Journal article

Chanteurs de rue, or street singers in early modern France

Una McIlvenna

Renaissance Studies | Wiley | Published : 2019


The impression one tends to have about the profession of the street singer in early modern France is of one voice struggling to be heard amongst a cacophony of other ambulant sellers crying their goods for sale. This vision is encouraged by the centuries-old genre of the 'cris de Paris', immortalised in verse as early as the thirteenth century. This paper outlines in greater detail the figure of the chanteur de rue in the early modern period, from eye-witness accounts (more plentiful for the eighteenth century), from pictorial evidence, and from clues within the songs themselves. There is evidence to suggest that different types of songs were performed by different types of singers, with the..

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