Panat in postcardThe Ranums'

Panat Times

Volume 1, redone Dec. 2014


Volume 1


Orest's Pages

Patricia's Musings



Musical Rhetoric

Transcribed Sources


"La Musique Françoise" — à prononcer comme le prénom féminin?
 — to be pronounced like the woman's name?

Some doubts about a so-called historical pronunciation of French

Several times last summer (2001)I heard, on France Musiques radio, young musicians, native Frenchmen and French women, correct the person interviewing them about French music of the 17th and 18th centuries. "Ah, no," these musicians would assert with utter certainty, "you should say la Musique Françoise" (pronounced like the woman's name).

It is painful to see such an enormous error spread through France and take root! It would be a great idea for these musicians — who are not only bad musicologists but also bad historians of their native tongue — to consult a few grammar books published during those centuries. If they did, they would learn that when one used François or Françoise to talk about something "French" — French Academy, French Musique, or a "loyal Frenchman" — the word was pronounced as if it were written with a a: Français, Française. On the other hand, the names François or Françoise were pronounced as they were written: "Franswa," "Franswaze" (or, if you insist on sounding a bit archaic, "Fransweh" or "Fransweze").