Arpeggio

An arpeggio on a chord (also known as a broken chord) is denoted by appending \arpeggio to the chord construct:

\relative { <c' e g c>1\arpeggio }

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Different types of arpeggios may be written. \arpeggioNormal reverts to a normal arpeggio:

\relative {
  <c' e g c>2\arpeggio

  \arpeggioArrowUp
  <c e g c>2\arpeggio

  \arpeggioArrowDown
  <c e g c>2\arpeggio

  \arpeggioNormal
  <c e g c>2\arpeggio
}

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These predefined commands internally modify the arpeggio-direction property; see their full definition in the ly/property-init.ly file.

Special bracketed arpeggio symbols can be created:

\relative {
  <c' e g c>2

  \arpeggioBracket
  <c e g c>2\arpeggio

  \arpeggioParenthesis
  <c e g c>2\arpeggio

  \arpeggioParenthesisDashed
  <c e g c>2\arpeggio

  \arpeggioNormal
  <c e g c>2\arpeggio
}

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These predefined commands internally override the Arpeggio object’s stencil property, and may also adapt its X-extent (that is, the horizontal dimension it takes not to collide with other objects).

The dash properties of the parenthesis arpeggio are controlled with the dash-definition property (see section Slurs).

Arpeggios can be explicitly written out with ties. For more information, see section Ties.

Predefined commands

\arpeggio, \arpeggioArrowUp, \arpeggioArrowDown, \arpeggioNormal, \arpeggioBracket, \arpeggioParenthesis, \arpeggioParenthesisDashed.

Selected Snippets

Creating cross-staff arpeggios in a piano staff

In a PianoStaff, it is possible to let an arpeggio cross between the staves by setting the property PianoStaff.connectArpeggios.

\new PianoStaff \relative c'' <<
  \set PianoStaff.connectArpeggios = ##t
  \new Staff {
    <c e g c>4\arpeggio
    <g c e g>4\arpeggio
    <e g c e>4\arpeggio
    <c e g c>4\arpeggio
  }
  \new Staff {
    \clef bass
    \repeat unfold 4 {
      <c,, e g c>4\arpeggio
    }
  }
>>

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Creating cross-staff arpeggios in other contexts

Cross-staff arpeggios can be created in contexts other than GrandStaff, PianoStaff and StaffGroup if the Span_arpeggio_engraver is included in the Score context.

\score {
  \new ChoirStaff {
    \set Score.connectArpeggios = ##t
    <<
      \new Voice \relative c' {
        <c e>2\arpeggio
        <d f>2\arpeggio
        <c e>1\arpeggio
      }
      \new Voice \relative c {
        \clef bass
        <c g'>2\arpeggio
        <b g'>2\arpeggio
        <c g'>1\arpeggio
      }
    >>
  }
  \layout {
    \context {
      \Score
      \consists "Span_arpeggio_engraver"
    }
  }
}

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Creating arpeggios across notes in different voices

An arpeggio can be drawn across notes in different voices on the same staff if the Span_arpeggio_engraver is added to the Staff context:

\new Staff \with {
  \consists "Span_arpeggio_engraver"
}
\relative c' {
  \set Staff.connectArpeggios = ##t
  <<
    { <e' g>4\arpeggio <d f> <d f>2 }
    \\
    { <d, f>2\arpeggio <g b>2 }
  >>
}

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See also

Music Glossary: arpeggio.

Notation Reference: Slurs, Ties.

Installed Files: ly/property-init.ly.

Snippets: Expressive marks.

Internals Reference: Arpeggio, Slur, PianoStaff.

Known issues and warnings

Predefined commands such as \arpeggioArrowUp only apply to the current context, and thus will not affect arpeggios spanning several voices or staves. In such cases, these commands need to be used in a \context block within \layout, or in a \with block, as explained in Changing context default settings. Alternatively, rather than using predefined shortcuts, it may be advisable to directly override the relevant properties for the Arpeggio object in the appropriate context; for example:

\override Staff.Arpeggio.stencil = #ly:arpeggio::brew-chord-bracket

to print cross-voice arpeggio brackets at the Staff level, or

\override PianoStaff.Arpeggio.arpeggio-direction = #UP

to print cross-staff arrowed arpeggios (pointing upwards) in a PianoStaff context.

It is not possible to mix connected arpeggios and unconnected arpeggios in one PianoStaff at the same point in time.

The simple way of setting parenthesis-style arpeggio brackets does not work for cross-staff arpeggios; see Cross-staff stems.


LilyPond Notation Reference v2.25.14 (development-branch).