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

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.

musvillaconcerto

Concerto

H. Villa-Lobos

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Concerto pour guitar et petit orchestre. Printed by Editions Max Eschig with reduction for guitar and piano. Includes separate printing of guitar part. One day a member of a local orchestra will ask you to name a piece of music which you can both work on. Start the practice now! Don't wait to be asked.

Skill Level
Advanced
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.

98

24 Preludes Book 1

Gilbert Biberian

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Often intricate and complex, these Preludes are intended for a fairly advanced player, although there are no fearsome technical obstacles. They are composed skillfully and effectively for the guitar.

Skill Level
Advanced
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musdivertissements

Divertissements Pour Guitar

Gerard Montreuil

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A collection of fourteen entertaining pieces written by the noted musician and teacher, Gerard Montreuil. Players will be delighted by the short pieces, leading to greater skill on the guitar and opportunity for further study.

Skill Level
Beginner
musdivertissements2

Divertissements 2 Pour Guitar

Gerard Montreuil

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11 Popular pieces written in order to stimulate the beginner's interest and to improve the learning of the guitar. These entertaining pieces will please players and listeners alike.

Skill Level
Beginner
Intermediate

These are a nice range of pieces written in a variety of musical styles.

My favourite thing about this book is Montreuil’s phrasing. He has taken time to write specific phrasing into the music, in his words, “in such a way as to show several possibilities of articulation”. This really makes you think about how the music is constructed and how different inflections can give a piece new life. With this in mind, these pieces are musical and fun to play.

Each piece is crafted to develop different skills; the two tangos introduce the player to syncopated rhythms and complex semiquaver rhythms, and are great when played with gusto! Unusually for beginners pieces, Crépuscule and Emeraude are slow burners; this helps the player to develop a sense of space in the music, improving musicality no end as the player learns not to rush through the music. Montreuil has written more interesting chord progressions into Emeraude, making the harmonies lush.

Other techniques are covered toward the end of the book, such as strummed chords (Orgue de barbarie), and the last piece (Premier Amour) is beautifully lyrical, making use of notes higher up the first string and harmonics. Overall, these are simple yet memorable melodies with interesting musical lines that provide you with an arsenal of pieces to entertain as well as enhance your playing.

Jess.

276

Latin America

Gerald Schwertberger

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This is simply a great little book full of sunshine and life! Schwertberger manages to capture the spirit of the dances without making the notes too complicated. What more can I say?

Skill Level
Beginner
Intermediate

This is simply a great little book full of sunshine and life! Schwertberger manages to capture the spirit of the dances without making the notes too complicated.

Interestingly, in the Preface the composer says “The point of this edition is to introduce guitarists to these dances, with all their appealing banality and stereotype turns of phrase.” In this he has been successful and although (or perhaps because) the music is not deep and meaningful, I was immediately drawn to its life and character and thoroughly enjoyed playing through the pieces.

The pieces are mostly in first position and generally based around chord shapes from which the melodies develop. There is, as you would expect a lot of syncopation, written in such a way that it is not difficult to work out and hear, although you will of course need to count! The greatest challenge is in the tempos; some of the suggested metronome marks are pretty quick and do give excellent results. However the music is still very effective at slower speeds and so provides very good technical development work. He achieves some great effects with rhythm and right hand patterns and each piece has a distinct character.

Highlights for me include Bossa Nova Breeze, which is ‘cool’ and relaxed with good use of chords and emerging melody lines. Nostalgia has a lovely bass melody topped by a syncopated accompaniment that uses some nice scrunchy harmonies. Bamba Samba is simply great fun and Nightwinds has an evocative atmosphere with its combination of rasgueado chords over the melody line.

The final Bossa Nova is a more challenging piece, with a straightforward right hand pattern that goes fast and some interesting harmonies to find.

Overall a book of sunshine that will bring a smile to your face and please and impress your audience.

Selina.

75

First Guitar Pieces

Gerald Garcia and John Whitworth

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A very popular collection of eight attractive pieces, drawn from many parts of the world. The pieces are suitable for the elementary player who is ready to study music in two voices, and have been chosen for their musical value whilst remaining within strict technical limits.

Skill Level
Beginner
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.

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
musspalding4tangos

Four Famous Tangos

Gary Spolding

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Destined to be a best seller this album incorporates four of the music worlds most famous tangos: La Cumparsita, Hernando's Hideaway, El Choclo, Jalousie. Absolutely brilliant arrangements!

Skill Level
Advanced

I have to admit to being pleasantly surprised on first playing these four Tangos. To begin with, they really are “famous” and they work really well on the guitar! Of course, this is the result of an excellent transcription. Gary Spolding has managed to maintain the musical shape, rhythms and parts in the music while keeping the transcriptions very “guitaristic”.

The pieces are difficult, about grade 6 – 8, but they do not ask you to be too acrobatic by, for example, twisting fingers into unnatural shapes or stretches, or asking for impossible sustaining parts.

The four pieces are La Cumparsita, Hernando’s Hideaway, El Choclo and Jalousie.

The main technical challenges are in reading a lot of high notes, recognizing positions, and left hand mobility. As you work through the pieces, you will quickly discover that notes and chord shapes fall comfortably under the fingers, and big moves around the fretboard are often facilitated by use of open strings, finger shapes and sliding fingers.

One of my favourite things about the edition is that it is not over fingered! Gary has not used position markings and has only used numbers where necessary for positions, setting up a pattern or indicating sliding shapes and voicing. This means that the performer has to think more but also has much more freedom in interpretation.

There are a lot of dynamic and articulation markings that really help as you are learning to interpret and communicate this style of music, and the guitar effects that he uses highlight the style. All of these things help you to push the boundaries in your playing.

I found myself able to enjoy the Tango rhythms and emotions, and had great fun experimenting and bringing out the humour in the music.

I think that these arrangements encourage a different approach to playing, one that cannot be too technical but is based on enjoying yourself and the music.

After all that is what it is all about!

Selina.

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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scenesfromwildwest

Scenes from the Wild West

Gary Ryan

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A suite of 6 superb pieces by Gary Ryan. Ryan's lyrical and atmospheric style effortlessly draws on the inspiration of images of America's Wild West to provide an exceptionally attractive set of pieces which can be performed individually or as a suite lasting 25 minutes.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced

I wanted to write some technically challenging and tuneful contemporary repertoire that would hopefully be rewarding to play and at the same time encourage extrovert, rhythmic and entertaining playing.

This is Gary's opening intro to this unusual and extremely enjoyable set of pieces, and I think that he has succeeded in his wishes! In the suite he has explored a very wide range of techniques taken from many styles of guitar playing and American music.

There are references to steel, slide, plectrum, rhythm, electric and flamenco guitar as well as mandolin, banjo, country, western, gospel, jazz, rock, film soundtracks, classical and nursery rhymes to name but a few!

These pieces are not for the faint hearted, and you do have to be adventurous and willing to "have a go", but the results are such good fun to play and listen too that it is well worth the effort.

Gary has written a description and explanation of each piece at the beginning of the book which is extremely useful. There is no comprehensive list of how to execute the various techniques used in the music although he does include some brief comments on the score. This is probably because he wants it to come from the player as much as possible, and for us not to feel restricted in our interpretation.

I was nervous of this at first but eventually decided that I should get away from any strict "classical" and technical ideas and go for what sounded good! By doing this you get the most out of the music and learn to play with greater freedom, which can only improve your overall playing.

One of the most useful aspects of the pieces is that you need to be able to relax and enjoy playing technically and rhythmically demanding music. Guitarists are notoriously bad in my experience at counting rhythms, but here you have to go through that process to eventually be able to feel the rhythm and pulse and get the best out of the music by achieving the required fluency.

The music includes some of the more unusual guitar techniques such as strumming the strings behind the nut, scraping a fingernail along the length of a string and various sorts of tapping. Getting used to these techniques is great because it necessitates moving you hands and arms away from their set positions, which in turn means that you need to develop a relaxed and correct posture and playing technique. I would put the grade of the set at 7 to 8.

Railroad

"…portrays the long journey of a steam train gaining momentum as it winds its way along a mountain track. The piece is played with the lowest two strings of the guitar tuned to C and G and results in the three open bass strings being tuned in perfect fifths, like the cello. This allows greater freedom in the key of G major, facilitates more unusual 6 string chords and produces a rich bass sonority in the subdominant key centre of C major." This description really helps the interpretation of the music. After the slow introduction the train starts to move and once you have worked out your rhythms you can definitely hear the "chugging"! Techniques include slurred ornaments, strumming with the index finger and getting used to the unusual tuning, as there are many fingered noted on these strings.

Across the Plain

"…is quiet, lyrical and reflective, depicting a family on a wagon journey across the warm, wide-open plains and prairies of America. The musical feel is spacious and cinematic, reflecting the lyrical, sustained sounds of a string orchestra." This piece offers a wonderful opportunity to experiment with tone colours and shaping of phrases to make the most of the cinematic feel which is definitely there. Sustaining a legato line is very important and there are some harmonics to be worked out.

West Coast Breeze

"…combines a fast finger picking style and right hand string stopping with African and Latin American cross rhythms to depict the sunny 'beach lifestyle', freedom and wealth of California. It is partly influenced by Pat Metheny, a guitarist and composer whose music I enjoy." This is a very lively and energetic piece requiring some fast articulation, staccato control and excellent feel for a solid pulse! The rhythm is syncopated and written in 2 voices which makes it difficult to work out at first but great fun when you have done the leg work and can really feel and hear it.

Rockweed

".. is inspired by the intense desert heat of Monument Valley, Arizona and is a musical word play on the tumbleweeds that blow around the landscape. The style draws upon the music of Bobby McFerrin, James Brown, Miles Davies and Steve Reich and uses many of the techniques in electronic dance music……, particularly building energy over time via the use of trance like repetitions and subtle rhythmic alterations." There are lots of directions and unusual effects in this piece but the "slow, spacious & improvisatory" marking at the beginning gives you the time and freedom to experiment and really add something of your own to the music. This is something that you may not be used to but that is so valuable to our musical development.

Rondo Rodeo

"… is a lively finale inspired by Aaron Copland, with many recurrent ideas suggesting the celebration and energy of the rodeo, complete with cowboys (and girls!), bucking bronco, farmyard noises, swinging saloon doors, honky tonk piano and the hoe-down!" This piece is simply great fun to play and helps you to develop confidence with rhythms and effects like glissando and different types of pizzicato. The naturally strong pulse of the music carries you along and the various special effects mean that you have to let go with your left hand quite a lot - very good practice!

Smoke Rising

"…was written for Trinity College London as a study for Grade 7….Extensive use is made of 'tamboura' and there are also some tricky slur combinations to execute. The music depicts a ritual Apache Indian dance around a campfire and contains a short section where the strumming should be improvised around a sequence of chords in the style of a rock track." The strumming technique used here is very useful as well as extremely effective to the music. Overall it is one of the easier pieces in the group and is musically very rewarding; shut your eyes and you can see and smell the campfire! You will be very satisfied when you realise that you can create the atmosphere without too much difficulty.

I would recommend this set of pieces to anybody; they are fresh and exciting and will help to build confidence in technique and musicianship.

Selina.

musryanscenesbrazil

Scenes from Brazil

Gary Ryan

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In Scenes from Brazil Gary Ryan continues the theme of attractive concert pieces from his hugely popular Scenes from the Wild West. The three pieces that comprise Scenes from Brazil draw their influence from a variety of sources including 1960s jazz legend Antonio Carlos Jobim, who played alongside Astrud Gilberto and Stan Getz on the famous Girl from Ipanema. The 3 pieces are titled Junglescape, Rio Bay (from the Corcovado)and Sugarloaf Mountain.

Skill Level
Advanced
musryansongserin

Songs From Erin

Gary Ryan

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Songs from Erin (2007) is a shorter, two movement work for guitar commissioned by Rebecca Baulch and inspired by Ryan's visits to Ireland. Ryan explores different tunings for the guitar in these pieces, making the instrument sound reinvigorated, idiomatic and resonant in new ways. Out of Clonmel has an energetic flavour reflective of Irish folk music Lough Caragh is more contemplative and influenced by the traditional Irish ballad.

Skill Level
Advanced
290

City Scenes

Gary Ryan

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Three original compositions Rush, Metropolis & Birds Flew Over The Spire. These works are challenging and very musical with The Birds Flew Over The Spire being one of the most popular pieces enjoyed by our own students and others who hear it played. If you are looking for new pieces to play and enjoy, City Scenes is a must have item.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced

We came across this book through the Trinity grade 5 syllabus which includes the third piece Birds Flew over the Spire. If you read my guitar reviews you will recognize this as one of my firm favourites because it is a beautiful little piece of music, using the guitar so well and highlighting what the classical guitar is best at. The pieces in this book are very contrasting and fit beautifully within the title City Scenes.

Rush was originally conceived as a study for the right hand thumb and is full of energy, with the 5/4 time signature constantly pushing the music forward, a strong bass melody and lots of syncopation and articulation. It is great to see how adding a title and ‘story’ to a study can transform it into an exciting, descriptive piece of music.

Metropolis is a long piece with a difficult rhythm that looks very complex on the page but is fine once you get into the swing of it, as long as you work it out properly with counting first! The way that Gary uses material gives a real bustle to the music with gradually evolving patterns and harmonies and repeated sections bringing in subtle changes of mood.

In the preface Gary describes it as “the non-stop bustle of a musical city where influences combine from many different ages and musical cultures.” Birds flew over the Spire is a wonderful relaxation after this with lovely campanella harmonies accompanying a fluid melody that twists and turns gently depicting the birds floating on thermals and warm currents of air. It is great for fingerboard knowledge and left hand movement but, more importantly for listening ad enjoying the musical phrasing.

The preface by the composer is very good and the music is well laid out with clear fingering (not too much) and musical instructions.

This is definitely music to have fun with!

Selina.

3212

Scenes for Guitar Book 2

Gary Ryan

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When I meet people at recitals or after adjudicating at music festivals they often say to me "I really like your Scenes from the Wild West but it is too hard for me. Please can you write some easier pieces?" Here is a set of eight pieces which I have tried to make accessible and a little easier. Hopefully you will find something to enjoy. Gary Ryan

Skill Level
Intermediate
320

Scenes for Guitar Book 1

Gary Ryan

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Hopefully you will find something to enjoy in this collection of ten pieces for guitar (which I like to think are the kind of pieces I would have enjoyed learning). I have certainly enjoyed writing all of them and always try to incorporate useful technical and musical ideas into each one to create a particular image or mood. Gary Ryan

Skill Level
Beginner
Intermediate
musnoadrenaissance

The Renaissance Guitar

Frederick Noad

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Although separated in time from us by almost four centuries, the late Renaissance provides a most fruightfull and enjoyable source of music. The tunes are lively and straightforward and most importantly some of the best composers of the period were writing for plucked instruments. In the Renaissance period the repertoire for plucked strings was the largest and most important body of instrumental music. CD included in this edition.

Skill Level
Beginner
Intermediate
Advanced
musnoadbaroque

The Baroque Guitar

Frederick Noad

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The music for this collection was composed during the years from 1650 to 1750, the middle part of the period known as the Baroque. As well as the variety of wonderful music there are bite sized piece of information, that can be easily digested, which will help you to draw the best from the music.

Skill Level
Beginner
Intermediate
Advanced
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