In this song, from 2:40 to 2:41, the strings play a series of very short notes. It sounds almost like vibrato. I hear this string technique quite often in orchestral music. Is there a name for this technique?

Could you also tell me what are the notes played by the strings from 2:40 to 2:42? Does it just play every single note chromatically from A to G?

1 Answer 1


It's not really a technique - the strings are playing 'arco' (with the bow) as usual. When we talk about techniques, we are talking about how composers instruct players to play what they have written, not what they have instructed the players to play. As for the notes, to me it sounds like an ascending diatonic pattern - this is different to a run, which is strictly ascending notes. A pattern is any sequential musical phrase. I don't think there are any chromatic notes.

  • Is there a name for this type of composition (a series of very short ascending notes)? I don't really hear this type of string composition in popular music very often, so I'm wondering if there's a name for it. Aug 27, 2018 at 9:36
  • Also, during that fast ascending part, does the bow move quickly back on forth? Or is it just one single stroke? Aug 27, 2018 at 9:39

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