Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/690

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678
HARMONY.
 

exercised, and the devices which resulted were in some instances looked upon as everybody's property, and became quite characteristic of the particular form of art. As a type of these may be taken the following from Dufay, who lived in the 14th century, and has already been spoken of as being quoted by Kiesewetter—

{ \override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f \time 3/2 << \relative g' { g2. f4 d2 e1 } \new Staff { \clef bass \relative b { <b g>1. <g e,>1 } } >> }

In this the F is clearly taken as a passing note between G and E, and a note on the other side of the E is interpolated before the legitimate passage of the passing note is concluded. This particular figure reappears with astonishing frequency all through the polyphonic period, as in Josquin's Stabat Mater, in Palestrina's Missa Papæ Marcelli, in Gibbons's Hosanna, and in Byrd's Mass. But what is particularly noticeable about it is that it gets so thoroughly fixed as a figure in the minds of musicians that ultimately its true significance is sometimes lost sight of, and it actually appears in a form in which the discord of the seventh made by the passing note is shorn of its resolution. As an example of this (which however is rare) may be taken the following passage from the Credo in Byrd's Mass—

{ \override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f \time 4/2 \key d \minor \partial 1 << \relative a' << { r1 a2 d2. c4^"*" a2 c1 g } \\ { e2 g ~ g4 f d2 f1 e r } >> \new Lyrics \lyricsto "2" { et vi -- tam ven -- tu -- ri }
\new Staff { \clef bass \key d \minor \relative d' << { r1 r1. d2 a'2. g4 e1 } \\ { r1 r2 d, d'2. c4^"*" a2 c1 c,2 } >> } >> } etc.

In this the seventh in the treble and its counterpart in the bass never arrive at the B♭ on which they should naturally resolve, and musicians were probably so accustomed to the phrase that they did not notice anything anomalous in the progression. It is probable, moreover, that the device in the first instance was not the result of intellectual calculation—such as we are forced to assume in analysing the progression—but merely of artistic feeling; and in point of fact such artistic feeling, when it is sound, is to all appearances a complex intellectual feat done instinctively at a single stroke; and we estimate its soundness or unsoundness by applying intellectual analysis to the result. The first example given above stands this test, but the latter, judged by the light of the rules of Descant, does not; hence we must regard it as an arbitrary use of a well-known figure which is justifiable only because it is well-known; and the principle will be found to apply to several peculiar features which presently will be observed as making their appearance in harmonic music. The early harmonists proceeded in a similar direction in their attempt to give richness to the bare outline of the harmonic substructure by the use of grace-notes, appoggiaturas, anticipatory notes and the like, and by certain processes of condensation or prolongation which they devised to vary the monotony of uniform resolution of discords. Of these some seem as arbitrary as the use of the characteristic figure of the polyphonic times just quoted from Byrd, and others were the fruit of that kind of spontaneous generalisation which we recognise as sound. It is chiefly important to the present question to notice the principles which guided or seem to have guided them in that which seems to us sound. As an example of insertion between a discord and its resolution, the following passage from a Canzona by Frescobaldi may be taken—

{ \override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f \time 6/4 \key f \major << \relative e'' { ees16^"(a)" d ees f c d ees d^"(b)" a4 }
\new Staff { \clef bass \key f \major \relative a << { a4. bes8 c4 } \\ { f,1 } >> } >> } etc.

in which the seventh (a) is not actually resolved till (b); the principle of the device being the same as in the early example quoted above from Dufay. Bach carried this principle to a remarkable pitch, as for instance

{ \override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f \time 3/4 \key b \minor \relative b' << { b4 ~ b16 cis d e fis g b, aes d4 } \\ { b,4 cis2 b4 } >> } etc.

from the Fugue in B minor, No. 24 in the 'Wohltemperirte Clavier.'

The simple form of anticipation which appears with so much frequency in Handel's works in the following form—

{ \override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f \partial 2 << { d''4. c''8^"*" c''1 } \new Staff { \clef bass g,2 c1 } >> }

is found commonly in the works of the Italian composers of the early part of the 17th century. Several other forms also are of frequent occurrence, but it is likely that some of them were not actually rendered as they stand on paper, since it is clear that there were accepted principles of modification by which singers and accompanyists were guided in such things just as they are now in rendering old recitatives in the traditional manner, and had been previously in sharpening the leading note of the ecclesiastical modes. Hence it is difficult to estimate the real value of some of the anticipations as they appear in the works themselves, since the traditions have in many instances been lost. An anticipation relative melodically to the general composition of the tonic chord, which is also characteristic of modem music, occurs even as early as Peri, from whose 'Eurydice' the following example is taken—