Curiosities of Music - online book

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332                    CURIOSITIES OF MUSIC.
selves to some particular prince, and gained his favor and enriched themselves by singing sirventes (songs of service) in his honor, and in derision of his enemies.
The nobles and kings of that era, also took up the Troubadour's lyre, at times. Richard I., Alfonso x., William ix. Count of Poitiers and others were famous for their efforts in this line, and they richly patronized such troubadours as sought them.
The gifts with which a successful song was rewarded, were of course influenced by the liberal­ity of the giver. Horses, richly caparisoned, elegant vestments, and money, are mentioned in this connection.* Meanwhile the troubadours occasionally display the utmost contempt for their assistants, the before mentioned jongleurs, and reproach nobles, in some verses, with receiving such persons (who play at village fairs, dance on the tight rope, and exhibit performing monkeys), into their castles. Yet not all of the poets shared in this feeling, for Boccaccio tells us that Dante loved to associate with the musicians who set his canzone to music. In the thirteenth century, Guirant Eiquier (called the " last of the trouba­dours ") complains to the king of Castile, Alfonso x., of the decadence of the troubadour's art, and attributes it to the indiscriminate mixing of troubadours and joncrleurs, in popular estimation. He says — " You know that all men live in classes differing an] distinguished from each other.
"" The Troubadours," F. Huefler, p. 61.

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III