At this piece of mine, I have the pianist (at an upright piano, with the front lid removed) at a certain point holding down a chord with his left hand and with his right hand strumming the strings of the piano.

I'm looking for a way to notate this on the sheet music. Is there any way to do it, or should I simply use words to explain what he is to do?

  • Ewwwww..... just don't. yeah, I know, I watched Elliot Schwarz (RIP) hit the strings with a plastic hammer, too; Still, don't. Please. Jun 13, 2019 at 14:50

2 Answers 2


This article may be helpful...

Ishii (2005) The Development of Extended Piano Techniques in Twentieth-Century American Music

Example from the article...

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Helmut Lachenmann's Guero for solo piano is replete with plucks and strums, albeit without strummed pitched chords. So adapt his notation: on the staff for the strumming hand, draw a thick diagonal line showing a strum's duration, direction, and force (see 2:30 in the video). In a footnote, indicate that strums range only over undamped strings.

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