de composition

Jérôme-Joseph de Momigny

Jérôme-Joseph de Momigny (Born January 20 1762 in Philippeville, Belgium, died in France in the Charenton asylum August 25 1842) was a Belgian/French composer and music-theorist.

He composed music and wrote books which he printed himself. He was very good at writing poetry and other types of books. His theories about rhythm and musical phrasing were ahead of his time. In 1803-06 he published his most notorious work Cours complet d'harmonie et de composition, d'après une théorie neuve et générale de la musique (in 3 volumes). It features among others a new theory about the significance of the upbeat over the downbeat, which was later taken up by Hugo Riemann. Stressing the upbeat instead of the downbeat as commonly taught, gives a jazzlike and fluid quality to all music. This upbeat-phrasing is one of the main characteristics of Jazz but a few classical interpreters use it as well.


  • Albert Palm, Jérôme-Joseph de Momigny: Leben und Werk, Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Musiktheorie im !9. Jh., Köln, Arno Volk Verlag, 1969
  • Glenn Gerald Caldwell, Harmonic Tonality in the Music Theories of Jerome-Joseph Momigny, 1762-1842 (Studies in the History and Interpretation of Music, V. 79.) (September 1 2001).
  • Jacques Chailley, Un grand théoricien belge méconnu de la musique: J-J de Momigny, Bruxelles, 1966

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