Ballad

An overview by Riley Reece

History of Ballads

Ballads have been around for a very long time but never truly stayed the same. The Ballad grew from many different medieval roots. The Renaissance Ballata was the first Ballad. It's meaning was to convey love and passion. The Ballata would never end something instead it would begin it. The Ballata turned into the Ballad in the 15th century by Geoffrey Chaucer. Musicians of English Folk and American Blues found Ballads structure useful when writing romantic songs. Ballads swept through American like it did in England long ago but it was in song form not being spoken.
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Purpose of Ballads

Ballads are written to speak about love or nature. Ballads are very romantic types of poems and can be sung or spoken. Ballads can be a story in poetic form and often repeat refrain. Some Ballad story can be based off of Folk Tale and Legends.
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Characteristics of Ballads

There are three Ballad structures: Narrative, Poetic, and Couplet. Narrative is the one where it focuses on one dramatic event and usually teaches the reader a life lesson or moral. Ballads are nothing like Epics because they have little exposition. Poetic has a four-line stanzas alternating between tetrameter and trimeter, rhyme scheme, and simple meter. The Ballad is short and repetitive. The Couplet has single lines that alternate with refrain and is and example of incremental repetition which makes it comparable to a comic strip.

Examples of Ballads

"That which befalls me in my Lady's presence

Bars explanation intellectual.

I seem to see a lady wonderful

Spring forth between her lips, one whom no sense

Can fully tell the mind of, and one whence

Another, in beauty, springeth marvelous,

From whom a star goes forth and speaketh thus:

'Now my salvation is gone forth from thee.'"

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