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prelude
used in Moby Dick

4 uses
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Definition
something that prepares for or introduces what is to follow

or:

music #1:  an introductory piece of music — such as might introduce an act of an opera

or:

music #2:  a short independent piece of music — typically for piano
  • On the grim Pequod's forecastle, ye shall ere long see him, beating his tambourine; prelusive of the eternal time, when sent for, to the great quarter-deck on high, he was bid strike in with angels, and beat his tambourine in glory; called a coward here, hailed a hero there!
    Chapters 25-27 — Postscript; Knights and Squires; Knights and Squires (99% in)
  • So still and subdued and yet somehow preluding was all the scene, and such an incantation of reverie lurked in the air, that each silent sailor seemed resolved into his own invisible self.
    Chapters 46-48 — Surmises; The Mat-Maker; The First Lowering (18% in)
  • Making so long a passage through such unfrequented waters, descrying no ships, and ere long, sideways impelled by unvarying trade winds, over waves monotonously mild; all these seemed the strange calm things preluding some riotous and desperate scene.
    Chapters 124-126 — The Needle; The Log and Line; The Life-Buoy (66% in)
  • At that preluding moment, ere the boat was yet snapped, Ahab, the first to perceive the whale's intent, by the crafty upraising of his head, a movement that loosed his hold for the time; at that moment his hand had made one final effort to push the boat out of the bite.
    Chapters 133-135 — The Chase—First Day; The Chase—Second Day; The Chase—Third Day (17% in)

There are no more uses of "prelude" in Moby Dick.

Typical Usage  (best examples)
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