Welcome to France: Musiques, Cultures, 1789-1918

Bienvenue à France: Musiques, Cultures, 1789-1918

France: Musiques, Cultures, 1789-1918’ is a project covering all aspects of music in France in the long nineteenth century: music in the theatre, instrumental, military, popular, and sacred music, historiography, pedagogy and theory.  We encourage and promote research of all types in the field: documentary, cultural, biographical, hermeneutic, bibliographical, archival, and analytical. We also develop work at the boundaries of musicology, dance history, theatre, medicine, science, ideas, and jurisprudence.  At the heart of our work lies an analysis of the musical press, and the press more broadly conceived, as it relates to music.  In order to link more efficiently with partner organisations, we engage with the long nineteenth century from 1789 to 1918.

The project encompasses:

  • a network of over 250 academics, librarians, graduate students and postdoctoral researchers with interests in the music of the French long nineteenth century, linked by a JISC discussion group: http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/lists/FRENCH-MUS-CRIT.html.  The JISCMAIL list is open to all interested scholars. Anyone wishing to join the Network, via this e-discussion list, is very welcome.  Please email Katharine Ellis: kje32@cam.ac.uk.  For a list of the network members, click on the link at the bottom of this page
  • a repository of over 3000 digitized, searchable texts relating to French music and ballet in the nineteenth century, never before available on open access. (See ‘Collections’ and ‘Search Collections’).  The project centres on a database of digitally-edited texts, grouped in discrete <collections> that are made up of the collected works of a single author, the contents of a single journal, a dossier de presse of a single work, or of another coherent grouping of material.  These collections are made up of newly-acquired data and the repurposing of pre-existing analogue material. They can be searched selectively or globally.
  • bibliographical resources, work in progress and information of a more general nature, contributed by members of the Network and mounted in the hope that users will contribute updates. (See ‘Collections’)
  • one international conference per year. Meetings are routinely bilingual (French/English), and alternate locations between Paris (even-numbered years) and the USA (odd-numbered years; two days before each annual meeting of the American Musicological Society).  For details of previous conferences, click on the links below:

The call for papers for our conference in Denver, 8-9 November 2023 is here.

The project is managed by Katharine Ellis (University of Cambridge) and Mark Everist (University of Southampton). Its web presence and databases are hosted by the Department of Music, University of Southampton.
The project was initially set up as ‘Francophone Music Criticism, 1789-1914’ with the specific aim of exploring the role of music in the French press in the long nineteenth century.  It was funded originally with a two-year network grant from the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council (2006-08), and managed by the Institute of Musical Research at the School of Advanced Study, the University of London. Grants from the School of Advanced Study  (2006-08 and  2008-09), led to funding from the British Academy, the University of Southampton, and further awards from the Arts and Humanities Research Council.  The network has since gained funding from various sources, for the creation of the web resource.  In 2017, the network agreed to broaden its focus from press criticism to French musical culture more generally.. To see a full list of funders, click here.


To see a full list of members, click here.