Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 2

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REIGN OF CHARLES II.
473
which gave occasion to an observation, that in vocal the Italians, and in instrumental music the English excelled." (p. 74).
Tuscany and Rome both claim the honor of the invention of recitative music; Rome for Emilio del Cavaliere, and Tuscany for Jacopo Peri. The sacred drama, or oratorio, Dell' Anima e del Oorpo, by Emilio del Cavaliere, and Peri's opera of Burydice, were both first printed in 1600. The latter was produced in the theatre at Florence in that year, on the occasion of the marriage of Mary de' Medici with Henry IV. of France. Although performed, on so great an event, " in a most magnificent manner," and in the presence of the Queen, the Grand Duke, the Cardinal Legate, and innumerable princes and noblemen of Italy and France, it appears from the Author's preface, that only four musical instruments were employed,a harpsichord, a large guitar, a large lute, and a large lyre. The lyre was probably an instrument of the harp description for the music of Orpheus, intended to imitate the ancient lyre. (Dr. Burney translates " lira grande," viol da gamba I) These four instruments were, without doubt, to be used separately for accompanying particular voices (as was the custom in somewhat later Italian operas), and not to be played in concert. The only instrumental music in the opera is a short symphony of eight bars for a triflauto, or triple flute." The employment of instruments of various sorts in combination seems to have been little practised in Italy, although at this time each ward of the city of London, and the suburbs of Finsbury, Southwark, &c, had its band that played habitually, with various instruments, in six parts. Two years before Peri's opera was produced, Hentzner wrote of the " suavissima adhibita musica" (the charming music performed) in the London theatres; and, to prove the variety of instruments occasionally employed in English plays, we may quote (for an early date) Gascoyne's Jocasta, 1566, in which each act is preceded by dumb show, accompanied by the music of "viols, cythren, bandores [or large lutes], flutes; cornets, trumpets, drums, pipes, and stillpipes."
I have already alluded to the number of English instrumental performers in the employ of foreign courts in the reigns of Elizabeth and James I., and may add that, in the Court-Masques of the latter reign, as many as from 60 to 80 instrumentalists were sometimes engaged. As an instance, which I select because it has not before been printed, take the following from the list of " Rewards to the persons employed in the Maske," by Ben Jonson, which was presented at court at Christmas, 1610-11, the original document being among the Pell Records: " To 12 Musicions that were Preestes, that songe and played            - 24
To 12 other Lutes that suplied and with Flutes -              -              12
To 10 Violencas [Violoncellos] that continually practized to the Queen, 20 To 4 more that were added at the Maske              -              -               4
To 15 Musitions that played the pages and fooles           -              - 20
To 13 Hoboyes and Sackbutts                ...              10."
» Prf bably an ancient triple flute was to be held by Tirsi, whilst the symphony was played behind the scenes by three flutes, as the music is in three parts. Dr. Burney solves the difficulty by translating un trijlauio "three
flutes," but it is in the singular number. He divides the symphony of eight bars, of six in a bar, into fifteen. {History, vol. iv., p. SI.)







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