One of a school of poets that flourished in northern France from the 11th to the 14th century. Trouvères were the counterparts in the language of northern France (the langue d'oïl) to the Provençal troubadour. Of either aristocratic or humble origins, they were originally connected with feudal courts but later found middle-class patrons. Noted for such forms as the chanson de geste, their works are generally narratives; their basic subject was courtly love. Trouvères pleased their audiences by combining stylized themes and traditional metrical forms rather than by originality of expression. The lyrics were intended to be sung, by the poet alone or accompanied by a hired musician.