Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 1

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18                                MUSIC IN ENGLAND, TIME OF HENRY II.
ancient writers, he founded a Professorship at Oxford," for the cultivation of music as a science. The first who filled the chair was Friar John, of St. David's, who read not only lectures on Music, but also on Logic and Arithmetic. Academical honors in the faculty of music have only been traced back to the year 1463, when Henry Habington was admitted to the degree of Bachelor of Music, at Cambridge, and Thomas Saintwix, Doctor of Music, was made Master of King's College, in the same university; but it is remarkable that music was the only one of the seven sciences that conferred. degrees upon its students, and England the only country in which those degrees were, and are still conferred.
About 1159, when Thomas k Becket conducted the negociations for the marriage of Henry the Second's eldest son with the daughter of Louis VH., and went to Paris, as chancellor of the English Monarch, he entered the French towns, his retinue being displayed with the most solicitous ostentation, " preceded by two hundred and fifty boys on foot, in groups of six, ten, or more together, singing English songs, according to the custom of their country." b This singing in groups resembled the " turba canentium," of which Giraldus afterwards speaks; and the following passage from John of Salisbury, about 1170, shows at least the delight the people had in listening to part-singing, or descant. " The rites of religion are now profaned by music ; and it seems as if no other use were made of it than to corrupt the mind by wanton modulations, effeminate inflexions, and frittered notes and periods, even in the Penetralia, or sanctuary, itself. The senseless crowd, delighted with all these vagaries, imagine they hear a concert of sirens, in which the performers strive to imitate the notes of nightingales and parrots, not those of men, sometimes descending to the bottom of the scale, sometimes mounting to the summit; now softening, and now enforcing the tones, repeating passages, mixing in such a manner the grave sounds with the more grave, and the acute with the most acute, that the astonished and bewildered ear is unable to distinguish one voice from another."0 It was probably this abuse of descant that excited John's opposition to music, and his censures on the minstrels, as shown in the passage before quoted. It proves also, that descant in England did not then consist merely of singing in two parts, but included the licenses and ornaments of florid song. Even singing in canon seems to be comprised in the words, " prsecinentium et succinentium, canentium et decinentium."
About 1185, Gerald Barry, or Giraldus Cambrensis, archdeacon, and after-
• The earliest express mention of the University of Oxford, after the foundation of the schools there by Alfred, is from the historian Ingulphus, whose youth coincided with the early part of the reign of Edward the Confessor. He tells us that, having been bom in the City of London, he was first sent to school at Westminster, and that from Westminster he proceeded to Oxford, where he studied the Aristotelian Philosophy, and the rhetoritical writings of Cicero.
b"In ingrcssu Galllcanarum villarum et castrorum, primi veniebant garciones pedites quasi ducenti quin-quaginta, gregatim euntes sex vel deni, vel plures simul, aliquid lingua sua pro more patrise sua; cantantes."— 5tephanidesl Vita S. Thomce Canluar, pp. 20, 21.
•  Musica cultum religicnis incestat, quod ante con-
spectum Domini, in ipsis penetralihus sanctuarii, las-civientis vocis luxu, quadam ostentatione sui, mulie-hribus modis notularum articulorumque exsuris, stup. ntes animulas emollire nituntur. Cum pracinentium, et suc­cinentium, canentium, et decinentium, intercinentium, et occincntium, prsemolles modulations audieris, Siren-arum concentus credas esse, non hominum et de vocum facilitate miraheris, quibus philomela vel psittacus, aut si quid sonorius est, modos suosnequeunt coaequare. Ea siquidem est, ascendeudi descendendique facilitas; ea sectio vel geminatio notularum, ea replicatio articulorum, singulorumque consolidatio; sic acuta vel acutissima, gravibus et subgravibus temperantur, tit auribus sui indicii fere subtrahetur autoritas.—Palicraticus, sine de Nugis Curialium, lib. i., c. 6.