Skip to content
Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Charles-Edmond-Henride Coussemaker

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

French historian of music, b. at Bailleul, department of Nord, France, 19 April, 1805; d. at Lille, 10 January, 1876. Coussemaker rendered great service to musical science by bringing to the notice of students the early development and history of harmony and counterpoint, as shown by the treatment of these divisions of music in that section of the "Musica Enchiriadis" in which diaphony is treated. This he did in a work on Huebald, who lived from about 840 to 930, was a monk of the monastery of Saint-Amand, and wrote the "Enchiriadis" as well as other works on music. While pursuing his law studies in Paris, Coussemaker studied singing under Pellegrini and Payer and harmony under Reicha. Even after entering upon his career as a lawyer at Douai, he took a course in counterpoint under Victor Lefebvre. His early ambition to become a composer, especially of church music , did not produce permanent results, as most of his productions in that field remain in manuscript. while acting as judge at Bergues, Hazebrouck, Cambrai, Dunkerque, and Lille successively, he pursued studies and made researches which resulted in works of the highest historical importance and of permanent value. His writings have had an important part in the revival of true church music that began some sixty years ago, and in the restoration, which has not yet reached its culmination, of the chant. The pioneer nature of Coussemaker's labours in many fields explains and condones to some extent the fact that he was not always correct in his deductions. Thus his assertion (Histoire de l'harmonie, c. ii, pp. 158-159) that the neums "have their origin in the accents of the Latin language", an assumption which became the basis for the so-called oratorical rhythm in plain chant , was disproved long ago by the mensuralist school of chant rhythm and, more recently, by the Rev. J. Thibaut in his work "Origine byzantine de la notation neumatique de l'église latine" (Paris, 1907). Coussemaker's most noted musico-historical works are: "Mémoires sur Hucbald-Amand" (1841); "Histoire de l'harmonie au moyen âge" (1852); "Les harmonistes des XII et XIII siècles" (1864); "(Euvres complètes du trouvère Adam de la Halle" (1872); "Joannis Tinctoris Tractatus de Musica", and his collection in four volumes, intended to be a continuation of Gerbert's "Scriptores", of writings by medieval authors entitled: "Scriptorum de musica medii aevi nova series a Gerbertino altera" (1866-76). Besides these, Coussemaker published numerous essays and magazine articles on historical, technical, and æsthetic questions in regard to music.


LIVE Lessons @ Catholic Online School

'Live Lessons' with Zoom on Catholic Online School

Professor Connolly: Monday-Friday @ 9am (PDT) / 12pm (EDT)
Deacon Frederick Bartels: Tuesday-Friday @ 10am (PDT) / 1pm (EDT)

LIVE Lessons Curriculum


Saints Fun Facts Coloring Book FREE PDF

Free PDFs: Hail Mary, Our Father, How to Pray the Rosary & more

PDF educational & learning resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers and it’s 100% FREE. How to Pray the Rosary, Hail Mary, Our Father, Saints, Prayers, Coloring Books, Novenas, Espanol and more. All FREE to download and faithful to the Magisterium. Download Now >


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2020 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2020 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.