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Arpeggios And Broken Chords?


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#1 Fran*Piano

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 19:37

I just don't understand the difference between arpeggios!
If a C Major arpeggio is C E G C, what is a C Major broken chord? Is it playing the notes in thirds, like CE then GC? Please help, I'm so very confused wacko.gif
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#2 sbhoa

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 19:47

Broken chords are the same notes as arpeggios but may not be in the same order and don't have to complete the octave.
A common version of broken chords for exams is (in C major) C E G; E G C: G C E then back down to the C.. that's ascending.
Your hand moves up the piano each time.
There are other patters, usually there is an example in the syllabus or you might prefer to get the scales book for the grade if this is for an exam.
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#3 des

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 19:52

Does an arpeggio only apply to triads? You can break any chord but does an 'arpeggio' have to be CGE etc? never been sure about this!
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#4 sbhoa

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 20:00

QUOTE(des @ Nov 11 2009, 07:52 PM) View Post

Does an arpeggio only apply to triads? You can break any chord but does an 'arpeggio' have to be CGE etc? never been sure about this!

Don't quote me on this but I'd have thought that the apreggio has to have the notes in the 'right' order and complete the octave(CEGC).
Though some instruments have to play arpeggios for an octave and a 5th or something I think.

Maybe i should stop now and wait for someone who knows what they are talking about....ohmy.gif
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#5 flobiano

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 20:14

QUOTE(sbhoa @ Nov 11 2009, 08:00 PM) View Post

Don't quote me on this but I'd have thought that the apreggio has to have the notes in the 'right' order and complete the octave(CEGC).
Though some instruments have to play arpeggios for an octave and a 5th or something I think.


For oboe/flute and no doubt other instruments some arpeggios are done as a 12th - sticking to C as the example that would be

C-E-G-C'-E'-G'-G'-E'-C'-G-E-C-C

You play the middle and end notes twice to make the rhythm work. smile.gif

I don't know the answer to any of the other questions, sorry.
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#6 BerkshireMum

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 00:45

The broken chord is just an easy form of arpeggio. When you start to learn piano, putting the thumb under (as required for arpeggios) is quite tricky, so in the early stages you can just learn the notes involved, and play them as a broken chord by moving the whole hand as sbhoa says. It's easiest to learn putting the thumb under on scales first, as the stretch isn't so great. Once the whole thumb under thing is mastered, arpeggios are introduced.

In instruments other than piano it's unlikely that you'd ever meet broken chords because it's no easier to play a broken chord than a true arpeggio.
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#7 Little Elf

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 08:24

there's two different examples in the piano syllabus

here

grade 1 piano broken chords

and here

grade 2 piano broken chords
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#8 Guest: Mad Tom_*

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 09:21

QUOTE(des @ Nov 11 2009, 09:52 PM) View Post

Does an arpeggio only apply to triads? You can break any chord but does an 'arpeggio' have to be CGE etc? never been sure about this!

I always thought that ANY chord could be arpeggiated - not just triads. It just means playing the notes in sequence rather than all at the same time.
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#9 Mini_mo

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 10:57

QUOTE(BerkshireMum @ Nov 12 2009, 12:45 AM) View Post

The broken chord is just an easy form of arpeggio.


I find broken my grade 2 broken chords fiendishly hard yet the arpeggios easy!! Is it meant to be the other way round? blink.gif
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#10 sbhoa

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 12:30

QUOTE(Mini_mo @ Nov 12 2009, 10:57 AM) View Post

QUOTE(BerkshireMum @ Nov 12 2009, 12:45 AM) View Post

The broken chord is just an easy form of arpeggio.


I find broken my grade 2 broken chords fiendishly hard yet the arpeggios easy!! Is it meant to be the other way round? blink.gif

I think that though they may be technically 'easier' to play they do require more understanding of how the chord is constructed. Seeing the shapes of the inversions is not always easy for a relative beginner
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#11 BerkshireMum

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 16:05

QUOTE(Mini_mo @ Nov 12 2009, 11:57 AM) View Post

QUOTE(BerkshireMum @ Nov 12 2009, 12:45 AM) View Post

The broken chord is just an easy form of arpeggio.


I find broken my grade 2 broken chords fiendishly hard yet the arpeggios easy!! Is it meant to be the other way round? blink.gif

What do you find so difficult? There are three notes, repeated one after the other! OK, you start on the next one up each time, but it's just FACF, ACFA, CFAC, all easily within reach of the fingers. The difficult thing about arpeggios on piano is getting them really smooth with the big stretch from 3rd finger on C to thumb on F.
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#12 Little Elf

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 16:20

QUOTE(Mini_mo @ Nov 12 2009, 10:57 AM) View Post

I find my grade 2 broken chords fiendishly hard yet the arpeggios easy!! Is it meant to be the other way round? blink.gif


me too.

I think it's because arpeggios are always going up... and then always coming down. On the piano the finger pattern is easy to remember
(eg C maj RH 2 octaves: 1 2 3 1 2 3 5 3 2 1 3 2 1)

for broken chords there is downward movement even when the general movement is upwards (and vice versa). also the finger pattern is different depending on which inversion you're in
(eg C maj RH 1 octave : 1 2 3 5, 1 2 4 5, 1 2 4 5, 1 2 3 5.... etc)
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#13 sbhoa

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 18:46

QUOTE(Little Elf @ Nov 12 2009, 04:20 PM) View Post

QUOTE(Mini_mo @ Nov 12 2009, 10:57 AM) View Post

I find my grade 2 broken chords fiendishly hard yet the arpeggios easy!! Is it meant to be the other way round? blink.gif


me too.

I think it's because arpeggios are always going up... and then always coming down. On the piano the finger pattern is easy to remember
(eg C maj RH 2 octaves: 1 2 3 1 2 3 5 3 2 1 3 2 1)

for broken chords there is downward movement even when the general movement is upwards (and vice versa). also the finger pattern is different depending on which inversion you're in
(eg C maj RH 1 octave : 1 2 3 5, 1 2 4 5, 1 2 4 5, 1 2 3 5.... etc)

Start off by playing each inversion as a block chord to get used to the hand shapes.
This will help to show the 'natural' fingering for each one. Remember that when you invert chords the big gap is in a different place.
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#14 Mini_mo

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 21:14

QUOTE(BerkshireMum @ Nov 12 2009, 04:05 PM) View Post

QUOTE(Mini_mo @ Nov 12 2009, 11:57 AM) View Post

QUOTE(BerkshireMum @ Nov 12 2009, 12:45 AM) View Post

The broken chord is just an easy form of arpeggio.


I find broken my grade 2 broken chords fiendishly hard yet the arpeggios easy!! Is it meant to be the other way round? blink.gif

What do you find so difficult? There are three notes, repeated one after the other! OK, you start on the next one up each time, but it's just FACF, ACFA, CFAC, all easily within reach of the fingers. The difficult thing about arpeggios on piano is getting them really smooth with the big stretch from 3rd finger on C to thumb on F.


I think the fingering pattern on the Grade 2 arpeggios is identical through out so it doesn't matter which arpeggio I do, my fingers just fall into the correct place, where as I clearly don't know my chords well enough and the fingering changes so it just throws me. Its taken me weeks just to do the F major broken chord whereas I could do each new arpeggio almost after a few attempts and smoothly and fast! What one person finds difficult another finds easy. smile.gif ... we seem to have stolen the thread! smile.gif


QUOTE(sbhoa @ Nov 12 2009, 06:46 PM) View Post

QUOTE(Little Elf @ Nov 12 2009, 04:20 PM) View Post

QUOTE(Mini_mo @ Nov 12 2009, 10:57 AM) View Post

I find my grade 2 broken chords fiendishly hard yet the arpeggios easy!! Is it meant to be the other way round? blink.gif


me too.

I think it's because arpeggios are always going up... and then always coming down. On the piano the finger pattern is easy to remember
(eg C maj RH 2 octaves: 1 2 3 1 2 3 5 3 2 1 3 2 1)

for broken chords there is downward movement even when the general movement is upwards (and vice versa). also the finger pattern is different depending on which inversion you're in
(eg C maj RH 1 octave : 1 2 3 5, 1 2 4 5, 1 2 4 5, 1 2 3 5.... etc)

Start off by playing each inversion as a block chord to get used to the hand shapes.
This will help to show the 'natural' fingering for each one. Remember that when you invert chords the big gap is in a different place.


I had better go and learn the chords and inversions etc. sounds like it will help me. wacko.gif
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#15 Ritzmar

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 11:36

I have always taught that arpeggios are defined as moving in a continuous direction, ie continuously upwards, or continuously downwards.  Also, my reading of a broken chord is that, as is stated above, it can move in an upwards or downwards direction, whilst still having the opposite local movement (ie incorporating 'local' movements in the opposite direction).

Having said that, have a look at Chopin OP 10 No 1 and OP 25 No 12.  I am beginning to feel, reading this thread and seriously thinking about it that the two terms can be completely synonymous.  If there is anyone who really feels that they absolutely know the difference, and that there definitely really IS a difference, I, for one, would greatly value that input! 

 

PS If broken chords are so relatively easy, and Chopin Op 10 no 1 seems to fill one of the definitions above, then why do I find that piece so demanding??     woot.gif


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