Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/381

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CLAVICHORD.
369
CLAY.

of an incomplete chromatic compass may be as the last word preserved of a forgotten language, or the last peak above the water-line of a submerged island. The statement of the completion of the chromatic scale by Zarlino falls to the ground, and moreover, according to Praetorius, the organ at Halberstadt, built about 1360, had in twenty-two notes a complete chromatic scale. Dr. Rimbault (History of the Organ, 1870) regards this as the earliest authentic account of a keyboard with half tones.

There is great probability that the Greek monochord, a string stretched over a soundboard, and measured off into vibrating lengths by bridges, was a stepping-stone to the invention of the clavichord. Used for centuries in the Church to initiate the singers into the mysteries of the eight tones, it must at last have seemed more convenient to dispense with shifting bridges, and at the points of division to adjust fixed bridges raised by an apparatus imitated from the keys of the organ, to press the strings and produce the notes required. This would be an elementary clavichord action, and may account for clavichords, and harpsichords too, being styled monochords in the 15th and 16th centuries, and even as late as the 18th (D. Scorpione, 'Riflessione armoniche'; Naples, 1701). The earliest notice of a monochord among musical instruments is to be found in Wace's 'Brut d'Angleterre' (circa A.D. 1115), 'Symphonies, psaltérions, monachordes.' Herr Ambros ('Geschichte,' 1864, vol. ii., p. 199), from the silence of Jean de Muris as to the clavichord, though repeatedly enumerating the stringed instruments in use ('Musica Speculativa', 1323), infers that it did not then exist, and from this and other negative evidence would place the epoch of invention between 1350–1400. De Muris refers to the monochord with a single string, but recommends the use of one with four strings, to prove intervals not previously known. These four strings were the indices to the eight church tones. Dr. Rimbault ('The Pianoforte.' p. 36) has been deceived in quoting from Bonn's edition of Sismondi the well-known advice to a jongleur by Guiraut de Calanson (died A.D. 1211). It is there stated that the jongleur should play on the citole and mandore, and handle the clarichord and guitar. Reference to the original (Paris MS. La Vallière, No 14, formerly 2701), confirms the citole and mandore, but instead of 'Clarichord' we find 'Manicorda una corda,' doubtless a simple monochord, for in the 'Roman de Flamenca' we find 'l'autr’ accorda lo sauteri ab manicorda' (the other tune the psaltery to the monochord). In the 'Dictionnaire étymologique,' Paris, 1750, 'manicordion' is rendered by monochord. Citole and mandore are also there, but not clavichord.

As to the etymology of clavichord: the word clavis, key, in the solmisation system of Guido d'Arezzo, was used for note or tone, and thus the clavis was the 'key' to the musical sound to be produced. The claves were described by alphabetical letters, and those occupying coloured lines, as F on the red and C on the yellow, were claves signatae, the origin of our modern clefs. When the simple monochord gave place to an instrument with several strings and keys, how easy the transference of this figurative notion of claves from the notes to the levers producing them! Thus the name Clavichord, from clavis, key, and chorda, string, would come very naturally into use. (Herr Ambros, 'Geschichte der Musik,' vol. ii., Breslau, 1864).

According to Fischhof (Versuch einer Geschichte, etc., 1853), Lemme of Brunswick, Wilhelmi of Cassel, Vensky, Horn and Mack of Dresden, and Kramer of Gottingen, were reputed in the last century good clavichord makers. Mr. Engel quotes the prices of Lemme's as having been from three to twelve louis d'or each; Kriimer's from four to fourteen, according to size and finish. Wilhelmi charged from twenty to fifty thalers (£3 to £7 10s.).

[App. p.593 "The last clavichords that were made were constructed by Hoffmann, Stuttgart, in 1857, on the pattern of one belonging to Molique. They were made for the late Joseph Street, of Lloyds. [See also Tangent.]"]

[ A. J. H. ]

CLAVICYTHERIUM. An upright instrument allied to the horizontal harpsichord and spinet, but concerning which of all that tribe we have the least evidence. Mr. Carl Engel (Descriptive Catalogue, 1874), surmises that 'a pair of new long virginalls made harp fashion of cipres with keys of ivory,' mentioned in the inventory of King Henry VIII's musical instruments, was a clavicytherium. He goes on to say that this instrument had a stop or register to cause the strings to be twanged by small brass hooks, whereby a quality of tone like that of the harp was produced, and hence the name 'Arpichord,' by which Praetorius (Syntagma Musicum; Wolfenbüttel, 1619) describes a clavicytherium. [See Harpsichord.] [App. p.593 adds "This instrument is figured in Virdung, 1511, and a remarkable specimen from the Correr collection, now belonging to Mr. G. Donaldson of London, was exhibited in the Music Loan Collection, 1885, and is figured from a drawing in colours in Mr. A. J. Hipkins's 'Musical Instruments' (Black, Edinburgh, 1887)."]

[ A. J. H. ]

CLAVIER. In French, a keyboard or set of keys of an organ or pianoforte; Italian Tastatura; in German expressed by Claviatur or Tastatur. Clavier in German is a pianoforte, specially a square pianoforte, the prototype of which is the clavichord, having borne the same name. [ Clavichord, Keyboard, Pianoforte.]

[ A. J. H. ]

CLAY, Frederic, son of James Clay, M.P. for Hull. Born Aug. 3, 1840, in the Rue Chaillot, Paris; educated in music entirely by Molique, with the exception of a short period of instruction at Leipzig under Hauptmann. Mr. Clay's compositions have been almost wholly for the stage. After two small pieces for amateurs, 'The Pirate's Isle' (1859) and 'Out of sight' (1860), he made his public début in 1862 at Covent Garden with 'Court and Cottage,' libretto by Tom Taylor. This was followed by 'Constance' (1865), by 'Ages ago' (1869), 'The Gentleman in Black' (1870), 'Happy Arcadia' (1872), 'Cattarina' (1874), 'Princess Toto,' and 'Don Quixote' (both 1875). [App. p.593 "the productions of 'The Merry Duchess' (Royalty Theatre, May 23, 1883), and 'The Golden Ring' (Alhambra, Dec. 3. 1883)."] In addition to these Mr. Clay wrote part of the music for 'Babil and Bijou' and the 'Black Crook' (both 1872), and incidental music to 'Twelfth Night' and to Albery's 'Oriana.' He has also composed two cantatas, 'The Knights of the Cross' (1866) and 'Lalla Rookh,' produced with great success at the Brighton Festival in February 1877; and not a few separate songs.