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Adaptive Strategies for Small-Handed Pianists$
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Lora Deahl and Brenda Wristen

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190616847

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190616847.001.0001

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(p.83) Four Redistribution
Adaptive Strategies for Small-Handed Pianists

Lora Deahl

Brenda Wristen

Oxford University Press

Chapter 4, the first of several chapters devoted to specific alternative strategies for small-handed players, shows how redistributing notes--taking notes with the left hand that are meant to be taken by the right, or the reverse--can mitigate or even eliminate problems caused by small handedness. To redistribute notes, the pianist must mentally reconfigure note distributions printed on the score and translate that information into action. The difficulty of this task may explain why redistribution is underutilized as an adaptive approach. Inventive solutions to common challenges found in a wide range of pedagogical and concert piano literature are presented. Specific areas of focus include: uncrossing parts; eliminating stretches in chords and arpeggios; facilitating leaps or hand shifts; increasing accuracy, power, and control; maintaining more neutral hand and wrist positions; facilitating trills and tremolos; maintaining legato and line; and projecting harmony.

Keywords:   note distributions, redistribution, uncrossing parts, eliminating stretches, leaps, accuracy, power, control, neutral positions, legato

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