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"Three-Motif Theme"

Title Three-Motif Theme
ComposerF.G.J. Absil
Instrum.Studio Orchestra
DateJuly 2022
StyleOrchestral Music
KeyG modal (non-functional harmony)
Tempo58 BPM (Largo, molto rubato)


A musical score excerpt
  • Woodwinds: Piccolo, Flute 1-2, Oboe, Clarinet in Bb 1-2, Bass Clarinet;
  • Brass: Horn in F 1-2, Trumpet, Trombone 1-2, Bass Trombone, Contrabass Tuba;
  • Percussion: Timpani, Harp, Piano, Glockenspiel, Vibraphone, Xylophone, Bar Chimes, Bass Drum, Suspended Cymbal, Tam-tam, Triangle;
  • Rhythm: Synthesizer Bass;
  • Strings: Violin 1 (1 solo), Violin 2 (1 solo), Viola, Cello, Double Bass.


YouTube video of the Three-Motif Theme tutorial The composition 'Three-Motif Theme' for studio orchestra is the example for the YouTube video tutorial about approaches to setting a musical theme or motif:

  • The piece demonstrates the combination of motif imitation, rhythmic diminution and augmentation, hocket technique and harmonization.
  • The theme consists of three short motifs, {M1, M2, M3}. These are used in a set of seven subsections, that use single or multiple techniques.
  • Harmonization is based on Schillinger System of Musical Composition variable tension chords in thirds, a technique described in Book 6, The Correlation of Harmony and Melody. Melody notes are assigned to specific chordal functions {1,3,5,7,9,11,13}. The resulting extended chords create a tension curve pattern, with mostly non-functional character. Phrase endings are based on cadential chord progressions with diatonic root movement.
  • The audio rendering of the Cubase 11 Midi mockup uses Aaron Venture Infinite Series woodwinds and brass, Audio Modeling SWAM solo violin, Sample Modeling ensemble strings, Pianoteq glockenspiel, harp, piano, vibraphone, and xylophone, Native Instruments timpani, Toontrack Superior Drummer orchestral percussion, FM8 bass synthesizer from the Native Instruments Komplete Collection. Effect plug-ins are Steinberg stock, FabFilter, LiquidSonics, Valhalla DSP, and Nugen Audio.

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