A General History of Music by Charles Burney

By Charles Burney

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This author, the clearest and most satisfactory, as far as he goes, of all the ancients who have treated of music, has given us the following extraordinary scale of sounds used in the mixed it genus. d occasion but for four ; and the octaves from proslambanomenos to mese, which in the pure * The sign X is used to indicate the raising of the pitch of a note by a quarter tone. 4* A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC had but eight strings, in the mixed genus must have been supplied with twelve. So that a remark made by Perrault (&) concerning the superiority of the modern scale over the ancient, in having a greater number of diatonic, chromatic, or enharmonic, ^ sounds in the compass of a fourth, is not so much in our favour as with it at first appears ; the number of notes being equal in both : this difference, that the ancients moderns have no Diesis, or C, E F, or A and B^.

It, that required perplexity concerning the scale is a subject to bestow was able than I meditation more time and upon it ; however, I was very unwilling to leave it, till I had discovered by some indisputable rule, how to determine the question, as the few left of Greek music, by a mistake in this particular, The fragments would be as much injured as a poem, by reading it backwards. At length, an infallible rule presented itself to me,, in the works of the great Euclid, who has been regarded for so many ages as the and whose writings have been their legislator of mathematicians, code.

The plain and the disguised alphabet therefore is used down to Mese, Six new disguised letters, to mese from proslambanomenos. alphabet however, appear from the octave above Trite synemmenon, up to the octave above Nete synemmenon and thirteen old ones, with the addition only of a virgula, from that sound up to the double octave which are repeated from the the at the top y : first after that character, they : above Paramese. In the enharmonic and chromatic genera the characters are 2. exactly the same, and in the same perpendicular order, in all the modes ; only the chromatic Lichani, the distinguishing strings of each genus, are marked, as Meibomius observes, with a dash, to distinguish them from the enharmonic Lichani (n).

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