[PDF Notes] What is Ballad?

The work Ballad is derived form the word “Ballare” which means to dance.

Originally a ballad was a song with a strong narrative substance sung to the accompaniment of dancing. “A ballad differs form a lyric in being descriptive rather than impressionistic, the telling of a tale, not the expression of mood; while technically it is simpler, more primitive, less wrought upon as art form (Compt on- Rickett). The minstrel or the bard would sing the main parts, and the dancers would sing the refrain or certain lines which were frequently repeated. Often it was in the form of dialogue. Lovers, battles or heroic exploits, some supernatural incident, or some local event, are the chief themes of the ballads.

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