[ mahr-tl-ah-toh; Italian mahr-tel-lah-taw ]
/ ˌmɑr tlˈɑ toʊ; Italian ˌmɑr tɛlˈlɑ tɔ /


(of notes or chords in a musical score) heavily accented and detached.

Origin of martellato

1875–80; < Italian: hammered, past participle of martellare. See martel, -ate1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for martellato

  • Delsarte had a marked prejudice in favor of the martellato, which partakes of both.

  • The martellato, a nuance of spiccato, should be played with a firm bowing at the point.

    Violin Mastery|Frederick H. Martens

British Dictionary definitions for martellato



/ (ˌmɑːtəˈlɑːtəʊ) /


(in string playing) the practice of bowing the string with a succession of short sharp blows

Word Origin for martellato

Italian: hammered
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012