Musical Motives: A Theory & Method for Analyzing Shape in Music PDF
All music fans harbor in their memories vivid fragments of their favorite works. The starting guitar solo of “Satisfaction” by the Rolling Stones, the da-da-da-DUM gesture that opens Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, the lush swelling chords of a beloved movie soundtrack: hearing the briefest snippet of any of these is enough to transport listeners into the piece’s sonic and emotional world. But what makes musical motives so powerful? In Musical Motives, author Brent Auerbach looks at the ways that motives ― the small-scale pitch and rhythm shapes that are ever-present in music ― unify musical compositions and shape our experiences of them.
Motives serve both to communicate basic musical meaning and to tie together sound space like the motifs in visual art. They present in all genres from classical and popular to jazz and world music, making them ideally suited for analysis. Musical Motives opens with a general introduction to these fundamental building blocks, then lays out a comprehensive theory and method to account for music’s structure and drama in motivic terms. Aimed at both amateur and expert audiences, the book offers a tiered approach that progresses from Basic to Complex Motivic Analysis. The methods are illustrated by small- and large-scale analyses of pieces by Mozart, Beethoven, Handel, Chaminade, Verdi, Radiohead, and many more.