Arpeggiate – Definition & Meaning

Music is a form of art that has the power to move people, evoke emotions, and create memories. One of the techniques used in music is arpeggiation, which is a term that is often used in music theory and practice. In this article, we will explore the definition, origin, meaning, associations, synonyms, and antonyms of arpeggiate.


Arpeggiate is a verb that means to play a chord in a broken or staggered manner, where the notes of the chord are played one after the other instead of simultaneously. It is a technique used in music to create a sense of movement, rhythm, and texture.


The word arpeggiate comes from the Italian word arpeggiare, which means to play the harp. The term was first used in the 18th century to describe the technique of playing a chord on a harp in a broken or staggered manner.

Meaning in different dictionaries

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, arpeggiate means “to play a chord by sounding its notes successively, rather than simultaneously.” Merriam-Webster defines it as “to play the notes of a chord in succession rather than simultaneously.” The Cambridge Dictionary describes it as “to play the notes of a chord separately rather than all at the same time.”


Arpeggiation is often associated with classical music, particularly with the works of composers such as Johann Sebastian Bach, Frédéric Chopin, and Franz Liszt. It is also used in popular music genres such as rock, pop, and jazz.


Some synonyms of arpeggiate include:

  • Arpeggio.
  • Broken chord.
  • Rolled chord.
  • Strummed chord.
  • Staggered chord.


There are no antonyms of arpeggiate, as it is a specific technique used in music.

The same root words

The root word of arpeggiate is arpeggio, which is a noun that means a broken chord played in a sequence of notes. The word arpeggio comes from the Italian word arpeggiare, which means to play the harp.

Example Sentences

Here are some example sentences that use the word arpeggiate:

  • The pianist arpeggiated the chord for added texture and depth.
  • The guitarist used arpeggiation to create a sense of movement in the song.
  • The composer wrote an arpeggiated melody that was played by the strings section.
  • The music teacher taught the students how to arpeggiate a chord on the piano.
  • The band used arpeggiation to create a dramatic effect in the chorus of the song.
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