The First Principles Of Pianoforte Playing

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103
ON POSITION.
12): Seen from above, the fingers should reach the centre of their keys* In the case of white-key passages the middle-finger should reach its white key close to the front-edge of the black keys, the remaining fingers reaching their keys slightly behind this position—slightly nearer the outside edge of the key-board, each finger according to its relative shortness*1
J3): When the fingering-position requires the thumb on a black key, we must consider the edge of the black keys to form the limit of the key-board for the time, and the other fingers must, if required on the white keys, reach these between the black keys; and if necessary the hand must be slightly turned to permit of this, either to the left or to the right."
14): The Thumb should have its nail-phalanx always in a straight line with its key; unless we require it to sound two adjacent keys simultane-
15) : The position of each key should, whenever possible, be directly derived from the position of keys previously played.
This is a vital matter, which however will accomplish itself automatically, provided we duly insist upon the Act of Resting, in one of its two forms, as previously explained.
\6): The act of finding the position of a key, and the act of depressing it, should always be regarded as two distinct acts, al­though there need be no break in continuity between the two*
\ 7) : Position INSIDE the key is however the most vital point of all—the place in key-descent where the hammer is heard to reach the string, the place to which all tone-making effort must be carefully aimed to culminate and cease,
18) : FIVE-FINGER fingering positions (whether complete or not) lying on adjacent keys, diatonic or chromatic, should have the middle-finger in a straight line with its key—looking upon it from above.
1 It is a total fallacy to suppose that the fingers must reach their keys all in the same line.
2 Wide & 18-22. Also Vide Figs. 16 and 19, page 112 of this work
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III