The Project Gutenberg EBook of Shakespeare and Music, by Edward W. Naylor

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Title: Shakespeare and Music
       With Illustrations from the Music of the 16th and 17th centuries

Author: Edward W. Naylor

Release Date: October 31, 2006 [EBook #19676]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


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Shakespeare and Music





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Transcriber's Notes

1. The original text uses a "fraction" format for citations to Shakespeare's plays, e.g.:


For clarity, in this e-text the "fractions" have been converted to a one-line citation, e.g., Rom. III, v, 25 (signifying Act III, scene v, line 25). Where the original does not use the fraction format, the citation style has not been altered.

2. The original text sometimes misspells "Passamezzo" as "Passemezzo" and "viol da gamba" as "viol de gamba." These have been corrected in this e-text.

3. The original text inconsistently uses a breve over the e in "Parthenia" and "Passameso." For clarity, the breve has been removed in this e-text, as it is not part of the usual spelling of these words, and has in fact been omitted from the 1931 revised edition of the book.

4. The music images and sound files in this e-text were created using Finale Allegro 2005. The original text occasionally uses old-style symbols for time signatures and rests; these have been modernized in the images.

[Pg v]


This book contains little that is not tolerably well known both to Shakespeare scholars and musicians who have any acquaintance with the history of music. It is hoped that it may be of some use to a large class of students of Shakespeare who have no opportunity to gather up the general information which will be found here. The author also ventures to believe that some brother musicians will be gratified to see at one view what a liberal treatment the great Poet has given to our noble art. It will be observed that settings of Shakespearian Songs of a later date than the generation immediately succeeding Shakespeare's death are not noticed. The large number of settings of the 18th century, by such men as Arne, though interesting musically, have nothing whatever to do with the student of Shakespeare and the circumstances of his time. It can only be regretted [Pg vi]that so much of the original music seems to have perished.

The author is greatly indebted to Mr Aldis Wright, who has kindly looked through the work in MS., and contributed one or two interesting notes, which are acknowledged in the proper place.

London, March 1896.

[Pg vii]


Description of Frontispiece ix
Introductory 1
Technical Terms and Instruments 21
Musical Education 58
Songs and Singing 65
Serenades and 'Music' 96
Dances and Dancing 113
Pythagoreanism, etc. 152
Use of Musical Stage Directions 165
Appendix 185


[Pg ix]




[I am indebted for the arrangement of this picture to the kindness of the authorities at South Kensington Museum, where all these instruments may be found, except the Pipe and Cornet, which belong to my friend, Mr W.F.H. Blandford.]

In the middle, on table.

Queen Elizabeth's 'Virginal.' Date, latter half of 16th century. Outside of case (not visible in picture) covered with red velvet. Inside finely decorated. Has three locks. Is more properly a Spinet, the case not being square, but of the usual Spinet shape—viz., one long side (front view), and four shorter ones forming a rough semi-circle at back.

Top row, counting from the right.

1. Tabor-pipe. Modern, but similar to the Elizabethan instrument. French name, 'galoubet.' Merely a whistle, cylindrical bore, and 3 holes, two in front, one (for thumb) behind. The scale is produced on the basis of the 1st harmonic—thus 3 holes are sufficient. It was played with left hand only, the tabor being hung to the left wrist, and beaten with a stick in the right hand. Length over all of pipe in picture, 1 ft. 2-1/2 in.; speaking length, 1 ft. 1-1/8 in.; lowest note in use, B flat above treble staff.[Pg x] Mersennus (1648), however, says the tabor-pipe was in G, which makes it larger than the one in the picture. A contemporary woodcut (in Calmour's 'Fact and Fiction about Shakespeare') of William Kemp, one of Shakespeare's fellow-actors, dancing the Morris, to tabor and pipe, makes the pipe as long as from mouth to waist—viz., about 18 inches, which agrees with Mersennus. A similar woodcut in 'Orchésographie' makes the pipe even longer. Both represent pipe as conical, like oboe. The length of the tabor, in these two woodcuts, seems to be about 1 ft. 9 in., and the breadth, across the head, 9 or 10 in. No snare in the English woodcut, but the French one has a snare.

2. Cornet (treble), date 16th or 17th century. Tube slightly curved, external shape octagonal, bore conical. Cupped mouthpiece of horn, 6 holes, and one behind for thumb. Lowest note, A under treble staff.

3. Recorder. Large beak-flute of dark wood. Three joints, not including beak. The beak has a hole at the back, covered with a thin skin, which vibrates and gives a slight reediness to the tone. The usual 6 finger holes in front, a thumb hole behind, and a right-or-left little-finger hole in lowest joint.

4. Small French Treble Viol, 17th century. Back view, same shape as of all other viols of whatever size. 6 strings, 4 frets.

5. Treble Viol, as used in England and Italy; label inside—Andreas (?) Amati, Cremona, 1637. Side[Pg xi] view, shews carved head and flat back. 6 strings, 4 frets, ivory nut.

6. Tenor Viol. English, late 17th century. Front view, shewing sloping shoulders. 6 strings, 7 frets, plain head.

7. Viol da Gamba Bow. Ancient shape. No screw. This shape in use later than 1756.

8. Violoncello Bow. Modern shape, with screw.

Bottom row, counting from left.

1. Bass Viol, or Viol da Gamba, or Division Viol. Italian, 1600. Carved head, inlaid fingerboard, carved and inlaid tailpiece. 6 strings, 7 frets.

2. Lute. Italian, 1580. Three plain holes in belly, obliquely. Ornamental back. Flat head. Pegs turned with key from behind. 12 strings—viz., 1 single (treble), 4 doubles, 1 single, and 2 singles off the fingerboard (basses). 10 frets.

3. Arch Lute. Italian, 17th century. 18 strings, 8 on lower neck, 10 on higher, off the fingerboard. The latter are 'basses,' and probably half of them duplicates. 7 frets on neck, 5 more on belly.

[Pg 1]


A principal character of the works of a very great author is, that in them each man can find that for which he seeks, and in a form which includes his own view.

With Shakespeare, as one of the greatest of the great, this is pre-eminently the case. One reader looks for simply dramatic interest, another for natural philosophy, and a third for morals, and each is more than satisfied with the treatment of his own special subject.

It is scarcely a matter of surprise, therefore, that the musical student should look in Shakespeare for music, and find it treated of from several points of view, completely and accurately.

This is the more satisfactory, as no subject in literature has been treated with greater scorn for accuracy, or general lack of real interest, than this of music.

This statement will admit of comparatively few exceptions, one of which must here be mentioned.[Pg 2]

The author of "John Inglesant," Mr Shorthouse, whether he "crammed" his music or not, has in that book given a lively and quite accurate picture of the art as practised about Charles I.'s time.

There is no need here to name the many well-known writers who have spoken of music with a lofty disregard for facts and parade of ignorance which, displayed in any other matter, would have brought on them the just contempt of any reviewer.

The student of music in Shakespeare is bound to view the subject in two different ways, the first purely historical, the second (so to speak) psychological.

As for the first, the most superficial comparison of the plays alone, with the records of the practice and social position of the musical art in Elizabethan times, shews that Shakespeare is in every way a trustworthy guide in these matters; while, as for the second view, there are many most interesting passages which treat of music from the emotional standpoint, and which clearly shew his thorough personal appreciation of its higher and more spiritual qualities.

Hamlet tells us, and we believe, often without clearly understanding, that players are the abstracts and brief chronicles of the time, and that the end of playing, both at the first and now, was, and is, to[Pg 3] hold the mirror up to nature, and to shew the very age and body of the time, his form and pressure.

The study of this one feature of the "age and body" of Shakespeare's time, with the view of clearly grasping the extreme accuracy of the "abstract and brief chronicle" to be found in his works, will surely go some way to give definiteness and force to our ideas of Shakespeare's magnificent grip of all other phases of thought and of action.

The argument recommends itself—"If he is trustworthy in this subject, he is trustworthy in all."

To a professional reader at all events, it argues very much indeed in a writer's favour, that the "layman" has managed to write the simplest sentence about a specialty, without some more or less serious blunder.

Finally, no Shakespeare student will deny that some general help is necessary, when Schmidt's admirable Lexicon commits itself to such a misleading statement as that a virginal is a kind of small pianoforte, and when a very distinguished Shakespeare scholar has allowed a definition of a viol as a six-stringed guitar to appear in print under his name.

Out of thirty-seven plays of Shakespeare, there[Pg 4] are no less than thirty-two which contain interesting references to music and musical matters in the text itself. There are also over three hundred stage directions which are musical in their nature, and these occur in thirty-six out of thirty-seven plays.

The musical references in the text are most commonly found in the comedies, and are generally the occasion or instrument of word-quibbling and witticisms; while the musical stage directions belong chiefly to the tragedies, and are mostly of a military nature.

As it is indispensable that the student of Shakespeare and Music should have a clear idea of the social status and influence of music in Shakespearian times, here follows a short sketch of the history of this subject, which the reader is requested to peruse with the deliberate object of finding every detail confirmed in Shakespeare's works.

Music in Social Life.

(Temp., 16th and 17th centuries.)

Morley, "Plain and Easy Introduction to Practical Music," 1597, pp. 1 and 2. Here we read of a[Pg 5] dinner-party, or "banket," at which the conversation was entirely about music. Also—after supper—according to custom—"parts" were handed round by the hostess. Philomathes has to make many excuses as to his vocal inability, and finally is obliged to confess that he cannot sing at all. At this the rest of the company "wonder"—and some whisper to their neighbours, "How was he brought up?" Phil. is ashamed—and goes to seek Gnorimus the music-master. The master is surprised to see him—as Phil. has heretofore distinguished himself by inveighing against music as a "corrupter of good manners, and an allurement to vices." Phil.'s experience of the supper-party has so far changed his views that he wishes as soon as may be to change his character of Stoic for that of Pythagorean. Thereupon the master begins to teach him from the very beginning, "as though he were a child."

Then follows a long lesson—which is brought to an end by Philomathes giving farewell to the master as thus—"Sir, I thanke you, and meane so diligently to practise till our next meeting, that then I thinke I shall be able to render you a full account of all which you have told me, till the which time I wish you such contentment of mind[Pg 6] and ease of body as you desire to yourselfe (Master's health had been very bad for long enough) or mothers use to wish to their children." The Master replies—"I thanke you: and assure your selfe it will not be the smallest part of my contentment to see my schollers go towardly forward in their studies, which I doubt not but you will doe, if you take but reasonable pains in practise."

Later on in the Third Part (p. 136) Phil.'s brother Polymathes comes with him to Gnorimus for a lesson in Descant—i.e., the art of extemporaneously adding a part to the written plainsong.[1] This brother had had lessons formerly from a master who carried a plainsong book in his pocket, and caused him to do the like; "and so walking in the fields, hee would sing the plaine song, and cause me to sing the descant, etc." Polymathes tells us also that his master had a friend, a descanter himself, who used often to drop in—but "never came in my maister's companie ... but they fell to contention.... What? (saith the one), you keepe not time in your proportions: you sing them false (saith the other), what proportion is this? (saith hee), sesqui-paltery (saith the other): nay (would the other say), you sing[Pg 7] you know not what, it shoulde seeme you came latelie from a Barber's shop, where you had Gregory Walker (derisive name for 'quadrant pavan,' 'which was most common 'mongst the Barbars and Fidlers') or a curranta plaide in the new proportions by them lately found out, called sesqui-blinda, and sesqui-harken-after."

[These mocking terms, sesqui-paltery, sesqui-blinda, and sesqui-harken-after, are perversions of names of "proportions" used in the 16th century—as, sesqui-altera (3 equal notes against 2).]

We find, on p. 208, that both Philomathes and Polymathes are young University gentlemen—looking forward hereafter to be "admitted to the handling of the weightie affaires of the common wealth."

The lessons end with their request to the master to give them "some songes which may serve both to direct us in our compositions, and by singing them recreate us after our more serious studies."

Thus we find that in Elizabeth's reign it was the "custom" for a lady's guests to sing unaccompanied music from "parts," after supper; and that inability to take "a part" was liable to remark from the rest of the company, and indeed that such inability cast doubt on the person having any title to education at all.[Pg 8]

We find that one music master was accustomed to have his gentleman pupils so constantly "in his company" that they would practise their singing while "walking in the fields."

Finally—that part-singing from written notes, and also the extempore singing of a second part (descant) to a written plainsong, was a diversion of such young University gentlemen, and was looked on as a proper form of recreation after hard reading.

In the 16th century music was considered an essential part of a clergyman's education. A letter from Sir John Harrington to Prince Henry (brother of Charles I.) about Dr John Still, Bishop of Bath and Wells in 1592, says that no one "could be admitted to primam tonsuram, except he could first bene le bene con bene can, as they called it, which is to read well, to conster [construe] well, and to sing well, in which last he hath good judgment." [The three bene's are of course le-gere, con-struere, can-tare.]

Also, according to Hawkins (History of Music, p. 367), the statutes of Trinity College, Cambridge, founded by Henry VIII., make part of the Examination of Candidates for Fellowships to be in "Quid in[Pg 9] Cantando possint"; indeed, all members were supposed capable of singing a part in choir service.[2]

(Long before this, in 1463, Thomas Saintwix, doctor in music, was elected Master of King's College, Cambridge.)

Accordingly, we find Henry VIII., who, as a younger brother, was intended for the Church, and eventually for the See of Canterbury, was a good practical musician. Erasmus says he composed offices for the church. An anthem, "O Lord, the maker of all things," is ascribed to him; and Hawkins gives a motet in three parts by the king, "Quam pulchra es."

Chappell's Old English Popular Music gives a passage from a letter of Pasqualigo the Ambassador-extraordinary, dated about 1515, which says that Henry VIII. "plays well on the lute and virginals, sings from book at sight," etc. Also in Vol. I. are given two part-songs by the king, 'Pastyme with good companye' and 'Wherto shuld I expresse.'[Pg 10]

A somewhat unclerical amusement of Henry VIII.'s is related by Sir John Harrington (temp. James I.). An old monkish rhyme, "The Blacke Saunctus, or Monkes Hymn to Saunte Satane," was set to music in a canon of three parts by Harrington's father (who had married a natural daughter of Henry VIII.); and King Henry was used "in pleasaunt moode to sing it." For the music and words, see Hawkins, pp. 921 and 922.

Anne Boleyn was an enthusiastic musician, and, according to Hawkins, "doted on the compositions of Jusquin and Mouton, and had collections of them made for the private practice of herself and her maiden companions."

It appears from the Diary of King Edward VI. that he was a musician, as he mentions playing on the lute before the French Ambassador as one of the several accomplishments which he displayed before that gentleman, July 19th, 1551.

There is also a letter from Queen Catherine (of Arragon), the mother of Queen Mary, in which she exhorts her "to use her virginals and lute, if she has any."

As for Elizabeth, there is abundant evidence that she was a good virginal player.[Pg 11]

The best known MS. collection of virginal music (that in the Fitzwilliam Museum at Cambridge) has at least always been known as Queen Elizabeth's Virginal Book, and the following quaint story is quoted by Hawkins from Melvil's Memoirs (Lond. 1752).

"The same day, after dinner, my Lord of Hunsdean drew me up to a quiet gallery that I might hear some music (but he said he durst not avow it), where I might hear the queen play upon the virginals. After I had hearkened a while I took by [aside] the tapestry that hung before the door of the chamber, and stood a pretty space, hearing her play excellently well; but she left off immediately so soon as she turned her about and saw me. She appeared to be surprised to see me, and came forward, seeming to strike me with her hand, alledging she was not used to play before men, but when she was solitary to shun melancholy." [Queen Elizabeth's Virginal is in South Kensington Museum.]

To go on with the Royal musicians (who are interesting as such, because their habit must have set the fashion of the day), in James I.'s reign we find that Prince Charles learnt the Viol da Gamba[Pg 12] from Coperario (i.e., John Cooper). Also Playford (temp. Charles II.) says of Charles I. that the king "often appointed the service and anthems himself" in the Royal Chapel; "and would play his part exactly well on the bass-violl,"—i.e., the viol da gamba.

George Herbert, who was by birth a courtier, found in music "his chiefest recreation," "and did himself compose many divine hymns and anthems, which he set and sung to his lute or viol.... His love to music was such, that he went usually twice every week ... to the cathedral church in Salisbury; and at his return would say that his time spent in prayer and cathedral music elevated his soul, and was his heaven upon earth." But not only was the poet-priest a lover of church music, for (Walton's Life goes on) "before his return thence to Bemerton, he would usually sing and play his part at an appointed private music meeting." This was fourteen years after Shakespeare's death.

Anthony Wood, who was at Oxford University in 1651, gives a most interesting account of the practice of chamber music for viols (and even violins, which, by Charles II.'s time, had superseded the feebler viols) in Oxford. In his Life, he mentions that[Pg 13] "the gentlemen in privat meetings, which A.W. frequented, play'd three, four, and five Parts with Viols, as, Treble-Viol, Tenor, Counter-Tenor, and Bass, with an Organ, Virginal, or Harpsicon joyn'd with them: and they esteemed a Violin to be an Instrument only belonging to a common Fidler, and could not endure that it should come among them, for feare of making their Meetings to be vaine and fidling." Wood went to a weekly meeting of musicians in Oxford. Amongst those whom he names as "performing their parts" are four Fellows of New College, a Fellow of All Souls, who was "an admirable Lutenist," "Ralph Sheldon, Gent., a Rom. Catholick ... living in Halywell neare Oxon., admired for his smooth and admirable way in playing on the Viol," and a Master of Arts of Magdalen, who had a weekly meeting at his own college. Besides the amateurs, there were eight or nine professional musicians who frequented these meetings. This was in 1656, and in 1658 Wood gives the names of over sixteen other persons, with whom he used to play and sing, all of whom were Fellows of Colleges, Masters of Arts, or at least members of the University. Amongst them was "Thom. Ken of New Coll., a Junior" (afterwards Bishop Ken, one of the seven bishops who[Pg 14] were deprived at the Revolution), who could "sing his part." All the rest played either viol, violin, organ, virginals, or harpsichord, or were "songsters."

"These did frequent the Weekly Meetings, and by the help of public Masters of Musick, who were mixed with them, they were much improved."

There seems to have been little that was not pure enjoyment in these meetings. Only two persons out of the thirty-two mentioned seem to have had any undesirable quality—viz., Mr Low, organist of Christ Church, who was "a proud man," and "could not endure any common Musitian to come to the meeting;" and "Nathan. Crew, M.A., Fellow of Linc. Coll., a Violinist and Violist, but alwaies played out of Tune." This last gentleman was afterwards Bishop of Durham.

Thus we find that in the 16th and 17th centuries a practical acquaintance with music was a regular part of the education of both sovereign, gentlemen of rank, and the higher middle class.

We find Henry VIII. composing church music, and at the same time enjoying himself singing in the three-part canon composed by his friend, a gentleman of rank.

We find that a Fellow of Trinity at the same time[Pg 15] was expected to sing "his part" in chapel as a matter of course. We find Edward VI., Mary, and Elizabeth to have all been capable players on lute or virginals. We find that it was the merest qualification that an Elizabethan bishop should be able to sing well; and that young University gentlemen of birth thought it nothing out of the way to learn all the mysteries of both prick-song (a written part) and descant (an extempore counterpoint), and to solace their weary hours by singing "in parts."

Immediately after Shakespeare's time, we find a courtier of James I., and the ill-fated Prince Charles himself, both enthusiasts in both church and chamber music; and lastly, two years after the Regicide, we find the University of Oxford to have been a perfect hotbed of musical cultivation. Men who afterwards became Bishops, Archdeacons, Prebendaries, besides sixteen Fellows of Colleges, and sundry gentlemen of family, were not ashamed to practise chamber music and singing to an extent which really has no parallel whatever nowadays.

There is plenty of evidence, though more indirect in kind, that the lower classes were as enthusiastic about music as the higher. A large number of passages in contemporary authors shows clearly that[Pg 16] singing in parts (especially of "catches") was a common amusement with blacksmiths, colliers, cloth-workers, cobblers, tinkers, watchmen, country parsons, and soldiers.

In Damon and Pithias, 1565, Grimme, the collier, sings "a bussing [buzzing] base," and two of his friends, Jack and Will, "quiddel upon it," i.e., they sing the tune and words, while he buzzes the burden.

Peele's Old Wives Tale, 1595, says, "This smith leads a life as merry as a king; Sirrah Frolic, I am sure you are not without some round or other; no doubt but Clunch [the smith] can bear his part."

Beaumont and Fletcher's Coxcomb has

"Where were the watch the while? good sober gentlemen,
They were, like careful members of the city,
Drawing in diligent ale, and singing catches."

Also in B. and F.'s Faithful Friends

"Bell.—Shall's have a catch, my hearts?

Calve.—Aye, good lieutenant.

Black.—Methinks a soldier[3] should sing nothing else; catch, that catch may is all our life, you know."

[Pg 17]

[In Bonduca, a play of B. and F's., altered for operatic setting by Purcell in 1695, there is a catch in three parts, sung by the Roman soldiers.]

In Sir William Davenant's (Davenant flourished 1635) comedy The Wits, Snore, one of the characters, says—

"It must be late, for gossip Nock, the nailman,
Had catechized his maids, and sung three catches
And a song
, ere we set forth."

Samuel Harsnet, in his Declaration of Egregious Impostures, 1603, mentions a 'merry catch,' 'Now God be with old Simeon' (for which see Rimbault's Rounds, Canons, and Catches of England), which he says was sung by tinkers 'as they sit by the fire, with a pot of good ale between their legs.'

And in The Merry Devill of Edmonton, 1631, there is a comical story of how Smug the miller was singing a catch with the merry Parson in an alehouse, and how they 'tost' the words "I'll ty my mare in thy ground," 'so long to and fro,' that Smug forgot he was singing a catch, and began to quarrel with the Parson, 'thinking verily, he had meant (as he said in his song) to ty his mare in his ground.'

Finally, in Pammelia, a collection of Rounds and[Pg 18] Catches of 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 parts, edited by Thomas Ravenscroft, and published in 1609, there is a curious preface, which states that 'Catches are so generally affected ... because they are so consonant to all ordinary musical capacity, being such, indeed, as all such whose love of musick exceeds their skill, cannot but commend.' The preface further asserts that the book is 'published only to please good company.'

To go on to instrumental music among the lower classes of Elizabethan and Shakespearian times; there is an allusion in the above quoted passage from Morley (1597) to the habit of playing on an instrument in a barber's shop while waiting one's turn to be shaved. This is also referred to in Ben Jonson's Alchemist and Silent Woman. In the latter play, Cutberd the barber has recommended a wife to Morose. Morose finds that instead of a mute helpmate he has got one who had 'a tongue with a tang,' and exclaims 'that cursed barber! I have married his cittern that is common to all men': meaning that as the barber's cittern was always being played, so his wife was always talking.

There is a poem of the 18th century which speaks of the old times,[Pg 19]

'In former time 't hath been upbrayded thus,
That barber's musick was most barbarous.'

However true that may have been—at all events it is certain that in the 16th and 17th centuries it was customary to hear instrumental music in a barber's shop, generally of a cittern, which had four strings and frets, like a guitar, and was thought a vulgar instrument.[4]

Another use of instrumental music was to entertain the guests in a tavern. A pamphlet called The Actor's Remonstrance, printed 1643, speaks of the decay of music in taverns, which followed the closing of theatres in 1642, as follows:—"Our music, that was held so delectable and precious [i.e., in Shakespeare's times], that they scorned to come to a tavern under twenty shillings salary for two hours, now wander [i.e., 1643] with their instruments under their cloaks—I mean, such as have any—into all houses of good[Pg 20] fellowship, saluting every room where there is company with, 'Will you have any music, gentlemen?'"

Finally, in Gosson's "Short Apologie of the Schoole of Abuse," 1587, we find that "London is so full of unprofitable pipers and fiddlers, that a man can no sooner enter a tavern, than two or three cast of them hang at his heels, to give him a dance before he depart." These men sang ballads and catches as well. Also they played during dinner. Lyly says—"Thou need no more send for a fidler to a feast, than a beggar to a fair."

All this leads to the just conclusion, that if ever a country deserved to be called 'musical,' that country was England, in the 16th and 17th centuries. King and courtier, peasant and ploughman, each could 'take his part,' with each music was a part of his daily life; while so far from being above knowing the difference between a minim and a crotchet, a gentleman would have been ashamed not to know it.

In this respect, at any rate, the 'good old days' were indeed better than those that we now see. Even a public-house song in Elizabeth's day was a canon in three parts, a thing which could only be managed 'first time through' nowadays by the very first rank of professional singers.

[Pg 21]



Technical Terms and Instruments

We now proceed to consider some representative passages of Shakespeare which deal with music.

These may be taken roughly in six divisions—viz. (1) Technical Terms and Instruments, (2) Musical Education, (3) Songs and Singing, (4) Serenades and other domestic 'Music,' (5) Dances and Dancing, (6) Miscellaneous, including Shakespeare's account of the more spiritual side of music.

To begin on the first division. There are many most interesting passages which bristle with technical words; and these are liable to be understood by the reader in a merely general way, with the result that the point is wholly or partly missed. With a reasonable amount of explanation, and a general caution to the student not to pass over words or phrases that[Pg 22] appear obscure, there is no reason why these passages should not be understood by all in a much fuller light.

The following lines, though not in a play, are so full of musical similes that it may be useful to take them at once.

Lucrece, line 1124.

"My restless discord loves no stops nor rests;
A woful hostess brooks not merry guests.
Relish your nimble notes to pleasing ears;
Distress like dumps, when time is kept with tears."

(Then to the nightingale)—

"Come, Philomel, that sing'st of ravishment,
Make thy sad grove in my dishevell'd hair:
As the dank earth weeps at thy languishment,
So I at each sad strain will strain a tear,
And with deep groans the diapason bear;
For burden wise I'll hum on Tarquin still,
While thou on Tereus descant'st better skill.

"And while against a thorn thou bear'st thy part,
To keep thy sharp woes waking....

These means, as frets upon an instrument,
Shall tune our heart-strings to true languishment."

Here Lucrece tells the birds to cease their joyous notes, and calls on the nightingale to sing the song[Pg 23] of Tereus, while she herself bears the 'burden' with her groans.

The first line contains a quibble on 'rests' and 'restless' discord. 'Nimble notes' was used in the Shakespearian time as we should use the term 'brilliant music.' Lucrece was in no humour for trills and runs, but rather for Dumps, where she could keep slow time with her tears. The Dumpe (from Swedish Dialect, dumpa, to dance awkwardly) was a slow, mournful dance. [See Appendix.] There is another quibble in l. 1131, on strain. A 'strain' is the proper Elizabethan word for a formal phrase of a musical composition. For instance, in a Pavan, Morley (Introduction to Practical Music, 1597) says a 'straine' should consist of 8, 12, or 16 semibreves (we should say 'bars' instead of 'semibreves') 'as they list, yet fewer then eight I have not seene in any pauan.'

'Diapason' meant the interval of an octave. Here Lucrece says she will 'bear the diapason' with deep groans, i.e., 'hum' a 'burden' or drone an octave lower than the nightingale's 'descant.' The earliest 'burden' known is that in the ancient Round 'Sumer is icumen in,' of the 13th[Pg 24] century. Here four voices sing the real music in canon to these words—

'Sumer is icumen in, Lhudè sing Cuccu,
Groweth seed and bloweth mead and springth the wdè nu,
Sing Cuccu,
Awè bleteth after lomb, lhouth after calvè cu,
Bulluc sterteth, Buckè verteth, murie sing cuccu,
Cuccu, Cuccu,
Wel singès thu cuccu, ne swik thu naver nu.'—

while all the time two other voices of lower pitch sing a monotonous refrain, 'Sing cuccu nu, Sing cuccu,' which they repeat ad infinitum till the four who sing the Round are tired. This refrain is called Pes (or 'foot'), and this is the kind of thing which Lucrece means by 'burden.' The word 'hum' may be considered technical, see the Introduction, where 'buzzing bass' is referred to. The tune, 'Light o' love' [see Appendix], as we know from Much Ado III, iv, 41, used to go without a burden, and was considered a 'light' tune on that account, see Two Gent. I, ii, 80.

'Descant,' in l. 1134, wants explaining. To 'descant' meant to sing or play an extempore second 'part' to a written melody. The point was that it should be extempore; if written down[Pg 25] it ceased to be true descant, and was then called 'prick-song.' A rough example may be had in the extempore bass or alto which some people still sing in church instead of the melody. A more accurate example of descant would be this—let A sing a hymn tune, say the Old 100th, and let B accompany him extempore with a separate melody within the bounds of harmony. B is 'descanting' on the melody that A sings.[5]

The art of descant in Elizabeth's time corresponded closely with what we call 'Strict Counterpoint' (contra, punctus, hence 'prick-song,' or 'written' descant).

The modern equivalent for 'bear a part' (l. 1135) is 'sing a part.' [See also Sonnet VIII.] Any person of decent education could 'bear a part' in those days, i.e., read at sight the treble, alto, tenor, or bass 'part' of the work presented by the host for the diversion of his guests. [See Introduction.]

L. 1140. 'Frets upon an instrument' can still be seen on the modern mandoline, guitar, and banjo. In Shakespeare days, the viol, lute, and cittern all had frets on the fingerboard, but they were then simply bits of string tied round at the right places for[Pg 26] the fingers, and made fast with glue. Their use is referred to in the next line, to 'tune' the strings, i.e., to 'stop' the string accurately at each semitone.

There is a quaint illustration of ll. 1135-6, about the nightingale singing 'against a thorn' to keep her awake, in the words of a favourite old part song of King Henry VIII., 'By a bank as I lay,' where the poem has these lines on the nightingale—

'She syngeth in the thyke; and under her brest
A pricke, to kepe hur fro sleepe.'

In close connection with this is the conversation between Julia and her maid Lucetta, in Two Gent. I, ii, 76-93, about the letter from Proteus.

Jul. Some love of yours hath writ to you in rhyme.

Luc. That I might sing it, madam, to a tune:
Give me a note: your ladyship can set.

Jul. As little by such toys as may be possible:
Best sing it to the tune of "Light o' love."

Luc. It is too heavy for so light a tune.

Jul. Heavy? belike, it hath some burden then.

Luc. Ay, and melodious were it, would you sing it.

Jul. And why not you?

Luc.I cannot reach so high.

Jul. Let's see your song.—How now, minion!

Luc. Keep tune there still, so you will sing it out;
And yet, methinks, I do not like this tune.

[Pg 27]Jul. You do not?

Luc.No, madam, it is too sharp.

Jul. You, minion, are too saucy.

Luc.Nay, now you are too flat,
And mar the concord with too harsh a descant:
There wanteth but a mean to fill your song.

Jul. The mean is drown'd with your unruly base.

Luc. Indeed, I bid the base for Proteus.

Perhaps it is sufficient to remark that many of the italicized words above are still in ordinary use by musicians—e.g., to 'give the note' in order to 'set' the pitch for singing; to 'keep in tune,' to 'sing out'; or one voice is 'drowned' by another, as the 'mean' (alto) by the 'bass.' Once more we have quibbles on musical terms—Lucetta says the 'tune,' i.e., Julia's testiness about Proteus' letter, is 'too sharp,' and that her chiding of herself is 'too flat,' meaning, that neither is in 'concord' with the spirit of the love-letter. Lucetta recommends the middle course, or 'mean' (alto voice, midway between treble and bass), 'to fill the song,' i.e., to perfect the harmony. Finally, there is a punning reference (somewhat prophetic) by Lucetta, to the 'base' conduct of Proteus, in forsaking Julia for Silvia. Another play upon words should not be missed, viz., in ll. 78 and 79, where 'set' does double duty.

Rom. III, v, 25. Romeo and Juliet's parting at day[Pg 28]break. The lark's song suggests musical metaphors in Juliet's speech.

Romeo. How is't, my soul? let's talk, it is not day.

Jul. It is, it is; hie hence, be gone, away!
It is the lark that sings so out of tune,
Straining harsh discords, and unpleasing sharps.
Some say, the lark makes sweet division;
This doth not so, for she divideth us.

Juliet evidently agrees with Portia that 'nothing is good without respect.' The lark heralds the dawn, so Romeo must leave her, ergo, the lark sings 'out of tune,' his strains are full of 'discords' and 'sharps.' The last two lines contain an interesting allusion in the word 'division,' besides the pun on 'she divideth us.'

'Division' means roughly, a brilliant passage, of short notes, which is founded essentially on a much simpler passage of longer notes. A cant term for the old-fashioned variation (e.g., the variations of the 'Harmonious Blacksmith') was 'Note-splitting,' which at once explains itself, and the older word 'Division.' A very clear example of Divisions may be found in 'Rejoice greatly' in the Messiah. The long 'runs' on the second syllable of 'Rejoice,' consisting of several groups of four semiquavers, are simply 'division' or 'note-splittings' of the first note of each group.[Pg 29]

The word, however, has a further use, namely, to play 'divisions' on a viol-da-gamba. This was a favourite accomplishment of gentlemen in the 16th and 17th centuries. Sir Andrew Aguecheek numbered this amongst his attainments, (see Twelfth Night I, iii, 24); and readers of John Inglesant will remember that 'Mr Inglesant, being pressed to oblige the company, played a descant upon a ground bass in the Italian manner.' Playing a descant on a ground bass meant playing extempore 'divisions' or variations, to the harmony of a 'ground bass' which (with its proper chords) was repeated again and again by the harpsichordist, until the viol player had exhausted his capacity to produce further 'breakings' of the harmony.

In 1665 there was published an instruction book in this art, called Chelys Minuritionum, i.e., the 'Tortoise-shell of Diminutions,' hence (Chelys meaning a lyre, made of a tortoise-shell) 'The Division Viol.' The book is by Christopher Sympson, a Royalist soldier, who was a well-known viol-da-gamba player. The work is in three parts, the third of which is devoted to the method of ordering division on a ground.

To give his own words[Pg 30]

'Diminution or division to a ground, is the breaking either of the bass or of any higher part that is applicable thereto. The manner of expressing it is thus:—

'A ground, subject, or bass, call it what you please, is prick'd down in two several papers; one for him who is to play the ground upon an organ, harpsichord, or what other instrument may be apt for that purpose; the other for him that plays upon the viol, who having the said ground before his eyes as his theme or subject, plays such variety of descant or division in concordance thereto as his skill and present invention do then suggest unto him.'

[See the Appendix for an example by Sympson.]

Further on, he distinguishes between 'breaking the notes of the ground' and 'descanting upon' the ground.

This phrase, 'breaking' notes, may be taken as a partial explanation of several passages on Shakespeare, where 'broken music' is referred to, although it is likely that a better account of this may be found in the natural imperfection of the Lute, which, being a pizzicato instrument (i.e., the strings were plucked, not played with a bow), could not do more than indicate the harmony in 'broken' pieces, first a bass[Pg 31] note, then perhaps two notes at once, higher up in the scale, the player relying on the hearer to piece the harmony together.

An entirely different explanation is that of Mr Chappell (in Aldis Wright's Clarendon Press Edition of Henry V.), viz., that when a 'consort' of viols was imperfect, i.e., if one of the players was absent, and an instrument of another kind, e.g., a flute, was substituted, the music was thus said to be 'broken.' Cf. Matt. Locke's 'Compositions for Broken and Whole Consorts,' 1672.

[Mr Aldis Wright has given me references to Bacon's Sylva Sylvarum, III., 278, and Essay of Masque and Triumph, which show that 'Broken Music' was understood to mean any combination of instruments of different kinds. In Sylva Sylvarum Bacon mentions several 'consorts of Instruments' which agree well together, e.g., 'the Irish Harp and Base-Viol agree well: the Recorder and Stringed Music agree well: Organs and the Voice agree well, etc. But the Virginals and the Lute ... agree not so well.' All these, and similar combinations, seem to have been described as 'Broken Music.']

In point, see Hen. V. V, ii, 248, where Henry proposes to Katherine.[Pg 32]

K. Hen. Come, your answer in broken music; for thy voice is music, and thy English broken; therefore, queen of all, Katherine, break thy mind to me in broken English: wilt thou have me?

Also see Troilus III, i, 52 and ff. (quoted further on).

An entirely separate use of 'break' is in the phrase 'broken time,' which has the simple and obvious meaning that the notes do not receive their due length and proportion. In this connection we will take the passage of King Richard's speech in prison at Pontefract—when he hears music without, performed by some friendly hands.

Rich. II. V, v, 41. King R. in prison.

K. Rich.Music do I hear?
Ha, ha! keep time.—How sour sweet music is,
When time is broke, and no proportion kept!
So is it in the music of men's lives.
And here have I the daintiness of ear,
To check time broke in a disorder'd string;
But, for the concord of my state and time,
Had not an ear to hear my true time broke.

* * * * *

This music mads me: let it sound no more:
For though it hath holp madmen to their wits,
In me, it seems, it will make wise men mad.

[Pg 33]The simile is perfect, and the play upon 'time broke' admirable. In l. 45 Richard reflects on the sad contrast between his quick 'ear' for 'broken time' in music, and his slowness to hear the 'breaking' of his own 'state and time.' The 'disorder'd string' is himself, who has been playing his part 'out of time' ('Disorder'd' simply means 'out of its place'—i.e., as we now say, 'a bar wrong'), and this has resulted in breaking the 'concord'—i.e., the harmony of the various parts which compose the state.

A few words are necessary about 'Proportion.' This term was used in Elizabethan times exactly as we now use 'Time.' The 'times' used in modern music can practically be reduced to two—viz., Duple (two beats to the bar) and Triple (three beats to the bar). But in Elizabeth's day the table of various Proportions was a terribly elaborate thing. Of course many of these 'Proportions' never really came into practical use—but there was plenty of mystery left even after all deductions.

Morley (Introduction, 1597) gives Five kinds of proportions 'in most common use'—viz., Dupla, Tripla, Quadrupla, Sesquialtera, and Sesquitertia. The first three correspond to what we still call[Pg 34] Duple, Triple, and Quadruple Time—i.e., 2 in the bar, 3 in the bar, and 4 in the bar. ['Bars' were not in general use till the end of the 16th century, but the principle was the same. The bars themselves are merely a convenience.]

Sesquialtera is more complicated, and means 'three notes are sung to two of the same kinde'; and 'Sesquitertia is when four notes are sung to three of the same kinde.' 'But' (Morley adds), 'if a man would ingulphe himselfe to learn to sing, and set down all them which Franchinus Gaufurius [1496] hath set down in his booke De Proportionibus Musicis, he should find it a matter not only hard but almost impossible.'

Ornithoparcus, in his Micrologus (1535), gives us an idea of the way this subject of proportion was treated by more 'learned' writers. He says (1) that music considers only the proportion of inequality, (2) that this is two-fold—viz., the greater and the lesser inequality. (3) The greater inequality contains five proportions, namely, multiplex, superparticular, superpartiens, multiplex superparticular, and multiplex superpartiens.

This is more amusing than instructive, perhaps. The three last lines of this passage refer to the[Pg 35] various stories of real or pretended cure of disease by the use of particular pieces of music. One of the best known of these diseases is 'Tarantism,' or the frenzy produced by the bite of the Tarantula, in Italy.

Kircher, a learned Jesuit (1601-1680), gives an account, in his "Musurgia," of the cure of this madness by certain airs, by which the patient is stimulated to dance violently. The perspiration thus produced was said to effect a cure. In his "Phonurgia nova" (1673) Kircher actually gives the notes of the tune by which one case was cured.

In this connection, Kircher mentions King Saul's madness, which was relieved by David's harp playing. This is certainly to the point, and may well have been in Shakespeare's mind. [See George Herbert's poem, 'Doomsday,' verse 2.]

Our modern Tarantellas derive their name and characteristic speed from the old Tarantula.

Lear I, ii, 137. Edmund pretends not to see Edgar's entrance.

Edmund (aside). Pat he comes, like the catastrophe of the old comedy: my cue is villainous melancholy, with a sigh like Tom o' Bedlam.—O! these eclipses do portend these divisions. Fa, sol, la, mi.

[Pg 36]

Songs like 'Tom o' Bedlam,' mad-songs they were called, were very commonly sung in England in the 17th century. The tune and words of the original 'Tom a Bedlam' are to be found in Chappell, Vol. I. p. 175. Its date is some time before 1626,[6] and verse 1 begins, 'From the hagg and hungrie Goblin,' and the whole is as full of ejaculations of 'Poor Tom' as Act III. of Lear.

The last sentence has yet another play on the double meaning of 'divisions.' A few lines further on Edmund explains what kind of 'divisions' he expects to follow the eclipses—namely, 'between the child and the parent ... dissolutions of ancient amities; divisions in state,' etc. But the very use of the word in the quoted lines brings its musical meaning into his head, for he promptly carries off his assumed blindness to Edgar's presence by humming over his 'fa, sol, la, mi.' [Burney, Hist., Vol. III. p. 344, has a sensible observation on this passage—that Edgar alludes to the unnatural division of parent and child, etc., in this musical phrase, which contains the[Pg 37] augmented fourth, or mi contra fa, of which the old theorists used to say 'diabolus est.']

Guido d'Arezzo (or Aretinus), in his Micrologus (about 1024), named the six notes of the Hexachord (e.g., C, D, E, F, G, A), thus—Ut, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La. These were the first syllables of certain words in the Hymn for the feast of St John Baptist, the words and tune of which are in Hawkins, p. 163.

"Ut queant laxis
Re-sonare fibris
Mi-ra gestorum
Fa-muli tuorum
Sol-ve polluti
La-bii reatum, Sancte Joannes."

A rough translation of which is—

'That thy servants may be able with free hearts to sound forth the wonders of thy deeds; release us, O Holy John, from the guilt of a defiled lip.'

In the ancient tune of this verse, the notes assigned to the syllables in capitals were successively those of the scale, C, D, E, F, G, A, and these same syllables were still used in singing in the 16th century. It was noticed, however, that the scale could be easily expressed by fewer names, and accordingly we find Christopher Sympson (1667) saying, in his 'Compendium,' that Ut and Re are 'superfluous, and[Pg 38] therefore laid aside by most Modern Teachers.' In his book, the whole scale of eight notes is named thus—Fa, Sol, La, Fa, Sol, La, mi, Fa. A modern Tonic Solfaist would understand this arrangement quite differently. C, D, E would be called Do (instead of Ut), Re, Mi; then would follow F, G, A, under the names Fa, Sol, La; and the 'leading note' [top note but one] would be called Ti (instead of Si); the octave C beginning once more with Do.

The reader will remember that the tonal relation of C, D, E is exactly the same as that of the next three notes, F, G, A—viz., C—D, a tone; D—E, a tone; and similarly with F—G, G—A. Therefore the two blocks of three notes (which are separated by a semi-tone) might have the same names—viz., Fa, sol, la. Thus we have the first six notes of the scale, Fa, sol, la, fa, sol, la. There only remains one note, the 'leading note,' the B; and this, in Sympson, is named Mi. So the principal thing in the sol-fa-ing of a passage was to 'place the Mi,' or, as we should now put it, to find 'what key' it is in. Thus, in the key of C, Mi is in B: in G, Mi is in F sharp: in F, Mi is in E, and so on, the remaining six notes being named Fa, sol, la, fa, sol, la, as explained above.[Pg 39]

Edmund's 'Fa, Sol, La, Mi,' therefore, corresponds to F, G, A, B; or C, D, E, F sharp; or B flat, C, D, E, etc.; according to the pitch taken by the singer.

In this connection see the following passage:—

Shrew I, ii, 16.

Petr. 'Faith, sirrah, an you'll not knock, I'll wring it:
I'll try how you can sol, fa, and sing it.'

[He wrings Grumio by the ears.

Here is a pun on 'wring' and 'ring'; and 'sol-fa' is used as an equivalent for 'sing.'

More important still is 'the gamut of Hortensio,' Shrew III, i, 72. [Gam-ut was the name of the Ut of lowest pitch, corresponding to the low G on the first line of our present bass staff, and was marked specially with a Greek Gamma, hence Gam-ut. The word became a synonym for 'the Scale.']

In this passage the names of the notes are simply those to be found in all instruction books of the 16th and 17th centuries.

'Gam-ut I am, the ground of all accord,
A-re, to plead Hortensio's passion;
B-mi, Bianca, take him for thy lord,
[Pg 40]C-fa-ut, that loves with all affection:
D sol, re, one cliff, two notes have I:
E la, mi, show pity or I die.'

Here Hortensio puts in his love-verses under the guise of a musicmaster's Gamut.

The lines may be taken separately as fantastic commentaries on the syllables themselves, as well as having their ulterior meaning for Bianca.

For instance, Gam-ut the lowest note then recognised in the scale, is called 'the ground of all accord.' A-re, I suppose, represents the lover's sigh 'to plead his passion.' B-mi, may be twisted into 'Be mine,' by the light of the remaining words in the line; while 'D sol re, one cliff, two notes have I' obviously refers to Hortensio's disguise. The 'cliff' is what is now called a 'clef,' or 'key,' because its position on the staff gave the 'key' to the position of the semitones and tones on the various lines and spaces. The six notes here mentioned are the G, A, B, C, D, E, in the bass staff. They could only be written (as they are yet) in one clef—namely, the F clef. The expression 'two notes have I,' as applied to the D, means that, in the key of G, D is called Sol; while in the key of C it would have the name Re; just as Hortensio is Hortensio, and at the same time masquerades as a singing-master.[Pg 41]

It has been mentioned that the art of adding an extempore counterpoint to a written melody was called 'descant.' The written melody itself was called the 'Plain-song,' and hence the whole performance, plainsong and descant together, came to be known by the term 'Plain-song,' as opposed to the performance of plainsong with a written descant; which was known as 'Prick-song.'

Morley gives us a clear idea that the extempore descant was often a very unsatisfactory performance, at any rate when it was attempted to add more than one extempore part at a time to the plainsong. As he says—'For though they should all be moste excellent men ... it is unpossible for them to be true one to another.' The following passage will be more clear on this light.

H. 5. III, ii, 3. Fight at Harfleur.

Nym. Pray thee, corporal, stay: ... the humour of it is too hot, that is the very plain-song of it.

Pistol. The plain-song is most just, for humours do abound.

* * * * *

L. 41.

Boy (speaks of the 3 rogues).... They will steal anything, and call it purchase. Bardolph stole a lute-case, bore it twelve leagues, and sold it for three half-pence.

[Pg 42]

Falstaff's worthy body-guard are getting tired of hard knocks in fight; Nym compares their late activity to a somewhat florid 'plain-song' [meaning an extempore descant, as explained above]; Pistol says it is a 'just' plainsong. A 'just' plainsong would mean that the singer had managed his extempore descant 'without singing eyther false chords or forbidden descant one to another.' Similarly, there is little doubt that both Ancient and Corporal managed to take a part in the skirmishings with as little damage as possible to their sconces.

The speech of the boy at l. 41 hardly enrols Bardolph amongst music lovers. At all events he stole a lute-case, and seems to have liked it so much that he carried it 36 miles before his worser nature prevailed on him to sell it for 1-1/2d.

The next quotation still concerns Jack Falstaff and his crew, all of whom (and strictly in accordance with history) seem to have been sound practical musicians. This time they are speaking, not of descant, but of Prick-song. The chiefest virtue in the performance of Prick-song, by which Falstaff and Nym probably understood both sacred and secular part-music, is that a man should 'keep time,' religiously counting his rests, 'one, two, three, and the third in your bosom,'[Pg 43] and when he begins to sing, that he should 'keep time, distance, and proportion,' as Mercutio says Tybalt did in his fencing, see Romeo II, iv, 20.

All this is thoroughly appreciated by Falstaff and his corporal in the following lines:—

Merry Wiv. I, iii, 25.

Falstaff (of Bardolph) ... his thefts were too open; his filching was like an unskilful singer, he kept not time.

Nym. The good humour is to steal at a minim's rest.

['Minims' is a modern conjecture.]

The metaphor is of an anthem or madrigal, say in four parts. We will suppose the Hostess of the 'Garter' is taking the Cantus, a tapster the Altus, mine Host the Tenor, and Nym the Bassus. The three former are all hard at work on their respective 'parts,' one in the kitchen, another in the taproom, the third in familiar converse outside the front door. But Nym has 'a minim rest,' and during that short respite takes advantage of the absorbing occupations of the other three 'singers' to lay hands on whatever portable property is within his reach. 'A minim rest' is not much—but the point remains. Any musician has had experience of what can be done during a short 'rest'—e.g., to resin his bow,[Pg 44] or turn up the corners of the next few pages of his music, light the gas, or find his place in another book.

By an easy transition we pass to the following:—

Pericles I, i, 81. Pericles addresses the daughter of King Antiochus.

Per. You're a fair viol, and your sense the strings,
Who, finger'd to make man his lawful music,
Would draw heaven down and all the gods to hearken;
But being play'd upon before your time,
Hell only danceth at so harsh a chime.

Pericles compares the lawful love of a wife with the performance of a good viol player, the proper characteristics of which would be, 'in tune,' and 'in time.' The comparison in l. 84 is of this girl's lawless passion with the 'disorder'd' playing of a bad violist, who has got 'out,' as we say; who is playing 'before his time,' thus entirely spoiling the music, which becomes a dance for devils rather than angels.

The viol was decidedly the most important stringed instrument played with a bow that was in use in Elizabethan times. There were three different sizes.

The reader will get a sufficiently accurate idea,[Pg 45] both of the sizes and the use of viols, if he will consider the treble viol to have corresponded closely with our modern violin, the tenor viol to the modern viola [which is also called Alto, Tenor, or Bratsche—i.e., braccio, 'arm' fiddle], and the bass-viol, or viol-da-gamba [so called because held between the knees], to the modern violoncello.

The principal difference from our modern stringed instruments was that all the viols had six strings, whereas now there is no 'fiddle' of any sort with more than four. A secondary difference was, that all the viol family had frets on the fingerboard to mark out the notes, whereas the finger-boards of all our modern instruments are smooth, and the finger of the performer has to do without any help of that kind.[7]

John Playford, in 1683, published his 'Introduction to the Skill of Music,' which gives an account of the viols, and Thomas Mace, of Cambridge, lay clerk of Trinity, in his 'Musick's Monument,' pub. 1676, gives full instructions how many viols and other instruments of this kind are necessary. From these we learn that viols were always kept in sets of six—two trebles, two tenors, and two basses—which[Pg 46] set was technically known as a 'Chest' of viols. Mace also says that the treble viol had its strings just half the length of the bass viol, and the tenor was of a medium size between these. Also he says that if you add to these a couple of violins (which were then thought somewhat vulgar, loud instruments) for jovial occasions, and a pair of 'lusty, full-sized Theorboes,'[8] 'you have a ready entertainment for the greatest prince in the world.'

The tuning of the six strings on the bass-viol was, on the bass staff, 1st string, or treble, D over the staff; 2nd or small mean, A on the top line; 3rd or great mean, E in the third space; 4th or counter-tenor, C in the second space; 5th or tenor, or gamut, G on the first line; and the 6th or bass, low D, under the staff. On the most complete viol there would be seven frets, arranged semitonally, so the compass of the Bass Viol or Viol da Gamba would be about two octaves and a half, from D under the bass staff to A on the second space of the treble staff. [In South Kensington Museum[Pg 47] is a Viol da Gamba with no less than twelve frets still remaining. This would make the compass nearly three octaves.]

The tenor-viol had its top string tuned to G on the second line of the treble staff; and the remaining five were the same in pitch as the top five on the bass viol. The treble viol (as mentioned above) was tuned exactly an octave above the bass.

The tone of the viols is very much like that of our modern bowed instruments, the principal difference being that they are a little feebler, and naturally more calm. The reason is that vigorous 'bowing' is a risky thing on the viol, for, as there are six strings on the arc of the bridge, more care is required to avoid striking two or even three at once than on the violin, which has only four.

The amateur of music would keep a 'Chest' of six Viols in his house, and when his musical friends visited him, they would generally play 'Fancies' (or Fantasias) see H. 4. B. III, ii, 323, in several parts, from two to the full six, according to the number of those present. Amongst a great number of composers of this kind of music, some very well known names are, John Jenkins, Chris. Sympson, William Lawes, Coperario (John Cooper), and the Italian[Pg 48] Monteverde. It was common for the Organ or other keyed instrument to join with the viols in these pieces, and thus fill out the chords of the 'consort,' as it was called.

We still have one of the viol tribe left in our orchestra. The double-bass (or viol-one) is lineal descendant of the Chest of viols. Its shape, especially at the shoulders, is quite characteristic, and elsewhere—e.g., the blunt curves of the waist, the outline of the back, and even the shape of the bow.

The practice of playing extempore variations on the viol da gamba has already been mentioned as one of the elegant accomplishments of a gentleman in those days. The following two quotations therefore will not require further remark.

Tw. I, iii, 24.

Maria [of Sir Andrew Aguecheek] ... he's a very fool, and a prodigal.

Sir Toby. Fie, that you'll say so! he plays o' the viol-de-gamboys ... and hath all the good gifts of nature.

Richard II. I, iii, 159. Banishment of Norfolk.

Norfolk. The language I have learn'd these forty years,
My native English, now I must forego;
And now my tongue's use is to me no more
[Pg 49]Than an unstringed viol, or a harp;
Or like a cunning instrument cas'd up,
Or, being open, put into his hands
That knows no touch to tune the harmony.

The violin family had only a precarious footing amongst musicians up to 1650. After that time, the viols declined in favour, and so rapidly, that at the very beginning of the 18th century, Dr Tudway of Cambridge describes a chest of viols, in a letter to his son, with such particularity, that it is clear they had entirely fallen out of use by 1700. As the viol fell out of fashion, the violin took its place, and has kept it ever since.

The violin family had come into general and fashionable use under the patronage of the Court of Louis XIV., and thus the English nation, true to their ancient habit of buying their 'doublet in Italy, round hose in France, bonnet in Germany, and behaviour everywhere,' took up the 'French fiddles,' and let their national Chest of viols go to the wall.

This growing tendency to adopt French customs, even in music, is referred to in the following:—

Hen. VIII. I, iii, 41. French manners in England.

Lovell. A French song, and a fiddle, has no fellow.

Sands. The devil fiddle 'em! I am glad they're going,
[Pg 50]For, sure, there's no converting of 'em: now,
An honest country lord, as I am, beaten
A long time out of play, may bring his plain-song,
And have an hour of hearing: and, by'r lady,
Held current music too.

The only word here that has not already been fully explained is 'current music,' which I suppose to mean simply, that the old accomplishments of which Lord Sands speaks would be still thought 'up to date' and in the fashion.

Another instrument in common domestic use was the Recorder. This was a kind of 'Beak-flute,' like a flageolet. Lord Bacon says it had a conical bore, and six holes. So it had the general figure of a modern Oboe, but was played with a 'whistle' mouthpiece instead of a reed.

The six holes may still be seen on any penny whistle, or the brass flageolets in the music-shops.

The Recorder was known for its sweet tone. Poets used the word 'record' to signify the song of birds, especially of the nightingale.

Hawkins identifies it with the Fistula Dulcis, seu Anglica, and gives two pictures which help to explain the next quotation.

In South Kensington Museum there is a Recorder[9][Pg 51] made of a dark wood, which is nothing else but a big flageolet. Its length is 2 ft. 2 in., and its bore is that of the modern flageolet and old flute—viz., conical, but with the wide end nearest the player's mouth.

Hamlet III, ii, 346. Enter Players with recorders.

Ham. O! the recorders: let me see one....

* * * * *

L. 351.

... Will you play upon this pipe?

Guildenstern. My lord, I cannot.

* * * * *

Ham. It is as easy as lying: govern these ventages with your finger and thumb, give it breath with your mouth, and it will discourse most eloquent music. Look you, these are the stops.

Guil. But these cannot I command to any utterance of harmony: I have not the skill.

Ham. Why, look you now, how unworthy a thing you make of me. You would play upon me: you would seem to know my stops; ... you would sound me from my lowest note to the top of my compass; and there is much music, excellent voice, in this little organ [the recorder], yet cannot you make it speak. 'Sblood! do you think I am easier to be played on than a pipe? Call me what instrument you will, though you can fret me, you cannot play upon me.

The holes in a flute have always been called 'ventages,' because the 'wind' comes through them[Pg 52] when the fingers are removed. They were 'governed' 'with the finger and thumb.' One of the illustrations from Mersennus [b. 1588] shows a conical flute with four holes in front and two at the back. These latter would, of course, be controlled by the thumbs, while the others would occupy two fingers on each hand. (Modern flageolets still keep a thumb hole at the back.) There were other beaked flutes of the same period, of a better class, which had several keys as well as the holes.

'The stops' referred to by Hamlet are merely the 'ventages.' The act of covering a hole with the finger or thumb was called 'stopping'; and further, one example of the Fistula Dulcis given by Mersennus has two different holes for the lowest note, one on the right and the other on the left, so that the instrument might be used either by a right-handed or left-handed person. One of these two duplicate holes was temporarily stopped with wax. [The passing play upon 'fret' in the last line should not be missed.]

In the next passage the meaning of stop as applied to Recorders is punned on by Hippolyta, who carries on the play from Lysander's horsebreaking metaphor.

Mids. V, i, 108. The Prologue speaks with all the punctuation wrong.[Pg 53]

Theseus. This fellow doth not stand upon points.

Lysander. He hath rid his prologue like a rough colt; he knows not the stop....

Hippolyta. Indeed, he hath played on this prologue like a child on a recorder, a sound, but not in government.

That is—the Prologue has misplaced all his stops—like a young horse that refuses to stop—also like a child who has not learned to stop the holes on the flute à bec.

It is singular that the Virginal, which was the most popular of all the keyed instruments, is nowhere directly named in Shakespeare. There is, however, a reference to the action of the fingers on its keys in the following.

Winter's Tale I, ii, 125. Of Hermione, Queen of Leontes, King of Sicilia, and Polixenes, King of Bohemia.

Leon. —— still virginalling
Upon his palm?

The Virginal (generally known as 'a pair of virginals') was most commonly used by ladies for their private recreation, and from this circumstance is supposed to derive its name. Queen Elizabeth was fond of playing on it, but as it was in vogue before her time, there is no need to connect the[Pg 54] name with the Virgin Queen. (Elizabeth's own Virginal is in South Kensington Museum.[10]) Its keyboard has four octaves, and the case is square, like that of a very old pianoforte. The strings of the virginal were plucked, by quills,[11] which were secured to the 'jacks' [see Sonnet cxxviii.], which in turn were set in motion by the keys. The strings were wire. The oldest country dance known, the Sellenger's (St Leger's) Round, of Henry VIII.'s time, was arranged by Byrd as a Virginal 'lesson' for 'Lady Nevell's booke.' Another well-known Virginal Book, that at the Fitzwilliam Museum at Cambridge, commonly known as 'Queen Elizabeth's Virginal Book,' is being published by Breitkopf & Härtel.

The first music ever printed for the Virginals was 'Parthenia,' published in London, 1611. This collection contains principally Pavans and Galliards by Byrd, Bull, and Gibbons. The title 'Parthenia, or the Maydenhead of the firste musicke,' etc., with a picture of a young lady playing on the virginal, seems to confirm our explanation of the name of this instrument.[Pg 55]

Next to the viol, the lute[12] was the most popular stringed instrument. It was used both as a Solo instrument on which to play sprightly 'Ayres,' or as an accompaniment for the voice, or 'in consort' with other instruments. Naturally, it figured frequently in 'serenading' especially when a love song had to be sung outside a lady's window. The general shape of a Lute was that of a mandoline, but about four times as big. Like the mandoline, it had a flat belly, and a great basin-shaped back. But in every other respect it was entirely different. It was used more in the fashion of a guitar, and its strings (which were of gut) were plucked with the fingers.

Adrian Le Roy's book, published in Paris about 1570, says the six strings were tuned as follows—1st (minikin), C in third space, treble staff; 2nd (small mean), G on second line; 3rd (great mean), D under the staff; 4th (counter-tenor), B flat over the bass staff; 5th (tenor), F on fourth line; and 6th (base), C in second space.

Scipione Cerreto, however (Naples 1601), gives quite a different account of the Italian Lute of eight strings, the tuning of which seems to have extended the compass downwards to C under the bass staff. Thomas[Pg 56] Mace (Musicks Monument, 1676) tells of several objections against the lute, the most noteworthy of which were—1st, that it was a costly instrument to keep in repair; 2nd, that it was out of fashion; and 3rd, that it made young people grow awry. Mace refutes these calumnies, the last of which no doubt was set about on account of the very awkward shape of the lute back, and the considerable size of the instrument. Hawkins (Hist. of Music, pp. 730 and 731) gives two pieces for the lute by Mace, or, rather, the same piece twice, first for one lute, then arranged for two. [Appendix.]

The five lower strings of the lute were 'doubled'—i.e., there were two of each pitch, duplicates, which helped the tone of the chords by 'sympathetic' vibration. So there were really eleven strings, but only six different pitches. There were eight frets on the fingerboard.

Other varieties were the Arch-Lute[13] and the Theorbo-Lute, both of which had very long double necks, and a large number of strings. One Archlute in South Kensington Museum has as many as 24, eleven of which are duplications.

H. 6. A. I, iv, 92.[Pg 57]

Talbot (of Salisbury dying).
'He beckons with his hand, and smiles on me,
As who should say, "When I am dead and gone,
Remember to avenge me on the French."—
Plantagenet, I will; and like thee, Nero,
Play on the lute, beholding the towns burn.'

Hen. 4. A. III, i, 206. Mortimer to Lady Mortimer.

Mort.... for thy tongue
Makes Welsh as sweet as ditties highly penn'd,
Sung by a fair queen in a summer's bower,
With ravishing division, to her lute.

For 'ravishing division,' see the remarks on the third of the foregoing passages, the speech of Juliet about the lark's song [p. 28].

The Lute leads us quite easily from Musical Instruments and Technical Terms to the second division.

[Pg 58]


Musical Education

The following passages give a lively picture of what a music-master might have to put up with from young ladies of quality.

Shrew. II, i, 142. Re-enter Hortensio with his head broken.

Bap. How now, my friend? why dost thou look so pale?

Hor. For fear, I promise you, if I look pale.

Bap. What, will my daughter [Kate] prove a good musician?

Hor. I think, she'll sooner prove a soldier:
Iron may hold her, but never lutes.

Bap. Why, then thou canst not break her to the lute?

Hor. Why, no, for she hath broke the lute to me.
I did but tell her she mistook her frets,
And bow'd her hand to teach her fingering,
When, with a most impatient, devilish spirit,
"Frets call you these?" quoth she; "I'll fume with them;"
And with that word she struck me on the head,
And through the instrument my pate made way;
[Pg 59]And there I stood amazed for a while,
As on a pillory, looking through the lute,
While she did call me rascal fiddler,
And, twangling Jack, with twenty such vile terms,
As had she studied to misuse me so.

Shrew II, i, 277.

Bap. Why, how now, daughter Katherine? in your dumps?

Shrew. Act III. i. Hortensio and Lucentio, the sham musical and classical tutors, give a lesson to Bianca. They quarrel which is to start first.

Lucentio. Fiddler, forbear: you grow too forward, sir.

* * * * *

Hortensio. But, wrangling pedant, this is
The patroness of heavenly harmony;
Then give me leave to have prerogative,
And when in music we have spent an hour,
Your lecture shall have leisure for as much.

Luc. Preposterous ass, that never read so far
To know the cause why music was ordained!
Was it not to refresh the mind of man,
After his studies, or his usual pain?
Then give me leave to read philosophy,
And while I pause, serve in your harmony.

Bianca settles the question, and orders Hortensio (l. 22):

Take you your instrument, play you the whiles;
[Pg 60]His lecture will be done, ere you have tun'd.

Hor. You'll leave his lecture, when I am in tune?

Luc. That will be never: tune your instrument.

Lucentio now goes on with his 'classics'; further on—

Hor. [Returning]. Madam, my instrument's in tune.

Bianca. Let's hear. [Hor. plays.] O fie! the treble jars.

Luc. Spit in the hole, man, and tune again.

* * * * *

Hor. Madam, 'tis now in tune.

Luc.All but the base.

Hor. The base is right; 'tis the base knave that jars.

Hortensio now takes his place, and addresses the classical Lucentio—

L. 58.

Hor. You may go walk, and give me leave awhile:
My lessons make no music in three parts.

* * * * *

L. 63.

Hor. Madam, before you touch the instrument,
To learn the order of my fingering,
I must begin with rudiments of art;
To teach you gamut in a briefer sort.

* * * * *

Bianca. Why, I am past my gamut long ago.

Hor. Yet read the gamut of Hortensio.

The first of these three passages will be quite clear to the reader in the light of the remarks on the lute[Pg 61] already made. The second should be read in connection with the name of the doleful dance above mentioned, the Dump. [See Appendix.]

The third quotation contains interesting allusions to the peculiarities of the lute. Lines 22-25 are very naturally accounted for. The lute, having at least eleven strings, took a long time to get into tune. Even our modern violins, with only four strings, want constant attention in this respect; and the lute, therefore, especially in the hands of an amateur, might well get a name for being a troublesome instrument. The reference to the 'treble' and 'bass' strings (i.e., the 1st and 6th) has been explained before. 'Spit in the hole, man,' Lucentio's very rude advice to Hortensio, will direct our attention to the variously shaped 'holes' which were made in the belly of all stringed instruments to let out the sound. On the lute, this hole was commonly a circular opening, not clearly cut out, but fretted in a circle of small holes with a star in the middle. But this was not the only way. A lute in South Kensington Museum has three round holes, placed in an oblique line, nearly at the bottom of the instrument.[14] The holes on the viol were generally in the form of crescents,[Pg 62] and were put one on each side of the bridge. On the modern violins, as everybody has seen, they are in the shape of f holes, and are known as 'f' holes.

Line 59, about 'lessons in three parts,' is of interest. Primarily, it is another form of 'Two's company, three is none'—but its musical meaning is very plainly present. In the 16th and 17th centuries it was very common to call the pieces of music in any volume for an instrument by the name 'Lessons.' The first meaning, of course, was that they were examples for the pupil in music, but the word was used quite freely with the purely general signification of 'Pieces' or 'Movements.'

One more word deserves remark—viz., 'to touch,' in line 63. This is used technically, and means strictly 'to play' on the instrument. The word comes both in meaning and form from Ital., toccare.

Toccata was a common word for a Prelude (often extempore), intended as a kind of introduction to two or three more formal movements. The Italian for a peal of bells is tocco di campana, and we have the word in English under the form tocsin, an alarm bell. The trumpet-call known as 'Tucket,' which occurs seven times in the stage directions of six Shakespeare[Pg 63] plays, and is also found once in the text (Henry V. IV, ii, 35), also is derived from toccare. Similarly with the German 'Tusch,' a flourish of trumpets and other brass instruments, which may be heard under that name to the present day.

The next passage confirms Morley's account of the high estimation in which music was held as a part of a liberal education. Baptista evidently considers 'good bringing up' to include 'music, instruments, and poetry.' Moreover, the visiting master was to be well paid,—'to cunning men I will be very kind.'

Shrew I, i, 81.

Bianca. Sir to your pleasure humbly I subscribe:
My books, and instruments, shall be my company,
On them to look, and practise by myself.

* * * * *

Baptista (To Hortensio and Gremio).
Go in, Bianca. [Exit Bianca].
And for I know, she taketh most delight
In music, instruments, and poetry,
Schoolmasters will I keep within my house,
Fit to instruct her youth.—If you, Hortensio,
Or Signior Gremio, you, know any such,
Refer them hither; for to cunning men
I will be very kind, and liberal
To mine own children in good bringing up.

[Pg 64]We find further on, in the same play, that to bring one's lady-love a music master was thought a handsome compliment.

Shrew I, ii, 170.

Hortensio. 'Tis well: and I have met a gentleman,
Hath promis'd me to help me to another,
A fine musician to instruct our mistress.

Moreover, in Pericles IV, vi, 185, we find that Marina, daughter of Prince Pericles, can 'sing, weave, sew, and dance.' Also see V, i, 78, where Marina actually does sing, to rouse her father from his melancholy.

[Pg 65]


Songs and Singing

It is impossible here to give even an outline of the history of Songs and Singing in England. The general statement must suffice that vocal music, accompanied by viols and harps, with songs and catches, were common in the year 1230 in France; and any reader of Chaucer and Gower may see for himself that vocal music was flourishing in the 14th century in England. The English Round or Catch, mentioned above, 'Sumer is icumen in,' is most probably of the 13th century, and that alone would be sufficient to characterise the popular vocal music of that day. This composition is advanced in every way, being very melodious, and at the same time showing that vocal harmony (i.e., singing in parts) was greatly appreciated.

To proceed to a time nearer the age with which we are concerned—in Henry VII.'s reign, there were many songs written, some for voices only, and some with[Pg 66] instrumental accompaniment. Amongst the former are two songs in three parts, the music by William Cornyshe, Junior, which are given in Hawkins.

Skelton wrote the words of the first, 'Ah, beshrew you by my fay,' which is very coarse in tone, as was frequently the case with him; and the second one, 'Hoyday, jolly ruttekin,' is a satire on the drunken habits of the Flemings who came over with Anne of Cleves. Mrs Page (Wiv. II, i, 23) refers to these Dutchmen, where, after receiving Falstaff's love-letter, she exclaims, 'what an unweighed behaviour hath this Flemish Drunkard picked (with the devil's name!) out of my conversation, that he dares in this manner assay me?'

The following is a curious picture by 'Skelton, Laureate,' of an ignorant singer, who appears to have been throwing mud at the poet. Skelton gives us a sad account both of his morals and his music.

The 3rd verse begins—

With hey troly loly, lo whip here Jak,
Alumbek, sodyldym syllorym ben,
Curiously he can both counter and knak,
Of Martin Swart, and all his merry men;
Lord, how Perkyn is proud of his Pohen,
But ask wher he findeth among his monachords
[Pg 67]An holy-water-clark a ruler of lordes.
He cannot fynd it in rule nor in space,
He solfyth too haute, hys trybyll is too high,
He braggyth of his byrth that borne was full base,
Hys musyk withoute mesure, too sharp, is his 'my',
He trymmeth in his tenor to counter pardy,
His descant is besy,[15] it is without a mene,
Too fat is his fantsy, his wyt is too lene.

He tumbryth on a lewde lewte, Rotybulle Joyse,
Rumbill downe, tumbill downe, hey go, now now,
He fumblyth in his fyngering an ugly rude noise,
It seemyth the sobbyng of an old sow:
He wolde be made moch of, and he wyst how;
Well sped in spindels and tuning of travellys
A bungler, a brawler, a picker of quarrels.

Comely he clappyth a payre of clavicordys
He whystelyth so swetely he maketh me to swet,
His discant is dashed full of discordes,
A red angry man, but easy to intrete; etc.

Further on we read—

For lordes and ladyes lerne at his scole,
He techyth them so wysely to solf and to fayne,
That neither they sing wel prike-song nor plain.

Skelton's main objection to this person is that he, being in reality of very humble origin, presumed on his very doubtful musical abilities to gain a foot[Pg 68]ing amongst his betters. As he says, 'For Jak wold be a Jentilman that late was a grome.'

Evidently 'Jak' had managed to make good his position as a fashionable teacher of singing, in spite of the defects plainly mentioned in the above verses. In the first verse, 'counter' is a musical term, here used with the meaning of 'to embroider' the tale. 'Knack' is still used in Yorkshire for 'affected talk.' 'Monachord' is the ancient one-stringed fiddle called Tromba Marina, and is here used as a joke on 'monachi' or 'holy water clarks.' In verse 2, 'rule and space' is simply 'line and space,' i.e., on the musical staff. 'Solfyth too haute' is 'Solfa's too high.' The 'my' which was 'too sharp' is the Mi, the seventh note of the scale, mentioned above as the critical point in Solfa. In verse 3, 'lewde lewte' means merely 'vulgar lute'; and 'Rotybulle Joyse' is the title of an old song. The 'payre of clavicordys' is the clavichord, which in 1536 was a keyed instrument of much the same kind as the virginals,[16] with about three and a half octaves. It[Pg 69] was used by nuns, and therefore had its strings muffled with bits of cloth to deaden the sound.

The last three lines quoted mention 'solfa' and 'fayne.' The latter is 'feigned' music, or Musica Ficta, which at this time was the art of dislocating the 'Mi,' so as to change the key. It was seldom that more than one flat was found in those days, and this would move the Mi from B to E, thus constituting 'fayned' music.

This account will give a general idea of the kind of songs and singing that were to be found in 1500.

Popular songs, 'Rotybulle Joyse,' with a burden of 'Rumbill downe, tumbill downe,' etc., accompanied by a 'lewde lewte'; clavichord playing; solfaing; singing of both 'prick-' and 'plain-' song, with Musica Ficta; besides the delectable art of 'whysteling'; seem to have been matters in ordinary practice at the beginning of the 16th century. Add to these the songs in three parts, with rounds or catches for several voices, and we have no mean list of musicianly accomplishments, which the men of Shakespeare's day might inherit.

In Shakespeare, besides the songs most commonly known (some of which are by earlier authors), there are allusions to many kinds of vocal music, and[Pg 70] scraps of the actual words of old songs—some with accompaniment, some without; a duet; a trio; a chorus; not to mention several rounds, either quoted or alluded to.

It will be useful here to refer to a few of these less known examples.

L.L.L. I, ii, 106. The Ballad of 'The King and the Beggar.' Moth says "The world was very guilty of such a ballad some three ages since; but I think now 'tis not to be found; or, if it were, it would neither serve for the writing, nor the tune."

Id. III, i, 2. Moth begins a song 'Concolinel,' which Armado calls a 'sweet air.'

Various snatches of ballads, ancient and modern—e.g.,

(a) By Falstaff. H. 4. B. II, iv, 32, 'When Arthur first in court began,' 'And was a worthy king.'

(b) By Master Silence. H. 4. B. V, iii, 18. 'Do nothing but eat, and make good cheer,' etc.; 'Be merry, be merry, my wife has all,' etc.; 'A cup of wine, that's brisk and fine,' etc. 'Fill the cup, and let it come,' etc.; 'Do me right, And dub me knight,' etc.; 'and Robin Hood, Scarlet, and John.'

(c) By Benedick, Much Ado V, ii, 23. 'The god of love.'

(d) The old tune 'Light o' love' [see Appendix],[Pg 71] the original words of which are unknown. Much Ado III, iv, 41, 'Clap us into "Light o' love;" that goes without a burden; do you sing it, and I'll dance it.' Here is one verse of 'A very proper Dittie,' to the tune of "Lightie Love" (date 1570).

"By force I am fixed my fancie to write,
Ingratitude willeth me not to refrain:
Then blame me not, Ladies, although I indite
What lighty love now amongst you doth rayne,
Your traces in places, with outward allurements,
Dothe moove my endevour to be the more playne:
Your nicyngs and tycings, with sundrie procurements,
To publish your lightie love doth me constraine."

There were several songs of the 16th century that went to this tune. See also Shakespeare, Gent. I, ii, 80, and Fletcher, Two Noble Kinsmen V, ii, 54.

(e) Song by Parson Evans, Wiv. III, i, 18; 'To shallow rivers,' for words of which see Marlowe's 'Come live with me,' printed in the 'Passionate Pilgrim,' Part xx. [see tunes in Appendix]. Sir Hugh is in a state of nervous excitement, and the word 'rivers' brings 'Babylon' into his head, so he goes on mixing up a portion of the version of Ps. cxxxvii. with Marlowe.

(f) By Sir Toby. Tw. Nt. II, iii, 79, 85, 102. Peg-a-Ramsey, 'Three merry men be we,' 'There dwelt a[Pg 72] man in Babylon,' 'O! the twelfth day of December,' 'Farewell, dear heart.' [For tunes, see Appendix].

(g) As You Like It II, v. Song with Chorus, 'Under the greenwood tree,' 2nd verse 'all together here.'

(h) By Pandarus, Troil. III, i, 116. Song, 'Love, love, nothing but love,' accompanied on an 'instrument' by the singer himself.

(i) Another, Id. IV, iv, 14, 'O heart, heavy heart.'

(j) Lear I, iv, 168, two verses sung by the Fool, 'Fools had ne'er less grace in a year.'

(k) Ballads by Autolycus, Winter's Tale IV, ii, 1, 15. 'When daffodils,' 'But shall I go mourn for that.' Id. sc. ii. end, 'Jog on' [see Appendix]; Id. sc. iii. 198, 'Whoop, do me no harm, good man' [Appendix]; Id. l. 219, 'Lawn, as white as driven snow'; Id. l. 262, Ballad of the 'Usurer's wife,' to a 'very doleful tune'; Id. l. 275, Ballad of a Fish, 'very pitiful'; Id. l. 297, A song in three parts, to the tune of 'Two maids wooing a man,' "Get you hence, for I must go"; Id. l. 319, Song, 'Will you buy any tape' (cf. The round by Jenkins, b. 1592, 'Come, pretty maidens,' see Rimbault's Rounds, Canons, and Catches).

(l) Duet by King Cymbeline's two sons; Funeral[Pg 73] Song over Imogen, Cymb. IV, ii, 258, 'Fear no more the heat of the sun.'

(m) Stephano's 'scurvy tunes,' Temp. II, ii, 41, 'I shall no more to sea,' 'The master, the swabber,' etc. [Appendix]. Id. l. 175, Caliban's Song, 'Farewell, master,' etc.

(n) Song accompanied by lute. H. 8. III, i. 'Orpheus.'

Besides these there are allusions to the names of various popular tunes and catches, of which the music is still to be had. Amongst these are—

'The Hunt is up' [Appendix]. See Rom. and Jul. III, v, 34. Juliet says of the lark's song, 'that voice doth us affray, Hunting thee hence with hunts-up to the day.' Any rousing morning song, even a love-song, was called a hunts-up. The tune of this song was also sung (in 1584) to 'O sweete Olyver, leave me not behind the,' but altering the time to 4 in a bar. See As You Like It III, iii, 95.

'Heart's ease' [Appendix], the words of which are not known. Tune before 1560. See Romeo IV, v, 100.

Id., 'My heart is full of woe.'

Id. l. 125. 'When griping grief' [Appendix], by Richard Edwards, gentleman of Queen Elizabeth's Chapel, printed in the 'Paradyse of daynty Devises'[Pg 74] (printed 1577). Hawkins gives four verses, the first of which is here quoted by Shakespeare, but with several variations—

'Where griping grief the hart would wound,
And doleful domps the mind oppresse,
There Musick with her silver sound
Is wont with spede to give redresse;
Of troubled minds, for every sore,
Swete Musick hath a salve in store.'

The last verse is charming—

'Oh heavenly gift, that turnes the minde,
Like as the sterne doth rule the ship,
Of musick whom the Gods assignde,
To comfort man whom cares would nip;
Sith thou both man and beast doest move,
What wise man then will thee reprove.'

'Green Sleeves' [Appendix].

Wiv. II, i, 60.

Mrs Ford. ... I would have sworn his disposition [Falstaff's] would have gone to the truth of his words; but they do no more adhere and keep place together, than the Hundredth Psalm to the tune of 'Green Sleeves.'

Also see Wiv. V, v, 20. The tune is given in its most complete form by Chappell, and is probably of Henry VIII.'s time. The ballad was published in 1580,[Pg 75] with title, 'A new Northerne dittye of the Ladye Greene Sleeves.' Verse 1 is as follows:—

"Alas my love, you do me wrong
To cast me off discourteously,
And I have lovèd you so long,
Delighting in your company.
Greensleeves was all my joy,
Greensleeves was my delight,
Greensleeves was my heart of gold,
And who but my Lady Greensleeves."

The 'Hundredth Psalm' (All people that on earth do dwell) will only adhere and keep place with the tune of Green Sleeves to a certain extent. If the reader will try to sing it to the tune in the Appendix, he will find that in the first half he is led into several false accents; while the second half is quite unmanageable without altering the notes. There is, however, a form of the tune in Hawkins which is much further off 'the truth of the words,' for it has exactly the right quantity of notes, but the accents are all as wrong as possible, thus—

 ¯   ˘   ¯   ˘    ¯   ˘    ¯
All peo-ple that on earth do

  ˘    ˘   ˘   ˘   ˘    ˘     ¯   ˘    ¯
Dwell sing to the Lord with cheerful voice.

It may be that this form of 'Green Sleeves' was known better than the older one in Shakespeare's day.[Pg 76]

'Carman's whistle' [Appendix].

H. 4. B. III, ii, 320. Falstaff soliloquises on Shallow's lies concerning his wild youth.

Fal. He (Shallow) came ever in the rearward of the fashion, and sung those tunes ... that he heard the carmen whistle, and sware—they were his fancies, or his goodnights.... The case of a treble hautboy was a mansion for him, a court.

The Carman's Whistle was a popular Elizabethan tune, and was arranged as a virginal lesson by Byrd. This arrangement can be had most readily in Litolff's publication, 'Les maîtres du Clavecin.'

The 'fancies' referred to above are the 'Fantazies' already remarked on (chest of viols); and the 'Goodnights' are songs in memoriam, or dirges.

'Fortune my foe.' [Appendix]. Merry Wives III, iii, 62. Falstaff (to Mrs Ford). 'I see what thou wert, if Fortune thy foe were not, Nature thy friend.' This old tune is at latest of Elizabeth's time, and was sung to the ancient ballad of "Titus Andronicus." The first verse of 'Fortune my foe' is as follows:—

"Fortune my foe, why dost thou frown on me?
And will thy favour never better be?
Wilt thou, I say, for ever breed my pain,
And wilt thou not restore my joyes again?"

'Ophelia's Songs.' Hamlet IV, v. [Appendix]. 'How[Pg 77] should I your true love know'; 'Good morrow, 'tis St Valentine's day'; 'They bore him barefaste'; 'Bonny sweet Robin'; 'And will he not come again.'

The one line of 'Bonny sweet Robin' is all that remains of the song, except the title, which is also the first line—viz., 'My Robin is to the greenwood gone.' The line Shakespeare gives would be the last. One tune to it is at any rate older than 1597.

Lastly, there are the old catches, 'Hold thy peace,' sung by Toby, Sir Andrew, and Feste in Twelfth Night II, iii; 'Jack boy, ho boy, news, The cat is in the well,' etc., referred to by Grumio in Shrew IV, i, 42; besides 'Flout 'em and scout em,' sung by Stephano, Trinculo, and Caliban in Tempest III, ii; and 'What shall he have that killed the deer,' for the foresters in As You Like It IV, ii, 5. The original music of the first two, probably much earlier than Shakespeare, is in the Appendix. A Round for four voices by John Hilton (flourished 1600) to 'What shall he have,' is probably the first setting, and may be seen in Rimbault, p. 19. Purcell (1675) set 'Flout 'em' as a catch for three voices, which is in Caulfield's Collection of Shakespeare Vocal Music, 1864. These last two are poor specimens of Catches, so they are not printed here. [The proper reading of 'Flout 'em,' in the 4tos and 1st Fol. is[Pg 78] 'Flout 'em and cout 'em! and skowt 'em, and flout 'em! Thought is free.']

The following passage contains a large quantity of the history of songs in the 16th century, and is one of the most important to be found in Shakespeare. Autolycus sells ballads 'of all sizes' among his wares; the country folk, Mopsa, Dorcas, and the Clown, buy them, and afterwards sing them; and the rustic servant distinctly prefers the pedlar's vocalisation to their accustomed 'tabor and pipe,' or even to the 'bagpipe.'

Winter's Tale IV, iii, 181.

Servant. O master! if you did but hear the pedlar at the door, you would never dance again after a tabor and pipe; no, the bagpipe could not move you. He sings several tunes faster than you'll tell money; he utters them as he had eaten ballads, and all men's ears grew to his tunes.

Clown. He could never come better: he shall come in. I love a ballad but even too well; if it be doleful matter, merrily set down, or a very pleasant thing indeed, and sung lamentably.

Serv. He hath songs, for man or woman, of all sizes.... He has the prettiest love-songs for maids; so without bawdry, which is strange; with such delicate burdens of "dildos" and "fadings," "jump her and thump her"; ... "Whoop, do me no harm, good man."[Pg 79]

L. 212.

Clo. Pr'ythee, bring him in, and let him approach singing.

Perdita. Forewarn him, that he use no scurrilous words in 's tunes.

L. 259.

Clo. [to Autolycus]. What hast here? ballads?

Mopsa. 'Pray now, buy some: I love a ballad in print, o' life, for then we are sure they are true.

Autolycus. Here's one to a very doleful tune ... [of a usurer's wife].

L. 273.

Clo. Come on, lay it by: and let's first see more ballads....

Aut. Here's another ballad, of a fish, that ... sung this ballad against the hard hearts of maids: ... the ballad is very pitiful, and as true.

L. 285.

Clo. Lay it by too: another.

Aut. This is a merry ballad, but a very pretty one.

Mop. Let's have some merry ones.

Aut. Why, this is a passing merry one, and goes to the tune of "Two maids wooing a man," there's scarce a maid westward but she sings it: 'tis in request, I can tell you.

Mop. We can both sing it: if thou'lt bear a part [i.e., Autolycus], thou shalt hear; 'tis in three parts.

Dorcas. We had the tune on't a month ago.[Pg 80]

Aut. I can bear my part; you must know, 'tis my occupation: have at it with you.

[They sing 'Get you hence,' in three parts.]

Clo. We'll have the song out anon by ourselves.

L. 328.

Servant. Master, there is three carters, three shepherds, three neat herds, three swine herds, that have made themselves all men of hair: they call themselves Saltiers; and they have a dance, which the wenches say is a gallimaufry of gambols, because they are not in't....

* * * * *

L. 609.

Aut. My clown (who wants but something to be a reasonable man) grew so in love with the wenches' song, that he would not stir his pettitoes, till he had both tune and words.

The tabor and pipe, in the servant's first speech, were common popular instruments. The tabor, of course, was a small drum, which was used as accompaniment to the pipe, a small whistle with three holes, but with a compass of 18 notes. (See Frontispiece.) In its curiously disproportionate compass, it may be compared to the modern 'Picco' pipe of the music shops. Mersennus (middle of 17th century) mentions an Englishman, John Price, who was an[Pg 81] accomplished player. It is played on by Ariel, see a subsequent quotation from The Tempest III, ii, 126 and 152. Also Much Ado II, iii, 13; and the tabor alone, in Twelfth Night III, i.

The Bagpipe[17] was very similar to the instruments of that name which still exist. At the present moment there are four kinds in use—Highland Scotch, Lowland Scotch, Northumbrian, and Irish. The last has bellows instead of a 'bag,' but in other ways they are very much alike. They all have 'drones,' which sound a particular note or notes continually, while the tune is played on the 'chanter.' Shakespeare himself tells us of another variety—viz., the Lincolnshire bagpipe, in Hen. 4. A. I, ii, 76, where Falstaff compares his low spirits to the melancholy 'drone of a Lincolnshire bagpipe.'[18]

The servant's second speech refers to the character of the words of the popular ballads, which were too often coarse and even indecent.

'Love-songs' are quite a large class, frequently referred to. For instance, Two Gent. II, i, 15.[Pg 82]

Val. Why, how know you that I am in love?

Speed. Marry by these special marks.
First, you have learn'd ...
To relish a love song, like a robin-redbreast;

Rom. II, iv, 15.

Mercutio. 'Alas, poor Romeo! he is already dead;
... run thorough the ear with a love-song.'

besides the passage from Twelfth Nt. II, iii, quoted further on, where Feste offers Sir Toby and Sir Andrew their choice between 'a love-song, or a song of good life.'

The 'delicate burdens,' 'dildos and fadings,' 'jump her and thump her,' are to be found in examples of the period. A Round of Matt. White, 'The Courtier scorns the country clowns' (date about 1600) has for its third and last line 'With a fading, fading, fading, fading,' etc. 'Whoop, do me no harm' has already been spoken of.

In l. 214 of the Winter's Tale passage, Perdita again takes precaution against Autolycus using 'scurrilous words.'

From l. 285 to l. 327, the passage refers to a very interesting department of 16th century singing—viz., the habit of performing songs in three vocal parts. The singers were called Threeman-songmen, and the[Pg 83] songs themselves 'Threeman songs,' or 'Freemen's Songs.' [Freemen is simply a corruption of Threemen. Mr Aldis Wright tells me it is analogous to Thills or Fills, for the shafts of a waggon. Rimbault, in the preface to 'Rounds, Canons, and Catches,' is highly indignant with Ritson's 'inconceivably strange notion' that Freemen is only a form of Threemen. Rimbault's reason was that 'Deuteromelia' (1609) does contain Freemen's Songs in four parts. Mr Aldis Wright also gives me the expression 'six-men's song,' from Percy's Reliques, also these definitions, which will all go to settle the matter: Florio, Italian Dictionary, 1611; Strambotti, country gigges, rounds, catches, virelaies or threemen's songs; Cantarini, such as sing threemen's songs; Berlingozzo.... Also a drunken or threemen's song.

Cotgrave, French Dict. 1611; Virelay. m. A virelay, round, freemans song].

Giraldus Cambrensis says that singing in parts was indigenous to the parts beyond the Humber, and on the borders of Yorkshire. Threeman singing may still be heard (not as an exotic), in Wales and the West of England. This last is referred to in the above passage, 'There's scarce a maid westward but she sings it'—viz., the song in three parts.[Pg 84]

Shakespeare is strictly historical in making a pedlar, and two country lasses, capable of 'bearing a part' in a composition of this sort.

The company of 'men of hair,' calling themselves 'Saltiers,' may derive their name from the dance, 'Saltarello.' Gallimaufry is 'Galimathias,' a muddle, or hotch potch. (See Merry Wives II, i, 115).

The threemansong men are more particularly described in Winter's Tale IV, ii, 41.

Clown. She hath made me four-and-twenty nosegays for the shearers; three-man song-men all, and very good ones, but they are most of them means and bases; but one Puritan amongst them, and he sings psalms to hornpipes.

These musical harvesters square closely with the account given in the Introduction, of music amongst the lower classes. Here were 24 good glee singers, with the single defect that their tenors were very weak, 'most of them means [altos] and basses.' The Puritan was most accommodating, and his singing the words of psalms to the tune of the hornpipe would tend to shew that the Old Adam was not all put away as yet. His compromise with his conscience reminds one of the old stories (all too true) of church singers in the 15th and 16th centuries, who would sing the by no means respectable words of popular[Pg 85] comic ditties to the solemn strains of the mass 'l'homme armé,' or whatever well-known melody the music happened to be constructed on.

An example of a threemansong will be found in the Appendix, 'We be soldiers three.'

Shakespeare also alludes to sacred part-music. Falstaff, by his own account, was a notable singer of Anthems, in which holy service he had lost his voice; he was familiar with members of the celebrated choir of St George's Chapel at Windsor; and was not above practising the metrical Psalmody in his sadder moments.

H. 4. B. I, ii, 182.

Chief Justice. Is not your voice broken, your wind short, your chin double, your wit single, and every part about you blasted with antiquity, and will you yet call yourself young? Fie, fie, fie, Sir John!

Falstaff. My lord.... For my voice, I have lost it with hollaing, and singing of anthems.

H. 4. B. II, i, 88.

Hostess. Thou didst swear to me ... upon Wednesday in Wheeson week, when the prince broke thy head for liking his father to a singing-man of Windsor.

Hen. 4. A. II, iv, 137. Falstaff laments the degeneracy of the times.[Pg 86]

Fal. There live not three good men unhanged in England, and one of them is fat, and grows old; God help the while! a bad world, I say. I would I were a weaver; I could sing psalms or anything.

This last sentence connects curiously with Sir John Oldcastle, the leader of the Lollards, who were noted for their psalm singing, which indeed gave them the name. These Flemish Protestants, who had fled from the persecutions in their own country, were mostly woollen manufacturers, and were distinguished for their love of Psalmody, throughout the western counties, where they settled. Hence the allusion to 'weavers' and 'Psalms.' But according to the Epilogue of Hen. 4. B., 'Oldcastle died a martyr, and this is not the man.'

Falstaff knew well what a Ballad was too—as the following shews:—

Hen. 4. A. II, ii, 43.

Fal. (to Hal.). Go hang thyself in thine own heir-apparent garters! If I be ta'en, I'll peach for this. An I have not ballads made on you all, and sung to filthy tunes, let a cup of sack be my poison.

Two other worthy knights claim our attention in the next quotation, which contains many interesting allusions. Inter alia; Sir Toby gives Feste sixpence[Pg 87] to sing a song; Sir Andrew follows it up with a 'testril.' The Clown then sings them 'O mistress mine.' [For the original music see Prof. Bridge's 'Shakespeare Songs,' Novello, a collection which every reader of Shakespeare ought to have. Price 2s. 6d.] Then, at Sir Toby's suggestion, they all three sing a catch, or, in his own words, 'draw three souls out of one weaver,' an allusion to the three vocal parts which are evolved from the one melody of the catch, as well as a sly reference to 'weavers' singing catches. (See Introduction.) They sing 'Thou knave,' for which see the Appendix. It is not a good catch, but sounds humorous if done smartly, and perhaps its very roughness suits the circumstances. Next, after Maria's entrance, Toby either quotes the titles, or sings odd lines of four old songs [Appendix]; and when Malvolio comes in, furious with the noise they are making in the middle of the night, he applies precisely those epithets to their proceedings that our histories lead us to expect—e.g., 'gabbling like tinkers,' 'alehouse,' squeaking out your 'cozier's catches' ['cozier' is 'cobbler']. Sir Toby's puns on 'keep time' in ll. 94 and 115 ought not to be missed. To 'keep time' is almost the only virtue a catch singer must have.[Pg 88]

Tw. II, iii, 18.

Sir To. Welcome, ass. Now let's have a catch.

Sir And. By my troth, the fool has an excellent breast. I had rather than forty shillings I had such a leg, and so sweet a breath to sing, as the fool has.

L. 30.

Sir And. Now, a song.

Sir To. Come on; there is sixpence for you; let's have a song.

Sir And. There's a testril of me too; if one knight give a——

Clown. Would you have a love-song, or a song of good life?

Sir To. A love-song, a love-song.

Sir And. Ay, ay; I care not for good life.

[Clown sings 'O mistress mine.']

Sir And. A mellifluous voice, as I am true knight.

Sir To. A contagious breath.

Sir And. Very sweet and contagious, i'faith.

Sir To. To hear by the nose, it is dulcet in contagion. But shall we make the welkin dance indeed? Shall we rouse the night-owl in a catch, that will draw three souls out of one weaver? Shall we do that?

Sir And. An you love me, let's do't: I am dog at a catch.

Clo. By'r lady, sir, and some dogs will catch well.

Sir And. Most certain. Let our catch be, "Thou Knave."

Clo. "Hold thy peace, thou knave," knight? I shall be constrained to call thee knave, knight.[Pg 89]

Sir And. 'Tis not the first time I have constrained one to call me knave. Begin, fool: it begins, "Hold thy peace."

Clo. I shall never begin, if I hold my peace.

Sir And. Good, i'faith. Come, begin.

[They sing a catch.]

Enter Maria.

Mar. What a caterwauling do you keep here!

* * * * *

Sir To. My lady's a Cataian; we are politicians; Malvolio's a Peg-a-Ramsey, and "Three merry men be we."... Tilly-valley, lady! [Sings.] "There dwelt a man in Babylon, lady, lady!"

* * * * *

Sir To. [Sings.] "O! the twelfth day of December."——

Mar. For the love o'God, peace!

Enter Malvolio.

Mal. My masters, are you mad? or what are you? Have you no wit, manners, nor honesty, but to gabble like tinkers at this time of night? Do ye make an alehouse of my lady's house, that ye squeak out your cozier's catches without any mitigation or remorse of voice? Is there no respect of place, persons, or time in you?

Sir To. We did keep time, sir, in our catches. Sneck up!

L. 103-114, another song, "Farewell, dear heart" [Appendix].

It is perhaps necessary to explain the nature of a[Pg 90] Catch, or Round, more clearly. The two names were interchangeable in the 16th and 17th centuries. It was not till quite modern times that 'Catch' implied a necessary quibble in the words, deliberately arranged by the writer. First, a Catch or Round of the best type of Elizabethan times consisted of one melody, generally perfectly continuous. Secondly, the said melody was always divisible into a certain number of equal sections, varying from three to six, or even eight; and as many sections as there were, so many voices were necessary. Thirdly, each of these equal sections was deliberately arranged so as to make Harmony with every other.

Here are the words of a Round of the 17th century, which is divisible into three equal sections, and therefore is sung by three voices.

1. 'Cuckoo! Hark! how he sings to us.
2. Good news the cuckoo brings to us;
3. Spring is here, says the cuckoo.'

Now, the way for three persons, A, B, and C, to sing this Catch or Round, is as follows:—

A begins [see above, line 69, 'Begin, fool'] line 1, and immediately proceeds to line 2; at this very instant, B in his turn begins line 1, and acts similarly. When A has reached the first syllable in line 3, and[Pg 91] B is at 'Good' in line 2, it is time for C also to begin at line 1. As soon as A has finished line 3, he begins again; and so on with the others—'round' and 'round' till they are tired of 'catching' each other up.

Thus when they are all three fairly set going, their one melody produces three part harmony, and the catchers have drawn 'three souls out of one weaver.'

The principle in all other Catches or Rounds is exactly the same, however great the number of parts.

In the following we have another case of catch-singing. The original music of 'Flout 'em' has not come down to us.

Tempest III, ii, 122.

Stephano. Come on, Trinculo, let us sing.

[They sing a catch, 'Flout 'em and scout 'em.']

Caliban. That's not the tune. [Very likely, as they were tipsy.]

[Ariel plays the tune on a tabor and pipe.]

Ste. What is this same?

Trin. This is the tune of our catch, played by the picture of Nobody.

* * * * *

L. 136.

Cal. Be not afeard; the isle is full of noises,
Sounds, and sweet airs, that give delight, and hurt not.
Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments
[Pg 92]Will hum about mine ears; and sometime voices, &c.

Ste. This will prove a brave kingdom to me, where I shall have my music for nothing.

L. 152.

I would, I could see this taborer: [Ariel] he lays it on.

Also Id. III, ii, 119.

Stephano, like most of the scamps in Shakespeare, is a good musician. He leads the catch, appreciates Ariel's tabor playing (l. 152), and is overjoyed to think that he will have all his music 'for nothing' (l. 145) in the magical isle.

Finally, in the Taming of the Shrew, we have the title of another old catch, of which the music has survived—viz., 'Jack, boy.'

Shrew IV, i, 42.

Curtis. Therefore, good Grumio, the news.

Grumio. Why, "Jack, boy! ho, boy!" and as much news as thou wilt.

The words of this catch, which takes four voices, are—

'Jack, boy, ho! boy, news;
The cat is in the well,
Let us ring now for her knell,
Ding, dong, ding, dong, bell.'

The music [see Appendix], like that of so many[Pg 93] other catches, is anonymous, and is of some date long before Shakespeare.

As You V, iii, 7.

Touchstone. By my troth, well met. Come, sit, sit, and a song.

2 Page. We are for you; sit i' the middle.

1 Page. Shall we clap into 't roundly, without hawking, or spitting, or saying we are hoarse, which are the only prologues to a bad voice?

2 Page. I' faith, i' faith; and both in a tune, like two gipsies on a horse.

[Song follows, 'It was a lover.' Could be sung as a two-part madrigal quite easily. See Bridge's 'Shakespeare Songs,' for Morley's original setting.]

Touch. Truly, young gentlemen, though there was no great matter in the ditty, yet the note was very untuneable.

1 Page. You are deceived, sir; we kept time; we lost not our time.

Touch. By my troth, yes; I count it but time lost to hear such a foolish song. God be wi' you; and God mend your voices. Come, Audrey.

The First Page's speech at l. 9. is most humorously appropriate. 'Both in a tune, like two gipsies on a horse,' is a quaint description of a duet. There is yet another pun on 'lost time' in ll. 36-8.

Jaques' cynicism comes out even in his limited dealings with music.[Pg 94]

As You IV, ii, 5.

Jaques. Have you no song, forester, for this purpose?

2 Lord. Yes, sir.

Jaq. Sing it; 'tis no matter how it be in tune, so it make noise enough.

Song follows, 'What shall he have, that kill'd the deer,' Rimbault, p. 19. Music by Hilton, date about 1600, probably the original setting, a Round for four foresters.

This section will conclude with two quotations about singing of a more serious turn.

Tw. II, iv, 1.

Duke. Give me some music.—Now, good morrow, friends.
Now, good Cesario, but that piece of song,
That old and antique song, we heard last night;
Methought, it did relieve my passion much,
More than light airs, ...
Come; but one verse.

Curio. He is not here, so please your lordship, that should sing it.

Duke. Who was it?

Cur. Feste, the jester, my lord: ...

Duke. Seek him out, and play the tune the while.

L. 20.

[To Cesario]—How dost thou like this tune?

Viola. It gives a very echo to the seat
Where love is thron'd.
[Pg 95]

L. 43.

Duke. Mark it, Cesario; it is old, and plain;

[Clown sings 'Come away, death.']

L. 67.

Duke. There's for thy pains.

Clo. No pains, sir; I take pleasure in singing, sir.

Duke. I'll pay thy pleasure then.

'Light airs' in line 5 means 'vain fiddling jigs'—i.e., lively instrumental music. Lines 20-22 and 43 are worth remembering for many reasons.

The next and last passage requires no remark, except that 'organ pipe of frailty' means simply the voice of the dying king.

King John V, vii, 10. Death of K. John.

Prince Henry. Doth he still rage?

Pembroke.He is more patient
Than when you left him: even now he sung.

P. Hen. O vanity of sickness!...
... 'Tis strange that death should sing.
I am the cygnet to this pale faint swan,
Who chants a doleful hymn to his own death,
And, from the organ-pipe of frailty, sings
His soul and body to their lasting rest.

[Pg 96]


Serenades and 'Music'

The history of Serenades is as ancient as that of Songs. In the middle of the 15th century, Sebastian Brant, a lawyer, wrote in Dutch his 'Stultifera Navis,' or 'Ship of Fools,' a severe satire on things in general, and popular amusements in particular. The book was afterwards translated into Latin, and thence into English. Here are some of the verses that treat of Serenades in the year 1450.

'The furies fearful, sprong of the floudes of hell,
Bereft these vagabonds in their minds, so
That by no meane can they abide ne dwell
Within their houses, but out they nede must go;
More wildly wandring then either bucke or doe.
Some with their harpes, another with their lute,
Another with his bagpipe, or a foolishe flute.

'Then measure they their songes of melody
Before the doores of their lemman deare;
Howling with their foolishe songe and cry,
[Pg 97]So that their lemman may their great folly heare:
'But yet moreover these fooles are so unwise,
That in cold winter they use the same madness.
When all the houses are lade with snowe and yse,
O madmen amased, unstable, and witless!
What pleasure take you in this your foolishness?
What joy have ye to wander thus by night,
Save that ill doers alway hate the light?'

Another verse explains that not only the foolish young men of low birth were given to this practice, but also—

'States themselves therein abuse,'
'With some yonge fooles of the spiritualtie:
The foolish pipe without all gravitie
Doth eche degree call to his frantic game:
The darkness of night expelleth feare of shame.'

Brant had no great opinion of the music provided either. He describes their singing before their lady's window—

'One barketh, another bleateth like a shepe;
Some rore, some counter, some their ballads fayne:
Another from singing geveth himself to wepe;
When his soveraigne lady hath of him disdayne.'

Finally—a Parthian shot—

'Standing in corners like as it were a spye,
Whether that the wether be whot, colde, wet, or dry.'

Thus, one hundred years before Shakespeare was[Pg 98] born, Serenades of voices and instruments were common, and in general practice by all classes of young men, and not only laymen, but also yonge fooles of the spiritualtie.

The instruments mentioned are such as were still in use in Shakespeare's time—viz., harp, lute, 'foolish' pipe, bagpipe, and 'foolish' flute, besides the several varieties of song, which evidently included both solo and part singing—'feigned' ballads for a single voice [ballads, that is, in the more refined 'keys' of 'Musica Ficta'], and 'Countering,' which implies that two voices at least took part.

The following passage is an example of this nocturnal serenading by a company of gentlemen.

Two Gent. III, ii, 83.

Proteus (advises Thurio)
'Visit by night your lady's chamber window
With some sweet concert: to their instruments
Tune a deploring dump:'

Thu. And thy advice this night I'll put in practice.
Therefore, sweet Proteus, my direction-giver,
Let us into the city presently,
To sort some gentlemen well skilled in music.

Proteus advises Thurio to get a 'consort' (probably of viols) to play a 'dump' under Silvia's window.[Pg 99] He goes to arrange for some of his friends to attend for this purpose. The serenade takes place in the next Act, where, in the 2nd scene, line 17, it is called 'evening music,' but does not include the 'dump,' for Thurio has 'a sonnet that will serve the turn,' so they sing 'Who is Silvia.'

Here is the passage, which is full of quibbles on musical terms.

Two Gent. IV, ii, 16.

Proteus. ... 'Now must we to her window,
And give some evening music to her ear.'

L. 24.

Thu. ... Now, gentlemen,
Let's tune.

L. 28.

Host (to Julia, in boy's clothes). I'll bring you where you shall hear music, and see the gentleman that you ask'd for.

Jul. But shall I hear him speak?

Host. Ay, that you shall.

Jul. That will be music.

L. 54.

Host. How do you, man? (i.e., Julia) the music likes you not.

Jul. You mistake: the musician (i.e., Proteus) likes me not.[Pg 100]

Host. Why, my pretty youth?

Jul. He plays false, father.

Host. How? out of tune on the strings?

Jul. Not so; but yet so false, that he grieves my very heart-strings.

Host. You have a quick ear.

Jul. Ay; I would I were deaf! it makes me have a slow heart.

Host. I perceive, you delight not in music.

Jul. Not a whit, when it jars so.

Host. Hark! what fine change is in the music.

Jul. Ay, that change (Proteus' unfaithfulness) is the spite.

Host (misunderstanding again). You would have them always play but one thing?

Jul. I would always have one (Proteus) play but one thing.

L. 85.

Silvia (from window). 'I thank you for your music, gentlemen.'

The next passage is of a serenade in the early morning. Cloten arranges for the musicians (who seem in this case to be professional players) to give two pieces, one instrumental, followed by a song.

Cymbeline II, iii, 11. Cloten serenades Imogen.

Cloten. I would this music would come. I am advised to give her music o' mornings; they say, it will penetrate.[Pg 101]

Enter Musicians.

Come on: tune. If you can penetrate her with your fingering, so; we'll try with tongue too: ... First, a very excellent good-conceited thing; after, a wonderful sweet air, with admirable rich words to it,—and then let her consider.

[The musicians perform 'Hark! hark! the lark.']

So, get you gone. If this penetrate, I will consider your music the better; if it do not, it is a vice in her ears, which horse-hairs, and calves'-guts, ... can never amend.

In l. 14, 'fingering' and 'tongue' correspond to 'playing' and 'singing.' The first is to be a 'Fancy' for viols, 'a very excellent good-conceited thing'; the second is the 'wonderful sweet air,' Hark! hark! the lark.

'Good-conceited' means having many 'conceits.' These 'fancies' were always contrapuntal, and the various artificial contrivances, answering of points, imitations, and what not, are referred to under this title. The mention of 'horse-hairs and calves'-guts' makes it clear that the instruments in this 'morning music' were Viols.

Another 'evening music' is provided by Pericles, Prince of Tyre.

Pericles II, v, 24. Pericles, a musician [his education had been 'in arts and arms,' see II, iii, 82].[Pg 102]

Per. All fortune to the good Simonides!

Sim. To you as much, sir! I am beholding to you
For your sweet music this last night: I do
Protest, my ears were never better fed
With such delightful pleasing harmony.

Per. It is your grace's pleasure to commend,
Not my desert.

Sim.Sir, you are music's master.

Per. The worst of all her scholars, my good lord.

The next quotation is also of 'morning music,' but with a different object—not a lady, but a soldier, and of a somewhat rough and ready kind, to judge by the Clown's critical remarks.

The passage seems to indicate the use of Bagpipes; for 'they speak in the nose' (see Merchant IV, i, 48), and are called wind-instruments, and are mentioned under the name 'pipes' in the last two lines. Moreover, there is the remark of the Clown, represented here by stars, which is terribly appropriate to that instrument.

Othello III, i. Cassio brings musicians to salute Othello.

Cass. Masters, play here; I will content your pains: Something that's brief; and bid "Good morrow, general."


Enter Clown.

Clo. Why, masters, have your instruments been in Naples, that they speak i' the nose thus?[Pg 103]

1 Mus. How, sir, how?

Clo. Are these, I pray you, called wind-instruments?

1 Mus. Ay, marry, are they, sir.

* * * * *

Clo. ... masters, here's money for you; and the general so likes your music, that he desires you, for love's sake, to make no more noise with it.

1 Mus. Well, sir, we will not.

Clo. If you have any music that may not be heard, to't again; but, as they say, to hear music the general does not greatly care.

1 Mus. We have none such, sir.

Clo. Then put up your pipes in your bag, for I'll away. Go; vanish into air, away!

Pandarus appears to be a capital musician. In the following we find him questioning a musical servant of Priam's palace about some instrumental music which is going on within, 'at the request of Paris.' The servant amuses himself by giving 'cross' answers to Pandarus' crooked questions, and in the process gets out two or three musical jokes—e.g., 'partly know,' 'music in parts,' 'wholly, sir.' Further on, Paris also plays on the term 'broken' music.

Troilus and Cressida III, i, 19.

Pandarus. What music is this?

Servant. I do but partly know, sir; it is music in parts.

Pandarus. Know you the musicians?

Serv. Wholly, sir.[Pg 104]

Pan. Who play they to?

Serv. To the hearers, sir.

Pan. At whose pleasure, friend?

Serv. At mine, sir, and theirs that love music.

* * * * *

L. 52.

Pan. Fair prince, here is good broken music.

Paris. You have broke it, cousin; and, by my life, you shall make it whole again: you shall piece it out with a piece of your performance. [To Helen] Nell, he [Pandarus] is full of harmony.

* * * * *

L. 95.

Pan. ... Come, give me an instrument. [And at Helen's request, Pandarus sings, 'Love, love, nothing but love.']

The custom of having instrumental music in taverns has already been referred to in the Introduction, near the end, where we learn that the charge for playing before the guests was twenty shillings for two hours in Shakespeare's time; also that a man could hardly go into a public house of entertainment without being followed by two or three itinerant musicians, who would either sing or play for his pleasure, while he was at dinner. Accordingly, we find Sir John Falstaff enjoying such a performance at the Boar's Head, Eastcheap.[Pg 105]

H. 4. B. II, iv, 10.

1 Drawer. Why then, cover, and set them down: and see if thou canst find out Sneak's noise; Mistress Tearsheet would fain have some music. (After supper, in a cooler room.)

Id. l. 227.

Page. The music is come, sir.

Falstaff. Let them play.—— Play, sirs.

Id. l. 380.

Fal. Pay the musicians, sirrah.

The term 'Sneak's noise' is most interesting. 'Noise' means a company of musicians, and Mr Sneak was the gentleman who gave his name to the particular band of instrumentalists who favoured the Boar's Head.

Milton uses the word, in this sense, in the poem 'At a Solemn Music,' where the 'saintly shout' of the seraphic choir, with 'loud uplifted angel-trumpets,' 'immortal harps of golden wires,' and the singing of psalms and hymns, are collectively called 'that melodious noise.' Also in his Hymn on the Nativity, verse ix., he has 'stringèd noise'—i.e., band of stringed instruments. The Prayer-book Version (Great Bible) of the Psalms, which was made in 1540, has the word[Pg 106] in Ps. lxxxi. 1, 'Make a cheerful noise unto the God of Jacob,' and this in the next verses is said to consist of various musical instruments—e.g., the tabret, harp, lute, and trumpet. Also in the Authorised Version of 1611, Ps. xxxiii. 3, 'play skilfully with a loud noise,' which was the instrumental accompaniment to a 'new song.' The same word is used in several other places, with the meaning of 'music'—e.g., Pss. lxvi. 1; xcv. 1, 2; xcviii. 4, 6; c. 1; where 'to make a joyful noise' is represented in the original by the same verb, except in one of the two cases in Ps. xcviii. 4.

The word was still in use in 1680, when Dr Plot was present at the annual Bull-running held by the Minstrels of Tutbury, one of the features of which festivity was a banquet, with 'a Noise of musicians playing to them.'

The reputed cure of the Tarantula's bite by music has already been mentioned. The next three examples are of somewhat similar cases.

In the first, Henry IV. in sickness asks for music; the second is an account of Cerimon's attempt to rouse the half-drowned Thaisa with at least partial assistance from music; while the third represents Prospero using a solemn air to remove the magic[Pg 107] spell which he had cast on Alonso and his other enemies.

H. 4. B. IV, iv, 133. K. Hen. on his sick-bed.

K. Hen. Let there be no noise made, my gentle friends;
Unless some dull and favourable hand
Will whisper music to my wearied spirit.

Warwick. Call for the music in the other room.

Pericles III, ii, 87. Cerimon's house at Ephesus. Thaisa, cast up by the sea, is brought to life by his directions.

Cerimon. Well said, well said; the fire and the cloths.
The rough and woful music that we have,
Cause it to sound, beseech you.
The vial once more;—how thou stirr'st, thou block!—
The music there! I pray you, give her air.

Tempest V, i, 51. Prospero employs music to disenchant Alonso, Antonio, etc.

Pro. ... and, when I have required
Some heavenly music (which even now I do),
To work mine end upon their senses....

L. 58.

A solemn air; and the best comforter
To an unsettled fancy, cure thy brains.

Next we have two examples of 'Music at Home.' In the case of the Duke in Twelfth Night, it is[Pg 108] 'concerted' music, and the players seem to be performing such a quaint old piece as 'The Lord of Salisbury his Pavin,' by Gibbons, in Parthenia, the last 'strain' of which has just such a 'dying fall' as is mentioned in line 4. [See the remarks on the passage from Lucrece in Section I. on the technical meaning of 'strain.']

Twelfth Night I, i.

Duke. If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.—
That strain again! it had a dying fall:
O! it came o'er my ear like the sweet sound
That breathes upon a bank of violets,
Stealing and giving odour.—Enough! no more:
'Tis not so sweet now, as it was before.

Brutus' musical establishment is on a smaller scale than the Duke's. He keeps a 'good boy,' who can sing to his own accompaniment on the lute, and is such a willing servant as to perform when almost overcome by sleep.

Julius Cæsar IV, iii, 256. Brutus and his servant Lucius.

Bru. Bear with me, good boy, I am much forgetful.
Canst thou hold up thy heavy eyes awhile,
And touch thy instrument a strain or two?

[Pg 109]Luc. Ay, my lord, an't please you.

Bru.It does, my boy.
I trouble thee too much, but thou art willing.

* * * * *

[Boy sings to lute.]

Bru. This is a sleepy tune: [Boy drops off]—O murderous slumber!
Lay'st thou thy leaden mace upon my boy,
That plays thee music?—Gentle knave, good night;
I will not do thee so much wrong to wake thee.
If thou dost nod, thou break'st thy instrument:
I'll take it from thee; and, good boy, good night.—

[Ghost of Cæsar appears.]

L. 290.

Bru. Boy!—Lucius!—Varro! Claudius! sirs, awake!—Claudius!

Luc. [asleep]. The strings, my lord, are false.

Bru. He thinks he still is at his instrument.

In Henry VIII. III, i is a case of the same kind.

Queen Catherine. Take thy lute, wench: my soul grows sad with troubles:
Sing, and disperse them, if thou canst. Leave working.

[Song. 'Orpheus.']

The next passage brings us to another class of music—viz., dirges, funeral songs, or 'good-nights.' [See H. 4. B. III, ii, 322]. In Cymbeline IV, ii, 184, Cadwal (Arviragus) sounds an 'ingenious instrument' to signify Imogen's death. Polydore (Guiderius) says[Pg 110] they had not used it since their mother died. The song, or more properly, duet, which they sing directly after, in memory of Imogen, may be taken in this connection. Unfortunately there seems to be no musical setting of 'Fear no more the heat o' the sun' any older than 1740.

In the following quotation 'dirges' are mentioned by name.

Rom. IV, iv, 21.

Capulet. ... "Good faith! 'tis day:
The county [Count Paris] will be here with music straight."

Sc. v. 84.

Cap. All things, that we ordained festival,
Turn from their office to black funeral:
Our instruments to melancholy bells;
Our wedding cheer to a sad burial feast;
Our solemn hymns to sullen dirges change.

In close connection with these funeral songs is the passage in Hen. VIII. IV, ii, 77, where Queen Katherine, sick, requests her gentleman-usher to get the musicians to play a favourite piece of this class—

... Good Griffith,
Cause the musicians play me that sad note
I named my knell, whilst I sit meditating
[Pg 111]On that celestial harmony I go to.

[She sleeps, then, waking from the vision—]

... Bid the music leave,
They are harsh and heavy to me.

It would be of great interest if it were possible to identify Queen Katherine's 'Knell.'

There is an old song, given in Chappell's Popular Music, 'O Death, rock me to sleep,' which might be the very one, for both music and words are singularly appropriate. The Refrain is as follows:—

'Tole on thou passing bell
Ringe out my dolefull knell
Let thy sound my death tell,
For I must die,
There is no remedye.'

The song is most plaintive, and has a very striking feature in the shape of a real independent accompaniment, which keeps up a continual figure of three descending notes, like the bells of a village church. Hawkins gives the poem, with certain variations, and two extra verses at the beginning, the first commencing—

'Defiléd is my name full sore,
Through cruel spite and false report.'

and he says the verses are thought to have been written by Anne Boleyn. Hawkins also gives[Pg 112] music (in four parts) to the first two verses, by Robt. Johnson, a contemporary of Shakespeare's. The music of the song in Chappell is much older than that; indeed, it is very possibly of Hen. VIII.'s time.

[Pg 113]


Dances and Dancing

The history of Dances is the history of the transition from pure vocal music to pure instrumental music. In the Dances of the 16th century, we have the germs of the modern 'Sonata' Form; and in the association of certain of them we have the first attempt at a sequence of different 'movements,' which finally resulted in the Sonata itself.

The Elizabethan Dances, especially the Pavan, shew us this development just at the point where instrumental music was dividing itself from vocal.

All the ancient dances were originally sung. In Grove's Dictionary, Vol. ii. p. 676, there is given the music of a Pavan, in four vocal parts, with the words sung [copied from Arbeau's Orchésographie, 1588]. Morley (Practical Music, 1597) mentions Ballete, as being 'songs which being sung to a dittie may likewise be danced.' Again, he speaks of 'a kind of[Pg 114] songs ... called Justinianas ... all written in the Bergamasca language.' See Mids. Nt. Dream V, ii, 30, where Bottom is not so very inaccurate after all in asking Duke Theseus to 'hear a Bergomask dance between two of our company.' The same author also gives 'Passamesos with a dittie [i.e., sung],' and distinguishes between these aforesaid and 'those kinds which they make without ditties.' [Passamesos are Passing-measures—or Passamezzo—Pavans, see Twelfth Nt. V, i, 200.]

Hence it appears that in Elizabeth's reign some dances were sung, and others were simply played.

Morley goes on to instance two particular dances which were commonly associated together—viz., Pavans and Galliards. [Tw. V, i, 200, I, iii, 127, etc., H. 5. I, ii, 252], the first of which he says is for 'grave' dancing, having three 'strains,' each containing 8, 12, or 16 semibreves (two beats in a bar), which are each repeated; and that this Pavan is usually followed by a Galliard, 'a kind of music made out of the other' [see Bull's Pavan and Galliard, 'St Thomas Wake,' in Parthenia] in triple time, 'a lighter and more stirring dance than the Pavan, and consisting of the same number of straines.'[Pg 115]

The next passage from Morley is very interesting when compared with the stage direction in Timon I, ii, 131, where a masque of Ladies as Amazons enter the banquetting hall at Timon's house, with lutes in their hands, dancing and playing. This stage direction corresponds closely with Morley's account, 'the Italians make their galliards (which they tearm salta relly) plain' [i.e., alone; not as an appendage to the Pavan, as in England], 'and frame ditties to them, which in their mascaradoes they sing and dance, and manie times without any instruments at all, but instead of instruments they have Curtisans disguised in men's apparell, who sing and daunce to their own songes.'

The 'French bransle,' he says, is like the Alman (Allemagne of Bach, etc.)—i.e., it 'containeth the time of eight, and most commonly in short notes.' This is the Brawl, see L.L.L. III, i, 9, and was one of several tunes to which the Country Dance was danced, whether in a ring, or 'at length,' like our 'Sir Roger.'

He says that the 'voltes and courantes' also are 'like unto this,' but are 'danced after sundrie fashions' [he means, with different steps, but occupying the same rhythmical time, so that the same tune[Pg 116] would do], 'the volte rising and leaping, the courant travising and running, in which measure also our Countrey dance is made, though it be danced after another form than any of the former.'

'All these be made in straines, either two or three.' See Tw. I, i, 4, 'that strain again,' or Julius Cæsar IV, iii, 258, 'touch thy instrument a strain or two.'

Christopher Sympson, the royalist soldier (1667), confirms Morley's statements as to the constitution and use of these dances. See his 'Compendium,' p. 116, where he expressly states that pure instrumental music, 'made only to delight the ear,' is merely a development from Dances.

He speaks of the association of Pavan and Galliard as being 'in course.' He spells the latter Giliard, and says that it is 'according to its name' [see Skeat, Etym. Dict., Spanish, gallardo (ll = ly), pleasant, gay, lively] 'of a loftly and frolick movement.' Immediately afterwards, however, Sympson seems to forget his own remarks, for he says the name is derived from Gallia, 'the country whence it came.'

On page 117 he speaks of Corants, Sarabands, Jiggs, Country Dances, etc., as 'things so common in each one's ears' that he 'need not enlarge his Discourse' to them.[Pg 117]

There is a capital bit of patriotism on page 118, which deserves quoting, first, because at the time it was entirely justifiable; secondly, because it shews us that in 1667, instrumental music had at last decidedly parted company with vocal part-writing, and had an independent existence. 'You need not seek Outlandish Authors, especially for Instrumental Music; no Nation (in my opinion) being equal to the English in that way; as well for their excellent as their various and numerous Consorts, of 3, 4, 5, and 6 Parts, made properly [on purpose] for Instruments, of all which (as I said) Fancies are the chief.' For 'Consort,' see Two Gent. III, ii, 83; and for 'Fancies,' Hen. IV. B. III, ii, 323.

Hawkins (1776) does not add much of interest to the above account of the Elizabethan dances, except (p. 704) that there is no authority for a Jigg having generally a pointed (i.e., dotted) note at the beginning of every bar. There is, however, a 'Jegge' given in Stainer and Barrett's Dict. of Musical Terms, dated 1678, where the 'pointed' note is quite characteristic. This may be a more modern feature, for an undoubtedly ancient Jig—viz., Dr Bull's 'King's Hunting Jigg,' not only has no dotted note, but is in common time, without even a tendency towards the rhythm[Pg 118] of triplets. [Also see Appendix, 'Cobbler's Jig.' 1622.]

Here is a most entertaining quotation from Selden,[19] dealing with fashionable court dances in Elizabeth's reign, and shewing how things had gone from bad to worse in respect of dignity and state in dancing, under the Stuarts.

'The court of England is much alter'd. At a solemn dancing, first you had the grave measures, then the Corantoes and the Galliards, and this kept up with ceremony; and at length to Trenchmore, and the Cushion dance: Then all the company dances, lord and groom, lady and kitchen-maid, no distinction. So in our court in queen Elizabeth's time, gravity and state were kept up. In king James's time things were pretty well. But in king Charles's time, there has been nothing but Trenchmore and the Cushion-dance, omnium gatherum, tolly polly, hoite cum toite.'

There are very many passages of interest, containing references to Dances. The first one here given is an instance (in Shakespeare's very text) of singing a dance and dancing to it at the same time. Here the Brawl, and Canary, the first in alphabetical order, are coupled together.

L.L.L. III, i, 9.

Moth. Master, will you win your love with a French brawl?[Pg 119]

Arm. How meanest thou? brawling in French?

Moth. No, my complete master; but to jig off a tune at the tongue's end, canary to it with your feet, ... sigh a note, and sing a note.'

Two other examples of dancing to one's own singing are, Mids. V, ii, 25 and Wiv. V, v, 93.

The Brawl was written in quick four-in-a-bar time. There are several well-known tunes to it. [See Note on Arbeau's 'Orchésographie.' 1588.] The derivation of the name is from the French, bransle, a totter, swing, shake, etc., or perhaps from Old French Brandeler, to wag, shake, swing. Skeat thinks the original dance may have been a sword dance, and with this he connects the word Brandish.[20] It was danced, sometimes in a ring, holding hands, and sometimes 'at length.'

The Canary (or Canaries) was in 6/8 time, and was a lively dance. [Stainer and Barrett's Dict. gives one by Delaborde in 4/4 time.] There are many examples by Lully and other Frenchmen of the 17th century. One of Lully's, in Lajarte's 'Airs à Danser,' dates 1666. There is no history of the name. Skeat says[Pg 120] it is so called from the Canary Islands. Hawkins does not attempt to account for the title, but cunningly infers that it is of English origin because it has not got a foreign name. Also he mentions that Purcell wrote a Canaries for his Opera of Dioclesian, 1690. [See Note on 'Orchésographie.']

The Canary is also alluded to in two other places, where the lively character of the dance is clear. Mr Ford puns on 'wine,' 'pipe,' and 'canary.' Of course he means whine, pipe (for dancing to), and the Canary that he meant Falstaff to dance.

Wiv. III, ii, 83.

Host. Farewell, my hearts. I will to my honest knight Falstaff, and drink canary with him.

Ford. [aside] I think, I shall drink in pipe-wine first with him; I'll make him dance.

And next, Lafeu connects the canary with 'spritely fire and motion.'

All's Well II, i, 74.

Lafeu. ... I have seen a medicine
That's able to breathe life into a stone,
Quicken a rock, and make you dance canary
With spritely fire and motion.

There are two specially important passages which mention several dances at one time, so as to give[Pg 121] some prominence to their special characteristics—viz., Much Ado II, i, 68, and Twelfth Nt. I, iii, 118.

The budget of dances here named includes—

1. Cinque-pace, or Sinkapace. 2. Coranto, or Courante. 3. Galliard. 4. Jig (Scotch). 5. Measure.

Much Ado II, i, 68.

Beatrice. The fault will be in the music, cousin, if you be not woo'd in good time: if the prince be too important [importunate], tell him, there is measure in everything, and so dance out the answer. For hear me, Hero; wooing, wedding, and repenting, is as a Scotch jig, a measure, and a cinque-pace: the first suit is hot and hasty, like a Scotch jig, and full as fantastical; the wedding, mannerly modest, as a measure, full of state and ancientry; and then comes repentance, and with his bad legs falls into the cinque-pace faster and faster till he sink into his grave.

Tw. I, iii, 118.

Sir To. What is thy excellence in a galliard, knight?

Sir And. 'Faith, I can cut a caper.

* * * * *

L. 123.

Sir To. Wherefore are these things hid?... why dost thou not go to church in a galliard, and come home in a coranto? My very walk should be a jig: ... sink-a-pace. What dost thou mean? is it a world to[Pg 122] hide virtues in? I did think, by the excellent constitution of thy leg, it was formed under the star of a galliard.

To take these five dances in order—

1. Cinquepace is the name of the original Galliard. Praetorius (b. 1571) says a Galliard has five steps, and is therefore called Cinque Pas. These five steps are described in the Orchésographie, 1588. See the Note on that work for the explanation of the steps of this and other Shakespeare dances.

Beatrice's description seems to connect the cinquepace with the tottering and uncertain steps of old age. 'Repentance,' she says, 'with his bad legs falls into the cinquepace faster and faster, till he sink into his grave.'

2. Coranto is the Italian form of our Country dance. The Country dance is original in England, but under different foreign names has been called French or Italian. It means simply 'country' or 'rustic' dance. Skeat is entirely opposed to the derivation from Contra danza, with a supposed reference to two opposite lines of partners; and in this he is confirmed by Shakespeare, Tempest IV, i, 138, 'country footing.' The old English name was 'current traverse,' and Morley (1597) speaks of the Courant[Pg 123] step as 'travising and running,' which would appear to connect the Italian word with curro. Sir John Davies (1570-1626), in his poem 'Orchestra,' identifies Rounds, Corantos, measures, and some other dances with Country Dances. That is, whatever the rhythm or speed of the actual tune used, these variously named Country Dances could be performed to it. Sir Roger de Coverly, our typical English Country Dance, is in form almost the same as the Brawl, Coranto, Galliard, or measure. A Courant by Frescobaldi (1591-1640) is in triple time. As for its 'step,' Davies says it is 'on a triple dactile foot,' 'close by the ground with sliding passages.' According to Sir Toby, it would be a quicker and gayer dance than the Galliard, for he compares the walk to church to the latter; but the more lighthearted journey back to dinner he likens to the Coranto. The Jig would be even faster, for Sir Andrew's 'very walk,' that is, his week-day gait, was to be 'a jig.'

3. The Galliard, in accordance with its derivation, is properly described in H. 5. I, ii, 252, as a 'nimble' galliard. This was extremely popular, both as a virginal piece and for dancing. There is quite a long list of Galliards by various composers, in Qu. Elizabeth's Virginal Book. There are several in Parthenia[Pg 124] (1611) by Byrde, Bull, and Gibbons. They are always in triple time, and consist of either two or three strains of an even number of bars.

Sir Toby seems to connect a Galliard with somewhat violent 'capers.' He remarks on the 'excellent constitution' of Sir Andrew's leg, 'it was formed under the star of a galliard.' Sir Andrew complacently replies, 'Ay, 'tis strong,' upon which Sir Toby proposes to the foolish knight to give an example of his powers; 'Let me see thee caper. Ha! higher.' This capering or 'sault majeur' was also a feature of the 'high lavolt' [La Volta] mentioned in Troilus IV, iv, 84, concerning which Sir John Davies says—

'An anapaest is all their music's song,
Whose first two feet are short, and third is long.'

Also he calls the lavolte 'a lofty jumping.' Morley (1597) speaks of the Volte, and says it is characterised by 'rising and leaping,' and is of the same 'measure' as a coranto. These statements do not all agree with the 'Orchésographie.'

4. Jigg [later Gigue, and Jig]. The name comes from Giga (Geige), a sort of fiddle in use during the 12th and 13th centuries. The oldest jigs are Scottish,[Pg 125] and were 'round dances' for a large number of people. As for the time of the Jig tunes, those of the 18th century were certainly written in a triple rhythm, like 3/8, 6/4 or 12/8. The Jegge of 1678, mentioned above, is in quick 6/4 time. But 'The Cobbler's Jig' [Appendix], 1622, and a Jigg by Matthew Locke, dated 1672, in his 'Compositions for Broken and Whole Consorts of 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 parts,' are very decidedly in quick 4/4 time, and have no such characteristics as a 'dotted note' anywhere about them. Moreover, Bull's 'The King's Hunting Jigg,' is also in quick 4/4 time, with a similar absence of dotted notes. This last example is probably earlier than 1600. At any rate it was a lively dance, as we can learn from Hamlet.

Hamlet II, ii, 504. The 1st Player recites a speech.

Polonius. This is too long.

Hamlet. It shall to the barber's, with your beard.—Pr'ythee (to the 1st Player), say on: he's for a jig, ... or he sleeps.

5. Measure. Beatrice, in the quoted passage from Much Ado About Nothing, gives a capital idea of the relative speed of the Scotch jig and the Measure. The jig, she says, is like the lover's wooing, hot, hasty, and fantastical; the measure, however, is like the Wedding, mannerly modest, full of state and ancientry.[Pg 126]

The term Measure certainly seems to have been used to signify a particularly staid and formal dance. Selden (see above), at least, puts 'grave Measures' at the sober beginning of his list, and so goes on, by easy descent, through the more spirited Coranto, and tolerably lively Galliard, to the lower depths of the Cushion-Dance, which were reached towards the close of the evening, when the grave and reverend Elders may be supposed to have gone to bed.

But, besides this, the word appears to have been used generically, meaning merely 'a dance.' It was certainly applied to the Passamezzo, and to other country dances. In H. 8. I, iv, 104, King Henry says—

... 'I have half a dozen healths
To drink to these fair ladies, and a measure
To lead 'em once again.'

The next passage uses the word for a pun.

As You V, iv, 178.

Duke Senior. Play Music! and you brides and bridegrooms all,
With measure heap'd in joy, to the measures fall.

L. 192.

Jaques. ... So, to your pleasures;
I am for other than for dancing measures.
[Pg 127]

A similar play upon the word is in Richard II. III, iv, 6, where the queen asks her ladies to propose some sport to drive away care.

1 Lady. Madam, we'll dance.

Queen. My legs can keep no measure in delight,
When my poor heart no measure keeps in grief:
Therefore, no dancing, girl.

See especially the following, which holds a whole string of quibbles.

L.L.L. V, ii, 184. Masked ball.

King of Navarre. Say to her, we have measur'd many miles,
To tread a measure with her on this grass.

Boyet (to the ladies). They say, that they have measur'd many a mile,
To tread a measure with you on this grass.

Rosaline. It is not so. Ask them how many inches
Is in one mile: if they have measur'd many,
The measure then of one is easily told.

Boyet. If, to come hither, you have measur'd miles,
And many miles, the princess bids you tell,
How many inches do fill up one mile.

Biron. Tell her, we measure them by weary steps.

And l. 209, measure.

Another dance that is frequently referred to is the Dump, the slow and mournful character of which has already been explained in the notes on Lucrece[Pg 128] 1127. As a serenade it is named in the Two Gent. III, ii, 83. The nature of the steps of this dance is not certainly known. Two features, however, may be guessed at—viz., a tapping of the foot at certain places, which may be inferred from the possible connection of the word with 'Thump'; and secondly, an alternation of a slow sliding step, interspersed with dead pauses, and a quicker movement, succeeded again by the slow step. These last seem to be indicated by the music of 'My Lady Carey's Dump,' part of which is given in the Appendix. The character of the Dump has given us the modern expression of 'in the dumps'—i.e., sulky; and this is also used commonly in Shakespeare.

In the next passage, Peter, Capulet's servant, speaks ironically of a 'merry' dump, and quotes verse 1 of Richard Edwards' song, 'When griping grief.' For an account of that song see Section III., about Songs and Singing. In Peter's quotation, the dumps are 'doleful.'

The quibbles on 'silver sound,' 'sweet sound,' 'sound for silver,' 'no gold for sounding,' are further examples of Shakespeare's fondness for joking on musical matters. Peter's reply to the Third Musician, 'You are the singer; I will say for you,' may be a[Pg 129] just reflection on Mr James Soundpost's lack of words, or perhaps indicates that the pronunciation of singers even in that musical age was no better than it is now.

The improvised names of the musicians are pointed enough; Simon 'Catling,' referring to the material of his viol strings; Hugh 'Rebeck,' the rebeck being the ancient English fiddle with three strings. The 'smalé' Ribible, which Absolon, the parish clerk in Chaucer, used to play 'songés' on, is supposed to be the same instrument; and finally, James 'Soundpost,' which wants no explaining.

The final remark of Musician 2 is delicious, 'tarry for the mourners, and stay dinner.'

Rom. IV, v, 96. After Juliet's apparent death.

Exeunt Capulet, Lady C., Paris, etc.

1 Musician. 'Faith, we may put up our pipes, and be gone.

Nurse. Honest good fellows, ah! put up, put up;
For well you know, this is a pitiful case.

1 Mus. Ay, by my troth, the case may be amended.

(See H. 5. III, ii, 42, about Bardolph and the lute case.)

Enter Peter.

Peter. Musicians, O, musicians! "Heart's ease, Heart's ease": O! an you will have me live, play "Heart's ease."[Pg 130]

1 Mus. Why "Heart's ease?"

Peter. O, musicians, because my heart itself plays—"My heart is full of woe." O! play me some merry dump, to comfort me.

2 Mus. Not a dump we: 'tis no time to play now.

* * * * *

Peter. Then will I lay the serving creature's dagger on your pate. I will carry no crotchets: I'll re you, I'll fa you. Do you note me?

1. Mus. An you re us, and fa us, you note us.

2. Mus. Pray you, put up your dagger, and put out your wit.

Peter. Then have at you with my wit.... Answer me like men:

When griping grief the heart doth wound,
doleful dumps the mind oppress,
Then music with her silver sound—

Why "silver sound"? why "music with her silver sound"? what say you, Simon Catling?

1 Mus. Marry, sir, because silver hath a sweet sound.

Peter. Pretty!—what say you, Hugh Rebeck?

2 Mus. I say—"silver sound" because musicians sound for silver.

Peter. Pretty too!—what say you, James Soundpost?

3 Mus. 'Faith, I know not what to say.

Peter. O! I cry you mercy; you are the singer: I will say for you. It is—"music with her silver sound," because musicians have no gold for sounding:—

Then music with her silver sound
With speedy help doth lend redress.


1 Mus. What a pestilent knave is this same!

2 Mus. Hang him, Jack! [Peter's names evidently all[Pg 131] wrong.] Come, we'll in here; tarry for the mourners, and stay dinner.


The Hay, Hey, or Raye, seems to be mentioned only once—viz., in Love's Labour's Lost, in the account of the preparations for the Pageant of the Worthies. Constable Dull proposes to accompany the dancing of the hay with a tabor, which may be taken as the common practice. Holofernes says Dull's idea is 'most dull,' like himself. The Hay was a Round country-dance—i.e., the performers stood in a circle to begin with, and then (in the words of an old direction quoted in Stainer and Barrett's Dict.) 'wind round handing in passing until you come to your places.' See the note on Arbeau's Orchésographie for the steps and tune of the Haye.

Hawkins says (Hist. 705) that in an old comedy called the Rehearsal, the Earth, the Sun, and Moon are made to dance the Hey to the tune of Trenchmore, which is referred to in the above-quoted passage from Selden, as a lively and even boisterous dance.

L.L.L. V, i, 148. Schoolmaster Holofernes & Co. arranging the Pageant of the Nine Worthies.

Dull. I'll make one in a dance, or so; or I will play
[Pg 132]On the tabor to the Worthies, and let them dance the hay.

Hol. Most dull, honest Dull.

The Morrice Dance, or Morris, was very popular in England and other countries in the 16th century.

Relics of it may still be seen in country places at certain times of the year. The very meagre celebrations of May Day, which can be seen in London even now, are a survival of the ancient customs with which the Morrice-Dance was always associated. Hawkins gives this account of the Morris; "there are few country places in this kingdom where it is not known; it is a dance of young men in their shirts, with bells at their feet, and ribbons of various colours tied round their arms, and slung across their shoulders. Some writers, Shakespeare in particular, mention a Hobby-horse and a Maid Marian, as necessary in this recreation. Sir William Temple speaks of a pamphlet in the library of the Earl of Leicester, which gave an account of a set of morrice-dancers in King James's reign, composed of ten men or twelve men, for the ambiguity of his expression renders it impossible to say which of the two numbers is meant, who went about the country: that they danced a Maid Marian, with a tabor and pipe, and[Pg 133] that their ages one with another made up twelve hundred years."

[Temple's own words are quite clear—viz., that there were ten men who danced; a Maid Marian (makes eleven); and a man to play the tabor and pipe (makes twelve).]

The name Morrice means Moorish dance, or Morisco. Perhaps it was called so from being accompanied by the tabor, for Drums of all sorts are distinctly Eastern instruments.

Two tunes, one a Moresca by Monteverde, 1608, and the other an English Morris, 1650, are given in the Appendix. Also see Note on 'Orchésographie' for a Morisque.

The first of the two following passages connects the morris with May Day; the second with Whitsuntide, which is in May as often as not.

All's Well II, ii, 20.

Countess. Will your answer serve fit to all questions?

Clown. As fit as ... a pancake for Shrove Tuesday, a morris for May-day....

H. 5. II, iv, 23.

Dauphin. And let us do it with no show of fear;
No, with no more, than if we heard that England
Were busied with a Whitsun morris-dance;

[Pg 134]The Pavan has been mentioned before, as the dance in Duple time which preceded the Galliard which was in a triple rhythm. It was a stately dance, with a stately name, for the derivation is most probably from Pavo, a peacock, with a reference, no doubt, to the majestic strut and gay feathers of that bird. It was de rigueur for gentlemen to dance the Pavan in cap and sword; for lawyers to wear their gowns, princes their mantles; and ladies to take part in the fullest of full dress, the long trains of their gowns being supposed to correspond in appearance and movement to the peacock's tail.

The only Pavan mentioned by Shakespeare is the Passy-measures pavin, otherwise known as Passing-measures-pavin, or Passameso, or Pass e mezzo, which last is the earliest form of the word.

Praetorius (b. 1571), however, says the Passe mezzo is so called because it has only half as many steps as a Galliard. Thus the name is inverted, mezzo Passo. Hawkins helps to confuse the matter by explaining that the Galliard has five bars or steps in the first strain, and that the Passamezzo has just half that number, and thus gets its name. No Galliard ever had an uneven number of bars in any of its strains, so this account is difficult to reconcile.[Pg 135]

However, Pass e mezzo, 'step and a half,' is the most trustworthy form of the name, and the Note on the Orchésographie of Arbeau (1588) makes all quite clear.

The Passamezzo (or passy-measures pavin) tune in the Appendix has a similar construction to the ordinary pavan, the form of which has been explained earlier in this section—i.e., it consists of regular 'strains,' which in their turn contain a certain even number of semibreves, or 'bars.' In the case given, the strains consist of eight bars each. This must be borne in mind, in connection with Sir Toby's drunken fancy about the surgeon, in the following passage:—

Tw. V, i, 197.

Sir To. [Drunk, and with a bloody coxcomb]—Sot, didst see Dick surgeon, sot?

Clo. O! he's drunk, Sir Toby, an hour agone; his eyes were set at eight i' the morning.

Sir To. Then he's a rogue, and a passy-measures pavin.

Toby being only moderately sober, naturally feels indignant at the doctor's indiscretions in the same kind; and, quite as naturally, the Clown's remark about the latter's eyes brings this fantastic comparison into his head. The doctor's eyes were set at eight, and so is a Pavan set 'at eight.' It is easy to see Sir[Pg 136] Toby's musical gifts asserting themselves, confused recollections reeling across his brain, of that old rule in Morley about the right number of semibreves in a strain, 'fewer then eight I have not seen in any Pavan.' 'Also in this you must cast your musicke by foure: ... no matter how manie foures you put in your straine.' Bull's Pavan, 'St Thomas Wake,' has two strains of sixteen bars each—i.e., two 'eights.' [Appendix.]

The last passage given here shows clearly that the Lavolta and Coranto were considered exotic in England in Shakespeare's time.

The French ladies here recommend their runaway husbands and brothers to cross the Channel and try to earn a living by teaching French dances to the stately English. Probably the "English dancing-schools" in those days would think the solemn walk of the Pavan quite as lively an amusement as good society could allow. There are other passages too which show that Shakespeare (or his characters) had a fine 'insular' feeling against these 'newfangled' fashions from France.

H. 5. III, v, 32.

Bourbon (Speaks of the mocking French ladies).
They bid us to the English dancing-schools,
[Pg 137]And teach lavoltas high, and swift corantos;
Saying, our grace is only in our heels,
And that we are most lofty runaways.

Note on Arbeau's 'Orchésographie,' 1588.

This interesting book on the Art of Dancing was published at Mâcon in 1588. [The date on the title page is 1589.] The author was Jehan Tabourot, but his real name does not appear in the work, being anagrammatised into Thoinot Arbeau; and under the guise of Arbeau he is best known.

The treatise is written (like Morley's Introduction to Practical Music) in the form of Dialogue between Master (Arbeau) and Pupil (Capriol); and gives a most clear description of all the fashionable dances of the time, as far as words can do it; dance tunes in music type; and incidentally, many instructions as to the manners of good society.

As much light is thrown upon the dances which are mentioned in Shakespeare by this book, some of the principal descriptions will be given here, with the proper music.

On p. 25, Capriol (the Pupil) asks his Master (Arbeau) to describe the steps of the 'basse' dance. This was the 'danse par bas, ou sans sauter,' which was of the 15th century, was in triple time, and con[Pg 138]tained three parts, A, basse dance; B, Retour de la basse dance; C, Tordion. This 3rd part, or tordion, 'n'est aultre chose qu'une gaillarde par terre'; i.e., the Tordion of a Basse dance was simply a Galliard par terre, without the leaping or 'Sault majeur.'

Before Arbeau answers his pupil, he gives him some preliminary instruction as to the etiquette of the ball room. He says—'In the first place ... you should choose some virtuous damsel whose appearance pleases you (telle que bon vous semblera), take off your hat or cap in your left hand, and tender her your right hand to lead her out to dance. She, being modest and well brought up, will give you her left hand, and rise to follow you. Then conduct her to the end of the room, face each the other, and tell the band to play a basse dance. For if you do not, they may inadvertently play some other kind of dance. And when they begin to play, you begin to dance.'

Capriol. If the lady should refuse, I should feel dreadfully ashamed.

Arbeau. A properly educated young lady never refuses one who does her the honour to lead her out to the dance. If she does, she is accounted foolish (sotte), for if she doesn't want to dance, what is she sitting there for amongst the rest?[Pg 139]

The Master then gives his pupil an account of the basse dance, the 1st and 2nd parts of which are composed of various arrangements of the following movements—

1. La révérence, marked with a big R.

2. Le branle (not the dance of that name), marked with b.

3. Deux simples, marked ss.

4. Le double, marked d.

5. La reprise, marked with a little r.

The 'chanson'—i.e., the dance tune, was played on the flute, and accompanied by the 'tabourin' or drum, which beats all the time. Every 'bar' of the music is called either a 'battement' of the drum, or a 'mesure' of the chanson.

Now Arbeau explains the steps and time of each of the above five movements.

1. R. This takes four bars. Begin with left foot forward, and in doing the révérence, half turn your body and face towards the Damoiselle, and cast on her 'un gracieux regard.'

2. b.[21] Also takes four bars. Keep the feet joined[Pg 140] together, then for the 1st bar, swing the body gently to the left side; 2nd bar, swing to the right, while gazing modestly upon 'les assistants;' 3rd bar, swing again to the left; and for the 4th bar, swing to the right side, looking on the Damoiselle with an 'oeillade defrobée, doulcement et discretement.'

3. ss. 1st bar, left foot forward; 2nd bar, bring right foot up to the said left foot; 3rd bar, advance the right foot; 4th bar, join the left foot to the said right foot; et ainsi sera parfaict le mouvement des deux simples.

N.B.—Always suit the length of your steps to the size of the room, and the convenience of the Damoiselle, who cannot with modesty take such big steps as you can.

4. d. 1st bar, advance left foot; and, advance right foot; 3rd, advance left foot; 4th, join right to left. For two doubles (dd) do it over again, but contrariwise, beginning with the Right foot. For three doubles (ddd), the form of the third will be, 1st bar, advance left foot; 2nd, advance right foot; 3rd, advance left foot; 4th, 'puis tumberà pieds joincts comme a estè faict au premier double.' And thus (he carefully adds) the three doubles are achieved in 12 'battements et mesures du tabourin.'[Pg 141]

5. The Reprise (r) is commonly found before the branle (b), and sometimes before the double (d) [see the Memoires]. In it you have to cultivate a certain movement of the knees, or feet, or 'les artoils seullement,' as if your feet were shaking under you. 1st bar, 'les artoils' of the right foot; 2nd bar, do.; 3rd bar, of the left foot; 4th, of the right foot again.

The Memoire of the movements of the basse dance—i.e., its first Part, is—

R b ss d r | d r b ss ddd r d r b | ss d r b C.

The C means the 'congé,' or 'leave' which you must take of the Damoiselle, salute her, and keep hold of her hand, and lead her back to where you began, in order to dance the Second Part—namely, the Retour de la basse dance, the Memoire for which is—

b | d r b ss ddd r d r b | C.

[The nine movements enclosed between the upright lines, are the same in both parts].

Capriol now remarks that he has been counting up, and finds that the music of the basse dance proper (part 1) has 20 'fours' (vingt quaternions), and the retour (part 2) has 12 'fours.'

Arbeau then describes the Tordion, which is Part 3 of the basse dance. He says it is still in triple time, but 'plus legiere et concitée,' and does not[Pg 142] consist of 'simples, doubles, reprises,' etc., like the first and second parts, but is danced almost exactly as a Galliard, except that it is par terrei.e., without any capers, and low on the ground, with a quick and light step; whereas the Galliard is danced high, with a slower and weightier 'mesure.'

He gives the following tune, which will fit to any of the innumerable diversities of Galliard. If played fast, it is a Tordion, if slower, a Galliard. [There are, of course, no bars in the original.]


Tordion or Galliard (Cinquepace).




Here are the Steps of the Galliard, consisting of five movements of the feet, and the caper, or 'sault majeur.' The five steps give the Galliard the name of Cinque pas.

1. Greve gaulche. ['Greve' is explained as a 'coup de pied.']

[Pg 143]2. Greve droicte.



5. Sault majeur.

6. Posture gaulche.

1, 2, 3, 4, 6 are the 'Cinq' pas, and 5 is the characteristic leap or caper.

The next six minims are danced to the Revers, which is just the same, except that the words 'right' and 'left' (droicte and gaulche) change places all the way down. Then repeat till the tune is finished.

Arbeau gives several other varieties of Galliard, and another very good tune for it, called


'Anthoinette.' Galliard.




The 'sault majeur' in this tune would come in the middle of the semibreves in the first strain; at the 'dot' of the dotted minims in the 2nd and 3rd strains; or, again, in the middle of the semibreves in the same strains.[Pg 144]

Of the Pavan [commonly danced before the Basse-dance], Arbeau says it is very easy, consisting only of 'two simples and a double' advancing, and again 'two simples and a double' retiring. It is (as we already know) in Binary measure, and the careful Capriol once more joins in with his calculations of time, saying that he makes the Pavan 8 measures [semibreves] 'en marchant,' and 8 measures 'desmarchant.'

The master now gives particular instructions about the form and manner of dancing the Pavan. Noblemen dance these pavans and basse-dances 'belles et graves,' with cap and sword; others in long robes, 'marchants honnestement, avec une gravité posée.' And the damoiselles with an humble countenance, 'les yeulx baissez, regardans quelquefois les assistans avec une pudeur virginale.' Kings, princes, and 'Seigneurs graves,' in dancing the pavan on great occasions, wear their 'grands manteaux, et robes de parade.' Also, Queens, Princesses, and Ladies accompanying them, have their robes 'abaissées et trainans,' 'quelquefois portées par demoiselles.' The Pavan on these occasions is called Le Grand Bal, and the music is provided, not by simple flute and drum, but by 'haulbois et saquebouttes,' and they[Pg 145] continue the tune until the dancers have made the circuit of the 'salle' twice or thrice.

Besides this state dancing of pavans, this dance was used in Mascarade, when triumphal chariots of gods and goddesses enter, or of emperors and kings 'plains de maiesté.'

On p. 29 ff, Arbeau gives the vocal Pavan for four voices, 'Belle qui tiens ma vie,' which is quoted in Grove. The proper drum accompaniment, continued throughout the 32 bars (2/2) is—music notes etc. He also gives seven more verses of words to it, and says if you do not wish to dance, you can play or sing it. Moreover, he adds, that the drum is not a necessity, but is good to keep the time equal; and that for dancing you may use violins, spinets, flutes, both traverse and 'à neuf trous' (nine-holed flute—i.e., a flageolet), hautboys, and, in fact, 'all sorts of instruments'; or you may sing instead.

Arbeau's account of the Passemeze, or Passy-measures-pavin of Shakespeare, is very simple. He says that the instrumentalists increase the speed of the pavan every time they play it through, and by the time it has reached the moderate speed of a basse-dance, it is no longer called Pavan, but Passemeze.[Pg 146]

Besides the State Pavan, and the Passamezzo Pavan, there is the 'Pavane d'Espagne,' which has some similarity to the Canaries.

Arbeau says that some consider the name Canaries to be that of a dance in use in those islands. But he thinks it more likely to have originated in a Ballet in a Mascarade, where the dancers were clad as kings and queens 'de Mauritanie,' as savages, with various coloured feathers. He says it is danced by a gentleman and a lady, from opposite ends of the room, each advancing and then retiring in turn.

The steps and tune are as follows—






1. Tappement du pied gauche, causant pied en l'air droit.

2. Marque talon droit (right heel).

3. Marque pied droit.

4. Tappement du pied droit, causant pied en l'air gauche.[Pg 147]

5. Marque talon gauche (left heel).

6. Marque pied gauche.

7-12 are the same again.

Then for the 2nd half, instead of the 'tappements' at the minims, you should make 'une greve fort haulte, rabaissée en tappement de pied trainé en derrier, comme si on marchoit dessus un crachat, ou qu'on voulust tuer une araignée.' (Make a very high step, but instead of tapping the foot, scrape it backwards, as if you were treading on spittle, or wanted to kill a spider.)

Arbeau gives 17 different kinds of Branle (Brawl of Shakespeare) before coming to the Branle des Sabots, which is danced, 2 beats in a bar, four steps to the right, then four to the left, like the branle doubles; then two simples (see above), and three taps of the foot, and Repeat.


Branle des Sabots, p. 88.




[Pg 148]

  { 1. Pied gaulche largy (left foot forward).
Double { 2. " droit approché (right foot up to the left).
gaulche. { 3. Pied gaulche largy.
  { 4. Pieds joincts (join feet).
  { 5-8 are the same, 'right' and 'left' changing places, forming a 'double droit.'
Simple { { 9. P.g. largy.
gauche. { {10. Pieds joincts.
Simple { {11. P.d. largy.
droit. { {12. Pieds joincts.
    a. Tappement du pied droit.
    b. Do.
    c. Do.

There is only one step to each Semibreve, so the tune must have been played fast.

On p. 64 Arbeau treats of the Lavolta ('high lavolt' of Shakespeare), which he says is a kind of galliard well known in Provence. One feature was that you had to keep turning round.

Capriol does not agree with these whirlings, for he immediately says—'Ces vertigues et tornoiements de cerveau me fascheroient.'[Pg 149]


Air d'une Volte. [La Volta.]




1. Petit pas, en saultant sur le gaulche, pour faire pied en l'air droit.

2. Plus grand pas du droit.

3. Sault majeur.

4. Posture en pieds joincts; etc., all over again every two bars.

The sault majeur of the 'high lavolt' comes at the semibreves in this tune.

On p. 67 he gives the Courante—






The movements are—

1, 2, simple gauche; 3, 4, simple droit; and 5-8, a 'double à gauche.' These terms have already been explained.

One of the many Bransles is the 'Branle de la[Pg 150] Haye,' the Hay of Shakespeare. Arbeau says—first the dancers dance alone, each separately; then together so as to interlace, 'et font la haye les uns parmy les aultres.' That is, during each batch of 4 steps, the dancers change places one with another, so that if there are three dancers, A, B, C, in the first 4 steps, B and A change places, and make B, A, C; in the next 4 steps, C and A change places, and make B, C, A, etc.

Here is the tune and the formula of steps—


The Haye.




Beginning at the 1st complete bar, and reckoning one step to each semibreve—1. Deux simples (ss).[Pg 151] 2. Double (d). 3. ss. 4. d. 5. ss. 6. d. 7. ss. 8. d.

The Morisque, which may at all events be compared with the little we know of the Shakespearian Morris dance, seems to have been very violent exercise for the heels (talon). Arbeau mentions that it is bad for the gout. The reader will notice that there is a separate movement for each crotchet in the following tune.






1. Frappe talon droit (strike right heel).
2."gaulche (left).
5. Frappe talons (perhaps 'strike heels together').
6. Soupir (slight pause).

Repeat, then the second half—1-4, 5-8, 9-12, are same as 1-4, ending with 5, 6, as in the 1st half.

No wonder it was bad for the gout!

[Pg 152]


Miscellaneous, including Pythagoreanism and Shakespeare's Account of the More Spiritual Side of Music

A well-known passage in Twelfth Night gives us the Opinion of Pythagoras 'concerning wild-fowl.'

The Opinion of Pythagoras 'concerning Music' is at least equally interesting, and is appropriated and assimilated by Shakespeare. The particular branch of the Pythagorean system with which we are concerned, is that which treats of the Music of the Spheres. Besides the two passages here quoted, there are others dealing with this subject—e.g.,

Ant. V, ii, 84, 'the tunèd spheres'; Twelf. III, i, 115, 'music from the spheres'; Per. V, i, 226, 'The music of the spheres.'

'This, Pythagoras, first of all the Greeks [560 b.c.] conceived in his mind; and understood that[Pg 153] the spheres sounded something concordant, because of the necessity of proportion, which never forsakes celestial beings.'[22]

'Pythagoras, by musical proportion, calleth that a tone, by how much the moon is distant from the earth: from the moon to Mercury the half of that space, and from Mercury to Venus almost as much; from Venus to the Sun, sesquiple [i.e., half as much more as a tone]; from the Sun to Mars, a tone, that is as far as the moon is from the earth: from Mars to Jupiter, half, and from Jupiter to Saturn, half, and thence to the zodiac, sesquiple.'

'Thus there are made seven tones, which they call a diapason harmony, that is, an universal concent, in which Saturn moves in the Doric mood, Jupiter in the Phrygian, and in the rest the like.'

'Those sounds which the seven planets, and the sphere of fixed stars, and that which is above us, termed by them Antichton [opposite the earth], make, Pythagoras affirmed to be the Nine Muses; but the composition and symphony ... he named Mnemosyne [Memory, the Mother of the Muses].'

Censorinus, a Roman Grammarian, b.c. 238, in his book De Die Natali, says—

'To these things we may add what Pythagoras[Pg 154] taught, namely, that the whole world was constructed according to musical ratio, and that the seven planets ... have a rhythmical motion and distances adapted to musical intervals, and emit sounds, every one different in proportion to its height [Saturn was said to be the highest, as it is the farthest away, and was supposed to give the gravest note of the heavenly Diapason, which note was therefore called Hypate, or 'highest'], which sounds are so concordant as to produce a most sweet melody, though inaudible to us by reason of the greatness of the sounds, which the narrow passages of our ears are not capable of admitting.'

These extracts fairly represent the ancient opinion about the Music of the spheres. There was a strong tendency last century to revive the notion, and even to our modern ideas, with our Copernican astronomy, there remains at least the possibility of drawing fantastical analogies between the proportionate distances of the planets and the proportionate vibration numbers of the partial tones in a musically vibrating string or pipe.

The idea of the musical Chorus or dance of the heavenly bodies was perfectly familiar to all writers in the 16th and 17th centuries. An excellent example[Pg 155] is in Paradise Lost, Book V., in the twelve lines beginning 'So spake the Omnipotent.' Even finer is the 13th verse of the Nativity Hymn.

'Ring out, ye crystal spheres,
Once bless our human ears,
If ye have power to touch our senses so;
And let your silver chime
Move in melodious time,
And let the bass of heaven's deep organ blow;
And, with your nine-fold harmony,
Make up full concert to the angelic symphony.'

No one could help thinking of the text in Job xxxviii. 7, 'When the morning stars sang together,' in this connection, and Milton naturally refers to it in the previous verse.

Here follow the two Shakespeare extracts. The second one is full of beauty of every kind, but the Pythagoreanism is in the last six lines, with Shakespeare's own view about why we cannot hear the heavenly music.

As You Like It II, vii, 5.

Duke Senior [of Jaques].
If he, compact of jars, grow musical,
We shall have shortly discord in the spheres.

Merchant V, i, 51.[Pg 156]

Lor. My friend Stephano, signify, I pray you,
Within the house, your mistress [Portia] is at hand;
And bring your music forth into the air.

[Exit Stephano.

(Lorenzo and Jessica alone.)

Lor. How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank!
Here we will sit, and let the sounds of music
Creep in our ears: soft stillness and the night,
Become the touches of sweet harmony.

* * * * *

L. 60.

There's not the smallest orb, which thou behold'st,
But in his motion like an angel sings,
Still quiring to the young-ey'd cherubims;
Such harmony is in immortal souls;
But, whilst this muddy vesture of decay
Doth grossly close it in, we cannot hear it.

This is finer than Pythagoras.

The next three passages are concerned with the 'fantasie' of Music. Jaques gives an opinion in a general form—viz., that the musician's 'melancholy' is 'fantastical'; Mariana and the Duke speak of a certain doubleness that may be noticed in the action of music on the mind. Jessica is 'never merry' when she hears sweet music: Lorenzo descants on the evident effects of music on even hardened[Pg 157] natures; while Portia and Nerissa preach a neat little sermon on the text 'Nothing is good without respect,' with musical illustrations of the powerful influence of time and place—e.g., the silence of night, makes the music sound sweeter than by day; the crow sings as well as the lark, if the circumstances favour the crow, or if the lark is not present to give immediate comparison; and even the nightingale's song is no better than the wren's, 'by day, when every goose is cackling.'

As You IV, i, 13.

Jaques. I have neither the scholar's melancholy, which is emulation; nor the musician's, which is fantastical, etc.

Measure for Measure IV, i, 12. Enter Duke, disguised as a friar (after Song).

Mariana. I cry you mercy, sir; and well could wish
You had not found me here so musical:
Let me excuse me, and believe me so,
My mirth it much displeased, but pleas'd my woe.

Duke. 'Tis good: though music oft hath such a charm,
To make bad good, and good provoke to harm.

Merchant V, i, 66. Enter musicians.

Lor. Come ho! and wake Diana with a hymn:
[Pg 158]With sweetest touches pierce your mistress' ear,
And draw her home with music.


Jessica. I am never merry when I hear sweet music.

Lor. The reason is, your spirits are attentive.
For ... colts,

* * * * *

If they but hear perchance a trumpet sound,
Or any air of music touch their ears,
You shall perceive them make a mutual stand,
Their savage eyes turn'd to a modest gaze.
By the sweet power of music: therefore, the poet
Did feign that Orpheus drew trees, stones, and floods:
Since nought so stockish, hard, and full of rage,
But music for the time doth change his nature.
The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils;
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus.
Let no such man be trusted.—Mark the music.

L. 97. Portia and Nerissa.

Por. ... Music! hark!

Ner. It is your music, madam, of the house.

Por. Nothing is good, I see, without respect.
Methinks, it sounds much sweeter than by day.

Ner. Silence bestows that virtue on it, madam.

Por. The crow doth sing as sweetly as the lark,
When neither is attended; and I think,
The nightingale, if she should sing by day,
[Pg 159]When every goose is cackling, would be thought
No better a musician than the wren.
How many things by season season'd are
To their right praise, and true perfection.

Here is an example of a superstitious meaning attaching to supposed mysterious music.

There are very few cases of this kind in Shakespeare—i.e., where the music of the stage is an integral part of the drama.

Antony and Cleop. IV, iii, 12. Music of hautboys under the stage.

4 Soldier. ... Peace, what noise?

1 Sold.List, list!

2 Sold. Hark!

1 Sold.Music in the air.

3 Sold.Under the earth.

4 Sold. It signs well, does it not?

3 Sold.No.

1 Sold.Peace, I say!
What should this mean?

2 Sold. 'Tis the god Hercules, whom Antony lov'd,
Now leaves him.

A very usual popular amusement was the Masque, which would consist of a public procession with decorated cars containing the characters, accompanied by hobby horses, tumblers, and open air music. This is referred to in the next passage, where Theseus[Pg 160] speaks of the masque as an 'abridgement' for the evening, that is, an entertainment to shorten the hours. The lamentable play of Pyramus and Thisbe follows, which, it will be noticed, has some of the main features of a masque.

Mid's Night's Dream V, i, 39.

Theseus. Say, what abridgment have you for this evening?
What masque, what music?...

* * * * *

[Reads from the paper]

"A tedious brief scene of young Pyramus,
And his love Thisbe; very tragical mirth."
Merry and tragical! Tedious and brief!
That is, hot ice, and wonderous strange snow.
How shall we find the concord of this discord?

In the Merchant of Venice, Shylock mentions the procession of a masque through the streets, forbidding Jessica to look out of the window at these 'Christian fools with varnished faces.' The music accompanying the procession is named—viz., drum and fife.

Merchant II, v, 22.

Lancelot. 'You shall see a masque' ...

Shylock. What! are there masques?
Hear you me, Jessica.
Lock up my doors; and when you hear the drum,
And the vile squeaking of the wryneck'd fife,
[Pg 161]Clamber not you up to the casements then,
Nor thrust your head into the public street
To gaze on Christian fools with varnish'd faces.

The 'vile squeaking of the wryneck'd fife' is of some musical interest. The adjective 'wryneck'd' refers, not to the instrument itself, which was straight, but to the player, whose head has to be slightly twisted round to get at the mouthpiece. Mersennus (b. 1588) says that the Fife is the same as the Tibia Helvetica, which was simply a small edition of the Flauto Traverso, or German Flute. That is, the Fife of those days was much the same as the modern Fife of the cheaper kind, with the usual six holes, and a big hole near the stopped end, where the breath was applied. The instrument was therefore held across [traverso] the face of the player, whose head would be turned sideways, and hence comes Shylock's description of it as the 'wryneck'd' fife.

In Much Ado, Benedick draws a distinction between the Drum and Fife and the Tabor and Pipe. The former (see Othello III. iii. 353) were of a decided military cast; whereas the latter were more associated with May Day entertainments, bull-baitings, and out-of-door amusements generally. The Tabor was a little drum, the Pipe (as explained before, in[Pg 162] Section III., about Autolycus) a tiny whistle with only three holes. The two were played simultaneously by one person.

Much Ado II, iii, 13. Benedick, of Claudio in love.

Ben. I have known, when there was no music with him but the drum and the fife; and now had he rather hear the tabor and the pipe: ... but till all graces be in one woman, one woman shall not come in my grace. Rich she shall be, that's certain; wise, or I'll none; ... of good discourse, an excellent musician, and her hair shall be of what colour it please God.

Besides these more civilised 'pipes,' the country-man's pipe of cornstalk is mentioned by Titania, in Mids. II. ii. 8. This was really a 'reed,' not a whistle of any kind.

The tabor leads one on to the Tabourine, which was the full-sized military drum, corresponding to the modern side-drum. See Troil. IV, v, 275. 'Beat loud the tabourines,' and Antony IV, viii, 37, 'our rattling tabourines.'

The drum supplied the great proportion of military music in those days, besides having its importance as a means of signalling orders to the troops. This is dealt with more fully in the chapter on Stage Directions.[Pg 163]

Parolles' sham anxiety about a lost drum is mentioned fourteen or fifteen times in All's Well III. v. and vi.; and IV. i. Parolles earns his nickname of 'Tom Drum,' in Act V. iii. 320.

The following is an interesting passage of a more serious kind—

K. John V, ii, 164.

Lewis [Dauphin.]
Strike up the drums! and let the tongue of war
Plead for our interest, and our being here.

Bastard. Indeed, your drums, being beaten, will cry out;
And so shall you, being beaten. Do but start
An echo with the clamour of thy drum,
And even at hand a drum is ready brac'd,
That shall reverberate all as loud as thine;
Sound but another, and another shall,
As loud as thine, rattle the welkin's ear,
And mock the deep-mouth'd thunder.

An entirely different use of the Drum is alluded to by Parolles, in his slanderous evidence against Captain Dumain.

All's Well IV, iii, 262.

1 Soldier. What say you to his expertness in war?

Parolles. 'Faith, sir, he has led the drum before the English tragedians, ... and more of his soldiership I know not.

[Pg 164]

There are several occasions in Shakespeare when trumpets are sounded to herald the approach of play-actors, but drums are not mentioned in this connection except here. Rimbault's Preface to Purcell's Opera 'Bonduca' (Musical Antiquarian Society) says that a Play was always introduced by the trumpet sounding three times, after which the Prologue entered. Dekker, referring to the list of errata in his 'Satiromastix,' 1602, says—"Instead of the trumpets sounding thrice before the play begin, it shall not be amiss for him that will read, first to behold this short Comedy of Errors."

[Pg 165]


On the Use of the Musical Stage Directions

With references to the same Words as they occur in the Text


Alarum, Alarums (of Drums), occurs as a stage direction about 72 times in fourteen of the historical plays, always in connection with battle. It is found alone, as above, about 45 times, sometimes qualified—e.g., Loud alarum, Low alarum, Short alarum, Alarum within. Alarums and Excursions occurs about 21 times, always in fight. ['Excursions' merely means 'parties of men running about;' see the stage direction H. 6. A. IV, vi. 'Excursions, wherein Talbot's son is hemmed about;' also Id. I, v, where the direction has 'Alarum. Skirmishings,' instead of the usual 'excursions.']

A few special cases are—Alarum with thunder and lightning, H. 6. A. I, iv, 97; Flourish and Alarums, used by Rich. III. to drown the reproaches of Q. Eliz., etc.; Alarum and chambers [cannon] go off, H. 5. Act iii. line 33 of the chorus, and again Id. end of scene 1;[Pg 166] Alarum and cry within, 'Fly, fly, fly,' Jul. Cæs. V, v; Alarum afar off, as at a sea fight, Ant. IV, x.

Out of the 72 cases in the stage directions, 70 mean a call to battle by drums. There are only two exceptions, where the Alarum is identified with trumpets, H. 6. B. II, iii, 92, and Troil. IV, v, 112, 117.

Skeat gives the original of the term as 'all'arme' (Ital.) a war cry of the time of the Crusades. For the form of the word, he compares arum (arm) and koren (corn).

'Alarum' in the text.

The word is used 13 times in the text of Shakespeare; and in 6 of these it refers to drums, as in the stage directions H. 6. A. I, ii, 18, I, iv, 99, II, i, 42; R. 3. I, i, 7; Cor. II, ii, 76; H. 5. IV, vi, 35.

But in two of the remaining examples, alarum is distinctly said to be trumpets, H. 6. B. II, iii, 93 and V, ii, 3; while other more extended meanings are found—e.g., in Venus and Adonis, l. 700, where it refers to the noise of the dogs hunting the hare; in Macbeth II, iii, 75 and V, v, 51, where alarum is used of a Bell; also in Lucrece, 433, of Tarquin's 'drumming heart' 'giving the hot charge,' and Othello II, iii, 27, of Desdemona's voice, which Iago says is 'an alarum to love.'[Pg 167]

Flourish, either simply in this form, or 'Flourish of Trumpets' (six times) or 'Flourish of Cornets' (twice), occurs about 68 times in seventeen plays.

Out of these, it is used some 22 times for the entrance or exit of a King or Queen; 12 times for the entrance or exit of a distinguished person not a king; 10 times in the public welcome of a Queen or great general; 7 times it marks the end of a scene; 6 times heralds a victorious force; twice announces the proclamation of a King; twice signalises the entrance or exit of Senate or Tribunes; and twice gives warning of the approach of Play-actors [See Section VI., at end], or the commencement of a Play. [Players in Hamlet, and Pyramus and Thisbe in Mids. Nt.].

Some solitary uses are where Rich. III. orders a Flourish to drown the reproaches of Qu. Eliz. and the Duchess of York; the occasion of the betrothal of H. V. and Katherine of France; and the public welcome of the three Ladies in Coriolanus. The last is A Flourish with drums and trumpets, which occurs several times. In Grove's Dictionary (under 'Fanfare') is given a seven bar Flourish which is believed to be of Charles II.'s time, and is still used at the opening of Parliament. [Appendix.][Pg 168]

'Flourish' in the text is only found twice. In Richard III. IV, iv, 149, 'A flourish, trumpets!—strike alarum, drums!' we have a clear definition of the two terms mentioned; and in Merchant III, ii, 49, 'even as the flourish when true subjects bow To a new-crowned monarch;' a reference to the principal use of the Flourish, which was to signify the presence of Royal persons.

Trumpets, A trumpet sounds, Trumpet sounded within, Drums and trumpets, Flourish of Trumpets (6 times).

One or other of the above occurs some 51 times in twenty-two plays, either alone, or in connection with Sennet, discharge of cannon, etc. On 18 of these occasions it announces the entrance or presence of a King or Royal personage; 13 times it figures as part of the proceedings in Duels; 10 times signifies the entrance or exit of principal persons, not royal, great generals, etc.; 3 times precedes a public procession, with Royal persons in it; twice it is connected with the advent of Royal Heralds; and once with the arrival of Players (Shrew, Prologue. See also Flourish).

Thus 'Trumpets' divides the honours with 'Flourish' as the mark of Royalty.[Pg 169]

Examples of the use of the term in the text are numerous, and are found in most of the plays. They are not generally of very special interest.

Music, Music plays, Music within.

This direction is found 41 times in twenty-two plays, half of which are comedies.

In 8 cases we have Music during a speech or dream of one of the characters; 7 times as the symphony or the accompaniment to a Song; 7 times in Wedding processions or Pageants; 6 times for Dancing; and 5 times during a banquet.

To give a just idea of the amount of Stage Music considered necessary in or near Shakespeare's time, there must be added to the above, all the stage directions in other terms—e.g., Hautboys, which is found about 14 times.

Here are a few relics of Stage Music before Shakespeare's day.

The playing of the minstrels is frequently mentioned in the old Miracle Plays, and the instruments used were the horn, pipe, tabret, and flute. In the Prologue to the Miracle Play, Childermas Day, 1512, the minstrels are requested to 'do their diligence,' and at the end of the Play to 'geve us a daunce.'

In Richard Edwards's Damon and Pithias, acted[Pg 170] in 1565, there is a stage direction. "Here Pythias sings and the regalles play." Also, when Pythias is carried to prison, "the regalls play a mourning song." Thus the Regal, a tiny organ that could be easily carried about, was considered a proper instrument for the stage. In the old Comedy, Gammer Gurton's Needle, 1566, mention is made by one of the characters of the music between the acts—

"Into the town will I, my friendes to visit there,
And hither straight again to see the end of this gere;
In the meantime, fellowes, pype up your fidles: I say take them,
And let your friends hear such mirth as ye can make them."

In Gascoyne's Jocasta, 1566, each act is preceded by a dumb show, accompanied by "viols, cythren, bandores, flutes, cornets, trumpets, drums, fifes, and still-pipes." In Anthony Munday's comedy The Two Italian Gentlemen (about 1584), the different kinds of music to be played after each act are mentioned—e.g., 'a pleasant galliard,' 'a solemn dump,' or 'a pleasant Allemayne.' A little later, Marston, in his Sophonisba, 1606, goes into considerable detail as to the music between the Acts; after Act I., 'the cornets and organs playing loud full music'; after Act II., 'organs mixed with recorders'; after Act III., 'organs,[Pg 171] viols, and voices'; after Act IV., 'a base lute and a treble viol'; and in the course of Act V., 'infernall music plays softly.' Fiddles, flutes, and hautboys are mentioned by other dramatists as instruments in use at the theatre at this time.

Rimbault's Introduction to Purcell's opera 'Bonduca' gives the names of twenty-six Masques and Plays produced between 1586 and 1642 (when the theatres were closed), all of which contained important music. Amongst them are Jane Shore, by Henry Lacy, 1586, with music by William Byrd; seven masques by Ben Jonson, dating 1600-1621, four of which had music by Ferrabosco; a masque by Beaumont (1612) with music by Coperario; a play Valentinian, by Beaumont and Fletcher (1617) set by Robt. Johnson; The Triumphs of Peace by Shirley (1633), with music by William Lawes and Simon Ives; several other masques, set by Henry Lawes, who did the music to Milton's Comus (1634), etc. The list also includes Shakespeare's Tempest, with Robt. Johnson's music, two numbers of which, viz., 'Full fathom five,' and 'Where the bee sucks,' are printed in Bridge's Shakespeare's Songs, with date 1612.

Retreat, or A Retreat sounded, generally with Alarum, or Excursions, or with both.[Pg 172]

Retreat by itself occurs only three times, but in company with Alarums and [or] Excursions may be found in 16 other places. The whole 19 cases occur in eleven plays.

The word explains itself. The actual notes of a Retreat of Shakespeare's time are not known.

In the text it has the same meaning.

H. 6. A. II, ii, 3. 'Here sound retreat, and cease our hot pursuit.'

H. 6. B. IV, viii, 4. 'Dare any be so bold to sound retreat or parley, when I command them kill'?

H. 4. A. V, iv, 159. 'The trumpet sounds retreat; the day is ours.'

H. 5. III, ii, 89. Macmorris, 'the work ish give over, the trumpet sound the retreat.'

March, Dead March.

There are 18 marches provided for altogether; 4 are Dead Marches; 3 National—viz., English, French, and Danish; and 11 ordinary military marches.

Probably all are identified with Drums, without any other instruments. For the three national marches, see H. 6. A. III, iii, 30 and 33, and Hamlet III, ii, 91.

Hawkins gives (Hist., p. 229) the text of a Royal Warrant of Charles I., ordering the revival of the[Pg 173] ancient 'march of this our English nation, so famous in all the honourable achievements and glorious wars of this our kingdome in forraigne parts [being by the approbation of strangers themselves confest and acknowledged the best of all marches].' The warrant goes on to say that this ancient war march of England 'was, through the negligence and carelessness of drummers, and by long discontinuance, so altered and changed from the ancient gravitie and majestie thereof, as it was in danger utterly to have bene lost and forgotten.' It appears that 'our late deare brother prince Henry' had taken steps to have the old march restored, at Greenwich, in 1610; 'In confirmation whereof' the warrant orders all English or Welsh drummers to 'observe the same,' whether at home or abroad, 'without any addition or alteration whatever.' 'Given at our palace of Westminster, the seventh day of February, in the seventh yeare of our raigne, of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland.'

Then follows the march, expressed both in musical notes and onomatopoetic words. It consists of a Voluntary, and then seven lines of 'The March,' each of which ends with a 'pause.' The first line is given thus—

Pou tou Pou tou poung.

The next three[Pg 174] lines are very similar. Line 5 is more elaborate, and the last two lines run as follows:—

R R R R poung.
R R R pou R R pou tou pou R tou pou R poung potang.

See the appendix for the translation into musical notes, which is given in the warrant itself, but the accuracy of which is questionable.

It seems pretty clear that this ancient march of England is of a period long anterior to the warrant of Charles I. Several passages of that document point to this. At any rate, it was so old as to have almost dropped out of knowledge in 1610.

Hawkins gives an interesting note, in which he mentions that the characteristic of the old English march of the foot was 'dignity and gravity,' in which it differed greatly from that of the French, which is given by Mersennus (b. 1588) as 'brisk and alert.'

There is a curious story of a conversation between Marshal Biron, a French general, and Sir Roger Williams, a gallant Low-country soldier of Elizabeth's time. The marshal observed that the English march being beaten by the drum, was slow, heavy, and sluggish. 'That may be true,' answered Sir Roger, 'but[Pg 175] slow as it is, it has traversed your master's country from one end to the other.'

The references in Shakespeare all go to confirm the opinion that the March was played by drums alone—e.g., H. 6. C. I, ii, 69, where the stage direction is A march afar off, which is immediately followed by 'I hear their drums.' Again, in the same play, Act IV., sc. vii. line 50, 'Drummer, strike up, and let us march away. [A march begun.]

Hautboys. This is an important musical term, and occurs about fourteen times in eight plays. It always implies a certain special importance in the music, and is generally connected with a Royal banquet, masque, or procession. In six cases, at least, the direction has some special qualification—e.g., Hautboys playing loud music; A lofty strain or two to the hautboys; Trumpets and hautboys sounded, and drums beaten all together. In Ant. IV, iii, 12, Hautboys supply the supposed ominous 'music in the air.'

The term is closely connected with 'Music,' the remarks on which apply equally to the present case. (See above, on 'Music,' and the music of 16th century plays).

Not long after Shakespeare's time, orchestral music for the theatre consisted of stringed instruments only[Pg 176] (i.e., the violin family, violins, violas, violoncellos, and the sole surviving 'viol,' the double-bass) with harpsichord, for general use; while in the more important pieces, hautboys, and sometimes flutes as well, were added, playing, as a rule, with the 1st and 2nd violin parts. This, at any rate, is the case in Purcell's operas. (Purcell died 1695). Thus the word Hautboys represented very nearly the climax of power to 17th century ears. Anything beyond this was supplied by the addition of trumpets, though this was rare; while Drums were very occasionally used.

The stage direction in Shakespeare may be taken to mean—'Let the hautboys be added to the usual band of strings.' In the last of the above examples, Coriol. V, iv, 50, we have the extreme limit of power of this time provided for—viz., trumpets and hautboys and drums, all together. It is interesting to notice the wording of Menenius's description of this stage music. 'The trumpets, sackbuts, psalteries, and fifes, Tabors and cymbals.' The 'sackbut' was merely our modern slide trombone, while the rest of these instruments were in common use in the 16th century, except the Psaltery, which Kircher (b. 1601) says is the same as the Nebel of the Bible. The picture he gives is remarkably like the dulcimers[Pg 177] which may be seen and heard outside public-houses to this very day, i.e., a small hollow chest, with the strings stretched across it. An instrument of this kind could be played with the fingers, like a harp, or with a plectrum, like a zither, or with two little knob-sticks, like the dulcimer. Mersennus (b. 1588) also identifies the Psaltery with the Dulcimer.

In the text, the Hautboy is only named once, in H. 4. B III, ii, 332, near the end of Falstaff's soliloquy, on old men and lying, where he says that Shallow was such a withered little wretch that the case of a treble hautboy was a mansion for him, a court.

The 'treble' hautboy corresponds with our modern instrument, and was the smallest in size of the hautboy tribe, of which only two now survive—viz., the Oboe proper, and its cousin, which is a fifth lower in pitch, and correspondingly larger, and which has curiously picked up the name of Corno Inglese, Cor Anglais, or English Horn. None the less it is the Alto Hautboy. The tenor and bass of the family have not survived. Hautboys in four parts were the backbone of the French regimental bands in Lully's time—i.e., about 1670. [Appendix.]

The spelling of the word in the old editions of[Pg 178] Shakespeare is 'hoeboy,' which is very like the modern German Hoboe.

Sennet. This is a rare direction, and is found only nine times in eight plays, as against sixty-eight 'Flourishes' and fifty-one 'Trumpets.' The notes of a sennet are unknown. Three times it marks the entrance or exit of a Parliament, three times is used in a Royal or quasi-royal procession, and the remaining cases are royal, or near it.

In the 1st Folio of Hen. V., the word is spelt senet, but in later ones, Sonet, as if the former were a misprint. In Marlowe's Faustus (published 1604), Act iii. sc. i., we find 'sound a sonnet' [enter Pope, Cardinal, etc.]. Also the French Cavalry of 1636 used trumpet calls named Sonneries. These seem to point to a derivation of the word from sonare, and thus the spelling ought to be sonnet, not sennet.

But other forms are found—Synnet, Signet, Signate, which may be proper derivatives of signum, and thus make this trumpet call 'a signal,' instead of 'a sounding'; or (which is as likely) may be corruptions, perhaps of the somewhat featureless form 'Synnet,' caused by a misunderstanding of the original misspelling 'senet.'[Pg 179]

In the text of Shakespeare the word does not occur.

Cornets, or Flourish Cornets (only twice).

This is also rare, occurring only eight times in four plays. One case only is in war, the others being all connected with Royal or triumphal processions.

The term is by no means synonymous with Trumpets. The Cornet was an entirely different instrument, and the use of it accordingly is very much more limited in these stage directions. There were two instruments called Cornet, the one with a reed, a coarse sort of Oboe which was nearly obsolete in the 17th century; the other, with which we are concerned, a sort of Horn (hence its name), with a cup mouthpiece, and finger holes for the intermediate notes of the scale. Hawkins gives pictures of a treble, a tenor, and a bass cornet, copied from Mersennus, who remarks that the sounds of the cornet are vehement, but that those who are skilful, such as Quiclet, the royal cornetist (i.e., of France, 1648) are able so to soften and modulate them, that nothing can be more sweet.

Many people now living will remember the Serpent, a large, black, curly instrument, of thin[Pg 180] wood covered with leather, which helped to play the loud bass in oratorios, within the last fifty years. This Serpent was a true Cornet in every respect. It may now commonly be seen in Exhibitions, Museums, and curiosity shops, for it has been entirely superseded by the Bass Tuba and the Euphonium.

In the text the word Cornet does not occur.

Tucket. Rare, only seven times in six different plays. This is one of the several trumpet calls we have noticed. It seems to have been a French term, toquet, or doquet, and this is defined by Littré, as quatrième partie de trompette d'une fanfare de cavalerie—that is, the name 'toquet' was applied to the fourth trumpet in a cavalry fanfare. Mr Aldis Wright, in his Clarendon Press Edition of Hen. V., gives Markham, quoted by Grose in 'Military Antiquities,' which explains 'Tucket' as a trumpet signal, which, 'being heard simply of itself without addition, commands nothing but marching after the leader.' Certainly in Shakespeare it seems to be used as a personal trumpet call—e.g., Merchant V, i, 121, Lorenzo says to Portia, 'Your husband is at hand; I hear his trumpet—'i.e., the 'tucket sounded' which is indicated in the stage direction.[Pg 181] Other cases of the use of the Tucket are quite similar—for instance, the return of Bertram, Count of Rousillon, from war; the arrival of Goneril (Cornwall. What trumpet's that? Regan. I know't, my sister's:) or the embassy of Æneas. Once it is used to herald Cupid and the masked Amazons, in Timon; and twice at the entrance of Montjoy, the French Herald, in Hen. V.

The derivation of the word from toccare, and its connection with tocco di campana, tocsin, and tusch, have already been explained in the notes on Hortensio's music lesson to Bianca. (See Sec. II.)

In the Appendix is given an Italian Tucket of 1638, and a French one of 1643.

In the text the word is only found once—viz., H. 5. IV, ii, 35, where the Constable of France orders the trumpets to 'sound the tucket-sonance, and the note to mount,' which fits in with Markham's definition, for the passage appears to recognise the tucket as in some sort a preparatory signal.

It is perhaps worth noting, that of the seven tuckets in the stage directions, only one, Goneril's, is supposed to be an English one. In the single instance just given of its use in the text, it is a French general[Pg 182] who uses the word. Perhaps this may be regarded as confirming the view of its foreign origin.

Parley, or Trumpets sound a parley, either alone, or with Retreat. This call is named in the stage directions 7 times in five plays, viz.—H. 6. A. three times; H. 6. B. once; R. II. once; H. 4. A. once; and H. 5. once. It means either a trumpet call announcing an embassy from one party to the other, or for cessation of hostilities during the fight itself. Of course the name is derived from parler, with a reference to the proposed 'pow-wow' of the opposing forces.

The notes of a parley do not appear to exist.

[Perhaps a little light may be got out of the symphony to Purcell's duet in King Arthur, 'Sound a Parley ye fair.']

In the text, the word is used several times. In three cases, John II, i, 205, 226 and H. 5. III, iii, 2, 'the parle' means the conference of the parties itself, not the trumpet call summoning them. In the rest, 'parle' or 'parley' simply means the sound of the trumpet, as explained above. H. 6. B. IV, viii, 4; R. 2. I, i, 192, III, iii, 33; H. 6. C. V, i, 16; Othello II, iii, 23.

Horns, or Horns wind a peal, or Horns winded.[Pg 183]

This is very rare. Seven times in only four plays, one of which is the doubtful Titus Andronicus.

Three times it is used of hunting horns, Titus II, ii, and Id. l. 10, and in the Induction of the Taming of the Shrew; twice as a part of Lear's lessened state, Lear I, iii and I, iv; once announcing the Post from England, H. 6. C. III, iii; and once blown by Talbot as a military signal at the forcing of Auvergne Castle gates, H. 6. A. II, iii.

The 'peal' of horns referred to in Titus II, ii, 10 is a technical term in forestry for a particular set of notes on the horn. Méhul (1763-1817), in his overture 'Le jeune Henri,' introduces several old French hunting fanfares, which perhaps may give an idea of what was meant by 'Horns wind a peal.' [See Appendix.] Also in Purcell's 'Dido and Eneas,' No. 16 (date 1675), in the scene between the Sorceress and the two witches who are plotting the destruction of 'Elissa,' at the words 'Hark! the cry comes on apace,' the violins give an imitation of a hunting call.

The only instance of the use of the word 'peal' in the text is in the same passage, Titus II, ii, 5, where Titus tells his hunters to 'ring a hunter's peal.' Here we have a last example of punning on a technical term of music.

[Pg 185]


1. Example of Descant [Lucrece, 1134] from Morley, 1597 (see Introduction, p. 6 and p. 24).





If the lower part was added extempore, it was called Descant, but if written down as here, it was called Prick-song, because 'pricked' down. The Plain-song is perhaps more often found in a lower part, the Descant being higher. From the position of the added part, the above example is called 'bass' descant.

2. Divisions on a Ground Bass for viol-da-gamba, by Christopher Sympson, 1665, see p. 28. Rom. III, v, 25.





The 'Ground' itself is in large notes, the necessary chords (which were never written down) are indicated in small notes. This the Organist or Harpsichordist plays again and again, as often as necessary.[Pg 186]

Here is a Division for the Viol, such as the player would produce extempore, with the above Ground before him.


Division No. 1.




Division No. 3 (more elaborate).




3. Example of Sol-Fa, 16th and 17th centuries, see p. 35. Lear I, ii, 137.





The augmented fourths formed by the notes fa and mi, marked with x, are the mi contra fa, which diabolus est, or 'is the divider,' see p. 36.[Pg 187]

Solmisation of the six notes of the Hexachord, 11th century, see p. 37. Shrew III, i, 72.





The six notes from F, with B flat, were called the 'Soft' Hexachord.

4. Lesson for the Lute, by Thomas Mace, b. 1613, from Musick's Monument, 1676, see p. 55. Shrew III, i, 58.


"My Mistress."




Cf. p. 30, on 'Broken' music.

5. Tune of Light o' Love, original words not known, but date before 1570, p. 70. Much Ado V, iv, 41, etc.





6. Parson Hugh's song, 'To Shallow Rivers,' tune[Pg 188] anonymous, date probably 16th century, p. 71. Merry Wives III, i, 18.




7. 'Come Live with Me,' tune printed 1612, but probably much older. See p. 71. Marlowe's 'Passionate Pilgrim,' XX., or Merry Wives III, i, 18.




8. Peg-a-Ramsey, p. 71. Tw. Nt. II, iii, 76.





9. 'Three Merry Men be We,' p. 71. Tw. Nt. II, iii, 76.[Pg 189] Words from Peele's 'Old Wives Tale,' 1595, where it is sung. Music from J. Playford, 1650 circ., but may be older.




10. 'There Dwelt a Man in Babylon,' p. 71. Tw. Nt. II, iii, 80. Music anon., but most probably later than Shakespeare's time.




Here is one verse of the 'Ballad of Constant Susanna,' to which Toby refers.

'There dwelt a man in Babylon
Of reputation great by fame;
He took to wife a faire woman,
Susanna she was callde by name.
A woman faire and vertuous,
Lady, lady!
Why should we not of her learn thus
To live godly?'

[Pg 190]

11. 'Farewell, Dear Heart,' p. 72. Tw. Nt. II, iii, 102.





This can hardly be the original tune to "Corydon's Farewell to Phillis," from parts of the first and second verses of which the above words are quoted. See Percy's "Reliques," Vol. I.

12. Here are two relics of music for the Clown in Tw. Nt. IV, ii, probably of the same period as the above.







For the rest of the words of 'A Robyn, Jolly Robyn,' see Percy's Reliques, Vol. I. p. 148.

13. 'Whoop, do me no harm, good man,' p. 72. Winter's Tale IV, iii, 198. The rest of the words unknown,[Pg 191] but several ballads printed in latter part of 16th century go to this tune—





14. Stephano's 'scurvey tunes,' Tempest II, ii, 41, see p. 73. "As sung by Mr Bannister" [1667].








[Pg 192]

15. 'Jog On,' p. 72, Winter's Tale IV, ii, 125. Two more stanzas were first printed 1661, see Chappell, Vol. I. 160. The tune is from the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book (Queen Elizabeth's Virginal Book), where it has the name





16. 'The Hunt is up,' see p. 73, and Rom. and Jul. III, v, 34. The tune is at least as old as 1537, when John Hogon was proceeded against for singing it with certain political words.




Grove [see under Ballad] gives quite another tune, to which 'Chevy Chase' also was sung.[Pg 193]

The tune here printed was also sung (1584) to 'O sweete Olyver, leave me not behind the,' but altered to four in a bar. See As You III, iii, 95, where a verse is given which will easily fit to the music.

17. 'Heart's Ease,' p. 73. Rom. IV, v, 100. Words not known. Tune before 1560.





18. 'Where Griping Grief,' p. 73, Rom. IV, v, 125, by Rich. Edwards, poet and composer, 1577.






[Pg 194]

19. 'Green Sleeves,' see p. 74, and Wiv. II, i, 60, etc. The tune is probably of Henry VIII.'s time.





[Pg 195]

20. 'Carman's Whistle,' p. 76, H. 4. B. III, ii, 320. Tune as given by Byrd, who wrote variations on it before 1591.





21. 'Fortune my Foe,' p. 76, Merry Wiv. III, iii, 62. This old tune is, at latest, of Elizabeth's day, and most likely much older. The words here set are given in Burney, and the harmony is by Byrd, who wrote variations on it for Queen Elizabeth's Virginal Book.





[Pg 196]

The above words are the first verse of 'Titus Andronicus's Complaint,' which Burney says was originally written to this tune. The ballad is given in full in Percy's Reliques, Vol. I. p. 180.

22. Ophelia's Songs, p. 76, Hamlet IV, v.





This is certainly old, early 16th century. The tune has a striking likeness to 'Walsingham,' which is the first piece in the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book. See Percy's Reliques, Vol. II. p. 75. But the date of the next is not so certain, though probably it is of Shakespeare's time.





[Pg 197]

The next two are of the same period as I.








L. 184, 'Bonny sweet Robin.' With the exception of this one line, and the title, 'My Robin is to the greenwood gone,' nothing remains of this song, but the following tune, which is of some date before 1597.[Pg 198]





23. Catches, of 16th century, prob. long anterior to Shakespeare.

I. 'Hold thy peace,' see p. 77, Tw. Nt. II, iii. For three voices, Sir Toby, Sir Andrew, and Feste the clown, who begins the catch. The second man follows when the first has arrived at segno symbol. For the explanation see p. 90.





'Thou knave' will be heard nine times for every once the whole tune is sung by one of the voices.[Pg 199]

II. 'Jack boy, ho boy, news,' see p. 92, and Shrew IV, i, 42. This is very old, prob. quite early 16th century (see Introduction).

For four voices. The second man comes in at segno symbol, as before.





24. Threeman songs (corrupted into 'Freeman,' see p. 83). These were entirely different from Catches. A Threeman song is merely (as a rule) a song with three parts,—e.g., two trebles and a tenor, etc. Winter's Tale IV, ii, 41, and IV, iii, 285-327.

Here is a Threeman song, published in 1609, but probably much older than that.

Transposed down a 4th.





[Pg 200]

There are two more verses of the same sort.

25. 'Canst thou not hit it,' L.L.L. IV, i, 125. No more words known, except this one verse.

The tune is mentioned as a dance in an Elizabethan play, and is alluded to in an old ballad 'Arthur a Bradley.'





[Pg 201]

26. Dances. [Also see Note on Arbeau's Orchésographie.]

(a.) Pavan and Galliard, 'St Thomas Wake,' by Dr Bull, from Parthenia, printed 1611. (Bull was born 1563.) See p. 114.


Pavan [if played quick became Passamezzo. Tw. V, i, 200].





[Pg 202]

Galliard St Thomas Wake, the same music but in triple time. Tw. I, viii, 127, H. 5. I, ii, 252.


Galliard, or Cinquepace.




[Pg 203]

(b.) 1. Part of a 'Passamezzo,' date 1581. (See Note on Arbeau's Orchésographie.) Tw. V, i, 200. See p. 135.


Passe mezzo, or Measure (As You V, iv, 178, etc.)




[Pg 204]

(b.) 2. The first 'strain' of a German Pavan for the Lute, dating 1562.





(c.) An English 'Haye,' or 'Raye,' or 'Round,' date 1678. See p. 131, L.L.L. V, i, 148.

For a French 'Haye,' see Note on Arbeau's Orchésographie. Tune only given [see Stainer and Barrett's Dict. of Musical Terms].





[Pg 205]

It will be noticed that the steps of the Haye, as given in 'Orchésographie,' can be adapted to this tune. The dotted minim value of this corresponds with the semibreve value of the other.

(d.) 1. The King's Hunting Jigg, by Dr Bull (1563-1628). See p. 117. Hamlet II, ii, 504, etc.





(d.) 2. The Cobbler's Jig. 1622. See p. 125.





(e.) 1. An English Morris, 1650, see p. 132. All's Well II, ii, 20, etc.





[Pg 206]

(e.) 2. Italian Moresca, by Claudio Monteverde, from his opera 'Orfeo,' 1608. This at all events must have had a different step to the Morisque of Arbeau. (See Note on the 'Orchésographie.')

This dance is certainly in triple rhythm, so the common-time sign probably indicates it should be played fast enough to give the effect of two beats to the bar.





[Pg 207]

(f.) Part of 'My Ladye Carey's Dumpe,' circa 1600. See p. 127. Two Gent. III, ii, 83, etc.





[Pg 208]

Then return to repeat symbol. This is about one third of it. The last strain of all is the first here printed, but in four parts, and with extraordinary harmony, the E's being carefully marked .

N.B.—For Cinquepace, Canaries, Brawl, Lavolt, Courante, Haye, Morisque, see the Note on 'Orchésographie.'

27. Musical Stage Directions. See p. 165, and ff.

(a.) Flourish, believed to be of Charles II.'s time. See p. 167.





(b.) The Ancient English Drum March, revived in 1610. See p. 172. H. 6. A. III, iii, 30.[Pg 209]










(c.) Military March of the French 'Gardes de la Marine,' written by Lully, 1670. For Hautboys in four parts. See p. 172. Cf. H. 6. A. III, iii, 33.


Batterie de Tambour.




Air des Hautbois.



[Pg 210]


(d.) A 'sonnerie' of French Cavalry, 1636 (Louis XIII.). See p. 178. I connect this with 'sennet.'


Boute-selle (i.e., 'to horse').




(e.) Tucket, p. 180. H. 5. IV, ii, 35.


1. An Italian Tucket, date 1638.



[Pg 211]


2. French Tucket, 1643.




(f.) 1. Old French hunting fanfare. Perhaps may be connected with 'Horns wind a Peal.' Titus II, ii, 10. See p. 183.

Four Horns.





(f.) 2. The imitation (by violins) of a hunting call in Purcell's 'Dido and Æneas,' 1675. See p. 183.




[Pg 213]


Accurate knowledge of Shakespeare, 2, 3.

Actors preceded by drums, 163;
by trumpets, 164, 167, 168.

Actor's Remonstrance, The, 19.

Aguecheek, Sir Andrew, a musician, 29.

'Alas, my love,' 194.

Alarum, 165, 166.

All's Well, 120, 133, 163, 205.

Alman, a dance, 115, 170.

Amateurs, 17th cent., 13, 14, 47.

'And will he not come again,' 77, 197.

Anthems, practised by Falstaff, 85.

'Anthoinette,' galliard tune, 143.

Antony and Cleopatra, 152, 159, 162, 166, 175.

Arbeau, see 'Orchésographie.'

Arch-Lute, 56, and frontispiece.

Arena, Anthoine, 139.

As you like it, 72, 73, 77, 93, 94, 126, 155, 157, 193, 203.

Autolycus's songs, 72, 191, 192.

'Ayres' for lute, 55, 187.

Bacon, Masque and Triumph, 31.

Bacon, Sylva Sylvarum, 31.
on the Recorder, 31, 50.

Bagpipe, 78, 81, 96, 98, 102.

Ballads, 20, 70 ff, 86, 97, 98, 200.

Ballad of Constant Susanna, 189.

Ballete, combined dance and song, 113.

Ball-room etiquette (1588), 138, 139, 140, 144.

Bannister, Mr, 191.

Bandore, sort of lute, 170.

'Banket,' 16th cent., 5.

Barber's shop, music in, 7, 18, 19.

Bars, invention of, 34.

Base (bass), quibbles on, 27, 60.

Bass descant, 185.

Basse dance, 137-141.

Beaumont, Gray's Inn Masque, 36, 171.

Beaumont and Fletcher, Coxcomb, 16.

Beaumont and Fletcher, Valentinian, 171.

[Pg 214]Beak-flute, 50, 52.

'Bear his part', 16, 22, 79, 80.
Play his part, 12.
Sing his part, 14.

'Bene's,' the three, 8.

Bergamasca, 114.

Blacke Saunctus, 10.

Boleyn, Anne, 10.

Bonduca, catch in, 17.

'Bonny sweet Robin,' 77, 196, 197, 198.

'Boute-selle', 210.

Bow, viol, 48, and frontispiece.

Branle, Le, dance step, 139.

Bransle, dance (brawl), 115, 147-148 (tune and steps), 149.

Brant, 'Ship of Fools,' 96.

Brawl, dance, 115, 118, 119, (derivation), 123, 208.

Breast, i.e. voice, 88.

Bridge, Dr J.F., Shakespeare Songs, 87, 93, 171.

Broken music, 30-32, 103, 104, 125, 187.

Broken time, 32, 33.

Bull, Dr John, 54, 114, 117, 124, 125, 136, 201, 205.

Burden, 22, 23, 24, 26, 69, 78, 82.

Burden, 'Light o' love' without a, 24, 26, 71.

Burney, 36, 195, 196.

Bussing base, 16, 24.

'But shall I go mourn,' 72.

Byrd, William, 54, 76, 124, 171, 195.

'By a bank,' 26.

Canary, dance, 118, 119, 120, 146 (tune and steps), 208.

Canaries, see Canary.

Cannon, on stage, 165, 168.

Canon, 10, 20.

'Canst thou not hit it,' 200.

Caper, to, in a galliard, 121, 124, 138, 143.

Carey's Dump, My Lady, 128, 207.

'Carman's whistle,' 76, 195.

Catch, 16, 17, 18, 20, 65, 69, 77, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 198, 199.

Caulfield, Collection of Shakespeare music, 77.

Censorinus, on music of Spheres, 153, 154.

Cerreto, Scipione, see Lute, 55.

Chamber music, 12-14, 15, 47.

Chappell, 9, 31, 36, 74, 111, 192.

Charles I., 11, 12.
music in time of, 2.

Chaucer, 65, 129.

Chelys Minuritionum, 29, 30.

'Chest' of viols, 45-49.

Chorus, or dance, of heavenly bodies, 154-6.

Christopher Sympson, see Sympson.

Cinquepace, 121, 122, 142 (tune and steps), 202, 208.

Cittern, in barber's shop, 18, 19, 170.

Cittern, carved head of, 19.

Clavichord, 67, 68.

Clergy and Music, 8, 9, 13, 15.

'Cliff' (clef), 40.

[Pg 215]Cobbler's Jig, The, 118, 125, 205.

Comedies, Music in the, 4, 169.

'Come live with me,' 188.

Compendium, Sympson's, 116, 117.

Compositions by Henry VIII., 9.

Comus, Milton's, 171.

'Conceits,' 101.

Concolinel, 70.

Concord, 27, 32.

Congee, or Congedium, 139.

Consorts, 'broken' and 'whole,' 31, 48, 55, 125.

Consort, of viols, 31, 98, 117.

Coperario (J. Cooper), 12, 36, 47, 171.

Coranto, dance, 115, 116, 118, 121, 122 (derivation), 123, 124, 126, 136, 149-150 (tune and steps).

Coriolanus, 166, 167, 176.

Cornet, 170, 179, 180, and x.

Cornet playing, 17th cent., 179.

Cornyshe, W., 66.

Corydon's Farewell to Phillis, 190.

Cotgrave, on 'freeman's songs,' 83.

'Counter,' to, 66, 68, 97, 98.

Country Dance, 115, 116, 122, 123, 126.

Courante, 208.

Curranta (courante, coranto), 7.

Cushion dance, 118, 126.

Cymbals, 176.

Cymbeline, 73, 100, 109, 110.

Damon and Pithias, 16.

Dances, 16th cent., 137-151.

Dance music, 139, 144, 145, 200, 201 ff.

Dances in Shakespeare, 113 ff.

Dances, sung, 113, 115, 118, 119, 145.

Dancing, time of Elizabeth, James I. and Charles I., 118.

Dances of 16th cent., origin of Sonata form, 113.

Dancing Schools, English, 136.

Dancing, to tabor and pipe, 78, 120, and frontispiece.

Davenant, The Wits, 17.

Davies, Sir John, on dances, 123, 124.

Declaration of Egregious Impostures, 17.

Dekker, Satiromastix, 164.

Delaborde, 119.

Descant, 6, 8, 22, 23, 25, 27, 29, 41, 42, 67, 68, 185.

Descanters, contention of, 6.

Descant on a "ground," 29, 30.

Deuteromelia, Ravencroft's, 83.

'Diabolus est,' 37, 186.

Diapason, 22, 23, 153, 154.

Diminution, see Division.

Dinner party, 16th cent., 5.

Dinner, music during, at taverns, 20,
after supper, 105.

Dirge, 109, 110, 111.

Discord, 'restless,' 22, 23,
'harsh,' 28.

[Pg 216]Division, 28-30, 35, 36, 57, 185, 186.

Division, quibbles on, 28, 35, 36, 186.

Division viol, 29, 30.

Doquet, see Tucket.

Drayton, Battle of Agincourt, 16.

Drone, 23.

Drum, in dancing, 139, 145.
and fife, 160-162.
military, 162, 163, 172-175.

Drums, in theatre band, 176.

Drum March, 172-175, 208.

Dulcimer, 176, 177.

Dump, dance, 22, 23, 59, 61, 98, 127, 128 (derivation), 130, 170, 207.
quibble on, 22, 130.

Dupla, 33, 34.

Ear, musical, 32, 100.

Edward VI., 10.

Edwards, Richard, 73, 128, 169, 193.

Elizabeth, Queen, 10, 11, 15, 53.

Elizabethan public-house song, 17, 20.

Elizabethan times, music in, 2, 4-8, 16, 113, 114 (dances) ff.

Erasmus, 9.

'Evening music,' 99, 101.

'Excursions,' 165.

Falstaff and his crew, musicians, 41-43, 76, 85.

'Fancies,' for viols, 47, 76, 101, 117.

'Farewell, dear heart,' 72, 89, 190.

'Farewell, master,' Caliban's Song, 73.

Faustus, Marlowe's, 178.

'Fayned' music, 67, 69, 97, 98.

'Fear no more the heat of the sun,' 73, 110.

Fellowships at Cambridge, musical qualification for, 8, 9.

Ferrabosco, 171.

Fiddle, 49, 124.

Fidler, 'common,' 'rascal,' 13, 59.

Fidlers, 7.

Fidles, 170, 171.

Fife, 160-162, 176.

Fingering, on lute, 58, 60,
on viol, 44, 101.

'Fish,' ballad of a, 72, 79.

Fitzwilliam Virginal Book (known as Qu. Elizabeth's) 11, 54, 123, 192, 195, 196.

Flageolet, see Recorder.

Flats, 27, 69.

'Flemish Drunkards,' 66, 199.

Florio, on threemen's songs, 83.

Flourish, 165, 167-8, 178, 179 (of cornets), 208.

'Flout 'em and scout 'em,' 77, 78, 91.

Flute, 31, 96, 98, 145, 169, 170, 171, 176.

'Fools had ne'er less grace,' 72.

'Fortune my Foe,' 76, 195.

Freemen, see Threemen.

French dancing, 136-151.

[Pg 217]'French fiddles,' 49.

French march, 209.

Frescobaldi, 123.

Fret, quibbles on, 51, 58.

Frets, 19, 25, 45, 46, 56, 58.

Galliard, 114 (follows Pavan), 115, 116 (derivation), 121, 122, 123, 124, 126, 134, 138 (par terre), 142 (tune and steps), 148, 170, 201, 202.

Gallimaufry, 80, 84.

Gammer Gurton's Needle, comedy, 170.

Gam-ut, 39, 40, 60.

Gaufurius, 34.

Gentlemen and music, 5-8, 10, 12, 13-15, 20, 29, 47, 49, 50, 97, 98, 101.

'Get you hence,' 72.

Gibbons, Orlando, 54, 108, 124.

Giraldus Cambrensis, 83.

Gnorimus, master, 5, 6.

'Good morrow, 'tis St Valentine's day,' 77, 196.

Goodnights (dirges), 76, 109, 110.

Gosson, Schoole of Abuse, 20.

Gout, morisque bad for the, 151.

Gower, 65.

Grand Bal, Le, 144.

'Green Sleeves,' 74, 75, 194.

'Gregory Walker,' 7.

Ground Bass, 29, 30, 185.

Grove's Dictionary of Music, 113, 145, 192.

Guido d'Arezzo, 37.

Hamlet, 50-52, 76, 77, 125, 167, 172, 196-198, 205.

Hanskin, 192.

'Harmonious Blacksmith,' 28.

Harp, 65, 96, 98.

Harp, Irish, 31.

Harpsichord, 29, 30, 176, 185.

Harpsicon, 13.

Harsnet, on catches, 17.

Harrington, Sir John, 8, 10.

Hautboys, stage direction, 169, 175, 176, 209.

Hautboys, 144, 145, 159, 171, 176, 177, 209.

Hautboy, case of a treble, 76, 177.

Hay, dance, 131, 150 (tune and steps), 204, 205, 208.

'Heart's Ease,' 73, 129, 193.

'He is dead and gone,' 196.

Henry, Prince, brother of Charles I., 8, 173.

Henry IV., Part I, 81, 172, 182.

Henry IV., Part II, 70, 76, 105, 107, 109, 117, 177, 195.

Henry V., 31, 32, 41, 63, 114, 123, 129, 133, 136, 165, 166, 167, 172, 178, 180, 181, 182, 202, 210.

Henry VI., Part I, 56, 165, 166, 172, 182, 183, 208, 209.

Henry VI., Part II, 166, 172, 182.

Henry VI., Part III, 175, 182, 183.

[Pg 218]Henry VII., Singing in time of, 65-69.

Henry VIII., a musician, 9, 10, 14, 26.

Henry VIII., 49, 73, 109, 110, 126, 139.

Herbert, George, 12.

Hexachord, 37, 187.

'Hey, Robin, jolly Robin,' 190.

Hilton, John, 77.

History of music in Shakespeare, 2, 3.

'Hold thy peace,' 77, 198.

Holofernes' head, 19.

Horn, 169.

Horns, stage direction, 182, 183, 211.

'How should I your true love know,' 77, 196.

Hugh, Parson, 187.

Hum, to, a burden, 22, 23, 24.

'Hundredth Psalm,' 75.

Hunsdean, Lord, 11.

'Hunt is up, The,' 73, 192.

Hunts-up, 73.

'I shall no more to sea,' 73, 191.

'I'm gone, Sir, and anon, Sir,' 190.

Inglesant, John, Mr Shorthouse's, 2, 29.

Instrumental Music, amongst lower classes, 18-20,
amongst higher classes, 9-15,
in barber's shop, 18, 19,
in taverns, 19, 20.

Instrumental music, descended from Vocal Dances, 113, 116, 117.

Instrumental music, England supreme in, 117.

Introduction, Morley's, 4-7, 8, 18, 23, 185.

Irish Harp, 31.

'It was a lover and his lass,' 93.

Ives, Simon, 171.

'Jack boy, ho boy,' 77, 92, 199.

Jacks, 54, 68.

James I., music in time of, 11.

Jaques, a hater of music, 93, 94.

Jenkins, John, 47, 72.

Jig, dance, 116-118, 121, 123, 124, 125.

Jig, The Cobbler's, 205.

Jigg, The King's Hunting, 205.

Jocasta, by Gascoyne, 170.

'Jog on,' 72, 192.

Johnson, Robt., 112, 171.

John, King, 95, 163, 182.

Jonson, Alchemist, Silent Woman, 18,
Masques by, 171.

Julius Cæsar, 108, 166.

Jusquin (Josquin des Prés, died 1521), 10.

Ken, Bishop, 13.

'King and the Beggar,' Ballad of the, 70.

King's Coll., Camb., Master of, in 1463, 9.

King's Hunting Jig, The, 117, 125, 205.

Kircher, 176.

[Pg 219]'Knell,' Qu. Katherine's, 110-112.

'L'homme armé,' 85.

Lacy, Henry, Jane Shore, 171.

Lark, out of tune, 28.

Lavolt, 208.

Lavolta, dance, 115, 124, 136, 148, 149 (tune and steps).

Lawes, Henry, 171.

Lawes, William, 47, 171.

'Lawn, as white as,' 72.

Lear, 35, 36, 72, 181, 183, 186.

Le Roy, Adrian, see Lute, 55.

'Lesson,' i.e. a piece of music, 54, 60, 62, 76.

'Lesson' for the Lute, 187.

Lessons in music, 5, 6, 58-60, 62-64.

'Light o' love,' 24, 26, 70, 71, 187.

Locke, Matt., 31, 125.

Lollards, 86.

Love song, 55, 78, 81, 82, 88, 96.

'Love, love, nothing but love,' 72.

Love's Labour's Lost, 19, 70, 115, 118, 119, 131, 200, 204.

Lower classes, music amongst, 15-20.

Lucrece, 22-26, 127, 166, 185.

Lully, 119, 209.

Lute, 9, 10, 12, 30, 31, 55-61, 67, 68, 69, 73, 96, 98, 108, 109, 171.

Lute, objections to, in 17th cent., 56, 61.
Pavan for, 204.
tuning of, 55, 60, 61.

Lute-case, 41, 42, 129.

Lutenist, 13.

Lyly, on music at feasts, 20.

Macbeth, 166.

Mace, Thomas, 45, 46, 55, 56, 187

Mad Songs, 36.

Madness and Music, 32, 35, 64, 107.

March, military and national, 172-175, 208, 209.

Marlowe, 188.

Mary, Queen, 10.

Mascaradoes, music in, 115, 145.

Masque, 115, 145, 159-161, 171.

Masque and Triumph, Bacon's Essay on, 31.

May day customs, 132, 133, 161.

Mean, 27, 67, 84.

Measure, stately dance, 121, 123, 125-127, 203.

Measure for Measure, 157.

Méhul, 'Le Jeune Henri,' 183, 211.

Melvil's Memoirs, 11.

Melancholy of musicians, 156, 157.

Memoria Technica for step dance, 141.

Merchant of Venice, 81, 102, 155, 157, 160, 168, 180.

Merry Devill of Edmonton, The, 17.

Merry Wives of Windsor, 43, 71, 74, 76, 119, 120, 188, 194, 195.

[Pg 220]Mersennus, 52, 80, 161, 174, 177, 179.

Metaphors, musical, in Shakespeare, see Quibbles.

Mi Contra Fa, 186.

Mi, to place the, 38, 69.

Micrologus, Guido's, 37.

Micrologus, Ornithoparcus's, 34.

Midsummer Night's Dream, 52, 114, 119, 160, 162, 167.

Military music, 162, 208, 209.

Milton, 105, 155, 171.

Minim rest, 43.

Miracle Play, 1512, music in, 169.

Monochord, 66, 68.

Monteverde, 47, 133, 206.

Moresca, Morisque, see Morris.

Morley, Thomas, 'Introduction,' 4-8, 18, 23, 33, 34, 41,
song, 93,
dances, 113-116, 122, 124, 136,
descant, 185.

'Morning Music,' 100, 101, 102.

Morris, dance, 132, 133, 151 (tune and steps), 205, 206, 208.

Mouton, middle 16th cent., 10.

Much Ado, 24, 70, 71, 81, 121, 125, 161, 162, 187.

Music at home, 107-109.
and disease, 106, 107.
and Manners, 5-8, 49, 67, 68.

Music and madness, 32, 35, 64, 107.

Music-masters, 5, 6, 14, 40, 58-60, 62-64, 66-68.

'Music of men's lives,' 32.

'Music,' stage direction, 169-171, 175, 208.

Music, in time of Charles I, 2, 47.

Music, two views of in Shakespeare, 2.

Music, Lessons in the fields, 6.

Music at University, 7-9, 12-14.

Music in barber's shop, 18, 19.

Music in taverns, decay of, 19, 20.

Music, lesson, of an hour, 59.

Musica Ficta, 69, 98.

Musical England, 20, 25, 47, 53, 54, 55.

Musical 'at home,' 16th cent., 5.

Musicians, Royal, 9-12.

Musick's Monument, 45, 46, 56, 187.

'My heart is full of woe,' 73, 130.

'My Mistress,' for Lute, 187.

'My Robin is to the greenwood gone,' 198.

Nativity Hymn, Milton's, 155.

Nebel, see Psaltery.

Nevell's, Lady, Virginal Book, 54.

Nightingale, descants, 22, 23.
kept awake with thorn, 22, 26.

Nimble notes, 22, 23.

Noise, i.e. concerted music, 105, 106.

'Note-splitting,' 28.

Note, to give a, 26, 27.

[Pg 221]'O Death, rock me to sleep,' 111, 112.

'O heart, heavy heart,' 72.

'O mistress mine,' 87.

'O sweete Olyver,' 73, 193.

'O! the twelfth day of December,' 72, 89.

Old Wives' Tale, Peele's, 16, 189.

Oldcastle, Sir John, 86.

Ominous music, 159.

Ophelia's songs, 76, 77, 196-198.

'Orchésographie,' Arbeau's, 113, 119, 120, 122, 124, 137-151, 205, 206.

Orchestra, poem by Sir John Davies, 123.

Organ, in chamber music, 13, 30, 31, 48, 170 (on stage), 185.

Ornithoparcus, 34.

'Orpheus with his lute,' 73.

Othello, 102, 161, 166, 182.

Oxford, music at, 12-15.

Pageant of the Nine Worthies, 131.

Pammelia, Ravenscroft's, 17, 18.

Pandarus's songs, 72.

Pandarus, a musician and singer, 103, 104.

Paradise Lost, 155.

Paradyse of daynty Devises, 73, 74.

Parley, 182.

Parthenia, 54, 108, 114, 123, 201.

Part-songs by Henry VIII., 9.

Parts, vocal, 5, 7, 24, 25, 65, 72, 79, 80;
instrumental, 103.

Passamezzo, see Pavan.

Passamezzo Pavan (Passy-measures), 114, 126, 134, 145, 201, 203.

Pasqualigo, letter of, 9.

Passionate Pilgrim, 71, 188.

Pavan, dance, 108, 113 (for voices), 114, 116 (with Galliard), 134-136, 144-146, 201-204.

Pavan, mode of dancing, 134, 144.

Pavan, 'quadrant,' 7.

Pavan, 'strains' of a, 23, 114, 135, 136, 144.

Pavane d'Espagne, see Canaries, 146.

Peal of horns, to wind a; see Horns, 211.

Peele, Old Wives' Tale, 16, 189.

'Peg-a-Ramsey,' 71, 89, 188.

Percy's Reliques, 83, 190, 196.

Pericles, 44, 64, 101, 107, 152.

Pes, or burden, 24.

Philomel, 22.

Pipe, with tabor, see frontispiece, 78, 80, 81, 97, 98, 161, 162, 169.

Pipes, 129;
of cornstalk, 162.

Pipers and fiddlers, unprofitable, 20.

Pizzicato, 30.

Plain and Easy Introduction to Practical Music, 4-8, 23, 113-116.

Plain song, 6, 8, 41, 42, 50, 67, 69, 185.

Plain song book, 6.

[Pg 222]'Play his part,' see 'Bear,' 12.

Playford, John, 12, 45, 189.

Plays of Shakespeare with references to music, 4, et passim.

Plays, introduced by trumpets, 164.

Plays with music, 1586 to 1642, 171.

Popular Music, Old English, Chappell's, 9.

Praetorius, 122, 134.

Price, John, 80.

Prick-song, 15, 25, 41, 67, 69, 185.

Professional musicians, 17th cent., 13, 14, 130.

Proportion, 6, 7, 32, 33, 34;
153, Pythagoras on musical.

Psalmody, metrical, 85, 86.

Psaltery, 176.

Psychology of music in Shakespeare, 2, 152-158.

Public-house song, Elizabethan, 17, 20.

Punctus, see Prick-song.

Puns, see Quibbles.

Pupil and master, 5, 6, 7, 58-60, 62-64.

Purcell, Bonduca, 17, 36, 171.
operas, 176, 182, 183, 211.

Purcell, catch, 77.
canaries, 120.

Puritan, sings psalms to hornpipes, 84.

Pyramus and Thisbe, a masque, 160, 167.

Pythagoras, on music of spheres, 152-156.

Quadrant Pavan, 7.

Quadrupla, 33, 34.

Quibbles, verbal, on musical terms, 4, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 28, 32, 36, 39, 40, 43, 44, 51, 53, 60, 76, 87, 88, 89, 93, 99, 103, 104, 120, 121, 122, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 135, 163, 183.

Quiddle, to, 16.

Raye, see Hay.

Rebeck, 129.

'Record,' use of the word, 50.

Recorder, 31, 50-53, 170, and frontispiece.

Regals, a small organ, on stage, 170.

Rehearsal, The, (comedy), 131.

Rests, 22, 23.

Retreat, stage direction, 171, 172.

Ribible, 129.

Richard II., 32, 48, 127, 182.

Richard III., 166, 167, 168.

Rimbault; Mus. Antiq. Soc., 36, 171.

Rimbault's 'Rounds, Canons, and Catches', 17, 72, 83, 94.

Romeo and Juliet, 43, 73, 110, 129, 185, 192, 193.

Rotybulle Joyse, 67, 68, 69.

Round, dance, 123, 125, see Hay.

Round (catch), 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 69, 72, 91, 94.

Royal musicians, 9-12.

[Pg 223]Sackbut, 144, 176.

Salary of musicians in taverns, 19, 104.

Salary for a singer, 86, 87, 88.

Saltarello, dance, 84, 115.

Saltiers, company of dancers, 80, 84.

Saraband, dance, 116.

Satiromastix, by Dekker, 164.

Sault majeur, in galliard, 124, 138, 143, see Caper.

Sault majeur, in lavolte, 149.

Scale, notation of, 37-40.

Scamps in Shakespeare, mostly musicians, 92,
see Falstaff, Stephano, Pandarus, Toby, Autolycus.

Scotch Jig, 125.

'Scurvey tunes,' 191.

Selden, on dances, 118, 126.

Sellenger's Round, 54.

Sennet, 168, 178 (derivation), 210.

Serenades, 55, 96 ff, 128.

Serpent, 179, 180.

Sesquialtera, 7, 33, 34.

Sesquitertia, 33, 34.

'Set,' to, (of pitch), 26, 27.
quibble on, 27.

Shakespeare, trustworthy in musical matters, 1, 2, 3.

Shakespeare, passages on music classified, 21.

Sharps, 26, 27, 28.

Ship of Fools, Brant's, 96.

Shirley, Triumphs of Peace, 171.

Shorthouse, Mr J.H., 2.

Shrew, Taming of the, 39, 40, 58-60, 63, 64, 92, 168, 183, 187, 199.

Sight-singing, 7, 9, 25.

Silence's songs, 70.

'Sing his part,' see 'Bear,' 14, 15.

Singers' excuses, 93.

Singing, amongst lower classes, 15-18, 66-69, 78-80, 83, 84.

Singing, amongst higher classes, 5-9, 12, 13-15.

Singing, 13th and 14th cent., 65.

Singing, 15th and 16th cent., 66-69, 97, 98.

Singing-man of Windsor, 85.

Sinkapace, see Cinquepace.

Sir Roger de Coverly, dance, 115, 123.

Skelton, 66, 67.

'Sneak's noise,' 105, 106.

Social Life, music in, 4 ff.

Sol-Fa, 35-40, 67, 68, 130, 186.

Solmisation, 187.

Songs, mentioned or quoted in Shakespeare, 69 ff.

Sonneries, French trumpet calls, 178, 210.

Sonnet VIII, 25.

Sonnet CXXVIII, 54.

Sophonisba, by Marston, 170.

Spheres, Music of the, 152-156.

Spinet, 145, and frontispiece.

St Thomas Wake, Pavan and Galliard, 136, 201-203.

Stage Directions, musical, 4, 159, 165 ff, 169-171, etc.

Stanley, Thos., Hist. of Philos., 152.

[Pg 224]Stephano's songs, 73, 191.

Steps, of dances, 122, 124, 139.

Stop, to, of strings, etc., 22, 26, 51, 52, 53.

Strain, technical meaning of, 23, 108, 114, 116, 124, 135, 136.

Strain, quibble on, 22, 23.

'Sumer is icumen in,' 23, 24, 65.

Supper, music after, 5, 105.

Swan-song, 95.

Sylva Sylvarum, Bacon's, 31.

Sympson, Christopher, 29, 30, 37, 38, 47, 116, 117, 185.

Tabor and Pipe, 78, 80, 81, 91, 92, 131, 133, 139, 161, 162, 176, and frontispiece.

Tabourin and Flutte, 139.

Tabourine, military drum, 162, 209.

Tabourot, Jehan, see Arbeau, 137.

Tangents, of clavichord, 68.

Tarantella, 35.

Tarantism, 35, 106.

Taverns, Music in, 19, 20, 104, 105.

Technical terms, musical, 21 ff.

Tempest, 73, 77, 81, 91, 92, 107, 122, 171, 191.

Temple, Sir W., 132, 133.

Tereus, 23.

Text, music in Shakespeare's, 4.

'The God of Love,' 70.

'The hunt is up,' 192.

'The master, the swabber,' 73, 191.

Theatres, closed, 19.

Theatres, music at, 175-177.

Theorbo, lute, 46, 56.

'There dwelt a man in Babylon,' 71, 89, 189.

'They bore him barefaste,' 77, 197.

'Thou knave,' 87, 88, 89, 198.

Threemen songs, 16, 66, 69, 79, 82, 83, 84, 85, 199.

'Three merry men,' 71, 89, 188.

Thunder and lightning, on stage, 165.

Time, see Proportion.

Time, to keep, 22, 23, 32, 42, 43, 44, 87.

Timon of Athens, 115, 181.

Titus Andronicus, ballad of, 76, 196.

Titus Andronicus, 183, 211.

'To shallow rivers,' 71, 187.

Toby Belch's, Sir, songs, 71, 72, 188, 190, 198.

Toccata, 62, 181.

Tocco di campana, 62.

Tocsin, 62.

'Tom o' Bedlam,' 35, 36.

Tordion, dance, 138, 141, 142.

'Touch,' to, an instrument, 49, 62, 108.

Tragedies, Music in the, 4, 165, 169.

Trenchmore, or Frenchmore, a dance, 118, 131.

Trinity Coll., Camb., Statutes of, 8, 9.

Tripla, 33, 34.

[Pg 225]Troilus and Cressida, 32, 72, 103, 104, 124, 162, 166.

Trumpets, in the theatre band, 176.

Trumpets, stage direction, 168, 169, 175, 178.

Tucket, 62, 63, 180-182, 210, 211.

Tudway, Dr, 49.

Tune, to keep in, 22, 26, 27, 28, 100.

Tusch, 63.

Twelfth Night, 29, 48, 71, 72, 77, 81, 88, 89, 94, 95, 108, 114, 121, 135, 152, 188-190, 198, 201, 202, 203.

Two Gentlemen of Verona, 24, 26, 71, 81, 98, 99, 100, 117, 128, 207.

Two Italian Gentlemen, comedy by Munday, 170.

'Two maids wooing a man,' 72, 79.

Two Noble Kinsmen, 71.

'Under the greenwood tree,' 72.

University, music at, 16th and 17th cent, 7, 8, 9, 12-14.

'Usurer's wife, The,' ballad, 72, 79.

Ut, Re, Mi, 37-40, 187.

Variations, 28, 29, 48, 195.

Ventages, 51.

Venus and Adonis, 166.

Viol, treble, tenor, bass, 12, 13, 19, 31, 45, 46, 47, 171, and frontispiece.

Viols, 11-14, 19, 44-49, 61, 65, 98, 101, 170.

Viols, tuning of, 46, 47.

Viol da Gamba, 11, 12, 19, 29, 30, 45, 46, 47, 48.

Viol da Gamba, divisions on the, 29, 30, 186.

Violin, 45, 49, 62, 145, 176.

Violin, thought vulgar, 13, 46, 59.

Violone, double-bass, 48, 176.

Virginal, 10, 11, 13, 31, 53, 54, 68, 76, 123.

Virginal, Qu. Elizabeth's, 11, 53, and frontispiece.

Virginal Book, see Fitzwilliam and Lady Nevell.

Volta, Volte, see Lavolta.

'Walsingham,' 196.

Weavers, and singing, 86, 87, 88.

'Wee be souldiers three,' 199.

'What shall he have,' 77, 94.

'When Arthur first,' 70.

'When daffodils,' 72.

'When griping grief,' 73, 128, 130, 193.

'White his shroud,' 196.

'Whoop, do me no harm,' 72, 78, 190.

'Will you buy any tape,' 72.

Windsor, St George's Chapel Choir, 85.

Winter's Tale, 53, 72, 78, 80, 190, 192, 199.

Wood, Anthony, 12, 13.

Wright, Mr W. Aldis, 9, 31, 83.

Ye noble minds, 195.





[1] See Appendix.

[2] This statement of Hawkins' seems a little exaggerated. Mr Aldis Wright tells me that the statutes provided for an examination in singing for Candidates for Fellowships, and that ability gave a candidate an advantage, in case of equality. Singing was not required of all candidates, but the subject was considered on the fourth day of the examination, along with the essay and verse composition.

[3] Drayton (James I.'s reign) in his "Battle of Agincourt," l. 1199, has—"The common Souldiers free-mens catches sing"—of the French before the battle (freemen is a corruption of threemen).

[4] The Cittern of the barber's shop had four double strings of wire, tuned thus—1st, E in 4th space of treble staff; 2nd, D a tone lower; 3rd, G on 2nd line; 4th, B on 3rd line. The instrument had a carved head. See L.L.L. V. ii., lines 600-603, of Holofernes' head. Also the frontispiece, where the treble viol and viol-da-gamba have carved heads, both human, but of different types. Fantastic heads, as of dragons or gargoyles, were often put on these instruments.

[5] Appendix, Ex. 1.

[6] Rimbault's preface to the Musical Antiquarian Society's reprint of Purcell's opera, "Bonduca," says that Mad Tom was written by Coperario in 1612, for the Masque of the Inner Temple and Gray's Inn, by Beaumont. This was, 'Forth from my sad and darksome sell.'

[7] See Frontispiece.

[8] Theorbo, a lute with a double neck; so called from Tiorba, a mortar for pounding perfumes, referring to the basin-shaped back of a lute.

[9] See Frontispiece.

[10] See Frontispiece.

[11] Plectra of leather were also in use, as well as those of quill.

[12] See Frontispiece.

[13] See Frontispiece.

[14] See Frontispiece.

[15] 'Besy,' that is, 'busy,' meaning 'fussy,' a bad fault in descant, as it is to this day in counterpoint.

[16] It was the German clavichord that had 'tangents' of brass at the ends of the key levers. These tangents cut off the proper length of the string, and made it sound at the same time. The Italians called an instrument with a 'jack' action like the virginal by the name clavichord.

[17] The Bagpipe appears on a coin of Nero. Also there is a figure of an angel playing it, in a crosier given by William of Wykeham to New Coll., Oxon., in 1403.

[18] What is a 'woollen bagpipe'? See Merchant IV, i, 55.

[19] Selden's Table Talk, article 'King of England,' § 7.

[20] This hardly seems a necessary theory. See the Note on 'Orchésographie,' where the 'swinging' movement is fully accounted for.

[21] The branle (not the dance, but as used here) is called Congedium by Anthoine Arena. Arbeau thinks because the dancer appears about to take leave of his partner—i.e., prendre congé. See Hen. VIII., IV. ii. l. 82, stage direction, 'congee.'

[22] Hist. of Philos., by Thomas Stanley, edit. 1701.

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