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Louis XIV & 17th century music

            Many times throughout history periods of great musical and dance developments have crossed paths, resulting in a great flourish of artistic achievement. Musical and dance performances were of great interest for many reasons and demanded by many rulers. These time periods helped to create some of the standards that still hold true in today's society.
             One great example of a time where music and dance intersect is during the reign of King Louis XIV, from 1643-1715, and the period of French absolutism in Europe. King Louis XIV (the sun king) spent seventy-two years on the throne and allowed no one to limit his power. He is remembered by most for the quote, "l'état c'est moi" (I am the state).This quote greatly describes how Louis ruled his kingdom. It is through his thirst for glory that Louis greatly advanced the arts of music and dance. He often used the French treasury for his personal glorification as well. A popular example of this is his creation of the Palace of Versailles. Following in the footsteps of his father, Louis created many institutions of the arts. These many institutions include the Academy of Dance (1666) and the Academy of Music (1671).
             During this time there was a mass production of music, dance, and theater that came from the court of the Palace of Versailles. Louis established the first permanent orchestra in Europe. The director of the orchestra was Jean Baptiste Lully, who is known as the father of French opera. His job was to oversee the entire show, which included writing the music, conducting, and training the King's chorus. His operas were often based on themes from mythology. The main hero was often portrayed by Louis himself. Louis' first role was in Cassandre in 1651. Jean Baptiste Lully introduced the French Overture, of contrasting fast and slow tempos, to opera. The most important feature of Lully's operas was his incorporation of dance.

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