Definition of toccata in English:

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Pronunciation: /təˈkɑːtə/


A musical composition for a keyboard instrument designed to exhibit the performer’s touch and technique.
Example sentences
  • Most people will agree that J S Bach composed the greatest keyboard toccatas precisely because he, more than any composer, was master of maximal emotional intensity, countered by acute intellectual lucidity.
  • However, it is important to note that this also finds parallels in the keyboard toccatas of a number of North German composers.
  • She not only gets the steel and rhythm of the toccatas (and power without pounding), but above all she generates a wealth of color and an inexorable musical line, whether loud or soft.


Early 18th century: from Italian, feminine past participle of toccare 'to touch'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: toc|cata

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