Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 1

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KEIGN OF JAMES I.                                             249
Anthony a Wood tells the following story of Dr. John .Bull:—While travelling incognito through France and Germany for the recovery of his health, he heard of a famous musician belonging to the Cathedral of St. Omer, and applied to him to see his works. The musician having conducted Bull to a- vestry or music-school adjoining the Cathedral, shewed him a lesson or song of forty parts, and then made a vaunting challenge to any person in the world to add one more part, supposing it so complete that it was impossible to correct or add to it. Dr. Bull having requested to be locked up for two or three hours, speedily added forty more parts, whereupon the musician declared that " he that added those forty parts must either be the devil or Dr. John Bull."0, In 1613, Bull (to whom many offers of preferment at foreign courts had been previously made) quitted England, and went to reside in the Netherlands, where he entered the service of the Archduke.
The emigration of musicians was not confined to a few of the most eminent, for we hear, indirectly, of many in the employ of foreign courts, whose movements would not otherwise be recorded. Thus Taylor, the water-poet, who had just described the Lutes, Viols, Bandoras, Recorders, Sackbuts, and Organs, in the Chapel of the Graf (or Count) of Schomburg, says, "I was conducted an English mile on my way by certain of my countrymen, my Lord's musicians."
We are indebted to foreign countries for the preservation of many of the works of our best musicians of this age, as well as of our popular tunes. Dr. Bull's music is chiefly to be found in foreign manuscripts.b Dowland tells us that "some part of his poor labours " had been printed in eight cities beyond the seas, viz.', Paris, Antwerp, Cologne, Nuremburg, Frankfort, Leipzig, Amsterdam, and Ham­burg. Much of the music printed in Holland in the seventeenth century was also by English Composers. The right of printing music in England was a monopoly, generally in the hands of one or two musicians,0 and therefore very little, and only such as they chose, could be printed. Hence the scarcity, as well as the frequent imperfection, of these early works.
In London, each ward of the city had its musicians; there was also the Fins-bury Music, the Southwark and the Blackfriars Music, as well as the Waits of London and Westminster. Morley thus alludes to the Waits, in the dedication of his Consort Lessons to the Lord Mayor and Aldermen: "As the ancient custom of this most honourable and renowned city hath been ever to retain and maintain excellent and expert musicians to adorn your honours' favours, feasts, and solemn meetings: to those, your Lordships' Wayts, I recommend the same." A " Wayte," in the time of Edward IV., had to pipe watch four times in the night, from Michaelmas to Shrovetide, and three in the summer, as well as to
* Such exercises of learned ingenuity were common in         b One foreign manuscript volume of Dr. Ball's works
that day. Tallis wrote a Motet in forty parts, a copy of      is now in my possession, and another in that of Mr.
which is now hefore me. It is for eight choirs, each of      Richard Clarke, who asserts that it contains " God save
five voices ; the voices only coming together occasionally.      the King," of which more hereafter. The contents of
Br. Bumey discredits Dr. Bull's feat as " impossible,"      both are described in Ward's Live* of the Gresham Pro-
but I am assured by Dr. Rimbault and by Mr. Macfarren,      fessors,
who have seen this Motet, that whether the story be true         c It was held by Tallis and Byrd from 1575 to 1596, then or not, it was quite possible. In all cases the anecdote      by Morley and his assignee. See Introduction to Rim-may be taken as a proof of the very high reputation Dr.       bault's Bibliolhica Madrigaliana, 8vo., 1847. Bull enjoyed.