If our musical composers would attend more closely than they have been in the habit of doing, to the minutiae of the scene which is intrusted to them to illustrate, and study the delicate lights and shades of human nature, as we behold it nightly on the Surrey stage, we might confidently hope, at no very distant period, to see melo-drama take the lofty position it deserves in the histrionic literature of this country. We feel that there is a wide field here laid open for the exercise of British talent, and have therefore, made a few desultory mems. on the subject, which we subjoin; intended as modest hints for the guidance of composers of melodramatic music. The situations we have selected from the most popular Melos. of the day; the music to be employed in each instance, we have endeavoured to describe in such a manner as to render it intelligible to all our readers.
Music for the entrance of a brigand in the dark, should be slow and mysterious, with an effective double bass in it.
Ditto, for taking wine—an allegro, movement, with da capo for the second glass.
Ditto, for taking porter, beer, or any other inferior swipes—a similar movement, but not con spirito.
Ditto, for the entrance of an attorney—a coda in one sharp, 6-8 time. If accompanied by a client, an accidental flat may be introduced.
Ditto, for discovering a lost babby—a simply affettuoso strain, in a minor key.
Ditto, for recognising a disguised count—a flourish of trumpets, and three bars rest, to allow time for the countess to faint in his arms.
Ditto, for concealing a lover in a closet, and the sudden appearance of the father, guardian, or husband, as the case may be—a prestissimo movement, with an agitated cadenza.
Ditto, for taking an oath or affidavit—slow, solemn music, with a marked emphasis when the deponent kisses the book.
Ditto, for a lover’s vow—a tender, broken adagio.
Ditto, for kicking a low comedy man—a brisk rapid stoccato passage, with a running accompaniment on the kettle-drums.
The examples we have given above will sufficiently explain our views; but there are a vast number of dramatic situations that we have not noticed, which might be expressed by harmonious sounds, such as music for the appearance of a dun or a devil—music for paying a tailor—music for serving a writ—music for an affectionate embrace—music for ditto, very warm—music for fainting—music for coming-to—music for the death of a villain, with a confession of bigamy; and many others “too numerous to mention;” but we trust from what we have said, that the subject will not be lost sight of by those interested in the elevation of our national drama.
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THE RISING SUN.
The residence of Sir Robert Peel has been so besieged of late by place-hunters, that it has been aptly termed the New Post Office.