Definition and background:
An element found in music that is a digression from the main structure of the composition. It is a passage that is not a part of the main theme groups of a composition, but is an ornamental or constructive section added to the main elements of the composition. In a fugue, it is a connective passage or area of relaxation between entrances of the subject. a digression from the major figure
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Wikipedia - Glossary of Musical Terminology
Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary
ORB -- Medieval Music Glossary