The difference between a ballad and a song.

People, feeling the need to express their experiences, tell about feelings or events, create works of different nature. These are, for example, a song and a ballad. Both of them carry a certain content. However, not everyone knows how a ballad differs from a song. Let's try to illuminate this issue.


Ballad is a work representing is a rhymed story of a historical, heroic or everyday orientation, often with mythological content. In the literature of the Middle Ages, this name originally meant a round dance (ballare - "to dance"). Gradually, the ballad was modified and, finally, appeared as a plot poem, which contains a certain life episode.

Song is a form of musical and poetic creativity. The song contains a text and a melody in tune with it. As a rule, a specific song can be correlated with one of the many genres: rock, chanson, romance, rap... The oldest, undoubtedly, is the folk song. Only a little of what was put together by people many years ago has survived to this day.


Now let's take a closer look at the difference between a ballad and a song.


Songs can be called everything that can be voiced with a voice, provided that there are words and melody in it. The song does not necessarily contain a logical narrative. It can include an appeal to some character (ritual songs), exhortation (lullabies), describe something.

The ballad is, in most cases, a plot: about the feat of a knight, the invasion of enemies, someone's fateful fate. Sometimes the plot is replaced by dialogue. There is usually some kind of conflict in the ballad. The beneficial effect of such a work is that the tragic dispute depicted in it, often between life and death, contributes to a better understanding of the meaning of life.

Musical component

A ballad is not always a piece of music. It can only refer to literary creation. V. Zhukovsky is recognized as one of the famous Russian ballad authors. However, for composers, the text of a ballad was often an excellent material for writing music for it. Moreover, the musicians tried to depict what the plot was about with the help of rhythm and other nuances. For example, in the ballad "The Forest Tsar" (F. Schubert) one can hear the rhythm of a horse race. Ballads are often performed to the accompaniment of a musical instrument.

In the song, the melody becomes an integral part. A song works best when the music and lyrics are perfectly matched. The most beloved and well-remembered songs are not too complicated. This piece of creativity is closely related to the emotional aspect. The listener is often imbued with the soul of the song.

The realm of feelings

What is the difference between a ballad and a song when compared in terms of how they convey feelings? The song is limitless in this regard. It can be lyrical and comic, inviting and fanned with nostalgia, patriotic and festive. If we talk about a ballad, the sphere of feelings into which it immerses is significantly narrowed. The atmosphere of such a work is romanticism and sentimentalism. The ballad attracts the motive of mystery, the fascinating world of legends and legends. Quite often an unusual landscape, enchanting setting is described there.


Song Ballad
A clear plot is not necessaryThere is a plot
Melody is an integral partCan only be a poetic work without the presence of music
A wide range of feelingsThe atmosphere of the ballad - romanticism and sentimentalism