Welcome to / Bienvenue à France: Musiques, Cultures, 1789-1918

France: Musiques, Cultures, 1789-1918 is a network 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.  The network encourages and promotes research of all types in the field: documentary, cultural, biographical, hermeneutic, bibliographical, archival, and analytical. It also develops work at the boundaries of musicology, dance history, theatre, medicine, science, ideas, and jurisprudence.  At the heart of the 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, the network engages with the long nineteenth century from 1789 to 1918.

The project encompasses:

  • a network of around 300 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 around 3700 digitized, searchable texts relating to French music and ballet in the nineteenth century, edited consistently to agreed editorial standards. (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.
  • a sequence of international conferences that work on a cycle of three events every two years (one every eight months): one before the annual meeting of the American Musicological Society, a virtual meeting, and one in Europe (usually either in Paris or Venice).  Meetings are routinely bilingual (French/English). For details of previous conferences, click on the links below:

The programme for our conference in Paris, 4-6 July 2024 is here.

The network 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 network 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.  In 2017, the network agreed to broaden its focus from press criticism to French musical culture more generally, to reflect the changing position of the field and of colleagues’ interests. 

The network 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 further sources, for the creation of the web resource and for its conferences. To see a full list of funders, click here.


To see a full list of members, click here.