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early 15c., "pertaining to music; tuneful, harmonious; adept at making music," from Middle French musical (14c.) and directly from Medieval Latin musicalis, from Latin musica (see music). Musical box is from 1829. Children's game musical chairs is attested from 1877, hence use of musical as a modifier meaning "changing rapidly from one to another possessor" (1924). Related: Musically.
Changing rapidly from one to another possessor: At night in Port-au-Prince a massive game of musical houses is going on/ The revolving cast of Love Letters has become something of a game of musical celebrities/ Neither partner will relinquish the coop; this is black comedy, a wickedly funny tale of musical apartments and malfunctioning appliances
[1924+; the date refers to the first occurrence of musical chairs, the game in which players circle a set of chairs and sit in any one available when the music stops]