One of the main contribution of the development of the “structural neo-rhetoric” is that it adapted to the domain of general semiotics tools stemming from
classical rhetoric that were confined to verbal language. With the exception of historical researches on Baroque esthetics, the study of music did not develop in
this direction. This is paradoxical: by its very nature, music offers a field where operations constitutive of a rhetoric of communication are particularly effective.
The analysis of the final section of Haydn’s quartet op. 33 n. 2 illustrates an application to the musical domain of the description of the rhetorical figure proposed by the Groupe µ, resorting to the notions of isotopy, allotopy, impertinence, conceived and perceived degrees, or reevaluation. This example allows a novel approach of the musical process from the point of view of the various degrees of rhetoricity, from that of the concepts of code, norm and divergence, and from that of the endless question of the referentiality of musical meaning. This analysis also allows the simultaneous study of the poïetic intentions of the composer with the esthetic expectations and interpretive collaboration of the listener.