Friday, August 27, 2004

Pizzicato...does cheese come on that?

Pizzicato is a term dealing with stringed instruments. Normally you bow a violin or cello to create a nice legato (smooth) sound. A pizzicato, on the other hand, is when you pluck the strings of a violin or cello to create a more broken sound. Usually the player uses the right forefinger for pizzicato while still holding the bow. This sound is often used to imitate canons being shot off or the sound of clashing shields.
In orchestral music, pizzicato was uncommon before the Classical era, though Bach used it to accompany voice or a solo instrument in slow movements.There are many examples of it in Haydn’s symphonies and other music of the Classical era. Composers naturally came to use it in operas to imitate a plucked instrument, for example Mozart inDie Entführung aus dem Serail (Pedrillo’s ‘Im Mohrenland’, to imitate his guitar) or in Don Giovanni to represent the serenade (‘Deh vieni alla finestra’).
The pizzicato can have a very dramatic effect when used properly, and it just sounds really cool too.