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WOMEN

&

MUSIC

ample of the genre in the vernacular. It embodies characteristic features of the genre, such as a coun-

try setting with the attempted seduction

ofa

shep-

herdess by a knight, or the combined use of narrative and dialogue, with the primary point of view being that of the man. But in the develop- ment of these features, Marcabru displays poetic sophistication and rhetorical dexterity that set his

music.

mat

emerges from the comparison of

metrical and musical diagrams is an apparent dis- juncture in the fourth line: where the melody re- peats, the rhyme sound does not, but moves to the

key sound

vilana.

Precisely this “disjuncture” em-

shepherdess.4’

phasizes the central focus of the song on the char- acter of the

A crucial question for Marcabru’s

pastorekz

is the

song apart from most of the

pastoureh

that would

pastorela

v&ma.

follow it. To be sure, if Marcabru “invented” the genre, he cannot be said to have followed any “rules” because those rules would only have emerged as subsequent poets transformed his “innovation” into a “tradition.” Consequently Marcabru’s especially needs to be considered in and for itself. Our focus will be on the female figure, the How do the arguments previously advanced con- cerning the political and poetic roles of real women affect our interpretation of the imagined female voice in Marcabru’s poem?

The central position of the female figure in the

question of narrative voice. The point of view is clearly that of the man, but it is legitimate to ask: which man? To whose male voice are we listening?

At the outset, we do not know -or we would not have known at a time when conventions of genre were not firmly in place. The very first word,

“L’autrier,”

conjures up for us a knight setting forth

2).

in pursuit of a shepherdess. But would Marcabru’s audience have had the same instantaneous recog- nition? The narrator does not initially define him- self other than by the use of the first person “trobei” (line Plausible arguments have been made that the choice of this verb suggests both the

song is fixed by the return of the word

vilana

in

act of poetic composition,

trobav,

and the discov-

the fourth line of each stanza - technically, this is a word-refrain - and by the prominence given it

by both metrical and musical structures. The stanza is composed of seven seven-syllable lines, with feminine rhymes arranged according to the pattern aaabaab (each letter represents a rhyme sound). Stanzas are grouped two by two, follow-

ing a technique called

coblas doblas,

a technique

ery of the shepherdess. The narrator constructs both shepherdess and song. The fact that the ob- ject of “trobei” is “pastora” (still line 2) suggests that the narrator is male. But this is clarified only in the second stanza and by the shepherdess. She designates the narrator and defines his status as a “Seigner” (line II). In that same line, this status of the narrator is directly contrasted to that of his in-

that not only sets off the rapid-fire exchanges of the debate but also produces a complex and con- stantly changing sonorous image. The “a” rhyme sound changes every two stanzas; in contrast, the

“b”

rhyme-the

vilana

rhyme-remains the

same: amidst the turns and twists of the debate, it anchors the song. The melody exhibits consider- able repetition, following a pattern that could be roughly diagrammed ABABCCD, although the c phrases take up motifs from the A and B phrases, so that only the last line has entirely different

terlocutor by the term

vikzna

at the rhyme, pro-

nounced by the knight. Thus, the interlocutors name each other as members of different social groups. Line II forms a kind of half refrain. It is repeated in stanzas IV, VI, VIII, and X, every other stanza, until the pattern is broken in stanza XII, the last stanza. In this last stanza, the shep- herdess herself sings the word vilana, thereby as- suming an identity she did not previously have, a development not accorded to the knight. Beside

the terms vilana and

seigner,

the words

toza

and

rmo-1400

41.

Music x995), 15-16.

Poetry

the Middk the

WI Frmch

See Margaret Switten,

York: Garland,

and

in

To characterize

Ages: A Guide to Research

and Occitan Song,

(New

structure of this song, thinking only of the melody, as AAB or bar form (Elizabeth

Aubrey, The Music

19891,

19961, 143,

Sq!e the

of the Troubadours [Bloomington: Indiana University Press,

or Andrew Hughes,

[Ottawa: The Insitute of Medieval Music,

143) is not only anachronistic but inaccurate because it obscures

and Symbol real charm

of the song created by the interwoven patterns of musical and textual repetitions.

40

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