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While working through 'Duet in D' for piano, by A. Diabelli, I came across this unfamiliar notation that looks like a slur between two notes of the same chord or some kind of bracket (see below). What is this notation called, and how do I read it?

Bar 112 of Diabelli's 'Duet in D'

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It's an alternate way to notate an arpeggio.

arpège (Fr.), arpeggio (It.), arpeggi (It. plural): (Italian, meaning 'in the manner of a harp') a spread chord played from the top down or from the bottom up indicated by a vertical wavy line, a vertical square bracket or a curved bracket (the latter two signs are now uncommon).

(Direct quote from Dolmetsch. Always a great place to start when looking for music symbols)

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  • If the notes aren't supposed to be played at the same time, why are they on top of one another? Is the arpeggio too fast to be written correctly otherwise? – Eric Duminil Mar 8 at 20:51
  • 2
    usually yes, but not necessarily. arpeggios can be played slow too and, secondly, there is much freedom in playing arpeggios. up/down, add notes, hold certain notes, play some notes more often... arpeggi are embalishements like trillo, mordent, they too are only notated as a symbol. – tommsch Mar 8 at 21:06

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