that " though 
Oliver Cromwell had now prohibited all other theatrical representa- 
tions, he allowed of this, because, being in an unknown language, 
it could not corrupt the morals of the people." 

A farther account of this exhibition will be given hereafter, in 
tracing the origin and progress of musical dramas or operas, in 
England; when the validity of Anthony Wood's assertion will be 
examined. 

In 1658, Sir William Davenant had a piece represented daily at 
the Cockpit, in Drury-lane, called Sir Francis Drake, or the Cruelty 

{g) Anatomie of Abuses, p. 107.** 

* But see editor's note, p. 294. 

** In the Preface to this work, published in 1583, the author declares that he had no 
objection to amusements as such, but that "the particular abuses which are crept into every one 
of these several exercises is the only thing which I think worthy of reprehension." 

331 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

of the Spaniards in Peru, expressed by vocal and instrumental 
Music, of which farther notice will likewise be taken elsewhere. 
We hear of no other dramatic performance till 1659, when Rhodes, 
the bookseller, obtained a licence for acting plays at the Cockpit, 
in Drury-lane, where the opera of Sir William Davenant, as Ant. 
Wood calls it, " was translated; which delighting the eye and ear 
extremely well, was much frequented for many years (h)."* 

In 1657, were published the Lessons for the Virginalls, by Bull, 
Gibbons, Rogers, and others already mentioned.** Of Rogers, 
afterwards admitted to the degree of doctor in Music, at Oxford, 
farther notice will be taken hereafter; and of Matthew Lock, who 
this year [1656] appears as an author by the publication of his 
Little Consort of three Parts for Viols or Violins, consisting of 
Pavans, Ay res, Corants, and Sarabands, in two several Varieties, the 
first twenty of which are for two Trebles and a Bass, it will be 
necessary to speak frequently, after the Restoration : as he was the 
first that furnished our stage with Music in which a spark of genius 
is discoverable; and who was, indeed, the best secular composer 
our country could boast, till the time of Purcell. 

In 1658, a third book of Ay res and Dialogues was published by 
Henry Lawes, with his head finely engraved, by Faithorne. This 
year likewise produced "Ayres and Dialogues to be sung to the 
Theorbo, Lute, or Base Viol, by John Gamble/' folio; who, 
according to Ant. Wood, was regularly bred to Music, under 
Ambrose Beyland, " a noted master of the art," with whom he 
served an apprenticeship. When he quitted his master, he 
performed at the playhouse, and afterwards was admitted into the 
king's chapel, as a player on the cornet. In Charles the Second's 
time he was appointed one of the violins in his majesty's band, and 
composer to the theatre royal. A print of this musician, by- 
T. Cross, is placed at the head of his book.*** 

In 1659, we have more Select Ayres and Dialogues \ by Drs. 
Wilson and Colman, William and Henry Lawes, Laniere, Webb, 
Jenkins, and others. It seems as if the fashion for musical 
dialogues, which raged in England during the chief part of the last 
century, had arisen from the narrative songs and cantatas of Italy, 
to which the invention of recitative gave birth. 

During this last year of the Usurpation, was published, " The 
Division Violist, or an Introduction to the playing upon a Ground, 
by Christ. Simpson " [d. 1669], a musician extremely celebrated 
for his skill in the practice of his art, and abilities on his particular 
instrument. The base-viol, or viol da gamba, was in such general 
favour during the last century, that almost all the first musicians 

(h) Athen. Oxon. Vol. II. Col. 412. 

* Burney here combines two separate works. The Cruelty of the Spaniards was Davenant's 
second "opera," and Sir Francis Drake the third. 

** See editor's note, p. 321. 

*** Gamble's first book of Ayres was published in 1656, and the second in 1659. A copy 
of the second set is in the Library of the R.C.M. He died in 1687. 

332 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVII CENTURY 

of this country, whose names are come down to us, were performers 
upon it, and composed pieces purposely to shew its powers; but 
particularly Coperario, William Lawes, Jenkins, Dr. Colman, Lupo, 
Mico, and Loosemore. But this instrument, like the lute, without 
which no concert could subsist, was soon after so totally banished, 
that its form and construction were scarcely known, till the arrival 
of Abel in England [1759], whose taste, knowledge, and expression 
upon it were so exquisite, that, instead of renovating its use, they 
seem to have kept lovers of Music at an awful distance from the 
instrument, and in utter despair of ever approaching such excellence. 
The instrument itself, however, was so nazal, that this great 
musician, with all his science and power of hand, could not prevent 
his most enthusiastic admirers from lamenting that he had not, early 
in life, applied himself to the violoncello. 

But if its general use had continued, or were restored, this book 
of Simpson, from the universal change of taste and style of every 
species of Music, would be of but little use to a student on that 
instrument now; when rapid divisions, of no other merit than the 
difficulty of executing them, have been totally supplanted by vocal 
expression, learned modulation, and that rich harmony to which 
the number of its strings is favourable. Rough, but warm 
encomiastic verses, are prefixed to Simpson's works by Dr. Colman, 
John Jenkins, Mathew Lock, and others, which only shew with 
what perishable materials musical fame is built! 

A translation of this book into Latin, for the use of foreigners, 
with the original text on the opposite page, was published by the 
author in 1665, under the title of Chelys Minuritionum; Editio 
secunda, thin folio. 

Besides these, Simpson published, in 1667,* "A Compendium 
of practical Music in 5 parts, containing 1. The rudiments of song. 
2. The Principles of Composition. 3. The Use of Discord. 4. The 
Form of Figurate Descant. 5. The Contrivance of Canon." 

Whoever expects to learn the whole principles of an art by a 
single book, or, indeed, any number of books, without oral 
instruction, or great study, practice, and experience, must be 
disappointed. This compendium, like most others of the kind, more 
frequently generates new doubts and perplexities, than removes the 
old. However, something is to be learned from most books; and 
what a student is unable to find in one, if out of the reach of a 
master, must be sought in another. 

Simpson, in his younger days, served in the royal army, raised 
for Charles I. by Cavendish, duke of Newcastle; he was a Roman 
Catholic and patronised by Sir Robert Bolles, of Leicester-place, 
with whom he resided during the Interregum. He seems to have 
been in close friendship with Jenkins and Lock, as, on all occasions, 
they reciprocally praise each other.- 

* This was the 2nd and enlarged edition. The 1st ed. which appeared in 1665 was 
entitled, The Principles of Practicle Musick, etc. 

333 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

State of Music at Oxford, during the Protectorate 

Oxford, in the time of the Civil War, seems to have been the 
only place in the kingdom where musical sounds were allowed to 
be heard; for that city, during a considerable time, being the royal 
residence, not only the household musicians, but many performers, 
who had been driven from the cathedrals of the capital, as well as 
those of other parts of the kingdom, flocked thither as to a place of 
safety and subsistence; however, in 1646, after the King was 
obliged to quit this post, and had been totally defeated at Naseby, 
they were obliged to disperse, and those that were unable to find 
an asylum in the house of some secret friend to the royal cause and 
to their art, were obliged to betake themselves to new employments. 

Ten years of gloomy silence seem to have elapsed before a string 
was suffered to vibrate, or a pipe to breathe aloud, in the kingdom; 
as we hear of no music-meetings, clubs, or concerts, till the year 
1656;* when, by the peculiar industry of honest Anthony Wood, 
whose passion for the art inclined him to regard every thing that 
belonged to it worthy of a memorial, we have an exact account of 
the state of practical Music in this university. 

The obligations of English historians and biographers to this 
diligent antiquary are such, that he seems to merit an honourable 
niche in every literary fabrication to which he has contributed 
materials; and here it seems as if he should not be passed without 
some testimony of respect and gratitude, as a salute and ceremonial 
due to his rank in the corps to which he belonged. 

Anthony Wood, or a Wood, whose whole life was spent in 
the service of the dead, and whose labours, since his decease, have 
so much facilitated the enquiries, and gratified the curiosity of the 
living, was born at Oxford, 1632. In his life, written by himself, 
with monastic simplicity, he tells us, that in 1651, " he began to 
exercise his natural and insatiable genie to Musick. He exercised 
his hand on the violin, and having a good eare to take any tune 
at first hearing, he could quickly draw it out from the violin, but 
not with the same tuning of strings that others used. He wanted 
understanding, friends, and money, to pick him out a good master, 
otherwise he might have equalled in that instrument, and in 
singing, any person then in the university. He had some companions 
that were musical, but they wanted instruction as well as he." 

The next year, being obliged to go into the country to try to 
get rid of an obstinate ague, by exercise and change of air, he tells, 
that " while he continued there he followed the plow on well- 
days, and sometimes plowed. He learned there to ring on the 
six bells, then newly put up: and having had from his most 
tender yeares an extraordinary ravishing delight in Musick, "he 
practised there without the help of an instructor, to play on the 
violin. It was then that he tuned his strings in 4ths, and not in 

* This statement is made despite the list of music, by no means complete, published by 
John Playford, which Burney prints. 

334 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVII CENTURY 

5ths, according to the manner; and having a good eare, and being 
ready to sing any tune upon hearing it once or twice, he could 
play it also in a short time with the said way of tuning, which 
was never knowne before." 

" After he had spent the summer in a lonish and retired condition, 
he returned to Oxon. And being advised by some persons, he 
entertained a master of Musick to teach him the usual way of 
playing on the violin, that is by having every string tuned 5 notes 
lower than the other going before. The master was Charles 
Griffiths, one of the musitians belonging to the city of Oxon. 
whom he then thought to be a most excellent artist. But when 
A. W. improved himself in that instrument, he found he was not 
so. He gave him 2s. 6d. entrance, and so quarterly. This person 
after he had extreamly wondered how he could play so many 
tunes as he did by 4ths, without a director or guide, tuned his 
violin by 5ths, and gave him instructions how to proceed, leaving 
then a lessen with him to practice against his next coming." In 
1653, he found that " heraldry, Musick, and painting did so 
much crowd upon him, that he could not avoid them; and could 
never give a reason why he should delight in those studies, more 
than in others, so prevalent was nature, mixed with a generosity 
of mind, and a hatred of all that was servile, sneaking, or 
advantageous for lucre sake. 

" Having by 1654 obtained a proficiency in Musick, he and his 
companions were not without silly frolicks, not now to be 
maintained." — What should these frolicks be, but to disguise them- 
selves in poor habits, and like country fidlers scrape for their livings? 
After strolling about to Farringdon Fair, and other places, and 
gaining money, victuals, and drink for their trouble, in returning 
home they were overtaken by certain soldiers, who forced them to 
play in the open field, and then left them without giving them a 
penny. " Most of his companions would afterwards glory in this, 
but he was ashamed, and could never endure to hear of it." 

By 1656, his record informs us, that " he had a genuine skill in 
Musick, and frequented the weekly meetings of musitians in 
the house of Will. Ellis, organist of St. John's Coll. situated on 
that place whereon the theatre was built." Here he gives a list 
of the usual company, that met and performed their parts on lutes 
and viols; among these eight were gentlemen. " The Musick- 
masters were Will. Ellis, bachelor of Musick and owner of the 
house, who always played his part either on the organ or virginal. 
Dr. John Wilson, the public professor, the best at the lute in all 
England; he sometimes played on the lute, but mostly presided 

(directed) the consort. Curteys, a lutenist, lately ejected from 

some choire or cathedral church. Thomas Jackson a base-violist. 
Ed. Low, then organist of Christ-church; he played only on the 
organ, so when he played on that instrument, Mr. Ellis would take 
up the counter-tenor viol, if any person were wanting to performe 
that part. Gervace Littleton, alias Westcot, or Westcot, alias 

335 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

Littleton, a violist. He was afterwards a singing-man of St. John's 
Coll. Will. Glexney, who had belonged to a choire before the war : 
he played well upon the base-viol, and sometimes sung his part. 

Proctor, a young man and a new comer. John Packer one of 

the universitie musitians; but Mr. Low, a proud man, could not 
endure any common musitian to come to the meeting, much less 
to play among them. Of this kind I must rank Joh. Haselwood, 
an apothecary, a starch'd formal clisterpipe, who usually played 
on the base-viol, and sometimes on the counter-tenor. He 
was very conceited of his skill (tho' he had but little 
of it) and therefore would be ever and anon ready to 
take up a viol before his betters: which being observed by all, 
they usually called him Handle-wood (i). The rest were but 
beginners. Proctor died soon after this time. He had been bred 
up by Mr. John Jenkins, the mirrour and wonder of his age for 
Musick, was excellent for the lyra-viol and division-viol, good at 
the treble-viol and violin, and all comprehended in a man of 3 or 4 
and twenty yeares of age. He was much admired at the meetings, 
and exceedingly pitied by all the faculty for his loss." 

At this time A. W. tells us, that "what by Musick and rare 
books that he found in the public library, his life was a perfect 
Elysium. 

"A. W. was now advised to entertain one William James, a 
dancing-master, to instruct him on the violin, who by some was 
accounted excellent on that instrument, and the rather, because it 
was said, that he had obtained his knowledge in dancing and 
Musick in France. He spent in all half a yeare with him, and 
gained some improvement; yet at length he found him not a compleat 
master of his facultie, as Griffith and Parker were not : and to say 
the truth, there was no compleat master in Oxon. for that 
instrument, because it had not been hitherto used in consort among 
gentlemen, only by common musitians, who played but two parts. 
The gentlemen in private meetings, which A. W. frequented, 
played three, four, and five parts with viols, as treble-viol, tenor, 
counter-tenor, and bass, with an organ, virginal, or harpsicon 
joyned with them; and they esteemed a violin to be an instrument 
only belonging to a common fidler, and could not endure that it 
should come among them, for feare of making their meetings to 
be vaine and fidling. But before the restoration of King Charles 
II. and especially after, viols began to be out of fashion, and 
only violins used, as treble violin, tenor, and base violin; and the 
King, according to the French mode, would have 24 violins 
playing before him, while he was at meales, as being more airie 
and brisk than viols. 

" In the latter end of the yeare 1657, Davis Mell, the most 
eminent violinist of London, and clock-maker, being in Oxon. Peter 
Pitt, Will. Bull, Ken. Digby, and others of Allsoules, as also Ant. 
W. did give a very handsome entertainment in the taverne cal'd 
19 

(i) The reader will "excuse his being jocular." 
336 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVII CENTURY 

the Salutation. The company did look on Mr. Mell to have a 
prodigious hand on the violin, and they thought that no person, 
as all in London did, could goe beyond him." 

By connecting the scattered fragments of this zealous Diletante's 
life, which concern Music, we shall be able to form an idea of the 
state of the art, not only at Oxford, but in every other part of the 
kingdom where it was more secretly practised, during the latter part 
of the Usurpation. 

Under the year 1658, A. W. tells us, that " he entertained two 
eminent musitians of London, named John Gamble* and Thomas 
Pratt, after they had entertained him with most excellent Musick 
at the meeting-house of Will. Ellis. Gamble had obtained a great 
name among the people of Oxon. for his book of Ay res and Dialoges 
to be sung to the Theorbo or Base-viol. The other for several 
compositions, which they played in their consorts. 

' Tho. Baltzar, a Lubecker borne, and the most famous artist 
for the violin that the world had yet produced, was now in Oxon. 
and this day, July 24, A. W. was with him and Mr, Ed. Low, 
lately organist of Ch. Ch. at the house of Will. Ellis. A. W. did then 
and there, to his very great astonishment, heare him play on the 
violin. He then saw him run up his fingers to the end of the 
finger-board of the violin, and run them back insensibly, and all 
with alacrity and in very good tune, which he nor any in England 
saw the like before.** A. W. entertained him and Mr. Low with 
what the house could then afford, and afterwards he invited them 
to the taverne; but they being engaged to goe to other company, he 
could no more heare him play or see him play at that time. 
Afterwards he came to one of the weekly meetings at Mr. Ellis's 
house, and he played to the wonder of all the auditory ; and 
exercising his finger and instrument several wayes to the utmost of 
his power; Wilson thereupon, the public professor, the greatest 
judge of Musick that ever was, did, after his humoursome way, stoop 
downe to Baltzar's feet, to see whether he had a huff on, that is to 
say, to see whether he was a devil or not, because he acted beyond 
the parts of man. 

" About this time it was, that Dr. John Wilkins (k), warden of 
Wadham, the greatest curioso of his time, invited him and some 
of the musitians to his lodgings in that coll. purposely to have a 
consort, and to see and heare him play. The instruments and 
books were carried thither, but none could be persuaded there to 
play against him in consort on the violin. At length the company 
perceiving A. W. standing behind in a corner neare the dore, they 

{k) Afterwards bishop of Chester, and called the flying bishop. 

* John Gamble, violinist and cornet player, was one of the members of the King's Band. 
His name first occurs in the records in 1660, when he is mentioned in a list of the King's 
musicians who received ^16 2s. 6d. each for their liveries. He is mentioned in an order {L.C. 
Vol. 774, p. 16) dated July 4, 1674, to the effect — "that the 12 violins following doe meet in 
his Majesty's theatre within the palace of Whitehall on Wednesday morning next by seven 
of the clock, to practice after such manner as Monsr. Combert shall enforme them," etc. 

** Evelyn had heard Baltzar in London in 1656. See the Diary for March 4th of that year. 
Vol,, ii. 22. 337 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

haled him in among them, and play, forsooth, he must against him. 
Whereupon he being not able to avoid it, he took up a violin, as poor 
Troylus did against Achilles. He abashed at it, yet honour he 
got by playing with and against such a grand master as Baltzar 
was. Mr. Davis Mell was accounted hitherto the best for the violin 
in England; but after Baltzar came into England, and shewed his 
most wonderful parts on that instrument, Mell was not so admired, 
yet he pla3^ed sweeter, was a well-bred gentleman, and not given 
to excessive drinking as Baltzar was (I). 

" All the time that A. W. could spare from his beloved studies 
of English history, antiquities, heraldry, and genealogies, he spent 
ill the most delightful facultie of Musick, either instrumental or 
vocal; and if he had missed the weekly meetings in the house of 
W. Ellis, he could not well enjoy himself all the week after. Of all 
or most of the company, when he frequented tiiat meeting, the names 
are set downe under the year 1656. As for those that came in after, 
and were now performers, and with whom A. W. frequently played, 
were these: Charles Perot, M.A., fellow of Oriel Coll. a well-bred 
gentleman, and a person of a sweet nature; Christ. Harrison, M.A., 
fellow of Queen's Coll. a magget-headed person and humourous; 
Kenelm Digby, fellow of Alls. Coll. he was afterwards Dr. of L. he 
was a violinist, and the two former violists; Will. Bull, M.A., for the 
viol and violin; John Vincent, M.A., a violist; Sylvanus Taylor, 
fellow of Allsoules Coll. violist and songster, his elder brother, Capt. 
Silas Taylor, was a composer of Musick, played and sung his parts; 
Henry Langley, M.A., a violist and songster; Sam. Woodford, 
M.A., a violist; Franc. Parry, M.A., a violist and songster; Christ. 
Coward, and Henry Bridgman, both masters of arts; Nathan Crew, 
M.A., a violinist and violist, but alwaies played out of tune, as 
having no good eare, he was afterwards bishop of Durham; Matthew 
Hutton, M.A., an exellent violist; Thorn. Ken, of New Coll. 
afterwards bishop of Bath and Wells, he would be sometimes among 
them and sing his part; Christ. Jefferyes, a junior student of Ch. 
Ch. excellent at the organ and virginals, or harpsicon, having been 
trained up to those instruments by his father Georg Jeff ryes, organist 
to King Charles I. at Oxon. Richard Rhodes, another junior student 
oi Ch. Ch. a confident Westmonasterian, a violinist to hold between 
his knees. 

:< These did frequent the weekly meetings, and by the help of 
publick masters of Musick, who were mixed with them, they were 
much improved. Narcissus Marsh would come sometimes among 
them, but seldom played, because he had a weekly meeting in his 
chamber, where masters of Musick would come, and some of the 

(/) At the restoration of King Charles II. Baltzar was placed at the head of his majesty's 
new band of violins. His compositions have more force and variety in them, and consequently 
required more hand to execute them, than any Music then known for his instrument; as 
appears by a MS. collection of his pieces, with which I was presented by the late Rev. Dr. 
Montagu North. 

Ant. Wood tells us, that this celebrated violinist died in July, 1663, and was buried in 
the cloister belonging to St. Peter's church, at Westminster. And adds, that "this person being 
much beloved by all lovers of Musick, his company was therefore desired : and company, 
especially musical company, delighting in drinking, made him drink more than ordinary, 
which brought him to his grave." A Wood's Life, p. 190. 

33* 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVII CENTURY 

company before-mentioned. When he became principal of St. 
Alban's hall, he translated the meeting thither, and there it 
continued, when that meeting at Mr. Ellis's house was given over, 
and so it continued till he went over to Ireland, where he became 
afterwards archbishop of Tuam. 

" After his majesty's restoration, when the masters of Musick 
were restored to their several places that they before had lost, or 
gotten other preferment, the weekly meetings at Mr. Ellis's house 
becan to decay, because they were only held up by scholars who 
wanted directors and instructors. So that these meetings were not 
continued above 2 or 3 yeares, and I think they did not go beyond 
1662." 

Our Oxford annalist terminates his account of the musical 
transactions of that university, during the Interregnum, by the 
following anecdote. 

" In Oct. 1659, James Quin, M.A., and one of the senior 
students of Ch. Ch. a Middlesex man borne, but son of Walter 
Quin, of Dublin, died in a crazed condition. A. W. had some 
acquaintance with him, and hath several times heard him sing 
with great admiration. His voice was a bass, and he had a great 
command of it. 'Twas very strong and exceeding trouling, but 
he wanted skill, and could scarce sing in consort. He had been 
turned out of his student's place by the visitors; but being well 
acquainted with some great men of those times, that loved Musick, 
they introduced him into the company of Oliver Cromwell, the 
protector, who loved a good voice and instrumental Musick well. 
He heard him sing with very great delight (w), liquored him with 
sack, and in conclusion said: Mr. Quin, you have done very well, 
what shall I do for you? To which Quin made answer with great 
compliments, of which he had command with a great grace, that 
your highness would be pleased to restore him to his student's place; 
which he did accordingly, and so kept it to his dying day." 

If this minute and indiscriminate antiquary and biographer is 
sometimes thought to want taste and selection sufficient to give his 
records due weight, it must be ascribed to the constant habit he was 
in of journalizing, collecting anecdotes, and making memorandums 
of every person, transaction and circumstance that arrived at his 
knowledge, in the uncouth and antiquated language of his early 
youth. For this dialect being inelegant and vulgar, even when he 
learned it, renders his writings frequently ridiculous, though they 
contain such information as can be no where else obtained. But 
the few opportunities he had of knowing the gradual changes in our 
colloquial dialect, by conversing with men of the world, or even the 
language of elegant books by his favourite course of reading, 
degrade him to a level with writers infinitely his inferiors both in 
use and entertainment. An excellent apology has been made for his 
imperfections by the editor of his life, written by himself, and 

(m) Here's a man who though he seems to have had Music in his soul, yet it did not 
render him unfit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils. 

339 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

published, 1772 ; which is so interesting, that he must be an 
incurious enquirer, indeed, who, having dipped into it, is not 
sufficiently fascinated by the original simplicity of the style and 
importance of many of the anecdotes, to give it an entire perusal 
before he lays it down. Ant. Wood was credulous, and perhaps 
too much an enthusiast in Music to speak of its effects with critical 
and philosophical precision; however, without his assistance, the 
state of the art at Oxford, and the academical honours bestowed on 
its professors, as well as memorials of their lives and works, would 
have been difficult to find. Upon his decisions in matters of taste, 
we are not always perhaps implicitly to rely. The high character he 
has given Dr. Wilson's productions and abilities may have 
proceeded from want of experience, knowledge, and penetration into 
the finer parts of the art; and as to Dr. Rogers, his judgment of him 
seems to have been manifestly warped by friendship. Yet, upon 
the whole, it must be allowed that it is only from such minute 
records as those of A. W. that any true and satisfactory knowledge 
can be acquired of the characters, manners, and domestic 
occurrences of our ancestors. The great features of history, and 
the events which occasion the ruin or prosperity of a state, must be 
nearly the same in every age and country; but comforts, 
conveniences, and the distresses of private life, furnish the mind 
with reflexions far more varied and interesting to the generality of 
mankind, than the rise of states or downfal of kings and heroes. 

Charles II [r. 1660-1685] 

The nation tired of the gloomy and tyrannical government of 
Cromwell, manifested how much they languished for the restoration 
of Royalty, by the degree of enthusiasm and intoxication with 
which they received the son of their murdered sovereign. After the 
fatal disputes concerning regal prerogative, and the noble struggle 
made at the beginning of the troubles, by men of principle, with 
motives truly honest and patriotic; it seems as if this had been one 
of those favourite moments for amicably settling the limits of power 
and extent of civil liberty, which nothing but a similar concussion 
and total dissolution of ancient compacts, could again produce. 
Charles, at a distance from the throne, would chearfully have 
submitted to terms, which, when he had ascended it, he opposed 
with all the power with which he was hastily invested. This was a 
time for a new, clear, comprehensive, and indisputable Magna 
Charta, which would have preserved our future kings from violent 
encroachments on their just and constitutional rights, and the people 
from invasions of their liberties, and all the turbulence, tumults, and 
disaffection, which have since appeared in so many different shapes. 

The republican and fanatical spirit, though by no means 
annihilated, was, however, obliged to give way to the riotous and 
unbounded joy of the adherents to royalty, and friends to ancient 
establishments, in church and state. It is not difficult to imagine 

340 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVII CENTURY 

how their exultation would operate in such circumstances : indeed, 
that delight must be excessive, which can make so great a part of a 
nation unanimous in forgetting, or at least neglecting, their own 
interests. Charles's ancestors had been accustomed to free-gifts, 
some of which had more the appearance of extorted surrenders of 
property, than emanations of love and liberality; but now it seems 
as if the nation would not only have willingly parted with all their 
ancient charters, but titles to estates and most valuable possessions, 
to please and gratify the immediate descendant of that prince who 
had so lately lost his head on a scaffold ! Thus are men governed ! 
not by reason or established forms, but by the passions that are 
afloat, and accidental circumstances of the times; which, like 
volcanic eruptions, are equally unforeseen and irresistible. 

The restoration of monarchy, and religious establishments, drew 
from their retreats all the surviving musicians who had been 
degraded and involved in the calamities occasioned by the Civil 
War, and subversion of the national government and established 
church. Many had died in, and during, the conflict. No more 
than nine of the six and twenty bishops were living; and death had 
probably made the like havoc among other orders of men, in 
proportion to age and numbers. Of those that fell by the sword, I 
know not the exact calculation; but, except archbishop Laud, the 
prelates may be supposed to have died in their beds. Of the 
gentlemen of Charles the First's chapel, none seem to have claimed 
their former station, but Dr. Wilson, Christopher Gibbons, and 
Henry Lawes. The last, indeed, did not long survive the 
Restoration. 

When the liturgy had been declared by an ordinance passed in 
the House of Lords, Jan. 4th, 1644, a superstitious ritual, the 
Directory, published by the assembly of divines at Westminster, to 
whom the parliament referred all matters concerning religion, 
established a new form of divine worship, in which no Music was 
allowed but psalm-singing, for which the following rules were 
enjoined. 

" It is the duty of Christians to praise God publickly by singing 
of psalms together, in the congregation, and also privately in the 
family. In singing of psalms the voice is to be audibly and 
gravely ordered; but the chief care must be to sing with 
understanding and with grace in the heart, making melody unto 
the Lord. That the whole congregation may join herein, every 
one that can read is to have a psalm-book, and all others, not 
disabled by age or otherwise, are to be exhorted to learn to read. 
But for the present, where many in the congregation cannot read, 
it is convenient that the minister, or some fit person appointed by 
him and the other ruling officers, do read the psalm, line by line, 
before the singing thereof (n)." 

In the opinion of those that were then in power, it was thought 
necessary for the promotion of true religion, that no organs should 

(«) The Methodists, and some of our parish-clerks, still adhere to this custom. 

341 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

be suffered to remain in the churches; that choral-books should be 
torn and destroyed;* painted glass windows broken; the cathedral 
service totally abolished; and that those retainers to the church, 
whose function had been to assist in such profane vanities, should 
betake themselves to some employment less offensive to the Lord. 
In consequence of these tenets, collegiate and parochial churches 
had been stripped of their organs and ornaments; monuments 
defaced; sepulchral inscriptions engraven on brass torn up; libraries 
and repositories ransacked for musical service-books of every kind, 
which being all deemed alike superstitious and ungodly, were 
committed to the flames, or otherwise destroyed, and the utmost 
efforts used at total extirpation. And, indeed, their endeavours 
had been so effectual, that when the heads of the church set about 
re-establishing the cathedral service, it was equally difficult to find 
instruments, performers, books, and singers able to do the requisite 
duty. For organ builders, organ players, and choirmen, having 
been obliged to seek new means of subsistence, the former became 
common carpenters and joiners; and the latter, who did not enter 
into the king's army, privately taught the lute, virginal, or such 
miserable psalmody as was publickly allowed. 

Child, Christopher Gibbons, Rogers, and Wilson, were created 
doctors, and these, with Low of Oxford, though advanced in years, 
were promoted; Child, Gibbons, and Low, were appointed organists 
of the Chapel Royal, and Capt. Henry Cook master of the children 
(o). Gibbons was likewise organist of Westminster Abbey; Rogers, 
who had formerly been organist of Magdalen College, Oxford, was 
preferred to Eton; Wilson had a place both in the Chapel and 
Westminster Abbey; and Albertus Bryne, a scholar of John 
Tomkins, was appointed organist of St. Paul's, where he had been 
brought up. 

In this manner the several choirs throughout the kingdom were 
gradually supplied with able masters. At first, however, for want 
of boys capable of performing the duty, the treble parts were either 
played upon cornets, or sung by men in falset. And, indeed, the 
cathedral service had so long been laid aside, that scarcely any two 
organists in country cathedrals performed it alike; till the 
appearance of a little book of instructions, which had been drawn 
up by Edward Low, and printed at Oxford in 1661, entitled, 
" Some short Directions for the Performance of Cathedral Service." 
Low, who had been brought up in Salisbury cathedral, and 
appointed organist of Christ-church, Oxford, in 1630, was, for some 
time, according to Ant. Wood, deputy Music-professor to Dr. 
Wilson, and upon Wilson's quitting the University, he was 
appointed to succeed him in the professorship. Wood says, though 
he was never honoured with a degree, he was esteemed a very 

(o) Cook had been bred up in the King's Chapel, but quitted it at the beginning of the 
Rebellion; and, in 1642, obtaining a captain's commission, he retained the title of captain 
ever after. 

* No such order with regard to choir books was issued. 
342 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVII CENTURY 

judicious man in his faculty. His book was reprinted in 1664, 
under the title of "A Review of some short Directions for the 
Performance of Cathedral Service." Nothing of this kind had 
appeared since Marbeck's book, in 1550, described in Book II. p. 
803,* and as it is now more than 120 years since the second edition 
of Low's little tract was published, it seems high time for another 
to be drawn up by some able and regular bred organist, or choral 
performer, in one of the choirs of the metropolis. 

The services and anthems at first chiefly used were those 
contained in Barnard's printed collection, with such others as 
could be recovered in manuscript, till new compositions were added 
by the reinstated and new-appointed masters. 

As to organs, the difficulty of procuring them, upon short 
notice seems to have been greater than of finding either performers 
or Music to perform: for, except, Dallans, Loosemore of Exeter, 
Thamar of Peterborough, and Preston of York, scarce a tolerable 
organ-builder could be found in the whole kingdom. After the 
suppression of cathedral service and prohibition of the liturgy, 
some of the ecclesiastical instruments had been sold to private 
persons, and others, but partially destroyed; these being produced, 
were hastily repaired and erected for present use by the workmen 
just mentioned. Dallans, indeed, is said to have been employed to 
build a new organ for St. George's chapel, at Windsor; which 
perhaps, from the haste with which it was constructed, though its 
appearance was beautiful and magnificent, did not prove so 
excellent as was expected. 

A sufficient number of workmen for the immediate supply of 
cathedrals and parish churches, with organs, not being found in 
our own country, it was thought expedient to invite foreign builders 
of known abilities to settle among us; and the premiums offered on 
this occasion brought over the two celebrated workmen, Smith, and 
Harris. 

Bernard Schmidt [c. 1630-1708]** as the Germans write the 
name, brought over with him from Germany [1660], of which 
country he was a native, two nephews, Gerard and Bernard, his 
assistants; and to distinguish him from these, as well as to express 
the reverence due to his abilities, which placed him at the head of 
his profession, he was called Father Smith. The first organ he 
engaged to build for this country, was for the Royal Chapel at 
Whitehall, which being hastily put together, did not quite fulfil the 
expectations of those who were able to judge of its excellence. An 
organ is so operose, complicated, and comprehensive a piece of 
mechanism, that to render it complete in tone, touch, variety, and 
power, exclusive of the external beauty and majesty of its form and 
appearance, is perhaps one of the greatest efforts of human ingenuity 

* There is a copy of Lowe's collection in the B.M. E. Pam., 1924 (2). 

** He is usually known as Father. It has been stated that Smith's organ is meant when 
Pepys, on July 8th, 1660, mentions having heard the organ at Whitehall, but this could not 
have been the case. 

343 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

and contrivance. It was probably from some such early failure, 
that this admirable workman determined never to engage to build 
an organ upon short notice, nor for such a price as would oblige 
him to deliver it in a state of less perfection than he wished. And 
I have been assured by Snetzler, and by the immediate descendants 
of those who have conversed with father Smith, and seen him 
work, that he was so particularly careful in the choice of his wood, 
as never to use any that had the least knot or flaw in it; and so 
tender of his reputation, as never to waste his time in trying to 
mend a bad pipe, either of wood, or metal; so that when he came 
to voice a pipe, if it had any radical defect, he instantly threw it 
away, and made another. This, in a great measure, accounts for 
the equality and sweetness of his stops, as well as the soundness of 
his pipes, to this day. 

Smith had not been many months here, before Harris arrived 
from France, with his son Rene Renatus, an ingenious and active 
young man, to whom he had confided all the secrets of his art. 
However, they met with but little encouragement at first, as Dallans 
and Smith had the chief business of the kingdom; but upon the 
decease of [Ralph] Dallans, who died while he was building an 
organ for the old church at Greenwich, 1672 [or 1673], and of the 
elder Harris, who did not long survive him, the younger became a 
very formidable rival to Smith. 

The contention between these eminent artists at the time of 
erecting the admirable organ which still stands in the Temple- 
church, was carried on with such spirit, not to say violence, as 
perhaps never happened before, or since, on a similar occasion.* 

About the latter end of King Charles the Second's reign, the 
master of the Temple and the benchers being determined to have 
as complete an organ erected in their church as possible, received 
proposals from both these eminent artists, backed by the recom- 
mendation of such an equal number of powerful friends and 
celebrated organists, that they were unable to determine among 
themselves which to employ. They therefore told the candidates, if 
each of them would erect an organ, in different parts of the church, 
they would retain that which, in the greatest number of excellences, 
should be allowed to deserve the preference. Smith and Harris 
agreeing to this proposal, in about eight or nine months, each 
had, with the utmost exertion of his abilities, an instrument ready 
for trial [1684]. Dr. Tudway living at the time, the intimate 
acquaintance of both, says that Dr. Blow and Purcell, then in their 
prime, performed on father Smith's organ, on appointed days, and 
displayed its excellence! and, till the other was heard, every one 
believed that this must be chosen. 

Harris employed M. Lully, organist to Queen Catharine, a very 
eminent master, to touch his organ, which brought it into favour; 

* For this contest in 1684, Purcell and Blow were engaged by Smith, and G. B. Draghi (not 
Lully) by Harris. 

The Benchers of the Middle Temple were in favour of Smith's organ, but were opposed 
by the members of the Inner Temple, and it was not until 1688 that Smith received payment 
(£1,000) for his instrument. 

344 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVII CENTURY 

and thus they continued vying with each other, for near a twelve- 
month. 

At length, Harris challenged father Smith to make additional 
reed-stops in a given time; these were the vox-humana, Cromorne 
(p), the double Courtel, or double bassoon, and some others. 

The stops which were newly invented, or at least new to English 
ears, gave great delight to the crouds who attended the trials; and 
the imitations were so exact and pleasing on both sides that it was 
difficult to determine who had best succeeded. At length, the 
decision was left to lord chief justice Jefferies, afterwards King 
James the Second's pliant chancellor, who was of that society, and 
he terminated the controversy in favour of father Smith [1685]; so 
that Harris's organ was taken away without loss of reputation, 
having so long pleased and puzzled better judges than Jefferies (q). 

The Hon. Roger North, who was in London at the time of the 
contention at the Temple-church, says, in his Memoirs of Music, 
that the competition between father Smith and Harris, the two best 
artists in Europe, was carried on with such violence by the friends 
of both sides, that they " were just not ruined." Indeed, old 
Roseingrave assured me, that the partizans for each candidate, in 
the fury of their zeal, proceeded to the most mischievous and 
unwarrantable acts of hostilities; and that in the night, preceding 
the last trial of the reed-stops, the friends of Harris cut the bellows 
of Smith's organ in such a manner, that when the time came foi 
playing upon it, no wind could be conveyed into the wind-chest. 

As the benchers of the Inner and Middle Temple are at all the 
expence of the organ in their church, and consequently appoint 
the maker, tuner, and players upon it themselves, in order to have 
this part of divine service as perfect as possible, they have the 
instrument tuned every Saturday, for which a salary of £.20 a 
year is allowed; and that this excellent instrument may be the 
more seldom consigned to the hands of clumsy assistants, each of 
the societies elects an organist, at a salary of £.50 (r). 

($) Not Cremona, or violin stop, as Dr. Tudway calls it, nor does the double Curtel 
mean the base flute. See Walther's Diet. 

Cremorne means soft horn, and double Courtaud, or Curtel, the double bassoon. 

(g) Harris's organ, after its rejection at the Temple, was part of it erected at St. 
Andrew's. Holborn, and part in the cathedral of Christ-church, Dublin; but about thirty 
years ago, Byfield having been sent for to repair the latter, he prevailed on the chapter to 
have a new instrument, taking the old organ in exchange, as part of payment. Soon after, 
having had an application from the corporation of Lynn Regis, in Norfolk, to build them 
a new organ for St. Margaret's church, he wished very much to persuade them to purchase the 
instrument made by Harris, which had been a second time excommunicated; but being already 
in possession of an old organ, they determined to have a new one; and, by the advice of the 
author of this book, employed Snetzler to construct one, which he did very much to his own 
credit and their satisfaction, consisting of thirty stops, three ranks of keys, and full compass. 
One of the metal stops of this instrument, called the borduun, is an octave below the open 
diapason, and has the effect of a double base in the chorus. It was in the Lynn organ that 
this builder first introduced that sweet stop called the dulciane, which he and Green have 
since so happily introduced as a solo stop, in their chamber organs. Part of the old organ at 
Lynn had been made by Dallans, the rest by some more ancient workman; as the wooden 
pipes were so worm-eaten as to fall to pieces when taken out to be cleaned. Upon the church- 
wardens asking Snetzler what this old instrument would be worth if repaired, he said, " if 
they would lay out a hundred pounds upon it, perhaps it would then be worth fifty." 

(r) The first organist of this church was Francis Piggot, who dying in 1704, was succeeded 
by his son. Upon the death of the younger Piggot, in 1726, Mr. Stanley was elected; and when 
I first arrived in London, 1744, Mr. James Vincent, son to Mr. Vincent of the guards, and 
brother to the performer on the hautbois, was his colleague. Mr. Jones, one- of the present 
organists, was elected by the benchers, at the decease of Mr. Vincent, about the year 1750. 

345 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

Besides the sweetness of the several stops, and power of the 
chorus, in order to render the tuning more perfect, two of the five 
short keys are divided in the middle, and communicate to two 
different sets of pipes: so that G# and A [7, D# and E[?, are not 
synonimous sounds.* 

It being the fashion, during the latter end of the last century, to 
erect organs in the principal parish churches of the city of London, 
Harris seems to have built a greater number than Smith; among 
these some are thought very excellent, such as the organ at St. 
Mary Ax, St. Bride's, St. Lawrence, near Guildhall, and others (5). 

In consequence of the reputation which father Smith had 
acquired by every piece of work he had put out of his hands, since 
the organ at Windsor, he was employed to build an instrument 
for the cathedral of St. Paul; which is generally allowed to have 
the sweetest tone (except that at the Temple), the most noble 
chorus, and a swell which produces the finest effects of any in the 
kingdom. In short, it is an instrument in every respect worthy 
of that beautiful and stupendous structure [2nd Dec, 1697] (t). 
It seems as if Harris had been a candidate for building St. Paul's 
organ, as well as that at the Temple; for in the Spectator, N° 552, 
for Dec. 3. 1712, a proposal of Mr. Renatus Harris is recommended 
in the following words : ' ' The ambition of this artificer is to erect 
an organ in St. Paul's cathedral, over the west door, at the entrance 
into the body of the church, which in art and magnificence shall 
transcend any work of that kind ever before invented. The 
proposal in perspicuous language sets forth the honour and 
advantage such a performance would be to the British name, as 
well as that it would apply the power of sounds in a manner more 

(s) It is not easy to discover what is meant by a late writer, when he says, that " the 
organs made by Smith, though, in respect of the workmanship, they are far short of those 
of Harris, and even of Dallans, are justly admired." If the utmost care in the choice of 
wood, and composition of the metal; the neatest and most happy manner possible of forming 
and voicing them; together with the most grateful sweetness, and durability of his pipes, may 
be called good workmanship, surely father Smith cannot, without injustice, be denied that 
praise in its full extent. — That part of the organ which was originally built for the Temple- 
church by Harris, and sent to Dublin, was sold after the death of the elder Byfield, by his 
widow, Harris's daughter, to Wolverhampton, for ^500. It still stands in the church of that 
town, and is thought a very good instrument. The number of organs built and enriched with 
new stops by father Smith is prodigious, and their fame equal to that of the pictures or 
single figures of Raphael. A single stop known to be of his workmanship is still invaluable. 
The touch and general mechanism of modern instruments are certainly superior to those ol 
Smith; but, for sweetness of tone, I have never met with any pipes that have equalled his in 
any part of Europe. At Oxford he built the organ at Christ church and St. Mary's; at 
Cambridge that of Trinity College; and in London those of St. Margaret, Westminster; St. 
Mary at Hill; St. Clement Danes; and others, all excellent. 

(I) It is said, that notwithstanding the power of the chorus of this admirable instrument, 
several more excellent stops were made for it, which lay many years useless in the vestry, 
but for which Sir Christopher Wren, tender of his architectural proportions, would never 
consent to let the case be sufficiently capacious to receive. And there is little doubt but that 
he had reason and science on his side. Indeed, I cannot help wishing, much as I admire the 
instrument, that it had been entirely kept out of its present situation, and placed on one side 
of the choir, that the whole extent of the structure from west to east might be seen, like St. 
Peter's at Rome, its prototype, at one glance. This was formerly the general place allotted to 
the organ in our cathedrals. At Canterbury its situation is still on the north side of the choir. 
At Chester the small primitive organ of that cathedral is still standing on the left side of the 
choir, though that which is now used is at the west end.** 

* For further particulars and a copy of the Schedule for Smith's organ see Grove's Art. 
Organ, Vol. 3, pp. 751-2. 

** The specification of this organ will be found in Grove's, Vol. 3, p. 752. 
346 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVII CENTURY 

amazingly forcible, than perhaps has yet been known, and I am 
sure to an end much more worthy. Had the vast sums which 
have been laid out upon operas without skill or conduct, and to 
no other purpose but to suspend or vitiate our understandings, 
been disposed this way, we should now perhaps have an engine 
so formed, as to strike the minds of half a people at once, in a 
place of worship, with a forgetfulness of present care and calamity, 
and a hope of endless rapture, joy, and hallelujah hereafter (u)." 
The establishment of Charles the Second's Chapel, at the time 
of the coronation, appears by the following entry in the 
cheque-book. 

April the 23d, being St. George's day, 1661. 

Ministers Gentlemen 

Dr. Walter Jones, subdean. Thomas Piers 

Roger Nightingale Thomas Hazzard 

Ralph Amner John Harding 

Philip Tinker William Howes 

John Sayer Thomas Blagrave 

Durant Hunt Gregory Thorndall 

George Low Edward Bradock 

Henry Smith Henry Purcell 

William Tucker James Cob 

_, . Nathaniel Watkins 

Organists John Cave 

Edward Lowe Alfonso Marsh 

William Child Raphael Courteville 

Christopher Gibbons Edward Colman 

Master of the Children J r hom ^ Purce11 

Henry Cook Henry Frost 

John Goodgroom 

Clerk of the Cheque George Betenham 

Henry Lawes Matthew Pennel 

Thomas Haynes, Serjeant of the Vestry 
William Williams, Yeoman 
George Whitaker, Yeoman 
Augustine Cleveland, Groom 

(«) As this is one of Steel's papers it is probable that Harris had acquired his patronage 
and friendship by lending or building an instrument for his concert-room, in York-Buildings. If 
he had not been biassed by some means or other, and had been a real judge of what he 
recommended, he would certainly have inserted the name of Bernard Smith in his paper, 
instead of Renatus Harris. When the professional merit of two artificers is not very unequal, 
small and often latent considerations turn the scale : acquaintance, figure, countenance, 
address, the misrepresentation and prejudice of others, all, or any one of them operating, will 
tear the bandage from the eyes of Justice. 

The organ builders who succeeded father Smith and Harris were Schreider, who built the 
organ in St. Martin's in the Fields, which King George I. presented to the church upon being 
chosen church-warden of the parish soon after his majesty's arrival in England; Schwarbrook, 
another German, who built several organs, but repaired more; with Byfield, Bridge, and 
Jordan, who after severally distinguishing themselves, entered into partnership and had nearly 
the whole business of the kingdom to themselves; till Snetzler, by the instrument he made for 
Lynn Regis, gave such a specimen of his abilities that he was soon called to almost every 
quarter of the kingdom. At present Green, an Englishman and an excellent mechanic, is 
deservedly in possession of the public favour. 

347 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

" At which time every gentleman of the chapel in orders had 
allowed to him for a gown five yards of fine scarlet; and the rest 
of the gentlemen being laymen, had allowed unto each of them 
foure yards of the like scarlet." 

The salaries of the gentlemen of the chapel had been augmented 
both by James I. and Charles I. and in the year 1663 Charles II. 
by the privy-seal, farther augmented them to seventy pounds a 
year; and granted to Capt. Cook and Ms successors in office, thirty 
pounds a year, for the diet, lodging, washing, and teaching each of the 
children of the Chapel Royal. A copy of this grant is entered in 
the cheque-book, and said to have been obtained by the solicitation 
of Mr. Cook. 

The small stock of choral Music with which the chapel began, 
becoming in a few years somewhat less delightful by frequent 
repetition, the King perceiving a genius for composition in some 
of the young people of the chapel, encouraged them to cultivate 
and exercise it; and many of the first set of choristers, even while 
they were children of the chapel, composed anthems and services 
that are still used in our cathedrals. These, by the King's special 
command, were accompanied by violins, cornets, and sacbuts, to 
which instruments introductory symphonies and ritornels were 
given, and the performers of them placed in the organ-loft. 

Dr. Tudway, in the dedication to the second volume of his 
manuscript Collection of English Church-rnusic to lord Harley, 
assigns the following reasons for the change of style in the Music 
of the Chapel Royal, by a mixture of what he terms theatrical 
and secular. 

" The standard of Church Music began by Mr. Tallis, Mr. Bird, 
and others, was continued for some years after the Restauration, 
and all composers conformed themselves to the pattern which was 
set them. 

" His majesty, who was a brisk and airy prince, coming to the 
crown in the flower and vigour of his age, was soon, if I may so say, 
tired with the grave and solemn way which had been established 
by Tallis, Bird, and others, ordered the composers of his chapel to 
add symphonies, &c. with instruments to their anthems; and 
thereupon established a select number of his private Music to play 
the symphony and ritornellos which he had appointed. — The old 
masters of Music, Dr. Child, Dr. Gibbons, Mr. Low, &c. organists 
to his majesty, hardly knew how to comport themselves with these 
new-fangled ways, but proceeded in their compositions, according 
to the old style, and therefore there are only some services and full 
anthems of theirs to be found. 

" In about 4 or 5 years time, some of the forwardest and 
brightest children of the chapel, as Pelham Humphrey, John Blow, 
&c. began to be masters of a faculty in composing; this his majesty 
greatly encouraged, by indulging their youthful fancies, so that 
every month, at least, they produced something new of this kind. 
In a few years more, several others educated in the chapel, produced 

34« 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVII CENTURY 

their compositions in this style; for otherwise it was in vain to 
hope to please his majesty." 

Captain Henry Cook [d. 1672], appointed master of the 
children of the Chapel Royal at the Restoration, according to Ant. 
Wood's MS. Memoirs in the Ashmol. Library, " was esteemed the 
best musician of his time to sing to the lute, till Pelham Humphrey, 
his scholar, came up, after which he died of grief." 

We are told in the continuation of Sir Richard Baker's Chronicle, 
that Matthew Lock set the Music for Charles the Second's public 
entry, and Capt. Henry Cook for his coronation [1661]. A hymn 
of his composition, in four parts, is likewise said to have been 
performed instead of the litany in the chapel of St. George, at 
Windsor, by order of the sovereign and knights of the Garter, on 
the 17th of April, 1661. None of his Church Music was printed (x), 
and, indeed, if we may judge of that by his few secular compositions 
dispersed in the collections of the times, he was little fitted for the 
high office to which he was appointed at the Restoration.* 

In the second part of Playford's Musical Companion, 1667, there 
are two or three of his songs, which are dry, ill-accented, and equally 
destitute of melody and masterly harmony. However, he had the 
merit, or at least good fortune, to be the master of three boys among 
the children of the chapel, who gave very early testimonies of their 
genius and progress in composition. These were Pelham 
Humphrey, John Blow, and Michael Wise, who, even while they 
were choristers in the chapel, produced verse- anthems far superior 
in melody and design to any that our church could boast anterior to 
Purcell. 

Pelham Humphrey [1647-74] after continuing in the Chapel 
Royal, as a singing-boy, from the Restoration till he lost his treble 
voice, was admitted a gentleman of his majesty's chapel, Jan. 3d, 
1666; and on the death of Cook, in 1672, was appointed master of 
the children. He did not, however, long fill this honourable station, 
as he died, very much regretted, at the early age of twenty-seven, 
in 1674. 

His choral compositions are numerous, for so short a life; as, 
besides his seven full and verse anthems, printed by Dr. Boyce, there 
are five preserved in score by Dr. Aldrich, in Christ-church, 
Oxford; and six in Dr. Tudway's Collection, British Museum, that 
have never been printed.** 

As French Music was much better known in England during the 
reign of King Charles II. than Italian, there are in the melody of 

[x) In Christ-church College Library there is a MS. folio volume of Services and 
Anthems by Blow, Gibbons, Lock, Goodson, sen. and Capt. Henry Cook. Dr. Tudway has 
inserted none of Cook's compositions in his Harleian Collection of English Church Music. 

* Cooke's compositions may not be very interesting (examples will be found in the B.M. 
(Add. MSS. 14399, 31460, and 33234), and some small pieces were printed by Playford in his 
Court Ayres, 1655), but his ability as a choir trainer must have been remarkable. In this 
connection, Grove's, Vol. 1, p. 710, speaks of him as " the greatest choir trainer this country 
has known." 

_**Not much of Humfrey's music (he himself used this spelling of his name) was published 
during his lifetime. Many works by him remain in MS, and the B.M. (Harl. 7338-9) has some 
very fine Church music. There are also MSS. of his work at Christ Church, Oxford; the 
Fitzwilliam, Cambridge, and the R.C.M., etc. 

349 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

this composer and in that of Purcell, passages which frequently 
remind us of Lulli, whom King Charles pointed out to his musicians 
as a model. Indeed, it is said that Humphrey was sent to Paris by 
the King [1664], in order to study under Lulli; and that, besides his 
merit in composition, he was an excellent performer on the lute. 
Indeed, he seems to have been the first of our ecclesiastical 
composers who had the least idea of musical pathos in the expression 
of words, implying supplication or complaint. 

His anthem for three voices, Have mercy upon me God, has 
great merit on the side of expression, for the time in which it was 
composed, as well as harmony, in which there are several 
combinations that seem new and boldly hazarded for the first time, 
at least in choral Music (y). 

In his verse anthems, many new effects are produced by 
modulation and notes of taste and expression (z). 

The favourite interval in the melody of this composer is the false 
5th, and, if it be true, as related by Dr. Boyce, that Humphrey 
studied under Lulli at Paris, he probably acquired his partiality for 
this interval there, as it has long been in great favour in the serious 
French opera. 

It is somewhat remarkable, that all the seven-verse anthems 
which Dr. Boyce has inserted in his collection, by this plaintive 
composer, should be in flat keys; most of them in C and F minor, 
which are much out of tune on the organ by the usual temperament 
of that instrument; however, if well sung, these crude chords may 
add to the melancholy cast of the compositions. 

John Blow [c. 1648/9-1708], born at North Collingham, in 
Nottinghamshire, was likewise one of the first set of children of the 
Chapel Royal after the Restoration, that was brought up under 
Capt. Cook. He likewise received instructions from Hingeston, 
domestic organist to Oliver Cromwel, and Dr. Christ. Gibbons. In 
1673 [-74] , he was sworn one of the gentlemen of the chapel; and in 
1674, upon the decease of Humphrey, appointed master of the 
children. In 1685, he was nominated one of the private Music to 
King James II. and in 1687, he was likewise appointed almoner and 
master of the choristers in the cathedral church of St. Paul; but, 
in 1693, he resigned this last place in favour of his scholar Jeremiah 
Clark. 

Blow had his degree of doctor in Music conferred on him by 
the special grace of archbishop Sancroft, without performing an 
exercise for it in either of the Universities [1677] . On the decease 

(y) Such as, in the first movement, a sharp .5th to B\> (Boyce, Vol. II. p. 235), used as 
an appoggiatura or note of taste; and the It) to Ab used repeatedly in an unusual manner, 
with very good effect. P. 238, 1. i. bar 4, the extreme sharp 6th to Ab, though now so 
common, had not made its way into our church, to my knowledge, before. 

L. iii. bar 3, the E natural against B flat a pedale in the base, is a note of taste and 
feeling that required considerable courage to venture, in those days of rigid rule and 
simplicity. 

(z) See Boyce, Vol. III. p. 175, where the flat 3d and sharp 4th was then a new 
combination, in the church at least. But the natural 3d and flat 6th to Eb>, in the same page, 
was not new, for it appears in the works of all the composers of the last century; and yet 
I never can let it pass uncensured. The three 5ths at the end of the movement, I can much 
more readily pardon, as two of them are false. 

350 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVII CENTURY 

of Purcell, in 1695, he was elected organist of St. Margaret's, 
Westminster [the Abbey]. And, in 1699, appointed composer to 
the chapel of their majesties, King William and Queen Mary, at a 
salary of £.40 a year, which afterwards was augmented to £.73. A 
second composer, with the like appointment, was added in 1715, 
when John Weldon was sworn into that office; at which time it was 
required that each should produce a new anthem on the first Sunday 
of his month of waiting. 

That Blow was a composer of anthems, while a singing-boy in 
the Chapel Royal, appears from Clifford's Collection of the Words 
of the Services and Anthems used in our collegiate and cathedral 
Churches, 1664 (a); for among the ecclesiastical composers 
mentioned in this book, amounting to upwards of sixty, are included 
the names of Pelham Humphrey, John Blow, and Robert Smith, 
children of his majesty's chapel. Humphrey was born in 1647, 
and Blow in 1648; so that at the Restoration, the first being only 
thirteen, and the second but twelve, their composing anthems fit 
for the Chapel Royal, before they had attained the age of sixteen or 
seventeen, would now be regarded as more wonderful proofs of 
precocity, if Purcell, soon after, at a more early period of his life, 
had not produced compositions that were still superior to these. 

Dr. Blow died in 1708, at sixty years of age; and though he did 
not arrive at great longevity, yet, by beginning his course, and 
mounting to the summit of his profession so early, he enjoyed a 
prosperous and eventful life. His compositions for the church, and 
his scholars who arrived at eminence, have rendered his name 
venerable among the musicians of our country (b). 

Though his Church Music was never collected in a body, yet, 
besides the three services and ten full and verse anthems printed by 
Boyce, in Dr. Tudway's MS. Collection nineteen of his choral 
productions have been preserved; and in Dr. Aldrich's Collection 
in Christ-church there are five more. The aggregate of which, 
amounting to upwards of forty different compositions of this 
elaborate kind, is but a small part of what might be found in the 
chapel and choir-books of our cathedrals. 

Some of his choral productions are doubtless in a very bold 
and grand style; however, he is unequal, and frequently unhappy, 
in his attempts at new harmony and modulation; but, as a composer 
who ranked so high among our most classical masters should not be 
praised or censured indiscriminately, I shall point out a few 
instances of his great, and, to my conceptions, unwarrantable 
licentiousness, as a contrapuntist. 

I am as sorry to see, as to say, how confused and inaccurate a 
harmonist he was; but as it is necessary to speak of an artist so 
celebrated and honoured by his cotemporaries, to dissemble his 

(a) The Rev. James Clifford, the compiler of this useful little book, according to Ant. 
Wood, was a minor canon of St. Paul's cathedral, and chaplain to the honourable society of 
Serjeant's Inn, Fleet-street. He died about the year 1700.* 

(6) On his tomb in Westminster Abbey is preserved a canon of a more pacific and harmless 
kind than any of those that adorn the monuments of neighbouring heroes, his present associates. 

* Clifford died in 1698. The 1st edition of his collection appeared in 1663. A second and 
enlarged edition was published in 1664. 

351 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

faults would surpass candour, and incur the censure of ignorance 
and partiality; for it is as much the duty of an historian to blame 
as to praise, when justice and integrity require it. Indeed, upon 
whatever subject a man writes, he should aspire at nothing so much 
as speaking truth, if he wishes for the approbation of his conscience, 
which is not only the most comfortable of all praise, but luckily 
the most within his own power. The abilities of the dead, I can 
have no interest in depreciating; and if my opinion should be unjust, 
the mischief will recoil on myself; for the dead have more friends 
than the living, who are ever ready to vindicate such wrongs. 

Though there are strokes of pathetic and subjects of fugue in 
Blow's works that are admirable; yet I have examined no one of 
them that appears to be wholly unexceptionable, and free from 
confusion and crudities in the counterpoint. Of the two-part 
anthem with choruses, " Lord how are they increased," the first 
movement is very plaintive and expressive; but there are licences 
in the harmony which look and sound quite barbarous. Indeed, 
these crudities are so numerous as to throw a doubt on his learning, 
as well as genius. Whether they are notes of passion, effusions of 
an unruly spirit, or of ignorance and affectation, I will not venture 
to determine; but, to my ears, they have the full effect of jargon 
and want of principles. 

It does not appear that Purcell, whom he did himself the 
honour to call his scholar, or Crofts, or Clark, his pupils, ever threw 
notes about at random, in his manner, or insulted the ear with 
lawless discords, which no concords can render tolerable. 

In an anthem, " Turn thee unto me, O Lord," printed by 
Henry Playford in the second collection of Divine Harmony [1700] 
there are so many wanton violations of rule, particularly in the last 
chorus, that it would be endless to point them out; but they seem 
such as no rule, authority, or effect, can justify: 7ths resolved on 
the 8th, ascending and descending; 2ds treated with as little 
ceremony as 3ds. Indeed, I never saw so slovenly a score in print; 
and it may, in general, be said of his faults in counterpoint, that 
there are unaccounted millions of them to be found in his works. 

He has been celebrated by Dr. Boyce, for " his success in 
cultivating an uncommon talent for modulation "; but how so 
excellent a judge of correct and pure harmony could tolerate his 
licences, or reconcile them to his monumental character, and the 
additional praise he has himself bestowed upon him, is as 
unaccountable as any thing in Blow's compositions, considering 
the knowledge and known probity of the late worthy editor of our 
Church Music (c). 

(c) In justification of so much seemingly severe censure of Dr. Blow's counterpoint, 
instead of verbal criticism, the reader shall be served with a plate full of his deformities, 
collected chiefly from his Church Music, the best of his productions. Many of his ballads, 
though only in two parts, are full of crude discords unprepared and unresolved; the cause of 
which, in some measure, may be ascribed to the ground-bases, on which it was now the 
fashion to write : for melody being scarce, both that and the harmony were frequently injured 
by this Gothic restraint. But the passing-notes, and notes of embellishment of the composers, 
in general, of this period, were uncouth in melody and licentious in harmony. Perhaps those 
of the present times, in less than a century, will be equally unpleasing to the ears of posterity; 
and yet we fancy that both melody and harmony have received their last polish. 

352 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVII CENTURY 

Specimens of Dr. Blow's Crudities. 

Solo Anthem Printed by Walsh, in the 2d Collection of Divine 
Harmony. " Turn thee unto me Lord." 



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(1) There are several violations of Rule in this Anthem for which 
it is difficult to account by the effects. (2) There is feeling and 
courage in this extreme sharp 2d, (3) and in this sharp 4th; (4) but 
here we are lost, (5) and here. (6) Nor do I understand this Page 3, 
unless a sharp has been omitted. These from a few of his Anthems; 
but still worse may be found in his other works. 



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(a) If no other similar Crudity occurred in the works of Blow, we should rather think 
this a mistake of the Printer, and that instead of A, Bb, he intended F and G. 



354 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVII CENTURY 

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355 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

The ballads of Dr. Blow are in general more smooth and 
natural than his other productions, and, indeed, than any other 
ballads of his time; there is more melody than in those of Henry 
Lawes, or any composers of the preceding reign; yet it is not of that 
graceful kind in which the Italians were now advancing towards 
perfection, with great rapidity. It is either of a Scots cast, or of 
a languid kind, that excites no other sensation than fatigue and 
drowsiness. 

His pastoral, on the preceding plates, " Since the Spring comes 
on," is, however, as chantant as any mongrel mixture of Scots, 
Irish, French, and English, that has been since compiled. The 
first movement, particularly, seems to have been the model of most 
of the Vauxhall songs of the last forty years. 

" Fill me a bowl," p. 52, has the same kind of merit (d). 

The collecting his secular compositions into a folio volume in 
1700, under the title of Amphion Anglicus [H. Playfor.d, 1700], 
was doubtless occasioned by the great success of the Orpheus 
Britannicus [H. Playford, 1698] , a similar collection of Purcell's 
Dramatic and Miscellaneous Songs, published by his widow, in 
1698. But whether Dr. Blow was stimulated to this publication 
by emulation, envy, or the solicitation of his scholars and friends, 
by whom there are no less than fifteen encomiastic copies of verses 
prefixed to the work, the ungrateful public seems to have remained 
always insensible to these strains of the modern Amphion, which 
were not only incapable of building cities, but even of supporting 
his own tottering fame. 

Some of his innumerable deformities from the Amphion Anglicus 
are added to those of his Church Music. " Go perjured man," is 
the best of all his secular productions; but that, which was an 
imitation of a duet by Carissimi, Dite, deli, is overloaded, in his 
Amphion Anglicus, with a laboured and unmeaning accompaniment. 
P. 44 and 46 of this collection, contain two of his best ballads, 
" Sabina has a thousand charms," and " Philander do not think 
of arms." In these ballads the union of Scots melody with the 
English, is first conspicuous. The subject of a song, p. 168, 
" Orithea's bright eyes," is likewise broad Scots, (e)* 

Michael Wise [c. 1648-87], another of the three eminent 
composers for the Church, that were fostered in the Chapel Royal 
immediately after the Restoration, was likewise a scholar of Capt. 
Henry Cook at the same time as Humphrey and Blow; and they 
all three not only surpassed their master in genius and abilities, but 

(d) The same song was set by the late Mr. Corfe, about forty years since, and remained 
long in Bacchanalian favour. 

(e) See the preceding plates. 

* Little of Blow's music has been printed. In contemporary publications, other than those 
mentioned by Burney, he is represented in The Theater of Music 1685 and 87; in Harmonia 
Sacra, 1688; and in Musick's Hand Maid, Part II, 1689. 

A mask Venus and Adonis was printed by Arkwright in the O.E.E.; Arkwright also 
reprinted six songs from the Amphion Anglicus. Novello's have published a number of his 
Anthems. 

Examples of his Harpsichord music are in The Contemporaries of Purcell, published by 
J. and W. Chester, Ltd. 

A list of Blow's Anthems and Services will be found in Grove's Vol. I, pp. 396-8. 14 
Anthems have recently been published by the Oxford Press. 

356 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVII CENTURY 

all our Church composers of the last century, except Purcell. 
However, they prepared the way for his bold and original genius to 
expand; as several new melodies, modulations, and happy licences, 
which I used to think entirely of his invention, upon an attentive 
examination of their works, appear to have been first suggested by 
these three fellow-students. Yet, what they had slightly and timidly 
touched, Purcell treated with the force and courage of a Michael 
Angelo, whose abilities rendered the difficult easy, and gave to 
what, in less powerful hands, would have been distortion, facility 
and grace. 

Dr. Boyce has printed six of his verse and full anthems, which 
are admirable : and in Dr. Tudway's Collection, Brit. Mus. there 
are seven, and a whole service in D minor. 

He was author of the celebrated two-part song, '.' Old Chiron 
thus preach' d to his pupil Achilles/' which is still too well known 
to need praise or insertion here. Mich. Wise was killed in a street- 
fray at Salisbury, by the watchman, in 1687. 

The first movement of his verse anthem for two voices, " The 
ways of Zion do mourn," is so beautiful and expressive, that I 
shall give it here as a specimen of grave and pathetic composition 
for the church, which no Music of other countries that I have 
hitherto discovered, of the same kind, and period of time, surpasses. 
The use the author has made of chromatic intervals at the word 
mourn, is not only happy and masterly, but new, even now, at 
more than a hundred years distance from the time when the anthem 
was produced! The whole composition seems to me admirable; 
and besides the intelligence and merit of the design, the melody is 
truly plaintive, and capable of the most touching and elegant 
expression of the greatest singers of modern times; the harmony too 
and modulation are such as correspond with the sense of the words, 
and enforce their expression. 



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Lamentations, verse 4th. 
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There is an elegance of phrase in a passage of the second 
movement of the preceding anthem, at the word down, which has 
been lately revived, and in great favour, with a very minute 
difference, among the first singers of Italy (e). 

Wise was a native of Salisbury, in which cathedral he was 
appointed organist and master of the choristers, in 1668; and in 
1675 [/76], a gentleman of the Chapel Royal. In 1686 [/87] 
he was preferred to the place of almoner and master of the boys 
at St. Paul's. He is said to have been in great favour with Charles 
II. and being appointed to attend him in a progress, claimed, as 
king's organist for the time, the privilege of playing to his majesty 
on the organ, at whatever church he went. 

The reign of Charles II. being more favourable to the progress 
of our native Church Music than any other, except that of Queen 
Elizabeth, the subject seems to merit more enquiry and discussion. 

The first set of chapel-boys having matured into men so eminent 
as Humphrey, Wise, and Blow, excites a curiosity concerning the 
talents of their immediate successors; and this second class not 
only produced Dr. Tudway and Dr. Turner, men who afterwards 
arrived at elevated stations, but Henry Purcell! who, during a 
short life, and in an age almost barbarous for every species of 
Music but that of the church, manifested more original genius than 
any musician under similar circumstances, that my enquiries into 
the history of the art have yet discovered, in any part of Europe. 

Though Tudway and Turner advanced far into the present 

(e) The difference consists only in pointing the first note, and making the second and 
third notes semiquavers. 

Though I admire the facility and expression of many compositions by Mich. Wise, I must 
here make a few remarks on his verse anthem, "Prepare ye the way of the Lord." In bar 4th 
of the first movement (see Boyce, Vol, II. p. 258) the second note seems an error of the 
press; there can be no doubt but that instead of E it should be F. And at the 2d bar of the 
last line (p. 259), if F in the first treble is not made sharp, the effect must be very offensive; 
though the passage, when echoed by the first treble, necessarily requires an F natural. The 
sharp 3d and flat 6th so frequently occur in all the composers of this school, that it is endless 
to stigmatize this hateful combination any more. 

359 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

century, they added but little to the progress of the art by their 
own productions or performance, and therefore we had better 
allow them a niche in this place, than encroach on room that 
belongs to their superiors, at a later period. 

Thomas Tudway [d. 1726], educated under Dr. Blow* at the 
same time as Turner and Purcell, was one of the second set of 
children of the Chapel Royal after the Restoration (/). Soon 
after quitting the Chapel Royal, he was received into the choir at 
Windsor as a tenor singer. Tudway, like his fellow-disciples, 
endeavoured to .distinguish himself early as a composer, and has 
inserted into the Collection of Church Music which he transcribed 
for lord Harley, an anthem of his own composition, in 1675, when 
he was only nineteen, with six more of his early productions for 
the church, of which the counterpoint is but ordinary and clumsy 

(g)- 

In 1681, at twenty-five years of age, he was admitted to the 
degree of bachelor of Music at Cambridge (h). And in 1705, upon 
her majesty Queen Anne visiting that University, he composed an 
anthem, " Thou, O God, hast heard my vows " [Harl. 7341], 
which he performed as an exercise for a doctor's degree; and, after 
receiving that academical honour, he was appointed public 
professor of Music in that University (i). 

He composed an anthem, " Is it true that God will dwell with 
men upon the earth? " on occasion of Queen Anne going to St. 

(J) As he lived till the year 1726, and was seventy at the time of his decease, he must 
have been born in 1656; a datum which will render the chronology of the principal events of 
his life easy to settle. In all probability he was received into the chapel at eleven or twelve; 
but in 1664, being but eight years old, he could hardly be admitted into the choir of Windsor, 
as a tenor singer, as has been lately said; nor in 1671, at fifteen, is it likely that he should be 
invited to accept of the place of organist of King's Coll. Chapel, in the University of 
Cambridge. 

(g) The words are likewise often inaccurately accented: he throws the accent of the 
word triumph upon the second syllable, like Handel; which, though but slight, is, indeed, the 
only resemblance between them. 

(h) I have examined in the Brit. Mus. the score of the anthem which he performed as an 
exercise upon this occasion. In the 1st bar of the tenor-part, there are two 5ths with the 
second violin; and the tenor being lower than the base, inverts the harmony unwarrantably. 
Bar 5th of the first verse, there is a 7th in the violin part, unprepared and unresolved. Indeed 
the whole is an incorrect and fanciless composition; and being transcribed by the doctor 
himself late in life (1715), this production does not say much for the improvement of his 
knowledge afterwards : indeed, it is so full of errors and confusion, that it will neither bear the 
test of the eye nor ear. It has been imagined, as a reason for Dr. Tudway's Music never 
having been much used in our cathedrals, that he was an enemy to fugue and imitation; but 
in all his compositions inserted in the Harl. Collect, there are as frequent attempts at fugue, 
as in the Church Music of any of his cotemporaries : indeed, he is not dexterous at these 
contrivances; however, that does not preclude confusion in the utterance of the words, which 
are so distributed among the several parts, that no two of them, except at a close, are singing 
the same. All the old masters, whom the doctor recommends as models, were so fond of 
fuguing that they never saw a series of sounds without trying to form them into a canon or 
a fugue; as the doctor never heard a sentence without endeavouring to extract from it a pun. 
It was the light theatric style, with symphonies, ritornels, and divisions, in which Humphrey, 
Blow, and Purcell so well succeeded, and which Crofts afterwards pushed to greater lengths, 
that Tudway means to depreciate; for not being able to keep pace with them in such airy 
flights, he tried to check and disgrace them by censure. See his dedication to lord Harley, 
Brit. Mus. Collect. 

(«) The Music-professorship at Cambridge is merely honorary; Dr. Staggins was the first 
that was appointed in 1684, and Dr. Tudway the second. 

* Tudway was probably born about 1646. If this date is correct, then he could hardly 
have been educated under Dr. Blow, as the latter was born about 1648-9. Burney made a 
thematic catalogue (B.M. Add. MSS. 11587-9) of Tudway's collection of English Church Music, 
and a full list of the contents of the collection is in Grove's, Vol. V, pp. 402-3. 

The portrait mentioned later in the text is now in the Bodleian. 

360 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVII CENTURY 

George's chapel, at Windsor, for the first time; and for this, and 
other occasional compositions, was permitted to style himself 
organist and composer extraordinary to that princess. 

In the latter part of his life Dr. Tudway resided much in 
London, and was patronized by the Oxford family. The valuable 
scores of English Church Music, in six thick volumes quarto, which 
are now in the British Museum, N° 7337 [to 7342] , were transcribed 
by himself at this time. 

It is said that he used to meet Prior, Sir James Thornhill, 
Christian the engraver, Bridgman the gardener, and other eminent 
artists, at lord Oxford's, once a week; and that Sir James drew 
all their portraits with a pencil, among which is Tudway playing 
upon the harpsichord. Prior wrote sportive verses under these 
drawings, which were in the possession of Mr. West, the late 
president of the Royal Society. 

Dr. Tudway's picture is in the music-school at Oxford; at 
Cambridge he was longer remembered as an inveterate punster, 
than a great musician (k). 

William Turner [1651-1740], another of the second set of 
chapel-children, and disciple of Dr. Blow, was sworn in gentleman 
of the Royal Chapel 1669, as a counter-tenor singer, his voice 
settling to that pitch; a circumstance which so seldom happens, 
naturally, that if it be cultivated, the possessor is sure of employ- 
ment: and, in consequence of its utility, soon after his reception 
into the Chapel Royal, he was appointed vicar-choral in the 
cathedral of St. Paul, and a lay- vicar of the collegiate church of 
St. Peter, Westminster. In 1696, he was admitted to the degree 
of doctor in Music at Cambridge. 

Dr. Turner arrived at the great age of eighty-eight, and .dying 
in 1740, was buried in the cloister of Westminster Abbey, in the 
same grave with his wife; who, being nearly of the same age, died 
but four days before him, after living together with great harmony 
of disposition, and felicity, near seventy years. 

In many of our cathedral books there is an anthem, ' I will 
alway give thanks," which is called the club-anthem, on account 
of its having been composed by three masters in conjunction; but 
not, as has been said, by Dr. Boyce and others, "as a memorial 
of the strict friendship that subsisted between them: " for, 
according to Dr. Tudway, who remembered the transaction, and 
records it with the anthem in the Mus. Collect. Vol. III. " the 
anthem was composed by order of Charles II. at a very short 
notice, on account of a victory at sea over the Dutch,* the news 

(k) In the time of the duke of Somerset's chancellorship at_ Cambridge, during the 
discontents of several members of that University at the rigour of his government and paucity 
of his patronage, Tudway, himself a malcontent, and joining in the clamour, said, "the 
chancellor rides us all, without a bit in our mouths." Nor did the wicked sin of punning quit 
him even in sickness; for having been dangerously ill of a quinsy and unable, for some time, to 
swallow either food or medicines; the physician who attended him, after long debates and 
difficulties, at length turning to Mrs. Tudway says, "Courage, madam! the doctor will get up 
May-hill yet, he has been able to swallow some nourishment"; the doctor cries out "Don't 
mind him, my dear, one swallow makes no summer." 

* Turner appears to have left the Chapel Royal between Sept., 1666 and April, 1667. The 
story as to the origin of the Club Anthem can hardly be correct as the Naval war with the 
Dutch did not commence until 1665 and Humfrey was not in England then. 

361 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

of which arrived on Saturday, and the King wishing to have the 
anthem performed the next day, and none of the masters choosing 
to undertake it, three of the children of the chapel, Humphrey, 
Blow, and Turner, performed the task (I)." 

There are two whole services (m), and several anthems of Dr. 
Turner's composition in Tudway's collection, with an ode for the 
solemnity of St. Cecilia's day, 1697, accompanied with violins and 
trumpets. To this there is a long symphony or overture, consisting 
of two movements, the second of which is in triple time, upon a 
ground, seemingly in imitation of Purcell, as the first movement 
is of Lulli. After this production, is inserted his anthem, " The 
ldng shall re Joyce," which is more in the style of a secular ode, 
than a composition for the church. The divisions, light and 
common in the last century, are now become extremely 
old-fashioned. 

Among the church composers of Charles the Second's reign, 
who arrived at honours and distinction, besides those already 
mentioned, was Dr. Christopher Gibbons [1615-76], son of 
Orlando Gibbons, and scholar of his uncle Ellis Gibbons, organist 
of Bristol.* He had been honoured with the notice of Charles I. 
and was of his chapel. At the Restoration, besides being appointed 
principal organist of the Chapel Royal, private organist to his 
majesty, and organist of Westminster Abbey [1660] , he obtained his 
doctor's degree in Music at Oxford, in consequence of a letter 
written by his majesty Charles II. himself, in his behalf, which is 
inserted by Ant. Wood in the Fasti Oxon. Vol. II. Col. 158; who 
says, that he completed his degree in an act celebrated in St. Mary's 
church, July 11th, 1664. 

The compositions of this master, which were not numerous, 
seem never to have enjoyed a great degree of favour; and though 
some of them are preserved in the Museum Collection, they have 
long ceased to be performed in our cathedrals. His abilities on the 
organ, however, must have been considerable, to entitle him to the 
stations he filled, at a time when the style of playing that instru- 
ment was so much more complicated and elaborate than at present. 
Dr. Blow, who, in singing and composition was educated by Capt. 
Cook, is said to have been a scholar on the organ of Dr. Christopher 
Gibbons, who died 1676. 

The only church-composer of this reign, whose works are still 
retained in our choral service, of whom a particular account has 
not already been given, is Benjamin Rogers [1614-98], for whose 
fame Ant. Wood has manifested great zeal. This musician was 

{l) The first victory obtained over the Dutch fleet, in the reign of Charles II. was in 
1664 [1665], the second 1666; and as we had no other sea-engagement with that republic till 1672, 
when these composers ceased to be called children, it must have been for the second victory 
obtained during the first Dutch war, that the club anthem was set; Turner being one of the 
second set of chapel boys. 

(m) One in E and one in A, both with sharp 3ds. 

* Ellis Gibbons died in 1603, that is 12 years before Christopher's birth. After the death 
of his father in 1625, Christopher is supposed to have been adopted by his uncle, Edward 
Gibbons, of Exeter 

362 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVII CENTURY 

born at Windsor, and brought up in that college under Dr. Nath. 
Giles; being employed there, first as a singing boy, and afterwards 
in the capacity of lay clerk or singing-man. Thence he went to 
Ireland, and was appointed organist of Christ-church in Dublin 
[1639], where he continued till the breaking out of the Rebellion, 
1641; at which time being forced to quit his station, he returned to 
Windsor, where he was again reinstated as choirman; but being 
soon after silenced in consequence of the civil wars [1644], he 
procured a subsistence by teaching in the neighbourhood. And 
during this time, according to his friend Ant. Wood, having addicted 
himself much to study, he acquired great credit as a composer, and 
produced several sets of airs, in four parts, for violins and an organ, 
which being then imagined the best that could be composed of that 
kind, were sent as great rarities to the archduke Leopold, after- 
wards emperor, and himself a great musician; and, upon their being 
performed by his band, they were very much admired (n). 

In 1658, by the favour of his friend Dr. Ingelo he obtained the 
degree of bachelor in Music at Cambridge, and acquired great 
reputation in that University by his exercise. Soon after, on Dr. 
Ingelo going chaplain to Bulstrode lord Whitelock, into Sweden, 
he carried with him some of Ben Rogers's best compositions, which, 
upon being repeatedly performed in the presence of Christina, 
Queen of Sweden, were very much applauded. 

At the Restoration he was appointed to compose the Music that 
was to be performed at Guildhall, on the day his majesty and his 
brothers the dukes of York and Gloucester dined there with the 
lord mayor, by which he greatly increased his reputation. 

About this time he was chosen organist of Eton college [c. 1661] , 
which he resigned soon after, on being invited to Oxford, where he 
was appointed to the same office in Magdalen college [1664]. And 
in 1669, upon opening the new theatre in that city, he was created 
doctor in Music. He continued, says Ant. Wood, in the University, 
where he was much esteemed, till the year 1685, when he was 
ejected, in company with the fellows of his college, by King James 
II.* after which he long resided in the skirts of the town, wholly 
disregarded (o). 

" His compositions for instruments," says Ant. Wood, "whether 
in 2, 3, or 4 parts, have been highly valued, and were, 30 years 

(») It does not appear that these pieces, which were composed for two violins, a tenor, 
and a base, were ever printed. 

(o) Ant. Wood, in his Fasti Oxon. gives the following list of his miscellaneous works, 
which at present will excite no great curiosity in the lovers of Music, or desire to be possessed 
of them. "Compositions in two parts, treble and base, in a book entitled, Court Ayres, 
Pavins, Allemagnes, Courants. and Sarabands, London, 1665 [1655 and 1662]. Also certain 
compositions in a book entitled, Cantica sacra, containing Hymns and Anthems, for two Voices, 
to the organ, both Latin and English, 1674. As also in the Latin Hymns and Psalms of four 
parts published by Playford." 

Wood seems to have obtained this list from Rogers himself, as well as the account of 
their favourable reception on the continent. 

* The quarrel between James II. and Magdalen College commenced in 1687, and was 
occasioned by the refusal of the College authorities to grant the degree of M.A. to a Benedictine 
monk named Alban Francis. Rogers was dismissed for irregularities, but was granted a life 
pension of ^30 per annum. Some of his anthems, and a Service in D are still sung. 

363 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

ago, always first called for, taken out and played as well in the 
public Music schools, as in private chambers: and Dr. Wilson, 
the professor, the greatest and most curious judge of Music that ever 
was, usually wept when he heard them well performed, as being 
wrapt up in an ecstacy; or, if you will, melted down: while others 
smiled, or had their hands and eyes lifted up, at the excellence 
of them." 

It is to be feared that instead of weeping, the wicked lovers of 
modern Music would now laugh, if they were to hear the quaint 
and starched strains, and see on paper the ruffs and roll-ups of 
honest Ben Rogers at the opera-house, or professional concert, 
Hanover-square. But, alas! what is the secular Music that thirty 
years have not wrinkled, withered, and rendered superannuated ! 

Rogers and Child were too near each other to differ much in 
the style of their Church Music; and, indeed, they trod on the 
heels of our own times too much, for their modulation to have that 
solemn, and seemingly new, effect, on our ears, which the produc- 
tions of the sixteenth century now afford. Dr. Aldrich would 
never have let Rogers's Music be laid by as old and useless lumber, 
if he had thought it original and good (p) . 

For an account of the revival of psalmody in parts, in the 
manner allowed soon after the Reformation, I must refer my reader 
to the reign of Queen Elizabeth, where the subject is amply treated. 
It was honest John Playford who new strung the harp of David, 
and published, in 1671, the first edition of his " Psalms and Hymns 
in solemn musick of foure parts on the Common Tunes to the 
Psalms in Metre : used in Parish Churches. Also six Hymns for 
one voyce to the Organ," folio. The several editions of this work 
published in various forms, at a small price, rendered its sale very 
general, and psalm-singing in parts, a favourite amusement in 
almost every village in the kingdom. 

The charter granted to the musicians of the city of Westminster 
by Charles I. had lain dormant from that time till the Restoration; 
but immediately after that event, the persons named in it, who 
were still living, determined to rescue Music from the disgrace into 
which it had fallen, and exert their authority for the improvement 
of the science, and interest of its professors. Fifty- two musicians, 
consisting of the King's band, and other professors, natives and 
foreigners, the most eminent of the time, were enrolled in this 
charter as the King's musicians; " and all such as are, and shall be 
the musicians of his majesty, his heirs and successors, shall from 

(j>) There is certainly the same kind of merit in the Church Music of Dr. Rogers, as in 
that of Dr. Child; rich harmony, and natural modulation; and yet it may be asked, in his 
service in D minor, which begins so like Bevin's in D major (see Boyce, Vol. I.) why, for 
two notes only, line ii. bar 5, he quitted the key of B, in order to give the chord of D? He 
has the same false accents as Tallis and Bird, on the words holy, holy, holy ; and page 174, 
Servants — we magnify ; trust is In ; and in the Nicene creed, begotten ; Pilate ; and p. 184, 1. i. 
bar 1. I look for ; with the major third and minor sixth to E, in the usual offensive style of 
the times. In the Magnificat, a-way. Of the whole service, it must be confessed, that the 
harmony is in general correct and pure; though somewhat dry and monotonous. But the keys 
during the last century were not sufficiently ascertained, as appears in the best of our 
ecclesiastical composers. Purcell's Funeral Anthem for Queen Mary, which was likewise his 
own, begins in Eb, and ends in G with a major third; though it only consists of one short 
movement. The modulation quits the original key, at the 3d bar, and is more in G minor, than 
any other key. 

3§4 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVII CENTURY 

henceforth forever, by force and virtue of the said graunt, be a 
body corporate and politique, in deed, fact, and name, &c." 

The other powers granted by this charter, allowed the corporation 
to meet from time to time, in order to make bye laws and impose 
fines on such as transgressed them, " which fines they shall have 
to their own use, &c." 

In pursuance of these powers, the corporation hired a room in 
Durham Yard, in the Strand, within the city and liberty of 
Westminster. Their first meeting was on the 22nd day of October, 
1661, Nicholas Laniere then being marshal; from which day they 
proceeded to make orders, summoning, fining, and prosecuting the 
first professors who dared " to make any benefit or advantage of 
Musique in England or Wales," without first taking out a license 
from their fraternity. Among the instances of the exercise of their 
power, Jan. 13th, 1663, it was " ordered that Matthew Lock, 
Christopher Gibbons, Dr. Charles Colman, and William Gregory, 
do come to the chamber at Durham Yard, on Tuesday next, at 
two of the clock in the afternoon, and bring each of them ten 
pounds, or shew cause to the contrary." 

This seems to have been one of the most oppressive and 
unmeaning monopolies with which the Stuarts had long vexed the 
nation. Such a tyranny as this over the professors of a liberal art, 
there is reason to fear, would be abused in whatever hands it was 
lodged. The college of physicians, which superintends the 
dispensations of life and death, may have its use by preventing or 
detecting Charlatanerie; but that the ministers of our innocent 
amusements should be subject to any other controul than that which 
the common law of the realm is empowered to exercise over men of 
all ranks and degrees in the state, seems at best but a wanton and 
useless, if not a noxious, delegation of power, which was less likely 
to benefit the public, or accelerate the progress of the art, than to 
enable artists to torment and harrass each other. 

It appears by the transactions of this corporation, the minutes of 
which are extant in the British Museum among the Harleian MSS. 
N° 1911, that the meetings of its members continued no longer than 
1679; when rinding themselves involved in law-suits and incapable 
of enforcing the power they assumed, and penalties they threatened, 
it was thought most adviseable to leave the art and artists to the 
neglect or patronage of the public. 

To this unsuccessful piece of tyranny, the following may serve as 
a farce. 

Every trade and occupation in France had formerly a superior or 
Coryphaeus, who was dignified with the title of Roi or King. The 
mercers, joiners, barbers, shoe-makers, and even sweep-chimneys 
had their particular monarch; but exactions and tyranny by degrees 
occasioned the annihilation of this mock royalty. 

The minstrels more tenacious and exact observers of ancient 
usages, have been last to preserve this precious image of antiquity. 
The King at arms, and the King of the minstrels, are all that remain 

365 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

of this high rank; but the first has few tributaries, and his function 
is only occasional and transient; whereas the power of the other is 
always in force and his empire exercised to the utmost limits of 
the kingdom. 

The history of the first sovereign of the minstrels is unknown; 
but it is recorded that after the death of Constantine, a famous 
tidier of the seventeenth century, the crown passed, in 1630 [1658], 
to Dumanoir I. afterwards to Dumanoir II. [1668] who, by a 
voluntary abdication, occasioned an interregnum, in 1685 [1693]. 
Lewis XIV. saw with indifference this extinction of royalty, and 
even declared that it should not be revived.* 

This monarchy had been long agitated and torn by civil and 
foreign broils. The dancing-masters, assisted by their chief, had 
been pleading for fifty years against the vile artizans who 
dishonoured their profession, by lavishing their talents unworthily 
at ale-houses; and insisted on having a string of their lyre or fidicula 
cut off, like that of Terpander and Timotheus, in order to reduce it 
to its ancient form of a Rebec, with three strings. 

They, however, prosecuted the city dancing-masters, at Paris, 
and had them fined by a solemn decision, Jan. 14th, 1667. 

No community was ever more disunited by discords and tumults : 
every court of justice rang with the noise of their divisions, and 
their quarrels enriched the law, whilst they empoverished 
themselves, and fretted to fiddle-strings, those bowels which had 
neither food nor feeling. 

The interregnum lasted from 1685 [1693] to 1741, when 
Guignon, remarkable for the velocity of his fingers and bow on the 
violin, aspiring at royalty, the King graciously condescended to 
honour him with the minstrel crown, and his claims and titles were 
acceded to the 15th of June, the same year. 

But this election stimulating him to the assumption of those 
prerogatives which formerly appertained to his high station, he had 
his rights to defend against an army of lawyers employed by 
musicians, particularly organists, who obtained over him a complete 
victory, and Guignon, in order to give an incontestible proof of his 
disinterestedness and moderation, as well as love for the arts, 
voluntarily and magnanimously resigned the crown and dignity of 
supreme lord and king of the minstrels. And by an edict of Mar. 
1773, registered in parliament the 31st of the same month, his most 
Christian majesty totally and finally suppressed this office (q). 

" King Charles II." says the Hon. Mr. North (r), " though a 
professed lover of Musick, had an utter aversion to Fancies, which 
was increased and confirmed by a successless entertainment given 
him by secretary Williams. After which the secretary had no 

(q) See Essai sur la Mus. & Mercure de Fr. for April, 1773. 

(r) Mem. of Musick, MS. 

* The date of Dumanoir lid's resignation is given differently by various authorities. In 
Grove's article Dumanoir, 1685 is given, but in the article Roi des Violons, 1693 is stated as the 
year in which Dumanoir relinquished office. Romain Rolland (Some Musicians of Former Days. 
English Ed. 1915, p. 143 N. 3), gives 1673. 

366 



MUSIC IN ENGLAND DURING THE XVII CENTURY 

peace, for the King, as was his custom, could not forbear whetting 
his wit upon Fancy Musick, and its patron the secretary; nor would 
he allow the matter to be disputed upon the point of superiority, 
but ran it all down, by saying, have not I ears? He could bear no 
Musick to which he could not beat time, which he constantly tried to 
do to all that was performed in his presence, which he generally 
heard standing. Of songs he only approved the soft vein, in triple 
time (s) ; which rendered that kind of movement fashionable among 
the masters and composers for the stage, as may be seen in the 
printed songs of the time. 

" His majesty had once a wish, in order to compare styles, to 
hear the singers of several nations: German, Spanish, Italian, 
French, and English, perform together on the court stage, at 
Whitehall. The Italians performed the celebrated trio of Carissimi, 
Che dite, che fate, and the English brought up the rear under great 
disadvantage, with / pass all my hours in a shady old grove; for 
though the King chose that song as the best, others were not of his 
majesty's opinion. 

" The old way of consorts was laid aside by this prince 
immediately after his restoration, when he established his band of 
24 violins, after the French model, and the style of Musick was 
changed accordingly. So that French Musick became in general 
use at court, and in the theatres; indeed, performers on the violin 
had a lift into credit before this period, when Baltzar, a Swede, 
came over, and did wonders upon it by swiftness and double stops 
(t). But his hand was accounted hard and rough, though he made 
amends for that by often tuning in the lyra way, and playing lessons 
conformable to it, which were very harmonious, as is manifest by 
many of his pieces still extant. 

' ' During the first years of King Charles's reign, all the Musick 
in favour with the beau-monde, was in the French style; which, at 
this time, was rendered famous throughout Europe, by the works 
of Baptist Lulli, a Frenchified Italian, and master of the Court 
Musick at Paris, who enriched the French Musick by Italian 
harmony, which greatly improved their melody. His style was 
theatrical, and the pieces called branles, or ouvertures, consisting 
of an entree and a courante, will ever be admired as the most stately 
and complete movements in Musick. All the composers in London 
strained hard to imitate Lulli' s vein. However, the whole tendency 
of the ayre, affected the foot more than the ear; and no one could 
listen to an entree, with its starts and leaps, without expecting a 
dance to follow. 

" The French instrumental Musick, however, did not make its 
way so fast as to bring about a revolution all at once; for, during a 

(s) The young chapel composers, Humphrey, Blow, and Wise, by the introduction of 
several of these movements are accused by Dr. Tudway, and others, of indulging the King's 
French taste so far as to introduce theatrical corants and dancing movements into their 
anthems. At present they have no such effect on our ears: they seem, indeed, less heavy 
than the anthems of the sixteenth century, which were almost all in common time; but are 
more like slow minuets, though more broken into divisions, than dancing minuets, or corants. 

(<) See above, p. 337. 

367 



A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC 

great part of this King's reign, the old Musick was still used in the 
country, and in many private meetings in London; but the treble 
viol was discarded, and the violin took its place." 

The taste of Charles II. seems to have been French in all things, 
but particularly in Music; for he had French operas; a band of 
twenty-four violins, in imitation of the French band at Paris;* 
French masters of his band, Cambert, and, afterwards, Grabu; he 
sent Pelham Humphrey to study under Lulli, and young Banister to 
learn the violin at Paris. Indeed, though we have since had better 
models for our musical studies of all kinds, from Italy and 
Germany, Music, as well as every other liberal art, was at this time 
in a higher state of cultivation in France than in England. But 
though Lulli carried Italian dramatic Music into France, it was 
such as had been produced during the infant state of the art in 
Italy; yet, notwithstanding the subsequent improvements it received 
in its native country, from innumerable masters, particularly since 
they were furnished with lyric poetry by Metastasio, near a century 
elapsed before our neighbours the French perceived it possible to 
compose better Music than that of Lulli. 

Upon the decease of Baltzar** [c. 1630-63], the Lubecker, who 
was the first leader of King Charles's new band of twenty-four 
violins, &c. Banister, the first Englishman who seems to have 
distinguished himself on the violin, which was now growing into 
favour, succeeded him. This is the same Banister [1630-79] who 
set Dr. D'Avenant's opera of Circe, and several ayres and dialogues 
of the times, in which no specific mark of genius seems discover- 
able. This musician was one of the first who established lucrative 
concerts in London. 

These concerts were advertised in the London Gazette of the 
times; and in No. 742, for Dec. 30th, 1672, there is the following 
advertisement : "These are to give notice, that at Mr. John Banister's 
house, now called the Music-school, over against the George 
taverne, in White Fryers, this present Monday, will be Musick 
performed by excellent masters, beginning precisely at four of the 
clock in the afternoon, and every afternoon for the future, precisely 
at the same hour." 

* On occasions (Drobably when the king was present) the King's Band played during service 
at the Chapel Royal. Evelyn (Diary, Dec. 21, 1662) writes: "One of his Majesty's chaplains 
preached; after which instead of the ancient, grave, and solemn wind music accompanying the 
organ, was introduced a concert of twenty-four violins between every pause, after the French 
fantastical light way, better suiting a tavern, or playhouse, than a church. This was the first 
time of change, and now we no more heard the cornet which gave life to the organ; that 
instrument quite left off in which the English were so skilful. I dined at Mr. Povey's, where 
I talked with Cromer, a great musician." 

The King's Band found little favour with Pepys, for on Oct. 1, 1667, he writes in his 
Diary — "To White Hall; and there in the Boarded Gallery did hear the musick with which the 
King is presented this night by Monsieur Grebus, the Master of his Musick : both instrumental 
(I think twenty-four violins) and vocall : an English song upon Peace. But, God forgive me ! 
I never was so little pleased with a concert of music in my life." 

** In the records he is entered as Mr. Thomas Balsart. There are accounts of his playing in 
Evelyn's Diary for the 4th March, 1656-7, and in Anthony a Wood, quoted by Burney on p. 
337- There is no record of him in connection with the King's new band. The first leaders of 
this were David Mell and Ge