"Take it from the top" is often used in musical rehearsals to mean "start at the beginning." Where did this phrase come from?
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Here's what the Oxford English Dictionary says:
This also points out it can mean not only to start at the beginning, but also to keep going until you get to the end; to initiate a full run-through.
I think they're referring to the physical top of the song's or score's first page. I've always taken this literally, which seems to work.