Is there a specific name for the squiggly arpeggio symbol? If so, are there different names for arpeggio symbols that point up or down or spans both clefs?

I find having to write out "arpeggio symbol" so much gets old, but I'm guessing there isn't a better way.

This does seem like a pointless question, but some symbols have their own names aside from the names of what they stand for.

  • 3
    Both Wikipedia and Dolmetsch just call this the 'arpeggio' or 'broken chord' symbol. I'm not sure what you're after -- e.g. what would you call a quarter rest other than "quarter rest symbol" ? Oct 7, 2015 at 12:42
  • @Carl It does seem like an odd question, but I was thinking this might be similar to a coda or other symbol that uses a foreign word.
    – Adam
    Oct 7, 2015 at 15:37
  • This is the relevant internal documentation from the ultimate music engraver, lilypond: lilypond.org/doc/v2.19/Documentation/notation/… Nowhere do they call the line anything else than "arpeggio". Oct 8, 2015 at 12:02

1 Answer 1


The symbol is just called an arpeggio as you can see here on Dolmetsch where it is specifically called an arpeggio sign.

This may seem odd, but there are many examples of this. You would play staccato on a staccato mark, you play a note accented when there is an accent mark, you use your pedal when there is a pedal mark.

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