FACTOID # 13: New York has America's lowest percentage of residents who are veterans.
 
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 
   
 
WHAT'S NEW
 

SEARCH ALL

FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 

 

(* = Graphable)

 

 


Encyclopedia > Motif (music)

In music, a motif is a perceivable or salient reoccurring fragment or succession of notes that may used to construct the entirety or parts of complete melodies, themes. A motif is distinguished from a figure in that a motif is foreground while a figure is background: "A figure resembles a moulding in architecture: it is 'open at both ends', so as to be endlessly repeatable. In hearing a phrase as a figure, rather than a motif, we are at the same time placing it in the background, even if it is...strong and melodious." (Scruton 1997: 61) A motif may be harmonic, melodic (pitch) and/or rhythmic (duration).


A motif thematically associated with a person, place, or idea is called a leitmotif.


A phrase originally presented or heard as a motif may become a figure which accompanies another melody, such as in the second movement of Claude Debussy's String Quartet:


The 1957 Encyclopédie Larousse defines a motif as follows:

  • "a small element characteristic of a musical composition, which guarantees in various ways the unity of a work or a part of the work (a motif can be assimilated into a cell, and can have three aspects that may be dissociated from one another, rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic)."

The Encyclopédie de la Pléiade defins a motif as follows:

  • a "melodic, rhythmic, or harmonic cell, characteristic of a musical work."

The 1980 New Grove defines a motif as follows:

  • "a short musical idea, be it melodic, harmonic, or rhythmic, or all three. A motif may be of any size, though it is most commonly regarded as the shortest subdivision of a theme or phrase that still maintains its identity as an idea. It is most often thought of in melodic terms, and it is this aspect of the motif that is connoted by the term 'figure'."

The 1958 Encyclopédie Fasquelle defines a motif as follows:

  • "In classical musical syntax, this is the smallest analyzable element (phrase) within a subject; it may contain one or more cells. A harmonic motif is a series of chords defined in the abstract, that is, wihtout reference to melody or rhythm. A melodic motif is a melodic formula, established without reference to intervals. A rhythmic motif is the term designating a characteristic rhythmic formula, an abstraction drawn from the rhythmic values of a melody."

Source

  • Scruton, Roger (1997). The Aesthetics of Music. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 0198166389.
  • Nattiez, Jean-Jacques (1990). Music and Discourse: Toward a Semiology of Music (Musicologie générale et sémiologue, 1987). Translated by Carolyn Abbate (1990). ISBN 0691027145.
    • (1957). Encyclopédie Larousse.
    • Encyclopédie de la Pléiade.
    • (1980). New Grove.
    • (1958). Encyclopédie Fasquelle.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Buy Yamaha MOTIF XS8 Music Production Workstation online at Musician's Friend (2686 words)
The MOTIF XS is not only exceptionally intuitive and easy to operate, its a true joy to play—right down to the newly designed expressive keyboards.
The MOTIF XS is also compatible with the MOTIF XS Editor—a comprehensive, easy-to-use editing software program that lets you edit (via USB connection) the mixing setups and mixing voices to be used for song/pattern playback directly on your computer.
The MOTIF XS is specially designed to function seamlessly with Cubase 4, Steinbergs powerful DAW software—giving you a comprehensive, all-in-one music production system in which both hardware and software are fully integrated.
MSN Encarta - Romania (1012 words)
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

COMMENTARY     


Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m