Travel, prompted by the Crusades, led to a new and unprecedented interest in beautiful objects, elegant manners, poetry and music. Middle Ages music in Europe was influenced by Arab love songs. The ideals of courtly love were introduced further influencing the content and styles of the music of the Middle Ages.
Middle Ages Music - Courtly Love and the Troubadours
In the eleventh and twelfth centuries Troubadours, Trouveres and Minstrels were the poets and musicians who influenced Middle Ages music singing songs of courtly love. The aristocratic troubadours were poets who originated in the south of France where they wrote the lyrics in Provencal (langue d'oc). The troubadours of the north of France wrote in French (langue d'oil)and were called called trouvères. The poetry of the troubadours and the trouvères was invariably linked with music. The songs of French troubadours were heard in English courts as a result of England's political affiliations and royal marriages. Since the Norman Conquest the language of the English court was French so the songs and music of the French troubadours and minstrels were easily assimilated into English society. The tales of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, originating with music and the poems of the English and Welsh Bards, were themes which were included in the lyrics of the Troubadour and minstrels songs. Noble ladies of the Medieval period were famous for their patronage of Middle Ages music. Eleanor of Aquitaine married King Henry II of England in 1152 and brought her love of music and the troubadours to the English court transferring the tradition to England.