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CHAPTER 36 Music in Paris and at the Court of Versailles: Instrumental Music In seventeenth-century France, music for lute reached a zenith in the history of Baroque music. The Gaultier cousins in particular dominated lute playing in Parisian salons at midcentury. Two important developments took place at this time: • by 1630, the vogue of the ballet de cour had spread to the repertory for lute; sets of dances were loosely organized in suites according to key and/or tuning • new tunings emerged besides the standard one in fourths, and lower strings were added. • Tombeau: an instrumental composition commemorating someone's death • Style brisé: literally "broken style," it denotes a discontinuous texture in which chords are broken apart and the notes enter one by one. • In the second half of the seventeenth century, the harpsichord replaced the lute as the chamber instrument of choice in France. The Couperin family, working at St. Gervais in Paris for nearly 175 years, was especially significant for the development of a repertory. • Unmeasured prelude: an opening piece popularized by Louis Couperin that is without bar lines and rhythmically free. By mid seventeenth century, composers had adopted the genre as an effective way to open their keyboard suites. François Couperin ("Le Grand") • Surely the greatest of the Couperins, he served as organist at St. Gervais in Paris and as personal harpsichordist of the king. He wrote most of his chamber music for the royal court and taught the king's children and grandchildren. • The Art of Playing the Harpsichord: François Couperin's pedagogical manual for clavecin (French for "harpsichord") which provides a thorough discussion of fingering, ornamentation, and performance practice in general. Agréments: French for ornaments. Indicated by a variety of symbols rather than written out in full, agréments were to be realized by the performer. Couperin's The Art of Playing the Harpsichord is an especially invaluable resource for the performer of Baroque harpsichord music. • Notes inégales: an unwritten performance technique in which a succession of equal notes moving rapidly up or down the scale is played unequally (for example, long-short). • Overdotting: an unwritten technique in which a dotted note is made longer than written, while the short note(s) that follows is shortened. • Ordre: similarly to a suite, a group of pieces loosely associated by feeling and key. In his four collections of harpsichord music, Pièces de clavecin, Couperin organized his two hundred twenty pieces in ordres. • Rondeau: in the Baroque era a composition based on the alternation of a main theme (refrain) with subsidiary sections called couplets (ABACADA...A).