Musical compositions, late 18th century


Date: Circa 1775-1800 | Size: 26 item(s), 459 pages


Principally by Mme. Brillon, these compositions include marches, sonatas, and songs. Included is "La Marche des Insurgents" which Mme. Brillon composed after receiving news from Benjamin Franklin of General Burgoyne's surrender at Saratoga in 1777.

Background note

Anne Louise Brillon de Jouy, a French musician, playwright, and composer, was born Anne Louise Boyvin d'Hardancourt in Paris on December 13, 1744. She was best known for her work with the harpsichord and pianoforte; Johann Schobert, Luigi Boccherini, Ernst Eichner, and Henri-Joseph Rigel all dedicated sonatas to her.

Her salons were well-attended and how she became Benjamin Franklin's friend, as they were neighbors in Passy. The two shared a long correspondence, and Franklin referred to the musical entertainments at the salons as his opera.

She composed Marche des insurgents (March of the Insurgents) after the defeat of British General Burgoyne by the American forces at Saratoga, New York on October 7, 1777.

Brillon de Jouy died December 5, 1824.

Collection Information


Purchase from Gilbet Chinard, descendant of Mme. Brillon, 1955. See in-house shelf list.

Related material

This collection is also available on microfilm. Film 746 was made before purchase, and Film 1353 was made at the American Philosophical Society with annotations.


Some of these compositions were played at the American Philosophical Society April 19, 1956, under the direction of Henry S. Drinker. For the program, with notes by Gilbert Chinard, see American Philosophical Society "Proceedings" 100(1956):331.

Early American History Note

This collection contains a number of musical compositions by Madame Anne Louise Boyvin d'Hardancourt Brillon de Juoy, a prominent Parisian salon hostess and musician. Her most famous composition, Le Marche des Insurgents, which was inspired by the American victory at Saratoga, is included in this collection. Many of these compositions are handwritten and appear to be from the eighteenth century, although it is unclear when they were written and who wrote them.

A second, related collection, Plays, late 18th century (Mss.842.5.B76), includes a number of plays Brillon wrote, although the authorship of some of them is not entirely clear.

Combined, the two collections capture the creative work of one of the most prominent French women of the time.

Indexing Terms


  • Foreign Language
  • Literature
  • Miscellaneous
  • Musical scores.
  • Songs.


  • Beyond Early America
  • Literature, Arts, and Culture
  • Marches.
  • Music - France - 18th century
  • Sonatas.
  • Songs, French.
  • Women's History