Romańska alba tradycyjna. Między pieśnią ludową a dworską

Grażyna Urban-Godziek


Romanic Traditional Alba—Between Popular and Courtly Poetry

This paper initiates a series of texts devoted to genres of love songs that combine the motif of a parting or meeting of lovers at the break of dawn. It is a genological introduction to the classification of Polish poems of this kind from the 16th and 17th centuries (Chapter 1. Introduction. Premises for this cycle of studies). Morning love songs—here referred to as albas or alboradas—appeared at the very beginning of mediaeval Romance lyricism, that is, at the turn of the 10th and 11th centuries (Mozarabic kharja). Although they originated from folk ‘women’s songs’, they were soon included in the repertoire of troubadours and incorporated into their genre system. The first study is devoted to works focusing on lovers parting in the morning. It investigates the functioning of this type of lyric on the borderline between the traditional and courtly registers (Chapter 2. Controversy. Folk and scholarly albas; Chansone de femme and grand chant courtois) and presents a traditional version of alba (Chapter 3. Traditional alba (popular, folk)). The traditional alba is a thematic genre, focused on the scene of lovers parting at dawn. It is distinguished from the courtly alba (the troubadour type) by the important role of nature. The lovers meet outside the city, in natural scenery, and are awakened by the singing of morning birds (there are no guards, spies, or jealous husbands lurking in the background). The classification presented is based mainly on the findings of Pierre Bec, as well as on the research and collection of albas gathered by Toribio Fuente Cornejo. Chapter 3.1. Mozarabic kharja and its derivatives; Romanesque and Latin albas presents the oldest surviving texts, which are refrain-like fragments. Chapter 3.2. The Galician-Portuguese courtly version of traditional alba analyses a type of folk alba adapted to courtly lyricism, illustrated by the example of Nuno Fernandes Torneol’s Levad’ amigo. The discussion of these canonical forms of albas is extended with two proposed subtypes. The first is defined as the mixed type—traditional alba with courtly elements (chapter 3.3.) and illustrated by an example of the French alba Entre moi et mon amin. The elements of the setting (meeting in the open air, the role of the bird) come from the traditional form, which is also indicated by the lyrical subject—a woman. On the other hand, the strophic composition and metrics of the poem reveal the influence of courtly poetry. The other mixed type—courtly alba with traditional elements (chapter 3.4.), represented by two Occitan and two French texts, belongs to the fin’amor culture and has the features of the courtly version (types of characters, terminology, formal structure) with the traditional role of nature.

Słowa kluczowe: alba, kharja, cantiga de amigo, popular lyric, courtly lyric, Nuno Fernandes Torneol

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