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The Ring of the Nibelung
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  • >> -- A musical motif develops of itself, but without necessarily transforming into a distinct motif identifiable by a different number

  • Embryonic -- Some motifs initially appear in a rather cryptic, premonitory form which has not yet attained a well delineated, easily identifiable “Definitive” Form

  • Definitive -- The well delineated form, with a distinctive musical profile, which motifs take on once they have attained the more or less fixed form in which they will be heard throughout the Ring after their initial appearance.

Ring Motifs

The Rhinegold

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[[#1]] “Primal Nature”

We gradually become conscious of the essence of uncreated Nature, which has always, and will always, be embodied by changing forms, which evolve over time into new forms.

(#1 basis of #2, #3, #53 and #57b, and perhaps #115; via #53 a basis for #71, #77, #88, #92, #95, and perhaps #152)

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[[#2]] “Rhine Motion”

(#2 based on #1; basis of #3, #14, #38, #53, and by extension of #54, which is approximately #53's inversion, and #175; see #1 above for other links)

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[[#3]] “Definitive Rhine River”

(#3 based on #2; #3’s inversion is the basis for the motif which represents the Norns - Erda’s daughters - spinning the rope of fate. see #2 above for #3’s genealogy)

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