On the Role of the ‘Passionate’ Rhythms of French Poetry of the 17th and Early 18th Centuries in the Genres of the chanson à danser and the danse chantée

Larisa D. Pylaeva


The article is devoted to the rhythms of French Baroque poetry, which are considered as an important source of emotional expressiveness in the dances of that time period. One example chosen is the Sarabande, as presented in the genres of the chanson à danser and the danse chantée by French composers of the 17th and the early 18th centuries. Special attention is given to the so-called unbalanced phrasing of poems, which leads to the emergence of ‘passionate rhythms.’ Their expressiveness was stipulated by the three types of accents present in the French spoken language — the grammatical, the logical and the pathetic (oratorical), which, according to Jean-Jacques Rousseau, create an impact on musical intonation and are important for composers who write music in dance forms. The equivalents of the grammatical accents, which mark the open or the closed sounds, as well as the brevity vs. the length of the syllables, are presented by the downbeats and the offbeats of the measures. The logical accents indicate the connections and relationships of the expressed thoughts uttered in the sentences of speech. The pathetic, or oratorical accents express the feelings of the speaker and communicate them to the listeners.

Keywords: French baroque music, rhetoric of dance, chanson à danser, danse chantée, sarabande tendre, “passionate rhythms,” the grammatical, logical and pathetic accents of French speech

For citation: Pylaeva L. D. On the Role of the "Passionate" Rhythms of French Poetry of the 17th and Early 18th Centuries in the Genres of the chanson à danser and the danse chantée [Electronic source]. In: Sovremennye problemy muzykoznaniya / Contemporary Musicology, 2023, no. 3, pp. 9–25. (In Russ.) DOI: 10.56620/2587-9731-2023-3-009-025


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.56620/2587-9731-2023-3-009-025

Copyright (c) 2023 Larisa D. Pylaeva

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