Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 1

Ancient Songs, Ballads, & Dance Tunes, Sheet Music & Lyrics - online book

Home Main Menu Singing & Playing Order & Order Info Support Search Easter Hymns

Share page  Visit Us On FB

Previous Contents Next
carpenter's wife, and not one. As to the art of singing, Dr. Burney has himself quoted the description of John of Salisbury, written four hundred years before Queen Elizabeth's reign, and that is quite enough to refute the opinion above expressed; but, if more be required', the reader will find it here in the long note at p. 404.
There was a proverb, of French origin, current both in Latin and English in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, respecting the manner of singing by dif­ferent nations. The Latin version was " Galli cantant, Angli jubilant, Hispani plangunt, Germani ulutant, Itali caprizant:" the English was " The French sing," or "The French pipe, the English carol [rejoice, or sing merrily], the Spaniards wail, the Germans howl, the Italians caper." (The allusion to the Italians is rather as to their unsteady holding of notes than to their facility in florid singing; caper signifying " a goat.") Burney, without any authority, renders it "the English shout" (iii. 182). Now, although we have no modem English verb that is an exact translation of " jubilare," the Italian " giubilare" has precisely the same signification; and Pasqualigo, the Venetian ambassador to Henry VIII., describing the singing of the English choristers in the King's chapel, says " their voices are really rather divine than human—non cantavano ma jubilavano," which can be understood only in a highly complimentary sense.
It is sufficient for my present purpose to say that Dr. Burney's History is written throughout in this strain. What with mistake, ancr what with misrepre­sentation, it can but mislead the reader as to English music or musicians ; and from the slight search I have made into his early Italian authorities, I doubt whether even that portion is very reliable. The public has now forgotten the contention between the rival histories of music of Hawkins and Burney, and a fewVords should be placed upon record. Hawkins's entire work was published in 1776, and Burney's first volume in the same year, his second in 1782, and his third and fourth in 1789. Burney obtained a great reputation by his first volume, which is upon the music of the ancients. In that he was assisted by the researches of the Rev. Thomas Twining, the translator of Aristotle's Poetics, who relin­quished his own projected, and partly-written history, in Burney's favour. Hawkins's work is of great original research, and he is a far more reliable authority for fact than Burney: still the history is by no means so well digested. It is an analysis of book after book and life after life, fitted rather for supplying materials to those who will dig them out, than to be read as a whole. Burney's is a very agreeably written book, but he made history pleasant by such lively sallies as those I have quoted : he took his authorities at second hand, when the originals were accessible; and copied especially from Hawkins, without acknowledg­ment, and disguised the plagiarism by altering the language. Many of his appro­priations arc to be traced by errors which it is impossible that two men reading independently could commit. Burney had but one love,—the Italian school,—and he thought the most minute particulars of the Italian opera of his day worthy of being chronicled. The madrigal with him was a " many-headed monster" (iii. 385) : French music was " displeasing to all ears but those of France," and

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III