I'm battling to understand the indicated fingering on one of the pieces of music I have for my Violin Grade 6 exam. As indicated below, the finger notation suggests that I need to play an open string for D which is found on the A string. This is obviously not possible. Can anybody tell me if this 0 has another meaning?

score music indicating open string on d

3 Answers 3


Usually, the 0 on non-open string note indicates that this note should be played using flageolet. In your example, there are three occurences of flageolet: the d'' in the first bar and the a'' and the last d'' in the second. This is quite natural if you play this in the third position: with flageolet, you don't have to switch to the a string (or e string, in the second bar). Instead, the left hand remains in third position, only the Little finger (fourth finger) is placed on a different position than usual. This takes less time than switching both left hand and bow to the a (or e) string

In music notation, usually a small circle is used to notate a flageolet. But sometimes, instead of a circle, the 0 number is used.


Yes, this will be a harmonic. Probably the octave harmonic at the half way point of the D string. This does suggest, though, that the preceding notes are played on the D string, higher up the neck.

  • 1
    Yes, an when it happens later on the A above the staff, you play the harmonic in the same place but on the A-string instead of the D. The pitch will sound the same, but the timbre will be a bit purer when played as a harmonic. Jul 28, 2014 at 12:38

How do you know it should be played in the A string? To me it looks clear/logical to play that first bar in the third position (D string) and stretch 4th finger to the harmonic/flageolet.

In the second bar is more clear which position should be played. The 3-3 fingering in the second beat makes a inevitable glissando and the A (highest note) should be played in A string. With those fingers it will be a glissando from 1st position 4th finger/E to the flageolet (quite common). When the flageolet is "ringing" you can get the 4th finger ready for the G in the 3rd position to make that scale down to B and all that last passage in 3rd position reaching flageolet (D note) in D string.

Keep in mind all people all different. All have different sizes in hands and all have their own expression which might lead sometimes to different fingerings than suggested by a paper.


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