Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 1

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20                                      HARPERS NOT TAUGHT BY MONKS.
not what had taken place a century before, there seems no sufficient ground for disbelieving his statement,0 and least of all, should they who are of the opinion that all musical knowledge was derived from the monasteries, call it in question,' since, as already shown, part music had then existed in the Church, in the form of descant, for three centuries.
" If, however," says Burney, " incredulity could be vanquished with respect to the account which Giraldus Cambrensis gives of the state of music in Wales -during the twelfth century, it would be a Welsh MS. in the possession of Richard Morris, Esq., of the Tower, which contains pieces for the harp, that are in full harmony or counterpoint; they are written in a peculiar notation, and supposed to be as old as the year 1100 ; at least, such is the known antiquity of many of the songs mentioned in the collection," &c. It is not necessary here to enter into the defence of Welsh music, but the specimens Dr. Burney has printed from that manuscript, which he describes as in full harmony and counterpoint, are really nothing more than the few simple chords which must fall naturally under the hand of any one holding the instrument, and such as would form a child's first lessons. First the chord, G C E, and then that of E D F, form the entire bass of the only two lessons he has translated; and though from B to F is a " false fifth," it must be shown that the harper derived his knowledge of the instrument from the Church, before the assertion that it is more modern harmony than then in use can have any weight. In England, at least, not only the evidence of Giraldus, but all other that I can find, is against such a supposition. I have before alluded to the Romance of Horn-Child, (note c, to page 9), and here give the passage, to prove that such knowledge was not derived from the Church, as well as to show what formed a necessary part of education for a knight or warrior. It is from that part of the story where Prince Horn appears at the court of the King of Westnesse.
Original Words. " The kyng com in to halle, Among his knyhtes alle, Forth he clepeth Athelbrus, His stiward, and him seide thus : ' Stiward, tac thou here My fundling, for to lore Of thine mestere Of wode and of ryuere, Ant toggen o the liarpe With is nayles sharpe. Ant tech him alio the listes That thou euer wystest, Byfore me to keruen, And of my coupe to seruen:
» Dr. Percy says, "The credit of Giraldus, which hath been attacked by some partial and bigoted antiquaries, the reader will find defended in that learned and curious
Words Modernized. The king came into [the] hall Among his knights all, Forth he calleth Athelbrus, His steward, and [to] him said thus " Steward, take thou here My foundling, for to teach Of thy mystery Of wood and of river, And to play on the harp With his nails sharp. And teach him all thou listest, That thou ever knewest, Before me to carve And my cup to serve:
work, 'Antiquities of Ireland,' by Edward Ledwich, LL.D. Dublin, 1790, 4to., p. 207. et seq."