Definition and background:
The quality of a sound; that component of a tone that causes different instruments (for example a guitar and a violin) to sound different from each other while they are both playing the same note. the spectral pattern defining the tone quality
Quality of musical tone; thin, thick, light, dark, sharp, dull, smooth, rough, warm, cold, etc.
What makes an instrument sound like that instrument and not another, even though the other instrument may be playing the same pitch.
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Wikipedia - Glossary of Musical Terminology
Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary
ORB -- Medieval Music Glossary