Definition of broken chord in US English:

broken chord


  • usually as modifier A chord in which the notes are played successively.

    ‘the second entry is a straight broken-chord figure’
    • ‘Accompaniment is provided in a variety of patterns; broken chord patterns often reach over an octave.’
    • ‘Some hymns have a walking bass line, and almost all have arpeggio and broken-chord patterns.’
    • ‘The left-hand plays broken chords most of the time or has a walking bass pattern, while the right-hand carries the melody.’
    • ‘There is no trace in their solo sections of the violinistic broken-chord figuration found in the overture.’
    • ‘Consequently, within almost all of the sonatas there is a wide spectrum of approaches to the keyboard, from strict imitation to the standard classical melody with broken-chord accompaniment.’


broken chord

/ˈbrōkən kô(ə)rd/