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Minnesong

von, german and minnesingers

MINNESONG (German Minnesang, Min negesang, from minne, and sang, 'sone), a mediaeval type of German love-lyric, written chiefly by knightly poets in the 12th, 13th and 14th centuries, in the Middle High German dialect. The earliest of the 300 or more names of minnesingers that have been preserved are Kiirnberger, Memlo von Sevel ingen, Dietmar von Aist, etc., but only about 160 of them have left poems that are still ac cessible. Some groups of minnesingers were very distinctly under the influence of French (Provencal) and Italian models, such as Fried rich von Hausen, Rudolf von Fenis, Ulrich von Gutenberg, Heinrich von Rugge and von Morungen, etc. The flower of the type blos somed in Walther von der Vogelweide and Reinmar von Hagenau about the year 1200, co incident with the great mediaeval German epic, the Most of these songs were intended for musical performance and are divided into classes, distinguished by the names lied, Teich and spruch. Riidiger

Manesse (d. Zurich 1325) and his son are said to have collected them in the Great Heidelberg Manuscript, which was taken to Paris in the course of the Thirty Years' War, and later re turned to Heidelberg. It contains 137 minia tures and over 7,000 strophes; published by von der Hagen (Leipzig 1838), Pfaff (Heidelberg 1899), Mathieu (Paris 1850). But many poems not in the Manesse manuscript are found in other manuscripts. Later minnesingers, such as Ulrich von Lichtenstein, began to regard the occupation of producing such poems as a sort of sport or handicraft and the art passed out of the hands of the lower nobility into those of the burgher "masters" (see MEISTERSINGERS) and roaming minstrels. Consult Lachmann, K., and Haupt, M., 'Minnesangs Friihling) (Leip zig 1884) ; Lyon, O., 'Minnesang and Meister gesang' (Leipzig 1883); Grimme, F., 'Ge schichte der Minnesinger) (Paderborn 1897).