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Emulation of classic Rhetorics in Der Vollkommene Capellmeister [The Perfect Chapellmaster] by Johann Mattheson (1739)

Grant number: 10/19620-0
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: March 01, 2011 - August 31, 2013
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Arts - Music
Principal Investigator:Monica Isabel Lucas
Grantee:Monica Isabel Lucas
Host Institution: Escola de Comunicações e Artes (ECA). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Between the 17th and 18th Centuries, Lutheran authors who wrote about the discipline then known as musica poetica presented treatises whose system and terminology were borrowed from Greek and Roman Rhetorics and Poetics. These writings have in common the notion that music is a discourse and that its finality is to persuade the listener, taking in consideration the circumstances of public, occasion and place. The most complete and detailed description of the poetic-rhetoric music conception is represented by the writings of Johann Mattheson (1681-1764). Among them, Der Vollkommene Capellmeister [The Perfect Chapelmaster] (1739) deserves the most attention.At closer inspection, Der Vollkommene Capellmeister shows many similarities with Greek and Roman rhetoric, specially Cicero's Orator and De Oratore, and Quintilian's Institutio Oratoria. These authors were studied by every musica poetica author.The present work proposes showing how Mattheson emulates classic rhetorical treatises (specially Roman ones), demonstrating clearly how the Lutheran author is indebted to these auctoritates. This similarities include aspects such as the idea of the perfect orator, the writing style of Mattheson, which is ciceronian, the importance given to the notion of decorum, the proposal that music should be concerned with moral edification, and the technical description of how to write a discourse following the rhetorical steps of inventio, dispositio and elocutio. This work intends to present reference material for the study of musical rhetorics in Portuguese. (AU)

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