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The 1957 Encyclopédie Larousse 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 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."
^Garrett, Charles Hiroshi (2008). Struggling to Define a Nation: American Music and the Twentieth Century, p.54. ISBN9780520254862. Shown in common time and then in cut time with tied sixteenth & eighth note rather than rest.