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Broadside Ballads of 16th Century

In the sixteenth century, typesetters started
to print and promote folks songs on particular person sheets of paper, a observe that rapidly grew to become frequent all through Western Europe and, a bit over a century later, within the Americas. A broadside is something printed on just one facet of a sheet, from handouts to commercials, and so these printed folks songs rapidly grew to become generally known as broadside ballads or, merely, broadsides.

The earliest examples of broadside ballads didn't include the music, solely a be aware
mentioning the title of the acquainted tune to which the phrases could possibly be sung. One of the earliest English examples, a Robin Hood ballad referred to as “A Lytel Geste of Robyne Hood,” dates to the first decade of the sixteenth century. By 1520, broadside ballads had turn into so widespread {that a} bookseller in Oxford bought almost 200 of them.
By 1556, English legislation acknowledged that every one printers had to be licensed by the Stationers’ Company in London. In 1557, the Stationers’ Company started a copyearight service that required authorized registration of printed ballads at four pence every. For the size of time that this registration was in drive, by 1709, the corporate’s information reveal greater than 3,000 entries.

Broadside ballads could possibly be bought not solely from booksellers however from touring peddlers and at market stalls. As a outcome, they have been also referred to as stall ballads. Many of the broadsides have been illustrated with woodcuts and pinned up on partitions. Once a song was realized, it could possibly be pasted over with a brand new broadside.

Broadside ballads additionally have been used for commercials, as souvenirs, and as decorations in properties and pubs. In his ebook The Compleat Angler (1653), Izaak Walton described “an honest ale-house, where we shall find a cleanly room, lavender in the windows, and twenty ballads stuck about the wall.”

After their reputation waned within the eighteenth century, broadsides made a quick return to fame throughout the nineteenth century. They light into obscurity on the flip of the 20th century, once they have been changed by professionally printed sheet music and newspapers.

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