||"heavenly harmony" refers to the music of the spheres. The earth
was surrounded (framed) by spheres. The moon was in the innermost,
and each sphere held another planet until the outer sphere, which held
the stars. The angels moved these spheres with their singing, the
"music of the spheres."
the world was in chaos.
Of jarring atoms lay."
||a reference to creation
||The terms refer to the 4 elements. The music creates the
world from chaos.
Singing is a form of speaking, so Dryden's assertion that heavenly music
created the universe is an extention of Gen. 1 & John 1, which depict
God as creating the universe through his word.
||Diapason = the whole musical scale, from
the highest note to the lowest. It is an illustration of the great
chain of being. Man, being created last, completed the chain.
||The second stanza moves from celestial to terrestrial harmony.
Human music started with Jubal (Gen. 4:21).
||This line sets up the next several stanzas. Music arouses passions
within us. He then goes on in the following stanzas to catalogue
the types of music and their respective passions.
||disdainful dame's passion.
||Orpheus was the greatest pagan musician, whose music was so beautiful
that the trees uprooted and followed him. He went to the underworld
to bring his wife back from the dead. Commanded not to look back
at her, he did so anyway, so she was not able to return to life.
St. Cecilia's music was superior to Orpheus' because it brought
the angels down from heaven because her music sounded so much like the
music of the spheres.
Note how Dryden here merges the two types of music - the celestial &