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." He said, "If the boy had stolen the bird, none would have been more ready to vote for a severe chastisement than himself; but it was plain that was not his design:" and, indeed, it was as apparent to him, that he could have no other view but what he had himself avowed.
It is matter of common observation that "so-and-so does not know his own motives," or that "A is envious of B and malicious about him, but quite unconscious of being so." Such people are called self-deceivers, and are supposed to have had to go through some more or less elaborate process of concealing from themselves what would otherwise have been obvious.
"Did Mademoiselle give you any explanation,--did she tell you what her motive was?" asked Monsieur Dax.
"Pray go on; I won't interrupt you again." 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.
Van Brandt's refusal to marry me, and there was an intelligible motive assigned for my proposing to leave London.
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."
Or at least if this were otherwise, there were not wanting other motives much more influential with him.