Analysing The Rhetorical Disposition Of Musical Material Music Essay

I will be foregrounding the undermentioned points in this essay. As the essay-question contains a few footings which can be interpreted in different ways I will foremost briefly clear up what I believe to be the significance of each term. The footings discussed will be ; `rhetoric, ` `disposition` `elaboration` and `invention.` I will besides foreground the beginnings of these footings and how they relate to the Baroque compositional manner. In relation to this I will so analyze the rhetorical temperament of musical stuff in J.S. Bach`s Invention No. 6 in E Major and the manner in which this stuff is elaborated. In order to compare this piece to another of J.S. Bach`s composings I will so analyze his Sinfonia No. 1, which is portion of a aggregation of Bach`s 3-part piano pieces for his more advanced students. Through this 2nd analysis I hope to happen similarities and/or differences in the manner these similarly-intended composings were composed. Then, eventually, I will be comparing both of these pieces to a short composing by another well-known Baroque composer, Franois Couperin.

The term `rhetoric, ` the building-block of much Baroque composing, refers to the importance of the music appertaining to a peculiar manner in order to convey an feeling to its audience. In this essay I will discourse how much J.S. Bach relies on rhetoric in two of his composings, his Invention no. 6 in E Major ( BWV 777 ) and, in comparing, his Sinfonia No. 1 in C Major. The features of the musical manner with which he does this will be discussed in my analyses. When used in the context of musical composing, the definition of an innovation reads as “ a term borrowed from rhetoricaˆ¦ . to denominate the indispensable thematic thought underlying a musical composition.2 So, basically, an innovation refers to a musical thought and Bach presents a aggregation of these musical thoughts in his aggregation of Inventions. Each Invention consists of the `disposition` , which describes the initial manner of puting or showing the chief musical thought ( s ) , followed by the `elaboration` of the temperament, where the original thought is changed in some manner to go more complex and hence maintain the audience interested.

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The construct of rhetorical thought originated in the Gallic Classical tradition, and was an indispensable portion of composing of many composers, whatever their nationality, in the Baroque epoch. This manner of thought, arising from ancient Roman and Greek doctrine was described by the Gallic poet and critic, Nicolas Boileau as a `rational belief in their [ Gallic peoples` ] ain criterions [ which ] gives to these [ French ] people their self-confidence,2 but is seemingly so balanced out in Boileau`s following statement that, despite this assurance, the society in which he lives is non conceited, but, alternatively, low, born of peoples` realization of the diminutiveness of their ain, personal being in the context of the enormousness of history. Classical doctrine was rooted in the importance of balance, as was the music of ulterior composers, hence named Classical composers, such as Mozart and Haydn. However, the Gallic Classical tradition surely influenced Baroque music excessively and it is from this tradition that the Divisions of Rhetoric originate, a aggregation of of import points to be considered when composing. Merely the first three divisions of the five Divisions of Rhetoric will be discussed in this essay, as they focus on the method of Composition, whereas the concluding two refer to the public presentation of these compositions.. The first division, Invention, as described above, refers to the composing of a individual musical thought ( s ) . The 2nd term, Arrangement, refers to how this musical stuff is presented in footings of orchestration, kineticss, articulation, etc. The following division asks for consideration of manner, sing this to be an critical facet of good composing, in order to add beauty to a bare thought.

Written around 1720, J.S. Bach`s Invention No. 6 in E Major ( BMV 777 ) surely adheres to some of the Divisions of Rhetoric in the intervention of its musical stuff. There seems to be a dual temperament in this piece, the topics of which are introduced together in Bars 1- 8 3, a separate musical thought being played in each manus, ( see Examples 1a and 1b ) .I do non believe that either manus is attach toing the other, therefore giving that “ other ” more musical importance. The thought shown in Example 1 is somewhat more outstanding because of its consecutive motion in Bar 4 and its rhythmic diverseness but I do non believe this is adequate to handle the 2initial thought in the LH as stuff meant merely for concomitant. At the terminal of the longest musical thought both parts so instantly copy the other`s old stuff. Through this simple displacement of octaves, 3


Bach shows how to truly set up both musical thoughts. before traveling on to develop them as, in Bar 9, the thoughts shown in Examples 1a ) and 1b ) return in the manus they were originally played in. I think Bach did this in order to do certain that the hearer can decidedly hold on both thoughts before he goes on to lucubrate on them. Even when he does travel on to lucubrate on his thought, he still ensures that, as at the beginning of the piece he wishes to guarantee changeless rhythmic stableness ; supplying this stableness in the left-hand portion, while the right-hand plays a persistently syncopated line ( mention once more to Example 1a and 1b )

It seems obvious here that Bach is disputing the significance of amplification. In the definition of the Collins English Dictionary the term `elaborate` is defined as `To make more complicated.` Bach seems to be withstanding this premise by conveying back his initial musical thought in a simpler musical format. The complex beat of the original musical topic of Example 1a is, in some ways, simplified when it re-appears in Bar 9. Example 2 shows that the demi-semiquavers which were portion of the original musical thought, have now mostly been replaced by sixteenth notes. Here, it seems that Bach is playing with the really ideas that provide a foundation for himself and his contempories and inquiring whether development ever means to perplex. He besides seems to be supplying involvement for the hearer by invariably wrong-footing them. Equally shortly as they have heard and accepted an unconventional intervention of compositional development and have hopefully accepted this unusual return to simpleness, Bach all of a sudden re-introduces the rhythmically complex version of his musical thought, a mixture of sixteenth notes and demi-semiquavers with which the piece began. Despite this effort at maintaining his listeners` involvement by showing the unexpected, Bach still seems to try to supply a point where his audience can return to stableness at the terminal of the first subdivision of this binary composing.

At the beginning, of the 2nd subdivision of the piece, nevertheless, Bach seems acute to compose with two different purposes at the same clip. The first is the purpose to surprise. The musical stuff used seems familiar, being merely a different agreement of Example 1b ) . This clip, though, the musical thought appears in the right-hand-part, non in the left as it did in its first entry at the beginning of the composing. However, now it is the left-hand which is syncopated, whereas the right-hand portion is now the 1 to supply rhythmic stableness, come ining steadily on the first round of each saloon. The 2nd purpose that Bach seems to be composing with, in complete contrast to his first, is the wish to calm his piece with Baroque conventions. The importance of predictable harmonic patterned advance is, I think, one of the chief features of Baroque music, the sub-dominant and dominant major keys and the comparative child in relation to the Tonic being the transitions employed most often when ordering harmonic patterned advance in a Baroque composing. The composition`s transition to B Major, the Dominant Major of E Major, indicated by the visual aspects of A # from Bar 10 steadfastly set up this key until the piece modulates its manner through the sub-dominant key of A Major, as noted in Bars 47 and 48. The composing so ends steadfastly back in the Tonic key of E Major, so the usual harmonic form of transition to closely-related keys before modulating back to the Tonic key by the terminal of the piece is surely observed here.

Bach`s aggregation of Inventions were written as 2-part pieces for novice piano players but he subsequently besides wrote a aggregation of sinfonias for more advanced piano players which, comparing one illustration – Bach`s Sinfonia 1 ( BWV 787 ) will, I suspect, reveal, both similarities to and differences from Bach`s Invention in E Major. Both pieces begin with a strong rhythmic foundation but, in comparing to the capriciousness of the left-hand portion in Invention No 6, the LH portion in Sinfonia No.1 provides a changeless rhythmic foundation the right-hand portion which supplying the melodious involvement. One thing that stands out in Bach`s Invention No. 6 is its complete deficiency of ornamentation which, as ornamentation characterises the bulk of Baroque music, seems unusual. The consideration of the stylistic features of the period from which composing derives comprises the 3rd division of rhetoric. As rhetoric is an indispensable influence of Baroque composing I think, hence, that Bach`s deficiency of any ornamentation here was about surely deliberate. Possibly, merely as he experimented with an unexpected mode of developing his musical thoughts in this composing, he besides wanted to accomplish the unexpected by merely non supplying one of the most noteworthy features of Baroque music. However, in Bach`s Sinfonia 1, ornamentation does be, although sparsely and without fluctuation. In an epoch, where music was frequently to a great extent ornamented with frequent shakes, mordents, bends, appogiaturas and acciacaturas, I find it surprising that the insistent ornamentation of Bar 6, ( see Example


5 ) is every bit good as it gets. In footings of the amplification of its subject, Bach`s temperament of his musical thought at the beginning of the Sinfonia is clear, as its go uping graduated table ( see Example 4 ) races up the piano over the left-hand`s quavers which are clearly intended merely for concomitant. This is unlike the virtually equal importance of parts in Bach`s Invention No. 6. Imitation, the compositional method which helped to implement musical stuff in Bach Invention No. 6, besides appears at this point in the left-hand portion of his Sinfonia 1. However, it seems less noticeable because of the ulterior frequent sixteenth note transitions in the attach toing LH portion which make it look simply more similar musical concomitant, instead than the of import musical thought upon which the full piece is based. Although both composings modulate reasonably infrequently, Bach once more chooses to surprise his audience with an inexpected transition from tng it contrast enormously to the attempt Bach makes to foreground both of his chief musical thoughts in Invention No.6. The forms of transition in both BMV 777 and BMV 786 besides differ. Although Bach still remains faithful, in BMV 777, to the expected Baroque convention of modulating merely to closely-related keys when developing an thought, he chooses to once more prove these conventions in his Sinfonia 1. Get downing in the key of C Major, he following modulates to the sub-dominant key of G Major ; an everyday transition in itself as it comfortably tantrums with expected Baroque form of transition. but even here Bach is forcing convention as he modulates in an unusual manner. He briefly intimations right at the beginning of the piece in the 2nd saloon, at the up-coming transition he intends to do subsequently, by presenting an F # . However, he so returns instantly to the Tonic key at the beginning of Bar 3 and does non modulate decently to the Dominant key of G Major until Bar 7, .Even here, the music pretends to modulate back to the Tonic key of C Major by presenting a individual F natural in the LH portion of Bar 8 before sharpening it once more a round later.

At this point, holding examined both the similar and the different ways in which Bach`s musical thoughts have been expressed and developed in both his Invention No. 6 in E Major, I will briefly compare both these plants with Franois Couperin`s La baronial fierte – `Sarabande.

As in Bach`s BMV 777, but unlike his Sinfonia 1, the temperament in Couperin`s composing stands out clearly, although the subject clearly appears here in the RH merely, the LH supplying merely accompaniment, and non the temperament of farther melodious stuff, as I believe is featured in Bach`s Invention 6. The intervention of the chief musical thought here is much more similar to the distinct distribution of tune in one portion and concomitant in the other, as displayed in Bach`s Sinfonia No. 1. It seems that the intervention of the chief musical subjects in both composings are treated immensely otherwise in some ways, but likewise in others. When Couperin`s chief musical thought is elaborated on in the Reprise of his composing it is inverted, a technique of amplification non used in either of the cpmpositions by Bach that I have analysed in this essay Returning to the divisions of rhetoric mentioned earlier, it seems that Couperin`s composing lays much more importance on the 3rd division of manner, where great importance is laid on the consideration of the stylistic demands of a composing, pressing composers to concentrate, when composing, on “ the adornments of manner 3aˆ¦aˆ¦ ” As is suiting for a piece composed in the Gallic Baroque manner, it is rather to a great extent ornamented, although the ornamentation is non greatly varied, as it is in a batch of Gallic music written in the Baroque epoch. It consists merely of mordants, upside-down mordants and acciacaturas. These appear often and sometimes in speedy sequence, as shown in Example 8.

In decision, I can see that J.S Bach produced composings which rely slightly on the construct of rhetoric, therefore supplying the temperament of at least one clear, musical thought at the beginning of both plants analysed. However, Bach seems eager to experiment with the conventions of the period in which he writes. He seems to boom on the component of surprise, disputing his hearer with unconventional key and his challenge to the term “ to lucubrate. ” In his Invention No. 6, he seems to oppugn whether a piece should go more complex when its musical thought is elaborated on or whether it should be merely changed in order to keep the listeners` involvement He besides seems to adhere less to the rhetorical thought that it is highly of import to lodge stiffly to manner, whereas Couperin does. It seems that, when all facets of his compositional methods are considered and compared with others, ` J.S. Bach, while in some ways builds his composings on a steadfast rhetorical base, he besides seems confident plenty in his ain abilities to experiment with its conventions.


1 Definition taken from the Collins English Dictionary ( Millenium Edition )

2 Taken from “ Francois Couperin and the Gallic Classical Tradition ” – New Version

3 Taken from “ Francois Couperin and the Gallic Classical Tradition ” – New Version


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