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Title:

The Middle Ages

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Ballad Notes Background to the Ballad In the Middle Ages ballads were the poetry of the common people. Passed down orally from generation to generation by ordinary ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Middle Ages


1
The Middle Ages
  • Ballad Notes

2
Background to the Ballad
  • In the Middle Ages ballads were the poetry of the
    common people.
  • Passed down orally from generation to generation
    by ordinary people.
  • Took their form in the 15th century, but were not
    printed until 300 years later when Sir Thomas
    Percy, Sir Walter Scott, and other traveled
    across the British Isles and collected them from
    people who still sang them.

3
Ballad originally derived from Old French word
meaning dancing song
  • Original ballads were composed to be sung to
    music.
  • Noticeable features simplicity and repetition.
  • Possibly, the narrative portion was sung by an
    individual and the refrain was sung in response
    by the audience.
  • Origins are unknown
  • Subject matter popular, such as domestic
    tragedy, false love, or true love, even comic
    songs based on absurdities of domestic
    relationships
  • Supernatural elements often included

4
Meter and Form
  • Meter is characterized by a strong, simple beat.
  • Verse forms are relatively uncomplicated and have
    a primitive freshness that appeals to a general
    audience.
  • Literary Ballads more sophisticated poems that
    artfully evoked the atmosphere of the originals.
  • English, Scottish, Welsh, and Irish brought
    ballads to America.
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