Lesson Summary 

Discuss the role of the arpeggiator in music citing examples.


Arpeggio's were a popular tool for Romantic era solo pianists such as Chopin, Liszt, and Beethoven. In the modern era arpeggiators have grown from the accompaniment system of electronic organs in mid-1960s – mid-1970s.  These organ arpeggiators can be heard in The Who's Baba O'riely.  Arpeggiators were also based on hardware sequencers of the mid-1960s.  These were commonly fitted to keyboard instruments through the late 1970s and early 1980s. Arpeggiators have fallen in and out of style since the 60's, but recent rock bands such as Muse and Radiohead have used them liberally.  In the current state of EDM (electronic dance music) arpeggiated/sequenced musical lines are ubiquitous. A notable example of a current keyboard with an arpeggiator function is the new Moog Sub-37. 


Arpeggio - A musical technique where notes in a chord are played in sequence, one after the other, rather than all at once. 

Arpeggiator - An electronic instrument feature which takes chords and plays the notes in sequence at a set rate.  


Emulate the arpeggiator settings in the Muse song Bliss.