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ORTIGUE, Joseph Louis D', born at Cavaillon, May 22, 1802, died suddenly in Paris, Nov. 20, 1866, one of the most conscientious musical litterateurs of modern France. He studied at first merely as an amateur, under the Castil Blazes, father and son. He went to Aix in Provence to study law, but music proved more powerful, and he finally resolved to abandon the law for musical literature. With this view he came to Paris in 1829, and began by writing musical critiques in the 'Mémorial Catholique'; then, becoming intimate with La Mennais, he wrote for 'L'Avenir,' and, after its failure, for 'La Quotidienne,' besides the 'Gazette musicale' and 'La France musicale.' After his marriage in 1835 he redoubled his exertions and contributed to half a score of periodicals, including the 'Temps,' 'Revue des deux Mondes,' 'National,' 'L'Univers,' 'L'Université Catholique,' 'L'Opinion Catholique,' and above all the 'Journal des Débats.' To this last paper he mainly owed his reputation, and his place in several commissions, historical and scientific, to which he was appointed by government.

His important works are his large 'Dictionnaire liturgique, historique, et theorique de Plain Chant et de Musique religieuse' (Paris 1854 and 1860, small 4to), and 'La Musique à l'Eglise' (ibid. 1861, 12mo). To the former of these the Abbé Normand contributed a number of articles under the nom de plume of Theodore Nisard.[1] D'Ortigue was associated with Niedermeyer in founding 'La Maîtrise' (1857), a periodical for sacred music, and in the 'Traité théorique et pratique de l'accompagnement du Plain-Chant' (Paris 1856, large 8vo.) In 1862 he started, with M. Félix Clément, the 'Journal des Maîtrises,' a periodical of reactionary principles in sacred music, which soon collapsed. He was an honest and laborious writer; his name will live through his 'Dictionnaire,' which contains some excellent articles, but his other books are mere musical miscellanies, thoughtfully written but not endowed with any of those qualities of style or matter which ensure any lasting influence.

[ G. C. ]


  1. NISARD, Theodore, whose real name was Théodule Xavier Normand, born at Quaregnon in Belgium, Jan. 27, 1812, was ordained priest in 1835, and in 1842 became organist of a church in Paris, and was employed by a large ecclesiastical bookseller to edit books of plain-song. Being naturally of a controversial turn of mind, he published many pamphlets on questions connected with musical archæology; but these are of less value than his edition of Dom Jumilhac's treatise on 'La Science et la Pratique du Plain-Chant,' from which he extracted his pamphlet 'De la Notation proportionelle du Moyen-Age' (Paris, 1847); his 'Etudes sur les anciennes notations musicales de l'Europe' (no date), directed against Fétis: and finally his remarkable articles in d'Ortigue's Dictionnatre.