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some of those which have been most
deservedly admired, and which are
here presented, as we conceive, in even
a more engaging form than that under
which they are popularly known.

While the Skene MS. thus carries
us back, by its direct evidence, to the
commencement of the seventeenth cen,
tury, it gives no indication that the
airs contained in it were then of recent
date. They bear, for the most part,
the appearance of antiquity, even at
that period, being designated by titles
that seem to be the initial lines of po-
pular or vulgar songs, with which
they must have been allied for a pe-
riod of at least some duration. The
instrumental symphonies and varia-
tions, also, which are introduced into
some of the airs, seem to imply that
they were familiar themes, of which
the celebrity offered an inducement to
present them in a novel aspect.
new point of time is thus, in truth, af-
forded us, from which we may, with
more confidence, direct our researches
into the regions of conjectural en-

Mr Dauney has accordingly taken
the opportunity afforded by the publi-
cation of this curious MS, to review
generally the various questions that
relate to the history and character of
Scottish melody.
dissertation, in which this task is per-
The preliminary
formed, is written with much ease and
elegance, and with equal judgment and
learning. We believe that in this Dis-
sertation the musical antiquary will
find the fullest materials that have
any where been collected for a candid
and deliberate investigation of the
questions at issue.

We may merely mention the heads
of the most interesting topics of which
he has treated.

Mr Dauney has brought together
all the vestiges of old vocal poetry
which are to be found in our early
writers which consist chiefly in an
array of the mere titles of melodies
now unknown. He observes, accord-
ingly, that in this enquiry little solid
information is gained, except that
music and song did exist at those re-
mote periods. "We feel ourselves,"
it is said, "like beings wandering
among the tombs, surrounded by the
crumbled relics of former ages, with
nothing to guide us to the objects of
our search beyond a few casual in-
scriptions designative of the names by


which they were known in their genepassed away, like epitaphs, serve ration, and which, now that they have merely to mark the period of their existence, or the spot where their ashes are laid." Sepulchri similis nil nisi nomen retineo.

sembles together much curious inforMr Dauney's Dissertation, also, asmation as to the musical instruments chiefly used in Scotland, which seem, indeed, to have been those which were generally prevalent over the rest of Europe. The harp, clavichord, organ, and lute, seem to have been chiefly in use. The bagpipe, presented to gular name of chorus, seems not to us in monkish Latin under the sinhave been peculiar to Scotland, but to have been more familiarly used by the English.

Mr Dauney has mentioned a good he has seen, of various eras, from that many MSS. of Scottish music which of the Skene MS. downwards, and of which, it is to be hoped, the most valuable part of the contents will, ere also, to a very important manuscript long, be made public. He refers, volume, belonging to Mr Chalmers of London, which had been presented to Dr Burney, by Dr George Skene of Marischal College, Aberdeen, It bears this curious title: "An Playing Book for the Lute, wherein ar contained many currents, and other dicina Mæstæ. At Aberdein. Notted Musical Things. Musica mentis Me. and Collected by Robert Gordon. In the year of our Lord, 1627, In Februarie." The person here mentioned as the collector, was Sir Robert Gorhope that some of the most interesting don of Straloch. We have reason to melodies contained in this volume, or made accessible, ere long, to the musical at least those of Scottish growth, will be world. Mr Dauney further expresses an opinion that, "if the archives of some of our ancient families were well and diligently sifted, other original brought to light." It is probable that MSS. of a similar kind might still be many such MSS., where they are discovered, are regarded as useless, from the apparent illegibility of the musical notation; but the possessors of such documents should be informed that the ancient notation is generally well known to scientific persons, and can be perfectly well deciphered,

We have next our attention directed

in Mr Dauney's Dissertation to the importance which was attached in Scotland to musical skill, and the study which was employed in acquiring it. Tradition has always taught us to believe that the Scottish monarchs were the steady patrons of this elegant art, if not sometimes eminent proficients in it; and Mr Dauney has corroborated the opinion, at least of their encouragement of music, by a good deal of miscellaneous evidence, and in particular, by a curious document, entitled, “" Information touching the Chapell-Royall of Scotland," submitted by Edward Kellie, in 1631, to Charles I., who had appointed Kellie to reform the constitution of the Chapel-Royal, in anticipation of the King's intended coronation in Scotland. Kellie there mentions that he had received the King's directions to see that "the service therein might be well and faithfully done; and that none but persons sufficiently qualified should have any place there; and that they should be all kept at daily prac. tice; and for that effect your Majesty appointed me ane chamber within your Palace of Holyrudehouse, wherein I have provided and set up an organ, two flutes, two pandores, with viols, and other instruments, with all sorts of English, French, Dutch, Spanish, Latin, Italian, and old Scotch music, vocal and instrumental." Mr Dauney has also printed a series of extracts from the books of the Treasurer of Scotland, from 1474 to 1633, showing frequent donations from the royal purse, for musical purposes, bestowed both on natives and foreigners. Without entering into some of the idle speculations as to the actual compositions of James I., and still less into the foolish fables regarding Rizzio, to whom, though only three years in Scotland, the best of our national music was at one time attributed, it is evident, from the undoubted facts collected on this subject, that from a very early period there must have existed, not only a national taste for music, but also a body of scientific musicians in Scotland, who were capable of giving to that taste a right direction, and of imitating and improving the "wood-notes wild," which native feeling might dictate.

This subject leads to a consideration of the theories which have been hitherto advanced regarding the exist

ence of what is called a Scottish scale, which, it has been supposed, furnishes an infallible test to discover what melodies are of geniune native growth, and what are the results of refinement or foreign imitation. Mr Dauney conceives that these theories are without foundation; and for a further discussion of the question he has referred to an Essay appended to his work, being "An Analysis of the Structure of the Music of Scotland," from the pen of Mr Finlay Dun, a very eminent and scientific musician, whose ardent study of our native melodies, directed, as it has been, by a thorough acquaintance with the history and theory of musical composition, entitles him to be considered as one of the highest living authorities on the subject. We shall postpone our observations on the views contained in this analysis, until we have introduced our readers to a better acquaintance with the Skene MS. itself, which must now form an important part of the data on which every system, explanatory of Scottish music, is to be founded.

The most interesting melody, undoubtedly, with which this MS. presents us, is that of the "Flowers of the Forest." No air, perhaps, can be more closely intervoven with our national feelings-in none has the very soul of pity and of patriotism been so tangibly embodied. How many voices have, in years past, warbled forth its plaintive strains, and invested it, from the involuntary emotion of their own faltering accents, with a grace and potency beyond the reach of the most consummate art! Under its magic influence how many hearts have throbbed-how many eyes have been suffused with tears, of those who now, like the Forest Flowers themselves, have been "a' wede away!" Neither can we forget that this charming me. lody has given birth to two of the most beautiful songs that any nation can boast of. "I've heard a lilting at our ewes' milking," and "I've seen the smiling of Fortune beguiling," are at the very head of their several classes in lyrical composition; and when added to the beautiful ballad of "Auld Robin Gray," compel us to acknowledge that the women of Scotland have enriched its minstrelsy with gems of greater price and purity than any that the stronger genius of the other sex has ever been able to contribute. Com

bined, as it is, with associations so sweet and sacred, we own that when we first heard of this melody, as occuring in the Skene MS. in a different form from that in which we were accustomed to hear it, we felt a fear lest the spell should be broken, by finding that in its most ancient and authentic shape, it was destitute of some of those peculiarities which we had been so long taught to admire. If we had missed, for instance, the flat seventh to which our ears and hearts have been wont to thrill from infancy, and of which peculiarity the ancient origin has sometimes been rashly questioned, we should scarcely have thanked our friends for disenchanting us from our delusion. All, however, is safe. We are delighted to discover that the old air dif fers from the existing one only in being at once more simple and more beautiful. The difference between them, though considerable, does not destroy a single association, or disturb a single sentiment. On the contrary, we feel that the native spirit of patriotic lamentation which it is designed to breathe, is here more purely and worthily represented, as well as more directly conveyed to us from its original spring. We wish we could here present our readers with the old air, according to the beautiful arrangement of it, which our admirable friend, Mr G. F. Graham, has contributed for Mr Dauney's work, but we must deny ourselves and them that pleasure, and must be content to refer them to the work itself.

The melody that appears to us to be next in interest in the collection, is that which has long gone under the name of "Bonny Dundee," but which is here presented under that of" Adew Dundee." This air is one of the most beautiful and ingenious of our native melodies. Disfigured as it has been by idle embellishments, and perverted from the natural expression which belongs to it, it has long attracted notice, and produced delight. We have it coupled in D'Urfey with the vilest words that ever caricatured the Scottish dialect or manners; although the chorus there introduced, and which Scott has borrowed for his song on Claverhouse, is apparently genuine, and is certainly spirited. We are familiar with a modification of D'Urfey's verses in the ordinary old song to which the air was sung, and which possesses

some tenderness and simplicity. We hear it periodically bellowed out by Macheath, in "The charge is prepared," with an alternate burlesque of tragic horror and connubial tenderness, and are habitually nauseated by a mawkish edition of it in "Mary of Castle Cary," which is equally offensive in the rolling thunder of Braham's tenor, or the squalling soprano of a superannuated miss. The melody in its primitive state, as exhibited in the Skene Manuscript, though essentially the same, has a very different aspect and expression from the tawdry counterfeit which generally passes current. It is given without a single superfluous note, and so as to present the native beauty of the modulation in the purest and most instructive simplicity. The air deserves careful attention, as presenting us within a narrow compass, and a short space, with some beautiful transitions, very gracefully repeated and combined. All its modulations are managed with the greatest nature and simplicity, and in a manner perfectly satisfactory to any ear not corrupted by the effeminacy of modern refinements.

We shall here mention some others of our old favourites which are to be found in the Skene MS. There is a very beautiful set of the air, "The Last Time I came o'er the Moor," under the title, "Alace, that I came o'er the Moor." We have "Jenny Nettles" under the name of "I love my love for love again," with a second part in a different and more chromatic style than the common set. "John Anderson, my Jo" retains its name, but is a little different in structure, particularly at the close, where, as in the case also of Jenny Nettles, a major third is strangely introduced on the minor key. "My Jo Janet" appears somewhat in masquerade under the name of "Long er onie old man." "Waes my heart that we should sunder," retains nearly the same name, but is otherwise a good deal metamorphosed. "Good night and joy be with you," corresponds closely to the modern tune of nearly similar name; and "Johnny Faa" appears almost in its present shape, under the name of " Lady Cassilles' Lilt."

Of the new melodies brought to light by this publication, some seem to be in the old Scottish style, others are fashionable airs intended to match with the sentimental poetry of the day,

many are dance tunes, and some, we candidly confess, appear to us to be nondescripts of no great merit, and occasionally not very intelligible. Mr Dauney has given us the MS. almost exactly as it stands, and we think he was right in doing so, though the consequence is, that a good deal of alloy is mixed with the finer metal which composes it. Of the Scottish melodies now for the first time intro, duced to our acquaintance, we may particularly name three, which appear to us to possess peculiar beauty or interest. We refer to the airs which are entitled "Peggie is over ye Sie wi ye Souldier," "My Love shoe wonnis not her away," and " I will not goe to my bed till I suld die."

Having given what we fear is an imperfect account of this MS., but such as we hope will induce our readers to look into it for themselves, we proceed to offer some observations as to the elementary principles on which the peculiar character of Scottish music may be considered to depend.

The melodies of Scotland, as is obvious, on a very slight examination, are not all of them of the same character. Even where we cannot draw a distinction in point of known antiquity, we see some of them that have all the aspect of modern compositions, while others present us with passages of melody to which we are elsewhere unaccustomed, and which have a wild and strange, though, in general, also a pleasing and touching effect. "The Lass of Patie's Mill," for instance, is not known to be a modern air, but, if presented to us for the first time, without information as to its history, we might pronounce it to be beautiful, but we should not conjecture it to be ancient. Others of the Scotch airs are in a different situation, and would strike us, even without explanation, as different from the compositions of modern masters, and as the probable growth of another age, or country, or system, from our own.

On these facts, it comes to be a question, What are the essential peculiarities into which this singularity of effect can be analysed where it occurs? And, perhaps, a second question arises, How far the absence of those peculiarities is demonstrative of a recent origin in the airs in which they do not occur?

The most ingenious theory, perhaps, for the solution of the first of these questions is one which has been suggested in various musical publications, but of which the fullest view is to be found in a "Dissertation concerning the National Melodies of Scotland," prefixed to the edition of Mr George Thomson's collection of 1822, and which is generally considered as the production of a musical critic and amateur of well-known talent and intelligence. Supported by such authority, this theory is entitled to the utmost attention; and it has certainly the further recommendation of great simplicity, if, in such a complicated subject, a simple explanation is likely to be a true and complete one. It resolves into these propositions, as expressed in the words of the Dissertation referred to: "that there is but one series of sounds in the national scale, upon which every ancient Scottish air is constructed, whatever may be its varieties, either of mode or of character." "This national scale is the modern diatonic scale, divested of the fourth and seventh," there being “no such thing in the national scale as the interval of a semitone."

It is said to appear, from a careful examination of the whole body of our national music, that " every air (with a very few exceptions) which is really ancient, is constructed precisely according to this scale, and does not contain a single note which is foreign to it; excepting, only, in the case of those airs (which are few in number) of which the series has occasionally been altered by the introduction of the flat seventh."

The supposition that the fourth and seventh are absent in the Scottish scale, is supported in the Dissertation we have referred to, by several arguments of considerable plausibility. In particu lar, it is noticed, that in some nations instruments have existed in which the intervals in question were wanting; and a good many Scotch melodies are analysed and presented in a simple form, according to which they appear to be constructed out of a series of notes in which those intervals do not occur.

But, in our opinion, this theory is opposed by many powerful consider. ations. On the one hand, there is no evidence that there ever existed in Scotland any musical instrument defi

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is made in the Dissertation in question, to maintain that the flat seventh is a modern innovation: but this opinion seems scarcely to be insisted in with any seriousness, and could not be adopted on solid grounds, or without overturning all our ideas of Scottish melody. This qualification alone, then, would go far to break in upon the supposed scale. But the exceptions to the theory under consideration, extend greatly beyond even this class. Many undoubted Scottish melodies possess both the fourth and seventh, and still more of them exhibit one or other of those intervals. He would be a bold theorist who would deny the genuine origin of the "Broom of the Cowdenknows." But that air has both the fourth and seventh of the key, and the fourth is a note of peculiar emphasis. We could not, without presumption, dispute the authenticity of "Ca' the Ewes to the Knowes," in which the seventh is introduced with a beautiful effect; or of the "Souters of Selkirk," in which the fourth is an important feature in the melody, while the occurrence of the seventh, at the close, is one of its most striking peculiarities. Again, there is a large class of airs, in which both the second and third of the minor key are to he found co-existent, in direct contradiction to the theory referred to. "Jenny Nettles," "Katharine Ogie," "Logan Water," are striking examples of this common peculiarity, and must either be held destructive of the theory, or must be violently deprived of the status of genuine and ancient melodies, of which they have enjoyed the undisturbed possession, ever since we know any thing of them at all.


cient in the fourth and seventh of the key, by the limited compass of which the composition of the whole national music could be so restrained. the contrary, from time immemorial, many different instruments are proved to have been in use among us, which, undoubtedly, contained a perfect diatonic scale. Again, although it be true that some Scottish airs are destitute of the fourth and seventh of the key, that proposition is not true of all, even of those which seem to possess a national character. And here it becomes a question, Whether a theory is first to be framed, and then only those airs allowed to be ancient, which agree with that theory, or whether those airs are to be taken as ancient which have been handed down to us as such, and then a theory is to be discovered which shall be applicable to all those airs, at least in their prevailing and substantial peculiarities. No doubt, surely, can be entertained on this point. We are not to beg the very question in dispute. We are not, like Procrustes, to insist on fitting our visitors to the bed that we provide them; we are bound to find them a receptacle that will neatly and comfortably accommodate them. Now, until it be otherwise shown that those only are ancient airs, which want the semi-tonic intervals, we are not entitled to rear up a theory which will exclude other airs which have equal extrinsic evidence in favour of their antiquity. We do not say that a few adverse cases would militate against a very universal rule. Nothing is more legitimate than to infer a general rule from cases that show us some deviations from its observance. But it must be obvious that the theory of such a national scale as the one suggested, cannot be maintained, if there are any considerable number of exceptions to its application. It is observed in the Dissertation itself, that our primitive musicians "could no more introduce minuter divisions of the scale, or sounds not comprehended in it, than a musician of the present day could introduce sounds not to be found in the scale to which his ear has been accustomed." The very admission, therefore, that there are ancient Scottish airs having a flat seventh, is an admission that the scale suggested was not, at least, the only scale of Scotch music. An attempt, indeed,

The result, then, seems to be, that although the fourth or seventh of the key are absent in certain Scottish airs, we are only entitled to say that this is an occasional peculiarity in the structure of our music, and not that it is an essential or invariable peculiarity, or that all those airs are spurious, or cor rupt, to which that category is inapplicable.

But further, the mere omission of one or more intervals gives but an imperfect explanation of the characteristic features of the Scotch airs. They are not more distinguished by the general progression ofthe melody, than by the closes to which the melody is brought, and which, under the limited theory we have been

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