The Use of Epizeuxis in Brazilian Colonial Music

Eliel Almeida Soares

The main objective of rhetoric is the production of persuasive and eloquent speeches, which serves as a basis for the thesis presented by the speaker in order to convince and attract the audience in favor of his arguments (GUIMARÃES, 2004, p.145). In this regard, a variety of metaphorical, analogical and allegorical devices are used, which can be examined since Greco-Roman antiquity, where several theorists and writers established concepts that can be understood among themselves (SOARES; NOVAES; MACHADO NETO, 2012, p.301). Similarly, in Baroque music and principles of classicism composers made their music using elements and rhetorical figures, in order to clarify both the statement and the ordering of the musical discourse. In addition, in Brazilian Colonial Music the idiosyncratic nature of the Enlightenment spirit and its relationship with the transformations in the sense of music, both the language structures and the processes of its reception, culminates in a dispute between the public spheres (Church and State), (MACHADO NETO, 2008, p. 19),  authors such as Manoel Dias de Oliveira, José Joaquim Emerico Lobo de Mesquita, André da Silva Gomes and José Maurício Nunes Garcia, used in many of their works a figurative language, based on the same rhetorical principles. Manoel Dias de Oliveira, for example, besides the expressed affections, uses the rhetorical elements to emphasize the frequent cadences and the lines of the counterpoint (DOTTORI, 1992, p.53). Similarly, Lobo Mesquita, in his masses, through rhetorical musical figures emphasizes different affections in the text of the ordinary, as well as the dynamics, melodies and cadences (OLIVEIRA, 2011, p.37). On the other hand, Silva Gomes in his Arte Explicada de Contraponto, highlights the importance of rhetorical instruction for composers to obtain a satisfactory and effective presentation (DUPRAT, et al, 1998, p.17-18). Finally, José Maurício demonstrates the influence of rhetoric, the discipline that he studied since his youth, whether in the art of oratory or in their sacred songs (MATTOS, 1997, p. 33-34). Due to that fact, this work seeks to show the use of Epizeuxis, which is a rhetorical figure of melodic repetition, in some excerpts of these composers’ works.  We are going to have as methodology, rhetorical-musical analyzes in consonance with the sacred text, harmony and disposition of the musical discourse.