School of Music
University of Nebraska--Lincoln
Lincoln, NE 68588-0100
(phone: [402] 472-2507; Internet: plefferts1@unl.edu)

Data entry: Peter M. Lefferts
Checked by: Peter Slemon
Approved by: Peter M. Lefferts

Author: Bartholomaeus Anglicus
Title: On the Properties of Things, Liber XIX, Cap. CXXX-CXLV
Source: Bartholomeus Anglicus, Bartholomeus de proprietatibus rerum, trans. John Trevisa and rev. Wynkyn de Worde (London: Wynkyn de Worde, 1495) [STC 1536], sig. nn.iijr, nn.iiijr-oo.iijv.

[-f.nn.iijr-] De Musica. Capitulum .C.XXX.

AS arte of nombres and mesures seruyth to Diuinite, so doth the arte of Melody, for Musyk by the whyche accorde and melody is knowe in sowne and in songe is nedeful to know mystyk meanynge of holy wrytte, For it is sayd that the worlde is compownyd and made in a certayne and proporcion of [-f.nn.iiijr-] Armeny, as Ysyder sayth. libro .IIJ.o.

And it is sayd that heuen gooth aboute wyth Consonancye and acorde of melody, For Musyk meuyth affeccions and excyteth the wyttes to dyuers disposycyons.

Also in bataylle the noyse of the trompe comfortyth werryours, And the more stronge that the trompynge is the more stronge and bolde men ben to fyghte And comfortyth shypmen to suffre alle the dyseases and traueylle. And comforte of voys pleasyth and comfortyth the hert and Inwyttes in all dysease and traueylle of werks and werynesse.

And Musyk abatyth maystry of euyl spyrytes in mankynde, As we rede of Dauid that delyuerd Saul of an vnclene spyryte by crafte of melodye.

And Musyk excyteth and comfortyth bestis and serpentis foules and Delphines to take hede therto, And so veynes and synewes of the body and puls therof and so all the lymmes of the body ben socied togyder by vertue of Armenye as Isider sayth,

Of Musyk ben thre partyes. Armonica. Rethinica. and Metrica. Armonica dystyngueth grete and smalle in sownes and hyghe and lowe and proporcyonall chaungynge of voys and of sowne. And Armonia is swete accorde of songe: and cometh of due proporcyon in dyuerse voyces other blastes towchynge and smytynge sownes,

For as Isider sayth sowne comyth of voys: as of mouthe and Iowes other of blaste: as of trompes and pypes. other of towchinge and smytynge of Cymbale and harpe and other suche that sownyth wyth smytynge and strokes.

Voys comyth to one accorde as Hugucyon sayth: for in alle melodye nedyth many voys other sownes, and that accordyng For one voys pleasyth not so moche as the voys and songe of the Gnokken, And yf many dyscordith the voys plesith not For of suche dyscorde comyth not songe but howlynge other yellynge, But in many voyces accordynge in one is proporcyon of Armony and melodye other swete Symphonia,

And so Ysyder sayth that Symphonia is temperate modulacion accordynge in sownes highe and lowe, And by this Armony hyghe voys acordyth so that yf one discordyth it greuyth the herynge, And suche accordyng of voys hyghte Euphonia. that is swetnesse of voys, And hyghte also Melodya: and hath that name of swetnesse and of Mel. that is hony. And the contray is callyd Dyaphonia. fowle voys and dyscordyng.

To make melodye of armony nedyth Diastema. Diesis. Tonus. Iperludius. Podorius. Arsis. Thesis, and swete voys and temperate sowne. Dyastema is a couenable space of two voyces other of moo accordynge. Diesis is the space and doynge of melodye and chaungynge out of one sowne in to a nother. Tonus is the sharpenesse of voys and is difference and quantyte of armony and stondyth in Accent and Tenor of voys And Musicyons maketh therof fyftene partyes. Iperludius is the laste therof and moost sharpest, And Podorius is moost heuy of alle, as Isyder sayth. Arsis is rerynge of voys and is the begynnyng of songe. Thesis is settynge and is the ende as Ysyder sayth, And so songe is the bendynge of the voys, For some passeth streyghte as he sayth and is tofore songe And euery voys is sowne and not ayen warde, For sowne is the obiecte of herynge, For all that is perceyuyd by herynge is callyd sowne: as breking of trees. smytyng togyder of stones. hurlynge and russhyng [-f.nn.iiijv-] of wawes and of wynde. Chytterynge of byrdes. lowynge of beestys. voys and gronynge of men: and smytynge of organes. And a voys is properly the sowne that comyth of the mouth of a beest, And sowne comyth of ayre smitte ayenste an harde body: and the smytynge is sooner seen than the sowne is herde. and the lyghtnynge is sooner seen than the thondre is herde. A voys is moost thyne ayre smytte wyth the wreste of the tonge, And some voys sygnyfyeth and tokenyth by kynde: as chytterynge of byrdes and gronyng of syke men. And some tokenyth at wylle: as the voys of a man that is ordeyned and there shape by heste of reason to telle out certen wordes the voys berith forth the worde, and the worde that is in the thoughte maye not come [come twice] oute but by helpe of the voys that it oute bryngeth, And so fyrste the Inwytte gendrith a worde in the thoughte and puttyth it afterwarde out at the mouthe by the voyce, And so the worde that is gendryd and conteyned by Inwytte comyth oute by the voys as it were by an Instrumente and is knowe.

The voyce that is dysposid to songe and melody hath thyse proprytees as Isyder sayth. Voyces he sayth ben smalle. subtyll. thicke. clere. sharpe and shylle. In subtyll voys the spyryte is not stronge: as in chyldren and in wymmen and in other that haue not grete synewes: stronge and thycke, For of smalle strynges comyth smalle voys and subtyll, The voyces ben fatte and thycke whanne moche spyryte comyth out as the voys of a man. The voys is clere that sownyth well and ryngeth wythout ony holownesse. Sharpe voyces ben full hyghe. Shylle voyces ben lowde and drawyth a longe and fylleth soone all the place: as the noyce of trumpes. The harde voys is hose: and also the harde voyce is grymme and grysely whan the sowne therof is vyolente and as the sowne of thonder and of a felde bete with grete malles. The rough voys is hose and sparplyd by smalle and dyuers brethynge. The blynde voys stynteth soone: and is stuffyd and dureth not longe: as the sowne of erthen vessell. Voys vniuolenta is nesshe and plyaunt. That name Vniuolenta of Viuo that is a lytyll belle nesshly bende. The perfyghte voys is hyghe: swete and strong and clere: hyghe to be well herde. clere to fylle the eeres, swete to pleyse and not to fere the herynge and to comfort the hertes to take hede therto, Yf ought herof fayleth the voys is not perfyghte as Ysyder sayth.

Here ouer is Armonia of organes that comyth of blaste whan certayn Instrumentes ben craftely made and duly blowe: and yeuyth by quantyte of the blaste craftly dyuers by dyuersite of organes and Instrumentes: as it fareth of organes trompes and pipes and other suche that yeueth dyuers sownes and noyce. Organum is a generall name of all Instrumentes of Musyk: and is nethelesse specyally a propryte to the Instrument that is made of many pypes: and blowe wyth belowes, And now holy chyrche vseth oonly this Instrument of Musik in Proses Sequences and Ympnes. and forsakyth fourmes. vse of mynstralsye: all other Instrumentes of Musyk.

The Turenes founde fyrste the trompe.

Virgill spekyth of them and sayth that the voys of the trompe of Turene lowyth in the ayre, Men in olde tyme usyd trompes in bataylle to fere and to affraye theyr enmyes and to comforte theyr owne knyghtes and fyghtynge men. and to comforte [-f.oo.ir-] horse of werre to fyght and to rese and smyte in the batayll. And tokenyth worship wyth vyctory in the fyghtynge: And to calle theym ayen that begyn to fle. And vsyd also trompettes in feestys to calle the people togiders, And for besinesse in praysynge of god, And for cryenge of welthe of Ioye, the Hebrewes were commaunded to blowe trompettes in batayle in the begynnynge of the newe mone: and to crye and warne the comynge of the Iubile. the yere of grace wyth noyce of trompes and to crye and reste to all men.

As Isyder sayth. libro .XVIIJ.o a Trompe is properly an Instrument ordenyd for men that fyghteth in batayle to crye and to warne of the sygnes of batayle, And where the cryers voys maye not be herde for noyse the noyse of the trompe sholde be herde and knowen, And Tuba hath that name as it were Tona. that is holowe wythin and full smothe for to take the more brethe, And is rounde wythout and streyghte atte the trompers mouth: and brode and large at the other ende, And the tromper with his honde putteth it to his mouth. and the trompe is rulyd vpwarde and dounwarde and holde forth ryght. And is dyuers of noyse as Ysyder sayth, For it is somtyme blowe to araye bataylles: and somtyme for bataylles sholde smyte togyders: and somtyme for the chace, and to take men in to the hoste.

De Buccina. Capitulum .C.XXXIJ.

BVccina hath the name as it were Vociua parua: and is a trompe of horne. Of tree eyther of brasse, And was blowen ayenst enmyes in old tyme

For as Isider sayth libro decimo octauo. the wylde Paynems were somtyme gaderyd to al manere doynge wyth the blowynge of suche a manere trompe, And soo Buccina was properly a token to wylde men.

Persius spekyth herof and sayth that Buccina made the olde Qwyrites araye theym selfe namely in armoure. The voys of suche a trompe hyght Buccinium as he sayth And the Hebrewes vsed trompes of horne namely in Kalendus. in remembraunce of the delyueraunce of Ysaac Whanne an hornyd Wetther was offryd and made oblacion of in his stede: as the Gloce sayth. super Genisis.

De Tibia. Capitulum .C.XXXIIJ.

TIbia is a pype: and hathe that name for it was fyrste made of legges of hartes yonge and olde as men trowe, And the noyse of pypes was callyd Other as Hugucion sayth, This name Tibia comyth of Tibium. that is a russhe other a rede, And therof cometh this name Tibicen. a pype, And was somtyme an Instrument of doole and lamentacyon whyche men dyde vse in office and sepultures of deed men as the Gloce sayth. super Math. IX.o (Cum audiscet tibicines) And thereby the songe was songe of doole and of lamentacyon.

De Calamo. .C.XXXIIIJ.

CAlamus hath that name of thys worde Calando. sownyng: and is the generall name of pypes,

A pipe hyghte Fistula: for voyce comyth therof, For voyce hyghte Fes in [-f.oo.iv-] grewe, and sende, Istola in grewe, And soo the pype hyghte Fistula: as it were sendynge oute voyce other sowne. Hunters vseth this Instrument: for hartes louyth the noyse therof, But whyle the harte taketh hede and likynge in the pipynge of an hunter: a nother hunter whiche he hath noo knowlege of comyth and shoteth at the harte and sleeth hym.

Pypyng begyleth byrdes and foules, Therfore it is sayd (The pype syngeth swetely whyle the fouler begyleth the byrde)

And shepe louyth pypynge: therfore shepeherdes vsyth pipes whan they walke wyth theyr shepe, Therfore one whyche was callyd Pan was callyd god of hirdes, For he Ioyned dyuers redes and arayed them to songe slyghly and craftely.

Virgill spekyth therof and sayth that Pan ordeyned fyrst to Inne in one horne.

Pan hathe cure of shepe and of shepeherdes. And the same Instrumente of pipes highte Pan donum: for Pan was fynder therof as Ysyder sayth,

And wyth pipes watchynge men pleyseth suche men as restyth in beddes and makyth theym slepe the sooner and more swetely by melodye of pypes.

De Sambuca. .C.XXXV.

SAmbuca is the Ellerne tree brotyll. And the bowes therof ben holowe and voyde and smothe And of those same bowes ben pipes made and also some maner Symphony as Ysyder sayth.

De Symphonia. Capitulum .CXXXVI.

THe Symphonye is an Instrument of Musyk: and is made of an holowe tree closyd in lether in eyther syde, And Mynstralles betyth it wyth styckes, And by accorde of hyghe and lowe therof comyth full swete notes as Isyder sayth, Neuerthelesse the accorde of all sownes hyghte Symphonia in lyke wyse as the accorde of dyse voyce hyghte Chorus as the Gloce sayth. super Lucam .XV.o,

De Armonya. .C.XXXVIJ.

ARmonya Rithinica is a sownynge melodye: and comyth of smytyng of strynges and of tynklyng other ryngynge of metalle. And dyuers Instrumentes seruyth to this manere armonye: as Tabour and Tymbre. Harpe and sawtry. And Nakyres and also Sistrum.

De Tympano. .C.XXXVIIJ.

TYmpanum is layed streyghte to the tree in the one syde and half a Tabour other halfe a Symphony: and shape as a syfue. and beten wyth a stycke ryght as a tabour as Isyder sayth. And maketh the better melody yf there is a pype therwyth.

De Cithara. .C.XXXIX.

THe Harpe hyghte Sithara: and was fyrst founde of Appollin as the Grekes wene. And the harpe is lyke to a mannys breste, For lyke wyse as the voyce comyth of the breste: [-f.oo.ijr-] Soo the notes cometh of the harpe: and hath therfore that name Cithara, For the breste is callyd Thorica thicarium, And afterwarde some and some came forth many manere Instrumentes therof, And hadde that name Cithara as the Harpe and Sawtry and other suche.

And some ben foure cornerde. and some thre cornerde. The strynges ben many and specyall manere therof is dyuers

Men in olde tyme callyd the Harpe Fidicula and also Fidicen, For the strynges therof accordyth as well as some men accordyth in Fey.

And the harpe had seuen strynges, And soo Virgill sayth. libro Septimo Of sowne ben seuen Discrimina of voys: and ben as the nexte strynge therto:. And strynges ben seuen: for they fulleth alle the note, Other for heuen sownyth in seuen meuynges.

A strynge hyghte Corda. and hathe the same name of Corde. the herte, For as the Puls of the herte is in the breste: soo the Puls of the strynges is in the harpe. Mercurius founde vp fyrste suche strynges, For he strenyd fyrste strynges and made theym to sowne as Ysyder sayth. The more drye the strynges ben streyned the more they sowne.

And the wreste hyghte Plectrum.

De Psalterio. Capitulum .C.XL.

THe Sawtry highte Psalterium and hath that name of Psallendo. syngynge, For the Consonant ansueryth to the note therof in syngynge. The Harpe is lyke to the Sawtry in sowne, But this is the dyuersytee and discorde bytwene the harpe and the sawtry, In the Sawtry is an holowe tree: and of that same tree the sowne comyth vpwarde: And the strynges ben smytte dounward and sownyth vpwarde, And in the Harpe the holownesse of the tre is bynethe.

The Hebrewes callyth the Sawtry Decacordes. an Instrumente hauynge ten stringes by nombre of the ten hestes or commaundementes.

Strynges for the Sawtry ben beste made of laton or ellles those ben goode that ben made of syluer.

De Lira. Capitulum .C.XLI.

LIra hath that name of dyuersytee of sowne, For the Lira yeueth dyuerse sownes as Isyder sayth

And some people suppose that Mercurius fyrste founde vp this Instrument Lira in this wyse.

The ryuer Nylus was flowen and arysen and afterwarde was aualyd and wythdrawen ayen in to his propre Chanelle: And lefte in the felde many dyuerse beestys and also a Snaylle, And whan the snaylle was rostyd the synewes lefte and were streyned in the snaylles house, And Mercurius smote the synewes. and of theym came a sowne, And Mercurius made a Lira to the lyknesse of the snaylles house: and yaue the same Lira to one that was namyd Orpheus whiche was moost besy abowte suche thynges,

And so it was sayde that by the same crafte. not oonly wylde beestys drewe to songe and Melodye but more ouer stones and also wodes.

As Syngers in fables donn meane That thys forsayd Instrument [-f.oo.ijv-] Lyra is sette amonge sterres for loue of Study and praysynge of songe as Isyder sayth

De Cymbalis. Capitulum .C.XLIJ.

CYmbales ben Instrumentes of Musyk and ben smytte togider and sowneth and ryngeth.

De Sistro. Capitulum .C.XLIIJ.

SIstrum is an Instrument of Musyk: and hath the name of a lady that firste brought it vp For it is prouyd that Isis quene of Egypte was the fyrste fynder of Sistrum

And Iuuenalis spekyth therof and sayth (Isis et irato: feriat mea. lumina sistro)

And wymmen vsyth this Instrument, For a woman was the fyrste fynder therof, Therfore amonge the Amazones the hoste of wymmen is callyd to bataylle wyth the Instrument Sistrum.

De Tintinabulo. C.XLIIIJ.

TIntinabulum is a belle other an Camparnole: and hath the name of Tiniendo. tynklynge or ryngynge. Loke tofore. de Vasis. in littera .V.

A belle hath this propryte. that whyle he prouffyteth to other in sowninge he is wastyd ofte by smytynge, Thyse Instrumentes and many other seruyth to Musyk that treatyth of voyce and of sownes, And knoweth neuerthelesse dysposycyon of kyndly thynges and proporcyon of nombres as Boicius sayth, And settyth ensample of the nombre of twelue in comparyson to syxe and to other nombres that ben bytwene: And sayth in this wyse.

Here we fyndeth all the accordes of Musyk: from eyghte to syxe nyne to twelue makyth the proporcyon Sexquetercia, And makyth togyder the consonancy Dyapente. And twelue to syxe makyth dowble proporcyon and syngyth the accorde Dyapason. Eyghte to nyne in comparyson ben meane and makyth Epogdonus whyche is callyd Tonus in melody of Musyk, And is comin mesure of alle the sownes, And soo it is to vnderstonde that bytwene Dyatesseron and Dyapente Tonus is dyuersyte of accordes as bytwene the proporcyons.

Sexquetercia and Sexquealtera oonly Epogdolis is dyuersyte. Huc vsque Boicius. in Secundo arsmetrice, Capitulo vltimo. G.

And in the Prologe of the fyrste boke Boicius sayth. that the rather is there vertue of nombres there by it maye be prouyd that those thynges whiche doon stonde by themselfe ben rather in kynde thanne those thynges whyche ben in comparyson to some other thynges.

And the melody of Musyk is nempnyd and callyd by names of the nombres.

Dyatesseron. Dyapente. and Dyapason haue names of the nombres whiche precedeth and gooth tofore in the begynnynge of those sayd names.

And the proporcyon of theyr sownes is founde and had in those same nombres and is not founde nother had in none other nombres.

For ye shall vnderstonde that the sowne and the accorde in Dyapason of proporcyon of the dowble nombre and the Melodye of Dyatesseron dooth come of [-f.oo.iijr-] Epitrica collimie. that is Sexquetercia proporcio. And he calleth the acorde Diapente.

Hemiolia is Ioyned in nombre Epogdonus that ben nombres that ben aboue eyghte: and hyght Tonus to Musik as he sayth.

The Sexquealtera proporcio in Ars metrik hyght Diapente and Diapason. the more voyce conteyneth the lesse and the hafe deale therof.

The nombre Sexquetercius conteyneth the lesse nombre and the thirde deale therof, And yf he conteyneth al in the fourth deale. thenn he is Sexquequartus. And Sexquequintus conteyneth the lesse and the fyfth deale in this wyse: Foure conteyneth thre and the thyrde deale, that is one. And eyghte conteyneth syxe and the thyrde deale that is tweyne. And twelue conteyneth nyne and the thyrde deale that is thre, And soo eyghtene to twelue and twenty to syxtene, and soo of other alwaye thou shalt fynde.

Quid sit numerus Sexquealterus. Capitulum. .C.XLV

The nombre Sexquealterus conteynyth other halfe the lesse nombre: as thre conteyneth tweyne and the halfe deale of foure that is tweyne: so nyne conteynyth syxe and the halfe deale that is thre, And so twelue to eyghte. and fyftene to ten, and so of other Thise wordes ben in themself depe and full mystyk: derke to vnderstondynge, But to theym that ben wyse and cunnyng in Ars metrik and in Musik they ben more clerer than moche lyghte, And ben derke and alle vnknowen to theym whyche ben vncunnynge and haue noo vsage in Ars metrik, Therfore he that woll knowe the forsayde wordes and proporcyons of nombres. of voys and sownes shall not dyspyse to aske counseylle and to desyre to haue knowlege by those whyche ben wyser and that haue more cunnyng in Gemetry and in Musik

And. libro secundo Ysider sayth that in termes and figures and accordes of Musyk is soo grete that the selfe man stondyth not perfyghte there wythoute, For perfyghte Musyk comprehendyth alle thynges.

Also reuolue and consydre herof in thy mynde. that Musyk and Armonye vnyeth and accordyth dyuers thynges and contrary: and makyth the hye sowne to accorde wyth the lowe: and the lowe wyth the hyghe, And acordyth contrary wylles and desyres. And refreyneth and abatyth Intencions and thoughtes And amendyth and comfortyth feble wyttes of felynge, And cryeth namely and warnyth vs of the vnytee of the Exemplar of God in contrary werkynges. And dyuersly manifesteth and sheweth that erthly thynges maye be Ioyned in acorde to heuenly thynges. And causeth and maketh gladde and Ioyfull hertes more gladde and Ioyful: and sory hertes and elenge more sory and elenge,

For as Austyn sayth. that by a preuy and secrete lyknesse of propryte of the soule and of Armonye melodye confourmyth itselfe to the affeccyons and desires of the soule,

And therfore Auctoures meanyth. that Instrumentes of Musyk makyth the gladde more gladde: and the sory [-f.oo.iijv-] more sory. Loke other proprytees of Armony tofore in this same boke. whereas other wordes of Isyder ben rehercyd and spoken of.

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