French family of musicians. The family name was originally Danican (possibly a corruption of ‘Duncan’), and according to La Borde the name ‘Philidor’ derives from the family’s earliest known musician, Michel Danican, whose oboe playing supposedly inspired in Louis XIII a comparison with the Italian oboist Filidori. It seems likely that the musician who pleased Louis XIII was the father of another Michel Danican (b Dauphiné, c1610; d ?Bordeaux, Aug 1659) and of Jean Danican (b ?Dauphiné, c1610; d Paris, Sept 8, 1679), the first member of the family whose name appears in documents as ‘Danican dit Filidor’. By 1645 Jean was in the royal service as oboist in the musketeers, and both he and Michel (ii) were employed in the Grande Ecurie, the branch of the royal musical establishment that supported military and other outdoor performances, Michel by 1651 as a member of the Cromornes et Trompettes Marines, and Jean around ...
Rebecca Harris-Warrick and Julian Rushton
revised by Rebecca Harris-Warrick
[l’aîné; le père after 1709]
Member of Philidor family
(b ?Paris, c1652; d Dreux, Aug 11, 1730). French music librarian, composer, and instrumentalist, son of Jean Danican. The date of his birth is unknown, but his death certificate gave his age as ‘approximately 78’. In 1659 he was named to the position formerly held by Michel Danican in the Cromornes et Trompettes Marines and from 1667 to 1677 he served as hautbois in the royal musketeers. From 1670 his name appears in librettos of Lully’s ballets and operas as a performer on a number of woodwind and percussion instruments (as of 1714 he owned 33 instruments including oboes, flutes, recorders, bassoons, musette, and drums). In 1678 he was named a drummer in the Fifres et Tambours and he was appointed to the prestigious 12 Grands Hautbois du Roi in 1681; from 1682 he served as ordinaire de la musique de la chapelle...