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

muspujolhispanae

Hispanae Citharae Ars Viva

Emilio Pujol

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I am afraid that I will have to start this review by saying that this is one of my favourite music books ever!There is a short preface describing the history and sources of the pieces, with some information for the player on tablature, original instrumentation, tuning and performance practice followed by a short description for each piece. Contains music composed by Various Composers and arranged by Emilio Pujol Vilarrubí.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced

I am afraid that I will have to start this review by saying that this is one of my favourite music books ever! The music is simply fantastic and it is great to have a volume with a nice variety of pieces from this period to help guitarists become acquainted with the style and, as I did, fall in love with the music.

There is a short preface describing the history and sources of the pieces, with some information for the player on tablature, original instrumentation, tuning and performance practice followed by a short description for each piece. In these descriptions the editor gives approximate tempo markings and an indication as to whether note values have been changed due to the fact that during this period the semibreve is thought to have been equal to today’s crotchet, hence the pieces ‘looking’ slower to us!

The tempo markings are mentioned but unfortunately not translated! Despacio = slow, Apresurado = fast, Apriesa = fast, Compas = beat, Medio = neither slow nor fast! It is also important to understand the words redobles indicating rapid passages of notes and scales, and consonancias indicating passages of harmony and slower melody. Understanding the musical language is always important, especially here as it helps to explain performance practice and interpretation of a style that we are very unfamiliar with.

The preface states; “ (this music)…should be considered indispensable for the artistic development of the guitarist” and I cannot agree more! From a reading point of view the altered tuning makes us think and the Renaissance style forces us listen to musical lines and phrases, clashing harmony creating movement and emotion, multiple voices, interweaving lines and long extended phrases with unfamiliar structure. The rhythms are unusual and there are lots of long notes and space to play through, especially where the pieces are based on vocal works, like Cancion del Emperador by Narvaez on Mille Regretz by Josquin.

There are also many contrasts from the simple chordal structure of the first two pieces by Pisador, through the long interweaving lines of Milan’s Fantasia del quarto tono, to the imitation, energy and dissonance of the Fantasia by Mudarra. This Fantasia, written in imitation of the harp in the manner of Luduvico is a fantastic piece and great fun, if a little tricky, to play. At one point in the piece Mudarra has written a note saying “from here to the end there are some false notes; when played well they do not sound bad”!

I also love the Fantasia del quarto tono by Milan with its stately opening chords from which melodies emerge and open creating continuous momentum throughout the music. The contrasts in Fantasia de consonancias y redobles are great and encourage a freedom in interpretation that many of us find difficult at first.

Finally Diferencias sobre Guardame las vacas is probably the most famous of the pieces and has wonderful movement and development throughout the continuous variations, rhythms that appear to twist and turn, imitation and flowing scale passages that rise and build towards a final phrase that relieves the tension in a calm ending.

Brilliant and definitely music that should be in every guitarist’s repertoire.

Selina.

309

Trinity Guitar 2016-2019 - Guitar Grade 3

Trinity College London

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Containing pieces required for the Trinity Guitar exam. Three pieces to be performed from those listed in this book, at least one from each group, or from the duets or alternative pieces listed for this grade, to form a balanced program. This is an excellent book even if you have no intention of taking the exams.

Skill Level
Beginner
317

Trinity Guitar from 2016 Scales Initial - Grade 5

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 Initial–5, valid from 2016. Newly commissioned studies are also included which may be used as an alternative to scales and arpeggios.

Skill Level
Beginner
Intermediate
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.

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.

    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
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    musbensa2preludes

    Deux Preludes

    Olivier Bensa

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    Skill Level
    Intermediate
    musmartinquatrepiec

    Quatre Pieces Breves

    Frank Martin

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    This edition presents the work in the form in which it appears in the definitive manuscriot written in 1955. The original composition for guitar solo dates from 1933 which was later arranged for large orchestra.

    Skill Level
    Intermediate
    musburdenygprog2

    The Young Guitarists Progress

    David Burden

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    This book covers the area from Grade 1 to Grade 2 providing repertoire for young pupils learning individually or in groups. The theory and ear development sections can be used alongside this at the discretion of the teacher.

    Skill Level
    Beginner
    musspaldingragamufin

    Ragamuffin

    Gary Spolding

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    For players interested in music written in a popular style. The book contains a set of pieces in the style of Rock, Rags, Blues and Boogie all in swing rhythm. Great fun and excellent for classical players to become more adept at a slightly different rhythmical style.

    Skill Level
    Beginner
    Intermediate

    This is a great little book written, as Gary explains in the introduction, as several of his grade 3 to 4 students became extremely interested in playing music written in ‘popular’ styles!

    This of course encourages students who might otherwise drift away from the classical guitar but it also provides excellent technical and musical development for those of us who love anything and everything classical guitar!

    From the simple bass and melody of Little Boy Blues to the more complex repeated chords and higher positions of Clapped Out Blues there is a wide range of character within the overall style, with some challenging rhythms, chords and positions requiring free and confident movement around the fingerboard.

    The music is great for helping to develop a feel for the pulse, essential when playing swing and triplet rhythms. Overall the style is very much based on patterns and chord shapes and knowing this can be very helpful in learning the notes higher up the fingerboard.

    Looking at it from the other side, the pieces do represent an excellent teaching aid to learning the fingerboard and developing fluency in reading and in left hand technique while having fun! There are also plenty of slurs, bends and glissandos.

    The Bass Vamp is great with a riff moving from one string to the next and some tricky slurs off high frets to open strings.

    Rock Bass Groove is deceptively easy with simple open string chords accompanying the walking bass line – extremely effective and satisfying.

    Slip Slidin’ Rock gets you used to higher notes and slides before moving on to Slick Riff Blues which has some quite complex movement around the fingerboard, slides, slurs and bends.

    All in all, not only do these pieces introduce us to new styles without getting too complicated, but a lot of technique is being developed in the background, helping you to relax in playing and progress your overall musicianship.

    Selina.

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    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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    116

    Suite Castellana

    Federico Moreno Torroba

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    Guitar Solo. By Federico Moreno-Torroba. Arranged by Andres Segovia. Published by Schott Music. Contents: Fandanguillo * Arada * Danza

    Skill Level
    Advanced
    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
    mustrinitytheoryg4

    Theory of Music Workbook Grade 4

    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
    Intermediate
    301

    Due Ragtimes

    Scott Joplin

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    Champagne Rag & The Entertainer written by Joplin and arranged by Mario Gangi. Interested in trying something different? then here you are. Good fun, light hearted and great at parties.

    109

    Tombeau sur La Mort de Mr. Comte d'Logy

    Silvius Leopold Weiss

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    Weiss was the most important and the most prolific composer of lute music in history and one of the best-known and most technically accomplished lutenists of his day. Anyone who knows how difficult it is to play harmonic modulations and good counterpoint on the lute will be surprised and full of disbelief to hear from eyewitnesses that Weiss, the great lutenist, challenged J. S. Bach, the great harpsichordist and organist, at playing fantasies and fugues.

    Skill Level
    Advanced

    This is an absolutely beautiful piece of music, so majestic and full of tension and emotion.

    I learnt it from this edition when I was younger but have not considered it for a while due to more modern editions.

    Coming back to it I have found that, even though the key is further from the original than other editions, it gives a better rendition of the piece as the low D tuning allows ‘bigger’ chords and helps to create the depth and atmosphere needed. The Baroque lute had many more strings than the classical guitar and the piece has some wonderful bass lines that are impossible to recreate. However this tuning goes a long way to helping us hear the full, intense and compelling harmonic language of the original.

    There is a facsimile of the original tablature source at the back, which is a great bonus and if you really enjoy the music it is well worth researching how to read this as you learn the piece.

    The music is very slow, which is difficult, with a lot to listen to in the voicing and the harmony. A feel for pulse is very important with the slow speed as well as a good sense of rhythm, definitely one to count and not guess!

    Tension and resolution is a big feature and wonderful to play – dissonant ‘scrunchy’ chords resolving and creating wonderful movement. The sequences are fantastic and help you with playing long phrases and bringing out individual notes and voices.

    There is too much fingering for me and so it is good to try to adapt this for your needs.

    The chords and melodies in this piece are heavily charged with emotion with long and beautiful phrasing making this is such a rewarding piece of music to play.

    It is definitely one of my all time favourites.

    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
    308

    Trinity Guitar 2016-2019 - Guitar Grade 2

    Trinity College London

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    Containing pieces required for the Trinity Guitar exam. Three pieces to be performed from those listed in this book, at least one from each group, or from the duets or alternative pieces listed for this grade, to form a balanced program. This is an excellent book even if you have no intention of taking the exams.

    Skill Level
    Beginner
    musicbrouwer2

    Un Dia de Noviembre

    Leo Brouwer

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    An extremely enjoyable piece for those looking for music to please an audience who may be new to classical guitar. Clearly printed and easy to read the music spans two pages ensuring no page turns.

    Skill Level
    Intermediate
    Advanced

    This piece has a beautiful melody, wistful and contemplative at first, with plenty of contrasts in emotion and atmosphere to captivate the listener and the player.

    The piece really shows Brouwers complete understanding of the guitar and how to get the best from the instrument and the player.

    He uses patterns of fingering in both hands and although some of the moves are tricky, with one difficult stretch, the piece feels very natural overall, falling under the fingers and allowing more time for interpretation.

    The music employs good, basic guitar techniques, most importantly keeping the melody and phrasing flowing over the accompaniment while also recognizing the bass line. It is also good for listening to harmonies and progressions, and how these influence musical direction.

    The piece has three main sections; A introduces the main melody and returns after B and C. B maintains the melancholic feel but moves into a higher register, moving back and forth between 2 motifs and giving a more restless feel. C is in a major key with a brighter feel and stronger rhythms in contrast to the gentle, arpeggio accompaniment of the first two sections.

    I found that the more I play this piece the more I find within it. It is very enjoyable to play and an excellent ‘audience’ piece. A must for any Players/Performers repertoire.

    Selina.

    musabscales2

    Guitar Scales and Arpeggios, Grades 6 to 8

    ABRSM

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    This new edition contains all the scales and arpeggios required for the Grades 6–8 ABRSM guitar exams. All scales and arpeggios for the revised syllabus from 2009. Suggested fingering provided, helpful introduction including advice on exam preparation, user-friendly format and clear page-layout.

    Skill Level
    Intermediate
    Advanced