French music evolves through years

Jessica MacIntosh

Ending the France Semester lectures on a note, music filled Phinney Recital Hall for the last Brown Bag Luncheon Nov. 15.

Dr. Cheryl Cifelli, assistant professor of music, gave a presentation on “The Golden Age of French Music: Does It Belong in the Past or the Present?” discussing how France has become the location for music development. She also gave a live performance displaying how the music has changed and the direction in which it has gone.

Discussing music beginning in the early eleventh century and ending with Avant-garde, Cifelli said the French like to go for the avant-garde music.

“It’s actually more what they like to do,” she said.

Isaac Murphy, sophomore pre-med major, said French music has a different flavor.

“It’s still music, but it’s a different type of music,” Murphy said.

Murphy said he has been playing the violin for approximately 15 years.

“It’s different than what I have been used to,” he said.

Amanda Morris, freshman music education major, said she finds the music interesting.

“It’s a lot of fun to play,” she said. “It’s different than anything I’ve ever played before. It’s different styles.”

Cifelli said with the direction French music has taken, the French monasteries figured out a way to write the music down on paper.

“With it, they were able to break into their own compositional style,” she said

Cifelli said the direction the music was going started in approximately 1250 and continued.

“Their whole idea is based on rhythm,” she said. “They really like the interplay of the rhythm.”

Cifelli said when she went to mass at Notre Dame in Paris, she heard music that was “different.”

“It was from a really early point to a really late point,” she said. “It’s like ‘Whoa, where did that come from?'”

Cifelli said music like she heard at Notre Dame is not something heard like the 20th century organ pieces in church.

“It just wouldn’t happen,” she said. “It was very effective. It definitely got your attention.”

Cifelli said French musicians will continue to evolve.

“Will they start to integrate more,” she said. “They probably got it covered because in France they have the system. People do this and people do that. It seems to work for them.”

Cifelli said French music is much different than music in the United States.

“All of us do the classical and the romantic,” she said, “and we hardly ever get into the avant-garde and the post avant-garde.”