This study aims at investigating the statute of the melodic rationality in Rousseau's Essay on the Origin of Languages in the search for articulating the making of music in the west with epistemological problems, typical in the illuminist rationality, focusing on the conception of human educability and its respective forms of formative experiences inserted in the broad process of a tensional relation between musical expression and forms of rationality. After the introduction of the hypothesis and research problem, three main steps will be unfolded: the first analyses the epistemological meaning of the Essay as criticism to the Cartesian episteme. The second rebuilds Rousseau's conception of music, abiding in the melody as its basic principle. The third and last step presents a schematic reconstruction of the distinction between perceptive reasoning and intellectual reasoning, focusing on the pedagogical architectonics of Emile, and the position taken by the natural education, supported by the perceptive reasoning as the basis for the education of the body and the refinement of the senses.
rationality; education; music; melody; formation