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novelty song

popular song that is either written and performed as a novelty or that becomes a novelty when removed from its original context. Regardless of which of these two categories applies, the assumption is that the song is popular because of its novelty, because it sounds different from everything else being played on the radio or jukebox. It follows that novelty hits are unique; the second time around, the sound is no longer novel. However, a novelty song can change people's listening assumptions, and hits that the record industry has treated as novelties have often turned out to be precursors of new musical styles.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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