Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 3.djvu/631

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SONG.

to the determination of permanent form in music ; but its influence on the contemporary music also requires notice.

It has already been shown that the composers of other countries, in the I4th, I5th, and i6th centuries, took secular tunes as themes for their masses, motets, and other sacred works. The German composers did the same to a certain extent, but they more commonly employed the secular tunes in their secular polyphonic works. Nevertheless, as regards church music, the Volks- lied occupied a higher place in Germany than elsewhere; for it is not too much to say that more than half the melodies of the chorale-books were originally secular. Heinrich von Lauf- fenberg, in the 1 5th century, systematically set his sacred words to secular tunes; 1 but the Re- formation made the practice very much more common. The Reformers wished the congrega- tions to join as much as possible in the singing of hymns, and with that object they naturally preferred melodies which were familiar to the people. A well-known example of the com- bination of sacred words and secular melody is the song 'Isbruck, ich muss dich lassen,' set by Heinrich Isaak in 4 parts in I475, 2 with the melody in the upper part a rare arrange- ment at that time. After the Reformation this tune was adapted by Dr. Hesse to his sacred words ' O Welt, ich muss dich lassen' ; and in 1633 Paul Gerhardt wrote to it the evening hymn ' Nun ruhen alle Walder,' in which form it still remains a favourite in all Lutheran churches. 3 After many transformations, the old love-song, ' Mein gmlith ist mir verwirret,' * now lives in one of the most beautiful and solemn chorales of both the Lutheran and Roman Catholic churches, namely, * Haupt, voll Blut und Wunden,' which Bach has introduced so often in his Passionmusik according to S. Mat- thew. Again, 'Ich hort em frewlein klagen,' was adapted to ' Hillf Gott, wem soil ich klagen' ;

  • O lieber Hans versorg dein Gans,' to ' lieber

Gott, das dein Gebot'; and 'Venus, du und dein Kind' to ' Auf meinen lieben Gott.' Many dance- songs, especially the so-called ' Ringeltanze,' * were likewise set to sacred words. It should

��(1523) and Hans Neusledler's (1536) Lute-books, the melody Is always In A minor with the G fi marked. In the singing-books the sharp was never marked, but undoubtedly always used. In Neusledler's Lute- book it stands thus :

��Ach Els lein. lie - bes Els - lein main, Trie

��gem war Ich bet dir! So slnd zwel tiefo

��SONG.

��610

��Was

��ser wol zwl-schen dir und mir I

��however be understood, that even after the adoption of the Ionian mode in the Volkslied, and the consequent settlement of our modern tonality, a certain proportion of Volkslieder con- tinued to be written in the old ecclesiastical modes. Most of those which the church used were originally written in the old tonal system. Such as are still sung in churches have nearly all undergone a change; but there are a few exceptions, like the hymn 'Ach Gott thu' dich erbarmen,' which, according to the modern cho- rale-books, is still sung in the old Dorian mode,* although J. S. Bach, when using it, changed it into the modern D minor scale. In its original secular form it stands 7 thus : Dorian.

��^-Tr-rr-n=j J J 1 i

�~ PJ- i H

�4j)-4 *--^ J * -

Prison auf, Ihr Landsknecht al Wir lo - ben Gott den Hei

�1*e)l |,

- - le, seid - - - ren, dar

�1 I-

� �I *

�^=^ r rl

frOhHch guter

�'<^ r 4

Ding!

1 1 h

�I= Z2 =J ^--j4 zu den edeln

1 1

�1

�KOa'g. Er legt uns g'waltgen

�Haufenins i?eTd, es

� � �l^^^s

�soil keln Landsknecht trauren um geld ; er will uns ehr-lich

�"1 J J 1 ' * d 1 "1 J lob, - nen mit Stdvern und Sonnen - kronen, mit

�-3 r r ^ j

�-^ ^-

�) 9 "

��i Ambros, ill. 375. 2 Georg Forster, I. no. 36.

a Bohme, Altd. Liederbuch, p. 332 ; and ISAAK, in this Dictionary, yol. ii. p. 22.

< The song is to be found in Hans Leo Hassler's ' Lustgarten neuer teutsches Gesfinge, Palletti, Galliarden, Intraden, etc.' Nttrnberg, 1601. 5 gee Bohme, pp. 368, 369. etc.

��Stuvernund Sonnen - kro .... nen.

Until the end of the i6th century the common, though not invariable characteristics of the Chorale and Volkslied were the melody or cantus firmus in the tenor, the key or mode steadily adhered to, a diatonic intervallic pro- gression, and a note given to every syllable. Both were for the most part written in white notes, because, until Philippe de Vitry intro- duced notes of less value towards the close of the 1 6th century, breves and semibreves were the only notes employed. But we must beware of misconception as regards tempo, for according to our modern notation, the semibreves should be regarded and written as crotchets.

Whatever else may be affirmed of the Chorale, this at least is clear, that it gained rather than, lost by the adoption of secular melodies ; they emancipated it from stiffness and formality, they gave it heart and living warmth. So far re- moved from irreverence were the secular me- lodies, and so appropriate to the sacred text, that the music is generally more expressive of the words in the Chorale than in the Volks- lied. But perhaps the true explanation of this.

See the Erfurt Chorale-book for instance. 7 See Bohme, pp. 521, 522, 523.

�� �