French music and dance tokens

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Places where one could listen to music were known as concert or music hall. The standard price of a token before the first world war was 10 centimes. Many music tokens carry a text like bon pour une audition, though. Music tokens were generally used in a machine. They would be sold at the entrance. The client would settle in a comfortable chair facing polished wood cabinets each fitted with hearing tubes, a dialling device and coin slot. He would insert a token, dial his choice and listen to his choice. Underneath the listening room was a cellar stacked with cylinders and dozens of employees to locate and play the required songs.

Establishments offering an opportunity to dance were often known as a bal. Those who wanted to stress that they were of good moral level called themselves bal de famille. Dance tokens either gave access to the dance floor or to an observation area. They were collected manually.

The listing excludes theaters, cabarets, hotels, restaurants, bars and cafés, even if they offered music or dancing.