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I started to play this piece today, & I came across this symbol (wavy arrow pointing downwards in treble clef). I have never seen it before in any piece, nor did I read about it in music theory so far. What does it mean?

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I am assuming it could mean to play the notes of the chord like an arpeggio, but instead of starting from the lowest note, you start from the highest note (i.e. G in the 5th space), then play D & G (2nd line). Is my guess correct?

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    That's right, it's a reverse arpeggio. The mark is more common in music for guitar and string instruments. – Kilian Foth May 2 at 12:48
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    @ Kilian Foth: If one will poste your comment as an answer this question this would be a "Grace note" ;) – Albrecht Hügli May 2 at 13:39
  • Oh wow, I didn't know that @KilianFoth. Something new to learn! – Grace May 2 at 14:28
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    Hahahaha good one @AlbrechtHügli! 😁 – Grace May 2 at 14:28
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The symbol indicates the chord should be played as a descending arpeggio. Standard convention is to go from low to high, so when the composer wants to go the opposite way, it needs to be clarified.

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    There's also the similar upward wavy arrow for an arpeggio that must go up. I remember transcribing a video game theme that had arpeggiated piano chords and not all of them were arpeggiated the same way, so I put arrows on all the arpeggio markings. – Dekkadeci May 2 at 15:26
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    Sure, you can go the other way as well, and would actually be especially helpful / clear if the music is constantly changing directions. – jjmusicnotes May 2 at 15:58
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    @Dekkadeci I think (not 100% sure) that the default, if no arrowhead, is to arpeggiate upwards. – Carl Witthoft May 3 at 11:52

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