Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Broken Music.

 Broken Feather (A).Broken on the Wheel. 
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E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
 
Broken Music.
 
A “consort” consisted of six viols, usually kept in one case. When the six were played together it was called a “whole consort,” when less than the six were played it was called “a broken consort.” Sometimes applied to open chords or arpeggios.   1
       
“Here is good broken music.”
       
Shakespeare: Troilus and Cressida, iii. 1.
   Lord Bacon in his Sylva Sylvarum gives a different explanation: he says certain instruments agree together and produce concordant music, but others (as the virginal and lute, the Welsh and Irish harps) do not accord.   2
 


 Broken Feather (A).Broken on the Wheel. 

 
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