Repository logo

Keyboard arrangements of Lully's music and their significance for French harpsichord music

Change log


Chung, David Yu-Sum 


This thesis aims to establish the place of keyboard arrangements from Lully within the French harpsichord repertoire in matters relating to style, detail of techniques, and performance practice. Chapter One provides the background fo.r the 'practice of making arrangements by reviewing contemporary and secondary documents. I, underline the fact that the making of arrangements (since Attaingnant 1531) contributed to an enlargement of the keyboard repertoire, and that the concurrent rise of Luny and the harpsichord, both associated with the aristocratic world, inevitably led to the practice of making arrangements from Luny. ' Chapter Two examines the keyboard sources in detail in order to determine the relationship of Luny arrangements to the original harpsichord repertoire. Gustafson's catalogue provides most of the sources relevant to this study. My contribution involves the study of performance media, scribal habits, notation, and all matters which shed light on the background of these sources. As a rule, arrangements may appear in sources in one of the three main contexts, indicating their use: (1) in anthologies consisting exclusively of arrangements; (2) in self-contained orchestral-type suites; and (3) in composite suites containing works of more than one composer. . Chapter Three analyzes the techniques employed by arrangers to solve the problem of representing orchestral textures10n the keyboard. It also aims to establish the status of individual arrangers and to determine how the making of arrangements from orchestral music widens the range of effects available to keyboard players. Such an analysis shows that, while some of the techniques obviously belong to part of the common vocabulary of contemporary keyboard language, others appear to have been developed specifically from the pra<?tice of making arrangements. Chapter Four focuses on two main aspects of French performance practice in the light of both contemporary theoretical sources and the evidence in the notation itself: (1) the mesure; and (2) ornamentation. An examination of notational details between parallel settings of arrangements alongside orchestral versions sheds light on crucial performance matters in which treatises and ornament tables remain silent, such as the contentious issue of the pre-beat and on-the-beat interpretation of ornaments (e.g. the port de voix and the coule,). Chapter Five sets out to estimate in terms of original harpsichord pieces written in the post-Lully era (1699-1730) the nature and extent of Lullian influence in the development of French harpsichord repertoire. Lullian influence is manifested in two main ways: (1) the addition of new orchestral genres; and (2) the transfer of orchestral style to the keyboard. It is most strongly felt in the overture and orchestral dances, notably the chaconne and passacaille. As a general conclusion I draw attention to the fact that arrangements from Lully are as important as original pieces in shaping the development of French harpsichord music. In particular, I point up the usefulness of these arrangements in furthering our knowledge of performance matters with regard to different notations of the same effect and different implications of the same notation.





Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Awarding Institution

University of Cambridge