In an answer here Carl Witthoft says the default is that arpeggiated chords are played from lowest to highest. Does this convention apply to both hands? E.g. in Measure 8 of the 2nd movement of this Beethoven sonatina, the arpeggiated chord is on the left hand, in which order should it be played?

Arpeggiated LH chord in Beethoven Sonatina in F Major, mvmt 2, m. 8

1 Answer 1


Chords, by default, are arpeggiated from the lowest pitch to the highest, unless otherwise indicated, regardless which hand is playing them. This is the case with the Beethoven example in the question.

There is a symbol for downward-arpeggiated chords. It looks like the same "squiggly line", but has an arrow at the bottom, pointing downwards.

Down arpeggio symbol
(Image source: Steinberg help)

  • Regardless left or right hand? (p.s. That chord with 6 notes has to be played by two hands?) Feb 20, 2023 at 2:32
  • @GrandAdagio It's just illustrating the symbol. And yes, handedness doesn't matter, even if the arpeggio spans both hands.
    – Aaron
    Feb 20, 2023 at 3:45
  • Worth noting (!) that in a piece with arps that go up in some places, down in others, both may have arrowheads, to save confusion. Particularly in guitar music, where arps abound.
    – Tim
    Feb 20, 2023 at 7:36
  • @Tim I'm hunting around for an example score, but I don't know the literature. Any suggestions?
    – Aaron
    Feb 20, 2023 at 8:00
  • Arpeggiated chord is the same as rolled chord? Same notation? Apr 18, 2023 at 1:18

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.