French Music

French Music
  • Medieval music
  • Renaissance music
  • 17th, 18th and 19th century music
  • 20th century music

Renaissance Music in France

During the 15th and 16th centuries, the most important musical forms included motets (that had evolved a great deal and was very different to the medieval motet) and the music used during Mass.

The musical center shifted from Paris to Burgundy and by the late 15th century, composers of other parts of Europe began taking on more prominent roles in European music.

French composers during this time included Jean Mouton and Pierre Certon; their music, however, was eclipsed by Flemish and Italian composers. The most significant contribution by the French during this time was the chanson.

The 16th century saw the Reformation take place in France, as Calvinism began spreading across Europe. During this period only spiritual music was allowed; only songs of French translations of the Psalms were permitted.