Troubadours and Trouveres

Essay by w008essUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, November 2011

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9-19-11 Troubadours, Trouvères, and Minnesingers

Troubadours were poet songwriters in southern France. The word troubadour simply means to find, invent, or to create. The primary language amongst the troubadours was Occitan, which eventually spread to the trouvères in northern France (Burkholder 73). Troubadours and trouvères were supported all throughout France. Some were nobles; others came from families of merchants or craftsman. The music of the troubadours and trouvères began one of the biggest foundations of all Western poetry. The troubadours of southern France tradition soon spread to the trouvère northern France tradition by the late twelfth century, and then on to England, Germany, Italy and Spain (Burkholder 78). After the crusade started in 1208, the northern French joined in order to dominate the south. The war lasted twenty years causing the support of the troubadours to collapse. This collapse caused them to disperse into other lands, allowing their music to spread (Burkholder 78).

The trouvères admired the troubadours' art, and kept it alive up until the thirteenth century.

One of the most well known troubadours is a man named Bernart de Ventadorn. He was one of the most influential men during that time. He worked for a duchess who by her second marriage was married to Henry of England, who became the King of England. Bernart was known for using the AAB form.

Many of the troubadour poems were preserved in manuscript anthologies called chansonniers (Burkholder 75).There about 2,600 troubadour poems still around, with only a tenth of them having melodies, where as there are about 2,100 trouvère poems still around with two-thirds of them having melodies (Burkholder 75).. Most of the music was strophic. Troubadours mainly dealt with chivalry and courtly love. The troubadour would play for royalty nobles. The themes of the songs sung by the Troubadours...