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Burlesque (Fr.; It. burlesca; Ger. Burleske)locked

  • Erich Schwandt,
  • Fredric Woodbridge Wilson
  •  and Deane L. Root

Extract

A humorous piece involving parody and grotesque exaggeration; the term may be traced to folk poetry and theatre and apparently derived from the late Latin burra (‘trifle’). As a literary term in the 17th century it referred to a grotesque imitation of the dignified or pathetic, and in the early 18th century it was used as a title for musical works in which serious and comic elements were juxtaposed or combined to achieve a grotesque effect. In England the word denotes a dramatic production which ridicules stage conventions, while in 19th- and 20th-century American usage its principal meaning is a variety show in which striptease is the chief attraction....

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Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart
Enciclopedia dello spettacolo
A. Nicoll: The History of English Drama, 1660-1900 (Cambridge, 1952-9)
Musical Quarterly