In the beginning of carnival of the animals / aquarium, in the piano part, I hear "runs" correct me if I'm wrong. Do they call these runs or arpeggios? In any case, I was wondering where I can get more information on how to achieve them.

I saw this video below and he calls it ripple arpeggios. but not sure if it's the same technique (please let me know). I'd like to achieve the same sound as the carnival of animals. any ideas or tips on how to go about it? or atleast what that technique is called?

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    Have you looked up the definition of "run" and "arpeggio" in any music dictionary or wiki? – Carl Witthoft Feb 7 '18 at 12:55
  • @CarlWitthoft, could you share any definitions you feel are particularly well-written, correct, clear, etc.? – jdjazz Feb 8 '18 at 3:48
  • I suppose the contrary arpeggios could be described as 'ripple', particularly in the context of a piece called 'aquarium'! Wouldn't a 'run' be a scale? – Laurence Payne Feb 8 '18 at 20:04

Arpeggios are basically chords played melodically. Since they're chords, arpeggios typically move in thirds.

In my experience, runs are scalar passages, and therefore they tend to move by step. But again, this is just my experience; other languages, cultures, and/or musical traditions may use this terminology differently.

The opening of the Saint-Saëns is:

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Since the music shifts between an A major chord and a B7 chord, the word arpeggio fits better than "run," even though there are occasional steps like the C-B-A in the first beat.

As for mimicking Saint-Saëns's technique, do what he did: play arpeggios! In order to mimic the motion of the water in the aquarium, note that he has arpeggios going in opposite directions. (By the way: the music I show is actually played on two different pianos by two different performers.) He also went for that "music box" feel by having the arpeggios in the upper register of the piano.

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