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Bloechl: Savage Lully

Article Citation: 
Cahiers du dix-septième: An Interdisciplinary Journal, XI (2006) 45-80
Olivia Bloechl
Article Text: 

Like many earlier productions at the court of Louis XIV, Jean-Baptiste Lully’s and Philippe Quinault’s last court ballet, Le Temple de la paix (1685) entertained the king and his guests with the spectacle of singing and dancing “sauvages.” According to the livret’s description of the first performance, the fifth entrée of the ballet featured an opening rondeau performed by a troupe of dancers costumed as American Indians. In the solo récit that commenced the entrée proper “un sauvage” explained that his company of Americans had crossed the ocean in order to pay homage “au plus puissant des Roys.” His refrain accordingly praised Louis in exuberant terms:

Son nom est reveré des Nations sauvages. Jusqu’aux plus reculez Rivages Tout retentit du bruit de ses Exploits. Ah! qu’il est doux de vivre sous ses loix (Quinault 28).

A chorus of basses repeated the refrain, and the Americans’ portion of the entrée concluded with a danced gavotte and gavotte air (“Dans ces lieux”) that hailed the return of the Golden Age in the “Provinces de l’Amerique qui despendent de la France.”

Though their American origins would seem to ensure their exotic differentiation in this context, Lully’s and Quinault’s Indians in fact sound more like ideal absolutist subjects. The Americans’ verses in Le Temple de la paix echoed royal panegyric familiar from decades of court performance, and in many respects their music, which I consider here, resembles that assigned to other celebratory figures in royal spectacles and operas. While the musical-dramatic idiom developed by Lully and his librettists could differentiate foreign peoples or places as exotic when that was desirable, the representation of foreign and colonial peoples depended more on the political demands of a particular performance or work than on an ideology of exotic difference per se. In Le Temple de la paix, for example, the Indians’ role is similar to that performed by the shepherds, Basques, Bretons, and Africans, whose entrées also celebrate the peace wrought by Louis XIV’s rule. The Americans’ foreign difference—or exoticism—in relation to the French is perceptible in some aspects of their characterization, but their value in this ballet’s political economy stems mainly from their ability to enhance the king’s gloire through their tribute of praise (Pritchard 234).

Yet praise of a sovereign by colonial peoples has different political connotations than praise offered by native-born or naturalized subjects. Royal panegyric modeled subjects’ willing, even joyous submission to monarchical rule, and Quinault’s assignment of royal panegyric to Indians transferred its absolutist model of subjugation to the relation between Louis XIV and colonial peoples. The librettists’ universalization of royal panegyric symbolically absorbed colonial peoples into the absolutist power structures that the spectacles memorialized. This strategy of symbolic absorption had important correlates in the assimilationist colonial policy and practice overseen by the king’s finance minister, Jean-Baptiste Colbert, as I discuss below. However, the question of colonial peoples’ political and cultural relation to France was more vexed than the ballets’ and operas’ absolutist rhetoric could account for. Political historian K. A. Strandbridge argues that the absolutist centralization of power and governance under Colbert was at least compatible with, and may even have required the incorporation of non-French peoples (both in the Gallic peninsula and in North America) into the French body politic (Stanbridge 44-45). The symbolic political integration of colonial peoples in royal spectacles was thus in keeping with some aspects of absolutist political theory and ideology—in particular, the aim to centralize power in the institution of the monarchy, and the emphasis on imperial expansion of the crown’s territories. Yet the political and, especially, the cultural absorption of colonial peoples threatened the distinctiveness of the elite French cultural identity that Colbert cultivated assiduously through absolutist patronage of the arts (Isherwood 150–80). The absolutist logic of royal spectacles demanded the symbolic integration of colonial peoples as quasi-French subjects; yet the threat that this posed to the integrity of a developing French cultural identity also encouraged performance of their difference.

The contradiction inherent in the spectacles’ dual posture toward colonial figures is a classic example of what Homi Bhabha terms colonial “ambivalence.” Ambivalence, in Bhabha’s sense, is apparent in colonial strategies of “mimicry” that realize “the desire for a reformed, recognizable Other, as a subject of a difference that is almost the same, but not quite” (emphasis in the original) (Bhabha 86). The ambivalence of colonial mimicry stems from its presentation of the colonial as an amenable object, that only just eludes regulation or representation. According to Bhabha, the near-identity of mimicry’s colonial other has a correlate in the nearly absolute difference of the colonial other figured as a “menace,” whose “difference...is almost total but not quite” (Bhabha 91). Both strategies—the desire for the colonial other as nearly the same (“mimicry”), and the fear of the colonial other’s near-total difference (“menace”)—involve ambivalence; and both are evident in early modern discourse and performance that invokes colonial relations, as, for example, in the twin stereotypes of the noble and ignoble savage. However, these and other colonial strategies were selectively preferred in colonial-era artistic productions according to the particular political demands that constrained the performance(s) in question. We should therefore expect to find different representational strategies at work in musical spectacles produced in different social and political contexts—which is why critical approaches that are only prepared to deal with “exotic” difference are often unable to account for the full range of colonial strategies evident in a particular work or performance (more on this below).

Royal spectacles produced under Louis XIV’s patronage are good to think with in this respect, because their rhetorical, material, and musical characterization of colonial peoples resists straightforward ideological analysis. Rarely do the spectacles depict colonial peoples’ “exotic” cultural difference without mediating marks of cultural likeness or political tractability, since in a French absolutist political context “difference” that was radicalized beyond “pleasing variety” threatened to diffuse the ideal concentration of power and authority in the monarchy, by opening a space for a questioning response from elsewhere. Likewise, however, the spectacles often supplemented their characterization of politically subjugated colonial peoples with marks of their cultural difference (though rarely their political resistance). The latter strategy, of mimicry, dominated the spectacles’ portrayal of Indians, which seem to vacillate between the necessity of mirroring the king’s power and presence through Indians’ symbolic subjugation, and the necessary of maintaining their minimal difference, which justified the continued exercise of French colonial power. The preference for mimicry in French colonial performance likely reflected France’s unusual approach to colonial relations in the early period, which emphasized trade, political alliance, intermarriage, and a unidirectional cultural integration. 1

The ambivalence of the spectacles’ colonial mimicry is reflected in their mixed representational strategies in relation to Indians. The formulaic panegyric, standardized dance forms, and minimally differentiated costumes assigned to Indians point to a desire to integrate them by extending normative artistic idioms to their characters. Yet departures from these stylistic norms could also highlight the exotic difference of Indian figures, for purposes of pleasure and cultural conservation. In this article chapter I argue further that Lully’s musical characterization was itself shaped by a French absolutist ambivalence toward colonial peoples. The nuanced idiom that Lully developed from the 1660s onward sometimes exoticized Indian figures by assigning them contextually aberrant styles. Yet, strikingly, the formulaicism and conventionalism that characterized Lully’s mature noble style also defined much of his music for Indians, especially in the later works. Applied to colonial figures, Lully’s noble idiom endowed them with what the French regarded as the most highly cultivated form of music and movement (and this cultural endowment must surely count among the “bienfaits” that the livrets continually ascribed to Louis XIV’s conquest of foreign peoples). The decorous style that Lully assigned to Indians actively normalized their characters by minimizing or eliminating musical traces of their cultural difference or, by extension, political resistance. It can thus be understood as an artistic mimicry of the “ideal” outcome of French colonial relations in the New World.

With this approach I aim to revise the tendency for early music scholarship to isolate composers’ exoticist stylistic differentiation as the sole significant point of contact between French Baroque music and colonial ideologies. Other intersections between early French music and early colonization included the effects of colonial encounters on French music concepts (Bloechl) and the performance of French works in the colonies (Powers). This article remains with the matter of musical style and its politics, due to its importance for the operatic querelles that erupted among the French literati from the period of Lully’s dominance through the late eighteenth century, as well as for present-day early music scholarship. However, rather than emphasizing the important work of stylistic differentiation in Lullian performances with colonial themes, I explore the possibility here that the exclusion of difference involved in Lully’s intensively normative, noble musical style was itself a powerful vehicle for colonial ideological meanings.

Lully’s Savages

The American “savages” of Le Temple de la paix had many antecedents in French court and public spectacles produced during the reigns of Henri IV (1589–1610) and Louis XIII (1610–1643) (De la Laurencie 284–89; McGowan 256–309). During the reign of Louis XIV (1643–1715), the king’s surintendant de la musique, Jean–Baptiste Lully, composed music for “Indian,” “American,” or “savage” characters in at least thirteen royal ballets de cour, intermèdes, and tragédies lyriques (Table 1). Table 1 lists all of the spectacles in Lully’s output that alluded directly or indirectly to French colonial relations in the Americas, through their use of terms that, in the spectacles as elsewhere, primarily designated native American peoples. The table thus includes numbers for non-American peoples, in recognition of the notorious multivalence of terms like “Indian” or “savage” in the seventeenth century, which was not simply the result of ignorance or carelessness on the part of librettists. Rather, a careful reading of the livrets suggests that poets deliberately exploited the flexibility of American colonial terminology in order to elicit analogies between ancient models of conquest and modern French colonization. They thus emphasized likenesses among peoples whose cultural identities strike us as irreducibly diverse, as is the case with the spectacles’ broad application of the terms “Indien” or “Indienne.” 3 Although the French were aware of cultural differences among peoples they labeled “Indians” or “savages,” specifying their mutual differences was far less of a priority than representing their subordinate political relation to France, either directly or through parallels with ancient empires.

In the court ballets, “Indian” characters sometimes had their own entrées, or else they joined other foreign or “exotic” characters in the ballets des nations or grands ballets that concluded some performances. Lully’s and Quinault’s tragédies lyriques had fewer Indian characters, and when they did appear their roles were limited to the divertissements, sections that preserved many of the features of the ballets. In both genres, Indian figures could be inflected as pastoral, martial, comic, or noble characters, though the pastoral variety, as in Le Temple de la paix, was by far the most common type, especially in later works. The music that Lully assigned to Indians always corresponded to the dramatic level and situation of their character type, and it therefore differs considerably across works.

However else their characterization might vary, “Indians” and “savages” were uniformly represented as subject peoples pacified under the Sun King, or his heroic alter-egos. 4 The artistic characterization of Indians as compliant subject peoples presented an idealized outcome of French colonial policy. The most influential early articulation of French colonial policy was in relation to the Americas; and as Cornelius Jaenen, Sara Melzer, and others have shown, throughout the seventeenth century colonial officials advocated the assimilation, or francisation, of indigenous American peoples through conversion, intermarriage, and education, as well as political or military domination (Aubert; Jaenen 153–89; Melzer 220–40). Louis XIV’s minister, Jean-Baptiste Colbert, was a particularly staunch advocate of this policy, even when faced with evidence of its dismal failure (Belmessous; Jaenen 173–185). Although royal spectacles were far more than propaganda for Colbert’s colonial policies, their fantastic mimicry of pacified, culturally assimilated colonial peoples was consistent with the policy aims of Louis’s minister.

Ces Indiens que nous voyons. Apres que le Soleil a noircy leurs visages Eviter avec soin l’ardeur de ses rayons,
Ne nous paroissent pas trop sages: Mais combien d’amants incensez.

Example 1 LWV 8/32 “6 Indiennes,” Amour malade

Semblent les imiter par leur tardive crainte, Et qui des traits d’Amour veulent parer l’atteinte Lors seulement qu’il s’en trouvent blessez ([Buti] 29).

Other style features that may have indicated exoticism in Lully’s compositions for Indian characters include the use of the “doubled continuo” texture (which I discuss below in relation to Le Temple de la paix), or, as in L’Amour malade, the presence of multiple meters in a single dance number, which sometimes indicated a comic or grotesque character. The entrées for Indians in the Ballet d’Alcidiane (1658) and the Ballet des Muses (1666), as well as L’Amour malade, each included internal metrical shifts, though this may also have indicated their accompaniment of pantomime dances. 8 As the tentativeness of the above discussion indicates, caution is necessary when trying to identify exoticist style features in Lully’s music, as in French Baroque music in general, because of the subtlety and equivocation that typically attach to such gestures. 9 Example 2 LWV 27/30 “Les Indiens et Phones” Naissance de Venus phrasing and its strong opening motif of three long pulses, followed by a faster dotted-rhythm consequent.

Lully’s music for the troupe of “sauvages Amériquains” in his last ballet, Le Temple de la paix, illustrates this well. As was often the case with foreign characters in Lully’s works, the Americans commenced their performance with one of the standard courtly dances, here, an F-major rondeau in the style of a gigue (Example 3). The division into a grand couplet (measures 1–4), which acts as a refrain, and two intermediate couplets (mm. 4–8 and 12–16) was the preferred form for Lully’s rondeaus, and the harmonic shift to the keys of B-flat and C in the first and second couplets is also unexceptional. The rondeau’s style identification as a gigue is somewhat less certain. Though the dance has the expected triple meter and halting dotted rhythms, it lacks the contrapuntal dialogue among inner “voices” and the irregular phrase length that characterized many gigues. The simplicity of the internal rhythms and regular phrasing even suggest the alternate possibility of a canary or loure style for the rondeau. However, an early eighteenth-century edition of the ballet ([Lully]/Roger) labeled the rondeau as a “gigue,” and Lully even Example 3 LWV 69/37 “Sauvages de l’Amerique,” Temple de la paix used the first phrase of the rondeau in the gigue from Act IV of Persée (Example 4). 10 If the rondeau in Le Temple de la paix was choreographed as a gigue, its choice as the opening dance would have underscored the entrée’s dominant affect of joy. Moreover, its character would have been appropriate for the pastoralism of the Indians in the ballet, and it may even have highlighted their identity as mariners, though this is speculative. We can at least say with certainty that the simplicity of the rondeau’s chordal texture and the regularity of its phrase structure (in the context of a gigue) suggested a lower-order, and possibly a comic characterization, which is borne out by their music in the rest of the entrée.

Example 4 Example 4: LWV 60/71 “Gigue,” Persée The remaining numbers for Indians in the entrée include a solo récit (“Nous avons traversé”) and refrain (“Son nom est reveré”) and a danced gavotte and chorus (“Dans ces lieux”). (The rest of the entrée features a scène for the pastoral characters Amaryllis, Lycidas, and Alcippe.)11 The Americans’ vocal numbers are composed exclusively for bass voices, basse continue, and strings, and the voices mainly follow the instrumental bass line, as in the gavotte chorus “Dans ces lieux” (Example 5).

Example 5: LWV 69/40 “Dans ces lieux,” Temple de la paix

Here the voices’ angular melodies and their predictable rhythms, chordal  texture, and limited harmonic range conform to a type of “doubled continuo” air (Bukofzer 158) that Lully assigned to a variety of bass-voiced characters in the ballets and tragédies lyriques. Patricia Howard and Miriam Whaples have noted that this type of texture—a bass voice paralleling the melody played by the basse continue—could connote a “grotesque” (Howard 144–51) or “primitive” (Whaples 21–22) character, which is certainly possible in light of its stylized naiveté. In Le Temple de la paix this texture and scoring reappear in the solo récit (“Quel bonheur pour la France”) for “un Afriquain” in the sixth entrée, suggesting that it might in fact be an exoticizing gesture in this context. However, the doubled continuo texture was widely distributed among high and low characters in Lully’s works, and its dramatic polyvalence should caution us against trying to fix its connotations too securely. In Le Temple de la paix, for example, Lully also used this texture in several decidedly non-exotic numbers: a duet for the shepherds Alcipe and Lycidas, “Choisis l’amant le plus fidelle,” in the pastoral scène that concludes the fifth entrée; and two solo airs for shepherds, “Que ce Roy Vainqueur à de gloire” and “Entre les autres Roys,” both of which precede refrain choruses in the Prologue. The texture and dramatic function of the latter two airs is closest to the Americans’ numbers: both have a single vocal line accompanied by the five-part violons and basse continue, and both feature panegyric verses, as do the doubled-continuo numbers for the African in the sixth entrée. Though the doubled-continuo texture in the Americans’ numbers may also have contributed to their exotic characterization, its dramatic association with panegyric celebration in Le Temple de la paix was undoubtedly a primary determining factor in its use here.


In short, the music for the Americans’ entrée in Le Temple de la paix does delineate aspects of their character, but these owe more to their low pastoralism and the celebratory function of their entrée than to their identification with a discrete ethnic, racial, or national group. Indeed, it is striking that we find no consistent musical stylistic features exclusively associated with “Indians,” “Americans,” or “savages” here or elsewhere in Lully’s works. Though Lully did sometimes differentiate Indian characters as exotically foreign by giving them conventionally aberrant music, this type of musical exoticism—though ideologically significant—was nonetheless relatively amorphous, not specific to an “Indian” or “American” identity per se. Indeed, Lully’s selection of dance types and musical styles for Indian characters appears far more interested in absorbing them into the French social and political order, as it was imagined in the ballets and lyric tragedies, via pastoral and celebratory conventions.

Example 6a: LWV 69/45 “Chaconne,” mm. 1–8, Temple de la paix

Example 6b: LWV 69/45, mm. 96–112

Example 6a–b shows the chaconne’s opening couplet and the first two couplets from its minor-mode middle section.  Chaconnes were often performed by foreign or colonial characters in Lully’s theatrical works, perhaps reflecting the genre’s reputed New World origins (though the French thought it was North African) (Pruiksma 227–48). It is entirely possible that the exotic and even the erotic associations of the chaconne could have communicated a sense of the Americans’ colonial otherness here. However, in the context of a celebratory ballet des nations it seems as likely, if not more so, that the chaconne’s music, verses, and choreography, like those in the fifth entrée, strongly reinforced the Indians’ identity as subjects of the king—that the chaconne was, in other words, as much an instrument of the spectacles’ assimilationist ideology as the rest of the Americans’ music.


Beyond Exoticism

In contrast, I propose that we re-conceive musical exoticism as one of a range of strategies for mimicking political relations of identity and difference in the early modern period. In its most basic definition, exoticism is a cultural strategy of differentiation whose impetus and effects are ideological. Not all musical exoticism pertains to colonial peoples or places, though exoticism in European music from the seventeenth century onward is inconceivable without the enabling ideological structures of colonialism and colonizing practices. Likewise, however, not all musical representations of colonial peoples or places make use of exotic techniques. Colonial ideologies and practices have varied across colonizing societies and periods, and so too have the strategies by which societies translate colonial relations into cultural meanings. For this reason, it is better to take our analytical and critical cues from the political relations at stake, rather than applying an a priori model of musical exoticism, as is often done.

The strange spectacle of Indians in absolutist drag begs the question of what their performance leaves unsaid (or unsung). The royal spectacles summoned colonial figures to witness the gloire and perfection of Louis XIV’s reign, but the decorous manner in which such characters were often staged attests to a violence that has been discreetly shunted off-stage, as it were. It is possible to introduce an awareness of what royal spectacles omitted, by placing their mimicry of colonial relations in encounter with aspects of French colonial history, as I argue elsewhere (Bloechl). Such knowledge was of course not admissible in the idealist milieu of the king’s spectacles—indeed, anything of the sort would have been in flagrantly bad taste—but it can provide leverage for a latter-day postcolonial criticism of their characterization, and the ideologies it supported.

Ce fut alors que l’Opera parut entre les mains de Lully avec toutes les beautez et tout l’agrément qu’on pouvoit desirer, et attira non-seulement l’admiration des François, mais celle des Etrangers. On trouve dans ses Recits, dans ses airs, dans ses choeurs et dans toutes ses symphonies un caractere juste et vrai, une varieté merveilleuse, une melodie et une harmonie qui enchante.... Enfin Lully merite avec raison le titre de Prince des Musiciens François, étant regardé comme l’inventeur de cette belle et grande Musique françoise, telle que celle de nos Opera, et des grands Concerts de Voix et de Symphonie, qui n’étoit connue que très-imparfaitement avant lui: il l’a portée à son plus haut point de perfection, et a été le pere de nos plus illustres Musiciens qui travaillent dans ce goût (Titon du Tillet 395–96).

Titon du Tillet gives Lully pride of place in his lineage of “Musiciens François,” emphasizing the “perfection” of taste that governed Lully’s compositional style and, by extension, its eighteenth-century legacy. There is little hint here that the “beautez” that Titon du Tillet singles out for praise in Lully’s operas involve any relation of difference, save perhaps in his nervous appeal beyond France’s boundaries, to the judgment of foreigners. We have seen something of the importance attached to foreign peoples’ tribute of praise in the panegyric economy of court spectacles under Louis XIV. By the mid-eighteenth century a cosmopolitan opera criticism regularly speculated about the global reception or even production of French music, less in the interest of absolutist propaganda now than in an effort to align French culture with a newly privileged category of nature. In this spirit, Toussaint Rémond de Saint-Mard speculated in his Réflexions sur l’Opéra (1741) that, climate-based cultural differences notwithstanding,

En tous tems et en tout pays, un sentiment tendre s’exprimera d’une maniere tendre. Par-tout un mouvement de colere sera rendu d’une maniere vive. Qu’on mette Armide à la Chine, qu’on la mette où l’on voudra, qu’on lui fasse dire, le vainqueur de Renaud si quelqu’un le peut être, il faudra nécessairement qu’elle fasse sentir la parenthese, et sûrement la maniere dont sera exprimée la parenthese ressemblera à celle de Lulli, du moins est-il sûr qu’elle ne s’en éloignera guére [emphasis in original] (Saint-Mard 86n–87n).

The prospect of a Chinese staging of Armide should give us pause (as it evidently did not Rémond de Saint-Mard). Leaving aside the bizarreness of the suggestion that elite kunqu audiences in eighteenth-century Suzhou, for example, would have been interested in a French lyrical rendering of the first Crusade, the common indulgence of such fantasies in French writing of the period itself indicates that something important was at stake.

University of California, Los Angeles



1This sharply distinguishes the French from other colonial powers of the period, though it does not exempt French colonialism from charges of violence and cultural devastation, as is sometimes asserted. Unlike the other colonial powers, in the early period, at least, the French did not use native populations as a source of labor, immigration was relatively limited, immigrants did not settle extensively on native territory, and they therefore did not engage in large-scale military actions to acquire or protect seized land. In contrast, English colonial relations were characterized by a focus on physically and culturally isolated agricultural settlements, which required vast amounts of seized and martially defended native land; whereas the Spanish notoriously killed, enslaved, and conquered indigenous people through large-scale military engagements, in the interest of gold and silver production (Eccles; Jaenen 190–97; Pagden; and Seed).

2The exception to the rule of inclusiveness here is the representation of Africans in the spectacles. Though the characterization of African figures in ballets and operas is shaped by a colonial ideology of slavery, as articulated in the infamous Code Noir (Roach 115–25), this topic deserves its own dedicated study and, for this reason, is bracketed here. The spectacles also do not refer to African characters as “Indians” or “savages,” though they often have comparable attributes.

3Five of the works in Table 1 do not specify the geographic origins of their “Indian” characters, but seven of those that do are divided between Americans and East Indians. Works that refer explicitly to American Indians are the Ballet royal d’Alcidiane, the Ballet royal de Flore, and Le Temple de la paix; those that refer explicitly to East Indians are La Naissance de Venus, Le Triomphe de Bacchus dans les Indes, the Ballet des Muses, and Le Triomphe de l’amour. In a striking parallel with representations of American Indians, ballets with East Indian figures depicted their conquest by Alexander the Great or by the god Bacchus, both of whom were symbolic proxies for Louis XIV. The homonymic relation between American and East “Indians” supported a homology between their political status as conquered peoples. Likewise, the terms “sauvage” or “sauvagesse” permitted other analogies between ancient and modern conquests, as in the Entrée des Sauvages de la Colchide (in Les Amours déguisés), which depicted the natives of Colchis celebrating the arrival of Jason the Argonaut. Hellenic sources cast Colchis as the barbaric fringe of the Greek empire, and the librettists Périgny and Benserade reworked the ancient colonial palimpsest of the Argonauts myth into a parable of French conquest in the New World. See Hall (1–55, 101–59) for a discussion of Greek ethnocentrism as expressed in Hellenic tragedy.

4 The “quatres sauvages” who appear in the fourth Intermède of the Divertissement de Chambord are an exception, in that their dances have no explicit or implicit thematic relation to conquest. Molière’s authorship, or the fact that these were intermèdes performed between acts of a comedy, not a royal ballet or lyric tragedy, may explain the absence of conquest in the Indians’ characterization.

5 It is important to note that Lully was renowned during his lifetime and after for the innovations that he brought to French dramatic music, including the French overture, new theatrical dances, the novel use (in the French context) of expressive dissonance at passionate moments, and a more frequent use of counterpoint (see, for example, Titon du Tillet 393–401). However, Titon du Tillet and other eulogizers always point to Lully’s supreme adherence to the decorum, or bon gout, that dictated a regulated artistic expression of the passions, with departures permitted only in relation to liminal characters or extreme affective states. Titon du Tillet perfectly expressed the expressive and regulatory capacity of Lully’s music in his “Remarques sur la poësie et la musique” (appended to the 1732 edition of his Parnasse françois), noting that “Lully et nos grands Musiciens par l’excellence de leur Art font ressentir toutes les passions, et peuvent les calmer”(xxv).

6 In his classic study of baroque music Manfred Bukofzer characterized Lully’s music as representing the “acme of stylization” in the ancien règime (Bukofzer 160–61), and musicologist Paul Henry Lang likewise noted that “wherever we look we see Lully codifying French tastes, conventions, and aspirations” (Lang 3).

7 I would like to thank Rose Pruiksma for her suggestions regarding the exotic character of this entrée and the relationship of internal shifts of meter to pantomimed dances, discussed below. Responsibility for the interpretation here is, of course, my own.

8The multiple meters in Le Grand combat (LWV 32/12), in the Ballet des Muses, for example, undoubtedly reflected the Greek and Indian warriors’ pantomimed combat, rather than a grotesque or comic character.

9Of course, there are important exceptions, including in Lully’s output. Among the best-known examples of overt and vivid exoticist style differentiation is Lully’s music for “La Cérémonie des Turcs,” in his and Molière’s comédie-ballet, La Bourgeois gentilhomme (1670).

10The gigue is performed by a troupe of Ethiopians in celebration of Persée’s slaying of the monster. While Ethiopians would have had default exotic associations for the French, the tragedy is set in Ethiopia, and the peoples who dance the gigue are therefore rightful subjects of the Ethiopian king, Céphée, not conquered peoples or visiting foreigners. If my argument is correct, this political relation would have influenced their musical representation, which shows no signs of exoticism per se.

11All of the exotic entrées in Le Temple de la paix except the sixth have numbers for the exotic peoples in the first half of the entrée, and numbers for pastoral characters in the second half.


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