This project involves the publication of a PDF digital book in the form of a critical edition of l’Histoire de l’Académie royale de musique by brothers François and Claude Parfaict, a major work written around 1741, already familiar to historians and musicologists but, curiously, never published. The project aims to publish the text and its variants, with active links to the authors’ original sources (e.g. Mercure Galant, Mercure de France, Titon du Tillet, Recueil général des opéra de 1703, Le Cerf de La Viéville), and including critical notes by researchers and a joint introduction covering technical and historical aspects of the Histoire.
The introduction will explore the following issues:
- A bio-bibliography of the Parfaict brothers: the place of the Histoire in their works
- The history of the original manuscript and its copies: reasons for its non-publication
- Historical sources and informants used
- How reliable and comprehensive is the Histoire; errors, chronology, etc.
- Description of the musicians, composers and their works
- The personal preferences of the Parfaict brothers
- The origin and spread of anecdotes and legends
- The place of the Histoire amidst rival works
- Subsequent reproductions of extracts, the Beffara manuscripts, etc.
The major contributions to this introduction have been presented at a Study Day in November 2022.