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La Borde, Jen-Benjamin de. Essai sur la musique ancienne et moderne.

Paris: l'Imprimerie de Philippe-Denys Pierres et Eugène Onfroy, 1780-81. 4 parts and a supplement in 4 volumes quarto. Vol.1: (4), 5, (3), V-XX, 200, XX, 201-445; vol.2: (4), 444, 178; vol. 3: (4), 702; vol. 4: (4), 476, 27, 8, LVI (General index), (4), XIV, 70, 59, 59, 59 pp. (Supplement). Vol. 1: (4), 5, (3), V-XX, 200, XX, 201-445; vol. 2: (4), 444, 178; vol. 3: (4), 702; vol. 4: (4), 4. Contemporary calf, gilt spines with red morocco labels lettered in gold, red painted edges, marbled endpapers. With engraved vignettes on the titles and numerous very interesting head- and tailpieces by Malapeau and Masquelier; many staves and musical notations in the text. Vol. 1 (part 1): 3 folding and 57 full-page engraved plates of Arabic and Asiatic musical instruments, musical notations and tables; vol. 2 (part 2): 2 folded engraved plates with musical notations, 2 full-page engraved plates and 220 engraved plates with musical notations and poems, the last 177 as chap. XII (separately numbered 1-178); vol. 3 (part 3): 2 folded tables and 3 full-page engraved plates with musical notations; vol. 4 (Suppl.): 3 times 59 (=177) full-page engraved plates with musical notations and poems.


Very rare first edition of one of the best and finest illustrated books on music of the 18th century, together with all the supplements as indicated by Brunet and Barbier. The last supplement with separate title bound at the end of vol. 4: Mémoires sur les proportions musicales, le genre énarmonique des Grecs et celui des modernes. Avec les observations de M. Vandermonde ... & des remarques de M. l'Abbé Roussier. Paris, Philippe-Denys Pierres, 1781. The work is i.a. important for its extensive accounts on the history of ancient Greek and Asiatic music as well as for the publication - sometimes for the first time - of pieces of 16th and 17th century music.beautiful vignettes were engraved by Malapeau and Masquelier; the plates are engraved by Bouland, Chenu, Piquenot, Mme Ponce & Mme Moria after the drawings by Boulant, Myris and Paris.Benjamin de la Borde (1739- 22 July 1794, when he was executed on the guillotine) was until the death of King Louis XV subsequently his lackey (1762), Gouverneur of the Louvre (1773) and Farmer General (1774). He studied the violin under A. Dauvergne and composition with the famous composer Rameau. He composed three trio's, numerous songs, parodies for the Théâtre de la Foire and many other works presented at court and at the Opéra de Paris. Very fine copy uniformly bound in contemporary calf of this important work on music.

¶ Brunet III, 712; Graesse IV, 58; Fétis II, 26; Cat. biblioth. Fétis 3195; Barbier II, 242b; Cohen 538; Honegger II, 682; RISM B, VII, p. 466; Gregory, Cat. early books on music, p. 142. (#kfk188)