Antoine Reicha (1770-1836)

Antoine Reicha has left behind a substantial corpus of theoretical texts covering numerous fields of musical theory.  However, the language and time of writing of these texts, their length (from a few dozen lines to more than a hundred pages), their target, their state of completion, or their nature (autobiographical, theoretical or pedagogical texts, unpublished or published texts) make them a heterogeneous corpus. In addition to these theoretical writings, there are a handful of letters, most of which are kept in the Music Department of the French National Library.

The four French theoretical treaties published by Reicha between 1814 and 1833 after he moved to Paris, made him famous during the Restoration period and are today well known to the musicologists. Although disparaged, the  Traité de mélodie (1814) and the  Cours  de  composition  musicale  (1816), written from both a theoretical and didactic perspective, made him well known and are no doubt linked to his appointment as professor of counterpoint and fugue at the Conservatoire de Paris in 1818. The two volumes of Traité de haute composition (1824-1826) et l’Art du compositeur dramatique (1833) enabled him to ensure and secure his reputation.  These four treaties, covering composition from a systematic perspective (in order: melody, harmony, counterpoint, fugue, forms, lyrical music) testify of the author’s methodical thinking.

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birth year1770
death year1836
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Publications (3)