Balkan ballad

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Balkan ballads (also known as Balkan folk ballads)[1] are the emotional, slow music styles of the Balkan region of Southeastern Europe. Balkan ballads, similar to other ballads, often deal with various themes related to love (unrequited love, love-sickness, romantic and intimate relationships) while using Balkan string instruments such as the šargija, as well as the clarinet, trumpet, accordion, fiddle, guitar and bass guitar. Balkan ballads are distinct from traditional ballads by including a fusion of pop music, folk music and sentimental ballads. Singers usually perform in their native languages.[2][3]


Ballads are poems or songs that narrate a story in short stanzas. Traditional ballads are typically of unknown authorship and have been passed down orally generation to generation.[4] Many countries like France, Russia, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Spain, and Scotland have large ballad collections. The Balkan ballads are one such collection.


Typical ballads use ethnic instrumentation. In recent trends, Balkan ballads commonly implement some degree of westernized instrumentation.


As ballads are traditionally passed down orally, the exact dates of the origin are difficult to determine. However, the earliest recorded ballad, "Judas," Child Ballad no. 23, dates back to the early 1300's.[5]

Over time, the ballad medium spread to the Balkan Peninsula, and has since developed into the narrative and musical art forms present in Balkan culture today.

Examples from Eurovision[edit]


  1. ^ "Balkan ballad ::". Britannica Educational Publishing. p. 122. Balkan ballads are unrhymed and unstrophic.
  2. ^ "Balkan ballad ::". Retrieved 28 August 2015.
  3. ^ "Balkan ballad ::". BBC. Retrieved 28 August 2015.
  4. ^ "ballad – Definition of ballad in English by Oxford Dictionaries". Oxford Dictionaries – English.
  5. ^