Couperin, François

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.
Save to active project

Couperin, François

François Couperin (fräNswä´ kōōpərăN´), 1668–1733, French harpsichordist and composer, called "le Grand" to distinguish him from the other musicians in his family. His harpsichord music, in its charm, delicacy, and graceful ornamentation, represents the culmination of French rococo. He published four books of harpsichord suites (1713–30), which generally consisted of short, highly ornamental pieces, with descriptive titles such as Les Abeilles, Les Papillons, La Voluptueuse, and Le Rossignol en amour. His style of harpsichord playing, formulated in L'Art de toucher de clavecin (1716), influenced the keyboard technique of Bach. Couperin also composed much religious and chamber music and works for the organ. He was organist (1685–1733) at St. Gervais, Paris, a position held by members of the Couperin family from c.1650 until 1826. In 1693, Couperin was chosen by Louis XIV as one of the organists of the royal chapel, and later he was made music master of the royal family and harpsichordist at the royal court. The Couperin line of musicians had begun with three brothers—Louis (c.1626–1661), an organist, violinist, and composer of harpsichord suites, which are characterized by a vigorous, frequently dissonant style; François (c.1631–c.1710), a harpsichordist and violinist; and Charles (1638–79), an organist, the father of Couperin le Grand. The line extended to the great-grandsons of François, the second brother Pierre Louis (1755–89) and François Gervais (1759–1826), who were organists at St. Gervais.

See biography by P. Brunold (1949).

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Couperin, François
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?