Galician-Portuguese secular lyric poetry

I. Introduction

The movement commonly known as Galician-Portuguese troubadour poetry was a cultural phenomenon that emerged in the western kingdoms of Iberia at the end of the 12th century and lasted until the middle of the 14th century. It was an essentially aristocratic form of poetry used to entertain the social elites at court.
Nearly 800 years later, the task of interpreting the rich legacy of this golden age of poetry is pitted with hazards, including scribal mistakes and lacunae and distortions caused by manuscript damage, wear and tear down through the centuries, not to mention the language of the poems themselves and the frequent use of lexical, morphological and structural archaisms, which can often obscure the intended meaning.
A more subtle difficulty is the social, cultural and ideological distance between our essentially urban modern society and the feudal values reflected in the poetry of the troubadours. There is, moreover, a kind of aesthetic-conceptual divide according to which our romantically inspired understanding of artistic originality in terms of unalloyed individuality and breaking with convention can make it hard to appreciate an aesthetic based on variation and modulation within necessarily traditional themes and structures. We have grown so accustomed to the dizzying succession and jostling of different artistic movements and aesthetic tastes that it is hard to fathom the thought of a single poetic phenomenon holding fast for centuries.
It is also important to remember that cantigas were designed not to be read but to be sung before an audience and accompanied by musical instruments. The performance of secular lyric poetry thus had much more in common with a pop or chamber music concert than with the private experience of reading poetry from a book.

II. Poetry in Galician

From a contemporary historical perspective, it makes perfect sense that in the Portuguese royal court of Afonso III and his son Denis (who reigned during the second half of the 13th century and the first quarter of the 14th) the language of poetry was Galician (or Galician-Portuguese), the western Romance variety of the ancient territory of Gallaecia. What is more surprising, however, is that during the same period Galician was also the language of poetry at the royal courts of Seville and Toledo of King Alfonso X, the Wise, the greatest patron of the golden age of troubadour poetry, a poet of the secular lyric himself and the architect of the Cantigas de Santa María, also written in Galician-Portuguese.
When the influence of Occitan troubadour poetry reached the courts of western Iberia, it did so in Galician. One geopolitical explanation for this is that the emergence of troubadour culture in the western kingdoms coincided with the last three decades of the 12th century and the early years of the 13th, a period during which the Kingdom of Galicia and Leon and the Kingdom of Castile were still separate and sometimes rival realms. The high nobility of Galicia, headed by the House of Traba, and the archbishop of Santiago de Compostela held enormous sway over the monarchy, and saw to it that it was their candidate, Alfonso VII, who was crowned King of Galicia in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, against the pretensions of the Castilian nobility to install the Aragonese king Alfonso the Battler. The Traba family’s influence continued during the reigns of Fernando II and Alfonso VIII of Galicia and Leon (IX of Castile), both of whom were raised and educated by members of the Traba family1
The language of the court in the Kingdom of Galicia, the Kingdom of Leon and the later Kingdom of Galicia and Leon was not the Castilian Romance variety of central Iberia, but a collection of mutually permeable geographical variants of the western Romance variety of the ancient territory of Gallaecia. It stands to reason, therefore, to assume that the literature created for the pleasure and enjoyment of the court in those kingdoms was composed in the language spoken by court members in their everyday lives. The privileged status of Santiago de Compostela as the main seat of the royal court during the reigns of Fernando II and Alfonso VIII of Galicia and Leon (IX of Castile) also explains why the troubadour lyric emerged and subsequently flourished in Galician-Portuguese2.  
From a literary perspective, Galicia was a fertile ground for the new troubadour school. At its safe physical remove from the military frontline, Galicia had already developed its own tradition of musical poetry, with formal and thematic characteristics similar to the parallelistic patterns of the cantigas de amigo we know today. Giuseppe Tavani (2004) refers to Galicia in the medieval period as a ‘Hispanic Provence’ and claims that an autochthonous pre-troubadour genre was cultivated in the 12th century in and around the city of Santiago de Compostela by a school of Galician poets with training in rhetoric. At a broader cultural level, medieval Galicia also saw the creation of essential works of literature in medieval Latin, such as the Codex Calixtinus and the Historia Compostelana, the completion of the Portico of Glory (1188) and the expansion of Romanesque art.
The presence of a vigorous native lyrical tradition in Galicia meant that the existing channels and conditions of production, communication and patronage could simply be adapted to fit the needs of the new foreign troubadour system (Brea 1994; Tavani 2004). One indication of the prestige of the autochthonous Galician pre-troubadour school of poetry is the use of Galician in a multilingual poem by the Occitan troubadour Raimbaut de Vaqueiras, alongside other literarily prestigious languages such as French, Occitan and Italian3. The poem dates from around 1200 and is therefore chronologically contemporaneous with the earliest of the cantigas transmitted by the three great cancioneiros (Galician-Portuguese ‘songbooks’).
In 1230, the Kingdom of Galicia and Leon and the Kingdom of Castile were united permanently under a single crown. As the Christian kingdoms continued to expand their territories southwards, the court and the administrative apparatus moved inland towards the centre of the peninsula, leaving Galicia weakened politically and economically.
During the early decades of the 13th century, until 1240, patronage of troubadour poetry was centred around the courts of the nobility of Galicia and northern Portugal, led by the Traba and Sousa families, respectively. Some members of these families were troubadours themselves and their retinues were filled with poets from the ranks of the petty nobility. The period also saw the definition of many of the clichés and formulas of the cantiga d’amor genre, while the 1240s was an important time of exchange and encounter for a large number of troubadours and minstrels drawn south by Castile’s wars of expansion.
The accession to the throne of Afonso III in Portugal (1248) and Alfonso X in Castile (1252) breathed new life into the troubadour movement at both courts. In Portuguese court circles, where the cantiga d’amor genre was still predominant, the poets were mainly Portuguese aristocrats. In Alfonso X’s Castilian court, on the other hand, the origins of the troubadours were much more varied, both geographically (Portugal, Galicia, Leon, Castile, Italy, Provence) and socially (the king himself, aristocrats, petty nobility, members of the clergy, minstrels). During the reigns of Alfonso X and his son Sancho IV, the cantiga d’amor was displaced by the growing popularity of the cantiga d’escarnho e mal dizer, a genre that took satirical aim at everything from personal, everyday experiences to political and military events of the highest order.
During the final decades of the troubadour age, the movement’s cultural presence retreated to the Kingdom of Portugal. Poetic activity continued until around 1350, though at a greatly diminished rate following the death of King Denis in 1325. The last remaining bastion was the court of Denis’s illegitimate son, Pedro, Count of Barcelos, where the tradition was kept alive by the count himself, one troubadour and one minstrel, mostly in the form of cantigas d’escarnho. The Count of Barcelos’s most enduring legacy, however, was his role as a compiler of troubadour songs in Galician-Portuguese. In fact, most of the cantigas that we know of today are copies from the cancioneiro ordered by him in the mid-14th century and generally thought to be the same Livro das Cantigas which he bequeathed to his nephew, Alfonso XI of Castile.

III. Secular poetry: genres

Most of the secular poetry of the Galician-Portuguese troubadour tradition may be classified into three main genres – cantigas de amor, cantigas de amigo and cantigas de escarnio e maldizer – several hundred examples of each of which have survived to this day. The first two genres are characterised by themes of love, while the mode in the third is one of satire and mockery. In each case, however, the main purpose of the songs was to entertain (see Tavani 1986: 83-239).
The opening pages of the Cancioneiro da Biblioteca Nacional (B) contain the very fragmentary remains of a poetry treatise entitled Arte de trobar on the genres and rules of the art form. The treatise makes a partial distinction between the two genres of love cantiga based on the poetic voice in each case: male in the cantigas de amor and female in the cantigas de amigo.
Cantigas de amor

Cantigas de amor are a form of Galician-Portuguese troubadour poetry derived from what is known as the ‘courtly song’ tradition4. The courtly song form arose in and for aristocratic circles and was based on a feudal metaphor in which the love relationship evokes a reciprocal contract of fealty between a lord and his vassal. The tradition first appeared and found favour in the aristocratic courts of Occitania in the early 12th century, before spreading to other European courts in France, Germany, Italy and Iberia, where it merged with and replaced existing native poetic forms and traditions.
One of the most defining characteristics of the cantigas de amor is the fact that the feeling expressed is not reciprocal: unlike the feudal lord who promises to protect his vassal and requite his service (fazer ben, ‘do well’), the lady whom the speaker makes the object of his affections, his senhor, does not ‘do well’ by the enamoured poet who wishes to ‘serve’ her. She does not requite his love; she does not accept him as her vassal. This results in enormous suffering (coita) on the part of the poet, leading inexorably to his (pretended, poetic) death, in stark contrast to the joy (joi) experienced by his Occitan counterpart, whose affections are usually reciprocated by the lady. Following the classical Ovidian topos of love at first sight, popularised by Andrea Capellanus’s well-known treatise on courtly love, De Amore, the poet’s rapture with the lady begins the moment he first contemplates her beauty. To see is to love is to suffer and die: this is the basic premise of most cantigas de amor, developed in each poem through a series of standard themes and motifs in differing reiterations, combinations and distributions. The perspective, however, is always hyperbolic: the poet is compelled to love by the sight of a woman of ineffable beauty; an impossible, unrequited love, kept secret even from the lady who has unleashed it, which, together with the distance between him and his love and the impossibility of seeing or talking to her, causes him untold suffering, coita, which will culminate in his death. This paradox of good as the origin of evil is another common feature of the cantiga de amor genre.
The development of poetry in the medieval period and of the cantiga de amor genre in particular may be viewed from two different perspectives. On the one hand, the adherence by all troubadours to the standard conventions of the form established a paradigm, to the extent that the entire corpus of more than six hundred recorded cantigas de amor may be construed as a collectively authored macrotext within a single isomorphic genre (Tavani 1986: 96-104), which, if read superficially, could seem monotonous.
On the other hand, however, the different poets bring individual flavour and originality to their compositions by using variations and modulations of the traditional form (Zumthor 1972: 79-82). The Pontevedra troubadour, Paai Gomez Charinho, for example, used a highly personal reformulation of the standard motif of the poet’s suffering for love by representing it in terms of the suffering caused by the sea, a coita he knew well as a navy admiral5.

Cantigas de amigo

The general themes in the cantigas de amigo are love (usually reciprocated, but not always), obstacles to love (separation, prohibition), and the feelings associated with a rendezvous (consummated or frustrated): happiness and expectation of the speaker’s lover’s imminent arrival; doubt, fear and anger when he is late or fails to appear; joyful reunion; jealousy and fear of infidelity; fear of the relationship ending; female erotic desire, and the female speaker’s consciousness of her own sensuality6.  
Experts usually identify two subgenres of cantiga de amigo. In the courtly cantigas de amigo, the central character is a woman afflicted by the coita of love. These poems are thus ‘the mirror image of the cantigas de amor’ (Tavani 1986: 139), as they feature the same themes and stylistic elements. The poems in the second subgenre are composed in the popular register of the pre-troubadour courtly tradition, and are characterised by a strophe structure based on verbal parallelism, with alternate strophes and motifs linked through leixa-pren, and by the literary reformulation of certain clichés taken from popular oral culture.
Some of these cantigas also feature a complex symbolism, especially symbols of nature (e.g. springs, stags, etc.), whose association with fertility and procreation date back to the prehistory of humanity. Despite the efforts of the Christian church, this pagan, pantheistic experience of nature was still very much alive in medieval popular culture and remained so for many centuries. In most cases, the church merely appropriated the sacred sites and rituals of the native religions and superimposed Christianity upon them. This is reflected in particular in the cantiga de romaría (‘pilgrimage song’) or cantiga de santuario (‘shrine song’) subgenre of the cantiga de amigo, in which the pilgrimage is merely an excuse for a romantic encounter and the song itself was probably designed to promote the shrine at the centre of the action. A good illustration of this is found in the well-known Sedia-m’eu na ermida de San Simion by Meendinho, Eno sagrado, en Vigo and Mia irmana fremosa, treides comigo by Martin Codax, and the songs of Joan de Cangas, in which the shrine is identified explicitly as the perfect place for the lovers to ‘be at leisure’ (aver lezer) together.
Cantigas de escarnio e maldizer

The short treatise on the art of troubadour poetry (Arte de trobar) that opens the B songbook establishes a distinction between cantigas de escarnio and cantigas de maldizer7. While both forms share the intention to ‘speak ill of someone’, the cantigas de escarnio do so using ‘concealed words’ with ‘two ways of understanding’. In other words, they use aequivocatio to play with double meaning. In the cantigas de maldizer, on the other hand, mockery and satire are expressed using direct language that does not play on the meaning of the words. This rigid theoretical distinction is belied by the reality of the songbooks themselves, however, where examples abound of songs that combine referential language and hidden meaning, and many cantigas are catalogued conjointly as d’escarnh’e de maldizer. The use of irony and sarcasm in these poems is quite masterful at times.
The cantigas de escarnio e maldizer are usually divided into four types, depending on the purpose and target of the satire: political satire, against the betrayal of a legitimate ruler, the active interference of the church in civil matters, extreme cowardice in battle by a knight or nobleman, or the ill dealings of the king’s favourites, among others; social, personal and cultural satire, against the ridiculous greed and meanness of the high nobility, the greed and poverty of the petty nobility, or the refusal to defend the family name by avenging an abduction, and in mockery of the excesses, deficiencies and perversions of sexuality; literary satire, between troubadours or against minstrels for poor singing, playing or versification; and moral satire, consisting of general criticism of the decadent present and the loss of old values.
Although primarily intended for entertainment purposes, the cantigas de escarnio e maldizer also held up a reproachful mirror to certain behaviours in which nobody wished to see themselves reflected. Political satire was used as a veritable weapon of dishonour between enemies or to ridicule certain improper or disloyal behaviours.
Other poetic genres

There are also a small number of cantigas whose form and subject matter have more in common with other medieval European poetic traditions than with the three main genres described above. Nevertheless, in most cases, these cantigas have been adapted to the formal conventions of the Galician-Portuguese lyric. In the five Breton-themed lays, for example, the formal features of the poems are based on the cantiga de amor (in three instances) and cantiga de amigo (in two). The same fusion is observed in poems such as Quisera vosco falar de grado by King Denis, a ‘song of the unhappily married wife’, and Sedia la fremosa seu sirgo torcendo by Estevan Coelho, a chanson de toile (sewing or weaving song), which are also cantigas de amigo and are catalogued as such as in the songbooks.
Other medieval literary traditions represented in the cancioneiros (albeit smatteringly) include the pastorela (in which an errant knight encounters a shepherdess, who becomes the object of his lustful attentions), the lament (composed to mark the death and funeral of a person of high rank or importance), encomiastic songs (in praise of a king for one of his conquests), and the descort (created with a deliberately discordant metre to reflect the troubled state of the protagonist’s feelings).
The Arte de trobar in songbook B devotes a chapter to the tenso, a style of troubadour song in the form of a debate between two poets. The description given by the Arte de trobar states that tensos may be composed in any of the three main cantiga genres. In practice, however, almost all of the topics debated are of a satirical nature and are catalogued in the cantigas de escarnio e maldizer section of the songbooks. Nevertheless, there are a few examples of the form in which the poets debate about questions of love, which could be viewed as adaptations of the Occitan genre of lyric poetry known as the partimen or joc parti.
The Arte de trobar also includes a description of the cantiga de seguir. This contrafactum cantiga refers not so much to a genre of song-poem as to a compositional process involving the reutilisation of textual, melodic and structural elements from a previous composition to create a new poem8.

IV. Secular poetry: formal features

From a formal point of view, troubadour poetry is characterised by an isometric stanza scheme (i.e. regular metre). Song-poems in which the strophes (or cobras) end in a refrain are classed as cantigas de refrán, while those that do contain a refrain are classed as cantigas de mestría.
The variety of metre and rhyme schemes across the whole corpus of secular lyric poetry is quite remarkable: of the 260 combinations identified, many are attested only once in the whole collection while others are repeated in dozens of cantigas, and even more than a hundred in some instances9. In most cases, the same metre and rhyme scheme are applied in each of the strophes.
One distinctive feature of troubadour poetry in Galician-Portuguese is the important role of repetition of key words in each verse. The Arte de trobar describes the dobre and mozdobre techniques, for example, which require the repetition of a word (or one of its morphological forms, in the case of mozdobre) one or more times in each strophe, always in the same place in the line. Despite the theoretical inflexibility of the rule, however, iteration was more usually determined by intensity of effect than by adherence to strictly regular patterning.
Strategies for linking strophes include the repetition of a rhyme sound from the final line of each strophe in the first line of the next (cobras capcaudadas) or repetition of a word from the final line of each strophe in the first line of the next (cobras capfinidas). These head-and-tail linking mechanisms had the additional advantage of making the sequence of strophes easier to remember, particularly where each strophe contains the same concepts with only minor variation, as is frequently the case.

V. Troubadours and minstrels

Two of the most central figures of the troubadour cultural tradition were the troubadour and the minstrel (see Oliveira 1995, 2001). Troubadours were of noble extraction (from kings down to the knightly classes), and were responsible for composing the text and the melody of the cantigas. They were classically educated in the seven liberal arts of the medieval period (the Trivium and the Quadrivium), including grammar, dialectic, rhetoric and music. The influence of the scholastic method may be seen in the dialectical formulation and discussion of the theme in some cantigas. In this regard, therefore, mastery of the troubadour art was also a mark of class.
As a member of the nobility, the troubadour was, moreover, a soldier or miles, and many were actively involved in the military campaigns of the time, both between warring Christian forces and, in particular, between Christians and Muslims.
The minstrel, on the other hand, was an entertainer of plebeian extraction who performed the songs composed by the troubadours and accompanied themselves on an instrument of some kind (Lorenzo Gradín 1995). Minstrels were paid in money or in goods, such as food or fabric, and were sometimes in the exclusive employ of a single troubadour. Many also created their own songs, however, particularly in the cantiga de amigo genre. Their less frequent forays into the aristocratic cantiga de amor genre were met with proprietorial disdain by the troubadours, as reflected in the numerous cantigas de escarnio on the subject. Notable among these is the attack of Joan Garcia de Guilhade, who targets the minstrel Lourenço for thinking he can compose (trobar) when he cannot even play his instrument (a zither), which Garcia de Guilhade threatens to break over his head.
A small number of secular lyrics were also composed by members of the clergy and are catalogued together in the songbooks.
The active patronage of troubadour culture by kings and leading nobles played a vital role in the development of the art. One of the most prolific and important examples of this system was the court of King Alfonso X, which brought together troubadours from different countries and regions in a lively atmosphere of literary exchange and production. The dynamic relations between poets gave rise to a number of cantiga cycles consisting of a series of poems by different authors on a particular topic or figure (such as the wet nurse, Maria Balteira or Fernan Diaz cycles), as well as numerous instances of discursive complementarity between poems by two or more authors which ‘converse’ with each other, to the extent that the compositions sometimes only make sense in relation to each other.

VI. The manuscript tradition of secular lyric poetry in Galician-Portuguese: witnesses and formation

Although there is only one manuscript tradition of Galician-Portuguese secular lyric poetry and the surviving witnesses are few, a number of questions remain to be answered in order to obtain a clearer picture of the different witnesses and the process of critical constitution itself.

The secular poetry of the Galician-Portuguese troubadour tradition was transmitted by three main collective songbooks (cancioneiros) and a number of minor fragments.
The Cancioneiro da Ajuda (A) is a parchment codex created between the late 13th and early 14th century, when the troubadour tradition was still active, and comprises 310 cantigas de amor. Bound together with the Livro de Linhagens do Conde don Pedro, the codex is held at the Ajuda National Palace in Lisbon (no catalogue number). By the complex vagaries of history or fate, 88 folios have survived and evidence of different kinds suggests that the songbook is unfinished, as well as lacunary in parts: the manuscript features a number of illuminations in different states of completion, some finished, others merely sketched, many not yet begun; spaces have been left blank where musical notation was to be added but never was; rubrics indicating authorship are absent, and the manuscript ends suddenly mid-verse in the middle of a column.
The Cancioneiro da Biblioteca Nacional (B), also known as the Cancioneiro Colocci-Brancuti, is held at the National Library of Portugal (catalogue number COD 10991). The songbook comprises 355 paper folios and 1560 cantigas, making it the largest witness of the Galician-Portuguese troubadour tradition. The collection was copied in Italy in the 16th century on the orders of the humanist Angelo Colocci; six copyists were involved in the process. It is believed that the manuscript was intended for Colocci’s personal use, based on the fact it was he who numbered the cantigas, he who inserted the numerous attributions, explanations and metrical, linguistic and literary annotations, and he who copied part of the Arte de trobar in the opening pages of the songbook.
The Cancioneiro da Vaticana (V) is held at the Vatican Library in Rome (catalogue number Vat. Lat. 4803). The songbook is copied by a single hand and comprises 1200 cantigas on paper. This collection is closely related to songbook B and, despite some differences, was most likely copied around the same time under the supervision of Angelo Colocci, using a single version of the text distributed in notebooks between the different copyists (alla pecia method). This would explain some of the lacunae in the songbook, in addition to the large lacuna (acephalia) noted by Colocci at the beginning of the manuscript.
The Cancioneiro da Bancroft Library (K) is a descriptus of V, created in Rome between the late 16th and early 17th century. It is a largely faithful copy of the V manuscript, though introduces some additional errors of transcription on top of those found in the original. The manuscript was discovered in Madrid in 1857 by Francisco A. de Varnhagen in the library ‘of a Spanish grandee’, before disappearing again until its reappearance in 1983 among a collection of volumes acquired by the Bancroft Library of the University of California (Berkeley), where it is now held (catalogue number BANC MS UCB 143 v. 131).
The two most important manuscript fragments involved in the transmission of the Galician-Portuguese troubadour tradition are the Vindel and Sharrer parchments.
The Vindel Parchment (N) is a parchment bifolio created during the troubadour period and is a key witness for the transmission of the medieval secular lyric tradition in Galician-Portuguese. At the time of its discovery at the beginning of the 20th century, it was the only manuscript record to contain not only the text of the poems (seven cantigas de amigo by the minstrel Martin Codax), but also the musical notation for six of them. The parchment is held at the Morgan Library and Museum (catalogue number M 979).
The Sharrer Parchment (T) was discovered in 1990 in the Torre do Tombo National Archive in Lisbon. The text and musical notation of seven cantigas de amor by King Denis transmitted by the parchment are fragmentary owing to the damaged state of the folio. The discovery of the Sharrer Parchment enabled musicologists to investigate the musical forms within the cantigas de amor and de amigo for the first time.
Of the more minor fragmentary witnesses, the Lais de Bretanha (L) is a three-folio document preserved in a miscellaneous volume held in the Vatican Library (catalogue number Vat. Lat. 7882). The folios contain the texts of the five Breton-themed lays collected at the beginning of B.
Fragments M and P correspond to two versions of a tenso between Afonso Sanchez and Vasco Martins de Resende, held at the National Library of Spain in Madrid (f. 25rº, miscellaneous volume MS 9249) and the Municipal Library of Oporto (MS 419), respectively. A copy of M is also held at the National Library of Spain (fol. 72r, miscellaneous volume MSS 3267).
Finally, the Tavola Colocciana (C) is a catalogue of authors compiled by Angelo Colocci, most likely copied from the index of authors of the Cancioneiro da Biblioteca Nacional at the same time as the rest of the songbook. The catalogue is preserved in a miscellaneous volume held in the Vatican Library (catalogue number Vat. Lat. 3217).
Formation of the tradition

The first phase of formation of the manuscript tradition begins with a set of hypothetical scrolls and loose sheets containing a small number of compositions by a single author10. These hypothetical documents were subsequently copied and compiled into individual songbooks, before being copied and arranged into collective songbooks of varying size and importance. Traces of these lost early individual and collective songbooks (such as the knights’ songbook, the Galician minstrels’ songbook, and the songbook of Joan Airas de Santiago) can still be discerned in the surviving cancioneiros.
The archetype (ω) of the manuscript tradition of Galician-Portuguese secular lyric poetry is a lost collective songbook of cantigas by aristocratic troubadours, organised chronologically and grouped by genre. The Cancioneiro da Ajuda, which contains only cantigas de amor (with some additions), is probably a close copy of the first section of this lost urtext. Later on, towards the very end of the troubadour period (c. 1350), Pedro, Count of Barcelos ordered an extensive compilation of cantigas (what Oliveira calls the ‘General Compilation’), which is probably the same Livro das cantigas mentioned in the count’s testament. This collection represents the subarchetype α and second phase of the manuscript tradition, as proposed by Giuseppe Tavani (see below) and confirmed by an internal analysis of the surviving songbooks. The manuscript reproduces the contents of the archetype and adds new material copied from other individual and collective songbooks, but dispenses with the sociological, chronological and genre-based organisational criteria of the original. Nearly two hundred years later, around 1525, a fragmentary, incomplete copy of this collection (or possibly the lost original cancioneiro itself) was taken to Rome, where the apographs we know today as songbooks B and V were created.
The diagram below (stemma codicum) is a simplified version of the stemma proposed by Tavani (1967b), representing the filiation between the different songbooks of the manuscript tradition of Galician-Portuguese secular lyric poetry.

  1. ^

    On the important role of the Galician nobility during this period, see in particular López Carreira (2005).

  2. ^

    Recent studies on the earliest poets featured in the cancioneiros examine the role of geopolitical, social and family circumstances in making the royal courts of Galicia and Leon the site of the first medieval lyric poetry in Galician-Portuguese. The political and cultural influence of Galician at both courts was partly due to the influence of the Traba family over the crown. The kinship ties between the House of Traba and other members of the Catalano-Provençal nobility were the main channel of transmission of the new Occitan poetic tradition in western Iberia. Significantly, most of the earliest troubadours were connected by family or social ties to the House of Traba (see Souto Cabo 2012).

  3. ^

    The poem in question is the well-known descort, Eras quan uey verdeyar (see Riquer 1983: 840-842).

  4. ^

    For a specific study on the genre, see Beltrán (199); see also Tavani (1983: 104-134).

  5. ^

    For a study on the presence of individual nuances within the cantiga tradition, see Arbor Aldea (2009a).

  6. ^

    For a monograph study of the genre, see Brea and Lorenzo Gradín (1998); see also Tavani (1986: 135-171) and Lorenzo Gradín (1992).

  7. ^

    For a specific study on satirical cantigas, see Lanciani and Tavani (1995); see also Tavani (1986: 171-198).

  8. ^

    For further discussion of these less frequent genres, see Tavani (1986: 198-226).

  9. ^

    Despite subsequent refinements and additions to the theory, the seminal work on this subject is still Tavani (1967a).

  10. ^

    The formation of a manuscript tradition is an extremely complex process about which an enormous amount of literature has been published. For a detailed, literature-based summary and study of the subject, see Gonçalves (1993) and Oliveira (1994), respectively.