A brief overview of how medieval vernacular songs might inform and be informed by the social contexts that produced and consumed them.
Podlecture 5: Songs, singers, and society
Suggested select reading on political and religiousorganisation and conflict
Coss, Peter. “The Origins and Diffusion of Chivalry.” In A Companion to Chivalry, edited by Robert W. Jones and Peter Coss. 7-38. Woodbridge: Boydell, 2019.
Galvez, Marisa. The Subject of Crusade: Lyric, Romance, and Materials, 1150-1500. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2020.
Harvey, Ruth E. “Joglars and the Professional Status of the Early Troubadours.” Medium Aevum 62 (1993): 221-41.
Lee, Charmaine. “Richard the Lionheart: The Background to Ja nus homs pris.” Chap. 8 In Literature of the Crusades, edited by Simon Thomas Parsons and Linda M. Paterson. 134-50. Woodbridge: Boydell, 2018.
O’Sullivan, Daniel E. Marian Devotion in Thirteenth-Century French Lyric. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2005.
Paterson, Linda M. The World of the Troubadours: Medieval Occitan Society, c.1100-c.1300. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995.
Paterson, Linda. Singing the Crusades: French and Occitan Lyric Responses to the Crusading Movements, 1137-1336. Woodbridge: Boydell, 2018.
Reynolds, Susan. Fiefs and Vassals. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994.
On gender, desire, and subjectivity
Bloch, R. Howard. Medieval Misogyny and the Invention of Western Romantic Love. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991.
Boynton, Susan, ‘Women’s Performance of the Lyric Before 1500’. In Medieval Woman’s Song. Anne L. Klinck and Anne Marie Rasmussen, eds., 47-65; 219-23. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002.
Bruckner, Matilda Tomaryn. ‘Fictions of the Female Voice: The Women Troubadours’, Speculum, 67/4 (1992), 865-91.
Bruckner, Matilda, Laurie Shepard, and Sarah White, eds. and trans. Songs of the Women Troubadours. New York: Garland: 2000.
Coldwell, Maria V. ‘Jongleuresses and Trobairitz: Secular Musicians in Medieval France’. In Women Making Music: The Western Art Tradition, 1150-1950. Jane Bowers and Judith Tick, eds., 39-61. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1987.
Dell, Helen. Desire by Gender and Genre in Trouvère Song. Gallica. Vol. 10, Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 2008.
Doss-Quinby, Eglal, et al., eds. Songs of the Women Trouvères. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001. [See especially the Introduction]
Gaunt, Simon. Gender and Genre in Medieval French Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995.
Gravdal, Kathryn. ‘Metaphor, Metonymy, and the Medieval Women Trobairitz’, Romanic Review, 83 (1992), 411-26.
Green, D. H. Women and Marriage in German Medieval Romance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009.
Jackson, William E. Reinmar’s Women: A Study of the Woman’s Song (“Frauenlied” and “Frauenstrophe”) of Reinmar Der Alte. German Language and Literature Monographs. Vol. 9, Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 1981.
Kay, Sarah. “Desire and Subjectivity.” In The Troubadours: An Introduction, edited by Simon Gaunt and Sarah Kay. 212-27. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999.
Paden, William D., ed. The Voice of the Trobairitz: Perspectives on the Women Troubadours. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1989.
Peraino, Judith Ann. Listening to the Sirens: Musical Technologies of Queer Identity from Homer to Hedwig. Berkeley and London: University of California Press, 2005.
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].