Medieval Europe 814-1450: Literature - Research Article from Arts and Humanities Through the Eras

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The Non-Narrative Lyric Impulse

Lyric Development.

In addition to long heroic and romance narratives in verse and prose, short "lyric" poems, some intended for singing to musical accompaniment, were composed from the ninth through the fifteenth centuries throughout Europe. Their subject matter varied by region, reflecting local political, religious, and cultural developments. And as these issues changed throughout the European Middle Ages, the trends in what was "sung" or recited in these short poetic works shifted commensurately. Even so, as also occurred with the long heroic narrative and the romance, there was much mutual imitation of short poetic forms among European nations, especially on the Continent.

"Sumer is icumen in" round for two or four voices. London, British Library MS Harley 978, folio 11, 1250. THE GRANGER COLLECTION, NEW YORK. "Sumer is icumen in" round for two or four voices. London, British Library MS Harley 978, folio 11, 1250. THE GRANGER COLLECTION, NEW YORK.

The Lyric in Early Medieval England.

In the Anglo-Saxon period in England (ninth...

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