Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 3.djvu/55

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
PROPORTION.
43
PRUDENT.

the Measure; and the Greater Prolation, alone represented by our 3-2. A very little consideration will suffice to shew that all these combinations are reducible to simple Dupla, and Tripla.

Our modern Proportions are equally unpretentious, and far more clearly expressed; all Simple Times being either Duple, or Triple, with Duple subdivisions; and Compound Times, Duple, or Triple, with Triple subdivisions. Modern Composers sometimes intermix these different species of Rhythm, just as the Greater and Lesser Prolation were intermixed, in the Middle Ages; but, the simplicity of our Time-signatures deprives the process of almost all its complication. No one, for instance, finds any difficulty in reading the Third and Fourth Doubles in the last Movement of Handel's Fifth Suite (the 'Harmonious Blacksmith'), though one hand plays in Common Time, and the other in 24-16. Equally clear in its intention, and intelligible in the appearance it presents to the eye, is the celebrated Scene in 'Don Giovanni,' in which the First Orchestra plays a Minuet, in 3-4; the Second, a Gavotte, 2-4; and the Third, a Valse, in 3-8; all blending together in one harmonious whole—a triumph of ingenious Proportion worthy of a Netherlander of the 15th century, which could only have been conceived by a Musician as remarkable for the depth of his learning as for the geniality of his style. Spohr has used the same expedient, with striking effect, in the Slow Movement of his Symphony 'Die Weihe der Töne'; and other still later Composers have adopted it, with very fair success, and with a very moderate degree of difficulty—for our Rhythmic Signs are too clear to admit the possibility of misapprehension. Our Time-table, too, is simplicity itself, though in strict Geometrical Proportion—the Breve being twice as long as the Semibreve, the Semibreve twice as long as the Minim, and so with the rest. We have, in fact, done all in our power to render the rudiments of the Art intelligible to the meanest capacity: and only in a very few cases—such as those which concern the 'Section of the Canon,' as demonstrated by Euclid, and other writers on the origin and constitution of the Scale; the regulation of Temperament; the Scale of Organ Pipes; and others of like nature are we concerned with Proportions sufficiently intricate to demand the aid of the Mathematician for their elucidation.

[ W. S. R. ]

PROPOSTA (Lat. Dux; Eng. Subject). A term applied to the Leading Part, in a Fugue, or Point of Imitation, in contradistinction to the Risposta, or Response (Eng. Answer; Lat. Comes). The Leading Part of a Canon is usually called the Guida, though the term Proposta is sometimes applied to that also.

[ W. S. R. ]

PROPRIETAS, propriety (Germ. Eigenheit). A peculiarity attributed, by Mediæval writers, to those Ligatures in which the first note was sung as a Breve: the Breve being always understood to represent a complete Measure (Lat. Tactus; Old Eng. Stroke). Franco of Cologne describes Ligatures beginning with Breves, Longs, and Semibreves, as Ligaturæ cum, sine, and cum opposita Proprietate, respectively.

[ W. S. R. ]

PROSE. [See Sequentia.]

PROSKE, Karl, editor of the celebrated collection of ancient church-music called Musica Divina, born Feb. 11, 1794, at Gröbing in Upper Silesia, where his father was a wealthy landowner. Having studied medicine he made the campaign of 1813–15 as an army surgeon, but being compelled to retire by his health, he took his degree as Doctor of Medicine at Halle, and settled as government physician at Oppeln in Upper Silesia. Here he suddenly became a religious enthusiast, a change to which his devotion to church music doubtless contributed. Oa April 11, 1826, he was ordained priest by Bishop Sailer at Ratisbon, where he became vicar-choral in 1827, and Canon and Capellmeister of the Cathedral in 1830. From this time, with the aid of his private fortune, he began his celebrated collection of church music, residing for long in Italy exploring the great MS. collections there, and scoring from the voice-parts many very beautiful, but hitherto unknown works, and publishing them in a cheap, accurate, and legible form as 'Musica Divina [see vol. ii. p. 411]. Each volume is preceded by introductory remarks, biographical and bibliographical. Attention has been repeatedly called in this Dictionary to the merits of this collection. [See among others Mass; Improperia.] Proske died of angina pectoris, Dec. 20, 1861, bequeathing his collection to the episcopal library of Ratisbon, of which it forms one of the chief ornaments.

[ F. G. ]

PROUT, Ebenezer, B.A., born at Oundle, Northamptonshire, March 1, 1835, graduated at London, 1854. He studied the pianoforte under Charles Salaman. In 1862 he gained the first prize of the Society of British Musicians for the best string quartet, and in 1865 their first prize for pianoforte quartet. From 1871 to 1874 he was editor of 'The Monthly Musical Record,' and since then has been successively music critic of 'The Academy' and 'The Athenæum.' He is conductor of the Borough of Hackney Choral Association, and Professor of harmony and composition at the Royal Academy of Music and the National Training School of Music. His compositions include String Quartet in E♭, op. i; PF. Quartet in C. op. 2; PF. Quintet in G, op. 3; Concert for Organ and Orchestra, op. 5; Magnificat in C, op. 7; and Evening Service in E♭, op. 8, both with orchestra; 'Hereward,' dramatic cantata, op. 12 (produced at St. James's Hall, June 4, 1879); an< i two MS symphonies in C major and G minor. [App. p.752 "Add to list of compositions Minuet and trio for orchestra, op. 14; 'Queen Aimée,' a cantata for female voices, op. 21; 'Freedom,' for baritone solo, chorus and orchestra; a Symphony in F, No. 4, op. 22 (Birmingham Festival, 1885); Symphony in D, No. 5 (MS. Oxford, 1886); a Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in D; a scena for contralto and orchestra, 'The Song of Judith,' Norwich Festival, 1887, etc. Made Prof, of Mus., T. C. Dublin, Easter, 1895."]

[ W. H. H. ]

PRUDENT, Emile, born at Angoulême, April 3, 1817, never knew his parents, but was adopted by a piano-tuner, who taught him a little music. He entered the Paris Conservatoire at 10, and obtained the first piano prize in 1833, and the second harmony prize in 1834. He had no patrons to push him, and his want of education not being supplied by natural facility, he had a long struggle