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 During each phase, the musicians would run through scales and arpeggios at varying volumes and tempos, performing dozens of intonations of every note. Chuck Squatriglia, Popular Science, "Inside the extraordinary experiment to save the Stradivarius sound," 10 Jan. 2020 Already a skilled player, Anderson had no idea what technique Van Halen was using to achieve those orbiting arpeggios. Matt Wake |, al, "Close encounters of the Van Halen kind," 8 Jan. 2020 Taking up more than half of the remix’s ten-minute length, the breakdown is an extended trance induction, its arpeggios meditative and steadily increasing their speed upwards into the heavens. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "The 60 Greatest Dance Songs of the Decade: Staff List," 26 Nov. 2019 Fielding a request to do a spontaneous piece, Wheaton starts with an up-tempo, plinking line of notes, adds a brisk allegro melody that plays in syncopation against it, and finally pipes in a series of cascading arpeggios. Rand Richards Cooper,, "In Our Midst: Gabriel Wheaton’s classical, contemporary, opulent and wildly eclectic one-man band," 15 Nov. 2019 There’s scant distance between the man and the music, the politically attuned composer sometimes railing against the world via torrents of arpeggios, chords hammered repeatedly, accents driven like stakes into the ground. Howard Reich,, "Pianist Gerstein launches Chicago’s epic journey into Beethoven’s piano sonatas," 12 Oct. 2019 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

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

borrowed from Italian, noun derivative of arpeggiare "to play the harp," from arpa "harp" (going back to a Vulgar Latin loan from Germanic *harpō- "harp") + -eggiare, factitive verb suffix, going back to Latin -idiāre, originally representing variant pronunciation (or spelling variant) of -izāre -ize — more at harp entry 1

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Time Traveler for arpeggio

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The first known use of arpeggio was circa 1724

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Cite this Entry

“Arpeggio.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Apr. 2021.

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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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