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Word Count: 747
Minstrels Minstrels or traveling thespians thrived throughout Europe in medieval times The term minstrel referred to a professional entertainer of any kind from the 12th century to the 17th century Minstrels were instrumentalist but were also often jugglers acrobats and storytellers Although minstrels no longer exist they played an important role in medieval history and at one time could be found in one form or another throughout the entire continent of Europe Different countries had different names for minstrels In Germany they were called minnesingers In France they were known as troubadours and joungleurs The Scandinavian minstrels were called skalds The Irish called their minstrels bards while the English minstrels were referred to as scops Minstrels were primarily singers and musicians These wandering performers were also story tellers jugglers clowns and tumblers Often minstrels were an important part of prominent house holds providing entertainment for the upper class of society Those minstrels who were not part of a nobles homestead traveled from town to town providing entertainment not only to noble classes but also to common village folk as well There were not many forms of entertainment nor was there a means for people to learn about news events There was no television or radio in medieval times Even books were very scarce Minstrels served to entertain the public They made up songs stories and repeated ballads and folk tales popular during this time Traveling from town to town minstrels were also a source of news This would share information with the townspeople of the village The townspeople would share this news with the minstrels who would then share this news with the townspeople in the next village in which they performed Each country in medieval Europe had their own type of minstrel Each while similar in their general role of entertainer they were different in many ways Troubadours French
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