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Musical Rhetoric This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


Since the dawn of written words and human culture, people have developed and refined ways of effectively communicating thoughts and ideas. In verbal communication, this is known as rhetoric. Similarly, music has broadened and developed into patterns and flourishes that appeal to the human mind and emotion. Can similarities be drawn between Beethoven’s timeless symphonies and Lincoln’s famous speeches?

When you listen to a song or other musical composition, the hooks and gimmicks display the same resonance as those of famous written works. Repetition of musical phrases and melodies, for ­instance, serves the same purpose as written or spoken rhetoric. Antithesis, the juxtaposition of opposing ideas, can also be found in music with contrasting themes and variations.

The overall structures of songs are also similar to those of books, with the introduction of new themes, new tones, and opposing ideas all brilliantly displayed through the work of both pen and violin bow. Rhetoric is the icing on the musical cake that makes it lively, tasteful, and inspiring. Chopin composed it, Martin Luther King Jr. spoke it, Rachmaninoff expressed it, and Emerson embraced it. All, knowingly or unconsciously, found the key to unlocking and opening the minds of the people through the effective use of rhetorical elements in their works.

Many recognize the power of rhetoric in written works, yet few ponder why they enjoy the latest hit on the radio. If society further cultivates study into this, a broader understanding of music in its essence will be unlocked.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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beautifulspiritThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 22, 2011 at 1:31 pm:
This was cool~ sort of like a history of music lesson or something. We all love music and everything, but we don't even realize the power of rhetoric behind it. You were clear in your intent and professional in executing it. Loved your article!
 
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loversinjapan This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 1, 2010 at 9:43 pm:
Oh my God that was a fantastic article. You wrote like you were a professional. You should be a writer because you would obviously be awesome at it and everyone would fall in love with your hypnotizing speech. Cool
 
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Panicgirl18 said...
Apr. 28, 2010 at 10:49 am:
Your take on this is very inventive and I completely agree. When you said "The overall structures of songs are also similar to those of books, with the introductions of new themes, new tones, and opposing ideas all brilliantly displayed through the work of both pen in violin bow.", I clearly heard the rich hum of a b flat on violin. Wonderful imagery. Great article. :)
 
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mikaylamissme said...
Mar. 2, 2010 at 10:08 am:
this is so good :)
i really like the deeper meaning behind the words.
check out my article i wrote?
sorry, ha i just want feedback
its called "WHen I grow up"
But i really like this, and great idea too!
 
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