Hermann, Monk of Salzburg

(fl. late 14th Century)

Minnesinger and composer. Suggested identification of him with Johannes Rossus II, Abbot of the Benedictine monastery at Salzburg 1364-75, or with the Prior Hermann living in 1424, now seems implausible, but it appears likely he was in contact with the brilliant and hedonistic court of Archbishop Pilgrim of Salzburg (d. 1396) (one of his songs is a versified love-letter to the most beautiful of the Archbishop's ladies). His secular music shows a fusion of the styles of the later Minnesingers and of Alpine folksong; most of his songs are monophonic, but he also made some primitive attempts at polyphonic songs, which however had little influence on German music. Three of his polyphonic pieces are marked 'gut zu blasen' ('good for blowing'), which suggests the use of wind instruments, and the lower part (restricted to two notes) of Der Nachthornis in fact marked 'der Pumhart' (? = Bombard). His forty or so German sacred songs are mainly settings of translations of psalms and sequences; his music continued to be popular into the sixteenth century, and is found in such sources as the Locheimer Liederbuch and Paumann's tablatures.

IIIB: From Oswald von Wolkenstein to the Locheimer Liederbuch