A canon is a set of rules or principles that are generally accepted as valid and authoritative, often in the context of a particular field, such as literature, music, or religion. It can also refer to a collection of texts or works that are considered to be of great importance or significance within a given field.
See Synonyms, Antonyms and Usage
Excerpts from News Articles
There are few catchier, ear-wormier musical phrases than those violent minor chords in “Phantom’s” title song. And there are few songs in the Broadway canon more romantic than “All I Ask of You.” The score is laced with intricate musical gifts — in the lush contrapuntal waltz of “Prima Donna,” or the ominous hedonism of “Masquerade.”
She solidified her place in the cultural canon while starring as the 6-year-old Wednesday in the original Addams Family series, which aired in 1964. While the show wasn't an immediate hit (it only lasted two seasons), decades of re-runs turned the eccentric family into a beloved American treasure.
The late Toni Morrison knew and professed the value of Black stories — and not just their value to Black people. She was an admirer of all kinds of literature written by all kinds of people and, as such, knew that excluding or obscuring Black writers from the canon delegitimized the canon altogether.
Paik was born into an affluent family in Seoul in 1932. The youngest of five children, he received an élite education, steeped in the Western canon , training as a classical pianist. Still, because of the Japanese occupation of Korea, he was subject to imperial rule, which sought to prohibit Koreans from speaking their native language.
Our students are immersed in a curriculum that emphasizes civic engagement, creativity, and both the canon and those texts and subjects that have been marginalized by that canon . Many students research issues of local importance to our campus: the community of Black theater professionals that thrived around the corner in the 1820s, the more recent anti-gentrification movements helmed by Chinatown artists, writers, and activists.
The Western canon of “great literature” often focuses on writers who come from North America or Europe and often ignores accomplished writers and amazing works of literature from other parts of the world. Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, published in 1958, is one such work of Nigerian literature that had to overcome the bias of some literary circles and one that has been able to gain recognition worldwide despite it.
Albino Luciano, better known to the world as Pope John Paul I, reigned as pope for only 34 days before his death in September 1978. But he will soon join the ranks of 20th-century popes who the Catholic Church has canonized . This literally means they have been entered on the “ canon ,” or list, of people formally declared to be in heaven and have been granted the title “Blessed” or “Saint.”
The church requires a thorough medical and psychiatric examination before a major exorcism can be implemented. Canon Law, the code of laws governing the church, dictates exorcisms can only be performed with “express permission” from the local ordinary, a church officer who can execute these laws.
The exhibition also features six original works commissioned to help fill gaps in the canon , including a quilt by non-binary artist Renuka Rajiv and a video work by LGBTQ collective Payana that was created in collaboration with transgender people aged 50 and above.
Existing definitions of “Islamic art” often focus on style, tradition, geography, pattern, and geometry. The ambition of this biennale is to build on and challenge these criteria, expanding on the existing canon of Islamic art, and to question the narrative, museological, and artistic practices of this time. Islamic artworks may have surface similarities, but what really unites them is inherent in how they are made, used, and understood.
More terrifying were the existential ones: whether the selflessness expected of mothers is compatible with the single-mindedness needed to write, whether motherhood is inherently in opposition to art. The canon that argues they are incompatible is deep and wide, including Cyril Connolly’s famed “There is no more somber enemy of good art than the pram in the hall” and Jenny Offill’s narrator in Dept. of Speculation: “Women almost never become art monsters because art monsters only concern themselves with art, never mundane things.
These were the times that birthed the Kiowa poet and writer N.Scott Momaday whose novel House Made of Dawn was awarded a Pulitzer. James Welch, Blackfeet, published his first and only book of poetry, Riding the Earthboy Forty which is now a classic in American poetry. Laguna Pueblo writer Leslie Marmon Silko’s novel Ceremony was threaded with oratorical references to classical mythic Pueblo tales. She was awarded one of the first MacArthur genius awards. That novel became part of the American canon .
Today, the college is known as a home for smart young conservatives who wish to engage seriously with the liberal arts. The Hillsdale education has several hallmarks: a devotion to the Western canon , an emphasis on primary sources over academic theory, and a focus on equipping students to be able, virtuous citizens. There is no department of women’s and gender studies, no concentrations on race and ethnicity.
None of these women are part of the musical canon , despite the valiant efforts of performers and scholars, in the way their British male contemporaries were. Elgar is heard rather than Smyth, and Delius rather than Clarke. Britten is given many more performances than either Howell or Carwithen.
Moreover, I am accustomed to having quizzical glances cast in my direction, as if I am something of a novelty or a curious anomaly. A large part of my musical career to date has been based on balancing and reconciling the tricky dichotomy of otherness in relation to myself and the canon of western classical music that I love and love to perform. And given that they are so few and far between, representations of people who look like me in the classical canon have always been of interest.
Elsewhere, curators, collectors and critics are lining up to reassess Picasso. One wrote this week that the artist’s reputation has ‘nosedived’. ‘When Picasso died at the age of 91 the Guardian called him the most influential artist of the 20th century. Today, Picasso is more often talked about as a misogynist and cultural appropriator, the ultimate example of problematic white guys clogging up the artistic canon .’ Those damn white male geniuses, eh?
Still, she never received financial success to match her acclaim, and when she passed away she was buried in an unmarked grave in Florida. In 1973, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Alice Walker (now best known for The Color Purple) published an essay in Ms. Magazine in which she searched for Hurston’s grave. The renewed interest in Hurston elevated Their Eyes Were Watching God into the literary canon .
Time and time again it is the local scenes that have uplifted our culture and expanded global knowledge of queer history beyond the Western canon . The drag artists of Beirut, Lebanon, introduced me to local icons like Bassem Feghali, who appeared in drag on TV with musical impersonations and comedy for decades.
Yet as many strive to live in a just, equitable and peaceful world, it is important to restore a more multicultural sense of intellectual history, particularly within graphic design’s canon . And once Black graphic design students see the influences of their predecessors, perhaps they will be inspired and motivated anew to recover that history – and continue to build upon its legacy.
For example, take Compact, where Nick Land recently wrote a defense of the canon (comparing it to Biblical scripture), but which also publishes almost weekly dismissive articles about “The Gender Ideology.” The National Review runs a Great Books podcast.
The picture presents a half-body portrait of the subject, with a distant landscape visible as a backdrop. Although utilizing a seemingly simple formula for portraiture, the expressive synthesis that Leonardo achieved between sitter and landscape has placed this work in the canon of the most-popular and most-analyzed paintings of all time. The sensuous curves of the woman’s hair and clothing, created through sfumato, are echoed in the undulating valleys and rivers behind her.
South Africa looms large in the Western imagination. Not only as a country of strategic importance due to the commodities found within its territory, but also because its history forms a major component in the canon of the modern progressive religion which is taking shape. For this reason alone, South Africa’s descent towards failed state status under ANC rule merits attention, not least for the moral responsibility various actors inside and outside the country bear for this ongoing catastrophe.
According to the Gospel of Matthew, the first Gospel in the canon of the New Testament, Joseph and Mary were in Bethlehem when Jesus was born. The story begins with wise men who come to the city of Jerusalem after seeing a star that they interpreted as signaling the birth of a new king.
Entire wings of the literary canon have confronted these questions, usually by framing them within the context of human families only. Which is why The Last Animal, the latest novel by Ramona Ausubel, soars where so many other books about family dynamics simply coast.
After investigating the sensational publicity surrounding the Hauptmann trial, the American Bar Association went on to ban courtroom photography in Canon 35 of its 1937 Canons of Judicial Ethics. Following the American Bar Association’s lead, Congress enacted Rule 53 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure in 1944, which prohibited photography in federal courtrooms during judicial proceedings.
The cue came. He hurtled down to the front of the stage, and promptly forgot the most famous line in the canon … and if that wasn’t humiliating enough, he was then prompted by a member of the audience.
Instead, he’s made a movie about unresolved ambivalence that itself goes confoundingly unresolved. What’s more, he’s added to an already exhausted canon without bringing much of anything new to the shelf. Instead of breaking something open, and for all its self-conscious daring, “Beau Is Afraid” stays in a relatively safe lane as one more Portnoy-esque plaint about Mom’s inhumanity to man.
Since some of these early editions did not name Shakespeare on their title pages, the authorship of plays such as Romeo and Juliet, Titus Andronicus and Henry V would be uncertain. Conversely, title pages identify Shakespeare as the author of The London Prodigal (1605) and A Yorkshire Tragedy (1608), which most modern scholars do not attribute to Shakespeare. In part this is due to the fact that they are not included in the First Folio. Without it, the canon of Shakespeare’s plays would have decisively shifted.
Neel’s gender was crucial for her painting and politics, but she resented the cliches about female artists that dominated art criticism. For instance, the mythologies of Georgia O’Keeffe and Frida Kahlo rest respectively on eroticised sensuality and emotional intensity. Their addition to the canon exposes a rigged game because the key terms for defining women are so reduced. The same applies to Black artists, and doubly so with Black female artists, far removed from the predominating narrative of white male artists.
“Sadly, one would think that the cultural sector really appreciates just the talent, but that’s not true,” Mutter said. “We see it in the selection of repertoire which has made it into the canon of famous pieces. We really have to look much closer and with much more passion into the quality of work. There is a lot to be detected.”
By then Adams’s legal career was on the rise, and he had become a visible member of the resistance movement that questioned Parliament’s right to tax the American colonies. In 1765 Adams wrote “A Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law,” which justified opposition to the recently enacted Stamp Act—an effort to raise revenue by requiring all publications and legal documents to bear a stamp—by arguing that Parliament’s intrusions into colonial affairs exposed the inherently coercive and corrupt character of English politics.
If William Shakespeare’s ascendancy over Western theatre has not extended to the opera stage—a fact explained by the want of Shakespeare-congenial librettists, the literary indifference of composers, and the difficulties involved in setting iambic pentameters to music—the Shakespeare canon has nonetheless established itself as one of the great inspirers of operas. This is clear from the 200-odd operas based on Shakespeare’s plays, about half a dozen of which are among the rare monuments of operatic achievement.
For more than two decades, Ratzinger was the pope’s closest adviser. As prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican office responsible for preserving Catholic doctrine and evaluating according to canon law the warrant for disciplinary action against clergy, Ratzinger earned a reputation as a hard-liner. He condemned liberation theology and suppressed more-liberal theologians such as the Brazilian Leonardo Boff and the American Charles Curran.
“We started the Gotham Book Prize during the pandemic to encourage writers to share unique stories about New York, and both of these books have accomplished exactly this. We expect both to be cemented in the canon of great New York City books.”.
“Attention to the ways that narrative works as system and as rhetoric…should prove useful in promoting clarity of thought about our desire and our need for narrative,” Brooks asserts. Paradoxically, the bulk of his corroborations arrive from canonical writers. Faulkner, Conrad, Dumas, Henry James: there’s a baked-in difficulty to decrying the proliferation of cliched stories while presenting works that, in their difficulty levels, are ignored by average readers.