Rameau, Jean-philippe

Rameau, Jean-Philippe a very celebrated French musician who cultivated sacred music and was a noted organist, was a native of Dijon. He was born in 1683. His father was also a musician, and was, at the time of Jean-Philippe's birth, organist in the Sainte-Chapelle of Dijon. He was an enthusiast in his love for music, and taught his children the classical works long before they knew their letters. After travelling for some time creating everywhere great sensation by his wonderful musical genius, Jean-Philippe settled as organist of the cathedral at Clermont, in Auvergne. In middle life he removed to Paris, andl became organist; of Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie. In 1722 he published his Traite de l' Harmonize, which laid the basis of his future renown. He died in 1764. His compositions were mostly of a secular character. One of his operas, Samson, was never permitted to be put on the stage, because, as it was argued, it prostituted sacred music. Voltaire and D'Alembert were personal friends and warm admirers of Rameau. See Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, s.v.

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