Jean Rameau

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Jean Philippe Rameau (1683 - 1764) was a French composer of the Baroque era. His father was organist for the cathedral in Dijon in western France and started his son's musical training at a young age. He studied law, but at 17 abandoned the subject and moved to Italy, before seeking a position as an organist in Paris. He was unsuccessful, and soon moved to the mountains at Auvergne. There he wrote treatises on harmony and made studies of the inversions of chords.

It was not until much later that Rameau became well known, as he began a long series of operas. Among his compositions are Castor and Pollux, Hypolite et Aricie, Dardanus, and Le temple de la gloire. He also was a prolific composer for the harpsichord, and other chamber music.


  • Eva Hansl and Helen Kaufmann, Minute Sketches of Great Composers, Grosset and Dunlap