Pretty easy device now,
This was taken from the piece “love grows” from Final Fantasy 8, one of my favorite tracks by Nobuo Uematsu.
The idea is quite simple, take whatever the chord underneath the arpeggio is and then add a 6th for extra flavour, boom, done.
of course you can spice this up a bit more by using chord extensions rather than regular triads.
I should mention a bit about the orchestration of this device, the piano is set against a backdrop of strings horns and flutes, this means it’s the only percussive sound coming through an otherwise opaque blurry mixture this really helps it stand out.
However a problem with this is that it can stand out too much, if it’s playing arpeggios and we have the main melody in the otherwise blurry sounding harmony it can sound as if the music has two main protagonists, not necessarily a bad thing but not quite what we’re aiming for.
to get around this we have the piano pick out the main notes of the melody wherever it can and linger on them for a split second, this helps to blur the lines between the two timbres and move the music back towards a single protagonist.