Le Prince et la musique : les passions musicales de Louis XIV

Work published with the scientific and financial support of the CRCV and resulting from the research programme “A Study to recreate the Great Entertainments produced at Versailles under Louis XIV led by the Research Centre.

Le Prince et la musique : les passions musicales de Louis XIV, (proceedings of the international symposium held on 20, 21 and 22 September 2007 at the Palace of Versailles), texts brought together by Jean Duron, Éditions Mardaga / Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles (“Studies from the Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles” Collection), October 2009, 17 x 24 cm, 320 p., 60 black & white illustrations, 35 colour plates, €29 (ISBN: 978-2-8047-0024-9).

This book by Jean Duron was awarded a special mention in the prix des muses 2010 2010 at the Musée d’Orsay on 16 March 2010.


When he built Versailles, Louis XIV dared to give the modern world its first temple dedicated to music. No other court in Europe strove more constantly to achieve fame through music, making each room of the palace and each time of the day resound to its own music. No other monarch put so much effort into creating an image of his function through music. And no other kingdom in Europe devoted so much money to the most impalpable and ephemeral of all the arts. Bringing together the foremost specialists of the subject (historians of music, art and literature), this book seeks to analyse the special relationship, direct or indirect, real or fictional, between the monarch and music throughout his reign. Focusing on the central question of the ’king’s taste’, these essays tackle a succession of subjects that include: the education of the king and princes, the king’s reading matter, his love of dance, the omnipresence of musical representation in the palace décor, the court’s instruments and, more generally, the cultural policy of Versailles.

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