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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.106) Five Refingering
Adaptive Strategies for Small-Handed Pianists

Lora Deahl

Brenda Wristen

Oxford University Press

Fingering is a craft developed over an entire lifetime of experience. Wise choices not only expedite music learning but also provide a first line of defense against the difficulties of small-handedness. Chapter 5 explains why fingering decisions are so important for small-handed pianists and proposes innovative refingering strategies. Areas of focus include encouraging compact hand positions, repeating the same finger to recover space in the hand, optimizing sound production and voicing, moving longer fingers over shorter fingers, substituting the thumb for inner fingers, using positional fingerings to achieve maximum speed, substituting fingers, and retaking released notes silently. The chapter also provides a historical context for understanding that the standard fingering rules that are rigidly enforced today have changed and evolved over time.

Keywords:   fingering, refingering, compact hand positions, repeating finger, voicing, substituting thumb, positional fingerings, substituting fingers, retaking notes

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