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11: Melodic Analysis

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    Chapter 11 Melodic Analysis

    We will divide analysis of melodies into motives (which can be broken into fragments) and phrases (which can be broken into subphrases) in order to understand the construction of melodies. We will discuss periods and sentences in another chapter.

    • 11.1: Motive
    • 11.2: Melodic Alteration
      While there are more than a dozen ways to alter a melody, we will focus on seven methods of basic melodic alteration at this point of the text.
    • 11.3: Fragment
      While the motive is usually defined as the smallest identifiable melodic idea in a composition, “compound” motives can be broken into fragments (sometimes called “germs”).
    • 11.4: Phrase
      Musical form is full of sections, and the phrase is the smallest category of section. Unlike a motive, a phrase gives the sense of completing a formal unit.
    • 11.5: Subphrase
      Subphrases are smaller than phrases but larger than motives. Most of the subphrases we encounter will be two measures long. Subphrases are called “phrase segments” and “phrase members” in other texts.
    • 11.6: Practice Exercises

    This page titled 11: Melodic Analysis is shared under a GNU Free Documentation License 1.3 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Robert Hutchinson via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.

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