There are others, as well:

Charles Bâton, [le jeune]: His father

Esprit Chedeville


Philbert Delavigne


And of course

Antonio Vivaldi

Paris and the Rococo Composers:

The repertoire for the Hurdy-Gurdy falls into two broad, and spmetimes overlapping categories: popular songs and theater music arraranged for one or two Hurdy-Gurdies; and music specifically composed for the instrument.

Jacques Aubert:

Of his life we know only this (most
of this is lifted from Grove's)

By 1717 Jacques Aubert was known as a dancing-master, violinist and composer, working at the Théâtres de la Foire, and had written the music for at least five ballets and comedies. In 1719 he married Marie Louise Lecat.

That same year he published his first book of violin sonatas and was appointed to the service of Louis-Henri, Duke of Bourbon and Prince of Condé. In this capacity he composed a Fête royale and a Ballet des XXIV heures for the duke’s entertainment when the young Louis XV passed through Chantilly to Reims in 1722; Aubert played the violin in the role of Orpheus in the latter work.

In 1727 Aubert succeeded Noël Converset in the 24 Violons du Roi, remaining a member until 1746, and in the next year he accepted a position with the Académie Royale de Musique and was named first violinist of the Opéra orchestra, with which he performed for the next 24 years. He made his début at the Concert Spirituel in 1729, and often played there until 1740.

We are working with Oeuvre XVI: Les Petits Concerts, Duo, Pour les Musettes ou Vielles, published in Paris in 1740

Joseph Bodin de Boimortier:

(b Thionville, 23 Dec 1689; d Roissy-en-Brie, 28 Oct 1755). French composer. He spent his childhood in Thionville, and went to Metz about 1700. In 1713 he was receveur de la régie royale des tabacs for the Roussillon troops at Perpignan. On 7 November 1720 he married Marie Valette, the daughter of the city treasurer Guillaume Valette. He remained in Perpignan until about 1723, when he settled in Paris. In September 1724 he took out a royal privilege to engrave his works and began the process of publishing them, which ceased only on his death. From 1743 to 1745 he was sous-chef and then chef d’orchestre at the Foire St Laurent, and also, in 1745, at the Foire St Germain. He was a prolific composer of very profitable works, which according to the Mercure de France (October 1747) brought him over 500,000 écus, enabling him to live a life of fame and luxury without holding any official post. His Christmas motet Fugit nox (now lost), on themes from noëls, was popular at the Concert Spirituel from 1743 to 1770, with L.-C. Daquin and C.-B. Balbastre at the organ. His pastorale Daphnis et Chloé, to a libretto by Pierre Laujon, was well received when it was performed at the Opéra in September 1747, and was even parodied at the Comédie-Italienne under the title of Les bergers de qualité when it was revived on 4 May 1752. After his death his daughter continued to sell his available works, and also published several more.

Michel Corrette:

(b Rouen, 10 April 1707; d Paris, 21 Jan 1795). French organist, teacher, composer-arranger and author of methods on performing practice; son of Gaspard Corrette. Though little is known of his life, his works, which span nearly 75 years, provide an extraordinarily broad view of ordinary light music in France during the 18th century, and his methods are a rich source of information about performing practice and music of the period. He was married on 8 January 1733 to Marie-Catherine Morize. They had a daughter Marie-Anne (1734–c1822) and a son Pierre-Michel (1744–1801), who became an organist.


Corrette first established his reputation by becoming musical director of the Foire St Germain and the Foire St Laurent, where he arranged and composed vaudevilles and divertissements for the opéras comiques (1732–9). From 1737 until its closure in 1790 he was organist at Ste Marie within the temple of the grand prieur of France, thus serving the Chevalier d’Orléans, then the Prince de Conti (1749), and finally the Duke d’Angoulême (1776). About a year after beginning at the temple, he became organist at the Jesuit College in the rue St-Antoine, a position he retained until the Jesuits were expelled in 1762. In 1734 he was styled Grand maître des Chevaliers du Pivois, from 1750 Chevalier de l’Ordre de Christ. He was well known as a teacher, though his reputation was not always favourable. Unsympathetic people called his pupils ‘anachorètes’ (ânes à Corrette) and in 1779 the Mercure said of a new edition of Les amusemens du Parnasse (a harpsichord method) that it was good in its time but contemporary students would find little of value in it. Yet for historians his little treatises are full of value.

Interested in a a musical bibliography of modern editions (as well as some facsimilie editions) of this repertoir? We'll be glad to send you what we have!

Just send us a note from the Contact page.

Nicholas Chedeville, the greatest of all!