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NOVELLO'S LIBRARY FOR THE DIFFUSION OF MUSICAL KNOWLEDGE.
"Studies serve for delight, for ornament, and ability. * * * There is no stond or impediment in the wit,
but may be wrought out by fit studies."-Lord Bacon.
GENERAL MUSICAL INSTRUCTION.
AN AID TO TEACHERS AND LEARNERS IN EVERY BRANCH OF
TRANSLATED, BY GEORGE MACIRONE, FROM THE ORIGINAL GENRESSLY FOR NOVELLO'S
LIBRARY FOR THE DIFFUSION OF MUSICAL KNOWLEDGE. THE MUSICAL PORTION HAS
BEEN REVISED BY MR. JOSIAH PITTMAN, ORGANIST OF LINCOLN'S INN.
J. ALFRED NOVELLO, 69, DEAN STREET, SOHO, AND 24, POULTRY:
ALSO IN NEW YORK, AT 389, BROADWAY.
J. ALFRED NOVELLO, PRINTER, DEAN STREET, SOHO, LOndon.
To PARENTS, CONSCIENTIOUS TEACHERS, AND OTHERS CONCERNED IN
By whom it is considered a matter of Duty to see that the Musical Education of Youth be real, refreshing to the heart and senses, and elevating to the mind; who are anxious and watchful that Art be not perverted and debased into a source of enervating dissipation and vanity,
GENERAL MUSICAL INSTRUCTION.
Review of the province of Music, and of THE
OBJECT OF GENERAL MUSICAL INSTRUCTION.
General musical instruction is essential to every
person who in any manner, whether as Singer or
Player, as Composer or Teacher, desires to employ
himself in music on a solid foundation,-in order
that with full preparation and foreknowledge he
himself may be enabled to pursue, or may be capable
of communicating to others, the special branch which
may be the peculiar object of attainment. This
treatise is therefore the elementary school for the
musical world in general; and by its assistance, in-
struction may be obtained in vocal and instrumental
performance and in composition, while, so far as
music is concerned, its materials can be wholly
dispensed with by no one. As moreover, our work
bears a character of universality, in necessary
information on our subject, we will not scruple to
communicate some peculiar methods (for example, of
score reading and playing) which are indeed not
indispensable to every musician, but are nevertheless
desired by many, and can be nowhere better given
than in this book.
General musical instruction is not desired to be
merely a grade of scientific distinction, but is
intended for all who take any interest in music, that
they may have a full comprehension and just
appreciation of the art in all its aspects. In order,
therefore, the better and more extensively to accom-
plish our object, we will assume no previous instruc-
tion. We will take nothing for granted—but what
is universally known by common intercourse, or what
is self-evident. By this it will be seen at once that
our instruction will be eminently practical. Its ra-
tional foundation is demonstrated by the science of
Music, whereof in this book, we can only here and
there throw in a ray of enlightenment, and then,
simply to develop and fix irremovably some im-
portant and fundamental ideas, which would not be
sufficiently understood and impressed without the
deeper illustrations of Science.
If we wish, then, to collect the universal elements
of musical knowledge, we must first learn what are
those elements upon the nature of which we desire
to obtain information. In our conception they are
everything that belongs or relates to music. Let us
therefore contemplate this art as we everywhere
We see, further, that music is produced either by
the human voice or by instruments of various kinds
as flutes, violins, trumpets, and so forth. Everyone
knows, that these different instruments are distin-
guished by their respective kinds of sound. The
flute gives a gentle, soft, flowing sound-the trumpet
resounds with vehemence, forcing and crashing, and
so forth. This distinguishing quality we will call
TIMBRE, OR CHARACTER OF SOUND.
We ought to have said, therefore, just now, the cha-
racter of the sound of the flute is soft; that of the
trumpet is crashing, and so forth.
We observe, lastly, that in one and the same instru-
ment the sounds produced have another special
difference between themselves. That, for example,
the four strings of a violin, or the strings of a harp,
sound on each instrument quite differently among
themselves. In common parlance, some coarser, some
finer; that is, the longer strings of the harp and the
thicker strings of the violin sound coarser (lower),
and the shorter strings of the harp and thinner strings
of the violin sound finer (higher). Considering
sound in this relationship, we call it
*The expression Laut is indeed understood to be synonymous with
Schall (Sound): it seems, however, advisable to use it in the above sense
exclusively, as the prescribed name for a determined and really distinct
object. The distinction of Laute into Selbstlaute (Vowels), Doppellaute
(Diphthongs), and Mitlaute or Beilaute (Consonants), is familiar.
+ This word is in italics to distinguish it from tone meaning distance
or interval, and this practice will be observed throughout the book.
Thus the middle C on the piano (called in this book the one-lined C),
which is represented in notation by the note on the first ledger line under
the staff in the G clef, and on the first ledger line above the staff in the
F clef, is called the tone C-the fixed and determined sound C, or one-
lined C, of an absolutely fixed and invariable pitch or height in the scale.
In like manner we might say the tone C, or the tone D, or DD, or D,
or any other tone whose height or depth is determined. But on the other
hand we should say, the tone C is one tone below D, two tones below
E, &c., speaking of the tones D and E next higher than C.-TRANSLATOR.