Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 2

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who had kindly acted as interpreter for him, supped with him at the inn, and " sent for a band of music, consisting of all sorts of instruments." M. Jorevin also mentions going to one of the college chapels in Cambridge, where the whole of divine service was sung every day to music, and thinks he " there counted more than fifty musicians, as many clerks, and the like number of ministers." If so, tempora vere mutantur.
Charles II. advanced the salaries of the thirty-two Gentlemen of the Chapel Royal to 70?. a year each ; but he sometimes left them, like his private musicians and the public servants, from two to five years without their money. Pepys tells us in December, 1656, that "many of the musique are ready,to starve, they being five years behind hand with their wages;" and adds that " Evens, the man upon the harp, having not his equal in the world, did the other day die from mere want, and was fain to be buried from the alms of the parish, and carried to his grave in the dark at night without one link, but that Mr. Hingston (the organist) met the funeral by chance, and did give 12i. to buy two or three links."
Evelyn speaks in strong terms of admiration of the harp, when well-played. In his Diary (January 20, 1653-4) he says, " Came to see me my old acquaint­ance and the most incomparable player on the Irish harp, Mr. Clarke, after his travels. He was an excellent musician, a discreet gentleman (born in Devonshire, as I remember). Such music before or since did I never hear, that instrument being neglected for its extraordinary difficulty; but in my judgment, far superior to the lute itself, or whatever speaks with strings." Again, on November 17, 1668, " I heard Sir Edward Sutton play excellently on the Irish harp; he performs genteely, but not approaching my worthy friend, Mr. Clark, a gentle­man of Northumberland, who makes it execute lute, viol, and all the harmony an instrument is capable of; pity it is that it is not more in use; but, indeed, to play well, takes up the whole man, as Mr. Clark has assured me, who though a {gentleman of quality and parts, was yet brought up to that instrument from five years old, as I remember he told me."
I suppose the harp above-mentioned to be that with a double row of strings, which is described by Galilei, in his Dialogo della Musica, 1581, as the Irish harp. It could not otherwise be so difficult an instrument. In Galilei's time it had from fifty-four to sixty strings, generally of metal, and was played upon by the nails, as the Spaniards now do on the guitar. There were, at the same time, double harps strung with gut; for the use of the intestines of animals as strings for musical instruments, was known and practised in very early times—even by the ancient Greeks.
In Wales, according to Edward Jones, harps with triple rows of strings were in use in the fifteenth century. (Welsh Bards, i. 104.) Michael Drayton epeaks of a peculiar mode of stringing the ancient British harp, in the following passage from his Polyolbion:—
" Th' old British bards, upon their harps, To stir their youth to warlike rage, - For falling flats and rising sharps               Or their wild fury to assuage,
That curiously were strung;                      In their loose numbers sung."

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