[lahyt-moh-teef] /ˈlaɪt moʊˌtif/

a motif or theme associated throughout a music drama with a particular person, situation, or idea.
(music) a recurring short melodic phrase or theme used, esp in Wagnerian music dramas, to suggest a character, thing, etc
an often repeated word, phrase, image, or theme in a literary work

1876, “a musical figure to which some definite meaning is attached,” from German Leitmotiv, literally “lead motive,” from leiten “to lead” (see lead (v.1)) + Motiv (see motive). A term associated with Wagnerian musical drama, though the thing itself is at least as old as Mozart. “The leitmotif must be characteristic of the person or thing it is intended to represent.” [“Elson’s Music Dictionary”]
leitmotif [(leyet-moh-teef)]

A frequently recurring bit of melody, usually in opera, associated with a person, thing, or emotion; Leitmotiv is German for “leading theme.” The leitmotif may be heard in the instrumental or the vocal part.

Note: Leitmotifs are particularly associated with the operas of Richard Wagner.

Note: Recurring themes or subjects in other forms of art or literature are sometimes also called leitmotifs.


Read Also:

  • Leitrim

    /ˈliːtrɪm/ noun 1. a county of N Republic of Ireland in Connacht province, on Donegal Bay: agricultural. County town: Carrick-on-Shannon. Pop: 25 799 (2002). Area: 1525 sq km (589 sq miles)

  • Leizhou

    [ley-joh] /ˈleɪˈdʒoʊ/ noun, Pinyin. 1. a peninsula of SW Guangdong province, in SE China, between the South China Sea and the Gulf of Tonkin. About 75 miles (120 km) long; about 30 miles (48 km) wide.

  • Leix

    [leyks] /leɪks/ noun 1. . /liːʃ/ noun 1. another name for Laois

  • Leizhou peninsula

    /ˈleɪˈdʒəʊ/ noun 1. a peninsula of SE China, in SW Guangdong province, separated from Hainan Island by Hainan Strait

Disclaimer: Leitmotif definition / meaning should not be considered complete, up to date, and is not intended to be used in place of a visit, consultation, or advice of a legal, medical, or any other professional. All content on this website is for informational purposes only.