Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 3.djvu/630

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618

��SONG.

��which emphasised the final rhyme, and by cover- ing two lines of the poetry with one phrase of the melody constructed a symmetrical arrangement.

���mir ist's bald aus;

��jetzt wer-densmlch bald

��fun- ren belm Schand-thorhln - aus. It will be noted in the above example that the half-close is on the dominant harmony ; and this principle, which was originally a peculiar attri- bute of the Volkslied, has been gradually intro- duced into all other kinds of music, and it is now one of the most important factors of form. [See FORM, vol. i. p. 543.] Many of the Volkslieder were composed in ecclesiastical modes ; but un- taught vocalists, singing purely by instinct, soon learnt to avoid the difficult and harsh intervals common to some of the modes, and by degrees used none but the Ionian mode, in which alone the dominant principle can have full weight. If the Ionian mode (our own modern scale of C major) be examined, it will be seen to fall into two exactly equal parts, with the semitones oc- curring in the same place of each division :

��|C,D,O.| G, A, ETC. As C, the tonic, is the principal note in the first divisions, so is G- the dominant in the second. And it very soon became a practice to make the first half of a stanza pause on the dominant har- mony, and the second half to close on the tonic. The form is generally very concise, as in Example 5, but looser forms are sometimes met with, and were probably due to the influence of the Church. To the same influence we may undoubtedly ascribe the melodic melismas which now and then occur in strophical melo- dies. In the Gregorian music, where little at- tention'was paid to rhythm, the melody might be indefinitely prolonged upon a convenient vowel ; and similarly we sometimes find in the Volkslied many notes given to one word, simply because it is an easy word to sing; thus

��Es stehtein lind In di-sem tal, achGottlwas

��sie da. Sle will mir hel- fen trau

��i

��- - - ren.dassich so gar kein Bu - len nab;

��dass ich so gar kein Bu-leu hab.

��SONG.

These melodic melismas also allow the voice great scope in the so-called 'Kehrreim' or re- frain. Another noticeable peculiarity of rhythm in the Volkslied is the variety of ways in which the metre is treated. In many instances the time changes with every bar, and the following example illustrates a different representation of the metre in every line of the stanza l :

_ Ionian.

��Ent - lau - bet 1st der Be - raubt werd' ich so

��wal - de bal - de

��di - sera win feins - lieb, macht

��mien

��kalt alt

��das ich die schOust muss met - den, die

��mir go - fal - -

��lea thut.

��The metre of the verse is always simple, usually Trochaic or Iambic : dactyls or spondees are rare. Unlike the songs of many other countries, the melody of the Volkslied maintains a complete independence of the accompanying instrument, and is therefore always vocal and never instru- mental.

The Volkslied would seem to have fixed as it were instinctively our modern major tonal system ; and moreover songs even of the 1 5th century are extant which were undoubtedly written in minor keys. The following melody clearly belongs to the old system, but the care with which the leading note Gj is avoided, and the intervals on which the principal rhymes fall, make it evident that the A minor key was in- tended.

��Es warb em schO-ner Jttng

��ling fl - ber ein

��brei-ten See! Urn el - nes KOnigs Toch

��Leid go schah

��Ihm WebTV . . . . um ein - es

��KOniges Toch - - ter nachLeid ges-chah ihm Weh.2

Consideration has thus far been given to the very important contributions of the Volkslied

1 See Bohme, p. 835. The melody and words of this example are taken from the ' Gassenhawerlin,' 1535, no. 1. There are many ver- sions of this fine melody: we often find it in collections subsequent to 1540. set to the morning hymn 'Ich dank Dir, Hebe Herre,' and with this setting it appears in all chorale-books down to the present day.

2 Georg Forster, ' Ein Ausszug guter alter, neuer Teutschen Lied- lein in fiinf Theilen und mehriach neu aufgelegt in der Zeit voa 15391556,' i. 49. This is one of the numerous versions of the old legend of the Swimmer. Another version commences ' Ach Elslein, liebes Elselein,' which is found in all the old collections of the 16th century. For instance, in Joh. Ott, 1534, no. 37; Schmeltzel, Quod- libetx.1544; Bhaw, Bicinia ii. 1545. no. 19. etc. In Haas Judeukonig't

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