Definition and background:
Traditionally, a distinguished maker of pictures or sculptures who was active before 1700 ? during the Renaissance, Mannerist and Baroque periods, especially Italian, Dutch and Flemish artists. Today the term is also being used to refer to recognized masters of the eighteenth century. Also see canon, Dutch art, and master.
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Wikipedia - Glossary of Musical Terminology
Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary
ORB -- Medieval Music Glossary