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Music Theory for Computer Musicians by Michael Hewitt

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Writing a Strong Motive

To write a good motive, work on the rhythm first. Create a strong, distinctive rhythm that the ear will immediately recognize. For example, look at the two motives in Figure 10.6. Both have played a significant part in dance music of various styles. They are especially suited for bass lines. The driving rhythm gives both motives a sense of forward motion and impetus.

Figure 10.6. Two dance music bass motives.

When it comes to melodic leads, you also need to think about the characteristic melodic intervals to use. Determining these is best accomplished by considering the emotional context. What does the motive represent? ...

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