Term Phrase can be defined as follows.
“Phrase - relatively completed part of a melody, theme.”
“Phrase – an idiom of “musical speech” separated by notional caesura and easily defined aurally.”
“Phrase - construction in the midst of motive and sentence. Usually consists of 2 motives and forms a half of a sentence. It can be also a solid structure which is not divided into motives.”
There are two ways to develop Motive and produce a Phrase:
Let’s take a detailed look at this method. Repeating can be exact, sequenced or varied.
See below Example of the exact repeating. Motive 'a1' is the exact copy of Motive 'a', but another chord is picked for Motive 'a1'.
Sequenced repeating is transposition of Motive notes by several scale degrees up or down. See below (Figure 2) example of sequenced repeating of motive 'a'. Motive 'a1' is made by transposition Motive 'a' notes by one scale degree down.
Motive 'a1' is the variation of the motive 'a' (See Figure 3). You can vary a Motive by different ways — to exchange notes places, divide notes with big duration into several notes with shorter duration and vise versa.
New motive can be derived from the source Motive or contrast to the source Motive.
There are several methods of creation derived motives:
Contrast Motive is a completely new Motive, unlike the source Motive. Rhythm can be contrasted, for instance, a first motive consists of long durations but a second motive consists of short durations. Alternatively the intonation pattern can be contrasted, for example, a first motive consists of fluent movement but a second motive consists of 'leaps'. See Figure 8 as an example (Motive 'b' is contrast to Motive 'a').
Additionally to develop Motive you can apply several methods at once. For example Motive 'a1' is developed from Motive 'a' by sequencing and changing rhythm pattern of the source Motive (Figure 9).
A Phrase usually consists of two or three Motives.
As it was described above a Phrase is defined aurally as something whole. There are some advices to acquire it. Phrase motives will sound as an organic whole when Motive notes form a unique melodic wave. See below Figure 10. The Phrase formed by comparing a Motive with the new one (a contrast as usual) sounds more wholly than a Phrase formed by repeating a Motive.
As it was mentioned above caesura separates the Phrases. Here we can make a comparison with the human speech. In order to stress the meaning of what was said we point out a phrase or a sentence end with the pauses. The same is with the 'musical speech'. For a listener to be able to define the single music phrases or sentences, they have to be separated by caesura. Phrases can be separated by different ways and on different levels. Specifically:
All methods above used together or separately make caesura that separates phrases.
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