Popular Music in Contemporary France: Authenticity, Politics, Debate

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Bloomsbury Academic, Mar 1, 2003 - History - 254 pages
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While music lovers from all over the world have tried to recreate the ambience of French cafés by playing music from stars such as Piaf, Trénet and Chevalier, intellectuals, sociologists and policy makers in France have been embroiled in passionate debate about just what constitutes 'real' French music. In the late 1950s and 1960s a wave of Anglo-American rock 'n' roll and pop hit Europe and disrupted French popular music forever. The cherished sounds of the chanson were sidelined, fragmented or merged with pop styles and instrumentation. From this point on, French music and music culture have been splintered into cultural divides - pop culture vs high culture; mass culture vs 'authentic' popular culture; national culture vs Americanization. This book investigates the exciting and innovative segmentation of the French music scene and the debates it has spawned. From an analysis of the chanson as national myth, to pop, rap, techno and the State, this book is the first full-length study to make sense of the complexity behind the history of French popular music and its relation to 'authentic' cultural identity.

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About the author (2003)

David L. Looseley is a Professor of Contemporary French Culture, at the University of Leeds.

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