Charivari (Fr. charivari; Ger. Katzen-musik; Sp. concezada; It. scarnpanata), a mock serenade, which was performed in the middle ages whenever an old man married a young girl, or when a man married for the second or third time, or generally when ill-assorted marriages took place. The neighbors assembled on such occasions during the night before the house of the wedded pair, with all sorts of pans and kettles, and iron and copper utensils (chalybaria), producing every variety of discordant noises, and accompanying them with derisive shouts and songs. The chariva-rists usually continued their uproar until their wrath was soothed by drink or food. The council of Trent attempted to put a stop to this nuisance, which frequently occasioned disturbances. In some French towns, as for instance in Lyons, the practice was maintained as late as the 10th century. In Canada, and in Louisiana and many other parts of the United States, it exists, though it is everywhere on the decline. In Brittany the term charivari was also applied to aggravated collisions between husband and wife. Xantippe throwing a jug of water at the head of Socrates is the most classic type of this sort. In the game of ombre the turn of four queens is called charivari.
The Germans possess a work on the origin of luitzenmusik by Philipps (Freiburg, 1840). French literature boasts of a still more comprehensive work on the same subject: Ilis-toire, morale, civile, politique et litteraire, du charivari, depute son origine vers le 4me siecle, by Dr. Calybariat de St. Flour, with a supplement by Eldi Christophe Bassinet.