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A

A, first letter of the alphabet. A is a usual symbol for a low central vowel, as in father; the English long a ( ā ) is pronounced as a diphthong of ĕ and y. The corresponding letter of the Greek alphabet is named alpha. Alpha and omega, the last letter of the Greek alphabet, symbolize the beginning and the end and, in the New Testament, Christ. In musical notation the letter is the symbol of a note in the scale.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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