signature-tune. A term which gained currency in the 1920s with the growing popularity of dance-bands, especially when broadcasting. As a means of quick identification, each band began and ended its perf. with a tune, known as the ‘signature tune’. Most bands used one tune, e.g. Jack Payne's Say it with music, but some used one tune at the beginning and another ‘to sign off’, e.g. Henry Hall played It's just the time for dancing at the start and Here's to the next time at the end. Individual variety artists introduced their acts with a signature-tune; and if one wished to be facetious, one could say that the leitmotiv of characters in Wagner's Ring are their ‘signature-tunes’.
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