Teaching Seventeenth-Century Concepts of Musical Form and Expression: An Aspect of Baroque Music

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Teaching Seventeenth-Century Concepts of Musical Form and Expression: An Aspect of Baroque Music1

For decades there have been proposals to update, improve, and to achieve greater student interest in college music history courses. Rare, however, is the college or university music curriculum giving instructors the freedom for very much innovation, pressed as they are to include all that seems basic to the facts of music history. And when the subject is squeezed into one academic year, the results lean towards superficiality. There can be few innovations and little expanded emphases beyond the textbook organization of historical periods. For in thirty weeks one has about five weeks to cover the six (or is it perhaps four weeks for seven2) major periods.

What a pity! For more than a hundred years musicology has devoted itself to the enrichment of our knowledge about our musical heritage. Today this knowledge comprises a vastness of musical artifacts, an array of insights and approaches to comprehending the history of music, far exceeding the intentions of earlier scholars. The fact that no music department today could in good conscience offer to its majors a music history survey without an appropriate emphasis on music composed before 1600 testifies to the significant expansion of knowledge about music in history. This was not the case as recently as fifty years ago.

Many specialists in music history are, or they should be, alarmed by what seems to be a growing chasm developing between what we know of the realities of music in history, viewed from theoretical, aesthetic, social, and political aspects, and the stereotypical, often over-simplified, and sometimes misinformed generalities expounded in the classroom.

What the goals of a music history course should be, or why any music student should be required to take such a course, may be questions without simple answers. More elusive, perhaps, is a definition of what constitutes "music history." Some would say it is the "music" that needs emphasis, and that the "history" of the art is secondary. But if a study of music history reveals anything, should it not illuminate how music has played a role in previous societies and their cultures with which we identify? Why this is so difficult to achieve is clear: students seldom bring into the classroom a knowledge of these societies from either a historical or cultural perspective. And they usually possess even less awareness of what has been called the "history of ideas." What is lacking in historical perspective is an understanding of that educated man's general knowledge of himself, the world, and the basic store of ideas shared with peers, often on a subconscious level.

What has this to do with explaining the concepts of form and expressiveness in seventeenth-century music and the teaching of Baroque music? How are Baroque concepts of form and expression to be explained? Did these ideas originate with Baroque composers, or perhaps earlier in the Renaissance? If not, where did they come from, and why should it be important that a student of music history understand the nature of their origins? This is not the place to define the concept of the so-called "musical Baroque," nor to chart its complex origins in the sixteenth century. What will be pursued here briefly is a fundamental concept that is part of the history of ideas, but that is also a foundation on which almost everything called Baroque in music is anchored. It is the concept of the passions as expressed in music, or as seventeenth- and eighteenth-century theorists and composers frequently stated, to the theory of the Affections.

Students of music history are usually told that the Affections—or what is sometimes erroneously described as the "Doctrine of the Affections"—ruled the creation of most Baroque music. But this idea is certainly not self-explanatory. The word "Affection" means something quite different to students today than it did to writers of the Baroque. How should this concept basic to Baroque music be explained? Here is Donald Grout's clarification in his widely read and influential music history textbook, a book that undoubtedly has shaped the understanding of music history for more music students in our country than any other published since 1960:

One trait common to all Baroque composers was the effort they made to express, or rather represent, a wide range of ideas and feelings with the utmost vividness and vehemence by means of music. . . . Composers, continuing certain tendencies already evident in the late sixteenth-century madrigal, struggled to find musical means for the expression of affections or states of the soul, such as rage, excitement, grandeur, heroism, lofty contemplation, wonder, or mystic exaltation, and to intensify these musical effects by means of violent contrasts.

. . . The music of the Baroque was thus not primarily written to express the feelings of an individual artist, but to represent the affections; these were not communicated haphazardly or left to individual intuition, but were conveyed by means of a systematic, regulated vocabulary, a common repertory of musical figures or devices. Such figures included the comparatively simple, obvious pictorial touches common in Renaissance vocal music, but went beyond these into much greater detail. The musical figures of the seventeenth century were systematized in contemporary theoretical treatises on the analogy of the figures or special devices of language used in rhetoric, and were given corresponding names.

. . . In addition, the process of musical composition itself was conceived, by analogy with the rules of rhetoric, as consisting of three steps: inventio, the "finding" of a subject, or basic musical idea; dispositio, the planning or layout of the divisions or "subheads" of the work; and elaboratio, the working-out or elaboration of the material.

The doctrine of figures (Figurenlehre) was developed chiefly by German theorists of the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries; in effect, it amounted to little more than a codification of what composers were already doing, plus the elaborate (and sometimes rather strained) analogies with the venerable and highly respected art of rhetoric. To conceive of music as expressing "clear and distinct ideas" doubtless reflected the teachings of Descartes, whose philosophy dominated the thought of the seventeenth century.3

The materials of any textbook, of course, can and should be expanded upon in the classroom, and one expects that this passage, which contains several ideas unfamiliar to most music students, would be explained. The passage is misleading, even in error in places, but it is quoted here not to criticize Grout, for in essence he is summarizing the state of knowledge about Baroque music as it was established by Manfred Bukofzer's famous history of the period appearing in 1947. However, this crucial statement establishing the theoretical and aesthetic foundations of an entire music-historical period can be comprehensible to students only when they also have an insight into the origins of both the terminology and the ideas expressed by that terminology. Any student or instructor might after an initial reading of this passage raise the following questions:

  1. What is the art of rhetoric, and how is it important to Baroque music?
  2. What are Affections? Where did they come from? Why were they applied to music?
  3. What do the "rules of rhetoric" have to do with musical form, and where do those Latin terms—inventio, dispositio, elaboratio—come from?
  4. What is a musical figure? What are figures as "devices of language used in rhetoric"?
  5. What is the doctrine of figures, and why were German music theorists involved with it?
  6. Who was Descartes?
  7. What was his philosophy that according to Grout dominated the "thought of the seventeenth century"?

It should be noted that not once in this section of his text, nor elsewhere, does Grout define these terms and ideas. Nor does he suggest that their meanings and usages were part of humanistic knowledge going back at least a century into Renaissance culture, and more importantly, originating at the very heart of Western intellectual achievements in ancient Greek and later Latin Classical society.

Music historians have long recognized the value of returning to original documents for better explanations of music and its history, its theories, practices, and aesthetics. The long-lived popularity of Oliver Strunk's Source Readings in Music History testifies to the fulfillment of this need. A similarly-conceived volume by Carol MacClintock4 presents documents in translation which are informative as to performance practices throughout history.

What we still cannot conveniently recommend to students, and what teachers of music history would find useful, would be a volume or volumes entitled Readings in the Sources of Ideas for Music History. This title suggests a compilation of selected documents in English translation presenting the ideas, the common and fundamental knowledge on which musical developments were based. And since such a book probably will not appear soon, one could plan to prepare such a compilation of materials as a special syllabus to be included as part of the required course materials. To demonstrate, I have chosen to illustrate a section of such a book that might be entitled "Origins of the Baroque Concepts of Expression and Form in Music." For brevity I can give here only those sources that are readily available in English though others should be included in translations from other languages. At the conclusion of this article, suggested readings, with a few illustrative excerpts, have been organized according to the five topics drawn from Grout's quotation: I. Rhetoric; II. Affections; III. Oratorical Structures; IV. Figures; and V. Descartes. These are complex issues. The arts of rhetoric and oratory were singular achievements already in ancient civilization, and their vitality remained in force well into the nineteenth century, affecting the spoken as well as the creative arts. While music of the Renaissance and particularly of the Baroque is known to have felt the impact of rhetorical concepts, it is also true even if less well documented as yet that from the Middle Ages to the operas of Wagner at least, rhetoric continued to influence ideas of composers. The literature on rhetoric is vast, and the excerpts given here serve merely as a brief overview of a few of the more potent sources from antiquity, plus the work of Descartes.

Under the first rubric, "Rhetoric," are given basic definitions for the art or science of rhetoric. Here as well as in other sources, definitions of rhetoric focus on using words to persuade, and this persuasion enables one to command the emotions of the listeners. If one would substitute in Cicero's definition "art of music" for "science of oratory" it would state one of the primary reasons rhetoric was seen as an essential aspect of musical composition. It would then read: "it is in calming or kindling the feelings of the audience that the full power and art of music are to be brought into play."

The rubric "Affection" concerns that particular rational definition of the emotions and how they are to be defined, how they can be roused or subdued—ideas that held such constant fascination for orators as well as composers. Here too we could substitute "music" for "oratory" in Quintilian's definition, and we should form a standard declaration of belief proclaimed by numerous writers on music during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It would read "For it is in its power over the emotions that the life and soul of music is to be found." Inspired by their knowledge of Classical as well as later reinterpretations of Classical sources, music theorists frequently attempted to define the same rationalized identities of emotional states. The belief that this was possible was strengthened considerably by (among others) Descartes's published views on the same subject. One writer, Johann Mattheson, would state: "everything that occurs without laudable Affections [in music] can be considered nothing, does nothing, and means nothing."5 However, just how this ancient concept of stirring specific emotions could be achieved in music was never fully agreed upon, and no single "Doctrine of the Affections" ever existed in music, just as it had never existed in Classical sources, and the very term Affektenlehre was an invention of modern German musicology.6

Of greater complexity are the various attempts by music theorists to borrow from rhetorical concepts of creativity and formal structures. Many writers on music suggested that inventio (invention), dispositio (arrangement), and elocutio or for some writers elaboratio (style or elaboration of a style) were basic concepts to be adopted by composers. Invention became one of the key words and key ideas in Baroque compositional doctrine, and the various means to, or aids to, invention prescribed by rhetorical sources were often found applicable to music as well.

The dispositio, or arrangement of an oration into six parts, also influenced composers in their various approaches to forms, although an actual adaptation of exordium, narratio, partitio, confirmatio, reprehensio, and conclusio appears first in music theory in Der vollkommene Capellmeister by Johann Mattheson in the eighteenth century. But the ideas of introduction, exposition, confirmation, disagreement, and conclusion find a variety of reflections in various concepts of form suggested by music theorists, a striking example of a shared knowledge between rhetorician and composer, often a natural development and perhaps even without specific intellectual awareness on the part of composers.

Of all aspects of Classical rhetoric influencing musical composition over the centuries, the "Figures" undoubtedly have attracted the greatest attention from musicologists, and a substantial literature about them exists.7 The particular identification of musical figures by certain German theorists has led some contemporary scholars to curious if not misleading conclusions. The identification of a "Doctrine of Figures" in music is only one such misunderstanding of Baroque compositional practices, which is echoed in the related notion that many composers, in Grout's words, had "a systematic, regulated vocabulary, a common repertory of musical figures or devices." This complicated and confused issue is for the most part also the invention of German musicology, and beyond the scope of this paper to unravel. However, whether as rhetorical or musical figures, this expressive element of style, of elaboration, has great significance, and included under this rubric is evidence that figures were no less important to Classical writers. Also it would appear, if we read closely the comments of Quintilian, that even in his day confusion existed as to the purpose of figures, and just as in some of our contemporary literature writers often believe a musical figure can of itself express an affection, so too this misunderstanding seems to have occurred in the first century A.D.

In conclusion, a few excerpts are given from the one non-Classical source of ideas engendered by Grout's textbook statement, Rene Descartes's Les passions de l'âme, one of the major philosophical texts influencing the "ideas" of the second half of the seventeenth and the first half of the eighteenth centuries. This seventeenth-century French philosopher presented what was then thought to be scientific proof for the very existence of the emotions and of the soul that was moved by those emotions. His work did indeed become a "doctrine" of the passions, and it gave Baroque theorists and composers a superior rational means to comprehend the nature of those emotions. The excerpts included here hardly do justice to Descartes, but the text is now available in a fine English translation, and can be read in its entirety.

Hopefully such a brief survey of sources of ideas influencing these aspects of Baroque musical thought has not made more confusing and unclear a subject that is often discussed in the literature with inaccuracies if not ignorance. Anyone responsible for teaching music history today should be familiar with the Classical sources as enumerated here and easily obtained in the Loeb Classical Library series. The writings of Aristotle, Cicero, Quintilian, and others are still fascinating and remarkably fresh in impact even after more than a thousand years. They are among the cornerstones of our humanistic heritage, and they belong to a substratum of ideas that strengthens our understanding of music as it developed in Western civilization.

In my opinion, music historians early in our century made a serious even if understandable error when in their zeal to find a Zeitgeist basic to all the arts of a period they attempted to prove that music was most closely allied to the visual arts. In fact, music has little to do with the media of the visual arts and architecture and to their expressive values. Music has always been closely allied to the spoken arts, and it is in rhetoric and its application to oratory that true parallels of method and purpose are discerned. It is in rhetoric that earlier musicologists should have sought those interrelationships with music, and it is in the art of rhetoric that we today must look if we would understand less superficially the intellectual basis of the history of music, especially the history of music in the centuries before our modern age, the very age in which this key to understanding this history was forgotten and now must be rediscovered.



Origins of the Baroque Concepts of Expression and Form in Music



a. Aristotle (349-322 B.C.), The "Art" of Rhetoric, I, 3-41, on defining Rhetoric.

Rhetoric then may be defined as the faculty of discovering the possible means of persuasion in reference to any subject whatever. (p. 15)

The orator persuades by means of his hearers, when they are roused to emotion by his speech; for the judgements we deliver are not the same when we are influenced by joy or sorrow, love or hate. (p. 17)

Now, since proofs are effected by these means, it is evident that, to be able to grasp them, a man must be capable of logical reasoning, of studying characters and the virtues, and thirdly the emotions—the nature and character of each, its origin, and the manner in which it is produced. (pp. 17-19)

b. Cicero (106-43 B.C.), De oratore, I, 3-195, definitions of rhetoric and oratory, the history of oratory, and the training of orators.

But the truth is that this oratory is a greater thing, and has its sources in more arts and branches of study, than people suppose. . . . To begin with, a knowledge of very many matters must be grasped, without which oratory is but an empty and ridiculous swirl of verbiage: and the distinctive style has to be formed, not only by the choice of words, but also by the arrangement of the same; and all the mental emotions, with which nature has endowed the human race, are to be intimately understood, because it is in calming or kindling the feelings of the audience that the full power and science of oratory are to be brought into play. (pp. 13-15)

c. Quintilian (c.30-c.96 A.D.), Institutio oratoria, II, 297-319, definitions of rhetoric.

Rhetoric is a Greek term which has been translated into Latin by oratoria or oratrix. . . . [It] is in my opinion best treated under the three following heads, the art, the artist and the work. The art is that which we should acquire by study, and is the art of speaking well. The artist is he who has acquired the art, that is to say, he is the orator whose task it is to speak well. The work is the achievement of the artist, namely good speaking. (pp. 299-301)

Oratory is the science of speaking well. (p. 315)



a. Aristotle, The "Art" of Rhetoric, II, 173-247, concerning the affections, with definitions of anger, love, hate, fear, shame, benevolence, pity, indignation, envy, and emulation.

The emotions are all those affections which cause men to change their opinion in regard to their judgements, and are accompanied by pleasure and pain; such are anger, pity, fear, and all similar emotions and their contraries. And each of them must be divided under three heads; for instance, in anger, the disposition of mind which makes men angry, the persons with whom they are usually angry, and the occasions which give rise to anger. (p. 173)

b. Cicero, De oratore, II, 325-57, on the role of emotions in oratory.

Now nothing in oratory . . . is more important than to win for the orator the favor of his hearer, and to have the latter so affected as to be swayed by something resembling a mental impulse or emotion, rather than by judgement or deliberation. (p. 325)

For I have often heard that—as they say Democritus and Plato have left on record—no man can be a good poet who is not on fire with passion, and inspired by something very like frenzy. (p. 339)

Now, since the emotions which eloquence has to excite in the minds of the tribunal, or whatever other audience we may be addressing, are most commonly love, hate, wrath, jealousy, compassion, hope, joy, fear, or vexation, we observe that love is won if you are thought to be upholding the interests of your audience, or to be working for good men, or at any rate for such as that audience deems good and useful. (p. 349)

c. Cicero, De oratore, III, 173-85, on the importance of delivery for the stirring of an audience's emotions.

For nature has assigned to every emotion a particular look and tone of voice and bearing of its own; and the whole of any person's frame and every look on his face and utterance of his voice are like the strings of a harp, and sound according as they are struck by each successive emotion. (p. 173)

d. Quintilian, Institutio oratoria, I, 165-77, on the importance of music to the orator.

But eloquence does vary both tone and rhythm, expressing sublime thoughts with elevation, pleasing thoughts with sweetness and ordinary with gentle utterance, and in every expression of its art is in sympathy with the emotions of which it is the mouthpiece. It is by the raising, lowering or inflexion of the voice that the orator stirs the emotions of his hearers, and the measure, if I may repeat the term, of voice or phrase differs according as we wish to rouse the indignation or pity of the judge. For, as we know, different emotions are roused even by the various musical instruments, which are incapable of reproducing speech. Further the motion of the body must be suitable and becoming, or as the Greeks call it eurythmic, and this can only be secured by the study of music. This is a most important department of eloquence. . . . (pp. 171-73)

Still I think I ought to be more emphatic than I have been in stating that the music which I desire to see taught is not our modern music; which has been emasculated by the lascivious melodies of our effeminate stage and has to no small extent destroyed such manly vigour as we still possessed. No, I refer to the music of old which was employed to sing the praises of brave men and was sung by the brave themselves. I will have none of your psalteries and viols, that are unfit even for the use of a modest girl. Give me the knowledge of the principles of music, which have power to excite or assuage the emotions of mankind. (p. 175)

e. Quintilian, Institutio oratoria, VI, 417-39, on the emotions and the distinction between pathos and ethos.

For it is in its power over the emotions that the life and soul of oratory is to be found. (p. 421)



a. [Pseudo-Cicero] (c.90 B.C.), Rhetorica ad Herennium, I:

The speaker, then, should possess the faculties of Invention [inventio], Arrangement [dispositio], Style [elocutio], Memory [memoria], and Delivery [pronuntiatio]. Invention is the devising of matter, true or plausible, that would make the case convincing. Arrangement is the ordering and distribution of the matter, making clear the place to which each thing is to be assigned. Style is the adaptation of suitable words and sentences to the matter devised. Memory is the firm retention in the mind of the matter, words, and arrangement. Delivery is the graceful regulation of voice, countenance, and gesture. (p. 7)

b. Quintilian, Institutio oratoria, III:

The art of oratory, as taught by most authorities, and those the best, consists of five parts—invention [inventio], arrangement [dispositio], expression [elocutio], memory [memoria], and delivery or action [pronuntiatio or actio] (the latter two terms being used synonymously). But all speech expressive of purpose involves also a subject and words. If such expression is brief and contained within the limits of one sentence, it may demand nothing more, but longer speeches require much more. For not only what we say and how we say it is of importance, but also the circumstances under which we say it. It is here that the need of arrangement comes in. But it will be impossible to say everything demanded by the subject, putting each thing in its proper place, without the aid of memory. It is for this reason that memory forms the fourth department. But a delivery, which is rendered unbecoming either by voice or gesture, spoils everything and almost entirely destroys the effect of what is said. Delivery therefore must be assigned the fifth place. (pp. 383-85)

c. Cicero, De inventione, I, 41-163, on the nature of "arrangement" [dispositio] of an oration.

Therefore when the point for decision and arguments which must be devised for the purpose of reaching a decision have been diligently discovered by the rules of art, and studied with careful thought, then, and not till then, the other parts of the oration are to be arranged in proper order. These seem to me to be just six in number: exordium, narrative [narratio], partition [partitio], confirmation [confirmatio], refutation [reprehensio], peroration [conclusio]. (p. 41)

Exordium: . . . is a passage which brings the mind of the auditor into proper condition to receive the rest of the speech. (p. 41)

Narratio: . . . is an exposition of events that have occurred or are supposed to have occurred. (p. 55)

Partitio: . . . in an argument a partition correctly made renders the whole speech clear and perspicuous. (p. 63)

Confirmatio: . . . or proof is the part of the oration which by marshalling arguments lends credit, authority, and support to our case. (p. 69)

Reprehensio: . . . that part of an oration in which arguments are used to impair, disprove, or weaken the confirmation or proof in our opponent's speech. (p. 123)

Conclusio: Peroration is the end and conclusion of the whole speech. (p. 147)



a. Cicero, De oratore, III: on the value of Figures.

For there is sometimes force and in other cases charm in iteration of words, in slightly changing and altering a word, and in sometimes repeating the same word several times at their end, and starting and ending clauses with the same words, and attachment of a word, and climax, and assigning a different meaning to the same word used several times, and repetition of a word, and the employment of words that rhyme or have the same case-ending or balance each other or sound alike. There is also advance step by step, and inversion, and harmonious interchange of words, and antithesis, and omission of connecting particles, and change of subject, and self-correction, and exclamation and abbreviation, and the use of a noun in several cases, and the reference of a term derived from several things mentioned to each of them separately, and the appending of a reason to a statement made, and also the assignment of a reason for separate details, and concession of a point, and again another kind of hesitation, and an unexpected turn of expression, and enumeration of points. . . . For these more or less are the figures—and possibly there may be even more also like them—that embellish oratory with thoughts and with arrangements of words. (pp. 165-67)

b. "Longinus," On the Sublime (1st Century A.D.?), 185-209, on the value of figures to lend emotion and excitement to style.

Figures seem to be natural allies of the sublime and to draw in turn marvellous reinforcement from the alliance. . . . A figure is always most effective when it conceals the very fact of its being a figure. The sublimity and the effect on the emotions are a wonderfully helpful antidote against the suspicion that accompanies the use of figures. (p. 185)

c. [Pseudo-Cicero], Rhetorica ad Herennium, IV, 275-349, defining a large number of rhetorical figures.

To confer distinction upon style is to render it ornate, embellishing it by variety. The divisions under Distinction are Figures of Diction and Figures of Thought. It is a figure of diction if the adornment is comprised in the fine polish of the language itself. A figure of thought derives a certain distinction from the idea, not from the words. (p. 275)

d. Quintilian, Institutio oratoria, IX, 349-591. The most extensive discussion regarding rhetorical figures found in any Classical source and invaluable.

I must repudiate the views of those who hold that there are as many types of figure as there are kinds of emotion, on the ground, not that emotions are not qualities of the mind, but that a figure, in its strict, not its general sense, is not simply the expression of anything you choose to select. Consequently the expression in words of anger, grief, pity, fear, confidence or contempt is not a figure, any more than persuasion, threats, entreaty or excuse. But the superficial observers are deceived by the fact that they find figures in all passages dealing with such themes, and select examples of them from speeches; whereas in reality there is no department in oratory which does not admit such figures. But it is one thing to admit a figure and another to be a figure. (p. 361)



René Descartes, Les passions de l'âme (Paris, 1649). —For the second half of the seventeenth century one of the major sources explaining the concept of the "passions." In what today is seen as clearly pseudo-scientific misunderstandings, Descartes believed he had proved that the passions originated in the pineal gland of the brain, where he placed the principal seat of the soul. His theory had wide-ranging influence well into the eighteenth century.

Apart from this gland [the pineal], there cannot be any other place in the whole body where the soul directly exercises its functions. I am convinced of this by the observation that all the other parts of our brain are double, as also are all the organs of our external senses—eyes, hands, ears and so on. But in so far as we have only one simple thought about a given object at anyone time, there must necessarily be some place where the two images coming through the two eyes, or the two impressions coming from a single object through the double organs of any other sense, can come together in a single image or impression before reaching the soul. . . . We can easily understand that these images or impressions are unified in this gland by means of the spirits which fill the cavities of the brain. But they cannot exist united in this way in any other place in the body except as a result of their being united in this gland. (p. 340)

[The passions] are caused chiefly by the spirits contained in the cavities of the brain making their way to nerves which serve to expand or constrict the orifices of the heart, or to drive blood towards the heart in a distinctive way from other parts of the body, or to maintain the passion in some other way. This makes it clear why I included in my definition of the passions that they are caused by some particular movements of the spirit. (p. 342)

. . . the principal effect of all the human passions is that they move and dispose the soul to want the things for which they prepare the body. Thus the feeling of fear moves the soul to want to flee, that of courage to want to fight, and similarly with the others. (p. 343)

Part Two includes a lengthy discussion of "The Number and Order of the Passions," which Descartes enumerates as wonder, esteem and contempt, generosity or pride, humility or abjectness, veneration and scorn, love and hatred, desire, hope, anxiety, jealousy, confidence and despair, irresolution, courage, boldness, emulation, timidity and terror, remorse, joy and sadness, derision, envy, pity, self-satisfaction and repentance, favor and gratitude, indignation and anger, pride and shame, disgust, regret, and cheerfulness.

The soul can have pleasures of its own. But the pleasures common to it and the body depend entirely on the passions, so that persons whom the passions can move most deeply are capable of enjoying the sweetest pleasures of this life. It is true that they may also experience the most bitterness when they do not know how to put these passions to good use and when fortune works against them. But the chief use of wisdom lies in its teaching us to be masters of our passions and to control them with such skill that the evils which they cause are quite bearable, and even become a source of joy. (p. 104)



Baldwin, Charles Sears, Medieval Rhetoric and Poetic (New York: Macmillan, 1928).

_______, Renaissance Literary Theory and Practice (New York: Columbia University Press, 1939).

Buelow, George J., "Rhetoric and Music," in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 20 vols., ed. Stanley Sadie (London: Macmillan, 1980), 15:793-803.

Clark, Donald Lemen, Rhetoric and Poetry in the Renaissance (New York: Columbia University Press, 1922).

_______, Rhetoric in Greco-Roman Education (New York: Columbia University Press, 1957).

Lanham, Richard A., A Handlist of Rhetorical Terms (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1968).

Murphy, James J., ed., A Synoptic History of Classical Rhetoric (New York: Random House, 1972).

Sonnino, Lee A., A Handbook of Sixteenth-Century Rhetoric (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1968).

1This article was presented as part of a panel at the Annual Meeting of The College Music Society, Miami 1986.

2Seven historical periods if the instructor feels the necessity to divide the twentieth century into two periods.

3Donald Jay Grout, A History of Western Music, 3rd ed., with Claude V. Palisca (New York: Norton, 1980), 298-99.

4Carol MacClintock, Readings in the History of Music in Performance (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1979).

5Johann Mattheson, Der vollkommene Capellmeister (Hamburg: Herold, 1739), 146: "alles was ohne löbliche Affecten geschiehet, heisst nichts, thut nichts, gilt nichts."

6For further information on the origins of the concept of the Affektenlehre see the author's "Johann Mattheson and the Invention of the Affektenlehre," in New Mattheson Studies, ed. G.J. Buelow and H.J. Marx (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983), 393.

7See for example the author's "Rhetoric and Music" in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 20 vols., ed. Stanely Sadie (London: Macmillan, 1980), 15:793-803.

8Sources of Classical texts:

Aristotle, The "Art" of Rhetoric, trans. John Henry Freese (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1926, 1975).

Cicero, De inventione, trans. H.M. Hubbell (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1949, 1968).

Cicero, De oratore, Books I and II, trans. E.W. Sutton, completed by H. Rackham (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1939); Book III, trans. H. Rackham (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1952).

"Longinus" On the Sublime (together with Aristotle, The Poetics), trans. W. Hamilton Fyfe (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1927, 1973).

Quintilian, Institutio oratoria, 4 vols., trans. H.E. Butler (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1921-1922).

[Pseudo-Cicero,] Ad C. Herennium de ratione dicendi (Rhetorica ad Herennium), trans. Harry Caplan (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1954, 1981).

All these are in the series "Loeb Classical Library." Reprinted by permission of the copyright holder, Harvard University Press, for which permission we are most grateful.

Source of Descartes's texts:

René Descartes, Les passions de l'âme, trans. Robert Stoothoff, in The Philosophical Writings of Descartes, vol. 1 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985).

Reprinted by permission of the copyright holder, Cambridge University Press, for which permission we are most grateful.

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