"musical party, private concert or performance," 1872, from French musicale, short for soirée musicale "musical evening (party);" see musical (adj.).
"music form featuring flatted thirds and sevenths," possibly c. 1895 (though officially 1912, in W.C. Handy's "Memphis Blues"). Blue note "minor interval where a major would be expected" is attested from 1919, and at first was suspected as a source of the term. Also compare blues (n.2).
I am under the impression that these terms [blue note, blue chord] were contemporary with, if they did not precede and foreshadow, the period of our innumerable musical 'Blues.' What the uninitiated tried to define by that homely appellation was, perhaps, an indistinct association of the minor mode and dyspeptic intonation with poor digestion; in reality, it is the advent in popular music of something which the textbooks call ambiguous chords, altered notes, extraneous modulation, and deceptive cadence. [Carl Engel, "Jazz: A Musical Discussion," The Atlantic Monthly, August 1922]
also mean time, mid-14c., mene-time, "interim, interval between one specified time and another" (now only in in the mean time), from mean (adj.2) "middle, intermediate" + time (n.). Late 14c. as an adverb, "during the interval (between one specified time and another)." As a noun, properly written as two words but commonly as one, after the adverb. In the mean space "meanwhile" was in use 16c.-18c.
"device for connecting computers and electronic musical instruments," 1983, acronym for Musical Instrument Digital Interface.
c. 1300, "act of breaking, forcible disruption or separation," from break (v.). The sense in break of day "first appearance of light in the morning" is from 1580s; the meaning "sudden, marked transition from one course, place, or state to another" is by 1725.
The sense of "short interval between spells of work" (originally between lessons at school) is from 1861. The meaning "stroke of luck" is attested by 1911, probably an image from billiards (where the break that scatters the ordered balls and starts the game is attested from 1865). The meaning "stroke of mercy" is from 1914. The jazz musical sense of "improvised passage, solo" is from 1920s. The broadcasting sense is by 1941.
early 13c., in frere menour "Franciscan friar," literally "minor friar," from Latin minor "less, lesser, smaller, junior," figuratively "inferior, less important," which was formed as a masculine/feminine form of minus on the mistaken assumption that minus was a neuter comparative, from PIE root *mei- (2) "small." Compare minor (n.). In some cases the English word is from Old French menor "less, smaller, lower; underage, younger," from Latin minor.
Meaning "underage" is from 1570s. Meaning "lesser or smaller (than the other)" in English is from early 15c.; that of "comparatively less important" is from 1620s. The musical sense is from 1690s in reference to intervals (and to tonalities and scales characterized by a minor third), so called because the interval is lesser or shorter than the corresponding major interval. Of triads or chords by 1797; their emotional effect is notable mournful, mysterious, gloomy, or wistful, hence figurative and extended senses. In the baseball sense, minor league, made up of teams below the major league, is from 1884; the figurative extension of that is recorded by 1926.
1570s, "note having the same pitch as another; identity in pitch of two or more sounds; interval between tones of the same pitch," especially the interval of an octave, from French unisson "unison, accord of sound" (16c.) or directly from Medieval Latin unisonus "having one sound, sounding the same," from Late Latin unisonius "in immediate sequence in the scale, monotonous," from Latin uni- "one" (from PIE root *oi-no- "one, unique") + sonus "sound" (from PIE root *swen- "to sound"). Figurative sense of "harmonious agreement" is first attested 1640s.