French Village Choir


Figure 1.--.

In addition to the more serious choirs discussed in HBC, there were also many small village choirs that provided musical accompaniment to Sunday services. These choirs did not persue choral music to the same extent as the more serious choirs nor did they usually have a choir mater with muical training. HBC is not sure how the boys in these village choirs would have dressed. A HBC reader writes, "Your site is incredibly informative and I'm hoping you can help clarify something for me. I'm working on a film that has a scene set on Christmas eve in 1967 in a small village in the Loire Valley. The costume designer is wondering what might the choir boys be wearing here? I showed her pictures of the white cassocks, the ecclesiastical robes and the knickers and socks that choir boys in France wore. She liked the ecclesiastical robes best, but was concerned they might not be common in a small villages. Another concern was whether these would be used on Christmas eve. Could you confirm if these robes would have be used in a small village on Christmas eve 1967? And could you make any suggestions for alternatives to these robes?" HBC is not sure just what may have been worn by the boys in a small village choir. We will, however, be pleased to look into how the boys in such a choir would have been dressed.

Village Choirs Unlikely

A European reader reports the following. Small French villages don't have boy choirs. Usually a small church choir would be composed of adults from the village and surrounding rural area. To form a boys' choir you need a substantial number of inhabitants with a lot of children to select from. Becoming a young chorister requires a nice voice and willingness to devote a substantial amount of time for practice and musical education. Then you need many adults to train and supervise the boys. These things you don't have in a small village.

Petits Chanteurs la Croix de Bois (PCCB)

Most boy choirs in France are derived or inspired by the Petits Chanteurs la Croix de Bois (PCCB) or Little singers with the wooden cross which nis discussed in HBC.

Christmas Service

The chroristers in one of the Petits Chanteurs choirs for a Christmas Eve religious ceremony would undoubtedly be dressed in long white cassocks going down to feet, therefore avoiding problem of pants and socks. These were bought in specialised shops, not done by mothers.






Christopher Wagner





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Created: November 2, 1998
Last updated: March 28, 2002