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It is impossible to tell with certainty how much or how little of bardic music survives. By the 18th century, when antiquarians in Britain and Ireland became aware of the social function of ‘ancient’ music (i.e. ‘Celtic’ music), it was already too late to record in reliable form an authentic bardic style of singing, chanting or reciting poetry to the accompaniment of a harp. It is important, furthermore, to separate the concept of ‘bard’ from that of ‘instrumental musician’, for they were distinct in the Middle Ages. The bard would often have with him a harper and a person (datgeiniaid) to sing or declaim his songs, but no description of how the songs were performed survives. In Ireland, a parallel class, namely the recairi, sang or recited the praises of their leaders, again to the accompaniment provided by a harper. The main part of the verse may have been chanted in a monotone, with cadential melodic inflections as in psalmody, and supported by harp chords; such a method of performance is described in Mayo as late as the 18th century....


Bruce Alan Brown and Paulette Letailleur

French family of dramatists, singers, and actors active in musical theatre.

Favart, Charles-Simon (b Paris, Nov 13, 1710; d Belleville [now in Paris], May 12, 1792)

Favart [née Duronceray], Marie-Justine-Benoîte [‘Mlle Chantilly’] (b Avignon, June 14, 1727; d Paris, April 21, 1772)

Favart, Charles Nicolas Joseph Justin (b Paris, March 17, 1749; d Belleville [now in Paris], Feb 2, 1806)

F. and C. Parfaict: Dictionnaire des théâtres de Paris (Paris, 1756/R, 2/1767, with G. d’Abguerbe)Meusnier: Manuscrit trouvé à la Bastille concernant deux lettres-de-cachet lâchées contre Mademoiselle de Chantilly et M. Favart, par le Maréchal de Saxe (Paris, 1789; another edn, Brussels, 1868)A.-P.-C. Favart, ed.: Mémoires et correspondance littéraires, dramatiques et anecdotiques de C.-S. Favart (Paris, 1808/R), esp. 1, pp.lxxiv–lxxx [incl. historical introduction by H.F. Dumolard]A. Le Blanc de Ferrière: Favart à Bruxelles (Paris, 1811)...


Bruce Alan Brown

Member of Favart family

(b Paris, Nov 13, 1710; d Belleville [now in Paris], May 12, 1792). French librettist, playwright, composer, and impresario. He was one of the most highly regarded and prolific librettists of opéra comique during the mid-18th century, which saw both the Querelle des Bouffons and the gradual replacement in the genre of vaudevilles (popular songs) by newly composed, italianate ariettes.

According to his own fragmentary memoirs Favart inherited from his father, a pastrycook, a love of the theatre and of song; his mother encouraged his literary studies. He attended a collège until the death of his father in 1730 necessitated his return to the family business, in which he continued even after his first successes at the fairground theatres of the Opéra-Comique. Many of his early pieces (among them several parodies) were written with others, including his mentor Charles-François Panard, whose allegorical satire he imitated. These nevertheless brought him to the attention of noble patrons, including the Maréchal de Saxe....


Mary Hunter, James L. Jackman, Marita Petzoldt McClymonds, David Charlton, Dennis Libby, and Julian Rushton

Italian, later French, family of composers.

Piccinni [Piccini], (Vito) Niccolò [Nicola] (Marcello Antonio Giacomo) (b Bari, Jan 16, 1728; d Passy, nr Paris, May 7, 1800)

Piccinni, Luigi [Lodovico] (b ?Rome or Naples, 1764; d Passy, nr Paris, July 31, 1827)

Piccinni, Louis Alexandre [Luigi Alessandro; Lodovico Alessandro] (b Paris, Sept 10, 1779; d Paris, April 24, 1850)

BurneyFI; FétisB; La BordeE; RosaMJ.A. Hiller: ‘Sechste Fortsetzung des Entwurfs einer musikalischen Bibliothek’, Wöchentliche Nachrichten und Anmerkungen, 3 (1768), 57–64J.F. Marmontel: Essai sur les révolutions de la musique en France (Paris, 1777)G.M. Leblond: Mémoires pour servir à l’histoire de la révolution opérée dans la musique par M. le Chevalier Gluck (Naples and Paris, 1781)P.L. Ginguené: ‘Dessein’, ‘France’, Encyclopédie méthodique: musique, ed. N.E. Framery and P.L. Ginguené, 1 (Paris, 1791)P.L. Ginguené: Notice sur la vie et les ouvrages de Nicolas Piccinni...