Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 4.djvu/110

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.


-94

��TESI-TRAMONTINI.

��end of the ensuing Carnival, for which engage- ment she received about 500^., a large sum in those days. In 1748 she was at Vienna, where, in 1749, she played in Jommelli's ' Didone.' The book was by Metastasio, who wrote of this occasion, " The Tesi has grown younger by twenty years.' She was then fifty -five. Burney met her at Vienna in 1772, arid speaks of her as more than eighty. Hiller and Feds say she was only that age at her death, in 1775. But if Gerber's date and Chrysander's theory are right, Burney was right. Her nature was vivacious and emporte to a degree, and many tales were told of her freaks and escapades. Perhaps most wonderful of all is the story of her marriage, as told by Burney in his ' Musical Tour ' ; in which, to avoid marrying a certain nobleman, she went into the street, and ad- dressing herself to a poor labouring man, said she would give him fifty ducats if he would marry her, not with a view to their living to- gether, but to serve a purpose. The poor man readily consented to become her nominal hus- band, and they were formally married; and when the Count renewed his solicitations, she told him that she was already the wife of another. Among the pupils of La Tesi were the ' Teube- rinn/ and Signora de Amicis, who took a friendly interest in the boy Mozart, and sang in his earliest operatic efforts in Italy. [F. A. M.]

TESSITURA (Italian), literally texture, from tessere, to weave. A term, for which there is no direct equivalent in English, used by the Italians to indicate how the music of a piece * lies ' ; that is to say, what is the prevailing or average position of its notes in relation to the compass of the voice or instrument for which it is written, whether high, low, or medium. ' Range ' does not at all give the idea, as the range may be ex- tended, and the general tessitura limited ; while the range may be high and the tessitura low, or medium. In place of a corresponding word we say that a part 'lies high or low.'

' Vedrai carino,' ' Dalla sua pace,' 'Dove sono,' are examples of high tessitura, fatiguing gene- rally to voices that are not highly developed. Indeed, there are many who would prefer sing- ing the ' Inflammatus ' from Rossini's 'Stabat Mater' to such a piece as 'Dove sono.' Many of the old Italian composers wrote music of a high tessitura, though it is true that the pitch was lower in their day than it is now. ' Deh ! vieni, non tardar,' is an example of moderate tessitura,' though it has a compass of two octaves. The tes- situra of the vocal music in Beethoven's pth Sym- phony is justly the singers' nightmare. [H.C.D.]

TETRACHORD (Gr. rfrpaxopSov). A system of four sounds, comprised within the limits of a Perfect Fourth.

It was for the purpose of superseding the cum- brous machinery of the Tetrachords upon which the old Greek Scale depended for its existence, 1 that

i A description of the Greek Tetrachords would be quite beside the purpose of the pre-ent article. Those mho wish for a closer ac- quaintance with the peculiarities of the Greek Scale will do well to consult a little tract, by General Perronet Thompson, called 'Just Intonation ' (London, Effingham Wilson, 11 Bojal Exchange).

��TEUFELS LUSTSCHLOSS.

Guido d'Arezzo invented the series of Hexa- chords, which, universally accepted by the Poly- phonic Composers of the Middle Ages, remained in constant use until the Ecclesiastical Modes were finally abandoned in favour of our present Scale ; 2 and it is only by comparing these Hexa- chords with the divisions of the older system that their value can be truly appreciated. It is not pretended that they were perfect ; but modern mathematical science has proved that the step taken by Guido was wholly in the right direc- tion. The improvement which led to its aban- donment was, in the first instance, a purely empirical one ; though we now know that it rests upon a firm mathematical basis. The natural craving of the refined musical ear for a Leading Note led, first, to the general employ- ment of a recognised system of ' accidental ' sounds 3 ; and, in process of time, to the un- restricted use of the jEolian and Ionian Modes the prototypes of our Major and Minor Scales. These changes naturally prepared the way for the unprepared Dissonances of Monte- verde ; and, with the introduction of these, the old system was suddenly brought to an end, and our present Tonality firmly established upon its ruins.

Our present Major Scale is formed of two Tetrachords, separated by a greater Tone: the Semitone, in each, occurring between the two highest sounds.

��Our Minor Scale is formed of two dissimilar Tetrachords, also disjunct (i. e. separated by a greater Tone) ; in the uppermost of which the Semitone occurs between the two gravest sounds, as at (a) ; while, in the lower one, it is placed between the two middle ones ; as at (6) (6).

()_ (6)

���This last Tetrachord maintains its form un- changed, whether the Scale ascend or descend; but, in the ascending Minor Scale, the upper Tetrachord usually takes the form of those em- ployed in the Major Mode.

��^ [W.S.R.]

TEUFELS LUSTSCHLOSS, DBS (The Devil's Country-house). A comic opera in 3 acts, by Kotzebue, music by Schubert; composed be- tween Jan. n and May 15, 1814, and re-written in the autumn. Act 2 was afterwards burnt. Acts i and 3 of the and version are in the collection of Herr Nicolaus Dumba of Vienna. The overture was played by the London Musical Society, June 17, 1880, and at the Crystal Palace on Oct. 23 following. It contains a singular anticipation of the muted violin passage in the overture to

��2 See HEXACHORD.

��i See MCSICA FICTA.

�� �