Short assessed essay questions
Choose one of these questions if you are taking assessment method C (50% essay and 50% exam). Write 2000-2500 words on ONE of the topics below.
1. Examine the relationship between sound and image in the work of any ONE OR MORE artists studied on the module.
2. What is the role and importance of the French language in popular musical culture in France? Answer with reference to ONE OR MORE examples of popular music studied on the module.
3. To what extent can meaning be fixed in popular music and how important is this meaning in determining the value and popularity of the music? Answer with reference to any ONE OR MORE of the artists studied on the module.
4. How have technological developments transformed the production and consumption of popular music in France? Answer with reference to AT LEAST TWO periods or genres of French pop music.
5. ‘The development of popular music in France over the past century has entailed a gradual but unmistakeable shift away from the authentic values of French culture.’ To what extent is this a fair assessment of French pop music? Answer with reference to the periods and genres of your choice.
Long assessed essay questions
If you are taking assessment method A (100% assessed essay), you must write ONE essay of 4000-5000 words. You may choose your own essay title in consultation with the module tutor or write on one of the topics proposed below. Essay titles must be approved by the examinations sub-committee no later than Friday of week 8 in the spring term. Essay titles should be modelled on the format of scholarly articles and not examination questions i.e. your title might be 'The social significance of Georges Brassens's songwriting' but not 'Discuss the social signficance of Brassens's songwriting' and not 'To what extent can Brassens's songwriting be seen to have a social significance?' Use the titles below as a guide to forming your own title.
1. From Édith Gassion to La Môme Piaf: The cross-fertilisation of life and legend in the music of Édith Piaf.
2. The eclipse of politics by misanthropy in the songs of Georges Brassens and Jacques Brel.
3. The role of the biopic in mythologizing French singers: the examples of La Môme and Gainsbourg (Vie héroïque).
4. The role of music video in the development of Mylène Farmer’s star persona.
5. The Frenchness of World Music: The role of France and the French language in developing world music markets.
6. Rap, slam and the ambiguous inheritance of chanson française.
7. A b(r)and without a face: The robot music of Daft Punk.
8. A critical survey of the French radioscape.
You should note that in the examination for this module, you will not be permitted to answer a question relating to material on which you have submitted an assessed essay.