Sheet Music w/ Finger Numbers for Prelude in G minor?

Posted by: RyanThePianist

Sheet Music w/ Finger Numbers for Prelude in G minor? - 08/23/12 10:25 PM

Does anybody know a free website where I can get the sheet music for Prelude in G minor by Rachmaninoff with finger numbers? I've found several scores without them, and I don't feel comfortable learning rather high level pieces like this without finger numbers.

If not, that's alright, I'll find another solution. I just don't want to buy the sheet music and then find a website that offers the free score with finger numbers...

Thanks!
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Sheet Music w/ Finger Numbers for Prelude in G minor? - 08/24/12 01:57 AM

Let me let you in on a secret: Most of us here are snobs. ha

We tend to think that someone who can't figure out fingerings at all shouldn't be working on pieces like that. grin

I hope maybe someone can help you find a free score that has what you're looking for. But meanwhile, I really think it might help you to consider this:

If you're really good enough to start looking through that piece -- and I bet you are! -- then you can figure out fingerings! and you'll gain a lot from the process, plus you'll see that you're much more capable about it than you think.

Which will feel good. smile
Posted by: Derulux

Re: Sheet Music w/ Finger Numbers for Prelude in G minor? - 08/24/12 11:40 AM

I agree with Mark, except I'm not a snob. I have too much class for that. wink

Is there a particular passage you want fingerings for, or do you literally need every fingering for every note in the piece? If it's the former, I'd be happy to help. If it's the latter, I think Mark's right.. you probably shouldn't be working on the piece. What else have you played that you would consider difficult, but also play well?
Posted by: Hakki

Re: Sheet Music w/ Finger Numbers for Prelude in G minor? - 08/24/12 11:51 AM

Another snob here.

Even if you were able to find a score with fingering, that does not guarantee that it will suit your hands. Fingering is always a personal thing.
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Sheet Music w/ Finger Numbers for Prelude in G minor? - 08/24/12 12:07 PM

Derulux, Hakki, and everyone else:

When you buy a score, is it an issue for you whether it has fingerings or not? I've been surprised that a number of people here, including some fairly advanced people, do seem to consider it.

I hadn't thought of it in years, actually never. When I was a kid starting out, all the scores that I got had fingerings, so I never thought of it. Then after a while, it just didn't matter, so I never thought of it either.

I can see that it's a factor for beginners. But really, I would have thought that once someone advances beyond the early stages, being able to do fingerings is a pretty elementary part of what goes along with being able to play at that level -- plus, as Hakki said, it's very individual and personal, so what's written in the score isn't necessarily going to be useful.
Posted by: Hakki

Re: Sheet Music w/ Finger Numbers for Prelude in G minor? - 08/24/12 12:23 PM

Mark, on the contrary I prefer scores without fingering. That way I can concentrate more on reading the music and figure out my own fingering.

Of course there are exceptions. With etudes I find it useful to look for what other pianists have figured out. And as you know some etudes are required to be played only with certain fingerings.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Sheet Music w/ Finger Numbers for Prelude in G minor? - 08/24/12 12:23 PM

Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Derulux, Hakki, and everyone else:

When you buy a score, is it an issue for you whether it has fingerings or not? I've been surprised that a number of people here, including some fairly advanced people, do seem to consider it.

I would have thought that once someone advances beyond the earliest stage, being able to do fingerings is a pretty elementary part of what goes along with being able to play at that level -- plus, as Hakki said, it's very individual and personal, so what's written in the score isn't necessarily going to be useful.
I think as the pieces get more advanced the fingering gets more advanced.

Virtually every original work and transcription by Godowsky has very detailed fingering(including for the LH)by the composer. I have fairly frequently consulted various editions like those by Cortot and found fingerings that were not so commonly recommended but worked well for me(and I would not have been able to figure out). Another example of extremely detailed fingering is the Schnabel and many other editions of the Beethoven Sonatas. Yet many of those works are only for the most advanced players. Most non urtext editions of advanced works have reasonably extensive fingerings.

I wonder how many of those that play this Prelude have even considered(not saying it's necessarily good)playing the G-Bflat-D of the opening melody as left hand octaves and playing the DGBflatD chord in just the fight hand? The advantage of using one or several fingered editions is that I think relatively few can figure out from scratch all the fingerings that are really best for their own use. They might be able to figure out good fingerings but are they the best?

How many have never seen or read at PW of some fingering suggestion and thought that it works better than their normal fingering?
Posted by: Derulux

Re: Sheet Music w/ Finger Numbers for Prelude in G minor? - 08/24/12 02:38 PM

Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Derulux, Hakki, and everyone else:

When you buy a score, is it an issue for you whether it has fingerings or not? I've been surprised that a number of people here, including some fairly advanced people, do seem to consider it.

I hadn't thought of it in years, actually never. When I was a kid starting out, all the scores that I got had fingerings, so I never thought of it. Then after a while, it just didn't matter, so I never thought of it either.

I can see that it's a factor for beginners. But really, I would have thought that once someone advances beyond the early stages, being able to do fingerings is a pretty elementary part of what goes along with being able to play at that level -- plus, as Hakki said, it's very individual and personal, so what's written in the score isn't necessarily going to be useful.

Yeah, I think hakki and pianoloverus have provided great responses. Overall, I really try not to over-think fingerings, whether they're provided or not, but let my do my best to answer your question from my perspective.

For me, I don't really mind the fingering being there because I can always ignore it, but I find that for some passages it can help to see what others have come up with. Sometimes you could spend an hour working up different fingerings for troubling and long sections, but you can save yourself 59 minutes if a fingering is written that you like. So, for me, fingerings are really about economy of time.

I've heard people say that having certain fingerings provided by the composer gives you a sense of what the composer intended. I've heard this idea repeated many times, so I feel it should be brought up, but it's not an idea I necessarily subscribe to. I feel that if you can read music at all, you should be able to figure this out without the fingerings. Example: the 42-42 in Mazzeppa. It's CONSTANTLY questioned. 42-42 detaches the notes, so you get a "horsey" sound. Or it's more staccato. Or many of the other various arguments. But if Liszt wanted to write staccato, he has a very nice little "dot" capable of indicating that. Or detached. Or marcato. Or legato. Or any other nuance he wanted to indicate. Fingering, however, is more intuitive, more subjective than a "dot" on a page to indicate staccato, so I feel if you are trying to be exact about how you want something played, fingering is not the best or most precise way to indicate it.

To bring this full circle to the prelude in question, look at measure 7 starting on beat 2.5: the fingering I worked out is:
13-4 | 125-124 | 1235-124 | 125-125 | 125-125-125 | 125-125 | 134-134-134 | 135-145 | 1-x |

This could very easily be:

13-4 | 125-123 | 1235-135 | 135-125 | 125-125-125 | 135-135 | 134-134-134 | 135-145 | 1-x |

And you won't (or shouldn't) change a dang thing about the music other than the potential ease with which the fingering fits into your hands.

The fingering is there to help you get at the music. If a different fingering makes more sense or works better for you to illuminate that particular passage, then use it. Worst thing you can do is stubbornly use a fingering that doesn't work for you because "someone else wrote it in there and now you have to use it."

I think it's also a very good habit to get into developing your own fingerings, because it forces you to look more technically at passages, really get into the music, try to determine the intent, and then discover how your hand can perform it easily. I feel this habit breeds better pianists because you really learn a different way to look at the music, and I think the more ways you can look at the music, the better your interpretations will be.
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Sheet Music w/ Finger Numbers for Prelude in G minor? - 08/24/12 03:45 PM

I like fingering suggestions, and many of the major editions come with them (Schnabel Beethoven sonatas, for instance). I don't take the fingerings as gospel, but they often provide a good starting point for my thinking. I often discover that these fingerings are better thought out than the seemingly "natural" fingerings that my hand takes initially, especially as I imagine the effect of speed. Then I decide what works best for my hand.

... but I'm not a snob, and I am far from advanced, by the standards of many here.
Posted by: Old Man

Re: Sheet Music w/ Finger Numbers for Prelude in G minor? - 08/24/12 05:07 PM

As one who comes in very low on the performance spectrum, I too appreciate fingerings (which may be why I have a lot of Schirmer, despite the contempt it receives in this forum). As you say, Piano*Dad, the fingerings are not gospel and can be ignored at will. But I have sometimes spent a good deal of time trying to figure out the best fingering for a piece, only to happen upon a "fingered" version of the same piece and say "Duh, of course". I could spend years on my own before ever reaching that "Duh" moment, so I appreciate any fingering suggestions I can find. (I think I faintly hear stores' voice saying, "You're no pianist. Just a lazy good-for-nothing".) smile
Posted by: wr

Re: Sheet Music w/ Finger Numbers for Prelude in G minor? - 08/24/12 05:48 PM

I don't remember ever coming across Rachmaninoff scores with any full-blown fingerings. The only fingerings in his scores that I have seen are Rachmaninoff's own, which tend to be pretty sparse. I do know that he was unhappy when pianists ignored the ones he did provide.

Funny thing about his fingerings - I've been playing through his arrangement of the MSND Scherzo for a long time and never really paid that much attention to his fingerings and just used my own that "came naturally". That was stupid.

Not too long ago, when I started to really work on the piece, I decided to scrupulously use all of his instead, for at least a while. I've discovered that they are incredibly well thought out and inventive solutions to problems in playing the music, many of which I never would have thought of myself. It's like getting some wonderful lessons in how to play the piano, directly from him. With only one small potential exception, I have switched over to using his. It would have saved a good deal of time if I had taken his fingerings seriously all along.

It's interesting that even though his own hands were huge, his fingerings are great for my more standard-issue hands. That is another sign of how thoughtful they are, I think.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Sheet Music w/ Finger Numbers for Prelude in G minor? - 08/24/12 06:09 PM

Originally Posted By: wr
I don't remember ever coming across Rachmaninoff scores with any full-blown fingerings. The only fingerings in his scores that I have seen are Rachmaninoff's own, which tend to be pretty sparse. I do know that he was unhappy when pianists ignored the ones he did provide.
Both Ruth Laredo's edition and the Alfred Masterwork edition have detailed fingerings.
Posted by: RyanThePianist

Re: Sheet Music w/ Finger Numbers for Prelude in G minor? - 08/25/12 01:39 AM

Originally Posted By: Old Man
As one who comes in very low on the performance spectrum, I too appreciate fingerings (which may be why I have a lot of Schirmer, despite the contempt it receives in this forum). As you say, Piano*Dad, the fingerings are not gospel and can be ignored at will. But I have sometimes spent a good deal of time trying to figure out the best fingering for a piece, only to happen upon a "fingered" version of the same piece and say "Duh, of course". I could spend years on my own before ever reaching that "Duh" moment, so I appreciate any fingering suggestions I can find. (I think I faintly hear stores' voice saying, "You're no pianist. Just a lazy good-for-nothing".) smile


Exactly.

I went out to the store today and actually bought myself three piano books, including the score to this prelude with fingerings, so that problem is solved.

Anyway, I have to figure out fingerings all the time in my school orchestra I play in. It's not that I'm incapable of figuring out fingerings, it's just that I don't want to spend too much time trying to figure out my own fingerings for a piece like this and later come to a "Duh" moment as mentioned by Old Man. I bet we all know how much time it takes to get rid of bad habits, in this case, the bad habit being using a fingering for so long that seems awkward that you just don't know to fix. Suggestions are always a good thing, and I know that some fingering suggestions aren't the ones that I'll always follow.

Thanks for all the replies smile