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1833 - 1917

Organist, Composer

Date of birth:

Born in Montdidier (in the Somme department), and the son of a shoemaker, Pierre Delaruelle was 16 when he entered the Paris Conservatoire, where he studied under Elwart (harmony) then Benoist (organ). His departure from the conservatory in 1855 was explained by a terse comment in the register: “went into the army”. This military phase seems to have been short-lived, because he described himself, on the title page of a music theory manual published in 1857, as “Choirmaster and organist at the Church of Montmartre”. This work, co-written by one L. Cossart, reflected the trend for experimenting with alternatives to music notation (deemed too difficult to learn) and proposed the use of numbers and letters for writing music. Delaruelle’s other publications during the Second Empire were short romances (sentimental, religious or patriotic) and waltzes for piano. He seems, moreover, to have composed the music for Soldats de la paix, a patriotic cantata which was performed at the Théâtre Déjazet on 15 August 1866, but never published. Apart from a foray into the field of operetta with El Senor Piffardino (1873), his preoccupations seem to have remained unchanged during the Third Republic in respect of his publications: romances, canticles, pieces for piano and alternative music handbooks. In 1878, his Nouvelle Méthode de piano s’adaptant à tous les instruments et au chant claimed to halve “the length of studies. Hands less well-formed for the keyboard will be sure to achieve a prompt and successful outcome [with it].”


El Señor Piffardino



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