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Conference papers

Le paysage sonore de la grande chère dans la France du XVIIe siècle

Abstract :

The soundscape of eating and drinking well in 17th-century France

In the 17th century, 'banquet', which was an old-fashioned term in French, tended to be replaced by 'festin' or 'grand repas', and by the expression 'faire grande chère' (to eat and drink well). Whatever the quantity and quality of the dishes, the pleasures of good food and drink could not have been complete without musical accompaniment and verbal exchanges between the guests.

This article sets out to reconstruct and understand the soundscape, as defined in the work of Raymond Murray Schafer, of the lavish meals of the French elites of the 17th century. Consequently,  the question of the particular place of the sense of hearing during festive meals must also be considered; all the more so because the guests showed, perhaps first and foremost, that they were eating and drinking well together through the soundscape that was expected as part of a good meal. It could concern the ever-present music (symphonie) which accompanied the meal, but also the sounds which were the signals for healths to be drunk, by which a social hierarchy was reintroduced.

It also concerns the guests' conversations, witty remarks, and stories, as well as songs, drinking songs, and topical songs. This soundscape adapted itself to the various stages of the 'festin', such as the toasts, the dessert, and the pauses taken during the meal in order to ease digestion, and depended on the number and quality of the guests and the purpose of the food and drink being offered and received.

Document type :
Conference papers
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Submitted on : Thursday, December 20, 2018 - 2:19:15 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, November 3, 2021 - 6:08:57 AM


  • HAL Id : hal-01962174, version 1
  • OKINA : ua18476



Florent Quellier, Bruno Laurioux, Agostino Paravicini Bagliani, Eva Pibiri. Le paysage sonore de la grande chère dans la France du XVIIe siècle. Le Banquet : Manger, boire et parler ensemble (XIIe-XVIIe siècles), 2018, Lausanne, Suisse. pp.299-320. ⟨hal-01962174⟩



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