from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A virtuoso composition, usually for the organ or another keyboard instrument, in free style with brilliant passagework.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A piece of music (usually for a keyboard instrument) designed to emphasise the dexterity of the performer.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An old form of piece for the organ or harpsichord, somewhat in the free and brilliant style of the prelude, fantasia, or capriccio.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In music, a work for a keyboard-instrument, like the pianoforte or organ, originally intended to utilize and display varieties of touch: but the term has been extended so as to include many irregular works, similar to the prelude, the fantasia, and the improvisation.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a baroque musical composition (usually for a keyboard instrument) with full chords and rapid elaborate runs in a rhythmically free style


Italian, from feminine past participle of toccare, to touch, from Vulgar Latin *toccāre.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Italian toccata. (Wiktionary)



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  • On music my head is full of errata
    From ears to medula oblongata.
    I am justly famous
    As an ignoramus
    Who can't tell a taco from a toccata.

    July 30, 2014