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

124

Suite in D Minor

Robert De Visee

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Robert de Visée's origin is unknown, although of Portuguese origin he was likely to have studied with Francesco Corbetta. About 1680 he became a chamber musician to Louis XIV, in which capacity he often performed at court. Visée wrote two books of guitar music which contained twelve suites between them: Livre de guitare dédié au roy (Paris, 1682) and Livre de piéces pour la guitare (Paris 1686). Suite in D minor is his most popular suite.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced

This really is a hidden gem in my opinion, but because of the explosion in music being written for students over the last few years in modern styles it is repertoire that is, all too often, overlooked.

It is a fantastic introduction to the Baroque style and period and offers an accessible step on the ladder to the complex lute music of Weiss and Bach.

The short introduction by the editor is very informative, talking about the manuscript source and the considerations needed in transcribing to the modern classical guitar, for example dealing with the double octave strings A and D on the Baroque guitar.

What is particularly good for guitar students is that you have the opportunity here to play a whole suite, which together is quite an extended piece of music and teaches a lot about contrasting movements and musical continuity.

You can also choose to play single movements and learn how smaller groups work together as they would have been played in the Baroque, for example the two Menuets with a da capo repeat. All the movements are very accessible and represent all of the popular dance forms that you will find in other music of the period, with voicing and part writing that fit very well under the fingers.

There are loads of opportunities to develop musical and technical skills, particularly in the long musical lines, phrasing and counterpoint.

There is a lot of fingering but if you are open to experiment with this it really helps you to define melodies and bass lines and demonstrates the importance of getting the correct fingering to allow the music to sing as intended.

Rhythm is of course very important with the different dances and is in general quite challenging here, ideal I think for the average guitarist who does not like to count!

For example in the Allemande the melodic lines are long, interweaving and often the rhythm can seem syncopated with less importance on the first beat of the bar. There is a similar effect in the Courante together with the combination of 3/2 and 6/8 in the time signature and the need for constant movement. Add to this the slow, stately line of the Sarabande, the bright spirit of the Gavotte, the poise of the Menuets, a simple lively Bouree and the light and lilting final Gigue and you have a wealth of music to explore and enjoy.

This Suite will help you with musical expression in finding tone colours and trying to bring out the differing dance characters, as well as coping with the counterpoint, phrasing and challenging rhythms.

Most importantly in approaching this more complex style of music it offers plenty of variety and enjoyable playing.

Selina.

117

Renaissance Dances

Karl Scheit

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The musician or musical amateur of earlier times used to have a book in which were collected pieces that suited their musical tastes and technical abilities. This edition contains the following dances Allemand, Balletto, Galliard, Pavane and Villanella.

Skill Level
Intermediate
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85

The Young Guitarists Progress Part 2 GM7

David Burden

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This collection of guitar pieces takes the beginning guitar student from reading music to playing pieces of approximately Grade Two standard. It leaves the teaching of technique, hand positions, and other fundamentals to the teacher but provides material for all aspects of the very early stages of learning the guitar.

Skill Level
Beginner
42

The AB Guide to Music Theory, Part II

ABRSM

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Provides an introduction to the basic elements in harmony and musical structure. Separate chapters on voices, string instruments, woodwind and brass instruments, percussions and keyboard instruments, and instruments in combination. Covers non-harmony notes, tonal harmony and chromatic chords, and musical structure.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced
285

Travelling in Style Stage Four GM17

David Burden

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All the books in this series are versatile enough to be used as general repertoire alongside any teaching material. They were conceived to complement the Guitarists Progress and the Young Guitarists Progress teaching series. All the pieces are grouped together in collections with over 30 different pieces to choose from.

Skill Level
Intermediate

This series of books provides a wide variety of music for adventurous students wishing to get a taste of other musical styles and cultures, and in so doing, developing their technical and musical skills.

The Travelling in Style series was conceived alongside The Guitarists Progress teaching series but also works perfectly well as a stand-alone repertoire book, in this case for intermediate to advanced players.

As in the other books in the series it is divided into sections, in some cases continuing previous themes like the ‘Celtic Collection’, with new ideas in the ‘British Folk Song Suite’ and ‘Appalachian Album no.1’.

The music is printed very clearly with a refreshing lack of fingering, really sticking to specific fingering related to how the composer/ arranger wants the music to sound.

Each set of pieces has approximate gradings and extensive technical notes and directions. These talk about specific techniques such as pizzicato, tambora, slurs, glissandi and barres, as well as musical and stylistic suggestions.

The ‘Jazz Bar Set no.2’ some great rhythms and harmonies that classical guitarists may not have experienced before in their playing. I particularly love the arrangement of ‘She Moved through the Fair’ with a delicate texture created used harmonic and a gentle improvisatory feel through the changing time signatures. Burden talks a lot about the importance of sustaining melody and the balance between melody and accompaniment, evident in ‘Steal Away’, ‘The Unquiet Grave’ and a lovely arrangement of ‘Simple Gifts’. Development of a greater sense of rhythm and pulse is also a highlight; examples include a lively jig in ‘Gentle Fair Jenny’, exciting repeated chords in ‘The Gospel Train’ and great syncopation in ‘So What!’.

I particularly like the predominance of slower pieces that concentrate on feeling emotion through the music. A beautiful example is ‘I Wonder as I Wander’ where the relative technical simplicity allows the player to listen to the music, sing and really create the long slow phrases.

Some lovely music to add to your growing repertoire.

Selina.

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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.

musscarlatti4sonatasUE29179

Four Sonatas UE 29179

Domenico Scarlatti

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Sonata K83 is one of the minority with more than one movement. The forst contains some startling dissonances, produced by adventurous contrapuntal activity, typical of Scarlatti's impish disregard for the established rules; the second is a minuet. Sonatas K80 and K94 are both minuets. Scarlatti is often difficult but he springs too many surprises ever to become boring.

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 music is clearly printed with plenty of space in the layout, and even though there is too much fingering advice in my opinion, the page does not look overcrowded or cluttered with numbers giving the player a feeling of choice!

There is a short but comprehensive forward well worth the read as it gives a concise summary of the harmony and style of the pieces, enough to help you to start to understand the pieces. For example he mentions “startling dissonances” and “adventurous counterpoint” – definitely attracting my interest before even starting to play.

There is also a paragraph explaining the notation and fingering at the end of the book.

Duarte uses the interesting (and wonderful) tuning of 6th sting to D and 5th string to G for the first two pieces. Don’t let this put you off! It does not take long to get used to and really helps the music to sit naturally on the guitar.

I particularly like the lilt of the triplet semiquavers in the second piece with the tuning creating a lovely open bass.

Watch out for the misprint at the end of the second piece – the bass note should be a G! The third Sonata maintains a steady crotchet pulse with shifting rhythms above and continuously moving chords with fascinating harmonic changes, while the final piece challenges you with the counterpoint of two very separate voices and lots of drama in the music.

These are all interesting, and less obvious, choices giving us a clear insight into the Baroque style of Scarlatti with its distinctly Spanish feel.

As Duarte says “ Scarlatti is often difficult but he springs too many surprises ever to become boring!

Selina.

musscarlatt_4sonatasUE29149

Four Sonatas UE 29149

Domenico Scarlatti

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Skill Level
Intermediate
muswandersgfiesta

Guitarra Fiesta

Jeop Wanders

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A collection of 10 pieces in a lighter vein for the more advanced guitar student. Fingerpicking, a choro, a Venezuelan waltz, a salsa and a ragtime, finishing up with a bossa-nova duet, reflect important aspects of performance culture. This is a fun book extending the repertoire of the classical guitar beyond the usual. The book is really a collection of light entertaining pieces. All are nicely melodic with an interesting rhythmic variety. Well recommended to widen the average student fare.

musburdencertainhits3

Certain Hits 3

David Burden

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Songs and Themes from Stage & Screen for solo guitar. This book offers the student popular hits of contemporary music and pieces from other periods that have been used in Film, TV & Stage. Castle On A Cloud, Romance, The Harry Lime Theme, Summertime, The Godfather Love Theme, Ragtime Dance.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced
certainhits5

Certain Hits 5

David Burden

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10 Songs and Themes from Film and TV. Ticket To Ride; And I Love Her; The Windmills of Your Mind; Pastorale(Vivaldi); The Harmonious Blacksmith(Handel); Plaisir d'Amour; Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head; Scarborough Fair; Eye Level; The Jeeves and Wooster Theme

Skill Level
Beginner
Intermediate
musabauralbook1

Aural Training In Practice Book 1

ABRSM

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Aural Training In Practice Book 1 provides clear, structured guidance for candidates preparing for the aural tests in the Associated Board's practical examinations. covering grades 1-3. A CD of all exercises covering grades 1-3 is also available. 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
musabauralbook2

Aural Training In Practice Book 2

ABRSM

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Aural Training In Practice Book 2 provides clear, structured guidance for candidates preparing for the aural tests in the Associated Board's practical examinations. covering grades 4-5. A CD of all exercises covering grades 4-5 is also available. 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
Intermediate
119

Guitar Music for Beginners Vol 2

Musica Budapest

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Skill Level
Intermediate
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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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107

Guerau Five Pieces

Francisco Guerau

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Five dances selected from Guerau's Poema Harmonico. If the themes have a familiar ring it is because they were in general use and were often built on traditional groungs rather like as this century has made use of the 12-bar blues sequence. Guerau treats his themes with much greater freedom and resource than Sanz.

Skill Level
Advanced
108

Eight Sonatas

Domenico Scarlatti

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Of the more than 500 sonatas (originally termed esercizi) written for harpsichord by Domenico Scarlatti, Raymond Burley has chosen to arrange eight for guitar. These include K. 480, K. 379, K. 208, K. 232, K. 491, K. 94, as well as K. 376 and K. 377, which Scarlatti's cataloger, Ralph Kirkpatrick, suggests should be performed together. Burley has done a terrific job of fitting these pieces to the fretboard.

Skill Level
Advanced
68

The Young Guitarists Progress Part 1 GM39

David Burden

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Designed for young beginners learning individually or in groups. The New Things Sections introduce new notes, rhythms and techniques in a structured and entertaining way. Solos, duets and ensembles, including: The Batman TV Theme, Colours Of Day, The James Bond Theme and many more.

Skill Level
Beginner

The layout and printing in this book is excellent with notes slightly larger than normal, and space and pictures between pieces.

There are lots of well-known tunes in good arrangements, and I especially like the amount of solo pieces written in 2 voices using simple open basses. These provide invaluable experience for beginners at reading and playing two note chords, when books often move onto more difficult, fingered chords very quickly.

This book is clearly linked to The Young Guitarists Progress, Part 1 and its sections called "New Things 1-7, 8 and 9, 10" etc. However, it works perfectly well on its own since each "New Things" is fully explained. For example, "New Things 10 – playing with the thumb and fingers together, the bass 5th and 6th open strings and dotted crotchets."

Technically the book includes dotted rhythms, music with 2 voices and 3 note chords, tied notes and melody within simple arpeggios. There is even some simple syncopation in an excellent and very accessible arrangement of Eleanor Rigby.

The final section of the book, on ear development includes some copycat exercises, pentatonic and blues scales, and simple ideas on improvisation. This is all very valuable and something that we should introduce to pupils as early as possible.

Grade 1

  • Les Bouffons: a straightforward melodic arrangement of a well-known French traditional piece using the open D string as accompaniment. Cheerful and rhythmical!
  • Waltz in G: a flowing piece based on very simple arpeggios and chords, using up to 2 left hand fingers on strings 1, 2 and 3.

Grade 2

  • A La Mode de France: this is in D major and mostly fingered in second position. Question and answer phrases using the same rhythms including dotted crotchets.

Selina.

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mustimepieces1

Time Pieces for Guitar Vol 1

Peter Batchelor and Richard Wright

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These are excellent books and I find myself asking, Why wasn't this sort of syllabus available years ago. Preparing an exam syllabus is much more difficult than it may seem, and a thankless job, but with these books they have got it just right.

Skill Level
Beginner

These are excellent books and I find myself asking, "Why wasn't this sort of syllabus available years ago". Preparing an exam syllabus is much more difficult than it may seem, and a thankless job, but with these books they have got it just right.

They are beautifully laid out with clear printing and just a little fingering that is by no means intrusive and allows the students to really learn about the guitar fingerboard. The best thing however is the way that they introduce the history of music to guitarists, from the thirteenth to the twenty-first century, with very sympathetic arrangements throughout that allow you to forget that the pieces were not originally written for the guitar!

As guitarists, we have a wonderful repertoire of music but it is great to have the opportunity to experience the music of Mozart, Handel and Beethoven in a first hand and positive way. This is especially important for young people to develop understanding and enjoyment of classical music (and for GCSE and A level exams!) For this reason, I will happily use these books for all of my students in future whether taking exams or not.

There is a good mix of music throughout including traditional, classical, jazz influenced, popular and song arrangements, in solo and duo formats. Many of the pieces have explanatory notes of, for example, the history of the piece, translation of the title, and original format as in accompanied song or original instrument.

All of the early dance forms are explained and given context so that the student is learning far more than just (!) how to play the guitar. There are 36 pieces in the first volume and 32 in the second so you are getting an awful lot of music for your money! Each piece also states clearly the year in which it was written so, as the books quote, "you can map your journey through time."

The books clearly cover all the technical requirements of the first years of learning including legato melodies, shaping phrases, articulation and ensemble playing to name but a few.

To summarise the choice of music, quality and suitability of arrangements, and accompanying notes are all excellent. There are many recognisable tunes "throughout the ages" and contrast in styles from Personent Hodie (1360) to Bach (1736), and from our own Aguado (1843) to Granados (1902) and Lennon/McCartney (1966)!

The editions are easy to read with a level of fingering that is not overpowering and I can truly say that all the pieces are enjoyable to play (from personal experience!)

Highly recommended.

Grade 1 pieces

  • Ductia: a gentle flowing melody in 6/8 time using the open D string as accompaniment.
  • Branle d’Ecosse: a lot of running quavers in this dance using the open A string as accompaniment.
  • Gavotte: this lively dance by Handel has been arranged as a duet. The student’s part is a single line melody on the treble strings with a steady crotchet and quaver rhythm.
  • Douce dame jolie: this is a "virelais" which is an old French musical form related to dancing. It has an interesting syncopated rhythm and open A as accompaniment.
  • Leccion: a simple single line melody "Alla marcia"! in 2/4 time
  • Valse: a flowing waltz using an arpeggio style in the first half and then separating into 2 voices.
  • El Noy de la Mare: this is a duet arrangement of a beautiful traditional Catalan melody in F major using a dotted crotchet rhythm.
  • Poor Wayfaring Stranger: an arrangement of a traditional spiritual with an interesting syncopated rhythm.
  • One Hand, One Heart: a lovely arrangement of this song from Westside Story, with simple melody using long sustained notes in G major.
  • The Dangers of Poking Holes in Ice: as the title suggests this is great fun with staccato and accent articulation and dynamics that are vital to bring out the character.

Grade 2 pieces

  • Pavane: a short stately dance using 2 and 3 note chords.
  • Can she excuse my wrongs: a duet arrangement of this beautiful Dowland song. The student plays the vocal line including some syncopated rhythms and changes of pulse.
  • Farewell Manchester: this is a lively little piece, mostly in 2 voices with more challenging left hand changes.
  • Aria detta la Frescobalda: a duet arrangement; the student plays a single line melody which uses long tied notes, mostly in 2nd and 5th positions. In the key of E minor.
  • Ode to Joy: an excellent arrangement of this popular melody using 2 voices.
  • Menuet: a duet arrangement of this famous Haydn Menuet with longer quaver passages in the melody and detailed left hand fingering using positions 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.
  • The Sixpence: a traditional Irish melody with a lot of quaver passages and dotted rhythms and some fingered bass notes; in G major.
  • Here, There and Everywhere: a very effective duet arrangement of this Lennon/ McCartney song. The melody is syncopated requiring a good feel for the pulse and style.
  • Ballroom Blues: this little waltz is an original guitar piece written in a blues/ reggae style with simple 3 note chords and a bass melody. Great fun!

Selina.

mustimepieces2

Time Pieces for Guitar Vol 2

Peter Batchelor and Richard Wright

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These are excellent books and I find myself asking, Why wasn't this sort of syllabus available years ago. Preparing an exam syllabus is much more difficult than it may seem, and a thankless job, but with these books they have got it just right.

Skill Level
Intermediate

These are excellent books and I find myself asking, "Why wasn't this sort of syllabus available years ago". Preparing an exam syllabus is much more difficult than it may seem, and a thankless job, but with these books they have got it just right.

They are beautifully laid out with clear printing and just a little fingering that is by no means intrusive and allows the students to really learn about the guitar fingerboard. The best thing however is the way that they introduce the history of music to guitarists, from the thirteenth to the twenty first century, with very sympathetic arrangements throughout that allow you to forget that the pieces were not originally written for the guitar!

As guitarists, we have a wonderful repertoire of music but it is great to have the opportunity to experience the music of Mozart, Handel and Beethoven in a first hand and positive way. This is especially important for young people to develop understanding and enjoyment of classical music (and for GCSE and A level exams!) For this reason, I will happily use these books for all of my students in future whether taking exams or not.

There is a good mix of music throughout including traditional, classical, jazz influenced, popular and song arrangements, in solo and duo formats. Many of the pieces have explanatory notes of, for example, the history of the piece, translation of the title, and original format as in accompanied song or original instrument.

All of the early dance forms are explained and given context so that the student is learning far more than just (!) how to play the guitar. There are 36 pieces in the first volume and 32 in the second so you are getting an awful lot of music for your money! Each piece also states clearly the year in which it was written so, as the books quote, "you can map your journey through time."

The books clearly cover all the technical requirements of the first years of learning including legato melodies, shaping phrases, articulation and ensemble playing to name but a few.

To summarise the choice of music, quality and suitability of arrangements, and accompanying notes are all excellent. There are many recognisable tunes "throughout the ages" and contrast in styles from Personent Hodie (1360) to Bach (1736), and from our own Aguado (1843) to Granados (1902) and Lennon/McCartney (1966)!

The editions are easy to read with a level of fingering that is not overpowering and I can truly say that all the pieces are enjoyable to play (from personal experience!)

Highly recommended.

Grade 1 pieces

  • Ductia: a gentle flowing melody in 6/8 time using the open D string as accompaniment.
  • Branle d’Ecosse: a lot of running quavers in this dance using the open A string as accompaniment.
  • Gavotte: this lively dance by Handel has been arranged as a duet. The student’s part is a single line melody on the treble strings with a steady crotchet and quaver rhythm.
  • Douce dame jolie: this is a "virelais" which is an old French musical form related to dancing. It has an interesting syncopated rhythm and open A as accompaniment.
  • Leccion: a simple single line melody "Alla marcia"! in 2/4 time
  • Valse: a flowing waltz using an arpeggio style in the first half and then separating into 2 voices.
  • El Noy de la Mare: this is a duet arrangement of a beautiful traditional Catalan melody in F major using a dotted crotchet rhythm.
  • Poor Wayfaring Stranger: an arrangement of a traditional spiritual with an interesting syncopated rhythm.
  • One Hand, One Heart: a lovely arrangement of this song from Westside Story, with simple melody using long sustained notes in G major.
  • The Dangers of Poking Holes in Ice: as the title suggests this is great fun with staccato and accent articulation and dynamics that are vital to bring out the character.

Grade 2 pieces

  • Pavane: a short stately dance using 2 and 3 note chords.
  • Can she excuse my wrongs: a duet arrangement of this beautiful Dowland song. The student plays the vocal line including some syncopated rhythms and changes of pulse.
  • Farewell Manchester: this is a lively little piece, mostly in 2 voices with more challenging left hand changes.
  • Aria detta la Frescobalda: a duet arrangement; the student plays a single line melody which uses long tied notes, mostly in 2nd and 5th positions. In the key of E minor.
  • Ode to Joy: an excellent arrangement of this popular melody using 2 voices.
  • Menuet: a duet arrangement of this famous Haydn Menuet with longer quaver passages in the melody and detailed left hand fingering using positions 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.
  • The Sixpence: a traditional Irish melody with a lot of quaver passages and dotted rhythms and some fingered bass notes; in G major.
  • Here, There and Everywhere: a very effective duet arrangement of this Lennon/ McCartney song. The melody is syncopated requiring a good feel for the pulse and style.
  • Ballroom Blues: this little waltz is an original guitar piece written in a blues/ reggae style with simple 3 note chords and a bass melody. Great fun!

Selina.

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