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Basic Information

Meistersingers were German lyrical poets of the 14th, 15th and 16th century who carried on the traditions of the earlier minnesingers. They were organized in guilds in various German cities, with the most famous one in Nuremberg. Meistersingers were divided into Schüler (corresponding to apprentices, Schulfreunde (journeymen, and Meister - the latter were allowed to invent new melodies or alter existing ones. All melodies were sung without the aid of musical instruments.



Game and Story Use

  • A Meistersinger guild could make for an interesting enemy for a bardically inclined character, especially if they are able to maintain a monopoly in a particular region.
    • "We've heard that you've been inventing new songs. The Meistersänger would like to have a word with you about that…"
    • "What's that? You are using a lute together with your songs? Think your throat isn't good enough on its own? Well, be careful - you might just lose your throat entirely if you continue like that, if you catch my meaning…"
  • If the PCs need some song performed exactly in its original form for some reason, these people are likely the ones who've seen the least drift. If you're after a piece of magical music, or the uncorrupted form of a coded myth, you might need to consult with the Meistersingers rather than the Bards. This might be more difficult, if the bards' innovation makes them far more popular.
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