Presenting a fresh approach to French organ music, David Ponsford analyses the repertory from the reign of Louis XIV by genre. The colourful French organ was so consistent in design that the very titles of pieces that were constituent parts of organ masses, Magnificats and suites prescribed the registrations: plein jeu, fugue, duo, recit, trio, fond d'orgue and grand jeu. Particular examples from published livres d'orgue and important manuscript collections are analysed chronologically, so that influences from Italian as well as French sacred and secular music can be traced. This analysis reveals the dynamic development of compositional styles in which each composer developed, modified or reacted against the exemplars of his predecessors. Composers discussed include Louis Couperin, Francois Couperin, Raison, Clerambault and Marchand. The reader will gain an enhanced understanding of performance practices such as notes inegales, fingering and ornamentation, and the influence of French composers on J. S. Bach.