Thursday, December 29, 2011

Music in New France

Music in New France by susanvg
Music in New France, a photo by susanvg on Flickr.
Les Idées Heureuses concert
It was a delightful afternoon of music and dance from New France. With the exception of one piece, there is evidence that the music played in the concert was played and enjoyed in the early to mid 18th Century in New France (now the province of Quebec). Manuscripts of the pieces, many by French composers, others composed here, were found among the belongings of some of the early settlers.

Life was not easy for the early colonists who braved cold winters and other hardships. But they did have music, both secular and sacred as well as dance to take their minds off any difficulties. The wealthier settlers enjoyed balls and other entertainment, much as they would have in France.

Dance in New France

We had to brave rather frigid temperatures to get there, hardly the same kind of hardship with our modern winter clothing and modern heated vehicles. And then we enjoyed this concert, all done in costume, with excerpts of letters from a widowed colonist to her son. Madame Bégon described life among the well-to-do in her many letters. 

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