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Trivia Teaser

Which word can mean 'a vacuum', 'to make invalid' or 'to empty'?

Hoover
Stamp
Void
Spill
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A little light music...

More words I'd love to add to our puzzles. Though I freely admit they're rather obscure and so not entirely suitable for all. It's just delightful that words which describe musical ensembles seem to have a rhythm of their own.

Even the word 'orchestra' (which, by the way, originally meant the area, in front of the stage, for the chorus) sounds inviting - though that's probably due to that lovely vowel at the end.

The CHARANGA is a traditional ensemble in Cuban music, developed in the 19th century and, plus or minus a few changes in instrumentation as fashions came and went, is still playing today.

In Asia, there are (obviously) many much older traditions of courtly or religious music and special combinations of instruments used to deliver it. The NOBAT of the Sultans of what is now Malaysia and the PINPEAT from Cambodia are both fixed combinations of instruments, playing music that is specific, and restricted, to formal court or temple occasions.

The GAMELAN orchestras of Java and Bali many have been named for the mallets which struck the metallophones (another lovely word). The gamelan orchestra is well known outside its homelands, too, having influenced Western composers since the time of Debussy and Satie.

From Japan, the TAIKO drum orchestra has also been exported throughout the world.

I think I could make a faint stab at correct pronunciation of most of the terms above. But when it comes to the PANCHAVADYAM of south-west India or the HSAING WAING of Myanmar (that's Burma), I'm not quite so sure. Better, perhaps, to try and find some recordings of the music they produce and simply listen to that.

Still, words don't have to be associated with music to sound delicious. What word do you love, not for spelling or meaning, but simply for the sound of it?

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