The Baudelaire Song Project

Who, what, why | Baudelaire & Song

The Baudelaire Song Project has one main aim: to research all the song settings ever of poems by famous French poet Charles Baudelaire. Leading the team is Dr Helen Abbott at the University of Sheffield, working with Co-Director Dr Mylène Dubiau at the University of Toulouse II. We are building a pioneering digital dataset which brings together for the first time both pop music and classical music settings of Baudelaire's verse and prose poetry, totalling 200+ poem texts. Working with the French originals and translations of the poems into different languages, with music scores and in audio format, the project team is developing a new way to analyse song. Our digital approach means we will produce rich, comparative data across the whole dataset, meaning we can answer questions such as: What are the performance trends in singing Baudelaire's poems? Which poems are never or rarely set to music, and why? How do composers and songwriters handle the challenges of setting French verse metre? Are there certain types of musical genres which are more suited to Baudelaire's poetry than others? Hosted by the University of Sheffield (UK) and working with their HRI Digital team and the University of Toulouse II (France), the Baudelaire Song Project is generously funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) 2015-2019.

Can computational analysis help us to understand why Baudelaire is a hit with musicians?

By Dr Caroline Ardrey (Project Research Associate) Project Research Associate Dr Caroline Ardrey looks to computational analysis to examine why Baudelaire is still so popular with composers and… Read More

Saint-Félix de Lauraguais, watercolour by Déodat de Séverac
What musical sources say to poetry: Déodat de Séverac’s drafts on Baudelaire

By Dr Mylène Dubiau (Project Co-Director, Université Toulouse II – Jean Jaurès)   Project Co-Director Dr Mylène Dubiau explores a… Read More

Firth Hall only_rev
Baudelaire in unexpected places: Sheffield

By Dr Helen Abbott (Project Director) Project Director Dr Helen Abbott explores how the project team unearth Baudelaire settings ...… Read More

Our Project Team
Baudelaire Song Project
Dr Helen Abbott

Project Director (PI)
Specialist in nineteenth-century French poetry and music, University of Sheffield

Baudelaire Song Project
Dr Mylène Dubiau

Assistant Director (Co-I)
Expert in links between musical discourse and poetics of texts in performance, Université Toulouse Jean Jaurès

Baudelaire Song Project
Dr Caroline Ardrey

Research Associate
Developer of the interdisciplinary dataset and song analysis techniques