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Title: How Music Developed - A Critical and Explanatory Account of the Growth of Modern Music
Author: Henderson, W. J. (William James), 1855-1937
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.

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Transcriber's Note: The spelling has been harmonized. Obvious printer
errors have been repaired. "Arianna" was first performed in 1608.



  HOW MUSIC DEVELOPED


  _A Critical and Explanatory Account of the Growth of Modern Music_


  BY
  W. J. HENDERSON

  _Author of_
  "THE STORY OF MUSIC," "PRELUDES AND STUDIES,"
  AND "WHAT IS GOOD MUSIC?"


  NEW YORK
  FREDERICK A. STOKES COMPANY
  PUBLISHERS


  _Copyright, 1898_
  BY FREDERICK A. STOKES CO.


  Printed in the United States of America.



  TO
  CHARLES BAMBURGH



  Table of Contents


  CHAPTER                                   PAGE

  I. THE BEGINNING OF MODERN MUSIC             1

  II. HARMONY, NOTATION, AND MEASURE          12

  III. THE BIRTH OF COUNTERPOINT              23

  IV. THE GOLDEN AGE OF CHURCH COUNTERPOINT   38

  V. PROGRESS OF POPULAR MUSIC                54

  VI. THE SIMPLIFICATION OF MUSIC             66

  VII. THE EVOLUTION OF THE PIANO             83

  VIII. THE EVOLUTION OF PIANO PLAYING       101

  IX. CLIMAX OF THE POLYPHONIC PIANO STYLE   116

  X. MONOPHONIC STYLE AND THE SONATA         126

  XI. EVOLUTION OF THE ORCHESTRA             147

  XII. THE CLASSIC ORCHESTRAL COMPOSERS      158

  XIII. THE ROMANTIC ORCHESTRAL COMPOSERS    171

  XIV. THE DEVELOPMENT OF CHAMBER MUSIC      186

  XV. THE BIRTH OF ORATORIO                  199

  XVI. WORK OF HANDEL AND BACH               208

  XVII. HAYDN AND MENDELSSOHN                220

  XVIII. THE BIRTH OF OPERA                  234

  XIX. ITALIAN OPERA TO HANDEL'S TIME        253

  XX. ITALIAN OPERA TO VERDI                 276

  XXI. BEGINNINGS OF FRENCH OPERA            290

  XXII. REFORMS OF GLUCK                     312

  XXIII. MEYERBEER AND HIS INFLUENCE         324

  XXIV. GERMAN OPERA TO MOZART               336

  XXV. WEBER AND BEETHOVEN                   348

  XXVI. WAGNER AND THE MUSIC DRAMA           357

  XXVII. THE LESSONS OF MUSICAL HISTORY      380

  *       *       *       *       *

  INDEX                                      395



How Music Developed

Chapter I

The Beginning of Modern Music

    Descent of the Roman Chant from the kithara songs of the
    Romans and thence from those of the Greeks--First appearance
    of modern melody--Steps toward the formation of a musical
    system--Ambrosian and Gregorian chants--Their character--Nokter
    Balbulus and sequences--Spread of the Roman chant--Nature of
    music at this period.


In reading any history of the development of music as an art one must
ever bear in mind the fact that music was also developing at the same
time as a popular mode of expression, and that the two processes were
separate. The cultivation of modern music as an art was begun by the
medieval priests of the Roman Catholic Church, who were endeavoring to
arrange a liturgy for their service, and it is due to this fact that for
several centuries the only artistic music was that of the Church, and
that it was controlled by influences which barely touched the popular
songs of the times. In the course of years the two kinds of music came
together, and important changes were made. But any account of the
development of modern music as an art is compelled to begin with the
story of the medieval chant.

In the beginning the chants of the Christian Church, from which the
medieval chant was developed, were without system. They were a
heterogeneous mass of music derived wholly from sources which chanced to
be near at hand. The early Christians in Judea must naturally have
borrowed their music from the worship of their forefathers, who were
mostly Jews. The Christians in Greece naturally adapted Greek music to
their requirements, while those in Rome made use of the Roman kithara
(lyre) songs, which in their turn were borrowed from the Greeks. Christ
and the apostles at the Last Supper chanted one of the old Hebrew
psalms. Saint Paul speaks also of "hymns and spiritual songs," by one of
which designations he certainly means the hymns of the early Christians
founded on Roman lyre songs. It is also on record that the Christian
communities of Alexandria as early as 180 A. D. were in the habit of
repeating the chant of the Last Supper with an accompaniment of flutes,
and Pliny, the Younger (62-110 A. D.), describes the custom of singing
hymns to the glory of Christ.

The psalms in the early Church were chanted antiphonally; that is, one
verse was sung by one part of the congregation and answered by another
with the next verse, or they were chanted by priest and congregation
alternately. Of course there could not have been any high artistic
endeavor in such music, because it must have been within the capacity of
the least skilled performers. There could not have been any fixed system
in the Church until its various branches in the vast Roman empire were
unified under a Christian emperor, Constantine (306-337 A. D.). Under
him art and architecture began to serve the Church, and it is about this
time that we begin to discover attempts at the formation of a system in
church music. Four distinct steps are traceable:--

    _First._ A. D. 314.--Pope Sylvester founded singing-schools at
    Rome.

    _Second._ A. D. 350.--Flavian and Diodorus made antiphonal
    chanting of the psalms a required part of the church service at
    Antioch.

    _Third._ A. D. 367.--The Council of Laodicea forbade
    congregational singing, and confined the service to a trained
    choir.

    _Fourth._ A. D. 384 (about).--St. Ambrose brought together the
    inharmonious elements in the church liturgy and formulated a
    general system of chanting known as the Ambrosian chant.

The foundation of singing-schools produced choristers who were able to
meet the requirements of the improved music, for that was beyond the
narrow powers of the early congregations. The reader will readily see
how the first three steps toward the formation of a system were logical.
But differences in practice naturally crept in, and the work of Ambrose
appears to have been one of regulation. He founded his system on four of
the ancient Greek scales, which were, of course, at the base of all the
Greek and Roman tunes then used in the Church. It is unnecessary to go
into any extended account of Greek music in order to get an idea of the
character of the Ambrosian chant, but it is needful to give the subject
some consideration, because Greek music influenced modern music for
several centuries. All modern major scales are formed thus: two whole
intervals followed by one-half interval (a semitone), then three whole
intervals followed by a half. For example, take the scales of C and G:--

  [Music C scale: 1 2 ½ 1 2 3 ½]
  [Music G scale: 1 2 ½ 1 2 3 ½]

The Greek scales were formed on a wholly different principle. The
foundation of the system was the tetrachord, which always contained, as
its name implies, four notes. Between some two of these there was always
a half-interval, and the scale was named according to the position of
that semitone. The Doric scale had the semitone at the beginning of each
tetrachord, the Phrygian in the middle, and the Lydian at the top,
thus:--

  DORIC.    [Music: ½ 1 2 3 ½ 1 2 3]
  PHRYGIAN. [Music: 1 ½ 1 2 3 ½ 1 2]
  LYDIAN.   [Music: 1 2 ½ 1 2 3 ½ 1]

The reader will understand that every scale was divided into two
tetrachords, each having its semitone in the same position. There were,
of course, several other scales, but these are sufficient to illustrate
the subject. The peculiarity of the sound of chants founded on these
ancient scales to our modern ears is what we call the "lack of
tonality." Our scales are all determined by the semitone between the
seventh and eighth notes, called the leading note. The scale of G, for
instance, cannot exist without the F sharp. Our ears have been trained
to expect that progression, and so these old Greek scales do not seem to
us to be in any key at all, and when we wish to describe a tune that has
apparently no beginning, end, or rhythm, we say it sounds like a chant.
For several centuries all modern music written by the scientific
composers suffered from this lack of tonality, while much of the popular
music of the people was written in the modern major and minor keys. Any
musician will see that the old Lydian scale was our scale of C major.
The ancient Æolian scale was almost the same as our scale of A minor.
From these two our modern scales developed themselves among the people
who were not busy trying to build church liturgies out of Greek music.

Not much is known about the musical character of the Ambrosian chant
except that contemporary writers regarded it as very sweet and solemn.
One important fact has come down to us, namely, that the Ambrosian chant
was metrical. This means that it followed the prosodial quantity of the
syllables in the Latin text of the liturgy. A long syllable had a long
note, and a short syllable a short note. From this peculiarity the chant
obtained the name of _cantus firmus_, or fixed chant. It was, however,
speedily merged in what is called the Gregorian chant. This has
generally been attributed to Pope Gregory (590-604 A. D.); but recent
investigations go to prove that he did little beyond issuing rules as to
its use and for its regulation. The church chant, however, was changed
in character in the time of Gregory, and one of the most fruitful
alterations was the abandonment of its metrical character. The tones no
longer had a determined length; and this abolished from the church music
of the time the last vestige of rhythm. It furthermore left the singers
free to do as they pleased, and so gave rise to abuses which seemed to
be injurious to music, but which really led to good results, as we shall
see. In form, the Gregorian chant was divided into five parts: the
"intonation," which was the introductory phrase of the first half of the
verse; the "recitation" of the principal part of that half on a single
note; the "mediation," which finished the first half of the verse and
formed the connecting link between it and the second half; the
"recitation," which began the second half; and the "termination," which
ended the verse.

  [Music: Intonation=Bar 1. Recitation=Bar 2. Mediation=Bar 3, Bar 4.
          Recitation=Bar 5. Termination=Bar 6, Bar 7, Bar 8.]

Gregory arranged the mass in its present form, and prescribed a special
introit for each psalm, and probably one for each division of the mass.
The famous old anonymous hymns, the Te Deum, Magnificat, Benedictus,
etc., had taken their place in the church service in its very earliest
days; and the mass had gradually been formed by selection and
arrangement of these. Another form which gradually grew up in the Church
was the Sequence. This had its origin in a desire to allow the
congregation more opportunity to take part in the musical service. In
their oldest and purest form these sequences consisted of ornamental
passages intoned on a single vowel,--as the final "a" of "jubila." These
sequences illustrate in a striking manner that freedom from control of
text which came so conspicuously into music in Gregory's time. This
freedom, while it led to abuses of the church ritual, gave music a
certain amount of independence as an art, and enabled it to develop more
rapidly than it could have done had it been tied fast to the text.
Nokter Balbulus, a monk of the famous convent of St. Gall, Switzerland,
is said to have popularized the sequences in the ninth century by
writing thirty-five special ones. Some of these are still used in the
Roman Church. The convent of St. Gall, to which Nokter belonged, was a
famous centre of musical culture in the eighth, ninth, and tenth
centuries. The writing of special words for sequences was followed by
others than Nokter; and in the end these reduced themselves to these
five well-known texts: Dies Iræ, Stabat Mater, Victimæ Paschali, Veni
Sancte Spiritus, and Lauda Sion.

The Roman chant soon spread through Europe. The successor of Gregory was
acknowledged by the Western nations as the Supreme Head of the united
Church, and this, of course, tended to a general use of the same ritual.
In 604 Roman singers were sent to England, and in 660 monks went to
teach the Gregorian chant in Brittany. Paris had become the capital of
France not long before that, and the Gallic service was now remodelled
on that of Rome. The Roman ritual was introduced into Germany by Saint
Boniface in 744, and it was probably made known at St. Gall about the
same time. Charlemagne, in the eighth century, founded schools of music
on Gregory's plan at Dijon, Cambray, Lyons, Orléans, and other French
cities, and also at Regensburg, Würzburg, Mainz, and other German
places.

The general introduction of the Gregorian chant established the melodic
basis of modern music. It will be well for the reader to bear in mind
that the three elementary constituents of music are melody, harmony, and
rhythm. Melody is produced by the successive sounding of single tones of
different pitch. Harmony is produced by the simultaneous sounding of
single notes of different pitch. When those notes are united according
to rule we call the result a chord. Rhythm is the regular recurrence of
long and short beats. Now, if the reader has comprehended the account
given of the early Roman chant, he will perceive that it embodied only
one of the elements of music, namely, melody. There was no harmony,
because everything was sung in one part. It was simply a plain chant;
and when the organ first came into use to accompany it, the instrument
played the same succession of single notes as the voices sang. This fact
must be kept clearly in mind in order to understand the next steps in
the development of modern music. In the beginning there was only melody;
and that was like the earth before the creation, without form and void.
There was no musical rhythm in either the Ambrosian chant, which
followed the prosodial quantity of the words, nor in the Gregorian,
which did not follow it. The text was prose; consequently it did not
have a regular recurrence of long and short syllables, as poetry does,
and therefore the music, following the text, could not have rhythm. All
that existed in the beginning of the modern tone art was the raising and
lowering of the voice through a certain number of intervals. How harmony
and rhythm made their appearance in the early stages of the art, and
what forms they took, must next be related.



Chapter II

Harmony, Notation, and Measure

    The Organum of Hucbald--Use of combinations disagreeable
    to modern ears--Appearance of rhythm--Work of Franco, of
    Cologne--Establishment of Dual and Triple Measure--Introduction
    of notes to represent sounds of different duration.


In the growth of modern music the second step was the introduction of
harmony. The simultaneous sounding of notes of different pitch in
combinations called chords is so essential a part of the music of to-day
that even the uneducated mind has difficulty in conceiving a tune as
wholly dissociated from the coloring influences of its harmony. Every
schoolboy is accustomed to hearing melodies with what he calls a "bass"
(an accompaniment founded on chords), and in the commonest music-hall
songs the familiar harmonies are the results of centuries of experiment
among the ecclesiastical fathers of modern music. It is difficult for us
to understand that there was a time when harmony was unknown to
musicians, but such is the case; and the first experiments resulted in
the use of combinations which sound intolerable to our ears, while some
of those which we regard as the most familiar and useful were deemed
unbearable by some of the early authorities. For example, no modern
chord can be formed without the third, _i.e._, the third whole note
above the key-note. In the key of C that is E; in G it is B, thus:--

  [Music: Two Note Chord]

Yet for several centuries after harmony began to be employed that
particular combination was forbidden, so that it was impossible to write
the common chord of C major

  [Music: Three Note Chord]

or of G major

  [Music: Three Note Chord]

or of any other modern major key. The result was that for several
hundred years music developed along lines not those of chord harmony,
the first rude experiments at which early gave way to what is called
counterpoint. What that system was we shall see in good time, but we
must now give our attention to the early attempts at harmony.

The origin of modern harmony is wrapped in obscurity. It is believed
that the Greeks knew something about chords and perhaps used a few
simple ones in playing accompaniments on the lyre. But they made no
extended study of them, and the early fathers, who founded their system
on Greek music, had nothing to learn in this matter from the Greeks. All
steps in the development of modern music have been the result of long
processes of growth, and it cannot be doubted that many experiments in
harmony were made before the first treatise on the subject was written.
The first records of harmony are found in an old work called
"Enchiridion Musicæ," and they speak of a system called Organum or
Diaphony, attributed to Hucbald, a Benedictine monk of St. Armand, in
Flanders, near the close of the tenth century. Hucbald appears to have
studied Pythagoras's musical system, in which intervals between notes
were measured according to the laws of acoustics by the number of
vibrations made by each note in a second. Hucbald, finding that certain
intervals had a mathematical ratio, decided that they must make
concords, and he founded his system of harmony on that theory. He used
the intervals of the fourth, the fifth, and the octave. The fourth is
the fourth note of the major scale in ascending, the fifth the fifth
note, and the octave the eighth, or the recurrence of the key-note. To
make this matter clearer, let me state that modern scientists have
decided that the C below the staff, in the treble clef, has 256
vibrations a minute. The next C above has 512, just double. The F of
this scale, which is the fourth, has 384. This is the sum of the first C
increased by one-half of itself. Consequently C and F make a scientific
concord and a musical one, too. But there is hardly anything more
disagreeable to the modern ear than a series of consecutive fourths. Yet
Hucbald thought that such a series must be scientifically correct, and
that it ought, therefore, to make good music. So he wrote such harmonies
as these:--

  [Music Series of Fourths: Sit glo-ri-a Do-mi-ni in sæ-cu-la.]

This is very unpleasant to modern ears, yet it is not quite so bad as a
series of fifths. When Hucbald wished to write in four parts he simply
repeated the two treble parts in the bass an octave lower. And when he
wrote in three parts he simply "doubled" the lower note of his fourth or
fifth in the octave above, which is a process also forbidden in modern
part writing because it makes two parts the same in melodic progression.
Hucbald also employed a form of harmony in which the lowest note always
remained the same. This was what we now call a "drone bass," such as is
heard in the bagpipe, and it was certainly more flexible than the other
kind because it admitted of the use of other intervals than the fourth
and fifth. But the idea of writing in more than one part, once having
appeared in music, developed itself gradually. All the earliest harmonic
combinations sound ugly to our ears because of the difference in the
character of the old scales adapted from Greek music for the Church and
that of our scale. If the harmonists of those early days had been using
our scale, no doubt they would have discovered how to write fine chords.
They did, in the course of time, hit upon some of the combinations now
used, and so the foundations of modern harmony were laid. But the modern
style of writing did not come into use for several centuries after
Hucbald's time.

The next element of music which made its appearance was rhythm. This
came about through the improvements in notation and the practice of
singers. It seems that after learning to add a second part to the
_cantus firmus_, or chant, the singers, who were acquiring considerable
dexterity in their art, began to ornament the additional part. This
addition of ornaments was called the art of descant, because it was
descanting upon a given theme. The singers all took to it with delight
because it gave them fine opportunities for the display of their voices
and of their musical skill. In some parts of France and the Netherlands
this practice became a sort of mania. The voice which carried the chant
was called the tenor, from the Latin _teneo_, "I hold." The other voice
added an ornamental part _above_ the chant, and as there was no measure
in music, the two parts seldom came out together at the end. As long as
the voices had moved in parallel fourths or fifths it was not difficult
for them to keep together, but with the descanter singing two or more
notes to every one of the _cantus firmus_ it was quite impossible for
them to do so. No one knows just when this art of descant entered into
music, but it is certain that it was known some time before the close of
the twelfth century, for it was about then that Franco, of Cologne, made
successful attempts to systematize notation, and in doing so regulated
the measure of music.

The earliest form of notation of which we have any knowledge is called
the Neume notation. These Neumes were much like Greek accents in some
respects, and in others resembled a sort of shorthand. All that could be
accomplished by them was an indication of the direction in which the
voice was to move, whether up or down, and of the number of notes which
it was to pass. In Hucbald's day a series of horizontal lines, like our
musical staff (but containing many more lines) was used. The names of
the notes were written opposite the ends of the spaces between the
lines, and then each syllable of the text was written in the space
belonging to the note to which it was to be sung. Short lines were drawn
upward or downward, as the case might be, between each syllable of one
part so that that part could be followed. Another system in use in
Hucbald's time, and even later, was arranged this way, the letters
representing the tones:--

  [Music:
          F
           \
     D      E     G        E
    /        \     \        \
   C          D     F        D
  Lau-de dig-num ca-nat sanc-tum.]

As time passed on it became evident that there ought to be some way of
indicating a fixed pitch from which the notes were to start. So a line
was employed and the Neumes were written in a definite manner with
relation to it. If the line was red, the chant was in the key of F, and
all melodies ended on F. If the line was yellow, the key was C. In the
eleventh century both lines were used at the same time, and the
certainty of the meaning of the Neumes became greater. Afterward Guido,
of Arezzo, a famous teacher and theorist, who died in 1050, added two
more lines, and thus came into existence a four-line staff. The
character of the Neumes themselves had undergone many alterations,
until, in Guido's time, they began to look a little like modern notes.
But still there was no rhythm in the ecclesiastical music, and no way of
representing it in notation. Franco advocated the introduction of
measure into church music. He did not, of course, invent it, for it
already existed in the popular songs and dances of the people, and had
existed in them from the earliest times.

Franco was the first theorist to record the distinction between dual and
triple time. The reader who is unacquainted with musical science should
learn that the rhythms of music are like those of poetry. Instead of
poetic feet, music has "measures" separated by vertical lines drawn
through the staff, and called "bars." Measures are often called bars.
The musical measure corresponds to the poetic foot. A bar with two beats
in it is like a foot of two syllables, except that in music the accent
is normally always on the first beat. A bar with three beats is like a
dactyl, one accented and two unaccented syllables, or beats. Dual time,
or measure, corresponds to a poetic rhythm made up of two-syllable feet;
triple time to one of three-syllable feet. A polka is in dual time; a
waltz, in triple time. Franco first explained these points, and insisted
that triple ought to be used in church music for the naïve reason that
its three beats in one bar made it resemble the perfection of the Holy
Trinity, three persons in one God. He made many improvements in harmony,
among others recognizing the third, already described, as a concord,
though not a perfect one. Another important feature of Franco's teaching
was his advocacy of contrary motion of parts. The manner of writing
practised by Hucbald prescribed what is called parallel motion; that is,
the melody of the _cantus firmus_ and that of the descant always rose or
fell together. If the one ascended one interval the other did so, too.
Contrary motion permits the parts to move in opposite directions, and
this makes it possible to avoid such disagreeable arrangements as
consecutive fourths or fifths, and so leads the way to a richer and more
beautiful harmony. Others had already practised what Franco preached in
regard to this matter, so the most significant part of his work was that
which dealt with measure. In order to write the measured music it was
necessary to have notes representing sounds of different duration, and
these notes Franco either invented or adopted. Here are the four notes
which he used:--

  [Music: Longa. Brevis. Maxima or Duplex Longa. Semibrevis.].

These names mean "long," "short," "double long," and "half short." The
short note had half the duration of the long, and the duplex longa
double it, while the semibrevis was half the length of the short note.
We still have notes called breve and semibreve.

We have now seen how melody, harmony, and rhythm entered the process of
development of modern music. But I have already called attention to the
fact that the early medieval composers had no conception of a tune
founded on subservient harmony, such as is now familiar to every one.
They got their ideas as to the plan of composition from the art of
descant, which consisted, as I have tried to explain, in adding an
ornamental part to a selected chant. It became an essential of music in
those early days that this second part should be melodious in itself.
When the early composers began to write in more than two parts, they
still preferred the style in which every part was a melody in itself. In
our modern music the parts which constitute the harmonic accompaniment
of a melody are not necessarily melodious in themselves, as any one can
easily see who listens to the accompaniment of a popular song. The early
church composers knew nothing about that kind of writing. They did not
have instrumental accompaniment at all. Even after the organ began to be
used, it simply played the same notes that the voices sang. The
compositions were written wholly for voices, and each voice part was a
melody in itself, and all sounding together produced harmonious results.
This kind of writing is still employed at times. For instance, in the
finale of "Die Meistersinger" overture, five different melodies are
heard at the same time. This method of composition is called
"polyphonic;" and we have now reached the period at which the art of
descant developed into the art of counterpoint, upon which polyphonic
writing rests.



Chapter III

The Birth of Counterpoint

    The great French school of contrapuntists--What counterpoint
    is, and how it began--Canons and the famous "Sumer is icumen
    in"--Character of the French music--he masses of Machaut and
    Tournay--The Gallo-Belgic school and Dufay's improvements.


There is one peculiarity of the early attempts at writing in several
melodious parts which must now be brought to the attention of the
reader, and which is very difficult to explain to a person not versed in
musical laws. Instead of writing free melodies to accompany the fixed
chants, the early composers took up the practice of making the tune
serve as its own accompaniment by the employment of a number of
ingenious devices, all included in the art of counterpoint. I shall
presently endeavor to explain the nature of this style of writing; but
as it began in France, we must first note the historical facts in
connection with the development of musical art in that country. The
reader will remember that Charlemagne established schools for the
cultivation of the Roman chant in many French towns. History shows us
that the connection between France and the Roman Church grew closer and
closer until, under Philip the Fair, the State dominated; and in the
beginning of the fourteenth century the papal court was removed by the
king to Avignon. In the twelfth century the University of Paris became
the centre of study in Europe. It was natural in these circumstances
that the cultivation of Roman Catholic church music should have
flourished in Paris, and that, about 1100 A. D., a distinct school of
French composers should have developed. This school flourished until
1370, and there has descended to us a knowledge of nearly five hundred
composers who belonged to it. It would be impossible and useless to
attempt to tell the reader all about these composers. What I desire to
do is to point out what this school accomplished in the development of
music.

Counterpoint is to-day the art of constructing two or more melodies
which can be sung or played simultaneously without breaking the rules of
harmony. Originally, however, it was the art of adding parts above or
below a part already selected. It originated, as we have seen, in the
practice of the descanters. A part improvised by a descanter came to
be called _contrapunctus a mente_ (a counterpoint out of the head),
while an additional part written by a composer was called _contrapunctus
a penna_ (a counterpoint from the pen). As musicians acquired skill in
the construction of these additional parts, they began to introduce new
devices, and to write with greater and greater freedom. The more free
their writing was, the further it tended to depart from parallel motion.
In the course of time some one hit upon the musical device called
"imitation," which means the repetition in a secondary part (say the
bass) of some passage already heard in the principal part (the treble)
while that principal part is still going on. The result of this device
is that one portion of a melody is made to serve as the second voice to
another portion of it. Who first hit upon this device, no one knows; but
the earliest example of it which has been preserved is found in the
"Posui adjutorum" of Perotin, one of the first of the French school of
writers. Here is the passage; and by giving it careful study the reader
will be able to understand the fundamental principle of canon, fugue,
and all the polyphonic forms:--

  [Music: 1st Voice, 2nd Voice, Canon Form.]

I think that even a reader who is not a musician can understand this. A
is the first half of a melody, and B is the second half. While the first
voice is singing the first half, the second voice sings the second half
as the alto part of the first half. In order to make the first half act
as alto in the second half, the composer had to push the second voice
one bar ahead of the first voice, and then to add three extra notes to A
in order to make a conclusion to his alto part. There are two imitations
in this bit: the second half of the part sung by the first voice
imitates the first half of the second voice part, and the second half of
the second voice part imitates the first half of the first voice part.

By extending and developing such imitation as this, composers came to
write in "double counterpoint," which means the construction of two
parts in such a way that their different portions can be transferred
from one to the other just as they are in the selection from Perotin.
The reader will see at once that composing in this manner required a
great deal of calculation, and was a constant tax on the ingenuity of
the musician. In its early stages it prevented any attempt at making
music expressive, and reduced composition to a mere exercise of
scientific skill. But it forced the composers to a close study of the
materials of their art, and they acquired a great mastery over them and
constantly learned more and more about the possibilities of music.
Double counterpoint, which is at the foundation of the most rigid forms
of polyphonic writing, was generally known in the French school at least
as early as the thirteenth century, but the example from Perotin seems
to show that at least some of the composers knew it much earlier. This
might account for the existence of the celebrated example of early
English polyphony, a "canon" called "Sumer is icumen in." This was
discovered by Sir John Hawkins, who wrote a history of music in 1776.
Its manuscript was copied by a monk of Reading, John of Forneste, in
1228, and it must have been composed shortly before that time. The fact
that Walter Odington, an Englishman, wrote a treatise on music in 1230,
when the only famous school was that of Paris, leads me to believe that
these early English composers were disciples of the French. But it is
certain that the composer of "Sumer is icumen in" was a greater master
of counterpoint than his teachers, because this "canon" is the finest
specimen of polyphonic writing that has come down to us from those early
times. Here is its beginning:--

  [Music: "Sumer is icumen in" for Six Voices.]

  Chorus:
  Su-mer is i-cu-men in . . .
  Lhu-de sing Cuc-cu,
  Grow-eth sed, and blow-eth med,
  And springth the w-de nu . . .
  Sing Cuc-cu . . .

I urge the reader to give careful attention to the remarkable
interweaving of the first four voice parts. At the fifth bar of the
melody, in the first voice, the second voice enters with the beginning
of the air. When the second voice reaches the fifth bar of the air, the
third voice comes in, and at the same time the first voice begins the
second half of the melody. When the third voice reaches the fifth bar of
the first half of the air, the fourth voice comes in, and the second
voice begins the second half. And so it goes on, the entrances always
being made according to the rule established at the start, and each
voice singing the tune without the alteration of a single interval to
make it fit into the scheme. Rigid imitation of this kind is called
"canon." In this particular canon the two lowest voices have a bass in
two parts, written in double counterpoint, which they sing over and over
again all the way through. A constantly repeated bass is called a "basso
ostinato," and this is the first example of it.

This kind of writing possessed the merit of high organization, without
which there can be no work of art. One might search in vain for
evidences of artistic design in the early Gregorian chant, while in such
works as those of the early Frenchmen and their English disciples they
confront one in every measure. The result was that these writers
developed several kinds of contrapuntal writing. But it must be admitted
that their work was cold and mathematical, being wholly the result of
ingenious calculation. Furthermore it must be borne in mind that they
had no conception whatever of music as a means of expression. In a vague
way they felt its suitability to the worship of their churches, and its
Gothic complexity did indeed harmonize well with ecclesiastical
architecture. But it never occurred to the composers of the French
school to try to make music beautiful for its own sake. They were too
busy exploring the resources of their art, and their _materia musica_
was as yet too scanty to allow them to treat their art with the command
of mastership. But they served well the cause of music by discovering
many of its essential rules, and by formulating in their treatises much
of its fundamental theory. It is not at all surprising that in the last
period of this school we meet with a large work. The last important
master of the school was William of Machaut, who flourished between 1284
and 1369, and wrote the mass for the coronation of Charles V. of France.

The teachings of the French spread into Belgium, and there arose a
school called the Gallo-Belgic. The first evidence of its existence is
found in the mass of Tournay, sung by the choristers of the Tournay
cathedral. Its composer is unknown, but it was written about 1330. It is
in three parts, the tenor (voice carrying the fixed chant) in the
middle, the descant (or counterpoint) above, and a bass below. It is not
nearly so well developed in its polyphony as "Sumer is icumen in" or the
works of the Frenchmen. Two of its voices move always in parallel
fourths or fifths (as in Hucbald's "organum") and the other has a
contrary motion. The most famous composer of the Gallo-Belgic school was
William Dufay, born 1400, died 1474. He almost wholly abandoned the use
of parallel fourths and fifths, which did so much to restrict
composition, and he also adopted the open-note notation, which had made
its appearance in France in the closing years of the French school.
Dufay used the following notes:--

  [Music:                              | Greater | Lesser|
                                       | Semi-   | Semi- |
  Large| Long| Breve| Semi-Breve| Minim| minim   | minim | Semi-croma |
  -----+-----+------+-----------+------+---------+-------+------------+
               breve| semi-breve| minim| crotchet| quaver| semi-quaver|]

I have placed under Dufay's notes their present equivalents, with the
names. Dufay is the first composer of whom it is known that he made
earnest efforts toward a more plastic style of composition than that
previously in vogue. This was undoubtedly due to the considerable
development of the art of composition. In his search after a freer
style, he abandoned the strict "canon," and used "imitation" only here
and there in his works. Furthermore, he discerned the musical worth of
the songs of the people, and in doing so paved the way for the exertion
of a large influence by folk-song upon artistic composition. His method
of using the popular songs, however, was as bad as it was remarkable. In
composing a mass he would substitute in place of the fixed chant of the
liturgy some popular air; and he put the words in along with it,
probably because the words of the liturgy could not be sung to the tune.
Hence, in three masses by Dufay, still extant, the melodies and texts of
three songs of his day are found. One of these songs, "L'Omme Armée,"
became such a favorite that for more than a century nearly every
prominent composer wrote a contrapuntal mass around it. This abuse had
finally to be checked by the authorities of the Church. Dufay did
another thing, of more benefit to music. He wrote some music in a very
simple style, in which there were passages of pure chord harmony, such
as we use in our music to-day. As an example of this, I quote the
beginning of a fragment of one of his masses, reproduced in Naumann's
"History of Music":--

  [Music: Dufay Mass]

Before Dufay's death the Gallo-Belgic school began to be overshadowed by
that of the Netherlands, with which the art of writing unaccompanied
church counterpoint reached its climax. To this school we must now turn
our attention.



Chapter IV

The Golden Age of Church Counterpoint

    The great Netherlands school--Okeghem and the mechanics of
    music--Riddles in tone--The advent of pure beauty--Work of
    Josquin des Prés--Attempts at expression by Willaert and
    others--Secular music--Orlando Lasso and his beautiful works.


At the period of musical history which we have now reached, the Dutch,
as I have had occasion to say in another work, "led the world in
painting, in liberal arts, and in commercial enterprise. Their skill in
mechanics was unequalled, and we naturally expect to see their musicians
further the development of musical technic." The Dutch musicians at
first revelled in the exercise of mechanical ingenuity in the
construction of intricate contrapuntal music. In the first period of
their great school they acquired by such exercise so great a mastery of
the materials of their art that in the second period they began to make
serious attempts at writing beautiful music for beauty's sake. In the
third period the possibilities of writing something different from
church music began to be developed, and we find the Dutch masters
attempting the description in tones of external phenomena by the process
called tone-painting. This period also saw secular music taken into the
fold of art, and began the production of madrigals and other secular
songs. In the fourth period the dry old science of counterpoint was so
completely conquered that the composers of the time were able to make it
the vehicle of the purest expression of religious devotion the world has
yet found, and church music passed through its golden age. On account of
these facts let us consider this great school, which had more influence
on the development of music than any other school in the history of
music, under the following heads:--

    NETHERLANDS SCHOOL (1425-1625 A. D.).

    _First Period_ (1425-1512).--Perfection of contrapuntal
    technics. Chief masters: Okeghem, Hobrecht, Brumel.

    _Second Period_ (1455-1526).--Attempts at pure beauty. Chief
    master, Josquin des Prés.

    _Third Period_ (1495-1572).--Development of tone-painting and
    secular music. Chief masters: Gombert, Willaert, Goudimel, Di
    Rore, Jannequin, Arcadelt.

    _Fourth Period_ (1520-1625).--Counterpoint made subservient to
    expression of religious feeling. Chief masters: Orlando Lasso,
    Swelinck, De Monte.

The reader will note that the division of these periods is not based on
chronological, but artistic grounds; and hence, in respect of years,
they overlap. The most famous writer of the first period was Johannes
Okeghem, born between 1415 and 1430, in East Flanders. He studied under
Binchois, a contemporary of Dufay, at Antwerp, was a singer in the
service of Charles VII. of France in 1444, was made by Louis XI.
Treasurer of the Cathedral of St. Martin's at Tours, and died there
about 1513. A considerable quantity of his music has been preserved. It
is notable chiefly for its technical skill; and during his life Okeghem
was the most famous teacher of his day. His most noted pupil was Antoine
Brumel (1460-1520), whose personal history is lost, though many of his
masses and motets are preserved. Jacob Hobrecht (1430-) achieved great
celebrity. Eight of his masses are extant. As I have said in another
account of the Netherlands school, "It is the prevailing influence of
one or two masters in each period that marks its extent. Its character
was formed by that influence, and salient features of the style of each
period may be fairly distinguished. The first period was marked by the
extreme development of the 'canon.'" I have already endeavored to
explain the nature of canonic writing. If the reader will bear in mind
that it is the most rigid form of imitation, requiring the original
melody to be imitated throughout in the subsidiary parts, he will not go
astray. Okeghem and his contemporaries completely explored the resources
of canonic writing. They invented all kinds of canons. They originated
the 'crab' canon, in which the part sung by the second voice was the
first voice part written backwards. Here is an example taken from a
text-book by Dr. Bridge:--

  'CRAB' CANON, OR CANON RECTE ET RETRO.

  [Music: _Begin at either end; play either forward or backward._]

You can sing or play this through forward and then backward, and its
counterpoint remains correct. They had also the inverted canon, in which
the second part consisted of the first part turned upside down. The
canon by augmentation makes the melody appear in a subsidiary part in
notes longer than those in which it appeared in the principal part; and
the canon by diminution is formed on the opposite principle. These old
musical puzzle-workers had other forms far more complicated, and they
took great delight in writing "riddle" canons. In these only the subject
was given, with the motto, "Ex una, plures," meaning that the musician
must work out the other parts from the one; and then some hint as to the
manner of working them out would be given, as, "Ad medium referas,
pauses relinque priores." The working out of these riddle canons became
a mania with Okeghem and his immediate successors; and the result was
that they acquired an immense command over the technics of contrapuntal
writing. But "the highest praise that can be awarded to their works is
that they are profound in their scholarship, not without evidences of
taste in the selection of the formulas to be employed, and certainly
imbued with a good deal of the dignity which would inevitably result
from a skilful contrapuntal treatment of the church chant." It is,
however, of singular significance in the history of this period that
some of the works of both Hobrecht and Brumel show a tendency toward
some conception of chord harmonies. Here is an example, which looks
modern:--

  BEGINNING OF A MOTET BY BRUMEL.
  (From Naumann's "History of Music.")

  [Music: O Do-mi-ne Je-su Christ . . . . . e.]

On the whole, however, the first period of the Netherlands school was
characterized by a devotion to the mechanics of music. The second period
was illuminated and dominated by the famous Josquin des Prés, whose
music is still heard at times, and is still ravishing to the ear.
Josquin was born at Condé in or about 1450, and was a pupil of Okeghem.
He was a singer in the Sistine Chapel at Rome, and on the death of
Sixtus IV., in 1484, went to the court of Hercules d'Est, Duke of
Ferrara. He was afterward a short time in the service of Louis XII. of
France, and finally of Maximilian I., Emperor of the Netherlands, who
made him provost of the Cathedral of Condé. In that town he died, on
August 27, 1521. A large number of his works exists. There are in print
nineteen masses, fifty secular pieces, and over one hundred and fifty
motets. Josquin is the first genius in the development of music who had
sufficient musical material already formulated to enable him to write
freely. His works are notable for their elegance of style, and for the
firm mastery of the difficult counterpoint of his time. Martin Luther,
noting how he moulded seemingly inflexible material to his purpose,
said, "Josquin is a master of the notes; they have to do as he wills;
other composers must do as the notes will." Baini, the biographer of
Palestrina, in describing the immense popularity of Josquin's
compositions, says that there was "only Josquin in Italy, only Josquin
in France, only Josquin in Germany; in Flanders, in Bohemia, in
Hungary, in Spain, only Josquin." In its technical aspect Josquin's
music presents for consideration no special feature, except that he
wrote always in more than two parts. His music is notable chiefly for
its pure beauty, and he was the first composer to make a determined
effort to secure that. He was able to do this because his predecessors
had so fully developed the technics of polyphonic writing. Josquin,
however, was not without grave faults. He continued the practice of
using secular airs in the mass, and wrote a mass on "L'Omme Armée." He
also had the bad taste twice to set to music the genealogy of Christ, a
mere catalogue of names.

The third period was very rich in masters of ability. Of Gombert little
is known save that he was a pupil of Josquin. Adrian Willaert, the most
brilliant light of his period, was born at Bruges in 1480, and was a
pupil of either Josquin or Jean Mouton. After many changes he settled in
Venice, where on Dec. 12, 1527, the doge, Andrea Gritti, appointed him
chapel master of St. Mark's. He carried the teachings of the Netherlands
school into Italy, became the head of a great music school, was the
teacher of many noted organists, and had a profound and wide influence
on musical art. Claude Goudimel was born in 1510, founded a music school
in Rome, and was the teacher of the great Palestrina. He subsequently
went to Paris, became a Protestant, and was killed in the massacre on
St. Bartholomew's eve, Aug. 24, 1572. Cyprian di Rore was born in
Brabant in 1516, and succeeded Willaert as chapel master of St. Mark's
in Venice. He died in 1565. Clement Jannequin was a native of Flanders.
Little is known of his life, but some of his compositions are extant.
Willaert's work must first claim our attention. Finding two organs in
St. Mark's he introduced antiphonal writing into the music of his time.
He wrote some of his grand works for two choruses of four parts each, so
that each chorus could answer the other across the church. He paid much
less attention to rigid canonic style than his predecessors had done,
because it was not suited to the kind of music which he felt was fitting
for his church. He sought for grand, broad mass effects, which he
learned could be obtained only by the employment of frequent passages in
chords. So he began trying to write his counterpoint in such a way that
the voice parts should often come together in successions of chords. In
order to do this he was compelled to adopt the kind of chord formations
still in use and the fundamental chord relations of modern music,--the
tonic, dominant, and subdominant. The tonic is the chord of the key in
which one is writing; the subdominant is that of the fourth note of the
scale of that key; and the dominant that of the fifth, thus:--

  [Music: Tonic. Subdominant. Dominant. Tonic.]

This is the succession of chords which children strum when they try to
play accompaniments on the piano. It is the simplest progression of
harmony we have, and lies at the basis of all our common tunes. It is
called diatonic harmony because it is formed of chords on the whole
tones of the scale, in contradistinction to chromatic harmony, founded
on the chords of the semitones. It is necessary to speak of chromatic
harmony here, because Cyprian di Rore made a special study of it, and
his "Chromatic Madrigals," published in 1544, had a great influence upon
the progress of music. The old church scales were essentially diatonic,
and chromatic harmonies were not practicable in music written in those
scales. Di Rore's madrigals were influential in showing composers how
they could write more flexibly and more beautifully by breaking the
shackles of the old Gregorian scales. Still, most of the music of that
time continued to be essentially diatonic, for the composers had just
begun to explore the possibilities of chord modulation. These
possibilities do not seem to have been exhausted even by the music of
Wagner.

The development of secular music at this time was remarkable. The
scientific composers began to make a practice of writing music to be
used outside of the church. They wrote madrigals and other part-songs of
real merit, and in them they made attempts at expression. Of course
these first attempts were purely imitative. The composers tried to
imitate natural sounds and movements in music. Gombert wrote a clever
and humorous "Bird Cantata." Jannequin, in his "Cris de Paris," tried to
paint the street life of the French capital, while his "Le Bataille" is
a military picture in music. These remarkable descriptive pieces were
written for four voices, unaccompanied, and in polyphonic style. After
trying to tell some kind of a story in secular music they tried it in
religious music. One of Willaert's motets, at any rate, tells the story
of Susannah, and is plainly a forerunner of the oratorio. We have seen
now how the first period of the Netherlands school brought contrapuntal
technics to a high state of development, how the second period produced
a genius and a desire for pure beauty, and how the third period
introduced a broader, simpler, and more imposing style into church music
and made definite attempts at expression. We now come to the fourth
period, which was destined to bring ecclesiastical counterpoint to its
perfection. This period also produced a master of splendid genius, whose
works live yet and ought to live as long as there is a place in the
Roman Church for pure and lofty music. This man was Roland Delattre,
usually known by the Italian form of his name, Orlando Lasso, or di
Lasso.

Lasso was born in Mons, between 1520 and 1530. He studied at home, at
Milan, Naples, and Rome, and at an early age became chapel master of the
Church of St. John Lateran. In 1557 he went to Munich as director of the
ducal choir. There he passed most of the remainder of his life, dying
there on June 14, 1594. He was a contemporary of the great Palestrina,
whose fame his far outshone. Lasso was celebrated all over Europe, was
employed and honored by monarchs, and was called the "Prince of Music."
He was one of the most prolific composers that ever lived. He is said to
have written 2,500 works. Many of his compositions are in print to-day,
and his quaintly beautiful madrigal, "Matona, mia cara," is often heard
in concert. Other composers of this period were Jan Peters Swelinck,
pupil of Cyprian di Rore, born at Deventer, 1540, died at Amsterdam,
1621, and Philip de Monte (1521-). Their work was by no means without
merit, but it was overshadowed by that of their great contemporary.

Lasso was a complete master of the counterpoint of his time, but he
aimed at making it a vehicle of expression for religious feeling, and
succeeded. He adapted his style to his purposes. Sometimes he wrote pure
hymn-tunes in four-part chords, much like our modern hymns. If he was
writing for grand and imposing effects, he could handle the most
complicated polyphony with ease. He wrote works for two and three
choirs, and other works for only two voices. His famous "Penitential
Psalms" are for two voices, and are marvellously beautiful and pathetic.
Yet some of Lasso's music is as old-fashioned and stiff as Okeghem's.
Again he becomes almost modern in his employment of chromatics. But
there is one notable feature of Lasso's work: it contains no parade of
contrapuntal difficulties for their own sake. On the contrary, it is
admirable for the skill with which it conceals its own mechanical
ingenuity and presents an appearance of spontaneity and fluency. It
abounds in the highest and purest expression of religious feeling, and
it is always beautiful as music per se. In fine we always know, when
listening to the works of Lasso, that we are in the presence of a
genius.

We have now reached the period at which Italy became the home of modern
music. Willaert and Di Rore in Venice, Goudimel and Lasso in Rome sowed
seed which was to produce beautiful fruit. At the same time influences
were at work which introduced a simpler style into music and which made
it an art more popular with the masses. One of these influences was the
music of those very masses. The popular songs of the day had, as we have
seen, long ago forced themselves upon the attention of the artistic
composers. The time was now approaching when those composers turned to
the popular music for suggestions as to the future development of their
art. Before entering upon an account of the birth of a new style in
music, the reader must go back with me and take a rapid view of the
growth of the folk-song.

  FIRST STANZA OF "MATONA MIA CARA."
    ORLANDO LASSO.

  [Music: SOPRANO, ALTO, TENOR, BASS.]

  Stanza:
  Ma-to-na mi-a ca-ra
  Mi fol-le-re can-zon
  Ma-to-na mi-a ca-ra
  Mi-fol-le-re can-zon
  Can-tar sot-to fi-nes-tra
  Lant-ze bu-on com-pag-non
  Don, don, don,
    di-ri di-ri
    don, don, don, don;
  Don, don, don,
    di-ri di-ri
    don, don, don, don.



Chapter V

Progress of Popular Music

    Troubadours, jongleurs, minnesingers, and
    meistersingers--Wagner's "Tannhäuser" and "Die Meistersinger"
    as historical pictures--The German volkslied--The musical
    guilds--The waits and the minstrels.


We saw that as far back as Dufay's time composers began to introduce
secular melodies into the mass. This was an evidence that the
ecclesiastical composers had been forced to make attempts to popularize
their works by a rude adoption of the melodies of the people. The
question, therefore, naturally arises: Who were the composers of the
secular music? Of course that is a question that cannot be answered very
definitely, but we do know who were the secular musicians of the time,
and we know that they were nearer the fundamental principles of modern
music than the churchmen were. The enormous mass of ecclesiastical music
produced in the middle ages was fit only for the worship of cathedrals.
It could never have been made to utter the notes of human passion, and
until some other style was found, the modern symphony, song, and opera
must have remained impossible. Church counterpoint survives to-day only
in church music and in the German fugue, a form of music which is
conspicuous for its intellectual rather than its emotional qualities.
The early secular musicians had no science at all, and very little art.
Their music was, therefore, simple and unpretentious, but it contained
the germs of our modern art forms, and it was bound in time to force its
way into the studies of the fathers.

The secular musicians of the early time were wanderers on the face of
Europe. They were the troubadours, jongleurs, minnesingers,
meistersingers, and minstrels.

The whole race of strolling musicians in the middle ages almost
certainly descended from the Roman comedians who were driven out of the
seven-hilled city when Alaric swept down upon it with fire and the
sword. They wandered into foreign lands to sing and pipe before the
Frankish chiefs, now their lords and masters. In the earliest days they
were simple vagabonds, whom the law did not allow redress for bodily
injury wantonly inflicted. In the latter half of the twelfth and the
early part of the thirteenth centuries these strolling musicians began
to be employed in the mysteries and miracle plays, and thus gradually
arose in the public estimation. Even before that time they had begun to
be taken into the service of the knightly troubadours and minnesingers
as accompanists, their French title being jongleurs.

Subsequently it became their business to go about singing the songs of
their masters, in short, to become their publishers. The troubadours
themselves were nobles, originally those of southeastern France. They
got their first inspiration from the folk songs, but their own songs
were distinguished by refinement and improved melody. These knightly
singers existed simultaneously with the jongleurs, who sang and played
for money. The most celebrated troubadours were King Thibaut, of Navarre
(1201-1253), and Adam de la Halle (1240-1286). It is a notable and
significant fact that the songs of the troubadours, like most of the
folk songs, ignored the church modes and moved in the modern major and
minor keys.

The last of the German minnesingers, Heinrich von Meissen, died in 1318,
but the celebrated Confrèrie de St. Julien des Ménestriers, of Paris,
lasted at any rate till 1741, for it is recorded that in that year Louis
XV. made Jean Pierre Guignon "le Roy des Violons." The songs of the
troubadours and wandering minstrels were the popular songs of the day of
Columbus, and in Spain the troubadours still survived. The character of
the music sung by these persons is well described by Fanny Raymond
Ritter in her "Essay on the Troubadours." She says:--

    "The merit of the troubadours in furthering the progress of
    music as an art was that they liberated melody from the fetters
    of calculation, gave it the stamp of individuality, and bore it
    on the wings of fancy into the domains of sentiment. They had
    the further merit of introducing new and peculiar changes of
    time, which, apparently irregular, were really forcible,
    symmetrical, and original. It is also more than probable that
    the troubadours received new ideas in regard to melody from the
    East; as they found among the Arabs not only a different system
    of tones, but many fanciful vocal ornaments then unknown in
    Europe, and which they introduced in their own songs on their
    return from the Crusades. But as harmony was in that day yet
    undeveloped, the flowing vine of melody received little support
    from it, and therefore often appears weak. The rules of
    composition were then highly complicated and ill classified, yet
    they were well understood by the best educated troubadours; and
    though their earlier songs were stiff, closely resembling the
    Gregorian chant in form and style, in some of the latter ones we
    find graceful melodies that leave little to be desired, and that
    possess more real variety and individuality of character than do
    the words attached to them."

It is not a far cry from France to Germany across the Rhine, and the
chanson of the troubadour soon found its counterpart in the minnesong of
the fatherland. The era of the minnesinger has been divided into three
periods. The first, whose beginning is not definitely fixed, ended near
the close of the twelfth century. The second period comprised the last
decade of the twelfth century and the first half of the thirteenth. It
was the golden age of the minnesong, the age of Wagner's "Tannhäuser"
and the great Sängerkrieg at the Wartburg Castle, the age of the
Landgrave Hermann, Wolfram von Eschenbach, and Walther von der
Vogelweide. This time has been made alive for us by the genius of
Wagner, whose contest in "Tannhäuser" introduces the actual personages
of the real story. The third period was that of decline. The fourteenth
century saw the gradual decrease of feudal power, and the burghers and
artisans dared to do what had hitherto been reserved for their lordly
masters. Thus the minnesong was supplanted by the meistersong, and the
meistersinger became the musical lawgiver of Germany.

The songs of the meistersingers were somewhat stiff and formal, yet not
lacking in melody, as that used by Wagner as the theme of his march goes
to show. Perhaps no better description of a meistersong could be given
here than that sung by "Kothner" in expounding the "Leges Tabulaturæ" to
"Walther von Stolzing":--

    Each mastersinger-created stave
    Its regular measurement must have,
    By sundry regulations stated
    And never violated.
    What we call a section is two stanzas;
    For each the self-same melody answers:
    A stanza several lines doth blend,
    And each line with a rhyme must end.
    Then come we to the "After Song,"
    Which must be also some lines long,
    And have its especial melody,
    Which from the other diff'rent must be.
    So staves and sections of such measure
    A mastersong may have at pleasure.
    He who a new song can outpour
    Which in four syllables--not more--
    Another strain doth plagiarize,
    He may obtain the master prize.

In Germany, too, flourished the folk song. Who wrote the old volkslieder
no one knows, but many of them have been preserved to us. The "Limburg
Chronicle" contains a number in use between 1347 and 1380, and the
"Locheimer Liederbuch" is a collection dated 1452. H. de Zeelandia, in
his "Lehrcompendium," gives many in vogue in the first half of the
fifteenth century. The essential features of the volkslieder are
clearness and symmetry of melody and firmness of rhythm. The early ones
also display a constant tendency to escape from the fetters of the
ecclesiastical modes. In fact to them is due the final development of
modern tonality.

The German church music of the time, from which developed the chorale,
was founded on the volkslied. The familiar example of "Isbruck, ich muss
dich lassen," set in four parts by Heinrich Isaak in 1475, and adapted
after the Reformation by Dr. Hesse as "O Welt, ich muss dich lassen,"
was but the continuation of the practice of Heinrich von Laufenberg, who
in the fifteenth century set sacred words to secular tunes continually.
This brief review of the state of music in Germany in the time of the
Netherlands school shows us that the volkslied and the meistersong were
the ruling powers, and that there was as yet no foreshadowing of the
mighty art which has since developed in the land of the Teutons.

In these days existed also the musical guilds which were the forerunners
of the continental town orchestras. As far back as the thirteenth
century the strolling musicians began to gather in towns, and there they
formed societies for the protection of their common interests. Some of
them became town pipers, and in the fifteenth century some were made
town and corporation trumpeters. One result of the work of the guilds at
this time was that musicians began to acquire some of the rights of
citizenship. The guilds were accustomed to place themselves under the
patronage of some noble, who selected from the guild a "piper king." It
was his business to see that "no player, whether he be piper, drummer,
fiddler, trumpeter, or performer on any instrument, be allowed to accept
engagements of any kind, whether in towns, villages, or hamlets, unless
he had previously enrolled himself a member of the guild." At irregular
intervals a court was assembled, consisting of a mayor, four masters,
twelve ordinary members, and a beadle, whose business it was to mete out
punishment to guild offenders. These guilds were simply the musical
protective unions of the day. Outside of the German nations, where these
guilds did not exist, the ordinary musician was a stroller, with hardly
any legal rights and no consideration. His occupation was regarded as
menial, and the servants of the knights treated him with contempt. The
jongleur who played the accompaniments for the troubadour, or even sang
his songs when the master had no voice, was regarded as a servant and
nothing more. The idea of any musician being entitled to the
consideration of an artist, except the great church composers, would
have been scouted.

In England the strolling musician was represented by the minstrel and
the waits, and his status was about the same as it was on the Continent.
In a somewhat better case were those who were under the protection of
some prince or noble. For instance, the children of the chapel ate in
the chapel hall with the yeomen of the vestry and were well cared for.
They were the young students of choir singing, instructed by a master of
song, who was appointed by the dean of the chapel. These children we
find as a part of the household establishment of Edward IV., who died in
1483.

The musicians of the Church were in much better circumstances. As far
back as the time of William the Conqueror we find that Hereford
Cathedral had endowments which included support for seven choristers. We
find similar endowments granted to St. Gregory's in 1363; to Wells in
1347; to the collegiate churches of Southwell, in Nottinghamshire; to
Beverley, in Yorkshire, and Westminster. At Oxford, New College had an
endowment for sixteen choristers, and Magdalen, All Souls', and St.
John's had similar funds. Nearer to Okeghem's day the famous Dick
Whittington, Lord Mayor of London, in 1424 founded an endowment for
choristers in the Church of St. Michael Royal, which he built.
Nevertheless, the first recorded case of a salaried organist is that of
Leonard Fitz Simon, organist of Trinity College, Oxford, about 1580, at
20s. per year.

Here are two examples of the popular music of the early times,--the
first a song by King Thibaut of Navarre, and the second the first part
of the old meistersong used by Wagner in "Die Meistersinger":--

  [Music: Thibaut Meistersong.]

  By THIBAUT OF NAVARRE.
  L'au trier per la ma-ti-née
    ent'r un bos et un ver-gier
  Une pas-to-re ai tro-vé-e
    chant-ant pour son en-voi-sier
    et di-sait un son pre-mier
    chi mi tient-li mais d'a-mour
  Tan-tost cel-le par-en-tor
  Ka je loi de frai-nier
    si li dis sans de-lai-er
  Belle, diex vous
    doint bon jour.

  [Music: Die Meistersinger.]

  Ge-ne-sis am
  neun und zwan-zig-sten
  uns be-richt wie Ja-cob floh
  vor sein bru-der E-sau
  ent-wicht.

The reader will note that in the first of these there is a clearly
marked rhythmic movement of the simplest kind. The tune is distinctly in
the modern key of G major, and it is not polyphonic. The second tune is
in F major and while its rhythm is not clearly indicated, it is plainly
not a polyphonic composition. The directness of this kind of music and
its suitability to the expression of simple feelings were bound to make
themselves felt sooner or later in music. We are now to examine into the
causes which led to the simplification of church music and forced
composers to turn their attention more and more to the music of the
people.



Chapter VI

The Simplification of Music

    Causes which led composers toward a less complex
    style--The Renaissance and the Reformation--The Council
    of Trent--Palestrina and his music--Last days of the
    Roman and Venetian schools--The English cathedral
    composers--Characteristics of the period.


It is hardly necessary to tell the reader that the methods employed in
writing church music prior to the dawn of the seventeenth century were
not always judicious. The use of secular tunes together with their texts
prevailed for more than two centuries, and led to great laxity in the
treatment of the liturgy. In the course of time too many composers came
to regard the words of the mass as mere pegs to hang tunes on, and the
tremendous complexity of the huge polyphonic works was such that the
words could not be distinguished. One part would be singing "gloria in
excelsis" while another was thundering "et in terra pax," and there was
such a jumble of words and music that, while it was all very imposing,
it was not comprehensible to the congregation. As long as the
congregation knew very little Latin, and less music, this condition did
not have serious effects; but the time had now come when the people
began to ask questions. It becomes our duty, then, to inquire what
influences led to reforms in church music. I shall first enumerate the
influences and afterward discuss them in detail.

    1. The revival of Greek learning in Italy after a lapse of seven
    hundred years.

    2. The invention of printing.

    3. The Renaissance.

    4. Popular music.

    5. The diffusion of musical learning among the people.

    6. The Lutheran choral hymn and congregational singing.

In 1453 the Turks, under Mohammed II., slew Constantine, last of the
Roman emperors, and overthrew Rome's eastern empire, whose capital was
Constantinople. The Christian scholars of Turkey fled toward the home
capital of their fallen empire, and took up their residence in Italy.
These scholars were all masters of the Greek tongue, and they awakened a
new interest in it and its literature. The field had been untouched for
about seven centuries, and the whole treasury of Greek history, oratory,
and poetry was reopened to the Italian mind. Its effects were wide and
general. One of them was to lead to the study of the New Testament in
the original tongue, and this study very speedily demonstrated the
unworthiness of the Latin Vulgate used by the Church. Any blow at Latin
was a blow at the authority of Rome. The whole Italian system of worship
had been built upon the Vulgate, which was in the language authorized in
the Roman Church throughout western Europe, and used as the sole means
of intercommunication between its branches in various nations. Doctrines
and edicts alike proceeded from Rome in the ancient language of the
city, and to throw discredit upon the veracity of that tongue in the
Vulgate was to subject it to general doubt and suspicion. Such doubt did
certainly spread among the people, who began to demand a clearer
comprehension of the liturgy. To this end they desired a less complex
setting of the musical part of the church service.

This demand was powerfully backed by the introduction of printing in
1444. This introduction resulted in lowering the price of books, and a
plentiful supply of cheap reading attracted readers. Hence the mass of
the Roman Catholic laity became readers as well as listeners. The whole
system of worship had been based on the existence of a non-reading
public. But now the age of popular inquiry began, and it became
necessary for church music to abandon its complexity and address itself
to meet the demands of awakening intelligence.

The dawn of the Renaissance in art was caused by the revival of Greek
learning, which reintroduced Greek models. The enormous effect of a new
contemplation by the Italian mind of Doric architecture and Greek
sculpture can hardly be comprehended by us to whom these things are so
familiar. The force and beauty of simplicity were brought home to the
people by the very examples which awoke in them a desire for imaginative
life and personal expression. The Renaissance led to a clearer,
stronger, more eloquent style in all art, and in time it was bound to
make itself felt in music. The fact that Leonardo da Vinci worked before
Josquin des Prés proves nothing except that music was behind the other
arts in the development of her technic, and had to work out her own laws
of existence before she could feel the influence of reformatory thought.

The popular music of the time naturally appealed to composers as their
feeling for distinctly outlined form increased, and this feeling was
directly influenced by the artistic teachings of the Renaissance. As art
remodelled itself on Greek patterns, and architecture found in the Doric
lines a relief to the endless details of the Gothic, so music inclined
toward the simple contours of the song-forms. The elementary attraction
of pure rhythm grew in potency as composers realized more clearly that
it was one of the fundamental components of music; and with a
recognition of this fact came that of the deeper significance of chord
harmony. The folk-song itself had always clung to the major and minor
scales, and had not often employed the purely ecclesiastical modes. The
mode known as the Ionic--the old Greek Lydian mode, condemned by the
ancients as lascivious--was nothing more nor less than our major scale
of G, and as such the church composers knew it. Its possibilities made
themselves more and more clear as the artistic musicians of the day
studied the popular tunes, and so in time it came to its true seat of
honor in music.

A knowledge of music had begun to spread among the people. Not only did
the constant hearing of the noble masterpieces of their time tend to
cultivate their taste, but they began to practise music themselves.
Conservatories had been founded in Venice, Rome, and other cities, and
as far back as Willaert's day it was fashionable for young ladies of
good family to learn to play the monochord, one of the precursors of the
piano. The music written for the instrument was precisely like that for
the organ, polyphonic in style and learned in treatment. The study of
such music was naturally very difficult for beginners, and it became
necessary to supply them with something simpler.

The music of the Roman Church was brought into strong contrast with that
employed by Luther in his work of the Reformation. Luther insisted on
the exercise of individuality in worship. He held, contrary to the
Church, that every man had a right to study the Bible for himself. He
even gave communion to the laity. In direct line with such work was his
revival of congregational singing, which had been generally unpractised
since the days of Ambrose. The first Lutheran hymn-book was published in
1524. Luther employed many extant folk songs and caused new tunes like
them to be written. He is said to have written "A stronghold sure."
These Lutheran hymns were broad and simple chorals, like those of the
Protestant Church of to-day. The spread of their use among the
Protestant congregations of the time was an attraction toward that form
of worship which the authorities of the Roman Church could not ignore,
and hence the Catholic composers moved toward a simpler style.

The story of what followed the recognition of these influences by the
fathers of the Church has been very prettily told, but unfortunately it
has been of late discredited. The story is that two parties arose in the
Church, one of them demanding the abolition of all the extant church
music and a return to the plain chant of Gregory, and the other that the
music of the time be preserved, but its style simplified. The Council of
Trent (1562) discussed the matter, and in 1563 Pope Pius IX. appointed a
commission of eight cardinals to take measures of reform. Cardinals
Borromeo and Vitellozzi, appointed as a sub-committee, went to
Palestrina, whose music had already attracted attention, and asked him
to write a mass demonstrating that the church music of the time could be
preserved. He entered upon his task with such enthusiasm that he wrote
three masses, of which that called the Marcellus mass was performed with
enormous success.

This story has been proved to be a myth. The Council of Trent did pass a
resolution that a complete reform of church music was necessary, but the
demand was based, not on the character of the music, but on the fact
that it made the text of the liturgy unintelligible. The Council
furthermore issued a mandate to bishops to banish improper music from
their churches. This was, of course, aimed at the secular airs, or those
which resembled them. The mass of Marcellus was not written to order,
and there was nothing new in its style. The mass is simply a model of
all that was best in Palestrina's day. It embodied all that was noblest
in the polyphonic style developed by the Netherlands school. Its melody
is pure, sweet, and fluent, and its expressive capacity perfectly
adapted to the devotional spirit of the text. Palestrina's
contemporaries, such as Lasso, and some of his predecessors, wrote in
the same style. Lasso's "Penitential Psalms" are much simpler in style
than this mass. Its apparent simplicity lies in the fact that its
profound mastery of technical resources conceals its superb art. The
polyphonic writing is matchless in its evenness; every part is as good
as every other part. The harmonies are beautiful, yet there is
apparently no direct attempt to produce them. They seem just to happen.
But above all other qualities stands the innate power of expression in
this music. It is, as Ambros has hinted, as if the composer had brought
the angelic host to earth.

With Palestrina church polyphony reached its highest and its final
development. The search after simplicity led composers in a path
diverging widely from the old contrapuntal highway. New developments in
secular music were soon to come about, and still more powerfully to
influence church composition. The harvest and the glory of vocal
counterpoint had come, and thenceforth musical art was to develop
along new and hitherto unexpected lines. A few words should be written
here concerning the career of so great a man as Palestrina, who has been
universally accorded a seat among the Titans of music. His full name was
Giovanni Pierluigi Sante, and he was called Palestrina from the place of
his nativity. The date of his birth is uncertain, but it was probably
1514. The portrait of him in the pontifical chapel at Rome has an
inscription to the effect that he died in 1594, aged eighty. He was the
son of poor peasants and got his first musical instruction as a choir
singer. In 1540 he went to Rome and became a student in Claude
Goudimel's conservatory. At the age of thirty he published his first
compositions, and some of them are still heard in the Sistine Chapel
occasionally.[6.1] He had previously served a short period as organist and
choir master in his native town, and in 1548 he married. In 1551 he
succeeded Arcadelt as choir master of St. Peter's, Rome, and the Pope
made him one of the singers of the Papal Chapel. In 1571 he was made
chapel master of St. Peter's, and later, in conjunction with his younger
contemporary Nanini, he founded a music school in Rome. The influence of
this school was very great, and it kept the "Palestrina style" alive in
Europe for nearly a century. Palestrina died on Feb. 2, 1594, and the
Supreme Council of the Church had his body laid in the basilica of the
Vatican with the honors usually shown to a cardinal.

    [6.1] At the time of writing (October, 1897) Palestrina's works
    are not performed as often as they used to be in the Papal
    Chapel, and there is a determined movement on the part of some
    of the clergy for their restoration and a more frequent use of
    the Gregorian chant. The movement is a healthful one, and I
    wish it success.

Before leaving the subject of Palestrina, let me endeavor to make clear
to the reader wherein his style is so fine. Composers before him had
begun to aim at the simplification of church music. They sought to
accomplish their purpose by breaking the shackles of canonic law. The
canon had demanded the most exact imitation in the different
voice parts. The new style allowed the greatest freedom. The result was
that free polyphony took the place of rigid canon. Consequently,
composers were able to devote more attention to the development of
fluent, beautiful, and expressive melody. The merit of Palestrina's work
was that it carried this style to perfection. His compositions became
the models for succeeding composers, and indeed they remain to this day
unequalled as examples of pure church music. In Palestrina's music one
must note the absence of rhythmic effects, of modern tonality, and of
the note of passion. Palestrina paid little attention to folk-music, but
sought to attain simplicity of style by preserving the old church
scales, avoiding chromatic harmonies, and by generally preserving purity
and contemplative feeling. His writing is marvellous in its contrapuntal
skill, which makes the apparently independent melodies of the different
voice parts constantly combine in simple and lovely chords. The lack of
contrast in his music has often been quoted as a fault; but it was in
accordance with Palestrina's own theory that church music should always
be dignified, and should never contain anything exciting.

As we have now reached the period at which artistic music began to
develop in all its branches, it will be most convenient to narrate the
progress of Roman Catholic church music subsequent to Palestrina's time
before passing to other topics. The reader must bear in mind that this
music was still designed to be sung without accompaniment, in order that
the tone-quality of pure vocal sound might be untainted. When the organ
was first used it simply doubled the voice parts, and when independent
accompaniments began to be written they considerably altered the
character of church music. There were now two distinct schools of
Catholic composition,--that of Rome, and that of Venice. The former
followed the pure diatonic style of Palestrina; the latter was
influenced by the style of Willaert and the chromatic music of Di Rore.
The chief masters of the Roman school were Nanini, Vittoria, Anerio, and
Allegri. Giovanni Maria Nanini was born in 1540 and died in 1607. He was
a coworker with Palestrina, and was the teacher of many of the
succeeding composers. His "Hodie nobis coelorum Rex" is still sung at
Christmas in the Papal Chapel. Tommaso Ludovico da Vittoria was born
about 1540, and died about 1604. He is regarded as one of the greatest
of Palestrina's successors. A goodly number of his works has been
preserved. His Requiem, written for the funeral of the Empress Maria
(1603), is conceded to be his greatest production, and is one of the
most notable compositions of that period. "Technically considered, it is
a marvellous blending of old independent movement of parts with modern
dissonances and progressions. Spiritually considered, it is a wonderful
expression of poignant personal sorrow, chastened by religious
contemplation and devotion." The marks of change here are the use of the
dissonance and the expression of personal feeling. The dissonance in
music embraces all those harmonies which sound harsh to persons
accustomed only to elementary chords like the tonic, dominant, and
subdominant. They are used most freely in modern operatic music,
especially that of Wagner, and have always been employed to express
passion of some kind. Palestrina avoided them. Felice Anerio (1560-1630)
wrote many admirable masses. Gregorio Allegri (1586-1652) is best known
as the composer of very fine "Misere" now sung in Holy Week in the
Sistine Chapel. This work is regarded as equal to some of Palestrina's.

The Venetian school, after its earliest period produced two great
composers from one family. These were Andrea Gabrieli (1510-1586) and
his nephew Giovanni Gabrieli (1557-1613). The former followed Willaert's
plan of writing for antiphonal choruses, but he employed most frequently
three instead of two. The latter was more of an instrumental composer
than his uncle, and hence conceived the idea of writing instrumental
accompaniments. In his "Surrexit Christus" he used an orchestral
accompaniment of first and second violins, two cornets, and four
trombones. This work of Giovanni Gabrieli's fairly marks the termination
of the era of _a capella_ (unaccompanied) polyphonic church music. The
opera had been born, and so had the oratorio, and church music began to
borrow ideas from them. Giovanni Legrenzi (1625-1690) increased
Gabrieli's orchestra to nineteen violins, two violas, three viole da
gamba, four theorboes (lutes of large size), two cornets, one bassoon,
and three trombones. Antonio Lotti (1667-1740) was an opera writer as
well as a church composer, and he wrote masses full of passionate
feeling. His later works are full of passages in which the voices
alternate with the instruments and there are accompanied solos and
choruses. With Lotti, who used unaccompanied choruses occasionally,
we bid a final farewell to the great period of _a capella_ church
music, and enter upon the era in which music for the church was made
in the same way as other kinds. The masses of Mozart, Beethoven,
Cherubini, and other modern writers are all richly instrumented.

England had fairly kept pace with the Continent in her mastery of
polyphony, which so early produced the remarkable canon "Sumer is
icumen in." Thomas Tallys (born about 1520, died Nov. 23, 1585) was
one of the greatest of the English masters, and is regarded as the
father of English cathedral music. His works do not equal those of
his contemporaries in inspiration,--he was neither a Lasso nor a
Palestrina,--but he had a large command of polyphonic technic. One
of his notable works was a motet, entitled "Spem in alium non habui,"
written for eight choirs of five voices each, in antiphonal style.
His best known work, however, is a Litany and Responses. His pupil,
William Byrd (born about 1538, died July 4, 1623), wrote many
admirable church works notable for the majesty of their style. Orlando
Gibbons (died 1625, at the end of the Netherlands period) was the last
great light of the English school.

During the whole period of church counterpoint, which never lost the
radical elements of its character until after Legrenzi's day, music felt
the influence of the old chant and the early study of the canonic style.
In concluding the account of this period, I cannot do better than to
quote a few luminous sentences from the admirable "Evolution of the Art
of Music" by Dr. C. H. H. Parry: "Of definite principles of design
beyond this elementary device [the canon] these composers had but few.
Their treatment of musical figures and melodic material is singularly
vague. The familiar modern practice of using a definite subject [part of
a distinct tune] throughout a considerable portion of a movement, or at
certain definite points which have a structural importance, was hardly
employed at all. The voices, which entered one after another, naturally
commenced singing the same words to phrases of melody which resembled
each other. But composers' ideas of identity of subject matter were
singularly elastic, and even if the first half-dozen notes presented
similar contours in each voice part successively, the melodic forms soon
melted into something else, and from that point the movement wandered on
its devious way without further reference to its initial phrases." This
points to one of the fundamental differences between the music of the
polyphonic era and that of the monophonic, in which one voice or
instrumental part (as the treble of a piano) uttered a melody full of
periodical repetitions of the germinal tune-thought, and the other parts
supplied an accompaniment of chords. This style of composition was
developed first in the opera and afterward by instruments. It will be
more convenient to take up the progress of instrumental music first, and
at the outset let us review the evolution of the piano.



Chapter VII

The Evolution of the Piano

    Plucking and striking strings--The dulcimer--Invention of the
    keyboard--The clavichord and its action--Manner of playing
    the clavichord--The harpsichord family--Invention of hammer
    action--Claims of Cristofori--Modern improvements--Equal
    temperament.


The piano, like all our contemporaneous musical instruments, is the
result of a long development. Its fundamental principle is the setting
of a stretched string in vibration by a blow, the vibrations acting upon
the air so as to produce sound. A subsidiary principle (subsidiary
because common to all stringed instruments, such as violins, harps, or
guitars) is the shortening or lengthening of a string in order to obtain
a higher or a lower note. In the piano, the application of this
principle gives us a number of strings of different lengths. In the
violin we have only four strings, but the length of the vibrating part
is altered by pressing down the strings at different points with the
fingers of the left hand. Before the idea of setting strings in
vibration with a bow was conceived, they were plucked with the fingers,
as in the case of the harp and the guitar, and it is probable that this
is the oldest method of causing strings to sound. The Hebrew _kinnor_,
the first musical instrument mentioned in the Bible (called "harp,"
Genesis iv. 21), was either a lyre or a small harp, and, according to
Josephus, it was played with a plectrum, a small piece of ivory or
steel, used to pluck the strings. Egyptian pictures of great antiquity
show players using their fingers upon harp strings. At the same time the
Egyptians were well acquainted with the principle of dividing a string
by pressing upon it with the fingers of the left hand, as is proved by
their pictures of lute players.

But the use of a blow to set a string in vibration was also known in
very early times. The instrument called a dulcimer, which is always seen
now in Hungarian orchestras, is almost as old as the harp. It consists
of a number of strings stretched across a shallow box, which acts as a
resonator, and set in vibration by two little hammers in the hands of
the player. It was this instrument which suggested the hammer action,
and it is this action which makes the fundamental difference between the
piano and its immediate precursors. An instrument similar to the
dulcimer was the citole, the chief difference being that the strings
were plucked with the fingers. Add the principle of stopping the strings
with the fingers of the left hand, and the citole becomes the zither. In
Lydgate's "Reson and Sensualité" (circa 1430) "cytolys" are enumerated
among other instruments.

The first important step toward the evolution of the pianoforte was the
invention of the keyboard. The origin of this important part of the
instrument is uncertain. It is probable that it was first applied to the
organ. At any rate, it is said that a keyboard of sixteen keys was
attached to an organ built in the Cathedral of Magdeburg at the close of
the eleventh century, while most historians date the clavichord or the
clavicytherium two centuries later. It is possible, however, that some
sort of rude arrangement of keys was employed in the monochord, an
instrument used for measuring the scientific intervals between notes of
different pitch. It is said to have been invented by Pythagoras in the
sixth century before Christ. It consisted of an oblong box with one
string stretched across it, and a movable bridge for dividing (or
stopping) the string at different points. The continual shifting of the
bridge was very troublesome, and as early as the second century
(according to Claudius Ptolomæus and Aristides Quintilianus) there was
a four-stringed instrument called a helicon. It is surmised that the
famous teacher Guido d'Arezzo (born about 995) was the first to use the
monochord in teaching singing, and that he devised some kind of a
keyboard, because in one of his writings he advises his pupils "to
practise the hand in the use of the monochord."

The keyboard having been invented, whether for monochord or organ, its
application to stringed instruments of the dulcimer or citole family
naturally followed. It is impossible to tell whether the first action
was a plucking or a striking one, for there are no records, and it is
easily conceivable that both may have been used simultaneously in
different places. Guido's action is supposed to have consisted of a
straight lever with a bridge on the inner end. When the outer end, the
key, was struck the bridge arose, gave the string a blow which set it in
vibration, and remaining pressed against the string, divided it and
determined its pitch. This subsequently became the action of the German
clavichord. Another action consisted of a similar straight lever with a
piece of quill protruding from the inner end. When the outer end was
pressed down the inner end moved past the string and the quill plucked
it, causing it to vibrate. This became the action of the clavicytherium,
which some writers, without good ground, say was antecedent to the
clavichord, and subsequently of the Italian spinet, the harpsichord,
and the virginal.

The first mention of the clavichord and harpsichord is found in the
"Rules of the Minnesingers," by Eberhard Cersne, A. D. 1404. The
celebrated musical theorist, Jean de Muris, of the University of Paris,
writing in 1323, and enumerating musical instruments, mentions the
four-stringed monochord, but says nothing of the clavichord or
harpsichord. This gives reasonable ground for the inference that those
instruments were either not invented at that time or had so recently
appeared that they were not yet known in Paris, then the centre of
musical culture. We are quite safe in assuming that both instruments
date from the thirteenth century, and as they were the immediate
ancestors of the piano, we must give them especial attention. The famous
collection of Mr. Morris Steinert, of New Haven, contains examples in
good working order of all the different kinds of clavichords,
harpsichords, spinets, and early pianos, and it has been my privilege to
examine and play upon all these instruments, thus obtaining a singularly
effective object lesson in the history of the piano. The clavichord was
always built in oblong shape, like our square piano. The keyboard was
precisely like that now used, except that some builders made the
naturals black and the sharps and flats white. The principle of the
action remained that of the old monochord. The key was pivoted just
inside of the front board of the case, and consisted of a single
straight shaft of wood. On the inner end was a thin, slablike upright of
brass, called a "tangent." When the player struck the outer end of the
key, the tangent was driven upward against the string, causing it to
vibrate. The tangent also acted as a bridge, and divided the string into
two unequal parts, the longer of which gave out the tone. The shorter
section was prevented from sounding by a narrow band of cloth interlaced
with the strings at that end of the instrument. This band also acted as
a damper, and caused the whole string to cease vibrating the moment the
tangent was lowered. Clavichords made before 1725 (or about that year)
had fewer strings than keys. One string had to produce two and sometimes
three tones. This was accomplished by the use of the tangents, which
divided the string at different lengths, as the violinist does with the
fingers of his left hand. These instruments were known as "gebunden," or
bound.

About 1725 Daniel Faber of Crailsheim made instruments with one string
for each tone, and such clavichords were called "bundfrei" (bound free)
or "ungebunden" (unbound). In the latest clavichords each note had two
strings tuned in unison,--a contrivance which gained power at the
expense of some of the lovely expressiveness of the instrument.

The reader will understand that, as the clavichord string ceased
sounding as soon as the tangent was permitted to drop by lifting the
finger from the key, the method of playing it was different from that
employed for the piano. A hard blow was of no use; it only twanged the
string disagreeably. Pressure, with its direct communication of the
finger-touch to the string, was the secret of clavichord playing, and it
was this which made the instrument so beautifully responsive to the
thought of the performer. By forcing the pressure a little a sort of
_portamento_ effect could be obtained, and by causing the finger to
shake up and down on the pressed key one could get a faint and pathetic
tremolo from the vibrating string. This effect the Germans called
"bebung," and it was one of the most familiar graces of clavichord
playing. No one who has played upon a clavichord can fail to see how
thoroughly the instrument works its way into the confidence and love of
an artist, and there is no room for wonder that it was the intimate
friend of the great Bach.

It is difficult to arrive at satisfactory conclusions from the
statements of early writers in regard to instruments of the harpsichord
family. Scaliger, born in 1484, says that Simius, who lived in the last
period of Greek music, invented the Simicon. In this the tone was
produced by tangents, which were subsequently armed with crow quills to
pluck the strings. Adriano Banchieri, in his "Conclusioni nel suono
dell' organo" (Boulogne, 1608), said that the spinet, one form of
harpsichord, was invented by Giovanni Spinetti, and took its name from
him. Banchieri had seen such an instrument with the inscription,
"Joannes Spinetus Venetus fecit, A. D. 1503." But the fact that De Muris
enumerated the instruments of his time without naming the harpsichord or
any of its kindred, while Cersne distinctly mentioned it in 1404, shows
that it was certainly much older than either Spinetti or Scaliger.
Ottomarus Luscinius, a Benedictine monk, in his "Musurgia" (Strasburg,
1536), describes the virginal, a square instrument, of which the strings
were plucked by plectra. Marin Mersenne, born at Oise, in 1588, in his
"De Instrumentis Harmonicis," describes the clavicymbalum, which,
according to his figure, is the same instrument as the spinet of
Banchieri and the virginal of Luscinius.

There were, indeed, several varieties of shapes and many names for what
were essentially the same instrument. Some were square, some were
trapezoid, like our grand piano, and some were upright, but they all had
the same plectral action and produced the same kind of tone. It will be
readily understood that these instruments were incapable of gradations
of power. No matter how forcibly or how gently the key was pressed, the
elasticity of the plucking quill remained constant, and so produced just
the same amount of twang from the string. Wooden uprights, called jacks,
were placed at the inner ends of the key levers, where the tangents were
in clavichords, and the quills ran through them. In some instruments
pieces of hard leather were used instead of quills. Bach was acquainted
with the harpsichord, though he always preferred the clavichord. Handel,
Scarlatti, and Mozart were all great harpsichord performers. The
instrument held its favor among musicians for a considerable time after
the introduction of the piano, to which it finally had to yield the
supremacy.

The first famous harpsichord builder was Johannes Baffo, Venice, 1574,
but the most celebrated makers were: Hans Ruckers, Antwerp, 1575;
Andreas Ruckers, his son, 1614, Tschudi and Kirkman, the English
builders of Handel's day. Kirkman built harpsichords with two banks of
keys and several sets of strings, which were controlled by stops similar
to those of an organ. This was an attempt to overcome the dynamic
monotony of the instrument, but I can testify from careful trial of the
fine Kirkman harpsichords in the Steinert collection that the attempt
was not a brilliant success. You can get an approximate idea of the
sound of a harpsichord by plucking the strings of a modern piano with
the plectrum of a mandolin, or with a common quill toothpick.

The invention which overthrew the clavichord and the harpsichord and
brought into existence the piano was the hammer action. For years the
problem of applying the keyboard to the principle of the dulcimer,
already explained, had occupied the minds of instrument builders. The
solution was the work of Bartolomeo Cristofori, born at Padua, May 4,
1653, and it was made public in 1711. Two others claimed the honor:
Gottfried Silbermann and Christopher G. Schröter. In 1726 Silbermann
made two pianos and showed them to Bach, who condemned them because of
their heavy touch and the weakness of their trebles. Silbermann was
discouraged, but according to Agricola, a contemporary writer, he worked
at improvements upon his instruments, and sold one of them to Frederick
the Great, in whose music room it stood till 1880. It was then examined
by Bechstein, the leading German piano maker of to-day, who found that
it contained the Cristofori action. The priority of Cristofori's claims
is established by an article written by Scipione Maffei and printed in
the "Giornale dei Litterati d'Italia," in 1711, with a diagram of the
inventor's hammer action. A translation of Maffei's article will be
found in Rimbault's "The Pianoforte." (London, 1860.) It was also
published in German in Matheson's "Musikalische Kritik," in Hamburg,
1725, so that the contemporaries of Silbermann and Schröter ought to
have known of Cristofori's work. Indeed, Schröter's claim was made by
himself in a letter written in 1738, which appears to have been evoked
by irritation at Cristofori's glory.

It should be noted here that in the letters of an instrument maker named
Paliarino, written in 1598, the instrument "piano e forte" is twice
mentioned. It has been conjectured, and probably rightly, that this was
a harpsichord with contrivances for loud and soft effects, for it is
unlikely that even a rude hammer action could have been in existence
more than a century before Cristofori's invention. It is, however,
probable that some attempts were made before his, for his was altogether
too satisfactory to have been anything but the result of a development.
Nevertheless it was the first hammer action of permanent value, and its
essential principles are employed in the finest actions of to-day.
Therefore Cristofori fairly deserves the honor of inventing the piano.
The instrument, however, did not gain great favor in Italy, owing to the
inability of the harpsichord players to acquire the right touch, and it
soon fell into disuse. Silbermann, however, following the details of
Maffei's letter before-mentioned, built pianos, and other German makers,
notably Friederici of Gera, who is said to have made the first square
piano, followed his lead. At least as early as 1766 Johannes Zumpe built
square pianos in England.

It would fill a volume to narrate the history of the successive steps in
the development of the piano since the days of Zumpe. It is possible,
however, to point out a few of the important steps. The famous maker,
John Andrew Stein, Augsburg, was a pupil of Silbermann, and was born in
1728. He left a son, Andrew, also a maker, and a daughter, Nanette, who
became Mrs. Streicher, and was the head of a great piano house in
Vienna. The elder Stein's pianos were admired by Mozart, while Nanette
Streicher's pianos were used by Beethoven. Before the time of the elder
Stein the forte and piano effects, which gave the instrument its name,
and which were then as now, produced by the action of the dampers, were
obtained by operating "two iron springs, ornamented with copper knobs,
in that part of the chest nearest the bass. In order to move these
springs it was necessary that the player should use his left hand, and
consequently he was obliged for a moment to quit the keyboard. Stein
improved these springs by making them act by means of knobs placed
against the knees." The modern pedals are first found in John
Broadwood's patent of 1783. The pedals have been much improved since
that time, and have played a very conspicuous part in the development of
piano playing and of piano music. The "loud" pedal, as it is commonly
called, is less used by pianists to gain force than to prolong sound,
which before its invention could only be done by keeping the keys
pressed down. With the dampers raised by the "loud" pedal, the strings
struck continue to vibrate, while the fingers are free to go on striking
other keys. This enables pianists to do far more than they could in
early times in the way of producing sustained tones and modulations of
harmony, and hence composers for the instrument are able to write
passages which would formerly have been impossible.

Double, and even triple, stringing had been introduced in clavichords,
and was continued in pianos. The elder Stein invented the shifting of
the keyboard which causes the hammer to strike only one string instead
of three. This contrivance is used by some of the best makers of the
present day. Stein also improved the "escapement," the arrangement by
which the hammer falls back the instant it has struck the string, and
this, with other features of the action, was further developed by
Streicher, so that the Viennese pianos became famous for the extreme
lightness of their touch, and music written by composers in that part of
the world was designed to meet this quality. The English pianos,
meanwhile, were built with heavier strings and a deeper fall of the
hammer, so that greater sonority was attainable, and composers wrote for
them bold passages in successions of heavy chords, which would have gone
for nothing on a Viennese piano. At the very outset Cristofori had to
shift the pins to which the wires were attached, from the soundboard,
which would not stand the strain, to a separate rail. It became
necessary to brace the whole interior with steel arches, of whose
inventor there is no record, but Broadwood was the first to introduce
the method now employed. Sebastien Érard, a celebrated French maker,
introduced many improvements in the action and devised what was called
then the "celeste" pedal, by which the hammers struck a strip of leather
interposed between them and the strings. The leather is now replaced by
felt. The iron frame, now replaced by steel and found in all fine
pianos, was invented by Alpheus Babcock of Boston in 1825. Frederick W.
C. Bechstein, of Berlin, in 1855 combined iron frames and the powerful
English action in his instruments, and took a commanding position. The
upright piano was patented Feb. 12, 1800, by John Isaac Hawkins of
Philadelphia. Subsequent developments in the piano have been of too wide
a range to be mentioned in the space at my command, and at any rate have
all been in the nature of improvements,--highly important, indeed, but
without radical departure from the fundamental features of the
instruments.

A few words, however, must be said on the subject of equal temperament.
Previous to the time of Bach and Jean Philippe Rameau, the scale of the
piano was arranged according to the laws of acoustics. It is impossible
to enter into this fully, but the result was that a piano could not be
tuned to play in all the twenty-four keys. This is difficult to explain,
but I shall endeavor to make it clear. The pitch of a tone is determined
by the number of vibrations it makes in a second, and it follows that
there must be a regular ratio of increase in the number of vibrations of
the notes of a scale as we proceed upward. This establishes the
scientific basis of the scale. Now, any one who is at all acquainted
with the piano knows that the same black key is struck to produce either
C sharp or D flat. But this has been true only since Bach's day.
Previous to that time instruments were timed according to the scientific
laws, and by these we find that the C of the third octave has 256
vibrations, the C sharp 266.66, and the D flat 276.48. Thus D flat is a
higher note than C sharp, and scientifically requires a differently
tuned string and a separate key. The same trouble confronts us with most
other notes, so that "theory requires no less than seventy-two keys to
the octave in order that the musician may have complete command over all
the keys employed in modern music."

In order to reduce the octave to twelve semi-tones with twelve keys and
to make the sharps and flats agree, as they do now, the system of equal
temperament deliberately puts out of tune every interval except the
octave. By slightly lowering some and raising others, the present scale
was obtained. Its advantage is that it makes it practicable to play in
all twenty-four keys, and because of the identity of the sharps and
flats it becomes easy to modulate from one key to another. For instance,
C sharp, which is the distinguishing note of the scale of D major, is
also D flat, and thus it becomes easy to modulate from D to D flat,
which leads to G flat, a very remote key. This gives the modern composer
immense freedom of style, and adds greatly to the key complexity of
music, whereas, before the adoption of the system of equal temperament,
composers had to confine themselves to a few closely related keys.

Who invented the system of equal temperament, no one knows. It is
mentioned in the "Harmonic Universelle" of Marin Mersenne, the French
writer before quoted, but it is quite certain that it was not
extensively employed before the time of Bach, who brought the system to
practical perfection, and demonstrated it in his "Well-Tempered
Clavichord," a set of twenty-four preludes and fugues going through all
the keys. The science of equal temperament was first set forth in a
satisfactory manner by Jean Philippe Rameau, the French opera composer,
in his "Traité de l'Harmonie," Paris, 1722.



Chapter VIII

The Evolution of Piano Playing

    Work of the organ schools of Venice and Rome--Polyphonic
    playing and the advent of the singing style--Scale playing
    and the use of the thumb--Bach's fingering and Mozart's vocal
    playing--Development of tone-color--Pedalling and variety of
    touch--Chopin, Schumann, and Liszt technics.


The origin of piano music, and, indeed, of much of the entire mass of
modern instrumental music, was the organ compositions of the early
masters. The early clavichords were used almost exclusively for the home
practice of organists; and even after it became fashionable for young
ladies to learn the art of playing, there was no difference whatever
between the style of music written for the organ and of that composed
for the clavichord, nor in the manner of playing either instrument.
Every musician knows that in our time the kind of touch used for the
organ is essentially different from that used for the piano, and that
music suitable for one instrument is not suitable for the other. But it
was not thus in the earliest days; for the only professional pianists
(or clavichordists, to be more precise) were the organists, and
instrumental music had not yet reached a state of development high
enough to produce a divergence of styles. The fact that the same
keyboard was used in both instruments was sufficient to suggest to the
early organists that one style of playing was practicable for both. It
naturally did not occur to them to write different sorts of music; and
it is necessary, therefore, for us to inquire what was the nature of the
early organ music.

We have already seen that when the organ was first introduced into the
church it was employed simply to play the same notes as the voices sang.
This practice naturally suggested to composers a style for their organ
music when they began to write for the organ independently of the
voices. Just when they began to do that it is not possible to say,
because the early compositions have not been preserved as the great
masterpieces of church counterpoint have. The first organist of repute
whose name has come down to us was Francesco Landini, of Venice. He
flourished about 1364. But we do not meet with any definite school of
organists in Venice until the third period of the Netherlands school,
when the great Adrian Willaert was the leading master. In 1547 was
published a collection of music entitled "Ricercari da cantare e
sonare," by Jacob Buus. These "ricercari" were compositions in the old
ecclesiastical keys and the polyphonic style. "Da cantare e sonare"
means that they were to be sung or played. Anything "cantata" was vocal,
anything "sonata" was instrumental; and so after a time they began to
call a composition for instruments alone a sonata, though it was a very
different sort of work from a sonata by Mozart. In 1549 fantasies for
three voices, vocal or instrumental, by Willaert were printed. Willaert
used original themes in his fantasies, and his style shows a gradual
approach to the modern manner. In 1551 was issued a collection by
various authors, entitled "A New Collection of Various Kinds of Dances
to be Played on the Harpsichord, Clavicimbal, Spinet, or Monochord." The
word "dances" is very significant, because it shows the first recorded
effort to write instrumental music in purely instrumental form. In this
collection there was no polyphony, but the melody of the dance was in
the treble, and the bass was a simple chord accompaniment. This is an
evidence of the manner in which the music of the people began at that
early date to influence compositions for instruments.

But the dominion of church counterpoint was not to be overthrown at
once; and so we find that the first clearly defined instrumental form
was the "toccata." Those of Claudio Merulo, a Venetian organist, printed
in 1598, were the first to be published. They were written for the
organ, and resembled Willaert's church vocal music in that they
consisted of running or polyphonic passages, followed by successions of
broad chords. Giovanni Gabrieli did more, perhaps, than any other of the
Venetians to lead instrumental music toward the modern style. He wrote
what he called "canzone;" and in these compositions the melody assumed a
position of importance. Furthermore, he showed a tendency to make his
melodic themes recur at regular intervals, although he had no
well-defined system. Still, he made important advances. The Roman school
of organists made valuable contributions to the development of
instrumental music. Girolamo Frescobaldi (1591-1640) wrote ricercari in
which there was something like a systematic employment of clear melodic
themes. He wrote canzone in which there were passages slightly
resembling the choral hymns of the Reformation; and in his "Capriccio
Chromatico" he made a bold use of chromatic harmonies. Indeed, his music
shows a general tendency toward the modern major and minor keys. We are
not surprised, then, to find in the works of Bernardo Pasquine
(1637-1710) arpeggios (running passages composed of the notes of chords,
much used in modern piano music), flowing passages for both hands, and
repetitions of the thematic ideas. But the manner of composing for the
clavichord and harpsichord had been so greatly influenced at this time
by the evolution of a distinct method of playing the instruments that we
must, before advancing any further, go back and briefly review that
topic.

The first systematic method of playing the organ and harpsichord was set
forth in 1593 in a book by Girolamo di Ruta, a Venetian, and it
contained rules for fingering which were in use for more than a century.
A work by Lorenzo Penna, published at Bologna in 1656, shows very
clearly what the general principles of clavichord and harpsichord
technic were in that day. "In ascending the fingers of the right hand
move one after the other,--first the middle, then the ring finger, again
the middle, and so on in alternation. Care must be taken that the
fingers do not strike against one another. In descending, the middle,
followed by the index finger, is used. The left hand simply reverses
this process. The rule for the position of the hands is that they shall
never lie lower than the fingers, but shall be held high, with the
fingers stretched out." This style of fingering held its own until
Bach's time. It was in existence as late as 1741, though more fingers
were employed. But the fingers were still held straight, and the thumb
was not used.

It is difficult to separate the purely musical and the purely technical
causes which led to the abandonment of the polyphonic style for the
monophonic in piano music, and for that reason I must state them
together. The first influence was the introduction of solo singing in
vocal music. We shall review the history of that when we take up opera.
It is sufficient at present to say that before 1600 all vocal music
written by the art composers was in the ecclesiastical polyphonic style,
and that the single-voiced song with accompaniment entered vocal music
at the end of the sixteenth century. The influence of this new element
made itself felt in instrumental music at once. We have noticed already
that in Giovanni Gabrieli's works the melody assumed a new importance,
and this importance constantly increased. The second cause was the full
establishment of the difference between piano and organ technic. This
was chiefly due to Domenico Scarlatti (1683-1757). It was in his day
that the system of equal temperament was made known, though it may be
doubted whether he lived long enough after its publication in those
times of slow communication to profit by it. But he certainly did profit
by the high state of excellence to which the manufacture of harpsichords
had advanced. And he was greatly influenced by the operatic works of his
father, Alessandro, in which the simple aria was the chief element of
attraction. Domenico naturally endeavored to imitate the general form
and melodic fluency of the aria in his sonatas, and in doing this he
developed a harpsichord style of much beauty. He introduced many
technical features which are purely modern, such as the execution of
runs in double notes (thirds and sixths), the rapid repetition of the
same note by striking it with different fingers in succession, and
running arpeggios with both hands in opposite directions. Such feats
were not called for by the polyphonic music, but the new style of
writing made a great use of passages built on the successive notes of
the scale, and to execute these a new manner of playing had to be
evolved. In evolving it the musicians discovered new feats, and these in
turn took their place in the compositions of the time.

In fact the development of the instrument itself affected the
development of the technics of playing, and these affected the evolution
of piano music. Then the music itself reacted on the technic, and this
made new demands of the instrument makers. We have seen that when the
early pianists set about the formulation of rules for playing their
instruments they made poor work of it. Their rules were arbitrary and
were not evolved from a study of the natural action of the hand. Smooth
running of scale passages with such rules as those of Lorenzo Penna
could be accomplished only at a very moderate pace. The old polyphonic
compositions for the clavichord and harpsichord demanded of the player a
technic which would enable him to bring out clearly the three or four
voice parts. The new style, which borrowed so much from vocal music,
naturally sought for a smooth, flowing, even performance, in which the
instrument should, as nearly as possible, sing like a solo voice with
accompaniment. Emmanuel Bach, who wrote an important book on clavichord
playing, proclaimed his belief that the singing style was the only true
one for the instrument. These early musicians had, indeed, arrived at
the heart of the matter, for the highest achievement of piano technic
to-day is the preservation of a pure singing tone throughout the
intricacies of modern music.

The discovery of the value of the thumb revolutionized clavichord and
harpsichord playing. George Frederick Handel (1685-1759) and François
Couperin (1668-1733) both made free use of the thumb, but it was Johann
Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) who systematized its employment. He decided
that the old position of the hand with the back flat and the fingers
stretched to their full extent was unnatural. He saw that the whole
strength of the fingers could not be brought to bear while they were in
this position, and that the thumb could not be placed upon the keyboard
at all. When he attempted to use his thumb, he had to raise the back of
his hand and bend his fingers, and this he saw at once placed the whole
hand in a position of command over the keyboard which it had never
before possessed. He therefore rearranged the fingering of all the
scales, introducing the system which still continues in use. Bach
himself discovered that with his new system of fingering he could play
polyphonic or monophonic music with equal ease, and hence we find that
his compositions abound in both kinds of writing. He himself, being a
church composer, naturally clung to the ecclesiastic style, and in his
great organ and piano fugues transferred the whole contrapuntal science
of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries to instrumental music. But we
shall see that better when we come to a consideration of the music apart
from the technic and the style.

The singing style of playing was further developed by the immortal
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791). The instrument on which he played
was the harpsichord, and the evenness of its tone encouraged his natural
predilection for a vocal style. Mozart was a master of writing for
singers, as is shown by his operas, and he readily saw his way to
preserving the vocal manner in his playing of the harpsichord and his
compositions for it. He held that a good pianist should have a perfect
legato style (legato means "bound," and legato style is that in which
the notes flow smoothly one into the other) a singing touch and a manner
without affectation. Mozart did not live long enough to benefit much
from the growing acquaintance with the newly invented piano, but one of
his contemporaries, who outlived him by more than two-score years did
so. This was Muzio Clementi (1752-1832), a man of no genius in
composition, but of exceptional capacity for the reception of
suggestions from his instrument. Clementi's mind appears to have been
largely occupied with the problem of the possibilities of the piano. Yet
he was not wholly devoted to the development of power and rapidity, for
after a memorable meeting with Mozart he cultivated the singing style
more assiduously than he had previously. He lived through a period of
vital growth in music, for he was a contemporary of Haydn, Mozart, Weber
and Beethoven. It would have been strange had he been insensible to the
productions of such an era. In his youth, and indeed through most of his
life he lived in England, and there he formed his early style on the
English piano, which had thick strings, a heavy touch and a deep hammer
fall. The result was that his music abounded in bold and brilliant
passages of octaves, thirds, and sixths. He aimed at a sonorous and
imposing musical diction, and he demanded of a pianist great physical
power. Clementi's piano technic was the first which was clearly
differentiated from that of the harpsichord and his "Gradus ad
Parnassum" (1817) a series of 100 studies, remains to this day the
foundation of solid piano playing. Many things have since been added to
piano technic, but Clementi's rules lie at the base of it.

The works of Beethoven, to which more extended attention will be given
hereafter, introduced nothing strictly new in the technic of piano
playing, but they did compel certain changes in style. Beethoven wrote
often in a new kind of polyphony, more free and striking than that of
the early composers for the clavichord and harpsichord, and very much
more difficult. This new polyphony was made practicable by the technics
of Clementi, but it required an attention on the part of the pianist to
the enunciation of the several voice parts not required by Clementi's
music. Again Beethoven displayed great originality in the treatment of
musical rhythms, and the proper accentuation of notes having unexpected
emphases required unusual independence of finger. This independence was
highly developed by Beethoven's successors, and at the present day is
absolutely indispensable to piano playing. But the most important demand
of Beethoven's piano music was dramatic style. His music, as we shall
see later, was the first outside of opera in which the expression of
passion was sought, and this expression required that the pianist should
have at his command a great range of force, from the gentlest pianissimo
to the most imposing fortissimo, and a wide variety of what is called
tone-color. This tone-color means quality of instrumental tone, and in a
piano it is capable of many changes, hard or soft, sweet or harsh,
melting or icy, as the necessities of the music require.

Beethoven, having departed by reason of the dramatic nature of his
music, from the continually smooth legato of Mozart, paved the way for
Weber, Chopin, Schumann, and Liszt to develop the highest powers of
expression in the piano. To do this they had to carry variety of touch
to its present state of progress and to evolve the modern use of the
pedals, for tone-color is produced by different combinations of touch
and pedalling. Weber imparted a new and joyous brilliancy to piano
music, and much of his music requires a luxuriant richness of color.
Beethoven had begun to make use of the pedals and in his last piano
sonatas explicit directions are given for their use. Weber's music
requires still more extended employment of them, but it was Chopin who
systematized their use and showed how to get varieties of tone-color by
employing them separately or in combination. Again, Chopin remodelled
the Bach system of fingering by adapting some of the early methods to
modern music. It is quite common now in certain kinds of passages to
pass the third finger over the little one of the right hand or the
little one under the third. Chopin wrote new kinds of passages of great
beauty which cannot be played without resorting to this expedient and to
others introduced by him.

Schumann added more to piano playing by writing in a very original
style. His rhythms are very much involved, he treats accompaniments in
an unusual manner, and he writes "interlocking" passages, in which both
hands have to participate. To play Schumann's music well, a pianist must
go through a special series of exercises to fit his hands for the work.
Finally Liszt, who felt that the piano was as capable an instrument as
the orchestra, if rightly treated, gave us the present development of
the varieties of touch. He wrote studies designed to give pianists the
most complete independence of finger,--a very necessary thing in modern
piano music, in which very often two fingers of one hand may be engaged
in enunciating a melody while the other three are assisting in the
accompaniment. Liszt showed us the immense value of the loose wrist,
without which the velvety quality of tone produced, when required, by
such pianists as himself, Rubinstein, and Paderewski, is quite
unattainable. Liszt taught his pupils to hold the wrist high, but more
recent players use either a high or a low position accordingly as they
desire sonority and brilliancy or mellowness and gentleness.

The whole development of piano playing has, of course, gone hand in hand
with that of piano music, and that has followed the course of music in
general. It becomes necessary, then, for us now to review the evolution
of piano music. We have seen how it grew out of organ playing and was at
first polyphonic. We have seen how the monophonic style--the melody with
accompaniment--came in. We must now try to see how the polyphonic style
worked itself out in the great compositions of Bach, and how the
monophonic style developed itself in a new and highly organized form,
the sonata, whose fundamental principles lie at the basis of all modern
composition.



Chapter IX

Climax of the Polyphonic Piano Style

    The development of the instrumental fugue--What is a
    fugue?--Its combination of polyphony with development of a
    theme--Johann Sebastian Bach and his organ and clavichord
    fugues--Fundamental traits of this music.


When instrumental music began to develop independently it naturally
followed the lines already followed by vocal music. That had been wholly
contrapuntal, and instrumental music was at first entirely polyphonic.
In its development the art of music inevitably fashioned certain forms,
for no art can exist without form, which is the external demonstration
of design. Without design there is no art. Musicians very soon learned
that the first principle of form in music was repetition. A phrase of
melody once heard and never repeated is quickly forgotten. A dozen
different phrases in succession would not make a recognizable tune. The
germinal part of the tune has to be heard often, and there must be a
beginning, a middle and an end. For example:--

  [Music: |--germinal part--|--middle--|--germinal part--|--end--| ]

Now this is a melody in the pure song form, such as the earliest popular
music contained. But the church composers, the only scientific musicians
of the early day, in ignoring that form, as we have seen, developed a
scheme of repetition of the identifying parts of their tunes by making
the different voices sing them at different times. And this scheme
evolved the art of polyphonic writing, which we have seen developed so
beautifully by the Netherlands masters and the early Italian church
composers. The reader will remember that the principle which lies at the
foundation of polyphonic writing is "imitation." After instrumental
music began to develop independently it clung for a time to the forms
based on imitation, but when the vocal style became dominant in Italy,
owing to the enormous popularity of the opera, imitation and its forms
fled into Germany, where they found their highest embodiment in
instrumental music in the North German fugue. The fugue is the most
complex and highly organized polyphonic form we have, and it is
necessary that the reader should know something of its construction.

A fugue has been defined as "a musical composition developed, according
to certain rules of imitation, from a short theme or phrase called the
subject. This subject is from time to time reproduced by each of the
two, three, four, or more parts or voices for which the fugue is
written." The subject, then, is a definite theme, of from four to eight
measures, from which the fugue is developed. The next essential part is
the answer. This is the first appearance of the subject in one of the
subsidiary voices. This appearance is always in the dominant key, and
usually has its last notes changed so as to make an ending. The
counter-subject is that part of the theme of the first voice which forms
the accompaniment to the answer. The announcement of these parts of the
fugue is called the exposition. After the exposition the composer works
up the melodic ideas of his material in passages of double counterpoint,
free imitation, and various other polyphonic devices, all distributed so
as to give interest and variety to the fugue, until he reaches the
stretto, a portion in which by ingenious changes he brings out a climax,
after which he may add a coda (tail-piece) and come to an end. Here is
an example by Sir Frederic A. Gore-Ouseley:--

  [Music: |-----------|-------Answer------|--Subject--|
  (Fugue) |--Subject--|--Counter-subject--|----etc.---|]

The reader will see at once that the exposition part of a fugue is built
on the principles of double counterpoint, and that it is in its
essentials the same kind of music as that written by the Netherlands
masters for voices to sing in church. The distinguishing part of the
fugue is the working out of the thematic ideas by devices suitable
solely to instrumental music with its freedom from text, the development
of a climax, and the restatement of the original ideas before closing.
It is in this well ordered discussion of musical ideas which have been
laid down as primary propositions, that we find the immense advance of
the fugue as an intellectual form over the polyphonic works of Lasso or
Palestrina. I have already quoted Dr. Parry's statement that those
writers rarely employed the "modern practice of using a definite subject
throughout a considerable portion of a movement." This practice is at
the foundation of all modern instrumental music, and its first complete
systematization was reached in the fugues of Bach. Scarlatti and others
were developing the principle in its application to monophonic music,
but Bach, clinging to the polyphonic style, which was already far more
advanced than the monophonic, and having a singularly deep insight into
the soul of his art, attained perfection in the application of the new
and vital principle to contrapuntal composition while the monophonic
sonata was yet in its infancy.

The authoritative biography of the father of modern music is "The Life
of Bach," by Dr. Philip Spitta, of Berlin. An excellent English
translation is published. Johann Sebastian Bach, a member of a family
devoted to music through several generations, was born at Eisenach, in
March, 1685. He received his early instruction from one of his brothers.
His life was almost devoid of incident. He served as organist and
concert-master in Arnstadt, Mülhausen, Weimar, and Anhalt-Koethen. He
became cantor of the Thomas School in Leipsic in 1723, and retained that
post till his death, July 28, 1750. In every department of music known
to his time Bach demonstrated that he was a genius of the highest order.
He is regarded as the most excellent of all models for students of
composition because his works combine, in the highest beauty,
originality of melodic ideas with profundity of design. His mastery of
the formal material of his art enabled him to imbue the severest form,
such as the fugue, with grace, beauty, and expressiveness. His melodic
diction is not of the kind popular with the masses, and his music to-day
is enjoyed only by those who truly love the best. But it is always
played by artists and orchestras of high rank, and will continue to be
heard probably for centuries.

Bach was a master of composition for the organ, for the clavichord, for
the orchestra, for the solo voice, and for chorus. It is not possible in
a book like this to give detailed consideration to his works. His famous
settings of "The Passion" will be noticed in their proper place, and so
will the influence of his orchestral compositions. At present we are to
review briefly his piano compositions, which were written for the
clavichord. This, perhaps, is one of the most remarkable features of
these great works. Played on a modern piano, with all its power and
brilliancy, they seem to be perfectly suited to it. The clavier
compositions of Bach consist of "inventions," suites, preludes, fugues,
sonatas, concertos, and fantasias. In his "Well-Tempered Clavichord,"
already mentioned, Bach left us a set of preludes and fugues which have
never been surpassed. He also left us a treatise, "The Art of Fugue," in
which the laws of the form are illustrated by sixteen fugues and four
canons for one piano, and two fugues for two pianos all on the same
theme.

Bach's organ toccatas and fugues grew directly out of the old style
introduced by Merulo and the Venetian masters. They sought to bring out
the power and variety of their instrument by contrasting chord passages
of breadth and majesty with scale passages of brilliant character. Bach
systematized this style of composition by showing how to produce
contrast and variety while developing logically by the devices of
counterpoint a definite subject and working up to a climax of great
eloquence. In his works for the clavichord he demonstrated the same
principle of subject and development, but in a style adapted to the
nature of the instrument. His preludes and fugues are amazing not only
in the extent of their mastery of the technics of composition, but also
in their almost prophetic insight into the possibilities of the piano as
a means of expression. All these preludes and fugues have a note of
personal intimacy. Some are playful, some are bold, some are sad, some
are full of celestial calm, some are passionately pathetic. The higher
qualities of these compositions are their consistency, their sense of
fitness, their apparent inevitableness. The subject of a Bach piano
fugue not only suggests the answer and the logical development, but it
fixes the character of the musical mood of the composition. The
harmonies, the changes of key, the action and reaction of the imitative
passages in double counterpoint, all are not only marvellous in their
exhibition of technical skill, but all are of such a nature that they
sustain and expound the feeling contained in the subject. It is this
mastership of artistic organization that places the music of Sebastian
Bach above that of all his contemporaries, all of his predecessors, and
most of his successors. He moulded the rigid materials of canonic art,
which held earlier composers in its grasp, to his own ends and left us
instrumental polyphonic works which have never been equalled and which
are still the fountainheads of our musical learning.

It ought to be noted that his own perfection of the system of equal
temperament enabled him to do much that his predecessors could not have
done, even had they possessed his genius. By making it possible to play
in all twenty-four keys, and to modulate from the tonic of a composition
into very remote keys, Bach introduced into instrumental polyphony an
elasticity, a pliancy, a freedom, which it had never before possessed.
He was able to fill his polyphonic writing with the passionate utterance
of chromatic harmony; and in his "Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue" he
produced a work which was actually a bridge between the style that went
before him and the style that followed him. With Bach the development of
instrumental polyphony came to an end. Nothing has been added to its
technic except the application of the most recent laws of harmony. Bach
was ahead of his time, and music was working out simpler problems than
his when his work was completed. They were problems in monophonic style,
and to these we must now turn our attention.



Chapter X

Monophonic Style and the Sonata

    Corelli and his violin style--C. P. E. Bach and his
    departures from polyphony--General plan and purpose of the
    early sonata--Haydn and his two principal themes--Mozart
    and song-melody--Clementi and the influence of his
    style--Beethoven's improvements in sonata form--His employment
    of instrumental music for emotional expression.


The fundamental difference between the sonata and the polyphonic forms
is that the sonata is written in the monophonic style. Polyphony is,
indeed, occasionally employed, but the reigning style is that in which a
melody, song-like in character and sung by a single part, is accompanied
by other parts written in chord harmonies. The necessary repetition of
the melodic ideas is made, not by the process of imitation, as in the
fugue, but by what is called the cyclical method. In this a tune or a
composition always returns to a restatement of the original theme from
which it started. We have seen how this melodic style entered
instrumental music in the days of Giovanni Gabrieli, and how Domenico
Scarlatti transferred to the harpsichord the aria of the opera. From
this time forward the monophonic style developed gradually from the
initial impulse of the vocal solo. Composers who had not Bach's peculiar
insight into polyphonic writing and profound genius for it naturally
sought a form which would give their melodies coherence and
intelligibility. The rapid development of the violin as a solo
instrument was one of the influences in directing them along certain
lines of construction. The violin naturally lent itself to a flowing,
song-like style, yet it is easy to see how easily such a style would
fall into monotony. The early violin composers, in their search after a
form which would embrace coherency, variety, and contrast, did much
toward assisting piano writers to reach the true method of composing.

Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713) was the most influential of these early
violin composers. He endeavored to unite in his works the attractive and
popular features of church music, song, and the dances of his time. The
attractiveness of making compositions out of different kinds of dance
movements in alternation had presented itself to composers at an early
date. Morley, in his "Plain and Easy Introduction to Practical Music"
(1597), says: "It is effective to alternate pavanes with galliards,
because the former are a kind of staid music ordained for grave dancing,
and the latter for a lighter and more stirring kind of dancing." This
alternation of dances is what first suggested to composers the plan of
following a slow movement with a lively one, or _vice versa_. As these
different kinds of dances differed in rhythm,--the pavanes, for
instance, being in common and the galliard in triple measure,--composers
grasped the idea that changes in rhythm would heighten the contrast
between movements. The one thing that did not seem to be settled at the
outset--and that was due to the newness of harmonic as opposed to
polyphonic style--was the matter of key contrasts. Sometimes these early
writers put all their dance movements in one key, making what we now
call a "suite," and sometimes they did not.

Corelli wrote his sonatas most frequently in four movements. The
composers who immediately succeeded him wrote more often in three
movements, but preserved the alternation of rhythm and tempo. Corelli
used only one subject in each movement, and the development of it was of
a simple nature compared to the developments found in subsequent works.
Later composers found that in order to secure the necessary amount of
contrast and variety, together with those points of repose which are
essential to artistic form in music, it was necessary to have two
principal themes of contrasting nature. The development of these themes
was confined to the first movement, while the other movements were less
complex in design. The Germans were not wholly idle in advancing the
sonata, but it is extremely difficult to ascertain how their work and
that of the Italians affected one another. We know that a violin sonata
by H. J. F. Biber, published in 1681, shows a well ordered sequence of
contrasting movements. The first was a very slow one (largo), in
contrapuntal style; the second, a passacaglia (theme and variations);
the third, rhapsodical and declamatory; and the fourth, a gavotte. Dr.
Parry has pointed out that Biber received his suggestions for the first
movement from church polyphony, for the second and fourth from dances,
and for the third from operatic declamation. This sonata, however, shows
nothing of that methodic repetition of subjects and definite
distribution of keys now regarded as indispensable; and in some respects
Corelli's sonatas were of a distinctly higher type. Following the
admirable analysis of Dr. Parry, I may state here that as early
composers gradually perceived the possibilities of the sonata form, they
evolved this scheme for their alternation of movement:--

    1. Summons to attention, followed by appeal to intelligence
       through display of design.
    2. Slow movement--appeal to the emotions.
    3. Finale--lively reaction after emotion.

This treatment of the character of the movements grew out of the crude
attempts of the earliest writers and was formulated in the concertos of
Sebastian Bach, but more clearly in the piano sonatas of his son Carl
Philip Emmanuel Bach. Previous to that, however, something had been done
toward a definite arrangement of the distribution of keys. To this
Domenico Scarlatti, who has already been mentioned, made some important
contributions. His compositions called sonatas have a distinct melodic
subject, and this is preserved throughout. His first movements
foreshadow the shape which the first movements of the classical sonatas
subsequently assumed. These movements are divided plainly into two
parts, and each part is repeated. Each of them opens with an
announcement of the melodic subject in the tonic key of the sonata.
After stating his subject Scarlatti passes into a key closely related to
that of the sonata, and gives a bit of what is called "passage work;"
that is, florid or ornamental piano writing without a complete tune. The
second part embarks upon a brief musical development of the subject by
means of simple musical changes in its original shape, then modulates
back into the original key, restates the beginning of the movement and
comes to an end. One of the peculiarities of his works is that sometimes
in the musical development ("working out," as it is called) of his theme
he introduces a new melody, different from the first. Later writers
caught at this idea and raised this second melody to an importance equal
to that of the first.

Scarlatti's great contemporary, Johann Sebastian Bach, did not stand in
the direct line of development of the piano sonata. As I have tried to
show in writing of clavichord works, his sympathies when composing for a
keyboard instrument were governed largely by his immense genius for the
organ and his profound insight into the nature and scope of polyphonic
composition. Nevertheless, his violin sonatas, the result of a close and
admiring study of those of Corelli and Vivaldi, show a leaning toward
the modern form. He followed the lines laid down by Corelli. All but one
of his violin sonatas are in four movements, the first and third slow,
and the second and fourth lively. The slow movements, as one would
naturally expect from Bach, are intense in their emotional eloquence.
But Bach's manner of development was almost always polyphonic, and this
was hostile to the sonata method, which was radically monophonic.

Carl Philip Emmanuel Bach (born, Weimar, March 14, 1714; died, Hamburg,
Dec. 14, 1788), the third son of Sebastian Bach, was by nature and
artistic taste fitted for the work which his father did not attempt. We
have already noticed his theory that one should play the clavichord and
write for it in the singing style. It was his feeling for this style and
his keen insight into the capabilities of his instrument which made him,
though not a composer of genius, a powerful agent in the establishment
of the modern sonata form,--so powerful, indeed, that he has been called
the father of the sonata. We owe something, however, to the demands of
public taste. Music-lovers have usually, with the exception of the few,
preferred the purely sensuous beauty of music to its intellectual
qualities. They grew weary in those days of the severity of the fugue
form; and the composers of the time naturally endeavored to supply them
with what they desired, something easily, rhythmically pleasing. For
years after Emmanuel Bach's day it continued to be the aim of composers
to write with elegance and taste.

Emmanuel Bach excluded polyphonic writing from his sonatas, and adopted
a style entirely monophonic. He contributed toward the development of
the sonata in the direction of clearness and symmetry, and he insisted
upon a well-regulated contrast of keys and of the characters of the
different movements. In short, he established the outline of the sonata,
with the exception of duality of themes, determined the direction in
which it was to develop, and gave it a powerful impulse. The first
sonatas in which Emmanuel Bach showed his ability were six published in
1742, and dedicated to Frederick the Great.[10.1] The opening movement of
each is in the sonata form, as it existed then. The principal theme is
properly announced, there is a short section of "working out," and a
conclusion with the principal theme in the tonic key. In the working out
the composer does not use the principal key, and thus in returning to it
in his conclusion gets the effect of repose. In at least one of these
sonatas, the second, there is a clearly marked second theme in the first
part. There are touches of humor here and there in these sonatas, and
some of the slow movements are full of feeling. The finales are all
light and lively.

    [10.1] The author desires to acknowledge his indebtedness at
    this particular point to "The Pianoforte Sonata," by J. S.
    Shedlock.

Emmanuel Bach is best known by six collections of sonatas and other
compositions published at Leipsic between 1779 and 1787. In these
sonatas the composer's resolute and final departure from the old
polyphonic style is fully demonstrated. To enter wholly into the
monophonic method of writing was no small undertaking, and we meet with
many evidences of effort in these works. But the "working out" part of
the sonata is always monophonic. The composer takes passages or phrases
from his original melody, and treating them with changes of pitch,
harmonic modulation, and bits of passage-writing, founded on figures
previously used in the statement of the theme, he makes a musical
exposition of his original idea. This is precisely what later composers
did, but they had better command of the monophonic style, and hence
produced better music than Emmanuel Bach.

  [Music: OPENING OF A MOVEMENT BY E. BACH, SHOWING
          CHANGE FROM POLYPHONIC STYLE.]

The reader should now be in a position to understand that it is expected
that at least one of the three or four contrasting movements of a sonata
should be in what is called sonata form. This is almost always the first
movement, in accordance with the general design of movements already
given. This movement consists of three parts, which may be called
proposition, discussion, and conclusion. The propositional part proposes
a theme or themes; the discussion subjects the theme or themes to every
device of musical treatment; and the conclusion restates the themes in
their original form and brings the movement to a restful finish. Up to
the point at which we have now arrived composers proposed, as a rule,
only one theme for discussion. Occasionally a second was introduced, but
it seems to have been merely episodal. We now come to the time when two
themes were employed systematically, and from that time dates the
establishment of the complete outline of the present sonata form. All
the changes since made are in details. The composer by whom this
important work was done was Haydn.

Josef Haydn was born April 1, 1732, in Rohrau, Austria. He studied first
at home and afterward at Vienna. In 1759 he became conductor of a small
orchestra maintained by Count Morzin, and in 1760 he married a
wigmaker's daughter, who had been his pupil. In 1761 Haydn became
conductor of the orchestra of Prince Esterhazy at Eisenstadt, where he
remained thirty years industriously composing. He became acquainted with
Mozart, for whom he entertained the highest admiration. In 1790 he
visited London and was received with great enthusiasm, so that he made a
second visit in 1794. He died May 31, 1809, eighteen years before the
death of Beethoven, and four years before the birth of Wagner. His
music, therefore, brings us into close connection with the present
period. His music is accessible to players of the piano, and there are
good editions of his sonatas.

Haydn has been called the father of the symphony and the string quartet,
and his most important compositions are in these departments. But a
symphony is simply a sonata for orchestra, and a quartet is one for four
instruments. Hence we shall find that Haydn's piano sonatas show the
same advances in form as his symphonies and quartets. In the first
movements of three of his earliest sonatas (op. 22, 24, and 29) he uses
in the propositional part two principal themes, wholly different from
one another. He did not, however, in the works of his middle life follow
this plan, but in his English symphonies he used second themes
invariably and in a manner which allows no room for doubt as to his
definite purpose. The form of his first movements is clear and
symmetrical. It is in three parts, the proposition, discussion, and
conclusion being plainly distinguished. The working out part is shorter
and simpler than those found in later sonatas, such as Beethoven's. But
Haydn's first movements convince the hearer of their claims to
consideration as works of art on lines of design carefully planned. The
systematic use of the second theme was adopted by all subsequent
composers, and was the means of raising the sonata from an experiment to
the most satisfactory and convincing of all musical forms.

In Haydn's three-movement sonatas the appeal to the intelligence by the
opening allegro is always followed by an appeal to the emotions in a
slow movement, with broad melody and harmony and much sentiment. His
finales are always bright and lively, and frequently sparkle with
gayety. In form the finale is usually a rondo, an early cyclical form in
which a single melodic subject is periodically repeated, the repetitions
being separated by passages of new matter. When Haydn wrote a sonata in
four movements, he introduced as the third the minuet, a piece of music
in dance rhythm. Emmanuel Bach had used this form in one or two of his
sonatas, but it is easy to see that the idea was originally suggested by
the alternation of different kinds of dances in the archaic sonatas of
Biber and Corelli. The minuet, being a graceful and elegant dance in
triple rhythm, formed a most excellent bridge between an emotional slow
movement and a jocund finale. The minuet movement consists, as a rule,
of two parts, called minuet and trio. In the old dance it was customary
to give relief to the first melody by a second, always written in
three-part harmony and hence called "trio." This plan, except the
adherence to three-part harmony, was followed by the artistic composers
when they adopted the minuet as part of the sonata. In addition to what
has been said, two important facts must be noted. Haydn was intimately
acquainted with the simple, fluent melody of Italian music, and he was
not acquainted with Bach's "Well-Tempered Clavichord." The result was
that his themes are all essentially song-like in character. They are
more extended and more definite in shape than Emmanuel Bach's, and they
helped to fix more firmly the distinctive character of monophonic
composition.

After Haydn was born, and before he died, Mozart lived. Wolfgang Amadeus
Mozart was born at Salzburg, Jan. 27, 1756. He received his early
tuition from his father, an excellent musician, and speedily developed
into a "wonder child." He made several tours through Europe as a
pianist, but finally settled in Vienna, where he married and spent the
remainder of his brief life in pouring out operas, quartets, songs,
sonatas, and other compositions, some of which were certainly made to
sell, but all of which display something of his marvellous genius. It
cannot fairly be said of Mozart that he contributed a great deal that
was new to the mere technics of sonata writing. Mozart had little of the
spirit of the explorer, and less of that of the reformer. He was content
to take musical forms as he found them and instil into them a vitality
which was inseparable from serious attempts at composition. Some of his
works, indeed, show the evil results of that fatal facility which is a
menace to art; but nearly all of them display a fecundity of invention,
a grace and freedom of style, and a sense of artistic elegance which did
much to influence subsequent writers.

Mozart's piano sonatas are worthy of the pianist's attention, but they
cannot be said to have done anything toward the advancement of the form
which Haydn's did not. Mozart learned the sonata form from Haydn's
works. He gave something back to his teacher, but it was chiefly in the
shape of suggestions as to instrumental treatment, for Mozart was a
master pianist, and Haydn was only a respectable performer. Mozart's
sonatas show wonderful cleverness in adapting to the idiom of the piano
the vocal style of the contemporaneous Italian opera, of which Mozart
was the finest composer. His C minor sonata, written in 1784, is his
greatest piano work. It is so fine that, except for the comparative
baldness of its instrumental style, it ranks with the works of
Beethoven's middle period.

The reader must bear in mind the important fact that instrumental music,
pure and simple, was still young, and that composers were chiefly
engaged in developing musical beauty. The technics of instrumental
writing were not sufficiently advanced to admit of high emotional
expression. The reader will remember that in the old schools of church
counterpoint the technics of the art were developed by Okeghem, after
which Josquin des Prés showed how to write beautifully, and the masters
of the last period discovered how to make beauty go hand in hand with
expression. So the early writers of the sonata were chiefly engaged in
experimenting with the technics of their new form and the instruments
for which they wrote, and this paved the way for Haydn and Mozart, when
once the former had established the sonata form, to seek for pure
beauty. This they found, and Mozart's works in particular abound with
it. The time was now at hand when the sonata form was to be made the
vehicle for the expression of the most profound human emotion. But
before it could achieve that end, something had to be added to its
technic and its organization. Part of this addition was made by
Clementi.

Muzio Clementi (1752-1832) was born before Beethoven and died after him.
His works show that he at first influenced Beethoven but was afterward
influenced by him. Clementi's masculine treatment of the piano, which we
have already noticed, went far toward leading Beethoven away from the
thin style of Haydn and Mozart. There are many passages in Clementi's
early sonatas which are similar in construction to passages afterward
written by Beethoven. Again, Clementi extended and elaborated the
"working out" part, and sometimes introduced into the body of a movement
phrases from its introduction. But the works of Beethoven speedily
superseded those of Clementi, and it is to these we must now turn our
attention. Fortunately they call for only brief discussion, for
Beethoven's sonatas are more remarkable for their content than for their
form.

Ludwig van Beethoven was born at Bonn, Dec. 16, 1770. He studied music
in his native city and in Vienna, receiving a few lessons and much
encouragement there from Mozart. He was for a time in the service of the
Elector of Cologne, but in 1792 he went to Vienna to study under Haydn,
and there he finished his life, dying March 26, 1827. In Beethoven's
youth the technics of sonata composition had reached the point of
complete beauty, and the young man soon set about making the sonata the
vehicle of personal expression. In doing so he introduced some
improvements into the form. First of all he leaped to a greater freedom
in the use of keys. He not only wandered into more remote keys than his
predecessors within the limits of a movement, but he made wider changes
of key in passing from one movement to another. He elaborated the slow
introduction which preceded many of his first movements (by no means
all) and made it of high significance. He constructed the passage work
leading from the first theme to the second out of material taken from
the first theme, thus making a logical connection. He sometimes
introduced in the "working out" part new thoughts, derived from the
original matter. He made intentional and highly expressive use of the
practice of running one movement into another without a pause, a device
which had been employed by Emmanuel Bach for purely musical effect.
Beethoven used it for purposes of emotional expression. The complete
first movement form, as developed by Beethoven, is as follows:--

   FIRST PART.
   Slow introduction (not always used): first theme, in the tonic:
   connecting passage: second theme, in a related key: concluding
   passage. [Repeat first part.]

   MIDDLE PART.
   "Working out"--a free fantasia on both themes, developing all
   their musical possibilities and dramatic expression by devices of
   instrumental color, harmony, counterpoint, etc.

   THIRD PART: RECAPITULATION.
   First theme, in the tonic: connecting passage: second theme, in
   the tonic: coda.

In place of the old minuet movement Beethoven introduced the scherzo.

Scherzo means joke, and the scherzo was originally a light, genial
composition not to be taken seriously. Haydn in writing his minuets took
the stateliness out of their movement and imbued them with humor.
Beethoven, preserving the form and rhythm of the minuet, so changed its
tempo and its melodic style that it became a new kind of writing, which
he called scherzo. But from a merely jocular movement this grew in his
hands to be one of grim humor, and even, as in the C minor symphony, of
mystery and awe.

The slow movement usually follows the first movement. If there are four
movements, the scherzo is generally third, and the finale, instead of
being merely bright and lively, is raised to an emotional importance
nearly as great as that of the first movement, which it frequently
follows in form. Beethoven's music has been divided into three styles,
that of his earliest works showing distinctly the influence of Haydn and
Mozart. Then comes a transition, to which the "Kreuzer" sonata and the
"Eroica" symphony belong, and after that comes the second period,
containing the works of the master's maturity, such as the piano sonata
in D minor, the "Appassionata," and the fifth and seventh symphonies.
The third style embodies the sorrow and bitterness of Beethoven's
unhappy last years, and includes the ninth symphony and the last five
piano sonatas.

In the presence of Beethoven's music I always feel the helplessness of
analysis or critical study. It is useless to try to reveal the why and
wherefore, but it cannot be denied that Beethoven's sonatas convey to
the hearer not only the presence of an imposing personality, but the
conviction that the expression of the music is not simply individual,
but general. There is a breadth and a depth to the utterance of these
works which belong not to one man but to humanity. Beethoven succeeded
in introducing into instrumental music that direct, sweeping,
overwhelming proclamation of emotion which had previously been regarded
as the exclusive property of the singer's voice. Beethoven's music is
essentially the dramatization of pure tones. His intense expression was
not the result of accident. He hungered for it and studied the means of
imparting it to his music. In doing so he solidified the structure of
the sonata in such a way that he made it the most symmetrical, highly
organized, and yet elastic of all musical forms, and paved the way for
the whole school of romantic composers who followed him, and who tried
not only to make music express the great elementary emotions, as he did,
but also to make it tell complete stories. Their purposes are best
exemplified in their orchestral works, and I must defer discussion of
them till after the reader has accompanied me in a review of the
development of the orchestra and orchestral music.



Chapter XI

Evolution of the Orchestra

    Early groupings of instruments without definite
    plan--Significance of the work of Monteverde--Scarlatti's use
    of the string quartet--Handel and the foundation of the modern
    style--The symphonic orchestra of Beethoven--Berlioz, Wagner,
    and special instrumental coloring--Plan of the contemporaneous
    orchestra.


The modern orchestra is about two hundred years old. That is to say, the
first skeleton of our present arrangement of instruments is found near
the close of the seventeenth century. Earlier than that the distribution
of instruments and the manner of writing for them contained none of the
essential elements of the present style. Three centuries ago lutes and
viols were employed in combination with drums and trumpets in a very
confused manner, and even for this assembly of instruments there were no
special compositions. An orchestra as such can hardly be said to have
made its appearance until the time when the development of music as a
part of dramatic entertainments compelled the preparation of some sort
of substantial accompaniment to the choruses and dances. In the "Ballet
Comique de la Royne" (1581) of Beaujoyeux there was an array of oboes,
flutes, cornets, trombones, violas di gamba (precursor of the
violoncello), lutes, harps, flageolet, and ten violins. This looks like
a tolerable orchestra, but the manner of writing for it prevented it
from being one. The performers were separated into ten bands, each
designed to accompany some particular character or set of characters.
Neptune and his followers, for example, used harps and flutes. The ten
violins were employed only in one scene. In those days, as we have
already seen, compositions were written "da cantare e sonare," and a
canzone for strings was simply a piece of vocal polyphony played instead
of sung.

The advent of Italian opera and oratorio ushered in the first organized
use of the orchestra. Cavaliere's "Anima e Corpo," an oratorio, had an
orchestra consisting of a viola di gamba, a harpsichord, a bass lute,
and two flutes. This orchestra, like that of the Bayreuth theatre, was
concealed. But it was not used like a modern orchestra. For instance,
the composer recommended that a violin be employed to accompany the
soprano voice throughout the work. This oratorio was produced in
February, 1600, and in December of the same year at the first
performance of Peri's opera, "Eurydice," the orchestra consisted of a
harpsichord, a viola di gamba, a large guitar, a theorbo (large lute),
and three flutes. These last instruments were used only to imitate the
sounds of a Pandæan pipe, played by a shepherd in the opera.

A decided advance in the development of the orchestra was made by
Claudio Monteverde, whose "Orfeo" (1608) had an accompaniment of two
harpsichords, two bass viols, ten tenor viols, two "little French
violins," one harp, two large guitars, two organs (small ones), two
violas di gamba, four trombones, one regal (a little reed organ), two
cornets, one piccolo, one clarion (an instrument of the trumpet family),
and three trumpets. But even in this opera Monteverde showed that he had
not discovered the true relations of the instruments. The "little French
violins" seem to be the first modern violins used in the orchestra, yet
they may have been somewhat crude instruments, for the first maker of
real violins of whom we know anything was Gasparo di Salo (1542-1610).
He was a much better maker of violas than of violins, and it was
Giovanni Paolo Maggini (1581-1631) who left us the violin as we have it
to-day. Monteverde may have regarded violins from Salo's Lombardy home,
Brescia, as French, because the French and Italians were continually at
war there. The violin, having once entered the orchestra, however,
speedily began to move toward its proper position as the principal
voice, and as soon as composers recognized its sphere, they began to
employ the other instruments with due regard for their relative
capacities. Monteverde was the first composer who took advantage of the
contrasting qualities of tone in the orchestra. His position in regard
to the treatment of orchestral music shows a remarkable advance, and had
a direct and wide influence upon the development of the orchestra.

Monteverde's operas contain many bits of independent orchestral music,
but it was in attempting to illustrate the incidents of his dramas by
means of the orchestral part that he divorced the accompaniment from the
voice parts and discovered the relative values of some of his
instruments. In one of his operas he uses a string quartet, composed of
three violas and a bass, and while the voices sing the text to a
recitative, these instruments depict the rushing together of horses in
combat, the struggle of the opponents, and other actions not described
by the text, but performed by the actors. In writing this passage
Monteverde invented two well-known effects: the tremolo (a rapid
tremulous repetition of a single note), and the pizzicato (plucking the
strings with the fingers). The feeling for instrumental description
displayed in this score led Monteverde to emphasize the essential
utility of the strings, and at the same time it led him to use the other
instruments to produce contrasts.

In the opera "Giasone" (1649) of Cavalli we find a song accompanied by
two violins and a bass in a style which lasted till Handel's day.
Alessandro Stradella in 1676 used a double orchestra in which violins
were the principal instruments. About the same time we find Alessandro
Scarlatti writing for first and second violins, violas, and basses,
distributing the parts in quartet form, in the same way as composers do
to-day. He used his first violin as the soprano of his string quartet,
his second violin as the alto, his viola as the tenor, and his bass as
the fundamental bass. Wind instruments continued to be used to add color
and contrast to the foundation of strings and in tutti passages
(passages enlisting all the instruments of an orchestra at once) to
strengthen them.

It is hardly necessary to stop to consider the orchestra employed by
Sebastian Bach, because his system of writing for orchestra was not in
the direct line of development, though modern composers have learned
much from it. In his string writing he is an excellent master for the
present, but his wood wind parts (flute, oboe, or bassoon) are written
usually in such a way that they become separate solo voices. In short,
his instrumental scores lean toward the polyphonic, rather than the
monophonic style. Handel (1685-1759) employed an orchestra much like
that of to-day, and methods not unlike those of the present in writing
for it. In fact Handel's orchestra may be regarded as the foundation of
the modern symphonic band. In his big oratorio choruses Handel used a
number of oboes to strengthen the violin parts, and a number of bassoons
to strengthen the basses, but in other parts of the same works he used
the wind instruments to enrich the general score with independent parts.
Again, he employed the wind and strings separately, contrasting one with
the other just as modern composers do.

In the Hallelujah Chorus of Handel's "Messiah" the orchestra consists of
two trumpets, kettle-drums, violins, violas, and basses. In the chorus,
"How Excellent," in "Saul," the composer uses three trombones, two
trumpets, kettle-drums, three oboes, violins, violas, and basses. For
the purpose of comparison, it may be stated that in his mass in B minor
Sebastian Bach used three trumpets, tympani (kettle-drums), two flutes,
two oboes, two bassoons, violins, violas, basses, and organ. The use of
the wooden wind instruments in pairs is noteworthy because subsequent
composers followed that practice. Haydn's earlier works are written for
two horns, two oboes, two flutes, and the usual array of strings. In his
later works Haydn employs nearly the full modern orchestra. In "The
Creation" he uses two trumpets, tympani, three trombones, two clarinets,
two horns, two oboes, two flutes, two bassoons, a contra-bassoon,
violins, violas, and basses. Haydn introduced the violoncello into the
orchestra, thus completing the modern list of bowed string instruments;
and Mozart demonstrated the value of the clarinet, thus completing the
wood wind.

Beethoven's full orchestra consisted of two flutes, two oboes, two
clarinets, two bassoons, four horns, two trumpets, three trombones,
tympani, and the usual array of strings. These instruments stand in this
order in Beethoven's scores, reading from the top of the page downward,
and subsequent composers have followed this arrangement. When voices
appear in the score, they are placed between the violin and violoncello
parts. Contemporaneous composers incline to abandon that custom, and to
place the voices just above the first violin part. This will keep the
string parts, the foundation of the accompaniment, together below the
voices, thus making the score easier for the conductor to read.
Beethoven's orchestra was substantially that of Schubert, Spohr,
Mendelssohn, Weber, and Schumann.

Later composers began to use various characteristic instruments in their
scores in order to obtain special effects of what is called instrumental
color. Hector Berlioz (1803-1869) did very much to advance this line of
development, and Richard Wagner (1813-1883) carried on the work. Not
only are special instruments, such as the English horn (a wooden wind
instrument with a pastoral tone, heard, for instance, as the shepherd's
pipe in "Tannhäuser" and "Tristan and Isolde"), introduced, but the
general mass of instruments is enlarged or diminished according to the
composer's design. For instance, in the first scene of Act III., "Die
Walküre," in which is the famous "Ride of the Valkyrs," Wagner uses two
piccolos (small, high-pitched flutes, with a fife-like tone), two
flutes, three oboes, one English horn, three clarinets, one bass
clarinet, eight French horns, three bassoons, four trumpets, one bass
trumpet, four trombones, one contrabass tuba (a very deep-toned brass
instrument), four tympani, cymbals, snare-drums, two harps, and the
usual body of strings. Wagner specifies thirty-two violins (sixteen
first and sixteen second) as necessary to produce the proper balance of
tone. Older composers were content to take their chances in such
matters. In "Götterdämmerung" the funeral march is scored for three
clarinets, one bass clarinet, four horns, three bassoons, two tenor
tubas, two bass tubas, one contrabass tuba, one bass trumpet, four
trombones, tympani, and strings. The absence of flutes, oboes and
trumpets shows that Wagner was aiming at a gloomy color, to be obtained
only by the omission of such instruments and the use of an increased
number of those of low pitch.

The orchestra of to-day consists of four groups of instruments, which
can be enlarged or curtailed according to the design of the composer.
These are, in the order in which they usually stand in the score, wind
instruments of wood (the "wood wind"), wind instruments of brass (called
simply "the brass"), instruments of percussion (drums, cymbals, etc.),
and strings. The general plan of the orchestra, which has developed from
the earliest attempts at instrumental contrast, contemplates such a
distribution of instruments in each department as to make that
department capable either of independent employment, or of combination
with the whole or part of some other department, or of incorporation in
the mass of tone produced by the whole orchestra. The wood wind, for
example, consists of flutes and oboes, which are purely soprano
instruments, clarinets, which extended from upper bass to moderately
high soprano, English horn, which has a tenor range, bass clarinet,
which runs from deep bass up into treble, and bassoons, which comprise
bass, baritone, and tenor registers. That organization of instruments is
capable of independent performance, possessing, as it does, all the
components of full and extended harmony and a wide variety of color.

The brass choir consists of trumpets, which are soprano instruments,
French horns (bass to alto), trombones (bass, baritone, and tenor), and
tubas (bass). This band is capable of independent performance, or of
being joined in a body with the wood, as in military music, or of
combining with the strings on the plan seen in its infancy in Handel's
"Hallelujah" chorus. The strings, of course, contain all the elements
necessary to independence or combination. The modern orchestra, however,
has gained enormously in power from the development of methods of using
parts of the separate choirs independently or in combination. For
instance, flutes, clarinets, and bass clarinet can produce rich
four-part harmony, and so can play alone. Flutes, oboes, and bassoons
can do the same thing and produce a wholly different instrumental color.
Bassoons and French horns make fine deep-toned harmonies; and four
French horns can play alone in full harmony. Any of these little groups
can be joined with strings to get a new quality of tone. Thus it is not
difficult to see that the modern orchestra offers to the composer a
great variety of instrumental combinations, giving him a remarkable
range of coloring, and it is equally plain that these conditions have
been gradually developed by successive composers since the days of
Monteverde.



Chapter XII

The Classic Orchestral Composers

    "Sinfonia avanti l'Opera"--Its development into the
    overture--Effect of this on orchestral composition--The
    classical symphony--Haydn and his achievements--Exploring
    the secrets of orchestral writing--Mozart and his notable
    system--Condition of the symphony when Beethoven began writing.


The classic orchestral composers are those who wrote the classic piano
sonatas, and they developed their orchestral works on the same lines as
those of their piano works. The symphony, as I have already said, is
nothing more nor less than a sonata for orchestra; but it has its
special characteristics, and these deserve some attention. The word
"symphony" was first applied to separate instrumental portions of
operas. For instance, an extended introduction to an aria was called
"sinfonia." As ballet movements were introduced into operas, and
instrumental preludes came to be employed, these separate pieces were
more and more extended, and the term "sinfonia" came to be of
considerable significance. The early composers were compelled to seek
for some coherent design for their symphonies and as that played before
the opera was the most independent of all, it was that in which a
definite form first made its appearance. It was at first called
"Sinfonia avanti l'Opera"--"symphony before the opera." As such it was
written by Alessandro Scarlatti (1659-1725), and the French composer,
Giovanni Battista Lulli (1633-1687). Lulli's overtures, as they came to
be called, were divided into three movements, slow, lively, and slow,
without pauses between them. A diametrically opposite form to this came
to be known as the "Italian Overture." Its movements were lively, slow,
lively--like those of the three-movement sonata--except that there was
no pause between movements. The origin of this form is the same as that
of the alternating movements of the sonata. It took firm hold as soon as
it appeared, and from the beginning of the eighteenth century was the
acknowledged form.

The symphony now moved forward on much the same lines as those of the
piano sonata, and what has been said about the early steps in the
development of that form will apply to this one. It should be noted,
however, that the introduction of playing opera overtures at concerts
greatly aided the development of the symphony. The introduction of this
custom was due to the time-honored habit of going late to the opera. The
bustle of arrivals prevented the overtures from being heard, and so it
became the custom to play them separately. The early instrumental
concertos had very great influence on the development of the symphony,
because they showed composers the essential differences between piano
and orchestral composition. These were not like our modern concertos,
written to display the resources of some solo instrument, but were
literally concerts of instruments. In the earliest forms contrasts of
tone and power were obtained by using a single trio or quartet of
strings for the principal passages, and bringing in additional strings
(called "ripieno" instruments) to enforce the tone in the tuttis.
Alessandro Scarlatti wrote concertos of this sort. Sebastian Bach wrote
a number of concertos for instruments, and all of them are in the
three-movement form based on the Italian overture. Handel also wrote
concertos. But these concertos of Handel and Bach were in the
contrapuntal style, and the genius of the sonata form was tending always
toward the monophonic style. For that reason these concertos did not
have so direct an influence on the symphony as did the overture, which
naturally followed the vocal style of the opera.

The symphony in the early stages of the classical period, which began
with Emmanuel Bach, followed pretty closely the lines of the piano
sonata in form. E. Bach was at work writing symphonies when Haydn was a
little boy. It must be confessed, however, that his symphonies are less
distinct in form than his piano sonatas. It is because of the decided
clearness of the orchestral works of Haydn that he is celebrated as the
father of the symphony. He established the sonata form and it is not at
all surprising that he applied it successfully to his orchestral
compositions. Haydn wrote (or is said to have written) one hundred and
eighteen symphonies, beginning in 1759 and continuing to his later
years. His earliest works are so irregular and uncertain that they do
not throw much light on anything except his instrumentation. His
position as conductor of Prince Esterhazy's orchestra gave him abundant
opportunity to experiment with instrumental forms and effects, and his
symphonies written during his long service in the Esterhazy household
show steady advance in style. The Esterhazy orchestra contained in 1766,
six violins and violas, one 'cello, one double bass, one flute, two
oboes, two bassoons, and four horns. It was afterward enlarged to
twenty-two, including trumpets and kettle-drums. In 1776, after Haydn
had learned from Mozart how to use clarinets, two of these instruments
were added, making twenty-four in all. It was a pretty small orchestra
according to our present ideas, but it sufficed for the establishment of
the symphony.

Haydn improved not only in his method of developing the subjects of his
movements, but in his knowledge of the kinds of themes best fitted for
orchestral treatment, which are organically different from those suited
to the piano. His experiments in instrumentation went far towards
assisting composers to a true knowledge of the art of orchestration
(writing for orchestra). He himself learned rapidly from the trials of
his own combinations by the Esterhazy band. In his early days, for
instance, he frequently wrote the same part for his first and second
violins and the same part for his violas and basses, so that his strings
were playing in only two real parts, and his harmony was very thin. His
treatment of the wood wind was crude at first, but his experiments
rapidly improved this, and by 1770 he had introduced the now familiar
style of making the wind instruments intone long chords, while the
strings played figured passages, or _vice versa_. The movements of all
his symphonies are very short, and one who looks for great breadth or
depth in them will be disappointed. They are bright and genial, except
in their slow movements, which are generally tender without being
pathetic. In the first movements the working out is usually short, and
not at all involved, as if Haydn were timid about presenting too much
for intellectual consideration at one time. The finale is generally in
rondo form, so that there is only one real working out in the whole
symphony.

It must be borne in mind that the public taste of that time would hardly
have been prepared for such advanced works as those of Beethoven, even
if Haydn's technic of composition had been equal to the task of writing
them. The composer was thoroughly in accord with the spirit of his time,
and his influence in popularizing good music cannot be over-estimated.
Haydn's later works show a marked advance over his earlier ones, which
must be attributed to the influence of Mozart. The reader will remember
that Mozart's life began after and ended before Haydn's. Mozart also had
opportunities to learn something about the possibilities of orchestral
music while he was at Mannheim in 1777. The band there was one of the
finest in Europe at the time, and its excellent achievements in light
and shade no doubt gave Mozart many valuable suggestions. Mozart wrote
forty-nine symphonies, but only three of them are heard often to-day:
that in E-flat major, op. 543, that in G minor, op. 550, and that in C
major, op. 551, commonly called the "Jupiter" symphony. These were his
last three symphonies, written in 1788, and it is notable that in none
of the three is the full Beethoven orchestra employed. All three use
only one flute. The E-flat symphony has clarinets, but no oboes. The
other two have oboes, but no clarinets. The G minor has no drums nor
trumpets, and none has trombones. Nevertheless, by the pure beauty of
their melodic subjects, the clearness of their discussion, and their
general grace and symmetry, these works have succeeded in maintaining a
place among living music. They are most satisfactory examples of the
kind of composition produced in the classic period, the period of pure
beauty in music. It is difficult to discuss the work of Mozart with
judicial calm, even at this distance from the time of its performance.
Contemporaneous records all bear such enthusiastic testimony as to the
extraordinary genius of the wonderful boy that it is difficult to avoid
injustice to his works. We must remember that in Mozart's boyhood, when
he wrote his first symphonies, the form of the sonata was still
uncertain, and we must, therefore, be satisfied with finding in his
precocious compositions a keen perception of the value of balance and
continuity.

It was after writing his first three symphonies that Mozart began
to hear operas, and this greatly improved his style. His Parisian
symphony, opus 297, produced in 1778, shows the results of his
operatic study as well as his attention to the Mannheim band. The
first movement is decidedly irregular in form, abounding in different
melodies and striking harmonies. The subjects are dramatic in feeling,
but in construction are essentially orchestral. In his last three
symphonies he shows a complete mastery of the organization of the
orchestral sonata in its then stage of development, which was chiefly
his work. A peculiarity of Mozart's style was its generous employment
of free counterpoint,--that is, polyphonic writing in which the
different voices occasionally intone different melodies (or parts
of them) at the same time, without adherence to canonic law. This
kind of counterpoint is common in modern orchestral composition. Otto
Jahn, the authoritative biographer of Mozart, says:--

"The perfection of the art of counterpoint is not the distinguishing
characteristic of this symphony [C major] alone, but of them all [the
last three]. The enthralling interest of the development of each
movement in its necessary connection and continuity consists chiefly in
the free and liberal use of the manifold resources of counterpoint. The
ease and certainty of this mode of expression make it seem fittest for
what the composer has to say. Freedom of treatment penetrates every
component part of the whole, producing an independent, natural motion of
each. The then novel art of employing the wind instruments in separate
and combined effects was especially admired by Mozart's contemporaries.
His treatment of the stringed instruments showed a progress not less
advanced, as, for instance, in the free treatment of the basses, as
characteristic as it was melodious. The highest quality of the
symphonies, however, is their harmony of tone-color, the healthy
combination of orchestral sound, which is not to be replaced by any
separate effects, however charming. In this combination consists the art
of making the orchestra as a living organism express the artistic idea
which gives the creative impulse to the work, and controls the forces
which are always ready to be set in motion. An unerring conception of
the capacities for the development contained in each subject, of the
relations of contrasting and conflicting elements, of the proportions of
the parts composing the different movements, and of the proportions of
the movements to the whole work; finally, of the proper division and
blending of the tone-colors,--such are the essential conditions for the
production of a work of art which is to be effective in all its parts.
Few persons will wish to dispute the fact that Mozart's great symphonies
display the happiest union of invention and knowledge, of feeling and
taste."

Haydn's later works gained much from their composer's study of the clear
form, the pure orchestral idiom, and the musical beauty of Mozart's.
Furthermore the orchestral descriptions of chaos, the birth of light,
spring, summer, etc., in "The Creation" and "The Seasons" were made
possible to Haydn by Mozart's experiments in instrumental tone-coloring.
But this is aside from the present subject. It will be well for the
reader now to grasp a few defined facts as to the state of the symphony
when Beethoven took it up. Here I must again appeal to a master of the
subject, Dr. Parry, who says:--

"By the end of their time [Haydn's and Mozart's] instrumental art had
branched out into a very large number of distinct and complete forms,
such as symphonies, concertos, quartets, trios, and sonatas for violin
and clavier. The style appropriate to each had been more or less
ascertained, and the schemes of design had been perfectly organized for
all self-dependent instrumental music. Both Haydn and Mozart had
immensely improved in the power of finding characteristic subjects, and
in deciding the type of subject which is best fitted for instrumental
music. The difference in that respect between their early and later
works is very marked. They improved the range of the symphonic cycle of
movements by adding the minuet and trio to the old group of three
movements, thereby introducing definite and undisguised dance movements
to follow and contrast with the central cantabile slow movement. Between
them they had completely transformed the treatment of the orchestra.
They not only enlarged it and gave it greater capacity of tone and
variety, but they also laid the solid foundations of those methods of
art which have become the most characteristic and powerful features in
the system of modern music. Even in detail the character of music is
altered; all phraseology is made articulate and definite; and the
minutiæ which lend themselves to refined and artistic performance are
carefully considered, without in any way diminishing the breadth and
freedom of the general effect. There is hardly any branch or department
of art which does not seem to have been brought to high technical
perfection by them; and if _the world could be satisfied with the ideal
of perfectly organized simplicity without any great force of
expression_, instrumental art might well have stopped at the point to
which they brought it."

Dr. Parry has, in the passage which I have italicized, touched the
marrow of the matter. Haydn's and Mozart's symphonies, however they may
have impressed their contemporaries, appeal to us through their perfect
transparency, their balance of form, their fluency of instrumental
language, and their simple beauty of style. The working out parts of
their symphonies, for instance, are devoted wholly to the exposition of
the musical fruitfulness of their subjects. There is nowhere any
evidence of an attempt to employ the apparatus of the symphony for a
systematic communication of emotion. These works do, indeed, at times
arouse our feelings, but there is no conviction that their composers
designed them to speak a message of the inner life to us. They are the
perfect embodiments of pure musical beauty, and it was not till
Beethoven took up the form which they had perfected that it became the
definite embodiment of feeling, the systematic means of expression.

What has already been said about Beethoven's piano sonatas applies with
equal propriety to his symphonies. But something may be added, because
the symphonies exhibit Beethoven's characteristics in their most
imposing garb, and it is through them that he comes into his most
influential relations with the great mass of music lovers. But as
Beethoven's symphonies mark a transition from the classic to the
romantic era, it will be more logical to consider them in a chapter
including the romantic writers.



Chapter XIII

The Romantic Orchestral Composers

    Beethoven and his nine symphonies--Significance of his
    work--His technical alterations--His romanticism--Meaning
    of classicism and romanticism--The symphonic poem and the
    programme overture--The Liszt piano concertos--Successors of
    Beethoven--Berlioz and his programme symphonies--Tschaikowsky
    and Dvorak--The music of Johannes Brahms.


The classical period in musical history is that in which composers
appear to have been engaged in perfecting the form and technic of
composition. The impulse which led them to make their improvements was
the romantic impulse, for by romanticism in music we mean an impulse
which urges the composer toward expression. Such an impulse has always
been at work in music, but it was impossible for the classical composers
to give it free exercise, because they had not fully established a
method of composition. Beethoven found the method pretty well
formulated. His material was ready to his hand. In the sonata form his
predecessors had prepared for him a vehicle which they had fully proved
to be capable of a clear, logical, and luminous presentation and
development of beautiful musical ideas. It remained for Beethoven to
prove that the symphony, the orchestral sonata, was not only the most
complex, diversified, and yet organically unified of all musical forms,
but that most thoroughly suited to the embodiment of great
mood-pictures, outpourings of love, suffering, despair, joy, triumph. It
remained for Beethoven to show how the four movements of a symphony,
without any merely technical links, could be made to picture a
succession of emotional states which should have a natural variety and
an equally natural homogeneity.

Because Beethoven's symphonies stand to-day as the highest types of
absolute music, and because all of them are living music, heard in
concert rooms, I quote the list with dates of production, etc., from Sir
George Grove's admirable work: "Beethoven and his Nine Symphonies."

  ----+---------+-----+----------+-------------------+-----------------
      |         |Opus |          |Date of Completion |  Date of First
  No. | Key.    | No. | Title.   |when ascertainable.|  Performance.
  ----+---------+-----+----------+-------------------+-----------------
   1  | C       |  21 |          |                   |  April 2, 1800
   2  | D       |  36 |          |                   |  April 5, 1803
   3  | E-flat  |  55 | Eroica   | August, 1804      |  April 7, 1805
   4  | B-flat  |  60 |          | 1806              |  March,   1807
   5  | C minor |  67 |          |                   |  Dec. 22, 1808
   6  | F       |  68 | Pastoral |                   |  Dec. 22, 1808
   7  | A       |  92 |          | May (?) 13, 1812  |  Dec.  8, 1813
   8  | F       |  93 |          | October,    1812  |  Feb. 27, 1814
   9  | D minor | 125 | Choral   | August,     1823  |  May   7, 1824
  ----+---------+-----+----------+-------------------+-----------------

In the chapter on the sonata I have already mentioned some of the
details of Beethoven's developments. As displayed in his symphonies the
technical changes which call for especial mention are first strikingly
seen in the "Eroica." Here we find that Beethoven made the progress from
his first to his second subject (see outline of first movement form,
Chap. X.) in a thoroughly logical and organic manner. In the working out
he introduced new melodic episodes, but he never forgot that they were
subordinate to the two melodic topics of his movement. In the third part
of the first movement he introduced a coda of 140 measures, in which new
subject matter is introduced, and part of it made to act as a "descant"
above the first principal theme.

  [Music: 1st subject of "Eroica."
          _Part of Coda._
          1ST VIOLINS.
          2D VIOLINS.
          BASSES. etc.]

As Sir George Grove has said, "this coda is no mere termination to a
movement which might have ended as well without it. No, it is an
essential part of the poem, and will be known as such. It is one of
Beethoven's great inventions, and he knows it, and starts it in such a
style that no one can possibly overlook what he is doing." In the same
symphony Beethoven entitles his slow movement "March," and his third
movement "Scherzo." Both of these titles were new to the symphony. The
finale is made more important and more expressive than it has ever been
in any previous work. In his sixth symphony Beethoven gave each of the
movements descriptive titles, such as "Scene by the brook." This was a
distinct innovation in symphonic writing, and the artistic beauty and
eloquence of the work prove that the symphony as a form was capable of
the most free expressiveness. In the fifth symphony the composer
demonstrated in the convincing manner the complete organization of the
form by using a single motive, that which introduces the work, as the
germ and the connecting instrument of the whole. The fifth symphony is
the most convincing of all Beethoven's works. Its portrayal of man's
struggle against fate and his final triumph is superb; yet in form the
symphony is absolutely perfect. In his seventh symphony he developed the
slow introduction to the first movement, which has previously occupied a
dozen measures, to sixty-two. In his ninth symphony he made his only
confession of the inadequacy of his instrumental means. He introduced
voices. The ninth symphony is a work of transcendent genius, and its
effect justifies its method; but the use of voices in instrumental works
since has almost inevitably failed. Only Beethoven could bridge the
chasm between musical mood-pictures without words and music leaning on
the shoulder of text.

Beethoven's symphonies are the connecting link between the classic and
romantic schools. They are classic because they adhere to the classic
form; they are romantic because they are the instruments of direct,
intentional, and highly designed expression. Beethoven was satisfied to
accomplish the full achievement of expression within the limits of the
classic form. His successors, despairing of succeeding on the same
lines, and urged by a desire for personal and representative expression
as strong as his, broke away from the classic form of the sonata, but to
this day have never been able to escape the sovereignty of its
fundamental principles. The kinds of musical devices which Beethoven
employed in making his designs expressive, in the widest and deepest
sense of that word, may not be discussed here. To attempt to discuss
them would lead the reader into the field of pure musical technics. The
great fact for him to keep in mind is this: Beethoven seized upon the
musical material left him by his predecessors, and instead of employing
it to produce simple beauty, used it to express his inner life, treating
that life as typical and hence as capable of representation in the broad
tints of orchestral music. His successors in the composition of
symphonic music have followed his lead, some adhering to the classical
form and others departing from it, according to the bent of their
genius. All of them, however, have sought to employ the power of music
to express emotion, some following plans with broad outlines and others
endeavoring to enter into detail. Because these composers have
proclaimed the expressive power of music, they are classed as
romanticists. It should be noted, however, that many historians include
in the classic school all those who adhere strictly to the classic form.

A product of the romantic school is called "programme music." This means
music which is intended to illustrate a definite story, and its best
examples are those which endeavor to illustrate wholly by voicing in
music the sequence of emotions contained in the tale, with the aid of
such descriptive music as will convey some idea of the scenic
surroundings. The reader will readily understand that some acquaintance
with the composer's purpose is necessary to an appreciation of such
music. A key to the plan is offered usually by the title. A composition
labelled "Macbeth" would, of course, be understood as intended to
illustrate Shakespeare's tragedy, and the hearer would naturally call to
his aid in listening to it his knowledge of the drama. Two familiar
forms of programme music have grown out of the attempts of the
romanticists. One of these is the symphonic poem, and the other the
programme overture. The symphonic poem is a composition symphonic in
style and general treatment, but shorter than a symphony and without
pauses between its movements and designed to illustrate a story. An
attentive listener will find that a symphonic poem contains definite
principal themes, development or working out, climaxes, and conclusion,
for no matter what the sequence of emotions in the story may be, the
fundamental laws of musical form must be observed. The programme
overture is an overture built on lines much the same as those of a
symphonic poem, but designed as a musical prelude to a play, or a poem
of dramatic contents, as, for example Tschaikowsky's "Hamlet" overture,
or Goldmark's "Sakuntala" overture. The latter belongs to a poem.

In addition to these forms the romanticists have made certain
alterations in the old sonata form. One of Schumann's symphonies, that
in D minor, is in the usual four movements, but without any pauses
between them, and the principal subjects of the work are heard in
various forms in the various movements. This plan was followed by Liszt
in his piano concertos, which are played without pauses and have their
several movements largely developed from the themes announced at the
beginning of the works.

The principal symphonic writers since Beethoven have been Ludwig Spohr
(1784-1859), Franz Schubert (1797-1828), Felix Mendelssohn-Bartoldy
(1809-1847), Robert Schumann (1810-1856), Hector Berlioz (1803-1869),
Franz Liszt (1811-1886), Johannes Brahms (1833-1897), Peter Ilitisch
Tschaikowsky (1840-1893) and Antonin Dvorak (1841,--still living).
Spohr's symphonies are generally classic in form, but romantic in
subject and treatment, as is indicated by their titles, "Lenore" (on
Burger's poem), "Power of Sound," "Consecration of Tones." Schubert's
symphonies are also classic in form, and only mildly romantic in
content. Schubert was one of the leaders of the romantic school, but his
romanticism found its most complete embodiment in his songs.
Mendelssohn's symphonies are absolutely classic in form and in the
finish of their style and instrumentation, but they are romantic in
tendency. His overtures--such as "Hebrides" and "Melusine"--are
unquestionably of the romantic spirit. Schumann was an ultra-romanticist
and his piano music teems with compositions with suggestive titles, such
as "Papillons" and "Carnival." His symphonies are romantic in the
fulness of their plan to embody emotion. Hector Berlioz, the famous
French symphonist, was one of the extreme romanticists. His symphonies
are really symphonic poems in several detached movements and are all
original in form. Sometimes he uses voices to help him out, but usually
he is content with the orchestra, which he handled with a marvellous
insight into its capacity. His symphonies all bear suggestive
titles,--as "Romeo and Juliet" or "Harold in Italy," and are designed to
illustrate stories. Franz Liszt was the inventor of the symphonic poem,
and is included in this catalogue chiefly for that reason. His works are
very rich in color, and occasionally rise to a level of real power.

Tschaikowsky was a Russian composer and produced six symphonies, all of
which depart from the strict classic form, make free use of Russian
style in their melodies, and are intensely romantic in spirit. His fifth
symphony introduces a slow waltz instead of a scherzo. His sixth, the
"Symphony Pathetique," is one of the noblest of modern symphonies. Its
second movement is a waltz in five-fourth measure (five beats to the
bar), its third a scherzo which turns into a march, and its last is the
slow movement. In the first movement a partial working out of each theme
follows immediately upon the first appearance of the theme. Dvorak is a
Bohemian, and most of his works are Slavonic in color. He has introduced
as a slow movement the "Dumka," or elegy, and in place of the scherzo
the "furiant," which is explained by its name. During a stay in the
United States he conceived the idea that an American element could be
introduced into music by using themes resembling those of negro songs
and Indian chants. His chief exemplification of his theory is found in
his symphony in E minor, "From the New World." Dvorak's symphonies
adhere closely to the principles of the sonata form, and are very
popular in style without descending from the level of artistic music.

The music of Johannes Brahms has given rise to a great deal of
controversy. Most recent writers have shown a tendency to break away
from the strict letter of the sonata form, and too many commentators
have come to mistake manner for matter. In calling those writers classic
who have adhered to the classic sonata they have too often denied to
them the possession of romantic feeling. At the same time some
commentators have seemed to think that it was a work of virtue to
preserve the sonata form precisely as it was left to us by the hand of
Beethoven, while others held that any man who adhered to it was a mere
formalist. It was criticism of this kind which obscured the merits of
the late Johannes Brahms in his early days. It was not difficult for the
commentators to perceive that Brahms employed the sonata form, and that
he preserved the outlines laid down by Beethoven. For that they praised
him, as if it were a _sine qua non_ of absolute music that it should be
in the sonata form. It is generally conceded that that form is the most
intellectual, the most highly organized, which has yet been devised; but
it is not and ought not to be conceded that a man is bound to adhere to
that form. If he can produce another which presents an equally
convincing process of musical development and conclusion, he deserves
laudation as one who is not a mere student of forms, but is a master of
the philosophy of form.

A piece of music is not necessarily formless because it is not built on
the model of one of the acknowledged forms. A composer is not a heretic
because he builds a new pattern. But there are certain fundamentals of
form, and these we should demand in every work. In the simplest music we
should require that there be recognizable a beginning, a middle, and an
end. We should demand discernible rhythms and symmetrical phrases, and
we should require that these be exhibited throughout the composition
with evident design. In the higher forms there ought to be melodic
subjects, and these subjects ought to be discussed and developed. It is
almost impossible to escape the cyclic form, with its proposition,
discussion, and conclusion; but if the composer does escape it, we must
insist upon it that he adhere to the essential principle of repetition
and that he distribute his repetitions in such a manner as to preserve
the symmetry and balance of his work and to effect an organic unity. His
work should contain nothing that does not belong to it. Every phrase
should be, as W. A. Hadow suggests, "inevitable."

On the other hand a man is not necessarily a mere formalist because he
clings to the old-fashioned sonata form. Brahms's compositions show a
completeness of architectonic detail, superimposed upon a symmetrical
and inevitable organic development, such as are to be found in those of
no other symphonist, except Beethoven. Why deny to the late Viennese
master depth of feeling because he fashioned the expression of that
feeling with all the force of a gigantic musical intellect? Brahms's
music grows slowly in popular favor because it is not easy for the
careless hearer to grasp its inner spirit. But it is not true that
music, to be real music, demands a Swinburnian diction.

    "The low downs lean to the sea; the stream,
      One loose, thin, pulseless, tremulous vein,
    Rapid and vivid and dumb as a dream,
      Works downward, sick of the sun and the rain;
    No wind is rough with the rank rare flowers;
    The sweet sea, mother of loves and hours,
    Shudders and shines as the gray winds gleam,
      Turning her smile to a fugitive pain."

That is great poetry, and the rhythm and the melody and feeling of it
are as the music of Chopin and Schumann. But this also is great
poetry:--

    "And chiefly thou, O spirit! that dost prefer
    Before all temples the upright heart and pure,
    Instruct me, for thou knowest; thou from the first
    Wast present, and, with mighty wings outspread,
    Dovelike sat'st brooding on the vast abyss,
    And madest it pregnant; what in me is dark
    Illumine! what is low raise and support!
    That to the height of this great argument
    I may assert eternal Providence,
    And justify the ways of God to men."

But the melody and the rhythm and the emotion of it are as the music of
Brahms. Some day, I think, if not soon, the world will see how
profoundly representative of his nation and his time Brahms was, and he
will be hailed, as Milton was, an organ voice of his country. The
irresistible seriousness of Germany has never spoken with more
convincing accent than in the music of Brahms. There is a feeling in
this music which is far removed from the possibility of a purely
sensuous embodiment. It may take time for the entire musical world to
come under the spell of this austere utterance; but Brahms had the
happiness of knowing ere he died that wherever music was cultivated his
individuality at least had made itself known.



Chapter XIV

The Development of Chamber Music

    Corelli and the "Sonata da Camera"--His distribution of
    instruments--John Adam Reinken and the "Hortus Musicus"--Music
    at the Court of Weimar--Bach and Gossec--The quartets of
    Haydn--Mozart's chamber music--Beethoven and romanticism in
    quartets--Brahms and Dvorak.


By chamber music is meant all that class of compositions written for
small collections of instruments and therefore suitable for performance
in small rooms only. It embraces trios, quartets, quintets, sextets,
septets, and octets, named according to the number of instruments
employed. The trio is most frequently written for piano, violin, and
'cello, but other combinations, such as piano, violin, and horn, etc.,
are used. When the word "quartet" is used alone, it signifies a string
quartet, consisting of first violin, second violin, viola, and 'cello. A
"piano quartet" is one in which the second violin is absent and a piano
appears. A quintet for strings may be for two violins, two violas, and
'cello (the usual arrangement), or two violins, one viola, and two
'celli. A piano quintet has a piano instead of the second viola or
second 'cello. Compositions for more than five instruments seldom use
the piano, but frequently introduced wood or brass instruments. But it
is not possible to fix any definite distribution of instruments in
chamber music, as there are compositions for almost every conceivable
combination, including those of wind instruments only.

It is not difficult to understand that chamber music originated in the
early medieval custom of accompanying banquets with music. Small bodies
of instrumental players formed for this purpose soon created a demand
for a separate kind of music for their performance, as well as a desire
to hear such music. Indeed chamber music, as such, existed before
orchestral music, for the old sonatas in four-voiced counterpoint,
written _da cantare e sonare_, when performed as instrumental
compositions, constituted what we should class to-day as chamber music.
But genuine modern chamber music began to take form when the violin
began to assert its true position and the correct balance of strings
began to be perceived. This, as we have seen, was subsequent to the time
of the violin maker Maggini (1581-1631) and previous to that the
violinist Corelli (1653-1713). In his labors tending toward the
development of the sonata form Corelli wrote real chamber music. His
compositions were classed either as "Sonate di Chiesa" or "Sonate da
Camera,"--church sonatas or chamber sonatas. The sonatas employed small
combinations of instruments in which the violin and the organ were the
chief principals, together with lutes and other stringed instruments.
Their relation to the development of the sonata form has already been
pointed out. The distribution of instruments, as leading toward modern
chamber music is what now concerns us. Corelli's first publication in
this line was "XII Sonate a tre, due violini e violoncello, col basso
per l'organo," opus 1, Rome, 1683. In 1685 (the year of Bach's birth) he
published twelve "sonate da camera" for two violins, 'cello, and
cembalo. He published other collections, one of which contained sonatas
for four violins, violoncello, and bass, two violins and the 'cello
playing the principal parts and the other instruments re-enforcing them
in the ensemble passages. The successors of Corelli followed his lead
and produced many compositions for small collections of instruments,
though it must be borne in mind that the idea of formal concerts of
chamber music, such as we have now, did not exist then.

When the development of instrumental music began to take a definite
direction in Germany, chamber music pure and simple made its appearance,
and Germany is the home of this kind of composition. John Adam Reinken
(born at Deventer, Holland, 1623, died at Hamburg, 1722, an organist,
studied under Swelinck, of the last period of the Netherlands school)
wrote a composition called "Hortus Musicus" for two violins, viola, and
bass, published at Hamburg, 1704. This composition is what we should now
call a suite, and it shows that the art of writing music for a quartet
had made considerable progress. We get some light as to the sort of
encouragement given to this kind of music from the fact that
instrumental performances by small bodies were cultivated earnestly at
the ducal court of Weimar between 1708 and 1715, chiefly because the
duke's nephew, Johann Ernst, "showed considerable talent for playing the
violin and clavier, and even for composition" [Spitta's "Life of Bach"].
Frederick the Great played the flute, and it is thought that this had
some influence with Sebastian Bach, who was much admired by the king. At
any rate Bach wrote a sonata for clavier, violin, and flute. He also
wrote a trio for two violins and bass, and other works which belonged to
the chamber music class. Quartet writing had made its way into France,
where François Joseph Gossec (1733-1829) published his first quartet in
1759, the year in which Haydn wrote his first symphony.

Chamber music known to the modern concert room dates from the first
quartet of Haydn, written in 1755. In the earlier works the form was
uncertain, and it was not until the sonata took definite shape that
composers discovered that the sonata form was the best adapted to the
development of thematic ideas suitable for chamber music, as well as
that of those suitable for symphonies. Scientific musicians were at
first prone to scoff at the string quartet as too slight in texture to
afford a vehicle for the display of genius. That was because they had
not fully mastered the art of writing a four-part harmony with
occasional transitions into the pure polyphonic style,--a method of
writing which is indispensable to quartet composition,--and also because
they did not yet thoroughly understand the scope and value of each
individual instrument. It cannot be said that even Haydn penetrated the
secrets of the capacities of his four instruments, for his quartet
writing shows frequent baldness in this respect; but he did write in
four-part harmony, and his quartets beyond all question set the pattern
for all that have followed them. Haydn wrote seventy-seven quartets, and
naturally his latest show an advance in style and treatment over his
earliest. These quartets are characterized by the fluency and simplicity
of their melodies, the conciseness and symmetry of their form, the
clearness and balance of their part writing, and the sunny sweetness of
their prevailing mood. There is nothing in the shape of instrumental
music much pleasanter or easier to listen to than one of Haydn's
quartets. The best of them hold their places in the concert rooms of
to-day, and they seem likely to live as long as there are people to
appreciate clear and logical composition which attempts nothing beyond
"organized simplicity."

Mozart wrote a great quantity of chamber music, including string
quintets, a quintet for clarinet and strings, a quintet for horn and
strings, thirty quartets, a quintet for piano, oboe, horn, clarinet, and
bassoon, two piano quartets and eight trios. His six early quartets,
dedicated to Haydn and published in 1785, do not make any alterations in
the form fixed by Haydn. But, to quote the words of Mozart's biographer,
Otto Jahn, "following a deeply rooted impulse of his nature, he
renounced the light and fanciful style in which Haydn treated them [the
features of the form], seized upon their legitimate points, and gave a
firmer and more delicate construction to the whole fabric. To say of
Mozart's quartets in their general features that, in comparison with
Haydn's, they are of deeper and fuller expression, more refined beauty,
and broader conception of form, is only to distinguish these as Mozart's
individual characteristics, in contrast with Haydn's inexhaustible fund
of original and humorous productive power." What is here said of
Mozart's early quartets applies fairly to all his chamber music. His
part writing is always delightful in its clearness and in its
preservation of the balance of power among the instruments. Every one
has something agreeable to say, and the saying of it never becomes a
muddle of sound. The composer's peculiar feeling for vocal style,
already mentioned, gives his various parts a fluency of melody not to be
found in the works of some more pretentious composers.

The complete establishment of the quartet as an art-form worthy to rank
beside the symphony is due to Beethoven. The list of Beethoven's chamber
music comprises the following: two octets in E-flat for wind, one septet
for strings and wind, one sextet in E-flat for strings and wood, one
sextet in E-flat for wind, two quintets for strings, sixteen quartets
for strings, two "Equali" for four trombones, five trios for strings,
one trio for strings and flute, one trio for wind, three duos for wind,
one quintet for piano and wind, one quartet for piano and strings, eight
trios for piano and strings, ten sonatas for piano and violin, five
sonatas for piano and 'cello, and a few other works. The trios are
uncommonly fine compositions, but the quartet was Beethoven's especial
choice among chamber music forms, and he used it for the embodiment of
some of his noblest thoughts. All that has been said about his treatment
of the piano sonata and the symphony applies to his treatment of the
quartet. Beethoven could not by any possibility take up such a
peculiarly intimate form of music without infusing into it a new life.
He made it the vehicle for the expression of a marvellous depth of
feeling. In doing so he made variations in the established form, but
without overthrowing or ignoring any of its fundamental principles.
Sir George Grove says, "The obscurity and individuality of the thoughts
themselves, and their apparent want of connection until they have become
familiar, is perhaps the cause that these noble works [the later
quartets] are so difficult to understand." But it is generally conceded
by critics and musicians that Beethoven's quartets, particularly those
in F, E minor, and C, dedicated to Count Rassoumoffsky, and called the
"Rassoumoffsky Quartets," are the noblest specimens of chamber music
extant. In his "Life of Mozart" Otto Jahn says:--

    "The string quartet offers the most favorable conditions for the
    development of instrumental music, both as to expression and
    technical construction, giving free play to the composer in
    every direction, provided only that he keep within the limits
    imposed by the nature of his art. Each of the four combined
    instruments is capable of the greatest variety of melodic
    construction; they have the advantage over the piano in their
    power of sustaining the vibrations of the notes, so as to
    produce song-like effects; nor are they inferior in their power
    of rapid movement. Their union enables them to fulfil the
    demands of complete harmonies, and to compensate increase of
    freedom and fulness for the advantages which the pianoforte
    possesses as a solo instrument."

  OPENING OF SLOW MOVEMENT OF BEETHOVEN'S SEVENTH QUARTET.

  [Music: _Adagio molto e mesto._
          VIOLIN 1.
          VIOLIN 2.
          VIOLA.
          'CELLO.]

The listener to Beethoven's quartets will be impressed with the
applicability of these words to them, and he will in a measure be
prepared to see where some of Beethoven's successors have failed.
Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Spohr, and other German composers wrote
admirable chamber music. So have some of the French and Italian
composers. But it cannot be said that this branch of instrumental art,
its purest and most thoroughly symmetrical form, has made any advance
since Beethoven's day. On the contrary, it has retrograded. This is from
two causes: first, the frequency with which piano parts are written in a
style so massive and brilliant as to overwhelm the strings in trios or
piano quartets and quintets; and second, the unwise attempts of some
composers to imitate heavy orchestral effects with only four or five
stringed instruments.

Among those who have produced the best chamber music in recent years
must be mentioned Brahms and Dvorak, who have been named in the chapter
preceding this. The chamber music of Brahms includes a sextet for
strings, three piano quartets, a piano quintet, several trios, three
string quartets, a string quintet, and a quintet for clarinet and
strings. These works are conspicuous for the completeness of their
musical organism, the originality, profundity, and artistic reticence of
their style, the deep learning with which they treat modern thoughts in
a revised polyphony, and the breadth of their intellectual earnestness.
It is difficult to understand how any one can deny the genius of Brahms
after hearing a good performance of such music as the slow movement and
scherzo of his piano quintet.

Dvorak has written a considerable quantity of chamber music, but no
final criticism can yet be passed upon it. The composer himself realizes
that his earlier quartets and trios, though melodious and clear,
contained a great deal of discursive matter. His later writings show an
immense improvement in conciseness, strength, and closeness of
development. His American quartet and quintet are admirable as examples
of form and of treatment of instrumental voices.



Chapter XV

The Birth of Oratorio

    Religious character of the Greek drama--The early Christian
    plays--The liturgical drama--Miracle plays and their
    introduction of abuses--Reformatory efforts of St. Philip
    Neri--Ascent of the music to a place of importance--Recitative
    and Cavaliere's work--Improvements of Carissimi, Stradella, and
    Cesti--Alessandro Scarlatti and the aria--Advent of Handel and
    Bach.


Having traced the development of piano music, chamber music, and the
symphony, from the time at which these began to be separate branches of
art up to the present, it now becomes necessary to return to the point
of departure and follow a new line of progress. It is the task of the
reader now to accompany me in an examination into the origin of
oratorio. Difficult as it may be to realize it now, the oratorio was in
its infancy a dramatic performance, and it took its origin from the
ancient religious drama, which, indeed, is the source of all modern
drama. Greek plays, as imitated very badly by the Romans, most directly
affected oratorio. The Greek drama began at the altar of Bacchus, where
the priestesses sang about the sacrificial goat, the goat song, the
"tragos ode," the tragedy. At Delphi grew up representations of the
slaying of a serpent by Apollo, and at Eleusis the "Eleusinian
mysteries" portrayed in dramatic action the rape of Persephone and the
wanderings of Demeter. So originated the Greek drama, which until the
death of Æschylus was chiefly an embodiment of the religious beliefs and
hopes of the Greeks.

When Christianity was introduced in Greece and Rome the people clung to
the play form and continued to use the old mythological personages. The
fathers of the Church speedily perceived that such plays were distinctly
hostile to the progress of the true faith, so they set about writing
religious dramas which should present to the people the facts of
Christianity quite as attractively as the older plays presented those of
Paganism. This work began in the second century (if not earlier), but
the old ideas clung firmly. A curious drama called "Christ's Passion,"
long supposed to have been written by St. Gregory Nazianzen, Patriarch
of Constantinople near the end of the fourth century, contains a curious
mixture of Biblical personages, church hymns and extracts from Greek
plays. About one-third of the verse, for instance, is taken from
Euripides. Dr. Brambs, of Leipsic, has proved that this "Christ's
Passion" dates from the tenth, not the fourth century. It is not
difficult to see how the early Christian dramas could have developed
from the elaborate liturgical presentations of such events as the
nativity, the annunciation, and the crucifixion. Indeed there are extant
some twenty-seven or twenty-eight liturgical arrangements which are
purely dramatic in form and style. Their musical part was provided by
the old Latin hymns. In one of these dramas, "The Shepherds," occur
passages used in Handel's oratorios, such as "Glory to God in the
highest," and "Behold, a virgin shall conceive and shall bear a son."

It was a natural outcome of the social condition of the era that in the
course of time these dramas, enacted frequently in the open air, forced
to appeal to a heterogeneous mass of densely ignorant persons, and bound
to employ their very superstitions in order to gain their comprehension,
should have permitted the introduction of all kinds of triviality and
vulgarity. In "The Fall of Lucifer" the devil was introduced with horns,
tail, cloven hoof, and a glaring red beard. Noah's wife, in another
play, refused to go into the ark, and Noah took a stout cudgel to her.
Adam and Eve appeared naked, and donned their fig leaves in the presence
of the audience. One very popular play in the fifteenth century was
performed on a three-story stage, of which the top story represented
heaven, the middle one earth, and the lowest one hell. The devil had now
become the buffoon of the drama, and was driven about by the populace
with blows from inflated bladders tied to the ends of sticks. In one
play there were four devils to keep the fun going, and jugglers,
acrobats, and buffoons were introduced, until the medieval religious
drama resembled the modern "farce comedy."

A reform, which led to the establishment of the oratorio, was caused by
the work of St. Philip Neri (born in Florence, 1515), founder of the
Congregation of the Fathers of the Oratory at Rome. An old Italian
writer, Crescembini, says: "The Oratorio, a poetical composition,
formerly a commixture of the dramatic and narrative styles, but now
entirely a musical drama, had its origin from San Filippo Neri, who in
his chapel, after sermons and other devotions, in order to allure young
people to pious offices, and to detain them from earthly pleasure, had
hymns, psalms, and such like prayers sung by one or more voices....
Among these spiritual songs were dialogues." The truth is that St.
Philip Neri induced capable Italian poets to make his librettos, which
consisted of dialogues interspersed with choruses. The music he had
written by the best composers, even Palestrina contributing to the good
cause. The beauty and purity of these works caused them to become
popular among the more intelligent young Romans, and St. Philip's
oratory (whence the name oratorio) was always crowded.

The invention of dramatic recitative near the close of the sixteenth
century produced a marked effect on oratorio. It very quickly took the
place of the dialogue, and thenceforward for many years there was
little difference between opera and oratorio except in the nature of
their subjects. The first oratorio with dramatic recitative, of which
any account has come down to us, was "L'Anima e Corpo," written by Laura
Guidiccioni and composed by Emilio del Cavaliere, one of the little band
of musical explorers who gave us opera. This oratorio was performed in
Rome in 1600. The orchestra, consisting of a double lyre, a harpsichord,
a large guitar, and two flutes, was placed behind the scenes, and the
oratorio was presented as a musical drama. The chorus sat on the stage,
but when singing arose and made appropriate gestures. Complete stage
directions were given in the work for the action of the various
characters. The oratorio ended with a chorus "to be sung, accompanied
sedately and reverentially by the dance," and there was provision for a
ballet, "enlivened with capers or _entrechats_."

The new form of religious drama soon won its way to general
appreciation, and composers were not slow to avail themselves of the
opportunities it gave them. Giovanni Carissimi (1582-1672) wrote a
number of oratorios, excellent for their time, among them "Jephthah,"
"Solomon's Judgment," "Belshazzar," and "David and Jonathan." Carissimi
made great improvements in the recitative, giving it more character and
real musical expressiveness than his predecessors had. He also showed
much skill in his choral writing, which was not so completely polyphonic
as that of the earlier church writers. He often used bold successions of
broad and simple chords and often his writing for the voices is much
like that of Handel, a century later. On the whole his work shows a
tendency to abandon a close adherence to the methods of the early opera
composers and to move toward the style subsequently formulated by
Handel. Alessandro Stradella (1645(?)-1681(?)) and Antonio Cesti
(1620-?), the latter, a pupil of Carissimi, did much toward developing
the choral part of the oratorio. Dr. Parry says: "Stradella had a very
remarkable instinct for choral effect, and even piling up progressions
into a climax; and his solo music, though apparently not so happy in
varieties of spontaneous melody as Cesti's, aims equally at definiteness
of structure. His work in the line of oratorio is especially
significant, as he stands comparatively alone in cultivating all the
natural resources of that form of art--on the lines which Handel adopted
later--at a time when his fellow composers were falling in with the
inclination of their public for solo singing, and were giving up the
grand opportunities of choral effect as superfluous."

The tendency of dramatic music, the state of public taste, and the skill
of solo singers all had their influence upon oratorio during the
sixteenth century, and the most popular oratorio composers were those
who also wrote the most successful operas. Alessandro Scarlatti, who has
been mentioned earlier in this book, was the musical dictator of his
day, and his oratorios show a great gain in the elasticity and direct
expressiveness of the recitative, which is quite as dramatic as that of
the contemporaneous opera. But perhaps his treatment of the aria was
more influential. It was he who made the aria the central sun of the
operatic system, and he naturally gave to the solo parts of his
oratorios more definiteness of melody. His treatment of the aria, with
its passages of pure vocal display combined with clearly formed tune,
led the way directly to the Handelian style.

George Frederick Handel was born at Halle, Germany, Feb. 23, 1685. He
studied first under Zachau of Halle, and began his musical career as an
opera composer at Hamburg. He went to Italy and studied faithfully the
works of the Italian masters, some of whom (the Scarlattis, Corelli, and
others) he met personally. His three years in Italy saturated him with
the spirit of Italian music, and he was always influenced by it. On his
return to Germany he became chapel master to the Elector of Hanover. In
1710 he made his first visit to England and wrote his opera "Rinaldo."
In 1712 he went to live in England, where he remained till his death,
April 13, 1759. Handel, having failed pecuniarily as an opera composer,
took up the work of oratorio writing. His principal oratorios are: "The
Messiah" (Dublin, April 18, 1742, and London, 1749), "Israel in Egypt"
(1740) "Judas Maccabæus" (1747), and "Saul" (1740). The oratorio as we
know it to-day dates from Handel, and it was in his day that Dr. Gibson,
Bishop of London, gave a decision which put an end to acting in this
branch of art and removed it entirely from the realm of dramatic
representation.

Contemporaneous with Handel was Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) who is
believed to have made five different settings of the story of Christ's
passion. Of these only two have been preserved: that according to St.
John (1724), and that according to St. Matthew (1729). The latter is
regarded as the greater, and is esteemed by most critics as the noblest
of all compositions in the oratorio form. The reader has seen how the
oratorio in Italy developed up to the time of Handel, who took up that
line of progress and advanced it. His oratorios are strictly in the line
of Italian development, with such modifications as the character and
nationality of the man would naturally produce. We shall best understand
the subsequent development of oratorio if we now review the history of
passion music and examine the peculiar character of this product as
compared with the oratorio of Handel.



Chapter XVI

Work of Handel and Bach

    History of "Passion" music--Heinrich Schütz and his "Seven Last
    Words"--His "Passions"--The text of Brockes--Distinguishing
    features of the forms of Handel and Bach--The former as a
    development of Italian oratorio--The latter as essentially
    German--Protestantism and the chorale--Bach's intimacy and
    Handel's popularity.


The history of passion music previous to that of Bach is voluminous.
Early in the middle ages the history of the passion according to the
four evangelists was sung on the four days of Holy Week. This was done
in the Roman Catholic churches. A priest intoned the words of the
narrative, a second priest the words of Christ, and a third those of the
other personages in the story. The words of the populace, the crowd,
were sung by the choir in the polyphony of the time. The Protestant
authorities saw the value of this form of service as a means of
impressing the story upon the popular mind and continued its use, but
with German instead of Latin text. As early as 1530 there were passions
according to St. Matthew and St. John, with German text and music by
Johann Walther. The first published edition is a passion according to
St. Matthew, with music by Clemens Stephani, printed at Nuremberg in
1570. Various versions written by Melchior Vulpius, in 1613, Thomas
Mancinus, 1620, and Christopher Schulz, 1653, are known.

An important contribution to the development of passion music was that
of Heinrich Schütz (born at Köstritz, Saxony, Oct. 8, 1585, died at
Dresden, Nov. 6, 1672). Schütz was a pupil of Giovanni Gabrieli, of the
Venetian school of organists, and was made chapel master at Dresden by
the Elector George I. In his "Seven Last Words of Christ" (produced in
1645) we find a fusing of all the elements which appear in the earlier
passion music, and also a definite foundation for the form employed by
Bach. The work begins with a four-part chorus set to the words of the
old hymn:--

    "Since Christ our Lord was crucified
    And bore the spear-wound in his side."

An instrumental "symphony" follows and leads up to a recitative by the
Evangelist (alto voice) who tells the story: "And it was close upon the
third hour when they crucified the Lord, and Jesus spake." The words of
Christ are then sung by a baritone: "Father, forgive them, for they know
not what they do." The narrative is not confined to one voice, tenor and
soprano also taking part in it. The words "And at about the ninth hour
he cried aloud and said," are set for a quartet. So also are the words
"And after he had thus spoken," etc. An instrumental symphony follows
the close of the story, "And he gave up his spirit," and the work ends
with a chorus expressing the thoughts of the Christian Church.
Significant features of this work are its use of recitative instead of
plain chant, which was used in the narrative and recitative parts of the
earlier Passions, its preservation of choruses of the old polyphonic
motet style, its employment of a carefully made instrumental
accompaniment, and its introduction of the two picturesque orchestral
interludes. Schütz's recitative, it should be noted, was not so much
like the modern oratorio recitative as like the arioso style,--that in
which the recitation has a melodious character.

In the years 1665 and 1666 Schütz produced four settings of the Passion.
In these the composer, in an effort to combat the growing influence of
Italian opera music in Germany, abandoned the instrumental accompaniment
and wrote his choruses in the pure _a capella_ church style. But his
individual characters, the evangelist, Christ, and others, used dramatic
recitative. The Passion music of Giovanni Sebastiani, written in 1672,
approaches the form of Bach's very closely. The Evangelist, who tells
the story in a recitative of melodious character, is a tenor, and his
recitation is accompanied by 2 violins, viola, and bass. The sacred aria
makes its appearance in this setting, and so also does the four-part
Protestant chorale. This introduction of the chorale grew out of the
custom, which had formerly prevailed, of asking the congregation at
convenient points in the Passion to sing a hymn.

There were other versions of the Passion, but that which most concerns
us at present was an arrangement of the text in 1712 by Barthold
Heinrich Brockes, a member of the Town Council of Hamburg. This was set
to music by several composers, among them Handel, and it was known to
Sebastian Bach. This text appears to the taste of the present to be
overloaded with ornate figures of speech. The reader may now be able to
perceive the differences between the form and style of the oratorio
proper as cultivated by Handel and of the Passion oratorio, as a special
variety, cultivated by Bach. In the St. Matthew Passion, the master-work
of Bach, the narrative part of the text, according to the writings of
Matthew, is sung by a tenor in a form of recitative. The speeches of
Jesus, St. Peter, the High Priest, and Pontius Pilate are always
delivered by a bass. The Jews are represented by a chorus. A second
group, representing the ideal Christian congregation, introduces moral
observations, while a third group sings chorales, representing the
spirit of Protestantism.

In Handel's "Messiah" the text, taken from various parts of the Bible,
gives an outline of the story of the coming of the Saviour, of his
suffering and death. There are solos by tenor, soprano, alto, and bass
voices, which are used entirely for musical effect. There is no attempt
to identify any voice with any personage. "He was despised and rejected,"
is sung by the alto; "I know that my Redeemer liveth," by the soprano;
"But who may abide the day of His coming?" by the bass. The entire
treatment of the text is regulated by musical considerations. It is not
possible to discover that the chorus represents the populace or the
church. For instance, the bass sings the air "The people that walked in
darkness have seen a great light," with text from Isaiah; and this is
followed by the chorus "For unto us a son is born," from the same book.
Then comes the pastoral symphony, a bit of purely descriptive
instrumental music, which serves as a prelude to the scene of the
shepherds, which is narrated by a soprano voice. This wholly undramatic
style is not unlike the purely musical manner of setting the mass and
the other parts of the church liturgy, and has been closely followed in
its form by modern composers in many works in which the element of
personality is not a factor. It was followed by Handel himself in some
of his other works, by Haydn in "The Seasons," and by Mendelssohn in his
"St. Paul" to a considerable extent.

But Handel himself thoroughly understood the value of the old-fashioned
form of Carissimi, in which the personages were treated dramatically and
uttered direct speeches. The familiar number, "Total Blindness," from
his "Samson," is an example of this. But the difference between the
oratorios of Handel and Bach is not merely one of form. It is still more
noticeable in the style and the spirit. The Handelian oratorio, although
it may not at first sight appear to be so, is a direct descendant of the
Italian. Handel was completely saturated with the spirit of Italian
music, and he developed his musical style from it. It was plainly his
purpose in building the great choruses of his oratorios to follow the
ecclesiastical polyphonic style of Italy. But this in itself had
undergone certain technical changes. In the first place, the
disappearance of the old church scales and the introduction of the
modern major and minor keys had placed polyphony on a new basis and
compelled a more free and unrestricted treatment of the voice parts in
order that the new laws of harmony might not be broken. Again the old
church choruses were designed for performance without accompaniment,
while the oratorio choruses had to follow the later custom and make use
of the orchestra. Hence Handel's polyphony had to be cast in broader and
more powerful masses, while his orchestral accompaniment had a certain
amount of independence, and at times even considerable descriptive
power. His entire musical scheme, however, was devised to reproduce in
broad tints the emotional spirit of the text.

Handel's choruses are full of musical characterization, and it is this
spirit, even more than the style, which distinguishes them from those of
his Italian forerunners, and which has made them stand the test of time
and manifold changes of musical taste. "The Messiah" is the most popular
oratorio in the United States, because its broad mass effects are
instantly influential, even among those who neither perceive their
musical character nor comprehend their artistic purpose. Strongly marked
rhythms, fluent melody, and powerful climaxes are among the easily
discernible elements of the greatness of Handel's choruses, but the
deeper secret of their power is their admirable adaptation of old means
to the promptings of a new spirit. Handel never forgot his public,
however, and it is largely because he kept always before him the
necessity of achieving his artistic purposes with attractive means that
his "Messiah" continues to be popular. The fundamental elements of
popularity in music do not change radically, after all, and hence
Handel's music holds its own in the absence from the domain of oratorio
of anything of a more influential nature.

Two great characteristics mark the difference between Bach's work in the
development of oratorio and Handel's. In the first place Bach was
essentially German in thought and practice, and in the second place he
cared comparatively little about producing beautiful melody and
attractive musical effects, but devoted his energies to the most
accurate, detailed, and subtle expression. The Teutonism of Bach's music
is to be seen not only in the intense earnestness and high
intellectuality of it, but in its wide and significant employment of the
German chorale and of a musical style developed therefrom. As Dr. Parry
has noted, Bach's early life was given up to the study of organ playing,
and hence the voice parts in his choruses follow the method of organ
counterpoint. His choruses are, therefore, not so broad and massive as
Handel's, but present a more scholarly and varied polyphony. "Where
Handel aimed at beauty of melodic form, Bach strove for characteristic
expression." Handel's counterpoint is the smooth, mellifluous, facile
counterpoint of the Italians; Bach's, seeking always to fit the musical
phrase to the immediate context, is severe, intricate, and evasive. Its
demands on the hearer present themselves as a series of numberless
details, demanding of him unusual closeness of attention and delicacy of
perception. Handel's melodic form and mass effects are easily
appreciable by the masses; Bach requires more attention than the masses
ever give, but he repays study with a revelation of great riches. To sum
up this part of the matter, Handel was Italian in his knowledge of how
to please, while Bach was German in his conscientiousness and
thoroughness.

The employment of the German chorale in Bach's Passion music was not
only the result of his adherence to established custom, but the outcome
of his life-long devotion to this characteristic embodiment of the
spirit of Protestant Germany. Bach treated the chorale melodies in many
of his works, such as his organ chorales and his motets, as the medieval
composers treated the _cantus firmus_, the liturgical chant. He used it
as the subject of a contrapuntal work, weaving around it a rich, yet
austere polyphony, which voiced the plain methods of the Protestant
Church as fully as the medieval counterpoint reflected in music the
artistic method pictorially embodied in Gothic architecture. It was
altogether natural and fitting that when he came to set the Passion he
should have used the chorale as the most complete and satisfying
exponent of the Protestant faith, for that was what it had come to be in
Germany. To this day the Lutheran hymn "Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott"
is the battle-hymn of the German Protestant.

Bach lacked the impulse of the Italian to write tune for tune's sake.
Striving as he did "for characteristic expression," it was impossible
for him to reach a simple song-style in the solo parts of his Passion.
His recitative is too intricate, too detailed, and too thoughtful to
produce the broad declamatory effects of Handel's. The same assertion
may be made as to his airs. Bach's music always has a reflective quality
which robs it of the conventional dramatic appearance and stands as an
obstacle in the way of its immediate appreciation by a miscellaneous and
unprepared audience. There is nothing popular about Bach's music. He
never comes down from his elevation to meet the crowd. If you wish to
understand Bach you must climb up to his height, and that is never easy
to do.

Both the forms, that of Handel and that of Bach, have individuality and
distinct limitations. Bach's style, capable as it is of intense feeling,
is essentially intimate, personal, and undramatic. It is always the
voice of Bach in direct address to you that you hear. Handel's method is
productive of broad and imposing effects, and while it is frequently
only theatrical, it is quite as often sincerely and convincingly
dramatic. One of Handel's biographers says of his great choruses: "They
are choral recitatives, uttered by the voice of a multitude instead of a
man. And strangely enough, the path that led to this embodiment of the
composer's aspirations was the dusty path of Italian opera, where great
combinations were impossible, science all but wasted, and where a giant
intellect found little to grasp." Yet it is precisely the development of
Handel's oratorio style from his work as an Italian opera composer that
establishes its direct connection with the progress of the original
Italian school of oratorio founded in Rome. It was the outcome, the
climax, and the end of this school. Bach's Passion oratorios were the
product of a purely German and Protestant ancestry, and they, too, were
the highest achievement of their school. The subsequent history of
oratorio will show us how attempts were made to fuse the elements of the
two schools.



Chapter XVII

Haydn and Mendelssohn

    Decadence of oratorio after Handel and Bach--Haydn and
    "The Creation"--Development of descriptive orchestration
    in oratorio--Haydn's oratorios descriptive and
    contemplative--Mendelssohn and the fusion of styles--His
    dramatic German Protestant oratorios--Mingling of elements from
    Handel and Bach.


For a considerable period after the deaths of Handel and Bach nothing of
note in oratorio form was produced. One must seek for the cause of this
in the vitiated state of public taste. Europe was addicted to the
Italian opera habit, and in those days Italian opera was quite as empty,
meaningless, and insincere as it has been at most periods in its
history. There were no Italian composers who had sufficient genius to
combine dramatic truth with musical beauty, so those who were writing
contented themselves with the easily attainable, and turned out watery
arias to please the superficial multitude. It was much easier for people
to listen to that sort of music than to the imposing works of Handel or
the subtle productions of Bach. Indeed the work of the latter was not
known far outside of his own country. The large and comprehensive
"History of Music," by Sir John Hawkins, published in 1776, when England
was not yet through mourning the loss of Handel, contains a very brief
mention of Bach, and says nothing at all about his Passions. They indeed
were quite forgotten till Mendelssohn found that according to St.
Matthew and resurrected it a hundred years after it was written. In the
meantime Sacchini, Paisiello, Jomelli, and other Italian opera
composers, whose works are now as dead as the Pharaohs, were writing
worthless oratorios in operatic style.

Josef Haydn (1732-1813) began his career as an oratorio composer by
writing an Italian work, in 1774, called "Il ritorno di Tobia." It was
in the accepted form of its time, and though it contained some melodious
solo parts and some well made fugal choruses, it shared the fate of
other oratorios in the same style and sank into oblivion. Before Haydn
reached the closing years of his life, however, two influences combined
to change the public attitude toward operatic and oratorio music. Gluck
had made a determined stand against the meaningless jingle of Italian
opera music and had shown how to write operas which should be simple,
melodious, and dramatically honest. Mozart had taken the entire extant
apparatus of Italian opera and shown how it could be made the vehicle of
the fullest dramatic expression and the most faithful characterization.
The people in general were led to revolt against the employment of the
unsuitable style of the old-fashioned opera in church music, of which
they felt oratorio was a close connection. They saw that if Italian
opera music was unfit for the stage, it was certainly less suited to a
form closely allied to worship.

Meanwhile Haydn had been in London and had heard some of Handel's
oratorios. The knowledge gained therefrom he was now to put to good use
in constructing the choruses of his new works. His own developments in
orchestration had been supplemented by Mozart's revelation of the wide
possibilities of tone-coloring, and Haydn, equipped with all this
knowledge, was to make a most important contribution to the growth of
oratorio in its orchestral department. In the latter days of his great
career, in 1798, Haydn produced "The Creation," a work which has
survived its worthless predecessors of the post-Handelian period, and
which is welcomed to-day wherever music lovers have not lost their
ability to appreciate simplicity and unpretentious beauty. In form "The
Creation" is much more closely allied to the epic form of "The Messiah"
than the dramatic shape of "Samson" and other works. The solo parts of
"The Creation" are assigned to persons in the drama, as Adam and Eve,
but these persons have no dramatic character or function. Their voices
are employed only as those of narrators or commentators. They narrate
the events of creation and comment on its wonders. The reader will at
once see that this method deprived the work of the powerful element of
personal characterization. The emotions of Adam and Eve never come to
the surface. There is no passion, no grief in "The Creation." Thus it
makes a step backward toward the music of pure religious contemplation,
such as we found at the close of the era of church counterpoint. But
Haydn's means were more modern. His arias for the solo voices have all
the beauty of melody and style to be found in the best Italian writing
for the stage, while they add to these elements a sincerity never
wanting in the music of Haydn.

The choruses are naturally designed on a less imposing scale than those
of Handel, which, as we have seen, had a certain dramatic quality. The
general style and purpose of Haydn's oratorio writing made it inevitable
that his choruses should be more contemplative or descriptive and less
dramatic, and his development of the instrumental accompaniment
emphasized this condition. It was Haydn who introduced into the oratorio
purely descriptive orchestral music, and in doing this he paved the way
for later composers to make stronger dramatic effects. Descriptive music
in the orchestra, and instrumental accompaniments with special
significance, are now a familiar part of the apparatus of the lyric
drama as well as of the oratorio. Haydn employed these means as a part
of his general scheme of descriptive writing. In order to give his
instrumental description full scope, he was obliged to cast his choruses
in a simpler mould than those of Handel, but his contributions to the
art of descriptive writing were quite as valuable within their field as
Handel's to the art of building huge choral climaxes. The prelude to
"The Creation" is an instrumental representation of chaos; in the
recitative beginning "And God made the firmament" are instrumental
illustrations of storms, winds, thunders, and floods; the air "Rolling
in foaming billows" has an accompaniment designed to suggest to the
hearer the movement of waves. These were Haydn's original devices, and
as such, although they sound simple and even naive to us to-day, they
claim an important place in the advancement of musical art.

Haydn's second oratorio, "The Seasons," was produced in 1801, and
although the composer's powers failed rapidly thereafter, there is no
evidence of weakness in this work. In all essentials the form and style
of this oratorio, which is secular, being founded in Thomson's poem of
the same name, are the same as those of "The Creation." It is a
descriptive, contemplative work, and must please by its thoughtful
beauty and illustrative power. It is without the dramatic element.
Ludwig Spohr (1784-1859) wrote oratorios, one of which, called "The Last
Judgment"--though its name literally means "The Last Things" has some
claims to consideration, inasmuch as by reason of its purely
contemplative method and its instrumental descriptions it stands in the
direct line of oratorio progress. It is, however, not frequently
performed. It was produced at Cassel in 1826.

We come now to the master who established a new form of oratorio,--a
form which is unsurpassed in its possibilities, and in which he left us
the greatest masterpiece of dramatic oratorio. Felix Mendelssohn
(1809-1847) wrote two oratorios: "St. Paul," produced in 1836, and
"Elijah," first performed in 1846. Though Mendelssohn was never a writer
for the stage, for which his style was not at all suitable, he was not
undramatic in his musical instincts. He was inordinately fond of
programme music, and was somewhat more inclined to attribute to music a
definite directness of utterance than most thoughtful commentators are
willing to concede to it. He certainly went far toward justifying his
theories by his "Midsummer Night's Dream" overture, but one must be
careful to note that this composition is almost wholly made up of what
has happily been called scenic music,--music descriptive of the
externals of a drama, not of its subtler emotions. That Mendelssohn,
however, had on the whole the right conception of the expressive power
of music is shown by his reproof of the man who tried to give titles to
the "Songs Without Words," and by his quotation of the opening measures
of his own Hebrides overture as his attempt to express his own feelings
aroused by the winds and waves. On the whole, it must be conceded that
Mendelssohn had a correct idea of the dramatic expressiveness of music
and a deep sympathy with it.

At the same time Mendelssohn, though of Jewish blood, was intensely
German. Furthermore, he was baptized and brought up as a Protestant
Christian. It is not at all surprising, then, that he was prepared to be
powerfully attracted toward the Protestant oratorio, when he approached
that form of composition, and to show little sympathy for the Italian
form, as perfected by Handel. As early as 1823 the score of Bach's "St.
Matthew Passion" was copied from the manuscript and placed in his hands
for study. It is not difficult to imagine the effect of the work on the
mind of an eager, ambitious boy of fourteen, already a composer, and
just passed through the severe process of German preparation for
confirmation. Mendelssohn became an enthusiastic propagandist of the
teachings of Bach, and revived the "St. Matthew Passion" in Germany,
where the general public had quite forgotten it.

In preparing himself for the task of composing his first oratorio, "St.
Paul," Mendelssohn undoubtedly gave close study to the works of his
great predecessors. That he should have rejected almost instinctively
the Italian style of Handel followed as a matter of course. That he
should have put aside with equal readiness the austere style of Bach was
inevitable. Mendelssohn was from the outset an exponent of graceful,
fluent melody. His genius was deeply tinged with the sentiment of song,
and he could no more have sacrificed beauty of theme and perfect
simplicity of form to subtlety of detail than Handel could. But at the
same time his dramatic instincts told him that the sure way to the
hearts of the people was the old Italian way, which made the oratorio in
all essentials, except scenery and action, a religious drama. He knew at
once that Bach's method of presenting the speeches of the principal
personages in direct recitative was good, but that it had fallen short
of complete effectiveness from two reasons: first, because the speeches
were led up to and quoted by the evangelist narrator; and second,
because the musical character of the recitative was too detailed to
appeal to a general audience. But Mendelssohn saw one tremendous factor
in the Bach oratorio,--the chorale as an embodiment of the Protestant
faith of Germany.

In his "St. Paul" he did not arrive at the true method of dealing with
the elements which appeared to him to be essential to an influential and
permanent form of oratorio. The book is episodic and lacks dramatic
continuity. The plan is religious rather than dramatic. The martyrdom of
St. Stephen is the first episode, and it is without direct connection
dramatically with the other two, the conversion of St. Paul, and his
later career as a preacher. Both Stephen and Paul are deficient in
definiteness of characterization. They appear to us rather as
representations of an idea, which may be expressed in the words, "Go ye
unto all the world and preach the gospel." But in "Elijah" we have the
genuine modern dramatic oratorio, and in it we find that Mendelssohn
made use of those parts of the apparatus of his predecessors suitable to
his designs. "Elijah" is eclectic. It is a fusion of forms and styles,
made with great skill and with the finest possible discrimination. It is
a logical evolution, and Mendelssohn showed in its composition an
instinctive grasp of the evolutionary principle of the survival of the
fittest,--that is, the fittest for his design.

He dispensed with the narrator and directed his attention to placing the
speeches of his personages before the auditor in the most direct,
dramatic, and characteristic manner. He used the choruses as Handel did,
to impersonate the mass of people. He employed the chorales exactly as
Bach did, to signify the thought of the Church as it had come to be
understood in Germany. His scenes are all arranged in dramatic form, and
without doubt could be placed upon the stage effectively if the whole
feeling of contemporaneous audiences were not opposed to that method of
giving oratorio. His characters are drawn clearly and sharply. Indeed,
there is no oratorio in which the musical characterization is so finely
worked out. The contrasts between the choruses of the priests of Baal
and the Jews are sufficient evidence of this. But everywhere throughout
the score there is evidence of a consistent and successful effort to
adapt to the production of a powerfully dramatic, yet specifically
Protestant and German, oratorio, the most influential elements of the
forms of Handel and Bach, together with Haydn's instrumental coloring.

The very beginning of the oratorio strikes a new note, and one of
tremendous dramatic power. Three broad chords are followed by the
portentous prophecy of Elijah, "As God the Lord of Israel liveth, before
whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according
to my word." After that single passage, set to a style of recitative
wholly different from that of either Bach or Handel, yet containing some
of the qualities of both, follows the overture, a piece of music
descriptive of the misery of the land of drought. Thenceforward
everything moves dramatically. The people cry, "Help, Lord; wilt Thou
quite destroy us?" Then they beseech, "Lord, bow Thine ear to our
prayer." Obadiah calls them to repentance with warning and with the
lovely air, "If with all your hearts ye truly seek me." Later an angel
comes and commands Elijah to go to Cherith's brook, and then follows the
double quartet, "For He shall give His angels," a new employment of
Bach's commentary chorus. The episode of Elijah and the widow is treated
with dramatic directness, and is followed by the commentary chorus,
"Blessed are the men who fear Him."

The whole scene between Elijah and the priests of Baal is magnificent in
the eloquence of its dramatic form and style. Yet the superb air of
Elijah, "Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, this day let it be known
that Thou art God," is followed by the pure old Bach species of chorale,
"Cast thy burden upon the Lord." The climax of the oratorio is reached
in the great scene of the coming of the rain. This scene is constructed
and composed with a fine sense of dramatic values, and its effect is so
sure and strong that it puts before the imagination a vivid picture. It
is no wonder that in England, where dry and dusty works are produced
year after year by native composers, such a masterpiece as "Elijah" is
always heard with unabated enthusiasm. Here it is overshadowed in the
popular mind by "The Messiah," and perhaps this is due in some measure
to the public absorption in opera.

Since Mendelssohn achieved his fusion of the most influential elements
of the Italian and German oratorios, no significant advance has been
made in the oratorio form. This, of course, is due to the fact that no
musician of genius has found in that form a vehicle suitable to the
character of his thought. Good, workmanlike compositions have been
produced in England, where oratorio is more popular than it is in any
other part of the world, but so far as can be judged from the
disadvantageous position of close proximity to the novelties, nothing of
large worth has been written there. It seems safe to say, however, that
the greatest choral composition written since Mendelssohn's day is the
German Requiem of Brahms. But it lies outside the field of oratorio.
Edgar Tinel, born at Sinay, Belgium, on March 27, 1854, has made an
attempt to return directly to the Italian dramatic form of Carissimi,
but employing modern musical material. His oratorio, "St. Franciscus,"
produced in Brussels in 1888, employs the entire musical apparatus of
modern German opera, including the full resources of Wagnerian
orchestration. The result is that the music smells of the theatre, and
the whole style of the work is foreign to the religious atmosphere of
the oratorio. Charles François Gounod (1818-1893), the famous French
opera composer, made an attempt in his "Redemption" to produce a
modernized treatment of Bach's passion form. Gounod was always a student
of Bach, and was thoroughly acquainted with the various forms employed
by that master. In "The Redemption" he followed the Bach plan of giving
the narrative to one or two separate male voices and having the direct
speeches of Jesus quoted by a baritone. He employs the chorale to
represent the voice of the Church, while modern chorus forms are used to
represent the crowd. Gounod also uses a single typical theme to embody
the love of Jesus, and this, of course, is a device of later date than
Bach. But the ground plan of "The Redemption" is plainly modelled on
that of the "St. Matthew Passion." There the resemblance ends, for
Gounod's recitative and choral writings are modern and sweetly melodious
without subtlety.



Chapter XVIII

The Birth of Opera

    Festival plays and intermezzi--Dreary character of music in
    plays--Influence of Greek learning--Attempt to resuscitate
    the dramatic declamation of the Greeks--Galilei and his
    "Ugolino"--Caccini's Nuove Musiche--Peri's setting of
    "Daphne"--Production of Rinuccini and Peri's "Eurydice"--The
    character of the new music.


The modern opera was the result of a deliberate attempt to revive the
Greek drama, and that attempt was caused chiefly by dissatisfaction with
the music of medieval festival plays. The direction of the attempt was
guided by the revival of Greek learning in Italy, a revival of which the
reader has already been informed in Chapter VI. In order, however, that
the reader may have a clear understanding of the conditions which led to
the birth of opera, it is necessary that the author should briefly
review the state of vocal music employed in plays in the sixteenth
century. The reader will best understand this by recollecting that the
entire art music of the time was colored by the use of the
ecclesiastical scales and the complete devotion of composers to church
counterpoint. The result was that in the beginning there was no
difference, except in the subjects of the libretti, between the
religious dramas, from which the oratorio was developed, and the secular
plays with music, which may be regarded as the forerunners of the opera.
These plays contained no recitative, because recitative had not yet been
invented. They consisted of dialogue interspersed with choruses, and
these choruses were always written, like the madrigals and other secular
songs of the time, in one or the other of the ecclesiastical scales and
in three, four, or five part polyphony.

Accounts have come down to us from a time as early as 1350 of the
employment of plays with musical accompaniment performed to bring to a
close the carnival festivities in Florence. This accompaniment at first
consisted of a single chorus sung at the end of a scene, to a text
bearing some relation to that of the play. The absurdity into which it
fell at times may be understood from the fact that the text sung in a
polyphonic chorus was frequently supposed to be the utterance of one of
the personages of the drama. Toward the end of the fourteenth century
the custom of introducing these pieces of music grew until they were
known as intermezzi. The intermezzo grew in importance till it became a
separate play of lighter character than the principal drama. As our
fathers used to go to the theatre to see "Richard III.," followed by a
one act farce, so these medieval Italians went to see a serious drama
relieved by a humorous or fanciful intermezzo; the difference being that
the intermezzo was performed between the acts of the play. The
intermezzo subsequently rose to such an importance that it developed
into opera buffa, the comic Italian opera. But for the present we are
concerned with it only as a forerunner of opera.

In 1589 Giovanni Bardi, Count of Vernio, wrote, as the festival play for
the marriage of the Grand Duke Ferdinand with Christine de Lorraine,
"L'Amico fido" with "grand, spectacular intermezzi." There were five
intermezzi: "The Harmony of the Spheres," by Rinuccini, Cavaliere, and
Malvezzi; "The Judgment of the Hamadryads," by Rinuccini and Marenzio;
"The Triumph of Apollo," by Rinuccini, Marenzio, and Vernio; "The
Infernal Regions," by Strozzi and Caccini; and "The Fable of Arion," by
Rinuccini, Cavaliere and Marenzio. This production naturally stimulated
the movement in the direction of true opera, while it served to
emphasize the utter unfitness of the extant style of music for dramatic
purposes. The more frequently the composers undertook to set to music
dramatic libretti, even of the simplest nature, the more firmly they
became convinced that their music was not the right kind. The musical
artists of the time had followed the methods of the religious drama,
described in the chapter on the birth of oratorio, and were now
gradually awakening to the fact that its style of music was incapable of
illustrating the human passions and emotions of the secular drama. The
dissatisfaction first found general voice in 1579, when a festival play,
with music by Claudio Merulo and Andrea Gabrieli, was performed in honor
of the marriage of Francesco I., Duke of Tuscany, with Bianca Capella,
of Venice. The text of the choruses was full of joyous praise of the
beauty of the bride; the music was in strict canon and in four parts,
and made the wedding songs sound like funeral hymns. The artistic
nobility of Florence was deeply displeased, and it was then that the
Count of Vernio and a circle of his friends set out to see how they
could improve the state of dramatic music.

The reader will recollect that in Chapter VI I spoke of the great
influence of the revival of Greek learning in Italy on the
simplification of musical style. The friends and associates of Count
Vernio were all enthusiastic students of Greek literature; and to them
the masterpieces of Æschylus and Euripides had come as revelations. It
became their fondest ambition to restore the Greek drama, but they soon
learned that in order to do this they must find their way back to
something like the Greek music used in that drama. It was in searching
for this that they hit upon the much desired substitute for the
unsuitable polyphonic choruses. The Greek drama resembled the opera
rather than the play of the present day. Music was an essential part of
it. The dramatic and lyric elements were inseparable, and the one
modified the other. The spirit of the text was as faithfully represented
in the music as it was possible to represent it with the music of that
age. We have abundant evidence that the Greek tragic writers were also
composers. H. E. Krehbiel, in his "Studies in the Wagnerian Drama," has
excellently summarized this evidence. A fragment of a theoretical work
on rhythm by Aristoxenus is filled with lamentations over the decadence
of dramatic music since the days of Æschylus. The author accuses
contemporary composers of pandering to a depraved public taste.
Sophocles was not only a poet and a composer, but an actor and a singer.
In his own drama "Thamyris" he appeared as a singer stricken blind by
the muses. Special note is made by the Greek writers that Euripides had
to call in the aid of a composer to supply the music for one of his
plays. In the Greek play the actors did not declaim their lines; they
chanted them. The odes which filled the pauses between the various
stages of the dramatic action were sung by the chorus which gravely
danced around an altar between the stage and the audience. These
choruses were sung in unison, and were accompanied by instruments.

It was this dramatic recitation in music as practised by the Greeks that
the little circle of enthusiasts, habitually assembled at the Palazzo
Bardi, set out to resuscitate. But they had no specimens of it and hence
were forced to do the best they could from descriptions. The most
significant fact that struck home into their minds was that a single
personage sang or intoned his part alone, and with an accompaniment of
lyres or instruments of that class. Of course solo singing was not
unknown to the medieval Italians. The troubadours and minstrels were
practising it, and furthermore it is inconceivable that they themselves
did not often hum the catch of a madrigal. Musical historians too often
speak of solo singing as if it were a sudden invention of the Bardi
circle. What they did was to begin the artistic cultivation of it on
certain lines and to produce something which became dramatic recitative.
Vincenzo Galilei, father of Galileo, the famous astronomer, was a most
enthusiastic advocate of the ancient music. He entered into a published
controversy with the composer and theorist Zarlino, who warmly defended
the music of his time. Galilei's "Dialogo della Musica Antica e
Moderna," published in 1581, presents Count Vernio and Pietro Strozzi,
one of the poets of the Vernio circle, as discussing ancient and modern
music. It seems strange to us to find Galilei condemning modern
music--that of the church in 1581--as suitable only for uncultivated
persons and not for the scholar. Galilei, however, was not content with
precept; he added example. He selected a passage from Dante's "Inferno"
and under the title of "Il Conte Ugolino" he set it to music for a
single voice with lute accompaniment. He was an admirable lutenist and
his performance of this, the first artistic monody of which we have any
record, must have been very effective. The work itself is lost.

Giovanni Battista Doni, in his "Compendio del Trattato de' Generi e de'
Modi della Musica" (Rome, 1635), tells us that Galilei was the "first
who composed songs for a single voice," but he declares that Giulio
Caccini, another member of the circle, "in imitation of Galilei, but in
a more beautiful and pleasing style, set many canzonets and sonnets
written by excellent poets." Caccini collected a number of these songs,
which are in pure recitative style, and published them in 1601, under
the title of "Nuove Musiche." He wrote a long preface, in which he
claimed the honor of the highest achievement in this new kind of music
and stoutly upheld its superiority to that of the contrapuntists. Here
is a specimen of this "new music," which will give an excellent idea of
the kind of musical recitation those enthusiasts of Florence evolved
from their attempts to revive the Greek drama.

  [Music: Caccini "Nuove Musiche".]

  Verse:
  Di-te-li vo-i
    se di me vi ca-le
    ch'il mio Gran ma-le
    vien da Gl'occhi svo-i
  Di-te-li che ri-mi-ri
  Di-te-li che ri-mi-ri
  Men-tre chio
    moro al-me
    no mie-i
    mar-ti-ri.
  (_From Grove's "Dictionary of Music."_)

The bass part is intended to be figured by the thorough-bass system to
indicate the harmonies. The only point necessary for the reader to note
is that this recitative showed a tendency to abandon the church scales
and use the modern major and minor keys. This tendency soon became a
fixed practice, for composers learned from their dramatic experiments
that the church modes were not suitable to the embodiment of human
passions, and that they also lost much of their musical effectiveness
when not employed in polyphony. The reader will recollect what has
already been said about the change from polyphonic to monophonic
writing. This excerpt from Caccini's book is one of the earliest
specimens of monophonic composition, for it was in the search after the
Greek recitative that composers found the new thing in music. This
particular quotation presents an unusually well-formed piece for that
time, for most of the music of the Vernio coterie lacked that definite
movement which we call figure. Its rhythm was exceedingly vague, for the
purpose of the composers was to follow as closely as possible the
inflections of the voice in speech. It was their belief that this method
was the true path to dramatic expressiveness. Their theory has been
proved by the experience of their successors to be fundamentally
correct, though their practice was naturally uncertain, tentative, and
often unsuccessful. Nevertheless to Galilei, Caccini, and the other
members of the assembly at the Palazzo Bardi must be attributed the
invention of modern dramatic recitative, upon which the whole structure
of opera rests. It is not possible to tell which of these men was the
actual inventor. Probably the product was the result of consultation and
joint effort extending over some twenty years.

Although the labors of Galilei and Caccini produced recitative, it is
plain that they had not up to 1595 (or thereabout) written anything more
than scenes for a single voice. In 1592 the Pope appointed the Count of
Vernio his Maestro di Camera, and he accordingly removed from Florence
to Rome. The meetings of the Florentine coterie were held thereafter at
the palace of Giacomo Corsi, who was also an enthusiast in regard to
Greek literature and art in general. It was at the house of Corsi that
the first work of the coterie in the form of a play was made known. This
was a pastoral called "Daphne," performed privately in 1597. The book
was written by Ottavio Rinuccini, the poet, who wrote some of the
intermezzi previously mentioned, and the music was by Jacopo Peri, a
member of the coterie, not a very learned musician, but a firm believer
in the new style. The work is lost, but Peri tells us in the preface to
his later work, "Eurydice," that he wrote "Daphne" at the solicitation
of Corsi and Rinuccini to try the power of the new vocal music.
Rinuccini, in his dedication of the libretto of "Eurydice" to Mary de
Medicis, wrote:--

"It has been the opinion of many persons, most excellent queen, that
the ancient Greeks and Romans sang their tragedies throughout on
the stage, but so noble a manner of recitation has not, that I know
of, been even attempted by any one till now; and this I thought was
owing to the defect of the modern music, which is far inferior to the
ancient. But Messer Jacopo Peri made me entirely alter my opinion,
when, upon hearing the intention of Messer Giacomo Corsi and myself,
he so elegantly set to music the pastoral of 'Daphne,' which I had
composed merely to make a trial of the power of vocal music in our
age; it pleased to an incredible degree those few who heard it. From
this I took courage. The same piece, being put into better form and
presented anew in the house of Messer Peri, was not only favored by
all the nobility of the country, but heard and commended by the most
serene grand duchess, and the most illustrious Cardinals dal Monte
and Montalto. But the 'Eurydice' has met with more favor and success,
being set to music by the same Peri with wonderful art, and having
been thought worthy to be represented on the stage by the bounty and
magnificence of the most serene grand duke, in the presence of your
Majesty, the cardinal legate, and so many princes and gentlemen of
Italy and France. From whence, beginning to find how well musical
representations of this kind were likely to be received, I resolved to
publish these two, to the end that others of greater abilities than
myself may be induced to carry on and improve this kind of poetry to
such a degree that we may have no occasion to envy those ancient pieces
which are so much celebrated by noble writers."

It is evident that Rinuccini had a high opinion of the value of his
libretti. Posterity has awarded the palm, however, to Peri's music.
Peri, in his preface to "Eurydice," says he wrote "Daphne" at the
suggestion of Corsi and Rinuccini "to test the effect of the kind of
melody which they imagined to be the same as that used by the ancient
Greeks and Romans throughout their dramas." The success of the private
performances of "Daphne" led to the writing of "Eurydice," which
was prepared as the festival play for the marriage of King Henry IV., of
France, with Mary de Medicis. This work, the first Italian opera, was
produced in 1600 in Florence, after careful preparation. Its success was
immediate and almost sensational. It was pronounced by all the
dilettanti of Florence to be a genuinely new thing in art, and the
recitative music, by its fidelity to the text, made a profound
impression. Fortunately this work has been preserved and there is a
modern reprint of it. In the preface Peri set forth his theory of
recitative. It is evident that he had a deep insight into the true
nature of the new form. He tried to imitate ordinary conversational
speech with music half sung and half spoken--what came to be called
"parlando." More complex emotions seemed to him to call for a "melody
with greater intervals and a lively tempo, the accompanying instrumental
harmonies changing more frequently." It appears also from Peri's preface
that he had some assistance from Caccini in writing his score. But, as
Rinuccini credits Peri alone with the work, as only Peri's name appeared
in the published score, and as Caccini afterward set the entire libretto
to music of his own, I suspect that he, being a singer, simply helped
Peri with some of the more troublesome parts for the solo voices.

The author was present at a performance of "Eurydice," given by The
American Academy of the Dramatic Arts in New York on March 15, 1894. The
work of course sounded antiquated and tentative, and it is impossible
for us to-day to realize the impression which it must have made on the
Florentines three hundred years ago. To approach such a realization
would require the power to free one's mind from familiarity with some of
the most ordinary harmonic and melodic sequences of modern music, which
came into existence after the days of Peri. One would, furthermore, have
to bring his mind into the state of those whose only vocal music of an
artistic kind had been contrapuntal and ecclesiastical, and to whom the
vocal solo was a startling novelty. Viewed from a standpoint as near
this as a modern person can reach, Peri's recitative--and his music is
never anything more than recitative--becomes pregnant with meaning and
fruitful in possibilities. It certainly sounds somewhat timid to us,
lacking, as it does, the bold melodic sequences of later music. But it
reveals itself as a sincere and--within its limits--successful artistic
effort. It is in some measure hampered by the antiquated
conventionalities of Rinuccini's book, but we must remember that he,
too, was laboring in the field of experiment. Here is a specimen of
Peri's recitative, quoted in my "Story of Music," with harmony arranged
by Dr. F. L. Ritter.

  [Music: Peri.]

  Verse:
  Or di soa-ve plet-tro
    arma-to e' d'aurea ce-tra
    con lag-ri-mo-so me-tro
    can-o-ro a-man-te im-pe-tra
    ch'il ciel ri-veg-gae
    vi-va la sos-pi-ra-ta
  Di-va

With the exception of a few measures of their choral writing, the whole
opera was in recitative of this kind. The orchestra in "Eurydice"
consisted of a violin, a large guitar, a lyre, a large lute, and a
harpsichord. These instruments played a very bald sort of accompaniment.
There was no attempt at instrumental effects, except in one place where
three flutes were employed to imitate a pandæan pipe, played by one of
the characters. The whole value of the opera lies in its vocal part.

In closing this account of the first opera, I must endeavor to convey to
the reader a clear idea of the peculiarities of its music. I have
already pointed out the fact that the composer sought to impart dramatic
significance to his music by imitating the inflections of the voice in
speech. Naturally this method precluded the possibility of arriving at
any definite musical form, such as we should now call a tune. The
composers of the time had not yet acquired such familiarity with the
monophonic style as to understand that, as I have shown earlier in this
book, all single-voiced tunes were dependent upon a harmonic basis.

Not having a definite succession of chords, they mixed their harmonies
up in unrelated masses, and the voice parts, built upon those harmonies,
were consequently shapeless. There being no definitely shaped tunes,
there could not be any strong musical contrasts. To-day a composer
expresses grief through a slow movement, such as a largo or an adagio,
and usually in a minor key, while a change to joy is indicated by a
transition to a major key, a lively movement, and an incisive rhythm.
But in Peri's "Eurydice," where everything is in recitative, such strong
contrast is impossible. When Orpheus bewails the loss of Eurydice he
does it in recitative which is somewhat broken and spasmodic in its
phrasing; when he pours out his joy at her recovery, he does it in
recitative which flows more smoothly and approaches more nearly what we
call melody. But that is as far as Peri advanced, and it is as far as he
could advance in the then state of monophonic composition. A good singer
can make Peri's recitative sound fairly expressive. Caccini's setting of
Rinuccini's poem is similar in general style to that of Peri. But as
skill in writing homophonic music developed among instrumental
composers, the opera writers began to see how they could adapt to their
needs some of the new material, and the development of operatic writing
in the direction of definite forms was remarkably rapid,--so rapid,
indeed, that it led dramatic music out of its province, as we shall see.

It should be noted, before proceeding further, that Peri called his
"Eurydice" a _Tragedia per Musica_. The other titles of the lyric drama
in its inception were _Drama per Musica_, _Melodrama_, and
_Tragicomedia_. It was about 1650 that the title _Opera per Musica_ was
first used, and this was soon afterward abbreviated to Opera. The new
style of music, the recitative, was called _Stile rappresentativo_ or
_Stile parlante_.



Chapter XIX

Italian Opera to Handel's Time

    Work of Monteverde--His development of recitative and
    orchestration--Cavalli and his attempts at melodic
    form--Alessandro Scarlatti--Recitative _stromentato_ and _aria
    da capo_--Tune for tune's sake--Reign of the singer--Operatic
    law in the eighteenth century--The Opera Buffa.


The rapidity with which the new style advanced may be judged from the
fact that seven years after the production of "Euridice" we meet with an
opera containing a duet, and a few years later with one containing
instrumental descriptions. The composer, who appears to have been the
first gifted with a real genius for operatic composition, was Claudio
Monteverde (1568-1651). Already many other composers had sought to
follow Peri, and Mantua, Bologna, and Venice became homes of opera.
Monteverde was a student of the old contrapuntal style, but his entire
genius was out of sympathy with it. He became chapel master to the Duke
of Mantua, and at his invitation prepared, as one of the festival plays
for the marriage of Francesco Gonzaga with Margherita, Infanta of Savoy,
in 1647, his "Arianna," which, according to the testimony of a
contemporary, "visibly moved the whole theatre to tears." The lament of
Arianna over the departure of her faithless lover must have amazed the
public of that day by its simple, melodious pathos. It approaches the
modern arioso in style, and is really expressive. So successful was
"Arianna" that Monteverde was asked to compose another opera for 1608.
This was his "Orfeo," the libretto being on the same story as that of
Peri's "Euridice."

The work begins with a prelude, eight measures in five part harmony for
trumpets and other instruments, followed by a short passage of
contrasting nature. This is to be played three times before the rising
of the curtain. After this overture there is a prologue of five speeches
in recitative delivered by a character called La Musica Prologo, who
represents the genius of music. In his prologue he invites attention to
the story which he relates. The opera begins with a recitative by a
shepherd, and this is followed by a five part chorus, with accompaniment
of the full orchestra, consisting of the instruments enumerated in
Chapter XI. The work then proceeds in recitative, varied by choruses,
duets, and trios. There are no solo arias. The aria form had not yet
been developed. Here is part of a duet from Monteverde's "Orfeo."

  [Music: Monteverde's "Orfeo".]

  APOLLO AND ORPHEUS ASCEND TO HEAVEN, SINGING:--
  Duet:

  Saliam Saliam Can-tan - - - - - d'al cie - - - -  lo
  - - -  Saliam - - - - Can-tan - - - - -  d'al cie lo

  Dove ha vir-tu ve-ra-ce De-gno pre-mio di se
  Dove ha vir-tu ve-ra-ce De-gno pre-mio di se

  di-let to e pa-ce
  - - -  -  - - - -

  Dove ha vir-tu ve-ra-ce De-gno pre-mio di se
  Dove ha vir-tu ve-ra-ce De-gno pre-mio di se

  di-let - to - e pa-ce.
  di-let - to - e pa-ce.

The opera ends with a dance. In his "Tancredi e Clorinda," an intermezzo
produced in Venice in 1624, Monteverde introduced special instrumental
effects which were to become of so great importance in opera. These
effects I have already described in Chapter XI, and it is necessary to
add here only the statement that they were used, not simply as
descriptive of action, but also to aid in conveying to the minds of the
auditors the impetuosity and passion of the combatants in the remarkable
scene of the fight. It gives one something of a shock to find Monteverde
indicating the galloping of horses and the fierceness of their riders,
rudely indeed, but with the same musical methods as Wagner employed,
with their modern development, in his "Ride of the Valkyrs." Monteverde
was, indeed, the Wagner of his time. He broke so completely away from
old conventions that Artusi, a writer of Bologna, accused him of having
lost sight of the true office of music, "to please the ear."

One of the remarkable things (remarkable at that time) done by
Monteverde was to introduce the chord of the dominant seventh
unprepared. I shall not undertake to explain the nature of this novelty
in harmony, lest I merely confuse the lay reader, but shall ask him to
content himself with the statement that such an introduction produced
one of those sharp dissonances so common in the music of to-day, and
used to express passion. Monteverde began to use these dissonances in
his madrigals, of which the Fifth Book, published in 1599, aroused
Artusi's ire. But the tremendous effect of the dissonant progressions in
"Arianna" quite demolished all the arguments of the opponents of the
novelty. Their employment was one of the practices which led directly
away from the tonality of the old ecclesiastical scales and toward the
modern major and minor keys. Dr. Parry's comments on the work of
Monteverde are so pertinent and so lucid that I cannot do better than to
quote a part of them:--

"The methods of choral art did not provide for dramatic force or the
utterance of passionate feeling; and under such circumstances it was
natural that Monteverde should misapply [in his madrigals] his special
gifts, which were all in the direction of dramatic expression. The new
departure, when it came, was his opportunity. He was not ostensibly a
sharer in the first steps of the movement; but directly he joined it
he entirely eclipsed all other composers in the field, and in a few
years gave it quite a new complexion. For whereas the first composers
had not laid any great stress on expression, Monteverde's instinct and
aim were chiefly in that direction; and he often sought to emphasize
his situations at all costs. His harmonic progressions are for the
most part as incoherent as those of his predecessors, and, as might be
expected with his peculiar aptitudes, he did very little for design.
But he clearly had a very considerable sense of stage effect, and
realized that mere monotonous recitative was not the final solution nor
even the nucleus of dramatic music. It is true he introduces a great
quantity of recitative, but he varies it with instrumental interludes
which now and then have some real point and relevancy about them; and
with passages of solo music which have definite figure and expression,
and with choruses which are more skilfully contrived, and to a certain
degree more effective, than those of his predecessors. By this means
he broke up the homogeneous texture of the scenes into passages of
well-defined diversity, and interested his auditors with contrast,
variety, and conspicuously characteristic passages, which heighten the
impression of the situation as all stage music should."

Soon after the production of Monteverde's "Tancredi e Clorinda" the
opera ceased to be a strictly aristocratic form of entertainment and
became public and popular. In 1637 the Teatro San Cassiano was opened to
the public as a regular opera house. Opera houses became numerous. Up to
1727 no less than fifteen operatic enterprises were started, and up to
1734 four hundred operas by forty composers had been produced. This,
however, carries us far ahead of the period which we are now discussing.
The statement is made merely to show that only those Italian composers
can now be mentioned who made actual contributions to the development of
the lyric drama.

The next who did so contribute after Monteverde was his pupil, Francesco
Cavalli (1599-1676), a native of Crema, a town near Venice. He was at
one time chapel master of St. Mark's. His first opera, "Le Nozze di Tito
e di Peleo," was produced in Venice in 1639. Its recitatives are varied
in style and it has instrumental interludes, notably one for hunting
horns, of striking character. But it was in his "Giasone," produced in
1649, that Cavalli's most influential music appeared. He was opposed to
the banishment of rhythmical music and song-forms from opera simply
because the Greeks did not have them. Instrumental forms were beginning
to show the influence of folk-music and the popularity of the early
collections of dance tunes suggested to Cavalli the possible
effectiveness of something similar in vocal style. In his "Giasone,"
therefore, he foreshadowed the _aria da capo_ (aria with a repeat at its
close of the passage with which it began) by making a return to the
first part. Cavalli's melodies show a strong movement toward clearness
of rhythm and definiteness of shape, though the style continued to be
tentative and uncertain. But it is easy to perceive that even in his day
Italian opera had begun the movement toward elementary rhythms and
harmonies and tunefulness for tune's sake, which were to be its special
characteristics for more than two centuries. The improvements in the
dramatic recitative and the choral part of oratorio made by Carissimi,
Cesti, and Stradella (see Chap. XV.) also influenced composers of opera.
The general tendency was in the direction of definitely shaped melodies
as a substitute for the formless recitative of Peri and Monteverde. The
recitative itself became more characteristic and was diversified with
short arioso passages. Furthermore the accompaniment of the recitative
was much improved. Peri and Caccini fashioned the slight chords of their
accompaniments to recitative so that they might be played on one
instrument, for they were jealous of the slightest instrumental
interference with their newly invented _stilo parlante_. Monteverde
improved the instrumental part of opera, as we have seen, and frequently
accompanied his solo parts with small groups of instruments. Meanwhile
Giovanni Gabrieli wrote his church music with orchestral accompaniment,
and the opera composers began to see how grand dramatic effects might be
produced by using similar means. The result is that in the latter half
of the sixteenth century we find different kinds of recitative clearly
defined and the _aria da capo_ thoroughly established. The composer who
exhibited the most complete mastery of these forms, and who was so
influential that he became the founder of the great Neapolitan school of
opera writers, was Alessandro Scarlatti.

He was born at Trapani in Sicily in 1659. The record of his early life
is lost, but his career as a famous composer seems to have been fairly
begun when he produced his opera "Pompeo" at Naples in 1684. He wrote
115 operas, of which 41 are extant in score. They have all ceased to be
performed, but their historical interest is great. Scarlatti died Oct.
24, 1725. It is hardly necessary for the purposes of this volume to
specify in which operas the special features which he contributed to the
development of the form are to be found. It will perhaps be more
instructive to the reader to enumerate these features and explain them.
Scarlatti made a systematic distinction of the characteristics of three
kinds of vocal music in opera. Two of these were recitative, which had
hitherto been treated in one way, the accompaniment being confined to a
small group of instruments, or one instrument alone, playing chords. In
one of Scarlatti's operas appeared recitative accompanied by the whole
orchestra, and he made a clear distinction in the character and purpose
of two kinds of recitative. The first of these was the _recitativo
secco_, which means "dry recitative." This is the pure dialogue form of
recitative, used to carry on the ordinary passing conversation of the
scene. It was accompanied in the early works by the harpsichord
generally, and it is the custom to this day in artistic opera houses to
play the chords to the _recitativo secco_ in "Don Giovanni" on the
piano. In England it became the custom to play these chords in broken
form on the double bass and violoncello, but this custom has not
prevailed elsewhere. _Recitativo secco_ is not used so much now as it
was in the earlier days of opera, but short passages of it are found in
many modern works, even those of Wagner, while in oratorio it is not at
all infrequent. Here is an example of it from Mozart's "Don Giovanni":--

  [Music: Mozart's "Don Giovanni".]

  DON GIOVANNI. Leporello, where are you?
  LEPORELLO.    I'm here, to my misfortune, and you, Sir?
  DON GIOVANNI. I'm here.
  LEPORELLO.    Who's dead, th'old man, or you Sir?

Alessandro Scarlatti was the first to make systematic use of that richer
form of recitation known as _recitativo stromentato_. Indeed, some
historians declare, and with fairly good ground, that he invented this
species. _Recitativo stromentato_ is recitative with an especially
designed orchestral accompaniment instead of the simple chords of the
_secco_ style. Usually the most significant orchestral passages are
placed in the pauses between the phrases uttered by the voice. The whole
recitative thus becomes more passionate, more varied, and more filled
with meaning. The extreme development of _recitativo stromentato_ is to
be found in Wagner's later dramas, in which entire scenes are made of
it. Excellent examples of it in its customary modern form, however, are
to be found in his earlier works. Here is one from the first act of
"Lohengrin":--

  [Music: Wagner's "Lohengrin".]

  German:  So   fra-ge  ich  wei-ter ist die kla-ge  dir  be-kannt
  English: Then fur-ther I ask thee if the charge to thee is known
  | STRINGS

  die schwer  hier wi-der dich er-ho-ben?
  that dark-ly is al-leged a-gainst thee?
  | STRINGS                             | WOODWINDS

  Was  ent-geg-nest  du  der kla-ge?
  Canst thou meet the ac-cu-sa-tion?
         | STRINGS                 | WOODWINDS

  So  be-kennst  du  dei-ne  Schuld?
  Then thy guilt dost thou con-fess?
  | STRINGS                  | STRINGS & WOODWINDS

It will readily be perceived that these improvements in diversification
of the recitative gave the Italian opera a livelier musical character,
and made it appeal more directly to the popular taste. But significant
as Scarlatti's labor in this department was, its influence did not equal
that of his development of the _aria da capo_. We have already seen that
Cavalli made a step in the direction of this form by repeating the first
part of a tune to make its close. It was Alessandro Scarlatti, however,
who completely established the position of the aria in opera and defined
its form. He himself was a noted singer and a teacher of singing, and he
saw in the aria abundant opportunity for the display of pure vocal
ability. His success in making music that enabled singers to reveal the
beauties of their voices decided the direction in which Italian opera
was to move until almost the present day, and led to the birth of a
numerous body of composers upon whom I am fond of placing the title
"Neapolitan school." The theory of the _aria da capo_ is a purely
musical one, and its inventors did not perceive that it was distinctly
opposed to dramatic fidelity. The conception of a melody in three
sections, of which the first and third are the same and the middle one
strongly contrasting, belongs to the realm of absolute music. When the
composer asks a soprano to be mildly pathetic in the beginning of an
air, work herself into a passion in the middle, and suddenly become
mildly pathetic again at the close, simply in order that she may repeat
the opening measures, he violates emotional truthfulness and is guilty
of false art. The Italian opera writers seem to have arrived at a
realization of this fact very soon, and finding that their symmetrical
tunes pleased the public, they threw overboard all pretence of dramatic
sincerity and wrote the tunes for their own sake, no matter whether they
fitted the spirit of the text or not. Francesco Rossi, Antonio Caldara,
Antonio Lotti, and Giovanni Maria Buononcini were among Alessandro
Scarlatti's immediate successors, and all of them devoted themselves to
producing operas which consisted of strings of arias, duets, etc.,
united by brief passages of recitative.

One important result of this practice was that the voices and abilities
of the principal singers had to be considered in order that the arias
might be effective. The singers were thus enabled to make such great
personal impressions upon the public that they soon became the reigning
power in opera, and actually made laws for the composers. This was the
period of the famous male soprano singers Farinelli, Cafarelli,
Senesino, Gizziello, and others, whose marvellous singing was due to
long processes of training, and who were the adored and inexorable
monarchs of the musical world. The state of Italian opera in the time of
Handel (1685-1759) is more easily described than imagined. I have
already told how the famous composer of "The Messiah" began his career
as an opera composer. He wrote some forty operas, all of which have now
only an historical interest. Arias and duets from them are frequently
heard in concert, and are excellent examples of the manner in which
composers treated text in those days. To two lines of text one
frequently finds half a dozen pages of music, the words apparently being
employed simply to give the singer syllables to pronounce. It must be
said for Handel that he was too great a composer to turn out mere
rubbish. While he displayed remarkable dexterity in writing passages of
pure vocal exhibition work for the singers, he contrived to put a
considerable quantity of very good music into his operas. Nevertheless
he was under the control of the singer and the formulæ of the time.

The laws of Italian opera in that day prescribed six persons--three men
and three women--as the proper number of singers. The men were always
sopranos or tenors. The use of the baritone voice was quite unknown;
sometimes a bass part was written for one of the men, but as there are
only a few fine bass parts in any of the old operas, and no records of
the fame of any great basses except Boschi, we must conclude that only
the male soprano and tenor had any wide vogue. In Handel's "Teseo" there
was neither bass nor tenor; all the parts were sopranos and contraltos.
Of course there were male characters, so it is easy to conceive how far
away from anything like dramatic truth the whole thing must have been.
The common use of the baritone voice, the voice of the average man, did
not begin till the latter part of the last century. The French
composers, who, as we shall see, clung more faithfully to dramatic
fidelity than the Italians, were the first to use it extensively. Gluck
made frequent use of it, but it remained for Mozart to discover the full
scope of its usefulness.

The rules made by the singers and in force in Handel's time did not stop
at the distribution of the voices. They prescribed also the kinds and
number of arias, duets, etc. There were five kinds of aria: _aria
cantabile_, _aria di portamento_, _aria di mezzo carattere_, _aria
parlante_, _and aria di bravura_. _Aria cantabile_ was slow and flowing
and usually pathetic in style. _Aria di portamento_ was also slow, but
with stronger rhythm and wider intervals. _Aria parlante_ was
declamatory. _Aria di mezzo carattere_ was an air of medium character,
containing a fusion of styles. _Aria di bravura_ was one in which every
possible opportunity was given the singer for a display of agility in
the way of runs, trills, jumps, _et cætera_. The rules also commanded
that every scene in an opera should end with an aria, and that in each
act every principal singer should have one aria. No singer could have
two arias in succession, nor in any circumstances might two arias of the
same kind stand together. The hero and heroine had each to have one
_aria di bravura_ and one duet. The opera ended with a dance and chorus.
At one time no trios, quartets, or concerted pieces were allowed.

A natural result of such rules was that opera librettos were very poor
stuff generally, and had little dramatic sense or force. Composers often
took a lot of good airs and duets from operas which had failed, and
strung them together with new text to make a new opera. It was an
experiment of this kind which led Gluck, as we shall see, to doubt the
possibility of producing anything artistic according to the extant
methods of Italian opera. As Gluck's movement of reform was undertaken
in Paris, and as his works lie rather in the line of development of
French opera than of Italian, I shall recount the story of his battle in
the narrative of the growth of the French school. It is sufficient for
the present to say that his labors had no very serious influence on
Italian composers. They continued to write tune for tune's sake, and
their modifications in style and form would have come about without the
intervention of Gluck.

Immediately after Handel the Neapolitan school of composers was
conspicuous through its development of opera buffa, comic grand opera.
The principal writers were Logroscino, Leo, Hasse, and Pergolesi. The
last was popular both as a serious and a comic writer somewhat later
than 1770. Later still came forward Sacchini, Galuppi, Paisiello and
Piccini. The last named, a contemporary of Gluck and Mozart, and Gluck's
opponent in Paris, was a most melodious writer. He deserves special
mention for his development of the operatic finale. His finales were
long concerted pieces in which the various voices were united in rich
harmonies so as to produce a strong effect.



Chapter XX

Italian Opera to Verdi

    Cimarosa, Rossini, Donizetti, and Bellini--The last writers
    of the Neapolitan school--Tune for tune's sake--Rossini's
    improvements in methods of opera writing--Verdi and his three
    styles--"Aïda," and "Otello," "Falstaff," and the new school of
    Italian opera.


Domenico Cimarosa (Naples, Dec. 17, 1749--Venice, Jan. 11, 1801) wrote
seventy-six operas, none of which are heard to-day outside of Italy,
where recently there has been a movement to revive some of the operas of
the end of the last century. Cimarosa's masterpiece is "Il Matrimonia
Segreto," a genuinely fine work in the department of Italian opera
buffa. The music is distinguished for its flow of genuine and spirited
humor and its constant melody. The ensembles are excellently made and
have served as models to later masters.

The most celebrated, original, and influential of Italian masters of the
present century before Verdi was Gioachino Antonio Rossini, born at
Pesaro, Feb. 29, 1792. His principal works are: "Tancred" (1813),
"Otello" (1816), "Il Barbiere di Siviglia" (1816), "Semiramide" (1823),
and "Gillaume Tell" (1829). The last named opera was written for Paris
and it was not warmly received. Rossini appears to have taken its
failure greatly to heart, and finding himself independent he wrote no
more for the stage. He died in Paris, Nov. 13, 1868. "William Tell" is
usually classed by historians among French operas, because it was
written for the French stage and was a deliberate attempt to follow the
French style. But it was its pure Italianism that prevented it from
winning immediate success in Paris. Nevertheless it is Rossini's
masterpiece.

Rossini was not a man of musical genius, nor was he one of profound
musical learning. As soon as he had enough musical science to write a
score, he dropped study once and for all and embarked upon his career as
a composer. He had a keen perception of the nature of those musical
means which could be employed to produce a stage effect, and wrote
always with these in his mind. There is no depth, no sincerity, in the
music of Rossini. It is always theatrical and full of imposition.
Perhaps the most heartless music ever written for an opera by a man of
real talent is that of "Semiramide." Hardly an air in it will stand the
test of comparison with its own text, and the manner in which a plotting
priest, supposed to be a dark and mysterious villain, goes about
expressing his desperate soul through trills and scales is almost
ridiculous. Yet "Semiramide" is full of melody, and it contains musical
effects which were new and striking at the time of its production. The
employment of four horns together with clarinets in the finale, for
instance, was an innovation.

Rossini must be credited with several improvements, although he wrote
for the singer, and his "Semiramide" is a survival of the style of opera
produced in Handel's day. In his "Otello" he abandoned the old
_recitativo secco_ and produced an opera with _recitativo stromentato_
throughout. He enriched the instrumentation greatly, largely through his
employment of the horns. He was a fine horn-player himself. He
introduced the use of long crescendi and also introduced the
_cabaletta_, a quick movement to follow a slow cantabile aria, as the
"Dolce pensiero" after "Bel raggio" in "Semiramide," or the "Semper
libera" after "Ah, fors e lui" in Verdi's "La Traviata." Rossini also
tried to abolish the custom of permitting singers to make their own
ornamental cadenzas, insisting that he could write good ones and that
singers must use them. The most important of all these improvements was
the abandonment of _recitativo secco_. While all other composers did not
at once follow his lead, the superiority of operas containing only
_recitativo stromentato_ gradually became clear, and _recitativo secco_
almost disappeared. It is written by composers of to-day only in very
brief passages.

Rossini's "Barber of Seville" is a genuinely good example of opera
buffa. It is full of melody and it sparkles with vivacity. When
well performed it must always give pleasure to intelligent hearers.
"William Tell" is a melodious, fluent, and in places really eloquent
piece of dramatic composition. It is fine enough to make one regret
that Rossini, who finished his life under the influence of French
dramatic theories, did not again write for the stage. The popularity
of Rossini's operas in the first three quarters of the present century
was enormous. At one time it seemed as if all the bands and half the
pianos in Europe were playing "Di tanti regi." His works preserved all
the essential elements of the Neapolitan school founded by Alessandro
Scarlatti, of whom Rossini and his immediate Italian successors were
artistic descendants.

Gaetano Donizetti was born at Bergamo, Nov. 29, 1797. His first
successes were achieved after Rossini had retired. His most important
works are: "Elisir d'Amore" (1832), "Lucrezia Borgia" (1834), "Lucia di
Lammermoor" (1835), "La Favorita" (1840), "Linda di Chamounix" (1842),
and "Don Pasquale" (1842). Donizetti cannot be said to have contributed
anything to the development of Italian opera except a simpler and less
pretentious style than that of Rossini. Weak and watery as his grand
operas appear to us now, they had a good influence at the time of their
production. His opera buffa "Elisir d'Amore" is, when well performed, a
very pleasing trifle. Donizetti had an excellent flow of melody, but he
sacrificed dramatic truth to musical effectiveness at all times in his
operas.

Vincenzo Bellini (1802-1835) wrote also in a sweet, melodious, and
generally sentimental style, except in "Norma" (1832), in which one of
the most dramatic librettos in the whole field of opera inspired the
composer to the production of some really admirable music. Bellini's
"Norma" went far toward showing how a pure Italian style and a powerful
dramatic utterance might be reconciled. His "La Sonnambula" (1831) is
occasionally performed, for the glory of some light soprano. Bellini
might have achieved much if he had not died so young.

Saverio Mercadante (1795-1870) wrote sixty operas. His most important
works are: "Elisa e Claudio" (1822), and "Il Guiramento" (1837). The
latter work not only contains powerful ensembles and solos, but differs
from the style of Rossini more than any other of Mercadante's works. It
contains passages which are original, yet remind us of the style of
Meyerbeer and of Wagner in his "Rienzi."

We come now to the greatest opera composer that Italy has produced,--a
composer who ranks with the representative masters of other schools and
whose career is an epitome of the history of Italian opera in his time.
Giuseppe Verdi was born at Roncole, near Busseto, Oct. 9, 1813. He took
his first lessons from a local organist, but in 1833 was sent to Milan
to study. His first opera, "Oberto, Conte di San Bonifazio," was
produced at Milan in 1839. His principal works since have been: "Ernani"
(1844), "Rigoletto" (1851), "Il Trovatore" (1853), "La Traviata" (1853),
"Aïda" (1871), "Otello" (1887), and "Falstaff" (1893).

Verdi's music has been divided into three styles. It will, perhaps, be
somewhat difficult for the average listener to distinguish more than
two, yet there are musical grounds for the statement. His earliest
operas are in the old Neapolitan style as it had come to exist in
Verdi's time. They consist of series of tunes, strung on threads of
recitative, without any consideration of dramatic fidelity except a
vague, general fitness of color. Their music is designed strictly to
tickle the ear. In "Ernani" we meet with Verdi's second style, which is
characterized by immense vigor, boisterous instrumentation, and
contrasts of tremendous dramatic power with cheap dance music.
"Rigoletto" is the best and most familiar specimen of this period. "Il
Trovatore," though of later date than "Rigoletto," is rather in the
style of the first period. The third period began with "Aïda," in which
Verdi parted company forever with elementary rhythms and harmonies,
common dance tunes, coarse instrumentation, and operatic claptrap in
general. "Aïda" is a grand and inspiring masterpiece in which the
Verdian stream of melody is quite as rich as in the earlier works, but
is guided in artistic channels. The music is intense in its dramatic
passion, and by the use of rich harmony and changeful melody Verdi
creates an atmosphere full of local color. In "Aïda," however, Verdi
preserved all the familiar forms of the older Italian operas. He uses
even the _aria da capo_ in its modern shape. But into everything is
infused a true dramatic spirit. It is in characterization that the
greatest shortcoming of the "Aïda" music is to be found. Nevertheless,
"Aïda" is the best opera written by an Italian up to its date of
production.

In his next opera, "Otello," written at a time when most composers would
have retired to rest on their laurels, Verdi made another tremendous
stride upward, and stamped himself as one of the world's genuine
masters. In "Otello" he abandoned all the old forms. There are no set
instrumental introductions to arias, not set arias, no cabaletti. The
only lyrics are Desdemona's "Ave Maria" and "Willow" song, which are
introduced as songs might be in a spoken drama. Verdi named "Otello" a
lyric drama, and that is precisely what it is. The single speeches are
treated as speeches, not as songs, and the dialogue is pure dialogue,
not as duets or trios. Much of the score is in the modern style of
arioso, a species of recitative in which the phrases are highly melodic
in style without forming a complete tune, and yet preserve their
dramatic truthfulness. The orchestration is immensely rich and
expressive, and is quite independent of the voices. One or two leading
motives of the Wagnerian kind are employed with much judgment and
moderation. The libretto, a remarkably fine adaptation of the
Shakespearian play, is by Arrigo Boito (born 1842), himself the composer
of a very fine opera, "Mefistofele," intensely modern in style.

Verdi was accused of imitating Wagner in both "Aïda" and "Otello,"
chiefly because he modified and afterward abandoned the recognized forms
of the Italian school. The charge cannot be sustained. Verdi has never
for an instant sacrificed his individuality, and his music is as purely
and intensely Italian as Wagner's is German. The same charge was made
against Gounod when he wrote "Romeo et Juliette," a thoroughly French
work. Verdi in these operas was simply following the dictates of his
mature genius, which was leading him toward one of the most significant
developments of our time. He was struggling to adapt to the fundamental
theories of opera, as expounded by its founders, Rinuccini and Peri, the
vast and complicated materials of modern musical expression. In "Aïda"
he endeavored to reconcile the formulæ of the Neapolitan school with the
esthetic principles of the Greek drama and approached as closely to
complete success as the opposing nature of the two chief elements would
permit. In "Otello" he confessed the unsuitability of the Neapolitan
forms to the full and detailed union of text and music. He preserved the
Italian beauty of the vocal part of opera, constructed it with a
consistent, determined, and generally successful attempt at organic
union with the text, and so produced an opera which will, I believe,
live. That he was wholly uninfluenced by Wagner's style, though he was
attentive to Wagner's proclamations of the true theory of dramatic
composition, is demonstrated by "Otello," and still more conclusively by
his last work, "Falstaff," which is as far away from Wagner's style as
is Mozart's "Nozze di Figaro," and yet which is built on precisely the
same dramatic principles as Wagner's "Die Meistersinger."

In "Falstaff" we hear the voice of Mozart. If Mozart had lived in the
latter part of this century he might have written this noble work. In
"Falstaff" Verdi has, as in "Otello," declined to use any of the
Neapolitan paraphernalia. There is not a single number that approaches
the old aria form except two small lyrics in the last scene. There are
quartets, but they are in disguise. They are dialogues for four persons,
written with profound musical learning, and with the unaffected freedom
of the most playful fancy. But the great bulk of the dialogue is in the
true Verdian arioso style, that glowing recitation which is the chief
means of expression in this master's last works. There are no Wagnerian
leading motives in the orchestration, but the orchestra independently
accompanies and explicates the drama in a series of picturesque phrases
whose beauties and significance will not be exhausted in many hearings.
But what will most delight and amaze every hearer of this music is its
youthful vigor. It is as fresh and spontaneous as the work of a young
man in the blush of his first love, yet it is full of the wisdom and
experience of him who is the epitome of more than half a century of
Italian opera. It bustles, it glows, it inspires, yet it never
transcends the modesty of art. Rich, complex, brilliant, and eloquent as
the orchestration is, it never strains for effects and it is never
blatant. Subtle, varied, polished as the recitation is, it has not a
measure that cannot be sung, and neither the voice of the singer nor the
ear of the hearer is ever outraged. In short, "Falstaff" is the work of
a man whose genius is inexhaustible, whose natural fire burned in his
eightieth year with all the glow of that dawn when "Ernani" was the
morning star.

The latest development of Italian opera is the short work as seen in the
"Cavalleria Rusticana" and "Pagliacci,"--probably a passing fashion. It
shows no evidences of permanency, for its composers have produced no new
style. They have employed the whole material of Verdi's later operas,
and the only new feature is the condensation, which does not always give
good musical results, because the emotions shift too constantly to
permit a complete and influential musical embodiment of any one state.
These young composers have tried to advance beyond Verdi in complexity
of rhythm and boldness of modulation. Some of their modulations are made
obviously for the sake of oddity. The _aria da capo_ has disappeared
entirely from the modern Italian opera. But the greatest achievement of
the latest writers, chiefly Verdi, is the development, to what seems to
be the highest possible point, of the beautiful arioso style of
Italy,--the style which combines most of the power of German declamation
with all the elegance and singable quality of the Neapolitan manner.

Arrigo Boito, born at Padua, Feb. 24, 1842, and still living, produced
one remarkable opera, "Mefistofele," first performed on March 5, 1868,
at La Scala Theatre, Milan. The work, in its original form, was so
subtle, so philosophical, so undramatic, so thoroughly in sympathy with
the spirit of Goethe's "Faust," and withal such a radical departure from
everything recognized as opera by the Italians, that it caused the most
heated controversy. In 1875 a revised version, that now known to the
public, was put forward, and this has pleased the majority of
opera-goers. The work is episodic and disjointed, but its
characterization is most graphic, and the dramatic force of some of its
scenes, notably that in the prison, is enormous. "Mefistofele" shares
with "Aïda" the honor of having restored dramatic truth to the Italian
lyric stage, but it lacks the skill in theatrical construction shown in
Verdi's work. Boito has contented himself in later years with writing
Verdi's libretti, but Verdi himself is authority for the statement that
Boito has written an opera called "Nerone," which is a masterpiece.

The opera music of the Italian school, in its entirety, is marked by
greater floridity than that of other schools. The superficial, sensuous
charms of the human voice have always appealed powerfully to the Italian
race, and its composers have catered to this taste. An honorable
ambition for a fame wider than the limits of their own country has led
Italian composers to select from other schools their most immediately
popular elements. The present Italian opera is eclectic. Its excellence
lies largely in the fact that it does not run to extremes in any
direction.



Chapter XXI

Beginnings of French Opera

    Beaujoyeux and his "Ballet Comique de la Royne"--Production
    of Cambert's "Pomone" and founding of the Grand Opera--Advent
    of Lulli--His acquisition of the opera patent--Character and
    influence of his operas--Rameau and his improvements on Lulli's
    style.


The history of French opera begins with the performance of a curious
little pastoral in which the germs of some parts of the lyric drama may
be found. The age of the work leads French writers to claim precedence
over Italy in the invention of opera, but such claims are easily
overthrown by the accumulation of evidence that the advent of Peri's
"Daphne" was the result of a systematic series of experiments looking
toward the revival of the Greek drama. In 1577 an Italian violinist
named Baltazarini was imported from Piedmont into France by Marshal de
Brissac. Catherine de Médicis made him her intendant of music and _valet
de chambre_ to the king. He changed his name to Balthasar de Beaujoyeux,
and is so known in musical history, which, however, is generally silent
about him. He introduced the Italian ballet to Paris, and also produced
the first pastoral opera there. This pastoral is entitled "Circe," but
is better known as the "Ballet Comique de la Royne." It was produced as
the festival play for the marriage of the Duke de Joyeuse and Mlle. de
Vaudemont. It is purely pastoral in character and has little or nothing
of the true dramatic character of opera, though it has some of the
operatic forms. There are choruses in four parts, dances, and
accompanied solos. The last are written in a slow and melodious form of
recitative, which is pleasing, but not especially expressive. Doubtless
Beaujoyeux, who left Italy about the time when the experiments in
monodic writing were beginning, must have known something of the nature
of the movement. This he communicated to Beaulieu and Salmon, who wrote
most, if not all, of the music of the ballet which he arranged.

These French ballets, of which "Circe" was apparently the first
performed at court, owe probably quite as much of their origin to the
old pastoral plays of the country as they do to the Italian monody. As
far back as the thirteenth century the troubadours had constructed
little pastorals, with solo vocal music, and at least one of these, Adam
de la Halle's "Gieus de Robin et de Marion," contained well-formed
songs. These little works, performed in Picardy and Provence, declined
with the troubadours, but some record of them may have helped the court
composers of the latter end of the 16th century in the formation of
their recitative. The French ballet differed from the earliest Italian
opera in that most of its music was designed as an accompaniment to
action, largely pantomimic and wholly terpsichorean in its nature. The
solo parts were short and built on lines wholly dissociated from those
of the Florentine recitative.

  [Music: FROM THE "BALLET COMIQUE DE LA ROYNE,"
          BY BEAUJOYEUX.]

  GLAUQUE. C'est donc Ju-non?
  TETHYS.  Tu te dé-cois.
  GLAUQUE. Est-ce la Ju-non des Fran-çois?
  TETHYS.  Ce n'est Ju-non: C'est Lo-y-se.

It was not until Italian opera made its way into France that a genuine
French opera was developed. The first attempt was made by Rinuccini, who
took "Eurydice" to Paris in 1600. Its total failure to touch the popular
taste is an excellent demonstration of the difference between it and the
musical shows to which the French were accustomed; and during the entire
reign of Louis XIII. (1610-1643) the ballet remained the favorite form
in France. An attempt was made in the minority of Louis XIV. by Cardinal
Mazarin to revive the Italian opera, but again it did not meet with
favor. The earliest attempt at a genuine opera in French, so far as is
known, was "Akebar, Roi de Mogol," by the Abbé Mailly, produced in 1646.

Pierre Perrin, a French poet (1616-1676) was a conspicuous figure in the
establishment of opera in France. He was a sort of major domo in the
employ of Gaston, Duke of Orléans, and his post enabled him to make the
acquaintance of some powerful personages. Of these the Cardinal Mazarin
took a liking to him and became his patron. He also met the composer
Robert Cambert (1628-1677), who, after hearing a performance of
"Eurydice," acceded to Perrin's proposition to set to music his
"Pastorale," described as the "première comedie Française en musique."
This was performed at Issy in 1659, and afterward at Vincennes before
the king. It was successful and led to the production by the two men of
"Ariane," "Adonis," and other works. On Nov. 10, 1668, Perrin obtained
from Louis XIV. a patent for the performance of opera, and founded the
Académie de Musique, now known to all the world as the Paris Grand
Opéra. Perrin and Cambert carried on this enterprise for thirty-two
years. Their principal work was "Pomone," produced on March 19, 1671.
The success of this embryonic opera was something remarkable. It ran
eight months and paid to the poet alone 30,000 francs. The score of
"Pomone," as well as that of the "Ballet Comique de la Royne" and other
early French works, is published by Theodore Michaelis, in a collection
of the "Chefs-d'oeuvre de l'opéra Français," with piano arrangement
and an historical introduction by J. B. Wekerlin. The following example
of Cambert's recitative, leading to a duet, is taken from this score:--

  [Music: "Pomone".]

  FAUNE.
  C'est bien à toi, dieu mi-sé-ra-ble,
  De pré-tendre à tes maux quel-que sou-la-ge-ment!
  PIANO

  LE DIEU DES JARDINS.
  C'est bien à toi, monstre effroy-a-ble,
  De se vir un ob-jet si ra-re et si char-mant!

  FAUNE.
  Elle a beau re-sis-ter et fai-re-la
  C'est à moi, c'est à mu-ti-ne,

  DUET.
  . . . . . .  C'est à moi, . . . . . .  c'est à moi,
  C'est à moi, . . . . . .  c'est à moi, . . . . . .

  c'est à moi, c'est à moi, que le ciel la des-ti . .
  c'est à moi, c'est à moi, que le ciel la des-ti . .

It is not difficult to see that this recitative shows an advance in
flexibility and directness over that of Beaujoyeux. Undoubtedly Cambert
had profited by his study of the Italian works produced under the
auspices of the Cardinal Mazarin, but he did not penetrate the secret of
the Italian method. The influence of the ballet style is discernible
throughout the work. Probably Cambert would have hesitated at a complete
adoption of the Italian method, even if he had been capable of it, for
it would hardly have been approved by the public taste of France at that
time.

Perrin and Cambert had associated with themselves in the Académie the
Marquis de Sourdeac, with whom Perrin, for some reason not on record,
had a quarrel in the course of the run of "Pomone." Perrin resigned from
the partnership, which continued without him. But he was not content to
be idle, and in company with Henri Sinchard, a poet, and the Sieur de
Sablières, a musician, started a rival enterprise.

It was at this point that the famous composer, Giovanni Battista Lulli,
usually known by his French name, Jean Baptiste Lully, entered upon the
scene and became the virtual founder of French opera in the grand style.
Lulli was born in 1633 near Florence, and as a boy received some musical
instruction. He was taken to Paris by the Chevalier de Guise and placed
in the service of Mlle. de Montpensier. He became a fine violinist and
was made a member of her band. But he was stupid enough to write an
indecent poem referring to his mistress, and she dismissed him. In spite
of this temporary downfall he succeeded in working his way into the
orchestra of Louis XIV., known as "Les Violons du Roi," and in 1652
became its director. He appears to have been an expert courtier, for he
won the favor of the king and set to music some ballet-comedies by
Molière.

When Perrin parted company with Cambert and Sourdeac, the opera suffered
from his rivalry. Lulli, who had now acquired great influence with the
king, saw in the battle of the two houses his opportunity. He proposed
to purchase the interest of Sourdeac and Cambert in the opera patent and
they accepted his terms. He then induced the king to remodel the patent
so as to make its provisions exclusive. The new patent conferred upon
Lulli the sole right to the performance of opera. It prohibited the
managers of other theatres from employing more than two singers or six
players of stringed instruments. This, of course, made grand operas out
of the question for Lulli's rivals, and he set about producing such
large works as he alone could present.

Discreditable as Lulli's conduct was in this whole matter, it must be
admitted that he did all that he could for the elevation of French
operatic art. In this direction he had a powerful ambition, and although
it was selfish it was not altogether narrow. His most important operas
were: "Alceste" (1674), "Thesée" (1675), "Persée" (1682), "Roland"
(1685), "Armide" (1686), and--his last--"Acis et Galathée" (1686). The
influence of his operas may be judged from the fact that they held the
stage till 1774. Lulli's works were inferior to those of his Italian
contemporaries in purely musical beauty. The aria as written by Lulli
possesses far less distinctness and symmetry of form, and he showed no
such ability as the Neapolitans did in dealing with voices in mass.
Neither in duets nor in ensembles was he especially happy. His choral
writing is generally thin and poorly developed, and his duets are rather
dialogues. But on the other hand Lulli far excelled the contemporary
Neapolitan composers in sincerity of purpose and in the dramatic
fidelity of his method.

He endeavored to the limit of his ability to fit the music to the text.
In this he followed the fundamental principles of Peri, and established
that tradition of dramatic sincerity which has never left the French
school of opera. He increased the value of the chorus by making it an
integral part of the drama. The Neapolitans used the chorus merely for
musical effect. Lulli gave it a dramatic reason for existence. Its music
is always appropriate to the situation and fits well into the general
tone-picture. His recitative is built largely after the Italian model of
his time, and it is a vast advance over that of Beaujoyeux and Cambert.
Here is an example from "Armide":--

  [Music: "Armide".]

  ARONTE.
  De nos en-ne-mys c'est le plus re-dou-ta-ble.
  Nos plus vaillants soldats sont tombés sous ses coups;
  Rien ne peut ré-sist-er à sa val-eur ex-trêm-e.

  ARMIDE.
  O ciel! c'est Re-naud! C'est lui mê-me

  _DUET: Vite._
  ARMIDE.
                 Pour-soui-vons jusqu'au tré-pas l'en-ne-my
  qui nous of-fen-se; Qu'il n'é-chap-pe pas

  HIDRAOT.
  Pour-soui-vons pour-soui-vons jusqu'au tré-pas l'en-ne-my
  qui nous of-fen-se; Qu'il n'é-chap-pe pas

It must be understood that Lulli's recitative was not always
dramatically correct. Sometimes it is merely grandiose in style, but it
is much more animated, flexible, and capable of expression than that of
his predecessors. Lulli was undoubtedly influenced in his solo writing
by the works of Monteverde, which were performed in Paris under the
direction of Cavalli. Lulli is said to have written some of the ballet
music which had to be inserted in these works to please the Parisians.
The love of ballet has never died out in France. It was a fight over it
which killed Wagner's "Tannhäuser" in Paris in 1861. Lulli's early
training naturally made him an eclectic, and when he set out to provide
the Parisian public with grand operas to its taste, he chose from French
ballet and Italian opera such features as he believed would be popular,
and upon these as a foundation reared a new version of the Greek drama,
thoroughly Gallic in its conception.

Courtier, man of the world, and self-seeker, Lulli knew how to plan an
opera, with such musical materials as there were in his day, so that it
should present some effect of contrast and shape. For one thing, he
fairly rid himself of everything pertaining to the ecclesiastical style
of composition. As I have said, he wrote arias, but their indistinctness
is owing largely to the fact that the conventional form had not yet
become fully established. It is, perhaps, in the general plan of his
operas that Lulli shows the most important advance over his
predecessors. He was certainly far ahead of Peri, Monteverde, Cavalli,
Beaujoyeux, and Cambert in the manner in which he distributed his scenes
so as to give variety of emotion, and in the effective way in which he
arranged the succession of recitatives, arias, choruses, and ballets.
The plan was, indeed, designed wholly with a view to stage
effectiveness, and thereby led away from the dramatic directness of
Peri; but on the other hand Lulli's music followed the development of
his story with much sincerity. The breadth and force of the recitative
in many places suggest that the public taste to which he catered was by
no means to be despised.

Lulli was the founder of a school, but among his followers there was no
man of genius, and only one of noticeable talent. This was Marin Marais
(1656-1728), who showed a broader style than Lulli in arias, and who
made some attempts at instrumental description in his accompaniments.
But the other members of the school were mere imitators, and French
opera became little more than an adherence to the traditions and
conventions of Lulli. Its vitality seemed in a fair way to desert it
completely, when a new master arose and put fresh life into it. This
master was Jean Philippe Rameau, born at Dijon, Sept. 25, 1683, died at
Paris, Sept. 12, 1764. He showed musical gifts when a child, and his
parents gave him a musical education. He went to Milan in 1701 to study,
but was dissatisfied with Italian music. After considerable travel he
arrived in Paris in 1717, whence he was driven away by the rivalry of
the organist, Marchand. He went into retirement in the provinces, and
wrote his "Traité de l'Harmonie." His theoretical works gave him
reputation, and at the age of fifty he succeeded in having his
"Hippolyte et Aricie" produced. The conservative followers of Lulli and
the new admirers of Rameau now entered into a controversy which lasted
till the success of an Italian opera buffa company in 1752 united the
forces, under the title of Anti-buffonists, in defence of French opera.
Rameau's principal works were: "Castor et Pollux" (1737), "Zoroastre"
(1749), and "Les Surprises d'Amour" (1759).

Rameau's operas show certain decided improvements upon those of Lulli.
He was a more sincere artist, with a self-sacrificing devotion to high
ideals of which Lulli was quite incapable. The story of Rameau's early
struggles and of his late recognition by force of sheer merit is far
different from that of Lulli's courtier-like machinations. But Rameau
recognized the value of Lulli's art forms and did not set out to
overthrow them. He took them up and improved upon them by reason of his
strong grasp of dramatic truth and his larger conception of musical
organism. To put the matter in the plainest possible terms, Rameau was a
much more truthfully dramatic composer than Lulli, and at the same time
he was a better musician. His mastery of the science of harmony enabled
him to build an instrumental background for his vocal parts far richer
and more expressive than anything within the reach of Lulli. His
instrumentation was much broader and more highly colored than his
predecessor's, and his declamation is more musical, and hence more
fruitful in melodic beauty. Rameau's works are full of evidence that he
sought earnestly after dramatic expression in the grand style; and that
he was not wholly able to escape affectation is due largely to the taste
of the period in which he lived,--the period of Racine, Voltaire, and
Rousseau.

His music, however, abounds in strong and varied rhythms and in a
generally richer style. Previous to his time, for instance, the French
composers accompanied the voices with strings in five parts, and flutes
and oboes in two parts. Rameau insisted upon giving each instrument a
special part, and he introduced the now familiar custom of writing solo
passages for the different wood wind instruments. He also greatly
improved the character of the choral writing in French opera. But Rameau
was not highly skilled in writing for the voice. He recognized that fact
himself when it was too late for him to remodel his style. And he had a
foolish idea that a good composer could set any kind of a libretto to
music. Many of his works failed to please the Parisians simply because
their books were so weak. But on the whole, Rameau left his mark on the
French opera. There can be no doubt that so great a composer as Gluck
learned much from him, and he must at any rate be credited with a
faithful preservation of those principles of the real grand opera style
which entered the French school at its inception and which have never
wholly departed from it. It was the influence of such works as his that
prepared Paris to receive the sincere dramatic operas of Gluck, the next
composer of importance in the line of development of French opera.



Chapter XXII

The Reforms of Gluck

    His early Italian operas--His conversion and the cold reception
    of his new ideas in Vienna--Recognized in Paris as Rameau's
    successor--The conquest of Piccini--Gluck's theory of the
    lyric drama--How he developed it in practice--His immediate
    successors and imitators.


In spite of the labors of Rameau the prevailing style of Italian opera
gained a footing in Paris, where its cheap melody and direct appeal to
the unthinking gave it a dangerous popularity. Its unreality, its
dramatic infidelity, and above all its exaltation of the singer above
the composer, went far toward leading the Parisians astray from the true
opera given them by Lulli and Rameau. It required the work of a man of
true genius, guided by the sincere dramatic purposes of the earlier
composers, to restore opera in France to its position of artistic
nobility and to fix it there. The man who achieved this was Christopher
Willibald Gluck, who turned to Paris only when he found that his work
failed of appreciation elsewhere.

Gluck was born July 2, 1714, at Weidenwang, near the frontier of Bavaria
and Bohemia. He received his early musical instruction in a Jesuit
seminary. In 1737 or 1738 he went to Italy in the service of Prince
Melzi. In Italy he wrote and produced, in 1741, his first opera,
"Artaserse." In five years he wrote eight operas, all of which are
utterly forgotten. They were built on the conventional plan of the
Italian opera seria of the time. In 1745 Gluck went to England, where
two important things occurred: he produced a wretched work called
"Piramo e Tisbe," which failed; and he heard Handel's oratorios. His
"Piramo e Tisbe" was a _pasticcio_,--an opera made up of tunes selected
from his earlier works. Gluck's innate genius led him to perceive that
the failure of the opera was due to its lack of dramatic sincerity, its
complete want of organic unity. He began to understand that the opera
must be a drama expressed in musical terms. He went to Paris, heard
Rameau's operas, and learned something about French recitative.

But he was not yet ready to put his half-formed theories to the test. He
wrote several operas in his early style, but at length he felt that he
must break with the artificial conventions. Raniero di Calzabigi became
his librettist, and the result of their joint labors was "Orfeo,"
produced at Vienna, Oct. 5, 1762. He followed this with several minor
works in his old style, but on Dec. 16, 1767, produced "Alceste," a
complete and unyielding embodiment of his reformatory theories. In 1769
he produced "Paris and Helen." After this he decided that his operatic
purposes would be better understood in Paris than in Germany, and he set
out for the French capital. There he made an operatic version of
Racine's "Iphigénie en Aulide," which was produced April 19, 1774. The
work aroused the greatest enthusiasm among those who had been lamenting
the decline of French opera since Rameau. "Orfeo" and "Alceste" were
produced, and Gluck became the favorite of the nobility and the artistic
circle.

The admirers of Italian opera were aroused by the success of Gluck, and
selected as the champion who should overthrow him the gifted Italian
composer Piccini. The musical warfare was quite as warm as the
subsequent Wagner and anti-Wagnerite controversy. Men of letters
bombarded each other with impolite phrases in the public prints, and
ladies of fashion pelted each other with expressions unfit for
publication at private dinners. The supporters of Gluck awaited eagerly
a new work. On Sept. 23, 1777, he produced "Armide." It was only a
success of esteem. On May 18, 1779, he brought out "Iphigénie en
Aulide," and all Paris bowed its head before him. Even Piccini
acknowledged his superiority. Gluck's last work was "Echo et Narcisse,"
Sept. 21, 1779. He became ill, and, after suffering for several years,
died Nov. 15, 1787.

The simple fact that Gluck in beginning his labor of reform in opera
selected for the subject of his libretto the story used by Rinuccini and
Peri in "Euridice" shows that he embarked upon his undertaking with a
sincere desire to get at the fundamental principles of the true _drama
per musica_. From the miserable incongruity of his own "Piramo e Tisbe"
he proceeded to the conviction that the ultimate purpose of opera music
must be a correct and moving embodiment of the emotions expressed by the
text. The methods which he regarded as efficient are best enumerated by
himself in the preface to his "Alceste." He says:--

"I endeavored to reduce music to its proper function, that of seconding
poetry by enforcing the expression of the sentiment and the interest of
the situations without interrupting the action, or weakening it by
superfluous ornament. My idea was that the relation of music to poetry
was much the same as that of harmonious coloring and well disposed light
and shade to an accurate drawing, which animates the figures without
altering the outlines. I have therefore been very careful never to
interrupt a singer in the heat of a dialogue in order to introduce a
tedious ritornelle, nor to stop him in the middle of a piece either for
the purpose of displaying the flexibility of his voice on some favorable
vowel, or that the orchestra might give him time to take breath before a
long-sustained note.

"Furthermore I have not thought it right to hurry through the second
part of a song, if the words happened to be the most important of the
whole, in order to repeat the first part regularly four times over; or
to finish the air where the sense does not end in order to allow the
singer to exhibit his power of varying the passage at pleasure. In fact
my object was to put an end to abuses against which good taste and good
sense have long protested in vain.

"My idea was that the overture ought to indicate the subject and prepare
the spectators for the character of the piece they are about to see;
that the instruments ought to be introduced in proportion to the degree
of interest and passion in the words; and that it was necessary above
all to avoid making too great a disparity between the recitative and the
air of a dialogue, so as not to break the sense of a period or awkwardly
interrupt the movement and animation of a scene. I also thought that my
chief endeavor should be to attain a grand simplicity, and consequently
I have avoided making a parade of difficulties at the cost of clearness.
I have set no value on novelty as such, unless it was naturally
suggested by the situation and suited to the expression. In short, there
was no rule which I did not consider myself bound to sacrifice for the
sake of effect."

Gluck, of course, meant for the sake of dramatic effect. His artistic
creed, as set forth in this preface, is singularly clear and
concentrated. Any one who examines a Gluck opera, or goes to hear his
"Orfeo," which is still performed, in the expectation of finding a vast
difference in the outward shape from that employed by the Italian opera
composers of the time will be disappointed. The ground plan of opera had
not been long enough before the world to satisfy serious thinkers that
it might beneficially be subjected to a radical reform, a reform tending
toward a restoration of the continued recitative of Peri. Opera had to
pass through the middle stages of development, in which its forms were
perfected and exhausted, before men could discover that as mere forms
they were valueless for the purposes of dramatic expression, but that
the materials out of which they were made could be utilized. This time
has but recently arrived. Gluck was ahead of it. He was not prepared to
discern the artificial restraints put upon free expression by the old
formulas. And even if he had done so, he could not by any possibility
have induced his public to follow him in an overthrow of all that they
regarded as a necessary part of opera.

Gluck was compelled to use the aria form in his operas, because there
was no other definite form in his day, and operatic art was not
sufficiently comprehended by the public to admit of the introduction of
a new form. The French ballet was a necessary part of his scheme. Even a
century later the Parisians refused to accept opera without it. But
Gluck restored to the aria its dramatic purpose. In his hands it was no
longer a mere show piece for the singer, but a definite, carefully
designed, and generally successful embodiment of an emotional state. The
famous "Che faro senza Euridice" in his "Orfeo" is an admirable example
of the Gluck aria at its best. To be sure, it sounds somewhat placid to
us, accustomed as we are to the impassioned and highly colored musical
diction of recent composers. But to the French of Gluck's day with their
by no means incorrect conception of the purity and dignity of Greek art,
which Gluck was trying to imitate, the "grand simplicity" of this style
must have been highly influential. Indeed if there is one quality above
all others in the music of Gluck's "Orfeo" which strikes the thoughtful
listener of to-day, it is its classicism. It is a full and satisfying
embodiment of what we believe to have been the Greek art spirit. One can
think of Gluck's "Orfeo" as being performed in a Greek theatre of the
age of Pericles, and the fancy does not shock the mind.

As in the case of the arias, so Gluck also endeavored to make his
recitative purely expressive rather than merely conventional. In this
his task was easier, because he was advancing along the path already
trodden by Lulli and Rameau. He strove furthermore to make the ballet
and the chorus integral parts of the action of the play. No finer
example of this is to be found anywhere in his works than in the scene
in Hades in "Orfeo." The dance of the demons, tentative in style as it
seems to us to-day, is at least an honest attempt to give the dancing a
pantomimic value, and the whole action of the chorus in this scene, with
its expressive gestures and its vigorous shouts of "No" to the pleadings
of Orpheus, is an example of dramatic organization of the highest kind.
In this scene poetry, painting, music, and action are as firmly and
indissolubly joined as they are in any scene in those dramas which a
century later were called "the art work of the future." Even the
instrumentation is as carefully designed for dramatic purposes as that
of Wagner. The differences are in the state of development of the art,
not in design. In Gluck's day orchestral effects had not been developed
as they are now, but I am quite prepared to adopt the words of Dr.
Parry: "Mozart was the first to show real natural gift and genuine
feeling for beautiful disposition of tone, but Gluck anticipated modern
procedure in adapting his colors exactly to the mood of the situation. A
good deal had been attempted already in a sort of half-hearted and
formal manner, but he was the first to seize firmly on the right
principles and to carry out his objects with any mastery of resources."

Gluck's immediate influence was confined to French opera, and it is
because of this that I have placed him in the history of opera in
France. He seems to have had absolutely no effect on Italian opera. Less
than thirty years after his death all Europe was whistling or strumming
"Di tanti palpiti." On French opera, however, the influence of Gluck was
permanent. He fastened upon it the sound traditions of Rameau, and he
pointed out the true path of progress. That his immediate successors so
frequently mistook the means for the end, and became merely prosy and
prolix where he was simple and chaste, or in their endeavors to avoid
this fate fell into pretentious bombast, was due to the fact that Gluck
was unquestionably ahead of his time. In his attempts to put his
theories into practice he himself was hampered by the incomplete
development of musical material in his day. We find him constantly
struggling for full dramatic expression and missing it because he had
not the later composer's palette of color at his command. His imitators,
less gifted than he and moved less by unyielding artistic convictions
than by the desire to gain general approval, could hardly be expected to
equal him. It was not till French opera had reached the period in which
its composers by the study of the works of German and Italian masters
had formulated an eclectic system of expression that it was able to take
its place in the high seat of dramatic art. Yet one seeks in vain
through the contents of French musical drama for any works which are so
pure in their attempt at dramatic sincerity as those of Gluck.

His immediate successor, and the one who best succeeded in maintaining
his traditions, was Étienne Henri Méhul (1763-1817). His principal works
were: "Stratonice" (1792), "Ariodant" (1799), and "Joseph" (1807). His
music is simple and dignified in style and full of expressive force. But
his operas had to give way to the more easily popular Italian works in
all countries outside of France. Luigi Cherubini (1760-1842) was an
Italian, but passed most of his life in Paris when he was director of
the Conservatory of Music. His principal operas were: "Les deux
Journées" (1800) and "Faniska" (1806). Cherubini began his career by
writing old-fashioned Italian opera, but became a convert to the
theories of Gluck. He was a writer of no small force and originality.
Beethoven was his enthusiastic admirer, and it is certain that, although
the antiquated style of his recitative and arioso makes his music
unpalatable now, he was sincere in his attempt at dramatic fidelity.
Another Italian who wrote for the French stage and tried to imitate the
French manner was Gasparo Spontini (1774-1851). His principal operas
were: "La Vestale" (1807), "Ferdinand Cortez" (1809), "Olympie" (1819),
and "Agnes von Hohenstaufen" (1829). The last named opera was written
for Berlin. Spontini's style seems very dry and stilted to us now, and
it is quite certain that he had neither the melodic gift of Méhul nor
the dramatic inspiration of Cherubini. In his attempts at scenic
display, glittering stage pictures, and the employment of imposing
effects, he foreshadowed Meyerbeer. Daniel François Auber (1784-1871)
wrote "La Muette de Portici," generally known by its Italian title
"Massaniello," and "Fra Diavolo" (1830). The former work is directly in
the line of transition from Spontini to Meyerbeer. The latter belongs
rather to the school of opéra comique. Jacques François Halévy
(1799-1862) wrote several operas, of which only "La Juive" (1835) holds
the stage. The works of Auber and Halévy show a decided tendency away
from the simple directness of the earlier French composers towards a
cheap and easy theatrical effectiveness. "La Juive," however, contains
some passages of singular beauty and genuine power.



Chapter XXIII

Meyerbeer and his Influence

    The grandiose style and its ground plan--External display and
    internal emptiness--Gounod and his dramatic power--Bizet and
    "Carmen"--Works and tendency of living writers of French opera.


The gradual drift of French opera away from the pure style of Gluck led
to the success of one of the most remarkable figures in the history of
music, a composer whose works persist in pleasing the public, while they
enrage both critics and musicians. This composer was Jacob Meyerbeer,
born of wealthy Jewish parents at Berlin, Sept. 5, 1791. He studied
music under Lauska, Clementi, and Vogler, and began his public career as
a juvenile pianist. His first opera was "Jephthah's Vow,"--a failure, as
were several other early works. His successful operas were: "Robert le
Diable" (Paris, 1831), "Les Huguenots" (Paris, 1835), "The Camp in
Silesia" (Vienna, 1843), and afterwards remodelled as "L'Étoile du Nord,"
(Paris, 1854), "Le Prophète" (1849), "Le Pardon de Ploermel," generally
called "Dinorah" (Paris, 1859), and "L'Africaine" (Paris, 1865). He did
not live to see the production of the last work, but died May 2, 1864.
Of these works "Robert" is now performed infrequently, and "Dinorah"
only to please some light, colorature soprano. "L'Étoile du Nord" is
practically dead. "Les Huguenots," "Le Prophète," and "L'Africaine" are
still popular. The most consistent and sustained of these three is
"L'Africaine," though the greatest heights to which Meyerbeer ever
ascended are to be found in "Les Huguenots." It is generally conceded
that the duet between Valentine and Raoul in the fourth act is a
genuinely great piece of dramatic writing. Even Schumann and Wagner, the
severest critics of Meyerbeer, admitted that.

The operas of Meyerbeer are remarkable examples of a skill entirely
devoted to the production of _ad captandum_ effects. Everything
imposing, grandiose, delusive in splendor, or dazzling in cheap finery
is to be found in these works, which are arranged on a grand plan.
Meyerbeer's distribution of arias, duets, ensembles, and finales is the
result of a deliberate eclecticism. He took for his purpose all that
seemed most effective in the Italian and French schools. His finales,
for instance, are often ridiculously weak in melodic ideas, as in that
of the second act of "Les Huguenots," but they are always worked up with
a clever combination of action, stage pictures, and pretentious
orchestration. His arias are deliberately designed to catch the applause
of an audience. He uses ballets, processions, pageants, and glittering
masses of people on the stage to hide his poverty of ideas, and, as Dr.
Parry well notes, when he has absolutely no idea at all, he distracts
your attention from that fact by a cadenza for the clarinet. His most
successful combination of music and pageantry is in the return of Selika
to her kingdom in "L'Africaine." His poorest is the wedding festivities
of Valentine in "Les Huguenots." There is no heart in Meyerbeer's works.
He was capable of taking infinite pains, but all for the sake of
instantaneous effect. To quote Dr. Parry again: "The scenes are
collections of the most elaborate artifices, carefully contrived and
eminently effective from the baldest theatrical point of view. But for
continuity, development, real feeling, nobility of expression, greatness
of thought, anything that may be truly honored in the observance, there
is but the rarest trace."

A good deal has been said about Meyerbeer's powers of characterization,
and his works have been compared to historical novels. But a very little
analysis will show that the characterization in "Les Huguenots," for
instance, is almost purely pictorial. What impression would be left of
St. Bris without his black velvet clothes and courtly bearing? And how
prominent would Marcel be without his costume, and his war cry "Ein
feste Burg?" Marguerite de Valois is characterized by white satin,
diamonds, and _arias di bravura_. The truth is that Meyerbeer's
characterization is altogether superficial. The best that can be said of
Meyerbeer is that he was amazingly clever, and that in a few places in
his works, finding theatrical effectiveness and dramatic sincerity not
incapable of achieving in combination his desired result, he wrote like
a master.

The most recent French composers have shown a tendency to utilize the
general plan of the Meyerbeer opera, but to try to infuse into it a
genuine dramatic sincerity. They have written fewer cadenzas and more
sincerely expressive melody. They have in general adhered to the
traditions which have belonged to French opera from its earliest days,
the traditions of Lulli, Rameau, and Gluck, but they have superimposed
upon the classic outlines of the works of those masters a more
attractive sensuous beauty. They have made concessions to the demands of
a not profound public, yet they have persistently declined to do
everything for mere empty effect, as Meyerbeer did. They have striven to
give adequate expression to the dramatic ideas of their librettos, and
they have aimed at organic unity in their music; but they have
demonstrated their belief that they would achieve their purpose with
music of the kind loved by the mass of opera-goers. In this line of
practice the most successful of all the French masters was Charles
François Gounod, born in Paris, June 17, 1818, and died in the same
city, Oct. 18, 1893.

He was a student at the conservatoire, where he won the second "prix de
Rome" in 1837 and the "grand prix" in 1839. He studied theology for two
years, and the effect of his religious pursuits, and his study of the
works of Palestrina during a stay of several years in Rome is manifested
in some of his compositions. He himself declared that the most powerful
musical influence of his career was his first hearing of Mozart's "Don
Giovanni." His first opera, "Sapho" was produced April 16, 1851. It had
no lasting success. "La Nonne Sanglante" (Oct. 18, 1854) had eleven
performances only. These works were produced at the Grand Opéra, but
Gounod was now obliged to try his fortunes at the Théâtre Lyrique with
"Le medécin malgré lui" (Jan. 15, 1858). Meanwhile he had begun in 1855
the work which was to make his fame. "Faust" was completed in 1857, and
produced at the Théâtre Lyrique on March 19, 1859. The work was not
remarkably successful at first, but it grew in public favor, till to-day
its only rival on the operatic stage is Wagner's "Lohengrin." On Feb.
18, 1860, Gounod produced "Philémon et Baucis," a delicate little opera
comique. This was followed by "La Columbe," comic opera (Baden, 1860),
"La Reine de Saba," grand opera (Paris, Feb. 28, 1862), and "Mireille,"
grand opera (1864). None of these had any large measure of success.
"Romeo et Juliette" (April 27, 1867) has held the stage, largely because
of M. Jean de Reszke's popularity as Romeo. "Polyeucte" (Oct. 7, 1878),
"Cinq-Mars" (April 5, 1877), and "Le Tribut de Zamora" (1881) are all
dead and buried.

Gounod's fame and his influence as a composer of opera will rest on
"Faust" and "Romeo et Juliette." The ground plan of both these operas is
distinctly Meyerbeerian. The differentiating factor is Gounod's dramatic
sincerity. In every scene of "Faust" one finds evidence of the
composer's earnest search after the correct and convincing musical
embodiment of the emotions of his personages. There is no attempt at
establishing musical connecting-links between the different scenes,
except in the simple expedient of causing Marguerite, in her insanity in
the last act, to recall the music of her early acquaintance with Faust.
For the rest, Gounod has treated each scene as a separate entity and has
aimed at giving it an adequate and finished musical setting. His forms
are very free, and the recitative is almost wholly in the arioso style
with full orchestral accompaniment. There is some successful
characterization in "Faust." The music of Mefistofeles is thoroughly
suitable to the personage as set forth by the librettists. The influence
of Rameau and Gluck may be found in this work, in its definite and
consistent attempt at dramatic fidelity. That of Meyerbeer may be seen
in the distribution of the vocal numbers and the stage pictures, such as
the Kermess scene and the return of the troops. Compare the sextet of
men in "Les Huguenots" with the trio of men in the duel scene of
"Faust," if you desire to hear the very echo of Meyerbeer's song. But
Gounod's honesty forbade him to write claptrap, and he does not make
many concessions to the singers. The artistic value of "Faust" is very
high. It is one of the purest and most beautiful lyric dramas now on the
stage. The scene in the cathedral and the death of Valentine are not
equalled in beauty and dramatic truth by anything in the works of any
other French composer, and have been excelled perhaps only by Mozart,
Wagner, and Verdi. "Romeo et Juliette" shows less originality and
inspiration than "Faust," but contains scenes of genuine beauty and
dramatic power. The evidences of Meyerbeer's influence are quite as
notable as they are in the earlier work, but in general Gounod's style
of music prevents him from falling into mere empty display.

Georges Bizet, born at Paris Oct. 25, 1838, and died in the same city,
June 3, 1875, wrote several operas, of which "Carmen," produced March 3,
1875, remains one of the most popular works of the time. The ground plan
of this drama is formed on essentially French lines, and in the dramatic
fidelity of its music and its general freedom from meretricious display
it stands directly in the line of the development of the lyric drama in
France. There is some employment of leading motives in the Wagnerian
style, but it is discreet and moderate. The work displays great
originality in its use of Spanish rhythms and in its scheme of harmonic
color. It is a noble work, a true music drama, and its fame is well
deserved.

Other French composers are still living, and their works have not yet
had that test of time which is necessary to a correct estimate of their
value. France has no one great representative master like Verdi whose
works epitomize the tendencies of the time. Her living composers show in
their operas the results of various influences acting upon the
fundamental principles of Lulli and Rameau, and for that reason a brief
mention may be accorded to the leading writers. Camille Saint-Säens,
born Oct. 9, 1835, is perhaps the most gifted of living French
composers, but he has not earned his highest distinction as a writer of
opera. His dramatic works are: "Le Timbre d'Argent" (1877), "Samson et
Dalila" (1877), "Étienne Marcel" (1877), "Henri VIII." (1883),
"Proserpine" (1887), "Ascanio" (1890), and "Phryne" (1893). None of
these works has made a serious impression except "Samson et Dalila,"
which is more effective as an oratorio than as an opera, owing to its
lack of action. Saint-Säens' opera music is always scholarly,
dignified, and pure in style. It belongs strictly to the French school.
His more spectacular works, such as "Henri VIII.," show the influence of
Meyerbeer in their plan, but they make a more earnest attempt at
dramatic truth.

Jules Émile Frédéric Massenet, born at Montaud, near St. Étienne, May
12, 1842, has written several operas, of which the principal are: "Don
Cæsar de Bazan" (1872), "Le Roi de Lahore" (1877), "Herodiade" (1881),
"Manon" (1884), "Le Cid" (1885), "Esclarmonde" (1889), "Le Mage" (1891),
and "Werther" (1892). In his more idyllic works, such as "Werther" and
"Manon," he follows the lead of Gounod, while his more pretentious
operas, such as "Le Roi de Lahore," "Esclarmonde," and "Le Cid," are
decidedly Meyerbeerian in general plan, though usually more refined than
those of Meyerbeer in general treatment. At the same time, in
"Esclarmonde" at least, Massenet has sought to follow Wagner in the use
of leading motives and in the gorgeous coloring of his orchestration.
His best works, however, are genuine lyric dramas, distinctly French in
plan and style.

The French composer who has tried most earnestly to select the best
features of Gounod, Meyerbeer, and Wagner, and weld them into a
genuinely French opera, is Ernest Reyer, born at Marseilles, Dec. 1,
1823. His principal works are: "Sigurd" (1884) and "Salammbô" (1890).
Neither has attained wide success, but they deserve mention here as
illustrating the devotion of the present French composers to the high
dramatic traditions of their nation. Alfred Bruneau, born March 1, 1857,
in his "Le Rêve" (1891) and "L'Attaque du Moulin" (1893), has shown
himself to be greatly influenced by the works of Richard Wagner. Indeed,
the spirit of Wagner broods over much of recent French dramatic music.
It will readily be understood that it is easier for Frenchmen to follow
Wagner than it is for composers of almost any other nation, because
Wagner's dramatic theories are not different in their fundamental
principles from those of Lulli, Rameau, and Gluck. The chief difficulty
encountered by the modern French writers is the survival of a public
fondness for the popular features of the Meyerbeer opera, and the
composers in taking account of this fondness have preserved
much of a ground plan which cannot be wholly reconciled with the Wagner
theories. But the French writers deserve respect for their sincerity and
for the infrequency with which they compose mere show pieces for
singers. They write very favorably for the voice, but they try to make
beautiful arias with real expressive power.



Chapter XXIV

German Opera to Mozart

    Schütz and his version of "Dafne"--Hamburg and its opera--Works
    of Reinhard Keiser--The "Singspiel"--Mozart and his dramatic
    works--"Don Giovanni," Italian in form and German in tendency.


The story of the introduction of opera into German is sufficiently
amusing to form part of an operetta plot. There was no opera of native
origin, but the fame of the Italian product having reached the ears of
the Elector John George I., of Saxony, he determined to have one of
these new lyric dramas performed as the festival play at the marriage of
his daughter. Heinrich Schütz, whom we have already met as the composer
of the "Seven Last Words of Christ," was the elector's court-director of
music, and he was accordingly commissioned to procure from Florence a
copy of "Daphne," the pastoral of Peri and Rinuccini. The copy having
been obtained, Martin Opitz, a poet, was ordered to translate it into
German. He did his work with poetic feeling, but without musical
knowledge, and when his text was completed it could not be sung to the
music of Peri. Consequently Schütz was directed to write new music, and
thus the first German opera came into existence. It was performed on
April 13, 1627. The work has been lost and there is no account of its
reception. It is quite probable that its music imitated the Italian
monodic style, with which Schütz had previously become acquainted while
visiting Italy. After his second journey to Italy Schütz wrote an opera
called "Orpheus," which was produced in Dresden, Nov. 20, 1638. This
work is also lost, but it was probably an imitation of Monteverde's
"Orfeo."

Meanwhile all attempts at establishing a national German opera were
overthrown by the outbreak of the Thirty Years' War. When that had
ended, Schütz, who had seemed likely to do something for the lyric drama
in his country, devoted himself, except in the case of the work already
mentioned, to sacred composition. Italian opera had made its way into
Germany, where it became the fashionable amusement of the aristocracy of
Berlin, Vienna, Dresden, and Munich. It had no connection with the art
life of the German people, but maintained its purely exotic condition.
Only in Hamburg was there anything that seemed to proceed from native
impulse. It was a free city; it had grown enormously wealthy by its
commerce; and it was far away from the centre of activity in the war.

Hamburg was a musical centre, and was especially famous for its
organists and composers of sacred music. The latter were strong
advocates of that kind of individuality of expression in sacred music
which paved the way for the Passions of Bach. They did not feel that the
intense intimacy of Protestant faith could be embodied in music of the
Palestrina school. They introduced a semi-dramatic recitative into their
works, and their church cantatas had a decidedly dramatic color. A
public taste formed on such church music was ripe for the enjoyment of
opera, and the first attempt by a native German composer, though it was
hardly anything more than an oratorio given with scenery and action,
aroused great interest. This work was "Adam and Eve," composed by Johann
Theile (1646-1724). It was produced on Jan. 2, 1678.

It was not until 1693, however,--when Johann Sigismund Kusser
(1657-1727) went to Hamburg and introduced his own works modelled after
those of Steffani, and also the Italian method of singing,--that decided
progress was made. In 1694 Reinhard Keiser (1673-1739) went from Leipsic
to Hamburg, where he produced one hundred and sixteen operas, and was
all his life the pet of the public. His works were full of facile melody
and they had a sincere charm in that they strove to express character in
their music. From 1703 to 1706 Handel wrote for the Hamburg opera, but
as his works were strictly Italian in style he did not exert such an
influence as might have been expected from a man of his genius.
Gradually attempts at sustaining German opera became weaker and weaker,
and in 1738 it was discontinued in Hamburg, which now, like other German
cities gave itself up to the Italians.

Leipsic and Vienna made earnest attempts to support the German
"singspiel" (song-play). It is hard to define singspiel, because it is
exclusively German. It is a musical drama in which there is spoken
dialogue and light music in the song style. Yet at times the Germans
themselves have seemed to lose the distinction between singspiel and
opera. In the latter we meet with music designed to develop the dramatic
design of the work, while in the former no such attempt is made. Works
of the singspiel class were produced in Leipsic and Vienna, and they had
considerable influence upon the development of German opera. Their
construction gave composers experience in writing for voices.
Furthermore, the composers gradually adopted the forms and methods of
opera and so gained facility in the use of operatic material. This
process continued till the advent of the first German genius in the
field of opera and his earliest works, though called song-plays, have
been accepted outside of Germany as operas.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) wrote many works for the stage, of
which these were the principal: "Bastien et Bastienne," operetta, one
act (1768), "La Finta semplice," opera buffa (1766), "Mitridate, Re di
Ponto," opera (1770), "Lucio Silla," opera (1772), "Idomeneo," opera
seria (1781), "Die Entführung aus dem Serail," comic opera (1782), "Le
Nozze di Figaro," opera buffa (1786), "Don Giovanni," opera buffa
(1787), and "Die Zauberflöte," opera seria (1791). Mozart's earliest
works and, indeed, some of his later works, which I have not mentioned,
were in the strictest Italian style. "Don Giovanni," too, is essentially
Italian, and is seldom well performed by Germans. But in all Mozart's
dramatic works there is a German spirit, manifested not so much in the
style of the music, perhaps, as in the entire sincerity of its
character. Mozart made no revolution in operatic forms, and because of
that it is by no means easy to define the improvements which he made in
the art of the German lyric stage. Yet it is indisputable that before
Mozart there was no distinctive school of German opera, and that since
his day there has always been one.

"Die Entführung aus dem Serail," often called by its Italian title "Il
Seraglio," was Mozart's first attempt at a German work, but the general
plan and style follow the Italian opera of the time. What Mozart
achieved was the introduction of a more definite and sincere
expressiveness in the arias. In "Le Nozze di Figaro" Mozart's music is
marvellous in its adaptation to the comic action of the play, and in its
suitability to the characters of the various persons. There is
absolutely nothing new in the forms or the general plan. The outline is
all Italian; the coloring is all Mozart's. And it has that peculiar
German solidity which comes from the tendency of the people to get to
the bottom of things. Superficiality is opposed to the German nature. It
was the fatal weakness of Italian opera. Mozart went below the surface
in his "Figaro." A musical feature of this work and of "Don Giovanni,"
noted by Dr. Parry, is the way in which the composer "often knits
together a number of movements into a continuous series, especially at
the end of the act. This was the way in which complete assimilation of
the musical factors into a composite whole was gradually approached." In
"Die Zauberflöte" Mozart again followed Italian forms, but there is a
profundity of thought in some parts of the work wholly foreign to all
Italian conceptions of beauty. I am unable, however, to find ground for
preferring this work to "Don Giovanni," as many writers do. To my mind
"Don Giovanni," is not only the greatest of Mozart's works, but of all
works in the old form. It was written in the prime of the classical
period, before Weber had revolutionized with "Der Freischütz" the German
conception of opera, and before Beethoven had become at once the
culmination of the classic and the prophet of the romantic school. It
has lived through all the changes of a century, and to-day stands forth
in its clear, calm beauty, a thing of joy forever, beside the pulsating
creations of the romantic school, even in the presence of Wagner's
mighty creations.

"Don Juan" possesses the universality of a work of true genius. Its
characters are recognizable as types, and its human nature belongs to no
period, but to all time. It is uncommon in ideas and unconventional in
treatment. Even Lorenzo da Ponte (born at Ceneda, Italy, March 10, 1749,
died at New York, August 17, 1838) did something original when he wrote
the book, for he gave us an opera without a hero. Don Juan is anything
but a hero, and one hardly feels inclined to accept the imposing ghost
of the Commendator as one. Don Octavio is a very estimable person, and
is ever ready with his good advice, but it is not of such stuff as he
that heroes are made; and as for Leporello, he is the prince of cowards.
Indeed, so strong is the comedy element in "Don Juan," so fine and
faithful the character painting, so significant the exposition of human
weakness and folly, that despite the fatal ending of the work, it would
require no great ingenuity of argument to establish it as one of the
purest and loftiest specimens of true comic opera.

The nobility of its music does not make this classification absurd, for
let us remember that in the greatest of all comic music dramas, "Die
Meistersinger," the music is second to none in loftiness of character,
beauty of melody, dignity of color, and splendor of instrumental
treatment. Mozart's biographer, Jahn, recognizes the presence of the
true comedy spirit in Da Ponte's book when he says: "He has endowed his
characters with the easy, pleasure-loving spirit of the time; and the
sensual frivolity of life at Venice or Vienna is mirrored in every page
of his 'Don Giovanni.'" He says further that the librettist furnished
the composer with "a number of musically effective situations, in which
the elements of tragedy and comedy, of horror and merriment, meet and
mingle together. This curious intermixture of ground tones, which seldom
allows expression to any one pure and unalloyed mood, is the special
characteristic of the opera. Mozart grasped the unity of these contrasts
lying deep in human nature and expressed them so harmoniously as to open
a new province to his art, for the development of which its mightiest
forces were henceforward to be concentrated."

Tempting, however, as the comic aspect of Mozart's opera is, we must not
lose sight of the fact that the work has a serious purpose. Don Juan,
bold and unscrupulous as he is, fails in every attempt, and finally
meets with utter discomfiture and destruction. There is something here
of the spirit of the old Greek tragedy, which always voiced a deep moral
truth. After all, there is a term which fits "Don Juan" and roundly
describes it. One of the names given to the lyric drama of Italy, when
it was brought forth by Jacopo Peri and his associates, was
Tragicomedia. Where is there to-day a nobler specimen of Tragicomedia
than the "Don Juan" of Mozart?

As for the music of the opera, nothing better has ever been said about
it than what Schink wrote in the _Dramaturgische Monate_ in 1790. He
says: "How can this music, so full of force, majesty, and grandeur, be
expected to please the lovers of ordinary opera, who bring their ears to
the theatre with them, but leave their hearts at home?... His music has
been profoundly felt and thought out in its relation to the characters,
situations, and sentiments of his personages. It is a study in language,
treated musically.

"He never decks out his songs with unnecessary and meaningless passages.
That is the way in which expression is banished from music; expression
consisting not in particular words, but in the skilful and natural
combination of sounds as a medium of real emotion. Of this method of
expression Mozart is a consummate master. Each sound which he produces
has its origin in emotion and overflows with it."

This last sentence of Schink's is charged with import. One who studies
the music of "Don Juan" carefully must be convinced of the truth of the
critic's view. If it is true, however, it proclaims the presence of the
essential elements of musical romanticism in this truly classic opera.
To some extent what we call romanticism has always been present in art
music, while it was and is the vital principle of folk tunes. It was
when Weber united to the science and culture of musical art the folk
lore and folk melody in which were voiced the poetic imaginations of a
people that romanticism threw aside the shackles of tradition and became
the ruling element in the tone art.

Mozart was not an iconoclast. He made no new forms; he destroyed no old
ones. But proceeding on the principle subsequently enunciated by
Schumann, that "mastery of form leads talent to ever increasing
freedom," he absorbed all extant forms. There is a saying that if you
wish to become an astronomer you must make mathematics your slave.
Mozart seemed to feel that if he wished to become a composer he must
make form his slave. As a mere child he made himself a consummate
contrapuntal scholar. In a word, he became literally a master of form.

When, therefore, he came to the composition of his wonderful operas, he
saw no necessity for the creation of new forms, because he did not feel
the shackles of the old ones. To him they were chains of roses, and the
impulse had not come which set all composers thundering against the
restrictive barriers of mere formalism. With Mozart there was no such
thing as mere formalism; and if there is any lesson which every
repetition of "Don Juan" forces home upon us with vital force, it is
that fashion is no restraint on genius. Mozart accepted the material of
Italian opera as he found it. But he filled the old forms with a new
spirit. In the process of the years the spirit waxed too mighty for the
old body and took its flight into the infinite regions of free,
untrammelled expression. Mozart stood upon the boundary of the promised
land; Beethoven and Weber strode boldly across the border; Wagner
feasted upon the milk and the honey.



Chapter XXV

Weber and Beethoven

    Weber the artistic forerunner of Wagner--Characteristics of
    "Der Freischütz"--Weber's theory of the lyric drama--Beethoven
    and his "Fidelio"--Advancement of the overture--Marschner,
    Conelius, and Goldmark.


Mozart, in "Die Zauberflöte," had touched upon an element which always
appeals to the peculiar naïveté of the German character. That element is
the supernatural. The Germans love a good fairy tale, and the
"Nibelungen Lied," their national epic, is a version of the most
imposing fairy tale the world knows. It was Mozart's misfortune,
however, that he clung to old traditions and served up his German food
in Italian dressing. So it was reserved for Weber to join hands with
Beethoven and Schubert in starting the romantic movement. What Beethoven
did for absolute music and Schubert for the song, Weber did for German
opera. The influence which acted as an incentive to the romantic
movement in music was the romantic movement in German literature. The
writings of Goethe, Schiller, Heine, Ruckert, and others were intensely
romantic in feeling and distinctively German in character; and they seem
to have suggested to Weber the importance of national stories as
material for opera librettos. At any rate he took up such material with
a full knowledge of the awakened German taste for native legend and
story. Unfortunately he was easily turned aside from this path, and
induced afterward to waste his powers upon librettos of no value
whatever.

Carl Maria von Weber (Dec. 18, 1786--June 5, 1826) wrote in his early
days several operas of no great importance. The first, written when he
was twelve years old, was called "The Power of Love and Wine." He must
have known a great deal about it at that age. He wrote also "The Forest
Maiden" and "Peter Schmoll." In 1811 was produced his "Abou Hassan," a
comic opera of considerable merit. His masterpiece "Der Freischütz" was
produced in Berlin, June 18, 1821. His other important stage works are:
"Euryanthe," Vienna, Oct. 25, 1823, and "Oberon," London, April 12,
1826.

The story of "Der Freischütz" has existed in German literature as far
back as the 17th century, and its incidents are of the kind that appeal
most forcibly to the mass of the German people. It presents the conflict
of the powers of good and evil in a concrete form, the evil being
represented by Samiel, a German Mephistopheles, and the good by the
pious Agatha. The superstitious yet religious minds of the average
Germans were deeply affected by the manner in which Weber set this
struggle to music. His melodies are notable in that they are quite
within the grasp of popular comprehension, yet embody both religious
sentiment and individual character. One of the salient peculiarities of
"Der Freischütz" is its employment of the simple song form, so dear to
the Germans in their folk-tunes. Weber's use of this form went far
toward assisting the general public to an appreciation of his work. The
old German singspiel form is preserved in the original score of "Der
Freischütz," which contains spoken dialogue. The recitatives usually
employed now were written by Hector Berlioz for the Parisian production
of the work.

The significance of Weber's position in German opera must be found in
the fact that in his theory of the musical drama he anticipated Wagner
and paved the way for him. He defined opera as "an art work complete in
itself, in which all the parts and contributions of the related and
utilized arts meet and disappear in each other, and, in a manner, form a
new world by their own destruction." He believed that a libretto should
not be constructed with a view to its offering pegs upon which to hang
strings of pretty music, but that there should be an organic union of
the various arts employed in dramatic representation. His theory as to
the purpose of lyric music was fully set forth in these words: "It is
the first and most sacred duty of song to be truthful with the utmost
fidelity possible in declamation." He furthermore had no sympathy with
the rigid and restrictive formalism of the old-fashioned Italian opera,
but was a thorough believer in the fundamental principle of romantic
music, that the content must govern and prescribe the form: "All
striving for the beautiful and the new good is praiseworthy, but the
creation of a new form must be generated by the poem which is sitting."
Mr. H. E. Krehbiel says in "Famous Composers and their Works," "Here we
find stated in the plainest and most succinct terms the foundation
principles of the modern lyric drama." These principles rest on the
essential laws laid down originally by Peri, followed by Lulli and
Rameau, and regenerated by Gluck. It was in following these principles
and at the same time recognizing the characteristics of the German
people and embodying them in his music that Weber formulated a style
which has been a model and an inspiration to all the sincere composers
of opera since his day. Wagner's debt to him was freely acknowledged,
while Berlioz never wearied in expressing his admiration for the genius
of Weber. To quote Mr. Krehbiel's masterly article once more: "To the
band he gave a share in the representation such as only Beethoven,
Mozart, and Gluck before him had dreamed of. The most striking feature
of his treatment of the orchestra is his emancipation of the wood wind
choir. His numerous discoveries in the domain of effects consequent on
his profound study of instrumental _timbre_ placed colors upon the
palettes of every one of his successors. The supernatural voices of his
Wolf's Glen are echoed in Verdi as well as in Meyerbeer and Marschner.
The fairy footsteps of Oberon's dainty folk are heard not only in
Mendelssohn but in all the compositions since his time in which the
amiable creatures of supernaturalism are sought to be delineated."

Beethoven's one opera, "Fidelio" (produced Nov. 20, 1805), belongs to
the German romantic school, but it cannot be said to have exerted any
marked influence upon the general advancement of that school except in
the treatment of the overture and in the employment of the
characteristic expression of the various orchestral instruments in the
development of the story. In both of these movements Beethoven joined
hands with Weber, whose overtures were the first written by any German,
except Beethoven, with a deliberate purpose to embody in an instrumental
prelude the principal emotions and incidents of the drama. Beethoven
wrote four overtures to "Fidelio," but their numbers do not correspond
to their order. That known as "Leonora No. 1" was written for Prague in
1807 (a performance which did not take place). That called "Leonora No.
2" was played at the original production of the opera. The famous
"Leonora No. 3" is a reconstruction of No. 2, and was prepared for the
revival of "Fidelio" in 1806. The fourth, known as the "Fidelio"
overture, was written in 1814. The "Leonora No. 3" is the finest
possible preface to an opera. In writing a dramatic work Beethoven felt
hampered by the conventionalities of the stage. As Richard Wagner
admirably said: "While in the oratorio and especially in the symphony a
noble, perfect form lay before the German master, the opera offered him
an incoherent medley of small undeveloped forms, to which was attached a
conventionalism incomprehensible to him and restrictive of all freedom
of development. If we compare the broadly and richly developed forms of
a Beethoven symphony with the different pieces in his 'Fidelio,' we at
once perceive how the master here felt himself restrained and hindered,
and could hardly ever attain to the proper unfolding of his power. For
this reason, as if to launch forth at least for once in his entire
fulness, he threw himself as it were with all the weight of desperation
into the overture, projecting in it a composition of previously unknown
breadth and significance." It must be added that, while Beethoven
retained spoken dialogue in his opera after the "singspiel" fashion, he
infused into his principal numbers a deeper and more powerful dramatic
expression than any previous composer. In all opera there is nothing
more eloquent than the scene in the prison, in which the attempted
murder of Florestan by Pizzaro is first checked by Leonora, and
afterward by the arrival of the minister.

Heinrich Marschner (1796-1861) in his "Hans Heiling" showed that he was
strongly influenced by Weber. The music is notable for its flow of
melody and its highly wrought orchestration. The work is founded on a
story containing elements of the supernatural similar to those in "Der
Freischütz." Marschner wrote also "Templar and Jewess," founded on
"Ivanhoe," and "The Vampire," a work of the gloomiest character.

More recent German opera has been in a state of confusion, owing to the
enormous influence of Richard Wagner. The immense success of this
master's embodiment of his own theories of the lyric drama has led to a
general abolition of the set forms of the Italian school and equally to
an abandonment of such attempts as those of Weber to employ the
song form. That German opera has gained in richness and dramatic power
by the disuse of formality and the employment of all the resources of
the modern declamatory arioso and orchestration cannot be denied. But
only one or two composers have shown sufficient individuality to prevent
them from being buried under their own imitations of the Wagnerian
style. Peter Cornelius (1824-1874), an earnest advocate of the Wagner
ideas, wrote "The Barber of Bagdad," "The Cid," and "Gunlod." Of these
the first is one of the most successful works of the school known as the
new romanticists. The score is full of the most characteristic and
fluent melody, admirably written and distributed among the various
voices and instruments. The themes are rich in meaning and charged with
individuality. The musical characterization is faithful and the musical
humor simply delicious. Carl Goldmark (1830-), in his "Queen of Sheba"
and "Merlin," made an attempt to superimpose the modern German style
upon a ground plan somewhat Meyerbeerian. The music is full of sensuous
richness and at times rises to heights of genuine passion, while every
opportunity to introduce spectacular features, such as processions and
ballets, is seized.

But it cannot fairly be said that any German has done anything toward
the development of opera since Weber except Wagner, and he has
influenced operatic composers the world over. It is to him and his
theories that I now invite the attention of the reader.



Chapter XXVI

Wagner and the Music Drama

     Points of resemblance between Wagner's theories and Peri's--His
     use of the myth as a subject--How he abandoned the old forms
     and made a new one--The _leit motiv_ system--What it is and
     its merits--How _leit motiv_ are made and developed--Not
     necessary to identify them--Wagner's recitative and independent
     accompaniment--How combined.


Richard Wagner (born at Leipsic, May 22, 1813, died at Venice, Feb. 13,
1883) was one of the great geniuses of music and the mightiest master of
musical drama that ever lived. For many years his works were the subject
of bitter differences of opinion. Persons educated to love the old
Italian operas of the Neapolitan school, which were simply entertaining,
rebelled against Wagner's demand that the lyric drama be taken as the
most serious of art works. Yet, as I shall show, he was simply embodying
in modern music the principles of Peri, Lulli, Rameau, and Gluck. He was
accused of being an iconoclast, a destroyer of all the laws laid down by
Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven, yet he was their most enthusiastic admirer
and understood them as few other musicians have done. France, England,
and Italy long refused to receive his works, though they were successful
in America from the outset. But his principles carried the day, and now
Paris vies with London in its admiration of his works, and they have
even been applauded in Italy. His first grand opera, "Rienzi," produced
in 1842, was an attempt to combine the styles of Meyerbeer and some
others in a work built on the old Meyerbeerian plan. It was fairly well
received and remains to-day a good work of its school. But it is not in
the characteristic style of Wagner. The works which have made him famous
are: "The Flying Dutchman" (1843), "Tannhäuser" (1845), "Lohengrin"
(1850), "Tristan und Isolde" (1865), "Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg"
(1868), "Der Ring des Nibelungen"--a "tetralogy" consisting of four
operas, "Das Rheingold," "Die Walküre," "Siegfried," and "Die
Götterdämmerung"--(1876), and "Parsifal" (1882).

A great deal that is confusing has been written about the Wagner system.
Indeed Wagner's works have been explained so much that some persons have
become convinced that they are quite beyond comprehension. Those who
have attentively read the present volume should have no difficulty in
understanding the brief account of the Wagner system now to be given,
because that system is simply a new application of the original
principles of Peri. Three salient resemblances to the Peri scheme of
opera are to be found in the Wagner plan: first, the attempt to produce
an art-form which should resemble the Greek drama; second, the
employment of mythical or legendary stories as subjects for librettos;
and third the construction of a form of recitative for the dramatic
declamation of the text.

Wagner was utterly dissatisfied with the condition of the lyric drama in
his day. The opera bore no relation whatever to the national life or
thought of the people. It was a mere show designed to catch the applause
of the unthinking, to dazzle the ignorant by empty display. In its
popular Italian form the music had no genuine connection with the text,
for the words were mere pegs on which to hang pretty tunes. These tunes,
too, were designed, not to convey to the hearer the emotion of the
scene, but to give the singers opportunities to display their powers.
The stories of the operas were unpoetic, undramatic, false to truth,
incoherent, and not typical. The characters were small and
unrepresentative. The opera could not touch the heart of the people
because it did not spring from the thought of the people. In Greece the
drama, founded as it was on the great mythological legends of the
nation, was almost a form of religion; and its influence on the life and
thought of the people was tremendous. Wagner's high aim was to produce a
species of German opera that should have the same relation to the
Germans as the Greek drama had to the Greeks. It is only by bearing in
mind this fact that one can account for such works as "Lohengrin,"
"Tannhäuser," and "Parsifal," on the one hand, and "Der Ring des
Nibelungen" on the other. The first three are Wagner's embodiment of the
Christian mythology of Germany, with its whole content of the
fundamental religious beliefs of the nation. "Der Ring des Nibelungen"
is his presentation of the old pagan mythology of his country, with its
noblest thoughts pushed to the front and its final retirement before a
new order of faith strongly suggested by the last scene of "Die
Götterdämmerung."

The employment of the myth or legend as a subject for dramatic treatment
recommended itself to Wagner also on a purely musical ground, which Peri
could not discover in the crude condition of musical art in his day.
Myths are embodiments of human types, of fundamental traits of character
and of elementary emotions. They have the advantage of universality.
They are free from conventions of time and place. Thus Wagner saw that
the employment of mythical subjects would permit him to concentrate the
whole power of his musical expression upon character and emotion, which
are just the things within the scope of operatic music. Every one of his
music dramas makes action and the pictorial elements of the drama
subordinate and accessory to the expression of the emotions of the
scene. In working out this plan he came upon the final and fundamental
law of his theory, namely, that there must be in a music drama an
organic union of all the arts necessary to the expression of the
emotions of the scene to the spectator. Text, music, action, and scenery
must all unite in a common purpose, and their union must be so complete
that no one element can be taken away without injury to the whole. From
this law Wagner derived the corollary that he must write his own text,
and so he did. All his librettos are his own, and they are not mere
schemes of dialogue, arias, processions, and ballets, but remarkably
fine dramatic poems. The text being written, according to Wagner all the
other elements in the drama, music, action and scenery, must be devoted
to the fullest and most convincing expression of the emotions contained
in that text. Now the conveyance of emotion is within the power of
music, and the more completely the music can be devoted to this, the
more successful it is likely to be. The use of the myth enabled Wagner
to make perfect his organic union of the arts tributary to the drama,
because it focused the music upon the emotions, and so carried the other
elements to the same point. This principle--concentrating the musical
expression upon the emotion--led Wagner to adopt a new musical form. He
writes what has been called "continuous melody." That is, there are no
set arias, duets, or ensembles in his later works, but all the dialogue
is carried on in a free arioso form, and duets are simply the musical
conversation of two people. Wagner wrote voluminously in regard to his
theories, and on this point he says:--

    "The plastic unity and simplicity of the mythical subjects
    allowed of the concentration of the action on certain important
    and decisive points, and thus enabled me to rest on fewer
    scenes, with a perseverance sufficient to expound the motive to
    its ultimate dramatic consequences. The nature of the subject,
    therefore, could not induce me, in sketching my scenes, to
    consider in advance their adaptability to any particular musical
    form,--the kind of treatment being in each case necessitated by
    the scenes themselves. It could, therefore, not enter my mind to
    engraft on this, my musical form, growing as it did out of the
    nature of the scenes, the traditional forms of operatic music,
    which could not but have marred and interrupted its organic
    development. I therefore never thought of contemplating on
    principle, and as a deliberate reformer, the destruction of the
    aria, duet, and other operatic forms; but the dropping of those
    forms followed consistently from the nature of my subject."

Nevertheless he could not proceed without any form, because music
without form would be without design, and hence would not be an art.
Form in music is based on the systematic repetition of fundamental
melodic ideas. This constitutes the identity of the composition. A tune
made of disjointed fragments, no two alike, is not a tune at all. A
composition does not exist unless there is repetition of the melodic
subjects of it. In the old aria form these repetitions existed within
each aria, which formed in itself a separate composition. Wagner, having
abandoned the aria form, was obliged to invent a new system of
repetitions for his continuous melody. This he achieved by introducing
the _leit motiv_, "leading motive" or "typical theme," a melodic phrase
employed to designate a certain personality or thought in the drama, and
heard, either in a voice part or in the orchestra, whenever that
personality or thought is mentioned or has an immediate connection with
the scene before the auditor. It was while composing "The Flying
Dutchman" that Wagner invented his new system. In Senta's ballad, which
tells the legend, he employed two themes. The first of these he intended
to represent the Hollander, and to convey in some measure his
unsatisfied longing for peace.

  [Music: THEME ONE--SOPRANO.]

The second theme is intended to represent the complement to the former,
the sacrificial love of Senta, which is to bring the peace.

  [Music: THEME TWO--SOPRANO, ALTO, TENOR, BASS.]

Wagner says: "I had merely to develop, according to their respective
tendencies, the various thematic germs comprised in the ballad to have,
as a matter of course, the principal mental moods in definite thematic
shapes before me. When a mental mood returned, its thematic expression
also, as a matter of course, was repeated, since it would have been
arbitrary and capricious to have sought another motive, so long as the
object was an intelligible representation of the subject, and not a
conglomeration of operatic pieces."

The _leit motiv_ system was not so extensively used by Wagner in his
earlier works as in his later ones, when the system had become fully
developed and he had obtained a complete mastery of its difficult
musical technic. In his later works the orchestral score is largely made
up of repetitions and elaborations of the various leading motives, and
this has led to some grave misconceptions as to the nature and purpose
of his system. Many writers have published handbooks purporting to
explain the Wagner dramas. These handbooks contain musical reprints of
the various thematic phrases, with names which Wagner never thought of
giving them. The books simply follow the scores through, page by page,
enumerating the various motives as they appear. The result of reading
these books is naturally a belief that the principal business of the
auditor's mind at the performance of a Wagner drama is to identify each
leading motive which is heard, and by doing so to get at the composer's
meaning. In other words, those handbooks cause many persons to suppose
that the hearer of a Wagner score has to translate the music into
definite terms, those terms being labels which will tell him what the
music itself does not. This is an utter misconception of the Wagner
system, and it has been one of the chief obstacles in the way of its
ready acceptance by persons educated in music of the older sort.

It is not necessary to know the name of a single leading motive in any
Wagner drama in order to understand the work. Wagner himself did not
know all the names found in the handbooks. He did not invent the names.
The quotation given above explains what Wagner was trying to accomplish
by the use of leading motives. He tried to embody the "principal mental
moods" of his dramas in "definite thematic shapes," and to use those
thematic shapes whenever he desired to express those moods. Now if the
themes do not express the moods, all the names in the handbooks are
worthless, because incorrect. If the themes do express the moods, the
names are still worthless, because superfluous. Furthermore, if a
passage made up of various leading motives does not fairly convey to the
auditor the moods and emotions of the text and action to which that
passage is set, the whole system is a failure. If it does convey those
moods and emotions, then it makes no difference whatever to the auditor
whether he knows the names of the leading motives or not. It does not
even matter whether he knows that there are any leading motives at all.
An acquaintance with the leading motives immensely increases one's
intellectual pleasure in listening to Wagner's dramas and enables one
better to appreciate their musical form and their subtler details; but I
repeat that it is absolutely inessential to an understanding of the
dramatic force, eloquence, and truthfulness of the music. The text is
the only test to be applied to any opera music. If the music expresses
fairly the emotions contained in the text, it is good dramatic music.
That was the test which Wagner himself imposed upon opera music, and it
is the test by which his work must be judged. Every leading motive in
Wagner's dramas is explained by text, usually on its first appearance,
but sometimes not till afterward. What is called the sword motive makes
its first appearance in the score of "Das Rheingold," when Wotan simply
conceives the idea of creating a race of heroes.

  [Music: "Das Rheingold".]

The meaning of this motive is thoroughly explained when Siegmund in "Die
Walküre" sees the sword in the tree in Hunding's house, and the trumpet
in the orchestra intones the phrase in a manner not to be mistaken. None
of the motives in these Wagnerian dramas are composed arbitrarily. The
poet-musician used every resource of music--melody, harmony, rhythm, and
instrumental color--to make them, in the fullest sense of the word,
expressive. Occasionally he fell into the error of trying to embody in
music purely intellectual processes, which are quite beyond the scope of
musical expression. But no one need ever be at a loss as to his meaning,
because the organic union between text and music is so perfect that one
always explains the other. For example, in the final scene of "Die
Walküre" Brünnhilde announces to Sieglinde that she will become the
mother of a great hero, Siegfried, in this passage:--

  [Music: "Die Walküre" Brünnhilde.]

  The  high-est he-ro of worlds
  Hid'st thou, O wife, in shel-ter-ing shrine

And we forthwith learn to associate that music with Siegfried in his
character of hero. Sieglinde answers Brünnhilde thus:--

  [Music: "Die Walküre" Sieglinde.]

  O mar-vel-ous say-ings
  Maid-en di-vine!

When Brünnhilde, having prophesied the downfall of the gods, throws
herself, in the last scene of "Die Götterdämmerung," upon Siegfried's
funeral pyre, the orchestra peals out this phrase in majestic tones.
There is no mistaking its meaning; it proclaims the divinity of
Brünnhilde. Wagner has also employed the sound musical device of
thematic development when it can be used with plain meaning, and this is
a decidedly unique feature of his scheme. In "Siegfried" the young hero
plays on his hunting-horn this theme, which seems to be an utterance of
his buoyant youth:--

  [Music: "Siegfried".]

In "Die Götterdämmerung," when Siegfried has gained his maturity, Wagner
presents his theme rhythmically developed from the gayety of six-eighth
measure to the solid strength of four-fourth measure and adds to its
breadth and dignity by the instrumental treatment.

  [Music:  "Die Götterdämmerung".]

As I said before, if it were necessary to go to the handbooks to find
out the existence and meaning of these musical devices, they would be
valueless. But Wagner's works are self-explanatory. An attentive
listener, whose mind is open and who has not entered the opera house
with a preconceived idea that an opera must always consist of pretty
arias, duets, and ensembles, interspersed with recitatives, will have no
trouble in entering fully into the spirit of these masterpieces of
dramatic music. One of the features of Wagner's system which will
require some attention on the part of the listener is the complete
independence of the orchestral part. Wagner seldom writes an
accompaniment pure and simple. His orchestral score, made up of the
constant weaving and interweaving of thematic fragments, designed to
express definite thoughts, is a vast and complex tonal illustration of
the text. The orchestra is one of the chief agencies in the development
of the plot. Characterization and emotional expression are largely, at
times chiefly, confided to it, and it is quite as important a personage
in the drama as the tenor or the soprano. While it is voicing the
thoughts and emotions of the scene in imposing tone-language the actors
are reciting the text in voice parts wholly independent. These
voice parts are frequently written in a kind of recitative, but it is a
recitative which is better described as declamation, because its form is
so flexible. At one instant it may be recitative pure and simple, and
the next moment it will glide into melodious arioso. The following
example is taken from the first act of "Siegfried":--

  [Music: "Siegfried".]

  MIME.

           _ppp_
  GERMAN:  Viel, Wan-de-rer,
  ENGLISH: Much, Wan-de-rer,

                                               _pp_       _ppp_
  weisst   du   mir  von  der  Er-de  rau-hem   Rück-en.
  wot-test thou of the earth's far stretch-ing sur-face.

                                      _pp_
  Nun sag-e  mir wahr wel-ches Ge-schlecht
  Now rede me as well what  is  the  race


  wohnt auf wol-ki-gen Höh'n?
  wards  the wel-kin  a-bove?


  WANDERER.

  _molto moderato_                _dolcissimo_
  _pp_ <<<                    >>> _pp_
  Auf wol-ki-gen Höh'n woh-nen die Göt-ter
  The  wel-kin  a-boveward  well the Æ-sir


  Wal-hall  heisst ihr  saal  licht  al-ben  sind  sie;
  Where they dwell is wal-halla light-elves of heav-en;


The address of Mime to the Wanderer is an admirable specimen of the
Wagnerian declamation. The phrase in the accompaniment marked A has
previously been made known as illustrative of Mime's labor as a smith,
and it is here followed by B, a motive which has been identified in the
score with Mime's meditation. The two phrases used here plainly say,
"Mime is thinking," and the text and action show us that he is thinking
very hard about the question which he is to ask the Wanderer, for he has
wagered his head that this Wanderer cannot correctly answer three
questions. He has answered two and this is the third. The Wanderer is
Wotan, father of the gods, in disguise, and when he is asked who live in
the sky, he rises to his feet and, while his face glows with celestial
light, he answers in a passage of broad and noble arioso. The orchestra,
at the point marked "dolcissimo," begins to accompany him with the
Walhalla motive, whose meaning has been clearly brought out in the
finale of "Das Rheingold." It makes no difference at all whether you
know the names of these motives. Their significance has already been
shown on their first appearance in the score. And even if it had not,
they form an accompaniment thoroughly suited to the meaning of the text
to which they are allied.

I have devoted this chapter to an explanation of the Wagner system,
because it is the vital element in this master's work. In it are to be
found the novelties in his method of applying the principles of Peri,
Gluck, and Weber. If the reader will refer to the Gluck preface
previously quoted and to the excerpts from Weber's letters, he will
perceive how in this system Wagner was only carrying out their ideas in
a musical form invented by himself. This new method of Wagner's has been
imitated with disastrous results by some composers to whose works it was
unsuited, and to whose genius it was foreign. Wiser modern writers, like
Massenet and Verdi, have adopted the broader features of it--the
continuous melody, the arioso declamation, and the independence and
illustrative agency of the orchestra--without attempting to make
extensive use of leading motives. Massenet has used them moderately,
Verdi not at all. But in "Falstaff" Verdi has filled his orchestration
with illustrative melodic fragments, which are not repeated. All recent
composers have treated the orchestral parts of their operas with much
freedom, and have scored them with great instrumental richness. This
advance in operatic writing is due chiefly to Wagner. It is quite
impossible to estimate at a time so soon after the composer's death how
deep and permanent will be his influence upon operatic art, but it is
plain that every writer of to-day has yielded some allegiance to him,
and every one has striven to attain dramatic fidelity. Better librettos
are written for operas; and public taste, in almost every country where
opera is given, demands that the lyric stage shall present for
consideration a genuine _drama per musica_. This demand for sincerity
has spread into other branches of musical art, and it can fairly be said
that Wagner has done more for the general advancement of musical taste
in his day and immediately after it than any other composer who ever
lived.



Chapter XXVII

The Lessons of Musical History

    Characteristics of the three great periods: Polyphonic, Classic
    and Romantic--Purposes of composers and possibilities of music
    in each--Limitations of the periods and their reasons--The
    contest between Classicism and Romanticism.


No critical review of the development of the tone art is complete
without notice of the intellectual and emotional impulses which governed
that development, and of the characteristics of the three grand periods
into which the history of music is divided. Two primary impulses have
operated in the formulation of a system of musical art. These impulses
are called Classicism and Romanticism. The terms are very glibly used by
many music lovers, but are not definitely understood by all. The
ordinary concert-goer, whose terminology is nothing if not vague and
unprecise, calls all artistic music, above the level of that heard in
operettas or ballrooms, "classic." The term should be strictly applied
to those works which have stood the test of time and have by the general
consent of enlightened music lovers been accepted as masterpieces. From
the fact, however, that the great masterpieces of the classic composers
were conspicuous for their development of a clear, symmetrical, and
logical form, the term "classical" in music has come to be applied to
all works in which pure beauty of form and matter are the most
conspicuous features. "Romantic" is applied to music in which the form
is made for the immediate purpose of a particular work, and is the
direct outgrowth of the thought contained in that work. As Dr. Parry has
worded it:--

"'Classical' is used of works which have held their place in general
estimation for a considerable time, and of new works which are
generally considered to be of the same type and style. Hence the name
has come to be especially applied to works in the forms which were
adopted by the great masters of the latter part of the last century,
as the instrumental works in the sonata form and operas constructed
after the received traditions; and in this sense the term was used as
the opposite to 'romantic' in the controversy between the musicians who
wished to retain absolutely the old forms and those, like Schumann, who
wished music to be developed in forms which should be more the free
inspiration of the composer and less restricted in their systematic
development."

The controversy is now at an end, and it is generally conceded that a
modern composer may fully choose whether he will embody his romantic
thought in the classic sonata form, as Brahms did, or make new forms to
suit his purpose, after the manner of Liszt and Tschaikowsky. The
contest between classicism and romanticism began as soon as musical
science had formulated sufficient law to enable composers to work
according to some system. The very development of the classical era
itself was due to the impulses of romanticism. But the process of
perfecting form is a purely intellectual operation. Hence the dominance
of formal development was due to a belief that form was of paramount
importance in music, and to a determination to work according to that
belief. The dominance of romanticism, or free emotional impulse, could
only come when composers had arrived at the intellectual conviction that
this impulse ought to be permitted to make its own forms according to
its needs. At this point I must ask the reader to accept a somewhat long
quotation from another book of my own ("What is Good Music?"), simply
because I cannot present in any different form what I have already said
and now desire to say again:

"Music was originally a free dictation of fancy or feeling, and it dates
back to the night of time. When I say 'free,' I mean in respect to form.
It was probably a kind of intonation employed in the solemn speech of
ceremonials, as instanced in the First Book of Samuel, x. 5: 'After that
thou shalt come to the hill of God, where is a garrison of the
Philistines; and it shall come to pass, when thou art come thither to
the city, thou shalt meet a company of the prophets coming down from a
high place with a psaltery and a tabret and a pipe and a harp before
them; and they shall prophesy.' Further historical support of the
probability that song began in mere inflections of the voice is found in
the old Neume notation, which preceded the notation now in use. The
Neumes were marks, somewhat like the Greek accents, placed over the
vowels of a text, to indicate the intervals, up or down, through which
the voice should pass in intoning. What we now recognize as melody was
developed by gradual growth from intonations of this kind. Rhythm must
have made its appearance in music as soon as it did in the verses to
which music was set. Eugene Veron, in his 'Æsthetics,' says:--

     'A very important characteristic of ancient languages was
     rhythm. The more or less regular recurrence of intonations and
     of similar cadences constitutes for children and savages the
     most agreeable form of music. The more the rhythm is
     accentuated the better they are pleased; they love not only its
     sound, but its movement also.... The most civilized nations
     cannot escape this tyranny of rhythm.... Rhythm seems, indeed,
     to contain some general law, possessing power over almost all
     living things. One might say that rhythm is the dance of sound,
     as dancing is the rhythm of movement. The farther we go back
     into the past, the more marked and dominant is it found in
     language. It is certain that at one period of the development
     of humanity rhythm constituted the only music known, and it was
     even intertwined with language itself.'

"The earliest music, then, must have been a kind of intonation, in which
the rhythm was simply that of the text, and the melody a derivative of
the inflections of the voice, as dictated by the natural utterance of
that text. The most artificial attempts in music have been based on the
idea that we could return to that primitive form. One attempt was that
of the founders of the church chant; the other was that of the inventors
of opera. It is incumbent upon us to consider now only the first of
these. At the beginning of modern artistic music (not the music of the
people, the folk songs) we find the Gregorian chant, a musically
formless droning of the church liturgy, in which the only rhythm was
that of the text, and the melody was the outgrowth of mere intonation.
The cultivators of artistic music were the monks, who found as material
ready to hand only the folk songs of the people and the music of the
Greeks. The latter appealed to these cloistered mediæval scholars as the
only proper material for churchly use, and they set to work to develop a
system. It was inevitable that modern scientific music should begin with
the invention of the _materia musicæ_. These old monks had first to
develop melody, and it was natural that having once started upon that
labor they should carry it out to its logical issue. Melodic form is
more obvious than harmonic, hence they developed it. Having once got the
melodic idea firmly fixed in their minds, they conceived a composition
to be a combination of melodies, and when at some period about the end
of the eleventh century the device of imitating in a second voice the
melody uttered by the first was invented, counterpoint, single and
double, grew with great rapidity."

In their exploration of the possibilities of melodic combinations,
Okeghem, Des Prés, and their successors laid down the primary laws of
music and consequently established the first forms, for in music form is
the first manifestation of law. The first of all musical forms was that
found in the songs of the people in which the rhythmic dependence of the
music upon the text was the controlling principle. But the earliest
scientific composers, the monks and church writers, having only the
liturgy in mind, ignored the folk songs and so robbed themselves of the
aid of the simple rhythmic forms dependent upon verse. They naturally
could not avail themselves of these forms because the liturgy was not
written in verse.

Having, therefore, nothing to serve as a model, they were obliged to
start from the foundation and build a wholly new musical system. Thus
they produced, in a series of developments occupying nearly 700 years,
the most closely knit and purely intellectual group of musical forms,
those classed as canonic or fugal. Hence we find that the first of the
three great periods of musical history, the Polyphonic, is chiefly
distinguished by intellectual characteristics, because, as I have said,
the evolution of form is in the main an intellectual process.

But even the canonic forms were modified by the irrepressible spirit of
romanticism. Whenever in the history of music the desire to express
one's self has acted upon a man of original mind it has caused a change
in forms. The first period of the Netherlands school, for example, was
devoted to the formulation of musical science. In the second period came
Josquin des Prés, whose desire for pure beauty in music led him to
modify the forms left him by Okeghem. In the third period, as we have
seen, Willaert and others still further modified forms and introduced
the element of tone-painting. In the fourth period we find Lasso again
modifying forms and introducing the element of pure emotional
expression, which, in so far as unaccompanied church music is concerned,
was perfected by his great contemporary, Palestrina. In later periods we
find that Haydn laid the foundations of the sonata, Mozart of the
concerto and genuine opera, Beethoven changed the whole trend and scope
of the symphony, Chopin, Schumann and Liszt remodelled the diction and
the technics of the piano, and Wagner produced an absolutely new
operatic form. These are only a few instances. This book is made up of
the accounts of these and others.

Every original genius in music, then, has something to alter existing
forms. Why? Because he could not say exactly what he wished in the forms
as he found them. Classicism, in its old sense always resisted just such
movements. Original geniuses are not numerous. One makes or changes a
form. The mechanical workers (often mistaken for geniuses) take the
forms left by the geniuses and use them. The impression spreads that the
form is the essential thing, and he who does not strictly adhere to it
is condemned. An era of formalism usually follows any great improvement
made in form by an original mind. This continues till another original
mind makes a new departure, which is accomplished always in the face of
opposition. This opposition is not wholly wrong, for it must be proved
that a man is a genius before it can be admitted that he has a right to
offer a new form to the world. It may be that his genius is purely
technical, as in the case of Liszt, or wholly spiritual, as in the case
of Schumann, but there must be something convincing in the man and his
work. A small mind which has nothing to offer cannot justify an
alteration of accepted forms.

The contest between classicism and romanticism, now at an end, since
classicism simply means devotion to pure beauty of form and matter, is
exhibited throughout the three great periods of musical history. The
Polyphonic period may be regarded as extending from the beginning of the
French school, 1100 A. D., to the death of Bach, 1750. This, as the
reader will see, includes the transfer of the technics of polyphonic
writing from vocal to instrumental music. The classic period, that in
which the great works in the sonata form were produced, extends from the
production of Haydn's first symphony, 1754, to the production of
Beethoven's "Eroica" symphony in 1804. Then came a transition period,
during which the romantic element in music was pushed to the front by
the "Eroica" and the fifth, sixth, and seventh of Beethoven's
symphonies. In 1821 Weber's "Der Freischütz" was produced, and
Schubert's "Der Erl-König" was first sung in public. From that time the
romantic school in music has been dominant.

The chief value of the study of musical history to the music lover is
the acquisition of a correct point of view, and it is to aid in that
acquisition by the reader of this book that I have written these
observations upon the characters and purposes of the three great
periods. In listening to the music of any composer the hearer should
take into account the general tendency, purpose, and scope of musical
art of his period and also the particular aims of the composer. No one
has a right to say that Mozart failed because he did not achieve what
Beethoven did. Mozart accomplished all that could be accomplished with
the resources of musical art in his day, and he himself enormously
enlarged those resources. That is the achievement of a genius. Every one
has a right to say that Donizetti and Bellini failed because they not
only did not succeed in accomplishing all that it was possible to
accomplish in opera in their time, but deliberately ignored the
fundamental principles of the art and also the immense advances in its
technic made by Gluck and Mozart. Every one must admit that Verdi has
achieved the triumph of a great master in his "Falstaff," for he has
utilized everything contributed to operatic art by its leading geniuses,
old and new, and yet has produced an entirely original and independent
work. In conclusion, therefore, let me call the attention of the reader
to the salient characteristics of the three periods.

The Polyphonic, because of its labors in developing the most rigid of
forms, is chiefly notable for its intellectual characteristics. It
displays immense mastery of the elementary materials of music and an
enormous profundity of thought in purely technical processes. As it
advances one sees it gradually developing beauty of style, and finally,
from a state in which it is impossible to discover any emotion at all,
it advances to one in which there is the purest and most beautiful
embodiment of the devotional, contemplative spirit of the religious life
of its time. It is the religious life that is withdrawn from the world,
not that which is spent among men. For the embodiment of the latter life
one must turn to the music of German Protestantism and study the works
of Bach. Thus we find that Polyphonic music finds its expressive field
in religion, just as did Gothic architecture, to which it so closely
corresponds. There is no use of seeking in this music for the note of
earthly passion. For that you must go to the opera, and later to the
symphony.

The Classic period was the period of pure beauty in instrumental music.
It corresponds to the second and third periods of the Netherlands
school, and existed for the same reasons, namely, that its formal
materials had been developed just far enough to permit its composers to
make beautiful effects without aiming at an organized system of
expression. In the Classic period we find wonderful symmetry of form, a
continual subordination of profound learning to a pleasing style, and a
sweetness and serenity of the emotional atmosphere. In Haydn and Mozart
we find simple and tuneful subjects and bright, good-natured, and
perspicuous treatment. In the sonatas and symphonies of the Classic
period one finds no attempt at the expression of anything deeper than
sentiment. The note of passion was attempted only in opera, but it was
never permitted even there to create a serious disturbance of pure
musical beauty.

The Romantic period took its spirit from the romantic movement in German
poetry. In it one finds a constant struggle for the definite expression
of the profoundest emotions of our nature. Its forms are flexible, its
diction the richest attainable, and its conception of beauty based
largely on its ideal of truth. It is in this period that music now is,
but it does not follow that no contemporaneous composer has a right to
offer us a work in the classic form and style. We must accept it as an
example of pure musical beauty, and not look for an expressiveness which
the composer did not seek to attain. The tendency of composers of
absolute music at present is to make less and less use of the strict
classic forms. But there are certain fundamental principles of music
which they cannot ignore without danger to the art. The music lover who
has an understanding of the spirit of musical history will best be able
to appreciate their purposes and their achievements, without losing the
power to enjoy the less pretentious works of the fathers of modern
music.



    Index


    _A capella_ church music, 79.

    A minor, the scale of, 6.

    "Abou Hassan," Weber's, 349.

    Académie de Musique, the, 295.

    "Acis et Galathée," Lulli's, 302.

    "Adam and Eve," Theile's, 338.

    "Adonis," Perrin's, 295.

    Æschylus, 200, 238, 239.

    "Æsthetics," Veron's, 384.

    "Africaine, L'," Meyerbeer's, 325, 326.

    "Agnes von Hohenstaufen," Spontini's, 323.

    Agricola, 93.

    "Aïda," Verdi's, 282, 284, 285, 288.

    "Akebar, Roi de Mogol," Mailly's, 295.

    Alaric, 55.

    "Alceste," Gluck's, 314, 315.

    "Alceste," Lulli's, 302.

    Alexandria, Christian communities of, 2.

    Allegri, Gregorio, 77;
      his "Misere," 78.

    All Souls' College, 63.

    Ambrose, St., 3;
      his system of chanting, 3, 4, 71, 74.

    America, Wagner's works in, 358.

    American Academy of the Dramatic Arts, the, in New York, 248.

    "Amico fido, L'," Bardi's, 236.

    Amsterdam, 49.

    Anerio, Felice, 77;
      his masses, 78.

    Anhalt-Koethen, 121.

    "Anima e Corpo," Cavaliere's, 148;
      production of, 149;
      the first oratorio, 203.

    Anti-buffonists, the, 309.

    Antioch, 3.

    Antiphonal writing, 46.

    Antwerp, 40.

    Apollo, 200.

    Apostles, the, 2.

    "Appassionata," Beethoven's, 145.

    Arabs, the, 57.

    Arcadelt, 39, 75.

    Architecture, Doric, 69, 70.

    Architecture, Gothic, 70.

    Arezzo, Guido d', 19, 86.

    Aria, five kinds of, 273.

    _Aria da capo_, the, 263, 265;
      Scarlatti's development of, 269, 270;
      Verdi's use of, 282, 287.

    Aria form, the, 318, 363, 364.

    "Ariadne," Perrin's, 295.

    "Arianna," Monteverde's, 254, 260.

    "Ariodant," Méhul's, 322.

    Arioso style, the, of Italy, 210, 287, 288, 330, 372, 377.

    Aristoxenus, on rhythm, 238.

    Armand, St., 14.

    "Armide," Gluck's, 315.

    "Armide," Lulli's, 302, 303-306.

    Arnstadt, 121.

    Arpeggios, 105, 107.

    Art, the Renaissance in, 69.

    "Art of Fugue, The," Bach's, 122.

    "Artaserse," Gluck's, 313.

    Artusi, 260.

    "Ascanio," Saint-Säens', 332.

    "Attaque du Moulin, L'," Bruneau's, 334.

    Auber, Daniel François, operas of, 323.

    Augsburg, 95.

    "Ave Maria," Verdi's, 283.

    Avignon, papal court removed to, 24.


    B minor, Bach's mass in, 153.

    Babcock, Alpheus, 97.

    Bacchus, the altar of, 200.

    Bach, Carl Philip Emmanuel,
      on clavichord playing, 108;
      piano sonatas of, 130, 133, 134, 161;
      the "father of the sonata," 132;
      work of, 132-134;
      his departures from polyphony, 133, 135, 138, 139, 144;
      symphonies of, 161.

    Bach, Johann Sebastian, 90, 91, 93, 98, 100;
      his "Well-Tempered Clavichord," 100, 106, 122, 139;
      his use of the thumb, 109;
      his fingering, 109;
      his style, 109;
      great compositions of, 115;
      the fugues of, 120;
      his life, 120, 121;
      the most excellent of all models, 121;
      his works, 121;
      his organ and clavichord fugues, 122;
      his mastership of artistic organization, 123, 127;
      his concertos, 130;
      his sonatas, 122, 131, 190;
      orchestra employed by, 152, 153, 188, 189;
      his chamber music, 190;
      his settings of the story of Christ's passions, 207, 217, 338;
      his oratorios, 207, 209, 211, 212;
      his St. Matthew Passion, 212;
      his oratorios compared with Handel's, 213, 215, 216, 217;
      essentially German, 216;
      his use of the German chorale, 217;
      criticism of his work, 218, 219, 220, 221, 227, 228, 229, 230,
        231, 233, 358, 389, 391.

    Baffo, Johannes, the harpsichord builder, 92.

    Baini, the biographer of Palestrina, 44.

    Ballet, the Italian, introduced to Paris, 291.

    "Ballet Comique de la Royne," Beaujoyeux's, 148, 290-294, 296.

    Ballet movements, 158.

    Ballets, the French, 291, 292, 294, 306, 307, 318.

    Baltazarini. See _Beaujoyeux_.

    Banchieri, Adriano, on the spinet, 90, 91.

    "Barber of Bagdad, The," Cornelius's 356.

    "Barber of Seville." See "_Barbiere di Siviglia_."

    "Barbiere di Siviglia," Rossini's, 277, 279.

    Bardi, Giovanni, Count of Vernio, 236;
      festival play of, 236.

    Baritone, the, 272, 273.

    Barromeo, Cardinal, 72.

    Bars, 19.

    Bass clarinet, the, 155, 156, 157.

    Bass lute, the, 148.

    Bass trumpet, the, 155.

    Bass tuba, the, 155, 156.

    Bass viols, 149, 150, 151, 153, 162, 166, 188, 189, 190.

    Basses, 272, 273.

    "Basso ostinato," a, first example of, 33.

    Bassoon, the, 152, 153, 155, 156, 157, 162, 191.

    "Bastien et Bastienne," Mozart's, 340.

    "Bataille, Le," Jannequin's, 48.

    Bavaria, 313.

    Bayreuth theatre, the, 148.

    Beaujoyeux, Balthasar de, the "Ballet Comique de la Royne" of,
      148, 291, 290, 294, 300, 303, 307.

    Beaulieu, 291.

    Beauty, pure,
      the advent of, 48, 141;
      the period in music of, 164.

    Bechstein, Frederick W., 93, 97.

    Beethoven, Ludwig van,
      masses of, 80, 95;
      works of, 111;
      develops tone-color, 112;
      his sonatas, 113, 138;
      his use of the pedals, 113, 137, 141, 142;
      life of, 143;
      his improvements in the sonata form, 143, 144;
      employs instrumental music for emotional expression, 144;
      his music divided into three styles, 145;
      summary of his work, 145, 146;
      his piano sonatas, 145, 146, 193;
      his full symphonic orchestra, 153, 163, 167, 168, 170;
      his symphonies, 170;
      the work laid out for, 171, 172;
      his nine symphonies, 172, 175, 176;
      his technical alterations, 175;
      significance of his work, 176;
      his romanticism, 176, 182, 184;
      his influence of the quartet, 192;
      his chamber music, 193;
      his "Rassoumoffsky Quartets," 194, 322, 342, 347, 348, 352;
      his "Fidelio," 353;
      his overtures, 353, 358, 387, 389, 390.

    "Beethoven and his Nine Symphonies," Grove's, 172.

    Beethoven orchestra, the, 153, 164.

    Belgium, 34.

    Bellini, Vincenzo, operas of, 280, 390.

    "Belshazzar," Carissimi's, 204.

    Benedictus, the, 8.

    Berlin, 97, 337.

    Berlioz, Hector, 154;
      his symphonic writing, 179, 180, 350, 352.

    Beverley, 63.

    Biber, H. J. F., 129;
      sonatas of, 139.

    Bible, the, 71, 84.

    Binchois, 40.

    "Bird Cantata," Gombert's, 48.

    Bizet, Georges, operas of, 331.

    Bohemia, 44, 313.

    Boito, Arrigo, 284;
      his "Mefistofele," 284, 288;
      his "Nerone," 288.

    Bologna, 105;
      the home of opera, 253.

    Boniface, Saint, 10.

    Bonn, 143.

    Boschi, the great bass, 273.

    Brabant, 45.

    Brahms, Johannes,
      the symphonic writing of, 179;
      the music of, 182, 184, 185;
      his chamber music, 197;
      his "German Requiem," 232, 382.

    Brambs, Dr., on "Christ's Passion," 201.

    Brass, the, 156, 187.

    Brass choir, the, 156.

    Brescia, 150.

    Bridge, Dr., 41.

    Brissac, Marshal de, 290.

    Brittany, the Gregorian chant in, 9.

    Broadwood, John, 95, 97.

    Brockes, Barthold Heinrich, arranges the text of the Passion,
      211.

    Bruges, 45.

    Brumel, Antoine, 39, 40;
      a motet by, 43.

    Bruneau, Alfred,
      operas of, 334;
      influence of Wagner upon, 334.

    Brussels, 233.

    Buononcini, Giovanni Maria, operas of, 271.

    Burger, the "Lenore" of, 180.

    Busseto, 281.

    Buus, Jacob, the "Ricercari da cantare e sonare," 103.

    Byrd, William, 80.


    C, the key of, 13.

    C, the scale of, 4.

    C major, the chord of, 13.

    C major, the scale of, 6.

    C major, Mozart's symphony in, 164, 166.

    C minor sonata, Mozart's, 141.

    _Cabaletta_, the, introduced by Rossini, 278.

    Caccini, Giulio, 236;
      his "Nuove Musiche," 241, 243, 244, 247, 251, 264.

    Cadenzas, 279, 326, 327.

    Cafarelli, the singer, 271.

    Caldara, Antonio, operas of, 271.

    Calzabigi, Raniero di, 314.

    Cambert, Robert, the composer, 295;
      his "Pastorale," 295, 296;
      his recitative, 296-300, 301, 303.

    Cambray, 10.

    "Camp in Silesia, The," Meyerbeer's, 324.

    Canon, the 'crab', 41.

    Canon,
      the fundamental principle of, 25, 26, 33, 36;
      extreme development of, 41, 75, 82.

    Canon, the inverted, 42.

    Canon by augmentation, the, 42.

    Canon by diminution, the, 42.

    Canon recte et retro. See _Canon, the_ "_crab_".

    Canonic art, 124.

    Canonic forms, 386, 387.

    Canonic writing, 41.

    Canons, "riddle," 42.

    "Cantata," meaning of, 103.

    Cantatas, church, 338.

    _Cantus firmus_, the, 7, 16, 17, 20, 217;
      See also _Chant, the fixed_.

    "Canzone," Gabrieli's, 104;
      Frescobaldi's, 104, 148.

    Capella, Bianca, 237.

    "Capriccio Chromatico," Frescobaldi's, 104.

    Carissimi, Giovanni,
      oratorios of, 204;
      characteristics of his work, 204, 213, 232, 264.

    "Carmen," Bizet's, 331.

    "Carnival," Schumann's, 180.

    Cassel, 225.

    "Castor et Pollox," Rameau's, 309.

    Cavaliere, the "Anima e Corpo" of, 148, 203, 236.

    "Cavalleria Rusticana," 287.

    Cavalli, Francesco,
      the "Giasone" of, 151;
      operas of, 263;
      his style, 263;
      his melodies, 263, 270, 306, 307.

    Cembalo, the, 188.

    Cersne, Eberhard, on the "Rules of the Minnesingers," 87, 90.

    Cesti, Antonio, develops choral part of the oratorio, 205, 264.

    Chanson, the, 58.

    Chant, the Ambrosian, 3, 4, 6, 11.

    Chant, the church, contrapuntal treatment, 43.

    Chant, the fixed, 7, 16, 17, 20, 23, 36.
      See also _Cantus firmus, the_.

    Chant, the Gregorian, 7;
      its division, 7;
      in Brittany, 9;
      general introduction of, 10, 11, 33, 58, 72, 75, 385.

    Chant, the liturgical, 217.

    Chant, the medieval, 2.

    Chant, the Roman, 9, 24.

    Chants, Indian, 182.

    Charlemagne, 10, 24.

    Charles V., of France, 34.

    Charles VII., 40.

    "Chefs-d'oeuvre de l'opéra Français," 296.

    Cherubini, Luigi,
      masses of, 80;
      operas of, 322, 323.

    Choir, the, 3.

    Chopin, systematizes the use of pedals, 113, 185, 387.

    Choral art, the methods of, 261.

    Choral hymn, the Lutheran, 67.

    Chorale, the German, 216, 217, 228, 233.

    Chord, the, 10, 12, 13.

    Chord harmonies, 37, 43, 70, 125.

    Chord of the dominant seventh, the, Monteverde's use of, 260.

    Chord relations, the fundamental, 46.

    Chorus, the, 121.

    Chorus, the antiphonal, 79.

    Choruses, the old church, 214.

    Choruses, oratorio, 214;
      Handel's, 215;
      Haydn's, 223;
      Mendelssohn's, 229.

    Choruses, polyphonic, 238.

    Christ, 2, 45.

    Christian Church, the, chants of, 2.

    Christianity, 200.

    Christians, the early,
      in Judea, 2;
      in Greece, 2;
      in Rome, 2;
      hymn of, 2.

    Christofori, Bartolomeo, the claims of, 93, 94, 97.

    "Christ's Passion," 200, 201.

    "Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue," Bach's, 124.

    Chromatic harmonies, 104.

    "Chromatic Madrigals," Di Rore's, 47.

    Chromatics, Lasso's use of, 50.

    "Cid, Le," Massenet's, 333.

    "Cid, The," Cornelius's, 356.

    Cimarosa, Domenico, 276;
      operas of, 276.

    "Cinq-Mars," Gounod's, 329.

    "Circe." See "_Ballet Comique de la Royne_."

    Citole, the, 85, 86.

    Clarinets, 153, 155, 156, 157, 162, 164, 191, 197, 278.

    Clarion, the, 149.

    Classic period, the, characteristics of, 391, 392.

    Classic school, the,
      Beethoven's symphonies the connecting link
      between the romantic school and, 176, 177, 342.

    Classicism, 178, 319, 380, 381;
      contest between romanticism and, 382, 389, 388.

    Clavichord, the, 85, 87, 88, 89, 90, 92, 101, 103, 105, 108,
      121, 122, 132.

    Clavichord, the German, 86.

    Clavichordists, professional, 102.

    Clavicimbal, the, 103.

    Clavicymbalum, the, 91.

    Clavicytherium, the, 85, 87.

    Clavier, the, 122, 168, 189, 190.

    Clementi, Muzio,
      singing style of, 111;
      his music, 111;
      his "Gradus ad Parnassum," 111;
      his rules, 111, 112;
      his masculine treatment of the piano, 142;
      his sonatas, 142, 324.

    Coda, the, 119.

    Cologne, 17.

    Cologne, the Elector of, 143.

    "Columbe, La," Gounod's, 329.

    Columbus, 57.

    Comedians, the Roman, 55.

    "Compendio del Trattato de' Generi e de' Modi della Musica,"
      Doni's, 241.

    Composers, Catholic, 72.

    Composers, the classic orchestral, 158.

    Composers, ecclesiastical, 22, 23, 54, 70;
      their scheme of repetition, 117.

    Composers, English, disciples of the French. 28.

    Composers, the French, school of, in Paris, 24;
      English composers disciples of, 28;
      chamber music of, 196, 273;
      claims of, 290, 310, 327, 332, 334.

    Composers, the French court, 292.

    Composers, the German, 196;
     chamber music of, 196, 338.

    Composers, the Italian,
      chamber music of, 196, 220;
      worthless oratorios of, 221, 275, 289.

    Composers, Italian church, 117.

    Composers, Italian opera, 317.

    Composers, Neapolitan, 302, 303.

    Composers, oratorio, 205.

    Composers, the scientific, 47.

    Composers, violin, early, 127.

    Composition, the art of, 36.

    Composition, Catholic, schools of, 77.

    Composition, modern, basis of, 115.

    Composition, monophonic, 243.

    Composition, orchestral, modern, 165, 166.

    Composition, polyphonic, 22.

    Compositions, organ, 101.

    Concertos,
      Bach's, 122, 130, 160;
      Scarlatti's, 160;
      Handel's, 160;
      their influence on the symphony, 161, 168.

    Concertos, early instrumental, 160.

    Concertos, piano, Liszt's, 179.

    Condé, 43.

    Condé, the Cathedral of, 44.

    Confrèrie de St. Julien des Ménestriers, the, of Paris, 56.

    Congregation of the Fathers of the Oratory at Rome, the, 202.

    "Consecration of Tones," Spohr's, 180.

    Constantine, Emperor, 3, 67.

    Constantinople, overthrown by the Turks, 67.

    "Conte Ugolino, Il," Galilei, 240.

    Contra-bassoons, 153.

    Contra-bass tuba, the, 155.

    Contraltos, 273.

    _Contrapunctus a mente_, 25.

    _Contrapunctus a penna_, 25.

    Contrapuntal technics, perfection of, 39.

    Contrapuntal writing, 34, 42.

    Contrapuntists, the great French school of, 24, 25, 27, 28, 34.

    Corelli, Arcangelo,
      work of, 127;
      sonatas of, 128, 139, 129;
      his chamber music, 188, 206.

    Cornelius, Peter, music of, 355, 356.

    Cornets, 148, 149.

    Corsi, Giacomo, 244, 245.

    Counterpoint,
      the art of, 22;
      described, 24;
      how it began, 24;
      completely conquered, 39;
      made subservient to religious feeling, 40, 46, 48;
      Lasso a complete master of 49, 123;
      perfection of, 166.

    Counterpoint, church,
      golden age of, 38-53, 55, 80, 104;
      old schools of, 141;
      devotion of composers to, 235.

    Counterpoint, free, 165.

    Counterpoint, vocal, 74.

    Couperin, François, 109.

    Crailsheim, 89.

    "Creation, The," Haydn's, 153, 167, 222, 223, 224, 225.

    Crema, 263.

    Crescembini, on Neri and oratorio, 202-203.

    "Cris de Paris," Jannequin's, 48.

    Crusades, the, 57.

    Cymbals, 155.


    D minor, Beethoven's piano sonata in, 145.

    Dances,
      significance of the word, 103;
      Corelli's, 127, 128, 129, 139, 263.

    Dante, the "Inferno" of, 240.

    "Daphne," Peri's setting of, 244-246, 290, 336.

    "David and Jonathan," Carissimi's, 204.

    Delattre, Roland. See _Lasso, Orlando_.

    Delphi, 200.

    Demeter, the wanderings of, 200.

    De Monte. See _Monte, De_.

    De Muris. See _Muris, Jean de_.

    Descant, the art of, 16, 17, 21, 22.

    Descanters, the, 24.

    Des Prés, Josquin, 39, 43;
      his works, 44;
      his faults, 45, 69, 141, 386, 387.

    "Deux Journées, Les," Cherubini's, 322.

    Deventer, Holland, 49, 189.

    "Dialogo della Musica Antica e Moderna," Galilei's, 240.

    Diaphony, the. See _Organum, the_.

    "Dictionary of Music," Grove's, 242.

    Dies Iræ, 9.

    Dijon, 10, 308.

    Di Lasso. See _Lasso, Orlando_.

    "Dinorah," Meyerbeer's, 325.

    Diodorus, 3.

    Di Rore. See _Rore Cyprian di_.

    "Di tanti palpiti," Gluck's, 321.

    "Di tanti regi," Rossini's, 279.

    "Don Cæsar de Bazan," Massenet's 333.

    "Don Giovanni," Mozart's, 266, 329, 340;
      essentially Italian, 340, 342, 344.

    Doni, Giovanni Battista, on Galilei, 241.

    Donizetti, Gaetano, operas of, 280;
      his style, 280, 390.

    "Don Juan," Da Ponte's book, 343, 344.

    "Don Juan," Mozart's, 343, 347.

    "Don Pasquale," Donizetti's, 280.

    Double bass, the, 162.

    Double counterpoint, 27, 118, 119, 123.

    Double lyre, the, 203.

    Drama, the ancient religious, 199, 200, 201, 235, 237.

    Drama, the Greek,
     early days of, 200;
     religious character of, 200;
     attempt to revive, 234, 238, 239, 241, 285, 290, 359, 360.

    Drama, the liturgical, 201.

    Drama, the lyric, 252, 263, 290, 332, 334, 336, 337, 345;
      Weber's theory of, 351, 357, 359.

    Drama, the modern, 199.

    _Drama per musica_, the true, 315, 379.

    Drama, the secular, 237.

    Dramas, the early Christian,
      written to offset the influence of the Greek plays, 200,
        201;
      early vulgarity of, 201, 202;
      Neri's reforms in, 202-203.

    Dresden, 209, 337.

    Drums, 147, 164.

    Dublin, 207.

    Dufay, William,
      work of, 35, 36;
      his masses, 36;
      his improvements, 36, 37, 40, 54.

    Dulcimer, the, 84, 85, 86, 92.

    "Dumka," the, 181.

    Duos, 193.

    Dutch, the, musical skill of, 38.

    Dvorak, Antonin,
      symphonic writing of, 179;
      work of, 181, 182;
      his symphonies, 182;
      his chamber music, 197;
      his later writings, 197;
      his American quartet and quintet, 198.


    E-flat major, Mozart's symphony in, 164.

    East Flanders, 40.

    "Echo et Narcisse," Gluck's, 315.

    Edward IV., 62.

    Egyptians, the, 84.

    Eisenach, 121.

    Eisenstadt, 136.

    "Eleusinian mysteries," the, 200.

    Eleusis, 200.

    "Elijah," Mendelssohn's, 226, 229-231;
      its popularity in England, 232.

    "Elisa e Claudio," Mercadante's, 281.

    "Elisir d'Amore," Donizetti's, 280.

    "Enchiridion Musicæ," 14.

    England,
      Roman singers in, 9;
      strolling musicians in, 62;
      her mastery of polyphony, 80, 111, 206;
      popularity of oratorio in, 232, 266;
      hostile to Wagner, 358.

    English school, the, 80.

    "Entführung aus dem Serail, Die," Mozart's, 340, 341.

    "Equali," 193.

    Érard, Sebastien. 97.

    "Erl-König," Schubert's, 389.

    "Ernani," Verdi's, 281, 282, 287.

    Ernst, Johann, 189.

    "Eroica" symphony, Beethoven's 145, 172, 173, 174, 389.

    Eschenbach, Wolfram von, 58.

    "Esclarmonde," Massenet's, 333.

    "Essay on the Troubadours," Ritter's, 57.

    Est, Hercules d', Duke of Ferrara, 43.

    Esterhazy, Prince, 136;
      his orchestra, 161.

    Esterhazy orchestra, the, 161, 162.

    "Étienne Marcel," Saint-Säens', 332.

    "Étoile du Nord, L'," Meyerbeer's, 325.

    Euripides, 201, 238, 239.

    Europe, addicted to the Italian opera habit, 220.

    "Euryanthe," Weber's, 349.

    "Eurydice," Rinuccini and Peri's, 149, 245, 246;
      the first Italian opera, 247;
      production of, 247;
      its performance in New York, 248;
      the orchestra in, 250;
      peculiarities of the music, 250, 253, 254;
      in Paris, 294, 295, 315.

    "Evolution of the Art of Music," Parry's, 81.

    Exposition, the, 118.

    Expression, attempts at, 48.

    "Eroica," 389.


    Faber, Daniel, 89.

    "Fable of Arion, The," 236.

    "Fall of Lucifer, The," 201.

    "Falstaff," Verdi's, 282, 285, 287, 378, 390.

    "Famous Composers and their Works," Krehbiel's, 351.

    "Faniska," Cherubini's, 322.

    Fantasias, Bach's, 122.

    Farinelli, the singer, 271.

    "Faust," Goethe's, 288.

    "Faust," Gounod's, 329, 330, 331.

    "Favorita, La," Donizetti's, 280.

    "Ferdinand Cortez," Spontini's, 323.

    Ferdinand, the Grand Duke, 236.

    Ferrara, Duke of. See _Est, Hercules d'_.

    Festival plays, 235, 236, 237, 247, 254, 291, 336.

    "Fidelio," Beethoven's, 353, 354.

    Fingering, rules for, 105.

    Fingering, the Bach system of, 109, 113.

    "Finta semplice, La," Mozart's, 340.

    First violin, the, 151, 154, 155, 162, 186, 187.

    Flageolets, 148.

    Flanders, 14, 44, 45.

    Flavian, 3.

    Florence, 202, 235, 237, 241, 244. 247, 300, 336.

    Florentines, the, 248.

    Flutes, 2, 148, 149, 152, 153, 155, 156, 157, 162, 163, 189,
      190, 193, 203, 250.

    "Flying Dutchman, The," Wagner's, 358, 364.

    Folk-song,
      influence of, 36;
      in Germany, 59, 70, 71, 76, 263, 385.

    Folk-tunes, the German, 350.

    "Forest Maiden, The" Weber's, 349.

    "Fra Diavolo," Auber's, 323.

    France, 9, 17, 23;
      connection between the Roman Church and, 24, 35, 44, 56, 58;
      quartet writing in, 190, 246;
      Italian opera in, 294, 295, 312;
      love of ballet in, 306;
      the lyric drama in, 332;
      hostile to Wagner, 358.

    Francesco I., Duke of Tuscany, 237.

    Franco, systematizes notation, 17, 19, 20.

    Frankish chiefs, the, 55.

    Frederick the Great, 93, 133, 189.

    "Freischütz, Der," Weber's, 342, 349, 350, 355, 389.

    French school, the. See _Contrapuntists_.

    French school of opera, the, 275, 303, 333, 389.

    Frescobaldi, Girolamo,
      the ricercari of, 104;
      his canzone, 104;
      his chromatic harmonies, 104.

    Friederici of Gera, 94.

    "From the New World," Dvorak's, 182.

    Fugal forms, 386.

    Fugue, the,
      fundamental principle of, 25;
      definition of, 118;
      distinguishing part of, 119;
      advance of, 120;
      its combination of polyphony with development of a theme, 119,
        120, 121.

    Fugue, the German, 55.

    Fugue, the North German, 118.

    Fugues, Bach's, 121, 122, 123.

    "Furiant," the, 181.


    G, the key of, 13.

    G, the major scale of, 70.

    G, the scale of, 4, 6.

    G major, the chord of, 13.

    G minor, Mozart's symphony in, 164.

    Gabrieli, Andrea, 78;
      his festival play, 237.

    Gabrieli, Giovanni, 78;
      his work, 79;
      his orchestra, 79;
      his influence on instrumental music, 104, 106, 127, 209;
      his church music, 264.

    Galilei, Vincenzo, the "Ugolino" of, 240, 241, 244.

    Galileo, the astronomer, 240.

    Galliards, the, 128.

    Gallo-Belgic school, the, 34, 35;
      overshadowed by the Netherlands school, 38.

    Galuppi, 275.

    Gaston, Duke of Orléans 95.

    Gavotte, a, 129.

    George I., the Elector, 209.

    German Protestantism, the music of, 391.

    German Requiem, Brahms', 232.

    Germans, the, 90, 129.

    Germany,
      the Roman ritual in, 9, 44, 58;
      the meistersingers and the minnesingers of, 58, 59;
      the folk-song in, 59, 60;
      "imitation" in, 117, 185;
      the home of chamber music, 189, 206;
      influence of Italian opera music in, 211, 337, 227, 314;
      introduction of the opera into, 336;
      the Christian mythology of, 360.

    "Giasone," Cavalli's, 151, 263.

    Gibbons, Orlando, 80.

    Gibson, Dr., Bishop of London, 207.

    "Gieus de Robin et de Marion," La Halle's, 292.

    Gizziello, the singer, 271.

    Gluck, Christopher Willibald,
      takes a stand against Italian opera, 221;
      his operas, 222, 313, 314, 273, 274, 275, 311;
      early life of, 313;
      his conversion and his cold reception in Vienna, 314;
      accepted in Paris as Rameau's successor, 314;
      his conquest of Piccini, 314, 315;
      his methods, 315-317;
      his artistic creed, 317;
      his use of the aria form, 318;
      his immediate influence, 320, 321;
      his successors, 321;
      his imitators, 321, 322, 324, 328, 330, 334, 352, 357,
      378-399.

    Goat song, the, 200.

    Goethe, 349.

    Goldmark, Carl, the "Sakuntala" overture of, 179;
      his operas, 356.

    Gombert, 39, 45;
      his "Bird Cantata," 48.

    Gonzaga, Francesco, 254.

    Gore-Ouseley, Sir Frederic A., 119.

    Gossec, François Joseph, quartet writing of, 190.

    "Götterdämmerung, Die," Wagner's, 155, 358, 360, 370.

    Goudimel, Claude, 39, 45, 50, 74.

    Gounod, Charles François,
      the "Redemption" of, 233;
      his "Romeo et Juliette," 284;
      his early life, 328;
      his operas, 329;
      his dramatic power, 330;
      influence of Meyerbeer on, 331, 333, 334.

    "Gradus ad Parnassum," Clementi's, 111.

    Grand opéra, the, at Paris, 329.

    Grandiose style, the, 325.

    Greece, 2;
      Christianity introduced into, 200, 360.

    Greek art, 319.

    Greek learning, revival in Italy of, 67, 69, 234, 238.

    Greek literature, 238.

    Greek Lydian mode, the, 70.

    Greeks, the, 13, 14, 200, 245, 246, 263, 360.

    Gregory, Pope, 7, 8, 9, 10.

    Gritti, Andrea, 45.

    Grove, Sir George,
      on "Beethoven and his Nine Symphonies," 172, 175;
      on Beethoven and the quartet, 193, 194;
      his "Dictionary of Music," 242.

    Guidiccioni, Laura, author of the first oratorio, 203.

    Guido, 19.

    Guignon, Jean Pierre, "le Roy des Violons," 57.

    Guilds,
      the musical, 60;
      the work of, 61.

    "Guillaume Tell," Rossini's, 277, 279.

    "Guiramento, Il," Mercadante's, 281.

    Guise, the Chevalier de, 301.

    Guitar, the, 149, 203, 250.

    "Gunlod," Cornelius, 356.


    Hadow, W. A., 184.

    Halévy, Jacques François, operas of, 323.

    Halle, Germany, 206.

    Hallelujah Chorus, Handel's, 152, 157.

    Hamburg, 93, 132, 189, 206, 211;
      a musical centre, 338;
      its opera, 338, 339.

    "Hamlet" overture, Tschaikowsky's, 179.

    Hammer action, the, invention of, 92.

    Handel, George Frederick, 92, 109, 151;
      his orchestra, 152;
      his "Messiah," 152, 157, 207, 212, 215;
      his concertos, 160;
      his oratorios, 201, 204, 205, 207;
      life of, 206;
      influenced by Italian music, 206, 214;
      fails as an opera composer, 206;
      modern oratorio dates from, 207, 211, 212, 213;
      his "Samson," 213;
      his oratorios compared with Bach's, 213, 215, 216, 217;
      his musical scheme, 214;
      his choruses, 215, 219;
      his development of the Italian oratorio, 214, 215, 220, 221,
        222, 223, 224, 227, 228, 229, 230, 271;
      his operas, 272;
      his "Teseo," 273, 313, 339.

    Hanover, the Elector of, 206.

    "Hans Heiling," Marschner's, 355.

    "Harmonie Universelle," Mersenne's, 100.

    Harmony, chromatic, 47.

    Harmony, diatonic, 47.

    Harmony, four-part, 190.

    Harmony,
      production of, 10, 11, 12;
      the origin of modern, 13, 20, 21, 24, 57;
      new laws of, 214.

    "Harmony of the Spheres, The," 236.

    "Harold in Italy," Berlioz's, 180.

    Harps, 84, 148, 155.

    Harpsichord, the, 87, 88, 90, 91, 92;
      builders of, 92, 94, 103, 105;
      first systematic method of playing, 105, 107, 108, 110, 127,
        148, 149, 203, 250, 266.

    Hasse, 275.

    Hawkins, John Isaac, 98.

    Hawkins, Sir John, "History of Music," of, 28, 221.

    Haydn, Josef, 111;
      life of, 136, 137;
      his music, 137;
      "the father of the symphony and the string quartet," 137, 161;
      his sonatas, 137, 138;
      his two principal themes, 139, 140, 141, 142, 143, 145, 153;
      his "Creation," 153, 167, 222;
      clearness of his orchestral works, 161;
      his symphonies, 161, 169;
      conductor of the Esterhazy orchestra, 162;
      his attempts in instrumentation, 162;
      influence of Mozart on, 163;
      his later work, 167;
      "The Seasons," 167, 213, 225;
      transforms the treatment of the orchestra, 168;
      his quartet writing, 190, 191;
      his quartets compared with Mozart's, 192;
      his oratorios, 221, 222;
      his choruses, 223;
      his oratorio writing, 224, 387, 389, 392.

    Hebrides overture, Mendelssohn's, 226.

    Heine, 349.

    Helicon, the, 86.

    Henderson, W. J.,
      the "Story of Music" of, 249;
      his "What is Good Music?", 383.

    "Henri VIII.," Saint Säens', 332, 333.

    Henry IV., of France, 247.

    Hereford Cathedral, 62.

    Hermann, the Landgrave, 58.

    "Herodiade," Massenet's, 333.

    Hesse, Dr., 60.

    "History of Music," Hawkins', 28, 221.

    "History of Music," Naumann's, 37, 43.

    Hobrecht, Jacob, 39, 40;
      his masses, 40, 43.

    "Hodie nobis coelorum Rex," Nanini's, 77.

    Holy Trinity, the, 20.

    Horn, the English, 154, 155, 156.

    Horns, 153, 155, 162, 191, 278.

    Horns, French, 155, 156, 157.

    "Hortus Musicus," Reinken's, 189.

    "How Excellent," the chorus, 153.

    Hucbald,
      the Organum of, 14;
      the harmonies of, 15, 16, 18, 20, 35.

    "Huguenots, Les," Meyerbeer's, 324, 325, 326, 327, 331.

    Hungary, 44.

    Hymn-book, the first Lutheran, 71.

    Hymns, early, 2;
      custom of singing, 2;
      the old anonymous, 8.

    Hymns, Latin, 201.

    Hymns, Lutheran, 71.


    "Idomeneo," Mozart's, 340.

    "Imitation," defined, 25, 27, 33, 36, 117.

    "Infernal Regions, The," 236.

    "Inferno," Dante's, 240.

    Instrumental forms, 263.

    Instrumental music, modern, 101, 102;
      a new element in, 106, 110;
      development of, 116, 189, 194;
      pure beauty in, 391.

    Instrumentation, Haydn's attempts in, 162.

    Intermezzi, 236, 250.

    "Inventions," Bach's, 122.

    Ionic mode, the, 70.

    "Iphigénie en Aulide," Racine's, 314, 315.

    Isaak, Heinrich, 60.

    "Isbruck, ich muss dich lassen," 60.

    "Israel in Egypt," Handel's, 207.

    Issy, 295.

    Italians, the, 129.

    Italian school, the, 284;
      characteristics of, 289.

    Italy, 44, 45;
      becomes the home of modern music, 50;
      revival of Greek learning in, 67, 94, 234, 238;
      vocal style in, 117;
      the oratorio in, 207;
      the ecclesiastical polyphonic style of, 214, 246, 291;
      hostile to Wagner, 358.

    "Ivanhoe," 355.


    Jahn, Otto,
      biographer of Mozart, 166, 192, 194;
      on "Don Juan," 344.

    Jannequin, Clement, 39, 45;
      compositions of, 46;
      his "Cris de Paris," 48;
      his "Le Bataille," 48.

    "Jephthah," Carissimi's, 204.

    "Jephthah's Vow," Meyerbeer's, 324.

    Jews, the, 2, 212.

    John George I., the Elector of Saxony, 336.

    John of Forneste, 28.

    Jomelli, 221.

    Jongleurs, the, 55, 56, 62.

    "Joseph," Méhul's, 322.

    Josephus, 84.

    Josquin. See _Des Prés, Josquin_.

    Joyeuse, the Duke de, 291.

    "Judas Maccabæus," Handel's, 207.

    Judea, 2.

    "Judgment of the Hamadryads, The," 236.

    "Juive, La," Halévy's, 323.

    "Jupiter" symphony, Mozart's, 164.


    Keiser, Reinhard, operas of, 339.

    Kettle drums, 153, 162.

    Key contrasts, 128.

    Keys,
      the arrangement of the distribution of, 130;
      Beethoven's freedom with, 143.

    Keyboard, the, invention of, 85.

    _Kinnor_, the Hebrew, 84.

    Kirkman, the harpsichord builder, 92.

    Köstritz, Saxony, 209.

    "Kothner," 59.

    Krehbiel, H. E., 238;
      on Weber's theory of the lyric drama, 351;
      on Weber's genius, 352.

    "Kreuzer" sonata, Beethoven's, 145.

    Kusser, Johann Sigismund, 338.


    La Halle, Adam de, 56;
      the "Gieus de Robin et de Marion," of, 292.

    Landini, Francesco, the first organist, 102.

    Laodicea, the Council of, forbids congregational singing, 3.

    La Scala Theatre, Milan, 288.

    Lasso, Orlando, 40, 49;
      his Mater, mia cara, 49, 51-53;
      his works, 49;
      a complete master of counterpoint, 49;
      his "Penitential Psalms," 50, 73;
      his use of chromatics, 50, 51, 73, 80, 120, 387.

    "Last Judgment, The," Spohr's, 225.

    Last Supper, the, 2.

    Lauda Sion, 9.

    Laufenberg, Heinrich von, 60.

    Lauska, 324.

    "Legato," meaning of, 110.

    Legend, the, Wagner's use of, 361.

    Legendary stories, as subjects for librettos, 359.

    "Leges Tabulaturæ," 59.

    Legrenzi, Giovanni, 79, 80.

    "Lehrcompendium," Zeelandia's, 60.

    Leipsic, 121, 134, 339, 340, 357.

    _Leit motiv_, Wagner's, 364, 365.

    "Lenore," Burger's poem, 180.

    "Lenore," Spohr's, 180.

    Leo, 275.

    Libretto, the, Weber's idea of, 351.

    "Life of Bach, The," Spitta's, 120, 189.

    "Limburg Chronicle," the, 59.

    "Linda di Chamounix," Donizetti's, 280.

    Liszt, Franz, 113;
      his development of touch, 114;
      his piano concertos, 179;
      the inventor of the symphonic poem, 181;
      his work, 181, 382, 387, 388.

    Litany and Responses, Tallys', 80.

    Liturgy, the church, 3, 6, 7, 36, 68, 385, 386.

    "Locheimer Liederbuch," the 60.

    Logroscino, 275.

    "Lohengrin," Wagner's, 267-269, 329, 358, 360.

    London, 137, 358.

    Lorraine, Christine de, 236.

    Lotti, Antonio,
      works of, 79;
      operas of, 271.

    Louis XI., 40.

    Louis XII., of France, 43.

    Louis XIII., 294.

    Louis XIV., 295, 301.

    Louis XV., of France, 57.

    "Lucia di Lammermoor," Donizetti's, 280.

    "Lucio Silla," Mozart's, 340.

    "Lucrezia Borgia," Donizetti's, 280.

    Lulli, Giovanni Battista,
      overtures of, 159;
      the virtual founder of French grand opera, 300;
      acquires the opera patent, 301, 302;
      his operas, 302;
      influence of his operas, 302;
      criticism of his work, 302, 303, 307, 308;
      his recitative, 306;
      influence of Monteverde on, 306;
      Rameau's improvements on the style of, 309-311, 312, 319, 328,
        332, 334, 357.

    Lully, Jean Baptiste. See _Lulli Giovanni Battista_.

    Luscinius, Ottomarus, on the virginal, 91.

    Lutes, 147, 148, 188, 250.

    Luther, Martin, 44;
      his music contrasted with that of the Roman Catholic Church, 71.

    Lydgate, "Reson and Sensualité" of, 85.

    Lyons, 10

    Lyres, 239, 250.


    Machaut. See _William of Machaut_.

    Madrigals, 39;
      Di Rore's, 47, 240.
      Monteverde's, 260.

    Maffei, Scipione, 93, 94.

    Magdalen College, 63.

    Magdeburg, the Cathedral of, 85.

    "Mage, Le," Massenet's, 333.

    Maggini, Giovanni Paolo, the violin maker, 150, 188.

    Magnificat, the, 8.

    Mailly, the Abbé, the "Akebar, Roi de Mogol" of, 295.

    Mainz, 10.

    Major key, the modern, introduction of, 214, 243, 261.

    Malvezzi, 236.

    Mancinus, Thomas, 209.

    Mandolin, the, 92.

    Mannheim, 164.

    Mannheim band, Mozart's, 164, 165.

    "Manon," Massenet's, 333.

    Mantua, the home of opera, 253.

    Mantua, the Duke of, 254.

    Marais, Marin, 308.

    Marchand, 308.

    Marenzio, 236.

    Margherita, Infanta of Savoy, 254.

    Maria, the Empress, 78.

    Marschner, Heinrich, music of, 355.

    Marseilles, 334.

    Mass, the, early arrangement of, 8.

    Mass, the Marcellus, 72, 73.

    "Massaniello," Auber's, 323.

    Massenet, Jules Émile Frédéric, operas of, 333, 378.

    Masses,
      Machaut's, 34;
      Dufay's, 36, 37;
      Palestrina's, 72;
      Anerio's, 78;
      Lotti's, 79;
      Mozart's, 80;
      Beethoven's, 80;
      Cherubini's, 80.

    Masters, the Netherlands, 117, 119.

    Masters, the Venetian, 122.

    _Materia musicæ_, 385.

    Matheson, the "Musikalische Kritik" of, 93.

    Matthew, St., 212.

    "Matona, mia cara," Lasso's madrigal, 49, 51-53.

    "Matrimonia Segreto, Il," Cimarosa's, 276.

    Maximilian I., Emperor of the Netherlands, 43.

    Mazarin, Cardinal,
      attempts to revive Italian opera in France, 295, 300.

    Measure,
      dual and triple, 12;
      the musical, 17, 19.

    "Medécin malgré lui, Le," 329.

    Médicis, Catherine de, 290.

    Medicis, Mary de, 245, 247.

    "Mefistofele," Boito's, 284.

    Méhul, Étienne Henri, operas of, 322, 323.

    Meissen, Heinrich von, 56.

    "Meistersinger, Die," Wagner's, 22, 63, 343, 358.

    Meistersingers, the, 55;
      become the musical lawgivers of Germany, 59;
      the songs of, 59.

    Meistersong, the, 60.

    Melody, modern,
      first appearance of, 10;
      production of, 10, 11, 21.

    "Melusine," Mendelssohn's, 180.

    Melzi, Prince, 313.

    Mendelssohn, Bartholdi Felix,
      orchestra of, 154;
      his symphonic writing 179, 180;
      chamber music of, 196;
      his "St. Paul," 213, 226, 227, 228;
      resurrects Bach's St. Matthew Passion, 221, 227;
      oratorios of, 225, 226;
      his "Songs Without Words," 226;
      his "Midsummer Night's Dream" overture, 226;
      his "Hebrides" overture, 180, 226;
      attracted toward the Protestant oratorio, 227;
      his "Elijah," 229-231;
      his choruses, 229;
      his use of the chorale, 229;
      his fusion of styles, 230, 232, 352.

    Mercadante, Saverio, operas of, 281.

    "Merlin," Goldmark's, 356.

    Mersenne, Marin,
      describes the clavicymbalum, 91;
      his "Harmonie Universelle," 100.

    Merulo, Claudio, the "toccata" of, 104, 122;
      his festival play, 237.

    "Messiah, The," Handel's, 152, 207, 212;
      most popular oratorio in the United States, 215, 232, 223, 272.

    Meyerbeer, Jacob, 281, 323;
      his early work, 324;
      his operas, 324, 325;
      his grandiose style, 325, 326;
      his powers of characterization, 327, 330;
      his influence on Gounod, 331;
      his influence on Saint-Säens, 333, 334, 356, 358.

    Michaelis, Theodore, 296.

    "Midsummer Night's Dream" overture, Mendelssohn's, 226.

    Milan, 49, 281, 288, 308.

    Milton, John, 185.

    Minnesingers, the, 55, 56;
      the era of, 58.

    Minnesingers, the German, 56.

    Minnesong, the, 58.

    Minor key, the modern, introduction of, 214, 243, 261.

    Minstrels, the, 55;
      songs of, 57, 240.

    Minuet, the, 138, 139, 144, 168.

    Minuet movement, the, 139, 144.

    Minuets,
      Haydn's, 144;
      Beethoven's, 144.

    Miracle plays, the, 56, 201;
      abuses of, 202;
      Neri's reforms in, 202-203.

    "Mireille," Gounod's, 329.

    "Misere," Allegri's, 78.

    "Mitridate, Re di Ponto," Mozart's, 340.

    Mohammed II., 67.

    Molière, 301.

    Monochord, the, 71, 86, 87, 88, 103.

    Monody, Italian, 291, 292.

    Monophonic era, the, 81.

    Monophonic style, the, 115;
      development of, 126-146;
      sonata form tending towards, 160, 251.

    Mons, 49.

    Montalto, Cardinal, 246.

    Montaud, 333.

    Monte, Cardinal dal, 246.

    Monte, Philip de, 40, 49.

    Montpensier, Mlle. de, 301.

    Monteverde, Claudio,
      development made in the orchestra by, 149;
      his "Orfeo," 149, 254;
      significance of his work, 150;
      his operas, 150, 157;
      his early work, 253, 254;
      his "Arianna," 254;
      his "Tancredi e Clorinda," 259, 262;
      the Wagner of his time, 260;
      innovations of, 260;
      Parry's comments on the work of 261, 262, 264;
      his influence on Lulli, 306, 307.

    Morley, "Plain and Easy Introduction to Practical Music," 128.

    Morzin, Count, 136.

    Motets,
      Brumel's, 43;
      Willaert's, 48

    Motive, the Walhalla, 377.

    Mouton, Jean, 45.

    Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus,
      masses of, 80, 92, 95, 103;
      vocal playing of, 110;
      his operas, 110, 111, 137;
      life of, 139, 140;
      criticism of his work, 140;
      his piano sonatas, 140, 141;
      his quartets, 140, 192;
      a master pianist, 141, 142, 143, 145, 153, 162;
      his influence on Haydn, 163;
      symphonies of, 164, 167, 169;
      his Mannheim band, 164, 165;
      his extraordinary genius, 164, 165;
      his style, 165;
      his notable system, 166;
      influence of the opera upon, 166;
      transforms the treatment of the orchestra, 168;
      his chamber music, 191, 192;
      his part writing, 192;
      his quartets compared with Haydn's, 192, 222;
      his "Don Giovanni," 266, 273, 275;
      his "Nozze di Figaro," 285, 320, 328, 331;
      his operas, 340;
      his German spirit, 341;
      his "Don Juan," 343-346;
      a master of form, 347, 358, 387, 390, 392.

    "Muette de Portici, La," Auber's, 323.

    Mülhausen, 121.

    Munich, 49, 337.

    Muris, Jean de, on musical instruments, 87, 90.

    Music,
      the three elementary constituents of, 10;
      relation of poetry to, 316;
      primary laws of, 386.

    Musical art, system of, 380.

    Musical learning, diffusion among the people of, 67.

    Musical science, formulation of, 387.

    Music, ancient, 240.

    Music, chamber,
      defined, 186;
      origin of, 187;
      development of, 188, 189;
      Germany the home of, 189;
      Bach's, 189, 190;
      Haydn's, 190, 191;
      Mozart's, 191, 192;
      Beethoven's, 193;
      Schubert's, 196;
      Schumann's, 196;
      Mendelssohn's, 196;
      Spohr's, 196;
      German, French, and Italian composers in, 196;
      reasons for retrograding, 196;
      Brahms', 197;
      Dvorak's, 197.

    Music, church,
      attempts to form a system in, 3, 19;
      German, 60;
      its cultivation in Paris, 24;
      simplification of, 65;
      methods in writing, 66;
      reforms in, 67-74;
      Roman Catholic, 77;
      borrows from the opera and the oratorio, 79, 240.

    Music, dramatic, attempt to improve the state of, 237, 252.

    Music, ecclesiastical, 19, 54.

    Music, English cathedral, 80.

    Music, Greek, 2, 4, 6, 14, 16, 238.

    Music, homophonic, 252.

    Musicians, early secular, 55, 61.

    Music, Italian, 139;
      influences Handel's work, 206, 214.

    Music, modern,
      early cultivation of, 1;
      gains independence as an art, 9;
      its melodic basis established, 10;
      introduction of harmony into, 12;
      Italy becomes the home of, 50.

    Music, opera, Italian, influence in Germany of, 211.

    Music, orchestral, 187.

    Music, organ, 102.

    Music,
      passion, the history of, 207, 208, 209;
      influence of Schütz upon 209;
      Sebastiani's, 211;
      Bach's, 212 217.

    Music, piano,
      origin of, 101;
      evolution of, 108, 115.

    Music, popular, examples of, 63, 64, 67, 69.

    Music, programme, 177;
      defined, 177, 178.

    Music, recitative, 252.

    Music, secular, 39;
      development of, 47;
      new developments in, 74.

    Music, vocal, 106, 108, 116, 234.

    "Musikalische Kritik," Matheson's, 93.

    "Musurgia," Luscinius', 91.

    Mysteries, the, 56.

    Myth, the, Wagner's use of, 361, 362, 363.

    Mythical stories, as subjects for librettos, 359.


    Nanini, Giovanni Maria, 75, 77;
      his "Hodie nobis coelorum Rex," 77.

    Naples, 49, 265.

    Naumann, 37, 43.

    Nazianzen, St. Gregory, Patriarch of Constantinople, 200.

    Neapolitans, the, 302.

    Neapolitan School of opera writers, the, 265, 270, 275, 280,
      285, 357.

    Neri, St. Philip, reforms the early Christian drama, 202-203.

    "Nerone," Boito's, 288.

    Netherlands, the, 17, 44.

    Netherlands school, the great,
      over-shadows the Gallo-Belgic school, 37;
      periods of, 38-40;
     formation of its character, 40, 45, 48, 60, 73, 102, 189, 387,
       392.

    Neumes, the, 17, 18, 19, 383.

    New College, 63.

    New Haven, 87.

    New Testament, the, study of, 68.

    "Nibelungen Lied," the, 348.

    Nokter, Balbulus, 9.

    "Nonne Sanglante, La," Gounod's, 329.

    "Norma," Bellini's, 280.

    Notation, the earliest form of, 17.

    Nottinghamshire, 63.

    "Nozze di Figaro," Mozart's, 285, 340, 341, 342.

    "Nozze di Tito e di Peleo," Cavalli's, 263.

    "Nuove Musiche," Caccini's, 241.

    Nuremberg, 209.


    "Oberon," Weber's, 349.

    "Oberto, Conte di San Bonifazio," Verdi's, 281.

    Oboes, 148, 152, 153, 155, 156, 157, 162, 164, 191.

    Octets, 186, 193.

    Odington, Walter, 28.

    Okeghem, Johannes, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 50, 63, 141, 386, 387.

    "Olympie," Spontini's, 323.

    "Omme Armée, L'," 36, 45.

    Opera, 79, 106, 160;
      its effect on Mozart, 166, 203;
      origin of, 234-241;
      early development of, 243-252;
      Monteverde's innovations in, 259-262;
      becomes public and popular, 262;
      shows a step in advance, 264;
      three kinds of vocal music in, 265-267;
      the position of the aria established in, 270;
      rules for, 273, 274;
      Weber's definition of, 351.

    Opera Buffa, the. See _Opera, comic grand_.

    Opera, comic grand, 275, 276, 279, 280.

    Opera, pastoral, 291.

    Opera, the comic Italian, 236.

    Opera, the French, 277;
      early history of, 290;
      the real development of, 294-296;
      Lulli the virtual founder of, 300;
      Lulli's influence upon, 301-308;
      Rameau's influence upon, 309-311;
      Gluck's influence upon, 321.

    Opera, the German, 233;
      early history of, 336-339;
      development of, 339, 340;
      the school of, 341;
      Weber's influence on, 348;
      enormous influence of Wagner on, 355.

    Opera, the Italian, 141;
      advent of, 148;
      Europe addicted to the habit of, 220;
      opposition to, 221, 222;
      production of the first, 247;
      Scarlatti's improvements in, 265-269;
      the laws of, 272;
      new school of, 286, 287;
      in France, 294, 295, 312;
      in Germany, 337;
      fatal weakness of, 341.

    Opera houses, 262.

    _Opera per Musica_, the title, 252.

    Opera writers, Italian, 264, 265, 271.

    Operas,
      Gluck's, 222, 313;
      Monteverde's, 150, 259;
      Cavalli's, 263;
      Scarlatti's, 265-269;
      Rossi's, 271;
      Caldara's, 271;
      Lotti's, 271;
      Buononcini's, 271;
      Handel's, 272;
      Cimarosa's, 276;
      Rossini's, 277;
      Donizetti's, 280;
      Bellini's, 280, 281;
      Mercadante's, 281;
      Verdi's, 281, 282;
      Perrin's, 295;
      Lulli's, 302;
      Rameau's, 309;
      Méhul's, 322;
      Cherubini's, 322;
      Spontini's, 323;
      Auber's, 323;
      Halévy's, 323;
      Meyerbeer's, 324;
      Gounod's, 329;
      Bizet's, 331;
      Saint-Säens', 332;
      Massenet's, 333;
      Reyer's, 334;
      Keiser's, 339;
      Mozart's, 110, 140, 340;
      Weber's, 349;
      Beethoven's, 353;
      Marschner's, 355;
      Cornelius', 355;
      Goldmark's, 356;
      Wagner's, 358.

    Operatic declamation, 129.

    Operatic finale, Piccini's development of, 275.

    Opitz, Martin, 336.

    Oratorio, 48, 79;
      advent of, 148;
      origin of, 199;
      influence of Greek plays upon, 200;
      Neri's influence upon, 202, 203;
      effect of dramatic recitative upon, 203;
      first performance of, 203;
      improvements of Carissimi, Stradella, and Cesti in, 204,
        205;
      dates from Handel, 207;
      its decadence after Handel and Bach, 220;
      descriptive orchestration in, 224;
      its popularity in England, 232;
      improvement in the dramatic recitative and the choral part
        of, 264.

    Oratorio, Passion, 212.

    Oratorio, Protestant,
      Mendelssohn attracted towards, 227, 230.

    Oratorios,
      Handel's, 201, 207, 313;
      Carissimi's, 204;
      Scarlatti's, 205;
      Bach's, 207;
      Haydn's, 221, 222, 224, 225;
      Spohr's, 225;
      German, 232;
      Italian, 232.

    Orchestra, the, 121;
      evolution of, 147-157;
      early arrangement of, 147, 148;
      first organized use of, 148;
      Monteverde's influence on, 149;
      plan of the contemporaneous, 156-157;
      transformed in its treatment by Haydn and Mozart, 168.

    Orchestras,
      continental town, 61;
      Hungarian, 84.

    Orchestration, Wagnerian, 233.

    "Orfeo," Gluck's, 314, 317, 318, 319.

    "Orfeo," Monteverde's, 149, 337.

    Organ, the, 10, 22, 77, 85, 86, 101, 102;
      first systematic method of playing, 105, 121, 149, 153, 188.

    Organists, 101, 102;
      Venetian school of, 102, 209;
      Roman school of, 104.

    Organ playing, 115.

    Organ school, the,
      of Venice, 102, 209;
      of Rome, 104.

    Organum, the, of Hucbald, 14, 35.

    Orléans, 10.

    "Orpheus," Schütz's, 337.

    "Otello," Rossini's, 277, 278.

    "Otello," Verdi's, 282, 283, 284, 285, 286.

    Overture, the,
      Gluck's idea of, 316;
      advancement of, 353.

    "Overture, the Italian," 159, 160.

    Overture, the programme, 178.

    Overtures,
      Lulli's, 159;
      their influence upon the symphony, 161;
      Weber's, 353;
      Beethoven's, 353.

    "O Welt, ich muss dich lassen," 60.

    Oxford, 63.


    Paderewski, 114.

    Padua, 93.

    "Pagliacci," 287.

    Paisiello, 221, 275.

    Palazzo Bardi, the, 239, 244.

    Palestrina, 44, 45, 49;
      his masses, 72;
      his development of church polyphony, 74;
      his career, 74;
      his style, 75, 76, 77, 78, 80, 120, 328, 338, 387.

    Paliarino, an instrument maker, 94.

    Pandæan pipe, the, 149, 250.

    Papal Chapel, the, 75, 77.

    "Papillons," Schumann's, 180.

    "Pardon de Ploermel, Le," Meyerbeer's, 325.

    Paris, 2, 24, 28, 45, 87, 277;
      Italian ballet introduced to, 291, 294, 301, 306, 308, 312,
        313, 314, 315, 328, 358.

    "Paris and Helen," Gluck's, 314.

    Paris Grand Opéra, the, 296.

    Paris, the University of,
      becomes the centre of European study, 24, 87.

    Parisian symphony, Mozart's, 165.

    Parry, Dr. C. H. H.,
      on the "Evolution of the Art of Music," 81, 120, 129, 130;
      on Beethoven and the symphony, 167, 168, 169;
      on Stradella and Cesti, 205, 216;
      his comments on the work of Monteverde, 261, 262;
      on Gluck, 320;
      on Meyerbeer, 326;
      on Mozart, 342;
      on classicism, 381.

    "Parsifal," Wagner's, 358, 360.

    Pasquine, Bernado, the works of, 105.

    Passacaglia, a, 129.

    "Passage work," 131.

    Passion, the,
      Bach's settings of, 122, 207;
      Schütz's settings of, 210, 211;
      Brockes' text of, 211.

    _Pasticcio_, a, 313.

    "Pastorale," Cambert's, 295.

    Paul, Saint, 2.

    Pavanes, the, 128.

    Pedal, the "celeste," 97.

    Pedalling, 113.

    "Penitential Psalms," Lasso's, 50, 73.

    Penna, Lorenzo, 105;
      rules of, 108.

    Pergolesi, 275.

    Peri, Jacopo,
      the "Daphne" of, 244, 245;
      his "Eurydice," 149, 245, 246;
      his theory of recitative, 247, 248, 249, 250;
      peculiarities of his music, 250-252, 253, 254, 264, 285,
        290, 303, 307, 315, 318, 336, 337, 345, 352, 357;
      Wagner's theories compared with those of, 359, 361, 377.

    Pericles, 319.

    Perotin, the "Posui adjutorum" of, 25, 27.

    Perrin, Pierre, operas of, 295, 296, 300, 301.

    "Persée," Lulli's, 302.

    Persephone, the rape of, 200.

    Pesaro, 277.

    "Peter Schmoll," Weber's, 349.

    Philadelphia, 98.

    "Philémon et Baucis," Gounod's, 329.

    Philip the Fair, 24.

    "Phryne," Saint-Säens', 333.

    Pianists, professional, 102;
      their rules, 108.

    Piano, the,
      precursors of, 71;
      the result of a long development, 83;
      its fundamental principle, 83;
      evolution of, 85-98;
      the Steinert collection, 87;
      equal temperament in, 98-100, 186, 191, 193, 194;
      technics of, 388.

    Piano, the English, 97, 111.

    Piano playing, evolution of, 101-115.

    Piano style, the polyphonic, 116-125.

    Pianos, Viennese, 96, 97.

    "Pianoforte, The," Rimbault's, 93.

    "Pianoforte Sonata," the, Shedlock's, 133.

    Picardy, 292.

    Piccini, 275;
      his development of the operatic finale, 275, 314, 315.

    Piccolo, the, 149, 155.

    Piedmont, 290.

    Pipers, town, 61.

    "Piramo e Tisbe," Gluck's, 313, 315.

    Pius IX., Pope, 72.

    Pizzicato, the, invention of, 151.

    "Plain and Easy Introduction to Practical Music," Morley's, 128.

    Plays, Greek, influence upon oratorio of, 199, 200, 201.

    Plays, secular, 235.

    Plays, the pastoral, 291, 292.

    Pliny, the Younger, 2.

    Poetry, German, 392.

    Poetry, relation of music to, 316.

    Poets, Italian, 203.

    Polka, the, 20.

    "Polyeucte," Gounod's, 329.

    Polyphonic era, the, 81.

    Polyphonic forms, the, 22, 25, 27;
      difference between the sonata and, 125.

    Polyphonic motet style, the old, 210.

    Polyphonic period, the, characteristics of, 387, 389, 391.

    Polyphonic playing, 106-108.

    Polyphonic style, the, 115, 190.

    Polyphonic writing, 44, 73;
      a new kind of, 112, 117, 124.

    Polyphony, church, 74;
      England's mastery of, 80, 129.

    Polyphony, English, 27.

    Polyphony, instrumental, 124;
      comes to an end with Bach, 124;
      on a new basis, 214.

    Polyphony, vocal, 148.

    "Pomone," Perrin and Cambert's, 296, 300.

    "Pompeo," Scarlatti's, 265.

    Ponte, Lorenzo da, the "Don Juan" of, 343.

    "Posui adjutorum," the, of Perotin, 25.

    "Power of Love and Wine, The," Weber's, 349.

    "Power of Sound," Spohr's, 180.

    Preludes, Bach's, 122, 123.

    Printing,
      invention of, 67;
      introduction of, 68.

    "Prophète, Le," Meyerbeer's, 325.

    "Proserpine," Saint-Säens', 332.

    Protestant Church, the, 71;
      in Germany, 217, 218, 228, 229.

    Protestantism, the spirit of, 212.

    Provence, 292.

    Psalms, Hebrew, 2;
      in the early Church, 3;
      antiphonal chanting of, 3.

    Ptolomæus, Claudius, 86.

    Pythagoras, the musical system of, 14, 85.


    "Quartet, American," Dvorak's, 198.

    Quartet, string, the,
      Haydn the father of, 137;
      Monteverde's use of, 150;
      Scarlatti's use of, 151, 190, 193;
      the opportunities offered by, 194, 197.

    Quartets,
      Haydn's, 137, 190, 191;
      Mozart's, 140, 192, 168, 186, 189;
      Gossec's, 190;
      complete establishment of, 192;
      Beethoven and romanticism in, 192-196.

    Quartets, piano, 186, 191, 193, 196, 197.

    Quartet writing,
      Gossec's, 190;
      Haydn's, 190, 191.

    "Queen of Sheba," Goldmark's, 356.

    "Quintet, American," Dvorak's, 198.

    Quintets, 186, 191.

    Quintets, piano, 187, 193, 196, 197.

    Quintets, string, 191, 193.

    Quintilianus, Aristides, 86.


    Racine, 310, 314.

    Rameau, Jean Philippe,
      the French opera composer, 98;
      his "Traité de l'Harmonie," 100, 308;
      his theoretical works, 308;
      his "Hippolyte et Aricie," 309;
      operas of, 309, 313;
      his improvements on Lulli's style, 309-311, 312, 319, 321,
        328, 330, 332, 334, 352, 357.

    Rassoumoffsky, Count, 194.

    "Rassoumoffsky Quartets, The," Beethoven's, 194.

    Reading, 28.

    Recitative, dramatic,
      invention of, 203;
      its effect on oratorio, 203, 235, 239, 240;
      improvement in, 264.

    Recitative, the Florentine, 292.

    Recitative, French, 313.

    Recitative, the Greek, 243.

    _Recitative secco_, 266, 278, 279.

    _Recitativo stromentato_, 267, 278, 279.

    "Redemption," Gounod's, 233.

    Reformation, the, 60, 71, 104.

    Regal, the, 149.

    Regensburg, 10.

    "Reine de Saba, La," Gounod's, 329.

    Reinken, John Adam, the "Hortus Musicus" of, 189.

    Renaissance, the, dawn of, 67, 69, 70.

    "Reson and Sensualité," Lydgate's, 85.

    Reszke, Jean de, 329.

    "Rêve, Le," Bruneau's, 334.

    Reyer, Ernest, operas of, 334.

    "Rheingold, Das," Wagner's, 358, 368, 377.

    Rhine, the, 58.

    Rhythm, 10, 11;
      the appearance of, 16, 21;
      elementary attraction of pure, 70;
      Aristoxenus on, 238;
      Veron on, 384.

    Ricercari,
      Buus', 103;
      Frescobaldi's, 104.

    "Ricercari da cantare e sonare," Buus', 103.

    "Ride of the Valkyrs," 154, 260.

    "Rienzi," Wagner's, 281, 358.

    "Rigoletto," Verdi's, 281, 282.

    Rimbault, on "The Pianoforte," 93.

    "Rinaldo," Handel's opera, 206.

    "Ring des Nibelungen, Der," Wagner's, 358, 360.

    Rinuccini, Ottavio,
      intermezzi of, 236;
      his work on "Daphne," 244, 245;
      his "Eurydice," 245, 246, 247, 249, 251, 285, 294,
        315, 336.

    "Ripieno" instruments, 160.

    "Ritorno di Tobia, Il," Haydn's, 221.

    Ritter, Dr. F. L., 249.

    Ritter, Fanny Raymond, on the Troubadours, 57, 58.

    Ritual, the Roman, 9, 10.

    "Robert le Diable," Meyerbeer's, 324, 325.

    Rohran, Austria, 136.

    "Roi de Lahore, Le," Massenet's, 333.

    "Roland," Lulli's, 302.

    Roman Catholic Church, the,
      medieval priests of, 1;
      artistic music of, 1;
      psalms in, 3;
      the Sequence in, 8, 16;
      connection between France and, 24, 49;
      musicians of, 62;
      authorized language in, 68;
      its music contrasted with Luther's, 71, 72;
      prepares religious dramas, 200;
      Holy Week in, 208.

    Romans, the, 200, 246.

    Romanticism, 178, 380, 381;
      contest between classicism and, 382, 389.

    Romanticists, the, 178, 179;
      new, 356.

    Romantic period, the, characteristics of, 392, 393.

    Romantic school, the, Beethoven's symphonies the connecting link
      between the classic school and, 176, 177, 180, 342.

    Romantic writers, the, 170.

    Rome, 2;
      singing-schools at, 3;
      Sistine Chapel at, 43, 45, 49, 51, 55, 67, 68, 71;
      the pontifical chapel at, 74;
      school of Catholic composition at, 77;
      Christianity introduced into, 200;
      oratorio first performed in, 203, 219, 244.

    "Romeo and Juliet," Berlioz's, 180.

    "Romeo et Juliette," Gounod's, 284, 329, 330, 331.

    Roncole, 281.

    Rore, Cyprian di, 39, 45;
      his "Chromatic Madrigals," 47, 49, 50, 77.

    Rossi, Francesco, operas of, 271.

    Rossini, Gioachino Antonio,
      operas of, 277;
      his abilities, 277;
      his methods, 277;
      his improvements, 278;
      popularity of his operas, 279;
      his style, 279, 280, 281.

    Rousseau, 310.

    Rubinstein, 114.

    Ruckers, Andreas, the harpsichord builder, 92.

    Ruckers, Hans, the harpsichord builder, 92.

    Ruckert, 349.

    "Rules of the Minnesingers," Cersne's, 87.

    Ruta, Girolamo di, 105.


    Sablières, the Sieur de, 300.

    Sacchini, 221, 275.

    St. Bartholomew, the massacre of, 45.

    St. Étienne, 333.

    "St. Franciscus," Tinel's, 233.

    St. Gall, the convent of, 9, 10.

    St. Gregory's Cathedral, 62.

    St. John Lateran, the Church of, 49.

    St. John's College, 63.

    St. Mark's, at Venice, 45, 46, 263.

    St. Martin's, the Cathedral of, 40.

    St. Matthew Passion,
      Bach's, 212;
      resurrected by Mendelssohn, 221, 227, 233.

    St. Michael Royal, the Church of, 63.

    "St. Paul," Mendelssohn's, 213.

    St. Peter's, Rome, 75.

    Saint-Säens, Camille,
      operas of, 332;
      influence of Meyerbeer upon, 333.

    "Sakuntala" overture, Goldmark's, 179.

    "Salammbô," Reyer's, 334.

    Salmon, 291.

    Salo, Gasparo di, the first violin maker, 149.

    Salzburg, 139.

    "Samson," Handel's, 213, 223.

    "Samson et Dalila," Saint-Säens', 332, 333.

    Sängerkrieg, the great, 58.

    Sante, Giovanni Pierluigi. See _Palestrina_.

    "Sapho," Gounod's, 329.

    "Saul," Handel's, 153, 207.

    Scale, the Æolian, 6.

    Scale, the Doric, 5.

    Scale, the Lydian, 5, 6.

    Scale, the Phrygian, 5.

    Scale playing, 108.

    Scales, ecclesiastical, 235, 243, 261.

    Scales, the Greek, 4, 5, 6.

    Scales, the Gregorian, 47.

    Scales, modern, 6.

    Scales, modern major, 4.

    Scales, the old church, disappearance of, 214.

    Scaliger, 90, 91.

    Scarlatti, Alessandro,
      operatic works of, 107;
      his use of the string quartet, 151;
      his "Sinfonia avanti l'Opera," 159;
      his concertos, 160;
      his oratorios, 205;
      his treatment of the aria, 206;
      his career, 265;
      the founder of the Neapolitan school, 265;
      his operas, 265;
      characteristics of his writing, 265, 266;
      his improvements in Italian opera, 265-269;
      his development of the _aria da capo_, 269, 270, 280.

    Scarlatti, Domenico, 92, 106;
      his harpsichord style, 107, 120, 127;
      sonatas of, 130, 131.

    Scherzo, the, 144, 145.

    Schiller, 349.

    Schink, on "Don Juan," 345, 346.

    Schröter, Christopher G., the claims of, 93.

    Schubert, Franz,
      symphonic writing of, 179, 180;
      orchestra of, 154;
      chamber music of, 196, 348;
      his "Erl-König," 389.

    Schulz, Christopher, 209.

    Schumann, Robert, 113;
      his original style, 114;
      his music, 114;
      orchestra of, 154, 185;
      his symphonies, 179, 180;
      chamber music of, 196, 325, 346, 382, 387, 388.

    Schütz, Heinrich,
      the "Seven Last Words" of, 209;
      his settings of the Passion, 210;
      writes the first German opera, 336, 337;
      his "Orpheus," 337.

    Sculpture, Greek, 69.

    "Seasons, The," Haydn's, 167, 213, 225.

    "Seasons, The," Thompson's, 225.

    Sebastiani, Giovanni, passion music of, 211.

    Second viola, the, 187.

    Second violin, the, 151, 155, 162, 186, 187.

    Second violoncello, the, 187.

    "Semiramide," Rossini's, 277, 278.

    Senesino, the singer, 271.

    Septets, 186, 193.

    Sequence, the, origin of, 8, 9.

    "Seraglio, Il," Mozart's, 341.

    "Seven Last Words of Christ," Schütz's, 209, 336.

    Sextets, 186, 193, 197.

    Shedlock, J. S., on "The Piano Sonata," 133.

    "Shepherds, The," 201.

    Shepherd's pipe, the, 154.

    "Siegfried," Wagner's, 358, 370, 372.

    "Sigurd," Reyer's, 334.

    Silbermann, Gottfried, the claims of, 93, 94, 95.

    Simicon, the, 90.

    Simius, 90.

    Simon, Leonard Fitz, the first salaried organist, 63.

    Sinay, Belgium, 232.

    Sinchard, Henri, 300.

    "Sinfonia," the term, 158, 159.

    "Sinfonia avanti l'Opera," 159;
      its development into overture, 159.

    Singers, Roman, 9.

    Singing, congregational, 67;
      revival of, 71.

    Singing-schools, at Rome, 3, 4.

    Singing style, the, advent of, 108.

    "Singspiel," the German, 339, 350.

    Sistine Chapel, the, at Rome, 43, 75.

    Sixtus IV., 43.

    Snare-drums, 155.

    "Solomon's Judgment," Carissimi's, 204.

    Solo singing, introduction of, 106, 121, 239, 340.

    Sonata,
      the development of, 115;
      its difference from the polyphonic forms, 125;
      early scheme of, 130;
      C. P. E. Bach the father of, 132;
      general plan and purpose of the early, 135, 136;
      early experiments with, 141.

    Sonata, the orchestral, 165.

    Sonata form,
      the modern, 132, 135;
      Beethoven's improvements in, 142, 143;
      tending towards the monophonic style, 160;
      establishment of, 161, 171, 182, 183, 188, 190, 382.

    Sonata method, the, 132.

    "Sonata," meaning of, 103.

    Sonatas,
      Beethoven's, 113, 138, 145;
      Bach's, 122;
      Corelli's, 128, 139;
      Scarlatti's, 130, 131;
      Haydn's, 137;
      Biber's, 139;
      Mozart's, 140;
      Clementi's, 142.

    Sonatas, chamber, 188.

    Sonatas, church, 188.

    Sonatas, classic piano, 158.

    Sonatas, piano,
      C. P. E. Bach's, 130, 161;
      Haydn's, 137;
      Mozart's, 140, 141;
      Beethoven's, 145, 146, 193.

    Sonatas, violin, 129;
      Bach's, 131.

    "Sonate da Camera," 188;
      Corelli's, 188.

    "Sonate di Chiesa," 188.

    Song-forms, 263.

    Song-plays, German, 339, 340.

    Songs,
      Roman kithara, 2;
      popular, 51;
      Roman lyre, 2;
      Mozart's, 140;
      negro, 181;
      secular, 39, 235.

    "Songs Without Words," Mendelssohn's, 226.

    "Sonnambula, La," Bellini's, 281.

    Sophocles, the "Thamyris" of, 239.

    Soprano, the, 270, 271, 273.

    Sopranos, male, 271, 272, 273.

    Sourdeac, the Marquis de, 300, 301.

    Southwell, collegiate churches of, 63.

    Spain, 44, 57.

    "Spem in alium non habui," Tally's, 80.

    Spinet, the Italian, 87, 88, 90, 91, 103.

    Spinetti, Giovanni, 90, 91.

    Spiritual songs, 2.

    Spitta, Dr. Philip, "The Life of Bach," 120, 190.

    Spohr, Ludwig,
      orchestra of, 154;
      his symphonic writing, 179, 180;
      chamber music of, 196;
      oratorios of, 225.

    Spontini, Gasparo, operas of, 323.

    Square pianos, the first, 94, 95.

    Stabat Mater, 9.

    Stage, the Italian lyric, dramatic truth restored to, 288.

    Staff, the musical, 18, 19.

    Steffani, 339.

    Stein, Andrew, 95.

    Stein, John Andrew, 95, 96.

    Stein, Nanette, 95, 96.

    Steinert, Mr. Morris, piano collection of, 87, 92.

    Stephani, Clemens, passion music of, 209.

    _Stile parlante_, the, 252, 264.

    _Stile rappresentativo_, the, 252.

    "Story of Music," Henderson's, 249.

    Stradella, Alessandro,
      the orchestra of, 151;
      his instinct for choral effect, 205, 264.

    "Stratonice," Méhul's, 322.

    Streicher, Mrs. See _Stein, Nanette_.

    Stretto, the, 119.

    Strozzi, Pietro, 236.

    "Studies in the Wagnerian Drama," Krehbiel's, 238.

    "Suite," a, 128, 189.

    Suites, Bach's, 122.

    "Sumer is icumen in," 26, 28, 35, 80.

    "Surprises d'Amour, Les," Rameau's, 309.

    "Surrexit Christus," Gabrieli's, 79.

    Susannah, the story of, 48.

    Swelinck, Jans Peters, 40, 49, 189.

    Sylvester, Pope, founds singing-schools at Rome, 3.

    Symphonic band, the modern, 152.

    Symphonic poem, the, 178;
      Liszt the inventor of, 181.

    Symphonic writers, the, 179.

    Symphonies,
      Haydn's, 137, 161, 163;
      C. P. E. Bach's, 161;
      Mozart's, 164;
      Schumann's, 179;
      Spohr's, 179;
      Schubert's, 180;
      Mendelssohn's, 180;
      Belioz's, 180;
      Tschaikowsky's, 181;
      Dvorak's, 182.

    Symphonies,
      Beethoven's, 145;
      the highest types of absolute music, 172;
      the connecting link between the classic and the romantic
        schools, 176.

    Symphonies, English, Haydn's, 137.

    Symphony, the,
      Haydn the father of, 137;
      definition of, 158;
      characteristics of, 158;
      development of, 159, 160;
      influence of the overture upon, 161;
      establishment of, 162;
      its condition when Beethoven began writing, 167, 168.

    Symphony, the classical, 161.

    "Symphony Pathetique," Tschaikowsky's, 181.


    Tallys, Thomas,
      the father of English cathedral music, 80;
      his works, 80.

    "Tancred," Rossini's, 277.

    "Tancredi e Clorinda," Monteverde's, 259, 262.

    "Tannhäuser," Wagner's, 58, 154, 306, 358, 360.

    Teatro San Cassiano, the, 262.

    Technic, difference between piano and organ, 106.

    Technics, Chopin, Schumann, and Liszt, 113.

    Te Deum, the, 8.

    Temperament, equal, 98-100, 107, 124.

    "Templar and Jewess," Marschner's, 355.

    Tenors, 17, 272, 273.

    Tenor tubas, 155.

    Tenor viols, 149.

    "Teseo," Handel's, 273.

    Tetrachord, the, 5.

    "Thamyris," Sophocles, 239.

    Théâtre Lyrique, the, at Paris, 329.

    Theile, Johann, the "Adam and Eve" of, 338.

    Theorbo, the, 149.

    "Thesée," Lulli's, 302.

    Thibaut, King, of Navarre, 56, 63.

    Thirty Years' War, the, 337.

    Thomas School, the, in Leipsic, 121.

    Thompson, "The Seasons" of, 225.

    Thumb, the, use of, 109.

    "Timbre d'Argent, Le," Saint-Säens', 332.

    Time, dual, 19.

    Time, triple, 19, 20.

    Tinel, Edgar, oratorio of, 232, 233.

    "Toccata," the, 104.

    Toccatas, organ, Bach's, 122.

    Tone art, the, 346;
      development, 380.

    Tone color, development of, 112, 113.

    Tone coloring, instrumental, Mozart's experiments in, 167, 222.

    Tone painting, development of, 39.

    "Total Blindness," Handel's, 219.

    Touch, variety of, 113, 114.

    Tournay, the mass of, 35.

    Tournay Cathedral, the, 35.

    Tours, 40.

    Tragicomedia, 345.

    Tragic writers, Greek, 238.

    "Traité de l'Harmonie," Rameau's, 100, 308.

    "Tragos ode," the, 200.

    Trapini, Sicily, 265.

    "Traviata, La," Verdi's, 278, 281.

    Tremolo, the, invention of, 151.

    Trent, the Council of, 72;
      orders a reform in church music, 72, 73.

    "Tribut de Zamora, Le," Gounod's, 329.

    Trinity College, Oxford, 63.

    Trios, 139, 168, 186, 191, 193, 196, 197.

    "Tristam and Isolde," Wagner's, 154, 358.

    "Triumph of Apollo, The," 236.

    Trombones, 148, 149, 153, 155, 156, 164, 193.

    Troubadours, the, 55, 56;
      songs of, 57, 62, 240, 292.

    "Trovatore, Il," Verdi's, 281, 282.

    Trumpets, 149, 153, 155, 156, 162, 164.

    Turkey, the Christian scholars of, 67.

    Turks, the, 67.

    "Tutti" passages, 151.

    Tschaikowsky, Peter Ilitisch,
      symphonies of, 181;
      his "Symphony Pathetique," 181;
      his "Hamlet" overture, 179;
      his symphonic writing, 179, 382.

    Tschudi and Kirkman, the harpsichord builders, 92.

    Tympani, 153, 155.


    Upright piano, the, 98.


    "Vampire, The," 355.

    Vatican, the, at Rome, 75.

    Vaudemont, Mlle. de, 291.

    Venetians, the, 104.

    Venetian school, the, 77, 78.

    Venice, 45, 50, 71;
      school of Catholic composition at, 77;
      the home of opera, 253, 259, 263, 344, 357.

    Veni Sancte Spiritus, 9.

    Verdi, Giuseppe, 277;
      his "La Traviata," 278;
      his operas, 281, 282;
      his three styles, 282;
      accused of imitating Wagner, 284;
      his work in "Falstaff," 285, 287;
      his development of the arioso style, 287, 288, 331, 332,
        378, 390.

    Vernio, Count of, 236, 237, 238, 240, 243, 244.

    Veron, Eugene, on rhythm, 384.

    "Vestale, La," Spontini's, 323.

    Victimæ Paschali, 9.

    Vienna, 95, 136, 140, 143, 337, 339, 340, 344.

    Viols, 147.

    Violas di gamba, 148, 149, 150, 151, 153, 162, 186, 187, 189.

    Violin, the, 83;
      its rapid development as a solo instrument, 127, 148, 149;
      assumes its proper place in the orchestra, 150, 153, 154,
        155, 162, 168, 187, 188, 189, 190, 193, 250.

    Violins, French, 149.

    Violoncellos, 148, 153, 154, 162, 186, 187, 188-193.

    "Violons du Roi, Les," 301.

    Vincennes, 295.

    Vinci, Leonardo da, 69.

    Virginal, the, 87, 91.

    Vitellozzi, Cardinal, 72.

    Vittoria, Tommaso Ludovico da, 77;
      his works, 77, 78.

    Vivaldi, 131.

    Vogelweide, Walther von der, 58.

    Vogler, 324.

    Volkslieder, the old, 59;
      essential features of, 60.

    Voltaire, 310.

    Vulgate, the Latin, 68.

    Vulpius, Melchior, 209.


    Wagner, Richard,
      music of, 47, 58, 59, 63, 78, 137, 154;
      orchestra of, 154, 155, 260, 266;
      his "Lohengrin," 267-269, 329;
      his "Rienzi," 281, 358, 284, 285;
      his "Tannhäuser," 306, 314, 320, 325, 331, 332, 333, 334, 335,
        342;
      "Die Meistersinger," 343, 347;
      Weber the artistic forerunner of, 350, 351;
      his debt to Weber, 352;
      on Beethoven's "Fidelio," 353, 354;
      his enormous influence on German opera, 355, 356;
      the greatness of his genius, 357;
      his operas, 358;
      his system, 358;
      his theories compared with Peri's, 359;
      his use of the myth as a subject, 361-363;
      abandons the old style and creates a new, 361, 362, 364;
      his _leit motiv_, 364, 365;
      his motives, 366-368;
      his works self-explanatory, 371;
      his recitative, 372;
      importance of his work, 379, 388.

    Waits, the, 62.

    "Walküre, Die," Wagner's, 154, 358, 369.

    "Walther, Jonathan, passion music of, 209.

    "Walther von Stolzing," 59.

    Waltz, the, 20.

    Wartburg Castle, 58.

    Weber, Carl Maria von, 111;
      his music, 113;
      his orchestra, 154;
      "Der Freischütz" of, 342, 349, 346, 347, 348;
      his influence upon German opera, 348, 349;
      operas of, 349;
      the artistic forerunner of Wagner, 350, 351;
      his definition of opera, 351;
      his theory of the lyric drama, 351;
      his genius, 352;
      his overtures, 353, 355, 356, 378, 389.

    Weidenwang, 313.

    Weimar, 121, 132;
      the ducal court of, 189;
      music at, 189.

    Wekerlin, J. B., 296.

    Wells Cathedral, 62.

    "Well-Tempered Clavichord," Bach's, 100, 122, 139.

    "Werther," Massenet's, 333.

    Westminster Cathedral, 63.

    "What is Good Music?", Henderson's, 383.

    Whittington, Dick, 63.

    Willaert, Adrian, 39, 45;
      his work, 46;
      his monets, 48, 50, 71, 77, 79, 103;
      his church vocal music, 104, 387.

    William of Machaut, 34.

    "William Tell." See _Guillaume Tell_.

    William the Conqueror, 62.

    "Willow" song, Verdi's, 283.

    Wind instruments, 151, 153, 155, 162, 166, 193.

    Wooden wind instruments, 153, 154, 155, 156, 162, 187.

    Worship, Italian system of, 68, 69.

    Writers, church, 386.

    Würzburg, 10.


    Yorkshire, 63.


    Zachau of Halle, 206.

    Zarlino, 240.

    "Zauberflöte, Die," Mozart's, 340, 342, 348.

    Zeelandia, H. de, "Lehrcompendium" of, 60.

    Zither, the, 85.

    "Zoroastre," Rameau's, 309.

    Zumpe, Johannes, 95.





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