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Neidhart von Reuental

c. 1190
c. 1236


The German poet, Niedhart, was one of the most popular Minnesingers of the late Middle Ages. He came from an aristocratic although impoverished family in Bavaria.

From 1217 to 1219 he took part in the crusade of Leopold Duke of Babenberg. He also served in the court of Duke Otto II of Bavaria and with Bishop Eberhard of Salzburg. From 1232 he was fully patronized by Duke Friedrich der Streitbare when he settled in Mölk (Melk), Austria.

During the decline of the courtly love lyric is responsible for a new genre, höfische Dorfpoesie or courtly village poetry. Owing to their powerful simplicity of his Mennesang, the lyric poems enjoyed popularity for 200 years. Neidhart was the only minnesinger whose products were printed after the invention of typography thus, much of his work has been preserved. Musically, Neidhart's rhythms were directly associated with dances and the music began to influence how the language was delivered. His influence can be understood through the numerous imitations of his musical compositions.

Neidhart’s songs deal with the life and amusements of the peasants. He wrote two-part summer songs (Sommerlieder) to be performed by farmers at open-air dances, and more artistic three-part winter songs (Winterlieder) destined for dances indoors. He employed the Natureingang (nature introduction) that opens nearly every song, where he establishes a backdrop for the lyrics: “Winter” symbolizes a melancholic atmosphere, while descriptions of the approaching summertime are generally used for lighter subjects, often containing dance descriptions. Seventeen songs with both music and words composed by Neidhart are in extant. In the case of thirty-eight other songs he was only the composer of the music, and the words were by his followers and imitators. His tunes are conceived partly in the church modes, partly in the modern major scales.

Neidhart von Reuental - Also - Nîthart Von Riuwental.


Main Works

Blôzen wir den anger ligen sâhen
Der han, cantilena
Der may hat menig hercze
Fürst Friderich
German Minnelied
Ich claghe de blomen
Ich het an si gewendet
Kint, bereitet iuch der sliten ûf das îs!
Mayenzeit (attributed)
Meie, dîn liehter schîn
Meienzît ane nît
Mir ist ummaten leyde
Owê dirre nôt!
Sinc an, guldin huon!
Summer unde winder
Three May Songs
Willekome eyn sommerweter suze
Willekommen mayenschein
Winder Wie ist Nu
Winder, dîniu meil
Winter deiner kunfft der trawret sere



Last Updated: 2016-07-08 00:51:38