Blainville, Charles-Henri de

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Blainville, Charles-Henri de

Blainville, Charles-Henri de, French cellist and music theorist; b. probably in or near Rouen, 1710; d. Paris, c. 1770. His claim to musicological attention resides in his “discovery” of a third “mode hellénique” (actually the Phrygian mode), which he put to use in a sym. in 1751. Rousseau, always eager to welcome a “historical” discovery, expressed his admiration for Blainville. Among Blainville’s theoretical writings are L’Harmonie théorico-pratique (1746), Essai sur un troisième mode, expounding the supposed “mode hellenique” (1751), L’Esprit de l’art musical (1754), and Histoire générale, critique et philologique de la musique (1767). He composed 5 syms., publ. a book of sonatas “pour le dessus de viole avec la basse continue,” and arranged Tartini’s sonatas in the form of concerti grossi.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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