Page images
PDF
EPUB

even these consist in little else than the Lord, &c. This general error of the adoption from different existing copies, of American copies has been very properthose peculiarities in which each was sup-. ly corrected by Mr. Law, and by Mr. posed to possess the advantage. Although Mitchell, the editor of " Songs of the this work has in general been executed Temple." with ability, and has exbibited these The work before us contains about a tunes, (with a few exceptions on which dozen specimens of original harmony, we cannot dwell,) in a form superior to which are chiefly from the pen of Mr. the common one, yet we are not prepared Hastings, one of the editors. We have to say that it has not bee i carried farther generally entered on the perusal of Amethan existing circumstances render ex- rican music, and books interspersed with pedient.

American music, with some degree of When the works of foreign composers, aversion; but we should do injustice to published by themselves, as those of Ma- Mr. H. were we not to acknowledge the dan, Miller, Arnold, Callcott, &c. were high gratification which several of his accessible, the Editors have contented compositions have afforded us. In his themselves, almost without an exception, Nativity, Ordination, and Funeral Anwith giving literal transcripts from their thems especially, (the last of which is originals. The practice has extensively among the lessons of the Musical Reader,) prevailed, both in this country and Great we think we perceive some share of that Britain, of detaching pieces from the celestial inspiration which dictated the Oratorios, and secular productions of emi- strains of a Handel. In the chorus of nent musicians, newly arranging the har- the first, he has given a very favourable mony, distorting them so as to fit our specimen of his abilities in figurative church metres, and then giving them the counterpoint; and in all, he displays an names of the original authors. Most of extended acquaintance with the laws of the psalm tunes which have been ascribed harmony, and a taste formed on the best to Handel originated in this way. This foreign models. The subject of unity of practice has been so much abused by design he appears to have studied with a those who were incapable of doing justice good degree of success,-a subject which to their authors, that one is almost tempt- seems to have been too little understood ed to reprobate it in toto. Yet consider. by the best of our native composers.* ing the comparative want of instrumen- Io a musical production of any length, tal accompaniments to the choirs of this unity is as essential a requisite as in a country, and considering that many of the poem or a painting. As much art is refinest specimens of harmony extant must quisite in adjusting the succession of cabe performed either not at all, or with a dences, in digressing from the original vocal base, we cannot indiscriminately key, and in managing the different variecondemn every attempt made by compe- ties of air, chorus, recitative, and symtent hands to place these harmonies with phony so as to give prominence to a sin. in the reach of our choirs,-although we gle subject, as in grouping the figures of acknowledge that in doing it the author's a historical piece. It is here also that design is violated, and the effect will in all original genius has its greatest scope :probability be impaired. For this reason without it, the finest melody becomes a we were not displeased with seeing a vo- tissue of gaudy colours, and the most lacal base given by the Editors to the cho- boured harmony, a profile in which the rus of the admirable Dialogue Hymn of laws of perspective are correctly observBurney. They have not, however, the ed, but both are alike destitute of relief, same apology for including among the of effect. vocal parts one which was originally in

faber imus et ungues tended as instrumental in another chorus, Infelix operis summâ, quia ponere totum

Exprímet, et molles imitabitur aere capillos, that of Handel's Anthem, Opralse the Nesciet.

Hor.

a

Another particular, in which some of effort to accommodate his music to the our most respectable attempts at musical successive sentiments on which he is em-' composition are deficient, is simplicity,– ployed. We see nothing, indeed, like especially simplicity of melody. However an attempt at imitation. The age of mucaptivating tbose airs may sometimes be, sical pupping has, we suppose, gone by, at the first perusal, which are made up of along with that of the Acrostics, Bouts slurs, suspensions, and transitions, such Rimez, &c. so finely ridiculed by Addi. airs seldom improve on acquaintance. son. But there is a nice' adaptation of Their sweetness soon satiates, and finally the expression of music to the tenor of disgusts the ear. At the same time, by particular word and phrases, which is this profusion of ornament, harmony is short of this, but which, when carried to enfecbled, and all its bolder features are an extreme, degenerates into conceit add obscured.* This style of writing is doubt- puerility.* A great master will not, for less occasionally wanted, but when it instance, always select the minor mode becomes predominant, it is a certain in- for a plaintive subject; nor will he of dication of a sickly and perverted taste. course descend into this mode, when a

We cannot exemplify the faults just plaintive thought occurs in a cheerful suballuded to better than by referring our ject. “The change of the poet's ideas," readers to two pieces of the same name, observes an eminent writer,t “provided and set to the same words, by two of our the subject continue nearly the same, most respectable composers, the Millen- does not always require a change of the nium of Olmsted and Hill. The former music: and if critics bave ever deterindicates a genius which, with sufficient mined otherwise, they were led into the cultivation, might have done honour to mistake by supposing, what every musician the country; but its effect, as a whole, is knows to be absurd, that in fitting verses too much that of a series of independent to a tùne, or a tune to verses, it is more tunes. The latter has strains which, taken necessary that particular words should singly, are certainly creditable to their have particular notes adapted to them, author; but he has greatly enfeebled his than that the general tenor of the music harmony by the perpetual introduction of should accord with the general nature of transient notes into all the parts. The the sentiments.” We do not mean to relief of the whole is lost in the attempt imply that Mr. H. has gone to a very to polish off every rough angle; and while faulty extreme in this respect; but we it has all the smoothness, it has not even think that the abrupt modulation in his the expression of a plaster cast. With Trenton has something of this character,these pieces we would bring forward, as and much as we admire his Ordination an object of comparison, the Ordination anthem, there is a passage near the close anthem of Mr. Hastings. As an exhibi- which cannot be wholly exempted from tion of scientific skill stands on much the same censure. higher ground; but it is not in this respect We feel little disposed to attempt any that we wish to have them compared. It terbal criticisms on an author whose writis to illustrate the effect which arises from ings have afforded us so much pleasure. a careful study of those importaot requisites,—simplicity and unity.

*This fault may be found in perfection, in an If there be any particular in which attempt, which some of our readers may have Mr. Hastings' productions are less cre- the Passions. Swift's Cantata is not a more ef

seen, to set to music a part of Collin's Ode on ditable to him than another, it is in the sectual burlesque on imitation, than this piece is, appearance of somewhat too studied an refer to those anthems of Purday which have

on the fault we have in our eye. We night also

been republished in this country, as liable to the The observations of Dr. Burney, in his His- same objection, although in a far inferior de tory of Music, on the meretricious ornaments of gree. Purcell's writings, are well worthy of an atten- Dr Beattie. Essays on Poetry and Music. tive perusal.

p. 147.

[ocr errors]

The closest scrutiny would not, we ap- them, had the flat 7th been introduced, prehend, detect more trespasses on the would have been more satisfactory. At approved rules of composition in Mr. H's the end of the 1st lioe in Quito, (a piece productions, than those works of foreign which we understand was harmonized by masters by the side of which they stand. Mr. H.) consecutive 5ths occur in the There is danger, likewise, of misapplying base and air. This is doubtless more adminute criticism, as very many of those missible than in the middle of a strain; rules may be treated with some license, but it scems too great a license, especially especially where a particular effect is in

as there is no rest, for simple counterpoint. tended. The observation of D'Alembert, The tunes called Strafford and Devonhowever, ought never to be forgotten,- shire, are from the pen of another genthat none but great masters are qualified tleman in the same vicinity; and are not to indulge in licenses with success. The unworthy of the known musical taste and young composer is certainly safe if he acquisitions of their author. adheres to rules—he may not be equally We may be thought to owe our readers so, if he ventures on licenses, even for the

some apology for having dwelt thus long sake of a particular effect. We will on so small an aggregate of original mujust glance at the principal instances in sic as is contained in the volume before the music of Mr. H. which have led us It bas been from the desire of leadinto these remarks. In the 3d line of Chat- ing them to weigh critically the merits of ham, p. 88, is a progression, the legiti- these pieces, before they consign them to macy of which may perhaps be doubted. the same bonfire with the great mass of From the base we are led to expect a se- American music. Even the slightest inquence of the ,, alternating with the dications of native talent and exertion common chord, instead of which the te- ought to be haited with gratitude, and nor is protracted on the dominant so as to duly appreciated by the public. In the produce an unresolved 7th, and the air specimens of original composition before moves in such a inanner as to obliterate, us, we think we perceive more.

We we think, the impression of the funda- consider them as important, chiefly from mental harmony. (The first base note of the indication they afford of what may the 5th measure in the chorus should have be expected from the future labours of been figured with a 4.) In Salem, 4th their authors. It is to be hoped that a measure from the end, a chord of the candid public, instead of frowning them (not of transition) appears unresolved. into silonce, will regard this specimen of In Portsea, 3d and 5th measures, the their talents with so favourable an eye as is suspended by a ,, without preparation, shall incite them to redoubled efforts, for although the preparation might have been the advancement of an art, in which the effected with little or no injury to the me- honour of our country, and the happiness lody of the upper parts. The modula- of individuals, are so deeply interested. tion in the 4th score of his Funeral An

[blocks in formation]

Result of the Botanical Discoveries made stachya, Blephilia, Ampelamus, Endi

in the Western States by C. S. Raf- plus, Torreya, Decemium, Cyphorima, nesque.

&c. And the new species belong to the I or :

Dera and 125 new species of Dicotyle Roga, 7 sp. Delphidium, 2 sp. plants. The new genera are Lobadium, Viola, 2,

Monarda 1, Lepachys, Palanisia, Neurosperma, Ex- Pruous, ,

Dodecatheon, 1,

Cornus, 1, sp

Prinos, 1, sp. and Cyanotris, and about 25 new species, Lycopus, 1, Phacelia, 1, belonging to the following genera: Cuscuta, 1, Silpbium, 2,

Uvularia, 1, sp.

Tulipa, 2, sp. Scutellaria, 2, Crategas, 1, Aira, 2,

Poa, 1, Dentaria, 1,

Helianthus, 2, Elymus, 2, Axillaria, 1, Sisymbrium, 4, Mentha, 1,

Streptopus, 1, Scirpus, 1,
Alyssum, 1, Collinsiana, 1, Trillium, 2,

Agrostis, 2.
Geum, 1,
Sida, 2,

Avena, 1,
Gerardia, 1,
Vitis, 2,

3. I have detected 2 new genera of Calystegia, 1, Samolus, 2,

Fungi, Endonius and Rimella, 2 new geOenothera, 2, Phlox, 2,

bera of Alga, Potarcus and Acinariæ, Stachys, 2, Cactus, 1,

and about 45 new species of Fungi, beAsclepias, 8, Prenanthes, 4,

longing as follows: Ludwigia, 1, Lactuca, 1,

Amanita, 10, Stericium, 1,
Silene, 2,
Veronica, 2,

Boletus, 7,

Cyathela, 1,
Vicia, 1,
Plantago, 3.

Leotia, 1, Lycoperden, 1, &c. Hledysarum, 2,

Pherima, 2, 2. Among the monocotyle plants I The total of new plants amounts to have observed 2 new genera, Clintonia Dearly 200! and the new genera are at

least 18!

ART. 6. GEOGRAPHY OF AFRICA.

a

Darby, in continualion of Eddy, upon the Africa, collected by Captain Riley. The Geography of Africa.

natural inference, on reviewing the docu

ment, and comparing it with the circumThe following statement of the historical stances under which it was collected, is,

testimony in regard to the course of the that a great degree of credit is due to the Niger, and of the information upon the statement. None of the parties were geography of interior Africa, will be under any visible iufluence that could inread with interest, and forms a valuable duce them to forge false systems of geoaddition to the article published in the graphy. Obvious as is, however, the unlast Number of the Magazine, from the biassed veracity of Captain Riley, and pen of the late J. H. Eddy, Esq.

his informant Sidi Hamet, their correct

ness has been questioned by high authoTo Thomas Eddy, Esq.

rity, New-York, March 28th, 1818.

In the XXXIV. No. of the Quarterly DEAR SIR,

Review,* page 331, is announced a new T.

THE manuscript observations of your
late lamented son, Mr. J. H. Eddy, servations are the following speaking of Cap-

* In this Review, page 325, amongst other obwhich were read before the Philosophical tain Tuckey's expedition up the Congo, or Zaire, and Literary Society, upon Captain Riley's it is remarked, that, “ from the disappearance

of the mountains, the expansion of the river, its Narrative, and which you did me the northerly direction, the rising of its waters long honour to inclose for my inspection, I before the rains set in, and from the information

derived from the natives, he (Captain Tuckey,) now return to you with some observa- had no doubt, it seems of the source of the Zaire tions of my own upon this interesting being to the northward of the line; and if any subject.

faith may be pret in Sidi Hamet's Wassanah, as

described by Riley, as little can we doubt that the Mr. Eddy, has ably, and in a perspicu. Zaire and the Niger are the same. Riley, hoxous manner, summed up the evidence up- the arguments for the identity of the two rivers,

ever, is a loose writer. We will not here repeat on the Geography of the interior parts of of such a conclusion we may, however, safely work on Africa, entitled, “ Historical Ac Arab language must have been imported count of Discoveries and Travels in Afri. into Africa in times of remote antiquity. ca. By the late John Leyden, M. D.; The Arabs, and their cousin-germans, enlarged and completed to the present the Persians and the Medes, have probatime, with illustrations of its Geography, bly traversed Africa, from time immemoand Natural History, as well as the mo- rial, where the race of Ham, in small ral and social condition of its inhabitants. Dumbers, bad to contend against ferocious By Hugh Murray, F. R. S. E. 2 vols. beasts and the rigors of the climate. octavo."

When the Mahometan fanatacism carriThis work, from its title, ought to ed new Arab colonies into the interior, contain all that is now known with cer- their authors possessed the greatest facilitainty respecting Africa, and no doubt ties in procaring information respecting affords an extensive and valuable collec- the country. tion of facts in regard to that immense “As I do not understand the Arab lancontinent. In the review of the work I guage I will confine myself to exhibiting, have not perceived that any considerable in few words, how much the geography of attention has been given to the relations Africa owes to the authors of that nation. of the ancients. Though not acquainted “ The most celebrated of these auwith the real termination of the Niger, thors is Edrisi; he wrote in Sicily in the the geographers of Greece and Rome did eleventh century, and his minute details evidently possess more detailed, and, in in describing eastern Africa, procured many respects, more correct knowledge him the title of the Nubian geographer. of interior Africa, than the authors of It is not a strange error, as has been ma. modern times, until very recently. The gisterially pronounced by Mr. Pinkerfollowing translation from Mentelle's ton,” that the towns mentioned by this Geography, Paris, 1816, will exhibit some author, who " wrote six centuries and a very remarkable facts upon this subject, half ago, should be inserted in our modrawn principally from the Greek au- dern maps, whilst, at present, there does thors.

not probably remain one in existence. « Arabian and Hebrew etymologies “D'Anville knew, as well as the Engmight throw a 'strong light upon the lish writers, the force of the above reflecgeography of ancient Africa. We need tion, but this geographer had, no doubt, only glance over the pages of Ptolemy remarked, that the African naines, used and Pliny, to see the frequent recurrence by Pliny and Ptolemy, were in great of the words, or syllables, beth, or bath, a part Arab, even beyond the limite of the Hebrew word signifying house, bahr, Carthaginian colonies; and this circuman Arab word for à river, and many stance concurred with many others others. The Berberé or Barbary lan- to cause him to regard a part of the peoguage, probably of African origin, has a ple of northern Africa as ancient Asiastrong affinity with the Arab; the word tic colonies ; and thus, by a necessary dar, or kingdom, occurs frequently in consequence, many of the names, originaPtolemy and Pliny.

ting in a language so long establisbed, " From the foregoing remarks, the ought to survive every political change.

This is the best reason that could have

determined D'Anville to preserve in his yenture to assert the increased validity, since the time they were first given in our Review.

maps the towns, or rather the nations of Here is a singular expression of doubt, and Edrisi. assent to the same statement. The Review contains many very valuable facts respecting Africa,

«Mr. Pinkerton judges Edrisi in these and deserves attention notwithstanding an illibe. words': 'It appears, by an attentive peral opinion respecting the most decisive infor: rusal of Edrisi, that bis Nile of the Nemation yet given to , world, respecting the

groes, which, he says, bas a western Vor IV.No. tit.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »