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Article

Maria V. Coldwell

(fl late 12th century). Troubadour. She exchanged a tenso with Giraut de Bornelh, S’ieus quier conseil, bel’ amig’ Alamanda (PC 242.69). The music survives in one manuscript ( F-Pn f.f. 22543, f.8r; ed. in H. van der Werf and G. Bond: The Extant Troubadour Melodies, Rochester, NY, ...

Article

Robert Falck

revised by John Haines

(b Autafort [now Hautefort], ?1150; d Dalon, nr Hautefort, before 1215). Troubadour. His birthplace was in the Périgord region of the former province of Limousin; he was lord of the family castle at Autafort. In about 1195 he entered the Cistercian monastery at Dalon, Ste Trie, and remained there until his death. He is probably best known for his praise of military and political exploits; in the eighth circle of Dante’s Inferno he is referred to as the ‘headless trunk that followed in the tread … and by the hair held its severed head’. He was punished in this way because he was the instigator of the quarrels between Henry II and his sons in the 1180s. Though his actual participation in these events has possibly been exaggerated by his medieval biographers, many of his poems do refer to the events directly or indirectly.

Of over 40 poems attributed to Bertran, only one, ...

Article

Stephen Haynes

revised by Gwynn Spencer McPeek

[Capduill, Capduoill, Cabdueill, Capduch, Capduelh, Capdueil, Chapteuil] [Pontius de Capitolio]

(fl before 1190–after 1220). Troubadour. According to the brief medieval vida, he was a knight from the diocese of Puy-Ste-Marie-en-Velay (Haute-Loire). He can probably be identified with the Pontius de Capitolio who is documented from 1195 to 1220 in relation to his wife's property of Vertaizon, and who seems to have died by 1236. He must have been well known as a courtly poet by about 1190, to judge from a poem by Elias de Barjols which praises his ‘guaieza’ (literally ‘cheerfulness’, but with connotations of courtly elegance and general good breeding). At about this time he may also have exchanged verses with Folquet de Marseille and with the Catalan Guillem de Berguedà. His crusading songs have been convincingly dated to c1213, and two of his poems may be addressed to Beatrice of Savoy, who married Raymond-Berenger IV, Count of Provence, in 1217–19. The lady Azalaïs or Alazais, whose death he commemorated in a ...

Article

Robert Falck

(b Le Puy-en-Velay, ?1180; d ?Montpellier, ?1278). Troubadour. His place of birth, in the modern département of Haute-Loire, is known through his vida; a number of members of his family are also traceable there. The estimated date of his birth is based on a document which mentions a certain ‘Petrus Cardinalis’ who was employed as a clerk in 1204 by Raimon VI, Count of Toulouse. The vida tells us that Peire lived to be nearly 100 years old, and that he probably died in Montpellier, the principal residence of Jaime I, King of Aragon (1213–76). As a small boy, Peire attended a clerical school in order to learn reading and singing. It is doubtful whether he ever became a priest, but he did write a large number of Marian poems.

Over 90 poems have been attributed to him, of which three only have survived with melodies. It is evident from the ...

Article

Maria V. Coldwell

Article

Ian R. Parker

[Saint Sixt]

(b Thégra, nr Rocamadour, 1190; d c1253). Troubadour. He was the younger son of a poor vavasour and was active in Toulouse and certain courts in Spain before travelling to Italy in about 1218. He appears to have married in Italy and worked in the courts of Turin, Treviso and Auramala. He wrote the vida of Bernart de Ventadorn, and has been credited with many others. He composed a few chansons before his marriage but concentrated thereafter on sirventes, tensos and strophic exchanges (see Jeu-parti). His partners included Guillem of Baus, 4th Count of Orange, the Count of Rodez and probably Raimondo III of Turin. Only three of his 43 surviving songs have melodies (Anc enemics qu’eu agues, PC 457.3; Nuls hom no sap d’amic, tro l’a perdut, PC 457.26; Tres enemics e dos mals seignors ai, PC 457.40): all are in a regular ...

Article

Elizabeth Aubrey

(fl 1149–70). Troubadour. He was possibly the son of a burgher in Alvergne, and may have sought the patronage of the counts of Barcelona, Provence and Toulouse. His famous sirventes, Chantarai d’aquest trobadors (whose melody does not survive), satirizes several contemporaries, including Raimbaut d’Aurenga, Giraut de Bornelh and Bernart de Ventadorn. The song was once thought to have been composed in conjunction with the procession from Bordeaux to Tarazona in 1170 of Aliénor, daughter of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine, to marry Alfonso VIII of Castile, but that has been shown to be improbable. Peire composed about 24 poems, but only two survive with melodies (ed. in van der Werf): a tenso with Bernart de Ventadorn (PC 323.4; F-Pn fr. 844) and a canso, Dejosta·ls breus jorns e·ls loncs sers (PC 323.15; F-Pn fr.20050 and 22543). The latter is through-composed, and in its conservative texture and range it resembles the melodies of Bernart. The ...

Article

Elizabeth Aubrey

(fl 1162–73; d Cortezon). Troubadour. He was a lord of the town of Omelas, west of Montpellier. Through his father he was a vassal of the seigneurs of Montpellier; he also had connections, through his mother, with the lords of Baux. Raimbaut maintained a fairly lavish court at his castle at Cortezon (between Orange and Avignon in the marquisate of Provence), where he may have received Marcabru, Guiraut de Bornelh, and Peire d'Alvernhe, and a joglar named Levet who is mentioned in his poems and in his testament. His 40 surviving poems contain allusions to French literature, Ovid and rhetoric, with recondite versification schemes, a style known as trobar ric. Only one canso melody is extant, in the northern French source F-Pn fr.20050: Pos tals sabers mi sors e·m creis (PC 389.36; ed. in van der Werf and in Aubrey). It is essentially through-composed, but several phrases are repeated with variations, a common technique among the troubadours. It makes use of a three-note rising figure at the beginning of almost every phrase, similar to motivic treatments in music by his contemporaries....

Article

Theodore Karp

( fl 1214–40). Provençal troubadour . Two works are ascribed to this poet, probably identifiable with Pons I d’Ortaffa (in the vicinity of Perpignan), who appears in documents of 1214 and 1240. Si ay perdut mon saber (PC 379.2; of contested authorship) survives with music. In bar form, the melody is interesting for the manner in which it develops in the cauda the opening motif of the second phrase....

Article

Ian R. Parker

[Uisel, Uissel]

(b c1170; d before 1225). Troubadour. He, his two brothers Eble and Peire and his cousin Elias were seigneurs of the fortress of Ussel-sur-Sarzonne (Corrèze). According to his vida, Gui renounced his seigneurie in exchange for canonries at Brioude (Haute-Loire) and Montferrand (now Clermont-Ferrand). The vida also states that he composed songs whereas Elias wrote tensos and Eble mala tensos on all of which Peire ‘descanted’. There is no evidence that this is a reference to polyphonic descanting; it seems rather to imply simply the art of melody writing. Gui is said to have obeyed an injunction from the papal legate ordering him to stop composing; this may have been in about 1209 (Audiau). His chanson Si be·m partetz was the basis for a strophic exchange by Peire, En Gui d'Uisel (PC 361.1), but no separate melody has survived. Gui is the only troubadour of the Ussel family whose melodies are extant. His attributed works include eight chansons, three pastourelles, seven ...

Article

(b Riberác, ?1150–60; d c1200). Troubadour. Famed as a master of the difficult style, or trobar ric, he brought the poetic style of the troubadours to new heights. His most notable admirers have included Dante, Petrarch, and, much later, Ezra Pound. In canto xxvi of the Purgatorio, Dante not only rated Arnaut higher than Giraut de Bornelh (known as the ‘maestre del trobadors’), but paid him a supreme compliment by rendering his speech in Old Provençal. What little is known of Arnaut's life has been derived from his vida, his razo and a few references scattered throughout his poems. The vida refers to him as a man of letters who later became a joglar, or entertainer. One of Arnaut's poems (PC 29.8) alludes to his presence at the coronation of the ‘king of Estampes’, probably that of Philippe II Auguste in 1179 or 1180 (see Gouiran). Dante made him a contemporary of Count Raymond Berenger of Provence (...

Article

Elizabeth Aubrey

(fl 1140–62). Troubadour. He evidently came from Barbezieux, in the Saintonge and Cognac region, north of Blaye. He was evidently a knight, probably the younger of two sons in a family of deputies to the Lord of Berbezilh, and seems to have been a distant cousin of Jaufre Rudel. A document dating from after 1157 indicates that Rigaut became a monk. His poetic output includes one planh and ten cansos. His poems contain beasts, birds, stars and other natural objects, and allusions to Ovid and the Perceval tale. The Perceval song, two of the bestiary songs and a traditional love canso survive with melodies, which are neumatic in texture with many leaps of 3rds, through-composed but with some varied repetition of phrases, generally staying within the range of an octave. A few of his songs achieved long-lasting fame, such as Atressi cum l'orifans, whose melody survives in three manuscripts, and whose text appears in a late 13th-century Italian ...

Article

Robert Falck

revised by John Haines

[de Borneill]

(b Bourney, nr Périgueux, c1140; d c 1200). Troubadour. He was called by his contemporaries the ‘maestre del trobadors’. His vida (for sources, see Pillet and Carstens, p.203) states that he was born in modest circumstances but managed to acquire a good education, and that he was held in high esteem for the subtlety and perfection of his poems by ‘noblemen and by connoisseurs’. His songs show that he travelled widely, visiting virtually every court in southern France and northern Spain. This is confirmed in the vida, which reports that in winter he taught in school, and in summer he travelled from court to court accompanied by two singers who performed his songs. From references in two poems (PC 242.33 and 41), it seems likely that he was at some time a participant in the Third Crusade.

77 poems are attributed to Giraut, among them three tensos...

Article

Theodore Karp

[Mareulh, Maroill]

(fl c1170–1200). Provençal troubadour. He was apparently born at Mareuil-sur-Belle in the diocese of Périgord. According to his romanticized biography, he was by profession a scribe and notary, but abandoned his poorly paid duties in favour of a more enjoyable existence as troubadour; in the latter capacity he was first at the court of Roger II, Viscount of Béziers, and his wife Adelaide, and afterwards at the court of William VIII, Count of Montpellier. Of the 26 chansons attributed to him, six survive with music; 13 more works are ascribed to him in various sources, but are not likely to be his. In addition, he wrote both saluts d'amours (poetic love-letters), five of which survive, and an ensenhamen, a didactic, moralizing poem commenting on contemporary customs. He was among the first to cultivate these genres. His poetry was much appreciated by Petrarch. He preferred evolving tonalities and structures to centralized ones: only ...

Article

Robert Falck

[Folc] [Fulco Anfos]

(b ?Marseilles, c1150–60; d Toulouse, Dec 25, 1231). Troubadour. According to his vida he was born in Marseilles and was the son of a Genoese merchant named Amfos. His name first appears in a document in Marseilles dated 23 January 1178, where the reference is to ‘Fulco Anfos’; the possibility that he was born in Genoa, however, cannot be discredited. The vida states that after the death of his father Folquet was left a rich man, and he has been frequently referred to as a merchant.

His early career may be traced with some precision through allusions in his poems: it began in about 1180 at the court of Alfonso II of Aragon, continued in Nîmes and Montpellier until about 1187, and, according to songs related to the third crusade (1189), concluded in about 1195 (see Stronski's edn, pp.68–75). The vida states finally that he ‘abandoned the world and entered the Cistercian order with his wife and two sons’. He became abbot of Thoronet Abbey in Provence in about ...

Article

Theodore Karp

(fl 1185–1229). Troubadour. Although his name appears in documents of 1157–1229, these apparently refer to two persons, possibly father and son; it is thus difficult to determine the approximate birthdate of the poet. A member of the lesser nobility, Raimon shared with three brothers a small castle at Miraval, north of Carcassonne. This was taken by the Albigensian crusaders in either 1209 or 1211, and Bel m’es qu’ieu chant e condey refers to its loss. Raimon received the patronage of Count Raimon VI of Toulouse (alluded to in his poetry as ‘Audiart’) and Viscount Raimon-Rogier of Béziers (‘Pastoret’). He was familiar with Uc de Mataplana, and, like Aimeric de Peguilhan, he visited the courts of Pedro II of Aragon and Alfonso VIII of Castile (perhaps in the company of Raimon VI, following the latter’s defeat in 1213). According to his vida he died in a monastery at Lérida. Various noble ladies and men are mentioned in Raimon’s poetry under fictitious names. Raimon Vidal and Matfre Ermengaut regarded Raimon de Miraval as the embodiment of the courtly lover, and two of his works are cited by Berenguier de Noia. Francesco da Barberino indicated that a story by Raimon provided the basis for one of his own, but Raimon’s work has apparently not survived....

Article

Ian R. Parker

[Parazol, Pararol, Pararols, Palaol, Palaiol, Palon]

(b ?Palol, nr Elna [Elne]; fl 12th century). Troubadour. He is traditionally considered to be one of the first Catalan troubadours. He was born in the comté of Roussillon, and was in the service of Jaufre III, Count of Roussillon, who died in 1164. Although names similar to Berenguier’s appear in documents between 1196 and 1209, it seems that the name was fairly common, so these may not be references to the troubadour. 12 of his poems have survived, eight of which have melodies transmitted by a single manuscript, F-Pn fr.22543, f.36–7. The melodies are in a simple style but only four are in a conventional AAB or through-composed form. Domna, si totz temps vivia consists of ten heptasyllabic lines grouped into three sections: abba cca dda. This division is followed by the music which progressively varies the opening section: ABCD B¹C¹D¹ B²C²D². A similar technique is found in ...

Article

Theodore Karp

(b c1175; d c1230). Provençal troubadour. According to his vida, he was the son of a Toulouse cloth merchant (Peguilhan is a village in the Haute Garonne, near Saint Gaudens). He was apparently a wanderer who was received at many courts in southern France, Spain and northern Italy. Raimon V of Toulouse may have been his first patron, while others may have included Guilhem de Bergadan, Gaston VI of Béarn, Bernard IV of Comminges, Pedro II of Aragon, Alfonso VIII of Castile, Guillaume IV of Montferrat, Marquis Guilhem of Malaspina and Azzo VI and Beatrice d'Este. Aimeric's poetry, which includes chansons, sirventes, chansons de croisade, tensos, planhs and partimens, was admired and cited by such writers as Matfre Ermengaut, Jaufré de Foixa, Berenguier de Noia, and by Dante (in De vulgari eloquentia). Modern evaluations vary widely, some considering the poet to be of great distinction, while others view him as technically competent though neither profound nor original....

Article

Ian R. Parker

[Sestairo, Sestarron, Terascon; Albert de Sestaro, Terascon]

(fl c1194–1221). Troubadour. According to his vida, he was born in the neighbourhood of Gap (Hautes-Alpes), the son of a jongleur called Asar. He was renowned as a singer, and for the originality of his melodies but not for his texts. He remained for many years in Orange but worked also in Italy from 1210 to 1221. He finally returned to Sistaron where he died. Of the 23 songs ascribed to him only two have complete melodies and a further one (En mon cor) is partly notated. One of the unnotated songs, the descort Bel m’es oimais (PC 16.7a) may have been the model for Colin Muset’s strophic lai Bel m’est li tans (R.284) but this is also without melody in its single source. Too few complete songs have survived to verify the extent of Albertet’s melodic originality. Mos coratges is conventional in form but, as recorded in the Ambrosiana manuscript, extremely ornate in style. The surviving portion of ...

Article

Robert Falck

[Vaqueiras]

(b Vaqueiras, nr Orange, Provence, ?1150–60; d ?Greece, ?Sept 4, 1207). Troubadour, companion-at-arms of Boniface I, Margrave of Monferrat (1152–1207). According to his vida ( I-Rvat 5232, f.160) he was the son of a ‘poor knight’ (‘paubre cavaillier’), and the fact of his humble origin, at least, is confirmed in his own writings. As a young man, he travelled to the court of Monferrat in northern Italy, where he entered the service of the Margrave of Monferrat and his son Boniface; he remained there probably until the early 1180s. Less is known of his life during the period from about 1183 to 1188, but in 1189 he was again in Provence, possibly in the service of Hugues I des Baux (d 1240). In 1190 he was back in Italy, and in 1192 had returned to Monferrat and the court of Boniface (who succeeded his father as margrave in that year)....