rolled chord

Definition of Rolled Chord

A rolled chord is a chord whose notes are played quickly in order, as opposed to simultaneously; to give a chord a harp-like effect.

Various types of rolled chords exist. While the notes in a rolled chord are usually played from lowest to highest, this effect may be reversed by marking the chord with a downward arrow (as pictured).

A rolled chord is a type of broken chord.


Also Known As:


More Italian Music Symbols to Know:

▪  marcato:    informally referred to as simply an “accent,” a marcato makes a note slightly more pronounced than surrounding notes.

▪  legato or slur:    connects two or more different notes. In piano music, the individual notes must be struck, but there should be no audible spaces between them.

▪  dal niente: "from nothing"; to gradually bring notes out of complete silence, or a crescendo that rises slowly from nowhere.

▪  decrescendo: to gradually decrease the volume of the music. A decrescendo is seen in sheet music as a narrowing angle, and is often marked decresc.

▪  delicato: “delicately”; to play with a light touch and an airy feel.

▪  dolcissimo: very sweetly; to play in a particularly delicate manner. Dolcissimo is a superlative of "dolce."

Reading Piano Music
 ▪  Sheet Music Symbol Library
 ▪  How to Read Piano Notation
 ▪  Memorize the Staff Notes
 ▪  Illustrated Piano Chords
 ▪  Tempo Commands Organized By Speed

Beginner Piano Lessons
 ▪  Notes of the Piano Keys
 ▪  Finding Middle C on the Piano
 ▪  Intro to Piano Fingering
 ▪  How to Count Triplets
 ▪  Musical Quizzes & Tests

Getting Started on Keyboard Instruments
 ▪  Playing Piano vs. Electric Keyboard
 ▪  How to Sit at the Piano
 ▪  Buying a Used Piano
 ▪  Tips for Finding the Right Piano Teacher
 ▪  Musical Keyboard Comparison Guide

Forming Piano Chords
 ▪  Chord Types & Their Symbols
 ▪  Essential Piano Chord Fingering
 ▪  Comparing Major & Minor Chords
 ▪  Diminished Chords & Dissonance
 ▪  Different Types of Arpeggiated Chords



Reading Key Signatures:

  • Comparing Major & Minor
    Major and minor are often described in terms of feelings or mood. The ear tends to perceive major and minor as having contrasting personalities; a contrast that is most obvious when the two are played back to back. Learn more about major and minor scales and keys.


Learn About Enharmony:

  • The 6 Enharmonic Key Signatures
    If you’re familiar with the circle of fifths (or you just know your way around the key signatures) you may have noticed a few anomalies. Some keys – like B-sharp and F-flat major – are seemingly absent, while others go by two names
  • The Inefficient Keys
    The circle of fifths shows only the working scales. But, if we expand on its pattern, we can see that it’s actually more of an infinite spiral, so there’s no end to the possibilities of musical scales.
  • Table of Working & Non-Working Keys
    See a clear visual of which keynotes are workable and which would be redundant.