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all would visit him by turns; for then every sound, present or remembered, had its instant and vivid association. Thus for years he walked, continually surrounded by a bright world of enchantment and delight, sweet sounds and visions haunting him, till at times it became difficult to say whether his waking or sleeping dreams were the more real.
Such feelings are more or less shared by all persons whose natural musical sensibilities are largely developed.
We have now briefly glanced at the origin, philosophy, and history of music, showing that it is a manifestation of those deep mathematical laws which regulate the order, harmony, and consequently the beauty of the universe; we have glanced at a few of the great masters and their mode of composition; at execution and celebrated performers; and, lastly, at the various degrees of appreciation to be found in different individuals when listening to the same musical performance.
The wide extent of the field, and the limited space at ta command, would have rendered a more systematic technical treatise only a meagre outline. Without discarding method, we have, therefore, preferred as it were to talk, this being the pleasantest mode of conveying what we had to say on these varied subjects. To embrace counterpoint, and the several branches of music as a science and as an artsome one has quaintly remarked, would require, "at least, six thousand treatises!”
Having only alluded, in a very cursory manner, to Sacred Music, where, it historically presented itself, when speaking of the Jews, the early Christians, and
the church in latter times—we shall now close this section with a few general remarks on Psalmody, and the means of its improvement.
PSALMODY. Such a subject at once suggests and carries us back to the days of Martin Luther. This great reformer, boldly attacking the corrupt doctrines of the Romish Church, with equal firmness declared that he “never meant to abolish all external forms of worship, but to purge that which had hitherto been used, and to show what was the true Christian way." In the preface to a hymn book, published in 1515, he says, “I am not of opinion that all the arts are to be rooted out by the Gospel, as some ultra-divines pretend; but would wish to see all the arts employed, and music particularly, in the service of Him who has given and created them.”
Proficient and skilful as a Musician, Luther assisted in arranging and adapting a collection of psalms, hymns, and verses for the use of the people, the music of the finest, with the words, original or translated, such as the “Old Hundred,” “Great God, what do I see and hear,” and the noble hymn, “Jehovah is our Trust and Tower”-long the watchword of Protestantism on the Continent-being in all likelihood his compositions. The following is his own simple and modest account of the matter: “I and some others, to give a beginning, and set the example to such as are more capable, have collected some spiritual songs to further and bring into use the sacred gospel.” The tunes, he adds, are arranged for four voices, for no other reason than that I am anxious that young people, who should and must
be educated in music, and other good arts, should have wherewith to get rid of their unseemly and carnal songs, and instead of them learn something salutary, and receive what is good with pleasure, as to youth is meet.” In Luther's “Table Talk,” we find his love of music thus recorded :—“I always loved music,” says he; “whoso has skill in this art is of a good temperament, fitted for all things. We must teach music in schools. A schoolmaster ought to have skill in music, or I would not regard him; neither should we ordain young men as preachers, unless they have been well exercised in music. Music is one of the best arts; the notes give life to the text; it expels melancholy, as we see in King Saul. Kings and princes ought to maintain music; for great potentates and rulers should protect good and liberal arts and laws. Though private people have desire thereunto, and love it, yet their ability is not adequate. We read in the Bible that the good and godly kings maintained and paid singers. Music is the best solace for a sad and sorrowful mind; by it the heart is refreshed, and settled again in peace.”
On one occasion Luther was recovered from a faint by the power of music, which, as is well known, will reach the soul, frequently penetrating and quickening it, when beyond all other outward sensation. Often has the countenance of the dying brightened np on hearing music, which should be oftener thus employed to comfort and cheer. “Next to religion, from music,” the great reformer affirmed that he derived “the sweetest consolation.” On one occasion, after listening to some beautiful motets, he said with emotion, “As our Lord pours out such noble gifts upon us in this life, how glorious will be
eternal life! This is only materia prima, the beginning.” So George Herbert finely calls this life but “the tuning of the instruments !"
Zuingle was scarcely less ardent in his love of music than Luther. "In the midst of labours the most incessant,” says his biographer, “he never ceased to cultivate his talent for music, of which he had acquired the elements in his infancy. This art then formed an essential part of the instruction communicated to young men intended for the ecclesiastical profession; and Zuingle regarded it as a means calculated, not only to give repose to the mind after fatiguing occupations and communicate to it fresh power and energy, but to soften down and correct a temper partaking of too much ardour or austerity. He, therefore, particularly recommended music to young persons destined to a laborious and sedentary life.”
In this respect, however, these great reformers differed from Calvin, who, upright, zealous and uncompromising, deeming it necessary to mark his hostility to the Church of Rome, went to the then almost pardonable extreme of rejecting her usages, the good together with the bad. Music, consequently, suffered; all excepting his own metrical psalmody in plain song was proscribed ; and such was his influence, that no musical instrument was permitted to be used as an assistance in worship within the walls of Geneva for upwards of a century after the Reformation. Psalmody in Scotland and elsewhere continues to suffer from the same cause to this present hour. The unreasonable prejudice entertained by some against the use of musical instruments in praise, however, is giving way, amongst all who are capable of looking dispassionately on the subject, and is destined, sooner or later, quietly to take its place among the “vulgar errors” of the past. The fact that good men, learned, it may be, in other matters, but utterly ignorant of music, building on false assumptions, should ever have opposed the introduction of the organ, will one day be regarded by all as a parallel to the great Owen's condemnation of a new and corrected translation of the Bible ever being undertaken the translation we now have-on account of its tendency to shake the faith of believers. He consequently argues the great impiety and sinfulness of the attempt, forgetting that the words of inspiration are in another tongue, and that the most faithful and best rendering of these constitutes the value of the Bible in other languages. David and Solomon would have been delighted with the organ, as being that which of all instruments is best fitted to assist the voice in praise. People will one day smile that there ever should have been any controversy on the subject, and class it with the violent opposition, in many cases, given to the abolition of reading aloud each line of the psalm before singing it, as was customary, and with good reason, in other days, ere people were in possession of books. Mozart calls the organ " the king of instruments.” We enter not at all on the question of its lawfulness, fitness, or even propriety, as a sustainer and strengthener of the voice, there being no question on the
1 We allude more particularly to the re-issue of a pamphlet by the Rev. Dr. Begg, in the shape of a volume, prefaced and indorsed by the Rev. Dr. Candlish. Well-intentioned, but displaying more zeal than knowledge, it requires, for any one even tolerably versant with the subject, no refutation of its one-sided and manifest sophistries,