A musical term derived from an Italian word meaning detached or distinct. The meaning of the word in music has changed over the centuries but is now used by violin and other string players to mean a style of bowing in which the bow is bounced on the string. This gives a short, light note. Rapidly repeated spiccato notes are possible if the bow is well balanced, and players will test a new bow looking for a good balance point in rapid spiccato when purchasing the bow. Playing spiccato is sometimes known as playing "off the string" by musicians.

Spic*ca"to (?), a. [It., p. p. of spicare to detach, to separate.] Mus.

Detached; separated; -- a term indicating that every note is to be performed in a distinct and pointed manner.


© Webster 1913.

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