Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index


Coda (Italian for "tail"; from the Latin cauda), in music, a term for a passage which brings a movement or a separate piece to a conclusion. This developed from the simple chordss of a cadence into an elaborate and independent form. In a series of variations on a theme or in a composition with a fixed order of subjects, the coda is a passage sufficiently contrasted with the conclusions of the separate variations or subjects, added to form a complete conclusion to the whole. Beethoven raised the coda to a feature of the highest importance. What is known in popular music as an outro can be considered a coda.

In music notation, the coda symbol is used as a navigation marker, similarly to the dal Segno sign. It looks like a large O with a + superimposed.

It is encountered mainly in transcriptions of popular music, and is used where the exit from a repeated section is within that section rather than at the end. The instruction "To Coda" indicated that the performer is to jump to the separate section headed with the symbol.

The first part of this article originally came from a well-known 1911 encyclopedia

Coda is also the name of an experimental filesystem from Carnegie_Mellon_University.