There have been many theories about the originators of the ballads all of which have some validity when applied to the different types of ballad, the main ones are as follows:
· Minstrels: A minstrel is a musician or a poet. Originally, the minstrels were paid entertainers who worked for the Court and influential personages. They wrote songs about current events and historical victories of their patron and they included rewritings of old songs, legends and ballads in their theatre. The theory that the minstrels were the originators of the ballads was held for quite a long time. They are certainly a factor in the spreading of the ballads into the community; ballads were a stock item in the theatre of the minstrels even when their status had declined to that of street singers. ·
- Dance: Certainly some of the ballads were tied to dances. The word ballad probably comes from medieval French dance songs or ballet (“ballares” dance).
· Ceremonial dance and songs. Some ballad refrains contain ceremonial chants and responses
· Monks: The monks were the amongst the few who could read and write in the early times of the ballad history and that it follows that they must have had a hand in the composition and writing of the ballads. · Communal composition: It has been suggested that ballads may have developed as a...