- Robert Witmer
In jazz and popular music a slow, sentimental love-song; the ballad forms an important part of the jazz repertory, particularly in the swing era. Ballads are generally cast in 32-bar song form (see Forms, §1, (i), (a) and 4/4 or 12/8 meter; they are performed at a relaxed tempo, in a soft, intimate style, and lack the rhythmic drive and intensity of four-beat jazz. The word is often used, loosely, of any slow piece, regardless of its form, style, or subject matter. (P. Clayton and P. Gammond: ...