The thirteenth century was a time of great change in Europe. The cities of Florence, Paris and Arras became thriving commercial centres; following the disastrous reign of King John of England, the French crown had also grown significantly in strength. Into this world we find the trouvères, poets and musicians who wrote and sang about the pains of love, on politics, and of devotion to the Virgin Mary. Their songs, preserved in twenty song-compendia called Chansonniers, but also found scattered throughout many early medieval manuscripts, are a rare window into medieval vernacular culture.
Host: Aled Walker (2nd year DPhil student, Mathematics, Magdalen College). Contributors: Meghan Quinlan (2nd year DPhil student, Musicology, Merton College), Joseph Mason (2nd year DPhil Student, Musicology, Lincoln College).