Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 3.djvu/137

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


ment of Beethoven's Pianoforte Sonata in D minor (op. 31) affords a striking instance of this. At the very outset



���we are led to think that the change of bass at the fourth bar, and again at the eighth, indicates a new rhythmic period, whereas the whole move- ment is in four-bar rhythm as unchanging as the semiquaver figure which pervades it. The device has the effect of preventing monotony in a move- ment constructed almost entirely on one single figure. The same thing occurs in the middle of the first movement of the Sonatina (op. 79, Presto alia Tedesca). Now in both of these cases the accent of the bars is so simple that the ear can afford to hunt for the rhythm and is pleased by the not too subtle artifice; but in slower and less obviously accented music such a device would be out of place: there the rhythm requires to be impressed on the hearer rather than concealed from him.

On analysing any piece of music it will be found that whether the ultimate distribution of the accents be binary or ternary, the larger divi- sions nearly always run in twos, the rhythms of three, four, or seven being merely occasionally used to break the monotony. This is only na- tural, for, as before remarked, the comprehensi- bility of music is in direct proportion to the simplicity of its rhythm, irregularity in this point giving a disturbed and emotional character to the piece, until, when all attention to rhythm is ignored, the music becomes incoherent and incomprehensible, though not of necessity dis- agreeable. In 'Tristan and Isolde' Wagner has endeavoured, with varying success, to produce a composition of great extent, from which rhythm in its larger signification shall be wholly absent. One consequence of this is that he has written the most tumultuously emotional opera extant;, but another is that the work is a mere chaos to the hearer until it is closely studied. Actual popularity and general appreciation for such music is out of all question for some generations to come. [F. C.]

RIBATTUTA (re-striking), an old contrivance in instrumental music, gradually accelerating the pace of a phrase of two notes, until a trill was arrived at. Beethoven has preserved it for ever in the Overture to Leonore ' No. 3 ' (bar 75 of A llegro).

��Sfp sfp

��See too another passage further on, before the Flute solo. [See TRILL.] [G.]

RIBS (Fr. Eclisses ; Germ. Zarge). The sides of stringed instruments of the violin type, con- necting the back and the belly. They consist of six (sometimes only five) pieces of maple, and should be of the same texture as the back, and if possible cut out of the same piece. After being carefully planed to the right thickness, they are bent to the required shape, and then glued together on the mould by means of the corner and top and bottom blocks, the angles being feather-edged. The back, the linings and the belly are then added, and the body of the violin is then complete. The ribs ought to be slightly increased in depth at the broader end ol the instrument, but many makers have neglected this rule. The flatter the model, the deeper the ribs require to be ; hence the viol tribe, having perfectly flat backs and bellies of slight elevation, are very deep in the ribs. The oldest violins were often very deep in the ribs, but many of them have been since cut down. Carlo Bergonzi and his contemporaries had a fashion of making shallow ribs, and often cut down the ribs of older instruments, thereby injuring their tone beyond remedy. Instruments made of ill-chosen and unseasoned wood will crack and decay in the ribs sooner than in any other part : but in the best instruments the ribs will generally outlast both belly and back. Some old makers were in the habit of glueing a strip of linen inside the ribs. [E.J.P.]

RICCI, LUIGI, born in Naples June 8, 1805, in 1814 entered the Royal Conservator! o, then under Zingarelli, of which he became in 1819 one of the sub -professors together with Bellini. His first work.-'L'Impresario in angustie,' was performed by the students of the Conservatorio in 1823, and enthusiastically applauded. In the following four years he wrote ' La Cena fra- stornata,' 'L'Abate Taccarella,' still very popular, 'II Diavolo condannato a prender moglie, and ' La Lucerna d'Epitteto,' all for the Teatro Nuovo. In 1828 his 'Ulisse,' at the San Carlo, was a failure. In 1829 'II Colombo' in Parma and ' L'Orfanella di Ginevra ' in Naples were both successful, the latter being still performed in many Italian theatres. The winter of 1829-30 was disastrous for Ricci, his four new operas (' II Sonnambulo,' 'L'Eroina del Messico,' 'Annibale in Torino,' and ' La Neve ') being all unsuccessful. In the autumn of 1831 he produced at La Scala of Milan ' Chiara di Rosemberg,' and this opera, performed by Grisi, Sacchi, Winter, Badioli, etc., was greatly applauded, and soon became successful in all the theatres of Italy. ' II nuovo Figaro '

�� �