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

musabtheory7

Music Theory in Practice, Grade 7

ABRSM

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Covers all aspects of the Grade 7 Theory of Music examination. Deals with harmonic vocabulary, dissonance treatment and part-writing in Baroque music, and melodic composition. Text includes worked examples of some typical examination questions, and a set of exercises is provided for each kind of question. Covers both pre-20th-century and 20th-century styles.

Skill Level
Advanced
guitaracademy2

Guitar Academy Book 2

Richard Corr

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This is a very well presented tutor covering many areas that others miss and providing clear explanations. Book 2 follows on nicely from book 1.

Skill Level
Beginner

This volume starts with a quick reference of notes, chords and accidentals followed by an introduction that takes the same format as in book one. It previews what there is to look forward to in book two, focussing particularly on free stroke and the importance of the improvisation and chord exercises in a students overall musical development.

There is an excellent introduction to free stroke describing where and why it is used, and the differences with rest stroke. There are pictures and written explanations on preparation for free stroke and correct and incorrect finger movements.

While many guitar teachers still disagree over the use of free and rest strokes in the early stages of learning (I start my pupils with free stroke) this book provides more information than is usual and so gives the pupil and teacher more choice. This introduction to free stroke is followed up by several exercises using chords in thirds and arpeggios helping the student to become familiar with the finger movements. The book then goes on to cover accidentals and key signatures, scales including the blues scale, ties, swing rhythm, dotted rhythms and 6/8 time signature.

Each new subject has clear written explanations, loads of pictures both amusing and technical, and plenty of exercises for practice. The section on playing fingers with thumb includes some very good open string exercises and even though it does move on to more difficult stretches, these are introduced in a way that makes them not seem so hard! The pieces at the end of the classical section are longer and more involved giving the student a real sense of progress and achievement. The chord supplement uses more involved strumming patterns, and introduces tablature.

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
310

Trinity Guitar 2016-2019 - Guitar Grade 4

Trinity College London

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Containing pieces required for the Trinity Guitar exam. Three pieces to be performed from those listed in this book, at least one from each group, or from the duets or alternative pieces listed for this grade, to form a balanced program. This is an excellent book even if you have no intention of taking the exams.

Skill Level
Intermediate
294

Sonatina Meridional

Manuel M Ponce

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Adapted by Andres Segovia and printed by Schott. Three pieces form the sonatina and here Schott receive top marks for the quality, clarity and layout of the printing which really does make the studying that much easier. The three pieces work well together and the quantity of dynamics helps tremendously with ones understanding of the music.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced

A definate for anyone who likes variety of expression, tone and technique. In this day and age of downloading I still prefer and enjoy a printed book and here the Schott edition is quality paper and quality printing bringing a nice feeling to ones practice time.

The sonatina starts with Campo, with an indication of Allegretto, this, I feel, allows you the emotional freedom to enjoy and interpret the music where if the marking was Allegro the extra speed indication would tend to make the music too fast for the ear to enjoy. Campo offers the player scope to work with tonal colour and to enjoy flashes of technique for both hands. If this is the first time you are stepping up to this level of musical challenge do be careful with the occasional left hand stretch, time spent in practice and attention to detail are worth the effort and will ensure you understand and enjoy the music.

Copla the second movement is to be played Andante. Copla, "A unit of verse consisting of two successive lines, usually rhyming and having the same meter often forming a complete thought". Looking at the music one finds plenty of demi semi quavers, don't be put off, keep the speed down and feel the movement carrying you forward. Personally I like to keep strict time using expression and dynamic to give the music its feeling of movement. Keeping alive the idea of two lines working together really does pay dividends.

Fiesta, now if you started too fast in the Campo and forgot to pull everything back with the Copla then here in the Fiesta you are going to wish you had used more control. The Fiesta has a dynamic marking of Allegro con brio and yes the con brio is a definite must not only for the music but also for your enjoyment. Gone are the demi semi quavers, now we have broken chords, rasgueado sections, dynamic indications of "Violento" "Destacado con humor" "Ironica", in fact reading just the dynamic indications tells you so much about the music and really brings the work to life.

What I really like about this music is that it sounds exciting and is very rewarding to learn irrespective of your current level of playing. If you can get your fingers around the notes, go for it and don't worry if someone else on YouTube plays it faster than you.

Adrian.

musburdenguitarprog4

The Guitarists Progress Book 4

David Burden

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Book 4 covers the area approximately Grade 6 to Grade 8. Music has been selected to encourage improvement in areas of technique for Slurs, Development of Melody and Barre with part two of the book being called Recital Section.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced
musguitaristsprogress1

The Guitarists Progress Book 1

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 Three 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
91

The Guitarists Progress Book 3

David Burden

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The Guitarist's Progress Book 3 - A selection of the best 19th Century works for guitar. Music for the intermediate stages of classical guitar playing, arranged by David Burden.

Skill Level
Intermediate
82

The Guitarists Progress Book 2

David Burden

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This collection of guitar pieces brings the guitar student from approximately Grade Two through Grade Four standard. It leaves the teaching of technique, hand positions, and other fundamentals to the teacher but provides material for work on specific techniques such as barres. The notes in the higher positions are gradually introduced and musical notation is explained with helpful hints.

Skill Level
Beginner
Intermediate
59

Impromptus for Guitar - Bennett

Richard Rodney Bennett

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This is a fantastic little set of pieces, very modern but with an incredibly expressive and often romantic feel. They form one of the many works that Julian Bream commissioned for the guitar from mainstream, twentieth century composers, so expanding the repertoire and giving us fantastic opportunities as guitarists to widen out musical knowledge and technical skill. Impromptus 1 to 5 for guitar, Universal Edition.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced

This is a fantastic little set of pieces, very modern but with an incredibly expressive and often romantic feel. They form one of the many works that Julian Bream commissioned for the guitar from mainstream, twentieth century composers, so expanding the repertoire and giving us fantastic opportunities as guitarists to widen out musical knowledge and technical skill.

These pieces are small in stature and huge in content, requiring the guitarist to go beyond the ‘norm’, and possibly also beyond their comfort zone and range of experience, but in a ‘friendly’ way, exploring different sounds and colours, shaping intervals and long melodic lines, and experimenting with dissonant harmonies and subtle mood changes.

The use of the guitar is just brilliant, treating it like a ‘micro’ orchestra and the player like a true conductor.

There are big contrasts between the movements with very different moods created through the use of phrasing, articulation harmony and beautiful melodic intervals that really make you think and listen in new ways.

Number two is marked ‘agitato’ and has an angry, driving opening with rhythm and dissonance being the key to the emotion. The pulse is a very strong 3 in a bar with occasional upset and uncertainty caused by a rhythm of 4 against this. In contrast the middle section has a soaring and passionate melodic line which has a much freer feel to it before the opening section returns using very fast repeated semiquavers to enhance and drive the music further. The agitation culminates with a sforzando B harmonic to finish – nothing held back!

Number three is full of the most exquisite harmonies enhanced by the 6th string tuning to E flat. Shifting rhythms and wide dynamics create a dark atmosphere with melodies rising and falling, building tension from within the brooding bass resonance. There is so much space and texture in this movement requiring excellent control of RH technique for tone, colour and articulation.

The contrast as you move into number four is sudden and stark with hurried, urgent and agitated passages of pizzicato notes punctuated by strident, rhythmical and dissonant chords creating a fantastic build up of tension and sound. Again the contrast within the movement is provided by two forceful and passionate melodies, very wide in range of pitch and finishing with a fantastically strong sff dissonant chord. The agitated pizzicato then returns building to a huge fff climax. The movement is marked Con fuoco and really gives the player to let rip and experience the raw emotion of the music.

This bombardment of sound and tension is very suddenly released in number five. Marked Arioso this is a beautiful and simply melody accompanied by an ostinato figure and gently rising and falling. The overall emotion is melancholy, becoming fuller and more emotional as the melody rises and then returning to its beginnings. The final crescendo leads up to some forte chords but, unlike the previous movements these are rich and sonorous, leaving behind the fire, unrest and passion. The music falls from this point with a wonderful, rich and rhythmical melody of dotted notes, triplets and semiquavers into the lowest register and then pauses, suspended on a low B flat before a return of the first theme from number one, molto tranquillo and dying away to nothing.

This work is really made up of miniatures but hopefully you can see from this review that they are packed full of interest, technically of course but more importantly musically.

I love a chance to create an orchestra of sound and texture on my guitar and to see how sound creates emotion. With this piece you can really experiment. Yes there are some difficult techniques although the writing always makes the most of the guitar’s natural abilities. Once you have the control the world is your oyster.

Selina.

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
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
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
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
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
giuliani-variations-op45

Variations Op.45 sur les Folies d'Espagne

Mauro Giuliani

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Like most Renaissance court dances, the Follia was originally a country dance. Shaking off its merry but coarse peasant character, the Follia rapidly entered the repertoire of art music as a simple harmonic scheme upon which to improvise or compose variations. Consisting of Theme and six variations this edition by Fabio Rizza is clearly printed making for ease of study and performance.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced
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.

muswynbergfirstrep

First Repertoire for Solo Guitar Book 1

Simon Wynberg

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The contents of book 1 cover a wide stylistic range with music of interest to adults and children alike. All compositions originally written for the guitar with some works being published here for the first time. Helpful notes are given on performance the selected pieces are designed to be varied and musically for the player.

Skill Level
Beginner
Intermediate
musfirstbookguitarsolos

A First Book of Guitar Solos

John Gavall

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30 short and easy pieces, including original works by Carcassi, Carulli, and Sor, and arrangements of folk tunes

Skill Level
Beginner
95

Five Pictures of Sark

Vincent Lindsey-Clark

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These five delightful pieces by Vincent Lindsey-Clark reflect the Channel Island of Sark. Maseline Harbour, Hvre Gosselin, Cycles in the Avenue, La Moinerie and Descent from La Coupee are expertly composed for solo guitar by this highly talented musician.

Skill Level
Intermediate

As with the "Simply" series, these pieces encourage experimentation, exploration and musicianship for all levels of ability.

Clarke somehow manages to make the guitar sound more expansive in scope than it is with the various ways that he writes melodies and, particularly, accompaniments. He achieves many different textures and moods, which are evocative and convincing, drawing real pictures of the scenery and life of Sark.

The music requires dynamic and tonal control and contrast, while the structure and harmony in the pieces introduces the player to a modern and "impressionistic" style.

We often talk about finding pictures to accompany your music and help you to communicate ideas - this music really helps and encourages you to do just that!

In Maseline Harbour the contrast in textures is fantastic, from the flowing arpeggios of the first section to a repeated chord accompaniment over a bass melody; this melody then expands into octaves bringing out wonderful dissonances and producing a big sound picture. The final section highlights a syncopated melody within the semiquavers that is a great exercise for the brain and finger independence. This creates an uneasy atmosphere before melting back into the opening arpeggios.

Havre Gosselin uses a simpler musical texture, mainly two voices, employing repeated notes in the melody to create long undulating phrases. This is a haunting piece; the dramatic centre section uses big jumps between first and seventh position to hold and release the tension in the music.

Cycles in the Avenue is the most cheerful of the pieces -the musical instruction is "scherzando"! The piece uses the whole fretboard and encourages a freedom of movement in the player. This is not easy as there is some challenging high position reading and quick moves. The contrasting middle section uses long slow chords with a "scrunchy" harmonic progression and voicing that requires one part to be staccato and the other legato.

La Moinerie is a beautiful, slow, expressive piece that requires good finger control to bring out the separate voices and fantastic harmonies. The phrases are long and flowing, excellent practice for the developing guitarist and the flow of the music is irresistible. A small phrase using artificial harmonics with other voices is a big challenge (a difficult technique) that is wonderful when mastered, and the way that the ending evaporates has a real "tingle" factor!

The final piece, Descent from La Coupee (304 steps) is the most dramatic, dissonant and exciting. The dissonances may take some time to get used to when you are learning the piece, but the effect they add to the driving rhythms conjures up many pictures including, for me, a thunderstorm, crashing seas and fright in the repeated chord section! The use of strumming and punctuated rhythm in the coda results in a big, dramatic ending.

This set of pieces would stand quite happily alongside more complicated and difficult works in performance and I think that any player would have fun (and benefit from) exploring them - I know that I do!

Selina.

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