This paraliturgical repertory was transmitted in a different way from the music of the liturgy itself: it was part of the international currency of those whom we now call goliards
, the wandering scholars whose stock-in-trade was as much scurrilous parody (or worse), as liturgical drama, the paraliturgical verses of the Circumcision festivities, and the like.
Hunting and military signals, fanfares at tournaments and feasts were certainly part of court life, where people could also listen to the music of the itinerant musicians known as joculatores, histriones, spielmans, jongleurs, goliards
and so on.
This book is about the tavern and its associated thematics in a group of twelfth- and thirteenth-century `comico-realist' texts, not just in the well-known Arras dramas of Le Jeu de saint Nicolas, Courtois d'Arras, and Le Jeu de la feuillee but also in a selection of fabliaux, in the poetry of the Goliards
, and in Rutebeuf's poems of misfortune, the only work specifically excluded being the Roman de Renart.
Furthermore, any analysis of the roundel's seventeen decimas and final quatrain rapidly reveals that there is not a single reference to any identifiable aspect of India and that the composition abounds in topoi of the most general and banal kind with which social types had been lampooned and lambasted from at least the time of the Goliards
Far from being an aberration, the goliards
were the driving force of Latin rhythmic poetry, sacred and profane.
But it is a life of the mind tempered with the human touch, a foretaste of the European goliards
to come: the charm of these scholars lies in 'the blend of massive dignity with a sort of childlike directness in living.
Such associations extend the Arlecchino's links backward to medieval extempore players and goliards
in Italy and France, while they illuminate commedia's continuing development during the mid sixteenth century in carnival, rustic farces, and dialect theater with lured types.