figure

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figure,

in music, short melodic or rhythmic pattern, the smallest grouping of notes that will produce a single distinct impression. In this sense figure is synonymous with motivemotive
or motif
, in music, a short phrase or passage of two or more notes and repeated or elaborated throughout the composition. The term is usually used synonymously with figure.
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. In music before the 18th cent., a figure had an additional meaning of symbolic significance; it was an illustration in sound of textual details, e.g., a descending group of notes for any word expressing descent. As such, it was part of musical rhetoric.

Figure

Sculptural representation of a person or animal.

Figure

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Figure is an older term for an astrological chart.

figure

[′fig·yər]
(materials)
The natural grain of wood, especially when it is cut as a veneer.

figure

Pattern and natural markings in a wood surface formed by an unusual arrangement or color of the wood fibers and rays. These deviations produce such figures as blister, bird’s-eye, fiddleback, etc.

figure

1. any written symbol other than a letter, esp a whole number
2. another name for digit
3. an amount expressed numerically
4. a representation in painting or sculpture, esp of the human form
5. a pattern or design, as on fabric or in wood
6. a predetermined set of movements in dancing or skating
7. Geometry any combination of points, lines, curves, or planes. A plane figure, such as a circle, encloses an area; a solid figure such as a sphere, encloses a volume
8. Logic one of the four possible arrangements of the three terms in the premises of a syllogism
9. Music
a. a numeral written above or below a note in a part
b. a characteristic short pattern of notes
References in periodicals archive ?
The British Encyclopedia of Rock," published earlier this year, didn't do much better: It described him as "one of the great lost figures of rock 'n' roll'" and added that he "has always seemed destined to miss out on the big time.
These are lost figures in a nonplace at an indeterminate time of day, torn free of all social relations, isolated, lonely and yet a part of the all-encompassing mass, able to be formed and yet individualist; they are the agonists of our leisure time, a society of pleasure seekers attempting to escape the dreary everyday.