- 音楽学 (ISSN:00302597)
- vol.61, no.2, pp.65-79, 2016-03-15
French music historiography after the Franco-Prussian War evolved in terms of redefining cultural identity. This study attempts to provide a better understanding of one of the modes of writing music historiography in 1910s France, through analysis of the narrative of progress adopted in Jules Combarieu's Histoire de la musique des origines a nos jours (1913-1919). Combarieu, a republican, presented in his Histoire de la musique the historical development of music in the 19^<th>-century France as a process of progress and a series of emancipations: from the Church during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and from the court through the French Revolution. He described the progress of the genres of symphony and opera as a phenomenon that occurred mainly in France, assigning a significant role to Berlioz. Consequently, Combarieu's narrative places France on the central stage of the European music history while including German canonic composers. In his historical account, however, Combarieu devoted more space to Beethoven and Wagner than Berlioz. The reason behind this is the collision between the musical taste of the author, a former enthusiastic Wagnerian, and the German music reception in France during World War I. In fact, Berlioz's music was expected to contradict Wagnerism since the 1880s. With its academic justification for assigning Berlioz an important historical position, Combarieu's history of music contributed greatly to Berlioz's canonization that began after the Franco-Prussian War. The narrative of progress presented in Histoire de la musique that depicts Berlioz as a musical symbol of the French Republic and simultaneously gives an ambivalent evaluation of Wagner reflects an historical phase of music historiography after five decades of its existence, which evolved in relation with identity politics in France since 1870.