Antedating of "from the top"

Hugo hugovk at GMAIL.COM
Mon Aug 26 07:02:26 UTC 2013

"from the top" (OED 1940)

Here's a (possibly parenthetical) 1936 antedating from Metronome magazine. I haven't checked the original Metronome, but this appears as a quotation in Robert S. Gold's A Jazz Lexicon (1964), page 325. Here's the full definition:

[Begin extract]
top (down), from the, [by analogy with reading sheet music; current since c. 1930] See 1936 quot.; also, by extension, from the beginning of anything (to the end). — 1936 Metronome, Feb., p. 21. from the top down: playing an orchestration right through. —1956 Eddie Condon's Treasury of Jazz, p. 219. "Let's do this one more time from the top, gentlemen."
[End extract]

The lexicon is online:

Here's a direct link to the relevant page:


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