When setting up my blog on Tumblr, I went through my archives here on WordPress to format them for the site. When I did, I realised that, in my very first History Hunt post, I did poor Tibors de Sarenom a disservice–more of the post I made is about History Hunt than her contributions to music. I couldn’t let that stand, and so here’s a second, more fleshed-out post to give Tibors the time in the sun she deserves.
That said, unfortunately, most of the information available about Tibors and her fellow female composers of this period isn’t very reliable. While there are biographies, they were written after the lifetimes of these composers, making it all too likely that there are plenty of mistakes in the information. Still, History Hunters have done their best to piece together what we can, and this is what I’ve come up with:
Tibors de Sarenom–also known as Fibors, or Tiburge–was born around 1130 in Provence, located in modern-day France.
Almost nothing is known of her childhood–only that she was born to noble parents and had a sister and a brother. Her mother (also named Tibors) owned the castle of Sarenom, and it was here that Tibors lived throughout her life.
Tibors was a trobairitz, a name later given to female troubadours. Troubadours were musicians and poets from what’s now southern France, Spain, and Italy. The word “troubadour” comes from the word “trobar,” which means in the Provençal language, “to compose” or “to find.”
Tibors married twice during her life. When she was married to her second husband, her mother died and left the castle to her brother. However, since he was too young at the time to run a noble household, caring for the castle became the job of Tibors and her husband.
She and her second husband had three sons together. One of them clearly inherited his mother’s musicality, as he also became a troubadour when he grew up.
Though Tibors wrote both music and poetry–and it seems even acted as a judge of poetry on at least one occasion–only part of one poem and none of her music survives. I can only hope that someday, more of her music will be discovered.
Here are two versions of Tibors’ poem, set to music by later composers. Which do you like best?
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To Learn More (Sources):
Tibors de Sarenom on Wikipedia
Composer Biography: Trobairitz, The Female Troubadours on Melanie Spiller and Coloratura Consulting
Writing Women Back Into History on Brooklyn Museum.org
Tibors de Sarenom, 12th century on Cool Chicks from History (Note: Tumblr is a 13+ website. This entry is safe for all ages.)
Image credit: Michelle Dee on DeviantART (Note: DeviantART is a 13+ website. This artwork is safe for all ages.)