Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 2

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

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792                     CHARACTERISTICS OF ENGLISH NATIONAL AIRS,
have travelled Northwards, and thus have become absorbed in collections of Scottish music. A glance at Daniel Wright's " Extraordinary Collection of pleasant and merry humours; containing Hornpipes, Jiggs, North-Country Frisks, Morrises, Bag­pipe-Hornpipes, and Rounds," and other works of the same kind, will give evidence of the migration. I have chosen but few specimens of these tunes, not from the lack of them, but because limited to one volume to include all airs from the time of the Commonwealth, and ballad tunes are of more general interest.
A few extracts about hornpipes have already been given, at pages 544 to 546, 740, and 741. The really old hornpipes, whether for the fiddle or bagpipe, are all, or nearly all, in triple or compound triple time; but the measure of jigs is not equally defined. The greatest number is in compound common time; but some are in simple common time, while others are not distinguishable from hornpipes.
The jig is now completely associated in the public mind with Ireland, but English writers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries teem with comments upon it. Although the number of excellent Irish jigs is now great, I have not found one called Irish before the latter part of the seventeenth century. Unless evidence can be given of the existence of the dance in Ireland long anterior to any that has hitherto been quoted, I submit the probability of its having extended from "the English pale," but am not sufficiently versed in Irish history to give an opinion, with any confidence, as to its origin in Ireland.
Scotch jigs are noticed by English writers long before those of the sister country, and Shakespeare's comparison of " wooing, wedding, and repenting," to " a Scotch jig, a Measure, and a Cinque-pace," proves that the mode of dancing them was well known in his time. " The first suit is hot and hasty, like a Scotch jig, and full as fantastical." About three years before the publication of Shakespeare's play, Morley had written as if English composers were in the habit of making tunes to this dance; for, in speaking of the best descanters as but sorry composers, he says, " enjoyne him but to make a Scottish jygge, he will grossely erre in the true nature and quality of it." (Introduction to practicall Musiclte, p. 182, 1597.) One "Scotish jig" will be found mApollo's Banquet, 1669, but its genuineness is to be doubted, for it is far more like the rough and bold style of English music than any other; and I suppose the Scotch will not claim it, having both fourth and seventh in its scale. It is the tune to which D'Urfey wrote the song, " Maiden, fresh as a rose," in The Richmond Heiress, and which, in The Dancing Master, is called A Trip to Marrowbone. It proves, however, that Scotch jigs were danced to tunes in triple or compound triple time; for the second grows naturally out of the first in the process of division or variation. Mr. G. P. Graham, in his introduction to The Dance Music of Scotland, says, " The high popularity of the Reel and Strathspey, all over Great Britain, induces us to dwell more particularly and minutely upon these dances, which are really the only National Dances of Scotland; all our other dances of ancient or modern times having been derived by us from France or from England." (2nd edit., 8vo., Edinburgh, 1854.)
Two of the oldest tunes in compound triple time in this collection are Old Sir Simon the King and Roger a Cauverley, or Coverley. The first, from the notice by Laneham, was "ancient" in 1575, and the second, from that of Ralph Thoresby, may be of still earlier date. It has already been shown that the latter is entitled a jig in one book and a Lancashire hornpipe in another.
I attached formerly greater importance than now to the terminations of tunes







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