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Staccato

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staccato

1. Disconnected; separated; distinct; a direction to perform the notes of a passage in a short, distinct, and pointed manner. It is opposed to legato, and often indicated by heavy accents written over or under the notes, or by dots when the performance is to be less distinct and emphatic.

2. Expressed in a brief, pointed manner. Staccato and peremptory [literary criticism] (G. Eliot)

Origin: It, p.p. Of staccere, equivalent to distaccare. See Detach.