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#592005 - 08/09/07 06:24 AM Re: Why change fingers on the same note???  
Joined: Jan 2007
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calpiano Offline
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One edition of Ravel's Scarbo, as I remember, actually recommends using the same finger at the beginning to keep it light and even. Personally I'd cheat and use the right hand but if I were to stick to the score and use the left hand I would follow that recommendation just because my left hand is weaker at playing repeated notes. Anyone have any comments on this passage?

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#592006 - 08/09/07 06:41 AM Re: Why change fingers on the same note???  
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argerichfan Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Pahl Bankschuler:
Busoni seemed to think it was important enough to change fingers on a repeated note that he invented several exercises for that technique only.
But didn't Busoni later revise that opinion as regards changing fingers on repeated notes in slower music? I read that once, but cannot find the reference in my library.


Jason
#592007 - 08/09/07 06:47 AM Re: Why change fingers on the same note???  
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argerichfan Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by calpiano:
One edition of Ravel's Scarbo, as I remember, actually recommends using the same finger at the beginning to keep it light and even.
My Durand edition gives no fingerings. The Argerich video does not show her fingers during this passage. Nuts. However, later on, when repeated notes come in the right hand, she is clearly changing fingers.


Jason
#592008 - 08/09/07 10:33 AM Re: Why change fingers on the same note???  
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fnork Offline
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Stephen Hough mentions this in one of his writings on his homepage, where he talks about Vlado Perlemuter:

"One of his [Perlemuters] passions was that one should never repeat a note with the same finger when it was part of a melodic line. This idea came into its own when I played the 4th Ballade of Chopin for him with its tender repetitions in the main theme; and, indeed, this is an understanding of fingering and its role in shaping a phrase which comes to us from Chopin himself. What has to be calculated artificially with one finger becomes an organic phrase when the whole hand is employed - literally moulding the contours of the melody with elasticity and naturalness."

So, it's pretty much what Kreisler said earlier in the thread

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#592009 - 08/09/07 12:43 PM Re: Why change fingers on the same note???  
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John Pels Offline
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The purpose of changing fingers is twofold especially in technical passages. Continual repetition of the same note with one finger will render the note getting progressively louder. This is not always desirable. In addition, it WILL NEVER be possible to play pieces like the aforementioned Scarlatti with one finger. It is soooo...much easier to control with multiple fingers. As to the aforementioned Gaspard excerpts, I have seen Abbey Simon play these on a few occasions and always with multiple fingers.

#592010 - 08/09/07 01:05 PM Re: Why change fingers on the same note???  
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Betty Patnude Offline
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Actually changing fingers on a note is fun to do! Does there really have to be a reason?

There is an exercise (scalework) of RH 3-2-1 and on the same key. The LH needs to be brought along too, with the same fingering, both going parallell ascending, then descending onto new keys of the scale. Then 4-3-2-1.

I do it two ways: 1) the playing finger takes occupancy of the key with a straight alignnment of the finger (to allow changing to a new position in 5 Fingers) 2) to place the fingers as closely together as possible to land on the very same target minimizing the movement of the hand.

#592011 - 08/09/07 11:35 PM Re: Why change fingers on the same note???  
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hopinmad Offline
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bruce D
as im saying what chopin said, i may add that chopin said no one would notice the uneveness in scales if played at a decent tempo, though i see your point.
in musical phrases, i suppose the melody isnt supposed to be consistent, but the accompanient usually is, so your view rules there.
BUT, say in the pathetique sonata, 2nd mvt. where the repeated C's, these demand (well i think so) consistency, and i cant dream of changing fingers on them, at such tempo as well, i believe the inconsistency would sound quite ugly.
i belive though, that each case is different, and only through experience (or preference) can a player find out what is best to use .

thinking of exaplmes. . . . do you know shostakovichs fifth prelude and fugue in d major?? in the fugue, the theme is staccatto, d d c# c# b b a a g g something like that, slowish tempo, at the begining only that is heard, i ply all these notes with the same finger. would you agree??
right now i cant think of an instance where i change fingers on the note!!!


Patience's the best teacher, and time the best critic. - F.F.Chopin
#592012 - 08/10/07 01:42 AM Re: Why change fingers on the same note???  
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Loki Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by hopinmad:
i dont think that was a factor, it was because of the different tone, or rather volume, produced, from using different fingers. the uond would be slightly ever so slightly inconsistent when changing fingers
Well, i was thinking more along the line of key resistance. Ive played on a remake of an early 19th century piano and you can barely feel the keys go down. The keys also didn't have as far of a distance downward to go. Its very easy to play repeated notes without having to change fingers. However, with current pianos, it takes more force to make the keys go down and the keys have a longer distance to go down. This makes it much harder to play repeated notes on the same finger without tensing up your arm.


Houston, Texas
#592013 - 08/10/07 03:58 AM Re: Why change fingers on the same note???  
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John Pels Offline
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In technical sections switching fingers on a given key is not an option, and any quality instructor would tell you so. What is done strictly as part of a NON-TECHNICAL effort to project a line is a completely different story.

Loki, though the fortepiano requires little effort to press the key and the key depth is more shallow, one needs to have the key return completely. This is not true of the modern double-escapement action that allows the note to be repeated while the key is partially depressed. It is quite possible that the aforementioned Scarlatti was never played at the velocity that it is performed at today on a modern action. The quote from hopinmad that you have extracted has made a faulty conclusion. When this technique is practiced to perfection, there is NO DISCERNIBLE change in volume. When continually playing the same key with the same finger, volume will constantly increase.

#592014 - 08/10/07 05:05 PM Re: Why change fingers on the same note???  
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Tenuto Offline
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This is to BruceD -

You asked for a 20th Century example.
Here's one: Take out your
Bela Bartok Mikrokosmos Volume 5.
Turn to the
Peasant Dance. Look at 15 measures
before the end (meno mosso). The
editor (or Bartok) indicates the
3rd finger twice on C, then skip
one measure and see that the 3rd
finger is played twice on B flat.


I'd also like to point out that
the modern piano teaching methods
(for an example, John Thompson's)
do not advocate changing fingers
in slow tempos. They teach this
technique only in faster tempos.
I know this because I teach from
these books.

Maybe someone can find a teaching
method for children from the 18th
and 19th Centuries. Let's see what
they say to children about fingering.

#592015 - 08/10/07 05:22 PM Re: Why change fingers on the same note???  
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BruceD Offline
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Tenuto :

Thanks for the reference : I have only volume 6 of the Mikrokosmos. And, of course, Mikrokosmos is a set of didactic pieces of progressive difficulty, so the fingering given by the composer should probably be observed if the most benefits are to be realized from this collection.

While I am an advocate for changing fingers on most repeated notes - not all; there are cases where it's not practical - I really don't think it's a yes/no situation. If I've given the impression that I think all repeated notes should be played with alternating fingers, I should correct that impression. Just as any given fingering will suit one person's hand or technique better than another, so, too, I think the question of whether or not to alternate fingers on repeated notes is a personal, fingering option that suits some while it doesn't suit others. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding, and the results of whatever fingering we are using is what really counts. In most cases, where alternating fingers is feasible, it works best and is most comfortable for me.

I refuse to believe that I must follow any fingering dictates of an editor (or a composer) - unless it's for specific effect or for didactic purposes, such as studies and finger exercises.

Regards,


BruceD
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Estonia 190
#592016 - 08/10/07 05:57 PM Re: Why change fingers on the same note???  
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BruceD Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by hopinmad:
bruce D
[...]BUT, say in the pathetique sonata, 2nd mvt. where the repeated C's, these demand (well i think so) consistency, and i cant dream of changing fingers on them, at such tempo as well, i believe the inconsistency would sound quite ugly.
You can't dream of changing fingers on those repeated C's, but the editor (Henrich Schenker) of the Universal Edition of this Sonata certainly did. He has those left hand C's marked 3,2,1,4,3,2,1. Seems a little extreme to me; I opt for alternating between 3 and 2. I certainly wouldn't use the thumb on those notes.

Anway, it's a personal thing. I don't subscribe to the idea that changing fingers - even in slow movements - is old-fashioned. I'm working from the latest edition of Henle on a Mozart Sonata, and even in the slow movement of this Sonata (and in the slow movements of many other Sonatas in this edition) repeated notes are given alternating fingers where many would see no reason to do so. Most teachers consider Henle an excellent edition for fingering, particularly. If it's good enough for Henle and if it works for me , then I'll use alternate fingerings.

Regards,


BruceD
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Estonia 190
#592017 - 08/10/07 07:57 PM Re: Why change fingers on the same note???  
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AZNpiano Offline
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My edition of the Scarbo recommends bunching the fingers 3, 2, and 1 for the repeated note. Worth a try.

I hate 4-3-2-1 (for sixteenth notes), so I use 3-1-3-1. For triplets, 3-2-1 is okay.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
#592018 - 08/10/07 10:03 PM Re: Why change fingers on the same note???  
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hopinmad Offline
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3214321 i considered only for 'patterned' fingering, bizarre!!,

i do however use the thumb on the notes


Patience's the best teacher, and time the best critic. - F.F.Chopin
#592019 - 08/10/07 11:42 PM Re: Why change fingers on the same note???  
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tomasino Offline
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I tend to agree with YHC who writes above: "Changing fingers . . . is to use the natural inequality of the fingers to create some subtle differences in tone, thus to produce interesting rythmatic effect."

When I was in college I had to accompany a baritone in Schubert's der Erlkoenig, and my wrists could'nt hold up to the murderous repeated octaves. I got through it by fingering it 321 in each hand, and then quickly switching to one hand octaves when the left hand was needed.

But there was an additional advantage that hooks in with what YHC writes. I was able to get my good strong middle fingers on the first note of each triplet, and it set up an effective rhythmic pattern.

I tend to use a single finger on repeated notes when I want a consistent repitition of sound. It seems if you change fingers, you're bound to get a different sound.

Tomasino


"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do so with all thy might." Ecclesiastes 9:10

#592020 - 08/11/07 04:17 PM Re: Why change fingers on the same note???  
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Mr_Kitty Offline
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Toronto
tomasino-try playing octaves with the fingertip instead of the wrist.

Scarlatti d minor sonata you have to change fingers.
however, in Islamey, if taking the opening all with the RH, it can be done perfectly with the same finger.
I think it all comes down to tempo, although in certain circumstances changing fingers helps the quality of articulation.

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