The Mômeludies challengeScores for the little ones

Spotlights 28.07.2021

Mômeludies, an independent publishing house founded in 1985 and based in Lyon, has taken up the challenge of publishing contemporary scores for children. Mômeludies has distinguished itself and earned the respect of musicians by publishing pieces by today's composers, intended for beginners.

An independent adventure
It is no coincidence that this publishing house was born in the wake of the Centre de formation des musiciens intervenants (CFMI) in Lyon! Musicians in the field, known as dumists, are specialists in interventions in schools. " We were sorely lacking in scores for practising today's music in schools," says Gérard Authelain, co-founder of the CFMI and initiator of the Mômeludies adventure. Today, the catalogue of this independent and associative publisher includes some 260 pieces written especially for children, from nursery school to secondary school.

A collection dedicated to contemporary music
Among the various collections offered by the publisher, one of them, the "Musemporaines" collection, is quite original since it consists of pieces commissioned from male and female composers. " All these commissions have enabled us to create a corpus of pieces adapted to the youngest musicians, scores that deserve to enter the repertoire," Gérard Authelain continues. Jean-Christophe Rosaz, Michèle Reverdy, Alain Savouret, Alexandros Markeas, Claire Renard, Alain Pistre, Robert Pascal... These are just some of the names of the composers who have written for Mômeludies.
One of the difficulties, and not the least, is to propose pieces adapted to young children, who are not yet music readers. Most of the scores are therefore intended for teachers for oral transmission, but some pieces are written in a language adapted to children: "Several of our composers propose a playful way of writing their music, far from the traditional solfeggio, in the form of coloured graphics, with lines, arrows...", explains Gérard Authelain.

At Mômeludies, the diversity of repertoires and aesthetics is part of the company's philosophy. We understand "contemporary music" in a broad sense and above all in the plural: music that is written in the most diverse aesthetics, including music that uses electronics and new technologies," insists Gérard Authelain. Young ears must be exposed to different languages: modal, atonal, spectral, but also world music!

A community of enthusiasts
In its 35 years of existence, Mômeludies has created a real community throughout France: the Mômeludies collections are now known to all dumists, who have at one time or another had the opportunity to perform pieces for the children whose musical education they provide. In Villefranche sur Saône, the dumists (linked to the conservatory) have organised Mômeludies for years, filling the municipal theatre with parents waiting for this annual event. Today, this scheme still exists, but the emphasis is on creations, which are then included in the Mômeludies catalogue.
Some establishments host small Mômeludies festivals, which last two to three days: children from the town's elementary schools and conservatory take part with their teachers. Despite the building of a community proud to defend today's music for children, the difficult economic situation in the publishing world is particularly hard on a small independent company whose DNA is to place orders. " Unfortunately, we are placing fewer and fewer orders because the state budget is shrinking and we lack support," laments Gérard Authelain. The publisher therefore needs the support of musicians more than ever. 

Interview by Suzanne Gervais

buy twitter accounts