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Rameau's Treatise on Harmony (1722) initiated a revolution in music theory but in what ways did that translate into popularizing music ... particularly the mass production of musical instruments?

The question means if his work made music more accessible to the public and therefore greater demand to produce less expensive instruments -- perhaps with metal instead of gut, such as frets, using less materials, etc.

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    Are you referring to a specific article that's arguing that the Treatise did so? Can you link it? – LSM07 Feb 24 at 2:01
  • @LSM07 No, I'm actually asking if it did and should've used clearly phrasing. – Randy Zeitman Feb 25 at 0:56
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How did Rameau affect mass production? Not at all. His Treatise was published in 1722, but there was no mass production (of anything!) until 80 years later.

The biggest influences on instrument manufacturing were the development of the tubular valve for brass instruments (by Stölzel in 1818), the Boehm key system (in 1847), and the invention of various plastics in the early 20th century (for mass-market clarinet bodies, single reed mouthpieces, etc.). Plus the advances in technology that aided manufacturers of anything, like part standardization - that happened in the early 1800s to manufacture pulleys for sailing vessels.

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    I don't think it had an effect on the choices of materials. Metal strings were used in keyboard instruments and as windings for gut strings before Rameau; steel strings didn't replace gut until the 19th century. Instruments that had gut frets like the lute didn't use metal frets until the mid 20th century (and most still use gut today!) – Tom Serb Feb 25 at 15:27
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This first quotation doesn't properly answer your question, but it contains an interesting hint:

Jean-Philippe Rameau, the leading French composer of the 18th century, also contributed much to the development of orchestration. Rameau, like Handel, was principally famous as an opera composer, and the overtures and dances of his operas represent the most advanced uses of instruments during that period. Rameau was probably the first composer to treat each instrument of the orchestra as a separate entity, and he introduced interesting and unexpected passages for flutes, oboes, and bassoons.

https://www.britannica.com/art/instrumentation-music/Percussion-instrumentation#ref530172

The Traité was immediately recognized as a profound advance in musical theory, however, and it established Rameau's reputation as a theorist. His book was the first to codify those principles of tonality that were to dominate the music of the West for almost two centuries. Even today the theories of Rameau remain the basis for the study of harmony.

The question means if his work made music more accessible to the public and therefore greater demand to produce less expensive instruments -- perhaps with metal instead of gut, such as frets, using less materials, etc.

I'd rather say that no!

The points you are mentioning might have been more an impact of the French revolution in general when the music culture baceme not only a pleasure and privilege of for the nobility (apart of the travelling artists in the cities) but for all citizens - at least for the bourgoisie, as before the French nobility (French: la noblesse) was a privileged social class in France during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period to the revolution in 1790.

  • "His book was the first to codify those principles of tonality that were to dominate the music of the West for almost two centuries. Even today the theories of Rameau remain the basis for the study of harmony." So why focus on what happened in France? – Randy Zeitman Feb 25 at 14:30
  • The french revolution has been spread to whole europe and till moscow. Isn't it that till today some people think classical music were a privilege of the higher classes? In the same year (1722) the first part of Bachs WTC was published. I didn't notice this coincidence before ... – Albrecht Hügli Feb 25 at 15:24

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