Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

they were not, like Hans Sachs and his com It may be remarked, in passing, that some panions, the master-singers of Germany, writers, attached to the present style of ideas one moment working at shoemaking, the maintain that the aucient dances of the Henext at a poem. They drew their inspira- brews, which accompanied their canticles, tion from the lovely climate, the delicious and especially the dance of King David, odours, the magnificent foliage and flowers, were not properly speaking, dances, but onof " Araby the blest.. An order of bards, ty gestures, attitudes, prostrations, by which living in primeval simplicity, caressed by they occasionally gave more fervour to their princes, admired by the people, all they their thanksgivings for any signal favour saw and felt

They received, as, for example, after their “ Turn'd as it left the lips to song."

passage over the Red Sea, for the destrucHere is the mighty river that feeds all the deliverance from the persecution of the

tion of Pharioh's army, and for their own tributary streams. Or, more aptly, it may be compared to an inexhaustible mine, from Egyptians. By this, also, they attempt to which half the world of poets have borrow. I explain away that testimony, which David, ed or stolen for centuries

, without any per-by dancing before the ark, gave of his joy

on that solemn occasion. The mistaken ceptible diminution of its treasures. Then, again, even in their proverbs and sayings,

zeal for propriety thus annexes a ludicrous what practical wisdom with appropriate fig. remote ages, in divers countries, was consid

in urative expression!

Antiphonial singing, or the mode of chant- ered part of religious worship, and was soling the service, still in use in our cathedrals, emnizee purely on that footing. The triwhere one portion of the choristers responds umphal procession of the Roman emperors to the other, is another remnant of the an

was performed not merely by walking but cient style of vocal music amongst the the last century, at Limoges, the people

as Arabs. Mr. Buckingham, who notices this in his " Travels among the Arab Tribes,” | which is dedicated to their patron saint, and

used to dance round the choir of the church, when attending church service at Damas. cus, mentions “the hymns of the choristers, Gloria patri, they sung as follows : “St.

at the end of each psalm, instead of the who were chiefly children of both sexes, Marcel pray for us, and we will dance in and sang in response to each other in the Arabic tongue in a manner resembling the tions, the religious dance was practised ; as

honour of you.” In most of the eastern nasongs sung in response by the boatmen on the ancient Chinese book Tcheou-li mentions the Nile." The modern Arabs are not be

a dance called Tchou-vou, invented by Tchhind even the German peasants in fondness for, and knowledge of, harmony. The same ments which they accompanied with their

eou-kong: The dancers played on instrutraveller mentions having been at a party voices, and they successively ran through " where half a dozen persons sat together in the different notes of music. They began a groupe and amused the rest with Arabic

with songs, while the listeners occasionally joined after which, making a mock-fight, they ad

an invocation to heaven, next to earth, in the chorus. It was the first time of my dress themselves to their ancestors; then, ever having heard any tning like harmony breaking out into loud cries, they called out in the music of the country, for here were

to the four quarters of the world." two who sang in thirds and fifths, and one

With respect to the musical acquirements who sang an octave to the strain.” The of the Persians and Hindoos, much curious wedding-feasts of the Arabs are accompa: information may be found in the same panied with music, in a similar manner to that of other eastern nations; and the mutilated pers to which we have before alluded. An remains of their choral dences suffice to intelligent officer in the native cavalry of show what perfection their musical system had attainedł in that department.

* Sir J. Gallini's Treatise,p. 78. In Sir R. K. Porter's “ Travels in Persia,' we find that he in

clines to the opinion that the instrumental accom"Among the ancients there were no festivals, paniment to the Georgian dance is an oracular tesno solemnities, that were not accompanied with timony of its high antiquity. “Thelike strains, songs and dances. It was not held possible to ce- though often utiered by very differently constructlebrate any mystery, or to be initiated without the ed instrumenis, with a similar kind of dance, are intervention of these two arts. They were looked yet common among the Russian and Cossack peaupon to be so essential in this kind of ceremonies, santry, and are also to be found in Africa, and that, to express the crime of such as were guilty amongst the Indian nations of Asia, likewise in of revealing the sacred mysteries, they employed America, both North and South, wherever the the word kheistæ, to be out of the dance."-Sir aboriginal people have been suffered to exist."John Gallini's " Critical Observations on the Art vol. i. p. 137. of Dancing."

+ Quarterly MuscalMagazine.

[ocr errors]

in

India has done us the favour to communi. “The consideration obtained by these cate a few peculiarities which he has fre-men, in time induced several of an avariquently noticed in the music of that country. after acquiring some knowledge of the

cious disposition to engage as pupils, and, He describes the men's voices as being similar to our counter-tenors; this is rendered art, to set up for themselves; but the sor

didness of their views was soon discovermore apparent when they all sing together, ed.

They, however, still continued to for they throw considerable energy into the maintain their ground till the country was opper

and more shrill tones of their voices, overstocked with professors, who prostinot exactly in unison but nearly so, the ef- tuted their abilities for a mere trifle; and fect being not very agreeable to our ears. lastly, considering themselves as minisThey almost all have a strong nasal twang swered their avaricious views, even en

ters of pleasure, and, seeing that it anin their voices. The instrument most in

gaged in other traffic not at all honorable use is the guitar, but the Fakeers, or holy to a man of any profession. They were men, in their processions, where they sing become like the minstrels of England in hymns to their deity, with loud shouts and the reign of Edward II., when it was found energetic gesticulations, are accompanied by necessary, in 1315, to restrain them by men beating the cymbals.

express laws." " The ancient musicians of Hindoostan One would almost imagine that the muwere generally poets and men of erudi- sical transactions of the present day in Engtion, and sung their own compositions; in land might furnish a parallel to this desefact, music and poetry have always gone cration of the art in Hindoostan. hand in hand,* but all records of their proceedings have perished. Such was

"In accounting for the origin of the ga-
the jealous respect for their talent dis-mut, they say that the various sounds of
played by the musicians, that they adopt- which it is composed are derived from
ed an austere method of living, concerned the natural sounds or calls of various ani-
themselves little about the luxuries and mals. The Khuruj, they assert, is in imi-
vanities of the world, and would not be tation of the call of the peacock. The
bribed to display their talents in public as Rikhub, of the bird called pupecha; the
hired professors. No gifts or grants were Gundhár, of the lowing of a sheep ; Mudd.
considered by them as worth accepting, kum, from the call of the bird named coo-
as they cared for nothing. Princes and lung; Punchhum, Koel, Dhyvat, the horse,
great men of taste, therefore, found them- and Nikhad, elephant. How far (says
selves under the necessity of courting Captain Willard) this opinion can be
their friendship, and of accepting the fruit maintained, I leave the reader to deter-
of their genius as a favor, for which they mine. I was not aware before I got a
possessed no other means of repaying sight of native treatises on music, that the
them but with honor and kind treatment. lowing of sheep, the neighing of horses, or
Their tribe likewise screened them from the call of the elephant, could be construed
all sacrilegious violence, and ensured re-into musical sounds."
spect. The religious sentiments of the
natives, who considered these persons as We assure the author of this entertaining
voluntary exiles, who had renounced the
world, and dedicated themselves to the treatise, that if he wishes for information on
worship of the gods, added some weight the subject of animal music, and the deriva-
to the admiration they commanded; and tion of sounds from nature, the text-book on
the ease and independence enjoyed by this subject is Gardiner's "Music of Na-
such men would excite the desire of its ture,” in which he will find the notes of
acquisition in others.

most animals, birds, &c., and much ingeni-
ous and fanciful information, the result of

many year's observation, which, like other
* The attention of M. Felix may be called to really useful works, is not as much consulted
of the Escurial. In the Index to the Bibliotheca by professed musicians as it out to be.
Arabica Hispanica, 2 vols. fol. Madrid, 1759, In the former part of this paper we have
Catalogue in ihe British Musenm, there are three intimated our belief that rythmical measure
deserving translation.

“ Musica Instrumenta and meledy connected with it were known apud Hispanos Arabas usitata," i. p. 527, c. 2. "Musica eorum nomina plerumque fuere Persica, and practised in considerable perfection by quæ Arabice reddita exhibentur," ibid. et seq. " Musicæ usum severiores Aleorani sectatores proscribunt, i. p. 483, c. 1. There is also “A Treatise on the Manners and Customs of the Ara: read with the same assiduity with which they

If the composers of the present day would bians," by Laurence D'Arvieux, Paris, 1717. 12 write, how greatly they would add to their attainmo., the English translation of which we have in

ments in the art! The modest and indefatigable vain endeavored to procure, as it is conjectured to Weber knew well the advantage of this babit. furnish much important information on this sub- We are indebted to the preserved fragment of a ject.

Turkish dance in the Essais Historiques de la

the oriental poet-musicians, and are happy the ideas entertained on an idolatrous nato have the opinion of so enlightened an am- tion; the authority we have been qucting ateur as Captain Willard on our side.' shows how near we are to the truth. The

songs of the aborigines of Hindoostan will “From the certain knowledge of the bear comparison with those of any other rhythm of the ancients, and the similarity country for purity and chasteness of diction, observed in the practices of the natives of elevation and tenderness of sentiment. India, Persia, and other oriental countries, it inclines me to the opinion that the rhyth

There is only one point upon which we mical measure is the lawful offspring of cannot agree with Captain Willard, when nature, found in all parts of the world, he speaks of the inadequacy of the Arabic which existed much prior to the birth of language for musical purposes (p. 32.) Of her younger sister, the modern measure.'* | the Persian, Arabic, and Hindoostanee lanWhen we speak of the graces and rifiroi- most natural of the three," as there is no

guages, the Arabic is allowed to be the mento of modern songs, it is usual to sup- doubt whatever it is the most ancient, and pose this style of florid singing to spring was in a high state of perfection as a gramfrom Italy, and that it was invented there; matical tongue, when other languages were how must even a prima donna be surprised in a crude state the natural result of sato learn that this very sage kind of singing vage manners and ignorant superstitions.was practiced by the musicians of Hindoo. It is in the true pronunciation that language stan ages back?

displays its euphonious properties, and un“ The peculiar nature of the melody, of of Arabic vowels and terminal letters in

til we can make sure of the actual sound Hindoostan not only permits but enjoins the singer, if he has the least pretension to the ancient days of that country's palmy excel in it, not to sing a song throughout state, we must be careful in determining its more than once in its naked form; but on non-capabilities for musical purposes. If its repetition, which is a natural conse- it be true that classical scholars cannot yet quence, occasioned by the general brevity agree as to the actual sounds of the open of the pieces, to break off sometimes at vowels in the Latin tongue in the days of the conclusion, at other times at the com

Cicero, surely it is not too much to assert mencement, middle, or any certain part of

that no standard can now be formed of the a measure, and fall into a rhapsodical embellishment called Alap, and, after going musical capabilities of the Arabic. through a variety of ad libitum passages, rejoin the melody with as much grace as

Songs which have love for their if it had never been disunited, the musical theme,” observes Captain Willard, accompaniment all the while keeping time. the most numerous amongst all nations. These passages are not reckoned essen-In Hindoostan there is one other motive tial to the melody, but are considered only for their being esteemed-as the acts of as grace notes, introduced according to the god Crishnu, they are considered as the fancy of the singer, where the only pious hymns. The old sing them as acts limitation by which the performer is bound, of devotion, the young derive pleasure are the notes peculiar to that particular from their contents." melody, and a strict regard to time.”

This deity is quite a Jupiter in his way. We have always imagined that, when the songs of the ancient people of India “He is represented as the unrivalled came to be examined by competent judges, they would prove to belong to a different class of poetry to what is conjectured from * "It is nov! generally agreed by those who

study oriental literature, that the Arabs do not

possess any authentic literary relics anterior to Musique, for the germ of the finely imaginative the sixth century of our era, and that the poems music in'" Oberon.” The first notes for ihe horn called Moallakat all belong to that, or the beginin the overture, and the chorus, “ Hark what ning of ihe next century. It cannot, however, be notes are swelling," are parts of this ancient dance. disputed that at the time when they were com

* As it evidently appears that rhyme was em- posed, the language and poetry of the Arabs had ployed with melody in all celebrations, public and already attained a high degree of cultivation; the private, may not time and research bring to light language appears in them with perfect grammatithe

Asiatic origin of the ancient Lyric Plancius, cal regularity, and subject to all the rules of a fixed or Chants farcies, which in their turn gave origin system of prosody.” And what is quite as extrato, and immediately preceded, those dramatic ordinary, and a collateral proof of the euphonious mysteries which the monks used to perform? This ease of ils pronunciation,—" The Arabic alone kind of lyric recitative, in which the people joined, has outlived all its sister-tongues, and has spread is said to have been first introduced about the mid- not only as the vernacular tongue all over Syria, dle of the eleventh century. (See paper, “Paris Egypt, and Northern Africa, but as also the lanMorning," &c. in Blackwood's Magazine for guage of religion throughout Persia, the Turkish March, 1836.)

Empire," &c.

are

[ocr errors]

Damon, Paris, and Adonis of Hindoostan,

" Malcous. beloved by all the fair without exception. He is emphatically styled 'Mohun,' or the "An athletic young man, of rosy comenchanter. His person was so graceful plexion, and intoxicated with wine. His that every woman who once beheld him vestments are blue, and he holds a staff in became instantly enamoured of it. His his hand. A string of pearls is round his pipe possessed such irresistibly attractive neck. He is surrounded by women, whom charms, that none who ever heard it could he addresses with gallant familiarity. attend to anything else, however serious, incumbent, or necessary. It diffused a

" Toree. sort of phrenzy along with its tone, the influence of which could not be withstood " This delicate minstrel is clothed in a by any woman of Vruj. Neither the usual white sarce. Her fair skin is tinged and cares of the household, the desire of ar- perfumed with touches of camphor and raying, so natural to the female sex, nor saffron. She stands in a wild romantic the threats of the enraged husband; no, spot, playing on the veen. The skill with not even the attention due to a hungry and which she strikes that instrument has so crying infant, could for a moment detain fascinated the deer in the neighboring her from following the impluse occasioned groves, that they have forgot their pasture, by the sound of Crishnu's flute.”

and stand listening to the notes which she

produces. There is one other peculiarity respecting he music of this people which must be no

6 Gooncuree. ticed. Their authentic melodies are limited to a certain number, and it is considered al. of this female, the tears which flow fast

The grief which is depicted in the air most criminal, as it is nearly impossible, to from her eyes, the scattered wildness of add one single melody of equal merit. her hair, which wantons with the breeze, Whatever intrinsic worth any modern com- the sighs which she breathes, and the deposition might possess, should it have no jected posture in which she is sitting unresemblance to the established melody of der the cudum-tree, with her head leaning the country, it would be looked upon as

forwards, prove the anguish of her heart spurious, so tenacious are the natives of for the absence of her beloved. Hindoostan of their ancient practices. The

" Kidara. poetry of these authentic melodies (Rags or Raginées, as they are termed) embrace “ The subject of this Raginée is of a every variety of subject, mythological, do- masculine character. The young man in mestic, sentimental, warlike, &c. We may white garments wields a sword in his notice one or two as they serve to corrobo- right hand, and in his left grasps the tusk rate our idea respecting the origin of poeti- of an elephant, which he has rooted out.

A bard standing beside him recites the cal melody in the East.

praises of his valor.”

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

In the first of these (Malcous) we have * The tones of different instruments have been compared to the variety of colors, and there is the counterpart to Bacchus. The second doubilees some analogy, but the world is improv-|(Toree) points to the possession of similar ing in hypothetical theory, for on perusing a very power over the brute creation ascribed to clever Italian work (a) the other day, we found Orpheus, Amphion and other musical eneven the notes of the gamut compared to the dif- chanters, whose exploits in this way are terent colors, thus, Ut.. equale all'azzurro.

now considered only half fabulous. Kidara Ut diesis..

verde.

reminds us of Ossian's heroes, whose moveRe..

verde chiaro.

ments were always accompanied by the Re diesis.

verde ulivo.

bard.* Mi.

giallo. Fa (b) color d'aurora.

The science of music in Sanscrit is termFa diesis..

rancio.

ed Sungeet. The invention of it is attribuSol

ted to demigods, and, amongst others, to Sol diesis

cremisi. La

violetto.

Narud, Sumeshwar, Hunooman, and CoolLa diesis.

violelioazzurro.

nath. Several treaties were written and are Si...

azzurrocolor d'aria.

in existence, but they are so obscure, that litUt

ile benefit is to be expected from them to Ricerche Storico-crilico Scientifiche sulle the science. The poets and musicians of origine, scoperte, inventione e perfezionamenti fatie nelle Arti, Science, &c. Don G. Amati.

5. In this instance Signor Amati agrees with Mr. Gardiner, of Leicester, who says that F. is the

* Many of ihe images and other figurative exkey of nature; we have found some deviations pressions in Ossian are decidedly oriental, and occasionally. The roar of the sea breaking

are modified only by the difference of climate in

the two countries. against a rock is generally in B flat.

[ocr errors]

azzurro.

were

[ocr errors]

Hindoostan divide their year into six sea " This ancient song may furnish us with sons, and one of these is allotted to each many inferences which naturally arise Rag, with his Raginées, Pootrás and Bhar. from its style. We find that the class of

wandering minstrels, who jyas. Their system includes the chromatic

the scale, consisting of the seven notes of the with their herds from the banks of the

authors of this kind of song, wandered gamut, subdivided into twenty-two parts.- Don (or Tanais of the ancients) to those Their diatonic scale is termed Moorchhuna, of the Danube (or Ister,) for the youth and extends to three octaves.

here mentioned is represented as collectWe must now turn to the north, to exa- ing his horses in some place between mine the state of Music in Russia, as corro- those two rivers. We next find that they borative of our idea of its eastern origin.

possessed numerous herds of horses; The form of the instruments is one means bits is not here a poetical license, as it is

and the assertion that they had golden of proving the similarity of between the probable that they were accustomed to eastern and northern musical systems. In make excursions into some rich country, a scarce work, “ Dissertations sur les Anti- to procure quantities of that precious quitiés de la Russie, par M. Guthrie," print- metal; and this, however unlikely it may ed at Petersburg 1795, a copy of which, at first appear, is not impossible, for, if the with MS. notes by the author, is in our pos-nauts from Greece, through all the dangers

riches of Colchis could attract the Argosession, there is a set of plates of their in- of the Euxine, when navigation was still struments, and among them is the gour- so imperfect, in order to obtain the gold dok or (guitar violin,) the gously, a five of the Phasis; assuredly a warlike people, strained dulcimer, and the figure of a boy who were, comparatively speaking, in its playing on the double flute, which cor- neighborhood, might be equally tempted responds exactly with the tibicen, plate to dip a fleece in that famous stream, and vi. Burney's Hist. vol. 4, which was ta- to gather the gold dust, like those ancient ken from a bas-relief in the Farnese col Greek navigators, if they did not even lection : all these, together with the cymbals,

take it ready gathered, which appears

very likely. drum, and one nearly resembling our mo “An examination of these plains bedern grand caisse, called the crolalum, are tween the Don and the Danube seems to rudely sculptured on a portion of the ruins afford collateral proof of the correctness of an ancient church or temple, supposed of this song, respecting the gold found in to be Arabic, discovered by a modern tra- those countries. A number of mounds, or veller in Spain.

conical tombs of earth, called by the na

tives kourgans, are scattered here and The original imagery in the Russian

there, much resembling the tumuli in the songs is the next striking analogy.* There field of Troy, described by the Abbé Cheare several in Guthrie's Dissertation, a few valier, in the third volume of the Edinof which we give with his translation, it is burgh Philosophical Transactions. These called Chanson Khorovodnia.

kourgans contain rings and pieces of gold,

with the sword and skeleton of a chief. 6 Between the Don and the gentle Da. The wealth of the people in horses seems nube, a youth, collecting his horses all bri- clearly proved by the quantity of bones dled with gold, met a young maiden, remaining of that animal, found buried whom he entreated to guess what it was beneath the mounds. Herodotus menthat he wished for? I could very soon tions that these plains abound with wild guess, said the maiden, if I were not afraid horses. of my father : still I will guess once, as

66 There is another of these songs rather you are the only son of your house, the singular and somewhat ridiculous in its handsome Ivanuschka, (or little John.)'” character, which I subjoin, No. 21. 'The

Pike of Novogorod.' 'A pike set off from
Mr. Guthrie remarks-

Novogorod whilst his tail was still in the
Bielo Ozero (that is, the White Lake.) His

body was covered with silver scales, and Let not the serious reader be uneasy at this his head beautifully variegated with differ

ent colors. volatile skipping about to all points of the com

This allegory 1 include pass; there are more things yet to come which among the mystic symbols of the ancient may startle his mind from its propriety. Any one hydromancy of this country ; there is anxious for an oriental pedigree may be furnished something similar in that of the Indians, without the trouble of applying at the Heralds' from whom I have no doubt the Russians, Office.

Greeks, Gauls, and Britons, derived the

worship which they paid to the liquid eleThis makes out Turner's strange assertion, ment. The mention of the Gauls reminds That every Englishman's a Persian !

me of a ceremony obtaining amongst that See Sharon Turner's paper on the Asiatic ori- people, which has some distant affinity to gin of the Anglo-Saxons, Trans. Roy. Soc. of Li-that which forms the conclusion of the

modern Russian semic. In dry seasons, terature, vol. ii. part 2.

[ocr errors]

VOL. XX.

« AnteriorContinuar »