Homage (arts)

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Homage ( /ˈhɒmɪ/ or /ˈɒmɪ/ ) is a show or demonstration of respect or dedication to someone or something, sometimes by simple declaration but often by some more oblique reference, artistic or poetic. The term is often used in the arts for where one author or artist shows respect to another by allusion or imitation; this is often pronounced like the French hommage ( /ˈmɑːʒ/ ). [1]

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It was originally a declaration of fealty in the feudal system—swearing that one was the man (French: homme), or subordinate, of the feudal lord. [2] The concept then became used figuratively for an acknowledgement of quality or superiority. For example, a man might give homage to a lady, so honouring her beauty and other graces. In German scholarship, followers of a great scholar developed the custom of honouring their mentor by producing papers for a festschrift dedicated to him. [3]

In music homage can take the form of a composition ( Homage to Paderewski ), a tribute album ( Homage to Charles Parker ) or a sample. [4] Digital techniques used to generate many forms of media make it easy to borrow from other works, and this remediation may be used in homage to them. [5]

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Homage (feudal) Medieval oath of allegiance

Homage in the Middle Ages was the ceremony in which a feudal tenant or vassal pledged reverence and submission to his feudal lord, receiving in exchange the symbolic title to his new position (investiture). It was a symbolic acknowledgement to the lord that the vassal was, literally, his man (homme). The oath known as "fealty" implied lesser obligations than did "homage". Further, one could swear "fealty" to many different overlords with respect to different land holdings, but "homage" could only be performed to a single liege, as one could not be "his man" to more than one "liege lord".

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References

  1. Zimmer, Ben (5 November 2010). "Homage". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  2. "Homage", Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages, 2
  3. Robin M. Derricourt, An author's guide to scholarly publishing
  4. John Shepherd, "Rock Homage", Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World
  5. Richard Grusin, Routledge encyclopedia of narrative theory