Troubadours

(2960 words)
  • Judith M. Davis (Goshen College)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

Although the word “troubadour” has become nearly synonymous with “singer”, scholarly opinion varies regarding the etymology of the word itself. Romanists hold that the noun derives from trobar, the Occitan verb for “to compose, invent, devise” or from the Vulgar Latin tropare “to say with tropes” or tropatorem, “composer of tropes” (Topsfield). Arabists, on the other hand, cite the verb caraba, “to sing” as the more probable source (Menocal). The question of etymologyas well as the importance of influences from Latin and Arabic, Celtic and liturgical songremain open to discussion.

The troubadours were composers of songs or poems …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to read about membership. All our articles have been written recently by experts in their field, more than 95% of them university professors.

Citation:
M. Davis, Judith. "Troubadours". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 August 2005
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=1310, accessed 29 November 2014.]