Life &Times

BBC Music Magazine - - Composer Of The Month -

LIFE: Though he is not due to in­herit the post of or­gan­ist at St Ger­vais for­mally un­til his 18th birth­day, he is al­ready ef­fec­tively per­form­ing the role, and re­ceives pay­ment of 300 livres a year.

TIMES: Louis XIV is­sues the Edict of Fon­tainebleau which, in re­vok­ing the ear­lier Edict of Nantes, de­prives the Huguenots of the right to prac­tise their re­li­gion with­out per­se­cu­tion.


LIFE: Tak­ing out a 20-year li­cence to print his own mu­sic, he be­gins with the pub­li­ca­tion of his Pièces de clavecin: pre­mier livre and a trea­tise, L’art de toucher le clavecin. TIMES: A num­ber of Euro­pean states, in­clud­ing France, Spain and Bri­tain, sign the Treaty of Utrecht, ef­fec­tively lead­ing to the end of the 14-year War of the Span­ish Suc­ces­sion.


LIFE: He is born in Paris on 10 Novem­ber into a mu­si­cal fam­ily. He re­ceives tuition from his fa­ther, Charles, who is or­gan­ist at St Ger­vais.

TIMES: Play­wright Molière’s satire L’avare (‘The Miser’) re­ceives its first per­for­mance at the theatre of the Palais­royal in Paris. It rapidly be­comes a hit across Europe.


LIFE: He is ap­pointed as an or­gan­ist at the court of Louis XIV, per­form­ing du­ties in the first quar­ter of each year. TIMES: The French painter Jac­ques Rousseau, best known for his de­pic­tions of clas­sic ru­ins and mastery of the trompe l’oeil, dies aged 63.


LIFE: As his health de­clines, he en­lists the help of his cousin, Ni­co­las Couperin, with his du­ties at St Ger­vais. Ni­co­las even­tu­ally be­comes his suc­ces­sor. TIMES: Upon reach­ing his 13th birth­day, Louis XV as­sumes power as king of France, tak­ing over from Philippe II, Duke of Or­léans, who has been act­ing as re­gent.


LIFE: Shortly af­ter tak­ing out a new tenyear li­cence to print his mu­sic, François Couperin dies, aged 64, in Paris. TIMES: French math­e­ma­ti­cian Abra­ham de Moivre, the au­thor of the first book on prob­a­bil­ity the­ory The Doc­trine of Chances, pro­poses the for­mula for es­ti­mat­ing a fac­to­rial as n! = cnn+1/2e–n. Ob­vi­ous, re­ally.

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