Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 2

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REIGN OF CHARLES II.                                          481
the west end of St. Paul's Church," (where " Robert Hubert, alias Forges, Gent.,'j exhibited his " natural rarities,") and this was probably the original spot; but in Playford's Catch that catch can, or The Musical Companion, 1667, Benjamin Wallington, citizen, is also mentioned as one of the " endeared friends of the late Musick Society and Meeting in the Old-Jury, London." North says, "these meetings shewed an inclination in the citizens to follow music; and the same was confirmed by many little entertainments the masters voluntarily made for their scholars, for, being known, they were always crowded."
" The next essay was of the elder Banister, who had a good theatrical vein, and in composition had a lively style peculiar to himself. He procured a large room in Whitefriars, near the Temple back gate, and made a large raised box for the musicians, whose modesty required curtains. The room was surrounded with seats and small tables, alehouse fashion. One shilling was the price, and call for what you pleased. There was very good music, for Banister found means to procure the best hands in town, and some voices to come and perform there, and there wanted no variety of humour, for Banister himself, among other things, did wonders upon a flageolet, to a thorough-base, and the several masters had their solos."
There was also " a society of gentlemen of good esteem," who used to meet weekly for the practice of instrumental music in concert, at a tavern in Fleet Street, " but the taverner pretending to make formal seats and to take money," the society was disbanded. However, the masters of music finding that money was to be got in this way, determined to take the business into their own hands, and about the year 1680, a concert room was built and furnished for public concerts in Villiers Street, York Buildings. This was the first public concert room" independent of ale and tobacco. It was called "The Musick Meeting," and " all the quality and beau rnonde repaired to it; there was nothing of music valued in town, but was to be heard there."
Banister's concerts continued till his death in 1678, and in that year the club or private concerts established by John Britton, " the musical small-coalman," in Clerkenwell, had its beginning, and continued till 1714. The concert room in York Buildings was in use till the middle of the last century, and was pulled down about the year 1768.
Our musical festivals originated in the celebrations of St. Cecilia's Day; and the first celebration of which we have any record, occurred in the year 1683. The reader will find full information on this subject in the Account of the musical celebrations of St. Cecilia's day, recently published by Mr. W. H. Husk, librarian to the Sacred Harmonic Society.
As Roger North says that " the tradesmen and foremen " sang chiefly out of Playford's Catch-book (which consists of rounds, canons, catches, and other part-music), a few words on the subject of catches may not be out of place.
Many quotations have already been adduced about smiths, tinkers, pedlars,
» I say "public concert room," because old English concert or music room. mansions of the sixteenth century had generally each a







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