Brewer's: Broken Feather
(A ). A broken feather in his wing. A scandal connected with one's character.
“If an angel were to walk about, Mrs. Sam Hurst would never rest till she had found out where he came from; and perhaps whether he had a broken feather in his wing.” —Mrs. Oliphant: Phoebe.
“Here is good broken music.”
Shakespeare: Troilus and Cressida, iii. 1.
Lord Bacon in his Sylva Sylvarum gives a different explanation: he says certain instruments agree together and produce concordant music, but others (as the virginal and lute, the Welsh and Irish harps) do not accord.