pizzicato (pĭtˌsəkäˈtō) [key], 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.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.