The history of our own English Carols has not yet been exhaustively treated; nor has their Music received the attention it deserves. In no part of the world has the recurrence of Yule-Tide been welcomed with greater rejoicings than in England; and, as a natural consequence, the Christmas Carol has obtained a firm hold, less upon the taste than the inmost affections of the People. Not to love a Carol is to proclaim oneself a churl. Yet, not one of our great Composers seems to have devoted his attention to this subject. We have no English Noëls like those of Eustache du Caurroy. Possibly, the influence of national feeling may have been strong enough, in early times, to exclude the refinements of Art from a Festival the joys of which were supposed to be as freely open to the most unlettered Peasant as to his Sovereign. But, be that as it may, the fact remains, that the old Verses and Melodies have been perpetuated among us, for the most part, by the process of tradition alone, without any artistic adornment whatever; and, unless some attempt be made to preserve them, we can scarcely hope that, in these days of change, they will continue much longer in remembrance. There are, of course, some happy exceptions. We cannot believe that the famous Boar's Head Carol—'Caput apri defero'—will ever be forgotten at Oxford. The fine old melody sung to 'God rest you, merrie Gentlemen,' possessing as it does all the best qualifications of a sterling Hymn Tune, will probably last as long as the Verses with which it is associated. [See Hymn.] But, the beauty of this noble Tune can only be fully appreciated, when it is heard in Polyphonic Harmony, with the Melody placed, according to the invariable custom of the 17th century, in the Tenor. A good collection of English Carols, so treated, would form an invaluable addition to our store of popular Choir Music.
The best, as well as the most popular English Carols, of the present day, are translations from well-known mediæval originals. The Rev. J. M. Neale has been peculiarly happy in his adaptations; among which are the long-established favourites, 'Christ was born on Christmas Day' ('Resonet in laudibus'); 'Good Christian men, rejoice, and sing' ('In dulci jubilo'); 'Royal Day that chasest gloom' ('Dies est lætitiæ'); and 'Good King Wenceslas looked out' ('Tempus adest floridum')—though the Legend of 'Good King Wenceslas' has no connection whatever with the original Latin Verses.
Of Modern Carols, in the strict sense of the word, it is unnecessary to say more than that they follow, for the most part, the type of the ordinary Part Song.
[ W. S. R. ]
NOHL, Carl Friedrich Ludwig, a well-known writer on music and musical subjects, was born at Iserlohn in Westphalia, on Dec. 5, 1831. His father is a legal functionary, and it was intended that the son should follow the same profession, although his taste for music showed itself while he was still a child. He was educated at the Gymnasium of Dinsburg, and in 1850 entered the University of Bonn. From Bonn he proceeded to Heidelberg, in order to pursue his legal studies, which were however neglected for musical and literary pursuits. At Heidelberg he determined to make music his profession, but this idea was abandoned in accordance with his father's wishes, and he continued the study of jurisprudence at Berlin, at the same time receiving instruction in the theory of music from Professor Dehn. In 1853 Nohl entered the Prussian Civil Service as Referendarius, but in 1856 his health broke down, and he had to undertake a journey to France and Italy. He returned to Berlin in 1857, and continued his musical studies under Professor Kiel. In 1858 he finally abandoned the legal profession, and settled at Heidelberg, the University of which place conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (1860). In the following year he went to Munich, where, in 1865 King Ludwig II appointed him an Honorary Professor in the University. In 1872 he returned to Heidelberg, where he has since resided, and where he teaches musical history and aesthetics. Space will not allow of our inserting a complete list of Nohl's works: many of them have been translated into English, and are known in this country. His 'Mozart's Letters' (1865), 'Beethoven's Letters' (1865 and 1870 [App. p.732 "1867"]), 'Letters of Musicians' (1866), 'Gluck and Wagner' (1870), 'Die Beethoven Feier' (1871), 'Beethoven according to the representations of his Contemporaries' (1877), 'Life of Beethoven' (1877), and other works on Mozart and Beethoven, are valuable contributions to the musical literature of the century, and have gone through many editions. [App. p.732 "date of death, Dec. 16, 1885."]
[ W. B. S. ]
NONE (Lat. Officium (vel Oratio) ad Horam Nonam, Ad Nonam). The last of the 'Lesser Hours,' in the Roman Breviary.
The Office consists of the Versicle, and Response, 'Deus in adjutorium'; a Hymn—'Rerum Deus tenax vigor'—which never changes; the last forty-eight verses of the Psalm, 'Beati immaculati,'
- See the Rev. T. Helmore's 'Carols for Christmastide'; a work, which, notwithstanding its modest pretensions, is by far tbe best Collection published in a popular form.