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date: 19 January 2020

Blainville, Charles Henri delocked

  • Mary Cyr


(b nr Tours, 1711; d Paris, 1769). French theorist, composer and cellist. The Marquise de Villeroy was for a time his pupil and patron. He claimed the discovery of a third mode (‘mode mixte’) between major and minor, and his theories provoked controversy and criticism (from Daquin, La Borde and others); after the performance of his symphony in the newly discovered third mode, on 30 May 1751, Rousseau published a sympathetic comment in the Mercure de France (June 1751), and Blainville himself replied (November 1751 and May 1752) to objections such as those of J.A. Serre (January 1752).

In his L'esprit de l'art he discussed aspects of vocal composition and performance: recitative, ariette, the voice, accompaniment and expression. His last theoretical work, the Histoire générale et philologique (dedicated to the Duchesse de Villeroy) has a final section on harmonic theory, in which he tried to demonstrate that the method of ‘counterpoint’ (of Corelli, Lully and Campra) is preferable to that of the ...

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