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Chapter 5 The Middle Ages. Music at Court. Troubadours Trouvères Minnesingers alba. pastourelle Strophic form Estampies. Key Terms. Music at Court. Troubadour and Trouvère Songs Noble French poet-composers—knights, princes, and kings

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Chapter 5 the middle ages

Chapter 5The Middle Ages

Music at Court

Key terms






Strophic form


Key Terms

Music at court
Music at Court

  • Troubadour and Trouvère Songs

    • Noble French poet-composers—knights, princes, and kings

    • Troubadours from the south, trouvères from the north (Minnesingers in Germany)

    • First large body of notated secular songs

    • Songs about women, love, seduction, chivalry, death, the crusades, etc.

Bernart de ventadorn
Bernart de Ventadorn

  • Lived c. 1135-1194

  • One of the finest troubadour poets

  • His songs influenced other troubadours and trouvères

  • Humble background, but came to serve Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine when she was married to England’s King Henry II

Bernart la dousa votz
Bernart, “La dousa votz”

  • Legato melody moves mostly by step

  • Based on a medieval mode (Mixolydian)

  • Metrical: feel of duple meter

  • Simple rhythms at moderate tempo

  • Homophonic: melody and accompaniment

  • Solo tenor voice and plucked string instrument

  • Words express joys and sorrows of earthly love

Bernart la dousa votz1
Bernart, “La dousa votz”

  • Strophic form: same music for each stanza

    • a a’ b pattern used within each stanza

How did early music sound
How Did Early Music Sound?

  • Medieval notation indicated only pitches and (after c. 1200) rhythms

  • It did not indicate tempo, instrumentation, tone quality, dynamics, and so on

  • Early music performance has become an important area for scholarly research

  • Based on careful study of performance practices, modern performers make well-educated guesses how a work might have been performed

How did early music sound1
How Did Early Music Sound?

  • Score for “La dousa votz” provides pitches only for the melody; it does not provide rhythm or accompaniment

  • Where does the plucked string instrument come from?

  • Medieval art shows troubadours singing with instruments, so our performers created a plausible accompaniment based on old folk music practices

How did early music sound2
How Did Early Music Sound?

  • Did the singer really sound that way?

  • Did they perform the rhythms the way our singer did?

  • Did they use accompaniment for this song?

  • There were no recordings in 1190

  • We’ll never know for sure!