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staff, in musical notation, a set of horizontal lines upon and between which notes are written so as to determine their relative pitch, and in connection with a clef, their absolute pitch. Staffs with several lines survive from the late 9th cent., the lines denoting only pitches. In early attempts at the notation of plainsong, a single line was drawn, with neumes placed above and below it, giving a rough idea of the relative pitches of the tones. Guido d'Arezzo, in the 11th cent., used several lines and put letters on certain of them to indicate their pitch, thus foreshadowing the use of the clef (see musical notation). Four-line staffs proved adequate for plainsong notation and are still employed for that purpose. In 16th-century keyboard music, staffs of six or seven lines were often employed, but later the five-line staff, with ledger lines for pitches outside the range provided for by the staff, became conventional.
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Ornamental plastering, made in molds and reinforced with fiber, usually nailed or wired into place.
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved


(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

The staff is one of the "working tools" of Scottish Witchcraft (PectiWita). The Gaelic term for a magical staff is an luirgean or an lorg ohn. Scottish Witches use the staff in much the same way as others use a sword, wand, and/or athamé, casting a circle with it and also directing energy with it. Oak, yew, walnut, and ash are favorite woods used.

Other Witches also use staffs, some for circle casting but most as a purely personal tool. Many Wiccan elders have a staff as an unofficial sign of their status. In the old days trees were revered, and carrying a staff of such a tree signified authority and power. It is a version of the old rod of power, which manifested as a royal scepter and can also be seen as a bishop's crozier, a mace, a baton, and in many other forms. Traditionally fairies carried staffs, some tipped with crystals or pine cones, symbolizing the organ of generation.

The Witch Book: The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Wicca, and Neo-paganism © 2002 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the chief body responsible for troop command and control. There are combined-arms staffs, staffs for the combat arms and services, and staffs for the individual branches of the armed forces.

The most important missions of the staff are to maintain troops and command bodies in combat readiness; to collect, study, process, and assess situation data and to report operational and tactical estimates and proposals to the commander to enable him to make decisions during the planning of battles and operations and in the course of combat; to plan the battle or operation, delivering missions to the troops and organizing troop command and control, cooperation, and comprehensive support; to regulate the everyday life, training, and indoctrination of military personnel; and to maintain firm discipline, military order, and organization. The staff does its work on the basis of the commander’s decisions and the orders of the higher-ranking staff. The staff is headed by the chief of staff, who is the first deputy commander and who has the right to give orders to subordinate troops in the commander’s name.

The armies of the slaveholding and feudal states (until the 16th century) were comparatively small and waged battle in relatively small areas, so that the leader or commander saw the field of battle and did not need a special body, or staff, for command and control of his troops. With the formation of standing national armies in Europe between the late 16th century and the early 18th century, the growth in the size of the armies, and improvements in troop organization, the functions of command and control of troops became more complex; it became necessary, for example, to establish special quartermaster positions in charge of troop movement, billeting, and the compilation of plans and maps. The needs to be met by the general staff, therefore, gradually emerged. Commanders had adjutants who were used to command and control troops. With the appearance of mass armies in the late 18th century and an increase in the scale and duration of military operations, it became necessary to establish special bodies among the armies for command and control of large and smaller units. These bodies, which facilitated the commander’s work, were the staffs. In 1792 the General Quartermaster Department in France was renamed the Main Staff of the army. In the early 19th century a main staff, staffs of armies and corps, and later staffs of divisions were established in Russia. By this time the staffs were already being given considerable authority and acted as bodies to ensure that the commander’s plans were carried out.

By the late 19th century and the early 20th century, staffs in the armies of most countries had permanent tables of organization and the functions of their personnel were clearly defined. Various types of technical equipment, such as the telegraph, telephone, and radio, were used for command and control of troops. At the start of World War I, staffs of fronts were formed in the Russian Army and staffs of army groups were established in the armed forces of Germany, France, and, during the war, Great Britain. The Russian staffs of fronts and armies consisted of the directorate of the quartermaster general, who had authority over the operational, intelligence, military topography, and other sections, and the directorate of the duty general, who had authority over the inspection, general, printing, and other sections. The staff of a division included a senior adjutant of the general staff and a senior adjutant (a regimental adjutant in a regiment) who managed operational affairs, intelligence, and matters pertaining to drill and inspections. The staffs of divisions and regiments also included chiefs of communications and administrative affairs, a weapons officer, commandants and quartermasters, a senior doctor, and others.

The modern staff structure took shape in the period between the two world wars, and staffs were supplied with more advanced means of communication and transportation and with reconnaissance forces and equipment. The Staff Manual was developed in the Red Army. The staff was elaborated further during World War II. In the Red Army the staffs of fronts, armies, corps, divisions, and regiments consisted of the operational, reconnaissance, and other directorates or sections; battalion staffs comprised several officers. There were also staffs of the combat arms and services. A system of control points (command, observation, rear, and other posts) was established during offensive operations using staff forces and means to command and control troops. Experience was gained in collecting and processing situation data; organizing and supporting reliable communication with troops; carrying on cooperative operations; coordinating work among combined-armed staffs, the staffs of combat arms and services, and other command and control bodies; and setting up command and control points and moving them behind the troops during the battle or operation. In 1942 the new Field Service Manual for Staffs of the Red Army was published.

After the war the following general structure took shape in the Soviet armed forces: the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the USSR; main staffs of the branches of the armed forces; the Staff of the Rear Services of the Armed Forces; the Civil Defense staff; and staffs of the chiefs of the combat arms and services and of special forces. There are also troop staffs in formations, large units, units, and subunits. Similar staffs exist in the armed forces of foreign countries. The unified armed forces of NATO have established a unified staff, and the unified armed forces of the Warsaw Pact of 1955 have a staff of the unified armed forces of these countries. There are also various other large staffs and staffs of formations, large units, and units that differ in composition. For example, in the. armed forces of the United States the staff of an infantry division and the headquarters company included within it comprise 102 men; the staffs of mechanized and armored divisions each have 115 men. The command staff of all types of divisions in the US ground forces includes a headquarters section and sections for personnel, intelligence, operations and combat training, logistics, civilian affairs, adjutant general, army aviation, field artillery, antiaircraft artillery, signal troops, engineer troops, the chemical, financial, medical, transport, and meteorological services, the commandant’s office, military police, and chaplains.

With the adoption of nuclear weapons by the armed forces of various countries in the 1950’s and 1960’s and with the introduction of electronic equipment and full motorization and mechanization of troops, the functions of staffs became more diverse and important and their working conditions grew more complex. In the most advanced armies of today, staffs are incorporating a new technical base, setting up automated command and control systems that include computers and high-speed and secret communications equipment. Scientific methods of work for all bodies involved in troop command and control are being introduced and incorporated.




the full complement of properly approved employees’ positions in an enterprise, institution, or organization.

In the USSR, the positions that make up an administrative staff are determined in accordance with the Model Branch Structure approved for enterprises, institutions, and organizations. A staff schedule sets forth an administrative framework, job titles, the number of staff members for each position, and salaries and pay supplements. The classification of employees as administrative personnel is carried out in accordance with the official job titles adopted by the Central Statistical Board of the USSR. The managers of enterprises, construction administrations or sites, territorial geological administrations, and certain other organizations have the right to approve and make changes in the administrative personnel within limits established for labor (centrally determined plan targets for labor) and administrative expenditures. The Ministry of Finance of the USSR decides which enterprises, institutions, and organizations belong to a particular wage category and monitors compliance with staff finance discipline (seeDISCIPLINE, STATE). The staff, official salaries, and estimated administrative expenditures approved by the manager of an enterprise need not be registered at financial agencies.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

cast, staff

In plastering, a shape, usually decorative, made in a mold and then fastened in place.


1. Ornamental plastering, made in molds and reinforced with fiber; usually nailed or wired into place.
2. An exterior wall covering resembling stucco, used on temporary buildings.
4. A piece used to close the joint between a wooden frame, as a window or door frame, and the masonry in which it is set.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


symbolic of a courier on a mission. [Christian Symbolism: Appleton, 4]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. the body of teachers or lecturers of an educational institution, as distinct from the students
2. Music
a. the system of horizontal lines grouped into sets of five (four in the case of plainsong) upon which music is written. The spaces between them are also used, being employed in conjunction with a clef in order to give a graphic indication of pitch
b. any set of five lines in this system together with its clef
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
During the recent fleeting visit of his son between December 14 and18, Mrs Laila Fernandes and Sean came around 2 pm on December 18 and after getting rid of the attending staff, behind closed doors, have forced George to affix his thumb impression on some papers...
"The concept, although unconventional, also allows an attending staff member to take over manual ventilation of the patient, with air if necessary, if a hospital's pneumatic mechanism or gas supply fails.
The attending staff at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center remains committed to the production of practical courses in tumor pathology, to expose pathologists to the wealth of teaching material at the Center.
Rich Pitts, DO, PhD, has been appointed medical director of Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, a 450-bed teaching hospital that includes a trauma center, burn center and stroke center with 15 residencies and 300 physicians in training and an attending staff of 400 physicians.
The invaluable teaching and active mentoring by our attending staff during the 5-year orthopaedic training program at the NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases have culminated in this comprehensive collection of review articles.
C-sections required a consult from attending staff and were frowned upon when a mid-forcep rotation from OP (occipitoposterior) position to OA (occipitoanterior) position might make an easy delivery But I trained in the military and had a tremendous amount of freedom as well as some super staff teaching me so I was not concerned with the unlikely possibility of a lawsuit.
The second paragraph of the 5150 provision says that if "an application in writing stating the circumstances under which the person's condition was called to the attention of the officer, member of the attending staff, or professional person, and stating that the officer, member of the attending staff, or professional person has probable cause to believe that the person is, as a result of mental disorder, a danger to others, or to himself or herself, or gravely disabled."
He currently serves as the director of the Department of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery at Nyack Hospital in Nyack, N.Y., and attending staff at Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern, N.Y., Ramapo Valley Surgical Center in Ramsey, N.J., Orange Regional Medical Center in Middletown, N.Y., and Meadowlands Hospital in Secaucus, N.J.
Khouzam was an interventional cardiology fellow at Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola, New York, and is currently an interventional cardiology attending staff at University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center in Memphis, Tennessee.
Attending staff gave the students a standing ovation as they retired the flags.