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

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.

musscarlatt_4sonatasUE29149

Four Sonatas UE 29149

Domenico Scarlatti

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Skill Level
Intermediate
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.

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.

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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mustimescapes

Timescapes

John Whitworth

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Nine compositions aiming to broaden the repertoire of the intermediate guitarist. The most fun I have had in ages, if you are searching for music to challenge the player and give pleasure to the audience this is definately for you.

Skill Level
Intermediate

I first started to play these pieces a week ago and I am already completely hooked!

They are beautifully simple in concept and very aptly named. John seems to have a knack of putting across expressive ideas in relatively few notes, and not asking the guitarist to perform acrobatics, ensuring that you can enjoy the music!

I was immediately attracted to the high levels of interpretation and musicianship being asked for. All the pieces work at many levels; if you are working up to this technical level the pieces will sound good without too much control of sound and dynamics, but if you are more advanced you can still get loads of enjoyment from the music by challenging yourself on matters of colour and shape.

The amount of instruction in the book is excellent. Each piece has a description that varies from the origin of, or inspiration for the piece, to technical instruction and musical goals.

The introduction on the title page briefly explains the history of the pieces and ideas for performance; for example as a continuous suite, individually or in smaller suites created by grouping three or four pieces together.

These are great ideas for students embarking on their first performances, and for more experienced players developing their musicianship.

The phrasing, dynamic and articulation markings are very detailed throughout giving you plenty to work with that will help you to bring out the shape and character of each piece.

The first section of First Light is made up of long legato chords asking for lots of dynamic control and it finishes with a simple but beautiful quaver melody.

Road to the Hills and The Traveller are more lively and rhythmical while Edge of Storm uses low dissonances and a throbbing bass line for dramatic effect.

Serenade pays homage to Erik Satie's famous Gymnopedie No 1 for piano and Walton's 2nd Bagatelle for guitar asking for a legato melody line with accompaniment very much in the background.

The rhythm in Milonga is easy to highlight and great fun to play.

Introduction and Tango is very cleverly written with two simple voices that fit together and bring out the spirit of the dance perfectly.

Late Night contrasts a slow, broody introduction (great melody), with a lively swing rhythm and the collection is brought to a close by the haunting Beneath the Stars where the bass melody is backed by a fast but gentle open string arpeggio, finishing with the melody from First Light in harmonics, dying away.

The most important aspect of this collection for me, and, for that matter, of being a guitarist, is summed up by John at the end of his introduction;

"I hope you enjoy playing these pieces and bringing them to life…"

Selina.

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
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
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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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.

musponcevalse

Valse

Manuel M Ponce

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Ponce was in fact born in Mexico City but by 1904 was living in Europe where he studied music in Bologna and Berlin. In 1925, after a spell back in Mexico, he was inspired to make the move to the French capital. It was a stay that was to last seven years and was arguably his most creative period. It was when he met Andres Segovia in 1923 that he began to compose music for guitar.

Skill Level
Advanced

This is a new to piece to me and I enjoyed playing through so much I have decided to learn it properly!

It is so full of life making full use of the powerful resonance of a guitar with dropped ‘D’ tuning.

The strong and bright main theme has an almost ‘rustic’ feel accompanied by full strummed chords and moves at a lively one in a bar pace.

The articulation and musical directions are detailed and need good control, the articulation particularly bringing loads of texture and shaping to the music.

The main theme has a lot of contrast in register and dynamic and is repeated throughout the piece giving it its structure with great, unexpected harmonies and twists in direction in between.

The centre section changes key to B?. It has more chromatic movement and emphasis on melodic lines in the treble and bass with fewer chords in the accompaniment texture.

I love the falling bass line building up to the return to D major. In contrast to the full and energetic theme the ending is ‘grazioso’ and understated – a lovely surprise!

This little Valse has fantastic movement and swing throughout, making full use of the tone colours in the guitars voice, and leaving you with a definite ‘feel good’ feeling – an excellent little repertoire filler.

Selina.

mustwelve

Twelve Inventions

Peter Nuttall

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Covering a wide range of musical styles,these twelve pieces are characterised by strong melodies, idiomatic harmonies and an inventive use of the fingerboard. They have become one of the most popular guitar publications at this level.

Skill Level
Beginner
mustrinitytheoryg5

Theory of Music Workbook Grade 5

Trinity Guildhall

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Designed for use during lessons or at home these workbooks contain all the requirements for Trinity Guildhall examinations. Each book also contains sample exam papers.

Skill Level
Intermediate
mussor20minuets

20 Selected Minuets GA15

Fernando Sor

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How should one perform Sor's music? I believe the answer is with considerably more freedom, expression and passion than has, for the most part, been done in the recent past. These 20 Minuets are a must have for the aspiring student wishing to develop the emotional side of their playing.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced
musmarshderbyshire9

Derbyshire Suite

Steve Marsh

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A musical excursion into the beautiful countryside of the county of Derbyshire which is set in the heart of England known as the 'Peak District'. Lathkill Dale, Bleaklow, Kinder Downfall, Arbor Low, Litton, Millers Dale and Peak Cavern are the names of each of the seven movements which make up this suite which lasts approximately 30 minutes. The music tries to capture the mood of each of these contrasting areas: from the tranquillity and beauty of Lathkill Dale and Miller's Dale and the mysterious and dramatic Arbor Low and Bleaklow, through to the humorous Litton and the awe and power of Kinder Downfall and Peak Cavern. The album contains a brief description of each area

Skill Level
Intermediate

This suite consists of 7 movements with lots of contrast in character, mood and atmosphere, and with plenty of musical and technical challenges.

In fact I think the most important factor in Steve’s music is the musicianship, challenging the player to explore the written notes and find the movement and emotion within the piece.

The titles of the individual movements in this suite are very evocative and the way the music is written reflects this beautifully. For example the syncopated melody within the arpeggios and the dissonant harmonies definitely create a mysterious feel in Bleaklow and the fast, tumbling arpeggios give you a real sense of a dramatic waterfall in Kinder Downfall.

Millers Dale is a beautiful, gentle piece with a dramatic centre section that includes one of my favourite ‘buildups’! I visited Millers Dale a few years ago and was amazed at how well this piece reflects the landscape and feel of the place.

The 5th movement, Litton, is written in sections with instructions as to the order and repeats. It has a festive and dance like feel that put me in mind of a village fete or celebration before I looked it up and found that Litton is a village!

The final movement, Peak Cavern, is very dramatic with running semiquavers that change from flowing and swirling patterns to rhythmical and energetic passages and back again.

This really is a lovely set of pieces that will enhance your repertoire and expand your musical ideas. I think that it is music written from the heart, about places that the composer knows and cares about. With the wonders of the internet you can look up the landscape as you learn the music, although the way that the music is written really does create a picture and feeling for you to develop. Some of the sounds are definitely challenging but they go towards creating a sound picture that is compelling and inspiring.

Great fun!

Selina.

233

Circles End

Steve Marsh

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Eleven works altogether, eight of which were originally written as teaching pieces and three as concert items. Titles are: Mystery Waltz; The Rainbow; Song for a Gentle Maiden; Rush Hour; The Seagull; Carnival Time; Mountain Stream; When the Cats Waltz at Midnight; The Empty Attic; The Haunted Carousel; Circles End. Circle's End written in memory of the singer/songwriter, Harry Chapin and chosen by one critic as his 'Pick of the Year' piece in Classical Guitar magazine after it was included in their music supplement.

Skill Level
Intermediate

This is a lovely collection of pieces that bring out and highlight the very best that the guitar has to offer encouraging the musician within!

Steve Marsh is a guitarist and a teacher writing music on many different levels for guitarists from about a grade 3 standard, say 2 to 3 years playing experience. By this I mean that his pieces help us to develop our technique on the instrument as well as introducing new sounds and encouraging our communication skills and imagination.

In this collection the pieces are so interesting and full of character with lots of material for us to work with including simple melody and accompaniment, various arpeggio patterns with melody above, below or within, movement around the guitar, shifting rhythms, texture, movement and, most importantly, feel.

The Rainbow is simple in 2 and 3 voices with straightforward rhythm but is very uplifting. The harmonic movement and interest in this really carries the player along and this is true of all the pieces from the gentle rise and fall of flight in The Seagull to the bubbling arpeggio texture of the Mountain Stream and the macabre, spinning twists and turns of The Haunted Carousel.

A great sense of humour comes across in When the Cats Waltz at Midnight and the rhythm of Rush Hour reflects the title brilliantly.

The title piece Circles end is simply beautiful with lovely breadth and depth to the sound creating a big and emotional sound picture.

The key thing with this music is that it introduces an idea through the title that you can grasp quickly as you start to learn through the way the piece is written, and then allows you to let your imagination run free and encourages feeling and enjoyment.

Just what we need!

Selina.

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muslerichsixpreludes

Six Preludes

Pierre Lerich

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These six preludes are a must for any aspiring player. I remember studying themin my earlier years and now having re visited them, I have to say they are still just as good. Musically expressive, and each with their own technical intricacies; but most of all great fun, offering a sense of achievement upon completion.

Skill Level
Intermediate
315

Elogio de la danza

Leo Brouwer

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A much loved and often performed piece that will test your technical and interpretive abilities yet give a great sense of achievement when mastered. The two movements Lento & Obstinato have been clearly printed making for easy reading and page turns are well catered for.

Skill Level
Advanced
bach-chaconne

Bach Chaconne BMV 1004

J. S. Bach

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Chaconne from Partita for violin No2 for guitar solo transcribed by Paolo Cherici. Adopting Bach's own criteria for transcription Cherici has been able to adapt the violin writing to the guitar helping to bring out the natural resources of the guitar. At the same time fingering has been considered to help suggest a possible phrasing.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced
80

Diversions

Peter Nuttall and John Whitworth

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An exciting collection of eleven guitar pieces that cover a wide range of popular styles; from folk to blues, Elizabethan music to Jazz and Classical. The mixture of arrangements and original compositions will ensure that this selection has something to offer players of all ages.

Skill Level
Beginner

This is a wonderfully varied little book.

For Diversions, Peter Nuttall and John Whitworth have written music within 5 different styles – Folk, Jazz, Elizabethan, Classical and Blues. The result is 11 pieces each with their own technical and musical challenges. This book is great for building repertoire; in their introduction Nuttall and Whitworth say that their aim is to ‘provide the intermediate guitarist with a repertoire of pieces covering a wide range of popular musical styles’, and many of the pieces introduce the player to different techniques that are used across the board in classical guitar music.

Nuttall and Whitworth have written an ‘introduction’ to each piece, in which they point out the prevalent musical characteristics, give advice on counting or ‘feel’, and provide some interesting context. From the off the player is introduced to swing rhythms and slides in ‘Inside Blues’, techniques that will pop up again later in the book. With the slides and accidentals, Inside Blues has a very fluid, gritty feel that will get any player into the groove! It is followed by a more mellow piece called ‘Celebration’, in which a lingering top line melody is supported by flowing right hand patterns. The melody switches to the bass halfway through the piece, so we get the chance to use the thumb to bring that out. ‘The Helston Floral Dance’ and ‘The Rakes of Mallow’ work well both separately and as a pair, and are both arrangements of traditional tunes that contain more technical semiquaver runs.

My favourite tunes in this book have to be in the Jazz Suite, a collection of three pieces designed to test the player’s musicality. The pieces all contain a certain amount of space and are open to a little more interpretation, from the improvisatory feel of ‘Lazy Afternoon’ to the syncopation and catchy melody of ‘Stomp’, finishing with ‘Night Piece’ with it’s irresistible energy and walking bass line.

There is so much scope in this book to develop ones musicality; each piece has its own character and is fun to play in its own way. What Nuttall and Whitworth have produced is music that is appealing to listen to and play, but also can help to improve ones technique.

Jess.