Motive is a group of notes around one up-beat. In comparison with human speech motive is a word. As phrases consist of words so motives form musical phrases and further — phrases form sentence. As a rule melody is based on several main motives, which within the melody evolution are repeated, developed and opposed one against another.
Another definition of Motive is "Motive is the smallest meaningful melody element"
There are three base motive types.
First Motive type — Iamb. Iamb begins with down-beat and ends on up-beat. See the examples below (Motive 1 and Motive 2).
|Motive 1.||Motive 2.|
Second motive type — Choree. Choree begins with up-beat and ends on down-beat. See the examples below (Motive 3 and Motive 4).
|Motive 3.||Motive 4.|
Third Motive type — Amphibrach. Amphibrach is a combination of first and second motive types. Amphibrach begins with down-beat and ends on down-beat. See the examples below (Motive 5 and Motive 6).
|Motive 5.||Motive 6.|
As a rule Motive length is no more then one measure.
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