Z-Bisbigliando (Zivkovic-Bisbigliando) is a playing technique on the bowed string instruments. Djuro Zivkovic introduced that technique in his piece On the Guarding of the Heart. However, the regular bisbigliando is normally found on the harp, for the woodwinds as a contemporary technique, but as well on the piano. “The term bisbigliando (Italian, ‘whispering’; abbrev. Bisbigl. or bisb.) indicates an unmeasured rapid tremolo between two or more strings played quietly in the middle and upper registers of the harp.” [p.360, E. Gould 2011]


Execution of Z-Bisbigliando distincts in two points:

  • improvisation-like playing of the left and right hand
  • non-synchronized execution of both hands

In z-bisbigliando the left hand executes a very rapid phrase or multiple-trill. That phrase consists of (a) the main note and (b) grace notes. The right hand plays a rapid tremolo, which rhythm (bow up/down) is not synchronized with the execution speed of the left hand. The result is a very improvisation-like sound.

z-bisbigliando in “On the Guarding of the Heart”, Violin I, M.237-9.

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