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Volume 1, redone Dec. 2014


Volume 1


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Were Magdeleine and Marguerite Pièche nicknamed "Magdelon" and " Margot"?

A Musing about the Miserere (H.157) and Incipit... (H.95) in cahier 6

There is compelling evidence that the two Pièche sisters who sang pieces by Marc-Antoine Charpentier were not the singers who went by the sobriquets "Melle Magdelon" and "Melle Margot." Yet the questions about them that were being asked back in the 1980s continue to be asked; and over-reliance on the pioneering work of H. Wiley Hitchcock continues to give rise to some rather inventive hypotheses about these singers.1

In this Musing I assemble the evidence currently available about these four singers, and about the dating of Charpentier's scores; and I suggest how we can put this evidence together, to answer the question: Were Magdeleine and Marguerite Pièche called "Magdelon" and "Margot" for short?

"Pieches," "Melle Magdelon," "Melle Margot"


In some of the pieces in his Mélanges, Charpentier identified the musicians. For example, circa 1679 he wrote the name "Pieches" on two pieces (cahier 22, fol. 92; cahier XXV, fol. 3). He was referring to the two women who had recently been selected for the Dauphin's "Musique": "Mesdemoiselles Piesche y firent paraître leurs belles voix à leur ordinaire," commented the Mercure galant in January 1682 (p. 115).

Some eight years later, Charpentier marked the names of two singers in the left-hand margin of three other pieces: "Magd" or "Melle Magd," a haut dessus, and "Marg" or Melle Marg," a dessus. On two occasions the women sang with a bass named "Frizon." Since Frizon (or Frison) was one of the Dauphin's musicians (Mercure galant, May 1682, p. 183), the two female singers presumably were the Pièche sisters.

These allusions to the Pièche sisters are found in notebooks that span ten years, approximately 1679-1689. Two allusions date from the years when Charpentier was composing for the Dauphin, 1679 to 1682 or 1683; three appear in the margins of pieces written for events in 1687 to circa 1689 (cahiers 50, LI and 55), well after the Dauphin's Music had ceased to exist. Thus it would seem that Charpentier's collaboration with the Pièche sisters began in 1679, and that it continued sporadically for a decade. An accurate identification of works written for the Pièches and Antoine Frizon is crucial to our understanding of Charpentier's career, because whenever the Pièches are mentioned prior to 1688, we can be quite sure that the piece provides insights into the developing musical taste of the Dauphin, heir to the French throne.

"Melle Margot" and "Melle Magdelon"

In 1673, for the Tenebrae music that Charpentier copied into cahier 6, several times he identified two women singers: "Melle Magdelon," a haut dessus, and "Melle Margot," a dessus. Sometimes he wrote the sobriquets in full, but sometimes he abbreviated them: "Melle Marg" and "Melle Magd." These abbreviations -- plus the fact that, in 1673 as in 1687, "Magd" was a haut dessus and "Marg" a dessus — caused, and continue to cause twentieth- and twenty-first-century scholars to wonder whether Magdelon and Margot were the "Magd" and "Marg" who sang with Frizon after 1679.

Some first glimmers of information about these singers

Thanks to the painstaking research of Marcelle Benoit, the first names of the Pièche sisters were known by 1971: they were Madeleine and Marguerite, filles de la musique du roi.2 It was now possible to calculate the approximate ages of the Pièche sisters, based on probable age at marriage, birth dates of children, and death dates.3 The conclusion: the Pièches were in their mid-to-late teens when they began singing for the Dauphin circa 1679. And so, unless one imagines them singing the music in cahier 6 when they were not yet ten years old, this suggests (but does not prove) that the Pièche sisters were probably not the singers who, back in 1673, went by the sobriquets "Melle Magdelon" and "Melle Margot."

The identities of "Melle Magdelon" and "Melle Margot" remained a mystery for most of the first decade of the revival in Charpentier scholarship, in part because it was initially assumed that Charpentier had not yet entered the service of the Guises in 1673, and in part because the "French" or arabic-numbered notebooks were not understood to contain his "ordinary" compositions for the noble House of Guise.

In 1987 I tentatively identified these two householders of Mlle de Guise: Margot may have been Marguerite de la Bonnodière, and Magdelon, Elisabeth Boisseau4 (in the 1680s Elisabeth was known as "Magdelaine" to her mistress and her colleagues).5 The emphasis here should be on "tentatively." I might have proposed other Marguerites and Magdelaines in service at the Hôtel de Guise during Charpentier's early years there. Sobriquets abounded among the seventy-odd domestics in the employ of the Guises; and, as was the case for Mlle Boisseau, a sobriquet did not necessarily mirror one's baptismal name.6

As Sarah Maza has observed:

Servants rarely gave up their names of their own volition. Masters chose names suggested to them by whim, custom, or fashion, and foisted them upon their employees. The onomastic habits of masters tended to reinforce the domestic hierarchy: lower menservants were renamed, while upper servants of either sex were usually known by their last name and maidservants by a shortened version of their given name.7

In the end, one might ask: How crucial are the precise identities of "Melle Magdelon" and "Melle Margot" to our understanding the music that Charpentier wrote for the Guises? I personally do not think that it matters all that much. It is the Guises who count! That is to say, from 1670 until late 1687, Charpentier's principal concern was to serve the Guises: he was writing for the musicians provided and protected by the Guises; his compositions were conceived for events sponsored by the Guises; and the texts he set to music were selected, or at least approved by the Guises.

As a result, the pieces in Charpentier's arabic-numbered ("French") notebooks, 1670-1687, permit us to examine the musical taste of a noble family living in Paris, as contrasted with the taste at the court of Louis XIV and his son, as exemplified by the pieces for the Pièches. For this reason, it is important to attempt to settle, once and for all, the dating of cahier 6. Was it written for performance during Holy Week of 1673, in the small, rather low-vaulted romanesque church at the abbey of Montmartre where Mlle de Guise's sister was abbess, as I proposed many years ago? Or was it written for performance before the royal family in the more lofty gothic chapel adjacent to the chateau of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, where the royal family was in residence on March 30, 1679? (The latter option would of course mean that Charpentier later tucked this music into the "wrong" chronological slot?8

By 1670 the Guises already had a small musical ensemble, a "Musique." It included at least two unnamed female musicians, one a haut dessus, the other a dessus.9 It is quite possible that, as early as 1670, these singers answered to the sobriquets "Melle Margot" and "Melle Magdelon." But then again, Margot and Magdelon may not have arrived at the Hôtel de Guise until, say, 1672 or even 1673. In the Guise scheme of things, one chambermaid or demoiselle d'honneur might leave the household to be married or enter a convent, but another would soon take her place. What counted for the princesses was the uprightness and agreeableness of the domestic, her long-standing links to the House of Guise, and her need to earn a dowry; so much the better if the newcomer could sing or play an instrument, as the chambermaids of great nobles usually did.

What ought to count for us is whether the music in cahier 6 represents the musical taste of Mademoiselle de Guise, who in 1673 was keeping her distance from the royal court; or whether, as some propose, these pieces represent the musical taste of the Dauphin and the royal court. The two esthetics can scarcely have been the same.

H. Wiley Hitchcock and his Catalogue raisonné of 1982

Back in 1982, while preparing his Catalogue raisonné,10 H. Wiley Hitchcock assumed that Charpentier's abbreviations "Marg" and "Magd" were another way of indicating "Melle Margot" and "Melle Magdelon," and that the works written for "Marg" and "Magd," 1679-1689, were intended for the singers named in cahier 6.

Therefore, whenever Hitchcock encountered "Marg" or "Magd" in one of Charpentier's pieces (Catalogue, H.95, H.196, H.201, H.326, and H.431), he expanded these abbreviations to read "Marg[ot]" and "Magd[elon]." The repercussions of this mistake are evident in Appendix II of his Catalogue. There are only three entries for "Pièche," and they refer to pages in the Mélanges where that family name appears; there are no entries at all for "Magd" and "Marg," because these allusions were incorporated into the entries "Magdelon, Mlle," and "Margot, Mlle."

A few years later, when I was telling Wiley Hitchcock about my latest discoveries, he said that he had been totally unaware that the Pièche sisters who began singing for the Dauphin circa 1679, were named Marguerite and Magdelaine. Indeed, he had not intended to suggest that the Pièche sisters were nicknamed "Margot" and "Magdelon," nor to suggest that Charpentier was composing for the Dauphin's musicians as early as 1673.

In itself, the mistake seemed relatively minor; but it would have consequences for subsequent scholars. Over the years, scholars have struggled to equate "Marg" and "Magd" of circa 1679-1689 with "Melle Margot" and "Melle Magdelon" of 1673.

I never talked with anyone about what Wiley Hitchcock told me. I hoped the mistake would be forgotten once scholars came to accept 1673 as the date of cahier 6,11 and once they accepted not only my tentative identification of Margot and Magdelon but also the doubts I had expressed about "Marg" being synonymous with "Margot," and "Magd" with "Magdelon.12 But the misidentifications were not forgotten; convoluted and ingenious attempts to merge these women persist. An exercise on how to date cahier 6

Why am I convinced that cahier 6 contains pieces for Holy Week of 1673, and that the pieces were written for two Guise chambermaids nicknamed Magdelon and Margot?

I do not base that conviction on hypotheses, but on solid evidence. I shall take my readers step by step through that evidence: the watermarks of the paper; the staves printed on that paper; and most conclusive of all, the presence in cahier 6 of a musical clef that Charpentier only used from late 1671 to late 1673.

But first, a few words about my parcours as a Charpentier scholar, and how I have reasoned about dating and venues over the decades.

Back in the 1980s, I began marshaling every type of evidence that I could get my hands on, in order to establish the chronology I would later present in Vers une chronologie. I scrutinized every sheet of the twenty-eight volumes of the Mélanges, to identify the watermark and give it either a number or a letter. My goal was to confirm the accuracy of Wiley Hitchcock's observation that in both the "French" and the "Roman" series, the notebooks were numbered chronologically. And that is exactly what the watermarks showed: in the main, the same paper appears in both series of notebooks, and at approximately the same time. Where the papers do not coincide, more often or not the handwriting suggests that an original notebook had been recopied or reworked at a later date.

To the extent that the sources permitted, I matched eighteen years of Guise activities, 1670-1688, with specific pieces in cahiers 1-50 and cahiers I-LI of the Mélanges. For example, the reposoir that Mme de Guise sponsored at the Luxembourg Palace in June 1673 corresponded to Charpentier's music for a reposoir in cahier 7; and the beatification service at the Mercy convent in mid-April 1674 (the delivery of an organ was delayed) corresponded to his Messe pour plusieurs instruments au lieu des orgues, likewise in cahier 7. Whenever I came upon one of these "coincidences," I would consult my notes about the watermarks in that specific notebook, and I would check to see whether the same paper appeared in the other series at around the same time. I would also examine Charpentier's handwriting, to see whether the clefs were similar to those in the surrounding notebooks. I knew that my examinations of his handwriting were superficial, but that was the best I could do in those days before the first volume of the Minkoff facsimiles appeared in 1990. Year by year, and research stay after research stay in Paris, I established a chronology, and I eventually self-published my Vers un chronologie (1994).

When I proposed that cahier 6, with its pieces for "Magdelon" and "Margot," was written for Holy Week 1673, I based my dating primarily on a clue provided by Charpentier himself. That is to say, most of Charpentier's C clefs in cahier 6 resemble a lower-case k. And I observed that the same k-like clefs appear in the Roman notebooks for the same period, roughly late 1671 to late 1673. (This observation served as the underpinning of my proposed dating of some of the works in cahiers I-XIV.) We shall return shortly to this k-like clef and its implications for the Charpentier chronology.

Paper and printed staves as a guide to dating

By the late 1990s I was ready to present my analysis of the brands of paper used in the Mélanges.13 This analysis demonstrated that a given type of paper generally appears for a relatively brief time in both series of notebooks, and at approximately the same date. The evidence about the paper in cahier 6 did not, of course, shed any light on the identities of Margot and Magdelon; but it did reveal that the paper -- which bears watermark B -- was not only used in cahier 6, it was also used in cahiers XII and XIII. Since the pieces in cahiers XII and XIII seem to date from 1672-1673, this strongly suggested to me that Charpentier acquired this brand of music paper circa 1672. (There is no paper B in the notebooks dating from the Pièche years.) In other words, scholars could now cautiously propose a date for cahier 6: very late 1672 or early 1673.

This was the state of affairs for a decade, until Laurent Guillo completed his pioneering study of the printed music paper used by Charpentier.14 His charts reveal an important detail that was not picked up by the analysis of the watermarks alone: the paper B in cahier 6 was printed by the printer's form he calls PAP-75. The very same form that printed the staves in cahiers 1-4 (and cahiers I and II of the Roman series of notebooks)! To understand the significance of this detail, we must imagine that we are a printer, who had been using PAP-75 to print staves on paper with watermark A. Then, having run out of paper A, he bought some reams of paper B and printed staves on them with the PAP-75 form that was in his press. (Remember that for cahier 6, Charpentier used sheets of this paper B, printed by form PAP-75.) Not long afterward, form PAP-75 was apparently damaged and discarded.15

In short, this combined evidence -- the brand of paper, and the staves printed on it -- makes it possible to assert, with considerably more certitude than prior to 2004, that the paper used in cahier 6 was printed circa 1670-1672, and that Charpentier employed it early in 1673 for pieces he was writing for Holy Week, to be sung by Magdelon and Margot.

Charpentier's clef formation as a guide to dating

Recently, the attention of Charpentier scholars has also been trained on the composer's evolving musical hand. Indeed, C. Jane Gosine's path-breaking work on Charpentier's handwriting has opened new doors for Charpentier scholars.16 Her findings have prompted discussions about the fact that some of his cahiers were subsequently recopied, and about the time-slot that one or another cahier occupies within the Mélanges.

That is to say, in the 1680s and 1690s, Charpentier recopied in full some of his older notebooks from the 1670s; sometimes he simply recopied damaged outer pages. When he had finished, he would put the new copy/ new version/ repaired notebook back into its original time-slot, rather than filing it among his most recent notebooks. Indeed, he was very careful not to move a piece or a notebook to a different position in the chronologically-organized Mélanges.

Thanks to Gosine's work, we can now determine whether a cahier could conceivably have been put into the wrong chronological slot by the expert who, in 1726, drew up the Mémoire of 1726 listing Charpentier's autograph scores.17 Charpentier's handwriting will tell us that, even if the paper and the staves do not. Above all, we now realize how important it is to establish a chronology of changes in the composer's musical hand across the years.

For example, where one of Charpentier's mature hands is found in a recopying, Gosine demonstrates that, thanks to the contours of his G clefs and/or his C clefs, it is often possible to propose an approximate date for the recopying (and possible revisions).

What do the paper and the clefs in cahier 6 tell us?

Before looking at the musical clefs in cahier 6, let me repeat what I said about the paper in that cahier. That is to say, neither the brand of paper (watermark B) nor the printed staves (PAP-75) match chronologically the papers used for the Pièche sisters, 1679-1689. Indeed, paper B and form PAP-75 only appear in the Mélanges between circa 1670 and mid-to-late 1673. Specifically, paper B is not only found in cahier 6, it also appears in cahiers XII, XIII, and XIV, all of which appear to date from 1672. (The staves in those three Roman-numbered cahiers were, however, printed by different forms.)

Printed by PAP-75, the paper B in cahier 6 clearly came from the same print shop that had used that same form to print staves on the paper A that Charpentier used for cahiers 1, 2, 3, 4, I, and II (which almost certainly date from 1670-1672). Put another way, around the time that Charpentier was writing for "Melle Magdelon" and "Melle Margot," he acquired from his regular supplier a batch of printed music paper that was more or less undistinguishable from the paper A he had used for two years - but the new paper had been made at a different mill. Taken together, the paper and the printer's form strongly suggest that cahier 6 dates from 1673 at the latest, and that the change in brand was a relatively routine event of which Charpentier may not even have taken notice. In short, the evidence provided by the paper in cahier 6 strongly suggests that the notebook dates from late 1672 or early 1673.

Close examination of Charpentier's musical clefs will permit an even more precise dating of that notebook. That is to say, if the clefs in cahier 6 turn out to be similar to the clefs in cahiers 22 and XXV (which contain pieces for the Pièches, 1679-1680), this would suggest that "Melle Magdelon" and "Melle Margot" were indeed Magdeleine and Marguerite Pièche; and that, as was recently conjectured, Charpentier did in fact make a mistake, circa 1679, when he affixed the number "6" to first page of that cahier.18

If, on the other hand, the clefs in cahier 6 turn out not to match the clefs in cahiers 22 and XXV, this would more or less quash the hypothesis that cahier 6 dates from Holy Week of 1679.

The clefs in cahiers 50, LI, and 55

Let us begin by scrutinizing the clefs in the pieces where the Pièches and Frizon are mentioned. These cahiers contain three pieces where Charpentier marked the abbreviated first names of the Pièche sisters and Frizon's abbreviated last name. The two pieces in cahiers 50 and LI were almost certainly written in early 1687 for Mlle de Guise's grandiose musical celebration of Louis XIV's recovery. A third work is in cahier 55, which is made of Jesuit paper and probably dates from early in Charpentier's tenure at the Jesuits, say between early 1688 and 1690. In all three instances, the G clefs are the type that Jane Gosine calls G-2. This means that the pieces are posterior to the fall of 1680, when Charpentier abandoned the G-1 clef and began to use clef G-2. Since the G clefs in cahier 6 are of the G-1 type, it is clear that cahiers 50, LI, and 55 will shed no light on the dating of cahier 6.

The clefs in cahiers 22 and XXV

These cahiers contain two pieces that were almost certainly written for the Pièche sisters circa 1679-80. In each instance, Charpentier wrote the singers' family name, but not their first names.19

The G clefs in both pieces are type G-1, which vaguely resembles an S. In other words, these pieces are anterior to the fall of 1680, when Charpentier switched to clef G-2. In addition, the C clefs in both pieces are typical of the period 1679-80:

[cah. 22 fol. 94, left; and cahier XXV, fol. 23, right]


The clefs in cahier 6

Throughout cahier 6, the G clefs are type G-1. We can therefore rest assured that, like the pieces in cahier 22 and cahier XXV, these pieces were copied out prior to the fall of 1680.

The C clefs are, however, markedly different from the ones in cahiers 22 and XXV. They resemble a lower-case k:

These k-like C clefs are so distinctive, and so important for dating Charpentier's works, 1670-1680, that they merit a sub-category all their own.20

The arrival and the departure of the k-like C clefs

When, in the Mélanges, did Charpentier begin to use these unusual clefs? And when did he abandon them?

In the first half-dozen notebooks of the French series, which are mainly intact, cahier 1 uses a clef that is an awkward precursor of the C-1 clef in Gosine's illustrations.

[vol 1, p. 20 of the Minkoff facsimile]

He continued to use this clef through folio 13 verso of cahier 2 (vol 1, p. 26 of the facsimile).

Then, with folio 14 recto, the k-like C clef abruptly appears, in the middle of a piece that almost certainly was intended for September 8, 1671, the Nativity of the Virgin. The same k-like clef is present in the next piece, written for Mme de Guise's mother in celebration of the Feast of St Francis, September 17, 1671.

This abrupt shift in clef formation can be explained by events at the Hôtel de Guise. Charpentier's young master, the Duke of Guise, had succumbed to smallpox on July 30, 1671. This gave the composer only a month to prepare the music for the funeral pomp that survives in cahiers 3 (Messe pour les trépassés) and 4 (Mottet pour les trépassés). Neither of these two cahiers contains this k-like C clef. In other words, as of early August 1671, Charpentier had not yet adopted the k-like C clef.

The change in clefs probably occurred in cahier 5, which was recopied many years later. Let me explain why I say that. Cahier 5 begins with a Prose des morts that probably was composed for the Duke's bout de l'an, in late July 1672; and it concludes with several small pieces for February 4 to Holy Saturday, 1673. This scenario explains the abrupt change in C clefs in those pieces being written in late July 1671, for performance the following September: Charpentier simply pushed the pieces aside and did not resume entering them into his notebooks until well into 1672. As far as I have been able to determine, between August 1671 (when Charpentier began working on music for the Duke's funeral) until the spring of 1673 (and the Malade imaginaire), he filled 3 cahiers for the Guises and at least 14 cahiers for outside patrons. To say nothing of the requisite part-books for the performers. His hand must have cramped! This may explain why, for his personal copies of these works, he resorted to the k-like clef that requires only two strokes instead of four.

Next comes cahier 6, with its multiplicity of k-like clefs and its music for Holy Week, 1673. In short, there is a direct chronological bridge from cahier 2 (which runs to September 1671) to the final pieces in cahier 5 (February 1673), and on to cahier 6 (Holy Week 1673). Beneath that bridge lie a corpus of several long funeral works surrounded by covers with titles; they date from August 1671 to August 1672.

With the very first page of cahier 7 (which contains music for Mme de Guise's reposoir of June 1673 and the instrumental mass of April 1674) - the k-like C clefs disappear:

   [Reposoir clef]

A similar arrival and departure of the k-like clef occurs in the notebooks of the Roman series. This clef is found in cahiers IV and V, albeit inconsistently; it predominates in the Mass for four choirs of cahiers XII-XIV, which I believe was commissioned for a canonization at the church of the Italian Theatins in August 1672. This k-like clef also predominates in cahiers XVI-XVII, with their music for Molière's troop: Comtesse d'Escarbagnas and Le Mariage forcé (1672) and Le Malade imaginaire (1673 and revisions for 1674). A full year separates these pieces from cahier XVIII, which contains music for Circé (early 1675); and as in the French series of notebooks, the k-like clefs disappear for good with cahier XVIII, Circé:


In sum, in both series of notebooks, these unusual k-like clefs appear in late 1671 or early 1672, and they disappear for good, shortly before the end of 1673.

A comparison of the C clefs in cahier 6 and the clefs in the revisions of Le Malade

I have prepared a little chart showing the hodge-podge of C clefs in cahier 6, juxtaposed with the hodge-podge of C clefs on two pages of cahier XVII - specifically, two pages from the Malade "avec les deffenses" that Lully forced upon the late Molière's troop. (The pieces modified to fit these deffenses, were not performed until May 1674.)

That the two sets of clefs in this table are virtually identical suggests that the two cahiers are near contemporaries and represent the hey-day of this short-lived musical hand. (The page numbers are those of the Minkoff facsimiles).

I realize that this chart would seem to suggest that I erred by a year, when I dated cahier 6 as written in 1673. If I did, so be it. Still, I think the situation is more complicated than that. The deffenses were issued on April 30, 1673; by that autumn, work had begun on the troop's new theater; and on January 7, 1674, the actors obtained a lettre de cachet forbidding other troops to perform Le Malade until the play was available in printed form. In short, during the final months of 1673 the troop was planning far ahead. It is not likely, therefore, that by January 1674 Charpentier had reworked the Malade?

cahier 6 (vol. 1)                                          cahier XVII (vol. 16)

p. 98,                                    p. 91

 p. 99                                    p. 92 

 p. 103                                   p. 91

 p. 104                                    p. 92 

p. 105                                    p. 92   

 p. 110                                     p. 92      

In sum, Marc-Antoine Charpentier's musical hand strongly suggests that cahier 6 dates from 1673. The Tenebrae music in cahier 6 would therefore have been written for two domestics of the Guises, not for the Pièche sisters.


This investigation into the identity of four singers is not a mere fuss over a few details. For scholars who wish to study the evolution of Charpentier's Oeuvre, the stakes are higher than one might think. Fusing Magdelaine and Marguerite Pièche with "Melle Magdelon" and "Melle Margot," as H. Wiley Hitchcock did (and as scholars who rely too heavily on his pioneering work still attempt to do), blurs our understanding of Charpentier's response to the esthetic preferences of his Guise patrons in 1673, as compared with the esthetic preferences of the Dauphin, to which he began responding in 1679.

The similarities between the baptismal names of the Pièche girls and the sobriquets of two Guise singers are just that: similarities, coincidences. They are the very sort of coincidences that this scholar encountered as she worked her way through a notarial maze of similar first names and identical family names that all too often turned out to belong to totally unrelated people.

This Musing has evoked the difficulties of doing research back in the early 1980s (and in the twenty-first century as well). I hope I have put to rest the issue of whether "Melle Magdelon" and "Melle Margot" were the Pièche sisters. To rest, that is, until some new insight or some new discovery suggests that the issue might be reexamined with profit.


1. See for example Marc-Antoine Charpentier, Petits Motets, vol. 1, motets à une et deux voix, ed. Catherine Cessac (Editions du Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles, 2009), "Introduction," pp. xxxv, lxxi.

2. Marcelle Benoit, Versailles et les musiciens du roi (Paris: Picard, 1971), index; and also the index to her Musiques de cour, published the same year and place.

3. Both Pièche girls wed in 1693, doubtlessly around the time of reaching their legal majority, age twenty-five. In other words, they probably were born in the mid-1660s.

4. Elisabeth Boisseau signed a legal document as "Elisabelle Boisseau," She is given various sobriquets in the papers of Mlle de Guise's estate. Mlle de Guise's inventory, AN, R*/4/1056, list of domestics helping with the inventory: "damoiselle Madeleine Boisseau, femme de chambre," and item 195: "Mme Magdelaine Boisseau"; Mlle de Guise's will, codicil of Feb. 28, 1688, AN, MC, CXII, 398: "Madame Magdelaine Premiere femme de chambre"; her signature: Acte d'union, July 19, 1690, AN, MC, LXXV, 370: "Elisabelle Boisseau." "Magdelaine Boisseau, femme de chambre," was part of young Mme de Guise's household in 1671: Archives of Chantilly, carton 16.

5. "A Sweet Servitude," Early Music, 1987, p. 348 and n. 11.

6. For example, there was Mlle de Guise's purported daughter, Marguerite Nodot, who left the Hôtel de Guise in 1673 or 1674, to become a nun at Montmartre (AN, MC, XCIX, Dec. 29, 1679); there was Marguerite de Mornay, a fille d'honneur who made arrangements to leave the princess's service during the summer of 1672 (AN, MC, XCIX, 251, Apr. 30, 1672); and there was Madeleine Dupré, who was Mme de Guise's chambermaid in 1673 (Arsenal, ms. 6525, fol. 8v). In Mlle de Guise's will of 1688 (A.N., M.C., CXII, 398, Feb. 6, 1686). The gardener was called "Romain," and among the valets de pied were "Baptiste," "Sallé," "Champagne," "Lange," "Marais," and "Cadet." The male musicians were indicated by their family names preceded by sieur ("sieur Loullié," "sieur Beaupuis," and so forth). As for the maidservants, some went by their family names ("Madlle Le Riche, "Madlle Brion, "Madlle Grandmaison," "Madlle Talon, ""Madlle Guyot"), but some had been given sobriquets ("Madlle Manon," "Madlle Isabelle," "Madlle Henriette," and so forth). Here we see the hierarchy described by Sarah C. Maza, Servants and Masters in Eighteenth-Century France (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1983), pp. 176-78. See also Cissie Fairchilds, Domestic Enemise: Servants and their Masters in Old Regime France (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1984), pp. 102-103.

7. Maza, p.176.

8. Petits Motets, vol. 1: motets à une et deux voix, pp. xxxv, lxxi, which further argues that cahier 6 was once part of a now-lost "book 2 for Mesdemoiselles Pièche" (livre 2 des demoiselles Pièches). For the whereabouts of the royal family during Holy Week of 1673 and 1679, see Christophe Levantal, Louis XIV, Chronographie d'un règne (Paris: Infolio, 2009), vol. 1, pp. 337, 397.

9. See cahiers 1 and 2, which contain pieces composed between 1670 and the death of the Duke of Guise during the summer of 1671. Most pieces are for haut dessus and dessus, plus two treble recorders and continuo. For one Tenebrae lesson, the two high voices are joined by a lower voice (haute contre) -- perhaps Charpentier himself, perhaps a third singing chambermaid.

10. Les Oeuvres de / The Works of Marc-Antoine Charpentier, catalogue raisonné (Paris: Picard, 1982.

11. See my Vers une chronologie (Baltimore: The Author, 1994), especially p. 38.

12. Ranum, "A Sweet Servitude," n. 11.

13. Ranum, Vers une chronologie, pp. 30-31.

14. "Les papiers imprimés dans les Mélanges," in Les Manuscrits autographes de Marc-Antoine Charpentier, ed. C. Cessac (Wavre: Mardaga, 2007).

15. To print his remaining stock of paper B, the printer used the forms called PAP-87 and PAP-81. He apparently discarded form PAP-87 after 1672, but he continued to use form PAP-81 for quite a few years, on several different papers. (Guillo shows that cahier XXIV was printed with PAP-81; in other words this particular form was unusually hardy, so Charpentier was using paper printed by PAP-81 as late 1675-76.) For the tables showing the PAP's in the Mélanges, see Guillo, "Les papiers imprimés," pp. 47-54. One cannot, of course, rule out the possibility that another Parisian printer purchased some of that same paper B and printed it with forms PAP-87 and PAP-81. One must remember that the sieve-like formes used to make paper, and the printer's formes used to make musical staves were relatively fragile. The paper brands in the Mélanges consequently changed every few years, and so did the printer's forms.

16. See her "Questions of Chronology," in Les Manuscrits autographes. (copyright, 2006); and her "Correlations between Handwriting Changes and Revisions to Works within the Mélanges," in Les Manuscrits autographes.

17. For a diplomatic transcription of the manuscript, see Patricia M. Ranum and Shirley Thompson, "Mémoire des ouvrages de musique latine et françoise de défunt M.r Charpentier: A Diplomatic Transcription," in Shirley Thompson, ed., New Perspectives on Marc-Antoine Charpentier (Farnham: Ashgate, 2010), pp. 314-39.

18. "... Cahier 6 appears to be in the wrong place and to date from some time later than 1673 ..., the two pieces therefore having been composed for Holy Week 1679, when Charpentier entered the service of the Dauphin," Marc-Antoine Charpentier, Petits Motets, vol. 1: motets à une et deux voix, pp. xxxv, lxxi.

19. The calligraphed name "Pieches," vol. 19, cahier XXV, fol. 3; and "pour le Superflumina des demoiselles Pieches, voyez cy derriere," cahier 22, fols. 92-92v.

20. It would be a tiresome task -- but certainly not a thankless one! -- to chart the minute changes in Charpentier's hand over the decades, among them details such as the k-like clef in cahier 6, which is really quite different from the C clefs that precede and follow it chronologically, most of which Gosine included in the really quite heterogeneous category she calls C-1. In this way, the decade-long blocks into which Charpentier's scores are currently grouped (G-1, G-2, G-3; C-1, C-2, C-3, etc.) could be subdivided into slots only a few years long.