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Marcato is a musical articulation which refers to a way of "attacking" a note. The usage differs by context.
Marcato in the context of bowed string instruments is an arco technique for playing such a stringed instrument, such as violin, viola, cello, and the double bass, also called contrabass, bass viol, or upright bass. Using the bow, one begins each note with a new attack, rather than continuing the motion of the bow from one note to the next, which is expression legato, or slurred. Marcato is not, however, staccato, as each note is still played for its entire duration.
The term marcato, as applied to other orchestral instruments, particularly winds, refers to a note articulation which combines the fortepiano or sforzando of the accented note with a note duration reduced to two-thirds of its written value (the other third being occupied by a rest); hence, in big-band jazz circles the ^ symbol for marcato, which appears above the note, is also known as a "jazz staccato." (A true staccato has a steady volume and a duration of half its written value; the other half is occupied by a rest.)
A good example of Marcato is in the H. E. Kayser Op. 20, Thirty-Six Elementary and progressive Studies, For the Violin, page 19 (No. 14).
In the latter half of the twenty-first measure, a style is indicated as marcato assai, which means "very marked". Executing a technique of this nature is simple. Simply lay the sides of the hairs (of the violin bow) onto the violin's strings, and for the first two consecutive notes, stroke them in an accented manner. After that, lift the bow, and begin executing a pizzicato technique. Then perform each note (not indicated with a dot above it) in a style between legato and staccato.