The smallest structural unit in a melody is the motive (motif). There are melodic and rhythmic motives. A melodic motive is characterized by two things: rhythm and pitch. The rhythm of a motive is the feature that gives it a clear and unambiguous identity. A sequence of motives is called a phrase, and melodies tend to be built up into phrases that are then combined into larger structures, which are traditionally called themes. A motive’s rhythm, intervals, shape/contour, and harmonic implication may all be subject to variation. Some techniques of motivic development.