October 28, 2021

The ballad is a way of expressing courtly song from the end of the Middle Ages in Europe, which appears in the fourteenth century. Poetry is dissociated from music, but musicality is created in the writing of the poem itself. Indeed, the ballad has the peculiarity of repeating the same verse, chorus, at the end of every three stanzas. It is made up of eight syllables and the rhymes are crossed. As a rule, the medieval ballad always begins with the word Prince. Although the romantic ballad should not be confused with poetry. From the second half of the 20th century, the romantic ballad was developed as a musical style with its own identity for people who love each other.

The musical or lyrical ballad

In the 19th century, Frédéric Chopin composed four works for piano with this title, evidently inspired by the literary genre. With this, he gave birth to a new genre: the Ballad (music). This creation was made in the romantic period, at the beginning of the 19th century

The romantic ballad

With the influence of the Anglo-Saxon, the meaning of the word is extended to a recital or a song that tells the life of a person or some precise facts. The recital is always epic (approaching the feat), usually dramatic and sometimes comical. If it speaks of love between two people, we identify it with romance.

The ballad as popular music

It originates in the United States, after the commercialization of the records in the 1920s, when they decided to call the slow songs of romantic themes "Ballad", its appearance is due to a flourishing culture caused by migrations from Europe to America to cause of the first world war. It is defined as a sung melody accompanied by a dreamy, simple and somewhat tedious instrumentation. Its appeal is due to its influence and even frequent plagiarism of cultured classical music, and among the first popular genres that gained acceptance using a symphony orchestra typical of academic serious music, it will first influence only Europe, which presents identical music, Latin America will close to American styles because of their own very important music. Southern Europe made its debut in the 1960s and Spain will invade Latin America with its productions with the style, sometimes making use of Latin singers who record on Iberian labels, Italy and France will translate their ballads into various languages ​​and become international.

Examples of ballads

Ballade des dames du temps jadis by François Villon, set to music by Georges Brassens. The four ballads for piano (opus 23, 38, 47 and 52) by Frédéric Chopin.

Ballads in rock n 'roll and metal

Both in the rock genre and in metal, ballads appeared and developed in the 1970s and 1980s. In rock, ballads have been mainly the greatest hits of some bands and also classics of music. Songs like November Rain by Guns N 'Roses, Nobody's Fool by the American glam metal band Cinderella, Aerosmith with the theme Dream On or I Don't Want to Miss a Thing, Skid Row with the song 18 and Life, and Led Zeppelin with Stairway to heaven among others. In metal, on the other hand, Metallica is a benchmark for its ballads (with songs like Fade To Black, Welcome Home (Sanitarium), One and Nothing Else Matters), as is the German band Scorpions (with songs like Still Loving You, Holiday, Wind of Change and Send Me an Angel). Other bands, such as Def Leppard, Bon Jovi or the Swedish group Europe (with the theme Carrie) have composed famous ballads. Today, the American group Five Finger Death Punch has gained fame thanks to its metal ballads.

See also

Balada is the title of a song by Jacques Brel. Ballads is a collection of poems by Johann Wolfgang Goethe published in 1787.


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