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[mon-uh-kawrd] /ˈmɒn əˌkɔrd/
an acoustical instrument dating from antiquity, consisting of an oblong wooden sounding box, usually with a single string, used for the mathematical determination of musical intervals.
Origin of monochord
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English monocorde < Medieval Latin monochordum < Greek monóchordon, noun use of neuter of monóchordos with one string. See mono-, chord1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for monochord
Historical Examples
  • And I wonder—did or did not Elena learn to play the monochord?

  • The clavichord retained the box shape of its prototype, the monochord.

  • For determining the correct pitch of the notes of the scale he explains the manner of demonstrating them upon the monochord.

  • The monochord originally was used much as we use a tuning fork, to determine true musical pitch.

  • monochord means “one string,” and the application of the term to the instrument after other strings had been added was a misnomer.

  • How soon keys were added to the monochord, as this measuring instrument was named, cannot positively be ascertained.

    For Every Music Lover Aubertine Woodward Moore
  • After the tenth century the development of the monochord seems to have begun in earnest.

    For Every Music Lover Aubertine Woodward Moore
  • In the eleventh century, when musical notation came into being, a monochord was used to teach singing.

    Chats on Household Curios Fred W. Burgess
  • One of the instruments which brings the child to producing and recognizing notes is the monochord.

  • The monochord has a movable bridge, therefore some time is lost in adjusting it in order to get the different tones.

    Critical & Historical Essays Edward MacDowell
British Dictionary definitions for monochord


an instrument employed in acoustic analysis or investigation, consisting usually of one string stretched over a resonator of wood Also called sonometer (səˈnɒmɪtə)
Word Origin
C15: from Old French, from Late Latin, from Greek monokhordon, from mono- + khordē string
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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