Reference Entry

Rousseau, Jean-Jacques

Catherine Kintzler

in Oxford Music Online

Published in print January 2001 | ISBN: 9780199203833
Published online January 2001 | e-ISBN: 9781561592630 | DOI:
Rousseau, Jean-Jacques

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(b Geneva, June 28, 1712; d Ermenonville, July 2, 1778). Swiss philosopher, theorist and composer. He studied music with Le Maître in Annecy, and taught himself by reading and annotating Rameau’s Traité d’harmonie. He also gave music lessons in Neuchâtel, Lausanne and Chambéry (‘I was unconsciously learning music as I taught it’, Les confessions, book 4). His first compositions were two lyric tragedies, Iphis et Anaxarète (Chambéry, c1740) and La découverte du nouveau monde (Lyons, c1741), but only the librettos from these two works have survived. In 1742 he presented a new figured notation for music to the Académie des Sciences (Projet concernant de nouveaux signes pour la musique), and published a Dissertation sur la musique moderne on the same subject in 1743. In the same year he became secretary to the comte de Montaigu and discovered Italian music on a visit to Venice....

Reference Entry.  4807 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Music of the Classical Period

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