Buy this album or this track at this link: http://www.amazon.com/Music-Troubadours-Berenguier-Palou/dp/B00000IX6O.
I uploaded these tracks to share them with others since troubadour music is very difficult to find. No challenge to copyright is intended, and indeed I hope you will all support these dedicated musicians and scholars by purchasing their music. This track will be removed immediately upon request of the copyright holders.
The troubadours (male) and the trobairitz (female) were composers and performers during the High Middle Ages (1100 - 1350 CE) in Occitania (present day Southern France & part of Spain). Originally they were universally of the noble classes, though in the later period, troubadours appeared among commoners and even clergy. They travelled throughout the land, spreading news and writing and performing lyric poetry and music. They were distinguished from jongleurs, who were performers of the music and poetry that others had written. The earliest known troubadour is the Duke of Aquitaine.
Most of the work of the troubadours and trobairitz was concerned with Courtly Love, which was a code of behaviour that emphasized love as the highest virtue, and the celebration of life as the holiest act. Eleanor of Aquitaine popularized the ideal of Courtly Love in the courts of Europe.In Courtly Love, the lady held the power in the relationship, deciding when the lovers would meet, how far things would procede, and so forth, and she was encouraged to make it difficult for her lover to win her: "The easy attainment of love makes it of little value. Difficulty of attainment makes it prized." - Andreas Capellanus, The Art of Courtly Love.
As a result, there were a significant minority of trobairitz as well as troubadours, though only one song known to have been written by a trobairitz survives with its music.
Love poetry was often composed in honour of forbidden loves that had no hope of attainment. Wandering troubadours/trobairitz confessed their love for high peers of the land, clergy, and even those of the same gender.
The troubadours sparked similar movements all over Europe, but they never recovered from the Albigensian Crusade, which was called against a Zoroastrian and Buddhist-influenced heresy that was popular in Occitania, especially in the city of Albi. France saw this as an opportunity to increase their lands and holdings, sanctioned by the Pope, and many native Occitan troubadours were considered to be criminals by the occupying French Crown. What was left of the troubadour culture was destroyed by the Black Death.
The music and poetry of the troubadours/trobairitz was likely influenced by Islamic ecstatic poetry, which filtered in from nearby Muslim-controlled Iberia.
There are specific formats of songs and poetry which they utilized. It is difficult for us to recreate their music, because medieval music had no signatures for rhythm or tempo. This is why fans of medieval music may hear the same song performed many different ways.
Related Links -
Courtly Love: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Courtly_love
Andreas Capellanus & The Art of Courtly Love: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_amore_(Andreas_Capellanus)
Albigensian Crusade: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albigensian_Crusade
English translation of title: "Lady, a song for you."