Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 2

Ancient Songs, Ballads, & Dance Tunes, Sheet Music & Lyrics - online book

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Roger North says, " It imparts not much to the state of the world, or the condition of human life, to know the names and styles of those authors of musical composition whose performances gained to the nation the credit of excelling the Italians in all but the vocal. Nothing is more a fashion than music,—no, not clothes or language, either of which is made a derision in after times. The grand custom of all is to affect novelty, and to goe from one thing to another, and to despise the former. Cannot we put ourselves in loco of former states, and judge pro tunc ? It is a shallow monster that shall hold forth in favour of our fashions and relishes, and maintain that no age shall come wherein they will not be despised and derided; and if, on the other side, I may take upon me to be a fidling prophet, I may with as much reason declare that the time may come when some of the present celebrated musick will be as much in contempt as John come kiss me now, now, now, and perhaps with as much reason as any is found for the contrary at present."
The versatility of the English in the fashion of music, in the reign of Charles II., was quite as great as their variableness in dress; to ridicule which, Andrew Borde, a physician in the reign of Henry VIII., in his Bohe of the Introduction of Knowledge, describing, and giving engravings of, the costume of other countries, paints the Englishman naked, with a pair of shears in his hand, and with the following lines:—
" I am an Englyshman, and naked I stand here,
Musyng in my mynd what rayment I shall were;
For now I wyll were this, and now I wyll were that,
Now I wyll were I cannot tel what.
All new fashyons be plesaunt to me,
I wyll have them, whether I thry ve or thee:
Now I am a frysker, all men doth on me looke,
What should I do bnt set Cocke on the Hoope ?
What do I care yf all the worlde me fayle ?
I will get a garment shal reche to my tayle.
Then I am a minion, for I were the new gyse,
The yere after this I trust to be wyse," &c.
So in Charles the Second's reign it was first French music, then Italian music; first one instrument, and then another; just as some new performer appeared, who pleased the King.
The Guitar was brought into fashion in 1662, by Francisco Corbeta, who " had a genius for music," says Count Grammont, " and was the only man who
could make anything of it......The king's relish for his compositions had
brought the instrument so much into vogue, that every person played upon it, well or ill; and you were as sure to see a Guitar on a lady's toilette, as rouge or patches." {Memoirs, p. 174, 8vo., 1846.) Evelyn also mentions him as playing " with extraordinary skill."
M. Jorevin de Rocheford, who printed his travels in England at Paris in 1672, says, " the Harp was then the most esteemed of musical instruments by the English." He made this observation at Worcester, where an English gentleman,

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