Neidhart von Reuental

(c.1180 - 1237/46)

Austrian Minnesinger, from an aristocratic but poor family. Went on a Crusade in 1217-19 before settling down in Austria. A younger contemporary of Walther von der Vogelweide, he is one of the earliest German poets some of whose poems survive complete with melodies--there are at least seventeen, and nearly forty more of his poems were given tunes that are unascribed and thought to be by his imitators. His songs show a fusion of court and folk music traditions; many of them celebrate seasons of the year, or deal with the lives of peasants and farmers and their rustic jollifications, Their style is generally fresh, simple and popular; and they were so highly regarded as to survive into the era of music printing. In fact Neidhart was the only Minnesinger whose music was printed during the Renaissance.

IIA: Troubadours, Trouvères and Minnesingers