High Middle Ages, a lyric poetic phenomenon arose called "trovadorismo" in Portugaland "trobadorismo" in Galicia, and known in English as the Galician-Portuguese lyric. At the time, the literary language of most of western Iberia was Galician-Portuguese, the predecessor of modern Galician and Portuguese. Heavily influenced by the Occitan troubadours, the movement began in the late twelfth century and extended into the fourteenth. It was the earliest vernacular literary movement in Galicia and Portugal and its legacy is the literatures of both countries. Modern Galicia has even seen a "revival" movement called Neotrobadorismo.
The earliest expression of "trovadorismo"—and thus the earliest written piece in the language—is either the "Cantiga da Garvaia", written by
Paio Soares de Taveirósin the final decades of the twelfth century, or the poem "Ora faz host'o senhor de Navarra" by João Soares de Paiva, which is usually dated just after 1200. Traditionally, the end of the period of active "trovadorismo" is seen in 1350, the date of the testament of nobleman and anthologist Pedro de Barcelos, who left a "Livro de Cantigas" ( chansonnier) to his nephew, Alfonso XI of Castile.
The troubadours of the movement, who must be kept distinct from the Occitan troubadours (who practised in nearby Castile), wrote mostly
cantigas (though there were many genres of cantiga) and monophonicmelodies. Their poetry was meant to be sung, but they themselves can be distinguished from the "jograls" who sang, but did not compose, it. There is little evidence for troubadours performing their own work, but if Occitan practices are any indication it is not unlikely.
After the movement had gained widespread popularity, their songs, known as "
trovas", began to be compiled in collections known as "cancioneiros" (chansonniers). Unfortunately, only three such anthologies are known: the " Cancioneiro da Ajuda", the " Cancioneiro Colocci-Brancutti" (or "Cancioneiro da Biblioteca Nacional de Lisboa"), and the " Cancioneiro da Vaticana". On top of these, however, there is the important collection of Galician-Portugues cantigas from Castile: the " Cantigas de Santa Maria" of Alfonso X, whose court language was Galician-Portuguese. The influence of this widespread vernacular literature, however, was soon felt in a proliferation of prose chronicles, from Rui de Pina, Fernão Lopes, and Eanes de Azuraram, and in the advent of the chivalric romancein Portugal with the " A Demanda do Santo Graal".
The Galician-Portuguese cantigas can be divided roughly into two basic types: the lyric and the satiric. These represent two families of genres. In the former family are the
cantiga de amorand the cantiga de amigo; in the latter are the cantiga de escárnioand the cantiga de maldizer.
List of Galician-Portuguese troubadours
*Barton, Simon. "The Aristocracy in Twelfth-Century León and Castile". Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997. ISBN 0 521 49727 2.
*Lang, H. R. [http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0149-6611%28189504%2910%3A4%3C104%3ATROTEP%3E2.0.CO%3B2-S "The Relations of the Earliest Portuguese Lyric School with the Troubadours and Trouvères."] "Modern Language Notes", Vol. 10, No. 4. (Apr., 1895), pp. 104–116.
*Rodrigues, Linda M. A. [http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0024-7413%28199024%2927%3A2%3C95%3AOOCLAT%3E2.0.CO%3B2-H "On Originality, Courtly Love, and the Portuguese "Cantigas"."] "Luso-Brazilian Review", Vol. 27, No. 2. (Winter, 1990), pp. 95–107.
*Sharrer, Harvey L. [http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0018-2133%28199105%2974%3A2%3C459%3ATDOSCD%3E2.0.CO%3B2-I "The Discovery of Seven "cantigas d'amor" by Dom Dinis with Musical Notation."] "Hispania", Vol. 74, No. 2. (May, 1991), pp. 459–461.
*Tolman, Earl Dennis. [http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0024-7413%28197124%298%3A2%3C54%3ACAOACD%3E2.0.CO%3B2-S "Critical Analysis of a Cantiga d'Escarnho."] "Luso-Brazilian Review", Vol. 8, No. 2. (Winter, 1971), pp. 54–70.
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