a



a defined in 1939 year


a - First letter and vowel of the English and many other alphabets. Its commonest sounds in English are those heard in bar, map, bald, name. Under the influence of certain consonants and in certain positions it has the value of short e, i, o, u, as in many, village, was, about. It may be doubled, but this is rare, occurring only in names and words of foreign origin, e.g. Aaron, Baal, Balaam, aard-vark. Combined with other vowels, as in ae, ai, ao, au, aw, ay, it has in each instance except aw. more than one phonetic value. The diphthong ae, corresponding to the Greek ai, as in Caesar, aegis, is frequently pronounced as two syllables, as in aerated. Ao, pronounced as a diphthong in aorist. aorta, also occurs in the word gaol, pronounced and commonly spelt jail. Ai and ay usually have the sound of a in name, but sometimes they have that of short a, e, and long i, as in plaid, says, aisle, and quay is pronounced kee. Au generally (aw always) has the sound of a in call, but in aunt, gauge, laurel, laudanum that of a in father and name, and of o in not. See Alphabet.

a defined in 1939 year


a - In music this is (1) the sixth note of the natural scale of C. In the Middle Ages musical modes were started from most of the notes of the scale represented by the level—now white—keys of the organ, which are whole tones apart, except E—F and B—C, which are semitones. The order of the tones and semitones in the mode which started on C is now the normal or major scale, hence the subordinate position of A in the modern scheme of musical notation. (2) A. being the pitch of one of the strings of each of the bowed instruments of the modern orchestra, has been chosen for the tuning note. The Philharmonic pitch of 1896 standardizes A as 439 double vibrations per second at 68° F, except for all-wind bands.

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letter "A"
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a beckett, gilbert abbott

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