12th Century

<11th Century … 13th Century>

* = approximate date


  • *Johannes Cotto’s (dates unknown, nationality possibly English or Flemish) treatise De musica written
  • *Troubadours appear in what is now southern France
  • *Goliards (satirical, clerical poets) appear
Music of the Troubadors (Naxos 8554257)

Music of the Troubadors (Naxos 8554257)


  • Hildegard sent to the convent at Bingen, aged 8


  • *Marcabru born (Gascony) Gascon troubador. Marcabru is a pseudonym – his real name is unknown. Died c.1160


  • Aak music is introduced to the Korean court by Emperor Huizong of the Song Dynasty


  • Canon Fulbert has Peter Abelard castrated after finding out about his affair with Fulbert’s niece Heloise


  • *Jaufre Rudel born (Blaye, France) French troubador, crusader. Died 1147
  • *Dietmar von Aist born (Austria) Austrian minnesinger. Died c.1171


  • *Bernart de Ventadorn born (Corrèze, France) French troubador. Member of Eleanor of Aquitaine’s court. Died c.1195


  • Feb 10 William IX of Aquitaine (54) dies in Poitiers


  • *Tibors de Sarenom born (Provence, France) French trobairitz, the earliest known of her kind. Died c.1200
  • *Der von Kürenberg aka Der Kürenberger born (Linz?) Austrian minnesinger, poet. Died c.1180


  • Adam of Saint Victor leaves Notre Dame Cathedral for the Abbey of Saint Victor in Paris


  • *Léonin aka Leoninus born (Paris?) French composer, canon of Notre Dame, Paris. Earliest known composer of polyphonic organum, attributed author of the Magnus Liber organi. The contemporary poet Leonius is possibly the same person. Died c.1200
  • *The Codex Calixtinus compiled in Compostela, Spain, probably by scholar Aymeric Picaud (dates unknown). Among its religious texts, the manuscript contains several early examples of polyphony


  • Cercamon (dates unknown) composes Lo plaing comens iradamen, the earliiest known planh [funeral lament], on the death of William X of Aquitaine
  • *Chanson de Geste Li coronemenz Looïs written. Author unknown, possibly Bertrand de Bar-sur-Aube (dates unknown, French poet)


  • *Giraut de Bornelh born (Limousin, France) French troubador. Died c.1215
  • Rudolf of St Trond (c. 68) dies in Sint-Truiden, Belgium
  • Hildegard becomes abbess at Bingen


  • Jun 3 Peter Abelard is condemned for heresy by a church court in Sens, France
  • *Azalais de Porcairagues born (Montpelier, France) French trobairitz. Died c.1190
  • *Berenguier de Palazol born (Paillol, Spain) Catalan troubador. Died c.1209
  • *Bertran de Born born (Limousin, France) French troubador, baron of Hautefort, Aquitaine, Cistercian monk. Died c.1215
  • *Epic poem Le Pèlerinage de Charlemagne written


  • Apr 12 Peter Abelard (c. 62) dies in Chalon-sur-Saône before his plea against heresy charges could be heard


  • Adam of Saint Victor (c. 70) dies in Paris


  • *Raimbaut of Orange born (Aumelas, France) French troubador. Died 1173
  • Jaufre Rudel (c. 27) dies after falling sick during the Second Crusade


  • *Beatritz de Dia born (Provence) French trobairitz. Died c.1200
  • *Folquet de Marselha born (Marseilles) French troubador, Cistercian abbot, Bishop of Toulouse. Died 1231
  • *Conon de Béthune born (Calais) Flemish trouvère, crusader. Died 1220
  • *Friedrich von Hausen or von Husen born (Germany) German minnesinger, crusader. Died 1190
  • *The earliest reference is made to Gypsies working as musicians in Constantinople


  • *Hildegard of Bingen writes Ordo Virtutum [Play of Virtues], possibly first performed in 1152. The play is the earliest surviving morality play by more than a century, and the only surviving Medieval musical drama with attributions for both text and the music.
Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179)

Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179)


  • *Hildegard of Bingen writes Scivias, a book describing her religious visions that includes 14 songs
  • *Ladies’ strophe, the earliest German Minnelieder written


  • Nov 11 Sancho I of Portugal born (Coimbra) King of Portugal, troubador. Died 1212


  • Blondel de Nesle aka Jean I of Nesle born (France) French troubador, crusader. Died 1202. Some sources suggest Blondel was his son Jean II of Nesle (d. 1241)


  • Sep 8 Richard I born (Oxford) King of England, Duke of Normandy, Quitaine and Gascony, crusader, trouvère. One poem of his complete with a melody survives. Died 1199
  • Alfonso II of Aragon born (Huesca, Spain) King of Aragon and Count of Barcelona, troubador. Died 1196


  • *Gace Brulé born (Champagne, France) French trouvère [northern French equivalent of the troubador], knight. Died c.1212
  • *Chastelain de Coucy aka Gui II de Coucy born (Coucy, France) French trouvère, crusader. Died 1203
  • *Pérotin aka Perotinus born (Paris?) French composer, teacher. Contributor to the Magnus Liber Organi. Died c.1205
  • *Philip the Chancellor born (Paris) French theologian, poet, composer. Chancellor of Notre Dame de Paris. Died 1236
  • *Raimon de Miraval born (Carcassonne, France) French troubador. Died c.1220
  • *Marcabru (c. 50) dies


  • Aug 6 Alfonso II, aged 5, becomes King of Aragon and Count of Barcelona following the death of his father Ramon Berenguer IV of Barcelona


  • Construction begins on the cathedral Notre-Dame de Paris
  • *Notre Dame School of Polyphony period begins, also beginning the Ars Antiqua period


  • Blacatz aka Blacas de Blacas III born (Aups, France) French troubador, lord of Aups, Provence. Father of Blacasset (d.1242). Died 1237


  • May 21 Godric of Finchale (c. 100) dies in Finchale Priory, Co. Durham
  • *Aimeric de Peguilhan born (Peguilhan, France) French troubador. Died c.1230
  • *Gaucelm Faidit born (Uzerche, France) French troubador, crusader. Died c.1202
  • *Walther von der Vogelweide born (Germany) German minnesinger. Died c.1230
  • *Wolfram von Eschenbach born (Bavaria) German knight, minnesinger. Author of epic poem Parzival. Died c.1220
  • *The Magnus Liber Organi [the Great Book of Organum] begun containing works by Léonin and Pérotin. It is continually updated into the 13th century
  • *The chanson de geste Fiërabras written. Author unknown


  • *Dietmar von Aist (c. 50) dies


  • Raimbaut of Orange (c. 26) dies
  • Giraut de Bornelh composes the planh S’anc jorn aqui joi e solaz on the death of Raimbaut of Orange


  • Peire Vidal born (Toulouse?) French troubador. Died c.1205
  • *Elias Cairel born (Sarlat, France) French troubador, crusader. Died c.1225
Peire Vidal (c. 1175-1210)

Peire Vidal (c. 1175-1210)


  • Otto von Botenlauben born (Henneberg, Germany) German Cistercian monk, minnesinger, crusader. Founder of Frauenroth Abbey near Würzburg, Bavaria. Died c.1245


  • Sep 17 Hildegard of Bingen (c. 80) dies in Bingen am Rhein, Germany


  • *Neidhart von Reuental aka Nithart born (Germany) German minnesinger. More melodies by Neidhart survive than by any other minnesinger. Died c.1240
  • *Peire Cardenal born (Le Puy-en-Velay, France) French troubador. Died c.1278
  • *Der von Kürenberg (c. 50) dies


  • Bertran de Born composes a planh, Mon chan fenisc ab dol et ab maltraire, on the death of Henry the Young King of England and Normandy


  • Dec 6 Sancho I becomes King of Portugal following the death of his father Alfonso I


  • May 6 Friedrich von Hausen (c.40) dies in battle in Turkey whilst on the third Crusade
  • *Aimeric de Belenoi born (Gironde, France) French troubador. Died 1242
  • *Julian of Speyer born (Speyer, France) French composer, poet, historian, choirmaster, Franciscan monk. Died c.1250
  • *Moniot d’Arras born (Arras, France) French trouvère, Benedictine monk. Composer of the song Ce fut en mai. Died 1239
  • *Pons de Capduelh born (France) French troubador, crusader. Died c.1237
  • *Uc de Saint Circ born (Thégra, France) French troubador. Died 1253
  • *Azalais de Porcairagues (c. 50) dies
  • *Chanson de Geste Aspremont written. Author unknown


  • *Bernart de Ventadorn (c.70) dies, probably in Dordogne


  • Apr 25 Alfonso II of Aragon (c. 39) dies in Perpignan
  • Alberico da Romano born (San Zenone, Italy) Italian troubador, soldier, statesman. Supported both Holy Roman Emperor and Papist factions. Died 1260


  • Dec 25 Pérotin’s organum Viderunt omnes premiered in Paris


  • Mar 25 Richard I shot with a crossbow during a siege of the castle of Chalus-Chabrol
  • Apr 6 Richard I (41) dies in Châlus, France, of blood poisoning, after the wound he received ten days earlier turned gangrenous
  • Dec 26 Pérotin’s organum Sederunt Principes premiered in Paris

<11th Century13th Century>

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