BullMoose wrote:I wonder if simply changing the musical style is still considered parody? Well actually, as far as I've read, it's not as "simple" as changing the music style, heh.
FWIW, I think about this a lot
(I'm writing a dissertation chapter on Weird Al), and I would consider it a parody. The polka medleys are similar to many of Spike Jones's songs, which take a contemporary popular hit and re-work it in a zany, Dixieland jazz style ("Tennessee Waltz" is a good example).
With the polka medleys, I think the parody target is split between the popular song (which is re-worked in a polka style) and the style of polka (which is re-worked in the style of contemporary popular songs). It doesn't fit our conventional definition of a parody, but I think it still is one. In my research I've found that "parody" is an umbrella term for many different techniques. You have direct parodies (songs like "Fat"), style parodies (like "Craigslist" and the polka medleys), and other techniques that Yankovic doesn't use (like performance parodies a la Stan Freberg or new compositions written with references to and quotations from earlier musics a la P.D.Q. Bach).