Invented Primary Sources

Over the course of the 2015-2016 fall semester, students in Music 345, “Paris in the 1920s” were asked to write a series of short essays in which they would invent primary sources providing valuable information about people, institutions, and events important to musical life in 1920s Paris. Ideally, the essays would be more than mere reports: they would make arguments about the significance, meaning, or impact of their subjects in the context of the debates and trends that characterized French musical life at the time. Their essays would take the form of typical primary source documents like letters, memoranda, newspaper articles, and concert reviews. (To see the assignment prompt in full, click here.)

Below you can peruse a selection of their short essays, many of which help contextualize other material on this website.