Philippe Musard was a staunch advocate of homeopathy, and he encouraged members of his orchestra to consult Samuel Hahnemann, after Musard had benefited from homeopathic treatment in 1837 for complete exhaustion after each performance, abdominal pain and a bad chest.
They played chiefly dance pieces – waltzes, polkas, and quadrilles – that grew directly out of the growing craze for new kinds of dancing. He spent some time in London in the late 1820s.
His programmes consisted of overtures, waltzes, popular instrumental solos and quadrilles. The success of Musard’s concerts led to further musical promenade concerts, both in London and other places including Bath and Birmingham.
Son of a dancing entrepreneur in Paris, Philippe Musard was born on 8 November 1792 in Tours. The first part of his career a framework for London, where he directed concerts of famous walks and is conductor of the balls of Queen Victoria.
In England, he married an Englishwoman, but he made his name in Paris. He was called “king of the quadrille,” This dance was very popular, especially at Carnival of Paris where it was a specialty.
Musard was the conductor of the famous dances of the Opera at the Opera Le Peletier, which were organized during the Carnival. His orchestra had up to a hundred performers. Musard’s popularity lasted until about 1840, when he introduced the cancan or coincoin, a dance considered lascivious and scandalous, and invented by laundresses. The ancestor of the pudique or French cancan, was practiced by couples. At the time, in their dresses and petticoats were much in evidence.
Philippe Musard’s orchestra was popular for leading balls, at Court and in the city. Musard had among his staff the famous horn virtuoso Dufresne. The works of Philippe Musard’s orchestra were his own personal inspiration, or composed on themes drawn from works by other composers. Among his creations: a quadrille Middle âgeux a Chinese quadrille, and a square Arab … The manuscript of his square middle door âgeux, shows entries in the margin in his own hand…
In 1840, the famous Galop drums, Jean Baptiste Joseph Tolbecque (a huge success at the Carnaval de Paris in 1839 and 1840), played with a Galop of Trumpets.
The works of Philippe Musard (are) in the special collections (particularly the Department of Music of the French National Library). They have been waiting for one hundred and fifty years to be re awakened. You can hear the first movement of its quadrille “The Masquerade” (1843), according to an arrangement for piano, made by his son, on the official website of the Carnival of Paris.
Alongside Philippe Musard were dozens of famous composers Parisian musical festive dances now also forgotten: Louis Antoine Jullien, often regarded as the rival Musard, Isaac Strauss (in his day, the Parisians called him the Austrian Strauss or the “The Strauss of Vienna”), the brothers Tolbecque, Arban, Auguste Desblins, etc..Their music was printed at the time in England, Holland, the United States, and Australia. This dance music can be rediscovered through the Carnival of Paris.
Among these composers, only one is famous: Jacques Offenbach, but he is now best known for his operettas, not dance music, most of which has not been played a long time.
Philippe Musard’s son Alfred Musard was also a composer and conductor.
Philippe Musard died on 30 March 1859. He was then Mayor of the village of Auteuil, which next year will be linked to Paris. His name is inscribed in the lobby of the city hall of the 16th Arrondissement of Paris, among the former mayors of municipalities that formed the district in January 1860.
In December 1845 Theophile Gautier wrote in wrote in La Presse of a Musard Opera Ball:
“The masked ball has always saddened us, either by the feeling of the joy of others which we cannot share, or by the species of instinctive aversion which the mask inspires in us and which undoubtedly comes from some childhood terror
“Happier imaginations than ours always dream behind the black satin of charming faces, and see under the muzzle of a goat and a monkey with a ragged beard, vignettes of keepsakes, heads of angels or sylphs; for us the hideous mask almost always hides a terrible face; all the monsters, the strigas, the ghouls, the lamias, take advantage of the opportunity and the incognito.
“Even the women we know, and who are notoriously pretty, become suspect to us as soon as they don the domino; this is not a very favorable disposition for spending a pleasant night at the ball.
“So we walked in a rather sullen way in the foyer, crowded with people, barely having room to pull out our handkerchiefs to wipe our foreheads, it was so hot. “However, we thought we were well seasoned against the heat by our exercises in Africa, in the months of July and August, in full sun, when one of our friends came to fetch us and led us into the hall, at the foot of the stage of the musicians, to show us Musard, unleashing the carnival with a signal from his conductor’s baton.
“Musard was there, gloomy, livid and pock-marked, his arm outstretched, his gaze fixed. Certainly it is difficult for a priest of bacchanalia to have a darker and more sinister figure; this man, who pours joy and delirium into so many crazy heads, seems to be planning a sequel to Young’s Nights or Harvey’s Tombs.
“After that, the pleasure you give you no longer has it, and that’s probably what makes comic poets so morose.
When the time came, he bent over his desk, stretched out his arm, and a hurricane of sonorities suddenly broke out in the fog of noise which hovered above the heads; dazzling notes crisscrossed the din with their shrill flashes, and one would have said that the bugles of the Last Judgment had engaged to play quadrilles and waltzes.
“We recognize at this triumphant Sabbath the family of instruments of our friend Ad[olph] Sax. Imagine that we have devised a contradance on the railway, it begins with the imitation of these horrible blows, whistles announcing the departure of the convoys, the rattle of machinery, shock pads, and the bustle of scrap are perfectly emulated.
“The dead would dance to such music. Imagine that we imagined a contredanse entitled le chemin de fer; it begins with the imitation of those horrible whistles which announce the departure of convoys; the rattling of machines, the shock of buffers, the bustle of scrap metal are perfectly imitated there. Then comes one of those hurried and panting gallops near which the round of the Sabbath is a quiet dance. A torrent of pierrots and skidders revolve around an island of stagnant masks in the middle of the room, shaking the floor like a cavalry charge. Beware of those who fall.
“This is the only way we play today; it is necessary, by dint of gambols, capers, extravagant dislocations, nods to undo one’s collar, to procure a kind of cerebral congestion: this intoxication of movement or gymnastic delirium, has something strange and supernatural about it.
“You’d think you were seeing patients attacked by chorea or the dance of St. Vitus. We attended Blidah and the Haousch Ben Kaddour, to epileptic convulsions of these terrible convulsionnaires.
“We have seen Constantine dance to the conspiracy of Djinns, but it is moderate compared to the cachucha Paris. What troubles such amusements against such weight?
“As we went home, we saw a tavern expel a band of forty pierrots all dressed the same, which advanced to the Opera Ball, preceded by a banner which were written these words: That life is bitter!