When improvising ballads – long narrative songs – different methods can inspire improvising. One is described as Storyboard Ballads, and another one is weaving reuse: The Weaving reuse method could be described as a method that promotes the repetition and reuse of words and end-rhymes in more than one strophe, which gives the story a slower pace and weaves the storyline together by intertwining old and new words and expressions.
How to do it:
Start by improvising a strophe what comes in your mind. Continue with using words and end-rhymes from that strophe to the next – the more you reuse – the better. Feel like weaving old and new words together creating something both old and new.
Exempel: soon to be posted here.
The Swedish medieval ballad is a narrative song, objectively structured into scenes. The narrative uses returning expressions such as ‘the grey horse’, ‘the green woods’, ‘her lily-white hand’ and is told from a third-person perspective and with dialogue. The strophes are either two or four lines with end rhymes, with one or two returning refrains that sometimes have end rhymes.
A ballad usually contains many strophes, commonly up to twenty or more and the story evolves from scene to scene by leaping and lingering, focusing more attention on some parts of the story by lingering on them through incremental repetition and then jumping quickly through other parts of the story by leaping. Using incremental repetition, the strophes are repeated with a small alteration in the scene: riding through the forest, the village, over the plains, or describing three hardships that need to be overcome. The stories told in the ballads are timeless and the melodies often beautiful and ‘strong’.