The Rhetoric of Silence



Rhetoric, Music, Silences, Rests, Baroque


There is a lack of a single doctrine for the use of rhetoric in baroque music. The rhetorical theory has interpretative and heterogeneous qualities.  In order to reveal some of the aesthetic objectives of the meraviglia, which are focused on provoking a shocking sense of wonderment through creating experiences that astonish with delight, musical examples of the pathetic use of silences are presented. Rhetoric is viewed as the energy inherent in emotion and thought, transmitted through a system of signs, including music, to others with the objective of influencing their decisions and actions.


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Author Biography

Cesar Marino Villavicencio, University of São Paulo (USP) (Brazil)

Researcher and interpreter of music from the 17th and 18th centuries, contemporary music and improviser, he holds a PhD in Music - University of East Anglia (2008), England - with the thesis The Discourse of Free Improvisation. He is doing post-doctoral research at the Music Department of ECA/USP (FAPESP). He works on research and performance with interactive electronic media and the application of technology in the creation of new instruments. As a researcher he has oriented projects and presented works at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, Netherlands, at the University of California at San Diego, University of California at Santa Barbara, University of Nevada at Las Vegas, United States, USP, UNESP, UNIRIO, UFPB and UNICAMP. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Music from São Judas Tadeu University (1990), Master's degree in Flute - Royal Conservatory of The Hague, Netherlands (1998). Her main fields of interest are: recorder, improvisation, ancient music, contemporary music, electroacoustic music and the creation of a curriculum that encompasses all these areas in the teaching of recorder.


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How to Cite

Villavicencio, Cesar Marino. 2011. “The Rhetoric of Silence”. Per Musi, no. 24 (July):1-9.



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