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The Lives And Works Of The Troubadours, Trobaritz, And Trouvers

1366 words - 5 pages

What were the troubadours, trobaritz, and trouvers and what were their lives like? This paper will offer a brief overview on the troubadours, trobaritz, and trouvers as well as give an introduction to each one, and explain the difference between them. Lastly, it will describe how they lived during the Middle Ages.Troubadours were noble poet-musicians from Southern France (Provence) who flourished from the end of the 11th century through to the 13th century. The word troubadour comes from the Occitan verb "trobar" which means find. (Troubadour 1997) Troubadours were primarily composers who in a lot of cases also performed their works (Randel 1975). There were more than 400 known troubadours living between 1090 and 1292, and a few of the most famous were: Jaufré Rudel, Bernart de Ventadorn, Peire Vidal, and Raimbaut de Vaqueiras (Troubadours 2001).According to the main sources of surviving information on the troubadours, the vidas, they all had a wide variety of social backgrounds, varying from great lords and kings (Richard I, Guilhem de Peitieu) to the nobility (Guillem de Bergueda, Bertran de Born Dalfi d'Alvernhe), poor knights (Raimon de Mireval, Guilhem Ademar, scions of the bourgeoisie (Piere Vidal, Elias Cairel) to clerks, errant minstrels and others who were only identified by where they are from and the talent they displayed (Gaunt and Kay 1999). The troubadour was occasionally accompanied in his travels by an apprentice or servant, called a joglar, who would provide accompanying music for the poet or sometimes even sing the songs. The joglar was of a lower caste, so the troubadour's fame was never credited to the joglar as well, although it is true that some poets of very high talent rose from being joglars and attained the rank of troubadours (Troubadour 2003).This tradition of poet-composer-performers delighted Southern France and neighboring European courts with their songs (some 2,500 which survive) in which passion and modesty are craftily combined (Gaunt and Kay 1999). Of these 2500 surviving poems, only 10 percent of them exist with melodies (Randel 1975). A copy of the well-known song of distant love by Jaufre Rudel, "Lanquan li jorn son lonc en may" is located in Apendex A.While very little is known about the lives of the troubadours, there are short life stories called vidas that still exist for many of the troubadours. However, generally the vidas tell us very little since they are more poetic and romantic in nature than biographical and they are mostly fiction created from the surviving poems (Norburn and Lewis 2000).This romantic idea of the troubadour that the vidas give was strongly believed to be accurate up until the 19th century and most of the fault for this distorted and rosy picture is to be blamed on the middle-ages themselves. Most recently the false ideas are slowly fading because of the careful and realistic appraisal built up by scholars over the years. The truth is that the troubadour was generally a...

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