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My mother would like to re-learn the piano. She has ability to use her left hand fingers 1-3, full ability with her right hand, the other left hand fingers 4-5 are very weak and come and go. Piano may provide an opportunity to exercise those fingers.

Since her hands are small, that means she is limited usually to two notes on a given chord.

I will be arranging some of the music she will play, but I would like to compliment my arrangements with others.

  • Are there specific genres or styles that create the full sound with mostly the right hand? The left hand will have to be cut down to one or two notes. For example, if the left hand played same note from adjacent octaves, we could just cut off the top note.
  • Are there any composers who have limited (or even absent) capability of their left hand?

If there is a left hand part, we may be able to just simplify it by cutting off the least meaningful notes, but the classic style, "right hand plays the melody and left hand plays the chords" would make for a pretty empty arrangement.

I thought maybe there was a different style of arrangements that use more chords in the right hand.

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Some simple arrangements may just have a single bass note in the left hand. You may find that music arranged for beginners might be appropriate. –  NReilingh Aug 9 '11 at 16:24

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Well, off the top of my head, I'd say think about music that has a clearly defined monophonic bass line. Look at Baroque music that incorporates the basso-continuo style, where the keyboardist's left hand is doubling a part written for a cello or bass player. Be careful of Bach's solo keyboard music, though, because his music is so dense and contains so much counterpoint that it's equally difficult for both hands!

Stride piano, or ragtime, use a clearly defined monophonic bass line but require a lot of jumping around in the left hand and that's quite tricky to execute regardless of how many fingers you can use.

Finally, can she play duets with a bass player? That way she can concentrate on right-hand parts and go easy on the left hand.

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