Sea-changes: minimal texts as regenerative forms

Mary-Ann Constantine and Gerald Porter

in Fragments and Meaning in Traditional Song

Published by British Academy

Published in print August 2003 | ISBN: 9780197262887
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734441 | DOI:

Series: British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship Monographs

Sea-changes: minimal texts as regenerative forms

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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

Chapter.  9090 words. 

Subjects: Ethnomusicology

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