The leitmotif is a brief, punchy "signature tune" which can be arranged in various ways and is associated with a specific character or emotion. First used by Richard Wagner in operas such as Der Ring das Nibelungen.

In modern day, the leitmotif is used in motion pictures, at least those without pretentious rock and roll soundtracks.

See ominous music.

Leit"mo*tif" (?), n. [G.] Mus.

See Leading motive, under Leading, a.

 

© Webster 1913.

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