Se la face ay pale, La cause est amer, C'est la principale Et tant m'est amer Amer, qu'en la mer Me voudroye voir; Or, scet bien de voir La belle a qui suis Que nul bien avoir Sans elle ne puis.
Se ay pesante male De dueil a porter, Ceste amour est male Pour moy de porter; Car soy deporter Ne veult devouloir, Fors qu'a son vouloir Obeisse, et puis Qu'elle a tel pouvoir, Sans elle ne puis.
C'est la plus reale Qu'on puist regarder, De s'amour leiale Ne me puis guarder, Fol sui de agarder Ne faire devoir D'amours recevoir Fors d'elle, je cuij; Se ne veil douloir, Sans elle ne puis.
The ballade (/bəˈlɑːd/; 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 formes fixes were standard forms in French-texted song of the
fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. The ballade is usually in three
stanzas, each ending with a refrain (a repeated segment of text and
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.
1 Musical form 2 Notable writers of ballades 3 Variations 4 References
Schematic representation of a ballade stanza
Cantus voice of Machaut's "Honte, paour, doubtance". Note the musical rhyme between the clos of part A (m.15–18) and the end of the refrain (m.27–29). MIDI rendering. (help·info)
The musical form of a ballade stanza is a bar form (AAB), with a
first, repeated musical section (stollen) setting the two initial
pairs of verses (rhymes "ab–ab"), and the second section (abgesang)
setting the remaining lines including the refrain verse ("bcbC"). The
two statements of the "A" section often have different endings, known
as "ouvert" and "clos" respectively, with the harmony of the "ouvert"
ending leading back to the beginning and that of the "clos" ending
leading forward into the "B" section. In many ballades, the final part
of the "B" section may reintroduce melodic material referring back to
the end of the "A" part, a feature known as "musical rhyme" (or, in
German, Rücklaufballade). An alternative form employed by Machaut,
known as ballade duplex or balladelle, has the B part also divided
into two repetitions, with the refrain line sung as part of the
A famous exception to the normal form is "Se la face ay pale" by
Guillaume Dufay, where the entire stanza is through-composed, i.e.
without a repetition between the two "A" sections.
Notable writers of ballades
Guillaume de Machaut
^ J.P.E Harper-Scott and Jim Samson (2009). An introduction to music studies. cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ^ Brewer, Charles E. "French Ars nova". In Duffin, Ross W. A Performer's Guide to Medieval Music. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. p. 193.
v t e
Western medieval lyric forms
By regional tradition
Aubade · Canso ·
Cobla esparsa ·
Enuig · Gab ·
Cantiga de amigo · Cantiga de amor
By alphabetical order
Alba (poetry) ·
Awdl · Ballade (forme fixe)
Canso (song) ·
Cantiga de amigo ·
Cerdd dafod ·