Musette – Mmm Mmm Good!

muse8  Musette, like baguettes, is a French creation that is satisfying and delicious. It’s a kind of music usually performed by accordions, guitars, and maybe a violin.

Jeannette   Guy Viseur et Son Ensemble


muse4 Flambee Montalbanaise   Minvielle/Varis

The word originally denoted a small bagpipe-like instrument, which got together with a Hurdy Gurdy in late 19th century France and decided to have a party. Wine was served over checkered tablecloths, mustaches were twirled, skirts were gathered, and there was a lot of wonderful dancing and romance. It was kind of a bohemian thing and sometimes involved police. There were variations made especially for certain dances – tango musettes, waltz musettes, paso musettes, and one called, Java, that may or may not have featured coffee.

muse7  La Vraie Valse Musette  Cafe Accordion Orchestra

There were heroes of Musette, notably Martin Cayla, Emile Vacher, Charles Peguri, and Guy Visuer, who helped create the accordion-jazz style known as manouche that led to Django and hot jazz. The music lived in cabarets, bars, and nightclubs and eventually was displace by the premature tremors of rock and roll.

muse3   Indifféerance   Tony Murena

Thanks to recordings and curiosity there has been a revival and new appreciation of this style of music that extends what’s come before and and is taking it to unexplored territory. Richard Galliano is one the best know proponents and adventurers.

gall2 gall1  A French Touch   Richard Galliano

About Ted Ringer

I am a writer, artist, and listener. Great music is everywhere and has no limits. Some of it is well-orchestrated and some is short and sweet. It can spring out of a moment of deep feeling or result from long periods of development. Music is communication, inspiration, and a million other things. This blog wants to share the wealth and keep toes tapping.
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