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Fragments and Meaning in Traditional SongFrom the Blues to the Baltic$
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Mary-Ann Constantine and Gerald Porter

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780197262887

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197262887.001.0001

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Sea-changes: minimal texts as regenerative forms

Sea-changes: minimal texts as regenerative forms

4 Sea-changes: minimal texts as regenerative forms
Fragments and Meaning in Traditional Song

Mary-Ann Constantine

Gerald Porter

British Academy

This chapter discusses minimal texts as regenerative forms. It attempts to show that short and fragmented song-forms have played a crucial part in some of the most stimulating approaches to the process of song variation. The various processes in ballads, including ‘floating’ verses and a ‘tension of essences’ are discussed as well. The chapter also shows the complexity of the processes of oral transmission and the smallness of the units that are capable of evoking stories and of generating rather strong emotional fields.

Keywords:   minimal texts, regenerative forms, song variation, ballads, floating verses, tension of essences, oral transmission

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