Jean Philippe Rameau

Jean Philippe Rameau

Jean Philippe Rameau (baptized 25. September 1683 in Dijon; † 12. September 1764 in Paris) was a French composer and theoretician.

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RAM from father Jean, the first musician of the family, was organist at several churches in Dijon, under it the cathedral pc. Bénigne. Its nut/motherClaudine Demartinécourt was ranked among the low aristocracy. Jean Philippe came as seventh of eleven children to the world, from whom two others were musical also: its younger brother Claude became organist, its sister Catherine played Cembalo and was active than music teacher. Claudes son Jean François is by Diderots Novel RAM from nephew unsterblich become.

Its first musical training received Jean Philippe by its father. It visited a Jesuitenschule, had it however because of achievements lacking to leave. Approximately with eighteen it undertook an Italy journey, which continued to lead however not as Milan. It worked in different cities,as orchestra violonists and organist in Marseille, Avignon, Albi, Montpellier, Nîmes and Lyon.

In January 1702 Rameau was engaged temporarily as organist at the cathedral in Avignon. Starting from May he got an employment as organist in Clermont, on sixYears was set, from which it pulled however 1706 to Paris and closely with of Louis Mark hand (1669 - 1732) co-operated. In this year it published its first collection Pièces de clavecin. 1706 to 1709 it was Titularorganist of several Paris churches, for thisInstrument is not well-known a work of it.

1709 he transferred the place of his father as organist of the church Notre Dame to Dijon. Also the present Treaty was originally for six years ausbedungen, but for July 1713 RAM from presence in Lyon already documented, of where it 1715 again on a Organistenposten after Clermont changed, which was put on on 29 years. More information over RAM from working is only again starting from 1722 delivered, when it established itself finally in Paris.

Soon thereafter its theoretical work (le Traité de l'harmonie réduite became àses principes naturels) in pressure given, which he had already written in the Auvergne. Together with the supplementing Nouveau Système de musique theoretique from 1726 it justified thereby the modern music theory for chord and harmony teachings and acquired themselves a call as a theoretician.

To 25.February 1726 he married the nineteen-year old Marie Louise Mangot from a musician family at the age of forty-two. Marie Louise sang later in several from RAM from operas. She got two sons and two daughters. Jean Philippe Rameau applied 1727 for a Organistenposten, which however Louis Claude Daquin got. Only for 1732 documented a firm employment as organist, which he kept at least until 1738.

Around 1727 it met its Mäzen Alexandre Le smells de la Pouplinière, the general estate manager (more fermier général) of the king, who lives Rameau and family in its palace in rue de Richelieuleft. For at least twelve years Rameau led the private orchestra of its sponsor, here could it valuable instrument valley experiences collect and with the ensemble experiment.

Up to the age of fifty years was limited its kompositorisches work to some Kantaten, Motetten and three collections of Cembalostücken. Two the latterthese collections exhibit a large originality and platzieren Rameau under the best ones of its guild in France. At this time its contemporaries George Friedrich trade, Johann Sebastian brook and Antonio Vivaldi had already created a comprehensive work.

At several failures it succeeded to Rameau 1733its first lyric work to specify, the opera drama Hippolyte et Aricie. This work stands in the tradition of Jean Baptiste Lully, but it exceeds by far the used musical wealth. A contemporary meant, “this opera contains sufficient music around from it ten to create”.

Those“Lullysten” found this music to decay, while however RAM from trailer, which found “RAMists” ingenious, them. Success adjusted itself directly. Rameau harvested the highest fame, and became by Ludwig XV.into the nobility raised, to the cabinet composer appointed and a pension received from 2000 Livres.Lyric tragedies, heroische works, Ballettmusiken followed work after work up to its death. Rameau changed very frequently its dear savingists, it nevertheless never succeeded to it in its requirement thinking for finding one which could write one the quality of its music appropriate text. Simultaneous was it untiringly alsoemploys and endeavors theoretical work, its principles, which should form the basis of the harmony teachings later, to provide validity.

oblivion and Wiederentdeckung

one it after its death large acknowledgment gezollt as one of the large French musicians, which could not prevent that itslyric work for 140 years into oblivion turned out. At the beginning 20. Century for the first time again the ballet music was specified la guirlande. Gradually its works appear to the play plans of the opera houses. The majority of its works, formerly for unspielbar held, are nowadays into thatTo find repertoire of the most famous baroque ensembles. Its last work “Les Boréades” arrived only 1982 at the premiere, since the samples were broken off because of RAM from death in the year 1764.


Jean-Philippe Rameau
Jean Philippe Rameau

beside the dramatic works makes the chamber music a relatively small part ofRAM from work out. Those approximately 50 individual records for Cembalo solo developed nearly all before its operas. While first published collection (1706 a Suite with nine sentences contain, exist the two other collections (1724, 1728) from in each case two Suiten, those accordinglythe French preferences over hardly more than the kind of clay/tone to be held together. In each case first of the two Suiten consists of a mixture of dance sets, at whose beginning Allemande and Courante stand. Those second is a consequence of pieces of character ( Les in each case tourbillons = the eddy hoist or Les sow-vague = the wild ones) and other sentences with titles (L'enharmonique).

The Pièces de clavecin EN has a completely own structure concert from 1741 for Cembalo, violin and Gambe (as a substitute the instruments could be exchanged for a flute or a second violin).Here it does not concern the popular Triosonaten, with which the Cembalo suspends only an accompanying general bass, but around works, with which all instruments take over independent roles. A model for this form were the Pièces de clavecin EN of sonates (1734) of Mondonville. In five Suiten with in each case three to four sentences organized pieces partial titles by program have, partly kept it additional the names from persons such as La Pouplinière (RAM from Mäzen) or La Laborde (at that time its pupil).


of instrument valley works

  • among other things 5 pièces de clavecin EN (1741)
  • 3 livres de pièces pour le clavecin (3 books Cembalostücke 1706 - 1724 - 1728)
    • Les Tendres Plaintes (1724) concert
  • La Dauphine individual work (1747).


with year andPlace of the first performance.

lyric comedies

  • La Princesse de Navarre (thosePrincess von Navarra) 1745 Versailles
  • Platée 1745 Versailles
  • Le procureur dupé sans le savoir 1758/9 Paris
  • Les Paladins 1760 of Paris

ballet operas

  • Les meanwhile galantes 1735 Paris
  • Les Fêtes d'Hébé 1739 Paris
  • Les Fêtes de Polymnie 1745 Paris
  • Le Temple de la Gloire(The victory temple) 1745 Versailles
  • Les of fêtes de l'Hymen de et l'Amour or Les Dieux d'Egypte 1747 Versailles
  • Les of surprises de l'Amour (the surprises of the Amor) 1748 Versailles

Heroi works

  • Zaïs 1748 Paris
  • Naïs 1749 Paris
  • Acanthe et Céphise 1751 Paris
  • Daphnis etEglé 1753 Fontainebleau
  • Lysis et Délie 1753 - music lost

clenching document

  • Pygmalion
  • La naissance d' Osiris (the birth of the Osiris)
  • La Guirlande
  • Anacréon (libretto of Cahuzac)
  • Anacréon (libretto of Gentil Bernard)
  • Les Sybarites
  • Nélée et Myrthis
  • IO
  • Zéphyre


  • Lesamants trahis (the betrayed lovers)
  • L'impatience (the impatience)
  • Aquilon et Orithie
  • Orphée
  • Thétis
  • Le Berger Fidèle (the good shepherd)


  • Deus more noster refugium
  • Quam dilecta
  • concert in
  • convertendo
Laboravi [work on



  • Udo Bermbach: Departure into a simple modern trend. Jean Jacques Rousseau against Jean Philippe Rameau - an political-aesthetic controversy. In: Ders., where power rests completely on crimes. Politics and society in the opera. Frankfurt 1997, S. 79-100. ISBN: 3-434-50409-5

Web on the left of

Wikiquote: Jean Philippe Rameau - quotations


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