Leitmotif meaning and synonyms in authentic context with examples and short passages from the book 601 Words You Need to Know to Pass Your Exam for advanced learners of English and GRE candidates.
(also leitmotiv) a phrase that is frequently repeated in a piece of music, literature or any other work of art and tells you something very important about that work, refrain, recurring theme or phrase in music or literature, strand, thematic passage of music, in German it means: leading motif or theme
A leitmotif or leitmotiv is a “short, recurring musical phrase” associated with a particular person, place, or idea. It is closely related to the musical concepts of idée fixe or motto-theme. The spelling leitmotif is an anglicization of the German Leitmotiv, literally meaning “leading motif”, or “guiding motif”. A musical motif has been defined as a “short musical idea … melodic, harmonic, or rhythmic, or all three”, a salient recurring figure, musical fragment or succession of notes that has some special importance in or is characteristic of a composition: “the smallest structural unit possessing thematic identity.”
Source of example: https://en.wikipedia.org/