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Questions tagged [motif]

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

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Can any melody / motif be turned into a good sounding melody? (Theoretical and practical question.)

I've read and experienced and I noticed that rhythm, rest placing and even very minor (no pun inteded) changes to the melody, for example some flat or sharp can change it drastically. My question is ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Do, Re, Fa, Mi in Mozart's 1st symphony

In the Andante movement of Mozart's first symphony, there's a theme played on the horns which I think goes Do, Re, Fa, Mi. I wanted to know if there are any flats in these notes. Does it go, C D F E....
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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?
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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 ...
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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 ...