ELEANOR OF AQUITAINE

ELEANOR THEMES

MUSIC & DANCE

Before Eleanor’s time, medieval music was monks chanting in monotone and the verse liturgical with the exception of folk music. Eleanor supported a world of music, personal and romantic in nature. And Aquitaine’s were famous for dance.

Jaufre Rudel

"Quan lo rius de la fontana" Maurice Moncozet

Troubadour

Channel

Troubadours

As if all at once, 12th century musicians began singing personal love song in Aquitaine courts. Hundreds of trobars, men and women, composed unique, highly structured forms of music expressing a spectrum of wit, poetry, and passion to tell the truth of love.

This innovation of civilization was brought to Eleanor by her grandfather William, the first troubadour. Likely at a stay at the Ombriere Palace he trained Prince Jaufre Rudel from nearby Blaye. The prince entertained Eleanor and marched with her in the second crusade where he died. Their relationship develops in books 1-3. The humorous, romantic troubadour Bernard of Ventadour and their hilarious relationship is covered in books 4-5. Thirteen troubadours appear in book 5 as Eleanor arranges to entertain her daughter Leonor’s betrothal in Puivert. After she escapes prison in book 6, troubadours of every court adore her Arnaut Daniel, Blondel de Nesle, Cadenet, Guiraut de Bornelh, Peire Raimon Tolosa.

Eleanor’s

Underground

Soundtrack

Dance and dive

“Dance, the Aquitaines could not get enough of it,” says historian James Burke in his winning series Connections. Drumming troubadours served it up. Burke cites the unprecedented prosperity of the region fueled by a hyrdoeconomy as the motive to afford such entertainment. This was the world Eleanor was born into.

Troubadour serenade by Harry George Theaker  

V18