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Donald James Fader
University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0001)
Italian Music in Louis XIV’s France: The Goûts-réunis, Noble Patronage Networks, and the Roots of the Musical Enlightenment

Preparation of a book on French music and patronage networks during the late reign of King Louis XIV (ca. 1685-1715).

This is a study of the social, intellectual, and musical implications of a mixed Italo-French musical idiom (the goûts-réunis) that emerged during the late reign of Louis XIV (ca. 1685-1715). This phenomenon brought an end to the dominance of a style established by Jean-Baptiste Lully as a touchstone of French "good taste" defined against Italian "extravagance." I propose a reevaluation of the period’s cultural history--heretofore seen as a product of the rise of a bourgeois public sphere--by documenting the critical role played by experiments with the Italian style among networks of princely patrons, their courtiers, and artistic clientèles. Their writings and scores reveal the goûts-réunis to be a tectonic shift in French musical language emphasizing the expressive effects of Italian harmonic techniques promoted as part of their broader artistic opposition to royal classicism, and an incubator for Enlightenment concepts of the sublime and the irrational in the arts.

Project fields:
European History; Music History and Criticism

Fellowships for University Teachers

Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2016 – 12/31/2016