I have been reading Alan Belkin's book "Musical Composition". In the first chapter titled motifs he mentions the use of what is called "Neutral Lines" which are parts between motifs that makes the music less dense. He gives an example by using scales with neutral rhythms. Can someone point out an example of these neutral lines? Thank You.

  • You mean examples in well-known compositions? Or something besides a scale with a neutral rhythm? Mar 4, 2023 at 18:07
  • Examples in well-know compositions, I'm sorry if i can't explain the idea of neutral lines well because the book does not give much details about. But what i'm looking for is to understand what is meant by neutral sections between motifs that make the music less dense as the book describes. Mar 4, 2023 at 19:34
  • I think finding example compositions is a music ID question that is off topic. Mar 4, 2023 at 21:59
  • I think the question could be edited to be on-topic. It seems OP's intention is to get a practical demonstration of what a neutral line is.
    – Edward
    Mar 5, 2023 at 2:08

1 Answer 1


A simple arpeggio pattern can be used as a neutral line between melodic motifs to provide a moment of relief and make the melody less dense. The neutral line can be any simple musical idea that contrasts with the more complex motifs. The idea is to create a sense of contrast that makes the more complex musical ideas stand out.

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