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peared merely as a reprover of vice, and a preacher of righteousness, many might have looked upon his miracles as instances of divine power, and even believed his resurrection. But as he avowed himself to be the Messiah, appealed to his miracles in proof of his pretensions, and maintained their truth in the prefence of his judges, and even to the last hour of his life, we cannot admit, that any of the Jews who were not convinced that he was the Meffiah, would esteem him something morethan man; or believe that his character and tranfa&ions were foretold by the sacred prophets, and that he rose from the dead according to their predictions

In the fequel of his discourse, Mr. Bryant, among other things, compares the case of Josephus, fupposing him to be the author of the paragraph, with that of Rousseau, who, notwithftanding the exalted terms in which he speaks of Christ and of the Gospel, continued an unbeliever, and returns a flight, and, in our opinion, a very unfatisfactory answer to the objections that have been raised againft the authenticity of the para fage in question, from its not being quoted by any Christian writer before Eusebius, or by Photius who lived in the ninth century; and from the unnatural and irregular manner in which it is introduced. There are other objections of no litrle weight, of which he has not thought proper to take any notice. Upon the whole, we cannot think that Mr. Bryant has succeeded in his attempt to vindicate this joftly fufpected paffage, or that by the present publication he will add, in any respect, to the great reputation which he hath acquired by his other writings. We shall close the Article with a judicious remark of Dr. Lardner on the subject, which we recommend to the confideration, not only of Mr. Bryant, but of all those who are more inclined to defend suspicious passages in ancient writers, than to make a proper advantage of thofe which are unqueftionably genuine.

To conclude, says that excellent Writer *, ' it appears to me to be the wisdom and the interest of Christians, to adhere to, and improve the genuine works of Josephus, and to maintain their integrity, instead of attempting to vindicate the paffages t, which are so justly suspected to be interpolations.

• Jew. and Heath. Teit. Vol. II. Pref. p. xix.

t The Doctor had been speaking of the passage in which mention is made of James the brother of Jefus, referred to in the quotation from Origen in the preceding part of this Article, as well as of chac under confideration.


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ART. XI. An Efay upor Tune : Being an Attempt to free the scale of

Mafic, and the Tune of Instruments, from Imperfe&ion. Illustrated
with plates. 8vo. 6s. Boards. Edinburgh, Elliot; Cadell,

London. 1781.
TF those who receive delight from mufic, but without under-

standing the principles of that science, were to be apprized of the dry and laborious means by which their entertainment is provided for them; they would set a high value on the works of those who, like the present Author, submit to the drudgery of procuring the moft delicate materials for the musical treateThey would learn that their fleeting and short-lived gratification is procured at the expence of severe study, and of long and laborious calculations. Swift's ludicrous allusion to cookery, and applied by him to poetry, is more juftly applicable to mulic, and particularly to the labours of the Musical Theorist :

" And here a fimile comes pat in:
Though chickens take a month to fatten,
The guests, in less than halt an hour,

Will more than half a score devour.”
Among the difficulties which attend the due preparation of
the musical feast, there are some which concern the very elem
ments, or the effential ingredients of which the treat is to be
compounded. These form the subject of the present work, and
relate to what is called the scale of music; that is, the contés or
notes of which every musical piece is compounded.

The imperfections of all keyed and wind instruments, as well as the causes of these imperfections, are well known, and need not be here enumerated. The violin, however, and instruments of that kind, though they certainly have four, or more, fixed no tes, have hitherto been confidered as exempt from those falfities of tune which attend the others, whose tones are all fixed. The Author, nevertheless, obferves, that the natural tune of the violin' meaning the tune of its open ftrings, is false in all the keys but one. His intention in the first of the two parts into which he has divided this work, is to give rules, easy to be followed by a performer on the violin, which will direct bim towards perfect tune, and enable him to approach it as near as bis industry and conimand of hand will permit; qualifying him also to judge of errors with the utmost precision,'

In the second part, the Author undertakes to give such plans of conftru&tion for other inftruments, as will afford perfeat tune, in every key, free from all defect or excess, even in the relations of the internal intervals of the scale of music; the correction of which has hitherto baffled the most anxious effays.'

The Author accordingly begins with the violin; and, in ex. bibiting the true intervals of tune, Phews that the component Ff3


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elements of the octave consist of major tones, in the ratio of 8:9; of minor tones, in the ratio of 9:10; and of semitones in the ratio of 15:16; while the ratio of the comma is as 80:81.

Without: stopping to exemplify his manner of ascertaining thele intervals, we Thall confine ourselves to the giving an account of a few easy experiments, which the Author proposes as ex, amples of the manner of accurately tuning Comma-chat great Itumbling-block of theoretical musicians, which constitutes the difference between the major and the minor tone. These examples will likewise exhibit the natural imperfections of the violin. We fhall deliver them in our own words.

In a violin, the four strings of which are accurately tuned fifths to each other, the first string is not in perfect tune with the fourth: for let E on the second string be taken unison with E on the open first ftring, and be then founded with G on the third string ; so stopped as to constitute with it a major fixth : this last mentioned G will sensibly differ from the G on the fanie string, which is a true octave to the open fourth itring; and the amount of this difference will be Comma. Or, experimentally, inus: · Using the full sift (as furnishing a more convenient position of the hand), with the second finger on the second ftring found E, unison with the open first string; and then, with the firft finger on the third string, find a major fixth to this E. Now, if the note thus acquired (g) be founded together with G, on the open fourth string (its octave below), it will be sensibly too Sharp; and the finger must be slid upwards, or towards the nut of the violin, to produce a just octave. Again:

Sound B, with the first finger on the second ftring, so as to make a perfect fourth with E, the open first string; and then found the fame B with D the open third string. This last interval, if the scale of the fiddle were perfect, ought to be a true major fixth ; but the two notes will be found to be sensibly out of tune. On the other hand, if the first finger be moved a little, lo as to make this last sixth perfect; the former perfect chord of faurth, made with the open first firing, will, in its turn, be dea Itroyed : so that these two concords cannot poflibly be ftruck in tune, from the same position of the finger on the second ftring.

The interval, which destroys the perfection of these chords is Comma. - We shall add one more example, or experiment, in The Author's own words: i Stop the third ftring in E, chord of fixth greater to the open fourth string G; and after the chord is accurately adjufted, carefully preserve the position of this last found E, and take its octave with the fourth finger upon the second string.This last mentioned E, upon the second ftring, will be found


to be flatter than the tune of the open first string, and the difference is Comma. A shocking difference it is, when thus brought into direct comparison; and it is not to be doubted, but that a performer would think himself highly affronted if he were told, that he is often so much, and sometimes much more, out of tune,''

Though these matters have been long known, and the precise ratios have been determined by theorists; yet it is certainly useful and agreeable to have the truth of them thus fatisfactorily ascertained by direct experiments : and although some management and dexterity be required in preserving the faire posicion of the hand, in making these trials; these experiments, and others which we omit, may easily, after a little practice, be res peated by any performer on the violin ; who will be assisted, as we long ago observed *, and as the Author'likewise observer, in the procuring of perfect concords, by an attention to the third founds discovered by Tartini. The Author afterwards de scribes, and illuftrates by a drawing, a method of making these experiments on the violin more accurately, by means of a piece of brass wire, previously softened in the fire, wrapped round the fore-finger, and which is used as an occasional fret.

After taking notice of the well-known errors in the tune of the harpsichord, organ, and all the other instruments whole tones are fixed, and which often amount to more than comma ; he adds, that it may seem difficult to convict à violin-performer of such errors; for, it must be acknowledged that the inftrument is capable of perfect tune : but the question is, whether ever, in fact, perfect tune has been performed upon it? There is reason to think it has not; and that the errors of the best performers are very frequently not less, but still greater, than those found in fixed instruments

He adds, that it will not probably be denied, that every violin-performer means to derive the pitch of his tune from the tune of the open strings in general ; else, why tune his fiddle to the pitch of other instruments with which he is to perform in concert? or indeed why tune it at all?

. It seems likewise probable, that in performing any piece of music in the natural key-major, C; he means to take the tune of the fourth ftring as fifth of the key; and that of the open third string as second of the key. If so, then the open second and open first strings are both out of tune to this key; and the error is comma.. And it, in ruch circumstances, a performer ever admit the tune of these open strings, or their unisons, he is unquestionably out of tune by comma.'


* See M. Review, Vol. xlv. November 1771, pag. 371..



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There is no disputing, adds the Author, with a nimble, fingered performer, upon what happens during performance. We may say, that we feel his errors; and he will answer, that it is affectation to say so. The appeal then muft be made to something more permanent than the fleeting perception of a note, as it passes in the act of performance; and fortunately, or rather unfortunately, there is a large store of errors in the compositions of the greatest masters.'

The Author accordingly gives a few short examples, in the natural key-major, C, taken from the works of Tartini, Corelli, and Giardini; in which he affirms, that the performer is under the necessity of using or striking some of the open strings, though they are undoubtedly false, to the amount of comma. He will pardon us for observing, that he might have made a betrer selection ; particularly with respect to the examples from Tartini, in the two first of which the performer, we imagine, ought, independent of the present question, to take both the pallages on the full shift; in which case, neither of the false tones of the open strings, E, and A, would be heard t. Cera tain Arpeggios would, we think, have furnished the Author with more unexceptionable examples.

To correct these errors, and to give to the violin that perfect tune of which it is undoubtedly capable, the Author passes in regular order through all the 24 keys, major and minor ; aligne ing to each major and minor tone and semitone its proper Itation on the finger board : thus passing through an intricate and complicated maze, where few, we apprehend, will have the courage or perseverance to follow him to the end ; though his first steps, in the two natural keys at least, will, we hope, ace tract, as they deserve, the attention of those who laudably aim at excellence. Perfection is not attainable; but it is of use to bave the exemplar set before our eyes, to enable us to make approximations towards it.

In consequence of this refined regulation of tune,' the Au. thor, besides the common Marp, flat, and natural marks, adopts three others, which are occasionally to be placed on the begins ning of the staff, and which respectively denote the rise or fall of comma, 80:81; in the same manner as the former are em, ployed to signify che rise or fall of the limma major, 128 : 135, These are, the acute mark, or accent (!), the grave (°), and the negative (° ); which last has the same effect with the natus ral above mentioned.

+ The Author seems to quote a foreign edition of Tartini's work; but the English performer, who is in posledion of the twelve Solos of Tartini, published here by Wallh, will find the passages referred to above in the third Sonara, second movemen!, bars 2d and gih.

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