Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/141

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BALLAD.
129
BALLARD.

beth's reign ballads and ballad gingers came into disrepute, and were made the subject of repressive legislation. 'Musicians held ballads in contempt, and great poets rarely wrote in ballad metre.'

Morley, in his 'Plaine and easie introduction to Practicall Musicke,' 1597, says, after speaking of Vilanelle, 'there is another kind more light than this which they tearm Ballete or daunces, and are songs which being sung to a dittie may likewise be danced, these and other light kinds of musicke are by a general name called aires.' Such were the songs to which Bonny Boots, a well-known singer and dancer of Elizabeth's court, both 'tooted it' and 'footed it.' In 1636 Butler published 'The Principles of Musicke,' and in that work spoke of 'the infinite multitude of Ballads set to sundry pleasant and delightful tunes by cunning and witty composers, with country dances fitted unto them.' After this the title became common.

The name has been applied to a pastoral song, 'Sumer is icumen in,' preserved in the Harleian MSS., which dates from the 13th century, and furnishes the earliest example known (though it is obvious that so finished a composition cannot have been the first) of part music. The music is in triple measure, and a sort of dance rhythm, but the song can in no sense be called a ballad. [See Sumer is icumen in.] The music of many real old ballads has however survived, for which the reader may be referred to Mr. W. Chappell's well-known work. 'Chevy Chase' appears to have been sung to three different melodies. One of these, 'The hunt is up,' was a favourite popular air, of which we give the notes—

{ \time 6/8 \key ees \major \partial 8 \relative b' { bes8 | ees4 bes8 g8. aes16 bes8 | ees4 bes8 g8. aes16 bes8 c8. bes16 aes8 g8. f16 ees8 | f4. ~ f4 bes8 | c aes bes c4 bes8 | aes8. g16 aes8 bes4 bes8 | c8. d16 ees8 d8. ees16 f8 | e4. ~ e4 } }

This old tune was otherwise employed. In 1537 information was sent to the Council against John Hogon, who, 'with a crowd or a fyddyll,' sang a song with a political point to the tune 'The hunt is up.' 'If a man,' says Fletcher of Saltoun, 'were permitted to make all the ballads, he need not care who should make the laws of a nation.' 'Lilliburlero' (beloved of my uncle Toby), is a striking proof of the truth of Saltoun's remark, since it helped to turn James II out of Ireland. The tune and the history of the song will be found under Lilliburlero. 'Marlbrouk,' the 'Marseillaise,' and the 'Wacht am Rhein,' are other instances of ballads which have had great political influence.

Ballads have sunk from their ancient high estate. Writing in 1803 Dr. Burney said, 'A ballad is a mean and trifling song such as is generally sung in the streets. In the new French Encyclopédie we are told that we English dance and sing our ballads at the same time. We have often heard ballads sung and seen country dances danced; but never at the same time, if there was a fiddle to be had. The movement of our country dances is too rapid for the utterance of words. The English ballad has long been detached from dancing, and, since the old translation of the Bible, been confined to a lower order of song.' Notwithstanding the opinion of Dr. Burney the fact remains incontrovertible that the majority of our old ballad tunes are dance tunes, and owe their preservation and identification to that circumstance alone—the words of old ballads being generally found without the music but with the name of the tune attached, the latter have thus been traced in various collections of old dance music. The quotation already made from Butler shews that the use of vocal ballads as dance tunes implied in the name had survived as late as the reign of Charles I. One instance of the use of the word where dancing can by no possibility be connected with it is in the title to Goethe's 'Erste Walpurgisnacht,' which is called a Ballad both by him and by Mendelssohn, who set it to music. The same may be said of Schiller's noble poems 'Der Taucher,' 'Ritter Togenburg,' and others, so finely composed by Schubert, though these are more truly 'ballads' than Goethe's 'Walpurgisnacht.' So again Mignon's song 'Kennst du das Land,' though called a 'Lied' in Wilhelm Meister, is placed by Goethe himself at the head of the 'Balladen' in the collected edition of his poetry. In fact both in poetry and music the term is used with the greatest freedom and with no exact definition.

At the present time a ballad in music is generally understood to be a sentimental or romantic composition of a simple and unpretentious character, having two or more verses of poetry, but with the melody or tune complete in the first, and repeated for each succeeding verse. 'Ballad concerts' are ostensibly for the performance of such pieces, but the programmes often contain songs of all kinds, and the name is as inaccurate as was 'Ballad opera' when applied to such pieces as 'The Beggar's Opera,' which were made up of well-known airs with fresh words. [English Opera.]

[ W. H. C. ]

[App. p.530 "Under this head mention should be made of an experiment made by Schumann and others, in the form of 'ballads for declamation,' in which the elements of Melodrama (which see) are applied to smaller works. Schumann's contributions are:—'Schön Hedwig' (Hebbel), op. 106; 'Vom Haideknabe' (Hebbel), and 'The Fugitives' (Shelley), op. 122. Hiller's 'Vom Pagen und der Königstochter' (Geibel) is a slighter specimen. The PF. accompaniments with which some modern reciters are wont to embellish performances, would come under the same category, were they worthy of ranking as musical compositions."]

[ M. ]

BALLADE, a name adopted by Chopin for four pieces of pianoforte music (op. 23, 38, 47, 52) which, however brilliant or beautiful, have no peculiar form or character of their own, beyond being written in triple time, and to which the name seems to be no more specially applicable than that of 'Sonnet' is to the pieces which Liszt and others have written under that name. Brahms has also published four 'Balladen' (op. 10) and Liszt two.

BALLARD, a family of printers, who for nearly 200 years virtually enjoyed the monopoly of printing music in France. Their types were made by Guillaume le Bé in 1540, and remained in use as late as 1750. The first patent was granted to Robert Ballard by Henri II in 1552, and he and his son-in law Adrien Leroy printed many tablatures for the lute and other music. They were followed by Pierre, and he again by