Pizzicato is an indication that viola or other bowed instruments performers can find written in their music that indicates that a note on a bowed instrument has to be played by plucking the string, instead of using the bow. It is abbreviated in pizz.

Usually the pizzicato is done with the right hand, more rarely with the left hand. Carl Stamitz and Alessandro Rolla have given the earliest examples of the much more difficult left-hand pizzicato and especially Nicolò Paganini used it in great abundance.

The left-hand pizzicato requires even more coordination because the player has to place one finger down on the string to produce the note of the required intonation and at the same time has to pluck the string with another finger of the same hand to make it sound.

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