Savile, Jeremiah (DNB00)

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SAVILE, JEREMIAH (fl. 1651), musician, is named by Playford among the eighteen principal London teachers ‘for the voyce or viol’ during the Commonwealth (Directions prefixed to Playford's Musical Banquet, 1651). He was the composer of the little part-song called ‘The Waits;’ this consists only of the syllables ‘fa la la,’ but the music is so tuneful and inspiriting that it even now forms the traditional and accepted conclusion of all madrigal societies' programmes. The piece was first published in Playford's ‘Musical Companion’ (1667). It was formerly sung four times through, at present only three; and words were set to it by Thomas Oliphant. Sir H. R. Bishop used it in the arrangement of ‘Twelfth Night,’ produced at Covent Garden in 1820; and reset it for five voices, to be sung by Viola, a Page, Curio, Valentine, and ‘Benvolio.’ There are many modern editions. Three other pieces by Savile were printed in ‘The Musical Companion;’ one of these, the song, ‘Here's a health unto His Majesty,’ is still familiar. Three solo songs by him are in Playford's ‘Select Musicall Ayres and Dialogues,’ 1653.

[Playford's publications; Grove's Dict. of Music and Musicians, iv. 375; Davey's Hist. of English Music, pp. 276, 285.]

H. D.