I'm studying this Ólafur Arnalds piece called Romance. I wonder how do I play the following notes.

First, on this measure, the two F's are supposed to be the same.

the same Fs

What should I do? Raise the LH thumb and play the note with my RH thumb? Play it with the LH thumb? Do not play it at all?

Then, on the last measure, I have those notes too spaced.

far far away notes

Even though I have big hands, I can't reach those notes together with my LH. What should I do? Play the upper B with my RH? Play them as a kind of arpeggio?

1 Answer 1


For the first one, yes. Lift up your left thumb in time to play the 8th note with your right hand (you could use your left hand if you wanted to, but I would use my right as it seems more natural). This sort of thing is fairly common; don't allow yourself to get too wound up in the apparent contradiction.

For the second one, by all means play the upper notes in the bass clef with your right hand. There is nothing that says that you put left hand notes pointing down and right hand notes pointing up or anything like that. It's whatever works best.

  • 1
    Agreed. In the first example, I'd give a touch of pedal slightly after hitting the quaver A to allow the F to keep ringing when the LH thumb is lifted.
    – user16935
    Jan 7, 2016 at 7:22
  • Interesting. I played over the passage and find myself using more pedal than that, personally. The style is Grieg-like, and allowing the pentatonic notes to run together some creates a nice ethereal effect. My first instinct was to pedal through the first two beats (assuming 4/4), and then clear the pedal once on the third and fourth beats. It goes to show the amount of variety you find in performances with use of the pedal.
    – BobRodes
    Jan 9, 2016 at 3:23
  • Yup, that's a perfectly viable way to do it. I tend to look at minimal pedal first when (as here) finger legato is easily attained, and then consider if the sound can stand to be wetter. That's probably because I'm primarily a composer (and a fairly contrapuntal one at that, usually), and I don't like to specify pedal unless I need it. My writing habits have some tendency to carry over to my analytic habits. Here, though, a break in the middle of the bar is called for, and being a bit sparing with the pedal can help.
    – user16935
    Jan 9, 2016 at 4:27

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