Sheet music:

I am wondering what the marking in this sheet music means.


It's a "rolled chord". It means to play the following chord in a slightly arpeggiated way. So you'd play in roughly the rhythm shown but by starting each successive note (usually from the lowest note) slightly later than the previous one. It's kind of a harp-like effect.

So with a guitar chord instead of strumming quickly in a single stroke, you'd slow down a bit and brush across each note in the chord. But it means the same thing on other instruments.

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It's arpeggiate - where the notes in the treble clef are played one after another, fairly quicky, like an arpeggio.In fact, it makes a 1st inversion of Bb in the right hand.

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  • Interesting that there's no Bf in the soprano, though! – Richard Apr 8 '17 at 6:46
  • I seem to have missed that... back to the drawing board/piano/naughty corner. – Tim Apr 8 '17 at 6:50
  • I suspect it's the typesetter that needs the timeout. On account of the parallel everything, I'd expect that to be a Bf, so it should really be clarified either way. – Richard Apr 8 '17 at 6:52
  • There's no such thing as "first inversion in the right hand," although that's a common misunderstanding. The inversion of a chord (in the common-practice sense) is purely a matter of which member of the chord is lowest overall. Since Bb, the root, is the lowest note, this chord is in root position. Agreed, however, that is seems very likely the top note should have a flat. – Pat Muchmore Apr 8 '17 at 14:22
  • @PatMuchmore - I was waiting for someone to comment on the right hand! Obviously, the whole chord, with Bb in the bass, has to be root. however, I purposely put right hand only, to try to make it clear, as that part is more than likely, as you allude, going to be part of Bb major - and in itself it can be seen as 1st inv. Your downvote? – Tim Apr 8 '17 at 17:37

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