Musical production in the whirlwind of modernity

French music composed between 1870 and 1945 was not sheltered from the upheavals that affected every western society during this transitional period of the modern era. The rapid evolution of knowledge and technology, as well as the growing influence of the economy, affected both the production and the reception of musical works. The resulting "music economy" favoured more accessible repertoires, a preoccupation that would once again be required to evolve with the advent of the radio and the gramophone. 

The research team Musique française et modernité 1870-1945 (French music and Modernity 1870-1945), directed by Michel Duschesneau from Université de Montréal, is attempting to define the impact of these new creation and distribution conditions on the production of music during this period. The team's members played a part in the creation of databases of French music periodicals, in particular the Retrospective Index to Music Periodicals and French Music Criticism Network. The team is also extremely prolific when it comes to publications: it has produced several collective works, in particular Musique et modernité en France 1900-1945 and Musique, art et religion dans l'entre-deux-guerres, as well as writings by composers such as Charles Koechlin and studies on musical works and language. 

This work has granted the compositions and theoretical writings of lesser-known composers a new place in the history of music, which in effect contributes to enriching the repertoire. The internationally recognised high quality of the research team's work resulted in their services being retained by prestigious German publishing house Barenreiter for collaboration on the critical edition of works by French Romantic composer Camille Saint-Saëns.


Équipe de recherche Musique française et modernité 1870-1945


Michel Duchesneau, Université de Montréal

Regular members

  • Jean Boivin, Université de Sherbrooke 
  • Sylvain Caron, Université de Montréal 
  • François de Médicis, Université de Montréal 
  • Jacinthe Harbec, Université de Sherbrooke