I am trying to digitize an old piece of music, and I'm confused by a notation that says B♭ arpeggio (photo below). I'm used to apreggios being a wavy line next to the notes, so I'm not sure which note(s) that it should get attached to.

Also, why is it B♭6? What does the six mean?

The piece written in E♭ major with a 6/8 time signature

B Flat 6 Apreggio picture

  • The chord symbols you've written onto the score look like they're all mismatches. I can't even explain all of them as if they're for the same transposing instrument. – Dekkadeci Mar 8 '20 at 9:38
  • Not my chords, and they're not all right. The person who did it tried one key, and then went with another. (Something I'm cleaning up with the digitized version) – David Mar 8 '20 at 13:28

B♭ chord is the first, third and 5th notes of the B♭major scale. That's B♭, D and F.

B♭6 adds the 6th note of the scale. So that's B♭, D, F, and G.

Not sure quite how that fits in with the notation you showed us. But that's what B♭6 means. I guess you know what an arpeggio is?


B♭6 means B♭-D-F-G (the formula for a major 6th chord is R, W+W, W+H, W, where R is root, W - whole tone and H - semitone).

As for arpeggios and how they are notated - I do not know for sure. I play 2 monophonic instruments and rarely deal with this sort of symbols. I think notation depends on time period and what instrument it was written for (I vaguely remember arpeggios for guitar being notated in a different way).

It's pretty common for jazz and some rock scores to prompt the musician to play a chord or its variation instead of what's on the sheet (it's the first time I see something like that in a classical score). I would assume it prompts you to play an arpeggiated major 6th with your left hand (the bass) instead of 2 B♭'s an octave apart. This is how I would interpret it:

B♭6 arpeggio

  • This is a classical piece. It's in E♭ major with a 6/8 time signature. (I also updated the picture so there's more context, including the key) – David Mar 7 '20 at 16:34
  • @David, it's funny that the only result on Google if you search for "someone had kept it from me" (with quotes) is about herpes. I'll update my answer shortly. – Pyromonk Mar 7 '20 at 22:33

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.