n. 1 A book which contains a collection of chansons. 2 A singer of chansons.
A chansonnier (, , Galician and , , ) is a manuscript or printed book which contains a collection of chansons, or polyphonic and monophonic settings of songs, hence literally "song-books," although some manuscripts are so called even though they preserve the text but not the music (for example, the Cancioneiro da Vaticana and Cancioneiro da Biblioteca Nacional, which contain the bulk of Galician-Portuguese lyric). The most important chansonniers contain lyrics, poems and songs of the troubadours and trouvères of the Middle Ages. Prior to 1420, many song-books contained both sacred and secular music, one exception being those containing the work of Guillaume de Machaut. Around 1420, sacred and secular music was segregated into separate sources, with large choirbooks containing sacred music, and smaller chansonniers for more private use by the privileged. Chansonniers were compiled primarily in France, but also in Italy, Germany and in the Iberian peninsula.
A chansonnier (female: chansonnière) was a poet songwriter, solitary singer, who sang his or her own songs ( chansons) with a guitar in Quebec, Canada, during the 1960s and 1970s. Compared to the popular singer, the chansonnier needs no artifice to sing his/her soul poetry. They performed in «Les Boites à Chansons». which were flourishing in those years. The themes of their songs varied but included nature, love, simplicity, and a social interest to improve their world. The chansonnier made way for social and political awareness during the Quiet Revolution, (La Révolution Tranquille) that led to the affirmation of Quebecers' National identity.