Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Martell, Paul. "Parody Versus Paraphrase in G. P. Paladino's Fantasia on 'Alcun non puo saper.'" Journal of the Lute Society of America 19 (1986): 1-12.

As suggested by John Ward and others, when a sixteenth-century composition borrows only melodic material from another work, the term "paraphrase" should be used rather than "parody." By contrast, "parody" should refer to the practice of appropriating "vertical slices" (chords and imitative structures) of the thematic complex of the borrowed music in a fairly strict manner. Giovanni Paolo Paladino's 1560 monothematic fantasia based on Vincenzo Ruffo's madrigal Alcun non puo saper subjects the original madrigal to a variety of techniques that include modification of the basic imitative structure (changing the distance between points of imitation), rhythmic alterations such as diminution and augmentation, and transposition of some of the melodic material to different modes. The intent of Paladino's borrowing remains an open question. Given the diatonicism of subjects and the control of dissonance in sixteenth-century counterpoint, it is possible that many "borrowed" relationships may simply arise from the use of a common subject. Paladino's Fantasia occupies a middle ground between parody and paraphrase since it appropriates, but radically alters, the vertical structure of Ruffo's madrigal.

Works: Paladino: Fantasia on "Alcun non puo saper" (1-12).

Sources: Ruffo: Alcun non puo saper (2-10).

Index Classifications: 1500s

Contributed by: Scott Grieb, Jir Shin Boey

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