Apart from No.30, the Hanon exercises mostly cover no greater a span than a sixth - hardly much of a challenge or representative of the demands placed on the modern keyboard player.
This series of variations expands the span of the exercises first to a seventh (Nos.1 to 10), and then to the whole octave (Nos.11 to 16).
Download the music for the Musicarta Spreading the Hand Hanon variations here.
Care should be taken in developing the hand's ability to maintain this span and at the same time exercise the finger movements asked for. Pupils must 'listen' to their hands and err on the side of caution when judging how much can be achieved without strain in any one practice session.
To cover a seventh over the span of five notes,the hand will play two intervals of a second and two of a third.
Look at this progression of five-note seventh chords.
This is the progression used in the 'STH' (spreading the hand) exercises in this part.
There is an observable logic to the way the notes progress from being bunched at the top to bunched at the bottom.
If you learn the logic of the way the notes cascade from top to bottom and 'play from the pattern', you will free a great deal of attention for consciously building facility - the chief reason for playing the exercises.
Here is the first exercise.
The pattern rises by closing only the lowest gap, so it only rises one note at a time.
This is already a 'shorthand' or sketch version of the MS. Between the dashed bar lines, the pattern will play up from E, F, G and A, ascending, and down from E, D, C and B, descending.
The full version is in your workbook.
Next, the middle finger (each hand) falls to create the second pattern.
The unique spread of the fingers in the five seventh-span patterns can be intensively drilled, with held thumbs, like this.
The right thumb can be played just once and held through the entire bar if wished, or repeated with every RH5 as shown.
The left hand just 'ambles around' in these exercises, as 'something to do'. The left hand plays only two patterns, which span only a sixth.
In this left hand pattern, the next-door pair of notes (the second) is either at the top (Type 1) or in the middle (Type 2). The left hand plays Type 2 only once, in the second bar.
Go on to Spreading the Hand Page Two for the next exercises in this series.
MUSICARTA HANON SERIES
Hanon in Six-Eight
In Sixths and Tenths
In Sixths and Tenths