- Most instrumental music (symphonies, concertos, suites) uses the term main theme in this way. This musical theme is the core of the whole movement or even the whole symphony. Played straight in programmatical music, like Symphonie Phantastique by Hector Berlioz, where the central theme is the idee fixe symbolizing the Lost Lenore. Dmitrij Shostakhovitch also played with this, as some of his symphonies were statements in their own right (The "Central Theme" of the Leningrad Symphony is a recurring melody symbolizing the German advance).
- The Beach Boys
- Pet Sounds: The frustrations and anxieties of young adulthood. Particularly in regards to romantic love.
- Lemonade: Infidelity in a marriage. How to deal with it, its consequences and how a couple can get over it.
- Green Day
- Pink Floyd
- The Dark Side of the Moon: The pressures of modern life can drive people to madness if left unchecked.
- The Wall:
- The importance of coming to terms with your past, and how easily you can become the very kind of person that you hate if you don't.
- The importance of thinking for yourself, and the perils of youthful rebellion turning into mindless obedience.
- The cyclical nature of violence and oppression, and the unavoidable fact that mindless hate always begets more.
- As ugly as the world may seem, cutting yourself off from society never makes anything better.
- Animals: The dehumanizing effects of social hierarchies, and the roles that greed and complacency play in solidifying them.
- Wish You Were Here: How hard it can really be to lose someone, even if they're not truly "gone". Also, the dehumanising and phony nature of the modern music industry.
- The Protomen: People can't just wait for someone to come along and save them; they've got to fight for themselves. Alternatively, you can't survive on blind hope alone.
- Most of the songs by Simon & Garfunkel are about a failure to communicate with one another. Becomes Harsher in Hindsight given the duo's split, of course.
- Band on the Run: Although there's no central story or narrative developed across the album, a lot of the songs revolved around the themes of Escape and / or Freedom and the many different forms this can take.
- The Megas: History Repeating focuses on, as the name suggests, history and the cyclic nature of the conflict. The major characters - Mega Man, Dr Light and Proto Man - are all carrying significant baggage from their pasts, and need to come to terms with it and move on; the minor characters often reference earlier ones, often in the form of actual quotes - "The Haystack Principle" uses lines from "The Annihilation of Monsteropolis", while "Sparked a War" draws from the closing lines of "Evolution of Circuitry".
Central Theme / Music