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Jean-Philippe Rameau
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    (September 23, 1683-September 12, 1764)
    Born in Dijon, Burgundy, France
    Cathedral organist, harpsichord teacher, music theorist and composer of the Baroque era
    Composed 'Hippolyte and Aricie (1733),' 'Les Indes Galants (1735),' 'Castor and Pollux (1737),' 'Dardanus (1739),' 'The Princess of Navarre (1745),' 'The Temple of Glory (1745)' and 'Zoroastre (1749)'
    Wrote the books 'Treatise of Harmony (1722),' 'A New System of Music Theory (1726),' 'Demonstrations of the Principals of Harmony (1750)' and 'Elements of Music Theory and Practice (1752)'
    Died of high fever in Paris at age 80
    His mother and father had 11 children (he was #7).
    His wife was 26 years younger than him.
    He was smug and argumentative about his music theorist books.
    He didn't begin to compose operas until age 50.
    He battled with his librettists (people he hired to put words to his music) and his bad temper resulted in him rarely working with the same librettist more than once or twice.
    Between 1752 and 1754, he was embroiled in the Querelle des Bouffons (War of the Comic Actors) - a war of words concerning the merits of French operas vs Italian operas.
    After he died, it was discovered he hoarded gold, yet had but one run down harpsichord, kept his worn-out clothes and owned just one pair of shoes.
    After the French Revolution and through the 19th century, his music was all but forgotten.
    He was an admirer of the works of Jean-Baptiste Lully and his early compostions reflected a similar style.
    Believing music is based on harmony, his use of dominant and sub dominant chords to achieve tonality was considered revolutionary.
    On a few of his pieces, he collaborated with Voltaire.
    He helped establish the career of composer Claude Balbastre.
    A stickler for details and perfection, at times he would revise his own operatic compositions.
    His stage works and a grant of a royal pension late in his life had brought him the financial security he was desperate to provide his family.
    Shortly before he died, he was made a knight of the Ordre de Saint-Michel.
    Admirers of his opera 'Castor and Pollux' were composers Hector Berlioz and Claude Debussy.
    His music enjoyed a resurgence in the latter half of the 20th century.
    His talent was multi-dimensional as he composed operas, ballets, songs, instrumentals, motets, canons and cantatas.

Credit: Scar Tactics

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