Saturday, March 12, 8710

Thomas Arne (1710-1778) - Philosophy

Thomas Augustine Arne (March 12, 1710, Covent Garden, London, England – March 5, 1778), the son and grandson of upholsterers, was educated at Eton College.

Arne's sister, Susannah Maria, was a famous contralto, who performed in some of his works, including his first opera, Rosamund. With their brother Richard, they would often perform Arne's works.

On March 15, 1737, Arne married singer Cecilia Young, and thereafter Arne's operas and masques became very popular, including a setting of William Shakespeare's As You Like It, with its aria Under the Greenwood Tree, as recorded by David Munrow.

He received the patronage of Frederick, Prince of Wales, at whose country home, Cliveden, debuted the Masque of Alfred, featuring his now famous Rule Britannia!

In 1750, after an argument with David Garrick, Arne's sister left Drury Lane for Covent Garden Theatre, and Arne followed. He separated from Cecilia in 1755, alleging that she was mentally ill, and began a relationship with one of his pupils, Charlotte Brent, soprano and former child prodigy who later married a violinist.

Arne and his wife were reconciled (they had one son, Michael Arne) on year before his death and burial at St Paul's, Covent Garden.


Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712, Geneva - July 2, 1778, Ermenonville) was a major Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer during the Enlightenment, whose political philosophy influenced the French Revolution and the development of liberal, conservative, and socialist theory. With his Confessions, Reveries of a Solitary Walker, and other writings, he invented modern autobiography and encouraged a new focus on the building of subjectivity that bore fruit in the work of thinkers as diverse as Hegel and Freud. His novel Julie, ou la nouvelle Héloïse was one of the best-selling fictional works of the 1700's and of great importance to the development of romanticism.

He also made important contributions to music as a theorist and a composer, and was reburied alongside other French national heroes in the Panthéon in Paris in 1794, 16 years after his death.

Related Reading:

Piero Weiss and Richard Taruskin
Music in the Western World: A History in Documents
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Dictionary of Music (Pages 283-288)

[9714 C.P.E. Bach / 8710 Arne / 8710 Pergolesi]