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1. any of a class of lyric poets who flourished principally in Provence and N Italy from the 11th to the 13th centuries, writing chiefly on courtly love in complex metric form
2. a singer
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a medieval Provençal poet-singer and songwriter; the troubadours flourished from the 11th to 13th centuries in southern France. About 500 troubadours are known, most of them knights or feudal lords, such as William IX, duke of Aquitaine. A few, however, were from the townspeople, for example, Folquet of Marseille, a merchant’s son, and Peire Vidal, the son of a furrier.

The poetry of the troubadours celebrated the joy of life and generally concerned the cult of the “fair lady, ” courtly love, or military exploits (many troubadours, such as William IX, count of Poitiers, had fought in the Crusades). Social and political themes may also be found, as in the work of Bertrán de Born. The lyrics of the troubadours are distinguished by their refinement, complexity of verse form, and musicality; they influenced the trouvères and the German minnesingers. A troubadour often performed with a minstrel, who accompanied him on a musical instrument.

G. Verdi’s opera Il Trovatore is based on the drama of the same name by A. Garcia Gutierrez. H. Heine, E. Rostand, L. Aragon, and T. S. Eliot were all influenced by the poetry of the troubadours, and themes from troubadour poetry appear in A. Blok’s The Rose and the Cross (1913). Many of the troubadours’ compositions have been published in the collection The Musical Heritage of the Troubadours. (See alsoPROVENÇAL LITERATURE.)


Ivanov, K. A. Trubadury, truvery i minnezingery, 2nd ed. Petrograd, 1915.
Istoriia frantsuzskoi literatury, vol. 1. Moscow-Leningrad, 1946. Pages 80–93.
Lommatzsch, E. Leben und Lieder der provenzalischen Troubadours, vols. 1–2. Berlin, 1957–59.
Gennrich, F. Der musicalische Nachlass der Troubadours, vols. 1–2. Darmstadt, 1958–60.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
He encountered and described people in a manner that they could as well be characters in any fiction, even as Tales of a Troubadour is non-fiction.
"Troubadour" is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto largely written by Salvadore Cammarano, based on the play El trovador (1836) by Antonio Garcia Gutierrez.
Finally the troubadour meets himself, as he sees his reflection in a bowl of water.
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Eternal Troubadour: The Improbable Life of Tiny Tim
With his twirled moustache, flat cap and work boots, you'd be forgiven for thinking Foy Vance was some long-lost refugee from Steinbeck's Dust Bowl, a weary hobo troubadour singing for a dollar or a lift to the next jerkwater town.
Now in a fully updated and expanded second edition, "The Complete Singer-Songwriter: A Troubadour's Guide to Writing, Performing, Recording, and Business" continues to be the ultimate guide for the modern performer, being packed from cover to cover with practical tips, applicable tools, and productive inspiration for both aspiring troubadours and those looking to take their craft and career to the next level.
Personally, I think he'd be like Dave Arcari - a lonesome alt.blues troubadour, following other bar-room outsiders in the mould of Shane MacGowan or Tom Waits, making music so potent you can smell the 3am whisky and smoke staleness.
The romantic narrative at the source of Amin Maalouf's French-language libretto tells the story of Jaufre Rudel, a 12th-century troubadour, who, without ever having met her, has fallen in love with the Countess of Tripoli, celebrates this "love from afar" in his lyrical poems and, according to legend, ends up dying in her arms on his way to the Second Crusade.
The show will be held on Friday, June 12, 2015 at Ernest Tubb's Troubadour Theater in Nashville, Tennessee.
Synopsis: In "When Saint Francis Saved the Church: How a Converted Medieval Troubadour Created a Spiritual Vision for the Ages", historian Jon Sweeney presents an intriguing portrait of St.