Troubadour (artist)

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William IX. of Aquitaine - Illustration from Bibliothèque Nationale, MS cod. fr. 12473, 13th century

A troubadour ( French word form) or trobador (original Occitan word form) is the name given to the poet , composer and singer of courtly medieval songs , especially the trobador poetry in southern France , written in Occitan . The time of the trobadors, as their oldest representative Wilhelm IX. of Aquitaine is mainly the 12th and 13th centuries. The last trobador is often called Raimon de Cornet .

Word history

Etymology of trobar

Occitan trobador ( Obliquus ) with the subsidiary form trobaire (nominative) and the feminine form trobairitz is derived from the root word trob- , as in the verb form trobar . The latter means “find, invent, create a song, compose” and corresponds to the conception of the inventio concept of ancient rhetoric that the poetic (oratory, musical) creative process is primarily a purposeful “finding” of suitable means of expression and themes as “places '( loci , topoi ) in the works is the predecessor or in the memory of these works.

The origin of the word trobar is not clear. In Romance studies , since Gaston Paris (1909), a Latin word * tropare , which has not been taken from the source, but is phonetically- legally derived from trobar and from the old French trouver, has been adopted, which initially meant ' to compose, to compose a musical trope ' and his I then gradually expanded the meaning to “compose” and finally “find” in general. It is questionable whether contropare ('to compare') or contropatio ('to compare'), which Leo Spitzer (1940) brought up from isolated sources from the 6th century, can support this thesis. However, the Gallo-Roman * TROPĀTOR is considered to be a possible source of the Occitan trobaire and Old French trovere > F trouvère and * TROPATŌRE of the Occitan trobador and Old French troveor, troveeur .

Will represent rare on Friedrich Diez declining (1861) and later by Hugo Schuchardt advanced thesis that Latin turbare (churn) a phonetically irregular, possibly by serviced trublare (ferret) influenced development Gallo-Roman * tropare > O trobar / F trouver (> Italian trovare ) in the meaning of 'to find' and so could also come into use in a narrower meaning for musical-poetic (inventio) finding ('inventio').

From the Arab side, first by Julián Ribera (1928), an influence from the Arabic ṭaraba (طرب, to sing , to be entertained by singing ) was suggested especially for this narrower poetic-musical meaning , which has recently also been suggested by María Rosa Menocal (1982 / 83) was actively represented, but received only hesitant attention in Romance studies and, moreover, could not yet explain the origin of the general meaning of the word 'find'.

It is clearly shown by the only ancient texts that we have on this subject that the Old French word trover is mentioned in a document much earlier than the Occitan word trobar . Trover can actually be found in the Vie de saint Léger (10th century). It actually means "discover, encounter". It is mentioned again in the 11th century with a closer meaning in the song of Alexius . It was not until the 12th century that Wace used it to mean "composing something with verse".

Trobador, troubadour, trouvère

In Romance studies a distinction is made according to the original Old Occitan and Old French names:

  1. Trobadors , d. H. Poet of trobard poetry especially in the ancient Occitan literary language of southern France, in which Galician, Catalan, Gascon and Italian poets also wrote songs.
  2. Trouvères , d. H. Poet in the old French literary language of northern France, which or its Anglo- Norman variant was at times also the literary language of the English upper class and its poets after the conquest of England by the Normans.

The old French word trouvère fell out of use with the end of the Middle Ages and was replaced in French by the troubadour loan structure since the 16th century , which could then be used to denote Occitan and northern French representatives alike and which was also adopted in German with this expanded meaning from the 18th century has been.

With the emergence of a scholarly Romance studies, the technical meaning of the word troubadour / trobador was again limited to the Occitan representatives of trobador poetry, with the return to the original Occitan word form "Trobador" instead of "Troubadour", especially in German Romance studies. has prevailed, while in France, the Netherlands and in English-language literature the northern French spelling “troubadour” continues to prevail.

The German minstrels are usually not referred to as "troubadours", unless colloquially generally meant medieval songwriters without special regard for their language.

In a figurative and then mostly ironic meaning, “troubadour” is sometimes also used for modern chansonniers or pop singers .

Well-known troubadors and Trobairitz

The following selection gives an overview of important Troubadors and Trobairitz in approximate chronology.

See also


  • Margarita Egan: Les vies des Troubadours. Texts réunis et traduits by Margarita Egan. Union Générale D'éditions, Paris 1985. ISBN 2-264-00638-2 (The book contains the vidas of 61 trobadors in both Occitan and French.)

Web links

Wiktionary: Troubadour  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

On the etymology of trobar:

Individual evidence

  1. Jacques Allières: La formation de la langue française , coll. Que sais-je?, Éditions PUF, 1982, p. 49. 2) Imparisyllabiques β) Mots en -OR -ŌRE .
  2. CNRTL origin of »trouver« (French)