Canso, Chanso, Chanson French, Occitan and Provincial love songs, made popular in 12th century Europe by the troubadours which constantly strove for originality and perfection of form. The lines between the 3 terms is blurred. The Chanson is believed to be the inspiration for the Italian Canzone. The verse often exalted a lady love. Courtly Compliment is a sub genre of the Chanson.
The Canso, Chanso or Chanson are:
- stanzaic, usually 5 or 6 nonce stanzas of identical pattern.
- expected to be original in form. The metric length of the line, the number of lines in a stanza, the rhyme scheme was expected to be different from anything that had gone before.
- often ended by an envoy or tornada structured in the same pattern as the last half of the previous stanzas. (The Occitan tornada is a dedication to a patron or friend added at the end of verse while the French envoy is a summation of the theme added to the end of the verse. )
- Courtly Compliment is a genre of poetry from medieval times that helped set the attitude of chivalrous behavior toward ladies. Spread by the Occitan troubadours it was the literary concept of love until the 19th century. The verse is lyrical, praising a lady love with the frame of the poem at the poet's discretion. This metrical romance is a sub genre of Chanson
Andrew Marvel's The Fair Singer is an example of a Courtly Compliment written in 3 sixains in iambic pentameter with rhyme scheme ababcc dedeff ghghii.
The Fair Singer by Andrew Marvel (last stanza)
It had been easy fighting in some plain,
Where victory might hang in equal choice,
But all resistance against her is vain,
Who has th' advantage both of eyes and voice,
And all my forces needs must be undone,
She having gained both the wind and sun.
- Salut d' Amor is a troubadouric love letter, a variant of the Canso. It has 3 parts, an intro, body and conclusion and was most often written in octasyllabic rhymed couplets.
- Sirvente a troubadour song, sometimes called the Soldier's song. It often took the frame of the Canso.