Figures of rhetoric/Figures of music?

Author(s): Brian Vickers
Source: Rhetorica: A Journal of the History of Rhetoric, Vol. 2, No. 1 (Spring 1984), pp. 1-44
Published by: University of California Press on behalf of the International Society for the
History of Rhetoric
Stable URL:
Accessed: 02-01-2016 03:02 UTC

Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at
JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content
in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship.
For more information about JSTOR, please contact

International Society for the History of Rhetoric and University of California Press are collaborating with JSTOR to
digitize, preserve and extend access to Rhetorica: A Journal of the History of Rhetoric.

This content downloaded from on Sat, 02 Jan 2016 03:02:22 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions


Figures of rhetoric/Figures of music?

he affinity between music and rhetoric, first proposed by
Quintdian, was the subject of many theoretical and practical works on music produced between the middle of the
sixteenth and the end of the eighteenth century. Most of these
treatises, whether written in Latin or in the vernacular, were produced in Germany, and it is to German scholars in this century that
we owe the most substantial contributions to the topic,' although
'The pioneer in modern times was Arnold Schering, in "Die Lehre von den
musikalischen Figuren im 17. und 18. Jahrhundert," Kirchenmusikalisches Jahrbuch, 21
(1908), pp. 106-114; see also his "Geschichtliches zur Ars inveniendi," Peters-Jahrbuch
(1925). Heinz Brandes, a pupil of Schering's, wrote a Berlin dissertation, Studien zur
musikalischen Figurenlehre im 16. Jahrhundert (Berlin, 1935), while a broader study was
attempted by Hans-Heinrich Unger, Die Beziehungen zwischen Musik und Rhetorik im
16.-18. Jahrhundert (Wiirzburg, 1941; repr. Hildesheim, 1969). A brief but important
article by Willibald Gurlitt, "Musik und Rhetorik. Hinweise auf ihre geschichtliche
Grundlageneinheit" appeared in Helicon 5 (1944), and is reprinted in Gurlitt's Musikgeschichte und Gegenwart, ed. H. H. Eggbrecht, 2 vols. (Wiesbaden, 1966), 1.62-81:
cited here as "Gurlitt." See also Frederick Wessel, The Affektenlehre in the 18th Century
(Indiana U diss., 1955; University Microfilm Pub. no. 14, 674), and the articles "Affektenlehre" and "Figuren, musikalisch-rhetorisch", in Die Musik in Geschichte und
Gegenwart, ed. F. Blume, (Kassel and Basel, 1955).

© The International Society for The History of Rhetoric. Rhetorica, Volume 2,
Number 1 (Spring, 1984).

This content downloaded from on Sat, 02 Jan 2016 03:02:22 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions



studies have recently begun to appear in English.' One of the pioneers was Joachim Burmeister (1564-1629), who has attracted much
attention,^' although lately the emphasis has been on the Baroque
period, where discussion of the effect of rhetoric on how music
was to be composed, performed, and listened to was more sophisticated. Since rhetoric, as Omer Talon put it, having no fixed domain, could spread through all the arts,"" it is right that we are finally beginning to study its connections with music. Yet it is also
crucial to fix the discussion properly from the start, and from recent developments it seems to me timely to raise the awkward but
crucial question, how far can the terms of rhetoric be applied directly to music? HOW far can one aesthetic system, a linguistic one,
be adapted to another, non-linguistic?

In retrospect, it is entirely natural that the links between music
and rhetoric should have been established so thoroughly in Northern Europe in the sixteenth century. A main factor was the spread
of humanist education, with its revival of the basis of schooling,
the trivium, that union of grammar, logic, and rhetoric which was
pursued with unflagging energy by secondary schoolmasters for
some three centuries.^ Although the vernaculars made their ap'See Claude V. Palisca, "A Clarification of 'Musica Reservata' in Jean Taisnier's
'Astrologiae'," 1559, Acta Musicologica 31 (1959), pp. 133-161, cited here as "Palisca
(1)"; and "Ut Oratoria Musica: the Rhetorical Basis of Musical Mannerism," in The
Meaning of Mannerism, ed. F. W Robinson and S. G. Nichols, Jr. (Hanover, New
Hampshire, 1972), pp. 37-65, cited here as "Palisca (2)"; Gregory G. Butler, "Fugue
and Rhetoric," Journal of Music Theory 21 (1977), pp. 49-109, here as "Butler (1)," and
"Music and Rhetoric in Early Seventeenth-Century English Sources," The Musical
Quarterly 66 (1980), pp. 53-64 (here as "Butler (2)").
'See Martin Ruhnke, Joachim Burmeister Ein Beitrag zur Musiklehre um 1600
(Kassel und Basel, 1955), and his facsimile re-edition of Burmeister's Musica poetica
(Kassel and Basel, 1955).
'"In immenso rerum omnium atque artium campo libere vagari": Institutiones oratoriae (1545), p. 8, cit. Basil Munteano, Constantes Dialectiques en Litterature et en Histoire (Paris, 1967), pp. 151-2.
*On the place of rhetoric in education during the Renaissance see W. H. Woodward, Studies in Education during the Age of the Renaissance 1400-1600 (Cambridge,
1906); T. W Baldwin, Shakespere's "Small Latine and Lesse Greeke", 2 vols. (Urbana,
111., 1944); Friedrich Paulsen, Geschichte des gelehrten Unterrichts auf den deutschen
Schulen und Universitdten vom Ausgang des Mittelalters bis zur Gegenwart, 2 vols., ed.

This content downloaded from on Sat, 02 Jan 2016 03:02:22 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions


Figures of rhetoric/Figures of music?

pearance gradually, throughout most of this time not only instruction but pupds' conversation during breaks was meant to be in
Latin. At the universities the arts course began again with the trivium, but where schools had often used summaries and digests of
rhetoric, first- and second-year university students went back to
the great originals, Aristode, Cicero, and Quintilian. Rhetoric made
its appearance in the later stages of the grammar school curriculum, and in the highest form (or "classe de rhetorique," as it was
called in France, a tide that persisted until the nineteenth century)
the pupil's literary studies were crowned by a thorough grounding
in elocutio, which meant not only style, and a mastery of aU the resources of expression, but also a commitment to language and ethics, a stress on responsible communication in the widest sense."
The rhetorical education, pioneered by such great humanists
as Erasmus, Bude, Melanchthon, Vives, and all their pupils and
disciples, trained the student in both criticism and composition.
He was taught to read analytically, to identify metaphors, sententiae, and anything from forty to two hundred rhetorical figures, in
all the literature he read, whether the poems of Ovid or Virgil, the
prose of Cicero or Seneca, or the Bible. He would mark these in the
margin of his book, and transfer some as quotations in his notebook, to be reused in his own writing. He was taught how to compose an oration, or write an essay, using the traditional processes
of creation (invention, disposition, elocution, pronunciation, memory), and to arrange the final work into one of the canonical patterns (prooemium, divisio or narratio, confirmatio, confutatio, peroratio). He was taught the three levels of style, the main literary
genres, and the styles appropriate to each genre. He learned these
and other pieces of knowledge by slow and systematic instruction,
painstaking memorization, and constant recapitulation. Whoever
had an education in Europe in this period can be counted on to be
R. Lehmann ('Leipzig, 1919); Wilfried Barner, Barock-Rhetorik. Untersuchungen zu
ihren geschichtlichen Grundlagen (Tubingen, 1970), especially pp. 241-447; D. Breuer
and G. Kopsch, "Rhetoriklehrbiicher des 16. bis 20. Jahrhunderts. Eine BibUographie", in H. Schanze (ed.) Rhetorik. Beitrdge zu ihrer Geschichte in Deutschland vom
16. -20. Jahrhundert (Frankfurt, 1974), pp. 217-355, and other articles in that volume;
H. Lantoine, Histoire de I'enseignement secondaire en France au XVII' et au debut du
XVIW slides (Paris, 1874); Francois de Dainville, La Naissance de I'Humanisme moderne (Paris, 1940); Basil Munteano, op. cit.; Eugenio Garin, L'Educazione in Europa
(Bari, 1957), and ed. Garin, // Pensiero pedagogico del Rinascimento (Florence, 1958).
'See Brian Vickers, "Rhetorical and Anti-rhetorical tropes: on writing the history of elocutio," Comparative Criticism 3 (1981), pp. 105-132.

This content downloaded from on Sat, 02 Jan 2016 03:02:22 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

" in Comparative Criticism 3 (1981). Racine. Murphy's bibliography of Renaissance Rhetoric lists 3. ed. 1970).. 1970). Gordon. 1955. had at least 18 editions by 1500. Classical Rhetoric in English Poetry (London. or was accompanied by. Brian Vickers. and "Shakespeare's Use of Rhetoric" in A New Companion to Shakespeare Studies. 83-98. Racine's Rhetoric (Oxford. and many shorter studies have illuminated the diverse ways in which rhetoric acted as a model. pp.* J. Topliss. whether.' Cyprian Soarez' De Arte Rhetorica (1568). Quintdian's Institutes of Oratory. Alex L." Padagogisches Magazin. they had been to Cambridge or whether. J. which was for many years the standard textbook of all Jesuit schools. Heft 803 (1921). pp. in 45 different European cities during a period of 173 years. J. Murphy. L. it is no surprise ' O n Quintilian's influence in the Renaissance see M. The FOietoric of Pascal (Leicester. 1981). (University of Florida Ph. and 70 (1984). Ronsard. J. and "A Bibliography of Rhetoric Studies 1970-1980. Muir and S.4 RHETORICA familiar with all of the main processes of rhetoric. 02 Jan 2016 03:02:22 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . and a total of 207 reprints in all forms. 1979). Those composers who had at least a grammar-school education certainly knew their rhetoric.144. 1970). J. W. and at least 130 more by 1600. and my review in Quarterly Journal of Speech 69 (1983).250. Further bibliography in Brian Vickers. Curtius. and 43 (1957).144 on Sat. 1948). first printed in 1470. 1966). e. Shakespeare's Use of the Arts of Language (New York. Milton. P. index). D. passim (cf. 177-184. 441-444. cit. op. they had been to the Gymnasium in Liineburg. pp. idem. Munteano. pp. Much more. 'J. Flynn.' and is incomplete at that. see De Arte Rhetorica. The stress on the importance of rhetoric in education led to. Trask (New York. an enormous publication boom. 1966). R. HUJ 100-16926). Renaissance Rhetoric: A Short-Title Catalogue (New York. and a channel of expression to writers of all kinds in all genres. Unger. European Literature and the Latin Middle Ages. and articles by Father Flynn in Quarterly Journal of Speech 42 (1956). 1947.D. translated by L. 1968). Peter France. Ronsard et la Rhdorique (Geneva. an inspiration. 367-374. pp. pp. pp. Francis Bacon and Renaissance Prose (Cambridge. 316-322.000 titles by some 800 authors. R. tr. however. Paul's School (New York. '"See. University Microfilms Order no. John Milton at St.'" Given this intensely word-conscious culture. Wychgram. Uff. like Burmeister. had at least 134 editions. like Thomas Campion. Sister Miriam Joseph. This content downloaded from 128. 1968. Pascal. 1965). 257-265. Schoenbaum (Cambridge. "Quintilian in der deutschen und franzosischen Literatur des Barock und der Aufklarung. The Artistry of Shakespeare's Prose (London. remains to be discovered about musicians' education. K. 1-150..g. 1953). and E. S. pp. *For Soarez. The effect of this intensive education is to be seen in all the great writers of the period: in recent years whole books have been devoted to rhetoric in Shakespeare. Clark.

pp. which are incapable "Cited from the Loeb edition. Indeed. that there were famous teachers of both (such as Sophron: I. Quintilian then underlines the way that both music and eloquence adapt form to content.. ever since "those remote times when Chiron taught Achilles" (I. if 1 may repeat the term. I. in a passage which was of great importance in the Renaissance: But eloquence does vary both tone and rhythm. and the voice. The immediate practical advantages to the orator are said to concern the body. pp.. and wrote a praise of music which was to be echoed and imitated many times over. Vol. E. 94-7. ed. lowering or inflexion of the voice that the orator stirs the emotions of his hearers. 18. generals. Quintilian's Institutes. and to expression. expressing sublime thoughts with elevation. For.. 4 vols. 30. 02 Jan 2016 03:02:22 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .x.144 on Sat. '^Burmeister took over the sections on pronuntiatio and gestus wholesale: Ruhnke. as in dancing and gesture (the sections on gesture and pronunciation were taken over sometimes literatim by Renaissance music theorists'^). 167-73). pleasing thoughts with sweetness.17). and that the study of music has played a major role in the education of phdosophers.cit. chapter ten. From music and musicians the orator must learn and master variety of voice-inflexion. and rulers.13. 99f on the influence of Quintilian's concepts of moderatio and mediocritas on seventeenth century theorists.144. and in every expression of its art is in sympathy with the emotions of which it is the mouth-piece. pp. It is by the raising. became to the writers of this period at once a great classic and a work of immediate contemporary significance. Butler (London. and ordinary with gentle utterance. Quintilian made a survey of other studies necessary to complete the general education of the ideal orator. different emotions are roused even by the various musical instruments. H. by a happy confluence of interests.X.ibid. In Book One.5 Figures of rhetoric/Figures of music? that nrusicians and music theorists should look to this highly successful aesthetic system for guidance. tr. otherwise we must assume that "unlike music. oratory has no interest in the variation of arrangement and sound to suit the demands of the case" [" . This content downloaded from 128. as we know.250. of voice and phrase differs according as we wish to rouse the indignation or the pity of the judge. 1920). and the measure. non compositio et sonus in oratione quoque varie pro rerum modo adhibetur sicut in musice"]. Of particular relevance to music and rhetoric are the passages recalling that grammar and music were once united.''' with its plea for the orator to learn from the musician.

pp.31. totaque arte consentit cum eorum quae dicuntur adfectibus. [Thus. which have power to excite or assuage the emotions of mankind. and what is so specially the concern of music as this?" (I. Clearly the orator who has to declaim on such a topic must know something about the modes.X. Politics. 1340 a-b. flexus pertinet ad movendos audientium adfectus.") The Institutes also helped to transmit some of those famous stories of the power of music over human behaviour. or the Mixolydian with sad and grave ones. Book 8. . which were themselves. as tonal systems to which certain psychological or emotional responses were associated. Age.144. and appeals: Give me the knowledge of the principles of music.144 on Sat. ""Namque et voce et modulatione grandia elate. Praising the ancient music. for instance. quae ad movendos leniendosque adfectus plurimum valet. Republic.398ff. 02 Jan 2016 03:02:22 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . quasi-rhetorical. had written that musica movet affedus. Atqui in orando quoque intentio vocis. remissio. . "cognitionem rationis.6 RHETORICA of reproducing speech. of course. an idea that was diffused through many other channels.'^ were familiar to Renaissance music theorists. 'M. . aliaque et coUocationis et vocis (ut eodem utar verbo) modulatione concitationem iudicis." He gives three exempla: Pythagoras calmed some young men about to commit an outrage on a respectable famUy "by ordering the piper to change her strain to a spondaic measure". the supposed connections of the Phrygian mode with enthusiasm. Well known up to Paradise Lost and beyond. iucunda dulciter.x. 171-3). (Isidore of Sevdle. alia misericordiam petimus. quibus sermo exprimi non potest.] an orator will assuredly pay special attention to his voice. This content downloaded from 128. ed." "See Plato. cum etiam organis. Quintilian scorns its decadence in the Roman theatre. Book 3. Aristotle.32-3).x. or the Dorian with moderate and settled feelings. moderata leniter canit.250. adfici animos in diversum habitum sentiamus. with the result that the person officiating went mad and flung himself over a precipice" (I. non habebit imprimis curam vocis orator? Quid tarn musices proprium?" '"See Brandes p. which celebrated heroes and gods. 70 and note 8. 22-27.cit. Quintilian was much quoted in the Renaissance to support the argument that music affected the passions. and among the fictitious themes used for declamation exercises is one "in which it is supposed that a piper is accused of manslaughter because he had played a tune in the Phrygian mode as an accompaniment to a sacrifice. etc. Chrysippus knew a tune that would send children to sleep.

144. 02 Jan 2016 03:02:22 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . restored them. P. 111-121. also available in German. 1966. . Barner. 91-100." Journal of Renaissance and Baroque Music 1 (1946). devoting hundreds of pages to what it called pathologia. Walker has shown. 288-308. and. with additional bibliographical note. p. of how Timotheus could arouse and then subdue the martial spirits of Alexander. 239-69. pp. B." in H.144 on Sat. Rhetorik der Affekte. changing the measure. in that they were at the same time advertisements for the discipline and guarantees of success. yet concluded that the ornaments of rhetoric were far more successful in arousing the passions. 81-90. und fruhen 17. E Plett. Englische Wirkungsiisthetik im Zeitalter der Renaissance (Tubingen. or Martianus Capella. as Der musikalische Humanismus im 16. 1975)."" This interest in the psychological effects of music was typical of Renaissance humanism. Friihneuhochdeutsche Beispiele zur rhetoriscnen This content downloaded from 128. Jahrhundert. . or Macrobius.) Die nicht mehr schonen Kiinste (Munchen. 1-63.^^ it is not surprising that music's power "Ruhnke." English Miscellany 2 (1951). "Some English Poems in Praise of Music. 1969). echoed the traditional systematization according to their use of semi-tones. and 3 (1942). transmitted through such works as the De musica (long attributed to Plutarch). Deutsche BarockpoetiK und rhetorische Tradition (Bad Homburg. as D. too: "Montaigne's father . of Orpheus and Linus. pp. 55-71." The Music Review 2 (1941). Joachim Burmeister.250. or how Terpander quelled a rebellion. ^'See Joachim E>yck. H. Zu Theorie und Darstellung der Passiones im 17. in his Musica autoschediastike (1601). 1969).7 Figures of rhetoric/Figures of music? yet were not unanimously received.'* These had an analogous function to the myths of famous orators who had demonstrated the power of eloquence by some remarkable exploit. Studien zur Leidenschaftsdarstellung und zum Argumentationsverfahren bei Hoffman von Hoffmanswaldau (Munchen.. Ticht-Kunst. 1949). pp. "See D. pp. had his son put to sleep and awakened by music. 1972). 7ff.^° and since rhetoric in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries went into the psychology of the passions in extraordinary detail. 220-227. This rich study is essential reading. 1-13. Wortkampf. and "The Aims of Bait's Acad^mie de poesie et de musique. cit. pp. Walker. having noted that Lassus could use the Phrygian mode equally well for a church motet (Quam benignus) as for a German secular song {Im Mayen hort man die Hanen kreyen). R. rev. especially pp. P. They were taken very seriously. "See James Hutton. "Der Affekt als literarischer Gegenstand. op. for instance. Erwin Rotermund."' In addition to Quintilian's exempla of the powers of music there were the familiar stories. Stolt. Jahrhundert (Kassel and Basel. 120f. "Hutton. 20. Jauss (ed." while the lutenist Francesco di Milano "reduced a dinner-party first to melancholy. then to ecstasy. "Musical Humanism in the sbcteenth and early seventeenth centuries. and Affekt und Artistik. p p .

inflat ac modulatur. timere. 99ff. VIII pref. Miserere"). rightly stresses this point. as Quintilian had said—became intensely studied and highly valued. 13-17. pp. each with a dozen or more subdivisions. dum grandia elate. is developed by the union of art.^' Hans-Heinrich Unger. so music theorists echoed this development. p. 76. trasci. who joined to it the familiar injunction from the Rhetorica ad Herennium that music. 02 Jan 2016 03:02:22 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . with Minervius' praise of the composer. ^^ Comments on music's emotional power are rather general at the beginning of our period. like the other arts. too. for instance. liberatos legimus"). Thus the Basel humanist Minervius. Ad Herennium. and went on to divide the passions into three main groups. 1534) praised the composer's ability to respond to different emotions in the text in terms that closely echo Quintilian's praise of the orator's simdar power. p. 5f.250. 1974). cf. Gaudere. 1650) Athanasius Kircher gave the by now obligatory list of extraordinary emotional transformations that music could effect ("ex furiosis mansuetos. Unger also drew attention to the work of Wolfgang Schonsleder. who has given the fullest account of this topic as yet. cit. ex libidinosis castos. ridere. as rhetoric evolved a more complex psychology of the passions. I. note 13 above. Laetari. Architedonices musices Praxis (Frankfurt. pp. totaque arte cum affectibus consentit": cit. 1975). in music as in rhetoric. The Rhetoric of the Arts. tonis suis inspiret. ex gravissimis infirmitatibus ad integram sanitatem reductos. elocutio—the most difficult yet the most important part. iucunda dulciter. doctrine. in his preface to Ludwig Senfl's Varia carmina genera (Niirnberg. lacrymari. a Daemone denique insessos. moderata leniter. 99. and Gerard Le Coat.8 RHETORICA over the emotions became one of the most ubiquitous concepts in music theory over 250 years at least. ejulare. ^'Ruhnke. 63.144. p. Gurlitt. in 1613. cited two music theorists of the seventeenth century who give lists of passions that should be directly imitated in music (Nucius. especially pp. This content downloaded from 128. 1550-1650 (Bern and Frankfurt.144 on Sat. flere. For this reason. "On writing the history of elocutio. In his Musurgia universalis (Rome.3.^^ a passage also echoed by Michael Praetorius in his Syntagma musicum (1615). and exercise. Unger.ii. lugere. "quod ceu Poeta quidam egregius et verbis gestum et eorum qui audiunt animi affectus. tristia moeste. 1-77. 21-2 and note 66. lists "primum verba affectuum." But later in the seventeenth century. which has been overiooked by some historians of rhetoric: see Vickers. ^QuintUian. ^Brandes." op. "Compare the quotation from Quintilian.

dolendum est primum ipsi tibi.250. See also H. das Klavier zu spielen (1759). and Institutes. ii. 115f. a tradition that is summed up and transposed on to a higher plane (perhaps. Buelow. passim. P. Rhetoric. H.^"^ The power of music to represent and to move the passions in just the same way that rhetoric does is stressed over and over again. xlv. that in the eighteenth century discussions of the passion-arousing figures "jeder Unterschied von Musik und Rhetorik ausgeloscht erscheint" (p. 189 f. The Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association. on Quartz: Unger. die Freude. Bach. on Mattheson: Unger. in that more is claimed for the identity of music and rhetoric than could ever be substantiated) in Johann Niklaus Forkel. 459. Versuch Uber die wahre Art. pp.^' From the titles of these treatises alone it can be seen that the claims for the importance of rhetoric in music were made by theorists. pp. die Geduldsamkeit. Some of them echo the famous injunction to the writer by Horace. Kretzschmar. die Furcht.144. you must first feel grief yourself. Ulf. you must first feel grief yourself] Mattheson wrote in 1737: Weil nun aber unstreitig das rechte Ziel aller Melodie nichts anders ist. and G. 30 (1973). citing Johann Nucius. so kann mir ja keiner dieses Ziel treffen. Unger says. II.9 Figures of rhetoric/Figures of music? universalis (Ingolstadt. 1788).^ ["If you would have me weep. 1631). die Trauer und die Barmherzigkeit". 37ff. 102 f: "If you would have me weep. "Music. als eine solche Vergniigung des Gehors. J. pp. 109. pp. ^Ars Poetica. from Leibniz in 1676 to Johann Mattheson in Der vollkommene Capellmeister (1739). Musicae poeticae sive de compositione cantus (Gorlitz. ^'On Leibniz see Gurlitt. der keine ^Unger. 71-3. without critical comment. die Kampfeswut. Peters-Jahrbuch 15(1911). p. "Allgemeines und Besonderes zur Affektenlehre". der Zorn. die Flote traversiere zu spielen (1745). p. the feelings represented are "die Frommigkeit. die Hartherzigkeit. Fairclough. E. 250-259. This content downloaded from 128. Loeb Library (London. Johann Scheibe in Der Critische Musicus (1745)." tr. 1929). 79. in the Ars Poetica: Si vis me flere. by historians of music. too high a plane. 1613) and pp. C. der Ekel. on Scheibe see Brandes. and the Concept of the Affections: a Selective Bibliography. 76 and Unger passim. the German historians cited in notes 1 and 21 above. composers and instrumentalists. on Bach and Forkel: Unger. VI." Notes. p .144 on Sat. p. in fact. Allgemeine Geschichte der Musik (Gottingen. dadurch die Affecten rege werden. 02 Jan 2016 03:02:22 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 104ff. Other classical loci for this idea are De Oratore. Johann Quantz in Versuch einer Anweisung. 26-36. R. and by practitioners. which gives musical examples of ten different feelings represented in music. 107).

"Coclicus: Brandes. S.250. E. 9. durch blosse Klange. 1965)." this theory did highlight the significance of the text and the importance of adjusting the music to it. 02 Jan 2016 03:02:22 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . turbida. forthcoming from Oxford University Press. dergestalt auszudrucken wissen. res and verba. mit alien Ein. ed. was the text. irata. Bach: "Indem ein Musicus nicht anders riihren kann. Unger. seu deprecantis oratio sit seu laeta. so muss er nothwendig sich selbst in alle Affecten setzen konnen. H. 288 if. welche er bey seinen Zuhorern erregen will. incendat.^' But not only performers were evaluated in rhetorical terms: composers also. as in Sir Thomas More's description of the Utopians' church music: Verum una in re baud dubio longo nos intervallo praecellunt. Adams translates: "In one respect. dass der Zuhorer daraus. quod omnis eorum musica. Bach gave the same advice to the musician in 1759. als ob es eine wirklicher Rede ware. often impassioned. In Defence of Rhetoric. because all their music. p. ja kaum an irgend eine Leidenschafft gedenckt. pp. 236. who knew how to express all the passions (omnes omnium affectus exprimere). pp. E.144 on Sat. ita naturales adfectus imitatur et exprimit. ut animos auditorum mirum in modum adficiat.. 118). C.144. and J. M. Surtz. ohne Worten. V^ird er aber geruhrt. op. they are beyond doubt far ahead of us. den Trieb. renders and expresses natural feelings. p. und will auch andere riihren. Brandes. E. R. 84. J. and Brian Vickers: "Music and Rhetoric in the Renaissance: the Triumph of the Word. and Monteverdi. C. sive quam voce modulantur humana. Hexter (New Haven and London. as in performing the duties of prodesse and deledare. sive quae personator organis. '^More. selber nicht bewegt wird." in Vickers. however. 226 f. er sey dann selbst geruhrt. so muss er alle Neigungen des Hertzens. "See Walker. and deren Zusammenfassung. cit.und Abschnitten vollig begreifen und verstehen kann. This content downloaded from 128. Utopia.. P. the poem or fabula that contained an image of human behaviour.10 RHETORICA Absicht darauf hat. den Sinn. P. ita sonus accommodatur ad rem. lugubris. placabilis.^ The first humanist writers on music believed that the main agent in arousing the feelings. er giebt ihnen seine Empfindungen zu verstehen und bewegt sie solchergestalt am besten zur Mit-Empfindung" (cit. While leading to an excessively language-dominated conception of music..'^ "Mattheson. with admirable results in the work of such composers as Josquin des Prez. penetrat. and perfectly matches the sound to the subject. Orlando di Lasso.. Kern melodischer Wissenschaft (1737): cit. Those perennial categories of ancient rhetoric. die Meynung und den Nachdruck. were revived and united with sonus. p. 61 ff. ita rei sensum quendam melodiae forma repraesentat. both vocal and instrumental. 72 f. Coclicus praised Niclas Payen as one of the kings of music.

incendat. tr H. tr W. visual quality of metaphor recurs in many rhetoric books. II. 311. II. Loeb Classical Library (London. D. troubled. xxxiv. 29. 45. In literature. Ill." This description of the dynamic. ^Rhetorica ad Herennium. making your hearers see things)" (1411 b 21 ff). mournful. ^^ Rhetoric.e.. which is sometimes described with the help of another rhetorical category. Caplan. whereby things absent are presented to our imagination with such extreme vividness that they seem actually to be beWhether the words of the hymn are cheerful. "adficiat. Aristotle writes. Another influential rhetorical concept connected with visual imagery is enargeia. 19. In such early humanist praises of the power of music the proper "accommodation" of verba to res seems to have an enormous emotional impact attributed to it. whether deriving from Aristotle or not. give special distinction to things and place them vividly before the eye" (translatio permovendis animis plerumque et signandis rebus ac sub oculos subiiciendis reperta est^^). p.144 on Sat. XI (Oxford. penetrat. and the Romans visions. Adams (New York.^^ The words chosen "ought to set the scene before our eyes" (1410 b 34). 343. Rhys Roberts. This content downloaded from 128. in The Works of Aristotle. 433-5. 1954)." although they do express traditional rhetorical concepts of arousing and inflaming the feelings to virtuous action. "by 'making them see things' I mean using expressions that represent things as in a state of activity. given the different implications they have today. ed. In Book III of his Rhetoric Aristode had singled out as one of the excellences of metaphor that it can set something "more intimately before our eyes" (1405 b 11). and Quintilian agrees that "metaphor is designed to move the feelings. Understandably. p. vi. supplicatory. cit. Ross. 1975).11 Figures of rhetoric/Figures of music? The three concluding verbs recall many classical texts guaranteeing the affective force of rhetoric. Quintilian explains that appeal to the visual imagination has strong emotional power: There are certain experiences which the Greeks call (t^avrdcnai. IV. p. 02 Jan 2016 03:02:22 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . tr R. fruitfully enough. M. or angry. In the Ad Herennium we read that "metaphor is used for the sake of creating a vivid mental picture" (Ea sumitur rei ante oculos ponendae causa^).250. vol.144. the music represents the meaning through the melody so admirably that it penetrates and inspires the minds of the ardent hearers": Utopia. ed. or clearness (sometimes confused. and the wished-for "liveliness" will be achieved "by using the proportional type of metaphor and by being graphic (i. pp. Adams has not translated literally the three concluding verbs. 87. that of vividness or visual intensity. 1924). "VI. '5VIII. W. with energeia).

1982). ^The Garden of Eloquence.250. have such power over their hearers that "our emotions will be no less actively stirred than if we were present at the actual occurrence. 61-2. words and actions are presented in the most realistic manner"." for these figures "do attend upon affections. 1954)." ^^ Given the connotations of emotional intensity associated with setting ideas "before the eyes. Glareanus. .. "On the Practicalities of Renaissance Rhetoric. 6 1 2. ed. at pp.Y. in The Garden of Eloquence (1593). iii. by ranking him with Virgil: No one has more effectively expressed the passions of the soul in music than this symphonist. . demonstratio. humanists who praise composers in these terms are paying them the highest possible compliment. Fla.12 RHETORICA fore our very eyes. ekphrasis. as ready handmaids at commandement to expresse most aptly whatsoever the heart doth affect or suffer. The important point to note is that these were usually classed among the figurae sententiae. 245-7. vol."^^ As he says elsewhere. with his natural facility.144. whereas the former thrusts itself upon our notice. This content downloaded from 128. It is the man who is really sensitive to such impressions who will have the greatest power over the emotions. pp. descriptio. . Ill. must possess. 137-8 on the general agreement among rhetoricians of all schools as to the figurae sententiae being the best means of arousing the feelings.144 on Sat. since the latter merely lets itself be seen. For just as Maro. W G. facs. 02 Jan 2016 03:02:22 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .. evidentia. To quote one typical Renaissance rhetoric book. N. . 133-141. The specific verbal figures which communicated visual impressions included illustratio. Rhetoric Revalued (Binghampton. enargeia or "vivid illustration . and—since sight was said to be the strongest of the senses—were granted the greatest emotional power. or artist. Crane (Gainesville.). See also Brian Vickers." and the affective force deriving from the proper fitting of verba to res. the Swiss humanist. in the rhetoric-dominated culture of the sixteenth century. is something more than mere clearness."^' Enargeia is a general imaginative quality that the orator. Henry Peacham writes that such figures make the oration "verie sharp and vehement. pp. by which the sundrie affections and passions of the mind are properly and elegantly uttered. pp. was accustomed to adapt his poem to his subject so as to set weighty matters before the eyes of his readers with close-packed ''VIII. praised Josquin des Prez in his Dodekachordon (1547). 120." in Vickers (ed. Those who have "this power of vivid imagination. whereby things. hypotyposis. .

conveying delight and pleasure. . notulis incendit. Music in the Renaissance. This kind of music they call musica reservata. 220-1. . The Latin reads "Nemo hoc Symphoneta affectus animi in cantu efficatius expressit. in expressing the force of the individual affections. in longdrawn tones. pp. where his matter requires it. quemadmodum res gravels coacervatis spondeis ante oculos ponere. 1979). translates: "Lassus expresses these psalms so appropriately. but Glareanus was also well-known. O. in Reese. ora ad altri af- "Tr. 175. The Concise Oxford History of Music (London. rev. fitting res to verba and also producing intense visual images. so our Josquin. and humanist teachings on rhetoric offered a general model. adapting where it was necessary [the music] to the subject and the words.144. Ita hie noster Jodocus aliquando accelerantibus ac praepotibus. fleeting ones with unmixed dactyls. 1940). '"' Later in the century. in Adrianus Petit Coclico. 513. perhaps. M." Gerald Abraham renders: "music 'conforming to the whole text and to each word.144 on Sat. p. thinks that Quickelberg's source was More. now advances with impetuous and precipitate notes. " (p. 1950). expressing every emotion and putting things before the imagination as if actually happening'": Abraham. . B. in Strunk (ed. for with their help composers "che praticano in accomodare U canto alia parole" would have the power "di commuovere gli uditori ora al pianto. 317-9. pp. Leben und Beziehung eines nach Deutschland emigrierten ]osquinschiilers (The Hague. expressing the power of the different emotions. presenting the subject as if acted before the eyes [rem quasi actum ante oculos ponendo]. the thoughts and words with lamenting and plaintive tones. (London. This content downloaded from 128. according to necessity. 1954).^' Rhetoric has given writers on music a concept of expressive decorum. van Crevel. 154 f. . . in placing the object almost alive before the eyes. ed. velocitatem meris dactylis exprimere. 1547 edition). . now .) Source Readings in Music History (New York. . pp. Palisca (1). p. Ut enim Maro naturae felicitate carmen rebus aequare est solitus. We meet the combination again in the prefall that the Dutch humanist Samuel Quickelberg provided to an ornamented manuscript of the Penitential Psalms of Orlando di Lasso: He expressed [the content] so aptly with lamenting and plaintive melody. aliquando tardantibus rem phthongis intonat. in accommodating. ora al furore. 02 Jan 2016 03:02:22 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Strunk. that one cannot know whether the sweetness of the emotions more adorns the plaintive melodies. to use words suited to his every subject. the Italian theorist G. Gustav Reese.250. or the plaintive melodies the sweetness of the emotions. ubi res postulat. Doni argued that if music were to be "efficace nel muovere gli affetti" then it had to use the classical modes. "Tr.13 Figures of rhetoric/Figures of music? spondees. 362 of Basle.

143. der Sprache und den Affekten der gebietende Platz in der Musik eingeraumt wird" (p. are "music expressive of the emotions delineated by the text" (p. •"Unger summarizes the evidence as follows: "Gleichzeitig weisen aber alle diese Zeugnisse darauf hin.. a few years later. ch'ai dolci accenti so far tranquillo ogni turbati corre.144. Palisca. Cartella musicale nel canto figurato (1614)." The rhetorical concept of movere could be invoked for the constituent elements of music. It is perfectly appropriate that Adriano Banchieri should write. . whose work on music and rhetoric has extended our knowledge of the field. In L'antica musica ridotta alia moderna prattica (Rome.250. now quickly. Walker. 514). " An anonymous De musica (between 1559 and 1571) described the advantages of chromaticism. ed or di nobil' ira ed or d'amore poss' inflamar le piCi gelate menti. '-Banchiferi. p. ^Cit. p. op. ibid. dass jetzt in der Reservata dem Wort. p." in sorrow or passion. 123 ff. cit." Now the newer school of composers "let the poetic •" Trattato delta Musica Scenica. Brandes attempted to distinguish musica reservata as a shift from the arousal This content downloaded from 128. 02 Jan 2016 03:02:22 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Reese. 1555) Vicentino urged the performers of his day to use freedom of rhythm by appealing to the example of the orator: the movement of the measure should be changed to slower or faster according to the words. pp. and this manner of changing the measure has great effect on the soul."" Claude V. 150.144 on Sat.14 RHETORICA fetti simili. more cautious."^ that it was an "experimental style that arose as the classical technique of certain followers of Josquin des Pres disintegrated under the pressure of text representation. that still somewhat mysterious term used for newer styles of composition in the mid-sixteenth century. relates these and other innovations to the musica reservata. and surprising harmonic changes: they "do not allow the listener to become numb but excite him with the newness of the sound to pay closer attention. then. cit. based on Quickelberg's praise of Lassus. 28). cit. now softly. 119. now slowly. He argues. believes that the only firm connotations. for in his oration he speaks now loudly. deve operare con I'armonia gl'affetti del' Oratione. the Prologue to Monteverdi's Orfeo (1607) is a musical rhetorician: lo la musica son. and thus greatly moves the listeners. and some scholars would agree. that the modern composer should imitate the orator. sighs or questions."" In this sense. The experience of the orator teaches us to do this. Palisca (1). Unger. "Cit. and "neir esprimiere un Madrigale Moteto 6 quah sieno altre parole.

pp. 135-141. dem die musikalische Form als Dolmetscherin unterworfen wird.144. resulting in an undervaluing of the specifically musical resources of music. 159. is Maria R. His identification here. man darf angesichts der einseitigen Ausrichtung des musikalischen Ausdrucks auf literarisch-an-schauliche Vorwurfe. 1530-1630 (Chapel Hill. is still so fluid and indeterminate that it seems of dubious value to apply it to another art. absonderlich aber in dem neu erfundenen und bisher immer mehr ausgezierten Stylo Recitativo sie wohl einer Rhetorica zu vergleichen.C. "'Pahsca (1). of feeling to the representation of feeling: "An die Stelle des alten 'Affectus movere' tritt das 'Affectus exprimere.' Die Musik will nicht erregen sondern darstellen. This content downloaded from 128. auf ein nicht unmittelbar Musikalisches. came to write a treatise on his master's composition teaching. 1979). By the time that Christoph Bernhard.. and felt. For a good recent discussion of the concept in the visual arts (but with some very questionable applications of it to literature and music) see John Shearman. of musica reservata with "mannerism. the favourite pupU of Heinrich Schiitz."* The rhetoricization of music continued unabated in some circles— most of all German—in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. and it was subsequently used by Robert.""^ While he cogendy analysed the changes in compositional techniques that can be associated with this concept. E. sondern Gegenstandliches. the anthology collected by Ruhnke. As Wdibald Gurlitt has said of this development. Wolff in 1955 (Palisca [1]. 76. 76). 1967). it invoked rhetorical ideas. "Gurlitt. in 1650. A wideranging and vigorous study. Certainly. its subordination to a literary text. von einer Literarisierung und Rhetorisierung der Musik sprechen. N.144 on Sat. Mannerism in Italian Music and Culture. Mannerism (Harmondsworth. from art history. pp. too complex for a brief summary.*' What is undeniable is that several different influences converged to estabhsh a validation of the word over—and in some cases almost against—the music. p. but then other and very different musical traditions did the same." seems to me extremely doubtful. Middx. 02 Jan 2016 03:02:22 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .. Yet the term itself. I am not sure that musica reservata (or "mannerism") can be seen as a specifically rhetorical movement. and at greater length in Palisca (2). . p. Gurlitt had used the term in 1944 to describe the age of the "stile rappresentativo" (p.'•^ Figures of rhetoric/Figures of music? text dictate the rules. for instance. dass wegen Menge der Figuren. Programmatisches. 159 note). Maniates. 71). Damit ist der Kern des Reservastils beriihrt" (p. he could describe the enormous development of the expressive resources of music in wholly rhetorical terms: bis dass auf unsere Zeiten die Musica so hoch kommen. •"See.250. But of course the passions cannot be aroused without being first represented.

once established seldom changed. praised Johann Sebastian Bach for his complete knowledge of "die Telle und Vorteile. pp. Stanley Sadie (London. As the alliance between rhetoric and music was taken more literally. that went with them. "Rhetoric and Music. to more dynamic variations. music had no option but to borrow terminology from language. Gallus Dressier referred to a formal organization of music that would adopt the divisions of an oration into exordium. which. including chromaticism. or justified. for instance—much more responsive to the meaning of the w^ords. The rise of humanism. Guriitt. or images. medium. and rhetoric. Buelow. This content downloaded from 128. in a manuscript entitled Praecepta musicae poeticae. the movements in sixteenth century music away from isorhythmic medieval polyphony.144 on Sat. where the musical structures seem at times to exist independently of the text. Willibald Gurlitt has listed some of the terms in music that have been derived from the language arts: they include "Cit. out of a desire to increase the prominence given to the words of the text. welche die Ausarbeihing eines musikalischen Stiicks mit der Rednerkunst gemein hat. to a counterpoint—as taught by Zarlino. both for their meaning and for the feelings. Professor of Poetics and Rhetoric at Leipzig University. first propagated the theoretical association between these two sister arts. und den es wahrscheinlich je geben wird. 794." and Forkel called Bach "den grossten musikalischen Deklamator. 793-803. and from regular rhythms. from the strict observance of modal conventions to more flexibility in harmony. at p.144. and to the final triumph of comprehensibility in the more austere. and the consolidation of rhetoric. both composition and performance. ed. 1980). In the practice of music.RHETORICA 16 Sucty years later. All these changes were made. 77-8. 02 Jan 2016 03:02:22 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . * George J. and finis. pp.""' II This brief survey has established some of the forms taken by the alhance of music and rhetoric over a period of two-and-a-half centuries. a further dimension strengthened the alliance. classically-inspired theories of monody." ^ In forming its aesthetic vocabulary. grammar." The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Johann Birnbaum. den es je gegeben hat. XV. poetry. specifically verbal compositional practices were—one is tempted to say—superimposed on music. "As early as 1563.250.

composition". who also records that the oldest notational system for Gregorian chant. p. repetitio". 140 and note (a very interesting analysis of Schiitz's sparing use of the pause for intense moments in his Passions: he only uses the general pause seven times in his whole work). pundum.17 Figures of rhetoric/Figures of music? "theme. for example. for in grammar punctuation is used to mark off sense-groups that belong together. which are perceived by the ear. which obviously has a much greater importance in music than in oratory. commenting on the highly elaborate claims of Mattheson in 1739 to be able to analyze music in terms of grammar and syntax. by setting the final note of the text a semitone higher (an effect already expressed in Gregorian chant). Bach. Both use pauses. 65. exposition. pp. metrics. p. such as the representation of death or eternity. distinctio. period. This cannot be the same in music. flores. " O n the pause see Unger. pp.^' Since both oratory and music are events in time. one could add trope. to enforce the similarity." He prints a musical example from J. . adding commas. d. 02 Jan 2016 03:02:22 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . pp. 135. On the general similarities between music and oratory see Unger. motive. a semicolon.144 on Sat. . 30f. as the Prologue to the rustics' play in A Midsummer Night's Dream demonstrates. a kind of punctuation system ("ekphonetischen Zeichen") applied to elocutio and from thence to the rhythms of music. articulation. 17ff and Ruhnke. and prose. S. sie wird musikalisch deutlich und verstandlich. '^Unger.250. pp. 138.144. style. 156. and Ruhnke. music easily adapts a question. 70 (Beethoven noted in connection with his "Egmont" Overture: "Der Tod konnte ausgedriickt werden durch eine Pause").^ Yet there remains a big difference. 133ff. rhythm. This content downloaded from 128. color. 137. accent. episode. figure. "die Neumenschrift. phrase. and a fullstop." owes its existence to rhetorical practice. '•'Unger." A number of sixteenth century theorists discussed the pause." Such general analogies can be illuminating: but the more closely the analogy is pushed the more danger of it breaking down altogether. earlier periods used "clausula. for the semantic level does not exist there ='Gurlitt. Unger. . places of great dramatic significance. and here again we can trace an increasing use of a formal device to underline the meaning of the text. diminutio. performing arts. 22. and others. 64-6.h. wenn sie gewisse Einschnitte und Ruhe-Punkte aufweist. p p . need punctuation systems. states that "Jede musikalische Periode erhalt erst einen Sinn. then there are certain very obvious analogies. Failure to divide according to the correct sense results in ambiguity and confusion. Pauses are to be made at important points in the text.

and failure to punctuate. see Unger. who devoted fifty pages to showing how musical invention. 1719). 39-45. which was conventionally divided into between five and eight parts. suggests that he use four "Hufnagel" (aciculas). or resort to alcohol. pp. Vogt. more complex. elocutio. or phrase properly in music will spoil elegance or clarity. 57-8. A later theorist cited by Unger. and responsible. put them in a random order. and sometimes bizarre hints were given to the composer. could use the loci topici.250. and the text further determined.144. like rhetorical invention. pushes the models drawn from grammar and rhetoric to the point where analogy becomes identification. Heinichen. not of something identical. and Mattheson. It is surely in the nature of things that we can describe one art in the language of another only up to a point. or sad-and-thus-slow. Elocutio determined the overall structure of an oration. " O n Vogt. in much greater detail by Mattheson in 1739."* As for elocutio. Inventio and dispositio were usually thought to be given by the text chosen for setting. but as the treatises on musical rhetoric in the eighteenth century followed rhetoric's natural tendency to increasing elaboration. an idea developed. A metaphor is a translation of something different. in his Conclave Thesauri magnae artis musicae (Prague. the mood of the music and its tempo. it is that the comparatum and the comparans must be different. pronuntiatio. through its meaning. both in terms of the "syntax" of music and its "meaning."'' But if there is one thing that is sure about the application of models from one sphere to another. was the ad-vice of Johann David Heinichen. the standard doctrine of the "places" of invention. and write musical themes imitating the resulting pattern. pp. within such broad categories as happy-therefore-fast. This belief that the text provided the first two stages of composition is still found in Athanasius Kircher in 1650. bend them into distinct shapes. Forkel (1788). No doubt the general processes of creation in rhetoric—inventio. that was assimilated to music both in general and particular terms. This content downloaded from 128. typically enough. 02 Jan 2016 03:02:22 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Early humanist theorists enthusiastically identi- ''Unger.144 on Sat. dispositio. or throw dice. in Der Generalbass in der Composition (1728).18 RHETORICA (a question begged by Unger with his use of the word "Sinn"). but cannot destroy meaning. memoria—could be adapted to music—given some ingenuity—without causing any great distortion. More traditional.

a rather unhelpful instance of fitting numerical categories together. Yet when this analogy is applied in detail difficulties arise. gave the first extended list of specific musical-rhetorical figures. defines confutatio in music as the removal of oppositions. the genera styli: Burmeister. and an end. especially pp. accepts this identification. 135ff for Rhau (1538). by which one's opponents' arguments are refuted. 02 Jan 2016 03:02:22 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . are the sections usually found in the middle of an oration. working from the general position that works of music. ibid. But the major challenge to the theorists of musical rhetoric has been. Where music theory can draw on such general concepts as decorum. p.19 Figures of rhetoric/Figures of music? fied the eight parts of an oration with the eight tones of the scale. Ruhnke. in the lore of the tropes and figures of rhetoric. can use the terms exordium and conclusion quite broadly. The pioneer in this attempt at cross-fertilization was Joachim Burmeister who. as he does others.. p. " O n decorum: Dressier. including false harmonies. p.144 on Sat. and Dressier (1563). in a series of books published between 1599 and 1606. 31 for Dressier ^Musica poetica. and performed the first (and for many years the only) rhetorical analysis 5'See Ruhnke pp. Schneegass (1591). a middle. all too easily.'* Even more questionable. This content downloaded from 128. and remains. or sequential movement-in-time nature of the two arts. in 1563. Dressier. cit. while confirmatio involves the repetition and variation of musical material—a notably weak sequence. 137. 56. like those of language. 52. Ruhnke. lUff. and one's own confirmed." Although more elaborate attempts have been made to link musical composition with the structure of an oration. 65-73: the increasingly assertive tone of these pages is almost enough on its own to generate scepticism.144. also Unger. 72.'^ Later writers matched the linear. have a beginning. never at a loss for proofs of the identity of music and rhetoric. p. to apply the techniques of elocutio down to the last detail. but by 1606 Joachim Burmeister is already applying to the musical exordium the injunction from rhetoric that it should be a captatio benevolentiae. ed. winning the listener's attention (yes) and sympathy (how?). confutatio and confirmatio. But note Burmeister's strained attempt to apply the grammatical vice of solecismus to music. distinguishing no less than eleven types: ibid.250. "Unger. 106ff. in musical terms. '"See Butler (2).."' I am bound to say that I find them misguided and unconvincing." it can adapt alien ideas without either distorting them or compromising its own language. or the three styles. Butler (1) p. Who are the "enemies" in a musical composition? Mattheson.

"On writing the history of elocutio. and Palisca (2). the figures are sometimes described as the "colours" or "ornaments" of rhetoric. 1601). Mattheson. arrived at by including linguistic. while Unger. or dispensed with. 1606). Sister Miriam Joseph has demonstrated that Shakespeare knew.'' For just as literary aesthetics. "The Functions of Rhetorical Figures" (pp. The best account of his life and work is given by Martin Ruhnke. Synopsis (Rostock. tedious. Wood- This content downloaded from 128. and Musica poetica (Rostock.'' In handbooks to rhetoric it is quite common to be confronted with several hundred figures. for over two thousand years should be enough on its own to make us want to understand why they were cultivated with such dedication. giving tables listing up to 163 figures of rhetoric. "See Vickers." Comparative Criticism 3 (1981). such as Kircher. especially Chapter 3. and the discussion of forty-six figures in detail. and above all eighteenth centuries. Table 2. Unger. later writers in the seventeenth. For his analyses of the Lassus motet see Brandes. Vogt. distasteful. 80f. (Rostock." Burmeister discussed some twenty-six figures. and Forkel. and used. can be seen as the apotheosis of this tradition. "Burmeister published Hypomnematum Musicae Poeticae . Scheible. ' ' O n the functional concept of ornament in the Renaissance see W. and Butler (1). and to modern minds that might seem as if they could be stripped off. pp. the fullest account. 6 8 90. which reprints part four of the preceding. extended the hst greatiy. pp.144 on Sat. . in 1941. repeating and reworking much material from his first book. and one sbcteenth century handbook claims to discuss over five thousand ornaments of speech—a staggering total. over two hundred rhetorical figures. and appendix 3. 92-3 and the discussion pp. pp. To modern students. 1601). however. 94-8. 151-4. 64-7. or music. pp. Musica autoschediastike . 1599). and the word was often used to identify the proper language of a literary work. poetic. "See Table 1. the doctrine of the figures can seem incomprehensible. There are difficulties.20 RHETORICA of a whole piece of music.250. and rhetorical units of every kind. 83-131). Yet older concepts of ornatus were more functional than ours. and Classical Rhetoric in English Poetry (London and New York. but there are discussions of his musical rhetoric in Brandes. pp. or both. H. Musicae practicae (Rostock. and users of rhetoric books." Yet the mere awareness of the enormous importance attached to them by teachers of rhetoric. even well-informed historians of rhetoric. notably a motet by Orlandus Lassus.144. pp. grammatical. To begin with. 02 Jan 2016 03:02:22 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Ruhnke. which sums up all his work. Palisca (2). 1970). 162-6. although I am bound to say that in places he seems to me to overstate the congruence of the rhetorical analysis and the musical effect.

p. Ong. tr A. p. having thrown in something quite irrational . namely to represent. so the figures of rhetoric were thought of as being deviations from normal speech ("trope" means a turning of an idea from one area of application to another.144. "Longinus. "as no man is sick in thought upon one thing but for some vehemency or distress. or intensifications of normal speech. On the Sublime. or the omission of expected connectives {asyndeton). 1912). and W. as in the Latin name for metaphor. or at the end: epistrophe). p. in E. because those who really are angry or afraid or violently irritated or in the grip of jealousy or some other passion come forward with one idea and then rush off to some other. 02 Jan 2016 03:02:22 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Vittorino da Feltre and other Humanist Educators (Cambridge. p. 1897. This content downloaded from 128.250." The disorder in their syntax reflects the disorder in their psyche. Gilbert in Literary Criticism: Plato to Dryden (Detroit. The schemes or figures of rhetoric embraced such linguistic phenomena as distinctive word repetitions (the same word at the beginning of succeeding clauses or sentences: anaphora. 12. then. 1599). 139.144 on Sat.). Hudson (Princeton. Rhetoric. conceived of the language of literature as being above everyday speech. P Corbett (ed. J. H. has codified the linguistic consequences of upset emotions. 1969). 1962). . 230. But the important point to grasp is that the figures were not mere deviations: they had a purpose. 174. and others add the important corollary that the figures are merely the representation of strong feelings as observed from life. Several other writers on rhetoric give such psychological definitions of the figures of rhetoric. and Studies in Education during the Age of the Renaissance 1400-1600 (Cambridge. translatio).21 Figures of rhetoric/Figures of music? u p to the time of the Romantics at least. John Hoskins wrote in 1599." ** Of hyperbaton Longinus wrote in his book On the Sublime (a work of enormous popularity in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries) that it consists in a violent disruption of the natural order of words and ideas. 1935). "* Directions for Speech and Style (c. so in speech there is no repetition without importance. or dislocations of normal word order (hyperbaton). H. or arouse strong feeling. The figures of repetition must be chosen to stress the words important either to the writer or to the character represented as using them: for. 132-4. Rhetorical Analyses of Literary Works (Oxford. ed. §22. 1906). and seems to show the most unmistakable signs of violent feeling. pp. ward.

and it is easy to see the fundamental identity between Monteverdi's description of his stile concitato in 1638 as the use of very rapid repeated notes to convey "passion.™ The metaphor from sword-thrusts to describe the force of a figure recurs in Quintdian.xxviii. tr.21). IX.144 on Sat. 295f.144. Roche. "^Cit. The composer could only emulate the orator. or ploke. ^Ad H. and so arouse. 99f. Caplan.. Martianus Capella. pp.250. and many Renaissance theorists. Classical Rhetoric. the passions was reiterated with increasing conviction." All writers on rhetoric agree that "there is no more effective method of exciting the emotions than an apt use of figures" (Quintilian. and very influential. colon (a brief and incisive clause that needs another to complete the sense) and articulus. ' M d H.. 107. 109. W. The Madrigal (London. J.22 RHETORICA Throughout the discussion of the links between rhetoric and psychology in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the ability of this group of figures (the figures of thought). p." Again this anonymous author writes of conduplicatio. where the flow of discourse is broken by the force of expression (as in his example: "You have destroyed your enemies by jealousy. perfidy"). influence. the repetition of one or more words for stress or appeal: The reiteration of the same word makes a deep impression upon the hearer and inflicts a major wound upon the opposition—as if a weapon should repeatedly pierce the same part of the body. p. injuries. "See Vickers. This content downloaded from 128. tr. 02 Jan 2016 03:02:22 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . while in the second his body is as it were pierced with quick and repeated thrusts. and other violent emotions"'*' with such accounts as that given by the anonymous. articulus "strikes more quickly and frequently": Accordingly in the first figure it seems that the arm draws back and the hand whirls about to bring the sword to the adversary's body. While colon "moves upon its object more slowly and less often". H. to represent.xix. 84.1. 144. 1972). Rhetorica ad Herennium of two related rhetorical figures. Caplan.xxxviii. pp.26. All the theorists of musical rhetoric in this period also urge composers to imitate such figures. 325. IV. 110. anger.

up to and including the cinema. Two main weaknesses characterize the rhetoric textbook tradition: proliferation of categories. in drawing on rhetoric have also drawn on its faults.23 Figures of rhetoric/Figures of music? Ill From this mere sketch of the complex relationships between music and rhetoric from Lassus to Beethoven it will be clear that music has usually been the debtor to rhetoric. This means that extremely rare or unimportant linguistic devices have their separate place in the system. and since rhetoric books continued to be created for some two thousand years. Cicero's De Oratore—carry a mass of detail that is not easily assimilated. the very fertUity and inventiveness of the rhetorical tradition carried its own dangers with it.144. since no one has ever settled on a generally agreed system.250. and occupy as much space in the list as such fundamental tropes as metaphor. p. The goal of the writers seems to have been to classify every distinctive linguistic form. simile or synecdoche. While the ideal rhetoric book. beweist eine innere Verwandschaft beider Kiinste. 02 Jan 2016 03:02:22 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions ." " and partly because music theorists. or as such important figures as anaphora. then as now. have borrowed freely. since all the arts. and since every compUer wished to distinguish his own collection from his predecessors in some way. or analogous categories. Not that there is anything dishonourable in that role. As for the run of lesser writers. who rejects Unger's conclusion that the musical figures derived from the figures of rhetoric: "Dass sich analoge Namen finden liessen. claiming an autonomy for the so-called "musical figures. But I stress this point. it must be admitted that even the great books—Quintilian's Institutes. and ambiguity in definition. could be established in music. or ploke. Further.144 on Sat. This content downloaded from 128. nicht jedoch die Abhangigkeit der einen von der anderen." Yet the relationship was always that the rhetoricians of music went to the already-existing categories of rhetoric to argue that identical. hyperbaton. and to attach an appropriate name to it. might be a model of economy and cogency. 150. partly because some recent writers deny a debt. One might wish that they had evolved a musical rhetoric independent of language. If the student is not given some discriminating help he risks getting lost in trivia (a trap that Unger did not altogether avoid). yet one cannot deny that they depended on rhetoric. if such a thing existed. and pitch the discussion at a level far above the realities either of a classroom situation or of the needs of a writer. the result is that we have a pro'^See Ruhnke.

is defined by Quintilian as a heaping up of different words having the same meaning." and Puttenham follows him. "See Sonnino. Puttenham"). in 1963 (Munich: Hueber). the Rhetorica ad Herennium. in case their author is being idiosyncratic: but to be able to do this needs a good preliminary grounding in rhetoric and a reading experience of some of the major classical treatises. and extensive. instead of trying to establish some norm of usage it amasses alternative names for figures without distinguishing them. Susenbrotus says it is a piling up of words meaning "various different things. pp. n (1970). which is it? Secondly. Elemente der literarischen Rhetorik. some identical but describing different figures.144 on Sat. However. The work of Heinrich Lausberg is rigorous. Julius Caesar Scaliger cannily avoids committing himself. it is inadequately documented (quotations are from an author without book. 382-3. identifies it with antanaclasis. which certainly performs a useful service. the definitions of particular figures are inconsistent. for instance. The users of rhetoric books must always check the name against the example. alias diaphora) and she quotes four rhetoricians. It has been translated into Italian. 103 and 64 on ploke.^" This is an attractive looking alphabetically arranged handbook. 1968: Routledge & Kegan Paul. alias palilogia.144. Thus the figure ploke was known in Latin as copulatio or conduplicatio. 2 volumes. The figure congeries. the beginner might ask. repeating a word while using it in a different sense). but Miss Sonnino rightly points out that there was another figure sometimes called ploke (alias heratio. and often quoted. together with Quintilian and Longinus. indeed. 02 Jan 2016 03:02:22 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . First..e.250.'' More accessible. all of whom disagree as to its definition (Scaliger. If the ancient ideal of a complete rhetoric book led to unnecessary proliferation. chapter. ''London. 53f on congeries. some different but describing the same thing. for example. and it fails to help the reader on two main difficulties in traditional rhetoric. or a mere reference is given as "Peacham. then the modern ideal of a comprehensive guide to ancient rhetoric books brings simdar difficulties. This content downloaded from 128. A Handbook to Sixteenth Century Rhetoric.24 RHETORICA liferation of names. or page reference. Well." If the doctors disagree. in 1960 (Munich: Hueber). what should the students do? "Lausberg published his Handbuch der literarischen Rhetorik. pp. saying that it is a heaping up tout court. is Lee Sonnino. i. and an abridgement of it. yet the lack of an English translation means that it is not often cited by English or American scholars. See my review in Critical Quarterly. alias duplicatio.

54-7. Buelow has described Sonnino as "an excellent aid": op.1. nor his heart to report what my dream was. He also describes Unger's book as "outstanding": p. Cf. cit. the transposition or ridiculous inversion of words. 63)." Evidently the musical theorist has already deviated from rhetoric. 295. antimetaboles? her passionate airs. V B. Butler comments that "Antistrophe (hypallage) is the inversion of word order in a sentence to produce a contrary". in fact. repeating the same word at the end of successive sentences (cf. pp. ed." and Bottom as Pyramus announces that "Butler (1). another name for epistrophe. but sweet anaphoras? her counter-change of points. where Bottom as himself claims that "The eye of man hath not heard. 164-5.1. Sonnino. ^The Compleat Gentleman (1622). Joseph.25 Figures of rhetoric/Figures of music? The dangers of using Sonnino's Handbook are illustrated by the example of Gregory G. 02 Jan 2016 03:02:22 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . citing Sonnino. man's hand is not able to taste. In a more recent article Butler quotes Henry Peacham's graceful suggestion of analogies between music and rhetoric: Yea. 60f and Butler (2) pp. his tongue to conceive. "A Midsummer Night's Dream. 4. the ear of man hath not seen. N. a uniform or like comparison of parts corresponding to one another.144 on Sat. Butler. 116. where ploke is the insistent and passionate repetition of the same word (not "similar tones"). He quotes the definition given in the De musica (after 1559) of Anonymous of Besangon of ploki or copulatio as "a parallel repetition of similar tones in a certain way. hath not music her figures. nay. p.'' However. 251. pp. all the authorities cited there refer to heratio or palilogia." However. that is. 5. 1962). on ploke/copulatio. The hypallage that he refers to on page 164 of Sonnino is anastrophe (or reversio). in note 26 above. or change of meaning: the correct reference would be to page 64. 252. Butler accepts this concept of the "reiteration of similar elements" and refers his readers to pages 103 and following in Sonnino.194: cf. p. 51-2. 294. but prosopopoeias? with infinite other of the same nature. p. which is the repetition of the same word with a shift of stress. Buder (1) pp. in my opinion no rhetoric more persuadeth or hath greater power over the mind [than music].Y. This content downloaded from 128. Heltzel (Ithaca. as in A Midsummer Night's Dream. 57f. antistrophe (or conversio) is.215.144. 288.250. the same which rhetoric? What is a revert but her antistrophe? her reports. pp.

it seems. such as at suscipe deprecationem and incarnatus est in the mass. which is where succeeding clauses or sentences end with words which have identical case endings (similiter desinens). with epanalepsis. pp.144 on Sat. and p. 77 on the confusion of noema with exclamatio. and for his general eccentricity Ruhnke p. Nor was he alone in so doing. Unger. pp. Unger. "For Burmeister on noema see Brandes. who frequently used figures in an eccentric sense. 16. allusive discourse. not original to him but certainly used with full artistic awareness. or to the fault of the authority he relies on. pp. where the same word is placed at the beginning and end of a clause or sentence. (giving a closer. p. Burmeister evidently wanted to refer to a device that would describe the marking off of a section of the text. Whether the error is due to the writer's lapse of concentration. p. pp. 76. and ibid.R H E T O R I C A 26 I see a voice. p.™ But if the modern scholar confuses the two figures. 53f.™ Burmeister named this technique noema. since to err is human.*'^ 1 draw attention to these errors not in a spirit of superiority. where the same word that ends one clause or sentence begins the next one. definition). but unfortunately he used an indirect mode to name passages of direct emphasis.*' Two more dissimilar figures can hardly be imagined. 77f. or renamed them. did Henry Peacham before him. "For Nucius' confusion see Brandes p. But Moritz Vogt (1719) made an equally eccentric identification of epanadiplosis. 12. with aposiopesis. One of the distinctive musical devices of Josquin des Prez. 79. 141. Josquin used this stylistic contrast at these passages in all but one of his masses. 121 f. 31-46. equated homoioteleuton.144.^]ohar\n Nucius (1613). 31.250. N o w will I to t h e chink To s p y a n I can hear m y Thisby's face. This content downloaded from 128. which in rhetoric is connected with indirect. as is shown by its Latin name. "=For Vogt's confusion see Unger. 15.. but later. is interrupting the flow of polyphony with homophonic passages in order to stress important words in the text. so. 02 Jan 2016 03:02:22 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . does not matter: ""See Brandes. and Palestrina did the same in all of his 93 masses. which is the sudden breaking off of a sentence yet in such a way that the listener can complete the sense. Unger p. he also consistently confused auxesis with climax or gradatio. Palisca(2). but to stress the hazards involved in using the detailed techniques of rhetoric. 50. on auxesis/climax see Brandes pp. 56. intimatio. 151 on variations in terminology among the rhetoric books. 83. Unger p.

(London. and staid not for an answer. 1857-1874). however. as words can. that may be true.250. reminds one of another celebrated question. yet what of the meaning of the words? How can music be "Bacon. An important preliminary point.144. Whde recording the many links between music and rhetoric in the Renaissance and Baroque periods. beginning with the simple figures of repetition. then the effect will be similar. also IV."*^ Neither Peacham nor Bacon was jesting. pp. the progression made by some modern students.. 42-6. J.144 on Sat. or figures. indeed Bacon subsequently gave a more extended list of suggested identifications". This is to build not on sand but on air. •"For Bacon's suggestions see the thorough discussion in Palisca (2). common with the trope of rhetoric of deceiving expectation? In both cases the brevity of the discussion. Spedding et al. in turn. pointing to similarities between different disciplines: Is not the trope of music. 14 vols. His model was Francis Bacon. 348-9. That is. from analogy to identification. and the raising of important issues by the question form without attempting to answer them. and to investigate the degree of translatability of a model from one art-system to another. Professor Palisca claims to find a "progression of Bacon's thought from a recognition of the analogy between musical effects and the movements of the affections toward the identification of musical devices with the tropes. Insofar as we consider the shape of the resulting figure. I propose to review a dozen or so of the rhetorical figures claimed for music by Burmeister and others. in the Advancement of Learning (1605). is that all discussions of music and rhetoric assume that notes in music behave in the same way as do words in language. 388-9. 11. Peacham cast his identification of the figures of rhetoric with figures of music in the form of a rhetorical question. 339. Works ed. from Bacon's own Essay "Of Truth": "'What is truth?' said jesting Pilate. but these are questions which it is easier to raise suggestively than to answer systematically. of rhetoric" (p. to avoid or slide from the close or cadence. the basis of theories about music and the identity of expressive resources between the two arts. rather. This content downloaded from 128. III. since notes can be repeated. 02 Jan 2016 03:02:22 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .27 Figures of rhetoric/Figures of music? what is disturbing is that such misidentifications should become. we must insist on the important and currently overlooked point that it is at this final level of identification of a hnguistic with a non-linguistic art that fundamental problems occur. 46): that seems to me.

3-5). "Unger pp. b . This is known in rhetoric as climax (the Greek for ladder). 77. . p. b. c). experience.144 on Sat. or gradatio. One of the commonest figures in rhetoric is anaphora. in fact. When the two are combined. and might prove rather cramping—this is still to assume that the repetition of a note has the same force as the repetition of a whole semantic unit. the repetition of a word at the beginning of a sequence of clauses or sentences: "The Lord is my shepherd . Unger. This content downloaded from 128. but perhaps it was not common in the music available to Burmeister." As both Pahsca and Unger agree. that is known as symploke.11). which is to beg a very large question. The obverse of anaphora is epistrophe.144. . Butler (1) p. of course. a . 73. He restoreth my soul . 68: Burmeister (1606) calls it a fugue. the Latin name also pointing to its affinity with steps or stairs: "we glory in tribulations also: Knowing that tribulation worketh patience: And patience. p.*' I would imagine that for such repetitions to be felt in music they would have to occur rather close together. as when the last word(s) of one clause become the first of the next (x . the same word ending a sequence of clauses or sentences: "When I was a child. As that example shows. Unger claims that for both figures there exists a "vollige Ubereinstimmung" between music and rhetoric. 13. a. but slants his case to begin with by defining the figure in rhetoric as "the repetition of the same subject at the beginning of successive clauses of sentences" (my italics: for 'subject' read 'word'). he leadeth me beside the still waters. .28 RHETORICA said to match the denotational or referential level of language? I will come back to this semantic problem once I have dealt with the simpler figures. Word-repetition can occur within a period. but he gives no examples. . the figure is possible in music. I thought as a child" (1 Cor. . a p l r d b .250. 02 Jan 2016 03:02:22 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 59 attempts to relate anaphora to "report" and "fugue" in its strictest sense. the terms are commonly arranged in ascending or"Palisca (2). He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. Theoretically. and has involved a change of meaning. Thuringus (1625) limits it to the bass. . 38. and experience. Nucius' definition of symploke or complexio as the repetition of the opening motif of a musical period at its ending confuses it with epanalepsis.*' the musical application is narrower. hope: And hope maketh not ashamed" (Rom. . His argument seems to me overambitious. 65 n." (Psalm 23). . I spoke as a child. In Burmeister's musical application it is "the imitation of a musical subject in only some of the voice parts. as in the form a m q v c f c . . 5. I understood as a child.

p. also Brandes. but the specificity of the rhetorical structure seems to have been lost. interchanging the names. the second having an increased expressiveness created either by a rise of pitch or an enlargement in the number of voices). In rhetoric hyperbaton means the dislocation of word-order." In rhetoric pallilogia describes the repetition of a word. lacks indeed the concepts of logical verbal *'Unger. p. 38. 53. caused by violent or disordered feelings. If we move from figures of repetition to figures of what I shall call displacement we will see a similar process of simplification as the rhetorical model becomes applied to music.29 Figures of rhetoric/Figures of music? der of importance. as with harmony growing and increasing. for the dislocation must be instantly recognizable. nor stone. but only the idea of "increase" or "enlargement. or three times or more. Perhaps the later theorists were better informed. p. as distinct from a group of words. p. wenn nur der Anfang jeweils notengetreu wiederholt wird"). it is known as auxesis: Since brass. When that arrangement is made without the terms being repeated. Sonnet 65. pp. 65 n. twice. But sad mortality o'er-sways their power Shakespeare. nor boundless sea.144 on Sat. with crescendo). who claims that the idea of incrementum. This effect depends on the laws of grammar and syntax being known to and shared by the audience. 15 (who defines it as putting together two noemas. This content downloaded from 128. 77. gradatio in the eighteenth.144."*' This is to borrow merely the general idea of repetition. 50."** Music takes over the name. In his analysis of Lassus' In me transierunt Palisca uses the term to refer to "the repetition of a motive in the Bass a tone higher" (Palisca [2]. For Burmeister it occurs "when a harmony made up only of consonances under one and the same text while being repeated once. or were using more reliable sources. "Palisca (2). p. pp. "^Translated Palisca (2). as Forkel recommended. Since music has no such strict convention. 78. records that it was called auxesis or climax [sic!] in the seventeenth century. and Unger. 53ff.^'' Even with auxesis they seem forced to take it in its most general terms. 02 Jan 2016 03:02:22 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . The rhetoricians of music in fact confused auxesis and gradatio. or magnitude. points to a far-reaching analogy between both arts. and Unger. see also Brandes. grows and rises. sometimes involving a change of meaning: in Burmeister's musical rhetoric it is "a simple repetition of a series of pitches. but never dealt with the more complex structure of gradatio. p. a rather drastic reduction of the figure's range or reference. Clearly the phenomenon is frequent and important in music (often coupled. nor earth.250. 157: the repetition of a melodic motif at the same pitch ("Es geniigt dabei. 56).

144. or for banter (Quintilian IX. or to hear a Bergomask dance between two of our company? (5.x).1. comments: It is obvious that the analogy between hypallage as a rhetorical and as a musical figure is not exact. p. p. But Burmeister does not merely displace the figure from the level of melody to that of harmony. Scheibe uses the name. In musical rhetoric the term has lost both its humour and its specific structure.250. Unger concedes that it is not directly applicable to music. Butler. quoting an admirable definition of the figure from Gottsched. translating thus." or a "succession of intervals inverted. usually to mock or discredit them (Ad Herennium I. hypallage is small-scale." Gregory G. but applies it to the transposition of a tone or motif on to another plane. 58." Since music has two "planes. thou honourable man. But in Burmeister. Similarly with the figure mimesis. the effect is barely possible. in his courtcase. he also reduces its area of application. perhaps following Stomius (1536). as Escalus does in Measure for Measure when Elbow.58)." horizontal (melodic.30 RHETORICA sequence or standard word-order. and is one of a number of rhetorical figures that were used. this figure involves lateral or horizontal inversion of word order which if applied to music literally would involve retrogradation and not melodic inversion. or as in another one when—semper idem—he offers the Epilogue to the rustics' play: Will it please you to see the Epilogue. p.144 on Sat. for rhetorically. also Brandes. 02 Jan 2016 03:02:22 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . to describe the workings of the "'Unger. confuses the accused (Pompey) with the judges: Prove it before these varlets here. This content downloaded from 128.'° If hyperbaton is large-scale dislocation. as in the two examples from Shakespeare's Bottom quoted above. 27.ii. loosely enough. it merely means the imitation of a musical phrase in one of the other voices. since Burmeister describes it as a "Gegenfuge. higher or lower. p. affecting the misplacement of two or more words within a sentence. "'Unger. which in classical rhetoric means the mimicking of someone's speech or behaviour. 79.359) "Do you hear how he misplaces?. 80. rhythmic) and vertical (harmonic) it has a dimension beyond the reach of language." the audience might have said. Butler (1).

Ruhnke.144." "Virgil. 84. and that "only after completed phrases ''See Brandes. by an analogy or tertium comparationis that preserves just one element of the complex contained in the rhetorical figure. This content downloaded from 128. 51—admitting that the use of this term in musical rhetoric is "highly general. Harvard University. 5. p. but they shall be The terrors of the earth! (2. 26. Fare thee well great heart. if not impossible. R. No Percy. 142. to imitate in language. without commend of mine. p. Palisca (2). Unger.279-282) For Burmeister. while still giving the listener enough semantic information to be able to complete the sense. In rhetoric aposiopesis describes a speaker's breaking off a sentence out of a sudden passion. brave Percy. 151. Palisca (1). 135. The general conclusion so far is that the model from rhetoric can be applied to music only partially.250. p. to mingle earth and sky. Aeneid I. the figure can only be used in music to designate a general pause. 64. thou art dust. but breaks off without saying what he wUl do to them: Quos ego—sed motos praestat componere fluctus." Shakespeare uses aposiopesis for the dying words of Hotspur: Hotspur.83-87) He uses a very different form of aposidpesis for the impotent threats of King Lear toward his evd daughters: I will have revenges on you both That all the world shall—I will do such things— What they are yet. though. I know not. For worms. p. 02 Jan 2016 03:02:22 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . (I Hewn/Zy.4. Butler (1). The famous example (the subject of a painting by Rubens) is from Book One of the Aeneid.144 on Sat. tr H. But that the earthy and cold hand of death Lies on my tongue. and raise confusion thus? Whom I ! But better is it to calm the troubled waves: hereafter with no like penalty shall ye atone me your trespasses. Fairclough (Loeb Library): "Do ye now dare. p.31 Figures of rhetoric/Figures of music? fugue''—a musical form that is obviously difficult." Rubens' painting of this incident is now in the Fogg Art Gallery. where Neptune rebukes the winds for raising a storm. And food for— [Dies] Prince Henry. O winds. p. O I could prophesy.4.

as one rhetorician put it." in John Donne. pp. 27. •"See Brian Vickers. "See Brandes. To Burmeister it could be applied to describe an incomplete fuga rea/z's. and from reworkings of Melanchthon by Lucas Lossius: details in Ruhnke. or probable. To match this figure Burmeister invented its complement." From which point. he reasons that the musical figure is not dependent on the rhetorical one: "Von einer Abhangigkeit der musikalischen Figur vom rhetorischen Sinngehalt kann also nicht gesprochen werden. At times the application is limited: thus apocope in rhetoric describes the omission of a letter or syllable at the end of a word. Palisca (1) p. Burmeister. nor their repetition. a musical effect or structure. This content downloaded from 128. and is therefore placed on a line above the five lines of the stave. In rhetoric hyperbole means the exceeding of the normal. or could be adapted to. p. an exaggeration that is used to communicate truth through lies. namlich das Veriassen des Notensystems nach oben oder nach unten. Unger. on the horizontal plane. p. yet is unable to render the detailed connotations into its own language? "We know that Burmeister drew his knowledge of rhetoric direct from Melanchthon's Institutiones Rhetoricae (1521). and works neither through the shape of words. Unger. It is a figure with a complex theory. transposed the whole figure into a rather narrow musical context.250. 80 (conceding that under these terms "bezeichnet Burmeister etwas rein ausserliches."'' Here the figure has lost all the specificity it enjoys in language. 158. 156: "In Burmeisters Beispielen steht die aposiopesis aber nur nach abgeschlossenen Satzen oder nach einem Doppelpunkt. p. As has become clear in the course of this discussion the formation of a musical rhetoric takes the form of a theorist looking at a rhetorical textbook" in order to find a figure in rhetoric that applied. p.144. however. p.32 RHETORICA or a colon." but is based on some kind of norm or convention of the possible or truthful. A. when the voice descends below the stave. J. In other cases the analogy had to transpose the rhetorical figure on to a different plane. 132-174. 58. unable to handle the semantic level. ed." But is it not rather the case that the musical concept is dependent on the rhetorical one. and Ruhnke. 142 (where it is defined as "partial imitation"). "The Songs and Sonnets and the Rhetoric of Hyperbole." an analogy that was true to the shape of the rhetorical figure. 1972).144 on Sat. Essays in Celebration." and describing rhetorical hyperbole as "durchaus ungeeignet" for imitation in music). p. " O n apocope see Brandes. but through their meaning.'* Here Burmeister has shifted from the semantic '^Ruhnke. in which it refers to the composer writing a note that is too high for the normal range of the voice. 18. passim. Smith (London. p. or truthful. 70. 02 Jan 2016 03:02:22 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . and Butler (1). hypobole.

lOf. also pp. or performing it. and the existence of "the figure" is probably only noticeable to someone reading the music. Brandes. 61." does not merely repeat the words as meaningless counters. in his awareness of the basic discriminations that need to be made between music and rhetoric. more recent writers on this topic. Again. antimetabole or commutatio. dass die musikalische Figurenlehre in irgendeinem Abhangigkeitsverhaltnis zur poetischen Figurenlehre steht. 26f. in my opinion. There is no innate reason why a voice should not go beyond these limits. See Butler (1). '"Vickers. note 8] and implying some connection with musical figures. and Butler (1). 02 Jan 2016 03:02:22 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . John Hoskins: "this is a sharp and witty figure and shows out of the same words a pithy distinction of meaning. All the figures based on semantic properties face similar difficulties. So he writes on this point: "Wenn wir nun annehmen. Sister Joseph. linking antimetabole. da sie mit ihren inhaltlichen und gedanklichen Veranderungen keine Parallele in der Musik finden. 186.250. This is made clear by the English Renaissance rhetorician. p. which repeats two or more words in inverted order. This content downloaded from 128. so miissten aus der Ersteren die Tropen von vornherein ausscheiden. as in "eat to live: do not live to eat. 110. p. 158. Classical Rhetoric. since the range of a singer's voice is often naturally greater than that of the stave. ""On metalepsis see Sonnino. p. well sprachlich-gedankliche und musikalische Logik ganz verschiedene Voraussetzungen haben" (p. 25)." One cannot represent in pure music allegory or metaphor.™ In musical rhetoric. Ruhnke.""" Although music abounds in mirror-figures. pp. once again "content" is transposed to "form": in place of the process of suspended or inferred meaning Burmeister defines metalepsis as when some voices enter with "Brandes. nevertheless surpasses them and.33 Figures of rhetoric/Figures of music? or conceptual level to an auditory-visual-notational level.144. p. in that they never attempted to apply to music tropes. whose work is of a more limited range than either Unger or Ruhnke. Unger. and antistrophe [sic! see above. 82. nor irony in its strict sense of "meaning the opposite of what one says. 149f. yet the analogy cannot represent the idea of going beyond normal bounds in order to express a higher truth. The figure of mirror-inversion. to accommodate this figure. which involve the transference of sense from one area to another. hypallage. metalepsis in rhetoric is a figure where a statement must be understood either from what precedes or from what follows (or "which attributes a present effect to a remote cause")." Yet even the figures often depend on semantic features. it is difficult to see how they could ever have this function. p. Some theorists recognized this early on. 25f. pp.144 on Sat. 58. p.

'°'Unger. p. '"^Translated Butler (2). also relates it to his concept of individualization in music. which are more restricted than those of rhetoric. Unger claims that Scheibe (1745) uses it exactly as in rhetoric. which in rhetoric is the technique of dividing a complex statement into its parts. others will enter. This content downloaded from 128." or express hesitation about the topic at issue. The transposition effected for metalepsis was made for other figures with an important semantic content. Congeries. and even here there is the major difference that the orator would have to treat each topic one after the other. '"Unger. and its disposition among the voices. see Brandes.250. Unger. for example. is defined by Burmeister as "an accumulation of perfect and imperfect consonant intervals. 19. 74. the connection between rhetoric and music lies only in the concept of "heaping up. In musical terms dubitatio can refer to a doubtful modulation. the movement of which is permitted [by the rules of counterpoint]. as applied to the fugue.l9. or a moment of indecision. or concepts. 74f. p. later. and most listeners could cite instances of a composer using hesitation in completing a cadence. and has inevitably substituted formal properties for semantic ones. 82 = Quintilian lX. as I would put it. 51. or dividing the general into special kinds. as Quintdian explains. nor to any deductions about its meaning."" Music has transposed the concept into its own terms." and is thus rather external—or formal. not to its meaning. p. or returning to a home key or a main theme.'"^ But in rhetoric the division is one of ideas. This refers only to the form of the text. But in rhetoric the figure is a combative one. only at those words). Sonnino.144. or topics of the discussion. pp. from the law courts." As Unger says.'°^ For distributio. while the composer can do that but can also sustain them simultaneously. with its continuation (some will begin with "De ore prudentis" and continue with the rest of the phrase. which means in rhetoric the heaping up of words for purposes of emphasis (the rhetoricians are divided as to whether the words heaped up are of the same or of different meanings).ii. Music retains only the formal association. "procedit mel". it "may lend an impression of truth to our statements" when we "pretend to be at a loss where to begin or end. Forkel (1788). A later and over-expansive theorist.34 RHETORICA the first words of a text while others begin later. 02 Jan 2016 03:02:22 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . p. where.144 on Sat. p. 73.

and were subject to one or more revisions in subsequent editions of his book.144. Charles Butler in 1636 described it as a "stepwise movement. as a kind of double imitation. Walther: Butler (1). related the figures in the two arts more coherently."" Where Burmeister used the figure supplementum to describe a complex harmonic sequence at the end of a musical period. pp. as a melodic figure. to be excelled by his followers.250.35 Figures of rhetoric/Figures of music? IV The original discussions concerning musical rhetoric were based mostly on the work of Joachim Burmeister at the end of the sixteenth century.144 on Sat. then. p. 53. in 1719 Vogt treated it. For one thing his definitions are often vague. 62. perhaps because Burmeister seemed to stand so near to the great innovations in music that took place between Lassus and Monteverdi. and transposed it to the plane of harmony. This content downloaded from 128. Walter (1684-1748) defined it as "a musical figure in which two voices proceed with each other upwards and downwards by steps in thirds per arsin et thesin. p. Where Burmeister had taken the figure anadiplosis. G. 02 Jan 2016 03:02:22 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . even though musical examples might be hard to find (perhaps the soloists' theme in the slow movement of the Brahms concerto for violin and cello?). in which the word ending one clause or sentence is repeated at the beginning of the next. 92. p. Kircher: Brandes. in which a phrase at the end of a musical period is caught up at the start of the one following. "*Ruhnke. although prone to excesses of ingenuity. Burmeister included in his list '"^Brandes. more strictly. it was left to Thuringus to find the appropriate rhetorical figure. But in other ways his work is not the best basis for the study of music and rhetoric. Later theorists were neglected."* Where Burmeister had interpreted climax or gradatio in rather general terms. ""Charies Butler: Butler (2). sometimes confused. 14 and note. 126f."™ which is certainly more faithful to the figure in rhetoric. Yet in 1941 Unger's account of the tradition up to the eighteenth centuries already showed that later theorists. and suffered the usual fate of pioneers. Burmeister was a pioneer. as the repetition of a melodic motif at various levels." while J. p." Kircher in 1650 explicitly called it "gradatim ascendens.

p. pp. Where syncope. Lassus is skilled in counterpoint. 57. G. belongs to an older or transitional generation: he "prefers the modal system. 86. This content downloaded from 128."^ To Brandes it seemed odd that Burmeister should limit his coinage analepsis to the repetition of a harmonic figure when it would serve just as well for the repetition of a melodic one. who. for Burmeister it was a virtue. 1540-1630 ed. pp. p. 28. 29. 152f. the omission of a letter or syllable in the middle of a word. 154. p. Butler on Burmeister's transposition of hypallage from the "lateral or horizontal" plane of melody to the vertical plane of harmony has already been quoted." makes little use of chromaticism."" It seems to me that Burmeister is not only more interested in harmony than in melody. 154 {auxesis). pp. is used by other theorists in connection with rhythm.""' '"Brandes.144. Abraham (London. 149.™ Apart from those two innovations he coined the name analepsis for a type of repetition. which shows an unease or uncertainty with the underlying phenomenon. ""Ruhnke. "^Ruhnke. "but for expression he tends to rely more on harmony and is a much more 'verticalminded' composer than most of his contemporaries.'"* He originally defined five types of fugal figures. 154. 159. "^Butler (1).. Ruhnke. and shifted the definitions of these and other figures in subsequent editions.144 on Sat. '"Unger. ""Ibid. 58. but in succeeding editions interchanged the categories. where pleonasmus or tautology is a vice of style in rhetoric. '"Brandes. 85. and it seemed inexplicable to him why Burmeister should use anadiplosis for a harmonic figure when later theorists used it for a melodic sequence."^ The similar comment by Gregory G. and gave eccentric definitions of other figures."" He invented two terms to define dissonance. p. 153. symblema sive commissura. 25. 84. and had to redefine them.250. Vol. 02 Jan 2016 03:02:22 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 157 (anaphora). '" The New Oxford History of Music.36 RHETORICA of figures devices that actually belong to the tropes. 1968).'" An idiosyncratic feature common to several of these definitions is his transposition of a device from the horizontal to the vertical plane. according to a recent historian of music. but that he is still thinking in terms of polyphony. It is perhaps significant that his preferred composer was Lassus. and the divisions. IV: The Age of Humanism. pp. p. and remains a stranger to the newer development towards monody. does not write long and beautiful melody as does Marenzio. Burmeister applies it to dissonance.

" This sounds very modern. Burmeister should not have cited the word-painting in the Italian madrigal. Twenty years later Martin Ruhnke was surprised that. 'Brandes. Ruhnke. p. as Claude Palisca has commented. '"Ruhnke. was only supposed to be used. was rather out of touch with newer developments in both music and rhetoric. and tends to turn potentially affective devices into structural ones. 'Unger. which is the vivid presentation of the meaning and feeling of the text. Ruhnke. Yet. even though the matter should be controversial.144.144 on Sat. Unger."' If rather out of touch with new developments in music."' Where parrhesia in rhetoric described the orator's intention to speak out (libera vox). which Burmeister used for a harmonic effect. p. p. and claims that each period or affectus represents "a distinct affection through some manner inspired by the text. fully in accord with the musica reservata and rhetoric's emphasis on the figures of passion. p. Brandes found it strange that Burmeister should not use the figure exclamatio. Burmeister applies it to dissonance. 69. p. to the new styles of the musica reservata and the madrigal. so obviously applicable to music "^—especially. This content downloaded from 128. and the vehement passions of the soul: for Burmeister it is not a way of arousing the passions but an ornament of the text. p. 158. in connection with great passions. dealing with the figure hypotyposis. •"On parrhesia see Sonnino. Scaliger taught.37 Figures of rhetoric/Figures of music? From this and other signs one derives the impression that Burmeister. 127. 152. 155. teaching in the Gymnasium at Rostock while working on his theoretical treatises. The figure anadiplosis."* One cannot find in Burmeister's works anything like Athanasius Kircher's description of repetitio (or anaphora) as a figure to express energy. p. making the words visible. but the examples he gives do not refer to especially emotional parts of the text. 02 Jan 2016 03:02:22 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . One of the oddities of his system is his identification of the terms periodus and affectus. Burmeister—whose main authority on rhetoric is a digest of the system of that early humanist Melanchthon—is unaware of the increasing stress in rhetoric on the ways in which rhetorical figures should describe and arouse strong feeUngs. He defines a musical figure as being contained in the space between two clausulae.™ Compared to other rhetoricians of his day Burmeister seems less interested in the language of the passions. 87. we might add. p. 29.250. 29. ""Brandes.

and his preferences in music. 02 Jan 2016 03:02:22 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .250. unconnected with the feelings and passions. This content downloaded from 128. The music he chose to analyze was pre-Renaissance. backward rather than forward-looking. where questions of content were treated as questions of form." forthcoming in work cit. "The Fragmentation of Rhetoric. one that can be safely passed over. The level of redundancy essential to musical coherence would be intolerable in prose. Consequently. it seems to me unhistorical. Fuga. given the theory of rhetoric and of musical rhetoric that figures of repetition are not mere forms of sustaining a flow of sound but are intense expressive devices to be used only for the representation of strong feelings. '^See Brian Vickers. paradoxically perhaps." the result can only be confusion. n. . mimesis. In Renaissance rhetoric form and feeling cohere again. 31. and anaphora are various ways of interrelating the parts of a polyphonic composition. Palisca goes on to argue that such devices "are artfully disguised repetitions that permit the total sound to be renewed while details are being reused. as an apology for Burmeister. and danger. anadiplosis. pre-rhetorical in that sense. Many of them are simply constructive devices. hypallage.144.'^ V To the hasty reader the last few pages may have seemed like a terminological dispute between specialists. He was certainly an important pioneer. in all areas of knowledge. Climax and auxesis are means of achieving continuity'^' That seems to me an admirable description of the idiosyncratic way in which Burmeister used these figures. but.144 on Sat. and confirms the suggestion that in his approach to rhetoric. And since the whole trend of modern scholarship is towards ever more detailed reconstructions of the past. p. artifices that grew out of a need to knit together the voices of a composition once the cantus firmus was abandoned as the main thread eariier in the century. '^'Palisca (2)." While this is partly a fair account of the different levels of "redundancy" in the two arts.3g RHETORICA not every device considered by Burmeister is expressive or has an expressive purpose. terminology is a fundamental issue. 56. In musical rhetoric no one is likely to get harmed by mistaking one figure for another. His affinities are more with medieval rhetoric. even in oratory. Yet. he remains a somewhat old-fashioned and unrepresentative figure. music is a natural sanctuary for the rhetorical figures that involve repetition. yet the subject will certainly become confused. If one mechanic understands by "clutch" what another understands by "accelerator. and where figures and tropes were mere verbal devices.

including the eccentric Nucius. double column.144 on Sat."'^ a welcome innovation. whose bizarre confusion of homoioteleuton and aposiopesis is now enshrined in this authority for the next century. What the user cannot know is whether the theorists from Nucius (1612) to Gottsched (1754) all refer to the same musical effect. 545. Buelow. The repetition at the end of a melody or a whole musical section from the beginning. but also confused. It contains an article on "Rhetoric and Music. (p.250. doctrine of the. See also the articles "Aesthetics of music. Knowledge certainly advances. and might minimize some of the '"Vol. he then proceeds to give "the most frequently cited musical figures in an equally arbitrary" group. the issue of terminology must be faced if we are not to reverse the sense of progress that we proudly feel with the incremental growth of scholarship. 795). What is any one who knows rhetoric to make of the following entry? Complexio (Nucius) = Symploce (Kircher) = Epanalepsis (Gottsched) = Epanadiplosis (Vogt). at least. 1": I. and the largest encyclopedia of music ever published. One of the major monuments to the advance of knowledge. some ambiguity and confusion. George J. with many musical examples. §11. VI. 120-134. pp. but it needs to be constantly criticized and inspected if misinterpretations are not to take hold. Yet his grouping is not just arbitrary. offering helpful scholarship but also. and there is clearly no one systematic" doctrine (p. doctrine of musical". XV. ." 1. The author. This content downloaded from 128.144. an impressive-looking detailed demonstration. pp. Having made these sensible caveats. Here three different figures are identified with each other. "Affections. "Figures. He lists sixty-one figures. in twenty fat volumes. 793-803. I. even though using totally different rhetorical figures to describe it. it runs together definitions by seven or eight theorists between 1601 and 1788. That is just possible. . rightly notes that "in this basically German theory of musical figures there are .39 Figures of rhetoric/Figures of music? and—less healthily—ever larger claims for the significance of a critical method. 02 Jan 2016 03:02:22 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . However. and given a musical definition vague enough to apply to two of them. is The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians." Vol. 794). He also notes that attempts so far "to organize the multitude of musical figures into a few categories have not proved successful" (p. 795). "Analysis. 343-4. as far as the figures go.135-6. numerous conflicts in terminology and definition among the various writers.

indignation. such as grief. while establishing that point. of course. but Kircher not. 798). If Kircher is obviously wrong." in Buelow's gloss such things as "contrasting registers in a voice part. it is "a melodic leap up by a minor 6th." or "any leap up or down by intervals larger than 3rds" (p. but it cannot embrace the specific verbal structure and the whole dimension of meaning. and such blanket interidentification of figures should have been avoided. as Quintilian defines it (IX. iii. While the influence of rhetoric gave composers ideas about musical form and the stages of composition. "contrary motion"). In music. and encouraged focus on the representation and arousal of feeling. as it does in Kircher's definition of antitheton as a musical contrast. despair. not vague and confused. Homoioptoton. since homoioptoton or similiter cadens is a correspondence between clauses made by using similar cases. according to Kircher. according to Walther. that is. has also raised another and equally fundamental one. and is only to be used in connection with very strong feelings. is said to be the same as epistrophe to Scheibe. as is seen. but this is not what antitheton means in rhetoric. with its explicit opposition of meanings." contrasting thematical ideas or musical textures (p. This discussion. 02 Jan 2016 03:02:22 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Yet a certain amount of vagueness is inherent in the subject itself. not necessarily involving an identity in termination. namely the differences between two expressive systems. Paronomasia in rhetoric is a play on words similar in sound but different in meaning: for Scheibe it implies "the repetition of a musical idea on the same notes but with new additions or alterations for emphasis" (p. One knows what Kircher is referring to (as in the term we still use. They certainly disagree about the phenomena described and codified by rhetoric. and the attempt to find equivalents for This content downloaded from 128. which disturbs the flow of speech or dialogue. The semantic level has disappeared. "the repetition of a closing section at the end of other sections. 799). expressing things "contrary and opposite. admiration.144 on Sat. once again. it did not always assist the development of specifically musical resources.250. A concern for the details of terminology in rhetoric and music is fundamental to arriving at a correct estimate of the relations between the two arts.40 RHETORICA conceptual confusion here.144. 78). Music can reproduce the general emotional effect." Scheibe is roughly accurate. why is he included? Users of an encyclopedia or standard reference work may legitimately expect the compilers to be accurate. with figures having a semantic component. In rhetoric exclamatio is the expression of any strong emotion. 796).

and that it usually involves a transposition of the linguistic effect on to some other plane. 25-9: see the quotation in note 99 above. then. This content downloaded from 128. signs.144. pp.^^ and bear reviving. after the event. as words. in a book called Philosophy in a New Key. syntax. '^Cambridge. writers may have referred to manuals of rhetoric in their adult life. instructions on how to compose." but if we take it literally we risk forgetting that music obeys quite different laws to language. They do not present their constituents successively. quotations are from the Mentor paperback edition (New York. as we obviously can with writers? My feeling is that this whole enterprise was of more use to critics—condemned to having to use language to describe music— than to creators. with its words. All italics in the text are the author's. of complex combination.. for we reach the limits of language. The most radical difference is that visual forms are not discursive.144 on Sat. colours. By an easy and attractive metaphor we talk about "the language of music. 1951). 02 Jan 2016 03:02:22 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . concepts.e. proportions "are just as capable of articulation.250.41 Figures of rhetoric/Figures of music? verbal devices was problematic. had to abandon the content of the tropes and limit itself to exploiting or imitating their form. then. denotation and connotation. I raise the question. A fundamental caveat made by Heinz Brandes in 1935 tias been practically ignored smce then. such things as lines. One question. Contrasting the visual arts with language she writes that visual forms. but simultaneously. Mass. that historians may be able to answer. Even the most dedicated student of rhetoric will ultimately have to admit that in dealing with music we soon reach the limits of rhetoric. namely that musical rhetoric. The reasons for this difference were set out by Susanne Langer many years ago.'^'' From the detailed comparisons I have made it clear that the musical application of a figure is always more limited than its rhetorical function. i. is whether we can show composers setting out to use devices codified by theorists of musical rhetoric. but they had had the system of rhetorical composition drilled into them at school and university until use of the figures became automatic. 1942. working in a different medium. and I do not know if any composer ever took these discussions as prescriptive. But the laws that govern this sort of articulation are altogether different from the laws of syntax that govern language. whether composers ever actually set out to imitate specific figures or rhetoric? From the treatises it would appear as if the theorists were attempting a descriptive analysis. so the relations determining a visual structure '^•"Brandes. Certainly.

i. Out of these one can construct. in a language. 178). Although we tend to describe other arts in terms of language this can be very deceptive.e. 88-9).144." (p. so that even "when two people systematically use different words for almost everything. so that most meanings can be expressed in several different ways. It is first and foremost a direct presentation of an individual object. A picture has to be schematized if it is to be capable of various meanings" (pp." offices that "no language-born thought can replace" (p. by generalizing from linguistic symbolism to symbolism as such." a translation can be made from one system to the other (p." Further. and giving us concrete things in place of kaleidoscopic colours or noises. pre- This content downloaded from 128. "Language is a special mode of expression. to construct a dictionary. 02 Jan 2016 03:02:22 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 87). Of all the arts music "is preeminendy non-representational. depends on a linguistically-generated convention of signs and meanings). and not every sort of semantic can be brought under this rubric. there may be alternative words for the same meaning. Thirdly." they have no significance by themselves (ibid..42 RHETORICA are grasped in one act of vision. nondiscursive symboHsm can express "ideas that defy linguistic 'projection'". Nondiscursive symbolism." Discourse has a number of characteristics that mark it off from both art and music.144 on Sat. "wordless symbolism is nondiscursive and untranslatable. we are easily led to misconceive all other types. as by "conceptualizing the flux of sensations. we might add.250. Secondly.). composite symbols with resultant new meanings. lines. or emphatic voice-inflections to assign specific denotations to its terms" (or. In the first place." and "requires nonverbal acts. some words are equivalent to whole combinations of other words." Discourse unrolls in time. while verbal symbolism "has primarily a general reference. according to the rules of the syntax. Its ele- ments are words with fixed meanings. and overlook their most interesting features. every language has a vocabulary and a syntax. This makes it possible to define the meanings of the ultimate single words. A similar gulf exists between language and music. Further. like pointing. 86). by contrast." and has "no intrinsic generality. is "composed of elements that represent various respective constituents in the object"—areas of light or shade. curves—"but these elements are not units with independent meanings. therefore there is a limit to "what the mind can retain from the beginning of an apperceptive act to the end of it. looking.

which is uniquely determined by vocabulary and syntax. but also exists independently of mimesis and lexis. It shares with art. . 02 Jan 2016 03:02:22 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 185). Apart from a few onomatopoetic themes music has no literal meaning (p. ." Yet the disap- This content downloaded from 128.144 on Sat.144. harmony. 197).e. . 193). without any loss to the constituent elements. Our literal minds find it hard to grasp "that anything can be known which cannot be named." and thematic development its "syntax. had a definite semantic meaning. and which. one would need to show that the interval of a fifth. and without the scaffolding of an occasion wherein they figure. and syntactical rules for deriving complex connotations. . so that we can envisage and understand them without verbal helps. "though even in this capacity it has its special ways of functioning. logically speaking. but such mimetic effects do not constitute a vocabulary: if one wanted to establish that. a statement has "a content . and with language. Music can express feelings. so that any other semantic must make the same distinctions as discursive thought. downward. have never been isolated" (p." harmony its "grammar. a language. that make it incommensurable with language" (p. unlike music. To call the tones of a scale its "words. modify each other's characters by the combination (p. music has not the characteristic properties of language—separable terms with fixed connotations. . or even circular motion. of course.43 Figures of rhetoric/Figures of music? sents "tonal structures" that can be mimetic. for tones lack the very thing that distinguishes a word from a mere vocable: fixed connotations. does not recognize such "words" as elements at all. Certainly music can imitate upward. for it has no vocabulary. In language. But what is usually called the "grammar" of music. Musical semantic factors." is a useless allegory. A musical composition makes its emotive contents not so much general and abstract as "conceivable. i. 196). and can have verbal meanings attached to them. however. say. Logically. like words. the attribute of having separable items that can be combined. 189). or "dictionary meaning" (p. . 194). A composer not only indicates. which they are supposed to share.250. Yet it is not. . but arhcwlates subtle complexes of feeling that language cannot even name. . let alone set forth" (p. The analogy between music and language breaks down if we carry it beyond the mere semantic function in general." The fallacy of expecting music to have a language derives from our assumption "that the rubrics established by language are absolute.

As an "unconsummated symbol. of course. A fundamental distinction must be made: Compared with language. vital. 02 Jan 2016 03:02:22 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . may therefore be called simply the Unspeakable'" (p. As Wagner said of "orchestral language. negotiable but stdl ultimately agreed and exchanged meanings. Like rhetoric. The actual function of meaning. 204). If music is symbolic. Our knowledge of music is wordless. not expression. It is a form that is capable of connotation. expressiveness. There is a rhetoric of the unspeakable. which is a highly systematised linguistic discipline that can combine the finite forms of rhetorical figures with an infinite combination of meaning (think of all the semantic possibilities of the figure antimetabole. music can represent and arouse emotions. its symbolism cannot be translated into any other medium. 199). but unlike rhetoric. do not live to eat"). In the terms of Miss Langer's discussion. unverbalized freedom of thought" (p.144 on Sat. except one: the existence of an assigned connotation. as in the figure adynaton. "it expresses 'just what is unspeakable in verbal language. but not assertion. which calls for permanent contents. Not communication but insight is the gift of music" (p.250. "though clearly a symbolic form. perhaps. of which the simplest instance is "eat to live. music has all the earmarks of a true symbolism. like language.144. There. But its import is never fixed. (p.44 RHETORICA pointment that some theorists register really indicates "the strength of musical expressiveness: that music articulates forms which language cannot set forth" (p. Articulation is its life. 203). 207). is an unconsummated symbol. sentient experiences." lacking conventional words. a significant form without conventional significance. music. can never—and probably never wants to—escape from the constraints of significance. but rhetoric is inalienably about communication. and the meanings to which it is amenable are articulations of emotive. 206). and meanings. 198). viewed from our rationalistic (verstandesmenschlichen) standpoint. This content downloaded from 128. for the assignment of one rather than another possible meaning to each form is never explicitly made" (p. Rhetoric. but it is not the same thing as the rhetoric of music. In music we work essentially with free forms . that interplay between the sign-system of the individual and that of society which constitutes our shared." music offers an "unconventionalized. and the effect it has on us is "to make things conceivable rather than to store up propositions. and can only use words. is not fulfilled. and what. is the final difference: it may hope for insight.