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Thread: "Chords are just arpeggios"

  1. #71
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    Ahh, see, you learn something new every day! This was today's thing for me.

    bratsche
    A bunch of stringed instruments tuned in fifths. And a bunch of cats!


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  2. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickie View Post
    These are just right hand arpeggios for strengthening right hand memory. It's Sam Muir's Little Book of Right Hand Arpeggios.
    No kidding.
    Maybe she could send you a sticker to put over it that says "Sam Muir's Little Book of Right Hand Broken Chords"

    Really rolls off the tongue, doesn't it!

  3. #73
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    If you want accurate definitions, then consult a music dictionary not a general dictionary.

    From the Oxford Concise Dictionary of Music:

    Arpeggio; a chord 'spread' ie the notes heard one after the other from the bottom upwards, or sometimes from the top downwards.

    Broken Chord; a chord in which the notes are played one after the other or a group followed by another group rather than simultaneously.

    So on the basis of those two definitions an arpeggio is a special case of a broken chord. Yes, sopher, "Sam Muir's Little Book of Right Hand Broken Chords" would almost certainly be more correct, unless he specifically was playing arpeggios which I doubt. However, I agree that Right Hand Arpeggios does sound better.

    In practice, however there is a tendency to be somewhat lax in the use of terminology and the term 'arpeggio' is commonly used for any kind of broken chord regardless of the order in which the notes are played and over time it is quite possible the term 'arpeggio' will change to mean any chord whose notes are played separately rather than together.
    Geoff Walker

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  4. #74
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    Geoff,

    Welcome to this lighthearted discussion. I think I have to disagree with you. Language is not precise. It is not scientific. It is fluid and evolves bottom up.

    There is a technical definition of a "fluid ounce" and the Bureau of Standards can specify it to scientific precision. Furthermore, there is a statute that legally establishes that the quantities so defined are legally binding.

    However, if arpeggio is "commonly used for any kind of broken chord regardless of the order in which the notes are played", then that's what arpeggio means.

    There is not a statute that states that words mean what Music Dictionaries say despite what most people think. Music dictionaries are no more "correct" than anyone else.

    Language is fuzzy and imprecise. My entire objection in this thread was to the idea that although most people know what arpeggio is, (and Merriam-Webster, my go-to, agrees with them) people want to impose their narrow and rigid definition and I see no moral, ethical or legal basis for that.

    Someone accused me earlier of deliberately not understanding the good teaching I'm being given. I think on the contrary, some other people are resisting learning about semantics and linquistics.
    Last edited by sopher; 12-27-2017 at 02:30 PM.

  5. #75
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    In the world of music, one of the reasons we stick to certain definitions and interpretations is so that we all have a standard terminology and are all talking the same language. It is not about semantics or interpretation. It is about having standards and norms that have been agreed upon and used for hundreds of years to mean specific things. Classically trained French chefs operate in the same way. They all understand certain terms, techniques and practices so that they can work together seamlessly.

    If you want to reinvent the terms to fit your desires, go right ahead. I can call a cat a dog if I really want, but when I go to the vet there will be some confusion.

    I guess I'll go now and play my little 4 string reetrant lute-guitar.

  6. #76
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    Bill1, I like you even better than Bill0!!

    I like the way you think - if you ever get to the Allegheny Ukulele Broken Chord Soiree in PA, I will take you out to dinner (or if you're ever in NE Ohio).

    Thanks for some good thoughts!

    sopher

  7. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by EDW View Post
    In the world of music, one of the reasons we stick to certain definitions and interpretations is so that we all have a standard terminology and are all talking the same language. It is not about semantics or interpretation. It is about having standards and norms that have been agreed upon and used for hundreds of years to mean specific things. Classically trained French chefs operate in the same way. They all understand certain terms, techniques and practices so that they can work together seamlessly.

    If you want to reinvent the terms to fit your desires, go right ahead. I can call a cat a dog if I really want, but when I go to the vet there will be some confusion.

    I guess I'll go now and play my little 4 string reetrant lute-guitar.
    Your are mistaken in thinking that I aim to "reinvent the terms to fit your desires". The vast majority of people and musicians have re-defined what arpeggio means and I am only pointing that out. I have been playing music in rock bands, community bands, wedding bands, and in private for 50 years. I have heard the term "arpeggio" many many many times over that span. I have heard the term "broken chord" for the first time this week. It seems a completely arbitrary and unnecessary distinction which serves no purpose whatsoever. The Musical Dictionaries have lagged behind real usage as they always do.

    So your grand preservation of musical heritage is appreciated, but don't think that such an artificial and trivial distinction as arpeggio vs broken chord is preserving anything other than musical snobishness.

    I really think that I should write Jimmy-Joe-Bob's Truck Stop Musical Dictionary, and in it I can define arpeggio as only chord tones played as semi-quavers and plucked with a rubber chicken. Then, no matter what most of the people and the musicians "think" an arpeggio is, if they don't define it the way my "Musical Dictionary" does, then they will corrode our musical heritage and eventually cause all music to be reduced to the level of Neanderthal grunts. That's how important this artificial distinction is!!!

  8. #78

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    There might be some dialect drift going on here. In four decades of playing various keyboard instruments and the violin and singing in choirs, I had never heard anyone use arpeggio to refer to broken chords played out of pitch order until coming into contact with the ukulele and banjo communities. Of course, it’s totally understandable how linguistic communities oriented around instruments that use re-entrant tuning might develop slightly different meanings for technical terms like “arpeggio” and “inversion”, but that doesn’t mean the words have unconditionally changed in meaning. In fact, there are communities where the distinction between “arpeggio” and “broken chord” is useful and has been retained.

    (There are also some questions about edge cases that have come up in these discussions, which is somewhat orthogonal to this issue.)

    David

  9. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by acmespaceship View Post
    Every so often I hear a pianist or guitarist dismiss the ukulele as a toy. The uke is not a real musical instrument, they say, and the people who play it never develop any real skill or knowledge. I get tired of listening to those people. And I get mighty tired of reading that attitude here on an ukulele forum!
    Pianist here. Also I am a person who has, in the past, dismissed the ukulele as a toy. Everyone is prone to the follies of youth.

    It is self-evident that any instrument, with sufficient investment, can be played skillfully. It is further self-evident that the ukulele or any other musical instrument can be used as a vehicle for learning music theory to any extent to which one is willing to dedicate oneself. Those who claim otherwise are disingenuous, short-sighted, or fools.

    I think in keyboards, so that's my "handle" on things when I need to analyze things musically. But there is no reason at all that one could not learn to relate musical concepts to another instrument.


    Quote Originally Posted by Nickie View Post
    A very popular and knowledgeable ukulele store owner here said something to me yesterday.
    He said that chords are just arpeggios, played very fast.
    I thought about that all the way home.
    I don't know.
    What do you think?
    The definitions are broad and simple:
    A chord is a collection of two or more pitches that sound pleasing when sounded together.
    An arpeggio is a chord whose pitches are sounded in sequence.

    I think your store owner friend was being a little bit cute with you and this thread has carried things a bit too far. An arpeggio is simply a chord that is played in a particular fashion.

  10. #80
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    Bill1, the ukulele is tuned to C6 chord, most ones I mean. So our ukes can do that really well, even in ascending order if needed. That chord is though usually not associated with traditional arpeggio use.

    Arpeggio is not limited certainly to only stringed and plucked instruments. Piano can do that too and the players use it.

    But it is used in our stringed instruments very often often to finish the song. With guitar it is mostly associated with the thumb or pick with steel strings. Less so if you fingerpick it in that somewhat limited genre. I do it with reentrant ukulele too. It is that good effect that just does sound right

    I am not happy with that neo nazi limited definition of it and some people wanting to force feed it to us.

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