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Musical Theatre at the Court of Louis XIV


  • 101 b/w illus. 1 table 10 music examples
  • Page extent: 360 pages
  • Size: 310 x 227 mm
  • Weight: 0.872 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9780521020220 | ISBN-10: 0521020220)

Dance played a major role in all French Baroque theatrical entertainments. Le Mariage de la Grosse Cathos, a short ballet performed at the court of Louis XIV, is of major importance, largely because it has survived complete in all its components - choreography, music, and text - and also because it uses a previously unknown dance notation system. This book reproduces the entire manuscript of this ballet and provides a comprehensive study of the work itself and of the circumstances in which it was created and performed. Chapters devoted to the composer, choreographer, and performers provide a framework for understanding the performance context not only of this work, but of other court entertainments of the period. A study and evaluation of the notation system in which the dances are recorded, together with a detailed analysis of the dances, completes the introduction.

• This book reproduces the manuscript of the only complete, surviving Baroque ballet, making it a unique publication • The manuscript contains the complete choreography, i.e. all the dance steps, meaning that it can be danced today as intended in the seventeenth century • The text explains the ballet and background in full detail


Introduction; 1. The performance context; 2. The creators and performers; 3. Le Mariage de la Grosse Cathos in performance; 4. The music; 5. The dance notation; 6. The dances; 7. The sources; Appendix A. Libretto; Appendix B. Reproduction of the article 'Choregraphie' from the Encyclopédie ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des metiers (1753).


'... fascinating and valuable ...' Early Music

'Rebecca Harris-Warrick and Carol Marsh's superb study … reflects a significant marriage of historical research methodology and historical performance experience, presented in a lucid reader-friendly format.' Music and Letters

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