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Before I rewrote it a bit, the article contained the following:

In its baroque form, it is characterised by its lack of regular tempo, pedal solos, scales and arpeggios, and often "improvised" feel (eg, the toccatas of Johann Sebastian Bach). The French toccata is different in that the melody is usually played on the pedals, with the manuals acting as an accompaniment. French toccatas usually have a steady tempo. The most famous of these toccatas is easily the toccata form Widor's 5 symphony, often played at weddings.

I'm a bit confused by this, because the context makes it sounds as if this stuff about "The French toccata" refers to Baroque works, but then a) Widor wasn't a baroque composer and b) I can't think of any French baroque composers known for their toccatas (I could just be being thick on this second point, of course). So is this "French toccata" something characteristic of the baroque, or something that came about from the French organ composers of the 19th century? If we can clarify this, the info can go back in, I think, but as it was before, it was just confusing. --Camembert

Not to mention that this presents toccatas as works for organs only, while they're not.John Holly 12:09, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

Modern toccatas[edit]

I wanted to mention that there are more modern toccatas, for example, Emerson, Lake, and Palmer covered one on their album "Brain Salad Surgery." The author was still alive at the time. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:58, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

A quick comment on "Toccata (Italian for touched)". In spanish (I am from Mexico) the word "tocar", which literally means "to tocuh", when used in the context of musical instruments actually means to play an instrument. So, for example, "tocar el piano" which literaly translates as "to touch the piano" actually means "to play the piano". Since Italian and Spanish are both descendants form Latin I'm pretty sure that this principle must also apply in Italian. I am almost certain that the person who wrote this must have used a word-to-word translator.--Cha daniels (talk) 16:43, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

I tried to clarify it -- "toccata" is from the verb "toccare", which means "to touch". Thanks, Antandrus (talk) 18:53, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Antandrus, are you certain that the verb "toccare" doesn't also mean "to play" when it is used in the context of musical instruments in italian? (talk) 17:03, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

No, I'm not certain, as my Italian is not strong, but I am quoting from the Harvard Dictionary of Music: "Toccata [from Italian toccare, to touch; to hit or to tap, e.g. a drum or bell; German Tokkata] -- a virtuoso composition for keyboard or plucked string instrument..." and so forth. I've never seen another music dictionary or encyclopedia referencing a meaning of the original Italian "to play". Antandrus (talk) 17:18, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

Authorship of quoted BWV565 Toccata (and fugue, Bach)
A note by way of agreement with AndrewWTaylor. It is my understanding that authorship of the famous BWV 565 (Toccata & Fugue in D minor) probably by Bach, and arguably his most popularly-known work has been the subject of uncertainty for many years. There is much to suggest by its compositional style and sheer complexity that it is indeed by JS Bach but there is a scope to suggest that it bears no great similarity to any of his other works and research has been done to attempt to clarify the situation. The wiki article about this pieces highlights the controversy. I also personally remain unconvinced about who wrote the piece. Well pointed out! 12:15, 5 July 2008 (UTC)


I really like how you described the Toccata! It's a lot more easier to understand than the textbook that we're using.

But I had one question:

How fast is the Toccata?

I know it's in Duple meter and also called a Prelude,Preludium,Preamblum,or by some similar name, and since it has fugal sections,it's mostly the same with the Fugue.But but I couldn't find the tempo for it...