Definition and background:
A piano that has been adjusted in certain ways so that the sound produced is altered. Usually this is done by placing objects between certain piano strings altering the loudness, pitch, and tone color. Prepared piano was developed by John Cage. a piano whose timbre is altered by a row of tacks, bolts, felt or any foreign objects on the strings, or by detuning the unison strings
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Wikipedia - Glossary of Musical Terminology
Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary
ORB -- Medieval Music Glossary