What sort of music does Leonard Cohen play?

General discussion about Leonard Cohen's songs and albums
oh-gosh
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Marianne Faithfull

Postby oh-gosh » Fri Sep 17, 2010 2:21 pm

Leonard likes the music of Marianne Faithfull, that I know. But what else???
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Mabeanie1
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Re: What sort of music does Leonard Cohen play?

Postby Mabeanie1 » Fri Sep 17, 2010 4:00 pm

Oh-gosh - you are beginning to look very familiar.
holydove
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Re: What sort of music does Leonard Cohen play?

Postby holydove » Fri Sep 17, 2010 10:27 pm

Re: the "European" influence in Leonard's music: My knowledge of this is very tiny, but I feel compelled to mention a few things:

We know that Leonard's guitar playing has strong Flamenco influence. The development of Flamenco is said to have a mix of influences, i.e. Spanish (Andalusian), Gypsy, Byzantine, Sephardic, Moorish, Latin American & Cuban - & that's just the guitar. Leonard's singing seems to have a mix of influences: he has said his singing connects with a tradition in Montreal called "speak-singing" (whether that also has French origins, I don't know); there also seems to be Flamenco elements in his singing; & as he said, there is the Synagogue Cantor influence. Also, his parents were from Russia/Poland, & he has said that he grew up hearing his mother singing Russian melodies & the implication is that he has incorporated this into his singing also (although Russia is not technically part of Europe, Poland is Eastern Europe, & Poland was part of Russia, & I would include this in the analysis.) I could be wrong, but I hear Middle Eastern/Greek elements (esp. in the oud/laud/bandurria playing of Javier Mas & John Belyzikian) - maybe this is connected to the Moorish influence in Spain, esp. for Javier - I don't remember where Belyzikian was from). Also, Leonard's time in Hydra gave him exposure to Greek music. Raffi Hakopian was from Armenia, & his violin playing seems to have strong Eastern European flavor. Also, European music would include Western Classical music, & Leonard had classical piano training, & I think he incorporates some of that in his guitar playing.

That's all I have time to write at the moment, but obviously, Leonard's music is extremely complex, & I always tell people, when they ask, that Leonard's music is so unique (I don't know of any other artist who has incorporated so many elements, so brilliantly & so beautifullly), that it cannot be put into any category at all.

Wendy, your question about European music is a very good one, very complex & very interesting - it got me to thinking about all of this, so thank you. . .
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remote1
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Re: What sort of music does Leonard Cohen play?

Postby remote1 » Fri Sep 17, 2010 11:29 pm

Thanks for your analysis Holydove; very enlightening as always!

I just wanted to add, about the French origins, that LC describes himself as a chansonnier, which I think refers to singer-songwriters who sing what the French call chansons à texte, i.e., songs in which the lyrics are crucially important, more so perhaps than the music itself (a background strum can do). Perhaps this can be translated as "text songs"... Famous representatives of that particular genre are Georges Brassens in France and Jacques Brel in Belgium, but of course there are lots of others.

All the best! ;-)
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holydove
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Re: What sort of music does Leonard Cohen play?

Postby holydove » Sat Sep 18, 2010 7:03 pm

[quote="remote1"]
I just wanted to add, about the French origins, that LC describes himself as a chansonnier, which I think refers to singer-songwriters who sing what the French call chansons à texte

Thank you, remote1! After I made that post, I was remembering that Leonard used a (very common) French word with "chanson. . " in it, to describe himself, but I couldn't remember the exact word, or the spelling of it (!) - so thank you for mentioning it!! (Although I've been studying a French 1 course for our trip to France, that word hasn't come up - maybe it will be in the French 2 course!) And I would think that the chansonnier tradition has French roots, at least to some extent; in fact, there are French ballads (& British ones too) from as far back as the Middle Ages, that have elements similar to aspects of Leonard's songs. (Once one starts looking, it just goes on & on, infinitely deep & infinitely wide. . .)

Cheers. . .
sebmelmoth2003
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marianne faithfull - and nikki yanofsky

Postby sebmelmoth2003 » Fri Feb 18, 2011 4:59 pm

marianne faithfull was on women's hour this week - audio below :

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00f3psg
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also on today's robert elms show - about half-an-hour into the programme - should be at bbc iPlayer in due course.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/london/content/art ... ture.shtml

i think leonard might like nikki yanofsky if he ever encounters her.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikki_Yanofsky

she was on the robert elms show - - http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00dj59q#p00f4dcq
sebmelmoth2003
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nikki yanofsky

Postby sebmelmoth2003 » Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:53 pm

nikki was also on `the strand` - bbc world service.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00dpq9z#p00f5bhg

someeone told me that she was also on itv's this morning but i can't find anything about her there.
denise knowles
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Re: What sort of music does Leonard Cohen play?

Postby denise knowles » Sat Feb 26, 2011 3:07 am

I have alway told people who have never heard of L.C, He is in class of his own. He has own style. You cannot put Mr Cohen in a box.
Kieren
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Re: What sort of music does Leonard Cohen play?

Postby Kieren » Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:47 pm

AlanM wrote:My answer has always been:
He sings story songs while painting intricate word pictures.
That is an outstanding way to put it!
Devoted fan since 1968
Etienne Muller
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Re: What sort of music does Leonard Cohen play?

Postby Etienne Muller » Sun May 08, 2011 3:21 pm

Singer, poet, musician, genre,.... It matters not. Leonard Cohen communicates, In a most sophisticated way. I would love to have him at a dinner table.

Etienne
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MaryB
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Re: What sort of music does Leonard Cohen play?

Postby MaryB » Mon May 09, 2011 8:55 pm

Etienne Muller wrote: Leonard Cohen communicates, In a most sophisticated way. I would love to have him at a dinner table.

Etienne
As we all would Etienne ;-) Welcome to the forum!
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madhu
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Re: What sort of music does Leonard Cohen play?

Postby madhu » Sat Sep 10, 2011 2:37 pm

Dear friends, I would like to suggest two great musicians from Indian Classical music who are very much resemble to Leonard Cohen in style and culture. They are M.D.Ramanathan and Ustad Amirkhan. I welcome fans of Cohen to the music of above mentioned stalwarts.
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Re: What sort of music does Leonard Cohen play?

Postby madhu » Sat Sep 10, 2011 2:46 pm

May I know whether any critical study published on the music of Leonard Cohen?
madhu
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Re: What sort of music does Leonard Cohen play?

Postby madhu » Sat Sep 10, 2011 2:49 pm

I am engaged in a research work on the music of Cohen. Kindly help me to gather articles on Cohen. Please inform me in case any authentic biography of Cohen has been released.
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margaret
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Re: What sort of music does Leonard Cohen play?

Postby margaret » Sat Sep 10, 2011 3:12 pm

There many many articles if you go to the main website www.leonardcohenfiles.com

Look down the left hand side to open more links, especially bibliography, and articles and interviews.
One of the best biographies is Various Positions by Ira B Nadel, but this was written some years ago and does not include more recent information.

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