Finger crossing on a virginal Playing an antique harpsichord with old fingerings Plying a double French harpsichord with early fingerings Playing a historical organ with Baroque fingerings

BAROQUE KEYBOARD FINGERING: A METHOD - 7th ed.

by Claudio Di Veroli

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Baroque Keyboard Fingering: A Method,

the 7th revised edition of August 2016

Excerpts from the FOREWORD TO THE 7TH EDITION

Not surprisingly, harpsichordists who use modern thumb technique try to defend their ways. At least two well-known performers are on record arguing that in ancient sources one finds not only rules but also exceptions, and their “do as you like” conclusion is that these rules should not be taken literally. The fallacy of this argument has been recently demonstrated—together with valuable comments—by the American harpsichordist Daniel Jencka. [see our Readers Comments webpage]

We keep finding early modern proposers of historical fingerings. In 1972 Derek Adlam ...

Decades earlier ...what was possibly the earliest modern proposal for the use of historical fingerings on the harpsichord (Dolmetsch 1915) ...

Excerpts from the FOREWORD TO THE 6TH EDITION

If the attitude [in favour of old fingerings] of Ton Koopman ... was certainly pioneering back in 1977, let us mention a even earlier remark by a leading harpsichordist: “Now... we had the instruments, originals and copies, and then the whole question of fingering becomes vital” (Kenneth Gilbert 1974).

It is apparent from the sources that the basics of what would become the High Baroque technique, were already described in Renaissance times and reappeared in Early Baroque sources. Baroque fingering is fully adequate not only for the standard historical keyboards but also for enharmonic instruments with “split sharps”.

In the Internet we find nowadays both useful information and several misconceptions, such as the wrong belief that Baroque keyboard players used different fingering systems for harpsichords, virginals, clavichords and organs; or else that D. Scarlatti's Essercizi can only be played using the modern passings of the thumb. Modern thumb-passing technique is still prevalent today among concert harpsichordists, but things are improving: early keyboard fingerings are increasingly being adopted in the last few years, and are at present considered matter-of-fact in quite a few places.

... To help the player to put into practice Baroque fingering—especially in intermediate and advanced pieces—an edition of fingered masterpieces is now available separately (Di Veroli, 2011): it includes an extensive introduction relating fingering technique to the interpretation of Baroque keyboard music.