When someone starts at the left and plays all the way to the right playing an arpeggio very fast. Is it called a sweep, a run, or is there a different technical name for when you do an arpeggio across most of the octaves in your keys?

Also is it normally just 3 notes of the same chord, or is there some kind of progression involved? as an example:


'Sweep' means something specific to guitarists. 'Run' would be scalic. Not 'glissando', that would include all the white (or all the black - ouch!) notes.

Just 'arpeggios up and down the keyboard' I think.


I don't know about piano, but the same thing on guitar is called a roll, because the picking hand fingers are pulled off the strings quickly and smoothly by rolling the palm of the hand away from the strings. It also can give it a rolling sound if done correctly. Just like everything else in music, in can require some practice to get good at it.


Glissando. That's the term for any sweep including a regular set of in-between notes (they may be diatonic, namely just white keys, or pentatonic, just black keys, or chromatic which works only on some instruments or with serious skill).

So it would be a full-range glissando.

  • 3
    What he appears to be playing are arpeggios, not glissandos.
    – JimM
    Mar 23 '18 at 21:45
  • a glissando is when you slide your hand across the keys, that is not what I'm talking about.
    – user34288
    Mar 23 '18 at 23:22

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