Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A theological or philosophical issue presented for formal argument or disputation.
  • noun Formal disputation of such an issue.
  • noun Music A usually humorous medley.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A scholastic argumentation upon a subject chosen at will, but almost always theological.
  • noun In music: A fantasia or potpourri.
  • noun A fanciful or humorous harmonic combination of two or more well-known melodies: sometimes equivalent to a Dutch concert.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A nice point; a subtilty; a debatable point.
  • noun (Mus.) A medley improvised by several performers.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun music A form of music with melodies in counterpoint.
  • noun philosophy A mode of philosophical debate popular in the Middle Ages, in which any question could be posed extemporaneously.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun an issue that is presented for formal disputation

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Medieval Latin quodlibetum, from Latin quod libet, anything at all : quod, what; see kwo- in Indo-European roots + libet, it pleases, third person sing. present tense of libēre, to be pleasing; see leubh- in Indo-European roots.]

Examples

  • The apostles also confuted the heathen philosophers and Jews, a people than whom none more obstinate, but rather by their good lives and miracles than syllogisms: and yet there was scarce one among them that was capable of understanding the least "quodlibet" of the Scotists.

    The Praise of Folly

  • Ex falso sequitur quodlibet, from a false hypothesis anything can follow, likewise sums up your own m.o. all too well and all too frequently; whether subtly or more overtly and more arrogantly still; distorting what others say, then adding the pointed barb and the tacit, the barely unspoken “fuck-off”.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Our Own Randy Barnett Talks to Prof. Glenn Reynolds (InstaPundit) About Whether ObamaCare Is Constitutional

  • Ex falso sequitur quodlibet, from a false hypothesis anything can follow, likewise sums up your own m.o. all too well and all too frequently; whether subtly or more overtly and more arrogantly still; distorting what others say, then adding the pointed barb and the tacit, the barely unspoken “fuck-off”.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Our Own Randy Barnett Talks to Prof. Glenn Reynolds (InstaPundit) About Whether ObamaCare Is Constitutional

  • An impossible world of the fourth kind, at which some contradiction is true but not everything is, provides a counterexample to ex falso quodlibet.

    Impossible Worlds

  • Bruck's style in the German sacred lied shows the move towards the later motet-style settings of chorales, but his greatest achievements were in polyphonic arrangements of German folksongs and court melodies, as well as in the quodlibet.

    Archive 2009-06-01

  • This sort of serendipity goes way back, of course — think of Clément Janequin's "Les cris de Paris," a quodlibet of 16th-century vendors 'cries; In the 19th century, there was a bit of a vogue for the combination of worldly concerns and overheard church music, Schumann's song "Sonntags am Rhine" being a gorgeous example.

    The band in Heaven, they play my favorite song

  • Johannes Brassicanus quoted three of them in his quodlibet Was wölln wir aber heben an?

    Archive 2009-06-01

  • Occasionally, a sufficiently serious religious news item appears that I find it necessary to eschew irony in order to assess, in a serious and sober way, the exigent theological quodlibet.

    Anjem Choudary and donkeys « Anglican Samizdat

  • This sort of serendipity goes way back, of course — think of Clément Janequin's "Les cris de Paris," a quodlibet of 16th-century vendors 'cries; In the 19th century, there was a bit of a vogue for the combination of worldly concerns and overheard church music, Schumann's song "Sonntags am Rhine" being a gorgeous example.

    Archive 2007-06-01

  • Forgive me, quick-witted reader, if this quodlibet to Q has made you querimonious; I'll leave the letter and return to Q, the woman, after I tax you with one more notion.

    'Roads to Quoz'

Comments

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  • quodlibet – "what you like"; moot or subtle point; fruitless or pedantic argument (from the Hutchinson Encyclopaedia)

    July 22, 2008

  • "A quodlibet is a piece of music combining several different melodies, usually popular tunes, in counterpoint and often a light-hearted, humorous manner."

    May 30, 2009

  • A nice point; a subtilty; a debatable point.( GNU Websters) ..... anything pleasing - literally, perhaps?

    August 23, 2012

  • "n. A fanciful or humorous harmonic combination of two or more well-known melodies: sometimes equivalent to a Dutch concert."

    What's a Dutch concert?

    May 18, 2015

  • One of the Goldberg Variations by J.S. Bach is a quodlibet. Wikipedia says, "This quodlibet is based on multiple German folk songs, two of which are Ich bin solang nicht bei dir g'west, ruck her, ruck her ("I have so long been away from you, come closer, come closer") and Kraut und Rüben haben mich vertrieben, hätt mein' Mutter Fleisch gekocht, wär ich länger blieben ("Cabbage and turnips have driven me away, had my mother cooked meat, I'd have opted to stay"). The others have been forgotten. The Kraut und Rüben theme, under the title of La Capricciosa, had previously been used by Dieterich Buxtehude for his thirty-two partite in G major, BuxWV 250." (https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Goldberg_Variations&oldid=903488896)

    July 23, 2019