Definition and background:
The generalpause or the long pause serve the same function, and are identical in function to the fermata when used over a rest or barline. The function of these pauses is to create a silence for a period of time at the discretion of the performer (or conductor with an ensemble). As indicated in the name, these are intended to be pauses of longer duration than any of the others. These marks are always shown over rests. They also interrupt the normal tempo of a composition. Also G.P. ; [Eng.] Grand Pause; [Ger.] Grosse Pause.
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Wikipedia - Glossary of Musical Terminology
Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary
ORB -- Medieval Music Glossary