Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 21 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Along with the emergence of topic theory, musicological discourse has witnessed a spectacular revival of rhetorical terminology. How can musical topics be defined vis-à-vis rhetorical figures? Any answer is fraught with paradox. Unlike Scheibe’s or Mattheson’s loci topici (which remained conceptually clearly anchored in inventio), Ratnerian topics span the range of res and verba (ideas and words) or inventio and elocutio: like figures, topics are to be recognized as striking foreground events and definitions of them have been style-specific. This chapter discusses three existing examples of figure- versus topic-oriented analysis of solo keyboard sonatas, exploring the compatibility of topic and figure while enlarging the picture to include performance, voluntas (or intent of the speaker), and choice of instrument. The three analyses are Friedrich August Kanne’s (1821) of Mozart’s K. 309/i, Wye Allanbrook’s (1992) of Mozart’s K. 332/i, and Leonard Ratner’s (1980) of Haydn’s Hob. XVI:52/i.

Keywords: figure, topic, loci topici, voluntas, rhetorical, res, verba, inventio, elocutio

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.