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Musical notation for viola
Arpeggiato (?)
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Rødvig Stevns, Danmark

July 10, 2013 - 8:20 pm
Member Since: May 1, 2013
Forum Posts: 44
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Unfortunately the book of viola exercises which it comes from is not completely clear on how that is played.


It could mean the C & G are played together for a quaver with the C then dropping out as the E comes in. It could also mean the C is played alone for a quaver then joined by the G in a double stop for a further quaver after which the C drops out and is replaced by the E in a double stop with the G for the rest of the semi-breve (?). But I do not know if either of those solutions is correct, or whether the intention is something else again ?


I am also not sure if all three notes are to be played forte, or just the C to begin with ?


Any authoritative suggestions are welcome.


Another startling discovery recently made is the realisation brought to me by adopting the viola that some trills are played across a semi-tone (e.g. E natural - F natural) while other trills are played across a full tone (e.g. C natural - D natural). Or am I missing something ? Imagine that I learnt other instruments for up to 8 years (over 30 years ago) and I cannot recall that this subtlety ever dawned on me before (maybe my memory of wayback is just too far gone). The other instruments had either a keyboard or a fretboard, both of which the viola lives without (like violins).


Donald (My apologies I cannot figure out how to get the image to display in a bigger size on this computer, also the magnifying glass does not seem to work. There does not appear to be any method for attaching .jpg files as attachments to messages here.)

Honorary Advisor

July 11, 2013 - 1:36 pm
Member Since: October 4, 2011
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I'll have to defer to Pierre on this. Way out of my depth...duncecap

Rødvig Stevns, Danmark

July 12, 2013 - 4:31 am
Member Since: May 1, 2013
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It´s way out of my depth too. Join the club. I´ve never seen arpeggiato before nor heard of arpeggiato before.


I´d never seen the notations for "turns" before either (nor heard of it).

But I had heard of "mordents" before, without ever learning what they were until now. (I am 56.)


Thankfully the execution of mordents and turns is explained in the exercise book in a way I can understand. The only problem for me with the exercise book is figuring out what arpeggiato consists of.


I am quite happy that starting the viola has meant I learn a lot of new things I had  no idea I was going to learn when I started.

July 31, 2013 - 1:54 am
Member Since: October 2, 2011
Forum Posts: 529
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That's the spirit. Be intrigued by learning new stuff. :-)
Arpeggio's are really chords that are broken up and played one by one instead of all together.
Simple arpeggio would be C, E, G, C and back down G, E, C

Hope that is clear :-)

Barry Nelson
July 31, 2013 - 4:51 am
Member Since: October 31, 2011
Forum Posts: 299
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hmm, the click to enlarge isnt working...wanted to peek at them sf-cry

Bach : As the greatest expert and judge of harmony, he liked best to play the viola, with appropriate loudness and softness

Rødvig Stevns, Danmark

July 31, 2013 - 5:47 am
Member Since: May 1, 2013
Forum Posts: 44
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I will try to generate and attach a larger size of the image to make it more visible. I am not sure how I will do that though. The magnifier does not work for me either.


I was not able to log in to for five or six attempts today - that is after it was back up running again (or each time I logged in, it took me out to Wordpress and asked me to log in to Wordpress, doh), until I closed the internet session and relaunched the browser and tried a fifth or sixth time to log in, and then it worked without diverting me to Wordpress. And here I am. So far so good.


I think my question about arpeggiato is not explained adequately because you cannot see the image that goes with the question clearly. I learnt organ for 8 years so I am familiar with an arpeggio. Arpeggiato appears to be a type of arpeggio exercise as played on string instruments, and I suspect arpeggiato and arpeggio are different because the notation is different. I might be confused, the Sitt "execution" diagram makes arpeggiato look like what starts as an arpeggio which then finishes as a double stop (looks that way to me). Adding to the confusion some of the notation has a dot over the arpeggio, some has no dot, and some has a dot under the arpeggio. There´s also a form of notation with an inverted (upside down) Down Bow symbol under the stave under the arpeggio with a dot in the interior of the Down Bow symbol.


It is just an exercise, so maybe arpeggiato is not used in performances.


Something else I just recently worked out after over 40 years of wondering, that is why some key signatures use flats whereas others use sharps. Answer: F major has to have  B flat, not A sharp, because F major also has A natural, and you cannot have a key signature showing both A natural and A sharp, etc. That is not entirely thanks to picking up the viola, but one thing led to another.

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