ASH22a Introduction to musical rhetoric

Faculty of Arts
Autumn 2019
Extent and Intensity
0/0/0. 3 credit(s). Type of Completion: zk (examination).
prof. PhDr. Jana Perutková, Ph.D. (lecturer)
doc. PhDr. Pavel Sýkora, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
prof. PhDr. Jana Perutková, Ph.D.
Academy of Ancient Music - Department of Musicology - Faculty of Arts
Contact Person: Mgr. Michaela Ratolístková
Supplier department: Academy of Ancient Music - Department of Musicology - Faculty of Arts
Fri 20. 9. 15:00–16:40 N31, Fri 25. 10. 15:00–16:40 L33, Fri 22. 11. 15:00–16:40 L33, Fri 6. 12. 15:00–16:40 L33
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is also offered to the students of the fields other than those the course is directly associated with.
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
Course objectives
The aim of the subject is to translate different definitions of rhetoric and its development from ancient roots to baroque.
Learning outcomes
The student will be able to define the relationships between rhetoric and music after graduation and to be able to orientate reliably in the types of musical-rhetorical figures as steady turns used in the music of certain (text) passages.
  • DEFINITION - musical-rhetorical figures: steady turns used in the music of certain (textual) passages  = melodic-harmonic-rhythmic formations capable of representing musical and non-musical meanings - compare: motif (in current terminology) - speakers used every speaker in their speech as decorations - decoratio to highlight and illustrate their ideas - apply in relation to affective theory = highlight the effect of a certain affection  the structure (character) of the figure depends on the affection prescribed by the composer  = unity of word and music - musical and non-musical meanings  influence on the construction and arrangement of musical material  the requirement of Baroque music theory: the structure of the musical composition is to be consistently controlled by the construction of the text  = basic element of vocal and instrumental music of the 17th and 18th centuries - unifying functions between vocal and instrumental music  = basic melodic-harmonic-rhythmic building element - about 150 figures (DIETRICH BARTEL)  humanist Greek-Latin names  some figures are purely musical and unrelated to rhetoric (eg, hypothypia)  Many are instructions for interpretation = not intended for listeners  often one term has different meaning for different composers  composers often explain their meaning in the preface to the composition DEVELOPMENT - the relationship between rhetoric and music has always been tight - especially in baroque - West European music was predominantly vocal in its first stages of development, so it had a relation to the word - When instrumental music became independent, rhetorical principles had an influence on it as well  From the early 19th century, rhetorical disciplines disappear from most educational and philosophical systems, so today's listener does not focus on them  cf. emotional style, Rejcha (Music as a Sentimental Art) ANTIQUITY  In the ancient literature, the theory of musical figures was formulated in particular: - Aristotle - Cicero - Quintilianus Quintilianus (1st century) - Institutionis oratoriae libri XII - in particular IX. book  creates a systematic doctrine in the rhetoric affects: - Quintilianus formulates the similarity between music and speech  this affects the music of the 16th and following centuries - the basis of his work (and other textbooks) is to instruct the speaker to control and control the emotional reactions of his listeners - in the language of classical rhetoric (as well as later musical theory) - how the speaker (composer, etc.) moves the affections of his listeners - = muovere degli affetti  influence on musical-rhetorical figures - especially IX. book  creates a systematic doctrine in the rhetoric MEDIEVAL  Medieval universities were taught seven free arts - septem liberalium artium: - trivium (artes dicendi):  grammar  rhetoric  dialectics  quadrivium (mathematical disciplines):  arithmetic - geometry  musica  astronomy - we are interested in the relationship between rhetoric and musical - Rhetorical principles already appear in Gregorian chant RENAISSANCE - for the first time, however, classical rhetorical figures with the advent of Renaissance humanism in the late 15th century  At that time, Latin-language schools and universities placed a great emphasis on rhetoric, and every educated person had to be a good speaker - it has an impact on music and new musical styles: madrigal, opera, etc.  the entire musical madrigal literature is dependent on the use of musical rhetoric Joachim Burmeister (1564-1629) Musica poetica (1606)  definition of musical figure - connection with Quintilian: "Ornamentum is the figure of musica est tractus musicus, there in harmony, quam in melody, certa periodo, quae a clausula initium sumit et in clausulam desinit, circumscriptus, qui simplici compositionis ratione discedit, as virtue ornatiorem habitum assumit et induit." "The adornment or musical figure is a musical, harmonious and melodic form that occurs within a certain period (= text of a defined musical section), which begins with cadence and cadence also ends; it differs from a simple way of composing and uses a noble attribute to acquire and gain a more elegant look. "  cf. Quintilianus: "The figure, as is clear from the name, is a certain linguistic arrangement, moving away from the common method offered first." (Basics of Rhetoric, Prague 1985, IX, 3, 2-5, p. 394)
  • Clavis and thesaurum magnae artis musicae. Edited by Michael Pospíšil - Jiří Sehnal - Tomáš Baltazar Janovka - Jiří. Vyd. 1. Praha: KLP, 2006. cxxiv, 387. ISBN 8085917939. info
  • BURMEISTER, Joachim. Musica poetica. Edited by Rainer Bayreuther, Translated by Philipp Kallenberger. Repr. der Ausg. Rostock (Myl. Laaber: Laaber-Verlag, 2004. xxiii, 162. ISBN 389007393X. info
  • BURMEISTER, Joachim. Musical poetics. Edited by Claude V. Palisca, Translated by Benito V. Rivera. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993. lxii, 306. ISBN 0-300-05110-7. info
Teaching methods
lectures, class discussion
Assessment methods
written test
Language of instruction
Further comments (probably available only in Czech)
The course is taught once in two years.
General note: Kurz probíhá v rámci projektu č. CZ.1.07/2.2.00/28.0044 Inovace uměnovědných studijních oborů na Filozofické fakultě MU, který je spolufinancován Evropským sociálním fondem a státním rozpočtem České republiky. Viz.
Information on the extent and intensity of the course: 8 hodin konzultací.

  • Enrolment Statistics (recent)
  • Permalink: