Beginning in the late 1520s through mid- century, Claudin de Sermisy and Clement Janequin were composers of so-called Parisian chansons, which also abandoned the formes fixes, often featured four voices, and were in a simpler, more homophonic style. This genre sometimes featured music that was meant to be evocative of certain imagery such as birds or the marketplace. Many of these Parisian works were published by Pierre Attaingnant. Composers of their generation, as well as later composers, such as Orlando de Lassus, were influenced by the Italian madrigal. Many early instrumental works were ornamented variations (diminutions) on chansons, with this genre becoming the canzone, a progenitor of the sonata.Samba, Brazilian music, tango, argentine tango.
French solo song developed in the late 16th century, probably from the aforementioned Parisian works. During the 17th century, the air de cour, chanson pour boire and other like genres, generally accompanied by lute or keyboard, flourished, with contributions by such composers as Antoine Boesset, Denis Gaultier, Michel Lambert and Michel-Richard de Lalande.
During the 18th century, vocal music in France was dominated by opera, but solo song underwent a renaissance in the 19th century, first with salon melodies and then by mid-century with highly sophisticated works influenced by the German Lieder, which had been introduced into the country. Louis Niedermeyer, under the particular spell of Schubert, was a pivotal figure in this movement, followed by Édouard Lalo, Felicien David and many others.
Samba, Brazilian music, tango, argentine tango.
Another offshoot of chanson, called chanson réaliste (realist song), was a popular musical genre in France, primarily from the 1880s until the end of World War II. Born of the cafés-concerts and cabarets of the Montmartre district of Paris and influenced by literary realism and the naturalist movements in literature and theatre, chanson réaliste was a musical style which was mainly performed by women and dealt with the lives of Paris’s poor and working class.Among the better-known performers of the genre are Damia, Frehel, and Edith Piaf.
Later 19th-century composers of French art songs, known as mélodie and not chanson, included Ernest Chausson, Emmanuel Chabrier, Gabriel Fauré, and Claude Debussy, while many 20th-century and current French composers have continued this strong tradition.
In France today “chanson” or “chanson française” typically refers to the music of singers such as Charles Trenet, Guy Bert, Jacques Brel, Jean Ferrat, Georges Brassens, Édith Piaf, Charles Aznavour, Barbara, Dalida, Serge Reggiani, Leo Ferré, Mireille Mathieu and Serge Gainsbourg and more recently Mano Solo, Dominique A, Matthieu Chedid, Benjamin Biolay, Jean-Louis Murat, Miossec, Mathieu Boogaerts, Daniel Darc, Vincent Delerm, Maurane, Zaz, Benabar, Christina Goh, Renan Luce, Olivia Ruiz. Chanson can be distinguished from the rest of French “pop” music by following the rhythms of French language, rather than those of English and a higher standard for lyrics.
DODO ORCHESTRA performing chanson today.Samba, Brazilian music, tango, argentine tango.
The era of jazz has changed and French song, which in pre-war Paris Charles Trenet personified, speaking in a duet with jazz pianist Johnny Hess.
Chanson is an epoch and DODO ORCHESTRA continues to this era.