Rameau and Musical Thought in the Enlightenment
This is the first intellectual biography of the French composer and theorist Jean-Philippe Rameau. Rameau synthesised the vocabulary and grammar of musical practice into a concise scientific system, earning himself the popular title of 'Newton of the Arts'. Ranging widely over the musical and intellectual thought of the eighteenth century, Thomas Christensen is able to orient Rameau's accomplishments in the light of speculative and practical considerations of music theory as well as many of the scientific ideas current in the French Enlightenment. He shows how Rameau incorporates ideas ranging from neoplatonic thought and Cartesian mechanistic metaphysics to Locke's empirical psychology and Newtonian experimental science. Additional primary documents help clarify Rameau's fascinating and stormy relationship with the Encyclopedists, Diderot, Rousseau and d'Alembert.
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Rameau and the Enlightenment
Rameau as music theorist
Precursors of harmonic theory
The generative fundamental
The fundamental bass
The corps sonore
Mode and modulation
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Academie acoustical analysis analyzed arguments arithmetic basse fondamentale basso continuo Bernoulli cadence Cartesian Castel Chapter chordal chromatic Code de musique composer composition consonant triad corps sonore counterpoint critical d'Alembert Demonstration derived Descartes diatonic Diderot dissonant chords dissonant seventh dominant dominante-tonique eighteenth century Elemens empirical Encyclopedic enharmonic Enlightenment Euler Example explained French fundamental bass genre geometric progression Gianotti Gossett harmonic harmonique Ibid ideas intervals inversion Jean-Philippe Rameau letter Mairan major third mathematical mechanistic melody Memoire Mersenne method minor mode minor triad modulation monochord motion music theory musical practice musicians musique pratique nature Newton Newtonian Nouveau systeme Nouvelles reflexions octave original overtones Paris perfect fifth philosophes pitch proportions Pygmalion Rameau's theory ratios reason regie Rousseau scale degree scientific scientists seventeenth century seventh chord sixth string divisions subdominant suggested supposition sympathetic resonance term theoretical theorists thorough-bass tonal tonic tonique treatise triple progression unison vibrating string writings Zarlino