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(pĭt'səkä`tō), in music, the technique of plucking the strings of an instrument that is usually bowed. Directions for playing pizzicato are found in early 17th-century music. Paganini introduced left-hand pizzicato, making it possible to play bowed tones and pizzicato tones simultaneously or in alternation.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(1) The method of producing sound on a bowed stringed instrument by plucking the strings.

(2) An instrumental piece, the performance of which is based on the above method.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. (in music for the violin family) to be plucked with the finger
2. the style or technique of playing a normally bowed stringed instrument in this manner
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005