Cultural Spotlight

Cultural Spotlight

Paris, the "City of Lights"

The golden age of French popular music stretches back to the early years of the 20th century and evolved from a multitude of influences.  French music has a sound that is instantly identifiable and inseparable from the Parisian cityscape in which much of it developed.


Chanson (song) is a broad term that encapsulates lyrical and emotional songs which reflect the particular Francophone delight in the beauty of language. Musette is an accordion dominated dance style that was influenced by Italian and rural French immigrants to Paris. Manouche, or Gypsy jazz, is the swinging blend of American jazz with Gallic sensibilities and Roma soul. All of these and other styles contributed to French popular music. And, it just takes a few notes of a classic French chanson to conjure up images of the romantic cabarets and vintage cafés in the City of Lights.

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