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 265 - 288 of 289

Sheet Music Database

muswandersguitarandco

Guitar and Co

Jeop Wanders and Harry Hoogenberg

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In Guitar and Co you are the soloist because you can play all 16 pieces along with the enclosed CD. First listen to the complete version and then practise your own part. When you can play it without any mistakes or stops, play along with the track on the CD. Blues rock Dance Latin Jazz Pop Fusion Flamenco Samba Reggae. Great Fun. Difficulty level grade 2/3

Skill Level
Beginner
musabsightreading

Guitar Specimen Sight-Reading Tests, Grades 1 to 8

ABRSM

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This volume contains valuable practice material for candidates preparing for the ABRSM guitar exams. Specimen tests for the new sight-reading requirements from 2009. Written in attractive and approachable styles representative of the technical level expected in the exam.

Skill Level
Beginner
Intermediate
Advanced
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319

The Guitar Music of Spain Vol 2 Bartolome Calatayud

Bartolome Calatayud

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A series of three volumes containing the very best of Spanish guitar music. Over 50 traditional pieces by Bartolome Calatayud, graded from simple to advanced throughout the book. This the second book in a series of three volumes they contain the very best of Spanish guitar music.

Skill Level
Beginner
Intermediate
Advanced
musintermediate

Intermediate Music for Guitar

John Whitworth

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Sixteen pieces for the student repertoire, in a scholarly but highly accessible edition. Includes music by Sanz, Carulli, Sor, Paganini, Mertz and Van der Staaz.

Skill Level
Beginner
guitaracademy1

Guitar Academy Book 1

Richard Corr

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This is a very well presented tutor covering many areas that others miss and providing clear explanations.

Skill Level
Beginner

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!

Book One

There is a comprehensive intro, addressed in turn to the student, the parent/guardian, the teacher and those teaching themselves. The writing here really draws you in emphasizing the excitement to the student, explaining the teaching method and practice to the parent, outlining the thoughts behind the teaching ideas to the teacher and adding encouragement to the self taught. This is followed by descriptions of different types of guitar, fitting strings, technique and sitting positions, tuning, reading music and a note reference picture. As each note is introduced, you can see it being played as well as having a written explanation.

Of course, all good teachers use demonstration, but it is invaluable to have the pictures to refer to between lessons. There are plenty of tunes to practice on as the notes are learnt which is so important, as repetition is vital to learning and variety maintains interest during this initial period. By the end of the classical section, the notes in first position have been covered, along with open basses, simple two-part music, rests and quavers. The ensemble section introduces the pentatonic scale and improvisation within an ensemble piece, which works brilliantly! A final ear training section explains intervals and describes ways to recognize them.

Book Two

This volume starts with a quick reference of notes, chords and accidentals followed by an introduction that takes the same format as in book one. It previews what there is to look forward to in book two, focussing particularly on free stroke and the importance of the improvisation and chord exercises in a students overall musical development.

There is an excellent introduction to free stroke describing where and why it is used, and the differences with rest stroke. There are pictures and written explanations on preparation for free stroke and correct and incorrect finger movements.

While many guitar teachers still disagree over the use of free and rest strokes in the early stages of learning (I start my pupils with free stroke) this book provides more information than is usual and so gives the pupil and teacher more choice. This introduction to free stroke is followed up by several exercises using chords in thirds and arpeggios helping the student to become familiar with the finger movements. The book then goes on to cover accidentals and key signatures, scales including the blues scale, ties, swing rhythm, dotted rhythms and 6/8 time signature.

Each new subject has clear written explanations, loads of pictures both amusing and technical, and plenty of exercises for practice. The section on playing fingers with thumb includes some very good open string exercises and even though it does move on to more difficult stretches, these are introduced in a way that makes them not seem so hard! The pieces at the end of the classical section are longer and more involved giving the student a real sense of progress and achievement. The chord supplement uses more involved strumming patterns, and introduces tablature.

Book Three

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.

284

Travelling in Style Stage Two GM15

David Burden

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This book gives the student attractive and accessible pieces to work on developing a wide range of guitar and music techniques. The emphasis is on learning with enjoyment, developing technique and absorbing different styles of music. Styles of music include, Blues, Celtic, Ragtime, Spanish, Scottish and Russian

Skill Level
Beginner

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 beginners with 2 to 3 years playing experience.

The book is arranged in groups of pieces of different styles, for example ‘Blues set no.3’, ‘Celtic collection part 1’, and ‘South American sketchbook studies volume 2’. There are performance notes at the end of each section giving an approximate grade (take note) to help you to use the book effectively.

Burden also includes notes on ‘Techniques” including specific technical and notation issues as well as style and musical suggestions. For the ‘Caribbean Collection’ he lists syncopation and suggests emphasizing notes with accents, being careful to observe rests and feeling the beat.

The music is clearly laid out with the minimum amount of fingering (a big plus point) and plenty of musical information. There are some good arrangements of traditional pieces such as Ye Banks and Braes, I Saw Three Ships and Jamaica Farewell, plus some lovely original pieces by David, a Spanish Fandango, ‘Latin Quarter Rag’ and ‘Sao Paulo Samba’ are among my favorites.

Most importantly there is a lot of music to learn and hours of practice to enjoy here.

Selina.

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124

Suite in D Minor

Robert De Visee

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Robert de Visée's origin is unknown, although of Portuguese origin he was likely to have studied with Francesco Corbetta. About 1680 he became a chamber musician to Louis XIV, in which capacity he often performed at court. Visée wrote two books of guitar music which contained twelve suites between them: Livre de guitare dédié au roy (Paris, 1682) and Livre de piéces pour la guitare (Paris 1686). Suite in D minor is his most popular suite.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced

This really is a hidden gem in my opinion, but because of the explosion in music being written for students over the last few years in modern styles it is repertoire that is, all too often, overlooked.

It is a fantastic introduction to the Baroque style and period and offers an accessible step on the ladder to the complex lute music of Weiss and Bach.

The short introduction by the editor is very informative, talking about the manuscript source and the considerations needed in transcribing to the modern classical guitar, for example dealing with the double octave strings A and D on the Baroque guitar.

What is particularly good for guitar students is that you have the opportunity here to play a whole suite, which together is quite an extended piece of music and teaches a lot about contrasting movements and musical continuity.

You can also choose to play single movements and learn how smaller groups work together as they would have been played in the Baroque, for example the two Menuets with a da capo repeat. All the movements are very accessible and represent all of the popular dance forms that you will find in other music of the period, with voicing and part writing that fit very well under the fingers.

There are loads of opportunities to develop musical and technical skills, particularly in the long musical lines, phrasing and counterpoint.

There is a lot of fingering but if you are open to experiment with this it really helps you to define melodies and bass lines and demonstrates the importance of getting the correct fingering to allow the music to sing as intended.

Rhythm is of course very important with the different dances and is in general quite challenging here, ideal I think for the average guitarist who does not like to count!

For example in the Allemande the melodic lines are long, interweaving and often the rhythm can seem syncopated with less importance on the first beat of the bar. There is a similar effect in the Courante together with the combination of 3/2 and 6/8 in the time signature and the need for constant movement. Add to this the slow, stately line of the Sarabande, the bright spirit of the Gavotte, the poise of the Menuets, a simple lively Bouree and the light and lilting final Gigue and you have a wealth of music to explore and enjoy.

This Suite will help you with musical expression in finding tone colours and trying to bring out the differing dance characters, as well as coping with the counterpoint, phrasing and challenging rhythms.

Most importantly in approaching this more complex style of music it offers plenty of variety and enjoyable playing.

Selina.

89

25 Etudes Esquisses (Complete)

Gerald Garcia

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This collection of classic guitar studies is intended for the intermediate guitarist. As a whole, these etudes emulate the content of Carcassi's famed 25 Etudes, yet in a more contemporary harmonic and rhythmic idiom. These pieces are also distinguished in that they are not only valuable as left and right-hand technical exercises, but also as valid, pleasurable concert repertoire.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced

This really is a great volume of pieces. Yes, they are quite contemporary and will probably introduce you to new sounds and musical ideas but they are also very accessible and cover a wide range of technical ability. Best of all they are very specific in their aims and goals and the music is notated in a lot of detail to help with the interpretation.

Each study has an indication of style/ tempo at the beginning such as Mesto, Allegro Comodo, Lento e ritardando and Lento piacevole. We need to know the meaning of these terms! There is also a sub title at the end of the piece that gives us a story line or feeling, for example Flocon de Neige, Les Grandes Jaunes, l’Indigo seul and Voiles rouges. Again understanding the meanings is vital and with the Internet these days there is really no excuse!

There are so many good tunes and interesting rhythms, and the studies are very valuable for technical development. Requirements include detailed chord voicing, fast repeated notes and chords, quick left hand movement around the fingerboard, arpeggio shapes and detailed right hand patterns, slur patterns, intricate articulation and sustaining long singing phrases. The harmonies are fantastic with strong musical direction and momentum guiding the player.

You really have to listen and the music is fingered in a way that keeps you on your toes and keeps you thinking.

For example in no.13 the temptation is to hold fingers down to cover repeated chords but the rhythmic character requires you to let go for clear articulation. When you get it right it creates a brilliantly quirky and fun piece of music. In no. 14 (AB grade 5) the voicing is indicated with stems, sometimes double and sometimes offset, and it is very important to play to these voices and concentrate on holding sustaining notes and letting go of others in the right places. This means that you have to be very aware which of your fingers are playing which notes!

Dynamic control is a highlight throughout the book. In no.3 (AB grade 5, Trinity grade 5) there are long crescendos and diminuendos over the repeated note patterns and changes in mood and key that need to be reflected. Slurring technique is well covered, which is great since it seems to be one of those techniques that we just do rather than learn.

From the lilting melody of no.4 (AB grade 7, Trinity grade 6) and the haunting mood of no.20 to the vivace slur patterns in no.7 (Trinity grade 4) and the rhythmical and complex no.17 where the slur pattern is often in the middle voice needing great technical control, there is certainly enough variety to keep your interest and so improve your technique. No. 22 is one of my particular favourites as it uses only a single written line but implies many voices and is excellent for phrasing and interpretation.

There is not really enough space here to talk about every study but I hope that I have been able to inspire you to play this music. It works on just about every technique that we need in a fun and engrossing way, so that you do not feel as if you are working on technique. Even more importantly it develops your reading and interpretation skills, it makes you think about technique related to music and it is completely satisfying!

There is so much to enjoy and to work with in this volume, developing important skills whilst enjoying some excellent music. I would say an essential book for all guitarists from grade 4 upwards.

Selina.

musdowlandanthology

Anthology of Selected Pieces

John Dowland

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John Dowland was one of the last in a line of English Renaissance lute virtuosos. The suggested fingering in this edition assumes the third string of the guitar is lowered to F sharp, thus reproducing the pitch spacing of the Renaissance lute. Beautiful music from a beautiful period.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced
68

The Young Guitarists Progress Part 1 GM39

David Burden

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Designed for young beginners learning individually or in groups. The New Things Sections introduce new notes, rhythms and techniques in a structured and entertaining way. Solos, duets and ensembles, including: The Batman TV Theme, Colours Of Day, The James Bond Theme and many more.

Skill Level
Beginner

The layout and printing in this book is excellent with notes slightly larger than normal, and space and pictures between pieces.

There are lots of well-known tunes in good arrangements, and I especially like the amount of solo pieces written in 2 voices using simple open basses. These provide invaluable experience for beginners at reading and playing two note chords, when books often move onto more difficult, fingered chords very quickly.

This book is clearly linked to The Young Guitarists Progress, Part 1 and its sections called "New Things 1-7, 8 and 9, 10" etc. However, it works perfectly well on its own since each "New Things" is fully explained. For example, "New Things 10 – playing with the thumb and fingers together, the bass 5th and 6th open strings and dotted crotchets."

Technically the book includes dotted rhythms, music with 2 voices and 3 note chords, tied notes and melody within simple arpeggios. There is even some simple syncopation in an excellent and very accessible arrangement of Eleanor Rigby.

The final section of the book, on ear development includes some copycat exercises, pentatonic and blues scales, and simple ideas on improvisation. This is all very valuable and something that we should introduce to pupils as early as possible.

Grade 1

  • Les Bouffons: a straightforward melodic arrangement of a well-known French traditional piece using the open D string as accompaniment. Cheerful and rhythmical!
  • Waltz in G: a flowing piece based on very simple arpeggios and chords, using up to 2 left hand fingers on strings 1, 2 and 3.

Grade 2

  • A La Mode de France: this is in D major and mostly fingered in second position. Question and answer phrases using the same rhythms including dotted crotchets.

Selina.

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musmagicguitarveryeasypieces

Magic Guitar Very Easy Pieces (la Guitare Enchantee)

Paul Gerrits

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Book One of The Magic Guitar series, containing twenty-seven graded very easy pieces, selected and edited by Paul Gerrits. The Magic Guitar series presents a collection of pieces suitable for the first years of classical guitar study, designed to be used along with a method. The main purpose of The Magic Guitar is to give beginning guitarists the opportunity to express themselves musically at various stages of their technical development.

Skill Level
Beginner

These two volumes offer a wide range and variety of music for guitarists in their first years of playing.

At first the emphasis is on developing melodic playing combined with simple bass lines but even here the student is challenged with detailed phrasing, tied notes and right hand techniques like the arpeggio pattern in "Etude" by Carcassi.

Contemporary, Classical and Traditional styles are all mixed together helping to maintain interest and offering something for everyone, for example the popular "Greensleeves" (it is always particularly satisfying to be able to play a piece that everyone recognizes!).

As the books progress the music becomes more detailed.

The first book works up to the use of thirds in the melodic lines, more complicated bass lines requiring sustained fingered notes and up to three fingered notes together – notably in no.16 "Theme et Variation".

In "Chanson Populaire" the melody to bring out is in the bass and "Souvenir d’Espagne" introduces rasgueado chords and flamenco triplets.

The second volume includes more detailed counterpoint and requires greater musical understanding.

Higher positions are explored here, for example in "Etude"” by Coste and there is a nice mix of arpeggio style and purely melodic pieces.

I particularly enjoyed the collection of classical pieces, "Marlborough" which is an effective arrangement of this traditional melody, and the final "Valse" which is simply great fun to play and listen to!

Selina.

musabguide1

The AB Guide to Music Theory, Part I

ABRSM

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Provides an introduction to the basic elements in harmony and musical structure covering the basics of rhythm and tempo. An introduction to pitch, intervals and transposition, articulation, ornaments, and reiterations. This Guide is not only an excellent support to a good syllabus but also a fine reference work in its own right.

Skill Level
Beginner
Intermediate
303

Half Moon

Peter Nuttall

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A set of rhythmic pieces, together with a set of lyrical melodies and cool harmonies. Nostalgic, romantic, blues, stomping! These colourful pieces are beautifully written for the guitar and a delight to play.

Skill Level
Beginner

It is lovely to have a new collection of pieces from Peter Nuttall.

His music is so good for beginner into intermediate players because it is always musical, interesting and has focused technical requirements meaning that the player is not having to think about too many different things at once.

Half Moon is a set of lyrical and accessible pieces, never getting too technically difficult but certainly challenging in musicianship, interpretation and reading and counting rhythms. Peter says in his introduction that “They are written in a variety of styles….and make use of common guitar techniques and idioms. Style is always more important than speed.” This second comment is so important in our development as guitarists, and is something that we often forget in our efforts to improve our playing.

For me the pieces are summed up by the words atmosphere and character. If we keep these in mind then we can have great fun exploring the music, experimenting and listening.

Peter has grouped the pieces into 2 sections, First half – rhythmic, Second half – lyrical. This is an excellent idea for variety and focus in learning and also for programming performance! The idioms that he talks about in the preface are types of guitar writing like arpeggio style that includes melody, a single line melody that incorporates tune, bass and harmony or a 2 voice melody and accompaniment style. He has kept technical requirements very straightforward with no full barres or awkward finger movements.

The time signatures are varied with plenty of tied notes and syncopation (off beat) to keep us on our toes and counting. There are some lovely, interesting and quite unusual harmonies as well always encouraging us to listen.

I love the jazz feel of the triplets in Before you go and the distinctly Celtic feel of The Western Isles which, to look at, is all single notes but creates melody, harmony and bass with a lovely relaxed and sustained feel. The contrasting sections in Jig are great and really give you the feel of the dance whereas in complete contrast, and my favourite, At the end of the day is a beautiful and evocative piece. The harmonies are simple but so effective enabling you to get lost in the music. Perfect!

Selina.

muspaggrandsonata

Grand Sonata

Nicolò Paganini

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Niccolò Paganini was an Italian violinist, violist, guitarist, and composer. He was one of the most celebrated violin virtuosi of his time, and left his mark as one of the pillars of modern violin technique. There is a very short preface to this edition in which the editor explains that the original was for guitar with violin accompaniment, but the part allocated to the violin is so modest as to be hardly worth the effort

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced

There is a very short preface to this edition in which the editor explains that the original was for guitar with violin accompaniment, but the part allocated to the violin is so modest as to be hardly worth the effort!

Paganini played both the violin and guitar to virtuoso level and so composed his pieces for the instrument that he was playing with the other generally having a very simple accompaniment roll. The editor explains that the wealth of musical structure and invention in the Grand Sonata makes it worthwhile incorporating the violin part into a solo guitar piece, and it does make a very successful, exciting and virtuosic composition.

There is no doubt that you have to have a very good mastery of the guitar as well as relaxed technique and freedom of movement to pull this one off successfully, although the Romanze which is the choice in the grade 8 list is a good and more accessible opening to the style, being slightly slower in tempo!

The first movement Allegro risoluto is quite extensive and has some charming singing melodies that link throughout the movement. The variety of textures created using flowing octaves, arpeggio figures and alberti bass accompaniment is very reflective of the classical period, really bringing the guitar into the mainstream of musical style and development. The challenge is to make it all work so that you can hear the drama excitement intended by the composer through freely and quickly flowing notes and movement all over the fingerboard.

The Romanze has a lovely melancholy with its simple, lilting melody. Here the challenge is to maintain this simple feel while dealing with demisemiquaver accompaniment and melody notes doubled variously in thirds, sixths, octaves and tenths. There is also a lot of freedom implied and required in the music, really giving it the feel of a cadenza.

The final movement is in the form of a Theme and 6 variations. The theme is a very jaunty tune with a dotted rhythm that is almost shouting out to be decorated! Paganini does this using triplet rhythms, movement in all intervals both together and split, slur patterns, rapid repeated notes over melody in the bass, and, in variation 6 some loud slurring to open strings and a lot of very quick and unusual chromatic movement. In fact the piece ends in an unexpected way with a repeated and disappearing chromatic motif that is actually very effective.

All in all this is an exciting and impressive piece with lots of detail to find and explore, very good for your technical development and simply good fun to play!

Selina.

aguado27studies

Aguado 27 Studies for Guitar

Aguado

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Edited by Gianluca Allocca, published by UTOrpheus with a forward by Angelo Gilardino. A range of books of which this is one are beautifully printed, very easy to read making a good addition to ones music collection even before one considers playing the studies. This publication is from the third part of the Aguado method and is the most important.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced
musscarlatti3sonatas29158

Three Sonatas UE 29158

Domenico Scarlatti

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Scarlatti sonatas were first collated and catalogued by Alessandro Longo. Much later the harpsichordist Ralph Kirkpatrick re-ordered the sonatas in what he deduced to be their chronological order. Kirkpatrick deduced that Scarlatti intended a large portion of the sonatas to be played in pairs. Of the sonatas in this book the first two form a pair and should be played together. The third K.208 has been added as it is the most beautiful of Scarlatti's sonatas.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced

Scarlatti’s music is very effective on the classical guitar having originally been written for the harpsichord, which, even though it has a keyboard, is a plucked string instrument. The choice of pieces here is great.

he first two pieces are less well known whereas the third is probably one of the most popular of Scarlatti’s pieces on the classical guitar.

The music has lots of space around it on the page which I love as it allows room for fingering and notes without becoming cluttered.

There is a short but excellent forward giving you a great insight into how Scarlatti’s works have been catalogued and ideas for performance. Reading this only takes a couple of minutes but is very important as it gives a little insight into how to play this style of music and opens the door for further investigations, something that we really should do when learning any new piece. There is also an explanation of notation and fingering used in the edition.

I particularly like the first piece, with lovely counterpoint between the two voices, interesting and offbeat rhythms in the opening Cantabile and a contrasting light and bright ‘Allegrissimo’ in 3/8, and great feel of movement and development throughout.

The second piece is given a steadier feel by underlying crotchet pulse using repeated basses beneath a rhythmically flowing and often complicated upper voice with some wonderful dissonances.

The third piece is one of his most beautiful, fitting perfectly on the guitar with its strong steady bass and lovely rise and fall in the long sustained phrases.

Playing this music is great for guitarists teaching us a lot about shaping melodies by listening to the effect of intervals and tension created and resolved.

Selina.

musvivaldiconcerto

Guitar Concerto in D

Antonio Vivaldi

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This delightful Concerto was originally composed for Lute, two Violins and Bass Continuo, but in the more familiar transcription for Guitar, Strings and Continuo. it has become a highly popular mainstay of the Guitar repertoire. A must for any enthusiastic guitarist, even if you do not have access to string players.

103

Collected Works for Solo Guitar

H. Villa-Lobos

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Introduction by Frederick Noade. The music in this collection has probably been more studied, performed and recorded than any other guitar compositions of the twentieth century. This collection gathers Villa-Lobos' most famous works in their original forms and complete with Andrés Segovia's original introduction to the Twelve Etudes. Includes: Choros No. 1 * Suite Populaire Brésilienne * Douze Études * Cinq Préludes.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced

There is so much movement in his pieces with lots of sliding shapes, sequences and big interval jumps, with musical shape and direction that requires great freedom, relaxed agility and flowing technique.

The music is advanced, grade 6 upwards and I think that it is invaluable for technical and musical development – as well as making you think about fingering and teaching you how to get about!

The short introduction by Frederick Noad provides an excellent summary of Villa Lobos’ history with the guitar, his innovative style and his meeting and subsequent association with Segovia to whom he dedicated his 12 Etudes. The introduction also explains his notation of harmonics and the associated problems. In fact there is a section at the end of the book that concentrates on specific problems which is very helpful for players looking at this music for the first time.

Much of this music is very well known to guitarists of all standards, and as Noad says it “has probably been more studied, performed and recorded than any other guitar compositions of the twentieth century.” This is reason enough I think for it to be an essential part of a guitarists library.

The book starts with Choros no.1, the first of a set of pieces of the same name written for various combinations of instruments. The word choro is Portuguese for weeping, tears and became the name used for music played by an ensemble of Brazilian street musicians using both African and European instruments who improvise in a free and often dissonant kind of counterpoint. This piece has great pulse and rhythm as well as a sense of freedom that makes it very evocative. It is technically difficult for the left hand requiring lots of quick movement between big chord shapes and barres while maintaining melodic shape and direction. As in many of these pieces much of the melody is in chords providing the challenge of thinking horizontally in up to 4 voices rather than in vertical finger shapes. There is a lot of rubato indicated in the music and this is very important but the music does need the underlying pulse and rhythmical structure in place before you start to pull it around. Again this is a feature in all of these pieces and is often what spoils my enjoyment of the music – rubato without structure tends to lead music without sense and direction. Unlike the rest of the pieces in this collection the Choros does have some fingering but it is not overdone. The player does need to have very good technical control and knowledge of the fingerboard to really communicate the spirit of this piece.

The Suite Populaire Bresilienne is made up of five melodic and emotional pieces that use contrasting dance forms combined with Villa Lobos’ choro style. They are Mazurka Choro, Schottish Choro, Valsa Choro, Gavotta Choro and Chorinho. They all have a natural flow and rhythm and are made up of repeating and contrasting sections. There are many unusual and more dissonant sounds combined with easily singing melodies and rich harmony. I love the delicate opening figure in Schottish and the sweeping melodic line of the Mazurka. There is a constant feel of movement in the music with no compromises made for travel around the fingerboard. The Valsa highlights control of voicing between parts and within the chordal melody. Similarly the Gavotta requires three distinct parts throughout with constant movement in chords. The Chorinho is purely from the Brazilian tradition and is more unusual and quirky. It is all about the rhythm and feel for the pulse with lovely, moody, low harmonies and a major section that is simply great fun to play!

The Twelve studies truly represent an important and innovative change in writing for the guitar. They pushed the boundaries of classical guitar technique further than ever before while maintaining musicality as performance pieces, as Segovia points out in his preface to the first edition, which is printed here in full. The first 4 cover basic techniques – right hand arpeggio patterns, left hand arpeggios moving around the fingerboard, slurs and rapid repeated chords. The rest of the pieces cover combinations of techniques and musical ideas such as maintaining voices, melody and accompaniment, multiple slurs, rhythmical challenges and ornaments. I particularly like the peaceful flow of the ostinato lower voice in no.5, the contrast between tumbling scales and emotional melody with accompaniment in no.7, the beautiful and mournful melody in no.8 and the contrast of drama with the lightness of multiple slurs accompanying a bass melody in no.10 – very tricky!

With all of the studies it is obvious what you are trying to achieve and so satisfying when you start to hear progress. Add to that the fact that they are very suitable for performance repertoire and you are killing two birds with one stone as they say. This set of pieces really does represent a lifetime’s work for the performer.

The Five Preludes are perhaps some of the most recognizable guitar pieces ever written, not heard so much in performance these days which is a great shame as they are so wonderful for developing a guitarists technical freedom and musical interpretation skills. One of these skills is controlling musical shape and direction through the use of rubato. When you look at the pieces on the page you can see a lot of rhythmical detail and subtlety that is very important but often gets neglected. Freedom in these pieces is wonderful and necessary but needs to have a structure to build on to have the desired effect.

The melodies are quite romantic, notably in no.1 and no.4 and it is easy to get carried away! However as soon as you start to recognize the rhythm and pulse the musical shape shines through and creates its own freedom.

The 5 pieces are similar in structure – loosely A B A – and contain many contrasts in dynamics, texture, emotion and musical ebb and flow. No.1 has a fantastic, long melody line with extended phrases and a great emotional build up. No. 2 has a more graceful and delicate arpeggio based melody with an intense and dramatic contrasting section. The rising lines of no.3 really highlight the sonorities of the guitar and its singing voice, with a second section that is very difficult to pull off and requires lots of musical thought, but the end result is exquisite! I love the stillness and sonorous melody of no.4 with its busy and compelling centre section and no.5 is simply a lovely, sunny melody with lots of voicing needed to bring out the harmonies that move with the melody and, again an intense and melancholy middle section.

It is great to have all of these pieces together, challenging you as a player both technically and musically for as long as you play and making you think about, and work out fingering so giving you a better knowledge of the fingerboard.

Selina.

musburdencertainhits3

Certain Hits 3

David Burden

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Songs and Themes from Stage & Screen for solo guitar. This book offers the student popular hits of contemporary music and pieces from other periods that have been used in Film, TV & Stage. Castle On A Cloud, Romance, The Harry Lime Theme, Summertime, The Godfather Love Theme, Ragtime Dance.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced
musabtheory5

Music Theory in Practice, Grade 5

ABRSM

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The Music Theory in Practice series has helped more than one million musicians worldwide to learn about the notation and theory of music. Now fully revised, this workbook remains the best way to prepare for the Associated Board's Grade 5 Theory of Music Exam, offering: a clear explanation of music notation, straightforward language throughout' many worked examples and practice exercises' definitions of important words and concepts' specimen exam questions, helpful tips for students As well as supporting the ABRSM theory syllabus, this workbook also provides an excellent resource for anyone wishing to develop general music literacy skills.

Skill Level
Intermediate
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Castles of Spain

Federico Moreno Torroba

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Federico Moreno-Torroba's Castles of Spain Invokes images both of his countries noble past and present. The collection was recorded by Andres Segovia in 1969. Immensely popular with players and audiences. Definately one of my bucket list acquisitions.

Skill Level
Intermediate
musiclongroad

The Long Road Home

Gordon Giltrap

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Here are seventeen superb arrangements of Classic Giltrap guitar compositions all taken from Raymond Burley's CD The Long Road Home

Skill Level
Intermediate

I was uncertain about this book when I first skimmed through and I now put this down to a lack of understanding of the style and the way that it needs to be played, having had no previous experience of his music.

Each time I play through the book, I find another piece that I love, and that communicates new pictures and emotions to me.

There are many technical challenges in the pieces especially, I think, for "very" classical players like myself.

For example, he uses quick multiple slurs that require relaxation and freedom of left hand movement. The sound of individual notes is not important, rather the overall flow and direction of the musical line.

There is a lot of left hand movement around the fingerboard that requires agility but again I would say that relaxation and a rhythmic feel are foremost.

The harmony is much more interesting, unusual and surprising than I expected and as I played, I found that the overall feel had to be improvisatory and free within the rhythmic structure of the piece.

That sounded a bit too technical so let me see if I can put it more simply! The pieces all have a strong rhythmic framework but the notes need to sound free and flexible around this. So if you can play without technical worry (even if the notes are not all correct) you will get much more enjoyment from the music.

The book is a very well set out and clear edition and there are quite a lot of fingering suggestions, mostly barres and positions, that are helpful and only written once!

Remember not to feel restricted by fingering as everybody's hands work differently and your hands need to flow naturally with the music.

There is a noticeable absence of dynamic and musical markings, apart from well-chosen words at the beginning of each piece such as "lazily", "stately" and "lively", and I think that this is a key as to how the music should be played. It is all about interpretation; looking at the title and general speed/ musical instruction and then listening to the music and getting "caught up" in its story! You can then write in your own phrasing, dynamics, articulation etc, or let the music unfold differently each time you play.

There are many contrasts in mood between these 16 pieces and some testing counting and time signature changes.

The calm, peace and space of the first piece, The Long Road Home, provide a wonderful opening to the book. It is not too difficult and allows you to practice listening and experimenting - a great introduction to the style.

My other favourites include Kaz with its lazy, low harmonies and melodic line; the stately Lord's Seat; London, which has a slow and wistful feel; For those who Bring Sunshine, which is lively and hopeful; the exuberance of Fell Runner and finally A Christmas Carol - a slow and reflective piece with fantastic harmony and lovely delicate touches to the melody.

The highlight for me is probably A Misunderstood Man, a piece that took me longer to appreciate with its slow, ever changing melodies but in which I now find new lines, feelings and pictures every time I play.

This volume of 16 pieces has taught me a lot about interpretation and freedom in performance and I know that this will benefit my technique, playing and performance in general.

Selina.

287

Aural Training in Practice 2011 Grades 4 & 5

ABRSM

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Aural Training in Practice offers valuable support to teachers preparing students for ABRSM Practical exams. The three volumes, covering Grades 1-3, 4 & 5 and 6-8, provide information on what each test involves and what the examiner is looking for teaching hints and strategies, including warm-up material and ideas for integrating aural into lessons. Practice exercises to prepare students for the exam. CD recordings of all practice exercises, and examples in two or more parts, presented by an ABRSM examiner. Answers, both recorded and printed where appropriate, as a guide to the sort of responses that would be successful in the exam.

Skill Level
Intermediate
musmilanofantasie9

14 Fantasie per Chitarra

Francesco Da Milano

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Guitar Solo. By Francesco Canova Da Milano. Arranged by Miklos Mosoczi. 18 pages. Published by Editio Musica Budapest.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced
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