Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 3.djvu/504

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.



��the theatre, and even occasionally in orchestral music. Instances will be found in the march in Beethoven's ' Egmont ' music ; in Spohr's ' Weihe der Tone' Symphony; in Raffs ' Lenore,' and in the ' Marche au supplice ' of Berlioz's ' Sym- phonic fantastique.' Rossini has employed it in the 'Gazza ladra' overture, where it is said to indicate the presence of soldiers in the piece ; in that to the ' Siege of Corinth,' in the accom- paniment to Marcello's psalm-tune which in the score is oddly designated as a 'Marche lugubre grecque.' [DRUM 3.] [V.deP.]

SIEGE DE CORINTHE, LE. Lyric tragedy in 3 acts ; words by Soumet and Balocchi, music by Rossini. Produced at the Acade'mie Oct. 9, 1826. It was an adaptation and ex- tension of ' Maometto Secondo,' produced in 1820. The Andante of the overture, entitled ' Marche lugubre grecque,' is framed on a motif of 8 bars, taken note for note from Marcello's 2 1st Psalm, but with a treatment by the side-drum (Caisse roulante) and other instruments of which Mar- cello can never have dreamt. [G.]

SIEGE OF ROCHELLE, THE. A grand original opera, in 3 acts ; words by Fitzball, music by Balfe. Produced at Drury Lane Theatre Oct. 29, 1835. The subject is identical with that of ' Linda di Chamouni.' [G.]

SIFACE, GIOVANNI FRANCESCO GROSSI,DETTO. Too few details are known about the life of this artist, though all the accounts of him for the most part as contradictory as they are meagre agree in representing him as one of the very greatest singers of his time. He was born at Pescia in Tuscany, about the middle of the 1 7th century, and is said to have been a pupil of Redi. If so, this must have been Tommaso Redi, who became chapel-master at Loretto towards the end of the 1 7th century, although, as he was Siface's contemporary, it seems improbable that he should have been his instructor. Siface was admitted into the Pope's chapel in April 1675. This dis- proves the date (1666) given by Fe'tis and others for his birth, as no boys sang then in the Sistine choir. He would seem at that time to have been already known by the sobriquet which has always distinguished him, and which he owed to his famous impersonation of Siface or Syphax in some opera, commonly said to be the 'Mitridate' of Scarlatti ; an unlikely supposition, for besides that Scarlatti's two operas of that name were not written till some 40 years later, it is not easy to see what Syphax can have to do in a work on the subject of Mithridates.

Siface's voice, an ' artificial soprano,' was full and beautiful ; his style of singing, broad, noble, and very expressive. Mancini extols his choir- singing as being remarkable for its excellence. In 1679 he was at Venice for the Carnival, acting with great success in the performances of Palla- vicini's opera 'Nerone,' of which a description may be found in the ' Mercure gal ant ' of the same year. After this he came to England, and Hawkins mentions him as pre-eminent among all the foreign singers of that period. He was lor a


time attached to James II.'s chapel, 1 but soon returned to Italy. In the second part of Play- ford's collection, * Musick's Handmaid' (1689), there is an air by Purcell, entitled ' Sefauchi's farewell,' which refers to Siface's departure from this country.

This great singer was robbed and murdered by his postilion, while travelling, some say from Genoa to Turin, others, from Bologna to Ferrara. According to Hawkins this happened about the year 1699. [F.A.M.]

SIGNALE FUR DIE MUSIKALISCHE WELT ' Signals for the musical world' a well- known musical periodical, at the head of its tribe in Germany. It was founded by Bartholf Senff of Leipzig, who remains its editor and proprietor, and its first number appeared on Jan. 1, 1842. It is 8vo. in size and is more strictly a record of news than of criticism, though it occasionally contains original articles of great interest, letters of musi- cians, and other documents. Its contributors include F. Hiller, von Billow, Bernsdorf, C. F. Pohl, Richard Pohl, Stockhausen, Szarvady, Marchesi, and many other of the most eminent mu.-dcal writers. Though not strictly a weekly publication, 52 numbers are published yearly. [G.]

SIGNALS. The drum and bugle calls or ' sounds ' of the army. [See SOUNDS.] [G.]

SIGNATURE (Fr. Signes accicfentales ; Ger. Vorzeichnung, properly regulare Vorzeichnuny). The signs of chromatic alteration, sharps or flats, which are placed at the commencement of a composition, immediately after the clef, and which affect all notes of the same names as the degrees upon which they stand, unless their influence is in any case counteracted by a con- trary sign.

The necessity for a signature arises from the fact that in modern music every major scale is an exact copy of the scale of C, and every minor scale a copy of A minor, so far as regards the intervals tones and semitones by which the degrees of the scale are separated. This uni- formity can only be obtained, in the case of a major scale beginning on any other note than C, by the use of certain sharps or flats ; and instead of marking these sharps or flats, which are con- stantly required, on each recurrence of the notes which require them, after the manner of AC- CIDENTALS, they are indicated once for all at the beginning of the composition (or, as is custom- arv, at the beginning of every line), for greater convenience of reading. The signature thus shows the key in which the piece is written, for since all those notes which have no sign in the signature are understood to be naturals (na- turals not being used in the signature), the whole scale may readily be inferred from the sharps or flats which are present, while if there is no sio-nature the scale is that of C, which consists of naturals only. [See KEY.] The follow- ing is a table of the signatures of major scales.

1 Evelyn heard him there. Jan. 30, 1687. and on April 19 following at Fepys's house. He speaks of him in highly commendatory terms,

�� �