- Stefano Fogelberg Rota - Södertörn University, Stockholm
At the table with Queen Christina: music entertainment and meals before and after her abdication from the Swedish throne
- Matthias Range - Oxford Brookes University, Oxford
The Public Dinner at the London Court: From the Stuarts to the Hanoverians
- Petra Dotlačilová - Stockholm University
Dancing Meals: Choreography for the Banquets at the d’Este court in the sixteenth century
Music to accompany meals dates far back, falling somewhere between entertainment and ritual. Under the Ancien Régime it became an essential manifestation of power and prestige and determined an elite society. Such meals became ‘the pretext for a complex ritual and social endorsement’ (Jacques Revel).
While the ritual of the King’s supper in France and Europe helped promote ‘the glorification of a divine Monarch’ (Jean-Pierre Babelon ), the upheavals of the Age of Enlightenment, the relaxation of etiquette and new social modes where pleasure and refinement were added to the court model, turning it into a powerful status symbol.
The essential element of music in this supper ritual, adding prestige and solemnity to the event, has been little studied. This cross-discipline seminar will investigate its explicit and implicit forms, its recurrent and extraordinary occasions, as well as the different repertoires, practices and venues, the resources and their role in ceremonials, in order to gain insight into the nature, function and process of music in court ritual and social events. By seeing how the music complied with prevailing strategies, it will provide a picture of the ceremonial and social aspects of performance and audiences under the Ancien Régime.
 ‘Les usages de la civilité ‘, Histoire de la vie privée. 3. De la Renaissance aux Lumières, Philippe Ariès, Georges Duby (dir.), Paris, Seuil, 1985 ; ibid., 1999 ; Points Seuil « Histoires », p. 185-186.
 Versailles et les tables royales en Europe, XVIIe-XIXe siècles, catalogue of Versailles & Trianon museum exhibition,, 3 Nov 1993-27 Feb 1994, Paris, Réunion des musées nationaux, 1993, Preface, p.11.