"Staccatissimo" is a musical term used to indicate an extremely short and detached articulation of a note. It is derived from the Italian word "staccato", which means "detached". Adding the suffix "-issimo" intensifies the effect, emphasizing an even shorter and more pronounced separation between the notes.
When a note is marked with a staccatissimo articulation, it is played with a brief, crisp, and abrupt attack, followed by an immediate release. The duration of the note is significantly shorter than in regular staccato or regular detached articulations. It creates a distinct and punctuated sound, adding emphasis to the individual note or phrase.
To achieve a staccatissimo articulation, performers use quick and precise bowing or finger technique, depending on the instrument. For string instruments, it involves a brief separation of the bow from the strings, or a sharp release of the fingers in the case of piano or other keyboard instruments. Wind and brass players utilize short and precise tonguing techniques to produce the staccatissimo effect.
Staccatissimo is often indicated in musical notation by placing a dot directly above or below the notehead, or by using a specific staccatissimo symbol. It is commonly found in compositions across various genres, including classical, jazz, and contemporary music.