Definition of col legno in English:

col legno


  • (of a passage of music for a bowed instrument) played by hitting the strings with the back of the bow.

    • ‘The attack (the initial transient) is not so rapid as in col legno, because the bow hair is softer than the wood.’
    • ‘‘Jovial Jig’: using the same basic material as ‘Fairy Frolics’, the finale is a compendium of colour effects - snap pizzicato, col legno, sul ponticello, guitar-like strumming.’
    • ‘I took the strings to their extremes, using lots of pizzicato and col legno [in which the wood of the bow is used to create a harsh sound].’


Italian, ‘with the wood (of the bow)’.


col legno

/kɒl ˈlɛnjəʊ/