Saturday, January 3, 8674

Jeremiah Clarke (c. 1674-1707) - Instruments

Jeremiah Clarke (c. 1674-1707) - Trumpet Voluntary

Jeremiah Clarke (c. 1674 - December 1, 1707) was an English baroque composer.

Thought to have been born in London in 1674, Clarke was a pupil of John Blow at St Paul's Cathedral. He later became organist at the Chapel Royal. "A violent and hopeless passion for a very beautiful lady of a rank superior to his own" caused him to commit suicide by shooting himself. Before shooting himself, he also considered hanging and drowning. Clarke was succeeded in his post by William Croft.

Jeremiah Clarke is now best remembered for the popular keyboard piece attributed to him, the Prince of Denmark's March, commonly called the Trumpet Voluntary and attributed for a long time to Henry Purcell. The famous Trumpet Tune in D, also misattributed to Purcell, is actually taken from the semi-opera The Island Princess, a joint musical production of Clarke and Daniel Purcell (Henry Purcell's younger brother), which is probably the reason for the confusion.


The trumpet is a musical instrument with the highest register in the brass family.

Trumpets date back to at least 1500 BC. They are constructed of brass tubing bent twice into an oblong shape, and are played by blowing air through closed lips, producing a "buzzing" sound which starts a standing wave vibration in the air column inside the trumpet.

There are several types of trumpet; the most common being a transposing instrument pitched in B flat. Older trumpets did not have valves; however, modern trumpets have either three piston valves or three rotary valves, each of which increases the length of tubing when engaged, thereby lowering the pitch.

The earliest trumpets date back to 1500 BC and earlier. The bronze and silver trumpets from Tutankhamun's grave in Egypt, bronze lurs from Scandinavia, and metal trumpets from China date back to this period.

Trumpets from the Oxus civilization (3rd millennium BC) of Central Asia have decorated swellings in the middle, yet are made out of one sheet of metal, which is considered a technical wonder.

The Moche people of ancient Peru depicted trumpets in their art going back to 300 AD.

The earliest trumpets were signaling instruments used for military or religious purposes, rather than music in the modern sense;and the modern bugle continues this signaling tradition.

In medieval times, trumpet playing was a guarded craft, its instruction occurring only within highly selective guilds. The trumpet players were often among the most heavily guarded members of a troop, as they were relied upon to relay instructions to other sections of the army. Improvements to instrument design and metal making in the late Middle Ages and Renaissance led to an increased usefulness of the trumpet as a musical instrument. The development of the upper, "clarino" register, by specialist trumpeters, would lend itself well to the Baroque era, also known as the "Golden Age of the natural trumpet."


Pierre Rameau (1674 – 1748) was the French dancing master to Elisabetta Farnese, and the author of two books that now provide valuable information about Baroque dance.

Rameau's first book, Le Maître à Danser (1725, Paris), was a dance manual giving instruction on formal ballroom dancing in the French style. The first part covers posture, reverences, steps, and the ballroom minuet, while the second part is concerned entirely with the use of the arms. His second book, Abbregé de la Nouvelle Methode (c1725, Paris), described a modified version of Beauchamp-Feuillet notation and included several choreographies by Pécour in the new notation. While Rameau's notation was not generally adopted, his information about the shortcomings of Beauchamp-Feuillet notation provides dance historians with clarifications about the execution of the steps.

Further Reading:

Piero Weiss and Richard Taruskin
Music in the Western World: A History in Documents
Pierre Rameau
The Dancing Master (Pages 197-200)


Francesco Scipione, Marchese di Maffei (June 1, 1675, Verona, Italy - February 11, 1755) was an Italian writer and art critic, author of many articles and plays. An antiquarian with a humanist education whose publications on Etruscan antiquities stand as incunabula of Etruscology, he engaged in running skirmishes in print with his rival in the field of antiquities, Antonio Francesco Gori.

He is also known for having written an influential article about the first

pianofortes of

Bartolomeo Cristofori (1655-1731), which initiated the second generation of pianoforte-makers in Italy at that time.

Further Reading:

Piero Weiss and Richard Taruskin
Music of the Western World: A History in Documents
Scipione Maffei
New Invention of a Harpsichord with the Piano and the Forte;
Also Some Remarks upon Musical Instruments (1711) (Pages 238-240)

[8678 Vivaldi / 8674 Jeremiah Clarke / 8668 Couperin]