A MUSICAL CREED;
In Imitation of St. Athanasius.1
whosoever will be harmonical, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Aretinian Scale, which Scale except every one do keep whole and entire, without doubt he shall jar exceedingly: And the Aretinian Scale is this, that we believe in one Gamut in Affinity, and one Scale in Unity, neither confounding the Cliffs, nor destroying the Gamut: For there is one Cliff of the F, and another of the C, and another of the G; but the Majesty of the F, and of the C, and of the G is equal: Such is the F, such is the C, and such is the G; the F comprehensible, the C comprehensible, and the G comprehensible: For the Scale is not originated from the Cliffs, but the Cliffs from the Scale: So that there are not three Scales, but one Scale: For there is one Part of the Bass, another of the Tenor, another of the Counter, and another of the Treble: And yet there are not four Systems, but one System: For the Grandeur of the Bass, the Majesty of the Tenor, the Glory of the Counter, and the Sweetness of the Treble are equal; and yet there are not four Equalities, but one Equality: For as the Bass is connected with the Tenor, so is the Tenor with the Counter, and the Counter with the Treble; and yet there are not four Connexions, but one Connexion; and in this Connexion none is before or after, none is greater or lesser than another; but the whole four Parts are coexisting and coequal; so that in all things the Affinity in Unity and Unity in Affinity is preserved: He, therefore, that will be musical must strictly observe this Connexion.2
Furthermore, we are compel’d (by the System of Concords) to believe there are four Concords, viz. The Unison, the Third, the Fifth, and the Eighth, together with their Octaves, and their Octaves again, and so on infinitum; and we are taught implicitly to believe, that this infinity is confined to Four,3 and Four is synonimous with infinity.
Furthermore, we are taught to believe that there are but two Keys natural and twelve artificial, and as the artificial is comprehended in the natural, and the natural is supposed to be included in the artificial, therefore there are not really fourteen Keys but two Keys.
Also we are taught that there are but two Times and many derivations from each Time; but as the Times are not derived from the Variations, but the Variations from the Times, therefore, there are not (really) various Times, but two Times.
Also, we are taught to believe that as Time governs Motion, so Motion measures Time; but as Time is not derived from Motion, but Motion from Time, therefore, Time must not be subservient to Motion, but Motion to Time.
Moreover, we are taught to believe that Six-four and Six-eight contain precisely the same measure in each bar as Three-two and Three-four; yet they are neither Three-two nor Three-four, but Six four and Six-eight: Likewise, we are bound to believe that Six-four and Six-eight being equal in measure to Triple-Time, and equal in accent to Common-Time, but in motion One measures Three, and Two measures Six; therefore, they are neither Common-Time, nor Triple-Time, but the legitimate offspring of both.
Furthermore, we are taught by the Pythagorian System, that the Aretinian Scale admits of but five whole Tones and two half Tones, which amount to the dignified number of Seven; consequently Eight is reduced to One, and One is equal to Eight: Also, we are taught by the same System, that Two Octaves when multiplied together, does not amount to Two Octaves, but an Octave and an Eptachord; therefore, Twice Eight does not amount to Sixteen but Fifteen.
And, by this same mode of reasoning, we are taught that Three Times Eight is Twenty-two, and Four Times Eight is Twenty-nine.—Also, we are ready to believe that this method of calculation will be very mysterious to all who are not adepts in the Theory of Musick.
And we are also informed, that the Character called a Close is made up of several Bars, which seems to imply that after the Key is turn’d the door is bar’d up, lest any juvenile Performers (through eagerness or inadvertency) should chance (rampantly) to exceed the bounds prescribed by the Author.
Furthermore, we are inforced to believe, that this heavenly Science has but one Original, and from him are derived many Composers; but as the Creator is not a part of the creature, but the creature a part of the Creator, therefore, there are not many originals, but one Original, which is GOD, and to him be glory forever, and ever.
☞ This is the Musical Creed, which except a man strictly adhere to he cannot be consonant.