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#1883603 - 04/21/12 11:27 AM Can pianists with small hands play the following score?
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5888
Loc: Europe
This is a tiny excerpt from a larger score of mine. The score extends to around 7 minutes long and it's for violin/cello/piano trio.

The tempo (forgot it) is 8th = 60!



For those who'd like to download a silly page (empty otherwise) and print it off here you go: www.nikolas-sideris.com/EMF/athens.jpg

My question is quite simple, I think, but with my quite big hands (C - F# and various notes in the middle) it's impossible of me to judge. Plus the pianist in the trio is a female, which means smaller hands by definition!

If I was to keep this style of extended harmony, the pianist wouldn't be able to 'roll' all the chords... I'd have to change something.

so what's your input? Is this playable from pianists with normal/small hands? The tempo is SLOOOW as I said before.

Thanks!


Edited by Nikolas (04/21/12 11:28 AM)
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#1883620 - 04/21/12 11:54 AM Re: Can pianists with small hands play the following score? [Re: Nikolas]
Damon Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6419
Loc: St. Louis area
No problem here.
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Horowitz was awesome!

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#1883623 - 04/21/12 12:09 PM Re: Can pianists with small hands play the following score? [Re: Nikolas]
gooddog Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 5043
Loc: Seattle area, WA
My hands are small but certainly not as small as some because I can play a 9th. There are a few chords I can barely reach which makes them unplayable at any tempo other than Lento. Some of the chords are completely unreachable unless I break them. Assuming 1 beat per 1/4 note, I have difficulty/pain here: Measure 2 LH beats 4 and 6. Measure 3 RH first 3 beats, LH beats 5 and 7.

You are a wonderful composer so I humbly ask you to take pity on us small paws.
_________________________
Best regards,

Deborah

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#1883626 - 04/21/12 12:11 PM Re: Can pianists with small hands play the following score? [Re: Nikolas]
piano joy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/28/11
Posts: 807
Loc: Florida
Nope, can't do it. I even took the laptop to the piano to try.
RH: fine until reached 3rd measure- whoa, Nelly! can't reach.
LH : fine until 2nd measure.

But, please note, I can barely reach an octave, doubt any other adult has such small hands. (kaka!)
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#1883629 - 04/21/12 12:15 PM Re: Can pianists with small hands play the following score? [Re: gooddog]
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5888
Loc: Europe
Originally Posted By: gooddog
My hands are small but certainly not as small as some because I can play a 9th. There are a few chords I can barely reach which makes them unplayable at any tempo other than Lento. Some of the chords are completely unreachable unless I break them. Assuming 1 beat per 1/4 note, I have difficulty/pain here: Measure 2 LH beats 4 and 6. Measure 3 RH first 3 beats, LH beats 5 and 7.

You are a wonderful composer so I humbly ask you to take pity on us small paws.
First of all thanks for taking a look and carrying it to your piano stand!

Secondly: I adore that small paws. I think that I will steal it in the near future! ^_^ With your permission of course! smile

And, yes, this is what I was afraid of. Anyone without my hands (as I said all chords here are dead easy for me... and my sight reading skills (and the fact that it's my piece)...

I'll have to rethink the process a little bit, though I will admit that I fancy them chords SO MUCH!
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#1883636 - 04/21/12 12:31 PM Re: Can pianists with small hands play the following score? [Re: Nikolas]
Damon Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6419
Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: Nikolas


And, yes, this is what I was afraid of. Anyone without my hands (as I said all chords here are dead easy for me... and my sight reading skills (and the fact that it's my piece)...


My reach is no larger than Alicia de Larrocha's.
_________________________
Horowitz was awesome!

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#1883639 - 04/21/12 12:35 PM Re: Can pianists with small hands play the following score? [Re: Nikolas]
gooddog Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 5043
Loc: Seattle area, WA
Originally Posted By: Nikolas

Secondly: I adore that small paws. I think that I will steal it in the near future! ^_^ With your permission of course!
It's not actually mine since the expression "big paws" is pretty common, but you are welcome to use it!
_________________________
Best regards,

Deborah

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#1883674 - 04/21/12 01:26 PM Re: Can pianists with small hands play the following score? [Re: Nikolas]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 22778
Loc: Oakland
The musical dictionary mentions grand pause, but not small paws!
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Semipro Tech

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#1883688 - 04/21/12 01:46 PM Re: Can pianists with small hands play the following score? [Re: Nikolas]
PianogrlNW Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 07/22/11
Posts: 402
Loc: Pacific Northwest
The only chord I can't reach is LH 2nd measure (B-F-C#). I would have to either roll it or leave out the bottom note.

Mini paws.
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#1883694 - 04/21/12 01:58 PM Re: Can pianists with small hands play the following score? [Re: Nikolas]
bennevis Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 6647
Nope. I can just about stretch to 10ths in both hands (given enough time to do so - Largo preferably grin), and I'm male and 5ft 8 in (in case you're wondering...) - and I can play all the opening chords of Rachmaninoff's 2nd Concerto without rolling. I don't think many women will be able to manage without rolling several of your chords.
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#1883842 - 04/21/12 06:08 PM Re: Can pianists with small hands play the following score? [Re: Nikolas]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6382
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
Yes, it can be done. I have to stretch the B-F-C# chord and would have to practice it a bit, but I can do it. And because the tempo is slow it is easier.
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#1883966 - 04/21/12 09:24 PM Re: Can pianists with small hands play the following score? [Re: Nikolas]
currawong Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 6064
Loc: Down Under
I'm a female (5'2, or 1.58m, so, not tall) with what I would have thought was an average stretch (9ths and occasional 10ths) and I can play them all. I thought I would have trouble with the B-F-C# but I don't. Bb-Ab-C in the 3rd bar is the stretchiest for me.
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Du holde Kunst...

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#1884052 - 04/22/12 01:54 AM Re: Can pianists with small hands play the following score? [Re: Nikolas]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4264
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Forgive the indulgence chaps
(just for those in the Antipodes but perhaps further abroad) ...
on discovering that the Aussie currawong bird
is only 5'2" (in flat shoes)

I’m presently listening to Andre Rieu’s Melbourne concert which included the Aussie National Anthem ... but also the old favourites
Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Neighbour and Waltzing Mathilda ... What rollicking fun!!

Which gave me a chance to look up on Wikipedia
AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL ANTHEM

Australians all let us rejoice
For we are young and free
We've golden soil and wealth for toil,
Our home is girt by sea:
Our land abounds in nature's gifts
Of beauty rich and rare,
In history's page let every stage
Advance Australia fair,
In joyful strains then let us sing
Advance Australia fair.

Beneath our radiant Southern Cross,
We'll toil with hearts and hands,
To make this Commonwealth of ours
Renowned of all the lands,
For those who've come across the seas
We've boundless plains to share,
With courage let us all combine
To advance Australia fair.
In joyful strains then let us sing,
Advance Australia fair.

The joyful animation of the huge audience
brought tears to the eyes ... what a magical occasion!

Kind regards, btb

PS This has nothing to do with the stretch of hands ... sorry about that ... my 6'2" allows a comfortable stretch of a 10th ... so now you know.

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#1884057 - 04/22/12 02:06 AM Re: Can pianists with small hands play the following score? [Re: Nikolas]
currawong Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 6064
Loc: Down Under
When we were kids we used to sing a version that started "Australians all eat ostriches". Of course we don't have any ostriches here. I'm not a great fan of our anthem, certainly the way it's often sung (spare me from the versions you get at some sporting events! Luckily I'm not a fan of sporting events either!) But glad you enjoyed it, btb.

Just thinking - I would consider taking the top LH C of Bb-Ab-C in the 3rd bar with the RH I think. I haven't printed it out; I've just been jumping up from the computer and racing into the music room to play a chord then coming back to look at the screen. smile
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Du holde Kunst...

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#1884064 - 04/22/12 02:28 AM Re: Can pianists with small hands play the following score? [Re: Nikolas]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4264
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Watch out little bird ... such reckless anti-establishment chatter could mean being exiled to a nearby island ... like Tasmania ...
or even New Zealand ... and who would then feed your pets?

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#1884079 - 04/22/12 04:25 AM Re: Can pianists with small hands play the following score? [Re: Nikolas]
Verbum mirabilis Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/15/11
Posts: 210
I didn't have any problems with the chords, and my hands are not that big. I've been able to play maybe 80% of the 10ths I've come across. Other composers have certainly written some larger chords.

And BTW, I played it (at least tried to) and it sounded very nice. Are the other 2 instruments playing at the same time?
_________________________
Working on
Bach: Toccata in D minor, BWV 913
Chopin: op. 47, op. 10 no. 12
Schubert: Impromptu in B-flat major


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#1884132 - 04/22/12 07:38 AM Re: Can pianists with small hands play the following score? [Re: currawong]
Jolteon Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/11
Posts: 526
Loc: Perth, Australia
I'm a 16 y/o male who can just stretch a 10th. I found it no real trouble except for the Bb-Ab-C chord in the LH.

Originally Posted By: currawong
When we were kids we used to sing a version that started "Australians all eat ostriches". Of course we don't have any ostriches here. I'm not a great fan of our anthem, certainly the way it's often sung (spare me from the versions you get at some sporting events! Luckily I'm not a fan of sporting events either!) But glad you enjoyed it, btb.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xiEycVMKoJo laugh
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Algernon: I hope, Cecily, I shall not offend you if I state quite frankly and openly that you seem to me to be in every way the visible personification of absolute perfection.

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#1884210 - 04/22/12 10:23 AM Re: Can pianists with small hands play the following score? [Re: Jolteon]
Verbum mirabilis Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/15/11
Posts: 210
Originally Posted By: Jolteon
I'm a 16 y/o male who can just stretch a 10th. I found it no real trouble except for the Bb-Ab-C chord in the LH.


Lol I didn't notice it was Bb, not a B... I had trouble with that one too.
_________________________
Working on
Bach: Toccata in D minor, BWV 913
Chopin: op. 47, op. 10 no. 12
Schubert: Impromptu in B-flat major


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#1884346 - 04/22/12 02:38 PM Re: Can pianists with small hands play the following score? [Re: Nikolas]
Ferdinand Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/23/07
Posts: 952
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Nikolas
Plus the pianist in the trio is a female, which means smaller hands by definition!

Clara Haskil could reach a 12th using 2nd and 5th fingers, as described here

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#1889852 - 05/02/12 08:13 AM Re: Can pianists with small hands play the following score? [Re: Nikolas]
anadyr21 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/22/09
Posts: 35
I guess I have abnormally small hands because I can't reach the first chord in the right hand. AT ALL. Even on the edge of the keys. The first chord of the left hand I can do if I use my thumb on both C and D.

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#1890353 - 05/03/12 08:22 AM Re: Can pianists with small hands play the following score? [Re: Nikolas]
SamXu Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/10/12
Posts: 208
Loc: I'm standing upside down...
Some of the 9ths I might not be able to reach unless I try really hard, but everything else, easy.
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HSC pieces:
Shostakovich Piano Concerto op 102. movement 1
Chopin Op10 No1
Debussy Broulliards Preludes Bk1
Kats-Chernin Russian Rag
Messiaen Regard d'letoile
Mozart Sonata for 2 pianos D major

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#1890394 - 05/03/12 10:42 AM Re: Can pianists with small hands play the following score? [Re: Nikolas]
R0B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/03/08
Posts: 1457
Loc: Australia
I am with those who have a problem with the Bb Ab C.
I can just do it with my pound of sausages fingers (think Elton John),
but it is not comfortable I am ashamed to say.

Re- National anthems, has anyone else noticed that they are all the same
after the first two lines? They all go: "Da da da da da da da da" wink
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Rob

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#1890414 - 05/03/12 11:10 AM Re: Can pianists with small hands play the following score? [Re: Nikolas]
Orange Soda King Online   happy
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 6299
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
I can play up to 9ths and I could definitely handle that.

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#1894580 - 05/10/12 04:33 AM Re: Can pianists with small hands play the following score? [Re: Nikolas]
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5888
Loc: Europe


or



Which one do you think is more clear? Easier to read? Leaving little to no doubt?

I'm in debt for all your feedback and help!
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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#1894601 - 05/10/12 06:01 AM Re: Can pianists with small hands play the following score? [Re: Nikolas]
wr Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 8410
Originally Posted By: Nikolas

Which one do you think is more clear? Easier to read? Leaving little to no doubt?

I'm in debt for all your feedback and help!


I think the top one is clearer (and less cluttered). But the staccato dots in the bass need to get moved to be underneath the notes. And also, in the bottom version, the quarter note rests in the bass beginning on off-beats seem a bit weird to me - I would probably use two eighths instead.

But, I get a difference in the sense of the music between the two, so which way to go might depend on what you want musically. The bottom version would be just a bit more choppy and rhythmically emphatic sounding than the top version, if I were playing it. The top version would have more of a rhythmic sense of being made of units of two beats.

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#1894624 - 05/10/12 07:36 AM Re: Can pianists with small hands play the following score? [Re: Nikolas]
prenex Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 190
Loc: Minnesota
They "sound" different just by looking at them. What are you trying to accomplish musically?

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#1894662 - 05/10/12 09:31 AM Re: Can pianists with small hands play the following score? [Re: Nikolas]
timmyab Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/15/08
Posts: 477
Loc: Bristol, UK
The lower one looks more intuitive to me.
On the original question, I can stretch a comfortable 9th and I've got no problem playing any of the chords in that passage.The right hand F Bb G is right on the limit though.

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#1894943 - 05/10/12 06:09 PM Re: Can pianists with small hands play the following score? [Re: Nikolas]
dolce sfogato Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 2715
the lower version is easier to read, but why keep the last 2 8th notes in the left hand part tied together?
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Longtemps, je me suis couch� de bonne heure, but not anymore!

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#1894952 - 05/10/12 06:32 PM Re: Can pianists with small hands play the following score? [Re: Nikolas]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6382
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
I prefer the top one.
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Music is my best friend.


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#1894969 - 05/10/12 06:55 PM Re: Can pianists with small hands play the following score? [Re: Nikolas]
currawong Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 6064
Loc: Down Under
I also find the top one much easier to read. As others have pointed out, there are some (minor?) problems with the second one, but even with these fixed, I'd prefer the first.
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Du holde Kunst...

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