Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 2.djvu/450

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of exercises. The average number of pupils is 70.

[ W. B. S. ]

MUSIKALISCHES OPFER, i.e. Musical Offering. One of Bach's works, containing various treatments of a subject given him by Frederick the Great to extemporise upon during his visit to Potsdam in [1]1747. The work, as published by Breitkopf & Härtel (Nov. 1831), contains 2 Ricercare, one for 3 voices and one for 6 voices (the latter in score), 1 Fuga canonica for 2 voices, 5 Sonatas for Flute (the king's own instrument), Violin, and Continuo, and 8 Canons; 16 pieces in all. The work was published by Bach with a dedication dated July 7, 1747—a curious medley of 5 sheets oblong folio and 1 sheet upright folio, containing the Ricercar à 3, and a Canon perpetuus (the 3rd in B. & H.'s edition), 5 Canons, and the Fuga canonica. In the Dedication copy, now in the Amalienbibliothek at Berlin, Bach has written 'Regis Iussu Cantio Et Reliqua Canonica Arte Resoluta'—the theme demanded by the king with other things developed by canonical art. Four more oblong folio sheets seem to have been afterwards added, containing the Ricercar à 6 and 2 Canons, and lastly 3 sheets containing the Sonatas and 1 Canon. (See Spitta's Bach, ii. 671–676; 843–845.)

[ G. ]

MUSTEL, Victor, a manufacturer of harmoniums, whose long struggles against poverty, and final success, entitle him to be called the 'Palissy of music,' was born at Havre in 1815. Left an orphan at the age of 12, he was apprenticed to a shipbuilder, and in 1838 set up in business for himself in that trade at the little hamlet of Sanvic. Endowed from youth with a peculiarly constructive genius, his first attempts at making musical instruments were devoted to the improvement of an accordion which he had bought in Havre. Elated with his success, he disposed of his workshop in May 1844, and set out for Paris with his wife and two children. For the next nine years he worked in several different workshops, but never obtained high wages. In 1853 he determined to start in business for himself as a harmonium maker, and in 1855 exhibited his harmonium with 'Double Expression,' and a new stop 'Harpe Eolienne,' for which he gained a medal of the first class. For the first year after this, Mustel (now assisted by his two sons) did fairly well, but business rapidly declined, and he would perhaps have been obliged to succumb, but for the sale of a little land which he had inherited from his father. Even in 1866 his receipts did little more than cover the costs, but since that date the firm of 'Victor Mustel et ses Fils' has gained a reputation that has been as noteworthy in England as in France.

The inventions due to MM. Mustel are—'La Double Expression' (patented 1854), whereby the natural preponderance of the bass tones over those of the treble is, with complete power of increase and decrease in either half, brought under direct control of the player by means of knee pedals (genouillères) that control the energy and pressure of the wind; 'Le Forté expressif,' a divided swell governed by pneumatic agency; and 'La Harpe Eolienne,' a tremolo register of two ranks of vibrators, 2 ft. pitch, which offer a gently beating variation to the unison by being slightly less and more than the normal pitch of the instrument, the impression of which remains unimpaired. M. Mustel has recently invented 'Le Typophone,' and 'Le Métaphone.' The first of these is a keyboard percussion instrument, made of tuning-forks in resonance boxes of the proper acoustic capacity. It is not at this moment in fabrication, since its manufacture would need larger funds than the firm has at its disposal, but it was lately used with success at the Paris Opéra Comique in Mozart's 'Flute enchantée.' The Métaphone (patented in 1878) is an invention to soften at pleasure the somewhat strident tones of the harmonium. It is produced by a sliding shutter of leather to each compartment, and is governed by drawstops, as with other modifications of tone and power.

[ A. J. H. ]

MUSURGIA UNIVERSALIS. The name of a voluminous work, published at Rome in the year 1650, by the Jesuit Father, Athanasius Kircher, and translated into German, by Andreas Hirsch, of Hall, in Suabia, in 1662.

The ten Books into which the treatise is divided contain much useful matter, interrupted, unfortunately, by a host of irrelevant disquisitions, and an inordinate amount of empty speculation.

In the First Book, the author describes the Construction of the Ear, the Comparative Anatomy of the Vocal Organs, and the sounds emitted by Beasts, Birds, Reptiles, and Insects, including the Death-Song of the Swan.—The Second Book treats of the Music of the Hebrews, and the Greeks.—In the Third, are contained discussions on the Theory of Harmonics, Proportion, the Ratios of Intervals, the Greek Scales, the Scale of Guido d'Arezzo, the system of Boëthius, and the Antient Greek Modes.—The Fourth Book is devoted to a description of the Monochord, and its minute divisions.—The Fifth Book treats of Notation, Counterpoint, and other branches of Composition; and contains a Canon which may be sung by twelve million two hundred thousand voices. [See Nodus Salomonis.]—The Sixth Book—founded chiefly on the Harmonicorum libri XII of Mersennus contains a long dissertation upon Instrumental Music.—The Seventh Book describes the difference between Antient and Modern Music.—The Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth Books are filled with discussions of a very transcendental character; and, dealing largely in 'the Marvellous,' treat of the Bite of the Tarantula and its musical cure, the Harmony of the Spheres, and of the Four Elements, the Principles of Harmony as exemplified in the Proportions of the Human Body and the Affections of the Mind, and other subjects equally visionary and recondite, some compensation for the absurdity of which will be found in a really practical de-

  1. Spitta (ii. 710) says May 7 and 8. Mr. Carlyle, on the other hand, says April 7.