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Famous Like Me > Composer > R > Jean-Philippe Rameau

Profile of Jean-Philippe Rameau on Famous Like Me

Name: Jean-Philippe Rameau  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 25th September 1683
Place of Birth: Dijon, France
Profession: Composer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia
Jean-Philippe Rameau

Jean-Philippe Rameau (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 was attacked by those who preferred Lully's style.

Rameau's father was the organist at the cathedral of Dijon, and had his son practicing harpsichord at the earliest age possible. However, Rameau began his studies in the field of law before deciding that the study and composition of music was his true passion. He spent much of his youth in Italy and Paris, and for a time followed his father's footsteps as organist at Clermont Cathedral. It wasn't until he reached his 40s that Rameau achieved prominence in the field of composition, but by the death of Couperin in 1733 he was arguably the leading French composer of the time. From then on he devoted himself primarily to opera.

He collaborated with Voltaire on a number of operas, in particular La Princesse de Navarre which earned him the King's title of Compositeur de la Musique de la Chambre. Rameau is mentioned in Diderot's novel Rameau's Nephew.

He is perhaps most well known for his theories regarding tonality through basse fondamentales or root notes, the idea that chords remain equivalent under inversion, described in Traité de l'harmonie (1722) and Nouveau système de musique théorique (1726).


Instrumental works

  • Several suites for harpsichord (3 books published 1706, 1724, 1728)
  • Les pièces de clavecin en concert (1741)
  • several orchestral suites extracted from his operas

Cantatas, Motets

  • Motet Deus noster refugium (before 1716)
  • Motet In convertendo (c.1718)
  • Motet Quam dilecta (1720)
  • Thétis (1727)
  • Le berger fidèle (1728)

Lyric tragedy

  • Hippolyte et Aricie (1734)
  • Castor et Pollux (1737)
  • Dardanus (1739)
  • Zoroastre (1756)
  • Les Boréades (1763)

Other works for the stage (operas and ballets)

  • Les Indes galantes (1735-36)
  • La Princesse de Navarre (1744, textbook by Voltaire)
  • Platée (1745)
  • Pygmalion (1748)
  • Naïs (1749)
  • La Guirlande (1751)
  • Zéphire (Les Nymphes de Diane) (1754)
  • Anacréon (1757)
  • Les Paladins (1760)

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Jean-Philippe Rameau