Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 2.djvu/474

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��number of Voices exceeds thirty-two, the notes must be sung of different lengths, some Choirs taking each one as a Large, others as a Long, and so on. It is easy to see that a Canon of this kind is no work of Art at all. Arithmetically considered, it reduces itself to a very simple cal- culation ; while, musically, it is nothing more than an intolerable drawl on the Chord of G. But no Canon, written for so great a number of Voices, could possibly be founded on more than one single Chord. [W.S.R.]

NOEL (Old Fr. Nouel; Burgundian No4; Norman Nud ; Poitevin Nau ; Germ. Weiknachts Gesang ; Eng. Nowell, Nouell, Christmas Carol). A peculiar kind of Hymn, or Canticle, of mediaeval origin, composed, and sung, in honour of the Na- tivity of Our Lord.

The word Noel has so long been accepted as the French equivalent for 'Christmas,' that we may safely dispense with a dissertation upon its etymology. Moreover, whatever opinions may be entertained as to its root, it is impossible to doubt the propriety of retaining it as the generic name of the Carol : for we continually find it embodied in the Christmas Hymn or Motet, in the form of a joyous * exclamation ; and it is almost certain that this particular kind of Hymn was first cultivated either in France or Burgundy, and commonly sung there in very antient times.

Of the numerous early examples which have fortunately been preserved to us, the most inter- esting is, undoubtedly, the famous 'Prose de 1'fine.' This curious Carol was annually sung, at Beauvais, and Sens, on the Feast of the Cir- cumcision, as early as the I2th century; and formed an important part of the Ceremonial con- nected with a certain popular Festival called the ' Fete de I'Sne,' on which an ass, richly capari- soned, and bearing upon its back a young maiden with a child in her arms, was led through the city, in commemoration of the Flight into JEgypt, and finally brought in solemn procession to the Cathedral, while the crowd chaunted the follow- ing quaint, but by no means unmelodious ditty :


Carols ' Resonet in laudibus ' ( Wir loben all' das Kindelein), and ' Dies est laetitise ' (Der Tag der ist so freundlich) the latter, equally well known in Holland as 'Tis een dach van vrolichkeit.' Both these examples are believed to be as old as the 1 3th century; as is also another 'Tempus adest floridum' of equally tuneful character. 'In dulci jubilo' a curious mixture of Latin and Patois, set to a deliciously simple Melodv . may possibly be of somewhat later date.

These early forms were succeeded, in the i6th and 1 7th centuries, by Carols treated, with more or less success, in the Polyphonic style. The credit of having first so treated them is generally given to Francois Eustache du Caurroy, Maitre de Chapelle to Charles IX, Henri III, and Henri IV, on the strength of a collection of pieces, entitled ' Melanges de la Musique,' pub- lished, at Paris, in 1610 the year following his decease. But, Giovanni Maria Nanini, who died, at Rome, in 1607, has left us a magnificent example, in the form of a Motet ' Hodie Christus natus est ' in the course of which he introduces the exclamation, No ! Noe" ! with striking effect ; and Luca Marenzio published a similar composi- tion, adapted to the same words, as early as 1588. As Du Caurroy's collection was contained in a posthumous volume, it would perhaps be impossi- ble, now, to reconcile the claims of the rival Com- posers, as to priority of invention ; though the French Noels will, of course, bear no com- parison with those written in Italy, in point of excellence. Still, it is only fair to say that the Italian Composers seem to have excited no spirit of emulation among their countrymen ; while, for more than a century after the death of Du Caurroy, collections of great value appeared, from time to time, in France : such as Jean Fra^ois Dandrieu's 'Suite de Noels,' published early in the 1 8th century; 'Noei Borguignon de Gui Barozai,' 1720; 'Traduction des Noels Bour- guignons,' 1 735 ; ' Nouveaux Cantiques Spirituels Provenfaux,' Avignon, 1750; and many others. We subjoin a few bars of Nanini's Motet, and of one of Du Caurroy's Noels, as specimens of the distinctive styles of Italy, and France, at the

�� �oeginmng 01 tne 1 7tn century.

� �Or-l-en-tls par-ti-bus, Ad-ven-ta- vlt as - 1 - nus, Hez, sire Asnes, car chantez, Bel - le bouche re - chig-nez.


No - 6, No - 6, No - <!.



�Pulcher et for-tls - si - mus, Sar - ci - nis ap - Us - si - mus. Vous aurez du foln as - sez, Et de 1'avome a planlez.

�n No - i.

= ' f'r ? r f r

�No - <5, No -

Hez, sire As - nes, hez! Hez, sire As - nes, hez!

�,= J J J i -' j r-

� �Scarcely less popular in Germany, than the ' Prose de 1'Sne ' in France, were the beautiful

i A modern German critic, F. M. BShme, mistakes the vowels

�^ f . r ? \ f^=^

, No - <5, No - 6, No - - &


�similar cry of joy, and is greatly exercised at the admission of a Bacchanalian shout' into the Office-Books of Ihe Church! 'Stall Xmen der bacchische Freudenruf, eroaael' (Bohme. Das Oratorium; Leipzig, 1861.) [See Appendix, EVOVAE.]

�1 A A ^H-^ _J =- -&- \ \ ~^~ ~?y ~^ ~^-^

{ t. No - , 'NO - 6, No - i.

� �� �