This avenue of research offers a cross-discipline (re)investigation and (re)assessment of the entire musical production line in the 17th and 18th centuries. It also traces its progress, from conception and composition (history & theory) through to performance, transmission and circulation (practice, technique & epistemology). It includes identifying the parameters involved in the production of music, from conception and formulation through to materialisation, studied globally and in context. It also researches into how it works as a rhetorical vehicle to impress, glorify and touch the emotions. Beyond the study of musical repertoire, this approach will also improve understanding of the particularities of the musician’s craft in France towards the end of the Ancien Régime.
The Church: music & liturgy
This is an investigation into how music interfaced with the highly ritualised world of liturgy; how the music adapted to the functional, ceremonial and symbolic imperatives of worship and liturgical celebration; and how musicians, composers and performers rose to the task, the restrictions they faced and the solutions they found.
The Court: curial music and sovereign rituals
This topic covers the function, role and type of music played during ordinary and extraordinary court rituals. It looks into the mechanisms and structure of the rituals via the music, often passed over by historians or taken out of context by musicologists. The research focuses on two key areas, namely the music used in royal and dynastic ceremonies and that of court ceremonials. It is backed by a comparative study of other European courts and provides valuable historical input.
The Town: public and private music
This topic covers the function, role and nature of the music played in public and private spheres. It looks into how the music was formulated and constructed in light of the very different and sometimes complex contexts and requirements; and how the musicians, many shifting from one sphere to another, managed to practice their craft. The research aims to shed light on the musical material used, based on its role in institutions and urban society (theatres, state institutions, public concerts, salon concerts, etc.), and also to understand how it functioned in different social environments.