Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900)

Identifier: f_1552


Commentary on Adrien le Roy and Robert Ballard's music printing patent

Frédéric Rideau

Faculty of Law, University of Poitiers, France


Please cite as:
Rideau, F. (2008) ‘Commentary on Adrien le Roy and Robert Ballard's music printing patent (1552)', in Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,

1. Full Title

2. Abstract

3. The rise of the Ballard family to the monopoly on music publishing in France

4. Challenges to the Ballards' monopoly

5. References



1. Full Title

Patent of "Music Printers to the King", awarded by Henri II to Messrs Adrien Le Roy and Robert Ballard


2. Abstract

On 16 February 1552, the Parisian printers Robert Ballard and Adrien Le Roy (who was also a court musician) were granted a patent appointing them to the office of music printers to the king. In addition to the numerous honours and prerogatives pertaining to this office, these letters patent, because of their general formulation, would effectively secure for the families of these two men - and, later, to the Ballard family alone - a truly exclusive privilege for the printing of music right up to the second half of the eighteenth century. The letters thus paved the way for the spectacular rise of this family of printers, which also reflected the pliability of royal privileges as juridical expedients at the Crown's disposal that could be awarded and modulated in accordance with the priorities of public interest. Of course, the Ballards were often suspected of having strengthened this monopoly of theirs by means of "surreptitious" manoeuvres, facilitated by their access to the court, although it must be said that the numerous and systematic renewals of their office did not in the long run leave much room for doubt as to the Crown's determination to give them preference over all other music printers.    


3. The rise of the Ballard family to the monopoly on music publishing in France

The early history of music printing - which because of its specific technical demands developed rather more slowly at first than the printing of books - was nevertheless marked by some truly great names. In particular, those of Johannes Fust (c.1400-1466) and Peter Schöffer (c.1425-1502) stand out: in 1457, just a few years after the first books had started to be printed from wood-blocks, they published in Mainz a Psalterium in folio format, using Gothic type. This is the earliest known music publication (in the sense of music included in a printed book), even though musical scores and staves had been in it drawn up and copied by hand. Some years later, Ottaviano Petrucci (1466-1539) was to distinguish himself by the elegance and technical innovation of his editions of music. This great engraver, typographer, and printer, a native of Fossombrone, who, referring to the quality of his metal punches for stamping musical notes, proudly described himself as "a most ingenious man and the inventor of a new technique", obtained, in 1498, a privilege to secure protection for his music prints.[1] The first notable figure in French music printing was Pierre Hautin, whose earliest music punches date back to 1525. A native of La Rochelle, and recorded as a printer there from 1549 onwards, the techniques he used were actually different to those of Petrucci and, as his types were sold widely, they contributed significantly to the further development of music printing in France.[2] A few years later, Nicolas Du Chemin, followed by Guillaume Le Bé (1523-1598), would also attain renown as pioneering engravers, type-founders, and printers, if only because they were among the first in France to design and manufacture their own types and printing equipment. Incidentally, it was quite frequent for the latter to be passed down to younger printers: for example, the punches and matrices of Du Chemin would later turn up again in the workshops of Guillaume Le Bé's son Henri.


It is in this context, amidst these developments in publishing during the sixteenth century, that the Ballard family steps into the picture: very soon the Ballards would find themselves in control of the greater part of music publishing in France, and they maintained this control right up to the eighteenth century. More than their technical contribution to the art of music printing, it seems to have been the business acumen of the members of this dynasty which propelled them gradually to the foremost position in the music print market. Robert Ballard (d.1588), in particular, the founder of the dynasty, went to great lengths in order to obtain type-sets of the finest quality. It was thus that, for example, the punches of Du Chemin, mentioned earlier, were acquired by Ballard, together with part of Le Bé's equipment and types.[3] Presumably this acquisition was facilitated by Robert Ballard's marriage to Lucrèce Le Bé, almost certainly a daughter of Master Guillaume.[4] At any rate this monopolization of the means of production and printing would continue and even intensify in the course of the sixteenth century.[5] It must be said that apart from his flair for the trade, Robert Ballard could also count on royal protection - a trump card that from the middle of the sixteenth century onwards proved essential in the field of publishing in general. Indeed, in 1551, Ballard formed a business partnership with his brother-in-law Adrien Le Roy (c.1520-1598), who was court musician to Henri II, a member of the royal chapel, as well as a composer.[6] This efficient duo of printers obtained a first general privilege in 1551 for all works of music, both instrumental and vocal, although the duration of their privilege was still limited to nine years.[7] But the founding charter of the Ballards' future monopoly dates effectively from 16 February 1552.[8] By letters patent of Henri II, Robert Ballard and Adrien Le Roy found themselves appointed to, or confirmed in, the position of royal printers (imprimeurs du roi), which, amongst the rights and emoluments pertaining to it, also included the privilege of printing "always, and in the future, all kinds of music, both vocal and instrumental, by any author or authors whomsoever".[9] Even though its exclusivity was only implicit, this general, and in theory perpetual, privilege, by sparing the two printers the need to reckon with the risks always involved in the discretionary bestowal of particular permissions or privileges (that is to say for a particular book), explains clearly why they could invest so actively and acquire printing equipment from their colleagues on such a massive scale.[10] Officially, the letters patent of 1552 had been granted to them in recognition of their personal merits and, in particular, their "probity [prudhommie] and good experience". However, there is no doubt that their exclusive contacts and the position of trust which they held at the court also played a significant role in ensuring their swift advancement in this new emerging market.[11] Whatever the case may be, these qualifications and the "favour of influential persons" would serve to justify numerous confirmations of their charter of royal printers and all the privileges, emoluments and honours pertaining to this, from the second half of the sixteenth century with Charles IX right up to the last letters patent they received from the Crown: those of Louis XV in the eighteenth century.[12] With regard to the principal renewals of their privilege which were granted in the seventeenth century, we may cite that of Henri IV in 1607 (f_1607), that of Louis XIII on 29 April 1637, and the letters patent of Louis XIV on 11 May 1673, which were confirmed by a court decision of 30 September 1694, followed by the letters patent of 5 October 1695.[13] It would be fastidious to discuss in detail each one of these acts, although it must be said that some of them do slightly differ in their formulations regarding the exclusivity of the privilege: their accumulation, however, reflects unambiguously the Crown's will and intention to uphold the Ballards' exclusive position. The letters of 1637, for example, decreed that Ballard ought to be able to explicitly enjoy "alone, fully, and undisturbed, with the exclusion of everyone else, the power, right, and privilege attached to the said office of Music Printer to the King", and that he was entitled "to print all kinds of music, both vocal and instrumental, by any author whomsoever..."[14] But, certainly, the most significant stage came at the beginning of the seventeenth century, namely when the office of royal printer was renewed on 25 March 1607 for the sole benefit of Pierre Ballard, the son of Robert, following the death of Le Roy. Pierre had indeed been taught "the art of printing" by the latter and his father, and proved until then his competence [suffisance].[15] Moreover, not only were the office of royal printer and the terms of 1552 confirmed to his exclusive benefit, but in addition to the permission "to print or cause to be printed all kinds of music, both vocal and instrumental, by any author or authors whomsoever" an explicit prohibition was now added, forbidding "all persons to counterfeit the notes, types, lettres grises [a kind of elaborate initials], and any other things invented by the said Ballard when attending to this office". In short, the Ballards' privileges, sole printers to the King, extended in theory not just to the publishing of all musical works, but also to the used means of actually printing them. On this latter point, incidentally, the clause in the letters patent of 1607 would be interpreted very broadly by the Ballard house, even to the point of trying to have all technical innovations prosecuted as counterfeit. In other words, thanks to the privileges which the Ballards had at their disposal, being in possession of their colleagues' printing types seemed to be equated in practice with their being treated, to a certain degree, as the inventors of these.[16] All the same, these various renewals, on which the Ballards based their monopolistic claims, were inevitably contested and attacked.



4. Challenges to the Ballards' monopoly

Already in the eighteenth century the Ballards were criticized for the effectively ‘capitalist' nature which their publishing enterprise had acquired, and they were accused of having profited above all from their colleagues' work and innovations. For example, in 1763, at a time when their monopoly was still being perpetuated for better or for worse, Pierre Simon Fournier (1712-1768), known as Fournier le Jeune, was very severe in his comments on the Ballard dynasty to which he devoted a considerable part of his historical treatise on music printing. After a promising start in the years which followed the award of the 1552 privilege, the absence of any legitimate competition led to the quality of their impressions declining with time, in particular from the early seventeenth century onwards. The following observation by the Belgian musicologist François-Joseph Fétis (1784-1871), in his famous Biographie universelle des musiciens (1835), is unambiguous and reflects the generally held opinion on the Ballards' trajectory as music publishers:

"The various privileges which were successively granted to this family can rightly be regarded as the most important reason for the state of stagnation in which this class of printing remained right up to the second half of the eighteenth century. The types used by the Ballards had been engraved in 1540 by Guillaume le Bé - they were still using them in 1750, having just added to them a few notation signs that had become indispensable. Each time that a typographer wanted to introduce some improvement in this area of printing, the Ballards would protest on the strength of their privileges, and the court [of the King's Council of State] would uphold their claims"[17]

Such, for example, was the drawn-out law-suit which from the end of the 1630s saw Robert Ballard II (the son of Pierre) confront the printers and type-founders Jacques de Sanlecque father and son, who in 1639 had obtained a ten-year privilege for the printing of plainsong, confirmed by a ruling of the Parlement of Paris on 11 April 1639.[18] After the death of his father, Jacques de Sanlecque the younger found himself on his own in this struggle against what he then termed a "Hydra with seven heads of envy...", that is

"against him who claims to be the ONLY person who should be printing music across the whole kingdom of France, with the right of confiscating everyone else's musical types, whether already produced or still to be made, and this in perpetuity over the whole kingdom, on pain of a fine of six thousand livres."

Sanlecque adds:

"And what renders this individual's claim even more absurd and untenable is that he doesn't even make an exception for those who have engraved and cast the types or plates which he uses for his impressions - types and plates to the manufacture and design of which neither he nor his predecessors have ever been able to contribute in any way."[19]           

Every innovation, for Sanlecque, was therefore nearly impossible with Ballard still being in the trade with such a monopoly. What was being called into question, therefore, was clearly the validity of the grounds on which the various privileges held by the Ballards, who were obsessed with clinging on to their position as royal printers, had been granted. Indeed, it was observed, with regard to the earliest book trade privileges, that these could be awarded either to authors or to booksellers or printers, in recognition of the expenses and labour entailed by the publication of a new work that was useful to the public.[20] Moreover, since legislative favours made by the Crown on behalf of particular individuals went against the freedom of printing, they were supposed to be no more than provisional measures. Now, to return to the case in question, if the outlay and investments made by the Ballards in the newly emerging music publishing industry were incontestable in 1552, the decline in quality of their subsequent publications and the absence of any substantial innovation in technical terms reflected, in the eyes of their opponents, the lack of any true work or "effort" on their part.[21] Thus, for Sanlecque - and his reasoning in this is very similar to the systematic arguments so readily advanced by the provincial adversaries of the Parisian booksellers and printers - these monopolies could only have been conceded by the sovereign power as a result of a fraudulent exposition of the reasons justifying such a privilege in the applications submitted by the Ballard family over the years:

"This individual, both by means of surreptitiously procured letters of privilege and by alleging his own supposedly extraordinary merits and capacity, claims that he should be the sole printer of music in France."[22]


The line of defence espoused by Robert Ballard the younger made use a symptomatic mix of arguments relating to both professional competence and political trustworthiness. During their confrontation, in addition to reproaching to Sanlecque his technical deficiencies in his impressions, Ballard also attacked him for his religious leanings, accusing him of not being a follower of "the Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Religion".[23] Ballard concluded that, in view of such printers as Sanlecque, it was essential to confirm his exclusive status as "sole" music publisher, on account of

"the disorder which would engulf the printing of music if people other than himself were allowed to become involved in it; since their publications would just be full of errors and blasphemous and lascivious remarks, offending against morality and the Catholic faith"[24]

At a time when renewals of privileges to the benefit of the Parisian booksellers were increasingly based on motives of a political nature - namely, the desirability for the Crown of having control over everything that was published across the French lands - the arguments adopted by Ballard to defend himself will certainly have appealed to the royal administration.[25] In other words, the unfailing loyalty of the Ballards towards the Crown and royal policy seems, even to the detriment of progress in the art of music printing, to have been able to substitute for professional talent and skills. This much is hinted at ironically by Fournier, who already in the letters patent of 1552 discerns a favour granted more as a reward for its beneficiaries' services to the powers that be and their equivocal prudhommie (a term which, under Fournier's feather, seems also to have some ironical connotations), than for any "merit" as such in the art of printing.[26]


The outcome of the suit between Ballard and Sanlecque remains unclear. On the latter's death, it seems that Robert Ballard tried to purchase, for the considerable sum of 2,000 écus, his former adversary's printing equipment (punches, matrices, moulds etc.) from his widow.[27] By doing so, he was pursuing the same financial tactics leading to the actual control of the technical means of printing. Indeed, it does seem to be the case that even Ballard could not stop privileges being granted to composers which permitted them to choose themselves the printer whom they wanted to engage - such, for example, was the privilege granted to the musician Jean-Baptiste de Bousset (1662-1725), dated 4 March 1695 and allowing him to "cause to have printed, by the printer whom he may choose, all operas, motets, airs and other musical pieces of his composition, during the space of fifteen years".[28] For Fournier le Jeune, this was clear proof that the printing of music was still a free profession in France, open to anyone and that only the intrigues and manoeuvring of the Ballard family had allowed them to consolidate their hegemony over the music publishing market, for example by

"insinuating that it was forbidden to engrave and cast all kinds of musical types, whereas, in fact, the relevant clause in the privilege just contains the prohibition to cut, cast or counterfeit the notes, types and lettres grises [ornate capital letters] invented by M. Ballard"[29]

In reality - less in keeping with the future definition of a privilege as a measure intended to secure a pre-existent natural property right - these privileges reflected above all the sovereign discretion with which the king might or might not choose to grant his favour - namely, each time that he felt it to be "justified" and in the public interest.[30] A general privilege, as for the Ballards, or more specific privileges in other cases - but always in accordance with motives of a primarily economic nature, though later with political ones, these being related to censorship and control of the book trade from the middle of the seventeenth century onwards. Apart from specific privileges occasionally granted to other printers, the Ballard family, thanks to its permanent status as imprimeurs du roi, was, as we have seen, able to count on the support of the Crown and preserve its monopoly on music publishing in France well into the eighteenth century, when it had to face the challenge of rivals using burin or taille-douce engraving techniques (see f_1786). As far as composers are concerned, authors of music (like literary authors) - and even one such as Lully's second son Jean-Louis (1667-1688), who briefly inherited his father's prestigious office of Superintendent of the King's Music (Surintendant de la Musique de sa Majesté) - were compelled to engage the services of the guild of booksellers and printers if they wanted to have their works published (see f_1770), being therefore, for a long time still, at the contractual mercy of the Ballard house.[31]


5. References

Brenet, M., "La librairie musicale en France de 1663 à 1790 d'après les registres de privilèges", Sammelbände der Internationalen Musikgesellschaft, 8, nr 3 (1907): 401-466 

Castelain, R., Histoire de l'édition musicale, ou du droit d'éditer au droit d'auteur, 1501-1793 (Paris: Lemoine H. & Co., 1957) 

Fournier le Jeune (Pierre-Simon), Traité historique et critique sur l'origine et les progrès des caractères de fonte pour l'impression de la musique, avec des Epreuves de nouveaux Caractères de Musique, Présentés aux imprimeurs de France (Berne, 1765) 

Wekerlin, J.B., "Histoire de l'impression de la musique, principalement en France", Bulletins de la Société des Compositeurs de Musique, 5th annual tome (7th issue, 24th session of 30 March 1867) (Paris, 1867) 

[1] J. B. Wekerlin, "Histoire de l'impression de la musique, principalement en France", Bulletins de la Société des Compositeurs de Musique, 5e année (7e livraison, 24e séance du 30 mars 1867) (Paris, 1867), 44. For Petrucci's privilege and a detailed discussion of it, see i_1498 and Joanna Kostylo's commentary. On music publishing in general, and more specifically on the history of privileges for this subject-matter, a detailed study has yet to be made. But for an overall survey, readers are referred to the introduction of R. Castelain, Histoire de l'édition musicale, ou du droit d'éditer au droit d'auteur, 1501-1793 (Paris: Lemoine H. & Co., 1957).

[2] See Wekerlin (1867), 54f., for a comprehensive list of the printers who had dealings with Pierre Hautin - such as Pierre Attaignant, for example, who bought a whole assortment of Hautin's types. Without going into detail about the technology of music printing (more information can be found in Joanna Kostylo's commentary for i_1498), it is worth noting Wekerlin's explanation of how in Hautin's technique the notes and staves were cut on the same punch, so that just one impression was sufficient, in contrast to the procedure used by Petrucci, which required two impressions: one for the staves and one for the notes. 

[3] Castelain (1957), 35 and Wekerlin (1867), 64.

[4] As argued by Wekerlin (1867), 64.

[5] For example, Pierre Ballard, the son of Robert, still had to spend some 50,000 livres "on purchasing punches and matrices made by Le Bé" - see François-Joseph Fétis, Bibliographie universelle des musiciens et bibliographie générale de la musique, vol.2 (Brussels: Leroux, 1835), 50.

[6] According to Wekerlin (1867), 64, this doubling up as a publisher and a composer was something that occurred quite often, and the Ballard family included several composers over the generations.

[7] Wekerlin (1867), 64-65, who provides the following extract, based on copies of Ballard and Le Roy's edition of religious chansons by Pierre Certon (d.1572): "Adrian Le Roy and Robert Ballard are permitted to print or cause to be printed, and to put on sale, all books of music, both instrumental and vocal, which shall have been printed by them, and this for the space of nine years, starting from the day that the impression of these is completed and until nine full years have expired. And all other printers, booksellers, and others are forbidden to print or put on sale the same, on pain of confiscation of the said books, as well as a discretionary fine and the obligation to pay for all damages and interests, as is indicated in more detail in the letters of privilege to this effect, issued at Fontainebleau on 14th August, the year of our Lord 1551, and the fifth year of our reign. Signed by the King and his Council. Robillart." ["Il est permis à Adrian Le Roy et Robert Ballard, imprimer ou faire imprimer et exposer en vente tous les livres de musique, tant instrumentale que vocale, qui seront par eulx imprimez, et ce pour le temps de neuf ans, à compter du jour qu'ilz seront parachevez d'imprimer, jusques à neuf ans finiz et accompliz. Et sont faittes défenses à tous imprimeurs, libraires et autres, d'iceulx imprimer, ne exposer en vente, sur peine de confiscation desditz livres ; ensemble d'amende arbitraire et de tous depens, dommages et intérestz, comme plus à plain est contenu es lettres de privilége, sur ce, données à Fontainebleau, le quatorziesme jour d'aoust, l'an de grâce mil cinq cens cinquante et un, et de notre règne le cinquiesme. Signées pas le Roy et son conseil. Robillart"] Wekerlin deduces from this an association between Ballard and Le Roy predating 1552, whereas the famous typographer (Pierre Simon) Fournier le jeune (1712-1768) or F. J. Fétis, in his dictionary of musicians, amongst others, give 1552 as the foundation year of the Ballard/ Le Roy partnership. Paul Olagnier, Le droit d'auteur, 2 vols (Paris: LGDJ, 1934), 1:111, after citing Petrucci's famous privilege of 1498, cites the privilege - certainly one of the earliest in the realm of music - granted by Henri II to his lute player Guillaume Morlaye (c.1515-d.a.1560) for printing the works of Albert de Rippe (c.1500-1551) of Mantua. Armed with this ten-year privilege, Morlaye, in April 1552, engaged the services of Michel Fezandat (or Faisandat), the publisher of Montaigne, in order to proceed with its commercial exploitation.       

[8] The first document produced by Christophe Ballard in the law-suit which he instituted in the 1690s against Louis (1664-1734), the eldest son of Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632-1687), and the director of the Opéra, Pierre Guyenet (d.1712), for publishing a separate edition of the late composer's works, was precisely the Letters patent originally granted by King Henri II on 16 February 1552 (Judgment of the King's Privy Council of State, on 11 June 1708, Mss. Fr. 22072, n°10). Wekerlin (1867), 65, assumes that it would have been possible to trace the Ballards' privilege and charter even further back, but confirms that for Christophe Ballard at the time of the Lully case, only this date seemed essential to him. On this confrontation between Ballard and Lully's heirs, see the Luneau de Boisjermain case (f_1770) and his struggle, as an author, to be allowed to sell his own works.    

[9] Emoluments and pensions which were attached to the rank of royal printer, but which actually tended to diminish over the years, as indicated by (Pierre-Simon) Fournier le jeune, Traité historique et critique sur l'origine et les progrès des caractères de fonte pour l'impression de la musique, avec des Epreuves de nouveaux Caractères de Musique, Présentés aux imprimeurs de France (Berne, 1765), 8. 

[10] Olagnier (1934), 114, for example, speaks of an "exorbitant privilege".

[11] Cf. also Wekerlin (1867), 64, who emphasizes, in particular, the great position of influence held by Adrien Le Roy, manifested in the way he extended his hospitality to Orlando di Lasso (c.1532-1594), when the famous Netherlandish composer visited Paris in 1571. As for his printing activities, Le Roy, in the course of his association with Ballard, also showed himself to be a skilful music printer.     

[12] The phrase "favour of influential persons" is from Fétis (1835), 50. All the same, from the beginning of the eighteenth century the Ballards would have to put up with increasing competition from rival firms which used other techniques of publication - in particular, taille douce (or line) engraving on copper plates. On this point, and on the liberty which this type of engraving was allowed, see f_1660. See also the Royal Declaration of 1786 and our commentary (f_1786). Louis XV confirmed and renewed the Ballards' status as royal printers by letters patent issued on 20 October 1763.

[13] For a list, which purports to be exhaustive, of all the documents presented by Christophe Ballard during his law-suit against Jean-Baptiste Lully's heirs, one could consult the judgment of 11 June 1708 referred to earlier (Mss. Fr. 22072, n°10, pp. 5 et 6). In addition to the documents which are in the Anisson-Duperron collection (Mss. Fr. 22077), see also Fétis (1835), 50, and Fournier le Jeune (1765), 8f.   

[14] ibid.

[15] The term "suffisance" will appear again in Pierre Ballard's privilege of 1607 (f_1607). See also: Michel Brenet, "La librairie musicale en France de 1663 à 1790 d'après les registres de privilèges" in Sammelbände der Internationalen Musikgesellschaft, 8, nr 3 (1907): 401-466 (405). This scholar explains that Pierre Ballard made sure to have the word "sole" introduced into the text of the privilege so as to reinforce it. What is certain is that the king did in effect put his trust again in Pierre Ballard alone, despite the demise, in 1598, of Adrien Le Roy, which, incidentally, is mentioned in these letters patent. Brenet likewise informs us that the Ballard family, by virtue of being officers of the royal household and chapel, enjoyed permanent salaries and all kinds of prerogatives, amongst which, as Christophe Ballard asserted in 1710, was the right to have its employees wear coats in the colours of the royal livery.

[16] On this subject, see Fournier le jeune (1765), 8. Apart from some technical adaptations and the contribution of a few new types, the Ballards seem to have availed themselves more often than not of the talent of others.  

[17] Fétis (1835), 50. Wekerlin (1867),66, is equally critical towards them: "since the Ballard family for too long wanted to make use of the punches which it had acquired from various engravers, it didn't help to make any advances in the printing of music - on the contrary, in fact, it actually tried to hinder the progress of this art..."

[18] For the details of this complicated law-suit, see especially Fournier le Jeune (1765), 10f.

[19] ["...contre celui qui prétend être le SEUL qui doit imprimer de la Musique par tout le Royaume de France, avec droit de confiscation de tous les Caractères de Musique faits & à faire, & à perpétuité par tout le Royaume, avec six mille livres d'amende [...] Et ce qui rend encore plus absurde & insuportable la prétention de ce particulier, c'est qu'il n'en excepte pas même ceux qui ont gravé & fondu les Caractères ou planches dont il imprime, à la fabrique & confection desquels ni lui ni ses précédesseurs n'ont jamais agi ni sçu agir."] Remarks cited by Fournier le Jeune (1765), 11, who refers to the statements included by Jean Balesdens in 1646 at the end of his edition of the alchemist Jean Brouault's Traité de l'Eau-de-vie (Traité de l'Eau-de-Vie, ou anatomie théorique et pratique du vin, divisé en trios livres, composes autrefois par feu Me J. Brouaut, 1646 : the title of Sanlecque's 53 pages essay, at the end of Brouault's Traité, and signed Jacques de Senlecque, 7 September 1644,  is entitled : "L'imprimeur au Lecteur sur l'explication de sa marque typographique, ou Ecusson harmonique en faveur du Vin ou de l'Eau-de-vie". See, for example page 13, where Sanlecque evoked his innovations : "une cartouche d'harmonie propre particulièrement aux commencemens des Impressions de Musique, que j'espere faire lorsque je pourray voir teracé cet Hydre à Sept-Chefs de l'envie, qui depuis plusieurs années m'a devoré quantité de Curieux desseins sur la musique".

[20] On this point, it is worth referring to the privileges granted to Eloy d'Amerval and Galliot Du Pré: f_1507 and f_1515, respectively, in our digital archive.

[21] Galliot Du Pré (f_1515) was allowed to enjoy the royal favour, so that he "might be rewarded for the efforts, expenses, and investments, which he may have to make in order to print this book". Eloy d'Amerval (f_1507), in his capacity of a self-publishing author, hoped that his privilege would allow him to "recover and recompense part of the sums required for its making and composition". 

[22] ["Ce particulier, tant par Lettres subreptices de Privilége que par supposition de mérite & capacité extraordinaire, prétend être seul pour l'impression de Musique"]. Quoted by Fournier le Jeune (1765), 12. It was obviously a precarious undertaking to attack the King and his Council directly for their administration of privileges. So those who held grievances of this sort preferred to call into question - in a fashion which soon became traditional and systematic - the integrity of the beneficiaries of these privileges. In this respect, see, for example, the precautions taken by Gaultier (de Biauzat) in his notable 1776 mémoire on behalf of the provincial booksellers (Mss. Fr. 22073, n°144 - f_1776).      

[23] Quoted by Fournier le Jeune (1765), 12.

[24] ["du désordre qui arriveroit dans icelles impression de Musique, si d'autres que lui s'en mêloient ; vû qu'elles ne seroient remplies que de fautes, de discours impies, lascifs, contre les bonnes mœurs & contre la foi Catholique..."] ibid., 12. Fournier recalled that Ballard had even argued, in the same vein and upholding voluntarily the confusion between musical printing and the technical means by which they were achieved, that the new musical types proposed by his opponent might be contrary to "religion and morality"!  

[25] On this point, see, in particular, f_1686, f_1701, and f_1723. The two latter sets of regulations were drawn up, as the provincial booksellers saw it, under the pressure and lobbying of their ‘colleagues' in Paris. For details on censorship, see f_1547. 

[26] Fournier le Jeune (1765), 8.

[27] ibid., 17.

[28] "de faire imprimer, par tel imprimeur qu'il voudra choisir, les Opéras, Motets, Airs & autres pièces de Musique de sa composition, durant le temps & espace de quinze années". Ibid., 18.

[29] "donner à entendre qu'il est défendu de graver & de fondre toutes sortes de Caractères de Musique, au lieu que la clause porte seulement défense, de tailler, fondre ni contrefaire les notes, Caractères & Lettres grises inventés par le sieur Ballard." Ibid., 18-19.

[30] For a detailed analysis of the nature of privileges, which in terms of their form could be compared to legislative acts, a "lex privata", see L. Pfister, L'auteur, propriétaire de son œuvre? La formation du droit d'auteur du XVIe siècle à la loi de 1957 (Strasbourg: PhD thesis, 1999), 56, and our commentary on Galliot Du Pré's privilege (f_1515). As for the privilege perceived as securing property, see Louis d'Héricourt's memorandum (f_1725b).

[31] According to Castelain (1957), 36, "the exploitation of their privilege allowed the Ballards to impose some truly draconian demands, both in their relations with composers and against anyone else who tried to publish music". Not to mention the hegemony of the Royal Academy of Music, without the approval of which it was impossible, as Pouillet reminds us, to organize "any concert with an entrance fee, any public ball, and even a concert of religious music". E. Pouillet, Traité théorique et pratique de la propriété littéraire et artistique et du droit de représentation (Paris: Imprimerie et librairie générale de jurisprudence, 1908), 16.