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arpeggio

[ahr-pej-ee-oh, -pej-oh]
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noun, plural ar·peg·gi·os. Music.
  1. the sounding of the notes of a chord in rapid succession instead of simultaneously.
  2. a chord thus sounded.

Origin of arpeggio

1735–45; < Italian: literally, a harping, noun derivative of arpeggi(are) to play on the harp (< Germanic; compare Old English hearpi(g)an to harp)
Also called broken chord.
Related formsar·peg·gi·at·ed, ar·peg·gi·oed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for arpeggio

Historical Examples

  • I amused myself by playing an arpeggio when Schikaneder came to a pause.

    Life Of Mozart, Vol. 3 (of 3)

    Otto Jahn

  • The study ends with the arpeggio passage as at the beginning.

    Nicolo Paganini: His Life and Work

    Stephen Samuel Stratton

  • There can never be too much practice of a scale or arpeggio exercise.

  • Scale and arpeggio passages were absolutely clean and without a flaw.

  • There must be scale and arpeggio study, in which the metronome can be used.

    Piano Mastery</p>

    Harriette Brower


British Dictionary definitions for arpeggio

arpeggio

noun plural -gios
  1. a chord whose notes are played in rapid succession rather than simultaneously
  2. an ascending and descending figuration used in practising the piano, voice, etc

Word Origin

C18: from Italian, from arpeggiare to perform on the harp, from arpa harp
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for arpeggio

n.

1742, from Italian arpeggio, from arpeggiare "to play upon the harp," from arpa "harp," which is of Germanic origin (see harp (n.)). Related: Arpeggiated; arpeggiation.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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