The Listener and the Reader
Music's sense of audience is based on reception far more than that of rhetoric's sense of audience. The listener is deemed more engaged, more perceptive than the reader. A listener attentive in semiosis. Here's an example of a discussion of rhythm. from Roads.
each beat is performed within the context of intended future beats as well as those beats already performed. . . . Listeners use their corpus of learned rhythms as a reference point to subsume the new performance. A purely causal model will be limited in its success because it is not taking into account the prediction and retrospection possible of the performance as it proceeds.
This is an active and responsive listener. An intelligent and perceptive listener with a memory. Listening to music that changes from moment to moment. Attentive and engaged in semiosis.
But as music so text, changing from moment to moment as attention courses over it.
Rhetoric's audience has been static. Disembodied. A demographic. Not traditionally, but since 1950. Since marketing took over. Since communication was cast as information transfer. Since Shannon.
We can see the difference if passage is transformed into readers and syntax and rhetorical figures.
each sentence and figure is presented within the context of intended future sentences and figures as well as those sentences already presented. . . . Readers use their corpus of learned figures as a reference point to subsume the new text. A purely causal model will be limited in its success because it is not taking into account the prediction and retrospection possible of the performance as it proceeds.
The last sentence is the final twist of the knife: Rhetoric relies on a “purely causal model.” Simpler.
The model music uses is not a pre-perceptual model but model of perception of sound and rhythm.
Anticipation affects the listener’s attention and informs their reaction as to whether their expectation is met or not (Huron 2006).
Expectation and memory are intimately related. I wait for the return of a theme to the degree that I remember it. . . . In musical duration . . . there is a prevalence to wait for the past to occur again. —Gisèle Brelet (quoted in Messiaen 1994)
Thus anticipation informs the process of perceptual grouping, as discussed next.
From here, Roads discusses perception and gestalt effects. But that is not to short the perception of rhetorical figures as read.
For hypertext: Authors can design for movement and antiticipation rather than despair at the loss of a single reading path. Think of a reading path as a melody or its variation.
Or multiple worlds, as in A Rich Concept of the Reader.
Curtis Roads, Composing Electronic Music: A New Aesthetic. Companion site