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 ?
She now felt it due to that friendship to explain confidentially the motive which had induced her to leave home with her husband.
Ay, but I have only one motive in life, Miss Trotwood,' he rejoined, smiling.
To presume a want of motives for such contests as an argument against their existence, would be to forget that men are ambitious, vindictive, and rapacious.
If the impulse and the opportunity be suffered to coincide, we well know that neither moral nor religious motives can be relied on as an adequate control.
There are four kinds of Tragedy, the Complex, depending entirely on Reversal of the Situation and Recognition; the Pathetic (where the motive is passion),--such as the tragedies on Ajax and Ixion; the Ethical (where the motives are ethical),--such as the Phthiotides and the Peleus.
Rothschild; but as my motive in travelling to your capital would not have been for the pleasure of dabbling in stocks, I stayed away till some favorable chance should present itself of carrying my wish into execution.
One motive only they all had in common: a desire to get to the place that had been called Moscow, to apply their activities there.
Having no longer the motive of serving and protecting her, Alban must, nevertheless, have taken the journey to Northumberland.
Having answered my inquiries, the woman put her own sordid construction on my motive for visiting the prisoner.
Eustace Macallan the Second, you must have some very powerful motive for turning your studies that way.
Having admitted this, may I count on receiving your permission to explain the motive of my visit?
No, Lawrence, with your leave we'll continue it a while longer; and I'll tell you something, now we're about it, which you may believe or not as you choose - only please to remember that it is not my custom to speak falsely, and that in this case I can have no motive for misrepresenting the truth - '