Tutorials

Sheet Music What does a "5" above a C# mean?

nigeld

I think I need a different ligature
Subscriber
Messages
4,406
Location
Bristol
I am learning a piece that contains the following bar:

12820


Please can anyone tell me what the "5" above the C# means?

The piece is Eccles Sonata in G, arranged for alto saxophone in the Rascher edition.

I only know two fingerings for middle C# (000,000 and low C# plus octave key), and neither of them seems like an obvious candidate for a "5" designation.
 
Last edited:
OP
nigeld

nigeld

I think I need a different ligature
Subscriber
Messages
4,406
Location
Bristol
Means nothing to me. My first guess wiould be an index into a fingering chart somewhere in the same book.
I checked, and there is nothing in the book to suggest what it means.
 
OP
nigeld

nigeld

I think I need a different ligature
Subscriber
Messages
4,406
Location
Bristol
Here is another example from the same piece.
In this case, the low C# plus octave key fingering seems like a good bet.

12821
 

MarkSax

Member
Messages
98
I think you’re right. It means pinky finger ( in piano) therefore low C# and octave key. Thank you. Good to know.
 

MandyH

Sax-Mad fiend!
Subscriber
Messages
3,366
Location
The Malverns, Worcs
The other option is that it’s actually originally a piece written for a different instrument and this fingering relates to that instrument.

I have pieces, supposedly (transposed) for saxophone that show “down now” instructions, or “2nd position” annotation!
 

tenorviol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
Subscriber
Messages
5,198
Location
Whitchurch, North Shropshire
Or... it's an editorial error in that someone thought there were 5 semis as a quintuplet, hence the 5.... but there's only 4.... so redundant (and wrong).

In orchestral music editing errors are common. One of the piece in orchestra at the moment suddenly goes into alto clef. Cellos when high go to tenor then to treble, not alto clef. So we judiciously played the indicated Cb (some of us read all 4 standard clefs). But it was an editor's error - it should have been tenor clef and a Ab.
 

MandyH

Sax-Mad fiend!
Subscriber
Messages
3,366
Location
The Malverns, Worcs
The other option is that it’s actually originally a piece written for a different instrument and this fingering relates to that instrument.

I have pieces, supposedly (transposed) for saxophone that show “down now” instructions, or “2nd position” annotation!
That is meant to read “down bow “ ...
 
OP
nigeld

nigeld

I think I need a different ligature
Subscriber
Messages
4,406
Location
Bristol
The piece was originally composed for violin, but my understanding is that position symbols for strings only go up to 4, so it can’t be a string position mark that got left in by mistake.

And I don’t know much about Sigurd Rascher, but somehow I can’t imagine him accidentally leaving a string annotation in a piece when he has transposed it for an Eb instrument and added his own slurs.

So I still believe that the “5” symbol is intentional and is full of deep inner meaning for true disciples of the Rascher school.

Londeix uses the symbol “5” to mean hold down what he calls key 5 (I call it F#) in order to denote a long Bb fingering. But I can’t see a lot of point in just holding down the F# key when playing an open C#.
 

tenorviol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
Subscriber
Messages
5,198
Location
Whitchurch, North Shropshire
Positions are different on cello to violin as cellists can only get a semi-tone between fingers, but on cello 4th position is thumb at the neck, but there are 5th and 6th etc. Above that is usually labelled 'thumb position' on cellos as thumb comes over the top of the neck to form a base. You don't usually indicate position, you might put string e.g. II (Roman numerals) and then a finger e.g. 3. This tells you that note is to be played on string 2 (D string on cello, A string on violin) with 3rd finger.
 

BigMartin

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,762
Location
Manchester, UK
Regardless of what that 5 means, I'd definitely play the C# in the second example quoted above by lifiting the first two fingers of the left hand from the middle D, leaving everything else down including the octave key. It's a nice stable C# (I'd play a sustained C# with the same fingering) and makes the transition to the D really easy. Of course , if the C# is followed by a B it's not so great.
 

AZMay

New Member
Messages
6
Location
United Kingdom
I have a feeling it means keep key 5 (F#) pressed down. In the first eg, is there an f# in the next bar? And in the second eg, is that a B flat or natural. If it's flat then it makes sense to keep the F# key down for a long Bb fingering. I'm not familiar with this music but have used these fingerings in similar contexts...
 
OP
nigeld

nigeld

I think I need a different ligature
Subscriber
Messages
4,406
Location
Bristol
Regardless of what that 5 means, I'd definitely play the C# in the second example quoted above by lifiting the first two fingers of the left hand from the middle D, leaving everything else down including the octave key. It's a nice stable C# (I'd play a sustained C# with the same fingering) and makes the transition to the D really easy. Of course , if the C# is followed by a B it's not so great.
That is a new C# fingering for me. In this case it is easier than the low C# fingering plus octave key. Now I know 3 fingerings :)

I got a private message on SOTW about this. The author said that the "5" is definitely a Rascher School saxophone fingering mark, and his interpretation of it is the fingering that @BigMartin has suggested. So I shall go with that.
 
OP
nigeld

nigeld

I think I need a different ligature
Subscriber
Messages
4,406
Location
Bristol
I have a feeling it means keep key 5 (F#) pressed down. In the first eg, is there an f# in the next bar? And in the second eg, is that a B flat or natural. If it's flat then it makes sense to keep the F# key down for a long Bb fingering. I'm not familiar with this music but have used these fingerings in similar contexts...
That is what Londeix means by the "5" symbol, but not, it seems, Rascher.
See the post above.
 
support Tutorials CDs PPT mouthpieces
Top Bottom