A motif or phrase that persistently repeats in the same musical voice, frequently in the same pitc

"Ostinato" is a musical term referring to a repeated musical pattern or motif that serves as a foundational element within a composition. This repetitive pattern can involve a melody, rhythm, chord progression, or even a single note. Ostinatos are frequently used to provide a consistent and recognizable backdrop against which other musical elements, such as melodies or harmonies, can develop.

Ostinatos play a significant role in creating the musical texture of a composition. They provide a stable and repeating framework upon which other musical ideas can be built. The repeated nature of an ostinato can contribute to the rhythmic drive and overall structure of a piece. Additionally, ostinatos can establish a specific mood or atmosphere within a composition.

Ostinatos can be found in various forms and genres of music. They are commonly used in classical music, particularly in the works of composers such as Ludwig van Beethoven and Igor Stravinsky. They also play a prominent role in folk music, world music, and contemporary popular music, where looped electronic patterns often serve as ostinatos.

In some cases, an ostinato might be used as a basis for variations, creating a set of evolving melodies or harmonies around the repetitive pattern. Ostinatos can also be layered with other ostinatos, producing intricate and rich musical textures.

Example of Ostinato

What's an Ostinato? | David Writes an Earworm