Medieval Music (II): Secular Music

Secular and religious music in the Middle Ages developed together, with the two intermingling and influencing each other in their development. Although religious music has been trying to avoid secularization, as can be seen in the previous article, there was still a secularization of religious music The trend. The secular music also continues to absorb content in religious music. Unlike religious music, secular music is mainly used for entertainment and lyricism, etc., and cannot be used for Christian rituals, which makes secular Music took on its different styles and characteristics.

The secular music of the Middle Ages as far as can be attested at present is from the 11th century, and since then, languages were gradually established throughout Europe . The creators of the music in the regions began to create secular music in the dialects of the regions, the creators of which, in addition to the wandering artists of the regions, were more Three groups of people are represented: the French troubadours, the German oenophiles and the artisan singers. These men composed many secular songs, representing the landscape of secular music in the 11th-14th centuries of the Middle Ages.

I. Troubadours
The troubadours, active from the 11th century to the end of the 13th century, began to appear in the south of France, and most of these troubadours were aristocrats. The minstrels, knights, kings, and talented people, this class of minstrels is called the Troubadour. In the south there are also bardesses called Trobairitz, who are poets as well as musicians and often write their own songs in Proven├žal (Occitan). These were poets as well as musicians, often composing works in the Proven├žal (Occitan) language to express their personal feelings. In the middle of the 12th century, influenced by the south of France, troubadours also began to appear in the north of France, with northern troubadours called “Trouvere” (Trouvere). They were composed in the predecessor of modern French (Oui), not very different in form and content from the Troubadours. About 5,000 of the poems and 2,000 of the melodies produced by the troubadours have been preserved.

The subject matter of the southern and northern troubadours was mostly love, or more specifically, “courtly love”. In today’s parlance, it is the love of the “spare tire” and the “goddess”. In the Middle Ages, European aristocrats had the custom of “marriage”, the emphasis was on the “family”, a prestigious family lady, usually the “family”. They would marry into another family with a prestigious position. The minstrels were often of a lower class and could not marry noble ladies. But interestingly enough, these bards also preferred to fall in love with a lady who was of a higher class than themselves or who was married, giving rise to “Courtly Love”. The secular music composed by these troubadours is essentially an assortment of lyrical expressions of love, with complaints, blessings, and Sadness, etc. There are, of course, bards who are more highbrow, who write about nature, politics, history, religion, war, etc. Works.

Musical compositions composed by bards tend to be one word to one sound, with freer melodies and more complex rhythms, often using AAB The structure of the form is of a certain improvisational nature. Let us listen to the southern troubadour Bernart de Ventadorn (1130- 1190) composed “I Saw a Lark Fly High”.

Bernard, the eldest brother, used to work in the house of a French countess, and coincidentally, he fell in love with the countess. He wrote a lot of songs for the countess, and the two of them got tired of each other every day. But unfortunately, the countess married away to England. Dying There. “I Saw the Lark Flying High,” which expresses Bernard’s rather sad feelings about the Countess’s lost love after her long marriage.

II. Love Poem Hand.
From the 12th to the 14th centuries, minstrel-like “love poets” (Minnesinger. The German word Minne means “courtly love”.) Minneurs are more abstract and romantic than minstrels, and their expressions of love are not limited to love. At the same time, the oenophiles were not limited to love, but also dealt with many other subjects.

In the 12th century, Walther von der Fogelweider (Walther von der Volgelweide) was a well-known fetish poet of the time. He worked in the home of the older man who had led the Crusades, and he followed the older man in the Crusades, eventually seeing Jerusalem . One of his compositions, “Blessed Is My Life,” was probably written after he saw Jerusalem. Let’s hear it.

III. Artisan Singers

In the 14th century, the German “Meistersinger” followed the German fond poets. Also known as “celebrity singers”. Their composition has changed compared to that of the troubadours and poetophiles, the artisan singers being, as the name suggests, a group of artisan singers! They had their own guilds and would often organize “singing competitions”, which developed well into the 16th century. The artisan singers, because of their different status from the minstrels and poetophiles, seem to have been more focused on the pursuit of music rather than just on the “singing”. It’s love.

IV. instrumental music
Instrumental music in the Middle Ages was only used in secular music, as it was not available in medieval Christianity. The instrumental music of this period was largely dance music and relatively simple in musical structure.

In terms of musical instruments, the medieval instruments were still in the initial stages of development, and the more representative instruments were.

Vielle, a general term for bowed stringed instruments, is the predecessor of the 16th-century vielle and the modern violin.

The harp (harp), a pizzicato stringed instrument, can also be found in some medieval historical sources.

Lute, plucked stringed instrument, forerunner of the modern guitar and lute.

Pipe organ, the oldest keyboard instrument. It originated in ancient Greece in the 3rd century B.C., when it was powered by water pressure to propel the sound through the windpipe. In the Middle Ages, pipe organs began to use bellows for their sound. In the Middle Ages, in addition to the large church organ, there were also two types of small, portable organs, which gave way to the later keyboard instruments, the organ and the piano. The foundation for the development of the

It is worth mentioning that most of the instruments mentioned above seem to have their origins in Asia.