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Music Theory for Computer Musicians by Michael Hewitt

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Arpeggios

First of all, what is an arpeggio? An arpeggio in its simplest form occurs when the notes of a chord are played successively. They arose primarily in relation to instruments such as pianos and harps that do not have much sustain. Through use of arpeggios, one could sustain a harmony through any number of bars. Beginning with a simple triad, there are a limited number of ways in which it can be arpeggiated. Figure 24.1 shows some of the principal patterns applied to a C major triad.

Figure 24.1. Some common arpeggio patterns.

However you accomplish this, the goal remains the same—to create a sense of motion within the static field ...

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