Definition and background:
The closing few measures of a composition, usually not a part of the main theme groups of the standard form of a composition, but a finishing theme added to the end to give the composition closure; in sonata form, the coda is anything that occurs after the recapitulation. The coda is sometimes indicated with the notation of a "0" with two intersecting lines (as shown below). This is typically used in compositions that employ a da capo ( D.C. ) or dal segno ( D.S. ). Often the terms " D.S. al coda " or " D.C. al coda " are also used which indicate that the performer is to perform the coda portion of the composition after repeating to either the sign ( D.S. ) or to the beginning of the composition ( D.C. ). Anything after the last entry of the theme or subject in a fugue. a tail; i.e., a closing section appended to a movementconcluding section of a movement or work, added as a way of rounding it off. often brief, but sometimes extended and elaborate Indicates a forward jump in the music to its ending passage, marked with the same sign. Only used after playing through a D.S. al coda or D.C. al coda.
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Wikipedia - Glossary of Musical Terminology
Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary
ORB -- Medieval Music Glossary