Trobadord seal

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The death of troublesome Jaufre Rudel, MS Paris, BNF fonds français 854, f. 121v

As Trobadordichtung or troubadour poetry is called the altokzitanische Sangesdichtung the southern French troubadours , the starting point of the medieval minnesong also in the rest of Europe was.


Already in the oldest surviving Trobadort texts from the end of the 11th century, the songs of Wilhelm IX. from Aquitaine , the trobadord poem appears as a linguistically, formally and content-wise astonishingly highly developed song art. With the exception of the Galician-Portuguese language , which developed a similar lyrical tradition to Occitan at about the same time, there are no comparable parallels or preliminary stages in the other Romance folk languages, as far as written evidence of Romance poetry from this early period is available. The Latin tradition, in which especially the monastery of Saint-Martial near Limoges and the musical and literary culture cultivated there, was regarded by some scholars as pioneering the development of trobard poetry, undoubtedly offers important points of reference, but it cannot fully explain the phenomenon of trobard poetry to explain. The influence of Hispano- Arabic poetry on the courts of Andalusia is probably more important, even though it was not court poetry in terms of content. However, all of this continues to be controversially assessed and discussed in research and is not one of the particularly well researched questions in Romance studies.


The language of the trobadord poetry does not coincide with any of the dialect variants of the Altoczitan . Rather, it is a literary-poetic artificial language ( Koine ), for which the Occitan language of the Limousin region , with its capital Limoges , can probably be assumed as the basis , and in which the words sought from different dialects gain supraregional distribution and stand alongside loan formations and deliberate new coining . In the special form of trobar clus ( closed, dark, heavy poetry , as an antithesis to trobar leu , light poetry ), the songs of some trobadors are characterized by a high degree of primarily linguistic and secondarily rhetorical enigma.


Today's reader can orientate himself more closely to the spelling of the texts in the pronunciation of the trobadord poem than in French . German speakers must pay particular attention to the fact that the word accent is usually on the last stressed syllable of the word and the sentence accent is on the last word of the statement. Who speaks modern French well, will not find it very easy to get used to a comparatively "German" debate and northern France Nasalierungen to avoid or mitigate a say and word-final unstressed syllables and consonants auslautende.

  • The pronunciation of the vowels e and o is dependent on the origin from the Latin: where e from Latin i , long e or oe has arisen, it is closed (as in German "lake") speak in formation of a short e or ae is the pronunciation, on the other hand, is open (as in German "Bär"). Likewise, o is to be pronounced closed (as in German "hollow"), where it originates from u or a long o , openly on the other hand (as in German "hole") when it arises from a short o .
  • The initial vowel i is to be pronounced like dsch- , in the intervowel position also like -dsch- or -j- .
  • The vowel u , unlike in Old French, is usually pronounced as u and not as ü , especially as the first element of a diphthong and in the final.
  • The consonant c is above the dark vowels a , o and u hard than k pronounce, before the clear vowels e and i , however, as ts . The spelling ch is pronounced ch . The spelling qu is to be pronounced k before dark and light vowels alike .
  • The consonant g is pronounced hard as g- in front of the dark vowels ( a, o, u ) , but softly as dsch- in front of the light vowels (e, i) . If g still hard before clear vowels g should be pronounced, in the case a u introduced ( gue, gui ), which is usually, especially when originally Germanic words, even in the debate so than u with bias to w resonates.
  • z is between vowels and after a consonant as voiced s utter
  • The consonant l in the spellings gl, lh, ill or ll must be pronounced like lj (with a tendency to lch ). Likewise, the consonant n in the spellings nh, gn or ign mouilliert like nj (with a tendency to nch ).

Form art

Trobador poetry is characterized by a highly developed rhyme and stanza technique , which in its complexity and artificiality goes far beyond possible points of contact in Latin poetry and has had a formative influence on poetry in all other languages ​​of Western Europe.

The individual stanza ( cobla , from Latin copula ) binds verses of equal length (isometric stanza) or of unequal length (heterometric stanza) according to a scheme established by the trobador of ending rhymes and sometimes (especially in heterometric stanzas) also inner rhymes , which then of Verse to verse is repeated in the same way (isostrophy) and optionally filled with the same or different rhymes. Change of the scheme from verse to verse (heterostrophy) is unusual or justifies the genus Descort as a special form . In the love poem in particular, the individual stanza shows an internal construction principle that Wilhelm already encountered and which was then increasingly widespread in the following Trobadors, which divides the distribution of the rhymes and - in the case of heterometric stanzas - the verse lengths, but also the syntactic structure and the content filling the musical composition finds its correspondence. In Romance studies, the term canzone strophe is used for this:

The canon strophe is opened by a two-part section, which in the Latin terminology introduced by Dante is called “frons” (forehead) and in the language of the German master chant as “Aufgesang” and consists of two parallel or mirror-symmetrical “pedes” ( “Stollen “ ), Which are sung musically to the same melody. The “frons” are followed by the “cauda” (tail) or “sirma” (train), in the terminology of the master's song the “swan song” , which is more free in its design, but may not or not exactly repeat the structure of the song. This compositional principle conquered all vernacular song cultures and is still very widespread in German church and folk songs (e.g. “Ihr Kinderlein kommet”).

In trobadord poetry, special emphasis is often placed on grouping and linking the sequence of stanzas through the type of rhyme filling and through the use of individual rhyming words. A distinction is made particularly between the following techniques:

  • coblas unisonnantz : The most common type of rhyme filling, in which in a multi-stanza song not only the same rhyme scheme, but also the same rhymes are retained from stanza to stanza, so that all stanzas in the rhyme are "sounding the same".
  • coblas singulars : multi-stanza song in which each stanza only repeats the rhyme scheme, but fills it with new rhymes.
  • coblas doblas : multi-stanza song in which two stanzas are linked by the same rhyme filling and separated from the other stanzas.
  • coblas ternas : like "coblas doblas", only with grouping of three stanzas each
  • coblas capcaudadas : the closing rhyme of a stanza forms the beginning rhyme of the following stanza.
  • coblas capfinidas : the closing rhyme of a stanza is repeated in the beginning verse of the following stanza elsewhere in the verse, often as the opening word
  • coblas retrogradadas : repetition of a sequence of rhymes in reverse order
  • rims estramps (in the language of the master sang "grains" ): cross-stanza connection of several or all stanzas through the rhyme of a verse that recurs in the same position and has no rhyme partner within the stanza.

A special feature of many trobador poems, which also met with Wilhelm and has no exact equivalent in previous European poetry, is the so-called tornada since the 13th century (in the 12th century also called fenida and represa , French envoi , German escort ( stanza) ). It consists of one or sometimes two stanzas or short stanzas at the end of the poem, usually separated in terms of content and form, but taking up rhymes or rhyming words of the song again, which are addressed with a personal address to the lady, to another person or to the bearer (the joglar , who recites the poem on behalf of the author) and sometimes turn to the song itself metatextually and add an accompanying, commenting or pointed statement.

In terms of rhyme technique, the male rhyme (with a stressed final syllable) is initially predominant, while the female rhyme (with an unstressed final syllable) only gradually spreads and does not yet alternate regularly with the male, as has become common in French since the 16th century. Compulsory is the full rhyme, in which the rhyming words sound the same at least in the tone vowel and all subsequent sounds, with careful attention to the openness or closeness of the rhymed vowels, while assonance (only the same tone of the tone vowel with possible differences in subsequent consonants) is only sought after as a stylistic feature in isolated cases Popularity encountered. The rhyming repetition of the same word is frowned upon and is only permitted in the case of a pointed difference in meaning, when rhyming simplex and compound and when used as mot refranh (rhyming word with a refrain-like function). In general, the search for 'valuable', i.e. H. rare, hard-to-find rhymes ( rimas caras ), which then especially in the varieties of trobar clus (see above) and trobar ric ("rich poetry") blooms.

The linking and grouping of the stanzas emphasized on the one hand the artificial character of the poetry. On the other hand, it also offered a certain safeguard against the fact that verses of the song were rearranged or left out in the oral and handwritten distribution. Not only in finding new rhymes and designs, but also in the repetition and variation of already given patterns, up to the reuse of an exact sequence of rhyming words, the special artistry of the Trobadors shows. Such a connection, which usually also takes up the musical composition when a stanza form is repeated ( counterfactor ), was very deliberately used by some trobadors to support intertextual content-related references to the songs of their competitors or models, whereby they apparently used one to honor such Allusions could assume an able audience from cultivated connoisseurs.


Trobadord poetry has a broad spectrum of genres that were imitated and further developed in Old French, Old Italian and Middle High German poetry and that formed a kind of canon of courtly lyrical genres of the Middle Ages. The most important genera of the trobadors are:

  • Love Kanzone ( canso ), the kind of the king Trobadors that almost half can be assigned to the songs obtained. In terms of content, she is committed to the topic of "Hohen Minne" ( fin 'amors ) and thus an expression of serving admiration for a high-ranking and unreachable lamented, often recognizable as married lady, who as mistress ( dompna , also in the grammatically masculine form midons , meus dominus ), veiled in their identity and only referred to with an alias ( senhal ). Stylistically and in the rhyme and stanza technique, the kanzone strives to suit the high subject, formally with multiple stanzas, the individual stanza is built according to the principle of Aufgesang (two parallel tunnels) and Abgesang and is otherwise not formally defined, at the end of the song often by completed a tornada.
  • Sirventes : reproach or rebuke, morally or politically satirical in content, which is directed against the "fools" and "malicious" in general and especially against the opponents of "fin 'amors" or against the honored lady herself, but also with more or less current political and military topics are particularly developed in the war songs by Bertran de Born and in the crusade songs. Not formally defined and mostly closely based on the canzone, often created by adopting the design of a well-known canzone, but not limited to the "high" style of the canzone.
  • Planh (from Latin planctus ): Lamentation for the dead of a highly placed person, in terms of style and content closely related to the Latin Planctus tradition, with lamentation of the loss of the deceased, praise of his merits and intercession for his soul, formally also based on the canzone.
  • Alba (French aube , German Tagelied ): Sings of the situation of the lovers on the (adulterous) supplement at dawn, with the fear of watchers, envious and the jealous husband, the joy of the act of love enjoyed and the complaint about the dawn ( Guardian call, Vogelsang, morning light) forced farewell. In the stillage with a tendency to the simple or even popular, with the inclusion of quasi-scenic elements (guardian call and guardian monologue, monologues of the lovers), in the rhyme, verse and stanza technique nevertheless demanding based on the canzone and z. Partly built with the inclusion of formal features of the dance song.
  • Pastorela (also pastureta , French pastourelle ): tells in the first person of a recent incident in a rural springtime setting, the encounter of the knight with a shepherdess, his attempt to get her to sleep with arguments, gifts or violence , their objections, in which the courted woman sometimes proves to be mentally and morally superior despite her lower class, then the satisfaction of his wish or the expulsion of the knight by other shepherds hurrying up. Formally based on the Kanzone, narrative throughout with embedded dialogues and a burlesque style.
  • Partimen , joc parti , tenso : different types of controversial poems between two singers, the content of which is geared towards themes of love casuistry and questions of correct poetry, formally linked to given canzone stanzas , the execution partly influenced by the Latin tradition of conflictus
  • Descort (from the Latin discordia , “discord”): the content of the lament of love is oriented towards the canzone, which reflects the inner turmoil of the lover through a “discordant” form, namely through the alternation of meter and stanza form, as a poem with unequal stanzas related to the Latin sequence , or - in aspecial form establishedby Raimbaut de Vaqueiras - by changing the language from verse to verse.
  • Dansa or balada (French ballad ): dance songs with alternation between the lead singer and the chorus or audience attuning in the chorus, formally characterized by the chorus, which is positioned at the end of the stanza in the dansa and in the middle of the stanza in the less common balada .
  • Estampida (French estampie ): Multi-stanza dance or "stamped song" with heterometric alternation of long and short verses within the verse, the verse itself can vary from verse to verse or remain the same.
  • Retroencha (French rotrouenge ): dance song consisting of three to five identical verses with the same melody and a two-line refrain with a new melody.

The contradiction between the “high” ideal of love in the canzone on the one hand - which is not always sung about without undertones of erotic physicality - and the fulfillment of physical love in Alba and Pastourelle is sometimes explained in research to mean that it is with had to do with a complex system of genres in which the apparently deviating elements also fulfilled their exact function and in this respect did not undermine the system and its dominant norm, but ultimately stabilized it.

Social and cultural milieu

The songs of the Trobadors, in particular Kanzone and Sirventes, do not leave the author in the dark in an anonymizing manner, but confidently focus on him and his personality, stylized according to poetic conventions. They serve to acquire and confirm social or, more generally speaking, public validity and to this extent tend to allow their biographical subject to merge with the literary subject. The vidas (short biographies) and the razos , which have arisen since the 13th century, explain the songs in an anecdotal and biographical manner from a concrete life- story situation of the author, show that at least in this late phase literary subject and biographical person were equated and the audience as Understanding the songs of a life story - often in the form of a rudimentary romance novel - required, which was then extrapolated from the songs themselves in the absence or failure of other sources.

About 460 trobadors are known by name from the roughly one hundred manuscripts, most of which were only created in the 13th and 14th centuries and which have survived around 2500 songs. They included King Alfonso II of Aragon , Duke Wilhelm of Aquitaine and representatives of all higher and lower varieties of chivalry, but also clerics and, since the 13th century, increasingly members of the bourgeoisie. In their capacity as poets, the trobadors address one another as equals, regardless of differences in social class. In their literary education they show proficiency in the trobadoresque poetry itself and, moreover, a more or less pronounced familiarity with the ancient Latin (especially Ovid ) and Middle Latin tradition. Due to their musical compositions - around 260 melodies by 44 different poets are notated in the manuscripts - one can also accept a musical education whose theoretical foundations, as well as grammatical and rhetorical school knowledge, belonged to the teaching program of the Seven Liberal Arts . Incidentally, the names of around 20 female songwriters (in the singular: Trobairitz ) have been passed down. Although these made up only a fraction of the trobadord poetry, they already show a contrast to the purely male minstrel in Central Europe.

The philosophical or also pronounced theological exaggeration of the trobadoresque concept of love, which was based on Aristotelian and Neoplatonic teaching material, as it became fashionable among Italian imitators, is not yet pronounced among the Occitan trobadors. The milieu from which their poetry arises is not the school or the monastery , but the court . The imagery in which the relationship between the lover and his mistress is clothed, despite some echoes of Latin love poetry and liturgy, is first and foremost the legal relationship between the vassal and his liege lord , in which the vassal owes his master service and loyalty and the latter also owes him is committed to loyalty and protection. The temporary waiver of the immediate granting of further favors or goods, often indefinitely circumscribed only as the desired 'joy' ( joi ), is not an expression of religiously based renunciation, but a sign of the courtly virtue of the cortezia , whose characteristics also include generosity ( largueza ) that the singer expects from his mistress in the future.


Suitable for introduction

  • Ulrich Mölk : Trobador poetry. Artemis, Zurich 1968, ISBN 3-7608-1302-X .
  • Dietmar Rieger: The old Provencal poetry. In: Heinz Bergner, Paul Klopsch u. a. (Ed.), Poetry of the Middle Ages I: Problems and Interpretations. (= Reclams Universalbibliothek , 7896), Reclam, Stuttgart 1983, ISBN 3-15-027896-1 , pp. 197-390.
  • Frank RP Akehurst / Judith M. Davis (Eds.): A Handbook of the Troubadours (= Publications of the UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies , 26). University of California Press, Berkeley / Los Angeles / London 1995, ISBN 0-520-07976-0

Chrestomathies, anthologies

  • Karl Bartsch: Chrestomathie provençale: (X. - XV. Siècles) . 6th rev. Eduard Koschwitz, Elwert, Marburg 1904; Repr. Olms, Hildesheim 1971
  • Erhard Lommatzsch: Provencal song book. Songs of the Troubadours, with a selection of biographical testimonies, adaptations [into German] and ways of singing. Weidmannsche Buchhandlung, Berlin 1917, Repr. Slatkine, Geneva 1975 (pp. 417–454 with a selection of melodies based on older editions)
  • Carl Appel: Provencal Chrestomathy: with an outline of the theory of forms and glossary. 6. verb. Ed., Reisland, Leipzig 1930, Repr.Olms, Hildesheim 1971
  • Pierre Bec: Petite anthologie de la lyrique occitane du moyen age: initiation à la langue et à la poésie des troubadours . Éditions Aubanel, Avignon 1962
  • Dietmar Rieger: Medieval poetry of France I: Songs of the Trobadors, Provencal / German. Selected, translated and commented (= Reclams Universal-Bibliothek , 7620). Reclam, Stuttgart 1980, ISBN 3-15-007620-X


  • Frank M. Chambers: An introduction to old provenance versification. Philadelphia 1985 (= Memoirs of the American Philosophical Society, 167), ISBN 0-87169-167-1 (digitized from Google Books [1] )


  • Aurelio Roncaglia: La lingua dei trovatori: profilo di grammatica storica del provenzale antico (= Officina romanica , 2). Edizioni dell'Ateneo, Rome 1965


  • François-Just-Marie Raynouard: Lexique roman ou dictionnaire de la langue des troubadours comparée avec les autres langues de l'Europe latine . Silvestre, Paris 1838–1844, Repr. Carl Winter, Heidelberg 1928–1929, 5 vols. And 1 append. in 5 volumes
  • Emil Levy: Provencal Supplement Dictionary: Corrections and additions to Raynouard's Lexique roman . Reisland, Leipzig 1894-1924, 8 vols.
  • Emil Levy: Petit dictionnaire provençal-français (= collection of Romanesque elementary and handbooks , 3, II). Carl Winter Verlag, Heidelberg 1909, Repr. Carl Winter, Heidelberg, 5th edition 1973, ISBN 3-533-01393-6
  • Kurt Baldinger / Doris Diekmann-Sammet: Complément bibliographique au Provençal supplement dictionary de Emil Levy. Sources, datations. Slatkine, Geneva 1983, ISBN 2-05-100517-6
  • Wolf-Dieter Stempel (Ed.): Dictionnaire de l'occitan médiéval (DOM) . Niemeyer, Tübingen 1997 ff. (Letter "A" not yet completed, bibliography and reference contexts available online: [2] )


  • Alfred Pillet / Henry Carstens: Bibliography of the Troubadours, supplemented, continued and edited by Henry Carstens . Niemeyer, Halle 1933 (= writings of the Königsberg learned society, special series , 3); Repr. Franklin, New York 1968 (= Bibliography and reference series, 166)
  • István Frank: Répertoire métrique de la poésie des troubadours (= Bibliothèque de l'École des Hautes Études, Section des sciences historiques et philologiques, 302/308). Champion, Paris 1953–1957, 2 vols.


  • Frank M. Chambers: Proper Names in the Lyrics of the Troubadours (= Studies in Romance Languages ​​and Literatures , 113). University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 1971
  • Wilhelmina M. Wiacek: Lexique des noms géographiques et ethniques dans les poésies des troubadours des 12e et 13e siècles (= Les classiques d'oc , 3). Nizet, Paris 1968
  • Fritz Bergert: The women named or celebrated by the Trobadors . Niemeyer, Halle 1913 ( digitized version )


  • Peter T. Ricketts (Ed.): Concordance de l'Occitan Médiéval - The Concordance of Medieval Occitan (COM): Les Troubadours. Les Textes Narratifs en vers. CD-ROM, Brepols, Turnhout 2001, ISBN 978-2-503-51416-1


  • Editions of the holdings of the four main manuscripts of the musical tradition:
  • Hendrik van der Werf (melodies) / Gerald A. Bond (texts): The Extant Troubadour Melodies: Transcriptions and Essays for Performers and Scholars. Self-published, Rochester (New York) 1984
  • Ismael Fernández de la Cuesta (melodies) / Robert Lafond (texts, editor-in-chief): Las cançons dels trobadors, amb una revirada alemanda, anglesa, castelhana e francesa . Institut d'estudis occitans, Toulouse 1979
  • Friedrich Gennrich : The musical legacy of the troubadours. Critical edition of the melodies (= Summa musicae medii aevi , 3/4/15 ; Collectanea , 1–3). Self-published, Langen near Frankfurt / Darmstadt 1958–1965, 3 vols.
  • Facsimile editions:
  • Ugo Sesini: Le melodie trobadoriche nel canzoniere provenenzale della Biblioteca Ambrosiana R. 71 sup. Chiantore, Turin 1942
  • Jean Beck / Louise Beck: Le Manuscrit du Roi , fonds français no.844 de la Bibliothèque nationale (= Corpus cantilenarum medii aevi , 1). Oxford University Press, London 1938
  • Paul Meyer / Gaston Raynaud: Le chansonnier français de Saint-Germain-des-Près (Bibl. Nat. Fr. 20050). Reproduction phototypique with transcription. Firmin Didot / Société des Anciens Textes Français, Paris 1892, Repr. Johnson Reprints, New York / London 1968
  • Anthologies:
  • Samuel Rosenberg / Margaret Louise Switten / Gérard Le Vot: Songs of the Troubadours and Trouvères: An Anthology of Poems and Melodies (= Garland Reference Library of the Humanities , 1740). Garland, New York 1998, ISBN 0-8153-1341-1 (with audio CD)
  • Matilda Tomaryn Bruckner / Laurie Shepard / Sarah Melhado White: Songs of the Women Troubadours, edited and translated (= Garland Library of Medieval Literature , A / 97). Garland, New York 1995, ISBN 0-8153-0817-5
  • Recordings
  • Gérard Zuchetto and the Troubadours Art Ensemble presented a complete recording of the surviving holdings based on the edition by van der Werf and based on the chronology of Fernández de la Cuesta / Lafond : La Tròba. Anthologie chantée des Troubadours, XIIème et XIIIème siècles , Troba Vox, 2005–2011, 5 cassettes with a total of 21 CDs and 249 songs (lists of the individual songs for cassettes 2–5 in the BNF catalog : Vol. 2 , Vol. 3 , Volume 4 , Vol. 5 )

To the image of women

  • Rita Lejeune: La femme dans les littératures française et occitane du 9e au 13e siècle , in: Renate Baader (ed.), The image of women in literary France. From the Middle Ages to the present (= Paths of Research , ISSN  0509-9609 , 611), WBG , Darmstadt 1988, ISBN 3-534-08616-3 , pp. 38–51

Web links



  1. ^ Alfred Pillet , Henry Carstens: "Bibliography of the Troubadours" , Max Niemeyer Halle 1933. Ristampa anastatica dell'edizione Halle (Saale), Max Niemeyer Verlag, 1933, a cura di Paolo Borso e Roberto Tagliani. Ledizioni Milano 2013, ISBN 978-88-95994-64-2 . (460 trobadors are listed here by name and numbered in alphabetical order from 1 Ademar to 460 Vescoms de Torena). The "Count of Poitiers", "lo coms de Peiteus" (sic), ie Wilhelm IX., Bears the number 183.