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Jacques Danican Philidor

May 5, 1657 - May 27, 1708
born in Paris, France, composed during the Baroque period
Known as Philidor le cadet, Jacques Danican Philidor followed his father into the French army bands and became an adept woodwind player and instrument maker. He composed as well, and sired yet another generation of Philidor musicians.



In 1667 he joined the Fifres et Tambours, the military band that employed his father, then moved into the Crommes et Trompettes Marines upon his father's death in 1679. These were not concert bands; they were musical ensembles that actually accompanied troops on military campaigns, music being used to signal certain maneuvers and stir men into battle. In 1682 he joined the Grands Hautbois, but his battlefield days seem to have ended by 1690, when he became a bassoonist member of the Petits Violons and also played in the royal chapel. He was a prolific instrument maker, apparently, but few of his compositions have survived, only a handful of marches and dances.



Four of his sons were also musicians: Pierre Danican Philidor; Jacques Danican Philidor (killed in action as a drummer in Spain in 1709); François Danican Philidor, who became a drummer in Jacques' old unit, headed by the Duke of Orléans, and ended up timpanist to the Queen of Spain; and Nicolas Danican Philidor, who was an oboist, a viol player in the king's chamber, and a serpent player in the royal chapel. ~ James Reel, Rovi
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