Oakeley, Sir Herbert (Stanley)

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Oridryus [Orideyns, Oridijrus, Oudryns, van Bergijk], Johannes

(b ?Bergeijk, c1510–20; d after 1589). Dutch teacher, publisher and music theorist. The classical courtesy-form of his name, Oridryus, is a pun on his probable birthplace, Bergeijk; both names mean mountain-oak, in Greek and Dutch respectively, and his printer's mark was an oak on a knoll. He may have been related to Arnold van Bergheyk (d ?1533) or to the Eyck family of Brussels. He was headmaster of the grammar school at Amersfoort in the Netherlands probably from 1542 to 1550. In 1550 he was charged with heresy and was ordered by Charles V to leave the city. He is next heard of as being at the Gymnasium Illustre in Düsseldorf from 1556 to 1572 and according to his Practicae musicae utriusque praecepta brevia (Düsseldorf, 1557) he was a teacher there. At this time he set up a printing business there with Albert Buys, his brother-in-law. From 1572 to about 1582 he was head of the Schola Christiana et Reformata at Wesel in the Lower Rhineland; the account books refer to him in 1584–9 as the ‘alder Rector’ (old headmaster); he probably died shortly after this date.

Oridryus's Practicae musicae is his only known work. It comprises the rudiments of musica plana and musica figurata and provides vital evidence about music teaching in 16th-century schools. For didactic purposes he included many rules and musical examples. In the organization and style of the work it is possible to recognize the influence of such contemporary theorists as Burchardi, Rhau, Ornithoparchus, Spangenberg, Listenius, Heinrich Faber, Gregor Faber and Finck. The classification into musica theorica, practica and poetica is a feature common to the works of most of these men and it recurs in the writings of Lossius, Wilfflingseder and Eichmann. (R. Federhofer-Königs: Johannes Oridryus und sein Musiktraktat, Düsseldorf, 1557, Cologne, 1957)



In its strict sense, the dialects of musical Exoticism within Western art music that evoke the East or the orient; the latter is generally taken to mean either the Islamic Middle East (e.g. North Africa, Turkey, Arabia, Persia), or East and South Asia (the Far East, e.g. India, Indochina, China, Japan), or all of these together. Broader and more varied uses of the term are discussed at the end of the article.

Orientalism in music first flourished in various operas of the 17th and 18th centuries with Turkish or Chinese settings, notably Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail (1782; see Turca, alla). In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the Middle East became a prime target for the colonization efforts of the Western powers and, accordingly, a much-favoured locale in which to set operas and other musical works. Various standard ‘Middle Eastern’ musical gestures were first established in the popular Le désert of the French composer Félicien David, who had lived in Egypt for two years, and then exploited by other composers, such as Bizet (Les pêcheurs de perles), Verdi (Aida), Massenet (Thaïs; see illustration) and Richard Strauss (Salome). The ‘Middle East’ was also a favoured setting for ballets (La source, with music by Delibes and Minkus) and modern-dance works (e.g. by Ruth St Denis). Many successful works were also set in East Asia, notably Puccini's Madama Butterfly and Turandot.

Works set in the Middle and Far East are often placed in ancient times or portray ‘timeless’ rituals; temporal displacements heightened the sense of escapism and also avoided the risk of having an opera comment in too parochial or potentially uncomfortable a manner on current political or imperial realities. Social ideology was nonetheless strongly conveyed, not least through what might be called the archetypal orientalist opera plot: a Western male becomes romantically involved with a local female, who is portrayed as sexually inviting and thereby at once attractive and threatening. (Bizet's Carmen played this story out on European soil; dark-skinned gypsies were understood to have migrated from vaguely eastern regions such as Egypt or India.) How such love relationships were worked out in the course of the opera depended on attitudes at the time towards the possible mingling or inherent incompatibility of different ‘races’ (see Parakilas, 1993–4).

Russians and Poles showed a special fascination with relatively nearby (to them) portions of the ‘greater Middle East’, e.g. Central Asia (Borodin's Prince Igor) or the Arabian penisular or Persia (Rimsky-Korsakov's Sheherazade; Szymanowski's Symphony no.3 ‘Piesn o nocy’, ‘Song of the Night’).

The similarities between musical works about the Middle Eastern ‘orient’ and travel journals or other literary works describing the region (see Hunter, 1997) or between music and orientalist painting (for example Ingres and Gérôme; see Locke, 1991) are particularly striking. The stereotyped characters seen in these writings and paintings, including the (male) tyrant or Muslim fanatic and the seductive almée (dancing woman), find repeated echoes in musical works, for example in Beethoven's Die Ruinen von Athen (with its Turkish March and Chorus of Dervishes) and in Saint-Saëns's Samson et Dalila and Strauss's Salome, each of which features an extended dance that alternates sultry languor and violent pounding.

As a more general term within musical and other writing, ‘orientalism’ can carry a variety of meanings. The noun ‘orientalist’ is the traditional label for a scholar of Middle Eastern languages, culture and archeology; but the term ‘orientalism’ (and the adjective ‘orientalist’) have frequently been applied (since Said, 1978) to the entire imperialist system that in the past few centuries has defined, ruled or ‘spoken for’ the Middle East. The diverse manifestations of orientalism are now defined to include not just scholarly treatises but also Western colonial regulations, journalistic writings, school textbooks, travel posters, poetry, paintings and operas. Most recently, the term has been used to refer to European or European-derived attitudes towards any other culture, not just one located in North Africa or Asia. Lipsitz, for example, speaks of Paul Simon's and David Byrne's ‘orientalist’ fascination with the musics of sub-Saharan Africa or the Caribbean; Kramer does the same for Ravel's evocation of ancient Greece (the very cradle of Western civilization) in Daphnis et Chloé. In such writings, the term sometimes becomes a near-synonym for ‘exoticist’.


N. Daniel: Islam and the West: the Making of an Image (Edinburgh, 1960)

E.W. Said: Orientalism (New York, 1978)

J. Clifford: ‘On Orientalism’, The Predicament of Culture: Twentieth-Century Ethnography, Literature, and Art (Cambridge, MA, 1988), 255–76

L. Kramer: ‘Culture and Musical Hermeneutics: the Salome Complex’, COJ, ii (1990), 269–94

R.P. Locke: ‘Constructing the Oriental “Other”: Saint-Saëns's Samson et Dalila’, COJ, iii (1991), 261–302

S. McClary, ed.: Georges Bizet: ‘Carmen’ (Cambridge, 1992)

T. Betzwieser: Exotismus und ‘Türkenoper’ in der französischen Musik des ancien régime (Laaber, 1993)

P. Robinson: ‘Is Aida an Orientalist Opera?’, COJ, v (1993), 133–40

E.W. Said: Culture and Imperialism (New York, 1993)

R.P. Locke: ‘Reflections on Orientalism in Opera and Musical Theater’, OQ, x/1 (1993–4), 48–64

J. Parakilas: ‘The Soldier and the Exotic: Operatic Variations on a Theme of Racial Encounter’, OQ, x/2 (1993–4), 33–56, x/3 (1993–4), 43–69

T. Betzwieser: ‘Exoticism and Politics: Beaumarchais' and Salieri's Le couronnement de Tarare (1790)’, COJ, vi (1994), 91–112

J. Deaville: ‘Liszt's Orientalismus: die Gestaltung ds Andersseins in der Musik?’, Liszt und die Nationalitäten:Eisenberg 1994, 163–95

G. Lipsitz: Dangerous Crossroads: Popular Music, Postmodernism, and the Poetics of Place (London,1994), 49–68

P. Harrison: ‘Music and Imperialism’, Repercussions, iv/1 (1995), 53–84

L. Kramer: ‘Consuming the Exotic: Ravel's Daphnis et Chloë’, Classical Music and Postmodern Knowledge (Berkeley, 1995), 201–25

M. Ladjili: ‘La musisque arabe chez les compositeurs français du XIXe siècle saisis d'exotisme (1844–1914)’, IRASM, xxvi (1995), 3–33

J.M. MacKenzie: Orientalism: History, Theory, and the Arts (Manchester, 1995)

J.-P. Bartoli: ‘A la recherche d'une représentation sonore de l'Égypte antique: l'égyptomanie musicale en France de Rossini à Debussy’, L'Égyptomanie à l'épreuve de l'archéologie, ed. J.-M. Humbert (Paris, 1996), 479–506

M. Everist: ‘Meyerbeer’s Il crociato in Egitto: mélodrame, opera, orientalism’, COJ, viii (1996), 215–50

K.-M. Lo: ‘Torandot’ auf der Opernbühne (Frankfurt, 1996)

J.-P. Bartoli: ‘L'orientalisme dans la musique française du XIXe siècle: la ponctuation, la seconde augmentée et l'apparition de la modalité dans les procédures exotiques’, RBM, li (1997), 137–70

A. Scott-Maxwell: ‘Oriental Exoticism in 1920s Australian Popular Music’, Perfect Beat, iii/3 (1997), 28–57

M. Hunter: ‘The alla turca Style in the Late Eighteenth Century: Race and Gender in the Symphony and Seraglio’, The Exotic in Western Music, ed. J. Bellman (Boston, 1998), 43–73, 317–23

R.P. Locke: ‘Cutthroats and Casbah Dancers, Muezzins and Timeless Sands: Musical Images of the Middle East’, ibid., 104–36, 326–33

D.B. Scott: ‘Orientalism and Musical Style’, MQ, lxxxii (1998), 309–35

R. Taruskin: ‘“Entolling the Falconet”: Russian Musical Orientalism in Context’, The Exotic in Western Music, ed. J. Bellman (Boston, 1998), 194–217, 342–43


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