‘Leise’ is the name of a devotional song type, supposedly so-called in reference to the words ‘Kyrie eleison’, which appear as a refrain. The majority are in German, although some can also be found in other languages. Through their use of the vernacular, Leisen reflect a pre-reformation tendency observable in many European countries to create religious lyrics with broader accessibility than the standard Latin. Leisen associated with major church feasts were very popular throughout the Middle Ages. Around 1300, Hugo von Trimberg wrote in his long didactic poem Der Renner that the simple pious ‘Leisen’ commonly sung by the lay-people were much better known than highly artificial types of...
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