The Moody Blues
The Moody Blues are an English rock band formed in Birmingham in 1964 consisting of keyboardist Mike Pinder, multi-instrumentalist Ray Thomas, guitarist Denny Laine, drummer Graeme Edge, bassist Clint Warwick. The group came to prominence playing rhythm and blues music, they made some changes in musicians but settled on a line-up of Pinder, Edge, guitarist Justin Hayward, bassist John Lodge, who stayed together for most of the band's "classic era" into the early 1970s. Their second album, Days of Future Passed, released in 1967, was a fusion of rock with classical music which established the band as pioneers in the development of art rock and progressive rock, it has been described as a "landmark" and "one of the first successful concept albums". The group toured extensively through the early 1970s took an extended hiatus from 1974 until 1977. Founder Mike Pinder left the group a year after they re-formed and was replaced by Swiss keyboardist Patrick Moraz in 1978. In the following decade they took on a more synth-pop sound and produced The Other Side of Life in 1986, which made them the first act to earn each of its first three top 10 singles in the United States in a different decade.
Health troubles led to a diminished role for founder Ray Thomas throughout the 1980s, though his musical contributions rebounded after Moraz departed in 1991. Thomas retired from the band in 2002; the band's most recent album was a collection of Christmas music. They continued to tour throughout the first decade of the 2000s, they still regroup for periodic events, one-off concerts, short tours, cruises; the Moody Blues' most successful singles include "Go Now", "Nights in White Satin", "Tuesday Afternoon", "Question", "Your Wildest Dreams". The band has sold 70 million albums worldwide, which includes gold LPs, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018. The Moody Blues formed in 1964 in a suburb of Birmingham in the county of Warwickshire. Ray Thomas, a young John Lodge and Mike Pinder had been members of the Rebels, they disbanded when Lodge, the youngest member, went to technical college and Pinder joined the army. Pinder rejoined Thomas to form the Krew Cats. Back from a disappointing spell in the Hamburg region a few months the pair recruited guitarist/vocalist Denny Laine and band manager-turned-drummer Graeme Edge.
Pinder and Thomas approached their former El Riot bandmate John Lodge about being the bass player, but Lodge declined as he was still in college. They instead recruited bassist Clint Warwick; the five appeared as the Moody Blues for the first time in Birmingham in 1964. The name developed from a hoped-for sponsorship from the Mitchells & Butlers Brewery which failed to materialise, the band calling themselves both "The M Bs" and "The M B Five", was a subtle reference to the Duke Ellington song "Mood Indigo". In an interview it was revealed that the band was named "Moody Blues" because Mike Pinder was interested in how music changes people's moods and due to the fact that the band was playing blues at the time. Around this time the band were the resident group at the Carlton Ballroom to become rock music venue Mothers on Erdington High Street; the band soon obtained a London-based management company,'Ridgepride', formed by Alex Murray, in the A&R division of Decca Records. Their recording contract was signed in the spring of 1964 with Ridgepride, which leased their recordings to Decca.
They released a single, "Steal Your Heart Away", that year. They appeared on the cult TV programme Ready Steady Go! Singing the uptempo'B' side "Lose Your Money", but it was their second single, "Go Now", that launched their career, being promoted on TV with one of the first purpose-made promotional films in the pop era and directed by Alex Wharton. The single became a hit in Britain and in the United States, where it reached No. 10. The band encountered management problems after the chart-topping hit and subsequently signed to Decca Records in the UK directly as recording artists. A four-track extended play release titled "The Moody Blues" featuring both sides of their first two Decca singles was issued in a colour picture sleeve in early 1965, their debut album The Magnificent Moodies, produced by Denny Cordell with a strong Merseybeat/R&B flavour, was released on Decca in mono only in 1965. It contained the hit single together with one side of classic R&B covers, a second side with four Laine-Pinder originals.
Alex Wharton left the management firm, the group released a series of unsuccessful singles. They enjoyed a minor British hit with a cover of "I Don't Want To Go on Without You" in February 1965, while the Pinder-Laine original "From the Bottom of My Heart" produced by Denny Cordell was issued as a UK single in May 1965 and did a little better, but "Everyday", another Pinder-Laine song, stalled at No. 44 in October 1965 and no further British singles were released for about a year. The group was still in demand for live gigs and they had chart success in the US and in Europe during those months when "Bye Bye Bird" was lifted from their album in December 1965 as an overseas single in France. In June 1966, Warwick retired from the music business, he was replaced by Rod Clark, but in early October, Denny Laine departed from t
Auvergne is a former administrative region of France, comprising the four departments of Allier, Puy-de-Dôme, Cantal and Haute-Loire. Since 1 January 2016, it has been part of the new region Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes; the administrative region of Auvergne is larger than the historical province of Auvergne, one of the seven counties of Occitania, includes provinces and areas that were not part of Auvergne. The Auvergne region is composed of the following old provinces: Auvergne: departments of Puy-de-Dôme, northwest of Haute-Loire, extreme south of Allier; the province of Auvergne is contained inside the Auvergne region Bourbonnais: department of Allier. A small part of Bourbonnais is contained inside the Centre-Val de Loire region. Velay: centre and southeast of department of Haute-Loire. Velay is contained inside the Auvergne region. A small part of Gévaudan: extreme southwest of Haute-Loire. Gévaudan is inside the Languedoc-Roussillon region. A small part of Vivarais: extreme southeast of Haute-Loire.
Vivarais is inside the Rhône-Alpes region. A small part of Forez: extreme northeast of Haute-Loire. Forez is inside the Rhône-Alpes region. Velay, Gévaudan, Vivarais are considered to be sub-provinces of the old province of Languedoc. Forez is often considered to be a sub-province of Lyonnais. Therefore, the modern region of Auvergne is composed of the provinces of Auvergne, major part of Bourbonnais, parts of Languedoc and Lyonnais; the region is home to a chain of volcanoes known collectively as the "chaîne des Puys". The last confirmed eruption was around 4040 BCE; the volcanoes began forming some 70,000 years ago, most have eroded, leaving plugs of hardened magma that form rounded hilltops known as puys. Auvergne has an area of 26,013 square kilometres, 4.8% of France's total area. Auvergne is one of the smallest regions in France. Auvergne is known for dormant volcanoes. Together the Monts Dore and the Chaîne des Puys include 80 volcanoes; the Puy de Dôme is the highest volcano in the region, with an altitude of 1,465 metres.
The Sancy Massif in the Monts Dore is the highest point in Auvergne. The northern part is covered in hills, while the southern portion is mountainous and dotted with pastures; the Forest of Tronçais is the largest oak forest in Europe. Auvergne has two major rivers in Auvergne: the Loire runs through the southeast and borders the northeast, the Allier runs from north to south down the center of Auvergne, with branches going east and west. Over many years the Allier river has created. Auvergne has about 50 freshwater lakes; some have volcanic origins. Lac de Guéry is the highest lake in Auvergne. Auvergne is bordered to the north by the region of Centre-Val de Loire, by five former administrative regions: Rhône-Alpes to the east, Languedoc-Roussillon and Midi-Pyrénées to the south, Limousin to the west, Burgundy to the north; the average annual temperature is 12 °C, the region receives 510–1,020 mm of rainfall annually. There are short summers; the region of Auvergne was named after one of the most powerful Gallic tribes.
It was composed of the Gabali, the Vellavi, the Cadurci, whose sphere of influence included the regions of Languedoc and Aquitaine. Vercingetorix was elected king in 52 BC, his father, his predecessor, had been killed by his companions who opposed Celtillos' goal of making the title hereditary. In the winter of 53/52 BC, Vercingetorix created alliances with all the Celtic tribes surrounding him by holding as hostages daughters or sons of the kings of each tribe. With this threat, he gained their guarantees of faithfulness and alliance. Based on reports in 2007 of excavations by archaeologists, the capital of the Arverni is believed to have been situated between Gergovie, Corent and several other significant areas within a 35 km range. Researchers estimate a population of 150,000 inhabitants living in the centre of this area, a total of more than 400,000 inhabitants living in the region of these towns; the Arverni were one of the most powerful and wealthy tribes in ancient Gaul: They were protected by their location in a mountainous area, which provided strong defenses from outside attackers They had resources: numerous mines of gold and other precious metals The uplands had pastures available for grazing of cattle and sheep herds Their artisans mastered metalworking and complex craftwork, Vercingetorix is described with "a big armor made of many assembled silver pieces, reflecting the sun", in particular copperwork They minted their own money, had strong trade with nearby tribes They had ceramic manufacture They had influence on nearby tribes and were able to rally the Aedui during the revolt of Vercingetorix.
A shrine in Auvergne marks the Battle of Gergovia. Based on scholars' interpretation of books by Caesar, it took place about 12 km from present-day Clermont-Ferrand. Vercingetorix beat. Roman troops won a victory in Alesia in Burgundy. Roman legionaries had established over several hundred metres, they took him to Rome, where he was imprisoned. Augustoneme
The Bretons are a Celtic ethnic group located in the region of Brittany in France. They trace much of their heritage to groups of Brittonic speakers who emigrated from southwestern Great Britain Cornwall and Devon during the Anglo-Saxon invasion of Britain, they migrated in waves from the 3rd to 9th century into Armorica, subsequently named Brittany after them. The main traditional language of Brittany is Breton, spoken in Lower Brittany. Breton is spoken by around 206,000 people as of 2013; the other principal minority language of Brittany is Gallo. As one of the Brittonic languages, Breton is related to Cornish and more distantly to Welsh, while the Gallo language is one of the Romance langues d'oïl. Most Bretons' native language is standard French. Brittany and its people are counted as one of the six Celtic nations. Ethnically, along with the Cornish and Welsh, the Bretons are Celtic Britons; the actual number of ethnic Bretons in Brittany and France as a whole is difficult to assess as the government of France does not collect statistics on ethnicity.
The population of Brittany, based on a January 2007 estimate, was 4,365,500. It is said that, in 1914, over 1 million people spoke Breton west of the boundary between Breton and Gallo-speaking region—roughly 90% of the population of the western half of Brittany. In 1945, it was about 75%, today, in all of Brittany, the most optimistic estimate would be that 20% of Bretons can speak Breton. Brittany has a population of four million, including the department of Loire-Atlantique, which the Vichy government separated from historical Brittany in 1941. Seventy-five percent of the estimated 200,000 to 250,000 Breton speakers using Breton as an everyday language today are over the age of 65. A strong historical emigration has created a Breton diaspora within the French borders and in the overseas departments and territories of France. Many Breton families have emigrated to the Americas, predominantly to Canada and the United States. People from the region of Brittany were among the first European settlers to permanently settle the French West Indies, i.e. Dominica and Martinique, where remnants of their culture can still be seen to this day.
The only places outside Brittany that still retain significant Breton customs are in Île-de-France, Le Havre and in Îles des Saintes, where a group of Breton families settled in the mid-17th century. In the late 4th century, large numbers of British auxiliary troops in the Roman army may have been stationed in Armorica; the 9th-century Historia Brittonum states that the emperor Magnus Maximus, who withdrew Roman forces from Britain, settled his troops in the province. Nennius and Gildas mention a second wave of Britons settling in Armorica in the following century to escape the invading Anglo-Saxons and Scoti. Modern archaeology supports a two-wave migration, it is accepted that the Brittonic speakers who arrived gave the region its current name as well as the Breton language, Brezhoneg, a sister language to Welsh and Cornish. There are numerous records of Celtic Christian missionaries migrating from Britain during the second wave of Breton colonisation the legendary seven founder-saints of Brittany as well as Gildas.
As in Cornwall, many Breton towns are named after these early saints. The Irish saint Columbanus was active in Brittany and is commemorated accordingly at Saint-Columban in Carnac. In the Early Middle Ages, Brittany was divided into three kingdoms—Domnonée, Bro Waroc'h —which were incorporated into the Duchy of Brittany; the first two kingdoms seem to derive their names from the homelands of the migrating tribes in Britain and Devon. Bro Waroc'h derives from the name of one of the first known Breton rulers, who dominated the region of Vannes; the rulers of Domnonée, such as Conomor, sought to expand their territory, claiming overlordship over all Bretons, though there was constant tension between local lords. Bretons were the most prominent of the non-Norman forces in the Norman conquest of England. A number of Breton families were of the highest rank in the new society and were tied to the Normans by marriage; the Scottish Clan Stewart and the royal House of Stuart have Breton origins. Alan Rufus known as Alan the Red, was both a cousin and knight in the retinue of William the Conqueror.
Following his service at Hastings, he was rewarded with large estates in Yorkshire. At the time of his death, he was by far the richest noble in England, his manorial holding at Richmond ensured a Breton presence in northern England. The Earldom of Richmond became an appanage of the Dukes of Brittany. Many people throughout France claim Breton ethnicity, including a few French celebrities such as Marion Cotillard, Malik Zidi, Patrick Poivre d'Arvor, Yoann Gourcuff, Nolwenn Leroy and Yann Tiersen. After 15 years of disputes in the French courts, the European Court of Justice recognized Breton Nationality for the six children of Jean-Jacques and Mireille Manrot-Le Goarnig. In 2015, Jonathan Le Bris started a legal battle against the French administration to claim this status; the Breton diaspora includes Breton immigrants in some cities of France like Paris, Le Havre and Toulon, Breton Canadians and Breton Americans, along with other Fre
World music is a musical category encompassing many different styles of music from around the globe, which includes many genres including some forms of Western music represented by folk music, Jazz, as well as selected forms of ethnic music, indigenous music, neotraditional music, music where more than one cultural tradition, such as ethnic music and Western popular music, intermingle. World music's inclusive nature and elasticity as a musical category may pose for some obstacles to a universal definition, but its ethic of interest in the culturally exotic is encapsulated in Roots magazine's description of the genre as "local music from out there"; the term was popularized in the 1980s as a marketing category for non-Western traditional music. Globalization has facilitated the expansion of scope, it has grown to include hybrid subgenres such as world fusion, global fusion, ethnic fusion, worldbeat. The term has been credited to ethnomusicologist Robert E. Brown, who coined it in the early 1960s at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, where he developed undergraduate through the doctoral programs in the discipline.
To enhance the process of learning, he invited more than a dozen visiting performers from Africa and Asia and began a world music concert series. The term became current in the 1980s as a marketing/classificatory device in the media and the music industry. There are several conflicting definitions for world music. One is that it consists of "all the music in the world", though such a broad definition renders the term meaningless; the term is taken as a classification of music that combines Western popular music styles with one of many genres of non-Western music that are described as folk music or ethnic music. However, world music is not traditional folk music, it may include cutting edge pop music styles as well. Succinctly, it can be described as "local music from out there", or "someone else's local music", it is a nebulous term with an increasing number of genres that fall under the umbrella of world music to capture musical trends of combined ethnic style and texture, including Western elements.
World music may incorporate distinctive non-Western scales, modes and/or musical inflections, features distinctive traditional ethnic instruments, such as the kora, the steel drum, the sitar or the didgeridoo. Music from around the world exerts wide cross-cultural influence as styles influence one another, in recent years world music has been marketed as a successful genre in itself. Academic study of world music, as well as the musical genres and individual artists associated with it appear in such disciplines as anthropology, performance studies and ethnomusicology. In the age of digital music production the increased availability of high-quality, ethnic music samples, sound bites and loops from every known region are used in commercial music production, which has exposed a vast spectrum of indigenous music texture to developing, independent artists; these influences proliferate in a web-based music industry, now percolating as a much larger, predominantly self-promoted menu, via an increasing number of indie-artist-friendly, streaming Internet options, such as Last.fm, Live365, Jango Artist Airplay and ReverbNation.
An amalgamation of roots music in the global, contemporary listening palette has become apparent, which weakens the role major entertainment labels can play in the cultural perception of genre boundaries. As a result, definitions of the genre have become varied, determined by wide-ranging and varied opinions. Similar terminology between distinctly different sub-categories under primary music genres, such as world and pop can be as ambiguous and confusing to industry moguls as it is to consumers; this is true in the context of world music, where branches of ethnically influenced pop trends are as genre-defined by consumer perception as they are by the music industry forums that govern the basis for categorical distinction. Academic scholars tend to agree that, in today's world of consumer music reviews and blogging, global music culture's public perception is what distils a prevailing basis for definition from genre ambiguity, regardless of how a category has been outlined by corporate marketing forums and music journalism.
The world music genre's gradual migration from a clear spectrum of roots music traditions to an extended list of hybrid subgenres is a good example of the motion genre boundaries can exhibit in a globalizing pop culture. The classic, original definition of world music was in part created to instill a perceived authenticity and distinction between indigenous music traditions and those that become diluted by pop culture, the modern debate over how possible it is to maintain that perception in the richly diverse genre of world music is ongoing. In a report on the 2014 globalFEST National Public Radio's Anastasia Tsioulcas said "Even within the "world music" community, nobody likes the term "world music." It smacks of all kinds of loaded issues, from cultural colonialism to questions about what's "authentic" and what isn't, forces an incredible array of styles that don't have anything in common under the label of "exotic Other." What's more: I believe that in many people's imaginations, "world music" means a kind of awful, hippy-ish, worldbeat fusion.
It's a problematic, horrible term that satisfies no one." Examples of popular forms of world music include the various forms of non-European classical music (e.g. Japanese koto and Chinese guzheng music, In
Bagpipes are a woodwind instrument using enclosed reeds fed from a constant reservoir of air in the form of a bag. The Scottish Great Highland bagpipes are the best known in the Anglophone world; the term bagpipe is correct in the singular or plural, though pipers refer to the bagpipes as "the pipes", "a set of pipes" or "a stand of pipes". A set of bagpipes minimally consists of an air supply, a bag, a chanter, at least one drone. Many bagpipes have more than one drone in various combinations, held in place in stocks—sockets that fasten the various pipes to the bag; the most common method of supplying air to the bag is through blowing into a blowstick. In some pipes the player must cover the tip of the blowpipe with their tongue while inhaling, but most blowpipes have a non-return valve that eliminates this need. In recent times, there are many instruments that assist in creating a clean air flow to the pipes and assist the collection of condensation. An innovation, dating from the 16th or 17th century, is the use of a bellows to supply air.
In these pipes, sometimes called "cauld wind pipes", air is not heated or moistened by the player's breathing, so bellows-driven bagpipes can use more refined or delicate reeds. Such pipes include the Irish uilleann pipes; the bag is an airtight reservoir that holds air and regulates its flow via arm pressure, allowing the player to maintain continuous sound. The player keeps the bag inflated by blowing air into it through a blowpipe or pumping air into it with a bellows. Materials used for bags vary but the most common are the skins of local animals such as goats, dogs and cows. More bags made of synthetic materials including Gore-Tex have become much more common. A drawback of the synthetic bag is the potential for fungal spores to colonise the bag because of a reduction in necessary cleaning, with the associated danger of lung infection. An advantage of a synthetic bag is that it has a zip which allows the user to fit a more effective moisture trap to the inside of the bag. Bags cut from larger materials are saddle-stitched with an extra strip folded over the seam and stitched or glued to reduce leaks.
Holes are cut to accommodate the stocks. In the case of bags made from intact animal skins, the stocks are tied into the points where the limbs and the head joined the body of the whole animal, a construction technique common in Central Europe; the chanter is the melody pipe, played with two hands. All bagpipes have at least one chanter. A chanter can be bored internally so that the inside walls are parallel for its full length, or it can be bored in a conical shape; the chanter is open-ended, so there is no easy way for the player to stop the pipe from sounding. Thus most bagpipes share a legato sound where there are no rests in the music; because of this inability to stop playing, technical movements are used to break up notes and to create the illusion of articulation and accents. Because of their importance, these embellishments are highly technical systems specific to each bagpipe, take many years of study to master. A few bagpipes have closed ends or stop the end on the player's leg, so that when the player "closes" the chanter becomes silent.
A practice chanter is a chanter without bag or drones, allowing a player to practice the instrument and with no variables other than playing the chanter. The term chanter is derived from the Latin cantare, or "to sing", much like the modern French word chanteur; the note from the chanter is produced by a reed installed at its top. The reed may be a double reed. Double reeds are used with both conical- and parallel-bored chanters while single reeds are limited to parallel-bored chanters. In general, double-reed chanters are found in pipes of Western Europe while single-reed chanters appear in most other regions. Most bagpipes have at least one drone: a pipe, not fingered but rather produces a constant harmonizing note throughout play. Exceptions are those pipes which have a double-chanter instead. A drone is most a cylindrically-bored tube with a single reed, although drones with double reeds exist; the drone is designed in two or more parts with a sliding joint so that the pitch of the drone can be adjusted.
Depending on the type of pipes, the drones may lie over the shoulder, across the arm opposite the bag, or may run parallel to the chanter. Some drones have a tuning screw, which alters the length of the drone by opening a hole, allowing the drone to be tuned to two or more distinct pitches; the tuning screw may shut off the drone altogether. In most types of pipes, where there is one drone it is pitched two octaves below the tonic of the chanter. Additional drones add the octave below and a drone consonant with the fifth
Achille-Claude Debussy was a French composer. He is sometimes seen as the first Impressionist composer, he was among the most influential composers of the late early 20th centuries. Born to a family of modest means and little cultural involvement, Debussy showed enough musical talent to be admitted at the age of ten to France's leading music college, the Conservatoire de Paris, he studied the piano, but found his vocation in innovative composition, despite the disapproval of the Conservatoire's conservative professors. He took many years to develop his mature style, was nearly 40 when he achieved international fame in 1902 with the only opera he completed, Pelléas et Mélisande. Debussy's orchestral works include Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune and Images, his music was to a considerable extent a reaction against the German musical tradition. He regarded the classical symphony as obsolete and sought an alternative in his "symphonic sketches", La mer, his piano works include two of Études. Throughout his career he wrote mélodies including his own.
He was influenced by the Symbolist poetic movement of the 19th century. A small number of works, including the early La Damoiselle élue and the late Le Martyre de saint Sébastien have important parts for chorus. In his final years, he focused on chamber music, completing three of six planned sonatas for different combinations of instruments. With early influences including Russian and far-eastern music, Debussy developed his own style of harmony and orchestral colouring, derided – and unsuccessfully resisted – by much of the musical establishment of the day, his works have influenced a wide range of composers including Béla Bartók, Olivier Messiaen, George Benjamin, the jazz pianist and composer Bill Evans. Debussy died from cancer at his home in Paris at the age of 55 after a composing career of a little more than 30 years. Debussy was born on 22 August 1862 in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Seine-et-Oise, on the north-west fringes of Paris, he was the eldest of the five children of Manuel-Achille Debussy and his wife, Victorine, née Manoury.
Debussy senior ran his wife was a seamstress. The shop was unsuccessful, closed in 1864. Manuel worked in a printing factory. In 1870, to escape the Siege of Paris during the Franco-Prussian War, Debussy's pregnant mother took him and his sister Adéle to their paternal aunt's home in Cannes, where they remained until the following year. During his stay in Cannes, the seven-year-old Debussy had his first piano lessons. Manuel Debussy joined the forces of the Commune. Among his fellow Communard prisoners was a musician. Sivry's mother, Antoinette Mauté de Fleurville, gave piano lessons, at his instigation the young Debussy became one of her pupils. Debussy's talents soon became evident, in 1872, aged ten, he was admitted to the Conservatoire de Paris, where he remained a student for the next eleven years, he first joined the piano class of Antoine François Marmontel, studied solfège with Albert Lavignac and composition with Ernest Guiraud, harmony with Émile Durand, organ with César Franck. The course included music history and theory studies with Louis-Albert Bourgault-Ducoudray, but it is not certain that Debussy, apt to skip classes attended these.
At the Conservatoire, Debussy made good progress. Marmontel said of him "A charming child, a artistic temperament. Another teacher was less impressed: Emile Durand wrote in a report "Debussy would be an excellent pupil if he were less sketchy and less cavalier." A year he described Debussy as "desperately careless". In July 1874 Debussy received the award of deuxième accessit for his performance as soloist in the first movement of Chopin's Second Piano Concerto at the Conservatoire's annual competition, he was a fine pianist and an outstanding sight reader, who could have had a professional career had he wished, but he was only intermittently diligent in his studies. He advanced to premier accessit in 1875 and second prize in 1877, but failed at the competitions in 1878 and 1879; these failures made him ineligible to continue in the Conservatoire's piano classes, but he remained a student for harmony, solfège and composition. With Marmontel's help Debussy secured a summer vacation job in 1879 as resident pianist at the Château de Chenonceau, where he acquired a taste for luxury, to remain with him all his life.
His first compositions date from this period, two settings of poems by Alfred de Musset: "Ballade à la lune" and "Madrid, princesse des Espagnes". The following year he secured a job as pianist in the household of Nadezhda von Meck, the patroness of Tchaikovsky, he travelled with her family for the summers of 1880 to 1882, staying at various places in France and Italy, as well as at her home in Moscow. He composed his Piano Trio in G major for von Meck's ensemble, made a transcription for piano duet of three dances from Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake. At the end of 1880 Debussy, while continuing in his studies at the Conservatoire, was engaged as accompanist for Marie Moreau-Sainti's singing class. Among the members of th
France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona