Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 3.djvu/457

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aes o'my heart fa* In

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The first, 'Gala Water,' is one of tho most beautiful of our melodies. The modern version of it contains the seventh of the scale more than once, but Oswald has preserved the old penta- tonic version i n his Caledonian Pocket Companion (1759-65). That version is here given in the large type, the small type showing the modern alterations. The air may be played correctly beginning on E, on A, or on B, representing the third of the keys of C, F and G ; but neither flat nor sharp is required in any of the positions, the notes being all natural throughout.

The second is the melody to which Lady Grizel Baillie wrote (1692) her beautiful ballad, 'Were na my heart licht, I would die.' It is a very simple unpretending tune, and is given chiefly on account of its close ; indeed, both of these tunes are peculiar, and will again be more fully referred to.

The third is the old tune which was so great a favourite with Lady Anne Lyndsay that she wrote for it her celebrated ballad ' Auld Robin Gray.' Although it has been superseded by a very beautiful modern English air, it ought not to be entirely forgotten.

Anotherexceedingly beautiful pentatonic melody is that to which Burns wrote '0 meikle thinks my love o* my beauty.' It will be found in E minor in the ' Select Songs of Scotland,' by Professor Macfarren no worthier arranger of our melo- dies could be named but it may also be played in D minor and A minor, in each case without either flat or sharp being required in the melody.

To recapitulate. All tunes in this style, if treated as mere melodies, can be written as if in the key of C, without either flat or sharp ; al- though if harmonised, or accompanied, the same notes may require the signature of one sharp or one flat. There are also a few tunes which even require that of two flats, although none of the characteristic notes of these scales appear in the melody. The style in its simplest form, as in ' Were na my heart licht,' is somewhat monoton- ous, and considerable skill is often shown in the intermingling of major and minor phrases, not merely by means of the related keys, but by transitions peculiar to the old tonality.

The use of this imperfect Pentatonic scale in our early music must gradually have ceased, through acquaintance with the music of the church service, which had a completed diatonic scale, though with a considerable want of a de- fined key-note. Without going into any intri- cacies, the church tones may, for our present purpose, be accepted as in the scale of C major,

��untrammeled by any consideration of a key-note, free to begin and end in any part of the scale according to circumstances ; the sounds remaining the same wherever the scale might begin or end. This completed scale, which we find in the simple Shepherd's Pipe or Recorder, is really that on which our older melodies are formed. The pitch note might be D or G, or any other, but the scale would be the ordinary major diatonic, with the semitones between the 3rd and 4th and 7th and 8th degrees. The key of C is that adopted in the following remarks. With scarcely an exception the old tunes keep steadily to this scale without the use of any accidental. It will also be seen that the pathos produced by means of the 4th of the key, is a clever adaptation of a necessity of the scale. ' The Flowers of the Forest' fortunately preserved in the Skene MS. is a fine example of the skill with which the unskilled composer used the meagre means at his disposal. The first strain of the air is in G major, as will be seen if it be harmonised, though no F sharp was possible on the instrument ; in the second strain, no more affecting wail for the disaster of Flodden could have been produced than that effected by the use of the Ffc the 4th of the scale of the instrument, the minor 7th of the original key. With his simple pipe the composer has thus given the effect of two keys.

The Flowers of the Forest. Ancient Version.



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� � ��It may be objected that the voice was not tied down to the notes of an imperfect instrument, and could take semitones wherever it felt them to be wanted ; but we must not forget that in those days our modern scales were unknown un- less to scientific musicians, and that the voice, like the instrument, kept to the old tonality, the only scale which it knew.

The same effect of playing in two keys occurs in ' waly waly I love is bonnie, a little while when it is new,' but in most modern versions of the melody both the Ffl and F J are found ; this was not possible on the primitive instrument, though easy on the lute or violin. waly waly.

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