A parody (/ˈpærədi/; also called spoof, send-up, take-off or lampoon), in use, is a work created to imitate, make fun of, or comment on an original work, its subject, author, style, or some other target, by means of satiric or ironic imitation. As the literary theorist Linda Hutcheon puts it, "parody … is imitation, not always at the expense of the parodied text." Another critic, Simon Dentith, defines parody as "any cultural practice which provides a relatively polemical allusive imitation of another cultural production or practice."
Parody may be found in art or culture, including literature, music (although "parody" in music has an earlier, somewhat different meaning than for other art forms), animation, gaming and film.
The writer and critic John Gross observes in his Oxford Book of Parodies, that parody seems to flourish on territory somewhere between pastiche ("a composition in another artist's manner, without satirical intent") and burlesque (which "fools around with the material of high literature and adapts it to low ends"). Meanwhile, the Encyclopédie of Denis Diderot distinguishes between the parody and the burlesque, "A good parody is a fine amusement, capable of amusing and instructing the most sensible and polished minds; the burlesque is a miserable buffoonery which can only please the populace." Historically, when a formula grows tired, as in the case of the moralistic melodramas in the 1910s, it retains value only as a parody, as demonstrated by the Buster Keaton shorts that mocked that genre.
Parody music, or musical parody, involves changing or copying existing (usually well known) musical ideas or lyrics, or copying the peculiar style of a composer or artist, or even a general style of music. Although the intention of a musical parody may be humour (as in burlesque), it is the re-use of music that is the original defining feature.
In music, parody has been used for many different purposes and in various musical contexts: as a serious compositional technique, as an unsophisticated re-use of well-known melody to present new words, and as an intentionally humorous, even mocking, reworking of existing musical material, sometimes for satirical effect.
Examples of musical parody with wholly serious intent include parody masses in the 16th century, and, in the 20th century, the use of folk tunes in popular song, and neo-classical works written for the concert hall, drawing on earlier styles. "Parody" in this serious sense continues to be a term in musicological use, existing alongside the more common use of the term to refer to parody for humorous effect by composers from Bach to Sondheim and performers from Spike Jones to "Weird Al" Yankovic.
Romantic? is the sixth studio album by the English synthpop band The Human League. It was issued by Virgin Records in 1990 and was the band's first album of new material in four years. Romantic? had several producers, most notably Martin Rushent, who worked with the Human League on their biggest commercial success (1981's Dare) and had walked out of the recording sessions for its 1984 follow-up (Hysteria). Also producing several tracks is Mark Brydon, who would found Moloko several years later.
The album signalled a low point for the band as it was ridiculed by some critics, who proclaimed the album's sound as "dated". The only significant success came from the album's first single "Heart Like a Wheel", which peaked at No. 29 in the UK singles chart and No. 32 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. The second single "Soundtrack to a Generation" charted at No. 77 in the UK. Plans to release the synth infused "The Stars Are Going Out" as the third single were shelved. The album itself peaked at No. 24 in the UK Album Charts, and as a result, the band's long-standing contract with Virgin Records was terminated. They moved to East West Records to release their next album, 1995's Octopus.
Romanticism (also the Romantic era or the Romantic period) was an artistic, literary, and intellectual movement that originated in Europe toward the end of the 18th century and in most areas was at its peak in the approximate period from 1800 to 1850. Romanticism was characterized by its emphasis on emotion and individualism as well as glorification of all the past and nature, the latter also being celebrated. It was partly a reaction to the Industrial Revolution, the aristocratic social and political norms of the Age of Enlightenment, and the scientific rationalization of nature. It was embodied most strongly in the visual arts, music, and literature, but had a major impact on historiography, education, and the natural sciences. It had a significant and complex effect on politics, and while for much of the Romantic period it was associated with liberalism and radicalism, its long-term effect on the growth of nationalism was perhaps more significant.
The movement emphasized intense emotion as an authentic source of aesthetic experience, placing new emphasis on such emotions as apprehension, horror and terror, and awe—especially that experienced in confronting the new aesthetic categories of the sublimity and beauty of nature. It considered folk art and ancient custom to be noble statuses, but also valued spontaneity, as in the musical impromptu. In contrast to the rational and Classicist ideal models, Romanticism revived medievalism and elements of art and narrative perceived as authentically medieval in an attempt to escape population growth, early urban sprawl, and industrialism.