The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” (1939) is a short story by James Thurber. The most famous of Thurber’s stories,[1] it first appeared in The New Yorker on March 18, 1939, and was first collected in his book My World … Continue reading

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” (1939) is a short story by James Thurber. The most famous of Thurber’s stories,[1] it first appeared in The New Yorker on March 18, 1939, and was first collected in his book My World and Welcome to It (Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1942).[2] It has since been reprinted in James Thurber: Writings and Drawings (The Library of America, 1996, ISBN 1-883011-22-1), is available on-line on the New Yorker website,[3] and is one of the most frequently anthologized short stories inAmerican literature.[4] The story is considered one of Thurber’s “acknowledged masterpieces”.[5] It was made into a 1947 movie of the same name, with Danny Kaye in the title role, though the movie is very different from the original story. It was also adapted into a2013 film, which is again very different from the original.

The name Walter Mitty and the derivative word “Mittyesque”[6] have entered the English language, denoting an ineffectual person who spends more time in heroic daydreams than paying attention to the real world, or more seriously, one who intentionally attempts to mislead or convince others that he is something that he is not.

The story had an influence on other humorists, notably Mad founder Harvey Kurtzman (who borrowed the story’s sound effects), playwright George Axelrod (who employed Mitty-like fantasies in The Seven Year Itch) and animation director Chuck Jones (who created a Mitty-like child character for Warner Bros. cartoons).

When referencing actor Errol Flynn, Warner Brothers studio head Jack L. Warner noted in his autobiography, My First Hundred Years in Hollywood, “To the Walter Mittys of the world he [Flynn] was all the heroes in one magnificent, sexy, animal package”.

Major Tom is a fictional astronaut created by David Bowie, heard in his songs “Space Oddity“, “Ashes to Ashes“, and “Hallo Spaceboy” (particularly in the remix by the Pet Shop Boys). Bowie’s own interpretation of the character evolved throughout his career. 1969’s “Space Oddity” depicts an astronaut who casually slips the bonds of the world to journey beyond the stars. In the 1980 song “Ashes to Ashes,” Bowie reinterprets Major Tom as an oblique autobiographical symbol for himself. Major Tom is described as a “junkie, strung out in heavens high, hitting an all-time low”. This lyric was interpreted as a play on the title of Bowie’s 1977 album Low, which charted his withdrawal following his drug abuse in the United States. A short time later, there is another reversal of Major Tom’s original withdrawal, turning ‘outwards’ or towards space.[1]

In 1983, Peter Schilling continued the story of Major Tom in his hit single “Major Tom (Coming Home)“. Other artists who have subsequently made substantial contributions to the Major Tom story include K.I.A. and The Tea Party, among others. Due to some similarities in Elton John‘s “Rocket Man”, there is a possible connection between the Rocket Man and Major Tom, a connection notably made by Bowie himself, who while singing Space Oddity in concert would sometimes call out, “Oh, Rocket Man!”

In the 2013 film “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” produced and starred by Ben Stiller, the phrase “ground control to Major Tom” is a recurrent reference to Mitty’s episodes of daydreaming. The song (Space Oddity) motivates Mitty to go find the elusive photojournalist Sean O’Connell (Sean Penn), as he daydreams of his crush Cheryl Melhoff (Kristen Wiig) singing the song to him in a remote karaoke bar in Greenland, Mitty runs to catch a helicopter piloted by a very drunk and emotionally unstable man, he then begins a journey of self-discovery and personal growth.

the Common Chorus

Uploaded on Jul 27, 2011 “Notes & Neurons: In Search of the Common Chorus” Is our response to music hard-wired or culturally determined? Is the reaction to rhythm and melody universal or influenced by environment? Join host John Schaefer, scientist … Continue reading

Uploaded on Jul 27, 2011
“Notes & Neurons: In Search of the Common Chorus”

Is our response to music hard-wired or culturally determined? Is the reaction to rhythm and melody universal or influenced by environment? Join host John Schaefer, scientist Daniel Levitin and musical artist Bobby McFerrin for live performances and cross cultural demonstrations to illustrate musics note-worthy interaction with the brain and our emotions.

This segment features an impressive display of improvisational harmony from Bobby McFerrin.

This event took place on June 12, 2009 in the Gerald Lynch Theater at the City University of New York. This is the sixth of ten segments.

Turn! Turn! Turn!

“Turn! Turn! Turn! (to Everything There Is a Season)“, often abbreviated to “Turn! Turn! Turn!“, is a song written by Pete Seeger in the late 1950s. The lyrics, except for the title which is repeated throughout the song, and the … Continue reading

Turn! Turn! Turn! (to Everything There Is a Season)“, often abbreviated to “Turn! Turn! Turn!“, is a song written by Pete Seeger in the late 1950s. The lyrics, except for the title which is repeated throughout the song, and the final verse of the song, are adapted word-for-word from Chapter 3 of the Book of Ecclesiastes, set to music and recorded in 1962. The song was originally released as “To Everything There Is a Season” on The Limeliters‘ album Folk Matinee and then some months later on Seeger’s own The Bitter and the Sweet.[1]

The song became an international hit in late 1965 when it was covered by the American folk rock band The Byrds, bowing at #80 on October 23, 1965, before reaching #1 on the Hot 100 chart on December 4, 1965, #3 in Canada (Nov. 29, 1965), and also peaking at #26 on the UK Singles Chart.

Lyrics and title

The lyrics are taken almost verbatim from the Book of Ecclesiastes, as found in the King James Version (1611) of the Bible[2] (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8), though the sequence of the words was rearranged for the song. Ecclesiastes is traditionally ascribed to King Solomon.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, a time to reap that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

The Biblical text posits there being a time and place for all things: laughter and sorrow, healing and killing, war and peace, and so on. The lines are open to myriad interpretations, but as a song they are commonly performed as a plea for world peace, with an emphasis on the closing line: “a time for peace, I swear it’s not too late.” This line and the title phrase “Turn! Turn! Turn!” are the only parts of the lyric written by Seeger himself.[1]

The song is notable for being one of a few instances in popular music in which a large portion of scripture is set to music, other examples being The Melodians‘ “Rivers of Babylon“, Sister Janet Mead‘s “The Lord’s Prayer“, and U2‘s “40“.

The song was published in illustrated book form by Simon & Schuster in September 2003, with an accompanying CD which contained both Seeger and The Byrds recordings of the song (ISBN 978-0-689-85235-0). Wendy Anderson Halperin created a set of detailed illustrations for each set of opposites which are reminiscent of mandalas. The book also includes the Ecclesiastes text from the King James version of the Bible.

Handwritten lyrics to the song were among the documents donated to New York University by the Communist Party USA in March 2007.[3]

45% of the royalties for the song are donated to the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions because, in Seeger’s own words, “[in addition to the music] I did write six words.”[4]

Cover versions

Early folk versions

The song was first released by the folk group The Limeliters on their 1962 album Folk Matinee, under the title “To Everything There Is a Season”.[1][5] The Limeliters’ version predated the release of Seeger’s own version by several months. One of The Limeliter’s backing musicians at this time was Jim McGuinn (aka Roger McGuinn), who would later work with folk singer Judy Collins, rearranging the song for her 1963 album, Judy Collins 3.[1] Collins’ recording of the song was retitled as “Turn! Turn! Turn! (to Everything There Is a Season)”, a title that would be used intermittently by McGuinn’s later band The Byrds, when they released a cover of the song in 1965. Australian folk singer Gary Shearston also recorded a version of the song for his 1964 album Songs of Our Time, under the title “Turn! Turn! Turn! (to Everything There Is a Season)”.[6]

The Byrds’ version

“Turn! Turn! Turn!” was the third single by the American folk rock band The Byrds and was released on October 1, 1965, by Columbia Records (see 1965 in music).[7] The song was also included on the band’s second album, Turn! Turn! Turn!, which was released on December 6, 1965.[7] The Byrds’ single (b/w “She Don’t Care About Time“) is the most successful recorded version of the song, having reached #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 charts and #26 on the UK Singles Chart.[8][9] The Byrds’ version distinguishes the song as the #1 pop hit with the oldest lyrics, dating back to the Book of Ecclesiastes.[10] Many biblical scholars believe Ecclesiastes 1:1 implies King Solomon as the book’s author; thus, if true, giving Solomon (born c. 1011 BC) lyrical credit for a number one hit.

The song had first been arranged by The Byrds’ lead guitarist Jim McGuinn in a chamber-folk style during sessions for Judy Collins’ 1963 album, Judy Collins 3.[11] The idea of reviving the song came to McGuinn during The Byrds’ July 1965 tour of the American Midwest, when his future wife, Dolores, requested the tune on the Byrds’ tour bus.[12][13] The rendering that McGuinn dutifully played came out sounding not like a folk song but more like a rock/folk hybrid, perfectly in keeping with The Byrds’ current status as pioneers of the folk rock genre.[13] McGuinn explained “It was a standard folk song by that time, but I played it and it came out rock ‘n’ roll because that’s what I was programmed to do like a computer. I couldn’t do it as it was traditionally. It came out with that samba beat, and we thought it would make a good single.”[13]

The master recording of the song reputedly took 78 takes, spread over five days of recording, to complete.[14][15] The song’s plea for peace and tolerance struck a nerve with the American record buying public as the Vietnam War continued to escalate.[1] The single also solidified folk rock as a chart trend and, like the band’s previous hits, continued The Byrds’ successful mix of vocal harmony and jangly twelve-string Rickenbacker guitar playing.[1] Pete Seeger expressed his approval of the Byrd’s rendering of the song.[16]

During 1965 and 1966, the band performed the song on the television programs Hollywood A Go-Go, Shindig!, The Ed Sullivan Show, and Where the Action Is, as well as in the concert film, The Big T.N.T. Show.[17] Additionally, the song would go on to become a staple of The Byrds’ live concert repertoire, until their final disbandment in 1973.[18] The song was also performed live by a reformed line-up of The Byrds featuring Roger McGuinn, David Crosby and Chris Hillman in January 1989.[19] In addition to its appearance on the Turn! Turn! Turn! album, the song also appears on several Byrds’ compilations, including The Byrds’ Greatest Hits, History of The Byrds, The Original Singles: 1965–1967, Volume 1, The Byrds, 20 Essential Tracks From The Boxed Set: 1965-1990, The Very Best of The Byrds, The Essential Byrds and There Is a Season.[1]

PADRE NUESTRO

Uploaded on Aug 18, 2010 The book ‘The Original Our Father in Aramaic – A New Discovery’ will be published in a few months time. It tells the story of the reconstruction of the prayer in Jewish Aramaic, and gives … Continue reading

Uploaded on Aug 18, 2010
The book ‘The Original Our Father in Aramaic – A New Discovery’ will be published in a few months time. It tells the story of the reconstruction of the prayer in Jewish Aramaic, and gives a completely Jewish understanding of the prayer by placing it into its historical Jewish context.

Uploaded on Jul 26, 2010

Abwoon d’bwashmaya
Nethqadash shmakh
Teytey malkuthakh
Nehwey tzevyanach
aykanna d’bwashmaya aph b’arha.
Hawvlan lachma d’sunqanan yaomana.
Washboqlan khaubayn aykana daph khnan shbwoqan l’khayyabayn.
Wela tahlan l’nesyuna
Ela patzan min bisha.
Ameyn

 

Published on Nov 17, 2013

De esta oración se “derivó” la versión actual del “Padre Nuestro”, la oración ecuménica de ISSA (Yeshua). Está escrita en arameo, en una piedra blanca de mármol, en Jerusalén / Palestina, en el Monte de los Olivos, en la forma que era invocada por Yeshua. El arameo fue un idioma originario de la Alta Mesopotamia (siglo VI AC), y era la lengua usada por los pueblos de la región. Yeshua siempre hablaba al pueblo en arameo.
La traducción del arameo al español (sin la interferencia de la Iglesia) nos muestra cuán bella, profunda y verdadera es esta oración de Yeshua:

PADRE NUESTRO DEL ARAMEO

Padre-Madre, Respiración de la Vida ¡Fuente del sonido, Acción sin palabras, Creador del Cosmos!
Haz brillar tu luz dentro de nosotros, entre nosotros y fuera de nosotros, para que podamos hacerla útil.
Ayúdanos a seguir nuestro camino respirando tan sólo el sentimiento que emana de Ti.
Nuestro Yo, en el mismo paso, pueda estar con el Tuyo, para que caminemos como Reyes y Reinas con todas las otras criaturas.
Que tu deseo y el nuestro, sean uno sólo, en toda la Luz, así como en todas las formas, en toda existencia individual, así como en todas las comunidades.
Haznos sentir el alma de la Tierra dentro de nosotros, pues, de esta forma, sentiremos la Sabiduría que existe en todo.
No permitas que la superficialidad y la apariencia de las cosas del mundo nos engañen, y nos libere de todo aquello que impide nuestro crecimiento.
No nos dejes caer en el olvido de que Tú eres el Poder y la Gloria del mundo, la Canción que se renueva de tiempo en tiempo y que todo lo embellece.
Que Tu amor esté sólo donde crecen nuestras acciones.
¡Qué así sea!

????? ???? ? ?? ???? ????????·
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???????? ?? ?????? ???,
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[??? ??? ????? ? ???????? ??? ? ??????? ??? ? ???? ??? ???? ??????.
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????? ????,
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?????.

Pater noster, qui es in caelis:
sanctificetur Nomen Tuum;
adveniat Regnum Tuum;
fiat voluntas Tua,sicut in caelo, et in terra.

Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie;
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
Sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris;
et ne nos inducas in tentationem;
sed libera nos a Malo

Referencia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord’s_Prayer


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????? ?????? ??-?? ??? ????? ?????? ??-?? ????
??? ?? ??????: ????? ??????, ????? ???, ???? ?????? ????? ????? ?????? ?? ????. ?? ??? ????? ?? ??? ????, ???? ??? ?? ?????? ??? ??????? ?? ????? ??????? ???. ??? ?????? ???? ??????, ?? ?? ????? ?? ??? [?? ?? ?????? ??????? ??????? ?????? ?????? ???]. ????? ????? ?? ??????? ????: ?????, ????? ???, ???? ??????. ?? ??? ????? ?? ??? ???-???, ???? ?? ?? ?????? ?? ?????? ?? ????? ??? ????? ???. ??? ?????? ???? ?????? (?? ??-?????? ??-???).

Totahtziné, in ilhuicatl timoyetzticah,
m? y?ct?n?hualo in Mot?c?tzin;
m? hu?llauh in Motlahtohc?y?tzin;
m? ch?hualo in tl?lticpac motlanequiliztzin iuh in Ilhuicac.

In totlaxcal m?m?ztlaé totech monequi
m? ?xc?n xit?chmomaquili
?hu?n xit?chmopohpolhuili in totlahtlac?l
in iuh tiquintlapohpolhuiah in t?chtlahtlacalhuiah
?hu?n m?camo xit?chmotl?lc?huili
inic ahmo ?pan tihuetzizqueh in t?neyehyecoltiliztli;
zan ye m? xit?chmom?qu?xtili in ?hu?cpa in ahmo cualli.

M? iuh moch?hua.

Tibetan Healing Sounds

Published on Aug 8, 2013 Download MP3′s, WAV and Videos: https://gum.co/tibet_healing Album info and purchase:http://www.paradisemusic.us.com/album… This is an extended version of a shorter sample found on the album Natural Healing Sounds Gold. New, 1 hour version of “Tibetan Healing Sounds” : http://youtu.be/S4Bmk69ctAs … Continue reading

Published on Aug 8, 2013

Download MP3′s, WAV and Videos: https://gum.co/tibet_healing
Album info and purchase:http://www.paradisemusic.us.com/album…
This is an extended version of a shorter sample found on the album Natural Healing Sounds Gold. New, 1 hour version of “Tibetan Healing Sounds” : http://youtu.be/S4Bmk69ctAs
Tibetan Healing Sounds, Tibetan bowls, Tibetan bowls sounds

Relaxation sounds, nature sounds, relax, calm, soothing. Calm sounds for yoga, meditation, reiki, massage, reading, sleeping, sleep, yoga, stress, meditation, relaxing music, stress relief, shiatsu, yoga nidra, how to deal with stress, pranayama, mindfulness

My favourite stress relief location: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWlkN…

Sonidos curativos tibetanos, cuencos tibetanos, cuencos tibetanos suena

Sonidos de relajación, sonidos de la naturaleza, relajarse, calma, calmante. Sonidos tranquilos de yoga, meditación, reiki, masaje, leer, dormir, sueño, el estrés, el yoga, la meditación, la música relajante, el alivio del estrés, shiatsu, yoga Nidra, cómo lidiar con el estrés, pranayama, la atención

????????? ????????? ?????, ????????? ????, ????????? ???? ??????

?????????? ?????, ????? ???????, ????????????, ???????????, ???????????. ????????? ????? ??? ????, ?????????, ?????, ??????, ??????, ???, ???, ????, ???????, ?????????, ????????????? ??????, ?????? ??????????, ?????, ???? ?????, ??? ???????? ?? ????????, ????????, ??????????????

???????????????????????????????????

????????????????????????????????????????­????????????????????????????????????????­?????????????????????nidra??????????????­???????????????

??????? ???????? ?????, ??????? ?????, ??????? ????? ???? ??

??????? ???? ??, ??????? ???? ??, ????, ??????? ???? ???. ??? ?? ??? ???? ?? ??? ??, ?????, ????, ?????, ?????, ??, ??, ???, ????, ?????, ???? ?????, ???? ?? ????, shiatsu, ??? nidra, ???? ????, ?????????, mindfulness ?? ??? ???? ???? ?? ???

Tibetan Healing Sounds, tibetanischen Klangschalen, klingt tibetanischen Klangschalen

Entspannung Klänge, Naturgeräusche, entspannen, beruhigen, beruhigend. Calm Sounds für Yoga, Meditation, Reiki, Massage, Lesen, Schlafen, schlafen, Yoga, Stress, Meditation, entspannende Musik, Stressabbau, Shiatsu, Yoga Nidra, wie man mit Stress, Pranayama, Achtsamkeit behandeln

Healing Sounds tibétains, bols tibétains, bols tibétains sonne

Sons de relaxation, des sons de la nature, détente, calme, apaisante. Sons calmes pour le yoga, la méditation, reiki, massages, lecture, sommeil, stress, yoga, méditation, musique relaxante, le soulagement du stress, shiatsu, yoga nidra, comment faire face au stress, pranayama, mindfulness

Tibetaanse Healing Sounds, Tibetaanse klankschalen, Tibetaanse klankschalen klinkt

Ontspanning geluiden, natuurgeluiden, ontspan, rust, rustgevend. Kalme geluiden voor yoga, meditatie, reiki, massage, lezen, slapen, slapen, yoga, stress, meditatie, ontspannende muziek, stress, shiatsu, yoga Nidra, hoe om te gaan met stress, pranayama, mindfulness

Tibetane Suoni Curativi, ciotole tibetane, campane tibetane suona

Suoni rilassanti, suoni della natura, relax, calma, calmante. Sonorità calme per lo yoga, la meditazione, reiki, massaggi, leggere, dormire, sonno, stress, yoga, meditazione, musica relax, alleviare lo stress, Shiatsu, Yoga Nidra, come affrontare lo stress, pranayama, mindfulness

Door of Faith

Published on Jul 21, 2013 Producer: Rick Rubin Originally Released: 2003 On this unusual recording, a departure from the call-and-response (kirtan) style, the deep longing to connect with his guru that comes through makes one feel as if you are … Continue reading


Published on Jul 21, 2013

Producer: Rick Rubin

Originally Released: 2003

On this unusual recording, a departure from the call-and-response (kirtan) style, the deep longing to connect with his guru that comes through makes one feel as if you are listening in on Krishna Das’s personal puja offerings.

Like Breath of the Heart, Door of Faith was produced by the legendary Rick Rubin, this time in his home studio. Known not only for his seminal rap and rock recordings, but also for his recent definitive work with Neil Diamond and the late Johnny Cash, Rubin is deservedly famous for his ability to capture the essence of an artist’s expression: there is nothing extraneous on these tracks. Mostly, it’s Krishna Das’ weathered, sonorous voice and his harmonium, joined here and there by instrumental tracings-western strings, horns, and keyboards, and Benjy Wertheimer’s eastern esraj. Other veterans of KD’s previous recordings include Lili Haydn, John McDowell and Benmont Tench. A duet with daughter, Janaki on “Mere Gurudev” is a most tender invocation.

TRACKS
Puja (7:26)
Sita’s Prayer / Hey Mata Durga (10:50)
Mere Gurudev (5:27)
Rudrashtakam (Shiva Stuti) (8:29)
Jai Jagadisha Hare (Arti) (10:09)
Sri Hanuman Chaleesa / Gate of Sweet Nectar (10:10)
God is Real / Hare Ram (9:00)

Door of Faith is an enhanced CD, featuring a 7-minute film that includes footage of the recording process, a conversation with Ram Dass and commentary by Krishna Das.

You Can Also Buy CD’s on:
http://www.krishnadasmusic.com/door_o…

Published on Nov 10, 2013
Krishna Das Concert in India Dharamshala Himachal Pradesh April 2013


4 Chords

Published on Nov 20, 2012 Click here to subscribe to Vsauce (it’s free!): http://bit.ly/POIaN7 Follow Michael Stevens: https://twitter.com/tweetsauce Links Below: Axis of Awesome 4 Chords: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOlDew… Interactive video demonstrating common meter:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZqR_M… Everything is a Remix: http://www.everythingisaremix.info/wa… Stairway to Gilligan’s Island: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTCYLb… WeSauce: http://www.youtube.com/wesauce JAKE CHUDNOW’s channel: http://www.youtube.com/jakechudnow … Continue reading


Published on Nov 20, 2012

Click here to subscribe to Vsauce (it’s free!): http://bit.ly/POIaN7
Follow Michael Stevens: https://twitter.com/tweetsauce
Links Below:

Axis of Awesome 4 Chords: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOlDew…

Interactive video demonstrating common meter:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZqR_M…

Everything is a Remix: http://www.everythingisaremix.info/wa…

Stairway to Gilligan’s Island: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTCYLb…

WeSauce: http://www.youtube.com/wesauce

JAKE CHUDNOW’s channel: http://www.youtube.com/jakechudnow

Covered in Bees calculates the number of possible 5 minute CD-quality audio files: http://www.coveredinbees.org/node/264

ferrouslepidoptera calculation:http://everything2.com/title/How+many…

yerricde calculates with only 3 note-lengths allowed per melody:http://everything2.com/title/Yes%21+W…

Sounds Just Like: http://soundsjustlike.com/

songs that sound like other songs [StraightDope forum]:http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/s…

Common Meter on TV Tropes:http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php…

Compression and song enjoyabliility:http://www.lifeslittlemysteries.com/1…

Compression and song enjoyability [PDF]:http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/…

My Sweet Lord vs He’s So Fine:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Sweet…

Why are octaves divided into 12 intervals:http://thinkzone.wlonk.com/Music/12To…

leitmotif

A leitmotif /ˌlaɪtmoʊˈtiːf/ is a “short, constantly recurring musical phrase“[1] associated with a particular person, place, or idea. It is closely related to the musical concepts of idée fixe or motto-theme.[2] The term itself is an anglicization of the GermanLeitmotiv, literally meaning “leading motif”, or perhaps more accurately, “guiding … Continue reading

leitmotif /?la?tmo??ti?f/ is a “short, constantly recurring musical phrase[1] associated with a particular person, place, or idea. It is closely related to the musical concepts of idée fixe or motto-theme.[2] The term itself is an anglicization of the GermanLeitmotiv, literally meaning “leading motif”, or perhaps more accurately, “guiding motif”. A musical motif has been defined as a “short musical idea … melodic, harmonic, or rhythmic, or all three”,[3] 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 possessingthematic identity.”[4]

In particular, such a motif should be “clearly identified so as to retain its identity if modified on subsequent appearances” whether such modification be in terms of rhythm,harmonyorchestration or accompaniment. It may also be “combined with other leitmotifs to suggest a new dramatic condition” or development.[5] The technique is notably associated with the operas of Richard Wagner, although he was not its originator and did not employ the word in connection with his work.

Although usually a short melody, it can also be a chord progression or even a simple rhythm. Leitmotifs can help to bind a work together into a coherent whole, and also enable the composer to relate a story without the use of words, or to add an extra level to an already present story.

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. Such usage typically obscures the crucial aspect of a leitmotif—as opposed to the plain musical motif or theme—that it is transformable and recurs in different guises throughout the piece in which it occurs.