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The music of the troubadours Buch, Ingrid Pauline

Abstract

This thesis is devoted to an examination of the music of the troubadours, a group of poet-musicians which flourished in southern France during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Musicological research has been conducted in this area only since the turn of the present century, although philological study began much earlier. The main aim of the Introduction is to bring together some of the most widely accepted theories regarding both literary and musical aspects of the movement and to sum up generally the state of troubadour scholarship as it exists today. The Introduction also includes a brief historical survey of the troubadour movement, its scope, significance and influence. The poems were meant to be sung, not merely read; thus the art of the Provençaux embodies two disciplines: poetry and music. Yet while much is known of the poets, very little is known about the composers of the melodies. Did the troubadour write his own music? Did he borrow it? How similar are the melodies set to the texts of a single poet? How are they related? Was one composer involved in setting them, or several? Chapter I attempts to answer some of these questions. Attention is focused on the music associated with the texts of seven troubadours in order to discover internal evidence which would shed light on this problem. La Doctrina de compondre dictatz is the subject of Chapter II. This short, little-known treatise dating from around 1250 A.D. discusses the poetic genres of the troubadours and gives suggestions for the writing of suitable melodies. It is with the musical considerations that this chapter is primarily concerned. How accurate are La Doctrina’s descriptions in the light of the extant Provencal melodies? Were any poetic types associated in actual practice with specific melodic forms? The subject of the final chapter is a comparison of troubadour melodies and the chants of the Gregorian rite.

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