2007 Student Research Conference:
20th Annual Student Research Conference

Language & Literature

Musical Rhetoric: Analysis of the Ideologies Expressed in the Music of Dmitri Shostakovich
Linda E. Schulte
Dr. Andrew Klyukovski, Faculty Mentor

The rhetorical tradition illustrates the persuasive power of language. Yet, the power of expression is not exclusive to language. Sixteenth century scholar Joachim Burmeister applied rhetorical techniques and devices to the study of music. In Musical Poetics, Burmeister introduces his study of musical syntax, styles of composition and rhetorical devices found in compositions. This type of analysis can give us a deeper understanding of the ideologies and statements expressed by Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich. Like other Russian artists, Shostakovich was faced with the challenge of expressing his ideas through music while abiding by the strict artistic guidelines set by the Soviet establishment. Even though he was twice denounced by the Soviet establishment, Shostakovich was able to share his ideas with the Russian people, as well as the world, through his music. Analysis of Shostakovich’s music from a rhetorical perspective will illustrate the persuasive power of music.

Keywords: musical rhetoric, Shostakovich, Soviet composers


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 56-2
Location: OP 2113
Time: 3:00 pm

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