A brief overview of how medieval vernacular songs might inform and be informed by the social contexts that produced and consumed them.
This podlecture continues a discussion of the troubadours, looking at song themes and genres.
Podlecture 2: The Troubadours 2
Good general reading
- Cheyette, Fredric L. Ermengard of Narbonne and the World of the Troubadours. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2001.
- Paterson, Linda M. The World of the Troubadours: Medieval Occitan Society, c.1100-c.1300. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995.
- Schulman, Nicole M. Where Troubadours Were Bishops: The Occitania of Folc of Marseille (1150-1231). London: Routledge, 2001.
Definitions of courtly love
- Bloch, R. Howard. Medieval Misogyny and the Invention of Western Romantic Love. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991.
- Kay, Sarah. Subjectivity in Troubadour Poetry. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990.
- Some history of the term ‘Courtly Love’ via Wikipedia, which has some useful links.
- Lewis, C. S. The Allegory of Love. 1936. NY: Oxford University Press, 1958.
On the role of music
- Aubrey, Elizabeth. ‘References to Music in Old Occitan Literature’, Acta Musicologica 61/2 (1989): 110–149.
- Levitsky, Ann. ‘Song Personified: The Tornadas of Raimon de Miraval’, Mediaevalia 39 (2018): 17–57.
- McAlpine, Fiona. ‘Authenticity and the “Auteur”: The Songs of Hugues de Berzé’, Plainsong and Medieval Music, 4 (1995), 1-12.
- Peraino, Judith A. Giving Voice to Love: Song and Self-Expression from the Troubadours to Guillaume De Machaut. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.
As before (in podlecture 1):
- handy access to poems and translations: http://www.trobar.org/troubadours/
- information about recordings: http://www.medieval.org/emfaq/composers/trobador/
- information about manuscript images online: https://eeleach.blog/2012/01/17/the-wonders-of-gallica-some-troubadour-and-trouvere-sources/
Check you know who or what the following are:
- Fin’ amors or courtly love
- Andreas Capellanus and his The Art of Courtly Love
- Chrétien de Troyes
- joc-partit / partimen
- coblas doblas
- Ovid on Love
This page hosts the audio for the first of my six ‘podlectures’ on Vernacular Song for List A Compulsory Topics (final year exams) at Oxford, delivered in this form because of ongoing restrictions caused by the current pandemic. It also gives links to some further reading and things mentioned in the audio.
NB: These podlectures form only part of the Vernacular Song topic as taught at Oxford, which is significantly supplemented by additional teaching in tutorials that demand extensive reading, essays, and presentations.
Podlecture 1: The Troubadours 1
Good general reading
- Akehurst, F. R. P. and Judith M. Davis, eds. A Handbook of the Troubadours. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995.
- Gaunt, Simon and Sarah Kay, eds. The Troubadours: An Introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999.
- Rosenberg, Samuel N., Margaret Switten, and Gérard Le Vot, eds. Songs of the Troubadours and Trouvères: An Anthology of Poems and Melodies. New York and London: Garland, 1998 [book contains a CD of some of the music].
- Stevens, Butterfield and Karp, ‘Troubadours, Trouvères’, Grove Music Online (2001), https://doi.org/10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.28468.
Referring to individual troubadour songs
- Pillet, Alfred, and Henry Carstens. Bibliographie der Troubadours. Halle (Saale): Max Niemeyer, 1933.
On the music
- Aubrey, Elizabeth. The Music of the Troubadours. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1996.
- Switten, Margaret, ed. The Cansos of Raimon de Miraval: a Study of Poems and Melodies. Cambridge, MA, 1985.
Handy access to poems and translations
Information about recordings
Information about manuscript images online
Check you know what, who, or where these are:
- coblas dobla
- Jaufre Rudel, or, if you have a subscription, try Grove online
- Bernart de Ventadorn, or, if you have a subscription, try Grove online
- senhal, and, if you have good Italian and are feeling generous, why not translate this page for English Wikipedia as the best thing in English is paywalled on Grove Music Online.
- PC numbers
- Eleanor of Aquitaine
- Beaumont Palace, Oxford
Long-gestating co-editing project finally published as part of 700-page book.
My article treating a ‘boring’ song by Blondel de Nesle has just been published by Early Music.
Last month (June 2019), I took part in a two-day performance workshop organised by Joseph W. Mason and attended by various other people I’ve worked with over the past decade or so. I introduced and advised on performances of a song by Blondel de Nesle (people who have heard me sing will be happy to hear that I delegated that task to others far better qualified!). Joe has written an excellent account of the entire event, obviating the need for me to do so here. I refer you enthusiastically to his blogpost, which has embedded audio-visual footage of the public concert that resulted. Enjoy!
My article on three songs by Blondel de Nesle just appeared in Music Analysis.
Links to some bits of the medieval German vernacular song repertoire now online.