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Kircher, Claude Perrault, Wallis, Bontempi, Burette, the Fathers Bougeant and Cerceau, Padre Martini, M. Marpurg, and Rousseau. In opposition to the stress which Zarlino lays upon the hydraulic organ, as an instrument too well calculated for the cultivation of the science of concording sounds, not to have introduced it into practice, it may be truly observed, that "we know too little of the real construction and powers of that instrument, to be justified in deducing from it any legitimate argument in favour of ancient counterpoint; and that the conclusion of Doni, that since the Greeks are known to have accompanied the voice with instruments, the natural and artificial notes were not only different, but, in the modern sense of the expression, mutually harmonical, is obviously unfounded; because all that we actually know of the genius of the ancient consonance is, that it comprised the combination of unisons, octaves, and fifteenths." Vossius thought that harmony was known before the time of Plato and Aristotle, but that it had been lost, together with other arts and sciences, during the barbarism of the middle ages. Fraquier could not imagine that antiquity, so enlightened and so ingenious in the cultivation of the fine arts, were ignorant of the harmonical unison of sounds: and the learned Stillingfleet, guided by a passage in Plato, conceived that the ancients were acquainted with music in parts, but that they did not generally avail themselves of their knowledge. On the other hand, Glareanus and Salinas, the first in his Dodecachordon, and the second in his Treatise on Music, conclude that, since among the specimens of ancient music, no evidence of the contrary has come down to us, the harmonical science of antiquity was limited to the intermixture of unisons and octaves. Bottrigari, arguing from the deficiency of the ancient music in the property time, or the regular return of equal measures, maintains the impossibility of its including different parts in consonance; and Artusi positively denies the ancients all knowledge of counterpoint. This writer is supported by Kepler, who gives it as his opinion, that if the Greeks had any accompaniment to their melodies by way of bass, it consisted but of monotonous sounds, like those of the modern bagpipe. The reasoning here against the probability of the ancients having been counterpointists, appears decidedly to predominate; but before the reader settles his opinion on the subject, he ought to throw into the scale of the opponents of the ancient harmony, the cogent remark of Marsilius Ficinus (author of a commentary written in the fifteenth century, on the Timæus of Plato), that the Platonists could not have understood, nor even have felt music in its harmonical relations, since they were so insensible to the euphony of thirds and their replicates, as to reject them as discords; and he ought also to hear what the learned and scientific Kircher advances on the subject. "It has for some time," says this profound antiquary, "been a question among musicians, whether or not the ancients made use of distinct parts in their harmony; in order to determine which, we are to consider their polyodia as threefold-naturâl, artificial, and unisonous. I call that natural which is not regulated by any certain rules or precepts, but is performed by an extem


porary and arbitrary symphony of many voices, intermixing acute and grave sounds; such as we observe even at this time, happens amongst a company of sailors or reapers, and such people, who no sooner hear any certain melody begun by any one of them, than some other immediately invents a bass or tenor, and thus produces an extemporaneous harmony, not confined by any certain laws, and which is very rude and imperfect; and it is almost always in unison, or in the octave, and contains nothing of harmony, and therefore is of no worth. That the Greeks had such a kind of music no one can doubt. But the question is not concerning this kind of Polyodia, but whether they had compositions for several voices, framed according to the rules of art. I have taken great pains to be satisfied in this matter; and as in none of the Greek and Latin writers I have met with, any mention is made of this kind of music, it seems to me that either they were ignorant of it, or that they rejected its use, imagining, perhaps, that it interrupted the melody, and took away from the energy of the words." If to these authorities we add those of the ingenious Claude Perrault, the erudite Dr. Wallis, the learned M. Burette, the judicious Padre Martini, the profound Mersennus, and the acute and discerning Rousseau, a weight of evidence utterly unbalanced by that of Gaffurio, Zarlino, and their associates in opinion, will press on our judgment and determine our sentiments. Dr. Busby's reasoning on this subject is so logical and conclusive, that we willingly transcribe his language.

"If the Greeks performed music in parts, they composed it in parts; and if they composed it in parts, not only were they masters of the art of fabricating chords, but of so modulating their order, so differing and variegating the successive harmonies, as at once to produce a congruity in each combination, and a connection and consistency in the changes; in a word, their skill, not confined to the formation of the chords, was capable of preparing and resolving them, according to the rules prescribed by the very natures of harmonic structure and harmonic evolution. An art so extended would infer a code of rules no less bulky than profound, and which, as lying in a province of music more abstruse and more important than the regulations of melody, would first have engaged the study and attention of the theoretical and philosophical musicians; yet, in the most elaborate treatises that the most learned of the ancient writers on the subject of music have left us, we do not find a single law relating to composition in simultaneous parts. In their introductory chapters, they profess to have treated of, and to have expounded every thing connected with the science; they methodically separate the heads of their works; present us under their eight proper titles, the arcana of sounds, intervals, systems, genera, tones, mutations, melody, and rhythm, but say not a word of united parts; of parts to be sung or played together; not a syllable upon the subject of counterpoint. The obvious truth is, that they did explain all they could; for they explained all that concerned the music with which they were acquainted-all that concern melody."

"To some modern writers, it has appeared strange, that so meditative, enlightened, and refined a people as the Greeks, who penetrated deeply into the general secrets of science, should have failed to discover the art of combining musical parts. But would it not have been equally extraordinary, had they made themselves masters of the most occult branch of so captivating a science as that of music, written long and elaborate treatises upon its principles and powers, and wholly omitted to speak of what most demanded their attention? Again, if the Greeks performed music in parts, they wrote it in parts; what then has become of their compositions in parts? why have not these descended to us, together with their treatises? Of the latter descrip❤ tion of their works we have many; what have we of the former ?"

"Another point, and not of light consideration in this long agitated question, is, that of their three genera or scales, as delivered and explained to us by their most competent theorists, two were by no means calculated for the structure of consonant combination or evolution. The two contiguous semitones and succeeding hemiditone, or minor third of the chromatic genus, were even more hostile to the conduct than to the formation of harmony. No relation could have been obtained between one union and another; each chord would have constituted an isolated body of sounds; and all harmonical connexion or bearing, all leading of the ear from harmony to harmony, as, in simple melody, it is conducted from note to note, would have been beyond the achievement of the most comprehensive genius, most patient exertion, and most subtle manage. ment of the most commanding genius. Much further, then, from practicable, would have proved the task of eliciting concordant parts from the elements of the enharmonic genus; from its two adjacent quarter tones and major thirds. Should it be objected to this latter reasoning, that as having no application to the diatonic genus, it brings no conclusive argument against the ancient counterpoint, it will remain to be observed, that since the Greek writers have taken so much notice of the characteristic and efficient distinctions between the several modes, as those of the Lydian and the Phrygian, they would never have omitted to inform us of the extraordinary superiority of the elements of the diatonic over those of the chromatic and the enharmonic genus, as affording the means of concording construction and modulation. We should have heard of that genus as the master genus; as the exclusive foundation of the sublimity of amassed intonation, and as symbolical of the music of the spheres.

"All things, therefore, duly regarded, we are compelled to conclude that the ancient Greeks possessed no music similar to our compositions in parts; that the grand pile of sound upon sound, an under part supporting a complicated superstructure of coinciding materials, all moving in consentaneous junction, and in principle, ultimately bearing upon a fundamental bass, or b d, like the waters of a stately river, flowing with a majesty commensurate with their bulk and weight,-this august contrivance transcended the bounds of their contemplation, and, by its magnitude and complexity, was necessarily reserved for the discovery of a later period than that of classical Greece." Vol i. pp. 57, et seq.

From the question concerning the supposed counterpoint of the ancients, the author proceeds to the consideration of the imputed effects of their music. It is his opinion, that the accounts transmitted to us of the prodigies which they performed by the power of sound, are, in some instances, unfounded, and that almost all of them owe much to exaggeration. The tender Terpander's appeasement of a Lacedemonian sedition, the excitation of Alexander by the heroic strains of Timotheus, the fortifying influence of the lyre of Tyrtaeus over a panic-struck army, and the power of Solon to re-exasperate the pacified Athenians against Megara, are stories which, with this writer, obtain little more credit than those of Amphion's music-enamoured dolphin, or Orpheus's dancing brutes. His incredulity is supported with much ability; and though on this subject we are not perhaps, strictly speaking, equally heretical, his reasoning, far from being lost on us, has considerable sway over our judgment. By all who take an interest in a problem so intimately and importantly connected with ancient history, it will be read with no little satisfaction. His observations on the proper province, and possible power of music, we deem more than curious.

"That music, in either a highly polite, or an extremely ignorant age, is capable of great effects, cannot be denied. A people utterly unacquainted with its principles-wh -whose feelings are not blunted by its familiarity-wili listen to it as something supernatural; while a learned auditory will be gratified with the ele

gance, melted with the beauties, and elevated with the grandeur, begotten by genius upon science, and conferring honour upon the intellect that produced, and the taste that enjoys them. That the stronger emotions of the soul may be gradually allayed by the soothing softness, subdued force, liquid tones, and gliding gentleness of slow and tender music-the mind's languor be wrought to cheerfulness and hilarity by the operations of its brisk and sprightly strains-the animal spirits put into a new and vigorous activity, by its rapid movements and violent transitions and the warmer and bolder passions become awakened and inflamed by its strong percussions, massy combinations, dignified dispositions, and rich varieties, almost every susceptible heart and cultivated mind has experienced. The province of music is the province of passion: even when it directly appeals to the intellect, it is indebted to the feelings. It is a corporeal motion, communicating with, and operating upon our corporeal nature, and most delights the soul when it thrills the nerve. Music furnishes no sensible object, but readily becomes connected with whatever being or circumstance presents itself to its influence. With regard to passion, music may, perhaps, be assimilated to abstract reasoning, as respecting the understanding. As the one awakens the mind, the other excites the heart to a determinate disposition; but neither of them applies the stimu lated feeling. To hear the music of a song, without understanding the words, (we wish the instance were less common,) is viewing an historical picture without knowing its story: but, the story known, and the words understood, the musical composition claims, in its motion and its transitions, a decided advantage over the picture. The considerate connoisseur tells the artist that his figures breathe; but an agitated audience assures the composer, that his music both lives, and communicates its animation." Vol. i. Pp. 70, 71.

This is all correct enough; but why did not the Doctor carry his philosophy a little farther, and show that the power of the pencil over our affections is fainter than that of the voice or the musical instrument, because the immobile lines and colours of a picture rather dispose the mind to feel, than excite its sensibility,-because, instead of imparting sensitive impressions, as may be said of a musical performance, it does but awaken those ideas which may be called the images of those impressions, and which are ever less active and vivacious than the impressions themselves? As the colours of poetry, however brilliant and striking, never, in their effect, reach the force and precision of an exhibited group of figures, or a well-painted landscape, so, in their excitement, the forms and tints of the most splendid picture fall short of the agitating sounds of music.

artist may induce the idea of a certain emotion; but the musician creates that emotion. For the same reason that a man who only thinks of any passion is but slightly affected, in comparison with him who is animated by the same passion, the beholder of the still life of a picture, (for motionless painting, even of the most vivid kind, is no more,) experiences a sensation much too dull or languid to be comparable with the feelings of the auditor of the active and actuating vibrations of a gay or rapid movement. Impassioned music, not the mere representative of motion, but motion itself, touches and thrills the nerve, and gives a strong and primary impression that is not to be derived from the operation of any of the mind's deliberative faculties. As if swayed by reflections similar to these, Dr. Busby is disposed to admit, to an indulgent latitude, the influence of the ancient music over the soul's affections. Still, however, for its most forcible results, he considers the subsidiary aid of the poetic muse to have been indispensible. After explaining and insisting

upon the necessity of the junction of poetry, in order to arrive at the acme of musical impression, he not only admits, but asserts, and accounts for the power of music to affect the mind and feelings to a very considerable degree. Here he shall speak for himself.

"That some extraordinary effects have been produced by the combination of poetry and music, it would be too much to deny. So much fable, fable though it be, was not built upon a vacuum. Some basis was necessary to support the superstructure, light as it is; and this is the only question to be asked-How has it happened, that, anciently, effects arose from the operation of musical sounds, which, in our days, those sounds cannot command? Why,

When music, heavenly maid, was young,
While yet in early Greece she sung,
Had she more strength, diviner rage,
Than all which charms this laggard age?

"The reason for this appears to be, that in after times, music became too refined; that art, superseding nature, directed modulated sounds more to the mental than the passionate faculty; that instead of remaining the rude but robust and efficient child of fancy and simplicity, she became the adopted and delicate offspring of complex science and sophisticated taste. By degrees, every thing that was natural was abandoned, and every thing that was artificial adopted. Harmony, and a multiplicity of parts, destroyed the unity, and thereby divided the force of the effect. The ear became cultivated, but sensation was enfeebled. All things have their price; and the price of a more refined and complicated music, was the loss of those irresistible and transporting excitations of which we read in the accounts of the ancient melopeia.” Vol. i. p. 75.

After a dissertation of twenty-four pages, (84-108,) upon the Egyptian and Hebrew music, in which it is shown that a peculiar kind of composition and performance was adopted for the use of the temples, defined and settled by a positive law, so that it could not be changed; and in which we also find a description of the principal instruments, (six in number,) used by the Hebrews, and a variety of particulars, sufficiently numerous, perhaps, to satisfy any reader who considers how much the subject is enveloped in obscurity,Dr. Busby dedicates a chapter, (his sixth,) to the consideration of the ancient music, as connected with poetry and the Grecian mythology. Confessedly aware of the visionary region into which he is here entering, he is cautious of his dicta; and, for the support of his assertion, that Mercury was the original fabricator of the lyre, and Apollo only the augmenter of its powers, (by giving method to its practice, and combining with its sounds the tones of his voice,) he throws himself upon the authority of Homer, who, in his hymn to Mercury, describes that deity as presenting his lyre as a peace-offering for the oxen which he had stolen from the sacred patron and inspirer of the polite arts. This leads our historian to the observation, that as, in the earlier ages, Poetry and Music were in constant combination, so were Philosophy and Poetry. "Homer and Hesiod," says he, were the first Grecian philosophers; and hence the great credit given by their cotemporaries, and those who followed them, to the maxims of reason and ethics which soon began to prevail in their country. Every prophecy, and every speculative dogma, was sung. Measured language, and beautiful figures, heightened and


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