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NEW YORK

4

THE LIBRARY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LOS ANGELES
MUSIC LIBRARY
GIFT

OF

Bernard A. Diamant

Efje Pusictan^s ILibrarg MUSICAL COMPOSITION .

THE MACMILLAN COMPANY NEW YORK BOSTON CHICAGO SAN FRANCISCO • • MACMILLAN & LONDON • CO. OF TORONTO THE MACMILLAN CANADA.. Limited • BOMBAY CALCUTTA MELBOURNE CO. Ltd. .

MUSICAL COMPOSITION A SHORT TREATISE FOR STUDENTS BY CHARLES VILLIERS STANFORD THE MACMILLAN COMPANY 1911 jUI rights reserved .

Gushing Co. electrotyped.A. Set up and Published November. Norinoalj ^rtee J. — .Copyright. Berwick & Smith Co. 1911. S. Mass. U.S. 1911.. By the MACMILLAN COMPANY. Norwood.

Library fl1 ^lU^"- IN GRATEFUL MEMORY OF THE MASTERS WHO TAUGHT ME .

.

for he unfortunately knows of no modern treatise which whom would have suited his purpose. probably so thick that no one would wade through their contents. have taught him how to teach. and some of whom are rising.PREFATORY NOTE This little treatise does not pretend to do more than touch the fringe of a great subject. experience criticising of the efforts in watching and twenty-five years of many young men. and if they are good composers they are But he has better employed in inventing good music. to The author has not (as is eminence in their craft. and by their unvarying loyalty and keen endeavour have vii . to some extent. probably because they are too much immersed in creative work to analyse the means which enabled them to write it. It only attempts to give such advice as a master might find useful in teaching (or rather in controlling) a student of comand it is. a resume of the position . the case) to express his obligation to any usually authorities for help or assistance in its making. To do so with thoroughness would fill volumes. Composers are usually reticent as to their methods and experiences. some of have risen. to put on record a very deep sense of gratitude to a numerous and many-sided body of pupils who. in learning from him.

1911. April.viii PREFATORY NOTE his minimised the anxiety and magnified the interest of labours on their behalf. and be of some service to them. Many of them will old friends in the pages of this book. that has been allowed to venture into print. and it recognise is in the hope that these old friends may make new it acquaintances. .

Extraneous iNFLtrENCES in Instrumental Music 155 165 X. 6 III. Variation 49 74 95 . Form Colour VIII. 127 IX. PAGE Introductory Techkique 1 II. . 33 V. The Treatment of Voices . VII.CONTENTS CHAPTER I. The Complex Treatment of Melodies. Danger Signals iz . Ehythm Melodies and their Simple Treatment 23 IV. VI.

.

It is not possible to discuss composition without to some extent touching upon other branches of musical study which form an integral part of B 1 its proper pre- . leaving the constructive element to the pupil's o"v\ti initiative. and as invention. or as to the instruments or voices for which it should be designed. is of a teacher to criticise it when The only province written. can only consist of advice and criticism chiefly directed to what concerns a student taste sense of proportion. No rules can be laid down for it. He can thus keep impatience within bounds when invention is outpacing experience. no canons save those of beauty can be The applied to it . mainly to give hints as to what to avoid. To tell how to write music is an impossible absurdity. therefore. if sometimes necessarily slow. For the rest his functions must be what those of this treatise must be. and develop by sure. or to make suggestions as to its form or length. so there are no fixed bounds to Any treatise upon and composition. it cannot exist. may infinite. without which be said to be its capabilities.CHAPTER I INTRODUCTORY composition of music is no more an exact science than the painting of a picture. means the experience to equal the invention.

such as Counterpoint. . for there is no short cut The house cannot stand if it is built upon to mastery. gained by having complete control moreover. : : of form. if it is incomplete. insecure foundations. the other the master. perspective and anatomy in literature and poetry. of the highest importance that the training of technique should be as strict as that the The supervision of composition should be elastic. and of red Revolutionaries on the other. If the technical equipment of the composer is complete. it is all arts is the same. but the mastery of the servant. In the other arts it as certainly means shortness of existence to the creations of the half-equipped artist. Modulation. invention is of no use without One is is the servant. Rhythm. It tends (as Brahms forcibly put it) to the manufacture of Philistines on the one hand. but the enthusiasm which is not strong enough to face the irksome training and lasting enough to see it through to a finish had better be allowed to die out.2 MUSICAL COMPOSITION sentment. technical defi- ciencies in his composition should be criticised as such. grammar in music. in the mastery of drawing. individual and collective treatment of instruments and voices. It is. often apparently superfluous. application of technical criticism to inventive work is a most dangerous expedient. of construction architecture. at times the driest drudgery. harmony and The lack of technical knowledge in an architect : may lead to loss of human life. knowledge of technique and its security depends upon a which involves the hardest and It is often disheartening. Technique is of no use without invention. technique. Harmony. it is unnecessary. of counterpoint. In this respect the history of In painting and sculpture. Form.

times for music . how to break them. for example. consecutive fifths can write them if he is convinced of their appropriateness. why and who can understand when and hand. and the wherefore of those rules. teachers often overlook the natural tendency of a young and ardent inventive brain to chafe under advice which at the moment seems the other On merely formal. moulded and brought into line by the sympathetic method of explaining why these rules were laid down and by clearly showing their origin. But when it is explained to him that this rule was made in the early ^vl•itten for the unaccompanied human an instrument which possesses no mechanical voice. and can play about with a canon or fugue. In counterpoint. a beginner who is conversant with the a skip from developments of modern music cannot be expected to understand a rule which "forbids" to — in a part which professes to be a melody written to fit another melody. for in composition per se there is no rule save that of beauty. This impatience of temperament cannot be curbed merely by dogmatic it can only be insistence upon the rules themselves . has got to a point where he can utilise his knowledge A man who knows he is writing to make experiments. 3 and should be kept wholly distinct from questions of A composer who has full knowledge of his technique. and no standard save that of taste. without being pulled up by the old formula of infringement of rule.INTRODUCTORY taste. It is only the composer their who knows the rules of the game. and can convince the hearer of beauty. irksome and dry.

when a mere insistence upon the rule as a rule will only irritate him. Any impatient interference with disaster. so the creative artist has to develop his brain. he will begin at once to appreciate that such a rule is founded. natural process and progress will inevitably result in Robert Schumann in his anxiety to make damaged makes himself too speedily a first-rate pianist irretrievably his third finger . a young composer in a hurry can do precisely similar harm to the machine which All the music his music for him. should abstain from writing Y ^f . but on the principles of common it is sense. Music itself has grown from the simplest beginnings through their gradual development. As the executive artist has to develop his muscles slowly and gradually without straining them. which has survived the ravages of time has been . not for the purpose of annoying students or lajang traps for beginners.4 means MUSICAL COMPOSITION of hitting a note as the pianoforte has. his brain. if the student begins his career by trying to write music in the style of the later Beethoven. Such explanations of the origin of rules will appeal to the sympathy of the student. he will be as great a monstrosity as a pianist who attempted to play Liszt before he knew his five-finger exercises. It is a rule only in the same sense that laid down that the student of orchestration for the violin. and which therefore finds great difficulty in producing diminished and augmented intervals with accurate intonation. or putting on paper arpeggios for stringed instruments which are technically impossible to play. or of providing materials for examination papers.

^ INTRODUCTORY 5 inherently logical. it states its premisses and evolves its Music which begins with conclusions and conclusions. . therefore. omits premisses is useless and lifeless from its birth. and the moulding of good taste and that it premises deals rather with . that the paradise to be obtained is that of beauty. and the hell to be avoided is that of ugliness. that in this treatise the word "rule" is not to be taken as synonymous with "the laws of the Medes and Persians". It will be understood. that it advice and suggestion than with dogmatic orders that it has primarily to do with taste. .

CHAPTER

II

TECHNIQUE
It would appear to be a platitude to state that the first step in musical composition is the ability to write one note after another, and to arrange the succession of
notes in such a

way

as to produce an intelligible

and

The result of this process is what is agreeable sound. known as melody. The first training for a student
should be in the direction of developing his power of writing these successions of notes with ease and
fluency; the second of combining them with other successions of notes which will result both in giving richness to the original and in providing a second
subsidiary
therefore,

melody.
horizontal

The

initial

training

should be,

and not perpendicular.

Mere

combinations of notes, in themselves sounding well, but without logical connection with their successors, are
useless as music.

The simultaneous

presentation of

two melodies which fit each other is at once a musical invention and when a third and a fourth melody is added to the combinations, the result is what is called harmony. To speak of studying harmony and counter;

point
is

is,

therefore, to put the cart before the horse.

It

counterpoint which develops harmony, and there is no such boundary-wall between the two studies as

most students imagine.
6

TECHNIQUE
Harmony which
a whole and
in
results

7

from the well-written com-

bination of melodies will always be interesting both as

harmony

in its separate parts but an exercise written before the student has practised
;

melodic writing, will (unless he has exceptional melodic If intuition) be dry even if it is technically correct. a student begins by thinking of chords, no matter how
agreeable they may be to the ear, his first attempts to write a composition will infallibly be in blocks of

chords; the theme, even if it is lucky enough to run smoothly of itself, will be hampered by the inability of its companions to do the same. The simplest instance
of this principle is to give a correct harmonisation in four parts of the scale of F major, with which, from a harmony point of view, no fault can be found, but

which

is

as dull

and uninteresting as
r

it

can well be

:

P
No.
1.

b (^

J=4
!

22:

-i

-^
-«&

'^^^
and to compare
it

^I
:

ii

with a two-part contrapuntal com-

bination on the same scale

No.

2.

i^^^^^^ r
^s:
it

^m
f^£^
is

-^

which, although

has no rich chords,

far

more

8

MUSICAL COMPOSITION

Moreover, the melody which becomes at once a satisfying bass, which compares most favourably with the stilted and halting bass of No. 1. A mind which is trained to write a melody to a melody would never be satisfied with the four repeated F's in the alto part of No. 1, or with the limited range
interesting to listen to. accompanies the scale
of the tenor part.

adding a third melodic part in the alto, the gradual appearance of harmony will become obvious:

By
=

I i^t^-[
;-ty- B=f^

—J
f T

i
I

=EE

J^-

pS

:t^

and a fourth melodic part in the tenor will make the phrase as complete as the harmony example, but far more satisfactory to the ear and grateful to the voice
:

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-

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-CL-

m

^EE^E
-#

«

-O-

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TECHNIQUE
or, in slightly

more ornamental form
-•

:

i
M

^
f

*:

-•

^
-£2_

?

c

r

a
-m-

^

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fe-^^-H- £:

pS

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i

These examples are sufficient in themselves to show the immense advantage which counterpoint has over harmony as an initial training. The chords form themselves naturally without interfering with the
vocal progressions, and only need harmony lessons to explain their significance when read perpendicularly. To begin technical training with harmony gives rise
also to a habit in a beginner,

which

it is

most

difficult

to eradicate

when he embarks on composition, the

habit of harmonising every note of the melody and keeping every part hard at work without rests. The usefulness of rests is one of the essentials of composition.

A
;

piece of music has to breathe like a

human

being
of

the rests are the breathing places.

The absence

results in stodginess and monotony. Again, counterpoint teaches economy of material, one of the most important (and most frequently neglected) requirements of the composer. It does so by the

them invariably

suggestions of chords which are not actually complete, and by training the mind to utilise suggestion as a

therefore. Parsifal. to study counterpoint first. To the advanced modern student it may be interesting to point out that such works as the Meister singer. The second point. later. Symphony The is policy of putting harmony of comparatively recent growth before counterpoint the growth has . Of this example and of the Prometheus Variations (used also in the finale of the Eroica Symphony) mention will be made The first principle to be laid down is. It has recently become the fashion to speak of counterpoint as if it were divided into two branches. strict and There is no such thing as free counterpoint from the standpoint of technical study. if it principle to is that the study of counter- is be of real value. and the German Requiem did not grow on this tainted soil nor. are in free counterpoint. system is to be found in the last of Beethoven. All musical works free. to go to the other extreme of style.10 MUSICAL COMPOSITION necessary contrast to defined richness of chord comAn excellent instance of the result of this bination. and is repeated with gradually enriched surroundings. movement of the Ninth where the theme is first presented without any combination at all. It is only a pedantic name for composition. and it is easy enough to note where it flourishes from the results of its miasma. must be strict. unfortunately overrun a great deal of low-lying land. did the waltzes of Johann . and through counterpoint to master harmony. Strauss. and the use of this quasi- . It is not necessary to remind a student of musical history that this was the process by which were trained all the great masters from Palestrina down to Wagner and Brahms.

and is. or seen as a picture. A composer produces a work which cannot be felt as a statue. Hogarth has immortalised the result of ignorance of The building of Forth Bridges is not perspective. but the canons for art. nor to contractors who cannot guarantee the absence of flaws in their material. If and use licences which strict counterpoint does not allow. trusts to it will fail at a crisis. therefore. more difficult to test for value and soundness. the easy path which he beheved . and his control over his workmanship The composer who will be superficial and unsound. to be a short cut to efficiency. and will be the first to regret. perhaps too late. from which the weight has been extracted the result will be a sham.TECHNIQUE 11 scholastic title at once suggests the introduction of handcuffs and shackles into the free domain of creative invention. it appeals through the ear alone. entrusted to engineers who are insufficiently grounded in applied mathematics. take counterpoint all that of study. he is weakening the very process by which his musical strength is built up. A sculptor who attempted to model a figure without a complete grasp of human anatomy would be found out at once by the first medical student who saw his work. of musical sounds The intangible nature makes it more difficult for a student to appreciate the importance of strict training. He will be pretending to develop his muscles with dumb-bells liberties. whether ocular or . Pentonville Hotel or the House. or tested for strain and stress as a bridge. would be as sensible to speak of the Wormwood Scrubbs Boarding The thorough knowledge and grasp of strict It is ment is necessary in that departthe term free counterpoint means that the student may use less trammelled rules.

whose works have best withstood the Let us take for our inquiry such inroads of time. Wagner and Brahms. and the side-issues which it involves. What is strict counterpoint? The best way of finding an answer to that highly important question is to investigate history and see what kind of strict counterpoint was the main study of the great masters of the past. auricular. Purcell. at once the most interesting and the most severe form of the study. Every one of these masters was brought up upon what is called modal counterpoint. require a section to themselves. is the only method of enabling the brain to cope with the difficulties which waylay invention. Beethoven. Haydn. he will be entirely incapable of saying with accuracy whether the player possesses the sense of pure intonation. and he will find that it is neces- .12 MUSICAL COMPOSITION same in all respects. Handel. are the and cannot be infringed without sooner or later involving disaster to the work and its inventor. The musician whose instrument is the pianoforte or organ starts with the great drawback that his ear is accustomed to hear every note in the scale except the octave slightly out of tune. names as Palestrina. intervals which to him are quite satisfactory he will discover to his surprise to be quite the reverse to an moned expert violin player. STRICT MODAL COUNTERPOINT. [The printed contrapuntal studies of Beethoven with Haydn are most instructive in this respect. Mozart. If he is suddenly sumto examine and report upon a violinist.] Its main general features. then. Bach. The study of strict counterpoint.

He may wonder a string quartet. in underlies it." it will come as something of a shock to discover that is confined to keyed instruments. and the to be applied to (6). but he does not at the silken quality of know why. the result third which was too wide. These greater and lesser tones are alternative in the scale. it is an absolute necessity that he should study the pure scale and write in it. is that diatonic semitones are is a fixed and tones changeable. which sound crude on his piano. For him Palestrina and all the early masters of unaccompanied vocal music are a sealed book. The There basis of the pure scale interval.g. but he cannot analyse the cause. and semitone i ^?- would be too small to satisfy the ear. Wagner). a greater tone and a lesser tone. the int€rval (a) interv^al (6) In the pure scale of is C m "O" slightly wider than the ^ If the interv^al (a) same distance were would be a major the diatonic were in perfect intonation.TECHNIQUE 13 sary for him to begin all over again. but he vdW not know the reason which He may be surprised that chords {e. He his idea of the scale may like the sounds they produce. a stringed instrument -^-ill but to one who has absorbed the compromise kno-R-n as "equal temperament. . therefore. For the composer. lose all their roughness in the orchestra. and to school his A musician who has begun ear to the pure scale. and that in the orchestra and in voices it has no place. his career by learning find no such difficulty.

) recommended intervals to test this scale on a The ratios of the and are as follows : have been calculated out. be .V14 If MUSICAL COMPOSITION the greater tone and > = the lesser tone. I 1 <= Diatonic semitone. if \ of the string lies finger between the the will bridge. Diatonic semitone Lesser tone W A f h Greater tone Major third Perfect fourth Perfect fifth f \ Major Major seventh Octave sixth \ -h i These can easily be verified on the violin with the help of a yard measure. the note a major third from G. i 00 1- Q Q is ^STrcr -&- 'JUSL 22: (The student violin.g. if the G string = 1 S and -o" half the G string gives [^=== -cr the octave. e. the pure scale of C will be constituted thus: Diatonic semitone.

TECHNIQUE if 15 f of the string lies between the finger and the will bridge. which must be the lesser tone from C (fu) in order to combine with F and A (the supertonic triad). When harmonies are added to the notes of the scale of C. be on throughout the scale." This note is D. so interval and This can be tested arithmetically by calculating the from C to F (f). and to in tune. the perfect fifth from to A (I). which D will show that to make the chord I g=§= D perfectly must be A. one note has to be liable to change and is termed " mutable. from C D must be a greater tone (f) to combine with G. the interval from Similar investigation will show that to El. the note i a perfect fourth -Q- from G. and the greater tone from C (f) in order to combine with G. in order to make a perfect fourth (I) with G. Diatonic semitone. and the major third from F to A (i). . the second degree. from C D The minor scale is constituted thus : Diatonic semitone.

and G must be the greater tone from F to combine with B and E -A- — o— P. either by experimenting himself on a violin or by getting a violinist to show him the modifications necessary in the stopping in order to perfectly in tune. great interest to find that the mathematical results . and it becomes a study of best system is to do both .16 MUSICAL COMPOSITION Perfect fifth I I Minor sixth Minor seventh Octave ^ i two notes and G. and G must be the lesser tone from F to this scale. B. The student will soon grasp the reason for mutable third notes. in the second case. the seventh B must be the lesser tone from A to combine degree. with D. When harmonies are added to are mutable. if arithmetically inclined. and minor third (E to G). in the first case to E). work out the same results by and by comparing the The calculating the ratios of the intervals in figures. . minor sixih them for a perfect fourth (B (B to G). minor sixth (B to G). make the intervals result (with the greatest possible accuracy of ear) with the same combinations on the pianoforte. the second degree. This can be similarly tested by appljdng the ratios for a minor (B to D). and perfect and by applying fourth (D to G). B must be the greater tone from A to combine with E. combine with B and D ¥ (^ r-9- ^-=i» On the other hand. . and he can.

[To get the ratio of a given interval from the bass. and were able .g. multiply the fractions. all music written in the pure scale would be distorted and destroyed. so a composer cannot write in the pure scale until he thinks in it. e. But just as a would-be linguist cannot freely talk in a foreign language until he is able to think in it also. e.TECHNIQUE 17 coincide absolutely with the practical. he deliberately one of the notes on the road. difference (a major To get the between any two I (a intervals divide the higher to calculate the ratio of G to B by the lower. The student of some except upon a keyed instrument tuned to the compromise of equal temperament. ear will soon begin to and as soon as it does the brain invent music in the pure scale. unnatural and impos- No player upon a stringed instrument can play the scale of whole tones and arrive at an octave which sible. interesting modern developdiscover that the adoption of ments will also speedily the so-called whole-tone scale as a basis of music is. The obvious result of the application of the whole-tone scale to an orchestra or a string quartet would be to force them to adopt the equal is in tune with the starting note.g. result "think" in the pure will major third).] The scale. to calculate the ratio of the interval C to E multiply result i J (the greater tone) third). unless string players were to face the practically impossible drudgery of studying both the equal temperament and the pure c scale from the start. unless temperament of the pianoforte. and to interval except the octave out of tune. and alters it changes while playing it. divide -^ by t. by A (the lesser tone). play every When this modification had taken hold.

Instead of two scales in which to write. (G to G with F natural) will to the tyro sound like the cadence in the Lydian ending in the dominant (F to F) like ending in the subdominant. ence to the slow movement in the Lydian mode of Beethoven's String Quartet in A minor (Op. and drew his pen through it. The difficulty which has to be faced in modal writing is to accustom the ear to grasp that the last note of those modes which is first do not correspond to our major and minor scales is A cadence in the Mixo-Lydian mode really the final. and the range of suggestiveness proportionately greater. 132) will be the best example of this difiiculty. of these modes has its own colour and characteristics (as the student of folk-song or of early madrigals well knows). A student will find it interesting to test the whole-tone scale on the arithmetical formulas given above. he has in constitution (that six : every one of them different is. in the opening of the third act of Tristan (bars 6 to 10). A refer. at his semitones). It is a curious commentary upon this question that Wagner. times the variety of the contrapuntist self command three who bases him- solely Every one on the ordinary major and minor scales. therefore. experimented with the whole-tone scale. in the succession of tones and He has.18 to MUSICAL COMPOSITION tackle either form at a moment's notice. Modal counterpoint possesses also another great attraction to the student. . as was to be expected from a composer whose every work proves the writer to have had the pure scale inbred in him. A thorough knowledge of the natural genesis of the scale of western nations will be the best antidote to fads founded upon ignorance of it.

TECHNIQUE 19 s -jdr I J- i i ^ as if r r r r r f fr f s J J J f=f rT~f r I S the To the inexperienced listener who does not understand the modal scales this movement sounds as if it were written in C major and ended in F (the subdominant). and immediately afterwards as it is written with B natural. [There can be no better study recommended in this branch of counterpoint than the Magnificats of Palestrina which are written in all the modes.] As soon as he does appreciate it. and that he will have many additional sources of diatonic treatment to vary his conceptions before he need call upon chromatics. he is not a master of this part of his craft. Until the student of modal writing can appreciate each scale for itself. and ending on its correct and satisfying final. with the B natural proper to the mode. he will find that the weapons of his armoury are multiplied by three. A step towards assimilating this very difficult fact may be made by playing the example given above. first with all the B's flattened. clearly remembering that the the fourth degree of the Lydian mode and has nothing to do with the seventh (leading note natural is B toC). To one who has thoroughly mastered of characteristics and nature modal scales it will sound written in F. It will teach him to be able to stay in one key without producing a .

but the as easy as that of good difficulties of counter- more musically interesting. upon the requirements of which the rules as to skips and com- When the principles of binations are entirely based. The is the interchange of concurrent melodies). and so to carry out Wagner's admirable advice to young composers to ''say ever>i-hing they have got to say in one they leave it. such as occur after the . increase will command the over lay foundations of gradations natural and grateful writing for the human voice. dealt and the So which far we have concurrent melodies with the counterpoint of (including double counterpoint. strict counterpoint are thoroughly grasped. Of these branches of study it is unnecessary to write here. the work he does in them must sound well: that the best canons are those which are not heard unless they are looked for. and in which the episodes. which go by the names of Imitation. and so incidentally It of colour." It will key before cultivate economy his of material. and which come naturally with- out aggressively asserting themselves (a magnificent specimen of really musical and expressive canon is to be found in the second : Agnus of Palestrina's Missa that the best fugues are those which are Brevis) most musically as well as logically carried to a finish. Canon and Fugue. the finale of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony). student must then attack the counterpoint of crosscurrent melodies.20 sense of MUSICAL COMPOSITION monotony or lack of colour (cf. further than to insist that to be effective and useful to the composer's equipment. the writing of good harmony are far will become counterpoint point pleasure of is diflBcult. surmounting them far greater.

The study of the pure scale. to which the impedes study of harmony is the entrance gate. 1. then. are entries in of the a inferior of corresponding passages sjTnphony. 2. "UTien the study of harmony (or the science of chord treatment) is tackled. The perpetual insistence of root basses is one of the greatest pitfalls of the hampers his treatment of the part. which only in importance to the melody. it is of the highest importance to work out exercises a interest subject to the are not sonata or with a contrapuntal eye. Cultivate ease in dealing with inversions and use roots sparingly in the bass. etc). Harmony and modulation. fugue. following the same principles of TtTiting parts at once interesting in themselves. fresh Just. may be thus summed up in the order which will best benefit him. Cross-current counterpoint (canon.TECHNIQUE first 21 complete. no school-boy will progress without so no budding composer can all or digest this difficult diet without amusing himself meanwhiles. 4. 3. and the power of free modulation. ment of a composer. as it has to do with the result of technical study for which ample educational hterature of all is beginner second . Concurrent counterpoint (including modal counterpoint). as hohday or assimilate air. and conducing to movement and avoidance of monotony. however. and too much stress cannot be laid on the importance of encouraging him to write anj-thing which suggests itself to him alongside his stiff studies. it The technical equipdegrees of merit can be found. Into this domain it is unnecessary at this point for this treatise to intrude. Such temporary freedom keeps .

and through counterpoint master harmony. 5. and fugal writing until the sound quite easy. without thinking about rules. . Learn the value of using plenty of rests. Study the pure scale and accustom yourself to think in it. and either the Philistine or revolutionary spirit may get the upper hand. spontaneity may be injured. 2. The following short maxims may be fitly ^-et down at this point : 1. Study counterpoint first.22 MUSICAL COMPOSITION oiled. alongside your Practise canonic results technical work. 4. natural and musical. 6. 3. Study strict counterpoint only. t^e engines of the brain written while technical and is free compositions progressing are valuable tests of the ability of the writer to profit by his advancing technique. If it is neglected or study forbidden. Write always some music in any free style.

" There can be no life without it. Trojae qui primus ab oris. however. a few salient points must be touched upon here. the sense of movement is hampered . if it is too feverish or overloaded. if the pulse is too slow or intermittent.CHAPTER III RHYTHM If melody is the life-blood of music." For practical of purposes. and must be prosecuted with the help of such special treatises " as Hauptmann's Harmony and Metre. Hans von Biilow pointed out this in his trenchant way when he formulated the text (as amended by himself). rhythm is the heart-beat or pulse which drives it. but the pulse must be there or vitality ceases. the music becomes fussy and restless . The quantity of the first line of Virgil's I Aeneid is _^^|_^^| Arma virumque l-w^l eano. The first principle to grasp is the essential difference between quantity and accent. "In the beginning was rhythm. A Latin "^ hexameter line is in six feet of and ( dactyls — '-') spondees ( ). 23 . Poetry will supply the clearest examples of this distinction. The study rhythm is beyond the scope of this book.

It is the entry of rhythm into the scheme which practically turns what is finite into what is infinite. . RHYTHM OF DETAIL. An example from iambics ( ^-' — )). and the fruit. however numerous those ways may be. which drives the poetry (6) is the which uses the rhythm for its own purposes. difference between prosody and accent in this written out in terms of quantity alone. and yet produce a wholly different effect with them each specimen may even be stamped . and the fruit. will : also illustrate this point (a) Of man's it is first disobedience.24 MUSICAL COMPOSITION of the The accent same line when read is Arma virumque cano. melody. I. can be shown thus : the rhythm. and makes it possible for several composers to write an identical sequence of notes. and rhythm of phrase. It is obvious that the number of ways in which the notes of the scale (even including chromatic intervals) can be interchanged in order to form melodies must be limited. which when (6) read will give the following accents: first Of man's disobedience. The line. English blank verse (five feet of the first line of Paradise Lost. Rhythm may be roughly divided into two sections: (a) is : rhythm of detail. Trojae qui primus ab oris.

I -(S>— cr* I ^. or to deny to each form of the same melody the hall-mark of its inventor.RHYTHM 25 with the unmistakeable individuality of the writer. The following specimens of some few of the rhythmical F major will further illustrate (1) J^^-*^^—"^ (2) . (^ — -G^ P^r . thus ^^m 3 \^z ^ i^. . thus: and in the introduction to the third act of : Wagner's Lohengrin. ^m^ variations of the scale of this : ^tit -P2I b^=a But it would be an absurdity to say that the latter was suggested by the former. The following sequence of notes -<s>- i ± ^=^: 42_ T2—0 - -(S>- appears in the finale of Beethoven's Eroica Symphony.

or the battle-section of All the leading motives in Strauss' Heldenlehen. and even to a whole symphony (Schumann in minor). such as the sword-theme (alias the common V^^:3: chord of C). such as the Nibelung-theme. . :?3- is ip: or rhythmical figure. of music and its Rattenfdnger of Hugo Wolf.g.26 (4) MUSICAL COMPOSITION -o(5) i ^^ ^ > • > B^aH and so on ad infinitum. over rhythm is as necessary in subsidiary parts as in the melodic. One rhythmical figure can give a character of its own to a whole movement (e. the finale of Beethoven's Seventh Symphony). and will Command D breed other cognate rhythms to vary it and check monotony. Rhythm is the first attempt of barbarians to express themselves itself prime necessity as an integral part is proved by the fact that all the most advanced and complex works in modern music are still dependent upon it for a hvelihood. the Nibelungen are either rhythmical melody. as witness the musically. Its importance in song writing will be discussed when vocal music is considered.

the following theme from Beethoven's Ruins of Athens used. It is this which enables a composer to write sentences which are intelligible and logical in their relationship to each other. metre in four-bar As an example of the simplest form of musical and two-bar phrases. by him for the pianoforte variations (Op. if they had been hunted for or manufactured. II. not because he makes it. Genuine rhythmical invention. to an inventive mind. This species of rhythm exactly answers to metre in poetry. of This branch of the study much larger scope. suggest rhythms of its own creation.RHYTHM 27 i ta "^^ ^ * J ^jr^^^^^^ (three notes of the scale of minor). which provide an amazing series of all sorts and kinds of figure in a short space. G But let it be remembered the outcome of spontaneous invention. but an all-round knowledge of their methods of using it will. RHYTHM OF is PHRASE. like melodic. and has to do with the balance of general design rather than with the patterns which form the ground note of the design. and at the same time to preserve their relative proportion. Manufacture will not do. The best possible studies in rhythm are the songs of Schubert. sincerity would not be so patent upon every page. comes to that they are all the composer because it must. 76) will suffice : . The study of the rhythm of others must be directed rather to the way the masters use it than to the actual rhythms themselves.

" for in example A There was a young lady of Tyre lyre. . . exact is : counterpart the nonsense poetical metre of this rhyme or "Limerick. . B Who At swept the loud chords of the C the sound of each sweep D She enraptured the deep. E And enchanted the people of Tyre. V" ^^^-*=aL I =J: D «/ i :|= t «/ lETfii: -I — - ! w -^ m 5/ 8/ \- ^ =t S/ 8/ E' ::| :p:S 4 4 4 -4—*«/ *^^^ A «/ A is B is C is a four-bar sentence a four-bar sentence balancing a two-bar sentence . D E The scheme is is a two-bar sentence balancing C a four-part sentence balancing A and B.28 MUSICAL COMPOSITION A ii^S *^ #-ir «/ « If */ ^ *-$?= B x^. .

phrase as the principal section of a theme is to be found in the Russian dance (also used by Beethoven for variations) : rf:fe*-L=. phrasing. although expressed in these less common sentences. and to invent melodies which.^ . the rhyme may not be thought incongruous.) In order to gain complete control over metrical of three. owing to their rhythmical proportion. yet. five. completely An example of the use of a five-bar satisfy the ear. six.RHYTHM 29 (As the tune given above is Turkish. it is well to experiment in phrases and seven bars.

gain this by example of interplay and both For an juxtaposition. bars is it But. to balance the three-bar and two-bar rhythm of A. B and E and for that purpose the choice of two The two-bar rhythm . the two-bar portion of this in B is the basis of the melody after the double bar.30 MUSICAL COMPOSITION at C and gives exactly the contrast of simplicity to the complex character right of A. any other number. and therefore the length of two reason. why not make the sections C and A. D one phrase of five bars exactly proportionate to B and E? If the phrase after the double bar were : to be written as follows Etm I the result stiff is f ^ to fe^irrr^feuto^^ ^ and stodgy. of usual and unusual . would be to write the phrase in two-bar and three-bar rhythm. is A little close investigation will the most show the A can be subdivided into two subsections. in preference to satisfying. D bars. make the whole run of the tune more The only way of securing any con- the five bars. might be urged. B and E trast. one (a) of three and the other (/?) of two bars. best adapted to this section of the melody. while preserving thus: but the ear will still wish for the their relief of a simple rhythm sections after will the two complex rhythms.

the student is referred to the famous passage in the scherzo of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.RHYTHM 31 rhythmical phrases on a large scale." In addition to the juxtaposition of rhythmical phrases the composer must study the overlapping of them. this method : #^ . marked "Ritmo di tre battute" and "Ritmo di quattro battute. the end of one period forming the beginning of The following examples from Beethoven's in E flat (Op. 127) will show the working of Quartet the next.

smaller hills of invention his horizon will widen of and he will gain the experience necessary to attack the snow peaks with a sense of security which will enable him to face with confidence the dangers itself. this it impossible to obtain a sure For the purposes of less hamperand bearings of form after the initial stages of free composition have been entered upon. impossible to progress in combining and enriching melodies.32 MUSICAL COMPOSITION small things will the more readily adapt itself to preserving proper balance in the design of larger concepBut as without contrapuntal technique it is tions. up to a certain point. and difficulties which lie in the path to their summits. in keeping the composer As he ascends the in the straight path of progress. . so without working through the initial stages of rhythm book of phrase it is grasp of the principles of form. been gained by the study of rhythmical phrasing is sufficient. as it has to do with its larger developments the sense of proportion which will have will be more convenient and ing to the student to discuss the aspects .

It demands a power. which is perhaps the hardest of all to acquire.CHAPTER IV MELODIES AND THEIR SIMPLE TREATMENT The first attempt of the tyro usually takes the form This is probably because the lilt of writing a song. that to write a good song is one of the most difficult tasks which a composer can set himself. To write a good melody or theme in absolute music by the suggestion of music itself will 33 P It also a . of a poem suggests a musical phrase. of suggesting large and com- prehensive ideas in a confined and economical space. seems to him smooth enough to progress in. but is likely enough to upset him when he tries to get out of it. capable of being examined under the microscope. note to the last. dangerous rut in the composer's road. stirs the lyrical feeling. what in course of time he will infallibly find out. and standing the test without showing a flaw. and perhaps appeals to the dramatic sense which composers must possess in order to be composers at all. But the tyro does not know. Song writing is miniature The detail must be perfect from the first painting. and expressing small and dainty ideas without overloading them on the one hand or underestimating them on the It is other.

more illuminating than any textbook prose. Write a melody in intelligible sentences. When and primarily judged it by were its melody and its bass. is to keep song writing for an occasional wisest plan and experimental amusement. ought to be in the direction of melodic writing for an instrument. The musical value of this small will depend upon the two elements of its foundation. and. to any one who knows his technique. which is logical and clear in tonality. by the mouth of Hans Sachs. and to that melody write a good hass. and preferably for the violin. the beauty of the melody and the suggestiveness bass. which can play them in the pure scale. First attempts. Do not trouble about the intervening parts. they will come of themselves. with the minimum work of trouble. A short summary when Walther sings to Sachs the first version third act. and to eschew it as a practice until the power over writing absolute music is assured. Frederick Jameson. The rest. then. gives to Walther Stolzing in of the scene in the the Meister singer.^ * be This translation is by Mr. he invariably covered up the right hand part of the pianoforte accompaniment before he looked at it. no better advice can be given than Wagner. "trimmings." As to the best lines to take in developing a melody. . of will the Preislied and Sachs' commentaries thereon. he said. the which are the product of invention. a song was brought to Brahms for criticism.34 MUSICAL COMPOSITION difficult be doubly and trebly more when the crutches The of suggestive poetry are not there to lean on.

yet its own. like the stanzas. you know But I. Walther. The child will tell." and take good heed Another like it must now succeed.) Walther sings the second verse. men. .) If true The Tho' pair and fitly mated. your meaning In spring it needs must be so.' now sing as well. . That was a -'Stanza. and his principles of tuition are not those which manufac- on the one hand and revolutionaries on the other.) ture Philistines Sachs. Wherefore alike ? Walther. An !' After song'. But he approves a licence when it has a meaning and a reason in the mind of the inventor. Sachs. Walther then sings the Sachs.) What meaneth that ? Sachs. (Sachs' similes are drawn from the idea . : . first verse. of a man. and keep them Think only on your vision's beauty To guide you well shaU be my duty. To make To all it plain. see . the idea of natural development and evolution. Sachs. (Sachs is opposed to hard and fast rules being imported into the domain of free composition. (Walther has sung the "husband" stanza and the "wife" stanza.MELODIES AND THEIR TREATMENT Walther. a wife. You ended in another key That Masters blame. and the children in other words. by you united . (What we should term a Coda. that you to wed are fain. : then. eleven bars. Sachs. Hans Sachs. 35 But how by rules shall I begin ? First make your rules.

(Literally. When Walther in the final scene sings the Preislied again. not waste your material. and gather up your threads at the end. Sachs says the melody absorbed Sachs' advice as to the second stanza and made his free modulation clearer to the ear by extend- ing and elaborating it. And here must be both rh3mie and Let it be shapely found and neat . or closing is a but he does not object. that nothing of the previous material be sings thrown away. will are driving at. it is most instructive to notice how he has first verse. even by repetition. And all things will together blend. the Aftersong. MUSICAL COMPOSITION on the same lines but independent of tone. careful to keep your tonality clear.36 (That them. . Sachs' advice may then be summed up as follows : your rules but make them subservient to your poetical idea and melodic invention. show by the way you make it that you understand the why and wherefore of it. Such children parents gladly greet Your stanzas so will find an end.) is. Balance your phrases so that they at once contrast with and supplement each other.) Walther then stanza of the little free. Do Be We now endeavour a melody in show the construction of absolute music. Make your chief melodic phrase clear. and the manner in which to . Know so that the ear may grasp what If you you make an innovation.

MELODIES AND THEIR TREATMENT it is 37 helped by a good and suggestive bass. The theme is as follows : A B . which he utilised both for pianoforte variations and for the finale (in variation form) of the Eroica Symphony. by Beethoven. Tiie best example for our purpose will be the theme from the ballet of The Men of Prometheus.

T ^ . The whole section after the double-bar.38 first MUSICAL COMPOSITION four notes and the wife (B) in the last two bars. These are the children. which is (in miniature) Sachs' Aftersong. sums up it is all the material before it it. so that "none of lost." while expresses related ideas in a new way. To this melodic and suggestive that he has used the melody as a theme in itself : theme Beethoven has written a bass so it apart from im-jt ^ emSf^ - e>- wmm^ K*).

which gives the this is twice intensified by extending it of idea unity to a seventh at («) and to an octave with intervening . Musik" tune is The chief characteristic of this the frequent fall of a sixth.MELODIES AND THEIR TREATMENT for its 39 Another specimen of a melody. phrase which The whole sixth is The climax comes in the penultimate marked -=:^ZZZI^is clamped together by two falls of a the chief (emphasising : feature) in the final phrase t-i-v- ict mf^ P £: ^ ' ^ 3C^ ^ i I. notes at (fi). with a bass as perfect purpose as the theme itself.iS>- . #: & J' M I I ^ W) I I D It*: ' ' [ H= ^ :f=*^ lis. is the song "An die of Schubert.

2. E I E '*^fc3 *tih-jt m E « -»'-^ f¥ .40 MUSICAL COMPOSITION This tune. and repay Notice. falling at therefore. of rapid will in every will : phrase. the following points The balance of to A. C and D. bear up to the hilt. f- & D W^^^M^t:r^m * beginning with an intensification of D. and suggesting also an intensification of the close of A. 3. so joined that they sound like one. though two phrases (D being a varia- tion of C). although spontaneous invention analysis it bears the stamp it. but the phrase B rising and thus leading the interest on. The phrase B A its close.

shortening. a summing up of the characteristic falls in A and B. A B It this cold must not be imagined for a moment from reading and dry analysis that such a melody as this can be made by calculation. apply the touchstone of the best inspirations of others to test the value of our own. and we can by comparison and analysis train our minds to present the results of A melody is inspiration in their most perfect form. e. 41 F. we can. cannot explain the process known as inspiration .g. Some of the finest tunes have gone through long processes of lengthening. . is first written in the world : Presto. however. not necessarily in its most perfect state when it We down. refining and altering in various ways before they have reached the form in which the world now knows them.MELODIES AND THEIR TREATMENT 4. The first stages of the immortal theme of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony are almost absurd to look back upon.

Leipzig J. studies. Two examples of the way in which Beethoven worked upon and improved his melodies may be given. The sketch books are of a value as inestimable to a composer as Albert Diirer's sketches are to a painter. and. : . von Gustav Nottebohm. The Finished Melody.42 MUSICAL COMPOSITION All the other countless modifications tions which this and transformatheme went through before it emerged from the chrysahs are to be found in the sketch books of Beethoven (edited by Nottebohm)/ a collection which ought to be on the study table of every composer. 24) for pianoforte and violin. They give the same of them on paper. although a fair The Sketch. I Beethoveniana and Zweite Beethoveniana. Reiter-Biedermann. clue to his of method of working as the unfinished corner Rembrandt's portrait of Burgomaster Six gives to that artist's technique. Beethoven wrote down all the processes of his thoughts and the working out still more fortunately. They are from the first and last movements of the well-known Sonata in F major (Op. they have been to a great extent preserved. First Movement. It is not necessary to be a German scholar to follow the main points of this unique collection or the direction of Beethoven's knowledge of the language will enable the student to get many an illuminating hint from Nottebohm's comments. 1887. Fortunately for the student.

^ i MELODIES AND THEIR TREATMENT 43 ^ Id :q: ~'=i* ^i=^=iB.>- :ts=K =ti .-'LzxL =^ 1 ^ II /s I - ^ I i 7 9 m m- ^gp^ «. m i ^^ I /3 I H j. * ^^ H — I- t^^^ -t^ 1231 The Last Movement. -»H^ :^ i -*-^ :^=ip: f==¥ :P^5 S?fe5 -w^=^^=1^ The Sketch.^- —H- — \^ :^^^?i5^Eil^ :MzjM B i ^^=W=^ £fe? ^— =:t: zmza. ^Eif^ ^ ir I - iprzK The Finished Melody.

also that Beethoven founds his theme on the diatonic scale. The plan. from these specimens that the initial idea of both themes is the groundwork of what may be termed the inspiration. colour and not drawing. Op. If we as their name implies.44 MUSICAL COMPOSITION Note how the end of the melody is revived so as to opening by the development of « and P.. and are only shown to be so by the wonderful results of his refining fires. (C sharp minor) and appears in the printed copy in a sixteenth shape ! movement To a less scrupulous composer. We possess in western music no interval less than a semitone (except in the form of portamento). Many instances will be found in these books of themes which would make the reputation of any composer as they stood. colom'. of Beethoveniana where the last four-bar phrase of the variation in the String Quartet. Chromatics are. Perhaps the most amazing example of this careful weighing is and perfection to I. 131 is modified no less than fifteen times. and that without altering that feature he has worked upon every subsequent bar. but which Beethoven considered crude and unfinished. both of modulation and of rhythmical balance however. polishing and improving at every step. There remains the question as to the diatonic or chromatic treatment of melodies. and treats chromatic intervals only as additional recall the which more anon. use in excess the only means we have of heightening back upon for effect. be found on page striving after 55 et seq. . almost any of the first fifteen versions would have sufficed. we have nothing further to fall intensifying contrast. of It is clear remains as it first occurred to him.

and wherever the healthy. where he anticipates the first phrase of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde and rounds it off with masterly diatonic contrast. never went a step too far in the use of them as. chromatic progression." are instances of this. such as the coming of the ship in the third act (where the scale and chord of C pounds away with the insistence of Beethoven himself). Wagner himself in his earlier and less masterly days occasionally weakened a melody by making it rely upon a The phrase in the Tannhauser and still more the first phrase of the ''Song to March. the Evening Star. becomes immediately diatonic at its moments of climax. important such as the Walhalla theme and the sword theme. are the Meistersinger it is unnecessary to speak. kindly figure of Kurwenal comes to the front. Of itself. instance. Practically all the bigger and most motives of the Nibelungen are also diatonic. who was a past master of chromatic writing. for the Andante of his Third Quartet in E flat.MELODIES AND THEIR TREATMENT 45 Mozart. « « . . t w Tristan i* fi^ ii^ IE ^ixJ? ^y=ft ^=E^ which teems with chromatics. diatonics written large upon every page of it. muscular.

produces a totally different impression. who. That Wagner was in the . ^tn the chroprecisely because in the former instances in the second (as in the matics are essential. far-seeing critic.46 MUSICAL COMPOSITION When he it uses a similar progression in the PreisHed. Spohr was looked upon by many modernists of the day as the superior of Beethoven. and who. Historical investigation will perhaps rightly ascribe this early tendency of Wagner to rely too freely on better to learn chromatic progressions to the influence (surprisingly far-reaching in the early part of the nineteenth century) It will hardly be beheved that about 1840 of Spohr. to thank his chromatics both for fact is that Spohr has his meteoric rise and his rapid fall. held out the first hand to its young author. but and jam. In the latter he was the master of chromatics It is . while Bach was The invariably described as a dry-as-dust calculator. from Wagner the assured master. in the former he was their servant. by the production of The Flying Dutchman. Spohr was hailed as and Beethoven was written down of the present day) as (to use the jargon the academic. than from Wagner the budding innovator and experimenter. an opinion which even survived to a period within the recollection of the the progressist. They tickled the end wholesome food prevailed palate vastly. But Wagner owed as a diet over pickles much to Spohr. and Beethoven example given above) they are ornamental. was a broad-minded. for all his musical fads and shortcomings. present writer.

Practise as much as possible in old rhythmical dance-forms. Vary the number of bars in your phrases. and turn away from the dry. and full stops. sarabands. When Remember that sentences to be intelligible must have colons. Do not necessarily be satisfied with the form in which it first presents itself. therefore. but work at the details while preserving its balance. and be careful to balance them satisfactorily to the ear. and apply your music. History repeats itself sometimes in the transient exaltation of the compounders of nerve-stimulants over the purveyors of sound food.MELODIES AND THEIR TREATMENT influenced at is 47 first by Spohr's most striking mannerism not to be wondered at. semicolons. such as minuets. to the student under this head- may thus be summed up : Trust to inspiration for a melody. heart for distance at That he always retained a soft spot in his Spohr was evident from his travelling a long in 1874 to hear the revival of Jessonda. We let ourselves be beguiled by the beauty of the jars of coloured water in the chemist's window. The bass will probably be in your mind as you write the melody. allemandes. though he was too great a man to be hidebound by it for long. your melody satisfies you. which the writer was present. academic and unaesthetic aspect of the baker's shop. this principle to . By doing so you will commas. and he soon found out the proper proportion of condiments to use with his diet. get a bass for it which is as melodious as you can make it without allowing it to overshadow the melody proper. The ing advice.

even in their cruder form. to yourself. and treat chromatics as reinforcements and decorations only.48 MUSICAL COMPOSITION make your phrases as clear to the hstener as they are. until your themes move easily in diatonic intervals. . Found your melodies on the diatonic scale.

VARIATIONS The next step is to combine rhythm of phrase. The simplest way of varying the treatment of a melody is to alter the harmonies which underlie it.CHAPTER V THE COMPLEX TREATMENT OF MELODIES. as in the following phrase from "God save the King" i: : i 1 1 in J- JU >— :«i t- ^ I J^ =f which can be varied harmony thus : J^—J—4 -If: I ^ E 49 . rhythm of detail with and to use both for the purpose of varying the treatment of melodies.

" admirable phrases of style of a compact and treatment. the . five chorale. ''A Saving Health. For or the harmonisation of the tune itself innumerable of them prototypes can be found in Bach. The complex treatment involves using intermediate parts which will complete the harmonic scheme and add interest to its presentment. The same groundwork will do equally well for instrumental treatment.50 MUSICAL COMPOSITION This kind of variation his is mere child's play to any one but for the purposes of comwho knows harmony. and with the working out of the materials of those two parts. many and experimental enough to satisfy. in one part and write three or four model the of this free parts is round it. The simple treatment of a melody has to do with its bass only. and sufficiently varied to give due contrast without disturbing the general design. Brahms' motet. and here again a close study of surprise. This treatment of melodies must be practised both for voices is and instruments. modulation. to be filled in position it is only useful as a framework and as indicating a scheme of by rhythmical phrases. the in intelligible chorale are treated sections sentences. complete but empty and bare. The painting and furnishing of the empty building. The second is the proportions. after harmonising it freely in four or take the melody as a Canto Fermo in long notes parts. must be in keeping with the style of the decorations architecture. and the free parts are all founded upon the phrases which they accompany. and. The most useful method Choose a hymn tune or a to begin with voices. and even modern to most ultra-progressive taste. The first may be said to be the building standin its architectural ing on secure foundations.

individual parts and the ways in which they interweave and combine. and the repetitions of the more intrinsically interesting in the main themes themselves become far hands of a com- poser who is well practised in variation writing. their . dovetails into. showing how the chorale tune itself can be modified and varied to suit the general character of the piece. the episodes between the statements of themes. some of them. when all this vast is within the reach of every student. indeed. be content with playing them but must study closely the texture of the is treasure-house He must through. the writing of variations. This branch of composition leads naturally. It should be clearly understood that we do not use the term variation from the point of view of mere ornamentation or passage writing on the basis of a theme. point Variations are to free composition what counteris to technique the master-key of the whole — building. the development (or free fantasia). Interesting in themselves to elaborate. It is easy those of even among the old masters to distinguish who knew every nook and corner of this branch their craft from those who did not. and. not. all depend upon the knowledge of writing variations. and the coda. It unnecessary to specify any. Brahms' Chorale Preludes for Organ are also most valuable examples for study. by comparing powers in this form. in addition. however.MELODIES AND VARIATIONS Bach's Organ Chorales will 51 supply the best lesson as to complex methods of accompanying a melody. they are of still greater service in training the mind to deal easily with the most difficult problems in works of Sections of sonata form. such as larger proportions.

without question. and the Haydn Variations of Brahms. When we compare these with the "Harmonious Blacksmith" and the well-known "Passacagha" in the Piano Suite of Handel. type of variation.52 MUSICAL COMPOSITION The greatest masters of it Bach. Beethoven and Brahms. or with In this connection we may — the Pianoforte Variations of Schubert. non longo intervallo. whose technical armour was complete. the difference becomes patent at once. and regretted it so deeply that he began to study hard only in the last series of seldom advanced further than Handel's The others. the Etudes Symphoniques of Schumann and the Symphonic Variations of Dvoadk. fought with perfected weapons. and of exemplifying what has been touched upon in the chapter on rhythm. after these. attacked difficulties which would have been insurmountable without them. for all his massive power. were. twisting and juggling with the details of their meant the extraction themes. Handel. It will be as well to follow out the path which they years of his life. with a embroidered passages. did not attempt more than the repetition of the whole theme over and over again. the DiabeUi Variations of Beethoven. the ability tOj turn the conceptions of others into an original conception of their own. . and came out easy victors. who himself admitted his lack of technical training. of presenting them in lights illuminated by own individuality. To them variations of the essence of the theme. a freedom of development which amounted to new inventions founded upon old ideas. specify three of the most from the works of these composers masterly examples the Goldberg Variations of Bach. an extraordinary power of twining. Schubert.

or by a modification of attained in many tempo (such as the pause in the same example). But they should only be suggestions. and the whole of the bass. either by an unusual melodic progression or modulation. Abundance of thirdly. In the theme of the Prometheus Variations given in the former chapter there are at least five such phrases. suggestive material is a self-evident necessity. the repeated : notes in the fifth bar. that it should have at least one striking feature. or by a strong dynamic contrast. Whether the composer writes or chooses his theme he must bear in mind three essentials firstly. striking feature. the figure J^ J J^ J in the seventh bar.MELODIES AND VARIATIONS 53 took. which the variations may be left to elaborate. If there is not enough contrast in the phrases. the writer will run dry of ideas for the variations. Then as to the This may be ways. It is unnecessary to print at length the examples of variations which will be analysed here. All that the student requires for the purpose of following the illustrations are a copy of Beethoven's pianoforte works. I. that it should contain sufficient material to vary. THE THEME. and of Brahms' Variations on the Chorale St. . or by an unusual rhythm in the phrases of the explain themselves. Antoni of Haydn. melody itself. that it should be simple. The first three and examples are innumerable. The first two bars. which itself contains other suggestive phrases. the scale followed by the three repeated quavers in the ninth and tenth bars. secondly. and to explore for ourselves the country they discovered and mapped out.

St. 23). the first bar of the final three bars overlaps the previous rhythm. | [ 4. II 4. rhythm is 5.) B flats in the Beethoven Prome- . 3. Similarly.5. 4. the second part being less by one four-bar rhythm than the first. 5. In the theme of Schumann the scheme is 4. and quoted at length in the second chapter of this book. 4. The theme in A major (the Russian Dance) used by Beethoven for variations. Here the scheme runs. may be also referred to. 4. The last two four-bar rhythms in the second part are really two five-bar rhythms with the first bar of each succeeding rhythm overlapping the last bar of the previous one. 4. (2+2) striking features in the Haydn theme are twofold. 5. ] | 4. 4. the rhythm of the phrases and the nine times The repeated B flats at the end. 4. 4. 4. ||. -4 — \- G>- (Compare the three theus theme. viz.5.54 MUSICAL COMPOSITION it Of the fourth — the Chorale examples scheme of is as well to give two typical Antoni of Haydn and the theme of Schumann used by Brahms for his Four-hand In the former of these the Variations (Op.

there is is another most useful type. and the Finale of Brahms' Fourth Symphony in E minor In order to tackle are the best possible examples. will some peculiar feature in the face of an ancestor often reappear in his descendants. variation writing on this species of theme. at any rate for purposes of practice. This type is the short form of which Bach's Chaconne for the Violin and Passacaglia for the Organ. if it possesses some such distinguishing characteristic . An over-elaborated theme is at once a variation and robs a composer of one of his series. Beethoven's thirty-two Variations for Pianoforte in C minor. they will always "throw back" enough to establish their identity as part of the family if this feature is preserved. on the other. on multiple. the one hand. or. Thirdly.MELODIES AND VARIATIONS This is 55 only another aspect of Hans Sachs' advice to As trust to repetition in order to grip the attention. so in variations the family likeness will be preserved in the children of the theme. which. and no matter how far their physiognomy apparently diverges from their point of origin. to its form find of its expression least — in common Great care must be exercised to avoid. In addition to the kind of theme mentioned above. had best be practised after the theme in rhythmical phrases has been mastered. a theme should be expressed in as simple terms as possible. the student . even when in other respects they are unlike. The tendency in a beginner is always to write a variation for a theme. the excision of any of the important features. however. and an admirable corrective is to extract from this variation arithmetical simplest language. as it more difficult to handle. the retention of any that are unnecessary.

^ II. much can be accomplished with with the limited means. Dido's Lament from Pur cell's Dido and Aeneas. starting with slow gradation and increasing the speed of the note-values. THE VARIATIONS. . The simplest way to begin is by variation of movement. the following would be a few of the gradations of this type : (. on a ground bass.g. e.56 MUSICAL COMPOSITION must have the treatment of ground basses (which is an important part of his harmony technique) at his fingers' ends.)[^ -r:ri= 3^ *—^ (4) : ' It is scarcely too much to say that Purccll was the greatest master of variation writing before the time of Bach witness his sonata in variation form for two violins. basa and harpsichord. A simple example of it. is showing how and yet maximum of musical interest. . The methods of writing variations are so numerous as to be practically illimitable. if the phrase G>- were to be varied.

of changes of minor).MELODIES AND VARIATIONS From this 57 we can proceed to rhythmical changes. Viennese composer to write variations. We will now analyse a most interesting set of variations on a most uninteresting theme. (5) ^^i ^ ^-^-'L-'n-u added the varyings of key (major and and of ranges of the composer will appreciate the enormous store force. So silly is the air which he has set himself to vary that we are almost tempted to consider the work as a specimen of what his waggish nature could do with the most unpromising materials he could find. of seriousness and of humour. of materials upon which he can draw. (Compare the waltz for which the publisher Diabelli tormented him and every other to this wide field are When pace. .) Childish. by Beethoven. of modulation. the twentyfour Pianoforte Variations on the Arietta "Vieni amore" of Righini.

analysis with the pianoforte copy. as the theme phrase. . which carries on the feeling of expectation. i ^ $E3E9ES ::3=^=± :± III. which in itself forms no small part of the variation scheme. A persistent figure throughout in sharp . III. Var. The theme itself varied the II. however. The close altered to an ending on the fifth. i^^ £z=:: H ^ ^^^^teS^S f=: I. How does Beethoven develop this "Three BUnd Mice" material ? the skips. the semiquaver movement being transferred to the middle of the second part.) Var. rhythmically altered as well as melodically. harmony and enriched. 1. 2. a most interesting bass added to the end of II. (The student must now compare the following and ornamented. quavers in III. .. and the group of semi(d) the general "He" of the theme.58 MUSICAL COMPOSITION is. II. £^^3=^i5 (a) There we must note the slurs in II. thus : it has three contrasts of IL I. made melodically beautiful. such as the descending scale in the first half. the staccato notes in (6) (c) .

The slurs of II. . allow of a variation of it. and the theme (a third scale in variation applied in the A suggestion for the first time of change of key the earlier portion of III. Var. . inserted into it. still more drastically altered. The melody transferred to the bass and much altered. the third is variation applied throughout suggesting clarinets and bassoons the whole is (with the exception of the closing chord) in two parts only. and I. the third variation applied in III. and vice versa. Contrapuntal and polyphonic in style. the figure being in the treble. the modulation and the melody both altered the accompanying . fresh in quahty. 3. Var. A scale The same idea as the treatment of the form of shakes. which The idea of the crossing scale in persists throughout. more Var. and so making the major ending much higher) in the bass. 6. 5. A brilliant and ornamental variation. 4.MELODIES AND VARIATIONS 59 short rhythm. to the new figure. The slurs of . now into the scheme. the C flattened in bar two. The repeat of the second part is written out in full to . the slurs of the last variation extended from two bars to four. chords being transferred to the second and fourth quavers of the bar (the off beats). and the from both parts.. Alternate p and / (dynamic variation). Var. ferred to the upper. doubled. the second note converted into a rhythmical figure. melody given in quavers to admit of the bass running across the melody in the melody crossing into the bass. the scheme orchestral. Many more marks of expression. 7. the lower parts being transChromatics enter Var. being in the tonic minor. and the section II.

Two tempi are employed. Var. and the Adagio always most fully ornamented. the last strongly insisting on the semiquaver figure suggested by the theme. but reversed each time in succession. Var. 9. Four sections of a phrase in chromatic four bars of followed by two strong chords. pianistic Note the last variation closely related to the theme. Var. melody invented and superimposed on an accompaniment which is itself a variation of the theme. A new mainly as regards the position of the bass. each section being alternately Allegretto and Adagio. 14.60 Var. pattern. thus recalling the general lie of the theme. Each four-bar section is repeated. sometimes in the manner of a cadenza. Another variation. and with a moving staccato bass of a typically Beethovenish Var. 11. Mainly ornamental. brilliant Var. 10. Pianistically laid out. as it so frequently does in the composer's works of this period. movement prevails. and the part repeated is itself altered. over a imported . 12. 15. The skips in III. The melody after the first four bars greatly altered. thirds. Var. monotony entirely avoided by the transference of each answering phrase to a higher position. into I. MUSICAL COMPOSITION Semiquaver II. extended and varied. 13. Here again the repeat of the second part is written out in full. Var. Very chromatic and in the tonic minor. at the end of the Ninth Symphony peeping in. 8. The skips of III. Slurs treated so as to produce pedals (top and bottom) on tonic and dominant. and transferred to the treble. March rhythm introduced.

Var. serious and dignified. Var. to each by breaking up the figure of six quavers. with a httle to end. The theme crosses from treble to bass every two bars. The idea of in themselves the kernel of the theme. A very richly harmonised version of the theme. chromatic scale intervening. The [f time begins to lean to I. which later turns out not to be the key of the variation. Var. Var. The two sections of each part are themselve s varie d by a figure with a triplet and a quaver /yj J which increases the ^^^ brilliancy. and syncopations in the bass (suggested by the off-beat bass of the second variation). Variety gained by an unexpected start in the relative minor. altogether in Notice the variety given to the second part f time. Cross rhythms in a semiquaver figure. 17 and 7. Highly humorous. 20. Var. into con- trasted groups of three. 17. unaltered in the first part. Canonic and in two parts. the crossing scale reproduced at the close. a joke from beginning Founded on the skips of III. and mostly on a pedal bass. A mixture of Vars. 16.MELODIES AND VARIATIONS 61 wiiich contain persistent figure of semiquaver triplets. 19. assigned hand alternately in the first part. No two the styles phrases in the of same position.") The whole is solemn. |18. where an unexpected pause is followed by a most tranquil close. Playful in character. 21. . (Compare the opening of Schumann's ''AbendUed. The second part polyphonic and canonic. Var. but with a stroke of genius at the end. and only slightly modified in the second.

partly slow by the pace. Var. Var. Beethoven produces the effect of developing the time. full of whimsical humour. this is an example of a variation within a variation. quavers to crotchets. the return of the theme compressed into eight bars at the Presto assai. He turns the second part into a sort of duet by crossing the hands. A similar cross is rhythm in the the semiquavers. die and slower the semiquaver figure gradually getting slower all alone as the opening bars of the theme away in the bass. semiquavers halved to quavers. in which he seems to hold the various little quips of the theme and his own previous treatment of them up to ridicule. Here. minims to . the twisting of the theme into the key of B flat and back the excursion into the remote key of A again with the opening phrase interrupting itself. but the theme here treble and the figure in the bass. . tion in The Finale. partly by the character of a sonata movement which he imparts to it. 22. An effect which he produces length of the theme.62 Var. and partly by repeating both halves with greatly varied treatment and a profusion of contrasted figures and ornaments. the gradual development of the little figure into an Allegro entirely founded upon it. crotchets to minims. 23. 24. flat. in MUSICAL COMPOSITION Related to 16. for the first Adagio sostenuto. Notice the absurd -pianissimo D before the Un poco meno Allegro. After a very simple varia- two parts he writes an extended coda.

The variations go so far that it separately with necessary to compare them the theme in order to be able to often work out best (a their genesis. this: The Vars. 20 most amazing piece of modernity). 23. Ill). and the finale of the last Pianoforte Sonata (Op. 31. the theme has been bar but the detail of the first . is the in actual length of the phrases of the . 24. The only variant upon which he has not embarked in enlarging the course of this wonderful jeu d'esprit. This work. We the written now apply the same analytical process Haydn Variations of Brahms. The rhythmical scheme given above . but treated in a way that almost afield deifies the is tune. which being originally for wards for orchestra two pianofortes and afterare naturally more complicated of in structure. almost (but. 30. and finally two humorously laid out chords major. 9. 28 (the ancestor of some of Schumann's children). 14. illustrate 13. into which even at the last moment he D puts a cross rhythm. a theme of almost greater inanity than Righini's. 18. word form to in the as time has proved. 131). The student can apply for himself the same principles of analysis to the thirty-three variations on the waltz of Diabelli (Op.MELODIES AND VARIATIONS of 63 semibreves. with the variations in the C sharp minor String-Quartet (Op. 121). following variations will 3. 32 and 33. not quite) says the last modern development of this fascinating will of composition. although in the twenty-third he produces the effect of doing so by an extreme modification of theme the pace.

thus :^this W^_^ j and of in | fragment the 1. combination of f and | time. in is the tonic phrase upon which this built is the first minor. though apparently freed from the shackles of the theme. The intervening four-bar passage 1. The first bar of it a variation . (Piu vivace. These form a must be kept Var. A tonic pedal in the first part and a dominant pedal after the double bar. double bar the same form is preserved for four bars only. where their note-values are J J J J cJ. Brahms begins at once by using one phrase of the theme as a basis of the whole variation. returning to the tonic after the and the original nine become eleven (by diminution) at the close. The f and | figures are heard together and. is treated in close imitation by Var. That phrase is the last five of the repeated B's. moreover they are in double counterpoint After the in the two five-bar phrases. in the last seven bars the opening figure of the I i^ itself. Following his usual plan.) The three notes '±i > only of the theme. and is broken up for contrast in the next four sequence . 2. 1.64 MUSICAL COMPOSITION closely in mind.. first two notes only are worked is itself Part on Var. (reversible) : and the repetition brings a reinforced return of the opening. exactly preserve its chord repetition .

Of the nature of a scherzo. 1. J^ IJ in the fourth bar (horn part). Notice the beauty of the bass. with the JT3 ehminated altogether. Each part of this variation is written out in full. out in three parts. 4. and at the end are syncopated. and at the close distributed amongst the strings. first given to the oboe. {Andante con moto f.MELODIES AND VARIATIONS 65 is and used as a figure in the second part in various guises.) to be found here. Var. 3. similar double variation treatment is and the scheme It is is on reversible minor. close Var. a semiquaver figure being added to the original scheme this figure develops into an important running melody. The repeated notes appear at intervals. interchangeable tition. (Con moto. finally provides the material for the close. lines like Var. and • : the repeated portion is itself varied. four notes of the The key figure theme upside down the first ^ begins to cross f . tonic A mainly laid . and all these are the melody is elaborated at the repeis The 5. and the augmentation of J HJ J into J .) A very tranquil and smoothlyrunning version. {Vivace. The theme is varied into a melody so individual that it is only by reading the original tune alongside the variant that its closeness to it can be appreciated. Var.) an insistence on the repeated B's. In the second part the key figure . is Also a double variation.

J J preserves that of the of opening of the theme. The melody. 7. and the repeated B's. suggesting only in bars 2 and 3 the repeated B's. is much more M . In the second part the crossing with f. varied it.66 is MUSICAL COMPOSITION by combination with treated in close imitation. Var. they are also suggested in diminution throughout Var. frequently used in the second part. however. first hinted at in Var. appear as early as the fifth bar of the second part. The remainder of the opening figure from the fourth bar of the theme ^^~'^^ u iE^iB=r=-' A^ arpeggio figure ± — U_U-g-|»J jr *^ which can be traced the germ of the melody in the succeeding variation. and founded on the arpeggio figure in Var. is new. 5. (Grazioso f. The rhythm of its opening J.) The key figure is the first bar of the theme reversed.) preserving all the modulations and (like all the rest) the shape of the theme. 6. is A very free variation. diminished into semiquavers. 6. and repeated twice \ W—— i^— •7 4 *iiJ- T^^?'^--?? ^=^^ • • V- The modulation at the close of the phrases is first and second five-bar to D major instead of to is F major. {Vivace |.

MELODIES AND VARIATIONS elaborated. 67 The repeated S rhythm rmV k at the close. and are B's become a tonic pedal finally modified thus : .

12. 14. 15. the syncopations becoming a rhythm of long crotchet triplets. The ground returns to the bass. original theme. The original first bar of the chorale appears in the 17. 8. This melody is further developed and enriched with a second part the triplet arpeggios are modified . MUSICAL COMPOSITION Chord pulses.68 5. and is closely imitated elsewhere. gradually emerges above . Triplet quavers add to the movement. 11. CO The ground bass is is moved up to the treble. The bass diminished and sjmcopated as a counterpoint above the ground. the ground still higher. to four-quaver arpeggios. 16. The leap of a fourth at the beginning is filled up with the intervening notes. and treated also in imitation. 13. The theme begins to make itself felt. 9. The quaver placed figure is further developed. spirit of Var. 6. and the reproduced both by the arpeggio figure and the character of the melody. Another modification of 9 and 10. A syncopated modification of 9. otherwise a variant of 7. and the en c3 ft key changed altogether to the tonic minor. still it. the whole chorale bass. slightly modified. 7 is 10. Chord pulses with an added figure of quavers 7. The long crotchet triplets become a melody in which chromatic intervals are largely used. and is treated in imitation the bass begins to modulate into the succeeding : variation. A suggestion of the tonic minor.

The whole work concludes with sound a five-bar rhythm. with the help of a gradual ritardando. ff 14. f 15. No. It is interesting to note the dynamic gradations of this series. 6). The first bar of the theme repeated three times followed by the rest in its simple form. In Brahms more frequently than in any other song-writer. A few examples may be quoted to show its bearing on this branch of composition. 10. 8. piu p 11. tells The in practice of variation writing the pianoforte part of songs (commonly especially called the accompaniment). Coda. 4. In Schubert. who relies mainly on figure repetition. and countless songs of Schumann are examples of this. No. suggesting (naturally) the repeated B's again. Adelaide (Op. 48. pp 12.MELODIES AND VARIATIONS Then begins the is 69 coda. 7. no casual hearer would notice that there was any complicated writing tion were directed to it. the last repeated B's being expanded till they like a written out pause. v 1. 16. P 17. is 3. and Der Wachtelschlag. p 9. piu f 6. it comes rarely to the front. 63. and though the ingenuity of the pianoforte part is Peters). published by perfect specimen of the subordination of detail to the beauty of melody." "To It a picture" (Op. 46). The most instructive instance to be found is in his song "An ein Bild. at all unless his atten- The idea of "the picture" . with a brilliant surrounding of scale passages. 3. 2. The last movement of Beethoven's Busslied (Op. f 5. a astounding. P^^ 13.

. which are apparently independent of the voice part and perfect in themselves. The result is that the listener feels the influence of the picture subtly pervading the whole song without The melody of the first verse of his knowing why.70 MUSICAL COMPOSITION pervades the whole song persistently. the voice part is as follows : -«\ /^ h--+ ^7. while the melody runs along without undergoing a single modification to fit the permutations and combinations in the pianoforte part. and is suggested by all sorts of variations of the opening vocal phrase. ished and twice repeated.^ — a ^S?^e^ i ^ faaasggfppjgeggp^ejs 1^=*:: :^z2^: •^ -F /^ ' jr m The -A ^-^i: -P=F first five notes are the : •picture" theme. the last two augmented and in syncopation with a new subject Sfes ss^^^ w -& . (4) the first three notes diminished and repeated. thus expressed in the piano part and every bar various forms : of the (1) as melody is accompanied by it in above (2) augmented (3) dimin.

These variations are now shown in : combination with the melody Voice. (5) is the 71 same as (4) reversed in double counterpoint. EESaSil (1) » (2) ist Q • iS :pD=p: p^ ^~ *sEf^i^tea '-^^ -•^ K*- £ j^ ^ nr (4) 4=t2: * ^- ^:Mim:^ (3) 5^ ^^^^PTJ ^>-^-T^ ^ ^ ^r^ ^p^tf. fzi£ becomes a In the third and fourth verses. the motive figure developed in the bass with altered . third Hne. feM^^^giE^F^ig^srfe^ Pianoforte Variations.MELODIES AND VARIATIONS in the bass._. ::^5^ ^ fefe >5ll£^!t±i J^=^ i|^-l7c^ (5) ^ f: ^^ tt^- —1-^ -<s^ HJ —L^ —!.

(a) with the motive reversed by and (6) in its original position. MUSICAL COMPOSITION The return of the first theme is introduced two bars of pianoforte.72 intervals. treated in imitation : .

who have worked steadily. It is only attainable by men of inventive power. proceeds to put his picture together. to bring their workmanship to the greatest perfection When an artist. exposed by the great enemy of all . is so far off that no one will see The flaws will let in the dust and the laziness of the inferior and damp. workmanship will be charlatans. mosaic. without faltering or taking their hand from the plough. he must make his tesserae so even-edged as to fit easily to each other. and ^vithout it music a barren wilderness. Time. who has made a design for possible. improve the effect of his design by them together and chipping them.MELODIES AND VARIATIONS tell is 73 upon generations of men. he will not the edges are rough and unfinished. nor hammering can he excuse such methods by pleading that the if mosaic picture the flaws.

termed the skeleton. and colour the will be considered in of its proper vital after consideration the more necessities. in similar parallel. music's place. We have mainly to do with its use as a factor in composition.CHAPTER VI FORM It is not within the purview of this book to treat There are treatises enough in all its aspects. an adjunct without which the skeleton and the flesh and blood can hve. though they cannot exist without each This chapter has to do with the essentials of other. melodic invention and rhythmical treatment. which by their sohdity prevent the flesh from being flabby and uncontrollable. Form has been defined by Sir Hubert Parry as the 74 . So far we have discussed what may be termed the flesh and blood of music. Form may be. and to spare on this branch of study. the bones. and by their symmetry of position and due proportion of size. which will give the student ample information as to its historical development and various guises. producing a good or a bad figure according as their proportions are Form good or bad. life. regulate the position of the flesh which covers them. the clothes are represented by tone-colour. To continue the simile.

without laying himself open to the charge of eccentricity. it will not serve his purpose to add on excrescences to the edges. in that. As in painting. It is a law of nature against whose pricks no artist. poet or musician. If he designs his picture so that he cannot get the subjects of his design into the canvas as it stands. sculptor. No art is formless or it is monstrous. just as no face or figure is distorted manner without being repulsive. At the same time music has one advantage over other arts. whether he be painter. the melodies and phrases are the figures or the objects in his landscape. proportionate treatment of the subjects must conits form at once to the size of the picture and to themthe selves.FORM 75 means by which unity and proportion are arrived at by the relative distribution of keys and harmonic bases on the one hand. and of subjects or figures or melodies on the other. without giving the impression of The being too large or too small for them. and you must not get outside the attraction of the centre. its shape. You must decide and so design your subjects on the size of your canvas. so in music. architect. whether circular or square or elliptical. can kick without damage to his reputation. being itself a subtle . form is the composition upon his canvas. as to bring them within its limits. climbing out of the picture round the frame. as Wiertz did. eye. and there must be a central point to which of the design irresistibly directs the eye (such as the child's head in the Sistine Madonna of Raphael). We might also describe it The in the same terms as a painter would employ. Your picture must work to a centre. The word "eccentric" is the clue to the rule. has to be symmetrical in order to satisfy the Neither can he paint his figures.

76 MUSICAL COMPOSITION and intangible entity. The laws of evolution apply as rigidly to musical art as they do to nature itself. then. Polyphemus. ears. evitable. The moment originality bizarrerie forced. sensible appeal to human intelligence. and in order to master it. To have any value at all they must in their nature be means. . In the treatment of form. with his one in the centre of his forehead. nose and mouth are in the same relative position. in- extravagance. and gradually expanding his ideas into longer movements. . but if it is logical and founded on a thorough knowledge and control of is to make any form in A new Such modifications grow Hungary) and are not made. but only the imbecility of the artist. it can create its own forms and vary them more completely than they can. music may require study and frequent hearing to understand it. the student must The evolve that it it for himself in miniature on the same the last lines has been : evolved centuries beginning with short through dance three forms.Uime will endorse it. But one no matter how free the rule is common to them all the proportions must be preserved if the work design. (like folk-songs in children of their fathers. To would not paint a face with two noses or four ears suggest novelty of form. It is not necessary to go out of the way to seek for novelty of design any more than for novelty of expresNo two faces are exactly alike. although the sion. as in the control of invention. is a history of evolution. eyes. will always be a eye grotesque monstrosity. the only is through sincerity of expression path to originality on the lines of is natural beauty. exaggeration and become history of musical form.

the minuets. : 1 1 1 1 : 1 1 1 1 . The scherzo will. From the minuet the composer may progress to its descendant the scherzo. and yet suitable to. a point of which he must never lose sight. indicated by Beethoven. Next in order of difficulty comes the rondo. the . The 8. such as 4. of a wholly different pattern more aUied to the rondo. the coda is the child. not that of Mendelssohn. This is exactly on the lines of Hans Sachs' advice for a master-song. so clamping together the whole as a small work of art. 4 and later with extended phrases. which always presents great difficulty to the beginner.4: trios will give opportunity for inventing themes in contrast with.FORM until he 77 can deal with symphonies and large choral There are plenty of dance forms at his disposal to vary his rhythmical powers. provide opporfor practice in the writing of rapid notes. The minuet is the husband. and with especially to one will who has begun of his studies harmony for instead counterpoint. and for scherzos in Beethoven. Schubert and Dvordk. The best in models minuets be found in Haydn and Mozart. 4. where he had better follow the type wdfks. Minuets and all sorts of old measures can be practised first on the shortest lines. the first step towards thoroughly contrasting first and second subjects in sonata form without destroying the and it will be found family connection between them most valuable always to write a short coda for the conclusion. in addition to giving which is tunities plenty of opportunity for expansion. and endeavour to combine in it the ideas of the minuet and of tlie trio. . the trio is the wife.

that it takes not months but years to turn form from a master into a servant. Too many students are afraid. When he has mastered this last and most difficult type. The variety within the limits of an apparently shackled formula is so great. and from slow movements to sonata form proper as in the first movements of sonatas. again. Here. rondo and elementary first-movement form. . is done. in one or even two successful attempts. with its threefold repetition of the main theme.78 MUSICAL COMPOSITION musical equivalent of the rondeau in poetry. the parallel of the art of painting comes in. but confine his imitation give first him his practice in the fragments of his themes and in the . his work. as far as form but the mastery is not gained is concerned. to copy the examples which the great composers provide but if they wish to get at the root of the methods in which their predecessors successfully worked. from a natural desire to be original. From rondos he may pass to slow movements both in song. and will also be able to practise the experience he has derived from variation writing by modifying in different ways the three repetitions of the first subject as they reappear . they must make up their minds to do so. where students can get the best possible tuition from masters greater than any living by copying their pictures. while the episodes or bridges between the subjects will development of mixing of them. If the composer investigates the knots of the ropes which bind him. . A musician has one great advantage over a painter in this branch of study for he can take a movement by a great composer for a model. and so getting at the root of their methods. Here he will have to add a third contrasted subject. he will eventually find how to loosen them.

Beethoven often writes at as great a length as he (witness the Sonata in B flat. No. It might even. but only it is it the way to get at the root of the matter. be said that Schubert would have been less given to diffuseness if he had trained himself systematically. exactly the same in theme. It is an almost cruel task to write a movement. while using his own themes and rhythmical figures to carry out the design. for his "heavenly lengths. and must be faced. 3." as Schumann termed them. save figure by figure.) the ground proportions and (II. Op. The painter merely copies out another man's complete work. all respects. will give the impression of abnormal height. bar by bar. are too long for his body. 31. and specify (I. Op. we will consider the first movement of Beethoven's Pianoforte Sonata. without blasphemy. but his subjects. and developments all increase in proportion to each other and in proporand just as a man of tion to the length of the scheme perfect proportions will not look like a giant. so another of six feet two. which we know that he did not. and their place in the whole scheme. whose legs .) the proportions of the details to each other. as a work by another composer. episodes. such as Schubert. The composer writes his own work on the lines of his predecessor's model. even if he is six feet six. Except to a heaven-born genius. this system of studying form is the only possible one for the all-important control of shape and proportion. For the purpose of explaining how this practice can be systematically carried out. modulation by modulation.FORM 79 to copjdng the shape aud the trend of the modulations. . 106). are only carried off by the wealth of invention which they contain.

B.) This whole section is repeated. second episode and the codetta are specimens the end of the one of overlapping rhythm . (This includes what " subject. First Subject First Episode (bridge to second subject) 28 bars. The beginnings of the first episode. called a is sometimes termed a bye" Seiten-Thema in German}^. 19 bars.80 I. the {N. — coinciding with the beginning of the next. MUSICAL COMPOSITION PROPORTIONS OF THE WHOLE MOVEMENT 17 bars. .) Second Subject Second Episode Codetta 18 bars. . a kind of second part to the theme proper. 6 bars.

This eight-bar theme has three distinct rhythmical phrases : A. TTTf Tj link I r in the seventh and eighth The connecting ars. |__j* bars. using his have now to show the various divisions to which own material and his own rhythms. which is repeated exactly. The code is about three-fourths of the length of the development. ^' r r r ^^ the third and fourth bars. with one extra bar to link them. and 10. is only a scale to take the repetition to a higher octave. not I ^ ' \ essential) pause. a kind of written-out pause The theme is then repeated.e. it does not figure in C. with the exception of borrowing the start from the semiquaver is disturb the balance. The development is about one-half of the sum the first 81 of and second subjects. C. having nothing to do with the theme proper. but at different octaves . which is repeated with a difference of modulation and an ornamental {i. PROPORTIONS OF THE DETAILS We the copyist must work. II.FORM The first and second subjects balance each other. The recapitulation is slightly less than the first presentation of the first and second subjects. ^_-* r f^ I in the first bar. The first subject is a repeated theme of eight bars.

25. so avoiding ing variation. The same repeated. Bars 33-45 constitute the third section of the episode. episode. and an added ornament. 36. 34. 37-38. The semiquavers of C become the kernel of a new two-bar phrase. 42. nant. 18 19 the repeated bass carries out the idea of the episode of the long-repeated notes of B. Bars 25-32 constitute the second section of the 33. A J . which is taken up and continued down to the bass. altered interin the right 20 21^ / I 22-25. with an extended interval and with the rhythm 3 J modified to J J.82 MUSICAL COMPOSITION monotony and at once suggest- Bars. 1 A vals. partly broken arpeggio. of the scale. 26. A B B in the minor. . 28. treated with different modulations. in the minor. 43. further varied by a shake taking the place of an ornament. 35. first of the three sections The phrase-rhythms again overlap. A becomes an octave leap. The arpeggio figure developed throughout. and the rhythm of B in the left hand combined with it. 4]*l49' ") I so providing nieans for a modulation which will lead to the domiin different positions three times. . but varied and intensified. A Bars 18-25 constitute the of the episode. The last note of the theme overlaps the beginning . 44. repeated in rihattuta. but the first bar varied. 17. the end of it 27. The same phrase as 18-21. '. 29-32. hand treated in diminution by the method known as rihattuta. partly florid.

^ . is 34 bars of polyphony to 11 it will be noticed that he monophony.FORM Before analysing further we must note 83 how Beethoven contrasts polyphony and monophony. If a student first grounded in harmony were gifted relative contrast The of In addition. Bars 1-8. Polyphony. 9. Single notes. never uses more than one chord to a bar when there appears to be more than one. enough to hit upon the theme it of this sonata. Polyphony. Single notes. where he harmonises his melodies and where he only suggests to the ear the chord on which his single-note and octave passages are based. or. the change is rather chromatic (as in bar 20) or melodic (as in bar 35). 10-25. he would in all probabihty treat after this fashion: i^rr^5i:^ ±- m r< ts-- ^±^ ar ±z ^ »t=^ ^ t^S . 45. Polyphony. 33-44. and octaves. Single notes 25-32. 8. 44. to put it in the simplest language.

he succeeds in making the dominant subordinate to the tonic. as to the modulation to the key of the dominant (B flat). subdominant. Jm^mm^Jm^'m is third and fourth bars. would sound the tonality of the whole it : would be destroyed. the second being a very varied repetition of the first. . by reaching it through a suggestion of its dominant (F major) he gives a definite foothold to the dominant when it appears. design. E. is in two sections. and his intensification of that insistence by using the tonic minor immediately before the modulation. and joined by a still longer link than were the two sections of the first subject. Then. So it exactly balances the first in returned. again. This a throw-back to the rihattuta in bar 20. D. ^J in J in the first rhythm but not in bar. and never allows it to sound as if it were the real tonality of the piece. If he were to do so (and a student like the will find that it is only too easy to fall into this trap). adopt the same principles of harmonisation and contrast of unison and octave which it evidences. J . on the other hand. and To proceed with the analysis The second subject. In copying the model. therefore. : It has also three distinct rhythmical phrases 45-53. which is repeated position in the second bar.84 MUSICAL COMPOSITION The difference is one of darkness and light. and intensifies that design. but. by notice that his previous insistence upon the tonic through the first section. the tonic. in which the second subject is written. when Bars.

repeated often in 68-71. The connecting link is four bars long iastead of two in section 1. Bar 67 repeated with varying harmonies movement. 67. 75-77- first of the two sections of A broken arpeggio of semiquavers.^^ tr J J I J 1 IJ 1 J I U I J I J 1 IJ I J I J I IJ I Bars 64-71 constitute the this episode. and are related to 26. the rh^-thm into cJ D Jt ^J^ being converted J . quieted down.^. crossing ^. the last note of the second subject is again the first of the second episode. which settle 78-81. 68-71.^ and tr ^ J I tr tr tr. The second subject repeated. and first the shakes hinted at in bar 65. by dovetailing the rhj-thmical phrases into each other. down into quavers. 64 and 65 repeated an octave higher. .^^.FORM ^' 85 J m J m J (preceded by one bar of D) in a longer consecutive melody of four bars. 81. Beethoven prevents the movement from getting into blocks. of the codetta synchronises with the . and the notes greatly varied by ornamental variations. the second section of the episode. 57-64. The arpeggio continues in the bass. become one long shake in the treble. is The beginning end bar 9. 72-74. 65. This 82. 66. A combination of the Unking scale (bars 8 and 53) with variations of the first bar of the second subject (bar 46). Two chords. tr-^. A of the first theme. 64. j^^^g 54-56. Also in cross rhythm |. of the second episode a connecting link recalling 83.

All repetitions of 122. The 116-121. 123 in different keys. and being a written out version of the pause in bar 6. 109-113. The first four bars of the sonata repeated. The cormecting link repeated. The end of the codetta is lopped of two bars in order to dovetail more completely into the next passage. A threefold repetition of the figure ^1 in A. with a different end to lead back to the repetition and to the tonic key. 96-99. = = bars 18-25. 101-108. is the scale becoming an its arpeggio as at 71. and a suggestion = bars 64. Development Section. 114. B B A repeated. 131-136. 108. reversed. modulating.1 126! 127! J in following bars. 84. 89-92. founded on A. Bar 100 = bar 17. 88. but in the relative minor. The The final bar the phrase 122. arpeggio figure of the bass in bar 123 used m .123. section 108-115 balanced by repetition 122. 85. but in another key. modulating further. 95. repeated. 87. 93.^ of the skip a of bars 20. 100. 21 (see ante). 86. 96. and a connecting link.86 Bars. a mm^ a ss I ••-! 1. modulating. In this section of the first part the proportion of is polyphony to monophony 30 to 15. of 128-130. Repetition of 83. A and B.115. bar 17. break. MUSICAL COMPOSITION A variation of C also quieted dowTi. 123 {ribattuta repetition). 94. 65. and only providing means of modulation.

137-153. 108-122. Note for note. 123-136. times individualises a recapitulation by lengthening it 170-190. . Variants of the second episode. and recapitulation generally On the other hand. so as to gradually form the opening chord of the first subject. episode. which are added as to the connecting-Unk scale (compare bars 53-56 with the bars pianistic 177-182). into three sections : Bars 89-108. lengthened by five bars. The Recapitulation Bars. subject 33-43. and 24 only. 3. varied in ornament. = 46-64. he somegains by shortening.FORM 87 cross-rhythm. as it is no longer necessary to insist on the tonahty (see above). twelve bars being He continues the arpeggio of bar 31 an omitted. additional odave upwards. the arpeggios themselves being reinforced. and one added after the ascending arpeggios (compare 76. He omits the minor version of the first 17-25. very rarely leaving it exactly was in the first part. = 64-82. A shortened version of 25-45. Bars 22. 23. four of which are added to the passage of cross-rhythm shakes (compare bars 68-71 with bars 194-201). = = 1-17. so as to land on B flat (the dominant) and bring the second subject into the tonic. Variants the first episode and second episode. The development may be divided 1. 190-213. and intensifying. thereby increasing brilliancy. 77 with 206208). first A variant of portions of the of first theme and 2. lengthened by two bars.

he will. it will be noticeable that there is not one single bar especially of "padding. 237-241. If analysis is carefully followed. C and the connecting scale of bars 8 and 9. The last two chords of B repeated twice. or f instead of | and he adopts a minor mode for the copy of a model in the major mode. ribattuta. model. in which key the coda proper begins. MUSICAL COMPOSITION 213-219. but treated in imita- 246-253. final passage. 245. and written in more rapid notes. As on the first occasion the dominant led back to the tonic. A and B as at the beginning." All the figures and passages have a When the in some detail of the themes. The and B only. and in another tempo. = 82-88. back to E flat. 225-229. bars 246-249 are founded on bars 25-28 of the first episode. the closing passage being the broken arpeggio from the same source and related tion. here the tonic leads on to the subdominant (A flat). twice repeated and completing the modulation 234-236. His rough rules in choosing this particular sonata (which he can afterwards modify if to suit to any other model which he takes) are : . B and continuing the chromatic modulation. he had better work in another key. f instead of |.88 Bars. 243. 220-225. and finally clamping the modulation and fixing its finish in the tonic. preserving the chromatic character of the coda. but chromatic throughout. The first subject. vary his contrasted keys accordingly. in shape to that at bars 72-75. treated in 230-233. The and varied as well. 242. A brilliant passage. 244. last A lations. of course. logical origin this student writes a movement upon this or any other . with chromatic modutwo chords only of B.

and vice versa. his second subject is frequently written on a chord melody. and let its treatment be as well contrasted as itself. One of Beethoven's frequent methods of contrasting the two subjects will be of great service.FORM Make and the phrases of the first subject contrast (as 89 A. The C Minor Symphony is an excellent example of this first : • • • . without losing the general character and atmosphere of the piece. B C do). as a glance at the two pages will show. when his first subject is written on a scale melody. is The subject of this sonata mainly in notes of longer value. The look of it on the paper alone first will be a test of contrast. the second subject as distinct in style first subject Keep and feel- ing from the as possible. the second of shorter value.

It is often quite advisable to use the minor of the tonic to tion is approach the tonic when the composiin a major key. the recapitulation will inevitably produce a feeling of monotony unless this sound common-sense If the tonic is used there at all it rule is followed. unless Never repeat a phrase consecutively in exactly the same you have a definite reason for wishing to it in. Treat your modulations so as to lead to the key you are modulating without anticipating is to its one of the most common traps of the inexperienced writer. He knocks at the door of his host and runs away. very important. scale. because he finds that he is a few minutes before his time. but not to use the major of the tonic to approach the tonic It is when it is in a minor key. whole movement There should always be a point time to recover breath which will give for the recapitulation. just as the scale. ment as careful of the internal proportions of the developsection as of the form of the whole scheme. to avoid treating the tonic key as the tonic in the development section. discounts all the charm and freshness of the key when it comes.90 to MUSICAL COMPOSITION the topmost branches. for this radical reason. such as to the subdominant. hammer . notes. or of a return to the original one. This anticipation of the This entry of a new key. which entry. It should have its climax and the subsidence after the Be chmax on a small has on a large of rest in it. should be as a step in modulating elsewhere. and clothed with foliage which is at once homogeneous to itself and to the tree from which it springs.

strongly. . to the direction and scope of the training. or any short piece in that form. they are the more apt to attract the attention and to become . This is too frequently neglected. and it is only by trying hard. musically interesting in themselves. but he . There are very few composers. employed ^through the agency of rhythm than assets of a composer. in a word. that this training become complete. The powers of and development. Variation power will be the best Repetition is one of the most valuable must guard against its he must copy its perfections and not its imperIt can be as strongly. and by ruthlessly rejecting what contrast will he finds unsuitable or inadequate. antidote. In writing a minuet. is his own trainer the teacher can only make suggestions as . is Of all tricks the meaningless repetition of a phrase one of the most wearisome. The composer. will come as the training progresses. who have not some tricks which grow upon them unawares and become often unduly accentuated and as these tricks are more noticeable than more solid qualities. A tyro will more or less exhaust his inventive power in the first part. remember that the portion after the double bar and before the return must be as interesting as the first part. of his brain This is because the athletic training only just beginning. just for the reason that the second part is the most difficult to write. absorbed in the memory of a receptive brain. abuse through that of melody. perhaps even more fections. and is find himself gravelled after he has stated his theme. just as there are very few men.FORM 91 This is a trap which caught so many Mendelssohn lovers in the last century.

on the other hand.92 MUSICAL COMPOSITION Write in the style of whatever instrument you are For this reason writing for. and by losing no opportunity of listening to it and getting the style. which. can produce a sense of dynamic rhythm. (Compare bars 10-15 above. An organist composer will gain much more benefit from writing for the piano or the strings than by writing for the organ . it is wiser for a beginner (at all events after he has made a fair start) to is avoid writing for the instrument most accustomed to play. All are safe in writing the organ can only hint at. though he will find it very difficult at first to accustom himself to florid passage writing. but a string player who composes will be greatly handicapped if he is not at home in writing for a keyed instrument as well. The first tendency of the composer of piano music (especially if he is an organist or violinist) is to write wholly and solely in the middle three octaves of the instrument. a habit which is still further encouraged if he begins his He training with a long course of harmony exercises. accent and phrasing which which he for strings. if only for the reason that they play in the pure scale. and he will be surprised at the contrasts of pitch which it provides so easily. or to an instrument such as the piano. and remember its compass. A pianoforte player or an organist who is unacquainted with violin technique can very speedily find the way of writing suitably for it by studying violin music.) this When of the sonata analysed the student has thoroughly grasped all in groundwork and practised writing extended . on the one hand. is incapable of sustaining a note at the same power throughout its length. and which. sound and colour of it into his system. must remember the seven-octave range.

he must put his technical composer's at rules behind him. he will be able. They are firmly fixed in the system. and to make any valuable impression on the ears which listen to his compositions. It is the own responsibility to take up the curb rein any moment w^hen he finds himself unable to surmount some technical difficulty. but only w^hen it is won by genuine hard work. and afterwards by writing independently on an average basis of all the models he has followed. such as the omission of some episode. or when he discovers a flaw in his own equipment.FORM 93 sonata form. what is his next step ? To forget all about them. which has been so far ridden on the curb. first by following some models closely. Freedom means life to music. But when he once begins independent inventive work. drudgery as great as any other profession or art demands. the has been through his term of slavery and won his Neither he nor any one else will appreciate full joys of his freedom if he is always harping back on his slavery. Assuming that the composer has now thoroughly mastered technique and form. the shortening or tions. if he is to reach anything approaching perfection in it. and the brain. and is at home in the varied treatment of rhythmical phrases. must now be ridden on the snaffle. . while preserving the balance of the whole But this he must work up to through a design. They will take care of themselves. freedom. to adapt the form to the requirements of his invenand to introduce various modifications of shape. just as a painter forgets his rules of He perspective and mixes his colours unconsciously. the omission or inclusion of a coda. with certainty of touch and without loss of symmetry. lengthening of a development.

except J'Wer nie sein Brod mit Thranen ass. Wer nie die kummervollen Nachte Auf seinem Bette weinend sass. Der kennt euch nicht.94 MUSICAL COMPOSITION is Freedom which into licence. ilir Mmmlischen Machte I" . not so won will inevitably degenerate it There is no royal road to through blood and tears.

. borate as the craftsmanship of their manufacturers improves. and tend to become more elashall . The body is for all time. for neither ness while the comparative dowdibeauty of proportion of an eagle cannot conceal the nobility and . In the bird-world Nature seems to gorgeous plumage she denies beauty of voice. the peacock nor the cock-pheasant is remarkable for beauty of voice. to divide her favours 95 . is the dress in which we clothe the flesh and bones which constitute the living body of music. The clothes are for a fraction of time. and any changes which it undergoes are imperceptibly slow. nor the toucan for birds.CHAPTER COLOUR VII Tone-colour. Fine feathers are said to make fine but the proverb somewhat smacks of satire. beauty of its shape. and vary with the taste and fashion of that fraction they are simple where life is simple. and as the wealth and luxury of their wearers increase. to beauty of voice she denies gorgeous In the world of art she is kinder. for a plumage. which for the sake of abbreviation we term simply colour. and the voice of a drab-coloured nightingale or plain brown thrush will give more joy to the ear than all the magnificence of a peacock's tail will to the eye.

brilliant colour may temporarily blind the eye and deafen the ear to deficiencies in both. and well-balanced in design. or of Tristan will stand the test . We shall miss no more.96 MUSICAL COMPOSITION make beauty of perfection of draughtsmanship. its by mastery of colour as well. the cold arrangement on what work is von Billow termed a "box as of hammers" will give much an or of pleasure in its limited scope as a photograph engraving of a masterpiece of Velasquez or "the top-dressing" and which relies primarily or composition orchestral colour will be intolerable its when reduced to black and white. its subject. A musical composiBut as the bird with beauty tion can do the same. while even the most complicated and highly-coloured pages of the Nihelungen. and the underlying faults and failures become more and more evident. If the musical beautiful in melody. and of an orchestral piece to arrange it for a monochrome later will instrument such as the pianoforte. of the Meistersinger. of voice will always touch the hearts of mankind more than the bird with beauty of plumage. so the beauty of melodies and of the its perfect and accord man treatment of them will always live longer more with the natural sympathies of than volumes of prismatic sound devoid of Excessively pure melody or finished workmanship. It is always a sound test of a picture to photograph it. and no man would hesitate as to which he would choose to live with. finished in detail. No musician can Bellini. but sooner or it Avill pall. and its its painting can appeal both by line. solely on A honestly say that the greater part of Berlioz' work gives real pleasure when it is played in a pianoforte arrangement.

we extent.COLOUR triumphantly. colour really in the sense of variety of expression. declamatory and whispering as the emotions indicated by will and this kind of colour. or by ." is only to be attained on mechanically made instruments to a very modified the words require. The is pianoforte does not possess it at all except by the mechanical contrivance of the soft and damper pedals the violin can only get it by the use of a mute. firstly." combinations of the timbre of produced by different instruments and their contrast to each other and the only keyed instrument which possesses in itself the capacity of collective colour is the organ. is colour in music? — : — voice the almost exclusive possession of the human instruments only possess it within limits. round soft notes and its The voice can be round. The is other kind of colour It . nasal. then. There is. by means of its Individual colour H is various stops and wind-pressures. the sole property of the executive . and of the timbre or quality of sound which underlies that variety in a single instrument. The only which can give an impression is termed "temperament. possess it to a greater or less . which term "individual. rough. extent. The horn with brassed (cuivri) quality. clarinet and its medium and low registers bassoon. What. smooth. such as the high." quality in the instrumental player of its existence is what we shall term "collective. of the flute. Complete command of all varieties of colour as distinct from tone gradations limitation of ten fingers imposes. pizzicato with the fingers Some wind instruments the harp only by harmonics. in 97 spite of the omissions which the The term has a twofold meaning.

that we have here with "collective" colour. and symphonies and ballet music. and the variety and contrast It is which it places at the composer's disposal. in quartets pieces for solo wind instruments and strings. In orchestral music such as overtures. artist Collective colour and the executive paper. with or without scenic In concerted music we have it in sonatas adjuncts. a student must first study the capabilities. with the means of producing it. cantatas and operas. music. solo and choral. character and the limitations of any instrument in use. I. and music for instruments and voices. therefore. MUSICAL COMPOSITION the composer has no control over it on paper. in trios. is the sole property of the composer. but he cannot alter The picture may be hung its inherent qualities. temperament and sense of colour in a singer will It is hurt him more than it will harm a song.98 artist . ORCHESTRATION In order to be able to deal with colour at all. orchestral music. but its value remains the same. for pianoforte and a solo instrument (such as the of . Lack in a bad light. He will ample means in the numerous find of proper information treatises on this subject on orchestration which are . and quintets for similar combinations. has no control over effect it on He can spoil the of the composer's colouring by inferior playing. in concertos for a solo instrument with orchestral accompaniment. violin or violoncello or a wind-instrument). concerted used in three main lines of composition. of regulating to deal the amount of its use. In combination with voices such as oratorios.

An experi- enced master will recognise in a moment the score of a composer who has founded his methods exclusively He taught most modern composers upon Berlioz. of It is almost too descriptive genius which light up almost every page are apt to blind the young reader to the essentially solid facts which con- picturesque. while never neglecting any information he can get from him. and the sparks stitute the main strength of the book. But he must not upon any one of them. what they did not know before. attractive. treatises. Gevaert. The be a analytical mastery of Gevaert's and Widor's concentrated essence of Front's. such as those by Berlioz. all and pick out A tyro who will risk falling exclusively studies Berlioz. but it would be absurd to say that his orchestration was in any way a reflection of the Frenchman's. instead of giving greater attention to the main lines of common sense. except as regards the purely technical definitions of each instrument. he had better compare them the plums for himself. When he comes to study the combinations of instruments. into his peculiar and individual methods of instrumentation. for example. As a text-book it has the small defects of its great qualities. only give the same idea of orchestration that a Baedeker or a Murray . and will very soon exaggerate all his peculiarities and more striking oddities. or only knew intuibut the composer ought tively and without method . however. and the little may less but they are safer ground upon which to begin delving. Books.COLOUR now ready rely solely 99 to his hand. of which his book is full. to choose his to use own lines of taste. Widor and others. Wagner undoubtedly sucked his brains. Prout.

in whole and in part. capabilities and incapabilities. for his purpose. it (and the general effect. In the first efforts of . after they have explained the compasses of the various instruments. but give no clue to the contours and colours of a landscape. have All the discussions upon the said all they can say. which composition it is a matter of necessity to start simply. as all the great masters did. but not before. their mechanism. His best his only master is the orchestra itself. it is better that it should be. indeed. general character. or to the architectural aspects of a city. The maps and plans are useful. because he will have more opportunity of hearing complex passages repeated.100 MUSICAL COMPOSITION guide does of scenery. Orchestration treatises. both close to dissect if possible above it. where he will get the sound). Only in this way will the colour effects produced by the orchestra. of analysing the quality of individual instruments. It does not matter if the orchestra is small in numbers. It is safe to say that no musician who had never heard an orchestra could write a page of passable scoring with the help of books. and of moving about so as to hear the orchestra from different positions. get firmly fixed in that part of his brain can hear mentally while reading a score. are quality of no possible use to with his own and ears. and are best. of their sound. with the full scores Rehearsals of the works to be rehearsed in his hand. any one who has not heard them They may help the student's his difficulties judgment explain after he is acquainted with the sounds they are discussing. where he can and at a distance. and his soundest method of studying it consists in frequent attendance at orchestral rehearsals. individually and collectively.

but working up through simplicity to a complexity which will be natural because it is not forced. and of the instruments. and elaborating them with the help of the subsequent mechanical improvements and inventions which have been made since his day. ear to If He will begin by taking Mozart. must only be those notes to play which they can produce. which. On given violins. shall assume that he has listened to orchestras. He must adopt both the prinTo take the materials ciples and the limited means. in return for which he will be taking lessons from masters greater than any he at his will hand be able to procure or to pay. and on the basis of his incomparable method. A).COLOUR when the experience is 101 small . clarinets (in C. Beethoven lessons from critical he has listened with a careful and some of that master's orchestral compositions. violoncellos and double instruments without valves or . he will have noticed the main principles upon which he works. for himself. Not so the horns and trumpets. not attempting to begin where Beethoven or Wagner left off. first knows the compass and character His step should be one which involves considerable drudgery and manual labour. adding of orchestration. we In indicating the plan which the student should follow. B flat. and which are for the asking without travelling further his than the shelves of own library : and Wagner. beginning with the materials of Mozart. first: flutes. by degrees to his materials. being the natural slides. Mozart. violas. bassoons. oboes. and the nature of the materials which he has at his command. The same holds true What a century evolved in its each composer must evolve in miniature development. basses are practically as at the present day. drums.

nearly everything. for which it is is the pile of the velvet written. No. it is practically impossible even nowadays to play the horn parts except upon the very characteristic A crook. the play. with the result that scraped off. 7. . but his Eroica Symphony the is usually played on the F horn instead of E flat. printed directions of the composer are attended to or not is no concern of his. In Beethoven's Symphony. and sufficient stress this is not laid in the treatises most important but very subtle distinction upon Even in the modern orchestra. Every good horn-player is trained at first on the natural horn His ear will thus get without the use of valves. where of quality. so as to give them the maximum the particular quality given individually by crooks themselves must also be known and weighed. A student of Wagner's full scores will notice that the crooks of the horn parts are constantly changed to suit the tonality Whether the of the passage in which they occur. that laziness has involved great loss of colour in the music written for the natural horn with crooks. His experience of the various colours will only be gained by asking a friendly horn-player to play a given passage on the His practice in writing for the different crooks. and he will endeavour to preserve the same quality when he adds the valves. The difference of tone-colour in the various crooks is not so marked in the trumpet as it is in the horn. accustomed to the roundness of tone which is so essential to its character. the crooks whereby they can change their key must be chosen suitably to the key of the movement they of scope . unfortunately. is played upon the F horn.102 MUSICAL COMPOSITION the other hand. instrument must tally with that of the player.

2 Kettle Drums. 2 Clarinets. Brass. but in a secondary For example. Four-part treatment there will be. basis of all often group his strings thus : . 2 Horns. Wood. 2 Trumpets. { Percussion. brass and strings as well as It is the true to the general lie of the music itself. Mozart will more position to three-part. for a study of Mozart will as Then to the show that he distributes his parts in threes or multiples of three. Strings. good instrumentation. a principle which Wagner elaborated in his later works by tripling each branch of the wood-wind This division of three appUes to the contrasts family. using are begin by : complex The instruments he will 1 or 2 Flutes. When he advances to writing with valve-horns he will not overstep the limits of true horn quality even in the most passages. Double Basses. Violins (divided into firsts Violas. and combinations of wood.COLOUR 103 Composers will learn the best way to use the horns in a score by writing first with the cramped series of notes of the natural horn. 2 Oboes. and seconds). 2 Bassoons. Violoncellos. and making up for its deficiencies by ingenuity of treatment. and even by inventing subjects which will minimise them. general principles of orchestral He will lay out the treatment on the lines of design. and plenty of it. three parts and not four.

-1— A- ClLLI E BaSSI. Viola tenor part. VioUni" Viola I'CeUol treble part. Violin Violin n. IL Violet. -I chord in He would be more E flat thus : likely to lay out the common L VioLry. J Bass bass part. . ^ i • . . than thus: I. 23! than thus -O- VlOLA- . 1 'CeUo Bass bass part. of wind-instruments to sustain Qi) The reservation of cumulative treatment for extra force.) Other general features which wiU strike the eye are (a) : The tendency chords. tenor part. alto part. ^ -9-^ n should be clearly understood that we are speakof three-part grouping rather than of three-part ing (It harmony.104 I. * treble part. MUSICAL COMPOSITION Violin 1 n.

and enabling you to compare in siiu the differences between It is of no use to trust merely Mozart notes must be actually written down over your own. When you have written it out. copy the Mozart score over your own and on the same lines as your otcn in red ink. After j'ou have scored (say) the introductorj* adagio. Buy a full score (say) of the Sj-mphony in E flat. of course. . all identical notes. Repeat this process even. register rather than in the lower. trumpets and drums on lines corresponding to those of Mozart's and then instrument the Sj-mphony for printed score from the pianoforte arrangement (without yourself . Mozart can give a effective lesson in the following wa3'. and a most good full arrangement of it for pianoforte (four hands). horns. which are changed in order to adapt them to pianoforte technique. if this method of training is to do real good.COLOUR (c) 105 The tendency of the double bass to move rather than to sustain notes (a held note on that instrument being necessarily unsatisfactory its length excepting in soft pasto play in the upper octaves of its sages)." thirty. When you b^in you will be aghast at the differences but as you continue and gradually absorb the style. peeping into the original for the solution of any Look with an orchestral eye at passages diflBculties). the his his way is Hkely to sound better than yours. and why work and yours. you will be .two bars or so. Write the exact nimiber of instruments and the keys and crooks of the clarinets. throughout and Bearing these points in mind. think over the differences between your work and his. omitting. and reverse the process. to comparison.

106

MUSICAL COMPOSITION

equally surprised at the rapidity with which the two Do not lose sight of the necessity scores assimilate.
of writing horns

and trumpets on the open notes only,
ICH -Q-Q-

-e^

i
.

:c2=(^):

and lay out the passages in such a way as not to show the weak points of your machinery. For example, as
low

E

flat

,

__

is

below the compass of the

double bass, do not write

^^^^p^
but

^=5feF=M
The
will
first

s

22:

will

accentuate

its

limitations,

the second

sound natural.

Remember
;

that the two most

dangerous instruments in the orchestra are the double bass and the drums the former in consequence of its lack of sustaining power, which prevents it taking the
place or in
protot3T)e), and of its hollow quality in the lower notes; the latter because its too frequent use drowns detail more than

pedals (too often used as

any way reproducing the its model and

effect of

organ

any other instrument, and induces monotony from the very qualities which make it so useful in accentuating
colour.

Remember

that violoncellos supply a perfectly

adequate and sonorous bass without any double basses at all, and that the double basses are only an adjunct

COLOUR

107

to them in this capacity for purposes of reinforcemeut and not vice versa. Do not forget that the single notes of each of the wind parts represent the sound

given by one instrument only, but that the single notes given to each of string parts represent the sound of several instruments; and, therefore, that the balance which the eye sees in reading the score has to be
adjusted by the consideration that the five staves of wind are played by 10 players and the five staves of

by any number from 25 to (say) 46 or 60. remember that additional power in the wind is gained rather by doubling at the first and second octaves than by doubling at the unison the reinforcement of the overtones producing more resonance than
strings

Lastly,

:

that of the fundamental note. This law of sound can be tested by any organist who compares the combination of two eight-foot open diapasons with that of one eight-foot diapason and a four-foot principal. The E Flat Symphony omits a second flute and the oboes. The G Minor Symphony of which one version omits the clarinets and the other includes them, and which also has parts for two horns in different crooks,
is

for these reasons a

most valuable study.
score
it

The student can

first

without clarinets and

afterwards add them (excising some of the oboe parts where the clarinets are more suitable), and compare
his addition

and subtraction with Mozart's.

The

Finale of the

C Major Symphony

(usually called

the "Jupiter" in this country) is an excellent lesson in the orchestral treatment of fugue. The slow move-

ments of all three are most instructive in contrast and what has been rightly termed the "conversation" of
the instruments.

108

MUSICAL COMPOSITION

Before passing from Mozart, the student is strongly advised to apply the same system of study to some specimens of his orchestral accompaniments of vocal music. The following are useful examples the song,
:

"Deh

vieni,

The attempts to amplify the very meagre pianoforte arrangements of these pieces into orchestral form will be found easier after a good grounding in the symphonies. From Mozart, he can move on to Beethoven, and as he gets more at home in the work, he can confine himself to fragments of movements which seem the least easy or the most such as the slow movesuggestive of variant colours
^,

and aria from Don Giovanni.

non tardar" from Figaro; the recitative "In quali eccessi" and the sestet "Sola, Sola"

;

ment
No. 5

of

Symphony No.
movement
of

4,

the opening of the Finale of

opposed to noisy, fortissimo), No. 6, the Scherzo and Trio of No. 7, and the Allegretto of No. 8. He can try some experiments with Weber (Freischiitz and Euryanthe overtures), and finally with Wagner, whose Siegfriedthe slow

(for sonorous, as

a unique specimen of the maximum of effect by the simplest means, and any page or pages This last score is supremely in the Meister singer.
Idyll
is

attained

valuable to the student of orchestration

if only for its economical and perfectly proportionate use of that dangerous rogue-elephant, the double bass.

A course of study of this plan will soon lead the student not only to assign a phrase to the instrument which suits it best, but even to get inspiration for his
phrases from the tone-quality of the instrument which It will also teach him, in a way which is in his mind.
original experiments can, how to make his middle parts not only interesting in themselves but suflBciently

no

COLOUR
full

109

structure

(without being overloaded) to balance the superand the substructure. The texture of the

is the most troublesome to a beginner, and the most frequent cause of failure in the early stages its insufficiency will make a work sound all top and bottom, and its over-elaboration will fog the general

middle part

;

Due proportion will only be reached after a failure, which will bring the drops of a misermany able perspiration out of the brow of the composer as he
design.

writhes under hearing it. But he can console himself with the knowledge that all his predecessors have gone through the same experience, and can read Berlioz' graphic account of his own sufferings on a like occa-

The tendency of the present day to add to the wind-instruments in numbers and in quality, to write
sion.

horn parts which are merely a filling up of the harmonies without regard to their suitability to the instrument, and to subdivide the strings into a great number of parts, is a matter of grave question. Its main result
to produce in the listener the same feeling of monotony which he feels after listening to an organ recital exclusively given upon the full swell, with the closing and
is

opening of the shutters for its only means of gradation. The full swell is a fascinating sound, and so is the
richness
of a densely-populated modern orchestra. But if one or other is to get full value for its effect, it must be used as a contrast only, and a rare contrast too. No one knew this better than Wagner did. The

first

act of the Walkiire alone is sufficient to prove it. used his horns with great chromatic freedom, but never for padding, and never with disregard of their

He

timbre.

He

the

wind-instruments

subdivided his violins, but never allowed to take advantage of their

and the richness used to conceal the poverty of invention. . It often succeeds. in inverse of colour is ratio to the colour. to admit. but when the trick momentarily . satisfactorily to the player. double bassoon. Why? Because in many cases the instruments have nothing to say. in Wagner's climaxes of polyphonic sound. to his complete knowledge of The so-called modern type of full-swell instrumentation owes nothing to any It is only the natural result of revelling too of them. as he would himself have first common but been the Mozart. (to use a The result is that it all descriptive phrase) "comes off. and with which the less experienced of his successors gamble. the et cor anglais. There is just material enough for a buzz of general conversation. The charm of individual conversation between the instruments. of which Schubert was so great a master. tuba. is found out the be proportionately greater. therefore. both simple and complex but he would not exhibit it as a picture failure will . is for the moment much aboHshed.110 scattered MUSICAL COMPOSITION numbers and wipe them such as out. not to fill up a general clatter and to add extra notes." This mastery he owed. still more. He used his bass extra instruments. aims at an effect of confusion (such as the coming of the swan in Lohengrin. but as exponents of passages which were written for and clarinet. hoc genus omne. The invention is. which he used economically. Beethoven and Weber. the street row in the Meister singer) he arrives at complexity through Every part in itself runs naturally and simplicity. The palette of a painter is a beautiful study of colour. or. When he required their particular type of colour. but no talker sufficiently interesting to arrest the attention of the other talkers.

COLOUR
unless he

111

was qualifying for Bedlam. He knows, as every sane and sound composer knows, that it is only a secondary means to a primary end. It is the clothes As the old masters drew all their of his subject. and added the draperies after their figures figures nude,
were perfected, so the composer's colour should be the "high lights" which illuminate the beauty of his melodic invention and of his perfection of detail. The fading of Sir Joshua Reynolds' pigments has not
destroyed the beauty of his designs or the charm of his But if he had relied mainly on his perishconceptions.
able colours, and scamped his drawing, his pictures

would have been long ago relegated to
is

oblivion.

Colour

a first-rate servant, but a very insidiously bad master.
II.

CHAMBER AND CONCERTED MUSIC
as

it is still less possible to rely on It bears the same superior to design. relation to orchestral treatment that water-colours do

In chamber music

colour

The texture and the mediums are thinner, oils. and flaws of workmanship are all the more obvious. But in music the mastery of the one is essential to
to

the mastery of the other.
for

The writing of a trio or stringed instruments is the best quartet possible training for the treatment of the body of It will teach the composer strings in the orchestra.
solo
(1)

how much more

richness can be obtained from a

chord of four notes in a string quartet than from the same chord on the pianoforte; (2) how little is to be
gained
(3)

by

unnecessary

and

superfluous

doubling

;

how to secure contrast with very limited material a single ill-fitting (4) how much harm can be done by note (even of semiquaver value) (5) how to attain
; ;

112

MUSICAL COMPOSITION

complete freedom in the relation of the four instruments to each other; (6) how to make all four parts
equally interesting to the players. Much variety of actual colour is not possible of attainment in a string
quartet, but each of the three instruments which compose it, the viohn, viola and violoncello, has an indithe violin the thinnest but the viduality of its own
:

most more

brilliant, the viola the roundest and possessing of the "larraes au voix," the violoncello the most

nasal and incisive in the upper registers, and the most dignified and sonorous in the lower. (Their counterparts in the wind family are the oboe, clarinet, horn and bassoon). Their range is great, far too great for

the harmony-exercise student to grasp with any ease, and their interweaving powers are almost illimitable.
colour of the whole combination will completely change when the violoncello or the viola ascend above their brethren in giving out a theme, as the following examples from Beethoven's quartet in E flat, Op. 127,
will

The

show
(1)
I.

:

Viol.

Allegro

i ^ ^^_
Viol.
II.

jQ=

S

-•-*

/
si-

iy
^.

^rk^Ti^
t-*-"

Viola.

/i^*-c*-:

'-^^--zi-ii

=^tg
Violoncello.

-Q"

n=^

^m

E:
£:
:&

gf^

/*

COLOUR
(2)

113

^
iS^
t«^t-

:gr

^

:?2:

-•-^ t:

-f=*-

rf-.-fr-^,

(3)

5:

^:
-e^-

w^^^-

^^^
'^:q--

3

1?=::^
-«-•( -*-*-

onc;*-

-*--*- -c^-

555^

t^

^^
=*t:g^
-«-^
-f2-

-S^' ^- -*

^i^

^^
it

LS

SSeSS ^ae
The main
is

•i

or

passages are distributed in pizzicato, separately or the together; or if mutes are used in any or all of find out many The student can profitably parts.
if

examples
plenty of

for himself.

string-quartet writing
rests.

principle to grasp in the importance of providing

A

quartet might almost answer to

114

MUSICAL COMPOSITION

the Irishman's description of a net, as a "lot of holes held together by a string." A kind of rough criticism

be applied to it by investigating whether the parts provide sufficient opportunities for the players to turn over the leaves with ease. If they have to omit

may

a passage in order to turn, or to provide themselves with a friend to do it for them, it is pretty certain that the quartet is deficient in the valuable contrast afforded by rests. To return to the six points of

mentioned above, and them separately. (1) The richness of a combination of four strings is due partly to the quality and number of overtones, and partly to the fact that they play in the pure scale. Even when only one or two parts are employed, will sound much more satisfying to the ear than they when they are played upon the pianoforte, and the
advantage to the composer
consider

addition of other parts will not only double, but square and cube the richness.
(2)

well

As to unnecessary or superfluous doubling. known that the sound of a single violin
two
it is

It is
is

far

preferable to that of

violins playing in unison,

and

that

not

till

the

number reaches
is

at least four that

the collective effect in unison
doubling, therefore, in a quartet

satisfactory.

Any

must

duce

this

unsatisfactory

colour.

necessarily proIf there is any

doubling at all, it should come either from the natural run of the parts and be transitory, or be given to the

two instruments least alike in quality, such as the 'cello and the violin, or be restricted to passages in But in a composition so limited in its means, octaves. a rest is better than a doubling, and no notes should be thrown away.

The danger is that a composer's ear may accustom itself to like what is really an ugliness because it has heard it so often. That the human being can accustom his palate even to enjoy cod-liver oil or a superannuated egg is a well-known fact but he has only degenerated his tasting power. or an ill-fitting rhythmical figure. Purity of style depends upon this rigid self-criticism. If it cannot be defended by such means. it generally spells carelessness and bad workmanship. and port for the average man remains preferable as a drink to castor oil. The by pleading same ear which will instantly detect the clerical It does not avail to excuse omission of a sharp or a correct ruthlessly fiat ought to train itself to an incongruous note. and is prejudiced in its favour by belonging to the person who wrote it. Thej run of each part pertains to design. The best remedy for this not uncommon disease is the advice of an experienced friend. (4) The perfection of every note in a quartet. and without purity of style it is better that chamber music should not exist. and the necessity of putting it in its proper place even to a fraction is one of the axioms of good workmanship. he can clearly explain.COLOUR (3) 115 The methods of contrast have been sufficiently hinted at above. an ugly or unsuitable note the rapidity with which it goes by. perhaps to point out that the road freedom in the treatment of the four complete instruments lies through counterpoint. In most cases a harsh or unexpected note or figure will pass muster if the writer has a definite logical reason for writing it which . Colour comes in when the characteristics of each instrument are kept in view (5) It is needless to .

59. No better examples of in the relation characteristic relation can be quoted than the examples from Beethoven given above. No. II. variations of tone. slurs. and changes of time which the composer intends. -C2- m fzr rr^ rT\ -J^ ^? i £: --^ interesting example (shown on the opposite page) from Beethoven's quartet (Op. I. close and spread. What is meant by variation of position the following ways : of treating the common Viol. high and low.116 MUSICAL COMPOSITION it bears to its colleagues. r7\ i tf^ "r /T^ £2_ i Viola. legato and staccato marks. St rT\ rrs zn^ rrs 321 -j^ 'Cello. 1) will show how strong effects of colour can be produced by this An means. are taken full advantage of. of He must not trust to the taste or intelligence any one but himself. and when the variations of position. if he wishes his work to be . chord of C will illustrate -f^- ^ -<s>- f i^ Viol. point must be kept in mind under this the vital importance of putting down as One more heading: accurately as possible on paper the degrees of force. bowing.

heard as he intends all This rule applies to music. T* |§r V r <5>- ±=^ 'Cello. He must not expect to find them growing on every bush. But von Billows are few and far between. I. He must legislate for the musician of average A crescendo capability and leave nothing to chance. often thinks that no player could possibly interpret his work except in the way he thinks of it himself. may alter the whole character of a passage. and especially to orchestral and chamber music. -e?- e it /P- . No and he omits to write down definite directions for his guidance. There have. an sf. II. it is true. ?2: H"^ to sound. a sudden pianissimo. and diminuendo. . been executants and conductors of genius who seem intuitively to know the intentions of a composer without any assistance from him at all. executant can be expected to look at a as if the brains of the writer had been tempopassage An inexperienced composer rarily transferred to him. t= £fe -f^ p^.COLOUR A llegro. Viol. 117 / ^^m Viol. and turn dulness . -^- 'm 'F^ f^ :^ :e^ =3= S(-c*- •o— o- Zf2- -^ -o- |gr VlOLA.

The . short of any desire to confine it to his native land." "innig" Every player and Italian singer in every difficulties terms. country understands which Englishmen when they are faced with such German experience terms as "nicht schleppend. slight ritenuto or accelerando may make a phrase when without them it hangs fire." "noch rascher. for a work. indicating the The metronome is only of use as mean average to which the pace should . who not infrequently changes the pace in his mind. and if possible to verify them by hearing them played before he fixes it finally. A violin passage carelessly bowed may destroy a rhythm. where he will often write lento when he means andante. when it comes to be performed. as he writes. and this more necessary to a beginner. has in recent times become a sort of mock-patriotic fad of his to write directions in the language of his country. The composer is strongly recommended to adhere to It Italian as the universal language of music signs. often demands a different tem'po from what the composer has imagined is still experience in his head. unconThere is an abundance of terms sciously. he means adagio. whereby he can indicate pace without tying it down irretrievably with a metronome mark. conform without being inelastic and even that average is liable to change when the exigencies of a large or small room demand it. into brilliancy.118 MUSICAL COMPOSITION A lilt. which would be all very well if his music but his patriotism stops were only performed there own . or andante when accurate in his choice of them. He must be careful also to describe the pace of his movements in the right terms. but he must be Mistakes most frequently arise in slow movements.

guistic for their pages are full of crescendo. It is better for a composer to risk a few mistakes in Italian grammar than have his work inadequately performed because his directions are not As French is the accepted language in intelligible. faddists." "without slackening. and so write gratefully for them." "with marked emphasis. music. The only practical result of such imbecility is pockets. A the interests of the universal language. diplomacy. Crabbed writing produces crabbed sounds. One can / ( = forte). = piano). and be as possible to make "coming off. on. /> ( = diminuendo). who amuse themselves in setting these linproblems to men who have enough to do as it is with tackling the music itself. not having a dictionary in their The neglect the instructions altogether. against such accentuations of the mischief wTOught at the Tower of Babel. it is necessary (a) to conform to the technique of the instruments. path. and so ( terms on every line. A touch or two may make a difficult passage easy and clear up . are not even consistent. dim." as it is also in an orchestral piece." and such like. so Italian should be in music. Hungarian or Bohemian composers were only given in Slavonic or Magyar.COLOUR may 119 be appreciated by imagining what a German player would make of such phrases as "keep the lilt. (6) To make the parts equally interesting to all the players. (6) to let each part run in its own it is melodically complete in itself as This is the secret of a quartet sounding well and it. that the players. Italian firm stand should be made in and nonplussed astonishment Western conductor and his executants if they found that all the directions in the scores and parts of well imagine the blank of a Russian.

by a few alterations. In string trios the standard must be three parts. will imagined be of great value as a training for the orchestral writing of strings. and not a mongrel four secured by perpetual double-stopping in the various instruments. fp ^ ' i:z5 ^ Si^ m 3 are enough to show that the composition is thought out for three parts and no more. ?>|Tir-fr -j^ ^-! ^^^^ p cres. All these considerations apply with equal force to other forms of chamber music. study of such a work as the C Minor A Trio of Beethoven (Op. as well in a more practicable shape. but they are almost always on a basis of three parts orchestra). but only where it is certain that the passage cannot. such as the first (like Mozart's bars after the repeat in the .120 MUSICAL COMPOSITION No music gains in the hearing by being made purposely difficult. The impression of richness is gained (as in the second and third bars above) rather by arpeggio than by chord. fp^ ii: Violoncello. This type of composition. p cres. Difficulties in reason there must be. 9. p cres. The first four bars of it ^^^^^ VioLiNO. be made to sound a whole phrase. if and carried out upon a genuine three-part basis. fp Viola. There is no lack of double-stoppings in the work. 3) will be invaluable. No.

t Se± «/ >-UJ-W «/ ep ^ tfc ir ^- ^*-. kept steadily in mind in both. In all other respects this type belongs in its methods of treatment to the string quartet. ^ a passage which does not sound at all the thinner or poorer for its juxtaposition to thicker harmonies.COLOUR first 121 of movement. which are a harmonisation : the unison in the example above m which is «/ «/ «/ »/ 3=^vVt-h:^ 8/ »f «/ »/ W^^ ^^^^^^P af %f 8/ »f answered at once by an accentuation of three parts only. One maxim ought to be Avoid quick reiterated unless notes (or tremolo) such as you . while its limitations afford an excellent antidote to the danger of writing orcheetrally for solo strings.

and the writing for the strings becomes in is some ways more hampered and more difficult. In ninety-nine cases out of a hundred.122 MUSICAL COMPOSITION it want for a very special effect (such as Brahms used in the slow of the clarinet quintet). or violoncellist will adapt himself at critical moments to the cast-iron requirements of the pianoforte. There a basis of quarrel between them at the start. assigning them to another octave if they require reinforcement. and the octet of Schubert. When one or more solo wind instruments are used in chamber music. common sense of He ought. for instance. the string part. the When septet of Beethoven. where every interval except the octave strings play in the is pure scale. The best models for combined wind and strings are the clarinet quintets of Mozart and of Brahms. and will preserve the quartet atmosphere. and the This quarrel has to be smoothed over temporarily when they join forces. out of tune. a well-designed movement semiquaver figure. and remember that balance of parts is wholly different from that of the orchestra. or passage will be far more interesting both to player and to hearer. the principle is the same as that given above in (6) and Forget the orchestra. there being only one player to each elsewhere. to avoid giving the stringed instrument passages of melody in unison with the keyed. and the causes of friction have to be avoided as much as it is The accomplished violinist possible to avoid them. but the occasions when he has to accomplish this difficult volte-face must be minimised by the experience and the composer. the pianoforte enters into the scheme the conditions greatly alter. for the pianoforte is tuned in the tempered scale. and .

or to play phrases up the missing notes . and occasionally even (when the piano higher registers) : played in the I. Violin. Brahms. The it as in the sonata. II. III. The best models are Mozart. distributed as follows or I. Piano. right hand. Franck. is a three-part one. II. Piano. and. Pianoforte. II. Piano. both hands. Violin. Piano. but differently distributed I. in An portance comes here. I. left hand. The trio for pianoforte. while each separately can play the same role with and also interchangeable. Beethoven.' Violin. II. III. III. their tone-affinity demands that when they both play together their two-part exposition must be fill singers in as complete and satisfactory as that of two a duet.COLOUR possible both in figure and in phrase. right hand. Piano. 'Cello. C^sar. right hand. violin and 'cello is also : on a three-part basis. Piano. III. The basis of a sonata for piano 123 generally keeping the string part as independent as and violin of the Mozart and Beethoven. element of great imstrings belong to one colour wholly distinct from that of the piano. is left hand. It will not do for them merely to of a chord. as a very striking specimen of independent development of the style. and continued type adopted by with modifications and enrichments down to our own day. family of and. left hand. : Violin.

124 MUSICAL COMPOSITION which. the faulty workmanThe two trios of ship will be startlingly evident. ^^ " ^^&_iL:-^ ^fr H 1- -^- *a«»- rt a^^ :. y—^ <'*'^-'^- r==- y~ . and can only become intelligible when the pianoforte is added. enriched by a third part on the pianoforte as melodious as they are. If they do not combine well melodically. lit. The quality of their tone is so far removed from that of the piano that. Op. and in relation to each other. 'Cello. The first four bars of the first allegro of the E example in themselves — the flat trio are an admirable main four notes in octaves. 70. their individual parts will be markedly prominent in all their aspects. if the pianoforte part were omitted. but not essential to the grasping of the phrase : Violin. followed by figure of the first two parts of great beauty. whenever they are playing. 2 in E flat Beethoven. without any assistance from it. No. 1 in D and No. (more especially the latter) are the best possible object lessons in this treatment. have no sense or beauty in combination. ^'^ . They must be perfect in themselves. PlANO. sounding quite satisfactory even alone.

and. and pianoforte and clarinet). The models for all these combinations are in plenty — the trios of Mozart. and by using every opportunity . quintet for pianoforte and wind. Schubert. the pianoforte.). the quartets and quintets of the same composers. but wisely trusting to those great antidotes of monotony. sonata for pianoforte and horn. rests. Beethoven. bearing of colour upon the treatment of voices. strings when they are combined must always be given music which is complete in itself. The secret of obtaining mastery of tints is and of mixing colours well only gained by a wide know- ledge of musical works. when they have not. oboe and clarinet. always having something interesting to say. etc. . violin and horn. and a host of other works great and small. and independent of. requires a The chapter to itself. alone and in combination with instruments. sonatas for pianoforte and clarinet). flute. In quartets and quintets for pianoforte and strings the same principles apply. Schumann (pieces for pianoforte and oboe. and for the combination of pianoforte and wind instruments (which follow exactly the same lines) the works of Mozart (clarinet trio and quintet for pianoforte and wind) Beethoven (trio for pianoforte.COLOUR Throughout the 125 trio the strings alternately talk to each other and combine as would two singers in an opera. and of Schumann and Dvofdk. though dovetailing into. the basis of writing being The family of four-part and five-part respectively. study even from the purely technical point of view apart from its musical charm). Brahms. Saint Saens (caprice for a most interesting pianoforte. clarinet and 'cello. saying nothing at all. Brahms (trio for pianoforte.

They were never too proud to learn from their contemporaries. . will broaden his his ears not preserve his freshness unless he open and his brains alive to all that is sympathies and widen his horizon.126 of MUSICAL COMPOSITION hearing them. The inventions of others will often strike sparks out of himself. The composer must be as well equipped sopher. in his literature as the poet or the philo- He will keeps going on round him. or even from those far junior to themselves. The two greatest historical examples of eternal freshness and youth in musical history are Haydn and Verdi. and they are a standing and ever-living proof that the absorption of all that is best in other men's work only means to the man of genuine invention the accentuation of his own individuality.

the octave. Every chorus-master knows the danger interest of singers). and to make his intervals from his inner perception. he has to start singing from a point which is intelUgible to his ear. All the skips which are forbidden in strict counterpoint voice . will 127 . When those intervals are difficult. so are naturally difficult for the much so to an ear accustomed to the modern developments of music as they were when the rules of counterpoint were made (in the but even now requiring a very accurate ear to preserve pure intonation when they are attempted. therefore. and the difficulty must not be enhanced by their surroundings. The singer has to make his own notes. the road to them must be made smooth. perhaps. not. will always the ear will rightly make C close to the B .CHAPTER VIII THE TREATMENT OF VOICES The first tendency of a student when dealing with the human voice is to forget that it is not an instrument upon which the notes can be obtained by striking on a key or pressing on a string. which besets his forces when they have -JC21 to sing even so apparently straightforward a succession of notes as have a tendency to be too ^^ the The B flat.

skips face. with pianoforte accompaniment. He will not forego his chances of a livelihood to please any composer. The student must always keep in mind the practical fact that ungrateful music for the artist will voice is always ineffective in We will first consider its appeal to the listener. which may be even musically but which. and quite making rightly does not care to sacrifice poetry of motion to dangerous gymnastics." speedily transferred to the instrument. owing to the suggestion of chords and modulations which it gives. are obviously unsuited for performance and unattractive to the singer. vocal music from the stand- point of the song.128 MUSICAL COMPOSITION be arrived at below the pitch. They interesting. Their abuse inevitably leads to such a deterioration of the organ as no wise hops. The underof the major sixth was not permissible. and the singer is made to play a secondary role in the combination. but the inclination often is to presume too far upon the voice to trust to the instrument for helping it over the stiles. Whole stacks of songs are written and published which are of no practical use for performance whatever. and the whole body of In the sixteenth century the skip singers will flatten. are paper songs. lying reason for that rule is still apparent from the example given above. from the unpractical manner in which they are written. This is one of the many reasons why the writing of a good . The human voice is not adapted for and to the singer and what The interest is and jumps. with the result that the part becomes ungrateful is usually termed "unvocal. except where declamation peremptorily demands them. The addition of instrumental accompaniment to the voice has enlarged its possibilities in attacking difficult intervals.

which marked illustrate in quantity reads thus: O \j \J \j W —W lies . therefore. Another is that the poetry to which it is set is (or should be) the chief consideration. But doth KJ suffer \J a sea-change w — Into something rich and strange. and that the music should be co-ordinate or subordinate to swper-ordinate. is to grasp the it without ever being The first step in song writing. Those are pearls that were his eyes . declamation. Nothing of him that doth fade. Those are pearls that were \j \j — his eyes yj — . Full fathom five thy father w Of his bones are coral made . . Nothing \J of him that doth KJ \J — fade. Of his bones are coral made . will A wellthis known stanza from Shakespeare point. through the knowledge not not merely of the prosody.THE TREATMENT OF VOICES 129 song is one of the most difficult tasks which a composer can undertake. Another reason is that a song is a miniature and has to be so perfect in every detail that it will bear examination under a magnifying glass. but of the fundamental to study its difference between quantity and accent. and marked in accent thus : Full fathom five thy father lies . rhythm and the principles of poetry. Another is that it has to express in the most compressed and yet intelligible form emotions. which at first sight seem too great for the limited boundaries within which it must perforce be confined.

^ — #— •. impossible to carry out in a measured song. But it accents in can be nearly approached both by the natural each bar.130 MUSICAL COMPOSITION But doth suffer a sea-change Into something rich and strange. which a good singer capable of subaccents. Adding note-values to each declamation would be as follows : syllable the accurate Full f a-thom five thy fa 1 - ther ! lies . and by the intelligence with will insensibly vary the length or shortness of a note in order to bring the music into In addition to this.^ .to something rich and strange. and words which cannot be prolonged be held out on a long note in singing.^ him that doth fade. of course.!!! m I m - I sea change In . by which a singer can bring out the lilt of a verse with even more clearness than a reader can . No ?!! - thing of . in elocution can An intelligible . owing to the variety of the note-values. Such absolute accuracy of declamation as this it is. J^ ^J m—m~0 . music is line with the poem.^ -0 Of his bones are co . m m m m But dothsuf-fer ^ m a . Those are pearls that were his eyes .ral m made .

.ral . and shows how it can be as easily reproduced in square time as in 34 : S w . in time and barred._J^J^_^ Full fa-thom five ^ \ lies .change Pm-cell's setting of this stanza (with the exception of his lengthening of the first syllables of "coral" and "nothing") almost exactly carries out this rough scheme.^J^-M-^ft^^ No - h ^ But doth thing of him that doth fade. IJ. suf-fer sea.THE TREATMENT OP VOICES example of this 131 can be given by setting the verse above to note-values. '^ > . INN^ -e>- ftN J bones are Those are pearls that were his [Jeyes . made . ^-^ :^^ X his ^^ fade. thy fa Of his bones are :P^irfl gig ral : E made Those are pearls that were But doth suf - fer. -f^—^ J^JU^|J-. doth suf change In-to some thing rich and strange.^ Ja oIn -to some-thing rich and strange.eEE: Full fa-t hom five -^=d m - H ther lies . thy fa - ther Of his fe |j- ^^^ co .

but his song writing. therefore. The poet cannot indicate the pitch or the lilt of his poem. except by the suggestion of the words themselves. and fall into melody should be conceived so as to coincide with the natural run of the words. and has evidently intended "nothing" to balance the long quantity and accent of "s5mething" in the last line. The next factor in declamation is to define in music It is in the . worth noticing that there is not one single phrase whole of this wonderful melody (even in the modulation in the fifth line) which does not amply explain itself to the ear without help from any accompaniment or harmonisation and that the composer has contrived to emphasise the close relation between the second and third lines. the great responsibility upon him of interpreting it on the lines which the poet felt. no matter how vital they are to the true rendering of his verse. the song extends the compass of the reciter and gives an intelligible series of notes where he can only roughly indicate their high or low position. and if he understood how irretrievably its maltreatment can destroy the intentions of the poet. to the intelligence of the man who reads it. if he fully appreciated the limitless possibilities which music has of accentuating the appeal which a poem makes. the natural inflections of the poem. by a slight break and rest before it. and was unable to write . The composer who sets it has. He would give more attention to this all-important feature of translates this defined rise The composer melody.132 MUSICAL COMPOSITION In the words "c6ral" and "n6thing" Purcell has followed the accent as strongly as the quantity. The reciter varies his pitch only. and to space out the fourth line. and he is obliged to leave all such details.

For an instance of this. :± no moon ! ^ All £: dark a-midst the blaze of noon ! The succeeding lines are no less strikingly reproduced "Why thus deprived thy prime decree?" I i •ff-rr W Why thus de-prived thy ^^^^=g prime de-cree? . no moon Total eclipse : ! ! All dark amidst the blaze of noon I In accent they run thus Total eclipse 1 : No sun. no moon noon I All dark amidst the blaze of ! The natural rise (<d) ! and fall (^Z^:>) runs thus: Total eclipse No sun. the following lines set by Handel in Samson will be valuable No sun. no moon noon ! All dark amidst the blaze of ! The duced close accuracy with this in musical setting which Handel has reprois a lesson in itself : fc To - ^^ tal -ir#eclipse 1 f=^ No sun.THE TREATMENT OF VOICES 133 down with the accuracy which is at the musician's command.

will not lay himself open ciples to the criticism of poets or to the complaint once Any by Lord Tennyson to the writer that "so many composers made the notes go up when he wanted them to go down. "Come into the garden. instead of giving the rise. Maud." gave a fall. mezzo-sopranos. of these voices has a certain range Moreover. and the vocal part must be written for the compass of any one of these. who studies and follows the prinof settings such as this. I'Come into the garden. contraltos. and go down when he wanted them to go up" and he instanced. moon and stars are dark to me. indignation.134 MUSICAL COMPOSITION accent of "prime decree" is obtained by on the strong beat. within which . and length of note. a very common equi- fault of the inexperienced beginner. Maud. his line and the accentuation rigidly Another vital consideration which must be remembered in song writing is that the world of is singers divided into sopranos. Balfe's setting of "Come into the garden. Maud. each of notes. but not tenors. baritones for an admixture of any two of them. and basses." and utterly destroyed of it. moon and stars dark to me.) position (The (high "Sun. distant from the extremes of its compass. with something approaching expressed ." II ==I I -^ -^ £=: are Sun." which. composer.

The accompaniment of a song should be only a comment on its meaning. The avoidance of writing high is. tenor. 135 This is is easier for a singer to reach extreme notes if he not previously fatigued by the strain of a series of passages which are above or below the tessitura. is just as important to the writer of songs compass of orchestral instruments is to the writer of symphonies. P-^= 1^ soprano. The nearer the average of notes keeps to the middle line of the five. and the closer the vocal part revolves round that as a is the tessitura of the song. is The method in use. is an excellent rough guide to the position of the tessitura. bass. It lie.THE TREATMENT OF VOICES the main part of his vocal notes must called the "Tessitura" of the voice. notes to difficult vowels (such as "o") requirements of the voice. It should be suggestive of . best studied neglected careful with other by consulting a singer or a singing master. Ledger above and below represent the extremes of compass which are to be used more exceptionally and for centre. alto. the better lines special effects. of writing vocal music in the clefs formerly violin (or \^— soprano). a precaution too often by the young composers who are most to take expert advice upon instrumental limitations. No song which does not conform to it is of any practical use except to the This rule as the collector of curiosities.

accompaniment and the singer. that there is no song of Schubert (perhaps the greatest master of that art who ever lived) in which these principles are not carried may are no more suggestive and vividly accompaniments than his. while one between the verses can usually be longer.136 MUSICAL COMPOSITION its colour and atmosphere without being obtrusive. and should be felt rather than heard. . Both are valuable. middle of a verse should generally be very short. and they always bear the same relation to the melody and to the poetry that even the very best illustrations do to the out. but they are never more than suggestive or illustrative. Its simplicity should never give an idea of being studied. The spinning-wheel and its momentary cessation (a marvellously dramatic touch). The accompaniment suggests only the storm and the galloping horse. Gretchen am Spinnrade. and must never be so accentuated as to It call undue attention to itself. but the necessary breathing space and rest which it gives to the voice must coincide with common sense and with the exigencies of the poem. distracts the attention it is The moment an from the poem When an overstepping the line and spoiling intervening passage for the pianoforte alone occurs. for the sake of the song as well as of the singer . The closest following songs of Schubert will repay the study : The Erl-King. be safely said. it should never be so long as to interrupt the run of the poem or to break its For this reason a break in the continuity of idea. Its elaboration should be as an undercurrent. the balance. There illustrative text of a well-written book.

ascertaining its of the central idea. no amount of good song texture in the accompaniment will save it. and appeals more to the soul than to the senses. is If either of them fail to interest. The texture furnishes the means of figures permutations and commutations gives the subtle quality known all as "atmosphere" to the whole. for its illustration in the . background of (as in "An pianoforte obtaining this end. Whenever the poem is descriptive and requires what is known in theatres as an "elaborate set. Brahms' invariable method. the perfectly sound. will give life to a badly-drawn in There is also is a type of song which the "atmosphere" given by the voice and the illustration . to which we have already alluded. The mystery of the ghost. of testing the value of a song by placing his hand over the right-hand part of the pianoforte. any more than good colouring picture. Die junge Nonne. will be fundamentally poor. by following the whole trend and meaning Abschied. The storm and the nunnery 137 bell. the accompaniment retires more into the poem. and the persistence of such a figure in its varied guises. Rhythmical figure is the secret of it. The quiet pulse of a calm sea." the accompaniment is more intensified (as in the " Erl-King") when the poem is introspective. number of these songs can be analysed upon the Any same method. the die Musik").THE TREATMENT OF VOICES Meeres-Stille. Der Doppel-gdnger. Through song writing the student must keep in mind that the two chief musical necessities are primarily the melody and secondarily the bass. and looking accompaniment. and judging it first by the voice part and the bass. The trotting of the horse.

or when they are made a special feature of rhythmical detail. follow. Certain suggestions poetry such as the call of a bird or the running of a stream cannot be expressed by the part allotted to the For these the comvoice without becoming grotesque. therefore. Schubert gives the singer all the atmosphere and the pianoforte all the illustration of the scene. of Schubert is an instructive instance. and the means used ought. and that where incisiveness of declamation was necessary. but a glance at the operas of Rossini will show that such gymnastics were confined to the settings of words which were of little or no importance to the dramatic action. . to be rather suggestive than elaborate. the better the song. recitative only was employed. they in their nature as songs of this type must tiresome if they are too spun out But Economy of material is of the highest value here. and the singer must poser Of this type of song the " Leiermann " give the colour. It is upon the power known well to avoid writing several notes to one when the melody demands them. listens to the itinerant were. The voice part is in itself Tne piano reproduces and its almost monotonous and purely subjective. Its success depends as suggestion. Archbishop Cranmer's maxim not to put two notes to a syllable when one will do is a safe one to syllable except In the days of coloratura singing the custom was different. The singer. as it stands at the street corner. the drone of the hurdy-gurdy almost inconsequent melody.138 MUSICAL COMPOSITION of pictorial by the accompaniment. become must always be short. The fewer the notes (provided that there are enough of them to express the meaning intelligibly). player and comments upon him. must rely on the pianoforte.

and lines 2. Sounds forced and strange. hard to bear When the old sweet air Verse 2. It not possible. where all the sense and trend of the is condensed into a small space. and brilliant passages for the voice have had to yield to dramatic and What is true of opera applies still poetic necessity. 3. my dear. most common) type are vocal melody is made to do service this One for every stanza without change." (1) Songs in (the verse form. Though It is 2. 4. lend themselves with ease to others require many alterations in the successive verses in order to suit treatment changed accents and in the sentences. The first 2 and 3. those which are in verse form. no longer spring. 3 is and 4 must run in one continuous flow. The Is spring. The simplest examples of folk-songs. differing positions of the breaks In the following hnes from the first and second verses of a lyric by Henley. entirely The adoption of this form must depend upon the poem which the composer for setting. 3. this diflSculty will become obvious : Verse 1. 1. 4. Does the blackbird sing As he sung last year ? life be change.waits" are now minimised. 2. more poem to songs.THE TREATjVIENT OF VOICES 139 Such "stage. or scarcely possible. Songs can also be divided into two general types. and those which are in one extended form termed by the Germans ''durchcomponirt. verse requires a definite break between lines The second verse is broken after line 1. this- chooses Some poems . 1. to find a melody .

rather than verse by verse the breaks between the stanzas are minimised. "Ungeduld. the amount accent. and depend upon the run of the story. (2) Songs These are mostly of the more dramatic type. if he always keeps in the means whereby the song . He will escape is mind that the poetry it. therefore. q. tions." with countless others. e. poetaster. and countless others which the student had better investigate and classify for himself. an air and varia- which the singing part varies by rhythm and ." "Ganymed. rather than upon the stereotyped divisions of the .v.g." all unaltered. and the pianoforte part by detail of variation necessary being decided by the requirements of the words. the poem demanding a continuous and gradually developed illustration. Hymnology rich in these alterations of accent and break. "An Schwager It is Examples: "Der Erl-Konig. "Wohin?" altered. in this order of song that the composer is most likely to fall into the trap of instrumental over- elaboration. "Das Wandern. in extended form ( =durchcomponirt). In songs the fault would lie with the composer. Schubert provides plenty of " examples of this. in must be of the nature of This form of song. and somehow the Procrustean methods of making all the verses fit into the mechanical repetition of an identical tune lead only too often to the most barbaric absurdiBut in hymns the fault lies with the poet or ties. if he did not alter his melody both in rhythm and design to suit the alterations in the poetry. The words are set line by fine." ''An die Musik. who ought to design his verses in such a way as to assimilate the run of each line to its prototype. printer.140 MUSICAL COMPOSITION will fit which is both without modification." Kronos.

or for the singer's faulty declamation or enunciation. as best suited to his contemporaries. They trust to the words being printed so They should be are only to enable a listener to see the gist of the whole poem which is to be sung. their settings must vary own time withtheme. easily appealed the spirit of his it. arranger need no more follow the sixteenth or seventeenth century than the eighteenth or nineteenth in his formulas. but not as excuses for the composer's concealment of them. instead of opposite to. and his illustration is automatically deprived of the only possible clue to its meaning. the principle of economy of material will be more thoroughly driven home. the sense is lost.THE TREATMENT OF VOICES is 141 if. on the other hand. and that it even for one moment. The melodies . made intelligible to the hearer. The musician of early times set them in own day. The and any advisable variations both of harmonies and of must conform to them and as in setting them simplicity is the main consideration. he obliterates a sentence of by over- loading his instrumentation. and complexity is figures . only tolerable when it is peremptorily called for by the poetry. But there is. and to follow with ease the various moods which it interprets. in the proprinted. the text to which it refers. best practice in the art of writing accompaniments to both these types is to arrange folk-songs. The colour and sense of every verse must be grasped. no need to be An irritatingly antiquarian in dealing with folk-songs. the thread breaks. He must not gramme. and most latter-day A composer can express the spirit of his out spoiling the flavour of his of such songs are for all time. It is as though a woodcut in a book were printed over.

and to mix it up with the vocal part means loss of power and range to itself. but he does not want his steps to be dogged at every turn. Avoid. There is only . like the combination with the violin. songs carry out the same principle alluded to in a former chapter on writing for the pianoforte in The voice. they are natural and appropriate. you In feel all should be) trained upon the pure scale.142 MUSICAL COMPOSITION in To dress thera mock antique garments can only make them conspicuous and bizarre. up portionately strong treatment preserved. when the utilisation of it enhance their inherent qualities. To carry this argument a step further. is (or if the singer knows his and to double the melody is to notes and fog it. The accompaniment is a distinct part in itself. without straining after effects or lopping off modern formulas. serve as a pattern for an arranger of Irish melodies now. therefore. of Dunstable for such purposes with his Haydnesque proclivities. results if due balance is to be There is no object in neglecting the of the advance which music has made from the experience of centuries. The singer needs all the not wanted in that capacity his intervals. and demand prowith the fashions of a fraction of time. amount of joint rehearsal will ensure perfect combina- . the melodies of many folk-songs are inherently of the very strongest. one golden rule if : set them as you feel them. making the accompaniment play the sam3 successive notes in unison with the voice. A composer of the sixteenth century would not have used the style will nor would Stevenson. or his imperceptible ruhatos No to be mechanically defined as he makes them. It is violin. support he can get in order to be able to be independent in his own sphere.

the moments for chmax and for rest will all impress themselves on the mind before the musical clarified become design is approached. It of humanity. line will Many an obscure by this process. and let your brain work it out by itself. help you out if you do not worry it or yourself. for the time at all events. piece of advice. therefore. Of the truth of this power the writer may perhaps give an instance from his own experience. put the whole composition away difficulty. is He . and with the size of room. and improve and refine it out of all is knowledge and it will. for no great artist ever It varies with his mood. unless you are sufficiently master of the ways and means of poetry to be able to hear its declamation with the help of your eye alone.THE TREATMENT OF VOICES 143 tion under such conditions. Lastly. "Unconscious cerebration" the scientific term for this most beneficent property A well-ordered brain never forgets. which indeed applies to all musical composition. if you are in a difficulty. to be insurmountable. the rise and fall of the individual sentences. The brain is an admirable cook. at work if does not ask you to be present while he you wait patiently the dish will be quite ready at the right time. but in a special degree to song writing. before setting a poem read it all. and the varying of pace. He wrote . may be found useful. The accompaniment. will take an idea." who boils and bakes and fries ideas far away from you in a distant kitchen. sings a phrase twice ahke. a "cordon bleu. . When he was fourteen years old he tried to set a somewhat long dramatic poem as a song. must allow for elasticity. If you are gravelled by a A and it seems. and read it aloud.

fourteen years after the song was written and published. sat down and wrote it straight off without a hitch.144 the first MUSICAL COMPOSITION three verses easily enough. the composer can give play to his dramatic sense. practically identical with those of the completed song. able attempts he put it away. for which the musical counterpart does not is suggest the itself with any spontaneity or them. he could not progress an inch. Ten or eleven years later. This way to deal with Do not tie your brains into knots in endeavouring to find the way out. he found the juvenile attempts in an old box. and after several miser- quite forgotten his early efforts. or from some emotional suggestion in its course. and Arioso. for in it the declamation must be perfect and exactly fitted to the natural inflexions of the words sung. and found the way out of the diflficulty for him without his being in the least conscious of the process. Such difficulties frequently arise from the run of a poem. he opened a book at the it. His brain had remembered what he himself had wholly forgotten. and entirely sub- ordinate his notes to the demands of the words he . Wait until the fog clears of itself and the path is plain. and the first three verses were both in melody and in harmony. ex(3) Recitative is recitative free cept in a very modified degree. and forgot all about when he had same poem. The practice of writing most valuable to the song writer. ease. but when the to become vivid and to require more drama began power of illustration and design than he possessed. But the surprising proof of "unconscious cerebration" came when. As melodic considerations do not enter into it.

natural accents will be helped rather than hindered by the barring. the music rises. Even in the setting of the English version. rise. just sufficient to indicate the the . My Father. hampered by rhythm recitative of design.. Thou rr\ li^ P The main is i difficulty in writing this type of recitative to bring the sentences within the boundaries of bars and bar-lines without producing any sense of and to place the important syllables which the strongest accentuation on the strong beats require If this is carefully thought out. restriction. of the bar itself. the following phrase will show the perfection of his workmanship ' : '^^ M^^ ^I^^eI^S ( * » . which is a close reproduction of the original German text as set by Bach. The accompaniment should be of the slightest.THE TREATMENT OF VOICES is 145 The setting without being greatest study of St. when it would When fall. Jg ^^^^ ^7N wilt. it it would falls. is which exists to is be found in the Matthew Passion of Bach. Yet WE^ ^^ -e?- ^^m not as ^-- fciS: but as I will. let this cup pass from me. which an exact reproduction in musical terms of the natural reading by the speaking voice. if it be possible.

There are two accepted forms of recitarecitative. to write than the latter. and an instrumental part which is founded upon rhythm of figure. yet touches on the melodic as well." and as such will be found in many It is The difficult arioso is a step nearer operas. direction of the modulations Any use of themes. while preserving its declamatory character. Tomba" . without definitely departing from recitative style. Bach. In the free. "Ah perfido" and "Abscheulicher" (Fidelio) of Beethoven. that the modern form of opera springs.g. and Gluck was a master of its methods. and many examples of each can be found which are difficult to define under either name. rhythmical figure in the orchestra. and the vocal part. The entry of Pogner in the first act of the Meistersinger is pro- simple quasi-recitative longed arioso. between arioso and song is so close that relationship . accompanied recitative. and accompanied former there is practically no accompaniment except an occasional chord. should be between the sentences. dry (secco) recitative. pure The in the voice. It is sometimes termed "Scena. e. which. the song in than the accompanied recitative. furnishes the greatest number of fine examples of arioso form. Examples of this form are "In quali eccessi" from Don Giovanni (one of the finest specimens in existence). and the In operas of Mozart supply abundant examples. again. many ways more for it requires a vocal part. or allusions to them. It is from the arioso and its nearly allied sister. "In questa. is more fully supported at intervals by the instruments. the latter the instrumental treatment is much more tive proper.146 MUSICAL COMPOSITION and no more.

and (fS) is a major third. The Venetian. bert.THE TREATMENT OF VOICES of Beethoven. and forbade all diminished and augmented intervals such as (a) W) ^ i long as the difficulty in --P- (The importance of knowing the pure scale will be evident here. and the Dutch and English are rougher and more experimental. The necessity in writing for unlimitations imposed being down in the interest of the singers only. The purest and examples of vocal part-writing are to be found in Palestrina and the Roman school. and which can be attacked parts without difiiculty. Palestrina allowed no skips between the minor sixth and the octave. but as human voice exists it will find the it same found producing them satisfactorily as . They are at once the most grateful to sing and the most effective to listen to. Neapolitan and Spanish schools are less perfect. The chief considerations are (1) to on a note for which the other have prepared the way. for in equal temperament (a) is a minor third. 147 of Schu- and "Tod und das Madchen" Unaccompanied Choral Writing.) Modern developments have made the ear able to master even more difficult intervals than these. practice within those limitations will lay the foundation of grateful vocal writing in a way which no other method can approach. (2) to avoid intervals which are start every vocal phrase difficult to sing in tune. Complete command of the technique of modal (4) finest counterpoint is the first accompanied set voices.

Sop. in the sixteenth century for mechanical improvements have not as yet found their way into the throat. I. i^z: I. ^ Ten. mu9. the singer cannot help thinking more of the task of surmounting them than of the words and phrases he is singing. The writer more than once has heard a performance at the same concert of a modal mad- When and a complex modern part-song. Tu :c3: so - lua al - V __^ fe ii^ Bass :^ -&- al - -«9- fegg i so - Tu lus al - £ie -^ Tu so &9- -^ lus <o fe=£ 231 tis . The fault was with the comrigal poser of the part-song. they Here is an example of a superb passage in his Mass "O admirabile commercium.si J.si - - al - ." Palestrina will . not with the singers. / -fzi rj r:> Sop. always prove to be singable and unstrained.148 MUSICAL COMPOSITION . and expression and poetry have to take a second place. where the former ended exactly on the pitch and the part-song nearly a tone below it. II. intervals of great difficulty are written. / i^r^ - ^ ~p p j =f= :g= Tu ^ — 80 - lua al - tis . There are plenty of passages of a novelty striking even at the present day to be found even in the works of but if the individual parts are scrutinised.

Another lesson is to be from these few bars.THE TREATMENT OF VOICES 149 ir^tis-ai-mus. the pitch of such music not being. which is all-important unexpected The modulation to the equally after is of the learned to the wanted. difficult U-Q4J -I t O Je 1 1 BU Chria te. Je su Chria te. but modified according mode and singers' capabilities. minor chord of G.Q_ ^ ?? Je ¥<S^M-ii ^ -^ il -. Chria - te. absolute. the upper registers of the voice should be employed. f^ -i«= -s>- Je su Chris-te. but there are two steps over fact that it leaves off in the second bar on G (the next note above F).fu^^zrzi Chris ^^^ . i i9- T2L - Q- r^ -s>- tia-3i-mu3. % tis-si-mus.) The only F in the entry in this passage is the stile. to conditions now. the bass and the suggestion given by the tenor B flat in the first immediately before. composer of choral works.« €^ •- BU te. lower than (This would be sung at least a tone as it is written. is When force . k . and the F immediately surprising entry of the chord of attained without a single effort on the part individual singers. ^ V? of place. the fifth bar. which is reiterated in the second tenor.

cede it. the lower registers. The famous shout of "Barabbas" in the Matthew Passion looks on paper appalling enough. m £: g^^^z but when the chords it of the recitative which leads to are clearly heard. Sebastian Bach was less compromising and far more experimental in his writing for choral bodies but even in his most complex movements he never writes an entry so difficult that the ear cannot be guided by the passages which pre. What Bach . and by the sinking of those voices and the Compare entry of the basses in the last two bars. also "He sent a thick darkness" and the "Hailstone" Chorus from Israel. demand an increase of force on "altissimus" and a decrease This is attained as fully as of "Jesu Christe.150 MUSICAL COMPOSITION when softness is wanted. words in the Palestrina excerpt given above." the high position of the sopranps and possible by tenors. ^^ all 1 £: \ } r nW: has accomplished hesitation vanishes. and The Israel in Egypt supplies the best examples. Of this method Handel is the most instructive master.

THE TREATMENT OF VOICES must be done with the help 151 here with the help of the instrumental accompaniment. instance. the bfer-j-tjj. while preserving the modulations which are necessary to his conception. and lay them out in the most easy and vocal manner possible. in this passage :S^ mr S. The following examples from the first part of the . ^1 -s»- B. Difficult intervals involved by modulation can often be avoided by judicious crossing of the For parts.in the ^-^^r-¥=P pE2^ thus: alto can be treated m ^' -r~b*=ii^ i T. -P= and the student should carefully balance all such progressions. of the accompanying voices in a capella writing.

the effectiveness of the In this presented tenors. — I- :3=i^a=*: ^^^^^m ^_. T. 3^^ flat (which would have the altos) is given to the take it quite easily from C. MUSICAL COMPOSITION Matthew Passion will : suffice to show how Bach tackled such a difficulty S. =^ A.*'r-iiB» —— I ru L^ -g-jTg zi: —I ^533^^ ^p^*-# -• •- — t^^-«»-. other places. gjg ¥ "^h ^ -o- A. -. last example the A great difficulties to as in who many . In these.i B. and -0-mS. £>-f^3: E^ S-=S^ j^il_-f-# _-f - £ B. :^=^^^^F^ jS£^!tEgE5EEgEg.152 St.

to do it. or even a word. What the composer too frequently forgets in many branches of his craft is. . l=^^:g=^^H ^ESEaEp^a especially in a quick '^'^ ^ 1^5=^ The quaver rest will movement. if be there in any case write the singer breathes. write A. and the contrivance serves the double purpose of greater ease for the singer and clearer incisiveness for the words. When he writes for he must indicate the phrasing as he would bow so. diately must say voices. He must fill them himself. give the singers time to breathe. B. If he does not do so. Lastly. the singers will perforce find them for themselves. series of notes Long without a break will inevitably result in artificially broken rhytlims and unsteady tempi. and the composer must provide stopping places where he can carry out that operation without interfering with the run of the music.THE TREATMENT OF VOICES 153 declamation gains by crossing the parts. perhaps exactly at the spot where it is most ruinous to the composer's meaning. of pace. he experienced. is the safer policy if good phrasing is to be preserved. There is no bellows-blower for a singer's lungs. and will not scruple to break a phrase. he When he wants a hurrying or slackening must put it down. and that he has to legislate very clearly and definitely for the most ignorant and the least When he means legato or staccato. instead of trusting to chance as at B. and to it at A. If he intends the break to be taken it is better to between two notes. that performers do not imme- and intuitively know things which seem selfevident to him.

. and no two singers are exactly alike in temperament. The trouble will be amply repaid by the minimising of misery to the composer when he hears his own creations produced before the public. it is different. Solo-singing parts can often be overmarked. and too great care cannot be bestowed upon writing down clearly and unmistakeably the instructions of the inventor for the guidance of the conductor and the performers ahke. and a great work will bear having various lights thrown upon it by the individuality of the performer. it is true because any intelligent music is good it will .154 MUSICAL COMPOSITION He must remember that if or slur his violins. vocalist will prefer to give his position in the way which own reading of a comappeals to him most. and that an omitted mark or an insufficient suggestion of pace may give an entirelywrong impression of his work. To tie him down too much is to the detriment of the rendering he will give. his be often performed when he is not present to rehearse. But with masses of voices. as with masses of instruments.

This type is necessarily a hybrid. To abolish this indefinable element in music is to detract from its universal appeal.CHAPTER IX EXTRANEOUS INFLUENCES IN INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC Music may be music. may be entirely antipathetic to a listener of different mood and temperament. and to impose limitations upon what is inherently illimitable. There can be no question recent times has class to trespass that music which speaks for itself is not only the purest. There has always been a tendency. but it has grown to such proportions that it requires the fullest consideration in any treatise dealing with composition. Grove's picturesque conception of the finale of Schubert's Symphony in C. it suggests to different minds different trains of thought. when the divided into two classes — absolute art speaks for itself by sound alone. to allow the second upon the first. 155 Tennyson's . as an illustration of the ride of Phaethon. Being intangible and indefinable. when it illustrates words or drama. but also the most all-embracing form of the art. of and any defined listener programme may a movement given by one be miles apart from one given by another. which in grown into a cult. and descriptive music. For example.

but such now-forgotten scribes as Steibelt (Admiral Duncan's Victory). any landscape. It applies to any country. The "Rondo on the Lost Penny" was a "Battle of Vittoria" was a failure. any in a word. it is universal in storm. The forefathers of the present programme-music are not the classical masters such as Haydn and Beethoven. but never picture was." applies in every That certain impressions particular to music also. every reader must find his own interpretation according to his ability. the most realistic picture was the Pastoral Symphony but he was careful to stereotype its underlying principle with success. Its atmosphere is unmistakeable. . and certain poems or dramatic ideas do actually suggest musical ideas and forms to a composer is undoubted but so much vaster is the art with which ing to his . that his own ideas may develop thousands of others in the minds of those who listen to his work." or its movements labelled with the central idea of each picture they represent. any merry-making while more recent picture-works rely upon its appeal . any a would-be exact definition of person. Kotzwara (The Battle of Prague).156 brilliant MUSICAL COMPOSITION dictum that "Poetry is like shot-silk with many glancing colours. even if it had never been christened "Pastorale. it is nothing whatever of the kind. His joke. and to warn the hearer that it was only "an expression of impressions. This is the secret of the truth of Beethoven's axiom that. he deals than any part which he has in it himself. and accordsympathy with the poet. he never said what that He did tell once or twice. — river. place and action. on the front page. . though he always worked to a picture." Although that work has been often quoted as the parent of modern programme-music.

Realism was the ground principle of it. chooses the easy way will rarely be beginner able to retrace his steps or to face the difficulties It is only the master of all of the narrow one. and as realism advanced. attractiveness of writing programme-music. and laborious path who first kinds of form who can make it subservient to his ends. Sterndale Bennett. lies in the comparative freedom from set form and difficult development of It is easier ideas which it holds out to the beginner. Schumann. inirahile didu. idealistic the play would explain it. Mendelssohn. If the braying of the ass is reproduced in Mendelssohn's Midsummer Night's Dream overture. such as s^-mphonic poems and the like. just as so-called free counterpoint is easier than strict. where the acting of idealism retreated. Berlioz and Liszt. It imports the more unshackled type of stage-music into the domain of concert-music. It suggests the broad and easy path of inventing whole series of themes instead of the narrow But the of developing a few. to write than absolute music. The concert-overtures of the same composer are labelled with the names of the persons and things which suggested them. he only can effectively dictate his orders to . but they are the very reverse of realistic.INFLUENCES IN INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC of France). and would be equally The satisfying as pure music without any title at all. it must not be forgotten that the work was written for the theatre. but they none of them allowed realism to do more than peep in on rare occasions. scended the 157 and. Sundry composers of the highest aims occasionally played with the fascinating siren. Dussek (The Sufferings of the Queen From this somewhat obscure stock defirst notable men who sowed in this debateable ground. such as Spohr.

perhaps. musical post-impressionists would describe as a Philistine or a Tory. It must not rely on a title (which may be torn off) or an analysis in a book of words (which to may of the drift of the drama. is the incursion of music proper into the realms of the drama.. without help from any other organ. it is a work of art if it does not. Richard Wagner. For instance. it must appeal. If it succeeds under such conditions.158 MUSICAL COMPOSITION who is his subordinates. There are no words or scenic adjuncts to assist it. their superior in experience and in knowledge. .. In his conversations with Edward Dannreuther the following passages occur which throw a search-light on the question : "Give me Beethoven's quartets and sonatas intimate communion. . the middle of Berhoz's touching scene . How far can it carry its invasion without being itself destroyed? Only so far as it is intelligible to the ear. then. it is especially interesting to have the views of a composer whom no one save. as absolute music. along the same — path backwards. after all. In a species of music so prevalent in the present day. from Bach to Gluck and Mozart or if you choose. Programme-music. . and equipoise of means and ends. "I went straight from Palestrina to Bach. for for / look for homogeneity of materials. In a word. . his overtures and symphonies public performance. / dislike everything that requires a verbal explanation beyond the actual sounds. a conservative. In instrumental music I am a R^actionnaire. it is a work of artificiahty. or to have a shilling to buy a programme. . go out of print) for au explanation It must tell a clear story any musical listener who does not happen to have seen the name.

for fear of apart becoming grotesque. action rendered such things comprehensible: music. . — is speaking no symphony at of style. for the concert room. . — Berlioz's as strictly it now it stands is is neither fish nor flesh all. no unity "When occasion offered I could venture to depict terrible things in music. which. does nothing of the sort it is not intelligible as This so-called Symphonic Dramatique of . . and will need no explanation to make them enjoyable for their own sakes. because the strange and even but music from the drama cannot risk this. but it music. with action and words. Tannhduser. Meistersinger and All of these will stand the test Parsifal Preludes. . The writer has quoted these excerpts at length. . Tristan. because they are the appeal of one of the greatest masters of our day to the rising generation to abstain from writing formless. last to disparage illogical and ill-balanced work the Wagner would have been such masterpieces as the Leonora or the Freischiitz overtures (which are so far programmemusic that they illustrate by anticipation the drama which they introduce) or as his own Flying Dutchman. of being listened to as instrumental music. gain in vividness of suggestion intelligible and they It is true that when the opera which . was intelligible in the theatre works. Lohengrin. There no unity of matter." And in 1879 he wrote "whenever a composer of instrumental music loses touch of tonality he is lost" adding an example from his own he said. but impossible in absolute .INFLUENCES IN INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC d' amour in his 159 'Romeo and Juliet' is meant by him to reproduce in musical phrases the Hnes about the lark and the nightingale in Shakspeare's balcony scene.

The construction of symphonic poems depends upon the power of transforming and developing themes and using them to give unity to what otherwise might be an amorphous mass of sound. Mere repetition or transposition will not A suffice to give interest and to avoid monotony. of concentration is the danger which besets the path of the writer of symphonic poems. or in process of being forgotten. and both form and tonality are necessary ingredients in their composition. no amount of sensationalism or brilliant orchestration will this test. and it can only be surmounted by the same means which give mastery to other more definite forms of composition. History show abundant examples of highly-gifted composers. in whom the power of invention has been so great and the power of concentration so small. But the transformation is not enough without the development. therefore. perpetual series of different themes will only bewilder and give a sense of diffuseness to the listener. lengthen its short life. their music is forgotten. economy of material and the logical evolution of themes. that they have will preferred to save themselves the labour of development by substituting new themes at every turn. the only type of programme-music which can stand on its own feet in the concert-room . This lack Superficiality is the disease which kills it. If it If it stands does not. They represent. In all such cases the tragic sequel has been the same. but as concert they are entirely satisfying without a title or a pieces story. it will justify its existence.160 they precede MUSICAL COMPOSITION is familiar to the listener. The only gauge of the value of a piece of programmemusic is the judgment of a sound musician who hears it without knowing its name or its story. These .

score so well as to make an seconds.INFLUENCES IN INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC will 161 who know be found in the best specimens of modern masters their technique. and even in the most musical countries. however. rather than commenting on situations which are past. will applaud when the curtain falls. The stroke of genius which emphasises the arrest of Egmont as the curtain falls. It is unfortunately seldom heard in the theatre. The latitude is greater. giving the atmosphere of the play rather than relying on realistic moments. He must not forget. and uses it as a bridge to the entr'acte which succeeds. is one of the Beethoven's most startling dramatic moments in all music. anticipating action to come. The principles which govern symphonic poems apply also to the incidental music to plays. because the composer has the benefit of the certainty that his audience will see the dramatic action which suggests his music. when it has come down and the and the average public cannot be lights go up . His overture and entr'actes. exception in favour of these immortal ten The M however. but by meeting them and overcoming them. that except where he writes an undercurrent accompaniment for a scene where the action is proceeding (of which Mendelssohn's Midsummer Night's Dream is a wholly admirable example). therefore. It never interferes with the play itself. The greatest monument type is in all musical literature of perfect work in this music to Goethe's Egmont. but it illustrates it at every turn. must be intelligible as absolute music. and who have not begun their careers by skimming over difficulties. expected to know Beethoven's passage. for audiences all over the world. and talk all through the music. he is. as a rule. is fortunately on .

many try to . scale. as music while the curtain is termed which is played so designed as to It quarrel as little as possible with the actor's voice. on a small and well-defined .162 paper. but the movements are still there in The "Fantasy" spite of the Hnks which join them. should be kept far distant Even when the from the pitch of the speaker. until quite recent times. been untouched by the tendencies which have produced quasi-dramatic orchestral compositions in looser form. It is not given to every one to have the power to magnetise an audience with themes and workmanship for the same length of time that a Beethoven can nevertheless. his eye. experiments have been made in a revival of the old. The form which the remedy has taken is to condense all the movements of a work in sonata form into one. make up in length for what they lack : in invention. however. when it up. must be actually accompanies it. they should always be suggestive of some link with the musical design of the whole "leading motives. Schumann did it in the D Minor Symphony. phrases are short. existence may not improbably be a natural rebellion against the excessive interest) of many modern length (and disproportionate works. All abuses lead to revulsion of feeling the greater the more drastic is the remedy. is best used in the intervals of dialogue. The sphere of chamber-music has. the . this is not new. grievance." in fact. ''Fancies" or The reason for their "Fantasies" of early times. Latterly. and. MUSICAL COMPOSITION and the student can is realise its effect with Melodrama. Mendelssohn in the Violin Concerto. Like everything under the sun.

The student had Wagner. called "Neither nor flesh. 163 either it is a single movement without companions. the themes must be clear and intelligible to the hearer. The subjects. therefore. the excuse it will not avail to acquit the composer of the offence of outlasting This tabloid preparation of the three or his welcome. and this needs what is termed "spacing. from the point of view of concentration. They If are the breath- ing places for the lungs of sound. A composer cannot . or it is a series of short movements held together by a chain.INFLUENCES IN INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC has only three courses open to it . Then." in other words. must be conceived in miniature so as to ensure their proportion to each other and to the whole design. far more diflScult than that of the older broken form. The writing of such a work therefore is. and yet not exceed the proportions of any one of them." The difficulty of ensuring this. is note at once that the writing of "Fantasies" difficulties not the broad and easy way out of that it appears to be at first sight. and by their very rarity attract his attention in the course of the movement. and if the balance is not observed to a fraction. or it is what in the excerpt quoted above. four movements of a sonata must contain all the ingredients of the prescription. amorphous. together. those gaps which rest the hearer in the intervals. again. therefore. He of must in also remember the value moments of silence music. the length of a movement that there are no other movements to follow a fantasy exceeds in sonata form. it will be impossible to see the wood for the trees. fish better. without loss of breathing room when they are concentrated into the smallest possible If they are planted too closely space. must be obvious. it will be invertebrate.

It is the experience of our forefathers. however. These side-paths of the art are attractive as a relief from the high roads.164 set himself a MUSICAL COMPOSITION more exacting problem. road may be sometimes dusty and sometimes heavy. but it is ever giving us new views of the scenery. unless we wish deliberately to be lost in the wilderness. but they are apt to end The in an impasse and a retracing of the footsteps. and varied outlooks upon the country tnrough which we pass as we tread it. and to that road. it was made by who found out the but progress. . we must return. The track itself may seem monotonous. All such experiments. best direction for ensuring our the road which enables us to reach the side-paths. provided that a reference to past history does not show (as it often does) that they have been made before and found wanting. are worth trying.

structive advice in musical composition is practically confined to technique.CHAPTER X DANGER SIGNALS In the introductory chapter of this httle treatise we laid stress on the fact that its main functions must Connecessarily be to give hints as to what to avoid. and natural invention and Criticism is the only inspiration cannot be taught. and of himself when he has is felt his feet. that of a superior in experience when the composer is starting on his career. To make selfcriticism valuable. put them away until have given them time to be partially forgotten. and criticise it for yourself after it Let the imagination run. instead of giving polish to music when written. If you cannot suflficiently at once look impartial eye. judging between what is good and bad what is beautiful and ugly in art. may. — which. The one extreme is as dangerous as the other. the taste must be refined to its purest point. has had its fling. Some young composers think too little. others too much. 165 on your creations with a you One . prevent the music being written at all. The only basis of and the ability which it gives of in other words. from breeding over-conscientiousness. such criticism taste. means of regulating it. but it must stop short of over-refinement.

directed. in as many days. it principally concerns the second subject. of the traps (§ 1) The danger of altering the pace of a movement unconsciously in the mind. The change of tempo in this form of work is almost always in the direction of acceleration. This is a most common failing. (It is assumed. the notes will unconsciously become shorter in value as it proceeds. that the composer is wise enough to write at his table and not at the piano.1G6 MUSICAL COMPOSITION modern symphonies was in its of the greatest of com- poser's desk for ten years before he even had the band It sounds to this day as spontaneous as parts copied. the function of this chapter to point out some of the directions in which this self-criticism may be if it had been written is It and to warn the young composer and snares which he has to avoid. seldom or never of retardation. and the whole intention of the movement is destroyed. such as the first movement of a piece in sonata-form. the t time a movement becoming |. The composer tries his will discover it quickly enough when he . when intending to write in the same tempo. When begins in f time. and not infrequently become twice as quick. manuscript on the but it will then be too late to recast it. In instrumental movements. for pianoforte the gradual and continuous steps by which the hurrying has progressed will make it impossible to rectify the balance without rewriting. and sometimes can only be cured drastically by the intervention of the metronome. the tendency is usually the other way. Thus the balance of the design is entirely upset.) The form of composition which it most of all affects is unaccompanied writing for voices. of course. which is .

it called in as a corrector.DANGER SIGNALS 167 often insensibly conceived in a slower time than the first. The rhythms must be perfect in themselves. If the change vital to its existence. merely to test is the rate at which the invention working. to make a rhythm which sounds too short longer. and only in the interests of expression and interpre- tation (like a ritardando. The gain of the slower time is is in the intensifying of its character. . it in the first give an instance of the Pathetic Symphony. but gains in effect at performance by this indicaquite possible to play it at the same speed as the opening of the allegro without destroying its intenit is tion. it must be ruled out of court. Tschaikowsky : To has marked the second subject in a slower tempo. This is equally disturbing to the balance if it goes so far as to make the second subject impossible or ridiculous to listen to at the pace of the first. crescendo or diminuendo). not in its alteration. A something inherently wrong in itself one which gives an impression of being cut too short to satisfy the ear . is accelerando. (§ 2) yi own The danger of using the terms ritardando and accelerando as an integral part of a passage. should be used more and It will its more sparingly and at longer intervals. movement though tion. or one which sounds too long shorter. soon be discarded when the brain acts as speed-gauge. Any alteration of its tempo must be absolutely superficial. for this disease think in The only cure a rigid discipline of the mind to If the metronome is well-balanced time. these indications are only "trimmings" for giving additional passage which halts has expressiveness to them.

which must be only ornamental additions. He will most commonly be content with a finish which is in reality no finish at all. a concluding phrase such equally so.168 is MUSICAL COMPOSITION For example. £=:^ a tempo. one of the greatest difficulties which the inexperienced composer has to combat. a tempo." and gives a feeling of uncertainty in the listener Its equivalent on the as to whether it is over or not. which leaves the movement "in the air. e. as this Allegro. (§ 3) The danger of ending a movement unsatis- from a rhythmical point of view. : rr\ /7S — a tempo. This is .g. £=hz& r accel. : - "" ^:^ /> i5 m >>:> rr\ zr:^ 3t±* ±±=£: -r To this phrase any alterations of tempo can be applied without damaging its proportions. /r\ '^: will i •r^ i £: not be given the rhythm it requires by marking a It must be written thus ritardando over the last bar. This applies also to pause-marks. or i^ factorily -I —— I /Ts ^^» h I i £ :W=Ed=e i £:^ n<.

DANGER SIGNALS stage late. A bar too much or too may do the mischief. It is impossible to give any rule or even advice which will ensure this It depends upon the satisfactory consummation. he pause may down bars. The uncomfortable and silence which the composer may often experience between the close of his work and the tentative beginning of the applause of the audience. whole of the coda which precedes it. as dramatists know. The first movement of the Eroica Symphony supplies an example of the first : (1) (2) . The nearest approach to a rule-of-thurab would be to end the last chord either on the third bar of a four-bar rhythm or on the bar which follows that rhythm. He might have added that it is no less important that the listeners should be as conscious of the "When moment of its finish as they are of the little moment of its start. 169 is the letting down of the curtain too soon or too a mechanical process which. audience alike. (3) 4^"-^ (4) ^- _ (1) (2) (3) $^& £=£: ±=±z . can wreck the success of a play. Every one concerned. (if his composition is otherwise appreciated) set to something rhythmically wrong in his final a piece is over." as an astute stage-manager once said. performers and must be unanimous as to the precise second when the end should come. it is over.

and.170 MUSICAL COMPOSITION following is a specimen of an ending on the bar following the four-bar rhythm The : I ^E I: -*-*J :t: (1) (2) ^r\ -f^ _ti_p: (1) (4) But the whole question is a matter of experience and of sound musical instinct. In A the player to pianist also fill his lungs and to to rest rest his lip. they are the breathing places of music. It has been truly said that some of the most thrilling moments in music have been the result of a dead silence (cf. his The the needs them muscles. instruments must have them. As has been said in a former chapter. both to allow time for players and writers. "Let the air in" was the frequent burden of Hans von Billow's advice both to all chamber-music they fill a quartet will be stodgy and string leading Wind monotonous in the extreme without them. the in the familiar Baal the Elijah. (§ 4) The danger silences. The student will learn best how to do it right by many sufferings from doing it wrong. role. of using an insufficient number of rests and They are the most valuable assets of the composer. audience to rest their ears. perhaps the most impressive in the second act of "Hear and Answer" . the entry of the Dutchman chorus of silences after Wagner's opera.

DANGER SIGNALS
of
all,

171

the silence which succeeds the

the second act of Fidelio).

moment
miss

for this effect

is

Trumpet Call in upon the right no easy matter it must never

To

hit

;

a complete finish. To but all do it successfully requires a dramatic mind composers must be endowed with that gift if their
fire,

and never sound

like

;

music

is

to possess

more
is

utilitarian

any measure of vitality. Another and perhaps less heroic virtue of rests

the help they give in solving a difficult piece of technique. Many are the knots in part-writing which they will untie in far easier fashion than an alteration
of notes.

student will often puzzle his brains for way out of an apparent impasse which the cessation of a part will clear up at once. Rests and pauses are the best friends of the composer, the

A

hours to find his

performer and the listener. (§ 5) The danger of falling into a style of orchestration which resembles the perpetual use of the full
swell of

an organ.
is

This
above.

closely

Its genesis

no organ effect but none more conducive to monotony if it is used Like all luxury, it ends by palling. The in excess.
possession of a large fortune does not give nearlj'- so much pleasure to a rich man, as an unexpected

to the danger alluded to an absence of rests. There is more impressive than the full swell,
related
is

five-pound note does to a poor one.
orchestral

Much

of recent
of of
its

writing resources that the

is

persistently individual characteristics

so

lavish

the

various instruments are obliterated altogether. Such poetical conversations between them as delight the
ear in Schubert's unfinished
to be.

symphony are ceasing Instead of rivers and brooks of sound winding

172

MUSICAL COMPOSITION

through a changing scenery of fields and woods, we have nothing but the ocean to look at. This backward step in the use of the finest instrument in the world, the orchestra, cannot be otherwise than a passing phase. It has its uses, both in advancing
the technique of instrumental playing, and in helping experiments in the colour of vast combinations. The
process is fascinating, especially to a beginner, who takes in it the same somewhat wicked joy that a

young organist takes in playing with all his stops Later on he comes back to the purer enjoyment out.
of a single

diapason.

Not

so long ago,

before the

electricity, the organ days blower used to moderate the transports of the too

of hydraulic engines

and

by letting the wind out, and That wholesome, if annoying, corrective had its uses, Uke the metronome; but the player, like the orchestrator, has now to work out his own salvation. As he wakes to the fact that perpetual
spendthrift
organist

threatening a strike.

high pressure of sound does away with all possibilities of climax, he will find relief in the more sympathetic

method
it is

of alternating

and combining

single stops.
in

So

orchestration.

with the conditions prevaiUng Composers have been naturally mag-

much modern

richness and sonority which Wagner obtains with his orchestra at moments of climax, and have smeared them all over their scores irrespective of
netised

by the

balance of colour or design. Every phrase is as highly coloured as its neighbour, and all power of strong contrast disappears. This is the precise reverse of
the orchestral theories of the most imaginative and experimental orchestrator of modern times, Berlioz.

He knew

too well the glories and beauties of individual

DANGER SIGNALS
all

173

instruments to encourage his successors to throw them If his into a cauldron and boil them up together. invention and melodic power had been equal to his

command over the orchestra; if, in a word, he had been as great a draughtsman as he was a colourist, his influence would have been paramount
poetical

at the present day.

The combined

characteristics of

Wagner and Berlioz, the collectiveness of the one and the individualism of the other, if the value of their
music had been on an equality, would have kept the orchestral road clear. These luxurious outbursts are too often used to conceal poverty of invention.

"The

greater the

number

of staves in the score, the

was an astute comment The best on the situation by a great conductor. antidote to this plethora of material is a solid grounding
fewer the

number

of ideas,"

in writing for a small orchestra,

such as sufficed for

Mozart,

and, in the main, for Beethoven.
colour as

A

composer

who can produce such

Wagner

did in his

Siegfried Idyll, with the same limited means, will find it far easier to dispose larger forces when he is called

upon

to

command them, and
ability

his experience in con-

trolling smaller bodies will

lead

gradually up to a
corps.

greater

in

handling

army

He

will

and their capabilities, individual as well as collective, and will not strain them beyond
his

know

units

their powers.

players as

He human
will

will,

for example, treat his horn-

chords, and he

beings, not as padding to fill up never lose sight of the two most

valuable assets of an orchestrator, contrast of colour

and economy

of material.

(§ 6) The danger of lack of economy in The student must remember that

material.

the

more

174

MUSICAL COMPOSITION

performers he requires for his works, the less likely he is to secure the frequent performance of them. Operas with a small number of characters, and with

minimum of elaborate scenic effects, have the best chance of acceptance. A symphony which requires many extra instruments has a limited appeal. Bass
the
clarinets,

cors

anglais,

bass

trumpets,

contra-bass

trombones are not grown on every bush, and, quite apart from the expense of engaging them, their presence can only be secured in a small minority of
orchestras.

A

widely

popular

and well-established

master

may

attract a sufficient audience to warrant

the outlay they necessitate, but a lesser-known man (however able) will only be setting up obstacles to his

own

by employing them as necessities. arrangement of a movement from a big score
career

The
for a

limited band, say a theatre orchestra of twenty or so, will be both interesting as practice and useful as

showing how much can be done by handling a few The composer will often be players effectively. at the very slight modifications of colour surprised which such a procedure will involve; how httle the lower notes of an oboe will differ from the medium notes of a cor anglais how well two bassoons will combine with two horns, and give an effect approximating that of four how the cuivre or brassed sounds of the horns can help out upper trombone parts, and many other such devices. The shades of the colours may not be so minute, but their general tone is
;

;

meaning. technique

not so different as to spoil the drift of the composer's Routine in this branch of orchestral
will

provide him v/ith

many ways
;

of secur-

ing alternatives for absent instruments

and the more

the instrument may be at an impossible pitch or out of tune. In a word. double basses are treated given like organ pedals. pianoforte music for pianoforte. of practicality. but only too frequently the boundaries between the various instruments are ignored. of which it is To expect the double bass to wholly incapable. like Frankenstein. sustain a long note forte as if it were a bass tuba for the piano with the is absurd. the composer must cultivate the virtue and make it easy for his works to be performed. this muddy mixture of the colour and the capabilities of individual instruments is cleaned out The mind should be clear as to the the better. brass instruments are string passages. To write organ in the mind would result in passages involving long holding notes. the omitted is 175 he suffer from less torture will This passages incomplete true of scores in which an organ has especially any important part. instead of. is the were a windinstrument with keys and an immense compass. instinctively hear it while it invents for it. written indefinitely without any fixed intention as to what medium of sound-production is to perform it. the pianoforte like an orchestra. which possesses one. Write vocal music for voices. (§ 7) The danger of losing sight of the characteristics of the means used music is No for expressing the ideas. definitely for given instruments string music for strings. and even when it does.DANGER SIGNALS he uses them. Still more common. for it is not every concert hall or harmonies. Strings are given pianoforte passages. unfortunately. treatment of the voice as if human it : . instrument for which it is designing sounds it should The sooner . raising up monsters which will destroy him.

Themes must be proportioned to that of the first nor fowl. the development and the coda not have enough material to preserve their interest. The rules which regulate the construction of plays are equally applicable to musical forms. or what kind flesh of medium is to produce it. the student. The sooner it is abolished. the better for (§ S) The danger of building a large upon a shallow foundation. The movement of a symphony demands subjects which and more suggestive than a scherzo or a the are longer minuet. necessary discipline which should always be written either for voices or for The foundation for this most can be laid in harmony exercises. a trying to make bricks without straw. The five-act tragedy needs ampler material. and its hold will diminish as the play proceeds. Otherwise section. and a overweighted at the larger basis of interest than a one-act comedy. short movement which has a subject of too large proportions will be clumsy to handle. We may couple with this . over the spectators The exact balance between the dimensions and details of a musical work can only be hit off by long experiwise the theme will ence and close acquaintance with accepted masterpieces. other- be worn threadbare. intermediate will episodes. is neither fish. superstructure in scope and length movement which comprises them. named instruments.176 MUSICAL COMPOSITION for and do not use the technique suitable writing for one in another. and the composer will soon find himself in the unhappy dilemma of Similarly. and will be start. The antique method of putting down notes in them without considering what the quality of their sound would be. more gradually developed situations.

a massive wall of sound as impenetrable as figure. sola. a delicate symphony hke the G minor of Mozart is scored with a lighter hand than the E flat or the C major. must adapt itself also to arsis the larger field of the is structure itself. If scores of Otello the student of opera will compare the and Falstaff. he will have before full him (from the ripe judgment of Verdi) an unsurpassable instance of the subordination of means to ends. moments of climax. Let your clothes fit your Every work. will be valuable on a smaller scale. both vocally and orchestrally. accelerando and riiardando. its theme. (§ 10) The danger of overloading and over-elaborating less important moments. The Mozart's Don Giovanni. great and small. has been spoilt by a neglect of its lesson. the various moveequally sestet "Sola. has its alternations of and thesis. There must be valleys as well as mountains. Overloading of orchestration is a frequent symptom of this weak- Many ness.DANGER SIGNALS 177 (§ 9) The danger of using big means for little ends. If every sentence of a speech there will be no great at the same level of interest. The Pastoral Symphony of . especially in opera." in ments and situations which it comprises being all treated. in exact proportion to their importance in the dramatic situation. So in orchestral work. The instinct which marks dowTi crescendo and diminuendo. Beethoven is a kaleidoscope of the most delicate colours the C Minor Symphony. an intrinsically fine work. rise and fall. The adage of ''using a Nasmyth hammer to crack a nut" is a homely method of explaining this snare. or the landscape will be a monotonous plain whether its elevation be low or . forte and piano.

speare knows tlie Every student of Shakeconsummate stage-craft with which : the first few lines are he opens a play or an act so conceived that they contain no important always sentence which can be rendered inaudible by the rustle or "settling-down" of the audience. The neglect of this economy of expression induces thickness and stodginess. and yet not so interesting as to rivet the attention and attract it to the detriment in filling of the outstanding features. and the longer careless or useless or his design is. The difficulty up the gaps between the important moments with material which is not mere padding. another on the right. The San Sisto Madonna Raphael the Virgin and the Child in the one figure on the left. A parallel once more from the this sister still art of painting may : illustrate point with of greater clearness. two cherubs at the foot. tracts of lower colour-values. Every line of poetry its has themselves. Not when padding that the the more extended must be these intervals of brain-rest. painted in so shadowy . On this principle the composer must work.178 MUSICAL COMPOSITION its Every picture has its points of high light and high. but poetry the dramatist keeps back his more vital lines for the moments when the interest is prepared for them. closer investigation will reveal the fact that it is a multitude of cherubs' heads. small and unaccentuated words. Every which arrest the point of interest lies kills its neighbour. is read. unimportant in but supplying the links between those ear. a casual would technically be A glance at it would describe it as sky and clouds features of the design. but interesting in itself. and centre. These are the outstanding consists of six figures The rest of the canvas is what termed background.

upon it here. and painted with lower colour-values than the six outstanding figures. Dussek was when he described the execution of Marie Antoinette by a descending glissando scale on as the pianoforte. and the ally of slipshod workmanship. This has been so fully dealt with in the chapter upon extraneous influences in instrumental music that scarcely necessary to enlarge of it is poser capacities. That exception if is the technical laying-out of passages intended primarily for the instrument. poetry. The instrument should only be used as a test of work done. get . as a violin player would. a fascinating amusement. as well as in that of the author who does.DANGER SIGNALS and indefinite a 179 attract atten- manner that they never This represents the "unimportant moments" of the design. but a poetical design laid out on a lower tion to themselves. Otherwise he will be either obscure or ridiculous. without certainty that it will be intelligible as music to the ears of others. which can have the most dire results. (§11) The danger of expressing ideas realistically to one's own mind. or indeed to any work of art. he were a composer. It aids and abets that most undesirable method of composing. of improvising without method. It is the sworn foe of power of (§ 12) The danger This is construction. This principle can be as well applied to music as to architecture or to scale of interest. The comprogramme-music must write it in two he must be able to criticise his work in the character of an independent listener who does not know his programme. never (with one exception) as a suggestive medium for the materials of a work. writing at the pianoforte. It is not mere blue sky put in as padding.

. or hammered table. out melodies with his fingers. and even take hints from him as to emendations in the passages which suggested Man of genius though he was. using his eyes as his ears. It so affected his belief own in different coloured inks in order to in rehearsal the certainty of touch. are waste of substance.180 suggestions the vioHn. as any man applause. which a composer may invent in improvisation. valuable products of the which throws them away as fast as it creates them. his that he used to who wrote the fourth act of the Huguenots must have been. It obliged him to take three flats in his town house. of its To own. so that no one above or below should hear his music in process of being cooked upon the pianoforte. They brain. no matter how beautiful they may b. improvise with method has a certain value It needs sense of balance. Meyerbeer is a sign-post of this danger of trusting The to the pianoforte as a medium for inspiration. and a long and accurate memory to insure the exact repetitions of themes. that he used to orchestrate passages be able to choose form which he preferred. It so far affected his sense of the effect dramatic climaxes would produce upon audiences. of which he inhabited the middle one. are forgotten as soon as they are played. " " at the sit next the chef -de-claque Grand Opera at rehearsals. One the first rank) showed the mark it who left did (not of at in upon him his every turn. MUSICAL COMPOSITION from experimenting with passages on Nine-tenths of the ideas. But it is only a rare genius who can fulfil these conditions the without a long previous experience in writing at the No composer of the first rank ever wrote at the pianoforte. in order to keep movement clear in design.

The danger of anticipating the introduction key towards which a modulation is in progress. who is ill-equipped with finger technique. the following short modulation from F major to A minor is spoilt by the anticipatory chord of A minor at * (§ 13) of a : plpSipippi:pl J. may console himself with the knowledge that Richard Wagner {teste Dannreuther) played the pianoforte abominably. For instance. the original key of the movement will appear before first its return of the subject. where. the The reappearance of the . This is a very common trap for the beginner. 1 -A-A ^1 ^ 03 i ?^ 3L —^ T rf- which can be avoided thus £235^^^? ^ ^^^mm iAAU It _C2I J -^»^a^ This snare is 1 A-AA most frequently r development set in the section of sonata form. It has been described in every-day language as knocking at the door and running away.DANGER SIGNALS young 181 composer. unless the modulations are carefully designed. natural place of re-entry.

in a movement in E major. his and key-signatures at the beginning of everj' page and everj. discount your arrival at a given key anticipating (§ 14) The danger of making the keys if you modulate sound as of the piece. when the second subject Is in B major. it which you want to say. necessity of keeping clear of section. The mere sight of the original key-signature tends to keep the due balance of tonality in the mind. as. The modulation must be so . into which were the original key they either This may arise from two causes . It is not waste of time to do so the mere manual labour gives a little pause for thought. to avoid the same key when in a you have said everything in its entr\-. Too definite an approach to a related key may produce the same im. understood but not expressed. from the tonality' being insufficiently driven home at the start. to alter the signatm-e from four sharps to five. or from the subsidiary key being so firmly insisted on that it is it overbalances the original key. for example. or a Httle rest to the brain as a perpetual reminder of the original tonality it is invaluable. the greater is the .182 MUSICAL COMPOSITION tonic will be robbed of moment all its freshness if it is heard a too soon the more firmly the tonality has been fixed in the mind in the first part. Do by not. This is one of the reasons why Brahms clefs laid so much stress on a composer writing . it in the free fantasia Wagners wholesome advice to say ever^-thing key before leaving it has its counterpart. therefore. certaintv- of tonaiitv. and to relegate everj' subordinate key to its proper position in the general scheme. For this reason most inadvisable for a beginner to alter his key- signature in the course of a movement.line.

arises from the composer supphing in his own mind chords or harmonies which are not there. and. of Beethoven's Overture to Leonora (No.IXGER SIGNALS 183 delicateh' handled as to give a feeling of rest when the related key is reached without over-accentuating it. most common failing. from the chord last heard. do not exist. while all the time you know that his house not your own. It feel at is pacing a \'isit to a friend who makes you home. is like (§ 15) The danger a of writing a single part in a key different This. will note of which with the opening bass note of conform to and combine (suggesting the chord G): f . for any ears The opening except the composer's. 1) is an illustration ever>- of a single part of considerable length.D.

he would have fallen into the to D snare thus : EB^ "^Ex^ :Si=P= m P f S: ^lE: T own mind could easily have supplied harmonies such a passage. If. intelligible to for the lowest note lasts longest in the ear. instead of remaining in the key which fitted his initial note. must be definitely cut short before a modula- in a higher position can sound independently . which is not clearly and logically quitted. Similarly a very marked bass note. may fog a whole passage after it.184 to MUSICAL COMPOSITION major. but the inexorable G in the bass of the first bar goes on sounding in posse all through. and would have made his modulation unHis for any other ear except his own. he had suggested after the fifth bar a modulation F minor. and its career tion of it. he makes his progression clear by accompanying harmonies. in the example given above.

?^^ fEgEg £ i»-— i at a to j8 The modulations to G minor. the cheapest and easiest way to modulate. at IfpzfUjp . but the expedient cannot be often tried without exposure of the poverty-stricken . or the unison passage in L'Africaine. or to concoct a melody. great care must be taken to make course of it any suggested modulations perfectly clear from the trend in the the of melody itself.DANGER SIGNALS 185 When long passages of an ohbligato character are written for a single instrument. or for a solo voice. at y through A minor to F major. of writing rosalias. alone will The following passage for the voice illustrate how this can be accomplished : U) r I ^m } fizt _cz: ^m i i D :p=i= ILzzKzM: ^ j < »| zizizE: ^ SE^S±i^ l-t t^ A major. such as the cor anglais solo in the third act of Tristan. A It is rosalia is a sequence repeated more than twice. and 8 back to minor are made quite clear by the "lie" of melody and by the leading (§ 16) notes. especially in The danger melody.

Pizarro. and only to great a limited extent on sequences at all. None of the tunes of the world rely on it. not necessary.186 invention MUSICAL COMPOSITION which takes refuge in it. the third and fourth bars are a sequence from the first and second. where there is a phrase. Variations. For music stands sacrifice the most noble of the arts. When Beethoven wrote music for Ugly music bad music. of flow in melodic inspiration which it (§ 17) The danger of lowering music to illustrate lower emotions and instincts. The objections to it are the sense of monotony which it invariably induces. Nor did Weber for characters of Lysiart and Eglantine in his No composer of inherent nobility will so Euryanthe. To do is so is the worst side of bad art. to illustrate it with It is ugly music. he did not pen an ugly or even a crude bar. The entr'acte to the third act of Lohengrin carries out the same principle. characterisation. third is repetition of the opening avoided by a variation. a rosalia and the lack evidences. A rosalia in modulation suggests at once a continuation ad infinitum until the phrase disappears below the bass In the theme of the Prometheus or above the treble. it is incapable without association with words or action of being . No great painter would He draws the line at paint even a Caliban badly. In the opening of the Prelude to Tristan. and yet it is a masterpiece of delineation. quoted in a former chapter. in order to depict an ugly character or a horrible situation. the alone among the arts in one respect. one of the greatest villains in opera. but the fifth bar (after the first two notes) breaks new ground.

therefore. however gifted. but not offensive or grossly On the other hand. and for sincerity and no composer who has grounded his early tastes upon them will lightly play with the fire of sensuality or vulgarity against which they are a standing protest. The faults of which can be guilty. The simple soul of the people from which they spring is often richer in both these qualities than many accomplished and versatile composers give it credit for. Folk-songs are a treasure-house of of both. and flippant. It can be vulgar and trivial. even when the literary value of the words is of the poorest. becomes ten times more so when Puccini dots the i's and his vivid score. and can accentuate to the most appalling extent the suggestions which they give. are only faults of taste. it can priggish put a magnifying glass over every detail. They make taste. The regulators of his work are a pure taste and a deep sense of nobility. Great and far-reaching. for beauty. the moment action suggestive. for simplicity. it will abrogate its chief duty. The torture scene in Sardou's Tosca. which in itself is horrible enough. or a patriotic one stir a whole nation. who can afford to ignore the lesson which they teach. or words come into play in combination with it. not of morals. . is the responsibility crosses the t's with be its power for the man who holds the musician's pen. So great can good or ill that it can make a revolutionary poem egg on a mob to the wildest excesses. It is the old fight between idealism and materialism. as absolute music. There is no young writer. and when music ceases to be ideal. the refinement and elevation of public .DANGER SIGNALS in it 187 itself indecent or obscene.

batti. early Beethoven from Mozart. but every one of them. their less indi- literary style." or Brahms for starting his second Violin Sonata with the initial notes of Wagner's movement of his quintet for Preislied. which shows their greater or viduality. the danger of trying to be original. The truest and has always been. All poets and prose writers use the but it is their same vocabulary to express themselves. The actual notes in the first instance and F- fk. but their . early Mozart from Haydn. nothing so dangerous to a young composer originality him for lack of originality. but the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Schubert. All painters use the same colours. Early Bach is scarcely distinguishable from Buxtehude. were labelled with his name. are expressed and developed in a individual to the composer who wrote Dvordk frequently used themes which have been often heard before. Originality has far more to do with the treatment of melodies than with the invention of them. They is way which them. Wagner is permeated with Weber. as he handled them.V - — #—P=^ \ jj^ the latter are identical. a gradual growth and not a sudden phenomenon. Brahms with Beethoven and as to criticise is.188 (§ 18) MUSICAL COMPOSITION is There Lastly. No one dreams of slow like calling Beethoven a plagiarist because the wind and piano begins Mozart's "Batti. Their originality manifested itself as their brains developed the power of expressing themselves in a way which was personal and individual. method of collocating words.

let your run.DANGER SIGNALS tone-values gives 189 mixing of them and their treatment and grouping of them their cachet. this quality will emerge without effort from the ranks of the average of his fellows. . but if he is made selfconscious in the process. It turns a philosopher annoying into a faddist. Whoever has original. every one is to some extent The only It is only a question of degree. . the quality of originality is so subtle and often so gradual in its process of evolution that a future generation will be in a better position to judge of its existence than a contemporary one. If you set out to do it consciously. Efforts after in premature their train. what you feel you must say to the best of your ability. If you are going to give a new message to the world. so and so irritating. and (except in your workmanship and technical study) with the least possible effort. say what you want to say and of the abnormal. do not let yourself be worried by imagination reminiscence hunters. or it will be insincere. Every man and is different from his fellows in feature. A beginner must not think about originality. you will do so without being conscious of it yourself. true originality is that of a man who stands midway between the average and the abnormal. you will fail because you will be trying to pose and the man who poses is The two most vital qualities for an artist insincere. he will tend to enter the ranks Express yourself naturally. It must not be forced. in physique in temperament. a poet into a rhyme-jingler. Moreover. it will come out as surely as the world goes round the sun. If he has it in his nature. originality will always bring mannerism and no quality in music is so ephemeral. You cannot conceal a commonplace idea by a contortion of forced originality. Ergo.

forfeit are sincerity gain notoriety. but will he will take his place.190 MUSICAL COMPOSITION and nobility. with those who have given of their best for the advancement of their of art. . it in the lower or the higher the musician's paradise. be circles Without them he may With them respect.

38. 12-20. Haydn 64-69. 41-44. 67. G. 163. 136. 95-126. 137. Sir George. 138. 52. 163. 181. Hans G. 21. 143. 74. 147.. 50. 37. Double bass. use and abuse of. Cranmer. 168-170. of material. 183. 161. 101. Diirer. 11. 55. 135. 133. 47. 106. 191 23. 34. 117. Antonin. J. 169. 44-48. Economy sketches. 77. 171. 91. 74-94.34. 79-89.. Doubling. Harmony. 142. 42. 96. 146. 175. Climax. Chr. 127. 51. 183. Beriioz.Counterpoint. treatment of the. Folk-songs. Fantasies. 120. van. 10. J. 33. Franck. 110. Moritz. variations analysed. or Fancies. 155. 39. Canon and Fugue. 50-52. 55. Compass. 108. 111. 19. 173. 17. 31. 6-12. Op. 63-69. 12.. 141.. Archbishop. 129. 106. 134. 112. 77. Buxtehude. 10. F. Dance-forms. 34.INDEX Accent and quantity. 20-22. 141. 6-10. 24. Bass. Dussek. sonata. 170. modal. 150. ground. 143. 177. 41-44. 116. First movement analysed. 157-159. 111. Beethoven. 80-88. 96. 25. Cluck. 26-31. 147-153. 50. 172. L. 142. 124. 162. 12. 127. 147. 167. 152. 174. 15&^ Grove. instrumental. 145. Choral writing. 12. von. Colour. 52. S. 125. importance of good. vocal. marks of. 23. 21. Arioso. 77. 10.. 188. No. 115. 146. 50. 1. 5763. 50. 9. 151. 145. 123. 1. 122. 186. 37. 188. 20. 108. variations analysed. Bass. Billow. Dvofdk. . 153. 173. 157. 125. 12. 47. instrumental. 105. 108. 146. 188. 56. 67. 156. 83. 69. Albrecht. 68. 99. Cesar. 122-125. 158. Handel. E. Chromatics. Equal temperament. Dunstable. 110. 188. 114. 117-119. 13. 181. 3. 142. 23. Foi-m. John of. 38. 50. 138. 55. Bach. von. 2. Expression. 154. 158. 101. 146. strict. Dannreuther. Brahms. 58-63. 134. Endings of movements. 52. 102. so-called free. H. 107. 177. Hauptmann. 122. 150. 147.

13. Songs. 11. Temperament. 6-9 rhythmical. 177. Purcell. 13-17. 126. 161. Strauss. Robert. 114. 153. 138. 186. 2. 178. Programme-music. 36. Sonatas. 103108. 118. 135138.. to. Bennett W. 45. 147. 13. 23. 91. of phrase. 29-31 construction of. 125. 107. 162. 146. 101-103. 79. 4. 122. 111. 23. 4. 6 et seq. 155-160. 69-72. 158. et 131-133. 77. 46. 63. Liszt.. Quantity and accent (see Accent). 140. 80-90. D. 83. 76. Sir Joshua. Intervals. 25-27. 145. 57. Johann. von. 125. 160. ratios of. Ludwig. whole tone. 166. G. 3. declamation 28. Quartets. 129. Rondo. 155. 39-41. 90. 171. 78. 18. 110. 122. 24-27. 180. 42. 121. F. 178. 77. 63.. Painting. 49 et seq. . 155. 180. Intervals. Schumann. 109. Lord. Recitative. 42. 179. 188. 146. Metronome. 183-186. W. . 91.Tennyson.. 123. Mozart. 179. G. . Hogarth. 31. 17. 110. 167. Strauss. 51. Passage-writing. 156. Henry. 20. 89. 10. string. 101. Rosalia. Melody. 9. 157. 3448 treatment of. A. 178. of detail. 62. 156. 161. 98-111. 1. 12. 147-152. 189. Richard. . Shakespeare.. 157. 36. W. 140. . Spohr. 74.. Franz. Orchestration. 113. Nottebohm. 27-32. 140-143. Scale. 170. 157. 125. 131. 147-150. 147. Polyphony and monophony. 26. 129. 162. Rests. 139. con. 129-134. 170. 78. 128-144. 132.. use of. 78. 144-146.. Palestrina. 56. Sir Hubert. 125. 118. 171-177. 157. 2. Franz. use of. Josef. 24. E. 17. W. overlapping. 21. Poetry. Reynolds. 183-186. Italian language for musical signs. 174. 42. 20. 129-131 167-170. 47. Schubert. analogy of music to. 52-54. 57. 136-138. 33-36. 122. 13. Horn. Mendelssohn-Bartholdy.. 52. 75. Symphonic poems. 119. 93. 54. 185. of. Rossini.. 160. 42. Strings (see Quartet and Trio). 158. 142. 27. 111-119. Improvising. 167. 98 et seq. Sterndale. Songs. 75. Raphael Sanzio. 44. 13-17. difficult vocal. 171. 96. 42. 77-79. 128. Technique. 157. Alfred. 131-133. 61. Repetition. Meyerbeer. incidental music 162. 146. 139. 53. 185. 137. 12. G. 22. treatment of the. 188. 10. 64.192 Haydn. Parry. 39. Rembrandt van Rijn. Modulation. 147. 52 orchestral. Plays. 19. 127. pure. 188. Sonata-form. Henley. Rhythm. of figure. 173. 134. .. 12. equal. 22. Rhythm. 17S. 77. 31. 45.. 69. trast of. 51. INDEX 63. Scale. 81 seq. 178. Originality. accompaniment of.

forte. 193 84. 185. 135. 159. 75. 182. Variations. Tschaikowsky. of. 16. 89. contrast Tonality. 92. 96. 120. 113. P. 97. 141. 177. 103. Wiertz. 112. 182. 12. Violoncello. G. 10. Wagner. 167. 49-72. greater and 13- Trios. 3. 170. 45-47. character and treatment of the.. . 26. 124. lesser. Wolf. 65. 123-125. 13. 188. 20. 177. 175. 121 . Richard. 101.INDEX Themes. 186. 34-36. 18. 158. 146. 125. 173. 172. Vowels. treatment of. 109. 185. piano- treatment of the. 108-110. 90. 25. 126. Voice. 98. 127-154. 122-125. 159. Tones. 4. 108. 26.. 104. 36. 181. Violin. 99. string. 106. Hugo. 34. 160. Verdi. treatment of the. 17. 101-103. 42.

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