Richard Strauss used the device in many of his operas and several of his symphonic poems. The word gained currency with the overly literal interpretations of Wagner's music by Hans von Wolzogen , who in published a Leitfaden guide or manual to the Ring. While some of these leitmotifs occur in only one of the operas, many recur throughout the entire cycle. Almost every one of his plays contains suggestive jokes and innuendo. Richard Wagner is the earliest composer most specifically associated with the concept of leitmotif. The use of the term "non-veg" is probably a reference to the carnal nature of sexual humor, and can be viewed in the context of the prevalence of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dietary preferences in India. The power of the technique was exploited early in the nineteenth century by composers of Romantic opera, such as Carl Maria von Weber , where recurring themes or ideas were sometimes used in association with specific characters e.
His cycle of four operas, Der Ring des Nibelungen the music for which was written between and , uses hundreds of leitmotifs, often related to specific characters, things, or situations. Such forms of humor have become widely distributed and more socially acceptable, in part due to the mainstream success in the s and s of comedians like Peter Cook and Dudley Moore 's alter-egos Derek and Clive , Dolemite , and Andrew Dice Clay. Lang set the benchmark for sound film through his use of leitmotif, creating a different type of atmosphere in his films. Robin, Will, Much, and Gisbourne are all accompanied by distinctive musical material. The power of the technique was exploited early in the nineteenth century by composers of Romantic opera, such as Carl Maria von Weber , where recurring themes or ideas were sometimes used in association with specific characters e. History[ edit ] Off-color humor was used in Ancient Greek comedy , primarily by its most famous contributor and representative, Aristophanes. He notes that 'even in Wagner's own day the public made a crude link between the leitmotivs and the persons they characterised' because people's innate mental processes did not necessarily correspond with Wagner's subtle intentions or optimistic expectations. His work parodied some of the great tragedians of his time, especially Euripides , using sexual and excremental jokes that received great popularity among his contemporaries. Richard Strauss used the device in many of his operas and several of his symphonic poems. Since Wagner, the use of leitmotifs has been taken up by many other composers. Wagner never authorised the use of the word leitmotiv, using words such as "Grundthema" basic idea , or simply "Motiv". In Don Carlo , there are at least three leitmotivs that recur regularly across the five acts: In the s and modern era, comedians such as Bill Hicks , Doug Stanhope , and Dave Chappelle have used shocking content to draw attention to their criticism of social issues, especially censorship and the socioeconomic divide. In La forza del destino , the opening theme of the overture recurs whenever Leonora feels guilt or fear. Veg and non-veg jokes[ edit ] In some parts of the world, including India, sexual humor in particular is known as "non-veg" humor, contrasted with the "veg" jokes that are more acceptable in polite company. The motif cannot be both the bearer of expression and a musical 'gesture', because that reduces emotional content to a mechanical process. This purely instrumental, programmatic work subtitled Episode in the Life of an Artist features a recurring melody representing the object of the artist's obsessive affection and depicting her presence in various real and imagined situations. Modern examples include the classic, instantly recognizable James Bond leitmotif originally created by Monty Norman and John Barry and reused in almost every subsequent Bond film. Arnold Schoenberg used a complex set of leitmotifs in his choral work Gurre-Lieder completed The cartoon Beavis and Butt-head was especially off-color in its early episodes, which included numerous depictions of animal cruelty. Comedian and actor Redd Foxx was well known in nightclubs in the s and s for his raunchy stand-up act , but toned it down for the television shows Sanford and Son and The Redd Foxx Comedy Hour , stating in the first monologue of the latter show that the only similarity between the show and his nightclub act was that "I'm smoking". Though perhaps not corresponding to the strict definition of leitmotiv, several of Verdi 's operas feature similar thematic tunes, often introduced in the overtures or preludes, and recurring to mark the presence of a character or to invoke a particular sentiment. While some of these leitmotifs occur in only one of the operas, many recur throughout the entire cycle. Comedian Lenny Bruce was tried, convicted, and jailed for obscenity after a stand up performance that included off-color humor in New York City in His preferred name for the technique was Hauptmotiv principal motif , which he first used in ;  the only time he used the word Leitmotiv, he referred to "so-called Leitmotivs". The practice of naming leitmotifs nevertheless continued, featuring in the work of prominent Wagnerian critics Ernest Newman , Deryck Cooke and Robert Donington.
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