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Contemporary sources use the word “minstrel” to describe a wide social range of musical entertainers. Legal and other documents of the period provide a rich social tapestry of these late medieval entertainers, and point to the beginnings of the schism between court and country and the attitude(s) of Tudor society/ies to those whom they paid to sing to them. The paper investigates how the minstrel's art was exploited and abused by non-minstrels, and how this contributed to the stigmatization of these “musical vagabonds”. .

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Drawing on Pierre Macherey’s location of ‘real history’ in the silences and gaps of the historical record, this paper studies the changing role of the paid singer in England. Although singers and musicians in England have been rewarded for their performances at all periods, more attention has been given in recent years to traditional singing as a recreational, even domestic activity than as a means of livelihood. Because of their constantly changing social status, the position of the paid singer has been ambiguous and frequently oppositional. A recent book sees their status as one of continuous decline. However, the process was not a continuous and inevitable one: the singer adapted to changes in society and found new sources of support.

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F. J. Child argued that it is “mainy through women everywhere” that the ballads are preserved and yet to him, as to Percy, Herder, Motherwell or Grundtvig before, women are only the mediators of an older male form of literature (heroic ballads, minstrel song, etc). The essential maternal feminity of orality is part of the German Romantic myth of origin. The 'Volk'/people had to be (kept) anonymous in order to produce 'VOLKSballaden'/popular ballads. What has come down to us in writing are very often ballads sung by women, recorded by men and presented as the 'manly', powerful, genuine ballads of the people. By arguing for women everywhere being the chief preservers of traditional ballad poetry, F. J. Child paved the way for seeking out these women locally.

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1967 12 133 143 Gülke , Peter 1979: Szerzetesek, polgárok, trubadúrok. A középkor zenéje [Monks, Civilians, Minstrels. The Music of the Middle Ages]. Budapest. Hankóczi Gyula 1988

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dance tunes regös (minstrel) tune Karachay-Balkar returning (domed) structure Karachay-Balkar Kyrgyz Anatolian Turkish Kazakh (This form seems to be a newer development in Turkic music) Table 3 provides an overview of the state of Turkic folk music

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