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#2057242 - 03/31/13 08:05 AM Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata 1st Movement
amjdcm Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/14/12
Posts: 13
Loc: Florida
Can someone tell me what the fingering is for this piece? I seem to be having problems with holding the sustained note and playing the arpeggios with the right hand. It is quite a stretch. The left hand is quite simple. Any help would be appreciated.

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#2057252 - 03/31/13 08:44 AM Re: Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata 1st Movement [Re: amjdcm]
pianopaws Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/18/13
Posts: 71
Loc: North Carolina, USA
Here is a version with fingering added:

http://gmajormusictheory.org/Freebies/Intermediate/Beethoven/moonlight-let.pdf

In m. 5 you will stretch an octave, and in m. 8 you will reach a ninth. The ninth can be rolled quickly if you can't reach. Hope that helps!
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#2057253 - 03/31/13 08:45 AM Re: Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata 1st Movement [Re: amjdcm]
Saranoya Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/13
Posts: 632
Loc: Brussels, Belgium
You play the sustained notes in the left hand, not the right. They're nearly all (but not all) octaves. Your right hand does almost exclusively arpeggios. ETA: except that you do have the melody up top, and yes, those are sustained notes too. But as noted below, you can let go of the lower note in the arpeggio almost as soon as you've played it. Also, the damper pedal is your friend wink.

Are you playing from a score, or by ear?


Edited by Saranoya (03/31/13 08:55 AM)
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#2057255 - 03/31/13 08:49 AM Re: Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata 1st Movement [Re: pianopaws]
pianopaws Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/18/13
Posts: 71
Loc: North Carolina, USA
Oh, and don't forget you can release the thumb note in the RH after you play the octave and relax your hand so it is not stretched the entire time. Only the top melody note needs to be sustained, although the broken chords in the bottom of the RH should be played smoothly.
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#2057258 - 03/31/13 08:53 AM Re: Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata 1st Movement [Re: Saranoya]
amjdcm Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/14/12
Posts: 13
Loc: Florida
i am playing from a score

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#2057259 - 03/31/13 08:55 AM Re: Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata 1st Movement [Re: Saranoya]
amjdcm Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/14/12
Posts: 13
Loc: Florida
the right hand has a sustained dotted half note with arpeggios beneath

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#2057262 - 03/31/13 08:57 AM Re: Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata 1st Movement [Re: pianopaws]
amjdcm Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/14/12
Posts: 13
Loc: Florida
how do i master this, it seems imposible to sustain the dotted half note while streaching for the argeggios


Edited by amjdcm (03/31/13 08:58 AM)

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#2057265 - 03/31/13 09:04 AM Re: Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata 1st Movement [Re: amjdcm]
pianopaws Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/18/13
Posts: 71
Loc: North Carolina, USA
Are you releasing the thumb note as soon as you play the octave? Practice just the first chord slowly, playing the octave, releasing the thumb note, then playing the remainder of the arpeggio. Your hand should relax as soon as you release the thumb note.

The Moonlight Sonata is a much more technically difficult piece than many people think. Voicing the melody in the right hand is difficult even for more advanced students. The website I linked to has an easier arrangement of the first movement if you find the original too difficult right now. Good luck!
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M.M., Piano performance and pedagogy
Member, MTNA and NCMTA

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