minnesinger (mĭnˈĭsĭngˌər) [key], a medieval German knight, poet, and singer of Minne, or courtly love. Originally imitators of Provençal troubadours, minnesingers developed their own style in the 13th and 14th cent. Some of their poems are among the best of Middle High German lyric verse. Important exponents of Minnesang included Heinrich von Morungen, Walther von der Vogelweide, and Oswald von Wolkenstein, as well as Gottfried von Strassburg, Wolfram von Eschenbach, and other authors of epics. Wagner's opera Tannhäuser is based on minnesinger art and tradition.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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