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Music Phase. Methods of motive development.

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Term Phrase can be defined as follows.

Phrase - relatively completed part of a melody, theme.”

Phrase – an idiom of “musical speech” separated by notional caesura and easily defined aurally.”

Phrase - construction in the midst of motive and sentence. Usually consists of 2 motives and forms a half of a sentence. It can be also of a solid structure not divided into motives.”

You can develop Motive by two ways:

  • The first method is to repeat Motive.
  • The second is to compare them with another Motive.

Motive repeating.

Let’s take a detailed look at this method. Repeating can be exact, sequenced or varied.

See below Example of the exact repeating. Motive 'a1' is the exact copy of Motive 'a', but another chord is picked for Motive 'a1'.

 Figure 1.

Sequenced repeating is transposition of Motive notes by several scale degrees up or down. See below (Figure 2) example of sequenced repeating of motive 'a'. Motive 'a1' is made by transposition Motive 'a' notes by one scale degree down.

 Figure 2.

Motive 'a1' is the variation of the motive 'a' (See Figure 3). You can vary a Motive by different ways — to exchange notes places, divide notes with big duration into several notes with shorter duration and vise versa.

 Figure 3.

Motive 'comparison' with the new Motive.

New motive can be derived from or contrast to the source Motive.

Derived Motives.

There are several methods of creation derived motives:

  • Save intonation pattern and create new rhythm (Figure 4). In 'a1' Motive all notes keep their pitches, it’s the same as in the respective notes in Motive 'a', but motive 'a1' has new rhythm.
     Figure 4.
  • Save Motive rhythm and create new intonation pattern (Figure 5). It’s the opposite example, where you keep the rhythm of Motive 'a' and compose a new intonation context for it. See the new Motive 'a1'.
     Figure 5.
  • Source Motive inversion (Figure 6). To invert a Motive, you need to change direction of all base Motive intervals, and then build up a new Motive out of these gotten intervals.
     Figure 6.
  • Extraction from the source Motive of several intonation patterns. On Figure 7 Motive 'a1' is a part of Motive 'a'.
     Figure 7.

Contrast Motives

Contrast Motive is a completely new Motive, unlike the source Motive. Rhythm can be contrast, for instance you can change notes durations from long to short. Or you can change intonation pattern from smooth to gaps. See Figure 8 as an example (Motive 'b' is contrast to Motive 'a').

 Figure 8.

Additionally to develop Motive you can apply several methods at once. For example Motive 'a1' is developed from Motive 'a' by sequencing and changing rhythm pattern of the source Motive (Figure 9).

 Figure 9.

A Phrase usually consists of two or three Motives.

As it was described above a Phrase is defined aurally as something whole. There are some advices to acquire it. Phrase motives will sound as an organic whole when Motive notes form a unique melodic wave. See below Figure 10. The Phrase formed by comparing a Motive with the new one (a contrast as usual) sounds more wholly than a Phrase formed by repeating a Motive.

 Figure 10.

As it was mentioned above caesura separates the Phrases. Here we can make a comparison with the human speech. In order to stress the meaning of what was said we point out a phrase or a sentence end with the pauses. The same is with the 'musical speech'. For a listener to be able to define the single music phrases or sentences, they have to be separated by caesura. Phrases can be separated by different ways and on different levels. Specifically:

  • On the rhythm level a longer duration at the end can be used (see number on the Figure 11).
  • A pause can be also used as caesura (see number on the Figure 12).
  • A phrase usually is a melodic wave. If you change the melody direction you can separate a phrase. For instance, if one phrase is an ascending wave (Figure 10) and another is a descending wave (Figure 12).
  • Repeating of a phrase itself separates it from the previous one, as the listener recognizes and thus separates the known part of the melody.
  • On the performer’s level the phrase notes are usually played legato.
  • On the performer’s level also the phrase can be separated by a slight tempo slowdown and volume decrease.

All methods above used together or separately make caesura that separates phrases.

 Figure 11.
 Figure 12.

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