Additionally, we got to do some fun custom work, including creating cages to protect the subs on custom rolling plates. We ended up with a solution of six ARCS IIs flown in horizontal mode to cover the main floor and four ARCS Focus cabinets oriented in a vertical configuration, slightly offset to stage left from the positions of the main speakers to accommodate the offset balcony.
Narro, who has been with The Troubadour for four years, the last two as production manager. The upgrade has made a noticeable improvement to the quality and coverage in the venue, he says. Four SB28 dualinch subwoofers groundstacked two per side down below deliver low-end reinforcement.
The system has headroom to spare, adds Narro. Around the same time Courtly Love was condemned by the church as heretical. But there was a carrot as well as a stick. It is no coincidence that the cult of the Virgin Mary also began in the west around this time - fostered specifically to counter courtly views of women. Many songs focus on the concept of Courtly Love in French l'amour courtois often featuring extravagantly artificial and stylized relationships and characterised by five attributes:.
Poets adopted the conventions of feudalism, declaring themselves the vassal of the lady and addressing her as an overlord midons, literally "my lord". One advantage of this was that it provided the poet with a way of avoiding the lady's name, and at the same time flattering her. In a way. The lady was noble, rich and powerful and the humble poet gave voice to the aspirations of the courtier class - even if the poet was himself a senior nobleman - perhaps even a member of a royal house. Only those who qualified as noble could engage in courtly love, but the qualification was not the one promoted by the Church.
According to the troubadours real nobility is not based on wealth or birth, but on character and action. Contempt for class distinction in Occitan and Troubadour culture is well illustrated by the mixed social standing of the troubadours we know of.
As well as many commoners and minor nobles, known troubadours include five high born ladies, five viscounts, ten counts and a countess, five marquises, a duke, seven kings and an emperor. A few Troubadour kings of note are:. The main topic of troubadour poetry is love, and it was the need to express works as succinctly as possible that led to the establishment of genres, distinguished less by form than by content or situation. The most common forms were;. Troubadour lyrics were sung and accompanied by instruments that are thought to have duplicated the melody - partly on the grounds that all the music that has survived is monophonic.
As Grove points out "most troubadour songs are strophic, based on stanzaic patterns repeated throughout the song to the melody of the first verse in widely ranging schemes, always devised with a great awareness of technical accomplishment". Troubadours themselves were intensely conscious of everything to do with form and style. The same text often survives with several different melodies, making authorship uncertain.
Melodies use a much greater modal variety and flexibility than their liturgical counterparts, some displaying the equivalent of modulation. Only a small proportion of the repertoire survive with sophisticated notation, making rhythmic interpretation difficult.
A few later examples are however notated in modal rhythm. Many troubadours were caught up in the Crusade against the Cathars of the Languedoc , largely because their noble patrons were Cathars , or at least were sympathetic to the Cathars. After this period the High culture of the Troubadours declined - the decline is often attributed to the Crusade and the activities of the Papal Inquisition that followed it. Many troubadour patrons finished up dispossessed, some even as faidits - homeless guerilla fighters.
But the decline came some time after wandering troubadours had already influenced neighbouring lands. How closely the troubadours of the Languedoc were associated with the Cathar religion is still debat ed. Denis de Rougement in Love in the Western World said the troubadours were influenced by Cathar doctrines which rejected the pleasures of the flesh. According to him troubadours were metaphorically addressing the spirit and soul of the lady. Some less rigorous historians like Otto Rahn have affirmed that Cathars and troubadours were the same people under different names or at least that troubadours performed at Cathar ceremonies.
The truth is that there is very little historical evidence to implicate troubadours in Catharism - on the other hand it is hardly surprising that no pro-Cathar troubadour literature has survived. The Inquisition were the supreme masters at rooting out and destroying what they saw as heretical works as well as their heretical authors. He was a noted troubadour but there is no evidence that he was himself a Cathar believer.
Peire Cardenal, another troubadour, although sometimes regarded as verging on heresy, is not specifically Cathar in his views. Some circumstantial reasons for associating Cathar and Troubadour ideas are:. Two Occitan poets contributed to a book length account of the Crusade against the Cathars of the Languedoc. The Counts of Toulouse were patrons of the troubadours from the early twelfth century.
Troubadours were welcomed and often became part of the innermost circle of the Counts - part of their familia. In this they behaved much like neighbouring princes: The kings of Aragon, Kings of England and the Dukes of Aquitaine. The same troubadours visited their courts, sometimes changing allegiance as they did so. Jaufre Rudel accompanied his soverign to the Second Crusade, along with the Count's illigitimate son Betrand.
Under Raymond V the Court at Toulouse became a brilliant centre for the troubadour arts. Around he welcomed to his court a trobairitz named Na Alamanda. From Peire d'Auvergne we know that the Count himself sang in public - indeed we learn that the Count sang a composition that was promptly stolen by another troubadour, Peire de Monzo. It was common for troubadours to use a senhal - a sort of nickname or pet-name for the subjects of their poems. Bernart de Ventadorn used the senha l "Alvernhat", apparently poking gentle fun at Count Raymond V, his master, whose heart seems to have been captivated by a lady called Na Vierna.
An indication that even great lords aspired to be troubadours, and also that troubadours of whatever social class were accepted as equals, is that sometimes a great lord and his troubadour would use the same senhal for each other. Sometimes a troubadour and his prince clearly shared an affection for the same lady. Here is my poor translation of a passage from Peire Vidal , addressing a lady, but including a reference to a co-admirer, Raymond V, the hansome Castiat:. This is a world at once impossibly remote from us and at the same time almost familiar, lying just the other side of those Blue Remembered Hills.
Above all, it is clear how much troubadours from Raymond's familia cared for their prince. Peire Vidal - who had previously abandoned Raymond for the Court of Aragon - was even more affected. We know from a razo De chantar m'era laisatz that:. Raymond of Toulouse and Raymond de Miraval shared a common senhal.
They called each other "Audiart". In , on their way to the Fourth Lateran Council, Raymond VI and Gui de Cavalhon exchanged a partimen concerning the possible recovery of Raymond's lost territories. According to the canso Gui de Cavalhon , the troubadour who had shared partimen with Raymond VI just a year before, counselled the future Raymond VII on the subject of paratge.
The Song of the Crusade, canso de la crozada, Chanson de la Croisade is an Occitan poem dealing with the first part of the French Catholic crusader wars against the people of the Languedoc in the thirteenth century. It is also, more accurately, referred to as the Song of the Cathar Wars, and often known simply as the canso.
For information about the poem visit a page specifically on the Son g o f the Cathar Wars. If troubadour ideas did not come from the Cathars then the question of their origins is still open. There is no general agreement on this. In fact there is not even general agreement on the exact meaning of the word trobar. As well as the Cathars, contenders the source of troubadour ideas range from Arabic, Celtic, and liturgical to classical Latin, goliardic and folkloristic sources.
Ideas indistinguishable from courtly love were already prevalent in Al-Andalus and elsewhere in the Islamic world, so it is likely that Islamic practices influenced Christian Europeans. William IX of Aquitane, the first recognised troubadour, had been involved in the Reconquista in Spain, where he would have come into contact with Muslim culture. According to one source he started his troubadour carreer not long after finding among a crowd of captives some women already trained as singers and poets.
An any case, in 11th-century Spain, groups of wandering poets would travel from one noble court to another. Christians and Moslems who had lived next to each other for decades tended to be a little more understanding and tolerant than their monocultural fellows, and cultural leakage across religious borders as also happened in the Holy Land seems likely. In later years contacts between Spanish poets and French troubadours became frequent. As a final piece in the jigsaw puzzle, metrical forms used by troubadours had earlier been used by Spanish poets.
In line with the much greater equality enjoyed by women in the Languedoc compared to their sisters elsewhere in Christendom, a number of female troubadours are known. A woman troubadour is called a Trobairitz. Click on the following link for more on troubairitz. Her works include the only surviving work by a troubairitz for which we have the music. Click on the following link for an example of her racy lyrics Estat ai en greu cossirier with an English translation. Music, in modern notation for a song by La Comtessa da Dia.
Jeux Floraux were founded in or around at Toulouse by seven troubadours to uphold the traditions of courtly lyricism. It promulgated a code of poetry known as the laws of love and awarded a golden flower of its annual literary competition established in With the decay of the troubadour tradition, its literary contest was supplemented by a French competition.
After Occitan was dropped altogether and the sole language of contributions was French. It received its present title from Louis XIV in The group supported Victorian style romanticism and 19th-century winners of its traditional golden flower included Chateaubriand and Hugo. The modern competion is held in Toulouse on 3rd May each year. This is not the only vestige of a great inheritance. Texts of Troubadour poems in Occitan.
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Troubadour Conventions and favourite themes Troubadours made great contributions to intellectual life with their new art, blending courtly love, eroticism, war, nature, political satire and philosophy - all of which apart from war songs excited the ire of the Roman Church. Many songs focus on the concept of Courtly Love in French l'amour courtois often featuring extravagantly artificial and stylized relationships and characterised by five attributes: Literary. Before it established itself as a real-life activity, courtly love was a theme in imaginative literature. Courtly love between noblemen and noblewomen was popular in song and fable before real knights and ladies started to behave in the same way rather like to bored young rich of today aping what they see in films.
Courtly love was practiced by lords and ladies typically in a royal palace or court. Courtly lovers were pledged to strict secrecy. A critical element of their affair, and the source of its special attraction, was that no-one else should know about it. The lovers comprised their own closed universe with its own secret meeting places, rules and codes of conduct. Couples engaged in a courtly relationship exchanged gifts and tokens of their love.
The lady was the exalted domina, the commanding mistress of the affair. He was her servus, her lowly but faithful servant.
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She was wooed according to elaborate conventions of etiquette and was the recipient of songs, poems, bouquets, sweetmeats, favours and gestures. For all these attentions, she was expected to return no more than a hint of approval or affection. Unrequited desire was part of the fun. One might observe that this aspect has developed in a specialist trade in more cynical modern times Adulterous.
One of its attractions was that it offered an escape from the routine and confinement of noble marriage - accepted by all as a political or economic alliance for the purpose of producing dynastic heirs. Troubadours scoffed at conventional marriage, dismissing it as yet another religious swindle. In its place they exalted their own ideal of a relationship the objective of which was not mere sexual satisfaction, but sublime and ethereal intimacy. According to tradition, great ladies like Eleanor of Aquitaine presided over Courts of Love - one of which passed judgment that a wife could never be the object of her own husband's fine love.
A troubadour addressing a similar question pointed out that a wife might have two lovers - her husband and one other - but that three was one too many. His death was mourned by a fellow troubadour, Gaucelm Faidit, in a moving lament called a planh. As well as being a troubadour himself, Alfonso was a patron of the arts.
He was the patron of many troubadours, and established a course in music at the university of Salamanca. Guiraut Riquier, the last of the troubadours, is known to have spent time at Alfonso's court. Troubadour Lyrics The main topic of troubadour poetry is love, and it was the need to express works as succinctly as possible that led to the establishment of genres, distinguished less by form than by content or situation.
The most common forms were; sirventes satirical political poems , planhs laments , albas morning songs - generally about having to separate after a night together: typically lovers are warned by a watchman that morning is approaching and that they both risk discovery by their spouses , pastorals amorous encounters between a knight and a shepherdess , teux-partis disputes , cansos courtly love-songs, consisting of five or six stanzas with an envoi - a short stanza at the end used either to address an imagined or actual person or to comment on the body of the poem.
Troubadour Music Troubadour lyrics were sung and accompanied by instruments that are thought to have duplicated the melody - partly on the grounds that all the music that has survived is monophonic. Troubadours and Cathars Many troubadours were caught up in the Crusade against the Cathars of the Languedoc , largely because their noble patrons were Cathars , or at least were sympathetic to the Cathars. They shared a concept of spiritual love and rejection of carnal love - though there is little evidence that either group recognised the similarities with the other in the Middle Ages.
They both ridiculed the Roman Catholic Church and its beliefs, and were both hated by the Church for their attitudes as well as for their ideas - for example both Troubadours and Cathars regarded women more highly than the Catholic Church.
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To Catholic bishops the idea of a woman troubadour, or trobairitz was almost as alien and monstrous as the idea of a Cathar Parfaite. Again, Troubadours and Cathars expressed contempt for conventional class distinctions that were approved as God-given by the Catholic Church. Both ridiculed marriage. Both regarded the Catholic Church as little more than a huge moneymaking scam. Troubadours and Cathars were popular in the same areas and at the same time - in roughly decreasing order of market penetration in the early thirteenth century: Lands of the Count of Toulouse and the County of Foix, Aquitaine, Provence, Lombardy, Catalonia, Angou and other English lands in continental Europe, France, Germany.
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It has been alleged that Catharist thought is expressed in some of the poems of the troubadours, in the medieval versions of the Arthurian cycle, and especially in the legends of the quest for the holy Grail. The search for traces of Catharism in such literature has been pressed with enthusiasm but has not produced convincing results.
Troubadours at the Court of the Counts of Toulouse The Counts of Toulouse were patrons of the troubadours from the early twelfth century. Joy arises in your presence. It increases all around you; that's what we feel, me and my Beax Castiat; and I frequently feel a perfect happiness - as often as he reminds me of the joy brought by you and your appearance. Peire Vidal was powerfuly afflicted by the death of the good Count Raymond of Toulouse and experienced great sadness because of it. He dressed in black, had the tails and ears of all his horses cropped, had his hair shaved off, and also the hair of all his servants; but let his beard and finger nails grow.
He continued in this way for a long time, like a man insane with grief and sorrow. The Song of the Crusade, La canso de la crozada or The Song of the Cathar Wars The Song of the Crusade, canso de la crozada, Chanson de la Croisade is an Occitan poem dealing with the first part of the French Catholic crusader wars against the people of the Languedoc in the thirteenth century. Works include: 7 cansos. He is the hero of Rostand's La Princesse lointaine ,though the story on which this is based is probably apocryphal. More on Jaufre Rudel Bernart de Ventadorn Bernard de Ventadour , known in of poor family - his father had been a sort of stoker - feeding wood into a bread oven.
Works include: 44 pieces Bernart de Ventadorn Peire Vidal , c. His poems are excellent examples of troubadour love poetry, notable for their strong personal feeling and simple style. Works include: 52 pieces. He exploited the esoteric style known as the 'trobar clos'; thirteen of his forty poems have surviving melodies. One of them Bim pac d'lveru covers almost two octaves.
Works include: 38 pieces.