John A. Romey F'17
Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships 2017
Case Western Reserve University
Popular Song, Opera Parody, and the Construction of Parisian Spectacle, 1648-1713
This project examines the interaction of popular and elite musical cultures in early modern Paris, and the ways in which popular tunes and parodies of elite music, such as tunes from operas and ballets, served as vehicles for cultural transfer and societal critique. By focusing on the interplay between the popular and elite song traditions, the daily back and forth between the street and high art, the project challenges traditional ways of understanding early modern French spectacle and the circulation of information. The study of new texts composed for culturally shared tunes, whether from the Pont-Neuf, the Parisian salons, or the theater, serves as a means of tracing a cultural phenomenon in which individuals from all social spheres recycled and reused bits of culture to form something new as a projection of their identity, as a demonstration of their wit, or as part of complex social ceremonies.