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Jean Baptsiste Lully

Stage Name

Birth Name

Jean Baptsiste Lully

Giovanni Battista di Lulli


    Lully (Lulli) was borne in Arno, Italy (Some say Florence.) Lully was a dancing master of court, a comic and a composer of music in the 17th Century. At age fourteen came to the French Court from Italy in 1646 and became a teacher of the Italian language as well as a violinists.

    Lully's band was known as the Petitis Violins du Roi (The Petite Band.) He came into Louis XIV (aka the "Sun King") service in early 1653 as a dancer. The King was impressed with him when he He composed some music for the "Ballet de la nuit," and made him a Valet de Chamber to which he composed many Spectacles ( Ballets) for the King, working with Molière on a majority of them.  


King Louis loved to dance and would often times take part in the dancing along with Lulli. In 1654 he composed music for the Le Ballet de la Galanteri du Temps as well as many others.

    Lully's main music was from the middle Baroque period between 1650 to 1700. He created music for such ballets as The "ballets de cour (1653-63)" and the "comédies-ballets (1663-72)" which were performed as royal entertainments. In 1672, Lully became the director of the 'Academie Royale de Music' and composed many spectacles with Molière, many of which set the stage for the ballets done today. He found great success composing the music for Molières Comedie's, including the Le Mariage forcé (1664), L'Amour médecin (1665), and Le Bourgeois gentilhomme (1670) as well as collaborated with Corneille and with the poet Quinault. Lulli also worked on a French type of opera known as tragédie lyrique, between 1673 and 1686 ( Tragédie lyrique, Bellérophon, Achille et Polyxène.) Lully was also influential in the choice of musicians and music used for the royal chapel. Lully's music ranged from Orchestral, Opera, Chamber, Choral, Sacred, Secular, Instrumental, Suites and Ballets.

    Some of Lulli's most popular and creative works were based around dances of the time. His chaconne and Passacailles (passacaglia) which were related to dance's were also found in many of his works such as Armide or Phaëton. The influence of Lully's music changed the older style of the dances of the court itself into a more lively and entertaining form of expression by the dancers. Instead of the slow and stately movements which had prevailed until then, he introduced lively ballets of rapid rhythm. As a dancer and musician, Lulli understood the necessity of using music for creative dancing, and not forcing dance on top of the music. Lulli used Bourée's, Galliardes, Marches, Sarabande's, Pavanes, Gavotte's, Menuet's etc. He also had a major effect on many important improvements in the composition of the orchestra, into which he introduced several new instruments. Lully composed many operas and other works, which had overwhelming reviews.

    On January, 8, 1687 when he was just 55 years of age Lulli was conducting a Te Deum ( An early Christian hymn of praise) in Paris to celebrate the king's recovery from a serious illness, Lulli was beating time by banging a long cane on the floor and stabbed the cane into his foot. The wound turned gangrenous, and stubbornly refusing to have his toe amputated, he died from his infection. He is buried at Church of Notre-Dame-des-Victoires, Paris. He was the most important French composer of his period. Lully founded French opera, which replaced the Italian Opera's of his day and in the years that followed his death.

Birth Place

Birth Date



Arno, Italy 11/29/1632 - 5/22/1687 Madeleine Lambert (1662) Jean-Louis Lully
      Louis Lully

Dance Types

Dance Partners etc.

Music Titles

Allemande (Dauphine, the) Marche Gay ( Baroque)
Ballet (Spectacles) King Louis XIV $ Jean Baptiste Lully- ATYS
Bourree L' Estang Le Bourgeois gentilhomme (various, 1670)
Canaries Louis Guillayme Pe'cour  
Chaconne( Chacoon) Marie-Therese de Subligny  
Courante Mlle. de la Fontaine  
Entree grave Pierre Beauchamps  
Espagnoles Molière  
Loure ( Gigue Lente)        
Minuet( Danses a' deux)        

Lully Ballets

1654 - Le Ballet de la Galanterie du temps 1666 - Le triomphe de Bacchus dans les Indes 1677 - Te Deum
1658 - ballets d' Alcidiane 1667 - Le Sicilian 1679 - Bellerophon
1659 - ballets de la raillerie 1668 - Le Carnival, ou Masquerade de Versailles 1680 - Prosperine
1660 - ballet de Xerxes 1668 - Georges Dandin 1681 - Le triomphe de L'Amour
1661 - ballets de l'impatience 1668 - Plaude Laetar 1682 - Persee
1661 - ballet des saisons 1669 - ballet de Flore 1683 - Phaeton (Opera)
1661 - ballet de l'Ercole amante 1669 - Monsieur de Pourceaugnac 1684 - Amadis de Gaule
1663 - Ballet des arts 1670 - Les amants magnifique 1684 - Motefs (sic)for Two
1663 - ballet des Noces de villages 1670 - Le Bourgeois Gentlehomme 1685 - ballet Le temple de la paix
1664 - ballet des amours deguisés 1670 - Le Divertissement Royale 1686 - Armide et Renaud
1664 - Le Marriage Force 1671 - ballets des ballets 1686 - Acis et Galathee
1664 - la Princess d'Elide 1671 - Psyche      
1664 - Entr'actes for Corneilles Oedipe 1673 - Cadimus et Hermione      
1665 - ballet La Naissance de Venus 1674 - Alceste, ou le triomphe d'Alcide      
1665 - Ballets des Nardes 1675 - Thesee (Opera)      
1665 - L'Amour médecin 1676 - Atys ("The King's Opera")      
1666 - Ballet de muses 1677 - Isis      




2000 - 'Le Roi Danse' n/a 1973 - Jean-Baptiste Lully (Scott)
    2000 - Lully Studies (Heyer)
    Lully's Tuscan Family (de La Gorce)


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