UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The music for dessus de viole of Louis Heudelinne (fl. c. 1700-1710) Atley, Sharie


Louis Heudelinne"s two volumes, "Trois Suites de pieces" (Paris: Christophe Ballard, 1701) and "Second livre de pieces" (Paris: Foucault, 1705) contain the earliest published music for solo dessus de viole (treble viola da gamba). They are also among the very little solo literature for the instrument. Heudelinne's music not only reflects the highly developed French basse de viole style of violistes such as Marin Marais (1656-1728), but also shows influence of the Italian style that penetrated French compositions at the turn of the eighteenth century. The use of dessus and basse de violes, the organization of highly stylized dance movements into suites, and the frequent marks and ornament signs in Heudelinne's music are clear indications of the French tradition. The designation of the violin as an alternate instrument, certain elements of Italian melodic style, and the inclusion of sonates for the first time in a French publication show Heudelinne's interest in the Italian style. This thesis is concerned with bibliographical aspects of the books as well as musical and historical significance of their contents. In Chapter I, there is historical background on the viola da gamba family in France and the development of solo styles for the dessus and basse de violes. Chapter II deals with the influence of the Italian sonata on French instrumental music from 1690 to 1725. Chapter III contains what little biographical information is known about Heudelinne and summarizes significant aspects of the bibliographical study presented in Appendix II. Chapter IV is an analytical study focusing on form and style in Heudelinne's music with reference to the selection of facsimile examples included in Appendix III. The remaining appendices, I and IV, include facsimile examples of Louis Couperin's music for viol ensemble and translations of prefatory and other verbal material in Heudelinne's volumes. Many new elements were introduced into French music in the years following Lully's death in 1687 and Heudelinne's music reflects the upheaval during this period. His music follows the basse de viole style, showing particular influence by Marais, but also adapts some of the Italian violin style to the dessus de viole. Although Heudelinne does not succeed as brilliantly as Francois Couperin and other major composers of his day in this early attempt to unite the French and Italian styles, his two books nevertheless add a good deal of interesting music to the limited solo repetoire of the dessus de viole.

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