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HSY2655 - Troubadours and Street Singers: Music and Popular Culture 1100-1600

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Carol Williams


Not offered in 2007


Song is one of the most important and direct transmitters of European history and culture. This unit explores its development, seeing it as an essentially urban phenomenon, with origins in the medieval courts, colleges, cities, and churches. It examines sung verse and melodies of 12th century trouveres and troubadours, which are subtle and highly organised products of an aristocratic society and covers a range of songs, ending with the carnival song and the performance property of the street singer in 15th century Florence. Often, these songs are satirical or obscene in character and the titles of the songs effectively portray the vigour and excitement of life in 15th century Florence.


Exercise (1000 words): 20%
Essay (1500 words): 40%
Examination (2 hours): 40%

Contact hours

3 hours (2 lectures and 1 tutorial) per week


A first-year sequence in History or permission