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Natural Fingering: A Topographical Approach to Pianism


Natural Fingering: A Topographical Approach to Pianism Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Though incomplete at the time of his death in 1849, Chopin's Projet de méthode was nonetheless revolutionary in many respects. But with his Fundamental Pattern, Chopin announced the recognition, if not discovery, of the keyboard's extraordinary topographical symmetry and postulated a core formulation for a new "pianistic" pedagogy. More than a hundred years later the now-legendary Heinrich Neuhaus would passionately plead for this pedagogy and a pianism rooted in it.

Natural Fingering explores this remarkable symmetry, significantly as it sheds light on fingering matters for the now vast catalogue of repertoire. It also examines the revolutionary impact of equal temperament on compositional key choice as well as the liberating influence of Charles Eschmann-Dumur's unique discoveries regarding symmetrical inversion.

Author Jon Verbalis develops principles for a topographically-based fingering strategy that reflect a surprising compatibility of this fixed symmetrical organization with the most efficient biokinetic capabilities of the pianist's playing mechanism. He addresses previously neglected or overlooked technical aspects of pianism as they relate to movement in keyboard space generally as well as fingering specifically.

Symmetrical fingerings for all the fundamental forms are presented in innovative, instructive format. The reader will also find an unusually extensive, in-depth discussion of double note challenges. Answering Neuhaus's call for the reappraisal of a certain pedagogical status quo, several chapters are devoted to the relevant implications of Chopin's Fundamental Pattern. The author also advances guidelines for a progressive implementation of natural fingering principles from the very start, as well as "retooling" for teachers and students alike. Of special note are the cross-hand major and minor scales for the earliest stages, in which the necessity of thumb under/hand over pivoting actions is eliminated.

Natural Fingering is the first comprehensive discussion of fingering solutions for pianists since Hummel's monumental treatise of 1828. The book is complemented by a companion website, which serves as a supplement to the printed edition. The website features copious excerpts from the extant repertoire, extended discussions on relevant topics, and a comprehensive manual of the fundamental forms with symmetrically adjusted fingerings.

About the Author

Jon Verbalis has performed extensively as recitalist and orchestral soloist as well as chamber music and collaborative pianist, and teaches piano in New York City where he resides. His students have gone on to study at the leading conservatories and music schools, many garnering prestigious awards nationally and internationally and now teaching, performing, composing and otherwise contributing to the profession.

Table of Contents

About the Companion Website


Part I Fundamental Forms as Foundation

Chapter 1 The Major Scales

Chapter 2 The Major Connection and Minor Scales

Chapter 3 Chords, Arpeggios and Extended Harmonies

Chapter 4 Other Scale Fingerings; Chromatic-Diatonic Compounds

Chapter 5 Core Topographies and Rational Solutions

PART II The Double Note Challenge

Chapter 6 Double Thirds: An Overview in an Evolutionary Context

Chapter 7 Toward a More Rational Fingering for Double Notes

Chapter 8 Double Sixths and Other Double Notes

PART III Topography, Strategy and Symmetry

Chapter 9 Fundamental Strategies

Chapter 10 Fundamental Principles for a Natural Fingering

Chapter 11 Topography, Symmetry and Lines of Action

PART IV The Topographical Advantage: Explorations in Keyboard Space

Chapter 12 Topography and Pedagogy

From the Beginning

Chapter 13 Topography and Tonality

Early Repertoire

Chapter 14 Intimations of Symmetry

Chopin's Pattern as Fundamental Tool

Retooling and Repertoire





Subject Index

Available Online at www.oup.com/us/naturalfingering

Excerpts from the Repertoire for Chapters 1-8, 11 and 14

Appendix 1 Single Note Diatonic Scales: the Major Forms

Appendix 2 Single Note Diatonic Scales: the Minor Forms

Appendix 3 The Arpeggios

Appendix 4 Historical Fingerings for the Chromatic Scale

Appendix 5 Diatonic Double Third Fingerings: An Evolution

Appendix 6 The Chromatic Scale in Double Notes

Appendix 7 Double Third Diatonic Scales: The Major and Minor Forms

Appendix 8 Double Sixth Diatonic Scales: The Major and Minor Forms

Appendix 9 E. Robert Schmitz: Six Fundamental Principles of Training

Appendix 10 Technical Aspects of a Natural Pianism

Product Details

Verbalis, Jon
Oxford University Press, USA
Musical Instruments / Piano & Keyboard
Music | Performance Studies, Applied Music | Keyboard: Piano, Organ
Music-Books on Piano and Harpsichord
Publication Date:
121 music examples
8.5 x 10.9 x 0.7 in 1.35 lb

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Arts and Entertainment » Music » Instruction and Study » General
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Arts and Entertainment » Music » Instruments » Piano and Harpsichord
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