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#2034116 - 02/16/13 05:47 AM "+" sign in fingering
SMT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/10/12
Posts: 33
What does mean the "+" sing in the following fingering notation?


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#2034124 - 02/16/13 06:10 AM Re: "+" sign in fingering [Re: SMT]
dannylux Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/06
Posts: 1820
Loc: Connecticut
It's an old English notation. It means thumb. So the next finger is 1, middle finger is 2, ring finger is 3, and little finger is 4.

So the fingering in our notation of the top staff would be 1-3, 2-4, 3-5, 1-3, 2-4, 1-3, 2-4, 1-3. This is standard fingering for scales in thirds.


Mel
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#2034130 - 02/16/13 07:02 AM Re: "+" sign in fingering [Re: SMT]
Derulux Offline
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Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5321
Loc: Philadelphia
Nice call danny.. I never knew that myself, and was only able to figure it out by the 'standard' fingering. Took me a second, though.

I wonder.. do you know why they used to notate that way? Seems counter-intuitive to me, but they must have had a reason?
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#2034134 - 02/16/13 07:26 AM Re: "+" sign in fingering [Re: SMT]
casinitaly Offline


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Registered: 03/01/10
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Loc: Italy
They say you learn something new everyday.
I find it especially true here at PW!
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#2034138 - 02/16/13 07:33 AM Re: "+" sign in fingering [Re: Derulux]
dannylux Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/06
Posts: 1820
Loc: Connecticut
Originally Posted By: Derulux
Nice call danny.. I never knew that myself, and was only able to figure it out by the 'standard' fingering. Took me a second, though.

I wonder.. do you know why they used to notate that way? Seems counter-intuitive to me, but they must have had a reason?

I seem to remember that they didn't consider the thumb a finger. People had 4 fingers plus a thumb per hand; hence the fingers were numbered 1, 2, 3, 4.


Mel
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"Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get — only what you are expecting to give — which is everything. What you will receive in return varies. But it really has no connection with what you give. You give because you love and cannot help giving." Katharine Hepburn

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#2034140 - 02/16/13 07:42 AM Re: "+" sign in fingering [Re: Derulux]
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5305
Loc: Europe
Originally Posted By: Derulux
I wonder.. do you know why they used to notate that way? Seems counter-intuitive to me, but they must have had a reason?
If I may dare to pass some judgement...

The British insist on many things which are not in accordance to the rest of the world (metric system, driving on the left side, etc). Since I've lived in the UK, I've come to realize how awesome it is to drive on the left side, rather than the right, but for the rest I can't begin to follow what's going on...
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#2034145 - 02/16/13 07:54 AM Re: "+" sign in fingering [Re: Derulux]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11731
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: Derulux

I wonder.. do you know why they used to notate that way? Seems counter-intuitive to me, but they must have had a reason?

I wish it were done all the time. In any other instrument, finger 1 is the index finger, 2 is the middle finger etc. Then you go to piano and have to re-associate everything. The + for thumb would put piano fingering in line with everything else.

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#2034170 - 02/16/13 09:14 AM Re: "+" sign in fingering [Re: SMT]
fizikisto Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/13/12
Posts: 552
Loc: Hernando, MS
keystring,
I agree, though I think I'd hate to have to change now! smile
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#2034174 - 02/16/13 09:34 AM Re: "+" sign in fingering [Re: SMT]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3165
Quote:
I seem to remember that they didn't consider the thumb a finger


That is because anatomically, the thumb is not a "finger", it is a "thumb".

At least that is what I learned in Anatomy class in college.

Google "Is the thumb a finger"... lots of info.
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#2034334 - 02/16/13 04:22 PM Re: "+" sign in fingering [Re: SMT]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11731
Loc: Canada
The thumb is also the apposing digit that we use to grasp. So for example on violin, the thumb goes on the other side, and you use the 4 fingers for playing. On recorder - another instrument I play - the thumb goes on the other side and it closes or semi-closes a hole to create the octave, while the other fingers create the actual notes. So in a lot of instruments, the thumb does not have a note-determining function. Keyboards are an exception.

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#2034384 - 02/16/13 05:43 PM Re: "+" sign in fingering [Re: SMT]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6112
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
Yes, dannylux is right. I learned about the + sign a couple of years ago in the Pianist's Corner.
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#2034393 - 02/16/13 05:52 PM Re: "+" sign in fingering [Re: keystring]
ClsscLib Offline

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 1777
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
I agree with Keystring too. My piano teacher spotted me for a string player right away because whenever the sheet music called for the thumb to be used, I had to fight a natural tendency (35 years of string training!) to use my index finger.


Edited by ClsscLib (02/16/13 05:53 PM)
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#2034480 - 02/16/13 08:45 PM Re: "+" sign in fingering [Re: ClsscLib]
bluebilly Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/19/10
Posts: 439
Loc: England
From age seven to fourteen I had three different piano teachers, two taught English fingering the third taught Continental fingering......confusing!!??

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#2034508 - 02/16/13 10:09 PM Re: "+" sign in fingering [Re: SMT]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3165
I have had several piano students who play or played guitar, and for them the fingering issue always was an obstacle.

Also, at least one guitar player uses all five fingers for fretting...Here is the late great Jeff Healey, who taught himself starting at age 3 to play with the guitar flat in his lap, so he pressed down on the strings with all five fingers.

But the fingering schematic would not mean a thing to him . . . he went blind at the age of one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WAKNlwidEM
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