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rough music

rough music was a component of folkloric rituals classified under the generic continental term of charivari, or such English ones as skimmington, riding the stang, or simply riding. These rituals probably emerged in the later 16th cent., and usually involved satirical representations by sections of the community of conduct they regarded as reprehensible. At first they were directed against wives who offered violence or insubordination to their husbands, but later they might be directed against wife-beating husbands, or even employers in industrial disputes. The ‘rough music’ was the discordant beating of pots and pans that usually accompanied these ceremonies.

J. A. Sharpe

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