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. Events 303 - On a voyage preaching the Gospel, Saint Fermin of Pamplona is beheaded in Amiens, France Events 1213 - Albigensian Crusade: Simon de Montfort 5th Earl of Leicester, defeats Peter II of Aragon at the Year 1764 ( MDCCLXIV) was a Leap year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a This article is about the country For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic France topics. A composer (literally meaning 'one who puts together' is a person who creates Music, usually in the medium of notation, for Interpretation and Performance Music theory is the field of study that deals with the Mechanics of music and how Music works Baroque music describes an era and a set of styles of European classical music which were in widespread use between approximately 1600 and 1750. He replaced Jean-Baptiste Lully as the dominant composer of French opera and he is also considered the leading French author of music for the harpsichord of his time alongside François Couperin. Jean-Baptiste de Lully ( Giovanni Battista di Lulli) (ʒɑ̃batist də lyˈli in French (November 28 1632 &ndash March 22 1687 was a French Composer of Italian French opera is one of Europe's most important operatic traditions containing works by composers of the stature of Lully, Rameau, Berlioz, Bizet François Couperin (fʀɑ̃swa kuˈpʀɛ̃ (November 10 1668 &ndash September 11 1733 was a French Baroque composer organist and harpsichordist
Little is known about Rameau's early years, and it was not until the 1720s that he won fame as a major theorist of music with his Treatise on Harmony (1722). He was almost fifty before he embarked on the operatic career on which his reputation chiefly rests. His debut Hippolyte et Aricie (1733) caused a great stir and was fiercely attacked for its revolutionary use of harmony by the supporters of Lully's style of music. Hippolyte et Aricie ( Hippolytus and Aricia) was the first opera by Jean-Philippe Rameau, which opened to great controversy at the Académie Royale de Musique Nevertheless, Rameau's pre-eminence in the field of French opera was soon acknowledged and he was later attacked as an "establishment" composer by those who favoured Italian opera during the controversy known as the Querelle des Bouffons in the 1750s. The Querelle des Bouffons (English War of the Comic Actors) was the name given to a battle of musical philosophies in France which took place between 1752 and 1754 Rameau's music had gone out of fashion by the end of the 18th century and it was not until the 20th that serious efforts were made to revive it. Today he enjoys renewed appreciation with performances and recordings of his music ever more frequent.
The details of Rameau’s life are generally obscure, especially concerning his first forty years before he moved to Paris for good. He was a secretive man and even his wife knew nothing of his early life, which explains the scarcity of biographical information available.
Rameau's early years are particularly obscure. He was born on September 25, 1683 and baptised the same day.  His father Jean worked as an organist in several churches around Dijon and his mother, Claudine Demartinécourt, was the daughter of a notary. Dijon ( diʒɔ̃ is a city in eastern France, the capital of the Côte-d'Or departement and of the Bourgogne region The couple had eleven children (five girls and six boys) of which Jean-Philippe was the seventh to be born. Rameau was taught music before he could read or write. He was educated at the Jesuit college at Godrans but he was not a good school pupil and disrupted classes with his singing, later claiming that his passion for opera had begun at the age of twelve. The Society of Jesus ( Latin: Societas Iesu, SJ and SI or SJ, SI) is a Catholic religious order  Initially intended for the law, Rameau decided he wanted to be a musician and his father sent him to Italy, where he stayed for a short while in Milan. Italy (Italia officially the Italian Republic, (Repubblica Italiana is located on the Italian Peninsula in Southern Europe, and on the two largest Milan (Milano Milan (listen) is one of the largest cities in Italy, located in the plains of Lombardy. On his return he worked as a violinist in travelling companies and then as an organist in provincial cathedrals before moving to Paris for the first time. Paris (ˈpærɨs in English; in French) is the Capital of France and the country's largest city  Here in 1706 he published his earliest known compositions: the harpsichord works that make up his first book of Pièces de clavecin, which show the influence of his friend Louis Marchand. A harpsichord is a Musical instrument played by means of a keyboard. The French Baroque composer Jean-Philippe Rameau wrote three books of Pièces de clavecin for the Harpsichord. Louis Marchand (February 2 1669 &ndash February 17 1732 was a virtuoso Organist and Harpsichordist.  In 1709, he moved back to Dijon to take over his father's job as organist in the main church. The contract was for six years, but Rameau left before then and took up similar posts in Lyon and Clermont. ||-||} Lyon, also known as Lyons in English is a city in east-central France. During this period he composed motets for church performance as well as secular cantatas. In Western music, motet is a word that is applied to a number of highly varied choral musical compositions A cantata (derived from the Italian word 'cantare' meaning 'to sing' is a vocal composition with an instrumental Accompaniment and often In 1722 he returned to Paris for good and here he published his most important work of music theory, Traité de l'harmonie (Treatise on Harmony). This soon won him a great reputation and it was followed in 1726 by his Nouveau système de musique théorique.  He also published two more collections of harpsichord pieces in 1724 and 1729 or 1730.  Rameau took his first tentative steps into composing stage music when the writer Alexis Piron asked him to provide songs for his popular comic plays written for the Paris Fairs. Alexis Piron ( July 9, 1689 &ndash January 21, 1773) was a French Epigrammatist and Dramatist. Four collaborations followed, beginning with L'Endriague in 1723. None of the music has survived.  On February 25 1726, Rameau married the 19-year old Marie-Louise Mangot, who came from a musical family from Lyon, and was a good singer and instrumentalist. The couple would have four children, two boys and two girls, and the marriage is said to have been a happy one.  In spite of his fame as a music theorist, Rameau had trouble finding a post as an organist in Paris. 
It was not until he was approaching fifty that Rameau decided to embark on the operatic career on which his fame as a composer mainly rests. He had already approached the writer Houdar de la Motte for a libretto in 1727, but nothing had come of it. He was finally inspired to try his hand at the prestigious genre of tragédie en musique after seeing Montéclair's Jephté in 1732. Tragédie en musique (French lyric tragedy also known as tragédie lyrique, is a genre of French opera introduced by Jean-Baptiste Lully and used Rameau's Hippolyte et Aricie, premiered at the Académie Royale de Musique on 1 October, 1733. Hippolyte et Aricie ( Hippolytus and Aricia) was the first opera by Jean-Philippe Rameau, which opened to great controversy at the Académie Royale de Musique It was immediately recognised as the most significant opera to appear in France since the death of Lully, but audiences were split over whether this was a good thing or a bad thing. Jean-Baptiste de Lully ( Giovanni Battista di Lulli) (ʒɑ̃batist də lyˈli in French (November 28 1632 &ndash March 22 1687 was a French Composer of Italian Some, such as the composer André Campra were stunned by its originality and wealth of invention; others found its harmonic innovations discordant and saw the work as an attack on the French musical tradition. André Campra ( Aix-en-Provence, December 4, 1660 &ndash June 29, 1744 in Versailles) was a French Composer The two camps, the so-called "Lullistes" and "Rameauneurs", fought a pamphlet war over the issue for the rest of the decade. 
Just before this time, Rameau had made the acquaintance of the powerful financier Alexandre Le Riche de La Poupelinière who became his patron until 1753. Alexandre Jean Joseph Le Riche de La Poupelinière (1693 — 1762 was an immensely wealthy fermier général who was one of the greatest patrons of music and musicians La Pouplinière's mistress (and later wife) Thérèse des Hayes was Rameau's pupil and a great admirer of his music. In 1731 Rameau became the conductor of La Pouplinière's private orchestra, which was of an extremely high quality. He held the post for 22 years (he was succeeded by Johann Stamitz and then Gossec). Jan Václav Antonín Stamic (later during his life in Mannhein Germanized as Johann Wenzel Anton Stamitz ( June 17, 1717 &ndash March 27 François-Joseph Gossec ( January 17, 1734 — February 16, 1829) was a Belgian composer of operas string quartets symphonies  La Pouplinière's salon enabled Rameau to meet some of the leading cultural figures of the day, including Voltaire who soon began collaborating with the composer. François-Marie Arouet ( 21 November 1694 30 May 1778) better known by the Pen name Voltaire, was a French  Their first project, the tragédie en musique Samson, was abandoned because an opera on a religious theme by Voltaire, a notorious critic of the Church, was likely to be banned by the authorities. Three operas by the major French 18th century composer Jean-Philippe Rameau are known to have been lost  Meanwhile Rameau had introduced his new musical style into the lighter genre of the opéra-ballet with the highly successful Les Indes galantes. Opéra-ballet was a popular genre of French Baroque Opera. It differed from the more elevated tragédie en musique as practised by Jean-Baptiste Les Indes galantes is an Opéra-ballet consisting of a prologue and four entrées (acts by Jean-Philippe Rameau with libretto by Louis It was followed by two tragédies en musique, Castor et Pollux (1737) and Dardanus (1739), and another opéra-ballet, Les fêtes d'Hébé (also 1739). Castor et Pollux ( Castor and Pollux) is an Opera by Jean-Philippe Rameau, first performed on 24 October, 1737 Dardanus is an Opera in five acts by Jean-Philippe Rameau. The French Libretto was by Charles-Antoine Leclerc de La Bruère Les fêtes d'Hébé (The Festivities of Hebe) is an Opéra-ballet in a prologue and three entrées composed in 1739 by Jean-Philippe Rameau All these operas of the 1730s are among Rameau's most highly regarded works.  However, the composer followed them with six years of silence, in which the only work he produced was a new version of Dardanus (1744). The reason for this interval in the composer's creative life is unknown, although it is possible he fell out with the authorities at the Académie royale de la musique. 
1745 was a watershed in Rameau's career. He received several commissions from the court for works to celebrate the French victory at the Battle of Fontenoy and the marriage of the Dauphin to a Spanish princess. This battle should not be confused with the two battles of Fontenay, which occurred at a different location in 841 and 1944 The Dauphin of France (Dauphin de France—strictly Dauphin of Viennois ( Dauphin de Viennois)—was the title given to the Heir apparent of the Rameau produced his most important comic opera Platée as well as two collaborations with Voltaire: the opéra-ballet Le temple de la gloire and the comédie-ballet La Princesse de Navarre. Platée ( Plataea) is an Opera in a prologue and three acts by Jean-Philippe Rameau with a Libretto by Adrien-Joseph Le Valois d'Orville Le temple de la Gloire ( The Temple of Glory) is an Opéra-ballet in five acts by Jean-Philippe Rameau. La princesse de Navarre ( The Princess of Navarre) is an operatic work by Jean-Philippe Rameau with words by Voltaire, first  They gained Rameau official recognition: he was granted the title "Compositeur du Cabinet du Roi" and given a substantial pension.  1745 also saw the beginning of the bitter enmity between Rameau and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Though best known today as a thinker, Rousseau had ambitions to be a composer. He had written an opera, Les muses galantes, inspired by Rameau's Indes galantes, but Rameau had been unimpressed by this musical tribute. At the end of 1745, Voltaire and Rameau, who were busy on other works, commissioned Rousseau to turn La Princesse de Navarre into a new opera with linking recitative called Les fêtes de Ramire. Recitative /rɛsɪtə'tiv/ (also known by its Italian name "recitativo" (/retʃita'tivo/ is a style of delivery (much used in Operas Oratorios Les fêtes de Ramire ( The Celebrations of Ramiro) is an Opera in the form of a one-act acte de ballet by Jean-Philippe Rameau with Rousseau then claimed the two had stolen the credit for the words and music he had contributed, though musicologists have been able to identify almost nothing of the piece as Rousseau's work. Nevertheless, the embittered Rousseau nursed a grudge against Rameau for the rest of his life. 
Rousseau was a major participant in the second great quarrel which erupted over Rameau's work, the so-called Querelle des Bouffons of 1752-54, which pitted French tragédie en musique against Italian opera buffa. The Querelle des Bouffons (English War of the Comic Actors) was the name given to a battle of musical philosophies in France which took place between 1752 and 1754 The term Opera buffa (plural Opere buffe) was at first used as an informal description of Italian Comic operas variously classified by their authors as This time Rameau was accused of being out of date and his music too complicated in comparison with the simplicity and "naturalness" of a work like Pergolesi's La serva padrona. La serva padrona ( The Servant Mistress) is an Opera buffa by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi ( January 4, 1710 &ndash  In the mid-1750s Rameau criticised Rousseau's contributions to the musical articles in the Encyclopédie which led him into a quarrel with the leading philosophes d'Alembert and Diderot. The philosophes ( French for Philosophers ' were a group of intellectuals of the 18th century Enlightenment. Denis Diderot ( October 5, 1713 – July 31, 1784) was a French Philosopher and writer  As a result, Rameau became a character in Diderot's - then unpublished - dialogue Le neveu de Rameau (Rameau's Nephew).
In 1753, La Pouplinière took a scheming musician, Jeanne-Thérèse Goermans, as his mistress. The daughter of the harpsichord-maker Jacques Goermans, she went by the name of Madame de Saint-Aubin and her opportunistic husband pushed her into the arms of the rich financier. The Goermans (or Germain) family were French Harpsichord makers of Flemish origin She had La Pouplinière engage the services of the Bohemian composer Stamitz, which led to a breach between Rameau and his patron. Bohemia (Čechy; Bohemia Czechy is a historical region in central Europe, occupying the western two-thirds of the traditional Czech Lands, currently the However, Rameau no longer needed La Pouplinière's financial support and protection.
Rameau pursued his activities as a theorist and composer until his death. He lived with his wife and two of his children in his large suite of rooms in Rue des Bons-Enfants which he would leave every day, lost in thought, to take a solitary walk in the nearby gardens of the Palais-Royal or the Tuileries. Sometimes he would meet the young writer Chabanon, who noted down some of Rameau's disillusioned confidential remarks: "Day by day I'm acquiring more good taste, but I no longer have any genius" and "The imagination is worn out in my old head, it's not wise at this age wanting to practise arts that are nothing but imagination". 
Rameau had composed prolifically in the late 1740s and the early 1750s. After that his rate of productivity dropped off, probably due to old age and ill health, though he was still able to write another comic opera Les Paladins in 1760. Les Paladins is an Opera by Jean-Philippe Rameau first performed on 12 February, 1760. This was due to be followed by a final tragédie en musique, Les Boréades, but for unknown reasons, the opera was never produced and had to wait until the late 20th century for a proper staging. Les Boréades ( The Descendants of Boreas) or Abaris is an opera in five acts by Jean-Philippe Rameau.  Rameau died on 12 September, 1764 after suffering from a fever. He was buried in the church of St. Eustache, Paris the following day. 
While the details of his biography are vague and fragmentary, Rameau’s personal and family life is almost completely obscure. Rameau’s music, so graceful and attractive, completely contradicts the man’s public image and what we know of his character, as described -or perhaps unfairly caricatured- by Diderot in Le neveu de Rameau. Throughout his life music was his consuming passion; it occupied his entire thinking; Philippe Beaussant calls him a monomaniac. Piron explained that: “His heart and soul were in his harpsichord; once he had shut its lid there was no one home. ” Physically, Rameau was tall and exceptionally thin, as can be seen by the sketches we have of him, including a famous portrait by Carmontelle. He had a “loud voice”. His speech was difficult to understand, just like his handwriting, which was never fluent. As a man he was secretive, solitary, irritable, proud of his own achievements (more as a theorist than as a composer), brusque with those who contradicted him and quick to anger. It is difficult to imagine him among the leading wits, including Voltaire - to whom he bears more than a passing physical resemblance - who frequented La Pouplinière’s salon: his music was his best passport and it made up for his lack of the social graces.
His enemies exaggerated his faults, for example his supposed miserliness. In fact, it seems that his thriftiness was the result of long years spent in obscurity, when his income was uncertain and scanty, rather than part of his character because he could also be generous. We know that he helped his nephew Jean-François when he came to Paris and also helped establish the career of Claude-Bénigne Balbastre in the capital. Claude Balbastre ( December 8, 1724 – May 9, 1799) was a French Composer, Organist and Harpsichordist Furthermore, he gave his daughter Marie-Louise a considerable dowry when she became a Visitandine nun in 1750 and he paid a pension to one of his sisters when she became ill. Financial security came late to him, following the success of his stage works and the grant of a royal pension (a few months before his death he was also ennobled and made a knight of the Ordre de Saint-Michel). But he did not change his way of life, keeping his worn-out clothes, his single pair of shoes and his old furniture: after his death it was discovered that he only possessed one dilapidated single-keyboard harpsichord in his rooms in Rue des Bons-Enfants, yet he also had a bag containing 1691 gold louis. The Louis d'or is any number of French Coins first introduced by Louis XIII in 1640 
Rameau’s music is characterised by the exceptional technical knowledge of a composer who wanted above all to be renowned as a theorist of the art. Nevertheless it is not solely addressed to the intelligence and Rameau himself claimed “I try to conceal art with art”. The paradox of this music was that it was new, using techniques never known before, but it took place within the framework of old-fashioned forms; Rameau appeared revolutionary to the Lullystes, disturbed by the complex harmony of his music, and reactionary to the “philosophes” who only paid attention to its content and who either would not or could not listen to the sound it made. The incomprehension he received from his contemporaries stopped Rameau repeating such daring experiments as the second Trio des Parques in Hippolyte et Aricie, which he was forced to remove after a handful of performances because the singers were unable to interpret it correctly. So the greatest harmonist of his era went unrecognised at the very time that harmony - the “vertical” aspect of music - was taking precedence over counterpoint, which represented its “horizontal” aspect. In Music, counterpoint is the relationship between two or more voices that are independent in contour and Rhythm, and interdependent in Harmony
Rameau’s musical works may be divided into four distinct groups, which differ greatly in importance: a few cantatas, a few motets for large chorus, some pieces for solo harpsichord or harpsichord accompanied by other instruments, and, finally, his works for the stage to which he dedicated the last thirty years of his career almost exclusively. A cantata (derived from the Italian word 'cantare' meaning 'to sing' is a vocal composition with an instrumental Accompaniment and often In Western music, motet is a word that is applied to a number of highly varied choral musical compositions Like most of his contemporaries, Rameau often reused melodies which had been particularly successful, but never without meticulously adapting them: they are not simple transcriptions. Besides, no borrowings have been found from other composers, although his earliest works show the influence of other music. Rameau’s reworkings of his own material are numerous: for instance in Les Fêtes d'Hébé, we find L'Entretien des Muses, the Musette and the Tambourin taken from the 1724 book of harpsichord pieces, as well as an aria from the cantata Le Berger Fidèle. 
For forty years Rameau was a professional organist in the service of religious institutions, and yet the body of sacred music he composed is exceptionally small, and his organ works are non-existent. Judging by the evidence, it was not his favourite field, simply a way of making reasonable money. Rameau’s few religious compositions are nevertheless remarkable and compare favourably to the works of specialists in the area. Only four motets have been attributed to Rameau with any certainty: Deus noster refugium, In convertendo, Quam dilecta and Laboravi. In Western music, motet is a word that is applied to a number of highly varied choral musical compositions
The cantata was a highly successful genre in the early 18th century. A cantata (derived from the Italian word 'cantare' meaning 'to sing' is a vocal composition with an instrumental Accompaniment and often The French cantata - which should not be confused with the Italian or the German cantata - was “invented” in 1706 by the poet Jean-Baptiste Rousseau and soon taken up by many famous composers of the day such as Montéclair, Campra and Clérambault. Jean-Baptiste Rousseau ( April 6, 1671 &ndash March 17, 1741) was a French Poet. André Campra ( Aix-en-Provence, December 4, 1660 &ndash June 29, 1744 in Versailles) was a French Composer Louis-Nicolas Clérambault was a French Musician, born and died in Paris (December 19 1676 - October 26 1749 best known as an Organist and Cantatas were Rameau’s first contact with dramatic music. The modest forces the cantata required meant it was a genre within the reach of a composer who was still unknown. Musicologists can only guess at the dates of Rameau’s six surviving cantatas and the names of the librettists are unknown.
Along with François Couperin, Rameau is one of the two masters of the French school of harpsichord music in the 18th century. Both composers made a decisive break with the style of the first generation of harpsichordists, who confined their compositions to the relatively fixed mould of the classical suite. This reached its apogee in the first decade of the 18th century with successive collections of pieces by Louis Marchand, Gaspard Le Roux, Louis-Nicolas Clérambault, Jean-François Dandrieu, Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre, Charles Dieupart and Nicolas Siret. Gaspard Le Roux was a French Harpsichordist active in Paris at the beginning of the 18th century and died about June 1707 Louis-Nicolas Clérambault was a French Musician, born and died in Paris (December 19 1676 - October 26 1749 best known as an Organist and Jean-François Dandrieu (c 1682 &ndash January 17 1738 was a French Baroque Composer, Harpsichordist and organist. Élisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre (full name Élisabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre; born Élisabeth Jacquet, March 17 1665, Paris – Nicolas Siret (1663 &ndash 1754 was a French baroque Composer, Organist and Harpsichordist He was born and died in Troyes
But Rameau and Couperin have a very different style anyway and Rameau cannot be considered the follower of the older composer. They seem not to have known one another (Couperin was one of the official court musicians while Rameau was still an unknown; fame would only come to him after Couperin’s death). Besides, Rameau published his first book of harpsichord pieces in 1706 while Couperin - who was fifteen years his senior - waited until 1713 before publishing his first “ordres”. Rameau's music includes pieces in the pure tradition of the French suite, imitative (“Le rappel des oiseaux“, “La poule“) and character (“Les tendres plaintes“, “L'entretien des Muses“) pieces, and works of pure virtuosity which resemble Scarlatti ((“Les tourbillons,” “Les trois mains“), as well as pieces which reveal the experiments of a theorist and musical innovator (“L'Enharmonique“, “Les Cyclopes“) which had a marked influence on Daquin, Royer and Jacques Duphly. Giuseppe Domenico Scarlatti (October 26 1685 – July 23 1757 was a Neapolitan Composer who spent much of his life in Spain and Portugal. Louis-Claude Daquin (or d'Acquin (July 4 1694 &ndash June 15 1772 was a French Composer of Jewish birth writing in the Baroque and Galant Joseph-Nicolas-Pancrace Royer (c 1705&ndash 11 January 1755) was a French Musician, Composer, and Harpsichordist Jacques Duphly ( January 12, 1715 &ndash July 15, 1789) was a French harpsichordist and Composer. The suites are grouped in the traditional way, by key.
Rameau’s three collections appeared in 1706, 1724 and 1726 or 1727 respectively. After this he only composed a single piece for the harpsichord: “La Dauphine” (1747). Other works, such as “Les petits marteaux” have been doubtfully attributed to him.
During his semi-retirement in the years 1740 to 1744, he wrote the Pièces de clavecin en concert (1741). The Pièces de Clavecin en Concert, published in 1741, constitute the only chamber music by Jean-Philippe Rameau and were composed in full maturity they Adopting a formula successfully employed by Mondonville a few years earlier, these pieces differ from trio sonatas in that the harpsichord is not simply there as basso continuo to accompany other instruments (the violin, flute or viol) playing the melody, but takes an equal part in the “concert” with them. Mondonville is a commune in the Haute-Garonne department in southwestern France. Figured bass, or thoroughbass, is a kind of integer Musical notation used to indicate intervals, chords and Nonchord tones in relation Rameau also claimed that the pieces would be equally satisfying as solo harpsichord works, although this statement is far from convincing since the composer took the trouble to transcribe five of them himself, those where the lack of other instruments would show the least.
From 1733, Rameau dedicated himself almost exclusively to opera. What came before was nothing but a long preparation for his stage music. Armed with theoretical and aesthetic principles from which nothing could deflect him, he composed little else but a form of opera which in many ways prefigures the drama of Richard Wagner. On a strictly musical level, 18th century French Baroque opera is richer and more varied than contemporary Italian opera, especially in the place given to choruses and dances, but also in the musical continuity which arises from the respective relationships between the arias and the recitative. This article is about the musical term "aria" For other meanings or uses of the word see Aria (disambiguation. Recitative /rɛsɪtə'tiv/ (also known by its Italian name "recitativo" (/retʃita'tivo/ is a style of delivery (much used in Operas Oratorios Another essential difference: whereas Italian opera gave a starring role to female sopranos and castratos, French opera had no use for the latter. The Italian opera of Rameau’s day (opera seria) was essentially divided into musical sections (da capo arias, duets, trios etc. Opera seria (usually called dramma per musica or Melodramma serio) is an Italian musical term which refers to the noble and "serious" Da Capo is a musical term in Italian, meaning from the beginning (literally to the head) ) and sections which were spoken, or almost spoken (recitativo secco). It was during the latter that the action progressed, while the audience waited for the next aria; on the other hand, the text of the arias was almost entirely buried beneath music whose chief aim was to show off the virtuosity of the singer. Nothing of the kind is to be found in French opera of the day: since Lully, the text had to remain comprehensible, which limited certain techniques such as the vocalise, which was reserved for special words such as “gloire” (“glory”) or “victoire” (“victory”). A vocalise (pronounced voe-ka-LEEZE is a vocal exercise (often one suitable for performance without words which is sung on one or more Vowel sounds In this sense French opera from Lully to Rameau is closer to the ideal of Monteverdi, that the music should serve the text - a paradox when we compare Rameau’s musical expertise and the poor literary quality of the libretti he set. A subtle equilibrium operated between the more and the less musical parts, melodic recitative on the one hand and arias which were often closer to arioso on the other, alongside virtuoso “ariettes” in the Italian style. In classical music, arioso is a style of solo Opera Singing between Recitative and Aria. This form of continuous music prefigures Wagnerian drama even more than it does the “reform“ opera of Gluck.
Five essential components may be discerned in Rameau’s operatic scores:
|“||Rameau was the greatest ballet composer of all times. The genius of his creation rests on one hand on his perfect artistic permeation by folk-dance types, on the other hand on the constant preservation of living contact with the practical requirements of the ballet stage, which prevented an estrangement between the expression of the body from the spirit of absolute music. ||”|
During the first part of his operatic career (1733-1739) Rameau wrote his great masterpieces destined for the Académie royale de musique: three tragédies en musique and two opéra-ballets which still form the core of his repertoire. After the interval of 1740 to 1744, he became the official court musician and for the most part composed pieces intended to entertain, with plenty of dance music, emphasising sensuality and an idealised pastoral atmosphere. Pastoral, as an adjective refers to the lifestyle of Shepherds and Pastoralists moving livestock around larger areas of land according to seasons and availability In his last years, Rameau returned to a renewed version of his early style in Les Paladins and Les Boréades.
Unlike Lully, who collaborated with Philippe Quinault on almost all his operas, Rameau rarely worked with the same librettist twice. Philippe Quinault ( 3 June 1635 – 26 November 1688) French Dramatist and Librettist, was born in Paris He was highly demanding, bad-tempered and was unable to maintain longstanding partnerships with his librettists, with the exception of Louis de Cahusac. Louis de Cahusac ( Montauban, 6 April 1706 - Paris, 22 June 1759) was a French playwright and librettist
Many Rameau specialists have regretted that the collaboration with Houdar de la Motte never took place and that the Samson project with Voltaire came to nothing, because the librettists Rameau did work with were second-rate. He made the acquaintance of most of them at La Pouplinière's salon, at the Société du Caveau or at the house of the Comte de Livry, all meeting-places for leading cultural figures of the day.
Not one of his librettists managed to produce a libretto on the same artistic level as Rameau's music; the plots are often overly complex or unconvincing - but this was standard for the genre and is probably part of its charm. The versification too was mediocre and Rameau often had to have the libretto modified and rewrite the music after the premiere because of the ensuing criticism. This is why we have two versions of Castor et Pollux (1737 and 1752) and three of Dardanus (1739, 1744 and 1760).
By the end of his life Rameau's music had come under attack in France from theorists who favoured Italian models. However, foreign composers working in the Italian tradition were increasingly looking towards Rameau as a way of reforming their own leading operatic genre, opera seria. Opera seria (usually called dramma per musica or Melodramma serio) is an Italian musical term which refers to the noble and "serious" Tommaso Traetta produced two operas setting translations of Rameau libretti which show the French composer's influence: Ippolito ed Aricia (1759) and I Tintaridi (based on Castor et Pollux, 1760). Tommaso Michele Francesco Saverio Traetta ( March 30, 1727 &ndash April 6, 1779) was an Italian Composer.  Traetta had been advised by Count Francesco Algarotti, a leading proponent of reform according to French models. Count Francesco Algarotti ( 11 December, 1712 &ndash 3 May, 1764) was an Italian Philosopher and Art critic. Algarotti was a major influence on the most important "reformist" composer, Christoph Willibald von Gluck. Gluck's three Italian reform operas of the 1760s, Orfeo ed Euridice, Alceste and Paride ed Elena reveal a knowledge of Rameau's works. Orfeo ed Euridice (French version Orphée et Eurydice; English translation Orpheus and Eurydice) is an Opera composed by Christoph Willibald Alceste is an Opera by Christoph Willibald Gluck. The Libretto was written by Ranieri de Calzabigi (in Italian and based on the play Paride ed Elena ( Paris and Helen) is an opera by Gluck, the third and final of his Italian reformist works following Orfeo ed Euridice For instance, both Orfeo and the 1737 version of Castor et Pollux open with the funeral of one of the leading characters who later comes back to life.  Many of the operatic reforms advocated in the preface to Gluck's Alceste were already present in Rameau's works. Rameau had used accompanied recitative and the overture in his later operas reflected the action to come.  So when Gluck arrived in Paris in 1774 to produce a series of six French operas, he could be seen as continuing in the tradition of Rameau. Nevertheless, while Gluck's popularity survived the French Revolution, Rameau's did not. The French Revolution (1789–1799 was a period of political and social upheaval in the History of France, during which the French governmental structure previously an By the end of the 18th century his operas had vanished from the repertoire. 
For most of the 19th century Rameau's music remained unplayed, known only by reputation. Hector Berlioz investigated Castor et Pollux and particularly admired the aria "Tristes apprêts", but "whereas the modern listener readily perceives the common ground with Berlioz's music, he himself was more conscious of the gap which separated them".  French humiliation in the Franco-Prussian War brought about a change in Rameau's fortunes. The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War, often referred to in France as the 1870 War ( 19 July, 1870 — 10 May, 1871 As the Rameau biographer J. Malignon wrote: ". . . the German victory over France in 1870-71 was the grand occasion for digging up great heroes from the French past. Rameau, like so many others, was flung into the enemy's face to bolster our courage and our faith in the national destiny of France".  In 1894 composer Vincent d'Indy founded the Schola Cantorum to promote French national music. Paul Marie Théodore Vincent d'Indy (March 27 1851 &ndash December 2 1931 was a French Composer and teacher This article is about the Parisian musical institute For other organizations called Schola Cantorum see Schola Cantorum (disambiguation. The society put on several revivals of works by Rameau. Among the audience was Claude Debussy, who especially cherished Castor et Pollux, which was revived in 1903: "Gluck's genius was deeply rooted in Rameau's works. Achille-Claude Debussy (aʃil klod dəbysi (August 22 1862 &ndash March 25 1918 was a French Composer. (. . . ) a detailed comparison allows us to affirm that Gluck could replace Rameau on the French stage only by assimilating the latter's beautiful works and making them his own. " Camille Saint-Saëns (by editing and publishing the Pièces in 1895) and Paul Dukas were two other important French musicians who gave practical championship to Rameau's music in their day. Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns (/ʃaʁl kamij sɛ̃sɑ̃s/ (9 October 1835 &ndash 16 December 1921 was a French Composer, Organist, conductor, and Paul Abraham Dukas (October 1 1865 &ndash May 17 1935 was a Parisian born French Composer and teacher of classical music. But interest in Rameau petered out again and it was not until the late 20th century that a serious effort was made to revive his works. Over half of Rameau's operas have now been recorded, in particular by conductors such as John Eliot Gardiner, William Christie and Marc Minkowski. Sir John Eliot Gardiner CBE FKC (born April 20, 1943, Fontmell Magna, Dorset Marc Minkowski (born 4 October 1962 in Paris) is a French conductor of classical music especially known for his interpretations of
Rameau's 1722 Treatise on Harmony initiated a revolution in music theory.  Rameau posited the discovery of the "fundamental law" of all musical harmony and composition. Rameau's methodology incorporated mathematics, commentary, analysis and a didacticism that was specifically intended to illuminate the structure and principles of music composition scientifically. He attempted to derive universal harmonic principles from natural causes.  Previous treatises on harmony had been purely practical; Rameau added a philosophical dimension.  The composer quickly rose to prominence in France as the "Isaac Newton of Music. " His fame subsequently spread throughout all Europe, and his Treatise became the definitive authority on music theory; forming the foundation for instruction in western music which persists to this day.
RCT numbering refers to Rameau Catalogue Thématique established by Sylvie Bouissou and Denis Herlin. 
|Philippe Rameau - Gavotte and Variations|
|Philippe Rameau - Gavotte and Variations (1)|
|Philippe Rameau - Gavotte and Variations (2)|
|Philippe Rameau - Gavotte and Variations (3)|
|Philippe Rameau - Gavotte and Variations (4)|
|Philippe Rameau - Gavotte and Variations (5)|
|Philippe Rameau - Gavotte and Variations (6)|
WikipediaWikiProject Classical music#Biographical_infoboxes --> Trevor David Pinnock CBE (born 16 December 1946 is an English Find A Grave is a Website allowing its users to access maintain and expand an online Database of Burial records The International Music Score Library Project ( IMSLP) is a project for the creation of a virtual library of Public domain music scores, based on the The Choral Public Domain Library (CPDL is a Sheet music archive which focuses on choral and vocal Music in the Public domain. The Werner Icking Music Archive, often abbreviated WIMA, is a web archive of Public domain Sheet music. The Mutopia project is a volunteer-run effort to create a library of Free content Sheet music, in a way similar to Project Gutenberg 's library of public