Writing Fingerings in Orchestral Parts
When you have a stand partner, what do you do with fingerings?
1. Write them in the sheet music. It helps with the more difficult passages.
2. Outside player writes them on top of the note, inside player writes them on the bottom of the note.
3. You don't write in fingerings at all. It's rude to your stand partner who finds it distracting with his/her own fingerings. Instead, you practice those passages to remember your own fingerings.
4. Other. Do share! =)
As a start, I used to be #1 in my younger years, now I'm #3, and I'm thinking about being more practical and doing #2 and seeing how that goes.
#2 is correct.
#2 is typical however Nathan cole told a story of how writing in fingerings wasn’t allowed while in Chicago symphony.
#2. Chicago is a weird exception; I don't know if there are any other professional symphonies that have a custom of not writing fingerings into the part.
My teacher said that she was associate CM of a professional chamber group (defunct after the recession) and the CM would not allow her to write any fingerings on the part--above or below. She said that he liked to spontaneously decide his fingerings and felt that any existing marks on the page constrained him. I don't think it was the group's policy to forbid marking fingerings, though.
My personal use of penciling in fingerings is minimal because I prefer to be aware of my position, key signature and "attitude" to be used (Yes, i'm one of those Doflein trained violinists). However, when I persist in making the same mistake I will write on the page.
#2 unless there isn't enough room. Also, stick to the minimum amount of fingerings necessary.
I do somewhere between 2 and 3.
I play viola in three orchestras. In each case I am on the inside of the first stand, which I like because I can hear quite well from there. On the other hand, in each case I am also the more experienced player by substantial margin. So, I suggest fingerings, wait for a positive response, and write my fingerings on top of the staff. If the response is meh, then I write them below.
#2 is the rule I go with.
I normally rub out ALL fingerings in the part.
I agree with Malcolm, and use exactly the same methodology. Another reason is that my fingering won't always coincide with my desk partner's, doubtless due to my tendency to use idiosyncratic fingering on occasion - obviously as long as it works easily. I blame my previous life as a cellist!
As a violinist - #4. I usually try to agree with my stand partner about fingerings, and no matter if I'm sitting in or out, if we ever should disagree, I'll leave the "above the note" position to her. This is because, we try to avoid writing fingerings out as far as possible, and in the trickier parts I tend to rely on what she proposes since she's by far the more experienced player. Only if I'm feeling uncomfortable, I'll add my own variation below.
I don't think the "reaching consensus with standpartner" method is a great idea; what if your hands are different sizes? I have large hands and can make use of extensions that my standpartner with her much smaller hands finds unworkable.
The problem with that is it's difficult for the inside player to see the printed note and quickly associate the number underneath with that note.This becomes irksome especially when the written note is on a leger line.The outside player has no problem with their written-in fingering being right near the note but the inside player has to look down to see their corresponding fingerings underneath.
Mary Ellen, I'm sure that in real life you're absolutely right. In this specific case things seem to work okay, and it's not often that I need specific fingerings.
I agree with Mary Ellen. The professional convention is the top/bottom one, and the expectation that you'll write in the minimum fingerings necessary. There's no great reason to not use that convention in community and youth orchestras also.
BEWARE of this if you are ever called on to play as a "ringer" in an orchestra concert. This happened to me in 1996 when I was called to sit as CM in my previous orchestra some 450 miles from my new home (the current CM's daughter was getting married and she and most of the violinists were gone). The troublesome piece was Tschaikowsky's "1812 Overture," which I had not played before. All we had was the outdoor dress rehearsal in the morning and then the Pops concert around dusk. We played from the asst. CM's part with marked fingerings that totally threw me because they were totally different than I had done (or would ever do) when I ran through it a few times earlier back at home. So even if you don't mark fingerings, their presence can be upsetting - to put it mildly.
Professional conventions? What if you're playing in a non-auditioning community orchestra? Then I think whatever you and your stand partner decide among yourselves ought to be acceptable. A lot of times the piece is one page, or two pages with an easy turn in the middle. In that case you can have two entire copies of the part on your stand, with different fingerings.
I agree with those who believe all of us should follow professional conventions.
As a side note; I make a current copy of my part available via Dropbox , after each rehearsal. But I also try not to change bowings after the initial handout of the music.
Lydia both players not putting in fingerings is also something you get used to.I was Associate CM three seasons ago and the CM and I agreed to no fingerings in the parts.It was a memory challenge for a week or so but it is something you get used to.Yes professional musicians do read ahead but it is agravating to ignore the outside players fingerings and look down to your own.
I disagree with those who aren't writing in fingerings until the last minute - a lot of the fingerings I write in are to counteract my stand partner's fingerings (generic stand partner) - if I see fingerings in the music, my impulse is to play them. Writing them in early in the process (even if they get changed later) lets me put in my own so as not to be distracted.
The big danger of fingerings is - you tend to play them.
It seems to me that a lot of variations of #2 are related to interesting dynamics between stand-partners, which is a topic for another discussion.
I've never tried to coordinate a stand partner's fingerings.