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WARTOHJGN.
But then again, AJSFORT
I'll bet some of Bathory-Kitsz's stuff is challenging too. And generally they don't bother to suggest a fingering.

WSGH?
Never mind, $%@*, WASHG or MKASP
* pardon my profanity
It sounds to me like kids and childish teachers correcting kids. "I have a sore on my finger." "That's not your finger, stupid, that's your thumb." Anything to put someone else in the wrong.
Us natives hear it everywhere. Of course, one would be foolish to insist that a thumb isn't a finger, because it obviously is;...

Dorota, since you are looking for history: Webster's 1828 US Dictionary touched on it: When we speak of the fingers ... subset (the four fingers) as well as the larger set (the four fingers plus thumb). These cause endless circular arguments.

You can start a good argument about whether purple is a subset of violet, violet is a subset of purple, they're the same, or they're separate. (I haven't heard the fifth possibility, which is that they overlap.)
If I wanted to learn what the linguists have to say about this, I'd look under "hypernym" and "hyponym". Is "finger" a hypernym for "thumb"?
...
Like (not that we have to argue it) doesn't "Europe" often include the UK, yet it has been known to mean the Continent and not the UK? Similar logical divide, where a single element is included in one meaning and excluded in the other.

Indeed, the Frequently Activated Quarrel about "American" is related. So is the one about "sandwich". The thumb is one of the five fingers, but most of us would not say "He broke a finger" when he broke a thumb. Likewise the hot dog (dare I say it?) is a kind of sandwich, but many of us would not say "I'm going to get a sandwich" when we're going to get a hot dog. Not that we have to argue them.

Jerry Friedman
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I'll add it to my list of Subset-Whole Problems, where ... (the four fingers plus thumb). These cause endless circular arguments.

You can start a good argument about whether purple is a subset of violet, violet is a subset of purple, ... overlap.) If I wanted to learn what the linguists have to say about this, I'd look under "hypernym" and "hyponym".

Or you could look under "markedness". See:
Removed)
Is "finger" a hypernym for "thumb"?

Yes, in its unmarked sense, "finger" is a hypernym for "thumb". In its marked sense, "finger" refers to a "non-thumb" and is therefore a hyponym (along with "thumb") for unmarked "finger". Since "finger" can serve as its own hyponym, one could call it an "autohyponym".

(Confusing enough?)
Not really. From the top of my mind , the famous "Moon Sonata" starts with both thumbs on the black keys.

Wouldn't it depend on the key? In a piece in Db mighten't one use the thumb more on black notes than in C.

dg
Of course.
I don't know how Areff got the idea that black keys should be 'avoided' by the thumbs.
Is it a superstition? An urban legend?
A rule of etiquette?
Or perhaps a doctor's recommendation: "Drink plenty of water and don't use your thumbs on black keys".
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Where's that used? I learned "p" (thumb), "i" (index), "m" (middle), "a" (ring).
To be fair to guitarists, the thumb of both hands has a very different role, especially for the left hand (for right-handed players),

I was taking folk guitar when I bought a classical guitar(1) and brought it to class. The teacher hit us with a chord (I forget what it was) that I couldn't play on the wider neck until I tried wrapping my thumb around the back to grab the sixth string. In a prior course, the (different) instructor had actually recommended that as an alternative on a couple of chords.
so it's not surprising that guitar fingering notation reflects that. ... as another finger because of the nature of the keyboard.

"Fingering" for the piano inevitably includes thumbs, but when I was a child the fingering symbols were + for the thumb and 1-2-3-4 (1 = index). So evidently the thumb didn't count as a finger. Nowadays the symbols are 1-2-3-4-5 starting with the thumb.

When was that? It was 1-5 when I started taking piano some 35 years ago, and I'm pretty sure it was 1-5 on the music my dad learned on when *he* was a kid. I don't think I've ever seen "+" and 1-4.

(1) Whoever decided that human fingers were designed to press down on the edge of metal wires was obviously a sadist. Even when just playing chords or blues improvisation, I find I prefer to use the nylon-string classical guitar.

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I don't know how Areff got the idea that black keys should be 'avoided' by the thumbs.

As I said, it's a well-known principle of piano fingering.
Is it a superstition? An urban legend? A rule of etiquette?

No, it's simply a consequence of the shortness of the thumb and the placement of the black keys. You generally want an economical approach to fingering, and sometimes that will call for the use of the thumb on the black keys, but in general it should be avoided.
Use of the pinky on the black keys should also be avoided, but I think the thumb's a bigger deal.
If you ever publish these lists you make, Donna, I'll buy your book. But only if you include the misles (which I assume already has one I came across again yesterday: "miniseries").

Did it refer to biopic miniseries?

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1501 Page Mill Road, 1U, MS 1141 >anything to astrology after all."Palo Alto, CA 94304 >

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I don't know how Areff got the idea that black keys should be 'avoided' by the thumbs.

As I said, it's a well-known principle of piano fingering.

Ah, you must be using "well-known" in the sense of "completely unknown". I've noticed that sense is unusually common on USENET. Hopefully the dictionaries will catch up soon.
Is it a superstition? An urban legend? A rule of etiquette?

No, it's simply a consequence of the shortness of the thumb and the placement of the black keys. You generally ... that will call for the use of the thumb on the black keys, but in general it should be avoided.

You want the most convenient approach to fingering, which is not always the most economical. If that ends up with a thumb on a black key, so be it; there's no such rule as you claim.
Use of the pinky on the black keys should also be avoided, but I think the thumb's a bigger deal.

It all depends on what you're playing and even more importantly, what you're playing next. Phrasing is key; fingering derives from that.

-=Eric

Come to think of it, there are already a million monkeys on a million typewriters, and Usenet is NOTHING like Shakespeare. Blair Houghton.
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