Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 3.djvu/763

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SUBJECT.

5. A Subject, characterised by the prominent use of a Diminished Seventh, and familiar, as that of 'And with His stripes,' is also a very common one. Handel himself constantly used it as a Theme for improvisation ; and other Com- posers have used it also : notably Mozart, in the Kyrie of the ' Requiem.'

��SUBJECT.

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��6. The Intonation and Reciting-Note of the Second Gregorian Tone used either with, or without, the first note of the Mediation may also be found in an infinity of Subjects, both antient and modern ; including that of Bach's Fugue in E, no. 33, and the Finale of the Jupiter Symphony.

��The number of Subjects thus traceable from one Composer to another is so great, that it would be impossible to give even a list of them. In fact, as Sir Frederick Ouseley has very justly observed, ' it is perhaps difficult for a Composer of the present day to find a great variety of original Fugue-Subjects.' But, the treatment may be original, though the Subject has been used a thousand times ; and these constantly- recurring Subjects are founded upon progressions which, more than any others, suggest new Counter- Subjects in infinite variety.

VI. The Subject of Canon differs from that of Fugue, in that it is continuous. The Subject is as long as the Canon itself. Hence, it is called the Guida, or Guide; each note in the leading part directing those that are to be sung by all the other Voices in turn. Subjects of this kind will be found in vol. ii. pp. 228 a, 2 29 a, 461 6, 464 b, 465 a, and other places ; and many more may be seen in the pages of Burney and Haw- kins. Examples of the method of fitting these Subjects together will be found in vol. i. pp. 303 b, 304 a, and in vol. ii. p. 228 b. The number of passages that can be made to fit together in Canon is so limited, that the same notes have been used, over and over again, by writers of all ages. A remarkable instance of this is afforded by ' Non nobis.' We have seen how many Com- posers have chosen this as a Fugal Subject ; and an account of it, with some solutions in Canon not generally known, will be found at vol. ii. p. 464. It must not, however, be supposed that the older Composers alone were able to produce fine Canons. Haydn thoroughly understood the Art of writing them [see vol. i. 7106] ; and so graceful are Mozart's that their Subjects might very easily be mistaken for those of an ordinary Part-Song. 1

VII. Closely allied to the Subject of the Canon is that of the ' Rota,' or Round. In this, and in its comic analogue the Catch, the Guida is followed by every Voice in turn ; for which reason the Composition was formerly written

i See a large collection of examples In Merrlck's English Transla- tion of Albrechtsberger, vol. 11. pp. 415432.

�� ��on a single Stave. It will be found so written in a facsimile of the oldest example we possess, at page 269 of the present volume : and it is virtually so written, even at the present day ; though, in modern copies, the Guida is doubled back, so to speak, each time a new Voice enters, so as to give the outward appearance of a Score. That it is not really a Score is evident, from the fact that there is not a separate Part for each Voice ; but, there is a substantial difference between this and the Canon, though the Subject of both is called a Guida. In the Canon, the Subject forms the whole Composition. In the Round, it continues only until the entrance of the second Voice, the later sections of the Guida representing Counter-Subjects only, and continu- ing to furnish new Counter-Subjects as often as new Voices enter.

It is remarkable that this, the oldest form of saecular Part-writing in existence, should not only have been invented in England, but should still be more highly esteemed in England than in any other country for it is only in England that the art of singing a Round is practised with success, and the success with which we practise it dates from the time of the Plantagenets.' 2

VIII. In turning from the learned complexities of Fugue and Canon, to the simple Subject of the Dance-Tune, we are not, as might be sup- posed, retracing our steps, but following the line traced out for us by the natural development of Art. When Instrumental Music first began to at- tract attention, the Fugue was regarded as the embodiment of its highest expression. Lulli ended his Overtures with a Fugue ; but as time pro- gressed this form of Finale was superseded by that of the Dance-Tune. The most common types were those of the Minuet, the Gavotte, the Bourre'e, the Courante, the Chaconne, the Sarabande, the Giga, and the closely allied Tunes of the Allemande, the Ritornello, the Air, and the March. They originally consisted, for the most part, of two short Strains, the first of which stated the Sub- ject, while the second developed it according to its means. It was de rigueur that the Minuet should be written in Triple Time, and that each phrase of its Subject should begin with the down-beat of the bar though, in later times, most Minuets began with the third beat: that the Gavotte should be in Alia breve Time, be- ginning at the half-bar : that the Bourre'e should be in Common Time, beginning on the fourth beat; that the Allemande should be in Com- mon, and the Giga in Compound Common Time, each beginning, as a general rule, with a single short note : and so with the rest. It was indis- pensable that the First Strain, representing the Subject, should be complete in itself, though it did not always end in the Key in which it began. The development of the Subject, in the Second Strain, usually consisted in the prolongation of the Melody by means of phrases, which, in the finer examples, were directly derived from itself ; sometimes carrying a characteristic figure through

2 See SCHOOLS or COMPOSITION, Section XVI ; BOUND ; SOMER u

ICUMEN IN.

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