The Interpretation of the Music of the XVIIth and XVIIIth Centuries Arnold Dolmetsch

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<p>CORNELLUNIVERSITY LIBRARY</p> <p>MUSIC</p> <p>MT</p> <p>rn</p> <p>75.D66 i915</p> <p>,Vers,,y</p> <p>Ubrary</p> <p>mui</p> <p>rnui</p> <p>The</p> <p>original of this</p> <p>book</p> <p>is in</p> <p>the Cornell University Library.</p> <p>There are no known copyright</p> <p>restrictions intext.</p> <p>the United States on the use of the</p> <p></p> <p>THE INTERPRETATION OF THE MUSICOF THE</p> <p>XVIIth</p> <p>AND</p> <p>XVIIIth</p> <p>CENTURIES</p> <p>imultaneously with the publication of this is issued</p> <p>Volume</p> <p>AN APPENDIXconsisting of</p> <p>:WENTY-TW0 ILLUSTRATIVE PIECESPrice</p> <p>Threk Shillings and Sixpence.</p> <p>-</p> <p>HANDBOOKS FOR MUSICIANS.Edited by Ernest Newman.</p> <p>THE INTERPRETATION OF THE MUSICOF THE</p> <p>XVIIth</p> <p>AND</p> <p>XVIIIth</p> <p>CENTURIES</p> <p>REVEALED BY CONTEMPORARY EVIDENCE.</p> <p>ARNOLD DOLMETSCH.</p> <p>London: NOVELLO AND New York: THE H. W. GRAY CO., .V.</p> <p>COMPANY,</p> <p>Limited.</p> <p>Sole Agents for the U.S.A.</p> <p>INTRODUCTION.musical notation began, in the early part of the nth century, the pitch of the notes was indicated by square dots upon a stave. There were no signs to denote the different lengths of sounds. The rhythm of the song had to be taught orally, as well as its tempo, phrasing, and ornamentation. Gradually, special shapes were given to the notes, to indicate their relative duration. Time-signatures, ligatures, signs for the various ornaments, and all the other necessary devices came gradually to complete the system. For nine hundred years notation has progressed, and still it is far from perfect. are not often conscious of this with regard to modern music, for most of what we wish to play is already known to us from previous hearing and when it is not, the style of the music is familiar enough to enable us to interpret the written text correctly without having to think much about it. But future generations will find difficulties and doubtful interpretations where all seems clear to us.</p> <p>When our</p> <p>We</p> <p>;</p> <p>A</p> <p>less accurately</p> <p>hundred years ago people wrote their music still than we do now, so that if we want</p> <p>vi</p> <p>INTRODUCTION</p> <p>to</p> <p>play in the original style a composition of Beethoven, for example, we find the text incomplete</p> <p>imitative interpretation perplexing, for the leading players of our time do not agree in their readings.</p> <p>and</p> <p>indeed be an unquestionable tradition for a period comparatively so recent, since people are now living who could have learned to play Beethoven's music from someone who had Time, heard the composer himself play it. however, has already obscured these memories.</p> <p>There</p> <p>might</p> <p>we go back half-a-century further, the difficulties become greater. We come to the time is now called " Old Music " was merely when whatIf.</p> <p>old-fashioned.</p> <p>From</p> <p>that time</p> <p>to</p> <p>the revival</p> <p>which is now in progress, the attention of musicians was so completely withdrawn from this " Old Music " that no tradition of it survived. The tradition now claimed by some players only goes back to the early pioneers of the present revival, who knew much less about it than we do now. Reliable information is to be found only in those books of instruction which the old musicians wrote about their own art. Happily there are many such, well filled with precepts, examples, andphilosophical considerations. In order to get a comprehensive view of the subject, we must analyse and compare all available documents. No single author gives full light on every point, even concerning his own works. The thing we most want to know is frequently exactly what has been left out or passed over lightly. The author, perhaps, considered it too simple or too well known to require any explanation. In such cases we must look elsewhere for the desired</p> <p>INTRODUCTION;</p> <p>vii</p> <p>knowledge and if no single document gives it, we must attempt to deduce it from a combination of sources. There is no lack of material for our studies, and it is well it should be so, for we have</p> <p>much</p> <p>to learn. Until far into the 18th centuryseveral important problems were left to the player. Thus, before we can play properly a piece of old music we must find out:</p> <p>Firstly,</p> <p>the Tempo, which frequently</p> <p>is</p> <p>not</p> <p>indicated in any</p> <p>way</p> <p>;</p> <p>Secondly, the real Rhythm, which very oftendiffers in practice</p> <p>from the written text</p> <p>Thirdly, the Ornaments and Graces necessaryfor the</p> <p>adornment of the musictofill</p> <p>;</p> <p>and</p> <p>Fourthly,in</p> <p>up the Figured Basses accompaniments.</p> <p>how</p> <p>These various problems will be considered here, But the student should first try and prepare his mind by thoroughly understanding what the Old Masters felt about their own music, what impressions they wished to convey, and, generally, what was the Spirit of their Art, for on these points the ideas of modern musicians are by no means clear. A number of quotations from old books whose authority is not open to question are gathered They are most together in the first chapter. interesting and helpful, and will show how erroneous is the idea, still entertained by some, that expression is a modern thing, and that the old music requires nothing beyond mechanical turn.</p> <p>;</p> <p>viii</p> <p>INTRODUCTION</p> <p>however, before beginning this study, to clear our mind of prejudice and preconceived ideas, and put aside intolerant modernity or else we may, as others have done, corrupt and twist about the meaning of even the clearest statement. should take warning from the 1 8th century connoisseurs, who declared Gothic architecture barbarous, or the early 19th century art critics, who could see no beauty in pre-Raphaelite art.It is advisable,</p> <p>We</p> <p>IX</p> <p>TABLE OF CONTENTS.TAGE</p> <p>Introduction</p> <p>v</p> <p>CHAPTERExpression</p> <p>I.z</p> <p>CHAPTERTempoSection,,</p> <p>II.... ......</p> <p>...</p> <p>...</p> <p>...</p> <p>...</p> <p>1</p> <p>II.</p> <p>The Tempo of Dance MovementsCHAPTERIII.:</p> <p>27 28</p> <p>44</p> <p>Conventional Alterations of RhythmSectionI.... ... ...</p> <p>...</p> <p>...</p> <p>...</p> <p>5365</p> <p>II</p> <p>CHAPTEROrnamentationSectionI.</p> <p>IV.</p> <p>88</p> <p>III.</p> <p>The Shake or The Tremolo, Close Shake IV. Mordent, Beat. OpenII.</p> <p> The AppoggiaturaSweetening</p> <p>...</p> <p>...</p> <p>...</p> <p>Trill</p> <p>...</p> <p>...</p> <p>93 154 196</p> <p>Shake,209... ...</p> <p>V.</p> <p>The Elevation, Double Backfall,Wholefall, Bearing VII. The Springer Spinger). Accent. Acute. Sigh VIII. The"Anschlag" or Doppelsvorschlag IX. The Arpeggio. Battery. Broken Chord X. Expressive Rests XI. Tempo Rubato XII. Acciaccatura, Pince Etouffe Zusammenschlag, Tatto XIII. Compound Ornaments XIV. DivisionsVI.Slide,</p> <p> The Turn, Single Relish(or</p> <p>224238251</p> <p>Slur,</p> <p>...</p> <p>...</p> <p>...</p> <p>256</p> <p>...</p> <p>...</p> <p>...</p> <p>...</p> <p>260275 284</p> <p>...</p> <p>...</p> <p>...</p> <p>...</p> <p>...</p> <p>...</p> <p>......</p> <p>......</p> <p>288302</p> <p>...</p> <p>...</p> <p>...</p> <p>...</p> <p>323</p> <p>x</p> <p>17th</p> <p>AND</p> <p>i8th</p> <p>CENTURY MUSICV.PAGE</p> <p>CHAPTERFigured Basses</p> <p>342</p> <p>CHAPTERPosition and Fingering...</p> <p>VI.364</p> <p>CHAPTERThe Musical InstrumentsSectionI.</p> <p>VII.</p> <p>of the Period 419433</p> <p> The Virginals</p> <p>II.</p> <p> The Clavichord...</p> <p>III. The Organ IV. The Lute</p> <p>436 437 444 452453</p> <p>V.The</p> <p>Viols</p> <p>VI. The Viola d'amore VII. The Violins ... VIII. The Wood-Wind Instruments IX. The Brass Instruments</p> <p>456460 462</p> <p>X.</p> <p> Combinations of Instruments</p> <p>CHAPTER</p> <p>I.</p> <p> which from its title could hardly be suspected of containing matter of interest for our subject, but does nevertheless contain most valuable information, is " L'Art du Facteur d'Orgues," by Dom Bedos de Celles, a Benedictine monk, who published it in 1766. An important part of this book treats of " La Tonotechnie," which is the art of pricking music upon the cylinder of self-playing instruments. This art was brought to a very high degree of perfection in the 18th century. Its aim was to reproduce with absolute precision the execution of the music as intended by its composer. It thus of gives us indications almost mathematical accuracy on tempo, rhythm, and ornaments. The following phrase, taken from this book at page 596, could well serve as motto to the present work " There is a manner of conceiving Music entirely different from the one taught in all the Treatises upon this Art; it is founded upon the execution'</p> <p>A</p> <p>:</p> <p>itself."</p> <p>2</p> <p>;</p> <p>17TH</p> <p>AND</p> <p>i8th</p> <p>CENTURY MUSIC:</p> <p>In a footnote on the same page, speaking of previous writers on his subject, the author says " They have not said a word about the ornaments, nor of the combination of silences, held and touched notes to form the articulations of the music, &amp;c. of the distinction between first and second quavers, and of the crotchets, &amp;c. of their inequality, &amp;c. all these observations are, however, essential, and form the essence of beautiful execution as practised by the most famous organists, and as I have had the occasion to remark in several pieces which Mr. Balbastre, a very skilful organist, has been so ." kind as to play for me. The imperfections of musical notation could not be pointed out more clearly. The explanations with which musicians have endeavoured from time to time to palliate these imperfections are precious documents for us now ; they are the foundation of the present work. Giulio Caccini, in the Introduction to "Le Nuove Musiche" (Florence, i6oi,with an enlarged second edition in 1607), gives valuable directions upon various points of interpretation from which we shall gather together here some extracts concerning the expression and spirit of the music. shall quote from an English translation and adaptation given, without acknowledging in its source, Playford's "Introduction to the Skill of Music" (London, 1st edition, 1655). Playford introduces the subject, which fills some thirty pages of the book, in the following quaint manner " Courteous Reader, " This Manuscript fortunately came to my hand, which having diligently perused, and perceiving the Author's intent to have published; ;.</p> <p>.</p> <p>We</p> <p>:</p> <p>EXPRESSIONit,</p> <p>3</p> <p>I</p> <p>thought;</p> <p>it</p> <p>would be useful</p> <p>to</p> <p>add some part</p> <p>thereof to this</p> <p>Discourse of the Theorie of Musick but being cautious of publishing anything of this kind on my own weak judgment, I communicated my intended purpose to some of the most Eminent Masters of this Kingdome, who (after their perusal) gave a good approbation thereof so that if thou dost reap any benefit thereby, thou art beholden to them, and not to me, any more than for Publishing the same. " The Proem to the said Discourse is to thiseffect.</p> <p>my</p> <p>" Hitherto I have not put forth to the view of the world those fruits of my Musick Studies employed about that noble manner of Singing which I learnt of my Master the famous Scipione del Palla in Italy ; " I in have endeavoured those my late Compositions to bring in a kind of Musick by which men might as it were Talk in Harmony, using in that kind of singing a certain noble neglect of the song, as I have often heard at Florence by the Actors in their Singing Opperas, in which I endevoured the Imitation of the Conceit of the Words. In Encreasing and Abating the Voyce, and in Exclamations is the foundation of Art admitteth no Mediocrity, Passion. and how much the more curiosities are in it, by reason of the excellence thereof, with so much the more labour and love ought we, the Proffessors thereof, to find them out. There are some that in the Tuning of the first Note, Tune it a Third under Others Tune the said first Note in his proper Tune, always increasing it in Lowdness, saying that this is the good way of putting forth the Voyce. . .</p> <p>.... .</p> <p>.</p> <p>.</p> <p>.</p> <p>.</p> <p>:</p> <p>4</p> <p>17TH</p> <p>AND</p> <p>i8th</p> <p>CENTURY MUSIC</p> <p>gracefully. ... I have found it a more affectuous way to Tunc the Voyce by a contrary effect to the other, that is, to Tune the first Note, Diminishing Because Exclamation is the principal means to it:</p> <p>move"</p> <p>the Affectionsit</p> <p>;</p> <p>no otherreinforce</p> <p>thing, but in the slacking of the</p> <p>and Exclamation properly is Voyce to. ..</p> <p>somewhat</p> <p>be used in all Passionate Yet by consequence understand ye, Musicks that in Airy Musicks or Corants to dance instead of these Passions, there is to be used only a lively, cheerful kind of Singing, which is carried and ruled by the Air itself. " Whereupon we see how necessary a certain judgment is for a Musician, which sometimes useth to prevail above Art. ... I call that the noble manner of singing, which is used without tying a mans self to the ordinary measure of time, making many times the value of the notes less by half, and sometimes more, according to the conceit of the words whence proceeds that excellent kinde of singing with a graceful neglect, whereof I have spoken before." A very important document is the Preface to the first volume of Toccatas of Girolamo Frescobaldi, published at Rome in 1614. It is reproduced hereExclamations.. . . .</p> <p>may</p> <p>.</p> <p>;</p> <p>in extenso</p> <p>:</p> <p>To the Reader. Knowing by experience how well appreciated is that manner of playing with expressive passages and varied divisions, I have thought it right to show my aptitude and my zeal to succeed in it by" "</p> <p>publishing these small results of the explanations hereunder but:</p> <p>myI</p> <p>labour, with declare that I</p> <p>EXPRESSIONbow</p> <p>5</p> <p>before the merits of others, and that I respect the value of every one. And now, let the devoted care with which I have presented these principles to the amiable and studious reader be accepted. !- Firstly, that kind of style must not be subject to time. see the same thing done in modern madrigals, which, notwithstanding their difficulties, are rendered easier to sing, thanks to the variations of the time, which is beaten now slowly, now quickly, and even held in the air, according to the expression of the music, or the sense of the words. " 2 0, In the Toccate, I have endeavoured not only to give a profusion of divisions and expressive passages, but, moreover, to arrange the various sections so that they may be played separately from one another, in such a way that the player, without being obliged to play them all, can stop</p> <p>We</p> <p>wherever he pleases. " 3- The beginnings of the Toccate should be played adagio and arpeggiando ; the same applies to the syncopations and discords even in the middle of the pieces. The chords should be broken with both hands so that the instrument may not be left empty this battery can be repeated at pleasure. " 4 On the last note of the shakes, or passages by skips or degrees, you must pause, even if this note is a quaver or semiquaver, or unlike the following note, for such a stop avoids confusion between one phrase and another. " 5- The cadences, though written rapid, should be played very sustained and as you get nearer the end of the passage or cadence, you should The separations retard the time more and more. and conclusions of the passages are indicated by concords for both hands, written in minims.;'</p> <p>;</p> <p>6"</p> <p>i</p> <p>7 th</p> <p>AND</p> <p>i8th</p> <p>CENTURY MUSIC</p> <p>you find a shake for the right hand, or the left, and that at the same time the other hand plays a passage, you must not divi...</p>


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