In this series of blog posts I will be researching techniques that I will be using I’m my portfolio work for multi media. This fifth  blog post will be about musical devices


A motif is a short recurring succession of notes that has a significant importance in the composition.


Ostinato basically means Riff or Loop an ostinato can be used to create a feeling of anxiety. Alfred Hitchcock’s films used ostinato to great effect two examples are Psycho and Vertigo.

Both Motif and Ostinato can be found very commonly within popular music in the form of a musical hook. “A hook is a musical idea, often a short riff, passage, or phrase, that is used in popular music to make a song appealing and to catch the ear of the listener. The term generally applies to popular music, especially rock, R&B, hip hop, dance, and pop.” an example of this is the main riff in Deep Purple’s Smoke on the Water.


Leitmotif is a recurring piece of music that is associated with a particular place or character. An example of this is Laura Palmer’s theme in Twin Peaks.


Leitmotifs are also manipulated to help emphasise the mood of a scene. This manipulation can take the form of. Changing the rhythm or pitch, changing the instrumentation or accompaniment, adding new material. This can be observed in the work Murray Gold has done for Doctor Who.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s