from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Music A symbol indicating the pitch represented by one line of a staff, in relation to which the other pitches of the staff can be determined.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A symbol found on a musical staff that indicates the pitches indicated by the lines on the staff

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A character used in musical notation to determine the position and pitch of the scale as represented on the staff.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In music, a character placed upon a staff to indicate the name and pitch of one of its degrees, so that the names of the others may be known.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a musical notation written on a staff indicating the pitch of the notes following it


French, key, from Old French, from Latin clāvis.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French, from Latin clāvis ("a key"). (Wiktionary)



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