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(b La Côte-Saint-André, Aug 29, 1737; d Paris, July 24, 1794). French scholar. After his studies at the seminary in Vienne and his ordination, Du Contant settled in Paris, where he took his doctorate at the Sorbonne in 1765. He was vicar-general of Vienne in 1789, when he had to abandon his post during the Revolutionary disturbances. He fled to Paris and went into hiding, but was discovered, imprisoned and guillotined. A specialist in Hebrew studies, he left a Traité sur poésie et la musique des hébreux, pour servir d'introduction aux pseaumes expliqués (Paris, 1781) which later appeared in Italian as Trattato sopra la poesia e la musica degli ebrei (Venice, 1788). The treatise, although synthesizing the studies of Jewish music made since the time of Mersenne, Calmet and Lamy, is nonetheless experimental. Du Contant was influenced by the theories of Roussier (Mémoire sur la musique des anciens...