motive


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motive

or

motif

(mōtēf`), 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 figurefigure,
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 motive. In music before the 18th cent.
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. A special kind of motive is the leitmotiv, wherein a character or a dramatic idea is represented throughout an opera by one or more motives. The leitmotiv technique is almost as old as opera itself, but its most extensive application is found in Wagner's works.
References in classic literature ?
Ay, but I have only one motive in life, Miss Trotwood,' he rejoined, smiling.
She now felt it due to that friendship to explain confidentially the motive which had induced her to leave home with her husband.
Allworthy answered, "That he was sorry for what his nephew had done, but could not consent to punish him, as he acted rather from a generous than unworthy motive.
I believe that the discovery of our own motives can only be made by the same process by which we discover other people's, namely, the process of observing our actions and inferring the desire which could prompt them.
Did Mademoiselle give you any explanation,--did she tell you what her motive was?
Acting on this invitation, I told him the truth about my husband and myself quite unreservedly, taking care, however, at the same time, to put Eustace's motives in the best light that they would bear.
But the great security against a gradual concentration of the several powers in the same department, consists in giving to those who administer each department the necessary constitutional means and personal motives to resist encroachments of the others.
Having answered my inquiries, the woman put her own sordid construction on my motive for visiting the prisoner.
Having admitted this, may I count on receiving your permission to explain the motive of my visit?
You have, no doubt, a personal motive for proceeding, into which it is not my business to inquire.
No," said the Dog; "if I were to accept that, it might be thought that in biting you I was actuated by improper motives.
As the sense of responsibility is always strongest, in proportion as it is undivided, it may be inferred that a single man would be most ready to attend to the force of those motives which might plead for a mitigation of the rigor of the law, and least apt to yield to considerations which were calculated to shelter a fit object of its vengeance.