Jean-Denis Daulé

Jean-Denis Daulé. Teacher, composer, amateur violinist, b Paris 18 Aug 1766, d L'Ancienne-Lorette, near Quebec City, 17 Nov 1852. Ordained as a priest in Paris in 1790, Father Daulé was forced by the French Revolution to take refuge for two years in England.

Daulé, Jean-Denis

Jean-Denis Daulé. Teacher, composer, amateur violinist, b Paris 18 Aug 1766, d L'Ancienne-Lorette, near Quebec City, 17 Nov 1852. Ordained as a priest in Paris in 1790, Father Daulé was forced by the French Revolution to take refuge for two years in England. He moved to Quebec City in 1794, 'carrying only his breviary and his violin,' (Suzanne Prince, DCB) He served 1795-1806 in the parish of Saint-Jean-Baptiste at Les Écureuils (Donnacona), where 'he delivered homilies interspersed with canticles which he composed and taught to his parishioners, and he played the violin so well that even the most hardened of them were won over' (ibid). He was chaplain 1806-32 to the Ursulines in Quebec City and organized a student choir there. In 1819 he published Le Nouveau Recueil de cantiques à l'usage du diocèse de Québec, a volume of some 200 hymns of which the texts and tunes (Airs notés pour servir au Nouveau recueil de cantiques...), some with accompaniment, were printed separately. (Though published anonymously, the book later was attributed to Daulé.) Nazaire LeVasseur wrote of the collection: 'it is true that the music provided for these pious texts often was no more than a rehash of popular tunes and drinking songs... but the words, full of religious sentiment, that he adapted to it served him as a passport to heaven' (La Musique, Apr 1919). According to Suzanne Prince, Colonel Joseph-François-Xavier Perrault, bandmaster of the Voltigueurs canadiens, provided the songs which Daulé transformed into hymns, and Marie-Félicité Baillargé, a former pupil of the Ursulines, composed much of the music in the book. Maria Calderisi Bryce in Music Publishing in the Canadas asserts that this work, produced by Frederick Hund, is 'the earliest known example of punched engraving in Canada'. One of the hymns, 'Pardonnez, Ô Dieu bon,' was published in CMH, vol 7. Some of Daulé's documents are held at the ANQ in Montreal.


Further Reading

  • Prince, Suzanne. 'Jean-Denis Daulé et son époque (1765-1852 [sic]),' MA thesis, University of Ottawa 1965

    DCB, vol 7