Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 3.djvu/605

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should also be made of Gombert, Josquin's cele- brated pupil. And Certon has shown in his

  • Je ne fus jamais si ayse' what excellence the

French polyphonic chanson can attain in capable hands.

The effects of the great change which came jver vocal music at the end of the l6th century ?, perhaps, more marked in France and Bel- ium than elsewhere. Polyphonic music, whether

masses or in madrigals, had been, as we have seen, the forte of the Gallo-Belgian school ; but when once the monodic system had gained uni- versal recognition, polyphonic music began to decline even where it had flourished most, and the Gallo-Belgian school surrendered its indivi- duality by absorption into the Italian school. Thenceforward original melodies of their own invention were expected of musicians, and the old practice of choosing themes for compositions in popular songs or current dance-tunes died out, though its disappearance was gradual, for no ancient or inveterate usage ever ceases all at once. 1 The French composers were likewise influenced by two other great innovations of this time, viz. the creation of discords by Monteverde, the application of music to the drama. In latter years of the i6th century songs for one voice began to find favour and to drive airs for 3, 4, 5, or 6 voices from the ground which they had

upied for more than 1 50 years. And that most ristic type of French songs, the romance, soon to commence, or rather to resume, a of popularity which is not yet ended, do defines the romance to be a song divided into several ' couplets.' The air of a romance is always simple, naive, and tender, and the theme of its words is generally amatory. Unlike the chanson, it is never political or satirical. It was one of the very earliest fruits of French grace, sensibility, and gallantry ; and, though its attributes may have varied from time to time, it has remained unchanged in its essence from the era of the Troubadours until now. There was, it is true, a period after the disappearance of the Troubadours, when the romance was threatened with extinction by its formidable rival, the poly- phonic chanson, but the I7th century saw it again in possession of all its old supremacy. Louis XIII., who was more at home in music than in politics, wrote several romances ; and his music-master, Pierre Gue'dron, was perhaps the foremost composer of romances of that time. Several charming examples of his works are extant, but the following, which was first pub- lished in a correct form a few years ago, is cer- tainly one of the best. 3 The modulations are truly remarkable for that date.

1 When public opinion first ceased to approve this practice, com- posers did not at once abandon it, but they no longer produced pieces which were avowedly parodies or adaptations; it now became their habit to attach their names to all their melodies, whether they were original or borrowed. As Scudo, for Instance, observes in his 'Cri- tique et Literature musicales.' the words of 'Charmante Gabrlelle' were no more written by Henri IV. than its music was written by his mattre de chapelle, Du Caurroy. The air Is really an old Nofl of unknown authorship; and probably some court poet, Desportes per- haps, wrote the words by order of the king. [See GABBIXLLE, CHARMANTE, vol. 1. p. 672.1

2 See Wekerlin, ' Echos du Temps pass5,' vol. 11L p. 10.

VOL. III. PT. 5.

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Gue'dron's 3 son-in-law, BoSsset, was the author of a very famous romance, * Cachez beaux yeux.* And the names of Beaulieu, Deschamps, Colasse, Bernier, Lefe'vre, Lambert, and Pierre Ballard may be recorded as other composers of this age. The last (whose ' Belle, qui m'avez blesseY was a popular romance) was a member of the famous Ballard family of music -printers : others of the family also were composers. As printers, they preserved a large quantity of brunettes* ('ou petits airs tendres'), drinking-songs, and dance* eongs. Here we may mention the drone bass, which occurs so frequently in French musettes and other dance-songs.

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Pierre Gue'dron, bora about 156S. was a singer In the King's band at Paris, and in 1601 succeeded Claude Lejeune as composer to the same. He was a great composer of Ballets, and was one of the chief persons to bring about the great monodic revolution, by which solo songs ousted the polyphonic compositions that had for so long ruled. A large number were published by the Ballards between 1606 and 1650. Gue'dron's son-in-law, Antoine Boesset, was not only the favourite song-composer, but also the best lutenUt of his time. [See BOESSKT. vol. 1. p. 296.]

4 BBUNITTI U defined by Diderot and d'Alembert. In their en- cyclopedia, to be a kind of chantou. with an easy and simple air, and written In a style which is gallant, but without affectation, and often tender and playful. The term is generally believed to have come from the young girls, 'petltes brunes' or 'brunettes,' to whom these songs were so frequently addressed. Ballard however maintains that the term was derived from the great popularity of a particular song In which the word was used. A well-known specimen is ' Dans notre village,' called In some collections 'Nous etions trois fllles a marier.' and attributed to Lefevre.

8 See Wekerlin, ' Echos du Temps passoY vol. 1L p. 118.

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