• From LEITMOTIV Matching Terms: leitmotif WordNet Dictionary Definition: [n] a melodic phrase that accompanies the reappearance of a person or situation (as in Wagner's operas) Synonyms: leitmotif See Also: air, line, melodic line, melodic phrase, melody, strain, tune
  • The example my music theory teacher likes to use is Star Wars. In the Star Wars movies, each of the major characters/concepts has their own them music. There's a theme for Luke, one for the Princess, one for Darth Vader, one for the Empire in general, one for the rebels in general, one for Obi-Wan which also doubles as being the theme of "the force," one for Yoda, and so on. If I remember correctly, the cartoon TV show Doug was the same way. The next-door neighbor had theme music that only played when he was on screen, same thing for several other characters. Each of those themes is a leitmotif. If you google _"star wars" leitmotif_, you'll probably find a bunch of sites that go into more detail. Here's a couple: (scroll down)
  • 'a "short, constantly recurring musical phrase" associated with a particular person, place, or idea.' - 'the German Leitmotiv [is] literally meaning "leading motif", or perhaps more accurately, "guiding motif".' 'In particular, such a motif should be "clearly identified so as to retain its identity if modified on subsequent appearances" ' 'By association, the word has also been used to mean any sort of recurring theme, (whether or not subject to developmental transformation) in literature, or (metaphorically) the life of a fictional character or a real person. It is sometimes also used in discussion of other musical genres, such as instrumental pieces, cinema, and video game music, sometimes interchangeably with the more general category of theme.' Source:

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