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The former of those subdivisions, which may be called resto songs, and probably the more ancient, seem to have been chiefy employed upon subjects of an historical, heroic, and tragic,kind: the air grave and melancholy, without a chorus ; and sung by one or more voices throughout. And such chiefly are what have been called the ancient lament.songs of the Highlanders. Some of the more primitive of these airs appear to he only a short imperfect chaunt, or kind of recitative; having little regularity in the measure ; and to which, perhaps, they owe their charm ; of a grave, now, and deeply melancholy cast. The most tender and mournful airs, it is said, be. long to this species.
• The latter fubdivision, the labour-songs, for the purpose of which they are said admirably to be constructed, a purpose now' so fingular in Europe, have had in general a less deep and serious su sject, though still plaintive for the greatest part, in their nature. Being suited to the exertions of labour, to which they have been applied, they have at all times admitted of a chorus; a chorus, which seems to belong peculiarly to an active music. The airs here, which have been fung at land, have been called luinig, and those which have been fung at sea, iarram ; the luinig the more quick and chearful of the two.
The iarrams or rowing. fongs Teem, from the unitable and tragical element over which they were performed, to have acquired the character which has been given to them, of gravepess and forrow. They are commonly in a flow meafure; the ear performing the rythmus, or beating of time.
The modulation both of the luinig and iarram is said to be very ample; there being scarcely any transition from one key to another, unless from the original key to that of the sixth, or corresponding minor mode, and the reverse of that, although fome strains conclude upon the fifth, yet that key is never regularly introduced and established.
magpipe music wears a very different aspect from that of the voice and harp, fuitable unto the nature of the instrument, and unto the occasions upon which it is employed. It has gone under various names, but these rather'arifing from the variety of occasions, than implying different species of music: such as the pibrach, a march or battle-tune; the cruinichadh, gathering or beat to arms; the failte, a falutation, or complimentary piece of martial music to the chief. Besides there is mentioned the lament, played ftill at funerals in the Highlands. The pibrach and cruinichadh, a proper martial music, consist of an air with variations, but in a singular movement. A now air begins the piece ; the variations become quicker and quicker to a degree of violence, rifing, if we may say fo, to the boiling point; and the flow air, at last returning again, forms the conclufion. The melody of the variations is often ftrange and uncommon.
« What seems to characterize pibrach music, is the great con. trast both in modulations and in measures. The air is simple
in its (tructure, and admits but of few notes; che fifth and the key being the prevailing ones ; and which are now and thea alternated by the fourth and noce below the key: The inftrue ment can only properly play upon one key, the fundamental note to which the drones are tuned: this forms the key-note of every bagpipe piece ; and from which there hardly can be any depara ture. The initrument, however, being provided with an addicional note a full tone below the drones, that note is fome. times founded in connection with the fecond and fourth, which are respectively the third and fifth above the additional note itfelf; and hence the music may be said to pass into a new key; although the transition be incomplete; the passages being but topt, and the drones all the while continuing to sound the principal key-note ; giving hence birth, for a short time, to a most horrible discord. From this state the music is relieved by. rising up again to the principal key; and the effect has been compared to a gleam of bright fun-shine, suddenly bursting from a dark cloud. The key note and the nore below being made to succeed one another, is a passage in common with a great many reels, and particularly offenlive to the Italians : a passage which almost never occurs in the vocal music, except in fome airs of the minor mode, and where it is admisible, in a certain degree, even in regular music. The measure, especially of the flow parts, is often irregular, the performer frequently lengthening notes for the sake of effect, and also sometimes turi pending the measure, to introduce certain Hourilhes and graces peculiar to the intrument, which it is very difficult, if at all poflible, to reduce to notes; and in the performance of which, the Highland pipers can vie in execution with the most corrupted of the Italian fiddlers, The contrait in measures, it is, only to be farther remarked, which would disgust a regular mu. sician, gives rapture to a Highlander: a notable fact, and which countenances what we read of concerning the effects of ancient mufic.
Bagpipe music should seem thus to be the music rather of real nature, and of rude passion, than the music of a fine art. It is the voice of uproar and of misrule. The mournful may appear, but it is the mournful of wrath and terror. The effect of such music seems to be much owing to the instrument itself, for it is lott upon softer ones, as the violin and fiute. The boilters ousness of the performance, the peculiar tone of the pipe and drone, the rapidity of the variations, we are able to conceive, may excite all that rage of ardour and impetuolity which have been ascribed to them.
Probably the bagpipe, or at least pipe and pulsatile instru ments, prevailed in the very firft times in the Highlands of Scotland, as appears from Aristides Quintilianus, who speaks of the Celtic music as fit only for fierceness and fury, the music
Yet it is to be conjectured, notwithttanding his aushority, that such kind of music as he describes, and no other
only, for the most part, would be known to strangers, who would see those people chiefly in times of disorder and arms; and hence this is no fufficient proof that a pacific, gay, or tender music, befitting the times of tranquillity, was a wanting. At the same time, however, most probably the Highland music was at first, as in all rude nations, chiefly of a warlike kind and the harp may have only been introduced in the course of a barbarous civilization.'
In the succeeding volumes, we may probably meet with more entertainment and greater information ; but we would recommend to the author a more exact discrimination of what is really important, in the works from which he muft necefsarily collect.
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Vol.
LXXIV. For the Year 1784. Part II. (Concluded, from
wol. lix. p. 4170) A
RT. XXVIIÍ. On the Summation of Series whose gene
ral Term is a determinate Fun&tion of z the Distance from the first Term of the Series. "By Edward Waring, M., D. &c.Dr. Waring, in this paper, extends and elucidates some parts of the Meditationes Analyticæ ; of course the principles of many of the rules are to be found in that work. Papers of this kind are incapable of abridgement, and we shall only add, that, in the conclusion, our author endeavours ta establith his own claim to-algebraical inventions, in the work just mentioned. " While his arguments on this fubject are satisfactory, his observations déserve applause, for their extreme candour and liberality. We are glad to find, that the author has carried his improvements into geometry,' and discover, ed many new properties of conic sections. It were to be defired, that he would not confine them to the narrow sphere of his particular acquaintance.
Art. XXIX. Account of a remarkable Frost on the 23d of June, 1783. By the Rev. Sir John Cullum, Bart, F.R.S. S. A.
-We have seen fevere frosts in this month ; but the severity of that, which happened in 1783, was indeed remarkable. Even the hardy Scotch fir suffered from its attack; 'bue it is more remarkable, that the dry haze, so general in that year, disappearod on the 22d of June, and immediately the thermometer sunk to 50°: on the 23d, it must have been far below 32. On the 24th the haze returned ; and, the following day.
" the leaves of many vegetables were covered with a clammy fweetness. These remarks may contribute to illus, tra this hitherto inexplicable phenomenon.
Art. XXX. On a new Method of preparing a Test Liquor to thew the Presence of Acids and Alkalies in chemical Mix tares. By Mr. James Watt, Engineer. — Every person has, in their turn, been deceived by the tests for alkalies, though the changes, from the presence of acids, have been fufficiently decisive. Phlogisticated nitrous acid, with an alkali, by the test of litmus, will appear acid, when other tests determine it to be alkaline. This ambiguity may lead the chemilt into many errors; and it is of use, therefore, to be informed, that an infusion of the leaves of the common red cabbage, was very sensible in the changes of colour, both from alkalies and acids ; and not liable to be influenced by the presence of pblogifton. Mr. Watt advises chemists, to preserve them by means of acids, and, when they are used, to neutralize the acid by means of chalk or fixed alkali. He afterwards found, that, in hot weather, spirits of wine were necessary to prevent moulding. Since reading this paper, we have found cloves equally useful; and they have preserved the liquor, without any other addition, in the late warm weather, but perhaps the heat has not yet been great enough, to give this method a fair trial.
Art. XXXI. An Account of a new Plant of the Order of Fungi. By Thomas Woodward, Esq.--We should prefer forming a new genus for this peculiar plant, at least till it has been more accurately examined : it is however nearly allied to the lycoperdon. It has not been before noticed, because its growth is very rapid, and its volva generally buried from fix to eight inches in the earth. Plants have been found in a decaying state, where, the day before, there had been no appearance of any; and it has fince appeared probable, that they fometimes come to perfection, before they rise above the surface.
Art. XXXII. Experiments to inveitigate the Variation of Local Heat. By James Six, Esq.-In our fifty-fifth volume, page 361, we explained the construction of Mr. Six's thermometer, and then objected to it, that the resistance of the index, with the necessary bulk of the spirits, would diminish its sensibility. It must be owned, however, that the force of these objections is lessened when it is åfed in comparative experiments; we do not think that they are entirely removed. Mr. Six, as usual, found, that the treat diminished as the thermometers were raised from the earth during the day time; but, in the night, the order was frequently reversed. The state of the atmosphere was found to influence this change ; for when the sky, during the night, was dark and cloudy, all the thermometers agreed very nearly with each other. In the day time, the variation, at different heights, seemed not to be Vol. LX. July, 1785.
affected by the state of the air, except as it was cold or hot. In the cold weather it was less observable. It is not allowable to enter on long discussions; but if Mr. Six reflects on the folvent power of the air, or rather, to avoid disputes, on the effects of evaporation, combined with those of the heat reflected from the earth, the greater number of appearances will be explained. He should consider too, that air is a bad conductor of heat, and that his thermometers are not fo easily affected as the smaller inftruments; consequently, a little variety will arise from their being fixed to a large body, or sufpended in the open air.
Art. XXXIII. Account of some Observations tending to investigate the Confiruction of the Heavens. By William Herfa chel, Esq. F. R., S.-Mr. Herschel has now applied a new telescope of confiderable powers, though weaker than one he designed to construct, to the more distant fixed stars. It was always presumed that the nebulæ and milky way were clufters of stars, because the better our instruments were, the more clearly we perceived the bodies of which some of the nebulæ were composed. This powerful telescope has separated many of these clusters into their component stars; and the milkyway appears, through it, to be of the same kind.
From an actual enumeration of some fields of view, Mr. Herschel computes that a belt of 15° long and 2° broad cannot contain less than fifty thousand stars, which may be distinctly counted. Befides this astonishing number, our author has discovered four hundred and fixty-fix new nebulæ, which, so far as we know, have not yet been seen by any other person.
The attempt to investigate the construction of the heavens is of an astonishing magnitude. We entered on it with doubt and hesitation, and we now follow our author's steps with refpectful timidity. It is the privilege of genius to express its fùblime conceptions in a clear, comprehensive, and peculiar language ; so that, from the difficulty of the subject, and the want of diagrams, we almost despair of conveying any accurate, idea of Mr. Herschel's observations. But we thall make the attempt. A slight reflection will convince us, that the spherical appearance of the heavens is an optical deception; and that the stars are more properly scattered indiscriminately, or arranged in an order very different from that in which we perceive them. Mr. Herschel seems to assume it as a position, that they are arranged in ftrata, and then examines how far this opinion agrees with the appearances. If a number of Itars are arranged between two parallel planes indefinitely extended, but at a given considerable distance from each other, an eye placed any where within it, will see the stars in the direction