Musical terms

Bartok pizzicato:  A string technique in which the string is plucked violently so that it bounces back to strike the fingerboard, causing a loud snapping sound.

Harmonics:  High, gentle notes produced on the violin by touching the string lightly with the left hand rather than pressing the string down onto the fingerboard.

Inversion:  When a phrase or melody is subsequently turned upside down, the upside down version is called an inversion.

Note cluster:  A note cluster is a chord produced by playing a number of adjacent notes together.  When a young child plays a fist full of notes on a piano, this is an example of a note cluster.

Ostinato:  An ostinato is a musical idea that is repeated many times, typically used as an accompaniment.

Pizzicato:  In string playing, pizzicato is the technical term for plucking the strings, as opposed to using the bow.

Retrograde:  When a rhythm or phrase is subsequently played in reverse, the reverse it is called the retrograde.

Tremolo:  A string technique in which the bow is drawn rapidly backwards and forwards.  Tremolo is often used to create a sense of suspense.  Very soft tremolo may be used to create a gentle background.