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Music of France

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Music of France

The music of France reflects a diverse array of styles. In the field of classical music, France has produced a number of legendary romantic composers, while folk and popular music have seen the rise of the chanson and cabaret style. The earliest known sound recording device in the world, the phonautograph, was patented in France by Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville in 1857. France is also the 5th largest market by value in the world, and its music industry has produced many internationally renowned artists, especially in the nouvelle chanson and electronic music.

Classical music


French Troubadour songs of chivalry and courtly love were composed in the Occitan language between the 10th and 13th centuries, and the Trouvère poet-composers flourished in Northern France during this period. By the end of the 12th century, a form of song called the motet arose, accompanied by traveling musicians called jongleurs. In the 14th century, France produced two notable styles of music, Ars Nova and Ars Subtilior.


Burgundy, the mostly French-speaking area unified with the Kingdom of France in 1477, became a major center for musical development in Europe. This was followed by the rise of chansons and the Burgundian School.


Influential composers included Louis Couperin, François Couperin and Jacques Champion de Chambonnières. Jean Philippe Rameau, a prominent opera composer, wrote an influential treatise on musical theory, especially in the subject of harmony; he also introduced the clarinet into his orchestras. In the late Renaissance and early Baroque period, a type of popular secular vocal music called Air de cour spread throughout France.


The first French opera may be Akébar roi du Mogol, first performed in Carpentras in 1646. It was followed by the team of Pierre Perrin and Cambert, whose Pastoral in Music, performed in Issy, was a success, and the pair moved to Paris to produce Pomone (1671) and Les Peines et les Plaisirs de l'Amour (1672).

Jean-Baptiste Lully, who had become well known for composing ballets for Louis XIV, began creating a French version of the Italian opera seria, a kind of tragic opera known as tragédie lyrique or tragédie en musique - see (French lyric tragedy). His first was Cadmus from 1673. Lully's forays into operatic tragedy were accompanied by the pinnacle of French theatrical tragedy, led by Corneille and Racine.

Lully also developed the common beat patterns used by conductors to this day, and was the first to take the role of leading the orchestra from the position of the first violin.

The French composer, Carmen, one of the most well known and popular operas.

Gymnopédie No.1 by Erik Satie, performed by Agathe Laforge.

Pavane pour une infante défunte by Maurice Ravel, performed by Thérèse Dussaut

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Romantic Era

One of the major French composers of the time, and one of the most innovative composers of the early Romantic era, was Hector Berlioz.

In the late 19th century, pioneers like Jules Massenet, Gabriel Fauré, Maurice Ravel and Claude Debussy revitalized French music. The last two had an enormous impact on 20th-century music - both in France and abroad - and influenced many major composers like Béla Bartók and Igor Stravinsky. Erik Satie was also a very significant composer from that era. His music is difficult to classify but sounds surprisingly ahead of its time.

20th century

The early 20th century saw neo-classical music flourish in France, especially composers like Albert Roussel and Les Six, a group of musicians who gathered around Satie. Later in the century, Olivier Messiaen, Henri Dutilleux and Pierre Boulez proved influential. The latter was a leading figure of Serialism while Messiaen incorporated Asian (particularly Indian) influences and bird song and Dutilleux translated the innovations of Debussy, Bartók and Stravinsky into his own, very personal, musical idiom.

The most important French contribution to musical innovation of the past 35 years is a form of computer-assisted composition called "spectral music". The astonishing technical advances of the spectralist composers in the 1970s are only recently beginning to achieve wide recognition in the United States; major composers in this vein include Gérard Grisey, Tristan Murail, and Claude Vivier.

Since 1998, musical works patented by René-Louis Baron made a big step in the two domains of algorithmic music and artificial intelligence.

Folk music

Traditional styles of music have survived most in remote areas like the island of Corsica and mountainous Auvergne, as well as the more nationalistic regions of the Basques and Bretons. In many cases, folk traditions were revived in relatively recent years to cater to tourists. These groupes folkloriques tend to focus on very early 20th-century melodies and the use of the piano accordion.


In 1900 in Paris, a new style of waltz emerged, the "Valse musette" an evolution of Bal-musette also known as "French Waltz". Aimable, Émile Vacher, Marcel Azzola, Yvette Horner, André Verchuren were famous accordionists who played valse musette. There is also Yann Tiersen and its Amélie (soundtrack) of Amélie from Montmartre.

West France

The West of France comprises the Pays de Nantes, the provinces of Vendée, Anjou and Maine, and the Poitou-Charentes region. Traditions of ballad-singing, dance-songs and fiddle-playing have survived, predominantly in Poitou and the Vendée. Jérôme Bujeaud collected extensively in the area, and his 2-volume work "Chants et chansons populaires des provinces de l'ouest: Poitou, Saintonge, Aunis et Angoumois" (Niort, 1866) remains the principal scholarly collection of music and songs. In recent decades John Wright and Claude Ribouillault (amongst others) have done much to collect, analyse and promote the surviving traditions.

The Marais Breton of Vendée is noted particularly for its tradition of veuze playing - which has been revived by the bagpipe-maker and player Thierry Bertrand - and for traditional singers such as Pierre Burgaud.

Folk dances specific to the West of France include the courante, or maraichine, and the bal saintongeais. Bourrées in triple time have been noted in the 19th century by Bujeaud, and more recently, in Angoumois. Circle- or chain-dances accompanied by caller-and-response singing have been noted in the West, and also in other regions such as Gascony, Normandy and Brittany.

Notable contemporary folk musicians include Christian Pacher and Claude Ribouillault (Poitou) and the group La Marienne (Vendée.)

  • Brittany
Alan Stivell, a Celtic musician and singer.

Distinctly Celtic in character, the folk music of Lower Brittany has had perhaps the most successful revival of its traditions, partly thanks to the city of Lorient, which hosts France's most popular music festival: Festival Interceltique de Lorient.

The documented history of Breton music begins with the publication of Barzaz-Breizh in 1839. A collection of folk songs compiled by Hersart de la Villemarqué, Barzaz-Breizh re-branded and promoted Breton traditions and helped ensure their continuity.

Sonneurs couples, consisting of a bombard and a biniou (bagpipe), is usually played at festoù-noz (Fest Noz) celebrations (some are famous, like Printemps de Chateauneuf). It is swift dance music and has an older vocal counterpart called kan ha diskan. Unaccompanied call and response singing was interspersed with the gwerz, a form of ballad.

Probably the most popular form of Breton folk is the bagad pipe band, which features native instruments like biniou and bombard alongside drums and, in more modern groups, biniou braz pipes. Modern revivalists include Kevrenn Alre Bagad and Bagad Kemper.

Alan Stivell is perhaps the most influential folk-rock performer of continental Europe. After 1971's Renaissance of the Celtic Harp, Breton and other Celtic traditional music achieved mainstream success internationally. With Dan Ar Braz, he then released Chemins de Terre (1974), which launched Breton folk-rock. This set the stage for stars like Malicorne in the ensuing decades.

In later years much has been done to collect and popularize the musical traditions of the Pays Gallo of Upper Brittany, for which the singer Bertran Ôbrée, his group Ôbrée Alie and the association DASTUM must take much credit. The songs of Upper Brittany are either in French or in Gallo.

Modern Breton folk music includes harpists like Anne-Marie Jan, Anne Auffret and Myrdhin, while singers Kristen Nikolas, Andrea Ar Gouilh and Yann-Fanch Kemener have become mainstream stars. Instrumental bands, however, have been the most successful, including Gwerz, Bleizi Ruz, Strobinell, Sonerien Du and Tud.

Central France

Central France includes the regions of Auvergne, Limousin, Morvan, Nivernais, Bourbonnais and Berry. The lands are the home to a significant bagpipe tradition, as well as the iconic hurdy gurdy and the dance bourrée. There are deep differences between the regions of Central France, with the Auvergne and Limousin retained the most vibrant folk traditions of the area. As an example of the area's diversity, the bourrée can come in either duple or triple meter; the latter is found in the south of the region, and is usually improvised with bagpipes and hurdy gurdy, while the former is found in the north and includes virtuoso players.

  • Bagpipe and Hurdy Gurdy

The hurdy gurdy, or vielle-à-roue, is essentially a mechanical violin, with keys or buttons instead of a finger board. It is made up of a curved, oval body, a set of keys and a curved handle, which is turned and connected to a wheel which bows the strings that are stopped by the keys. There is a moveable bridge, a variable number of drones and hidden sympathetic strings, all of which can also affect the sound. Simpler forms of the hurdy gurdy are also found in Spain, Hungary and Russia.

The bagpipe is found in a wide array of forms in France. The cabrette and grande cornemuse from Auvergne and Berry are the most well-known. These forms are found at least as far back as the 17th century. Prominent bagpipers include Bernard Blanc, Frédéric Paris and Philippe Prieur, as well as bandleader Jean Blanchard of La Grande Bande de Cornemuses and Quintette de Cornemuses. Frédéric Paris is also known as a member of the Duo Chabenat-Paris, a prominent duo who use elements like mixed polyphonic ensembles and melodies based on the bourrée. Bernard Blanc and Jean Blanchard, along with Eric Montbel from Lyons, were among the musicians who formed the basis of La Bamboche and Le Grand Rouge. It was these two bands who did more than anyone to revitalize the traditions of Central France during the 1970s folk revival. The festival of St. Chartier, a music festival held annually near Châteauroux, has been a focal point for the music of Auvergne and Limousin.

The provinces of Morvan and Nivernais have produced some traditional stars, including Faubourg de Boignard and Les Ménétriers du Morvan, respectively. The Nivernais collector Achille Millien was also notable in the early part of the 20th century.

South France

  • Basque Country

The music of the French Basque Country (east of the Basque Country) should be considered against a Pyrenean cultural background. Up to recent times and still ttun-ttun and xirula should be highlighted in traditional folk music (especially in the province of Soule) as a tabor and pipe like pair.

It's worth remembering the role of Mixel Etxekopar or Jean Mixel Bedaxagar as xirula players as well as traditional singers. Other popular performers like Benat Achiary take up a more experimental approach. These performers refer to a former tradition collected and restored by figures like Etxahun Iruri (1908–1979) where singing improviser poets (bertsolaris) played an important role in popular culture. Unfortunately, this bertsolari tradition has come almost to a halt, while some efforts are being made to restore it on new generations along the lines of the "southern" tradition, i.e. of the Spanish Basque Country.

Music from the Basque Country nowadays caters to almost all the tastes of music, with a wide range of music being played in Basque, from choral music (Oldarra in Biarritz) to elaborate music bands (e.g. Bidaia) to ska or hardcore trends, while it's much praised lately for the fine bare voices that have arisen with the likes of Maddi Oihenart, Maialen Errotabehere or Amaren Alabak, to mention but a few.

  • Corsica

Corsican polyphonic singing is perhaps the most unusual of the French regional music varieties. Sung by male trios, it is strongly harmonic and occasionally dissonant. Works can be either spiritual or secular. Modern groups include Canta u Populu Corsu, I Muvrini, Tavagna and Chjami Aghjalesi; some groups have been associated with Corsican nationalism.

Corsican musical instruments include the caramusa (cornemuse bagpipe), cetera (16-stringed lute), mandulina (mandolin), pifana (a type of gemshorn) and urganettu (diatonic accordion).

Popular music

Poster from the cabaret Moulin Rouge in Paris (1890), the spiritual birthplace of the French Cancan dance.

The 19th century saw the apogee of the Jean Sablon.

During the 50s and 60s, it was the golden age of Chanson Française: Jacques Brel, Gilbert Bécaud, Monique Serf (Barbara), Léo Ferré, Charles Aznavour and Alain Barrière. The Yéyé style was popular in the 1950s and 60s with Sheila, Claude François and Françoise Hardy.

Mado by Émile Vacher

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Musette is a style of French music and dance that became popular in Paris in the 1880s. Musette uses the accordion as main instrument, and often symbolizes the French art of living abroad. Émile Vacher (1883-1969) was the star of the new style.[1] Other popular musette accordionists include Aimable Pluchard, Yvette Horner and André Verchuren. In 2001, the musette-style was a huge international success through the album Amélie composed by Yann Tiersen.


The Cancan, also called French-Cancan, is a high-energy and physically demanding musical dance, traditionally performed by a chorus line of female dancers who wear costumes with long skirts, petticoats, and black stockings. The main features of the dance are the lifting and manipulation of the skirts, with high kicking and suggestive, provocative body movements. The Infernal Galop from Jacques Offenbach's Orpheus in the Underworld is the tune most associated with the Cancan. The Cancan first appeared in the working-class ballrooms of Montparnasse in Paris in around 1830. It was a more lively version of the Galop, a dance in quick 2/4 time, which often featured as the final figure in the Quadrille.


Cabaret is a typical form of French musical entertainment featuring chanson, music, dance, comedy and spectacles. The audience usually sits at tables, often dining or drinking, and performances are sometimes introduced by a master of ceremonies. The first cabaret was opened in 1881 in Montmartre, Paris, by Rodolphe Salis and was called Le Chat Noir (The Black Cat). Built in 1889, Moulin Rouge is famous for the large red windmill on its roof. Other popular French cabarets include the Folies Bergère and Le Lido. Cabarets were a key venue in the careers of many singers like Mistinguett, Josephine Baker, Charles Trenet and Edith Piaf. More recently, Patricia Kaas embodies the revival of the French cabaret style.

Patricia Kaas, incarnation of the new French cabaret spirit.


Chanson Française is the typical style of French music (chanson means "song" in French) and is still very popular in France. Some of the most important artists included: Gilbert Bécaud, Monique Serf (Barbara), Léo Ferré, Charles Aznavour, Salvatore Adamo and Dalida plus the more art-house musicians like Brigitte Fontaine. Also during the 1950s one of the more representative of Montmartre cabaret singers was Suzanne Robert.

During the 1970s, new artists modernized the chanson Française (Michel Fugain, Renaud, Francis Cabrel, Alain Souchon, Jacques Higelin, Alain Chamfort, Joe Dassin) and also in the 80s (Étienne Daho, Têtes Raides) till now (Benjamin Biolay, Zaz, Vincent Delerm, Bénabar, Jean-Louis Murat, Miossec, Juliette, Mano Solo, Jacques Higelin, Matthieu Chedid, Mathieu Boogaerts, Daniel Darc, Maurane, Christina Goh, Renan Luce). Singer-songwriter Serge Gainsbourg began as a jazz musician in the 1950s and spanned several eras of French popular music including pop, rock, reggae, new wave, disco and even hip hop.


Yéyé is a style of popular music that emerged from France in the early 1960s. The yé-yé movement had its origins in the radio programme Salut les copains, which was first aired in October 1959. Most famous Yéyé stars include Johnny Hallyday, Claude François, Eddy Mitchell, Richard Anthony, Dick Rivers and the popular girls like France Gall, Sheila, Sylvie Vartan, and artists who fuse various music genres like Chantal Goya or Dalida. These were popular female teen idols, and included Françoise Hardy, who was the first to write her own songs.

Contemporary music

Nouvelle Chanson



The more commercial and pop part of Chanson is called Variété in French, and included Vanessa Paradis, Patricia Kaas, Patrick Bruel, Marc Lavoine, Pascal Obispo, Florent Pagny, Francis Cabrel, Étienne Daho, Alain Souchon, Laurent Voulzy and Jean-Jacques Goldman. The superstar status of diva Mylène Farmer inspired pop-rock performers like Zazie, Lorie, Alizée, and R&B singers like Nadiya and Ophelie Winter.

More recently, the success of musical television shows have spawned a new generation of young pop-music stars including Nolwenn Leroy, Grégory Lemarchal, Christophe Willem, Julien Doré and Élodie Frégé. The French-Caribbean singer Shy'm enjoys a status of popstar in France since her first album in 2006, as well as her male counterpart Matt Pokora. Notable pop-rock groups include Niagara and Indochine.


Gojira, one of the most famous French Metal bands.

Though rock was not extremely popular until the 70s, there were innovative musicians in France as the psychedelic rock trend was peaking worldwide. Jean-Pierre Massiera's Les Maledictus Sound (1968) and Aphrodite's Child's 666 were the most influential. Later came bands such as Magma, Martin Circus, Au Bonheur des Dames, Trust, Téléphone, Noir Désir, and musicians Marcel Dadi, Paul Personne and Bireli Lagrene.

In the early 70s, Breton musician Alan Stivell (Renaissance de la Harpe Celtique) launched the field of French folk-rock by combining psychedelic and progressive rock sounds with Breton and Celtic folk styles.

  • Progressive Rock

France became one of the leading producers of prog rock in the 1970s. Aficionados worldwide were enamoured by recordings like Ange's Le Cimetiere des arlequins, Pulsar's Halloween, Shylock's Ile de Fievre, Atoll's L'Araignee-Mal and Eskaton's Ardeur. Most well-known, however, may be the band Magma which created its own genre, Zeuhl music.

  • Eighties Rock (1980)

In the 1980s, French rock spawned myriad styles, many closely connected with other Francophone musical scenes in Switzerland, Canada and especially Belgium. Pub rock (Telephone), psychobilly (La Muerte), pop punk (Les Thugs), synthpop and punk rock (Bérurier Noir, Bijou and Gill Dougherty) were among the styles represented in this era. Beginning in the 1980s, Les Rita Mitsouko became very popular throughout Europe with their unique blending of punk, new wave, dance and cabaret elements.

Punk rock had arisen in the 1970s and continued into the next decade, perhaps best represented by Oberkampf and Métal Urbain. 80s progressive rock peaked early in the decade, with Dun's Eros, Emeraude's Geoffroy and Terpandre's Terpandre, all from 1981, representing the genre's pinnacle.


French heavy metal bands include shoegaze' black metal movement also has many bands hailing from France, such as Alcest, Les Discrets and Amesoeurs.

Daft Punk in Miami, FL.


Electronic music, as exemplified by Jean Michel Jarre and Cerrone, achieved a wide French audience. The French electro-pop duos Air and Daft Punk and techno artists Laurent Garnier and David Guetta found a wide audience in the late 1990s and early first decade of the 21st century, both locally and internationally. Groups such as Justice, M83, Phoenix, Télépopmusik and Klingande continue to enjoy success.


In 2009, David Guetta sold more albums outside France than any other French artist.[3]

French house is a late 1990s form of house music, part of the 1990s and first decade of the 21st-century European dance music scene and the latest form of Euro disco. The genre is also known as "Disco house", "Neu-disco" (new disco), "French touch", "filter house" or "tekfunk". The early mid/late 1990s productions was notable for the "filter effect" used by artists such as Daft Punk.[4] Other productions use more mainstream vocals and samples. French house is greatly influenced by the 1970s Euro disco and especially the short lived space disco music style (a European (mostly French) variation of Hi-NRG disco), and also by P-Funk and the productions of Thomas Bangalter

The first French house experiments (at the time called "disco house" and "neu disco") became notable in the international market between 1997 and 1999. Daft Punk, Stardust and Cassius were the first international successful artists of the genre and their videos show their "space disco" roots.

Several artists played important roles in popularizing the genre, which, in 2000, achieved international success. Bob Sinclar's single "I Feel For You" charted in several countries, including Germany, Italy, and Spain. Etienne de Crécy's album Tempovision charted at #57 in France and included the successful single "Am I Wrong." In September, the French house group Modjo released "Lady (Hear Me Tonight), which debuted at #1 in the UK and became a top-ten hit in thirteen countries. Galleon followed the next year.

Today most French house bands and artists have moved on to other music styles, notably a French variation of electro, that is danced on the milky way/Tecktonik style.


The Village People, co-founded by the two French composers Jacques Morali and Henri Belolo, was a major international disco group. Notable French disco singers also include Sheila and B. Devotion, Ottawan, Cerrone, Patrick Hernandez and F.R. David, respectively known for their worldwide hits Spacer (1979), D.I.S.C.O. (1979), You're OK / T'es OK (1980), Supernature (1977), Born to Be Alive (1979) and Words (1982).


Hip hop music was exported to France in the 1980s, and French rappers and DJs, like David Guetta and MC Solaar, also had some success. Hip hop music came from New York City, invented in the 1970s by African Americans. By 1983, the genre had spread to much of the world, including France. Almost immediately, French performers (musicians and breakdancers) began their career, including Max-Laure Bourjolly and Traction Avant. Popularity was brief, however, and hip hop quickly receded to the French underground. Hip-hop was adapted to French context, especially the poverty of large cities known as banlieues ("suburbs") where many French of foreign descent live, especially from the former colonial countries (West Africa and Caribbean). If there is some influence of African musics and of course American hip hop, French hip-hop is also strongly connected to French music, with strong reciprocal influences, from French pop and chanson, both in music and lyrics.

Paname City Rappin (1984, by Dee Nasty) was the first album released, and the first major stars were IAM, Suprême NTM and MC Solaar, whose 1991 Qui Sème le Vent Récolte le Tempo, was a major hit. Through the nineties, the music grew to become one of the most popular genres in France with huge success of the pioneers (IAM, Suprême NTM) and newcomers (Ministère Amer, Oxmo Puccino, Lunatic). France is the world's second-largest hip-hop market. The most popular rappers of the 2000s are Diam's, Booba and Kenza Farah with successful artists more underground like La Rumeur, la Caution and TTC.

Music of Martinique and Guadeloupe


The Zouk is a style of rhythmic music originating from the Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique and popularized by the group Kassav in the 1980s.

The inspiration of Zouk's style music comes from Haitian compas, as well as music called cadence-lypso - Dominica cadence popularized by Grammacks and Exile One. Elements of gwo ka, tambour, ti bwa and biguine vidé are prominent in zouk. The French Creole tongue of Martinique and Guadeloupe is an important element, and are a distinctive part of the music.

In Africa, Kassav's zouk and the Haitian compas they featured, gained popularity in francophone and lusophone countries. It is also particularly popular in North America in the Canadian province of Quebec.


Bouyon (Boo-Yon) is a form of popular music of Dominica, also known as jump up music in Guadeloupe and Martinique. The best-known band in the genre is Windward Caribbean Kulture (WCK), who originated the style in 1988.

Over the years, thanks to inter-trade with the Dominicans and the mass participation of Guadeloupe at the World Creole Music Festival, the flagship group as Triple kay and MFR band began to democratize and local artists were inducted including the remix Allo Triple kay with Daly and "Big Ting Poppin 'Daly alone.

A popular offshoot within the bouyon is call bouyon hardcore, a style characterized by its lewd and violent lyrics. Popular Bouyon gwada musicians include, Wee Low, Suppa, Doc J, Yellow gaza, etc.

French Antilles hip hop

The French Antilles hip hop is a style of hip hop music originating from the French departments of Guadeloupe and Martinique in the Caribbean. Usually in French and Antillean creole, the French Antilles hip hop is most popular in the French Antilles and France.

Overseas music

A ʻupaʻupa, a traditional dance from Tahiti (1900).
  • French Polynesia
  • Réunion island

Séga music is a popular style that mixes African and European music. The most popular sega musicians include Ousanousava, Baster, Maxime Laope. Maloya music has a strong African element reflected in the use of slave chants and work songs. The most popular sega musicians include Danyèl Waro, Firmin Viry, Granmoun Lélé, Mars tou sèl.

International music

French language is spoken worldwide and many international artists contribute to French music.


The greatest Belgian chansonnier was Jacques Brel, whose classic songs have been covered by several international artists. Others like Salvatore Adamo, Axelle Red, Lara Fabian, Maurane, Selah Sue, Frédéric François and Annie Cordy have also enjoyed some success in France and other French-speaking countries.


Quebec singers are very popular in France, and both nations have influenced each other in terms of music styles. Quebec artists have been taking the French stage quite extensively. Notable singers that have performed in France included: Céline Dion, Diane Tell, Cœur de pirate, Garou, Isabelle Boulay, Lynda Lemay and many others. Roch Voisine and Natasha St-Pier, who are of Acadian heritage, reached the top of charts in France with their famous songs "Hélène" (1989) and "Tu trouveras" (2002). Rock singer Avril Lavigne, whose father is of French origin (born in Lorraine), is also popular in France, and she obtained her French passport and citizenship in 2011.[5][6]

Anggun during her concert in Le Trianon, Paris (2012).
Salvatore Adamo and Charles Aznavour are widely recognized in America


One of the most famous French-speaking Asian artist is Anggun, a French-naturalised singer from Indonesia, best known for her single La Neige au Sahara (Snow on the Sahara) written by Erick Benzi. The song was released in 1997 as her debut international single in 33 countries worldwide, and topped the charts in Europe (#1 in Italy), America (#16 in USA Billboard), and Asia (#1 in Indonesia, #3 in Malaysia). French music also found surprising favorable reception in Japan, where the language and culture from France is often seen as romantic. Some Japanese groups use French language, as for example Malice Mizer or Versailles, named after the name of the Château de Versailles. Salvatore Adamo Charles Aznavour and Mireille Mathieu are widely recognized in Japan.


Beginning in the 1920s, Raï music developed in Algeria as a combination of rural and urban music. Often viewed as a form of resistance towards censorship, many of the conventional values of the old raï became modernized with instruments, synthesizers and modern equipment. Later performers added influences from funk, hip hop, rock and other styles, creating most notably a pop genre called lover's raï. Performers include Rachid Taha and Faudel. Originating of the city of Oran, raï shot to the top of the French, Swiss and Dutch charts in 1992 with the release of Khaled's single Didi.

Music journals

  • Volume!

A journal that provides coverage of popular music in France along with popular music history is Volume!. Volume! (subtitled in French:La revue des musiques populaires - The journal of popular music studies) is a biannual (May & November) peer-reviewed academic journal "dedicated to the study of contemporary popular music".[7] It is published by Éditions Mélanie Seteun, a publishing association specialized in popular music. The journal has both French and English editions.[8] Volume! was established in 2002 under the title Copyright Volume! by Gérôme Guibert,[9] Marie-Pierre Bonniol, and Samuel Étienne, and obtained its current name in 2008. Étienne (Université de la Polynésie Française) was its first editor-in-chief (2002–2008), before Guibert (University of Paris III: Sorbonne Nouvelle) took over in 2008.[10][11][12]


  1. ^ World Music: Africa, Europe and the Middle East Page 113 Simon Broughton, Mark Ellingham, Richard Trillo - 1999 "Emile Vacher Once the accordion took over from the cabrette in the bals-musette, Vacher (1883-1969) was the star of the new style."
  2. ^ Adrien Begrand. "Gojira, The Way of All Flesh".  
  3. ^ (French) Quels sont nos artistes les mieux exportés en 2009 ? - Charts in France
  4. ^ village voice > music > Daft Punk by Scott Woods
  5. ^ Lavigne, April (9 February 2011). "Interview on NRJ Radio". I love France, in fact my father was born here, so I have applied for my French passport. I love this country so much that I am getting a French passport 
  6. ^ Lavigne means "Vineyard", and Avril means "April", in French language
  7. ^ Thomas, 2010: 404.
  8. ^ List of articles in English can be found
  9. ^ "Université Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris3 - M. GUIBERT Gérôme".  
  10. ^ Transcript of Guibert's presentation during the 2007 francophone IASPM conference. (English translation)
  11. ^ Philippe Le Guern (2003), ""The Study of Popular Music between Sociology and Aesthetics: A Survey of Current Research in France", in Hugh Dauncey & Steve Cannon (eds), Popular music in France from chanson to techno : culture, identity, and society, Burlington, Ashgate: 7-26.
  12. ^ "[…] de nouvelles revues ont réussi à voir le jour et constituent des lieux d’expression appréciables, notamment pour les jeunes chercheurs qui peuvent y faire leurs premières armes, ou pour des auteurs étrangers peu ou mal connus en France. [footnote:] On pense notamment à la revue Volume dont le premier numéro voit le jour en 2002 et qui a su accompagner la diversification des musiques actuelles." Philippe Le Guern (2007).
  • Boll, André, and Émil Damais. Répertoire analytique de la musique française, des origins à nos jours. Paris: Horizons de France, 1948.
  • Krümm, Philippe and Jean-Pierre Rasle. "Music of the Regions". 2000. In Broughton, Simon and Ellingham, Mark with McConnachie, James and Duane, Orla (Ed.), World Music, Vol. 1: Africa, Europe and the Middle East, pp 103–113. Rough Guides Ltd, Penguin Books. ISBN 1-85828-636-0

External links

  • French-kisses, A blog in English dedicated to French music
  • BBC Radio 3 Audio (105 minutes): Marseille - Mahgreb Rap, Algerian Rai, Pacific Creole, Congolese Rumba. Accessed November 25, 2010.
  • (French) Audio clips: Traditional music of France. Musée d'Ethnographie de Genève. Accessed November 25, 2010.
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