B

B --In music, the seventh tone in the scale of C major, or the second tone in the relative minor scale of A minor; any printed or written musical note representing this tone; the pipe, key or string of any musical instrument tuned to this note; the B flat note in Germany, where B natural is called H; also, the abbreviation of bass in music notation.

Ba --In ancient Egyptian religion and art, (1) the soul, which could return to the body so long as the body had not been destroyed; hence, the great care taken in mummification and the use of the canopic jars; (2) the name of the sacred goat worshipped at Mendes, frequently found in archaeological sculpture and painting.

Baag-nouk --A weapon used among the Mahrattas of India for secret attacks. It consists of short, very sharp, curved steel blades, secured to a strap passing around the palm of the hand, and so arranged that it will not wound its user. An apparently friendly movement of the hand inflicts a series of dangerous slashes.

Bab--In Moorish architecture, a general term denoting any exterior portal, archway or gate.

Babara --A lively country dance of old Spain.

Baba yaga --In Slavonic mythology, a supernatural female hag represented in literature and painting as a fiend who devours or petrifies her victims, rides aloft in a mortar urged on with a pestle, and sweeps away all traces of her flight with a broom.

Babel quartz --A variety of rock crystal whose name derives from the resemblance of its successive tiers to the Tower of Babel. Used in the making of fine glass.

Babillage --In music, any composition (or performance) of a light or playful character. French, chatter; babbling.

Bablah --A dyeing substance made from the rind or shell surrounding a fruit of the East Indies. In the dyeing of cotton it is used as a substitute for the more expensive astringent dye-stuffs. Known also as neb-neb, its popularity appears to be waning.

Baboosh --In the costume art of Turkey and the East, a shoe without quarters or heel, having only a toe compartment above the sole; the ancestor of certain types of bedroom slippers used today. Also spelled babouche.

Baboracks --A strange Bohemian dance having a peculiar, broken type of rhythm; somewhat similar to alla zoppa (q.v.).

Babouche --See baboosh.

Babul gum -- A whitish substance in powder or amorphous form, used chiefly as an ingredient in surface films and coatings applied to paintings and statuary; employed also in the making of inks, in textile printing, and as a substitute for arabic gum.

Babylonian Art --A subdivision of Mesopotamian Art, flourishing prior to the Assyrian, and reaching the heights of its artistry in the 9th century B.C. Its architecture, like that of Assyria, featured the sundried brick, and was characterized by thick walls and massive forms, necessitated by the friable quality of this material. Since stone was scarce, the chief form of decoration was painting on plaster surfaces for

-62-

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Dictionary of the Arts
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Introduction v
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • A 1
  • B 62
  • C 119
  • D 203
  • E 236
  • F 260
  • G 290
  • H 318
  • I 343
  • J 359
  • K 368
  • L 385
  • M 411
  • N 455
  • O 471
  • P 490
  • Q 562
  • R 567
  • S 605
  • T 692
  • U 744
  • V 751
  • W 767
  • X 782
  • Y 785
  • Z 792
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