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Music 1711F/G Lecture Notes - Occitan Language, Jongleurs, Courtly Love

Course Code
Music 1711F/G
Kate Helsen

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Jan 21
Secular Monophony
Secular Song/Sacred Chant
Words and music not separate: song is the whole. Poetry often said to be
Mostly monophonic
Not usually written down
Tradition of performance more important than a single authority
Songs may have also have been accompanied. Not a lot of evidence – we
never see accompaniment – just the melody line, but there could have been
accompaniment, drones.
Kinds of Secular Song
1. Latin Song – (not religious)
Written by educated men
Usually from monasteries
Sources are often associated with universities or abbeys
Topics: love (erotic and sacred), gambling, drinking.
Carmina Burana (Songs of Benediktbeurern)
13th century manuscript from a Benedictine abbey in Bavaria
Contains 200 poems/songs about love, drinking, gambling
Written by monks/educated layment fluent on Latin
Carl Orff's 1937 setting by the same name sets 25 of these poems.
Singers of Latin Song
The Order of the Goliards
Named after Goliath (Bible), known for excessive drinking and carelessness
Made up of wandering minstrels, partially educated in monasteries (eg.
Drop-out monks)
Jongleurs - less educated than the Goliards. Known for entertainment
(singing, acrobatics, and juggling – for which they are named).
2. Vernacular Song: the language spoken in the court that is not Latin
- France, Iberian Peninsula, and Germany
- Court entertainment. Topics: courtly love, adventure, drinking etc.
Trouvères: 'singer-songwriters' in N France in 12th and 13th centuries
- Medieval French
- Approx. 2100 songs are preserved (music and text)
Troubadours: 'singer-songwriters' in S France in the 12th and 13th centuries
- Occitan language (or Provençal)
- Approx 200 songs are preserved (music and text)
- Many more poems are preserved (2500)
Both these words come from the word “trouver- to find, to invent
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