How Songs Benefit When You Use Musical Motifs

December 19, 2014

The Essential Secrets of Songwriting Blog

Musical motifs add structure to your song — in ways that audiences won’t usually notice.


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Rock Band SingerIt’s practically impossible to discuss music in any of the pop genres without having the word “hook” enter the conversation. It’s such a common part of pop songwriting that for many, the words “title”, “chorus” and “hook” are used interchangeably.

But I would argue that most songs become better compositions when the writer focuses on the use of musical motifs. A motif is similar to a hook, but with some crucial differences.

A Hook

A hook is a catchy, short melodic/rhythmic/harmonic fragment that grabs attention for itself, becoming almost something…

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