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The Cambridge Companion to French Music
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Book description

France has a long and rich music history that has had a far-reaching impact upon music and cultures around the world. This accessible Companion provides a comprehensive introduction to the music of France. With chapters on a range of music genres, internationally renowned authors survey music-making from the early middle ages to the present day. The first part provides a complete chronological history structured around key historical events. The second part considers opera and ballet and their institutions and works, and the third part explores traditional and popular music. In the final part, contributors analyse five themes and topics, including the early church and its institutions, manuscript sources, the musical aesthetics of the Siècle des Lumières, and music at the court during the ancien régime. Illustrated with photographs and music examples, this book will be essential reading for both students and music lovers.


'Few devotees of French music and culture will not find a treasure-trove of enlightening information in this brilliantly cast multi-author book … This excellent book is much more than a springboard and will provide an invaluable key for any Francophile wanting to deepen their knowledge of issues, periods and repertoire with which they are not so familiar: questions addressed by the contributors to this learned and expert volume.'

Richard Langham Smith Source: H-France

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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

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Kenneth Levy , ‘Toledo, Rome and the Legacy of Gaul’, Early Music History, 4 (1984), 49–99

Rosamond McKitterick , The Carolingians and the Written Word (Cambridge University Press, 1989)

Margot Fassler , ‘Liturgy and sacred history in the twelfth-century tympana at Chartres’, Art Bulletin, 75 (1993), 506

James Grier , The Musical World of a Medieval Monk: Adémar de Chabannes in Eleventh-Century Aquitaine (Cambridge University Press, 2006)

Gabrielle M. Spiegel , ‘The cult of Saint Denis and Capetian kingship’, Journal of Medieval History, 1 (1975), 43–69

William Chester Jordan , A Tale of Two Monasteries: Westminster and Saint-Denis in the Thirteenth Century (Princeton University Press, 2009)

Thomas B. Payne , ‘Aurelianis civitas: student unrest in medieval France and a conductus by Philip the Chancellor’, Speculum, 75 (2000), 589–614

Joseph Dyer , ‘Speculative “musica” and the medieval University of Paris’, Music and Letters, 90 (2009), 177–204

Marcy J. Epstein , ‘Ludovicusdecus regnantium: perspectives on the rhymed office’, Speculum, 53 (1978), 316–17

Anna Maria Busse Berger , Medieval Music and the Art of Memory (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005), 161–97

Mark Everist , ‘From Paris to St. Andrews: the origins of W1’, Journal of the American Musicological Society, 43 (1990), 1–42

Christopher Page , ‘Johannes de Grocheio on secular music: a corrected text and a new translation’, Plainsong and Medieval Music, 2 (1993), 36 (footnotes omitted)

Mark Everist studies the polyphonic chanson before Machaut in three articles: ‘The polyphonic “rondeau” c. 1300: repertory and context’, Early Music History, 15 (1996), 59–96

Motets, French tenors, and the polyphonic chanson ca. 1300’, Journal of Musicology, 24 (2007), 365–406

“Souspirant en terre estrainge”: the polyphonic rondeau from Adam de la Halle to Guillaume de Machaut’, Early Music History, 26 (2007), 1–42

Sarah Fuller , ‘Tendencies and resolutions: the directed progression in “ars nova” music’, Journal of Music Theory, 36 (1992), 240–6

Daniel Leech-Wilkinson , ‘Machaut’s Rose, lis and the problem of early music analysis’, Music Analysis, 3 (1984), 9–28

Lawrence Earp , ‘Machaut’s role in the production of manuscripts of his works’, Journal of the American Musicological Society, 42 (1989), 461–503

Paula Higgins , ‘Parisian nobles, a Scottish princess, and the woman’s voice in late medieval song’, Early Music History, 10 (1991), 145–200

Yolanda Plumley , ‘Citation and allusion in the late ars nova: the case of Esperance and the En attendant songs’, Early Music History, 18 (1999), 287–363

Planchart , ‘Guillaume Du Fay’s benefices and his relationship to the Court of Burgundy’, Early Music History, 8 (1988), 117–71

Craig Wright , ‘Dufay at Cambrai: discoveries and revisions’, Journal of the American Musicological Society, 28 (1975), 180

Andrew Wathey , ‘Dunstable in France’, Music and Letters, 67 (1986), 1–3

David Fallows , ‘The contenance angloise: English influence on Continental composers of the fifteenth century’, Renaissance Studies, 1 (1987), 189–208

Craig Wright , ‘Dufay’s Nuper rosarum flores, King Solomon’s temple, and the veneration of the Virgin’, Journal of the American Musicological Society, 47 (1994), 395–441

David Fallows , ‘French as a courtly language in fifteenth-century Italy: the musical evidence’, Renaissance Studies, 3 (1989), 429–41

Anne Walters Robertson , ‘The Savior, the woman, and the head of the dragon in the Caput Masses and motet’, Journal of the American Musicological Society, 59 (2006), 537–630

Anne Walters Robertson , ‘The man with the pale face, the shroud, and Du Fay’s Missa Se la face ay pale’, Journal of Musicology, 27 (2010), 377–434

Joshua Rifkin , ‘Scribal concordances for some Renaissance manuscripts in Florentine libraries’, Journal of the American Musicological Society, 26 (1973), 305–26

Frank Dobbins , ‘Lassus – borrower or lender’, Revue belge de musicologie, 39–40 (1985–6), 101–57

Frank Dobbins , ‘Music in French theatre of the late sixteenth century’, Early Music History, 13 (1994), 85–122

Andrew Kirkman , ‘The invention of the cyclic Mass’, Journal of the American Musicological Society, 54 (2001), 1–47

Don Fader , ‘The honnête homme as music critic: taste, rhetoric, and politesse in the 17th-century reception of Italian music’, Journal of Musicology, 20 (2003), 3–44

Peter Bennett , ‘Antoine Boësset’s sacred music for the royal abbey of Montmartre: newly identified polyphony and plain-chant musical from the “Deslauriers” manuscript (F-Pn Vma ms. rés. 571)’, Revue de musicologie, 91 (2005), 321–67

Don Fader , ‘The “Cabale du Dauphin”, Campra, and Italian comedy: the courtly politics of musical patronage around 1700’, Music and Letters, 86 (2005), 380–413

Jean-Paul C. Montagnier , ‘Royal peculiar: the music and patronage of Philippe of Orléans, Regent of France’, Musical Times, 148 (2007), 56

Jean-Paul Montagnier , ‘Le chant sur le livre au 18e siècle: les traités de Louis-Joseph Marchand et Henry Madin’, Revue de musicologie, 81 (1995), 37–63

Lowell Lindgren , ‘Parisian patronage of performers from the Royal Academy of Musick (1719–28)’, Music and Letters, 58 (1977), 17–24

Sylvette Milliot , ‘Le virtuose international’, Dix-huitième siècle, 25 (1993), 61

Graham Sadler questions when Rameau entered La Pouplinière’s circle of influence in ‘Patrons and pasquinades: Rameau in the 1730s’, Journal of the Royal Musical Association, 113 (1988), 314–37

Barry S. Brook , ‘The symphonie concertante: its musical and sociological bases’, International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music, 6 (1975), 9–28

Michele Cabrini , ‘Breaking form through sound: instrumental aesthetics, tempête, and temporality in the French Baroque cantata’, Journal of Musicology, 26 (2009), 327–78

Michele Cabrini , ‘Upstaging the voice: diegetic sound and instrumental interventions in the French Baroque cantata’, Early Music, 38 (2010), 74

Dorothy S. Packer , ‘“La Calotte” and the 18th-century French vaudeville’, Journal of the American Musicological Society, 23 (1970), 63

Graham Sadler , ‘Rameau’s harpsichord transcriptions from Les Indes galantes’, Early Music, 7 (1979), 18–24

Katharine Ellis , Music Criticism in Nineteenth-Century France: La revue et gazette musicale de Paris, 1834–80 (Cambridge University Press, 1995), 8

Otto Luening , ‘Varèse and the Schola Cantorum, Busoni and New York’, Contemporary Music Review, 23 (2004), 13

Alexandre Dratwicki , ‘Les “Envois de Rome” des compositeurs pensionnaires de la Villa Médicis, 1804–1914’, Revue de musicologie, 91 (2005), 99–193

Elisabeth Bernard , ‘Jules Pasdeloup et les concerts populaires’, Revue de musicologie, 57 (1971), 150–78

James Harding , ‘Paris: opera reigns supreme’, in Jim Samson (ed.), The Late Romantic Era: From the Mid-19th Century to World War I (London: Macmillan, 1991), 115–16

Teresa Davidian , ‘Debussy, d’Indy and the Société Nationale’, Journal of Musicological Research, 11 (1991), 286–7

Michel Duchesneau , ‘La musique française pendant la guerre de 1914–1918: autour de la tentative de fusion de la Société Nationale et de la Société Musicale Indépendante’, Revue de musicologie, 82 (1996), 123–53

Carlo Caballero , ‘Patriotism or nationalism? Fauré and the Great War’, Journal of the American Musicological Society, 52 (1999), 610–13

Andy Fry , ‘Beyond Le Boeuf: interdisciplinary rereadings of jazz in France’, review article, Journal of the Royal Musical Association, 128 (2003), 137–53

Richard Taruskin , ‘Review: Back to whom? Neoclassicism as ideology’, Nineteenth-Century Music, 16 (1993), 286–302

Barbara L. Kelly , ‘History and homage’, in Deborah Mawer (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Ravel (Cambridge University Press, 2000), 7–26

Nigel Simeone , ‘Group identities: La Spirale and La Jeune France’, Musical Times, 143 (autumn 2002), 10–36

Anthony Pople , Messiaen: Quatuor pour la fin du temps (Cambridge University Press, 1998), 7–11

Leslie A. Sprout , ‘Messiaen, Jolivet, and the soldier-composers of wartime France’, Musical Quarterly, 87 (2004), 259–304

Julien Mathieu , ‘Transgressions impossibles? L’avant-garde atonale et le champ musical parisien en 1954’, Vingtième siècle: revue d’histoire, 83 (2004), 40

Richard Toop , ‘Messiaen/ Goeyvaerts, Fano/ Stockhausen, Boulez’, Perspectives of New Music, 13 (1974), 141–69

Robert M. Isherwood , ‘Popular musical entertainment in eighteenth-century Paris’, International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music, 9 (1978), 305–6

Catherine Cessac , ‘Les jeux à l’honneur de la victoire d’Elisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre: premier opéra-ballet?’, Revue de musicologie, 81 (1995), 235–47

Rebecca Harris-Warrick , ‘Staging Venice’, Cambridge Opera Journal, 15 (2003), 297–316

Georgia Cowart , ‘Carnival in Venice or protest in Paris? Louis XIV and the politics of subversion at the Paris Opéra’, Journal of the American Musicological Society, 54 (2001), 265–302

Caroline Wood , ‘Orchestra and spectacle in the “tragédie en musique” 1673–1715: oracle, “sommeil” and “tempête”’, Proceedings of the Royal Musical Association, 108 (1981–2), 25–46

Judith Chazin-Bennahum , ‘Jean-Georges Noverre: dance and reform’, in Marion Kant (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Ballet (Cambridge University Press, 2007), 87–97

Edward Nye , ‘“Choreography” is narrative: the programmes of the eighteenth-century “ballet d’action”’, Journal of the Society for Dance Research, 26 (2008), 42–59

Downing A. Thomas , ‘Rameau’s Platée returns: a case of double identity in the Querelle des Bouffons’, Cambridge Opera Journal, 18 (2006), 1–19

Daniel Heartz , ‘The beginnings of the operatic romance: Rousseau, Sedaine, and Monsigny’, Eighteenth-Century Studies, 15 (1981–2), 149–78

Stefano Castelvecchi , ‘From Nina to Nina: psychodrama, absorption and sentiment in the 1780s’, Cambridge Opera Journal, 8 (1996), 91–112

Daniel Heartz , ‘Diderot et le Théâtre lyrique: le “nouveau stile” proposé par Le neveu de Rameau’, Revue de musicologie, 64 (1978), 229–52

Thomas Betzwieser , ‘Musical setting and scenic movement: chorus and chœur dansé in eighteenth-century Parisian Opéra’, Cambridge Opera Journal, 12 (2000), 1–28

Wayne Northcutt , ‘François Mitterrand and the political use of symbols: the construction of a centrist republic’, French Historical Studies, 17 (1991), 141–58

Richard Taruskin , ‘Sacred entertainments’, Cambridge Opera Journal, 15 (2003), 109–26

Hervé Lacombe , ‘De la différenciation des genres: réflexion sur la notion de genre lyrique français au début du XIXe siècle’, Revue de musicologie, 84 (1998), 247–62

Steven Huebner , ‘Opera audiences in Paris 1830–1870’, Music and Letters, 70 (1989), 206–25

Marian Smith , ‘Dance and dancers’, in David Charlton (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Grand Opera (Cambridge University Press, 2003), 103–4

Delphine Mordey , ‘Auber’s horses: l’année terrible and apocalyptic narratives’, Nineteenth-Century Music, 30 (2007), 213–29

James Parakilas , ‘The soldier and the exotic: operatic variations on a theme of racial encounter’, Opera Quarterly, 10/2 (1993), 33–56; 10/3 (1994), 43–69

Austin Caswell , ‘Mme Cinti-Damoreau and the embellishment of Italian opera in Paris: 1820–1845’, Journal of the American Musicological Society, 28 (1975), 459–92

Steven Huebner , ‘Italianate duets in Meyerbeer’s grand operas’, Journal of Musicological Research, 8 (1989), 203–56

Caroline Rae , ‘Maurice Ohana: iconoclast or individualist’, Musical Times, 132 (1991), 69–74

Yves Defrance , ‘Le kan ha diskan: à propos d’une technique vocale en Basse-Bretagne’, Cahiers de musiques traditionnelles, 4 (1991), 137–8

Luc Charles-Dominique , ‘La dimension culturelle et identitaire dans l’ethnomusicologie actuelle du domaine français’, Cahiers de musiques traditionnelles, 9 (1996), 280–2

Claudie Marcel-Dubois , ‘Ethnomusicologie de la France 1945–1959’, Acta musicologica, 32 (1960), 114

Jeffrey H. Jackson , ‘Making enemies: jazz in inter-war Paris’, French Cultural Studies, 10 (1999), 179–99

David Looseley and Pierre-Alexis Mével , ‘News from the Ministry of Culture’, French Cultural Studies, 22 (2011), 173–4

John Haines , Eight Centuries of Troubadours and Trouvères: The Changing Identity of Medieval Music (Cambridge University Press, 2004), 25

Joseph Goering and Randall Rosenfeld , ‘The tongue is a pen: Robert Grosseteste’s Dictum 54 and scribal technology’, Journal of Medieval Latin, 12 (2002), 119

John Haines , ‘Anonymous IV as an informant on the craft of music writing’, Journal of Musicology, 23 (2006), 389–90, 397–400

John Haines , ‘On ligaturae and their properties: medieval music notation as esoteric writing’, in John Haines (ed.), The Calligraphy of Medieval Music (Turnhout: Brepols, 2011), 203–22

Randall Rosenfeld , ‘Technologies for musical drafts, twelfth century and later’, Plainsong and Medieval Music, 11 (2002), 54

Kathy Krause and Alison Stones (eds), Gautier de Coinci: Miracles, Music and Manuscripts (Turnhout: Brepols, 2006)

Margot E. Fassler , ‘The office of the cantor in early Western monastic rules and customaries: a preliminary investigation’, Early Music History, 5 (1985), 48–51

Lizette Larson-Miller , ‘The liturgical inheritance of the late empire in the Middle Ages’, in Ian Christopher Levy , Gary Macy and Kristen Van Ausdall (eds), A Companion to the Eucharist in the Middle Ages (Leiden: Brill, 2011), 13–14

Eric Osborn , Irenaeus of Lyons (Cambridge University Press, 2001), 3–7

William E. Klingshirn , Caesarius of Arles: The Making of a Christian Community in Late Antique Gaul (Cambridge University Press, 1994), 20, 23–5

Susan Wood , The Proprietary Church in the Medieval West (Oxford University Press, 2006), 15–16

James McKinnon , The Advent Project: The Later-Seventh-Century Creation of the Roman Mass Proper (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000), 65

Danuta Shanzer , ‘Dating the baptism of Clovis: the bishop of Vienne versus the bishop of Tours’, Early Medieval Europe, 7 (1998), 29–57

William M. Daly , ‘Clovis: how barbaric, how pagan?’, Speculum, 69 (1994), 642

Anne Walters , ‘The reconstruction of the abbey church at St-Denis (1231–81): the interplay of music and ceremony with architecture and politics’, Early Music History, 5 (1985), 226

Archibald R. Lewis , ‘The dukes in the Regnum Francorum, A.D. 550–751’, Speculum, 51 (1976), 399–401, 406–7

James McKinnon , ‘The eighth-century Frankish-Roman communion cycle’, Journal of the American Musicological Society, 45 (1992), 196–9

Susan Boynton , Silent Music: Medieval Song and the Construction of History in Eighteenth-Century Spain (Oxford University Press, 2011), 41

Kenneth Levy , ‘Gregorian chant and the Romans’, Journal of the American Musicological Society, 56 (2003), 7–8, 35

Kenneth Levy , ‘Charlemagne’s archetype of Gregorian chant’, Journal of the American Musicological Society, 40 (1987), 1–2

Johannes Fried , Donation of Constantine and Constitutum Constantini: The Misinterpretation of a Fiction and its Original Meaning (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2007)

James Grier , ‘Adémar de Chabannes, Carolingian musical practices, and nota romana’, Journal of the American Musicological Society, 56 (2003), 43–98

Mack P. Holt , ‘Patterns of clientèle and economic opportunity at court during the Wars of Religion: the household of François, Duke of Anjou’, French Historical Studies, 13 (1984), 308

Peter Bennett , ‘Collaborations between the Musique de la Chambre and the Musique de la Chapelle at the court of Louis XIII: Nicolas Formé’s Missa Æternae Henrici Magni (1638) and the origins of the grand motet’, Early Music, 38 (2010), 370–2.

Jeanice Brooks , ‘O quelle armonye: dialogue singing in late Renaissance France’, Early Music History, 22 (2003), 1–65

David Potter and P. R. Roberts , ‘An Englishman’s view of the court of Henri III, 1584–1585: Richard Cook’s “Description of the court of France”’, French History, 2 (1988), 340–1

Georgia Cowart , ‘Sense and sensibility in eighteenth-century musical thought’, Acta musicologica, 56 (1984), 252–3

Charles Dill , Monstrous Opera: Rameau and the Tragic Tradition (Princeton University Press, 1998)

Mark Evan Bonds , Wordless Rhetoric: Musical Form and the Metaphor of the Oration (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1991)

Mark Everist (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Medieval Music (Cambridge University Press, 2011)

Yolanda Plumley , The Art of Grafted Song: Citation and Allusion in the Age of Machaut (Oxford University Press, 2013)

Howard Mayer Brown , Music in the French Secular Theater, 1400–1550 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1963)

Kate Van Orden , ‘Children’s voices: singing and literacy in sixteenth-century France’, Early Music History, 25 (2006), 209–56

David Hennebelle , ‘Nobles, musique et musiciens à Paris à la fin de l’Ancien Régime: les transformations d’un patronage séculaire (1760–1780)’, Revue de musicologie, 87 (2001), 395–417

Jean-Paul C. Montagnier , ‘Catholic church music in France’, in Simon P. Keefe (ed.), The Cambridge History of Eighteenth-Century Music (Cambridge University Press, 2009), 113–26

Jim Samson (ed.), The Late Romantic Era: From the Mid-19th Century to World War I (London: Macmillan, 1991)

Leslie Sprout , The Musical Legacy of Wartime France (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2013)

Glenn Watkins , Pyramids at the Louvre: Music, Culture, and Collage from Stravinsky to the Postmodernists (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1994)

Georgina Born , Rationalizing Culture: IRCAM, Boulez, and the Institutionalization of the Musical Avant-Garde (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995)

James R. Anthony , ‘The French opera-ballet in the early 18th century: problems of definition and classification’, Journal of the American Musicological Society, 18 (1965), 197–206

Julian Rushton , ‘The theory and practice of Piccinnisme’, Proceedings of the Royal Musical Association, 98 (1971–2), 31–46

Mark Everist , Music Drama at the Paris Odéon, 1824–1828 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002)

Eric Drott , Music and the Elusive Revolution: Cultural Politics and Political Culture in France, 1968–1981 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011)

Stuart Green , and Isabelle Marc , ‘European popular musics: a polycentric dialogue’, special issue, Journal of European Popular Culture (2013)

Rachel Haworth , ‘The stuff of legend: examining media representations of the Brassens-Brel-Ferré myths’, Contemporary French Civilization, 36 (2011), 19–32

John Haines , ‘The origins of the musical staff’, Musical Quarterly, 91 (2009), 327–78

John Haines (ed.), The Calligraphy of Medieval Music (Turnhout: Brepols, 2011)

Downing Thomas , Music and the Origins of Language: Theories from the French Enlightenment (Cambridge University Press, 1995)

Jacqueline Waeber , ‘Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s “unité de mélodie”’, Journal of the American Musicological Society, 62 (2009), 79–143

Jacqueline Waeber (ed.), ‘Rousseau in 2013: afterthoughts on a tercentenary’, Journal of the American Musicological Society, 66 (2013), 251–95

Jann Pasler , ‘Paris: conflicting notions of progress’, in Jim Samson (ed.), The Late Romantic Era: From the Mid-19th Century to World War I (London: Macmillan, 1991), 389–416


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