Religion Past and Present

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(143 words)

[German Version]

In church music, parody does not have the pejorative or humorous sense it has in general usage. The Renaissance parody mass (IV) gained its unity by using religious or secular melodies or parts from polyphonic compositions in all its sections (e.g. the masses written on L’homme armé). Parodic composition turning secular vocal works into sacred works has been discussed particularly in the case of J.S. Bach, the best-known example being his Christmas Oratorio. The technique is based on similarity of affect and often on linguistic parallels in the text. …

Cite this page
Marti, Andreas, “Parody”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 21 November 2019 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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