Pianist to Pianist

A collection of pianistic, pedagogical, methodical, musical, artistic, and cultural contemplations, concepts, observations, and concerns, from pianist to pianist, pedagogue to pedagogue, musician to musician and from a curious and critical observer.

Fingering obeys two main principles: melodic/structural and passage/ornamental:

Fingering for melodic expression, in which the most suited fingers are used to play an articulated melodic arc with absolute attention to dynamics, accentuation, articulation, and legato. If at all possible, tactile connection of the melodic line must be pursued, which often necessitates finger substitution on the key. Think of melodic fingering as expressive choreography.

Fingering Principles for melody:

Sing and articulate! Connect notes with a physical gesture; use finger substitution like an organist.

Fingering for speed in patterned passages, in which fewest thumb-under and -over crossings are pursued and the hand positions are perceived and executed as arpeggiated (i.e., compressed) clusters in which fingers submit to arm movements. The arm leads, the hand follows, the fingers fall into place. Think of passage fingering as "arming,” like the bowing of a stringed instrument.

See: 41 • Arm weight is always involved