Chanson: The French Singer-Songwriter from Aristide Bruant to the Present Day

Hardcover (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $95.00
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 23%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (3) from $95.00   
  • New (1) from $224.53   
  • Used (2) from $95.00   
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any coupons and promotions
Seller since 2015

Feedback rating:



New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

Brand New Item.

Ships from: Chatham, NJ

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Sort by


"The significance of chanson and its unique position in French culture is explored in this book. Focusing on the development of the singer-songwriter over the last 100 years, Peter Hawkins discusses in detail the contribution of the major practitioners of the genre, from Aristide Bruant in the late nineteenth century to the emergence in the 1990s of French rap in the form of MC Solaar. This succession of artists has elevated chanson to its full status as an artistic expression, embracing new technologies as they emerge such as the phonograph, radio, film, television, computerized music and video. More than a survey of a popular music genre, the book is a case-history of the adaptation of an ancient form to the demands of today's mass media." "In addition to discussion of individual performers, Hawkins tackles the difficulties of establishing an appropriate discourse for the discussion of chanson, and looks at the potential contributions of forms of literary theory, film criticism and sexual politics. Moreover, the book offers of sociology of chanson, the first time such a study has been undertaken for French popular music." "Well illustrated, and with select bibliographies, discographies and videographies for each of the artists discussed, this book is a gateway to the genre of chanson to which all future studies will need to refer."--BOOK JACKET.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Edith Piaf will be the most well known of the singers surveyed in this serious study of French song, a phenomenon that Hawkins (French, U. of Bristol, UK) characterizes as a central expression of French national identity that is nonetheless barely recognized officially. The text explores the roots and complex theoretical paradigms to be drawn from this art form in a lengthy introduction before turning to the development of the singer-songwriter of the last 100 years, each of those featured appearing in their own chapter with discography and videography. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780754601029
  • Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 12/1/2000
  • Series: Ashgate Popular and Folk Music Series
  • Pages: 246
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

List of figures
Pt. I A little theory goes a long way
1 What is chanson? 3
2 How do you write about chanson? 10
3 What is not chanson: some fine distinctions 23
4 The gender of the genre 35
5 The psycho-anthropology of everyday chanson 51
6 The Frenchness of chanson 59
Pt. II Practice makes perfect
7 Precursors 67
8 The charm of Charles Trenet 85
9 Charles Aznavour: a sentimental realist 95
10 Leo Ferre: creating a space for transgression 104
11 Georges Brassens: the appropriation of a literary heritage 124
12 Jacques Brel: the dramatic synthesis 137
13 Barbara: performing the feminine 150
14 Serge Gainsbourg: how to win by cheating 158
Pt. III Innovation and renovation: the Nouvelle chanson francaise
15 Bernard Lavilliers: carrying World Music on the shoulders 169
16 Renaud: the apotheosis of satire, parody and slang 178
17 Alain Souchon and Laurent Voulzy: Lennon and McCartney are alive and well and working in Paris 189
18 Michel Jonasz: a personal fusion 199
19 MC Solaar: a gardener of words 204
20 From one fin de siecle to another 213
Select bibliography and discography 221
Index 227
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)