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.

Sheet Music Database

286

Aural Training In Practice 2011 Grades 1-3

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
Beginner
Intermediate
mustrinityaural2

Aural Book 2

Trinity College London

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This Aural book is designed to be used effectively either by teachers during lessons or by candidates at home. As teachers will generally wish to supply their own explanations of the questions, the text is addressed to the candidate. Contains all the information you will need plus sample tests and answers and 2 CD's of practice examples.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced
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mustrinityaural1

Aural Book 1

Trinity College London

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This Aural book is designed to be used effectively either by teachers during lessons or by candidates at home. As teachers will generally wish to supply their own explanations of the questions, the text is addressed to the candidate. Contains all the information you will need plus sample tests and answers and 2 CD's of practice examples.

Skill Level
Beginner
Intermediate
100

Aquarelle

Sergio Assad

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Single piece for guitar. D Major. 14 pages. Published by Editions Henry Lemoine

Skill Level
Advanced
mussanzanthology

Anthology of Selected Works

Gaspar Sanz

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The pieces in this anthology are selected from Sanz's treatise for the five-course guitar. The various tunings used during the history of the Baroque guitar were quite different from that of today's instrument. In this edition Raymond Burley has tried to remain as faithful to Sanz's original tablature as its transcription for modern guitar will allow.

Skill Level
Intermediate
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
270

Anthology of Selected Pieces

Silvius Leopold Weiss

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Many of the works of Weiss were originally grouped by common key and it is to be assumed that the composer intended them to be performed as suites. However, it is from a number of unrelated pieces that the present anthology is taken - exceptions being the Ciacona, which belongs to the tenth 'suite', and Pasagaille from the fourteenth. In my opinion the set of eight pieces offered here represents Weiss at his most inspired.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced

In my opinion the music of Weiss is a must for every guitarist. It is a great introduction to the music of the Baroque, being written specifically for the lute and so feeling more natural under the left hand when compared to the Bach lute suites

The Baroque lute was of course a very different instrument to our classical guitar, but the only real compromise is on bass lines and this edition is very well done with good explanations about the original music, ornamentation and steps taken to fit the music onto the guitar in the most effective and sympathetic way.

This information (contained in the preface – essential reading!) and the way that the music is fingered gives the player control. This is important; we have to remember that the music is transcribed from another instrument and there should be flexibility for the performer. For example, the editor decides the length of sustained notes as the original tablature does not show this. Burley points this out and it is important to be aware of this when learning the pieces, teaching you to listen to and interpret the music and not just learn technique and fingers.

The pieces in this volume are simply fantastic. The music has great depth and intensity with big chord progressions and sequences, long melodic phrases, wonderful clashes and resolutions in the harmony, lovely scrunchy dissonant chords and real musical drive created through melody and rhythm.

The notes carry us over the whole range of the fingerboard with rising sweeping arpeggios in the Fantasie, very long slow melodies in the Tombeau and lovely variations of melody in the Ciacona and Passagaille. The majesty of the latter is brilliant and overall the pieces are packed with emotion and excitement.

The Capricio is lively with driving counterpoint and great arpeggio chord progressions and the simplicity of the main theme of the Ciacona is sublime, the melody being varied over the same sequence throughout and always returning to that simple statement creating very powerful music.

This is difficult music and requires good technique, rhythm and pulse, however it is the musicality that shines through and teaches us so much about feeling our way through pieces and being directed by the sound and movement of the harmony and melody.

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
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
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
musabcguitar

ABC Guitar

Stephen Kenyon

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This book is all about enjoying playing your guitar with a feel for the style of the music you are playing. This means playing in a way that may have sounded right to people from the time it was written.

Skill Level
Beginner
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
326

9 Fantasias for Guitar Solo

Alonso Mudarra

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Alonso Mudarra (c. 1510 – April 1, 1580) was a Spanish composer of the Renaissance, and also played the vihuela, a guitar-shaped string instrument. He was an innovative composer of instrumental music as well as songs, and was the composer of the earliest surviving music for the guitar.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced
327

8 Compositions for Guitar Solo

Alonso Mudarra

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Alonso Mudarra (c. 1510 – April 1, 1580) was a Spanish composer of the Renaissance, and also played the vihuela, a guitar-shaped string instrument. He was an innovative composer of instrumental music as well as songs, and was the composer of the earliest surviving music for the guitar.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced
328

36 Caprices Op. 20

Luigi Legnani

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In the varied world of the 19th century guitar Legnani was an inspired and prolific composer. Initially trained as a violinist he became famous as a guitarist and was held in great esteem by Paganini. The Caprices were first published in 1822 with each having a defined character and some are outstanding examples of pure virtuosity yet with emotion and spontaneity.

Skill Level
Advanced
71

33 Czech Folksongs - (Teachers Part)

Peter Eben

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Learning to phrase melodies is the goal in this well chosen selection of folk songs by leading Czech composer Peter Eben with teacher's accompaniments.

Skill Level
Beginner
71

33 Czech Folksongs - (Pupils Part)

Peter Eben

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Learning to phrase melodies is the goal in this well chosen selection of folk songs by leading Czech composer Peter Eben with teacher's accompaniments.

Skill Level
Beginner

These beautiful, melodic, yet simple pieces have been arranged for 2 guitars from Petr Eben’s setting of 100 Czech folk tunes for solo piano – an achievement that he described thus:

Reach into the jewel box, take a handful of precious stones and set them into children’s rings!

The pieces are ideal for early learning as they emphasize the playing of melodies in low and high registers, shaping phrases and bringing out articulation. The pupil part always has the original melody with the teacher as purely accompaniment.

There are suggestions for right and left hand fingering which the preface advises teachers to follow, as they have been included for essentially musical reasons.

This is very enjoyable and charming music that also teaches style and interpretation and, most importantly for guitarists, how to follow a melody. Beginners are learning primarily how to sing a melody through the guitar, a vital first step in musical development.

Grade 1

  • The pipes were playing at Pobuba: emphasizes smooth phrasing across strings with lots of dynamic contrast, using i, m and a.
  • Oh love, oh love: this is a very simple, slower melody with echoing phrases in octaves, and concentration on phrase shape, hairpin dynamics and expression.

Grade 2

  • Andulichko, hello: a lively melody in 3/4 time, G major; question and answer phrases with repeat down an octave and fingering in third position.
  • When I took geese to the pasture: very strong quaver rhythm in 2/4 time, D major, that really brings out the character of the geese!

Grade 3

  • Whose are these geese? : quite a melancholy melody requiring long phrasing and detailed dynamic control. The first melody is repeated down and octave and then again in thirds.

Selina.

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
96

25 Etudes Melodiques Progressives Op. 60

Carcassi

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This is the first accurate and reliable modern edition of Matteo Carcassi's 25 Melodic and Progressive Studies op.60. They are presented complete in their correct order with the composer's original fingering and phrasing. An indispensable part of the repertoire, these studies cover a wide variety of guitar techniques and are musically both inventive and attractive

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced

The 25 Melodic and Progressive Studies Opus 60 by Carcassi are fantastic pieces that should be an essential part of every guitarists repertoire.

They are more than studies, encouraging players to find musical shape and develop ideas using combinations of melody, accompaniment, various intervals both split and together, slurs, arpeggios and chords, creating some little musical gems.

At the same time they give an excellent grounding in the basic guitar techniques that are all to often taken for granted but that form the backbone of pretty much all the music that we play.

The most recent edition by Chanterelle has an excellent preface with information about Carcassi, a general description of the music and discussion about sources and early editions.

Of most interest to me are the comments on fingering.

They have used the Rowies edition as the main source, printed in 1914 and fingered by Miguel Llobet. Their reasoning is that this edition is very important in the history of The 25 Etudes, having, as they say one foot in the 19th century and one foot in the 20th century. This means that the edition respects the traditions of the past while looking forward to the development of guitar technique.

This is great information for a player to have and recognizes how playing techniques are constantly changing. It is very important for us to understand techniques and performance practice from the past so that we can use the information to help us interpret the music.

My problem comes when looking at the studies and seeing the level and very specific nature of the fingering. There is a lot of explanation in a long section following the preface entitled Playing The Studies. This is very interesting, especially useful if you are looking at the pieces without a teacher.

A lot of fingering is explained in detail with suggestions on learning the music. It is of course very technical, an important part of learning, but not the only one. The detailed fingering is then continued in most of the pieces and seems to result in learning by numbers.

For example in no. 1 the student is so involved in getting the printed right hand fingering correct (there is a letter for almost every note) that they haven’t got time to listen to musical lines, and so follow the natural flow of the music and discover a fingering that fits.

Since this edition has such a good preface and section of notes on the music, a lot of the technical information could be referred back to this, allowing the player more freedom to learn and interpret the music.

The reasons for using a later edition rather than Carcassi’s original fingering are ones of technical and musical progress.

Surely that still applies!

Moving on – I think that this music is fantastic. It really is collection of musical miniatures that, with the right attention to detail, make lovely little concert fillers and provide an excellent education for all guitarists.

Carcassi uses a number of different compositional styles and what I find most interesting is the music that is shaped with harmony, in other words with no obvious melodic line but the tension, relaxation and movement provided by changing harmonies. The best examples are no.8 using slurs to add texture and increase movement, no.4 with many more slurs to negotiate, no.2 with a dramatic build up in pitch and intensity, and no. 7 with a combination of repeated ‘tremolo’ notes and arpeggios underpinned with a clear bass melody.

Many of the studies are based on the harmonic movement with melody found within the arpeggio pattern or chord shape. The most well known example is no.3 in A major with a simple upper melodic motif and strong bass to help develop shape. Nos.1 and 6 clearly use simple scale patterns and show how developing smooth and fluent movement between notes brings simple lines to life.

I particularly like the vitality and bubbly character of no.9 with quick movement around the fingerboard, and the melancholy melody singing out from the triplet patterns in no.13. Nos.16 and 21 show how effective close chords punctuated by rests are in giving character and rhythmic shape to music and nos.20, 21, 22 and 23 develop quick, free and full movement up, down and across the fretboard resulting in breadth and excitement in the music. Nos.24 and 25 combine all the skills and musical ideas worked on in the book in two beautifully contrasting pieces from melodic lines moving smoothly between bass and treble voices in no.24 to the flowing and expansive arpeggio passages of no. 25.

If you can fluently use the techniques in these pieces and shape the music from them then the guitar repertoire opens out before you and you can move forward knowing that your foundations are strong. You will also thoroughly enjoy the learning process and will be able to experiment with lots of musical ideas, textures and emotions.

Just don’t get distracted by the fingering – be independent and learn more!

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.