Spiccato, спиккaто |
Music Terms

Spiccato, спиккaто |

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ital., from spiccare – to tear off, separate, abbr. – spic.

A stroke used when playing stringed bowed instruments. Refers to the group of “jumping” strokes. With S., the sound is extracted by throwing the bow on the string from a short distance; because the bow immediately rebounds from the string, the sound is short, jerky. From S. one should distinguish the bow stroke sautillé (sautilli, French, from sautiller – jump, bounce), also belonging to the group of “jumping” strokes. This stroke is performed by fast and small movements of the bow, lying on the string and only slightly rebounding due to the elasticity and springy properties of the bow stick. Unlike S., which is used at any tempo and with any sound strength, sautillé is possible only at a fast tempo and with a small sound strength (pp – mf); in addition, if S. can be performed by any part of the bow (middle, lower, and also at the stock), then sautillé is obtained only at one point of the bow, near its middle. The sautillé stroke arises from the détaché stroke when playing the piano, at a fast tempo and with a short stretch of the bow; with crescendo and slowing down the tempo (with the length of the bow being used widening), the sautillé stroke naturally transitions into détaché.

L. S. Ginzburg

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