Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 2

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
468
VIOLS AND VIOLINS.
keep him company; and if you can get either he you mentioned, or another that plays well, I would have you do it."
The King knew enough of music to take his part in an easy composition; and, after his restoration, would sometimes sing duets with " that stupendous base," Mr. Gostling, of the Chapel Royal, the Duke of York (afterwards James II.) accompanying them on the guitar. The Hon. Roger North says that Charles " was a professed lover of music, but of this " [dancing] " kind only; and had an titter detestation of fancies," or other compositions in the fugal style; and, not the less so, from an unsuccessful entertainment of that kind given him by Secretary Williamson; " after which, the Secretary had no peace, for the King, as his way was, could not forbear whetting his wit upon the subject of the fancy-music, and its patron the Secretary. He would not allow the matter to be disputed upon the point of meliority, but ran all down by saying, Have I not ears f He could not bear any music to which he could not keep time, and that he constantly did to all that was presented to him; and, for the most part, heard it standing." Pepys describes him as beating time with his hand " all along the anthem," in the Chapel Royal; and Dr. Tudway accuses the young composers of his Chapel of having so far given way to the King's French taste, as to introduce dancing movements and theatrical corantos into their anthems.
Speaking of the "grand metamorphosis of music" that took place in this reign, the Hon. Roger North says, "Upon the Restoration, the old way of concerts were laid aside at court, and the King made an establishment after the French model, of twenty-four violins [tenors and bases being counted among them], and the style of the music was accordingly." Wood says, " he would have the twenty-four violins playing before him while he was at meals;" but Evelyn, speaking of a visit to the Chapel Royal, on Dec. 21, 1662, says, that, after one of His Majesty's Chaplains had preached, " instead of the ancient, grave, and solemn wind music [cornets and sackbuts] accompanying the organ, was introduced a concert of twenty-four violins, between every pause, after the French, fantastical, light way; better suiting a tavern or playhouse than a church."
Violins had long been the favorite instruments for dancing, whether with common fiddlers or at court. They were probably first included in the Royal band, under the name of violins, in the fourth year of the reign of Queen Elizabeth (1561) ; and the sum then paid to performers on that instrument was 230Z. 6s. 8d. (MS. Lansd. No. 5). Ten years after, there were seven " vyolons," at an annual cost of 325?. 15s. (MS. Cotton, Vesp. c. xiv.). Charles the First's band, in 1625, consisted of eight hautboys and sackbuts, six flutes, six recorders, eleven violins, six lutes, four viols, and a harp (exclusive of drummers, trumpeters, and fifers) ; and in 1641 it numbered fifty-eight musicians, of whom fourteen were violins. So far as the antiquity of the instrument is concerned, it may be traced back to the Anglo-Saxons, for the modern violin is but an improvement upon the ancient fiddle in shape. The curious may see in a manuscript of the tenth century, in the British Museum (Cotton, Tiberius c. vi.), an illumination of an







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