Professional / Music Essay


The French Music

Music can influence our society culturally, socially, ethically, and emotionally. While being incredibly powerful, it is also a mechanism that has a tremendous impact on us, our state of mind including thoughts and belief systems. Consequently, in a wide range of social interactions, it has generally been active.

French music is extensive and diverse, ranging from the early classical symphonies to the later days of Edith Piaf. France has a rich tradition of art. It is the cradle of numerous cultural and social movements and is host to different musical styles. In 1857, Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville invented the world's earliest known sound recording system, the phonautograph, in France.

French music refers to the genres of classical, folk and contemporary music in France. They vary from ancient traditional music to new century, contemporary, new street hip-hop, and also include well-known genres like chanson and popular composers like Georges Bizet.

French music originates from France as well as many other European countries, Africa and North America. Although French songs from France are by far the most known, many French-speaking parts of the world also have a strong pop music heritage. French is spoken throughout the globe and many international artists are contributing to French culture.

Popular Genres of French Music

The long history of French music began with courteous poetry and court songs starting from the 10th century. Much of the ancient music of France was instrumental and with few and basic instruments; however, there was a community of composers who started their activity around the tenth century. From this point forward, France had an esteemed musical history, spanning from opera to classical, and twentieth-century rock and pop.

Classical music

From the earliest known pieces of the 10th century, French classical music extends to today's current compositions. It combines music in complex symphonies from various musical instruments. Lyrics are also used occasionally.

First of all, French classical music gained popularity among nobles and wealthy families. However, it was during the nineteenth-century Romantic era that this genre gained far more publicity. Great contemporary composers have produced famous pieces that have gained international attention and are still revered. Most notable among others were Maurice Ravel and the composer, Claude Debussy.


Operas began in Italy but gained access during the seventeenth century into France. They soon became famous among the elite of Paris. Operas blend lyrical singing with an instrumental backdrop and theater performances.

Beautiful theaters have been built to house opera productions in Paris and many other major cities in France. French opera became internationally popular during the 19th century after great composers such as Georges Bizet produced worldwide masterpieces that are still admired. Carmen is one of his most famous pieces.


Cabaret is another form of musical entertainment. It incorporates music with dance and also performance in the theater. Normally the audience eats and drinks while they enjoy the show. It emerged in the 16th century and gained popularity during the French Belle Époque (a time characterized by peace and much prosperity between 1871 and 1914), especially in the Montmartre district of Paris. Probably the best-known cabaret venue is the Moulin Rouge located in Paris, France. Inaugurated in 1889, it immortalized the cabaret shows and also the notable can-can dancing, featuring women clothed in big skirts and lifting their legs high.


Chanson is a French word meaning 'song' but it is, in reality, a genre of music that emerged into the limelight in the late 1940s and early 1950. It is distinguished by very dramatic sounds, complex words and typically an instrumental backdrop ensemble. In modern France, it is still very common.


While hip hop is a gender of American music and most of the famous singers are American, France is also another pioneer country where Hip Hop has evolved in great strength. Many French Hip hop singers come from France's poor urban areas, this first started in 1979.

Pop Music

French pop music is common in Europe; its genre originated from the fusion of yé-ýe and modern-day rock music. English pop music inspired most French pop singers. Pop music also has many well-known singers including Alizée, Cerena, and Natasha Bedingfield, although not as famous in America as in France, their songs are great, and they have received several music awards.

Music and the French Society

Modern music became a crucial part of the socio-cultural revolution in France during the 1960s and 1970s as the music industry became essentially relevant, both culturally and economically, in reaction to demographic trends and the emergence of modern media. Before and after May 1968, as France began to question traditional ways of approaching politics and culture, music as mainstream culture became an important component of rapidly growing media activity.

There is a policy in France that radio broadcasters must ensure that not less than 40% of the music they play is in French. That ensures that radio stations can't play as part of their allocation only American music or any other foreign music (unless it is trendy music in French). The result of this French radio regulation is that in France there is a rapidly expanding music industry.

Regardless of the language barrier that people from other parts of the world may experience, there is a vibrant culture of music in France. The determination of the French to preserve their language has served popular culture well, and this results in them having new talents coming to the music scene continuously. While in several other European countries English music is the most common type on the radioThe French Music, many people complain that local music culture is depleting; it seems there is no fear of that happening in France.

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