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The fingering (also applicature ) is a term from music . In musical notations for keyboard , string and plucked instruments , he gives a recommendation as a number below or above the note with which finger the player should press the key or grab the string or pluck. Accordingly, it is also a footpacks for the pedal of the organ .

The fingering is primarily intended to enable the fingers to be used appropriately, that is, to play the instrument as simply and ergonomically as possible . But it can also affect the tonal possibilities. For example, with stringed instruments, most of the tones can be generated on different strings. The fingering also decides on which string a certain tone sequence should be played, which in turn is noticeable in the sound. Accents on the piano are easier to highlight with the thumb. Even if a suitable selection of fingerings makes pieces of music or technically more difficult parts of them more accessible to the player, Emilio Pujol's words generally apply : "The fingering is subordinate to the music".

Designation of the fingers

The number of fingers depends on the type of instrument: In fingerings for keyboard instruments, the fingers are numbered from 1 to 5 starting with the thumb. In fingerings for string and plucked instruments, on the other hand, the fingers of the grasping hand (in the case of a right-handed person , the fingers of the left hand) are counted from 1 to 4 starting with the index finger. Occasionally, the thumb of the grasping hand is also used with bowed and plucked instruments. This is labeled inconsistently in the literature, for example with the number 0 or the Greek koppa (ϙ); in older French literature also with the letter P for pouce ("thumb").

Plucking hand

Guitar tabs with tablature. The letters c, a, m and i designate the fingers of the plucking hand.

Plucked instruments also have names for the plucking fingers of the right hand. Mostly letters are used for this:

German For Spanish For English For
D. D aumen p p ulgar T t humb
Z Z eigefinger i í ndice I. i ndex finger
M. M ittelfinger m m edio M. m iddle fingers
R. R ingfinger a a nular A. ring finger
K K leiner finger q meñi q ue O little finger

The name of the finger plucking for the guitar is often found in textbooks. The following notation is used for the guitar: c (little finger), a (ring finger), m (middle finger), i (index finger). Especially with complex chord breakdowns, only the right plucking pattern enables fluent play.

Foot set

Different pedal technology: "baroque" foot set (above),
"romantic" foot set (below)

When playing the organ , the pedals can be played with both the tip of the foot and the heel . This, too, can be entered in the sheet music with special characters, which are not, however , used in the same way by all organists .

For example:

  • Λ - top
  • U - paragraph

When the notes are played with the right foot, the characters are written over the notes. The foot sets for the left foot are placed under the notes. Sometimes a small r stands for the right and a small l for the left foot.

Woodwind instruments

With flutes and clarinets you have to choose between the modern Böhm system and older, u. a. the German or the Öhler system (clarinet only). The saxophone handles correspond to the normal position largely to the Boehm system.

Handles for the saxophone

Web links

Commons : Fingering  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Step by step to the correct fingering on the piano. In: Pianobeat. January 15, 2020, accessed on January 31, 2020 (German).
  2. Wolf Moser : "... from a person out of line ...". A conversation with Alberto Ponce about Emilio Pujol. In: Guitar & Lute. Volume 8, 1986, pp. 8-14, here: pp. 11 f. (Quote)
  3. The ultimate fingering chart for saxophones .