Haydn is known for his playful (mis)use of cadential formulas. Examining examples of this predilection and processes of cadential liquidation, this article develops a theory of the use of musical material. This entails a deconstruction of the Adornian dialectic between generic convention and particular expression and—following Jacques Derrida’s notion of exappropriation—between proper and improper, and propriety and impropriety.

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