spiccato n : bowing in such a way that the bow bounces lightly off the strings [syn: spiccato bowing]
Spiccato is a bowing technique for stringed instruments in which the bow bounces lightly upon the string.
The bow is held a short distance above the string and allowed to bounce, resulting in a series of short, distinct notes. This occurs because of the elasticity of the string and the natural springiness of the bow. The speed with which the spiccato is performed depends on bow placement. At the "balance point", the spiccato will be slow, while above the middle of the bow the speed will increase. The speed can also be controlled by varying the height of the bow above the string: the higher the bow bounces, the longer the time required for the bow to return to the string, and therefore the slower the resulting spiccato. The character of the spiccato is influenced by the tilt of the bow. When using the full bow hair, the bow bounces more and has a shorter character, while when the bow hair is angled, the character of the spiccato becomes more mellow and longer. The ability to perform spiccato was facilitated by the development of a bow in which the bow had a concave curve by Francois Tourte (1747-1835).
The etymology of the word includes the Italian spiccare, meaning to separate.
spiccato in Polish: Spiccato
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