Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 3.djvu/450

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438

��SCOTCH SYMPHONY.

��56), one of the works in which he recorded the impressions of his Scotch tour in 1829. Other results of that expedition are the 'Hebrides' overture, the PF. Fantasia in Fff minor (op. 28), originally entitled by its author ' Sonate dcossaise,' the PF. Fantasia in A minor, op. 16, no. I, and the two-part song ' O wert thou in the cauld cauld blast.'

The subject of the opening Andante of the Symphony dates from his visit to Holyrood in the evening of July 30, 1829, when it was written down. The Symphony was planned and begun during his residence in Italy in 1831, but was not finally finished till Jan. 20, 1842, the date on the finished score. It was first performed at a Gewandhaus Concert on March 3 of the same year, again at the Gewandhaus Concert next fol- lowing. He then brought it to England, conducted it at the Philharmonic Concert, June 13, 1842, and obtained permission to dedicate it to Queen Victoria.

The passage for flutes, bassoons, and horns, connecting the end of the first movement with the scherzo, was, on the authority of Prof. Mac- farren, put in after the rehearsal (under Sterndale Bennett) at the Philharmonic, and added by Goodwin, the copyist, to the Leipzig MS. parts. The score and parts were published (as Symphony no. 3) by Breitkopf & Hartel in March 1851.

The work is peculiar among Mendelssohn's symphonies from the fact that it is not separated by the usual pauses. This is especially enjoined in a preface by the author prefixed to the score, in which the titles and tempi are given differently from what they are at the head of the movements themselves. [G.]

SCOTISH MUSIC. As national music, that of Scotland has long been held in high esteem. Early notices of it may be meagre, but are always laudatory. Unfortunately, there are no means of proving what it was in remote times, for the art of conveying a knowledge of sounds by comprehensible written signs was a late inven- tion, and music handed down by mere tradition is always most untrustworthy. Even after the invention of musical writing, the learned men who possessed the art employed it almost entirely in the perpetuation of scholastic music, having ap- parently an equal contempt for melody in general, and for the tunes prized by the uneducated vulgar. There is a belief that the earliest Scotish music was constructed on a series of sounds which has been styled Pentatonic, not, however, peculiar to Scotland, for airs of a similar cast have been found in countries so wide apart as China and the \Vest Coast of Africa. Many have conceived the idea that the style was brought into this island by its earliest known inhabitants the little dark men of the Iberian race. Others, with more or less probability, ascribe its introduction to the Celts, whose love of music is generally admitted. As no evidence is or can be offered on either side, it is sufficient to mention the conjectures.

It is a remarkable fact that the first to write a history of Scotish music based on research was an Englishman, Joseph Kitson, a celebrated anti-

��SCOTISH MUSIC.

quary and critic, who wrote towards the end of last century. He seems to have been a man of irascible temperament, but love of truth lay at the root of his onslaughts upon Johnson, Warton, Percy, Pinkerton, and others. Any assertion made without sufficient evidence, he treated as falsehood, and attacked in the most uncompromis- ing manner. His * Historical Essay on Scotish Song' has so smoothed the way for all later writers on the subject that it would be ungenerous not to acknowledge the storehouse from which his successors have drawn their information iu many cases without citing their authority. The early portion of the Essay treats of the poetry of the songs, beginning with mere rhymes on the subject of the death of Alexander III. (1285), the siege of Berwick (i 296), Bannockburn (1314), and so on to the times of James I. (1393-1437), whose thorough English education led to his being both a poet and a musician. His ' truly excellent composition At Beltayne or Peblis to the play is still held in high esteem,' but of his music there are no remains. This is the more to be regretted as a well-worn quotation from Tassoni states that ' Non pur cose sacre compose in canto, ma trovb da se stesso una nuova musica lamentevole e mesta, differente da tutte 1'altre ' James (first) King of Scotland not only wrote sacred compositions for the voice, but found out of himself a new style of music, plaintive and mournful, differing from every other.' This de- scription of 'plaintive and mournful ' agrees very well with one style of Scotish music ; and as the King wrote poetry to please his unlettered subjects he may also occasionally have composed music of an equally popular cast. That James improved Scotish music need not be doubted, but it is altogether absurd to suppose that he invented a style that must have been in existence long before his era. The quotation, however, serves to show that in Italy James and not Rizzio most gratuitously supposed to have aided the development of Scotish music was believed to have originated or amended this style. As Tassoni flourished soon after Kizzio's time, he had an opportunity of knowing somewhat more of the question than writers who came a century and a half later. George Farquhar Graham has at some length controverted the Rizzio myth. Graham was a very competent judge of such matters, and believed that some of our airs might be of the I5th century; though the earliest to which a date can now be affixed is the ' Lament for Flodden,' 1513, of which further mention will be made.

As so little is known of the popular music of the 1 5th century, a few extracts from the accounts of the Lords High Treasurers of Scot- land may be found interesting. They show the value placed on the services of musicians who at various times visited the Courts of James III. and James IV. Scotish money being usually reckoned as worth only one twelfth of English money, the payments seem very small ; but are not so in reality. For on consulting a table of prices of provisions supplied for a banquet

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