In all his works Mr. Clay shows a natural gift of graceful melody and a feeling for rich harmonic colouring. Although highly successful in the treatment of dramatic music, it is probable that his songs will give him the most lasting fame. 'She wandered down the mountain side,' 'Long ago,' and 'The sands of Dee,' among others, are poems of great tenderness and beauty, and not likely to be soon forgotten.
[ S. ]
CLAYTON, Thomas, was one of the king's band in the reign of William and Mary. He went to Italy for improvement. On his return he associated himself with Nicola Francesco Haym and Charles Dieupart, both excellent musicians, in a speculation for the performance of musical pieces at Drury Lane Theatre. Clayton had brought with him from Italy a number of Italian songs, which he altered and adapted to the words of an English piece written by Peter Motteux, called 'Arsinoe, Queen of Cyprus,' and brought it out in 1705 as an opera of his own composition. Elated by his success he proceeded to set to music Addison's opera, 'Rosamond,' which was performed in 1707 and completely exposed his incapacity. The speculation however continued to be carried on until 1711, when the Italian opera being firmly established in the Haymarket, the managers of Drury Lane Theatre determined to discontinue the production of musical pieces. Clayton and his colleagues then gave concerts at the Music Room in York Buildings, and John Hughes, the poet, having at the request of Sir Richard Steele, altered Dryden's 'Alexander's Feast,' it was set to music by Clayton and performed there on May 24, 1711, in conjunction with 'The Passion of Sappho,' a poem by Harrison, also set by Clayton. Both failed from the worthlessness of the music, and have long since sunk into oblivion; but copies of some of his operas which were printed testify to Clayton's utter want of merit as a composer. [App. p.593 adds that "he is said to have died about 1730."]
[ W. H. H. ]
CLEF (Ital. Chiave, from the Lat. Clavis; Ger. Schlüssel), i.e. key, the only musical character by which the pitch of a sound can be absolutely represented. The clefs now in use are three only—, , and . These severally represent the sounds known as middle C (of the pianoforte), the G a fifth above it, and the F a fifth below it. Two other clefs, severally representing the D, a fifth above , and the G, a seventh below have been long obsolete. From the last of these, Γ, the Greek gamma, which represents the lowest sound of the musical system, is derived the word gamut, still in use.
The following tables (from Koch's Musikalisches Lexicon) will show that the three clefs now in use are but corruptions of old forms of the letters C, G, and F:—
One or other of these characters, placed on one or other of the lines of a stave, indicated, and still indicates, the name and pitch of the notes standing on that line, and by inference those of other notes on lines and spaces above and below it.
The stave which, at various times and for various purposes, has consisted of various numbers of lines, consists now commonly of five. [Stave.] On any one of these each of the three clefs might be (almost every one has been) placed. In the following examples they occupy the positions in which they are now most commonly found:—
Only however in its relation to the stave of five lines can a clef be said with truth to change its place. On the Great Stave of Eleven Lines [Stave] the clefs never change their places; but any consecutive set of five lines can be selected from it, the clef really retaining, though apparently changing, its place:—
From the above it will be seen that when notes are written 'in the tenor clef' (more properly 'on the tenor stave') they are written on the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th lines of the 'great stave' of eleven; that when written 'in the alto clef they are written on the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th lines of this great stave; and when 'in the soprano clef on the 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th.
The more familiar 'bass and treble staves' consist severally of the lowest and the highest five lines of the great stave:—
In early musical MSS. two, and even three, clefs are sometimes found on the same stave. It would be in no way inconsistent with modern theory, and indeed might be convenient in books of instruction, so to place them now:—
[ J. H. ]
CLEGG, John, a distinguished violinist, was born in 1714, probably in Ireland. He appears to have been a pupil of Dubourg at Dublin, and afterwards of Bononcini. When only nine years of age he performed in London in public a concerto of Vivaldi, and afterwards gained an eminent position in the musical profession, surpassing, according to contemporary