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From the Italian verb toccare, which means “to touch.” A toccata is a musical composition, usually written for keyboards and often in several sections that incorporate virtuosic elements meant to show off a performer’s “touch” or dexterity. The term originated sometime during the 16th century, but over the the centuries, toccatas were most often written as showcases for massive pipe organs. Perhaps the most famous — and easily recognizable — is Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor (think Phantom of the Opera).

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