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Scale practice with the fingering of other scales? #2839006 04/14/19 08:25 AM
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AAC127 Offline OP
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When reading through the Liszt and the keyboard chapter from the Walker biographies I came across this:
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...He [Liszt] set great store by the absolute independence of each finger. Every scale was practiced with the fingering of every other scale (using, say, C-major fingering for F-sharp major, and D-flat major fingering for C major)...

What do you think of this approach to practicing scales?

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Re: Scale practice with the fingering of other scales? [Re: AAC127] #2839041 04/14/19 09:24 AM
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How often do you get to use standard scale fingering for a scale passage in a piece? In my experience, not that often. But I don't think I want to practice the scales that way...

Sam

Re: Scale practice with the fingering of other scales? [Re: AAC127] #2839058 04/14/19 10:05 AM
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NobleHouse Offline
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Originally Posted by AAC127
When reading through the Liszt and the keyboard chapter from the Walker biographies I came across this:
Quote
...He [Liszt] set great store by the absolute independence of each finger. Every scale was practiced with the fingering of every other scale (using, say, C-major fingering for F-sharp major, and D-flat major fingering for C major)...

What do you think of this approach to practicing scales?


This is probably one reason that Franz Liszt was the greatest pianist ever. Complete command of all his fingers.



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Re: Scale practice with the fingering of other scales? [Re: AAC127] #2839060 04/14/19 10:09 AM
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And of course there is the incident where Liszt sliced a finger badly before a concert. He was told that he should cancel, since it would be impossible to play. He basically said he would use his other fingers instead, and gave another fantastic concert.



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Re: Scale practice with the fingering of other scales? [Re: AAC127] #2839110 04/14/19 12:25 PM
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Basically a silly idea because there is so much more that's important to practice. But even if I had eight hours/day to practice that approach to scales would not be on my list given that amount of time.

Re: Scale practice with the fingering of other scales? [Re: AAC127] #2839155 04/14/19 02:54 PM
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I would think that by the time Liszt came up with this idea, he was already a very proficient player and could probably play scales while standing on his head without it affecting anything.

I've been working on scales in my lessons recently, and we've been looking at this and that. The point of fingering is to make a passages go as easily as possible, so there are considerations such as black keys, and short and long fingers. Having the least number of thumb turns is another thing we talked about recently, and also less awkward ones. One thing I worked with are modes. Would you play E Phyrgian the same as C major (Ionian) finger-wise. I.e. if in C major, E is played with 3 of both hands, would you still start on 3 for several octaves of E Phrygian. The answer, per the principles I'm learning, is no - you'd start on 5 & 1 respectively, same fingering as for C major starting at the Tonic, because you have less thumb turns.

C major could be played with any fingering since it's all one flat landscape with no black keys. In actual music, your scales will start at some place that may not be the Tonic, and end someplace ditto. You adjust accordingly (as Sam S said).

Re: Scale practice with the fingering of other scales? [Re: NobleHouse] #2839301 04/15/19 03:21 AM
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Originally Posted by NobleHouse
And of course there is the incident where Liszt sliced a finger badly before a concert. He was told that he should cancel, since it would be impossible to play. He basically said he would use his other fingers instead, and gave another fantastic concert.

I'm sure it's a tale.

Re: Scale practice with the fingering of other scales? [Re: AAC127] #2839319 04/15/19 04:34 AM
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It is a true story, although not the bit about it being a brilliant concert. It was the only time that Busoni saw LIszt play and was rather disappointed ...

Re: Scale practice with the fingering of other scales? [Re: Hatchestron] #2839369 04/15/19 06:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Hatchestron
It is a true story, although not the bit about it being a brilliant concert. It was the only time that Busoni saw LIszt play and was rather disappointed ...


Considering that Busoni was only 10 years old at the time, I would take that comment as not significant.



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Re: Scale practice with the fingering of other scales? [Re: AAC127] #2839374 04/15/19 06:47 AM
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And Liszt was 65 years old at the time. The critic Hanslick noted of this performance, that Liszt's playing "delighted his audience" and was characterized by "nobility and refinement". Taken from Alan Walker's Franz Liszt:The Final Years 1861-1886.



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Re: Scale practice with the fingering of other scales? [Re: AAC127] #2839385 04/15/19 07:18 AM
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Busoni was no ordinary 10 year old, so that in itself is not an argument. I read this in a Busoni biography years ago, so I'll see if I can find if I still have the book and double check.

Re: Scale practice with the fingering of other scales? [Re: NobleHouse] #2840063 04/17/19 04:49 AM
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AAC127 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by NobleHouse
And of course there is the incident where Liszt sliced a finger badly before a concert. He was told that he should cancel, since it would be impossible to play. He basically said he would use his other fingers instead, and gave another fantastic concert.

Thank you for sharing that lovely event!


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