Composing for Guitar.pdf

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“From Interpreter to Composer”–Sergio Assad | “Writing 24 Preludes”–Bryan Johanson | “Arranging Pixinguinha …”–Roland Dyens

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Letter from the Editor by Kim Perlak

As I write this letter, guitarists from all over the world are headed home after an inspiring week at our GFA Convention in Louisville. And, by the time you read this, all of us will be looking ahead at new projects—and new music—for the fall. No matter your profession, there is something about the beginning of the academic year that sparks our creativity as musicians. With this in mind, there is no better time to feature composers. For this issue, we invited composers to tell us about their creative process in their own words. We are delighted that those included in the following pages responded, and honored by their honesty and candor. Sergio Assad invites us into his personal journey from interpreter to composer. Roland Dyens takes us through his arranging process. Bryan Johanson reveals the thought process and inspiration behind his 24 Preludes. Andrew York shares his compositional philosophy—and examples of its application. Stephen Goss offers his ideas on writing in an interview with Guy Traviss. In our regular New Music article series, Kevin Cope writes about composing for family members. Joseph Williams II takes us into the process of programmatic writing as he explores the myths of his native New Mexico. In step with this theme, articles in our regular series are also creative in nature. In Performance Practice, Jeremy Grall presents Part II of his ornamentation article, inviting players to explore improvisation in a stylistic context. Rupert Boyd discusses the artistic choices necessary in the arranging process, and gives us Part II of his Granados arrangement. Jack Sanders discusses the importance of composition as a learning tool in his essay for Pedagogy. In Community Service and From the Professional Community, three guitarists write about the projects they created in their communities. And our Art Director, Kim Kanoy, compares composition for guitar with a composition in fine art. In upcoming issues, we will continue to feature composers. It is our hope to welcome more and more new voices in guitar to our forum here at Soundboard. We invite you to contribute your work and your perspectives.

Above: Kim Perlak, Soundboard Editior-In-Chief.

Editor’s note on the cover: In our new format, each issue of Soundboard explores a theme through the feature articles and other contributions. In the spirit of community, we ask our contributing authors to send us photos that reflect this theme, and our art team selects the photo that best meets the theme. It has been our pleasure to communicate with our authors for this issue, and we look forward to more creative offerings for upcoming issues. Cover Photo Credit: Kevin J. Cope

Note: Julian Gray’s Part II to his article, “The Ten Laws of Learning,” will be published in an upcoming issue.

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Vol. 39 No. 3, 2013

SOUNDBOARD 3 Letter from the Editor | by Kim Perlak

FEATURE ARTICLES

Composing for Guitar 8 From Interpreter to Composer | by Sergio Assad 12 Arranging Pixinguinha, A Letter from Roland Dyens | by Roland Dyens 16 Writing 24 Preludes for Guitar Solo | by Bryan Johanson 22 Making New Music for Guitar, A Letter from Andrew York | by Andrew York

29 Guitar Foundation of America Donor Acknowledgment Interview 30 Stephen Goss, Composer | by Guy Traviss Performance Practice 36 Arranging and Performing Early Music Part II: Ornamentation, Alfabeto, and Basso Continuo | by Jeremy Grall Transcription 43 Arrangement: Valses Poéticos, Part II | by Rupert Boyd New Music 50 Writing for Family: Selections from Suite No. 2 | by Kevin Cope 54 “Hawikuh:” A Story in Sound | by Joseph V. Williams II

COLUMNS

Pedagogy 60 Essays on Playing the Guitar: Caught Stealing | by Jack Sanders Community Service 61 The Guitar in South Central | by Scott Morris From the Professional Community 62 Starting the Crown of the Continent Guitar Festival | by David Feffer 63 Starting “All Strings Considered” | by Scott Wolf

64 Guitar Composition in Music and Fine Art:

Picasso’s “Still Life with Guitar.” | by Kim Kanoy

Recordings to Revisit 66 Ida Presti: The Solo Recordings | by Candace Mowbray Gear Review 67 Onymyrrhe and Miro’s Nail Oil | by Christopher Mallett News & Reviews 70 Reverberations | by Connie Sheu 72 Publication & CD/DVD Reviews | by Uroš Dojčinović, Amy Hite, Al Kunze, Jim McCutcheon, and David Norton

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Composing for Guitar From Interpreter to Composer by Sergio Assad One of the most intriguing things in my life as a musician has been the dichotomy of interpreter/composer. To create a composition and to be able to play it in a concert performance are two different aspects of the musical art. The interpreter is a carrier of the composer’s ideas, and at the same time he realizes himself as an artistic personality. Composers are creators of new works, and normally need the mastery and artistry of an interpreter to make their pieces known. There are many out there who work as both composers and interpreters, but most composers don’t excel in their instrument’s technique and are unable to deliver their works at their best. It seems that one of these artistic “sides” has to give way in order to create room for the other to flourish. I’ve dedicated many years of my life to mastering my guitar playing, and formed a guitar duo with my brother, Odair, that has lasted nearly fifty years—and keeps going! However, in my early years I remember trying to play songs on the guitar as I heard them on the radio. I composed my first tune at age thirteen, and for a couple of years I wrote with lots of enthusiasm. I imagined back then that I could indeed become a well-known songwriter! However, playing the guitar with my brother was more important to me, and I postponed my dreams of being a composer for some years. I dedicated most of my time to playing and arranging music for our duo. In our work together, we covered a lot of repertoire—from the Renaissance to modern music. By playing different styles of music, you have a fair chance of understanding the fabric of composition. Although I didn’t have a formal training as a composer, by age thirty, I felt that had I accumulated enough knowledge through my playing to start writing music. At that point I had not composed since I was a teenager, but I went back to it and wrote a few duets for my brother and I to play in the early 1980s. I wanted, however, to try a solo piece. In 1986, I finally wrote my first guitar solo piece and called it Aquarelle. The way I developed as a composer had a lot to do with my experience with Brazilian popular music. I grew up playing traditional Brazilian music, like choros and other traditional forms. Brazilian harmony is quite complex, and the music I would compose later in my life had a lot to do with this harmonic language. From the beginning of my training, I became very familiar with modulations to unrelated keys and their modes, as well as a certain language of improvisation. Brazilian melodies are very rich, and run from linear in shape to a high level of angularity. Mixing these elements with a more academic approach to composition helped me shape the way I write. I apply the tools I’ve learned by observing other composer’s 8 Soundboard Vol. 39 No. 3 www.guitarfoundation.org

Above: Composer and Guitarist, Sergio Assad.

works, like their approach to form, motifs, elaboration of melodies and rhythms, development of ideas, and fragmentation. The result is quite complex: my writing is polyphonically oriented, and the texture I seek is quite thick. Nevertheless, as a guitarist I keep an eye out for the impossible and ensure that my final notation falls naturally under the fingers. Writing for guitar requires imagination because the instrument cannot provide everything one needs to write advanced, complex material. The fact that most of the bass line in a guitar piece is played by a single finger (the thumb), makes complexity in bass line writing a real challenge. Keys also play an important role in the writing process, and this explains why we find so many pieces using those that involve the natural open strings, E, A, D, G, B. Open strings help the shifting of the left hand and other guitar difficulties. I try to use the open strings in my pieces as much as possible. I use effects and extended techniques very rarely, and use harmonic clusters with moderation. The rhythmic aspect of my work derives from the intricate syncopation of Brazilian music—specifically, the 3+3+2 rhythmic pattern present in most Brazilian traditional styles. For some time I was obsessed with this idea of exploring small motifs, and used this device extensively in my early compositions, like Fantasia carioca and Three Greek Letters. Some examples of this exploration are also quite abundant in Aquarelle. To illustrate this concept in particular, I’m going to give a short panorama of my writing—starting with these three works, some of my first for solo guitar. Aquarelle was my first solo piece. The title is the French word for watercolor, a traditional painting style that uses pigments dissolved in water. The first time I saw a watercolor painting I was impressed by the number of techniques used to spread colors in different textures to give the painted subject an ethereal look. Following in the idea of spreading pigments on a paper, I started building a motif of three notes—like three different pigments that form the basis of a palette. Based on this single motif I created multiple voicing layers simulating the superposition of colors on an aquarelle.

The first movement, “Divertimento,” is based on the three-note motif D-B-flat-C that will be fully explored throughout the piece (see Figure 1).

Figure 5. Combination of the first and second motifs.

This is the opening bar for Section B. As one can see, the phrase formed by the second motif is presented here in Figure 6:

Figure 1. The three-note motif introduced in “Divertimento.”

Figure 6. Phrase formed by the second motif.

Variations on the same motif are used in different two contexts in the piece: 1.) With 3+3+2 rhythmic pattern and a call/answer technique, as in Figure 2.

My piece Fantasia carioca, writen in 1994, explores a single phrase throughout. This opening phase will be submitted to different sorts of development, as you can see in the following examples. Seen here in Figure 7, the opening theme with two parts of the phrase indicated, showing a change of direction in the second one:

Figure 7. Opening theme of Fantasia carioca. Figure 2. First variation of the first motif.

2.) With a more active bass line, as in Figure 3.

Four examples of development will follow: 1.) Canonic treatment with a perfect imitation on the first segment, and imitation at an interval of a fourth on the second one (Figure 8).

Figure 8. Canonic treatment.

2.) Expanded (Figure 9). Figure 3. The second variation of the first motif.

And then a second motif is introduced, seen here in Figure 4. Figure 9. Expanded treatment.

3.) Polyphonically (Figure 10). Figure 4. The second motif of “Divertimento.”

This second motif will form the basis for the large second section of the piece. The second motif appears simultaneously with the first motif until it grows into a section of a phrase. This part of the phrase is the whole basis for Section B (see Figure 5).

Figure 10. Polyphonic variation.

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From Interpreter to Composer (continued) 4.) Rhythmically (Figure 11).

The theme of Pi is presented in harmonics immediately followed by the theme of Sigma (see Figure 15). In the 3/4 measure, both themes appear simultaneously with a change in duration.

Figure 11. Rhythmic variation.

My piece Three Greek Letters offers a different use of motifs. The piece was conceived with the fact that the letters Pi and Sigma were the basis for the formation of the letter Psi in the Greek alphabet. There are two small themes for both Pi and Sigma that are explored respectively as independent units. When they merge, they form the motif for Psi, as you can see here in Figure 12:

Figure 12. First theme used for Psi.

Here, in Figure 13, the motif for Pi is reworked with inserted notes and a completely different harmony and mood:

Figure 13. Development of the motif for Pi.

Here, in Figure 14, is the theme for Sigma, and here as they are combined to form Psi.

Figure 15. Pi and Sigma.

My writing has changed through time as I deliberately tried to make my pieces more accessible. A good example of this is the piece called Sandy’s Portrait, which I wrote last year. This piece was a posthumous homage to Sandy Bolton, who was a wonderful guitar supporter. He donated $3.2 million to the guitar department in Tucson, Arizona. That doesn’t happen every day, and many students will benefit from the scholarships provided from this gift. The piece is based on Sandy’s name. I wrote a motif for “Sandy Bolton” by combining the notes of the musical alphabet with the letters of the English alphabet. If you’d like to try it in your writing, this is the process: You match the seven notes of the musical alphabet to the corresponding first seven letters of the English alphabet: ABCDEFG = ABCDEFG. After that, you just move to the next group of seven letters in the English alphabet, and match them with the musical alphabet: HIJKLMN = ABCDEFG. Repeat the process with the next set of seven letters, OPQRSTU, to find the third group of seven notes. Finish by matching the last four letters, VXYZ, to the first four notes, ABCD. When you have the set of notes matching the name you want to use, you run the notes through the key system to get the sharps or flats you need in order to build up a phrase that makes some musical sense. The motifs derived from this process to “write” the name “Sandy Bolton” are: E-A-G-D-C = SANDY, and B-A-E-F-A-G = BOLTON. Played naturally they don’t sound nice to my ears, but adding sharps to fit the home key of E-major helps to make some sense of these particular groups of notes. The motifs become: E-A-G-sharp-D-sharp-C-sharp and B-A-E-F-sharp-A-G-sharp. Here, in Figure 16, is the resulting theme shown in the second movement of the work, “Passacaglia.”

Figure 14. Sigma and Pi. Figure 16. Theme for “Passacaglia.”

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The piece is writen in three movements: “Preludio,” “Passacaglia,” and “Toccata.” For this piece, I also used the technique of theme combination in which both themes—from the “Preludio” and the “Passacaglia”—are combined to form the theme for the “Toccata.” Here is the theme for the “Preludio” in Figure 17:

Figure 17. Theme for “Preludio.”

And here they appear together in the “Toccata” as shown in Figure 18.

Now that I’ve turned sixty years old, I’ve been writing more than ever. It helps to keep the mind busy and provides lots of fun moments. Recently, I had fun writing a tremolo piece for Scott Tenant that I called Scott’s Barcarola, and a guitar duet for Bruce Holzman to play with his brother, Adam, that I called The Holzman Duet. I just finished a piece for two guitars and percussion ensemble called Asphalt Jungle. It was commissioned by Andrew Zohn and Paul Vaillancourt, and will be premiered next fall at Columbus State University, Georgia. Currently, I’m working on a set of Brazilian dances commissioned by the French guitarist Thomas Viloteau. In that balance between interpreter and composer in my artistic life, it looks like my composer side is gonna win in the end!

Sergio Assad is an internationally acclaimed performer, composer, and teacher. For the past twenty years, he has concentrated his efforts on building a repertoire for guitar duo, extending the possibilities of the two-guitar combination. He has completed more than three hundred arrangements for different chamber music settings and eighty works for guitar, many of which have become standards in the instrument’s repertoire. Sergio Assad is currently on faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Figure 18. Theme for “Toccata.”

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Composing for Guitar Arranging Pixinguinha, A Letter from Roland Dyens by Roland Dyens Hi Everyone, I was humbled to be invited to write about my music for such a prestigious magazine. Many thanks to Kim Perlak and her “(Sound) board.” Instead of choosing to comment on and analyze one of my own compositions, I decided to work with you on an arrangement I made on Pixinguinha’s most famous tune, “Carinhoso.” Pronounced kar-in-iozo in Portuguese, it translates more or less to “dear one,” or “sweetheart.” Pixinguinha (1898-1972) was a composer, pianist, flutist, and a saxophone player. He was a musical genius and one of the founders of Brazilian Popular Music—what Brazilians call “MPB.” In 1940, the renowned conductor Leopold Stokowski asked Heitor VillaLobos to select a few musicians for a series of recordings that would represent the best of Brazilian Popular Music. Among the first musicians Villa-Lobos contracted was a musician with dazzling original melodies—Pixinguinha. When Antonio Carlos Jobim was asked about the influence of Pixinguinha, he replied, “He is the love of my life—a true genius. He is both a blessing and an inspiration for my life.” On February 17, 1973, while attending the baptism of his grandson in Ipanema, Pixinguinha died at the age of seventy-five. The next day the newspapers ran the headline, “THE HEAVENS CRY!” His funeral was attended by a huge throng of grieving followers, estimated to be over two hundred thousand people. As they followed his casket through the winding streets, they spontaneously began singing his famous composition, “Carinhoso.” My arrangement is dedicated to Thomas Humphrey. The first time I met Tom was in 2000, at the prestigious GFA Convention in San Antonio, Texas. He showed me his new Millennium guitar, which was soon to become well known, and which has since inspired many luthiers. I remember he came to my hotel room with a couple of his beautiful instruments. At that time I was “married” to my French guitar by Fanton d’Andon and didn’t intend to divorce her ... yet! We spent hours talking guitars. A great first contact between us! I met Tom again a few years later. It was at the Nürtingen Festival in Germany where he was invited to lead a masterclass on guitar making. The applicants were going to build their own guitar under his guidance—in seven days! He told me that he was thrilled to be part of this new experience for him. The last time I saw Tom was in January 2008, at the New York Guitar Marathon in New York City. This event was co-organized by our mutual friends the Assad brothers (I remember I had the honor to be the only non-Brazilian musician to take part in this 12 Soundboard Vol. 39 No. 3

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memorable four-hour concert). Tom attended the concert with Marta, his Brazilian wife, and alerted me that he intended to build a steel string guitar for Odair Assad. For this, he suggested that I compose a special piece for him. But this was just a few months before Tom passed away. Later that evening, Tom, Odair, and I were standing in the street in front of the venue, the famous 92nd Street Y. As we said our good-byes, Tom was Tom—I mean, the very same enthusiastic guy I always met, always full of new projects. Maybe he looked tired, but I didn’t notice anything else on his face this day. I’ll always remember how shocked I was a few months later when Fabio Zanon—who was at Tom’s home a couple of days earlier—told me the terrible news of his passing as we were in the back seat of a car in Monterrey, Mexico. For all this, it seemed obvious to me to dedicate my arrangement of “Carinhoso” to this great guitar maker who is already part of the “History of Classical Guitar.” Rest in peace, Tom. To me, arranging is much more than some transposition or transcription from one instrument to another. Arrangement is a true art—a noble one, even. When the arrangement is on a song or a jazz tune, things then get “easier” since you can do it mostly your way. I mean, there’s no serious restriction except the observance of the original melody and harmony. But when it’s about an original piece for, let’s say, piano that you’re supposed to “move” to the guitar, then arranging becomes the “Art of Sacrifice” somehow. This means that since it’s technically impossible to bring all the original notes of the piece from the piano to the guitar, we’re then limited to go straight to the essential—to the essence—and then to select the “cream of the piece” to be arranged. Therefore, this “second case” process implies many skills, but most important is a wide knowledge of harmony, counterpoint, and what I call the “Geography of the Guitar.” So let’s go to this arrangement of “Carinhoso.” The introduction for an arrangement should always open the piece in the best manner possible, like laying out the red carpet for the leading melody to arrive. For this, I love to use an existing element of the piece, which should be a characteristic element, most easy to recognize and remember or “catchy” somehow. This element has to be short and, where possible, a bit far from the main theme (or A Section) in order to “forget it” for a while and then have it surprisingly reappear later in the arrangement. This is exactly the way I treated the Intro of “Carinhoso.” I incorporated the motivic material

from bar 25, which is an ascendant movement also used as a link between the B and C Sections (see Figure 1).

The B Section starts right on the upbeat of measure 21. We won’t stay long in its key (F-sharp minor) since the C Section— what might be identified as the continuation of B—begins right on measure 26, immediately after the four-note section I used as the Intro. (Remember?) This third section ends at the beginning of measure 33 (see Figures 4 and 5).

Figure 1. Intro.

Then the main theme starts at the end of measure 5 (upbeat) (see Figure 2). I always take great care in having the accompaniment part played piano, or even pp, at least during the first exposition of the theme—in order not to force the melody. This is an essential point to me. The guitarist should be able to differentiate the melodic “territory” from the harmonic one.

Figure 4. Beginning of the B Section.

Figure 5. The C Section. Figure 2. Main theme.

On the A Section repeat (from the fourth beat of measure 13), I took the opportunity to have the harmony a bit more sophisticated, therefore making it a little “busier.” Note also that the dynamics are a little less “shy” than previously (see Figure 3).

Figure 3. A Section repeat.

Something essential to know about writing an arrangement on either a song or a popular tune (jazz, tango, bossa nova, etc.) is the absolute need to renew the way you expose its various parts when repetitions occur. Replaying them all exactly the same way is to be avoided whenever possible. Now take a look at the way I re-exposed the main part of the A Section in “Carinhoso.” Do you notice something? This time the melody is played one octave lower than the first couple of times. This means the harmonic part of the song (the accompaniment) should be written above it and not below. But instead of keeping the usual arpeggios here, I tried to make this accompaniment a little more interesting (and fun) by imitating the sound of one of the leading instruments in Brazilian Popular Music. And this instrument is the famous high-pitched cavaquinho, a sort of small four-string guitar (see measures 36-39 in Figure 6, next page).

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Arranging Pixinguinha, … (continued)

Later in the arrangement the B and C Sections are developed, but in a more sophisticated way than when first exposed. The music, as always, is getting busier at the end than at the beginning—this is a “classic” in arranging technique (see Figure 10).

Figure 10. Setting of the themes later in the arrangement.

Figure 6. Imitation of the cavaquinho.

Then the melody returns to its original octave (see Figure 7).

Note also that, unlike most popular songs or tunes, “Carinhoso” does not have an A Section (a “head”) that is replayed for a last time at the end. As a matter of fact, this was the reason jazz players didn’t consider it as a “regular jazz” ballad, in Pixinguinha’s day. And that’s why, after the last variation of C, the arrangement goes straight to the Coda (see Figure 11).

Figure 7. Revisiting the melody.

The re-exposition of B Section begins at measure 44—with natural harmonics this time (see Figure 8).

Figure 11. Coda.

Figure 8. Re-exposition of the B Section.

Now easy to detect, the “signature” for this arrangement comes back in this four-note ascending segment (see Figure 9).

Figure 9. Four-note “signature.”

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Right: Roland Dyens at work composing (with his daughter, Dafne Lia).

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Just like with the Intro, the Coda should be taken either from the “historic” Coda (from the original) or from a characteristic part of the song. For my arrangement, I selected the beginning of the main melody (just three notes). Then I repeated it, both in harmonics and in different pitches. Although it is somewhat difficult to do a “soundless” lecture on such a musical topic, I hope my comments and explanations on this arrangement will be of some help for you, dear readers, and for the benefit of your works to come. It is my pleasure to be part of this experience.

All the best with your music. Roland Dyens

*Carinhoso is one of eleven arrangements of Pixinguinha by Roland Dyens, and is recorded on the CD “Naquele Tempo.” The CD (GSP1035) and music book (GSP265) are available from Guitar Solo Publications: gspguitar.com Roland Dyens is a performer, composer, and teacher whose music has become an integral part of the modern classical guitar repertoire. His compositions and arrangements are widely performed and highly acclaimed throughout the world. Roland Dyens has been on the faculty of the French National Conservatory of Music in Paris since 2000.

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Composing for Guitar Writing 24 Preludes for Guitar Solo

Right: Bryan Johanson.

by Bryan Johanson In 2008, I began laying the foundation for writing a guitar method. As I started to tackle the issue of how much to cover, one of the many challenges that became apparent was that I would need to learn how to compose short pieces. As a composer, I had spent most of my professional life writing in large-scale forms. I had also invested most of my compositional energies in writing works that do not use the guitar. In order to succeed at my planned method, I would need to master the miniature. The short form is a unique compositional challenge. Where composing a symphony might be compared to writing a novel, composing a miniature is more akin to writing a poem. Initially, I began the prelude project as a composition exercise intended to instruct me on how to write short, concise works. The project rapidly evolved into a cycle of twenty-four preludes. Many composers, including Chopin, Shostakovich, and Scriabin, have written twenty-four preludes, usually basing their set on Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier model—composing one in every major and minor key. However, for me, composing a prelude in every key was not very appealing. There are several reasons for this: 1.) My personal harmonic language tends to stray in and out of keys, sometimes toward and away from tonality at the same time. 2.) The classical guitar itself does not fit all keys equally well. 3.) The reasons for writing in every major and minor key, though it may have been challenging and essential to Bach’s harmonic development, no longer exist. Nevertheless, the idea of composing twenty-four preludes grew on me, primarily because the historical model proved successful at challenging composers to dig deeply into the inventive possibilities of the short form. My set of 24 Preludes can be divided into two halves. In Part I (Preludes 1-12), the pieces begin short and simple, slowly working toward longer, more complex forms and increasing harmonic diversity. In Part II (Preludes 13-24), the process is reversed with the formal, harmonic and melodic content becoming more simplified as the cycle works toward the concluding prelude. One additional formal aspect is that each prelude in the first half has a companion prelude in the second half. Though each pair is not symmetrically placed, the pairs will become increasingly obvious as the listener becomes more familiar with the work. The binding agent between the pairs varies, creating pairs that behave sometimes like mates, sometimes like siblings, sometimes like cousins, sometimes like twins, and sometimes like enemies! Though 16 Soundboard Vol. 39 No. 3

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these pairings may initially be difficult to discover, the careful listener will eventually find the commonalities, achieving what I hope will be a deeper level of musical and emotional engagement. In composing music for guitar, I have tried to develop a language that is true to my own musical interests and upbringing. Like most American guitarists, I started playing on an electric guitar. In my youth I was attracted to guitarists like Wes Montgomery, Muddy Waters, Frank Zappa, and Jimi Hendrix. It wasn’t until I heard Julian Bream performing contemporary music that I found the classical guitar personally compelling. As a composer, my principle influences have been Bach, Scarlatti, Sibelius, and Shostakovich. These influences helped guide the choices I made in developing my compositional style. In addition to the influence of individuals, it is also possible to detect the influence of genres like blues, jazz, rock, and folk in my music. In the discussions and figures that follow, I will try to identify how these various sources express themselves, as well as how the architecture of the cycle works. Part I–Preludes 1-12 Prelude 1: Allegro vivo. The opening prelude is cast in a perpetual motion frame centered in the key of E-minor. The music begins using a rising melodic octave device, eventually settling into more straightforward harmonic and melodic pºatterns.The pentatonic nature of the music along with the irregular and changing meters suggests folk influences both eastern and western (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. Prelude 1 – measures 1-15.

Prelude 2: Presto spiccato. This prelude features a simple ciaconna pattern, heard in the first measures. The energetic spiccato material indicated in the title slowly gives way to a soft, lyrical conclusion. Prelude 3: Allegro moderato. One of the central challenges in this cycle was to find various ways to present the lyrical side of the guitar. Because the fundamental sound of each note involves immediate decay, writing in a style that features sustained lyrical playing does not come easily or naturally to the instrument. This prelude, cast in C minor, is the first of several preludes in this cycle designed to explore the various ways in which the guitar has learned to naturally express its melodic and lyrical charms. Prelude 4: Animato. This prelude features an asymmetrical rhythmic figure that is intended to create some irregular energy. Though set in B minor, this prelude is the first in the cycle to assert some unpredictable chromatically inflected melodic passages. The effect should seem jazzy, not jarring. Prelude 5: Tempo di valse lento. Tempo markings often can give a fairly accurate indication of what kind of music is contained within. This prelude, like several in the cycle, delivers exactly what the tempo suggests. This is a short valse in A-major. Prelude 6: Allegro. Another musical category I wanted to explore in this set of preludes was the etude. Most etudes are designed to conquer a particular technical skill. Often, on the path to conquering the particular skill, they also kill whatever musical material comes their way. The result is technically engaging, but often musically uninteresting. I found that casting preludes founded on etude-type features was a more musically satisfying way to approach the problem. This prelude is the first of this type that can be found in this cycle. The tonal language is predominantly atonal, though not by much (see Figure 2).

Figure 2. Prelude 6 – measures 1-8.

Prelude 7: Sostenuto. This prelude is the first of the set that uses a fully chromatic/atonal language. Not to worry, though: this prelude does not blast atonality in your face. Rather, it explores the more lyrical side of the atonal language by focusing on melody and inflection, rather than brittle textures or strident harmony. Prelude 8: Adagio–Liberamente–Allegro energico–Presto non molto– Liberamente–Allegro energico–Presto non molto–Liberamente–Adagio. What we have here is a kind of musical schizophrenic cocktail. The work opens with a paraphrase of La Folía de España (Adagio),

followed by a cadenza (Liberamente). All of this precedes the central Allegro energico, which is a quasi-salsa section, followed by an arpeggio transition (Presto non molto), which leads back to a short cadenza, a return to varied salsa and arpeggio transition sections, one last mini-cadenza, and finally closing with a variation of the opening folías material. A sectional diagram would read as follows: A-B-C-DB’-C’-D’-B”-A’. Prelude 9: Andantino. As an antidote to the short attention span high-jinx of the previous prelude, this one is clear in design and fairly transparent in harmonic content. There should be no impediment to your enjoyment of this ethnic-inflected, dance-like prelude (see Figure 3).

Figure 3. Prelude 9 – measures 1-10.

Prelude 10: Adagio cantabile. This prelude has a history that precedes the writing of this cycle. In 2003, the wonderful luthier Jeffrey Elliott made me a new guitar. As he was putting it together, he asked if I would like to “put a message in the bottle.” Prior to the making of the instrument, Jeff repaired a guitar by Antonio Torres. This was not just any old Torres guitar—this was the favored guitar of Francisco Tárrega. When Jeff began to repair it, he noticed that on the inside of the instrument there was some music paper that had been used to patch thin spots in the wood. What was most interesting to him was that there was music written on the paper. He called me and asked if I could identify if it was music written by Tárrega. I rushed over and could tell immediately that Tárrega did not write it. But, on my way over I fantasized: “What if we found an undiscovered Tárrega piece on the inside? How cool would that be?” At the time I said to Jeff that it would be great to compose a piece to put on the inside of my new guitar. When Jeff called it was to let me know that the time to paste the piece inside the instrument had come. He had secured some parchment that was from the nineteenth century and said if I wanted to write a piece and place it on the inside of the instrument I needed to do it quickly—by the end of the day. I wrote the piece, giving it the title “Hidden Prelude,” and before it was sealed inside I made one Xerox copy. I wanted to play the work once after it had been sealed away. Eventually, I played the work in concert, and at the conclusion I shredded the one existing copy of the score that was sealed inside my instrument! Everyone there took a strip of the score and that was that. But, the memory of the work haunted me. I liked the piece and wanted to play it again. However, my resolve was firm—this piece belonged to the guts of my instrument. When I recorded my I Dreamed About You Last Night CD, I included an improvisation titled “Pentamento.” It is my improvised memory of www.guitarfoundation.org Soundboard Vol. 39 No. 3

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Writing 24 Preludes for Guitar Solo (continued) what I could recall about that “Hidden Prelude.” I have no idea how close or far away the improvisation was to what is sealed inside my guitar. Prelude 10 is my transcription of the work as I recorded it on that CD (see Figure 4).

Figure 6. Prelude 14 – measures 1-16. Figure 4. Prelude 10 – measures 1-2.

Prelude 11: Vivace. This prelude falls into the prelude/etude hybrid category. It is primarily about scales, though not exclusively. The intent of this movement is to create heat. This prelude also illustrates the importance of the musical concept of toccata. For me, toccata is not so much a technique but a way to approach the instrument. There are times in my music when I want the performers to have the opportunity to tear into a passage that rips across, over or through the instrument. These toccata passages are there to remind the performer and listener of the awesome power of instrumental mastery (see Figure 5).

Prelude 15: Largo maestoso. This prelude explores lyrical material that emerges from an extremely slow and harmonically dissonant foundation. It clearly displays my affection for slow, broad tempos. The metronome marking is not the slowest I have used, but it comes pretty close (see Figure 7).

Figure 7. Prelude 15 – first line.

Prelude 16: Allegro azzurro e molto fresco. An example of the influence of jazz on my compositional process can be found in this prelude. The work features the guitar in specialized jazz continuo role. The central musical argument fuses a walking bass pattern with syncopated harmonic and melodic inserts (see Figure 8).

Figure 5. Prelude 11 – measure 69.

Prelude 12: Calmato–Vivo, man non troppo. As the tempo indicates, the final prelude in the first half is written in two distinct halves. The first part is a calm, slowly expressive canon. The second half is an irregular arpeggio pattern that works its way down the fingerboard only to rise up and come down again. This prelude concludes with a rapid, descending chromatic riff intended to not only close the work, but also conclusively cap off the first half of the cycle. Part II–Preludes 13-24 Prelude 13: Gentile. This lyrical prelude is in the form of a Sicilian. The material, mostly in G minor, features a gently swaying melody in compound duple meter. Prelude 14: Allegretto agitato, sempre ritmico. While the previous prelude could be described as gently rocking, this one is just rocking. The single focus of this prelude is a syncopated motif that gets tossed around through a few keys that contrast with a secondary motif that gets tossed around the fingerboard (see Figure 6). 18 Soundboard Vol. 39 No. 3

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Figure 8. Prelude 16 – measures 1-6.

Prelude 17: Allegro comodo. Of all the connections I feel with composers past and present, my affinity with Bach has been the most sustained and, for me, the most profound. I feel his watchful influence over my music in many ways. In this prelude, I use the contrapuntal technique of crab canon, and though there are a few moments where the strictness of form is relaxed, the basic technique is mirror writing as practiced by Bach (see Figure 9).

Figure 9. Prelude 17 – measures 1-9.

Prelude 18: Allegretto legato. This simple prelude, in ternary form, features a figure that juggles a syncopated sustained melody, a shifting natural harmonic ostinato, and an open string. In its original version, the syncopated sustained melody was assigned to the second string. As it descended, the left hand had to work harder and harder to maintain the legato quality. There are, however, alternate ways to finger the melody to create a more graceful legato quality. Nevertheless, the original concept is the way we have published the work. Another added bonus to this more athletic fingering is that it is quite fun to watch the progress of the increasing distances. The key to the success of my preferred fingering is to play all the harmonics naturally, never using an artificial substitution (see Figure 10).

It was my intent to infill with some emotional content, removing the cynical pop sentiment found in the original. Though it makes no difference to the player whether you know which song is being paraphrased, it is my hope you enjoy the added puzzle of trying to hear for yourself what song I quoted (see Figure 11)!

Figure 11. Prelude 19 – measures 1-7.

Prelude 20: Allegretto giocoso. After purging some of my musical ghosts, I felt the cycle needed a little fingerboard romp. This is one of the etude-esque preludes designed to have some fun with the fingers.

Figure 10. Prelude 18 – measures 1-12.

Prelude 19: Lento sostenuto. This prelude is an attempt at paraphrasing a pop song from my youth. As a child I listened to the radio constantly. At that time, commercial radio stations played pop, easy listening, or country and western. If you listened to pop radio, you heard the same dozen or so songs over and over, week after week. Songs would come and go, sometimes enjoying a rapid rise and a quick decline and sometimes just staying somewhere in the middle. There would be songs that would rise to the top and stay there, week after week. There would also be songs that defied musical logic— songs that would make it on the charts because of their bizarre or quirky nature. Listening to pop radio in my youth was like listening to the craziest mix-up of joke-songs, love ballads, songs with a good beat, the occasional R&B anomaly, and pop songs that are the equivalent of spun sugar—sweet confections with no nutritional value whatsoever. The song I quote here was at the top of the pop charts for weeks and weeks. I never liked it, and eventually, over the weeks, came to dislike it intensely. Even today if I chance to hear it I still dislike it intensely. It has all the things a pop song should have, but without any emotional content or charm. This was a pop song that was written to be a pop song. It was full of pop platitudes, production glitz and glitter, and oozing with commercial aspirations. It also had complete disdain for the listener. It provided fake sentiment in exchange for cash. This was the commercial music machine at its worst. But, sometimes, you have to embrace your past and make peace with the ghosts of cruddy songs that somehow live forever in the folds of your brain. I hope the song, now totally deconstructed and transformed into a lyrical prelude, gives the listener pleasure.

Prelude 21: Cantabile. This expressive prelude features the interplay of two lyrical chunks of material, which alternate between flat keys and sharp keys. This is the last of the purely lyrical preludes. The use of flat keys brings out a particular sonority that is often neglected on the guitar. The timbre between the two themes is highlighted by these tonal shifts. Prelude 22: Allegro vivo. This is the last of the hybrid prelude/etude type. This prelude features a playful four-note motive that has, at its core, two sets of minor second intervals that mirror each other. Like the other prelude/etudes, this music finds itself moving around the fingerboard, looking for athletic ways to vary the main motive (see Figure 12).

Figure 12. Prelude 22 – measures 1-8.

Prelude 23: Allegretto maestoso. The penultimate prelude explores various ways of inventing itself through an examination of its own first bar of music (see Figure 13).

Figure 13. Prelude 23 – measure 1-9.

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Writing 24 Preludes for Guitar Solo (continued) Prelude 24: Largo sostenuto, molto cantabile. As any extended cycle of music comes to a conclusion, the question a composer must face is: “How will it end?” Fortunately for me, the musical approach used in this final prelude was my goal from the beginning. As the title suggests, this is slow, sustained music. At the conclusion of most journeys, you arrive at your home. Home, for me, is where I feel most relaxed and unguarded. It is where I am happiest. As I brought this cycle to a conclusion, the sentiment I felt most strongly was gratitude. I was thankful for the journey and all that I had learned, discovered and invented, and I was glad to be home. As mentioned earlier, there is a puzzle component to the cycle, namely the heretofore-mentioned prelude pairs. Since the intent of this article is to give guitarists an inside look at my thought process, it seems like a good place to let the reader know what those pairs are and why I consider them linked. In the list below I have grouped the pairs according to my thinking. If it is an aspect that you would like to discover yourself, please read no further (spoiler alert!). Please keep in mind that these are not pairings that require any special work to connect. Their relationship will be revealed over time to the attentive listener. These connections are a private substructure placed there for my own sense of constructional unification and completeness.

10 & 19 Both slow and lyrical with shared tonal/modal oscillation. They both have extensive background stories that create a secondary narrative not present in other pairings. 11 & 14 Hard rocking in A minor. 1 & 17 Both feature canons as their principle constructional feature. Although it is my wish that the work be performed in its entirety, it is also my understanding that this will rarely be the case. Many of the preludes will stand by themselves as individual concert offerings. Performers may also choose to create subsets. The nature of these selected subsets will depend on the taste of the individual performer. The pieces discussed here are published by Les Productions D’Oz, and are available at: productionsdoz.com. All musical examples were used by permission of the publisher. They were recorded by Michael Partington on his CD, Music of Bryan Johanson, Rosewood Recordings CD-1012. Bryan Johanson is an active concert guitarist, composer, and author. He has taught at Portland State University since 1978, and currently serves there as Professor and Director of the School of Music. His compositions have been published by Les Productions D’OZ, Columbia Music Company, Edizioni Musicali Berben, Frederick Harris Music Publishers, Guitar Solo Publications, Thomas House Publication, Earthsongs Music

1 & 18 Both are in the same key/mode in rounded binary form with some shared motifs. Though they share the same key/mode, their conclusions form a tonic/subdominant relationship. 2 & 24 Both are variations over a ground bass. Again, tonic/ subdominant cadence relationship. 3 & 21 Lyrical, slow and in minor keys. Both use harmonic progressions that are common in popular music. 4 & 20 This is the odd pair out. They only have in common their opposite natures and their tonic/subdominant tonal relationship. However, 20 has shared features with 22 and 4 has shared features with 12. Their connection as a pair is opaque, but their connection to the overall architecture and internal connection is absolute. It felt to me, from the beginning of the cycle, that in order to create a perfectly balanced structure there needed to be a little imperfection worked in. For me that meant that at least one pair had to break the pattern of explicit matching. This is that pair. 5 & 13 Shared valse/Sicilian style of expression. 6 & 22 Motivic connections with similar melodic content. 7 & 15 Atonal and lyrical. Both very sustained and slow. 8 & 16 Both are jazzy. Prelude 8 includes a paraphrase of a common salsa riff, while 16 paraphrases a common walking bass vamp. 9 & 23 Both in D minor and simple folk-style content.

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A NEW WORLD COMES TRUE

Composing for Guitar Making New Music for Guitar, A Letter from Andrew York by Andrew York Dear Guitarists, We are all players, right? We know the guitar. So why should it be difficult to write music for it? Anybody who has tried knows. It ain’t easy to make good music. In my opinion, it is far easier to become a virtuoso guitarist than an excellent composer. Proof is in the pudding; our community is awash in technical chopsters, but not in excellent composers. Interesting. Why is this? I don’t know. But I have some ideas. The first is that I think many guitarists are asking the wrong question. I don’t think it is the best approach to ask, “How do I compose for the guitar?” There are immediate limitations implied in the question. Better would be, “How can I write compelling, authentic, personal music that can be played on the guitar?” This is a very different question, with very different suppositions up front. Because, first, we want to write music. And music is a big, abstract, ineffable part of being human. Music is unique among the art forms—it is fully abstract and points to nothing in the real world, unlike paintings, movies, and stories. It is a mystery, a language understood by our non-verbal emotional selves. Music can also be fun, danceable, humorous, light—but it is wise to have respect for its highest purpose too. Why limit music’s power right from the start? So, after decades of writing and thinking about all this, I’ve come to see music as order—specifically, a pattern-rich order. We think something is beautiful because we consciously recognize rich patterns within its make-up, even as our subconscious mind perceives a more complex set of hierarchical and multi-faceted patterns. So, to be good, music has to be pattern-rich on two levels. A couple of examples will suffice. Bear with me; I don’t speak (or write) in sound bytes. No complex or worthy idea can be expressed “twitter-style.” Okay, take a tree. We look at it, and it is pleasing. Why? I think because it is a frame of an algorithmic fractal process frozen in time. In other words, the form of a tree is an unfolding process. Its form expresses deep order, evolved over eons, that gives it structural integrity and viability over time. We sense all this in a moment, and perceive the richness of its patterns, extending both into the future and into the past, as beauty. So if we perceive patterns as beautiful, why can’t we just stack one million iPhones in a grid, and see that as beautiful? Because it is not a rich pattern. It is simplistic, easily perceived and explained, both in words and equations—stack them one hundred high and 22 Soundboard Vol. 39 No. 3

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10,000 across—and that’s it. Now, if every seventeenth iPhone was pulsing red, we introduce a hint of pattern complexity. Think about it. You look at a brick wall that is one hundred years old. It looks kind of nice. Probably because the bricks are irregular in shape a bit, and their coloring varies, the edges have worn to varying degrees— all these things add deeper and deeper components of pattern richness. Hence it looks more pleasing to us than a brand-spanking new brick wall, most likely. Music is the same. Patterns within music can reside in the melodic contour, intervallic relations both vertical and linear, phrases, form, syntax, rhythmic structure, harmonic relationships, counterpoint, timbre—the list of possibilities is endless. This is a problem with the current directions in popular music. (He says gruffly like every grey-beard throughout time criticizing the music of the current generation!) But I can explain why: the richness of the patterns is being seriously eroded. When someone sings through auto-tune, there can be no extra patterns from using subtle pitch variations as another level of order. Just listen to Bob Marley. He often sang a bit sharp, and it added amazing tension and power. If he had sung through auto-tune it would have lobotomized the music. The same is true of direct repetition of a phrase by sampling. It goes nowhere, as there is no variation or evolution, unless it is carefully textured in, which it usually isn’t: brand new bricks in a row. I worked with this concept of patterns in the piece I wrote as the set piece for the 2012 GFA Competition, “Just How Funky Are You.” By measure 17, I have established an E Locrian mode as the main harmonic foundation (F harmonic minor with E as the tonal center). The 5/8 pattern and its contour will inform much of what follows. Counterpoint is gradually introduced until measure 24 begins a descending scale of the mode on top of a transforming ostinato below. Measure 33 culminates with a related statement from the opening theme of the piece (not shown in this example). Now, notice that this four-note pattern at measure 33 is echoed in the next section. Specifically, in the top line of measures 37-39, we see the notes F-E, G-E, A-flat-E, which are obviously derived from measure 33 (which, in turn, comes from the opening theme). I like interconnections like this, and they are everywhere in this piece. Now look at the bottom voice in measures 37-40. Here we have two notes that move in contrary motion—G-A-flat, F-B-flat, E-C, F-B-flat. I’ve expressed this pattern in different variations in measures 41-43, 44-52, and 54-57. There are more variations on this fragment throughout the piece, but not shown in this excerpt. The idea of sketching a fragment with lots of variations will be discussed further (see Figure 1).

Example A, Just How Funky

Figure 1. (Example A) “Just How Funky,” measures 16-57, inclusive.

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Classical Guitar Studies at Juilliard Sharon Isbin Department Chair

Making New Music for Guitar, … (continued) So, now the guitar. To compose on it, you have to know it. What did Charlie Parker say about improvising? “First you learn your horn. Then you forget all that s*** and play.” That is profound— philosophy condensed into two succinct maxims. The same thing can be said for composing. The better you know the fingerboard, the better off you are. Unfortunately, to really learn the fingerboard conceptually is a very different process from practicing repertoire. Typically, a jazz player will know the fingerboard far better than a classical player. So, real effort must be made to understand harmony on the fingerboard. Without functional harmonic knowledge of the neck, writing well for the instrument is really hard. So if you want to write, or already do compose and want to be better at it for the guitar, spend some real time learning chords and inversions up and down and across the neck. This is a huge subject, and worthy of a separate discussion. For a start, look at the first volume of my book series Jazz for Classical Cats published by Alfred Music—it explores understanding and using harmony on the fretboard. Though in a jazz style, it opens the process of acquiring real fingerboard knowledge. In Figure 2, also taken from “Just How Funky Are You,” I’ve added part of an agile section that has more traditional harmony, and I’ve begun to analyze it harmonically in jazz style. You may wish to continue the harmonic analysis, and notice how at the end of the excerpt the original mode of E Locrian (from F harmonic minor) is again re-introduced as the harmonic focus (see Figure 2).

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Example B, Just How Funky

Figure 2. (Example B) “Just How Funky,” measures 68-84, inclusive.

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Making New Music for Guitar, … (continued) The world is a dream. We spend one-third of our lives sleeping, and a good portion of that dreaming—a world without limits, rules or boundaries. The vast majority of our personality is unconscious, and most of our processing, emotional and otherwise, takes place at levels far below and far richer than our conscious, intellectual minds. I say this because you have to enlist the larger parts of your personality if you want to write good music. Think about this—when an emotion surges up within you, it doesn’t originate in your intellect. Far from it, indeed. In fact, it threatens to engulf your intellect with forces far out of its domain. Now, the intellect believes it is control. But in truth, the intellect is a thin veneer of consciousness overlaying an ocean of profound depth, currents, and mystery. If you want to make profound art, let it arise from the deeps. If your efforts at creation are centered only in the intellect, the results will be disappointing. Art derived from strictly intellectual thought rarely moves anyone, as it doesn’t contain evidence of our emotional depth and humanity. See, the problem is many folks are trapped in their intellects and believe that that is all there is to their being. Thus they will gladly accept and defend the output of others that is created from this veneer of the mind, as something they can relate to. All truly creative artists are immediately at odds with the status quo. Most fields exist to protect and propagate the established views. This of course is the antithesis of creativity. It is also human nature, and the guitar world is no exception. So there is an innate tension between creating art, and any structure that purports to represent that very art form. The reason I am telling you this isn’t to disparage the state of affairs. The world was always this way, and it always will be. But if you want to create, you have to listen to your own personal passions and interests, and largely ignore the opinions of others about your work. No one can truly judge the expressions of others, as art is an intensely personal expression of the self. But this means that the onus is on the artist to learn this craft in great depth to allow unfettered and authentic expression through his or her art. And of course there will be times when advice from truly wise ones will come to you, which you should heed. But for the most part, criticism from others is not a helpful or accurate gauge of your work. A more reliable indicator of your music is this: If your music is responded to with lots of words and dry analysis, positive or negative, then you are probably not writing from the deep water. However, if the response to your music is authentically emotional, as in people expressing how it is there for them in moments of transition, how it enhanced their joy or helped them through their pain, how it made them want to learn guitar, how it changed or informed their lives—then I salute you. You are most likely on the path of an artist, and you are introducing richness into the world. After their journey within, all mystics come back with the same insight: “The world is one.” This is a concept that frustrates the intellect, because it is out of reach of linear thinking, and despite the left-brain’s breathtaking self-confidence, it cannot think in gestalt 26 Soundboard Vol. 39 No. 3

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wholes. None of this is to diminish the intellect or conscious mind’s importance. We must view the intellect as an invaluable tool in life, and also an essential ally in composing. We will let it help us compose, but we will not let it try to run the show. If you succeed in this, you have found a recipe for music with the soul-stirring richness of pattern that only the non-verbal, non-linear part of you can bring to the table. But how are we supposed to begin writing this way? I think the first thing is the way we approach our musical ideas. When casting about for thematic inspiration, it is best to look for ideas that you find fascinating, stirring, exciting. The kind of little melodic or harmonic fragment that just sounds so cool that it delights you, and you can’t wait to share it. Beware of musical ideas that you have to talk yourself into: if you have to convince yourself verbally of the idea’s worth, that is often a bad sign—the intellect is trying to talk you into something. But if your responses to the musical idea are feelings of mystery, deep interest, joy, introspection, then this shows a deeper emotional connection and a more powerful potential for producing compelling art. To me, when an idea is really interesting, it gives me the feeling of a doorway into another realm. This feeling can’t be verbalized. Well, it can, but then we are shifting our artistic focus into poetry or story writing. So, while in the abstract musical domain, beware of thinking too much. Feel it first, and then begin. We invite the thinking mind into play. When we have a good theme that we find intriguing, now we ask the intellect to help. How can we sketch it? Where can it go? Could you employ augmentation, diminution, reharmonization, fragmentation, add counterpoint, or put the melody in the bass? These ideas make the intellect very happy, because they require thinking and analysis. So we begin to sketch and develop, often going far afield into styles or techniques that we won’t even use (because this helps keep us from building a box around our creativity). Now, we don’t let our thinking selves decide what is good, however. What I do is a simple “comfort test.” If I play a phrase, or just hear it in my mind, I watch to see if I am comfortable with it. If anything about it bothers me, then it is not right, and I begin to sketch again. However, I don’t need to analyze it in words. That doesn’t take me anywhere I want to go with the music. It either feels right or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t, begin to change it. It if does feel right, it is probably fine. The same approach will take you up to the finished piece. If you can play or think through the entire piece, and nothing feels wrong, then it might be done. If you feel, “The ending of the third phrase, something isn’t satisfying …,” that is a clear indicator that you must work and sketch some more. And this feeling of musical satisfaction will work at any hierarchical level, from needing to change a few notes in the contour of a phrase, to increasing the contrapuntal texture of an entire section to make the energy flow right. By trusting the deeper parts of our minds, we often make much better musical decisions. In the following example I try to show how I developed three thematic fragments from my piece “Mechanism.” Most of the vari-

ations come from the sketching process I described earlier, going by feel, but also employing my thinking mind as assistant. Measures 1-6 show the first theme. The rhythmic structure is set up and the scalar polytonal theme introduced on top. The strong rhythm will be the structural bones for the entire piece. Also, I mentioned that sketching ideas should be an unlimited process. In this case, my farranging sketches of this rhythmic motif spun off into two separate, but related pieces, “Mechanism” and also “Just How Funky” (see Figure 3).

In the last example from “Mechanism,” this rock and roll statement is derived on the bottom from Figure 3, and on the top from Figure 4 in diminution (see Figure 6). Example F, Mechanism

Example C, Mechanism 1

Figure 6. (Example F) “Mechanism,” measures 75-78.

Figure 3. (Example C) “Mechanism,” measures 1-6, inclusive.

The next thematic fragment, related to the first, is measures 29-32 (see Figure 4). Example D, Mechanism

These examples illustrate the rudiments of sketching an idea and taking it in different directions. The more sketching you do on a theme, the better. In the final piece you may only use a small percentage of what you sketch. But it stretches your creativity and composing chops to push your sketching beyond boundaries, and helps you avoid formulaic writing. And like these two pieces, you might find the same thematic material to be rich enough to create more than one piece. I hope you enjoy each frame of the unfolding process.

Subconsciously yours, Andrew York

Figure 4. (Example D) “Mechanism,” measures 29-32, inclusive.

Now let’s take a look at how these themes are altered during a later development section. Notice how measures 49-50 are derived from Figure 4, and measures 51-52 come from the first theme, Figure 3 (see Figure 5). Example E, Mechanism

Andrew York is an internationally recognized guitarist and composer. His writing crosses over stylistic boundaries, blending styles of eras past with modern musical directions, creating music that is personal, multileveled, and accessible. His works are available at: andrewyork.net

Figure 5. (Example E) “Mechanism,” measures 49-52, inclusive.

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Interview Stephen Goss, Composer by Guy Traviss

Stephen Goss’ music receives hundreds of performances worldwide each year and has been recorded on over fifty CDs by more than a dozen record labels, including: EMI, Decca, Telarc, Virgin Classics, NAXOS, and Deutsche Grammophon. Steve has built up several long-term collaborative working relationships with a wide variety of musicians, including: John Williams, David Russell, Xuefei Yang, Nicola Benedetti, Miloš Karadaglić, Thomas Carroll, Jonathan Leathwood, and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Steve is currently composer-in-residence for London’s Orpheus Sinfonia, which premiered his Triple Concerto (2013) for saxophone, cello, piano, and orchestra in July. Steve is now Professor of Music and Head of Composition at the University of Surrey, U.K., and a Professor of Guitar at the Royal Academy of Music in London. All musical examples in this interview were reprinted by kind permission of Cadenza Music. For further details please visit: stephengoss.net and dobermaneditions.com

Above: Stephen Goss, composer.

GT: Half of your works involve the guitar. Is being a guitarist an advantage when writing for the instrument?

SG: It’s a double-edged sword. If you’re an outsider wanting to write for guitar, it’s a steep learning curve. It’s not like learning how to write for saxophone, for argument’s sake. With a wind instrument, you learn the range and fingering charts, the qualities of the different registers, what’s comfortable and what’s not comfortable, how certain articulations and effects are executed, what the balance issues are, and off you go. With guitar, there is a lot more tacit knowledge to unpick. Very few non-guitarist composers have really understood the idiom well. There are exceptions, like Britten and Takemitsu for example, but significant collaborative input from a guitarist is absolutely crucial for most non-guitarist composers. Performers like David Starobin, David Tanenbaum, and ChromaDuo work very closely with composers in this way. Many composers fall into the trap of thinking of the guitar as first and foremost a harmonic instrument. I think of the guitar as a melody instrument, more a violin or a cello with extra possibilities of resonance, than as a piano with debilitating limitations. If you’re a composer and a guitarist, then you tend to know the dark secrets of the instrument, but there is a danger that you depend too much on familiar formulas and pre-conceived ideas of the instrument’s boundaries. In a similar way to Stephen Dodgson, I like to think of music as something imagined rather than found. I’m always trying to escape default responses to musical stimuli—the war against cliché, as Martin Amis put it. I think composers have to keep finding new and interesting ways of writing for the guitar in the light of an already extensive repertoire. 30 Soundboard Vol. 39 No. 3

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Recently, I have been looking for ways to unlock the potential of the instrument’s resonance. In an attempt to get beyond campanella effects or held chord shapes, it’s been more about the color and precise starting and finishing points of every sound and the consequent building up of subtle and intricate compound textures—an emulation of the piano’s sostenuto pedal, if you like. Other composers like Roland Dyens and Gilbert Biberian are also becoming very much more precise over the exact duration of any one note in a multi-layered musical texture. GT: How long have you been particularly interested in aspects of resonance on the guitar?

SG: This preoccupation dates back to Oxen of the Sun (Cadenza 2006), which was commissioned by Jonathan Leathwood to be played on two guitars simultaneously—one six-string and one ten-string (see Figure 1). Here, textures are built across the two instruments through a number of new techniques that we developed together for the piece (see Figure 2). Next came three solo pieces that explored resonance. El llanto de los sueños (Telarc 2009), a collaboration with David Russell, developed elements of resonance in Flamenco and Spanish folk guitar writing as well as in the Spanish-influenced piano works of Debussy and Ravel. (The first movement, “Cantiga,” appears on page 33.) With Xuefei Yang in The Chinese Garden (EMI Classics 2008), we looked at resonance in various Chinese and Japanese forms of traditional music. In Sonata (Rosewood 2009), Michael Partington and I looked at ways of simulating the effect of the piano’s sostenuto and una corda pedals in guitar writing. I

have now written many other works that explore resonance further. Several of these pieces feature guitar in a chamber music setting where the sound of the guitar’s resonance is colored and partly masked by other instruments in the ensemble. Both my guitar concertos are designed to be played with amplification so that subtle resonant textures can be heard in an orchestral context in a big hall.

double bass—for the City of London Festival, he started by asking for something that celebrated the open spaces of London, even requesting that particular places be portrayed. He also suggested the instrumental line-up. The collaborative side then picked up again once the score was drafted with details of fingering, phrasing, and articulation. Others like me to tailor the music to their playing style. When Graham Roberts commissioned the Guitar Concerto (2012), he specifically asked for something that would make the most of his phenomenal range of strumming techniques. I remember one day we met and recorded a whole load of them for possible inclusion. GT: There is a common perception that composers have an ideal version of a piece in mind and that often the collaborative process dilutes and muddies the purity of the composer’s conception. The recent urtext editions of the Segovia repertoire are testament to this.

Figure 1. Jonathan Leathwood performs Oxen of the Sun.

SG: I would argue that true collaboration works towards an “original” version rather than away from one. As Jonathan Leathwood has said, many of the best collaborative performers are composeurs manqués. It may well be that any score is not only a poor translation of a composer’s ideas, but also something incomplete. The composer’s initial text may not take the form of an imaginary performance, but something slightly more abstract: something that only comes to life in performance. In that case the performer/collaborator has the job not only of interpreting, but also of completing the composition. The Segovia-Ponce letters make fascinating reading on this topic. GT: When your music is so closely linked with specific performers, what happens when it is later played by other people? Many of your pieces, like the “Welsh Folksongs” or “The Raw and the Cooked,” have been recorded several times by different performers.

Figure 2. Excerpt from Oxen of the Sun. GT: It sounds like your work is highly collaborative.

SG: Collaboration is a very important part of my compositional process. Having someone to bounce ideas off feeds my music. I always come into any project eager to learn new things, to find fresh ways of solving compositional problems, even to completely rethink my approach to composition from the ground up. Some collaborators like to be involved in the nitty-gritty of working on musical material. When I was writing my recent Triple Concerto (2013), which transforms pre-existing music in unexpected ways, pianist Graham Caskie would send me short recordings of musical ideas for possible inclusion. Others like to discuss the overall design and concept and leave the music to me. When John Williams commissioned The Flower of Cities (2012)—for violin, two guitars, percussion, and

SG: That’s a very good question. When I’m working on a piece, I never think about possible future performances. It’s impossible to predict what might happen after the initial run of concerts, publication, and recording, so I focus on the circumstances surrounding the commission. Who is the piece for? Who is playing it? Where are they playing it? What else is in the program? These questions really help to crystalize the piece in my mind and give it a context. And the answers to them help make my pieces different from one another. They make each piece bespoke. I don’t think about producing a body of work, I only think about the particular job in hand. I think the idea of writing for posterity is a hangover from the nineteenth century. I’ll gladly admit I’m a pragmatist. Once a piece is in the public domain, it doesn’t mean it’s fixed like a relic in a museum. Michael Partington recorded my guitar sonata twice. Once after around twenty performances and again after he’d done fifty more. His reading of the piece had shifted over the intervening time and he felt he had something else to say about the piece. When the ensemble Music on the Edge recorded my Welsh Folksongs and The Garden of Cosmic Speculation they reworked them considerably, not unlike a remix in popular music. The result is wonderful. Once my music is out there, people can do what they want with it. Musicians are imaginative people. www.guitarfoundation.org Soundboard Vol. 39 No. 3

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Stephen Goss, Composer (continued) GT: What happens if you don’t like what they do?

SG: It doesn’t matter in the slightest. For example, wouldn’t it be dull if people always performed Shakespeare in exactly the same way? All the parts played by men, Elizabethan costumes, no amplification: somehow always aiming to emulate a Platonic ideal version of the work. Baz Luhrmann’s film of Romeo and Juliet is a good example of how art can be reinvented. Sometimes people ask me to rework a piece for a different instrumental combination, sometimes performers rework it themselves. Adapting music for different performing contexts has a long history. Somehow we have inherited the anachronistic Hegelian model of the genius artist producing original masterpieces through divine inspiration. I like the idea that music is adaptable rather than fixed. This may well come from being a guitarist growing up with a repertoire that has transcription and arrangement at its core.

from the Opus 18 quartets to the Grosse Fuge or from The Firebird to Agon. GT: This freedom sounds liberating, but does music still have the capacity to shock? Are there any musical taboos left?

SG: I think many people still find pastiche, kitsch, and sentimentality uncomfortable. Back in the 1970s, David Del Tredici’s Final Alice caused quite a stir, and George Rochberg’s Third String Quartet was criticized for its use of pastiche Beethoven. The middle movement of my Guitar Concerto is an homage to Elgar and, for the most part, Elgar is kept well below the musical surface. At one point, however, he is brought into sharp focus in an orchestral tutti which is pastiche Elgar. The section seems to have split the critics so far. One thing’s for sure—it never goes unnoticed. GT: While you celebrate variety and contrast in your work, are there any constants in your compositional process? Do you always start in the same way,

GT: Your music often quotes or refers to other music. Appropriation is very much

for instance?

part of your musical world.

SG: There are certainly constants. The underlying process goes through roughly the same stages each time: impetus—ideas— design—finding good notes—refinement. To begin any composition project, I start with an impetus. Examples of impetuses might be a text to be sung, a narrative, something visual, or simply a musical idea. Recently, I have been writing a lot of landscape music that evokes time and place. The impetus drives the compositional process on every architectonic level. In my work, a “good” impetus should act as a consistent link between form, method, and materials. The impetus then usually leads to research where the main ideas of the piece are developed and refined. This is probably the most enjoyable part of the process. For example, my recent Piano Concerto had the architecture, sculpture, and designs of Thomas Heatherwick as its impetus. I was bowled over by an exhibition of his studio’s work that I saw in London. The sheer range of styles and leaps of imagination between projects was staggering. So, once the impetus was chosen, I then had to work on the ideas for the piece. After some research, I settled on four specific Heatherwick projects, which would act as models for each of the four movements. I then thought about the kinds of sound worlds and overall structure I wanted for each movement. For example, the second movement is based on Bleigiessen, an indoor sculpture eight-stories high made of thousands of small glass beads suspended on wires. The wires catch the light and blur the viewer’s image of the sculpture. The ideas are the easy part. Everyone has creative and inventive ideas all the time. The difficult part comes in taking those ideas and realizing them in a satisfying way. Back to Shakespeare—it’s a long way from having an idea about a story where two people fall in love, but eventually die because their parents don’t get on, to the final intricate text of Romeo and Juliet. This is where technique comes in. Once the ideas are clear in my mind, I start working on the design. This might include deciding on a form or structure, on

SG: I don’t see interpretation, transcription, arrangement, improvisation, and composition as different things with distinct boundaries between them. The distinctions can be useful, but they are artificial. It’s rather like the colors of the rainbow. We are taught that there are seven colors, but the reality is that there is a continuum of color from red to violet. It was Isaac Newton who decided on the number seven, simply to match the number of notes in a musical scale as it happens. As a breed, we guitarists tend to tamper with the fixity of musical notation more than, say, pianists or violinists. This is evident in the various performing editions of Bach lute or cello suites or in the myriad versions of Albéniz transcriptions that exist. I am particularly interested in the idea of hearing familiar music in an unfamiliar context or setting. Max Richter’s brilliant recent reworking of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons or Uri Caine’s performance of the Goldberg Variations are very useful models for this kind of extreme interpretation. I very much enjoy exploring the grey area between arrangement and composition GT: Given what you’ve just said, how far can one speak of a personal style for your music?

SG: W. H. Auden once said that, as an artist, you spend the first half of your life imitating others and the second half imitating yourself. I would argue that self-repetition is a bigger problem than any outmoded concept of a composer having to nurture or seek an individual voice. It seems to me that are too many composers writing the same piece over and over again. An individually distinctive voice could be seen as a manifestation of limitations. My aim as a composer is keep growing, developing, and moving forwards. Each time I start a new piece, my number one priority is to make it as different as possible from the one I’ve just finished. From this perspective, my models are Beethoven and Stravinsky. Their music is recognizable as their own in an instant, but, crucially, it can be dated, almost to the year, by the way it sounds. Just think of the journey 32 Soundboard Vol. 39 No. 3

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(continued on page 34 …)

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Stephen Goss, Composer (continued) where to use particular orchestral colors, registers, textures, densities, harmonies, and so on: roughly planning out the piece. In the case of the Bleigiessen movement, I designed the harmonic structure and registral limits ahead of working on the notes themselves. The delicate, continuous solo piano part is a portrayal of the sculpture, while the glittering reflections are rendered in varied orchestral hues. The next stage is where the really creative work goes on. Mark Anthony Turnage once said that most important thing in composition is finding good notes. This is the part composers rarely talk about—the part where we actually choose which notes go in the score. This part of the process, for me, takes the longest and goes through many drafts and stages of refinement. The refining includes fixing many musical parameters into place: pitch, rhythm, orchestration, dynamics, and articulation.

SG: Absolutely.

GT: How do composers “find good notes?”

SG: Because I won’t stop. I would like people to find my music useful. I aim to move people and to make them question assumptions. For me composition is social, outward looking—it’s how I reflect the world I live in.

SG: When composers talk about their work, they generally talk about what I call the impetus, ideas, and design phases of composition. They will often miss out the choosing-of-notes bit and then talk about rehearsals, performances, and revisions—the sheen. Of course, the reason we talk about choosing notes so little is because it’s done largely intuitively. One note is selected over another simply because we think it sounds better. How do we know when we’ve made a good decision? We don’t know, we can only feel it. How can we talk about intuitive decision-making? Recent research into adaptive subconscious suggests there is a locked door between what we can do with our subconscious minds and how we try to explain it—the story-telling problem, as Timothy Wilson calls it. Musical experience is built on thousands and thousands of hours of listening and music making. It’s this embodied or tacit knowledge that we draw on when making intuitive decisions. The following are two examples from Malcolm Gladwell’s book Blink. Thomas Hoving is talking here about the art historian Bernard Berenson, who could unfailingly spot fake artworks. “He sometimes distressed his colleagues with his inability to articulate how he could see so clearly the tiny defects and inconsistencies in a particular work that branded it a fake. In one court case, Berenson was able to say only that his stomach felt wrong. He had a curious ringing in his ears. He was struck by a momentary depression. Or he felt woozy and off balance. Hardly scientific descriptions of how he knew he was in the presence of something cooked up or fake.”1 Vic Braden describes a similar inability in sports players. “Out of all the research that we’ve done with top (sports) players, we haven’t found a single player who is consistent in knowing and explaining what he does. They give different answers at different times, or they have answers that simply are not meaningful.”2 GT: So, for you, musical composition uses both the conscious and unconscious minds at different stages in the process. 1 Malcolm 2 Malcolm

Gladwell, Blink (U.K.: Penguin Books Ltd.), 51. Gladwell, Blink (U.K.: Penguin Books Ltd.), 67.

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GT: How does this affect your ability to be self-critical?

SG: Effective self-criticism is one of the hardest things to achieve as a composer (or in any area of creative work). One has to attempt to strike a fine balance between blasé overconfidence and crippling selfdoubt. It is impossible to be totally objective about your own work. Trusted friends (or a teacher) can be very useful in offering feedback from a safe critical distance. GT: What are the other difficulties with composition?

SG: Well, there is never enough time. Deadlines hurtle towards you at an uncontrollably fast speed. All composers share this problem, and always have done. Writing music is very hard work—it’s by far the most difficult thing I do. GT: So, why do you write music?

GT: Have you been working with Andrew Lloyd Webber and Miloš Karadaglić recently?

SG: Yes, I’ve done quite a lot of work with Miloš, so Andrew Lloyd Webber (who is a big Miloš fan) approached me to make a guitar arrangement of some of the themes from his forthcoming musical Stephen Ward. Miloš recorded the arrangement for Deutsche Grammophon and has played it on TV and in some high-profile concerts. GT: What do you have coming up?

SG: I had my Triple Concerto performed in July, the Piano Concerto CD comes out in October, and John Williams is recording the Guitar Concerto with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in November for release early in 2014. My guitar quartet, Tetra, is celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary this season (2013-14) with concerts, commissions, and a CD release. The next work I’m writing is a new solo piece for David Russell. Next year, I’m launching the International Guitar Research Centre at the University of Surrey. GT: What are your musical ambitions?

SG: To learn as much as I can from the people I have the good fortune to work with. GT: Thank you. Guy Traviss is a journalist and musicologist based in London. He is currently the Editor of “Classical Guitar” magazine and holds an editorial post with the International Guitar Foundation.

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Performance Practice

Arranging and Performing Early Music Part II: Ornamentation, Alfabeto, and Basso Continuo by Jeremy Grall This article is the second installment of a two-part series written for Soundboard on performance practices in early music. In this second installment, ornamentation methods are discussed in relation to transcribing tablatures, arranging modern editions, and improvised accompaniment. In Part I of this series, I discussed the evolution of the folia as a model for considering the underlying chord or bass formula for various forms of improvisation. The earliest incarnations of the folia form allowed for a wide variety of chord substitutions, while the melody of the piece may or may not have been predetermined. More specifically, it was only in the seventeenth century that the folia had evolved into a consistent melody. As such, the malleable chord structure was simply to be plugged in for improvised dances, ensemble pieces, accompanying the voice, and for solo pieces. From the examples seen in Part I, we can see similar chord structures in monody accompaniment, basso continuo realizations, as well as in the underlying structure within sixteenth- and seventeenth-century solo lute and vihuela pieces. The premise of Part II is a general “how-to” method to analyzing early lute works, adding ornamentation, and realizing simple continuo parts. Rather than simply take a bass line and start realizing it, I begin with several examples of “realized” pieces, in which I tease out the ornaments to leave a simple chord structure. Following, I discuss some extant sources of alfabeto, which shows how continuo and solo players would build their pieces from similar chord structures. From these simple chord structures, I discuss methods of reconstructing the piece with ornamentation. Lastly, I discuss alternate ways in which the given examples may be re-arranged in a solo context, as well as build my own simple continuo realization. Within all of this I discuss period ornamentation manuals, alfabeto methods, theoretical treatises such as Rameau, and modern methods such as discussed by Nigel North, James Tyler, and Paul O’Dette. John Dowland’s “Melancholy Galliard” can be considered a case study for musical improvisation. But, how can a process of spontaneous musical creation share similarities with methodical composition? Musicologist John Bass questions whether embellishment was simply added to a pre-existing piece as a coloristic tool, or if

1 John

sixteenth-century ornamentation was more similar to jazz, in which the overall structure was created anew within the performance.1 It is conceivable, however, that improvisation may not have been limited to an either-or situation.2 Miguel Roig-Francolí considers that early improvisation may have been equally a compositional and a performance practice. Specifically, about Tomás de Santa María and his treatise on improvising fantasias, he says, “His ‘improvisation,’ however, is bound by four hundred and twenty-eight pages of ‘universal’ rules …”3 In this context, many of our existing lute pieces are ostensibly a realized improvisation and provide a template from which to begin this study. Within lute and vihuela music, the pieces that most closely resemble the harmonic practices of the continuo can be seen in the various pavans, passamezzos, and galliards of the Renaissance. The contiguous thread between these works is that they are generally dances based on a predictable rhythmic and harmonic structure. One of the simplest examples of such a piece can be seen in the “Melancholy Galliard” by John Dowland. This piece not only provides an excellent template because of its familiarity to many guitarists, but also because it was ostensibly based on an improvisation. Dowland was known for being an excellent improviser, and like many performers of the time, he may have been reluctant to publish many of his solo works because of the intense professional rivalry. By delaying publication he would have been able to keep his improvisatory practices as a trade secret. While this is not the case for all lutenists, Dowland was generally considered to be somewhat paranoid of his competition. Consequently, Dowland may have been waiting until later in his life to publish the majority of his works.4 In Figure 1, we see the first phrase of the “Melancholy Galliard,” while Figure 2 is the same musical example as a metric reduction with the ornamental figures removed.5 With the exception of the note A in the pick-up measure of the reduction, which has been included only to show the harmony, the upper notes reflect the melody of the galliard. In this format we can see that the overall format is simply a few structural chords linked together through various ornamental figures—similar to the rasgueado dances found in Italian guitar music.

Bass, “Improvisation in Sixteenth-Century Italy: Lessons from Rhetoric and Jazz,” Performance Practice Review 14 (2009): 1–32. R. Keith Sawyer, “The Semiotics of Improvisation: The Pragmatics of Musical and Verbal Performance,” Semiotica 108 (1996): 269–306. 3 Miguel Roig-Francolí, “Compositional Theory and Practice in Mid-Sixteenth-Century Castilian Instrumental Music: The Arte de tañer fantasía by Tomás de Santa María and the Music of Antonio de Cabezón” (PhD diss., Indiana University, 1990), 38. 4 Diana Poulton, John Dowland (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1982), 65, 71–2, and 95. 5 The following selections were created in consultation with the lute tablature of John Dowland’s “Melancholy Galliard” and the guitar transcription by Siegfried Behrend. This guitar version is largely from Behrend’s edition. 2

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Figure 4. First phrase with table numbers.

Figure 1. Dowland transcription. Figure 5. Second phrase with table numbers.

Figure 2. Reduction of “Melancholy Galliard.”

In Figure 3, starting at measure 9, we see the second phrase, which contains the same melodic and harmonic theme but with different ornamentation.

Figure 3. Second phrase starting at measure 9 with new ornaments.

Table 1 is a list of the types of ornaments found in both the first and second phrases (Figures 4 and 5). Some of the figures are familiar passing and neighboring tones; however, as the piece proceeds, the ornaments are combined and become more elaborate. These ornaments are interesting because in the context of the first ornaments, they can be interpreted in several ways. For example, ornament 1a could be considered an elaborate turn, or it could be considered the melody with a passing tone that is ornamented with a lower neighboring tone that ends with the E-natural. This E-natural can then be interpreted as an anticipation of the E-natural in the next chord. While this is a dissection of the ornament, the problem with the second interpretation is that not only is it very wordy, but it is confusing in practice. Instead, for simplicity, I have relabeled these groupings as one or two ornamental figures followed by a brief description of the types of ornaments. Further, the labeling system is meant to illustrate how the second ornaments are elaborations of the initial ornaments. In practice these types of ornaments are learned as one figure rather than as several interlocking ornaments. Figure 4 is the harmonic structure of the galliard in its entirety without ornamentations with numbers above. These numbers correspond to the table of ornaments found in Table 1.

Table 1. Ornaments.

In comparing the two phrases, we can see that Dowland’s initial ornaments are simple and in the second phrase he develops these figures. Also, Dowland follows a relatively consistent pattern while avoiding needless repetition. For example, he alternates his ornaments in every other measure and after establishing a pattern; he introduces a new ornament just before the cadence. This could be to keep the piece interesting and because cadential ornaments tend to be more elaborate. This selection illustrates several principles commonly discussed in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century ornamentation manuals: 1.) Ornamental insertion; 2.) The reliance on a variety of ornaments rather than utilizing a few select cliché trills; 3.) How to elaborate on simple figures while avoiding needless repetition. Initially, the use of the table of ornament numbers may seem to be cumbersome; however, its purpose is to allow us to see the underlying structure, while considering the ornamentation as interchangeable blocks or riffs. Also, by isolating the harmony and melody, seen in Figure 2, the underlying dance rhythm becomes more apparent. In this Italian guitar rasgueado of the Folia semplice seen in Figure 6, we can see a similar rhythmic chord pattern, except that the single note head implies the chords.

Figure 6. Transcription of Folia semplice. Hudson, “The Folia Dance and the Folia Formula,” 211–13.

This differentiation between the chords, melody, and ornamentation can be seen more clearly in the alfabeto tablatures commonly used in the mid-Baroque by Baroque guitarists. In Figure 7, the alfabeto used by Corbetta uses specific letters to denote the basic chords. While the idea is quite practical, when looking at these charts it is often confusing because in modern chord charts the letters indicate the root of the chord and quality. In alfabeto the letters do not match the chord and chord quality, but rather are grouped by voicing and chord progression. For example, in most forms of alfabeto the A, B, and C are used to indicate a I-IV-V progression. In this instance the A-B-C progression represents a G-major chord going to C major and then D major—I-IV-V. In D-E-F the progression is now a minor i-iv-V progression—A minor to D minor to E major. To add to this confusion, there are many regional variants of the alfabeto that range in www.guitarfoundation.org Soundboard Vol. 39 No. 3

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Arranging and Performing Early Music … (continued) musical usage, letters can change meaning, tuning of the instrument can change, and indications for ornaments can be either written in the score or by a specific ornamental sign.6 Unfortunately, these ornamental signs are not consistent between alfabeto-type systems.

Figure 7. Transcription of Corbetta alfabeto chords “A–K.”

In A Guide to Playing Baroque Guitar, James Tyler outlines several different types of Baroque tablature notational styles.7 The styles conform to several major types: letters, tablatures, and mixed.8 The French or Italian tablature is simply the standard punteado tablature, similar in style to those used by John Dowland, in which either numbers or letters indicate the fret numbers. Figure 8 is a transcription by Richard T. Pinnell of a transcribed Corbetta alfabeto chart in which the original simply uses letters to indicate the chords.9 In mixed notation the tablature uses a traditional Italian tablature and then an alfabeto letter to indicate the chord.10 While this may seem a bit difficult, upon overcoming the initial difficulty of learning the alfabeto letters, this style is easier to read and makes it easier for transcription.

Figure 8. Transcription of Bergamasco from alfabeto notation.

Again, the general idea is to create a chord form and slowly extemporize upon it. While the Corbetta examples show similar types of ornaments and chord structures seen in the folia and Dowland examples, what exactly are the limits to ornaments? While an in-depth discussion of all the ornamentation manuals is beyond the scope of this article, all of period methods outline similar types of ornamental figures and well-defined methods of applying ornaments to any situation. The ornamental methods come in several main formats: fantasia/chord instruction, ornament instruction, and 6 Maurice

theoretical instruction. A particular method or manual may only take one of these roles or they may take on several roles. For example, in a letter, Giovanni Maffei outlines simple methods of ornamenting a vocal line.11 While Maffei goes into some detail on vocal production, the letter mainly discusses how and when to insert simple ornaments. In Tomás de Santa María’s Libre llamando arte tañer fantasía, he goes into elaborate detail on the keyboard, ornamentation, and how to improvise fantasias.12 Further, he discusses overall contrapuntal techniques and theoretical constraints one should consider in improvisation. The biggest differentiation is that while some methods, usually for voice or monophonic instruments, discuss little more than the actual ornaments, many of the methods, particularly those for polyphonic instruments, often begin with a primer on counterpoint and modes. The primer may be quite rudimentary, but often the instruction can be comprehensive. Again, elaborate theoretical concepts are out of the scope of this article, but for guitarists I recommend starting with Counterpoint on Two and Three Voices and Improvisation in the Sixteenth Century Renaissance Style for Guitar by Dušan Bogdanović13 and the Gradus ad Parnasum by Johannes Fux.14 Both of these books are relatively simple and provide a much clearer introduction to counterpoint than the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century sources. In the earlier sources, the rhetorical style of the text is often hard to follow and the musical vernacular is confusing for many. Also, while the Gradus was based on Palestrina’s contrapuntal practices, it was written in the eighteenth century and its basic practices can be found throughout the Renaissance and Baroque. As for the specific ornamental practices, Silvestro Ganassi is a good resource for the varieties of ornaments and how to insert them. Specifically, Ganassi provides various skeletal melodic motions and then provides nearly two hundred possible embellishments ranging from simple to extravagant. For example, in Figure 9, Ganassi provides three basic melodic figures. In the following measures he provides five additional examples on how to ornament the melody. While I have provided brackets above the ornaments to illustrate the original notes in all of the examples, Ganassi used a small vertical line to indicate the original melodic notes in only the three-note melody, labeled 2 (see Figure 9).

Esses, The Dance and Instrumental Differencias in Spain during the Seventeenth and Early Eighteenth Centuries: History and Background (New York: Pendragon Press, 1992), i: 112–72. While this book is concerned with music in Spain, Esses provides a comprehensive survey of music for the five-course guitar that extends throughout Europe. 7 Jeremy Grall, “A Guide to Playing the Baroque Guitar (review),” Notes 69 (2012): 80–2. In this review I discuss the types of pedagogical techniques utilized in Tyler’s book, as well as a general overview. 8 James Tyler, A Guide to Playing the Baroque Guitar (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2011), 8–20. 9 Richard T. Pinnell, Francesco Corbetta and the Baroque Guitar: With a Transcription of His Works, Volume 2 (Ann Arbor: UMI Research Press, 1980), 63. While a guitar transcription would have different stem to directions to reflect the voices, I have not changed the stem direction from the Pinnell transcription. In this case the stem direction may be used as an indication of the strumming direction for the chords. 10 Clive Titmus, “Baroque Guitar for Smarties,” classicalguitarcanada.ca, http://www.classicalguitarcanada.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Corbetta-Passachali-in-Dminor-mixed-tablature.jpg (assessed April 10, 2013). Some additional examples can be found in this article written by the luthier Clive Titmus. 11 Giovanni Camillo Maffei, “Della lettere (1562),” In Late Renaissance Singing, trans. and ed. Edward Foreman (Minneapolis: Pro Musica, 2001), 6–30. 12 Tomás de Santa María, Libre llamando arte tañer fantasía (1565; reprint, London: Gregg, 1972). 13 Dušan Bogdanović, Counterpoint on Two and Three Voices and Improvisation in the Sixteenth Century Renaissance Style for Guitar (Ancona: Bèrben, 1996). 14 Johannes Fux, “The Study of Counterpoint” from Gradus ad Parnassum, ed. Alfred Mann (1725; reprint, New York: W.W. Norton and Company Inc., 1971).

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Figure 9. Example of ornamentation from Ganassi’s Opera intítulata fontegara.

While Ganassi provides several hundred examples of ornaments, more than any other ornamentation method book, he did not consider this a definitive list. Nevertheless, while his list of ornaments provide a curiosity to explore, their usage in a practical format can be somewhat limited—there are just too many ornaments. Further, many of the ornaments are repetitious, and as seen in Table 1, many of the ornaments can be considered as ornaments that have been combined. I suggest learning a smaller selection of ornaments and to consider each as an interchangeable block that can be linked to others. In the Dowland examples, it has been noted that the piece began simply and then became more elaborate. While this would seem to be an obvious technique for creating drama within an improvisation, such as commonly heard in jazz improvisation, this was a topic that was commonly discussed in the ornamentation methods.15 One of the major questions that these methods grapple with is exactly what constitutes good taste? Often this is put in general terms of striving for balance and avoidance of extremes. For example, it is good to play virtuosic passages as long as they aren’t made “vulgar” by singing or playing too loud, too high, or too low. Howard Mayer Brown notes that the methods are all in agreement that performers should stay within their means and play ornaments accurately without intruding upon the overall piece. Brown also notes that they warn that someone who only plays extremely fast and elaborately ornamenting becomes monotonous. Further, this type of performance is merely an unmusical spectacle for the uneducated commoners of the audience who do not have “good taste.” Unfortunately, while these musicians complain about performers without good taste and poor performances, exactly what constitutes good

taste is still often left vaguely remedied. As a general rule, they are simply instructed to avoid extremes. The degree in which one can alter the original composition is dependent on the style of the piece one is ornamenting.”16 For example, when ornamenting a piece that was originally vocal polyphony, effort should be taken not to disturb the counterpoint, while in improvised instrumental dance forms, slight mistakes in voice leading may be tolerated. Another similarity in the methods is that although the ornamentation manuals are written with different instruments and voices in mind, they are remarkably similar in their instructions. Nearly all of the manuals note that these instructions, with a little adaptation, can be used on any instrument. Ganassi sometimes wrote the ornaments without specifying the clef to so they can be used in any transposition.17 The general understanding is that music is to be ornamented; however, the ornaments should be performed gracefully. Another common topic is about specifically how to insert ornaments. Because the ornaments should not ruin the voice leading, the solution is to not alter the original melody. For example, the first note and the last note in the ornament, regardless of the intervening ascending and descending acrobatics of the passaggi, should represent the original melody. In Figure 10, from Giovanni Bassano’s Ricercate passaggi et cadentie, the original notes are shown with the inserted ornament.18 While it is not the only method of ornamental insertion, it is usually the safest method when starting to experiment with ornamentation.

Figure 10. Ornamental Insertion from Giovanni Bassano’s Ricercate passaggi.

As seen in Figure 10, this is by no means a simple mordent or trill; however, what should be noted is that the basic sixteenthcentury conventions of melodic construction are honored.19 These include avoiding tritone leaps, making sure to offset melodic leaps by stepwise motion in the opposite direction, generally avoiding outlining chords, and so forth. While it would appear that simply removing the ornamentation could reveal a piece’s melodic and rhythmic framework, in practice the original melodic notes may have occurred at almost any point within the ornament—especially in non-liturgical music. Nevertheless, the method in the example is the most consistently found in ornamentation manuals and is the general method used in the Dowland examples in Figures 1 and 3.

15 Howard

Mayer Brown, Embellishing Sixteenth-Century Music, Early Music Series, ed. John M. Thomson (New York: Oxford University Press, 1976), x. This book surveys the ten major ornamentation manuals found in the Renaissance such as Girolamo dalla Casa, Silvestro di Ganassi, Giovanni Camillo Maffei, Giovanni Luca Conforto, Diego Ortiz, Francesco Rognoni, Ricardo Rognoni, Giovanni Battista Bovicelli, and Giovanni Basano. I have consulted both Howard Mayer Brown’s book as well as each of the reprinted facsimiles of the original sources as needed. 16 Brown, Embellishing Sixteenth-Century Music, 53. 17 Silvestro Ganassi, Regola rubertina, (Venice: Ganassi, 1542, 1543), facsimile edition by Max Schneider, 1927. 18 Giovanni Bassano, Ricercate/passaggi et cadentie (1585; reprint, Zürich: Musikverlag zum Pelikan, 1976). 19 Knud Jeppesen, Counterpoint: The Polyphonic Vocal Style of the Sixteenth Century, trans. Glen Haydon (1931; reprint, New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1992), 83–97.

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Arranging and Performing Early Music … (continued) While the previous examples show how to take a piece of music and remove the ornaments, or how to take a piece and then insert new ornaments, this section deals with how to create a basso continuo line. This task varies considerably depending on the ensemble that you are performing with. For example, in a jazz duo a guitarist will often perform the chord structure, often in root position, as well as a lot of intervening scalar and ornamental flourishes; however, in a jazz combo the guitarist will often play chord inversions in the upper registers and will play ornaments sparingly. If the guitarist were to play open chords in root position, the guitarist would be drowned out by the pianist and the bass notes would have already been covered by the either the bass player or the pianist. Improvisation in an early ensemble functions the same way. While the basic chord patterns for lute accompaniment in Renaissance ensembles similar to those seen in in Figure 6 and 8, they were often more elaborate in the Dowland songs and utilized many of the same features found in his solo works. However, beyond 1600, a good deal of the guitar/ lute/theorbo accompaniment became rather simplified with the introduction of monody. In Figure 11, by Giovanni Kapsberger, we can see the theorbo accompaniment tends to be on the beat simple chords that would have been strummed.20 This is the basic method to introduce chords into an early music ensemble using either the lute or the modern guitar—just strum simple chords.

Figure 11. Kapsberger Arie passeggiate in Modern Notation.

While this example shows us the basic idea of how to insert continuo chords, it does not help when being given a piece of music that has an unrealized basso continuo line. One of the theoretical sources that discuss how to add accompaniment is from Jean-Philippe Rameau’s Treatise on Harmony.21 While his chapter on how to provide accompaniment is valuable for putting your Music Theory I-IV into practice, it is less useful on the guitar. While Rameau is good for getting an idea of which chords are acceptable to insert, for a guitarist the voicing is different from a keyboard and the attention to the counterpoint becomes overwhelming to do in real time. Fortunately, for a guitarist, the simplest chord to finger often results in the best voice leading. For example, the Bergamasco in Figure 8, the chords are simply voiced and naturally avoid any contrapuntal faux pas. Unfortunately, the reentrant tuning of the Baroque guitar makes this relationship hard to see in the tablatures and is not immediately applicable to the guitar or the lute without transcription. For practical application of these ideas, Nigel North

20 Giovanni

has written what I consider to be the seminal book on lute/guitar/ theorbo accompaniment for the modern performer.22 The period sources often present an unfamiliar vernacular and complex theoretical concepts. I consider the most valuable aspect of North’s book an extensive chord chart in tablature form. Figure 12 is a portion of the chart and the types of chord, the notation, and the figured bass symbol with which it can be used on the lute, archlute, and the theorbo. For example, North provides chords for every note and every inversion, as well as seventh chords and some common chord patterns. In Figure 12, North provides a simple set of transposable chord voicings for a given bass note.

Figure 12. Nigel North example of voicing and moveable shapes.

With this method anyone can simply look at a bass line and find the appropriate chord to plug in. Lutenists can use the tablature as written and guitarists can capo the third fret with the third string tuned to F-sharp. For example, Figure 13 is a very basic continuo realization from the sonata from the Canzona 6a by Schein using this technique. This example is nothing more than a rudimentary chord chart in which I have intentionally left out additional chords. Also, I included rests too, so that I was aware when the harmony changed. Additional melodic notes were also omitted, because in performance we had an organ that already had an elaborately ornamented continuo part and the lute was mostly inaudible with a group of about ten people. In performance, I simply strummed the basic chords, added additional notes from the basso continuo line when the feeling struck, and sometimes added other chords on the spot. In the lute tuning, I was able to look at the original basso notation and think of the line in normal treble clef guitar notation—except that I needed to think of it as if it were in the key of D major. Admittedly, I left my chord chart bare so as to allow myself the freedom to experiment during rehearsals and forced myself to listen very closely to how my part supported the other voices.

Figure 13. Simple Chord Sketch for mm. 26–37 in Johann Schein’s Canzona 6a.

Kapsberger, Libro primo die arie passeggiate a una voce con l’intavolatura del chitarone (1612; reprint, Firenze: Studio per edizioni scelte), 18. Jean-Philippe Rameau, Treatise on Harmony, trans. Philip Gossett (1722; reprint, New York: Dover 1971), 377–444. 22 Nigel North, Continuo Playing on the Lute, Archlute and Theorbo (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1987) , 177. 21

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Had I needed to add additional ornamentation, I could have followed the rest of North’s instruction, but as we have seen from the earlier examples, it is often best to: 1.) Begin with the simplest and easy to reach chords. 2.) Look at the given music for additional melodic notes. 3.) Start with a small group of initial simple ornaments that you can elaborate on at a later point. 4.) Try to insert these notes within the given melody and written out chords. 5.) Listen and feel free to experiment. Figure 13 is meant as a starting point and not intended to be a fully realized basso continuo. For example, this insures that those who might be overwhelmed with writing out a fully realized continuo part recognize that to get started it is best to start out with only a basic form—especially when performing with a larger ensemble. Also, by not writing everything out right away, the performer can get a sense of how they can improvise during a performance, get a better sense of the types of musical figures that will or will not work in the actual performance, and lastly, allow the performer a greater sense of the endless possibilities within in a performance. In an age of scores and editions, it is easy to forget that continuo was not explicitly written out. Performers were not just interpreters of the music, but also composers. This article surveys an historically-informed approach and a practical approach to ornamentation, realizing a continuo line, and analyzing early music. One of the problems facing guitarists and lutenists is that although we have some methods on how to realize a piece of music, far more has been written for the keyboardist.

For example, Johann Mattheson, Claudio Merulo, Jan Pieterzoon Sweelinck, and many of the Baroque composers wrote books on how to improvise on the bass line, yet there are few methods dedicated solely to guitar-like instruments. Many of these treatises that do exist are heavily steeped in counterpoint, modes, and broader theoretical concepts that can be stifling when trying to take the first steps to improvisation. While all of these topics are important for long-term study, ultimately it is more important that early music is performed. It is important to remember that despite the many rules and conventions associated with early music performance practices, within the period there were no fully agreed upon conventions. Many of the treatises and ornamentation manuals provide nuanced methodologies that proclaim their approach to be the best, while often disparaging all of the others. Classical guitarists have the tendency to want to be “correct,” but in regard to early music this is a futile pursuit. There simply is no one absolutely unified “correct” approach to early music; at best we can aspire to be historically informed. Therefore, I encourage you to make mistakes, experiment, and look at period sources for additional instruction and inspiration. For the classical guitarist, ornamentation is a creative process that is very similar to jazz improvisation. At best, this exploration allows us to take part in a living art form. Jeremy Grall earned his D.M.A. in classical guitar from the University of Memphis and M.M. from the Yale School of Music. Currently, Jeremy is ABD for a Ph.D. in Historical Musicology and is a Lecturer at Sam Houston State University in Music Theory and Musicology.

Guiding the Next Gener ation of Classical Musicians World class faculty members, including classical guitarist Jason Vieaux, a stimulating and supportive atmosphere, and outstanding facilities make CIM an ideal environment for training the next generation of classical music performers. Admission Office: 216.795.3107 | [email protected] cim.edu | 11021 East Boulevard | Cleveland, OH 44106 BACHELOR OF MUSIC | MASTER OF MUSIC | DOCTOR OF MUSICAL ARTS | ARTIST CERTIFICATE | ARTIST DIPLOMA | PROFESSIONAL STUDIES

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Transcription

Arrangement: Valses poéticos, Part II by Rupert Boyd More than any other group of classical musicians, guitarists have for many years stolen and borrowed our way through all manner of works for other instruments and ensembles. This larcenous tradition of arranging for guitar is due in part to both a lack of original works by many of the great composers of western classical music, and due to our ability to successfully play melodies with polyphonic accompaniment. I’ve always loved to make arrangements. I find it a combination of the creative and problem solving processes to play around with pre-composed melodies and harmonies. One has to transpose keys, re-voice chords, and shift octaves to get pieces to work on the guitar. In arranging a piece, one will inevitably face the question of how many liberties are permissible to make the piece work on a different instrument, while remaining faithful to the original score. Similarly, in poetry, a translator must decide how much to change the original words and intent of the poet to make the poem work in a new language. If a poem contains rhyming couplets, should the translator aim to make a literal and more authentic translation that does not rhyme, or should they retain the rhyme, even at the expense of order of the words or meaning of the lines? In relation to transcribing for guitar, how far can one go in re-voicing chords, shifting octaves, and the like, while being faithful to the original? My philosophy in arranging for the guitar is to create something that is eminently playable and with a fullness and resonance to the sound, as though originally composed for the instrument. To this end, I often ask myself when arranging what the composer would have done had he or she had originally written the work for guitar. Granados’ solo piano piece, Valses poéticos, like many compositions for piano, works very well on guitar. I think this is the case as the instruments have a similar sound in regards to the initial attack and decay of the note. On the piano, however, chords of up to ten notes at a time are easily playable, and the range of the instrument is far greater. Fortunately little modification from the original piano score was required to arrange this work; much of the process involved thinning out of the chords and restricting the range. All the keys are the same as in the original, though in the third waltz this necessitates a re-tuning of the sixth string to D. It is unfortunate to break the musical flow of the piece for this tuning change, but purely for the resonance of the guitar, I feel that this is preferable to either playing the movement without the low D, or transposing the movement to another key (E minor or A minor are options that also work). One of the places where I diverged most from the original piano score was in No. 8. At the climax of the composition, Granados includes two measures which contain a flurry of notes that have the tempo indication of vivace (see Figure 1).

Above: Rupert Boyd.

Figure 1. The original piano score of “Vals No. 8,” measure 10.

On piano these measures are very successful, and while it is possible to play the same notes on guitar, it doesn’t result in the same dramatic effect. I imagine that, were Granados to have written Valses poéticos for guitar, he would have used rasgueados, so evocative of the Spanish guitar. Doing so in this passage retains the harmony of the original piano score, but adds the intensity and volume required at this climactic moment (see Figure 2).

Figure 2. Arrangement for guitar of “Vals No. 8,” measure 9.

I hope you enjoy this second installment of the publication of this arrangement. Please refer to Soundboard 39.2 for its first five pages. Rupert Boyd is an Australian classical guitarist based in New York City. He has performed throughout North America, Europe, and Australia, and recently gave his Carnegie Hall debut as part of the D’Addario Music Foundation’s “International Competition Winners in Concert” series. His recent solo recording, “Valses poéticos,” features the arrangement of the work published here.

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www.guitarfoundation.org Soundboard Vol. 39 No. 3

45

CVI

 D  D    D D D    Ž

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46 Soundboard Vol. 39 No. 3

3

  ºº º

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www.guitarfoundation.org Soundboard Vol. 39 No. 3

47

10

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48 Soundboard Vol. 39 No. 3

1.

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www.guitarfoundation.org Soundboard Vol. 39 No. 3

49

New Music

Writing for Family: Selections from Suite No. 2 by Kevin J. Cope As Christmas 2011 approached, I decided to give the gift of a piece of music to each member of my immediate family. After all, what good is a degree in music composition if you are unable to write a piece for your mother and father to enjoy now and again?! This task proved to be a pleasant challenge that I charged myself to complete within the month before the upcoming holiday. I approached each piece (six in total) by choosing a style of music that reflected the interests or background of the person for whom it was being written. I have chosen two to publish here. “Bomba” was written for my dear sister-in-law who is from Puerto Rico. In celebration of her rich heritage, this piece is based upon the island’s dance for which it is named. Using Latin dance forms can be an exhilarating composition exercise that opens up possibilities that may never arise without the boundary created by the rhythm. I based the piece upon a montuno, a repeated accompanying rhythmic pattern utilizing arpeggiated chords. The unique rhythm of the bomba leaves a tied space between beats two and three, as well as between every other beat four and one, and creates a more relaxed feeling than many other Latin dance forms. When performing this piece, the most important elements on which to focus are the consistency of the rhythmic accompaniment and the sweetness of the melody. This melody should feel like a series of relaxed sighs with tears of joy. This is especially evident as the modality shifts in measure 29. I opted to notate the piece with the traditional Latin 3+3+2 rhythmic division. This should help the performer in creating the intended rhythmic accents that are so typical of the music of the Caribbean and South America. “Lullaby” is possibly the simplest piece of music that I have composed. In my view, a lullaby should never be complicated, since its purpose is to lull a child to sleep with a swaying rhythm and beautiful melody. This piece has a particularly personal connection to me because I wrote it for my first niece. I based the work upon text that I wrote that centers upon my niece’s name—and her cuteness! She was less than a year old at the time. Nothing says swaying a baby to sleep like a nice 6/8 rhythm and a soaring songlike melody. The harmony is as simple as that of any popular song, and the melody sings sweetly above it. When performing this piece, keep in mind the image of a swaying boat. As long as the rhythm remains steady, the piece should remain buoyant. The only section of the piece that may create difficulty will be at measure 33, in which a left-hand position change is required. The change is brief, and the simplicity of first position soon returns.

50 Soundboard Vol. 39 No. 3

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Above: Composer, Kevin J. Cope

Kevin J. Cope is an active composer in the greater Philadelphia area. He is a graduate of the University of Delaware, where he received a Masters degree in composition and a second in guitar performance. Kevin was the recipient of the 2011 Emerging Artist Fellowship in music composition from the Delaware Division of the Arts and has received commissions in the U.S.A. and Europe. These and many other works can be purchased at: kevinjcope.com.

Duration: c. 2'45" (ASCAP)

for Lourdes

I. B O M B A

Moderately Fast q = c 110

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© Copyright 2011 Kevin J. Cope (ASCAP) All Rights Reserved

œ

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KEVIN COPE (2011)

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www.guitarfoundation.org Soundboard Vol. 39 No. 3

51

29

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4

˙ 32

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for Sofia on her first Christmas

III. LULLABY œ œ œ œ ˙ œ

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© Copyright 2011 Kevin J. Cope (ASCAP) All Rights Reserved

www.guitarfoundation.org

˙

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52 Soundboard Vol. 39 No. 3

œ

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rit. . .

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Slowly q. = c 60

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Duration: c. 2'45" (ASCAP)

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© Copyright 2011 Kevin J. Cope (ASCAP) All Rights Reserved

www.guitarfoundation.org Soundboard Vol. 39 No. 3

53

New Music

“Hawikuh:” A Story in Sound by Joseph V. Williams II How can a piece of music evoke a story or idea? Beyond simply mimicking bird songs or car horns, how can music have extra-musical implications? For the last year, I have been tackling these questions while writing Zia: Myth and Folklore of New Mexico, for solo guitar. Zia began as a set of concert etudes. Since I first picked up the instrument, I have been fascinated by the myriad shades of timbre and the wealth of extended techniques our instrument has to offer. I decided that Zia would focus on these two topics. Each etude would address one or more extended techniques and employ timbral contrast as a structural element. Early in the process of writing these works, I found a sympathetic relationship between this exotic sound palette and the fantastical elements in New Mexican folklore and myth. So I delved into the rich culture of my home state. I began collecting folklore and myths from the Spanish, Mexican, and Native American cultures. I read children’s books and fairy tales of the Southwest. I read about the Pueblo Nations and studied the long history of New Mexico. Most of all, I tried to remember the stories of my childhood.

Above: Composer Joseph Williams II at work.

And that is where the challenge of programmatic music came to a fore. I had to match the right sound to the right story or myth. In the end, Zia became seven stories in sound: La loba (halogen pizzicato), Pedro e diablo (glissandi and extended range), La llorona (dedillo), Kokopelli (percussion and tambora), Hawikuh (campanella), Coyote (pizzicato), and Zozobra (rasgueado and cross-string trills). The process of writing each etude and answering the questions posed

54 Soundboard Vol. 39 No. 3

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at the beginning of this article was different for each piece. With “Hawikuh,” the musical, technical and programmatic elements were intertwined from the beginning. The story of “Hawikuh” comes from Cibola and the Seven Cities of Gold, the first Spanish myth of New Mexico. In 1519, the conquistador, Hernán Cortés, found the Aztec capital of Tenōchtitlan. After conquering this gold-laden metropolis and renaming it Mexico City, the Spanish fostered hopes that there were other cities filled with riches in the New World. In 1539, the viceroy of Spain sent an expedition, lead by friar Marcos de Niza, north in response to rumors of Cibola and the Seven Cities of Gold. After a long and brutal journey, the party arrived in present-day western New Mexico. Scouts investigated a pueblo where Cibola was said to exist, but they were driven off by the Zuni. The friar, threatened by mutiny and the natives, resorted to examining the pueblo of Hawikuh from a distance. As the friar looked across the desert landscape, the intense sun and heat helped to create an illusion he was desperate to see. A modest pueblo was emblazoned by the light. In his imagination there seemed to appear a small, but brilliant city of gold. Elated, the expedition retreated to Mexico City. When the viceroy heard of the golden city, he sent a large entourage lead by the conquistador Francisco Vázquez de Coronado and guided by Marcos de Niza. They suffered the same arduous journey. When they arrived at Hawikuh, they found only dirt roads, white plaster adobe, and turquoise were the pueblo’s most valuable possessions. At the heart of this story lies an illusion superimposed on reality. “Hawikuh” evokes the moments in which Marcos de Niza looks across the desert landscape and depicts both the mirage and his powerful desire to see the mirage. To create this synthesis of reality and fantasy, I chose the technique of campanella. Italian for “little bells,” campanella is a technique in which scalar and melodic figures are realized on different strings so that they ring over each other and overlap. The “ringing over” creates the same effect as depressing the damper pedal on a piano. In this way a linear construction—such as a scale—takes on a simultaneous vertical function because it rings out as a chord. This duality creates ambiguity. In “Hawikuh,” this ambiguity is further supported by the way in which the line is shaped across the meter. In the opening measure, a four-note scale oscillates across the pulse to emphasize the note F-sharp on beats one and three, and the note A on beats two and four. In the second measure, the same pitch material is reordered to reverse the pattern of emphasis. At the same time, the opening line implies two intertwined short-long rhythms as illustrated in this example (see Figure 1).

• A violin harmonic is used in measure 26. This is created by placing the left hand finger one on the second fret, while the left hand finger four lightly touches the harmonic node at the seventh fret (the notes in parenthesis). The right hand plucks normally to produce the harmonic notated. Figure 1. “Hawikuh” measures 1-2.

The short-long rhythm is important because it creates forward motion, and bound up in that motion is a sense of searching and desire. Ultimately, this rhythm underscores the development of the entire piece. As it unfolds, the harmonic and rhythmic ambiguity continues in the campanella setting, and then in short-long chordal gestures starting at measure 10. At the Tempo II Section (measure 16), the short-long rhythm takes over in shorter note values and in real counterpoint. This non-campanella gesture is contrasted back and forth with the opening material. In addition to the short-long rhythm, the opening campanella four-note scale is developed throughout the piece. It is inverted in retrograde (measure 2), extended (measure 8/9), shortened (measure 21), rhythmically augmented (measure 17), and re-ordered and displaced in octaves (measure 29). In measures 42 and 43, the scale is chromatically altered and extended in combination with an ostinato. Then the scale fragment is reduced to just two notes and joined by the short-long rhythm in the upper and lower register. In measure 46, it is fragmented further to create the gentle reverie, which is the climax of the piece. All of these elements combine to musically depict the piece’s theme. The visual mirage of Marcos de Niza is realized by an auditory mirage in which scales are simultaneously heard as chords. His desire to find the Cities of Gold becomes a searching rhythm that is continually re-contextualized and transformed. Performance Notes: • To accurately show the actual durations in campanella would be extraordinarily cumbersome. Instead, a hollow notehead indicates the note is held longer than its written duration and should ring over adjacent notes. Solid noteheads within this texture last only for their written duration. Fingerings and string notations illustrate the manner in which notes are prolonged, and notes should be held as long as possible. • A capo is used on the second fret for “Hawikuh.” All pitches in this etude sound a major second higher than written. The capo is used for several reasons. The overall pitch level is raised and the resonance is altered to create a higher, lighter sound. The capo also matches the timbre of the open strings to fingered pitches and facilitates the frequent left-hand reaches necessary to create the campanella technique. • Sulla buca (It. “on the hole”) describes placing the RH over the sound hole. • Dotted arrows indicate a gradual change to a new timbre.

“Hawikuh” is dedicated to Adam Holzman in appreciation for his artistry, mentorship, and friendship. Please visit joeplaysguitar.com for a video of “Hawikuh” and the complete score of Zia: Myth and Folklore of New Mexico.

Joseph V. Williams II is a celebrated performer, composer, and educator. He is the Composer in Residence for the Austin Classical Guitar Society and a member of the Texas Guitar Quartet. He holds degrees from the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Arizona, and the University of New Mexico.

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Fernando Sor

Complete Recordings

American Lutherie Is the foremost journal of guitar making and restoration.

of his solo guitar works as performed by Lawrence Johnson

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We could give you stupendous quotes from various famous critics and recommendations by the great icons of music and the guitar. But we feel that you, the listener can decide for yourselves on the qualities of these recordings. Visit our website and audition over 45 minutes of complete pieces and/or movements in mp3 and streaming audio format. Also included are rare recordings and sound samples of music by Fuenllana and Segovia.

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MUSIC W O R T H C R E AT I N G

Classical Guitar Studies at NJCU Faculty

Ana María Rosado • João Luiz Rezende Lopez • Francisco Roldán

Contact: Ana María Rosado, D.M.A. Coordinator of Guitar Studies [email protected] (201) 200-2099

Min Kim, D.M.A., chair

William J. Maxwell College of Arts and Sciences Department of Music, Dance, and Theatre [email protected]

njcu.edu/mdt 2039 Kennedy Boulevard Jersey City, New Jersey 07305

Worth It.

Pedagogy

Essays on Playing the Guitar: Caught Stealing by Jack Sanders Ludwig van Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 14 in C-sharp Minor, Op. 131, created a substantial obstacle for many Western composers who followed. When Béla Bartók decided to compose his first string quartet, he tackled Beethoven head-on—he copied him. It is no secret that Bartók (1881-1945) used Beethoven’s C-sharp Minor Quartet as the inspiration for his Op. 7, which was completed in 1909. They both open with brooding fugues, and other comparisons can be drawn. Bartók was interested in the folk music of Eastern Europe, and with the help of Zoltán Kodály, began trekking to villages in order to record songs and melodies, which later became a major factor in the compositions of both men. One of their discoveries was that much of the region’s folk music was derived from pentatonic scales, which Bartók frequently used in the last movement of his Op. 7. Also in this movement, and mixed in with other folk-isms, is the curious reference to a popular Budapest song, a musical tease towards violinist Stefi Geyer, with whom Bartók was infatuated with at the time. Other influences in Bartók’s compositional style were Brahms, Debussy, and Richard Strauss. Mix it all up, and you have a leader in the twentieth century classical music revolution.

Above: When composing, draw other elements into your music.

Until 1900, each generation only slightly tweaked the compositional style of its precursors, and music followed a rather natural evolution. Of course, there has always been overlapping; for example, Sergei Rachmaninoff was writing in a very romantic style during the same period that Schoenberg, Webern, Ives, and a host of others were turning the music world upside-down. Generally, 60 Soundboard Vol. 39 No. 3

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composers did not wake up wondering what musical language that they would use that day. Since so much attention in the last century was focused on the avant-garde, composers often felt pressure to be innovative. However, the times that we live in now don’t necessarily demand musical revolution—innovation has been trumped by substance, and besides, chances are that it has already been done. On one hand, this takes pressure off budding composers; on the other hand, they need to determine what their musical language is going to be, as well as where it fits within the tonal-atonal spectrum. Throughout history, composers have learned their craft by studying great music and working with other composers. Beethoven studied composition and counterpoint with Haydn and Albrechtsberger; Bach learned from his father and oldest brother in addition to his study of Vivaldi and other composers; Mozart was initially guided by his father, Leopold, with finishing touches added by Haydn. Schoenberg, as a mature composer, believed that the only music deserving study was by Mozart. For the new composer, analyzing as much music as possible and developing a connection to those who will give honest feedback is critical. Your close friends and early, sympathetic audiences might give you encouragement, but finding someone who can give constructive criticism is the key. For a guitarist who might be thinking about composing for the instrument, one technique worth trying is to take an existing piece and essentially re-write it. If one took, say, the first etude of Leo Brouwer’s Estudios sencillos, changed the tonal center, created a variation of the two themes, but developed the ideas in a similar fashion to Brouwer, there would be a sense of how a good composer fashions snippets of ideas into a cohesive work. In a grand sense, this is what Bartók did with his first string quartet. Finally, look into drawing from other sources. There are endless possibilities. Vihuela composers routinely intabulated movements of other composers’ vocal works, and Baroque guitarists/composers utilized many of the popular dances of the period. Furthermore, even though Lou Harrison studied with Schoenberg, when he incorporated Indonesian gamelan influences into his compositions, no one compared student to teacher anymore. Bartók could be looked upon as the quintessential modern composer who had a thorough musical education and assimilated influences from different sources to create a completely unique flavor with his music. Being a good composer doesn’t necessarily mean that all the ideas on the page are completely original; drawing other elements into your music might be what makes it distinctive. Jack Sanders is a performer, pedagogue, and luthier of modern classical and historic guitars.

Community Service The Guitar in South Central by Scott Morris

It is becoming increasingly clear to me that playing the guitar is about so much more than just making music. Like almost every classical guitarist, I started teaching the instrument to help pay the bills. I’ve been fortunate to find myself directing the guitar program at California State University Dominguez Hills (C.S.U.D.H.) in the South Bay area of Los Angeles. What most people don’t know about C.S.U.D.H. is that it is one of the most diverse four-year universities in the country. It was established in the wake of the L.A. Watts riots of 1965, when Governor Pat Brown relocated the campus from Rancho Palos Verdes to Carson. Carson sits in between some of the nicest neighborhoods in L.A. and some of the most challenged. A beautiful view of the Palos Verdes hill graces one side of the campus and the city of Compton boarders the other. The mission of the university states that access to higher education by an underserved segment of the population is its greatest priority. It was in the spirit of that 1965 mission statement that the university asked me to get involved with the Watts Youth Initiative. The program takes kids from the area’s public housing projects and introduces them to positive, creative activities, such as music and art. The housing projects include Jordan Downs, Imperial Courts, and Nickerson Gardens, which were built during World War II to house workers for the war industries. Now that the industrial jobs are gone, they house a large number of families suffering from rampant poverty and the constant threat of crime. For years, Watts and its housing projects have been engulfed in a turf war involving some of L.A.’s most dangerous gangs, including the Grape Street Crips, Bounty Hunters, Watts Bloods, PJ Watts Crips, and the Circle City Piru Bloods. Many of the young people in this part of the city feel that joining a gang is the only option, and the Youth Initiative is on a mission to change that. The L.A.P.D., the L.A. mayor’s office, and former gang members are also directly involved with the program. Tension between different gangs as well as different ethnic groups prevents many young people from venturing beyond their particular neighborhoods. The Youth Initiative asked me to find a way to use guitar to teach things like conflict resolution, working with others, and confidence building. Having been a member of numerous chamber ensembles, and having spent fifteen years directing student guitar ensembles, I knew that I had to get these kids to play music together. The idea was simple: take kids from different neighborhoods and put them together in a room to learn basic guitar technique and simple ensemble music. Little Kids Rock sent us twenty-five guitars and D’Addario supplied the strings. The students at the university were also eager to help, even though it was strictly a volunteer job.

Above: Watts Towers, Los Angeles, California.

We made the decision to provide some instruction in Watts at a recreational center and the rest on the C.S.U.D.H. campus. I felt is was important to show them that a college campus isn’t an intimidating place. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect on my first Saturday morning with the kids. I was a bit nervous, but also excited about finally meeting everyone. After a brief introduction, we played a few classical pieces and did a blues jam for the class. They were mesmerized! The next few Saturdays were spent in small groups learning how to play simple chords and single-line melodies. Their enthusiasm was contagious, and the three-hour sessions flew by. Some parents also attended the class and asked questions about what type of guitars to buy and how to encourage their kids’ love of music. One group of three boys told me they were going to form a professional trio and become famous, and I believe them! I’m really looking forward to the fall semester when I resume my work with the program. Scott Morris is a performer, teacher, and recording artist. He currently serves as the director of the guitar program at California State University Dominguez Hills. He and his colleagues there are set to host the GFA Convention in 2014.

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From the Professional Community Starting the Crown of the Continent Guitar Festival by David Feffer In 1972, after graduating from college, I picked up a steel string guitar to play “Country Roads” and other standards. After a few months, I purchased a Segovia recording and traded for a Guild Mark IV—beginning my four-decade journey with the classical guitar. Having a music background, I bought Noad’s Solo Guitar Playing to teach myself. I practiced diligently and took a few lessons where I was introduced to additional material. As long as I had time to practice, I made good progress. However, with graduate school, my career, and a family, it was difficult to be consistent. I would dive in intensively for two or three months, and then play only intermittently. There were gaps of several months between playing. This was terribly frustrating, and after seven years of fits and spurts, I put the guitar in the closet until I could commit myself. I told my family that during the second half of my life, I would dedicate myself to the classical guitar. They simply rolled their eyes and humored me. In 2003, it was time to begin my pursuit of the guitar. I was fifty-five, approaching the end of my career, living in Key West, and our children were grown. I took the guitar out from under the bed and began playing two to three hours each day. I made progress and enjoyed myself. After a few years, I realized that I needed formal instruction. I enrolled in the National Guitar Workshop to study with Andrew Leonard and Benjamin Verdery in July 2008, a fabulous guitar experience! I started over, gaining an understanding of proper technique and making a plan to learn. Andrew and I continued via the phone, Skype, and in-person lessons. The following summer, I invited Andrew to Montana to give me lessons and to perform. The response to his concerts was overwhelmingly positive. So, late that Sunday evening, Andrew, my guitarist son, and brother-in-law sat at the kitchen counter enjoying some of Kentucky’s finest bourbon, dreaming of holding a firstclass guitar workshop featuring leading guitarists and teachers in a spectacular setting of Bigfork, Montana. In our bourbon haze, we mused over students and their families coming together with the finest faculty and artists in an intimate, supportive community environment. Why not? Now entering the fourth year, our non-profit Crown of the Continent Guitar Foundation’s core goal remains the same: Celebrating the artistry of the guitar across all genres and the magical splendor of Montana. The vision of establishing the Flathead Valley as an international center for the guitar is well under way. Students from throughout the world have come to study with Scott Tennant, Dennis Koster, Pat Metheny, Joe Bonamassa, Lee Ritenour, Steve Lukather, Chris Hillman, Julian Lage, Patty Larkin, Sonny Landreth, Alex de Grassi, Andrew Leonard, Jody Fisher, Matt Smith, and many more.

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Personally, I have gotten to spend two full weeks with Scott Tennant, one with Dennis Koster, three with Andrew Leonard, and time with all of the others—something I never could have imagined. Each year I leave the workshop with a personal guitar game plan for next twelve months, which I supplement with an occasional Skype lesson. This past year, Dennis Koster read me the “riot act.” I needed to reach for a higher level. He suggested starting with the Villa-Lobos Prelude No. 1 in E Minor and the Bach Prelude in D Minor. A week later, a package arrived from Dennis with a seven-page handwritten letter and an annotated score for the Villa-Lobos piece. I am working measure by measure to play these. This has been a fun and rewarding personal journey for me, and one that I look forward to continuing to follow for the rest of the second half of my life.

Above top: A class session held at Crown of the Continent Guitar Workshop and Festival.

David Feffer is the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Crown of the Continent Guitar Festival, a non-profit organization dedicated to the artistry of the guitar and the magical splendor of Montana. For more information on their festival and concert series, including tickets and registration, please visit: cocguitarfoundation.org

From the Professional Community Starting “All Strings Considered”by Scott Wolf

This past year I found myself driving to three different adjunct teaching jobs: one in San Diego, one slightly to the east of Los Angeles, and another in Orange County. Amounting to a little over a thousand miles of frustrated road time every week, my sole refuge, at least at first, was audiobooks. And no, nothing mind-expanding, no new languages, nothing educational, just trashy detective novels and fantasy, as I quested for something to numb the impatience, and to halt the steady propagation of an ugly case of road rage. Eventually I found audiobooks less diverting and consequently far less effective. I began searching out other ways to occupy my mind during those exceptionally tedious hours on the road. Radio wasn’t really an option, when you drive a hundred miles one way, there’s no radio station that can quite go the distance, and I found that teaching guitar and other general music courses left me with a desire for something other than listening to music. Finally I happened upon podcasts. Podcasts are awesome! Downloading or streaming to that futuristic device I find myself increasingly dependent upon, I can listen to shows of incredible variety and originality, without those pesky commercials, and on my own schedule. Alongside a myriad of other convenient benefits, you can pause and rewind at your leisure, which is glorious when you need a moment on the road to “converse” with another driver who is “conscientiously” sharing the road with you, at which point you suddenly realize you have lost your place. I could learn science from Radiolab, architecture and design in surprisingly varied perspectives from 99% Invisible, and grin or brush a tear from my eye hearing true stories live (well, almost live) on a show called The Moth. Occasionally, Radiolab does an episode on something musical. One I found especially profound deals with the universality of music and music’s ubiquitous role in human communication. Additionally, that episode included a segment introducing and explaining perfect pitch, and even a bit on how we react to new (and often more dissonant) music using the riot at the premier of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring as their example. I began using that episode, “Musical Language,” as an assignment in my general music courses and saw my students’ resulting excitement and increased engagement. I wanted more. I found … a little. Of course it was in the car that I came up with the idea of creating a podcast. As the wheels turned, I realized I could potentially do something valuable for the musical community, using the very same gadgets we so often remind people to turn off at the beginnings of our concerts. When I arrived at Scott Tennant’s place for a cup of his stellar espresso, I brought it up to him. Being the adventurous and fun-loving guy that Scott is, he agreed without hesitation to be the first interviewee. A week later, Scott and I had an hour-

long conversation in front of a microphone. Twenty hours of editing later, including at least fifteen calls to my recording engineer guru Kai Narezo and just as many times hearing my then-fiancé ask, “Are you really going to repeat that sentence again?,” I had completed the first episode of All Strings Considered. If you haven’t yet heard the show, please allow me to introduce it to you. My aim is to create something inspiring and entertaining for professional musicians, and on the other hand, to present amateur and non-musicians with an engaging way to encounter some great music and perhaps learn a little something about it. Much like most modern-day classical concerts, I endeavor to make each episode part music, part story, and part educational. The podcast platform makes that recipe easy to make, and since I’m doing all the editing, I enjoy the added bonus of cramming as much of my nerdy humor into each episode as I think my audience can handle. I’ve been told again and again that musicians are rarely able to follow a single career path, that we have to build a reasonable income out of lots of smaller, and often unreasonable, income sources. I was caught in the mindset that that meant testing my sanity by driving far and wide to lots of part-time faculty teaching jobs. Starting the podcast, I realized that I had been too fixed and inflexible in my path. After going in a new direction, I feel like I have glimpsed a different view of my career and future, one now full of new and invigorating possibilities. While I’m not really generating income from All Strings Considered, I have my first sponsor, I covered this year’s GFA Competition in Kentucky, I have regular chats with people I admire and whose music and stories inspire me, I get to pass that inspiration on to my listeners, and all without driving a mile!

Left: Scott Wolf.

Scott Wolf is the creator and host of the podcast “All Strings Considered.“ He completed his D.M.A at the University of Southern California. This summer, he served as the official reviewer at the 2013 GFA Convention in Louisville, Kentucky.

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From the Professional Community Guitar Composition in Music and Fine Art: Picasso’s “Still Life with Guitar.” by Kim Kanoy In the early 1900s, one of Pablo Picasso’s most depicted subjects was the guitar. His Andalusian flamenco heritage, his studies of art, and his time spent in the culture-filled cafes of Paris and Barcelona most certainly provided him vast exposure to the guitar and its repertoire. In 1912, Picasso and Georges Braque developed the synthetic cubism form of art composition, where forms became “synthesized” by the addition of applied materials to the canvas, like newsprint, wallpaper, paper, and string. It was this style of cubism that gave Picasso the impetus to create “Still Life with Guitar.” This article discusses parallels between this work of art and composition for guitar. Where previous cubist work was limited to the flat rectilinear ground of a canvas, Picasso’s “Still Life with Guitar” came from his ingenious idea to deconstruct the usual cubist two-dimensional approach and physically reconstruct the planar surfaces of cubist form into a three-dimensional composition. In choosing the guitar as subject, he may have considered the dimensionality of its “sound” —also a factor also considered by the composer for guitar. The flat “canvas” of a musical score attains dimension and meaning when it is performed. Perhaps Picasso considered composing this particular artwork in three-dimension in order to enhance and expand its meaning—to give it “volume.” Where music composition creates its dimension through the construction of audible layers using musical elements (rhythm, melody, harmony, and form), Picasso’s guitar, in its physical layered construction, was composed using readily available material elements (paperboard, paper, painted wire, wood, string, glue, and tape). Another correlation between Picasso’s “Guitar” and music composition is the comparison of their ephemeral or transitory qualities. He must have realized that the everyday materials he used in his crude construction would someday disintegrate. Perhaps this work was created only as Anne Umland (exhibit curator for MoMA’s 2011 “Picasso Guitars 1912–1914”) surmised, as a maquette for his 1914 more permanent sheet metal version. Just as Picasso’s mixed media “Guitar” might eventually decay, so to the transitory quality of music itself—whether it is the “sound” of music or the “composition.” The course of time over which sound travels is measured; there is a beginning and an end. The properties that comprise music are ephemeral and non-tangible. A composition may be forgotten or lost if not written. Another compositional aspect likely considered in the creation of this work is the intimacy relating to Picasso’s fascination with the illusion of the human body—particularly the female figure representation seen in the shape and form of the guitar. The hourglass curvature of the guitar body is similar to the shape of a woman’s body. The illusion of feminine shape and form infers intimacy, and intimacy 64 Soundboard Vol. 39 No. 3

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certainly exists in guitar composition and performance. The composer becomes “one” with the composition that he or she is writing and the player becomes “one” with the instrument—it is held closely to the body in the manner of an embrace. The intimacy between composers and their compositions and performers and their performances take on a dimensionality that they each “personally” share with their audience—just as Picasso’s intimacy with his “Guitar” is visually apparent to the observer. The genius of Picasso’s “Still Life with Guitar” lies in its visual simplicity—using everyday materials to create an extraordinary work of art. So too, the result of fine guitar composition reveals its genius when realized in performance, whether the piece is technically simple or complex. Perhaps even Picasso dreamed of a desire to compose music for guitar. Although he did not compose music, what we do have are his fine art compositions to enjoy through the ages—just as we have those of the great composers for guitar!

Photo of artwork unavailable for print. To view Picasso’s “Still Life with Guitar,” scan the QR code (right) or go to: moma.org/collection/object.php?object_id=81723 Note: Picasso was also involved in the musical arts. In 1919, he designed sets and costumes for the London premier of El sombrero de tres picos, music by Manuel de Falla, commissioned by Sergei Diaghilev of the Ballets russes. Kim Kanoy, GFA Advertising Manager and Publications Art Director, graduated with a B.A. in Art History from Salem

College,

Winston-

Salem, North Carolina. Her interest in music, art, and art history continue, along with her work for GFA and the operation of her graphic design firm, Kanoy Design.

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Recordings to Revisit

Ida Presti: The Solo Recordings by Candice Mowbray Ida Presti (1924-1967) was a virtuoso guitarist whose work as a soloist and duo partner exemplified the highest levels of classical guitar performance. As evidenced in her recordings and remembered by those who heard her perform, Presti’s virtuosity worked in the service of her interpretive imagination and expression. As we look forward to the ninetieth celebration of Presti’s birth, revisiting her recordings is to the benefit of all who love guitar. Recordings of Presti performing in duet with her husband, Alexandre Lagoya (1929-1999), are plentiful and worthwhile acquisitions for all music enthusiasts. The released solo recordings by Presti are more limited in quantity, but offer views of Presti as a both a child prodigy and a mature performer. Presti’s earliest solo recordings were made in 1938 when she was about fourteen years old. She recorded “Allegretto” from the Sonatina by Federico Moreno Torroba (1891-1982), “Romance” from the Grand Sonata in A Major by Niccolò Paganini (1782-1840), Rumores de la Gaieta by Isaac Albéniz (1860-1909), Serenata espagnole by Joaquín Malats (1872-1912), Andaluza by Daniel Fortea (1878-1953), four movements from the Suite in D Minor by Robert de Visée (c.1655-1732), and a courante by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). These recordings belie the age of the performer and elicited contemporaneous comparisons to Andrés Segovia (1893-1987). Some of the musical ideas represented in this collection of repertoire include: harmonics, glissandi, parallel octaves, Alberti bass accompaniments, rapid scale passages, counterpoint, ornaments, slurs, vibrato, pizzicato, and contrasts of timbre. Melodic lines and phrases are well defined and the performances display her intrinsic connection to rhythm. There is a noticeable absence of mis-fretted notes, string noises or other mistakes. Each composition is not only performed cleanly, but is also expressive and energetic. Presti’s recordings from 1938, along with recordings by Luise Walker (1910-1998), were made available on a compact disc titled Les grandes dames de la guitare (Pavilion Records, 1995). John Duarte (1919-2004) wrote liner notes for this disc in which he stated, “Presti’s technique was awe-inspiring … and if it had limits these never became apparent, but it was unfailingly placed at the service of the music.” The same recordings were recently reissued on a disc titled The Art of Ida Presti (Istituto Discografico Italiano, 2012). In addition to the childhood recordings of Presti, this disc includes five recordings from 1956 and a track salvaged from a television performance during which Presti played Heitor Villa-Lobos’ (18871959) first Prelude for guitar. The 1956 recordings include Andante Largo by Fernando Sor (1778-1839), Evocación cubana (Guajira) by Emilio Pujol (1886-1980), Rêverie and Caprice by Lagoya, and “Andante” from the second Violin Sonata by Bach. 66 Soundboard Vol. 39 No. 3

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Above: The Art of Ida Presti (Istituto Discografico Italiano, 2012)

In Presti’s recording of Evocación cubana by Pujol, listeners can observe Presti as a mature performer and hear trademark characteristics of her interpretive style. Her execution of pizzicato is exceptional. Melodies are wonderfully connected. The harmonics, slurs and scale passages are deftly performed. Presti’s ease of technique and her innate rhythmic sense allow for the playful and expressive use of rubato, thus creating a communicative quality to the statement of each musical idea. This is enhanced by Presti’s changing tone colors. This collection of recordings is also special for its inclusion of two compositions written by Lagoya in dedication to Presti. Rêverie is a lovely, slower-tempo work that is sentimental in character, while Caprice is more whimsical and spritely. The opportunity to hear these works interpreted by the dedicatee is a privilege echoed by Lagoya’s concurrent solo recording of Presti’s Danse rythmique. Recordings of the Presti-Lagoya Duo are legendary, but the few solo recordings of Presti also give evidence to the remarkable abilities of this fantastic performer. Listeners have the chance to hear Presti’s attributes as guitarist in a solo setting: robust tone, expressive vibrato, clear pizzicato, colorful timbres, technical virtuosity, and vitality. Presti’s performances, as a soloist and duo partner, exemplify what can be achieved when technical skill is matched with superlative musicianship. Candice Mowbray studied the work of Ida Presti while pursuing her D.M.A. at Shenandoah Conservatory. She is an active performer, teacher, and scholar in the Baltimore, Maryland area.

Gear Review

Onymyrrhe and Miro’s Nail Oil by Christopher Mallett I started my quest to find the perfect nail product during my senior year of college. My graduate school auditions were performed with two acrylic nails and another nail barely hanging on. I tried almost everything available to strengthen them, but nothing seemed to work. I finally got my hands on Onymyrrhe (pronounced “On-EMer”). Onymyrrhe is a natural nail product that contains only one ingredient, myrrh, which is extracted from the myrrh plant. While most products are applied directly to the fingernail, Onymyrrhe is applied once daily to the matrix of the nail, the area located directly below the cuticle. After I apply it to each finger, I massage it in for roughly forty-five seconds, and then wash it off. Although this may seem like a rigorous procedure for some guitarists who do not wish to add more time to their daily nail regimen, it can prove to be well worth it. According to the instructions, you will see a difference within “sixteen weeks.” I definitely noticed a positive change in my nails before that. Another nail product I use daily is an oil developed by Swedish guitarist Miro Simic. It contains seventeen essential oils and is also 100% natural. Miro’s nail oil is applied to the cuticle and the nail daily. Unlike Onymyrrhe, Miro’s oil stays on the nail. I apply the oil several times a day to keep my nails moisturized. On the bottle, Miro

Above: Miro’s Nail Oil (left) and Onymyrrhe (right).

suggests to “massage a drop of oil on the nail and fingertips fifteen minutes before a concert.” I actually find myself massaging it on my right hand fingertips before every practice session providing more lubrication and ease across the strings. The bottle is small, but can last for up to five months. I am very pleased with the results I have gotten. I also use these products on my student’s nails and they work great, especially on my very young students who have thin/brittle nails. Since using these products, I have yet to break a nail in six years! Onymyrrhe is available at: stringsbymail.com Miro’s Nail Oil is available at: mirosimic.com/store.php Christopher Mallett is the co-director of the California Conservatory of Guitar in Santa Clara, California. He holds an M.M. in Guitar Performance from the Yale School of Music and a B.M. from Oberlin Conservatory.

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Classical Guitar News & Notes

GFA News

Guitar News Around the World

2013 GFA Convention and Competition We had record high attendance and a wonderful celebration of GFA’s fortieth anniversary at the annual convention in Louisville, Kentucky this year. If you missed it, check out our convention blog for a summary of all convention events: gtrfound.wordpress.com. An upcoming issue of Soundboard will include an extensive wrap-up. Congratulations to our competition winners! In the GFA International Youth Competition, Junior Division, first prize went to Grace Sheppard (U.S.A.). Second prize went to Katie Cho (U.S.A.). Third prize went to Beiyan Liu (China), and fourth prize to Alberto Quintanilla (Mexico). In the GFA International Youth Competition, Senior Division, first prize went to XiaoBo Pu (China), second prize to Louis Xavier Barrette (Canada), third prize to Alec Holcomb (U.S.A.), and fourth prize to Henry Johnston (U.S.A.). In the GFA International Concert Artist Competition, first prize went to Anton Baranov (Russia), second prize to Artyom Dervoed (Russia), third prize to Chad Ibison (U.S.A.), and fourth prize to You Wang (China).

2014 GFA Convention and Competition Don’t forget to mark your calendars for GFA Convention 2014 from June 20-25, 2014. We’ll be returning to California State University Dominguez Hills (C.S.U.D.H.) with Scott Morris and Matthew Greif as our hosts. For those of you who were with us in 2007 at C.S.U.D.H., you may remember some wonderful aspects of the venue: an ideal Vendors’ Expo space, a nice theater, and close proximity to the major transportation hub of the Los Angeles International Airport. There is now great on-campus housing available for our use during the convention period. These newly renovated apartments will be comfortable and convenient living for all participants. The nature of this housing will allow us all to stay in one location, and have a great social environment on top of all the great convention events that will fill our days. This will be a convention to remember! 70 Soundboard Vol. 39 No. 3

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Michael Kudirka Joins Faculty at U.N.C.S.A.

Guitarist Michael Kudirka will be joining the faculty of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (U.N.C.S.A.) as an Artist/ Teacher of Guitar. U.N.C.S.A., part of the University of North Carolina system, contains a four-year boarding arts high school, Bachelors, Masters, and performance certificate programs. Located in WinstonSalem, North Carolina, the school houses departments of Dance, Design and Production, Drama, Filmmaking, Music, and Visual Arts. U.N.C.S.A. has a thriving guitar program with two studios, each with twelve students. Kudirka will be moving to U.N.C.S.A. after teaching full-time at the Interlochen Arts Academy for two years. During those two years, he brought about a significant increase in applications and enrollment to the guitar program, hosted a variety of guest artists such as William Kanengiser, Duo Amaral (Jorge Amaral & Mia Pomerantz-Amaral), Jeremy Collins, and Stevan Jović. He also spearheaded Interlochen’s new Internet 2 video conferencing system by collaborating with Jason Vieaux on two master class exchanges. His students have gone on to the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Cleveland Institute of Music, Oberlin, Manhattan School of Music, and California State University.

Julian Gray Joins Faculty of Shenandoah Conservatory This fall, Julian Gray will be joining the faculty of the Shenandoah Conservatory of the Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia, where he has been appointed as Professor of Music and Director of the Guitar Studies. As he begins his new role at Shenandoah, he will remain Chair of the Guitar Department at the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University, continuing his studio there. Julian Gray’s career over three decades include criticallyacclaimed recordings on the Dorian-Sono Luminus label and concert appearances and masterclasses throughout the U.S.A., Canada, and Europe. His work in helping to establish the guitar duo repertoire include his many arrangements for duo with partners Ronald Pearl and Serap Bastepe-Gray and the commissioning and premieres of works by composers such as Roberto Sierra, David Leisner, Gilbert Biberian, Loris Chobanian, William Bland, Oliver Hunt, and Benjamin Verdery. His students are frequent top prize winners at major national and international solo guitar, guitar concerto, and chamber ensemble competitions, and his many former students are members of University, College and Conservatory faculties in the U.S.A., Europe, and Asia. In commenting on his new position, Gray stated, “I am tremendously pleased to become a member of the faculty of the Shenandoah Conservatory. With a long tradition of excellence and community, exciting new hires, such as the great Irish pianist John O’Conor, and Jonathan Snowden (former principal flute of the London Philharmonic), and the visionary leadership of Dean Michael Stepniak, I see nothing but the most exciting prospects for the Conservatory’s future. I am also looking forward to exploring the creative synergies possible between the Shenandoah and Peabody Conservatories and partnerships with Shenandoah’s vibrant Theatre and Dance programs.” For more information about the Shenandoah Conservatory, please visit: conservatory.su.edu/

Kim Perlak Named Assistant Chair of the Guitar Department at Berklee College of Music This fall, Kim Perlak (Editor-in-Chief of Soundboard) will be joining the guitar faculty of the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, as the Assistant Chair of the Guitar Department. With more than one thousand guitar students and sixty faculty members, guitar is the largest instrumental department at Berklee. The curriculum offers a wide range of stylistic instruction—from the traditional to the most contemporary styles. Perlak comes to Berklee with her experience creating, running, and teaching for various programs in Austin, Texas, and beyond, including: Concordia University-Texas, Austin Community College, and the National Guitar Workshop. She stated, “I am thrilled—and honored—to join such a dynamic and creative community of musicians. As a Massachusetts native, and with friends from many different parts of my musical life working here, coming to Berklee is like coming home.” For more information about guitar studies at Berklee, please visit: berklee.edu

New Classical Guitar Radio Show The St. Louis Classical Guitar Society is pleased to announce its new classical guitar show, hosted by the Radio Arts Foundation St. Louis (rafstl.org) on analog radio at FM107.3 and in hybrid digital at KIHT HD2 (96.3). Content is also streamed live at: rafstl.org. Archives of the show will be available on the St. Louis Classical Guitar Society website for later listening access at: GuitarStLouis.net The show, called Inside Classical Guitar, is produced and funded through the St. Louis Classical Guitar Society. The show host is William Ash, St. Louis Classical Guitar Society President. The co-host is long-time St. Louis Radio personality, John Clayton. The general focus of Inside Classical Guitar will be to feature interviews and quality recordings of classical guitarists—both emerging talent and established artists. Many of the players to be featured will be those that the St. Louis Classical Guitar Society has sponsored or will be sponsoring in live performance. www.guitarfoundation.org Soundboard Vol. 39 No. 3

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PUBLICATION REVIEWS Luis Bonfa. Manhã de Carnaval. Arranged by Bernard Cyrloud. Saint-Romuald: Les Productions d’OZ, 2011 [DZ 1557]. 12 pp. $10.00.

Chris Duming. Pastorale and Dance. For flute, viola and guitar. Walsrode: Edition Daminus, 2010 [DAM 195 ED]. 7 pp. No price given.

Bonfá’s song from the 1959 movie, Black Orpheus, has become exceptionally well-known, with thousands of different recordings having been made over the last half-century. Bernard Cyrloud is a French physician, who is also a magnificent guitarist. His arrangement here is dedicated jointly to Baden Powell, Paco de Lucia, and Roland Dyens, and really requires the technical ability of any of these four artists to pull off properly. Rasgueados, harmonics, tremolo passages, the whole nine yards come into play here. This is an exceptional arrangement, certainly on a peer level with Toru Takemitsu’s song arrangements, worthy of concert performance and the attention of any serious artist. – David Norton

It makes me very happy whenever I receive some new title by German Edition Daminus. As I was among the first authors to have the privilege to cooperate with its founder and director, Norbert Dams, for several decades I have witnessed a slow-but-steady and successful growth of this guitar publisher, specializing both in sheet music and guitar discography. Pastorale and Dance is meant for a combination of three instruments whose sounds can be perfectly balanced. Author Chris Duming is highly experienced and quite capable of writing a good and interesting piece. His nice ideas, nice themes result in a good guitar chamber piece. – Uroš Dojčinović

Thierry Tisserand. Armor. Saint-Romuald: Les Productions d’OZ, 2009 [DZ 1290]. 4 pp. $5.00. The afore-mentioned Dr. Cyrloud is the dedicatee of this next piece, and he has made a fine recording of the work. The title required some research to make sense of, as the music clearly has nothing to do with le 40e Régiment d’Artillerie, nor any other militaristic relationship. The cover photo, of clove-studded limes and kumquats, didn’t help much either. It turns out that the title of Armor refers to Armorica, an ancient name for the Brittany region of western France and home to the Celtic tribes of pre-Roman Gaul. The words “Celt,” “Gaul,” and “Galicia” (in northern Spain) all have an etymological relationship to one another. Tisserand’s composition is in two movements, Prelude and Dance. Both are in the key of E minor, allowing for liberal use of open strings and intentional over-ringing. There is a very strong Celtic flavor to both sections, with the driving 12/8 meter of the Dance sure to set the listener’s toes a-tapping. A rock-solid pulse is mandatory here; this is country dance music of the highest sort— and no wavering of the downbeats please. The Prelude is somewhat more loosely constructed, but here again it is not meant to be an improvisational free for all. Overall a Grade 3-4 level is all that is needed, and a good sense of pulse. – David Norton

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Andrew Zohn. Con pulso. Saint-Romuald: Les Productions d’OZ, 2011 [DZ 1593]. 10 pp. $10.00. Guitarist Andrew Zohn has directed the guitar program at Columbus State University, Georgia, for many years now. The particular composition, dedicated to the Chilean guitarist Carlos Pérez, was written in the spring of 2011 and premiered by Zohn in a recital at Columbus State University in late September of the same year. Con pulso is written in a driving samba-like style. Once you have launched into it, there’s really no place to pause and take a breath. The notation looks more complex than it is, beginning with arpeggiated left-hand block chords creating gently dissonant harmonies. A little initial uncertainty comes from trying to sort out B (open second) from B flat (fourth string), but it soon all makes sense. The main melody kicks in at measure 14, and comes in and out of focus for the balance of the piece. Overall this is a fun composition for those who enjoy Latin spiciness at Grade 5-6 level. – David Norton

Gilbert Clamens. Con-tem-po. For guitar and cello. Québec: Les Productions d’OZ, 2008 [DZ 1183]. 7 pp. $12.00.

Brian Wright. In Memoriam Geoffrey Burgon (Variations on Nunc dimittis). St. Albans: Corda Music Publications, 2011 [CMP40] 19 pp. $9.00.

Winning several international guitar competitions and teaching his instrument at the Conservatoire de musique et de danse du Tarn à Albi, Gilbert Clamens has also become a prolific composer and arranger, with great passion for world music. As the author states, Spain is the particular land of his predilection. To date, Clamens has composed over forty works for different media (theater, film, CD recordings, radios, concerts, etc.). His guitar and violoncello duet, Con-tem-po, written in 2002 reflects a Latin style, and shows the composer’s passion for Piazzolla’s music. The composition was originally a trio for guitar, bandoneon, and recorder, and was recorded in 2007 by Roberta Roman, Marisa Mercade, and Isabelle Sajot on their CD, Ángeles y demonios. In this duo version, the piece starts energetically and rhythmically with syncopated cello harmonics before the archetypical minor sixth chord appears on the guitar. The chord structure wherein the sixth (C-sharp) drops to a C-natural is taken straight from one of Piazzolla’s standard openings, so a sense of dislocation briefly occurs as to whose music you are hearing. The introduction carries through into the next few bars until the first real theme appears on the cello, with the guitar continuing its syncopated bass note/chord figuration. The mood remains the same until a Con fuoco e ritmico section where the guitar has tricky semiquaver motifs atop a rocking cello line. This develops into four bars of 5/8, leading in turn to Andante espressivo given first to the guitar as a solo for the first ten bars. After the cello’s return, the tune is given over to the guitar with artificial harmonics before a repetition, which returns us to the opening speed for once more through the main part. Finally a 5/8 coda gradually winds down into a glissando sweep from the guitar and trills from both instruments. The total duration of this pleasing duet should be a bit less than seven minutes. – Uroš Dojčinović

One of the main reasons I enjoy doing reviews for Soundboard is the opportunity to come across fine new compositions, and this one is a true gem. Nunc dimittis is the title of the theme music adapted by Geoffrey Burgon (from a Gregorian chant) for the 1979 BBC TV adaptation of John Le Carré’s Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, and was instantly ranked in the Top Ten for the U.K. at the time the series was in vogue. Composer Wright was a colleague of Burgon’s, having first met in grade school in the 1950s before both men went on to be very successful composers. Burgon’s music writing was strongly influenced by the compositions of Benjamin Britten and by medieval music. Burgon died in 2010, and Wright composed this tribute shortly thereafter. Drawing on the medieval inspiration for Nunc dimittis; In memoriam, Wright has composed his In Memoriam in similar style. It is specified for guitar, with the third string tuned to Fsharp. In point of fact, Wright is an accomplished professional lutenist himself, and this work is a very convincing modern addition to the renaissance lute repertoire. There is a very good YouTube recording of this on the lute, performed by the Dutch lutenist, David van Ooijen. In parallel, there is also a guitar version on YouTube, played in standard tuning, by Oliver Eidam, who incidentally assisted Wright in the editing process. To the music itself. This is a big no-nonsense concert work, running a full nineteen minutes. The movements are laid out in a palindromic manner: I. Slow and reflectively, II. Moto perpetuo, III. Fuguetta, IV. Dance, V. Tombeau, VI. Dance, VII. Fuguetta, VIII. Moto perpetuo, and at last (and in true Britten fashion), IX. Thema. The three repeated movement titles do not particularly share the same material, except to the extent this is a theme-and-variations. All the movements work very well in the F-sharp tuning, save for the central Tombeau which is written in C minor (so standard tuning isn’t especially graceful here, either). The other movements are in D major or B minor, for the most part. The cycle opens and closes with a series of nine D/F-sharp harmonics at the twelfth fret. We are told in the notes that in sixteenth century England, the tolling of nine bells meant that someone of importance had died. Again, a very clear indication that we are visitors to the aural land of John Dowland and William Byrd with this piece, though many of the harmonies used by Wright would not have been even contemplated in that era. This is not a neo-Tudor pastiche, by any means. From a technical view, it is not a particularly difficult piece to master. I would put it on par with Sor’s Fantaisie élégiaque Op. 59, or Weiss’s Tombeau. It is several degrees easier than Britten’s Nocturnal, to be sure! The real trick for a successful performance is to display sufficient emotion and tonal nuance. There’s not a lot of technical flashiness here, it is very mournful and introspective. Highest possible recommendation for this one. – David Norton

Mikhail Sytchev. Rondo. Saint-Romuald: Les Productions d’OZ, 2009 [DZ 1290]. 7 pp. $8.00. Several issues ago, I reviewed a composition by the composer entitled “Farewell,” and hoped that there wasn’t some sort of nonetoo-hidden message being communicated. Fortunately for all of us, it appears that Sytchev is still very much among us, and this Rondo is his most recent offering. This is a composition in which the notated rests really have to be strictly observed, a fact often not completely honored by guitarists. The texture is two-voice writing for the most part, with occasional denser chords used to make an emphasis. The melodic line spends some time dwelling in the upper parts of the fretboard, so it is imperative that the player can read fifteenth-, sixteenth-, seventeenth-fret notations clearly. Highly recommended for the Grade 3-4 player. – David Norton

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PUBLICATION REVIEWS (continued)

CD REVIEWS

Jens Franke and Stuart Willis (editors). Baroque Guitar Anthology, Vol 2. Mainz: Schott Music, 2012 [ED13437]. 36 pp. + CD. $19.95.

SoloDuo (Matteo Meli and Lorenzo Micheli, guitars). Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco [:] The Well-Tempered Guitars [:] 24 Preludes and Fugues. Solaria Sol 201201, 2012 (two discs).

Here is Volume 2 of a two-volume collection of music written for the thirteen-course lute or the five-course guitar between 1620 and 1750. The intended audience is students at Grade 3 or 4. There are twenty-five pieces, by some well-known names (Visée, Weiss, Corbetta) and others, such as Daube, Conradi, Hagen, and Bittner. All the selections are quite short, save for a pair of Minuets by Weiss that conclude the book. These last ones were recorded by Segovia in 1969, and are worth concert performance. The CD (included) provides the student with a good rendering of each piece, and makes for pleasant listening on its own. – David Norton

Any new recording by SoloDuo is a cause for celebration, especially when they release what is likely to be a definitive account of an important work. (I have not heard the complete recording by the brilliant Brasil Guitar Duo; the honor of “definitive” might well be shared!) Castelnuovo-Tedesco was inspired by the great Ida Presti and Alexandre Lagoya, writing forty-eight pieces in the amazing span of just a few months in 1962. Sadly, Presti and Lagoya were able to record only the E-major pair before Presti’s tragically early death in 1967. The music is amazingly inventive. Despite the rapidity of its composition, Tedesco doesn’t repeat himself and every piece sounds fresh. The compositional requirement of using many keys, which seldom occur in the guitar literature, likely reduced the use of clichés. Since we are dealing with fifty works here—the duo includes the Fuga elegiaca written after Presti’s death—I shall not attempt description of the individual pieces. Lorenzo Micheli’s admirable notes give a good overview of the composer’s approaches. Nonetheless, I must mention a few special favorites. Disc 1: The A-minor prelude has a wonderful series of rapid undulating lines with occasional moments of repose leading into a lyrical fugue. The E-major set (recorded by Presti and Lagoya) begins with a beautiful melody over a rapid arpeggio accompaniment leading to a very Italian section and then to a lighthearted bourrée fugue. The quite unexpected B-flat major prelude is a rumba with a very “Tedescan” burlesque march as its fugue. The F-minor set is an eerie and sad pair of considerable depth. Disc 2: The opening G-major prelude is a wonderful series of arabesques leading to a conversational fugue shared by the guitars. The rather Scottish sounding A-major prelude is inspired by the Whitman poem, “I Hear America Singing.” (Really.) Another poem, this time by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, is the inspiration for the E-flat major prelude. Its fugue is a whimsical siciliana. Rapid passages run throughout the Allegretto mefistofelico B-flat minor prelude and lend a devilish charm to the fugue as well. As the set concludes, the improvisando melody of the C-minor prelude sounds like a bit of Django Reinhardt at the beginning, then becomes a rather strict fugue subject, showing its versatility. Despite the above citations, be assured there are no “duds” in the set. It is a remarkable compositional achievement. The performers’ achievement is on an equal level, every work ideally realized and beautifully played. The recorded sound does not let down the enterprise at all, being both warm and detailed. – Al Kunze

David Gaudreau. Prélude, Cantabile. Québec: Les Productions d’Oz, 2012 [DZ1719]. 3 pp. $5.00. Prélude and Cantabile are beautiful, simple pieces. They are both in E major and travel through multiple positions comfortably. Prélude includes use of open strings even while in higher positions. The Cantabile is more nostalgic with a handful of modern harmonies. More fingering would be helpful learning the pieces and tempo indications would be nice. Each piece is a single page in length. Both pieces are fairly easy to sight read through and are fun to play. – Amy Hite

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Otto Tolonen. Tiento Français [:] Twentieth Century French and Spanish Guitar Music. Works by Ibert, Samazeuilh, Auric, Tailleferre, Milhaud, Poulenc, Ohana, Migot, Roussel, Asencio, and Satie. Alba Records ABCD 357, 2013. I don’t want to sound too imperious, but you need this disc. Otto Tolonen’s Tiento français is gorgeous. He is a brilliant player and a musician of tremendous insight. When he plays, one is aware of not only flawless technique, but also masterly use of tone color, articulation, rubato, and dynamics. Most impressive. And the program! Only a listener with an astonishing knowledge of the repertoire will not meet many pieces never previously encountered or never heard played so well. Looking at the dates—subsequent to Segovia’s early concerts in Paris—of some of the works, such as those of Jacques Ibert and Georges Migot, you will be amazed at the compositional sophistication—that is to say the guitaristic sophistication—of the pieces. Nothing written since is any more idiomatic or inspired. Different, of course, but not more advanced in the guitar writing. Most of us know Ibert from his charming flute/guitar duet Entr’acte, but the Française and Ariette included here are gems. The same is true of Gustave Samazueilh’s beautiful 1925 Serenade. It has been recorded before, even by Segovia, but never better. The same is true of a selection of works by Les Six, including the beautiful miniature Guitare by Germaine Tailleferre. The Segovia tributes by Milhaud and Roussel are spectacularly well done, as is the Pour un hommage à Claude Debussy by Migot. Tolonen has even convinced me that Vicente Asencio’s Col .lectici íntim, a work I have always cordially disliked, is good music. Recorded sound is perfect and the liner notes by Fabio Zanon (!) are excellent. What are you waiting for? – Al Kunze Alexander Saladin Cote. Silhouettes [:] New American Music for Guitar. Works by J. A. Lennon, Bassett, and Larsen. Artek Recordings AR-0058-2, 2012. The music of John Anthony Lennon has graced guitar programs for many years now, and his Concert Etudes, beautifully played here by Alexander (Alejandro) Cote, collectively constitute a major work for the instrument. Written in the early 1980s, they are not the newest new music, but especially since they were revised in 2003, we won’t quibble over semantics. They are all very different, but each is an enjoyable encounter. A few highlights include: No. 2, an exploration of natural harmonics utilizing a very much altered tuning scheme; No. 3, a pattern-pulse piece reminding us of the years when the studies originated; the gymnopédie-like No. 10; and the last piece, subtitled “Burlesque.” The Etudes have been recorded before by Daniel Stanislawek on an Albany disc, but the current recording is far better played and recorded. Listeners will enjoy the music very much, and players who don’t know it already are likely to add some of the pieces to their “to be learned” list. The last Lennon work is the eponymous Silhouettes, dedicated to the artist. It is a

lovely miniature, using some intriguing techniques. The remaining works on the disc are far less ingratiating. I found Leslie Bassetts’ Temperaments often irritating: de rigueur modernisms of the kind roundly and rightly rejected by audiences. Libby Larsen is one of America’s most celebrated composers. Her output spans decades and genres, and includes other works for guitar. But I found the pieces recorded here to be rather flat in effect. The short four-movement Argyle Sketches are inoffensive, but do little to hold the listener’s interest. The short, unconventional Sarabande and Tango are more interesting pieces, but leave little behind. Cote plays these pieces and the Bassett work very well, nonetheless, I found myself yearning for them to be over. Recorded sound is excellent, but the notes on the insert are inadequate, particularly for the Lennon Etudes. – Al Kunze Martin Hegel. Bach Solo [:] Lautenwerk und Transkriptionen für Gitarre. Works by J.S. Bach. Acoustic Music, Best.-Nr. 319.1492.2, 2012. Martin Hegel lives in Berlin, and recorded this CD on Peter Finger’s Acoustic Music label, known for showcasing a wide variety of guitar styles in well-produced recordings. Hegel plays two often-heard works by J. S. Bach, the Prelude, Fugue, and Allegro BWV 998, and the Suite for lute, BWV 1006a. His way with the “Prelude” and “Fugue” is subtly virtuosic It is not powerhouse playing, but rather a communion between musician and music which the listener feels privileged to observe. Hegel feels the pushes and pulls within each musical line and delivers them expressively with an organic, singing quality. He pays attention to articulation even in the middle voice of the fugue, with a level of technique which makes the music sound effortless. Sandwiched between the larger works are ten of Hegel’s transcriptions, which might be labeled “Bach’s Greatest Hits.” The often-played “Prelude” from Cello Suite No. 1 is presented here in a transcription which adds extra voices not found in the many transcriptions of this movement. Some would argue that this thickening of the texture is unnecessary and actually detracts from the original score, and from the improvisatory quality of Baroque preludes, but Hegel’s performance is nonetheless stirring, with rich tone heard in pristine and enjoyable recorded sound. The recording could use more spacing between all the tracks, and even a bit more following major works: the default two-second post roll is all that separates the tracks and is not at all sensitive to the musical context. The listener simply needs more time to process what has been heard. Additionally, audible fades at the end of each piece start too soon, interrupting the listener’s enjoyment of the final chord, which, to this writer, is an essential moment which should be allowed to proceed naturally without electronic alteration. Despite these technical minutiae, one comes away from this recording with a sense that all is right with the world. The music is there—the right notes at the right times. I think J. S. would have been pleased. – Jim McCutcheon

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CD REVIEWS (continued) Cecilio Perera. Recital. Works by Ponce, Brouwer, Oliva, and Sojo. Naxos 8.573025, 2012. The much-appreciated Naxos Laureate Series continues with this fine disc by Cecilio Perera, winner of the 2011 Michele Pittaluga competition. Quite fittingly, the Mexican-born artist features a number of works by countryman Manuel Ponce. The first group, three works drawn from Ponce’s output in the guise of Sylvius Leopold Weiss, is especially commendable for including the lovely but little-played Balletto. Next in the program is the Sonata mexicana, perhaps the least known of the composer’s works in the form, but played here with a winning lilt in the first movement and an unexpected intensity in the second. Perera’s sound in the latter is particularly lovely on a guitar by Stephen Connor, recorded in the seemingly infallible production of Norbert Kraft and Bonnie Silver. Very fine realizations of the third and fourth movements make a very strong case for more-frequent hearings of the work. The Brouwer Sonata is next and Perera’s performance is a very fine one, strong and dramatic when needed and with the more lyrical moments offering a beautiful contrast, culminating in a particularly strong “Toccata.” Next is Mexican composer-guitarist Julio César Oliva’s Tangomania. Something of an homage to Piazzolla, it is pleasant listening, though with little of the intensity which characterizes the Argentinian’s music. Going back to a slightly ancient LP by Alirio Díaz, I have loved the Five Pieces from Venezuela by Vicente Sojo. Yes, they are very slight works, but charming nonetheless and with an impressive degree of variety in their six minutes. The disc concludes with the Tres canciones populares mexicanas, Ponce song arrangements published by Segovia. They are well done, but I must confess that, despite a tremendous love of Ponce’s music, these pieces have always left me utterly cold. Excellent notes by Graham Wade. – Al Kunze Cordevento (Eric Bosgraaf, recorders, Izhar Elias, Baroque guitar, and Alessandro Pianu, harpsichord and organ). La Monarcha. Works by Falconieri, Corbetta, Santiago de Murcia, Eyck, Sanz, et al. Brilliant Classics 94352, 2012. This is an irresistible disc. The theme of the program is the confluence and cross-fertilization produced in the Spanish territories of Europe. Composers from modern Spain, Italy, and the Netherlands are represented in the beautifully varied program. Each of the three players exhibits wonderful sound, perfect technique, and complete identification with the material. Recorder player, Eric Bosgraaf, plays with both vivacity and impressive facility. On harpsichord and positif organ, Alessandro Pianu invariably finds a perfect balance with the other instruments. It is amazing how the sound of the organ blends with the other instruments, especially the recorder. The much-admired Izhar Elias on Baroque guitars, demonstrates mastery of both punteado and rasgueado playing styles in chamber works and solos by Santiago de Murcia, 76 Soundboard Vol. 39 No. 3

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Francesco Corbetta, and Gaspar Sanz. (Elias will be remembered for taking on an entire Rossini opera on a previous recording.) In the concerted works, the composer most represented is Andrea Falconieri (ca. 1585-1656), whose music never fails to delight whether in an exuberant corrente or a plaintive piece, such as the eponymous La Monarcha, done with alto recorder and organ. The disc insert contains lengthy and informative English notes by John Griffiths, as well as lovely photographs of the artists and instruments. Sound is state of the art. – Al Kunze Vahagni [Vahagn Vahagni Turgutyan] (with Tigram Hamasyan, piano, Artyom Manukyan, cello, Hamilton price, bass, and Jimmy Branly and Gerardo Morales, percussion). Solitude. Works written or arranged by the artist. No label or number, 2011. vahagni.com I approached this disc with trepidation. Self-produced discs with a one-named artist in moody, romantic poses, wrapping an album of jazz, flamenco, ethnic fusion “eclecticism,” is often an excuse for bland New Age pablum. I was wrong. This is very good stuff indeed. It is beautifully played chamber music in which all of its ingredients contribute to an aesthetically harmonious whole. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Vahagni can really play the guitar. Having studied with the great Manolo Sanlúcar is a pretty good credential, but in a bit of online detective work (there are no notes with the disc) it turns out that Vahagni is from a family of high-performing artists, and has been up for major awards already. I am happy my ignorance has lifted. At any rate the music is beautiful, virtuosic, and quite varied. Of special note is the fine jazz-oriented piano work of Tigram Hamasyan. Recorded sound is excellent, with warmth and clarity. – Al Kunze Cristiano Porqueddu. Novecento Guitar Preludes. Works by Asafiev, Ponce, Badings, Sauguet, and Farkas. Brilliant Classics 9292, 2012. Once again the indefatigable Cristiano Porqueddu and Brilliant Classics have produced a recording that immediately becomes a necessity in the library of the any serious guitar lover. With seventy-five pieces on three discs, many of them world premieres, it is something that one must really hear. Space in the magazine and the patience of the reader preclude comment on each work, so I will give impressions of the sets as they appear. This is particularly appropriate, given the fact that each of the composers conceived their works as unified pieces. Disc 1: The recording begins with the first of several world premiere recordings, the Twelve Preludes by Boris Asafiev. Asafiev’s music was re-discovered by Matanya Ophee, publisher of the works at hand. They are brief character pieces, harmonically and melodically rich, sounding a bit like a Russian Castelnuovo-Tedesco. (A bit of a stretch, but you get the idea.) Among the most distinctive are

the ninth, a sardonic march, and the twelfth: wistful and longing at first, then incorporating part of an earlier prelude. The Preludes by Ponce have been recorded many times, especially the ones chosen and edited by Segovia. Nonetheless, it is good to have this recording of the total twenty-four works. Porqueddu is very fine in these pieces, though the recorded sound on Adam Holzman’s version on Naxos is more flattering. Disc 2: With the music of Dutch composer Henk Badings and the Frenchman Henri Sauguet, we enter a somewhat sterner sound world than that of Asafiev or Ponce. The Badings Preludes, another world premiere, are very impressive pieces, uncompromisingly modern but never unapproachably abstract. As a set they are quite imposing. I would love to hear a performance one day. Among the most notable are the spare, but beautiful Canon, the aggressive mixed meters of Yaya, the beautiful, brooding Canzonetta, and the wild Rasgueado Finale. The three Preludes by Henri Sauguet are premieres. Only his fine Soliloque is much known. But hearing these, as with the Badings, makes me want to run (or at least log in) to the nearest music store. The preludes to “melancholy, remembrance, and gesture” are lovely pieces which we should be hearing in concerts. Angelo Gilardino’s liner notes, as translated, are quite mystifying, including the astonishing extrapolation that if Sauguet had persevered in writing for guitar he would have become the guitar’s Proust! Disc 3: I was almost completely unable to warm up to Ferenc Farkas’ Exercitium tonale (24 Preludes). They seem dry to the point of aridity, except for a few, such as Nos. 6, 7, and 10, where actual likable melodies are found. No. 12 is a sort of version of “Una furtiva lagrima” from Donizetti’s Elixir of Love. With a brief, but annoying interjection, it just made me want to pull out my Pavarotti recording of the opera. Gilardino sums up the Farkas perfectly, “... by camouflaging his harmonies in a play of reflections and recollections, Farkas often borders [on] preciosity.” Except I have no idea what that means. Recorded sound is somewhat variable. The recordings were done over about a year and a half, and sometimes the guitar sound is not flattering. Tuning is also occasionally imprecise. But these are never such problems that one can’t enjoy the music. With the exceptions above, notes by Angelo Gilardino, in a sometimes opaque translation, are serviceable, revealing just enough to know that it would be nice to have more extensive notes. On the other hand, there are seventy-five pieces, so there may have been some literary triage happening. – Al Kunze

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