So recently I watched a video on double stopping on the violin, you can watch it here.

In the video when she started to play pizzicato and hit those two notes, she hit them one after another, sort of like what you would do in an arpeggio.

So my question is, shouldn't she have plucked both of the strings at the same time while in pizzicato?

1 Answer 1


This depends on the piece of music (genre, style), not to mention what the composer may have wanted. Some pizzicatos are meant to be plucked simultaneously while others are basically strummed -- and in the latter case sometimes from top to bottom! There are notations such as vertical arrows which can indicate the strum direction.

  • Well yes, but that's an arpeggio.
    – Phanest
    Commented Nov 9, 2014 at 21:51
  • 5
    @Phanest no, it is not an arpeggio. An arpeggio is timed; a strum is not. Commented Nov 9, 2014 at 21:56
  • MuseScore has it written as arpeggio.
    – Phanest
    Commented Nov 9, 2014 at 22:42
  • 2
    Muse Score has it wrong. Arpeggios occupy space in the beat, eg they can be triplets, half notes, sixteenth notes, whereas a strummed pizzicato does not occupy place in the bar other then the note it is written on. That is, of course, for double stops, arpeggios in pizzicato does exists, but it is not the same as a strummed pizzicato Commented Nov 11, 2014 at 3:15
  • @CarlWitthoft the same symbols (wiggly lines plus optional arrows) are also used for instruments where the term "strum" makes no sense. If you tell a pianist familiar with playing modern "classical" music to "strum", they might well reach inside the piano and start plucking the strings with their fingers - probably not what you intended! The usual formal keyboard term is "arpeggio", or informally a "rolled chord".
    – user19146
    Commented May 14, 2016 at 22:22

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