Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

proportion of that correspondence is more abstruse; in themselves. But yet it hath been noted, that whereof notwithstanding we shall speak some- though this variety of tunes doth dispose the what, when we handle tones, in the general in- spirits to variety of passions, conform unto them, quiry of sounds.

yet generally music feedeth that disposition of 112. Tones are not so apt altogether to procure the spirits, which it findeth. We see also, that sleep as some other sounds; as the wind, the several airs and tunes do please several nations purling of water, humming of bees, a sweet voice and persons, according to the sympathy they have of one that readeth, &c. The cause whereof is, with their spirits. for that tones, because they are equal and slide not, do more strike and erect the sense than the Experiments in consort touching sounds; and first other. And overmuch attention hindereth sleep. touching the nullity and entity of sounds.

113. There be in music certain figures or tropes, Perspective hath been with some diligence almost agreeing with the figures of rhetoric, and inquired; and so hath the nature of sounds, in with the affections of the mind, and other senses. some sort, as far as concerneth music: but the First, the division and quavering, which please nature of sounds in general hath been superficiso much in music, have an agreement with the ally observed. It is one of the subtilest pieces glittering of light; as the moon-beams playing of nature. And besides, I practise, as I do upon a wave. Again, the falling from a discord advise; which is, after long inquiry of things to a concord, which maketh great sweetness in immersed in matter, to interpose some subject music, hath an agreement with the affections, which is immateriate, or less materiate; such as which are reintegrated to the better, after some this of sounds; to the end, that the intellect may dislikes; it agreeth also with the taste, which is be rectified, and become not partial. soon glutted with that which is sweet alone. 115. It is first to be considered, what great The sliding from the close or cadence hath an motions there are in nature, which pass without agreement with the figure in rhetoric, which sound or noise. The heavens turn about in a they call - præter expectatum;" for there is a most rapid motion, without noise to us perceived ; pleasure even in being deceived. The reports, though in some dreams they have been said to and fuges, have an agreement with the figures in make an excellent music. So the motions of the rhetoric of repetition and traduction. The triplas, comets, and fiery meteors, as "stella cadens," and changing of times, have an agreement with &c., yield no noise. And if it be thought that the changes of motions; as when galliard time, it is the greatness of distance from us, whereby and measure time, are in the medley of one dance. the sound cannot be heard; we see that light

114. It hath been anciently held and observed, nings and coruscations, which are near at hand, that the sense of hearing, and the kinds of music, yield no sound neither: and yet in all these have most operation upon manners; as, to en- there is a percussion and division of the air. courage men, and make them warlike; to make The winds in the upper region, which move the them soft and effeminate; to make them grave; clouds above, which we call the rack, and are not to make them light; to make them gentle and perceived below, pass without noise. The lower inclined to pity, &c. The cause is, for that the winds, in a plain, except they be strong, make no sense of hearing striketh the spirits more immedi- noise; but amongst trees, the noise of such ately than the other senses; and more incorpore- winds will be perceived. And the winds, generally than the smelling; for the sight, taste, and ally, when they make a noise, do ever make it feeling, have their organs not of so present and unequally, rising and falling, and sometimes, immediate access to the spirits as the hearing when they are vehement, trembling at the height hath. And as for the smelling, which indeed of their blast. Rain or hail falling, though worketh also immediately upon the spirits, and vehemently, yieldeth no noise in passing through is forcible while the object remaineth, it is with the air, till it fall upon the ground, water, houses, a communication of the breath or vapour of the or the like. Water in a river, though a swift object odorate; but harmony entering easily, and stream, is not heard in the channel, but runneth mingling not at all, and coming with a manisest in silence, if it be of any depth; but the very motion, doth by custom of often affecting the stream upon shallows, of gravel or pebble, will spirits, and putting them into one kind of posture, be heard. And waters, when they beat upon the alter not a little the nature of the spirits, even shore, or are straitened, as in the falls of bridges, when the object is removed. And therefore we or are dashed against themselves, by winds, give see, that tunes and airs, even in their own nature, a roaring noise. Any piece of timber, or hard have in themselves some affinity with the affec- body, being thrust forwards by another body tions; as there be merry tunes, doleful tunes, contiguous, without knocking, giveth no noise solemn tunes; tunes inclining men's minds to And so bodies in weighing one upon another, pity; warlike tunes, &c.' So as it is no marvel though the upper body press the lower body if they alter the spirits, considering that tunes down, make no noise. So the motion in the have a predisposition to the motion of the spirits minute parts of any solid body, which is the

principal cause of violent motion, though un- as in blowing of the fire by bellows; greater observed, passeth without sound; for that sound than if the bellows should blow upon the air that is heard sometimes is produced only by the itself. And so likewise flame percussing the air breaking of the air, and not by the impulsion of strongly, as when flame suddenly taketh and the parts. So it is manifest, that where the openeth, giveth a noise; so great flames, while anterior body giveth way, as fast as the posterior the one impelleth the other, give a bellowing cometh on, it maketh no noise, be the motion sound. never so great or swift.

120. There is a conceit runneth abroad, that 116. Air open, and at large maketh no noise, there should be a white powder, which will disexcept it be sharply percussed ; as in the sound charge a piece without noise; which is a dangerous of a string, where air is percussed by a hard and experiment if it should be true: for it may cause stiff body, and with a sharp loose : for if the secret murders. But it seemeth to me impossible; string be not strained, it maketh no noise. But for if the air pent be driven forth, and strike the where the air is pent and straitened, there breath air open, it will certainly make a noise. As for or other blowing, which carry but a gentle per- the white powder, if any such thing be, that may cussion, suffice to create sound; as in pipes and extinguish or dead the noise, it is like to be a wind-instruments. But then you must note, that mixture of petre and sulphur, without coal. For in recorders, which go with a gentle breath, the petre alone will not take fire. And if any man concave of the pipe, were it not for the fipple that think that the sound may be extinguished or straiteneth the air, much more than the simple deaded by discharging the pent air, before it concave, would yield no sound. For as for other cometh to the mouth of the piece and to the open wind-instruments, they require a forcible breath; air, that is not probable; for it will make more as trumpets, cornets, hunters' horns, &c., which divided sounds: as if you should make a crossappeareth by the blown cheeks of him that barrel hollow through the barrel of a piece, it windeth them. Organs also are blown with a may be it would give several sounds, both at the strong wind by the bellows. And note again, nose, and at the sides. But I conceive, that if it that some kind of wind-instruments are blown at were possible to bring to pass, that there should a small hole in the side, which straiteneth the be no air pent at the mouth of the piece, the breath at the first entrance; the rather, in respect bullet might fly with small or no noise. For of the traverse and stop above the hole, which first, it is certain, there is no noise in the percusperformeth the fipple's part; as it is seen in flutes sion of the flame upon the bullet. Next, the and fifes, which will not give sound by a blast at bullet, in piercing through the air, maketh no the end, as recorders, &c., do. Likewise in all noise as hath been said. And then, if there be whistling, you contract the mouth; and to make no pent air that striketh upon open air, there is it more sharp, men sometimes use their finger. no cause of noise; and yet the flying of the But in open air, if you throw a stone or a dart, bullet will not be stayed. For that motion, as they give no sound; no more do bullets, except hath been oft said, is in the parts of the bullet, they happen to be a little hollowed in the casting; and not in the air. So as trial must be made by which hollowness penneth the air: nor yet arrows, taking some small concave of metal, no more except they be rufled in their feathers, which than you mean to fill with powder, and laying likewise penneth the air. As for small whistles the ballet in the mouth of it, half out into the or shepherds' oaten pipes, they give a sound be- open air. cause of their extreme slenderness, whereby the 121. I heard it affirmed by a man that was a air is more pent than in a wider pipe. Again, great dealer in secrets, he was but vain, that there the voices of men and living creatures pass was a conspiracy, which himself hindered, to through the throat, which penneth the breath. have killed Queen Mary, sister to Queen Elizabeth, As for the Jews-harp, it is a sharp percussion; by a burning-glass, when she walked in St. and besides, hath the advantage of penning the James's park, from the leads of the house. But air in the mouth.

thus much, no doubt, is true; that if burning117. Solid bodies, if they be very softly per- glasses could be brought to a great strength, as cussed, give no sound; as when a man treadeth they talk generally of burning-glasses that are very sofily upon boards. So chests or doors in able to burn a navy, the percussion of the air alone, fair weather, when they open easily, give no by such a burning-glass, would make no noise; sound. And cart-wheels squeak not when they no more than is found in coruscations and lightare liquored.

nings without thunders. 118. The flame of tapers or candles, though it 122. I suppose, that impression of the air with be a swist motion and breaketh the air, yet passeth sounds asketh a time to be conveyed to the sense, without sound. Air in ovens, though, no doubt, as well as the impressing of species visible; or it doth, as it were, boil and dilate itself, and is else they will not be heard. And therefore, as repercussed; yet it is without noise.

the bullet moveth so swift that it is invisible; so 119. Flame percussed by air giveth a noise; l the same swiftness of motion maketh it inaudible:

ren use.

for we see, that the apprehension of the eye is which pass through the air, or other bodies, withquicker than that of the ear.

out any local motion of the air ; either at the first, 123. All eruptions of air, though small and or after. But you must attentively distinguish slight, give an entity of sound, which we call between the local motion of the air, which is but crackling, puffing, spitting, &c. as in bay-salt, "vehiculum causæ," a carrier of the sounds, and and bay-leaves, cast into the fire; so in chestnuts, the sounds themselves, conveyed in the air. For when they leap forth of the ashes; so in green as to the former, we see manifestly that no sound wood laid upon the fire, especially root; so in is produced, no not by air itself against other air, candles, that spit flame if they be wet; so in rasp- as in organs, &c. but with a perceptible blast of ing, sneezing, &c. so in a rose leaf gathered to the air; and with some resistance of the air struckgether into the fashion of a purse, and broken en. For even all speech, which is one of the upon the forehead, or back of the hand, as child- gentlest motions of the air, is with expulsion of a

little breath. And all pipes have a blast, as well

as a sound. We see also manifestly, that sounds Experiments in consort touching production, conser- are carried with wind : and therefore sounds will

vation, and delation of sounds ; and the office of be heard further with the wind, than against the the air therein.

wind; and likewise do rise and fall with the in-
124. The cause given of sound, that it should tension or remission of the wind. But for the
be an elision of the air, whereby if they mean impression of the sound, it is quite another thing,
any thing, they mean a cutting or dividing, or else and is utterly without any local motion of the air,
an attenuating of the air, is but a term of igno- perceptible; and in that resembleth the species
rance; and the notion is but a catch of the wit visible: for after a man hath lured, or a bell is
apon a few instances; as the manner is in the rung, we cannot discern any perceptible motion
philosophy received. And it is common with at all in the air along as the sound goeth; but
men, that if they have gotten a pretty expression only at the first. Neither doth the wind, as far
by a word of art, that expression goeth current; as it carrieth a voice, with the motion thereof, con-
though it be empty of matter. This conceit of found any of the delicate and articulate figurations
elision appeareth most manifestly to be false, in of the air, in variety of words. And if a man
that the sound of a bell, string, or the like, con- speak a good loudness against the flame of a
tinueth melting some time after the percussion; candle, it will not make it tremble much; though
but ceaseth straightways, if the bell, or string, be most when those letters are pronounced which
touched and stayed: whereas, if it were the eli- contract the mouth; as F. S. V. and some others.
sion of the air that made the sound, it could not But gentle breathing, or blowing without speak-
be that the touch of the bell or string should ex- ing, will move the candle far more. And it is
tinguish so suddenly that motion caused by the the more probable, that sound is without any local
elision of the air. This appeareth yet more mani- motion of the air, because as it differeth from the
festly by chiming with a hammer upon the out- sight, in that it needeth a local motion of the air
side of a bell: for the sound will be according to at first; so it paralleleth in so many other things
the inward concave of the bell; whereas the eli- with the sight, and radiation of things visible;
sion or attenuation of the air cannot be but only which without all question induce no local mo-
between the hammer and the outside of the bell. tion in the air, as hath been said.
So again, if it were an elision, a broad hammer, 126. Nevertheless it is true, that upon the noise
and a bodkin, struck upon metal, would give a of thunder, and great ordnance, glass windows
diverse tone, as well as a diverse loudness: but will shake; and fishes are thought to be frayed
they do not so; for though the sound of the one with the motion caused by noise upon the water.
be louder, and of the other softer, yet the tone is But these effects are from the local motion of the
the same. Besides, in echoes, whereof some are as air, which is a concomitant of the sound, as hath
loud as the original voice, there is no new elision, been said, and not from the sound.
but a repercussion only. But that which con- 127. It hath been anciently reported, and is still
vinceth it most of all is, that sounds are generated received, that extreme applauses and shouting of
where there is no air at all. But these and the people assembled in great multitudes, have so
like conceits, when men have cleared their under- rarified and broken the air that birds flying over
standing by the light of experience, will scatter have fallen down, the air being not able to sup-
and break

up
like a mist.

port them. And it is believed by some, that
125. It is certain, that sound is not produced at great ringing of bells in populous cities hath
the first, but with some local motion of the air, or chased away thunder; and also dissipated pesti-
flame, or some other medium; nor yet without lent air: all which may be also from the concus-
some resistance, either in the air or the body per- sion of the air, and not from the sound.
cussed. For if there be a mere yielding or ces- 128. A very great sound, near hand, hath
sion, it produceth no sound; as hath been said. strucken many deaf; and at the instant they have
And therein sounds differ from light and colours, found, as it were, the breaking of a skin or parch-

[ocr errors]

ment in their ear: and myself standing near one pair of tongs some depth within the water, and that lured loud and shrill, had suddenly an you shall hear the sound of the tongs well and not offence, as if somewhat had broken or been dislo- much diminished; and yet there is no air at all cated in my ear; and immediately after a loud present, ringing, not an ordinary singing or hissing, but 134. Take one vessel of silver, and another of far louder and differing, so as I feared some deaf- wood, and fill each of them full of water, and then ness. But after some half quarter of an hour it knap the tongs together, as before, about a handvanished. This effect may be truly referred unto ful from the bottom, and you shall find the sound the sound: for as is commonly received, an over- much more resounding from the vessel of silver potent object doth destroy the sense; and spiritual than from that of wood : and yet if there be no species, both visible and audible, will work upon water in the vessel, so that you knap the tongs in the sensories, though they move not any other body. the air, you shall find no difference between the

129. Indelation of sounds, the enclosure of them silver and the wooden vessel. Whereby, beside preserveth them, and causeth them to be heard the main point of creating sound without air, you further. And we find in rolls of parchment or may collect two things: the one, that the sound trunks, the mouth being laid to the one end of the commiunicateth with the bottom of the vessel; the roll of parchment or trunk, and the ear to the other, other, that such a communication passeth far better the sound is heard much farther than in the open through water than air. air. The cause is, for that the sound spendeth, 135. Strike any hard bodies together in the and is dissipated in the open air; but in such midst of a flame; and you shall hear the sound concaves it is conserved and contracted. So also with little difference from the sound in the air. in a piece of ordnance, if you speak in the touch- 136. The pneumatical part which is in all tanhole, and another lay his ear to the mouth of the gible bodies, and hath some affinity with the air, piece, the sound passeth and is far better heard performeth, in some degree, the parts of the air; than in the open air.

as when you knock upon an empty barrel, the 130. It is further to be considered, how it sound is in part created by the air on the outside; proveth and worketh when the sound is not en- and in part by the air in the inside: for the sound closed all the length of its way, but passeth partly will be greater or lesser as the barrel is more through open air; as where you speak some dis- empty or more full; but yet the sound participattance from a trunk; or where the ear is some distance eth also with the spirit in the wood through which from the trunk at the other end; or where both it passeth, from the outside to the inside: and so mouth and ear are distant from the trunk. And it cometh to pass in the chiming of bells on the it is tried, that in a long trunk of some eight outside; where also the sound passeth to the inor ten foot, the sound is holpen, though both the side: and a number of other like instances, wheremouth and the ear be a handful or more from the of we shall speak more when we handle the comends of the trunk; and somewhat more holpen, munication of sounds. when the ear of the hearer is near, than when the 137. It were extreme grossness to think, as we mouth of the speaker. And it is certain, that the have partly touched before, that the sound in voice is better heard in a chamber from abroad, strings is made or produced between the hand than abroad from within the chamber.

and the string, or the quill and the string, or the 131. As the enclosure that is round about and bow and the string, for those are but “ vehicula entire, preserveth the sound; so doth a semi-con- motus,” passages to the creation of the sound, the cave, though in a less degree. And therefore, if sound being produced between the string and the you divide a trunk, or a cane into two, and one air; and that not by any impulsion of the air from speak at the one end, and you lay your ear at the the first motion of the string; but by the return other, it will carry the voice farther than in the or result of the string, which was strained by the air at large. Nay further, if it be not a full semi-touch, to his former place: which motion of result concave, but if you do the like upon the mast of a is quick and sharp; whereas the first motion is ship, or a long pole, or a piece of ordnance, though soft and dull. So the bow tortureth the string one speak upon the surface of the ordnance, and continually, and thereby holdeth it in a continual not at any of the bores, the voice will be heard trepidation. farther than in the air at large.

132. It would be tried, how, and with what Experiments in consort touching the magnitude and proportion of disadvantage the voice will be car.

exility and damps of sounds. ried in a horn, which is a line arched; or in a 138. Take a trunk, and let one whistle at the trumpet, which is a line retorted; or in some pipe one end, and hold your ear at the other, and you that were sinuous.

shall find the sound strike so sharp as you can 133. It is certain, howsoever it cross the receiv- scarce endure it. The cause is, for that sound ed opinion, that sounds may be created without diffuseth itself in round, and so spendeth itself; air, though air be the most favourable deferent of but if the sound, which would scatter in open air, sounds. · Take a vessel of water, and knap a be made to go all into a canal, it must needs give greater force to the sound. And so you may note, do give a far greater sound, by reason of the knot, that enclosures do not only preserve sound, but and board, and concave underneath, than if there also increase and sharpen it.

were nothing but only the flat of a board, without 139. A hunter's horn being greater at one end that hollow and knot, to let in the upper air into than at the other, doth increase the sound more the lower. The cause is the communication of than if the horn were all of an equal bore. The the upper air with the lower, and penning of both cause is, for that the air and sound being first con- from expense or dispersing. tracted at the lesser end, and afterwards having 146. An Irish harp hath open air on both sides more room to spread at the greater end, to dilate of the strings: and it hath the concave or belly themselves; and in coming out strike more air; not along the strings, but at the end of the strings. whereby the sound is the greater and baser. And It maketh a more resounding sound than a bandoeven hunter's horns, which are sometimes made ra, orpharion, or citter, which have likewise wire straight, and not oblique, are ever greater at the strings. I judge the cause to be, for that open air lower end. It would be tried also in pipes, being on both sides helpeth, so that there be a concave; made far larger at the lower end; or being made which is therefore best placed at the end. with a belly towards the lower end, and then issu- 147. In a virginal, when the lid is down, it ing into a straight concave again.

maketh a more exile sound than when the lid is 140. There is in St. James's fields a conduit open. The cause is, for that all shutting in of of brick, unto which joineth a low vault; and at air, where there is no competent rent, dampeth the end of that a round house of stone; and in the the sound: which maintaineth likewise the former brick conduit there is a window; and in the round instance; for the belly of the lute or viol doth house a slit or rift of some little breadth: if you pen the air somewhat. cry out in the rift, it will make a fearful roaring 148. There is a church at Gloucester, and, as at the window. The cause is the same with the I have heard, the like is in some other places, former; for that all concaves, that proceed from where if you speak against a wall softly, another more narrow to more broad, do amplify the sound shall hear your voice better a good way off, than at the coming out.

near at hand. Inquire more particularly of the frame 141. Hawks' bells, that have holes in the sides, of that place. I suppose there is some vault, or give a greater ring, than if the pellet did strike hollow, or aisle, behind the wall, and some passage upon brass in the open air. The cause is the to it towards the farther end of that wall against same with the first instance of the trunk; namely, which you speak; so as the voice of him that for that the sound enclosed with the sides of the speaketh slideth along the wall, and then entereth bell cometh forth at the holes unspent and more at some passage, and communicateth with the strong.

air of the hollow; for it is preserved somewhat 142. In drums, the closeness round about, that by the plain wall; but that is too weak to give a preserveth the sound from dispersing, maketh the sound audible, till it hath communicated with the noise come forth at the drum-hole far more loud back air. and strong than if you should strike upon the like 149. Strike upon a bow-string, and lay the skin extended in the open air. The cause is the horn of the bow near your ear, and it will increase same with the two precedent.

the sound, and make a degree of a tone. The 143, Sounds are better heard, and farther off, cause is, for that the sensory, by reason of the in an evening or in the night, than at the noon or close holding, is pereussed before the air dispers. in the day. The cause is, for that in the day, eth. The like is, if you hold the horn betwixt when the air is more thin, no doubt, the sound your teeth: but that is a plain delation of the pierceth better; but when the air is more thick, sound from the teeth to the instrument of hearing; as in the night, the sound spendeth and spreadeth for there is a great intercourse between those two abroad less: and so it is a degree of enclosure. parts; as appeareth by this, that a harsh grating As for the night, it is true also that the general tune setteth the teeth on edge. The like falleth silence helpeth.

out, if the horn of the bow be put upon the 144. There be two kinds of reflections of sound ; temples; but that is but the slide of the sound the one at distance, which is the echo; wherein from thence to the ear. the original is heard distinctly, and the reflection 150. If you take a rod of iron or brass, and also distinctly; of which we shall speak hereafter: hold the one end to your ear, and strike upon the the other in concurrence; when the sound reflect-other, it maketh a far greater sound than the like ing, the reflection being near at hand, returneth stroke upon the rod, made not so contiguous to the immediately upon the original, and so iterateth it ear. By which, and by some other instances that not, but amplifieth it. Therefore we see, that have been partly touched, it should appear, that music upon the water soundeth more; and so sounds do not only slide upon the surface of a Jikewise music is better in chambers wainscotted smooth body, but do also communicate with the than hanged.

spirits, that are in the pores of the body. 145. The strings of a lute, or viol, or virginals, 151. I remember in Trinity College in Cam

« VorigeDoorgaan »