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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Ballade \Bal*lade"\, n. [See Ballad, n.] A form of French versification, sometimes imitated in English, in which three or four rhymes recur through three stanzas of eight or ten lines each, the stanzas concluding with a refrain, and the whole poem with an envoy.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

late 14c., an earlier borrowing of ballad (q.v.) with a specific metrical sense. Technically, a poem consisting of one or more triplets of seven- (later eight-) lined stanzas, each ending with the same line as the refrain, usually with an envoy. Popularized 19c. as a type of musical composition by Frédéric Chopin. Ballade royal is recorded from late 15c.


n. (lb en music) Any of various genres of single-movement musical pieces having lyrical and narrative elements.


n. a poem consisting of 3 stanzas and an envoy

Ballade (forme fixe)

The ballade (; not to be confused with the ballad) is a form of medieval and Renaissance French poetry as well as the corresponding musical chanson form. It was one of the three formes fixes (the other two were the rondeau and the virelai) and one of the verse forms in France most commonly set to music between the late 13th and the 15th centuries.

The ballade as a verse form typically consists of three eight-line stanzas, each with a consistent metre and a particular rhyme scheme. The last line in the stanza is a refrain. The stanzas are often followed by a four-line concluding stanza (an envoi) usually addressed to a prince. The rhyme scheme is therefore usually 'ababbcbC ababbcbC ababbcbC bcbC', where the capital 'C' is a refrain.

The many different rhyming words that are needed (the 'b' rhyme needs at least fourteen words) makes the form more difficult for English than for French poets. Geoffrey Chaucer wrote in the form. It was revived in the 19th century by English-language poets including Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Algernon Charles Swinburne. Other notable English-language ballade writers are Andrew Lang, Hilaire Belloc and G. K. Chesterton (at Wikisource). A humorous example is Wendy Cope's 'Proverbial Ballade'.

Ballade (classical music)

A ballade (from French ballade, , and German Ballade, , both being words for "ballad"), in classical music since the late 18th century, refers to a setting of a literary ballad, a narrative poem, in the musical tradition of the , or to a one- movement instrumental piece with lyrical and dramatic narrative qualities reminiscent of such a song setting, especially a piano ballad.

Usage examples of "ballade".

King was, however, accompanied by the court poet Eustache Deschamps, who immediately produced a ballade extolling the marvels of the barony.

She began with poetry, recalling in ballades and rondeaux her happiness as a wife and mourning her sorrows as a widow.

The audience for the Cent Ballades heard the case for fidelity made in the name of an elderly knight representing Hutin de Vermeilles, a real individual known for loyalty in love and respect for women.

Cecil and Belloc sat around the table editing it and sticking triolets thrown of in hot haste into those nasty little spaces left by articles that did not quite fit, or supplying three or four articles and a Ballade Urbane while the printers waited.

But if I be of any avail (as they deem) in the healing of hearts, I owe my skill of that surgery to remembrance of the days of my youth, when I found none to give me comfort, save what I won from a book that my master had in hand to copy and adorn, namely, "The Book of One Hundred Ballades, containing Counsel to a Knight, that he should love loyally".

Remede there is none, save to make ballades and rondels, and forget sorrow in hunting rhymes, if thou art a maker.

Ready to turn out poetry for any occasion—a total of 1,675 ballades, 661 rondeaux, 80 virelais, 14 lays, and miscellaneous pieces—he now described in verse the “strongholds for men of valor” in Coucy’s many castles of St.

Embodied in a group of poems called the Cent Ballades, the symposium originated among four ardent young knights, including Boucicaut and Comte d’Eu, a cousin of the King, who had been thrown together while on a recent venture in the Holy Land.

In 1389 a firsthand report on the Turks was brought back by Boucicaut on his return from the Holy Land, where he had gone to ransom Comte d’Eu on the journey that produced the Cent Ballades.

Nor was Raoul disturbed by the fact that many of these same villanelles and ballades were patently written in celebration of Adele's visible charms, and made liberal mention of her wine-dark tresses, her golden eyes, and sundry other details no less alluring, and equally essential to feminine perfection.

In the meanwhile, the ballades and their author were gradually waxing in boldness.

De Banville's skill in reviving old forms of verse--triolets, rondeaux, chants royaux, and ballades.

His "Trente Six Ballades Joyeuses" make a far more pleasant subject for a last word.

De Banville never pretends to give any recipes for cooking rondels or ballades worth reading.

Triolets, villanelles, rondels, rondeaus, Ballades by the score with the same old thought: The snows and the roses of yesterday are vanished.