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The Power of Pastiche: Musical Miscellany and the Cultural Identity in Early Eighteenth-Century England

Alison C. DeSimone


In eighteenth-century England, “variety” became a prized aesthetic in musical culture. Not only was variety—of counterpoint, harmony, melody, and orchestration—expected for good composition, but it also manifested in cultural mediums such as songbook anthologies, pasticcio operas, and public concerts. I call this trend of producing music through the collection, assemblage, and juxtaposition of various smaller pieces “musical miscellany”; like a jigsaw puzzle, the urge to construct a whole out of smaller, different parts reflected a growing desire to appeal to a quickly diversifying England. Th ... More

Keywords: miscellany, music, opera, variety, eighteenth century, England, Cosmopolitanism, Concert, Anthology, Cultural identity

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2021 Print ISBN-13: 9781942954774
Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2022 DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781942954774.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Alison C. DeSimone, author