By Charles Burney
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Extra resources for A General History of Music
But though we can perhaps decypher it as exactly as the Greeks themselves could it ; (y) * De Legib. lib. viL of Greek music have come down to us Scraps of music to the Orestes of Euripides (lines 338-343). The fragment is generally considered as being a contemporary score. (2) An inscription on a column discovered at Tralles by W. H. Ramsay, and known as the Epitaph of Seikolos. The date of this fragment is uncertain. (3) Three hymns by Mesomedes, of which transcriptions by Burney are given in Section 7 Only a few examples : (1) Some (4) first of the (5) 36 parts of hymns found whilst excavating the site of Delphi.
For the present, all other distinctions, subdivisions, with which ancient musical treatises abound, I shall proceed to fulfil the title of this section. In the study of Modern Music, the first objects of enquiry are the names by which the several sounds in the scale are expressed ; and, if we regard music as a language, the Scale or Gammut may Leaving divisions, therefore, and be called its Alphabet. Plutarch says, that it is not sufficient for a musician to know what kind of music should be set to any particular poem he should likewise know how to write it down in all the Genera (6), that is to say, in the Diatonic or natural scale, consisting of tones and semitones as at present in the Chromatic, in which the scale was and in the Enharmonic divided into semitones, and minor thirds genus, moving by quarter tones, and major thirds, as will be ; ; ; explained hereafter.
The combination and succession of Concords or Sounds in Consonance, constitute Harmony; as the selection and texture of Single Sounds produce Melody. Dissonance is it is want of that agreeable union between two or constitutes Consonance: in musical composition the more sounds, which occasioned by the suspension or^ anticipation of some sound It is the Dolce piccante of it becomes a Concord. before, or after, Music, and operates on the ear as a poignant sauce on the palate; it is a zest, without which the auditory sense would be as much cloyed as the appetite, if it had nothing to feed on but sweets.
A General History of Music by Charles Burney