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#27614 - 09/24/03 08:32 PM Re: Practicing Scales
Eric Offline
Star Member

Registered: 04/04/00
Posts: 2325
Loc: New York, NY
 Quote:
Originally posted by Lisa Kalmar:
What they will need in a Beethoven sonata dictates how I teach scales in the long run, I guess, but maybe there's something wrong with moi that I couldn't translate it to lit.....


Dr. Lisa,

I had the same problem but in reverse. I had learned all the orthodox scale fingerings, but when I hit college my evil professor insisted on using the Schnabel edition of the Beethoven Sonatas. His fingerings throughout are in the "Lawless" school, and having been brought up with the traditional scale fingerings, I was thrown for a loop at first.

I think both fingering systems have different liabilities and assets, and I've chosen to go with the orthodox fingerings, although I have offered up the "Lawless" ones as an option for students, letting them choose.

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#27615 - 09/24/03 08:44 PM Re: Practicing Scales
Lisa Kalmar Offline
Star Member

Registered: 04/10/00
Posts: 4277
Loc: KC
I think you've just confirmed what I was wondering this afternoon, which is that it must be one of those midwest hang-ups or something! ;\)

Poor moi. All my piano profs used an urtext for old Ludwig. (But wait - I can't remember if he included any fingerings in those or not!) Just think of the Pure Misery I might have been spared had I been bi-coastal in my study....

[ 09-24-2003: Message edited by: Lisa Kalmar ]

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#27616 - 09/25/03 03:52 AM Re: Practicing Scales
Vivace' Offline
Star Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 1717
Loc: USA
Perfect titles for them........
"Bogus" and "Lawless" ;\)
We all went to our workshops and learned this easy way to teach scalesin the 70's. I was a new teacher and thought I knew soooooo much more than the BHBs that drilled me with traditional method fingering.
I'm for most anything that encourages students to refine their technical skills, but incorporating the "Lawless" fingering to standard literature (and why else to we practice scales) doesn't usually work for me.
Maybe I'm just too lazy to rewrite the fingering in all the literature I've been teaching for 30 yrs. \:o
_________________________
Then let us all do what is right, strive with all our might toward the unattainable, develop as fully as we can the gifts God has given us,and never stop learning." ~ Ludwig van Beethoven

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#27617 - 09/25/03 07:36 AM Re: Practicing Scales
Lisa Kalmar Offline
Star Member

Registered: 04/10/00
Posts: 4277
Loc: KC
 Quote:
Originally posted by Vivace:
Perfect titles for them........
"Bogus" and "Lawless" ;\)


\:D Whew, I feel better now, vindicated, even - waaaaay less BHB-ee and midwest-ee, which is what Eric always endeavours to do to moi now that he's turned on me. ;\)

Vivace, I see you're feeling a little feisty today! Is there anything you'd like to share with us? ;\) \:D

Personally, I'm struggling to remain good on this. After seeing the primary debate last night, I am quivering to draw connections between it and the California association's use of this in the state syllabus. But it would be too easy...

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#27618 - 09/25/03 07:48 AM Re: Practicing Scales
Jalapeņa Offline
Star Member

Registered: 02/20/03
Posts: 1143
Loc: New Mexico
LOL, \:D maybe it's a good thing I didn't go to college! I learned the traditional scale fingerings & didn't have any problems using the fingerings found in classical literature (or in any other book, for that matter). Of course, I have absolutely no clue what the other scale fingerings are! \:o Is it something I need to brush up on? Or can I live the rest of my life in blissful ignorance, using the traditional scale fingerings that have served me well for so many years? ;\) \:D IOW, how important is it for students to learn alternate scale fingerings?

I think the reason I didn't have any problems with literature is because my teacher taught scale passages directly from the pieces themselves, not just from the Hanon book, & I had to use whatever fingerings were printed on the music. Seems to me like students ought to be made to follow what's on the music, which is why I don't like the idea of having students come up with their own creative fingerings. If a student wants to change the fingerings, s/he had better be able to give me a very good justification for the change. I think it's best to try the fingerings indicated on the music before making any changes.

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#27619 - 09/25/03 09:04 AM Re: Practicing Scales
Eric Offline
Star Member

Registered: 04/04/00
Posts: 2325
Loc: New York, NY
 Quote:
Originally posted by Jalapeņa:
I think the reason I didn't have any problems with literature is because my teacher taught scale passages directly from the pieces themselves.


Jala,

It really is important for scales to be taught in context, and in that manner, students will become accustomed to various fingerings.

For example, in the Clementi Sonatina Op. 36, No. 1, all the scales found in the first movement are best played with the traditional scale fingering. But when the student works on the third movement, scale passages found in measures 55 and 64 are better served by an alternative fingering.

I generally think if scales are taught out-of-context, the orthodox fingering is the better way to go for most students. Starting in contrary motion helps with the fingerings in question.

An excellent scale exercise better served better by the "universal" fingering is a one-octave 9-note scale, ascending and descending:

In sixteenth-notes, play
C- D - E - F - G - A - B - C - D - C - B - A - G - F - E - D - C.
The best fingering for this is to avoid ever crossing over with finger three; whenever crossing over, use finger 4. Thumbs play the dominant note together. This works for C, G, D, A etc. scales.

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#27620 - 09/25/03 01:13 PM Re: Practicing Scales
arsnova02 Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 07/29/01
Posts: 908
Loc: St. Louis, MO
You mean you guys actually use the fingerings printed in the score??? Yikes.... I always scratch them out and make up my own, and with my prof's encouragement. (Of course, he also goes through them all and makes it quite clear which are good and which are bad. ) It takes a little longer, but it's SOOOOO worth it to have something that fits your hand.

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#27621 - 09/25/03 04:43 PM Re: Practicing Scales
Piano lady Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 08/19/01
Posts: 361
 Quote:
Originally posted by arsnova02:
You mean you guys actually use the fingerings printed in the score??? Yikes.... I always scratch them out and make up my own, and with my prof's encouragement. (Of course, he also goes through them all and makes it quite clear which are good and which are bad. ) It takes a little longer, but it's SOOOOO worth it to have something that fits your hand.


Fingering? Who pays attention to that stuff? It's just something some editor decided everyone should use, although there are a few composers who actually wrote fingering that I don't use.

This, I believe, is the reason most composers just write notes and leave the fingerings to the musicians. Who cares if it works?

Moi, who uses a standard C major fingering on a fast F# minor one octave scale in a Bach partita. Why? Because it fits the passage and leaves your hand in position for the next chord.

But I'm glad I'm no longer taking lessons.
:p

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#27622 - 09/25/03 05:11 PM Re: Practicing Scales
Jalapeņa Offline
Star Member

Registered: 02/20/03
Posts: 1143
Loc: New Mexico
My motto: If it ain't broke, don't fix it. :p

Unless the suggested fingerings in the score don't work for me, I use them.

I somehow doubt that most of today's students, when first learning scales, are faced with music that contains contorted fingerings that don't work. :rolleyes: God help 'em if they're expected to utilize fingerings that don't work! Let's use a little discretion here, please. :rolleyes:

Moreover, if the fingerings printed in the score don't work, it should be the teacher's job to work with the student to find fingerings that do work. That's what my teacher did with me. She didn't leave me to my own devices, & she expected me to follow all markings on the music. However, she knew I had rather small hands, & she worked with me regarding fingerings & all issues pertaining to technique. I'm so glad she did. Because of her guidance, I never suffered any performance injuries, & I learned to rewrite musical passages that did not suit my hand size so that I could successfully play the music. \:\)

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#27623 - 09/25/03 10:19 PM Re: Practicing Scales
unreal Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 06/23/03
Posts: 945
Loc: CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Lisa Kalmar:
When I got to college and started "serious" study I had to go back and relearn the old fingerings again because it didn't/doesn't translate to literature as well.


Actually it translates to literature better than traditional fingering in Hands Together scale passages. If only one hand is playing a scale passage, either fingering works. And hey, what's wrong with C Major fingering on F# minor scale--nothing, if that's what works best. \:\) I went to college in the 70's--I never heard of it back then...just learned it when I moved to CA a few years ago.

Someone asked Mr. Bogas if he was planning on publishing a book on technique, and he said "Bogas Technique" was probably not a title that would sell well! \:D

Ugh, the CA elections. Florida hogged election attention for long enough, now it's our turn to be #1. :rolleyes:

[ 09-25-2003: Message edited by: unreal ]

[ 09-25-2003: Message edited by: unreal ]

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