"to hide art by very art"
"cacher l'art par l'art même"



Jean-Philippe RAMEAU





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Birth of Jean-Philippe Rameau, in Dijon. He was christened on September 25, in the collegiate  Saint-Etienne.
His parents were Jean Rameau and Claudine Demartinécourt. Jean Rameau was the organist at several churches in Dijon. His wife was the daughter of a notary and belonged to the lesser nobility. Jean-Philippe was the seventh out of  eleven children. The first four were daughters, the fifth a son, then came another daughter and then only boys. The last but one being Claude, the organist and father of the famous "Rameau's Nephew".

Jean Rameau taught music to all his children. Besides Jean-Philippe and Claude who were musicians, Maret mentioned Catherine Rameau, who was an excellent harpsichord player and teacher in Dijon.

As regards Jean-Philippe's childhood, it is said that he knew his notes before he could read.

Louis XIV settled in Versailles.

Lully, Phaéton.

Birth of Watteau. Death of Corneille.

Lully, Amadis.


Revocation of the Edict of Nantes.

Lully, Roland.

Birth of Bach, Händel & Domenico Scarlatti.

First sonatas in trio by Corelli.

Death of  Lully.

Charpentier, Te Deum.

Rameau studied in the Jesuit College des Godrans  (now the city-library - see picture). His parents wanted him to become a lawyer.
He distinguished himself by a remarkable quick-wittedness, but during the classes he used to sing or compose music.
" This description  by  Père Gauthier, a schoolfellow of Rameau, was collected by Maret. In fact, Rameau's performances in school are  so lame that the priests begged Jean Rameau to take him away.

Campra, L'Europe Galante.

Jean-Philippe had made up his mind that he wanted to become a musician. He went and stayed three  months in  Milano. Later, he said he regretted not to have spent more time in Italy "where he could have improved his taste".
Little later he was "first fiddle" in  a troupe of travelling Milanese artists (Marseille, Lyon, Nîmes, Albi, Montpellier).

In Montpellier, a certain Lacroix is supposed to have taught him the "octave rule" for realizing figured bass. According to Maret, Rameau was never taught composition, except by his father.

Destouches, Omphale.

Marais, Premier  livre de viole.

Beginning of the Succession war of Spain (the war lasted until 1713).


From January to April, Rameau was engaged  as a temporary organist at Notre-Dame des Doms in Avignon, pending the arrival of the appointee : Gilles.

In May he was in Clermont where he signed a six-years agreement to serve the cathedral chapter as organist.

Rameau composed his first cantatas.

Raguenet published  Parallèle des Italiens et des Français en ce qui regarde la Musique et les Opéras (Parallele between the Italian and French people as regards Music and operas)

Campra, Tancrède.

Louis Marchand, two Harpsichord Books.


Galland translated The Arabian Night to french.

Clérambault, Harpsichord Book.


Le Cerf de la Viéville, Comparaison de la musique italienne et de la Musique française


Apparently, the full-term of the contract with Clermont was not reached because Rameau was in Paris.

J.-Philippe was appointed organ-player at  the Jesuit Collège Louis-le-Grand, in rue Saint-Jacques, and at the Fathers of Mercy's, rue du Chaume. Jean-Philippe was in touch with Louis Marchand, the first French organist of his time.

In September, J.-Philippe applied for the organ of La Madeleine en Cité, he succeeded but didn't took up the position. Probably not to have to give up his two other organs.

First Book of Pieces for Harpsichord.

He leaved Paris around 1708, and moved a lot : Dijon, Clermont, Lyon, and Clermont again. We have little information about these years.

Marin Marais, Alcyone.

Death of Pachelbel.

Händel's first trip to Italy.


A "Peasant Duet" by Rameau was published in the collection of Airs sérieux et à boire, by Ballard.

Hotteterre, Principes de la Flute Traversière / Principles of the Transversal Flute.
E. Jacquet de la Guerre, Suites.


On  March 27, Rameau signed an agreement with the council of Notre-Dame at  Dijon, where he succeeded his father. He stayed in Dijon until 1713. The contract was of six years, but once again, Jean-Philippe left before the end.


Birth of Jean-Jacques Rousseau.


Rameau was "maitre-organiste" (Organ master) at Lyon, at the Jacobins (Dominicans).

Several of the grands motets are dated from his stay in Lyon : Deus Noster Refugium, Quam dilecta, as well as the lost Exultet Coelum laudibus. And possibly the lost cantatas Médée
& L'Absence.

Birth of Diderot.
Death of Corelli.

François Couperin, Premier livre de Pièces de Clavecin.
Bach, French Suites (1713-1717).

Discovery of Herculanum.


In December, death of Jean Rameau, the father. Jean-Philippe went to Dijon and stayed in the city until his brother's wedding.

Great Nights in Sceaux.

Birth of Gluck.


January : Wedding of Claude Rameau, Jean-Philippe's young brother.

On April 1st , Rameau was appointed again by the Chapter of the Cathedral of Clermont. He stayed there until his departure to Paris in 1722. He had signed a contract for 29 years.
Maret placed there a funny anecdote about how Rameau managed to break off his contract.  Rameau wanted to leave, but he has signed and the Chapter wanted him to stay, so, in occasion of a mass, he put all his skill in producing the most awful music he could,  pulling out the most unpleasing breaks and adding all the possible discords. It was so unbearable that they asked him to stop playing.
The chapter reproved him, but he said that he would not play otherwise. And they let him go.
The same anecdote is reported about his brother Claude.

The cantatas Aquilon et Orithie, Téthis & L'Impatience were probably composed during this time.

During this stay in Clermont, Rameau deepened his theoretical knowledge and his reflexions on music, and built up the theories he would publish some years later in Paris.

Death of Louis XIV.  Regency of the  Duke of Orléans .

Couperin, Les Goûts réunis.

1716 Motet Deus Noster Refugium.

Couperin, Second livre de clavecin.

Händel, Brocke's Passion.


Couperin, L'Art de toucher au  clavecin.
Marais, Quatrième livre de viole.

Birth of d'Alembert.

Watteau, Embarquement pour Cythère.

1718 Motet In Convertendo.

Defoe, Robinson Crusoe.
Watteau, Gilles.
Dandrieu, Principes de l'accompagnement du clavecin.

1720 Quam dilectat, motet.

Benedetto Marcello, Il Teatro alla Moda.

1721 Cantatas Les Amants trahis & Orphée.

Peter the Great,  tsar of Russia.
Death of Watteau.
Montesquieu, Lettres Persanes.

Les Eléments, Destouches & Lalande.


Rameau moved to Paris at the end of 1722 or at the beginning of 1723, and would stay there until his death.
He earned his living by teaching harpsichord playing and composition. He  also worked for the Fair Theatre provinding music for Piron's sketches. 

Publication of the Treatise on Harmony reduced to its natural Principles. This book contains the score of Rameau's Laboravi, a movement he probably extracted from a grand motet. This treatise earned him the reputation of learned theoretician.

J.-S. Bach, The well-tempered clavier.
Couperin, Troisième livre de clavecin.
Händel, Ottone.


L'Endriague, on a libretto by Piron, was given on February 8, with a "piece composed in high music".

France  : Death of the Regent.

Campra enters the Royal Chapel.
Colin de Blamont, Les Fêtes Grecques et romaines.


Deuxième livre de pièces pour clavecin, prefaced with Méthode de la Mécanique des doigts.


The Fair theatre gave dances by Louisiana Indians under the title Les Sauvages. Rameau composed the  music.

Louis XV married Marie Leczinska.

Philidor  established Le Concert Spirituel.

Death of  d'Alessandro Scarlatti.


On February 25, Rameau married Marie-Louise Mangot. Her father, Jacques, was a King's musician ("Symphoniste du Roi") and her mother a dancer. Marie-Louise was  19 and she was a musician and singer. She had distinguished manners, a good upbringing, a gift for music, a very pleasing voice and a good taste in singing.

(Their marriage seems to have been a happy one. They had four children : 2 boys and 2 girls.)

Rameau's family settled rue des Petits-Champs.

Rameau published Nouveau Système de Musique théorique.

He  composed
L'Enrôlement d'Arlequin, & La Robe de Dissension, for the Fair Theatre, on librettos by Piron.

In this years (at least before 1727), Rameau was introduced, probably by Piron, to his future sponsor, Alexandre le Riche de La Pouplinière.

Death of Delalande.

Rebel & Francoeur, Pyrame et Thisbé.

Vivaldi, Four Seasons.

Swift, Gulliver's travels.



Birth of Rameau's first child,  Claude-François, christened on August 8 in the church St. Germain l'Auxerrois.

Rameau was  organ-player at the Church Ste-Croix de la Bretonnerie. He would keep the work at least until 1738.
He competed for the organ of Saint Paul but failed. They choose Daquin.

October 25, Rameau, who wanted to compose operas, wrote a letter to Houdar de la Motte, the most famous librettist of the time in France, to ask him for a libretto (Lettre à Houdar de la Motte). We don't know wether La Motte replied or not, but he didn't provide any libretto.

Aquilon et Orithie, Thétis, Le Berger fidèle,  cantatas.

Nouvelles Suites de Pièces pour Clavecin

The thesis by Tobias Westbladh from the  University of Upsalla was the first scholar work referring to Rameau's theories.

England ; Georges II became King. Händel composed the Coronation Anthem.

In Russia, Peter II succeeded Catherine I.

1728 Cantata Le Berger fidèle.

A second thesis related to Rameau's theories was defended by  Antonius Löfgrön, of the Universtity of Upsalla.


Couperin, Quatrième livre de Pièces de Clavecin.

Marivaux, Le Jeu de l'Amour et du hasard.

Goldoni, Don Juan.


Rameau was appointed conductor of La Pouplinière's private orchestra.

Abbé Prévost, Manon Lescault.

Rameau met the Abbé Joseph-Simon Pellegrin, future librettist of Hippolyte et Aricie, at La Pouplinière's.

Dissertation sur les différentes méthodes d'accompagnement.

Rameau was appointed organ-player at la Bretonnerie.

Birth of Rameau's second child,  Marie-Louise, christened on November 15.
The family had moved to rue du Chantre.

First appearance of Rameau's name in a dictionary, the Musicalisches Lexicon oder Musicalische Bibliothec by Johann Gottfried Walther, Leipzig.

Death of Louis Marchand.

Birth of Haydn.

Evrard Titon du Tillet publishedLe Parnasse François, a tribute to the musicians of Louis XIV's time. It was completed in 1743 and 1755.


Hippolyte et Aricie, on a libretto by Pellegrin, was given privately by La Pouplinière's orchestra and singers at his house in rue Neuve des Petits-Champs, in March or April.
By July it was  being rehearsed at the Royal Academy of Music (the Opéra), and the first public performance was given on October 1.
Rameau was fifty.

This work started the great quarrel between the Lullists and the Ramists (in other terms, between the Ancient and Modern) .

At the end of the year, Rameau and Voltaire began to work together at  the tragedy  Samson (libretto).

Succession War of Poland.

Death of François Couperin.

Pergolesi, La Serva Padrona.
Bach, Bminor Mass.

Voltaire, Lettres Philosophiques, Lettres anglaises.

1734 Les Courses de Tempé, for the Fair Theatre. On a libretto by Piron.

Hippolyte et Aricie was performed in Dijon.

Tartini, Violin Sonatas, op. 1.

Bach, Christmas Oratorio.
1735 Les Indes galantes, ballet héroïque on a libretto by Louis Fuzelier.

Rameau settled down at the Hôtel d'Effiat, rue des Bons Enfans, n° 21 (near the Palais Royal), where he stayed until 1744 (the house was standing till recent time but was pulled down for the opening of the rue du Colonel Driant).

Aubert, First French book of Violin Concerti.
Pergolesi, Olimpiade.

Dom Calmet, Histoire naturelle.


Samson, composed by Rameau on a libretto by Voltaire was censored (libretto).

Castor et Pollux, tragédie lyrique, on a libretto by Bernard, was performed at Versailles.
"Rameau, famous  musician, who already composed three operas, has just given the fourth one, called  Castor & Pollux. This opera had little success and was pretext to the following verses, which were not written by a poet, but by a gentleman :
Against  moderne music
Here is my last reply :
If difficult is beautiful,
Rameau is a great man ;
But, if, by chance, beautiful
is only what is simply natural,
And depicted the same  way,
Rameau is a stupid man

Mémoires du duc de Luynes, 25 novembre 1736.

Rameau opened his School of Composition (Ecole de Composition -  cf. document).

Cartaud de la Vilate, Essai historique et philosophique sur le goust (Historical and philosophical essay on Taste), Amsterdam.

Death of Pergolesi.
Death of Caldara.

1737 Castor et Pollux, tragédie lyrique, at the Académie Royale..

Rameau publishes La Génération Harmonique.

Abbé Desfontaines published Observations sur les Ecrit modernes in which he condemned Rameau's  Génération Harmonique.

As a response to
Desfontaines, Thérèse des Hayes (Mrs La Pouplinière), Rameau's pupil, wrote "Etude sur la Génération Harmonique de Rameau" (Study on Rameau's Génération Harmonique), for Le Pour et le Contre, a magazine run by the  Abbé Prévost. (see text in French).

Construction of the Theatre San Carlo in Naples.

Campra, Second livre de motets à grand choeur.

Linné published Classification des végétaux.

1738 Rameau  gave up the organ  of La Bretonnerie.

End of the Succession War of Poland.


Les Fêtes d'Hébé, ballet in 3 acts.

Dardanus, tragédie lyrique.

Dupré was appointed maître de ballet at the Opéra.

De Brosses, Lettres d'Italie.


Birth of Rameau's third child, Alexandre, who would die very young.

Opening of the Succession of Austria. France broke with England.

Händel, Deidamia, his last opera.

1741 Pièces de clavecin en concert. Death of Vivaldi.

Händel, Messiah.
Bach, Variations Goldberg.

30 January 1742 -  Les Amours de Ragonde by Jean-Joseph Mouret, is revived by Académie Royale de Musique, nearly 30 years after the creation  at Sceaux (1714).


Rameau and his family moved from the Hôtel d'Effiat, to rue Saint-Thomas du Louvre.

Birth of Rameau's  fourth child, a girl called Marie-Alexandrine.

Rameau composed Les Jardins de l'Hymen ou La Rose, for the Fair.

Death of Campra.

Bach, The well-tempered Clavier - second book.


Rameau was appointed Compositeur de la Musique du Cabinet du Roi, and given a pension of  2000 pounds.

From this date, Rameau's address mentioned on various publications was rue Saint Honoré, "in front of the caffé Dupuis" or "near the Palais Royal".

Rameau began to work  on more frivolous works, like opera-ballets and pastorals.

La Princesse de Navarre, divertissement composed by Rameau to accompany Voltaire's play, performed in Versailles.
"After diner, at about five, the King came at the Mr. Dauphins and Mrs Dauphine's. The ballet was to begin at six. The lyrics are by Voltaire & the music by Rameau ; the theme of the play is the Princess of Navarre... The ballet ended only at 10 ; it is said the music was greatly approved."
Mémoires du Duc de Luynes, 24 February 1745.

, comedy-ballet, Versailles.

Les Fêtes de Polymnie
, ballet in 3 entrees and a prologue on a libretto by Cahusac.

Le Temple de la Gloire, an opera-ballet composed to celebrate the victory of Fontenoy, was performed in Versailles, in the room of the Small Stables.
"The performance and staging seem to me to have been approved. The music is by Rameau ; several pieces were enjoyed ; and the King himself, at his Great Diner, spoked about it before Rameau saying he was pleased. The words are by Voltaire and were criticised a lot. Voltaire too was at the King's diner, but the King said nothing to him. The theme is the Temple of the Glory, where the conquerers are not admitted on the title of their  victories only ; Belus, Bacchus are outcasted from it, & Trajan is  received in it for combining the greatest virtues with the greatest  exploits".
Mémoires du Duc de Luynes, 30 November 1745.

Louis XV declares war on England and Austria.


Le Temple de la Gloire, reworked (3 entrees and a prologue) was performed at the Royal Academy of Music.

Rameau and his family moved to rue de Richelieu, "in front of the King's Library", which was La Pouplinière's mansion.


Les Fêtes de l'Hymen et de l'Amour, ballet in 3 acts and a prologue.
The words are by M. Cahusac & the music  by Rameau ; it was titled The Gods of Egypt, but the name was changed for Les Fêtes de l'Hymen et de l'Amour. Rameau's music has generally a lot of supporters and one must admit that it is full of harmonies. Lully lovers think that Rameau is sometimes strange, and that several of his works are in the Italian manner : this is how the criticisers judged his past operas ; nevertheless, one cannot help to think that he is one of the greatest musicians we have. The opera given on last Wednesday was rated according to those opposite feelings ; all the connoisseurs, and Rameau himself, agree that the overture is not good, and he has planned to compose a new one. But, there are some wonderful pieces of music in it, a musette, a chorus which is strange but produces a beautiful effect. The King seemed to be happy about it ; he stopped on his way to speak to Rameau. He said that maybe he'll have this opera performed again after Eastern."
Mémoires du Duc de Luynes, 18 March 1745.

La Dauphine, piece for harpsichord.


Zaïs, heroic pastoral in a prologue & 4 acts.

, ballet in one act.

Les Surprises de l'Amour, ballet performed in Versailles.
"On past Wednesday the King visited for the first time the new opera built in the Ambassadors' Stairs... On this day was performed an opera or  divertissement in three acts, composed on three different themes, a prologue & two ballets, which lyrics are by Sir Bernard, secretary of M. Marshall de Coigny from the dragons and librarian at Choisy, and the music by Rameau. The prologue is  Le Retour d'Astrée ; they pictured the forges of Lemnos.
Madame Duchess of Brancas was Astrée ; Mr Duke  d'Ayen, Vulcain ; M. de la Salle, Time ; Mme Marchais, a Pleasure ;
The first ballet is entitled  La Lyre enchantée. Madame de Pompadour was Urania ; M. de la Salle, Linus, son of Apollo ; Mme Marchais, Eros.
The second ballet was entitled Adonis.
Madame de Pompadour was Venus, and performed and sang everything the best way  ; Mme Marchais was Eros : Mme Duchess of Brancas, Diana ; M. Duke of Ayen, Adonis ; M. vicount of Rohan, a servant of Diana...
Between the grade and the stage is the orchestra, which is bigger than the one of the small gallery, and can hold up to 40 persons. The musicians and the public are comfortable, and one can hear clearly the actor's voices from any place......"

Mémoires du duc de Luynes, 29 November 1748.

Treaty of d'Aix-la-Chapelle, ending  the Succession war of Austria  (28 October).

Denis Diderot, Mémoire sur différents sujets de mathématique, & Principes généraux de la science des sons.

Monsieur & madame La Pouplinière separate. The concerts are  stopped. The performances will start again only in  1751.

Montesquieu, L'Esprit des lois.
David Hume, Essays on Philosophy.

Finding of the ruins of Pompei.



Naïs, heroic pastoral, a work to celebrate the Peace  of Aix-la-Chapelle.

, lyric tragedy - December 5, Royal Academy of Music.

July, Rameau's Letter to M. de Ste Albine on Platée.

Rameau gave to the Academy of Sciences his Mémoire où l'on expose les fondements d'un système de Musique théorique et pratique/
Memoire where one explains the fundaments of theoretical and practical music. He published it the following year under the title  Démonstration du Principe de l'Harmonie/Demonstration of the principles of Harmony.

Händel, Royal Fireworks, to celebrate the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle.

Birth of Goethe.

Bach, The Art of  Fugue.

Buffon, Histoire Naturelle de l'Homme.
Diderot, Lettre sur les Aveugles - Letter on the Blind.

Arrival of Baron Melchior Grimm in Paris.



Rameau, Démonstration du principe de l'harmonie.

Platée was performed again.

Death of Bach & Albinoni

Rousseau, Discours sur les Lettres et les Arts - Speech on the Letters &  Arts.

Release by Diderot of the prospectus to herald the appearance of  the  Encyclopédie.


Acanthe et Céphise, heroic pastoral in 3 acts, on a libretto by Marmontel. Performed onNovember 18 at the Académie Royale de Musique in occasion of the birth the Duke of Burgundy.

La Guirlande ou Les Fleurs enchantées
, opera-ballet in one act, on a libretto by Marmontel, performed on September 21 at the Académie Royale de Musique.

Revival of  Les Indes Galantes, in a production by Servandoni.

Rameau reworked his motet In Convertendo.

Marie-Louise, Rameau's second daughter, took the veil at the Visitandines' in Montargis. Rameau didn't attend the ceremony.

Diderot, Letter on the Deaf and the Dumb.
Voltaire, Le Siècle de Louis XIV -Louis XIV's Century.
Hume, An Inquiry Concerning Moral Understanding.

Publication of the first volume  of the Encyclopaedia & of the Discours préliminaire - Preliminary Speech by d'Alembert.


Rameau entered the Querelle des Bouffons.

Daphnis et Eglé
, ballet in one act.

. This opera by Rameau was never performed. During the rehearsals at the marquise de Villeroi's the score mysteriously disappeared.

Foundation of a Literary Society in Dijon, which Rameau was invited to join.

Second edition of the Pièces en Concerts,. The address mentioned on the book is rue des Bons-Enfans where Rameau remained till his death.


14 January : revival of Omphale by Destouches, at the Académie Royale de Musique. It was the starting point of the quarrel known as Querelle des Bouffons (Quarrel of the Buffoons), in which the Philosophers showed they determination in judging French opera seria on the criteria of the Italian Opera Buffa.

17 January : Zoroastre, is performed in Dresden in an Italian translation by Casanova.

Février : Melchior Grimm publishes his Letter on Omphale.

1st August : The Italian performed Pergolesi's Serva Padrona. It was not the first performance in France but the previous one, six years before, had fallen flat.

D'Alembert, Elements de Musique théorique et pratique selon les Principes de M. Rameau - Elements of theoreticcal and practical music according to M. Rameau's Principles.

Rousseau, Le Devin de village. The work was performed at the Court in Fontainebleau on October 18 & 24, and at the Opera on
March 1st 1753.

Quantz, Method for the Transversal Flute.


Lysis et Délie, pastoral.

Les Sybarites
, ballet in one act on a  libretto by Marmontel. Performed at the Court in Fontainebleau  on November 13.

Rameau broke off with his sponsor La Pouplinière.

Rameau, Réflexions sur la manière de former la voix - Reflections on the manner to form the voivce.
Rameau, Reply to Euler.

Janvier : Grimm published Le Petit Prophète de Boemischbroda.

November : J.-J.Rousseau attacked Rameau, in his Letter on French Music.

Diderot, De l'Interprétation de la Nature - On the Interpretation of Nature.
Third  volume of the Encyclopédie.

Dauvergne, Les Troqueurs.

Buffon, Discours sur le style - Speech on the style.


Rameau published Observations sur notre instinct pour la musique et sur ses principes - Observations on our instinct for music and on its principles.

La naissance d'Osiris
, ballet in one act.

A ballet in one act called Anacreon was then given, which words are by M. Cahusac and music by Rameau  ; the opinions about this work are divided ...
Mémoires du duc de Luynes, Fontainebleau, 27 octobre 1754.

The performance of last Saturday was the second one of  Anacréon ; as this act was not successful for the musician and for the poet as well, here is what one says : this is not Rameau's anymore, but this is  still Cahusac's.
Mémoires du duc de Luynes, Dampierre, 30 octobre 1754.

Castor et Pollux
was performed in a reworked version. It's a fabulous success which temporarily puts an end to the Querelle des Bouffons.
"Never a success was equal to this one, for it had no  detractors,  and because more than hundred performances couldn't diminish the pleasure that the whole Paris had in hearing that beautiful Opera, which pleases at the same time the soul, the heart, and the mind, the eyes, the ears and the imagination".
La Borde, Essai sur la musique.

Cahusac, Traité histoique sur la danse - Historical treatise on Dance.
Tartini, Trattato di musica secondo la vera scienza dell'Armonia.
Rousseau, Discours sur l'origine et les bases de l'inégalité -  Speech on the origins and bases of inequality.


Rameau publishes Erreurs sur la musique dans  l'Encyclopédies - Mistakes about music in the Encyclopaedia.


Rameau publishes Suite des erreurs sur la musique dans l'Encyclopédie - Continuation of the Mistakes about music in the Encyclopaedia.

January 20 : performance of Zoroastre, in a widely modified version.

Beginning of the Seven Years' War.

Birth of Mozart.

Anacréon was added to Les Surprises de l'Amour.

Rameau published : Réponse de M. Rameau à MM. les éditeurs de l'Encyclopédie sur leur dernier avertissement/M. Rameau's reply to the publishers of the Encyclopaedia regarding their ultimate acknowledgement (see text in French).

The Royal Academy of  Music, directed by Rebel et Francœur, signed with Rameau an exclusive contract, with appointments of  1500 pounds per year for the composer.

July 12 : Revival of Les Sybarites at the Royal Academy of Music.

Diderot, Le Fils Naturel.

In order to save money the great  performances of Fontainebleu were cancelled.

Death of D. Scarlatti.

C.P.E. Bach, Essai sur la véritable manière de toucher le clavecin.


Rameau composed music for a little comic opera (comédie mêlée de vaudevilles) entitled   Le Procureur dupé - a private work. The music is lost.


Revival of Dardanus. It was huge success.
The  public lately, gave his  (Rameau) talents their  due in a brilliant way ; it was in occasion of a performance of Dardanus. They saw him in the amphitheatre ; they all turned toward him and applauded him for a quarter of an hour ; after the Opera ended, the applause followed him up to  the Stairs ".
Fréron, Année littéraire, 30 octobre, 1760.

Rameau submited to the Accademia delle Scienze dell'Instituto di Bologna a manuscript entitled Nouvelles Réflexions sur le Principe sonore - New Reflections on the sound Principles. He published  it the year after with many changes.

Rameau started to correspond with Padre Martini.

Ippolito, ed Aricia, italian version of Rameau's opera by Treatta. The libretto was translated from the French one by a priest, Frugoni. Traetta kept part of the original music. The work was performed in Parma.

Death of Händel.

Les Paladins, comédie-ballet.

Rameau : Code de la Musique Pratique ou méthode pour apprendre la musique même à des aveugles, pour former la voix et l'oreille, pour la position de la main, avec une mécanique des doigts sur le clavecin et l'orgue, pour l'accompagnement... avec de nouvelles réflexions sur le principe sonore.

Rameau published Nouvelles réflexions sur le principe sonore.

Rameau : Lettre à M. d'Alembert.

Rameau moved back to rue des Bons-Enfans.

Noverre, Lettre sur la danse et sur les ballets.

Death of Georges II ; Georges III became King.


Rameau was elected member of the Academy of Dijon.

Mail exchange with d'Alembert.

Rousseau, La Nouvelle Héloïse.

Rameau published his Lettre aux Philosophes - Letter to the Philosophers, in  Journal de Trévoux.

In a letter Padre Martini begged Rameau to help Goldoni who was settling in Paris.

Orfeo, by Gluck.

D'Alembert, Eléments de Musique théorique et pratique suivant les principes de M. Rameau, éclaircis, développés et simplifiés.

Rousseau, The Social Contract et Emile.


Les Boréades. Rameau's last work. It was reahearsed, on April 25 in Paris, in the scene dock of the opera, rue Saint-Nicaize, and on April 27 in Versailles, but for various reasons it was never performed in public.

February 10, a Treaty of Peace ending the Seven Years' War.

April 6 : Paris Opera house was destroyed by a fire.

Mozart arrived in Paris.


In the beginning of the year  Rameau was ennobled by the King, and named Chevalier de l'Ordre de Saint-Michel (Knight of the Order of Saint-Michael). He chosed his arms : "azure field with a silver colombe holding a golden olive branch (rameau) in its beak ".

Rameau published Vérités également ignorées et intéressantes tirées du sein de la nature.

Rameau died on September 12.
He was burried in Saint-Eustache church, in Paris, on September 13.

Medal of the Order of Saint-Michel

Death of Marquise de Pompadour.

Jean-Marie Leclair, violinist & composer died in Paris.
Death of Locatelli in Amsterdam, & of Mattheson in Hambourg.

Opening of the new opera house of the Tuileries (salle des Machines, set by Soufflot) with the revival of Castor et Pollux.
The opera was revived four more times until  1784, and still with great  success.

In October, Dardanus & Castor et Pollux were performed at the court in Fontainebleau.

Gluck's first stay in Paris.

Voltaire published his Dictionnaire philosophique.


Dr Hugues Maret, Eloge historique de M. Rameau, Dijon.


Zoroastre was performed at the  Opéra de Paris for the Opening of the new venue. The 1756 version was performed, with cuts and parts added to the score by Berton, the conductor.