Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/348

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336
CHANT.
CHANSON.

of climate which leaves its mark on the songs of a people; the spirit of the age has a great effect, as we may see if we remark how the chansons of France have drawn their inspiration mainly from two sources—church music, and the 'chansons de chasse.' Even in its songs, the influence of the two privileged classes, the clergy and the nobility, was felt by the people. Without pursuing this subject further, we will merely remark that the name 'chansons populaires' should be applied only to songs of which the author of both words and music is unknown.

It is also important to distinguish between the anonymous chanson, transmitted by tradition, and the 'chanson musicale,' by which last we mean songs that were noted down from the first, and composed with some attention to the rules of art. Such are those of the Chatelain de Coney, composed at the end of the 12th century, and justly considered most curious and instructive relics in the history of music. (Michel et Perne, 'Chansons du Châtelain de Coucy,' Paris, 1830). Of a similar kind, and worthy of special mention, are the songs of Adam de la Halle, of which some are in three parts. (Coussemaker, 'Adam de la Halle,' Paris, 1872). True these first attempts at harmony are rude, and very different from the 'Inventions Musicales' of Clement Jannequin, and the songs for one or more voices by the great masters of the madrigal school; but the chanson of the middle ages was nevertheless the parent of the ariette in the early French operas-comique, and of the modern couplet; while the 'chanson musicale' in several parts is the foundation of choral music with or without accompaniment. By some of the great Flemish musicians the word chanson was extended to mean psalms and other sacred pieces. It is much to be regretted that the French, who are so rich in literary collections of songs, should have at present no anthology of 'chansons musicales' in notation, where might be seen not only 'Belle Erembor' and 'l'Enfant-Gerard,' anonymous compositions of the 12th century, but the best works of the troubadours Adenez, Charles d'Anjou, Blondel, Gace Brulés, Colin Muset, Thibault IV, Comte de Champagne, and of the Norman and Picard trouvères of the 13th, 14th, and 15th centuries. One great obstacle to such a work lies in the fact that the chansons of the 12th, 13th, and 14th centuries were so often altered in transcribing. It is however much to be hoped that some musician of taste and erudition will before long place within our reach the 'chansons d 'amour,' and the 'chansons à boire,' which have been the delight of the French from the middle ages downwards.

The best works on the subject at present are:—'Histoire littéraire de la France,' vol. 23; 'Les Poëtes français' (Crépet, Paris, 4 vols.); Du Mersan's 'Chants et Chansons populaires de la France' (Paris, 1848, 3 vols.), with accompaniments by Colet, not in the style of the chansons; Coussemaker's 'Chants populaires des Flamands de France' (Ghent, 1856); Champfleury and Wekerlin's 'Chansons populaires des provinces de France' (Paris, 1860); Gagneur's 'Chansons populaires du Canada' (Quebec, 1865); Landelle's 'Chansons maritimes' (Paris, 1865); Nisard's 'Des Chansons populaires' (Paris, 1867). Capelle's 'La Clé du Caveau' (4th ed. Paris, 1872); and Verrimat's 'Rondes et Chansons populaires illustrées' (Paris, 1876). In the last two works the songs are not always correctly given.

[ G. C. ]

CHANT. To chant is, generally, to sing; and, in a more limited sense, to sing certain words according to the style required by musical laws or ecclesiastical rule and custom; and what is thus performed is styled a Chant and Chanting, Cantus firmus, or Canto fermo. Practically, the word is now used for the short melodies sung to the psalms and canticles in the English Church. These are either 'single,' i.e. adapted to each single verse after the tradition of 16 centuries, or 'double,' i.e. adapted to a couple of verses, or even, according to a recent still greater innovation, 'quadruple,' ranging over four verses.

The qualifying terms Gregorian, Anglican, Gallican, Parisian, Cologne, etc., as applied to the chant, simply express the sources from which any particular chant has been derived.

It is historically incorrect to regard the structure of ancient and modern chants as antagonistic each to the other. The famous 'Book of Common Praier noted,' of John Marbeck (1559), which contains the first adaptation of music to the services of the Reformed Anglican Church, is an adaptation of the ancient music of the Latin ritual, according to its then well-known rules, mutatis mutandis to the new English translations of the Missal and Breviary. The ancient Gregorian chants for the psalms and canticles were in use not only immediately after the Reformation, but far on into the 17th century; and although the Great Rebellion silenced the ancient liturgical service, with its traditional chant, yet in the fifth year after the Restoration (1664) the well-known work of the Rev. James Clifford, Minor Canon of S. Paul's, gives as the 'Common Tunes' for chanting the English Psalter, etc., correct versions of each of the eight Gregorian Tones for the Psalms, with one ending to each of the first seven, and both the usual endings to the eighth, together with a form of the Peregrine Tone similar to that given by Marbeck[1]. Clifford gives also three tones set to well-known harmonies, which have kept their footing as chants to the present day. The first two are arrangements of the 1st Gregorian Tone, 4th ending—the chant in Tallis's 'Cathedral Service' for the Venite—with the melody however not in the treble but (according to ancient custom) in the tenor. It is called by Clifford 'Mr. Adrian Batten's Tune'; the harmony is essentially the same as that of Tallis, but the treble takes his alto part, and the alto his tenor. The second, called 'Christ Church Tune' and set for 1st and 2nd altos, tenor, and bass, is also the same; except the third chord from the end—

  1. See Table of chants in 'Acc. harmonies to Brief Directory,' by Rev. T. Helmore. App. II. No. cxi.