Sheet Music

Sheet Music Database

Our Sheet Music database is very searchable using any or all of the following - Composer name, Title, Musical standard, Exam board and Grade of piece both that of the exam boards and also our own Stafford Guitar grading.

Our aim is to not only bring you the up to date exam syllabus but also a selection of music we have enjoyed over our years of playing. The Stafford Guitar grading is to help you when selecting new pieces to learn.

In addition you will find Selina’s review of a piece or book helpful and again these reviews are carried out to help with your choice.

We are also happy to obtain music that we currently do not stock so if there is a book or piece you would like call and we will attempt to find it for you.

Results 25 - 48 of 289

Sheet Music Database

82

The Guitarists Progress Book 2

David Burden

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This collection of guitar pieces brings the guitar student from approximately Grade Two through Grade Four standard. It leaves the teaching of technique, hand positions, and other fundamentals to the teacher but provides material for work on specific techniques such as barres. The notes in the higher positions are gradually introduced and musical notation is explained with helpful hints.

Skill Level
Beginner
Intermediate
mustrinitytheoryg2

Theory of Music Workbook Grade 2

Trinity Guildhall

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Designed for use during lessons or at home these workbooks contain all the requirements for Trinity Guildhall examinations. Each book also contains sample exam papers.

Skill Level
Beginner
35

Guitar Exam Pieces CD Grade 6

ABRSM

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Recordings of pieces from the new ABRSM Guitar Syllabus, from 2009. Innovative and valuable resource for candidates preparing for ABRSM exams. All duos are accompanied by another guitar, and playalong tracks for these pieces are also included.

Skill Level
Intermediate
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295

100 Graded Classical Guitar Studies

Frederick Noad

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One hundred studies from the works of three outstanding composers, Sor, Giuliani & Carcassi. All of these studies are invaluable to the guitarist, as well as developing right and left hand technique they are a pleasure to play and listen too. With each study Noad has added a brief note which assists and encourages. This edition is great for both student and teacher.

Skill Level
Beginner
Intermediate
Advanced

This is a fantastic resource for guitarists of all ages and standards. If you are a beginner it is a great investment for the future, and if you have been playing for a few years it presents lovely pieces through which you can develop your technique and your musicianship. The Classical in the title not only refers to our instrument but to the period from which the music originates. The 19th century guitar repertoire is often under rated but is, in my opinion indispensible.

This edition represents great value for money, including all of Carcassi’s Op.60 as well as many of the well known Sor studies, for example the B minor arpeggio study, op.31 no.6 the detached quaver chords and op.6 no.6 the moving thirds in A major. The Giuliani studies tend to be less well known as there are so many that have not really been collected into dedicated edition for students.

There are some lovely examples here that really help you to work on specific aspects of technique such as arpeggios, moving intervals and chord movement while giving you lots of drama and excitement musically. Giuliani’s Opus 1 is well represented, giving a tantalizing taster to a group of studies and exercises that no guitarist should be without.

The book is very well laid out and clearly printed with a short paragraph of musical and technical notes for each of the 100 studies, and most importantly sensible levels of fingering!

This gives you great confidence as a player particularly if you don’t have a teacher to help you.

There is also a fairly brief but comprehensive introduction covering the editors ideas in the selection and grading of pieces as well as historical notes on each composer, Fernando Sor, Mauro Giuliani and Matteo Carcassi.

Frederick Noad produced some great collections for students really opening out the guitar repertoire for everyone to enjoy. There are too many favourites here for me to mention, a real treasure trove!

Selina.

musdowlandair

Air and Galliard

John Dowland

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Transcribed from the lute tablature and arranged for guitar by Karl Scheit.

Skill Level
Intermediate
giuliani-le-avventure-di-amore

Giuliani Le Avventure di Amore OP.116

Mauro Giuliani

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CH 52 - Written for 2 guitars. 10 Waltzes, publication consists of Score and Parts, clearly written making for ease of reading. Great music that allows you enjoy with a partner.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Ensemble
  • Containing
  • L'Invito al ballo
  • L'Affetto
  • La Dichiarazione
  • Il Rifiuto
  • Il Dispiacere
  • La Disperazione
  • La Partenza
  • Il Pentimento
  • Il Ritorno
  • La Pace
mustorrobamusicforguitar

Musica Para Guitarra

Federico Moreno Torroba

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This album presents some of the best examples of the Madrid born composers prolific output that spanned his long career. While his most celebrated work is 'Madronos', all pieces in this album are testimony to the fact that his inspiration is rooted in popular music, to which he adds a vocal style of melodic invention which reminds of his love of vocal music.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced
97

Microestudios 6 to 10 Vol 2

Abel Carlevaro

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An exceptional virtuoso, composer and teacher Carlevaro is not only one of the most important guitarists of our time but the creator of a new school of instrumental technique. Microestudios, three books containing 15 studies, are a must for the aspiring guitarist.

Skill Level
Intermediate
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guitaracademy3

Guitar Academy Book 3

Richard Corr

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Book 3 maintains the thorough and wide-ranging approach established in volumes one and two. Classical guitar techniques and repertoire are developed and supplemented by styles and techniques from various popular styles. Musicianship is encouraged through ensemble, ear training and improvisation.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced

This excellent tutor has now been divided into smaller volumes that are more manageable for the student. They still contain a lot of music and information, especially as the difficulty increases, but they are very well presented, cover many areas that others miss, and provide clear explanations without being too "wordy".

The books as a whole are accessible to all ages and would be suitable for adults to work through without a teacher (although this is never ideal!). The pictures illustrating technique are first class and there are constant references to maintaining good technique throughout each book including revision pages and tests. Each book follows a similar format beginning with a quick reference page and introduction, followed by a classical section, ensemble section and final chord section.

The structure and layout helps the student feel that they are learning something new and exciting on every page, even if it is only a game based on what they have already learned. This is very important for maintaining interest and momentum, especially for younger children. The many ideas for improvisation, ear training and theory are fantastic and so helpful for me, as a teacher who struggled to produce my own material while teaching such short lessons in too many schools! By bringing all of these elements together in such an easy way Richard Corr has produced a fun tutor that is helping to develop musicians, not just guitarists! It is a tutor that I highly recommend and will use - a breath of fresh air!

 

The introduction to this volume explains that you are now moving on to more advanced repertoire and techniques, and what this entails e.g. regular practice and care in matters relating to technique and most importantly, commitment and performance!

The revision page is followed by a brief history of the guitar with photographs of instruments through the ages, and mention of important composers, players and makers right through tp the birth and rise of the electric guitar. I think that this is a great idea as it takes the learning process beyond just learning to play a few notes or chords on a guitar.

The subjects covered in book three include left hand positions up to seventh, articulation, more complicated rhythms and key signatures including minor keys, damping with the thumb and slurs. Most importantly the book includes a lot of music to play! There are excellent original pieces by Richard Corr along with classical repertoire, easy arrangements of more difficult works and popular tunes from all styles of guitar playing. The chord supplement introduces different chord styles and theory, something that a lot of students learning to play chords simply miss out on altogether.

Selina.

 

musoneplusvol16

One + One Volume 1 (Pupils Part)

Chanterelle

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The three volumes of One + One contain arrangements of music from the renaissance, baroque, classical and romantic periods as well as folk-song settings and new compositions written specially for the EGTA Series. New compositions, even though they don’t apply to the exam list repertoire, are included, in order to maximise the books’ general value to the player and to show how this approach can work for all types of music.

Skill Level
Beginner

These volumes of duets were conceived and put together through the efforts of EGTA, the European Guitar Teachers Association, and are designed to help students develop their musicianship, co ordination, tone and articulation without the excessive physical demands that the chordal and contrapuntal repertoire can impose, particularly on the left hand.

The pieces were the first duets to be used in the ABRSM guitar syllabus, a change in approach that has been invaluable for encouraging students and introducing them to repertoire that would have previously been inaccessible until much later. Of course, it also promotes ensemble playing and all the rhythmical, musical and “communication” benefits that this brings, as well as being so much fun!

There is a comprehensive preface to each volume, which is important to read as it outlines the ideals in general as well as the technical demands and thoughts about fingering, positions and musical indications. It is great that fingering has been kept to a minimum and the preface makes it clear that the fingerings that have been added are just suggestions based on achieving the best musical result.

There is a wide variety of repertoire represented from the Renaissance to the present day, including arrangements of music by Dowland, Purcell, Haydn, Schubert, Mozart, Grieg and Tchaikovsky, as well as original, contemporary guitar pieces. I was a little disappointed not to find any arrangements from the guitar solo repertoire, since there is so much to choose from that would provide an insight into the world of the classical guitar – in other words all the exciting things to come!

All the student parts are single line melodies across the two volumes.

Volume 1 stays in first position, with pieces tending to use the bass or treble voices so working on the separate articulation of fingers and thumb. The arrangements are very well done with a lot of emphasis on ensemble skills i.e. counting and listening, and a good mix of popular and unknown melodies.

In volume 2 fingers and thumb are combined within pieces and left hand positions range from first to fourth. In both books there are some challenging rhythms and time signatures with the articulation and musical indications getting more detailed in volume 2.

There are also some quite unusual and tricky accompaniments in these arrangements, which is worth noting for teachers!

I have to admit to finding some of the modern melodies a little “dry” and more difficult to follow (for young ears) especially when being played without accompaniment. However, overall, there are plenty of lovely tunes, lots of invaluable ensemble experience and counting practice and a strong emphasis on the importance of melody and phrasing.

Grade 1 (volume 1)

  • Riggadoon: a lively, straightforward melody using the treble strings.
  • German Dance: another energetic piece in ¾ time using a dotted crotchet rhythm and some accents.
  • Theme from Rosamunde: this is a flowing, Andante melody, with some longer quaver passages.

Grade 2 (volume 2)

  • Minuet: this piece is in F major, has some detailed phrasing indications and uses 2nd and 3rd positions.
  • A Fairy Tale: the phrasing is detailed again here with a strong, rhythmical, flowing melody and quite a lot of accidentals!
  • Slavonic Waltz: this piece is marked con moto and has a clear character with a contrasting second section and change of key signature.
  • Grade 3 (volume 2)

    • Musette en Rondeau: this is a lovely dance in ¾ with long quaver passages in treble and bass voices.
    • Sweet Reveries: marked Andante, this piece requires long legato phrasing with detailed dynamic control. A dotted quaver rhythm is used throughout and the left hand plays up to the 7th fret.

    Selina.

    mustakemitsutwilight

    All In Twilight

    Toru Takemitsu

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    These Four pieces for guitar were commissioned by Julian Bream and dedicated to him. The first performance was given by Bream on October 9th 1988 in New York. The duration of this work is 11 minutes.

    Skill Level
    Advanced
    musrealguitarvol2

    The Real Guitar Book Vol 2

    Lee Sollory and Nick Powlesland

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    A range of fabulous educational and concert guitar music by the UK's top guitar composers, educators and performers. All of the music in the Real Guitar Book is suitable for both classical and plectrum style techniques

    Skill Level
    Beginner
    Intermediate

    The Real Guitar books evolved after a frustrating and largely unsuccessful attempt to find exciting and challenging music for a new generation of solo guitarists.

    These original pieces certainly fit this billing of exciting and challenging!

    They were written to suit both classical and plectrum players and really push the boundaries in rhythm and harmony, encompassing styles such as rock, blues, folk and classical, and giving players music that really comes alive when played properly.

    The rhythms can be quite difficult to read which is good as it develops reading and encourages a natural feel for the pulse and syncopation.

    The pieces use the whole fretboard, with detailed articulation and dynamics, and strumming, bending and muting techniques that may be unfamiliar to classical players but really do help to strengthen and improve technique.

    The particular highlights for me are Chillout, Swing Thing, Rockroach and Moonshine probably because they are so successful at emulating their respective styles and make me feel good!

    This helps particularly younger players persevere with the classical guitar since it proves that their hard work has also resulted in music that everyone immediately recognizes and enjoys.

    Players are no less challenged by this music especially in reading complicated rhythm and learning the fretboard.

    All in all an excellent technical and musical experience with pieces that are great fun to learn and play.

    Selina.

    musmoodsblues

    Moods n Blues

    Peter Nuttall

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    A colourful collection of appealing pieces for the early student. Written in a variety of attractive styles - blues, simple flamenco, classical etc. These pieces serve as a very playable and enjoyable introduction to many common guitar techniques and idioms.

    Skill Level
    Beginner
    musscarlatti

    Scarlatti for Guitar

    Domenico Scarlatti

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    It is great to see these two collections being published, as the music is often difficult to find and choose when students reach the technical level required.

    Skill Level
    Intermediate

    It is great to see these two collections being published,as the music is often difficult to find and choose when students reach the technical level required.

    I was especially impressed with the Weiss collection where the 10 movements chosen (from a huge repertoire of suites) work very well as stand alone pieces and transfer beautifully onto our 6 string classical guitar, without the player having to perform too many acrobatics and without losing the musical flow.

    It is very important to introduce the repertoire of these two composers to guitarists as soon as possible. Weiss because he was a contemporary of Bach and wrote pieces of high quality and, arguably more suited to the guitar, and Scarlatti whose harpsichord music helps to develop a feel for the Spanish Baroque style where the guitar can recreate the textures of the harpsichord very well.

    The editions are clearly set out and printed with excellent historical notes at the beginning of each volume. These notes are very informative and useful for the technical and musical interpretation of the pieces.

    For the Scarlatti there is some background for individual pieces, as well as musical ideas and explanation of ornaments.

    For the Weiss there is a more general history of how he wrote for the Baroque Lute developing the instrument to include 13 courses, and of his main format for composition, namely the suites of dance movements.

    I particularly found useful the explanation of the Prelude or Fantasia, a form represented in the first piece in this book.

    The Scarlatti pieces all fit the guitar well although the last two are technically complicated. My favourites are 3, 5, 6 and 7 from which I felt I could really get a lot of musicality, texture and rhythmic drive.

    All of the Weiss movements are lovely with a lot of contrast to be found between pieces. The player can get a real feel for the dance styles and sophisticated harmonies that Weiss used. My highlights are the Rondeau and Sarabande (5 and 6), Paysanne (8) and Courante (9).

    The only thing that I would like to have seen less of in these editions is fingering, especially for the left hand. The music is complicated and it is nice to have fingering advice but I found that it hindered my initial reading of the pieces and so it ended up taking me longer to become fluent!!

    It is good for students and teachers to work out the best fingering for themselves through trial and error - in my experience you learn more thoroughly and have a better understanding of reading and technique this way.

    Overall, this is excellent source material for any guitarist, not only to be used for exams but as essential repertoire. It is also beautiful and detailed music that all will be able to enjoy learning and mastering.

    Selina.

    285

    Travelling in Style Stage Four GM17

    David Burden

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    All the books in this series are versatile enough to be used as general repertoire alongside any teaching material. They were conceived to complement the Guitarists Progress and the Young Guitarists Progress teaching series. All the pieces are grouped together in collections with over 30 different pieces to choose from.

    Skill Level
    Intermediate

    This series of books provides a wide variety of music for adventurous students wishing to get a taste of other musical styles and cultures, and in so doing, developing their technical and musical skills.

    The Travelling in Style series was conceived alongside The Guitarists Progress teaching series but also works perfectly well as a stand-alone repertoire book, in this case for intermediate to advanced players.

    As in the other books in the series it is divided into sections, in some cases continuing previous themes like the ‘Celtic Collection’, with new ideas in the ‘British Folk Song Suite’ and ‘Appalachian Album no.1’.

    The music is printed very clearly with a refreshing lack of fingering, really sticking to specific fingering related to how the composer/ arranger wants the music to sound.

    Each set of pieces has approximate gradings and extensive technical notes and directions. These talk about specific techniques such as pizzicato, tambora, slurs, glissandi and barres, as well as musical and stylistic suggestions.

    The ‘Jazz Bar Set no.2’ some great rhythms and harmonies that classical guitarists may not have experienced before in their playing. I particularly love the arrangement of ‘She Moved through the Fair’ with a delicate texture created used harmonic and a gentle improvisatory feel through the changing time signatures. Burden talks a lot about the importance of sustaining melody and the balance between melody and accompaniment, evident in ‘Steal Away’, ‘The Unquiet Grave’ and a lovely arrangement of ‘Simple Gifts’. Development of a greater sense of rhythm and pulse is also a highlight; examples include a lively jig in ‘Gentle Fair Jenny’, exciting repeated chords in ‘The Gospel Train’ and great syncopation in ‘So What!’.

    I particularly like the predominance of slower pieces that concentrate on feeling emotion through the music. A beautiful example is ‘I Wonder as I Wander’ where the relative technical simplicity allows the player to listen to the music, sing and really create the long slow phrases.

    Some lovely music to add to your growing repertoire.

    Selina.

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    musfirstbookguitarsolos

    A First Book of Guitar Solos

    John Gavall

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    30 short and easy pieces, including original works by Carcassi, Carulli, and Sor, and arrangements of folk tunes

    Skill Level
    Beginner
    musponce3canmex

    3 Canciones Populares Mexicanas

    Manuel M Ponce

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    La pajarera, Por ti mi Corazon, La valentina. With valuable activity promoting music of the country and writing melodías Ponce gained the honorific title Creator of the Modern Mexican Song. He was also the first Mexican composer to project popular music onto the world stage.

    Skill Level
    Advanced
    74

    Le Petit Livre de Guitar Vol. 2

    Claude Gagnon

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    A collection of 25 pieces from the Renaissance & Baroque eras arranged for solo guitar by Claude Gangon. Featuring composers such as Milan, Tourdion, Galileo, de Visee & Bach. This is an excellent book for the aspiring student.

    Skill Level
    Beginner
    Intermediate

    I must admit to particularly liking this little book as it highlights the music that I really love!

    This music is tuneful and rhythmical and in my experience students really enjoy playing the pieces while learning a lot both musically and technically.

    The printing and layout is very clear and fingering seems to have been kept to a minimum contributing to the uncluttered look and "readability".

    The choice of music is excellent introducing the stylistic features of the period, for example the "divisions" that shaped the music of the Renaissance, in good arrangements and transcriptions.

    In particular this music introduces students to ‘counterpoint’ – two or more melodies played at the same time – starting with melody and simple bass and working up to more complex music by Milan, Dowland, de Visee and Bach.

    The progression of difficulty is clear through the book with the D minor Prelude by Bach an important and satisfying goal to aim for at the end. This is one of my highlights; others include Pavane by Milan and the Saltarello by Galileo which has been a favourite piece of mine since first playing it as a child.

    I would put the music here at a grade 3 to 6 standard, and I think it is invaluable repertoire for aspiring guitarists, definitely encouraging further exploration into these styles.

    Selina.

    muswandersbluesrags

    Blues Rags and Rock n Roll

    Jeop Wanders

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    20 easy pieces in the lighter vein. With a number of familiar traditionals like Midnight Special, The House of the Rising Sun and some new pieces composed in familiar styles, this collection is a welcome addition to the student repertoire. Now with PLAY-ALONG CD. Difficulty level grade 1/2

    Skill Level
    Beginner
    musbachcello

    Bach Cello Suites 1 to 4

    J. S. Bach

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    For more than a century guitarists have been irresistibly drawn to Bach’s remarkable cello suites. Here, for the first time, are the first four in the easiest and most resonant guitar keys. Suites I–IV must be transposed to work on the guitar, whereas Suite V is always played in A minor, in Bach’s own lute version, and the equally demanding Suite VI can only be played in its original key of D. By adding as little as possible, these arrangements preserve the integrity of the originals.

    Skill Level
    Intermediate
    Advanced

    This edition is very well researched, laid out with clear printing and plenty of examples and explanation. It gives guitarists of all standards and musical knowledge an opportunity to explore this fantastic music. As Richard points out in his introduction the guitar repertoire already has ‘difficult’Bach in abundance, whereas these 4 suites are altogether more approachable.

    Before the music starts there are 4 pages of notes which are clearly laid out in sections; Keys, Realising the notation, Added notes and other changes to the text, Ornaments and Acknowledgments. This is by no means a daunting read (and must be read!!) covering his reasons for changing keys, his choice of fingering and added harmonies and help in interpreting the hidden counterpoint in Bach’s single line melody. Although some of the language is quite academic it is not difficult to gather the overall meaning and points about literal length of notes for example really do help in your interpretation.

    Richard has chosen to, for the most part, stick with the cello’s single line melody, clearly stating his reasons why There have been many arrangements of this music with guitarists keen to add harmony to exploit the abilities and richness of the guitar, perhaps most famously John Duarte’s arrangement of the first cello suite. The main problem with adding too much to the original is that you end up taking a lot away, the extra notes often impeding the natural flow of the music. This is music that speaks for itself and through simply playing the original notes you start to hear the shape of the phrases and implied voices, with the musical qualities of the guitar enhancing them further. In its original form, as printed here, we learn much more about playing musically rather than working out fingers and chords all of the time!

    Any notes that have been added or changed (in octave for example) are written in small print and there are examples in footnotes to help with interpretation of ornaments and ideas on embellishing the music stylistically.

    The edition is by no means over fingered and allows plenty of space for changes and adding your own fingering. Sometimes it is necessary for an arranger to add fingering when they feel that the music has to be played in a certain way to communicate the composer’s original intentions. My only question here is that the method of fingering is a little inconsistent and requires stopping to think. For example in places a note will be marked with a string number that indicates a different position but is not immediately obvious. There is quite a bit of right hand fingering which is fair enough as long as the player realizes that they are simply suggestions and should not hold up your musical line. This last point is key; the only important thing is the music. If you find it difficult because you are trying to impose a fingering that does not fit for you then you are losing out! (Having said that one finger repeated throughout is not good enough technically and will also not bring the musical line out fluently!)

    This edition does give very clear explanations of the reasons for using certain fingerings and in doing that immediately offers the player choice – excellent!

    As for the music - it is wonderful, offering excellent melodic, listening and phrasing work for the guitarist. It may feel strange at first playing mainly single lines but you will find yourself listening so much more and eventually really enjoying the freedom of movement and expression that this music gives. I particularly enjoyed Suite IV, which is majestic and full of wonderful twists and turns, rhythms and beautiful lines. I was unfamiliar with the music but am now inspired to explore it further – what more evidence do you need of a good edition!

    To sum up, whether you want to try playing Bach’s music for the first time or are experienced and looking for something new, this edition would be an excellent and very worthwhile addition to your library.

    Selina.

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    316

    Trinity Guitar from 2016 Scales Grades 6 - 8

    Trinity College London

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    Scales Arpeggios & Studies from 2016, containing all the scales, arpeggios and studies required for Trinity College London’s Guitar and Plectrum Guitar exams for Grades 6–8, valid from 2016. Newly commissioned studies are also included which may be used as an alternative to scales and arpeggios.

    Skill Level
    Intermediate
    Advanced
    302

    Villanesca

    Enrique Granados

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    Certain pieces of music stay with you all of your life, they just sit there in ones memory waiting to be brought back to life. Villanesca is a piece I learnt. played, loved, was excited by and impressed myself with.

    Skill Level
    Advanced

    This is a good edition of a lovely piece originally written for the piano although it is probably better known as a classical guitar piece. It does ask for the guitar to be retuned with string 5 tuned down to G and string 6 down to D.

    Do not be put off by this!

    There are very few fingered notes on these two strings to have to adjust, and the tuning gives the piece a beautiful warm and open sound helping to create the atmosphere. Also most guitars sing beautifully with this tuning!

    Unfortunately there is a rather big misprint in the first 4 bars. The bass note of each of the chords is written as a low E, normally open string 6. It is fingered with a 0 and is supposed to be a G – in this case open string 5.

    Watch out for this and don’t try to find an E!

    There are a lot of notes in higher positions and the fingering is detailed and helpful although do try to learn the actual notes as well, it will really improve your higher position reading. The arranger also makes good use of harmonics which are marked with position and string.

    This really is a lovely piece with a simple melody that repeats and builds, with an accompaniment of Bass G crotchet followed by the highest D crotchet repeating to great effect (reminding me in some ways of Ravel’s Bolero accompaniment). There is a beautiful rubato, minor middle section that loses the regular accompaniment and moves into three voices diverging and interweaving, before returning to the uplifting main theme.

    Great fun.

    Selina.

    musdodgsonodetotheguitar

    Ode to the Guitar

    Stephen Dodgson

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    Stephen Dodgson was educated at the Royal College of Music, where he later taught theory and composition. His guitar music has gained recognition, despite the fact that he does not play the instrument himself. His remarkable grasp of the instrument’s capabilities in a distinctly non-Spanish idiom deserves to be heard more widely. John Williams premiered many of his guitar works, including the first Partita and the first guitar concerto.

    Skill Level
    Intermediate
    Advanced

    This book is “A Sequence of 10 Miniatures’ written by a composer with a great pedigree in writing original and ‘far reaching’ music for the classical guitar.

    By that I mean that the music stretches our technical abilities and musical ideas and has been very important in the development of the guitar repertoire in the 20th century.

    In his preface Dodgson describes his collaboration with Hector Quine in writing a series of technical studies to complement a rapidly expanding guitar repertoire. After 20 years there was a pause in writing and although many aspects of technique had been explored Dodgson felt that there was one vital element missing – the expressive requirement. In this volume he set out to provide ”a strongly coloured miniature which will encourage the right hand to give voice to a full range of expression”

    I think that he has achieved his aim with these miniatures and has gone beyond that in introducing guitarists to a truly contemporary style and new musical language, developing reading and interpretation skills as well as musical imagination.

    The old excuse of “I can’t learn the piece because I don’t know the tune!” doesn’t work with these pieces.

    The titles are very important, supplemented by ‘character’ and ‘feeling’ words in place of traditional tempo markings or expressions; for example ‘brisk and impish ‘,’radiant and sustained’ and ’menacing and intense’, which send direct messages to the fingers before you have even listened to the music!

    There is of course a level of technique needed to get the most from this music, but I think that it also helps to develop this from the angle of tone colour, texture, spirit and story telling. The ability to listen and use your imagination is very important throughout the learning process, as is a strong rhythmical feel. A lot of the harmony is dissonant and unusual but there are also plenty of recognizable features to help you to develop an understanding of the style. The pieces use the whole range of the guitar in a very free flowing manner and even though the positions and shapes may be unfamiliar the music is very well written for the guitar both technically and musically. Fingering is used sparingly encouraging the player to explore.

    1. Ode to the Guitar - arpeggio figures punctuating slow melodic lines;
    2. Ragged Robin (grade 6) – clever use of the left hand around the fretboard giving the cheeky and impish character required, with small motifs linking and giving direction;
    3. Rainbow – constant flowing semiquavers where the player needs to listen to the harmony for shape and direction. It is particularly important to read the musical instruction here;
    4. Ghost Story (grade 7) – the melody and harmony are very contemporary with the melodic intervals and dissonances giving it the sinister and menacing feel;
    5. Drowsy Head – clear melody and direction with fingering patterns and a great mental picture to follow!
    6. O Pussy my love – a serenade feel and ideal pulsing accompaniment with a stretched rhythm to challenge you and detailed and tricky left hand work;
    7. Call, and I follow – lively and tricky requiring a light touch and good counting!
    8. Sirins (grade 6) – one of my favorites with clever use of subtly changing harmonies and lilting pulse;
    9. Hornets Nest (grade 8) – great fun with detailed left hand work cleverly under the fingers even if they have to move to get there!
    10. Villanelle – rustic with great spirit in the rhythm, range and lovely bass melodies.

    To conclude, these pieces really are small windows onto emotional feelings and characters and as Dodgson says of the benefits of learning; “an awakened imagination is the spark; the reward, a tiny concert piece that sounds like one.”

    Selina.

    musyorkkinderlight

    Kinderlight

    Andrew York

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    York's first big break came in 1986 during study in Spain. In a concert at the end of the course, he played one of his original compositions, "Sunburst." Guitarist John Williams, who happened to be in the audience, was impressed with the piece. He asked York to transcribe it and send it to him in England. Williams's interest in the piece was not a momentary thing: not only did Williams add it to his performances, but he also recorded it. Since then York has published many works including Kinderlight a book of 7 pieces. If you are a fan of his music, as I am, Kinderlight will be a great addition.

    Skill Level
    Intermediate
    Advanced
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