Reference Entry

La Feillée, François de

Mary Hunter

in Oxford Music Online

Published in print January 2001 |
Published online January 2001 | e-ISBN: 9781561592630 | DOI:

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(d c1780). French theorist. He probably lived in or near Poitiers around 1750. His reputation stands on his Méthode nouvelle pour apprendre parfaitement les règles du plainchant et de la psalmodie (Poitiers, 1748), which appeared nine times in four editions up to 1784. It advocates the ‘expressive’ performance of chant in accord with the doctrine of the Affections as it was then understood. La Feillée wrote: ‘Expression is an image which sensitively renders the character of all that one utters in singing, and which depicts it realistically’. The use of trills and other ornamentation is recommended, and relative speeds of delivery are prescribed. The same text should be sung more slowly on a solemn feast-day than on normal days, but otherwise the immediate contents of the text should determine the manner of singing: prayers are to be sung ‘devoutly and sadly’, narrative texts ‘without any passion but with good pronunciation’. The treatise provides a valuable sidelight on the history of chant performance, and may reflect the kinds of expressive effect that 18th-century composers of religious music may have intended. La Feillée also published ...

Reference Entry.  232 words. 

Subjects: Baroque Music

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