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chas seen boment en and umes.
John Hawkins's work. We have not the book by us at present, but shall take an early opportunity of searching it. Chap. X. is contained between p. 453 and p. 461, and also from p. 487 to 495. Chap. XI. on ihe Music of the Romans, is taken purely from the section in Dr Burney's History, which treats of the same subject :--and with this we arrive at the middle of Dr Busby's, and the end of Dr Burney's first volumes. It is quite unnecessary to give our readers the trouble of pursuing this tiresome enumeration of corresponding pages. If they will take our words for it, they will find that the saine system of plunder is pursued throughout the Doctor's two volumes.
Chapter XV. is devoted to Haydn and Mozart; and is now thing more than an abridgement of the Lives of Haydn and Mozart;' as may be seen by comparing it with pages 23 to 308 of that work. Chapter XVI. « On the Establishment of the Italian Opera in England, previous to the middle of the last century,' is every syllable contained in Burney, Vol. IV. page 198. et seq. Chap. XVII. is a continuation of the same subject, and is taken from the same source. Of the remaining three chapters, which conclude the volume, a considerable part is not in Burney ; because they treat of composers and performers after the period at which his work closes: But we have no hesitation in believing, that Dr Busby has just as much share in their composition, as we have shown him to have in that of the preceding part of his · History of Music.'
Any thing like criticism on Dr Busby's Abridgment, is, of course, out of the question; as it does not come within our province to review books which were written 40 years ago : But as he has, once or twice in the course of his masquerade, shown his ears from under the lion's skin of Burney, we think it right to apprise our readers of the exposure, that none of them who may stumble on the sight, may be in danger of attributing these appendages to any but their rightful owner. We are glad, however, to have done with Dr Busby; * and we now proceed to the main object of this article,
* Since writing this article, we have examined Sir John Hawkins's · History of Music ;' and we find, exactly as we had predicted, that the part of Dr Busby's first volume, from p. 186, which we could not discover in Burney, is taken from Sir J. Hawkins's work, Vol. II. Moreover, the whole of his 14th chapter, Vol. II., containing an account of the life of Handel, is taken from Sir J. H. Vol. V. p. 262 et seq., and again 358 et seq. Some parts also are to be found in a small work written by Dr Burney, entitled, a “Sketch of the Life VOL. XXXIII. NO. 66.
We have long wished to say something on the History of Music; and, in the course of our lucubrations on Poetry, have frequently been tempted to make some remarks on the Sister Art. But digressions are in general inconvenient, and apt to become tiresome. We therefore determined, upon the first fair opportunity, to devote a little of our time to a subject which is certainly well deserving of attention. The early part of the History of Music is not the most interesting ;-but if we are to give a connected view of the subject, the infancy of the art must not be passed over entirely without notice. We shall, however, be as sparing as possible, -and as tender of the reader's patience as we should be of our own. For the historical facts we have been chiefly indebted to Dr Burney :-And although we sometimes have the misfortune to differ from that learned author, we are yet sufficiently grateful to him for the assistance he has given us, in those parts of the subject which are the most obscure—from the difficulty of obtaining information, and the scarcity of materials connected with their history. We have also had an opportunity of seeing some scarce and curious tracts upon the subject of Music; of which we have not scrupled to make use-being careful always to acknowledge the sources of our information.
Among the ancients, it does not appear that any, except the Greeks and Romans, used symbols to express musical intervals or sounds. The old Greek scale consisted of four notes, (as the modern one is composed of eight); and five of these tetrachords, forming a double octave, completed their system of sounds. The characters by which they were denoted, were the letters of their alphabet; and as they did not resort to the simple contrivance of expressing the octave to any sound, by the same symbol, they were forced to use a different sign for every note; and as their alphabet did not afford a sufficient number of characters for this purpose, they multiplied it by inverting, doubling, or accenting the letters. Hence it has been conjectured by critics, that Accents were originally musical notes, set over the words, to regulate the inflexions of the voice. * This prodigious number of symbols, necessarily made the study of music an operation of no ordinary difficulty--and it was usual, in the course of education
of Handel, with an Account of his Commemoration.' ---Lond. 1785. Our readers will remember, that, in our examination of the book, we omitted to notice Chap. 14th. We waited only till we had found the original.
* For a more particular discussion of this point, see West's Pindar, vol. II.
prescribed to the accomplished youth of the time, to set apart three years, from 13 to 16, for the study of music only. When a piece of Greek poetry was set to music, and accompanied by the lyre, it was not unusual to place two rows of notes over the words-one serving for the voice, and the other for the accompaniment. Now, in most cases, these symbols were totally different; and hence we naturally infer that they were intended to express different sounds—and that therefore ihe Greeks were acquainted with harmony. But persons, learned in those matters, have denied this. When two different symbols are placed over the same word, it is intended, they say, that the same sound which the voice utters in singing that word, is to be played by the lyre-or they are unisons to each other. And they quote the learned Alypius, and the still more learned Meibomius; and many others, to prove that there are at least two characters to express every sound. Now, to persons of plain understanding, it seems very unlikely, that the Greeks should have so foolishly multiplied the difficulties of their notation: Was it not obvious, that if the lyre was to play the same notes which the voice sung, the same musical characters would serve for both? It is acknowledged, that the Greeks were hard put to it, to find a sufficient number of symbols for their notes: and is it probable that they would give themselves the trouble to invent duplicates and even triplicates for the same sound? After all,—this seeming contradiction is brought forward only by those writers who are unwilling to allow the Greeks the merit of having been acquainted with the harmony of sounds. Now it appears to us, with all deference to these authorities, that it is highly probable that the Greeks were in the habit of using concords and this very circumstance of the double row of musical characters proves that their music was in different parts. Harmony, indeed, is not an adventitious quality in sonorous bodies, but is in some sense inherent in every sound, however produced. Every sound is as much made up of three component parts, as a ray of light is composed of seven primary colours. *
many sonorous bodies, these sounds may
* There are some very ingenious remarks on the analogy between light and air, in the Philosophical Works of the Rev. W. Jones, Vol. X. p. 75. · The learned author compares musical sounds to prismatic colours—and conceives that as colours are produced by inflections and refractions of rays, so musical sounds are caused by similar refractions of the air. There is no reason why air should not consist of heterogeneous particles as well as light; and the difference in the refrangibility of these particles will excite a difference in the sounds, according to the manner in which they are sct in motion by the vi
be made distinctly audible—as in the toll of a great bell, where, amid the vibrations of the primary or fundamental note, its 12th and 17th are distinctly heard—i.e, the note with its 3d and 5th composing the full harmony, are generated by the vibrations of what appears to inattentive ears to be only a simple sound. These accompaniments or harmonies, as they are called, may be heard also by striking any of the low notes of an open piano-forté-or, what shows the experiment with more effect, by sounding the lowest string of a violincello :-in this case, it is adviseable to untune the other strings, so that they may not aca cord with the string to be sounded, and, by causing them to vibrate, hinder the real harmonies from being heard. + Now it seems highly improbable that this natural existence of according sounds should have escaped the penetration of the Greeks-and if they did discover it, it is absurd to imagine that they would not adopt it in their music. By far the most rational explanation appears to be, that their music has shared the fate of their other perishable possessions, which were swallowed up in the dark ages of barbarism : At all events it is a consolation to think, that, whether invented, or only revived by the moderns, it has been carried, as well as its sister art, to as great perfection as it probably ever attained during the best times of ancient Greece.
But though we are of opinion that the Greeks possessed a knowledge of the scientific part of music, we are inclined to think that they had the good taste to prefer the light and unadorned beauties of a simple melody, to music groaning under the weight of full accompaniments,—which, according to the vitiated taste of modern times, are the great criteria of excellence. The opinion of Rousseau, who was against the counterpoint of the Greeks (Dict. de Musique, Art. Harmonie), that . Perhaps all our harmony, of
which we are so vain, is only a Gothic and barbarvus inven-' « tion, which we should never have thought of, if we had been 6 more alive to the real beauties of the art, and to music that is • truly natural and affecting '-is not so much a paradox, as brations of different sonorous bodies. The whole of Mr Jones's remarks on this subject are original and entertaining, and well worth the perusal of such persons as care about such subjects.
+ Perhaps the instrument known by the name of the Æolian Harp, exhibits the effects of natural harmony in the most perfect and at the same time most pleasing way. The strings are all tuned in unison ; and as the wind plays upon them, the combinations of natural concords which are perpetually varying as the intensity of the wind changes, produce a variety and sweetness of harmony, which, heard in the stillness of evening, may almost be mistaken for an unearthly music.
many people may suppose. We have always thought that the gratification excited by a simple air, well sung, is far higher than any pleasure arising from the most learned concerto, performed with all the noise and vehemence which the combined force of the most accomplished musicians in the world is capable of producing. The skilful adjustment of the different parts
—the happy arrangement of concords and discords, producing by contrast the most striking effects—the appropriate combination of instruments, according to the species of the music, the passion to be excited, or the feeling to be expressed ;-all this undoubtedly will afford to the man of musical science, a treat of a very high relish :—but it is only the man of skill who can duly appreciate it-it is only he, who can hear all those combinations, and without being bewildered and distracted, that can attend to their relative bearings one upon the other. Upon the generality of listeners, very much of this is thrown away:They feel much as a modern assembly would do if an orator were to address them in Greek; they would be sensible that his periods flow very smoothly, and in language that appears poetical and sonorous—but they would understand mighty little of his argument. And so it is in a concert;—to the most part of the audience there is too much learning—the music probably sounds very smooth and very agreeable-there is nothing harsh or grating to the ear;-but it is Greek to them ;-they do not enter into its merits; and after compelling themselves to listen for a reasonable time, they, with one consent, begin to waver and yawn. But, in the midst of this universal languor, let all the instruments, but one, be hushed-let that one play a simple, well known melody—it is instantly recognised-the slumbering hearers start again into life-they shout-they applaud-they understand what they hear.
Why are the Italians the most musical people in the world? Because theirs is a music of melody, rather than of harmony. From the peculiar structure of their language (of which we shall speak more at large hereafter), their music is more vocal than instrumental; they pay little regard to laboured accompaniments; the instruments are for the most part in unison with the voice; and the full orchestra is only used in the symphonies, or to fill up the intervals between the songs. Now, from the specimens that have come down to us, of the vocal music of the Greeks, it appears that their accompaniments were very often of this nature-(it is on the two rows of notes being in some instances the same, and in others totally different from each other, that we chiefly rest our opinion of the Greeks having possessed harmony, when they chose to use it)-name