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toccata

toccata (It.). Touched. One of oldest names for kbd. piece (org., hpd., etc.), orig. a short movt., often merely a prelude, in which the player's ‘touch’ was displayed through rapidity and delicacy. But note that Monteverdi's first opera Orfeo, 1607, begins with a Toccata for baroque tpts. Later the toccata form was combined with a ricercare, and Bach wrote several toccatas and fugues. Bach also comp. hpd. toccatas in several movts. Several 20th-cent. composers have used the term toccata for movts. of orch. works, e.g. Vaughan Williams for 1st movt of pf. conc. and 4th movt. of 8th Sym. First printed source for use of word is G. A. Casteliono's Intabolatura de leuto de diversi autori (1536). Earliest printed keyboard toccatas were by S. Bertoldo (1591).

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toccata

toccata (təkä´tə, tō–) [Ital.,=touched], type of musical composition. Early examples were written for various instruments, but the best-known form of toccata originated about the beginning of the 17th cent. Free in form, it was one of the first attempts at idiomatic writing for keyboard instruments, in contrast to the strictly contrapuntal pieces of the Renaissance. The toccata was usually rhapsodic, often interspersing rapid passages of brilliant figuration with fugal sections. Andrea Gabrieli, Frescobaldi, Sweelinck, Froberger, Buxtehude, and Bach were outstanding masters of the toccata style. Schumann wrote a toccata for piano in sonata form. As a brilliant showpiece the toccata persists today in organ composition.

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toccata

toc·ca·ta / təˈkätə/ • n. a musical composition for a keyboard instrument designed to exhibit the performer's touch and technique.

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toccata

toccata (mus.) piece for keyboard instruments intended to exhibit touch and technique. XVIII. — It., sb. use of fem. pp. of toccare TOUCH.

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