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“She was dressed in rich materials—satins, and lace, and silks—all of white. Her shoes were white. And she had a long white veil dependent from her hair, and she had bridal flowers in her hair, but her hair was white.” With these words, Charles Dickens introduces the character of Miss Havisham in his novel Great Expectations .

How is musical identity established? How can we describe the basic attributes of a musical idea?

A writer might portray a character through details of physical appearance, background and behavior. We will view musical identity as being created by rhythm, melody, harmony, pitch content and instrumental color.


Because music is a time-art, rhythm is the most basic element of musical identity. Most generally, speed helps to characterize the music: Fast music is different from slow.

More concretely, a repeating rhythmic pattern may underlie a musical idea.

In Maurice Ravel’s Bolero , a fixed rhythmic pattern—first played by the snare drum—anchors the entire composition.

In this excerpt from Steve Reich’s Music for Large Ensemble , the evolving texture grows out of an underlying rhythmic pattern.

The term motive refers to a short, elemental fragment. If the entire pattern or theme is a necklace, then motives are its beads.

A rhythmic motive may be a key identifying feature. The opening of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 consists of music’s most famous rhythmic motives: “three dots and a dash.”

In this excerpt, the rhythmic motive is passed around the orchestra:

Lalo Schifrin’s theme for Mission Impossible contains a rhythmic motive consisting of “two dots and a dash.” A fixed pattern, or ostinato , underlies the Mission Impossible theme, also contributing to its identity.

A rhythmic motive can take any melodic shape: In the Mission Impossible example, the motive at first heads downwards three times in succession. It then appears three more times: These times, however the motive “curls” upwards. The rhythms are identical but the melodic shape is not strict.

Thus, extended rhythmic patterns and shorter motives may be embedded in a musical idea, contributing to its identity.


Melody is music’s most familiar and intuitive term: It’s what we sing or hum. In classical and popular music, it is often the primary focus of our attention.

Melody has two components: rhythm, combined with the rising and falling of pitch.

Clearly, rhythm alone does not make a melody: Try singing the rhythm of “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” in a monotone. Stripped of pitch inflection, it is no longer a song. But pitch alone is not enough either. Try singing “I’ve Been Working” in even-valued rhythms: It loses its form like a crumpled shirt. Thus, melody is a hybrid concept: It incorporates both rhythm and pitch. When we speak of melodic contour and motive , rhythm is often implicated as well.

The contour of a melody describes its shape. The contour of the principal theme of Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 8 rises ever higher in three short thrusts and then sinks back down:

Questions & Answers

how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
what is system testing
what is the application of nanotechnology?
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
I'm interested in Nanotube
this technology will not going on for the long time , so I'm thinking about femtotechnology 10^-15
can nanotechnology change the direction of the face of the world
Prasenjit Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Sound reasoning. OpenStax CNX. May 31, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10214/1.21
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