Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Music Criticism


Frederick Hall




Although little known and often overlooked in anglophone music circles, Leo-Pol Morin (1892-1941) was one of the most lucid and penetrating music critics in Canada of our time. His audacious, yet distinctly realistic musical perspectives were disseminated in all regions of Quebec through weekly chronicles in key francophone daily newspapers, including La Patrie, La Presse and Le Canada. An innate critical sense, anchored by a solid knowledge base, unique cultural commitment and literary facility assured success and distinction in his critical endeavour. Morin's principal literary publication, Papiers de musique (Montreal, 1930), represents a selection of texts drawn and revised from nearly three hundred commentaries previously submitted to these newspapers. Notwithstanding the insularity and conservatism of Canadian culture at this time, Papiers is notably defined by its broad repertoire of seldom addressed issues: nationalism in music; Canadian composers (Claude Champagne, Rodolphe Mathieu et al); education; folklore; jazz; and the critic's metier itself. Papiers was recognized by contemporaneous scholars as the first even-handed and well-documented critical account of Canadian music .in the early twentieth century. However, the French Papiers de musique is symptomatic of a special and perennial problem of criticism in Canada: that of linguistic diversity and translation. This thesis thus comprises an English translation of Papiers, with original supporting commentary and notes to guide the reader. Part One, the author's critical introduction to Papiers, investigates pertinent issues of context, primary themes, treatment and style arising from Morin's discourse. Part Two affords an unabridged and faithful transcript of Papiers de musique in the English language: a vehicle through which the singular musical outlook of Leo-Pol Morin may be disclosed to and appreciated by anglophone readers in Canada.

McMaster University Library

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