Italian word of pizzicato is denoted by a special method of playing on stringed stringed instruments. You know, of course, that the violin, viola, cello and double bass is played using a bow, which lead to the strings. But if the composer about the music line string instrument writes pizz., that is the abbreviation for pizzicato, the contractor removes the bow and plays with fingers by pinching pastry edges together strings, as it does with plucked strings instruments. The sound this produces a specific, similar to the sound of the guitar or balalaika.
There are works in which the reception pizzicato used for imitation of folk instruments. Lyadov in the "Dance" for orchestra introduced pizzicato strings to imitate the balalaika. Rimsky-Korsakov in "Spanish Capriccio" imitated so the guitar sound.
N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov. Spanish Capriccio
There are times when the composer uses pizzicato not for onomatopoeia, and expressive purposes. Tchaikovsky, for example, in the Scherzo of the Fourth Symphony, the entire string section of the orchestra playing pizzicato. A light, staccato sound of a large number of instruments gives the music a mysterious, ghostly color. Polka pizzicato brothers Johann and Joseph Strauss are so called that strings all the time playing it pizzicato.
I. Strauss (father), And Strauss (son). Polka pizzicato