musical theme

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Noun1.musical theme - (music) melodic subject of a musical compositionmusical theme - (music) melodic subject of a musical composition; "the theme is announced in the first measures"; "the accompanist picked up the idea and elaborated it"
music - an artistic form of auditory communication incorporating instrumental or vocal tones in a structured and continuous manner
melodic line, melodic phrase, melody, tune, strain, air, line - a succession of notes forming a distinctive sequence; "she was humming an air from Beethoven"
motif, motive - a theme that is repeated or elaborated in a piece of music
statement - (music) the presentation of a musical theme; "the initial statement of the sonata"
variation - a repetition of a musical theme in which it is modified or embellished