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In music theory and music criticism, eclecticism refers to the use of diverse styles, either distinct from the background of an artist using them, or from culturally bygone eras and movements.[1] The term can be used to describe the music of composers who combine multiple styles of composition; an example would be a composer using a whole tone scale variant of a folk song in a pentatonic scale over a chromatic counterpoint, or a tertian arpeggiating melody over quartal or secundal harmonies. Eclecticism can also occur through quotations, whether of a style,[n 1] direct quotations of folk songs/variations of them—for example, in Mahler's Symphony No. 1—or direct quotations of other composers, for example in Berio's Sinfonia.[2]

See also


  1. ^ For example, Shostakovich's Symphony No. 9 calls back to Haydnesque classicism.