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
488
MUSIC IN PRIVATE LIFE.
come upon me." Once he says, " Lord's day. . . composing some ayres. God forgive me!"
According to the custom of those days, Pepys frequently dined at taverns or ordinaries, generally choosing those where the best musicians were to be heard. He mentions the Dolphin Tavern as having " an excellent company of fiddlers," and his being there, on more than one occasion, " exceeding merry till late." But, a year or two after, being invited to dine there by Mr. Foly, and an excel­lent dinner provided, he tells us, " but I expected musique, the missing of which spoiled my dinner."
Licenses were not then required for the performance of music at taverns, as now; and Killigrew says that no ordinary fiddlers of any country were so well paid as our own. According to Heylin, in his Voyage of France, 1679, the custom, at Tours, was for each man at table to pay the fiddlers a sou; " they expect no more, and will take no less." In English country towns a groat for " a fit of mirth " had long been the remuneration of the minstrel; and (accord­ing to a ballad of this time) each villager, male or female, gave two-pence for a dance on the green; but Pepys speaks of paying four shillings on one occasion at the Dolphin, and SI. for four musicians,—" the Duke of Buckingham's music, the best in town,"—for a dance at his own house. Their instruments were two violins, a base, and a theorbo.
Under the date of November 16, 1667, Pepys says, " To White Hall, and there got into the theatre-room, and there heard both the vocall and instrumentall musick; where the little fellow (Pelham Humphrey, the composer) stood keeping time." Conductors to bands are therefore of no modern introduction; and he even mentions a case in which that office was held by a woman. On the 6th of June, 1661, "Lieutenant Lambert and I went down by water to Greenwich, and eat and drank and heard musique at the Globe, and saw the simple motion that is there of a woman with a rod in her hand keeping time to the musique while it plays, which is simple, rnethinks."
In one instance he dines at a club, where they have three voices to sing catches. This is probably one of the earliest notices of clubs in England.
His position as a clerk at the Admiralty threw him much into the society of., naval oflEcers, and his own taste into that of antiquaries. Meeting Ashmole in the morning at the house of Lilly, the astrologer, they stay and sing duets and trios in Lilly's study. We are told that Evelyn and all his family were lovers of music, and well skilled in the art. Evelyn also mentions his daughter Mary as having " substantial and practical knowledge in ornamental arts of education, especially music, both vocal and instrumental."
We find the tedium of naval life to have been often relieved by music;—that one captain kept a harper; another was " a perfect good musician;" a third " a merry man that sang a pleasant song pleasantly;" that one lieutenant played the cittern, and another, who was " in a mighty vein of singing," had " a very good ear and strong voice, but no manner of skill." Sets of viols or violins were sometimes kept on board, because Pepys tells us, while the Nazeby was lying off







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