François Sudre

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Jean-François Sudre
Born(1787-08-15)15 August 1787
Died3 October 1862(1862-10-03) (aged 75)
Occupationviolinist, composer, music teacher
Known forInventor of Solrésol

Jean-François Sudre (15 August 1787 – 3 October 1862) was a violinist, composer and music teacher who invented a musical language called la Langue musicale universelle or Solrésol.

Sudre was born in Albi in southern France on 15 August 1787. He studied music as a child and, at the age of eighteen, was admitted to the Conservatoire de Paris on 12 May 1806, where he studied violin under François Habeneck and harmony under Charles Simon Catel.

He created a group of musicians who were attempting to develop a way of transmitting language through music. Sudre trained Édouard Deldevez and Charles Larsonneur to play and interpret his alphabet. A given note would represent a word or a letter of the alphabet. The trio toured France, answering questions from the audience using Sudre's violin. A military application quickly presented itself. A bugler on a battlefield could transmit orders to a regiment by playing an appropriate tune. This promising hypothesis came to nothing because the system was too vulnerable to wind and weather.

Clearly grasping at straws, Sudre then offered the military a set of musical canons, but they declined the suggestion. In 1829 Sudre began to develop the system that is now known as the Do Re Mi method of notating music. [1]


  1. ^ Peter Bloom, Music in Paris in the eighteen-thirties (1987).