The Troubadours, Folk Music, and the Roots of American Music

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Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,

The Troubadours were a medieval French society of poets and musicians who are credited with helping to shape the modern genres of folk and country music.

The Troubadours

The Troubadours were a class of professional poets and musicians in Southern France who wrote and performed love songs in the Occitan language. The first troubadours were active in the 11th and 12th centuries, and their music had a profound influence on the development of folk music in Europe and, ultimately, on the roots of American music.

Who were the Troubadours?

The Troubadours were a class of professional poet-musicians who flourished in the 12th and 13th centuries, particularly in the southern regions of France. The Troubadours’ main topic of composition was love, and many of their songs were simply poetic meditations on the joys and sorrows of love. Some Troubadour songs, however, celebrated war and chivalry, while others dealt with more political topics such as the Crusades or good governance. The music of the Troubadours was usually accompanied by instruments such as lutes, drums, and percussion instruments; later Troubadour music also made use of viols (a type of medieval fiddle) and wind instruments such as flutes.

What is Troubadour music?

The Troubadours were a class of professional lyric poets and composer-poets who flourished in southern France from the 11th to the 13th centuries. They wrote and performed songs of courtly love, using the Languedoc dialect of Occitan. The first known Troubadour was Guillaume IX (1071–1126), Duke of Aquitaine and Count of Poitiers, who died before his father, William II. Many Troubadours were also knights, some belonged to the upper nobility, and others were burghers or peasants.

The Troubadours and the development of American music

The Troubadours were a group of medieval French poets and lyricists who wrote and performed songs known as troubadour songs. These songs were typically about chivalry, courtly love, and the lives of the nobility. The music of the Troubadours was an important influence on the development of American folk music. Many of the themes and ideas found in Troubadour songs can be found in early American folk songs.

Folk Music

The Troubadours were a class of professional composer-poets who wrote, performed, and improvised love songs. They are credited with the creation of the first truly distinctly “Western” music. Folk music is the traditional music of a people or nation, typically passed down orally. It is music for the common people, as opposed to music for the elite.

What is Folk music?

Folk music is a type of traditional and popular music that is typically passed down from one generation to another. It often reflects the cultures and customs of a specific region or country. Folk music has been around for centuries and has served as a form of entertainment, as well as a way to outlet feelings and emotions.

The troubadours were medieval musicians who performed songs that told stories of chivalry and courtly love. These songs were often accompanied by an instrument such as a lute or mandolin. Troubadours were popular in Europe during the 12th and 13th centuries.

Folk music began to decline in popularity during the Industrial Revolution, as people began moving away from rural areas and into cities. With the advent of radio and television, folk music was once again exposed to a wider audience. Today, folk music is enjoyed by people all over the world.

The roots of American folk music can be traced back to the British Isles. Many of the early settlers in America brought with them musical traditions from their homelands. These traditions were then blended with the music of other cultures, resulting in a unique form of American folk music. Traditional folk songs often tell stories about the lives of everyday people, as well as important historical events. American folk music has also been influenced by blues, jazz, and country music.

The influence of Folk music on American music

Folk music, also known as traditional music, is a genre of music that developed over time through the folk process. Folk music refers to themusical traditions of a culture or group of people, passed down orally from one generation to the next. Folk music is often used to identify the music of a particular culture or region, and can be distinguished from commercial or popular music.

Folk music has influenced many different genres of music, including blues, country, rock, and even classical. Many folk songs have been adapted into popular songs, and folk musicians have often been at the forefront of movements to bring new styles of music to a wider audience. The influence of folk music can be heard in the work of such American musicians as Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, and Bob Dylan.

The Folk music revival of the 1950s and 1960s

In the United States, the folk music revival began in the late 1950s and reached its height in the early 1960s. It brought American folk music to a new audience, and had a profound effect on the development of popular music.

The first stirrings of the folk music revival were felt in the late 1950s, when a handful of young musicians began to rediscover and perform traditional folk songs. The most important figure in early revival was Woody Guthrie, a singer and songwriter who had been active in the labor movement in the 1930s. In 1940, Guthrie wrote “This Land Is Your Land,” one of the most important songs of the twentieth century.

In the early 1960s, two young singer-songwriters, Bob Dylan and Joan Baez, brought folk music to a wider audience. Dylan’s song “Blowin’ in the Wind” became an anthem of the civil rights movement, while Baez’s gorgeous voice helped make traditional ballads like “Barbara Allen” and “Silver Dagger” popular again.

The influence of folk music can be heard in many different genres of music today, from country to rock to hip-hop. Folk music is also enjoying a renaissance in its own right; there are now hundreds of festivals devoted to folk music around the world, and an increasing number of young people are discovering its power and beauty.

The Roots of American Music

The troubadours were a class of professional lyric poets and composer-performers who flourished in southern France from the eleventh century to the end of the thirteenth century. The English word troubadour is derived from the Occitan (Provençal) trobador, itself derived from the Late Latin troba (“finder” or “inventor”). The first troubadours may have been related to the Lombardic warrior-nobility class of northern Italy.

The influence of African American music on American music

African American music has had a profound impact on American music as a whole. African American musical styles such as gospel, blues, jazz, and rock and roll have all shaped the course of American music.

Gospel music is a genre of Christian music that originated in the African American churches of the United States. It is characterized by its use of strong vocal harmonies, often accompanied by piano or other instruments. Gospel music has been very influential in the development of other genres of American music, such as soul and R&B.

The blues is another genre of African American origin that has had a significant impact on American music. The blues emerged in the late 19th century and early 20th century, and was deeply influenced by West African musical traditions. The blues has been extremely influential in the development of jazz, rock and roll, and country music.

Jazz is a genre of music that originated in the African American community in the early 20th century. Jazz is characterized by its syncopated rhythms, improvization, and blue notes. Jazz has been very influential in the development of many other genres of music, including rock and roll, soul, and Hip Hop.

The influence of European music on American music

It is widely believed that the roots of American music can be traced back to the music of the European settlers who arrived in the New World in the early 1600s. These settlers brought with them a variety of musical traditions, including folk music, hymns, and other religious music.

Over time, these European musical traditions began to influence the music of the native peoples of America, resulting in a new hybrid style of music that came to be known as “country” or “folk” music. This new style of music eventually found its way into the mainstream of American culture, where it has remained a popular and influential genre ever since.

The influence of Native American music on American music

The influence of Native American music on American music is often overlooked. However, Native American music has had a significant impact on the development of American music, particularly in the realm of folk music. Native American music is characterized by a strong rhythm and a steady beat, which has influenced the development of both blues and country music. In addition, Native American music often makes use of unique instrumentation, which has also influenced the sound of American music.

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