Sunday, January 10, 2016

"Exotic" Tunes in Rousseau's Dictionnaire (1768) & Laborde's Essai (1780)

I am at the moment interested in the history of the so-called "national airs" - in Germany "Volkslieder" or "National-Lieder" -, especially those of the more "exotic" kind. This means tunes from outside of Europe or from the European periphery like Scandinavia or the Balkan. What was available in the 18th and early 19th century, what was published when and in which context? What did scholars or also the general public - at least those interested in music - know about foreign countries' musical culture and how did they use these kind of songs and tunes.

Two French musicological publications from the second half of the 18th century were of particular importance, both as source and as inspiration for later scholars, editors and writers: Rousseau's Dictionnaire de Musique (1768) and Laborde's Essai sur la Musique (1780). The Dictionnaire was Philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau's major work in the field of musicology. Here he included a small but significant and influential selection of "exotic" foreign tunes. 
As usual I have added links to the - to my knowledge - best available digital copies of the different editions of this work. These are all complete scans, including the plates. Therefore there is no need to bother with those that can be found at Google Books. They are simply not usable. In every single case the plates were not scanned correctly (see for example here, here and here). 

But this is a general problem with the scans produced by Google. Much too often all kinds of extras like plates and foldouts have been mutilated or are missing. This is really annoying and seems to me like a waste of resources. In case of Rousseau's Dictionnaire at least the BStB, München offers a small booklet with all the plates (4 Mus.th. 1356 a). But this is an exception. Thankfully today better scans are available in other repositories, in this case at the Internet Archive and the French National Library.


Rousseau used the five tunes on plate N to illustrate his article about the term "music" and thankfully he also named his sources. The one from China was taken from du Halde's Description Géographique, Historique, Chronologique, Politique, et Physique De L'Empire de la Chine et de la Tartarie Chinoise (Paris, 1735, here Vol. 3, plate bef. p. 267) and the Persian song - with words - from Jean Chardin's famous Voyages en Perse, et Autres Lieux de L'Orient (1711, here Vol. 2, plate No. 26 ). There are also a Swiss Kuhreigen and two "Canadian" tunes. The latter he borrowed from Marin Mersenne's classic work Harmonie Universelle (Paris, 1636, here Vol. 1, pt. 3, bk. 3, p. 148, at Gallica BnF).

While the "Danse Canadienne" was in fact from Canada - at least Mersenne claimed to have received it from one French Captain who had been there - the other one wasn't. These were three of the five fragmentary tunes from Jean de Léry's Histoire d'Un Voyage Faict en la Terre du Brésil (Geneva 1585, p. 159 etc; Latin ed., Geneva 1586, p. 128 etc), the very first American music published in Europe. Mersenne identified them in his book as "Trois Chansons des Ameriquains" and clearly acknowledged his source.

Rousseau must have overlooked that or maybe he was a little bit sloppy. In his Dictionnaire they mutated into a "Chanson des Sauvages du Canada". Henceforth these three  Brazilian tunes  would lead second life as one from Canada.  He also doctored these tunes a little bit and "[...] copies none of the ethnic melodies correctly from the authors whom he cites as his sources" (Stevenson 1973, p. 17).

The Dictionnaire was also translated into English, at first only as an addition to James Grassineau's Musical Dictionary (first published London 1740, ESTC T135521; this was an English translation of de Brossard's Dictionnaire de Musique, 1700) without any illustrations but then some years later also on its own: 
  • Appendix to Grassineau's Musical Dictionary, Selected from the Dictionnaire de Musique of J. J. Rousseau, J. Robson, London, 1769 [ESTC T112418, ESTC T112419] (at BDH; here bound together with the first edition of Grassineau's Dictionary) 
  • A Dictionary of Music. Translated from the French of Mons. J. J. Rousseau. By William Waring, J. French, London, n. d. [1775?; ESTC T137130; only available at ECCO] 
  • A Complete Dictionary of Music. Consisting Of A Copious Explanation of all Words necessary to a true Knowledge and Understanding of Music. Translated from the original French of J. J. Rousseau. By William Waring. Second Edition, J. Murray, London & Luke White, Dublin, 1779 [ESTC N5070], here pp. 265-6, at the Internet Archive & Google Books (two other ed. publ. by J. French et al., London, n. d. [1779, ESTC T163022] and Luke White, Dublin [ESTC 5072] available at ECCO). 
Waring's translation was first published c. 1775 and then in a new edition in 1779. A copy of the latter is available at Google Books and it seems to be more or less complete. Thankfully the English publisher decided to integrate most of the content of the plates into the main text. Therefore the tunes - but only one of the two "Canadian", in fact the one originally from Brazil - found a place in the article about the term "music". Interestingly this was - as far as I know - the first time that Mersenne's melody as well as Chardin's "Persian Tune" were published in England. 

These tunes later appeared again in other publications. Musicologist William Crotch was of course familiar with the Dictionnaire and included some of them in his Specimens of Various Styles of Music (London, 1808, here f. ex. No. 315, p. 152; Nos. 351-2, p. 165). Three of the five can also be found - more than half a century later -  in Thomas Hastings' Dissertation on Musical Taste (Albany, 1822, p. 219, at BStB).

For reasons unknown to me there was no German translation of the complete book, only a review and some excerpts in a periodical, but without the music or other illustrations 
  • Wöchentliche Nachrichten und Anmerkungen die Musik betreffend, Vol. 2, 1767-8, No. 38, 21.3.1768, p. 293 etc. (at the Internet Archive) & dto., Vol. 3, No. 15, 9.10.1768 , p. 111 etc. (at Google Books) 
But one may assume that German scholars were able to get a copy of the original French edition. At least the tunes may have been known to some of those interested in this particular genre. Carl Maria von Weber used the Chinese melody in the Ouverture of his music for Turandot (Op. 37, 1809, see Jähns, No. 75, pp. 87-9). As late as 1829 Baumstark and Zuccalmaglio refer in their Bardale (see p. 75, No. 1) to the Dictionnaire as the source of Chardin's Persian tune. 

Rousseau confined himself to only five "exotic" tunes. Another French scholar was much more generous and printed more than 50 different tunes from all kind of countries - from Norway to China - in what surely was one of the most impressive musicological works of the 18h century: 
  • Jean-Benjamin de Laborde, Essai Sur La Musique Ancienne Et Moderne, Onfroy, Paris, 1780, 4 Vols
    Vols. 1-4, at the Internet Archive (University of Toronto)
    Vols. 1-4, at the Internet Archive (NLS)
    Vol. 1, at the Internet Archive (UNC Music Library) 
Jean-Benjamin de La Borde (1734-1794; see Wikipedia), valet de chambre of Louis XV, businessman, millionaire, traveller, writer, musicologist and composer. of operas and songs. His Choix de Chansons Mises en Musique (1773, new ed., 1881, available at the Internet Archive) was still available a century after its first publication. Unfortunately he didn't survive the French revolution and was executed in 1794. This Essai was his major work, a massive treatise of more than 2400 pages in four volumes, beautifully illustrated and with numerous musical examples and songs, mostly from France but also from many other countries. Thankfully two excellent scans of the complete set are available at the Internet Archive. 

Laborde discussed Chinese, Persian, Turkish, Arab, African but also Russian, modern Greece and Dalmatian music (see Vol. 1, pp. 125-48, pp. 162-200, pp. 216-21, pp. 360-93, pp. 421-430, pp. 440-5). The many original songs and tunes served as an additional bonus. A part of these pieces were borrowed from the popular travel literature, for example the six Arab tunes (Vol. 1, pp. 383-5) from Thomas Shaw's Travels or Observations Relating to Several Parts of Barbary and the Levant (Oxford, 1738, p. 272, French ed., 1743, Vol. 1, p. 348), a Siamese song (Vol. 1, p. 436) from Nicolas Gervaise's Histoire Naturelle et Politique du Royaume de Siam (Paris, 1688, after p. 130, at Google Books, not scanned correctly) or a Greece song (Vol. 1, pp. 429-30) from Pierre Augustin Guys' Voyage Littéraire de la Gréce ou Lettres sur les Grecs (1776, Vol. 2, p. 4). 

But he also included a considerable number of songs and tunes from Iceland and Norway (Vol. 2, pp. 402-18), among them some of the so-called Døleviser, a group of songs - "from the valley" - written to popular older tunes by Norwegian poet Edvard Storm (1749-1794) 10 years earlier. In fact this was the first time these pieces were printed, and long before they would become available in Norway (see Storm, 1949). Laborde had received all the Scandinavian material from the secretary of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, one C. F. Jacobi. 


In the second volume (pt. 2, pp. 170-1, pp. 174-7) we can find a curious mixed bag of international melodies like a "Romeca" from Greece, an "Air de Sauvages du Canada" - this was the real Canadian tune from Mersenne, but taken from Rousseau's Dictionnaire and arranged for four voices -, an "Air Irlandois" that may have been the first Irish tune printed on the continent as well as some from Russia. Not at least Laborde managed to include a couple of Chinese tunes of which only a few were borrowed from du Halde. The others had not been published yet. 

All in all this was at that time the largest collection of international tunes available, only matched more than 20 years later by Fritz von Dalberg in Deutschland who included 50 pieces in his extended German edition of Sir William Jones' On the Musical Modes of the Hindus (1802, available at the Internet Archive). Publications like these reflect a much greater interest in foreign and "exotic" music cultures both by scholars and the general public. Interestingly Laborde's groundbreaking work was not translated into English or German. But interested scholars outside of France of course took note of the Essai and the music included. Crotch in his Specimens regularly refers to it and also borrowed some tunes. Even 90 years later in 1870 Danish composer A. P. Berggreen was still familiar with the book and reprinted one of its Chinese tunes in his collection of international national airs (see here p. 101, note to No. 75). 

Literature: 
  • Eduard Baumstark & Wilhelm von Waldbrühl, Bardale. Sammlung auserlesener Volkslieder der verschiedenen Völker der Erde mit deutschem Texte und Begleitung des Pianoforte und der Guitarre, Friedrich Busse, Braunschweig, 1829 (available at BStB-DS: Mus.pr. 2623-1, Google Books & the Internet Archive
  • A. P. Berggreen, Folke-Sange og Melodier Fra Lande Udenfor Europa, Med en Tillaeg af Folkens Nationalsange, Samlade og Udsatte for Pianoforte (= Folke-Sange og Melodier, Fædrelandske og Fremmede 10, Anden Utgave), C. A. Reitzel, Köbenhavn, 1870 (available at the Internet Archive
  • William Crotch, Specimens of Various Styles of Music referred to in A Course of Lectures, read at Oxford & London and Adapted to keyed Instruments, Vol. 1, London, n. d. [1808] (available at the Internet Archive
  • Matthew Gelbart, The Invention of "Folk Music" and "Art Music". Emerging Categories from Ossian to Wagner, Cambridge 2007 (New Perspectives in Music History and Criticism) 
  • Friedrich Wilhelm Jähns, Carl Maria von Weber in seinen Werken. Chronologisch-thematisches Verzeichniss seiner sämmtlichen Compositionen nebtst Angabe der unvollständigen, verloren gegangenen, zweifelhaften und untergeschobenen mit Beschreibung der Autographen, Angabe der Ausgaben und Arrangements, kritischen, kunsthistorischen und biographischen Anmerkungen, unter Benutzung von Weber's Briefen und Tagebüchern und einer Beigabe von Nachbildungen seiner Handschrift, Berlin, 1871 (at the Internet Archive)
  • Robert Stevenson, Written Sources for Indian Music until 1882, in: Ethnomusicology 17, 1973, pp. 1-40
  • Edvard Storm, Døleviser. Utgitt ved 200-Årsminne. Tekningar av Øystein Jørgensen. Litteraturhistorisk Oversikt og Kommentarer av Professor Didrik Arup Seip, Oslo, 1949 
  • Ueber die Musik der Inder. Eine Abhandlung des William Jones. Aus dem Englischen übersetzt, mit erläuternden Anmerkungen und Zusätzen begleitet, von F. H. v. Dalberg. Nebst einer Sammlung indischer und anderer Volks-Gesänge und 30 Kupfern, Beyer und Maring, Erfurt, 1802 (available at the Internet Archive)

Monday, January 4, 2016

Scottish Songs in Germany - Max Bruch, Edmund Friese & Hermann Kestner (1864-68)

In Germany during the 19th century there was a great interest for Scottish literature and culture. "Schottische Volkslieder" were very popular since Herder's time. But somewhat surprising is the lack of original tunes from Scotland. Haydn and Beethoven had arranged many songs for the British market but very few of these works were published in Germany. Burns' songs were easily available, but rarely with their original tunes. German composers preferred to set the translated texts to new music. For example "My Heart's in the Highlands" became one of the most popular songs in Germany, either as a Volkslied with half a dozen different tunes - none of them the original one - or as a Lied with numerous new melodies (see "Mein Herz ist im Hochland" - New Musical Settings By German Composers 1836-1842, in this blog).

The other very popular "Scottish" song was not Scottish all: "Here comes the Bard", one of Thomas Moore's pastiches from the Popular National Airs (Vol. 4, 1823) and introduced in 1835 by Friedrich Silcher in his Ausländische Volksmelodien (Vol. 1, No. 1, p. 2) as "Stumm schläft der der Sänger" - translation by Hermann Kurz -, became a standard for male choirs. 

Up until the early 1860s the number of Scottish tunes published in Germany was not as high as one would have expected. The best and most comprehensive collection of songs from Scotland - and also from Ireland, Wales and England - only came out in 1862, not in Germany but in Denmark. The Engelske, Skotske og Irske Folk-Sange og Melodier by Danish composer A. P. Berggreen, the 4th volume of his Folke-Sange og Melodier, Fædrelandske og Fremmede (available at the Internet Archive), offered an excellent selection of British songs with original texts, Danish translations, the original tunes as well as informative notes.

Also during the '60s most of Beethoven's arrangements of Scottish - as well as Irish and Welsh - songs were published as part of the complete edition of his works (in: Serie XXIV, Nos. 257-263; Breitkopf & Härtel, Leipzig, all available at BSB). Interestingly at that time some more collections of original tunes in new arrangements began to appear in Germany: 1864 one by Max Bruch, 1865 another one by Edmund Friese and 1868 three booklets by Hermann Kestner and Eduard Hille.
  • Max Bruch, 12 Schottische Volkslieder mit hinzugefügter Klavierbegleitung, F. F. C. Leuckert, Breslau, n. d. [1864; date from Hofmeister, April 1864, p. 80]
    (available at the Internet Archive)
Young composer Max Bruch (1838-1920; see Wikipedia, see Fiske, pp. 177-82) was amongst those who became interested in Scottish songs. This small collection of 12 pieces with "well-written piano accompaniments" (Fiske, p. 178) was first published in 1864. He included some of the most popular standards like "Will ye go to the ew-bughts, Marion", "Mary's Dream" and "Auld Rob Morris". Thankfully the original texts were also printed. Some of the translations were by H. Hüffer, for others no name is given. Perhaps Bruch himself was responsible for these German texts. One reviewer (in: Niederrheinische Musik-Zeitung 13, 19 August 1865, pp. 262-3, at BStB) was very impressed by this publication. He lauded both the songs and the arrangements: 
"Die Melodien [...] haben alle eine schöne einfache und nirgends gekünstelte Eigenthümlichkeit, die aber keineswegs monoton ist, sondern je nach dem Charakter des Gedichts ganz verschieden [...] Was aber nun diese kleine Sammlung besonders auszeichnet, ist die Clavierbegleitung [...] Ein solches Eingehen in den Geist und Ton der Melodien ist uns bei ähnlichen Arbeiten noch nie vorgekommen". 
A decade later he published seven of these songs again, this time in arrangements for a choir: 
  • Max Bruch, Denkmale des Volksgesanges. Volkslieder vierstimmig gesetzt (Sopran, Alt, Tenor u. Bass). 1. Heft: Schottische Volkslieder. Texte deutsch und englisch. Partitur, N. Simrock, Berlin, 1876 (pdf available at UDK Berlin, RA 7464-1
In 1877 the 12 Schottische Volkslieder were reprinted in Bruch-Album. 24 ausgewählte Lieder (Peter, Leipzig, see Hofmeister, Oktober 1877, p. 307). He also used Scottish tunes in other compositions, for example in the Scottish Fantasia, (1880, Op. 46), his popular violin concerto (see Fiske, pp. 179-181).
  • Edmund Friese, Schottische Volkslieder für eine Singstimme mit Begleitung des Pianoforte, 2 Hefte, J. Rieter-Biedermann, Leipzig & Winterthur, n. d. [1865, date from Hofmeister, April 1865, p. 65; adverts in:  AMZ NF 3, 1865, p. 207; LAMZ 2, 1867, p. 244; AMZ 4, 1869, p. 360]
    (available at the Internet Archive
AMZ 4, 1869, p. 360
Much less known than Bruch was Edmund Friese (1834-1897), no composer, but a respected musician, at that time Musikdirektor in the town of Offenbach. He came from Leipzig. His father was the well known publisher Robert Friese (1805-1848) whose imprint we can find for example in Robert Schumann's Neue Zeitschrift für Musik as well as in a great number of musical publications. He studied at the Conservatory in Leipzig and then first became violinist in the Gewandhaus-Orchestra. In his younger years Friese worked in Reval, Helsinki, Edinburgh, Zürich, Frankfurt until he came to Offenbach where he stayed for the rest of his life (see Schmidt 1925, p. 1). 

This collection was his very first published work but for some reason only one more would follow (3 Ungarische Märsche, 1880, see Hofmeister, März 1880, p. 81). One may assume that he became familiar with Scottish songs during his time in Edinburgh. His selection is interesting. More than half of them are by Burns, for example "My Heart's in the Highlands", "John Anderson, My Jo" and ""Ye Banks and Braes o' Bonnie Doon". Besides these he also used other classics like "Pibroch of Donuil Dhu" and "Flowers in the Forest". His source may have been Graham's Songs of Scotland (3 Vols., 1848-9) where all the 12 songs can be found.


Unfortunately he didn't include the original texts but only the translations. Some of the German texts were borrowed from Pertz and Corrodi, others are uncredited, like "Mein Herz ist im Hochland". But that one is the very popular adaptation by Ferdinand Freiligrath first published in 1836. All in all this was a worthwhile publication although - as far as I know - it apparently wasn't such a big success. There seem to be very few extant copies, in fact I know of only one.
  • Eduard Hille & Hermann Kestner, Ausländische Volkslieder für Sopran, Alt, Tenor und Bass, bearbeitet und mit deutscher Übersetzung versehen. Schottische Volkslieder, 3 Hefte, Adolph Nagel, Hannover, n. d. [1867-8, date from Hofmeister, Dezember 1867, p. 208 & April 1868, p. 59)]
    (available at the Internet Archive: Heft 1 & 2, Heft 3

Hermann Kestner (1810-1890; see Hahn 2003/4; Sievers 1961; Werner 2003/4; Werner 1919; very short: Wikipedia) from Hannover, a collector of art and books and also a notable private scholar, was one of the most knowledgeable experts for international "Volkslieder" in Germany. Not at least he had amassed an extensive collection of songs from all possible countries. One may say that at that time nobody knew more about that genre than Kestner. And surely nobody in Germany knew more songbooks and songs. His great collection of manuscripts has survived and is today available at the Stadtbibliothek Hannover (see RISM; Werner 1919).

Unfortunately he never published as much as he would have been able to. A collection of Spanish and Portuguese songs came out in 1846 (available at SUB Göttingen; Vol. 2, 1859, dto.). But he shared the songs, his translations, his knowledge and his library freely with other scholars and editors and was in contact with for example Ludwig Erk in Germany, who used some of his works, and with A. P. Berggreen in Denmark whom he helped out occasionally. 

In 1866 he started a series with the title Ausländische Volkslieder. Composer Eduard Hille (1822-1891, see Fuchs 1987), Akademischer Musikdirektor in Göttingen, wrote the arrangements, not for piano and voice á la Bruch and Friese, but for mixed choirs. The first two volumes were dedicated to Irish and Welsh Songs (see Hofmeister, August 1866, p. 127). Each volume consisted of three booklets with altogether 18 pieces. The third volume with Scottish songs appeared in 1867 and 1868. It seems that more was planned. Wille and Kestner had also prepared Scandinavian songs (see f. ex. RISM 451503615) but they were never published. One may assume that the first volumes didn't sell particularly well and the publisher wasn't interested in more. 

Kestner's major source was clearly Graham's Songs of Scotland to which he refers in the preface to Vol. 1. But at least two songs seem to have been borrowed from Berggreen's collection: "There were three Ravens" and "The Cruel Mother" (Vol. 3, Nos. 4 & 6). Otherwise he simply recycled most of the standards that were already available in Germany, like "The Bush aboon Traquair", "The Campbells are coming", "I Dream'd I Lay" and of course "My Heart's in the Highlands" and "John Anderson, my Jo". Kestner also included "The Blue Bell of Scotland", not a Scottish song  but an old English popular hit, and the above-mentioned "Here sleeps the Bard" by Thomas Moore. Both were already well known and very popular in Germany since the 1830s. The translations were all by Hermann Kestner himself but for me they often sound rather stiff.

Nonetheless this was also a worthwhile compilation of songs and a welcome addition to what was already available. Of course he did not intend a scholarly collection as he says in the preface but one for practical use. But Kestner would have been able to put together a much more comprehensive work about songs from the British Isles and particularly from Scotland. Judging from the descriptions of his manuscripts he was familiar with nearly all the relevant Scottish publications including the Scots Musical Museum as well as Kinloch's and Motherwell's important books. But maybe the time wasn't ripe for such a work. Only in the following decade another admirer of Scottish, Irish and Welsh national airs, young scholar Alfons Kissner, would attempt to make available a much greater amount of original tunes. But I will write about his impressive series of publications in another article.

Literature 
  • Roger Fiske, Scotland In Music: A European Enthusiasm, Cambridge 1983 
  • Hermann Fuchs, Die akademischen Musikdirektoren Arnold Wehner (1846-1855) und Eduard Hille (1855-1891), in: Martin Staehlin (ed.), Musikwissenschaft und Musikpflege an der Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Göttingen, 1987 (= Göttinger Universitätsschriften A 3), pp. 90-107
  • G. F. Graham, The Songs of Scotland Adapted To Their Appropriate Melodies Arranged With Pianoforte Accompaniments By G. F. Graham, T. M. Muddle, J. T. Surenne, H. E. Dibdin, Finlay Dun, &c. Illustrated with Historical, Biographical, and Critical Notices, 3 Vols, Edinburgh, 1848-9 (available at NLS & Internet Archive
  • Gerlinde Hahn, "Ich möchte, Du gäbest alles nach Hannover" - Die "Sammlung Kestner" in der Stadtbibliothek Hannover, in: Hannoversche Geschichtsblätter, Neue Folge, Band 67/68, 2003/4, pp. 27-36
  • Karl Schmidt, Nachruf: Robert M. Friese, in: Wissenschaftliche Veröffentlichungen aus dem Siemens-Konzern IV, Heft 2, Berlin & Heidelberg, 1925, p. 1-8 (this is an obituary for one of Edmund Friese's sons who became a professor for electrical engineering and a director of Siemens) 
  • Heinrich Sievers, Die Musik in Hannover. Die musikalischen Strömungen in Niedersachsen vom Mittelalter bis zur Gegenwart unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Musikgeschichte der Landeshauptstadt Hannover, Hannover, 1961 
  • Theodor W. Werner, Die Musikhandschriften des Kestnerschen Nachlasses im Stadtarchiv zu Hannover, in Hannoversche Geschichtsblätter 22, 1919, pp. 241-372 
  • Luise-Marie Werner, Hermann Kestner - ein bedeutender hannoverscher Forscher, in: Hannoversche Geschichtsblätter, Neue Folge, Band 67/68, 2003/4, pp. 37-39