The festivities of Louis XIV's birth and baptism, accession to the throne and coming of age, royal consecration and marriage each followed a long-established, culturally deeply rooted pattern. Whether the royal status passages were a rite of passage in the narrower sense, in which the participation of church representatives was required, or whether a primarily politically motivated ceremonial was being acted out, was always recognisable from the musical design. The transitions that transformed the social and political order in the individual ritual complexes were always represented afterwards by a broad spectrum of spectacles that could be experienced by the senses.
More important than the question of which or whose music was played is the question of which musicians played on which instruments before, during and after the respective elements of action. By linking this to the concept of the king's three bodies ("natural", "sacred" and "political"), this study demonstrates for the first time that the selection of music and the use of musicians in the Sun King's status passages followed a clear but previously overlooked principle.