Music Theory

Writing and playing piano arpeggios

An arpeggio is a broken chord where the notes are played in succession rather than simultaneously. The word comes from the Italian for “in the manner of the harp.” It is often used in piano music. To produce the proper effect in the following arpeggio it should be played as written below, that is the notes must be struck successively and not simultaneously. Two signs, to wit, indicate the arpeggio:
signs for arpeggios on piano

Mode of writing:
writing arpeggios

Style of playing arpeggios

When playing the above begin with the lowest note and sustain each as it is struck so that all the tones belonging to the chord sound together, after the upper note is struck. The following illustrates this:
examples of arpeggios
The chord of an arpeggio should never be played simultaneously. Of the following, No. 1 is bad, No. 2 is good.
piano arpeggios
arpeggios with piano