Implications of the Meistersinger tabulatur
Christiansen, Heinz C
Master of Arts
Historical, political, economic, and social evolution in Germany during the late thirteenth and the following centuries outdated chivalry and its ideals. Minnesang, one form of literary expression of the courtly period declined, because the discrepancy between the ideal world and the real world could no longer be reconciled. The new Middle Class of the growing cities assumed the obligation to continue the tradition of Minnesang. In this new environment however, Minnesang lost its identity and an entirely different genre was created: Msistergesang. The Meistersinger organized into strict and exclusive schools and developed for its supervision a statute, which they called the Tabulatur. This Tabulatur contained rules for the writing of the songs and for every activity connected with the schools and its members. This thesis attempts to outline and analyze the Meistersinger's need for technical aids and organizational patterns closely resembling their own professional guilds. Furthermore, this thesis suggests that the very same Tabulatur, intended to unite and establish the Meistersinger movement behind common methods and goals, was in part responsible for the mediocrity of Meistergesang and its decay. Obviously, the entire scope of the Meistergesang era cannot be explored in this thesis, There are numerous achievements accredited to this group of middle class artisan-poets. We are concerned only with the phenomenon of the Tabulatur and its specific implications.