What is chanson, the history of chanson
"Under this song, we first met our eyes ... This melody will forever remain for me a memory of our first kiss ... Do you remember how we danced at the graduation to these rhythms?" A song is a memory. Hearing your favorite tunes, we cry and smile, fly away into the past, to once again feel the full range of emotions of past events. A song is a life made in 7 notes. This is especially vivid when you listen to a chanson. The fate of this musical genre is full of incredible moments and discoveries that we propose to learn right now.
On the vicissitudes of cultures
If you ask a Russian person what a chanson is, then he will most likely answer: "Blatant songs." Yes, the Russian reality has left its mark on the perception of this genre. But this opinion is far from the truth. Say out loud the word chanson. Soft, gentle, melodious, it is in no way associated with the rough "blatnyak."
Home of chanson - France. From French, the word is translated as a folk song. Given the culture of the country in which this genre originated, it is easy to guess that chanson is characterized by romanticism. Let's see how the history of this musical direction began.
This sounds unbelievable, but its roots are chanson in the 12th century. At that time truwer or lyrical poets began to appear in France. They composed poems in which they sang the most touching feeling - love. The work of Truveri described simple plots, which is typical of folk poetry. The lyrics were superimposed on the music, under which the people sang and danced. The songs were polyphony. Several people sang them at once, delighting those around them with their works.
In the following centuries, the storyline was enriched with knightly and religious motives, in general, life around changed - songs changed as well. Originally, the chanson was faceless. Find any records of the first chanson impossible. Later, the poems were recorded with attribution of authorship. One of the earliest representatives of the genre is Guillaume de Macho.
As a music genre, chanson was formed only by the end of the 19th century. Folk art led performers in ... cabaret. It was here that the French enjoyed the touching and exciting melodies that were inextricably linked with the lyric poems.
Speaking about the early development of chanson, it is impossible not to recall Aristide Bruin. He performed in the famous cabaret "Black Cat" and was known not only for his songs, but also in a memorable way: Aristide always performed in a black coat, over which a long red scarf was thrown over. It is worth noting that he wrote in Parisian argot, a specific language of a certain closed group, with his vocabulary and phonetics.
The second iconic figure is Jeanne-Florentin Bourgeois. This romantic singer appeared under the pseudonym of Mystenget. She had the opportunity to participate in the show of the famous Moulin Rouge cabaret, which she became artistic director in 1925. The most famous song of Bourgeois was written under the influence of feelings: parting with Maurice Chevalier led to the creation of "Monhomme", which is well known to fans of French chanson.
Music is not static. It changes under the influence of new trends. At the beginning of the 20th century, jazz rhythms began to conquer the world. They sounded uneasy everywhere. They created a new culture, introduced something new to the already established musical trends. As a result, an updated chanson, in which jazz motifs clearly sounded, and interesting duos. Thus, the famous French chanson Charles Trenet performed with jazz pianist Johnny Hess. The duet "Charles and Johnny" pleased the audience for three years. The first concerts were given in 1933, the last - in 1936. Why did the musicians stop cooperating? It's simple. In 1936, Charles Trenet was drafted into the army, where he wrote the most heartfelt and lyrical songs, not without the participation of jazz rhythms.
By the way, the beginning of the 20th century is remarkable not only by the influence of other musical directions on the development of chanson, but also by the release of this genre beyond the cabaret. Melodious songs begin to perform in concert halls.
The cabaret style suggests lightness and a certain comic that was noted in French songs of that period. Chanson lost its amusing, entertaining character after the Second World War. The tragic events that swept across Europe did not pass without a trace for the world of music. For songwriting, chansons choose deeper, more profound plots, which, in combination with the corresponding music, force them to reconsider their views on this genre. The character of the chanson becomes serious. Performing authors affect the lives of ordinary people in songs, express dissatisfaction with the authorities. Sometimes they do it boldly and boldly. This is typical, for example, for the work of Boris Vian.
After the war, Georges Brassin begins to speak. His work is remarkable in that he did not write his own poems. Georges composed melodies to verses by Victor Hugo, Antoine Paul, Francoise Villon and other poets.
Post-war time is associated with another name in the history of French chanson - with the name Edith Piaf. She begins to actively tour it from the mid 40s. And there are those who do not know that the popular songs "Non, jeneregretterien" or "Padam ... Padam ..." - this is a chanson. Thanks to Edith Piaf chanson of this period gets the name "female".
The second half of the 20th century is, in some way, a new flowering of the genre that gave the world Joe Dassin, Iva montana, Charles Aznarvour, Enrico Macias, Lara Fabian, Dalida, Mireille Mathieu and other performers. It is difficult to find a person who, at least casually, did not hear "Une Vie D'amour", "Les Champs-Élysées", "Pardone moi" or "La vie en rose". Even without knowing the language, you understand that these love songs are feelings that you want to experience again and again. Is it any wonder the popularity of classic French chanson in the present days? Not.
Modern chanson is characterized by two ways. On the one hand, the performers adhere to the traditions of the genre, and record companies release CDs with hits of the past decades, on the other hand, there is a fusion with electronic music, such as in the work of Benjamin Biol, and other areas. So, mix genres prefer Isabelle Geffroy, Camille Dalme. This is the so-called "new chanson", characteristic of the French youth. In any case, the genre does not lose its charm, thrill and romanticism, which captivates the hearts of music lovers around the world.
Originating as a folk or folk genre, chanson has undergone significant changes. He experienced the influence of social events, various musical trends. He became more professional and flawless. Medieval and new chanson - these are two different concepts, united by one foundation. We will talk about what it is.
And yet, what is a chanson?
Chanson is a national trait of French culture. The main principle of this genre is that the song is usually performed by the author himself. In this case, the music is inseparable from the text, which is a certain plot. Each song is a peculiar story with its own emotions and images.
We list the features of French chanson, to better understand this genre:
Realism - in other words, these are songs about life. If you trace the biographies of famous chanson, then it is not difficult to single out one pattern: the performers shift their lives, their successes and misfortunes, successes and losses to the notes. It turns out that the songs are “charged” with real, sincere emotions, which captivates millions of fans;
poetry. For classical chanson, the prevalence of text over music is characteristic. The latter acts as a frame. The musical accompaniment emphasizes the emotional component, creating a harmonious piece;
content and depth of the text. Light texts that do not carry deep feelings and thoughts, usually with a stretch, are attributed to the chanson, because this genre has a different direction. Lightness is more typical for pop songs. The boundaries between these genres are very conditional, but this does not prevent us from calling contemporary French artists chansonnies, albeit with a stretch. By the way, abroad chanson is called to name all French-speaking singers.
Realism, poetry and pithiness - this is the foundation that has not changed since the days of truwer. Whatever happens to the music, palm holds the text. It is he who is given special attention in classic chanson.
Is there a Russian chanson?
It is a mistake to assume that the so-called "Russian chanson" originated in the early 90s. Its development came at the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th centuries. At this time, the Russian singers, under the influence of a melodious French song, sang romances. A little later, they began to be associated with folk songs, they began to sound the flavor of urban culture, for example, of Odessa and St. Petersburg, and national. Not passed by the Russian chanson and restaurant life. The main component of the song was the semantic load, like the French.
It turns out that the chanson in our way is a combination of disparate cultures in one genre. This includes city romances, bard songs and the very “blatnyak”. But why did the latter become so clearly associated with the Russian chanson?
The substitution of concepts occurred in the early 90s. Crisis, unemployment, high crime growth - that was how Russia lived at that time. It is not surprising that music from bondage began to fill the public consciousness. To increase sales of thieves of songs, producers began to call them chanson in the French manner. Still, the “Russian chanson” sounds much more harmonious and more beautiful than the “blatnyak”. In place of refined and soulful songs, music of dubious quality about life behind bars has come.
Music researchers recommend sharing thieves, bard songs and romances. Despite the common component - plot - these are different genres that characterize Russian culture. And the chanson was and remains French, which does not prevent us from enjoying touching and exciting compositions with a specific accent.
The future of French chanson is drawn in different ways. Some believe that it may well displace pop music, others believe that the genre is lost against the background of modern sounds. You can argue and understand who is right and who is not, for a long time. Instead, it is better to include the recordings of French artists and plunge into the world of their own experiences and emotions. After all, it was for this that the chanson was created.