48. Rousseau complimented d’Alembert on his theory of musical imitation, which he found “très-juste et très neuve.” Correspondance générale de J.-J. Rousseau, ed. Th. Dufour (Paris, 1924), letter of June, 1751, II, 11–12. However, Rulhière energetically attacked the same passage as being an example of what happened when geometers and scientists came to feel they were true judges of music because they understood the physics of sound (quoted in A. R. Oliver, The Encyclopedists as Critics of Music [New York, 1947], p. 94). D’Alembert’s notions were perfectly typical of those of the other encyclopedists who, as Oliver writes, “believed that all music was one and that its principal object was to ‘paint.’ . . . All this thinking grew out of the encyclopedists’ lamentable attempt to force music into the imitation-of-nature thesis” (p. 61). See [Part II,] n. 56 for a discussion of d’Alembert as music critic.
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