The Harmonic Orator: The Phrasing and Rhetoric of the Melody in French Baroque Airs

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"[Patricia Ranum] and I both believe in the inherent musicality of language itself and the necessity to treat music and written text on an equal basis. Words and their organization create melody, rhythm, and dynamics. ...Patricia Ranum's book reveals and explains to her readers this essential aspect of French musical art." -William Christie (Preface)

This book was originally published by Pendragon Press in 2001.

Table of Contents

Preface (William Christie)
Foreword: To Twentieth-Century Harmonic Orators
Prologue: The French Air, an Echo of Spoken Rhetoric
Chapter I: A Singing Voice: The Poetic Structure of an Air
Chapter II: An Artful Disposition: The Periodic Structure of an Air
Chapter III: Harmonious Vowels: Long and Short Syllables
Chapter IV: Harmonious Meters: The Rhythmic Structure of a Poetic Line
Chapter V: Expressive Numbers: Relays and Poetic Feet
Chapter VI: Persuasive Pronunciation: Accents and Articulation
Chapter VII: Moving Speech Rhythms: Equal and Unequal Notation
Chapter VIII: Weapons of the Soul: Rhythmic Figures of Speech
Chapter IX: Expressive Energies: The Emotions Conveyed by Tempos, Modes, Chords
Chapter X: Artful Imitations: Basic French Speech Melodies
Chapter XI: The Soul in Motion: Expressing the Passions
Conclusion: Toward a "National Music": Music with a French Accent
Eighteen Miniature Orations

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