Imágenes de páginas


represent the sounds of other instruments;ancient and gone out of use, and others forming still, part of our orchestras. To these belong the double bass, 16 and 8 feet; flute or reed flute, 8 and 4 feet; hautboy, 8 feet; bassoon, 16 and 8 feet; trumpet, 8 feet; and so forth. There is a register, also, called the vox humana, intended to imitate the human voice. Other ranges of pipes are proper to the organ itself, such as the principal and many others.

The various orders of pipes are divided into labial stops, whose pipes have a mouth narrowed from the inside, and to which order the principal belongs; two reed stops, in which the sound is produced or modified by a tongue, which vibrates in the interior of the pipe; and lastly, the stopped pipes, which are covered or closed at the top, and sound, in consequence thereof, an octave deeper than they otherwise would in proportion to their length.

When we reflect that a superior organ has forty, sixty, and more registers at command, whose diversity of character may be endlessly increased by combinations of the individual ranges, some more delicate than any orchestral instrument, others of vibrating power, and that the full organ in its whole power is sufficient to overwhelm any orchestra,-we cannot but acknowledge its vast superiority over every other instrument, and the propriety of its name from organum (instrument, engine), it being assuredly and supereminently the instrument; since none other can be compared with or stand against it. The proper use, combination, and change of the stops or registers, is of itself an object of much study and ingenuity. The notation for the organ is the same as that of the pianoforte, generally in two staves in the G and F clefs; but in old compositions, the soprano, alto, and tenor clefs are occasionally found. The pedal notes are marked

PED. (pedale),

and the manual notes,

MAN. (manuale, manualmente),

or S. P., Senza pedale.

If the pedal is rich and belongs to a full manual, it may be proper to write it on a third staff, under the first and second, which would then be reserved for the manual alone.

The combination of the registers is seldom indicated by composers; neither indeed can it be determined with exactness and for general application. Organs differ very much from each other in the number, choice, and composition of their registers; and therefore a combination, perfectly suitable on one, might be unfavourable, or impossible on another. In case particular feet tone, different key-boards, the full organ, or soft combinations of stops, be required, these circumstances are usually expressed in general terms at the beginning of the composition.


Here we are concerned with the most usual only. The chief is the

KETTLE-DRUM (timpano), of a hollow, echoing sound. This instrument gives out one serviceable tone; but it can be tuned to any tone between the great and small F Two

[blocks in formation]

We comprehend under this head

THE GREAT DRUM (gran tamburo),
THE CYMBALS (piatti, cinelli),
THE TRIANGLE (triangulo),

Instruments of no determined tone, but of mere sound, and too well known to require further notice here.

In military music there are still more instruments of mere sound, such as the Turkish crescent (bellwork), the wooden roll drum (tamburo rulante), and the military drum. In the orchestra, also, we sometimes find the Chinese gong-a bason or bowl of very powerful sound.†

NINTH SECTION.-INSTRUMENTS OF FRICTION. The chief of this class is the


whose tones are produced from hollow vessels of glass, put into vibration by the application of the fingers. The sounds of this instrument are indescribably sweet and delicate, and it is susceptible of the most perfect crescendo and diminuendo, from the gentlest breathing, to harassing power. It is even dangerous, in its extreme intensity, to persons of weak nerves, in whom it has been known to produce fainting and other inconveniences. Nevertheless, this instrument, invented in 1762, by Benjamin Franklin, has not been able to maintain its position in practical art, owing to its difficulty of performance and limited powers. It is adapted merely to slow and simple successions of harmony; and truly, the charms of its characteristic sounds are not a sufficient compensation for its inability to follow the composer.

* A late invention makes the tuning of kettle-drums so easy, that it can be done during the time of playing.

We may mention also here, the Moorish drum, or hand drum (tamburino), and the Spanish castagnets, which have become familiar in our ballets.


is principally indebted to the fame and travels of its inventor, the celebrated Chladni, for becoming known to the world. Since his time it has been no more noticed. Its tones, similar to those of the clarinet, were produced by means of a key-board, from glass rods under the friction of a glass cylinder.

We must pass over all further information upon this and other instruments which have never got into lasting or extensive use, such as the euphon, the terpodion, the uranion, &c.


We have been aware since page 45, that compositions to be performed by several instruments or voices, are usually set in score; that is to say, a separate staff is assigned to each instrument and to each voice, and all the staves are arranged exactly bar for bar over each other. If there be a deficiency of staves for so many parts, or if any of the parts have so little to do, that it is not worth while to assign them a separate staff, parts related to, or connected with each other, may be set on the same staff together; thus, the two flutes, clarinets, &c., the three trombones, &c., may be written on one staff.

In one way or other, the score is the true and faithful impression of each individual trait, and of all the combinations and joint workings of a great composition. No selection of parts for the piano, however skilfully or completely elaborated, no arrangement, can be an equivalent for the score of a full-parted composition. There are no means of enjoying and studying such a composition to be compared, in faithfulness and ease to the score. For composers, conductors, readers, and generally for all well-educated musicians and amateurs, emulous of a deep enjoyment of and insight into music, the capability of reading and playing score with confidence and facility, is an inestimable, not to say an indispensable faculty.

Perfection cannot be obtained in this power without a fundamental study of composition; at least, of harmony. In the meanwhile, every step in advance is rich in knowledge and satisfaction; and, in reality, the trouble it costs is absolutely as nothing, compared to the reward. It is therefore hoped that a method to understand score, together with an elucidation of its arrangement, and some assistance towards becoming familiar with it, will be welcome to most musicians and lovers of musical art.

Another ground for entering more at large into this matter at present, is, that many customs and failings have crept into the arrangement of score, which can by no means be approved of, and concerning which, the want of unanimity of opinion is much to be regretted. It is therefore desirable that composers and authors should bring this subject into public consideration.

The score, for its essential object, must contain all the parts in staves, one over the other, in order that the totality of the composition may be seen at once. Only in cases of extreme necessity, when there is absolute want of room to place all the parts on one side, can it be allowed to divide the score, and

write some of the parts elsewhere. In this event, however, the parts separated should be the least important, which might therefore be best dispensed with.

All the parts must be placed according to their elevation in sound, exactly bar under bar, and part of a bar under part of a bar, &c., as the following examples will show. The staves in connexion with each other are visibly pointed out by the brace at the beginning of each line; by the closing lines at the end, or at the close of any considerable portion; and also, in the course of the composition, by the bar lines drawn through the whole.

Every staff has its clef and signature, suitable to the notation of the part. The name of each part is placed at the beginning of its staff. If the score should begin with some of the parts only, in order to save room, while for a time, other parts rest, and appear only later; these latter must be marked in the list of the parts

CONT. (contano),

(they count, or rest). Similar marks ought not to be omitted in the course of the composition, whenever some of the parts should have considerable rests, and the score should be, in like manner, reduced in extent.

The directions for performance, such as piano, forte, and so forth, should be placed at every part, or at least at every chorus. If this be not done, these directions affect the whole of the parts, excepting those where other directions contradict them. The directions for absolute time (tempo, quickness or slowness) are usually given only over the score.

Each part should be written out completely. It is allowable, indeed, when two parts are exactly alike, or when one part follows another in octaves, to refer from one part to the other, thus :

COL. (colla)-all' 8va. col.

for example, to refer the hautboy part to the flutes, by inserting col flauti; the second violin to the first, by col primo; signifying that the same notes are to serve for both but this should be done only in case of necessity, from want of time, or to avoid too great a crowding of notes.

We sometimes find, when a passage is repeated, that only the highest and lowest parts are written again; and as a substitution for the intervening parts, the words

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

1st. All the parts belonging to a chorus are usually placed together.

2nd. The highest parts are usually placed uppermost, the nearest lower comes next, and they descend as they deepen, until the undermost is the lowest.

These rules certainly leave much open to selection, and it is plain at once, that more than one arrangement is possible and eligible. We will go through the most important points.

The most simple and the easiest, is the arrangement of a score, in which there is only one vocal chorus; in this case the second of the above rules is sufficient, and requires scarcely any exception.

A vocal score of three, four, or five voices, is arranged according to the height of the voices. Each voice has its staff-unless, perhaps, the soprano and alto, the tenor and bass, or two soprani, two tenors, &c., should be noted on one staff. This, however, should be done only when the voices run near each other, or if there be not sufficient space for separate staves; and the tails of the notes of the upper part should be drawn upwards, and of the lower part downwards. Here we have before us



If the double bass were added, it would be placed on the staff of the violoncello, as we have already said at page 49. It is only when these instruments deviate often and considerably from each other, that a separate staff is given, and then of course the lowest to the double bass. Single deviations are indicated by giving a different direction to the tails of the notes, thus :


and then, the downward tails belong to the double bass.

In a chorus of tubular instruments (named so by us at page 50) the same instruments, for example, the two flutes, the two clarinets, and so forth, have generally but one staff in common, excepting in case one part, for example the first flute, should be so abundant in notes, as not to have room for the other part; otherwise, the second rule must be followed. Instead of one score on an extensive scale, we here offer two plans for compositions of a greater or less number of parts:

[blocks in formation]
[merged small][ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Flauto piccolo Flauti


Clarinetto in Eb

Clarinetti in Bb Clarinetti in Bb


[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]

Corni di bassetto

Contra fagotto.

If space is deficient for the full setting, the double bassoon and its associates (see page 51) must be written on the bassoon staff, where it will sometimes go with the second


and sometimes separately. In this latter case, the tails of its notes must be drawn downwards, while those of the notes of the bassoon must be drawn upwards. Thus, for example:


The following is to be observed with regard to the brass instruments:

The trumpets in general are considered as the highest instruments, over the horns. If different horns are employed, the highest will be placed uppermost, unless it be judged more advantageous to place those horns which are in tune with the trumpets, next to them.

To horns and trumpets, kettle-drums are associated as their bass. They belong, however, more nearly to the trumpets. If, therefore, in a composition the horns are peculiarly combined with the tubular instruments, it may be advisable, contrary to the second rule, to place the trumpets under the horns, and immediately next to the kettle-drums, as if they made a chorus with these alone. Here are two plans for brass chorusses :

[blocks in formation]

from which we place it here, whether or not it be faithful to the original score, or the most suitable arrangement of the parts for the composition. If it were agreed to write in this manner, it would certainly be the most appropriate, that is to say, the easiest of inspection.

Of course the trombones (page 52) also belong to the brass chorus. They form, however, a division by themselves, which associates itself most appropriately (as it were, as lower part) to the so-called band, when they are to be brought into


The trombones also are arranged according to their height. At times, the alto and tenor trombones are placed on one staff, and then, generally in the tenor clef; and again, when space is deficient, all the three are set on the same staff, and are then most conveniently written in the tenor clef.

If several vocal chorusses are combined, the first rale comes into action. If each vocal chorus is kept to itself, then the second rule applies. In every vocal chorus the highest voice must be set first. But how shall we place the chorusses with respect to each other? Here it seems to be most advisable to place that chorus undermost, which has the most continuous bass voice; and for the reason, that (as the doctrine of harmony will show) the bass is the surest guide and indicator of what are the contents of the other voices.

If reed and brass instruments be united together, the first would be most properly placed lowest, according to this list :







[blocks in formation]

Then at least, the second rule is observed among the wind instruments. The first flute in the upper line has space for its high passages, and the other instruments which have little to do, and consequently, frequent rests, make a convenient separation between the bowed, quartet, and the tubular instruments. Moreover, the first violin being set under the kettledrums, will have plenty of room for its high notation. But we meet with scores (particularly those containing the newly invented instruments) in which this order is altered; the brass instruments are placed above, and the tubular instruments beneath.

In vocal compositions for double or more extensive chorusses, each chorus is to be arranged according to the first rule. If solo voices should occur with the chorus, for which there is not space among the staves of the voices of the chorus, they must be placed over the chorus.

If, in fine, song parts are combined with the orchestra, it is desirable that the staves of the former should be next to the violoncello and contrabasso, the most important parts of the orchestra, see above. Here also the first rule is abandoned, and the chorus of song parts is admitted into the chorus of bowed instruments, immediately over the violoncello and contrabasso. Such an arrangement we see here:

[blocks in formation]

the knowledge of its general arrangement, is the capacity of reading all the parts in their respective clefs, and of transposing those which are written in other feet tone, that is of imagining how they really sound for instance, that the Bb clarinets, sound a tone deeper than they are noted. To those who, at least, can read with fluency the different clefs enumerated at page 9, we can offer some facilitations. We assume however, for granted, that the transposing into higher or lower octaves can present no difficulty.

1. Let the notes of the A clarinet and of the A horn be read as if they were in the soprano clef, with three signs of raising (). Thus, this passage170.

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

but then they must be placed an octave higher. Clarinets in Ep, and trumpets in Eb and E, may be read in the same manner; but then, two octaves higher, if the simple transposition by a minor or major third should not be found more easy.

Different imaginary representations suit different individuals, while to some, immediate transposition appears more easy. All however, with a little industry, speedily find the seeming difficulties vanish before them.

The knowledge of harmony, thorough bass, and composition in general, and acquaintance with the manner of the composer, whose score we wish to read and study, are of vast importance in aiding and fructifying our researches.

[blocks in formation]


upwards or downwards, or both, the one after the other. In this scale we perceive the degrees of the tones, following each other in regulated order from below upwards, and from above downwards. We know that we have at least two diatonic scales, the

Such a thought, like any other, must have its limits. Since it expresses something specific, it must at some time or other have expressed or finished expressing it, and there close. This close of the thought or of the melody may be at the same time the end of the composition, or it may proceed to new thoughts or melodies. The melodies collectively of a voice or part produced in the course of a composition, are called its tune or air (Cantilena).

« AnteriorContinuar »