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1724, from Italian toccata, from toccare "to touch." A composition for keyboard instrument, intended to exhibit the touch and technique of the performer, and having the air of an improvisation.
musical form for keyboard instruments, written in a free style that is characterized by full chords, rapid runs, high harmonies, and other virtuoso elements designed to show off the performer's "touch." The earliest use of the term (about 1536) was associated with solo lute music of an improvisatory character