Music by Thibaut de Champagne, Guiot de Dijon, Conon de Béthune, Giraut Riquer and anonymous masters (12th /13th centuries)

The lyric poetry of the troubadours and trouvères on the theme of the Crusade, inflaming their hearers’ spirits with fervent songs and persuading them by means of skilful descriptions to take part in the endeavour, offers precious historical evidence.

The genre is, however, deeply ambivalent: while some crusade songs exhort listeners to depart for the Holy Land and to leave behind their riches and their comfortable lives, promising Paradise as a reward to the bravest, others prefer to depict the pains of love, either from the perspective of the lady awaiting her beloved young knight or when the latter bemoans being duty-bound to leave his lady, managing nonetheless, after various reflections, to appreciate the reward that will be his for partaking in the glorious effort. Song, music and dance accompanied and exalted this experience of “pilgrimage” (as the crusade was sometimes called) in its various aspects, including moral, political and religious commitment to liberate the Holy Sepulchre, sadness for the separation from the beloved and from the homeland, penitence and prayer.

4/6 musicians