Song From Primitive Society

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other uses, see Ballad (disambiguation).
A ballad is a form of verse, often a narrative set to music. Ballads were particularly characteristic of British and Irish popular poetry and song from the later medieval period until the 19th century and used extensively across Europe and later the Americas,Australia and North Africa. Many ballads were written and sold as single sheetbroadsides. The form was often used by poets and composers from the 18th century onwards to produce lyrical ballads. In the later 19th century it took on the meaning of a slow form of popular love song and the term is now often used as synonymous with any love song, particularly the pop or rock power ballad.

Illustration by Arthur Rackham of the ballad The Twa Corbies Contents * 1 Origins * 2 Ballad form * 3 Composition * 4 Classification * 4.1 Traditional ballads * 4.2 Broadsides * 4.3 Literary ballads * 5 Ballad operas * 6 Beyond Europe * 6.1 Native American ballads * 6.2 Blues ballads * 6.3 Bush ballads * 7 Sentimental ballads * 7.1 Jazz, blues and traditional pop * 7.2 Pop and rock ballads * 7.3 Power ballads * 8 See also * 9 Notes * 10 References and further reading * 11 External links| -------------------------------------------------

The ballad probably derives its name from medieval French dance songs or "ballares" (from which we also get ballet), as did the alternative rival form that became the FrenchBallade. In theme and function they may originate from Scandinavian and Germanictraditions of storytelling that can be seen in poems such as Beowulf.[1] The earliest example we have of a recognisable ballad in form in England is ‘Judas’ in a 13th-centurymanuscript.[2] -------------------------------------------------

[edit]Ballad form
Most, but not all, northern and west European ballads are written in ballad stanzas orquatrains (four-line stanzas) of alternating lines of iambic (an unstressed followed by a stressed syllable) tetrameter (eight syllables) and iambic trimeter (six syllables), known asballad meter. Usually, only the second and fourth line of a quatrain are rhymed (in the scheme a, b, c, b), which has been taken to suggest that, originally, ballads consisted of couplets (two lines) of rhymed verse, each of 14 syllables.[3] As can be seen in this stanza from ‘Lord Thomas and Fair Annet’: The horse| fair Ann|et rode| upon|

He amb|led like| the wind|,
With sil|ver he| was shod| before,
With burn|ing gold| behind|.[1]
However, there is considerable variation on this pattern in almost every respect, including length, number of lines and rhyming scheme, making the strict definition of a ballad extremely difficult. In southern and eastern Europe, and in countries that derive their tradition from them, ballad structure differs significantly, like Spanish romanceros, which are octosyllabic and use consonance rather than rhyme.[4] In all traditions most ballads are narrative in nature, with a self-contained story, often concise and relying on imagery, rather than description, which can be tragic, historical, romantic or comic.[3] Another common feature of ballads is repetition, sometimes of fourth lines in succeeding stanzas, as a refrain, sometimes of third and fourth lines of a stanza and sometimes of entire stanzas.[1] -------------------------------------------------

Scholars of ballads are often divided into two camps, the ‘communalists’ who, following the line established by the German scholar Johann Gottfried Herder (1744–1803) and theBrothers Grimm, argue that ballads arose by a combined communal effort and did not have a single author, and ‘individualists’, following the thinking of English collector Cecil Sharp, who assert that there was a single original author.[2] The communalist position tends to lead to the view that...
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