Born: 1200; Lorraine, France
Died: 1250; Champagne, France
Colin Muset was a French Trouvère who lived in the first half of the thirteenth century. Clues in his lyrics suggest that he hailed from Lorraine and entertained both in that region and throughout Champagne; however, some of the lyrics that provide the clues are considered doubtful for Colin Muset. It is clear that of the 21 pieces attributed to him, 12 are considered absolutely authentic and the remaining nine are doubtful; only half of thisRead more bequest has survived with its music intact.
Although Muset was likely heard at the courts of Thibault IV and Louis IX, he worked his way up from being a lowly jongleur (street musician) to the lofty standard of Trouvère; he was one among very few musicians from the medieval period of who we know made that transition. Muset's lyrics often recount his adventures as a jongleur, which must've been quite entertaining at the Royal court since noblemen had so little contact with that level of society. At least three of Muset's works are self-referential, one is a tenso (dialogue song) with Jacques d'Amiens and certain songs are loaded with puns, particularly on his given name. Although his output is small, Colin Muset's work is valuable to posterity as it departs from the prevalent subject of Courtly Love long enough to provide rare insight to the life of ordinary, working musicians in the medieval period. Read less
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