Musical Rhetoric MAG

February 25, 2010
By Evan Scallan BRONZE, Heath, Texas
Evan Scallan BRONZE, Heath, Texas
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

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.



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This article has 4 comments.


on Dec. 22 2011 at 1:31 pm
beautifulspirit PLATINUM, Alpharetta, Georgia
35 articles 0 photos 1401 comments

Favorite Quote:
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
--Eleanor Roosevelt

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!

on Oct. 1 2010 at 9:43 pm
LaughingGirl GOLD, Ocala, Florida
13 articles 0 photos 50 comments

Favorite Quote:
Play the music not the instrument. -Author Unknown

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

on Apr. 28 2010 at 10:49 am
Panicgirl18 BRONZE, North Kingstown, Rhode Island
1 article 0 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
Don't be afraid to laugh. Laugh like no one's watching, for laughter is God's best medicine. Plus, if you're laughing, you're having a better time than all the schlubs who currently AREN'T.

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. :)

on Mar. 2 2010 at 10:08 am
mikaylamissme BRONZE, Lakewood, Ohio
1 article 0 photos 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, its about dancing in the rain :)"

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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