Disinformation in Mass Media: Gluck, Piccinni and the Journal de Paris, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Disinformation in Mass Media

Gluck, Piccinni and the Journal de Paris, 1st Edition

By Beverly Jerold


160 pages | 9 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780367350178
pub: 2020-07-23
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The founding in 1777 of the Journal de Paris, France’s first daily and distinctly commercial paper, represents an early use of disinformation as a tool for political gain, profit, and societal division. To attract a large readership and bar competition for C. W. Gluck’s works at the Paris Opéra, it launched a prolonged campaign of anonymous lies, mockery and defamation against two prominent members of the Académie Française who wished the Opéra to be open to all deserving composers, but lacked a comparable daily forum with which to defend themselves. In this unique episode, music served as a smokescreen for nefarious activity. No musical knowledge is necessary to follow this purely political drama, in which the tactics employed bear a remarkable resemblance to current events.

Table of Contents



1: The Cast and Setting

A New Print Medium

The Major Figures

The 1781 Reprint of Gluckist Texts

Journalism at the New Paper

The Activities of Gluck’s Associate

Events Before 1777

Recitative and Air

Gluck’s Directing Skills

Berlioz on Gluck’s Scores

2: Arnaud’s Correspondence to Italy

3: The Journal de Paris on the Offensive

Ridicule of Marmontel

A Snare for La Harpe

Marmontel’s Essai

The Essai Misrepresented

Informed Commentaries on the Essai

An Independent Assessment

4: Libel of La Harpe by Allusion

The Risk of Serious Criticism

The Lettre par DAVID *** son Ami

A Vindictive Matter from the Past

5: The Armide Episode

The JPL Review of Armide

The JP’s Campaign of Disinformation

Another Assessment

6: Piccinni’s Opera and Further Events

Piccinni’s Roland

The Mélophile

Journalists under Siege

Discord Fomented

The Club of Hercules

7: Disinterested Observers

Johann Nicolaus Forkel

François-Louis d’Escherny

Later Opinion from Paris

8: Profit and Power

The Motives

Gluck’s Financial Acumen


Timeline of Major Events

About the Author/Editor

Beverly Jerold Scheibert is a writer and keyboard performer based in New Jersey, USA.

About the Series

Royal Musical Association Monographs

Royal Musical Association Monographs

This series was originally supported by funds made available to the Royal Musical Association from the estate of Thurston Dart. Its purpose is to provide a medium for specialized investigations of a topic, concept or repertory - studies of a kind that would not normally be feasible for commercial publishers and that would be too long for most periodicals.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUSIC / General
MUSIC / Genres & Styles / Classical
MUSIC / Genres & Styles / Opera
MUSIC / Individual Composer & Musician