A ballad is a poetry that is often written in quatrains with rhymes ABAB. Ballads are often narrative in nature, which means they convey a tale. Ballads originated as folk songs and are still utilized in modern music. Shakespeare used ballads as inspiration for many of his works.
The Bard was well aware of this connection and in fact named one of his plays after the genre of song. King Henry IV part 1 is also known as "Henry IV, Prince of Wales". The title character was inspired by Edward II of England who was murdered in 1327 during the reign of his cousin Henry V. It is believed that because of this connection, Shakespeare included references to the death in several of his plays.
There are many other examples of this connection between literature and music including Dante's Divine Comedy and Schiller's Lieder.
Ballads are usually sentimental or celebratory and often include lyrics. They were originally sung to the tune of a musical instrument but today are mostly heard as a series of words on the radio or in a movie theater.
As far back as 1450, men were singing poems to be played on the lute. These early versions were not written down until much later when printers began setting them to music.
The term ballad is now used to represent a wide range of poems and songs that tell stories, although not all current ballads follow the meter or rhyme schemes that formerly characterized the form. Ballads are typically used to describe narrative music, particularly pop songs about love. However, contemporary musicians also use the term to describe their own work.
In medieval Europe, a ballad was a popular song, usually with a simple melody and easy lyrics that were often improvised by singers on the road. The word comes from the Old French balade, which in turn comes from the Latin baccalaus, a small boat. In modern usage, the term "ballad" has come to specifically mean a short sentimental poem or song.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first written definition of the term "ballad" is in 1556: "A short popular poem." The OED goes on to state that the term originally meant a "lute song," which would seem to indicate that before the advent of recorded music, there was no such thing as a "ballad singer"; instead, singers simply sang whatever came into their heads.
However, the OED also lists as a secondary meaning any "stray song" or "popular song," which seems to contradict its earlier statement. It's possible that over time these meanings have merged into one another.
It's a ballad. A ballad is a song or songlike text that conveys a tale, generally about a lost love, betrayal, or death; it can be tragic or funny. Epic. A long narrative poem composed in formal, exquisite language that relates the story of a great hero's quests. Allegory. A poem that uses imagery and symbolism to convey a hidden meaning beyond what is immediately apparent.
A songlike poem is a poetic form that combines the musicality of a song with the ornateness of poetry. Poems that use meter and rhyme have a definite structure that follows a pattern of accents (falling sounds) followed by pauses (silences). This regular sequence of stresses and pauses gives music its name: "a composition in which the parts take on the function of notes or chords." Thus, a songlike poem is a literary work that imitates or incorporates music into its structure or idea-content.
Music has a powerful influence on us. It can make us feel sad, angry, afraid, or happy. It can attract or repel us. It can unite or divide people. Music is one of humanity's greatest tools for communication and connection. That's why artists from all over the world have always sought to express themselves through music. But also because of this, music has always been subject to interpretation by many people. One person's music expression is another person's noise pollution!
Ballads feature powerful rhythms, key phrase repetition, and rhymes; if you hear a classic ballad, you are listening to a poetry. Music and poetry have often been used together: music has been said to be able to express itself more profoundly than language alone, and poems can use music as a frame upon which to hang their words.
Generally speaking, a ballad is a song that is sung to the tune of a popular folk song or carol. The term was originally used in England to describe a short poem or stanza (termed a ballad verse) set to music. Today, it also refers to such songs. The term "ballad" is used in this article to refer to both types of songs.
In addition to describing a type of song, the term "ballad" also describes a form of poetic composition. Ballads tend to be narrative with a simple plot and few characters. They usually end on a melancholy note and typically feature a love story between two people, either married or not married yet.
Some examples of classic ballads are "Greensleeves", "Rule Britannia", "The Battle of Balaclava", and "Oh! Susanna".
A stanza is made up of four lines, the first and third of which are unrhymed iambic tetrameters and the second and fourth of which are rhymed iambic trimeters.
A ballad is a poetry that narrates a tale in four-line stanzas called quatrains, which are generally (but not always) repeated. The term "ballad" can also apply to a slow, romantic, or melancholy song in popular music. This, however, has no relevance to the literary definition.