Feature request: auto-arpeggiation of block chords

As I write a lot of piano music, I often find myself sketching the harmony as block chords and then having to turn these block chords into arpeggios.

An auto-arpeggiation feature would save me a lot of hassle. I envisage this as a sort of drop-down menu where you can set the basic note value of the arpeggiation (sixteenths, say) and where you can select from a collection of common note order patterns (ascending, descending, or the well-known Alberti pattern, for example). Next, you can have the resulting arpeggiation applied to any block chords you have selected.

No idea how easy or difficult this would be for the team to program, but I just wanted to have mentioned it. Thanks for reading!

Hi @kimfierens,
You already have a powerful and adjustable automatic Arpeggio Playback of block chords.
When you enter the arpeggio symbol you need to select it in order the arpeggio options in the Properties panel to appear. :slight_smile:

Check the manual:

Here is a screenshot of the exact place where you can find the Note Offset function:

N.B: Keep in mind that the automatic Arpeggio Playback works only in case the notes are entered by Step Input, or computer Keyboard methods. It doesn’t work with Real-Time Recording method.

  • Probably if you Quantize the notes to the grid after Real-Time recording, and then add an Arpeggio symbol it may work (I haven’t tried it).

Best wishes,
Thurisaz :slight_smile:

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I think the OP’s asking for the ability to take a block chord and transform it (on the printed page) into a series of separate notes.


Hi @pianoleo,

Well, if he has exactly this in mind, then the team could think about to implement this idea.
+1 for such improvement in Dorico.

You’re right; that’s what I have in mind.

As an ex-Sibelius user, I was very pleased with the new Dorico Pro 4.3 “generate notes from chords”. It implements and greatly improves the Sibelius “realize chord symbols” plug-in, but the generation of separate notes in ARPEGGIO STYLE (e.g. ascending, descending, Alberti…) is not possible.
I may have missed an option in the new command, otherwise is there any plan to implement this feature?

We don’t have any immediate plans for this, but I agree it could be useful.


I think it is audiobro MSS and msb that have such a tool. I think…? You may be able to export from it? I’ll try it next time I poke at it.

Hi DennyB, thanks for your suggestion. I am not familiar with audiobro products: so I had a look at their website, but I did not find any specific tool for the simple task of generating arpeggio notes from chords. Maybe it is embedded in one of their packages, which appear to be specific for “divisi” generation of orchestral parts (and rather expensive…). Maybe you assumed I had already one of those products?

As a workaround, there is a way of achieving something like this already, by filtering, though it’s a bit long-winded. Imagine you start with a series of whole-note triads in 3/4, and you want quarter-note arpeggios. In that case:

  1. select them all
  2. turn them into quarter-note chords
  3. turn on chord mode
  4. deselect the bottom note in each chord, with a filter
  5. use alt-right to move the remaining (selected) notes one position to the right
  6. repeat steps 4 and 5 again

As I say, it’s a bit of a faff, and it only works if all the chords have the same number of notes, but I mention it in case this is something you need to do right now.

Thanks Richard, since your workaround is valid for a large number of selected (contiguous - I think) bars, I believe it is effective, while waiting for an “arpeggio style option” in the “generate notes from chords” command.

If you also have Cubase, you can use the Arpache MIDI plug-in and import the result – I imagine other DAWs have similar resources.