Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/406

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394
CONSTRUCTION
CONSERVATOIRE DE MUSIQUE

Toulmon, comprising 85 volumes of MS. copies of the chefs-d'œuvre of the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries from Munich, Vienna, and Rome, including all Palestrina's masses. Unfortunately, most of these compositions are written in 'proportional notation,' and are still in separate parts. The departments of engraved opera scores and of vocal and instrumental methodes are very complete. In 1872 the library was further enriched by Schœlcher's collection, containing every edition of Handel's works and a vast array of Handel-literature. The number of dramas is 6,000, and increasing daily, and the department of works on the art and history of music contains many thousand French and foreign volumes. Amongst these are some extremely rare works, 'El Melopeo' by Cerone; treatises by Agricola, Luscinius, Prætorius, Mersenne; several editions of Gafori; 'Il Transilvano' by Diruta; original editions of most of the old clavecinists; 'L'Orchésographie' of Thoinot Arbeau; the 'Ballet Comique de la Reine'; the 'Flores musice' of 1488; old missals and treatises on plain-chant; besides other very rare and valuable books and méthodes.

The Museum—of recent date, having been formally inaugurated on Nov. 20, 1864—is open to the public on Mondays and Thursdays from 12 to 4. At that time it merely contained the 230 articles which the government had purchased from Clapisson in 1861, and 123 musical instruments transferred from the Garde Meubles and other state institutions, or presented by private donors. On the appointment of the present conservateur, M. Gustave Chouquet, Sept. 30, 1871, the number of objects did not exceed 380, but it now possesses 700 instruments and objects of art of the greatest interest. A full historical catalogue has been published by M. Chouquet, entitled 'Le Musée du Conservatoire national de Musique' (Paris, F. Didot, 1875; 8vo.). This magnificent collection is the largest and most complete in Europe, and the space allotted to it must strike every one as inadequate.

The Conservatoire itself suffers from want of room. In the Faubourg Poissonnière, No. 15, are the offices of the administration, the entrance to the small theatre, where not only the examinations, but the classes for choral singing and dramatic declamation, lessons on the organ, and lectures on the history of music are held. Two smaller theatres serve for solfeggio and opera classes. In the large theatre, which contains an organ of 32 feet, the Société des Concerts du Conservatoire has held its concerts since its creation; it also serves for the public practices, the competitions, and the distribution of prizes. It was restored and decorated in the Pompeian style in 1864; and contains only a thousand seats. The educational management of the Conservatoire is in the hands of a central committee, with two sub-committees, for the superintendence of the musical and dramatic studies respectively. The committees for the admission of pupils and the examination of the classes are named by the director.

At the present date (1878) there are five provincial Ecoles de Musique, branches of the Conservatoire, viz. Lille, Toulouse, Dijon, Nantes, and Lyons (founded April 2, 1874).

In 1871 M. Henri Reber succeeded M. Ambroise Thomas as inspector of these provincial schools.

[ G. C. ]

CONSERVATORIO. The Conservatorios in which the great schools of Italian music were formed were so called because they were intended to preserve (conservare) the science of music from corruption. Of these the most ancient were the Neapolitan ones—Santa Maria di Loreto (1537), I Poveri di Gesu Cristo (1589), La Pietà de' Turchini (1583), San Onofrio (1583), which all sprang from the first school of music founded at Naples (1496) by Jean Tinctor, [App. p.597 "the date of the foundation of the first school by Tinctor is probably much earlier than 1496, as he left Italy in 1490. [See Tinctoris, iv. 128.]"] a Fleming, reconstituted by Gesualdo, Prince of Venosa, and Alessandro Scarlatti, and illustrated by a long roll of eminent musicians. [See Naples.] [App. p.597 "The dates of the various Neapolitan Institutions are more correctly given under Naples, ii. 444–6."]

The Conservatories of Venice arose out of the school founded by another Fleming, Willaert, at the same date with that of Naples, and were also four in number:—L'Ospedale della Pieta, Dei Mendicanti, Degl' Incurabili, L'Ospedaletto de' SS. Giovanni e Paolo. [See Venice.] Nor does this list include the various 'chapel schools' of music for the choirs of the great cathedrals, after the pattern of the musical school founded in the 6th century by Gregory the Great for the Pontifical Chapel at Rome, the archives of which were destroyed in the sack of Rome by Charles V, 1527. [See Rome.]

The Venetian Conservatories have ceased to exist, those of Naples are now represented by a Royal Neapolitan College, and there is a 'Reale Conservatorio di Musica' extant and flourishing at Milan.

The Conservatoire of Paris is described in the preceding article. The Conservatoriums of Leipzig (founded through the exertions of Mendelssohn in 1843), Vienna, and other German towns, will be mentioned under the names of those places.

[ C. M. P. ]

CONSONANCE is a combination of notes which can sound together without the harshness which is produced by beats disturbing the smooth flow of the sound.

The consonances which are within the limits of the octave, and the ratios of the vibrational numbers of their notes are—

The octave . . 1 : 2.
Fifth . . . 2 : 3.
Fourth . . . 3 : 4.
Major third . 4 : 5.
Minor third . 5 : 6.
Major sixth . 3 : 5.
Minor sixth . 5 : 8.

CON SPIRITO, 'with spirit'; an indication oftener found in Haydn and Mozart than in later compositions.

CONSTRUCTION is the writing of a piece of music according to an appreciable plan.

The element of construction is most important in instrumental music, where there is no accessory interest to keep the mind engaged. In all