This analysis of selected works on ballad poetry by Ján Levoslav Bella (1843 – 1936) and Tadeáš Salva (1937 – 1995) addresses structural-formal aspects, the relationship of texts and music, semantics, and musical symbolism. J. L. Bella composed three ballad songs for vocals and piano: Sehnsucht (ca. 1905) in German, Románc (ca. 1905) in Hungarian and Gajdoš Filúz (Filúz the Bagpiper, 1927) in Slovak. They are distinguished by a highly composed form, integrity of the vocal and instrumental components, and rich musical symbolism. T. Salva created the first Slovak television opera Margita a Besná (Margita and the Fury) for soprano, contralto, sixteen-voice mixed choir and a silent dancer (1971), on the model of a ballad by J. Botto. He worked freely with the musically arranged text, in the typical manner of literary adaptations. Salva used the technique of limited aleatory, sound blocks, and the timbral capacities of the human voice. The differentiated compositional approaches of both authors stem from their individual musical poetics, the different genre form, and the change of music-stylistic paradigm.