Iconic French Singers of the 20th Century

Course Leaders
Day of Week: Thursday
Course Length: 5 weeks
Starting: 11/04/2021
Ending: 12/09/2021
Period of Day: Period 1
Course Fee: $50.00
Standard period time.

Course Description:

Most Americans have heard of Edith Piaf and Jacques Brel (Belgian), but few know of the most popular and significant French singers of the last century. Some of these are cultural icons, as important in France as Bob Dylan is in the US. Some are revered for the poetry of their lyrics, others for their inimitable singing style or their humor. In addition to discussing Piaf and Brel, we will include Georges Brassens, who is perhaps the most significant French singer of the second half of the 20th century, Charles Aznavour and Yves Montand, both of whom had beautiful voices, and Bobby Lapointe, who was a master of clever and humorous lyrics. Serge Gainsbourg (the father of actress Charlotte Gainsbourg) is in a category of his own, with poetic lyrics and idiosyncratic music. The course is intended above all to be fun, and will include videos, information on the lives of the singers, and translations of their lyrics. No knowledge of French is needed!

The class will be a mixture of lecture, short videos, and discussion; weekly preparation will be about 1 hour, with readings, some songs, and short videos.

Books and Other Resources:

Song lyrics and any other needed materials will be sent by email.

Course Leader Bio(s)

Daniele Bick

Daniele was raised in France. She received a medical degree at the University of Grenoble, and has practiced psychiatry in the Boston area. Dany is an aficionado of the singers to be presented in the course. She is excited to share her enthusiasm with you.

Ron Bick

Ron was born in Cleveland, studied molecular biology in college, then attended medical school. He practiced as a radiologist in the Boston area, and retired in June 2020. While he has no formal musical training, he has shared these songs with Dany for many years, and, like her, is delighted to share with you his love of them.