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The Musette, a Court Instrument, Just an Instrument

La musette, un instrument de cour, un instrument tout court

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Published on Wednesday, October 24, 2018


The musette, a small learned bagpipe used in the music of the French court, between the late Renaissance and the end of the Baroque period, around the middle of the 18th century, also benefited from an extraordinary infatuation with high society in the context of amateur practice.


France / Normandy - University of Rouen 27, 28 and 29 May 2019, Maison de l'Université


The musette, a bagpipe used abundantly in the music of the French court between the late Renaissance and the end of the Baroque period, aroused extraordinary enthusiasm, affecting an aristocratic society eager for pastoral music, which practiced it willingly, often in the company of the hurdy-gurdy. Begun at the end of the 17th century, this phenomenon, affecting even the royal family, reached its peak between the 1720s and 1760s and led French composers, such as Boismortier, Corrette or the Chédeville brothers (to mention only the most prolific), to publish an impressive volume of chamber music, including nearly 200 score books, thus placing the musette just behind the violin and the flute. During the first half of the 18th century, a rich and varied repertoire was played, ranging from"small arias" (dances, vaudevilles, brunettes, etc.) to sonatas and concertos requiring real virtuosity, on this instrument whose instrumental construction has never ceased to become more complex. Parts of musettes are also present in number in operas, from Lully to Rameau...

The musette died out, carried away by the end of the Baroque musical style, in the 1760's. If it remained in performance in decorative arts until the end of the 19th century, its musical practice completely ceased, only to be reborn long after, at the very beginning of the 1980's, thanks to the renewed interest in early music of this period. Since then, its practice has continued to grow, the instrument is now taught in some conservatories (Toulouse then Versailles in France, Louvain in Belgium...) with a department of early music.

The purpose of this conference is therefore to make the musette better known and to enhance its value in all its aspects. It is aimed at specialists, simple music lovers and anyone interested. It offers events of various natures that bring together researchers, manufacturers, practitioners and enlightened amateurs. Its location in Normandy seems obvious because of the close links that the region and the world of the musette have always maintained. In addition to the fact that Michel Corrette (1707-1795), who composed a lot for the musette was a native of Rouen, the"hard core" of the making of the musette in the 17th and 18th centuries, with the two families Hotteterre and Chédeville, is located in the sector of La Couture-Boussey in the Eure. Although some members of these two great factor dynasties settled in the capital to get closer to their customers of the court of Versailles, theyalways kept important links with their place of origin. In Paris, they combined their activity as instrument makers with that of master musette player and musician to the king.

Finally, the great favour enjoyed by the court musette in its time is due to the birth and evolution of a number of artistic genres likely to interest all those interested in history, musicology, art history and literature: Ancient Regime, organology, practice and repertoire, Iconography, birth and evolution of the Pastoral, spoken theatre and lyrical theatre, etc.

Submission Guidelines

The 30-minute presentations will be followed by a 10-minute exchange. Travel and accommodation costs will be covered for all participants. Proposals for 300 words, accompanied by a short curriculum vitae and a list of publications, should be sent by e-mail to

before December 31, 2018, at Jean-Yves Rauline, Université de Rouen Normandie, jean-yves.rauline@univ-rouen.fr.

Scientific Commitee

  • Jean-Yves Rauline Master of Conference University of Rouen CéRéDi
  • Mario Armellini Master of Conference University of Rouen CéRéDi
  • Joann Elart Master of Conference University of Rouen GRHIS
  • Florence Gétreau, directrice de recherche émérite au CNRS, IReMus (Université Paris-Sorbonne, CNRS, BnF).
  • François Lazarevitch Musician and pedagogue, Artistic Director of the Musiciens de St Julien, Professor at the CRR of Versailles Holder of the CA of Early Music.
  • Rémy Dubois Honorary Musette Factor, organology researcher
  • Jean-Paul Combet General Director of the Bach Academy, Founder of the Alpha label, producer of the Other World
  • Vincent Robin: Oboist and musician. Graduate of the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (Diploma thesis: Inventaire raisonné des musettes (1596-1782), 2009). Doctoral student in musicology (Thesis subject: The musette, origins and developments)
  • Patrick Blanc Musician, Professor at the CRR and the Higher Academy of Music of Strasbourg 

Online information: we invite you to visit the website of the Musiciens de Saint-Julien -http://www.lesmusiciensdesaintjulien.fr/

Project description

The international symposium will take place on 27, 28 and 29 May 2019 and will be divided into a series of conferences focusing on the instrument, its making and practice followed by round tables and concerts.

  • The history of the musette. (Old musettes preserved)
  • The point on the instrumental invoice. State of research
  • The Normans in Versailles: From Couture to the Capital.
  • The iconography of the musette. Overview of the performances.
  • The ornamentation and articulation from the Hotteterre method.
  • The repertoire applied to dance. Dance and Cadenza.

The university works will be punctuated by musical moments testifying to the vitality of the practice of the instrument:

  • Recitals
  • Concerts
  • Workshop presentations
  • baroque ball

The luthiers will be closely associated with the study days and a special place will be reserved for them.

A thematic tour of the city of Rouen will be proposed:

Rouen, the city of a hundred musettes

This conference will take place in parallel with the annual training course devoted to the baroque musette and hurdy-gurdy, led by the ensemble Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien (dir. François Lazarevitch) on 8, 9 and 10 June 2019.


  • Maison de l'Université, Salle de conférences - Rue Lavoisier
    Mont-Saint-Aignan, France (76130)


  • Monday, December 31, 2018


  • musicologie, Ancien Régime, organologie, pratique et répertoire, théâtre parlé , théâtre lyrique, musette baroque, Versailles, Normandie, facture instrumentale


  • Jean-Yves Rauline
    courriel : jean-yves [dot] rauline [at] univ-rouen [dot] fr
  • François Lazarevitch
    courriel : f [dot] lazarevitch [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Marie Baudart
    courriel : colloque [dot] musette [at] listes [dot] univ-rouen [dot] fr

Reference Urls

Information source

  • Jean-Yves Rauline
    courriel : jean-yves [dot] rauline [at] univ-rouen [dot] fr


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« The Musette, a Court Instrument, Just an Instrument », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Wednesday, October 24, 2018, https://doi.org/10.58079/1126

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