One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A volute of the southern Caribbean and north-eastern South America, Voluta musica, whose shell is cream with a pattern of fine brown lines and dots resembling musical notation.
Early 19th century; earliest use found in William Wood (1774–1857), conchologist and bookseller. From music + volute, after scientific Latin Voluta musica (Linnaeus 1758; compare earlier voluta musicalis).
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