Joseph Meissonnier

Joseph Meissonnier (1790–1850), also called Meissonnier Jeune, was a French classical guitarist, musical arranger and composer, as well as an important music publisher.


Born in Marseille, Meissonnier learned the guitar from his elder brother, Antoine Meissonnier (1783-1857),[1] himself a guitarist and publisher.[2] After he moved to the capital, he taught the instrument for a long time, before taking over the business of a music merchant, Corbaux, at 28, rue Dauphine in Paris.[2]

He arranged many pieces, especially opera pieces, for the guitar. He also composed arias that have become classics, some of which have been published: Three duets for guitar and violin; Three rondeaux; Airs connus pour guitare seule, op. 2 and 4; Airs d'opéra variés; Contredanses. He wrote two guitar methods.

Meissonnier invested a lot in a publishing activity, like his brother for whom he is sometimes mistaken (Fétis notes[2] that Whistling confuses them in his general catalogue of printed music). From 1821 onwards, he was found in Paris (rue Dauphine) under the name "J. Meissonnier" until 1840, then "Meissonnier Jeune" from 1841 to 1845, then "J. Meissonnier et Fils" or "J. Meissonnier Fils" from 1845 to 1860 (his son Édouard having entered the business and "made a considerable fortune" there according to Fétis[2]). In 1860, the Meissonnier estate was transferred to the publisher E. Gérard et Cie.[3]



  • Joseph Meissonnier (1830). Méthode de guitare ou lyre (in French). Paris: J. Meissonnier. p. 99.
  • Joseph Meissonnier (1860). Méthode complète pour la guitare, contenant cent morceaux choisis et classés progressivement (in French). Bordeaux: Philibert.

Arrangements (online)

Arrangements (others)

  • Trois duos pour guitare et violon, Paris: Hanry
  • Trois rondeaux, Paris: Hanry
  • Airs connus pour guitare seule, op. 2 et 4, Paris: Ph. Petit
  • Airs d'opéra variés, Paris: Hanry, Dufaut et Dubois
  • Contredanses, Paris: Hanry, Dufaut et Dubois


  1. Antoine Meissonier on BNF
  2. Fétis, François-Joseph. Biographie universelle des musiciens et bibliographie générale de la musique. Paris : Firmin Didot. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  3. "J. Meissonnier - IMSLP/Petrucci Music Library: Free Public Domain Sheet Music". Retrieved 21 September 2018.
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