The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Marseillaise
MARSEILLAISE, a national song of France, produced in 1792 by Rouget de l'Isle, an officer then stationed at Strasburg, and hence originally called Chant de guerre de l'armée du Rhin. It soon attained popularity throughout the country, and greatly contributed to the victories of the French revolutionary armies. In Paris it was sung for the first time by the band of men who were brought from Marseilles by Barbaroux to aid in the revolution of Aug. 10, 1792. Hence it was called Le chant des Marseillais, and afterward La Marseillaise. It has since continued to be the favorite song during all popular movements in France. The researches of musical scholars within the last quarter of a century, both in France and Germany, seem to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the melody was not composed by Rouget de l'Isle, but was copied by him from the credo of the fourth mass of Holtzmann of Mursberg, who composed it in 1776; and it was first heard in Strasburg in the hotel of Mme. de Montesson, in 1782.