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some of those which have been most which they were known in their genedeservedly admired, and which are ration, and which, now that they have here presented, as we conceive, in even passed away, like epitaphs, serve a more engaging form than that under merely to mark the period of their exwhich they are popularly known. istence, or the spot where their ashes
While the Skene MS. thus carries are laid.” Sepulchri similis nil nisi us back, by its direct evidence, to the nomen retineo. commencement of the seventeenth cen, Mr Dauney's Dissertation, also, astury, it gives no indication that the sembles together much curious inforairs contained in it were then of recent mation as to the musical instruments date. They bear, for the most part, chiefly used in Scotland, which seem, the appearance of antiquity, even at indeed, to have been those which were that period, being designated by titles generally prevalent over the rest of that seem to be the initial lines of po- Europe. The harp, clavichord, orpular or vulgar songs, with which gan, and lute, seem to have been chiefly they must have been allied for a pe- in use, The bagpipe, presented to riod of at least some duration. The us in monkish Latin under the sin, instrumental symphonies and varia, gular name of chorus, seems not to tions, also, which are introduced into have been peculiar to Scotland, but to some of the airs, seem to imply that have been more familiarly used by the they were familiar themes, of which English. the celebrity offered an inducement to Mr Dauney has mentioned a good present them in a novel aspect, A many MSS. of Scottish music which new point of time is thus, in truth, af, he has seen, of various eras, from that forded us, from which we may, with of the Skene MS. downwards, and of more confidence, direct our researches which, it is to be hoped, the most into the regions of conjectural en- valuable part of the contents will, ere quiry.
long, be made public. He refers, Mr Dauney has accordingly taken also, to a very important manuscript the opportunity afforded by the publis volume, belonging to Mr Chalmers cation of this curious MS, to review of London, which had been presented generally the various questions that to Dr Burney, by Dr George Skene relate to the history and character of of Marischal College, Aberdeen, It Scottish melody. The preliminary bears this curious title : “ An Playdissertation, in which this task is per- ing Book for the Lute, wherein ar formed, is written with much ease and contained many currents, and other elegance, and with equal judgment and Musical Things. Musica mentis Me. learning. We believe that in this Dis, dicina Mestą. At Aberdein. Notted sertation the musical antiquary will and Collected by Robert Gordon. In find the fullest materials that have the year of our Lord, 1627, In Feany where been collected for a candid bruarie," The person here mentioned and deliberate investigation of the as the collector, was Sir Robert Gor. questions at issue.
don of Straloch, We have reason to We may merely mention the heads hope that some of the most interesting of the most interesting topics of which melodies contained in this volume, or he has treated.
at least those of Scottish growth, will be Mr Dauney has brought together made accessible, erelong, to the musical all the vestiges of old vocal poetry world, Mr Dauney further expresses which are to be found in our early an opinion that, “if the archives of writers--which consist chiefly in an some of our ancient families were well array of the mere titles of melodies and diligently sifted, other original now unknown. He observes, accord, MSS. of a similar kind might still be ingly, that in this enquiry little solid brought to light.” It is probable that information is gained, except that many such MSS., where they are dismusic and song did exist at those re- covered, are regarded as useless, from mote periods, “ We feel ourselves,” the apparent illegibility of the musical it is said, “ like beings wandering notation ; but the possessors of such among the tombs, surrounded by the documents should be informed that the crumbled relics of former ages, with ancient notation is generally well nothing to guide us to the objects of known to scientific persons, and can our search beyond a few casual in- be perfectly well deciphered, scriptions designative of the names by We have next our attention direeted
in Mr Dauney's Dissertation to the ence of what is called a Scottish scale, importance which was attached in which, it has been supposed, furnishes Scotland to musical skill, and the study an infallible test to discover what mewhich was employed in acquiring it. lodies are of geniune native growth, Tradition has always taught us to and what are the results of refinement believe that the Scottish monarchs or foreign imitation.
Mr Dauney were the steady patrons of this ele- conceives that these theories are with. gant art, if not sometimes eminent out foundation ; and for a further dis. proficients in it; and Mr Dauney has cussion of the question he has referred corroborated the opinion, at least of to an Essay appended to his work, their encouragement of music, by a being “ An Analysis of the Structure good deal of miscellaneous evidence, of the Music of Scotland," from the and in particular, by a curious docu- pen of Mr Finlay Dun, a very eminent ment, entitled, “ Information touching and scientific musician, whose ardent the Chapell- Royall of Scotland," sub- study of our native melodies, directed, mitted by Edward Kellie, in 1631, to as it has been, by a thorough acquaintCharles I., who had appointed Kellie ance with the history and theory of to reform the constitution of the musical composition, entitles him to Chapel-Royal, in anticipation of the be considered as one of the highest King's intended coronation in Scot- living authorities on the subject. We land. Kellie there mentions that he shall postpone our observations on the had received the King's directions to views contained in this analysis, until see that “the service therein might be we have introduced our readers to a well and faithfully done; and that better acquaintance with the Skene none but persons sufficiently qualified MS. itself, which must now form an should have any place there ; and that important part of the data on which they should be all kept at daily prac. every system, explanatory of Scottish tice; and for that effect your Majesty music, is to be founded. appointed me ane chamber within The most interesting melody, unyour Palace of Holyrudehouse, where- doubtedly, with which this MS. prein I have provided and set up an or- sents us, is that of the “ Flowers of the gan, two flutes, two pandores, with Forest." No air, perhaps, can be viols, and other instruments, with all more closely intervoven with our nasorts of English, French, Dutch, tional feelings-in none has the very Spanish, Latin, Italian, and old soul of pity and of patriotism been Scolch music, vocal and instrument- so tangibly embodied. How many al.” Mr Dauney has also printed a voices have, in years past, warbled series of extracts from the books of forth its plaintive strains, and invested the Treasurer of Scotland, from 1474 it, from the involuntary emotion of to 1633, showing frequent donations their own faltering accents, with a from the royal purse, for musical grace and potency beyond the reach of purposes, bestowed both on natives the most consummate art! Under its and foreigners. Without entering magic influence how many hearts have into some of the idle speculations as to throbbed-how many eyes have been the actual compositions of James I., suffused with tears, of those who now, and still less into the foolish fables like the Forest Flowers themselves, regarding Rizzio, to whom, though have been “a' wede away !" Neither only three years in Scotland, the best can we forget that this charming me. of onr national music was at one time lody has given birth to two of the attributed, it is evident, from the un. most beautiful songs that any nation doubted facts collected on this subject,
can boast of.
“ I've heard a lilting that from a very early period there at our ewes' milking,” and “ I've must have existed, not only a national seen the smiling of Fortune beguiling," taste for music, but also a body of are at the very head of their several scientific musicians in Scotland, who classes in lyricalcomposition; and when were capable of giving to that taste a added to the beautiful ballad of “ Auld right direction, and of imitating and Robin Gray," compel us to acknowimproving the “wood-notes wild,” ledge that the women of Scotland which native feeling might dictate. have enriched its minstrelsy with gems
This subject leads to a considera of greater price and purity than any tion of the theories which have been that the stronger genius of the other sex hitherto advanced regarding the exist- has ever been able to contribute. Com
bined, as it is, with associations so some tenderness and simplicity. We sweet and sacred, we own that when hear it periodically bellowed out by we first heard of this melody, as occur- Macheath, in "Thechargeis prepared, ing in the Skene MS. in a different with an alternate burlesque of tragic form from that in wbich we were ac- horror and connubial tenderness, and customed to hear it, we felt a fear lest are habitually nauseated by a mawkish the spell should be broken, by finding edition of it in “ Mary of Castle Cary," that in its most ancient and authentic which is equally offensive in the rolling shape, it was destitute of some of those thunder of Braham's tenor, or the peculiarities wbich we had been so squalling soprano of a superannuated long taught to admire. If we had miss. The melody in its primitive state, missed, for instance, the flat seventh as exhibited in the Skene Manuscript, to which our ears and hearts have though essentially the same, has a very been wont to thrill from infancy, and different aspect and expression from of which peculiarity the ancient origin the tawdry counterfeit which generalhas sometimes been rashly questioned, ly passes current. It is given without we should scarcely have thanked our a single superfluous note, and so as to friends for disenchanting us from ourde- present the native beauty of the modulusion. All, however, is safe. We are lation in the purest and most instrucdelighted to discover that the old air dif. tive simplicity. The air deserves carefers from the existing one only in being ful attention, as presenting us within a at once more simple and more beauti- narrow compass, and a short space, ful. The difference between them, with some beautiful transitions, very though considerable, does not destroy gracefully repeated and combined. a single association, or disturb a single All its modulations are managed with sentiment. On the contrary, we feel the greatest nature and simplicity, and that the native spirit of patriotic la- in a manner perfectly satisfactory to mentation which it is designed to any ear not corrupted by the effemibreathe, is here more purely and nacy of modern refinements. worthily represented, as well as more
We shall bere mention some others directly conveyed to us from its origi- of our old favourites which are to be nal spring We wish we could here
found in the Skene MS. There is a present our readers with the old air, very beautiful set of the air, “ The according to the beautiful arrangement Last Time I came o'er the Moor," of it, which our admirable friend, Mr under the title, “ Alace, that I came G. F. Graham, has contributed for Mr o'er the Moor.” We have “ Jenny Dauney's work, but we must deny our
Nettles" under the name of “ I love selves and them that pleasure, and my love for love again,” with a second must be content to refer them to the part in a different and more chromatic work itself.
style than the common set. “ John The melody that appears to us to
Anderson, my Jo" retains its name, be next in interest in the collection, is but is a little different in structure, that which has long gone under the particularly at the close, where, as in name of “Bonny Dundee," but which the case also of Jenny Nettles, a is here presented under that of “ Adew major third is strangely introduced on Dundee.” This air is one of the most the minor key. “My Jo Janet” apbeautiful and ingenious of our native pears somewhat in masquerade under melodies. Disfigured as it has been the name of “ Long er onie old man." by idle embellishments, and perverted “ Waes my heart that we should sunfrom the natural expression which be- der,” retains nearly the same name, longs to it, it has long attracted no. but is otherwise a good deal metamortice, and produced delight. We have phosed. “ Good night and joy be it coupled in D'Ursey with the vilest with you,” corresponds closely to the words that ever caricatured the Scot- modern tune of nearly similar name; tish dialect or manners ; although the and “ Johnny Faa" appears almost chorus there introduced, and which in its present shape, under the name Scott has borrowed for his song on of “ Lady Cassilles' Lilt." Claverhouse, is apparently geruine, Of the new melodies brought to and is certainly spirited. We are fa- light by this publication, some seem miliar with a modification of D'Urfey's to be in the old Scottish style, others verses in the ordinary old song to which are fashionable airs intended to match the air was sung, and which possesses with the sentimental poetry of the day,
many are dance tunes, and some, we The most ingenious theory, per-
amateur of well-known talent and in-
to be a true and complete one. It re-
the modern diatonic scale, divested of
analysed and presented in a simple
musical instrument defi.
cient in the fourth and seventh of the is made in the Dissertation in queskey, by the limited compass of which tion, to maintain that the flat seventh the composition of the whole national is a modern innovation : but this opi. music could be so restrained. On nion seems scarcely to be insisted in the contrary, from time immemo- with any seriousness, and could not be rial, many different instruments are adopted on solid grounds, or without proved to have been in use among us, overturning all our ideas of Scottish which, undoubtedly, contained a per. melody. This qualification alone, then, fect diatonic scale. Again, although would go far to break in upon the supit be true that some Scottish airs are posed scale. But the exceptions to destitute of the fourth and seventh of the theory under consideration, extend the key, that proposition is not true of greatly beyond even this class. Many all, even of those which seem to pos- undoubted Scottish melodies possess sess a national character. And here both the fourth and seventh, and still it becomes a question, Whether a more of them exhibit one or other of theory is first to be framed, and then those intervals. He would be a bold only those airs allowed to be ancient, theorist who would deny the genuine which agree with that theory, or origin of the “ Broom of the Cowdenwhether those airs are to be taken knows.” But that air has both the as ancient which have been handed fourth and seventh of the key, and down to us as such, and then a theory the fourth is a note of peculiar emphais to be discovered which shall be ap- sis. We could not, without presumpplicable to all those airs, at least in tion, dispute the authenticity of “ Ca' their prevailing and substantial pecu- the Ewes to the Knowes," in which liarities. No doubt, surely, can be the seventh is introduced with a beauentertained on this point. We are not tiful effect; or of the “ Souters of to beg the very question in dispute. Selkirk," in which the fourth is an imWe are not, like Procrustes, to insist portant feature in the melody, while on fitting our visitors to the bed that the occurrence of the seventh, at the we provide them; we are bound to close, is one of its most striking pefind them a receptacle that will neatly culiarities. Again, there is a large and comfortably accommodate them. class of airs, in which both the second Now, until it be otherwise shown that and third of the minor key are to be those only are ancient airs, which found co-existent, in direct contradicwant the semi-tonic intervals, we are tion to the theory referred to. “ Jenny not entitled to rear up a theory which Nettles," “ Katharine Ogie," “Logan will exclude other airs which have equal Water," are striking examples of this extrinsic evidence in favour of their common peculiarity, and must either antiquity. We do not say that a few be held destructive of the theory, or adverse cases would militate against a must be violently deprived of the stavery universal rule. Nothing is more tus of genuine and ancient melodies, of legitimate than to infer a general rule which they have enjoyed the undisfrom cases that show us some devia turbed possession, ever since we know tions from its observance. But it any thing of them at all. must be obvious that the theory of The result, then, seems to be, that such a national scale as the one sug- although the fourth or seventh of the gested, cannot be maintained, if there key are absent in certain Scottish airs, are any considerable number of ex- we are only entitled to say that this is ceptions to its application. It is ob- an occasional peculiarity in the strucserved in the Dissertation itself, that ture of our music, and not that it is an our primitive musicians “could no essential or invariable peculiarity, or more introduce minuter divisions of that all those airs are spurious, or cor-the scale, or sounds not comprehended rupt, to which that category is inapin it, than a musician of the present plicable. day could introduce sounds not to be But further, the mere omission of one found in the scale to which his ear has or more intervals gives but an imperfect been accustomed." The very admis- explanation of the characteristic features sion, therefore, that there are ancient of the Scotch airs. They are not more Scottish airs having a flat seventh, is distinguished by the general progression an admission that the scale suggested ofthe melody, than by the closes to which was not, at least, the only scale of the melody is brought, and which, unScotch music, An attempt, indeed, der the limited theory we have been