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.
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.
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.
Typography, engraving and music copyists
Whether they are printed in a very productive workshop where many amateurs and professionals come to get their supplies, or on the opposite written by a copyist working alone and at home, the scores are resulting of a manufacturing process involving the composer, the arranger, the music editor, the printer/engraver/copyist, and finally the bookseller who sells them. Even though they work in the specialized field of music, these professionals are part of a more general socio-economic environment: the printers community and its trade union, the engraver and copyist community, the book privileges, bookstore traffic and commercial competition.