Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/621

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GOMBERT.
609
GOODGROOME.

contrapuntal skill had already become subservient to the beauty of the music. A further improvement was making itself visible in the art. Composers began more and more to vary the character of their music according to the subject of the words. No one worked with this end more in view than Gombert, and nothing helped him so much as the increasing love for secular chamber music. Musicians of his time, far from looking down upon secular music, were beginning to make it one of their great specialities. It gave them full scope for their fancy, they were hampered by no prescribed forma, they had no prejudices to overcome. It gave them free access and welcome into half the educated homes in Europe. Gombert seems to delight in it. He chooses the prettiest pastoral subjects, and sets them to descriptive music, and while the birds are discoursing the pleasures of Spring in notes imitating their natural language, while shepherd and shepherdess sing of love and the wolf meantime attacks their flock, or while all the stirring incidents of the 'chasse à courre' are vividly depicted to us, there is no extravagance, only the simple happy treatment which our own Haydn or Mozart would have employed when in such a mood. Gombert's love for nature is apparent in the very titles of his songs—'En ce mois delicieux'; 'Joyeux verger'; 'Le chant des oiseaux'; 'L'été chaud bouilloit'; 'Je m'en vois au vert bois,' etc. His power of description he carries into all the higher forms of his art, and his motets and psalms were not, in their time, surpassed for the wonderful manner in which the noble music blends itself with the ideas the words convey. Gombert has had one piece of good fortune in the last three centuries, of which few of his contemporaries can boast. One of his motets, the 'Pater Noster,' has been performed. M. Fétis tells us of the profound impression it created on the Paris audience at one of his historical concerts.—Eitner's Bibliographie der Musik-Sammelwerke (Berlin, 1877) mentions nearly 250 of Gombert's compositions, printed in upwards of 90 different collections between 1529 and 1573. A single motet, 'In nomine Jesu,' printed 26 years before any of these under the name Gompert in the Motetti B (Venice, Petrucci, 1503) must surely be the work of another composer.

GOMEZ, A. Carlos, a Portuguese by parentage and a Brazilian by birth, was born at Compinos July 11, 1839, was sent to Europe by the Emperor, and received his musical education at the Conservatorio of Milan. His début as a composer was made at the Teatro Fossati in Jan. 67 in a little piece called 'Se sa minga,' which had a remarkable success. His next was 'Il Guarany,' produced at La Scala March 19, 1870, and shortly after brought out at Genoa, Florence, and Rome. In this country it was first performed on July 13, 1872, at Covent Garden. This was followed by 'Fosca' at the Scala [App. p.651 "Feb. 16, 1873"], which was unsuccessful; and that by 'Salvator Rosa' (Genoa, Feb. 21, 74), again unsuccessful. Besides these operas Señor Gomez composed an ode entitled 'Il Saluto del Brasile,' which was performed in the Exhibition Building at Philadelphia in 1876 [App. p.651 "July 19"]. Gomez's music is full of spirit and picturesque effect, and is therefore popular, but it is wanting in originality, and too obviously indebted to Verdi and Meyerbeer. The best parts of Il Guarany—a Brazilian story—are said to have been those which are concerned with native subjects.

[ G. ]

GONG. (Fr. Tam-tam, from the Indian name.) This is a Chinese instrument, made of bronze (80 copper to 20 tin); in form, a thin round plate with the edges turned up, like a shallow sieve or tambourine. It is struck with a stick, ending in a large padded leather knob. The effect produced is an awful crash or clang, which adds considerably to the horrors of a melodramatic scene. Meyerbeer has even used it pianissimo with the orchestra, in 'Robert le Diablo' (scene of the resurrection of the nuns); and Cherubini has one stroke of it in his Requiem in C minor, absolutely solo (Dies iræ, bar 7). If a long-continued and loud noise is desired, it should first be struck very gently, and the force of the stroke gradually increased until the effect becomes almost terrific.

It is a remarkable property of the alloys of copper and tin, that they become malleable by being heated and then plunged into cold water. Gongs are thus treated after being cast, and are then hammered. This was a secret in Europe until found out some years ago by M. d'Arcet, an eminent French chemist.

[ V. de P. ]

GOODBAN, Thomas, was born at Canterbury about 1780 [App. p.651 "Dec. 1784"]. His mother was a vocalist, and his father combined the three qualifications of violinist, lay vicar of the cathedral, and host of the Prince of Orange tavern, where in 1779 he founded the Canterbury Catch Club. At seven years old Goodban became a chorister of the cathedral under Samuel Porter. After leaving the choir he was placed in a solicitor's office, but on his father's death, about 1798, changed the legal profession for that of music. In 1809 he was appointed a lay clerk in the cathedral, and in 1810, on the retirement of his cousin, Osmond Saffrey, was made leader and director of the Catch Club. In 1819 the members of the club presented him with a silver bowl and salver as a token of esteem.

Goodban was author of some instruction books for the violin and pianoforte, and of 'The Rudiments of Music,' published about 1825, a work once highly popular. He was also the inventor of a 'Musical Game' for imparting elementary instruction, and of 'Musical Cards' for teaching the theory of music. He died in his 79th year, May 4, 1863, leaving three sons, all members of the musical profession, viz. Charles, Mus. Bac. Oxon. (now retired from practice), Henry William, violoncellist, and Thomas, viola-player. His nephew, James Frederic, is a violinist, and organist of St. John's, Paddington.

[ W. H. H. ]

GOODGROOME, John, born about 1630, was a chorister in St. George's Chapel, Windsor. On the accession of Charles II in 1660 he was appointed a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal, and on