Anonymous asked in Education & ReferenceOther - Education · 1 decade ago

What is a motivic repetition?

I have to know what it is for a music theory project.

2 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
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    Its basically the repetition of a motive, or small fragment of music. Think of the beginning Beethoven's famous Symphony No. 5, (dum dum dum DUMMMMM!!!). That rhythmic idea is repeated and presented throughout the piece. Hope this helps! :)

    Source(s): Im in Music Theory IV at Florida State University.
  • 1 decade ago

    I couldn't find a specific definition. Hope this may help:


    In most cases the repetition of the structural descent is associated with a motivic repetition. Interruption implies a two-part structure tonal structure which is often reflected in a binary formal structure.(1)

    Despite this expansion of melodic and rhythmic palate Josquin retains a homogeneity of melodic materials. Many of the motivic and melodic materials have derivations from preceding themes or, in some instances, from the cantus itself. Much of the motivic repetition is fairly obvious, there are a few which are worth pointing out. One less obvious example occurs in measure 50. The Bassus is singing a compressed and mildly ornamented version of the cantus. While in counterpoint against that the altus is sings twice a motive that is essentially the framework of the theme introduced in mm 16. Another example of use of the cantus as a motivic source for the Gloria is the opening five notes of the piece. These can be traced to the Re Fa Mi Re of the Cantus.(2)

    The article calls attention to the element of surprise in Varese's Density 21.5; there is a TG division that the computer analysis did not pick up, partially because a recognizable motive appears in a place where it is surprising to the listener, before an expected TG division by non-motivic parameters might have occured. This underscores both the importance of analyzing pieces with motivic repetition in mind, and of disruption as a relevant musical tactic -- It seems to me that, though disruption deviates from a larger pattern within a work, it reinforces the pattern at large though its isolation as a disruption, while adding interesting contrast. What is the relevence of disruption in music, with Gestalt perception in mind? (EL)(3)

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