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Corda Music Publications Tarling J. - The Weapo...
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Following the success of Baroque String Playing ´for ingenious learners´ (see below BSP 1), Judy Tarling´s second book strikes at the heart of musical performance with a study of the relationship between music and rhetoric, which was much remarked upon during the Renaissance and Baroque periods. Second edition now with enlarged index and references.Comparisons between oratory and the performance of music are to be found from the beginning of the 16th century and continue until the late 18th century. Thomas Mace (1676) asks the musician to show as much wit and variety as an orator. Geminiani (1751) compares all good music to a discourse, and recommends that the musician should use the same effects as an orator. Quantz (1752) requires the musician to use the skills of an orator to become the master of the hearts of his listeners.The absence of further detail implies that the musicians of the day knew what this meant in practice.Using the works of the classical rhetoricians Cicero and Quintilian as a framework for the book, their ideas are traced through the Tudor classroom and popular Renaissance eloquence books through to the late 18th century. Concentrating on performance techniques that aid communication of musical ideas to an audience, historical source material is used to demonstrate how to hold the attention of the listener and at the same time move and delight him, as in the classical oration. Quotations from the rhetoric manuals, Shakespeare and the Bible are complemented by over one hundred musical examples, drawn mainly from the 17th and 18th centuries, which illustrate the connection between speaking and playing in the rhetorical style.Subjects covered in the book include: A survey of the sources from ancient times, Renaissance educational method, the iconography of eloquence and persuasion, the audience, decorum, stage manner, style, imitation, affect, ´the passions´, word painting, allegory, speech-based delivery, tone quality, dynamics, length of notes or syllables, exclamations, emphasis, humour, nerves, sprezzatura, articulation, rests, sighs, surprise, silence, tempo, structure, rhythm, ornamentation, figures, repetition, and rhetorical schemes.Review from The British Clavichord Society Newsletter, October 2005.Judy Tarling is a distinguished string player familiar to English audiences through her work with the Parley of Instruments ensemble. Following on from her recent tutor book Baroque String Playing ´for ingenious learners´, this guide is aimed at both performers and listeners and attempts to chart the relationship between music and rhetoric during the Renaissance and Baroque periods. An impressive and daunting quantity of material has been condensed into a modest-sized volume (271 pages), and while the range of subjects is vast, the content is logically organized and the written style approachable.The argument for the rhetorical interpretation of music goes something like this: The skills of an experienced and fluent orator (such as an actor or a legal advocate) have striking similarities to a successful musical communicator. Through Humanist education, the rhetorical traditions of the ancient classical world shaped the thinking of those who influenced musical taste. Composers and performers must have been influenced by this, as writings frequently compare spoken oratory and musical performance. Unfortunately, those writings fail to show how this was done in practice, so the extent to which rhetoric manifested itself in sound can never be proved. Although attempts to interpret music according to rhetorical principles remain a speculative exercise, Tarling´s book must be applauded for inviting us to share her considerable knowledge of the historical background and apply her findings creatively.Reading the book at one sitting will be found rather hard going, and it is better dipped into as a reference tool. It is divided into five parts: an introduction to classical rhetoric, and four sections concerning rhetorical performance — audience and affect, delivery, structure and ornamentation. The clear structure and extensive index make for easy use, while frequent quotations from primary sources and over 700 references lend the book a scholarly air. The ideas of the classical rhetoricians Cicero and Quintilian form the core of the book, and the common threads that unite this material are drawn upon throughout. The sections on the Tudor schoolroom and popular Renaissance eloquence books are...

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Stand: 13.08.2018
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