The notion of minstrel goes back to the Middle Ages. That’s what it was called the one who went from town to town reciting, singing, dancing or entertaining people. Minstrels could even appear before nobles and monarchs.
The minstrels, therefore, were traveling artists. They usually displayed their talents in the squares, performing in exchange for food or money. In some cases, they were hired by the kings to host banquets and festivities. The minstrels could travel alone or join caravans of fairgrounds.
There were various kinds of minstrels. Many were dedicated to interpreting the compositions of the troubadours, who were the creators of the plays. There were also minstrels who were imitators or illusionists.
The difference between minstrels and minstrels, thus, lies in authorship. The troubadours wrote texts and composed music, focusing on topics such as heroic legends and the adventures of knights. The minstrels, on the other hand, used to limit themselves to memorizing these works and reciting them before the public.
During the Middle Ages there were minstrels throughout the European continent. That is why the presentations were developed in different tongues and dialects.
At present there are no longer minstrels in the same sense as in medieval times, although there are artists who develop a job Similary. The street performers who, at the end of their presentation, pass a cap to collect the contributions of their audience, can be considered as modern minstrels, especially if they travel to different locations to perform their show.
As mentioned in previous paragraphs, the work of the minstrel was varied since his shows could include literature, music, recited stories, games or even acrobatics. Depending on the exercise in which they focus, we can distinguish different types of minstrels:
* lyrics: they were those who were dedicated to reciting the lyrical works that the troubadours composed;
* epic: they interpreted various narrative compositions, such as the songs of the feat;
* shadowing: they mainly focused on knockoffs;
* goliardsThese were homeless clergymen or students with untidy lives;
* zaharrones: these minstrels were they disguised and they made grotesque gestures in their presentations;
* backers: they were conjurers, that is, they did certain tricks mainly based on sleight of hand;
* menestriles: Unlike other types of minstrels, these did not move from one place to another but served a lord exclusively. His main activity was music;
* cazurros: this class of minstrels did not follow any rule, but their recitals could be described as “crazy”;
* minstrels and soldaderas: these were women who danced and sang in public and wore a life considered wandering.
This classification is not complete, but rather brings together the main types of minstrels in broad strokes. For example, if we wanted to delve further into the differences we could talk about the voice minstrels and the from instruments, which included singing or musical instruments in their performances, respectively. Among the most common instrumentalists were the cedars, the violeros, the trumpeters and the drummers.
The minstrels collaborated with the preservation of an incalculable treasure that they transmitted in a oral and that probably ranges from medieval epic poetry to pre-Renaissance courtesan. Many of the minstrels offered their shows for free and among the works they performed we can highlight four themes of Castilian tradition that appeared frequently: Cantar del mio Cid; Legends of Count Fernán González; Song of Zamora; History of the seven infants of Lara.
The resources that the minstrels used to attract the attention of their audience were appellative formulas addressed to them (hear, I will tell you, know), division of the work into several parts and the use of valuation subjective.