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What Makes Music Pretty?

October 2, 2011

The simplest of all questions…what makes music pretty? I mean pretty in the sense of ‘pleasing to the ear.’

Well, I am thinking of ballads as I type this. It’s motivic development — this from Wikipedia on motif:

In music, a motif or motive About this sound (pronunciation) is a short musical idea,[1] a salient recurring figure, musical fragment or succession of notes that has some special importance in or is characteristic of a composition.

But what type of motifs? Been listening to Dave Grusin movie themes today and yesterday. He does a great job of it. It’s strict allegiance to motivic development. With large interval leaps (usually one) within a grouping of 5-6 notes. Something like that…more to come on this.

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