As a child she studied piano with a number of teachers, took preparatory classes with Sophie Chéné, and was admitted to the Paris Conservatory in 1893. She studied with Vincent d"Industry in Valencia, and became a professor at the Schola Cantorum de Paris in December 1901, later taking positions at the Conservatoire de Strasbourg, the École Normale de Musique in Paris, and the Prague Conservatory.
Her family moved to Geneva, and Selva began giving concerts at the age of 13 in Lausanne. Blanche Selva was the only French pianist of her time to specialise in Czechoslovakian music, and she was consequently very popular in Czechoslovakia. She continued to tour and work as a concert pianist in Europe.
By the age of 20 she had performed all of J.S. Bach"s keyboard works in 17 recitals.
Between 1906 and 1909 she premiered all four books of Isaac Albéniz"s piano suite Iberia. In 1930 she developed a paralysis that ended her performing career, but she continued teaching, writing and composing.
In 1936 she left Barcelona because of the Spanish Civil War and lived for a while in Marseille, then Moulins, Allier, and Saint-Saturnin, Puy-de-Dôme, Auvergne. Suffering from cancer, she entered a hospital in Saint-Amant-Tallende, where she died in December 1942 at age 58.