04 DEC 2018

As an organist, harpsichordist and musicologist, Sébastien Daucé is driven by the desire to share his passion for French music of the seventeenth century. After training in early music at the conservatories of Tours and Angers, he joined the National Conservatory of Music and Dance Lyon2 (CNSMD).

In 2009, he founded the Ensemble Correspondances around the sacred French repertoire of the Grand Siècle. With this ensemble he directs, he travels through France and the world and has acquired international recognition. His exploration of the Baroque repertoire led him to collaborate with the top specialists of the seventeenth century.

Today, he is launching a partnership with Sorbonne University, the Louvre Museum, the Ambronay Festival and the Ensemble Correspondances, to create an online course (MOOC) on French Baroque music.

Sébastien Daucé
Sébastien Daucé © Philippe Delval

What connection do you have with Sorbonne University?

Sébastien Daucé : I am a former student of Sorbonne University, I studied musicology there about ten years ago, in parallel with my studies at the Lyon Conservatory. Hence, it was obvious to me to turn to this university to create the MOOC project on French music of the seventeenth century.

In collaboration with the Ambronay Cultural Meeting Center, the Louvre museum and the Ensemble Correspondances that I direct, Sorbonne University brings its scientific expertise to assist us in the digital and interactive design of the MOOC to build a course that makes learning a pleasure.

I co-write the educational and musicological contents with two professor-researchers from Sorbonne University: Cécile Davy-Rigaux and Théodora Psychoyou. We have different backgrounds and complementary expertise; the professors are specialists in French Baroque music and I am a musician.

Why create a MOOC on Baroque music?

S. D. : I remember discovering Baroque music by a completely different means than through records and concerts. As a child, I immediately fell in love with this music by going to see films like The King's Walk or The King's Dance. I immediately loved the sound, the instruments, the way of singing. Since then it has become my absolute passion.

In creating this MOOC, I wanted to offer the public the opportunity to approach this music in an original way, through innovative media that can create more ways to interact than a single disc. I wanted to make people want to go further, not by the analysis of technique and musical scores, but becoming familiar with this repertoire through the places where it was played, such as the Palace of Versailles, the Louvre, the abbeys, cathedrals, theaters a,d salons.

How is this MOOC innovative?

S. D. : While Baroque music has been a hit with the public for a few years, with many concerts and festivals dedicated to it, there are no online courses on this music. This MOOC will be the first in France on this theme.

This Mooc is designed for both novices and initiates, but will not be a standard class taught by a professor, instead, this online course will be presented by a musician and radio presenter.

Since it will be filmed in cultural and historical places like the Louvre where we will be able to show big paintings, this MOOC will also be the occasion to evoke the other arts such as dance, theater, painting or architecture. We will also discuss the sociology of these places, the history of power, the way music was made, how it was played and under what conditions.

In just a few hours of video, we would like to explain many things that are both accessible to all and that offer a real scientific perspective. For this, we will work with the greatest specialists in France and internationally, including musicologists, of course, but also historians, art historians, instrument makers, specialists in writing music.

Why should we support this project?

S. D. : The crowdfunding will make the MOOC even more alive, with reconstructions, reworked images and music specifically recorded for the occasion at the Louvre auditorium or at the Ambronay festival. The more funding, the more immersive and interactive the MOOC will be with new contributions that will allow us to project ourselves even further into the world of the 17th century.

For example, one of the projects that could be created through crowdfunding is to make a 3D visual reconstruction of the coronation of Louis XIV in Reims Cathedral. Completely transformed for this occasion, this monument was decorated with tapestries, draperies, carpets that would radically change the perception of sound. We would like to make a digital simulation of the music played during this event with the mineral acoustics of the cathedral as we know it today and then with the muffled acoustics with the decorations for the coronation.

Pour en savoir plus et participer au financement du Mooc « Un siècle de musique en France » 

*Massive Open Online Course : « cours en ligne ouvert à tous »