Changing Places in French Song from 1945 to the Present Day

  • Louis-Jean Calvet
Part of the Warwick Studies in the European Humanities book series (WSEH)


Generally speaking, all historical approaches to form in artistic expression, and even in the sciences, have tended to ignore the developing technological component. Therefore, little consideration is given to new forms of painting (acrylic, etc.) in the history of painting, to the invention of recording (first wire recording and later tape recording) in the history of linguistics, and with regard to song we forget that the advent of the microphone and sound effects has revolutionised stage sets, that long-playing records and then ‘video-clips’ have changed the conditions of production. If I am about to embark on a discussion of the places in which men and women have been singing in France (and more specifically in Paris) for nearly fifty years, it is not merely to sketch a history of these places, but to enable us to consider the repercussions of this history on song itself, of the formal changes engendered by the changes in location. It is possible, therefore, to sum up these disparate diachronic data with the hypothesis that changes of place have repercussions on the forms of song. And this hypothesis bears much weight if we consider a genre from the beginning of this period the name of which is also the name of a place: the ‘Chanson Rive-Gauche’ (Song of the Left Bank).


Video Clip Sound Effect Live Performance Sanitary Towel Metaphorical Meaning 
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Copyright information

© Brian Rigby and Nicholas Hewitt 1991

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  • Louis-Jean Calvet

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