RIPM’s “Illustrations of the Week”French Colonial Musical Lifeas Depicted in L’Illustration
The Parisian journal L’Illustration was the first illustrated newsweekly in France. Between 1843 and 1899, the journal published over 3,350 engravings of musical interest, offering an expansive visual account of contemporary musical life. The journal’s focus on French culture included that of musical life in the French colonies. We bring the following images to your attention not only because of their historical importance, but also because the illustrated press is an excellent, though neglected source for the study of (post)colonialism, race, diaspora, and ethnomusicology.
A Buddhist ceremony, first published in Charles Lemire’s L’Indochine (1884)
L’Illustration, Vol. LXXXIV (25 October 1884): 276.
Trumpeters of the King of Boussa, in Niger
L’Illustration, Vol. CIX (9 January 1897): 17.
L’Illustration, Vol. LXII (20 September 1873): 197.
A trio of musicians from Madagascar
L’Illustration, Vol. CVI (9 November 1895): 379.
Musicians in performance from Tétouan, Morocco
L’Illustration, Vol. VII (18 April 1846): 104.
Guinean King Dinah-Salifou, his Queen, and their retinue, including musicians
L’Illustration, Vol. XCIV (6 July 1889): 12.
RIPM search tip: To access more on non-Western musics, search the name of a country as a keyword. For example, a search for “Madagascar” as a keyword in RIPM’s Retrospective Index and Preservation Series: European and North American Music Periodicals reveals 180 records in German, English, French, and Italian journals.
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