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Music glossary - Letter K

Music Glossary



Karaoke: "Empty orchestra"; popular nightclub style from Japan where customers sing the melody to accompanying prerecorded tracks.

kettledrums: See timpani.

Key: System of notes or tones based on and named after the key note.

Key signature: The flats and sharps at the beginning of each staff line indicating the key of music the piece is to be played.

Klavier: Another named for a harpsichord-used in Germany.

Klangfarbenmelodie: 20th century technique in which the notes of a melody are distributed among different instruments, giving a pointillistic texture.

Koto: Japanese plucked-string instrument with a long rectangular body, thirteen strings and movable bridges or frets.