Last update: I am rebuilding the site, as you can see, but the links to all the sheet music files are working, just click on sheet music above and get whatever you need!

 

For those of you who are new to the classical guitar, or if you just want to have more information on it, read on! Classical guitar is a string instrument, based on an acoustic guitar body and equipped with nylon strings. The instrument has been developed from the renaissance lute but the most ancient relative to classical guitar is probably the Greek lyre or kithara - a simple string instrument that maybe is most similar to today's harp. Even older guitar-like instruments have been described in the old Persia, and perhaps this is the place of nativity of the classical guitar. The most recent form of the instrument that resembles today's classical guitar would be baroque guitar - a five-string instrument for which composers like Robert de Visee and Gaspar Sanz were writing the first music. Other baroque guitar composers and their works you can find on a nice site dedicated entirely to this instrument - Click here. However, even earlier, during the Middle Ages, some simpler forms of guitars - that is, with fewer strings - have been in use. Beyond the age of baroque, classical guitar got another string - the sixth string! - from the Spaniards who also developed the instrument into its present form. They called their invention Vihuela at first, and it was based on the preceding four-string guitarra. The big name in construction of the modern architecture of the classical guitar is Antonio de Torres. Another form of six-string guitar was constructed in Italy by Gaetano Vinaccia, a man from the famous family of mandolin builders. With time, the guitar's popularity and availability improved as the infrastructure in Europe increased. In this age, composers and usually also performers, like Fernando Sor, Mauro Giuliani, or the famous Francisco Tarrega had a lot of impact on popularization of classical guitar. Classical guitar music was not only composed directly for the instrument. A lot of the classical repertoaire is actually transcribed from the lute music, most prominently the one written by John Dowland and of course, J.S. Bach. The beautiful lute suites and other pieces of Bach belong to the standard repertoaire of most classical guitarists. This is fortunate for us of course, since music written straight for the instrument was not available until the six-stringed guitar was developed! But some famous and fine guitar music also comes from transcriptions from music written for piano - the best examples being the pieces composed by Albeniz and Granados. In fact, Albeniz himself liked the classical guitar transcriptions so much he said that they sounded exactly how he wanted them to sound. Other transcriptions are also available, mainly from other solo string instruments like violin or cello (Bach again of course, but also Paganini, and some single pieces that are not that well known). Entering the 20th century, the classical guitar saw a major revival and further expansion. The newly invented advanced playing techniques by guitarists like Andres Segovia and Agustin Barrios made people realize the possibilities and creativity that was inherent to the instrument. Good thing that happened, as classical guitar was once and still is (by some) considered to be a silent instrument which is difficult to comprehend. Other composers like Joaquin Rodrigo, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Leo Brouwer, Manuel Ponce - just to mention a few - made the classical guitar a loved instrument by both performers and listeners. The popularity of it was also influenced by the likes of John Williams and Julian Bream, the professional guitar artists. As a result, many composers put their pens to their note papers to compose guitar music, far more than before the 20th century.

 

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