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

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-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
musyorkkinderlight

Kinderlight

Andrew York

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York's first big break came in 1986 during study in Spain. In a concert at the end of the course, he played one of his original compositions, "Sunburst." Guitarist John Williams, who happened to be in the audience, was impressed with the piece. He asked York to transcribe it and send it to him in England. Williams's interest in the piece was not a momentary thing: not only did Williams add it to his performances, but he also recorded it. Since then York has published many works including Kinderlight a book of 7 pieces. If you are a fan of his music, as I am, Kinderlight will be a great addition.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced
aguado27studies

Aguado 27 Studies for Guitar

Aguado

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Edited by Gianluca Allocca, published by UTOrpheus with a forward by Angelo Gilardino. A range of books of which this is one are beautifully printed, very easy to read making a good addition to ones music collection even before one considers playing the studies. This publication is from the third part of the Aguado method and is the most important.

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
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
323

Complete Studies for Guitar

Fernando Sor

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Edited by Paolo Cherici. In editing Sor's studies Cherici is attempting to seek new performing possibilities. Cherici has not restricted himself to Sor's original fingering or even to the traditional solutions adopted. Cherici wishes to develop an outcome that reflects his own personal view of how these pieces should be performed.

Skill Level
Beginner
Intermediate
Advanced
324

Grand Solo Op. 14

Fernando Sor

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Edited by Fabio Rizza. With this edition Rizza concludes that the Grand Solo op.14 was composed at a time when Sor was trying his luck in the World of opera in Barcelona. There are many editions of this work and in this edition Rizza leans a lot on Meissonniers second editon of the Grand Solo which was the last to be published during Sor's lifetime.

Skill Level
Advanced
325

Sor Variations Op. 9

Fernando Sor

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on a theme from Mozart's Magic Flute edited by Fabio Rizza. Based on the theme 'Das Klinget so herrlich' taken from the first act. This edition is worth owning just for the Preface which has much interesting historical detail. Print quality is clean bright and very easy to read. An excellent edition.

Skill Level
Advanced
326

9 Fantasias for Guitar Solo

Alonso Mudarra

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Alonso Mudarra (c. 1510 – April 1, 1580) was a Spanish composer of the Renaissance, and also played the vihuela, a guitar-shaped string instrument. He was an innovative composer of instrumental music as well as songs, and was the composer of the earliest surviving music for the guitar.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced
327

8 Compositions for Guitar Solo

Alonso Mudarra

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Alonso Mudarra (c. 1510 – April 1, 1580) was a Spanish composer of the Renaissance, and also played the vihuela, a guitar-shaped string instrument. He was an innovative composer of instrumental music as well as songs, and was the composer of the earliest surviving music for the guitar.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced
328

36 Caprices Op. 20

Luigi Legnani

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In the varied world of the 19th century guitar Legnani was an inspired and prolific composer. Initially trained as a violinist he became famous as a guitarist and was held in great esteem by Paganini. The Caprices were first published in 1822 with each having a defined character and some are outstanding examples of pure virtuosity yet with emotion and spontaneity.

Skill Level
Advanced
329

Christmas Carols

Fabio Rizza

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18 easy arrangements for guitar solo includes titles such as Coventry carol, The Wexford Carol, O Tannenbaum, Away in a Manger and many more. Beautifully printed, no cumbersome page turns, bringing fun and variety to the holiday period.

Skill Level
Intermediate
musweiss

Weiss for guitar

Silvius Leopold Weiss

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It is great to see these two collections being published, as the music is often difficult to find and choose when students reach the technical level required.

Skill Level
Advanced

It is great to see these two collections being published,as the music is often difficult to find and choose when students reach the technical level required.

I was especially impressed with the Weiss collection where the 10 movements chosen (from a huge repertoire of suites) work very well as stand alone pieces and transfer beautifully onto our 6 string classical guitar, without the player having to perform too many acrobatics and without losing the musical flow.

It is very important to introduce the repertoire of these two composers to guitarists as soon as possible. Weiss because he was a contemporary of Bach and wrote pieces of high quality and, arguably more suited to the guitar, and Scarlatti whose harpsichord music helps to develop a feel for the Spanish Baroque style where the guitar can recreate the textures of the harpsichord very well.

The editions are clearly set out and printed with excellent historical notes at the beginning of each volume. These notes are very informative and useful for the technical and musical interpretation of the pieces.

For the Scarlatti there is some background for individual pieces, as well as musical ideas and explanation of ornaments.

For the Weiss there is a more general history of how he wrote for the Baroque Lute developing the instrument to include 13 courses, and of his main format for composition, namely the suites of dance movements.

I particularly found useful the explanation of the Prelude or Fantasia, a form represented in the first piece in this book.

The Scarlatti pieces all fit the guitar well although the last two are technically complicated. My favourites are 3, 5, 6 and 7 from which I felt I could really get a lot of musicality, texture and rhythmic drive.

All of the Weiss movements are lovely with a lot of contrast to be found between pieces. The player can get a real feel for the dance styles and sophisticated harmonies that Weiss used. My highlights are the Rondeau and Sarabande (5 and 6), Paysanne (8) and Courante (9).

The only thing that I would like to have seen less of in these editions is fingering, especially for the left hand. The music is complicated and it is nice to have fingering advice but I found that it hindered my initial reading of the pieces and so it ended up taking me longer to become fluent!!

It is good for students and teachers to work out the best fingering for themselves through trial and error - in my experience you learn more thoroughly and have a better understanding of reading and technique this way.

Overall, this is excellent source material for any guitarist, not only to be used for exams but as essential repertoire. It is also beautiful and detailed music that all will be able to enjoy learning and mastering.

Selina.

musscarlatti

Scarlatti for Guitar

Domenico Scarlatti

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It is great to see these two collections being published, as the music is often difficult to find and choose when students reach the technical level required.

Skill Level
Intermediate

It is great to see these two collections being published,as the music is often difficult to find and choose when students reach the technical level required.

I was especially impressed with the Weiss collection where the 10 movements chosen (from a huge repertoire of suites) work very well as stand alone pieces and transfer beautifully onto our 6 string classical guitar, without the player having to perform too many acrobatics and without losing the musical flow.

It is very important to introduce the repertoire of these two composers to guitarists as soon as possible. Weiss because he was a contemporary of Bach and wrote pieces of high quality and, arguably more suited to the guitar, and Scarlatti whose harpsichord music helps to develop a feel for the Spanish Baroque style where the guitar can recreate the textures of the harpsichord very well.

The editions are clearly set out and printed with excellent historical notes at the beginning of each volume. These notes are very informative and useful for the technical and musical interpretation of the pieces.

For the Scarlatti there is some background for individual pieces, as well as musical ideas and explanation of ornaments.

For the Weiss there is a more general history of how he wrote for the Baroque Lute developing the instrument to include 13 courses, and of his main format for composition, namely the suites of dance movements.

I particularly found useful the explanation of the Prelude or Fantasia, a form represented in the first piece in this book.

The Scarlatti pieces all fit the guitar well although the last two are technically complicated. My favourites are 3, 5, 6 and 7 from which I felt I could really get a lot of musicality, texture and rhythmic drive.

All of the Weiss movements are lovely with a lot of contrast to be found between pieces. The player can get a real feel for the dance styles and sophisticated harmonies that Weiss used. My highlights are the Rondeau and Sarabande (5 and 6), Paysanne (8) and Courante (9).

The only thing that I would like to have seen less of in these editions is fingering, especially for the left hand. The music is complicated and it is nice to have fingering advice but I found that it hindered my initial reading of the pieces and so it ended up taking me longer to become fluent!!

It is good for students and teachers to work out the best fingering for themselves through trial and error - in my experience you learn more thoroughly and have a better understanding of reading and technique this way.

Overall, this is excellent source material for any guitarist, not only to be used for exams but as essential repertoire. It is also beautiful and detailed music that all will be able to enjoy learning and mastering.

Selina.

scenesfromwildwest

Scenes from the Wild West

Gary Ryan

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

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Railroad

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

Across the Plain

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

West Coast Breeze

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

Rockweed

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

Rondo Rodeo

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

Smoke Rising

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

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

Selina.

musicbrouwer2

Un Dia de Noviembre

Leo Brouwer

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An extremely enjoyable piece for those looking for music to please an audience who may be new to classical guitar. Clearly printed and easy to read the music spans two pages ensuring no page turns.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced

This piece has a beautiful melody, wistful and contemplative at first, with plenty of contrasts in emotion and atmosphere to captivate the listener and the player.

The piece really shows Brouwers complete understanding of the guitar and how to get the best from the instrument and the player.

He uses patterns of fingering in both hands and although some of the moves are tricky, with one difficult stretch, the piece feels very natural overall, falling under the fingers and allowing more time for interpretation.

The music employs good, basic guitar techniques, most importantly keeping the melody and phrasing flowing over the accompaniment while also recognizing the bass line. It is also good for listening to harmonies and progressions, and how these influence musical direction.

The piece has three main sections; A introduces the main melody and returns after B and C. B maintains the melancholic feel but moves into a higher register, moving back and forth between 2 motifs and giving a more restless feel. C is in a major key with a brighter feel and stronger rhythms in contrast to the gentle, arpeggio accompaniment of the first two sections.

I found that the more I play this piece the more I find within it. It is very enjoyable to play and an excellent ‘audience’ piece. A must for any Players/Performers repertoire.

Selina.

musicbrouwer3

Nuevos Estudios Sencillos.

Leo Brouwer

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A group of studies covering various techniques such as arpeggio, staccato, legato, afro-cuban rhythmic patterns, tremolos, partial barre, this is an essential book for the committed student.

Skill Level
Beginner
Intermediate

I have always been a fan of Leo Brouwer’s music and so was immediately drawn in to these studies with their great use of the guitar and "natural" technique that compliments rather than fights the music!

Like Brouwer’s "Simple Studies", they provide varied technical and musical skills as well as training the ear to the more unusual sounds and dissonances of modern music which is very important in the development of the young (and not so young!) budding guitarist.

At the same time Brouwer manages to keep the music very lyrical, linking each study to a composer (homage to…) which heightens interest!

My only worry is the statement in the notes for study number one that the collection is for beginners or children. I think that these pieces would be of benefit to, and enjoyed by players of any age, but possibly suited to those with a bit more experience since the notation, rhythms and voicing is quite tricky in places.

I would place them at a grade 3 to 5 level, possibly 6 if all the tempo and articulation markings are kept to (for our database beginner/ intermediate)

Each study has written notes which clearly explain what is required and what to focus on.

The music requires clear dynamic control, careful articulation even between voices, pinpointing melody within arpeggios, legato phrasing and syncopated rhythms. There is simply loads to work on in each piece!

My favourites are Tarrega (no. 5) with its minimalist style, tremolo development and strong echoes of Brouwer’s Decameron Negro; Prokoviev (no. 4), which has an excellent, rhythmical bass melody; the lovely harmonies and chord melody in Villa Lobos (no. 8) and the beautiful simplicity of Szymanowski (no. 9).

Overall, this collection of pieces would be of great benefit to players of all standards and I particularly like the link to composers that will hopefully encourage young people to explore different kinds of music. Importantly the strongest element of "study" here is musical – excellent!

Selina.

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
musiclongroad

The Long Road Home

Gordon Giltrap

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Here are seventeen superb arrangements of Classic Giltrap guitar compositions all taken from Raymond Burley's CD The Long Road Home

Skill Level
Intermediate

I was uncertain about this book when I first skimmed through and I now put this down to a lack of understanding of the style and the way that it needs to be played, having had no previous experience of his music.

Each time I play through the book, I find another piece that I love, and that communicates new pictures and emotions to me.

There are many technical challenges in the pieces especially, I think, for "very" classical players like myself.

For example, he uses quick multiple slurs that require relaxation and freedom of left hand movement. The sound of individual notes is not important, rather the overall flow and direction of the musical line.

There is a lot of left hand movement around the fingerboard that requires agility but again I would say that relaxation and a rhythmic feel are foremost.

The harmony is much more interesting, unusual and surprising than I expected and as I played, I found that the overall feel had to be improvisatory and free within the rhythmic structure of the piece.

That sounded a bit too technical so let me see if I can put it more simply! The pieces all have a strong rhythmic framework but the notes need to sound free and flexible around this. So if you can play without technical worry (even if the notes are not all correct) you will get much more enjoyment from the music.

The book is a very well set out and clear edition and there are quite a lot of fingering suggestions, mostly barres and positions, that are helpful and only written once!

Remember not to feel restricted by fingering as everybody's hands work differently and your hands need to flow naturally with the music.

There is a noticeable absence of dynamic and musical markings, apart from well-chosen words at the beginning of each piece such as "lazily", "stately" and "lively", and I think that this is a key as to how the music should be played. It is all about interpretation; looking at the title and general speed/ musical instruction and then listening to the music and getting "caught up" in its story! You can then write in your own phrasing, dynamics, articulation etc, or let the music unfold differently each time you play.

There are many contrasts in mood between these 16 pieces and some testing counting and time signature changes.

The calm, peace and space of the first piece, The Long Road Home, provide a wonderful opening to the book. It is not too difficult and allows you to practice listening and experimenting - a great introduction to the style.

My other favourites include Kaz with its lazy, low harmonies and melodic line; the stately Lord's Seat; London, which has a slow and wistful feel; For those who Bring Sunshine, which is lively and hopeful; the exuberance of Fell Runner and finally A Christmas Carol - a slow and reflective piece with fantastic harmony and lovely delicate touches to the melody.

The highlight for me is probably A Misunderstood Man, a piece that took me longer to appreciate with its slow, ever changing melodies but in which I now find new lines, feelings and pictures every time I play.

This volume of 16 pieces has taught me a lot about interpretation and freedom in performance and I know that this will benefit my technique, playing and performance in general.

Selina.

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