Tuesday, December 20, 2016

"Eriks-Visan" - The Curious Story of an "Old" Swedish Ballad (1554-1891)

I.

Since the 16th century the music and the songs of the people - both from outside of Europe and from the European periphery - found the interest of scholars and travelers. A few examples were even made available in some of the relevant publications. Montaigne presented two fragmentary Brazilian texts in one of his Essais (1580), Jean de Léry published five tunes from Brazil (1585), de Salinas' De Musica Libri Septem (1587) included a considerable number of what later would be called "folk tunes" (see in this blog: "Exotic" Songs and Tunes in European Publications 1577-1830). 

But some forward-looking intellectuals also began to discover the popular song traditions of their own country. The earliest anthology of old ballads was published in 1591 in Denmark: Anders Sørensen Vedel's Et hundrede udvaalde Danske Viser (see a later edition, Kopenhagen, 1619, at the Internet Archive). In Sweden Johannes Messenius (1579-1636), historian and playwright, used popular songs in his dramas (see Lidell 1935, pp. 126-61; see also Jonsson 1967, pp. 38-43).

Recently I came across one very early example that predates nearly everything else but is usually not discussed in this context. In 1554 the Historia De Omnibus Gothorum Sveonumque Regibus by the exiled Swedish bishop Johannes Magnus was published posthumously in Rome. This was a rather fanciful history of Sweden and its Kings. Here we can find a Latin text of 10 verses about one King Erik. Magnus claimed that this was his translation of an "old" song still known all over Sweden (pp. 27-8):


During the 19th century this "song" was very popular among scholars in Sweden. Historian Erik Gustav Geijer described it as "en gammal Svensk Folkvisa" (1825, p. 113) and literary historian Peter Wieselgren (1835, p. 77) claimed that it was "utan tvivfel [...] den äldsta sång, folkminnet till oss framfört" ("without doubt the oldest song preserved by the memory of the people"). In 1853 "Eriks-Visan" appeared as the very first song in what was then the standard anthology of Swedish historical and political ballads (here No. 1, pp. 1-18). But, alas, it wasn't a real song but a deliberate fabrication, a "balladpastisch" (Jonsson, pp. 681) by Johannes Magnus himself (see Schück 1891).

This is an interesting story that is worth recapitulating. At first I will give a short introduction to Johannes Magnus' life and work as well as the historical context.  This will be followed by a review of the digital copies of the different editions and translations of Johannes Magnus' book. That is a necessary work because at the moment it is not possible to get quick access to all existing scans of a particular publication. They are usually scattered across many different repositories and much "footwork" is needed to find them all. In the third chapter I will present the history of this song from its initial publication until the end of the 19th century with the help of digital copies of the relevant publications. In fact nearly everything I needed is available online.


II.

Johannes Magnus (1488-1544; see Johannesson 1982; Nilsson 2006; Schmidt-Voges 2004, pp. 95-129; Lindroth in SBL; Wikipedia), the brother of the famous Olaus Magnus, was the last Catholic archbishop in Uppsala and also a notable scholar. He and his brother left the country in the 1520s because of the reformation. He never returned home but instead lived at first for some years in Danzig and then spent the rest of his life in Italy. Even though at odds with King Gustav Vasa he remained a committed Swedish patriot. His major work was this history of Sweden that was published by his brother in 1554. 

Sweden at that time needed a presentable history. Since the late 14th century the "heroic" Goths had been rediscovered and they were claimed as the forefathers of the Swedes (about the "Gothic renaissance", see f. ex. Schmidt-Voges 2004, part. pp. 37-62; Neville 2009). He started with Magog, Noah's grandson and then offered a long list of kings since the days of the old Goths. This great narrative with an anti-Danish stance was based on all available literary and historical sources but most of all on his own rich fantasy :
"What is remarkable in Magnus's version is his number of details from these remote times in combination with his aggressive patriotism. Magnus had to rely on his own imagination. Not afraid of deliberate falsifications, he claims support from sources he does not know and manipulates those he does know" (Skovgaard-Petersen 2002, p. 94).
One may also say that he "composed the truth" (see Nilsson 2016). But his truth wasn't received particularly well in Denmark. Historian Hans Svaning wrote a Refutatio (1561, available at Google Books). Later - in 1612 - Swedish scholar Johannes Messenius felt it necessary to publish a Refutatio of the Refutatio (available at the Internet Archive; see Skovgaard-Petersen 2009; Schmidt-Voges 2004, p. 368). Magnus' Historia was not only regarded as a theoretical treatise. It had great political potency and offered historical legitimation for Sweden as a monarchy and for its strive to be an European power. Its influence on Swedish political thinking during the 17th century was "enormous" (see Roberts 1984, p. 72).

The original Latin version appeared in new editions in 1548, 1567 and then in 1617 (see Warmholtz, pp. 38-46). Early on there were also attempts to create a Swedish translation. Erik XIV (1533-1577), Gustav Vasa's son who had been deposed by his brother in 1568, tried one during his captivity but his manuscript is lost (see Warmholtz, p. 43). Historian and diplomat Peter Petrejus published En kort och nytthigh Chrönica Om alla Swerikis och Göthis Konungar in 1611 (available at Google Books). This was a kind of abbreviated popular version of Johannes Magnus' big tome. 

At around the same time one Elai Terserus, probst and vicar, prepared a translation of the complete book but it was never published. Thankfully the manuscript has survived. Only in 1620 a Swedish edition appeared, commissioned by King Gustav Adolf. It was the work of Ericus Schroderus (1570-1647; see Wikipedia; Svenskt Biografiskt Lexikon), printer, writer, slotssekreterare and at that time the King's official translator (available at Google Books). Interestingly there were no translations into other languages.


III.

The first step is now - of course - to look for digital copies of these different editions. Once again the result is impressive. Of the first edition - there were two variants with different title-pages - I found 15 scans. Most of them - 12! - were produced by Google and only three by other libraries. But this is the typical ratio:
As far as I can see all are in decent quality. It is always necessary to be careful with scans by Google. Often enough something is missing: illustrations, fold-outs or supplements. In this case there was not much to do wrong. Some of them look a little bit uneven - too many fingers! - but otherwise they all seem to be usable. One problem remains: even though most of them are available online as colored scans they can be downloaded at Google Books only as pdfs in black and white and sometimes worse quality. This is annoying and should be corrected. But at least the copies made for the BSB and the ÖNB can also be downloaded as colored pdfs from their own repositories.

The three digital copies not produced by Google are also reliable. The one at the Lower Silesian Digital Library is a little bit difficult to use: it is in djvu and the online reader is awfully slow. Another one is available at the BVH (= Les Bibliothéques Virtuelles Humanistes). That is, by the way, an excellent digital library. Litteraturbanken.se is also an important and helpful resource. They offer a great selection of Swedish literature from the earliest times to the 20th century and naturally one can find there also Johannes Magnus' Historia. But their reader is not as effective and flexible as I would wish and apparently it is not possible to download this book as a pdf.

The later editions are also available online. I found 11 digital copies of the one published in 1558. Once again most of them were produced by Google. The other two are a little bit more rare. Of the third edition printed in Cologne in 1567 there is only one and of the fourth from 1617 there are three:
  • Gothoruum Sveonumque Historia, Ex Probatis Antiquorum Monumentis Collecta, & in xxiiii. libros redacta, Autore IO. Magno Gotho, Archiepiscopo Upsalensi. Cum Indice rerum ac gestorum memorabilium locopleußimo. Basileae Ex Officina Isingriniana, anno á Christonato, 1558
    at Google Books [= BNC Roma], also at the Internet Archive
    at Google Books [= Biblioteca Alessandrina, Roma]
    at Google Books [= BM Lyon]
    at Google Books [= ÖNB]
    at Google Books [= BSB]
    at Google Books [= BSB/SB Regensburg]
    at Google Books [= BSB/SBB Augsburg]
    at Google Books [= UB Gent]
    at Google Books [= NCR]
    at e-rara, UB Zürich
    at Universidad de Granada [pdf-b&w]
  • Historiae (Qua Vix Alia Lectu Iucundior) De Gothorum Sveonumqve Rebus Gestis, Lib. XXIIII. Antiquitatis reconditae studiosis apprimè utiles, Ioh. Magno, Gotho, Archiepiscopo upsalensi, auctore: Non Sine Verborum & Rerum locuplete tabella. Coloniae, Apud Ioannem Birckmannum, 1567
    at Google Books [= BSB]
  • Gothorum Sveonumque Historia, Ex Probatis Antiquorum monumentis collecta, & in 24. libros redacta, Autore Jo. Magno Gotho, Archiepiscopo Vpsalensi. Cum Indice rerum ac gestorum memorabilium locupletissimo. Jam denuo summ side recognita, à mendis nonullis fideliter repurgata, & in honorem Serenis. Illustratiss. ac Potentiss Regis, Nationumq; Sveciae. Secunda vice edita. Sumptibus & cura Zachariae Schüreri Bibliopolae, 1617
    at Google Books [= ÖNB]
    at Google Books [= BM Lyon]
    at SB Berlin 
The Swedish editions haven't been digitized that often. There is at the moment only one digital copy of the first edition of Petrejus' Chrönica as well as one of a later edition. Both are by Google, of course. They are usable even though in case of the latter some mishaps seem to have happened during the scanning process:
  • Petrus Petrejus, En kort och nyttigh Chrönica Om alla Swerikis och Göthis Konungar, som hafwa både in och uthrijkis regerat, ifrån then Första Konung Magogh, in til thenna höghlosliga nu regerande Konungh Carl then IX. [...], Reusner, Stockholm, 1611,
    at Google Books [= BSB]
  • -, Meurer, Stockholm, 1656,
    at Google Books [= BSB] (not so good)
There is also only one digital copy available of Schroderus' translation published in 1620. I must admit I can't understand why this book hasn't been digitized by a Swedish library. Here once again Google comes to help. They have scanned the British Library's copy:
  • Joannis Magni Archiep. Upsal. Swea och Götha Cronica; Hwaruthinnan beskrifwes, icke allena the Inrikis Konungars lefwerne och namnkunnige bedrifter uthi thera eghit Fosterland: Räknandes ifrån Magog Japhetson, Götha första Regent, in til then Stormächtige (Christeligh och höglosligh i åminnelse) Konung Göstaff: Uthan och the uthländske Göthers loslighe Regimente och store Mandon, som the på många ortar uthoefwer wijda Werlden, och särdeles uthi Hispanien och Italien bedrifwit hafwe. Aldraförst på åthskillige tijder och rum uthgången på Latin, Och nu på Swenska uthtålkat aff Erico Schrodero Stockholms Slots Secretario. Tryckt uthi Stockholm, hoos Ignatium Meurer, 1620, at Google Books [= BL]
This was only added to Google Books recently, in May 2016. The quality is fine. The problem is - as usual - that it can only be downloaded in black and white and the pdf doesn't look as good as what can be seen online. It is also possible to access this book on the site of the British Library. But their viewer seems to be in an experimental stage and is not as flexible and effective as it should be. Strangely it is not possible to download a complete book as a pdf.

But I don't want to complain. Digital copies of all the different editions of Magnus' Historia are available and can be used. Of course it is still necessary to check their quality but that should go without saying. Once again we can also see how much Google has contributed. I am often very critical about what they offer. But without them we wouldn't have much and the world of digital books would look rather empty. In fact in many cases serious work would not even be possible.


IV.

Now I can return to Johannes Magnus' song about King Eric and its publication history (see Schück 1891, pp. 283-8; Jonsson 1967, pp. 667-81; Swanson 2000) which is also easy to illustrate with the help of online resources. Nearly all the relevant older literature has been digitized. As already mentioned the original version of the text appeared in 1554 in the first edition of the Historia De Omnibus Gothorum Sueonumque Regibus (here pp. 27-8; see 2nd ed., 1558, pp. 33-4):
Primus in regnis Geticis coronam
Regiam gessi, subiique Regis
Munus, & mores colui sereno
Principe dignos
[...]
It consists of 10 verses (Engl. translation in Swanson, pp. 58-9). Here the reader learned that King Eric was the founder of what would become Denmark. He sent out convicts to settle there. Later Dan, son of King Humle, was appointed King of this country. This song was completely in line with the anti-Danish stance expressed throughout Magnus' book. He claimed that it was known all over Sweden and that his text was a Latin translation of this popular piece.

But there is good reason to assume that had simply written this "old" song himself : "Hans Eriksvisa är nämligen intet annat än en amplifierad parafras af lilla Rimkrönikans inledningsstycke" (Schück, p. 287). This chronicle (c. 1450) starts with a short monologue by fictitious King Erik (here in: Scriptores Rerum Suecicarum, p. 252):
Jak var förste Konung i Giöthaland redh,
Ta bodde ingen i skane eller Wetaleedh,
Jak lot them byggia och upptaga
[...]
There is no evidence that a song like this has ever existed in Sweden. He created it anew and made it fit his narrative: it served both as a historical source and as a "political statement", not at least because he could present a song from Sweden that was "far older than anything Danish" (Swanson, p. 58).

At this point there was an old Swedish song, but only in Latin. The Swedish text would be created with the translations of Magnus's Historia several decades later. The first was Elaus Terserus in 1611. His attempt - not published at that time (but in Säve 1850, p. 58-9; Hyltén-Cavallius 1853, pp. 10-11 ) - was not an exact translation but can be described as a "fairly generous re-conception of the poem as a Swedish text" (Swanson, p. 53):
Erik han var den förste Kong
I Göthe landett wijde,
Aff sinne och modh dhå war han from´,
Som någon dher kunne rijde.
Så låther han först ergie uthi Juthland
[...]
He added an extra refrain line - "Så låther han först ergie uthi Juthland" - that emphasized the anti-Danish message even more: King Eric was the first to plow in "Juthland". This did not mean Jutland but Skåne in the south of Sweden which was at that time a part of Denmark.

Schroderus included in his translation of the Historia both the original Latin text and a new Swedish version (pp. 8-10). He was surely familiar with Terserus' text but he made it look older and used "en besynnerlig arkaiserande rotvälska" (Schück, p. 284). "Vätulum"apparently included Småland, Skåne and Denmark as a whole (see Afzelius 1839, p. 34):
In Eiriker fyrsti Kununge war
I Göthalandinu widhu
I bragd uk i hughi sniäller mar,
I Wighi swa uk i fridhi.
Han war uk er fyrsti uthi Vätulum ärdi.
[...]
We can see here how this "song" was created and then shaped to fit its purpose. First there was Magnus' fabricated Latin text together with the claim that it was well known in Sweden and also "old". Terserus then produced the missing - i. e. not existing - Swedish text. His was still in the language of that time. Schroderus then turned it into an "old" song by adjusting the language a little bit. This would become the standard version. This is an early and very interesting example of how an "authentic" old song was produced. It only existed in the fantasy of these scholars but they made it real.

Strangely this text was only rarely referred to and quoted during the 17th century. I would have expected more. Two verses from Schroderus' translation were reprinted in an obscure historical tract, Wattrangius' Theatridium Sveo-Gothicarum Antiquitatum (1647, p. 24). Riksantikvarie Olav Verelius quoted three verses in a note in his edition of the Hervarar Saga (1672, p. 113). This, by the way, was one of the few Old Norse sagas about the Goths and medieval Sweden (see Wikipedia). A new translation of one single verse from Magnus' original version can be found in a dissertation published in 1687 (see Hyltén-Cavallius , p. 6). Two decades later one respectively two verses - this time taken from Verelius' book - were included in two other dissertations (see dto. p. 5). But that was all.

By all accounts there were no attempts to turn the text into a real popular song. It was never printed on a broadside. That would have been a not unreasonable idea. Instead this piece remained confined to publications for the learned elite. There is no evidence that it was known among the real people. Already during the 17th century "old ballads" were collected from rural singers (see the overview in Jonsson) but no variant from oral tradition has been found in Sweden, neither at that time nor later.

Johann Hadorph (1630-1693), historian and chairman of the antikvariatskolleg, claimed - in a note in his at that time unpublished edition of a chronicle - that it was still sung in parts of the country ("[...] "cantilenam, quam adhuc in Vestrogothia et Dalia plebeii homines canunt"). But this is highly unlikely (see Jonsson, p. 680). In fact he only quoted two verses that he had taken from either Schroderus or Verelius. Hadorph's rather misleading contribution to this topic was only made available much later, in 1818, in Fant's Scriptores Rerum Svecicarum (see here p. 240).

During the 18th century Johannes Magnus' curious "song" more or less fell into oblivion. But then it returned and became much better known than during its first life. This old text was revived in 1811 by Arvid August Afzelius (1785-1871; see Wikipedia), pastor, poet and scholar, one of the mainstays of the new Gothic revival (see Götiska Förbundet, at Wikipedia) and the Swedish romantic era. He - together with historian Erik Gustav Geijer (1783-1847, see Wikipedia) - compiled the very first collection of Swedish "Folkvisor" (1814-18, see Vol. 1, at the Internet Archive). His first publications were new translations of some Old Norse sagas, among them the Herwara Saga (1811). One may assume that he was familiar with Verelius' edition and and therefore also had become acquainted with the song about King Erik.


But he didn't only quote the three verses from that book but instead included in his notes the complete Swedish text (here pp. 105-6). In fact this was the very first time since Schroderus' Cronica in 1620 that all 10 verses were published and it is clear that this also must have been his source. But there is no reference to Magnus or even to Schroderus and he preferred not to tell about his source. At least he modernized the language a little bit and avoided some of the more absurd archaisms of the original version. Interestingly Afzelius called it here "en gammal folkvisa" - an old national song - about King Erik "som skall hafwa warit den förste Konung i Göthaland". He appears to have been somewhat skeptical and interestingly the song was not included in Afzelius' and Geijer's Swenska Folkevisor från Forntiden that was published shortly later.

But afterwards it was regularly reprinted and discussed. By all accounts there were very few doubts about its "authenticity". At that time such an "old" song was always welcome. The year 1818 saw the publication of Fant's Scriptores Rerum Svecicarum. Here Hadorph's - dubious - claim that the song was still known to the people was published for the first time. A year later a new edition of Afzelius' Herwara Saga came out (pp. 87-8) and in 1825 historian Geijer published the first and only part of his Svea Rikes Häfder. This was a kind of history of Sweden starting with its mythical beginnings. Here (p. 113) he quoted not the complete text but only the three verses from Verelius' book, referred to Hadorph and - like Afzelius - described it as "en gammal Svensk Folkvisa".

Later historian Anders Magnus Strinnholm in his Svenska Folkets Historia (1834, here pp. 90-1) and literary historian Peter Wieselgren, in his Sveriges Sköna Litteratur (1834, p. 77) took their cue from Geijer and also recycled these three verses. Afzelius himself used this "gammal visa" again in his Svenska Folkets Sago-Häfder, eller Fäderneslandets Historia (Vol. 1, 1839, pp. 34-6; 2nd ed. 1844, pp. 38-40 ; 3rd ed. 1860, pp. 37-9). This was a popular and often reprinted patriotic history of Sweden in many volumes, based on "Sägner, Folksånger och andra Minnesmärken aand written for the people: "Till Läsning för Folket".

He presented one verse of of Schroderus' original text and then the complete song "på ett något yngre språk", in a modernized Swedish. In fact this was the same text he already had used in his edition of the Herwara Saga. Here Afzelius once again reiterated the great narrative of Sweden's mythical golden era with the old Gothic kings. Of course at that time it was pure Folklorism and - one may assume - had lost all the political vigor . But at least it still sounded like a good and worthwhile story. Any serious discussion of the text's publication history or of its value as an historical source was still missing here. At this time King Erik also became known in Germany. Both Geijer's and Afzelius' books were translated and published there (1826, p. 92; 1842, pp. 75-8).

The first real scholarly examination only came out in 1849: linguist Carl Säve's (1812-1876; see Wikipedia) dissertation Eriks-Visan. Ett Fornsvenskt Qväde, Behandlat in Språkligt Afseende . This was a very strange work. On one hand he had access to the manuscript of Terserus' translation of Johannes Magnus' Historia (1611) and therefore was able to make available in print the earliest extant Swedish text (pp. 58-9). This was a helpful and important addition. But on the other hand Säve's theories about the song's history now look patently absurd.

Informed and encouraged by George Stephens (1813-1895; see Wikipedia, SBL; see also Byrman 2008), an English scholar working in Sweden at that time who had done some research, he claimed - without any supporting evidence - that this "urgamla Svenska qväde" was first written down in runes not later than the 13th century. But - he added - it must have been put together much earlier, based on "ännu äldre traditioner" (pp. 6-7). The absurdity reached its peak with his attempt to reconstruct the text's original form. Then he translated his fantasy-text back into more modern Swedish. This was all very dubious and a good example of misguided scholarship.


A little more realism was brought into the discussion by Norwegian scholar P. A. Munch who showed that the fictitious King Erik was invented only during the 15th century and therefore the song can't be older (1850, pp. 330-1). But the above-mentioned Mr. Stephens must have missed this article. In 1853 he - together with Gunnar-Olof Hyltén-Cavallius - published Sveriges Historiska och Politiska Visor, an anthology of historical and political ballads. This was for the greatest part an excellent and very helpful work. The song about King Erik was regarded as the oldest extant ballad and therefore placed first (here No. 1, pp. 1-18). But what is offered here looks more like wishful thinking.



Of course they - like their predecessors and also Säve in his dissertation - presumed a lost Swedish original version. There was still the belief that Magnus' Latin text was only a translation. Also most extant texts - those by Terserus, Schroderus, Wattrangius, Verelius, Lund, Hadorph and Afzelius - were regarded as individual variants derived from this assumed Urtext. Just like Säve they also included a fanciful "reconstruction" of the "original" version that looked equally absurd (pp. 16-8). This was "Urtext-romanticism pressed to its uttermost" (Swanson, p. 57). What we can see here is a history of a song that never existed. The enthusiasm about such an "old" song must have seriously hindered these scholars' critical abilities.

After this curious excesses it became somewhat quiet. But as late as 1882 King Erik's song - in this case Terserus' translation - still found a place in Klemming's Svenska Medeltids Dikter och Rim, an anthology of medieval Swedish poetry (Vol. 2, No. 11, pp. 401-2, notes, p. 523-4). The editor rejected all dubious claims about its old age but nonetheless thought it genuine. He dated the assumed original text - following Munch's work - as from the 15th century.

Only in 1891 literary historian Henrik Schück managed to shatter all scholarly illusions about this piece. In an article in the Historisk Tidskrift about Våra äldsta historiska folkvisor (here pp. 283-8) he showed convincingly that Johannes Magnus' Latin text was the original version from which all later "variants" were derived, either directly or indirectly. A Swedish Urtext never existed. Not only did he see clearly that Magnus had produced simply an extended "parafras" of the relevant part about King Erik in the Minor Rhyme Chronicle. He also noted that the translations by Terserus and Schroderus did not offer anything more than the original Latin text: "De innehåller intet, hvilket icke står att läsa på latin [...]" (p. 285). Johannes Magnus had claimed that his piece was only a translation of a part of a Swedish song. But - in fact - nobody ever managed to find more verses.

It was Schück's article that actually buried this "urgamla visa" and later scholars - with only few exceptions - followed his reasoning (see Jonsson, p. 679). Bengt Jonsson also discussed the song in his Svensk Balladtradition (1967, here pp. 667-81), but only in the chapter about pastiches and falsifications. He once again examined all relevant literature but saw no reason to reanimate this piece. Otherwise it was more or less ignored since then and I found only one recent article (Swanson 2000).

But why should we discuss Bishop Magnus' obvious fraud? His "old song" was excellent work and it took nearly 350 years until it was debunked. This doesn't speak well for the critical abilities of the scholars who fell for this trick. But there is no reason to mock them. They all - Afzelius, Geijer, Säve, Hyltén-Cavallius, Stephens et al. - did a lot of excellent work. But this particular field - Folkloristics, or the research into the products of the "folk" - is and was prone to flights of fancy. It is an interesting and instructive chapter in the history of this genre. In fact nothing should be taken for granted and one should be particularly suspicious of everything that is claimed to be "old" or even "very old".

But there are more reasons to have a look at this piece. Swanson (p. 58) notes that "no-one seems ever to have taken Johannes Magnus's poem seriously, neither as a text nor as a cultural artifact". It was regarded either a translation of an original Swedish song with no particular creative input by him or as a fabrication not worth further discussion after it was exposed as such. This is too narrow a perspective. Swanson (p. 62) sees it as an early example of "neo-Latin poetry". That's correct. But equally valid is another perspective and here I can return to the start. 

Johannes Magnus' song of King Erik was in fact a very early example of what would later be defined as the songs of the people - "Volkslied" in German, "national songs" of "Folk-songs" in English - and it should be seen as a part of the prehistory of the genre. As already mentioned this text was published years before nearly all other early contributions. In this respect it doesn't matter that it was not "authentic". For a long time the text was regarded as genuine.

At around the same time Münster in his Cosmographei (1550, p. 929) and Goebel in his book about amber (1566, [p. 20]; see in this blog: "Jeru, Jeru, Mascolon" - The Remarks About a Livonian Lament in Löwenklau's Annales Sultanorum Othmanidarum, 1588) referred to a Baltic song, "Jeru" or "Jehu, Jehu". But this was only a fragment of one word. Magnus instead offered an nearly complete song of 10 verses that made sense. For the learned readership at which Magnus' Historia was aimed it looked like the very first indigenous song of quasi-"exotic" people from the European periphery. That was something new. Here we can also see an increased "ethnographic" interest in the music of "exotic" people both in and outside of Europe. Olaus Magnus - the editor and publisher of his late brother's great work - also referred to the musical practices of the Swedish "folk" in his immensely popular Historia de Gentibus Septentrionalibus (1555, see here p. 521, p. 523) but didn't include any examples.

On the other hand Bishop Magnus also anticipated - or perhaps even introduced - a particular technique that would win great favor among the learned elites interested in the songs of the people: if the "folk" didn't produce what was needed it was no problem to create something new and claim it was sung by them. In this respect he also was a pioneer. Magnus wanted to prove the existence of a fictitious king and the early settlement of Denmark from Sweden. Therefore he invented this song which served as a political statement and an historical source. That was a forward-looking idea.

Writing new "old" ballads would become a not uncommon pastime of interested scholars and poets. For example Laurids Kock (1634-1691) in Denmark, clergyman, writer and linguist, produced several historical ballads that were then included in Peder Syv's new extended edition of Vedel's collection (200 Viser om Konger, Kemper og Andre, 1695; later editions: 1739, at the Internet Archive; 1764, at NB, Oslo). One of these texts, "Danmark, dejligst Vang og vaenge" about the legendary queen Thyre Dannebod (here p. 545), was set to music in the early 19th century and became one of the most popular patriotic songs (see Dumreicher & Madsen 1956).

Pastiches, falsifications and songs in the "style" of the people - whatever that is - have always been a major part of the genre. Often enough scholars, editors and collectors have doctored texts and tunes or even passed off their own works as traditional. Today there are many so-called "Folk-songs" - political statements sung to a simple tune with three chords - that were surely not written by the "folk" but receive a certain kind of cultural legitimation from its pretended connection to the people. It would not be too far-fetched to regard the old Bishop as the long-forgotten inventor of this still popular genre.

Literature
  • [Arvid August Afzelius], Herwara-Saga. Översättning från gamla Isländskan, Nordström, Stockholm, 1811, at the Internet Archive (also 2nd ed. 1819, at the Internet Archive)
  • Arvid August Afzelius, Svenska Folkets Sago-Häfder, eller Fäderneslandets Historia, sådan hon lefwat och till en del ännu lefwer i Sägner, Folksånger och andra Minnesmärken. Till Läsning för Folket. Första Delen, Hedna Tiden till Ansgarius, Haeggström, Stockholm, 1839, at the Internet Archive [= GB]; 2nd ed., 1844, at Hathi Trust; 3rd. ed., 1860, at Google Books
  • Arvid August Afzelius, Volkssagen und Volkslieder aus Schwedens älterer und neuerer Zeit. Aus dem Schwedischen übersetzt von Dr. F. H. Ungewitter. Mit einem Vorwort von Ludwig Tieck, Kollmann, Leipzig, 1842, 3 Vols., at the Internet Archive
  • Gunilla Byrman (ed.), En värld för sig själv. Nya studier i medeltida ballader, Växjö, 2008 (urn:nbn:se:vxu:diva-1874)
  • Carl Dumreicher & Ellen Olsen Madsen, Danmark, Dejligst Vang og Vænge. Om Danevirkevisens Digter Laurids Kok, dens Komponist og dens Historie, København, 1956
  • Erik Gustav Geijer, Svea Rikes Häfder. Första Delen, Palmblad, Uppsala, 1825, at the Internet Archive
  • Gunnar Olof Hyltén-Cavallius & George Stephens, Sveriges Historiska och Politiska Visor, Första Delen. Från Äldre Tider Intill år 1650, Lindh, Örebro, 1853, at Google Books
  • Erik Gustav Geijer, Schwedens Urgeschichte. Aus dem Schwedischen, Seidel, Sulzbach, 1826, at Google Books
  • Kurt Johannesson, Gotisk Renässans. Johannes and Olaus Magnus as Politicians and Historians, Stockholm, 1982
  • Bengt Jonsson, Svensk balladtradition. I. Ballad källor och balladtypor, Stockholm, 1967 (= Svensk Visarkivs handlingar 1)
  • G. E. Klemming, Svenska Medeltids Dikter och Rim, Norstedt, Stockholm, 1881 & 1882, at the Internet Archive
  • Sten Lindroth, Johannes Magnus, in: Svenskt Biografiskt Lexikon 20, 1973-1975, p. 220, online at riksarkivet, urn:sbl:12115
  • Hilding Lidell, Studier i Johannes Messenius Dramer. Akademisk Avhandlung, Uppsala, 1935
  • P. A. Munch, Om Kilderne til Sveriges Historia i den förchristelige Tid, 1850, in: Annaler for Nordisk Oldkyndighet och Historie, 1850, p. 291-358, at the Internet Archive
  • Kristoffer Neville, Gothicism and Early Modern Historical Ethnography, in: Journal of the History of Ideas 70, 2009, pp. 213-234, at pennpress.org
  • Astrid Nilsson, Johannes Magnus and the Composition of Truth: Historia de omnibus Gothorum Suenumque regibus, Lund, 2016 (Studia Greca et Latina Lundensia 21) [Abstract]
  • Michael Roberts, The Swedish Imperial Experience 1560-1718, Cambridge, 1984 (1979)
  • Carl Säve, Eriks-Visan. Ett Fornsvenskt Qväde, Behandlat in Språkligt Afssende, Norstedt, Stockholm, 1849, at the Internet Archive  [= GB]
  • Scriptores Rerum Svecicarum Medii Aevi Ex Schedis Praecipue Nordinianis Collectos Dispositos ac Emendatos, Editit Ericus Michael Fant, Tomus I, Zeipel & Palmblad, Uppsala, 1818, at the Internet Archive [= GB]
  • Inken Schmidt-Voges, De antiqua claritate et clara antiquate Gothorum. Gotizismus als Identitätsmodell im frühneuzeitlichen Schweden, Frankfurt am Main, 2004 (= Imaginatio Borealis Bilder des Nordens 4)
  • Henrik Schück, Våra äldsta historiska folkvisor, in: Historisk Tidskrift 11, 1891, pp. 281-318, at the Internet Archive
  • Karen Skovgaard-Petersen, Historiography at the Court of Christian IV (1588-1648). Studies in the Latin Histories of Denmark by Johannes Pontanus and Johannes Meursius, Copenhagen, 2002
  • Karen Skovgaard-Petersen, Political Polemics in Early Modern Scandinavia, in: Anne Eriksen & Jón Viðar Sigurðsson (eds.), Negotiating Pasts in the Nordic Countries. Interdisciplinary Studies in History and Memory, Lund, 2009, pp. 79-98
  • Anders Magnus Strinnholm, Svenska Folkets Historia fran äldsta till närwaramnde tider. Första Bandet: Skandinavien under Hedna-åldern, Hörberg, Stockholm, 1834, at the Internet Archive [= GB]
  • Peter Frederik Suhm, Critisk Historie af Danmark, udi den hedenske Tid, fra Odin til Gorm den Gamle, I. Bind, Berling, Kiobenhavn, 1774, at the Internet Archive [= GB]
  • Svenska Folk-Wisor Från Forntiden. Samlade och utgifne af Erik Gustav Geijer och Arvid August Afzelius, Strinholm & Häggström, Stockholm, 1814-16, 3 Vols. + Musical Supplement, at BSB [= GB; Vol. 1 incompl., musical supplement missing], at Oxford Libraries [= GB], also at the Internet Archive [musical supplement missing], musical supplement at Umeå UB; Hathi Trust [= GB]
  • Allan Swanson, Eriks-visan. Disappearances of a Song, in; Scandinavian Studies 72, 2000, pp. 49-62 (jstor)
  • [Olav Verelius], Hervarar Saga på Gammal Götska Med Olai Vereli Uttolkning och Notis, Curio, Uppsala, 1672, at the Internet Archive
  • Carl Gustaf Warmholtz, Bibliotheca Historica Sveo-Gothica; eller Förtekning Uppå Så väl tryckte, som handskrifne Böcker, Tractater och Skrifter, hvilka handla om Svenska Historien, Eller därutinnan kunna gifva Ljus; Med Critisca och Historiska Anmärkingar. Femte Delen, Som innehåller de Böcker och Skrifter, hvilka angå Sveriges almänna Historia och Konunga-Historia til år 1520, Nordström, Stockholm, 1790, at the Internet Archive [= GB]
  • [Michael Johannis Wattrangius], Theatridium Sveo-Gothicarum Antiquitatum: Textum a Michaele Johan. Wattrangio, Uppsala, 1647, at Google Books

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

A New Book About The Abbé Vogler


I. 

Abbé Georg Joseph Vogler (1749-1814), Catholic priest, composer, organ virtuoso - "Europas 1. Orgelspieler" (see Musikalische Korrespondenz 1790, p. 122) -, organ designer, musicologist and music educator, was one of the most interesting and fascinating musicians of his time. He traveled far and wide all over Europe, was very popular and a kind of celebrity. The contemporary press reported regularly about him. But the Abbé also happened to be quite controversial and some even thought him a charlatan. This he surely was not, but - judging from many accounts - a very impressive performer and also an innovative theorist and teacher. 

I must admit that I am mostly interested in one particular part of his work (see this little piece here in my blog): Vogler was among the first to publish compilations of international national airs, tunes of "Volkslieder". Polymelos ou Caractères de Musique de differentes Nations in 1791 (at BLB Karlsruhe, DonMusDr 272) included six tunes with variations: one from Sweden - where he was working at that time -, one from Scotland - "Birks of Invermay", in fact the first Scottish national air published in Germany - , two from Russia - one of them a Danse des Cosaques -, a Polonaise and an Italian song.

He also made a kind of "field-trip" to North Africa to study non-European music (see Vogler 1806, p. 24) and brought back some even more exotic tunes. In his Pieces de Clavecin faciles (1798) we can find - besides the Chinese melody and some European tunes - also a Romance Africaine as well as an Air Barbaresque from Morocco (see p. 6, p. 20). In 1806 a new version of Polymelos - "Ein nazional-karakteristisches Orgel-Koncert, in zwei Theilen, zu 16 verschiedenen Original-Stücken" - was published, once again a selection of international tunes, but this time combined with Bavarian "Volkslieder" written by Vogler himself (see Verzeichnis Falter, 1810, col. 43, Schafhäutl, No. 185, pp. 267-8). Besides these three major works there were also several editions of sheet music including pieces from this repertoire, for example one with variations on two Swedish tunes (at the Internet Archive). 

But Vogler also performed these foreign and "exotic" tunes on stage. He used them as themes for his improvisations on the organ. A typical concert usually included a selection of national airs and the audience was treated to pieces like the "Terrassenlied der Afrikaner, wenn sie Kalk stampfen" (AMZ 3, No. 12, 17.12.1800, pp. 192-4). To play something like this - in churches! - was very uncommon at that time. In fact he brought both European "Volkslieder" and - notwithstanding the perhaps dubious authenticity of his pieces - examples of non-European music to the attention of a wider audience. In this respect he really was a pioneer. This was something new but surely more than only a novelty act. I think that what Vogler tried here was an attempt to do with the tunes what Herder in his Volkslieder (1778/8) had done with the texts. 

In this respect he also seems to have been quite influential, not only in Germany. I recently noted that Edward Jones, Welsh bard and at that time the foremost expert on international national airs in Britain, "borrowed" - without giving appropriate credit to his source - the three Swedish tunes in Vogler's Pieces de Clavecin (here pp. 10, 16, 30) for his own Lyric Airs. Consisting of Specimens of Greek, Albanian, Turkish, Arabian, Persian, Chinese and Moorish National Songs and Melodies (c. 1805, see pp. 27-8). On the title-page he claimed that this was the "first selection of this kind ever yet offered to the public". But - as we can see - it wasn't and Mr. Jones must have been familiar with Vogler's work in this field. 

II. 

I am not a musicologist and I am not able to judge the quality of his many compositions. Nor do I want to comment on the value of the Abbé's theoretical works. But nonetheless: I don't get the impression that Vogler's music historical importance is adequately reflected in the amount of literature about him. There is no critical biography. We still have to work with Schafhäutl's groundbreaking book published in 1888 (available at the Internet Archive). Then there is In Praise of Harmony by Margaret and Floyd Grave (1987), a useful discussion of the his life and work but surely not exhaustive. 

Besides these two we also have a considerable number of articles, many of them informative and helpful. All in all this is not much. But thankfully today a reappraisal of such an unfairly neglected figure like the Abbé Vogler is much more easily possible. Many of his publications as well as numerous contemporary sources about him - especially in newspapers and the music press - have been digitized and are now available online. 

Therefore I am glad to see that a new book has just been published that from now on will serve as a starting-point and foundation for all future research into the life and work of the Abbé Vogler. In fact this is an outstanding handbook that puts together much of what is known about him and helps to close many gaps: 
  • Bärbel Pelker & Rüdiger Thomsen-Fürst, Georg Joseph Vogler (1749-1814). Materalien zu Leben und Werk unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der pfalz-bayerischen Dienstjahre, PL Academic Research, Frankfurt am Main, 2016, 2 Bde. (= Quellen und Studien zur Geschichte der Mannheimer Hofkapelle 6) 
Both authors are associated with the Forschungsstelle Südwestdeutsche Hofmusik, an important project dedicated to research about music at the courts in Southwestern Germany. There is also an excellent website - hof-musik.de - that offers, besides information about other relevant musicians, a helpful resource for anybody interested in Vogler: a short introduction as well as an extended bibliography enhanced with links to digital copies of many of the publications listed. 

In the first volume of this new book we can find a comprehensive chronological documentation of the Abbé Vogler's life and career on nearly 700 pages that is based on numerous archival and printed sources, for example letters, concert programs or articles in newspapers. Many of them are either quoted in full or reprinted in facsimilé. The second volume offers an extensive bibliography including archival sources. A list of his publications, both the musical works and the theoretical writings, is particularly valuable. 

This is one of the most impressive works I have seen for a long time. The wealth of information provided here is astonishing. It is not only fascinating to read and study but also helps to appreciate Vogler's achievements much better than anything else published until now. In fact it can be used both as an encyclopedic handbook and as a biography in documents. All the contemporary accounts included here allow a good understanding of the music scene at that time and the historical context.

As mentioned above I am interested in his Polymelos and all the foreign and "exotic" tunes Vogler has performed and published. I was a little bit surprised to see that he had started this project a little bit earlier than I thought. It was performed first not in London in 1790 but in several concerts in the Netherlands the year before (see pp. 293-4). In Rotterdam on September 3 in 1789 Vogler played "Nieuwe Europasche Nationale Caracter-Stukken (bestaande uit 10 Deelen genaant Polymelos)". This may have been the debut performance of this work. A concert in Amsterdam on September 22 offered "Polymelos, of de Nationaale Carakter-Stukken, en Musicq van van differente Volken" including a Scottish tune. This means that he knew a melody from Scotland already at that time. I had assumed he had learned it in London. 

On October 16 in Den Haag he again performed a Scottish tune - probably the same - and described it as "Gesang des Bergschotten [...] ächt und aus den ältesten Zeiten". Swiss writer David Hess was there and felt inspired to write a long poem which was then published the next year in a periodical in Switzerland (see Schweizerisches Museum 6, 1790, pp. 61-7, here pp. 62-3). There is good reason to assume that the tune was "Birks of Invermay", the one Vogler included in the published version of the first Polymelos (1791, No. 4, pp. 4-6). 

I found it particularly helpful that so many of his concerts are documented here, often with the program performed there. When did he play what piece? When did he introduce a particular tune? How did his repertoire develop over the years? It is clear to see that these national airs were most of the time a major part of of his public performances and it seems to me that he regarded it as an important project. At that time nobody else did something like that. A statistical analysis of his repertoire - what Vretblad (1927) once did for the concerts in Stockholm - would surely be worthwhile. 

Interestingly he had some more "exotic" tunes that he didn't include in any of his published works. For example a piece called "Índianische Arie" was performed in a concert in Sweden in March 1796 (p. 382). It is not clear if this was a melody from the Americas or from India. But in both cases it would have been something new. At that time only very few original Indian or American tunes were available in Europe. Interestingly some years later he wrote the music for Samori, an opera staged in India and also - for Kotzebue's Rollas Tod, oder Die Spanier in Peru - a piece called "Peruanisches Volkslied" (see Der Freimüthige oder Ernst und Scherz. Ein Unterhaltungsblatt 2, No. 177, 4.9.1804, pp. 187-8). 

Equally impressive is the documentation of his travels (see pp. 14-5). He was nearly constantly "on the road" and didn't spend too much time in Stockholm where was the Swedish King's direktör för musiken from 1786 until 1799. Vogler went as far as Spain, Greece and Africa and he at least once also intended to travel to America. A letter to him from June 1797 refers to an "americanische Reise" (p. 329). This apparently didn't work out. In 1805 the Abbé attempted to join a Russian embassy to China but to no avail (see p. 498). He also wrote a piece about the midnight sun in Lapland - with words by the famous Italian traveler Acerbi (p. 396; see AMZ 1, 1799, p. 592, Beylage 24 [music not scanned correctly]; RISM SchV 166) - but it seems in this case he himself wasn't there but only some of his friends. 

All in all this is an outstanding work that will be indispensable for anyone with even the slightest interest not only in Vogler but also the music of that time in general. I am glad that it was published in a book. But we are living in the digital era and I really hope that this database will be made available online. Then it would be much easier to access. The printed version is quite expensive and not every library will be able or willing to purchase such a tome. But it would also be much easier to use. There is only a index of names and it can get difficult at times to find what one is looking for. A search function is indispensable. Besides that this would make it possible to add links to digital copies of the original publications. In fact many of the sources referred to here have already been digitized. As mentioned above this has already been done for the bibliography available on hof.musik.de. But the documentation in the first volume would also benefit greatly from such digital enhancements.  

III. 

A work of this kind is of course not complete. The authors note that "eine vollständige Zusammenstellung in einem angemessenen Zeitraum unmöglich erreicht werden konnte" (p. 10). In fact it will never be complete. New information will be found and formerly unknown sources will appear. I have also some minor additions. 

In 1790 Vogler spent some months in London. This visit is of course also documented here but only partly (pp. 319-23). A while ago I checked the 17th-18th Century Burney Collection Newspapers database for relevant articles in the English press. Among those I found are some that are not used in this book. 

At the end of March, most likely on the 29th , he performed at St. Paul's Cathedral. I haven't seen an announcement but there were two interesting reports. One appeared in the London Chronicle (No. 5243, 30.3./1.4.1790) and the Diary or Woodfall's Register (No. 315, 31.3.1790). The reviewer must have been a very perceptive listener. But I wouldn't be surprised if the Abbé had helped him out a little bit. It is worth quoting here in full:
"Specimen of Imitative Music.
The executor of this performance, which was done in order to try the organ at St. Paul, was the Abbe Vogler, Director of the King of Sweden's Oratorios, one of the first musicians in Europe. The music was all voluntary, and such indeed is all that he plays. It was divided into three parts, and opened with a grand prelude, which was followed by a most capital performance descriptive of the storming of Jericho, and beginning with the prayer of the Israelites when entering into the Land of Canaan; the trumpets then resounded, and were succeeded by a most dreadful crash of falling walls at three different shocks, intermingled with the sound of trumpets. After the conquest, a thanksgiving hymn was heard. In the 2d part was displayed a most melodious piece of music in imitation of flutes, and imitated in such a manner as to deceive the auditors. The 3d part represented the sound of human voices, interrupted by an approaching storm, which by degrees swelled and encreased with great vehemence, and terrible peals of thunder were heard. The whole performed by this most wonderful musician on the organ alone, without the assistance of any other instrument whatever. The Abbe Vogler has published a Dissertation on Imitative Music, wherein he shews that the imitation of natural sounds is not only undegrading to the art of music, but even productive of many great and surprising beauties". 
The second one, a little bit shorter, can be found in the Public Advertiser (No. 17391, 3.4.1790):
"On the organ of St. Paul's, Abbé Vogler, a Swede, played the other day a complete Sacred Drama. He began with the imitation of the Siege of Jericho, he next proceeded to imitate the fall of the walls of that city, and the groans and lamentations of its citizens; he then concluded with a most rapturous praise of thanksgiving. He has, it seems, published a book on the subject of Imitations by Music, the title is perhaps, "Musique Sacrée Imitatione"".
Fot the concert in the Pantheon on May 25 (p. 321) there is also an advert with the complete program (Diary or Woodfall's Register, No. 361, 24.5.1790): 


 He also took care of the organ at the Pantheon (see also p. 322): 
"Abbé Vogler has not been heard yet to advantage in this country. Our organs are not sufficiently large for him. By additional stops, however, to that of the Pantheon, by pedals, and by a contrivance to touch the different bars of keys at the same time, he may most likely be able on Tuesday next to realize the great expectations that have been formed of his powers upon that instrument, both in compass and execution" (Public Advertiser, No. 17434, 24.5.1790). 
"The Abbé Vogler having examined several Organs in London, has expressed the greatest satisfaction upon trying one at St. George's, Bloomsbury, made by Mr. Holland; the Abbé, therefore has employed this eminent Builder, to furnish him with those stops he has projected for the Organ at the Pantheon [...]" (World, No. 1058, 25.5.1790). 
Then there were - on June 5 and June 14 - two free shows at the manufactory of Longman & Broderip, instrument makers and music publishers in London. The adverts tell an amusing story: 
"[...] Mess. Longman and Broderip respectfully inform the Nobility, Gentry, and Professors of Music, they have finished a large Organ for the Town of Stafford, upon an extensive Plan, with a great Variety of Stops - and on Saturday next, the 5th of June, the Abbé Vogler will perform on the various Stops of the Organ, from Twelve till Four o'clock. Tickets (gratis) may be had by applying to them [...]" (Public Advertiser, No. 17443, 3.6.1790; World, No. 1066, 3.6.1790). 
"Messrs Longman and Broderip, respectfully acquaint the Nobility, Gentry, and Professors, who honor them by their attendance to hear the Abbé Vogler's performance, that owing to the numerous applications for Tickets, which they could not with politeness refuse, it will be necessary to divide the Abbés performance into two acts [...]" (World, No. 1067, 4.6.1790).
" [...] Mess. Longman and Broderip beg leave to inform their Friends, and Musical Amateurs in general, that in consideration of the numerous disappointments, occasioned by the want of room to accommodate them on Saturday last, the Abbé Vogler has obligingly promised to perform on the Organ, at their Manufactury at Tottenham-court road, on Monday, the 14th instant, from twelve to two o'clock. Tickets of Admission to be had gratis [...]" (Gazetteer and New Daily Advertiser, No. 19194, 12.6.1790).
On June 26 Vogler apparently played at the "church of St. Andrew, Holborn". This is mentioned in an article in the Public Advertiser (No. 17466, 30.6.1790, pp. 1-2, here p. 2): 
"[...] The abilities of the Abbe on the organ are so transcendent, and so very different from what we have been used to hear on that instrument, that panegyric would be fulsome, and description impertinent [...] the church of St. Andrew, Holborn, where the Abbe exhibited such a degree of musical science on Saturday last [...]". 
It seems that the Abbé's visit in London caused quite a stir and his performances must have been very impressive. But for some reason he never returned. At least he learned here the Chinese tune that he would play regularly in his concerts for the next two decades. In the announcement for the first Polymelos in the Musikalische Korrespondenz in December 1790 (p. 183) he claimed that the Emporer of China had sent this melody to London and the Secretary of War made it available to him. This of course sounds more than doubtful. Interestingly at that time a popular show with the title "The Mandarin" was performed in London (see f. ex. Public Advertiser, No. 17466, 30.6.1790, p. 1). Unfortunately the music - by one Mr. Taylor - has not survived and it is not possible to check if he has borrowed the melody from this play. But this would be much more reasonable than the weird story about the Emporer of China: 


 Back from England Vogler traveled - in August and September - through Western and Southwestern Germany and gave a series of concerts (see pp. 323-33). One in Ulm on September 29 can be added. It is documented in a rather obscure article (Beck 1894, at UB Heidelberg). I must admit I only found it because it has been digitized. The day before he had played in Augsburg (p. 333), a town nearly a 100 km away. Here we can see once more that he had at times a really challenging schedule. This concert , by the way, also included the Chinese tune Vogler had learned in England. It seems he started to perform it on this tour, always as a part of a simulated flute concert: "Statt Rondo eine Chinesische Arie, die der Kaiser von China neuerdings nach London gesandt". It is first mentioned in the program for a concert in Mainz on August 23 (p. 324).

Between 1791 and 1798 Vogler gave several concerts in Christiania (i. e. Oslo). They are all documented in Huitveld's Christiania Theaterhistorie (1876, here pp. 143-4, pp. 150-1, pp. 164-6, at the Internet Archive; see also Schwab, p. 335). Huitveld used as source the adverts and announcements published in a newspaper, the Norske Intelligens-Sedler. This paper has been digitized by the Norwegian National Library and therefore is also easily available online:
  • 13.5.1791 (N. I.-S. 1791, No. 19, 11.5., p. 1
  • 17.10.1791 (N. I.-S. 1791, No. 41, 12.10., p. 1
  • 5.8.1794 (N. I.-S. 1794, No. 31, 30. Juli, p. 1
  • 24.8.1797 (N. I.-S. 1797, No. 34, 23.8., p. 2
  • 1.5.1798 (N. I.-S. 1798, No. 17, 25.4., p. 9
  • 4.5.1798 (N. I.-S. 1798, No. 18, 2.5., p. 1
For the concert in August 1794 the complete program was announced. The audience heard for example an "Arabisk Romance", an "Afrikansk Allegro" and a piece called "Mohrernes Begravelses-Sang". These were three of his most "exotic" tunes, all apparently collected during his trip to North Africa. But he also performed there some of his so-called "musical paintings": one about a sea-battle and the other one a pastoral piece - one of his most often played, it seems - with the title: "Die Hirtenwonne, vom Donner unterbrochen". 


In 1797 he was announced as "den berömte Abed Vogler". This was quite common at that time. On May 4, 1798 the Abbé introduced a popular Norwegian tune and it was apparently the first time he played it: "Iblandt mange nye piecer opføres den bekjendte Norske Døle-Viise med Forandringar". This was the melody of a song that was usually known as "Stusle Søndagskvelden" or "Skogmøte has Torjer Skjeille". Around 1770 young Norwegian poet Edvard Storm had written new words to a couple of older tunes, among them this one. These songs would become known as Døleviser , "songs from the valley" (see Storm 1949). 

Vogler later included this particular tune in the second edition of his Polymelos in 1806, but strangely as an "old" air from Greenland: "Der klagende Normann, vom A. V. dort selbst aufgesetzt" (Schafhäutl, p. 268; Leopold, p. 215). We can see that he was not always reliable. I assume he only wanted to have a Greenlandic song because Herder had included one in his Volkslieder (1778/9). Therefore he needed one, too. This piece was later also published in Norway - in fact it was the first Norwegian "folk-tune" made available there as sheet music - but then of course with the correct title: Norsk Fjeld-Sang, Stusle Söndags Qvællen med 5 lette Variationer (1822, see Morgenbladet, 5.4.1822, p. 991; see Schwab, p. 315, p. 337). 

But the tune also became popular in Germany. Carl Maria von Weber - who surely had learned it from Vogler and knew about its real origin - published it 1812 as IX Variations sur un Air Norvégien pour Pianoforte at Violon concertants (Op. 22; see later ed., 1879, at SB Berlin; see Jähns, No. 61, pp. 77-8). Other composers also tried it out, for example Ludwig Berger (Air norvégien avec douze variations pour le piano-forte, op. 3, Christiani, Berlin, 1812) and Carl Arnold (Divertissement No. 1: Rondeau sur un Théme norvégien pour le Pianoforte, Op. 12, Schlesinger, Berlin, 1819). There must have been a kind of fashion for this melody at that time. 

Vogler had turned a song into an instrumental piece. In 1837 Friedrich Silcher turned it back into a song, a modern "Volkslied". He combined the melody with a text by Franz Kugler and included it in the second volume of his Ausländische Volksmelodien, the most successful and influential collection of international national airs in Germany ("Wenn der Lenz erwacht", No. 6, p. 5). The new song became quite popular and can be found in several later anthologies, for example Kugler's own Liederhefte (Vol. 2, 1852, No. 10, p. 14), Schubert's Concordia. Anthologie classischer Volkslieder (Vol. 2, 1860, No. 431, p. 104) and Erk's Liederschatz (Vol. 3, c. 1870, No. 174, p. 171). But at that time it was already forgotten that Vogler had brought the tune to Germany. 

These are of course all only some minor additions that shed a little bit more light on some particular topics. More will be found in future and I hope that this new handbook will serve as a starting-point for more research into Vogler's life and achievements. He would have earned it. And I must admit that I really hope for a digital version of this work that would make the authors' substantial and important research much more easier to access and and to use. 

Literatur
  • Paul Beck, Abbé Vogler in Ulm (dessen Orgelkonzert im Münster) – eine Säkularerinnerung, in: Diöcesan-Archiv von Schwaben 12, 1894, Heft 18, p. 72 (at UB Heidelberg
  • Floyd K. Grave & Margaret K. Grave, In Praise of Harmony. The Teachings of Abbé Georg Joseph Vogler, Lincoln, 1987 
  • H. J. Huitfeldt, Christiania Theaterhistorie, Hegel, Kjøbenhavn, 1876, at the Internet Archive 
  • Friedrich Wilhelm Jähns, Carl Maria von Weber in seinen Werken. Chronologisch-thematisches Verzeichniss seiner sämmtlichen Compositionen nebtst Angabe der unvollständigen, verloren gegangenen, zweifelhaften und untergeschobenen mit Beschreibung der Autographen, Angabe der Ausgaben und Arrangements, kritischen, kunsthistorischen und biographischen Anmerkungen, unter Benutzung von Weber's Briefen und Tagebüchern und einer Beigabe von Nachbildungen seiner Handschrift, Berlin, 1871, at the Internet Archive 
  • Silke Leopold, Grönland in Mannheim. Abbé Voglers Polymelos und die Idee der "nazional-karakteristischen" Musik, in: Kreutziger-Herr, Annette (Hrsg.), Das Andere. Eine Spurensuche in der Musikgeschichte des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts (= Hamburger Jahrbuch für Musikwissenschaft. Bd. 15), Frankfurt/M., 1998, pp. 203-224 
  • Karl Emil von Schafhäutl, Abt Georg Joseph Vogler. Sein Leben, Charakter und musikalisches System. Seine Werke, seine Schule, Bildnisse &c., Augsburg, 1888, at the Internet Archive 
  • Heinrich W. Schwab, "Gegen niemand ist noch so viel geschrieben worden, alsd gegen Vogler". Zum Auftreten von Georg Joseph Vogler im dänischen Gesamtstaat, in: Thomas Betzwieser & Silke Leopold (eds.), Abbé Vogler. Ein Mannheimer im europäischen Kontext. Internationales Kolloquium Heidelberg 1999, Frankfurt am Main, 2003 (= Quellen und Studien zur Geschichte der Mannheimer Hofkapelle 7), pp. 313-340 
  • Edvard Storm, Døleviser. Utgitt ved 200-Årsminne. Tegninger av Øystein Jørgensen. Litteraturhistorisk Oversikt og Kommentarer av Professor Didrik Arup Seip, Oslo, 1949 
  • Joachim Veit, Der junge Carl Maria von Weber. Untersuchungen zum Einfluß Franz Danzis und Abbé Georg Joseph Voglers, Mainz 1990 (online at Universität Paderborn, Digitale Sammlungen, urn:nbn:de:hbz:466:2-6908
  • Georg Joseph Vogler, Über die harmonische Akustik (Tonlehre) und ihren Einfluß auf alle musikalischen Bildungsanstalten. Rede gehalten in Verbindung mit den öffentlichen Vorlesungen im Saale der deutschen Schulanstalt in München vom wirklichen und ordentlichen Mitgliede der Königl. bairischen Akademie der Wissenschaften A. Vogler den 1. Juni 1806, Johann André, Offenbach, n. d. [1806], at Google Books & the Internet Archive 
  • Patrick Vretblad, Abbé Vogler som Programmusiker, in: Svensk Tidskrift for Musikforskning 9, 1927, pp. 79-98

Monday, September 26, 2016

Jean Chardin's Travels to Persia - A Critical Look at the Available Digital Copies


I. 

This is the third part of a series where I discuss the available digital copies of the publications of a particular writer. The first two parts were about Jean-Baptiste Labat's works and Bernhard Havestadt's Chilidúgu. This text is dedicated to Jean Chardin (1643-1713) and his books about his travels to Persia. They appeared since 1671 and some of them were also translated into English, German and Dutch. Which of the different editions of his works have been digitized? Where can I find these digital copies? How is their quality? Are they usable for serious work? 

Chardin's extensive reports about his stays in Persia are very interesting and highly informative. He also was also - and that's what's of interest for me here and the reason I had to make myself familiar with his books - the first one who brought back and published an original Persian song. At least he claimed it was. It would remain for a long time the only piece of music from Persia that was available to European readers. This song later also had a history of its own and was reprinted and republished until the early 20th century. 

An excellent introduction to Chardin's life and works is still Emerson's article in the Encyclopaedia Iranica (1991/2011, available online). It is very helpful to understand the publication history of his books and also lists more relevant literature. An entertaining description of his life and achievements can be found in book published in 1840, the Lives and Exploits of the Most Distinguished Voyagers, Adventurers and Discoverers (here pp. 253-80). This is still worth reading and also shows that at that time his name was well known and he was regarded as one of the most important voyagers of his era. Modern readers may wish to start with Wikipedia but the articles about Chardin in English, French and German are all a little bit too short. 

II. 

French Hugenot Jean Chardin, a jeweller and merchant, went on two extended business trips to Persia and India, the first in the 1660s and the second one in the following decade. He stayed there for several years and traveled through the country. His first publication already appeared in 1671: a report about the coronation of the new Persian king and what happened during the first years of his reign. This book was also translated into German. 
  • [Jean Chardin], Le Couronnement de Soleimaan Troisième Roy de Perse, Et ce qui s'est passé de plus mémorable dans les deux premières années de son Regne, Barbin, Paris, 1671,
    at Google Books [= BSB]; at Google Books [= BL]; at Google Books [= BM Lyon]; at Google Books [= NKC]; at Google Books [= BNC Firenze]; at Google Books [= BNC Rom], also at the Internet Archive 
  • -, Seconde Edition, reveuë & corrigée de plusieurs fautes, Paris, 1672 [not yet digitized] 
  • [Jean Chardin], Beschreibung Der Krönung Solimanni Des dritten dieses Nahmens Königs in Persien Und Desjenigen was sich in den ersten Jahren seiner Regirung am denck-würdigsten zu getragen. Anfangs Frantzösisch beschrieben anjetzo aber in die Hoch-Teutsche Sprache versetzet, Widerhold, Genff, 1681, at GoogleBooks [= BSB
  • -, also in: Beschreibung Der Sechs Reisen Welche Johan Baptista Tavernier, Ritter und Freyherr von Aubonne, In Türckey, Persien und Indien innerhalb viertzig Jahren durch alle Wege die man nach diesen Länderen nehmen kan verrichtet: Worinnen Unterschiedliche Anmerckungen von der Beschaffenheit der Religion, Regierung, Gebräuchen und Handlungen, jeglichen Landes enthalten. Samt den Figuren, Gewichten und dem Maß der Müntzen, welche in diesen Länderen gangbar sind [...]. Dritter Theil, Widerhold, Genff, 1681, at Google Books [= BSB
I found six digital copies of the first French edition, all available at Google Books. Usually I am very skeptical about their scans but in this case they seem to be of tolerable quality. But this book includes only very few illustrations and therefore there was not much to do wrong. There are also Google-scans of the the two German editions and they are also usable. 

The first part of his great report about his travels to Persia only appeared in 1686, both in Paris and London. Some extant copies of these two editions have been digitized. There were also two editions published in Amsterdam the same year and one in Rouen in 1687 but I haven't yet seen digital copies of them: 
Thankfully an excellent and complete scan of the edition published in London is available at the French National Library. Another one can be found at the UB Göttingen even though I think their online reader is not always easy to use. In fact it is rather slow and not as effective as one would wish. Besides these two fine copies there are also several produced by Google. These are all very disappointing. Most of the plates were not scanned correctly and therefore look mutilated or are missing completely, for example here in the copy from Lyon (after p. 344 etc) or in the one from the Austrian National Library (after p. 220 etc). These shortcomings render them more or less useless. We can only read the text but not have a look at a digital reproduction of the complete book. But, as should be known, this is a general problem with the scans produced by Google. 
  • Jean Chardin, Des vortrefflichen Ritters Chardin, des grossen Königs in Persien Hoff-Handelsmanns Curieuse Persian- und Ost-Indische Reise-Beschreibung. Bestehend in einem ordentlichen Journal Oder Täglichen Verzeichnüß seiner in Persien und Ost-Indien über das schwartze Meer und den Cholchidem abgelegter Reisen, Gleditsch, Leipzig, 1687, at Google Books [= BSB], also at the Internet Archive 
  • [Jean Chardin], Dagverhaal der Reis van den Ridder Chardyn na Persien en Oost-Indien, door de Swarte Zee en Colchis, van de Jouwer, Amsterdam, 1687, at Google Books [= KBN] 
  • The Travels of Sir John Chardin into Persia and East-Indies. The First Volume, Containing the Author's Voyage from Paris to Ispahan. To which is added, The Coronation of this Present King of Persia, Solayman the Third, Pitt, London, 1686 [ESTC R12885
  • The Travels of Sir John Chardin into Persia and East-Indies, Through the Black Sea, And the Country of Colchis describing Mingrelia, Imiretta, Georgia amnd Several Other Countries Unknown to These Parts of Europe. With a New Map of the Black Sea [...]. To Which is Added, The Coronation of this Present King of Persia, Solayman the Third, Pitt, London, 1689 [ESTC R40322
  • The Travels of Sir John Chardin into Persia and the East-Indies,Through the Black Sea, and the Country of Colchis,Containing the Author's Voyage from Paris to Ispahan. Illustrated with Twenty Five Copper Plates. To which is added, The coronation of this present King of Persia, Solyman the III., Bateman, London, 1691 [ESTC R18098
Chardin's Journal du Voyage was also translated into German, Dutch and English. One copy each of the German and Dutch editions have been digitized by Google. The former is once again of dubious quality. A considerable number of the plates look mutilated and some may be missing. Surprisingly the latter is of much better quality and - as far as I can see - all the illustrations are included. I know it is hard to believe but in this case it seems to be true. This shows that even Google's scanners are able to reproduce a book completely. This scan was published only recently, in April 2016. 

The three English editions - 1686, 1689 and 1691 - have also been digitized, but not by Google and not by any other library. They can only be found in a closed repository, the well known database Early English Books Online (EEBO). This is of course very disappointing. One major hindrance for the productive use of digital copies is, as already noted, the existence of too many bad scans. But equally problematic are closed repositories: not everybody has access and it is not possible to set direct links to a source. I know of many books of which - a couple of years ago - digital copies were only available in commercial collections like EEBO or ECCO. Today copies in better quality can be found in open repositories. But unfortunately this is not yet the case with the English editions of Chardin's Journal

It took Chardin quite a long time to publish more of his report. In 1711 a new edition appeared in Amsterdam in two variants: one in three volumes and another one - with the same content - in 10 books. The latter was reissued by several French publishers in Rouen and Paris in 1723: 
  • [Jean Chardin], Voyages de Mr. Le Chevalier Chardin, en Perse, et Autres Lieux de L'Orient, de Lorme, Amsterdam, 1711, 3 Vols.,
    at Gallica BnF, also at the Internet Archive; at Google Books [= KBN, 2014]: Vol. 1, Vol. 2, Vol. 3; at Google Books [= KBN, 2016]: Vol. 1, Vol. 2, Vol. 3 
  • [Jean Chardin], Voyages de Monsieur Le Chevalier Chardin, en Perse, et Autres Lieux de L'Orient, de Lorme, Amsterdam, 1711, 10 Vols.,
    at BSB [= GB]; at Google Books [= BM Lyon [2 sets]]; at Google Books [= UofLausanne]
  • -, Mazuel, Paris, 1723, 10 Vols., at BSB [= GB; not all Vols. digitized]
An excellent and complete digital copy of the edition in three volumes is available at Gallica BnF. This is also the edition I need. Only in 1711, more than 30 years after his return from his second stay in Persia, did he publish the piece of music he had collected there. We find it in Vol. 2 on plate No. 26 (after p. 114). He included the tune, the original text in Latin transcription and a translation into French. 


This plate is part of a chapter "De La Musique" (pp. 113-5; see also an English translation in Harrison 1972, pp. 130-3). Here he gives some more interesting information, for example about the "modes", the singing style, the instruments and dancing. About the song he simple notes: "J'ai donné dans la même Figure joignante un petit Air Persan sur lequel on jugera aussi de la nature de leurs petits Airs" and he also adds - in French only - several more verses (p. 113). 

This digital copy by the French National Library is perfectly well usable. But two more scans of this edition are available. Both were produced by Google for the Dutch National Library (KBN). The first one, from 2014, should be avoided. Many plates are missing or look mutilated including the one I need (Vol. 2, p. 114). There must have been some problems with the scanner. But - again much to my surprise - the other one, published only recently in April 2016, is of much better quality. Here all illustrations seem to be included (see f. ex. Vol. 2, p. 114). This is very uncommon for Google's scans. It is nice to see that they have decided to reproduce the whole book and not only the text. 

The edition in 10 volumes has also been digitized, but up until now only by Google. I found half a dozen sets but there may be more because I have also seen scattered single volumes of two more sets. Unfortunately all of them are of very dubious quality. Many plates have not been scanned correctly. One may for example have a look at plate 26 in the copy from the BSB (p. 68). It is the same with, for example, one of the copies from the BM Lyon (p. 68), the one from the University of Lausanne (p. 68) or another one I just found (BN Napoli, p. 68). 

In fact none of these copies are reliable. We can read the text but don't get the complete book. This seems to me like an deplorable waste of resources. I would be glad if there was one complete copy instead of six or more incomplete scans. As far as I can see this edition has not yet been digitized by other libraries and therefore no better copy is available. Of the editions published in 1723 I found the one by Mazuel in Paris, but only an incomplete set with four of the 10 volumes that was produced by Google for the BSB. The quality of course leaves a lot to be desired. 

Once again there were English translations of this edition. Two sets of two volumes each appeared in London in 1720 respectively 1724. This was not the complete text but only a part of it. For example the chapter about music wasn't included. As was the case with the earlier English editions these two are only available digitally in a closed database, this time in ECCO (Eighteenth Century Collections Online). This is of course unfortunate. But it should be noted that the quality of the scans at ECCO and EEBO is not the best. They are made from microfilms and are often barely readable. I wonder when better copies will be available in open repositories: 
  • Sir John Chardin's Travels in Persia. Never before translated into English. Containing, A most particular Account, of the Religion, Government, Trade, Product, Rarities, Structures, Arts and Sciences of that great Monarchy [...], Printed for the Author, London, 1720, 2 Vols. [ESTC N23323]
  • [Jean Chardin], A New and Accurate Description of Persia, and Other Eastern Nations [...], Bettesworth etc., London, 1724, 2 Vols. [ESTC T93276
A new edition in French in four volumes came out in 1735 in Amsterdam, published by the Dutch East India Company. An excellent digital copy is available at the Biblioteca Virtual de Patrimonio Bibliográfico. The chapter about music can be found in Vol. 3 (pp. 158-61; here pl. 26) and there is nothing new compared to the earlier edition. Other reliable copies are available at the BDH, in Mannheim and in Göttingen. There is also at least one scanned by Google - for the BSB - but, as expected, it has usual problems and should not be regarded as a reliable reproduction: 
  • [Jean Chardin], Voyages du Chevalier Chardin, en Perse, et Autres Lieux de l'Orient, Nouvelle Edition, 4 Vols., Aux Depens de la Compagnie, Amsterdam, 1735,
    at BVPB; at BDH; at UB Göttingen; at UB Mannheim; at BSB [= GB] 
Over the years short extracts of Chardin's writings were included in anthologies of travel reports, for example in English translation in the popular The World Displayed; Or, A Curious Collection of Voyages and Travels (here Philadelphia 1796, Vol. 6, pp. 1-113) and in 1811 in Pinkerton's General Collection of the Best and Most Interesting Voyages and Travels (Vol. 9, pp. 138-167). The year 1811 also saw the publication of a new, expanded, French edition, that was put together by the well known scholar and orientalist Louis-Mathieu Langlès:
The National Library of Norway offers an excellent digital copy of this edition. Additionally there are at least six sets produced by Google. The chapter about music can be found in Vol. 4 (pp. 299-311). The editor has added some footnotes here. But there is no plate with the song. In fact for this edition all plates have been relegated to an extra volume which is not included in any of these sets. Apparently nobody has yet digitized this Atlas

I will stop here with this edition. Of course there were also some more in later years - for example one published in 1830 (at Google Books) - and there are also modern reprints. But they should be easy to find. A collection of illustrations from Chardin's Voyages can be found at wikimedia commons. For a lot of them no source is given and therefore it is not clear from which edition they were taken. Nonetheless it is helpful to have them in one place together. Interestingly the plate with the song is not the same as the one in the editions from 1711 and 1735. There is an additional part at the bottom: the tune in modern notation with the text in original writing. It would be interesting to know where it is from. But unfortunately there is no reference to the source of this page. 

All in all the result is not completely satisfying. Nearly every edition of Chardin's works published between 1671 and 1811 has been digitized. But all the English editions are only available in closed repositories, either in EEBO or in ECCO. Besides that we have numerous scans by Google which are nearly always of dubious quality. Their reproductions are usable if they are of books that only include text. If there is more, like illustrations or music, they should be treated with great caution. There is always the chance that something is missing. In fact this particular plate with the song - exactly the page of the book I needed - can not be found in most of their copies. 

But thankfully other libraries have published excellent and complete digital copies of the most important French editions, those from 1686, 1711 and 1735. This was - nearly - all I needed. Only the Atlas of the 1811 edition has not yet been scanned and is therefore missing from the digital world. But of course it is a serious problem that we have to wade through numerous bad scans to find one or two that are good and complete. Of the two editions published in 1711 there are at least seven copies that should be avoided - all at Google Books - and only two complete ones. This ratio is very disappointing but not untypical. At the moment we have to live with these problems. But thanks to the digitizing efforts of so many libraries more and more better copies will be made available. 

III. 

At this point I can return to Chardin's "petit Air Persan" and discuss its further history. Here we will once again see that the use of digital sources can not only be very helpful but also adds a dimension of transparency that was not possible in the pre-digital era. Nearly all publications I needed were immediately at hand and all of them are available in open repositories. Therefore I can set a direct link to the source and it can be seen in its original context. 

When Langlès published the new edition of the Voyages in 1811 this "little song" already had made quite an impressive career on its own. At first it was Jean-Jacques Rousseau who helped spread the tune. He included it in his Dictionnaire de Musique as an example of non-European music, besides one Chinese and two Canadian melodies (1768, Planche N). We can also find it in the English edition published in 1779 (pp. 265-6), here with an English translation of the French text. This was the first time the song was made available in a British publication. 


But was it really a Persian tune? Perhaps not. Swedish professor Björnståhl, a well known scholar of oriental languages, claimed in one of his letters from Constantinople in 1777 that it was only an "Italian minuet" (Briefe 4.1, 1779, here p. 11; also in Schlözer, Briefwechsel 2.7, 3rd ed. 1780, p. 122; Reichardt's Musikalisches Kunstmagazin 1, 1782, p. 51; Hausleutner, in: Toderini, Litteratur der Türken, 1790, p. 262). This is a not unreasonable assumption, especially coming from an expert like Björnståhl. I have not seen further discussions of the tune's origin. But if so it would be an interesting example of musical exchange: an European melody that had migrated to Persia and then returned to Europe as a Persian song. 

Nonetheless it was later always regarded as original Persian music, for example by German musicologist Hugo von Dalberg who included it in his influential Musik der Indier (1802, No. 43, p. 37), an extended German edition of Sir William Jones' important article about Indian music, but with many additional "exotic" tunes, not only from India but also from other parts of the world (see in my blog: "Exotic" Airs in Germany - Dalberg's "Ueber die Musik der Indier" (1802)). He called it "Persisches Lied" and added his own translation of the French text ("Deine Wangen sind röthlich wie die Blumen des Granatbaums"). His source was apparently the edition in 10 volumes from 1711 ("Aus Chardin's Reisen Vten Bande") but didn’t use the additional verses quoted there. 

At that time anthologies of international national airs began to appear in England. Interestingly Welsh harper Edward Jones, the foremost expert for this genre, didn't include Chardin's song in any of his collections. In the first one, the Lyric Airs published in 1805, we can find instead a formerly unpublished Persian tune that he had received from a private collector (p. 25). But musicologist William Crotch offered the melody - with a piano arrangement - in his Specimens of Various Styles of Music (1808, No. 315, p. 152). His source was Rousseau's Dictionary

In the following decades Chardin's "little song" reappeared occasionally in publications of different kinds. We can find it for example in La Perse (1814), French historian Amable Jourdain's great work about Persian history and culture. The chapter about music is a good summary of what was known at that time and the "Air Persan" served as the only musical example (Vol. 5, pp. 300-315, Fig. B, after p. 312). American musicologist and composer Thomas Hastings borrowed several tunes including Chardin's from Rousseau's Dictionary for his Dissertation on Musical Taste (1822, p. 219). 

In Germany there was even an attempt at introducing this piece to the popular song repertoire. Wilhelm Zuccalmaglio and Eduard Baumstark, two young admirers of foreign "Volkslieder", added it - with a simple arrangement for piano and guitar - to their Bardale. Sammlung auserlesener Volkslieder der verschiedenen Völker der Erde, the first German anthology of international national airs, (No. 1, p. 1, notes, p. 75). They named as their sources both Rousseau and the new edition of Chardin's Voyages. The original text wasn't included but only a new German translation of first verse of the French lyrics ("Deine Wange ist Granathenblüth' [...]"). But this publication was apparently not particularly successful and I know of no reprints of their version of the song in other collections of "Volkslieder". 

Later the "Air Persan" was also reanimated for some music histories. In Geschichte der Musik aller Nationen (1835), a German edition of Stafford's History of Music (1830), the tunes from Rousseau's Dictionnaire again served as examples of non-European music (see Tafel 4). Another new German translation of the French text was also added ("Dein Gesicht ist frisch, wie die Granatblume [...]"). Even Ambros in his own Geschichte der Musik (I, 1862, p. 109; see also 3rd ed., 1887, p. 455) still quoted the tune even though at that time more Persian songs and tunes had become available, for example those in Chodzko's Specimens of the Popular Poetry of Persia (1842, pp. 583-92). 

Two more versions in popular anthologies of international national airs followed. In Denmark it was composer A. A. Bergreen who included Chardin's song - with a Danish translation: "Rød din Kind er" - in Folke-Sange og Melodier Fra Lande Udenfor Europa, the 10th volume of the new edition of his great Folke-Sange og Melodier, Fædrelandske og Fremmede (1870, No. 55, p. 46, notes, p. 101, p. 106). As late as 1901 the tune appeared again - with a new English text, not a translation of the original words - in Alfred Moffat's Characteristic Songs and Dances of all Nations (p. 238):


We can see that the song had a surprisingly long history. Chardin heard a performance somewhere in Persia in the 1670s and then published the transcribed tune, text and French translation in 1711. Since then this piece appeared and reappeared, sometimes in the original form and sometimes in new arrangements, for nearly 200 years in publications of different kinds: musicological treatises, music histories and popular anthologies. 

Literature: 
  • August Wilhelm Ambros, Geschichte der Musik. 1. Band, Leuckart, Breslau, 1862 at the Internet Archive [= GB], 2nd. ed., Leuckart, Leipzig, 1880, at the Internet Archive; 3rd ed., revised, Leuckart, Leipzig, 1887, at the Internet Archive 
  • Eduard Baumstark & Wilhelm von Waldbrühl [i. e. Zuccalmaglio], Bardale. Sammlung auserlesener Volkslieder der verschiedenen Völker der Erde mit deutschem Texte und Begleitung des Pianoforte und der Guitarre, herausgegeben und dem Herrn Geheimen Rathe und Professor Dr. A. F. J. Thibaut hochachtungsvoll gewidmet, I. Band, Friedrich Busse, Braunschweig, 1829, at Google Books [= BSB]
  • A. P. Berggreen, Folke-Sange og Melodier Fra Lande Udenfor Europa, Med en Tillaeg af Folkens Nationalsange, Samlade og Udsatte for Pianoforte (= Folke-Sange og Melodier, Fædrelandske og Fremmede 10, Anden Utgave), C. A. Reitzel, Köbenhavn, 1870, at the Internet Archive 
  • Jacob-Jonas Björnståhl, Briefe auf seinen ausländischen Reisen an den Königlichen Bibliothekar C.C. Gjörwell in Stockholm. Aus dem Schwedischen übersetzt von Just Ernst Groskurd. Der morgenländische Briefe Erstes Heft welche die Briefe aus Konstantinopel enthält, Koppe, Leipzig & Rostock, 1779, at Google Books 
  • William Crotch, Specimens of Various Styles of Music referred to in A Course of Lectures, read at Oxford & London and Adapted to keyed Instruments, Vol. 1, London, n. d. [1808], at the Internet Archive 
  • [Hugo von Dalberg], Ueber die Musik der Indier. Eine Abhandlung des William Jones. Aus dem Englischen übersetzt, mit erläuternden Anmerkungen und Zusätzen begleitet, von F. H. v. Dalberg. Nebst einer Sammlung indischer und anderer Volks-Gesänge und 30 Kupfern, Beyer und Maring, Erfurt, 1802 (available at BSB, also at the Internet Archive; at Universität Wien, Phaidra
  • John Emerson, "Chardin, Sir John", 1991/2011, in: Encyclopaedia Iranica 
  • Geschichte der Musik aller Nationen. Nach Fetis und Staffort. Mit Benutzung der besten deutschen Hilfsmittel von mehreren Musikfreunden. Mit 12 Abbildungen und 11 Notentafeln, Voigt, Weimar, 1835, at the Internet Archive [= GB] 
  • Frank L. Harrison, Time, Place and Music. An Anthology of Ethnomusicological Observation c. 1550 to c. 1800, Amsterdam, 1973 
  • Thomas Hastings, Dissertation on Musical Taste; or General Principles of Taste Applied to the Art of Music, Websters and Skinners, Albany, 1822, at the Internet Archive [= GB] 
  • Amable Jourdain, La Perse. Ou Tableau De L'Histoire, Du Gouvernement, De La Religion, De La Littérature, etc., De Cet Empire; Des Moeurs at Coutumes de ses Habitans, Vol. 5, Ferra, Paris, 1814, at the Internet Archive [= GB] 
  • Alfred Moffat & James Duff Brown, Characteristic Songs and Dances of All Nations. Edited, with Historical Notes and a Bibliography, Bayley & Ferguson, London, n. d. [c. 1901], at the Internet Archive 
  • Johann Friedrich Reichardt, Musikalisches Kunstmagazin, 1. Band, I.-IIII. Stück, Im Verlage des Verfassers, Berlin, 1782, at the Internet Archive 
  • Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Dictionnaire de Musique, Veuve Duchesne, Paris, 1768, at the Internet Archive 
  • [Jean-Jacques Rousseau], A Complete Dictionary of Music. Consisting Of A Copious Explanation of all Words necessary to a true Knowledge and Understanding of Music. Translated from the original French of J. J. Rousseau. By William Waring. Second Edition, J. Murray, London & Luke White, Dublin, 1779 [ESTC N5070], at the Internet Archive [= GB
  • August Ludwig Schlözer, Briefwechsel meist historischen und politischen Inhalts, Zweiter Theil, Heft VII-XII 1777, 3. Auflage, Vandenhoeck, Göttingen, 1780, at BSB 
  • J. A. St. John, Hugh Murray et al., Lives and Exploits of the Most Distinguished Voyagers, Adventurers and Discoverers, In Europe, Asia, Africa, The South Sea, And Polar Regions, Huntington, Hartford & New York, 1840, at the Internet Archive 
  • Giambatista Toderini, Litteratur der Türken. Aus dem Italiänischen. Mit Zusätzen und Anmerkungen von Philipp Wilhelm Gottlieb Hansleutner, Nicolovius, Königsberg, 1790, pp. 240-67, at ÖNB [= GB]