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Musical Terms Beginning With K

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Kakko

A Japanese double-headed drum.

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Kendang

A two-headed drum used by peoples from Maritime Southeast Asia.

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Kettle Drum

The only drum that can be tuned to produce definite pitches. The name comes from the large kettle-shaped bottom, over which the skin of the drumhead is stretched. The player uses a pedal to tighten and loosen the drumhead to change the pitch. Also called timpani.

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Key

1. The tonality, or scale on which a piece of music is based. The key gets its name from the first note of the scale. 2. The name for a lever that is pressed to play or control pitches on some instruments.

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Key Signature

Sharps and flats at the beginning of each staff of written music that indicate the scale, or key, in which the piece is written.

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Keyboard

The levers on a piano or organ that the player hits with his or her fingers to make sound.

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Kora

A string instrument used extensively in West Africa, a kora typically has 21-strings which are played by plucking with the fingers, and combines features of the lute and a harp.

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Koto

A Japanese plucked half-tube zither and the national instrument of Japan.

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