January 12, 1715 - July 15, 1789
born in Rouen, France, composed during the Baroque period
Jacques Duphly was a popular harpsichordist and organist and the composer of bright, lively, and attractive keyboard music.
His parents were Jacques-Agathe Duphly and Marie-Louis Boivin. Records that Duphly made later show that he was taught by Dagincour in Rouen, and became the organist of the cathedral of Evreux, evidently at the age of 19.
He got a position at the church at St. Eloi. The old man he was replacing did not take kindly to this personnel decision, and locked the organ loft before he left and threw away the key. In 1740 he added the post of Notre Dame de la Ronde to his duties, with his sister Marie-Anne-Agathe Duphly sometimes substituting for him.
He decided to go to Paris and specialize in harpsichord, leaving St Eloi in 1742. He was praised for his light touch and a great ability to bring out the character of the pieces.
He started publishing books of original harpsichord music in 1744. His popularity continued to increase in popularity into the 1760s , publishing more volumes of harpsichord music.
The music is clearly modeled on that of Rameau. The earlier harpsichord music is especially well-crafted and imaginative. The final book of works, however, appearing 12 years after his heyday, is out of date and halfhearted. A few of his sonatas have violin accompaniment. The violin parts show almost no skill or inventiveness in handling that instrument.
He lived a simple and modest life, teaching and playing. He apparently never married, and left most of his estate to a man-servant in lieu of other heirs; the fate of his sister being unknown to history. ~ Joseph Stevenson, Rovi