Definition and background:
A directive to perform a certain note or chord of a composition in a sustained manner for longer than its full duration. held; i.e., touch on a note slightly longer than usual, but without generally altering the note's valuea line placed above or below the note meaning to sustain for full valueThis symbol has several meanings. It usually indicates that it be played for its full value, or slightly longer. It may indicate a separate attack on the note, or may indicate legato, in contrast to the dot of staccato. Combining a tenuto with a staccato dot indicates a slightly detaching ("portato" or "mezzo staccato").
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Wikipedia - Glossary of Musical Terminology
Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary
ORB -- Medieval Music Glossary