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MUSARD, Philippe, born in Paris in 1793, was not educated at the Conservatoire, but took private lessons for some years from Reicha, to whom he dedicated his 'Nouvelle Méthode de Composition musicale' (1832). This long-forgotten work, of which only eight chapters appeared, contains the announcement of a 'Traite complet et raisonné du système musical,' with curious historical notes, implying that Musard was dissatisfied with his position as an obscure violinist and conductor, and proposed to make his mark as a solid and erudite musician. A series of concerts and 'bals masqués,' held in the bazaar in the Rue St. Honoré (now the Salle Valentino), however, gave him the opportunity of distinguishing himself in a different direction. The most salient feature of these promenade concerts (instituted Nov. 1833) was the introduction of the cornet-à-pistons. In fact Dufresne, the cornet-player, owed much of his success to the solos composed for him by the conductor. In 1835 and 36 Musard conducted the balls at the Opéra, and his band of seventy musicians was rapturously applauded. 'Gustavo III' had set the fashion of the galop, and with Musard's music, and the 'entrain' of the orchestra, the new dance deserved its nickname of 'Le galop infernal.' Meantime a better room had been built in the Rue Vivienne, and thither Musard removed in 1837. Here he had to sustain a competition with Johann Strauss of Vienna, whose waltzes were so superior to his own, that in order to avoid sinking to the level of a mere composer of quadrilles, Musard was driven to expedients. His first experiment, the introduction of a chorus, having succeeded, he next attempted classical music, and in Holy Week gave a 'concert spirituel,' consisting of Handel's music only. This opened the way for numerous imitators. Having secured a reputation in France he came to England, and made his first appearance at Drury Lane on Monday, Oct. 12, 1840, as conductor of the Promenade Concerts, or Concerts d'hiver, given there under the management of Eliason. The series terminated in March 1841, and on Sept. 30 Musard appeared again as conductor of a set of Promenade Concerts at the Lyceum, under the management of Henri Laurent, which continued up to Christmas. He is still remembered in London, and amateurs of that period will doubtless recollect Hood's 'jeu d'esprit,' one verse of which well takes off his look and manner:—

From bottom to top
There's no bit of the Fop,
No trace of your Macaroni;
But looking on him,
So solemn and grim,
You think of the Marshals who served under Boney.

Up to 1852 Musard was considered the best composer of dance-music and conductor of promenade concerts in France. His quadrilles—'Venise,' 'Les Echos,' etc.—contain many happy and at that time novel effects, and his music is well written and well scored. Having made money he bought a house at Auteuil, where he lived much respected. Symptoms of paralysis appeared in 1852, and he died March 31, 1859. His son Alfred, born 1828 in Paris, followed his father's profession. As early as 1847 he conducted the orchestra at a ball given at the Opéra Comique, and in 1856 Besselievre selected him to conduct the 'Concerts des Champs Elysées,' but he did not retain the post, and never rose above mediocrity—at least in music.

[ G. C. ]