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#2051106 - 03/19/13 11:36 PM Strange Question: Where do Fingerings Come From?
JohnSprung Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/02/11
Posts: 2991
Loc: Reseda, California
When you see fingering numbers in published sheet music, who is it that decided what the numbers should be?

I kinda doubt that it's the composer in many cases. Hard to imagine Beethoven or Cole Porter bothering with fingering numbers. If it's in somebody's piano method book, I'd guess that it's the author who wrote the fingerings. But anywhere else, would it be some staff person at the publishing company? Does anybody know?
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-- J.S.

I used to think that the brain was the most wonderful organ in my body.
Then I realized who was telling me this.

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#2051109 - 03/19/13 11:50 PM Re: Strange Question: Where do Fingerings Come From? [Re: JohnSprung]
Sam S Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/07
Posts: 1944
Loc: Georgia, USA
An editor. Depending on the edition, the editor could be someone very famous, like Andras Schiff for my Bach WTC #1 published by Henle. Or a respected educator, like Maurice Hinson, for a book of Sonatas I have that is published by Alfred. Or it might be someone not so famous. Rarely is it the composer.

Sam

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#2051110 - 03/19/13 11:52 PM Re: Strange Question: Where do Fingerings Come From? [Re: JohnSprung]
packa Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/05
Posts: 1406
Loc: Dallas, TX
Some composers do add fingerings. Godowsky, for example, was a big fan of finger numbers. Chopin and Liszt added them occasionally, and those are always interesting to consider. But composer fingerings are the exception, and for most editions, even so-called urtext editions, the fingerings are added by an editor, who is usually credited somewhere in the publication. Also, many editions from publishers like Alfred that are primarily aimed at students have more fingerings than other editions.
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Paul Buchanan
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#2051117 - 03/20/13 12:08 AM Re: Strange Question: Where do Fingerings Come From? [Re: JohnSprung]
Polyphonist Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 8818
Loc: New York City
Normally a composer's fingerings will be in italics, and the editor's fingerings (most of them) are in regular type.
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