Songs by Neighborhood

An interactive online map highlights the musical geography of Paris, but what does it tell us about the city?

The map, originally created to accompany an exhibition held last year in Paris, plots the lyrical locations of over 200 songs that have Paris as a theme. It’s a simple, fun tool to use, allowing you to zoom in on specific districts, then to click and listen to the songs.

Imagining Paris as a musical map is fascinating. The city becomes a place where you can be transported from one district to another not by Metro, but by song. At each stop it is in theory possible to learn something about the area’s history and identity from this musical footprint.

Squint at the map and you’ll see that these areas are mostly centred around the more popular districts of the city such as Pigalle and Montmartre, or Bastille, Belleville and Menilmontant. But does this tell us anything in particular?


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