Homage (arts)

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Homage or hommage (/ˈhɒmɪ/ or /ˈɒmɪ/) is a show or demonstration of respect or dedication to someone or something, sometimes by simple declaration but often by some more oblique reference, artistic or poetic.[1] The term is often used in the arts, for where one author or artist shows respect to another by allusion or imitation; this is often spelled and pronounced like the original French hommage (/ˈmɑːʒ/).[2]


It was originally a declaration of fealty in the feudal system—swearing that one was the man (French: homme), or subordinate, of the feudal lord.[3] The concept then became used figuratively for an acknowledgement of quality or superiority. For example, a man might give homage to a lady, so honouring her beauty and other graces. In German scholarship, followers of a great scholar developed the custom of honouring their mentor by producing papers for a festschrift dedicated to him.[4]

In music, homage can take the form of a composition (Homage to Paderewski), a tribute album (Homage to Charles Parker) or a sample.[5] Digital techniques used to generate many forms of media make it easy to borrow from other works, and this remediation may be used in homage to them.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "homage". dictionary.cambridge.org. 19 December 2020. Retrieved 19 December 2020.
  2. ^ Zimmer, Ben (5 November 2010). "Homage". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  3. ^ "Homage", Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages, 2
  4. ^ Derricourt, Robin M., An author's guide to scholarly publishing
  5. ^ Shepherd, John, "Rock Homage", Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World
  6. ^ Grusin, Richard, Routledge encyclopedia of narrative theory