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Imagining the popular in contemporary French culture$
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Diana Holmes and David Looseley

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780719078163

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719078163.001.0001

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Authenticity and appropriation: a discursive history of French popular music

Authenticity and appropriation: a discursive history of French popular music

Chapter:
(p.47) 2 Authenticity and appropriation: a discursive history of French popular music
Source:
Imagining the popular in contemporary French culture
Author(s):

David Looseley

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719078163.003.0003

This chapter combines a brief history of French popular music with an account of those discourses that have defined and constructed the meanings of ‘pop’ for France. One element of French particularism to emerge is the importance of the ‘chanson’ category, aligned with hegemonic notions of Frenchness through its emphasis on text and the self-expression of the lone ‘auteur’. Focusing on evolving constructions and uses of chanson, the discussion describes how it plays its part in the nineteenth-century emphasis on a mythical rural past embodied in folk songs and is commercialised through entertainment forms such as the cafe-concert.

Keywords:   French popular music, Frenchness, chanson, folk songs, café concert

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