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Questions tagged [motif]

For question about musical figures and ideas whether it be constructing or analyzing.

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What are the most elementary techniques one can implement in a motif?

What are the most elementary techniques one can implement in a motif? Techniques for creating contrast, tension, ambiguity or some other "quirk" to make a motif more unique. By a "motif&...
Flowy Poosh's user avatar
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34 views

Changing the harmony of a motive ''by additions at the end,'' according to Schoenberg

Schoenberg says that the harmony of a motive may be changed ''[b]y additions at the end'' (Fundamentals of musical composition, page 10). He cites examples 25c-i to illustrate what he means (see ...
Noah J's user avatar
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0 answers
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Has anyone attempted to study the history and evolution of specific jazz "licks"?

Has anyone attempted to study the history and evolution of specific jazz "licks" ? For example, Louis Armstrong played this phrase or snippet or riff. Here is how it evolved...here is how ...
Bruce Kamolnick's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
184 views

Is there a compositional term for an introductory variation on a larger theme?

I’ve noticed that in some music spaces, specifically entertainment and gaming, composers rely heavily on character or main themes as recurring motifs. One such instance I’ve heard recently involves ...
CIFilter's user avatar
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3 votes
3 answers
116 views

Is there a word for the motif of linearly-tumbling & surging little bundles of notes? (E.g., "FEDC-FEDC-BCDEF")

For example, Cerulean's Flight (from the start and throughout): I've found this to be one of the most common attributes of my favourite music. In my notes I've had to ...
Robert B's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
1k views

Are ostinatos and motifs essentially the same thing?

I understand that there is a difference between the two, but I'm still confused. Are the terms "ostinato" and "motif" interchangeable?
user87626's user avatar
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Did Stravinsky ever work backwards?

I've always been intrigued by this little passage in Stravinsky's "Fireworks" (op. 4). It seems to me to be many things all at once, each masterfully handled. It's a nifty little canon, a ...
nuggethead's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
292 views

How do you quote foreign motives in a composition?

This seems like it should be straightforward, but I don't know how to do it, so it's not for me at least. At the timestamp I provide in this song, the Animaniacs' Presidents Song, there is a quote ...
JohnnyApplesauce's user avatar
6 votes
5 answers
4k views

Whats the difference between a leitmotif and an idée fixe?

And all leitmotifs are motifs, but not all motifs are necessarily leitmotifs, correct?
user71207's user avatar
  • 545
6 votes
4 answers
604 views

Is there a name for this common bass line?

I've heard this bass line in a number of songs, including Billy Joel's "Piano Man", "One Day More" from Les Miserables, and "Rambling Through the Avenues of Time" by ...
margalo's user avatar
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1 answer
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What's the time signature for "Son of Flynn" and "Recognizer" in the TRON: Legacy Soundtrack by Daft Punk? [closed]

What's the time signature for "Son of Flynn" and "Recognizer" in the TRON: Legacy Soundtrack by Daft Punk? It seems to me that "Son of Flynn" is clearly in a mixed meter: ...
jvriesem's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
345 views

Is there a list of motifs and labels of this motifs?

I'm trying to make a list of the short motifs e.g. in Baroque, which are the elements in the music by Bach, Vivaldi, Händel et all. I have found some lists of figures, ornaments, decorations in the ...
Albrecht Hügli's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
130 views

Are two tracks technically related?

I was choosing a theme for my alarm and found Springtide, reminded me of Road to Perdition the movie. Particularly the Road to Chicago track, after I had checked the soundtrack in YouTube. So maybe ...
62634's user avatar
  • 11
3 votes
2 answers
379 views

Do Most short motifs and phrases end on the root

This may be objective, but I'd like others input. Do most short phrases and motifs especially in blues and rock, end on the root. I think I've noticed that in most phrases, that the ending note is ...
mike628's user avatar
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5 votes
5 answers
3k views

Motifs in melody writing

I read in many books/teachings etc. that the first step for creating a melody is to come up with a motif, and use that for further development. Are all melodies created like that? I hear melodies that ...
Alex P's user avatar
  • 111
4 votes
3 answers
6k views

What terms describe music that generally moves down (Or up) in pitch as the music moves forward?

I have noticed that some music, particularly music rock music played on guitar, often has passages that start lower in the register of the guitar (Or other), and increase pitch as the passage ...
user avatar
5 votes
4 answers
894 views

Descending Minor7♭5 Introduction/Motif Questions

Some jazz arrangements that I've heard use a motif(?) where a series of descending minor chords are played, starting on the #iv of the major scale. For example, in the key of D, the progression is as ...
Tikhon's user avatar
  • 311
3 votes
4 answers
2k views

Harmonic Motif vs Melodic Motif?

From my research online it seems that most are talking about melodic motifs/motives in order to develop an improvisation or composition. But in other articles about improvisation I read people ...
user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
1k views

What is the motif used in many chaconnes in the 17th century?

Wikipedia says that a chaconne is a musical composition involving variations on a harmonic progression or melody (motif), similar to the passacaglia. In essence, it is a musical form. The motif is ...
user1803551's user avatar
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2 answers
175 views

What is the name of a description of a pattern of motives?

I have to describe short melodies composed by beginner students. They are typically just a few bars long, and are composed bar by bar, so most of the times there is a 1-to-1 correspondence between bar ...
Morpheu5's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
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Blues improvisation building blocks

I was taking jazz piano lessons but had to stop. My teacher's approach to teach jazz improvisation was to break it down into a series of "building blocks" which are small motifs found frequently in ...
02fentym's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
703 views

Can a motif be found outside of a phrase?

Can motifs be found outside of phrases, like by itself? Or do you think that would actually make that "motif by itself" act like a phrase in it's own right?
Lost Crotchet's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
112 views

Motifs in Bartók's 5th Quartet

I'm doing a motific analysis of the first movement of Bartók's 5th Quartet and I've traced almost everything. The only bit which bothers me occurs at bar 82, then again at bar 177 where it forms the ...
Jordan White's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
9k views

recognizing the motif

I encounter the term motif in composition books, and still have no idea what a motif is. Many sources (including some dictionaries) try to define it as "prominent sequence of notes" or "basic theme of ...
Saeed Neamati's user avatar