Rhetoric and the Baroque Opera Essay by Professor Duck

Rhetoric and the Baroque Opera
Examines the breakdown of rhetoric, how it tied into opera, and examines the rhetorical principles in Purcell's "Dido and Aeneas".
# 57977 | 2,080 words | 8 sources | MLA | 2004 | US
Published on Apr 21, 2005 in Music Studies (Classical and Baroque) , Music Studies (History)

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The paper begins by first examining what rhetoric is and each of its parts, including ethos, pathos, and logos. From here, the paper examines how rhetoric was applied first in Renaissance vocal music and then developed into the Baroque opera. The paper concludes by looking at common rhetorical figures in music and examines the use of rhetoric in "Dido's Lament" from Henry Purcell's opera "Dido and Aeneas".

From the Paper:

"During this start of Baroque music, Caccini talks about new forms of expression. He says that ornamentations of notes only be used where they would help to heighten the verbal expression. What was new here was that the text, which was often a dialog, was set for only one voice part with the rhythms and melodies of natural speech being followed precisely-the only important thing to this new style was to express the text of the piece of music as clearly as one can and with the greatest expression. The music was essentially a backdrop on which the words were set. All of the previous inventions related to polyphony were thrown out. This new style contained almost no word repetition, unlike the madrigal or the motet, since, when in an actual conversation with someone, you would not repeat yourself unless the other party has missed something you said or you are adding extra emphasis to a word or sentence. This new style was called monody."

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