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L'Harmonie du savoir: du modèle rhétorique au modèle musical

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the place of music as a model in the ideal of culture and of man as conceived by the ars rhetorica until the arrival of modern science and esthetics. Rhetoric's sister discipline as a vocal art, based on the primacy of the human voice and language's rational nature as incarnated in word and sound, the ars musica, included within the repertory of the orator's essential disciplines, is seen as profoundly shaped by the Ciceronian canons of oratory. The musical model is so rich because it furnishes the paradigm of proper measure: music interests rhetoric, owing to its rational organization of sensory factors through the concepts of rhythm and harmony. It also furnishes the paradigm of harmony, of the concordia discors or the discordia concors, that is, the bringing of multiplicity into unity, the reconciliation of opposites, from which the proper proportion, the proper setting emerge.

Keywords: concordia discors; harmony; musical model; rhetorical model; rhythm



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