Joachim Burmeister's early seventeenth-century treatise on the
making of music is generally acknowledged to be central to the
understanding of Baroque musical practice: it was the first
systematically to explore the connection between rhetoric and music
that became a cornerstone of Baroque musical thought. But until now
neither a reliable modern edition nor a full translation of this
seminal work has existed. This much-needed edition by Benito V.
Rivera contains a critical transcription of the Latin text and an
annotated translation on facing pages.
In a lengthy introduction to the book, Rivera reviews Burmeister's
two earlier treatises on musical composition, analyzes Musical
Poetics as a whole, and places it within its historical
context. An appendix to the edition reproduces the passages of
music cited by Burmeister, greatly facilitating the interpretation
of Burmeister's explanations of the rhetorical figures. The book
will be of interest to music historians and theorists as well as to
scholars of rhetoric.
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