Jean-Philippe Rameau
Jean-Philippe Rameau
    Jean-Philippe Rameau
     Catholic_Encyclopedia Jean-Philippe Rameau
    Musician, b. at Dijon, Burgundy, 25 Sept., 1683; d. at Paris, 12 Sept., 1764. His father, himself an organist, was his first master. At the age of seven he was able to perform every kind of music. For his further education he was sent to a Jesuit college; but even during class he was either singing or writing music. Excepting a short stay in Italy, he always lived in France, was twice organist at Clermont, and from 1723 remained constantly in Paris, where he was organist in several churches. Rameau was very tall and extraordinarily thin, so he had more the appearance of a ghost than of a human being. He was a great thinker, fond of solitude, and out of place in society. In 1726 he married Marie-Louise Mangot, and had four children, a son and three daughters, one of whom entered the Order of the Visitation. Without denying the merits of Lully (1633-1687) and Couperin (1663-1733), the founders of the French opera, and even admitting that Rameau was not right in all the details of his theory, we must acknowledge that he opened up a new road, which was followed by all who came after him. His main principle, for the defence of which he had to sustain hard struggles, was that melody, far from being sufficient for a good piece of music, itself depends on the rules of harmony, so that the real guide of every composer is harmony, not melody. His chief merit consists in having established the relations between science and art, and in having highly developed the symphonic part of the opera. His most famous theoretical works are: "Traité de l'harmonie réduite à son principe naturel" (1722); "Génération harmonique" (1737); "Démonstration du principe de l'harmonie" (1750); "Code de musique pratique" (1760). Only at the age of fifty did he begin to write for the stage, and in sixteen years (1733-1749) he composed about thirty operas and ballets, the best of which are: "Castor et Pollux", "Les Indes Galantes", "Dardanus" and "Zoroastre". Of his church music some motets only are known. He left many compositions for the piano, either alone or with other instruments, eighteen of which have been lately published by Vincent d'Indy. Durand, in Paris, has undertaken a complete edition of Rameau's works, under the direction of Saint-Saëns.
    MARET, Eloge historique de M. Rameau (Paris, 1766); POUGIN, Rameau, Essai sur sa vie et ses oeuvres (Paris, 1878); LAURENCIE, Mercure musical du 15 Juin (1907); LALOY, Rameau (Paris, 1909), 2 edit.
    A. WALTER
    Transcribed by Gerald Rossi

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VIII. — New York: Robert Appleton Company. . 1910.


Catholic encyclopedia.

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  • Jean-Philippe Rameau — (pronounced|ʒɑ̃filip ʀaˈmo in French) (September 25, 1683 – September 12, 1764) was one of the most important French composers and music theorists of the Baroque era. He replaced Jean Baptiste Lully as the dominant composer of French opera and is …   Wikipedia

  • Jean-Philippe Rameau — (Dijon, 25 de septiembre de 1683 París, 12 de septiembre de 1764) fue un compositor y teórico musical francés, muy influyente en la época barroca. Reemplazó a Lully como el compositor dominante de la ópera francesa, y fue duramente atacado por… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Jean-Philippe Rameau — Jean Philippe Rameau …   Wikipedia Español

  • Jean-Philippe Rameau — noun French composer of operas whose writings laid the foundation for the modern theory of harmony (1683 1764) • Syn: ↑Rameau • Instance Hypernyms: ↑composer …   Useful english dictionary

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