Department of Musicology

The Royal Swedish court's collection of French music 1690-1726

The purpose of this project is to catalogue and digitize a collection of French baroque music from the late 1600s and early 1700s, which today is held in the Uppsala University Library. The music consists mostly of theatrical music of leading French composers such as Jean-Baptiste Lully, André Campra, Pascal Colasse and André Cardinal Destouches. The origin of the collection is uncertain, but current research shows that it must be regarded as a sub-collection of the so-called Düben collection. That means it has been part of the royal court music repertoire, and has been used at the Swedish court in the decades around the turn of the 17th century.

The collection consists of handwritten scores and vocal sheets of French origin, purchased or otherwise acquired in Paris, as well as vocal sets copied by the Swedish court musicians. The collection is of great interest for several reasons: firstly, it contains French material that forms unique sources of repertoire, not preserved in France or anywhere else in the world; secondly, the combination of the French and Swedish manuscripts forms a completely unique source material for the study of performance traditions and performances of French musical drama outside France.

Within the project, these sources are catalogued, digitized and made available as part of the existing database catalogue of the Düben Collection. The project is carried out by Professor Lars Berglund and PhD Maria Schildt.