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

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.

musabauralcd1

Aural Training In Practice CD Grades 1 to 3

ABRSM

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Old Syllabus - for practice only. Aural Training In Practice provides clear, structured guidance for candidates preparing for the aural tests in the Associated Board's practical exams. These CDs accompany the Aural Training workbooks. I have used the book and CD with many of my pupils achieving great success. I highly recommend both for those wishing to achieve high marks in their graded exams.

Skill Level
Beginner
musabauralcd2

Aural Training In Practice CD Grades 4 to 5

ABRSM

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Old Syllabus - for practice only. Aural Training In Practice provides clear, structured guidance for candidates preparing for the aural tests in the Associated Board's practical exams. These CDs accompany the Aural Training workbooks. I have used the book and CD with many of my pupils achieving great success. I highly recommend both for those wishing to achieve high marks in their graded exams.

Skill Level
Intermediate
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40

Guitar Exam Pieces CD Grade 1

ABRSM

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

Skill Level
Beginner
332

Variations on a theme by Handel Op. 107

Mauro Giuliani

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Also known under the title "The Harmonious Blacksmith" this edition by Fabio Rizza is clearly printed with space between lines enabling the reader to easily read and also to add study markings without cluttering the page. A fun piece to play.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced
3314

Selected Studies for Guitar Vol. 1

Mauro Giuliani

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One of the two most important guitarist-composer of the first half of the 19th century Giuliani excelled as a teacher. Giuliani understood where the guitar can be brilliant and where it lacked power and was able to mix together the requirements for teaching and the creativity of music. A definite yes for any student guitarist.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced
333

Barden-Klange for guitar Vol. 1

Johann Kaspar Mertz

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Mertz dominates the history of the guitar in the 19th century. Bardenklange op. 13 consists of 30 pieces which show Mertz as a musician poet. Vol 1 edited by Piero Viti contains 8 pieces with UTOrpheus excellent quality of printing all of which helps us to interpret and enjoy these wonderful pieces from the Romantic period.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced
221

Theory of Music Workbook Grade 7

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 paper.

Skill Level
Advanced
musparkinsonleapfrog

The Leap Frog Principle

Rob Parkinson

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This book has been around for a number of years and it is one that I keep returning to, finding more that I like and want to include in my teaching and each time enjoying the fresh and unusual style of the pieces. I am particularly attracted to the sub title - "10 Popular style guitar studies for adventurous learners"!

Skill Level
Intermediate

This book has been around for a number of years and it is one that I keep returning to, finding more that I like and want to include in my teaching and each time enjoying the fresh and unusual style of the pieces. I am particularly attracted to the sub title - "10 Popular style guitar studies for adventurous learners"!

There is a very informative preface in which the composer puts forward his ideas behind the music which are very much to do with technique and ways to learn within fun and entertaining pieces. He describes his "Leapfrog Principle" as a notion to "use scale patterns against open strings, avoiding complicated chord fingerings..." . He then goes on to describe the advantages that this limitation has, for example making the music comfortable to play, extending fingerboard knowledge, improving position changing and encouraging efficient fingering in both hands, as well as introducing the idea of improvisation.

The pieces are clearly laid out, with a short introduction to every piece that has some technical information and help but is mostly there to describe the story of the piece! For example for no.2 "The Whistler's Tune" he has written: "People who whistle often don't remember all of the tune. This piece is ideal for whistlers because there are only a few bits that keep repeating. However in bars 21 to 28, the whistler still manages to forget the first phrase and tries to find it in different registers before eventually getting it right on the da capo."

All of the pieces are great fun using Giants, Butterflies, Genies, Grasshoppers and Ponies to bring out the contrasting characters really helping you to get involved in the music. Initially the written music does look quite challenging with quite difficult rhythms, lots of syncopation, a wide range of pitch and a lot of accidentals. Although the rhythms do look complicated on the page many will be familiar from everyday musical styles, e.g. swing and blues. The most important thing here is to get the feel of the pulse of the music. Once you can count and feel this, everything else tends to fit into place nicely!

As the composer says "a strong pulse is more important than strict accuracy, and a free, improvising rhythmic spirit should be encouraged."!

All of the pieces are very melodic with the melody often moving between the bass and the treble registers and any chords are usually small and mostly using open strings. Confidence in position changing and reading higher notes is important, although the melodies are based around patterns of fingering in different places so easier than they seem at first.

To return to the first example of The Whistlers Tune the last 2 lines consist of an identical finger pattern played in 4 different positions. However we always recommend that you can name the notes that you are playing, vital if you want to become a fluent and musical classical guitarist.

My favourites are Giant Jive, because it is wonderfully strange with a fantastic bass riff and some great clashes, and the Butterfly Boogie which has a light dancing feel and a warm character. A special mention is needed for Waltz for Two Left Feet,(definitely me!) as it is a real challenge to get the changes of beat but once you have mastered that you almost catch yourself tripping over as you play - a great idea and very effective.

These are great little pieces, inventive and fun while challenging your fingers and your brain. Perfect for beginners moving on and for better players wanting some entertaining performance pieces or simply wanting to brush up on those basic skills! If you are relaxed with the position changes and rhythms here you can try anything!

Selina.

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222

Theory of Music Workbook Grade 8

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 paper.

Skill Level
Advanced
muswanders3ofakind

three of a kind

Jeop Wanders

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The book has three sections: 10 rhythmic studies, each focusing on a particular rhythm which is introduced in each piece by a 2-bar phrase. 10 arpeggio studies, each based on a right-hand pattern. 10 legato studies, descending and ascending slurs and a mix of both. These studies are a valuable contribution to the beginner's technical development. Difficulty level grade 2/4

Skill Level
Beginner
Intermediate

These short studies offer a wide variety of techniques, and are generally universally helpful in improving your playing.

Grades 2/4 on the site, but looking in some of the grade books I think some grade 1 players would benefit from the easier ones?

The first ten studies are rhythmic, and Wanders gives an ‘example rhythm’ below the title to let us know exactly what it is we are meant to be practicing. As with most books they start off simple and move to more complicated rhythms with dotted notes and semiquavers. This is great for learning to recognise rhythms and improving sight reading; there is also fingering in some of the pieces, reminding us to alternate and to be aware of the finger we are using with any given note. Wanders also reminds us that even though these are studies, they are not necessarily ‘un-musical’. He writes performance directions which encourage us to and add colour to the notes making the music more exciting.

My favourite studies in this book are the arpeggio studies, they are great right and left hand exercises suitable for any standard of player; I will be incorporating these into my practice regime as warm ups! No.12 – Basso Chromatica is particularly good as it offers variations on the original [p i m a] quaver pattern. We are encouraged to be musical with No.14 – Prelude on the B-String in order to bring out the melody that is closely interwoven with the accompaniment. There are a nice variety of styles in this book.

Last in the book are the legato studies. These are excellent for building up strength and balance in the left hand as they require 2 and 3 note slurs that need to be even. They are musically engaging and you will definitely find yourself singing them hours after practice. This book would be perfect as a prelude to starting the Sor or Carcassi studies.

Jess.

193

Ricercari and Fantasien

Franscesco Da Milano

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The pieces here are beautiful and peaceful; we have to learn new sounds and the techniques of playing contrapuntal lines but at the same time the music encourages freedom and invention. Learning this music is not really about technical virtuosity, for example how fast or loud we can play, but about control, understanding and listening - nurturing the musician in us.

Skill Level
Advanced

There is a short introduction at the beginning of this edition describing the sources used and introducing the musical style. Particularly interesting is the explanation of the titles that are so different to what we are used to!

Ricercari is an Italian verb meaning to seek/ quest. It was originally used in music to denote ‘trying out an instrument” or “prelude” so referring to an improvised introductory piece. In the 16th century ‘Ricercari’ and ‘Fantasia’ came to be applied to instrumental compositions that were mostly imitative with no clear distinction between the two.

The introduction makes an important point in explaining that the music of the Renaissance has a tonality and harmony all of its own, and that players need to spend time getting the feel of it. This is why it is so important to have the music in the exam repertoire, introducing it to a much wider audience and really expanding the guitarists’ repertoire and musical knowledge.

The edition uses F♯ tuning of the G string and recommends the use of a capo on the 3rd fret to bring the guitar closer to the pitch of the renaissance lute. A capo is not essential but it does make the voices much cleaner and the harmonies easier to hear.

The use of this tuning however is very important. It brings the intervals between the guitar strings in line with that of the lute, which means that the tablature can be followed more closely in the transcription and the chords flow more smoothly.

This, of course brings a new challenge to most guitarists, with notes in different places and chord shapes altered! For me it really emphasizes the importance of reading music and knowing the names of the notes on the page and on the guitar – you may be surprised that this can be a problem!

I love this music for its purity, depth and tranquility.

There are long melodic lines, interweaving and creating beautiful and complex harmonies. From a technical point of view it is all about tonal and dynamic control of melodies and harmonies. From a musical point of view the guitarist needs to recognize voices, motifs and imitation to understand the structure of the music. The thematic entries need to be brought out clearly and the dynamic control needs to be subtle so as not to interrupt the pretty constant flow of the music.

The edition helps by marking entries and imitations with capitol letters but this is an excellent opportunity for players to practice and improve their listening and interpretive skills and experimentation should be foremost!

The edition is not over fingered, which is great giving players more flexibility and choice. It is inevitable that some sacrifices in voicing, for example sustaining notes, have to be made but we should always be looking out for the importance of the interweaving lines and the dissonances and resolutions created – scrumptious!!

The pieces here are beautiful and peaceful; we have to learn new sounds and the techniques of playing contrapuntal lines but at the same time the music encourages freedom and invention.

Learning this music is not really about technical virtuosity, for example how fast or loud we can play, but about control, understanding and listening - nurturing the musician in us.

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
mussimplyguitar1

Simply Guitar Book 1

Vincent Lindsey-Clark

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Book 1 offers a structured programme of easy repertoire for the beginner. The selection of pieces is designed to develop guitar technique, improve reading skills and most of all encourage the ability to perform with musical feeling.

Skill Level
Beginner
158

Simply Latin

Vincent Lindsey-Clark

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Simply Latin evokes the sounds of South Americcan folk music. These six sketches take the player on a tour of the Andes, Venezuela, Brazil capturing in simple musical textures the exuberance and complexity of some of the South American folk cultures.

Skill Level
Beginner
Intermediate

The fantastic thing about this book is that it produces so much variety within the "Latin" style.

To quote the edition, these pieces..

"…take the player on a tour through the Andes, Venezuela, Brazil….capturing the exuberance and complexity of some of the South American folk cultures."

Again, Clarke manages to communicate so much through relatively simple musical textures, and, importantly, introduces younger players in particular to musical styles that they may not have experienced before.

 

The Vals actively encourages you to go to play Lauro's music. There is a real swing and feel of one in a bar while keeping the chords simple and easy to combine with the melody.

The Tango is full of the drama of the dance, heightened in the middle section with big moves between positions that sound great and are easy to play.

Montanas Nebulosas evokes the music of the Andes beautifully, making use of glissando and tambora techniques. The syncopated rhythms are clearly written and easy to understand.

My absolute favourite in this book has to be Rio by Night! This piece uses great harmonies and syncopated rhythms that take a bit more working out and counting, but are certainly worth the effort for the finished effect and atmosphere. You simply get carried along by the gentle Bossa Nova and transported to the carnival!

The final Danza also requires more careful control of rhythm and articulation, and buzzes with excitement and energy.

Selina.

133

Three Sonatas

Anton Diabelli

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These pieces were a lovely surprise for me offering more detail and interest than I had expected and really bringing the shapes, texture and style of the Classical period to the guitar. Guitar Solo. By Anton Diabelli. Arranged by Anton Stingl. This edition 36 pages. Published by Schott Music.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced

These pieces were a lovely surprise for me offering more detail and interest than I had expected and really bringing the shapes, texture and style of the Classical period to the guitar.

Simply put, the music is full of life, spirit, movement, drama and fun! It fits beautifully under the fingers but also challenges the player with detailed articulation and dynamics, as well as polyphonic writing that requires the guitarist to balance melodies in different voices rather than the simpler melody accompaniment style.

Sonata no.1 in C has a strong clear opening with great direction in the melody. As I mentioned before articulation and dynamic markings are very specific, for example the distinction between a staccato dot and a tenuto or emphasis line, and chromatic movement in thirds really pushes the music along. The middle, minor section uses double octaves to create drama and volume, contrasting with pianissimo thirds and creating an orchestral feel and texture.

The second movement has a delicate and refined character using wide intervals, articulation and silences to great effect. In the Menuet and Trio (grade 6) I particularly like the simple rising melodic motif punctuated with staccato chords and the brilliant ‘leaning’ notes across the bar lines creating lots of interest but quite simple to play. The final Rondo bubbles along in semiquavers with lots of contrast in articulation and rhythm, a great minor section employing restless syncopated chords and a truly orchestral ending.

Sonata no.2 in A is more detailed and complex. The Allegro risoluto has a powerful opening using dotted rhythms and big chords. The dotted passages feature through the movement with lots of contrast, movement between voices and great use of rests and space in the music. The Adagio is based on pianissimo chords and arpeggio decorations, requiring a sense of poise I think and lots of listening to shape the music through the harmony.

The Menuet and Trio (grade 8) is packed full of character and humour from the pompous opening bass to the bell ringing campanella effect, dramatic octaves and chromatic thirds. The final Rondo has a very charming, simple and delicate melody, rising smoothly then falling punctuated by rests. There is so much story telling going on in this music and there is always something to do! In many ways it is just like lots of people talking, different subjects coming up, surprises and colours of voices. This last movement is quite complex to look at but will give you hours of fun playing and listening to the musical theatre.

Sonata no.3 in F is again very strong and dramatic at the opening and moves on with lots of contrast in the rhythms moving quickly between semiquavers and triplet quavers, syncopated chords and, again excellent articulation and punctuation. I particularly liked the little demisemiquaver birdsong motif! Overall the music is very free flowing with octave and interval passages and plenty of detail in the voicing. The Andante (grade 7) is quite simple compared to some of the other movements, concentrating instead on highlighting a beautiful, singing melody along with some lovely scrunchy harmonies.

The Finale has a slow introduction with melodic motifs punctuated a ‘da da’! in octaves that is the brass section building up the tension for the main event! The Presto section is fast and lively with contrasting textures provided by chords, flowing intervals, single lines using staccato and slurred passages. The music looks more straightforward but the speed is very quick! The minor section has two voices competing with each other – great fun! - and the final Prestissimo cadence over 16 bars is made more exciting by the preceding, dramatic Adagio.

This is lovely music that teaches us about theatre, excitement, colour and texture in music, as well as giving enjoyment and helping to develop technique.

What more could you ask for!

Selina.

81

Simply Swing

Vincent Lindsey-Clark

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Bringing alive the Jazz era with five stylish pieces capturing the atmosphere of the 1940's. They are easy to play and they will be enjoyed by the most sophisticated jazz connoisseur.

Skill Level
Beginner

These pieces capture the 1940s jazz style beautifully and are great fun to play, from the straightforward 2-part Ragatelle, to the more technically and musically complex Icy Blue.

As a player it is easy to get into the "atmosphere" of the music with fantastic harmonies and off beat rhythms that are not difficult to understand or execute, but are really effective when played fluently.

This is particularly noticeable in Mississippi Ditty with his use of ties, slurs and accents.

The off beat rhythms and "swing" are easy to get into at the beginning of the book as there is a constant crotchet pulse maintained in the bass which helps to drive and shape the music.

In Steely Blue, the bass line comes and goes, highlighting the "solo" melodic passages, which include very effective use of "glissando".

There are detailed dynamic indications throughout the book that really add to the experience as they initially teach you the style through shaping the music. You can then enjoy playing and bring your own interpretation to the pieces.

Icy Blue provides a contrast in the book because it uses constant quavers that produce a driving, exciting feel to the music and require some quick thinking!

My favourite piece from the collection has to be Swing Swang Lane. I love the slow and thoughtful atmosphere of this piece with its moving harmonies, relaxed swing and simple, flowing melody.

Selina.

87

Simply Spanish

Vincent Lindsey-Clark

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Simply Spanish has established itself as an indispensable part of the early student repertoire. The six pieces in the album are miniature classics, each uncannily evoking the Spanish sound in all its rich colours and rhythms.

Skill Level
Beginner

The sub title of "six evocative pieces" is spot on!

These pieces are Spanish in essence, bringing out the colours and rhythms of Spain through writing that is very accessible.

Clarke manages to introduce techniques and styles of playing that are probably new to the student at this stage while at the same time always encouraging a musical approach.

On playing these pieces, a student of any age will feel that they have arrived and are able to play "proper" pieces of music!

Fandango. Includes a fast rhythmic motif with a flamenco feel throughout combined with single line melodies and a bass melody under a simple repeated chord accompaniment.

Oloroso and Vals Navarra. Slow and contemplative, allowing plenty of dynamic and tonal control.

Tango. Maintains a lovely tango rhythm as accompaniment to the melody - a challenging and effective guitar technique introduced here in a way that is easy to see and understand.

Zincarlo.Requires a lively 6/8 rhythm, picking out a bass melody, and some quick thinking!

Pamplona.Introduces a combination of 3/4 and 6/8 rhythm along with strumming with the "i" finger

Selina.

4-venezuelan-pieces

Four Venezuelan Pieces

Rodrigo Riera

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Rodrigo Riera is a prominent Venezuelan guitarists/composer who attended many summer schools given by Segovia in the 1950's. These four pieces are among Riera's simplest works and are attractive student material at about Grade 4 level. All fingering and slurs in this edition are original.

Skill Level
Intermediate;
104

24 Studies Op. 48

Mauro Giuliani

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Guitar Solo. By Mauro Giuliani. Arranged by Hans Ritter. This edition: GA32. Covers 27 pages and is published by Schott Music.

Skill Level
Advanced
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