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are in every instance supported by the necessary proofs; and his illustrations, drawn from ancient as well as modern sources, are numerous, beautiful, and apposite. The life of Lucretius, which is prefixed to the work, we have read with pleasure, and deem it, if not a satisfactory, at least an interesting and well-written memoir.
The Wakefield text, the best extant, accompanies the work, although the translator has, in his version, occasionally adopted that of other editions, and sometimes added emendations of his own: these, however, are indicated in the notes.
Catalogue of translations of Lucretius, extant in several
languages. Lucretius, translated by De Marolles (French) A. D. - 1650
Langlois (French) .... 1677
Baron De Coutures, (French) - 1685
De Witt (Dutch) 1709
Marchetti (Italian) the best, - 1714
M. T. X. Mayer (German) - 1784
Le Blanc De Guillet (French) an
elegant version, .... 1788 Deleyre (not published) - -
La Grange (French) - - - 1795
Creech (English) 1676
Guernier (English) - - - - 1743
John Mason Good (English) - 1805
Art. IV.—Essai sur Vhistoire de la Musique en Italie, depuis les temps les plus anciens jusqu' a nos jours. Par M. le Comte Gregoire Orloff, Senateur de l'Empire de Russie. 2 vols. pp. 304. 398. Paris. %ftn Essay upon the History of Music, from the earliest times to the present day. By Count Gregory Orloff, Senator of the Russian Empire. 2 vols. Paris.
The very agreeable author of the work before us, has remarked, that the eminence to which Italy has attained in the art of music cannot be denied,—no country having furnished so large a number of composers remarkable for their genius, learning and fertility. Such being almost universally recognised to be the case, and actuated as we are by the firm persuasion, that, at the present moment, when the recent visit of an Italian company to
will be sufficient to remark, that, like Lucretius and many of the poets and historians of antiquity, he refers the origin of vocal music to the singing of the feathered tribe, whilst he traces instrumental music to the rustling of the wind among leaves and reeds, and to the humming of insects. "This union of diversified sounds constituted the germ of what was called harmony, which, subjected to positive rules, was destined to carry the art to its utmost degree of perfection."
In remotest antiquity, the Egyptians declared they had received music from the gods; the Hebrews consecrated it to the divinity; and the Greeks, honouring it not less than the preceding people, ranked it among their instruments of legislation. They introduced it every where; in their games, festivals, and ceremonies. In his first chapter, Count Orloff offers a few cursory remarks on the introduction of music among the Romans,— on the use which the masters of the world made of it for increasing the pomp of their religious ceremonies, and inspiring ardour into their legions in the hour of battle;—on its banishment from Rome, after the death of the sanguinary Nero, of whom it was regarded as the accomplice;—on its introduction into the Church; —on the improvements made in it by St. Ambrose and St. Gregory;—on the vicissitudes it had to encounter, in Spain, Gaul, and Italy, after the irruption of the Vandals, Franks, and Goths; —on the revival of instrumental music, and the introduction of organs in France—on the Flemish school—and on many other subjects equally interesting: but want of room forces us to pass them by, at present, without comment . We shall however recur to some of them, in a more appropriate place. Nor can we devote much space to the chapter on the music of the Greeks, although it forms a proper introduction to the subject which more particularly engages our attention. A very few words will suffice.
As might readily be supposed, our author speaks somewhat at large of the system of the tetrachords and of musical proportions, the discovery of which, he observes, has been attributed by some writers to Tubal Cain, by others to Diodes the Athenian, but by the greater number to Pythagoras, to whom the credit is awarded, of having first subjected music to positive laws of calculation. Of the manner in which he is said to have discovered musical proportions, and of the experiments to which he had recourse with a view of rectifying and establishing his system, we shall say nothing here, from the supposition that they are familiarly known to most of our readers, and because the results which he is said to have obtained have been found by Bontempi to be very different from what they were represented to be. Pythagoras's system, besides, was involved in much metaphysical obscurity;— he pretended, that in harmonic proportions, the sense operates before reason; that the latter derived the principle of its actions
Vol. i.—No. 2. 49
from the former, and that by this means it received a stimulation; but that whenever this occurred, it acted independently of the other; from which, in his opinion, it results, that if the rational doctrine does not accord with the sense, the fault is not to be ascribed to reason, but to the sense itself, which is mistaken; for reasoning by its essence will always find out truth, whilst the sense is often subject to error. By Jiristoxenes of Tarentum, who flourished a long time after Pythagoras, the obscure metaphysics of the senses taught by his celebrated predecessor, was rejected. He placed all his theory in the observation and experience of the ear, in order to determine by acoustics alone the mutual relation of sounds, and the exact proportion of the intervals. He reduced many among these to equal proportions, modified others, and regulated the progression of all. Differing materially from Pythagoras, he regarded the sense as principle and moderator of the intellect; so that, according to his doctrine, the exclusion of the one prevents the perfection of the other. This system was adopted by the Greeks, and taught in the Alexandrian schools, which they re-established; and in contradistinction to the system of the Samiot sage, which was called immutable and perfect, it received the denomination of equal. Many years after, Didymus appeared, who, perceiving that his two renowned predecessors had fallen each into the opposite extreme, by not reflecting, that if the sense and reason are not in a mutual and perfect state of harmony, there can be none in the works of man,—introduced many modifications into the established system,—modifications which were so valuable as to meet with universal approbation. He discovered a sensible discord in the gamut of the Greeks, which proved the correctness of hi* criticism. This system was next rectified by Plolcmeus, and assumed the title of reformed. Many succeeding philosophers discovered what they denominated harmonical combinations, by mixing, but without confounding them, the three principal kinds of music—the diatonic, chromatic, and enharmonic.
Our author next treats of the fondness of the Greeks for simplicity in music,—not forgetting the story of Terpander and Timotheus, who were banished from Lacedsmon for having added one or two strings to their lyres; and concludes the chapter with some remarks on the often agitated question whether or not-the Greeks were acquainted with music in parts—in other words, with counterpoint . He cites, in favour of the affirmative, Fbssius, Jirtusi, Stillingfieet, Sacchi; and against the opinion, Medoni, Perault, Bontempi, Leva, and many others of equal note; and finally decides in favour of the latter. We are not disposed to revive in this place the long contested question, and yet do not think it right to indicate the subject without a few remarks, inasmuch as our author seems to us to have dismissed it
too hastily. It appears conclusively shown, then, that the ancients, although unacquainted with what we call harmony, (a word by which they constantly meant melody,) or music in different parts, made use of the octave and double octave—which practice was called by them magadizing, from a treble instrument of the name of magadis. They had a knowledge of some concords and discords, admitting only the octave fourth and fifth and their replicates, and rejecting as discords the third and sixth. This, we think we may safely say, in opposition to MM. Perault and Baretti, who, although denying to the ancients a knowledge of harmony, thought they had a method of playing or singing by thirds. This assertion, however, has not been substantiated; besides, we could with much difficulty be made to believe, that a practice could have been very agreeable to Grecian ears, which to our modern ones would be intolerable. But it may still be asked, if counterpoint or simultaneous harmony was unknown to the Greeks, of what use to them were the great calculations and the experiments attributed to Pythagoras, and the admission of the concords we have just seen they understood? We believe that a satisfactory answer to this has been given by Dr. Burney, who remarks, that the chief use which the ancients made of concords in music, seems only to have been to ascertain intervals and distances (in melody) as in our first lessons of solmisation it has been customary to spell intervals, as it were, by naming the intermediate sounds; as, do, re, mi,—do, mi; do, re, mi, fa,—do, fa; do re mi fa sol,—do sol, &c.
From the brief sketch which we have given of the rise and progress of the musical system of the Greeks, it would follow, that if the invention of it is referred to Pythagoras, it must be regarded as of Italian origin; since Pythagoras, although by birth a Greek, had, on his return from his travels, established his residence in Calabria, where he is said to have discovered and founded the system in question; and since, before it was rectified and perfected by the Alexandrian Didymus, and carried to and established under the Ptolemies at Alexandria, whence it was spread all over theGrecian states, it had been learnedly modified by Aristoxenes of Tarentum. We shall, however, show, on some future occasion, not only that this celebrated system cannot have been invented by Pythagoras, but that its origin can easily be traced to the Hindoos, or more likely to an earlier and now forgotten people. We shall now proceed to offer a few observations on the ancient music of the Italians, and particularly of the Etruscans and Romans.
Of all the arts, Music being the most natural to man, it is fair to infer that each nation, even at an early period of its history, must have possessed one in some sort peculiar to it, and differing in its character from that of other nations, according to climate