The secular songs of John Blow (1649-1708) : an edition

Grobler, Marie (2000-11)

Thesis (PhD) -- University of Stellenbosch, 2000.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The secular songs of John Blow (1649-1708): An Edition The aim of this thesis is to assemble the 109 secular songs of John Blow in one anthology, to transcribe them into modem notation and in doing so to make them accessible for modem use and further research. A significant feature of this collection is a group of 13 songs which have not been printed previously and which are available only in manuscript form in special collections in Great Britain. Other songs published during Blow's lifetime are likewise found in special collections which are not accessible to the public. Many of these songs are hard to decipher because of ageing. In some cases the paper is so thin that the notes show through from the back to the detriment of readibility. Where the manuscripts as well as contemporary publications exist, significant comparisons could be made, e.g. with In vain, brisk God of Love (vol. 2: 147) where the MUMS 118 manuscript could be compared with the published version in Choice Ayres and Songs printed by Godbid and Playford (jnr) in 1683. An important 'discovery' was finding that an autograph manuscript, Ah me, undone! (Lhl Add. 31457), does not comprise an individual song as listed by Watkins Shaw (1980), but an excerpt from the song Happy the Man who languishing (1700). This made it possible to compare an original manuscript by Blow with a publication of the same song by Playford. The 20th century has seen renewed interest in Blow's work: Frederick George Edwards (1902) and William Cummings (1908), in particular, started this revival in interest. Harold Watkins Shaw took the lead from 1936 and Leland Clarke (1947) was responsible for the next phase. Since 1975, Bruce Wood has been the main researcher of Blow's anthems. Anthony Rooley, director of the Consort of Musicke in London and Peter Holman, director of the Parley of Instrument, have contributed greatly to the recent (1987-1999) revival of interest in Blow's music with their performances and recordings making use of original instruments. This thesis, as well as my Master's thesis (Grobler 1993), forms part of the most recent stage of research into Blow's works. Volume 1: In the first chapter of the thesis the secular song of the English Restoration (1660- 1714) is presented in perspective. Blow's stylistic characteristics as they manifest themselves in his secular songs are discussed. The criticism that this style evoked from music critics through the years, especially Charles Burney (1726-1814), is put into historical perspective. Stylistic characteristics of the song, the influence of French and Italian vocal music, as well as the strong influence of Charles II's preferences on . court composers' music, are highlighted. The function of the song in Restoration society is discussed. In the second chapter Blow's contribution to the different song types are discussed in detail: the solo songs, songs for two voices and dialogues, songs for more than two voices and songs for incidental theatre music. The editorial process followed in transcribing the songs is explained. This is based on the methods suggested in Caldwell (1985) and described in the Musica Britannica. A discussion of the performing practice of the song contributes towards understanding the Restoration song. The textual commentary deals with aspects, such as notation and provides more information about the manuscripts and publications which form the basis of this investigation. A systematic index of sources and songs is provided. Volume 2: In this volume the 109 songs are presented chronologically in modem edited form. The songs reflect the original manuscript or publication as clearly as possible; old English spelling has been retained but archaic English letter forms have been modernised. Clef signs, time signatures, and key signatures, as well as accidentals, have been used according to modem practice. The figured bass is given as featured in the sources and is not realised or expanded.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die sekulêre liedere van John Blow (1649-1708): 'n edisie Die hoofdoel van die proefskrif is om John Blow se 109 sekulêre liedere toeganklik te maak vir uitvoerings- en navorsingsdoeleindes deur hulle vir die eerste keer as een versameling bymekaar te bring, getranskribeer in moderne musieknotasie. Van besondere belang is die insluiting van dertien van Blow se liedere wat nog nie voorheen gepubliseer is nie en slegs in manuskripvorm in spesiale versamelings in Engeland beskikbaar is, en liedere wat wel tydens Blow se lewe gepubliseer is, maar eweneens nie toeganklik is vir die algemene publiek nie. Die leesbaarheid van sommige liedere word bemoeilik as gevolg van die ouderdom en toestand van die papier. In 'n paar gevalle is die papier so dun dat die agterste notebeeld deurslaan en die leesbaarheid erg belemmer. Waar 'n manuskrip en kontemporêre weergawe van 'n lied bestaan, kon betekenisvolle vergelykings getref word. 'n Belangrike 'ontdekking' wat gemaak is, is dat die outograaf-manuskrip vanAh me, Undone (Lbl Add. 31457) nie 'n afsonderlike lied is soos wat Watkins Shaw (1980) dit gelys het nie, maar 'n gedeelte is van die lied Happy the man, who languishing (1700). Dit maak dit moontlik om in dié een geval Blow se oorspronklike komposisie te vergelyk met Playford se gepubliseerde weergawe daarvan. Dit is eers gedurende die twintigste eeu dat belangstelling in Blow se musiekgeleidelik begin posvat het. Frederick George Edwards (1902) en veral William Cummings (1909) het 'n belangrike rol in die Blow-herlewing gespeel. Harold Watkins Shaw neem vanaf 1936 die leiding met Leland Clarke (1949), 'n Amerikaner, wat die die volgende fase verteenwoordig. Bruce Wood staan vanaf 1975 aan die voorpunt met sy navorsing oor Blow se Anthems. Anthony Rooley, direkteur van die Consort of Musicke in Londen asook Peter Holman, direkteur van die Parley of Instruments het vanaf 1987 met hulle uitvoerings en opnames 'n groot rol gespeel om Blow se musiek weer aan die publiek bekend te stel. Hierdie tesis, asook my Magister-verhandeling (Grobler 1993) vorm ook deel van hierdie nuwe belangstelling in Blowen Engelse Restourasie-musiek. Volume 1: In die eerste hoofstuk word die sekulêre lied van die Engelse Restourasie-era (1660- 1714) in perspektief geplaas. Saam met 'n bespreking oor bydraes van John Blow, Henry Purcell en hulle tydgenote tot die genre, word die ontwikkeling van die lied en uitvoeringspraktyke daarvan krities ondersoek. Terselfdertyd word insae verkry in die' tydgenootlike liedpublikasies in Engeland gedurende die laat 17de en vroeg 18de eeu. Daarna volg 'n bespreking van Blow se styleienskappe soos dit veral in die sekulêre lied manifesteer. Kritiek wat Blow se werkswyse deur die eeue van musiek-kritici soos bv. Charles Burney (1726-1814) uitgelok het, word in historiese perspektief geplaas. Blow se bydrae tot die verskillende liedtipes word breedvoerig bespreek: die sololied, die twee-stemmige lied en dialogue, die lied vir meer as twee stemme en die lied as bykomstige teatermusiek. Die styleienskappe van hierdie liedere, die invloed van die Franse en Italiaanse vokale komposisies en die sterk invloed wat Charles II se voorkeure op die hofkomponiste se musiek gehad het, word uitgewys. Die funksie van die lied in die destydse samelewing kom ook onder die loep. Die redaksionele werkswyse wat gevolg is met die transkribering van die liedere is gebaseer op moderne benaderings tot dié veld soos Caldwell (1985) dit voorstaan en toegepas word in die Musica Britannica (1953, 1993, 1996). 'n Bespreking oor die uitvoeringspraktyk van die lied wil 'n bydrae lewer tot die begrip van die term 'Song' soos dit in die Restourasie-tydperk verstaan is. Die tekstuele kommentaar lig aspekte soos notasie in die liedere uit en gee toeligting oor manuskripte en publikasies wat die ondersoek ten grondslag lê. Ten slotte word al 109liedere, asook liedmusiek, en -publikasies in 'n sistematiese indeks saamgevat. Volume 2: In dié volume verskyn die 109 sekulêre liedere chronologies in moderne geredigeerde vorm. Die liedere word sover moontlik weergegee soos dit in die oorspronklike manuskripte en publikasies voorkom: die ouer Engelse spelling word behou maar argaïese lettervorme is gemoderniseer. Sleuteltekens, tydmaattekens, toonsoorttekens en skuiftekens is in ooreenstemming met huidige praktyke. Die besyferde bas IS weergegee soos dit in die bronne voorkom, en is nie aangevul of gerealiseer nie.

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