rough music

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English[edit]

Noun[edit]

rough music (uncountable)

  1. (Britain, now historical) Improvised noise created by banging saucepans, scrap metal etc., especially as a way for communities to express outrage or displeasure at someone's behaviour. [from 18th c.]
    • 1928, The Observer, 26 Feb 1928:
      Seventeen villagers of Lincolnshire have been fined for ‘rantanning’ [] the ‘rough music’ of kettle and pan, in which the rustic moralist conveys his sense of outraged propriety.
    • 1971, Keith Thomas, Religion and the Decline of Magic, Folio Society 2012, p. 507:
      Apart from making presentments in the Church courts, villagers had many informal ways of expressing their disapproval of the way a married couple comported themselves: by playing ‘rough music’ under their window, for example []
    • 1996, Orlando Figes, A People's Tragedy, Folio Society 2013, p. 108:
      The most common form of punishment was ‘rough music’, or charivari, as it was known in southern Europe, where the villagers made a rumpus outside the house of the guilty person until he or she appeared and surrendered to the crowd, who would then subject him or her to public shame or even violent punishment.
    • 2012, Eric Berkowitz, Sex and Punishment, Westbourne Press 2013, p. 203:
      People suspected of adultery, whoredom, or the like could expect to be awakened in their beds by their peers, making ‘rough music’ outside by clanging pots and pans.