note notes musical intervals greek system interval perfect major scale
MUSIC HISTORY is the art which employs sounds as a medium of artistic expression for what is not in the province of literature, of sculpture, of painting, of acting, or of architecture. Whereas literature, whether in verse or prose, describes or states emotions, .or perceptions, or impressions ; whereas sculpture imitates the outward forms of animated beings, and physiognomically, either in the face, or, to speak more broadly, in the moulding and attitude of the entire figure, displays personal character and the effect of passion upon it ; whereas painting vitalizes with colour the forms of sculpture, and extends its range of subjects from animate to inanimate nature ; and whereas acting adds speech to the written words of the dramatist, and enforces or even qualifies their meaning by vocal inflexion, and illustrates it by changeful gesture, thus giving the mobility of life to the forms of sculpture and painting ;music embodies the inward feelings of which all those other arts can but exhibit the effect. Those other arts are imitative in respect of their reproducing natural objects or circumstances ; it is otherwise with architecture, which makes but conventional reference to nature, and wholly arbitrary application of the lines, the lights, and the shadows of the natural world ; and in this particular music has an analogy to architecture which it has not to the other fine arts. In the matter of expression also, architecture may be compared with music in the earlier stages of its development, since representing and also prompting a general idea of solemnity, or grandeur, or gaiety; but music left architecture far behind when, in later times, it assumed the power of special, individual, and, personal utterance of every variety of passion. The indefiniteness of musical expression furnishes no argument that music is inexpressive, but is one of the qualities that place it on the highest level of art-excellence, enabling it to suggest still more than it displays, and to stimulate the imagination of the witness as much as to exercise that of the artist. The musician is then a poet, whether we regard the term in its primary sense of "maker," the exact translation of the Greek word by which versifiers were styled in early English, or in its applied sense of one who expresses thought and feeling through the medium of highly-excited imagination. Music, then, is that one of the fine arts which appropriates the phenomena of sound to the purposes of poetry, and has a province of its own in many respects analogous to, but yet wholly distinct from, that of each of the other arts. It is common to style it " the universal language ; " but the definition is untrue, for in every age and in every clime there are varieties of musical idiom which are unsympathetic, if not unintelligible, to other generations than those among whom they are first current, and, still more, the very principles that govern it have been and are so variously developed in different times and places that music which is delightful at one period or to one people is repugnant at another epoch or to a different community. An attempt will here be made to sketch the progress of the art through Western civilization, to show how it has been changed from artificial or calculated into natural or spontaneous, and to describe some of the chief forms of its manifestation.2 To define the special science, and the art which is its I application, that is denoted by our word music, the Greek a language has two other words, ltarmonia or harmonike and melodia, - Itarmania implying the idea of " fitting," and so being a term for propriety or general unity of parts in a whole, not in our limited technical sense of combined sounds, but with reference to the whole principle of orderly and not specially tonal regulation, melodic implying the rising and falling of the voice in speech, and being applied only at a subsequent epoch to a succession of musical notes.3 We thus owe our three chief musical terms to the Greeks, and in our prevailing system much more besides ; they themselves, however, owed all to earlier sources, for the essentials of their knowledge and practice are traced to Egypt.
It has been ingeniously suggested and well sustained by Mr. J. F. Rowbotham that in prehistoric times music passed through three stages of development, each characterized by a separate class of instrument, and the analogy of existing uses in barbarous nations tends to confirm the assumption. Instruments- of percussion are supposed to be the oldest, wind instruments the next in order of time and of civilization, and string instruments the latest invention of every separate race. The clapping of hands and stamping of feet, let us say, in marking rhythm exemplify the first element of music, and the large family of drums and cymbals and bells is a development of the same principle. Untutored ears are quicker to perceive rhythmical accentuation than variations of pitch, so the organ of time makes earlier manifestation than the organ of tune, though, musical sound being a periodic succession of vibrations, the operation of the latter is truly but a refinement on that of the former. The sighing of wind, eminently when passing over a bed of reeds, is Nature's suggestion of instruments of breath ; hence have been reached the four methods of producing sound through pipes : - by blowing at the end, as in the case of the English flute and the flageolet; at the side, as in that of the ordinary concert flute; through a double reed, as in that of the hautboy or oboe and bassoon ; and over a single reed, as in that of the clarionet - all of which date from oldest existing records; and also upon the collection of multitudinous pipes in that colossal wind instrument, the organ. An Egyptian fable ascribes the invention of the lyre to the god Thoth ; a different Greek fable gives the same credit to the god Hermes ; and both refer it, though under different circumstances, to the straining of the sinews of a tortoise across its shell, - whence can only be inferred that the origin of the highest advanced class of musical instruments is unknown. This class includes the lyre and the harp, which give but one note from each stretched string ; the lute, which, having a neck or finger-board, admits of the production of several notes from each string by stopping it at different lengths with the fingers ; the viol, the addition of the bow to which gives capability of sustaining the tone ; and the dulcimer, finally matured into the pianoforte, wherein the extremes of instrumental fabrication meet, since this is at once a string instrument and an instrument of percussion, having the hammer of the drum to strike the string of the lyre.
Musical intervals are named numerically from any given note, say C as the 1st, the note next to which is thus D the 2d, the one beyond is E the 3d, and so on to another C, the 8th. Beyond the 8th, numerical names are only used for the rare combinations of the 9th, the 1 lth, and the 13th. This is because the 8th is in some sense a reproduction of the 1st, as all intervals beyond it are reproductions of the 8th below them - reproductions, that is, uniting identity and difference, the relation of tones in the higher octave being just what it is in the lower, while each tone is so or so much more acute than its under 8th, an analogy to which may be sought in the reduction of any visual object to half its size while all its proportions are preserved, the larger and the smaller, as in the interval of the 8th, thus uniting identity with difference. When two voices or instruments produce the same sound they are in unison ; the unison or 1st 1 is styled perfect ; so too is its reproduction, the 8th ; the 8th is unequally divisible into a 5th and a 4th, and these two are classed with the 1st and 8th as perfect. There are many specialities that distinguish the four perfect intervals in music from every other. The two notes of which each is constituted are, save in one instance, of the same quality - as natural, or sharp, or flat; to raise or lower either of the two notes by a chromatic semitone 2 changes a perfect interval into a discord, whereas the other intervals are elastic, that is, they may be major or minor from having a chromatic semitone more or less in their extent, and are not changed from concords to discords, or the reverse, by the modification. To invert a perfect interval by placing the higher note beneath the lower produces another perfect interval, whereas to invert any of the other intervals reverses its character of major or minor. The progression of two parts together from one to another 1st or 8th, from one to another 5th or 4th, has, save in exceptional instances, the bad effect that all musical grammar forbids, whereas the progression of two parts in 3ds or 6ths with each other has a good effect. In the resolution of fundamental discords the progression of perfect intervals is free, whereas that of the imperfect intervals is restricted ; and further, in the relation of subject and answer in a fugue, one perfect interval may be changed for another, but never for an imperfect interval. Many technicalities are anticipated in the foregoing which can only be explained in the sequel, but present mention of them is unavoidable in reference to a position now to be stated. The Egyptians perceived the distinction of the perfect intervals from others, if not all the above specialities, and regarded them as typical of the seasons, spring bearing the proportion of a 4th to autumn, of a 5th to winter, and of an 8th to summer. The distinction, then, has been observed for many centuries, but neither ancients nor moderns have adduced any explanation of the phenomenon, and the wondrous fact that perfect intervals differ in constitution and treatment from other intervals appears to defy reason, and not even to incite speculation.
The anciently supposed affinity of music to astronomy was taught by Pythagoras (585 B.c.), who derived the notion from the Egyptians, and exemplified it by comparison of the lyre of seven strings with the planetary system. The Sun, then believed to rotate round the earth, was deemed the chief planet, next to which were, on the one side Mercury, Venus, and the Moon, and on the other side Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. The strings of the lyre, not the notes they sounded, were thus named (middle), being the principal or keynote, corresponding with our A on the fifth line with the bass clef, and likened to the Sun ; Paramese (next to middle) or B flat, likened to Mercury; Paraneto (next to lowest, i.e., shortest = highest in pitch) or C, likened to Venus ; and Nete or Neate (lowest) or D, likened to the Moon ; these constituted the upper tetrachord or scale of four notes, to which the lower tetrachord was conjoined by having Mese for its acutest note, which was the gravest of the other tetrachord ; next to it was Lichanos (forefinger string) or G, likened to Mars ; then Parhypate (next to highest, i.e., longest = lowest in pitch) or F, likened to Jupiter ; and lastly Hypate (highest) or E, likened to Saturn. The Moon being of all the planets the nearest to, and Saturn the farthest from, the earth, they are analogous to the shortest and the longest string.
The Greek lyre (see LYRE, VOL xv. p. 113) had at first four strings, to which subsequently were added the longest three; then an 8th, corresponding with our E, tuned to an 8th above Hypate ; then three below the latter, which took the scale down in pitch to B on the second line with the bass clef ; afterwards three above the former, which took the scale up to A in the second space with the treble clef ; and finally Proslambanomenos, corresponding with our A in the first space with the bass clef, extended the "greater system" of fifteen notes to an 8th below Mese and an 8th above it.3 Tradition has it that Pythagoras made his discovery of the ratios of the perfect intervals by listening to some smiths who struck the iron on their anvil with hammers of different weights, and thus produced different notes from the metal. But the narrator of the tale has disregarded the obvious fact that, save for slight variation due to the greater or less heat of its different parts, a metallic bar, like a string, always sounds a note of the same pitch whatever be the weight of the instrument with which it is struck.4 The smithy wherein Pythagoras worked his musical problems was the land of Egypt, where he is said to have acquired and whence he imported his knowledge. His division of the 1st and 2d degrees and the 2d and 3d degrees of the tetrachord, counting downward in pitch into equal intervals of a major tone, left but a leimma (remnant), which was less than a semitone between the 3d and 4th degrees. Aristoxenus (300 D.c.), who has been called the father of temperament, discovered the difference between the major and minor tones, the first having the ratio -1, and the second having that of iv°. His followers formed a school opposed to that of Pythagoras, and there was severe contention between the two. Subsequent theorists disputed whether the major or the minor tone should be above the other, and it was Claudius Ptolemy (c. 150 A.D.) who enunciated that the major tone should be below the minor, which is the principle that directs the intonation of our present scale. This intonation may account for the difference between the effect in proceeding from the minor chord of the supertonic to the major chord of the tonic, and the effect in proceeding from the minor chord of the submediant to the major chord of the dominant, of which the latter, at the interval of a minor tone, is acceptable and the former, at the interval of a major tone, is repugnant to cultivated ears.
The Greeks had four modes or scales included in their "greater system." The Dorian comprised a series of eight notes from D to D, of which b13 was the 6th, and had its semitones between the 2d and 3d and the 5th and 6th degrees counting upward. The others were exact transpositions of this, as all our modern scales are transpositions of the scale of C, the identity of intervals being induced by the various tuning of the lyre strings. The Phrygian mode lay between E and E, and had ;.',F and qB, the Lydian between #F and #F had #G and #C, and the Mixo-Lydian between G and G had bB and bE. These four were styled authentic, and were distinguished by having the dominant (or predominant note) at the interval of a 5th above the tonic. Each had a plagal or relative mode at the interval of a 4th below the authentic, distinguished by having the dominant a 4th below the tonic, and defined by the prefix "hypo " to the name of the authentic mode, as Hypo-Dorian beginning on A, Hypo-Phrygian on B, Szo. To each mode was assigned its special character of subject, which may be accounted for by the different qualities of voices that could sing in lower or higher keys, the majestic being fitted to a bass, who would sing in the Dorian, the tender to a tenor, who would sing in the Lydian, and so forth. In later but still classic times other modes were added to these, but on the same principle of precise notal transposition.
The tetrachords above described - having a semitone between the lowest note and that next above it, a tone between the 2d and 3d, and a tone between the 3d and 4th, the latter of which Ptolemy made smaller than the other, and so left a semitone between the 2d and 1st degrees - were called diatonic, as A, bB, C, D. To lower by a semitone the 2d note from the highest produced a chromatic tetrachord, as A, bB, qB, D. To tune the 2d string from the top yet a semitone lower reduced it to the same pitch as the 3d string, which was equivalent to its total rejection, and this form of tetrachord was the enharmonic, the invention of which was ascribed to Olympus (640 B.c.). If we observe the two tetrachords that occur, for instance, in the Dorian mode - that from D down to A, and that from A down to E - with the addition of the tonic D below, it will be seen that our modern scale of D minor with the omission of the 4th and 7th degrees was in the enharmonic genus, and that the chromatic genus gave the minor and major 3d and the minor and major 6th with still the omission of the 4th and 7th : - enharmonic, D, E, F, A, bB, D ; chromatic, D, E, F, #F, A, bB, D ; and the other authentic modes were transpositions of this. In the harmonic scale of nature the 7th from the generator is too flat, and the 1 1th (octave above the 4th) is too sharp, for accepted use ; the rejection of these two notes indicates a refinement of ear that shrank from the natural and equally refused the artificial intonation of these degrees of the scale. Mr. Carl Engel proves the rejection of the said 4th and 7th from the keynote by nations of high civilization in remote parts of the world ; we call a scale that is so formed Scottish, but in China, Mexico, and other places than Great Britain the same arrangement is found to have prevailed in the remotest periods of which we have knowledge. An important principle is here involved which has affected all musical theory directly or indirectly, and is now seen to lie at the foundation of modern rules of harmony or the combining of musical sounds. The Pythagoreans advocated the use of the enharmonic genus, and so received the appellation of Enharmonicists, or were as often called Harmonicists, and hence the twofold application of the term " hannonia."
Anacreon (540 B.c.) sang to the accompaniment of the magadis (doubling bridge), an instrument imported from Egypt to Greece ; it had a bridge, across which the strings were drawn at one-third of their entire length, when of course the shorter division sounded the note an 8th higher than the longer. Aristotle (384 B.c.) describes antiphon (.1-) ItzPrickcovov) as the singing of a melody by men an 8th lower than it is sung at the shine time by boys - in other words, what is miscalled in modern church congregations "singing in unison." The same writer enunciates that the antiphon may not be at either of the other perfect intervals, the 5th or the 4th below a melody, and in this he anticipates a rule till lately deemed inflexible in modern music. Beyond these two instances of the combination of the 8th, no allusion has been found in ancient writings to the use of harmony in the modern sense of the word, and the only three examples of ancient Greek music that are known to exist are melodies (notes in succession), and supposition assigns them to the 3d or 4th century A.D. They are hymns to Apollo, Nemesis, and Calliope, with the respective verses, and their translation into modern notation has only been possible through reference to the verbal accent, because there are no extant rules of that era for purely musical measure. Nevertheless we have Egyptian paintings of the period of Dynasty IV., and Greek sculptures of players on pipes of different lengths which must have produced notes of different pitches, and sometimes in the same party players on string instruments with necks whereon two strings, differently stopped and yet sounded together, would have yielded a combination of different notes ; and this, though a speechless, is a strong evidence that the musicians so represented made at least a forecast of modern harmony. One cannot but marvel that, while copious treatises have come down to us upon niceties that have here been adduced, nothing has been brought to light but pictorial testimony as to ancient knowledge of chords ; and the three specimens just mentioned are all that have been found of musical composition in any form.
The classic Greeks used music in rhapsodizing or chanting with vocal inflexions the epic poems ; they employed it in religious rites and to accompany military evolutions ; and prizes were awarded for its performance by voices and on instruments (including, during the last two centuries B.c., the organ) at their Olympic and other games. It belonged essentially to the drama, which had its origin in the dithyrambic hymns ; these were gradually developed into the tragedy, which took its name from the tragos (goat) that was sacrificed to Dionysus during the performance. Possibly Thespis (536 B.c.) may have spoken the recitations with which he was the first to intersperse the hymns ; but some interpreters of Greek writings affirm, and others while doubting do not disprove, that in the mature drama all the characters sang or chanted, seemingly after the manner of the rhapsodists, and the impersonal chorus sang to instrumental accompaniment during their orchestric evolutions, from which motions or marchings the part of the theatre wherein the chorus were stationed between the audience and the proscenium was called the orchestra. Here, then, was the prototype of the modern opera, the main departure from which is the transplanting of the chorus to the stage and giving to its members participation in the action. ./Eschylus wrote the music to his own tragedies ; Sophocles accompanied on the cithara the performance of his Thanzyris, if not of other of his plays ; Euripides left the composition of the music for his works to another genius than his own, and such was the case with after dramatists.
In ancient Rome the choristers in tragedies were very numerous, including female as well as male singers ; they were accompanied by a large number of instruments, among which trumpets were conspicuous. This we learn from i Seneca, who employs the idea of multitudinous unity it presents to illustrate figuratively the organization of a state.
How or when the musical system of the Greeks fell into disuse is still untraced ; certainly it prevailed and engaged the attention of philosophers for some centuries of the Christian era. The first notices of music in the Western Church refer to the manner but not to the matter of the performance. The name of St Ambrose (384 A.D.) is familiarly associated with the music of his metropolitan church in Milan ; but all that is proved of his connexion with the art is that, advised by Flavian of Antioch, he adopted for the first time in the West the practice of dividing the verses of the Psalms between responsive choirs, an usage which has a natural connexion with the so-called "parallelism" of Hebrew poetry, indicated in the English version of the Psalter by the colon that divides each verse. This practice has come to be falsely called antiphonal singing - falsely, because, according to the etymology of the word and to Aristotle's definition, the Greeks used it for singing together, whereas the church uses it for singing in alternation. St Ambrose regulated the order of the prayers, the ritual, and other matters in the service besides the music ; his ordinances prevailed in Milan, and were distinguished by his name; so the term Ambrosian denotes the "use of Milan" in all things in which that differs from the practice of other churches. No proof is given that the melodies so defined belong to the date of St Ambrose.
f Boetius (475 A.D.) was the most copious of the Roman writers on music, but his voluminous treatise De Institutione Musica proves that the Greek principles of the art had in his time become matter of antiquarianism ; nay, it proves further that he did not understand the technical terms he professed to translate. For instance, he mistook the word for the shortest string of the lyre (Nets), which naturally gave the acutest sound, to signify the gravest note ; and he mistook the word for the longest string (Hypate) to signify the acutest note. It is not necessary here to catalogue this author's many verbal errors ;)- but it is important to mention that he ignored the advance made by Didymus and completed by Ptolemy in the tuning of the scale with the major and minor tones, and the modern semitone of -14, counting upward, and returned to the Pythagorean division of two major tones, inducing a discordant 3d, and the leimma ili.2 The very eminence of Boetius makes it matter of regret that he ever wrote upon music. His Latin book being accessible when those of Greek authors were not, it was established as a text-book on the art in the English universities, and musical degrees were granted for knowledge of the principles it set forth ; musical progress was thus seriously retarded, and the 18th century was far advanced before search for sound theory dispelled reverence for his scholastic dogma.
As St Ambrose ordained a ritual for Milan which bore his name, so also St Gregory the Great (590 A.D.) ordained one for Rome which was called Gregorian. The terms Ambrosian and Gregorian are now erroneously applied to a system of music that came first into use centuries after the dates of the two bishops, and they are applied even to melodies constructed upon that system. This sentence of St Isidore, the friend and survivor of Gregory, distinctly proves that no music of the time of the Roman pontiff was or could be preserved : " Unless sounds are retained in the memory, they perish, because they cannot be written." Whatever the age of the oldest church melodies, belief cannot associate them with the days of St Gregory.
I See Chappell, op. cit.
C The system of notation by letters of the Greek alphabet had fallen into disuse. A system by neumes (7rveviza) or pneumeter, of later date than St Gregory, employed signs over or under the syllables to indicate the rising or falling of the voice but not to define its extent, and, in the manner of modern punctuation, to show where breath should be taken. This was followed by, though for a time practised coincidently with, one in which the Roman letters stood for notes. Afterwards, something like our staff was employed, of which the spaces only and not the lines were used, the syllables being placed in the higher or lower of them to denote to what extent the melody should rise or fall. Of earlier date than anything that has been found of like advance in other countries is a service-book which belonged to Winchester cathedral, and contains music written on the lines as well as in the spaces of a staff of four lines ; and this comprises a prayer for Ethelred II., who died in 1016. It has been stated and constantly repeated that staff notation was invented by Guido, a monk of Arezzo, who was alive in 1067, and whose book, Micrologus, refers only to writing in spaces, and who throughout his works professes no more than to describe established principles, and these far less advanced than what then prevailed in England. To him is falsely ascribed the first use of a red line for the note F, and a saffron for the note C, and to him, as unduly, the appropriation of the initial syllables - nonsense without the completion of the words - of six lines of a hymn to St John the Baptist as names of the notes - Ut, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La.
Hucbald (930 A.D.) invented a system, not of notation, but of scales, wherein the semitone was always between the 2d and 3d of a tetrachord, as G, A, b13, C, so the 03 and 0' of the second octave were in false relation to the 1713 and V of the first two tetrachords. To this scale of four notes, G, A, bB, C, were subsequently added a note below and a note above, which made the hexachord with the semitone between the 3d and 4th both up and down, as F, G, A, bB, C, D. It was at a much later date that the 7th, our leading note, was admitted into a key, and for this the first two letters of the last line of the above-named hymn, " Sanctus Johannes," would have been used, save for the notion that as the note Mi was at a semitone below Fa, the same vowel should be heard at a semitone below the upper Ut, and the syllable Si was substituted for Sa. Long afterwards the syllable Ut was replaced by Do in Italy, but it is still retained in France ; and in these two countries, with whatever others employ their nomenclature, the original Ut and the substituted Do stand for the sound defined by the letter C in English and German terminology. The literal musical alphabet thus accords with the Germany, however, a remnant -of Greek use prevails in having the note above A at the interval of a semitone, namely 6B, as was the classical Paramese above Mese, and the Teutons employ the 8th letter H to denote the sound we call 'r.13, and the Italians and French Si. The gamut, which, whenever instituted, did not pass out of use until the present century, regarded the hexachord and not the octachord, employed both letters and syllables, made the former invariable while changing the latter according to key relationship, and acknowledged only the three keys of G, C, and F; it took its name from having the Greek letter gamma with Ut for its lowest keynote, though the Latin letters with the corresponding syllables were applied to all the other notes.
A system of modes had already been established for I ecclesiastical music which differed essentially from the r. Greek modal system in having no notes inflected by sharps or flats, and consequently a different distribution of tones and semitones in each mode from that in all the others. The sole exception from this was the permissible bB in the second octave, the toleration of which was for the sake of avoiding the interval of the augmented 4th between ;;B and F below it, but the inflected note was admitted in the fifth mode only. Here the numbers of the modes must be explained and the later misapplication to them of the Greek names. The two classic forms of authentic and plagal were employed in the structure of melody, that having its dominant above the tonic or final, this having its dominant below it. The four authentic modes bore the uneven numbers - first beginning its scale from D, third from E, fifth from F, wherein the '7B might be used, and seventh from G. The four plagal modes bore the even numbers, which showed their parallelism or relation to their respective authentic modes - second beginning from A, fourth from B, sixth from C, and eighth from D. In the latter half of the 9th century, Notker, abbot of St Gall, applied the Greek names to these, regardless of the distinction that by ire of inflected notes the classic modes had all the same disposition of tones and semitones, whereas by the omission of sharps and of flats the church modes varied from each other in the arrangement of intervals. The confusion of F for the church Lydian with #F for the Greek Lydian is obvious, and the reader may easily trace the discrepancies between the systems if he consider the diverse principles on which the two are based. Some centuries later, the ninth and tenth modes, ./Eolian and Hypo-fEoliaia, beginning respectively on A and E, were added, and later still, the eleventh and twelfth, Ionian and Hypo-Ionian, beginning respectively on C and G. The mode or scale that comprised 17B was called mollis, and those which had were each called Jura, and hence the sign " b " to indicate a flat, the word bemol to define the same in French, the word be or its first letter to name a flat, and the terms moll and dur to express minor and major in German. Lastly, as bearing on the aversion from the augmented 4th between F and B, and on the omission of the 4th and 7th in several characteristic national scales, it must be added that, whenever the 5th above or 4th below a tonic or final was B, C instead of this note was dominant of the mode.
Coincidently with the church practice of constructing unrhythmical melody in one or other of these unnatural and arbitrarily devised modes, and of singing the same without accompanying harmony, the people of Northern nations had the habit, as has been proved in many districts, of singing tunes with the accompaniment of different parts performed by other voices. Among what tradition has preserved of these tunes, some indeed are in one or other of the church modes, as was inevitable in the productions of people who had experience of this artificial system in the music of the daily service ; but many approximate far nearer to the scale of present use, and are thus susceptible of just harmonic treatment, which is incompatible with the modal system. So devoted to their song-tunes were the English people in the later Saxon times that churchmen, as is well attested, would often sing these to attract the public to divine worship, and after the Norman settlement it was a frequent custom to write words of hymns to fit secular tunes, which tunes and their titles are preserved through this appropriation only, with the Latin words written under the notes.
The appropriation of popular tunes to church use was followed by the adoption of the harmonic practice or part-singing of the people in many English districts, and probably in other Northern lands. At the end of the 1 1 th or beginning of the 12th century, a part added to another received the name of descant (dis-cantus, some thing apart from or extra to the song), and rules were gradually framed for its extemporaneous invention. It was preceded by faburden (the singing of a single note or drone throughout a given melody), and this latter term was retained with a wider contrapuntal signification, whence difficulty has arisen as to its primary meaning. To "bear the burden" was to sing the bass below either a single part or fuller harmony ; when the bass was a single note, which was of course the tonic, this being generally F or Fa, it constituted the faburden or drone ; that the term is translated fauxbourdon and falsobordone in French and Italian may have referred at first to its being a single note or drone, and not a part changing with the changeful harmony.
The assertion that previously to the period now being considered there prevailed a church custom of accompany-; ing melodies with a transposition of the same at the interval of the 5th or 8th above or below is disproved by Aristotle's injunction that the antiphon might be at the 8th below, but not at any other of the perfect intervals ; and the blundering of Boetius could not eradicate the fact, though it might obscure the rule. It is also disproved by the habit of the peoples of the North to sing in harmony, showing unschooled perception of the principles of combining sounds, and making it impossible that either they or their priests (who must casually have heard their natural performances) could have tolerated the cacophonous progression of parts at perfect intervals from each other. It is disproved by the identity of human perceptions to-day with those of a thousand years ago, and by the certainty that men of old positively could not have sung with satisfaction, or heard with respect, things that are in the highest degree offensive to us all. An explanation may be speculatively ventured, that the manuscripts wherein two parts appear to be written in 5ths or 4ths with each other are not scores showing what was to be sung in combination, but the parts for separate choirs, showing what was to be sung in response ; thus, when D A stand as the initials of three melodies, the top or D the bottom may have been intended to be sung alone, the middle to follow, and the other to succeed. In this is to be seen the germ of the fugue, if we may suppose that the part which first held the cantus was continued in descant, when the cantus was sung a 5th higher by another part. Music written as here described is defined as diaphony, - a term at least as appropriate to the successive as to the simultaneous singing of a melody at the interval of a 5th above or below.
One of the most inscrutable things to the modern student is the lateness at which notation was devised for defining : the relative length of musical sounds. The rhythmical sense is the earliest of the musical faculties to be developed, and is often the strongest in its development among individuals and nations. Still, the ancients have left no record that they had signs of indication for the length of notes, and centuries rolled over Christendom before there was any chronicled attempt to find a principle for supplying this musical necessity. Here again conjecture will insist that the practice of singing longer and shorter notes with stronger and weaker accent must have prevailed before a system was framed for its regulation; and in this supposition offers that the instincts of the people must have given example for the canons of the school-men. Franco of Cologne, in the 12th century, is the first writer who codified the uses of "measured music," and all he enunciates is expanded in the treatises of Walter Odington, a monk of Evesham who was appointed archbishop of Canterbury in 1228. At this period and after-