The Old Occitan troubadours inspired and composed songs concurrently with the Old French trouvères, and the canso or love song clearly dominates both traditions. However, beyond that genre, the traditions diverge in significant ways; this article re-examines the lyric dialectic between the two. Some extremely popular troubadour genres such as the sirventes and the cobla (esparsa) failed to capture imaginations in the north. On the other hand, debate poetry became all the rage in the langue d'oïl region, especially in the urban milieu around Arras. The pastorela also met with audience approval in the north. Finally, the lai-descort, while making up less than 1% of troubadour production, not only started early in the trouvère tradition but also remained popular well into the fourteenth century in the north. Historical and material circumstances may account for some divergences, but the surest conclusion from this overview is that more careful work remains to be done.


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pp. 101-119
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