A motive is a brief thematic idea used to create thematic coherence in melody and texture. A motive has pitch and rhythmic ingredients that make it memorable and recognizable when repeated later in a composition.

Example 1: original pattern

Some of the memorable features of this motive are shown below. Its contour is an inverted arch. Its rhythm is an upbeat to downbeat gesture. It outlines a descending fourth. It consists of a pair of major seconds, one descending, the other ascending.