Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 3.djvu/612

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600

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��is less of ornament in Portuguese than in Spanish music. And the dance-music of Portugal is somewhat monotonous, as compared with that of Spain.

The popular poetry of the two countries has also much in common. Most of the Portuguese epic-romances are of Spanish origin, and none are anterior to the isth century. Even at the present day the Spanish and Portuguese romance- forms are identical, except where a slight di- vergence necessarily springs from differences of language and nationality. In the lyrics of both races the rhyme follows the assonance principle, and is a more important element of composition than the metre.

The dance-songs are always written in the binary rhythm ; and these are the least interest- ing of Portuguese songs. Though much less used than in Spain, the guitar is always em- ployed for the fado, a dance-song seldom heard outside towns, and properly belonging to the lowest classes of urban populations, though it has recently acquired some popularity among the higher classes. There are many varieties of fados or fadinhos, but they all have this same rhythm :

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��usually sung, as the Portuguese to sing, in thirds. The melody is Allegretto. ,

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��Other kinds of dance-songs are the chula, for accompanying which the machinho [see MA- CHETE, vol. i. p. 640 &] or the viola chuleira is used ; the malhao, the canninha verde, the landum, the fandango, and the vareira.

But Portugal (in this respect unlike Spain) also possesses a great quantity of genuine popular songs, which are not in any sense dance- music ; and these are especially characteristic productions of the country. Though, as a rule, written in modern tonality, it is in them that the traces of oriental influence are most visible. There is about them a careless ease, tinged with melancholy, which is the secret of their charm. They are generally sung by one voice without any accompaniment, and to the ears of foreigners have the sound of recitatives, as the rhythmical idea is often wholly obscured by the singer. 1 Scarcely more rhythmical are the festival-songs sung on certain days of the year ; of which the principal ones are 'O Sao Joao,' sung on St. John the Baptist's day ; ' As Janeiros,' sung at the New Year ; and Os Keis,' sung at the Epiphany. 2 Sao Joao' is a pretty little song,

1 Nos. 8, 7, and 11 In the collection called 'Album de Muslcas Nacionaes Portuguezas,' by J. A. Blbas, will give the reader some idea of this kind of song ; but they are spoilt by the modern accom- paniment.

2 'As Janeiros ' and ' Os Reis' are especially sung on the respective eves of the New Year and of the Epiphany. The minstrels go from door to door in the evening, singing the praises of the Inmates of the houses, and accompanying their songs with metal triangles, bells, etc. They are generally rewarded by the master of the house with money, sausages, or dried figs. But if they get nothing they sing-

' Esta casa cheira a breu

Aqui mora algum juden* (This house smells of tar ; Some Jew lives here) ; or else

' Esta casa cheira a unto

Aqui mora algum defunto' (This bouse smells of ointment ; there is a dead body In It).

��curiously recalling a portion of the Marseillaise.

Excepting the influence exercised upon the ecclesiastical music of Portugal during the i6th and iyth centuries by the Flemish school, Portu- guese music may be said to have escaped all foreign influences, until it fell under the spell of the Italian opera, a spell which has been strong upon it for a century or more. The modinha, the only kind of artistic song that Portugal has as yet produced, is its direct offspring. Though written by trained musicians, and sung by edu- cated people, both in character and form it is purely exotic, a mixture of the French romance and the Italian aria. The modinhas were ex- tremely popular in the first part of the present century; nor has there since been any great decline of their popularity. As artistic music, they cannot be said to hold a high rank, but the best of them are, at least, simple, fresh, and natural. Such are 'A Serandinha,' 'A Sal via,' 'As peneiras,' ' Mariquinhas meu amor.' 3 The favourite composers of modinhas are Domingos Schioppetta; two monks, J. M. da Silva and Jose* Marquis de Santa Rita ; and Frondoni. an Italian long resident in Lisbon, and author of the popular hymn of the revolution of Maria da Fonte (1848).

The best collections of Portuguese songs are the 'Album de Musicas naciones Portuguezas,' by Kibas : the ' Jor- nal de Modinhas com acompanhamento de Cravo pelos Milhores Afitores,' by F. D. Milcent; and 'Musicas e Canc.oSs populares colligidas da tradicao,' by Adeline Antonio das Neves e Mello (filho).

Information upon the subject has been most difficult to procure, since little seems to exist except in the pre- faces to the collections. The writer of the present article is indebted to Senor Bernardo V. Moreira de Sa above all other sources of information for the substance of this notice of Portuguese songs : and to him her warm acknowledgments are due.

ENGLAND.

Never within historic times has England been indifferent to the art of music. As France gave birth to the Trouveres,' and Germany to the ' Minnesingers,' BO did England in a remote age produce her own Bards, and afterwards her Scalds and Minstrels, her Gleemen and Harpers ; all of whom were held in high repute by their countrymen. The earliest known piece of music in harmony is the part-song ' Sumer is icumen in,' written about 1225 by John of Fornsete, a

s The last two are contained in the collection by Eibas, to which reference is made in a preceding note.

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