Electronic Musician

Ostinatos

Like most musical terms, the word ‘ostinato’ is Italian, its literal translation being ‘obstinate’. An ostinato is an insistent, repeated musical phrase that digs its heels in and keeps on going, so you can see how the term came about. It’s most commonly applied to orchestral or classical music, in which case you could think of an ostinato as kind of a drum loop played by string instruments – a repeated, rhythmic phrase. But this doesn’t mean that an ostinato can’t be played on a synth or applied to contemporary music production, and neither does it mean that the pitch of the notes can’t be changed.

Ostinato is actually a pretty broad

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