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date: 17 October 2019

Perne, François-Louis locked

  • Jean Mongrédien
  • , revised by Katharine Ellis

Extract

( b Paris, Oct 4, 1772; d Laon, May 26, 1832). French music historian, composer, singer and double bass player . He sang in the parish church choir of St Jacques-de-la-Boucherie in Paris, taking music lessons from the choirmaster, the Abbé d’Haudimont. He sang in the chorus of the Opéra from 1792 until 1799, then played the double bass in the Opéra orchestra until 1816. He was appointed professor of harmony at the Conservatoire in 1813, having worked as Catel’s assistant from 1811. In 1815 he was entrusted with the administration of the Conservatoire, serving as inspector general from 1816 to 1822 and succeeding the Abbé Roze as librarian in 1819. He also played the double bass in the orchestra of the Tuileries chapel from its reopening in 1802. He retired in 1822 to the département of Aisne, where he continued private studies until his death.

Perne is best known for his writings on the history of music. He took an early interest in both Greek and medieval music and, as a tireless researcher, brought together an impressive number of documents. In an age in which composers and theorists alike tackled their problems uncritically and were indiscriminate in repeating or commenting on the opinions of others, Perne insisted on going back to the ancient and medieval texts and studying them in their original languages. He lacked the time – and perhaps the talent – needed to put them into proper form and to construct informed theories from them. He took a particular interest in the problems of the notation of Greek music and read a paper on this subject at the Institut de France in ...

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Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France
F.-J. Fétis: Biographie universelle des musiciens