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Glossary K

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Kazoo | A small, simple wind instrument made from a hollow pipe with a hole in it, over which is a thin covering that vibrates and produces a buzzing sound when the player sings or hums into the pipe.

Kettledrum | A large drum shaped like a bowl, with a membrane that is adjustable for tension (and, therefore, pitch) stretched across. (See also timpani.)

Key | A tonal center; the relationship between tones with a common center or tonic. Also a lever on a keyboard or woodwind instrument.

Keyboard | A set of levers (called ‘keys’) arranged in a chromatic scale on a piano or similar instrument.

Keyboard instrument | Any instrument that is played using a keyboard; the most common are the piano, organ, and synthesizer.

Keynote | (See tonic.)

Key signature | The sharps or flats placed at the beginning of a piece of music that indicate the key of a composition.

Kick drum | (See bass drum.)

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