Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 2.djvu/428

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416
MUSICAL ANTIQUARIAN SOCIETY.
MUSICA MENSURATA.

The systems they set forth are, of course, progressive; and a sufficiently explicit summary of their successive stages of development will be found in the Articles Notation, Time-Table, and others therein mentioned.

[ W. S. R. ]

MUSICA TRANSALPINA. The name of the first printed collection of Italian madrigals with English words. It was published in London in 1588 (the dedicatory epistle is dated Oct. 1) soon after Byrd had issued his 'Psalmes, Sonets, and Songs,' the first printed collection of English madrigals. The title is 'Musica Transalpina. Madrigales translated of foure, five and sixe parts, chosen out of diuers excellent Authors, with the first and second part of La Verginella, made by Maister Byrd vpon two Stanz's of Ariosto, and brought to speak English with the rest. Published by N. Yonge, in fauour of such as take pleasure in Musick of voices. Imprinted at London by Thomas East, the assignè of William Byrd. 1588. Cum Priuelegio Regiæ Maiestatis.' Nicholas Yonge, the compiler, tells us that during his residence in London he had annually received music books from Italy and elsewhere, and that his house was much resorted to by gentlemen and merchants, English and foreign, attracted by the music which was daily performed there; that five years previously a gentleman had translated many Italian madrigals, and that he, having obtained copies, had often been importuned to publish them, and had at length done so. The number of madrigals in the collection is 57, viz. 16 by Ferabosco, 10 by Marenzio, 4 each by Palestrina and Filippo di Monte, 3 by Conversi, 2 each by Byrd, Fagnient, Donato, Orlando di Lasso, Ferretti and Felis, and one each by di Macque, Pordenoni, de Vert, Verdonck, Palestina, Rinaldo del Mel, Bertani and Pinello. In the table of contents the original initial Italian words are given, side by side with the English. In 1597 Yonge published a second book under the same name, containing 24 madrigals, viz. 6 by Ferabosco, 3 each by Marenzio, Croce and Quintiani, 2 each by Eremita and Palavicino, and one each by Vecchi, Nanino, Venturi, Feliciani, and Bicci. The madrigals in both books are very judiciously chosen, and many are still in constant use. The English words are almost literal translations of the original Italian, and are generally well fitted to the notes, but as verses are singularly crude, and in some instances—notably the well-known 'Cynthia, thy song and chanting' of Giovanni Croce—almost unmeaning.

[ W. H. H. ]

MUSICAL ANTIQUARIAN SOCIETY, THE, 'for the publication of scarce and valuable works by the early English composers,' was established in 1840, and commenced its publications in November of that year. Specimens of old English melody had been reproduced in 'A Collection of National English Airs,' then recently completed, and this society was designed to afford specimens of the English school of harmony in and after the madrigalian era. As motets, madrigals, and other choral music were originally published only in separate parts, it became necessary, for this object, to reproduce them in score. The separate parts were difficult of attainment, and not in all cases correct; the editors had therefore a considerable amount of labour, and occasionally of thought, in making the scores. Nevertheless, the duties were cheerfully undertaken by eminent musicians of the time, some of whom added biographies of the composers, or other interesting introductory matter—all without remuneration, as the object was a national one.

Nineteen works were published, in large folio, and to these were added sixteen corresponding folios of compressed scores by Professor G. A. Macfarren. These were undertaken by the publisher on his own responsibility, with a view of increasing the subscription list. The council of the society had decided against the addition of accompaniments under the vocal scores. Besides the editors, there were many eminent musicians who assisted on the council and at the rehearsal of each work, being then occasionally called upon to advise in cases of doubtful notes.

The society lasted seven years, and in its second year numbered nearly a thousand members, but they gradually fell away, chiefly alleging as reasons that the works were more fitted for societies than for private families, in which there are rarely a sufficient number of voices; and, secondly, that the books occupied too much space. The annual subscription was one pound, and the works were supplied to the members at prime cost.

The nineteen works issued by the society were:—

  1. A Mass for 5 voices, by William Byrd. Edited by E. F. Rimbault.
  2. The first set of Madrigals by John Wilbye. Edited by James Turle.
  3. Madrigals and Motets for 5 voices, by Orlando Gibbons. Edited by Sir George Smart.
  4. Dido and Æneas, a tragic opera by Henry Purcell. Edited by G. A. Macfarren.
  5. The first set of Ballets for 5 voices by Thomas Morley. Edited by E. F. Rimbault.
  6. Bk. I of Cantiones sacræ for 5 voices, by William Byrd. Edited by W. Horsley.
  7. Bouduca, a tragedy by Henry Purcell. Edited by E. F. Rimbault.
  8. The first set of Madrigals by Thomas Weelkes. Edited by Edward J. Hopkins.
  9. Fantasies in 8 parts composed for Viols, by Orlando Gibbons. Edited by E. F. Rimbault.
  10. King Arthur, an opera, by Henry Purcell. Edited by Professor Edward Taylor.
  11. The whole Book of Psalms with their wonted tunes, in 4 parts, as published by Thomas Este. Edited by E. F. Rimbault.
  12. The first set of Songs by John Dowland. Edited by William Chappell.
  13. Airs or Fa las by John Hilton. Edited by Joseph Warren.
  14. A collection of Anthems by M. Este, T. Ford, Weelkes, and Bateson. Edited by E. F. Rimbault.
  15. Madrigals by John Bennet. Edited by E. J. Hopkins.
  16. The second set of Madrigals by John Wilbye. Edited by George William Budd.
  17. The first set of Madrigals by Thomas Bateson. Edited by E. F. Rimbault.
  18. Parthenia, or the first music ever printed for the Virginals, by W. Byrd, John Bull, and Orlando Gibbons. Edited by E. F. Rimbault.
  19. Ode composed for St. Cecilia's Day by Henry Purcell. Edited by E. F. Rimbault.

Among members of the council not included in the above list were Sir John Goss, Sir W. Sterndale Bennett, Sir Henry Bishop, Henry Smart, George Hogarth, William Hawes, Charles Lucas, Charles Neate, John Barnett, Tom Cooke, George Cooper, W. H. Callcott, J. Blackbourn, W. Bayley, E. Hawkins, I. Moscheles, and others. The late Dr. Rimbault acted throughout as hon. secretary, and W. Chappell, the projector of the society, acted for about five years as treasurer and manager of the publications. He was then