Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/610

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

GLAREANUS, Henricus, so called because he was born, 1488, in the Canton of Glarus, his real name being Loris or, Latinised, Loritus; a celebrated teacher of music. He is said to have been a shepherd-boy in his youth; but he studied music under Cochläus at Cologne, where he was crowned poet-laureate in 1512 for a poem in honour of the Emperor, which he composed and sang to his own accompaniment. In 1515 he was teaching mathematics at Basle, and in 1517 was appointed, at the recommendation of Erasmus, professor of philosophy and 'artes liberates' in Paris. He soon however returned to Basle, where he is said to have set up a school, and from whence he removed to Freiburg im Breisgau. Heinrich Schreiber, in an excellent monograph on Glareanus (Freiburg 1857), proves that it was not at the University of either Paris, Basle, or Freiburg, that he was professor. He died May 28, 1563, at Freiburg. His friends, Erasmus, Justus Lipsius, and Vossius, wrote panegyrics on him. His principal works on the theory of music are 'Isagoge in musicen Henrici Glareani,' etc. (the dedication 'ad Falconem Consulem urbis Aventinensis,' Avignon, is headed Basileae, anno Christi 1516, 4to. ad idus Martias'), now extremely scarce, containing chapters on solmisation, the intervals, modes, tones, and their treatment; and Δωδεκαχορδον (1547, fol.), a still more important work, the aim of which is to prove that there are 12 church modes, corresponding to the ancient Greek modes, and not 8, as many writers have maintained. The third part contains numerous examples from the works of Ockenheim, Obrecht, Josquin de Près, and other musicians of the 15th and 16th centuries, valuable also as specimens of early music-printing. Woneggar of Lithuania published an abstract of the 'Dodecachordon' (Freiburg 1557), the second edition of which (59) contains a poem by Glareanus in praise of the 13 Federal cities of Switzerland, set to music by Manfred Barbarin. The catalogue of Draudius mentions a third treatise, 'De musices divisione ac definitione' (Basle 1549); but as the headings of the chapters are identical with those in the 'Dodecachordon,' it can scarcely be a separate work. His theory of the 12 church modes, as parallel to the ancient Greek modes, will assure for Glareanus a lasting place among writers on the science of music.

[ F. G. ]

GLEE. A piece of unaccompanied vocal music in at least three parts, and for solo voices, usually those of men. The glee, though possibly suggested by the madrigal, to which this description also applies, is separated from it, so far as its origin is concerned, by a long interval of time. The production of madrigals ceased altogether, both on the Continent and in England, in the course of the first quarter of the seventeenth century. The first glees are due to the beginning of the 18th century, and the finest specimens of them to the seventy-five years between the middle of the last century and the end of the first quarter of this. Vocal compositions by masters of the latter part of the seventeenth century are sometimes found, in collections printed after their decease, to which the word Glee is appended. These are not glees, in the now accepted sense of the word, but simply airs by those masters, harmonised subsequently for three or four voices; or choruses, mostly from operas, from which the original orchestral parts are simply omitted. Two eminent English composers, Arne and Boyce, wrote each a few pieces which they or their subsequent editors called glees; but their productions in other styles altogether surpassed these, both in excellence and number. The earliest, possibly the greatest, master of the glee proper is Samuel Webbe, during whose long life (1740–1816) the best specimens of this class of composition were produced. Webbe actually outlived many of the most eminent practitioners in the school of which he was the founder.

The word 'glee' in no way describes or characterises the kind of composition to which it gives a name. It is simply the Anglo-Saxon gligg—music. A glee is not therefore necessarily of a cheerful character, as the name might seem to imply. That music was in early times commonly associated with cheerfulness is possibly true. The 'Gliggman,' according to Warton, was identical with the 'Joculator.' But the words of a glee may be mournful or sprightly, and the music such as will express them becomingly. The 'serious glee' is no more a misnomer than the 'cheerful.' Both terms have been used by glee composers again and again.

The glee differs from the madrigal, as might be expected from the distance apart of their epochs, in its tonality, which is uniformly modern. Not only so. Whereas the 'subjects' of the madrigal are generally few, always contrapuntally treated, and this often at considerable length, those of the glee are generally many, and only rarely at all developed. Masses of harmony, rare in the madrigal, are common in the glee, and indeed give it some of its best effects. The characteristic figure of modern tonality, the 'perfect cadence,' rarely and timidly introduced in the former, is of frequent occurrence in the latter—sometimes indeed of such frequent occurrence as to give to many of these compositions a halting and disconnected character, as though they were continually about to come to an end. Indeed the short phrases, incessant cadences, frequent changes of rhythm and pace of the average glee, contrast unfavourably with the 'long resounding' phrases of the madrigal, never brought to an end in one part till they are begun in another, overlapping one another, bearing one another up, and never allowing the hearer to anticipate a close till everything that can be done with every subject has been done, and the movement comes to a natural end.

In so far as the glee composer exhibits this power of sustentation, this strength of wing—the highest and the rarest qualification for every kind of polyphonic composition—his productions will be lasting in their attraction. Every one of the best glee writers, such as Webbe, Stevens, Callcott, Horsley—has exhibited it frequently