Leitmotif meaning

lītmō-tēf
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A dominant and recurring theme, as in a novel.
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A short, recurring musical phrase or theme, esp. as used in Wagnerian opera to represent a given character, emotion, etc.
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A dominant theme or underlying pattern.
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(music) A melodic theme associated with a particular character, place, thing or idea in an opera.
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A melodic passage or phrase, especially in Wagnerian opera, associated with a specific character, situation, or element.
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Origin of leitmotif

  • German Leitmotiv leiten to lead (from Middle High German) (from Old High German leitan leit- in Indo-European roots) Motiv motif (from French motif motif)

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From German Leitmotiv (“leading motive"), from leiten (“to lead") + Motiv (“motive"), originally used to describe Wagnerian opera.

    From Wiktionary