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Title: Musical Myths and Facts, Volume I (of 2)
Author: Engel, Carl
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Musical Myths and Facts, Volume I (of 2)" ***

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Libraries.) Music transcribed by Richard Linley Jones and
Veronika Redfern.

[Illustration: Ludwig van Beethoven]







     [All rights reserved.]



An idealized portrait of Beethoven, representing him as, in the opinion
of many of his admirers, he must have looked in his moments of
inspiration, would undoubtedly have made a handsomer frontispiece to
this little work, than his figure roughly sketched by an artist who
happened to see the composer rambling through the fields in the vicinity
of Vienna.

The faithful sketch from life, however, indicates precisely the chief
object of the present contribution to musical literature, which is
simply to set forth the truth.

Whatever may be the short-comings of the essays, they will be of some
use should they impress upon musical pedants the truth of Göthe's

     "Grau, theurer Freund, ist alle Theorie,
     Und grün des Lebens goldner Baum."

For the sake of correctness, one or two statements occurring in this
volume require a word of explanation.

On page 5, the comprehensive 'Encyclopædia of Music,' by J. W. Moore,
Boston, United States, 1854, should perhaps not have been left
unnoticed; it is, however, too superficial a compilation to be of
essential use for reference. Dr. Stainer's 'Dictionary of Musical Terms'
was not published until the sheet containing page 5 had gone through the

The poem, on page 175, ascribed to Shakespeare, "If music and sweet
poetry agree," is by some recent inquirers claimed for Richard
Barnfield, a contemporary of Shakespeare.

On page 218, _Sovter Liedekens_, the title of a Dutch book published in
the year 1556, is incorrectly translated. _Sovter_, an obsolete Dutch
word, means "Psalter," just like the English _Sauter_ mentioned in
Halliwell's 'Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words.' _Liedekens_
should have been rendered "Little Songs."

In Volume II., the compositions of Henry Purcell noticed on page 202
form only a small portion of the works of this distinguished English
musician. The Prospectus issued by the 'Purcell Society,' which has
recently been founded for the purpose of publishing all his works,
enumerates forty-five Operas and Dramas, besides many Odes, Hymns,
Anthems, and other sacred music, instrumental pieces, &c., most of which
exist only in manuscript, and which ought long since to have been in the
hands of the lovers of music.

Should the reader disapprove of the easy tone in which the Myths are
told, he will perhaps derive some satisfaction from the carefulness with
which I have endeavoured to state the Facts.




     A MUSICAL LIBRARY                                         1

     ELSASS-LOTHRINGEN                                         8

     MUSIC AND ETHNOLOGY                                      23

     COLLECTIONS OF MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS                       32

     MUSICAL MYTHS AND FOLK-LORE                              74

         Curious Coincidences                                 77
         Hindu Traditions                                     79
         Celestial Quarrels                                   80
         Al-Farabi                                            82
         Trusty Ferdinand                                     84
         The Wild Huntsman                                    85
         The Bold German Baron                                87
         Prophetic Calls of Birds                             89
         Whistling                                            91

     THE STUDIES OF OUR GREAT COMPOSERS                       94

     SUPERSTITIONS CONCERNING BELLS                          129

         Protective Bell-ringing                             130
         Significant Sounds of Bells                         131
         Baptised Bells                                      134
         Inscriptions on Church Bells                        136
         The Church Bells banishing the Mountain Dwarfs      137
         The Expulsion of Paganism in Sweden                 139

     CURIOSITIES IN MUSICAL LITERATURE                       141

     THE ENGLISH INSTRUMENTALISTS                            166

     MUSICAL FAIRIES AND THEIR KINSFOLK                      187

         The Fairies of the Maories                          187
         Adventures in the Highlands                         189
         The Importunate Elves                               191
         Bad Spirits                                         192
         The Musician and the Dwarfs                         193
         The Little Folks                                    195
         Macruimean's Bagpipe                                196
         The Gygur Family                                    197
         Linus, the King's Son                               197
         Necks                                               202
         The Christian Neck                                  204
         Maurice Connor                                      205
         Water Lilies                                        206
         Ignis Fatuus                                        207
         The Fairy Music of our Composers                    208

     SACRED SONGS OF CHRISTIAN SECTS                         210




If we cast a retrospective glance at the cultivation of music in England
during the last twenty or thirty years, we cannot but be struck with the
extraordinary progress which, during this short period, has been made in
the diffusion of musical knowledge. The prosperity of England
facilitates grand and expensive performances of the best musical works,
and is continually drawing the most accomplished artists from all parts
of the world to this country. The foreign musicians, in combination with
some distinguished native talent, have achieved so much, that there are
now, perhaps, more excellent performances of excellent music to be heard
in England than in any other country.

Taking these facts into consideration, it appears surprising that
England does not yet possess a musical library adequate to the wealth
and love for music of the nation. True, there is in the British Museum a
musical library, the catalogue of which comprises above one hundred
thick folio volumes; but anyone expecting to find in this library the
necessary aids to the study of some particular branch of music is almost
sure to be disappointed. The plan observed in the construction of the
catalogue is the same as that of the new General Catalogue of the
Library in the British Museum. The titles of the works are written on
slips of thin paper, and fastened, at a considerable distance from each
other, down the pages, so that space is reserved for future entries. The
musical catalogue contains only two entries upon the one side of a leaf
and three upon the other. Each volume has about one hundred and ten
leaves. The whole catalogue contains about 60,000 titles of musical
compositions and literary works on the subject of music. The British
Museum possesses, besides, a collection of musical compositions and
treatises in manuscript, of which a small catalogue was printed in the
year 1842. It contains about 250 different works, some of which are

Even a hasty inspection of the written catalogue must convince the
student that it contains principally entries of compositions possessing
no value whatever. Every quadrille, ballad, and polka which has been
published in England during the last fifty years appears to have a place
here, and occupies just as ample space as Gluck's 'Alceste,' or Burney's
'History of Music.' This is perhaps unavoidable. If works of merit only
were to find admission, who would be competent to draw the line between
these and such as ought to be rejected? In no other art, perhaps, do the
opinions of connoisseurs respecting the merit of any work differ so much
as in music. Since music appeals more directly and more exclusively to
the heart than other arts, its beauties are less capable of
demonstration, and, in fact, do not exist for those who have no feeling
for them. There are even at the present day musicians who cannot
appreciate the compositions of J. Sebastian Bach. Forkel, the well-known
musical historian, has written a long dissertation, in which he
endeavours to prove that Gluck's operas are execrable.[1] Again, among
the adherents of a certain modern school despising distinctness of form
and melody may be found men who speak with enthusiasm of the works of
Handel, Gluck, Mozart, and other classical composers, although these
works are especially characterised by clearness of form and melodious
expression. Besides, it must be borne in mind that even our classical
composers have now and then produced works of inferior merit, which are
nevertheless interesting, inasmuch as they afford us an insight into the
gradual development of their powers.

In short, in a musical library for the use of a nation, every musical
composition which has been published ought necessarily to be included.
In the Musical Library of the British Museum it unfortunately happens,
however, that many of those works are wanting which are almost
universally acknowledged to be of importance. Indeed, it would require
far less space to enumerate the works of this kind which it contains
than those which it does not, but ought to, contain.

Again, the student must be prepared for disappointment, should he have
to consult any of our scientific treatises on music. However, there may
be more works relating to the science of music in the Library of the
British Museum than would appear from the catalogue of music. Several
have evidently been entered in the new General Catalogue. Would it not
be advisable to have all the books relating to music entered in the
musical catalogue? Even the most important dissertations on musical
subjects which are found in various scientific works might with
advantage be noticed in this catalogue. Take, for instance, the essays
in the 'Asiatic Researches,' in the works of Sir W. Jones and Sir W.
Ouseley, in 'Description de l'Egypte,' in the 'Philosophical

Thus much respecting the Musical Library in the British Museum. Let us
now consider how a national musical library ought to be constituted.
Premising that it is intended as much for the use of musical people who
resort to it for reference, as for those who are engaged in a continued
study of some particular branch of the art, the following kinds of works
ought to form, it would appear, the basis of its constitution.

1. _The Scores of the Classical Operas, Oratorios, and similar Vocal
Compositions, with Orchestral Accompaniments._--Many of these scores
have not appeared in print, but are obtainable in carefully revised
manuscript copies.

2. _The Scores of Symphonies, Overtures, and similar Orchestral
Compositions._--The editions which have been revised by the composers
themselves are the most desirable. The same remark applies to the scores
of operas, oratorios, etc.

3. _Vocal Music in Score._--The sacred compositions _Alla Cappella_, and
the madrigals of the old Flemish, Italian, and other continental
schools, as well as those of the celebrated old English composers. The
choruses of the Greek Church in Russia, etc.

4. _Quartets, Quintets, and similar Compositions in Score._--The study
of these works of our great masters is so essential to the musician,
that special care should be taken to secure the best editions. The
classical trios for pianoforte, violin, and violoncello, and some other
compositions of this kind, originally published in parts, have more
recently been issued in score. The latter editions are greatly
preferable to those in which the part for each instrument is only
printed separately. The same remark applies to the concertos of Mozart,
Beethoven, and other masters, which have been published with the
orchestral accompaniment in score, as well as with the orchestral
accompaniment arranged for the pianoforte or for some other instruments.

5. _Sonatas, Fantasias, Fugues, etc._--Of all the classical works
composed for a single instrument, the original editions, generally
revised by the composers themselves, are indispensable. Besides these,
the most important subsequent editions of the same works would be
required. Beethoven's pianoforte sonatas, for instance, have been
re-edited by several eminent pianists. It is instructive to examine the
readings of these musicians, which differ in many points from each

6. _Arrangements._--Those of operas, oratorios, masses, and other
elaborate compositions with orchestral accompaniment, must necessarily
be confined to the instrumental portion, otherwise they are useless
either for study or reference. Those arrangements are greatly preferable
which have been made by the composers themselves, or under their

7. _National Music._--All the collections of national songs and dances
which have been published in different countries. The advantage which
the musician might derive from a careful study of them is not yet so
fully appreciated as it deserves; but it would probably soon be better
understood, if these treasures were made more easily accessible.

8. _Books of Instruction for Vocal and Instrumental Practice._--The best
books for every instrument, as well as for the voice, which have been
published in different countries and languages.

9. _Works on the Theory and History of Music._--All the standard works
ought to be found in the library, not only in the languages in which
they were originally written, but also in translations, if any such
exist. Many of the latter are valuable, on account of the explanations
and other additions by the translators. This is, for instance, the case
with some English books which have been translated into German; as
Brown's 'Dissertation on the Rise, Union, and Power of Music,'
translated by Eschenburg; 'Handel's Life,' by Mainwaring, translated by
Mattheson, etc. It need scarcely be added that the biographies of
celebrated musicians ought also to be included among the desirable

10. _Works on Sciences intimately connected with the Theory of
Music._--Treatises on acoustics, on the construction of musical
instruments, on æsthetics, etc.

11. _Musical Journals._--All the principal ones published in different
countries and languages. To these might advantageously be added the most
important literary journals containing critical and other dissertations
on music.

12. _Dictionaries, Catalogues, etc._--The English language possesses no
musical dictionary, technical, biographical, or bibliographical, similar
to the French and German works by Fétis, Schilling, Gerber, Koch,
Rousseau, and others, which are indispensable for the library. With
these may be classed the useful works on the Literature of Music
compiled by Forkel, Lichtenthal, and Becker, as well as Hofmeister's
comprehensive 'Handbuch der musikalischen Literatur.' The collection of
catalogues should comprise all those of the principal public musical
libraries on the Continent and in England; those of large and valuable
private libraries, several of which have appeared in print,--as, for
instance, Kiesewetter's 'Sammlung alter Musik,' Becker's 'Tonwerke des
XVI. und XVII. Jahrhunderts,' and others; those of the principal
music-publishers, and those of important musical libraries which have
been disposed of at public auctions.

There is no necessity for extending this list any further, as it will
suffice to indicate the plan which, in my opinion, ought to be pursued
in the formation of a national musical library. I shall therefore only
observe further that there are, besides the above mentioned, several
kinds of works which can scarcely be considered as of secondary
importance, such as musical travels, novels, and entertaining as well as
instructive musical essays; librettos of operas, and the poetry of other
elaborate vocal compositions; drawings illustrating the construction of
musical instruments,--as, for instance, of the most celebrated organs,
of the various improvements in the pianoforte, etc.; engravings from the
best portraits of celebrated musicians; faithful sketches from
sculptures and paintings of nations of antiquity in which musical
instruments and performances are represented, etc.

There remains yet another point which requires a moment's
consideration,--namely, the daily increasing difficulty of forming such
a library as has just been planned. The interest in the study of
classical works relating to music is no longer confined to the
professional musician, but is spreading among amateurs and men of
science. Their libraries now absorb many of the old and scarce works
which formerly were almost exclusively in the hands of musicians.
Moreover, the English colonies have already drawn upon our limited
supply of the old standard works, and there is every reason to suppose
that the demand for them will continue to increase. Many of these works
have evidently been published in an edition of only a small number of
copies. Still it is not likely that they will be republished. In a few
instances where a new edition has been made, it has not apparently
affected the price of the original edition, because the latter is justly
considered preferable. To note one instance: the new edition of Hawkins'
'History of Music' has not lessened the value of the first edition, the
price of which is still, as formerly, on a par with the price of
Burney's 'History of Music' of which no new edition has been published.
About ten years ago it was possible to procure the original scores of
our old classical operas, and other works of the kind, at half the price
which they fetch now, and there is a probability that they will become
every year more expensive. Indeed, whatever may be the intrinsic value
of any such work, the circumstance of its being old and scarce seems
sufficient, at least in England, to ensure it a high price.

If, therefore, the acquisition of such a national musical library as I
have endeavoured to sketch is thought desirable, no time ought to be
lost in commencing its formation.


[1] _Vide_ 'Musikalisch-Kritische Bibliothek,' Band I., Gotha, 1778.



Whatever may be thought of the value of the well-known aphorism, "_Let
me make a nation's Ballads; who will may make their Laws_"--it can
hardly be denied that through the popular songs of a country we
ascertain to a great extent the characteristic views and sentiments of
the inhabitants.

The villagers of Alsace recently may not have been in the mood for
singing their old cherished songs; otherwise the German soldiers must
have been struck by recognizing among the ditties old familiar friends
slightly disguised by the peculiar dialect of the district. Take, for
instance, the cradle songs, or initiatory lessons as they might be
called. Here is one as sung by the countrywomen of Alsace:--

     "Schlof, Kindele, schlof!
     Dien Vadder hied die Schof,
     Dien Muedder hied die Lämmele,
     Drum schlof du guldi's Engele;
     Schlof, Kindele, schlof!"

     (Sleep, darling, sleep!
     Thy father tends the sheep,
     Thy mother tends the lambkins dear,
     Sleep then, my precious angel, here;
     Sleep, darling, sleep!)

And another:--

     "Aie Bubbaie was rasselt im Stroh?
     D'Gänsle gehn baarfuesz, sie han keen Schueh;
     Der Schuester het's Leder, keen Leiste derzue."

     (Hush-a-bye baby, what rustles the straw?
     Poor goslings go barefoot, they have not a shoe;
     The souter has leather, no last that will do.)

Making allowance for the pronunciation of the words, which sounds odd to
the North-German ear, these are the identical lullabies with which the
mothers in the villages near Hanover sing their babies to sleep. Some
of the old ballads, legends, fairy-tales, and proverbs, popular in
Alsace, are current throughout almost the whole of Germany. Then we have
the old-fashioned invitation to the wedding feast, stiff and formal, as
it is observed especially in Lower Alsace, and likewise in the villages
of Hanover and other districts of North Germany. In Alsace the weddings
take place on a Tuesday, because, they say, we read in the Bible: "And
the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee." In sacred poetry
Alsace can pride herself upon having produced some of the most
distinguished German writers. The oldest known of these is Ottfried von
Weissenburg, who lived about the middle of the ninth century. Gottfried
von Strassburg, in the beginning of the thirteenth century, was renowned
as a writer of hymns as well as of _Minnelieder_. The first sacred songs
of a popular character recorded in Alsace date from about the middle of
the fourteenth century. But it is especially since the time of the
Reformation that this branch of sacred poetry has been much cultivated
here as in other parts of Germany. The authors of sacred poetry were
generally either theologians or musicians. The latter often composed the
words as well as the airs. Music and poetry were not cultivated so
separately as is the case in our day. Of the musicians, deserves to be
mentioned Wolfgang Dachstein, who, in the beginning of the sixteenth
century, was organist in Strassburg, first at the Cathedral, and
afterwards, when he become a Protestant, at the Thomas Church. His hymn
_An Wasserflüssen Babylon_ is still to be found in most chorale books of
the German Protestants.

The secular songs of the villagers are not all in the peculiar dialect
of the province. Some are in High German, and there are several in which
High German is mixed with the dialect. Occasionally we meet with a word
which has become obsolete in other German districts; for instance,
_Pfiffholder_ for "Schmetterling," Low German "Buttervogel," English
"butterfly;" _Irten_ (Old German _Urt_, _Uirthe_) for "Zeche," English
"score." Of the lyric poets of the present century, Hebel is, perhaps,
the most popular in Alsace. His "Allemannische Gedichte" used to be
sung especially in the southern district, which, until recently, formed
the French department of Haut-Rhin. The people of this district have a
less soft pronunciation than those of Bas-Rhin.

As regards the popular songs of Lorraine, those which have been
collected and published are, almost all of them, from the French
districts of the province.

The Société d'Archéologie Lorraine has published a collection, entitled
'Poésies populaires de la Lorraine, Nancy, 1854;' and R. Grosjean,
organist of the Cathedral of Saint-Dié-des-Vosges, has edited a number
of old Christmas Carols, arranged for the organ or harmonium, and
published under the title of 'Air des Noëls Lorrains, Saint-Dié, 1862.'
In the German villages we meet with songs in a peculiar dialect, not
unfrequently interspersed with French words. The following example is
from the neighbourhood of Saarlouis:--

     "Of de Bam senge de Viglen bei Daa ond Naat,
     D'Männtcher peife hibsch on rufe: ti-ti-pi-pi,
     On d'Weibcher saan: pi-pi-zi-zi.
     Se senge luschtig on peife _du haut en bas_.
     Berjer, Buwe on Baure d'iwrall her,
     Die _plassire_ sich recht _à leur aise_.
     Se senge _ensemble_ hibsch on fein.
     D'gröscht _Pläsirn_ hot mer van de Welt
     Dat mer saan kann am grine Bam;
     Dat esch wohr, dat esch keen Dram."

     (On the tree sing the birds by day and night,
     They pipe and call, ti-ti-pi-pi;
     Their mates reply, pi-pi-zi-zi.
     They cheerfully chirp _du haut en bas_,
     High life and low life, from all around,
     _Placent_ themselves quite _à leur aise_.
     They sing _ensemble_ sweet and fine.
     No greater _plaisir_ earth can give
     Than the sight of a greenwood tree;
     That's truth, no idle dream.)

Thus much about the words of the popular songs. As regards the airs,
those which have been traditionally preserved by the villagers of
Alsace exhibit the characteristics of the German national music. That
the construction of the airs has not altered much in the course of a
century is evident from the specimens of songs and dance-tunes which
Laborde gives in his 'Essai sur la Musique,' published in the year 1780.
Still earlier, about two hundred years ago, the French composers adopted
from Alsace a German tune of a peculiar construction, the _Allemande_.
This happened at the time of the invention of the _Suite_, a composition
which consists of a series of short pieces written in the style of
popular tunes of various countries. The Allemande, which generally
formed the introductory movement to the series, is more dignified than
the sprightly Courante, Gavotte, and Bourrée, originally obtained from
different provinces of France.

Particularly interesting is the music of the peasant of Kochersberg. The
mountain called Kochersberg is situated in the vicinity of the town of
Zabern in Upper Alsace. The district immediately surrounding the
mountain is also called Kochersberg. The villagers of this district are
considered by the French as rather rude in manner, but as honest,
straightforward, and trustworthy. They have several old favourite
dances, as for instance, _Der Scharrer_ ("The Scraper"), _Der Zäuner_
("The Fence Dance"), _Der Morisken_ (evidently the "Morrice" or Moorish
Dance, formerly also popular in England, and originally derived from the
Moors in Spain), _Der Hahnentanz_ ("The Cock Dance"). The last-named
dance, which is also popular in other districts of Alsace, and, with
some modifications, in the Black Forest of Germany, is generally
performed in a large barn. On a cross-beam is affixed a dish, in which
is placed a fine large cock (called _Guller_). The cock is ornamented
with ribands of various colours. Near the dish hangs a tallow-candle,
through which a string is drawn horizontally. To one end of the string
is attached a leaden ball. The dancers arrange themselves in pairs, one
behind the other. As soon as the musicians strike up, the candle is
lighted, and the first pair receive a nosegay, which they have to hold
as long as they continue dancing. When they are tired, and stop to
rest, they must give the nosegay to the next following pair, and so on.
The pair which have possession of the nosegay at the moment when the
candle burns the string, and the ball falls into the dish, win the cock.
The _Hammeltanz_ of the Kochersberg peasants is likewise known in Baden.
In this dance a fat wether is the prize of the lucky pair who happen to
be dancing when a glass suspended by a burning match-cord becomes
detached and falls to the ground. Some of the dancers are accompanied
with singing; for instance, the _Bloue Storken_, in which the song
begins with the words:--

     "Hon err de bloue Storken nit g'sähn?"
     (Have you not seen the blue storks?)

The _Bloue Storken_ is one of the oldest national dances of the Alsatian
peasants. It is danced by one person only. At the commencement his
performance resembles that of the slow and grave minuet; after awhile it
becomes more animated.

However, in a musical point of view, the most interesting of these
dances is the _Kochersberger Tanz_, which is mentioned by Reicha and
other musical theorists on account of its peculiar rhythm. According to
Reicha's notation it is in 5/8 time. Perhaps it would have been as
correctly written in 3/8 and 2/8 alternately, like _Der Zwiefache_, or
_Gerad und Ungerad_ ("Even and Uneven"), of the villagers in the Upper
Palatinate of Bavaria, to which it bears altogether a strong
resemblance. The musical bands attending the villagers at dances and
other rural pastimes are, as might be expected, very simple--a clarionet
and one or two brass instruments generally constituting the whole

In Alsace a certain musical instrument is still to be found which, about
three centuries ago, was popular in Germany. Some of the works on music
published in the beginning of the seventeenth century contain drawings
of it. Its German name is _Scheidholt_, and its French name is _bûche_.
It consists of an oblong square box of wood, upon which are stretched
about half-a-dozen wire-strings. Some of the strings run over a
finger-board provided with iron frets. These strings are used for
playing the melody. The others are at the side of the finger-board, and
serve for the accompaniment. The strings are twanged with a plectrum.
The _Scheidholt_ may be considered as the prototype of the horizontal
cither which, in the present century, has come much in vogue in Bavaria
and Austria, and which has recently been introduced also into England.

Formerly, the professional musicians of Alsace formed a guild, the
origin of which dates from the time of the _Minnesänger_, when players
on musical instruments wandered from castle to castle to entertain the
knights with their minstrelsy. In the year 1400 a Roman imperial diploma
was granted to Count Rappoltstein constituting him protector of the
guild. The musicians were called _Pfeiffer_, and Count Rappoltstein and
his successors had the title of _Pfeiffer-König_ ("King of the Pipers").
In the seventeenth century the _Pfeiffer_ held annually a musical
festival at Bischweiler, a small town near Strassburg. Having gradually
fallen into decay, this old guild died out in the year 1789.

Considering the influence which the principal town of a country usually
exercises upon the taste of the rural population, a few remarks relating
to the cultivation of music in Strassburg may find here a place.
Strassburg possesses, indeed, valuable relics illustrative of the
history of music as well as of the other fine arts. Unfortunately,
several of these treasures were injured at the recent bombardment. The
town library, which was burnt, contained some valuable musical
manuscripts; for instance, the _Gesellschaftsbuch der Meistersänger_
from the year 1490 to 1768, and an historic treatise on the music and
the _Meistersänger_ of Strassburg written in the year 1598, by M.
Cyriacus Spangenberg. To antiquarians who deplore the loss of these
relics it may afford consolation to know that the town library of
Colmar, in Alsace, possesses a manuscript collection of more than 1,000
old Minne-songs and Meister-songs, which originally belonged to the
guild of shoemakers of Colmar. It must be remembered that in the
beginning of the fourteenth century, after the _Minnesänger_ of the
Middle Ages, like the old chivalry with which they were associated, had
become obsolete, there sprang up in Germany a corporation of poets and
singers constituted of citizens, and known as the Meistersänger.
Strassburg was one of the first among the German towns in which the
Meistersänger flourished. An old sculpture of a Meistersänger,
life-size, placed under the celebrated organ of the cathedral, testifies
to the popular esteem enjoyed by this corporation. The town library
possessed two curious oil-paintings on panel, dating from about the year
1600, which belonged to the Meistersänger of Strassburg, who used to
place them one at each side of the entrance to their hall of assembly. A
collection of antiquated musical instruments, which, probably,
originally belonged to the Meistersänger, was formerly in a public
building called Pfenningthurm, from which, in the year 1745, it was
removed to the town library, where it was reduced to ashes.

However, the most interesting musical instrument in Strassburg is the
organ of the cathedral made by Andreas Silbermann. Notwithstanding the
care exercised by the beleaguerers to prevent damage to the cathedral, a
shell found its way right through the centre of the organ, and must have
greatly injured this work of art. Andreas Silbermann was no mere
handicraftman, but an artist like Amati or Stradivari. He was born in
Saxony, settled in Strassburg in the year 1701, and built the organ of
the cathedral in 1715. His brother, Gottfried Silbermann of Saxony, was
likewise a distinguished maker, not only of organs, but also of
clavichords, and an improver of the pianoforte soon after its invention,
in the beginning of the eighteenth century. Almost all the organs built
during the eighteenth century for the churches of Strassburg are by
Andreas Silbermann and his sons. Among the latter, Johann Andreas is
noteworthy on account of his antiquarian pursuits. He wrote, besides
other works, a 'History of the Town of Strassburg,' which was published
in folio, with engravings, in the year 1775. His collection of sketches
drawn by himself of the most remarkable scenery, and of old castles and
other interesting buildings of Alsace, and likewise his collection of
the old coins of Strassburg, were preserved in the town library, and
are, it is to be feared, now lost. As even the catalogue of the library
has, it is said, been burnt, it may be worth while to notice some of
the losses. With the irreparable ones must be recorded a copy of the
first hymn book of the Protestant Church, of which no other copy is
known to be extant. It was published at Erfurt in the year 1524, and
contains twenty-five songs, eighteen of which are by Luther. Its title
is _Enchiridion, oder eyn Handbuchlein eynem yetzlichen Christen fast
nutzlich bey sich zu haben, zur stetter vbung vnd trachtung geystlicher
gesenge und Psalmen, Rechtschaffen vnd Kunstlich vertheutscht_.
("Enchiridion, or a little Hand-book, very useful for a Christian at the
present time to have by him for the constant practice and contemplation
of spiritual songs and psalms, judiciously and carefully put into
German.") The musical notation is given with the words. It is believed
that Luther gave the manuscript of his own songs, and most likely also
of the other songs, and of the musical notation, into the hands of the
publisher;--that, in fact, the "Enchiridion" emanated directly from
Luther. A _fac-simile_ of this book was published in Erfurt in the year
1848. Only three chorales are known with certainty to be of Luther's

With the musical relics of the olden time preserved in Strassburg must
be classed the so-called Astronomic Clock. This curious piece of
mechanism, which is in the cathedral, was, in the year 1570, substituted
for one which dated from the year 1354. Having been out of repair since
the year 1789, it was restored about thirty years ago. The cylinders of
the old mechanism of 1354, which act upon a carillon of ten bells, have
been retained. The old tonal system exhibited in the arrangement of the
cylinders, which produce hymn tunes, cannot but be interesting to
musical antiquarians. Also, the wonderful mechanical cock, which, at the
end of a tune, flapped its wings, stretched out its neck, and crowed
twice--a relic of the work of 1354--is still extant; but whether it
continues to perform its functions, I cannot say.

Let us now refer for a moment to the theatrical performances patronised
by the burghers. Some interesting records relating to the history of the
opera in Strassburg have been published by G. F. Lobstein, in his
'Beiträge zur Geschichte der Musik im Elsass, Strassburg, 1840.' The
oldest theatrical representations in Strassburg are of the sixteenth
century. They consisted of sacred and historical pieces, and likewise of
dramas of the Greek and Latin classics. The actors were scholars, or
academicians, and the performances were called _Dramata theatralia_,
_Actiones comicae_ or _tragicae_, _Comoediae academicae_. About the year
1600 also the Meistersänger occasionally engaged in dramatic
performances, or, as they called it, in _Comödien von Glück und Unglück_
("Comedies treating of Happiness and Unhappiness") and they continued to
act such pieces in public until towards the end of the seventeenth
century. In the year 1601 we find, the first time, mention made of the
English comedians who, like the Meistersänger, evidently introduced
music into their dramatic performances. Respecting the companies of
English comedians who visited Germany at the time of Shakespeare, much
has been written by Shakespearean scholars; but little attention has,
however, been given by them to the musical accomplishments of these
strollers. The old records which have recently been brought to light in
Germany relating to the history of the theatres of the principal German
towns, contain some interesting notices of "English instrumentalists"
who formed part of the companies of English comedians. Indeed, most of
the so-called English comedians appear to have been musicians and
dancers (or rather tumblers) as well as actors. Probably it was more the
novelty of their performances than any superiority of skill which
rendered these odd foreigners temporarily attractive in Germany.
Howbeit, to the musical historian they are interesting.

The invention of the opera, it must be remembered, dates from the year
1580, when, at Florence, the Count of Vernio formed at his palace a
society for the revival of the ancient Greek musical declamation in the
drama. This endeavour resulted in the production of the operas 'Dafne'
and 'Orfeo ed Euridice,' composed by Peri and Caccini. The first German
opera was performed in Dresden, in the year 1627. It was the libretto of
'Dafne,' just mentioned, written by Rinuccini, which was translated into
German, and anew set to music by Heinrich von Schütz, Kapellmeister of
the Elector of Saxony. In France the first composer of an opera was
Robert Cambert, in the year 1647. He called his production 'La
Pastorale, première comédie française en musique.' This composition was,
however, performed only at Court. The first public performance of an
opera in France occurred not earlier than the year 1671.[2] However,
before the invention of the opera, strolling actors, such as the English
comedians, and the Italian companies, which were popular in Strassburg,
used to intersperse their performances with songs, accompanied by
musical instruments such as the lute, theorbo, viol, etc. The first
operatic representations, properly so called, in Strassburg, took place
in the year 1701, and the operas were German, performed by German
companies. Later, Italian companies made their appearance, and still
later, French ones. In the year 1750 the French comic opera 'Le Devin du
Village,' by J. J. Rousseau, was much admired. However, even during the
eighteenth century the German operas and dramas enjoyed greater
popularity in Strassburg than the French, notwithstanding the protection
which the French companies received from the Government officials of the
town. Indeed, the theatrical taste of the burghers has never become
thoroughly French, if we may rely on G. F. Lobstein, who says, "The
diminished interest evinced by the inhabitants of Strassburg at the
present day" [about the year 1840] "in theatrical performances dates
from the time when the French melodramas and vaudevilles made their
appearance. The hideous melodramatic exhibitions, and the frivolous
subjects, unsuitable for our town, and often incomprehensible to
us--depicting Parisian daily occurrences and habits not unfrequently
highly indecent--have, since their introduction on our stage, scared
away those families which formerly visited the theatre regularly. They
now come only occasionally, when something better is offered."

As regards the musical institutions and periodical concerts of
Strassburg, suffice it to state that the local government has always
encouraged the cultivation of music; it is, therefore, not surprising,
considering the love for music evinced by the Alsatians, that Strassburg
has been during the last three centuries one of the chief nurseries of
this art on the Continent. Until the year 1681, when Strassburg was
ceded to France, it possessed an institution called Collegium Musicum,
which enjoyed the special patronage of the local government. An Académie
de Musique, instituted in the year 1731 by the French Governor of the
town, was dissolved, after twenty years' existence, in 1751. At the
present day the musical societies are not less numerous in Strassburg
than in most large towns of Germany. An enumeration of the various kinds
of concerts would perhaps only interest some musicians.

But Pleyel's Republican Hymn of the year 1792 is too characteristic of
French taste at the time of the great events which it was intended to
celebrate to be left unnoticed. Ignaz Pleyel, the well-known musician,
was born in a village near Vienna, in the year 1757. On visiting
Strassburg, after a sojourn in Italy, in the year 1789, he was made
Kapellmeister of the cathedral. Unfortunately for him, soon his
political opinions were regarded with suspicion by the National
Assembly, especially from his being a native of Austria. He found
himself in peril of losing his liberty, if not his life. Anxious to save
himself, he conceived the happy idea of writing a brilliant musical
composition in glorification of the Revolution. He communicated his
intention to the National Assembly; it found approval, and he was
ordered to write, under the surveillance of a gendarme, a grand vocal
and orchestral piece, entitled 'La Révolution du 10 Août (1792) ou le
Tocsin allégorique.' The manuscript score of this singular composition
was, until recently, preserved in Strassburg, but has now probably
perished. A short analysis of its construction will convince the reader
that the monster orchestra which Hector Berlioz has planned for the
music of the future, and of which he says in prophetic raptures: "Its
repose would be majestic as the slumber of the ocean; its agitation
would recall the tempest of the tropics; its explosions, the outbursts
of volcanoes," was already anticipated by Pleyel nearly a hundred years
ago. Pleyel required for his orchestra not only a number of large
field-guns, but also several alarm-bells. The financial condition of
France at that period, and the abolition of divine worship, induced the
National Assembly to decree the delivering up of all the church-bells in
Alsace. About 900 bells were consequently sent to Strassburg. Pleyel
selected from them seven for the performance of his work; and all the
others were either converted into cannon, or coined into money--mostly
one-sol and two-sol pieces.

The _Introduzione_ of Pleyel's composition is intended to depict the
rising of the people. The stringed instruments begin _piano_. After a
little while a low murmuring noise mingles with the soft strains,
sounding at first as if from a great distance, and approaching gradually
nearer and nearer. Now the wind-instruments fall in, and soon the
blowing is as furious as if it were intended to represent the most
terrific storm. It is, however, meant to represent the storming of the
Tuileries. Fortunately the awful noise soon passes over, and only some
sharp skirmishes are occasionally heard. After about a hundred bars of
this descriptive fiddling and blowing, the alarm-bells begin--first one,
then another, and now all in rapid succession. Suddenly they are
silenced by a loud trumpet signal, responded to by a number of drums and
fifes. The fanfare leads to a new confusion, through which the melody of
some old French military march is faintly discernible. The excitement
gradually subsides, and after awhile the stringed instruments alone are
engaged, softly expressing the sighs of the wounded and dying. Presently
the Royalists make themselves heard with the song, "_O Richard, ô mon
roi_" (from 'Richard Coeur de Lion') which, after some more confusion,
is followed by the air, "_Où peut-on être mieux?_" at the end of which
discharges of cannon commence. Another general confusion, depicted by
the whole orchestra with the addition of cannon and alarm-bells.
Suddenly a flourish of trumpets, with kettle-drums, announces victory,
and forms the introduction to a jubilant chorus with full orchestral
accompaniment: "_La victoire est à nous, le peuple est sauvé!_" This
again, after some more instrumental interluding, is followed by a chorus
with orchestral accompaniment founded on the tune "_Ça ira, ça ira_," a
patriotic song which was, during the time of the Revolution, very
popular with the French soldiers. The remaining portion of the
composition consists of a few songs for single voices alternating with
choruses. As the words are not only musically but also historically
interesting, they may find a place here.


     "Nous t'offrons les débris d'un trône,
     Sur ces autels, ô Sainte Liberté!
     De l'éternelle vérité.
     Ce jour enfin, qui nous environne,
     Rend tout ce peuple à la félicité;
     Par sa vertu, par sa fierté,
     Il conquiert l'égalité.
     Parmis nos héros la foudre qui tonne
     L'annonce au loin à l'humanité.

     "_A Woman._ (_Solo._)

     "Mon fils vient d'expirer,
     Mais je n'ai plus de rois!


     "Il fut à son pays avant que d'être à moi,
     Et j'étais citoyenne avant que d'être mère.
     Mon fils! par tes vertus j'honore ta poussière.


     "Nous t'offrons les débris d'un trône, etc., etc.

     "_Solo._ (_Soprano._)

     "Ah! périsse l'idolatrie
     Qu'on voue à la royauté.
     Terre ne sois qu'une patrie,
     Qu'un seul temple à l'humanité,
     Que l'homme venge son injure
     Brise, en bravant, le faux devoir,
     Et le piédestal du pouvoir         { _Repeated by_
     Et les autels de l'imposture,      { _the Chorus._
     Rois, pontifs! ô ligue impure
     Dans ton impuissant désespoir
     Contemple aux pieds de la nature
     Le diadème et l'encensoir!
     Versailles et la fourbe Rome
     Ont perdu leurs adulateurs.
     Les vertus seront les grandeurs,          { _Repeated by_
     Les palais sont les toits de chaume.      { _the Chorus._

     "_Solo._ (_Tenore._)

     "Les Français qu'on forme à la guerre
     Appellent contre les tyrans
     Les représailles de la terre,
     Du haut des palais fumans.
     Des bords du Gange à ceux du Tibre
     Dieu! rends bientôt selon nos voeux
     Tout homme un citoyen heureux,            { _Repeated by_
     Le genre humain un peuple libre.          { _the Chorus._

     "_Solo Recit._ (_Basso._)

     "Nous finirons son esclavage
     Ce grand jour en est le présage!
         "_Chorus_ (_concluding with a brilliant orchestral Coda_).
     "Nous t'offrons les débris d'un trône," etc., etc.

This curious composition was performed in the Cathedral of Strassburg,
and created great sensation. Everyone declared that only an ardent
patriot could have produced such a stirring work. Nevertheless Pleyel,
after having been set free, thought it advisable to leave Strassburg for
London as soon as possible.

Besides those already mentioned, several other distinguished musicians
could be named who were born or who lived in Strassburg. Ottomarus
Luscinius, a priest, whose proper German name was Nachtigall, published
in the year 1536, in Strassburg, his 'Musurgia, seu Praxis Musicæ,' a
work much coveted by musical antiquarians. Sebastian Brossard, who,
about the year 1700, was Kapellmeister at the Strassburg Cathedral, is
the author of a well-known musical dictionary. Sebastian Erard, the
inventor of the repetition-action and other improvements in the
pianoforte, as well as of the double-action in the harp, was born at
Strassburg in the year 1752.

In short, Elsass-Lothringen has been the cradle of many men
distinguished in arts and sciences. The prominent feature of the
national character of the inhabitants, revealed in their popular songs
and usages, is a staidness which is not conspicuous among the pleasant
qualities of the French. This innate staidness accounts for the
reluctance recently shown by them to being separated from France, just
as it accounts for their former disinclination to become French
subjects. Moreover it will probably, now that they are reunited to their
kinsmen, gradually make them as patriotic Germans as they originally
were. That they require time to transfer their attachment redounds to
their honour.


[2] The opera was introduced into England from Italy about the year



The following scheme devised for obtaining accurate information
respecting the music of different nations is probably without precedent.

In the year 1874 the British Association for the Advancement of Science
resolved to issue a book of instructions for the guidance of travellers
and residents in uncivilized countries, to enable them to collect such
information as might be of use to those who make special study of the
various subjects enumerated in the book.[3] The subjects relate to
manners and customs, arts, sciences, religion, war, social life,--in
fact, to everything which throws light upon the stage of civilization
attained by the people, and which the ethnologist may desire to
ascertain. The book is for this purpose divided into a number of
sections, each on a certain subject, on which it contains a number of
questions. These are preceded by a short note explanatory of the
subject. In order to render the questions as effective as possible,
especial care has been taken that they should enter into all necessary

Having been requested to undertake the section headed "Music," and to
draw up a list of numbered questions in accordance with the plan adopted
by the committee, I have endeavoured to direct the attention of those
for whom the book is intended to the musical investigations which, in my
opinion, are especially desirable; and I have occasionally interspersed
among the questions a hint which may assist the investigator. It
appeared to me unnecessary to give definitions of musical terms made use
of in the questions--such as _interval_, _melody_, _harmony_,
etc.--which are to be found in every dictionary of the English language.
Some terms, however, required an explanation to render them fully
intelligible to those travellers who are but little acquainted with
music. Of this kind are, for instance, the names of the different
musical scales. The English missionaries, traders, merchants, consuls,
and other residents in foreign countries, seldom possess any available
knowledge of music. Still, among the questions here submitted to them
are many which they may be able to answer satisfactorily; while, on the
other hand, it must be admitted, not a few can be properly replied to
only by men of musical education and experience. However, what one
person is unable to investigate another may do; and thus, perhaps, we
may hope, in the course of time, to be supplied with reliable and
instructive answers to most of the questions from different parts of the

Some of the questions may appear, at a first glance, to be of but little
importance; it is, however, just those facts to which they refer which
ought to be clearly ascertained before we can expect to discern exactly
the characteristics of the music of a nation or tribe.

It will be observed that certain questions pre-suppose a somewhat
advanced state of civilization--as, for instance, those referring to
musical notation, instruction, literature, etc. There are several
extra-European nations--as the Japanese, Chinese, Hindus, etc.--which
have advanced so far in the cultivation of music as to render these
questions necessary; and it would be very desirable to possess more
detailed information concerning the method pursued by these nations in
the cultivation of the art than is at present available.

The present scheme is quite as interesting to the musician, or even more
so, than it is to the ethnologist. Professional musicians in general
are, however, not likely to become acquainted with the instructions for
musical researches published together with various other scientific
inquiries by the British Association. It is for this reason that they
are here inserted, since the present work has a better chance of coming
into the hands of professional musicians than the anthropological
publication. Howbeit, years must elapse before it leads to a practical
result. The originator of the questions may never enjoy the advantage of
receiving the answers; but he has, at least, the pleasure of preparing
the way for an accumulation of well-ascertained facts which intelligent
musicians of a future generation will know how to turn to good account.

"(_Section LXVIII._) _Music._

"The music of every nation has certain characteristics of its own. The
progressions of intervals, the modulations, embellishments, rhythmical
effects, etc., occurring in the music of extra-European nations, are not
unfrequently too peculiar to be accurately indicated by means of our
musical notation. Some additional explanation is, therefore, required
with the notation. In writing down the popular tunes of foreign
countries, on hearing them sung or played by the natives, no attempt
should be made to rectify anything which may appear incorrect to the
European ear. The more faithfully the apparent defects are preserved the
more valuable is the notation. Collections of popular tunes (with the
words of the airs) are very desirable. Likewise, drawings of musical
instruments with explanations respecting the construction, dimensions,
capabilities, and employment of the instruments represented.

"_Vocal Music:_--

"1. Are the people fond of music?

"2. Is their ear acute for discerning small musical intervals?

"3. Can they easily hit a tone which is sung or played to them?

"4. Is their voice flexible?

"5. What is the quality of the voice? is it loud or soft, clear or
rough, steady or tremulous?

"6. What is the usual compass of the voice?

"7. Which is the prevailing male voice--tenor, baritone or bass?

"8. Which is the prevailing female voice--soprano or alto?

"9. Do the people generally sing without instrumental accompaniment?

"10. Have they songs performed in chorus by men only, or by women only,
or by both sexes together?

"11. When they sing together, do they sing in unison, or in harmony, or
with the occasional introduction of some drone accompaniment of the

"12. Is their singing in regular time, or does it partake of the
character of the recitative?

"13. Have they songs for solo and chorus,--or, with an air for a single
voice, and a burden (or refrain) for a number of voices?

"14. Describe the different kinds of songs which they have (such as
sacred songs, war-songs, love-songs, nursery-songs, etc.), with remarks
on the poetry.


"15. What are their instruments of percussion (such as drums, castanets,
rattles, cymbals, gongs, bells, etc.)?

"16. Have they instruments of percussion containing sonorous plates of
wood, glass, stone, metal, etc., upon which tunes can be played? and if
so, write down in notation, or in letters, the tones emitted by the

"17. Have they drums with cords, or some other contrivance by means of
which the parchment can be tightened or slackened at pleasure?

"18. Have they drums with definite tones (like our kettle-drums)? and,
if so, what are the tones in which they are tuned when two or more are
played together?

"19. Any open hand-drums with one parchment only (like our tambourine)?

"20. Are the drums beaten with sticks or with the hands?

"21. What wind-instruments (trumpets, flutes, etc.) have they?

"22. Any trumpets with sliding tubes (like the trombone)?

"23. How are the flutes sounded? is there a plug in the mouth-hole?

"24. Any nose-flutes?

"25. What is the number and the position of the finger-holes on the

"26. What tones do the flutes yield if the finger-holes are closed in
regular succession upwards or downwards?

"27. If the people have the syrinx (or Pandean pipe), ascertain the
series of musical intervals yielded by its tubes.

"28. Do the people construct wind-instruments with a vibrating reed, or
some similar contrivance, inserted in the mouth-hole?

"29. If they have a reed wind-instrument, observe whether the reed is
_single_ (like that of the clarionet) or _double_ (like that of the

"30. Have they a kind of bagpipe?

"31. What musical instruments have they which are not used by them in
musical performances, but merely for conveying signals and for such like

"32. Have they stringed instruments the strings of which are sounded by
being twanged with the fingers?

"33. Any stringed instruments twanged with a plectrum?

"34. Any stringed instruments beaten with sticks or hammers (like the

"35. Any stringed instruments played with a bow?

"36. If there are stringed instruments with frets on the neck (as is the
case with our guitar), note down the intervals produced by the frets in
regular succession.

"37. What are the substances of which the strings are made?

"38. Is there any peculiar contrivance on some of the instruments in the
arrangement and situation of the strings?

"39. Are there stringed instruments with sympathetic strings (_i.e._,
strings placed under those strings which are played upon. The
sympathetic strings merely serve to increase the sonorousness)?

"40. What are the musical intervals in which the stringed instruments
are tuned?

"41. Do the people possess any musical instrument of a very peculiar
construction? If so, describe it minutely.

"42. Give the name of each instrument in the language of the country.

"43. Describe each instrument, and give illustrations, if possible.

"44. Give some account of the makers of musical instruments; of the
woods, metals, hide, gut, hair, and other materials they use; of their
tools, etc.

"45. What are the usual adornments and appendages of the musical


"46. On what order of intervals is the music of the people founded? Is
it the Diatonic Major Scale (like _c_, _d_, _e_, _f_, _g_, _a_, _b_,
_c_)? Or the Diatonic Minor Scale (in which the third is flat; like _c_,
_d_, _e flat_, _f_, _g_, _a_, _b_, _c_)? Or the Pentatonic Scale (in
which the fourth and the seventh are omitted, thus _c_, _d_, _e_, _g_,
_a_, _c_)? Or some other order of intervals?

"47. Is the seventh used sharp (_c_-_b_), or flat (_c_-_b flat_)?

"48. Does the superfluous second occur in the scale? (In
the example _c_, _d_, _e flat_, _f sharp_, _g_, _a flat_, _b_, _c_,
                          |__________|              |______|
the steps from the third to the fourth, and from the sixth to the
seventh, are superfluous seconds.)

"49. Does the music contain progressions in semitones, or chromatic

"50. Are there smaller intervals than semitones, such as 1/3 tones, 1/4

"51. Are there peculiar progressions in certain intervals which are of
frequent occurrence in the tunes? If so, what are they?

"52. Do the tunes usually conclude on the tonic (the key-note, or the
first interval of the scale), or, if not, on what other interval?

"53. Do the tunes contain modulations from one key into another? If so,
describe the usual modulations.

"54. Are there certain rhythmical peculiarities predominant in the
music? If so, what are they?

"55. Is the time of the music generally common time, triple time, or

"56. Are there phrases or passages in the melodies which are of frequent

"57. Have the airs of the songs re-occurrences of musical phrases which
are traceable to the form of the poetry?

"58. Have the people musical compositions which they regard as very old?
and do these compositions exhibit the same characteristics which are
found in the modern ones?

"59. Are the compositions generally lively or grave?

"60. Describe the form of the various kinds of musical compositions.


"61. Have the people musical bands or orchestras?

"62. Which are the instruments generally used in combination?

"63. Which are the instruments commonly used singly?

"64. What is the number of performers in a properly constituted band?

"65. Is there a leader of the band? How does he direct the performers?

"66. Does the band play in unison or in harmony?

"67. If vocal music is combined with instrumental music performed by the
band, is the instrumental accompaniment in unison (or in octaves) with
the voice, or has it something of its own?

"68. Is the _tempo_ generally fast or slow?

"69. Are there sudden or gradual changes in the _tempo_?

"70. Are there changes in the degree of loudness?

"71. Do the musicians, on repeating a piece, introduce alterations, or
variations of the theme?

"72. Do they introduce embellishments _ad libitum_?

"73. Mention the occasions (religious ceremonies, social and public
amusements, celebrations, processions, etc.) on which musical
performances take place.

"74. Are there military bands? and how are they constituted?

"75. Is music employed to facilitate manual labour?

"76. Are there songs or instrumental compositions appertaining to
particular occupations or trades?

"77. Have the people a national hymn or an instrumental composition
which they perform in honour of their sovereign or in commemoration of
some political event?

"78. Describe minutely the musical performances in religious worship, if
there are any.

"79. Have they sacred dances performed in religious ceremonies, at
funerals, etc.?

"80. Any war-dances, dances of defiance, etc.?

"81. Any dances in which they imitate the peculiar movements and habits
of certain animals?

"82. Are there dances accompanied by musical instruments, by singing, or
merely by rhythmical sounds such as clapping of hands, snapping of
fingers, reiterated vociferation, etc.?

"83. Give a list of all the dances.

"84. Endeavour to ascertain whether the rhythm of the music accompanying
the dance is suggested by the steps of the dancers, or _vice versâ_.


"85. Do the people easily learn a melody by ear?

"86. Have they a good musical memory?

"87. Are the children taught music? and if so, how is it done?

"88. Are there professional musicians?

"89. Any performers who evince much talent?

"90. Any minstrels, bards, reciters of old ballads?

"91. Any professional improvisators?

"92. Are there professional musicians of different grades?

"93. Who composes the music?

"94. Do the musicians follow other professions besides music?

"95. Are the ministers of religion also musicians and medical men?

"96. Have the people some kind of musical notation?

"97. Have they written signs for raising or lowering the voice in
singing, for giving emphasis to certain words or phrases, or for similar
purposes? If so, describe the signs.

"98. Do they possess treatises on the history, theory, etc., of music;
instruction books for singing, and for playing musical instruments,
etc.? If so, give a detailed account of their musical literature.

"99. Have they musical institutions? Give an account of them.

"100. How do the people appreciate their own music?

"101. What impression does the music of foreign nations produce upon


"102. Are there popular traditions respecting the origin of music?

"103. Any myths about a musical deity, or some superhuman musician?

"104. Any legends or fairy-tales in which allusion to music is made? If
so, what are they?

"105. Any tradition about the invention of certain favourite musical

"106. Any tradition or historical record respecting the antiquity of
stringed instruments played with a bow?

"107. Any records respecting their sacred music?

"108. Is music believed to possess the power of curing certain

"109. The power of enticing and taming wild animals?

"110. Are there popular tunes, or certain rhythmical figures in the
tunes, which, according to tradition, have been suggested by the songs
of birds?

"111. If there is anything noteworthy about music which has not been
alluded to in the preceding questions, notice it."

[3] 'Notes and Queries on Anthropology, for the Use of Travellers and
Residents in Uncivilized Lands. Drawn up by a Committee appointed by the
British Association for the Advancement of Science. London, 1874.'

[4] The book contains the note: "The Council of the Anthropological
Institute of Great Britain and Ireland will be glad to receive any
communications relating to the queries contained in this volume.
Communications to be addressed to the Secretary, 4, St. Martin's Place,
Trafalgar Square, London." It is understood that a certain number of
copies of the book will be gratuitously distributed by the committee to
English consular agents, naval officers, missionaries, and others who
are likely to turn them to good account.



In Thibet, and other Asiatic countries in which the Buddhist religion is
established, variously-constructed musical instruments are generally
deposited in a certain part of the temple, to be at hand for the priests
when required in ceremonies and processions. In examining the Assyrian
bas-reliefs in the British Museum, we are led to surmise that a similar
custom prevailed in Western Asia before the Christian era. At any rate,
it appears probable that the various instruments represented in the
hands of musicians who assisted in religious rites observed by the king
were usually deposited in a room appropriated to their reception. The
same appears to have been the case in the Temple of Jerusalem. King
David had, it is recorded, musical instruments made of a wood called
_berosh_, which afterwards, under the reign of Solomon, were made of
_algum_, or _almug_, a more precious wood imported from foreign
districts. King Solomon, being in possession of superior instruments,
probably preserved the inferior ones of his father as venerated
memorials; and the _kinnor_ upon which David played before Saul may have
been as carefully guarded by King Solomon as the Emperor of Germany
guards in his cabinet of curiosities the flute of Frederick the Great.

Howbeit, Josephus records that Solomon had made for the musical
performances at the dedication of the Temple a large number of stringed
instruments and trumpets, all of which were kept together in the Temple
with the treasures. It is not likely that at so early a period
collections of antiquated instruments were formed for any scientific
purpose; the art of music was too much in its infancy to suggest the
preservation of evidences elucidating its gradual development.

The collections of ancient and scarce musical instruments which, in
modern time, have been made in several European countries are very
interesting to the lover of music, although they have, in most
instances, evidently been formed less with the object of illustrating
the history of the art of music than for the purpose of preserving
curious and tasteful relics of bygone time, or of exhibiting
characteristic contrivances of foreign nations.

In Italy some of the Conservatories of Music possess antiquated
instruments of great rarity. Curious old spinets, lutes, mandolines, and
guitars, are said to be found dispersed among private families and in
convents, especially in Naples and its vicinity. In the Liceo Comunale
di Musica, at Bologna, are deposited above fifty instruments, among
which are an Italian cither (_cetera_) of the beginning of the sixteenth
century; an archlute by "Hieronymus Brensius, Bonon" (Bologna); a
chitarrone, by "Matteo Selles, alla Corona in Venetia, 1639;" a
chitarrone inscribed "In Padova Uvendelio Veneto, 1609;" a theorbo by
"Hans Frei in Bologna, 1597;" a lute by "Magno Stegher in Venetia." A
lute, "Magno Dieffopruchar a Venetia, 1612." This lute has fourteen
strings arranged in seven pairs, each pair being tuned in unison.
Several marine trumpets, one of which bears the inscription, "Pieter
Rombouts, Amsterdam, 17." A viola da gamba, inscribed "Antonius
Bononiensis." A sordino, or pochette, by "Baptista Bressano," supposed
to date from the end of the fifteenth century. Its shape is peculiar,
somewhat resembling that of the Portuguese _machête_, representing a
fish. A viola d'amore, with the inscription "Mattias Grieser, Lauten and
Geigenmacher in Insbrugg, Anno 1727;" two curious old harps; an old
tenor flute, measuring in length about three feet; some curious double
flutes; cornetti, or zinken, of different dimensions. An archicembalo.
This is a kind of harpsichord with four rows of keys, made after the
invention of Nicolo Vicentino, and described in his work "L'Antica
Musica ridotta alla moderna prattica. Rome, 1555." The compass of this
archicembalo comprises only four octaves; but each octave is divided
into thirty-one intervals, forming in all one hundred and twenty-five
keys. It was made by Vito Trasuntino, a Venetian, who lived towards the
end of the sixteenth century, and who added a _tetracordo_ to it, to
facilitate the tuning of its minute intervals. However, the archicembalo
was probably not the first instrument of the harpsichord kind which
contained an enharmonic arrangement of intervals. The clavicymbalum
perfectum, or Universal-clavicymbel, which Prætorius states he saw in
Prague, and which was likewise made in the sixteenth century, was of a
similar construction. One of the most singular instruments in the
collection of the Liceo Comunale de Musica at Bologna is the
_cornamusa_, which consists of five pipes inserted into a cross-tube,
through which they are sounded. Four of the pipes serve as drones; and
the fifth, which is the largest, is provided with finger-holes, like the
chanter of a bagpipe. The instrument has, however, no bag, although it
is probably the predecessor of the species of bagpipe called

Instruments played with a bow of the celebrated Cremona makers are at
the present day more likely to be met with in England than in Italy. In
the beginning of the present century Luigi Tarisio, an Italian by birth,
and a great connoisseur and collector of old violins, hunted over all
Italy and other European countries for old fiddles. To avoid the high
custom dues which he would have had to pay on the old instruments, he
took them all to pieces, as small as possible, and carried the bits
about him in his pockets and in a bag under his arm. So thoroughly was
he acquainted with his acquisitions that, having arrived at the place of
his destination, he soon restored them to their former condition,
assigning to each fragment its original position. Tarisio made his first
appearance in Paris, in the year 1827, with a bag full of valuable
_débris_ from Italy; and he continued his searches for nearly thirty
years. During this time he imported into France most of the beautiful
violins by Antonius Stradiuarius, Joseph Guarnerius, Bergonzi,
Montagnana, and Ruggeri, which are of highest repute, and the greater
number of which have afterwards found their way into England.

In Germany we meet with several collections of interest. The Museum of
Antiquities, at Berlin, contains, among other musical curiosities,
well-preserved lyres which have been found in tombs of the ancient
Egyptians. The Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde ("Society of Lovers of
Music"), at Vienna, possesses a collection of antiquated instruments,
among which are noteworthy: a viola di bardone by Jacobus Stainer, 1660;
a viola di bardone by Magnus Feldlen, Vienna, 1556; a viola di bardone
by H. Kramer, Vienna, 1717; a viola d'amore by Weigert, Linz, 1721; a
viola d'amore by Joannes Schorn, Salzburg, 1699; a tromba marina (marine
trumpet) by J. Fischer, Landshut, 1722; a lute by Leonardo
Tieffenbrucker, Padua, 1587; a theorbo by Wenger, Padua, 1622; a theorbo
by Bassiano, Rome, 1666; a Polish cither by J. Schorn, Salzburg, 1696; a
large flute made in the year 1501; an old German schalmey (English
_shalm_ or _shawm_) by Sebastian Koch; an old German trumpet by
Schnitzer, Nürnberg, 1598; an oboe d'amore, made about the year 1770,

A curious assemblage of scarce relics of this kind is also to be found
in the Museum of the Germanic Society at Nürnberg. The most noteworthy
specimens in this collection are: two marine trumpets, fifteenth
century; a German cither with a double neck (bijuga-cither) sixteenth
century; a German dulcimer (_hackbret_), sixteenth century; a lute by
Michael Harton, Padua, 1602; a viola da gamba by Paul Hiltz, Nürnberg,
1656; a viola d'amore, with five catgut strings, and eight sympathetic
wire strings, seventeenth century; an arpanetta (_harpanetta_, German
_spitzharfe_) mounted on one side with brass wire, and on the opposite
side with steel wire, sixteenth century; a clavecin with finely painted
cover, by Martinus van der Biest, Antwerp, 1580; two German zinken
(_cornetti_) sixteenth century; two specimens of the bombardo, viz., a
German alt-pommer and tenor-pommer, by J. C. Denner, seventeenth century;
some specimens of the cormorne (German _krummhorn_) of the sixteenth and
seventeenth centuries; a trumpet made by J. C. Kodisch, Nürnberg, anno
1690; a splendid brass trombone (German bass-posaune) ornamented with
the German eagle and imperial crown, made by Friedrich Ehe, in
Nürnberg, anno 1612; a Polish bagpipe, seventeenth century; a syrinx of
reeds covered with black leather, sixteenth century; eight military
pipes, made by H. F. Kynsker, in Nürnberg, seventeenth century; a small
portable organ (_regal_) with two rows of keys, sixteenth century. The
regal has become very scarce. There are only a few specimens known to be
in existence; one, of the sixteenth century, is in the possession of the
Chanoinesses de Berlaimont, at Brussels; another, made about the middle
of the seventeenth century, belongs to the Duke of Athol, and is at
Blair Athol, in Scotland; another, which belongs to Mr. Wyndham S.
Portal, Malshanger, Basingstoke, is in the shape of a book, and its
pipes have reeds, or vibrating tongues of metal. This regal, which
probably dates from the sixteenth century, is of the kind which was
called in German _Bibelregal_, because it resembles a Bible in

Old musical instruments are generally so fragile, and were formerly
thought so little of when they came out of use, that it is perhaps not
surprising to find of those dating from a period earlier than the
sixteenth century very few specimens, and these have generally been
altered, and it is seldom that they have been properly restored to their
original condition. As an instance how valuable specimens are gradually
becoming more and more scarce, may be mentioned the interesting
collection of obsolete German harps, pipes, and trumpets, dating from a
period anterior to the year 1600, which was preserved in the Town
Library of Strassburg, and which, at the recent bombardment of the town,
was reduced to ashes. It contained, among other curiosities: a cornetto
curvo; some specimens of the cornetto dritto; a flauto dolce. Several
specimens of the bombardone, the predecessor of the bassoon; a dulcinum
fagotto; two specimens of the cormorne, an oddly-shaped wind instrument
belonging to the shalm or oboe family. An arpanetta. This instrument,
called in German _spitzharfe_ or _drathharfe_, is especially
interesting, inasmuch as it resembles the old Irish harp called
_keirnine_, which was of a similar form, and which was also strung with
wire instead of catgut. There is such a harp extant in the museum of the
Society of Lovers of Music, at Vienna, before-mentioned.

If the lumber-rooms of old castles and mansions in Germany were
ransacked for the purpose, some interesting relics of the kind would
probably be brought to light. In the year 1872 Dr. E. Schebeck, of
Prague, was requested by Prince Moriz Lobkowitz to examine the musical
instruments preserved in Eisenberg, a castle of the Prince, situated at
the foot of the Erzgebirge, in Bohemia. Most of them had formerly been
used in the private orchestra kept by Prince Josef Franz Maximilian
Lobkowitz, the well-known patron of Beethoven, to whom the composer has
dedicated some of his great works. The present Prince Lobkowitz, who
seems to have inherited his parent's love for music, wished to have an
examination of the instruments, with the object of making a selection of
the most interesting ones for the great Vienna Exhibition in 1873. Dr.
Schebeck found, among other rarities, violins by Gaspar di Salo, Amati,
Grancino, Techler, Stainer, and Albani; a violoncello by Andreas
Guarnerius; a scarce specimen of a double-bass by Jacobus Stainer; two
precious old lutes by Laux Maler, who lived at Bologna during the first
half of the fifteenth century; a lute, highly finished, and apparently
as old as those of Laux Maler, with the inscription in the inside "Marx
Unverdorben a Venetia;" a lute, with the inscription "Magno
Dieffoprukhar a Venetia, 1607." There can be no doubt that we have here
the Italianised name of the German Magnus Tieffenbrucker, who lived in

Fortunately for musical antiquarians the collection of rare instruments
in the Conservatoire de Musique at Paris has been preserved uninjured
during the recent disasters in that city. Among the instruments may be
noticed, a small and beautiful musette with drones of ivory and gold,
which belonged to Louis XIII.; a German regal, or portable organ,
sixteenth century; a pochette by Stradiuarius; a _courtaud_, an early
kind of bassoon, dating from the fifteenth century; several
bass-flutes, and other rare old wind instruments; Boïeldieu's
pianoforte; Grétry's clavichord; a "Trumpet of Honour," which was made
by order of Napoleon I., and which has the name of "T. Harper" engraven
on its silver rim. M. Victor Schoelcher has presented to the
Conservatoire de Musique about twenty rather primitive instruments of
uncivilised nations obtained by him during his travels in Western Africa
and South America, among which may be noted several Negro contrivances
of the harp and guitar kind.

An interesting catalogue of the instruments in the Musée du
Conservatoire National de Musique has recently been published by Gustave
Chouquet, the curator of the museum. It comprises 630 instruments, or
portions of instruments, each fiddle-bow, mute, etc., being separately
numbered. On the whole, the Paris collection, though large, is far less
valuable than that of the South Kensington Museum.

One of the most valuable private collections ever formed of ancient
musical instruments was that of M. Louis Clapisson in Paris. During a
course of more than twenty years M. Louis Clapisson succeeded in
procuring a considerable number of scarce and highly decorated specimens
of instruments of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. The collection
has been dispersed since the death of its owner; a large portion of it
is now incorporated with the collection of the Conservatoire de Musique
at Paris, and some of its most valuable specimens were secured for the
South Kensington Museum. It was, however, so unique that the following
short survey of its contents will probably be welcome to the
archæological musician.

Clapisson's collection comprised (according to the catalogue of its
contents which was published in French, and which is now scarce) 167
instruments. Among them are especially noteworthy:--A clavecin (or
harpsichord) with two rows of keys, dated 1612; embellished with
paintings which date from the time of Louis XIV. In front is a painting
by Teniers, and in the inside are some fine paintings by Paul Brill. An
Italian spinet of the time of Louis XIV., embellished with paintings of
garlands of flowers, cupids, etc., attributed to Poussin. The fine
carving and the ornamentation of engraved amber on this spinet give it a
stamp of originality. An Italian spinet, bearing the inscription
"Francisci di Portalvpis Veronen opus, 1523," of ebony inlaid with
ivory. An Italian spinet of the sixteenth century, ornamented with
marquetry of various coloured woods. The corners of the key-board are
adorned with caryatides finely carved in box-wood. A travelling spinet
made in the shape of a mail-trunk dating from the time of Henri II. It
is signed "Marins," which is the name of a celebrated manufacturer of
that period. A clavecin made in France in the year 1657, ornamented with
paintings and with marquetry of ivory, with the arms of the family of
Pierre di Dreux (called Mauclere), Duke of Bretagne, who lived about the
year 1250. An Italian dulcimer of wood carved and gilt, dating from the
seventeenth century. It is tastefully inlaid with slips of silvered
glass. A French dulcimer of the time of Louis XIV., with twisted columns
of wood carved and gilt, and with paintings of flowers and birds. A
French dulcimer, or timpanon, of the time of Louis XIII., ornamented
with roses neatly carved in wood. The instrument is in a case, which is
ornamented with paintings and inlaid slips of silvered glass. A French
dulcimer of carved wood, ornamented with slips of engraved Venetian
glass, with turquoises, and with paintings on _Vernis Martin_. A
sonorous stone from China, in the form of a fish. A French harp, of the
time of Louis XV., gilt and carved with flowers and paintings in relief.
A harp of the time of Louis XVI., having belonged to the Princesse de
Lamballe, whose name is engraven on it. It is finely painted with
medallions on _Vernis Martin_. A theorbo of the time of Louis XIII.,
inlaid with designs in ivory. Engraven on it is the coat of arms of the
House of Austria; also a portrait, and the device _Non omnes_. A French
guitar made, according to an inscription, by Voboam, a celebrated
lute-maker at the court of Louis XIV. It is made in the figure of a
tortoise, the body being of tortoise-shell, and the head, feet and tail
of coloured enamel. A French guitar of the time of Louis XIII., inlaid
with ivory, on which are engraven subjects of the chase. A French guitar
of the time of Louis XIII., inlaid with ivory engraved with mythological
subjects. An Italian mandoline of citron-wood inlaid with
mother-of-pearl, engraven with figures. An Italian mandoline, ornamented
with marquetry, mother-of-pearl, and carving; assigned to Stradiuarius.
A French mandoline of the time of Louis XVI., with the arms of the
Dauphin inlaid with mother-of-pearl. A small Italian mandoline with
three strings. A mandora of the time of Henri II., inlaid with broad
strips of ivory, and with _fleurs de lys_ in ebony. A French hurdy-gurdy
(or _vielle_) of the time of Louis XIV., made of box-wood and
citron-wood, carved, and ornamented with medallions of mother-of-pearl
and with turquoises; formerly the property of Madame Adelaïde. A French
hurdy-gurdy by Louvet, dated 1750; tastefully ornamented. A small
hurdy-gurdy for the use of ladies, made in France during the period of
Louis XVI. This _vielle_, elegant in form and tastefully inlaid with
ivory, bears the inscription "Delaunay." A Hungarian violin, made in
Presburg, inlaid with marquetry of various coloured woods. A small
violin by Jacobus Stainer, inlaid with ornaments in silver, including
the coat of arms of France; with a finely-carved head of a faun. A
French _quinton_, or five-stringed viol, made by Guersan, in 1755. A
viola da gamba, with a finely-carved head representing an angel
bandaging the eyes of a female. A small viola da gamba of the kind on
which the French ladies used to play at the time of Louis XIII. A
pochette by Stradiuarius, known to be genuine. A pochette of the
sixteenth century, of engraved ivory and ebony, inlaid with precious
stones. A pochette of ivory and coloured woods, dating from the period
of Louis XIII., and bearing the inscription "Marins." A crystal flute,
the invention of Laurent; silver keys enriched with amethysts. A small
Italian double-flute of ivory, made by Anciuti in Milan, anno 1722. An
oboe of ivory, carved by Anciuti in Milan, beginning of the eighteenth
century. A French oboe of ebony, inlaid with ivory, tortoise-shell, and
enriched with gold and precious stones; of the time of Louis XIII. A
small French oboe of the time of Louis XIV., made of ivory, with three
silver keys. A French _musette_ (a species of bagpipe with bellows); the
pipes of ivory; twenty-one silver keys; the bag ornamented with
embroidery in gold. This fine _musette_ dates from the period of Louis
XV. A small French _musette_ of ivory, with silver keys, having belonged
to the painter Vanloo. A _cornemuse bretonne_ (bagpipe of Brittany) of
the time of Louis XIII. A trumpet of the time of Henri IV., ornamented
with embossed _fleurs de lys_ and with the portrait of Henri IV.,
surrounded by butterflies. A serpent of the sixteenth century, made of
wood, with the carved head of a demon finely executed.

Turning to Belgium, we again meet with some interesting collections. M.
Fétis, the well-known musician, had a number of Eastern instruments
procured from Egypt, to enable him to familiarise himself with the
Arabic tonal system, which essentially differs from our own, but which
undoubtedly is of much higher antiquity, and therefore of particular
interest to the musical historian. After the death of Fétis, his
collection was purchased by the Belgian Government. Dr. Burney, who
visited Antwerp in the year 1772, records in his journal that he saw in
a public edifice of the town, called Oosters Huys, a large number of
wind instruments of a peculiar construction. "There are," he says,
"between thirty and forty of the common flute kind, but different in
some particulars--having, as they increase in length, keys and crooks,
like hautbois and bassoons. They were made at Hamburg, and all of one
sort of wood, and by one maker, 'Casper Ravchs Scratenbach,' was
engraved on a brass ring or plate, which encircled most of these
instruments. The large ones have brass plates pierced, and some with
human figures well engraved on them. These last are longer than a
bassoon would be if unfolded. The inhabitants say that it is more than a
hundred years since these instruments were used, and that there is no
musician at present in the town who knows how to play on any one of
them, as they are quite different from those now [in the year 1772] in
common use. In times when commerce flourished in this city these
instruments used to be played on every day by a band of musicians, who
attended the merchants trading to the Hanse Towns in procession to the

No doubt there are some curious old harpsichords and lutes still to be
found in Belgium and in the Netherlands--countries in former times
distinguished for the cultivation of the art of music. Besides, the
connection of the Netherlands with Asia has facilitated the acquisition
of curious instruments from the East, a number of which may be seen
deposited in the Museum at the Hague.

A glance at a collection made by a musical amateur, during the
seventeenth century, is sure to interest the musical antiquarian. The
collector, Jean-Baptiste Dandeleu, a man of position and property in
Brussels, died in the year 1667. Among his effects were the following
instruments, the list of which is here literally transcribed as it was
written at the time of his decease:--"Une orgue, que l'on dit avoir
appertenu à feu l'archiduq (de glorieuse mémoire), et couste trois
milles florins.--Une espinette organisée.--Un coffre dans lequel y a
neuf violes de gambes d'accord.--Encor une vieille viole de gambes.--Six
corps de luths ou thiorbes dans des vieilles caisses.--Une mandore aussy
dans sa caisse.--Une autre petit instrument en forme de poire avec le
col rompu, ou decollé.--Une caisse doublée de baye rouge, dans la quelle
y a six fluttes rares d'accord, qui sont de bouys, avec leurs escorces
et noeuds.--Une cornette noire de musique.--Encore une flûte de bouys de
la longueur d'environ un pied dans une caisse noire.--Trois caisses avec
diverses flûtes de bouys grandes et petites d'accord, entre les quelles
aucunes manquent.--Encor six flûtes semblables, que l'on croid estre
celles qui manquent cy-dessus.--Encor une grande flûte, ou pippe
noire.--Un violon dans sa caisse.--Un cistre aussy dans sa caisse.--Un
instrument rare pour sa structure à mètre les livres des musiciens
dessus pour un concert de musique.--Cincq petits lesseniers."

Most of the instruments in this collection were undoubtedly manufactured
about the period in which they are mentioned. However, as regards lutes
and viols, preference was given already as early as the seventeenth
century to old ones, if they were the work of good makers. Thus, the
lutes of Laux Maler, dating from the beginning of the fifteenth
century--"pittifull old, batter'd, crack'd things," as Thomas Mace calls
them in his 'Musick's Monument,' London, 1676--fetched as much as a
hundred pounds apiece. "I have often seen," Mace remarks, "lutes of
three or four pounds price far more illustrious and taking to a common
eye.... First know that an old lute is better than a new one." Thus also
with viols: "We chiefly value old instruments before new; for by
experience they are found to be far the best." The improvement by age he
reasonably attributes to the circumstance that "the pores of the wood
have a more and free liberty to move, stir, or secretly vibrate; by
which means the air--which is the life of all things, both animate and
inanimate--has a more free and easie recourse to pass and repass."

An interesting collection of antiquated musical instruments has been
made by M. César Snoeck, of Renaix, in Belgium. It comprises among other
rarities:--A small virginal bearing the inscription: "Paulus Steinicke
me fecit, Anno 1657." A harpanetta, seventeenth century. A _cetera_ or
Italian cither, seventeenth century. The top terminates in a
finely-carved figure, and the body is flattened towards the lower end.
This interesting instrument is of the kind which the Italian
_improvisatori_ used for accompanying the voice. An assemblage of
specimens, varying in size, of the German, or perhaps Dutch, zinken.
These quaint-looking flute-trumpets, although blown through a mouth-tube
somewhat similar to that of the trumpet, have finger-holes like a flute.
They probably were made about the year 1700. A tenor-flute and three
bass-flutes, probably of the seventeenth century.

The municipality of Ghent, in Belgium, possesses silver trumpets which
were made in the fifteenth century. It will be remembered from the
biblical records (Numbers, x., 2) that Moses constructed two trumpets
entirely of silver. Neither was the use of the trumpet for strategical
purposes unknown to the Hebrews, as is evidenced by Gideon's employment
of the instrument (Judges, vii.). There is an old German treatise,
quaintly entitled 'Versuch einer Anleitung zur heroisch-musikalischen
Trompeter-und Pauker-Kunst' ("An Attempt at a Guide to the
heroic-musical Art of the Trumpeter and the Kettle-Drummer"), written by
Johann Ernst Altenburg, Halle, 1795, which contains some interesting
accounts concerning the various occasions on which the trumpet was
formerly used in different European countries, at Court ceremonies and
public festivities, as well as in war. Altenburg, who himself was a
distinguished military trumpeter, and, no doubt, also a brave warrior,
remarks: "Awful and terrible is the sound of the trumpet when it
announces the near approach of the enemy; or when the enemy demands by
trumpet-signal the surrender of a beleaguered town; or when he storms
and enters the town with the blare of the trumpet of war! Likewise, the
signal of alarm produces an uneasy impression upon a weaker corps when
surprised and surrounded by a stronger corps. However, by means of this
uncommon music, which has been made use of by many as a stratagem in
olden time and at the present day, often important conquests have also
resulted. During the Seven Years' War, in which I took part, it happened
during a dark night that a large body of the enemy's troops nearly
succeeded in surprising and cutting off one of our corps which was much
smaller and weaker; but we, modifying the signals of our trumpets so as
to make them appear to come from different quarters and from long
distances, succeeded in intimidating the enemy, so that he suddenly
turned and fled, believing that we were receiving succour."

This may be the place to notice a fine collection of old trumpets in the
possession of Prince Charles of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen. They were made
by Johann Leonard Ehe, in Nürnberg; Hieronymus Stark, in Nürnberg, anno
1669; Christopher Frank, Magnus Wolf, Wilhelm Haas, anno 1688.

Passing over the Royal Museum of Northern Antiquities at Copenhagen,
which contains highly curious specimens of the old Scandinavian brass
trumpet called _lure_--especially interesting if compared with the
bronze trumpets of mediæval time excavated from bogs or mosses in
Ireland, and now preserved in the Museum of the Royal Irish Academy at
Dublin--we now proceed to a cursory survey of the musical antiquities in
the museums of London.

The British Museum possesses several instruments, or fragments of
instruments, of the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, and old
Celtic trumpets which have been found in Ireland. In the ethnological
department of the British Museum are particularly noteworthy:--The
specimens of Chinese instruments brought over to England by Mr.
Tradescant Lay; those from Siam, obtained by Sir John Bowring; those
from Java, obtained by Sir Stamford Raffles; a considerable number of
flutes, including nose-flutes, and of trumpets, from Otaheite,
Tongataboo, and New Zealand; well-preserved drums from the Polynesian
Islands; serpent-headed drums of the natives of New Guinea; Negro
instruments from Western Africa, etc.

The Museum of the East India House, in London, contains upwards of 120
musical instruments, mostly from Hindustan and Burmah, some of which are
very fine, but many are out of repair. An assemblage of curious pipes,
trumpets, and drums of the Polynesians, as well as fiddles of the
Hottentots and Kafirs in Southern Africa, may be seen in the Museum of
the London Missionary Society. Furthermore, the Botanical Museum at Kew
possesses several interesting contrivances of this kind, made of
peculiar species of wood by Indian tribes in South America.

The collection of musical instruments belonging to the South Kensington
Museum is now, as far as is known, the most comprehensive in existence.
The latest edition of its catalogue, published in the year 1874,
describes 353 instruments, of which 246 belong to the Museum, and 107
are on loan. The catalogue contains 143 wood-engravings and six
photographs of instruments, and is preceded by an essay on the history
of musical instruments. A glance at its comprehensive index will perhaps
convey to the reader the impression that it takes cognizance of almost
every musical instrument in the world. This is, however, by no means the
case. Even an account of all our own instruments in use at the present
day would fill a large volume. But, endeavour has been made to render
the catalogue as comprehensive as is consistent with its object, and the
reader will find in it illustrations and descriptions of most of the
instruments mentioned in the present essay.

There have been some curious lists preserved of musical instruments
which belonged to English amateur musicians, and which were sold, after
the death of the owner, at public auctions.

The collection of musical instruments which belonged to King Henry VIII.
appears to have been remarkably comprehensive and valuable. An inventory
of its contents was compiled by Philip van Wilder, a Dutch lute-player
in the service of the king. The manuscript of this inventory is
preserved in the British Museum. Among the instruments entered are:--Two
paier of clavicordes.--A payre of new long virginalls made harp-fashion,
of Cipres, with keys of ivory, having the King's arms crowned and
supported by His Grace's beastes within a garter gilt, standing over the
keys.--Gitterons which are called Spanish vialles.--Flutes called
Pilgrims' staves.--A great base recorder. Two base recorders of walnut.
Pipes of ivory or wood, called cornets.

In 'The History and Antiquities of Hengrave, Suffolk, by John Gage,
London, 1822,' are recorded among the effects of Sir Thomas Kytson of
Hengrave Hall, about the year 1600:--Six viols in a chest. Six violins
in a chest. Lutes. Citterns. Bandoras. Seven recorders in a case.
Hautboys. A curtall. Cornets. A lezarden. A pair of little virginals. A
pair of double virginals. A wind-instrument like a virginal. A pair of
double organs.

The "curtall" was probably the French _courtaud_ mentioned previously,
page 37; and the "lezarden" was probably similar to the _serpent_, an
old wind-instrument mentioned in page 41.

Among the English private collections about two centuries ago deserves
to be noticed one which was formed by Thomas Britton, the small-coal
man. This extraordinary musical amateur, born in the year 1656 of poor
parents in Northamptonshire, set out for London while still a lad to
gain his living. After various vicissitudes he succeeded in his project
by becoming a seller of small-coal. During the day he wandered through
the streets carrying a sack of coals on his back, and crying them for
sale. In the evening he practised his viol, and studied the theory of
music. Moreover, he was as fond of studying chemistry as he was of
making music. The library of books and musical compositions which he
collected from second-hand book-stalls, in his peregrinations through
the streets during a period of thirty-six years, was extensive,
considering his position. A list of his music-books is given in
Hawkins's 'History of Music.' Thomas Britton lived in Aylesbury Street,
Clerkenwell, in a hired stable converted into a dwelling-house. The
ground-floor he used for the repository of his small-coal; and the room
above--a long and narrow space, with a ceiling so low that a tall man
could but just stand upright in it--was his concert-room. Here the best
musicians in London--among them Dr. Pepusch, Matthew Dubourg, the
violinist, who at that time was a little boy, and Handel, during the
last four years of Thomas Britton's life--were glad to perform. The fine
concerts and the estimable character of Thomas Britton became soon more
generally appreciated; his concerts, given gratuitously, attracted a
genteel audience, among whom might be seen dukes, lords, and other
persons of rank and wealth. The musical instruments of this great
small-coal man, which were sold by public auction after his death in
1714, are entered in the catalogue of the sale as follows:--"A fine
guitar in a case. A good dulcimer. Five instruments in the shape of
fish. A curious ivory Kitt and bow in case. A good violin by Ditton.
Another very good one. One said to be a Cremona. An extraordinary
Rayman. Three others ditto. One very beautiful one by Claud Pieray of
Paris, as good as a Cremona. One ditto. Another very good one. Another
ditto. A very good one for a high violin. Another ditto. An excellent
tenor. Another ditto by Mr. Lewis. A fine viol by Baker of Oxford.
Another excellent one, bellied by Mr. Norman. Another, said to be the
neatest and best that Jay ever made. A fine bass violin, new-neck'd and
bellied by Mr. Norman. Another rare good one by Mr. Lewis. A good
harpsichord by Philip Jones. A Rucker's virginal, thought to be the
best in Europe. An organ of five stops, exactly consort pitch, fit for a
room, and with some adornments may serve for any chapel, being a very
good one."

The "five instruments in the shape of fish" were, probably, specimens of
the _machête_, a small kind of guitar made in Portugal and Madeira, and
occasionally brought to England as a curiosity. However, the _pochette_
also was sometimes made in the shape of a fish. As regards the
instrument-makers mentioned in Britton's list, suffice it to state that
Jacob Rayman, who lived in Southwark about the year 1640, enjoyed a
reputation especially as a maker of fine violas, and that Edward Lewis,
who lived in London about the year 1700, was a distinguished
violin-maker. Barak Norman in London, Henry Jay in Southwark, and John
Baker in Oxford, were distinguished viol-makers of the seventeenth

Some fine collections made in the present century by English gentlemen
consisted almost entirely of Italian violins, violas and violoncellos.
It is but natural that the possessor of real or supposed works of art
should feel particularly gratified when he finds them admired by persons
whose judgment he has reason to esteem. Louis Spohr, in his
'Autobiography,' describes a visit which he paid to an enthusiastic
musical _dilettante_ and collector of violins, in London, in the year
1820. Spohr had come over from Germany to England to give concerts, and
was unacquainted with the English language. He relates: "One morning a
livery-servant brought me a note containing the words: 'Mr. Spohr is
requested to call upon the undersigned to-day at four o'clock
precisely.' As the name of the writer was unknown to me, I answered in
the same laconic manner: 'I am engaged about that time, and cannot
come.' On the following morning the servant in livery brought another
note, much more politely written: 'Mr. Spohr is requested to favour the
undersigned with the honour of a visit, and to fix himself the time when
it will be convenient for him to come.' The servant had also been
desired to offer me the use of his master's carriage, and as I had
meanwhile ascertained that the gentleman was a celebrated physician who
habitually frequented concerts, and who took special interest in violin
performances, I no longer hesitated to accept his invitation. At the
time fixed by me the carriage arrived, and I drove to his house. A
courteous old man, with gray hair, met me already on the stairs; but now
we discovered that we could not talk together, as he spoke neither
French nor German. We stood for a moment embarrassed face to face, till
he took me by the arm and led me into a large room, on the walls of
which were hung a great number of violins. Other violins had been taken
out of their cases and were placed on the tables. The Doctor gave me a
violin-bow and pointed to the instruments. I now perceived that he
desired to have my opinion as to the value of his fiddles. I, therefore,
began at once to try one after the other, and to arrange them in a
certain order, according to their merit. This was no easy task; for,
there were so many, and the old gentleman brought all of them to me
without missing one. When, after the lapse of an hour, I had selected
the six most valuable ones, and was playing upon these alternately, to
ascertain which was the best, I perceived that the Doctor cast upon one
of them glances especially tender, and that whenever I touched the
strings of this one with the bow his face quite brightened up. I,
therefore, gladly afforded the good old man pleasure by declaring this
instrument to be the most superior one of the whole collection. Highly
delighted with this decision, he fetched a viola d'amore and
extemporised a fantasia upon this instrument, which has long since gone
out of use. I listened with pleasure, because the viola d'amore was at
that time unknown to me, and the Doctor proved a by no means bad player.
Thus ended the visit to our mutual satisfaction. When I took my hat to
leave, the old gentleman, with a kind smile and a deep bow, slipped a
five-pound note into my hand. Surprised, I looked at the money and at
the giver, not understanding at first what he meant by it; but suddenly
it occurred to me that it was intended as a fee for having examined his
violins. I smilingly shook my head, laid the paper on the table, pressed
the Doctor's hand, and descended the stairs. He followed me to the
street-door.... Some months later, when I gave my benefit-concert, the
Doctor procured a ticket, for which he sent me a ten-pound note."

One of the largest private collections of this kind, more recently
formed by an English musical amateur, was sold in London by auction in
the year 1872, after the death of its owner, Mr. Joseph Gillott of
Birmingham. It contained above 150 instruments played with a bow. Among
them were two viola da gambas, by Gaspar di Salo and Barak Norman; a
viola d'amore, by Bertrand, Paris, 1614; violins, violas, and
violoncellos assigned to Gaspar di Salo, Stradiuarius, Amati,
Guarnerius, Testore, Guadagnini, Bergonzi, and other famous makers.

If, as occasionally happens, an amateur who considers himself a good
judge of old violins is overreached by a dealer who professes to have
but little knowledge on the subject, the transaction is simple enough.
However, the purchaser of a "splendid Amati," or an "incomparable
Stradiuarius," obtained by him at a bargain, might remember that the
number of violins manufactured by the famous Cremona makers is limited,
and that the history of the specimens still extant is almost as
traceable as the pedigree of a prince or of a racehorse. As regards the
various lutes, citherns, wind instruments with reeds, etc., which were
popular during the last three centuries, many of them are now so scarce
as to be unknown, even to professional musicians, except to a few with
an archæological turn of mind.

It may easily be understood, that a reference to books alone does not
ensure so thorough an acquaintance with the instruments as is obtainable
from a careful examination of the actual specimens which are therein
described. Should it interest the musician to restore to its original
condition some dilapidated lute or cithern which he may happen to pick
up, and to learn to play upon it according to the old method taught in
some old book, he will become acquainted with niceties in the
construction of the instrument, such as the peculiar arrangement of its
pegs, frets, bridge, pins, and other contrivances, which are not to be
learnt from books. Such knowledge of details gathered from practical
experience, which at a first glance may appear unimportant, is often of
great use, since it tends to throw light upon questions of more general
interest relating to the history of music. Indeed, in a search after
truth, every well-ascertained fact is of importance, since it serves as
a solid step for progress.

Again, in playing on the lute, harpsichord, or other antiquated
instrument the compositions written for it by our old masters, the
performer is sure to discover certain charms in the music which cannot
be expressed on any modern instrument, and which reveal faithfully the
original conceptions of the composer. Take, for instance, Handel's
'Suites de Pièces,' conceived by him for the harpsichord, with its
different stops and qualities of sound. In playing them on the
pianoforte, the strictly musical beauties can be expressed, and these,
it must be granted, constitute the greater charm of the compositions;
but many additional beauties, calculated upon the characteristics of the
harpsichord, are entirely lost. It does not, of course, therefore follow
that musicians ought to learn the harpsichord, lute, or any other
antiquated instrument, for which good music has been written. Enough, if
these observations convince them that there have been charming musical
instruments, as well as charming compositions, in former times, from
which valuable hints may be derived for further progress in the
inexhaustible art of music.

At all events, it appeared to me advisable to save from oblivion and
decay any such antiquities as I happened to meet with, in England. When
I began to form my collection, in the year 1868, scarcely any musician
in London took interest in the matter; and it was perhaps this
circumstance which enabled me soon to lay a good foundation for my
collection by searches in the old curiosity shops in Wardour Street, and
in similar places. Although the chief object was to obtain specimens of
the various musical instruments used by our forefathers, which are
alluded to by Shakespeare and other classical authors, it appeared to me
desirable, as illustrative of the history of music, to incorporate into
the collection the most interesting of the extra-European contrivances
of the kind, and among these principally such instruments of Asiatic
nations as are the prototypes of certain ones of our own. Moreover, some
of the extra-European acquisitions may be regarded as being antiquated,
since the introduction of Christianity and European civilisation into
some distant islands caused the natives to discontinue the construction
of such instruments as they formerly used in their pagan ceremonies.
About forty Hindu and Burmese instruments were selected from the
comprehensive collection which was sent from Hindustan to the
International Exhibition, London, 1872. They represent the most
characteristic inventions of the kind popular in Hindustan and Burmah,
and are, moreover, in an unimpaired condition, which is seldom the case
with such brittle manufactures tossed about on the sea from distant

As regards the European curiosities in the collection, their number was
perhaps most advantageously increased by some treasures which formed
part of the museum of Signor Mario in Florence, and which were sold in
London some years ago. Thus the collection has grown so as to comprise
now about two hundred and fifty instruments, some of which are of great
scarcity, and several are of great beauty. I gladly take this
opportunity to supply the musician with a survey of the collection,
since I know from experience how interesting and instructive such a list
is to the archæological student. About a hundred instruments of the
collection, which are at present exhibited in the South Kensington
Museum, shall be noticed but briefly, since they are described in the
musical catalogue of the Museum, which is easily accessible. Omitting
some unimportant specimens, the collection contains:--

Sancho, a stringed instrument from Senegambia, Western Africa. Valga, a
stringed instrument from Congo, Western Africa. Its five strings are
made of vegetable fibre, and are tuned by being wound round five canes
inserted in the body. Length, 3 feet. The brass-headed buttons with
which the instrument is ornamented may have been derived from England.
It is not unfrequently the case that savages or semi-civilised people in
remote parts of the world adorn their rude works of art with some
acquisitions of European manufacture scarce with them, and therefore
much prized. In fact, European nations often evince a similar
predilection in the ornamentation of their articles of luxury. Five is
the usual number of canes in the valga; but there are also specimens
with ten canes, and consequently with ten strings. The canes are
generally stuck in holes under the body of the valga, and as they can be
inserted more deeply or drawn out at pleasure, this is probably the
method most commonly resorted to for tuning the strings. The valga is
made of different shapes. Some of these are precisely like the
riverboats of the Negroes, of which illustrations are given in Speke's
'Journal of the Discovery of the Source of the Nile.' The valga is,
however, most popular in Western Africa, where it is known by different
names in different districts. Near the Gaboon river it is called
_wambee_; and in Benguela, _kissumba_. Kasso, a species of Negro harp
from Senegambia. Ingomba, a Negro drum from Lower Guinea, made of the
stem of a palm-tree, 6 feet 6 inches in length; covered at both ends
with the skin of an elephant's ear. Negro trumpet from Eastern-central
Africa. Made of the tusk of an animal. With two holes for blowing and
for modulating the sound, perforated towards the thinner end. This
trumpet was brought to England by the African traveller Petherick.
Abyssinian fiddle with bow. The whole instrument is cut out of one block
of wood. The belly is of parchment. Seven catgut strings. The thinnest
string is shorter than the others, and the peg by means of which it is
tuned is placed at the side of the neck close to the body. The
instrument in shape bears some resemblance to the _chikarah_ of the
Hindus. There are some musical instruments to be found on the Eastern
coast of Africa which probably were derived originally from Hindustan.
The present fiddle, which was brought to England by a soldier engaged in
the Abyssinian war, confutes the statement of Bruce and some other
travellers that the Abyssinians possess no instrument of the violin
class. Fiddle of the Zulu Kafirs, South-eastern Africa. A very primitive
contrivance, consisting of an iron basin, over which a skin is
stretched, and of a rudely-made bow. It has three gut-strings. The back
is open, the bottom of the basin having purposely been knocked out. This
instrument was sent by Mr. Alfred J. Topham, from Pieter-Maritzburg, to
the Manchester Exhibition. Marouvané, a bamboo instrument from
Madagascar. Length, 21 inches. Its seven strings are cut out of the bark
of the bamboo and are raised by bridges consisting of little plugs of
wood. The tones produced are


but as the position of some of the bridges may have been slightly
altered since the instrument came into the hands of Europeans, not much
reliance is to be placed on the odd arrangement of intervals here

Five nose-flutes, called _vivo_ and _fango-fango_, of the Polynesian
Islanders. Four of these instruments were brought to England by
Vice-Admiral Sir Henry Denham. Two are from the Tonga Islands, and two
from the Fiji Islands. Among the latter is especially noteworthy a large
and fine one, profusely ornamented with designs burnt into the surface,
which was obtained by Sir H. Denham at Angras, one of the Fiji Islands.
The fifth specimen is from Otaheite. Jew's harp, brought by Vice-Admiral
Sir Henry Denham from the Fiji Islands. It is neatly made of a sort of
cane. Three Pandean pipes (one with nine tubes, and two with eleven
tubes) brought by Vice-Admiral Sir Henry Denham from the Fiji Islands.
These neatly-constructed specimens of the syrinx yield the following


Bone flute of the Caribi Indians, in Guiana, South America. Two rattles
of the Indians of Vancouver Island, brought from Nootka Sound. Of wood,
formed in imitation of a bird and of a fish, and painted with different
colours. These rattles, called _belapella_, contain pebbles, and are
used by the Medicine Men in their incantations. Dancing rattles of the
Indians in the vicinity of the River Amazon, Brazil. Made of a species
of nut, a large number of which are hollowed, and suspended to a cord,
to be hung over the shoulders. By way of embellishment, some bright
feathers and the tail of a quadruped are interspersed between the nuts.
The sound produced by this rattle, when shaken, is soothing and
pleasant, somewhat like the sound caused by the waves over the shingle
on the sea-shore when heard at a distance. At any rate, it is preferable
to some more pretentious musical performances of the present day.
Sakasaka, a rattle of the Negroes of St. Lucia, West Indies. Ornamented
with some rude designs cut on the surface. It contains a number of small
red berries of an oval shape, known as jamboo berries.

Samsien, a Japanese stringed instrument. With a large plectrum of a
white wood. Its three strings are of silk. The body is square, and is
covered in front and at the back with parchment. Koto, a kind of
dulcimer, from Japan, with silken strings and movable bridges. The
present specimen is one of the smallest. Pepa, a Chinese kind of lute,
with four silken strings. Two specimens. Yue-kin, or "Moon-guitar," a
Chinese instrument, with four silken strings. Two specimens. San-heen, a
Chinese stringed instrument. Ur-heen, Chinese fiddle. Two specimens.
Tche, a Chinese stringed instrument, mounted with sixteen thin
wire-strings. Kin, a Chinese instrument, the favourite of the great
Confucius, and called, somewhat inappropriately, "Scholar's Lute." With
its case lacquered and gilt. Yang-kin, Chinese dulcimer, with two little
sticks or wooden hammers of a rather peculiar shape. Ty, Chinese flute.
Cheng, Chinese organ, with seventeen bamboo tubes, containing vibrating
tongues of metal, like our harmonium. Two specimens. Hiuen-tchung,
antique Chinese bell. Two specimens. Chinese kind of tambourine, with a
wooden hammer. Used in Buddhist worship. Chinese wooden castanets called
pan, made in the shape of two spoons combined.

Ranat, a kind of harmonicon from Siam. It has nineteen slabs of sonorous
wood placed over a sound-board resembling a canoe, and tuned
diatonically. Thro, three-stringed fiddle of the Burmese; two specimens.
The top of the finger-board of one of these fiddles is ornamented with
carvings in wood, and with a figure in ivory of a little idol. The
strings are of silk; the head of the other specimen is likewise
elaborately carved. This fiddle probably dates from the eighteenth
century, if not earlier, and is a fine specimen of Burmese art. It was
formerly in Signor Mario's museum. Megyoung, a Burmese stringed
instrument in the form of an alligator, with three silken strings and
eleven small bridges. Osee, a Burmese drum of a very peculiar
construction. Walet khot, Burmese castanets, consisting of a pair of
large split bamboos, 33 inches in length. Keay zoot, a pair of
diminutive castanets of metal, from Burmah; they are in the shape of a
saucer, and measure only an inch in diameter. The silvery tinkling sound
which they produce is pleasant.

Sitar, a Hindu stringed instrument from Nagpoor. Sitar, a fine specimen
with movable brass frets, Hindustan. The strings are of thin wire. Vina,
the principal national instrument of the Hindus, also known as the
Bengalese vina, strung with wire. The present specimen, which is of the
smaller kind, is also called _kinnari_. Been, or Anthara vinai,
Hindustan. This species of vina, is called by some Europeans, "the
Benares vina," while the old national instrument of the Hindus, which is
somewhat different in shape, is called, as we have just seen, "the
Bengalese vina," no doubt on account of their being most popular in the
districts indicated by their names. Rudra vina, from Bombay, a kind of
_been_ with sympathetic wire-strings, placed under the wire-strings
which are sounded by the player. Taûs and bow, Hindustan. The taûs is a
kind of sitar, the thin wire strings of which are played with a bow. It
is made in the shape of a peacock, hence its name _taûs_, which
signifies "peacock." The present specimen, which was sent by the Rajah
of Navha to the International Exhibition, London, 1872, is from the
Punjab. It is richly coloured, and gilt. The crest and the tail of the
bird represented are peacock's feathers, stuck into holes made for the
purpose. Koka, a rude kind of Hindu fiddle, mounted with two wire
strings, from Bombay. The body consists of a large nut. The instrument
bears a strong resemblance to the _gunibry_ of the Barbary States; the
latter is, however, played with the fingers, instead of a bow. Chikarah,
a Hindu instrument of the violin class, from Bombay. It is cut out of a
single block of wood, which, when rubbed or damped, emits a peculiar
aromatic scent. The belly is of parchment. The instrument has three
catgut-strings, beneath which are placed seven thin strings of wire. The
wire-strings are fastened to tuning-pegs situated at the side of the
neck. They merely serve as sympathetic strings, to increase the
sonorousness when the catgut-strings are played upon with the bow.
Sarungi, a Hindu instrument of the violin class, from Bombay. It is
constructed of the same kind of wood as the chikarah before mentioned,
but its shape is different. The belly is of parchment. The four
catgut-strings with which the sarungi is mounted are played with the
bow, and thirteen strings of thin brass wire, which run through little
holes in the ivory bridge, are placed under the catgut-strings to serve
as sympathetic strings. The performer on the sarungi does not press the
catgut-strings down upon the finger-board, but touches them at the side
with his fingers to produce the tones which he desires. He places the
instrument before his breast in a nearly perpendicular direction.
Whatever may be thought of this method of playing, the sarungi is
certainly considered a very effective instrument, not only by the
Hindus, but even by some European listeners. For instance, Colonel
Meadows Taylor ('Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, Dublin, 1865,'
p. 115) remarks: "Its tones are nearer, perhaps, in quality to the human
voice than any other instrument with which I am acquainted." However, he
does not appear to be acquainted with many instruments. Sarinda, a Hindu
violin, with three strings. It is made of a single block of wood,
hollowed, and carved. The upper part of the body is left partially open,
and is partially covered with skin resembling bladder, generally from a
species of gazelle. Sarod, with bow; a Hindu instrument with four
catgut-strings, and underneath them five thin strings of brass. On the
neck are three catgut-frets. The instrument is painted with designs in
various colours. It came from Gwalior. Rabab, a kind of guitar of the
Hindus, played with a plectrum. It resembles the saruda. Toontoonee:
this curious Hindu instrument, with one wire-string, is used by
mendicants and ballad-singers in the Dekhan. Santir, a dulcimer, from
Cashmere. Sarmundal, from Kattyawar, Hindustan; a kind of dulcimer in a
case. This scarce instrument is tastefully ornamented with painted
flowers and fanciful designs. Its wire-strings are twanged with a
plectrum made of wood and glass. Murchang, Jew's harp; two specimens of
a peculiar shape, from Cashmere. Shank, conch trumpet, from Kattyawar,
Hindustan, beautifully ornamented with brasswork. The shank is a sacred
instrument blown by the Brahmin priests. Tootooree, a horn of metal,
from Hindustan. Kombu, a horn of the Hindus, resembling in its
semicircular shape the tootooree, but being smaller and heavier; from
Madras. Bhangull, a very thin and long metal trumpet, from Kattyawar, in
Hindustan. Kurna, a metal trumpet, straight and large, from Hindustan.
Seeng, a large brass trumpet, from Hindustan. Poongee (also called
magoudi and toomeree), the snake-charmer's double pipe, from Hindustan.
Each tube contains a single reed. There are three specimens of the
poongee in the collection, one of which is painted with various designs.
The tubes of the poongee are inserted in a gourd. Mukha, a kind of oboe,
from Madras. Mukhavinai, a small kind of oboe, Hindustan. Ottu, a
species of oboe, somewhat resembling the Arabic zourna, from Janpore, in
Hindustan. Zourna, from Hindustan; made of a dark brown wood, with nine
finger-holes. Buguri, a very peculiar reed wind-instrument, having
finger-holes like a flute, and being at its lower end provided with a
bell like a trumpet, from Madras. Bansee, flute, Hindustan. Double
flageolet, from Hindustan. Nagarah, a drum, from Surat, Hindustan. The
body is of red earthenware, and the parchment is affixed to it by means
of a leathern network, which is tastefully adjusted over the back of the
drum; diameter at the top, 16 inches; height, 6-1/2 inches. Banyan, a
small hand-drum, Hindustan. Davandai, a kind of double drum, or rather a
double darabouka, Hindustan. Kudu Kuduppai, a very diminutive double
darabouka of brass and fish bladder, Hindustan. Ghunta, a small bell
with a handle, used by the Brahmin priests of Hindustan in religious
ceremonies. Jalar, a pair of large castanets of metal, resembling small
cymbals, from Hindustan. The sound of them is remarkably pure and

Rebab; a three-stringed fiddle from Persia. The body, cut out of a
single piece of wood, is rudely ornamented with a pattern which is burnt
on it. The strings are of catgut. They run at the top of the neck
through holes, and are fastened at the back to the tuning-pegs. This
_rebab_ is an exact counterpart of the _rebec_ formerly popular in
Western Europe. Kemângeh a'gouz, with bow; from Egypt; a species of
Eastern violoncello, with two strings made of horsehair. The body
consists of the shell of a cocoa-nut, covered at the top with a bladder
and perforated at the back with a number of sound-holes. Tanbour
Baghlama; the eastern mandoline, strung with four thin wire-strings. Two
specimens from Egypt. Gunibry; a rather primitive two-stringed
instrument of the guitar kind, from Morocco; two specimens. Kuitra, a
kind of guitar from the Barbary States. The body is made of a tortoise.
The _kuitra_, or _kitar_, an instrument of the Persians and Arabs, is
evidently the prototype of our guitar. The present specimen is one of
the small kinds of kuitra; the larger kind has eight strings of sheep's
gut arranged in four pairs.

Three English flageolets, made in the beginning of the present century.
An ivory flûte à bec, made by Stanesby, junior, London, 1740. An ivory
flauto piccolo with a silver key; English, eighteenth century. An ivory
flauto traverso with one silver key; English, eighteenth century. This
ivory flute and the two preceding ones are handsome instruments. A flûte
à bec; English, about 1700; of box-wood and ivory; length, 18 inches;
eight finger-holes, and without any key. An English recorder, of wood
stained black; length, 26 inches; it probably dates from the seventeenth
century. Two tenor flutes, German, made about the year 1600. Length, 2
ft. 9 in. Seven finger-holes and one key. These scarce instruments were
formerly in Signor Mario's museum. An English bass flute, made about the
year 1650. Wood and ivory; with a brass tube for blowing the instrument.
Six finger-holes, and one brass key at the upper side, and one
finger-hole for the thumb at the opposite side. Length, 3 ft. 8 in.
Three double flageolets dating from the beginning of the present
century, two of which are made by Bainbridge in London, and the third is
inscribed "Simpson." A triple flageolet, on which harmony in three parts
can be played; made by Bainbridge in London, in the beginning of the
present century. An English horn (oboe da caccia) made of red cedar, by
Thomas Stanesby, junior, in London, about 1740. An English horn (oboe da
caccia), eighteenth century; probably made in England. Wood, stained
black, and ivory. This is the kind of oboe which J. S. Bach has employed
in his 'Passion of St. Matthew.' A dolciano, a small bassoon.
Inscription: "Wood and Ivy, late Gerd Wood, London." A basset horn
(corno di bassetto), probably English. A border bagpipe, from
Northumberland. With bellows, and four drones. A French bagpipe
(cornemuse). An English trumpet in case; made probably in the eighteenth
or in the beginning of the nineteenth century. A small trombone,
English, made by Allen and Pace. A horn, of brass; the bell terminating
in the head of a serpent; English, eighteenth century. A serpent, by
"Gerrock Wolf, in London;" beginning of the present century. Two
alphorns, made by M. von Euw in Bürgy, Rigi Kulm, Canton Swyz,
Switzerland, of birchwood neatly covered with birch-bark. Length, 8 ft.
1 in. A cither, a specimen of the kind which was commonly found in
England, some centuries ago, in barbers' shops; English, about 1700.[6]
A German cither; end of the seventeenth century. Ornamented with
marquetry. A small English cither, made about the year 1700. The open
strings produce only five tones instead of six. Specimens of this kind
are very scarce. An English cither of the eighteenth century. An English
cither made by Remerus Liessem, London, 1756. The body is of a very
old-fashioned form, having several incurvations at the sides. A small
English cither of the eighteenth century. The sound-hole is ornamented
with a rose made of wood. The rose of the English cither is more usually
made of bronze. Cetera; an Italian cither, made about the year 1680.
This is the most beautiful cither in the collection. The entire
instrument, except the belly, is inlaid with tasteful designs in ivory
and ebony. Also the tone is remarkably fine. A Scotch cither neatly
inlaid with wood ornamentation. At the back is a plate of
mother-of-pearl with the inscription "Rudiman, ABDN, DG." Perhaps this
cither belonged to the well-known Latin grammarian Rudiman, who, about
the year 1700, was at King's College in Aberdeen. An Irish cither with
an ivory finger-board and with ten tuning-screws of brass. A large
specimen. Made by Perry in Dublin; eighteenth century. Cithara; a
Portuguese cither with six pairs of wire-strings, inlaid with
tortoise-shell and ivory. Made by Joan Vieira da Silva at Lisbon, about
1700. Cithara; a Portuguese cither, probably dating from the beginning
of the eighteenth century. Mounted with twelve strings in pairs. A very
fine-toned instrument. Inscription: "Cyprianio Antonio a fez em Lisboa,
ao Largo da Esperança." A keyed cither; English, eighteenth century. It
has six ivory keys. The idea of applying keys like those of the
pianoforte to the cither, and thus striking the wire-strings with
hammers instead of twanging them with a quill originated in Germany, but
proved to be of no practical advantage. Bijuga cither (_i.e._ a cither
with a double neck, like the theorbo). Two French specimens, dating from
about the middle of the eighteenth century. Bijuga cither, made by
Renault in Paris, anno 1779. This handsome species of cither,
constructed like the theorbo, but having a flat back, was evidently
often strung in France with catgut instead of wire, and played with the
fingers like the theorbo. It is probably the instrument which in some
old French books is called _pandore_. It has sixteen strings. A French
bijuga cither of the eighteenth century, inlaid with mother-of-pearl,
ivory and ebony. A fine specimen. An English bijuga cither, eighteenth
century. A German bijuga cither (or Grosszither, as it used to be called
in Germany), sixteenth century. With seventeen wire-strings. This old
instrument is very beautiful in shape, and has a remarkably picturesque
rose in the middle of the sound-board. Two Neapolitan mandolinos, inlaid
with designs in mother-of-pearl tortoise-shell and ivory. One of these
handsome instruments bears the inscription "Januarius Vinaccio fecit,
Neapoli, in Rio Catalana, A. Domini 1776." A beautiful Neapolitan
mandolino in its old Italian case. Inside the instrument is the
inscription "Vincentius Vinaccio fecit, Neapoli, Sito Nella Calata de
Spitalletto, A. D. 1785." A Milanese mandolino, dating from about the
year 1700. Rosewood, inlaid with mother-of-pearl, tortoise-shell, and
ivory. Silver frets. In front, a figure of Apollo under a canopy and
other embellishments in mother-of-pearl. An ornamented sound-hole, the
rose being covered with glass. A figure, made of mother-of-pearl, inlaid
near the bridge, contains the engraved initials "A. G.," which may be
those of the maker of this elegant instrument--possibly Andreas
Guarnerius. This mandolino, the handsomest I ever saw, is of the kind
called by some musicians "mandurina." It has twelve wire-strings which
are arranged in pairs, and therefore produce six tones; while the more
common Neapolitan mandolino has eight strings constituting four pairs. A
French mandoline, made by Eulry-Clement, in Mirecourt, Vosges, beginning
of the present century; the back inlaid with strips of different woods.
Eight strings arranged in four pairs. A mandola; Italian, seventeenth
century. This scarce instrument may be most briefly described as a huge
Neapolitan mandolino. It has the shape of the mandolino, but the size of
a large lute; sixteen wire-strings, placed in pairs, produce eight tones
of the open strings. The sound is remarkably full and fine. A mandola,
similar to the preceding one, inscribed "Gio. Battista, Neapoli, A. D.
1701." Length, 2 ft. 11 in.; depth of body, 10 in. The mandola was
played with a quill like the mandolino and the cither. Pandura, two
specimens, made in Italy about the year 1700. Bandurria; Spanish,
eighteenth century; played with a plectrum usually made of
tortoise-shell. Pandore; English, seventeenth century; played with a
quill. It is also called chiterna. Pandurina; Italian, about 1700; its
nine catgut and wire strings are arranged in pairs tuned in unison,
except the lowest, which is single. The open strings, therefore, produce
five tones. The neck is provided with catgut frets. The pandurina, which
in shape resembles a diminutive lute, even smaller than the Neapolitan
mandoline, was usually played with the fingers, but occasionally also
with a quill. On the Continent, gentlemen used to carry it under their
mantle when they went to musical parties, or for serenading. Pandurina,
twelve-stringed. Inscription: "Carlo Steffani fece. L'Anno 1712, in
Mantova." Pandurina, in its old Italian case, with brass ornamentation.
The back made of strips of ebony and ivory; length, 20 in. Ivory frets;
twelve metal strings. Inscription in the inside: "Joseph Molinari,
Venetus, Anno, 1737." Quinterna, Italian, seventeenth century. A species
of guitar somewhat resembling a violin in shape, with frets made of
catgut. Mounted with eight catgut-strings which produce five tones, as
they are arranged in three pairs and two single ones. A five-stringed
guitar inlaid with mother-of-pearl and tortoise-shell. Italian,
eighteenth century. A French guitar, made by Vobeam, a celebrated
lute-maker of the time of Louis XIV. The strings are arranged in pairs
tuned in unison. An English guitar, made in the beginning of the present
century; the back and sides of the body are of rosewood; the sides have
several indentations. Machine head. Portuguese guitar, made about the
year 1600, with three sound-holes. The head is bent backwards somewhat
like that of the lute; the frets are of catgut, as they used likewise to
be on the lute. Not only the belly, but the entire body is made of thin
pine-wood. The strings, twelve in number, are arranged so that the
higher six are in sets of two, and the lower six in sets of three. As
the strings of each set are tuned in unison, five tones are produced by
the open strings. An inscription in the inside of this guitar, now
greatly obliterated, runs as follows: "Manoel Correa de Almda Uileiro
da Rainha, N. S., morador na Ruadireita la Esperança LXa." It would,
therefore, appear that the guitar was made by Manoel Correa of Almeida
in the province of Beira, Portugal, and that the maker had the title of
manufacturer of musical instruments to the Queen. The Portuguese
musician, Manoel Correa, born in the year 1590, at Lisbon, and engaged
about the year 1620 as chapelmaster at the Cathedral in Saragossa, was
probably of the same family as the maker of this instrument. A guitar of
the Portuguese peasants, made in Lisbon, eighteenth century; oval shape
with indentations at the side; six strings. Inside is a label with the
inscription: "Joze Terreira Coelho a fez em, Lisboa, ao Poco los Negros,
a Cruz da Esperança." Machête, a small guitar with four strings;
Portuguese, eighteenth century. Harp-guitar; English, about 1800. On the
finger-board is the inscription: "Clementi and Co., London;" painted
with flowers, etc.; eight strings. The pianist and composer Clementi
gave his name to a firm of music-sellers in the year 1800. Harp-guitar;
English, about 1800; seven strings. The harp-guitar was manufactured
with the intention of producing a sort of guitar with a superior quality
of sound, by adopting the body of the harp. Lyre-guitare; French, period
of Louis XV.; a guitar in the form of Apollo's lyre, with the addition
of a finger-board in the middle. Lyre-guitare; French, said to have
belonged to Queen Marie-Antoinette; carved and gilt. Guitar-lyre;
English, made by R. Wornum, Wigmore Street, London, about 1770. The
English guitar-lyre is in its construction almost identical with the
French lyre-guitare. Harp-lute; English, about 1800; painted green, with
gilt ornamentation of flowers, and other designs. Dital harp; English.
An improved harp-lute, recorded to have been invented by Edward Light,
London, about the year 1800. Harp-ventura; English, invented at the
beginning of the present century by Angelo Benedetto Ventura, in London.
This gorgeously-ornamented instrument resembles the dital harp and the
harp-lute in construction. Harp-theorbo; English, made by Walker, about
1800. Lute, the back inlaid with ivory and various woods. From an
inscription in the inside, now greatly obliterated, it would appear that
this lute was made by Magnus Tieffenbruker, in Venice, about 1580. Lute,
by Laux Maler, in Bologna, fifteenth century. Brass and ivory screws
have been substituted for the original tuning-pegs. This contrivance, as
well as a painting of flowers on the sound-board, is probably not older
than a hundred years. The places where some of the ancient tuning-pegs
were fixed are still discernible. The cracks on its pear-shaped body
rather contribute to its dignity, and might be likened to the wrinkles
of a venerable grandsire. The sound of this old lute is very fine. A
German lute, made by Jacobus Heinrich Goldt, in Hamburg, anno 1712.
According to an inscription in the inside, it was altered in the year
1753. A French lute of the seventeenth century. An Italian lute;
inscription: "Vvendelio Venere in Padova, 1600;" with the head turned
backwards; twenty strings. This lute is of one of the most celebrated
Italian lute-makers, and is in a well-preserved and playable condition,
notwithstanding its high age. An English lute with a double neck
(Testudo theorbata) made about 1650. A theorbo, Italian, seventeenth
century. It has twenty-four catgut strings, which are arranged in pairs
tuned in unison, except the highest two which are single strings. It was
the custom to have the highest string, called _chanterelle_, single; it
principally served for playing the melody. Sometimes, as in the present
instance, two _chanterelles_ were used. The twenty-four open strings,
therefore, produce thirteen different tones. The frets are of catgut. A
French theorbo, made about the year 1700. An archlute; Italian, about
1700; a large instrument, with eighteen strings, ten of which are for
the upper set of tuning-pegs, belonging to the bass strings which are at
the side of the finger-board. The ten bass strings produce five tones
with their octaves, each tone having two strings tuned in an octave. The
archlute, or bass-theorbo, is the largest sized kind of the theorbo, or
lute with a double neck. An Italian archlute, inscribed: "Matheus
Bucchenberg, Roma, 1619." From Signor Mario's museum. Bucchenberg, or
Bueckenberg as he was more generally called, was one of the most
celebrated lute-makers in Italy, and a German by birth. The present
archlute has three ornamented sound-holes. It is provided with a
mechanism by means of which any one of the bass strings by the side of
the finger-board can be raised a semitone in pitch at the pleasure of
the performer. This ingenious contrivance, which renders the bass
strings more useful in compositions having modulations into distant
major or minor keys, occurs also on a French theorbo dating from about
the year 1700, which is in my collection. But on this French theorbo,
the mechanism acts upon all the strings beside the finger-board
simultaneously, while on the archlute just noticed it is contrived so
that any single string may be altered in pitch independently of others.
As the mechanism is evidently not a later addition, but was made with
the instrument in 1619, it is suggestive to musical antiquarians,
inasmuch as it reveals a higher degree of progress in the construction
of the lute than is generally supposed to have been attained about the
beginning of the seventeenth century. An Italian theorbino, or the
smallest kind of theorbo, seventeenth century; with sixteen strings, six
of which run beside the finger-board. A chitarrone, or large Roman
theorbo; Italian. Inscription: "Vitus de Angelis, Bonon, 1609." It is
about six feet long, and has twenty-one strings. The chitarrone was
formerly called Roman theorbo, because it was principally used at Rome.
There was a similar instrument popular at Padua, somewhat smaller in
size. The present specimen was made in Bologna. The chitarrone was used
in the orchestra, assisting at dramatic performances as well as in
church music. It was often strung with wire instead of catgut; the same
was the case with the common theorbo of Germany and England. A
chitarrone, with marquetry and three ornamented sound-holes; made by M.
Bueckenberg, in Rome, anno 1614. From Signor Mario's collection. An
Irish harp (clarseth), strung with wire; made by Egan, in Dublin, in the
beginning of the present century. An arpanetta (German, Spitzharfe),
English, seventeenth century; with one hundred steel wire-strings and
thirty-five brass wire-strings. A bûche (German, Scheidholt), from Val
d'Ajol, in the Vosges mountains, in France; made in the beginning of the
present century. An English specimen of the _hummel_, probably made
during the eighteenth century; with twelve wire strings. It resembles
the bûche, and may be regarded as an antiquated species of our present
horizontal cither. A bell-harp, made by John Simcock, in Bath, about the
year 1700: length, 20 in. It has sixteen tones. Each tone is produced by
three thin brass wire-strings tuned in unison. The strings are twanged
with two little plectra, or quills, of which the performer fastens one
to the thumb of each hand. The two wooden handles, one on each side of
the instrument, are for holding while swinging it during the
performance, to produce the effect of a distant bell. A bell-harp;
English, about 1700. Inscribed: "Bath, John Simcock, inventor and
maker." This instrument has twenty-four tones produced by thin brass
wire-strings. The highest tones have each four strings tuned in unison,
the others have three, except the deepest, which is produced by a single
string covered with wire. The instrument is in its old case. Dulcimer;
English, with movable bridges. Inscribed: "Old Weston, Huntingdonshire,
1846." Dulcimer; English, beginning of the present century; of mahogany,
the sound-board of pine, being painted green, and gilt. Sixteen sets of
wire-strings, each set consisting of three strings tuned in unison.
Salterio, Italian dulcimer, made by Antonio Bertefice, at Florence, in
the year 1745. Salterio; Italian dulcimer; a small specimen, inscribed
at the back: "Antonius Berri fecit, Anno 1722." From Signor Mario's
museum. Echelette; French, eighteenth century. It has twenty-two slabs
of a hard and sonorous wood, which are sounded by being struck with two
little mallets. A sordino, or boat-shaped pochette; English, seventeenth
century. An Italian sordino, dating from about the year 1600. The body
is of tortoise-shell, inlaid with silver; the tuning-pegs are of ivory;
with a carved head of wood and ivory. The entire length of this sordino
is only 14 inches. A kit, or pochette, in the shape of the violin;
Italian, about 1600. Violetta piccola, the smallest kind of the old viol
instruments, shaped with a slanting neck like the viola da gamba. This
small species of treble viol was called by the French _haute-contre_.
Italian, seventeenth century. A five-stringed viol, called by the French
_quinton_. Inscription "Antonius Gragnani fecit, Anno 1741." A small
six-stringed viol, called by the French _dessus-de-viole_; French,
seventeenth century. A six-stringed viol, called by the French
_pardessus_; French, seventeenth century. A treble viol, with a carved
head; English, about 1700. Its neck has catgut frets, and its six
strings were tuned like those of the bass-viol, or viola da gamba, but
an octave higher. A countertenor-viol; English, seventeenth century.
Inside is the inscription: "Henry Jay, in Southwarke, 1667." The scroll
is finely carved. The belly has, besides the usual two sound-holes, an
oval sound-hole in the middle, with an ornamental rose. The back has a
peculiar curve towards the end; probably, the instrument was intended to
rest on the left shoulder when played. Like the viola da gamba, it has
six strings and catgut frets. It was tuned a fifth higher than the viola
da gamba. A tenor-viol; English, about 1620. This small species of viola
da gamba is now very scarce. It was tuned a fourth higher than the
larger viola da gamba, or bass-viol. Viola da gamba, inlaid with
mythological representations and other ornamentation in ivory,
mother-of-pearl, tortoise-shell, and precious stones. Made about the
year 1580, probably by Joachim Tielke in Hamburg; a splendid instrument.
Viola da gamba; English, seventeenth century; with a finely-carved head
representing the bust of a girl. Inside is the inscription: "Richard
Meares, without Bishopsgate, near to Sir Paul Pinder's, London, Fecit
1677." In the _Post Boy_ of the 9th of July, 1720, we find the following
advertisement: "This is to give notice to all gentlemen and ladies,
lovers of musick, that the most celebrated new opera of 'Radamistus,'
composed by Mr. Handell, is now engraving finely upon copper-plates by
Richard Meares, musical instrument maker and music printer, at the
Golden Viol. To make this work more acceptable, the author has been
prevailed upon to correct the whole." The Golden Viol was the sign of a
music-shop in St. Paul's Churchyard, where Richard Meares, the publisher
of Handel's opera, lived. But, to judge from a notice of this publisher
given in Hawkins's 'History of Music' (Vol. V., p. 109), it appears that
he was the son of the maker of the present viola da gamba. At any rate,
when Handel came to England this instrument was no longer a new one; for
it was made before Handel was born. The bow belonging to it is of the
old-fashioned kind known as the Corelli bow. And it may be here
mentioned that with most of the viols before enumerated curious bows are
placed which have long since gone out of use. Viola da gamba; Italian,
about 1600; with a finely-carved head. The finger-board is inlaid with
designs of flowers, etc., in tortoise-shell and ivory. This fine-toned
bass-viol is supposed to have been made by Gaspar di Salo. At all
events, it is a valuable specimen by some early Italian maker. Viola da
gamba; English, about 1700. The instrument resembles a small
violoncello, since its body does not slant towards the neck. An
illustration of this kind of viola da gamba is given in 'The
Division-Violist, by Christopher Simpson, London, 1659.' Its body is
remarkably flat, and its quality of sound is consequently very clear.
Like the common viola da gamba, the instrument is six-stringed, and has
catgut frets. A seven-stringed viola da gamba; probably Italian; towards
the end of the seventeenth century. The addition of a seventh string to
the viola da gamba is said to have been first resorted to by the French
_virtuoso_ Maria Marais, towards the end of the seventeenth century. The
string added is the lowest, and is tuned a minor third lower than the C
string on the violoncello. The innovation evidently did not find much
favour with gamba players in general; and it is seldom that one still
meets with a seven-stringed gamba. A four-stringed viola da gamba; made
by John Baker in Oxford, anno 1688. Four-stringed gambas met with at the
present day are almost invariably altered six-stringed ones, on which
the neck has been narrowed, and the head shortened, so that the
instrument may be used as a small violoncello. This one was originally
made with only four strings, and has evidently never been tampered
with. Viola d'amore; Italian, seventeenth century. A fine specimen, in a
well-preserved condition. Viola d'amore; Italian, seventeenth century.
Old-fashioned shape, having several incurvations at the sides, and a
sound-hole with a rose in the middle of the belly. Seven catgut-strings,
and underneath them seven sympathetic strings of thin steel-wire. Viola
d'amore; German, eighteenth century. Probably made by Jacob Rauch, in
Mannheim, about 1740. With only five catgut-strings, and with eight
sympathetic wire-strings. An English viola d'amore strung entirely with
wire, seventeenth century; with a curiously-constructed head, ornamented
with a carved female bust. A so-called psaltery (also known as sultana
and cither-viol). Mounted with six wire-strings, and played with a bow.
Irish; eighteenth century. Made by Thomas Perry, in Dublin, anno 1767. A
psaltery, made by Thomas Perry, in Dublin, second half of eighteenth
century. The neck and the tail-piece are of ivory. Its ten strings are
of steel and brass wire, the highest eight being arranged in four pairs
producing four tones, and the others are single ones producing two
tones. Hardangerfelen. A kind of viola d'amore of the Hardanger peasants
in Norway, inlaid with mother-of-pearl and ivory. The top, carved and
gilt, represents a dragon's head. This fiddle has four catgut-strings,
and four thin steel-strings beneath them. Inside is the inscription
"Fabrokert of Knudt Erikson, Helland, 1872." It was sent to me from
Christiania. Violins of unusual shapes, three curious specimens, made
during the eighteenth century. A violin made of iron. Probably English,
beginning of the present century. If on no other account, this violin is
certainly interesting in an acoustic point of view, since it proves that
much sound is obtainable merely by the vibration of the strings acting
upon the column of air in the violin, without any assisting vibration of
the belly or sound-board. At all events, the substance of which this
violin is made is not likely to contribute to the sonorousness. A tromba
marina or marine trumpet, probably Dutch, seventeenth century. Besides
one string of thick catgut upon the instrument, there are in the inside
forty-one sympathetic strings of thin steel-wire. A nyckel-harpa, a
curious instrument of the Swedish peasantry, which may be briefly
described as a combination of a fiddle and a hurdy-gurdy. A crwth, an
antiquated Welsh instrument of the fiddle class. The body is cut out of
a single block of wood, the belly only being glued to it. Two specimens
of the nail-violin, one of which has sympathetic strings of thin
brass-wire running over the sound-board. These two curious instruments
were probably made in France or Germany about the year 1800. The
invention of the nail-violin is attributed to a German of the name of
Wilde, who lived in St. Petersburg about the middle of the eighteenth
century. A hurdy-gurdy (French, _vielle_), made by Pagot at Jenzat, a
small town near Orleans, about the year 1840. Carved head. Six
tuning-pegs at the top, and one at the tail-piece. This hurdy-gurdy is
of the kind which the French call _vielle en luth_, because its body is
shaped like that of the lute. The other kind, which has indentations at
the sides resembling those of the guitar, is called _vielle en guitare_.
Organ hurdy-gurdy, or _vielle organisée_, made by a Frenchman residing
in London during the middle of the eighteenth century. This curious
instrument, which was formerly also known in England, where it was
called _flute-cymbal_, consists of a hurdy-gurdy combined with a small
organ of two stops, and it is so contrived as to allow the hurdy-gurdy
or the organ to be used each separately, or both combined, at the
pleasure of the performer. Some portions of it have been restored in the
present century. Clavichord, generally called in German _Clavier_. Made
in Einbeck, near Hanover, about the year 1800. Clavichord, made in
Thuringia. Clavichord, made by the celebrated manufacturer, Barthold
Fritz, in Brunswick, in the year 1751; ornamented with painting and
engraving. Harpsichord, inscribed "Jacobus Kirkman, Londini, fecit
1772." The case is of walnut, inlaid with tulip-wood. Carved legs
representing eagle's claws grasping a ball. With two keyboards,
constituting a "double harpsichord," as it used to be called in England.
The woodwork about the keyboards is ornamented with designs in marquetry
of various coloured woods. This harpsichord has six stops and two
pedals, and is provided with a Venetian swell. Jacobus Kirkman, having
obtained an order from King George III. to produce a fine harpsichord
intended as a present for Queen Charlotte, made--as manufacturers under
such circumstances not unfrequently do--two harpsichords exactly alike,
viz., one for Queen Charlotte, and the present one, which was bought by
John Bacon, the famous sculptor, after whose death it came into the
possession of Dr. Sclatter, priest-vicar of Exeter Cathedral, who had it
for nearly half-a-century, and after whose death it was sold at a sale
of his effects. Harpsichord with two keyboards, six stops, and two
pedals. Inscribed "Jacobus et Abraham Kirkman, fecerunt 1773." The case
is of mahogany; the wood near the keyboards is walnut, inlaid with
tulip-wood and a tesselated border of various coloured woods. Only the
lute-stop has jacks with crow-quills; the jacks of the other stops are
provided with small pieces of prepared leather instead of quills. The
variety in the colour of sound thereby obtained is very effective. This
instrument probably exhibits the highest degree of perfection which was
ever attained in the construction of the harpsichord, in so far as
quality and power of sound are concerned. As regards outward appearance,
the beauty of some of the Dutch harpsichords, or _clavicembali_,
ornamented with paintings by celebrated artists, is unsurpassed.

It now remains to draw attention to the fact that many of the Museums of
Antiquities in different countries instituted by Government contain some
curiosities of the kind in question which cannot fail to interest the
musical antiquarian. This is the case even in America, where in the
museums of Mexico, Lima, and other towns, may be found among the
examples of workmanship and arts of the Aztecs and the Inca Peruvians
various contrivances relating to music. That royal personages in their
cabinets of curiosities obtained from distant lands should not
unfrequently have scarce, or handsome, or grotesque-looking musical
instruments is only what might be expected. There are, for instance,
about forty acquisitions of this kind in Windsor Castle, which consist
chiefly of Asiatic and African drums, pipes, and stringed instruments.
Several of them, however, are spoiled by having been "improved," or
Europeanized. Some have descriptive labels attached to them, as, for
instance, an Ashanti war-trumpet made of a human bone, and ornamented
with human jawbones; and an Ashanti war-drum, carved from the trunk of a
tree, and likewise ornamented with human jawbones; which two
curiosities, the labels inform us, belonged to the King of Ashanti, from
whom they were taken "in the action in which he was defeated by Colonel
Purden. Sent by Sir Herbert Taylor in 1827. Brought to England by
Major-General Sir Neil Campbell, commanding on the Western Coast of
Africa." There is also in this assemblage a fanciful contrivance, which
is intended for a sort of guitar, and of which a label affixed informs
us: "This instrument was made from the head of the Duke of Schomberg's
horse, killed at the battle of the Boyne, 1690."

Of the special exhibition of ancient musical instruments held in the
South Kensington Museum in the year 1872, an account has been given in
the Descriptive Catalogue of the Musical Instruments in the South
Kensington Museum, London, 1874. The present survey would, however, be
imperfect if that remarkable exhibition were left entirely unnoticed,
although the collection which it comprised had an existence of four
months only. Suffice it here to record that it contained upwards of five
hundred instruments, including a large number of violins, violas, and
violoncellos of the celebrated Cremona makers. Should a similar
exhibition be attempted, an equally successful result is not likely to
be achieved for years, if ever. Old and scarce musical instruments have
become of much more antiquarian interest than formerly was the case. The
specimens still obtainable by purchase gradually find their way into
public museums, not only in European countries, but also in America, and
in the English colonies. Whenever they have been secured for a museum
they generally are no longer obtainable on loan for other exhibitions.
Private persons possessing such treasures set upon them a higher value
than formerly, and are therefore less inclined to expose them to the
risk of being injured. For these reasons it appears all the more
desirable that there should be some record of the collections known to
be still in existence.

[5] Some account of the instruments in Eisenberg appeared in the Vienna
paper, "Die Presse," of November 27th, 1872.

[6] In England the cither was formerly called _cittern_, _cithern_,
_cythorn_, _citharen_, etc.



Music is so delightfully innocent and charming an art that we cannot
wonder at finding it almost universally regarded as of divine origin.
Pagan nations generally ascribe the invention of their musical
instruments to their gods or to certain superhuman beings of a godlike
nature. The Hebrews attributed it to man; but as Jubal is mentioned as
"the father of all such as handle the harp and organ" only, and as
instruments of percussion are almost invariably in use long before
people are led to construct stringed and wind instruments, we may
suppose that, in the biblical records, Jubal is not intended to be
represented as the original inventor of all the Hebrew instruments, but
rather as a great promoter of the art of music.

However this may be, thus much is certain: there are among Christians at
the present day not a few sincere upholders of the literal meaning of
those records who maintain that instrumental music was already practised
in Heaven before the creation of the world. Elaborate treatises have
been written on the nature and effect of that heavenly music, and
passages from the Bible have been cited by the learned authors which are
supposed by them to confirm indisputably the opinions advanced in their

It may, at a first glance, appear singular that nations have not
generally such traditional records respecting the originators of their
vocal music as they have respecting the invention of their musical
instruments. The cause is however explicable; to sing is as natural to
man as to speak, and uncivilised nations are not likely to speculate
whether singing has ever been invented.

There is no need to recount here the well-known mythological traditions
of the ancient Greeks and Romans referring to the origin of their
favourite musical instruments. Suffice it to remind the reader that
Mercury and Apollo were believed to be the inventors of the lyra and the
kithara; that the invention of the flute was attributed to Minerva; and
that Pan is said to have invented the syrinx. More worthy of our
attention are some similar records of the Hindus, because they have
hitherto scarcely been noticed in any work on music.

In the mythology of the Hindus the god Nareda is the inventor of the
_vina_, the principal national musical instrument of Hindustan.
Saraswati, the consort of Brahma, may be considered as the Minerva of
the Hindus. She is the goddess of music as well as of speech. To her is
attributed the invention of the systematic arrangement of the sounds
into a musical scale. She is represented seated on a peacock and playing
on a stringed instrument of the guitar kind. Brahma himself we find
depicted as a vigorous man with four handsome heads, beating with his
hands upon a small drum. And Vishnu, in his incarnation as Krishna, is
represented as a beautiful youth playing upon a flute. The Hindus still
possess a peculiar kind of flute which they consider as the favourite
instrument of Krishna. Furthermore, they have the divinity of Gen[=e]sa,
the god of wisdom, who is represented as a man with the head of an
elephant holding in his hands a tamboura--a kind of lute with a long

Among the Chinese we meet with a tradition according to which they
obtained their musical scale from a miraculous bird called Foung-hoang,
which appears to have been a sort of Phoenix. As regards the invention
of musical instruments, the Chinese have various traditions. In one of
these we are told that the origin of some of their most popular
instruments dates from the period when China was under the dominion of
heavenly spirits called Ki. Another assigns the invention of several of
their stringed instruments to the great Fohi, called "the Son of
Heaven," who was, it is said, the founder of the Chinese empire, and who
is stated to have lived about B. C. 3000, which was long after the
dominion of the Ki, or spirits. Again, another tradition holds that the
most important Chinese musical instruments, and the systematic
arrangement of the tones, are an invention of Niuva, a supernatural
female, who lived at the time of Fohi, and who was a virgin-mother. When
Confucius, the great Chinese philosopher, happened to hear on a certain
occasion some divine music, he became so greatly enraptured that he
could not take any food for three months afterwards. The music which
produced this miraculous effect was that of Kouei, the Orpheus of the
Chinese, whose performance on the _king_, a kind of harmonicon
constructed of slabs of sonorous stone, would draw wild animals around
him and make them subservient to his will.

The Japanese have a beautiful tradition according to which the
Sun-goddess, in resentment of the violence of an evil-disposed brother,
retired into a cave, leaving the universe in darkness and in anarchy;
when the beneficent gods, in their concern for the welfare of mankind,
devised music to lure her forth from the retreat, and their efforts soon
proved successful.[7]

The Kalmuks, in the vicinity of the Caspian Sea, adore a beneficent
divinity, called Maidari, who is represented as a rather jovial-looking
man, with a moustache and an imperial, playing upon an instrument with
three strings, somewhat resembling the Russian balalaika.

Almost all these ancient conceptions we meet with also among European
nations, though more or less modified.

Odin, the principal deity of the ancient Scandinavians, was the inventor
of magic songs and Runic writings.

In the Finnish mythology the divine Vainamoinen is said to have
constructed the five-stringed harp, called kantele, the old national
instrument of the Finns. The frame he made out of the bones of the pike,
and the teeth of the pike he used for the tuning-pegs. The strings he
made of hair from the tail of a spirited horse. When the harp fell into
the sea, and was lost, he made another, the frame of which was of
birchwood, with pegs made out of the branch of an oak-tree. As strings
for this harp he used the silky hair of a young girl. Vainamoinen took
his harp, and sat down on a hill near a silvery brook. There he played
with so irresistible an effect that he entranced whatever came within
hearing of his music. Men and animals listened enraptured; the wildest
beasts of the forest lost their ferocity; the birds of the air were
drawn towards him; the fishes rose to the surface of the water, and
remained immovable; the trees ceased to wave their branches; the brook
retarded its course, and the wind its haste; even the mocking echo
approached stealthily, and listened with the utmost attention to the
heavenly sounds. Soon the women began to cry; then the old men and the
children also began to cry; and the girls, and the young men--all cried
for delight. At last Vainamoinen himself wept; and his big tears ran
over his beard, and rolled into the water, and became beautiful pearls
at the bottom of the sea.

Several other musical gods or godlike musicians could be cited, and,
moreover, innumerable minor spirits, all bearing evidence that music is
of divine origin.

True, people who think themselves more enlightened than their
forefathers smile at these old traditions, and say that the original
home of music is the human heart. Be it so. But do not the purest and
most beautiful conceptions of man partake of a divine character? Is not
the art of music generally acknowledged to be one of these? And is it
not, therefore, even independently of myths and mysteries, entitled to
be called the divine art?


It is a suggestive fact that several nations in different parts of the
world possess an ancient tradition, according to which some harp-like
instrument was originally derived from the water.

The Scandinavian god Odin, the originator of magic songs, is mentioned
as the ruler of the sea; and as such he had the name of Nikarr. In the
depth of the sea he played the harp with his subordinate spirits, who
occasionally came up to the surface of the water to teach some favoured
human being their wonderful instrument.

Vainamoinen, the divine player on the Finnish kantele, according to the
Kalewala, the old national æpos of the Finns, constructed the first
instrument of this kind of fish-bones.

Hermes, it will be remembered, made his lyre, the chelys, of a

In Hindu mythology the god Nareda invented the vina, a five-stringed
instrument, considered as the principal national instrument of the
Hindus, which has also the name _kach'-hapi_, signifying a tortoise.
Moreover _nara_ denotes in Sanskrit "water," and _Narada_ or _Nareda_
"the Giver of Water."

Like Nareda, so Nereus and his fifty daughters, the Nereides, mentioned
in Greek mythology, were renowned for their musical accomplishments.

Again, there is an old tradition, preserved in Swedish and Scottish
national ballads, of a skilful harper who constructs his instrument out
of the bones of a young girl drowned by a wicked woman. Her fingers he
uses for the tuning screws, and her golden hair for the strings. The
harper plays, and his music kills the murderess.[8] A similar story is
told in the old Icelandic national songs, and the same tradition has
been found still preserved in the Faroe Islands, as well as in Norway
and Denmark.[9]

May not the agreeable impression produced by the rhythmical flow of the
waves and the soothing murmur of running water have led various nations,
independently of each other, to the widespread conception that they
obtained their favourite instrument of music originally from the water?
Or is this notion traceable to a common source, dating from a
pre-historic age--perhaps from the early period when the Aryan race is
surmised to have diffused its lore through various countries? Or did it
originate in the old belief of the world with all its charms and
delights having arisen from a chaos in which water constituted the
predominant element?

Howbeit, Nareda, the Giver of Water, was evidently also the ruler of the
clouds; and Odin had his throne in the skies. Indeed, many of the
musical water-spirits appear to have been originally considered as
rain-deities. Their music may, therefore, be regarded as derived from
the clouds rather than from the sea. In short, the traditions respecting
spirits and water are not in contradiction to, but rather confirmatory
of the belief that music is of heavenly origin.


Mia Tonsine, a wonderful musician in the time of the Emperor Akber, sang
one of the _night-rags_ at mid-day. The power of the music was such that
it instantly became night, and the darkness extended in a circle round
the palace as far as the sound of the voice could be heard. Rags are
characteristic songs composed in certain modes or scales; and each Rag
is appropriated to a distinct season, in which alone it must be sung or
played at prescribed hours of the day or night; for, over each of the
six Rags, or kinds of compositions, presides a certain god, who presides
likewise over the six seasons. The six seasons are: _Seesar_, the dewy
season; _Heemat_, the cold season; _Vasant_, the mild season, or spring;
_Greesshma_, the hot season; _Varsa_, the rainy season; and _Sarat_, the
breaking-up, or end of the rains.[10]

Whoever shall attempt to sing the Rag _Dheepuck_ (or "Cupid the
Inflamer") is to be destroyed by fire. The Emperor Akber ordered Naik
Gopaul, a celebrated musician, to sing that Rag. Naik Gopaul endeavoured
to excuse himself, but in vain; the Emperor insisted on obedience. The
unhappy musician therefore requested permission to go home, and to bid
farewell to his family and friends. It was winter when he returned,
after an absence of six months. Before he began to sing he placed
himself in the waters of the Jumna till they reached his neck. As soon
as he had performed a strain or two the river gradually became hot; at
length it began to boil, and the agonies of the unhappy musician were
nearly insupportable. Suspending for a moment the melody thus cruelly
extorted, he sued for mercy from the monarch, but sued in vain. Akber
wished to prove more strongly the powers of the Rag _Dheepuck_. Naik
Gopaul renewed the fatal song: flames burst with violence from his body,
which, though immersed in the waters of the Jumna, was consumed to

The effect produced by the Rag called _Maig Mullaar_ is immediate rain.
It is told that a singing girl once, by exerting the powers of her voice
in this Rag, drew from the clouds timely and refreshing showers on the
parched rice-crops of Bengal, and thereby averted the horrors of famine
from the "Paradise of Regions," as the province of Bengal is sometimes

Sir William Ouseley, who obtained these traditions, it would appear,
from oral communication, states that they are related by many of the
Hindus, and implicitly believed by some. However, on inquiring of the
people whether there are still musical performers among them who can
produce effects similar to those recorded, one is gravely told that the
art is now almost lost, but that there are still musicians possessed of
miraculous powers in the west of Hindustan; and if one inquires in the
west, they say that should any such musicians remain, they must be found
in Bengal.[11]

A reliable collection of Hindu traditions relating to music might,
probably, be suggestive and valuable to the musical historian,
especially if he examined them with reference to the myths of the
ancient Egyptians and Greeks.


There appears to be a notion universally prevailing among uncivilised
people that, during an eclipse of the sun or moon, the two luminaries
are quarrelling with each other, or that their conjugal happiness is
being disturbed by some intruding monster.

The natives of the Polynesian Islands have an old tradition, according
to which the moon (called _marama_) is the wife of the sun (called
_ra_), and, during an eclipse, the moon is supposed to be bitten or
pinched by some angry spirit.[12]

The Javanese, and the natives of the Indian Archipelago in general, when
an eclipse takes place, shout and beat gongs to prevent the sun or moon
from being devoured by the great dragon (called _nága_), which they
suppose to be attacking the luminary.[13] This notion appears to have
been adopted by the Malays from the Hindus, in whose mythology a god
called Rahu--who is recorded to have been originally a giant, and who is
painted black--at the time of an eclipse swallows up the sun and moon,
and vomits them up again.

Of the Chinese we are told: "As soon as they perceive that the sun or
moon begins to be darkened, they throw themselves on their knees and
knock their foreheads against the earth. A noise of drums and cymbals is
immediately heard throughout the whole city. This is the remains of an
ancient opinion entertained in China, that by such a horrid din they
assist the suffering luminary, and prevent it from being devoured by the
celestial dragon."[14]

The Greenlanders have, according to Crantz, a somewhat similar
tradition; but, instead of musical instruments, the men carry kettles
and boxes to the top of the house, and rattle and beat them, and the
women pinch the dogs by the ears, to frighten away the moon, who, they
suppose, is insulting his wife, the sun.[15] In Greenland, the moon is
the man, and the sun is the wife, as in Germany.

Again, the Negroes in Western Africa appear to have much the same
notion. The traveller Lander, during his stay at Boussa in Soudan,
witnessed the wild behaviour of the Negroes at the occurrence of an
eclipse of the moon. Their principal exertions to avert the supposed
impending calamity consisted in blowing trumpets, beating drums, singing
and shouting.[16]

The Japanese legend of the sun-goddess, who, after having hidden herself
in a cavern, is enticed from her dark abode by the power of music, is
apparently likewise a poetical conception of an eclipse. Titsingh, in
reciting the same tradition, says that Fensio-Daysin, the sun-goddess,
fled to the cavern in consequence of a dispute she had with her brother,
Sasanno-Ono-Mikotto, the god of the moon.[17]

From these examples it seems that musical performances, or, at least,
the sounds of loud instruments, are considered the most effective agent
for appeasing the anger of the quarrelling celestial bodies. But there
is no reason to assume that this peculiar notion originally emanated
from one people. Like several other popular traditions, it most likely
owes its origin to impressions produced on the mind by a certain natural
phenomenon; and it may, therefore, have suggested itself to different
nations quite independently, instead of having been transmitted from one
nation to another.


Most of the popular legends and fairy tales which have been
traditionally preserved are of high origin. Many of those which appear
to have originated during the Christian era are only modifications of
older ones dating from heathen times. Thus, we find the Virgin Mary in a
legend substituted for a pagan goddess, and one or other Saint for a
pagan god. Sometimes a remarkable incident, recorded in ancient history,
is related as having occurred at a much more recent time. Perhaps it
may have happened again, but in many cases the old tradition has,
undoubtedly, been borrowed by one nation from another, and has been
adapted to circumstances which favoured its adaptation.

In the musical records of the Arabs mention is made of the wonderful
accomplishments of a celebrated musician, whose name was Al-Farabi, and
who acquired his proficiency in Spain, in one of the schools at Cordova,
which flourished as early as towards the end of the ninth century. The
reputation of Al-Farabi became so great, that ultimately it extended to
Asia. The mighty Caliph of Bagdad himself desired to hear the celebrated
musician, and sent messengers to Spain with instructions to offer rich
presents to Al-Farabi, and to convey him to the Caliph's court; but the
musician feared that if he went he should be detained in Asia, and
should never again see his home, to which he felt deeply attached.
However, at last he resolved to disguise himself, and to undertake the
journey, which promised him a rich harvest. Dressed in a mean costume he
made, unrecognized, his appearance at the court just at the time when
the mighty Caliph was being entertained with his daily concert.
Al-Farabi, unknown to everyone present, was permitted to exhibit his
skill. He sang, accompanying himself on the lute. Scarcely had he
commenced his performance in a certain musical mode when he set all his
audience laughing aloud, notwithstanding the efforts of the courtiers to
suppress so unbecoming an exhibition of mirth in the presence of the
mighty Caliph. In truth, even the mighty Caliph himself was compelled to
burst out into a fit of laughter. Presently, Al-Farabi changed to
another mode, and the effect was that immediately all his hearers began
to sigh, and soon tears of sadness replaced the previous tears of mirth.
Again he sang and played in another mode, which excited his audience to
such a rage that they would have fought each other if he, seeing the
danger, had not directly gone over to an appeasing mode. After this
wonderful exhibition of his skill, he concluded in a mode which had the
extraordinary effect of making his listeners fall into a profound sleep,
during which Al-Farabi took his departure.

It will be seen that this incident is almost identical with one recorded
as having happened about twelve hundred years earlier at the court of
Alexander the Great, and which forms the subject of Dryden's fine poem,
'Alexander's Feast.' The distinguished flutist, Timotheus, playing
before Alexander, successively aroused and subdued different passions by
changing the musical modes during the performance, exactly in the same
way as did Al-Farabi more than a thousand years later.


The Germans have a curious story in which an incident occurs calling to
mind Arion's famous adventure. It will be remembered that Arion, after
having gained by his musical talents great riches, was, during a voyage,
in imminent danger of being murdered by the sailors, who coveted the
treasures he was carrying with him. When he found that his death was
decided upon, he asked permission to strike once more his beloved lyre.
And so feelingly did he play, that the fishes surrounding the ship took
compassion. He threw himself into the water, and was carried ashore by a

As regards Trusty Ferdinand, the hero of the German story, we are told
that he, seeing a fish struggling near the shore and gasping for water,
takes it by the tail and restores it to its element. Whereupon the fish,
in gratitude, puts its head out of the water, and presents Trusty
Ferdinand with a flute. "Shouldst thou ever stand in need of my
assistance," says the fish, "only play upon this flute, and I will come
and help thee." Sometime afterwards Trusty Ferdinand embarks on a voyage
to a distant country. While on board a ship he has the misfortune to let
drop into the sea a precious ring, upon the possession of which depends
the happiness of a beautiful princess as well as his own happiness. He
takes up his flute; as soon as he begins to play, the fish appears and
reaches back to him the precious ring.


The Wild Huntsman tears through the forest at night attended by a noisy
host, pursuing his furious chase with unearthly singing, with sounding
of horns, with the barking of dogs, the clattering of horses, and with
fearful shouting and hallooing. This widespread conception has been
ascertained to date from ancient pagan time, in which Wuotan, (or
Woden), the principal deity of German mythology, exhibits the
characteristics commonly attributed to the Wild Huntsman. But it is new
as well as old; for it suggests itself not less naturally at the present
day than it suggested itself in bygone times--as the reader will perhaps
know from his own experience, if he has ever found himself alone on a
stormy moonlight night in a forest of Bohemia or Germany. In any case,
he may be sure that it is no joke to traverse in such a night a forest
which still continues in almost its primeval state.

For awhile everything appears silent as the grave, and the lonely
pedestrian, pursuing some old track which faintly indicates the way to a
village, is only occasionally bewildered by the sudden darkness
occurring when a cloud obscures the moon, or by the startling
brightness, should he reach unexpectedly a clearing in the forest just
at the moment when a cloud has passed across the moon, casting not far
before him its shadow, which like a spectre rapidly flits over the
brushwood, assuming various uncouth shapes. Soon his imagination is
excited by distant sounds never heard in open day--yelping of foxes,
howling of wolves, grunting of wild boars; and now by the piteous cry of
agony emitted by a bird which has fallen a prey to some ravenous beast.
Presently he is startled by an awful noise like the galloping of a
cavalcade: a herd of stags is hastily fleeing through the wood. The
cavalcade seems to come straight upon him; but soon the noise grows
weaker, and quickly dies away. Now a whirlwind sweeping over the forest,
and violently shaking the tops of the trees, gradually approaches the
harassed pedestrian. At first only groaning and grumbling, it soon
bursts forth into a terrific howl; and as it furiously passes over the
head of the involuntary witness, it scares from their hiding-places
sundry owls, the hooting and screeching of which alone would suffice to
make his hair stand on end. And when the whirlwind has swept over, and
is only heard faintly murmuring in the distance, other sounds and
apparitions not less terrifying are sure soon to arise. In short, the
lonely wanderer, be he ever so intelligent an observer of nature, will
most likely feel his heart eased of a heavy weight when he has left the
forest behind him. Soon, having reached the end of his journey, he may
put on his slippers with that comfortable sensation of relief which
people are sure to experience when they have escaped an imminent danger.
It is all very well for him now to persuade himself that, after all, he
has only witnessed some interesting natural phenomena; he may perhaps
even smile at the superstitious notions of simple-minded peasants. But
of what avail is this to him? The night is not yet over, and he cannot
escape a fearful dream of a personal encounter with the Wild Huntsman
and his furious host.

From what has been said it will not surprise the reader that the reports
of witnesses who profess to have met with the Wild Huntsman are at
variance in many points. Much evidently depends upon the nature of the
locality in which the mysterious apparition shows itself. In some parts
of Germany particular stress is laid upon the softness and sweetness of
his music. This conception may have originated in the pine-forests where
the delicate needle-shaped leaves of the trees are vibrated by the wind
like the strings of an Æolian harp. But, the blowing of the huntsman's
horn seems to be an indispensable attribute to the furious chase. The
country-folks in Mecklenburg, and in some other provinces in the North
of Germany where Low German is spoken, on hearing the mysterious noise
in the wood, say, "_De Wode tüt!_" ("Woden is tooting!") thereby
implying a series of unrhythmical sounds rather than a melodious
succession of tones on the horn--in fact, sounds very much like the
hooting of the owl. It is moreover a common belief that a kind of owl,
called by the peasants _Tutosel_, always accompanies the Wild Huntsman
with his furious host.

An account of an extraordinary occurrence given by an honest witness is,
of course, generally preferable to a statement of the same occurrence
merely obtained from hearsay; and the evidence of the witness deserves
all the greater attention if he shows himself to be an intelligent and
keen observer. The subjoined report of the German Baron Reibnitz may
therefore interest the reader. It was communicated by the Baron to the
Philosophical Society in Görlitz, Silesia. As Görlitz possesses a
Philosophical Society, there must be clever fellows in the town. Be this
as it may, the document is authentic, and has been faithfully translated
from the German.


"The popular tradition of the Wild Huntsman, current in many places,
prevails also still at the present day in my village of Zilmsdorf. From
my earliest years I had been acquainted with it, but only from hearsay;
and as soon as I had come into possession of my paternal inheritance, I
gave the most stringent orders, especially to the nightwatch, to inform
me immediately, at any hour of the night, should this event come to

"About thirty years ago, towards eleven o'clock on a clear night in the
month of May, I heard a knocking at my window:--

"'Gracious Baron!' cried my nightwatch, 'The Wild Huntsman! In the upper
wood of Teuplitz!'

"I directly gave orders to arouse Stäglich, my gamekeeper, who at that
time--I being then a bachelor--was groom, gamekeeper, house-steward, in
short all in all to me, and was moreover just of my own age, and
certainly an excellent forester.

"'Go, fetch the horses! Make haste! Don't stop to saddle--only the
horse-cloth; the Wild Huntsman is in the forest; we will welcome him!'

"This was the very thing for Stäglich. In less than ten minutes we were
mounted, well-armed, and were flying over meadows and ploughed fields
towards the sounds of hunting-horns and the crying of hounds. Scarcely
had we reached the heath when the noise ceased. We remained quiet. On a
sudden we heard close by us a yelping much like that of a badger-dog
when it has recovered the lost scent. Rapidly the yelping of dogs, large
and small, with the sounds of horns, increased; and now commenced a
truly furious chase, which moved towards the middle of the forest, where
other hunting-horns besides were winding awfully. We spurred our horses
and rushed forwards, but an impenetrable thicket compelled us to change
our course, and to turn into a part of the forest where there was but
little underwood, but where, notwithstanding the beautiful starlight
night, it was so pitch dark that we really could not see the wood for
the trees, as the saying is. The horses--which, as is well-known, are at
night more nervous than men--shied several times.

"On a sudden the Wild Hunt appeared to come directly towards us, with a
clamour so terrible that, as soon as we reached the summit of the hill
where the highest forest trees stand, we called out to each other: 'Now
at them!'

"Like a whirlwind it rushed past us, with awful music of voices and
instruments, at a distance of scarcely forty paces. The horses snorted
and shied, and that of my gamekeeper reared and fell backwards.

"'Heaven be merciful to us, and protect us!' we both cried. I hastened
to his assistance, but he was already rising. Soon he was again at my
side. Our horses nervously pressed close to each other. The Wild Hunt
appeared to be over, when, after a little while, we heard it commencing
anew a great distance off, in the open fields. Without waste of time we
hastened in that direction, and soon reached the fields.

"The stars shone brightly and cheerfully. Now the Wild Hunt passed
before us; but as we approached, it gradually went off in a curved line,
with sounding of horns, crying of hounds, and clattering of horses. Soon
it was far away on the distant heath.

"We rode home, where the nightwatch anxiously awaited us. He had already
begun to doubt whether we should ever come back. It was past one


The calls of birds are perhaps more frequently considered as good
presages than as unlucky ones. Among the Slavonic nations, especially
the Poles and Lithuanians, the hooting of the owl predicts misery and
death. Also in Germany, if the little screech-owl makes its appearance
in a village during a moonlight night, and settling on a farm-building
emits its melancholy notes, some people are sure to hint that there will
be ere long a death in the family of the householder. Moreover, a
similar superstition prevails in Hindustan.[19]

The croaking of a raven is considered in Russia and Servia as foreboding
the shedding of blood.[20] The ancient tradition of the singing of the
dying swan is familiar to everyone. Although our common swan does not
produce sounds which might account for this tradition, it is a
well-known fact that the wild swan (_cygnus ferus_), also called the
whistling swan, when on the wing emits a shrill tone, which, however
harsh it may sound if heard near, produces a pleasant effect when,
emanating from a large flock high in the air, it is heard in a variety
of pitches of sound, increasing or diminishing in loudness according to
the movements of the birds and to the current of the wind. With the idea
of the song of the dying swan appears to be connected the Scandinavian
tradition of the Valkyrjas, who were maidens in armour with wings of
swans. During a battle the Valkyrjas approached floating through the
air, and hovering over the scene of carnage, they indicated who were to
fall in the fight.[21]

The cuckoo is regarded by the Russians and by most other Slavonic
nations as a bird of sadness. According to a Servian tradition the
cuckoo (called _kukawiza_) was a girl who wept so continually for her
deceased brother that she was transformed into a bird, which in two
melancholy tones sends its unabating complaint through the air. A
Servian girl who has lost her brother (lover?) never hears the cuckoo
without shedding tears. Moreover, in Servia the cuckoo is considered as
a prophetic bird, especially by the _heyduk_, or robber, who augurs from
its earlier or later singing.[22]

Among the Germanic races the notes of the cuckoo, when in the spring it
first makes itself heard, are generally considered as a good omen. It is
still, as from Teutonic mythology it appears to have been in ancient
time, a belief among the peasantry in Germany that if anybody counts the
number of times this bird repeats its call, he may ascertain from it how
many years he has still to live, or how many years will elapse before an
event comes to pass which he has reason to expect. There is an old story
told of a person who, having led a rather wicked life, in order to atone
for it resolved to become a monk for the rest of his life. It happened
that, just as he was entering the monastery, he heard the cuckoo crying
its name the first time in the spring. He anxiously counted the number
of calls; and finding them to amount to twenty-two repetitions, he at
once changed his mind. "If I have to live twenty-two years longer," he
argued with himself, "I may as well enjoy twenty years longer the
pleasures of this world, and then I shall have two whole years left to
denounce its vanities in a monastery." So he at once returned to the

The country-lasses in Sweden count the cuckoo's call to ascertain how
many years they have still to remain unmarried; but they generally shut
their ears and run away when they have heard it a few times. Should a
girl hear it oftener than ten times, she will declare rather vexedly
that she is not superstitious, and that she has not the least faith in
the cuckoo's call.


"Why! he makes music with his mouth!" exclaimed a native of Burmah when
he observed an American missionary whistling; and the missionary noted
down the words in his journal, with the reflection: "It is remarkable
that the Burmese are entirely ignorant of whistling."[23] But may not
the simple-minded Asiatic only have been astonished in observing what he
thought unbecoming in a gentleman who had come to Burmah to teach a new

The Arabs generally disapprove of whistling, called by them _el sifr_.
Some maintain that the whistler's mouth is not to be purified for forty
days; while others are of opinion that Satan touching a man's person
causes him to produce the offensive sound.[24]

The natives of the Tonga Islands, Polynesia, consider it wrong to
whistle, as being disrespectful to their gods.[25]

In European countries people are met with who object to whistling on a
certain day of the week, or at certain times of the day. The villagers
in some districts of North Germany have the saying, that if one whistles
in the evening it makes the angels weep. The villagers in Iceland say
that even if one swings about him a stick, whip, wand, or aught that
makes a whistling sound, he scares from him the Holy Ghost; while other
Icelanders, who consider themselves free from superstitions, cautiously
give the advice: "Do it not; for who knoweth what is in the air?"[26]

There seem to have been, however, in all ages light-hearted persons who,
defying the superstitious views of their compatriots, have whistled to
their heart's content, or for the amusement of those who set at nought
popular prejudices.

Joseph Strutt, in his 'Sports and Pastimes of the People of England'
records the astonishing performance of a whistler who, assuming the name
of Rossignol, exhibited at the end of the last century his talent on the
stage of Covent Garden Theatre. Again, an amusing account is given in
the 'Spectator' (Vol. VIII., No. 570) of a skilful whistler, who was the
host of the tavern especially patronised by Addison and Steele; and the
writer concludes his description of the host's surprising talent by
recommending his readers to repair to the tavern and to order a bottle
of wine for the sake of the whistling.

The Russians in the Ukraine tell a queer story about a whistling robber
of old, who must have been a person of fabulously large dimensions, for
he used to sit, we are told, on nine oak trees at once. His name is
still known; but it would be an infliction upon the reader to put before
him a name almost entirely made up of consonants, and only pronounceable
by a Russian. This celebrated robber had, however, also a nickname
signifying "Nightingale," which was given to him on account of his
extraordinary whistling powers. Whenever a traveller happened to enter
the forest in which the robber Nightingale had his domicile, it was pity
for him if he had neglected to make his will; for the robber Nightingale
whistled so impressively that the poor traveller must needs faint away,
and then the wretched whistler stepped forward and killed him outright.
But, at last, a great hero, who was besides a holy man, and whose name
was Ilja Murometz, repaired to the forest to subdue the robber
Nightingale. Having hit him with an arrow, and taken him prisoner, he
bound him to the saddle of his horse and escorted him to Kiev to the
court of the Grand-Prince Vladimir. Even there the fettered whistler
proved most dangerous. For when the Grand-Prince, merely from curiosity,
and perhaps to see whether his courtiers had told him the truth,
commanded the robber to whistle before him--the Grand-Princess and all
the royal children being present--the man at once commenced whistling in
a manner so overpowering that soon Vladimir with his whole family would
inevitably have been dead, had not some brave courtiers, perceiving the
danger, got up and shut the whistler's mouth.

Moreover, some enlightened Russians say that the story must not be taken
literally. At the time of the introduction of Christianity into Russia
there lived near Kiev, they say, a pagan high-priest who was so
distinguished an orator that he actually succeeded in drawing many to
his side to check the spread of Christianity. This man, whose powers of
persuasion were so great that his adherents called him Nightingale, was
at last vanquished by his Christian antagonist Murometz. The bones of
Murometz, we are further informed, have never decayed, and are still
annually exhibited in Kiev to be venerated by an assemblage of pious


[7] 'Notices of Japan.' The Chinese Repository, Vol. IX. Canton, 1840,
P. 620.

[8] 'Deutsche Mythologie, von Jacob Grimm. Göttingen, 1854.' P. 860.

[9] 'Alt-isländische Volks-Balladen, übersetzt von P. J. Willatzen.
Bremen, 1865.' P. 83.

[10] 'Sketches relating to the History, Religion, Learning, and Manners
of the Hindoos, [by Q. Craufurd.] London, 1790.' P. 153.

[11] 'The Oriental Collections, Vol. I. London, 1797.' P. 70.

[12] 'Polynesian Researches, by William Ellis. London, 1829.' Vol. II.,
P. 415.

[13] 'History of the Indian Archipelago, by John Crawfurd. Edinburgh,
1820.' Vol. I., P. 304.

[14] 'A View of the History, Literature, and Religion of the Hindoos, by
the Rev. W. Ward. Madras, 1863.' P. 62.

[15] 'The History of Greenland, by David Crantz. London, 1767.' Vol. I.,
P. 233.

[16] 'Journal of an Expedition to explore the Course of the Niger, by
Richard and John Lander. New York, 1844.' Vol. I., P. 366.

[17] 'Illustrations of Japan, by M. Titsingh. London, 1822.' P. 201.

[18] 'Sagenbuch der Lausitz, von Karl Haupt. Leipzig, 1862.' P. 124. The
descriptive music of the Wild Hunt in Weber's opera, 'Der Freischütz,'
is probably in the recollection of most musicians. It agrees remarkably
well with the popular traditions.

[19] 'A View of the History, Literature, and Religion of the Hindoos, by
the Rev. W. Ward. Madras, 1863.' P. 160.

[20] 'Stimmen des Russischen Volks, von P. v. Götze. Stuttgart, 1828.'
P. 17.

[21] 'Die Mythologie des Nordens, von K. F. Wiborg; aus dem Dänischen
von A. v. Etzel. Berlin, 1847.' P. 147.

[22] 'Volkslieder des Serben, übersetzt von Talvj. Leipzig, 1853.' Vol.
II., P. 380.

[23] 'Travels in South-Eastern Asia, by Howard Malcolm. Boston, 1839.'
Vol. I., P. 205.

[24] 'First Footsteps in East Africa, 1856, by Captain Burton, London.'
P. 142.

[25] 'An Account of the Natives of the Tonga Islands, by Mariner and
Martin. London, 1818.' Vol. II., P. 131.

[26] 'Icelandic Legends, collected by Jón Arnason; translated by Powell
and Magnússon. London, 1866.' P. 631.

[27] 'Stimmen des Russischen Volks, von P. von Götze. Stuttgart, 1828.'
P. 58.



An inquiry into the gradual cultivation of the genius of our great
musical composers is as instructive as it is interesting to the lover of
music. Before attempting this inquiry, it is advisable to ascertain
exactly what is meant by the designation "our great composers."

To compose music does not only imply to invent musical ideas, but also
to employ ideas which are already invented in such a way as to exhibit
them in a new light. Certain modulations, passages, and rhythmical
combinations occurring in our musical compositions may be regarded as
common property; but how surprisingly original and fresh do they often
appear to us through the new way in which they are employed by composers
in connection with other ideas! Now, a composer who has the power to
construct very beautiful works of art in a certain form, by inventing
ideas and by showing in a new light ideas not invented by him, deserves
to be regarded as a great composer.

However, in order to trace the gradual progress of his genius, it is not
sufficient to examine his studies, or, so to say, to watch him in his
workshop; we must commence our inquiry further back, and observe him
first as a promising child.

Unfortunately, of the early initiatory lessons of our great composers
but little is generally ascertainable. Celebrated musicians have more
important occupation than to explain their earliest instructions; or
they have to a great extent forgotten how they learnt in childhood the
rudiments of their art. Still the initiatory lessons are especially
noteworthy, since the foundation exercises an almost ineffaceable
influence upon the subsequent direction of the musical student.

The talent for music in children is not always so easily discovered as
might be supposed. Idleness, not unusual in fast-growing children, or
indifference caused by injudicious training, may be mistaken for want of
talent. There are records extant of distinguished musicians who in early
childhood evinced neither talent nor fondness for music. Others, who,
showing no inclination to learn the musical instrument on which they
received instruction, have unexpectedly exhibited much talent and
industry in practising on another kind of instrument of their own
choice. Most of our distinguished musicians have manifested from early
childhood a preference for a particular instrument which they
perseveringly cultivated, and on which they afterwards excelled.

Parents are apt to see talent in their children where it does not exist,
or, at least, not in the supposed degree. Some even find unmistakable
evidence of musical talent in the shape of the head of their offspring.
A peculiar formation of the skull, especially about the temples, is
certainly observable in many clever musicians, and may be recognized in
the few portraits which are known to be faithful likenesses of great
composers. It would be interesting to know whether the infantine musical
prodigies, of which there have been so many during the present century,
generally possessed this phrenological indication. Be this as it may,
they have become great composers in only exceptional instances. Indeed,
early musical prodigies have but seldom achieved in after-life so much
as was expected from them. There are, however, exceptions; for instance,
Mozart. Dr. Crotch in his infancy displayed abilities as extraordinary
as Mozart's. At the age of three years and a half he could play some
harmonized tunes on the pianoforte, and when he was five years old he
performed in public on the organ at a benefit concert in London. He
afterwards achieved comparatively but little, and did not realise the
expectations which as a child he had excited.

There are instances on record of musicians who in their early childhood
were forced against their inclination to practise assiduously, and who
must have been tortured by the incessant care for their progress
bestowed on them by their parents. They became brilliant players, making
music like a well-constructed machine. Our great composers have
generally had a happier childhood. They were, in most instances,
children whose physical development was especially attended to; who were
permitted to ramble about in fields and forests, and by outdoor
amusements and bodily exercises to lay the foundation for a healthy
life. This, perhaps, sufficiently explains why not all of them have
displayed a precocity of talent in early childhood. Indeed, their full
development has been in many instances but slow, and several of them did
not produce their best works until they had attained an age exceeding
that generally allotted to musicians. Gluck composed his 'Iphigenia in
Tauris' at the age of sixty-five; Haydn composed the 'Creation' in his
sixty-ninth year, and the 'Seasons' in his seventy-second year. Handel
was fifty-six years old when he wrote the 'Messiah,' and sixty-one when
he wrote 'Judas Maccabæus.'

Some of our most gifted musicians have required much longer time than
others for cultivating their talent, because they had not in childhood
the same advantage of guidance which others had, and were consequently
compelled to find out for themselves the best method of cultivation.
Perhaps there now walks behind a plough a Handel, who has not shown that
he is a man of genius because circumstances prevented his knowing and
cultivating his powers. Happy is the artist who, in his childhood, was
led by a judicious guide in the way which saves much time, trouble, and
disappointment! Mozart had such a guide in his father; also Mendelssohn.
Weber deserves, perhaps, all the greater praise from the fact of his
father having been an impediment rather than a help to him.

A systematic education in childhood presents the greatest advantage;
this is too self-evident to require further comment. It may also be
taken for granted that the moral and mental education of the young
composer is not less important than are his musical studies. Nay, his
moral training is even of higher importance, since one _may_ be a good
musician, but _must_ be a good man. Moreover, he is sure to become a
better musician if he possesses an acute discernment of right and wrong,
with love for the former and dislike to the latter.

As regards his mental education, it is more important for him to know
_how_ to think than _what_ to think. A clear discernment is preferable
to much information; at any rate, it is better to know but little and to
understand that little clearly, than to know a great deal confusedly.

There can be no doubt that a classical education is of great advantage
to the musician, not only on account of the refining influence which a
familiarity with classical literature exercises upon the artistic mind,
but also on account of the languages. An acquaintance with two or three
modern languages is almost indispensable to the composer. Latin poetry
occurs not unfrequently in Church music; and several old treatises on
music have been written in Latin, and are therefore not accessible to
musicians unacquainted with this language. It does not, of course,
follow that to be a great composer one must know Latin; however, many
musicians have thought it advisable in their later years to study this
language, when they had not the opportunity of studying it in their

Talented young musicians sometimes appear rather deficient in their
mental cultivation. The enthusiasm with which they pursue their musical
studies is apt to cause them to neglect other studies. But there is no
real deficiency of intellectual gifts; on the contrary, they have
generally a great versatility of talent. This often becomes apparent in
their later years. Several eminent musicians have evinced much talent
for painting. The humorous, witty, and clever remarks of some of our
great composers are notorious.

Without having thoroughly mastered the technicalities of the art, it is
impossible to achieve anything of artistic value. An assiduous and
persevering cultivation of the talent is as necessary as the talent
itself. It has generally cost a musical composer long and continued
labour to produce a valuable work of art. He attained his aim by knowing
what was requisite for its achievement, and by labouring perseveringly
to attain it.

As has been already intimated, it is of great importance for the
progress of the future composer that his initiatory lessons should be
correct, so that there is nothing learnt which afterwards requires to be
unlearnt. A bad touch on the pianoforte, or a wrong method of bowing in
playing the violin, is scarcely ever entirely remedied in later years.
Example is better than precept. A teacher who, by playing to his pupil,
can show him how a passage ought to be executed, may save him much time
and trouble. Our celebrated singers have generally learnt the most
easily the best they are able to accomplish by having been sung to.
However, music may be learnt by different methods, and each method may
have something to recommend it. The teacher must study the pupil to find
out what is the best for him.

Our great composers had generally instruction in singing very early.
Indeed, a composer who has not cultivated his voice in childhood is not
likely to write vocal music so effectively as would be the case if he
had accustomed himself to sing his melodies while inventing them. Even
the melodious phrases in his instrumental compositions are likely to be
more impressive if he has been a singer from early age.

Furthermore, the young student has to learn to play in a high degree of
perfection at least one musical instrument. The pianoforte is--in our
time, perhaps--the best suited for his purpose, on account of the
harmony and of the arrangement of orchestral works executable on the
instrument. Most of our great composers were pianists, harpsichord
players, or organists. There are, it is true, exceptions. Gluck's
instrument was the violoncello; Spohr's, the violin. But even composers
who are not pianists, generally, while composing for the orchestra, make
use of the pianoforte.

The best musical performer is he who can play the most simple melody
with the greatest expression; and the second best is he who can play the
most difficult passages with the greatest correctness. Some pianists of
astonishing manual dexterity are unable to play a simple tune with
proper expression; others cannot execute well a technically easy sonata
by Mozart, because they have not learnt--or, perhaps, have
forgotten--the pure expression required for such unaffected music. The
execution of many modern pianists is best suited for the performance of
their own compositions.

If the young musician is bent upon becoming a distinguished _virtuoso_,
it may easily be disadvantageous to him as a composer, not only on
account of the time he will require for practising his fingers, but also
because his fingers are apt to induce him to compose for them instead of
for the heart. A great composer generally plays one instrument masterly;
and he has, probably, found it expedient to learn another instrument or
two besides that which he has principally cultivated. If, in addition to
the pianoforte, he can play the viola or violoncello in a quartet, or
Bach's pedal-fugues on the organ, he possesses the means of
familiarising himself more thoroughly with many of our classical
compositions than he could possibly do by merely hearing or reading
them; and the familiarity thus acquired is beneficial to him. Moreover,
some practical experience with wind-instruments is useful to the
composer of orchestral works. Our great masters knew this, and acted
upon it.

The exercise of the fingers takes up time, but not necessarily much. One
hour of practice with great attention is better than three hours of
careless practice. The former has not only the advantage that it
advances the student more rapidly, but also that it leaves him the time
required for other studies, reading, and recreation. Several of our
great composers could be named who, notwithstanding their diligent
studies from their youth, always found plenty of time for bodily
exercise, and for amusements conducive to the preservation of health and
energy--such as pedestrian tours, riding, fencing, swimming, dancing,

The young musician has soon to commence the study of the theory of
music, especially if he exhibits decided talent for composing. He must
learn to write with facility any musical composition strictly according
to the rules which have been laid down by our theorists as they found
them observed in the works of the great masters. When he has acquired
the skill to write correctly and fluently in the different forms of
composition, it will be early enough for him to disregard the rules
occasionally where he thinks it advisable for his purpose. Perhaps he
may establish a new one. By far the greater number of our rules of
composition are not dictated by any physical law traceable in acoustics,
but only by human taste, which is continually undergoing modifications
in the course of time. Thus, most of our great composers have caused
some alterations in our theory of music. It is not only possible, but
probable, that in a hundred years' time we shall have admirable musical
compositions very different in form and construction from our present

Several of our great composers in their youth excelled in extemporising.
They were fond of it, and spent many an hour in pouring forth on their
favourite instrument their momentary inspirations and fanciful
conceptions. Extempore fantasias are sometimes so original and effective
that it is a pity they cannot be preserved by being committed to
notation at the moment of their creation. However, charming as such
spontaneous effusions may be on account of their freshness, they do not
possess the artistic value of an elaborately constructed and carefully
finished work. At any rate, our great composers have in their youth
derived greater benefit from carefully working out in notation a theme
according to a certain form of composition, than from indulging in
extempore fantasias. These have, however, often helped them in creating
beautiful ideas for their works.

It may easily be understood that a retentive memory is of great value to
the musician, be he composer or merely performer. Talented young
musicians not unfrequently possess an astounding memory. Sonatas,
symphonies, and even fugues, which they practise, they can soon play by
heart. As they advance in years the power of memory generally becomes
somewhat weaker. Blind musicians appear to preserve it undiminished for
a longer period than others. The blind flutist Dulon knew 120 flute
concertos by heart, which he had numbered, and any one of which he could
play instantly on its number being mentioned to him. True, there is
musically little gained by burdening the memory with compositions which
chiefly consist of compilations of passages calculated to display the
dexterity and skill of the performer. The works which the musician ought
to be able to recall to his memory are the classical works, such as
Gluck's 'Iphigenia in Tauris,' Mozart's 'Don Giovanni,' Beethoven's
Symphonies, Handel's 'Messiah,' Bach's 'Passion according to St.
Matthew.' There are not a few among our great composers who studied the
master-works of their predecessors so effectually that they knew by
heart a considerable number of them from beginning to end, with the
instrumentation of every bar.

As regards the different forms of composition, that of the sonata is the
most important; for, if the composer is able to express his ideas with
facility in this form, he possesses the key to all the other
forms--except some of the older ones, as that of the fugue. Certain
theorists recommend the student of composition to select a sonata by
Mozart, or some other master, in which the established form is strictly
adhered to, and to write a precisely similar sonata by imitating the
model bar for bar, using the same time, tempo, modulations, changes in
loudness, and so on--only substituting other notes. No doubt he may thus
manufacture a sonata which is correct in form, whatever it may be in
spirit. Our great composers did not arise from students trained to make
music as the shoemaker makes shoes.

The form of the fugue has already become antiquated, and that of the
sonata is more and more neglected by our present composers, and
apparently will likewise become antiquated in the course of time. But
until we have beautiful examples of some new form, it is not probable
that those forms which have been gradually brought to a high degree of
perfection will be entirely dispensed with, whatever modern composers
may produce exhibiting an indifference to the rules observed by their

Our great composers were particularly careful in the choice of the
theme. This is only what might be expected. An orator who discourses on
an uninteresting subject will not easily command the attention of his
hearers. Still, if he is gifted with extraordinary powers of eloquence,
he may discourse on almost any subject interestingly. Thus also in
music. Beethoven and other great composers have occasionally chosen a
theme which becomes significant only from its original and spirited

The artistic charm of a well-constructed composition consists in the
development of the theme, so that it is exhibited in a variety of
beautiful aspects--appearing, though always the same, yet always new.
The skill of thus treating the theme, our great composers, by constant
study and practice, have cultivated to an admirable degree of
perfection. They were fully aware that it is as indispensable to the
composer as is the power of creating an interesting musical idea.
However, the development of the theme may be carried too far. It appears
pedantic when it is contrived more with regard to the form than to the
spirit of the music; and it disturbs the unity of the composition when
the theme is so much changed as to appear an entirely new idea.
Schubert, in his pianoforte sonatas, has not unfrequently altered the
theme so much that its second exposition does not bear the required
resemblance with its first; it becomes another theme, which is not
wanted. For the clever development of a theme Schubert did not possess
sufficient practical experience acquired by systematic study. Had he
possessed a full command over the rules of the art--and especially, had
he written less hastily--he might, with his wonderful gifts, have been
as great a composer as Beethoven.

A few examples from Beethoven's book of sketches may find a place here,
since they throw some light upon his studies. The alterations which he
marked with "_meilleur_" are generally decided improvements upon the
first notation of the idea to which they refer. This is, for instance,
strikingly apparent in his sketches of his famous song 'Adelaide,' the
beginning of which, noted down at first thus:--


he afterwards altered into:--


The following sketches from Beethoven's pocket-book refer to his Quartet
in C[#] minor, Op. 131, with which they must be compared to
render the several attempts at improvement more clearly intelligible:--


The first sketches for a tenth symphony, which Beethoven intended to
compose, are noted by him thus:--


Beethoven wrote _As_ over the little fragment of the Andante, evidently
to indicate that he intended it to be in A flat major--_As_ signifying
in German _A flat_.

As an interesting specimen of Haydn's sketches, the following notation
of his first design of the earthquake in the 'Seven Last Words' may
serve. The entire sketch of which this is a fragment, has been published
in the 'Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung,' Leipsig, 1848:--


Haydn, as well as Beethoven, generally used one staff for his first
sketches; Mozart made them more clear by using two staves--one for the
melody and another for the bass. Still, as the sketches are only
indications to assist the memory, which is, as we have seen, in
composers generally very strong, especially when their own inventions
are concerned, a hasty notation is in most instances sufficient. In
writing the score of an orchestral composition, Haydn, Mozart and
Beethoven usually noted down the entire thread of a movement, or what
may be called the melody and the bass of the piece; and having written
this, they inserted the notation for the various instruments.

In submitting the manuscript of a composition to a final revision, or in
preparing a new edition of a published work, our great composers have
not unfrequently introduced improvements which testify to their
unabating study as well as to their delicacy of taste and discernment.
One or two examples in support of this opinion shall be pointed out
here. Others will probably occur to the musical reader.

André, in Offenbach, has published the score of the overture to the
'Zauberflöte' (the Magic Flute), from Mozart's original manuscript, with
its alterations and corrections. This interesting publication exhibits
clearly the care bestowed by Mozart upon the work, and affords an
excellent study for the musician.

A remarkable improvement by extension occurs in Mozart's famous Symphony
in C major. Mendelssohn speaks of it with admiration in a letter to
Moscheles as follows: "Just now André sends me for inspection the
original score of Mozart's C major Symphony ('Jupiter'); I shall copy
something from it for you which will amuse you. Eleven bars before the
end of the Adagio it stood formerly thus:--


and so on, as it proceeds to the end. Mozart has written the entire
repetition of the theme on an inserted leaf; he has struck out the
passage, and has introduced it three bars before the end. Is that not a
happy alteration? The repetition of the seven bars belongs to my most
favourite portions of the whole symphony."[28]

The Adagio of Beethoven's Sonata in B flat major, Op. 106, originally
commenced with its present second bar thus:--


Beethoven had sent, in the year 1819, a copy of the manuscript of this
sonata to Ferdinand Ries, in London, who had undertaken to superintend
its publication in England. Great must have been the astonishment of
Ries when, soon after the arrival of the bulky manuscript of this
gigantic sonata, he received a letter from Beethoven containing the
notation of an additional single bar:--


to be placed at the beginning of the Adagio. The beautiful effect
obtained by the alteration is especially noteworthy, inasmuch as it
serves as an example of the incessant care which Beethoven bestowed upon
the improvement of his compositions up to the last moment of their

Probably no composer has revised his manuscripts more carefully, and
re-written whole pieces with the view of improving them, than has J. S.
Bach. His forty-eight Preludes and Fugues, entitled 'Das wohltemperirte
Clavier,' afford instructive examples of improvements, which may be
traced by a comparison of the several editions of the work, and
especially by an examination of the several manuscripts of these
preludes and fugues in Bach's handwriting which have been preserved.

The prelude in C major, in the first set, was originally longer than in
subsequent revisions. The second half, which Bach has struck out, was a
repetition of its first half.

The prelude in C[#] major, in the first set, he has curtailed by
striking out thirty-five bars. This he did evidently for the purpose of
increasing the unity of this charming composition by discarding what was
foreign to its character, as indicated by the theme.

On the other hand, the beautiful prelude in D minor, in the same set, he
has considerably enlarged.

These few remarks must suffice to draw the reader's attention to the
careful reconsideration given by Bach to 'Das wohltemperirte Clavier.'

Beethoven generally kept his manuscripts a long time by him, and altered
and polished them up gradually. This he did especially with the
manuscripts of his earlier compositions. Gluck, in composing an opera,
carried out in his mind the principal airs and choruses before he wrote
down a note; so that, when he began to commit the music to paper, he
considered his opera as almost finished. Mozart, too, had sometimes a
whole new composition in his head before he commenced writing it down.
The overture to 'Don Giovanni' he is recorded, by some of his
biographers, to have composed a few hours before the first performance
of the opera, so that the copied parts for the musicians were not yet
dry when they were carried into the orchestra. Probably Mozart did not
compose the overture when he committed it to paper, but had it ready in
his head. He was often composing when otherwise occupied, and even while
he was playing billiards.

A musical composer may have a good reason for preserving the manuscript
of his new work though he considers it a failure. He may wish to refer
to it after a time to ascertain whether his unfavourable opinion remains
unchanged on a subsequent examination. Perhaps it contains ideas which
he may be glad to employ in later years when his power of invention
begins to flag. Still, a celebrated musician would do wisely to destroy
any such manuscripts when he no longer requires them; otherwise they are
sure to arise against him after his death as posthumous works. They
will, at least, lower his fame, if it is too great to be seriously
injured by them. In truth, there is often harm done to art as well as to
artists by these posthumous publications--in most instances weak
productions which have been permitted to live from carelessness of the
composers, or perhaps from the natural affection which a father feels
for even his most ill-favoured child.

Our great composers have generally been extremely cautious, especially
during the earlier part of their lifetime, in selecting for publication
only such of their manuscripts as they were fully justified in
considering worthy of being published. As regards most musicians, it
would be better for their reputation if they had published only half
the number of their works, and destroyed the other half.

It is a noteworthy fact that our great composers have occasionally
produced beautiful effects by disregarding the rules laid down in
treatises on the theory of music. Beethoven has been not unfrequently a
trespasser in this respect. Weber, in the Introductory Chorus of the
elves, in 'Oberon,' produces really charming consecutive fifths. So does
Handel, in the beautiful Pastoral Symphony in the 'Messiah':--


and Gluck repeatedly, in the beautiful air of Rinaldo, in 'Armida':--


Graun, in his cantata, 'Der Tod Jesu' (The Death of Jesus), introduces
into the first chorale consecutive fifths upon the words "Zur Frevelthat
entschlossen" (On evil deed resolved), thus:--

[Music: Zur Fre-vel-that ent-schlos-sen]

which, no doubt, was considered by some musicians as remarkably
appropriate to the words, although, probably, they could not have heard
it in the performance, had they not previously seen it in notation. Not
such whims only, but even oversights and misprints occurring in the
works of eminent masters have found admirers, who regarded them as
strokes of genius; while, on the other hand, some of the most original
and surpassingly beautiful ideas were thought to be misprints, and
attempts have actually been made by theorists to correct them.

A curious instance of a misprint which by many admirers of Beethoven has
been accepted as a beautiful inspiration occurs in the scherzo of his C
minor Symphony. To dispel all doubt of its being a misprint, Mendelssohn
caused the publishers of the Symphony to make known a letter addressed
to them by Beethoven in the year 1810, in which he says: "The following
mistake I still find in the C minor Symphony, namely, in the third
piece, in 3/4 time, where, after C major, the minor key recommences. It
stands thus (I take at once the bass part):--


The two bars marked with * are redundant, and must be struck out; of
course, also in all the other parts which have rests." A reference to
the manuscript in the possession of the publishers revealed how the two
superfluous bars had crept in. Beethoven had originally intended that
the entire scherzo, with the trio, should be repeated, and then be
concluded by the coda. He had marked in the manuscript the two
superfluous bars with 1, and the two following ones with 2, and had
written with a red pencil, "_Si replica con trio allora 2_," which the
engraver had not exactly understood. As also the written parts for the
instruments, which were used at the first performance of the C minor
Symphony in Vienna, under Beethoven's direction, do not possess those
two bars, there remains not the least doubt that they were never
intended by the composer to be where they are now found to the delight
of many enthusiastic admirers of Beethoven.

A misprint in Beethoven's 'Sinfonia Pastorale' (which Schumann points
out in his 'Gesammelte Schriften,' Vol. IV.) is almost too evident to be
left uncorrected, even by those who find it beautiful. In the second
part of the first movement, where the theme recommences, with the
accompaniment of triplets, the score has the following notations:--


That here, by mistake, three rests for the first violins have been
inserted by the engraver, instead of three simile-signs, [simile marks],
is evident from the sudden interruption of the flow of the triplet
accompaniment, as well as from the fact that immediately afterwards, in
the inversion of the same passage, the violas have the same
accompaniment without any interruption. Otto Jahn, in his 'Gesammelte
Aufsätze über Musik,' notices a misprint in the score of Beethoven's
last Quartet, Op. 135, which is very extraordinary. He says: "In the
last movement the copyist has omitted two bars in the first violin part,
so that during twelve bars it is two bars in advance of the other
instruments. After the twelve bars, the corrector perceiving that two
bars were wanting to restore the equilibrium, has inserted two there
according to his own fancy." Jahn gives side by side the genuine reading
and the interpolated one. The wonder is that the latter is playable at
all,--or rather, that the musicians, in playing it, should not have
discovered at once that there must be something radically wrong.
However, as Jahn justly remarks, the respect for the eccentricities of
Beethoven's last quartets was so great, that no one ventured to think
there could be a mistake here which required rectifying.

A carefully-compiled manual, containing reliable corrections of the most
important misprints occurring in our classical compositions, would be a
boon to the musical student. There are many in Bach's fugues, and even
in Beethoven's sonatas, which are not easily detected, but which are on
this account all the more noteworthy.

The following beautiful conception, which occurs in the first movement
of Beethoven's Sinfonia Eroica, was regarded by many, on the first
publication of the symphony, as a misprint:--


Ferdinand Ries, the pupil of Beethoven, was unable to appreciate the
charm of this soft and timid indication of the theme on a dissonance
immediately before it gloriously breaks out on the harmonious triad. In
his biographical notices of Beethoven he thus speaks of it: "In the
first Allegro of the Symphony there occurs a bad whim of Beethoven for
the horn. Some bars before the theme enters again, in the second part of
the Allegro, Beethoven indicates it by the horn, while the violins
continue to sound the second-chord. This must always convey to those who
are unacquainted with the score, the impression that the horn-player has
counted incorrectly, and that he falls in at a wrong bar. At the first
rehearsal of the symphony, which was very unsatisfactory, but in which
the horn-player kept proper time, I was standing near Beethoven, and, in
the belief that it was wrong, I cried: 'That confounded hornist! Can he
not count! It sounds so infamously wrong!' Beethoven was near to giving
me a box on the ear. It took him a long time to forgive me."

By making beautiful "mistakes," Beethoven has extended the rules of
composition. Ries relates, "During a walk I took with him, I spoke to
him of certain consecutive fifths which occur in his C minor Quartet,
Op. 18, and which are so eminently beautiful. Beethoven was not aware of
them, and maintained that I must be in error as to their being fifths.
As he was in the habit of always carrying music paper with him, I asked
for it, and wrote down the passage in all its four parts. When he saw
that I was right, he said, 'Well, and who has forbidden them?' Not
knowing how to take this question, I hesitated. He repeated it, until I
replied in astonishment, 'But, they are against the first fundamental
rules!' 'Who has forbidden them?' repeated Beethoven. 'Marpurg,
Kirnberger, Fuchs, etc., etc.--all theorists,' I replied. 'And I permit
them!' said Beethoven."

The harsh beginning of Mozart's C major Quartet (No. 6 of the set
dedicated to Joseph Haydn) has been the subject of fierce attacks and
controversies. Many musicians have supposed that misprints must have
crept into the score; while others have endeavoured to prove in detail
that all the four instruments are treated strictly according to the
rules of counterpoint. Otto Jahn (in his 'Biography of Mozart,' Vol. IV.
p. 74) finds it beautiful as "the afflicted and depressed spirit which
struggles for deliverance." This may be so; and it is needless to
conjecture what the admirers of the passage would have said, if it had
emanated from an unknown composer. As it stands, it is, at any rate,
interesting as an idea of Mozart, whose compositions are generally
distinguished by great clearness of form and purity of harmony.

The adherence to a strictly prescribed form may easily lead the composer
to the re-employment of some peculiar idea which he has already employed
in a previous work. In fugues especially this may be often observed.
Beethoven, in his sonatas, and likewise in his other compositions
written in the sonata form, as trios, quartets, etc., introduces not
unfrequently in the modulation from the tonic to the dominant certain
favourite combinations of chords and modes of expression; and he has one
or two phrases which may be recognised with more or less modification,
in many of his compositions. Mozart, too, has his favourite successions
of chords; for instance, the interrupted cadence which the German
musicians call _Trugschluss_. Spohr repeats himself perhaps more
frequently than any other composer. Mendelssohn has a certain mannerism
in the rhythmical construction of many of his works, which gives them a
strong family likeness. Weber has employed a certain favourite passage
of his, constructed of groups of semi-quavers, so frequently, that the
sight of a notation like this:--


is to the musician almost the same as the written name Carl Maria von

Some of the best examples for illustrating the studies of our great
composers are to be found in those compositions which originally formed
part of earlier and comparatively inferior works, and which were
afterwards incorporated by the composers into their most renowned works.
In thus adopting a piece which would otherwise probably have fallen into
oblivion, the composer has generally submitted it to a careful revision;
and it is instructive to compare the revision with the first conception.
Gluck has used in his operas several pieces which he had originally
written for earlier works, now but little known. For instance, the
famous ballet of the Furies in his 'Orfeo,' is identical with the Finale
in his 'Don Juan,' where the rake is hurled into the burning abyss; the
overture to 'Armida' belonged originally to his Italian opera,
'Telemacco;' the wild dance of the infernal subjects of Hate, in
'Armida,' is the Allegro of the duel-scene in his 'Don Juan.'

As an instance of adoption from a former work wonderfully improved by
reconstruction, may be noticed Handel's Sarabande, in his opera
'Almira,' performed the first time at Hamburg in the year 1705:--


From this Sarabande, Handel, six years later, constructed the beautiful
air "Lascia ch'io pianga," in his opera 'Rinaldo,' performed in London
in the year 1711:--


     Las-cia ch'io pian-ga mia cru-da sor-te
     e che so-spi-ri la li-ber-tà, e che so-
     -spi-ri, e che so-spi-ri la li-ber-tà,

     Las-cia ch'io pian-ga mia cru-da
     sor-te, e che so-spi-ri la li-ber-

     Il duolo in fran-ga que-ste ri-tor-te
     de miei mar-ti-ri sól per pie----tà
     de miei so-spi-ri sól per pie-tà.]

Beethoven's third overture to his opera 'Leonora' (later called
'Fidelio') is a reconstruction of the second. A comparison of these two
overtures affords an interesting insight into Beethoven's studies. It
must be remembered that Beethoven, not satisfied with the first
overture, wrote a second, and subsequently a third, and a fourth. The
first three, which are in C major, he wrote when the opera was known by
the name of 'Leonora;' and the fourth, which is in E major, when the
opera was brought anew on the stage in its revised form under the name
of 'Fidelio.' The air of Florestan is indicated in Nos. 1, 2, and 3,
composed in 1805 and 1806. No. 2 has the distant trumpet-signal,
produced on the stage; and in No. 3 this idea is further carried out;
but in No. 4, written in 1814, it is dropped.

A composer who borrows from his former works deserves reproach as little
as a person who removes his purse from one pocket into another which he
thinks a better place. To borrow from the works of others, as some
composers have done, is altogether a different thing. However, it would
be unreasonable to regard such a plagiarism as a theft unless the
plagiarist conceals the liberty he is taking by disguising the
appropriation so as to make it appear a creation of his own. Some
inferior musicians display much talent in this procedure. Our great
composers, on the other hand, have often so wonderfully ennobled
compositions of other musicians which they have thought advisable to
admit into their oratorios, operas, or other elaborate works, that they
have thereby honoured the original composers of those pieces as well as
benefited art. It is a well-known fact that Handel has, in several of
his oratorios, made use of the compositions of others. As these
adoptions have been pointed out by one or two of Handel's biographers,
it may suffice here to allude to them. Beethoven has adopted remarkably
little. His employment of popular tunes where they are especially
required, as for example in his Battle Symphony, Op. 91, can hardly be
regarded as an instance to the contrary. At any rate, popular tunes have
frequently been adopted by our great composers for the purpose of giving
to a work a certain national character. Weber has done this very
effectively in his 'Preciosa.' Gluck, in his 'Don Juan,' introduces the
Spanish fandango. Mozart does the same in his 'Le Nozze di Figaro,'
twenty-five years later. Here probably Mozart took a hint from Gluck.
However this may be, there can be no doubt that Gluck's 'Don Juan'
contains the germs of several beautiful phrases which occur in Mozart's
'Don Giovanni.' Even on this account it deserves to be better known to
musicians than it is, independently of its intrinsic musical value. A
detailed account of it here would, however, be a transgression. Suffice
it to state that Gluck's 'Don Juan' is a ballet which was composed at
Vienna in the year 1761, twenty-six years before Mozart produced his
'Don Giovanni.' The programme of the former work, which has been printed
from a manuscript preserved in the Bibliothèque de l'Ecole Royale de
Musique of Paris, shows that it is nearly identical with the scenarium
of the latter work. The instrumental pieces, of which there are
thirty-one, are mostly short, and increase in beauty and powerful
expression towards the end of the work. The justly-deserved popularity
in Vienna of Gluck's 'Don Juan' probably induced Mozart to have his 'Don
Giovanni' first performed under the title of 'Il Dissoluto Punito,' and
the great superiority of this opera may perhaps be the cause of Gluck's
charming production having fallen into obscurity.

Mozart's facility of invention was so remarkably great that he can have
had but little inducement to borrow from others. Plagiarisms occur but
rarely in his works, but are on this account all the more interesting
when they do occur. Take for instance the following passage from
'Ariadne of Naxos,' a duodrama by Georg Benda. It is composed to be
played by the orchestra while Ariadne exclaims: "Now the sun arises! How


Mozart was in his youth a great admirer of this duodrama. He mentions in
one of his letters that he carried its score constantly with him. The
great air of the Queen of Night in 'Die Zauberflöte,' Act 1, commences


It is, however, quite possible that Mozart had made Benda's work so
thoroughly his own that he borrowed from it in the present instance
without being aware of the fact.

Again, Johann Heinrich Rolle published in the year 1779 an oratorio
entitled 'Lazarus, oder die Feier der Auferstehung' (Lazarus, or the
Celebration of the Resurrection). The second part of this oratorio
begins with an introductory symphony, as follows:--


Perhaps Mozart was not acquainted with Rolle's oratorio when he wrote
his overture to the 'Zauberflöte,' in the year 1791. The curious
resemblance in the two compositions may be entirely owing to the form of
the fugue in which they are written.

Moreover, the theme of Mozart's overture to the 'Zauberflöte' resembles
also the theme of a Sonata by Clementi which was composed ten years
earlier than the overture. In Clementi's Sonata it is as follows:--


In the complete edition of Clementi's pianoforte compositions this
Sonata is published with the appended notice that Clementi played it to
the Emperor Joseph II. when Mozart was present, in the year 1781. Mozart
appears to have been fond of the theme, for he introduces a reminiscence
of it into the first movement of his Symphony in D major, dating from
the year 1786.

The first chorus in Mozart's 'Requiem' was evidently suggested by the
first chorus in Handel's 'Funeral Anthem for Queen Caroline.' The
_motivo_ of both is however an old German dirge dating from the
sixteenth century, which begins thus:--


     Wenn mein Stündlein vor-han-den ist,
     und soll hinfahrn mein Stras-se.]

and which may have been familiar to Mozart as well as to Handel.

The _motivo_ of the Kyrie Eleison in Mozart's 'Requiem:'--


                 Chri-ste e-le----
     Ky-ri-e e-le--i-son! e-]

occurs also in Handel's oratorio 'Joseph:'--


                             We will re-
           We will re-joice . . . &c.
     Hal-le-lu--jah!     Hal----le-]

and in Handel's 'Messiah:'--


     And with his stripes we are heal-ed,
                                 And with His, &c.]

Likewise in a Quartet for stringed instruments by Haydn, Op. 20, thus:--


In the solemn phrase of the Commendatore, in 'Don Giovanni,' we have an
interesting example of the happy result with which Mozart has carried
out ideas emanating from Gluck. In the opera 'Alceste,' by Gluck, the
Oracle sings in one tone, while the orchestral accompaniment, including
three trombones, changes the harmony in each successive bar, as


     Le roi doit mou-rir au-jour-
     -d'hui, si quelqu'autre au tré-pas ne se liv-re pour lui.]

That Mozart was much impressed with the effect of Gluck's idea may be
gathered from the circumstance of his having adopted it in 'Don
Giovanni,' and likewise, to some extent, in 'Idomeneo.' The Commendatore
in 'Don Giovanni' sings, accompanied by trombones:--


     Di ri-der fi-n-rai pria dell' au-ro-ra
     Ri-bal-do! au-da-ce! las-cia a'mor-ti la pa-ce!]

There can hardly be a greater difference in the styles of two composers
than exists in the style of Gluck and that of J. S. Bach. The masterly
command of Bach over the combination of different parts according to the
rules of counterpoint is just the faculty in which Gluck is deficient.
It is on this account especially interesting to observe how Gluck has
employed an idea which he apparently borrowed from Bach. The student may
ascertain it by carefully comparing the air, 'Je l'implore, et je
tremble,' in 'Iphigenia in Tauris,' with J. S. Bach's beautiful gigue in
B flat major, commencing:--


Clementi, a pianoforte composer, who has certainly but little in common
with Gluck, has for his B minor Sonata dedicated to Cherubini--perhaps
his best work--a theme which may be recognised as that of the dance of
the Scythians in 'Iphigenia in Tauris.'

Again, Beethoven's style, especially in his later works, is as different
from Haydn's as possible; nevertheless we occasionally meet with a
phrase in Beethoven's later works which appears to have been suggested
by Haydn. For instance, Haydn, in his Symphony in B flat major (No. 2 of
Salomon's set) has a playful repetition of a figure of semi-quavers
leading to the re-introduction of the theme, thus:--


In Beethoven's famous E minor Quartet, Op. 59, a similar figure leads to
the theme, thus:--


A more exact comparison of the two passages than the present short
notations permit will probably convince the student of the great
superiority of Beethoven's conception. He was one of those rare masters
who convert into gold whatever they touch.

But it is not the object here to give a list of the similarities and
adaptations which are traceable in the works of different musical
composers. Such a list would fill a volume, even if composers of
secondary rank, who are often great borrowers, were ignored. For the
present essay a few examples must suffice, especially as others will
probably occur to the reflecting reader.

Some insight into the studies of our great composers may also be
obtained by comparing together such of their operas or other elaborate
vocal compositions with instrumental accompaniment as are founded on the
same subject. Note, for instance, the love-story of Armida, taken by the
compilers of the various librettos from the episode of Rinaldo and
Armida in Tasso's 'Gerusalemme Liberata.' The story had evidently a
great attraction for the musical composers of the eighteenth century.
There have been above thirty operas written on it, several of which it
might now be difficult to procure, nor would an examination of them
perhaps repay the trouble. However, the operas on the subject composed
by Lulli, Gluck, Graun, Handel, Traetta, Jomelli, Naumann, Haydn, Sarti,
Cimarosa, Rossini, Sacchini, etc., would suffice for the purpose. Thus
also, a comparison of several compositions depicting a storm--most of
our masters have written such a piece--elicits valuable hints for the
musical student. Compare, for instance, with each other the storms in
Gluck's 'Iphigenia in Tauris,' Haydn's 'Seasons,' Beethoven's 'Sinfonia
Pastorale,' Cherubini's 'Medea.'

Even arrangements may illustrate the studies. Take, for instance, the
arrangements of Vivaldi's violin concertos by J. S. Bach. It is, however,
but seldom that eminent composers have occupied themselves with
arranging the works of others. Instructive examples of this kind are
therefore rare.

It is recorded of some composers that they were in the habit of founding
their instrumental works on certain poetical ideas. Haydn is said to
have done this almost invariably. Schindler, in his biographical notices
of Beethoven, states that the two pianoforte Sonatas, Op. 14, of
Beethoven, were explained to him by the composer as representing a
dialogue between two lovers. When Schindler asked the meaning of the
motivo of the C minor Symphony,


Beethoven exclaimed, "Thus Fate knocks at the gate!" And being requested
by Schindler to supply him with the key to the Sonatas in D minor, Op.
31, and in F minor, Op. 57, Beethoven's answer was: "Read Shakespeare's
'Tempest!'" Beethoven probably resorted to such replies merely to
satisfy troublesome inquirers somewhat resembling the inquisitive
gentleman in Washington Irving's 'Tales of a Traveller,' who "never
could enjoy the kernel of the nut, but pestered himself to get more out
of the shell." Several of the titles of Beethoven's instrumental
compositions ('Pastoral Sonata,' 'Moonlight Sonata,' 'Sonata
appassionata,' etc.) did not originate with the composer, but were given
to the pieces by the publishers to render them more attractive to the
public. The title of his sonata Op. 81, 'Les Adieux, l'Absence et le
Retour,' emanates however from Beethoven himself. This is noteworthy
inasmuch as it has brought the advocates of descriptive music into an
awkward dilemma. They found in this sonata an unmistakable
representation of the parting and ultimate reunion of two ardent
lovers,--when, unhappily for them, Beethoven's autograph manuscript of
the sonata was discovered, in the library of Archduke Rudolph, bearing
the inscription (in German), "The Farewell, Absence, and Return of His
Imperial Highness the Venerated Archduke Rudolph."

A similar subject is treated by J. S. Bach, in a capriccio for the
harpsichord, entitled, 'On the Departure of a very dear Brother,' in
which the different movements are headed as follows:--"No. 1. Entreaty
of friends to put off the journey.--No. 2. Representation of the various
accidents which might befall him.--No. 3. General lament of
friends.--No. 4. Entreaty being of no avail, the friends here bid
farewell.--No. 5. Air of the postillion.--No. 6. Fuga in imitation of
the post-horn."

This is but a modest essay in tone-painting compared with a certain
production by Johann Kuhnau, a predecessor of Bach, who depicted entire
biblical stories in a set of six sonatas for the clavichord, which were
published in Leipzig in the year 1700. Each sonata is prefaced by a
programme, which informs the player what is meant by the several
movements--a very necessary proceeding. The stories depicted are from
the Old Testament. One of the sonatas is entitled, 'Jacob's Marriage;'
another, 'Saul cured by David's Music;' another, 'The Death of Jacob;'
and so on. To show how far Kuhnau ventures into detailed description,
the explanation printed with the sonata called 'Gideon' may find a
place here. It runs as follows:--"1. Gideon mistrusts the promises made
to him by God that he should be victorious.--2. His fear at the sight of
the great host of the enemy.--3. His increasing courage at the relation
of the dream of the enemy, and of its interpretation.--4. The martial
sound of the trombones and trumpets, and likewise the breaking of the
pitchers and the cry of the people.--5. The flight of the enemy and
their pursuit by the Israelites.--6. The rejoicing of the Israelites for
their remarkable victory."

Still earlier, in the seventeenth century, Dieterich Buxtehude depicted
in seven suites for the clavichord, 'The Nature and Qualities of the
Planets;' and Johann Jacob Frohberger, about the same time, composed for
the harpsichord a 'Plainte, faite à Londres, pour passer la mélancolie,'
in which he describes his eventful journey from Germany to England--how
in France he was attacked by robbers, and how afterwards in the Channel,
between Calais and Dover, he was plundered by Tunisian pirates.
Frohberger composed also an _allemande_ intended to commemorate an event
which he experienced on the Rhine. The notation is so contrived as to
represent a bridge over the Rhine. Mattheson is said to have cleverly
introduced into one of his scores, by means of the notation, the figure
of a rainbow. Such music one must not hear; enough if one sees it in
print. It deserves to be classed with the silent music mentioned in
Shakespeare's 'Othello,' Act III., Scene 1:--

     "_Clown._--But, masters, here's money for you: and the General so
     likes your music, that he desires you, for love's sake, to make no
     more noise with it.

     "_First Musician._--Well, sir, we will not.

     "_Clown._--If you have any music that may not be heard, to't again:
     but, as they say, to hear music the General does not greatly care.

     "_First Musician._--We have none such, sir.

     "_Clown._--Then put your pipes in your bag, for I'll away: go,
     vanish into air; away!"

It may afford satisfaction to the lover of descriptive music to imagine
he hears in certain choruses by Handel the leaping of frogs, the humming
of flies, or the rattling of hailstones; but the judicious admirer of
these compositions values them especially on account of their purely
musical beauties. These may in a great measure be traced to euphony
combined with originality. Music must be above all things melodiously
beautiful. Our great composers bore this in mind, or acted upon it as a
matter of course; hence the fascinating charms of their music. The
euphony does not depend upon the consonant harmony prevailing in the
composition; if this were the case, music would be the more euphonious
the fewer dissonant chords it contains, and the major key would be more
suitable for euphony than the minor key, since the major scale is
founded upon the most simple relation of musical intervals yielding
concords. However, our finest compositions contain numerous dissonant
chords; and many--perhaps most--are in the minor key. Some of our great
composers have certainly written more important works in minor than in
major keys. Mozart, in those of his compositions which are in major
keys, often manifests extraordinary inspiration as soon as he modulates
into a minor key.

Remarkably devoid of euphony are the compositions of some musicians who,
having taken Beethoven's last works as the chief models for their
aspirations, have thereby been prevented from properly cultivating
whatever gift they may naturally possess for expressing their ideas
melodiously and clearly. Moreover, they talk and act as if affected
originality, or far-fetched fancies, constituted the principal charm of
a composition. Not less tedious are the works of some modern composers
who possess no originality, but who write very correctly in the style of
some classical composer. There has been published a vast amount of such
stale and unprofitable productions. Music, to be interesting, must
possess some quality in a high degree. If it is very good, it is just
what it ought to be; if it is very bad, one can honestly condemn it, and
leave it to its fate. But music which is neither very good nor very
bad--which deserves neither praise nor blame, and which one cannot
easily ignore because it is well meant--this is the most wearisome. And
often how long such productions are! The composers show with many notes
that they have felt but little, while our great composers show with but
few notes that they have felt much.

An inferior composer has, however, not unfrequently a better chance of
becoming soon popular than a superior one. The latter is likely to be
properly appreciated only by a few unbiassed judges--at least during his
earlier career--while the former may possess qualities which at once
please the uncultivated taste, and the voice of the unrefined majority
may silence the voice of the few whose opinion is correct. If you become
acquainted with a celebrated musician, you will perhaps find that he is
not so talented as you expected; and if you become acquainted with a
musician of no reputation, you will perhaps find that he is much more
talented than you expected. Diffidence is apt to be mistaken for want of
ability. Even some of our deepest thinkers, on acknowledging that they
did not understand a certain subject, have been set down by ignorant
people as dunces.

Composers who have made good studies sometimes write ingenious
contrivances or "learned music," instead of inventing a beautiful
melody. They are apt to introduce fugues into their works when they are
short of ideas or at a loss how to proceed. Even our great composers
have done this occasionally, when their power of invention began to
flag. But they were careful, when resorting to mere head-work, to use it
only in places most appropriate; and they generally succeeded in
imparting to it some musical charm.

Always striving to attain a higher degree of perfection, they were in
fact students all their lifetime. The more they learnt, the clearer they
saw that they had much to learn, and that time was precious to them.
Beethoven on his death-bed was studying the scores of Handel's
oratorios, and Mozart to the end of his life investigated the intricate
works of Johann Sebastian Bach.

Many examples from different composers might have been cited in support
of the opinions advanced in this essay. But, not to lengthen it
unnecessarily, only a few examples, referring to such of our composers
as are universally acknowledged to be truly great, have been selected.
No doubt many more will occur to the reflecting reader, if he is
familiar with our classical compositions.

[28] 'Briefe von Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy. Leipzig, 1863. Vol. ii.,
P. 440.



Much is said about church-bells which formerly sometimes used to toll
entirely by themselves on occasions of extraordinary importance. In some
countries places are pointed out where church-bells which have fallen
into a lake or river, or have sunk deep into the ground, will toll on
certain days of the year, or on certain solemn occasions. The believers
in these wonders go to the place where a bell is said to be hidden, and
listen attentively. Generally they soon hear the distant sounds which
they anxiously wish to hear.

A wonderful bell is mentioned by Abraham à Sancta Clara, who so forcibly
preached during the latter half of the seventeenth century; and some
account of the same bell is given by Montano in his 'Historische
Nachricht von denen Glocken,' published in the year 1726. Montano says
that "it may be seen at Vililla, a small town in the kingdom of
Arragon." When this bell was being cast, one of the thirty pieces of
silver for which the arch-traitor Judas Iscariot delivered up Jesus
Christ to the chief priests, was melted down with the metal, which had
the effect of causing the bell to sound occasionally by itself without
being touched, especially before the occurrence of some great national
calamity, such as a disastrous issue of a warlike expedition, or the
death of a king. In the year 1601, Montano records, it continued to ring
by itself for three days unintermittingly,--viz., from Thursday the 13th
of June until Saturday the 15th; but whether it had some particular
reason for this extraordinary procedure, or whether it was merely
actuated by some capricious impulse, we are not informed by the learned

Spain appears to have been pre-eminently favoured with such miraculous
bells. This is perhaps not to be wondered at considering that miracles
occur most frequently in countries where the people are best prepared to
accept them.

A lamentable misunderstanding occasioned by a little house-bell is
recorded by Grimm as having occurred in a German town; but we are not
informed of the name of the town, nor of that of the citizen in whose
house it occurred. The inmates of the house, with the exception of the
mistress, heard distinctly the sound of the bell, and were quite certain
that no one had touched it. Moreover, a few days afterwards, they heard
it a second time. The master of the house, a strong and healthy man,
made up his mind at once that this omen portended the decease of his
wife, who was keeping her bed, very much reduced indeed. He forbade the
servants to tell their mistress what had occurred, lest it might
frighten her and hasten her dissolution. The state of suspense, after
the bell had given warning the second time, lasted for about six weeks,
when suddenly--the husband died, and the wife became better! Even after
the widow had married again, the bell rang by itself on several
occasions; and whenever this happened, there was sure to be a death in
the house--sooner or later.[29]


The notion that the tinkling and clanging of bells is a safeguard
against the influence of evil spirits, so common among Christian
nations, evidently prevailed also with the ancient Egyptians. Some
little hand-bells with representations of Typhon have been found in
Egyptian tombs, and are still preserved. The Hebrew high-priests had
bells attached to their garments, and the reason assigned to this usage,
given in Exodus xxviii., verse 35, is: "His sound shall be heard when he
goeth into the holy place before the Lord, and when he cometh out, that
he die not." Whatever may be the right interpretation of this
sentence--there are more than one--it cannot but remind us of the use
made by the ancient Egyptians of the Sistrum, the tinkling sounds of
which were considered indispensable in religious ceremonies. Nay, what
is more remarkable, the sistrum is still in use, being employed by the
priests of a Christian sect in Abyssinia; while the Copts, in Upper
Egypt, who are likewise Christians, shake in their religious
performances a tinkling instrument of metal, called _marâoueh_, avowedly
for the purpose of keeping off the Evil One. Moreover, the Shamans, in
Siberia, when preparing themselves for performing incantations, and for
prophesying, dress themselves in garments to which are attached tinkling
and rattling appendages. Likewise the "medicine men," or prophets of the
American Indians, when they engage in sorcery and invocation of spirits,
employ, if not tinkling metal, at least dried and rattling seed-pods,
loose bills of certain water birds, gourds containing pebbles, and
similar contrivances.

The old belief, even at the present day not uncommon, that bell-ringing
on the approach of a thunderstorm, and during its continuance, is a
protection against lightning, may not unfrequently have been conducive
to a deplorable accident, since the current of air produced by the
swinging of a bell is more likely to attract the electric fluid than, as
is supposed, to drive it away. In Prussia the old and cherished custom
of ringing bells during a thunderstorm was wisely forbidden by Frederick
the Great, in the year 1783, and his ordinance directed the prohibition
to be read in all the churches of the kingdom.


The erroneous opinion that an admixture of silver with the bell-metal,
consisting of copper and tin, greatly improves the sound of the bell, is
very common.

The old church at Krempe, in Holstein, possessed formerly a bell of
extraordinary sonorousness, which, people say, contained a great deal of
silver. When this bell was being cast, the people brought silver coins
and trinkets to be thrown into the fusing metal, in order to ensure a
very fine tone. The avaricious founder had a mind to retain these
valuable offerings for himself, so he put them aside. But, during his
temporary absence, the apprentice took all the silver and threw it into
the melting mass. When, on the master's return, his apprentice told him
that he had applied the silver to the purpose for which it was presented
by the donors, the master waxed angry, and slew the lad. Now, when the
bell was cast, and hung in the tower of the church, its sound proved
indeed most sonorous, but also very mournful; and whenever it was rung
it distinctly sounded like "Schad' um den Jungen! Schad' um den Jungen!"
("Pity for the lad! Pity for the lad!")

The church-bell at Keitum, on the Isle of Silt, in the North Sea, off
the coast of Denmark, distinctly says "Ing Dung!" which are the names of
two pious spinsters at whose expense the old bell-tower of the church
was erected long ago. There exists an old prophecy in the place that,
after the bell shall have fallen down and killed the finest youth of the
island, the tower will likewise fall, and will kill the most beautiful
girl of Silt. A fine youth was actually killed by the fall of the bell
in the year 1739; and since that time the young girls of Silt are
generally very timid in approaching the tower, for each one thinks that
she may be the destined victim.

The good people of Gellingen, in the district of Angeln, on the borders
of Denmark, once ordered two bells to be cast for them in the town of
Lübeck. These bells were brought by water to Schleimünde; but as
ill-luck would have it, one of them fell into the sea and was lost. Now,
whenever the remaining bell is being rung, it distinctly proclaims, of
which everyone may convince himself, "Min Mag ligger i ä Minn!" ("My
companion lies in the Schleimünde!")[30]

The church at Dambeck, in Mecklenburg-Schwerin, is so very old that the
oldest inhabitants of the place affirm that its outer walls, which only
are now remaining, were built before the deluge. The tower with the
bells is sunk in the Lake Müritz; and in olden time people have often
seen the bells rising to the surface of the water on St. John's Day. One
afternoon some children, who had carried the dinner to their parents
labouring in an adjacent field, stopped by the lake to wash the napkins.
These little urchins saw the bells which had risen above the water. One
of the children, a little girl, spread her napkin over one of the bells
for the purpose of drying it; the consequence was that the bell could
not descend again. But though all the rich people of the town of Röbel
came to secure the bell for themselves, they were unable to remove it,
notwithstanding that they brought sixteen strong horses to draw it from
the place. They were still unsuccessfully urging the horses, when a poor
man happened to pass that way from the fields with a pair of oxen. The
man, seeing what the rich people were about, at once told them to put
their horses aside; he then yoked his pair of oxen to the bell, and
said: "Nu met God foer Arme un Rieke, all to gelieke!" ("Now with the
help of God, alike for poor and rich.") Having pronounced these words,
he drove the bell without the least difficulty to Röbel, where it was
soon hung in the tower of the new church. Whenever a really poor man
dies in Röbel, this bell is tolled for him free of charge, and it
distinctly says "Dambeck! Dambeck!"[31]

A hundred other instances could be noticed of church-bells being said to
pronounce some sentence referring to a remarkable incident which
occurred in very remote time. The people, in reciting these sentences,
generally imitate the sound of the bell, which of course, greatly
heightens the effect of the story. Switzerland is especially rich in
such old and cherished traditions.

Every true-born Briton is familiar with the prophetic words chimed by
the bells of Bow Church to Whittington on his return to London, which
signified to him that he was destined to fill one of the highest posts
of honour to which an Englishman can aspire. Some people scout the
tradition, bluntly saying, "I don't believe a word of it!" Others
reply, "Only just prove that it is a myth, and I shall not believe it
any longer, of that I am quite certain."


Baptized bells are still by many people believed to possess marvellous
powers. In Roman Catholic countries the large church bells are most
frequently named after particular saints. The baptism, or the dedication
to a saint, as the case may be, is performed with solemn ceremonies. The
words of consecration pronounced by the priest are "May this bell be
sanctified and consecrated in the name of the Father, and the Son, and
the Holy Ghost, in honour of Saint ----." A real baptism does not always
take place, but the solemn consecration resembles so closely a baptismal
ceremony that it is not surprising the people should generally regard it
as such; neither is it surprising that with these exhibitions there
should still prevail many superstitious notions relating to miraculous

The uneducated man in Lithuania believes that a newly-cast church bell
emits no sound until it has been consecrated and baptized; and the sound
of a baptized bell, he fancies, frightens away all sorcery, and even the
devil. Moreover, the Lithuanians have a poetical and beautiful
conception, according to which the souls of the deceased are floated on
the sounds of baptized bells into Heaven.[32]

If we look back a century or two, we meet with popular traditions
implying that baptized bells were regarded by many persons much as
living beings. Take, for instance, the following story, recorded by
Montano:--"When the French, anno 1677, in their cruel madness held
possession of the town of Deux-Ponts (or Zweibrücken), they took the
bell from the church-tower and endeavoured to destroy it by knocking it
to pieces. This they were, however, unable to accomplish. They,
therefore, made a large fire, upon which they placed the bell with the
intention of melting it. All the military officers stood by to watch the
process. How great was their surprise when they saw that the tortured
bell begin to sweat blood! The highest officer took his handkerchief,
stained it with the blood, and sent it to the King of France; for he
thought it possible that, without this irrefragable evidence, neither
the king nor anyone else would believe the miracle."

The Swiss preserve some curious traditions respecting baptized bells.
They have even had a medal struck commemorating some miracle which
occurred when the Pope sent such a blessed bell to the canton of Valais.
Moreover, all the bells of the Roman Catholic churches in Switzerland
wander annually to Rome for the purpose of confession. They leave on
Thursday in Passion Week, and return on the following Saturday; at any
rate, there is no bell-ringing during the time indicated. Rochholz says
that it is a usual custom in Switzerland to have sponsors at the
baptismal ceremony of a church-bell, to dress the bell for the occasion
in a garment called "Westerhemd;" to pronounce the Creed in its name;
and to sprinkle it with holy water. All these rites were, for instance,
observed in the village of Ittenthalen situated in the valley of
Frickthal, canton Aargau, where the new bell received not only the name
of the godmother, but also was presented by her with a baptismal gift of
200 francs.[33]

Unbaptized bells have, according to accounts from various countries,
often proved troublesome, and instances are mentioned of their having
flown out of towers, several miles distance through the air, and having
fallen into a pond believed to be bottomless. In Moringen, a small town
south of Hanover, is a bottomless pond called "Opferteich" ('Pond of
Sacrifice') near which, according to an old tradition, the pagan
ancestors of the people of Moringen used to offer sacrifice. A bell
which through some neglect had not received the rite of baptism, flew
into the pond, where it is said to be chained fast and guarded by a
ferocious dog. Another unbaptized bell was carried by an awful storm
from the church of Grone, a village not far from Moringen, a long
distance through the air, and sunk into a pond, where it rests on a
table covered with black. At least, a diver, whom the peasants engaged
to recover it, reported that he had seen it so placed. But when they
sent the diver down a second time, provided with a rope to secure the
bell, they found, on drawing up the rope, the diver and not the bell
fastened to it, and he was dead.[34]

In a morass near the town of Lochen, in Holland, are two ponds of
stagnant water, in which the Evil One has hidden two fine bells which,
many years ago, he suddenly carried off from the church-tower of Lochen,
as they had not been baptized. These bells are still heard by the
people, tolling every year on Christmas Eve precisely at twelve o'clock.
The Dutch call these two ponds "Duivelskolken."[35]


The inscriptions on church bells are sometimes so quaint, and in some
countries so characteristic, that a collection of them would probably be
amusing. Take, for instance, the following English specimens, in which
the names of the donors are immortalised:--

On a bell at Alderton are the words:--

     "I'm given here to make a peal,
     And sound the praise of Mary Neale."

And on a bell at Binstead:--

     "Doctor Nicholas gave five pounds,
     To help cast this peal tuneable and sound."

An alarm-bell in the church of Sherborne, cast in the year 1652, bears
the inscription:--

     "Lord, quench this furious flame!
     Arise, run, help, put out the same!"

On the bell which emits the highest sound in the peal of St. Mary's, at
Devizes, are the words:--

     "I am the first, altho' but small,
     I will be heard above you all."

St. Helen's Church, at Worcester, possesses a set of eight bells, cast
in the time of Queen Anne, with inscriptions recording the victories
gained in her reign.

A recent traveller in Iceland saw in a village of that country a
church-bell which had the inscription in the German language:--

     "Aus dem Feuer bin ich gegossen,
     Hans Meyer in Kopenhagen hat mich geflossen, Anno 1663."[36]

recording that it had been cast, more than two hundred years ago, by a
German founder residing in Denmark. The great bell in the cathedral at
Glasgow contains a statement of its having been cast in the year 1583,
in Holland, and recast in the year 1790 in London; and a bell in the
cathedral of St. Magnus, at Kirkwall, Orkney, records that it was sent
to Amsterdam to be recast in the year 1682. Still more frequent than
historical statements are scriptural sentences and religious

The Burmese, in order to protect a newly-cast bell from being defiled by
their European aggressors, have hit upon the expedient of supplying it
with a threatening sentence. The bell is in a Buddhist temple at
Moulmein. Besides an inscription in Burmese characters it has a sentence
in bad English running thus:--

"This bell is made by Koonalinnguhjah the priest, and the weight 600
viss. No one body design to destroy this bell. Moulmein, March 30, 1855.
He who destroyed this bell, they must be in the great heell and unable
to coming out."


Curious traditions are still found among the country people in Sweden,
Denmark, Germany and some other European countries, of mountain-dwarfs,
and suchlike mysterious inhabitants of the country, having been forced
to emigrate on account of the bell-ringing. To note one instance:--

In Holstein, people say, a large number of mountain-dwarfs, greatly
troubled by the sounds of the many new church-bells introduced, made up
their mind to leave the country. Accordingly, having arranged their
affairs, they set out in a body and travelled northwards until they came
to the River Eider, at a place where there is a ferry. It was late in
the night when a knock at the door aroused the ferryman from his sleep.
He thought he must have been dreaming; for, it had never happened that
anybody had called him up in the middle of the night to be ferried over
the river. He therefore took no notice of it, and soon fell asleep
again. But after awhile he was awakened by the sound of another knock at
the door; and this time he felt sure he had not been dreaming. So he
dressed himself quickly, and opened the house-door to see who was there.
But, strange enough, he saw no one at the door; and when he called out
in the dark, inquiring who wanted him, he got no reply. Then he thought
the best thing he could do would be to go to bed again. However, he had
scarcely taken his coat off, when there came a bang at the door which
quite startled him, so loud it was. Taking up a bludgeon from a corner
of the room, and putting on his hat, he at once went out of the house to
scrutinise the place.

He had gone only a few steps in the direction towards the river, when to
his great surprise he saw before him in a field a multitude of
gray-looking dwarfs, who moved restlessly to and fro like ants when you
open an ant-hill. Presently one of them, a very old fellow with a long
white beard, approached the ferryman and requested him to convey the
whole company over the Eider.

"You will be duly paid for your services," said the pigmy with the long
beard. "Only place your hat upon the bank of the river for our people to
throw the money into as they enter the boat."

The ferryman did as he was desired; but he would rather not have had
anything to do with these people. The boat was soon crowded with them.
They scrambled about everywhere like insects, and he had to make the
passage several times before he had carried them all over to the
opposite bank of the river. He observed that each of them threw what
appeared to be a grain of sand into the hat; but this he did not
mind--thinking only how glad he should be when he had got rid of them
all. In fact, he did not trust them, especially as the fellow with the
long beard informed him that they were compelled to migrate to some
other part of the world on account of the church bells and the
hymn-singing, which they could not put up with any longer.

When the ferryman had carried over the last load of the little
emigrants, he saw that the whole field near the place where he had
landed them was glittering with lights, which flitted about in every
direction. The little wanderers had all of them lighted their lanterns.
But when he had returned to the bank near his house, and came to take up
his hat, how he opened his eyes! Certainly he had never been so
surprised in all his life. The hat was full of gold!

He joyfully carried the treasure into his house, and was immensely rich
ever after. In short, this simple man became in no time one of the most
respectable gentlemen in the country, and died actually worth thousands
of pounds.


If the reader should ever happen to visit Lagga, a parish in the
south-west of Sweden, the people will point out to him an enormously
large stone which a giant once threw at a church, and in which the marks
of his strong fingers are still discernible. It was, Afzelius says, a
common practice with giants in Sweden to hurl stones at the churches,
but they never hit them. Moreover, the sound of the church bell was very
hateful to them. Near Lagga is a mountain celebrated as the former
domicile of a giant, who lived there until the time of the Reformation,
when the church of the place was provided with bells. One morning the
dejected giant addressed a peasant from Lagga, whose name was Jacob,
and who happened to be at the foot of the mountain. "Jacob!" said the
giant in a subdued tone of voice, "come in, Jacob, and eat of my stew!"

But Jacob, alarmed at the kind invitation, replied rather hesitatingly:
"Sir, if you have more stew than you can consume, you had better keep
the rest for to-morrow."

Upon this sensible advice, the dejected giant complained: "I cannot stay
here even till to-morrow! I am compelled to leave this place because of
the constant bell-ringing, which is quite insupportable!"

Whereupon Jacob, getting a little courage, asked him: "And when do you
intend to come back again?"

The dejected giant, hearing himself thus questioned, ejaculated
whiningly: "Come back again? Oh! certainly not until the mount has
become the bottom of the sea, and the sea itself arable and fertile
land; if this should ever happen, then I may perhaps come back again."


[29] 'Deutsche Sagen, herausgegeben von den Brüdern Grimm.
Berlin, 1816.' Vol. I., P. 355.

[30] 'Sagen, Märchen und Lieder der Herzogthümer Schleswig,
Holstein und Lauenburg, herausgegeben von Karl Müllenhoff. Kiel, 1845.'
Pp. 116, 118.

[31] 'Norddeutsche Sagen, Märchen und Gebräuche, herausgegeben
von Kuhn und Schwartz. Leipzig, 1848.' P. 4.

[32] 'Die Sprichwörter der Polen, von C. Wurzbach. Wien, 1852.'
P. 135.

[33] 'Allemannisches Kinderlied und Kinderspiel aus der
Schweiz; gesammelt von E. L. Rochholz. Leipzig, 1857.' P. 58.

[34] 'Niedersächsiche Sagen und Märchen, gesammelt von
Schaumbach und Müller. Göttingen, 1855.' P. 57.

[35] 'Niederländische Sagen, herausgegeben von J. W. Wolf.
Leipzig, 1843.' P. 562.

[36] 'Iceland, its Scenes and Sagas, by Sabine Baring-Gould.
London, 1863.' P. 194.



Anything which is new and unprecedented in music is seldom at once
properly appreciated by the majority of musicians however beautiful it
may be. Hence the diversity of opinion concerning certain important
musical compositions which we meet with in our literature.

The 'Letters on Musical Taste' written by J. B. Schaul ('Briefe über den
Geschmack in der Musik. Carlsruhe, 1809,') contain many sensible
observations which are blemished by unreasonable attacks on Mozart,
because the then new composer did not in his operas restrict himself to
the same treatment of the orchestra to which previous masters had
accustomed the ear. Schaul was a great admirer of Boccherini. "What a
difference between a Mozart and a Boccherini!" he exclaims. "The former
leads us among rugged rocks in a thorny forest but sparingly strewn with
flowers; whereas the latter conducts us into a smiling landscape with
flowery meadows, clear and murmuring brooks, and shady groves, where our
spirit abandons itself with delight to a sweet melancholy, which affords
it an agreeable recreation even after it has left these pleasant

There are several other remarks of this kind in the book, which aroused
the ire of Carl Maria von Weber, and induced him to take up his pen in
defence of Mozart,[37] which he probably would have thought unnecessary,
if the book were not otherwise rather clever.

When, in the year 1790, Mozart's 'Don Giovanni' was performed in Berlin
for the first time, the new opera found favour with the public, but by
no means with the critics. The following extract is translated from the
'Chronik von Berlin,' Vol. IX., p. 133:--"It is not by overcharging the
orchestra, but by expressing the emotions and passions of the heart,
that the composer achieves anything great, and transmits his name to
posterity. Grétry, Monsigny, and Philidor are, and ever will be,
examples of this truth. Mozart, in his 'Don Giovanni,' aimed at
producing something extraordinary, thus much is certain, and something
extraordinary surely he has produced; nothing however, which could not
be imitated, or which is great. Not the heart, but whim, eccentricity,
and pride are the sources from which 'Don Giovanni' has emanated....
This opera, nevertheless, proved remunerative to the manager; and
gallery, boxes and pit will also in future not be empty; for a ghost in
armour and furies spitting fire are a powerful magnet."[38]

The chord with the augmented octave, which occurs several times in
Mozart's overture to 'Don Giovanni':--


has caused more than one honest theorist to shake his head. No doubt, if
seen in notation disconnected from the preceding and following bars, it
looks deterrent enough; but ought it thus to be judged? Still, Schilling
in his Musical Dictionary,[39] has thought it necessary to excuse Mozart
for having used this chord. In the article headed "Accord" he remarks:
"Türk says we possess no chord with an augmented octave. Until Mozart,
this interval was only used as a Suspension. Mozart, however, makes it
stable enough by filling with it a whole bar of 4/4 time. The master
always knows why he acts in a certain particular way and not otherwise;
and as in 'Don Giovanni' the extraordinary is predominant, this
long-sustained augmented interval--this premeditated poignard-stab--may
stand there as a warning to our libertines. We, for our part, know
nothing more frightful than this sustained chord, and the sudden energy
with which it is intended to be executed."

If Mozart could provoke adverse criticism, it is not surprising that
Beethoven did, considering his great originality. Dr. Crotch therefore,
should not be thought a worse critic than many others when he says (in
his 'Lectures,' London, 1831, p. 146) of Beethoven: "That he has ever
disregarded the rules of composition is to be regretted, as there does
not seem to have been the least good obtained by it in any one

Rochlitz, in criticising Beethoven's last violin quartets, which he
evidently did not like, cautiously observes: "When Beethoven had
published his first three Trios for pianoforte, violin and
violoncello--and soon afterwards, his first Symphony in C major--a
certain reviewer thought it right and good to speak of the Trios almost
jokingly, treating them rather as confused explosions of the bold
wantonness of a young man of talent; and the symphony he earnestly and
warningly declared to be an odd imitation of the style of Haydn,
amounting almost to caricature. Yet this critic was really an able
musician of much experience, and standing firm as a rock in his time and
its theory. He had also produced many works which are justly
appreciated, and he liked Beethoven in a degree. Had the man given his
name, or did we not owe reticence to the dead, every reader would
concede this, and even more, if we named him. Again, when Beethoven had
finished his second Symphony in D major, and Prince Lichnowsky brought
the manuscript to Leipzig, Spazier, after the performance of the
symphony, gave his opinion about it in his new journal, entitled
'Zeitung für die elegante Welt.' He called it a coarse monster--a
pierced dragon writhing indomitably, which will not die, and which in
bleeding to death (Finale) flourishes its uplifted tail furiously in all
directions in vain. Now, Spazier was a clever fellow, a many-sided and
versatile man, and by no means inexperienced. As musician, he was
acquainted with every composition which in his time was considered as
superior. Having been a pupil and faithful assistant of Reichardt, he
enjoyed as a critic a by no means small reputation, and was even feared.
Since then, twenty-five years have elapsed; and what is now thought of
these works by the whole world?"[40]

A collection of the musical reviews emanating from critics of
reputation, which condemn our master-works, might be amusing, but would
probably be more ridiculous than instructive. England especially could
contribute a large share of such curiosities in musical literature. No
doubt some of the judges were clever enough; they cannot exactly be said
to have been unable to understand what they criticised; but they had
compiled a certain code of rules for their own guidance in judging,
gathered from the works of some favourite composer, which rules they
considered as the only right ones. Consequently they denounced whatever
they found in disagreement with their adopted code.

J. N. Forkel, the learned and justly-esteemed author of a 'History of
Music,' and of several other useful works, possessed for J. S. Bach so
intense an admiration, that he had at last no ear for any composer who
differed from his idol. Hence his unwarrantable attacks on Gluck in his
'Musikalisch-Kritische Bibliothek,' Gotha, 1778.

We possess in the German language a cleverly written book entitled
'Ueber Reinheit der Tonkunst' (On the Purity of Music), the first
edition of which appeared in the year 1825. The author of this book,
A. C. J. Thibaut, a distinguished Professor of Law in Heidelberg, had
studied the old Italian and Dutch Church composers of the time of
Palestrina, whose works he delighted in having performed at regular
meetings of a number of well-trained choristers in his house. Thibaut's
enthusiasm for the old writers of vocal music without instrumental
accompaniment was so unbounded that the great instrumental compositions
by Beethoven and others had but little attraction for him. He ridicules
with much sarcasm Weber's overture to 'Oberon.' Celebrated pianists
evidently found but little favour with him. Still, Thibaut has had a
beneficial influence on musicians, and his strange and spirited book
deserves a prominent place among our curiosities in musical literature.

Distinguished composers sometimes prove but unreliable judges of the
merits of other composers, especially if the latter are their
contemporaries, and perhaps their rivals. We know from the biographies
of the composers how greatly Weber disliked Rossini; how lightly Spohr
appreciated Weber's 'Der Freischütz' when all the world was in ecstasy
about the opera; how Spohr found fault with Beethoven's symphonies. And
we know what Beethoven, in an unguarded moment, said of these composers.
We remember Mozart's unfavourable opinions concerning Clementi, Abbé
Vogler and some other musical celebrities of his time; likewise J. S.
Bach's joking remarks to his son Friedemann about their going to Dresden
to listen to the "pretty little songs" of Hasse; and Handel's hard words
about Gluck: "He knows no more of counterpoint than my cook!"--not to
record other such gossip which is rather scandalous. Being reminded of
these musical discords, it is all the more agreeable to remember the
sincerity with which many of our great musicians have acknowledged the
merits of their compeers. Haydn's esteem for Mozart was only equalled by
Mozart's esteem for Haydn. Beethoven's high appreciation of Cherubini is
notorious. Likewise, Schubert's admiration of Beethoven. But it is
unnecessary here to point out instances of the kind.

Musical amateurs often evince a preference for a certain composer merely
because they have accidentally become more familiar with his works than
with those of other composers. No wonder that in their literary
productions referring to music they should have largely contributed to
the curiosities. In noticing here M. Victor Schoelcher's 'Life of
Handel,' it is with sincere esteem for his enthusiasm and perseverance,
which enabled him to collect interesting information respecting the
great composer. However, in order to write the 'Life of Handel' it is
not sufficient to be an enthusiastic admirer of his works. One must be
well acquainted with the musicians contemporary with the great composer,
and with the stage of progress of the art at the time when the little
boy Handel took his initiatory lessons. One must also have practical
experience in musical composition. The following opinion expressed in
the work alluded to may serve as an example of a literary curiosity from
a musical amateur:--"When a great artist like Handel is accused of
theft, the proofs should be exhibited openly.... These pretended thefts
are nothing but accidental resemblances, fugitive, and quite
involuntary.... If Dr. Crotch is to be believed, Handel was never
anything but a plagiarist, who passed his life in seeking ideas out of
every corner!" and so on. Now, it is a well-known fact that Handel did
in several instances make use of the compositions of others. But, no
discerning biographer would for this reason regard him as a thief. The
really musical inquirer would find it interesting to examine carefully
how the great composer has treated and ennobled ideas emanating from

An autobiography of a celebrated musician may be instructive, if the
author possesses the moral courage to record candidly what he has
thought and felt. He must tell the truth, and nothing but the truth. How
seldom is this the case! Be it from a praiseworthy consideration for
others, or perhaps from personal vanity, statements of committed
mistakes, unsuccessful struggles, and such like facts, are often omitted
or gilded over. The letters of celebrated musicians, published after
their death by their friends, are generally so much polished, and
sentences thought to be injurious to the reputation of the great artist
so carefully expunged, that we obtain only occasionally a glimpse at the
real life of the man. Perhaps the most amiable, but also the weakest
publications of this kind are generally the biographical notices which
have been edited by the widow of a celebrated musician. To note one
instance: 'Spohr's Autobiography' is interesting, although it is
somewhat tinged with self-complacency. After Spohr's death his widow
published the Autobiography, supplementing it with laudatory remarks
such as the following:--

"During the last few years of his life he often expressed his conviction
that there must certainly be music in Heaven, although it might be very
different from our own music. When his wife replied with all her heart:
'Yes, perhaps different; but more beautiful than yours it cannot
be!'--Then, a smile of happy contentment and blissful hope spread over
his face."[41]

The musician acquainted with the frequent repetitions in Spohr's works
of certain modulations and mannerisms in favour with the composer, may
well be excused if he shudders at the thought that he should have to
listen to them eternally.

Let us now direct our attention for a moment to books relating to
musical controversy. The reader is probably aware of the dispute
occasioned by Gluck and Piccini, in France, towards the end of the last
century, and of the large number of pamphlets which it caused to be
published, including some which were written by the most distinguished
thinkers of the time. The dispute concerning the genuineness of Mozart's
Requiem likewise supplies some curious specimens of musical literature.
The paper-war commenced with an article by Gottfried Weber, published in
the musical journal 'Cæcilia,' in the year 1825. The gauntlet thrown
down was taken up, in the same year, by the Abbé Stadler. After this
beginning of the controversy, other champions, _pro_ and _contra_, made
their appearance; and the quarrel, conducted not entirely without
personal insult, soon grew to be as formidable as the fray between the
Montagues and the Capulets,--when, fortunately for the sake of concord,
Mozart's MS. score of the Requiem was discovered, and revealed which
portions of the work had been committed to paper by himself, and which
were written after his death by his instructed disciple, Süssmayr.

Another controversy of a peculiar kind, in which many musicians took
part, and upon which several dissertations were published, originated in
a violent attack by Giovanni Spataro upon Franchino Gafori, in the
beginning of the sixteenth century. An account of this dispute, which
related to some theoretical questions, is given in Hawkins's 'History of
Music,' London, 1776, Vol. II., p. 335. As regards the style of language
of the combatants, it reminds us more of fists and clubs than of
needle-guns; but this is only what might be expected.

Again, as regards the learned inquiries respecting the origin and use of
music, some curious treatises may be noticed.

The opinion that man learnt the art of music from the songs of birds is
very old, and was already held by the Roman poet Lucretius, nearly a
century before our Christian era. Guido Casoni, in his 'Della Magia
d'Amore,' Venice, 1596, finds the origin of music in Love. J. C. Ammon, a
German clergyman, wrote in the year 1746, an essay entitled 'Gründlicher
Beweis dass im ewigen Leben wirklich eine vortreffliche Musik sei' ('A
Clear Proof that there is in Eternal Life really excellent Music'). Also
Mattheson, of whose literary productions more than one might be classed
with the curiosities, wrote circumstantially about the music in Heaven.
A book of his on the subject, published in the year 1747, bears the
title--'Behauptung der himmlischen Musik aus den Gründen der Vernunft,
Kirchen-Lehre, und Heiligen Schrift' ('An Assertion that there is Music
in Heaven, proved from conclusions of reason, from the teaching of the
Church, and from Holy Scripture'). Latrobe, in his treatise entitled
'The Music of the Church,' London, 1831, settles this question by citing
passages from the Revelation; for instance, the nature of the
instrumental accompaniments to the vocal music in Heaven, is in his
opinion clearly revealed by the passage "Harpers harping upon their
harps." (Rev. XIV., 2).

The erroneous conjecture, that the art of music suggested itself
originally to man, from his hearing the various sounds in nature,
instead of being innate in him, has been entertained by several writers.
Suffice it to notice two books on this hypothesis, written in the
present century: 'The Music of Nature; or an attempt to prove that what
is passionate and pleasing in the art of singing, speaking, and
performing upon musical instruments, is derived from the sounds of the
Animated World,' by William Gardiner; London, 1832. 'La Harpe d'Eole et
la musique cosmique; études sur les rapports des phénomènes sonores de
la nature avec la science et l'art;' par J. G. Kastner; Paris,
1856.--Kastner is the author of several musical treatises which might be
enumerated with the literary curiosities.

Feyoo y Montenegro, a Spanish ecclesiastic, about the middle of the
eighteenth century, wrote a dissertation, the title of which, translated
into English, is: 'The Delights of Music accompanied by Virtue are upon
Earth the foretaste of Heaven.' By way of contrast to this may be
noticed Francesco Bocchi's 'Discorso sopra la Musica,' Florence, 1580,
in which the learned author maintains that music is injurious to morals
and good manners. Vicesimus Knox, in his 'Essays moral and literary,'
London, 1778, recommends the acquirement of musical accomplishments as a
means of protecting oneself in old age from contempt and neglect.

The oddities of the following English works are sufficiently indicated
by their titles:--'The Schoole of Abuse conteining a pleasaunt Inuective
against Poetes, Pipers, Plaiers, Jesters, and such like Caterpillers of
a Commonwelth,' by Stephen Gosson; London, 1579. 'Histrio-mastic; The
Player's Scovrge, or Actors' Tragedie,' by William Prynne; London, 1633.
For the publication of this work, which contains a satire against vocal
music, the author was condemned by King Charles I. to have his ears cut
off, and to stand in the pillory.

Curious specimens of English treatises on sacred music are:--'A Treatise
concerning the lawfulness of Instrumental Musick in Holy Offices,' by
Henry Dodwell. Second edition; London, 1700. 'The Temple Musick; or an
Essay concerning the Method of Singing the Psalms of David, in the
Temple, before the Babylonish Captivity,' by Arthur Bedford; London,
1706. 'The Great Abuse of Musick,' by Arthur Bedford, London, 1711.

A German philosopher, in the beginning of the present century, wrote 'On
our Inclination to sing when we are in a cheerful Mood.' Others have
shown that cheerful music makes some persons feel sad. Shakespeare knew
this, to conclude from Jessica's words (The Merchant of Venice, Act V.,
Scene I.): 'I am never merry when I hear sweet music.'

As regards curious illustrations of musical instruments, the following
works are especially deserving of notice:--

'Musica getutscht und ausgezogen,' Basel, 1511, by Sebastian
Virdung.--'Musica instrumentalis,' Wittenburg, 1529, by Martin
Agricola.--'Musurgia seu Praxis Musicæ,' Strassburg, 1536, by Ottomarus
Luscinius.--The last-named work is written in Latin; the other two are
in German. All these contain illustrations of the instruments described
by the authors. Sebastian Virdung's book is written in dialogue. Virdung
and Luscinius (whose German name was Nachtigall) were priests. Martin
Agricola was a professional musician, and conductor of a choir and
orchestra at Magdeburg. His book is written in wretched doggerel rhymes,
but the wood-engravings are very exact, and his explanations are lucid.
The circumstances of Martin Agricola having been practically experienced
in the art, and having lived, so to say, in the midst of the instruments
on which he treats, render his observations especially reliable.

The same may be said of Michael Prætorius, a distinguished Kapellmeister
at Brunswick, who is the author of 'De Organographia,' Wolfenbüttel,
1619. This valuable treatise forms the second volume of a work entitled,
'Syntagma Musicum,' etc. The first volume treats on the history of
music, chiefly sacred; it is written in Latin, and was published in
1615. The third volume, which like the second is written in German,
contains an account of the different vocal compositions in use at the
time when the work was written. The wood-engravings of 120 instruments
belonging to Volume II. were published with the separate title:
'Theatrum Instrumentorum seu Sciagraphia,' Wolfenbüttel, 1620. The
proper German name of Prætorius is Schulz. It was not unusual with the
old German authors to Latinize their names on the title-page of their

The works just noticed are now so scarce that the musician rarely finds
an opportunity to consult them. Hardly more accessible is the 'Harmonie
universelle,' Paris, 1636, by F. Marin Mersenne,--a work which is valued
especially on account of its comprehensiveness. The second volume
contains descriptions with illustrations of the musical instruments in
use about the year 1600. Mersenne was a monk,--as was also Athanasius
Kircher, whose 'Musurgia universalis' appeared in Rome in the year 1650.
Kircher's work is less scarce than that of Mersenne, but also less
important. The illustrations in 'Musurgia universalis' are however,
interesting, and it is principally on account of them that the work is
still appreciated by musical historians. The 'Musurgia universalis' is
written in Latin. Athanasius Kircher occupied himself also in making
acoustic experiments, and he wrote a treatise on the subject,
illustrated by engravings. He also constructed various acoustic
instruments, which after his death, were deposited with other
curiosities left by him, in a Museum at Rome. Dr. Burney, who saw them
in Rome in the year 1770, remarks in his Journal: "They are now almost
all out of order; but their construction is really curious, and
manifests an ingenuity as well as zeal of this learned father in his
musical inquiries and experiments."

Filippo Bonanni, who like Athanasius Kircher was a Jesuit Father,
published at Rome in the year 1722, a work entitled 'Gabinetto armonico
pieno d'istromenti sonori,' which contains 138 copper-plate engravings
of musical instruments, most of them with representations of the
performers. It is written in Italian. A second edition, in Italian and
French, appeared in 1776. Bonanni's work is an amusing picture-book
rather than a scientific treatise. The illustrations are inexact, and
the explanations are meagre and unsatisfactory. The author had evidently
never seen most of the instruments which he describes, and many of the
illustrations appear to have been drawn from his description and not
from actual specimens.

It is however, from Bonanni and kindred writers that Laborde has
compiled his 'Essai sur la Musique,' Paris, 1780. It would be more easy
than pleasant to cite mis-statements copied from old authors by Laborde
which have been recapitulated almost verbally by subsequent writers down
to Fétis. In consulting the 'Essai sur la Musique' with its
illustrations, many of which are fanciful, it must be borne in mind that
Laborde was a musical dilettante more distinguished for his enthusiasm
for the art, than for any particular qualification as an author on the
subject in question.

Sir John Hawkins, likewise a musical dilettante and ardent lover of the
art, by persevering diligence succeeded in accumulating a large mass of
material for the compilation of a history of music, published in 1776,
which contains many interesting accounts of scarce works on music, with
extracts from them; but he was evidently not much of a musician, and the
information he offers is arranged without sufficient discernment or

Hawkins was probably unacquainted with the original German works from
which he gives extracts in translation. At any rate, he has made some
funny mistakes. For instance, in noticing a publication of a series of
letters on music by Steffani, he says (Vol. IV., p. 303): "Mattheson, in
his 'Orchestra', mentions two persons, namely John Ballhorn and (      )
Weigweiser, as the authors of observations on these letters by Steffani;
but, according to Mattheson, neither of them was either able to read the
original, or in the translation to distinguish between the sense of the
author as delivered in the text, or the opinions of the translator
contained in the notes."

Now, the fact is that neither John Ballhorn nor Wegweiser--or Weigweiser
as Hawkins spells the word,--were distinguished men deserving a place in
a 'General History of Music.' "Johann Ballhorn" merely signifies "a
Blunderer," just as "Jack of all Trades" signifies a person who can turn
his hand to anything. Old Mattheson was a quaint and sarcastic writer.
He calls the translator of Steffani's treatise from Italian into German
a "Johann Ballhorn" on account of the blunders in the translation; and
another writer, who commented upon the subject, and who put himself
forth as a true Mentor, he nicknames Wegweiser, which simply means
"Guide." The student ought, however, to acknowledge the literary
scrupulosity of Hawkins evinced by his leaving a small blank space open
before "Weigweiser" to enable any reader who may happen to be informed
of the christian name of this gentleman, to insert it there. Still,
Hawkins may well be excused, considering that even Nagler, in his
well-known Lexicon of Artists, written in German, exhibits a somewhat
similar "John Ballhorn." He mentions a Mr. "Somebody" among the English
engravers, and states that this artist has engraven the Death of General
Wolfe painted by West.

A writer on musical history must above all be a musician of practical
experience--an accomplished executant on at least one instrument, so
that he is enabled to familiarize himself with the compositions of
different masters more thoroughly than could otherwise be possible; and
a composer in order to form a correct judgment of the compositions of
others. The opinion about Handel or Bach of a writer who is but
imperfectly practised in counterpoint, and who is incompetent to produce
correctly a fugue or other intricate composition constructed according
to fixed rules, is not likely to prove of use to the student of musical
history. Burney possessed many of the qualities requisite for a musical
historian. He was a professional musician systematically trained in the
art, and an intelligent inquirer without pedantry or prejudice.
Moreover, he had the moral courage to rescind an opinion when he
discovered that it was erroneous. For instance, respecting an opinion
which he formerly held on German music, he candidly avows ('History of
Music' Vol. IV., p. 606), "It was inconsiderately inserted in the first
edition of my 'German Tour' before I was able to examine the truth....
So far, therefore from letting a second-hand prejudice warp my judgment,
or influence my opinions in writing my General History, I have long
been keeping double guard over my pen and my principles."

The most valuable literary productions are generally to be found among
the investigations which are confined to a certain branch of the art.
The works which pretend to embrace its whole science are often but mere
compilations by writers who, like Bottom the weaver, want to act not
only Pyramus, but at the same time also Thisbe and the lion.[42]

With the objectionable curiosities in musical literature might also be
classed certain compilations which contain acute observations
interspersed with silly remarks. In the preface the author states that
he considers it an agreeable duty to acknowledge his obligations to
other writers; but, as he does not indicate in the course of the book
the sources from which he has drawn, most readers remain ignorant of the
fact that the acute observations ought properly to have been given in
inverted commas.

Equally objectionable are certain productions bearing on the æsthetics
of music, in which the author shows with high-flown words that he is
himself not quite clear about what he propounds. It certainly seems odd
that just such worthless productions are often prefaced with the remark
that the subject of the book has never been properly treated before,
whereas there are generally much better works on the same subject well
known to musicians.

Here also may certain puffing publications be alluded to, which resemble
the literary productions of quack doctors. Some are curious, however
objectionable they may be. We have guides professing to teach how to
become a brilliant player without the trouble of practising an
instrument; how to compose fine music with the aid of dice instead of
musical knowledge; how to sing in chorus without having a voice; and
suchlike tempting propositions.

Nor must the fanciful schemes for reform relating to the theory of
music, to musical notation, to the construction of instruments, etc., be
left unnoticed. Some of these are very extravagant, while others have
proved to be of greater practical utility than was expected. Space can
only be afforded here for three curious examples of proposed
innovations, two of which shall be selected from English publications of
this description.

'An Essay to the Advancement of Musick, by casting away the Perplexity
of different Cliffs, and uniting all Sort of Musick,--Lute, Viol,
Violin, Organ, Harpsechord, Voice, etc.--in one Universal Character;' by
Thomas Salmon, London, 1672.

'A New System of Music, both theoretical and practical, and yet not
mathematical; written in a manner entirely new; that's to say, in a
Style plane and intelligible; and calculated to render the Art more
Charming, the Teaching not only less tedious, but more profitable, and
the Learning easier by three Quarters. All which is done by tearing off
the Veil that has for so many ages hung before that noble Science;' by
John Francis De La Fond, London, 1725.--The author proposes to abolish
the clefs entirely, as he finds them only troublesome.

Wilhelm Kühnau published in Berlin, in the year 1810, a book entitled
"Die Blinden Tonkünstler," which contains the biographies of seventy
blind musicians. The author discards all the foreign words used in
German music, and substitutes for them German words of his own coining.
For Kapellmeister he proposes 'Tonmeister;' for Clarinette, 'Gellflöte;'
for Harmonika, 'Hauchspiel;' and so on. He, however, does not stand
alone as such a whimsical innovator. Beethoven, ten years later, coined
the word 'Hammer-Klavièr' for Pianoforte, and used it on the title-page
of his large sonata in B flat major, Op. 106.

As specimens of Lampoons may be mentioned:--Joel Collier's 'Musical
Travels through England,' London, 1774, written in ridicule of Dr.
Charles Burney; and L. Rellstab's 'Henriette, oder die schöne Sängerin,'
Leipzig, 1826, which caricatures certain admirers of the celebrated
songstress and estimable lady, Henriette Sontag, in Berlin. These
musical enthusiasts included several noblemen of the highest position,
and a foreign ambassador at the Prussian Court, who were described under
fictitious names so as to be easily recognised. The scandalous gossip
thereby occasioned induced the government to confiscate the obnoxious
though witty book, and to condemn Rellstab to be imprisoned three months
in the fortress of Spandau. The punishment of the author, of course,
greatly increased the popularity of the book. Being forbidden by high
authority, it was read everywhere,--even aloud to circles of guests in
the coffee-rooms and wine-houses of Berlin,--until curiosity was

As regards musical novels, those which may be called curious are mostly
so on account of their eccentricities and improbabilities. Some
interesting exceptions could, however, be pointed out. The heroes of the
novels are not unfrequently drawn from life, inasmuch as they represent
certain celebrated musicians.

E. T. A. Hoffmann, the spirited and highly imaginative novelist, has
taken, it is generally believed, the eccentric musician Louis Böhner as
a model for his famous 'Kapellmeister Kreisler.' After having travelled
for several years through Germany, and performed his own compositions in
concerts at different courts, Louis Böhner, more estimable as an artist
than otherwise, retired to his native village in Thuringia, where he
died in great poverty. His concerto in D major for the pianoforte, Op.
8, which was published about ten years before Weber composed 'Der
Freischütz,' contains the following passage--


in which may be recognised the melody of Agatha's grand Scena. Besides
this, there occur in Böhner's concerto some other slight resemblances
with phrases in 'Der Freischütz.' It is said that on a certain occasion
Böhner played the concerto in the presence of Weber. The resemblances
are not very striking, and may be accidental. Their discovery, however,
did not fail to cause some contributions to our literary curiosities.

The journals of musicians travelling in distant parts of the world often
contain, as might be expected, interesting observations about music,
which are not likely to be found in the journals of other travellers. If
not particularly instructive, they are at least often amusing to
musicians who prefer to read something about their art more novel and
refreshing than they are likely to find in their treatises on
thorough-bass. A. Anton, a German by birth, who was band-master in the
Bengal army, published, after his return to the Fatherland, some
unpretending extracts from his journal, under the title 'Von Darmstadt
nach Ostindien; Erlebnisse und Abenteuer eines Musikers auf der Reise
durch Arabien nach Lahore. Die denkwürdigen Ereignisse der letzten Jahre
nach seinem Tagebuch wahrheitsgetreu geschildert.' ('From Darmstadt to
the East Indies; Life and Adventures of a Musician during his journey
through Arabia to Lahore. The memorable occurrences of the last years
truthfully depicted from his journal;' Darmstadt, 1860.)

M. Hauser, an accomplished violinist, has given an account of his
travels round the world, in a series of letters published with the
title: 'Aus dem Wanderbuche eines österreichischen Virtuosen; Briefe aus
Californien, Südamerika, und Australien.' ('From the Journal of Travels
of an Austrian Virtuoso; Letters from California, South America, and
Australia;' Leipzig, 1859.) Hauser's grand show-piece was evidently a
sort of descriptive composition of his own, called 'The little Bird in
the Tree,' in which he cleverly imitated the chirping of the tiny
feathered songster. Whether he imitated it by bowing above or below the
bridge, he does not state. In Tahiti he played it with success to queen
Pomare; and at the gold-fields he charmed the diggers with it to such a
degree, that they rewarded him with pinches of gold-dust and nuggets
fresh from the soil. Having himself become thoroughly tired of 'The
little Bird in the Tree,' although it was his own composition, and
wishing to treat the people with some really good music, he ventured, at
a concert in a town of the Isthmus of Panama, to play Beethoven's famous
violin concerto. His audience were at first puzzled, not knowing what to
make of the music; soon, however, silence changed into general
conversation about the news of the town and suchlike topics. In order
to gain a hearing and money, there was no choice for the _virtuoso_ but
to resort to 'The little Bird in the Tree.' With this conviction he laid
aside the classical music, determining at the same time to enjoy it all
the more heartily at home after having made his fortune. His jottings
contain interesting statements concerning the cultivation of music in
the various countries which he visited.

A journal of a vagabond musician may, perhaps, be thought to possess but
little attraction. If, however, the vagabond musician is an intelligent
man who has had the advantage of a University education, his
observations may be much more interesting than those of a fashionable
_virtuoso_ who moves in the highest circles of society, but whose
knowledge is almost entirely confined to his profession. Ernst Kratz was
such a man. He published his journal in two volumes entitled 'Kunstreise
durch Nord-Deutschland' ('Rambles of an Artist through North Germany;'
Sonderburg, 1822). This strange journal, which the author brought out at
his own expense, is mentioned neither by Fétis nor Forkel. Probably it
never became known through the usual channel of the book trade. It will
be the last of the productions noticed in the present survey of literary
curiosities; but, considering that it is as scarce as it is singular, an
account of it more detailed than has been given of the extraordinary
publications previously noticed may interest the musical reader.

Ernst Kratz was a Prussian, born during the second half of the last
century. His diary commences with an account of his unsuccessful
attempts, in the year 1813, to obtain a commission in the Prussian army
against the French. He had then just left the University of Halle. Why
he should have wished to give up his profession as a lawyer, does not
transpire; perhaps his overflowing energy, and his love of adventure,
made the quiet and regular life of a peaceable citizen appear to him but
a miserable existence. Though of a generous disposition, he was
evidently a self-willed and quarrelsome man, not likely to follow
submissively the dictates of others, who perhaps might be his superiors
in position, but his inferiors in talent and knowledge. Having a fine
bass voice, and some skill in playing the pianoforte and the violin, it
occurred to him, during a visit to a wealthy brother-in-law residing in
a small town in the province of Brandenburg, to organise a concert for
the benefit of the wounded soldiers disabled in the war with Napoleon I.

The zeal with which he engaged in the praiseworthy scheme secured him
the co-operation of the musical dilettanti among the nobility and gentry
of the town and its neighbourhood. The concert proved a decided success,
and, to the gratification of all there was a good round sum of money to
be handed over to the fund for the wounded soldiers.

The result of his first attempt induced Kratz to give similar concerts
in different provincial towns for the same charitable purpose. The
preparations caused him endless trouble, as he generally had to practise
beforehand with each of the amateur singers, his or her part alone, to
enable them to perform with tolerable correctness. The result was
sometimes unsatisfactory, not only musically, but also financially, as
the unavoidable expenses almost swallowed up the receipts. Meanwhile
Kratz received from the Princess Wilhelm of Prussia, the patroness of
the Society for the Relief of the Wounded Soldiers, the title of
'Kammersänger,' in acknowledgment of his benevolent exertions. The
honour conferred upon him increased his fondness for a rambling life,
while it was of little or no use to him in gaining the means of

Soon he traversed large districts of Central and Northern Germany,
giving concerts, with which he combined declamatory performances.
Experience taught him to restrict his visits almost entirely to small
towns and watering-places, where his expenses were small, and where he
had no rivalry to fear. During these wanderings he occasionally met with
a clergyman, a doctor, or a lawyer, with whom he had studied in Halle;
and the hospitable manner in which most of his former acquaintances
received him, suggests that they must have had pleasant recollections of
his companionship.

He seldom omits to record in his journal the number of visitors to his
concert; its proceeds and expenses; with other little business details.
These memoranda he intersperses with various observations, of which the
following is a specimen:--

"I may take this opportunity to confute the erroneous opinion,
entertained by many, that a clever music-director can hear every false
tone which occurs in the orchestra. This may be possible if there is
only one instrument for each part, but not otherwise; and also not when
the orchestra is playing _forte_. The music-director Türk, in Halle,
known as a great theorician and as a good composer, usually had at his
winter concerts the assistance of some students, as they occasioned him
no expense and rendered his orchestra more complete. I offered to assist
as a violin player; but, as the number of violinists was sufficient,
while there was only one tenor player, he appointed me to the tenor.
This I rather liked, since as the performances consisted chiefly of
operatic music and oratorios, it enabled me to follow cursorily the
words with the music. Without an acquaintance with the words, the music
of the songs is hardly comprehensible. My colleague did the same. Not
unfrequently we became so much absorbed in this pursuit that we played
wrong,--nay, we lost our part,--without Türk perceiving it. On the other
hand, it occurred not seldom that he cried out to us: "_Die
Prätschel!_"[43] when we played correctly. This is easily explicable.
If, for instance, five soprano singers execute in unison a passage
rather rapidly, and one of them introduces a wrong tone not very loud,
the best music-director will not perceive it; still less when the
mistake occurs in the middle parts where the other parts cover the false
tone. Of course, it is different if the tone is long sustained and sung

When Kratz has made himself rather ridiculous, he can philosophize about
the occurrence so that it appears to him very interesting. Take, for
instance, his account of a rehearsal in which he ventured to play a
violin concerto beyond his power:--

"When the orchestra had played the introductory Tutti, and I had to
begin the Solo,--suddenly it becomes misty before my eyes, my whole
body trembles, I cannot see the notes clearly, cannot command my
fingers, cannot manage the bow. We begin again, and a third time; but it
is not much better, although we make some progress. By degrees I become
more collected; still my playing remains a wretched attempt to the end,
provoking the suppressed and loud laughter of the musicians. None of the
somewhat difficult passages, which I knew by heart, could I play. I am
not a _virtuoso_ on the violin; but if one has attained a certain
dexterity, one must be able to play those pieces which one has properly
learnt. Thus this rehearsal enriched my psychology, inasmuch as it
served me as an example for the proposition:--It is very difficult, if
not impossible, to appear in later years before the public in a capacity
in which one has not appeared in early youth. The fear for the teacher
suppresses in youth the shyness for the public, and accustoms us to
resist it, and not allow it to become an obstacle. The fear for the
teacher is a support which later we miss, while the shyness which
overcomes us is all the stronger since we have learnt the value of the
opinion which formerly concentrated only in the teacher, and with which
we were well acquainted beforehand. While as a singer and a declamator I
feel the most at my ease when I appear before a large audience, at the
rehearsal, in the presence of an orchestra only, I could not play a
violin concerto, merely because the former I have done in public from
early youth, and this never before."

The proceeds of his concerts he divided into two equal portions, one of
which he regularly forwarded after the concert to the relief fund for
the wounded soldiers, retaining the other half to defray his travelling
expenses. But his concerts were often so thinly attended that they
realized no proceeds to divide, and hardly sufficient means for his
subsistence. He feared to come into suspicion of having appropriated to
himself more than his due; and he felt vexed at the implications which
he sometimes thought he detected in the remarks of strangers, intimating
that the wounded soldiers were of more use to him than he to them.

Reduced to this extremity, Kratz resolved to trouble himself no
further about the wounded soldiers, and henceforth to give his
musical-declamatory entertainments for his own benefit. And with this
step begins a new epoch in his life, in which he depicts himself in his
journal as a genuine vagabond musician. After two years' rambles, he
writes:--"I must mention that my purse is at present in a very low
condition. This is something very common to all travelling artists with
or without reputation, and does not happen now for the first time to me.
In Silesia and other provinces I had already experienced the same
trouble. Considering the peculiar nature of my vocation, I never
expected from the very outset of my rambles that I should gain much
money. That I have not suffered more frequently, is owing to my very
moderate habits, and also to the circumstance that my strong physical
condition enables me to brave any adversities. Whenever my endeavours to
obtain an audience in a town failed, I at once submitted myself to
restrictions and deprivations. I should not even now think this worth
mentioning, did it not show how greatly I had to suffer on account of
the musical festival at Frankenhausen. In fact, it was owing to this
that I became for the first time quite destitute." This happened in
1815. The musical festival in Frankenhausen was under the management of
music-director G. F. Bischoff. A new cantata by Spohr, performed in the
presence of the composer, who afterwards played a violin concerto,
constituted its principal attraction. It speaks much for the love of
music in Kratz that, notwithstanding his miserable circumstances, he
carried out his intention of attending the festival. His request for
permission to assist in the orchestra, or in the chorus, met with a
refusal on the pretext that it came too late, all the places being
filled. Disappointed, he bent his steps to Heringen, a neighbouring
small town, with the intention of giving a musical-declamatory
entertainment which might help him to some food, and to the price of a
ticket of admission to the concert in Frankenhausen. His struggles he
faithfully records thus:--

"In Ashausen, a village three-quarters of an hour's walk from Heringen,
I went into the inn for the night. It was Sunday. The room below was
full. I heard music in the upper room; went up stairs, and found there
was dancing going on. I watched the dancers for a long time. Then,
merely for my love of music, I placed myself among the musicians and
played occasionally with them. When they thus recognised me as a
musician, they treated me--but, unfortunately, with spirits. However,
sometimes bread and butter, and oftener cake, was handed to them, of
which I was likewise asked to partake; and this suited me better. After
the dancing was over, several peasants gathered round the new musician,
and I played to them dance-tunes on the violin, which they liked better
than the tunes of their own band. I took up a horn, having learnt the
instrument formerly, and blew them a piece or two. They now wanted to
treat me with spirits, which I however felt obliged to decline, although
it was fine liqueur; for I am no spirit-drinker. The cake, unhappily,
was consumed. I now learnt that they were celebrating the baptism of a
child. I only wished they might continue the whole night, as it would
save me the expense of a bed. However, about three o'clock in the
morning the last of the company departed, and I had to go down into the
public room, where I threw myself on a bench to avoid paying for a bed.
Nevertheless, the unreasonable host demanded that I should pay him for
having slept in his house; but this I did not, because I had only two
groschen[44] in my possession, and could not entirely divest myself of
cash. I therefore paid him only a half groschen for a cup of coffee in
the morning."

Arrived, on Monday, at Heringen: "In the afternoon I happen to pass the
church, which is open. I enter and sit down, tarrying near to my Only
Friend. There I remain alone for a long time, occupied with my
reflections; for, I stand so alone in the world.--In the evening the
decisive hour approaches; the concert at Frankenhausen is at stake,
and--Behold! I have an audience of nineteen persons, few expenses, the
host of the Town-Hall means it well with me, and Frankenhausen is safe!"

Kratz shows himself always to the greatest advantage when he is very
badly off. As soon as he gains a little money, he generally becomes
quarrelsome. It would only be painful to trace his ups and downs,--the
former occurring but occasionally, and being but slight,--until his
arrival in Cassel. In this town the manager of the theatre, perhaps in
an unguarded moment of compassion, gives him hope of an engagement as
singer. The music-director Guhr holds out the same encouragement,
amounting almost to a promise. They afterwards find that their intention
cannot possibly be carried out. Kratz, greatly disappointed, brings an
action against them for breach of promise. Other persons become
implicated in this formidable law-suit, which is carried on for about
two years. During all the time Kratz makes constant pedestrian tours
into the country, giving musical-declamatory entertainments in the small
towns and villages, living on the plainest of fare and sleeping upon
straw. When he has scraped together a few thalers, he returns to Cassel
to hand them over to his lawyer. One cannot but admire his energy; if he
had employed only half of it in a noble cause, he might have done much
good. He lost his law-suit and left Cassel.

On New Year's Eve, 1816, we find him in full-dress at a ball given by a
former fellow-student, now a person of high position in Quedlinburg, who
has taken him for a week into his house, and has dressed him up. The
next day, Kratz reflects upon the event, in his journal, thus:--

"January 1st, 1817. Every thing changes in life. The deadening winter is
followed by the reviving spring; out of the moistened eye beams again
the sun-ray of joy. The first day of the last year found me in the hut
of a peasant, sleeping on a couch of straw, and my rest unpleasantly
disturbed by the firing of volleys by the peasant lads; the first day of
this year finds me awake in a brilliantly-lighted saloon, where I am
surrounded by varicoloured figures moving in the brightness of light,
where the sound of music floats agreeably about my ears, while I am
blissfully waltzing round with the most charming girl in the room."

Unfortunately for Kratz, this blissful state was of but short duration.
Soon we find him again as before in his "Rambles of an Artist," except
that he now moves gradually to the North, until he reaches Hamburg,
which he enters, and where we lose sight of him.

In the present survey several books have been mentioned which possess
but little value. Still, they deserve a place among the fanciful,
paradoxical, extravagant, and quaint publications relating to the art of
music. Some more might have been cited; but the list is probably large
enough to convince the lover of music that we are by no means in want of
curiosities in our musical literature.


[37] 'Hinterlassene Schriften von C. M. von Weber. Zweite Ausgabe,
Leipzig, 1850.' Vol. II., P. 14.

[38] 'Geschichte der Oper in Berlin, von L. Schneider. Berlin, 1850,' P.

[39] 'Universal-Lexicon der Tonkunst. Stuttgardt, 1835.'

[40] Rochlitz wrote this in the year 1828. See 'Allgemeine musikalische
Zeitung,' Jahrgang XXX, P. 489.

[41] 'Louis Spohr's Selbstbiographie. Cassel, 1861.' Vol. II., P. 404.

[42] A Midsummer-Night's Dream, Act I., Scene 2.

[43] The Tenor (Italian, _Viola di braccio_) is called in German
_Bratsche_, corrupted here into _Prätschel_.

[44] A groschen is about an English penny.



Towards the end of the sixteenth century, and in the beginning of the
seventeenth, companies of English actors visited Germany to perform at
the courts of princes, and at public festivities. The Germans called
these actors 'Die englischen Comödianten' (The English Comedians); and
the musicians accompanying them they called 'Die englischen
Instrumentisten' (The English Instrumentalists.) Respecting the English
Comedians much has already been written by Shakespearean scholars. The
musical accomplishments of these strolling troupes have, however, not
received sufficient attention to satisfy musicians. Although they appear
not to have been remarkable, they are interesting inasmuch as they were
associated with the performances of Shakespeare's dramas, and also
because the English Instrumentalists have been, with few exceptions, the
only English musicians who ever visited Germany with the object of
gaining a livelihood in that country by displaying their skill.

Some notices of them are to be found in the historical records of the
German theatres, which have been published during the present century.

What induced these actors and musicians to leave their native
country?--Want of support at home. There were too many of them in
England. During the sixteenth century many were in the service of
English noblemen. It was a usual custom with the nobility to keep a
company of instrumentalists as well as actors; and to these were not
unfrequently added skilful tumblers, or acrobats, who seem to have
enjoyed great popularity. Strolling troupes of the latter visited the
provincial towns. W. Kelly, in his 'Notices illustrative of the Drama,
and other popular amusements in Leicester, during the 16th and 17th
centuries,' says: "The earliest notice we have of the visits of
companies of tumblers to the town is in 1590." These personages
undoubtedly also played on musical instruments. In the German records
alluded to, they are called _Springer_ (_i.e._ "Jumpers" or "Dancers"),
and it would appear that not all the English Instrumentalists, but only
the lowest class of them, combined the art of dancing and tumbling with
that of music. The majority were musical actors rather than professional
musicians; while others occupied themselves almost exclusively with
playing on musical instruments, such as the lute, treble-viol, viola da
gamba, recorder, cornet, trumpet, etc.

In a Proclamation of Queen Elizabeth, issued in the year 1571, these
strolling performers are mentioned in rather disreputable company: "All
Fencers Bearewardes Comon Players in Enterludes, and Minstrels, not
belonging to any Baron of this Realme, or towarde any other honorable
Personage of greater Degree; all Juglers Pedlers Tynkers and Petye
Chapmen; wiche said Fencers Bearewardes Comon Players in Enterludes
Minstrels Juglers Pedlers Tynkers and Petye Chapmen, shall wander
abroade, and have not Lycense of two Justices of the Peace at the
Feaste, whereof one to be of the Quorum, wher and in what Shier they
shall happen to wander ... shalbee taken adjudjed and deemed Roges
Vacaboundes and Sturdy Beggers;" etc.[45]

Some interesting details concerning the nature of the performances of
the English common musicians at the time when this Proclamation
appeared, may be gathered from 'A Dialogue betwene Custome and Veritie,
concerninge the use and abuse of Dauncinge and Mynstralsye, by Thomas
Lovell, London, 1581.' The book is written in verse. Custom defends and
excuses dancing and minstrelsy, which Verity attacks and abuses. As
regards the minstrels, Verity remarks:--

     "They are accounted vagarant roges
       By act of Parliament,
     What reason why they should not then
       Like Roges to Jaile be sent,
     Except they doo belong to men
       Which are of high degree,
     As in that act by woords set downe
       Expressly we may see.
     To such, I think, but few of these
       Vain Pipers doo pertain:
     To men so grave a shame it were
       Fond Fidlers to maintain.
     A great disgrace it were to them,
       Their cloth abrode to send
     Upon the backs of them which doo
       Their life so lewdly spend."

Respecting the performances of the minstrels, vocal as well as
instrumental, Verity says:--

     "Their singing if you doo regard,
       It is to be abhord:
     It is against the sacred woord
       And Scripture of the Lord.
     But this doo minstrels clene forget:
       Some godly songs they have,
     Some wicked Ballads and unmeet,
       As companies doo crave.
     For filthies they have filthy songs,
       For baudes lascivious rimes;
     For honest good, for sober grave
       Songs; so they watch their times.
     Among the lovers of the trueth,
       Ditties of trueth they sing;
     Among the Papists, such as of
       Their godlesse legend spring.
     For he that cannot gibe and jest,
       Ungodly scoff and frump,
     Is thought unmeet to play with Pipe,
       On tabret or to thump.
     The minstrels doo with instruments,
       With songs, or els with jest,
     Maintain them selves, but as they use,
       Of these naught is the best."

This Dialogue, the author of which is supposed to have been a Puritan,
concludes with Verity convincing and converting Custom.[46]

A grant under the Privy Seal of James I. for the issue of letters patent
in favour of Thomas Downton and others, on transferring their services
as players to the Elector Frederic, dated January 4th, 1613, contains
the following names of actors and musicians: Thomas Downton, William
Bird, Edward Juby, Samuell Rowle, Charles Massey, Humfrey Jeffs, Franck
Grace, William Cartwright, Edward Colbrand, William Parr, William
Stratford, Richard Gunnell, John Shanck, and Richard Price. These, and
"the rest of their Associates" were licensed and authorised as servants
of the Elector Palatine "to use and exercise the art and facultie of
playing Comedies, Tragedies, Histories, Enterludes, Moralls, Pastoralls,
Stage Plaies and such other like as they have already studied, or
hereafter shall use or study."

In a Patent of James I., licensing the performance of plays by his
Majesty's Servants at the private house in Blackfriars, as well as at
the Globe, March 27th, 1620, are mentioned: John Hemings, Richard
Burbadge, Henry Condall, John Lowen, Nicholas Tooley, John Underwood,
Nathan Feild, Robert Benfeild, Robert Gough, William Ecclestone, Richard
Robinson, and John Shancks. In a patent of Charles I., dating June 24th,
1625, which renews that of James I., we have, besides the names just
mentioned, Joseph Taylor, William Rowley, John Rice, Elliart Swanston,
George Birch, Richard Sharpe, and Thomas Pollard.[47]

The names are here given to enable the reader to compare them with the
names, often arbitrarily spelt, of the English actors and
instrumentalists in the German records.

The earliest account of the appearance of these foreigners in Germany
dates from the year 1556, when an English company of actors visited the
court of the Margrave of Brandenburg. In Berlin they found a
well-organized musical band belonging to the Elector Joachim II., the
regulations of which, dating from the year 1570, are still extant. In a
more comprehensive set of regulations issued by the Elector Johann
Georg, in the year 1580, the following instruments are specified as
being played by the Elector's musicians:--_Positif_, _Zimphonien_,
_Geygen_, _Zinckenn_, _Qwerpfeiffen_, _Schalmeyenn_, _Krumbhörner_,
_Dultzian_, _Trummeten_, _Posaunen_, _Bombarten_, ("Organ, spinets,
instruments played with a bow, cornets, small German flutes, shalms,
cormornes, a small bassoon, trumpets, trombones, bombardos."[48]).

In the beginning of the seventeenth century we find in the Elector of
Brandenburg's service some English musicians who had probably come to
Germany with the English actors. The following are mentioned in the
Prussian records, with their names more or less Germanized.

Johann Kroker (John Croker), Berlin, 1608. He must have been a rather
distinguished musician; for the Elector Joachim Friedrich made him
Vice-Kapellmeister, or second leader of the orchestra.

Johann Spencer. In a letter dated "Königsberg, July 14th, 1609," the
Elector Johann Sigismund recommends Johann Spencer to the Elector of
Saxony as an English musician who was recommended to him by the Duke
Franz von Stettin, and who had been for some time in Berlin. The Elector
adds that Johann Spencer's music had pleased him pretty well.[49] There
can hardly be a doubt that this musician is the same John Spencer who
was the director of a company of English Comedians travelling in Holland
and in Germany.

Walter Rowe (also written Roe) Berlin, 1614. A viola-da-gamba player of
some reputation. He must have been at least thirty-three years in the
service of the Elector, for he is still mentioned as a member of the
orchestra in 1647. About the year 1626 he resided for some time at the
court of the Duke of Mecklenburg-Güstrow. His son, Walter Rowe, was
likewise a musician in the Elector's orchestra at Berlin.

Lambert Blome (probably Bloom) is mentioned in the year 1621 as a
_Clarin-Bläser_ (trumpeter) in the orchestra at Berlin.

Valentin Flood was, in 1627, engaged in Berlin, as player on the Treble

John Stanley, a theorbo player, was, in the autumn of the year 1628, at
the court of the Elector of Brandenburg, and in the year 1631, entered
the service of the Landgrave Wilhelm of Hesse-Cassel.

Johann Boldt (probably John Bolt), Berlin, 1635. Cornetto player.

These musicians were not the only foreigners in the band of the Elector
at Berlin. Several Italians are mentioned in the records, and even one
or two Polish cither players. As early as in the year 1564, mention is
made of an Italian virtuoso, Antonio Bontempi, who was engaged as player
on the lute, theorbo, and cornetto.

Although the English comedians most probably visited the Netherlands
before they made their appearance in Germany, we meet with them in
Holland not earlier than in the year 1604. A company, which in 1605
performed in Leyden, had previously been in Berlin, and was provided
with letters of recommendation from the Elector of Brandenburg.[50]
Moreover, there was a company of English comedians in Denmark during the
second half of the sixteenth century. Five of these, who in the old
documents are mentioned as Instrumentalists, probably because they were
chiefly musicians, arrived in the year 1586 at the court of Christian
II., Elector of Saxony. Leaving unnoticed those who are mentioned only
as actors, we find recorded in Dresden the following English
instrumentalists, whose names are copied as spelt in the German

Tomas Konigk (Thomas King), Dresden, 1586. He had previously been in

Tomas Stephan (Thomas Stephen), Dresden, 1586.

George Bryandt (George Bryant), Dresden, 1586; also known as an actor.

Thomas Pabst (Thomas Pope), Dresden, 1586. He is supposed to have been a
personal acquaintance of Shakespeare.[51]

Rupert Persten (probably Rupert Pierst). Dresden, 1586.

These musicians are in their appointment designated as _Geyger und
Instrumentisten_ ('Fiddlers and Instrumentalists') and their duties are
prescribed as follows:--"They must be attentive and obedient, of good
behaviour at our Court; they must follow us on our travels if we desire
it. Whenever we hold a banquet, and also on other occasions, as often as
they are ordered, they have to attend with their fiddles and other
requisite instruments, to play music. And they must also amuse us with
their art of tumbling, and other graceful things which they have learnt.
They are expected to demean themselves towards us as behoves faithful
and attentive servants; which they have also promised, and bound
themselves to observe."[52]

John Price, who came to Dresden in the year 1629, was a _virtuoso_ on
the flute. The Elector of Saxony gave him a superior appointment in his
orchestra. Mersenne ('Harmonie universelle,' Paris, 1636) mentions him
as a brilliant player. The little flute which he principally used had
only three finger-holes; but he is said to have been able by various
expedients, or knacks, to obtain on it a compass of three octaves. He
had previously an engagement at the Court of Würtemberg, in company with
John Dixon, mentioned as an English instrumentalist, and with John
Morell, David Morell, and two other Englishmen, who probably were

In the year 1626, a company of English comedians performed in Dresden,
among other pieces, Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet,' 'Hamlet,' 'King
Lear,' and 'Julius Cæsar.'[53] A troupe of English comedians, which in
the year 1611 visited Königsberg, consisted of thirty-five members,
nineteen of whom are designated in the records as actors, and sixteen as
instrumentalists.[54] No doubt most of those designated as actors were
also musical; but the circumstance of nearly one half of the troupe
being professional musicians sufficiently shows how greatly the
entertainments consisted of musical performances. Another proof of this
may be found in a record stating that in Hildesheim a company of English
actors gave representations in English.[55]

There were probably but few persons among the audience who understood
English. It may, therefore, be surmised that music constituted the chief
attraction of the entertainment. There was, however, also amusing
leaping and dancing, and the funny clown,--the English Jack-Pudding,
Dutch Pekelharing, German Hanswurst, French Jean Potage, Italian Signor
Maccaroni. The clown derives his nickname from the favourite dish of the

It is unnecessary, for the purpose of tracing the pursuits of the
English actors and instrumentalists, to follow them in their visits to
all the German towns which preserve records of them. Suffice it to
notice their stay in Cassel, where they arrived in the year 1600. The
Landgrave Moritz of Hesse Cassel took them into his service, and, in
1605, built for them a theatre in the form of a circus, to which he gave
the name Ottoneum, in honour of his eldest son, Otto. The walls of this
edifice were beautifully ornamented with frescoes.

However, in 1607, the Landgrave Moritz declared that he was tired of
"the confounded dancers and jumpers," as he called them; and he
dismissed the company from his service, with the exception of a few
clever members, whom he retained until the year 1613. The Landgrave
Moritz was a learned man, and likewise a poet and a musical composer.
His opinion is therefore not without some weight. The company, after its
departure from Cassel, perambulated for several years through Germany,
and appears to have found everywhere a good reception,--especially at
Nürnberg, where, in 1612, their "new beautiful comedies" were much

Four names may here be given of English actors, who, in the year 1591,
set out to go to Germany with the avowed intention of improving their
impoverished circumstances. They are: Robert Brown, John Broadstreet (or
Breadstreet), Thomas Sackville and Richard Jones. As in the letter of
recommendation of these men, which has been discovered in the archives
of the Hague, their musical accomplishments are mentioned before their
other accomplishments,--it being stated that they intended to travel for
the purpose "of practising their profession by performing of music, feats
of agility, and games of comedies, tragedies and histories,"[56]--it
is evident that music must have been one of their most practised arts,
if not actually their original profession.

In the year 1603, Lord Spencer was sent by James I. on a special embassy
to Prince Frederick, Duke of Würtemberg, to invest him with the Order of
the Garter. Among Lord Spencer's retinue were four skilful musicians,
who appear to have been picked English instrumentalists, to judge from
the praise bestowed on them by Erhardus Cellius in his account of the
visit, which was published at Tübingen in the year 1605. The following
quotation is a translation, the narrative of Erhardus Cellius being
originally written in Latin:--"The royal English musicians whom the
illustrious royal ambassador had brought with him to enhance the
magnificence of the embassy and the present ceremony [the Duke's
investiture of the Order of the Garter], though few in number, were
eminently well skilled in the art. For England produces many excellent
musicians, comedians and tragedians most skilful in the histrionic art;
certain companies of whom, quitting their own abodes for a time, are in
the habit of visiting foreign countries at particular seasons,
exhibiting and representing their art principally at the courts of
princes. A few years ago, some English musicians coming over to our
Germany with this view, remained for some time at the courts of great
princes; and their skill, both in music and in the histrionic art,
procured them such favour that they returned home liberally rewarded,
and loaded with gold and silver."[57] Erhardus Cellius was Professor of
Poetry and History at Tübingen.

There remain to be noticed a few English musicians who came to Germany
about the time of the visits of the English comedians, but who appear
not to have been connected with any of the companies.

John Dowland, a _virtuoso_ on the lute, and also a composer,
visited about the year 1585 the Courts of Hesse-Cassel and of
Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. Afterwards, he was for some time lutenist in the
service of the King of Denmark, where perhaps he may have associated
with the English comedians. John Dowland was evidently a personal
acquaintance of Shakespeare, who has immortalized him in his 'Passionate

     "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 heavenly 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
       Whenas himself to singing he betakes.
     One god is god of both, as poets feign;
       One knight loves both, and both in thee remain."

To conclude that Shakespeare must have been a practical musician,
because he wrote beautiful poetry on the charms and power of music,
would be as bold as to assume from certain passages in his dramas that
he was originally a lawyer, a soldier, a tinker or a horse-dealer.
Indeed, regarded as a critical opinion, his beautiful sonnet on Dowland
is less valuable than the judgment of Dr. Burney, who remarks: "After
being at 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
contemporaries, which has been courteously continued to him either by
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."[58]

John Bull, another English musician of some reputation, was a virtuoso
on the harpsichord and organ. Perhaps the circumstance of his playing
these instruments kept him aloof from the English Comedians on the
continent; otherwise his restless and unsettled life would have fitted
him well for their companionship. Born in Somersetshire, about the
middle of the sixteenth century, John Bull, in the year 1601, made his
first journey to Holland, France and Germany, where his organ
performances, and even his compositions, found admirers. Having returned
to England, he went, in 1607, a second time to the continent with the
object, it is recorded, of restoring his shattered health,--or perhaps,
as Dr. Burney surmises, to improve his shattered financial condition. He
died in Germany. Sir John Hawkins, in his 'History of Music,' gives two
Riddle Canons by John Bull, written in the shape of a triangle. The
anecdote about the marvellous skill of this musician, exhibited by his
adding forty more parts to a song composed in forty parts,[59] is so
absurd as hardly to provoke a smile from anyone acquainted with the
theory of music. John Bull has also been praised for having composed
some pieces for the Virginal so difficult that even pianists of the
present day are startled by his rapid passages in thirds and sixths.
But, considering how rude and unmelodious these contrivances are, he
would deserve greater praise if his music were easily executable,
impressive, and better suited for the instrument for which it was
composed, than is the case. If R. Clark's statement, according to which
John Bull was the composer of the English National Anthem, were correct,
he would have a greater claim to consideration than he deserves at
present. The composers of old popular tunes are seldom known; it is
therefore only proper to regard the whole nation as the composer of its
principal national tune, if its origin has not been definitively
ascertained; and in this sense it is perhaps right to assign the
composition of the English National Anthem to John Bull.

Another English musician, Thomas Cutting, went to Denmark in 1607. He
was a lutenist. There is no record of his having been in Germany. John
Abell, an English singer and lutenist, gave concerts in Holland,
Germany, and Poland, at the time of Charles II., consequently, after the
period of the English Comedians' visit to the Continent.

It is a remarkable fact that, previous to the appearance of those
musicians in Germany, England had already been visited by foreign
musicians, whose talents, considering the positions obtained by several
of them, must have had considerable influence upon the taste of their
English colleagues. There were five German musicians in the service of
Richard III., in the year 1483; eighteen foreign musicians in the
service of Henry VIII.; and as far as can be made out from the corrupt
spelling of the names, the bands of Edward VI. and of Queen Elizabeth
contained about as many foreigners as that of Henry VIII. The Dutch
lutenists, Philip van Welder and Peter van Welder, held a superior
position in the band of Edward VI. The former had already been engaged
by Henry VIII. as teacher on the lute to the royal children. The
distinguished lutenist Jacques Gaulter (or Gouter), in the service of
Charles I., was a Frenchman.

The generally acknowledged superiority of the foreign musicians explains
the dissatisfaction with the popular taste expressed in the works of
several English musicians. Already John Dowland complains in his
Prefaces of being neglected. Matthew Lock, in his 'Little Consort of
three parts, containing Pavans, Ayres, Corants, and Sarabands, for Viols
or Violins,' London, 1657, remarks: "For those mountebanks of wit, who
think it necessary to disparage all they meet with of their own
countrymen, because there have been and are some excellent things done
by strangers, I shall make bold to tell them (and I hope my known
experience in this science will enforce them to confess me a competent
judge), that I never yet saw any foreign instrumental composition (a few
French Corants excepted,) worthy an Englishman's transcribing." John
Playford, in his 'Musick's Delight on the Cithren,' London, 1666,
complains: "It is observed that of late years all solemn and grave
musick is much laid aside, being esteemed too heavy and dull for the
light heals and brains of this nimble and wanton age; nor is any musick
rendered acceptable, or esteemed by many, but what is presented by
foreigners: not a City Dame, though a tap-wife, but is ambitious to have
her daughters taught by Monsieur La Novo Kickshawibus on the Gittar,
which instrument is but a new old one, used in London in the time of
Queen Mary." Again, in his 'Introduction to the Skill of Musick,' John
Playford complains: "Our late and solemn musick, both vocal and
instrumental, is now justl'd out of esteem by the new Corants and Jigs
of foreigners, to the grief of all sober and judicious understanders of
that formerly solid and good musick." This is copied from the edition
published in 1683; the first edition appeared in 1655. Christopher
Simpson, in his 'Compendium of Practical Musick,' London, 1667, boldly
asserts: "You need not seek outlandish authors, especially for
instrumental musick; no nation, in my opinion, being equal to the
English in that way; as well for their excellent, as their various and
numerous Consorts of three, four, five and six parts, made properly for
instruments," etc. Thus also Christopher Simpson, at the conclusion of
his 'The Division Violist, or an Introduction to the Playing upon a
Ground,' London, 1659, says: "And here I might mention (were it not out
of the Rode of my Designe,) divers others [besides Mr. John Jenkins];
most eminent men of this our nation, who, for their excellent and
various compositions, especially for instruments, have, in my opinion,
far outdone those nations, so much cryed up for their excellency in

The preference given by these musicians to their own music does not,
however, throw much light upon the question: Of what kind was the music
played by the English instrumentalists, who accompanied the comedians on
the continent?

A satisfactory answer to this question may be obtained from an
examination of the secular music popular in England about three hundred
years ago, and from the stage directions in the dramas performed by the
strolling actors.

As regards the diffusion of musical knowledge in England at the time of
Queen Elizabeth, the historical records contain contradictory
statements, which however may, with some discrimination, be reconciled
with each other. It is well known that England possessed at that period
some estimable composers of sacred music who would probably have
obtained a hearing on the continent, had they not been obscured by the
excellent Flemish and Italian church composers. Some intelligent
foreigners who made a trip to England, at the time of Queen Elizabeth,
praise the music which they heard in the principal churches of the
country. Paul Hentzner, a German scholar, who visited England in the
year 1598, remarks in his journal: "The English excel in dancing and
music, for they are active and lively, though of a thicker make than the
French." He subsequently expresses a less favourable opinion of the
musical taste of the English: "They are vastly fond of great noises that
fill the ear, such as the firing of cannon, drums, and the ringing of
bells."[60] This statement accords with a remark of Dr. Burney in his
History of Music, Vol. III., p. 143; and likewise with Handel's advice
to Gluck, when the latter, after the performance of his opera 'Caduta
de' Giganti' in London, anno 1746, complained of want of success: "For
the Englishman you must compose something which is powerful, and which
acts upon his tympanum."[61] Music was also called noise. For instance,
in Shakespeare's Henry IV., Part II., Act 2, Scene 4:--

     'And see if thou canst find Sneak's noise; Mistress Tearsheet would
     fain hear some music.'

It may be supposed that the popular taste for loud music was some
centuries ago much the same as it is at the present day, where quantity
is often more thought of than quality. But, there are some records from
which it would appear that the cultivation of music was universal among
the educated classes. Henry Peacham in his 'Compleat Gentleman,' London,
1634, enumerates with the many requisite accomplishments of a gentleman,
some practical and theoretical knowledge of the art of music. However,
he does not describe the gentleman as he finds him, but, as in his
opinion he ought to be. To conclude from his description that in the
seventeenth century every English gentleman was musical, would be as
unwarrantable as to conclude from Lord Chesterfield's well-known advice
to his son to leave violin-playing to the professional musicians, that
in the eighteenth century Englishmen of education considered it
derogatory to play on a musical instrument.

In Thomas Morley's 'Introduction to Practical Musick,' London, 1597,
which is written in dialogue, Philomathes says to Polymathes, in the
beginning of the discourse, that recently when at a party he could not
join in their madrigal singing after supper "euery one began to wonder.
Yea, some whispered to others, demaunding how I was brought up: so that
vpon shame of mine ignorance, I goe now to seeke out mine old friend
master Gnorimus, to make my selfe his scholler." This statement appears,
however, to be in contradiction with one made about the same time in
another instruction book, entitled 'The Schoole of Mvsicke; wherein is
tavght the perfect Method of trve fingering of the Lute, Pandora,
Orpharion, and Viol-da-Gamba; with most infallible generall rules, both
easie and delightfull. Also a Method how you may be your owne instructor
for Prick-song, by the help of your Lute, without any other teacher:
with lessons of all sorts for your further and better instruction. Newly
composed by Thomas Robinson, Lutenist; London, 1603.' This book likewise
is written in the form of a dialogue, the persons in conversation being
"Knight" and "Timothevs." In the beginning of the dialogue Knight
remarks: "In mine opinion I think it impossible to be a good Musitien,
except a man be seene in all the seauen liberall Sciences; for I know
many great clarkes in Diuinitie, Phisicke, Law, Philosophie, etc., that
haue small, or no knowledge at all in Musicke, nay, some quite reject

No doubt, these statements of two professional musicians contradictory
to each other, as to the cultivation of music by English gentlemen
towards the end of the reign of Queen Elizabeth, must not be taken
literally, but rather as what the authors thought an ingenious and
elegant manner of proving that their works supplied a want. Thus, Thomas
Morley teaching vocal music, maintains that every young gentleman is
expected to be a singer; and Thomas Robinson, teaching the lute and the
cither, expresses his dissatisfaction that many gentlemen know nothing
about musical instruments,--indeed, nothing of music. Moreover, Thomas
Robinson is a "Student in all the liberall Sciences;" we know this from
his own statement on the title-page of his 'New Citharen Lessons,'
London, 1609; and being a learned man, he considers it impossible to be
a good musician without being versed in "all the seauen liberall

The fact that there is no English book dating from the sixteenth,
seventeenth, or eighteenth century, which contains descriptions with
illustrations of the different musical instruments formerly in use in
England, while a considerable number of such books were published on the
continent, sufficiently proves, if other testimony were wanting, that
instrumental music was not so much cultivated in England as on the
continent. The English books of instruction for certain instruments were
generally but poor compilations got up by the publishers themselves. The
illustrations of musical instruments given in Hawkins's 'History of
Music' have most of them been copied from Luscinius and Mersenne.
Hawkins appears to have been unaware that these instruments, of which he
gives descriptions derived from foreign sources, were formerly also in
use in England. At any rate, he mentions several of them by their German
names, without giving their English names.

Some English musicians who at the time of James I. visited the
continent, Italianised their names, a rather unpatriotic act to which
they probably would not have thought of resorting, had they not become
convinced of the superiority of the continental music. John Cooper
called himself Giovanni Coperario; and Peter Phillips, who lived for a
time in the Netherlands, altered his name into Pietro Philippi.

As regards the national music of England at the time of the strolling
instrumentalists, the inquirer may obtain reliable information by
examining an old collection of popular tunes entitled 'The Dancing
Master; or Directions for dancing Country Dances, with the Tunes to each
Dance, for the Treble Violin.' The first edition was published by John
Playford, about the middle of the sixteenth century. The work, which
consisted of only one volume, became popular, and went through many
editions with enlargements, until, at about the year 1700, it extended
to three volumes containing nearly one thousand tunes. It may be
surmised that this collection comprises nearly all the airs of the
secular songs which were popular in England at the time of the
Instrumentalists. It must be remembered that most of the airs of songs
were also used as dance-tunes, and that comparatively but few of the
dance-tunes in the earlier editions of the collection are instrumental
pieces not derived from vocal music. Whether all these melodies are of
English origin is another question. Some are known to be Welsh, others
Irish, others Scotch; and some appear to have been derived from the
continent. Some of the dances are of foreign origin, and most probably
they became first known with the tunes which belonged to them when they
were introduced into England. Afterwards, new tunes were composed to
them, which more or less resembled the old ones. Irrespective of all
those tunes in the 'Dancing Master,' which are apparently not English,
there still remains a considerable number of specimens which may be
accepted as genuine English tunes. They should be examined just as they
are published, without modern harmony or any other arrangement which
obscures their original character. Some of them are certainly odd. Take
for instance the 'Cushion Dance,' with its melancholy tune, in which the
dancers converse in song with the musicians.


"_Note._--The first strain twice; the second once; and the last as oft
as is required."]

"This dance is begun by a single Person (either Man or Woman) who taking
a Cushion in their Hand, dances about the Room; and at the end of the
Tune they stop and sing, _This Dance it will no further go_. The
Musicians answer, _I pray you good Sir, why say you so?_ Man, _Because
Jean Sanderson will not come too_. Musician, _She must come too, and she
shall come too, and she must come whether she will or no_. Then he lays
down the Cushion before a Woman, on which she kneels, and he kisses her,
singing, _Welcome Jean Sanderson, welcome, welcome_. Then she rises,
takes up the Cushion, and both dance, singing, _Prinkum-prankum is a
fine Dance, and shall we go dance it once again, once again, and once
again, and shall we go dance it once again?_ Then making a stop, the
Woman sings as before, _The Dance_, etc. Musician, _I pray you Madam_,
etc. Woman, _Because John Sanderson_, etc. Musician, _He must_, etc. And
so she lays down the Cushion before a Man, who kneeling upon it salutes
her, she singing, _Welcome John Sanderson_, etc. Then he taking up the
Cushion, they take hands and dance round, singing, as before; and thus
they do till the whole Company are taken into the Ring. And if there is
Company enough, make a little Ring in the middle, and within that Ring
set a Chair and lay the Cushion in it, and the first Man set in it. Then
the Cushion is laid before the first Man, the Woman singing _This
Dance_, etc. (as before) only instead of--_come too_, they sing--_go
fro_; and instead of _Welcome John Sanderson_, etc., they sing _Farewell
John Sanderson, Farewell, Farewell_; and so they go out one by one as
they came in. _Note:_ The Woman is kiss'd by all the Men in the Ring at
her coming in and going out, and likewise the Man by all the Women."

The popular tunes of almost every European nation possess certain
features of their own which the student of national music can ascertain
and define. To pronounce upon the original home of any one national tune
is of course often as hazardous as to pronounce upon a man's native
country from his physiognomy. There are Germans who look much like
Englishmen, but a number of Germans seen gathered together would not
easily be mistaken for Englishmen. The same may be observed in every
nation. We may occasionally meet with an Englishman who has the
appearance of a Frenchman, a Chinese, or a Gipsy; but an assembly of
Englishmen reveals a certain family-likeness appertaining to the English
race. Thus also a collection of the popular tunes of a nation generally
exhibits certain predominant peculiarities which enable us to determine
whence the tunes came. Those in the 'Dancing Master,' regarded
collectively, do not exhibit any family-likeness which it would be
possible to indicate by words or by musical notation. They appear to
have sprung from as many sources as the words of the English language.
The language has, however, a strongly marked individual character from
the various adopted words having become Anglicized; while the musical
compositions of Englishmen bear no stamp by which they could be
recognized as English.

The English instrumentalists played, of course, chiefly the popular
tunes of their time. It is unnecessary to explain in detail how the
music was introduced into the dramatic performances. The works of
Shakespeare, with which the reader is presumably familiar, show this
sufficiently. They likewise contain many instances of the admission of
popular songs or ballads,--such as Desdemona's "Sing willow, willow,
willow;" Ophelia's "How should I your true love know?" or the Clown's "O
mistress mine where are you roaming?" in Twelfth-night. Also vocal music
composed for two or more voices was occasionally introduced,--even the
jocular catch, which was especially relished in England, and which
Shakespeare ridicules (Twelfth-night, Act II., Scene 3):--

     '_Sir Toby Belch._--Shall we rouse the night-owl in a catch that
     will draw three souls out of one weaver? shall we do that?'

After some punning, Sir Toby, Sir Andrew Aguecheek and the Clown sing
together a catch.

     _Enter_ Maria.

     '_Maria._--What a caterwauling do you keep here? If my lady have
     not called up her steward, Malvolio, and bid him turn you out of
     doors, never trust me.'

In 'Hamlet,' Act III., Scene 2, strolling actors are introduced, and
with them musicians playing on hautboys and recorders. In the
representations of the English comedians in the Ottoneum, at Cassel,
anno 1606, the instrumentalists always struck up after each act.[62] No
doubt they played, besides their English tunes, also the most popular
ones of Germany, which would ensure them a more favourable reception.
Travelling musicians who perform in public, almost invariably find it to
their advantage thus to meet the taste of their audience. And it
appears, likewise, very probable that the English Instrumentalists, on
their return home, entertained their audience in England with the
popular tunes, and perhaps some more elaborate pieces, with which they
had become acquainted on the Continent, and which to the English public
would possess the charm of novelty.

However this may be, the position of the Instrumentalists at home, after
they had discontinued their continental tour, was by no means enviable,
to judge from 'The Actors' Remonstrance, or Complaint for the silencing
of their profession and banishment from their severall Play-houses,
London, 1643,' in which the dejected actors remark: "Our Musicke that was
held so delectable and precious, that they scorned to come to a Taverne
under twentie shillings salary for two houres, now wander with their
instruments under their cloaks, I meane such as haue any, into all
houses of good fellowship, saluting every roome where there is company
with, Will you haue any musike Gentlemen?"[63]

The English comedians in Germany generally performed in the German
language. This must have been funny,--perhaps not the least so in
pathetic passages, solemn admonitions, or in reflecting monologues,
where even the slightest foreign pronunciation is apt to transform the
sublime into the ridiculous. Here brevity must have been often
desirable, and the falling in of the band may have afforded relief.
Thus, the English Instrumentalists, although they have exercised no
influence upon the cultivation of the art of music, are certainly
interesting, inasmuch as they have assisted in the earliest
representations of the dramas of Shakespeare.


[45] 'The English Drama and Stage, under the Tudor and Stuart Princes,
1543-1664, illustrated by a series of Documents, Treatises, and Poems.
Printed for the Roxburgh Library, London, 1869.' P. 22.

[46] 'Extracts from the Registers of the Stationers' Company of works
entered for publication between the years 1570 and 1587; with notes and
illustrations by J. Payne Collier.' Vol. II., London, 1849. Printed for
the Shakespeare Society. P. 142.

[47] 'The English Drama and Stage, under the Tudor and Stuart Princes;
London, 1869.' P. 50.

[48] 'Geschichte der Oper and des Königlichen Opernhauses in Berlin, von
L. Schneider; Berlin, 1852.' Anhang, P. 15.

[49] 'Geschichte der Oper, etc., in Berlin, von L. Schneider; Berlin,
1852.' Anhang, P. 25.

[50] 'Shakespeare in Germany, by Albert Cohn, London, 1865.' P. lxxviii.

[51] 'Shakespeare in Germany, by Albert Cohn; London, 1865.' P. xxvii.

[52] 'Zur Geschichte der Musik und des Theaters am Hofe zu Dresden, von
Moritz Fürstenau; Dresden, 1861.' Vol. I., P. 70.

[53] 'Zur Geschichte der Musik und des Theaters am Hofe zu Dresden, von
Moritz Fürstenau; Dresden, 1861.' Vol. I., P. 96.

[54] 'Shakespeare in Germany, by Albert Cohn; London, 1865.' P. lxxxiv.

[55] 'Shakespeare in Germany,' P. lxi.

[56] 'Shakespeare in Germany,' P. xxix.

[57] 'England as seen by Foreigners in the days of Elizabeth and James
the First, by W. B. Rye; London, 1865,' P. cvi.

[58] 'A General History of Music,' by C. Burney; London, 1789. Vol.
III., P. 136.

[59] Hawkins's 'History of Music.' London, 1776. Vol. III., P. 319.

[60] 'England as seen by Foreigners in the days of Elizabeth and James
I. By W. B. Rye; London, 1865.' P. 3.

[61] 'C. W. Ritter von Gluck, von Anton Schmid; Leipzig, 1854.' P. 29.

[62] 'Geschichte des Theatres und der Musik in Cassel,' von W. Lynker;
Cassel, 1865. P. 243.

[63] 'The English Drama and Stage, under the Tudor and Stuart Princes,
1543-1664, illustrated by a Series of Documents, Treatises, and Poems.
Printed for the Roxburgh Library, London, 1869.' P. 263.



Fairies notoriously possess great fondness for music. They may be seen
in meadows dancing at night by moonlight; and people often find in the
morning the traces in the dew, called Fairy Rings. In European countries
their favourite musical instruments evidently are the harp and the
fiddle. They also often excel as vocalists, and we find them reputed as
enchanting singers in almost every part of the world.

Their music resembles, as might be expected, the old tunes of the
country-people in the district which they inhabit. The following air of
the Irish fairies is copied from T. Crofton Croker's 'Fairy Legends and
Traditions of the South of Ireland:'--


This air, which, of course, is said to be of high antiquity, is commonly
sung by every skilful narrator of a certain Irish fairy tale to which it
belongs, to enhance the effect of the story.


The fairies of New Zealand are described as a very numerous people,
merry, and always singing like crickets. In appearance they are quite
different from the Maories, the natives of New Zealand; they rather
resemble Europeans, their hair and complexion being remarkably fair.

One day, when Te Kanawa, a chief of one of the Maori tribes, happened to
fall in with a troop of fairies on a hill in the Waikato district, he
heard them distinctly singing some mysterious verses, which he
afterwards repeated to his friends, and which are still preserved in the
poetry of the New Zealanders.

Te Kanawa had died before any Europeans arrived in New Zealand, but the
details of his encounter with the fairies are not forgotten by the
people. They say that he had gone out with his dogs to catch Kiwis,[64]
when night came on and he found himself right at the top of Pukemore, a
high hill. There it was where the fairies approached the brave chief,
and frightened him almost to death. He lighted a fire, and therewith
scared them a little. Whenever the fire blazed up brightly, off went the
fairies and hid themselves, peeping out from behind stumps of trees; and
when it burnt low, back they came close to it, merrily singing and

The sudden thought struck the trembling chief that he might perhaps
induce the fairies to go away if he gave them the jewels he had about
him; so he took off a beautiful little figure carved in green jasper,
which he wore as a neck ornament; then he pulled out his jasper ear-drop
finely carved, and also his earring made of the tooth of a tiger-shark.
Fearing lest the fairies should touch him, he took a stick, and, fixing
it into the ground, hung the precious presents upon it. Directly after
the fairies had ended their song they examined the trinkets; and they
took the shadow from them, which they handed about from one to another
through the whole party. Suddenly they all vanished carrying with them
the shadows of the jewels, but leaving behind the jewels themselves.

The verses which Te Kanawa heard the fairies sing are, as has been
already said, still known, and the Maories cite them in proof that
everything happened to their brave chief, Te Kanawa, as it is


The fairies in the Highlands of Scotland generally have their
habitations in rugged precipices and rocky caverns, found in districts
especially remarkable for wildness of scenery. Their favourite
amusements are music and dancing, and their reels are said to last
sometimes for a whole year and even longer, without intermission.

A peasant from the neighbourhood of Cairngorm, in Strathspey, who with
his wife and children had settled in the forest of Glenavon, happened to
send his two sons late one evening into the wood to look after some
sheep which had strayed. The lads, traversing the wood in all
directions, came upon a habitation of fairies from which emanated the
sweetest music that one can possibly imagine,--or rather, much sweeter
music than anyone can possibly imagine. The younger brother, completely
fascinated by its charms, at one leap entered the abode of the fairies,
from which, alas! he could not return. The elder brother, compelled to
give him up as lost, ran home to his parents to tell them what had

Now, there lived in the neighbourhood a "wise man," whom they thought
best to consult in the matter. This man taught the elder brother some
mysterious words of disenchantment, and told him to repair to the same
place where the lad had been drawn into the cliff, and to pronounce
solemnly the words; but this must be done exactly a year after the
occurrence of the event. The elder brother most earnestly attended to
the injunction. When the year had elapsed, he stood before the cave of
the fairies on the same day and precisely at the same hour at which his
brother had left him. The music was still going on, and by means of the
mysterious words he actually succeeded in liberating his brother, who
was still dancing. The daring little boy fully believed that he had been
dancing with the fairies for only half-an-hour; for, he said, he had
been dancing all the while, and the first reel was not yet over. But,
when he arrived at home again, his parents observed at once how much
his arms, legs, and his whole body had grown during the year.

Not less remarkable is the following adventure of a village-clergyman
told in the Highlands of Scotland.

A parson who enjoyed the reputation of being a very pious man, was
returning home to his village one night, after having administered
spiritual consolation to a dying member of his flock. The night was far
advanced and he had to pass through a good deal of "uncanny" land;
however, he, knowing himself to be a conscientious minister of the
gospel, did not fear any spirit. On his reaching the end of the lake
which stretches for some distance along the side of the road to the
village, he was greatly surprised by suddenly hearing strains of music
more melodious than he ever before had heard in his life. Overcome with
delight, the pious minister could not refrain from sitting down to
listen to the melodious sounds; besides he was very anxious to find out,
if possible, the nature and source of the charming music. He had not sat
listening many minutes when he could clearly perceive the gradual
approach of the music; he also observed a light in the direction from
whence the music proceeded, gliding across the lake towards him. Instead
of taking to his heels, as any faithless wight would have done, the
pious pastor, quite fearless, determined to await the issue of the
singular phenomenon. As the light and music drew near, he could at
length distinguish an object resembling a human being walking on the
surface of the water, attended by a group of diminutive musicians, some
of them bearing lights, and others, instruments of music, on which they
continued to perform those melodious strains which first attracted his
attention. The leader of the band dismissed his attendants, landed on
the beach, and afforded the minister the amplest opportunity of
examining his appearance.

He was a little primitive-looking, grey-headed man, clad in the most
grotesque habit ever seen; indeed, his whole appearance was such as to
lead the venerable pastor all at once to suspect his real character. He
walked up to the parson, saluted him very gracefully, apologizing for
the intrusion. The parson politely returned his compliment, and without
further explanation invited him to sit down beside him. The invitation
was complied with; upon which the minister proposed the following

"Who art thou, stranger, and from whence?"

To this question, the fairy, with downcast eye, replied that he was one
of those beings sometimes called 'Doane Shee,' or 'Men of Peace,' or
'Good Men,' though the reverse of this title was perhaps a more
befitting appellation for them. Originally angelic in his nature and
attributes, and once a sharer in the indescribable joys of the regions
of light, he was seduced by Satan to join him in mad conspiracy; and as
a punishment for his transgression he was cast down from those regions
of bliss, and was now doomed, along with millions of fellow-sufferers,
to wander through seas and mountains until the coming of the great day.
What their fate would be thereafter, they could not divine.[66]


An almost incredible incident is recorded in Denmark as having occurred
to a youth not far from the town of Apenrade in Slesvig. The youth had
sat down on a hill, called Hanbierre, and had fallen asleep. Near that
hill is a grove of alders,--just the kind of place which one might
expect the elves to frequent. The youth did not awaken until midnight.
Presently he heard all around him most ravishing music; and looking
about in astonishment, he saw two beautiful girls who were singing and
dancing in the moonlight. After a little while they came near to him,
and spoke to him. But he, knowing that it is dangerous to converse with
elves, remained silent. They asked him many questions to induce him to
speak; and when he still persisted in not answering them, they
threatened him, singing--"Hearken, O youth! Wilt thou not speak to us
to-night before the cock crow, thy silver-shafted knife shall surely lay
thy heart to rest!"--Again they sang strains most sweet and ravishing.
He could no longer resist, and was just on the point of speaking to
them, when, fortunately for him, the cock crowed, and they vanished.

From this event the hill is called Hanbierre, or Hahnenberg, which means
'Cock's Hill.'


A short extract from a discussion on Spirits, written about three
hundred years ago by an English inquirer into their nature and
propensities, may find a place here. This description occurs in a work
by Thomas Nash, Gentleman, entitled 'Pierce Penilesse his Supplication
to the Deuill; Describing the ouer-spreading of Vice, and the
suppression of Vertue; Pleasantly interlac'd with variable delights; and
pathetically intermixt with conceipted reproofes. London, 1592.' It does
not clearly appear whether the author's remarks are intended to refer
especially to the Spirits of England; but this probably is the case.
True, he describes them as more ill-tempered than those on the Continent
are generally said to be; but this may perhaps be merely owing to the
gloominess of the English climate. Howbeit, these troublesome Spirits
are most likely not so bad as we find them here depicted; for, is it not
a well-known fact, also mentioned by Thomas Nash, Gentleman, that they
love music?

"The spirits of the earth keepe, for the most part, in forrests and
woods, and doo hunters much noyance; and sometime in the broad fields,
where they lead trauelers out of the right way, or fright men with
deformed apparitions, or make run mad through excessiue melancholy, like
Aiax Telamonious, and so proue hurtful to themselves, and dangerous to
others: of this number the chiefe are Samaab and Achymael, spirits of
the east, that haue no power to doo great harm, by reason of the
vnconstancie of their affections. The vnder-earth spirits are such as
lurk in dens and little cauernes of the earth, and hollow crevices of
mountaines, that they may dyue into the bowels of the earth at their
pleasures: these dig metals and watch treasures, which they continually
transport from place to place that non should haue vse of them: they
raise windes that vomit flames, and shake the foundation of buildins;
they daunce in rounds in pleasant lawnds, and greene medowes, with
noises of musick and minstralsy, and vanish away when any comes nere
them: they will take vpon them any similitude but that of a woman, and
terrefie men in the likeness of dead mens ghosts in the night time."


The following adventure was first related by a jolly young German, who
said he was acquainted with a friend of the very person to whom it

Once upon a time, a poor musician who lived in the neighbourhood of
Hildesheim, an old town in the former kingdom of Hanover, went home late
at night from a lonely mill, where he had been playing dance-tunes at a
christening festivity. The mill is still extant. Its name is Die
Mordmühle (The Murder Mill), probably because something dreadful may
have happened there years ago. His way led him past a cliff in which
there was a dwarf's hole. When he cast a glance at the hole, he saw, to
his amazement, sitting before it a dwarf, not more than three feet high.
Scarcely had he recovered from his first fright, when suddenly he felt
himself seized by invisible hands and drawn under ground many miles deep
into the mountain. All this occurred in a moment's time. Immediately the
poor musician found that he had been transported into a beautiful hall,
illuminated with many thousand lights of various brilliant colours. The
flooring of the hall was of pure silver, and the walls were all of the
purest gold: the chandeliers were of emeralds and diamonds.

Presently the dwarfs desired the musician to play his best tunes. While
playing, he heard quite unmistakably the little folks dancing to his
music; he also heard them coughing, giggling, and laughing; but he did
not see any being except the dwarf who had taken him there. After a
little while the same dwarf brought in a bottle of exquisitely fine
wine, and placed it before the musician. When the poor fiddler had
helped himself repeatedly from the bottle, he began to feel more at his
ease, and became a little talkative.

"Well, my good master," he said, "I am playing and playing here one tune
after another, and hear all kinds of noises; but I see no Christian soul
but yourself: could I not have just a look at the gentlefolks whom I
have the honour of serving with my music?"

To this sensible request the dwarf replied: "By all means! There is no
danger in that. Just take my hat and put it on thy head."

As soon as the musician had placed the dwarf's large round hat on his
head, he saw the hall crowded with thousands of little pigmy ladies and
gentlemen, very smartly dressed, who were promenading up and down,
bowing and curtseying to each other; and with them were some little
children, certainly not bigger than a thumb. After having played a
country-dance to conclude the ball, the musician was dismissed, but not
before the dwarf who had brought him there had filled his pockets with
wood shavings, of which a large heap lay stored up just near the
entrance of the hall.

"Of what use is that stuff to me!" thought the musician; and the first
thing he did, when he found himself again free in the open air, was to
empty his pockets and throw all the shavings into the road. Heartily
tired he reached his home. On the following morning he put his hand into
his coat pocket to ascertain if perchance any of the shavings remained;
when, Lo! what should he draw out, but a piece of the purest gold!
Directly he set off again to the road where he had disencumbered himself
of the shavings the night before. But he could find nothing; all traces
of the treasure had disappeared.[67]


A young girl who was in service at a farm-house in the province of
Schleswig in Germany, had to work daily so very hard that she became at
last quite dissatisfied with her lot.

One morning when her master sent her into the field after the cows, she
had to pass a hill in which people had often heard the subterranean
little folks singing and dancing. The girl thought to herself how
enviably happy those dear dwarfs in the hill must be, who work but
leisurely and sing so cheerfully. "Alas!" she exclaimed, "could I but
live with them, how gladly would I bid farewell to my present home!"

Her words were heard by one of the dwarfs, a young lad who had just been
seriously contemplating how very advisable it would be for him to look
out for a wife. So, when the girl returned from the field, he presented
himself to her, and soon persuaded her to marry him. They are said to
have lived very happily together in the hill for many years. They had
also about half-a-dozen children; funnily-small dear little creatures
these must have been, to be sure.

The dwarfs in that district possessed in former times a peculiar kind of
cradle song, of which some fragments have been caught by the listening
peasants, and are still preserved.

The music which the dwarfs produce is, as might be expected, remarkably
soft and soothing. Loud and noisy music is not at all to the taste of
the little folks. A peasant who one day had been to town to purchase
rice, raisins, and other luxuries for the wedding festival of his
daughter, which was to take place on the following morning, fell in with
one of the dwarfs near an old grave-yard situated close to the road. In
the course of conversation which they had together, the dwarf expressed
a wish that he might be permitted to witness the festivity, and promised
to bring with him for a wedding present a lump of gold as large as a
man's head.

The delighted peasant said he should be most happy to welcome the
generous guest; indeed, he should consider it quite an honour.

"_A propos!_" remarked the dwarf, just as they shook hands at parting,
"What kind of music do you have to-morrow?"

Whereupon the rejoicing peasant rather boastingly replied: "First-rate
music! We shall have trumpets and kettle-drums!"

Then the dwarf begged to be excused attending; for (he said) trumpets
and kettle-drums he could not endure.[68]


There is in Scotland a family of hereditary bagpipers whose name is
Macruimean (or M'Crimmon). Now, it is well known how it came to pass
that the famous bagpiper, Macruimean, got his fine music. He was
ploughing one day near a haunted hill, when one of the "Little Folks," a
tiny green man, came up and invited him into the mountain. After they
had entered a cave, the tiny green man gave Macruimean an exquisitely
fine bagpipe, and told him that so long as any part of the instrument
remained, either with him or with his offspring they would continue to
be the best bagpipers in Scotland. When the lucky Macruimean had arrived
with his bagpipe at his house, he found to his surprise that he could
play upon it beautifully any tune which occurred to his mind. Indeed,
his performance was so powerful and impressive that it astonished every
one; and the people in the Highlands have still the saying, _Co ard ri
Piob mhoir Mic-Chruimean_,--("_As loud as Macruimean's pipes._")

There is also still in the Highlands a cave called _Uamh na'm
Piobairean_--_i.e._, "The Piper's Cave," into which the famous
Macruimean with his children used to repair to practise the bagpipe.
This cave is on the top of a brae, or rising ground, eight miles north
from Dunvegan Castle. Even his daughters, people say, would occasionally
steal to the cave, if they could lay hold on their father's favourite
set of pipes, and indulge in a vigorous practice for an hour or so.
Moreover, at what time the Macruimean family was first established as
the hereditary bagpipers of the Lairds of MacLeod, no one can say now;
for it was so very long ago.[69]


As regards giants, there are now-a-days only very few remaining in
European countries. Formerly, it would appear, they were abundant, and
many traces of their habitations and doings are still pointed out by the
people. However, respecting the capacity of the giants for music, but
little is recorded. Jacob Grimm alludes to the charming musical powers
of Gygur, a Scandinavian giantess and sorceress, and he thinks it likely
that an old German name for the violin, which is _Geige_, was derived
from Gygur.[70] If this be so, the French _Gigue_ and the English _Jig_
may be supposed likewise to have their origin from the name of that
mysterious monster. There was evidently in olden time a whole Gygur
family; but it is very doubtful whether any of its members are still
extant. If there are yet any to be found, it must be up in the North,
perhaps in Norway, Sweden, or Iceland; at any rate, the people in these
countries still speak occasionally of their old giants, or trolls as
they are also called.


This story is current in Iceland. It was told to a German traveller in
that out-of-the-way part of the world by a poor joiner,--evidently a
true-born Icelander, well versed in the folk-lore of his country, but a
somewhat prosy narrator. The story is here given in a condensed form.
True, there is not much said in it about music; but its chief incidents
are brought about by the agency of magic songs. The singing of the swans
lulls the king's son into a death-like slumber, and it is by means of
music that the sweet foster-sister of Linus, when she finds him reposing
on the couch,--but all this the reader will see in the story itself, and
to tell it first in a preamble, and then a second time, would be even
worse than the prolixity of the honest Icelandic joiner. So let us
proceed to the story.

There was once a king and a queen who had a son whose name was Linus.
Every one in the whole kingdom admired the young prince for his fine
person and his many accomplishments.

Now it happened that when Linus, the king's son, had attained the age of
twenty years, he suddenly disappeared, and no one could say what had
become of him.

Not far from the king's palace lived with her parents in a little hut a
young girl who was the prince's foster-sister; and he had always been
extremely fond of her. No wonder that he liked her so much, for she was
as beautiful as she was amiable.

"Mother," said the girl, "pray, now let me go, that I may seek for him
until I find him again!"

When the mother heard her speaking thus, she became convinced that all
dissuasion would be useless, and she permitted her daughter to go.
However, she gave her a magic ball of thread, and taught her how to
throw it before her as a guide to the hidden abode of the king's son;
for the old lady was not altogether inexperienced in the mysteries of
sorcery. The girl took the ball of thread and let it run before her; and
it rolled and rolled many miles over mountains and through valleys,
until it suddenly stopped near a precipitous cliff.

"Here he must be!" ejaculated the girl, and anxiously looked about
whether there was not somewhere an entrance into the cliff. But all she
could find, after a careful search was a narrow crevice, somewhat hidden
by a projecting rock, scarcely wide enough for her to squeeze herself
through. When she had succeeded in entering the cliff, she found
herself in a large cavern, the walls of which were smoothly planed, and
suspended on them were all kinds of odd implements. Surveying the cavern
with a curiosity not unmixed with fear, she discovered on one side a
short passage leading into another cavern not quite so large as the
first, but handsomer in appearance. Having entered the second cavern,
she observed a splendid bed standing in the middle of the room.
Trembling with hope and fear, she drew nearer to the bed, and lo! there
she found him lying asleep, the beloved Linus, the king's son!

Her first thought was to awaken him as quickly as possible, that he
might fly with her out of the mountain. But all her exertions to arouse
him had no effect, although she tried various means which ought, it
might be supposed, certainly to have awakened him. While considering
what she should do, she was suddenly terrified by a rumbling sound like
that of distant thunder, which gradually became louder and louder, until
it appeared to be quite near the entrance to the cavern. She had just
time to hide herself behind some furniture in the corner, when the cliff
opened widely, and in came a giantess, seated on a chariot of ivory,
inlaid with gold, and having a golden whip in her hand.

As soon as the giantess, who was also a great sorceress, had entered the
cavern, the opening in the cliff closed again. Presently she went to the
bed on which the king's son was reposing, and summoning two swans from
the end of the cavern, she recited the spell:--

     "Sing, sing ye my swans,
     To awake Linus, the king's son!"

Immediately the swans began to sing a song, charming beyond all
description; and as they sang the youth awoke. Then the horrid giantess
sat down by the side of the king's son, and told him how very fond she
was of him; and that she should never be happy until he was her husband.
But, Linus, the king's son, smiled without answering her; and, turning
his head aside, he thought of his foster-sister in the little hut not
far from his father's palace. How little did he suspect that the dear
girl was near to him, hidden in the cavern!

However, the giantess perceiving that she was talking in vain, at last
determined to await a more propitious time. So she again called her
swans, and recited the spell:--

     "Sing, sing ye my swans,
     To charm the king's son to sleep!"

Immediately the swans sang a song inexpressibly soothing, and the king's
son fell asleep again. Thinking the youth safely secured, the giantess
took up her golden whip, and seating herself in the chariot of ivory,
inlaid with gold, she recited the spell:--

     "Run, run my precious chariot,
     And carry me to the Lifsteinn!"

As soon as she had said these words the cliff opened, and the chariot
flew off like a flash of lightning. Now, when the watchful girl heard
the thundering sound gradually diminishing into a feeble murmur, she
knew that she might venture out of her hiding-place. The first thing she
did was to command the swans:--

     "Sing, sing ye my swans,
     To awake Linus, the king's son!"

Immediately the swans began to sing most charmingly, and the beloved
Linus awoke. Oh! how unspeakably happy he was when he beheld his dear
foster-sister standing before him! For a time the cavern was to them a
paradise;--but soon the anxious question arose how to escape from the
clutches of the giantess.

Then the quick-witted girl suggested a plan which Linus hopefully
adopted; and having summoned the swans to lull the youth to sleep again,
she withdrew into her hiding-place; for the increasing rumbling of the
chariot warned her of the approaching danger.

The giantess had not long returned to the cavern when she determined on
making another attempt to gain the affection of the king's son. So she
commanded the swans to sing him awake. The prince arose, appeared much
more compliant than before, and expressed his willingness to marry her
on the following day, if it were not otherwise destined.

Then the enamoured giantess, in answer to his inquiries, revealed to him
various secrets as to her magic powers; and when he asked her to tell
him candidly whither she went so often in her chariot, she replied:--

"Ah, my dear boy, there is no cause for jealousy! The fact is, I have a
brother who is a great giant, and we both, my brother and I, have but
one life, and that is bound up in a Lifsteinn ('Stone of Life'). Now,
you must know, the Lifsteinn is very brittle, and if it should be broken
our death would be certain. Daily I visit my brother, who lives far off
in a valley near a deep spring under three high trees. We then fetch up
our Lifsteinn, which lies in the deep spring, and carefully examine it;
for, nothing affords us greater satisfaction than to find our Lifsteinn

This valuable information was listened to with breathless attention by
the young girl in her hiding-place; and when the giantess, having
previously ordered the swans to sing the king's son to sleep, had taken
her departure in the chariot, the girl lost no time in hastening from
the cavern; and, rolling the ball of thread before her, she followed it
over mountains and through valleys until she had reached the deep spring
under the three high trees. The great giant, whose mere breathing made
all the leaves of the trees tremble, was just placing the Lifsteinn in
the lap of the giantess,--when the courageous girl sprang out from
behind the trees, and snatching it up threw it on the ground and
shattered it to fragments. In a moment both the giant and the giantess
fell down dead.

Now the girl ascended the ivory-golden chariot, took up the golden whip,
and smacking it, recited the spell--

     "Run, run my precious chariot,
     And take me to Linus the king's son!"

When the chariot had entered the cavern, she at once commanded the swans
to awaken the king's son; and this they did in strains of music so
melodiously beautiful that no mortal had ever heard the like. Linus and
his dear foster-sister, having provided themselves with as many jewels
and as much gold and silver from the cavern as they could carry, took
their seats in the chariot and commanded it to take them straight to the
king's palace. Oh! how they all rejoiced throughout the whole kingdom!
There was no end of festivities!

But the most glorious festival was that when they celebrated the
marriage of Linus, the king's son, with his sweet foster-sister. On that
day the old king, in his happiness, resigned the crown in favour of his
dear son. Of course, king Linus and his beloved queen were quite happy
then and ever after.[71]


The Necks, or water-spirits, are renowned for their love and talent for
music. There exist, people say, various kinds of these interesting
creatures. The Swedes relate wonderful stories respecting the marvellous
harp-playing of a Neck called Strömkarl, who generally prefers the
vicinity of water-mills and cascades for his abode. In olden times,
before the introduction of Christianity into Sweden, the people used to
sacrifice a black lamb to the Strömkarl, who, in return, taught them his
charming music. Also the Norwegians sacrificed formerly to a similar
Neck, called Fossegrim. He taught his enchanting harp-playing to anyone
who on a Thursday evening would throw a young white ram into a river
flowing northwards, meanwhile averting his face.[72]

The Neck, or Nicker, has become quite a stranger in England. Some
Englishmen, however, take care to preserve his name, applying it to a
spirit of another element than water, and everyone knows at once whom
they mean when they speak of "Old Nick."

It is said that there are still to be found in Sweden minstrels who have
learnt their music from the Necks. A certain farm in Smaland, called
Neckaryd, has, according to popular tradition, derived its name from
having been inhabited in olden time by a family of minstrels whose name
was Neckar, and who learnt their music from a Neck. The last survivors
of this remarkable family are still remembered by the people. They were
four brothers who used to play at weddings and on other festive
occasions. Their grandfather is said to have first played the following
Necken-Polska, which is still a favourite national dance in Sweden.


In some districts of Sweden this tune is played with C-natural, instead
of C-sharp, in the first bar. The former is the older form, and may
therefore be regarded as exhibiting more accurately the tune as
originally derived from the Neck, than the present notation with
C-sharp, which is, however, now almost universally adopted. Another
tune, which is likewise said to have been caught from hearing it played
by a Neck, and which is certainly a very old favourite of the people, is
as follows:--


This tune exhibits less the characteristics of the old Swedish
dance-tunes than the former, which, like most of them, is in the Minor


The musical performances of the Neck are not any longer confined to
secular music. The country people, in some parts of Sweden, assert that
they have heard him occasionally playing sacred tunes on his golden
harp. Thus we are told of a Neck near the Hornborga bridge, who used to
play and to sing with a sweet voice: "I know, I know, I know that my
Redeemer liveth!"

Some boys who happened to hear him, called out to him: "What good is it
for you to be thus singing and playing? you will never enjoy eternal

Then the poor Neck began to cry bitterly, and hid himself beneath the

A clergyman in Sweden, riding one evening over a bridge, heard most
delightful sounds of some stringed instrument. He looked about, and saw
on the surface of the water a youth wearing a little red cap, and with
golden hair, long and wavy, which streamed over his shoulders. In his
hand he held a golden harp. The clergyman knew at once that this must be
a Neck; he, therefore, in his zeal, called out to him:--

"How canst thou play so cheerfully on thy harp? As likely is this dry
staff, which I am carrying in my hand, to bud and blossom, as that thou
shouldst inherit eternal life!"

The unhappy Neck sorrowfully threw his golden harp into the stream, and
sat down on the water weeping most piteously.

The clergyman spurred his horse and continued on his way. But he had not
proceeded far, when to his great surprise he saw that his old
walking-staff began to put forth leaves; and soon there appeared between
them flowers more beautiful than he had ever seen. This he understood to
be a sign from Heaven that he should teach the consoling doctrine of
reconciliation in a more liberal spirit than he had hitherto done. So he
hastened directly back to the Neck, who was still sitting on the water
sorrowfully complaining; and showing him the green staff, he said:--

"Dost thou see now my old staff is budding and blossoming, like a young
plant in a garden of roses? thus also blossoms hope in the hearts of all
created beings, for their Redeemer liveth!"

Consoled, the Neck took up again his golden harp, and heavenly sounds of
joy resounded far over the water the whole night long, and many people
heard them along the banks of the stream.


Like the Siren, so does the female Neck enchant youths with sweet music,
and draw them down into the water. Thus also Hylas, a king's son, is
commemorated in Greek Mythology as having been drawn into the water by
nymphs enamoured of the beautiful youth.

The Irish relate a somewhat similar story of a famous bagpiper, whose
name was Maurice Connor, and who had the reputation of being the best
piper in the whole province of Munster. One day, when he played on the
sea coast, at a lonely place in the county of Kerry, a beautiful lady
with green hair came up from the sea, singing and dancing most
charmingly; and when she invited him to go with her, and to marry her,
he could not resist. Thus Maurice Connor became the husband of the
green-haired lady deep in the sea. The union evidently proved happy. For
several years afterwards the sea-faring people often heard, on a still
night, the sounds of a bagpipe off the coast, and some say they are
quite sure that it was Maurice Connor's music which they heard.[73]


The Water Lily (_Nymphæa_) is by the Germanic nations regarded as the
flower of the Nixes, or Water Nymphs. These charming beings, it is said,
are so fond of music and dancing that they occasionally come up from the
water to the villages lying near their abode, especially at the
celebration of a wake, to join in the festivity. But, if they tarry too
long at these visits, and fail to return home before the crowing of the
cock, they must forfeit their life, and on the glassy surface of the
water, into which they have again descended, may be seen a tinge of

One evening in the autumn, after the vintage was finished, the young
folks of Jupille, in Belgium, were cheerfully dancing on the
village-green, when three beautiful maidens suddenly approached from the
banks of the Meuse, and joined the merrymakers. They were dressed in
dazzling white garments; and on their blond, wavy hair, they wore
wreaths of water-lilies just unfolded. Whether they walked or merely
floated over the earth nobody could tell; but certainly never had the
youths of Jupille had such aërial partners.

After dancing, all the company sat down in a circle, and the three
maidens began to sing with voices so lovely that everyone listened with
fixed attention, unconscious how fast the time was passing. However, as
soon as the clock struck twelve, the three maidens whispered some words
to each other, greeted all around, and vanished out of sight.

On the following evening, just as the moon had arisen, they came again.
The youths directly hastened forward to invite them to dance. As the air
was sultry, one of them drew off her gloves, and her partner took care
of them for her. This evening, the dancing was carried on with even
greater spirit than before, and they were still engaged in it when the
clock struck twelve. Startled by the sound, the three maidens ceased
dancing, and one of them asked hurriedly: "Where are my gloves?"

But the youth wished to retain the gloves as a token of love, and the
maiden was compelled to leave them and to hasten away with her
companions. The youth followed the three maidens quickly; for he wished
above all things to know where his beautiful partner lived. He pursued
them further and further, until they reached the river Meuse. The three
maidens threw themselves into the stream and vanished.

When, on the following morning the love-sick youth returned to the river
where he had lost sight of his partner, he found the water at that place
blood-red; and the three maidens have never appeared again.[74]


As regards the 'Will-o'-the-Wisp,' or 'Jack-in-a-Lanthorn,' there are
various opinions prevailing in folk-lore. The Germanic races generally
regard these fiery phenomena as wandering souls which, for some culpable
cause, have not become partakers of the heavenly rest. Among these are
especially classed the souls of covetous husbandmen, who in tilling
their fields encroached upon the property of their neighbours; and also
the souls of unbaptized children. A Dutch parson, happening to go home
to his village late one evening, fell in with three Will-o'-the-Wisps.
Remembering them to be the souls of unbaptized children, he solemnly
stretched out his hand, and pronounced the words of baptism over them.
But, what was the consequence? A thousand and more of these apparitions
suddenly made their appearance, evidently all wanting to be baptized.
They frightened the good man so terribly, that he took to his heels, and
made for home as fast as he could.[75]

On the ridge of the high Rhön, near Bischofsheim, where there are now
two morasses, known as the red and the black morass, there stood
formerly two villages, which sunk into the earth on account of the
dissolute life led by the inhabitants. There appear on those morasses at
night maidens in the shape of dazzling apparitions of light. They float
and flutter over the site of their former home; but they are now less
frequently seen than in the olden time. A good many years ago, two or
three of these fiery maidens came occasionally to the village of
Wüstersachsen, and mingled with the dancers at wakes. They sang with
inexpressible sweetness; but they never remained beyond midnight. When
their allowed time had elapsed, there always came flying a white dove,
which they followed. Then they went to the mountain, singing, and soon
vanished out of sight of the people who followed, watching them with


Ancient myths and miracles have always been favourite subjects for
operas, and the lover of music does not need to be told that several of
our dramatic composers have admirably succeeded in producing music of
the fairies and of other aërial conceptions of the fancy. It is,
however, not only in their great operatic works, but even in ballads
with the accompaniment of the pianoforte, that we meet with exquisitely
enchanting strains of fairy music. Take, for instance, Franz Schubert's
'Erl-King,' or Carl Loewe's 'Herr Oluf.' Nor have some composers been
less happy in music of this description entirely instrumental.
Mendelssohn's overture to 'A Midsummer Night's Dream,' his first
orchestral work of importance, and perhaps his best, seems to depict the
fairies dancing in a ring on a moonlight night. But, probably no
composer has written instrumental pieces which might be classed with the
fairy music, so beautifully as has Beethoven. The _Largo assai_ in his
pianoforte Trio in D major, Op. 70, is a remarkable instance. Beethoven
does not head this movement with words intimating that he intends to
tell a fairy-tale in tones. Very possibly he did not even think of the
fairies when he composed that wonderful music. Be this as it may, its
tremulous chords with their tenderly-vibrating passages, descending the
scale _pianissimo_, occasionally swelling to loudness and then subduing
again into their former soft Æolian murmur--and, above all, its
mysterious and unhomely modulations--convey an impression more analogous
to the effect produced by some of our best fairy-tales than is the case
with many musical compositions which avowedly were suggested by such


[64] Kiwi, or Apteryx; also called Wingless Emu. This bird is caught by

[65] 'Polynesian Mythology, by Sir George Grey; London, 1855.' P. 292.

[66] Almost literally from 'The Popular Superstitions and Festive
Amusements of the Highlanders of Scotland, by W. Grant Stewart; London,

[67] 'Sagen, Märchen, Schwänke und Gebraüche aus Stadt und Stift
Hildesheim, gesammelt von Seifart; Göttingen, 1854.' P. 30.

[68] 'Sagen, Märchen und Lieder der Herzogthümer Schleswig, Holstein und
Lauenburg, herausgegeben von Karl Müllenhoff; Kiel, 1845.' Pp. 189, 300,

[69] 'The White Wife, with other Stories;' collected by Cuthbert Bede;
London, 1865; p. 220. 'A Collection of Ancient Piobaireachd,' by Angus
Mackay; Edinburgh, 1838.

[70] 'Kinder und Hausmärchen, gesammelt durch die Brüder Grimm;'
Göttingen, 1856. Vol. III. P. 192.

[71] 'Isländische Volkssagen der Gegenwart, gesammelt von Konrad
Maurer;' Leipzig, 1860, P. 277.

[72] Deutsche Mythologie, von Jacob Grimm;' Göttingen, 1854. Vol. I. P.

[73] 'Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland. By T.
Crofton Croker.' London, 1862; P. 215.

[74] 'Niederländische Sagen, herausgegeben von J. W. Wolf;' Leipzig,
1843, P. 611.

[75] 'Niederländische Sagen, herausgegeben von J. W. Wolf;' Leipzig,
1843, P. 617.

[76] 'Beitrag zur deutschen Mythologie, von F. Panzer;' München, 1848,
P. 184.



A collection of specimens of the sacred songs, with the tunes, used by
the different Christian sects, would be very interesting, and might be
instructive to the musician if it were compiled according to the
following plan.

The collection should contain the most characteristic and favourite
songs used at the present day in public worship and in family devotion.
Probably at least a dozen specimens would be required from each sect, to
exhibit clearly the characteristics of the common songs. But, besides
these, specimens of the songs performed at religious festivals and
suchlike extraordinary occasions, should be given.

The tunes should be rendered in notation exactly as they are usually
sung. If the people sing them in unison, they should not be harmonized;
and if they sing them in harmony, the several parts should be faithfully
written down, however they may be, without any attempt at improvement,
and without unwarranted additions.

If instrumental accompaniment is used, it should not be arranged for any
other instrument than that on which it is usually played; its original
peculiarities should be strictly preserved.

There exist not unfrequently different readings of the same tune.
Wherever this is the case, the most common reading should be given
first; and, of the deviations or varieties of the tune, which may chance
to be preferred by some congregations, the most usual ones ought to be
indicated in small notes after the notation of the tune as it is most
commonly sung.

Many of the tunes belonging to the songs are very old, and several of
them have been derived from secular songs. Some historical account of
these songs would greatly enhance the value of the collection. The
alterations which they have undergone in the course of time might, where
they are traceable, be shown in notation referring to different
centuries or periods; and if the secular melody from which the sacred
tune has been derived is still extant, it might likewise be given.

The specimens of songs appertaining to a sect should be prefaced by some
account of the doctrines and religious ceremonies peculiar to the sect,
and especially by a lucid explanation of the prevailing manner in which
the music is executed.

Furthermore, the value of the collection would be increased by admitting
also examples of the most popular instrumental pieces used in divine
worship; or, at any rate, by giving a description of them, should they
be too long for insertion. The field for research and selection of
materials for the preparation of such a work is so extensive that much
discernment would be required, in order to exhibit clearly the
distinctive features of the music of each sect without enlarging the
work to a size which would be inconvenient.

The immense number of hymn-books for congregational use, published with
or without musical notation, which have appeared since the time of the
Reformation, is almost overwhelming to the student, and rather increases
than facilitates the labour of selecting the most noteworthy examples
for a work like that in question. Here, however, valuable assistance
might be obtained by a careful reference to certain works on hymnology
by C. von Winterfeld, G. von Tucher, Hoffmann von Fallersleben, P.
Wackernagel, and others.

Although congregational singing has been especially cultivated since the
time of the Reformation, it is not foreign to the Roman Catholic Church;
indeed, a very interesting collection might be made of old songs with
the music occasionally performed by Roman Catholic congregations. With
their spiritual songs and hymns in Latin, which were composed during the
Middle Ages, they had sacred songs in their vernacular language dating
from a period anterior to the Reformation. After having flourished,
especially in Germany during the seventeenth century, the congregational
singing of the Roman Catholic Church fell gradually more and more into
disuse until the present century, when attempts to revive it have been
made in some of the dioceses. The oldest known Roman Catholic hymn-book
in German dates from the year 1517, and was compiled by Michael Vehe. It
contains seventy-four tunes, some of which were especially composed for
the book; the others were old and well-known tunes. However, the most
comprehensive of the old collections of sacred songs for popular use
dates from the year 1625, and was compiled by the Abbot David Gregorius
Corner. Among the books of this description subsequently published are
several which contain songs in the German language intended to be sung
by the people at the principal church festivals, in processions,
pilgrimages, and also at Holy Mass. On the last-mentioned occasion a
hymn was sometimes introduced after the Transubstantiation. It was also
not unusual on high festivals for the priest to sing in Latin, and the
people to respond in German. The musical student would do well to
acquaint himself with the modern publications of Roman Catholic songs,
as for instance, 'Cantica Spiritualia,' Augsburg, 1825; 'Kirchen und
religiöse Lieder aus dem 12 ten bis 15 ten Jahrhundert,' by J. Kehrein,
Paderborn, 1853; the sacred songs collected by Freiherr von Ditfurth,
Leipzig, 1855, and others.

Examples of elaborate vocal compositions, with or without instrumental
accompaniment, generally performed by an appointed choir of singers and
by professional musicians, would probably demand too much space in a
compendium like that which has been suggested above; but, at all events,
some account might be given of such compositions. Those belonging to the
Roman Catholic Church are especially important. The most popular
specimens should be pointed out. They are in many instances easily
obtainable. True, the most popular ones are by no means generally also
the best; but it would be desirable to ascertain accurately the popular
taste of the present day.

As regards the Chorales of the Lutheran Church, it would be necessary to
trace the alterations which they have undergone in the course of time.
For this purpose the best Chorale books published in Germany during the
16th and 17th centuries would require especial attention; as for
instance, those by Spangenberg, 1545; Prætorius, 1604; Hassler, 1607;
Schein, 1627; Schütz, 1628; Crüger, 1640, and others. The division of
Germany into many little principalities may be the chief cause of the
enormous number of published collections of songs for congregational
use, since every petty sovereign liked to have in his dominion something
exclusive, and the people liked it too. Thus, there is no hymn-book
which is universally adopted in the Lutheran Church of Germany, and many
publications of the kind are but poor compilations,--at any rate, as far
as the music is concerned. The noble Chorale of the time of Luther has
gradually lost, by tamperings with its harmony and its rhythmical flow,
much of its original dignity and impressiveness. It has suffered
especially by the objectionable interludes which the organists
introduced, and still introduce, not only between the verses, but also
at every line which terminates with a pause in the musical notation.
These interludes, which not unfrequently are extempore effusions of the
organist, may afford him an opportunity to display his skill in
counterpoint, and perhaps his manual dexterity; but they are for this
reason all the more out of place in a Chorale. Still, as they constitute
one of the characteristics of certain congregational musical
performances of the present day, some examples of them should be given
in the work.

Likewise the notation of a Chorale with a figured bass should not be
omitted. A considerable number of Chorale books containing only the
tunes with the bass, the harmony produced by the tenor and alto being
indicated by figures, have been published chiefly for the use of
organists, who of course may be supposed to be familiar with
thorough-bass. In the year 1730, Georg Philip Telemann, in Hamburg,
published his 'Fast allgemeines Evangelisch-Musicalisches Lieder-Buch,'
which contains 433 Chorales; the different readings of the same tune, in
use at that time, are indicated by small notes, and the tunes have a
figured bass, with some instruction at the end of the book for
inexperienced thorough-bass players.

The Chorales of the Hussites are especially deserving of investigation.
Luther appreciated them highly, and several of them were adopted by the
Protestants at the time of the Reformation. The Enchiridion, anno 1524,
which has already been mentioned in another place,[77] contains two from
this source. The earliest published collections of the Chorales of the
Hussites, in which the poetry is in the Czech language, are: Jona Husa,
Cantional, 1564; Girjka Streyce, Chorales with Goudimel's harmony, 1593;
D. K. Karlsperka, Chorales, 1618. Noteworthy are likewise the songs of
the Hussites collected and published by K. J. Erben, Prague, 1847. Also
the following in German: A Chorale book of the Bohemian and Moravian
Brethren, edited by Michael Weiss, 1531. The same enlarged by Johann
Horn, 1596. A Chorale book of the Herrnhut Brethren, edited by Christian
Gregor, 1784. Gregor, who was organist as well as bishop in Herrnhut, is
the inventor, or originator, of the peculiar construction of the organ
generally adopted by his sect, in which the player is seated so as to
face the congregation. His publication, which contains 467 Chorales with
figured basses, was the first work of its kind printed for the Herrnhut
Brethren, and constituted the musical portion of their song-book printed
in 1778.

Turning to the sacred poetry of the Reformed Church in Switzerland and
France, we find a famous collection of metrical psalms in French,
written at the request of Calvin by Clément Marot and Théodore de Bèze,
to which tunes were composed or adapted, by Bourgeois, in 1547, and by
Goudimel, in 1565. Some musical historians assert that Bourgeois and
Goudimel derived their tunes from a German collection by Wilhelm Franck,
published in Strassburg in the year 1545, so that their merit consists
only in having set them in four-part harmony. It would certainly be
desirable to have the tunes properly traced to their original source.

Several of these old Chorales were gradually adopted by various
denominations in different countries. A collection with the poetry in
the Czech tongue, edited by G. Streyce in 1593, which has already been
alluded to, corresponds exactly with a French edition published in Paris
in the year 1567, which bears the title 'Les CL. Pseaumes de David, mis
en rime Francoise par Clément Marot et Théodore de Bèze,' and in which
the syllables of the Solmisation are printed with the notation of the
tunes. On Marot's poetry with Goudimel's music is also founded the
German Cantional entitled 'Psalter des Königlichen Propheten David,' by
Ambrosius Lobwasser, Leipzig, 1574, a publication which was highly
thought of in Germany, Switzerland, and Holland, and which retained its
popularity until the eighteenth century.

Also the Italian Chorale book, entitled 'Sessanta Salmi di David,
tradotti in rime volgari italiene, etc. De la stampa di Giovanni
Battista,' Pinerolo, 1566, contains, besides a number of new tunes,
several which have evidently been borrowed from the French work.

Again, the first edition of metrical psalms with musical notation for
the Church of England, by Sternhold and Hopkins, London, 1562, contains
several tunes derived from the Calvinists and Lutherans on the
Continent. This edition has merely the melodies without any harmonious
accompaniment, not even a bass. They were intended, as the title-page
informs us, "to be sung in churches of the people together, before and
after evening prayer, as also before and after sermon; and moreover in
private houses, for their godly solace and comfort, laying apart all
ungodly songs and ballads, which tend only to the nourishment of vice
and corrupting of youth." In an edition dating from the year 1607 the
syllables of the Solmisation are annexed to the musical notation, as we
find it in Marot's version with Goudimel's music. This was intended as
an assistance to unmusical singers; or, as the English publisher says,
"that thou maiest the more easily, by the viewing of these letters, come
to the knowledge of perfect solfayeng whereby thou mayest sing the
psalms the more speedilie and easilie." Even the tablature of the lute
is used in combination with the notation, in a curious English book
entitled 'Sacred Hymns, consisting of fifty select Psalms of David and
others, paraphrastically turned into English Verse, and by Robert
Tailovr set to be sung in five parts, as also on the Viole and Lute or
Orpharion. Published for the vse of such as delight in the exercise of
Mvsic in hir original honour,' London, 1615.

The 'Chorale Book for England,' edited by W. S. Bennett and O.
Goldschmidt, London, 1865, contains in a Supplement some tunes of
English composers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; while the
great majority of the tunes of which the work is compiled have been
taken from the famous old Chorale books of the Lutheran Church. It
rather shows how, in the opinion of the compilers, the congregational
music of the Church of England ought to be, than how it actually is at
the present day. At all events, it cannot be regarded as a repository of
the most favourite tunes of the majority of the congregations. The tunes
preferred are often without originality, rather morbidly-sentimental,
not unlike modern secular airs of a low kind. The collection of the
tunes used by a congregation is not unfrequently a compilation by the
organist. Many of the organists are but superficial musicians, while the
clergymen generally know nothing about music. Performances of elaborate
compositions are attempted, which would tax the power of well-trained
professional musicians, and which the congregations would not think of
attempting if they possessed musical knowledge. In fact, the only vocal
music which a congregation is competent to perform in an edifying manner
is a simple tune in a small compass, like the old Chorales, sung in
unison,--or, more strictly speaking, sung by male and female voices in
octaves,--while the organ accompanies in four-part harmony. To execute a
tune well even thus, is more difficult than many imagine; but, if it is
accomplished by the whole congregation, the effect is very solemn and
impressive. The inquirer ought, of course, to examine the most popular
collections of the present day, such as 'Hymns Ancient and Modern;'
'Church Hymns with Tunes,' edited by A. Sullivan, published under the
direction of the Tract Committee of the Society for Promoting Christian
Knowledge; and the comprehensive 'Hymnary' edited by J. Barnby.
Moreover, regard should be taken to the preference given to certain
kinds of musical performances by the several congregations of
worshippers belonging to the Anglican Church, such as the High, the Low,
the Broad Church-men.

The admission of secular tunes into the hymnology, which in the Anglican
Church finds advocates even in the present century, has caused the
publication of several curious collections of sacred poetry set to
melodies taken from secular compositions of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven,
and other celebrated musicians, and often painfully distorted to adapt
them to the metre of the verses. True, the adaptation of secular
melodies for sacred songs is not a new expedient. It was resorted to by
our estimable composers of chorales and promoters of congregational
singing at the time of the Reformation. The old secular songs from which
some of the chorales have been derived are still known, and it appears
probable that several chorales, the origin of which is obscure, likewise
emanated from this source. The secular origin of such old tunes does not
detract from their suitableness for devotional service, since their
secular ancestors are no longer popular, and also because three hundred
years ago there was not the difference between the style of sacred and
secular music which exists in our day. It is a very different thing to
apply to sacred words a modern secular tune the secular words of which
are well known.

Still, something similar was done by the Netherlandish composers of
church music even long before chorales were constructed from secular
tunes. These composers introduced the airs of popular songs into their
Masses, to render their labours in counterpoint more attractive to the

About the middle of the sixteenth century, some noteworthy metrical
versions of the psalms in Dutch were published in Antwerp. All the
tunes of these psalms, given in notation, are derived from secular
popular Dutch songs. Of this description is Symon Cock's publication,
entitled 'Souter Liedekens ghemaect ter eeren Gods op alle die psalmen
van David;' anno 1540. The most important work of the kind, however, was
brought out by Tielman Susato. It probably comprises most of the secular
airs and dance-tunes which were popular in the Netherlands during the
sixteenth century. Tielman is supposed to have been a native of Soest, a
town in Westphalia, Germany, which the citizens called in Latin
_Susatum_; hence his adopted name Susato. His work consists of six small
volumes, in oblong octavo, containing in all 245 tunes. The first volume
is entitled: 'Het ierste musyck boexken mit vier Partyen daer inne
begrepen zyn XXVIII. nieuue amoreuse liedekens in onser neder duytscher
talen, gecomponeert by diuersche componisten, zeer lustig om singen en
spelen op alle musicale Instrumenten. Ghedruckt Tantuuerpen by Tielman
Susato vuonende uoer die nieuue vuaghe Inden Cromhorn. Cum Gratia et
Privilegio. Anno MCCCCCLI.' ("The first Music Book, in four parts,
wherein are contained 28 new lovely songs in our Low Dutch language,
composed by different composers, very pleasant to sing and to play upon
all kinds of musical instruments. Printed at Antwerp by Tielman Susato,
dwelling in the Cromhorn over against the new Weighing house, anno
1551.") The Cromhorn (German, _Krummhorn_; Italian, _Cormorne_), an old
wind-instrument of the bassoon family, was evidently used by Tielman
Susato as a sign for his office, just as we find with the English
music-sellers some centuries ago the sign of the "Base Viol," the
"Golden Viol," &c. Volume II. contains likewise secular songs in
four-part harmony. Volume III. contains a collection of dance tunes,
called on the title-page "Basse dansen, Ronden, Allemaingien, Pauanen,
Gaillarden," etc., and appeared with the preceding ones in the year
1551. The old Dutch dances were generally walked, or trodden, and the
dancers sang at the same time.

Volume IV. bears the title: 'Sovter Liedekens, I. Het vierde musyck
boexken mit dry Parthien, waer inne begrepen syn die Ierste XLI.
psalmen van Dauid, Gecomponeert by Jacobus Clement non papa, den Tenor
altyt houdende die voise van gemeyne bekende liedekens; Seer lustich om
singen ter eeren Gods. Gedruckt Tantwerpen by Tielman Susato wonende
voer die Nyeuwe waghe Inden Cromhorn. Anno 1556.' ("Sweet Songs, I. The
fourth music book, in three parts, wherein are contained the first 41
Psalms of David, composed by Jacobus Clement non papa, the Tenor always
having the air of commonly-known songs; very pleasant to sing to the
honour of God. Printed at Antwerp, by Tielman Susato, dwelling in the
Cromhorn over against the New Weighing house, anno 1556.") The other
volumes likewise contain psalms with secular tunes arranged in the same
way. Clement was a celebrated musical composer, who obtained the
addition of _non papa_ to his name, to guard against the possibility of
his being mistaken for Pope Clement VII. his contemporary. The secular
song from the air of which the three-part music has been constructed, is
always indicated in the heading, by the first line of the secular song.
For instance: 'Den eersten Psalm, _Beatus vir qui non_, etc.; Nae die
wyse, _Het was een clercxken dat ginck ter scholen_.' ("To the air: He
was a little scholar who went to school.") 'Den XVIII. Psalm; Nae die
wyse, _Ick had een ghestadich minneken_.' ("To the air: I had a stately

Moreover, not only secular music, but also sometimes the poetry of a
popular secular song, was altered for sacred use. H. Knaust published,
in the year 1571, in Frankfurt: 'Gassenhawer, Reuter vnd Berglidlin
Christlich moraliter vnnd sittlich verendert,' etc. ("Low Street Songs,
Soldiers' and Miners' Songs, altered into Christian and moral Songs.")

No sect probably has been more extraordinary in the adoption of secular
tunes than the Muggletonians in England. Lodowicke Muggleton and John
Reeve founded this sect, in the year 1651. Macaulay, in his History of
England, (London, 1854, Vol. I., Chap. 2) notices the former in terms by
no means complimentary. He says: "A mad tailor, named Lodowicke
Muggleton, wandered from pothouse to pothouse, tippling ale, and
denouncing eternal torments against those who refused to believe, on
his testimony, that the Supreme Being was only six feet high, and that
the sun was just four miles from the earth." In the year 1829 Joseph and
Isaac Frost published in London 'Divine Songs of the Muggletonians, in
grateful praise to the Only True God the Lord Jesus Christ.' Many of the
hymns are written to secular tunes, such as--_By a prattling stream on a
midsummer's eve_;--_When I spent all my money I gained in the
wars_;--_Cupid, god of soft persuasions_;--_Dear Cloe, come give me
sweet kisses_; etc. The following commencements of a few of the hymns
will suffice to show their character:--


     Happy Muggletonians, who only
     True faith have to receive;
     Revelation ever new
     Gave to great Muggleton and Reeve.


     Hail! hail! two prophets great,
     Whose message does relate
     To the state of Adam's seed, etc.


     I do believe in God alone,
     Likewise in Reeve and Muggleton, etc.

In a work illustrating the musical performances of the various
denominations even small and eccentric ones must not be omitted.

As regards the Protestant Church of the Scandinavians, the following
remarks may perhaps serve as a guide for research:--Schiörring published
in the year 1783 a Danish Chorale book, of which an improved edition,
with figured basses, by P. E. Bach, appeared in 1794. An account of the
old Swedish psalm-books of Swedberg, and others, is to be found in 'Den
Nya Swenska Psalmboken framställd uti Försök till Swensk Psalmhistoria,
of Johan Wilhelm Beckman,' Stockholm, 1845. A Lutheran hymn-book was
printed in Skalholt, Iceland, in 1594, and went through many editions.

In the Baltic Provinces of Russia, J. L. E. Punschel published in Dorpat,
in the year 1839, a Chorale book containing 364 different melodies in
four-part harmony. A second edition appeared in 1843, and a third in
1850. Its title is--'Evangelisches Choralbuch, zunächst in Bezug auf die
deutschen, lettischen, und esthnischen Gesangbücher der russischen
Ostsee-Provinzen, auf den Wunsch Livländischen Provinzial-Synode
bearbeitet und angefertigt.' The preface contains some interesting
notices of the old hymn-books formerly in use in Livonia, Esthonia and

The Greek Church of Russia obtained its music originally from Greece.
The performances are entirely vocal, without instrumental accompaniment.
Although the original music has in the course of time undergone several
reforms, it is still very antique, characteristic, and beautiful. Among
the works which have been written on the music of the Greek Church may
be mentioned the following, which are more easily accessible to most
musical inquirers in Western Europe than are the works written in the
Russian language: Prince N. Youssoupoff published in the year 1862, in
Paris, the first part of 'Histoire de la Musique en Russe,' which treats
on 'Musique sacrée, suivi d'un choix de morceaux de Chants d'Eglise
anciens et modernes.' Chaviara and Randhartinger published in 1859, at
Vienna, a complete collection of the liturgical songs of the Greek
Church, with the Greek words. Another work, being an 'Introduction to
the Theory and Praxis of the Greek Church Music,' by Chrysanthos,
written in Greek, was printed at Paris in 1821.

In Poland we have, besides the usual compositions of the Roman Catholic
Church, some old books of metrical psalms with the music. The most
noteworthy publication of this kind is by Nicolas Gomolka, dating from
the year 1580. Gomolka was a celebrated Polish musician, who himself
composed the psalms translated into his native language. A selection of
them was published by Joseph Cichocki, Warsaw, 1838. Attention must also
be drawn to a work by Ephraim Oloff, written in German, and entitled
'Liedergeschichte von Polnischen Kirchen-Gesängen,' etc., Danzig, 1744,
which contains an account of the old Polish hymn-books. Furthermore, the
Abbé Michel-Martin Mioduszewski published at Cracow, in 1838, a
collection of ancient and modern songs used in the Roman Catholic
Church of Poland. To this work supplements have more recently been
issued. He likewise published at Cracow, in 1843, a collection of Polish
Christmas Carols with the tunes. It may be remarked here that Christmas
Carols of high antiquity and originality are to be found among several
European nations. Interesting collections of them have been published in
France and in England.

Turning to America, in the United States we meet with a remarkable
variety of hymn-books for the use of different sects, many of which are
but poor compilations, musically as well as poetically. A little
treatise by George Hood, entitled 'A History of Music in New England,
with biographical sketches of Reformers and Psalmists,' Boston, 1846, is
the earliest and most noteworthy publication containing an account of
the hymn-books popular in the United States during the seventeenth and
eighteenth centuries. The student ought likewise to consult 'Church
Music in America, comprising its history and its peculiarities at
different periods, with cursory remarks on its legitimate use and its
abuse; with notices of the Schools, Composers, Teachers and Societies;
by N. D. Gould,' Boston, 1853. There is also a circumstantial account of
American psalmody in J. W. Moore's 'Encyclopædia of Music,' Boston, 1854.
The first psalm-book used in New England was a small edition of Henry
Ainsworth's version of the psalms, which the Puritans brought with them
when they came to this country in the year 1620. It was published in
England in 1618, and had tunes resembling the German Chorale, printed
over the psalms, without harmony. The notation was in the lozenge or
diamond shape, and without bars. The first book of metrical psalms
published in America was compiled by thirty ministers, and appeared at
Cambridge in the year 1640. It was, in fact, the first book printed in
the English Colonies of America. It passed through many editions. G.
Hood says: "The history of music in New England for the first two
centuries is the history of Psalmody alone," and this accounts for his
calling his little publication before mentioned a "History of Music,"
although it treats exclusively of psalmody. But, if a history of the
music of America should be written, it might commence with an account
of the music, sacred and secular, of the aborigines, which, at any rate
in Mexico, Central America, and Peru, had made some progress long before
the arrival of the Puritans; and which, although it has not exercised
any influence upon the cultivation of the music introduced into America
from Europe, is well worthy of examination, inasmuch as it illustrates
several curious questions relating to ethnology and national music. As
in South and Central America the Indians, soon after the discovery of
their countries, were appealed to by the Roman Catholic priests who made
use of the help of sacred music, thus also in the United States the
Protestant missionary, John Elliot, translated the psalms into Indian
verse, and had them printed at Cambridge in 1661. The converted natives
sung them with much fervour. Indeed, it is recorded that many of the
Indians excelled as vocalists in the performance of the European tunes
which had been taught them by the missionaries.

Among the enthusiastic promoters of congregational singing in that
country, during the eighteenth century, deserves to be mentioned,
William Billings, who, in 1770, published at Boston, 'The New England
Psalm-Singer, or American Chorister; containing a Number of Psalm-tunes,
Anthems and Canons, in four and five parts; never before published.' W.
Billings, whose publications are recorded to have "opened a new era in
the history of psalmody in the colonies," was in his youth a tanner by
trade, and knew but little of the theory of music; nor did he care about
it, although he composed sacred songs harmonized for different voices.
The popularity which his productions obtained reveals the uncultivated
taste of his contemporary countrymen. In his address "To all Musical
Practitioners," he says: "Nature is the best dictator; for all the hard,
dry, studied rules that ever were prescribed will not enable any person
to form an air.... For mine own part, as I do not think myself confined
to any rules for composition laid down by any that went before me,
neither should I think, were I to pretend to lay down rules, that any
who came after me were any ways obliged to adhere to them any further
than they should think proper. So, in fact, I think it best for every
composer to be his own carver." And as to the effect of the music of his
own "carving," he exclaims: "It has more than twenty times the power of
the old slow tunes; each part straining for mastery and victory, the
audience entertained and delighted, their minds surpassingly agitated
and extremely fluctuated, sometimes declaring for one part and sometimes
for another. Now, the solemn bass demands their attention--next, the
manly tenor; now, the lofty counter--now, the volatile treble. Now
here--now there--now here again. O, ecstatic! Rush on, ye sons of

In order to ascertain exactly the present condition of Church music in
the United States, it is as necessary to refer to some of the tasteless
publications of hymns, as to examine the valuable collections. The
former are, however, only deserving of attention if they are very
popular, or if they tend to illustrate the peculiarities of certain
religious sects. The character of the following books is sufficiently
indicated by their lengthy titles:--

'The Southern Harmony, and Musical Companion; containing a choice
collection of Tunes, Hymns, Psalms, Odes, and Anthems, selected from the
most eminent authors in the United States; together with nearly one
hundred New Tunes which have never before been published; suited to most
of the Metres contained in Watts's Hymns and Psalms, Mercer's Cluster,
Dossey's Choice, Dover Selection, Methodist Hymn Book, and Baptist
Harmony; and an easy Introduction to the Grounds of Music, and plain
rules for Beginners. By William Walker. New Edition, thoroughly revised
and greatly improved. Philadelphia, 1854.'

'The Golden Censer; A Musical offering to the Sabbath Schools, or
Children's Hosannas to the Son of David; by W. B. Bradbury, author of the
Golden Chain, Golden Shower, Oriola, Jubilee, Key-Note, etc., etc. New
York, 1864.'

'Chapel Gems for Sunday Schools, selected from the Snow Bird, Robin, Red
Bird, Dove and Blue Bird, by G. F. Root and B. R. Hanby; and from the
Linnet, by F. W. Root and J. R. Murray. With additional pieces by D. P.
Horton of Brooklyn, N. Y. Chicago, 1868.'

Publications of sacred songs for children, which are taught in school,
especially deserve attention, inasmuch as they affect the musical taste
of the people, and ensure the popularity of certain hymns.

Furthermore, the dances of the Shakers should be noticed, with examples
of the songs to which they are performed. Sacred dancing was practised
by the Hebrews at the time of King David, and is still one of the
ceremonies observed by the Roman Catholic priests in the Cathedral of
Seville, by the Dervishes of the Mohammedans, and by several pagan
nations. It would be desirable to ascertain exactly the reason, or
biblical warrant, which induces Christian sects to advocate its

An interesting collection of Negro songs, mostly sacred, entitled 'Slave
Songs of the United States,' was published at New York in the year 1867.
The songs, which are from different districts of the United States,
contain the musical notation with the words, and were collected by W. F.
Allen, C. P. Ware, and L. M. Garrison. This curious publication supplies
us with some information respecting the religious vocal performances of
the American negroes, and the intense fervour which is displayed by the
worshippers while they are singing. Moreover, they have also a kind of
sacred dance, called "The Shout," which consists in shuffling round, one
after the other, in a ring, with a jerking, hitching motion, which
agitates the entire shouter, while they sing in chorus a "Spiritual."
These performances are especially in favour with the Baptist negroes.
The tunes, some of which exhibit traces of an African origin, are
extremely interesting.

The Negro Baptists at Richmond, in Virginia, have in their church a
choir consisting of about forty singers. An Englishman, who attended
their service, records: "The voices were exquisitely sweet, well
deserving the praise which I heard accorded to them. The hymn selected
concluded with these words and direction:--

     'Give the hand of friendship ere we part,
     May heaven now embalm it in each heart!'

     (_Rise, and clasp hands._)

"Acting on this the large congregation, for the church was full, rose
and clasped each other's hands."[78]

From the reports of missionaries in different parts of the world it
would appear that the converted pagans not unfrequently prove excellent
psalm-singers. Sometimes their own tunes have with good result been
adapted to the sacred poetry translated for them into their native
language. This, for instance, has been done in the 'Hindustani Choral
Book, or Swar Sangrah; containing the Tunes to those Hymns in the Gi't
Sangrah which are in Native Metres; compiled by John Parsons;' Benares,
1861. This book contains ninety Hindu tunes, most of which are evidently
of secular origin. We therefore find here an expedient resorted to
somewhat similar to that which we have observed with the Dutch more than
three centuries ago.

Again, to render the survey more complete, it would be requisite to
incorporate into it some specimens of church music of the Christian
Abyssinians, Copts, Armenians, and other Eastern sects who possess
peculiar liturgies, and notations of their sacred songs or chants.

The value of the collection might be further increased by an
introductory essay surveying the sacred musical performances of
non-Christian religions. Here the synagogical songs of the Jews, the
chants of the Mohammedans, and the musical performances in the temples
of the Buddhists and the Brahmins, would require special consideration:
but the music used in the ceremonies of the pagan religions of the least
civilized races should not be left unnoticed.


[77] Above, P. 15.

[78] 'A Vacation Tour in the United States and Canada,' by C. R. Weld;
London, 1855, P. 295.


Apparent printer's errors have been retained, unless stated below.

"_" surrounding text represents italics.

Punctuation, capitalization, accents and formatting markup have been
made consistent.

Page 44, "beleagured" changed to "beleaguered". (or when the enemy
demands by trumpet-signal the surrender of a beleaguered town;)

Page 51, "Shakspeare" chagned to "Shakespeare" for continuity. (Although
the chief object was to obtain specimens of the various musical
instruments used by our forefathers, which are alluded to by Shakespeare
and other classical authors, it appeared to me desirable, as
illustrative of the history of music, to incorporate into the collection
the most interesting of the extra-European contrivances of the kind,[Pg
52] and among these principally such instruments of Asiatic nations as
are the prototypes of certain ones of our own.)

Page 75, "Gen[=e]sa" appears with a macron over the second e. [=e] has
been used to represent this.

Page 125, "Leipzic" changed to "Leipzig" for consistency. (This is but a
modest essay in tone-painting compared with a certain production by
Johann Kuhnau, a predecessor of Bach, who depicted entire biblical
stories in a set of six sonatas for the clavichord, which were published
in Leipzig in the year 1700.)

Page 141, "Leipzic" changed to "Leipzig" for consistency. ([Footnote 37:
'Hinterlassene Schriften von C. M. von Weber. Zweite Ausgabe, Leipzig,
1850.' Vol. II., P. 14.])

Page 153, "n" changed to "an". (For instance, respecting an opinion
which he formerly held on German music, he candidly avows ('History of
Music' Vol. IV., p. 606),)

Page 182, "Italianized" changed to "Italianised" for consistency. (Some
English musicians who at the time of James I. visited the continent,
Italianised their names, a rather unpatriotic act to which they probably
would not have thought of resorting, had they not become convinced of
the superiority of the continental music.)

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