To see a commentary note, click on a blue square.To see a textual note, click on a red square.
THE PRAISE OF MVSICKE
Wherein besides the antiquitie, dignitie, delectation, and vse thereof in
ciuill matters, is also declared the sober and lawfull vse of the
same in the congregation and Church of God.
Hieronymus in Psalmis 64.
Matutinis vespertinisque hymnis Ecclesiae delectatur Deus per animam fidelem, quae relicto inanium superstitionum ritu, eum devote laudaverit.
God is delighted with the morning and euening hymns of the church, in a faithfull soul, which reiecting the ceremonies of vaine superstition, praiseth him deuoutly.
TO THE RIGHT WORSHIPFVLL SIR WALTELR RAWLEY KNIGHT
IGHT worshipful, I am glad that I haue any small occasion to reuiue that studie which laie, as dead, for a time: and I would bee as glad to haue it continue in good credit and liking after it is once reuiued. For which cause I request your worship in al humility to become a patrone of this smal work, worthy to be taken into your hand when your worship shall haue any respit from your weightier affaires, and pleasant to be read, because it is an Orphan of one of Lady Musickes children. It is commended to me by men of good iudgement and learning, and it will be the better commended hereafter if it may go out vnder your worships protection: which I request again most humbly, wishing your worship as much happinesse as I can conceiue, and conceiuing as much as your worship can wish.
THE PREFACE TO THE READER
RUE it is, which is reported of Poets and Musitions, that they are no otherwise affected toward their own deuises, than parents toward their children. And surely (gentle reader) I willingly confesse vnto thee, that I am glad I haue some skill in musicke, which is so sweete, so good, so vertuous, so comely a matrone among other artes. Wherefore I shal not iustly blame thee, if thou think, that loue and affection hath preuailed much with me in publishing of this pamphlet: for therein thou shalt giue testimonie vnto me, that I haue perfourmed the part of a kinde and gratefull sonne, in bestowing the best of mine abilitie, to the aduancing of so gratious a mother. Neither would I haue thee so much to stand vpon this conceit, as if reason had no place in this action: considering that affection without reason, is a blind and vniust iudge of any matter. May it therefore please thee, no otherwise to iudge of my labour, than the reasons therein alleaged shall giue thee iust occasion: and if it happen thou come to the viewe hereof with a preiudice, yet consider that nature hath therfore giuen thee two eares, that thou shouldest aswell applie the one to the defendant, as the other to the plaintife. For as in ciuill matters, so in this,
Qui statuit aliquid parte inaudita altera,
Aequum licet statuerit, haud aequus fuit.
Who so defines a thing he doth not know,
Though iust his verdit be, he is not so.
If then I bring not only reason, but testimonie also for mine assertion, I shall desire the auerse Reader, not to condemne me without ground, nor with a phantasticall preiudice to set light by that, which perhaps, he will not be able to gainsay. For as the Poet said in an other matter,
Qui hunc accusant, Naevium, Plautum, Ennium,
Accusant, quos hic noster autores habet.
[“Those who accuse this poet are likewise accusing Naevius, Plautus, and Ennius, for our author has them here.”]
2. So I make answere to them that passe their sentences of condemnation vpon me, that they do in no wise disgrace me but Hierome, Ambrose, Augustine, Basil, Gregorie Nazianzen, and the holy Fathers of the primitiue Church, whose authorities are here alleadged, men farre better than themselues, and not worthy to be condemned vnder a session of their pieres. I know a blemish is soonest perceiued in a comely body, and the greater the man is that doth offend, the greater seemeth his offence. Because one smale wart is a stain to a beautifull face, and some litle fault committed, that might otherwise seem tollerable in a man of mean estate, is inexcuseable in a greater personage: So fareth it with musick, which because it is excellent, and for that naturally subiect to the enuie and malice of many, is therfore ill spoken of, because it falleth out, that shee is oftentimes blemished with the faults of them, that professe to haue some knowledge in hir. Hence it commeth to passe, that the faults of the persons are attributed to the art, and that whatsoeuer is amisse in this or that lewd musicion, is said to proceed from hir, which ought by better reason to obscure and ouershadowe the foulest blottes which are incident to men, than she by them should be disgraced. Because the Pierides in pride of their skill prouoked the Muses, or Marsyas and Pan in opinion of their own excellency, Apollo: this general collection is made, that musicke causeth pride and ambition. If there bee any such foolish musicions as Arcabius was, hauing that fault whereof Horace speaketh,
Ut nunquam inducant animum cantare, rogati,
Iniussi nunquam desistant.
That being praid to sing and shew their skil,
Cannot induced be, say what thou list:
But vnrequested keepe a chaunting stil,
And from their folly neuer will desist.
straightwaie musicke is wayward and troublesome, cunning men are either dangerous or phantasticall, as if to be skilfull, were a fault, or to be cunning, worthy reprehension.
3. Great occasion and aduantage of inueighing against this art, is taken of that saying which King Philip of Macedon vsed to his sonne Alexander when he rebuked him, for that he could sing so well and cunningly: as if we did allow the importunitie of Nero, which is said, all a long sommers day, to haue sitten in the Theatre, playing on his Harp: or did not rather thinke, that musicke is so to be vsed of Noble and Gentlemen, as Achilles did in Homer: who after that bitter contention between him and Agamemnon, taking to him his harp, (whereon hee had learned to play of Chiron the Centaure, who also taught him feates of armes, with Phisicke and surgerie) and playing thereon, sang the martial acts of the Princes of Grece, as Hercules, Perseus, Peritheus, Theseus, and his cosen Iason, and was therewith asswaged of his fury and reduced into his first estate of reason. And this in him was so commendable, that Alexander himselfe, after he had vanquished Ilion, being demanded of one, if he would see the harp of Paris, who rauished Helena: thereat gently smiling answerd, it was not the thing he much desired, but had rather see the harp of Achilles, wherewith he sang not the illecebrous delectations of Venus, but the valiant acts and noble affaires of excellent princes.
4. Some, I doubt not, will exult to drawe a reproch of this art from the ancient Greekes, with whom it was at the first in greatest estimation: and therefore will triumph that Minerua should haue cast away her Recorder from her in disdaine, not as some say, because the vsing thereof made her cheekes swell and puffed, but as Aristotle rather thought, because the playing on a Recorder doth neither auail the mind, nor help knowledge any thing at al: whereas we ascribe art and knowlege to Minerua. But I would not haue any man suppose, that my purpose is in this treatise, otherwise to speake of this science, than so, as that it may seem both worthy priuate delectation, for a mans proper solace: and also publikely commodious in matters both ciuill and ecclesiasticall as in the processe shalbe declared. And therefore I refer the Reader, for the decent vse hereof in gentlemen, to the 8. booke of Aristotles Politiques, and the 7. chapter of Sir Thomas Eliots first booke of his Gouernour. From whom he shall sufficiently gather, what the proper and sober vse hereof is, and ought to bee. Touching the other vse, I mean the Ecclesiastical, because that is a matter in controuersie, I shal desire the gentle reader, so long to suspend his iudgement, till hauing read the treatise, hee shall also consider of the strength and firmenesse of the reasons. And I do not doubt, but as I without bitternes speak of these things, so he peraduenture, that is a most auerse, shall take some profit and fruit of these my labours. If thou be skilfull and learned, I know thou wilt not condemne me at a blush: if vnskilful and ignorant, think that I will not so mildely answer thee as Stratonicus answered King Ptolomy, ἕτερον ἐστὶ τὸ σκήπτρον καὶ τὸ πλήκτρον, ὧ βασιλεῦ, A scepter o King is one thing, and an instrument another: but rather that which is more agreeable to thy person, which the same man also is said to haue answered a smith, which maliciously reuiled him: Sir, I pray you deale not aboue your hammer.
THE ANTIQVITIE AND ORIGINAL OF MVSICKE
First generally, then more particularlie set downe.
T were but lost labour to write any thing of Musick, being an Arte of more vse than credit, more knowen than acknowledged, were it not that more indifferencie is to be looked for of the eye, to whose view and ouersight shee betaketh her selfe, than hath heretofore beene shewen by the eare, whose itching sense shee hardly contented. But fulnesse perhaps breeds loathing: And the eye which in a manner hath beene kept hungry from these things, may by sight and reading hereof, both satisfie her selfe, and teach her vngratefull neighbour the eare to thinke better of so comfortable a treasure. The commendation whereof as it ariseth from many heades, namely her parentage, auncientrie, dignitie, her both pleasant and profitable seruice, with other as many and no whit meaner arguments of her praise, all which iointly fill vp a perfect measure of more than common honour, so her birth and antiquitie maketh not least to the setting foorth of her beautie. And although it is for poore men to recken their cattel, because rich mens store groweth out of number, and for yonglings to account their yeares, because antiquities wax out of mind (wherupon the Arcadians least they might come in question of iuniority with any other country would needs be elder than the moone) yet the casting of her natiuity can in no wise preiudice so ancient a science, whose continuance is great but not defined, her birth day ancient but not dated. For time cannot say that hee was before her, or nature that she wrought without her.
2. To proue this looke vpon the frame, and workmanship of the whole worlde, whether there be not aboue, an harmony between the spheares, beneath a simbolisme between the elements. Looke vpon a man, whom the Philosophers termed a litle world, whether the parts accord not one to the other by consent and vnity. And who can blame nature in any reason for vsing her owne inuention? Doth the nightingale record by Art or by nature? Although the Romane taught his crow this one lesson with much adoe, All haile Caesar, and the Carthaginian his birdes hardly enough to sing this one plaine song, Hannon is god, yet it is I am sure besides the custome, and perhaps beyond the cunning of any man, to instruct the nightingale in so pleasant and variable notes, being as cunningly deliuered as speedily learned. But to leaue nature and come to Art (which then is at her best when shee is neerest this maistresse) who can be ignorant that nature hath giuen her the groundworke, whereon shee a long time hath flourished? As for her infancy, let vs burie it in silence, and wrap vp as it were in her swathing cloutes. For no doubt shee was not enquired, talked, or written of till shee waxed and grewe in yeares, that is in perfection and ripenesse. At what time being,
Iam plenis nubilis annis,
[“Now of full age to marry,”]
fitte to wedde mens eares and heartes vnto her, shee beganne euen with greedinesse to be receiued, commended, practised, to exercise their wits, possesse their mindes, occupie their tongues, fill their bookes and writings. Forthwith shee was so chalenged by this nation and that countrie, so claimed by this man and that God, that it was doubtfull in such variety of iudgement, to whom she was most beholding for her birthright. Whereof what shall I say els, but that as the contention of seuen cities about Homer that famous and renowmed Poet, and earnest plea of each of them to be his natiue soile did implie his excellency: so these many lands and Islands, men and weomen, gods and goddesses, and (if I may so speake) heauen and earth being at ods and variance about this science, argue her to be no base borne child, but such a one as both commends him that inuented her, and honesteth them which incertaine her.
3. But because she is as pregnant as Libia alwaies breeding some new thing, for so it pleased Anaxilas long agoe to make comparison, it wilbe the harder in such fruitfulnes of issu to father euery childe aright, and to assigns to euery one his proper and peculiar inuention. First the Muses lay chalenge vnto her for their offspring, as may appeare by christening her Musicke after their owne name. If we from hence deriue her linage, what one thing is amisse? Iupiter, that is dexteritie and quicknesse of witte her grandfather: memorie that aged and reuerend Mistresse of all sciences her grandmother, her mother many in steede of one (for how could ordinary parents haue conceiued such extraordinarie perfection?) and yet but one in many, for all is but Harmonie. Exception may bee taken against these things as fables and fantasies of the Poetes: yet if we drawe the vaile aside, and looke neerer into that, which nowe wee doe but glimpse at, what else is ment but that Musike is and ought to be accounted donum et inventum deorum, the gift and inuention of the gods, and therefore ordained to goode vfe and purpose? Now if Musicke can find no fauour by alleadging these parentes, let vs search other mens registers, and see if happily shee be more gracious for the graces sake. Whose handes being fast claspt without seuering, their faces amiable without frouning, their youth fresh and green without waining, their garmentes loose without girding, and their chastitie perpetuall without violating expresse in sense and meaning nothing else, but concorde without breach, mirth without sadnesse, continuance without end, liberty without constraint, and finally purenesse without taint or corruption. And can a graceless fruite come of so gracious a stock? For proofe hereof may serue the image of Apollo which stoode at Delos, bearing in the one hande his bowe and arrowes as being God of the archers, in the other the three graces with seuerall instruments, as hauing soueraintie ouer the Musitians. I woulde not leaue Bacchus out of this catalogue: were it not that his name nowe adayes is in some disgrace amongst vs, and those dronken euohes and howlinges togither with confuse hammering of timbrels vsed in his Bacchanalles feastes and solemnities might seeme to indaunger the credit of this art. Howbeit if we take him not as hee is imagined, but as hee was indeede, I meane an heroicall person, his finding out of wine and Musike is or ought to be as famous, as his victories and triumphes in India were glorious.
4. But because as the rainebowe being not of one colour is therefore more sightly to the eye, so Musicke being not of one kinde is therfore more welcome to the eare, it shal not be amisse to consider the specialities, and lay by it selfe each mans helpe and furtherance in this science. And first to begin as best beseemeth, with vocall Musicke, being sounded with a liuely instrument the toung of man who wil not fly with birds of his own feather and professe that both the nature of man is beautified with so excellent a quality, and the quality credited with so excellent a nature. For it we ioine euen with the heathen Philosophers and masters in this point, and confesse with Pythagoras that man is a great miracle, with Mercury a second god, with Phauorinus a mortal god, with Abdala the Sarracene another Proteus apt to receiue any form, with others a litle world, and with others omnia, all in altas taking part with angels, part with plantes, and part with brute beastes, it were most iniurious to make better account of an instrument framed by art, than made by nature, the one being without vs, the other lyuing and growing within vs. But what neede I cal the light of the Sun in question? Let each of these sorts receiue her due commendation, neyther let contention about the maystrie make to the disgracing of either of them, but rather proue howe happye and rich wee are, that can finde no worse quarelling matter, than to dispute of two good thinges, whether is the better. The antiquitie of this kinde hath more neede of disciding than the soueraigntie, both because the times are not easilie remembred, and the opinions of men hardlie reconciled. For some ascribe singing to Iupiter, as Diodorus of Sicilie: some to Mercurie, as Heraclides of Pontus: rest in whether of these two verdicts we list,
Deus est in vtroque parente,
[“Both of his parents were gods,”]
each of their authors was deified by the heauen for principall vertues.
5. Furthermore as all the Muses were reported at the mariage of Cadmus and Hermione to haue sung a ditie of the neere alliance betwixt friendship and honestie, so specially amongest the rest Calliope had been miscalled but for the goodnesse of her voice, and Melpomene nicknamed but for setting of songes. But in such cases wee canonize for Authors, aswell those that make perfect, as those which first inuent: not for deuising that which was not before, but for bettering that which was worse before. Doeth no manne build but hee which layes the foundation? no man paint but hee which shadowes? no man wade but hee which first breaketh the yce? If it were so, in what case had all our Artes and sciences bin? They had beene monumentes as one speaketh adorandae rubiginis, and nothing else, well we might haue reuerenced their ancient rustines [i. e., rustiness], but neither had their faces bin halfe so wel fauoured, neither their knowledge halfe so much practised. Nowe then by this accompt Osiris must bee remembred for one whom the Muses were saide to attend vpon. To signifie that he was his craftsmaister, hauing the art at will, and throughly stored with all the giftes of so notable a knowlege. Next Tisias otherwise Stesichorus commended euen from his cradle to this science by the ominous sitting of a nightingale vpon his tender lippes. Besides these Chrysogonus which made a perfect consorte betweene his owne voice and Mariners oares, obseruing a delectable tune in the one, and proportionable a time in the other. What shall I speake of Simon and Lysias, which being offended with the olde Musicke as too too harsh for their smooth and delicate eares, cast it once and againe as it were in a new mould, neither suffered so much as the former name to remaine vnchanged. These and many the like whose memorie is fresh in histories though passed by mee in silence, either for setting vs on work by their examples, or for instructing vs by their precepts, or for polishing other mens rough hewen worke by their skilfulnesse can deserue no lesse at our handes than to bee held and reputed for authors.
6. But why doe I pleade for their priuilege and authorizement, who haue founde no age hitherto so vngratefull as not to offer it? He that will not giue seconds and thirds a first place in these matters thinkes it easie perhaps to builde Rome in one day, and possible enough to make a science perfect euen at one instant. Albeit we know that euen Mercurie himselfe called amongest the Aegyptians by a name of prerogatiue, ter maximus, as being in three speciall thinges, especiall and cheifest could not acquite himselfe so handsomely in this science, as not to haue neede of bettering in succeeding ages. His Musicke of three parts, set and proportioned to the three times of the yeare, the base to winter, the treble to sommer, the meane to the spring, being a midle season between sommer and winter, was bare and naked til other partes came in to helpe and supply it. So that as a question is made whether Theseus his shippe being kept among the Athenians for a monument, and by continuall reparation euen from the hatches to the keele quite altered bee nowe Theseus his shippe or no: so it might be disputed were it not iniurious to the good deseruings of our predecessours, whether this our Musicke after the newe fashioning, and working of so many men in so many ages be the same musicke which was retained in former times? For string hath beene added to string, part vnto part, precept vnto precept, one thing to an other so long til at length no one thing so much as variety hath made musick a perfit and vniform body. Nowe besides al this who knowes not that as generally so many men so many minds, so specially sundry musicians driue sundry crotchets, and diuersity of maisters maks diuersity of methods. Timotheus one for al (though one swalow be no sufficient warrant of the spring) yet standing in force of many witnesses, as being borne out by common sense and practise of our dayes) required a double fee of other mens scholers: one to make them forgette what they had taught them, another to make them learne what he himselfe would teach them. So then if both the matter taught, and the maner of teaching haue seene as many alterations, as almost ages, who can imagine that so great a dissent of the kindes can stand without as great diuersitie of the authors?
7. But to come neerer home, and to speake of the other sort of Musicke, which hath a while beene preuented by this needelesse digression, although we be nowe adaies fallen into a kind of intemperancie and wantonnesse, especially in the framing of instrumentes, in so much that the diuising of them is not so great a trouble as their naming, yet antiquitie the mother of simplicitie and singlenesse in the greatest part of artificiall thinges, both contented her selfe with meaner choice, and incombred her selfe with smaller busines. In those times three colours did serue for painting, and three instruments for playing. Nowe the Painters shop may vie with the rainebow for colors, and art hath almost gone beyond it selfe for instruments. But to leaue both the greater and the later number of them which are made to the imitation of the former, there is no question but as the dignity of these three aboue the rest is to be maintained, so their order amongest them-selues not to bee neglected. For by the iudgement of Alcibiades the harpe is to be preferred before the whistling pipe or pshalms, because it leaues a roume for the voice, wheras the other possessing the whole wind and breath of man dispossesse him of that seruice.
8. Touching the original hereof it is reported that when Nilus had ouer-washed the countrie of Aegypt and afterwards drank in his waters againe into his seuen mouthes being so many streames or chanels, amongst many other fishes which perished on the dry land being in a sort betraied by that element wherein their nature is preserued the Tortuise also came short. Mercury coasting along that way toke vppe one of them, and finding nothing thereon but a fewe of parched or withered sinewes tied them with his fingers, wherewith they made some offer of a musicall noise. The experiment is wel known lippis et tonsoribus [“to blear-eyed men and to barbers”], to the meanest and simplest persons amongest vs. For euerie childe holding a threede or haire in his mouth, and striking it with his finger shall finde the like partly by the motion of his finger wherthrough the sound is caused, and partly by the hollownesse of the mouth whereby it is tuned. Mercurie hauing gotten this hold tooke occasion to set abroch his cunning. For he fashioned a peece of wood proportionable to the shel of a fish, and put thereon three strings distinct in sounds, answerable to three seasons. After this first onset which for the most part carieth both the greatest daunger, and the greatest creditte, Terpander made vppe seauen stringes in honor of the seuen Atlantides which go vnder the name of our seuen stars: Simonides and Timotheus brought them to nine in reuerence of the nine Muses. Thus Mercuries handsell set the market in a good and happy forwardnes. This instrument being as wel for the nouelty as excellencie strange was presented by report of some to Apollo: in lue whereof he recompensed Mercurie with his heraulds rod called Caduceus.
Hoc animas ille evocat Orco
Pallentes, alias sub tristia Tartara mittit.
Herewith he calles some soules from Hel,
And sends down others there to dwell.
9. By witnesse of others it was giuen to Orpheus, wherewith he brought euen senslesse thinges to a sense and feeling of his sweetnes, and lifelesse creatures to a liuely stirring and motion of their vnarticulate bodies. And when Orpheus was torne in pieces by the drunken Bacchides, his head and harpe swam downe the riuer Hebrus, and were taken up at Lesbos: where they buried the one, and hung up the other in the temple to their gods. Thus the harpe liued after Orpheus was dead, and made a manifest proofe how highly it disdained to be handled by vnskilful and prophane fingers, reuenging euen vnto the death a presumptuous act committed by Naearchus. This yong man being the king of Miteleus son bargained with the priestes of the temple for Orpheus his harpe, because as the practise of musick was commendable amongest them, so the greater euery mans skill was the better was his recompence. Now Naearchus hauing a mind to the best game, and putting more affiance in the vertue of the harpe than his owne cunning, gotte by night into the suburbes, and there iangled the stringes so long, till at length he was rent a sunder by dogges. Thus was his Musicke vnsauerie, thus was his death vntimely.
10. But to proceede, the first that euer sang to the harp which is either the only or chiefe reason why it is preferred before wind instrumentes, was Linus. Whose vngracious scholer Hercules being controlled by him for his rawnes made such vntoward Musike betwixt his Maisters harpe and his head, that he beat out the sides of the one, and the braines of the other. Although some displace him from the honour of this inuention, and ascribe it rather to Amphion.
11. Nowe among the winde instrumentes the Pshalme was deuised either by Euterpe one of the nine Muses, or else by Ardalus Vulcans sonne, made at the first of the shanke bones of cranes, and therefore called Tibia by the Latines. Although afterwardes it was framed of the baytree in Lybia, of box in Phrygia, of the boans of hinds in Thebes in Scythia of rauens and eagles, in Aegypt of barly stalks, and so accordingly at other times and in other places of other matters. But the most voices run vppon Minerua the daughter of Iupiter, and one who for her wisedom is said to be borne of Iupiters braine. And because euerie artificer loueth his owne worke, Minerua was delighted with her pipe, and vsed euen in the assemblie of the gods very much to winde it: till such time till both they draue her both from her Musike and their presence by laughing at her blowen cheekes. Shee to make triall of the matter went down to a riuer side, and beholding her swelling face in Neptunes glas bid her pipe farewell in a great choler, loathing and disgracing the same as much as it disfigured her. This pipe left not so good a Mistresse, but it lighted on as bad a Master Marsias by name: whom it caused so to swel not in face but in heart, that hee chalenged and prouoked Apollo to a musical combate: and being ouercom lost the best and nearest coate to his back, hauing his skinne pluckt ouer his eares for attempting so bold an enterprise. The vse and effect of this as also other instrumentes I referre to their places. In the meane while I followe my purpose.
12. Touching the whistling pipes which were made, for the most part, of reedes, though some assigne them to Silenus the foster father of Bacchus: on whome he alwaies attended riding vpon an Asse, yet the greater part agree in Pan the God of sheepheardes. The occasion was this: It chaunced that he feil in loue with Sirinxe a nimph of Arcadie, who would neither giue her head as they say for the washing, nor her virginitie for the asking. And therefore when he first came to commense his sute shee tooke her course from him towarde the riuer Ladon. Where her iourney being at an end vppon request made vnto the nimphes, shee was deliuered by them from that rusticke paramoure by transforming her into water reedes. Those hee tooke for loue of her, and made them instrumentes to vtter forth his complaintes. Howsoeuer other thinges in this historie be feigned, sure it is that it carieth with it an other drift than to proue Pan the author of that instrument. And if it be so, howe could so grounded a worke-man, being made a they say to the imitation of nature and expressing by his hornes the sunne beames, by his redde face the coulour of the skies, by his rough and heary thigh the trees and hearbs vpon the face of the earth, by his goats feete the soliditie and steedfastnes of the same, be the master of a vaine and frutelesse worke: What shall I speak of the Lute, Citterne, Violle, Rebeck, Gittorne, Pandore, Dulcimer, Organes, Virginals, Flute, Fife, Recorders, of the Trumpet, Cornet, Sackbut, and infinite other sortes so excellent and pleasant in their sundrie kinds, that if art be any way faultie for them, it is for being too too riotous and superfluous. For hauing as it were wearied and ouergone her selfe in choise of new sortes, shee hath deuised a kind of newnes euen out of the old, by ioyning and compacting many in one, which these later times may by right chalenge for their inuention. But to leaue al other historiographers dissenting some of them far in opinions that historie which indeed is the witnes of times and light of the trueth written by the finger of God sets downe Iubal sonne of Lamech and Ada to be the Father of all such as handle harpe and instruments.
THE DIGNITIE OF MUSICKE
proved both by the rewardes and practise of many and most excellent men.
HUS hauing stoode vpon the antiquitie and originall of musick being so neerly linked togither that they could not wel be seuered, it foloweth by order that I speake somwhat of her honor. A needlesse treatise, were it not for the affectionat iudgements of some men, which making more reckening of the shadowe than the bodie accompt neither vertues nor sciences worthie the taking vp for their own faire faces, vnlesse they come furnished with good and sufficient doweries.
Ipse licet venias Musis comitatus Homere,
Si nihil attuleris ibis Homere foras.
Come Homer if thou list and bring the Muses crue
Yet Homer if thou bring naught els but then adue.
Notwithstanding to satisfie those which like indifferently well of this science not so much for her owne laudable nature as her profitable accidents, let them knowe that her professors and practisers were not rewarded heretofore (as they speake in reproch) with meate, drink and mony, which they cal fidlers wages, but admitted into the presence and familiaritie of kings, sought vnto by whole cities and countries, and dismissed with rich and honourable rewards. I am sory that I am forced to seeke those kind of arguments, being fitter to quiet the common people than the learned and wise: who looking into the things themselues, wey them by themselues, valuing at an higher price the goodnesse where-with they are endowed, than the goods and commodities where-with they are enriched. But to approue musicke vnto both those sortes of men, to the vpright and wel minded for her own sake, to the others for the things which they doe most estimate I intend both by variety and trueth of historie to make manifest declaration in euerie respect of her dignitie.
2. Who was more accepted of Periander King of Corinth than Arion? of Hieron King of Sicil than Simonides? of Perdicchas than Menalippides? of Alexander the great than Timotheus and Zenophontus who could make him both giue an alarum, and sound retrait at their pleasures? Who in better fauor with Agamemnon than Demodochus to whom hee committed his wife Clitemnestra for the time of his long and unfortunat voiage? with Themistocles than Exicles whom he made his daily and housholde guest? with M. Antonius than Anaxenor to whom he gaue the tribute of four Cities? with Iulius Caesar than Hermogenes? with Nero than Ferionus? with Vespasian than Diodorus? with Galba than Canus? Who more tendered of Aristratus king of Sycion than Thelestus, whom he countenanced being aliue with al kinde of preferment, and honoured being dead with a costly monument? Nay the cunning of some hath so farre rebated the edge of most cruel and hard harted tirants, that they haue beene willing, as they say perforce to put vp iniuries and wrongs at their hands. Pyttachus of Mytilen let go scotfree Alcaeus his sworne enimie, notwithstanding he had both disgraced him and taken armes against him. The like did Phalaris the Agrigentine by Tisias his mortall foe, albeit hee tooke as much pleasure in murdering as in banqueting, and had often euen with greedines dislodged the soules of many innocents from thier harmles bodies. Thus Musick led him farder than euer humanity could draw him. What need I ad water to the sea, and after al these speak of Terpander in a dangerous tumult of the Lacedemonians appointed by the oracle and required by the countrey to appease their vprores? A president so much the more to bee heeded, by how much the iudgement of a whole countrey than of any priuate person is the rather esteemed. And is Lacedemon singular in this case? Haue not Rome and Greece ioyned hands with her, the former instituting a College of Minstrels, the later by ordeining that the same men should bee their sages, prophets and musicians? Plenty makes me scant both by restraining me to choice, and by withdrawing me from tediousnes: for how easie a thing wer it in such abundance to tire and weary euen the patientest ears? Notwithstanding because I am to conuince these iudgements which look no farder than the outside, and harken rather to the honor conferred otherwise, than the honesty and goodnes incident to the things themselues, let them ad to the fauour and acceptation of those roiall persons aboue named their practise and industrie which they haue exercised.
3. I omit the muses, graces, gods and goddeses before mentioned. Colworts twise sodde [twice-boiled cabbages] are harmeful, and tales twise tolde ungratefull. This next pageant shall bee filled with Emperours, Kings and Captaines, men both of courage and experience not content to go by hearesay and testimonie of others, but adioining them vnto their owne vse and practise. Nero Emperour of Rome wanne and ware the garland to the great admiration and shouting of the people for victorie ouer the harpers. Alexander the great made a great iewel of Achilles his harp. Choraebus the Lydian prince was as soueraign in musick as in authoritie. Cimon of Athens and Epaminondas of Thebes no worse musicians than Captaines. Gregorie the great, Bishoppe of Rome ended his life and musicke togither, and the quier at this day is a witnesse of his pains. Yea Socrates himselfe as great a king in wisdome, as they in iurisdiction: whose stay and moderation of life let Xantippe his wife and scourge witnes, and let enuie it selfe iudge of his other qualities, being farre stricken in yeares, and hauing in a manner one foote in the graue, yet of an old master became a young scholer vnto Conus for the attaining of this science. And being charged therewith as a wonton toy vnfitting to his gray hayres made this apology, It is more shameful in the wain and decrease of our life to be ignorant of any good and commendable property. Thus he put on musick as the list and vppermost garment, wherwith his wisdom, grauity and age, might bee adorned, and euen the whole race of his life perfited, a garment no dout that is wel worn, and of seemly personages better worth the wearing than the softest raiment in kings housen.
4. You may cloath an Ape in golde, and an Infant in Hercules armour: doth an infant therfore chaunge his age, or an Ape forgoe his nature? or is there lesse price in the gold, or viler estimation of the armour? This is to misuse the right vse of things neither fitting the persons, and farre vnfitting the garments. The deepest dye may be stained, and the best gift abused. The tuning of the voice and strings may turne to the iarre and discord of manners, as well as Rhetoricke may pleade vntruethes, and Logicke proue impossibiltties. So that I maruel the lesse if Diogenes the cynick Philosopher amongest other his dogtrickes put vp a formal bil of inditement against the musicians in open and ordinarie court, for shewing greater skill in concordes and vnisons of their notes, than vnitie and consent of manners: whose sute or action, being in all cases and with all persons a resolute and peremptorie man and litle caring where or how he fastned his teeth so he fastned them, may seeme approueable in respect of those vniust and euerrepining plaintiffes which attemper euery thing to their distemperate humor, and in their proceedings make not reason their aduocate, but either the weaknes, strangenes, or vndiscreetnes, of their owne nature. Now if a bleareeied man should giue sentence of the sunne beames, no doubt he would iudge them to be shut vp into euerlasting cloudes, least at any time they might be offensiue to his sore eies. If a feuersicke palate should be iudge of tasts and relishes, what vnmerciful doome would it award to the holesomest restoratiues?
5. Aske the Satire what shall becom of the fire for swealing [singing] his beard being ouersawcie in embracing it, I warrant you he wil curse Prometheus for euer troubling the earth with it. A melancholick man and one that is fitter to liue in Trophonius his den, than in ciuill societie will frowne vpon musicke, if for no other cause, yet at the least to shewe him selfe seruiceable to his melancholie. Thus we shall haue the brightest eye of the world euen the sunne pluckt out of heauen, the best meate out of our mouthes, and the necessariest element out of the nature of things, yea all vertues and sciences vtterly raced out, as the occasions somtimes (though neuer the causes) of some inconueniences, if euery brainsicke, hareblind, and froward man may iudge and determine in those cases. Now then as oft as we shall heare Archidamus or any the like sectarie of his make better accompt of a Caterer than a Singer (mihi bonus cantor, bonus cupediarius) what shall we say of him but that animus erat in patinis: His belly was his idol, and the belly hauing no ears is vnfit to meddle with soundes? If Anteas the Scythian at the singing of Ismenias the Theban for want of better gods sware by the wind and his fauchin [i. e., falchion, broadsword?], he had rather hear the neieng of an horse than the singing of Ismen. let his words as they are indeed so go but for winde, and if his sworde be the best argument that he hath to auouch it let vs wound him againe but with this onely blow, Quis tumidum guttur miretur in Alpibus, Who can looke for a white skine in Aethiopia, or an vpright iudgement in Scythia? Albeit besides the vnciuilitie and brutishnes of his countrie, he was no doubt fitter to handle a curriecombe than iudge of singing, who in the midst of his royaltie made boastes that he vsed to rubbe horses heeles.
6. But if Antisthenes shal go a note aboue Anteas and giue this or the like vncharitable censure of Ismenias, as indeed he is reported to haue done, he is a naughtie man: if he were honest he would neuer be a musician, we may say with some indifferent reuerence of his philosophers beard and gowne, that as he was generally reputed to be avidus magis quam eruditus his wit being too headstrong for his wisdom, so particularly in this matter he had not sufficiently learned how to define honestie. For although many good musicians bee as many bad men, yet so farre it is off that musick should be blamed as the cause of such an effect, that rather if they bee otherwise bad men shee weanes and withdrawes them from their corruption. For warrant hereof the necessitie of the art to be ption. For warrant hereof the necessitie of the art to be sette downe in a latter treatise maie yeeld sufficient argument: meanewhile thus much I say, that a precious stone may be set in ledde, and a good qualitie placed in an euill subiect. In which cases wee haue more cause to pittie their vnfortunate houserome, than accuse their vnseemely demeanour. But to lose the bitte a litle farther and to giue them euen their own asking, musicke, as many other good blessings hath beene made the instrument of many disorders. What need I recite them? other are eagle eied and quick sighted enough to espie them. I confesse this to be true, but in such sort as glorie becomes the fuell and occasion vnto enuy, peace to security, beautie to pride, learning to insolencie, good lawes to enormitie, meates and drinkes to surfeting, and finally the fairest gifts an edge and intisement to the foulest faults. Wher notwithstanding the wel natured things themselues are not chargeable with those crimes, but the euil disposed persons. If thou canst not moderate and schoole thy self in beholding, plucke out thy eies as Democritus did, if not in hearing stoppe thy eares with waxe as Vlisses his companions did, if not in eating lay thy teeth aside as those those Graeae of Scythia did, if not in speaking bite off thy tong as Zeno Eleates did. For by as good reason maist then do the one as the other, seeing the disliking of these and the like good things stands in the immoderation and intemperancie of these men which abuse them. Now if it be vnciuil to liue without vertue and knowledge, if vnnaturall without meats and drinks, if vnreasonable without eyes, teeth and tongues, although perhaps they haue many vnsufferable consequentes, then blame not the hatchet for the Carpenters fault: but esteeme worthily of good things for their owne natures, and fauorably deale with them for other mens offences.
7. Nowe besides this they that cannot espie an hoale in the musicians coate for their loosenesse and effeminatnes of manners seeke to bring musicke in contempt by reason of their vnskilfulness. As if the husbandmans reasoning a baculo ad angulum should condemn Logicke, or Tom fooles telling his geese Arythmeticke. There are infantes in all arts, and I grant none so very a babe in musicke as was Babys. Minerua to begge his pardon for offending therein vsed this frindly intercession to Apollo, abiectior est et infaelicius canit quam ut dignus sit supplicio [“His more abject and sings worse than merits a punishment.”] And sure he was worth nothing (say I) if he were not worth the punishing. Diogenes was troubled with the like moone calte, whom as often as he mette him welcomed with this salutation, salve galle, God speed cock, the other demaunding him why he mistermed him, quia cantu tuo excitas omnes, “Thou diseasest” quoth he “euery man with thy vnseasonable crowing.” And Demosthenes was plain on the other side with an harper of the same stampe, with whom he euer conditioned to tie vp his pipes before he would once set foot with in his dores. There are a great many cocks and to vse a domesticall prouerb, a great many asses at the harp who because they haue emploied themselues at the trade diis iratis, genioque sinistro [“although the gods were angered and their guardian spirit averse,” against the hair as they commonly speak and euen in despite of Apollo and nature, haue made themselues a by-word and skorne in al places. Duralehouse, vagabond and beging minstrelsie I defend not, liberal sciences are for liberall men, whose dexteritie and aptnes of nature hath forwarded their art, and both these being conioyned haue made the men commendable and of good report. For then is the medly good when art and nature haue met with each other. But I leaue this reason to be refuted by the weakenes and simplicitie of it selfe. I come to another vaine which hath neede of a litle opening, least the neglecting of it make it in time somwhat more troublesom. I meane those men, who, as if they came of some finer mould, like well inough of musicke in others, but cannot away with it themselues. They are delighted for examples sake with the wel proportioned pictures of Iupiter, Iuno, and Venus, but yet would not be Phidias, Policletus or Praxiteles. Examin their reasons they are as rare as black swannes, vnles perchaunce they answere as children and fooles are wont. They will not for their mindes sake. And why not they as well as other men? They are belike of a better broode.
8. Be it so, let them plead their priuilege, but so farre foorth as they seeke not to dishonour things as honorable as themselues. In mechanical artes I beare with them. Tractent fabrilia fabri [“let smiths perform the work of smiths”]. Courser meates may serue finer mouthes. What cardes can they shew to discarde literal sciences? If euery mans wil were a rule in such cases there is no doubt but that some ἐνκυκλοπαιδεία the whole corpse and body of sciences would quite be extinguished. For euen amongst the nobler sort which stand vppon their gentry, and in consideration only of their better fortune, condemne better natures than their own, there are manie aureae pecudes, golden sheep such as Iunius Brutus was better clad than taught, which cannot conceaue the excellencie of good faculties, many monstra hominum strange natured men such as Licinius the emperor was, not so princely borne, as pestilently minded, which call learning the poison and plague of a commonwealth. Howbeit some there are better enclined than these which do it not so much of despite as of daintines, for they are well enough content to take all the pleasure they can by it, and yet take as great pleasure to discontent those that afford it.
9. In whose fauor notwithstanding I will speak thus much, and my speach is abetted by good authors that both a choice of musicke is to be made, and a moderation therein retained. Minerua as before cast away hir pshawlmed διὰ τὴν αἰσχημοσύνην for very shame. And amongest vs euery one will not blow a bagpipe, that wil finger the Lute or Virginals. And as in one banquet all viandes, though all very good, please not alike euery mans diet, so in Musick there are sundrie and delectable sorts, which vnlesse they be ordered with good discretion wil not sute al times and persons. The which two things time and persons serue principally to make limitation of that measure which I mentioned before. There is a time of breathing and a time of busines, a time of mirth and a time of sadnes. If thou be remisse or mery vse for thy recreation some kind of melodie. Albeit indeed with Musick no times are amisse. For we know that life is as it were put into the deadst sorows by inflexion and modulation of voice. And they whose heartes euen yearne for very greefe sometimes fall on singing not to seeke comfort therein (for the best seeming comfort in such cases is to be comfortles) but rather to set the more on flote that pensiuenes wherwith they are perplexed. Similitudo parit amicitiam [“Likeness begets friendship”] saith Boetius, and sorowe findes somewhat in Musick worthie his acquaintance. If not, how chance they haue specified three originals or causes of Musick? the first pleasure of which there is no question, the next grief, and the last Enthusiasmum som diuine and heuenly inspiration. Surely affections dance after pipes and being themselues but motions do by a naturall kind of propension apply themselues to Musick, whose efficacy stands wholy vpon motions.
10. But I returne to my purpose. The chiefe end of Musick is to delight, howsoeuer sorow vseth it somtimes for an aduantage as knowing how forcible and effectual it is to help forward al purposes. Therfore in time of vacancy and remission when there is a mutiny of wars and a calm of other the like troblesom affaires, the place being not molested, the people being not disquieted, then hath musick euermore had the best audience. For otherwise if you light vpon Pirrhus and ask him whether is the better psalmist Python or Charisius, he wil answere you Polysperches. And why? In promptu causa est [“the case is obvious”], a blind man may hit his staff at this mark, his mind forsooth ran vpon captaines and not musitions: bring an harp or other good instrument to Lacedemon, they wil cry away with it. Non est Laconicum nugari [“Spartans do not jest”], Trifling is not our vocation. And do we maruel at them? Pirrhus as if he had bin hungersterued and stifled in his poor kingdom of Epirus had laid a platform in his head of vsurping the whole world. The Lacedemonians to speak without exception of sex, age or condition) as hard harted as if they had beene borne of Adamant or nursed vp with Lions milke. I bely them not, their stoicall Apothegs and resolute exploites deliuered vnto vs by faithfull authoritie are plentifull witnesses hereof. But to ende this point, the dignity of Musicke is great if we do not partially and vnequally burthen her with those faults wherof shee is guiltlesse, the artificer may offend, mens affections are corrupt, times vnseasonable, places inconuenient, the art it selfe notwithstanding in her owne proper and lawfull vfe innocent and harmelesse.
THE SUAVITIE OF MUSICKE
LTHOUGH both both the Authors of this most diuine science, and antiquitie therof, and estimation which it hath had in times past, may sufficiently credit the same: yet I doe not desire any man hardly affectioned in this point, to be moued by this treatise, vnlesse both the sweetenesse and necessity, and operation of it, be declared to be such, as neither ought carelesly, or can worthily be neglected. For as in those things which are both pleasant and profitable, that which is profitable ought most earnestly to be followed: so the pleasure which is ioyned with the commodity, is not to be contemned. Wherefore, seeing that poetrie, which is but a part of Musicke, as Plutarch doth testifie, hath this commendation of Horace,
Aut prodesse volunt, aut delectare poetae,
Aut simul et iucunda, et idonea dicere vitae.
Poets of pleasure, or of profit great,
Or else of both most decently intreate.
We may safely pronounce of the whole, that it hath both delectation to allure, and profit to perswade men to those things, wherewith mans life is beautified and adorned. I will first therefore speake of the sweetenes and delectation of Musick: and afterwards of the vse and necessity thereof. Concerning the pleasure and delight, I will first shew it by that affinity and congruity which Musicke hath with the nature of liuing creatures: Secondly by the effectes and operation, which it worketh in the hearers.
2. Touching the first: as the testimony of Musaeus in Aristotle: Res suavisima cantus est mortalibus, singing is a most pleasant thing to men: and daily experience doeth proue vnto vs, that not only men but all other liuing creatures, are delighted with the sweet harmony and concent of Musicke: so if there were no other thing els, yet that proper fiction of the Grammarians, might fully satisfie any man in this point. Sonus, say they, the king of Harmony had two sonnes. The one of them was called Concentus, the other Accentus: of Grammatica he begat Accentus, but Concentus was born vnto him of the nymphe Musica. Whem when their father perceiued to be both equal in the gifts of the minde, and that neither was inferior to other in any kind of knowledge, and himself now well striken in yeares to waxe euery day neerer and neerer to his death: hee fell into a serious cogitation with himself, whether of them two, hee should leaue his successour in his kingdome: and therefore hee began more narrowly to marke the maners and behauiours of them both: nowe Accentus was the elder of the two: and hee was graue and eloquent, but austere, and therefore lesse beloued of the people: But Concentus was verie merrie, pleasaunt, amiable, louelie, curteous, acceptable vnto all menne, and cleane contrarie to the disposition of his brother, thinking it more glorious to be beloued than feared. Whereby hee did not only get the loue and liking of all his Subiectes, but also putte his Father into a greater doubt which of them hee shoulde institute inheritour of his Scepter. Therefore appointing a solemne meeting, hee asked the Counsell of the Nobles and Princes of his Lande, as Musitians, Poettes, Oratours, Philosophers and Diuines: and in conclusion their consultation had this issue, that neyther shoulde be preferred before other, but both shoulde equally inherite their Fathers Scepter and Dominions. Whereof I gather (omitting all other circumstaunces) that as Accentus which is Grammar ought not to be disinherited, because of the necessitie thereof in speech: so Concentus which is Musicke, coulde not but bee esteemed as woorthie of preheminence, for his pleasure and delectation.
3. And for as much as that was the iudgement and determination both of Musicians, Poets, Orators, Philosophers, both moral and Natural, and Diuines: so much the more is to be ascribed to the sweetnesse of Musicke, as these Professours are of better iudgement than other men. But I will not ground the commendation of that on fictions and conceipts: which neither in it self needeth the colour and shadowes of imaginations, being aboue all conceiptes: nor in the pleasure thereof any externall ornament: being sweeter than canne be counterfeited by fictions, or expressed by fantasies. Wherefore leauing these, I will as neerely as I can, declare the reason of that delight which Musicke yeeldeth. And this first is euident, that Musicke whether it be in the voyce only as Socrates thought, or both in the voyce and motion of the body as Aristoxenus supposed: or as Theophrastus was of opinion not only in the voyce and motion of the body, but also in the agitation of the minde; hath a certaine diuine influence into the soules of men, whereby our cogitations and thoughts (say Epicurus what he will) are brought into a celestiall acknowledging of their natures. For as the Platonicks and Pythagorians think al soules of men, are at the recordation of that celestial Musicke, whereof they were partakers in heauen, before they entred into their bodies so wonderfuly delighted, that no man can be found so harde harted which is not exceedingly alured with the sweetnes therof. And therfore some of the antient Philosophers attribute this to an hidden diuine vertue, which they suppose naturally to be ingenerated in our minds, and for this cause some other of them as Herophilus and Aristoxenus which was also a Musician, thought that the soule was nothing else, but a Musical motion, caused of the nature and figure of the whole body, gathering thereof this necessary conclusion, that wheras things that are of like natures, haue mutual and easy action and passion betweene themselues, it must needs be, that Musical concent being like that Harmonical motion which he calleth the soule, doth most wonderfullie allure, and as it were rauish our senses and cogitations. But this which I haue said may seem peraduenture to be too profoundly handled: I will therefore confirme it by naturall experience and examples. And first generally (as I said before) there is neither man, nor any other liuing creature exempt from the participation of the pleasure of Musicke.
4. As for man let vs begin with him euen from his cradell, and so take a view of his whole life: and we shall see, that euen euerie particular action of his, is seasoned with this delight: first in his infancy, whiles he is yet wholy destitute of the vse of reason, wee see that the child is stilled, and allured to sleepe, with the sweete songes and lullabyes of his Nurse: although the griefe of his tender limmes be such, as is able to breede impatience in a stronger body. And for this cause is it, that children are so delighted and allured with rattels and bels, and such like toies as make a sound. Now as strength and iudgement increase in man, so Musicke pleaseth and delighteth him more and more: so that whether he be noble or ignoble, yet the same delight of minde groweth to perfection togither with the body. And therfore Aristotle in his Politiques, counselleth that children be instructed in musick, especially if they be of noble parentage: not so much for the profit and commodity thereof, as because it is agreable to nature being in it selfe both liberal and honest: for in al matters to propose profit as the only end, is neither the part of a liberal nature nor of a gentlemanlike disposition. Again in base and in ignoble persons, the very senses and spirits are wonderfully inflamed, with the rural songs of Phillis and Amaryllis: insomuch that euen the ploughman and carter, are by the instinct of their harmonicall soules compelled to frame their breath into a whistle, thereby not only pleasing themselues, but also diminishing the tediousnes of their labors. And therefore most naturall is that which Virgil vseth in describing of a good housewife.
longum cantu solata laborem
Arguto coniux percurrit pectine telas.
The huswifes spinning makes her labour long
Seeme light with singing of some merrie song.
as also that other spoken of the pruner of trees:
Alta sub rupe canit frondator ad auras.
The lopper singing from the craggy rocke
The bowes and leaues beats downe with many a knocke.
and that of the sheepeheards:
Tu calamos inflare leves, ego dicere versus,
Hic corilis inter mixtas consedimus ulmos?
Mopsus my friend, seeing our skill is great
Thine for the tune, mine for the pleasant rime.
In th'hasell bower why take we not our seate,
In mirth and singing there to spend the time?
5. And hence it is, that wayfaring men, solace themselues with songs, and ease the wearisomnes of their iourney, considering that Musick as a pleasant companion, is vnto them in steed of a wagon on the way. And hence it is, that manual labourers, and Mechanicall artificers of all sorts, keepe such a chaunting and singing in their shoppes, the Tailor on his bulk, the Shomaker at his last, the Mason at his wal, the shipboy at his oare, the Tinker at his pan, and the Tylor on the house top. And therefore wel saith Quintilian, that euery troublesom and laborious occupation, vseth Musick for a solace and recreation: whereof that perhaps may be the cause, which Gyraldus noteth. The symphony and concent of Musicke (saith he) agreeth with the interior parts and affections of the soule. For as there are three partes or faculties of mans soule, the first and worthiest the part reasonable, which is euer chiefe, and neuer in subiection to the other, the second irascible, which, as it is ruled of the former, so ruleth the latter, and the last concupiscible, which euer obeieth, and neuer ruleth: so if we compare the symphony of Musicke, with these powers of the soule, we shal find great conueniencie and affinity between them. For looke what proportion is betweene the parts reasonable, and irascible, such is there in Musicke between that string which is called hypate, and that which is termed Mese, causing the melody called diatessaron: and looke what proportion is betweene the parts of irascible and concupiscible, such is there between Mese and Nete making that sound which is named Diapente: so that as those three partes of the soule consenting in one, make an absolute and perfect action: so of these three in Musicke, is caused a pleasant and delectable Diapason. And therfore no maruell if according to the mixture of these sounds diuerse men be diuersely affected, with seuerall Musicke: insomuch, that almost euery peculiar nation and people, be in their wars delighted with proper instrumentes: as in former times, the Cretenses with the harpe, the Lacones with Cornets, the Amazones with Flutes, the Cibarites with Shalmes, the Lydians with Whistles and Pipes, the Latines with trompettes, the Getes with the Cytheron and Flute: so in these later daies, and more nice times of the world, al nations with compound and mixt Musick, and with sundrie kinds of instrumentes, as Cornets, Wayts [bands of mixed wind instruments], Shagboyts, Trumpets, Drumb and fife.
6. Neither do I here so attribute this delectation vnto man, as denying it to other creatures, for I am verily persuaded, that the plowman and cartar of whom I spake before do not so much please themselues with their whistling, as they are delightsom to their oxen and horses. Again the warhorse is so inflamed with the sound of the trumpet, that he cannot keepe his standing, but maketh an open way to his rider, through the midst of his thickest enimies. And here may it please the reader for his recreation, to call to mind one speciall history of the Sibarits: whose horses were not only delighted with Musick, but also taught to dance to the instrument: insomuch that one of their musitions at a certaine time, hauing some discurtesy and iniury offred him tooke occasion to forsake his country, and fled to the Crotoniats, which were enimies to the Sibarits, forasmuch as not long before that time the Sibarits had giuen them the ouerthrow in battle. This tibicen, or plaier on the shalm, comming among the crotoniats, made his speech vnto them to this purpose and effect, that if they could afford him credit, he wold work such a deuice, as they shold easily obtain the conquest of the Sibarits horsmen. Credit was giuen vnto his tale, and he ordained captain of the war, instructed all the fluters and shalmers of the Crotoniates, what note they shold play, and how they should addresse themselues against their enimies. Now the Sibarites on the other side being insolent, and hauing taken hart a grace and courage vnto them by reason of their former victory, prepare themselues to meete their enimies in the field. Wherefore the Shalmers of whome I spake before hauing receiued a watchworde of the Captaine, on a suddaine sounded their Flutes and Shalmes. The horses of the Sibarites hearing their country Musicke, wherunto they had beene accustomed, reared themselues on their hinder feete, cast their riders, and as they were wont to daunce at home, so now they did it in the skirmish, and by this policy, the Crotoniats wan the victory of the Sibarits.
7. Whereby may be gathered not onely how pernicious clandestine treason is to a commonwealth, but also what strange and incredible delight musick impresseth euen in these dumbe and vnreasonable creatures. So mules are wonderfully alured with the sound of bels: and sheepe follow their sheepeheards whistle. And it is recorded also, that the Hart and other wilde beastes are by sweete and pleasant notes drawen into the toiles and gins of the huntesman. Aelianus in his varia historia testifieth, that Pythocaris a musition playing vpon his Cornet, mitigated the fierce and rauenous nature of wolues, and that the mares of Libia and Oliphantes of India woulde followe the sound of Organes and diuers other instruments. Now as these terrestriall beasts haue their peculiar and proper delightes, so aquaticall creatures also liuing in another element, offer themselues voluntarily to the sound of Musicke: so, as Martianus recordeth, certaine fishes in the poole of Alexandria are with the noice of instruments inticed to the bankes side, offering themselues to mens handes, so long as the melody endureth. Wonderfull are those thinges, which in good authors are related of the dolphin: but for our purpose, none so fit, as that of Arion: whose excellent skill in Musicke, giueth testimony aswell against the sauage and barbarous cruelty of those vnnaturall shipmen, which sought to take away his life: as to the gentle and kinde nature of the dophin, which is both a louer of men, and an earnest follower of musicke. Arion seeing no way to escape the furie of his cruel enemies, tooke his Citterne in his hand, and to his instrument sang his last song, where-with not only the dolphines flocked in multitudes about the ship readie to receiue him on their backes, but euen the sea that rude and barbarous element, being before roughe and tempestuous, seemed to allay his choler, waxing calme on a sodaine, as if it had beene to giue Arion quiet passage through the waues.
8. There is also a third kinde of liuing creatures, which by the Philosophers are called ἀμφίβια, because they liue both on the land and in the waters. Of these, I wil only name the Swanne, which bird is therefore said to bee vnder the patronage of Apollo, not only for that shee is allured with the sweet notes and mellodious concent of musicke, following them which plaie vppon instruments on the water: but more especially because she seemeth to haue som diuination from him, whereby she foreseing what good is in death, by a naturall instinct, finisheth her life with singing and with ioy.
Sic ubi fata vocant udis abiectis in herbis,
Ad vada Maeandri concinit albus olor.
When death the swanne assaies,
laid prostrate on the ground,
Her song doth make Maeanders bankes
her dolors to resounde.
As for those other creatures which liue in the aire, I do not think that the fouler could euer haue made such spoil and hauock of them, beeing so far out of his reach and iurisdiction, had not nature told him, that they aboue all creatures vnder the heauens, are as most delited, so soonest intangled and allured with his songs. Wherfore when thou seest, each foul in his kind, the Linet, the Nightingale and the Lark, to mount aloft, and sing their notes vnto the skies, shewe thyselfe docill in these two thinges, first in acknowledging the delight which both thou takest in them, and they in musick: and secondly learn by their example, what thy duty is and ought to be in grateful singing of psalms and songs to him that made thee.
9. Lastly, that I may not omit those which the heathnish poets and wise men counted inferior indeed to the gods: but better than men (how worthily I will not heere stand to debate) euen they testifie also of them, that they take infinite pleasure in musik. As when Silenus sang his song of the beginning of the world vnto Chronis, Mnasilus and Aegle the faire nimphe.
Then mightst thou see the Faunes
and satyres daunces lead,
The Cypresse trees to shake,
and sturdie okes their head.
So when Pan and Apollo stroue whether of them was the better Musitian.
When Pan for lawrell branche
in song with faire Apollo stroue,
Pactolus nimphes forsook their stream
and Tmolus nimphes their groue.
Homer is not afraid to ascend a little higher, shewing that euen the gods and Iupiter himself are content to giue a patient eare to musical concent: and therupon in that banquet of the gods where Vulcan plaid the skinker [serving-boy], hee maketh Apollo and the Muses singing a song.
Thus they in banquetting consumde the day:
Nor faire nor mirth was wanting to their will
While faire Apollo on his harpe did play,
The muses answering with aequal skil.
10. Pithagoras and his sectatours, thought that world did not consist without musical proportion and concent. And therefore both he and the best philosophers ascribe vnto euery Celestiall sphere, one Goddesse or Muse, which is the gouernes and ruler thereof: and because there are eight of those spheres, the seuen planets, and the eight which is called the firmament, therefore they made 8. peculiar Muses, attributing to Luna the muse Clio: to Mercurius, Euterpe: to Venus, Thalia: to Sol, Melpomene: to Mars, Terpsichore: to Iupiter, Erato: to Saturne, Polymnia, to the firmament or coelum stellatum, Vrania; and because of eight particular soundes or voices, keeping due proportion and time, must needes arise an harmony or concent, which is made by them all, therefore that sound which al these make is called Calliope. And hence is that pleasant harmony of the celestial globes caused, which Pythagoras so much speaketh of. If then both Gods and men, and vnreasonable creatures of what kind soeuer, be allured and mitigated with musicke, we may safely conclude that this proceedeth from that hidden vertue, which is between our soules and musicke: and be bold with Pindarus to affirme, that ὅσα μὴ πεφίληκε Ζευς et cetera. Al those things that Iupiter doth not loue, do only contemne the songs of the Muses.
THE EFFECTS AND OPERATION OF MUSICKE
N the former chapter was gathered a proofe and demonstration of the sweetnesse of Musick, proceeding from the causes to the effects. Now I meane by the contrarie demonstration, to proue the delectation thereof from the effects to the causes. For it cannot be but that as the conuenience and agreement which musicke hath with our nature, is the cause of the delectation thereof: So the pleasure and delectation is also the cause of those effectes which it worketh as well in the minds as bodies of them that heare it. Musick being in it selfe wholly most effectuall, importeth much of his force and efficacie, euen to the peculiar partes and portions thereof. And therevpon auncient writers make the distinction of songs and notes in musicke, according to the operations which they worke in their hearers: calling som of them chast and temperate: Some amarous and light, othersome warlike, others peaceable, some melancholicke, and dolefull, other pleasant and delightfull. And yet this diuision is not so auncient as that other which was in vse in Orpheus and Terpanders time: for Plutarck in his treatise of musick recordeth that Modi Musici were also distinguished by the names of nations: such were principally these foure, Modus Dorius, Modus Phrygius, Modus Lydius, and Modus Myxolydius. Hereunto were added as collaterall other three Hypodorius, Hypolydius, and Hypophrygius: making seuen in number, aunswerable to the 7. planets: whereunto Ptolomaeus addeth an 8. which is called Hypermyxolydius, sharpest of them al and attributed to the firmament.
2. These seuerall distinctions of notes in musicke do not so farre dissent in name and appellation, as they do neerely accord in effects and operation. For Modus Dorius, beeing a graue and staied part of musicke, aunswereth to that which I called chast and temperate. Modus Lydius vsed in comedies, in former times, being more lighter and wanton than Dorius, answereth to that which I termed amarous and delightsome. Modus Phrygius distracting the mind variably, also called Bacchicus for his great force and violence aunswereth to that which I called warlik, And Myxolydius most vsed in tragedies expressing in melodie those lamentable affections which are in tragedies represented, aunswereth to that which before I named Melancholike and dolefull. As for those other, Hypodorius, Hypolydius, Hypophrygius, and Hypermyxolydius, there is no doubt, but that they being collaterall and assistants to these, moue such like affection as their principall.
3. Macrobius in effect saith as much in these wordes: Vt visus colorum, sic sonorum varietate delectatur auditus: Modus Dorius prudentiae largitor est et castitatis effector: Phrigius pugnas excitat et votum furoris inflammat: Aeolius animi temperiem tranquillat, somnumque iam placatis tribuit. Lydius intellectum obtusis acuit, et terreno desiderio gravatis caelestium appetentiam inducit, bonorum operator eximius. That is, As the eye is delited with the variety of coulours, so is the eare, with the diuersitie of sounds. Modus Dorius is a giuer of wisdome, and a causer of chastitie. Modus Phrygius prouoketh to fight, and maketh couragious. Aeolius quieteth the mind, and giueth sleepe to the pacified senses. Lydius sharpneth dul wits, and to men oppressed with earthly cares, it bringeth a desire of heauenly things: being a wonderfull worker of good motions. So that the effects of musicke generally are these. To make hast to incite and stirre vp mens courages, to allay and pacifie anger, to moue pittie and compassion, and to make pleasant and delightsome: Nay yet I will go farther: and doubt not but to proue by good authority, that musick hath brought madde men into their perfect wits and senses, that it hath cured diseases, driuen away euil spirits, yea and also abandoned the pestilance from men and cities. Touching the first effects of musick we read that Agamemnon going to the war of Troy left behind him Demodocus, an excellent musician, skilfull in Modo Dorio, to keep chast his wife Clitemnestra, whom he nicely had in suspition of wantonnes and leuity with Aegistus. Wherevpon it is recorded that as long as Demodocus liued, Clytemnestra remayned faithfull to her husband: but when Aegistus, for that purpose had murthered him, she gaue ouer her selfe to satisfie his adulterous appetite. So did Vlisses leaue Phemius an other musician, with Penelope, whom Vlisses returning home at twentie yeares end, founde to haue wrought so effectually with his wife, that both he deserued great commendation for his acts, and she is registred as a most perfect and absolute example of chastitie: neither do I attribute so much to Homer the author hereof, as to Dydimus his interpreter, who giueth this as a reason thereof, because in those dayes, Musicians were the cheefest professours of philosophie.
4. I doubt not but that those, which are glad to take any occasion to speake against musicke, will think the contrarie: and affirme that it maketh men effeminate, and too much subiect vnto pleasure. But whome I praie you, doth it make effeminate? Surely none but such as without it would bee wanton: it is indeede as fire to flare, and as wine to a drunkarde, if flare be easilie inflamed, is the fault in the fire? or if a drunkard, be easely ouercom with wine, is the fault in the wine? So likewise if the sunne harden claie and mollifie waxe: the diuersitie of these effects is by reason of the diuersitie of those subiects: euen so the same musicke which mollifieth some men, moueth some other nothing at all: so that the fault is not in musicke, which of it selfe is good: but in the corrupt nature, and euil disposition of light persons, which of themselues are prone to wantonnes.
5. As for the second effect which is caused by Modus Phrygius, as I saide before, it shal suffice to confirm it by example. The Athenians hauing receiued great hurt and losse, by seeking to recouer the Iland Salamis, made a law that whosoeuer should make mention of any more recouering thereof should die the death. But Solon perceiuing this lawe to bee hurtfull to the common wealthe, faigned him-selfe to bee madde, and running into the cheefest places of the Cittie, sang a certaine Elegie, which hee for that purpose had made shewing how easily the Iland might bee redeemed, and how pernitious a law that was, which had beene made in that behalfe. With whose sweet song Plutarche doth record the Athenians to haue beene so incensed, that immediately they armed themselues, and with good successe recouered Salamis. To this purpose serueth also that which is recorded of a certaine yong man of Taurominum, which reporteth, was incited with the sounde of Modus Phrygius, to set a fier an house, wherein a harlot was intertained. But a most manifest proof hereof is that, which is saide of Alexander the great, who sitting at a banquet amongst his friends, was neuertheles by the excelent skil of Timotheus a famous musician so inflamed with the fury of Modus Orthius, or as som say of Dorius, that he called for his spear and target as if he would presently haue addressed himselfe to war.
6. Neither is this a more apparent proof for this part than that which folowed is for the next. The same Timotheus seeing Alexander thus incensed, only with the changing of a note, pacified this moode of his, and as it were with a more mild sound mollified and asswaged his former violence. Chameleon Ponticus reporteth of a certaine man called Clinias Pithagoricus, that he being a man giuen to seueritie, if at any time he perceiued himselfe to haue been melancholick, took his Citterne in his hand and professed that he tooke ease thereby. And Homer witnesseth of Achilles that of all the spoiles of Etion he only tooke for himself a Lute, wherewith hee might asswage his wrath in his extremitie. So a minstrell pacified Elizeus when Iehoram came to aske counsell of him, and quieted his mind when he was sore offended.
7. As the fourth effect may by many examples bee confirmed, so the story of Lodouicus pius the Emperor doth make it most euident. For when Theodolphus the Bishop, had by his counsell and deuise caused Lotharius not only to depriue his father Lodouicus of his empire but to cast him into prison, who can iustly accuse the Emperour, if he being restored to his imperiall dignitie againe, did fully purpose to chastise the bishoppe with death? Yet neuerthlesse such was the force of Musicke, that the Emperour passing by the prison wall, and hearing the Bishop sing an Hymne most pleasantly which hee had made in prison for his solace, was mooued with compassion, to be fauourable to that man, which had dealt disloially with himselfe, and restored him to his former dignity and estimation.
8. As for the fifthe, we dayly prooue it in our selues: vsing Musicke as a medicine for our sorrowe, and a remedie for our griefe: for as euerie disease is cured by his contrarie, so musicke is an Antipharmacon to sorrowe: abandoning pensiue and heauie cogitations, as the sunne beames do the lightsome vapors. Greater are those other properties of this art, which I wil in this place rather touch, than dilate with examples. Musicke aswageth and easeth the inordinate perturbations and euill affections of the mind. For Pithagoras with the changing of the sound of his instrument, caused a young man ouercome with the impatience of loue to change his affection also, wholly taking away the extremitie of his passion. So Empedocles with his skilful playing on the Citerne hindred a madde man, ready to slea himselfe: yea Zenocrates also and Asclepiades, are saide by this only medicine, to haue restored a lunatike person, into his perfect senses. If it bee so that musicke can helpe the outrages of the mind, it will not seeme vncredible that it should cure the diseases of the body. By the help of musicke Ismenias a Theban musician, restored men sicke of an ague, to their former health, and Asclepiades by the sound of a trumpet caused a deafe man to heare. Theophrastus also testifieth of the Ischiasy, that their sicknesses are cured, if a man play the Phrygian note vnto them.
9. It is also a present remedie against euil spirits: which as it is proued by that one example of Saul from whom the euil spirit departed when Dauid plaied on his Harp: so hauing so sufficient authoritie, for the confirmation thereof, I shall not neede to stand vppon it any longer. Lastly wee read also of musicke that it hath deliuered both men and Cities, from the noysome infection of the pestilence. As Gyraldus in the place aboue incited, recordeth. Terpander and Arion, saieth he, with their musicke deliuered the Lesbians and loues, from most contagious infections. And Thales a musician of Creet, with the sweetnes of his harmonie, banished the plague from his citie. I durst in no wise affirme the last effect and operation of this worthie arte, were it not that Plato with his credite and authoritie did embolden me: Mutati musicae moduli (saieth hee) status publici mutationem afferunt: The chaunging of Musicall notes, hath caused an alteration of the common state. The reason hereof can be no other than this, Because by the force of Musicke as well as those of lesse heart and courage are stirred vp, as those of greater stomack weakened and vnabled to any excelent enterprise. Whereupon he also inferreth, that such are the maners of young men, as are the notes and tunes they are accustomed to, in their tender yeares.
10. Now if these my proofes and authorities shal to som ἄμουσος and vnmoueable person ether seeme too weak, or the things attributed to musicke too hyperbolical: he shall bewray either his ignorance in not hauing read ancient writers, in whom, as of al other sciences, so of this especially, as most admirable, condigne praises are comprehended: or els his malice, in derogating from this art, those properties which hee can neither deny other men haue giuen, nor conuince, ought not by good reason to be attributed thereunto. For as I do not stand on the sufficiencie of these allegations, meaning in this part only to shew what hath beene ascribed vnto musick in former tymes: so is it not enough for any malicious Musomastix [“scourge of the Muses”], to take his pen and write I ly, vnlesse he can by sufficient reason declare, that these authors by mee cited haue erred heretofore: which if he shall not be able to performe, then let him giue some reason why musicke in these daies, is not the same, it hath beene heretofore: or why Musicke hath rather lost any of her former excellency, than increased in perfection from time to time, considering that time is the perfecter and increaser of all artes? But I will not willingly entangle my selfe, with the vaine and fantasticall deuises of this sort of men. Only I conclude this point, with that common saying of the learned: Scientia neminem habet inimicum nisi ignorantem. None are so great enimies to knowledge as they that know nothing at all.
11. Likewise in Apulia when anie man is bitten of the Tarrantula, which is a certain kinde of flie, verie venimous and full of daunger, they finde out the nature and sympathie of the sicknesse or humor, with playing on instrumentes, and with diuersitie of Musicke, neither doe they cease from playing, vntill the often motion and agitation, haue driuen the disease away.
THE NECESSITIE OF MVSICKE
UT what of all these thinges before rehearsed, if Musick haue neither profit or necessity? or to what end shold a man bestow his trauel and industry in that wherof there is no vse? Can an Art be vnnecessary, or can any thing be good for so many purposes as haue bin declared, and not be needefull? yea can any thing be so profitable and haue no vse? Easier is it for water not to moisten, and for fire not to giue heat, than for an art liberal to be vnnecessary, or for so precious a science to haue no vse. And therefore most memorable is that iudgement of Galene, which will not suffer that to be called an Art, that bringeth no profitte to our life. Wherefore before I enter into that which is the marke whereat I aime, I meane, the vse of Musicke in the church, I must adde to the these former commendations, something, as of the necessity of it in fewer wordes, so of ciuil vse thereof more at large. And first concerning the necessity: I confesse, that Musicke is not so necessary for man, as meates are for the preseruation of life, and clothing for the defence of the body: (for so he were not a man, that were not a musicion:) but as in meates some are course, and others delicate, which both neuerthelesse are necessary, the one to those of meaner, the other to them of higher degree: and as laboring men vse meane apparell only to defend their bodies from the violence of the weather, and gentlemen finer, not only so, but for an ornament also, which both are necessary, to distinguish callinges: so Musicke is as the more delicate meates, and as the finer apparell: not in deede necessary simply, but profitablie necessary for the comlinesse of life. And therefore Socrates and Plato, and all the Pythagoreans instructed their yong men and maydes in the knowledge of Musicke, not to the prouocation of wantonnesse, but to the restraining and bridling their affections, vnder the rule and moderation of reason.
2. For they, because youth naturally is moueable, and desirous of delight, and yet vnfit to receiue any seuere discipline, thought it conuenient and necessarie, to acquaint their children with an honest oblectation of Musicke in their youth, that being brought vppe in that liberall delectation, they might learne to refraine from other illiberall and inordinate pleasures. And Aristotle in the eight booke of his Politiques, which is wholy of that argument, giueth counsell that noble men and gentlemen be instructed with Musicke, first to auoide idlenesse, because the idle time which is in a mans life, doth require to be busied in the knowledge and learning of some profitable thing: secondly because Musicke after a sort belongeth vnto vertue. For as that exercise which is called Gymnastica doth strengthen and confirme the body: so Musick refresheth the wearied mind with honest delectation. Thirdly for that it hath great force in the wel ordring and good institution of life. And therefore Pythagoras his Scholers, as Tullie recordeth, were woont, both to giue certaine hidden and secrete precepts in verses, and to with drawe their mindes from intentiue and deepe cogitations, with singing and with instrumentes: yea and manie of the auncient Grecians among whome this Art was in high estimation, instructed their children in Musicke, as profitable to the correction of life and manners, that thereby they might bee incited to temperance and honestie: for it is the property of liberall Sciences, to ingenerate a gentle, and liberal action in their hearers. Wherupon Aristotle, in the same place doth infer, that albeit arts are to be learned not for any vain pleasure or ostentation, but for some good and profitable vse, yet if musicke were neither necessarie nor profitable at all, it ought to be accompted of and embraced, for that it is liberall.
3. And yet Aristotle doth not so far commend Musicke to noble men, that he would rather wishe them the practise, than the speculation and knowledge thereof: But as he would haue none but those that professe it to be the practisers of it: so hee counselleth noble men rather to vse it for their priuate solace, than publike ostentation, and rather to bee able to iudge of other mens cunning, than willing to shewe their owne. For the Lacedaemonians, saith he, a warlike and noble people, haue this as a singuler commendation, that although they seemed not to haue any skill in Musicke, yet they could easily discerne, which sound agreed or disagreed most. And he maketh it a generall obseruation, that in all poets of any credit and name, Iupiter is neuer made to sing, or to plaie vpon any instrument, although they deny him not most exact knowledge and iudgement. And indeed who doth not confesse an abuse of this art in Nero, which would sit whole daies togeather plaing in the Theater? or in Archabius that foolish musition, of whom it is written, that his auditors were woont to giue him more money to ende his song, than to begin. Pope Iohn the 22. of that name which was himself a good musicion, and wrote a booke thereof: in the second chapter of his booke attributeth thus much therunto. Great is the necessity of Musicke, and the vse thereof not to be contemned: for it maketh him that is skilful therin, able to iudge of that which he heareth, to amend that which is amisse, and to make a newe. And thus much he ascribeth to the necessity of the art. Neuerthelesse the necessity which wee meane, is, that it doeth bridle and nurture our inordinate affections, as not only Aristotle taught vs before, but Strabo also, calling musicions the masters and correctors of maners. Homer in the same sense termeth them Sophronistas, that is to say, Moderators or teachers of Temperance.
4. And for the like cause as I suppose, was Musicke first brought into the church, and vsed in diuine seruice: for Isidore testifieth, that Propter carnales in Ecclesia, non propter spirituales, consuetudo est instituta canendi, vt qui a verbis non compunguntur, suauitate modulaminis moveantur. The custome of singing in the church, was instituted for the carnall, not for the spirituall, that they whome the wordes doe not pierce might bee moued with the sweetnesse of the note. Saint Augustine also is of opinion that Musicke is necessary in the church of god, ut per oblectamenta aurium, infirmior animus in affectum pietatis surgat: that by the delight of the eares the weake soule may bee stirred vp into a feeling of godlinesse: and his reason is: Omnes affectus spiritus nostri pro suavi diversitate sentio habere proprios modos in voce atque cantu, quorum nescio qua occulta familiaritate excitentur. I perceiue, that all the affections of our spirites, haue certaine proper motions in the voice and song, according to the sweete diuersitie thereof, which (with I know not what hidden familiarity) are excited and stirred vp. In a word Aristotles resolution touching the ciuil necessity is, that musick hath relation to these three things, to delectation, to discipline, and to an happy life. To delectation, because Musicke with the sweetnesse thereof, doeth refresh the minde and make it better able to greater labours. To discipline, because it is a cause of breeding in vs chastitie, temperance, and other morall vertues. To an happy life, because that cannot consist without iudgement and liberall delectations, whereof Musicke is the chiefest.
THE VSE OF MVSICK GENERALLIE IN THE COURSE OF OUR LIFE
HILOSOPHY and experience haue taught vs that omne bonum quo communius eo melius, the goodnes of euery good thing stands chiefly vpon the vse. If the mysteries and secretes of nature touching plantes, springes, metals, stones, and the like had laine alwaies smothered and supprest within her bosom, doubtlesse we had wanted much of her blessings, and she asmuch of our commendation. Howe vile a thing were golde amongst vs, if for lacke of better vse we vsed it as we read of the Scythians to manacle and shackle our prisoners? Skarlet is no color to him that sees it not, an Emeraul not precious to him that knowes it not. But Musicke God bee thanked is no nightbird, she hath flown through the whole world in the open face and sight of al men. And the sun hath not had a larger theater wherin to display his beams then musick to lay open her sweetnes. Look into al ages, she hath grown vp with them. Look into al places, she hath infranchiced her self within them: look into al estates, shee hath no sooner come, but welcome vnto them. Antiquitie which nowe adayes euerie greene head will needes set to schoole, and make subiect to the ouerlasting pregnancy of his yong wit, deriues her euen from Saturnes time, when the worlde was skant sheld:
Tum cum virguncula Iuno
Et privatus adhuc Idaeis Iupiter antris.
When Iuno was a girle as yet,
And Iupiter not weaned from teat.
Then did the priests of Cybele sing an happy lullabie for him, whose crying if they had not drowned of purpose with their singing and tabering, his mercilesse father Saturne had deuoured him.
2. But what neede these broken staues? Nature which in deede was when nothing else was can beare the best record in these cases: and what euidence giues she? When I made the firmament I established it by concent. When I made the elementes I qualified them with proportions. When I made man I gaue him a soule either harmony it selfe, or at least harmonicall. Nay besides this, Non est harmonice compositus qui musica non delectatur [“No man is composed in a harmonious way who does not take delight in music.”] If I made any one which cannot brook or fancy Musicke, surely I erred and made a monster. For how is it credible, if beasts haue bin snared, birdes allured, fishes baited, serpentes charmed, yea and rent in sunder with Musicke, that her strength should become weakenesse in the wisest and most reasonable creature, without an infallible preiudice of a most vntoward nature? If there be any such flintlike and senselesse man, let vs leaue him as a desperate patient vnrecouerable, to the course of his owne hatefull constellation: which if it had not vowed to trie an experiment, and make one in all degrees worse than Timon of Athens, a man euen wholy resolued and done into spitefulnesse, how could it possibly haue harbored within his brest such an vnnatural loathing towards so excellent a science? I speak this but in iealousie: for I neuer hearde of any though seated and planted in the verie hart of Barbarie, which euer did abhorre it; or was not sometimes greedy to imbrace it. The rather because it is gladius Delphicus, hauing an edge on all sides, for it is made meate and drinke to melancholy, a great horse to choler, a full tide to greife, a fire to pleasure, a right hand to prodigality, a main sea to drunkennes, and finally a forst friend to all maner of affections and vices. So t hen if good dispositions loue hir for hir own sake, the bad for their passions sake, as whereby they back and strengthen themselues in their vngratiousnes, I hope I may safely conclude an vniuersality touching hir vse and seruice.
3. In this discourse plentie would haue ouerwhelmed me, had not a former tract of her suauitie and effectes forstalled this place. For to omit the court with her consortes, corporations with their waites [bands of mixed musical instruments], and other places both of greater countentance and frequency, wherin Musick may seeme by more authoritie to claime acquaintance, and to looke but with halfe an eie into the country, wherein toiling and as they call it good husbandrie should exclude all pleasurable recreation, howe hartily doth the poorest swaine both please himself, and flatter his beast with whistling and singings? Alas what pleasure could they take at the whippe and ploughtaile in so often and vncessant labours, such bitter weather beatings sometimes benummed with cold, otherwhiles melted with heat, euermore panting and scarcely drawing breath vnder their burthenous trauels, vnlesse they quieted and euen brought a sleep their painfulnes, with this their homely, yet comfortable and selfe pleasing exercise? That as the woman in Plutarch sang, Mole pistrinum, mole, nam et Pittachus molit Rex magnae Mytilenae: grinde mil, grinde: for euen Pittachus grindes the great king of Mytilen (otherwise were it not for his grinders his belly would take but poore tole) so those with a light hart make their plough go lighter, and while they vse the solace of their natural instruments both quicken themselues and incourage forward their ouerlaboured horses.
4. What shall I speake of that petie and counterfait Musick which cartars make with their whips, hempknockers with their beetels [hemp-workers with their hammers], spinners with their wheels, barbers with their fizzers, smithes with their hammers? where me thinkes the mastersmith with his treble hammer sings deskant whilest the greater buz vpon the plainsong: who doth not straitwaies imagin vpon musick when he bears his maids either at the woolhurdle [frame for processing wool], or the milking pail? good God what distinct intention and remission is there of their strokes? what orderly diuiding of their straines? what artificial pitching of their stops? If then the bare imitation of Musick in comparison of the other being dombe and liuelesse, bee notwithstanding so auaileable as to cherish ouerdulled spirites, and euen by stelth to carrie awaie the laboursomest drudgeries, what malicious and sworne frowardnesse is it against nature, sense, and reason by a commission onely of Sic volumus, Sic iubemus [“Thus is our will, thus is our command”], to discommon [exclude] that which is the principall, and by all reason of the greater force? Where-in because experience doth preuent examples (for what neede I alleadge Parrhasius and Nicias two notable painters by their owne confession strengthened hereby and euen steeled in their infinite labours?) I will reduce all to one monument of antiquitie, not priuate to any one either person, household, colonie, or towne, but generally put in vre by a whole nation. The auncientes of Creete (a realme renowmed sometimes for no fewer than an hundred beautifull cities) as they were religious in their lawes, being the very sinewes and ioyntes of euery welgouerned commonwealth, so they were as carefull to plant them in their childrens heades. But these lawes being matters of state and gouernment, and therefore too hard meate for such yong stomackes to digest, and deeper lessons than to match their shalow capacities, they vsed Musicke therin as a Schoolemaister, by faire meanes and gentle allurements to mitigate the difficultie of their taskes. Which if it bee so vnprofitable as it is made now adayes, why was it accepted in so famous and populous a countrie? why borne out and maintained by so graue authority? why admitted to thinges of so great importance? wherein standeth the life and soule of all Kingdoms? why instilled to youth for pliablenesse of nature easily corrupted, and for their hope the best seede of the next haruest? But henceforward because these sullein stoickes do measure not their good liking of good Artes by such hard and niggardly skantlings I will learne to bee more liberall to my selfe, and presume vpon that foregranted, which as I know not so I care not whether euer they will graunt or no. Musicke is not at their stinting: her charter (how large let al the world iudge) was graunted by nature, confirmed by prescription of time out of mind, and established by the vse of all places, persons and conditions. For better assurance whereof I wil descende more particularly to her vse, and speake of it partly as it is ciuill in time of peace and quietnesse, partly as warlike in times of commotion.
THE PARTICULAR USE OF MUSICKE
in Ciull matters, especially in sacrifices, feasts, mariages and Burials.
OW the ciuil vse, to let passe all generalities which I touched before with a wet finger, may best be collected out of these solemn either actions or assemblies, which are frequented in al politique states, and may be listed for breuities sake within the compasse of these foure things, to wit, sacrifices, feasts, mariages and burials. For I dare not speake of dauncing or theatrall spectacles, least I pull whole swarmes of enemies vpon me. Albeit Lesbonax of Mytilen, honestus plane vir and bonus [“A thoroughly honorable and good man”], a man I am sure, aswell titled, as the curiously minded called dauncers χειροσόφους, men teaching wisdome euen with their hands, and often went to theaters, giuing this testimony of them, that he euer returnd home the better by them. I confesse I am accessory to their iniurie against Musick in bereauing it of these two so ample and notable prouinces, bicause I doe not by open resistance hinder their riot. For howsoeuer obscenity may bring the stage in suspicion of vnchastnes and incontinency, make dauncing dissauorable and odious, I am sure that neither of them keeping them selues vnder saile, that is not ouerreaching their honest and lawfull circumstances, can want either good groundes to authorize them, or sufficient patronage to maintaine them.
2. As for these sacred or rather prophane churchrites vsed amongst the heathen and pagans in reuerence of their supposed gods, let that sorting of Musicke into Sophronistice applied to Sobriety and Temperance, Encomiastice to praises, Orchematice to dancings, Threnetice to calamities, and Paeanice to sacrifices be sufficient to discharge me of farther paines. Notwithstanding because examples stick deeper than precepts, and both these will skant serue to win some mens credence, let them call to minde what the priestes of Rhea in Creete called Curetes or these Corybantes in Phrygia did. What kinde of seruice Apollo founde in Delos, or the Sunne amongst the Indians, in what manner those gadding huswiues of Thrace worshipped Bacchus. And if one Proctor Antoninus the Emperour may not serue to answere throughly enough in behalfe of Rome, who in sacrificing to Heliogabalus appointed Carthaginian Dames to daunce, and make melodie about the altars, let the whole clergie of Mars called Salij (perhaps as some haue gessed of dancing and leaping) instruct them what the vsage, and fashion was amongest the Romanes.
3. Touching banquets, let no man I would aduise him exclude pleasure and recreation from thence, vnlesse he haue a forehead to set against the whole world, and a face to be at defiance with all countries. For otherwise why haue the feastmakers prouided meates for the mouth, sightes for the eye; perfumes for the nose, yea why haue they strowed Violets and Roses for the feete to walk vpon; but to allure and detaine their guestes with all maner of delectation? And must the eare sleepe al this while? No, there are questions of nature, of policy, or maners to be disputed on as amongst the Persians. There are riddles and mystical speeches to be explicated (for examples sake, A man and yet no man of an Eunuch, a stone and yet no stone of a pumeise [i. e., pumice], a birde and yet no bird of a reremouse [a kind of bat]) as amongst the Grecians. You may eate bookes in time of meals as did Alexander Seuerus: you may giue eare to tragical and comical Poets as did Hadrianus. Or if such tabletalke be too graue for your light humour, bring in young children to find you occupied with their apish pratling as amongst the Abydens. Bring in fooles and iesters (the very skornes and reporches of nature) to delite you with their toies as amongst the Romans. And I praie why not Musicke as wel as al these? sure if I were priuy to any reasons of yours, which either are few and wil shrink in the numbering, or light and wil vanish in the weighing, I wold neuer suffer my pen to belie my hart: either I would bend al my force to conuince them, or if I could not, vtterly forsake the defence of Musick.
4. In the meantime if I erre I am glad that my error is not yong or selfwilled but sprong euen from the most ancient and best approued maners of many countries. The Arcadians (what speake I of the Arcadians?) veteres: The ancients (for so in Athenaeus the patents are general, and concerne other places), were enioined by vertue of their lawes and statutes in time of feasting to sing forth praises vnto their gods. Cato his originals for ought I knowe are not extant amongst vs. Howbeit if wee will be tried by one of Cato his peeres, Tullie can tell vs that euery guest was bound in musicall sort to expresse the feates of armes and chiualrie attempted and performed by thier noble captaines I am bolde to say they were bound, for their Feastes in those dayes represented euen the whole body of a Common-wealth. They had Regem and Legem, their King and their lawes, and euery inferiour vpon paine of some mulct or other sworne to alleagiance. Now amongst these decrees one was that a Lawrel or mirtle bough shold passe through out the table from hand to hande as an ensigne or standard for each man in his time and course to sing vnder. Afterward they were put to the harp, and he that refused it sped no better than we read Themistocles did. For Habitus est indoctior. Hee was condemned of ignorance and vnkilfulnesse. What need I specifie Lacedaemon or Athens? we need not trauell farre to bee seene in their antiquities. Euerie Historiographer especially in this argument, hath matter enough to cloy and ouercharge the hungriest mind. And that one song in commendation of Harmodius and Aristogiton for rooting out the tyranny and memory of Pisistratus: φίλτατε Ἁρμόδιε, ἔτι που τέθνηας, Thou art not yet dead sweete Harmodius (for his name was reuiued in euerie banquet) makes it a cleare case touching the Athenians. The Sibarits besides all variety of minstrelsie brought in horses at their times of feasting, to tread the measures. But to set the Sunne against the lesser starres, I meane the sonne of Sirach against all prophane authors (for how can I but confound my self and the readers in so ample a maze of authorityes?) he compares Musicke in a feast to an emerauld or carbuncle set in gold: if it be perillous why doth the wiseman commend it to vs in his writings? if vile why doth he match it with two so excellent and precious stones? But his bare word is to me a better warrant for the ratifieng of it than al their peeuishe and scarce colorable wrangling to reproue it.
5. I come to mariages, wherin as our ancestors (I do willingly harp vpon this string that our yonger wits may know they stand vnder correction of elder iudgements) did fondly, and with a kind of doting maintaine many rites and ceremonies, some whereof were either shadowes or abodements of a pleasant life to come, as the eating of a quince peare, to be a preparatiue of sweete and delightfull dayes betweene the maried persons, the ioyning of Mercury and Venus togither, as a token that loue must bee preserued and fostered by curteous speeches, with other not vnlike: so in the time of solemnising the same they had choise and set songs appointed for the purpose. The Grecians generally by report of Aristophanes one of their Poets sang Hymen, O Hymaenaee, O Hymen. Calling upon the name of him whom they made their chiefe superintendent ouer such matters. And Plato in his booke intitled Gorgias makes mention of this dittie as peculiarly belonging to those festiual times. Formosum esse, et divitem, et bene valere, summum existimatur bonum.
Wilt thou be blessed and happie indeede?
Be faire, rich and healthy, if thou wilt speede.
The Athenians one of the best flours in Greece sang inconditum carmen [“impromptu song”], perhaps some blacke saunt without order or distinction, and it is reported to be this: Bonos ama, timidos repelle, scimus enim timidorum parvam esse vbique gratiam.
Embrace and loue the good, the carpet knights repel,
How litle fauor they haue found elswhere who knowes not wel.
6. I will end with death the end of al mortallity, which though it be the dissolution of nature, and parting of the soul from the body, terrible in it self to flesh and blood, and amplified with a number of displeasant, and vncomfortable accidents, as the shauing of the head, howling, mourning apparel, funeral boughes of yeu, box, cipresse, and the like, yet we shal find by resorting to antiquities, that musick hath had a share amongst them, as being vnseasonable at no time. I let passe the Thracians [Theatrum in marg.] with their triumphes and iubilies for the happy estate of their deceased friends and kinsfolk. The Lybians most honorable mention of those principally which were slain either by elephants or other wild beasts or spent their blood and liuelihood in the field for maintenance of their country, I cannot omit without iniury to their thankfulnes and mine owne cause. The rather sith the cause which moued them to these exigents cannot be vngrateful to any loial and wel disposed eares. Autumn winds are not so common as authorities if I would vse them. Euery grammer scholer that openeth but an orator, poet, or historiographer shal see trumpets, pshalms, and singings attributed to funerals. And to reduce al vains to the hart, and al autorities to one head, if there were no such remembring of the dead, why haue they deified a goddes of these songs, that as Ianus amongest them was the first god to open the dore and entrance of their liues, so Naenia shold be the last to do them any seruice, by quickning them after their deathes, and raising vp a second life, by a wailful and yet musical commemoration of their laudable deserts. b
THE PARTICVLER VSE OF MUSICKE IN WARLIKE MATTERS
OW because musick is reported to be, belli and pacis alumna vel comes, either the daughter or companion both of war and peace, I wil set the palm and oliue togither: and as I haue bin short in declaring her peaceable vse, so I will take the neerest course that may bee in this warlik treatise. Though painters and Poets are commonly allowed to ly, yet I am sure Theon expressed no more colours than is true in life when he drewe an armed man in compleat harnesse ready to make excursion vppon his enimies, and to all mens thinking animated and incouraged therunto by the clamorous soundes of a Musitian. I appeale not now to mens integritie, and vprightnesse of iudgementes. I make prouocation to them as they are men. Let them speake if the drum, fife, and trumpet do not excite their spirits, and make their hearts euen to swel to the ouerthrow of their enimies. The kings of Persia first sang a song to Caster and Pollux, and then made incounter with their aduersaries. The Lacedaemonians vsed Pshalms: whose captain Agesilaus being demanded of one not so wise as curious (I will not say hee was a ringleader to our froward questionists now adayes to what end and purpose he did it) made answere that hereby he was assured of euery mans minde and courage. For if his pases were consonant and according to measures, then it argued he was not appalled. If disagreeing, it argued that he was faint harted. Now if it be expedient for a captaine to knowe whether his souldiers be harts or Lions, whose good and cheerful harts are the first step to winning of the field, then it is consequent, that Musicke should be a Lydius lapis, the right touchstone to try their minds.
2. Nowe besides the aduertisement giuen hereby to the captaine, our owne side is incited, the aduerse parts amased and astonished. For which causes all nations ciuil and barbarous though in diuerse forts, yet vpon one and the selfe same ground haue made euen the earth shake, and the heauens ring either with outcries, braying, howling, singing, and clattering of their armour as the old Germanes and frenchmen, or with tabering vpon their wagon pelts, as the Cimbrians, or with drums, and great iron hammers, as the Parthians, or with a gentler and remisser kind of Musicke, with their harping, or piping, or winding the cornets, or sounding trumpets, or tinkling their cimbals, as the Lydians, Hetrurians, Arcadians, Cicilians, Corinthians, Syrians, Troians, Aegyptians, Arabians, and to speake in one word, no one word so true, al countries. Amongst which Athens the mother and nurse of the best literature was accustomed to sing hymns to Apollo and Iupiter, for the better speeding of their doubtful voiages. And Rome the lady and Queene of al other cities (if they may be credited in their own cause, vsed first an oxe horne til Tyrrhenus had deuised the brasen trumpet, prouided not withstanding that in any expedition of silence, they gaue but a watch word only without any sound of instruments.
THE LAWFVL VSE OF MVSICKE IN THE CHVRCH
confirmed by the practise of the church
OW although there be none but few men so senselesse and blockish by nature, or of disposition so peuish, and waiward, that taking no delight in Musick themselues, and measuring the worth and price therof, by their own affections, do account of it as a thing either vain and vnlawful, or idle and vnprofitable, yet there be many, who albeit they allow a moderate, and sober vse of it, in ciuil matters: do notwithstanding cast it out of the church, as an vncleane thing, and will vouchsafe it no place in the seruice of God. But if the vse thereof be proued to be not lawfull only in the church, but profitable also and decent, by the practice of the church at all times, the opinion of the best learned in all ages, and the authority of the Scriptures themselues in many places: I trust that these men will reforme their opinions from thinking so basely of it, or refraine their tounges from inueighing so bitterly against it.
2. And first as touching the practise of the church, they are not ignorant, that the most ancient church of the Jewes (which receiued the doctrine of truth, which it beleeued, the precepts of life, which it obserued, the order of discipline, which it practised from God himself) vsed no one spirituall exercise more than singing vnto the Lord. When the Ark (which was vnto them a visible signe of Gods presence among them, and vnto which they resorted to aske counsell of the Lord, and to poure out their praiers, as wee do vnto the church) was brought into the citie of Dauid, not only the foure thousand Leuits whom Dauid had assigned this office to praise the Lord with instruments which he had made, song and made melody, but Dauid himselfe also sang, reioiced, and daunced before it. Afterward when the Temple was buylded by Solomon, and the Arke, with other thinges dedicated thereunto by David, Dauid, were brought into the temple, the Leuits according vnto their office, sang vnto the lord, songs of praise and thankesgiuing, lifting vp their voices with trumpets and Cimbals, and with instruments of Musick: which seruice the Lorde did so gratefully accept that hee vouchsaued his visible presence, and filled the temple with his glory.
3. And when as Ezechias opened the temple which had been shut, and reestablished the seruice of the lord, which had beene intermitted by the wickednes of Ahas among other thinges, there is especiall mention, that he restored this exercise: for he appointed the Leuits in the house of the Lord, with cimbals and vials, and with harpes, according to the commaundement of Dauid, and Gad the kings seer, and Nathan the prophet: for the commaundement was by the the hand of the lord, and by the handes of his prophets. And his holy ordinance, which the lord himselfe had sanctified, continued in that church as other parts of his seruice did, though corrupted, euen vnto the comming of Christ in the flesh. Neither was it then, as a bodily and vnprofitable exercise, abolished, but retained as a spirituall seruice vnto the Lord, albeit no in that order and forme as before. And Isidor testifieth that Ad antiquum morem psalmistarum in veteri ecclesia Iudaeorum, et cetera of the auncient custome of singers in the old church of the Iewes, the primitiue church tooke example, to noorish singers, by whose songs the minds of the hearers, might be stirred vp to god.
4. And the psalmist or singer ought to be most excelent both in voice and art, that he may the better delight the hearers with the sweetnesse of his Musicke, yea euen our sauiour Christ vsed this diuine exercise, for when he had eaten the passouer with his disciples, Saint Mathew addeth, and when he had song a psalme they went out into the mount of Oliues. As for the times wherin the apostles themselues liued, it cannot bee denied, but that this exercise was vsed in the churches which they planted: for many exhortations are by them made in their epistles, as it shall after appeare, vnto their churches that then flourished, concerning this matter, and I trust their practise then was agreeable to their exhortations. Plinie in an epistle he writeth to Traian the Emperor (whiles yet Saint Iohn was liuing) testifieth that it was the custome of the Christians to sing himnes vnto their Christ in their assembles before day: for they could not freely come togither by day, for the persecutions that then raged against them. Afterwarde when the church of Christ had a breathing time, and might freely serue their God, they did that openly in their churches, which before they vsed secretly in their assemblies. Look vpon the East and the West, the Greeke and Latine Churches, and you shall finde this to be true. It had his beginning in the East Church, and from thence being deriued vnto the West, spredde it selfe vnto all Churches, as Sainct Augustine reporteth in his Confessions.
5. It were too long to runne ouer all the particular Churches, which frequented this exercise, it shall bee sufficient to take a view of the patriarchall seates, by whome the others were to bee directed in matters of doctrine and discipline. Theodoret reporteth that Flauianus and Diodorus ordayned in the Church of Antioch that the Psalmes of Dauid shoulde bee song interchangeably by a quire of singing men, diuided into partes, first at the monumentes of Martyrs, and afterwards in the Church, et hortabantur, sayeth hee, socios sui ministerij vt in Ecclesia sanctissimum Dominum nostrum hymnis celebrarent, And they exhorted their fellowe Ministers, to prayse their holie Lorde Christ, with hymnes and songes. The which order once begunne at Antioche was deryued farther and farther euen vnto the vtmost partes of the worlde. In Zozomenus likewise it is recorded, that when the people of Antioch had intelligence, that the Emperour Theodosius was incensed against them for a sedition raysed in their Citie, they made their prayers vnto god, to allay and mitigate his rage, vsing thereunto mournfull songes and melodie. The which when Flauianus the Bishoppe had caused to bee song before the Emperour, as hee satte at meate, the storie sayeth, that Theodosius was thereat not onely mooued to pytey, but forgaue the offence also, and himselfe with teares encreased their lamentations. And in another place he sayth, that the Cleargy and people of Antioch diuiding themselues into two partes, did according to their accustomed maner praise God with himnes and songes. To these former autorities accordeth Socrates, who although he attribute not the originall of this singing of Antiphones and psalmes in the church of Antioche, to Flauianus and Diodorus as Theodoret doth, but vnto Ignatius one auncienter than they (for he was the third bishope of that place after Peter, and was very conuersant with the Apostles themselues) yet he agreeth with him in the veritie of the matter wherof I speake, affirming that Ignatius, hauing seene a vision of Angels lauding the holy Trinitie with himnes interchangeably sung, constituted in the church of Antioche that forme and maner of singing, which had beene manifested vnto him in that vision. And albeit this may seeme somewhat fabulous (as perhaps it is, and as the Magdeburgenses are of opinion, saying that this is not a matter of so great moment, that therefore Angels should come downe from heauen and appeare singing:) yet this clause which they ad, especially because the church in those daies wanted neither psalmes nor himnes, is a sufficient proofe of mine assertion.
6. Now concerning the church of Alexandria as I doe confesse, this exercise was not so much vsed there as in Antioch: so must I needes say that sometimes it was there also frequented: for proofe whereof I referre the reader to Socrates and the tripartite historie, where they declare how Athanasius the Bishop of Alexandria being by the Arrians depriued of his Bishoprick, escaped out of the hands of Sirianus, the Captaine of that armie, who came with a band of 3000. souldiers, beside the ayd of the Arrians which were in the citie, as well to place Gregorius in that sea as to apprehend Athanasius. For the historie saith thus: The euening grewe on, and the people watched all night, because they looked for a communion. The Captaine placed his souldiers round about the Church: the which when Athanasius perceiued, all his care was, that for his sake the people might receiue no harme. Wherefore he willed the Deacon to end his praiers, and commanded they should sing a Psalm. Now while the Psalm was singing, with sweet and pleasant concent, the whole congregation went out at one dore: all this while, the souldiers were silent, and made no vprore: but Athanasius in the midst of the throng scaped the rage of his enemies without harm. Whereof I gather that as in other churches, so also in this of Alexandria they vsed this diuine exercise: which also Saint Augustine testifieth, though not in so ful manner, when he wisheth, that the order of singing were vsed in the Church where he was, which Athanasius obserued in the Church of Alexandria who commanded him that read the scriptures, that hee should so temperate and moderate his voice, that he might rather seem to speake treatably than to sing, to the end he might be the better vnderstood of the people. And yet neuertheles Saint Austen calling to mind, how wonderfully himselfe had been moued with the singing of the church at his conuersion to the faith, and what operation it worketh in the hearers, although doubting, confesseth in the same place, that he doth allow singing in the church, that by the delight thereof the weake minde might be brought into a feeling of Religion.
7. As for the Church of Ierusalem, I think it a matter needlesse to stand long in proofe of that, which no man can deny, especially seeing this exercise was in vse among the Apostles themselues (as may appeare by that of Paul, I wil sing with the spirit, but I wil sing with the vnderstanding also) and none were bishops of that sea, but such as were either Apostles themselues, or scholers of the Apostles. Yet least I should seeme to say nothing in so large a matter, I wil alleage only one testimonie for confirmation hereof. There is extant among the epistles of Saint Hierom, one of Saint Hieroms own making: but vnder the name of Paula and Eustochius written to Marcella, the argument whereof is to intreate Marcella which was then at Rome, to come vnto Ierusalem where Paula and Eustochius remayned. Among many commendations of the place, and diuers reasons to perswade her, this is one, Hic vox quidem dissona, sed una religio, tot psallentium chori quot gentium diversitates: Here, say they, are diuers languages, but one religion, and so many quiers of singers, as there is diuersities of nations. And in the same epistle they ad, In Christi villula, Here in christ his village, is no pride but al plainnes, and besides the singing of Psalms, nothing but silence. The husbandman holding the plough singeth Alleluia, the haruest man sweating at his labour doth solace himselfe with Psalms, and hee which cutteth the vines singeth some Psalme of Dauid. These are our verses in this countrie, these are our amarous songs. These be the tunes of our shepheards, and these be the instruments of our husbandrie, et cetera.
8. The fourth patriarchal seate was Constantinople wherein as in a place consecrated to the seruice of god, was to be heard the most sweet and pleasant voice of the Church, singing Psalmes and Hymnes vnto the Lorde. For Socrates reporteth that Chrysostome ordayned in the Church of Constantinople, the manner of singing by course, that is, quiers interchangeably singing, which hee did by emulation of the Arrians, which in their meetings and assemblies without the Cittie, vsed this kinde of singing with a great shew of holines and deuotion. The which order once begun vpon this occasion, continued, as Zozomenus noteth, a perpetuall custome in that Church. Insomuch, that Saint. Hilarie in his Commentaries vpon the Psalmes giueth this testimony to the Church of Constantinople. They beganne (saith he) the day in praiers vnto God, they ended the day with Hymnes to him in the Church: and againe: Let him which is with-out the Church heare the voice of the people making their praiers, let him consider the excellent sound of their Hymnes.We read also that Iustinian the Emperour, in the 8. yeare of his raigne after the fifth generall Councel at Constantinople, wherein were 165. Fathers assembled, to condemne the errours of the Origenists, made a song, the beginning whereof was, The only begotten sonne, and word of God, and gaue it to the church of Constantinople to be song. They were also woont to sing the Psalmes of Dauid, and certaine Letanies, which they did at the commandement of Anastasius the gouernour of the Citie, to the end they might take heed of sedition, wherewith the Citie was often times molested. Many mo testimonies might be alleaged to proue the frequentation of this exercise in their patriarchal seats, but that I iudge these are sufficient, and my purpose is to shew, that as this custome begun in these chiefe and mother Churches of the East: so it flowed from them as from fountaines, not only into all other inferiour Churches of the East, but as if it had taken force in the course thereof deriued it self vnto their sister church of Rome and al other christian congregations in the west.
9. And first concerning the other east churches: we read of the church of Edessa, where Ephraim a Syrian (a man commended and had in admiration of Saint Basil for his excellent knowlege and learning) was Deacon: that there in his time this diuine exercise was imbraced. For when Harmonius an heretike, And first concerning the other east churches: we read of the church of Edessa, where Ephraim a Syrian (a man commended and had in admiration of Saint Basil for his excellent knowlege and learning) was Deacon: that there in his time this diuine exercise was imbraced. For when Harmonius an heretike, had set wicked and impious songs to most pleasant and delectable tunes, and thereby had allured the minds of many: this Ephraim is said to haue made holy and godly ditties, and to haue applied them to the sweet notes and tunes of Harmoni: whereby it came to passe that afterwards the Syrians his countrimen sang in their assemblies the songs of Ephraim, obseruing therwith the musical consent of Harmoni, which was to them not only most pleasant, but wonderful profitable and commodious.
10. And this custom preuailed also in the Church of Neocaesaria. In the time of Basil, who in an epistle he writeth to certaine of the clergie of Neocaesaria, aunswereth the reproches of Sabellius and Marcellus, which found fault with the singing vsed in their church, and for that cause had separated themselues from the congregation, his words be these: De nocte populus consurgens, et cetera. The people rise before day, and hie them to the house of praier, and there after that in mourning and in heauines, and in continuall teares, they haue confessed themselues vnto god, standing vp from their praiers they beginne the Psalmodie, and being diuided into two parts, they sing together the one part answering the other: whereby they strengthen theselues in the exercise and meditation of the word of god: and being attentiue with their harts, confirm their minds, reiecting al vain and friuolous cogitations, and so with varietie of psalms, and diuersitie of praiers, sometimes singing, and sometimes praying, they spend the night. Assoone as the day appeareth, altogether as it were with one mouth, and with one hart, offer a psalm vnto the lord: if for the these things ye auoid our companie, ye must auoid likewise the churches of Aegypt, of Lybia, them of Sheb and also of Palestina, of Arabia, of Phoenicea, of Syria, and al those that border vpon the riuer Euphrates, where the vse of singing psalms is frequented. Where I note, that though I should haue held my peace, yet Saint Basil prooueth for mee the generalitie of this practice, seeing in his last wordes he affirmeth, that this order was agreeable to al the other Churches of God.
11. For the churches in Aegypt, I haue not only Saint Basils bare assertion (as in this place appeareth, which neuerthelesse were sufficient for my purpose) but also the testimonies of ancient writers. Dionysius Alexandrinus, as Eusebius reporteth, in his 2. booke De promissionibus commendeth Nepos a Bishop of Aegypt, Propter fidem, sedulitatem et exercitium in scripturis, et propter multam ipsius psalmodiam, qua etiam num multi ex fratribus delectentur: That is, for his faith, for his diligence in preaching, and for his exercise in the Scripture, and for his making and setting of diuers Psalmes and Hymnes, wherewith euen til that day, many of the brethren were delighted. The same Eusebius citeth out of Philo this testimonie, for the vse of this exercise in the churches of Aegypt. Non contemplationi se solum, et cetera. They do not only giue themselues to contemplation (for thereof he had spoken before) but they make also, Songs and Hymnes, with most exact qualities and measures of verses, which they sing in the honor and praise of god. Time wil not suffer me to speak of those churches seuerally which are mentioned in Saint Basils catalog: wherefore I wil content my selfe with his authoritie, thinking his assertion as forceable to perswade the reader, as my proofes and allegations. And to conclude this former part concerning the practice of the East Churches, I verily perswade my selfe, that the churches of Corinth, of Colossa, of Ephesus and the rest vsed this exercise in their diuine seruice. In which opinion, I am the more confirmed, for that so often mention, and so many exhortations hereof are extant in the epistles of the holy Apostle to these congregations.
12. Greece for humane learning: so at the first propagation of the gospel, they were much more bound to the greeks and east regions for the knowledge of God, and true religion. The substance whereof, as they receiued pure and vndefiled at the first, and altogither vnspotted with mens traditions, as a treasure deliuered vnto them by the Apostles themselues: so withall they receiued also the holy ceremonies and customes of the same, so as they and the holy Ghost had thought it most conuenient. And forasmuch, as nothing of price is begun and perfected at once, but increasing by litle and litle afterward groweth to a ful and absolute perfection: therefore it is recorded that the west and latin churches, first receiued the substance of religion, as the fundation, and afterward the rites and ceremonies thereof, as beautiful adiuncts and ornaments of the building. For whereas the doctrine of Christ had continued in these parts euer since the preaching of the Apostles, we read that this part of diuine seruice was not intertained into the Latine churches before the time of Saint Ambros bishop of Millen, which was after Peters death at Rome almost 300. years. So that of al the churches in the west, the church of Millen was the first that vsed this solemnitie, and that in the dayes of Ambrose the holy man of God, by whose meanes and aduise it was receiued. Whereof we haue the testimonies as wel of Sygibertus and Iuo in his chronicle, which attribute the first institution of singing of Anthems and Hymnes in the latine Churches vnto Ambrose, as the writers of Magdeburge iustifie: as of Austen also, who affirmeth that at what time Iustina the mother of Valentinian the emperor, fauoring the heresie of the Arrians, persecuted the true Church of Christ, the maner of singing Psalms, which was vsed in the east churches, begun to be frequented in the church of Millen by the counsel of Ambrose, least the people being in continual watchings and labor should faint and pine away for sorow. The which vse he saith, was not only retayned there, but was also receiued and imbraced, of al the churches and congregations of christ throughout the west. To these former authorities agreeth Isidor, who speaking of Ambrose recordeth that he not only made Hymnes himself which were song in the church of Millen, and called Ambrosiani after his name, but also was the first, that instituted the singing of Anthem in his church to the example of the greeks, who diuided a quier of singing men into two parts, which shuld sing by course, like the two Seraphins, or the two testaments answering one another in order, adding also, Cuius celebritatis deuotio postea per totius occidentis ecclesias obseruabatur. [“And his celebratory devotion was afterwards observed throughout the entire Church in the West.”]
13. I think it a matter of more labour than necessitie to goe about to shew the frequentation of this solemnitie in the Church of Rome, I meane not that which now is, but that which was in the time of the primatiue Church, especially seeing that as that was the place, whither all nations made great recourse: so nothing was there omitted which might in any respect make to the setting forth of the Gospell and diuine seruice of god. Neuerthelesse least I should seeme to speake only by ghesses and coniectures, I will alleadge antiquitie for my proofe. Isidorus Archbishop of Hispalis in Spaine of whome I spake before, maketh a difference and distinction betweene Anthems and Responsories: for Anthems he said as I affirmed before, that Ambrose was the first that translated them from the Greeke into the Latine Church: but for Responsories hee sheweth that they were long before that time vsed in the Churches of Italy, and were so called because when one sang, the quire answered him singing also, and then it was the vse either that euery man shuld sing by himself, or sometime one alone, or at some other times two or three together, the quier for the most part making answere. Pontianus likewise the sixt bishop of Rome, which was long before Saint Ambrose, ordayned, that in all churches psalms should bee song night and day, as Fasciculus temporum hath obserued.
14. Now as I easilie confesse that this was not that exquisite kind of musicke which afterward was in vse: so it cannot be denied, that they imbraced the other also. Damasus wrot vnto Saint Hierom then being at Ierusalem by Bonifacius a priest, that he would send him psallentium Graecorum, the maner of singing of the Greeks in the East. He complaineth also in that epistle of the simplicitie of the Roman Church, that there was on the sunday but one epistle of the Apostle and one Chapter of the gospel rehearsed, and that there was no singing with the voice, nor comlines of hymnes knowen among them. Whereupon Saint Hierome in his answere sent him that, which he requested, .] and besides that counselled him, that at the end of euery Psalme, he should cause to be song, Glory be to the father, et cetera. Wherefore for certaintie of this matter, we haue the affirmation of Platina, who recordeth that Damasus was the first which caused the Psalmes to be song alternatim, by course interchaungeably in the Church of Rome. The which when Master Harding alleadged against Bishop Iewell, so as he would therby confirme, either singing in an vnknowen toung, or that the quier only song in the primitiue Church: the Bishop answereth vnto by denial, not of the thing: for he graunted they vsed singing, but of the illations [the consequences he drew?]: for although they vsed singing (saith he) yet they vsed it not in an unknowen toung, and though they used singing interchangeably by sides: yet the quier or sides song not alone but the people also, which he confirmeth out of the decrees of Gregorie, distinctio 92. who forbad the priest that said seruice to sing, and in the end addeth this conclusion. Hereof we may gather (saith he) that Damasus diuided the whole people into 2. parts, and willed them to sing the psalms in their own toung, the one part making answer by course to the other. Now here me thinks I perceiue some exult as if they had gotten confitentem reum [“an accused man confessing his guilt”], because I confesse, the quiers did not only sing in the primatiue church, but the people: and that verily I do confesse, neither is it my purpose to denie any manifest trueth, and I doubt not, but to reconcile these contrarieties in their proper place sufficiently, where I shall answer al obiections fully that can in any respect be alleadged against this exercise. In the mean season I haue got hereby so much as I desired in this place, namely that this part of Gods seruice was vsed in the Romane church and other congregations of Italy.
15. Neither did this seruice containe it selfe only within the boundes of Italy, but took roote also in the churches of Fraunce and Germany, and other places. For in the time of Saint Hylary Bishoppe of Poyters in Fraunce, it is testified by Isidorus that this custome was confirmed in the church. In somuch that Hylary himselfe a man of wonderful eloquence, made Hymnes which were song in his church and called after his name Hylariani. The same may be saide of the churches of Africa as Carthage, and Hyppo: for the church of Carthage Saint Austen saith thus much: Hylarius quidam vir tribunitius, et cetera. A certaine man called Hilarie, being incensed, I know not vpon what occasion, against the ministers of god, did reuile with contumelious speeches, whersoeuer he came, that custome of singing Hymnes at the Altar out of the booke of Psalmes, either before the offering, or after that which was offered was distributed to the people, which was begunne in Carthage, saying that it ought not so to be. To him did I make answere, saith Saint Augustine, being commaunded so to doe by the brethren.
16. So Victor in his historie De Vandalica persecutione saith: That at Carthage in the feast of Easter the people assemble themselues togither in the pallace of Faustus, and there sing Hymnes in the night season in honor of the time. As for the church of Hippo where Saint Augustine himselfe was ruler and chiefe Bishop, it is not likely that he would defend the vse of that against Hylarie which he would not allowe in his Church: especially seeing himselfe was not only wonderfully therewith delighted: but in his conuersion (as was noted before) had the effectual working thereof in himselfe. It were an infinite and endles labor to rehearse euery particular Church after this order, considering that euen the verie names of them are infinite: neuerthelesse if these particulars will not suffice, harken to the generall voice of the Doctors, who with one consent agree, that nothing was more frequent in the assemblies of the faithful: First Saint Hierom hath these words: Matutinis vespertinisque hymnis ecclesiae delectatur Deus, per animam fidelem, que relicto inanium superstitionum ritu eum devote laudaverit. God is delighted with the morning and euening hymnes of the church by a faithfull soule, which reiecting the ceremonies of vaine superstition praiseth him deuoutly. And Eusebius writing the exercises of the Christians in their meetinges maketh this catalogue. They vsed prayers, singing of Psalmes, celebration of the Sacraments, and thanksgiuing. To whom agreeth Saint Basil, templa Martyribus dedicarunt, et cetera. They dedicated churches to the holy Martyrs with hymnes and giuing of thankes, whereunto they came togither euen at midnight as then their maner was. And in the same place, Interdum concionandi materia ex Psalmis illis desumpta est quos prius decantarunt. Somtimes the arguments and texts of their Sermons were taken out of the Psalmes which they had sung before. So Eusebius and Nicephorus against the cauils of Theodotus and Artemon and other heretiques make mention of Psalmes and songes which faithfull men had made, attributing therein to Christ, diuine Godhead, and praysing him with sweete concent. And it may easilie bee gathered out of Sainct Augustine, that godly men in their assemblies sang prayses vnto god, and made their prayers to their Lorde.
17. So Theodoret maketh mention of dauncings and banquets, which christians were woont to vse in their merry meetinges after any notable and strange deliuerance. And Epiphanius to this purpose speaketh: Morning hymnes are continually song in the church, and euening prayers, yea both Psalmes and prayers by candle light. But most euident is that testimony of Rabbi Samuell, who writing to Isaac the Israelite hath these wordes: Paveo, mi domine, quod dictum est de apostolis illud Esaiae, et cetera. I am afraid (Sir) of that which Esaias speaketh of the Apostles: they shall declare the holy one of Iacob, and preach the God of Israell: the ignorant shall receiue knowledge, and Musicions shall knowe the Lawes. We manifestly see that ignorant men and Musicions teach our Lawe: And who are these ignorant men, but the Gentiles? and who are these Musicions, singing our Psalter and our Prophetes in their Churches, but the christians? And a litle after, His omnibus consideratis, et cetera. All these thinges considered, me thinks, wee do amis in iudging of the sacrifice of their praise which they offer in the church of God, singing: especially seeing we finde both commandement for it in the law of God, and the example of Dauid. For commandement it is said, Praise him with Virginals and organs, praise him with cimbals, praise him with high sounding cimbals, let euerie thing that hath breath praise the Lord Iesus Christ. For example we reade that Dauid daunced before the ark, whom his foolish wife Michol did therefore reprehend, but he answered, O foolish woman, wil God suffer me in his seruice to be despised? And all the children of Israell sounded the trumpet as they caried the Arke. Nowe what are wee which laugh at the solemnities of these singers but foolish Michols? and who are these that sing, but the christians dancing and singing to God in humblenesse of heart as Dauid did? But for conclusion of this point, my last proofe shall bee out of Isidore which speaketh most plainely to this effect. Dauidis Psalterium idcirco cum melodia cantilenarum suauium ab ecclesia frequentatur, quo facilius ad compunctionem flectantur. The Psalter of Dauid is therefore accustomed to be song in the church with the melodie of pleasant songs, that men may the more easily thereby be brought to a remorse of conscience and sorrowe for their sinnes.
THE LAWFVLL VSE OF CHVRCH MVSICKE
proued by authorities out of the Doctours
O the practise of the church, it may seeme superfluous to ad the opinions of the fathers for that it is likely, that they which vsed Musicke in their churches, allowed it in their opinions. And yet because the fathers set down the vse therof in ecclesiastical matters, that we may leaue no place of cauil for the aduersary, I think it not amisse, though in few words, to adde their particular speeches to this purpose. Iustinus Martyr, who flourished about the yeare of our Lord 164. in his questions, which the Gentils proposed to the Christians, mouing a question touching this matter maketh aunswere thereunto. His question he putteth down in this form. If verses and songs were inuented by them which detested religion purposely to deceiue, and were commended to them which liued vnder the law for their weakenesse only, and because they were to be trained vp as children: why should they which haue receiued perfect giftes of grace, and different from those meanes which we haue spoken of, vse singing in their churches, to the imitation of those which were vnder the law as children and infants? His answere is this: To sing doth not at all become children, but to sing with dumbe instruments, and with dauncing and cimbals. Therefore the vse of such instrumentes and others which are fit for children, is thrust out, and expelled the church, and singing onely is retained: for it inflameth the heart with a feruent desire of that which in singing delighteth vs, it subdueth the motions of the flesh, it driueth away those wicked cogitations, which our inuisible enimies put into our mindes, it watereth the mind, and causeth it to bring forth fruite of heauenly things, it armeth and strengthneth the reuerencers of religion with patience in aduersitie, it ministreth a remedie vnto the godlie against those molestations which spring of worldly affections. This Saint Paul calleth the sworde of the spirite, where-with hee furnisheth christian soldiers, against their spiritual enimies: for the word of God is that, which being meditated vppon, song, and sounded out, chaseth away and putteth to flight the diuels themselues. It is of force to adorn the minde with christian vertues, which spring vp in them that reuerence religion with ecclesiastical songes.
2. Thus farre Iustinus Martyr. Of which wordes being in themselues so cleare and euident to proue the lawfull vse of Musicke in the church, I say nothing but this, that as hee plainely alloweth singing, so he excludeth not all Musicall instrumentes, but such as are fit for children. Athanasius Bishop of Alexandria in Africa, who liued about the yeare of our Lord 329. writing to Marcellinus of the interpretation of the Psalmes, among other thinges which he speaketh in the commendation of this excellent gift of God, sheweth why it pleased God to ordain the vse thereof. As we do vtter (saith he) and deliuer our inward thoughtes by our words: so god willing to haue the melody of our words to be a signe of the spirituall consent which is in our minds, Psalmos vt modulis canerentur instituit, et cum huiusmodi harmonia recitari voluit, ordained that Psalms shold be song with Musick and would haue them recited with such harmony: Vt inde concinnitas animorum, et cetera. That ther by the quietnes of the mind which is weldisposed may be known as it is written, If any man be sorowful let him sing. And a litle after speaking of instrumental musick he vseth these words: to praise god vpon the wel tuned cymbals, vpon the harp and psaltery of ten strings, is a note and signification that there is such a consent between the parts of the body, as there is among the strings.
3. And sure this his saying is proued by experience: for as euen our senses witnesse vnto vs, that if we strike onely one string of any instrument the rest of that tone also giue a certaine kind of sound, as if the striking of one partained to them all: so in our bodie, if any thing be pleasant or grieuous to any part, it is also pleasant or grieuous to the whole. Good reason therfore that the toung professe in diuine seruice, that which the heart beleeueth: and what both hart beleeueth, and toung confesseth, good reason that both hand and whole body testifie to their power. The like hath Saint Austen in the prologue he writeth before his enarrations of the Psalmes. Because (saith hee) that the holy Ghost did see that mans mind by nature did forsake the way of vertue and incline to the delightes of this life, and that it might be incited and stirred vp to tread the pathes of virtue by sweete harmony, he mingled the efficacy of singing with his doctrine: that whiles the eares are delighted with sweetenesse of the verse, the profit of the worde of God might by little and litle distill into their mindes: much like vnto a skilfull Physition: who when he wil minister anie sharp or bitter potion to his patient vseth to annoint the mouth of the cup with hony: least the diseased or sicke person shold refuse the profit for the bitternes thereof. And least we should thinke that he speaketh not this of the Musicke in the church, he defineth a Psalme to bee one voice of the whole church: whereupon in the same place breaking into a wonderfull commendation of Psalmes, he addeth, Psalmus tranquillitas animarum est, et cetera. A Psalme is the quietnesse of souls, the standardbearer of peace, a restrainer of the perturbations and rage of our cogitations, repressing wrath, brideling wantonnsse, inciting to sobriety, making friendship, bringing those to concord which were at variance, and a reconciler of vtter enimies. And in another place telling first how he became a christian, he vseth these words, Quantum fleui in canticis tuis, et cetera. Howe great aboundance of teares did I shed at the hearing of thy hymnes and Psalmes, and how inwardly was I moued with the voice of the sweete singing congregation?
4. Among other virtues Gregory Nazianzen commendeth this one in this sister Gorgonia, that she was skilful in singing and vsed it verie often. And surely no maruel, seeing Chrysostome attributeth these diuine properties thereunto. Musica, saith he, mentem e terra abducit, et cetera. Musicke doth withdraw our mindes from earthly cogitations, lifteth vp our spirites into heauen, maketh them light and celestial. And therefore it is that Tertullian giueth this generall exhortation, sonent inter duos psalmi, et cetera. Let Psalmes and hymnes be song euen of two, and let them prouoke one an other, whether of them can sing better to his God. Athanasius in the place aboue cited giueth this reason, why we should not onely sing, but also sing cunningly and artificially to our maker: Modulatim recitare psalmos, et cetera. To sing Psalmes artificially is not to make a shew of cunning Musick, but an argument that the cogitations of our mindes do aptly agree with our musicke, and that reading, which obserueth the lawe of feete and numbers, is a signe of a sober and quiet affection in the minde. For both to praise God vpon well sounding cymbals, and vpon the harp and psalterity of ten strings, is a note and signification that the partes of our body are so conioyned and linked together as be the stringes et cetera.
5. To the same purpose speaketh Athanasius at large in the same place, and his meaning is as well to shewe how good and comely an ornament Musicke is in the churche, (which as in those daies it was not doubted of, nor once called in question, so needed no exquisite apologie) as to declare the profitte and vse which it hath euen in priuate meditations: for saith he, they that sing so, as the melody of wordes with the quantitie of them, may agree with the harmony of the spirit, bee those which sing with the tung and with vnderstanding also, neither do they delight themselues only, but also bring wonderful help to those that heare them. For he that singeth well doth frame his minde to his song, and bringeth it, as it were, from an inequality to a certain equality and proportion, not that he is moued by any thing, but rather that he doeth perceiue thereby the affections and imaginations of good things, and stirreth vp in his mind a greater desire to do good afterwardes. For the soule being intentiue to the wordes doeth forgette the affections and perturbations: and being made merie with the pleasant sound is brought to a sense and feeling of Christ, and most excellent and heauenly cogitations.
6. To their former authorities, it were an easie matter to adde more innumerably: but I will content my selfe and the reader with a few. Eusebius in his twelft booke De praeparatione euangelica vseth these wordes: ut pueri animus legem ita sequatur, ut una cum ea et cetera. To the end that the mindes of children may so follow the law, that they may together therwith reioice and be sorowfull, let them learne and sing often such odes and songes as containe the praises and dispraises of those things which the law doth praise and discommend: and he addeth this reason: Quoniam teneriores animi rationem virtutis non suscipiunt, ludo atque cantu praeparantur: iure igitur apud nos prophetarum odae a pueris addicuntur. For the tender mindes of children are therefore to be prepared, with daliance and mirth, because they cannot conceaue the reason of vertue at the first. Good therefore is that vse amongst vs, that the Psalms of the Prophets should be learned by children. And Saint Chrysostom vpon these wordes of the 134. Psalme, Psallite nomini eius quia suave est: hath this sentence, Hoc dicit, ostendens rem ipsam habere quandam vel per se voluptatem una cum vtilitate, et cetera. This he saieth to shew that the thing it selfe hath of it selfe, a certaine pleasure with profitte: for the principall gaine thereof, is, to sing himnes vnto God, to purge the soule, to lift our cogitations on high, to learne true and exquisite knowledge, to argue of things present and things to come. Besides these thinges it hath also by melody great pleasure and some comfort, and recreation, and maketh him that singeth graue and reuerend. And that it maketh men such, it is manifest, in as much as one interpreter saith, it is a comely thing, and an other, it is a pleasant thing: for both say true: for although he that singeth be neuer so outragious, yet while he doth reuerence the psalme, he doth pacifie the tiranny of his outrage. Although he be ouerwhelmed with mischeifes and ouercome with the heauines of his soule, yet while he taketh pleasure in singing he easeth his hart, extolleth his cogitations, and lifteth vp his mind on hie.
7. This part might wonderfully be amplified as with the speaches of auncient fathers: so also with the practice and example, not only of them selues, as is before declared, but also of most noble and renowned Emperours: as Constantine the great, Iustinian, Theodosius the yonger, Valens the emperour, and Carolus Magnus: which may be confirmed by the testimonies of Eusebius, Nicephorus, Gregory Nazianzen, and Carion in his chronologie. Eusebius thus testifieth of Constantine: Cantare primus incaepit, una orauit, conciones sacras reverenter audiit: adeo ut rogatus ut consideret, responderit: fas non esse dogmata de Deo remisse et segniter audiri. He first began the psalme, praied together with the people, heard holy sermons with reuerence, insomuch that being desired to sit downe, he answered, it was not meete that those thinges which were declared concerning God should be heard remisly and negligently. Nicephorus speaking of Iustinian sayeth, Iustinianus imperator octavo sui imperii anno, constituit ut in concionibus ecclesiasticis concineretur illud: unigenitus filius and verbum Dei et cetera. Iustinian the emperour in the eight yeare of his raigne, instituted that that ditty, the only begotten sonne and word of God et cetera should be song in ecclesiasticall meetings. And of Theodosius the yonger, Theodosius minor imperator, cum tota ecclesia supplicationem fecit pro serenitate, et ipse quidem medius hymnis canendis praeivit privati habitus incedens, Theodosius the emperour made his supplications with the whole churche for faire wether, and went in the middest before them in the habite of a priuate person while they song their hymnes. So Nazianzen speaketh of Valens. When the emperour Valens entred into the churche where Saint Basil preached τὴν ακουὴν προβαλουσῇ τῇ ψαλμοδιᾷ κατεβροντήθη, hearing the sound of the psalms was striken as if it had been with thunder. So doeth the historie recorde of Charles the great. Quandocunque fuit in urbibus accessit ad psalmodiam, et cetera. When so euer he came to anie cittie hee went to the Psalmody and sang him-selfe, appointing vnto his sonnes and his other Princes, Lessons to bee song, and ioyned his earnest prayer with the godly.
8. The epistle of the bishops, which were of the counsell of Antioch against Paulus Samosatenus the heretik, among other things laieth this to his charge, quod psalmos et cantus, qui ad honorem Domini nostri Iesu Christi decantari solent, tanquam recentiores, et a viris recentioris memoriae editos exploserit. That he hath thrust out of the church as newe and made by men of late memory those psalms and songes which where woont to bee song in the honor of our lord Iesus Christ. Wherby it may appeare that as al the reuerent assembly disliked of the attempt of Paulus in abolishing the vse of singing, so also they thought it a meete ceremonie and ornament for their churches. To these antiquities of former times, it shall not bee vnneedful to ad the opinions of later writers: as of Bullinger, Peter Martyr, Caluine, Wolphius, Beza and others; who all with one consent (although some I confesse bee earnest against prickesong and artificiall musicke in the church) yet make this resolution, that as all other thinges, which of themselues be good, may be both wel and euil vsed: so Musicke likewise hath doubtlesse a good and profitable vse in the church, howsoeuer in the time of popery, the right and lawfull vse thereof hath been quite extinguished and forgotten. And surely if any man thinke that I haue in this treatise, taken vpon me the defence of the vnlawfull vse thereof, he may well take iust occasion of offence. But I am so farre from allowing of the abuse, and of popish church Musicke, that I detest both the one and the other. Looke vpon the seuerall tractes of these men, whom I last mentioned, and in diuerse other places, and you shal finde all the contention to be against the abuse: no one word against the right and lawfull vse therof. Here I willingly omit Brentius and al the Lutherans: with whom I see no reason why in this point we should not most constantly agree: so that all thinges be done to edifieng and to the praise of God. Wherfore I will conclude this part with that saying of Saint Ambrose in his Hexameron: Quis sensum hominis gerens, non erubescat sine psalmorum celebritate diem claudere, cum etiam aves minutissimae solemni devotione et dulci carmine ortus dierum ac noctium persequantur: Who is he bearing the sense of a man which is not ashamed to ende the day without the singing of Psalms, seeing euen the little birdes with solemn deuotion and sweet notes do both begin and end the daie?
SENTENCES OF THE SCRIPTURE
for the vse of Church Musick
ECAUSE it may seem a matter impertinent, to heape a great number of testimonies of the Scripture, for the proofe of that, which can by no reason be denied, I meane, after some fewe testimonies and grounds of the Scripture alleaged, to touch the point and quicke of this controuersie. For asmuch therefore as I haue hitherto sufficiently proued by the practice of the Church, and authoritie of Fathers, that there is a lawfull vse of Musicke in the Church, I wil content myselfe with these sentences of Scripture which I shall here cote [i. e., quote], for confirmation of the same, meaning in one conclusion, to proue those two thinges which are in question: that aswell artificial as also instrumentall Musicke may be vsed in Gods congregation. My grounds therefore are these: first the testimonies in the old Testament, whereof I will cite some, because all are infinite. Psalm 33. Reioice in the Lord O ye righteous: for praise becommeth well the iust: praise the Lorde with harpe, sing vnto him with viall and instrument of ten stringes: sing vnto him a new song, sing cheerefully with a loude voice, et cetera. Likewise in the last psalm: praise him in the sound of the trumpet, praise him vpon the viall and harp, praise ye him, with timbrel and flute, praise ye him, with Virginals and organs, praise ye him, with sounding cymbals, praise ye him vpon the high sounding cimbals: let euery thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Ad hitherto Psalm 81. the 5. first verses: sing we ioyfully vnto God our strength, et cetera. I willingly for breuities sake omit al other speches of the psalter.
2. Read besides these the particular examples of Miriam, Exodus 15 of Debora and Baruck, of Anna the mother of Samuel, I. Samuel 2. of all the tribes of Israel, Nehemiah the 12.2. Chronicles 5.1. Esdras 3. and infinite more. Whereof I gather not onely precept, as in the former places out of the Psalmes: but also example and practice as out of these places last alleaged. And surely considering that Musicke is no ceremoniall thing, and therefore not abolished with those thinges that are ceremoniall, I see no sufficient cause, why that which was so excellent an ornament to diuine seruice in those times, shold now in these latter daies, be cast out as an vnclean thing, and haue no place, nor vse in Gods Church.
3. Neither is this practice and seruice of God, a thing either vnused in the Primatiue church, or not heard of in the new testament: which is manifest by these testimonies. Let the word of God dwell in you plenteously, in all kind of wisedom, teaching and admonishing your own selues, in Psalmes and hymnes and spiritual songes, singing with a grace in your heartes to the Lord. And again, speaking vnto your selues in psalms and hymnes and spirituall songes, singing and making melody to the Lord in your harts et cetera. Hitherto ioyne also the examples of Christ and his disciples, Mathew 26. of Zacharias and the virgin Marie, Luke the 1. and tell me, why both the commendation of this exercise, giuen by the Apostle, (for I wil not cal it precept) and the example, both of our Sauiour, and other blessed Saincts of God may not bee a sufficient warrant for vs, to practise that in our Churches, which they performed in former ages. And surely if euery action of Christ be our instruction, and an example, wherunto we should frame our selues: why should Christ haue bin author of that which he allowed in himselfe, and in his Apostles: if hee were not willing, that wee should take example therby to imitate both them and him? Now if we consider to what end the custome of singing was vsed: wee shall perceiue, that it was not so vsed, as that singing and the sounding of organs, shold be a deed meritorious, to obtaine remission of sinnes and life eternall (as the Iewes imagine of their songs, and the heathen of their sonnets) or as the hypocriticall Monkes and Friers sang their seuen canonicall houres that the doing of that work, whether with vnderstanding, or without vnderstanding, it was not materiall, yet the bare performance of it, should be meritorious for the sinnes of the quicke and the dead: But so, that the Lord might decently be praised, whether with humble and harty prayer, as in the time of heauinesse, when griefe oppresseth: or with singing of Psalmes, and playing on instrumentes, as in the time of ioy and mirth, according to that counsell of the Apostle, If any man bee afflicted let him pray, and if any man bee merry, let him sing Psalmes.
4. In mine opinion, excellent is that interpretation of Maister Caluine, vppon these words in Luke, Then was with the angell a multitude of heauenly souldiers praising and singing, glory be to God on high. The Lord saith he by the example of this heauenly melodie, would commend vnto vs, the vnity of faith, and stir vs vp here on earth, to sing the praises of our God, et cetera. Wherefore a good argument may be gathered out of diuerse places in the Reuelation: That for asmuch as our life here on earth should with all industry and indeuor, apply it selfe to bee like that heauenly life which the angels liue aboue, where the 24. Elders fall down before the Lamb, hauing euery one harpes, goulden viols in their handes. The voice of which harpers, harping with their harpes, Iohn himselfe testifieth hee hearde, and that they sang as it were a new song before the throne, et cetera. We therefore ought not to omit any part of that seruice, which may either stir vs vp in deuotion, or make to the testifieng of our earnest and harty setting foorth of diuine seruice, and beautifieng of the church of God. And surely in the praising of God, whome should the Church militant follow, rather than the Church triumphant? And whome shoulde the Sainctes on earth imitate rather than the Sainctes in heauen? who behould the Lord face to face, and knowe euen as they are knowen.
5. Doubtlesse there can be no greater comfort for a pensiue soule, than to thinke, that he is partaker of the same saluation, with the Sainctes. And no one thing can pierce deeper into the heart of manne than that hee is called, to the same state of praysing and lauding god, with the holie Angelles. Howbeit because I would displease no man, nor giue iust occasion of offence vnto any: I put this as a principle: that as nothing is to be taught, so nothing to bee song in the Church, but either that, which is set downe in the expresse word of God, or that may certainly be shewed to be collected out of it. For I professe that rotten rythmes of popery, and superstitious inuocation or praying vnto Saints doth not giue greater cause of vomit to any man than to my selfe: and al either vnwritten, or vnwarrantable verities, I so far abhor, as that I iudge them fitter for Grocers shops, and fishmongers stals, than for God's congregation. So that I thus far agree with the greatest aduersaryes of our profession, that I would not admit any other matter, than is contained in the written word of God, or consonable therunto: only herein we differ, that they would haue no great exquisite art or cunning thereunto, neither the noise of dumbe instruments, to fil vp the measure of the praises of god: and I alow of both. Wherin if I be not too much affectioned, me thinks they do great iniurie to the word of God, in that they can contentedly permit it to bee song plainly, denying the outward helpes and ornaments of art, to adde more grace and dignity thereunto. And truly if in all other faculties, it be not only lawfull, but commendable coulors and eloquence of words: I see no reason, why to adde more grace to the ditty, with the exquisitenes of Musick, should be condemnable in the church.
6. Wherfore I am of opinion that few of our aduersaries can answere this reason, which seemeth to me a general rule, and infallible demonstration for the allowing aswell of the cunning and exquisite art of singing, as of the vse of organs and dumbe instruments. The Psalmes may bee vsed in the church as the authour of them appointed: But the holy Ghost, the author of the Psalmes, appointed and commanded them by the Prophet Dauid, to be song, and to be song most cunningly, and to be song with diuerse artificiall instruments of Musick, and to bee song with sundry, seuerall, and most excellent notes and tunes: Therefore in our English church, the psalmes may be song, and song most cunningly, and with diuerse artificiall instruments of Musick, and song with sundry seuerall and most excellent notes. For proofe that the holy Ghost would haue them song, hee calleth diuerse Psalmes by the name of the Hebrew word Shir, which is a song, and such a song, as ought of necessity to be song: as Psalm 7. and 120. That he would haue them song most cunningly, hee directeth many Psalmes especially and by name Lamnazzeath, that is, to the skilfull chanter, or to him that excelleth in Musicke, as Psalm 4, et cetera. That he would haue them song, with diuerse artificial instruments of Musick, gittith and neginoth, and diuerse other kinds of musicall instruments are expressed in the titles of certaine Psalmes, as Psalm 6. and 8. That he would haue them song with sundry seuerall and most excellent notes and varietie of tunes, in diuerse parts and places of sundry Psalmes, it is to bee seene by the word Sela set downe in sundry places, as Psalme 77. et cetera which Hebrewe word properly signifieth, now change your voice and that cunningly, now lift up your voice, and that with an other excellent tune, that the people may be more attentiue; and the word Sela is neuer written, but where the matter of the Psalme is most notable.
A REFVTATION OF OBIECTIONS
against the lawful vse of Musicke in the Church
N this last part of my treatise I might seem to vndertake a matter far aboue my ability: were it not that either their obiections were too weake to proue theyr purposes: or those which are of any force, mistaken and grounded vpon false principles. Neuerthelesse that I may proceede orderly therein, it shall not be amisse, to see what diuersity of opinions are concerning this matter: Some mistike not all kinde of singing, but that which is song by the Ministers alone, or by singing men duputed for that purpose: and these are they, which cannot away with exquisite and cunning Musicke, nor with the sounde of instruments in the Church, but measuring all thinges by their owne humors, thinke plainesong farre more meete for Gods congregation. Others there bee that disallowe all kinde singing contrary to the latter, but also cunning and exquisite singing cleane repugnant to the former. My meaning is therefore, first to see what reasonable answere may be made, aswell to those which are against exquisite musick, which by yeelding somthing, make a great shew of probability, as those which wholy banish all Musicke out of diuine seruice: who therefore cannot auoid suspition of stomacke and malice, because they bee so earnest against that, which was neuer hitherto condemned.
2. OBJECTION To the former, which dislike not al kind of musick, but that which is song by certaine men ordained to that purpose, alleaging that they would haue all the people sing together.
3. ANSWER I answere, that if all could it were not amisse, but because it cannot be I see no reason, why the people may not take as good edification by the singing which others sing, as by the prayers that others read, especially, if they so sing as they may be vnderstood.
4. OBJECTION Yea but (say they) this cunning and exquisite musick, wherein the base and contratenors, and other parts sing with full quier, with often repetition of the same things, is so confuse and vndistinct, that the very ditty cannot be vnderstood, much lesse any edification taken. If anything will satisfie these men, me thinks this which I shall say may bee in steede of a reasonable answere: That the singing of so many parts togither, causeth the ditty not to be vnderstood, it is vitium hominum non artis, the fault is in them that so sing, and not in the art. For no doubt but a full quire of good and distinct voices, may be aswel vnderstood, as two or three pronouncing the same thing. Againe, because in deede this obscuritie can hardly be auoided, it hath bin wel prouided for in the church, that nothing should so be song, but such things, as are very familiar and known vnto the people. And whereas they obiect the often repetition of the same thing, as a fault, me thinks they blame that, which by their own reason should rather be commended. For if some things by the number of the voices bee hardly vnderstood at once, then surely the 2. 3. or 4. repetition is a mean to cause it to be vnderstood the better: neither if it bee vnderstoode at the first is it therefore a fault to repeat it againe, because the often ingeminating and sounding the same thing in our eares doth cause the thing that the very ditty cannot be vnderstood, much lesse any edification taken.
5. ANSWER If anything will satisfie these men, me thinks this which I shall say may bee in steede of a reasonable answere: That the singing of so many parts togither, causeth the ditty not to be vnderstood, it is vitium hominum non artis, the fault is in them that so sing, and not in the art. For no doubt but a full quire of good and distinct voices, may be aswel vnderstood, as two or three pronouncing the same thing. Againe, because in deede this obscuritie can hardly be auoided, it hath bin wel prouided for in the church, that nothing should so be song, but such things, as are very familiar and known vnto the people. And whereas they obiect the often repetition of the same thing, as a fault, me thinks they blame that, which by their own reason should rather be commended. For if some things by the number of the voices bee hardly vnderstood at once, then surely the 2. 3. or 4. repetition is a mean to cause it to be vnderstood the better: neither if it bee vnderstoode at the first is it therefore a fault to repeat it againe, because the often ingeminating and sounding the same thing in our eares doth cause the thing repeated to take deepe roote, and worke effectually in our hearts.
6. OBJECTION The third reason is, because exquisite Musick maketh vs more intentiue to the note, than to the matter. And to this purpose, they alleadge the place of Saint Augustine, where he saieth, that he did sinne mortally when he was more moued with the melody, than with the ditty, that was song.
7. ANSWER Verily I do in no wise allowe that men at the reading of the chapters shold walke in the bodie of the church, and when the Organs play, giue attentiue heede thereunto: as if the whole and better part of seruice did consist in Musicke. For this is a wonderful abuse. But if they would learne to lay the fault where the fault is, they might easily learne to satisfie themselues herein: For it is not the fault of musicke if thou bee too much therwith allured, but thine own. And Sainct Augustine in that place doth not condemne Musick for the sweete sound thereof, but his owne fraile and weake nature, which tooke occasion of offence at that, which in it selfe was good. Againe, as it carieth awaie some men, with the pleasure of the note: so for a recompence, it causeth some other, to giue greater heede and attention to the matter: euen as the sound of the trumpet in the warre is to the dastardly, and white liuered knight, a cause of feare, but to the valiaunt souldier, a hartening and incouragement. Wherefore for a finall aunswere vnto these, mee thinkes a man out of their owne wordes, may gather this good collection against them. Singing in the church they allow: whereupon I inferre: If the worst sort of singing be allowable in the church, then the better much rather. But artificiall singing is farre better than their plain Musicke, for it striketh deeper, and worketh more effectually in the hearers: Therefore much rather to bee allowed in Gods congregation.
8. Touching the seconde opinion, which excludeth Musicke wholy without exception, I meane seuerally to make aunswere to such their obiections, as seeme to bee of greatest importaunce.
9. OBJECTION The first obiection beareth great shewe of trueth, affirming (which wee can by no meanes denie) that god is a spirite, and will bee worshipped in spirite and trueth, and requireth not the outwarde actions and seruice of the body, but the inwarde motions of the heart: the which as it is true indeed, so it is also declared by the testimony of Gregory: who in distinction 92. in sancta Romana, complaineth that it falleth out oftentimes, ut dum blanda vox quaeritur, congrua vita negligatur, et cantor minister Deum moribus stimulet, cum populum vocibus delectat. That while a pleasant voice is sought, honest life is neglected, and that the singing man oftentimes offendeth God, while he indeuoreth to delight the people with his voice: adding in the same place those common verses,
[“Not the voice but the will, not the musical chord but the heart, not the shouting man but the loving one makes music in God’s ear.”]
And hereupon the fathers in the 4. Councell of Carthage decreed, that when the chaunter of any place was chosen, he should say: Vide vt quod ore cantas, corde credas: et quod corde credis, opere comprobes. See that thou beleeue that with thy heart, which thou singest with thy mouth: and that thou performe that in worke, which thou beleeuest with thine heart. Al which testimonies as they seeme to make against vs, so cary they the greater force with them, because they are grounded vppon a trueth.
10. ANSWERE But the same aunswere afore, to that obiection out of Saint Augustine may satisfie these. For what if many men be more caried away with the pleasure of the sound then with the thing and ditty, is this Musickes fault? or is it not rather the fault of them, which by that which is good, take occasion of euill? If some intemperate person, take surfeit of pleasant and holsome meates, are the meates to be reprehended, or the man? And although God bee a spirite, and will bee worshipped in Spirite and trueth, yet forasmuch as hee hath made both the soule and the bodie: as well the faculties of the one, as the partes of the other are to bee referred to his glorie. For what kinde of collection is this? God is to bee worshipped in Spirite and trueth: There-fore wee muste not indeuour to please and worshippe him with our outwarde and bodilie actions. Or, the inwarde seruice of the hearte is accepted, therefore the outwarde seruice of the bodie may bee omitted? When wee therefore commende the outwarde seruice of God, wee doe not denie the inward. But wee require that they which doe sing, sing with the toung and with the vnderstanding also: Now they which so sing as the melody of words by the singing of voices may agree with the harmony of the spirite be those which sing with the tongue and vnderstanding also, and profit not onely themselues but others, as before was declared out of Athanasius.
11. OBJECTION Secondly they vrge vs that because pricksong [contrapuntal music] is not verbally nor literally commanded in the Gospell, it may not therefore be allowed.
12. Whereunto I answere, that being not ceremoniall, is it sufficient for any christian being cleare and free from the Manichees opinion, that the olde Testament hath approued it. Again, grant that it hath no commaundement, in either the old or new Testament, it is therefore without all aduise and consideration to bee reiected? Verily many thinges haue been very acceptable vnto God, which haue had no expresse commandement in the Scriptures: As the gold, incense, and mirre, which the three wisemen offered vnto Christ, the precious box of spikenard, wherewith Marie Magdalen annointed his blessed feete, the costly oders, wherewith Nicodemus did embalm his glorious body, the bowes of trees and garments, which the people broke down, and spred in the way, as he went to Hierusalem, and infinite other more, which were done without any warrant of holy Scripture. Wherfore as in the building of the temple the seruice of them, which brought lime and mortar and the other base thinges, and as in the beautifieng of Christes bodie, these thinges of small price and value were acceptable vnto the Lord: so no doubt but the songes of the faithful may be as a sweete odor of incense vnto him, and most gratefull in his sight.
13. OBJECTION Thirdly, this vse of singing is a ceremoniall thing,, and if there were no other, yet this were a sufficient cause, why it shoulde be excluded out of the church.
14. ANSWER I aunswere, that Musicke was no ceremony: for euerie ceremony in the time of the law was a type and figure of the somwhat, the substance wherof comming in place, the ceremony was abolished: Nowe because we finde nothing in the Gospell, which answereth to Musick in a certain agreement of similitude, as vnto his type and figure: we may therfore safely pronounce, that Musick was neither ceremoniall in the time of the Law, nor to be abolished out of the church in the time of the Gospell. Many other reasons of final moment, may be brought against vs: but seeing so litle force in the stronger, I thought it an vnnecessarie point to trouble my paper, and the reader with the weaker.
15. And surely I do not mislike the good counsel and indeuor of any wel disposed man, that is earnest in correcting abuses, and in separating that which is good, from that which is euill. But me thinks it is a desperate remedy, for some few abuses, and inconueniences, which might be better amended, to roote out al Musick from the church. Much like the counsaile of Fabritius and other senators of Rome, which by abolishing gold and siluer, or at leastwise the vse therof, thought to take away couetousnes and ambition. Or the deuise of Lycurgus among the Lacedaemonians, who for hatred of drunkennes caused all the vines in the country to be digged vp by the rootes. Now as these men being otherwise wise and politique, as diuerse others their actions testifie, tooke not herein a right course of reforming those faultes which were amisse, because they might better haue taken order against couetousnesse, and drunkennesse, by permitting a lawfull and decent vse of mony and wine, than by quite abolishing of them: euen so those which reprehende certayne thinges in Church Musicke, may better reforme them in permitting a moderate vse, than in plucking it vppe by the rootes: For as a manne may bee couetous without monie, and drunken without wine: so a fraile and weake minde, will finde other prouocations to call it from the dittie, though Musicke should bee wanting. Wherefore for conclusion of this matter, as I easily graunt to Master Bullinger, that this is no good argument: The East Churches vse singing, the West Churches vse not singing: Therefore the West Churches are no Churches. So I hope Maister Bullinger, and anie other good man whatsoeuer will graunt as much to mee, that this is as false a collection [syllogism]: The West Churches vse not singing, the East Churches doe vse singing, therefore the East church is no church. Seeing then, that there is no precept in the newe Testament, whereby Church-Musicke is eyther commanded or forbidden, as it is apparant, that as those Churches which vsed it not, cannot be compelled to receiue it: so those churches which doe vse it can by no place of the Scripture therefore be condemned. And this is the resolution of al our late diuines, Bucer, Bullinger, Caluin and the rest, which with one consent agree, that it is an indifferent thing, hauing no hurt, but rather much good in it, if it bee discreetly and soberly vsed. Why then is it not as lawful for me to incline to this part, that it should or may be vsed, as it is for them to incline to the contrary, that it should not or may not in any wise be vsed, considering that neither my singing maketh me lesse the seruaunt of God, nor their not singing them the more holy and deuoute men?
16. Lastly therefore it remayneth that hauing answered the chiefest arguments that make against vs, I now bring certaine reasons for my position. First therefore Musick is rather to bee vsed in the church than not, because it is the excellent inuention and gift of God himselfe, ordained to the honor and glory of God: neither doth their cauill auaile any thing at all, which saie, that if this reason were good, then all the liberall sciences and the knowledge of the ciuill law, and all good and honest artes, might by as good reason be vsed in the church because they are also the inuention and good gift of God. For if they knew, howe to refer euerie of these things to their neat and proper end, they might perceiue that as the end of those other sciences, is first to know, and then to serue to the glory of God, so the vent and only end of musicke is immediatly the setting foorth of Gods praise and honour. A second reason of mine assertion is, because musick with the concinnitie of her sound, and the excellency of harmony, doth as it were knit and ioyne vs vnto God, putting vs in mind of our maker and of that mutuall vnitie and consent, which ought to bee as of voices so of mindes in Gods church and congregations. Thirdly if there were no other reason, yet this were of sufficient force to perswade the lawful vse of Musicke: in that as a pleasant bait, it doeth both allure men into the church which otherwise would not come, and causeth them which are there to continue till the diuine seruice bee ended. Fourthly men doe more willingly heare, and more firmely cary away with them, those thinges which they heare song than those which they hear barely spoken and pronounced.
17. Lastly the vse thereof is ancient and of great continuance, for it was vsed in Traian his time as I before shewed, and it was translated from the religious of the heathen, which in hymnes and songes, yeelded all reuerence and honor to their gods of wood and stone. And surely if there be any one thing in man, more excellent than another, that is Musicke: and therefore good reason, that hee which hath made vs, and the world, and preserueth both vs and it, should be worshipped and honored with that thing which is most excellent in man, diuiding as it were his soule from his body, and lifting vp his cogitations aboue himselfe. Such was the zeale and feruencie of the kingly prophet Dauid, that he was therfore called by the title not only of the annointed of the God of Iacob, but also of the sweet singer of Israell. And Saint Austen saith of himselfe, That the voices, of the singers, did pierce into his eares, and Gods truth did distil into his hart, and that thence was inflamed in him an affection of godlines which caused tears to issue from him so that he felt himself to be in a most blessed and happy state.