Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/394

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COMPOSITION PEDALS.
COMMUNION SERVICE.

music written for the latter part, though Marbeck's and Tallis's settings go throughout the service to the end. Marbeck's work embraces a good deal which is not sung now, such as the versicles with which the Post Communion used to begin, and the Lord's Prayer which used to follow them, and now begins the Post Communion, the versicles having been removed. But though the Lord's Prayer is still retained, it is not customary to sing it as used to be done in the Roman and in the early days of the English church. Marbeck's setting of it is to what is called a varied descant, and the chants for the versicles are most of them drawn from old Roman antiphonaria. The Sanctus has been more frequently set than the Gloria in Excelsis, probably because it was, as before mentioned, used out of its proper place while the choir-boys were still in church.

In the primitive church it was customary to sing a psalm while the people were communicating. It was called 'communio.' The psalm 'O taste and see' was so sung in the churches of Jerusalem and Antioch in the 4th century. In the first edition of the English Prayer Book this custom was ordered to be preserved, but the injunction was afterwards removed.

COMPASS, from the Latin compassus, 'a circle,' designates the range of notes of any voice or instrument as lying within the limits of the extreme sounds it is capable of producing.

The compass of the various instruments which are in use in modern music will be found under their respective names; but it may be said generally that it is limited in the direction of the bass, but often varies in the direction of the treble according to the skill of the player, except in instruments of fixed intonation.

The compass of a modern orchestra is generally from about the lowest note of the double basses to about E in altissimo, which can be taken by the violin if properly led up to.

{ \override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f \time 2/4 \clef bass c,,4 \clef "treble^8" e'''' }

The compass of voices for chorus purposes is from F below the bass stave to A above the treble stave. Solos are not often written above C in alt, except for special singers: as the part of Astrafiammante in Mozart's 'Zauberflöte,' which was written for Josepha Hofer, his sister-in-law, and goes up to F in altissimo. [See Agujari.]

The compass of voices varies much in different climates. In Russia there are said to be basses of extraordinary depth, capable of taking the F an 8ve below the bass stave. Basses are not often heard in England who can go below lower C, which is a fifth above that.

COMPÈRE, Loyset, eminent contrapuntist of the 15th century, chorister, canon, and chancellor of the Cathedral of St. Quentin, where he was buried 1518. In Crespel's lament on the death of Okeghem he is mentioned among the distinguished pupils of the latter—

'Agricola, Verbonnet, Prioris,
Josquin des Près, Gaspard, Brumel, Compère,
Ne parlez plus de joyeulx chants, ne ris,
Mais composez un ne ricorderis,
Pour lamenter ndtre maistre et bon père.'

His reputation stood high with the contrapuntists of his own and the succeeding age, and it is amply sustained by the few compositions which are known to be his. These are, two motets in Petruccio di Fossombrone's 'Motetti XXXIII'; 21 compositions in Petruccio's 'Harmonice Musices Odhecaton'; two songs in Petruccio's collection of 'Frottole'; an 'Asperges' and a 'Credo,' both à 4, in Petruccio's 'Fragmenta Missarum'; a motet 'O bone Jesu,' signed simply Loyset, in Petruccio's 'Motetti della Corona'; some motets in the collection 'Trium vocum Cantiones' (Nuremberg, 1541). and, finally, a curious five-part motet, now in the Pope's Chapel, in which the tenor and second alto sing 'Fera pessima devoravit filium meum Joseph,' while the treble, first alto, and bass are recounting the injuries received by Pope Julius II from Louis XII of France. Compère has been confounded with Piéton, who had the same Christian name—Loyset, a diminutive of Louis. The confusion arises from the practice of the early masters, of signing their compositions with the Christian name alone.

[ M. C. C. ]

COMPOSITION means literally 'putting together,' and is now almost exclusively applied to the invention of music—a novelist or a poet being never spoken of as a composer except by way of analogy, but a producer of music being almost invariably designated by that title. 'Gedichtet,' says Beethoven, 'oder wie man sagt, componirt' (Briefe, Nohl, no. 200). As far as the construction of a whole movement from the original ideas is concerned the word is perhaps not ill adapted, but for the ideas themselves nothing could be more inappropriate. For the mysterious process of originating them the word 'invention' seems more suitable, but even that does not at all describe it with certainty. It is the fruit sometimes of concentration and sometimes of accident; it can hardly be forced with success, though very ingenious imitations of other peoples' ideas to be made to look like new may be arrived at by practice and the habitual study of existing music. Nevertheless the title of composer, though only half applicable, is an honourable one, and those who do put together other people's ideas in the manner which should best justify the title are generally those who are most seldom called by it.

COMPOSITION PEDALS. As up to within the last century English organs were quite unprovided with pedals, the notes required to be played had to be lowered exclusively by the fingers of the two hands; and as a hand could rarely be spared for changing the combination of stops during the performance of a piece of music, the same stops that were prepared previously to its commencement had generally to be adhered to throughout. When the instrument had two manuals of full compass, as was the case with all the most complete examples, a change from forte to piano, and back, was practicable, and repre-