Also found in: Dictionary.
German chivalric singer-poets. The minnesingers flourished in the 12th and 13th centuries; their poetry was influenced by poetry of the troubadours of Provence. The minnesongs dealt with courtly love, service to god and sovereign, and the idealization of chivalry and of the Crusades; they were accompanied by stringed instruments.
There were two schools of early minnesong: the patriotic school (Kurenberger, D. von Eist, and M. von Sevelingen), whose songs were closely related to the folk song, and the courtly school (H. von Veldecke and F. von Hausen), whose compositions were inspired by Romance models. The courtly school spread throughout Switzerland, Austria, and other countries where there were large feudal courts. The major lyric poet of the period was Walter von der Vogelweide.
With the decline of chivalric culture and the appearance of the rural minnesong, the poetry of the minnesingers waned and was replaced in the 14th century by the burgher Meistergesang, sung by Meistersingers.
PUBLICATIONSLachmann, K., M. Haupt, and F. Vogt. Des Minnesangs Friihling, 32nd ed. Newly revised by C. von Kraus. Leipzig, 1959.
Khrestomatiia po zarubezhnoi literature srednikh vekov. Compiled by B. I. Purishev and R. O. Shor. Moscow, 1953. Pages 414–27.
REFERENCESIstoriia nemetskoi literatury, vol. 1. Moscow, 1962.
Fromm, H., ed. Der deutsche Minnesang: Aufsätze zu seiner Erforschung. Darmstadt, 1969.
L. E. GENIN