potpourri(redirected from popourri)
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an instrument piece comprised of popular melodies from an opera, operetta, or ballet or of melodies written by an individual composer or taken from folk songs, dances, marches, or motion pictures. Usually the melodies in a potpourri do not develop but simply follow one another. Between individual melodies short passages are introduced, which serve the purpose of modulation and thematic transition. Widespread since the 19th century, potpourris are written for various instrumental groups, most commonly for variety-stage orchestras and brass bands.