- Clive Brown
The normal German equivalent of the Italian verb staccare (‘to separate or detach; to play staccato’); the noun Stoss was used to mean staccato. Like its Italian counterpart it implies not only separation but also, in many cases, accent. Stoss means literally a blow or shove and the verb means to push, shove or jab. The prefix ab- indicates ‘off’. J.G. Walther, in his Musicalisches Lexicon, 1732, made a distinction between staccato and stoccato deriving the one from staccare (Ger. entkleben, ablösen), and the other from stocco (‘a stick’; Ger. Stock), which he considered to imply that the note was pushed or jabbed (gestossen). Walther's etymology, whether accurate or not, emphasizes the dual meaning of the term staccato in German usage. It was often, especially in the context of keyboard playing, used merely to indicate that notes were to be shortened; thus Türk equated the noun ...