I don't really see, where these fragments are meant to be taken from. The only thing that seems fragmented to me is the idea of sequencing pitches downwards. But doesn't fragmentation refer to Rythm?

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  • So, I just checked my books and got to this: things don't need to be fragmented from somewhere, it simply means that the 5th and 6th bar are divided into 1m units. Is that correct?
    – user45165
    Commented May 13, 2018 at 6:46
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    Yeah, I think you probably are right: the one-bar division after a 2+2 four-bar phrase structure is fragmentary in its own right. It’s a stretch, but I suppose you could hear is as a motivic fragmentation of the continuation (c.i.) in mm. 3–4, because it’s taking the four-note descending stepwise line and turning it into a two-note descending stepwise line… Commented May 13, 2018 at 10:57
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    @PatMuchmore Yep, that's it. You should turn that into an answer! (But note that "c.i." is "contrasting idea"; the continuation isn't until m. 5.)
    – Richard
    Commented May 13, 2018 at 15:34

1 Answer 1


Fragmentation is the use of small local musical ideas that split the flow of a musical piece. They almost act as bit of punctuation between the main themes and contrast to the linear feel of the surrounding phrases.

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