Evolution Of Minstrels


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A Brief Introduction of Minstrelsy Evolution along History

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Evolution Of Minstrels

  1. 1. Santiago Carralero Benítez presents : The Evolution of Minstrels A Brief Story about a Long Stock
  2. 2. Living Communication <ul><li>Minstrels, from ancient times and even before, until the present-day, have been the lords of communication. Singing epic poems, giving news or as enterteiners they were the mass media actors in pre-industrial world. . </li></ul>
  3. 3. Ancient Times <ul><li>5000 years ago, in Mesopotamia, the kings of Sumer dreamt about to spread their deeds by the early historical minstrels, in the time of the early written documents: hundreds of clay slabs full of incisions made by a sharpened reed, which was the first alphabet of the past. </li></ul>
  4. 4. The First Epics <ul><li>The Epic of Gilgamesh is an epic poem from Ancient Iraq and is among the earliest known works of literary writing. Scholars believe that it originated as a series of Sumerian legends and poems about the mythological hero-king Gilgamesh. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Greece <ul><li>In classical Greece, the minstrel was called Rhapsodist , a professional itinerant performer of epic poetry, especially the epics of Homer, in the fifth and fourth centuries B. C. The term Rhapsodist comes from the stick or rhapdos , which he used to show while performing in public shows. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Odyssea and Iliad <ul><li>Along with the Odyssey, also attributed to Homer, the Iliad is among the oldest extant works of Western literature, and its written version is usually dated to around the eighth century BC. These epic poems, along with Aeneid and others were the favourite repertory of rhapsodists. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Indian minstrelsy <ul><li>In ancient times the Paanar were the bards and minstrels from the southern Sangam kingdom in Tamil region. But most of the hindu minstrels took their sources form the ancient northern Sanskrit epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, which refers to epic poems that form a canon of Hindu scripture. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Middle Ages <ul><li>But, if minstrels can be related to an age, that is the Middle Age. During this long period, there were some different types of transmitters of heroic deeds and love stories, the two main subjects to be sung by minstrels until the present-day. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Medieval Minstrels <ul><li>As the courts became more sophisticated, minstrels were eventually replaced at court by troubadours, but many remained as wandering minstrels, performing in the streets and became well liked until the middle of the Renaissance, in spite of a decline beginning in the late 15th century. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Epic heroes <ul><li>Beowulf in England, Roland in France or El Cid in Spain were some of the most popular stars of medieval western world sung by minstrels. They had not only to fight against others lords and cavalrymen but dragons, monsters and evil gods used to oppose to the heroes in their way towards the legend. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Courtly love <ul><li>Courtly love was a medieval European conception of nobly and chivalrously expressing love and admiration. Courtly love was born in the lyric, first appearing with provençal poets in the 11th century, including itinerant and courtly minstrels such as the french troubadours. This French tradition spread later to the German Minnesänger. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Troubadours <ul><li>A troubadour was a composer and performer of Occitan lyric poetry during the High Middle Ages (1100–1350) and not only a performer, as minstrel. So, troubadours enjoined more famous than those one. Since the word &quot;troubadour&quot; is etymologically masculine, a female troubadour is usually called a trobairitz. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Bards <ul><li>In medieval Gaelic and British culture (Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Isle of Man, Brittany and Cornwall) a bard was a professional poet, employed by a patron, such as a monarch or nobleman, to commemorate the patron's ancestors and to praise the patron's own activities. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Minnesingers <ul><li>Minnesang was the tradition of lyric and song writing in Germany which flourished in the 12th century and continued into the 14th century. People who wrote and performed Minnesang are known as Minnesingers (Minnesänger) . </li></ul>
  15. 15. Skomorokhs and Goliards: the disrepectful minstrels of Russia and France <ul><li>Skomorokhs were slavic harlequins. They performed satirical songs in masks and skomorokh dresses to the sounds of domra, balalaika,etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Goliards were mainly university clerical students from France who protested the growing contradictions within the Church and became to wandering satirical minstrels. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Asian Medieval Minstrelsy <ul><li>Where medieval social system remained strong, like India, Nepal, Korea, Japan, etc., minstrelsy arose, especially in India, where islamic and hindu civilizations lived together. In Korea and Japan, because the proliferation of feudal clans and their rigidity, minstrelsy, although developed, fell in a kind of marginality. </li></ul>
  17. 17. African medieval minstrelsy <ul><li>Even in Africa, due to the arabic influence, minstrels played an important role, like the spreading of the Sundiata epic in West Africa come to demonstrate. The minstrel here was called by the generic name of Griot , a figure promoted in medieval courts, whose tasks included to remember the genealogy </li></ul><ul><li>of his patrons. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Modern Times <ul><li>From XII-XV centuries onwards, minstrelsy carried on, changed or dissapeared, according to changes in the society. Modern times brought improvement of transports, roads, postal services and serial pressed books. So, the function of minstrels remained strong only in those countries less developed. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Blind Minstrels <ul><li>When minstrelsy was declining as a profession, it was adopted by blind people, who, without support and any chance to survive by themselves, saw in minstrelsy a worth way to go onwards. Indeed, blindness was associated with minstrelsy from the beginning, as this picture of a blind Homer suggests. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Biwa-Joshi and Heike Monogotari <ul><li>Biwa hōshi were travelling performers in the era of Japanese history preceding the Meiji period. They earned their income by reciting vocal literature to the accompaniment of biwa. Heike Monogatari was the epic more usual in their repertory, a tale about the struggle for the control of Japan at the end of the 12th century. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Pansori evolution <ul><li>A type of Korean traditional music, Pansori featured satires and love stories. Formerly, a shamanist tradition from religious origins performed by outcastes wandering performers, which evolved to a classical theater recquiring a solo singer, skilful to memorize long poems in a very ritualised production. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Olonkho of Yakutia <ul><li>Olonkho is the one of the oldest epic arts of the Turkic peoples. The term Olonkho refers to the entire Sakha epic tradition as well as its central epic. Today, it is still incidentally performed in the Sakha Republic or Yakutia (Siberia). The minstrel here resembles a genuine shaman performing as a carrier for his message. </li></ul>
  23. 23. The Mongolian Uliger <ul><li>Üligers generally tell the legends of mythological and historical heroes. They include the proverbs attributed to Genghis Khan, and the epics surrounding Khan's life. Longer myths were important vehicles for the transmission of shamanic traditions in Mongolia, Buryatia and other neighbouring areas. </li></ul>
  24. 24. The lost minstrelsy in China <ul><li>Like in Korea and Japan, China minstrelsy in its origins was in charge of outcast persons, marginalized by a radical buddhism. In modern times, the wandering way of life was assumed by blind people and the stories were told in teahouse by respcectable performers under pingtan and tanci forms. </li></ul>
  25. 25. The King Gesar epic <ul><li>The Epic of King Gesar is the central epic poem of Tibet. The epic is considered the longest literary work in the world. If completed it would fill some 120 volumes, containing over 20 million words in more than one million verses. The drungpa is the minstrel of Tibet, often an illiterate young shepherd, become a enlightened being, who performs as a shaman. </li></ul>
  26. 26. South Asian traditions <ul><li>The naxi minority of Yunnan in China, the Mor Lam tradition in Lao, the figure of Kong Nai , the last minstrel in Cambodia or the bauls from Bangladesh reflect a common past joined by a same purpose to transmit old legends and to adapt new stories as a renew entertainment. </li></ul>
  27. 27. Janggar and Janggarchi <ul><li>Jangar is a narrative poem presented in the form of singing and story telling popular among the mongolian ethnic group in western China and performed by the janggarchi . As a difference with the tuul (recitacion) of Mongolia and Siberia, Jangar is a quur , a speech which needs an instrument, like a morin khur , to be performed. </li></ul>
  28. 28. Manas, Manaschi and Akin <ul><li>The Epic of Manas is a traditional epic poem of the Kyrgyz people dating to the 18th century, though it is possibly much older. Performers of this epic poem have been called manaschi , whereas the a kin is a generic term to describe the enlightened minstrels of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. </li></ul>
  29. 29. The Gandharba of Nepal <ul><li>The Gaine or Gandharba of Nepal are a caste of wandering musicians who travel from village to village singing and playing the sarangi . Their subjects focuse mainly in the time after unification of the country by Prithivi Narayan Shah and they often sing to honour him. </li></ul>
  30. 30. Epic of Pabuji and the Bhopa <ul><li>Pabuji was a medieval hero from Rajasthan, who became a heroe as a defender of low-caste people. His loyal minstrels, the bhopa , sing and play the rawanatha, a basic fiddle made of a coconut and a pole, whereas a woman bhopin dances and shows a big cloth, a phad, painted scroll describing the long story to the night audience. </li></ul>
  31. 31. Köroglu and the Bakhshi <ul><li>The Epic of Köroğlu is a heroic legend prominent in the oral traditions of the Turkic peoples, performed from Uzbekstan until Armenia by the bakhshi, a narrator of dastans or epic for turkish people, usually, playing his dumbira or dombra, a two-string musical instrument. </li></ul>
  32. 32. The Ashik <ul><li>An Ashik is a mystic troubadour or traveling bard, in Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, and Iran who sings and plays the saz , a form of lute. Ashiks' songs are semi-improvised around common bases.The ancient ashiks were called by various names such as bakhshi (Baxşı), dede (dədə), and uzan or ozan. </li></ul>
  33. 33. Kobzar and Lyrnik of Ukraine <ul><li>Kobzary and Lirnyky were the itinerant Ukrainian bards, often blind, and became predominantly so by the 1800's, but whereas Kobzars played a musical stringed instrument known as the kobza or bandura, Lyrniky played that known as a lira . Lirnyky were similar to and belonged to the same guilds as the kobzars. </li></ul>
  34. 34. Lautari and Guslari <ul><li>Lăutari are members of a professional clan of Romani musicians (Gypsies), who play a Lăută , the name of a string instrument. Lăutari usually perform in bands, called taraf . Guslari (singers) are individuals capable of reproducing long narrative texts about heroes and events from the distant past and are able to improvise new ones in the decasyllabic metre. They were the minstrels in Albania and former Yugoslavia. </li></ul>
  35. 35. Arabic tradition <ul><li>Sirat al-Zahir, as a narrative poem popular in Egypt and Near East countries, the Azmari minstrels in Ethiopia or the Gnawa and Rways bards in Morocco are some of the arabic traditions related to the old ways of oral and itinerant communication along the Arabic world. </li></ul>
  36. 36. The Griots or Jelis <ul><li>A G riot or jeli is a West African poet, praise singer, and wandering musician, considered a repository of oral tradition. His wit can be devastating and his knowledge of local history formidable. Although they are popularly known as 'praise singers', griots may also use their vocal expertise for gossip, satire, or political comment. </li></ul>
  37. 37. From Africa to America: the Minstrel Show <ul><li>The minstrel show was an American entertainment consisting of comic skits, variety acts, dancing, and music, performed by white people in blackface or, especially after the Civil War, black people in blackface. It begun as a white theatrical portrayals of black characters date back to as early as 1604. </li></ul>
  38. 38. NOTE: Texts and Images resources Pictures sources belong to the personal archive of the author or to the public domain files existing in Wikimedia Commons and text come from Wikipedia or written according to author knowledge. Thanks to all contributors
  39. 39. The End