Definition and background:
An effect (typically on a piano) that is comprised of a dissonant group of notes that are very close together. It is usually performed by striking the piano keys with a fist or forearm. This effect can also be produced by using a strip of wood at the necessary length. This term was coined by Henry Cowell.Also tone cluster.
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Wikipedia - Glossary of Musical Terminology
Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary
ORB -- Medieval Music Glossary