Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 3.djvu/598

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Quant le Rossignol.


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�� ��la flor - - d'e - ste. que naist la ro - se

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��ser Tin dont jai

���L'Autrier par la matinee.


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i 1 -ft ni 1 ^-


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��si 11 dis sans de - lal - er : Belle, diex vous doint bon jour.

The melodies of the Spanish 'Trobadores' were naturally very similar to those of the Pro- ven9al Troubadours, and their system of notation was precisely the same. Spain too, like France, counted kings and princes among her Troba- dores; such as Alphonso II., Peter III., and Alphonso X. The last has left 400 poems which, with their melodies, are still preserved in the Escurial.

Italy was more slowly caught by the poetic flame. Towards the middle of the 1 3th cen- tury, Eaymond Berenger, Count of Provence, visited the Emperor Frederick II. at Milan, bringing Troubadours and Jongleurs in Ms train; and not until then do we hear of them in Italy. A similar patronage was extended to them by Raymond's son-in-law Charles of Anjou King of Naples and Sicily. To the common people of Italy these singers appeared as retainers of princely courts, and they called them uomini di corti. They also called them ciarlatani, be-


cause the exploits of Charlemagne were a con- stant theme of their songs, and the word ciarle stood for 'Charles' in Italian pronunciation. Thus taught by foreigners, Italy soon produced her own 'Trovatori' and 'Giocolini.' But the first Italian Trovatori deemed their own dialect to be unsuitable to poetry, and wrote in the Proven?al language. This practice, however, was not destined to last, for in the year 1265 Dante, the founder of the Italian language, was born. After him no Italian could longer doubt the capacities of his own tongue for all forms of poetry ; and the verse of the Troubadour began to ' pale an unefFectual fire ' before the splen- dours of the great poet of the Middle Ages.

Henceforward the history of the Song will be separately traced in the different countries of Europe, beginning with Italy.


Notwithstanding the subordination of lyric song to other branches of music in Italy, her long and careful study of 'la melica poesia' poetry wedded to music has not been sur- passed elsewhere. Dante's sonnets and Pe- trarch's Trionfi, to which allusion has been made above, were among the earliest poems set to music. Dante's own contemporary and friend, Casella, who set his sonnet 'Amor che nella mente' to mnsic, is believed to have also com- posed the music for a Ballata by Lemmo da Pistoja, stiU extant in the Vatican. Both the Ballate and Intuonate were very old forms of composition, and both were love-songs sung to- a dance *. After them the Maggiolate, or May- day songs, had their hour of popularity. These also were love-songs, and bands of young men sang them in springtime as they danced before the windows of the ladies whom they wooed. Later yet the Canti Carnascialeschi came into vogue. Originally they were mere carnival songs, but under the skilful hand of Lorenzo de' Medici a kind of consecutive drama grew out of them.

During the I4th century there existed a class of dilettante musicians called Cantori a liuto ; and these were distinct from the Cantori a libro who were more learned musicians. It was the habit of the former class to improvise, for until the l6th century musical notation re- mained so complex and difficult, that only ac- complished musicians were able to write down their songs.

In the 1 5th century, compositions of the Netherlands school of music, with their severe contrapuntal style, found their way into Italy, and began to exercise an influence there ; but the prevailing type of Italian secular songs continued to be of a very light order. Petrucci, the first musical publisher, who published in 1502 the motets and masses of the Netherlands composers, had nothing better to offer of native productions than the Frott6le, tuneful but fri- volous part-songs. Similar in levity were the

l Arteaga, In his 'Le Eivoluzioni del Teatro Musicale Italiano," tfYes the words of a Sallata of the ISth century by Frederick II.; and of another Ballata by Dante. (See pp. 187 and 190.)

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