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#370376 - 08/19/03 03:42 PM That squiggly line  
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ericz Offline
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I gather that when a chord has a squiggly line next to it itís supposed to be played as an arpeggio. Iím a little confused as to exactly what this means. Exactly how is this supposed to be played, i.e. how fast, which direction, etc? Some time soon hopefully Iíll get a piano teacher to answer these silly questions, but for now you guys are all Iíve got.

Thanks!

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#370377 - 08/19/03 05:03 PM Re: That squiggly line  
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If it's the mark I'm thinking of, then it means the chord should be rolled from top to bottom in quick succession.


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#370378 - 08/19/03 05:04 PM Re: That squiggly line  
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Luke's Dad Offline
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Either that, or your two year old has broken into the black pens again! laugh


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#370379 - 08/19/03 05:06 PM Re: That squiggly line  
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It is usually from the bottom note up, one by one, but sometimes, it can be from the top note down. This is usually indicated by a down arrow, and is mostly found in contemporary scores.

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#370380 - 08/19/03 05:07 PM Re: That squiggly line  
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Quote
Originally posted by Luke's Dad:
If it's the mark I'm thinking of, then it means the chord should be rolled from top to bottom in quick succession.
Erh, isn't it from bottom to top? Might be me getting a little crazy but that's what I always thought wink

Rgds,
Michiel


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#370381 - 08/19/03 05:57 PM Re: That squiggly line  
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It's also important where the beat goes. I've always understood that it means a rapid upward roll with the beat note at the top and each note held after playing; any variation from this should be written in full at least once. Actually it's probably a good idea to do that anyway.


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#370382 - 08/19/03 08:43 PM Re: That squiggly line  
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Could the squiggly line be a trill. Probably not, since your description didn't fit, but I'll tell you how to play it if it was a trill. Play the chord, but the top note is played continues playing, going up a whole or half step and back to the original note. Remember to play it within the beat.


"If music be the food of love, play on." -William Shakespeare
#370383 - 08/19/03 09:29 PM Re: That squiggly line  
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Just to clear things up since there have been conflicting answers.
If you are refering to a vertical swiggly line that is to the left of a chord it means that the chord should be arpeggiated(sp?) or rolled really quickly from the bottom note to the top note.
I hope that that is the musical symbol that you are refering to.

LTLR


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#370384 - 08/19/03 11:13 PM Re: That squiggly line  
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Yes. The squiggly line indicates a rolled chord. It's almost always rolled from bottom to top.

It's rolled in a speed consistent with the character of the piece. For example, Brahms Op. 116#1, roll it fast. Brahms Op. 116#4 and Op. 116#6, roll 'em slow. (I was practicing 116 today. smile )


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#370385 - 08/19/03 11:23 PM Re: That squiggly line  
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My understanding is that the meaning depends upon the era the music was written in. Baroque arpeggios are top note played first (listen to the Aria in the Goldberg Variations, measure 11), classic and later works are bottom note played first (listen to the arpeggio that begins the last movement of the Beethoven's Op 57 [Appassionata] sonata - the bottom chord, which has a wiggly line, is rolled up, the right hand chord, without a line [and marked "secco", or "dry"] is then struck).


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#370386 - 08/20/03 07:12 AM Re: That squiggly line  
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That's just a quirk of the Gould recording. Most recordings just roll it bottom to top like normal.


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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#370387 - 08/20/03 07:36 AM Re: That squiggly line  
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You should hold each note down after you roll them


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#370388 - 08/20/03 08:42 AM Re: That squiggly line  
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Quote
Originally posted by Kreisler:
That's just a quirk of the Gould recording. Most recordings just roll it bottom to top like normal.
No, it's not. It's the way Kirkpatrick realizes it in a downward direction in his (1938) edition of the score, and I thought it was the way I'd always heard it. Frederick Neumann, in his Ornamentation in Baroque and Post-Baroque Music (Princeton, 1978) devotes a 19 page chapter to the arpeggio, and states that arpeggios can go either up or down, but that down is more rare. He thinks that Kirkpatrick adoped the downward reading because the melody note, at the top of the chord, needs to be on the beat. Neumann recommends that the arpeggio be executed upward, with the other notes before the beat, (getting the melody note on the beat) but that seems to go against C.P.E. Bach's dictum that ornaments are played on the beat.


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#370389 - 08/20/03 10:30 AM Re: That squiggly line  
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Quote
Originally posted by Nunatax:
Quote
Originally posted by Luke's Dad:
[b] If it's the mark I'm thinking of, then it means the chord should be rolled from top to bottom in quick succession.
Erh, isn't it from bottom to top? Might be me getting a little crazy but that's what I always thought wink

Rgds,
Michiel [/b]
Sorry, backwards thinking I yesterday had. You are absolutely correct! Sorry for that hiccup between my mind and the computer! frown


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#370390 - 08/20/03 02:09 PM Re: That squiggly line  
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To clarify, itís the vertical squiggly line next to a chord. Thanks for all the helpful responses. To summarize, it sounds like the answer is ďplay the notes in rapid succession, from the bottom up (usually), holding all notes for the duration with the emphasis on the top note.Ē Hopefully I got it right. I really need a teacher.

#370391 - 08/02/05 11:53 AM Re: That squiggly line  
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But does the top note go on the beat?

Quote
To clarify, itís the vertical squiggly line next to a chord. Thanks for all the helpful responses. To summarize, it sounds like the answer is ďplay the notes in rapid succession, from the bottom up (usually), holding all notes for the duration with the emphasis on the top note.Ē Hopefully I got it right. I really need a teacher.
I'm looking at two pieces that have arpeggios notated: Liszt's Sonetto 104 del Petrarca, and an Earl Wild transcription of Rachmaninoff's "In the Silent Night." In both pieces, there's a melody in the right hand, and arpeggiated chords in the left. The first of Rachmaninoff's Moments Musicaux also has this type of notation on the last page.

My first impulse was to roll the chords from bottom to top, with the right-hand melody note last. The problem with this is that it sometimes makes it hard to keep the melody moving along. Ideally, I think I should be able to make the melody sound like a soprano singing with arpeggiated accompaniment -- not straining to fit in with the left hand. So I was starting the arpeggiated chord before the beat, in order to end it and play the melody note on the beat.

A friend suggested another approach: Play the melody note and the first (lowest) note in the bass together, on the beat, and quickly roll the left hand chord up.

So, I'm confused! I think I've heard these pieces played with the arpeggiated chord beginning on the beat, the melody note last, which causes the melody note to lag behind the beat when there's a rolled chord in the accompaniment. But I'm not sure if that's correct -- or whether it's really a matter of style instead of a question of correctness. I'd be grateful for some enlightenment. Thanks!


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#370392 - 08/02/05 12:32 PM Re: That squiggly line  
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Simply put:

Unless otherwise specified, play rolled chords from bottom to top. The ONLY case I have ever seen with top to bottom is the aria in the Goldberg Variations.

#370393 - 08/02/05 01:15 PM Re: That squiggly line  
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Generally, you'll start it on the beat. It's a fast roll, and you'll want to fit it in within the time given for the entire chord. (In other words, watch out that you don't slow down to make it a super-long roll, unless you're aiming for a dramatic gesture.)

Also, pay attention to where the squiggles are. If they are separated (one squiggle for the left hand, one for the right) then you roll the two chords simultaneously. If the squiggle is a single line running all the way from the left hand chord to the right hand chord, you start with the bottom-most note in the left hand, continue through that chord, then start with the bottom note in the right hand and continue through that chord... one big long roll, one note at a time.

The tops-down roll is relatively common in pop music.

#370394 - 08/02/05 03:56 PM Re: That squiggly line  
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So, is this the consensus: the bottom note on the rolled chord occurs on the beat, and the top note (the melody note) will be delayed, that is, off the beat?

I'm not sure I always like the sound of that. Are there some cases where it makes sense to have both the bottom note and melody note on the beat?


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#370395 - 08/02/05 09:54 PM Re: That squiggly line  
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No. Start the rolled chord before the beat so the melody comes on the beat. Anticipate the beat.

#370396 - 08/03/05 03:36 AM Re: That squiggly line  
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Agree with pepper, melody must be on the beat.

But I think if you look at melody, you can decide which way you should roll. The melody note always comes last, so identify the melody note and start at the opposite direction. But usually the molody is the top note, so roll from bottom to top.

Hi from South Africa!


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#370397 - 08/03/05 09:42 AM Re: That squiggly line  
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Actually, I think the right answer to the beat question is, "it depends." laugh


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