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many people may suppose. We have always thought that the gratification excited by a simple air, well sung, is far higher than any pleasure arising from the most learned concerto, performed with all the noise and vehemence which the combined force of the most accomplished musicians in the world is capable of producing. The skilful adjustment of the different parts

-the happy arrangement of concords and discords, producing by contrast the most striking effects—the appropriate combination of instruments, according to the species of the music, the passion to be excited, or the feeling to be expressed ;-all this undoubtedly will afford to the man of musical science, a treat of a very high relish:--but it is only the man of skill who can duly appreciate it-it is only he, who can hear all those combinations, and without being bewildered and distracted, that can attend to their relative bearings one upon the other. Upon the generality of listeners, very much of this is thrown away :They feel much as a modern assembly would do if an orator were to address them in Greek; they would be sensible that his periods flow very smoothly, and in language that appears poetical and sonorous—but they would understand mighty little of his argument. And so it is in a concert;—to the most part of the audience there is too much learning the music probably sounds very smooth and very agreeable—there is nothing harsh or grating to the ear ;--but it is Greek to them ;-they do not .enter into its merits; and after compelling themselves to listen for a reasonable time, they, with one consent, begin to waver and yawn. But, in the midst of this universal languor, let all the instruments, but one, be hushed-let that one play a simple, well known melody-it is instantly recognised--the slumbering hearers start again into life-they shoul-they applaud—they understand what they hear.

Why are the Italians the most musical people in the world ? Because theirs is a music of melody, rather than of harmony. From the peculiar structure of their language (of which wę shall speak more at large hereafter), their music is more vocal than instrumental; they pay little regard to laboured accompaniments; the instruments are for the most part in unison with the voice; and the full orchestra is only used in the symphonies, or to fill up the intervals between the songs. Now, from the specimens that have come down to us, of the vocal music of the Greeks, it appears that their accompaniments were very often of this nature-(it is on the two rows of notes being in some instances the same, and in others totally different from each other, that we chiefly rest our opinion of the Greeks having possessed harmony, when they chose to use it)-name

ly, the singer accompanying his voice, either by unisons or octaves : In such cases, no sound was admitted which could interrupt the measure of the verse, or break the unity and simplicity of the melody. Their music might be of a nature as refined as their poetry—as exquisitely finished as their sculpture as dignified as their architecture—without such a thing as a chord or a discord entering into its composition.—But we must quit this question of ancient music, on which we have little but conjectures to offer, and which will probably ever remain a matter of conjecture, or a subject of curious speculation, *-in order to consider that ancient music, of which we do know something certain.

It is to Pythagoras that music first owes its title to the appellation of a Science : We do not allude to the ridiculous story which is mentioned by Stillingfleet + and others, of his finding out the principles of harmony by accidentally hearing the music produced by four hammers in a blacksmith's shop;—but to his discovery of musical ratios in the invention of the Harmonical Canon, or Monochord. If we consider the air as the vehicle of sound,--the agitation in the parts of a sonorous body will cause a motion or undulation in the particles of air which are in immediate contact with it. These undulations spreading, as it were, in concentric circles, round the body in every direction, strike upon the ear, and produce the sensation of sound. This explanation of the manner in which sound is generated, is best illustrated by observing what takes place in another fluid, when its particles are put in motion, When a stone is dropped into a pool of water, every one has observed the peculiar motion which it communicates :- the surface is thrown into waves, which form in concentric circles, rapidly succeeding one another round the point of percussion; these circles spread in every direction, becoming, as they extend, fainter and more faint, till at last they are no longer distinguishable from the smooth surface on which they are encroach

* Some light has been thrown upon the Instruments of the Ancients, by the discovery of an old musical instrument which was dug up out of the ashes of Herculaneum :-It is conjectured to be the Sacbut; the Italians have formed their Tromboni upon it :—but it is said that no modern instrument, made after the same model, has been brought to equal it in tone and power :- the lower part is bronze, and the upper part and mouth-piece of solid gold. It was presented by the King of Naples to his late Majesty.

+ See his · Principles and Power of Harmony,' p. 8.- a work of great ingenuity and skill.

ing. If they strike against any obstacle in their course, such as a bank, they return, in a contrary direction, to the common centre: and when this part of the phenomenon occurs in the case of sound, it produces what is called an Echo.

Pythagoras, viewing the matter thus, was of opinion, that the sound was grave or acute according to the number of pulsations or concentric circles formed in a given time,—that number depending upon the rapidity of the vibrations, which again were regulated by the form and texture of the sonorous body. He next found, that taking two musical strings of equal thickness and tension, the longer produced the graver sound; and that, when the lengths were as two to one, the note given out by the long string was an octave below that produced by the other. This led him to suppose, that the one string vibrated twice, while the other vibrated once; and hence, that, in general, the number of vibrations was inversely as the lengths of the strings. Upon this principle he constructed his Monochordwhich is simply a string divided according to the proportions which belong to the different intervals, -as , which produces the octave; ds for the fifth ; Iths for the fourth ; and so on. -It is not known by what farther reasonings or experiments the philosopher was led to these conclusions; but they certainly were not established on mathematical principles, till Galilæo demonstrated their truth, by comparing the vibrations of a musical string with the oscillations of a Pendulum through very small arcs. + A musical string being fixed at both ends, is, as it were, a double pendulum. Now, in a pendulum, the time of vibration is as the square root of the length. Hence we must diminish the pendulum in the ratio of 1:4, if we wish to double the number of its oscillations: But as a musical string acts like two pendulums, each half the length of the whole string, it is only necessary to diminish it in the ratio of 1:2, in order to make it vibrate twice as fast. The analogy between a musical string and a pendulum, explains also a thing which puzzled the ancients very much to account for-that, however loud or faint the sound may be, it is always at the same pitch: the reason is, that whatever be the length of the arc, the vibrations of the same string or pendulum are isochronous; and therefore, as the sound dies away, the arcs of vibration become less; and, consequently, the vibratory motion becomes slower, and the pulsations upon the

* For an account of the Divisions of the Monochord, and the Temperament of the Scale, we refer our readers to a paper on the subject by Cavallo, in the Philosophical Transactions for 1788.

+ See Phil. Trans, 1714.

enr are less distinctly heard. When two strings, whose.lengths are as 1:2, vibrate together, it is obvious, that as the one vibrates twice while the other vibrates once, they will be together at the beginning of every alternate vibration, and their sounds will then accord: When the strings are in this proportion, their coincidences are more frequent than when their lengths are in any other ratio; and hence it is that the octave is the most perfect concord. If their lengths are as 2:3, which is the ratio of the fifth, every third vibration of the one coincides with every second of the other—the coincidences are not so frequent as in the octaves—and therefore the concord is not so perfect. If their lengths are such, that they never begin to describe the arcs of vibration together, but perpetually cross each other in their oscillations, then their sounds are jarring and unconsentaneous; and thus produce a discord.--After this long digression

upon the Theory of Sounds, we return to the History of Music,

The rites and ceremonies of the Christian church originated in the East, where Christianity was first established; and, from this period, our information on the progress of Music becomes more certain. The first regular choir for singing hymns and the service of the Church, was established at Antioch, in the time of Constantine. At this place, an order of Monks was founded, who were obliged by their rules to keep up a continual chanting--a sort of perpetual fire of Psalmody, § which the Monkish writers call Laus Perennis. These ceremonies gave rise to a mode of singing which was afterwards established at Milan, and known by the name of the Ambrosian Chant, after St Ambrose, who brought it from Antioch; and this method of chanting the Psalms continued with little alteration for upwards of two centuries, when it was reformed by another father of the Church and of its masic, St Gregory—in the year 600. He introduced a very considerable innovation, by increasing the four modes which were derived from the Greek music, and called Authentic, by the addition of four others which he called Plagal~(a trayios, obliquus, collateral or adjunct.) || He ba.

# Euseb. Lib. II. c. 17.

Ś Psalmody Island, in the Diocese of Nismes, is so named from a monastery founded there, with similar observances, by a Syrian monk, from Antioch, towards the close of the fourth century.

|| The Authentic mode is that part of the scale, contained between the Tonic and the Dominant; and the Plagal is the part below,

be tween the Tonic and the Subdominant. In a strict Fugue, the ex. treme notes of the Authentic are answered respectively by the ex treme notes of the Plagal--or vice versa.

nished the Canto Figurato, or chants composed of notes of two kinds, viz. one note double the length of the other ;—these had been borrowed from the Greeks, whose notes, regulated by the syllables of their verse, were only of those two sorts. Gregory thought this a heathenish practice, and quite an abomination ; and permitted notes, of one length only, to be used ;-—and hence the name of Canto Fermo, which was given to the chant introduced by him, from its grave and measured character.

It has been thought surprising that so few traces should be found, in the Canto Fermo, of the music of the ancient Greeks and Romans, which has been so extravagantly praised by all writers upon the subject : But we must recollect, that the persecution which the first proselytes to Christianity suffered at the hands of the Romans, compelled them to meet secretly and by night and to celebrate their rites in caves and hidingplaces. Even the princes who at first gave the sanction of Their protection to the new religion, stood too much in awe of the extensive power of the Roman empire, to set themselves openly against it, by countenancing a religion which it thought proper to oppose. Besides this, another cause operated to the exclusion of the Greek and Roman music. From the inveterate horror with which the first Fathers of the Church regarded the dissolute manners and idolatrous rites of the Pagans, they strictly forbade the adoption of any ceremonies connected, however remotely, with Paganism; and hence it was that they excluded, not only all imitations of the secular music, but also of that which, being used in the Pagan temples of worship, might have afforded better models on which to graft the chant of their own Church. The melody of the Canto Fermo was of the most simple kind. The uniform length of their notes, which, whether they are of the square or lozenge shape, always denote intervals of the same duration, prevented the variety of expression in the music, which the sense of the words frequently demanded: No accidental was allowed, excepting B flat, consequently there was a very great poverty in their modulation ; * and their cadences were only such as were made by the flat seventh rising a whole tone before the final close. To this monotony in the Canto Fermo, owing to the ridiculous restrictions imposed upon it by Gregory, we must attribute the long infancy and child

* The only major keys in the Canto Fermo, were C, and its do. minant and subdominant; and the only minor keys were A, and its dominant and subdominant :-and of those six, four are deficient in their scale-as, by the exclusion of accidents, there is no sensible note, or seventh, to G, A, D, or E,

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