Definition and background:
The opposite of positive.
An image produced in a photographic emulsion on a sheet of film, paper or glass by exposure to light and to development in photosensitive chemicals. This process reverses all values and colors of light and dark areas of the image to which the emulsion was originally exposed, light areas appearing dark (opaque) and shadows appearing light (transparent). Negative is the opposite of positive, especially when positive represents the values and colors of an image much as they would appear in reality. Negative can also be a synonym for "no," and as in judgment, can signify disapproval.
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Wikipedia - Glossary of Musical Terminology
Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary
ORB -- Medieval Music Glossary