Lully, Jean-Baptiste

Period: Baroque

Born: Sunday, November 28, 1632 in Florence, Italy

Died: Saturday, March 22, 1687 in Paris, France

Nation of Origin: Italy/France

Major Works:

Armide et Rénaud (1686)
Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme (1670)

Other Information:

Quick Facts

  • Blended ballet and drama to produce the "tragedy lyrique".
  • Composed operas on mythological themes with interludes of dancing and singing.
  • Elaborate ballet scenes and choruses
  • Innovative: used exact notation and proper French declamation in recitative.
  • Established the first permanent orchestra in Europe consisting of 24 strings.
  • His orchestrations used a 5-part string texture with more woodwinds (especially solo writing for the oboe and bassoon) than was common at the time. He is credited with the birth of the orchestral ensemble.
  • He created the French overture, originally just the opening music for the opera, it developed into an independent form. The French overture is in two parts (slow-homophonic followed by fast-contrapuntal).

General Bibliography:

Bukofzer, Manfred F., Music in the Baroque Era, from Monteverdi to Bach, W.W. Norton & Company, November 1947, ISBN: 0393097455

Palisca, Claude V. Baroque Music, Prentice Hall, December 1990, ISBN: 0130584967

Slonimsky, Nicolas and Kuhn, Laura; Editors, Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, Gale Group, December 2000, ISBN: 0028655257

Sadie, Stanley and Tyrrell, John; Editors, The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Groves Dictionaries, Inc., January 2004, ISBN: 0195170679

Rutherford-Johnson, Tim, Kennedy, Michael, and Kennedy, Joyce The Oxford Dictionary of Music, Oxford University Press, 6th Edition, 2012, ISBN: 0199578109

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