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Pianist with small hands #1452216
06/07/10 07:04 PM
06/07/10 07:04 PM
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feebeeliszt Offline OP
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Can anyone suggest any famous pianist with small hands? It seems like all famous pianists have enormous hand.


http://www.youtube.com/user/feebeeliszt
The notes I handle no better than many pianists. But the pauses between the notes - ah, that is where the art resides! - Schnabel
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Re: Pianist with small hands [Re: feebeeliszt] #1452219
06/07/10 07:11 PM
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Vladimir Ashenazy, Alicia delaRocha, Franz Liszt, Maria Joâo Pires, to name but a few, it didn't prevent them to play BIG things...


Longtemps, je me suis couché de bonne heure, but not anymore!
Re: Pianist with small hands [Re: feebeeliszt] #1452223
06/07/10 07:18 PM
06/07/10 07:18 PM
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This has been discussed on other threads. Not all famous pianists have/had large hands. Two pianists (that come to mind immediately) who had/have small or average size hands were/are De Larrocha and Ashkenazy. It didn't seem to hamper their careers much !!

Last edited by carey; 06/07/10 07:19 PM.

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Re: Pianist with small hands [Re: Carey] #1452224
06/07/10 07:19 PM
06/07/10 07:19 PM
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Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
Orange Soda King Offline
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I thought Liszt had fairly sizable hands. Chopin had small hands, though.

And I can only reach a 9th.

Re: Pianist with small hands [Re: Carey] #1452225
06/07/10 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by carey
This has been discussed on other threads. Not all famous pianists have/had large hands. Two pianists (that come to mind immediately) who had/have small or average size hands were/are De Larrocha and Ashkenazy. It didn't seem to hamper their careers much !!
indeed


Longtemps, je me suis couché de bonne heure, but not anymore!
Re: Pianist with small hands [Re: dolce sfogato] #1452226
06/07/10 07:21 PM
06/07/10 07:21 PM
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Barenboim also has small hands.

Re: Pianist with small hands [Re: dolce sfogato] #1452227
06/07/10 07:21 PM
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Pachmann

Re: Pianist with small hands [Re: Damon] #1452228
06/07/10 07:23 PM
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I don't, I can reach an 11th, but it does nothing for me, haha


Longtemps, je me suis couché de bonne heure, but not anymore!
Re: Pianist with small hands [Re: Orange Soda King] #1452229
06/07/10 07:23 PM
06/07/10 07:23 PM
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feebeeliszt Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Orange Soda King
I thought Liszt had fairly sizable hands. Chopin had small hands, though.

And I can only reach a 9th.


I think Chopin can reach a 9th of piano of his day.

And I can only reach....an octave


http://www.youtube.com/user/feebeeliszt
The notes I handle no better than many pianists. But the pauses between the notes - ah, that is where the art resides! - Schnabel
Re: Pianist with small hands [Re: feebeeliszt] #1452250
06/07/10 07:59 PM
06/07/10 07:59 PM
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Josef Hofmann


Slow down and do it right.
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Re: Pianist with small hands [Re: -Frycek] #1452255
06/07/10 08:08 PM
06/07/10 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by -Frycek
Josef Hofmann
He cheated with a specially built smaller keyboard, at least once he became famous.

Re: Pianist with small hands [Re: pianoloverus] #1452266
06/07/10 08:45 PM
06/07/10 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by -Frycek
Josef Hofmann
He cheated with a specially built smaller keyboard, at least once he became famous.


Did he tour with it?


Slow down and do it right.
[Linked Image]
Re: Pianist with small hands [Re: -Frycek] #1452269
06/07/10 08:55 PM
06/07/10 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by -Frycek
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by -Frycek
Josef Hofmann
He cheated with a specially built smaller keyboard, at least once he became famous.


Did he tour with it?
I don't really know, but I can't imagine it was just for home use.

Re: Pianist with small hands [Re: feebeeliszt] #1452270
06/07/10 08:56 PM
06/07/10 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by feebeejk

I think Chopin can reach a 9th of piano of his day.


Actually, it's a fallacy that 18th and 19th century keyboards were significantly smaller than those of today. That's a misconception that's been repeated so often it's become accepted as fact. If one studies the chart on the bottom of this page one can see that the width of an octave has been pretty much between 164-167 millimeters for the past two hundred years and that even today it isn't standardized across the industry. I've actually stretched my hand across one of Chopin's Pleyels. My reach was exactly the same as on my own modern (if you can call 1937 modern) piano.


Slow down and do it right.
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Re: Pianist with small hands [Re: pianoloverus] #1452271
06/07/10 08:57 PM
06/07/10 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by -Frycek
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by -Frycek
Josef Hofmann
He cheated with a specially built smaller keyboard, at least once he became famous.


Did he tour with it?
I don't really know, but I can't imagine it was just for home use.

That's why I can't see a professional having a specially made keyboard. Wouldn't it mess him up when he had to perform on a standard piano?


Slow down and do it right.
[Linked Image]
Re: Pianist with small hands [Re: -Frycek] #1452273
06/07/10 08:59 PM
06/07/10 08:59 PM
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Liszt actually had small hands. It is documented in The Great Pianists.


Semipro Tech
Re: Pianist with small hands [Re: BDB] #1452274
06/07/10 09:02 PM
06/07/10 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by BDB
Liszt actually had small hands. It is documented in The Great Pianists.


But he had so many of them - - -
[Linked Image]


Slow down and do it right.
[Linked Image]
Re: Pianist with small hands [Re: -Frycek] #1452285
06/07/10 09:28 PM
06/07/10 09:28 PM
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Rio de Janeiro
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Chopin only reached a 9th? And about liszt?

We may add Beethoven to this list, or not? I think he was able to reach a tenth.

Re: Pianist with small hands [Re: deAlmeida] #1452287
06/07/10 09:29 PM
06/07/10 09:29 PM
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And, BTW, what is by definition a small hand? Who can reach nothing more than a 9th? A 10th is average? Large is considered a hand whose stretch goes to a 11th or more?

definitions, please!

cheers

Re: Pianist with small hands [Re: deAlmeida] #1452292
06/07/10 09:38 PM
06/07/10 09:38 PM
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A nineth is considered average when the stretches of adult male and female pianists are averaged together


Slow down and do it right.
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Re: Pianist with small hands [Re: BDB] #1452298
06/07/10 09:58 PM
06/07/10 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by BDB
Liszt actually had small hands. It is documented in The Great Pianists.


I guess a definition of small would be in order. There is some evidence that he could reach a 10th, at least on black keys. (the end of the Hammerklavier) Is that small?

Re: Pianist with small hands [Re: Damon] #1452308
06/07/10 10:09 PM
06/07/10 10:09 PM
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It was said he had average hands, with little to no webbing between fingers, so they were very flexible and stretchy.


Working on:
Chopin - Nocturne op. 48 no.1
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Re: Pianist with small hands [Re: BDB] #1452314
06/07/10 10:14 PM
06/07/10 10:14 PM
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Here, as opposed to there
stores Offline
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Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted by BDB
Liszt actually had small hands. It is documented in The Great Pianists.


Liszt's hands weren't abnormally large, but the webbing between his fingers was almost non-existant, thus enabling him to reach great spans (it's thought up to a 12th).



"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

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Re: Pianist with small hands [Re: stores] #1452338
06/07/10 10:59 PM
06/07/10 10:59 PM
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Now that some explanation has been offered about large vs. small, I think similar clarification is needed about webbing.

What amount (or, perhaps more properly, what extent) of webbing is considered normal? Is it measured in relation to the first knuckle (i.e., the joint at the base of the finger)? What about between the thumb and index finger?

If someone has little to no webbing, what does that mean in terms of how deep the cleft is between the fingers?


"Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must remain silent." —Wittgenstein
Re: Pianist with small hands [Re: -Frycek] #1452341
06/07/10 11:02 PM
06/07/10 11:02 PM
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Originally Posted by -Frycek
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by -Frycek
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by -Frycek
Josef Hofmann
He cheated with a specially built smaller keyboard, at least once he became famous.


Did he tour with it?
I don't really know, but I can't imagine it was just for home use.

That's why I can't see a professional having a specially made keyboard. Wouldn't it mess him up when he had to perform on a standard piano?

According to research by, among others, Carol Leone at SMU, the answer is no. It's easy to switch back and forth (YouTube clip). I studied for a while with one of Leone's students with very small hands, and she was able to switch instantly. Of course, she was more comfortable and less prone to injury playing certain big pieces on a reduced-size keyboard, but she also played a lot of other stuff on a regular keyboard.


Paul Buchanan
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Re: Pianist with small hands [Re: Orange Soda King] #1452392
06/08/10 01:06 AM
06/08/10 01:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Orange Soda King
I thought Liszt had fairly sizable hands. Chopin had small hands, though.

And I can only reach a 9th.


I didn't know Liszt had small hands either, but I certainly welcome the idea... smile



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Re: Pianist with small hands [Re: ChopinAddict] #1452540
06/08/10 10:06 AM
06/08/10 10:06 AM
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Well 10th for me. I hope to stretch till im 18 a 12th.

Re: Pianist with small hands [Re: GeorgeB] #1452586
06/08/10 11:25 AM
06/08/10 11:25 AM
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Phoenix, Arizona
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Originally Posted by EtudeBasher
Well 10th for me. I hope to stretch till im 18 a 12th.


If you're 16 now, your hand is probably as large as its going to be for the rest of your life. And that's OK.


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Re: Pianist with small hands [Re: Carey] #1452650
06/08/10 12:44 PM
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frown ok. Even with rach stretching exercises and some other others daily?

Re: Pianist with small hands [Re: GeorgeB] #1452659
06/08/10 01:00 PM
06/08/10 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by EtudeBasher
frown ok. Even with rach stretching exercises and some other others daily?


You could possibly "hurt" yourself with such "exercises" - so be careful !!

Just curious - why do you feel it necessary to reach more than a 10th? (I've been able to reach a 10th since I was 16. It never held me back from learning any piece of music that I wanted to play.)


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