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Author Topic: "Sliding"/repeated fingers on double thirds scales  (Read 2678 times)
Souza
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« on: August 11, 2005, 06:32:49 AM »

Double chromatic/diatonic thirds scales - comments/doubts on Fingering:

In Chromatic thirds scales,  ascending or descending - The fingering for the white keys, as Chopin's recommends, more difficult on modern heavier piano's action, is the thumb on consecutive white keys, almost gliding or sliding  in the successive white keys - E / F and B / C, as we see in Mikuli's Dover editions of Preludes/Etudes....Etude op 25 n 6... prelude op 28 n 24 (bars55/56).  It has no other possibilities on fingering in Mikuli's edition.


In Henle Verlag - Urtext editions - Préludes -  Prelude op 28 n 24 bars 55/56 -   chromatic descendent thirds  fingering, on the consecutive white keys, fingering is definitively modified.  The "thumb gliding" on white keys is replaced for the forefinger (index) gliding,  glinding in successive black and white keys, in some passages of the scales, as in descendent #C / C  and #F / F... No mention in this edition of a sliding thumb possibilitie through white keys.

This second  way we have de advantage of no break-sounds in consecutive white key  as we could have with Chopin's fingering, on the other hand we have different fingers for ascendent and descendent scales.  In Chopin's, we have the same fingering up and down  in chromatic scales.


In  Chopin Etuden - Henle's Edition, differently from Preludes,  in Eduten op 25 n 6 - there are  both possibilities in ascending scales, this way: gliding forefinger  white/black keys, or gliding thumb white/white key.

But in the same Study op 25 n 6, Henle's edition, descending chromatic  bars 57, 58, 59, 60 - revisor uses only same finger as Chopin...thumb in consecutive white keys, without sliding in black/white keys.

In STUDIES - Paderewsky Polish Editions we also have both sugestions on gliding fingers:  thumb in consecutive white keys, ascending or descending... or  forefinger in consecutive black white keys. See bars 5,6,9,10, 14,17,21,25,41,57,58,59,60.
But in Paderewsky Edition - Preludes -  the Prelude op 28 n 24  has  no indications of what finger to "glide", in bars 55/56 (chromatic double thirds scale).


Prelude op 28 n 4 - Cortot Editions - we have two possibilities in chromatic double thirds descend scale....gliding forefinger, and another new  fingering with no thumb in consecutive white keys, very interesting, with reference to preliminary exercises for Study op 25 n 6, where he gaves several fingerings for double chromatic thirds scales: gliding forfinger or gliding thumb and without glinding fingers.

Jörg Demus fingering in Schott -Wiener Urtext Edition - 24 Préludes op 28 - on  Prelude op 28 n 24, sugests only gliding forefinger.

Paul Badura-Skoda fingering in Schott - Urtext Edition - Etudes op 25 -  Etude op 25 n 6, sugests both, gliding forefinger or thumb, and says on Preface..." Alternative fingerings often proved to be necessary, since the varying size, strength and extensibility of pianists' hands had to be taken into account. Chopin's own fingerings are of course directive, but we must bear in mind that the Chopin piano had a shallower touch than the modern one.  Moreover, Chopin often varied his own fingerings, writing fingerings different from those of the original editions into the copies of his pupils.  The good fingerings of the Paderewski editión and the editions of Cortot and Ignaz Friedman have been adopted in some instances."

This way,  a good exercise to work, should be to separate the chromatic third  into simpler compounds:

a-  practicing only the bass of double chromatic thirds scales,  playing the ascendent or descendent scale  with the fingers 1 alternating with 2, thumb on white keys, and forefinger on black keys, and only the thumb in successive white keys (E/F , B/C). It's very difficult prevent breaks between  white keys, envolves  minimal shoulder/arm/formearm/wrist motions on mastering these aspects.  Difficult to play the study "a tempo".  Also very useful to do in diatonic double thirds scales  on Study op 25 n 6.

b- another good exercise, we could play  only the upper note of the chromatic thirds with the same fingering adopted for the double chromatic thirds.

c- practicing  the same exercise in (a), with forefinger gliding in black-white keys as  above.  It's very easier than (a), but there is the change of fingering in ascending and descending scales.

The advantage of Chopin's fingering - Thumb on consecutive white keys - is the use of same fingering  in both directions, ascendent and descendent scales, with consequent development of  the skills on passing the thumb over consecutive keys. The problem will
be playing with no sound-breaks bring about "sliding" thumb in consecutive white keys.

Cortot Study Edition has exercises for the forefinger gliding, and he says in op 25 n 6 - "Then practise the lower part of the right hand with the fingering adopted, employing the same rhytms as those mentioned for the upper part.  Before practising the chromatic scales with the fingering given in the text - which in our opinion is the most suitable to ensure quick, light and legato playing - we should advise the student to practise the movement of the 2nd finger which should slide from one black key to the following white one. "


In my opinion, these suggestions on practicing thirds, isolating upper and lower notes, are  very helpful, but we have to be cautious...  It's necessary mastering the WHOLE  movement that happens when we play thirds. We can't practice walking only with one leg, as we need both legs for whole movement,  the same way, it's important remember that practicing thirds only with upper or lower parts,  it could be a distortion  of the real movements envolved on thirds. We must care these nuances, but  these exercises have been very helpful for me.

There are both possibilities, and others,  in these chromatic double thirds  scales in Cort's Editions in op 25 n 6 Studie.  But in diatonic double thirds scales, Cortot sugests as  the main fingering without repeting thumb in consecutive keys.    (see bars 11-13 - 47-48).  Others editions sugests only  same finger in white keys for  diatonic double thirds.

Any comments?  Sugestions?

Same arguments and questions should be done the same way on double thirds diatonics scales?  Same fingers in white keys? 

What has been the actual directions of the teachers, or modern tendencies, with  this peculiarity fingering on chromatic/diatonic double thirds scales?

What has been the student's preferences on teacher's advices? Thumbs in consecutive keys or forefingers in black/white keys?

Related threads in Forum to these questions have very importants advices and suggestions, and I  will be very grateful for more explanations.

Sorry for the confusing post!




Best wishes

Pedro



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pianistimo
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« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2005, 01:01:49 PM »

interesting subject you bring up.  and, about chopin preferring 1-1 on the white notes.  i just looked in my james francis cooke book on 'mastering the scales and arpeggios.'  of course, when you get advice from chopin, you can probably forget method books - but here's another way

chromatic scale in double thirds:
rh 31, 42, 31, 42, 53, 31...   to me this must be just as hard connecting.  must go try it and experiment to see which i can play better.  someone else started another thread about finger lengths that are unique to each player.  wonder if this is the deciding factor?

also, if you used either method, could you use just a touch of pedal?  or would it be going so fast, you pobably wouldn't hear the 'bump.'  just wondering?
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pianistimo
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« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2005, 01:12:55 PM »

ps i went downstairs and tried both ways and actually don't like the cooke idea (most ideas in the book are great, but the 53 is uncomfortable.  chopin's way is far superior.  smoother, and not so hard to pedal. 

if you don't have to ascend so many scales and are dealing with a shorter run, i suppose one could be even more creative (maybe chopin's way all the way up to B-flat and D where you use 52, 41, 31? on the D and B-flat -  E-flat and B-natural and E-natural and C?)   
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Souza
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« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2005, 02:10:47 PM »

chromatic scale in double thirds:
rh 31, 42, 31, 42, 53, 31...   to me this must be just as hard connecting.  must go try it and experiment to see which i can play better.  someone else started another thread about finger lengths that are unique to each player.  wonder if this is the deciding factor?
__________________________________________________________________
Thi8s



Rh 31, 42,31, 42, 53, 31 is nearly the fingering Cortot sugests as second option for the descendent chromatic double third scale in Prelude op 28 n 24. I have write above when I mentioned "another new fingering...", take a look:

"Prelude op 28 n 4 - Cortot Editions - we have two possibilities in chromatic double thirds descend scale....gliding forefinger, and another new  fingering with no thumb in consecutive white keys, very interesting..."  Here we have no gliding thumb or forefinger.  But for my hand is very difficult to play  at fast tempo, as you confirmed too. This fingering could be useful for slow scales.

I prefer think firstly in these aspects without the help of pedal or the help of gliding thumbs with little depress, or superficial depress of the key, and with the purpose of playing a tempo.

Try to do decompose the third, em play only with the fingers of the bass...using 1-2 ...fingering...compare using 1-2, with 2-2 in black-white....
C-#C-D-#D-E-F......1-2,1-2,1-1,2-1....(thumb in white keys, E-F)

C-#C-D-#D-E-F......1-2, 1-2, 2-1....(forefinger in black key #D and E)...

This way you will see the facilities of the forefinger versus thumb.

But when doing the thirds scales a tempo , I prefer the first, with thumb in consecutive white keys, even with an smooth imperceptible break.  Something hapens in hands doing the thirds thats makes easier the Chopin's fingering...1-3,2-4, 1-5, 2-3, 1-4, 1-3, 2-4....etc...

What happens?


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musicsdarkangel
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« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2005, 03:44:12 PM »

get the Cortot edition of Chopin's op 25 no 6 (thirds) etude.

They have his, Chopin's, Godowsky's, and more fingerings.


Find what you like the best.
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pianistimo
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« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2005, 05:39:18 PM »



Rh 31, 42,31, 42, 53, 31 is nearly the fingering Cortot sugests as second option for the descendent chromatic double third scale in Prelude op 28 n 24. I have write above when I mentioned "another new fingering...", take a look:

"Prelude op 28 n 4 - Cortot Editions - we have two possibilities in chromatic double thirds descend scale....gliding forefinger, and another new  fingering with no thumb in consecutive white keys, very interesting..."  Here we have no gliding thumb or forefinger.  But for my hand is very difficult to play  at fast tempo, as you confirmed too. This fingering could be useful for slow scales.

I prefer think firstly in these aspects without the help of pedal or the help of gliding thumbs with little depress, or superficial depress of the key, and with the purpose of playing a tempo.

Try to do decompose the third, em play only with the fingers of the bass...using 1-2 ...fingering...compare using 1-2, with 2-2 in black-white....
C-#C-D-#D-E-F......1-2,1-2,1-1,2-1....(thumb in white keys, E-F)

C-#C-D-#D-E-F......1-2, 1-2, 2-1....(forefinger in black key #D and E)...

This way you will see the facilities of the forefinger versus thumb.

But when doing the thirds scales a tempo , I prefer the first, with thumb in consecutive white keys, even with an smooth imperceptible break.  Something hapens in hands doing the thirds thats makes easier the Chopin's fingering...1-3,2-4, 1-5, 2-3, 1-4, 1-3, 2-4....etc...

What happens?




  smoothness!  yes.  that is a good fingering (why couldn't i think of that).  thank you so much for bringing up this topic.  i will copy this into my edition (paderewski) and attempt to buy the cortot edition when i can.  thanks to both of you! 
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pianistimo
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« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2005, 05:55:37 PM »

there's some passages in the brahms paganini variations that require some adjusting, too.  i found in measure 29 in the lh. that 542, 31 worked better for me (to play the upper thirds) since the pinky (5) is held down during the thirds.  when you come back down, i use 42, 31, 42, 53 (last beat - eighth notes)...then i pick up hand and replace for next set using similar fingering on first beat and arpeggiated cross over with 2-1-2-1.   

i guess some fingering depends on (as you say) speed, type of scale (diatonic, chromatic, modal), and phrasing.  with the paganini variations, because of the short phrasings, you can do some wild fingering to make it faster.  i use thumb consecutively at m. 38 lh (last sixteenth and first beat of m. 39).  and, same with m. 42-43 and so on.  they are phrased anyway, so even if there is a slight staccato, it's ok.
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Souza
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« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2005, 08:46:38 AM »

           

Let me try some schema:



                                                                                                Forefinger sliding
                                                                                               /
                                                                                              /
                                                                                             /                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     /
                                                                  Sliding  fingers
                                                                 /                         \
                                                                /                            \
                                                               /                               \
                                                              /                                  \
                        Fingering double notes                                       Thumb sliding
                                                              \
                                                                \
                                                                  \
                                                                    \
                                                                      No sliding fingers
 



                               
Sliding fingers == == >    same fingers used on adjacent notes in double chromatic or       
                                        double diatonic scales.  When played in consecutive black-white key,
                                        a  slide note occurs.





Cortot - Rational Principles of Pianoforte Technique -  page 49 - have a good schema for right hand and left hand fingering... He cals Systematic fingering, Sliding Fingering, Fingering for execution. 
In page 47 - The Techinique of double notes in parallel motion- he says:

" The difficulties offered by the execution of chromatic double notes, are, on the whole, not so great as the difficulties of diatonic progressions.  ....etc...   But the frequent sliding of one finger, other than the thumb, from a black key to the adjacent white one, the crossing of the upper fingers of the right hand, or the lower ones of the left, the use, in spite of the succession of notes being the same, of a different fingering in one of the voices, according to whether the interval is major or minor, augmented, perfect or diminmisched, will require very special attention and will direct our work along a clearly defined path."



What about think with these schemas in mind when we talk about Chopin' thirds  op 25 n 6 or chromatic scale in thirds of Prelude op 28 n 24...or double notes on  Brahms, Paganini-Variationen?

In Paganini-Variationen , if you play left hand m.17----  542-13-24-13-24-13-24-13...with pinky held down...then in m.18, you could play 542 -13-24-13-24-13-24-13 or you could play in the same m. 18-- 532, sliding the same middle finger (3), from #G to A, and play,13-24-13-24-13-24-13...

To Slide or not to slide....is that the real question? ;-)

{}s
Pedro



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pianistimo
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« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2005, 10:05:33 AM »

in the paganini variations, i find the first way (my way) easier, but it is interesting that there are so many options.  wow.  and, the book you mentioned by cortot, i will get (if possible and still in print).  thanks again for more insight into explaining why a person would choose one way over another.  understanding not just the idea of chromatic and diatonic, but the quality of the thirds and their progressions.  this makes good sense when dealing with 20th and 21st century compositions. 
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