• What is a ballad?

    Let's understand what a ballad is and where the word comes from. The word "ballad" came to us from the Italian language ("ballare" - "dance"). So in the old days were called dance songs.

    Ballads were written in a poetic form, there were many verses, and they were performed by some instrument. Over time, when they stopped dancing to a ballad, she began to wear a serious, epic meaning.

    What is a ballad in literature

    In the Middle Ages, ballads turned into songs with household themes, which described the exploits of knights, raids of robbers, historical warriors or any other events concerning the life of people. The basis of all ballads is conflict. It could occur between parents and children, between a girl and a young man, on the basis of social inequality, the invasion of enemies.

    The emotional impact of ballads in the literature is based on the fact that the tragic conflict between life and death helps to understand and appreciate the meaning of life.

    In the 17th and 18th centuries, the ballad practically ceased to exist as a literary genre, because during this period of time, mythological plays or plays about the heroes of ancient history were put on the stages of classical theaters.All this was far from the people and his life, and the main content of the ballads was the people.

    Such famous authors as Moliere and Boileau considered the ballad something obsolete. However, in France at the same time, La Fontaine and Dezulier continued to write ballads.

    In the XIX century, the ballad appeared again in literary and musical art. It became a poetic genre and received a new sound in the works of Zhukovsky (contemporaries called him “ballad”), as well as Pushkin and Lermontov, Goethe and Heine, Mickiewicz.

    What is a ballad in music

    It is interesting that when the royal opera became curious from its inordinate seriousness and conventionality, the composers J. Pepush and J. Gay created simple ballads instead of arias and complex compositions for fun. They called their work "The Beggar's Opera" (1728), it is also known as the "ballad opera."

    Like the poets, the composers reached out for her. They used texts and features of ballads in their works, such as:

    • Schubert's Forest King;
    • "Forgotten" Mussorgsky;
    • "Night show" Glinka.

    The composers tried to convey the same pictorial plot of ballads in music as in literature.For example, the rhythm of a quick jump in the ballad "Forest King" by Schubert.

    In the 20th century, Soviet composers also often wrote ballads for choir and instruments.

    For example, you probably know such works as:

    • “On the Kulikovo Field”, and “The Ballad of a Soldier” by V.P. Solovyov-Sedoy;
    • The ballad "Vityaz" by Yu. A. Shaporin;
    • dramatic ballads of N. P. Rakov.

    Nowadays, modern music also uses lyrical ballads.


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