(856 words)

The ballad is a genre of relatively short narrative verse texts, usually rhymed and often strophic, sometimes with refrains. A narrative generally presents an unusual occurrence in a teleological structure. This presentation may be serious, humorous, or ironic, and this superficial mode of presentation may contrast with the implicit purpose of the account. Although there are specific generic schemata of interpretation (e.g. moral instruction) that may encourage the reader to analyse the narrativ…

Cite this page
Laufhütte, Hartmut and Böhm, Elisabeth, “Ballad”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Executive editor of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy. Consulted online on 24 March 2018 <>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160321

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