Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 2.djvu/478

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466
NOTATION.
NORTH.

George Townshend Smith, then organist of Lynn, Norfolk, through whose exertions it was published in 1846 under the editorship of Dr. Rimbault. North, who was a skilled musical amateur, died at Rougham in 1733.

[ W. H. H. ]

NORWICH FESTIVAL. The establishment of Triennial Festivals at Norwich dates from the year 1824, but previous to this, Musical Festivals were held in 1770, 1802, 1809, 1811, 1813, 1814, and 1817. These generally consisted of two or more miscellaneous concerts held either in St. Andrew's Hall or the theatre, and of oratorios and selections of sacred music performed in the church of St. Peter's Mancroft. On these occasions the band was chiefly composed of local musicians, both amateur and professional, led by London principals under different conductors, the most prominent of whom was Dr. Beckwith. In 1824 the scheme of Triennial Festivals, after having been discussed for some years, was finally adopted on the motion of Mr. Philip Martineau, surgeon, of Norwich. A chorus of 150 voices was formed and trained by Mr. Edward Taylor, afterwards Gresham Professor, assisted by the Cathedral organist, Mr. Z. Buck. The band consisted of 110 performers, and the conductor was Sir George Smart. The Festival was attended by 10,087 people, and was a great financial success, the sum of £2411 4s. 2d. being handed over to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, after paying all expenses. Since 1824 Festivals have been held at Norwich trienially, but the pecuniary success has never been so great as in that year; in 1836, 1854, and 1869 the expenses were in excess of the receipts. The conductor from 1824 to 1836 was Sir George Smart; from 1839 to 1842, Professor Taylor; and from 1842 to 1878, Sir Julius Benedict. In 1839 Spohr was present, conducted his 'Calvary,' played his Concertino, 'Sonst und Jetzt,' and with Blagrove a Concertante for 2 violins. He would have come again in 1842 for the performance of his 'Fall of Babylon' if he could have obtained leave of absence from Cassel. It is impossible to give a list of all the artists who have sung at these Festivals; it would include the names of all the greatest vocalists of the century, from Mrs. Billington and Braham (in 1802) to Mme. Albani and Mr. Santley (in 1878). Handel's 'Messiah' has been performed at every Festival except four; and amongst less known works the following may be mentioned: Mozart's 'Davidde Penitente' (1848), Bexfield's 'Israel Restored' (1852), Pierson's 'Jerusalem' (1852), and 'Hezekiah' (1869), Molique's 'Abraham' (1860), and Handel's 'Passion Music' (1866). [App. p.732 "Add that in 1881 the festival was conducted by Signor Randegger, who still holds the post. The new works were Cowen's 'St. Ursula' and A. Goring Thomas's 'Sun-worshippers,' and, for orchestra alone, Barnett's 'Harvest Festival' and W. Macfarren's 'Henry V.' In 1884 the chief novelties were Mackenzie's 'Rose of Sharon' and Stanford's 'Elegiac Ode.' At this festival Mme. Albani was not engaged, the principal soprano music being sung by Miss Emma Nevada. In 1887 Mme. Albani again appeared, and contrary to previous practice, several of the younger English singers were engaged. The new works were both Italian oratorios, 'The Garden of Olivet,' by Bottesini, and Mancinelli's 'Isaias.'"]

[ W. B. S. ]

NOTA CAMBITA (Ital. Nota Cambiata, Germ. Wechselnote, Eng. Changing Note.) I. A Note of Irregular Transition: in other words, a Passing-Note, on the strong part of the measure; as opposed to the Note of Regular Transition, or true Passing-Note, which, though equally foreign to the harmony, produces a less discordant effect, because it invariably occurs upon the weak part of the measure.

In the following example from Cherubini, the D is a Changing, and the second G a Passing-Note.

<< \override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f \time 4/4 \new Staff { \relative c'' { r2 c | g c, | d^"*" e | f g^"†" | a b | c1 \bar "||" } }
\new Staff { \clef bass c1 e a f d c } >>

The use of Changing-Notes is only permitted, in strict Counterpoint, as a means of escape from some grave difficulty; and, of course, only in the Second, Third and Fifth Orders. [See Counterpoint; Part-Writing.]

II. Fux applies the term, Nota cambita,[1] to a peculiar Licence, by virtue of which the Polyphonic Composers, instead of resolving a Passing Discord, at once, suffered it to descend a Third, and then to rise a Second to its Resolution. Cherubini condemns this Licence, as one which should 'neither be admitted, nor tolerated, in strict Counterpoint.' Fux accounts for it by the omission of an imaginary Quaver. The norm of the passage is, he says, as at (a), in the following example. By leaving out the first Quaver, it is made to appear as at (b); by leaving out the second, as at (c).

{ \override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f \time 2/1 \new Staff << \new Voice { \relative d'' { \stemUp d4^"(a)" c8 b a4 b c1 | d4^"(b)" b a b c1 | d4^"(c)" c a b c1 \bar "||" } }
\new Voice { \relative d' { d1 c d c d c } } >> }

Cherubini recommends the form shown at (b). The common consent of the great Polyphonic Composers justifies the preference of (c); and their best defence lies in the exquisitely beautiful effects they produce by means of it. Without multiplying examples, we may mention innumerable instances in the 'Missa Papæ Marcelli,' and in Orlando Gibbons's Full Anthem 'Hosanna to the Son of David.' [See Harmony, p. 678.] The last-named Composition—one of the finest in existence, in the English Polyphonic School—derives a great part of its wonderful beauty from the judicious use of this unjustly condemned Licence.

[ W. S. R. ]

NOTATION (Lat. Notatio; Fr. Sémiographie; Germ. Notirang, Notenschrift, Tonschrift). The Art of expressing musical ideas in writing.

Apart from its intrinsic value, the history of Notation derives much collateral importance from the light it throws upon that of Music, generally. From its earliest infancy, the Art has known no period of absolute stagnation. Incessant progress has long been recognised as a fundamental law of its existence; and a more or less extensive change in its written language has been naturally demanded, at each successive stage of its development. This conceded, we can scarcely wonder that the study of such changes should materially aid our attempts to trace the story of its inner life.

Three different systems of Notation have been accepted as sufficient for all practical purposes, at different periods. In very early times, when Melody was simple, and Harmony unknown, musical sounds were represented by the Letters

  1. 'Nota cambita, ab Italis cambiata nuncupata.' (Gradus ad Parnassum, ed. 1725, p. 63.)