Some motives can be broken down into smaller parts (fragments). A motive is perceived as a whole when it is repeated as a whole. Fragmentary ideas, also established by repetition, can be derived from the original idea. Motive fragments are often used to figure connecting, transitional or episodic passages.

Example 5: Motive Fragmentation

A protocell is a collection of notes extracted from a particular scale. It is a pattern of pitches that can be found at one or more steps in a scale and is an embrionic idea. Several examples of protocells are included on the Whole-tone Resources page. One can explore the potential of a protocell by subjecting it to the variation procedures described in Motive Variations. Rhythmic ideas should be included in the mix during this experimental phase with the goal to develop full-featured motives. This is an excellent exercise that stimulates thinking and produces motives that have rich possibilities. Very often, entire compositions are derived from just a few few such high potential thematic ideas.