A tenso (Old Occitan [tenˈsu, teⁿˈsu]) is a style of troubadour song. It takes the form of a debate in which each voice defends a position; common topics relate to love or ethics. Usually, the tenso is written by two different poets, but several examples exist in which one of the parties is imaginary, including God (Peire de Vic), the poet's horse (Gui de Cavalhon) or his cloak (Bertran Carbonel).[1] Closely related, and sometimes overlapping, genres include:

Notable examples


In Italian literature, the tenso was adapted as the tenzon(e).


  1. Bec, Pierre (1984). Burlesque et obscénité chez les troubadours : pour une approche du contre-texte médiéval (ed. bilingue ed.). Paris: Stock. ISBN 2-234-01711-4.
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