I've been listening to a couple CDs that include Edith Piaf. Sometimes she rolls or trills her "R"s like in Spanish. Is this customary, local usage, artistic license or?
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I remember a broadcast of la prochaine fois je vous le chanterai where they explained that when rolled/trilled R usage was decreasing, singers kept using them as it allowed them to project more power. Then mikes and amps decreased the importance of that aspect.
The language sounds surrounding the letter r dictate it's sound to some degree. For example the letter r next to ou in rouge sounds different to the letter r in voir.
Try this Advanced R guide for more details
I think @Evpok is right in that you must differentiate between "spanish" R's rolled with the tip of the tongue and ones where the rolling happens at the back of the tongue.
As far as I can tell, Piaf used the latter to put emphasis and solemnty to her words (as in "je ne rrregrette rrrien"), but rarely the former.
"Back of tongue" rolled R's sound mostly artistic and stylized to me. I've never heard them used in everyday conversation, I guess because they would not only be pedantic but also awfully inconvenient to pronounce and unfluid.
As far as metropolitan France is concerned, "Spanish" rolled/trilled R's in contrast are not uncommon in some regions, mostly among the pre-baby boom generation. This pronunciation likely originates in local patois that were widely spoken in most of rural France before WWII, among which occitan dialects but also other dialects in the center and northern part of the country such as Berrichon.
As a side note, you may have other regional variations of R's. Many natives of the Basque country for instance (not only older generations but youths as well) tend to have more stressed, rough and guttural R's than the average.