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Richardson 1 Cody Richardson Mr. Payne Music Lit Troubadours The birth of troubadours resided in the rich culture of early 12th century France. They are considered by some to be the frontrunners of secular music. Many were persecuted and killed for their music by the Catholic Church. Troubadours carried the main theme of love in all of their songs.
Songs consisting of many different kinds of love were played in courts and sometimes at public meetings. These songs always had to be appropriate for the courts that they were played.
Troubadour music in some courts may have even been considered to be racy in current times. The songs helped to show the growing equalities amongst the classes. All troubadours had to show a massive understanding of the intricacies and interworking of the female mind in order to stay on the line of perversion, without crossing it.
Most troubadours came from rich courtly families, who were well educated in Catholic schools. The troubadours were groundbreaking individuals who had to persevere through persecution of religious groups, class, and finding a place in their time (Stevens, Butterfield, Karp 798-790).
A troubadour was not merely a musician who played other musicians music. They were well versed in the music advances of their time. Troubadours were able to write their own music and compose their own songs.
The most highly noted troubadours would only Richardson 2 play for small groups of people, usually in courts. Many of these well-established troubadours would never play for public events. Instead they would allow other musicians to play their music in their place. Not all troubadours were in the same class of wealth.
The type of payment received was decided by the amount of money a certain troubadour already possessed. Some independently wealthy troubadours only wanted fame and women as their rewards for singing in the courts. Others helped to spread the fame of a wealthier troubadour by traveling to other courts and playing their music for them. In return the poorer troubadours would receive funds, that one-day might allow them to climb the latter of success. There were also those troubadours who just wanted to play to gain love of a woman.
To help them in their endeavors, many troubadours hired assistants called jongleurs (Jinright 1). Jongleurs helped troubadours perform their music. Having many different skills in all areas of performing allowed them to fill in wherever they were needed. Jongleurs had skills outside of just playing music and singing. Most jongleurs were well versed in skills such as juggling or dancing. Jongleurs created the raw materials for the troubadours to sculpt and use to create their songs. They were used to make up all the missing pieces that a show needed.
Jongleurs were known to travel across countries from France to England for the opportunity to play a part in a troubadour’s performance. These traveling performers were the less educated, mainly lower class musicians, trying to make a living. Although some jongleurs possessed a considerable amount skill, they were never compared to the skills of the troubadour in charge of the show. Many times the skills of Richardson 3 jongleurs were overlooked or credited to the troubadour they were working under (Cheyette 78-86).
Many troubadours came about due to the direct education of the Catholic Church. Catholic schools helped to teach and sculpt rich courtly children into having the power to create secular music. As troubadours began to flourish, Catholic churches began to feel attacked by their music. Many Catholic schools started screening their applicants to try and reduce the amount of troubadours that would be educated through catholic schools. Around 1209, after failed attempts by many Catholic institutions were made to convert nobility and their troubadours, a war began.
The Catholic Church believed that secular music about love was a great sin that needed to be dealt with. After Simon of Montfort crushed the first poorly organized resistance of nobles, many troubadours fled and some decided to stay and fight as part of the Occitanian resistance. In 1216 the resistance defeated Simon and sent him home. Over one hundred years later the Pope decided to send inquisitors in to France, as a response to Simon of Montfort’s loss. This second effort was successful in ending the resistance. Many troubadours were burned alive and others were imprisoned (Jinright 1).
Even after the major rise and fall of the troubadours, their ideas lived on through their music. They were the revolutionary thinkers of their time. Troubadours brought new ideas to the way of thinking in many different areas of life. Troubadours were able to express their views on both love and war. They were not afraid to express even the most erotic details of love or talk of epic battles, full of knightly honor. The lords and ladies of Richardson 4 medieval noble houses got bored with listening to work created in monasteries.
The people of the time became more interested in music that told stories. Songs were created by the finest troubadours try and let citizens know about the crusades. Almost all songs talked of the victories won by fellow citizens who had ventured off to join the crusades. Their stories became similar to movies of our day about love and war. The songs gave young men and women ideal examples of how to treat each other. Knights heard these songs sung and tried to model their lives after the heroes from the stories. Some believe troubadours created the act of chivalry with their music.
Chivalry is one of the only legacies still living left by the troubadours (Stevens, Butterfield, Karp 798-790). Chivalry is one thing the troubadours gave to society that can never be taken away by time. The Catholic Church had a big role in killing many other parts of the troubadour’s legacy almost completely. Much of the songs created in medieval times were lost do to the teachings of the Catholic Church. The church taught that only religious songs could be written down and saved. Troubadours had to memorize all of their songs they created in order to have anything to play.
Making it more difficult for any artist to prosper, who was trying to create secular music. This made for the creation of much easier songs that could be remembered with just listening. The songs were very simple and usually sung with a single melodic line. The troubadours composed their music by joining a single note of music with a single syllable of text. Sometimes they would add in many notes bring sung to a single syllable of text.. Troubadour’s songs form was often very free flowing. Some songs could be strophic in form as well.
The church also taught that God did not want composers Richardson 5 to take credit for their songs. No single troubadour could own his or her own songs because they did not have the ability to write them down. If a troubadour heard another artist’s song, they must simply be able to remember it and then go sing it. The rules of the Catholic Church made it impossible for most of the troubadour’s songs to be saved. Most of the footprints left by the troubadours can be seen through the careful study of how their music affected the society of their time (Stevens, Butterfield, Karp 798-790).
The change from a Catholic Church dominated society to a free thinking more secular society was brought on strongly by the troubadours. They created revolutionary thoughts that spread against the Catholic way of thinking, every time they performed. They changed music forever in ways that were felt much later down the road. Chivalry is seen and practiced in every country around the world. Troubadour’s songs of love and war have been translated into movies. Movies about true love and about treating women a certain way, are produced every year. Action movies are produced showing courage and giving examples of great heroes.
They all serve the same purpose as the songs did for the people of the medieval era. It allows people to imagine themselves as characters in the story and strive to be more like them one day. Most of today’s society probably does not know how its entertainment originated. It came from the revolutionary thinkers of the medieval times. They defied the church and created their own way of life. Many troubadours paid for these songs of revolution with their lives. Although there music is lost, their contributions to society will never be forgotten (Jinright 1).