Music – Records – Radio in French-Speaking Countries, 1900-1950

Music – Records – Radio in french-speaking countries, 1900-1950In the space of a few decades, from 1900 to 1950, musicians’ and listeners’ relationship to music was transformed with the advent of records and then the radio. Music became the central focus of record production and radio broadcasting, and had to contend concurrently with issues of technology, business models, and sociopolitical objectives. This conference seeks to provide researchers an opportunity to explore collectively the relationship between music, records, and the radio by exploring six overarching research axes: 1) technology; 2) audiences; 3) creation; 4) new professions; 5) aesthetics; 6) record and radio programming. The conference’s focus on French-speaking countries will make it possible to establish comparisons as well as connections between various record markets and the radio networks that developed during the period. The circumscribed context, moreover, will call attention to the new means of circulation of artists and works within a linguistic community confronted with the imperatives of an internationalization of musical production. The conference will be followed by a one-day workshop, entitled “Mémoire musicale et résistance dans les camps [Musical memory and resistance in concentration camps],” on October 21. Organized by Marie-Hélène Benoit-Otis and Philippe Despoix, this workshop seeks to explore the influence of records and the radio on musical and artistic creation in Nazi concentration camps, focusing specifically on the operetta-revue Le Verfügbar aux Enfers, written by Germaine Tillion at the Ravensbrück camp in 1944.

Organizational committee

  • Michel Duchesneau (Professor, Université de Montréal, director of the OICRM)
  • Marie-Hélène Benoit-Otis (Assistant Professor, Université de Montréal)
  • Federico Lazzaro (Postdoctoral fellow, McGill University/OICRM)
  • Liouba Bouscant (Postdoctoral fellow, Université de Montréal/OICRM)

Program committee

  • Christophe Bennet (Paris-Sorbonne)
  • Marie-Hélène Benoit-Otis (Univ. de Montréal)
  • Liouba Bouscant (Univ. de Montréal)
  • Philippe Despoix (Univ. de Montréal)
  • Michel Duchesneau (Univ. de Montréal)
  • Federico Lazzaro (McGill University)
  • Sylvia L’Écuyer (Univ. de Montréal)
  • Karine Le Bail (CNRS)
  • Pascal Lécroart (Univ. de Franche-Comté)
  • Marie-Thérèse Lefebvre (Univ. de Montréal)
  • Sophie Maisonneuve (Univ. Paris Descartes)


  • Christine Paré (coordinator of the OICRM, Université de Montréal branch)
  • Judy-Ann Desrosiers (coordinator of the Équipe Musique française, Laboratoire Histoire, musique et société, OICRM)



Music – Records – Radio in french-speaking countries, 1900-1950