A Word A Day : Pastiche

Sunday, 23rd December 2007 : Today's Word is ...


( Noun )

Pronunciation : pa-stēsh

1. a literary, musical, or artistic piece consisting wholly or chiefly of motifs or techniques borrowed from one or more sources

2. an incongruous combination of materials, forms, motifs, etc., taken from different sources

3. a medley made up of fragments from different works

4. a piece of creative work, e.g. in literature, drama, or art, that imitates and often satirizes another work or style

NOTE:A dramatic or sacred work whose parts are wholly or partly taken from existing works by various composers (it should not be confused with collaborative works; an essential feature is the borrowing of individual parts). Operatic pasticcio arose in the early 18th century primarily because impresarios wanted to gain public approval by offering favourite pieces, while itinerant singers found it convenient to appear before new audiences with proven successes. The practice reached a highpoint c 1750. Important composers (e.g. Handel, Keiser and Vivaldi) arranged pasticcios only when they were acting as impresarios.


French, from Italian pasticcio - Italian, from Vulgar Latin pastīcium meaning pasty


hodgepodge, assortment, collage, collection, compilation, copy, imitation, mishmosh, paste-up, patchwork, potpourri, reappropriation, reproduction, synthesis, caricature, farce, girlie show, lampoon, lampoonery, mock, mockery, parody, pastiche, peep show, revue, satire, send-up, sham, skin show, spoof, strip, takeoff, travesty



Contextual Examples:

• In a city of splendid Victorian architecture, there is a rather pointless pastiche of Dickensian London down on the waterfront.

Related Words:

pasticcio: Noun

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