Martelé (bowstroke)

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Martelé (French; Italian martellato), literally "hammered," is a bowstroke, used when playing bowed string instruments. The effect is usually produced by holding the bow against the string with pressure, then stroked forcefully to produce an intense note. Martelé is often used to produce a sequence of distinct notes with intense effect, with very slight pause in between notes due to the need for the pressure before the strokes. Some violinists use it when playing staccato notes.

In successfully employing the martelé a string player will use a light "hammer" stroke followed by a release between strokes. Fast martelé strokes will lead to beautiful detaché strokes. A martellato stroke is a more forceful stroke.

The term martellato also applies to a handbell technique where the bell is played into the padding of the table, producing a short, staccato sound.

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