Minnesingers


Also found in: Dictionary.

Minnesingers

 

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.

PUBLICATIONS

Lachmann, 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.

REFERENCES

Istoriia nemetskoi literatury, vol. 1. Moscow, 1962.
Fromm, H., ed. Der deutsche Minnesang: Aufsätze zu seiner Erforschung. Darmstadt, 1969.

L. E. GENIN

References in periodicals archive ?
The troubadour concept of amour-cortois has been an unending source of inspiration to the entire gamut of European poetry, and none can set aside the decided influence it exerted on a galaxy of poets--the French Trouvers, the German Minnesingers, the Italian poets of the sweet 'New Style' (dolce still nuove) and finally the English poets like Chaucer, Gower, Spenser, Shakespeear, the Metaphysicals, John Keats, Robert Browning, the Rossettis and the famous modern-poet-critic Ezra Pound.
German minnesingers evidently served in the royal court of the last Premyslids, Wenceslas I, Premysl Otakar II and Wenceslas II (from the second third of the 13th to the beginning of the 14th century).
On Shabbat, it became the chazzan's task to entertain his congregation in much the same way as did ancient folk bards, troubadours, and minnesingers. His chanting was accompanied by appropriate hand movements from one or two helpers who stood beside him using fingers or hands to indicate the direction of the melodic line (up, down, level).
What seemed to me so splendid, that chivalrous, Catholic world, those knights who cut and thrust at each other in aristocratic tournaments, those gentle squires and well-bred noble ladies, those Nordic heroes and Minnesingers, those monks and nuns, those ancestral vaults and awesome shudders, those pallid sentiments of renunciation to the accompaniment of bell-ringing, and the everlasting melancholy wailing--how bitterly it has been spoiled for me since then!
For example, traces of Oriental influence can be detected in the lyrics of the minnesingers, in legends and in Grimm's fairy tales.
The responsiveness of nature to human suffering harkens back to the poetry of the Minnesingers, and this "haunting, touching plaint of a heart stricken to death"(2) has been viewed as a secular lyric.
The minnesingers, German counterparts of the troubadours, also used the form, calling it Tagelied.
(Ger, " master singers " ) Members of German guilds of poets and singers who attempted to preserve the medieval art form of the Minnesingers during the 14th through 16th centuries.
Opens with a concert tonight at 8pm with Vocelle and The Minnesingers. On the Saturday the church will be open with homemade refreshment, Christmas produce, cards and a Santa's Grotto.
The minnesingers were Martin Zysset (Walter), Andrew Greenan (Biterold), Simeon Esper (Heinrich) and Scott Sikon (Reinmar).
Late Middle High German poet, who was the original representative of the school of middle-class poets succeeding the courtly minnesingers and adapting the minnesinger traditions to theological mysteries, scientific lore, and philosophy.
Through Eleanor of Aquitaine 's patronage of the troubadours, the convention spread to the royal courts of northern France, of England, and then of Germany (see Minnesingers ).