Month: February 2022

Demystifying Motivic Development

ROLLINSGuitarist Patrick S. asked for some more examples of “motivic development” (MD).   Whether you’re a composer, an improviser, or just looking to enliven your daily practice routine, MD techniques can stimulate your creativity and broaden your musical horizon.  Beethoven elevated sonata form to new heights with MD, while Sonny Rollins used MD to revolutionize jazz improv far beyond “a bunch of memorized licks” and “sax players searching for the right note.”

Let’s take a look at six ways you can use MD to breathe new life into your music:

  • Change the Rhythm
  • Alter the “Feel”
  • Create Pitch Retrograde
  • Offset the Rhythmic Pattern
  • Fragment the Phrase
  • Sequence the Fragment

Continue reading “Demystifying Motivic Development”