Chanson

11761 mots 48 pages
Chanson
(Fr.: ‘song’).
Any lyric composition set to French words; more specifically, a French polyphonic song of the late Middle Ages and Renaissance. In a general sense the word ‘chanson’ refers to a wide variety of compositions: the monophonic songs of the Middle Ages (see Troubadours, trouvères); court songs of the late 16th and 17th centuries ( see Air de cour); popular songs of the streets, cafés and music halls in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries (see Chanson pour boire; Vaudeville; Pastourelle; Bergerette (ii); Brunette); art songs of the 19th and 20th centuries (Mélodie); as well as to folksongs (‘chanson populaire’ or ‘chant folklorique’). The term is sometimes used in its more specific sense to refer only to those 15th- and 16th-century polyphonic songs that do not set poems in one of the formes fixes (see Rondeau (i); Virelai; Ballade (i)), but in this article it is taken in a somewhat broader context to mean any polyphonic song with French text written from about the time of Machaut to the end of the 16th century.
1. Origins to about 1430.
2. 1430 to about 1525.
3. 1525 to the mid-16th century.
4. The second half of the 16th century.
BIBLIOGRAPHY
HOWARD MAYER BROWN/DAVID FALLOWS (1–2), HOWARD MAYER BROWN/RICHARD FREEDMAN (3–4), NIGEL WILKINS/DAVID FALLOWS (bibliography to 1450), HOWARD MAYER BROWN/DAVID FALLOWS, RICHARD FREEDMAN (bibliography after 1450)

1. Origins to about 1430.
Extensive collections of monophonic songs by trouvères and troubadours survive from the 13th century, and secular songs sometimes appear in one of the upper parts of a 13th-century motet, combined with other texts in French or Latin and set over a tenor derived from plainchant (or, rarely, from a song or dance). But polyphonic compositions in which all the voices sing the same lyrical poem (or where the top line, intended to be sung, is accompanied by one or two newly invented subordinate lines) are extremely rare before the middle of the 14th century. Guillaume de

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