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S.I.M. Revue musicale mensuelle

(Paris, 1907-1914)

RIPM Preservation Series: European and North American Music Periodicals (2017)

Printer: Art L.-M. Fortin & Cie.

Director: Jules Écorcheville

Periodicity: Monthly

Preceded by: Le Mercure musical

"Marnold and Laloy sought to distinguish the Mercure musical from Combarieu's journal by making it more physically attractive. While a journal's character is derived mainly from the quality of its contents, the directors were fully aware of the need to attract a larger readership to bolster the journal's finances. At a time when the journalistic press was constantly evolving, notably with the incorporation of photography, it was imperative for the journal to present an artistic appearance that was both refined and modern. The cover page of the first issue was illustrated by Redon; Raoul Dufy agreed to illustrate certain pages in the journal, and the decorative artwork was entrusted to the artist and painter Charles Léandre. The Mercure musical thus acquired a very different image from that of the serious musicological bulletin, all the while aligning itself with the sciences and current events. This image endured, even after January 1907, when the Mercure musical became the journal for the French section of the Société Internationale de Musique, an association founded in 1899. For its first issue of 1907 (15 January), however, the journal's title changed to become the rather unwieldy Mercure musical et bulletin français de la SIM: Société Internationale de Musique ( Section de Paris). Under the joint administration of Laloy and Jules Écorchevelle, the journal’s character shifted. The departure of Marnold certainly had an influence on the journal's reorientation, as many of the critical leanings of the Mercure musical had been the product of his activities and caustic writings. As the music critic for the Mercure de France, he played a significant role in the initial association of the music journal with the literary periodical. One might suppose that Écorcheville's and Marnold's respective views diverged as they confronted the question of strengthening the position of musicology in the journal and of compiling the SIM's bulletin. There were fewer humorous texts and a greater concentration of musicological articles. To maintain a good balance between musicology and current musical events, the section devoted to the chronicle was expanded with a segment devoted to large concerts, new music, historical concerts and musical life in the provinces. The journal also published international news and events, such as 'London Seasons' ('Les saisons de Londres'), 'Letters from Brussels' ('Courrier de Bruxelles'), 'Letters from Munich' ('Courrier de Munich'), 'The Czech Chronicle' ('Chronique tchèque', written by William Ritter) and 'Correspondence from America' ('Correspondance d'Amérique', by Arthur Farwell). Indeed, musicology was closely associated with music criticism at this time. Over the next few years, the list of contributors to the journal became quite impressive, and included the names of most of the French musicologists active at the time, as well as the best-known musicians.60 Laloy was able to convince not only Claude Debussy and d'Indy to write for the journal, but also Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns and Erik Satie. At the very least, the journal offered its readers a dazzling aesthetic panorama. [p. 260-62] ...

"In January 1908 the journal's title changed again, abandoning the name Mercure musical. The new title was Bulletin français de la SIM: Société Internationale de Musique (Section de Paris), ancien Mercure musical. But this was not the full extent of the changes. In 1909, the journal took on an additional role. Boasting a new mandate and along with the governing documents printed in the first pages of the July 1909 issue, the journal became the bulletin of the Société Française des Amis de la Musique (SFMA). [p. 263] ...

"The Bulletin francais de la SIM once again changed its name in November 1909, becoming the Revue musicale SIM. Between November 1909 and January 1910, the journal also underwent various transformations in its contents and editorial structure. Laloy, however, was no longer director." [p. 267]

Michel Duchesneau, "French Musicology and the Musical Press (1900-14): The Case of La Revue Musicale, Le Mercure Musical and La Revue Musicale SIM," in Journal of the Royal Musical Association 140, no. 2 (2015): 243-72.