Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.5 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
What's Hot!!
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
(ad)
Piano Tuning
How to Tune Pianos
(125ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Piano Buyer Guide
Piano Buyer Spring 2017
(ad)
4th Finger Enigma Resolved!
Schumann's 4th Finger Enigma Resolved!
Who's Online Now
78 registered members (accordeur, anotherscott, AWilley, ando, alfredo capurso, Agent88, 20 invisible), 1,494 guests, and 1 spider.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords & Scales
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
#553223 - 02/13/08 12:08 AM Moonlight Sonata - "Official" fingering?  
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 150
Mile Hi Steve Offline
Full Member
Mile Hi Steve  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 150
Denver, CO
I have noticed several different fingerings for even the very first easy measure of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. A majority of sheet music seems to recommend starting out playing 1-3-5 RH and the rest of sheet music recommends 2-4-5 RH.

I personally think the 2-4-5 feel awful to my hand, but I am willing to learn and play it that way if that is the correct way, or Beethoven's intent.

Long story short, is there a "correct" or "official" fingering for Moonlight Sonata?

Did Beethoven include fingerings with the original music, and if so I guess that is the answer, I should use his, right? Otherwise, if it is up to some non-Beethoven type human's interpretation, then what is the most correct?

If there is no correct or official, and 2-4-5 feels horrible to me, should I go with 1-3-5 RH to start off with?

Thanks!


Previously known as NorwegianForest a long long time ago right here in this very forum.
(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#553224 - 02/13/08 12:25 AM Re: Moonlight Sonata - "Official" fingering?  
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 2,052
8ude Offline
2000 Post Club Member
8ude  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 2,052
I'll have to dig around to see if I have any info as to whether Beethoven notated fingering for this. He did notate fingers occasionally, though I think for this he did not.

Personally, I'd recommend you use 1-2-4 - you'll have to use that fingering anyway when the melody starts (use finger 5 for the melody).


What you are is an accident of birth. What I am, I am through my own efforts. There have been a thousand princes and there will be a thousand more. There is one Beethoven.
#553225 - 02/13/08 01:17 AM Re: Moonlight Sonata - "Official" fingering?  
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,414
packa Offline
1000 Post Club Member
packa  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,414
Dallas, TX
2-4-5 is certainly doable in the first measure, but I don't see the point when 1-3-5 is easier (and is what I use). But 8tude's point is valid too if you want to strive for consistency.

My teacher's consistent advice: consider the written fingerings (whether the composer's or just some editor's), then feel free to adopt, adapt, or change completely for whatever works best for you.


Paul Buchanan
Estonia L168 #1718
#553226 - 02/13/08 09:34 AM Re: Moonlight Sonata - "Official" fingering?  
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 13,837
Kreisler Offline
Kreisler  Offline


Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 13,837
Iowa City, IA
There is no official fingering.


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed
(ad ) MusicNotes.com
sheet music search
#553227 - 02/13/08 09:47 AM Re: Moonlight Sonata - "Official" fingering?  
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,110
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Morodiene  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,110
Boynton Beach, FL
I second Kreisler. There is no right fingering or official fingering, because everyone's hand size, flexibility, etc. are different. Do what is comfortable and allows you to play expressively. I also do the 1-2-4 fingering to set up the melody later.


private piano/voice teacher FT

[Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
#553228 - 02/13/08 01:24 PM Re: Moonlight Sonata - "Official" fingering?  
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 150
Mile Hi Steve Offline
Full Member
Mile Hi Steve  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 150
Denver, CO
Thanks for the info everyone. Is there a place onlien I can go and see a copy of Beethoven's original?

Is there a really good version of the sheet music that is recommended, or should I just buy any version that looks good in the music store?


Previously known as NorwegianForest a long long time ago right here in this very forum.
#553229 - 02/13/08 01:53 PM Re: Moonlight Sonata - "Official" fingering?  
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,110
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Morodiene  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,110
Boynton Beach, FL
Any Urtext version would be best. Henle, if you can afford it.


private piano/voice teacher FT

[Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
#553230 - 02/13/08 01:55 PM Re: Moonlight Sonata - "Official" fingering?  
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 2,052
8ude Offline
2000 Post Club Member
8ude  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 2,052
The autograph is here:
http://www.beethoven-haus-bonn.de/s...%20Ludwig%20van%20Beethoven&_seite=1

The first page has been lost though - so there may never be a definitive answer to your question regarding the opening measures. But judging from the rest it doesn't look like he notated it. Also, the opening movement is pretty easy, so it is unlikely that Beethoven would have felt the need to mark fingerings for such easy figurations.


What you are is an accident of birth. What I am, I am through my own efforts. There have been a thousand princes and there will be a thousand more. There is one Beethoven.
#553231 - 02/13/08 10:11 PM Re: Moonlight Sonata - "Official" fingering?  
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 146
calpiano Offline
Full Member
calpiano  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 146
California
Was putting stems pointing down on the left side of the note heads a more recent development?

#553232 - 02/13/08 11:31 PM Re: Moonlight Sonata - "Official" fingering?  
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 728
wdot Offline
500 Post Club Member
wdot  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 728
South Carolina, USA
I'm sorry, but 2-4-5 seems like idiocy to me. The maxim that one should not use one's thumb on a black note is problematic at best, and if that's the point of this fingering, then that's just nuts. What fingering do the 2-4-5 editions suggest when the G# octaves occur in the right hand? Please tell me it isn't 2-5. If it's 1-5, as I suspect, then what's the point of using 2 on the opening G#?

1-2-4 works fine for me.

#553233 - 02/14/08 12:50 AM Re: Moonlight Sonata - "Official" fingering?  
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 150
Mile Hi Steve Offline
Full Member
Mile Hi Steve  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 150
Denver, CO
Oh goody, well I bought an edition today that uses 1-3-5 starting out and that seems to be the consensus so I will be going with that. If Beethoven wanted me to use 2-4-5 I would but it sounds like he didn't heh heh, thanks everyone.


Previously known as NorwegianForest a long long time ago right here in this very forum.
#553234 - 02/14/08 12:00 PM Re: Moonlight Sonata - "Official" fingering?  
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 119
Gabe Racz Offline
Full Member
Gabe Racz  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 119
Denver, Colorado, USA
Quote
Originally posted by NorwegianForest:
Oh goody, well I bought an edition today that uses 1-3-5 starting out and that seems to be the consensus so I will be going with that. If Beethoven wanted me to use 2-4-5 I would but it sounds like he didn't heh heh, thanks everyone.
I would agree with the others that even if Beethoven wrote out a fingering I wouldn't automatically use it, unless I was playing the piece with Beethoven's hands.

Now that conjures up some bad visuals . . .

Anyway, unlike expression markings I think fingerings are really suggestions.


Schimmel 190E EP 103330
#553235 - 02/14/08 03:40 PM Re: Moonlight Sonata - "Official" fingering?  
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 22,660
pianoloverus Online content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
pianoloverus  Online Content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 22,660
New York City
Quote
Originally posted by wdot:
I'm sorry, but 2-4-5 seems like idiocy to me. The maxim that one should not use one's thumb on a black note is problematic at best, and if that's the point of this fingering, then that's just nuts. What fingering do the 2-4-5 editions suggest when the G# octaves occur in the right hand? Please tell me it isn't 2-5. If it's 1-5, as I suspect, then what's the point of using 2 on the opening G#?
Perhaps to avoid an accent on the first note of each triplet.

#553236 - 08/22/08 07:26 AM Re: Moonlight Sonata - "Official" fingering?  
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 50
saurabh Offline
Full Member
saurabh  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 50
India
can anyone please tell me why it is called sonata in Cm whereas i found it to played in Emajor scale???

thanks in advance

#553237 - 08/22/08 07:28 AM Re: Moonlight Sonata - "Official" fingering?  
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 13,837
Kreisler Offline
Kreisler  Offline


Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 13,837
Iowa City, IA
It's not called sonata in Cm. It's a sonata in C#m, the relative minor to E Major. Both have four sharps.


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed
#553238 - 08/22/08 07:54 AM Re: Moonlight Sonata - "Official" fingering?  
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 4,983
lilylady Offline
4000 Post Club Member
lilylady  Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 4,983
boston north
I was taught to use 245 and the explanation was that the thumb often is a 'heavier' finger causing some to play it with more of an accent.

I do it both ways now (just went to test it out) comfortably, but certainly pay close attention to the strength of my thumb.


"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."
#553239 - 08/22/08 07:57 AM Re: Moonlight Sonata - "Official" fingering?  
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 607
Wood-demon Offline
500 Post Club Member
Wood-demon  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 607
UK
The 2-4-5 fingering must have been supplied by some over-solicitous editor concerned that the use of the thumb might produce "bumps" in the playing of the opening where the figure which forms the accompaniment to the melody later on is exposed on its own.
I don't have the Henle edition, but I understand that Beethoven asks for the sustaining pedal to be held down throughout the course of the movement. A recent recording by a celebrated pianist who follows this direction can only have been made to illustrate the point that it's not always wise to follow every direction a composer gave to the letter...especially when playing upon modern instruments.

#553240 - 08/22/08 09:42 AM Re: Moonlight Sonata - "Official" fingering?  
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,110
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Morodiene  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,110
Boynton Beach, FL
Consider as well that Beethoven composed on an instrument with slightly smaller keys. Even if those are his fingerings in your score, it doesn't necessarily mean it's appropriate on a modern instrument. And always, always play with what is comfortable in your hand. Fingering is always up to the performer!


private piano/voice teacher FT

[Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
#553241 - 08/22/08 11:04 AM Re: Moonlight Sonata - "Official" fingering?  
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 5,511
gooddog Offline
5000 Post Club Member
gooddog  Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 5,511
Seattle area, WA
Quote
Originally posted by wdot:
I'm sorry, but 2-4-5 seems like idiocy to me.
Fingering is completely an individual preference, based, as others said, on the flexibility and dexterity of your own hands. Don't decide based on consensus in the forum or on the reputation of an editor. Decide on what feels best for YOUR hands. But you must also take into consideration how well the fingering will work at performance speed and how well it sets you up for the next notes.

I have come to trust certain editors, particularly Theopold for the WTC. I decided this after changing the recommended fingering many times but always ending up going back to Theopold's original recommendation. Other editors do a poor job and I expect to make changes.

Quote

The maxim that one should not use one's thumb on a black note is problematic at best,
This I heartily agree with. Occasionally you will come across a fingering that seems and feels odd and uncomfortable but turns out to the the best option. Sometimes, you just have to train you fingers to tackle something new. I encounter this frequently in Bach. For instance, I wrestled with the right hand fingering on an ascending run that ended with 2nd finger on A and thumb on Bb because the next note is a Bb an octave above. I tried every option I could think of but found this was the only one that really worked. To execute it, I have to work my way deeply between the black keys. After some practice, it worked very well and really was the best option despite it seeming awkward at first.

So in short, feel free to adjust the fingering as needed but keep yourself open to new ideas. Also keep in mind the speed and how well the fingering feeds into the next notes.


Best regards,

Deborah
#553242 - 08/22/08 11:11 AM Re: Moonlight Sonata - "Official" fingering?  
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,733
Janus K. Sachs Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Janus K. Sachs  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,733
Betelgeuse, baby!
Wow, thread necromancy seems to be catching on here!

This Resurrection/Second Coming came about when saurabh simply asked a question about keys, which Kreisler answered.

The OP was made back in February. I'm sure the fingering issue has been dealt with since then.


Die Krebs gehn zurücke,
Die Stockfisch bleiben dicke,
Die Karpfen viel fressen,
Die Predigt vergessen.

Die Predigt hat g'fallen.
Sie bleiben wie alle.
#553243 - 08/22/08 11:16 AM Re: Moonlight Sonata - "Official" fingering?  
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 5,511
gooddog Offline
5000 Post Club Member
gooddog  Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 5,511
Seattle area, WA
Ha! I didn't notice the date, just the topic! Maybe the forum needs an icon to show the resurrection of the dead?


Best regards,

Deborah
#553244 - 08/23/08 08:34 AM Re: Moonlight Sonata - "Official" fingering?  
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 50
saurabh Offline
Full Member
saurabh  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 50
India
i gave up... i could barely reach 4th measure.. 5th one bouncing over my head.. I guess it is too difficult to learn without a live teacher

but tell you what, playing first four measure was probably the best time i ever spent on my piano... i was absorbed in the soothing music it produced..

#553245 - 08/25/08 06:18 AM Re: Moonlight Sonata - "Official" fingering?  
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 180
Prince Charles Offline
Full Member
Prince Charles  Offline
Full Member

Joined: May 2008
Posts: 180
London
1-2-4....is what I've been taught and seems the most natural fingering. The two books also put down 1-2-4.

Mark

#553246 - 09/02/08 10:31 PM Re: Moonlight Sonata - "Official" fingering?  
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 106
derekp Offline
Full Member
derekp  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 106
Chicago Area
So starting with the 6th measure, your supposed to play the melody (with the stems pointing up) with your 5th finger, while at the same time playing the triplets with your other fingers? (cause the left hand is busy with base line). If that's the case, then last triplet of the 8th measure has the first note of the triplet as an A (which the thumb would play), while the 5th finger hits the B an octave higher? Or do you hit the B first, then hit the sustain pedal, then start the triplet immediately afterwards? Cause even though my hands aren't small, I can only stretch 1 octave -- hitting that B in the next octave with my thumb hitting the lower A isn't doable. Help. (I also don't have a sustain pedal yet, until my digital piano comes in).

#553247 - 09/02/08 11:19 PM Re: Moonlight Sonata - "Official" fingering?  
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 10
reflections Offline
Junior Member
reflections  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 10
I have several editions (pdf) and the suggested fingerings vary between 1-3-5 or 2-4-5 or 1-2-4. I have been using 1-3-5, but I just now tried 2-4-5, and it does make the playing less bumpy. Playing with the thumb requires more delicate listening skills, and good thumb technique. IMO, 2-4-5 was easier for achieving even dynamics; however, it has been good for my technique and ear to practice using my thumb delicately.

Quote
Originally posted by derekp:
So starting with the 6th measure, your supposed to play the melody (with the stems pointing up) with your 5th finger, while at the same time playing the triplets with your other fingers? (cause the left hand is busy with base line). If that's the case, then last triplet of the 8th measure has the first note of the triplet as an A (which the thumb would play), while the 5th finger hits the B an octave higher? Or do you hit the B first, then hit the sustain pedal, then start the triplet immediately afterwards? Cause even though my hands aren't small, I can only stretch 1 octave -- hitting that B in the next octave with my thumb hitting the lower A isn't doable. Help. (I also don't have a sustain pedal yet, until my digital piano comes in).
Oh gosh! I tried to learn Moonlight without a sustain pedal years ago. My hand stretched to the B, but it was difficult to get it smooth. Trying to learn movement 1 without sustain is just goofy, but it can sound decent with some extreme legato. You can get acquainted with the theme, but I would not spend too much time struggling to reach that B. You better wait until you get that sustain pedal, then you will say, "Oh what was I thinking, this is so much easier." With the pedal held you will not need to keep your finger on the A. You will be able to calmly reposition your hand while the A still rings pretty.

#553248 - 09/03/08 12:40 AM Re: Moonlight Sonata - "Official" fingering?  
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,758
Gadzar Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Gadzar  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,758
Mexico City
IMO, it is better to learn this piece, without sustain. Playing legato. Once you have learned it, you begin to incorporate sustain.

Using sustain from the begining can mask bad practices that are never corrected or worst of all: never noticed!


Rafael Melo
Piano Technician
rafaelmelo@afinacionpianos.com.mx

Serving Mexico City and suburbs.

http://www.afinacionpianos.com.mx
#553249 - 09/05/08 03:11 PM Re: Moonlight Sonata - "Official" fingering?  
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 8
DangerPiano Offline
Junior Member
DangerPiano  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 8
Livingston
I like thats a great song. It's detail and everything! And I especcily love LVB


Trumpet players will blow the lip out. Piano players usally crack there fingers while playing!LOLY
#1686953 - 05/30/11 08:44 AM Re: Moonlight Sonata - "Official" fingering? [Re: DangerPiano]  
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 1
Cristi Offline
Junior Member
Cristi  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: May 2011
Posts: 1
Bucuresti, Romania
Hello everyone!

I'm a noob and I start to learn piano last week. My question is how can I play Moonlight Sonata on a 6 octave keyboard? I have a Yamaha PSR-E223.
Becouse watching this clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yh_wh-p0IKA&feature=related it seems that I must play on a higher octave. That is correct?

#1686965 - 05/30/11 09:05 AM Re: Moonlight Sonata - "Official" fingering? [Re: Mile Hi Steve]  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 6,628
Damon Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Damon  Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 6,628
I'm pretty sure you don't need more than 6 octaves for this piece. At least not the first movement, and if you just started, you won't likely be learning the other two anytime soon. If you find yourself running out of notes, there should be a transpose function on your keyboard to move the note values up or down an octave. The clip doesn't necessarily display the keyboard properly.


Moderated by  Brendan, Kreisler 

Piano Acc. & Gift Items in
Piano World's Online Store
In PianoSupplies.com ,(a division of Piano World)
our online store for piano and music gifts and accessories, Digital Piano Dolly, party goods, tuning equipment, piano moving equipment, benches, lamps Caster Cups and more.


Free Shipping* on Jansen Artist Piano Benches, Cocoweb Piano Lamps, Hidrau Hydraulic Piano Benches
(*free shipping within contiguous U.S. only)
(ad)
Pearl River & Ritmuller
Pearl River Pianos
(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq 6 Out now
(ad)
Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restorations and sales
ad
Pierce Piano Atlas


New Topics - Multiple Forums
Climate in London
by David-G. 10/19/17 07:30 PM
Realtek ASIO. Anyone used it?
by Marcos Daniel. 10/19/17 04:35 PM
Damper lift adjustment
by Beemer. 10/19/17 03:56 PM
Forum Statistics
Forums44
Topics182,381
Posts2,665,735
Members88,990
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
(ad)
Accu-Tuner
Sanderson Accu-Tuner
Check It Out!
There's a lot more to Piano World than just the forums.
Click Here to
Explore The Rest of Piano World!!
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers


 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


copyright 1997 - 2017 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0