Definition and background:
A material thing. Something to which attention, feeling, thought, or action is directed, therefore usually conceived as subhuman, unreflective and passive, in contrast to the active subject. It is common, for example, for feminist criticism to describe a female nude as the object of the male gaze. Such figures are thus oppressed (see oppression). When the female figure exhibits a less passive personality, as in the painting by Edouard Manet (French, 1832-1883) of Olympia, 1863, oil on canvas, 51 3/8 x 74 3/4 inches (130.5 x 190 cm) Mus?e d'Orsay, Paris; she is sometimes described as a subject, at least with respect to the single issue of her gaze. (pr. AHB-jək; but for a French pr.: ohb-ZHAY)
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Wikipedia - Glossary of Musical Terminology
Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary
ORB -- Medieval Music Glossary