The earliest mention of the falsetto in musical Europe is in reference to the Sistine Chapel, where Spaniards exceptionally gifted with this voice preceded that artificial class to whom since the 16th century alto and even soprano parts have been assigned.
limits. But it is all but impossible for a singer to keep both first and third registers in working order at the same time. The male counter-tenor, or alto voice, is almost entirely falsetto, and is generally accompanied by an imperfect pronunciation, the vowels usually partaking more or less of the quality of the Italian u or English oo, on which the falsetto seems to be most easily producible.
[ J. H. ]
FALSTAFF. A comic Italian opera in 2 acts; words by Maggioni, music by Balfe. Produced at Her Majesty's Theatre July 19, 1838.
FANDANGO. An Andalusian dance, a variety of the Seguidilla, accompanied by the guitar and castanets. In its original form the fandango was in 6-8 time, of slow tempo, mostly in the minor, with a trio in the major; sometimes, however, the whole was in a major key. Later it took the 3-4 tempo, and the characteristic Spanish rhythm . In this shape it closely resembles the seguidilla and bolero. One Fandango tune is given by Hawkins (Appendix, No. 33). Another has been rendered famous through its partial adoption by both Gluck and Mozart—the former in his Ballet of Don Juan, the latter in Figaro (end of Act 3). It is given in its Spanish form by Dohrn in the Neue Zeitschrift f. Musik (xi. 163, 7) as follows:—
The rhythm of the castanets was
Mozart's version is known and accessible; Gluck's will be found in the Appendix to Jahn's Mozart.
There is a curious piece of history said to be connected with this dance. Soon after its first introduction, in the 17th century, it was condemned by the ecclesiastical authorities in Spain as a 'godless dance.' Just as the Consistory were about to prohibit it, one of the judges remarked that it was not fair to condemn any one unheard. Two celebrated dancers were accordingly introduced to perform the fandango before the Consistory. This they did with such effect, that, according to the old chronicler, 'every one joined in, and the hall of the consistorium was turned into a dancing saloon.' No more was heard of the condemnation of the fandango.Similar dances to the fandango are the Tirana, the Polo, and the Jota Arragonesa.
[ E. P. ]
FANFARE. A French term of unknown origin—perhaps Moorish, perhaps onomatopoeic—denotes in strictness a short passage for trumpets, such as is performed at coronations and other state ceremonies. In England they are known as 'Flourishes,' and are played by the Trumpeters of Her Majesty's Household Cavalry to the number of eight, all playing in unison on E♭ trumpets without valves. The following, believed to date from the reign of Charles II, is the Flourish regularly used at the opening of Parliament, and was also performed at the announcement of the close of the Crimean War, the visit of the Queen and Prince of Wales to St. Paul's after the Prince's recovery, and so on:—
2. So picturesque and effective a feature as the Fanfare has not been neglected by Opera composers. No one who has heard it can forget the