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date: 20 November 2019

Le Maire, Jeanlocked

  • Albert Cohen


(b Chaumont-en-Bassigny, Haute-Marne, c1581; dc1650). French mathematician, engineer and inventor. He lived in Toulouse and Paris. His widespread interests led to the development of novelties in such diverse areas as architecture, language, mnemotechnics and typography. In music he is credited with devising an equal-tempered scale, with adding a seventh syllable (za) to the hexachordal solmization system, with constructing a new type of lute (the Almérie – an anagram of his name), and with proposing a novel musical notation (‘musique almérique’). Although Mersenne (MersenneHU, and in his correspondence) strongly supported Le Maire's ideas, others did not, and controversy regarding his inventions spread throughout France and elsewhere in Europe.

A. Pirro: ‘Jean le Maire et l'Almérie’, BSIM, 4 (1908), 479–82 C. de Waard, ed.: Correspondance du P. Marin Mersenne (Paris, 1932–), esp. ix (1965), 563–9 A. Cohen: ‘Jean Le Maire and La Musique Almérique’, ...

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Bulletin français de la S.I.M. [also Mercure musical and other titles]
Acta musicologica