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The Art of Performance$
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Heinrich Schenker and Heribert Esser

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195151510

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195151510.001.0001

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Fingering

Fingering

Chapter:
(p.33) SEVEN Fingering
Source:
The Art of Performance
Author(s):

Heinrich Schenker

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195151510.003.0007

By means of numerous examples, this chapter shows that fingering, rather than merely facilitating the execution of a figure or passage, should be used as a tool to express the musical meaning behind the figuration. It argues that unfettered, free fingerings are appropriate in the music of the great masters, contrary to the notion that contemporary fingerings showed greater freedom. In Chopin, meaning and fingering are uniquely fused. Different means of attaining legato in chordal or spread out writing are shown and the astonishing claim is made that “fingerings must be honest”, i.e., the fingering must correspond to the voice leading.

Keywords:   freedom of fingering, sliding fingers, long fingerings, short fingerings, mixed fingerings, hand position

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