Tuesday 2 April 1667

Up, and to the office, where all the morning sitting, and much troubled, but little business done for want of money, which makes me mighty melancholy. At noon home to dinner, and Mr. Deane with me, who hath promised me a very fine draught of the Rupert, which he will make purposely for me with great perfection, which I will make one of the beautifullest things that ever was seen of the kind in the world, she being a ship that will deserve it. Then to the office, where all the afternoon very busy, and in the evening weary home and there to sing, but vexed with the unreadiness of the girle’s voice to learn the latter part of my song, though I confess it is very hard, half notes. So to supper and to bed.

18 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Brodrick to Ormond
Written from: [London]
Date: 2 April 1667

Mentions the preparations for the departure to Breda of the Ambassadors [ Lord Holles and Mr H. Coventry ], appointed to negotiate with the Dutch. Adds that on the previous day, upon some sudden alarm, many artificers "were sent to Sheerness, to hasten the boom, and to chain up Chatham river".

The King, says the writer, upon being frequently solicited on behalf of the Duke of Buckingham, charged the Duke with being "the cause of this continued war"; for the Dutch would have made early and humble submission, but for the weakening of the King's power in Parliament, by the Duke's cabals.
_____

Anglesey to Ormond
Written from: London
Date: 2 April 1667

Notifies renewed appointments, made for "tomorrow", by the King, for settling the Duke of Ormond's "money business, at my Lord Treasurer's"; and by the Duke of York, for settling "a course for passes, according to His Majesty's late letter to Your Grace".

Mentions the issuing of certain orders for defensive preparations upon the Coasts.

Adds: "The Duke of Richmond and Mrs Stuart's intermarriage is now acknowledged. The King declares himself offended at the clandestineness of it."
_____

Bennet to Ormond
Written from: Whitehall
Date: 2 April 1667

Accounts of a great desire for Peace in Holland have come over. But the answer to be returned to the King's letter was still, at the date of this intelligence, under debate.

Has had an application on behalf of Lord Kingston, that Sir Winston Churchill may be forbidden to sit as a Commissioner of the Court of Claims, in Ireland, when his Lordship's case, as a Claimant, shall come under the hearing of the Court.

http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/projects...

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Sir William Temple to Ormond
Written from: Brussels
Date: 2/12 April 1667

Has had the honour of attending to his Grace's command of March 16. ... Would much rather have shewn his humble service upon a better occasion, but the Duke is too high, & the writer too low; obliged therefore to owe very much, & to return very little, "which is one of the hardest fortunes an honest man can fall into". ...

Describes - at great length & in minute detail - the information that has come to the writer, from various quarters, concerning the preliminaries of the pending Treaty at Breda. ... Says, in the course of the narrative: "DeWitt, fortified with the resolution of France, engaged the province of Holland to continue firm against accepting the Hague [as the place of treaty] and to refer themselves wholly to the French resolutions ... that Court making use of my Lord St Alban's arrival at Paris, to possess the States with a belief that His Majesty was content that the main points of the negotiation should be adjusted at Paris, and the scene open afterwards, in some other place, to dispatch the formality [so in MS.]." ...

The writer proceeds to sketch the respective positions of the great Powers, and to state his own views of the political situation, generally.

http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/projects...

Bradford   Link to this

"vexed with the unreadiness of the girle’s voice to learn the latter part of my song, though I confess it is very hard, half notes."

In modern musical notation, American system, a "whole note" last 4 beats (one bar, in 4/4), and thus a "half note" 2.
(In Britain, these would be 4 crotchets, and 2 crochets.)
But what would Pepys have meant by "half notes" back then? Eighth-notes, i.e., half-crotchets?

(Here's a handy guide to how these appear on the stave:
http://music.shanemcdonald.org/learn-types-of-m... )

The latter seems more likely---the girl can't master the faster run of notes. Surely the score to "It Is Decreed" is reproduced somewhere on the Web, but I cannot find it---that would explain all.

cum salis grano   Link to this

"...but little business done for want of money,..."
try a scrivener.

Art   Link to this

I wonder if "half notes" refers to intervals rather than rhythm. Perhaps the latter part of the song has a vocal line that moves in half-steps or half-tones...

Larry Bunce   Link to this

If Pepy's song is taken "alabreve," (now called 2/2 or cut time, but possibly originally where the breve got one beat, 'half notes' are 4 to the beat. (I have always heard the double whole note called a 'breve' in America. It is easier to make a circle than a pretty note with a solid head when writing music by hand, so earlier music tended to be notated that way.) This passage would indicate that the modern British system of note names came into use after the American colonies split off.

Paul Chapin   Link to this

My reaction is the same as Art's, that SP was referring to intervals, what we would call half-tones today. Again I lament the unavailability of my e-OED, but I *believe* the term "half-note" to refer to a rhythmic value is an American innovation. The British call this symbol a "minim". And in any case, rhythmic half-notes as we understand the term today would present the least possible difficulty to a singer. If rhythm is indeed being referred to, then Sam was probably referring to a rapid succession of notes, as Bradford surmises.

If Michael R. or anyone else can come up with the score for "It is decreed," that should settle the matter quickly.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Someone needs to go to the Pepys Library of Magdalene College, Cambridge.

http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/10288/#c...

Michael Robinson   Link to this

" ... though I confess it is very hard, half notes."

Alas I have no access to the Mss or a photocopy. My initial thought was that SP was alluding to pitch, perhaps some convention of augmented and/or diminished intervals or, given the text, a form of chromatic writing resolved on dissonances; apparently the American usage 'half notes' does not date earlier than the early/mid C19th. and is a translation from the German 'halbe note.' However, even if we have the Mss before us we have no real idea of, only informed guesses at, the conventions SP might be employing to turn notation into sound.

If it is some form of dotted notation 'no aspect of Baroque notation is more contentious than the interpretation of dotted rhythms. A dot after a note ordinarily meant that it was half as long again as its normal value, but otherwise might indicate that the notes on either side were irregular in some way.' (Oxford Companion to Music, 2002)or if a reference to 'notes inégales'
( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Notes_in%C3%A9gales ) The literature on these is truly enormous: if some early 21st. century 'unready girl' performance student had SP's Mss stuck in her hand she could read a stack of specialist literature probably twice her height and still have no definitive answer, only the certainty that whatever informed interpretative choices she made some aspect of them inevitably would run counter to the strongly expressed theories of at least one distinguished scholar who was a mentor to a member of her committee.

If seven maids with seven mops
Swept it for half a year.
Do you suppose," the Walrus said,
"That they could get it clear?"
"I doubt it," said the Carpenter,
And shed a bitter tear.

Mary   Link to this

half-notes

An L&M footnote states that there were many quavers towards the end of Pepys' setting of the song. The current value of an English quaver (bear with me here) is half that of a crotchet, and thus half of a beat and I assume that the footnote ("too many notes, Mr. Mozart") is using the present-day term.

Bradford   Link to this

If "half-notes" referred to intervals, this would mean the part was highly chromatic---which seems unlikely for even an informed amateur such as Pepys. Mary's clarification from L&M fits the case better. "Quaver" = "eighth-note" (cast your mind back to childhood piano lessons or school band practice), and singing a great many in succession would require an "evenness in divisions," as it used to be called, which an untrained voice could indeed find tough.

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"...but little business done for want of money,..."
What?!, no deficit spending?!I guess not;Keynes still
a long ways.

Carl in Boston   Link to this

"It is decreed" Jeannine has a copy of the tune. It's a very elementary ditty. If the girl (Miss Barker) couldn't cut the part, it's because she didn't have the chops. Any pro or semi pro musician could play the part with ornamentation, but Sam has the right idea. He keeps the pros at a distance, and lets the amateurs have their fun. There is another tune of Sam's, Beauty Retire, just visible in his oil painting, and very simple.

cum salis grano   Link to this

The answer may be in " 1658 J. PLAYFORD Breif Introd. Skill Musick I.
29 This swift Triple Time is many times prick'd in Black Notes, which Black Note..is of one and the same Measure with the Minim. "

from the OED:

cum salis grano   Link to this

from tone deaf some OED notes:
1. Mus. {dag}a. A half-tone; a semitone. Obs.
1597 MORLEY Introd. Mus. 3 The {flat} cliefe..is made thus {flat}, or thus {natural}, the one signifying the halfe note and flatt singing: the other signifying the whole note or sharpe singing. 1684 R.H. School Recreat. 120 These are named Semitones, or the Half Notes, which must be well observed.
b. A minim.
1847 in CRAIG.

============'
not this
2. The half of a bank-note, cut in two for safety in transmission by post.
1882-93
++++++++++++

Note n2
II. Senses relating to music and sound.

6. a. A tune, a song; a melody; a strain of music. Obs. (poet. in later use).
c1300
6c. by (also with) note: in a musical setting, to music; from written or printed music. Obs. (U.S. in later use).
c1350

7. a. A single tone of definite pitch, as produced by a musical instrument, the human voice, etc. Cf. TONE n. 2a.
1611 Bible (A.V.) Wisd. xix. 18 As in a Psaltery notes change the name of the tune, and yet are alwayes sounds.

1654 J. PLAYFORD Breefe Introd. Skill Musick i. 3 Those below Gam-ut are called double Notes.

7 d. Any of numerous similar parts of a musical instrument, each of which when played produces a specific pitch; esp. each of the keys of a keyboard instrument.
1697 J. DRYDEN tr. Virgil Æneis (1909) VI, His flying fingers, and harmonious quill, strikes sev'n distinguish'd notes, and sev'n at once they fill.

1699 E. WARD Walk to Islington 15 A Fiddler..has such an excellent hand at a Pinch,
He hit's Half a Note, to a Quarter of an Inch.

aside:
note 1"
5. Eng. regional (north midl. and north.) and Irish English (north.). The giving of milk by a cow or sow; the period following calving or farrowing during which a cow or sow gives milk; the milk given by a cow or sow during such a period.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Bennet to Ormond
Written from: Whitehall
Date: 2 April 1667

Accounts of a great desire for Peace in Holland have come over. But the answer to be returned to the King's letter was still, at the date of this intelligence, under debate.

Has had an application on behalf of Lord Kingston, that Sir Winston Churchill may be forbidden to sit as a Commissioner of the Court of Claims, in Ireland, when his Lordship's case, as a Claimant, shall come under the hearing of the Court.

http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/projects...

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Brodrick to Ormond
Written from: [London]
Date: 2 April 1667

Mentions the preparations for the departure to Breda of the Ambassadors [ Lord Holles and Mr H. Coventry ], appointed to negotiate with the Dutch. Adds that on the previous day, upon some sudden alarm, many artificers "were sent to Sheerness, to hasten the boom, and to chain up Chatham river".

The King, says the writer, upon being frequently solicited on behalf of the Duke of Buckingham, charged the Duke with being "the cause of this continued war"; for the Dutch would have made early and humble submission, but for the weakening of the King's power in Parliament, by the Duke's cabals.
_____

Anglesey to Ormond
Written from: London
Date: 2 April 1667

Notifies renewed appointments, made for "tomorrow", by the King, for settling the Duke of Ormond's "money business, at my Lord Treasurer's"; and by the Duke of York, for settling "a course for passes, according to His Majesty's late letter to Your Grace".

Mentions the issuing of certain orders for defensive preparations upon the Coasts.

Adds: "The Duke of Richmond and Mrs Stuart's intermarriage is now acknowledged. The King declares himself offended at the clandestineness of it."

http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/projects...

jeannine   Link to this

Sam and Music

Sam wrote 3 songs during the time of the Diary, "Beauty Retire" (lyrics taken from Davenant's "The Siege of Rhodes"), "It is Decreed" (lyrics from Ben Jonson's play "Cataline His Conspiracy A Tragedy") and "Gaze not on Swans" (lyrics attributed to an obscure writer, Henry Noel). The book "Sam Pepys Curioso" by David Weiss, only has the musical score for "Beauty Retire". According to Percival Hunt's "Samuel Pepys in the Diary', the manuscript for "It is Decreed" was at Cambridge, but Hunt's book was printed in 1958. The CD, "The Musical Life of Samuel Pepys" has "Beauty Retire" on it, but none of Sam's other pieces.

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.