Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)


School of Music

Document Type



Fingering is crucial for piano performance. Unlike other instruments with relatively fixed fingerings, keyboard instruments offer countless fingering combinations. As musical styles have evolved, so too have the instruments themselves, resulting in a rich history of diverse fingering systems, which sometimes conflict with one another. Moreover, due to individual differences in hand shape and size, the fingering advice from editors or teachers may not be universally applicable, and there is a lack of an objective, unified standard for validating these recommendations.

For students who do not fully understand fingering principles and have not been exposed to a wide range of musical styles, selecting appropriate fingerings can be particularly challenging, especially when they first encounter advanced repertoire. Researchers have studied past fingering systems and developed two relatively quantifiable and objective fingering models. Subsequent researchers have built upon these models to create two fingering generators aimed at helping advancing pianists improve practice efficiency.

This article uses J. S. Bach's "Prelude and Fugue in F sharp minor, BWV 883" from "Das Wohltemperierte Klavier II" as an example to compare the differences between editorial and artificially generated fingerings. The goal is to test the practical utility of these fingering generators and to explore the potential issues and developmental prospects of the two models.



Committee Chair

Michael Gurt