7 joys of Virgin Mary

   Dear All,

   I´m trying to find a medieval trope on the subject of the seven ( or 5, or 12) joys of Virgin Mary.

   Apparently this trope has given inspiration to the old folksong , seven rejoices of Mary.

   I´d be glad to hear if anyone has come across  a trope (or maybe a sequence) on this subject,

   connected to the medieval rosary.



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  • Dear Marja Korkala,

    A good place to look for all kinds of German motif traditions (possibly linked with Nordic traditions) is in the huge repertory of "Sangsprüche" and Meisterlieder that is fully inventorised and indexed, with summaries of the content of individual songs, giving  sources, text editions and melodies where extant (13th-17th centuries), in: H. Brunner and B. Wachinger, Repertorium der Sangsprüche und Meisterlieder des 12.-18. Jahrhunderts, 1986ff. [RSM].

    Providing it's in a library and you have some facility in moving around reference works written in German...

    In the index (Sachregister) under "Maria; Freuden" it lists 5 songs dealing with 7 joys and 2 dealing with 5 joys, in song forms by singers dateable between the 13th and 15th centuries: Reinmar von Zweter, Römer, Jöriger, Konrad Nachtigall, Regenbogen and the "Meißner" of the Jena songbook. There are melodies to the strophes of, I think, all of these texts (14th-15th cent. sources, listed in the repertory and partly available free via internet) though they are personal stanzaic forms specific to individual singers. Some of them may or may not have links to a liturgical trope; I haven't checked because I don't know what trope to compare them with.

    The RSM is a valuable resource that would probably be used far more were it better known- the brief content summaries of individual texts are invaluable.

    Best wishes & happy hunting

    Michael Shields

    Galway, Ireland

  • Thank you for all the information Rui. It seems that ´the 7 joys of Virgin ´ tradition lived strongly in the folkpoetry,

    as I´ve found some similar songs also in medieval Nordic tradition.

    Yet, the Franciscans (among other monastic traditions?)

     had a latin  rosary for 7 joys of Mary, but only quite late in the Middle ages.

    The seven sorrows of Mary was perhaps a complementary/ earlier/ later contemplative monastic practice ?

    If anyone knows more, than my mere speculations here on the subject, please let us hear...

    Thank you Santiago of your opinion about the sequences in AH.

  • Hello!

    You have also the first catalonian song in the Llibre Vermell, "Los sept goyts". There's the chapter about that source in the Maricarmén Gomez Muntané book, La musica medieval en España, and some papers about the manuscript, although most are in spanish. There's also a XIVth century book with a song dedicated to the seven joys of Mary, but without music, in the Libro de Buen Amor of Juan Ruiz(?). Nothing related to sacred music though...

  • Good luck on your search. I think you'll have to look for the sequences in several volumes of "Analecta Hymnica Medii Aevi" (I mention many of those Latin hymns, sequences, and the Rosary tradition in my paper, too).

  •   Dear Santiago Disalvo,

      Thank you for your interesting response.

      I will keep your reference to Cantigas de Santa Maria in my mind.





  • Dear Marja Korkala,

    I have published an article related to that subject (not on the musical but on the poetic tradition). I hope you find it useful.

    “Los VII goyos de la Virgen en las Cantigas de Santa María y la tradición de los gaudia en la poesía medieval latina y vernácula”. Revista do Centro de Estudos Portugueses, v. 32, n. 47 (2012), CESP-FALE (UFMG), Belo Horizonte, pp. 39-66. Con referato. ISSN 1676-515X

    Best regards,

    Santiago Disalvo



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