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But this, its destiny, it is in the highest degree
Its notation is written in the G clef.
This is a large violin, and it is thus tuned :-
has four strings, thus tuned :
Its compass reaches to the one-lined a, and, with the assistance of the harmonics, one or two octaves higher. Generally its notation is in the F clef, but for higher tones the tenor and G clefs are used.
Our additional remarks on the violin may be applied equally to the tenor and violoncello. 4.-THE DOUBLE BASS
has commonly four (sometimes three or five) strings, which are usually tuned from E upwards in fourths. Its notation is in the F clef, but being a sixteen feet instrument, its great E sounds the double E, &c. It is seldom or never double stopped, and is as rarely used with a mute. It can be made to produce its tones up to the one-lined e, and higher, but as it is of sixteen feet, that would be the sound of the small e.
Bowed instruments are used either for solos or for
usually the violin, tenor, and violoncello; or for QUATUORS,
Two strings may be made to sound simultaneously; generally two violins, or a violin and violoncello; or and even three may be taken with such rapidity in one bow, that the ear imagines the sounds to be simultaneous. The violin is therefore like all other bowed instruments capable of producing harmony; but only in a very limited degree: it cannot perform part-compositions, properly so called. It is also, like all bowed instruments, peculiarly appropriate for melody, and therefore, in general, should be used only in conjunction with other instruments.
* Under ordinary circumstances of tension, a string vibrates in its whole length, between its two fixed ends. It may be imagined thus:
The tone is the result of the vibration of the whole length of the string. But the harmonics are the result of the vibrations of sections of the string, and their tone corresponds with the quantity of each section in proportion to the length of the whole string. This figure may be understood to represent vibration in sections:
More intimate knowledge in this matter belongs to Acoustics.
The above supposed vibration in sections would be heard, I apprehend, as the double octave of the whole string.-TRANSLATOR.
It is quite possible, no doubt, for a violin alone to perform a complete composition. Seb. Bach even wrote a fugue in four parts for a violin-but such feats are extraordinary-they are exceptions, depending upon artistic combinations.
generally two violins, tenor, and violoncello; or for Quintuors, Double Quatuors, or also in conjunction with a pianoforte, or some wind instruments; or, in fine, to form an
In this event they are increased in number. Generally there are two (sometimes more) separate parts for the violin, violoncello, and double bass; for the two latter united into one part, (proceeding
The name in full is viola di braccio, (arm violin), in contradistinction to the violoncello (which is held between the legs or knees), or rather more properly, to the predecessor of this latter, the viol di gamba (leg viola). From braccio is derived the German bratsche, meaning a tenor violin.
The root name of the double bass is violono the largest or deepest bass. The next smaller or higher is the violoncello. The next in the diminishing gradation is the viola, and the smallest is the violino or small viola. The violoncello was formerly called in Germany the Bassatel or little bass. It is also called in that country, for shortness, the Cello.
¶ It is very rarely that two separate parts are used for the double bass. It may happen, indeed, where two orchestras are formed to play at the same time: as for example, in the matthäischen Passionsmusik of Seb. Bach. Mozart introduced three orchestras at once, as we have shewn at page 41, together with three different double basses.
FIFTH SECTION.-REED OR TUBULAR
We have already said, that we shall include in this class all wind instruments whose tube is usually made of wood.
All these instruments have more or less, a gentle, soft, and smooth character of sound, resembling in some degree the human voice. They are capable of producing a considerable extent of tones, but of these they can only bring forth one at a time. They are superseded, however, by the bowed instruments, in fine gradation of piano and forte, in progressive diminuendo and crescendo, and in the length of continuous sound.
We shall mention the following kinds and their derivatives.
1. THE FLUTE, (Flauto)
This has the most smooth and soft character of sound, and usually comprises an extent of tones from the one-lined d (sometimes c), up to the three-lined a, and still higher. Its notation is in the G clef,
and in sound it is of eight feet tone.
A derivative hereof is the
As all successions of tones cannot be produced upon this instrument with equal facility, and as those farther removed from its own natural succession present considerable imperfections, clarinets of different pitch have been introduced, in order to accommodate the most usual successions. Three kinds are usual in our orchestra :THE C CLARINET,
whose tones sound as they are written; THE Bb CLARINET,
whose tones sound a whole tone deeper than they are written; THE A CLARINET,
which is a minor third deeper than the C clarinet. This passage, therefore
It is a clarinet bent at a blunt angle, for facility of use, with a metallic bell. By means of particular keys it can produce two tones (the little c and d, that is, therefore, F and G) which other clarinets cannot. Its compass, written in the G clef, goes from the small c, up to the three-lined d; therefore from the great F to the two-lined g. This gentle, elegiac, or more properly, funereal instrument, is comparatively speaking, very little in use; the more powerful clarinets have not allowed it. Mozart was the first to recognize the peculiar attributes of this instrument, which no other species of clarinet could satisfactorily replace; and availed himself thereof in the Titus, and quite specially in the Requiem, in which two basset horns and two bassoons form
Its notation is in the F clef, the higher tones are sometimes in the tenor.
the whole choir of tubular instruments. These, | Bb, up to the one-lined g, and a few degrees higher indeed, spread a most appropriate pall of grief and mourning over the solemn service for the dead, which the introduction of clarinets, oboes, or flutes, however these might be managed, would only
introduced by Ivan Müller. This is only a large clarinet, curved near the mouth-piece, and is also a fifth deeper than the ordinary clarinet, (therefore the small e is as the great A). In this, however, not only the two deep tones of the basset horn are wanting, but also the peculiar and characteristic sounds of the latter instrument are absent. The management of the Alt clarinet in the massive military bands and orchestras of wind instruments now in vogue, has become more feasible; and here and there a conductor may be found, willing to employ the Alt clarinet in lieu of the basset horn,* perhaps, in some degree, from want of players on the latter instrument.
3. THE HAUTBOY (oboe)
is an instrument similar to the clarinet, but which has a mouth-piece formed of two flat bits of reed laid together, and is also smaller and thinner in the body than the clarinet.
In compass, the hautboy resembles more the flute than the clarinet. It has usually the tones from the small b, up to the three-lined d, or e and f, and e 三 is noted in the G clef. Its character, however, is broadly distinguished from that of the flute. From its construction, greater narrowness of tube, and form of embouchure, its character of sound is more shrill and cutting, whereby it is possibly less removed from the violin than from the flute. It is susceptible, nevertheless, of great delicacy, and sometimes exhibits power.
A species of the hautboy is the
ENGLISH HORN (corno Inglese), which is called also the Oboe di caccia, (hunting hautboy). This has the same notation as the hautboy; but its tones are a fifth deeper; therefore, the one-lined c is as the small f. This passage155. 156.
will sound as—
This instrument also, is at present but rarely used. Among the moderns, Spontini employed it occasionally. In Seb. Bach's scores, it appears constantly. 4. THE BASSOON (fagotto).
The bassoon is a wind instrument with a long and sufficiently thick tube, and is played by means of a double reed (larger than in the hautboy) fixed in a thin metallic tube, called the S. Its sound is soft and full, but in consequence of the reed (as in the hautboy) it is rather nasal, so that it approaches somewhat to the character of the violoncello. The compass of this instrument reaches from the double
A bass clarinet (an octave deeper than the C or Bb clarinet) has also Jately come into use through Meyerbeer.
THE DOUBLE BASSOON
has a compass from the great D up to the onelined d. Its tones, however, sound an octave lower than they are written, it being of sixteen-feet tone.t With the bassoon and double bassoon, particularly in wind orchestras to strengthen the bass, are combined the
BASS HORN (corno basso) and the OPHICLEIDE.
This last is a metallic tube, and therefore an exception from our rule touching tubular instruments. It has the great compass from double B to the twolined c, and is of sixteen-feet tone, but is difficult of intonation. To these may be added the
All these three instruments, particularly the last, differ materially in their construction from the bassoon, and they are here aggregated to it, merely because from their character and employment they associate better with the bassoon than with any other class of instruments. The most important among them is the serpent, which has a compass from double Bb, up to the one-lined g, or, indeed, to the two-lined C and in character of sound is about midway between the bassoon and trombone, from the latter of which it has taken its mouth-piece.
In grand orchestras there are generally two separate flutes, hautboys, clarinets, bassoons,-also, if wanted, two basset horns and as many piccolo flutes, or of the latter, only one; but of the derivatives of the bassoon, only the double bassoon, or a serpent; and unless the setting of the bowed orchestra be uncommonly numerous, each part is played singly.
The characteristic sound of the trumpet is clear and powerful-in the lower tones, vibrant.* 3. THE TROMBONE
is a large trumpet, which is however so constructed, that the two tubes of which it consists may be lengthened at pleasure by two other inserted tubes. The length of the whole tube may thus be varied at will by the player, whereby various successions of tones may be produced, including all the semitones within the compass of the instrument.
The character of the sound of the trombone is similar to that of the trumpet, but more powerful. Three kinds of trombones are in use of different ranges:
(A) THE ALTO TROMBONE (Trombone alto) has a compas from the small c or e to the one-lined a, or two-lined c, and is noted in the alto clef.
to three-lined c,
THE E CORNET has a compass from the one-lined C, and is noted in the G clef, but sounds a minor sixth deeper.
* In order to facilitate the use of the trumpet and horn, valve-trumpets and valve-horns have recently been invented. In these instruments a portion of the tube is opened or shut, and thus a higher or a lower pitch may be given to them; and indeed, very easily. But by this arrangement, and the compressed curvature of the tube connected with it, the instruments lose much of their original freshness and power, which was so essential to their peculiar character. Moreover, a complete scale of their characteristic sounds, so precious to a composer, is not necessary: and that their natural tones have been employed because they were the most characteristic, can be shewn from the works of the greatest instrumentalists, namely, Haydn and Beethoven. Only in military music, subject to the fashion or caprice of the moment and heedless of musical reputation, are these instruments become a necessary evil. It is to be lamented, that under the influence of the French-Italian Opera, the most natural instruments, full of health and character, are constantly decreasing in our orchestras.
Of these instruments, the high Bb cornet may be considered as the treble (treble tube), the Eb cornet as the alto (alto tube), the tenor horn as the tenor (tenor tube), the tenor bass as bass, and the bass tube as the double bass.
Other instruments, such as the bass trumpet, klappen horn (kent horn) post horn, and so forth, we must pass over.
The foregoing instruments have a medium character between the horn and the trombone, and form by their capabilities, sufficient scales of metallic sound to establish an intervening class between the reed instruments-which they threaten to banish or to overwhelm-and the brass instruments, whose pure and decided characteristics they do not possess, but much rather injure by being too copiously employed.
SEVENTH SECTION. THE ORGAN.
The organ is, in its essence, nothing more than an assemblage of many wind instruments; not blown, however, by mouth, but by a magazine of wind, and brought into operation so soon as the communication between the air and the instruments or pipes are opened by the player.
The organ is incomparably rich in such pipes, which it possesses in the greatest diversity of pitch and character of sound.
The player commands the instrument through one or several key-boards, of which some, generally two, and rarely more than three, are played with the hands (manuals)—and one, with the feet, (pedals) unless the organ be too small to admit of a pedal.
The manuals are precisely similar to the fingerboard of a pianoforte, and generally extend from the great C to the three-lined d.
The pedals are correspondingly arranged, with this variation, that being for the use of the feet, they are larger and further apart than the keys in the manual. They extend from the great C to the one-lined d.
To each claviature, or key-board, several ranges of pipes belong, of which either a single range, or any number in conjunction, or altogether in one massive sound, may be set in operation. The admittance of wind to the various ranges of pipes is effected by handles, called stops or registers.
only, whose stop is drawn out, is capable of producing sound.
The manuals and pedals may be joined together by attaching wires, and then all the drawn-out stops may produce sound at once.
Every sound continues with equable force, so long as the key be pressed down.
The sounds vary both in pitch and in character. The deepest sounds are in thirty-two feet tone, and therefore intonate two octaves deeper than written: thus, the one-lined c, as the great c.
Then come those of sixteen-feet tone, which are one octave deeper; the one-lined c, as the small c. Of eight-feet tone, the standard number.
Of four-feet tone, which are an octave higher, the one-lined c, as the two-lined c.
Of two and one-feet tone, which sound two and three octaves higher, respectively.
Other stops sound a third and fifth higher or lower; others, again, called mixtures, produce to each key several pipes, tuned relatively to each other in octaves, thirds, and fifths, &c., sounding of necessity, simultaneously: so that when any key on the key-board is pressed down, its own tone, and its octave, or itself, octave and fifth, or these intervals in several octaves, with the addition in some cases of the major third, are all heard together.*
Many of the registers are intended to imitate or
We are under a twofold obligation to enter into a more minute explanation here. In the first place, the employment of mixtures for harmonic effect, may appear to those unacquainted with the organ, inconceivable, nay, contrary to common sense. If every key besides its own tone, produces its octave, third, and fifth, the most simple chord (see Sect. 5 of 4th Division), for instance, c-e-g, would produce the following chaos of harmonically contradictory tones:— -d-e-g
ard the chord, second in importance in music, c-e-g-bb, would have the following:
produced and sounding in confusion all together. Here it must serve as an explanation, that mixtures are to be employed only with judgment, taking care that the principal melody and harmony be enforced by sufficiently numerous and powerful registers, so that out of the above storms of vibrations, nothing but the chords c-e-g and c-e-g-bb, shall come clearly and prominently fortb.
In the second place, we must not omit to mention on the other hand, the condemnation of these mixtures by the important voices of Gottfried Weber and the celebrated Chladny, so famed in the science of sound. These and others have declared the mixtures to be at variance with all our ideas of harmony and music, a pernicious error derived from mediæval barbarism. Of many well-informed and able defenders of the ancient system, we will name but one, the highly respected musicdirector, Wilke, justly esteemed for his knowledge of organ building, and his dissertations in the Leipziger allg. mus. zeitg.
We will only remark briefly, that as it appears to us, the opposition to mixtures arises from our too confined apprehension of musical truth. The theory hitherto has proceeded on the mere presumption that music is an art producing melody and harmony by means of tones. Everything else-sound, character of sound, even rhythm-has been considered but of secondary importance, and fundamentally unessential. Weber indeed, and almost alone, has entered into the examination of rhythm in the arrangement of music; but even he, most unsatisfactorily. Regarding sound and its qualities in relation to music, we have nothing at all worth naming.
Now, the mixtures are exactly appropriate (as must have been remarked), for the production of masses of sound, for the accumulation of that all-powerful element in the organ, independently of the melodious or harmonious effect. We find many types in nature and in sounding materials, that a mighty manifestation forms at the same time its own proper atmosphere-so light is accompanied by either sparkling or faint radiations; thunder is enveloped in hollow reverberations; bells, besides their deep and powerful sound, evolve repeated secondary sounds; even strings give supplementary vibrations (as C gives c-g-c-e-g, and one like bb,) more or less perceptible. This atmosphere may be considered as the fulness of effects and combinations. which in the mere sound or ray, are presented to us in an abstract, dry, and unconnected form. So in the vast cathedral, the powerful organ evolves its atmosphere of secondary sounds, which convert the whole space into a resounding_medium, most appropriate for influential effect upon the hearer. The same effect is aimed at in the orchestra, when in the masses of forte the middle parts are crowded with various forms of composition, not for the sake of melody, but for the production of a mass of sound, which, involving and involved, shall work out its own proper object. An attentive and educated ear can perceive secondary sounds proceeding from the whole mass of an orchestra; not from one instrument or the other, but waves of sounds, the result of, or springing from, countless and inappreciable vibrations.
So much for this point of contention. Every one indeed should stand up for this view; for if, on the contrary, the mixtures were to be abolished or expelled, permanent injury would be done to many works properly adapted to the real character of the organ.