Cell (music)

The 1957 Encyclopédie Larousse[1] defines a cell in music as a "small rhythmic and melodic design that can be isolated, or can make up one part of a thematic context." The cell may be distinguished from the figure or motif:the 1958 Encyclopédie Fasquelle[1] defines a cell as "the smallest indivisible unit", unlike the motif, which may be divisible into more than one cell. "A cell can be developed, independent of its context, as a melodic fragment, it can be used as a developmental motif. It can be the source for the whole structure of the work; in that case it is called a generative cell."[2]

Tresillo, a rhythmic cell of the tango and habanera.[3][4] About this soundPlay 

A rhythmic cell is a cell without melodic connotations. It may be entirely percussive or applied to different melodic segments.

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Sel (musiek)
português: Célula (música)