Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/575

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FRENCH HORN.
563
FRETS.

and these, organised into 'calls' or signals, serve to direct the order of the chase. At the first introduction of the Horn into the Orchestra it was much objected to on this account; and its tones were considered coarse and boisterous, only fit for the open air and for woodland pastimes. [Horn.]

[ W. H. S. ]

FRENCH SIXTH. The name formerly used for the chord of the Augmented or extreme sixth, when accompanied by the third and augmented fourth of its bass. { \override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f << { <d'' fis''>4 } \\ { aes } \\ { } \\ { c'' } >> } [See Sixth; German Sixth; Italian Sixth.]

FRESCOBALDI, Girolamo, the most distinguished organist of the 17th century, born at Ferrara 1587 or 8, as is conjectured from the date on his first composition—1608. He studied under Alessandro Milleville, also a native of Ferrara. Quadrio tells us that he possessed a singularly beautiful voice; and it is certain that while still a youth he enjoyed a great reputation both as singer and organist. In 1608 he was at Antwerp, as he dates from there the preface to his first book of 5-part Madrigals (Antwerp, Phalesio) dedicated to Guido Bentivoglio, Archbishop of Rhodes; but he must have quickly returned to Italy, as his second book was published at Milan in the same year. In 1614 he was in Rome, and by the following year was regular organist at St. Peter's. His first performance there attracted, according to Baini, an audience of 30,000 persons. Froberger was his pupil from Sept. 30, 1637, to April 1641, and thus the noble style of his Organ playing was handed on to other schools. The date of his death is unknown.

Frescobaldi's compositions are important, and give us a high idea of his powers. He was the first to play tonal fugues on the organ, if we except Samuel Scheidt, a German contemporary but little known. His works comprise, besides the two named above—'Ricercari e canzoni francesi' (Rome, Borboni, 1615); 'Toccate ... e partite d'intavolatura' (1613–27–37–57); 'Seoondo libro di toccata etc.' (Rome 1616); 'Primo libro delle canzoni a 1, 2, 3, 4 voci' (Rome 1628); 'Primo libro, Arie musicali' (Florence 1630); 'Fiori musicali,' op. 12 (Rome 1635); and 'Capricci sopra diversi sogetti' (Rome 1627, Venice 1626). An extract book of Dr. Burney's in the British Museum (Add. MSS. 11,588) contains a copy of the first of these works. A Canzona for the organ will be found in Hawkins (chap. 130), and many other pieces in Coinmer's 'Musica sacra,' and 'Collection des compositions,' etc., and F. Riegl's 'Praxis Organcedi' (1869).

[ F. G. ]

[App. p.642 "We may supplement the notice of this artist in vol. i. p. 563 by giving the results of more recent enquiries with regard to his life. An article by F. X. Haberl in Kirchenmusikalisches Jahrbuch für das Jahr 1887 (Regensburg) produces documentary evidence which shows that Frescobaldi was born in 1583 (register of his baptism in cathedral of Ferrara, Sept. 9, 1583), and that he died March 2, 1644. Not Alessandro Milleville, as stated in vol. i. (who died 1580), but Luzzasco Luzzaschi (1545–1607) organist of Ferrara Cathedral, was Frescobaldi's teacher. Already in 1608 he was appointed organist of St. Peter's, Rome, where he remained in the first instance till 1628. In that year, dissatisfied apparently with his scanty pay at Rome, he sought leave of absence, and accepted an invitation to Florence from Ferdinand II, Grand Duke of Tuscany, who named him his organist. Social and political troubles in Tuscany obliged him to leave Florence in 1633; and returning to Rome, he was re-installed in his former post as organist of St. Peter's, which he continued to hold till 1643. Haberl's article contains a careful bibliography of all the known works of Frescobaldi, and invites subscriptions towards a new edition of them. It may also be added that within the last year Messrs. Breitkopf & Härtel, Leipzig, have published in their 'Alte Meister,' edited by Ernst Pauer (Nos. 61–66) 12 Toccatas of Frescobaldi, presumably those of 1614, but it would be well if modern reprints always stated the source whence they are derived."]

[ J. R. M. ]

FRETS (Fr. Les tone; Ital. Tasto; Ger. Bunde, Bünde, Tonbunde, Bänder, Griffe, Bundsteg). On stringed instruments that have fingerboards, like the lute or guitar, the small pieces of wood or other material fixed transversely on the fingerboard at regular intervals are called frets. The object they serve is to mark off the length of string required to produce a given note. Pressure upon a string immediately above a fret makes at the point of contact of string and fret a temporary 'nut,' and the string, set in motion as far as the bridge on the soundboard by plucking with plectrum or finger, or bowing, gives a higher note in proportion to the shortening of the string. Frets therefore correspond in their use with the holes in the tube of a wind instrument.

The use of frets to give certainty to the fingers in stopping the notes required is of great antiquity, the Chinese in a remote age having had moveable frets for the strings of their Ché. The Hindu Vina, a fingerboard instrument with nineteen frets, is of divine and therefore remote origin. And the Egyptians, as may be seen in the British Museum, depicted by themselves about the time of Moses, had either frets or coloured lines serving a like purpose on the fingerboards of their lutes. In the present day the Balaika [App. p.642 "Balalaïka" of the Russian country people has coloured lines that serve for frets. It is most likely that the use of frets came into Europe through Spain and Southern France from the Arabs. In the Middle Ages bow instruments had them, as well as those played with plectrum or finger. The Rebec, the Viols da gamba, da braccio, d'amore, the Italian Lire, Lirone, all had them. But the French Gique of the 12th–14th centuries, like our modern fiddles, had none. In the modern highly-developed technic they would be an impediment, and the feeling for temperament has only been satisfied by their rejection. In lutes, guitars, and zithers, however, they are retained. In performance the end of the finger must be placed immediately above the fret, and not upon it, as vibration would be interfered with; while if too much above, the string would jar upon the fret.

The fingerboard has been differently divided in different epochs and countries according to the scale-system prevailing. In Persia and Arabia there would be smaller division than our chromatic, third tones as well as half. [App. p.642 "although the third of a tone is almost a chromatic semitone, it does not appear that either Persian or Arab lutenists have used equal thirds of a tone. The Arabic (and Egyptian) division has been proved to be a succession of three intervals, smaller than an equal semitone, which are known as 'limmas' or 'commas.'"] To mark off the hemitonic division, the eighteenth part of the length of the string to the bridge must be measured off from the nut or ledge at the top of the fingerboard over which the strings pass—in Italian capo tasto, 'head fret.' [Capo Tasto.] This gives the place to fix the first fret. Another eighteenth from this fret to the bridge gives the place of the second, and so on until the division is complete. The method implies a nearly equal temperament and uniform tension, but in practice there is room for some modification by the finger. High frets demand a greater finger pressure, and slightly sharpen the pitch of the notes. To correct this the frets must be shifted towards the nut. The Hindu uses finger pressure, or in other words, greater tension, to get his half-tones [App. p.642 "quarter-tones"] from a diatonic [App. p.642 "chromatic"] fret system. To the instrument maker the disposition of the frets is a difficult task, requiring nice adjustment. On the side that the strings are thicker the frets should be higher, and the fingerboard must be concave in the direction of its length to allow the thicker strings to vibrate. The frets are gradually lowered as they descend towards the bridge, the chanterelle, or melody-string, having often a