A Dictionary of Music and Musicians/Galimathias

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GALIMATHIAS. A French term of very doubtful derivation (Littré), meaning a confused unintelligible affair. 'Galimathias musicum' is a comic piece of music for Orchestra with Clavier and other instruments obligate, composed by Mozart in 1766 at the Hague, for the festivities at the coming of age of William of Orange the Fifth (March 8). Mozart, then on his road from London, was just 10 years old. The piece is in 13 short numbers, ending with a variation on the Dutch national air of 'Wilhelmus von Nassau.' (Köchel, No. 32; 0. Jahn, 2nd ed. i. 44.) In a letter of Feb. 5, 1783, Mozart speaks of a galimathias opera 'Gallus cantans, in arbore sedens, gigirigi faciens.'

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