Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 4.djvu/294

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��enough to give a resonant note on the lowest open string, C, the five-stringed Tenor Viol is undoubtedly a difficult instrument to manage: but after some practice it may be commanded by a player with an arm of sufficient length. The best have thick whole backs, cut slabwise or on the flat, instead of on the cross, and the flaming- sword soundhole, which Fio. 11. the German makers pre- ferred, seems to favour the development of tone. The tone is rich and penetrating : and the writer has heard the five-stringed Tenor Viol played in concerted music with good effect. The illustration repre- sents one made in 1 746 byElslerofMainz. [See TENOR VIOLIN.]

The Bass Viol alone, of the original Viol family, developed into an instrument having important musical qua- lities of its own, and secured a noticeable place in musical history under its Italian name of Viola da Gamba. This is no doubt due to its long-continued use as an orchestral bass, and to its similarity in tuning to the Theorbo Lute. In the latter quarter of the i6th century, and throughout the 1 7th, while the Violin and the Tenor were taking the place of the higher Viols, the Bass Viol maintained its place, and afforded a wide field to a considerable school of players and composers, principally in England, France, and the Low Countries. It was the first bowed in- strument to receive treatment commensurate to its capacities, a circumstance which is accounted for by the fact that its tuning is practically identical with that of the lute, and that both in- struments were practised by the same players. Throughout the 1 7th century, the Viola da Gamba closely followed in the wake of the lute, and the two reached their highest development at the hands of French composers in the early part of the 1 8th century. The command of the six-stringed finger-board which the lutenists had attained through two centuries of incessant practice was in fact communicated by them to bowed instruments through the medium of the Baas Viol. By the middle of the I7th century, before anything having any pretensions to musical value had been written for the Violin, and still less for the Violoncello, many species of composition had been brought to a considerable degree of perfection on the Lute, and this de- velopment of the Lute was directly communi- cated to the Viola da Gamba. The great mass of Viola da Gamba chamber-music of the 1 7th


century which still exists in manuscript, is evi- dently adapted from lute music. The Corrente, Chaconne, Pavane, Gig, Galliard, and Almaine, were favourite measures for both : the Prelude, in which the capacity of the instrument for modulation was displayed, was also much the same ; but the Viol was especially employed in the Division on a Ground,' which was the delight of English musicians in the 1 7th century. So completely was this the case that in Symp- son's well-known Method for the Viola da Gamba the instrument is named the * Division Viol.' It was made in three sizes, that used for division being of medium size : the largest size was used for the 'Concert Bass,' played in combination with other Viols : a size smaller than the Divi- sion Viol was used for Lyra or Tablature playing, in which the composer varied the tuning of the Viol, and employed tablature instead of staff notation for the convenience of the player.

Occasionally the tuning of the Division Viol itself was varied : the two favourite ' scordature ' of the English players, usually called the ' Harp- way' tunings, from the facilities they afforded for arpeggios, were as follows :

Harp-way sharp. Harp-way flat.

��The following * harp- way' tunings have been noticed by the writer in old German composi- tions for the instrument :

��(i) Sharp. (2) Flat.

=jg ir^

��(3) Sharp.


��The use of these tunings greatly increases the resonance of the Viola da Gamba, and facilitates execution in thirds on the upper strings : but the writer is unacquainted with any instance of their use, or of the use of any other scordatura, by the classical writers for the instrument. The great writer for the Viola da Gamba was De Caix D'Hervelois, who flourished early in the last century: but there were many others of less note. The writings of De Caix, like those of Bach, occasionally require the seventh string, tuned to Double Bass A, a fourth below the sixth string. This was added towards the end of the 1 7th century, by a French violist named Marais. [See SOORDATUBA.]

The latest development of the Viol was the construction of instruments with sympathetic strings of metal. These date from the i6th cen- tury: their properties are scientifically discussed in the 2nd Book of Bacon's ' Natural History' (1620-1625). The fanciful name ' d'Amore,' given to these instruments, relates not to any special aptitude for expressing amorous accents, but to the sympathetic vibration of the open metallic strings, stretched over the belly, to the tones of those which pass over the fingerboard. They were made in several sizes. Even Kits are found made with sympathetic strings (Sordino

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