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  • Print publication year: 2004
  • Online publication date: September 2009

Chapter 5 - Recent readings

Summary

Habitant des pays d'Oc, méridional mon frère, tu le sais que nous sommes tous riches et musiciens? Riche en mots et musiciens de phrases.

Claude Marti, Sol y sombra

In 1996 two books on the troubadours appeared, both substantial studies, both the product of over a decade of research, and both offering an in-depth look at individual figures, their music and its sources. Yet each presented a different point of view. Elizabeth Aubrey's The Music of the Troubadours described and inventoried manuscript sources, transcribed melodies either in a rhythmically neutral notation or in an approximation of medieval note shapes, and described their tonal characteristics. It was the product of a well-established German-American academic study of both the troubadours and medieval music, and copies would quickly find their way on to college and university library shelves; it was recently reissued in a paperback edition. Gérard Zuchetto's Terre des troubadours was a view of the troubadours from one of their descendants, a singer-composer and native Occitan speaker born and bred in the Languedoc who had founded an international centre for troubadour research. His book was a luxurious coffee-table edition twice the weight of Aubrey's tome, with colour illustrations on nearly every page – a book partly funded by the Languedoc-Roussillon region and little known in North America.