ar·​peg·​gio | \ är-ˈpe-jē-ˌō How to pronounce arpeggio (audio) , -ˈpe-jō\
plural arpeggios

Definition of arpeggio

1 : production of the tones of a chord in succession and not simultaneously
2 : a chord played in arpeggio

Examples of arpeggio in a Sentence

The guitarist warmed up with a few simple arpeggios.

Recent Examples on the Web

The gifted composer Mark Bennett’s original music lends beautifully brooding atmosphere, often through haunting arpeggios played on piano high above stage left by Justin Gray. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: Old Globe’s music-filled ‘Romeo and Juliet’ brings strange and satisfying surprises to Shakespeare," 18 Aug. 2019 Each took a stumble here and there and the slow movement sounded tenuous, but their arpeggios in vigorous harmony and triumphant finale were more memorable. Zoë Madonna,, "At Tanglewood, thunderstorms and Yo-Yo Ma struck a dramatic note with the BSO," 19 Aug. 2019 Impressionistic string arpeggios, along with other rapid figures, moody thick chords and glissandi pervade much of the piece. Mark Swed,, "Salonen's 'Pollux' supplies some grunge for L.A. Phil tour," 16 Apr. 2018 In the second, the strings mostly took over the arpeggios, holding them to a statelier tempo, and the elements inspired by the chants came more to the fore. New York Times, "Review: Chiara Quartet Says Farewell on a High Note," 13 May 2018 In the first, Mr. Sciarrino, clearly inspired by Paganini’s dazzling violin caprices, writes an avant-garde equivalent, with whirlwinds of jagged, scratchy-toned arpeggios that flow into slinky, sliding tones, then erupt in staccato madness. New York Times, "Review: A Tiny Garage Explodes in Pianistic Madness," 25 June 2018 The track is a collaboration with three other producers — mainly Hudson Mohawke, along with John Hill and Peter Wade — that cunningly mutates from a sparse dembow beat through syncopated trance chords to a skein of prog-rock organ arpeggios. Jon Pareles, New York Times, "The Playlist: The 1975 Talk About Its Generation, and 9 More New Songs," 1 June 2018 On their 2015 album L’Onde Souterraine (Telegraph Harp), extended single-note lines and repeating arpeggios are played quietly. Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader, "French cellist and sound artist Leila Bordreuil diffuses and distorts bowed lines in her Chicago debut," 8 Mar. 2018 The songs are strictly post-punk with intricate guitar parts that toggle between heavy riffs and arpeggios, high-energy drums, and low-key vocal hooks. Aaron Carnes, sacbee, "Sacramento rock band explores weighty issues of loss, death and innocence," 1 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'arpeggio.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of arpeggio

circa 1724, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for arpeggio

Italian, from arpeggiare to play on the harp, from arpa harp, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German harpha harp

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Statistics for arpeggio

Last Updated

15 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for arpeggio

The first known use of arpeggio was circa 1724

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English Language Learners Definition of arpeggio

music : a chord in which the notes are played separately instead of at the same time

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to fake an opponent out of position

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