Search

Home > Summer School > Summer School 2022 > ARTS MUSIC FILM AND DESIGN > French singers and songwriters

FRENCH SINGERS AND SONGWRITERS: A MUSICAL JOURNEY

Philip Scheiner, lecturer

Encompassing both singers ‘born in France’ like Georges Brassens or Françoise Hardy, and others who adopted France, like Charles Aznavour, Nana Mouskouri or Jane Birkin, la chanson française is rightly world-renowned. To make sense of such a corpus, the course will look at recurring themes, such as eroticism (ex: Déshabillez-moi by Juliette Greco), the lives of singers (Je Me Voyais Deja by Charles Aznavour), political statements (Le Déserteur by Boris Vian), the end of love (Ne Me Quitte Pas by Jacques Brel), and places (Syracuse by Henri Salvador). Each will be illustrated by several songs (lyrics in translation), many of which have structured la chanson française over the last sixty years to become classics of their genre. The course will also open onto great songwriters like Serge Gainsbourg and Michel Berger, as a nation sings to itself about its past, its passions and its taboos.

 

Lecture titles

1.  ‘Les Dames en Noir (Edith Piaf et al.)’, the singer-songwriters (Brassens et al.), songs about love, places

2.  The end of love, songs with a highly personal or political message, songs which broke social taboos

3.  Dialogues with other musical cultures (Brazil, UK, Egypt etc.), life on stage, multicultural France in song

 

Recommended reading

Guibert, G. and Rudent, C. (Eds.) 2018. Made in France: Studies in Popular Music. New York: Routledge.

 

ONLINE: https://www.webtickets.co.za/v2/performance.aspx?itemid=1509151891

IN-PERSON: https://www.webtickets.co.za/v2/performance.aspx?itemid=1509144007

 

DATE: Monday 17–Wednesday 19 January
TIME: 3.00 pm
COURSE FEES: R225 (online)/R330 (in person)
PLATFORM: MS TEAMS