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The Musical Rhetoric of the Polish Baroque

The Musical Rhetoric of the Polish Baroque


Tomasz Jasinski

This book looks at the rich means of text interpretation in seventeenth and eighteenth century Polish music, a relatively unknown phenomenon. The works of old Polish masters exhibit many ingenious and beautiful solutions in musical oration, which will appeal to wide circles of lovers and experts of old music. One of the fundamental components of baroque musical poetics was music-rhetorical figures, which were the main means of shaping expression – the base and quintessence of musical rhetoric. It was by means of figures that composers built the musical interpretation of a verbal text, developing pictorial, emphatic, onomatopoeic, symbolic, and allegorical structures that rendered emotions and meanings carried by the verbal level of a musical piece.
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Foreword to the English Edition


The basis for this edition is the second, corrected, and revised Polish edition, published in Lublin in 2009 by Polihymnia Musical Editions. The text of the dissertation is fundamentally unchanged, with the exception of a Bibliography extended with the major scientific studies on the subject of musical rhetorics, published in the last few years. With the international reader in mind, I have also extended the Editorial Notes with the names of the leading Polish composers of the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth century, listing their dates of life or approximate time of activity.

I wish to thank Dr. Wojciech Bońkowski for his work in translating this book into English.

Tomasz Jasiński

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