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VICTORIAN BALLAD: Grandfather's Clock
Written and composed by
HENRY CLAY WORK
Arranged for 4 Solo Voice's & String Quartet by
The Term ballad has a special meaning in musical as well as literary folklore, and developed through the Troubadours and Trouv�res into an artistic dance-song with improvised instrumental accompaniment. Originally conceived from the Italian ballare, which meant a song and dance in combination, this form of the genre seems to have lost its connection with the dance during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. In time the word came to be used for verses and music of the most varied content, and in England, the term was associated with anything sing-able, simple, popular in style, and for solo voice. Chopin, Liszt, Brahms and others, in which this storytelling quality was retained, wrote purely instrumental ballades. The Ballad was a very popular form of 'after-dinner' entertainment during the Victorian and Edwardian eras.Although ballads look remarkably simple, they do in fact present a challenge to even the most accomplished performer. One of the most celebrated exponents of the ballad Madame Antoinette Sterling said that: People think ballads are easy to sing. As a matter of fact they are the most difficult of all music to render with true effect. The ballad is simple in words, melody and accompaniment. There is nothing to help out the singer. It depends entirely on the power of expression, the intensity and variety of feeling. It is a question of art, interpretation and personality combined'.
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