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

musicbrouwer4

El Decameron Negro.

Leo Brouwer

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I have loved this work from the first time I heard it played. Yes it is difficult and you may be put off by the rhythm patterns, counting and shear range of movement required to get around your guitar however it is definitely worth the effort no matter how many years it takes you to learn.

Skill Level
Advanced
287

Aural Training in Practice 2011 Grades 4 & 5

ABRSM

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

Skill Level
Intermediate
muspernambucochorosvol1

Famous Choros Vol. 1

Joao Pernambuco

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This series presents a selection of the most popular and memorable works from the wealth of 20th Century Brazilian guitar music. Emphasis has not only been placed on the selection of works, but significantly, great care has been taken to choose the best versions, which in many cases are being published for the first time.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced

This music is great fun to play and very rewarding in also being music that people love to listen to!

The pieces have real spirit and style with driving rhythms, singing and syncopated melodic lines and some excellent bass melodies.

The word Choros came to be the name used for music played by ensembles of Brazilian street musicians (called Choroes) and this loose and lively style is captured very well in these arrangements.

The pieces use the full range of the fingerboard and offer a great deal in terms of expression, dynamics, texture and colour. In fact they are technically challenging for both hands as well as our counting ability and being able to follow their melodic and harmonic progression.

The music is very clearly printed and well edited giving the player as much help as possible without over fingering or creating too much clutter on the page.

For example Brasileirinho uses arpeggio patterns across the strings creating campanella effects that require ‘alternative’ fingering. The writing is clear and easy to read, with the position being indicated by a string number for the first note of the chord. This clue helps you to find the position but you still have to do most of the work meaning that you are constantly learning notes in new positions!

Sons de Carilhoes (Maxixe) is a very popular piece on the guitar and is presented here in 2 versions. The piece has fantastic movement and requires great dexterity around the fingerboard. The syncopated rhythms and ‘sing along’ melody carry you through Dengoso, and I love the contrasting bass and treble melody in Grauna with a brilliant build up to the repeat of the main theme.

Another favourite is Po de Mico. This piece is really quite virtuosic, moving quickly around the fingerboard in single lines and chords. The musical pace is exhilarating but the melodic lines still need to sing and the rhythms need to be clear enough to drive the music.

These pieces are by no means easy but the finished result is so enjoyable that they are well worth the effort, and remind me the main reason I play, and that is simply enjoyment!

Selina.

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carulli-duo-op62-no3

Carulli Duo op. 62 no 3

Ferdinando Carulli

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CH 83 - Written for 2 guitars. Carulli, one of the most prolific composers of his century with at least 400 pieces to his name. A pioneer in his field he popularised the classical guitar in Paris where many guitarists came to study under him. This edition, for two guitars, is clearly printed with both score and parts. Fingering is absent which is great as this allows freedom for ones own interpretation.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Ensemble
  • Containing
  • Moderato
  • Larghetto molto sostenuto
  • Trio
  • Rondeau - Presto
bach-inventions-8-15

Bach Inventions Vol 2 8-15

J. S. Bach

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BMV 773 - Written for 2 guitars. Transcribed by Mario Martino & Andrea Schiavina. As with all UT Orpheus publications this edition is very clearly and cleanly printed which really helps when sight reading ensemble pieces. Music written by Bach, what more can I say, if you have an interest in playing ensemble which in my opinion you should at least try, then these Inventions are fun and challenging.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Ensemble
carulli-duo-op62-no1

Carulli Duo op. 62 no 1

Ferdinando Carulli

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CH 81 - Written for 2 guitars - Carulli, one of the most prolific composers of his century with at least 400 pieces to his name. A pioneer in his field he popularised the classical guitar in Paris where many guitarists came to study under him. This edition, for two guitars, is clearly printed with both score and parts. Fingering is absent which is great as this allows freedom for ones own interpretation.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Ensemble
  • Containing
  • Moderato
  • Romance - Largo
  • Minuetto - Allegro
  • Polonaise - Con poco moto
carulli-duo-op62-no2

Carulli Duo op. 62 no 2

Ferdinando Carulli

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CH 82 - Written for 2 guitars - Carulli, one of the most prolific composers of his century with at least 400 pieces to his name. A pioneer in his field he popularised the classical guitar in Paris where many guitarists came to study under him. This edition, for two guitars, is clearly printed with both score and parts. Fingering is absent which is great as this allows freedom for ones own interpretation.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Ensemble
  • Containing
  • Moderato
  • Largo
  • Minuetto - Allegro
  • Rondeau - Allegretto con poco moto
musvivaldiconcerto

Guitar Concerto in D

Antonio Vivaldi

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

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
297

Guitar Music from The Student Repertoire

John Mills

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A collection of sixty selected pieces, placed in graded sequence, offering a wealth of material for the student to study. In terms of musical and technical value all of these pieces are worthwhile for both personal pleasure and for public performance should you wish. Aguado, Carcassi, Dowland, Milan, Sor, Tarrega and more.

Skill Level
Beginner
Intermediate

This is a lovely collection of pieces, very well put together and thought out. It is a fantastic repertoire resource with pieces that are very enjoyable to play and listen too, while teaching you new techniques and ideas. As John Mills says in his forward, all sixty pieces also provide excellent performance material and can encourage students to play to others and widen their musical experience and knowledge.

There are 8 pages of study notes with information on style, structure, fingering, and techniques such as slurring and balance of voices in chords and counterpoint. These notes are helpful for students in understanding what they are working towards and to teachers for ideas, however in some cases there is a little too much detail.

For example the notes for no.20, Estudio no.1 by Tarrega start with “In this little right hand study the 4th, 7th, and 10th notes should be played using rest strokes.” The problem here is that there is no explanation - why should we use rest stroke? Obviously the intention is to highlight the notes, but this is not made clear.

My advice is to read the study notes as there is a lot of good information and advice included, and then use them to ask questions as you learn the music rather than just following ‘instructions’. We are all capable of listening to the music as we learn and deciding how we want to play it. Having so many pieces with so much variety in one book is great for developing these skills.

The difficulty is graduated through the book, starting with some lovely little pieces by Aguado, Giuliani, Carulli and Sor suitable for beginners of about 6 months to a years experience (depending on age, speed of learning, etc).

I would certainly recommend playing from the beginning even if you are at a higher level, there is much to be learnt from this music and it also provides great sight-reading practice!

There are many old favourites included in the collection; Giuliani’s Andante in C (Tales of the Riverbank), Estudio no.1 by Tarrega with the melody appearing from within the arpeggio texture, Carcassi’s gorgeous study in A (op.60, no.3), lots of Sor studies including the B minor op.35, no.22, and Adelita by Tarrega.

I loved coming back to the Milan Pavanes, lovely serene pieces with great depth and the particular challenge of playing long sustained notes and chords. I also really enjoyed the movements from de Visee’s D minor suite, an excellent introduction to the Baroque period and music that has stayed with me since I first playing it 35 years ago. A lot of these pieces are found in separate books and more obscure editions meaning that a lot of people do not get access due to availability and cost.

This book gives you the taster that can then lead you to explore further or simply enjoy the pieces you have. Particular favourites for me include a Passamezzo (Anon. no.29) with lovely voicing and harmony, Minuet by Diabelli (no.39) with exciting musical shaping and texture where you can be your own little orchestra, and most especially a fantastic little prelude by Tarrega.

My recommendation for this book is summed up by the fact that I am now going to learn this Prelude, and also return to look at Tarregas other preludes and studies (as well as the de Visee!)

A collection like this is so valuable in extending our experience of the Classical Guitar and its music, I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do!

Selina.

musmertzvol6

Guitar Works Volume 6

Johann Kaspar Mertz

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Edition of Collected Works comprising about one-third of the composer's total output. Selected and edited by Simon Wynberg. Mertz was a leading guitarist composer from the Romantic period and his works are frequently performed in concerts today. His works are in the language and style of Mendelssohn, Schubert and Liszt.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced
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f-m-torroba-castles-of-spain

Castles of Spain

Federico Moreno Torroba

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

Skill Level
Intermediate
319

The Guitar Music of Spain Vol 2 Bartolome Calatayud

Bartolome Calatayud

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

Skill Level
Beginner
Intermediate
Advanced
291

Aural Training In Practice 2012 Grades 6-8

ABRSM

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

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced
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
muswandersiquepasa

i Que Pasa !

Jeop Wanders

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The twelve duos in this album are in the Spanish styles so characteristic for the guitar. The distinctive character of the pieces emerges from the way they are played and from special effects like flageolets, tambora, golpe etc. The two guitar parts make equal demands on the players. It makes no difference who plays which part. The album is an excellent aid to duet-playing. The CD is both instructive and for playing along with. Difficulty level grade 3

Skill Level
Beginner
192

The Guitar Music of Spain Vol 3 Bartolome Calatayud

Bartolome Calatayud

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This sort of collection is great since as well as including some well-known and very popular pieces it introduces guitarists to some fairly obscure pieces and less well-known composers. This the third book in a series of three volumes contains the very best of Spanish guitar music. Traditional Spanish and Hispanic music by composers such as Rodrigo, Calatayud, Llobet, Cardoso, Sainz De La Maza and other masters.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced

This sort of collection is great since as well as including some well-known and very popular pieces it introduces guitarists to some fairly obscure pieces and less well-known composers.

This sort of collection is great since as well as including some well-known and very popular pieces it introduces guitarists to some fairly obscure pieces and less well-known composers.

Included are quite a wide variety of styles from within this genre from the brightness and relative simplicity of Bolero and El Majo by Calatayud to the contemporary feel of Pajaros De Primavera by Rodrigo and the rich, romantic melody of Capricho Arabe by Tarrega.

The edition is very good with plenty of space allowed for each piece (which is very important for the amount of notes that some of them contain) and clear musical instructions and fingering.

As for the latter, there is not too much; the Torroba and Rodrigo have none at all allowing much more freedom for the performer even if it takes a little longer to work it out!

If you are considering this book for one or two pieces it is very worth while. For one thing the price is very good for the variety that you get!

Madronas by Torroba (grade 8) is a rich and beautiful piece that really captures the spirit of Spain and highlights the warmth, sonority and lyricism of the guitar as brought to us by Segovia.

Capricho Arabe is also here – a great repertoire standard with its soaring melodic lines and rich harmonies.

Another highlight for me is the music by Sainz De La Maza, which, unfortunately, is not heard so much these days. He uses the guitar very effectively having a lighter, simpler feel and so depicting the vitality of Spain.

There are some big and more complicated and contemporary pieces by Llobet as well as his glorious arrangement of El Noi de la Mare.

Some of these pieces take more working out and effort to learn but the experience is great for any guitarist in learning about musical style, shape and interpretation.

Selina.

muslemayprogressivevol5

Repertoire Progressif Volume 5

Les Productions dOZ

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These six volumes of progressive repertoire for classic guitar provide pieces that will please apprentice guitarists at both beginner and more advanced levels. The repertoire was chosen by a large number of Quebec teachers who have been working for many years at all levels of classic guitar instruction. Their precious help has brought quality, diversity and originality to this collection.

Skill Level
Intermediate
66

Repertoire Progressif Volume 1

Les Productions dOZ

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Repertoire Progressif is the first book in a series of six graded volumes. Each album contains a wide spectrum of styles and is split into organised sections. The 52 pieces in this volume come under the headings of Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Various (traditional, romantic and contemporary), Studies and Duos. They contain a mixture of traditional guitar repertoire (Sor, Aguado, Giuliani, etc), new arrangements and some previously unpublished compositions by one of the editors of this series, Claude Gagnon (Marakesh, an evocative solo and two attractive duets.

Skill Level
Beginner

I really like the printing and layout in this book. It has a clean and spacious appearance that is immediately encouraging! The gradual progression of difficulty level through the book is well paced, travelling, at the same time, from the 16th to the 19th century.

The music was chosen by a large number of teachers from Quebec, resulting in a diverse collection of very tuneful and accessible music predominantly from the Renaissance, Baroque and Classical periods.

The first 9 pages offer loads of experience with easy 2 part pieces using mostly open bass strings. From there the technical progression includes arpeggio style, dotted rhythms, chords in thirds, keys up to 3 sharps and 2 flats, and, to finish the solo section, an easy arrangement of the opening of Asturias by Albeniz highlighting the bass melody

It is so exciting and encouraging to have music like this at the early stages of learning! I would like to highlight the single line, melodic studies by Sor which are so important for developing phrasing and singing skills.

It is also great to see a good collection of the standard repertoire by composers such as Sor, Aguado and Carcassi, music that is fantastic for developing a good solid technique while at the same time being enjoyable and satisfying.

There is a good selection of duets at the end of the book enabling the student to enjoy being part of more complicated music, with excellent arrangements.

Overall, this is an excellent edition with a clear and uncluttered layout and fingering that is kept to a minimum.

Grade 1

  • V’la l’bon vent: this is a simple, rhythmical 2 part piece using open basses, excellent for developing singing of the melody!
  • Lecon: a single line melody developing basic skills of phrasing and legato playing with simple 3 note chords at cadences

Grade 2

  • Chanson: a flowing waltz in D major and a crotchet rhythm.
  • Valse: a well-known “standard” by Aguado developing thirds and moving left hand shapes.
  • Ecossaise in A minor: this is a flowing 2-part piece by Giuliani using the accidentals of the minor key with the second half in the relative major, and some more detailed articulation in the bass.
  • Lecon in C: an extended single line melody by Sor excellent for shaping phrasing across wider intervals and for legato playing.

Selina.

musbachcello

Bach Cello Suites 1 to 4

J. S. Bach

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For more than a century guitarists have been irresistibly drawn to Bach’s remarkable cello suites. Here, for the first time, are the first four in the easiest and most resonant guitar keys. Suites I–IV must be transposed to work on the guitar, whereas Suite V is always played in A minor, in Bach’s own lute version, and the equally demanding Suite VI can only be played in its original key of D. By adding as little as possible, these arrangements preserve the integrity of the originals.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced

This edition is very well researched, laid out with clear printing and plenty of examples and explanation. It gives guitarists of all standards and musical knowledge an opportunity to explore this fantastic music. As Richard points out in his introduction the guitar repertoire already has ‘difficult’Bach in abundance, whereas these 4 suites are altogether more approachable.

Before the music starts there are 4 pages of notes which are clearly laid out in sections; Keys, Realising the notation, Added notes and other changes to the text, Ornaments and Acknowledgments. This is by no means a daunting read (and must be read!!) covering his reasons for changing keys, his choice of fingering and added harmonies and help in interpreting the hidden counterpoint in Bach’s single line melody. Although some of the language is quite academic it is not difficult to gather the overall meaning and points about literal length of notes for example really do help in your interpretation.

Richard has chosen to, for the most part, stick with the cello’s single line melody, clearly stating his reasons why There have been many arrangements of this music with guitarists keen to add harmony to exploit the abilities and richness of the guitar, perhaps most famously John Duarte’s arrangement of the first cello suite. The main problem with adding too much to the original is that you end up taking a lot away, the extra notes often impeding the natural flow of the music. This is music that speaks for itself and through simply playing the original notes you start to hear the shape of the phrases and implied voices, with the musical qualities of the guitar enhancing them further. In its original form, as printed here, we learn much more about playing musically rather than working out fingers and chords all of the time!

Any notes that have been added or changed (in octave for example) are written in small print and there are examples in footnotes to help with interpretation of ornaments and ideas on embellishing the music stylistically.

The edition is by no means over fingered and allows plenty of space for changes and adding your own fingering. Sometimes it is necessary for an arranger to add fingering when they feel that the music has to be played in a certain way to communicate the composer’s original intentions. My only question here is that the method of fingering is a little inconsistent and requires stopping to think. For example in places a note will be marked with a string number that indicates a different position but is not immediately obvious. There is quite a bit of right hand fingering which is fair enough as long as the player realizes that they are simply suggestions and should not hold up your musical line. This last point is key; the only important thing is the music. If you find it difficult because you are trying to impose a fingering that does not fit for you then you are losing out! (Having said that one finger repeated throughout is not good enough technically and will also not bring the musical line out fluently!)

This edition does give very clear explanations of the reasons for using certain fingerings and in doing that immediately offers the player choice – excellent!

As for the music - it is wonderful, offering excellent melodic, listening and phrasing work for the guitarist. It may feel strange at first playing mainly single lines but you will find yourself listening so much more and eventually really enjoying the freedom of movement and expression that this music gives. I particularly enjoyed Suite IV, which is majestic and full of wonderful twists and turns, rhythms and beautiful lines. I was unfamiliar with the music but am now inspired to explore it further – what more evidence do you need of a good edition!

To sum up, whether you want to try playing Bach’s music for the first time or are experienced and looking for something new, this edition would be an excellent and very worthwhile addition to your library.

Selina.

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