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Organs of the Soul:

Sonic Networks in Eighteenth-Century Paris

Rebecca Geoffroy-Schwinden, Author

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From Opera to Outdoors

Although today we commonly associate opera music with high art, the boundaries between opera and popular song were incredibly porous in eighteenth-century Paris, particularly due to the rising popularity of vaudevilles over the course of the century. When François Devienne's Les Visitandines became a revolutionary success in the early 1790s (linked here is an expanded 1793 version), the airs he composed for the opera quickly became refashioned as popular tunes that could be set to new, politically topical lyrics.  The new lyrics, "The liberty of our colonies," were set to Devienne's exceedingly popular  in a revolutionary songbook for year 3 of the Revolution dedicated to, among other forefathers of the Revolution, Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

Violin: Sarah K. Griffin
Production: Jamie Keesecker

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