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Bryan Johanson's 13 ways of looking at 12 strings for two guitars: recording and critical investigation

Description

The purpose of this project is to introduce Bryan Johanson's composition for two guitars, 13 Ways of Looking at 12 Strings, and present an authoritative recording appropriate for publishing. This fifty-minute piece represents a fascinating suite in thirteen movements. The

The purpose of this project is to introduce Bryan Johanson's composition for two guitars, 13 Ways of Looking at 12 Strings, and present an authoritative recording appropriate for publishing. This fifty-minute piece represents a fascinating suite in thirteen movements. The author of this project performed both guitar parts, recorded them separately in a music studio, then mixed them together into one recording. This document focuses on the critical investigation and description of the piece with a brief theoretical analysis, a discussion of performance difficulties, and guitar preparation. The composer approved the use and the scope of this project. Bryan Johanson is one of the leading contemporary composers for the guitar today. 13 Ways of Looking at 12 Strings is a unique guitar dictionary that takes us from Bach to Hendrix and highlights the unique capabilities of the instrument. It utilizes encoded messages, glass slides, metal mutes, explosive "riffs," rhythmic propulsion, improvisation, percussion, fugual writing, and much more. It has a great potential to make the classical guitar attractive to wider audiences, not limited only to guitarists and musicians. The main resources employed in researching this document are existing recordings of Johanson's other compositions and documentation of his personal views and ideas. This written document uses the composer's prolific and eclectic compositional output in order to draw conclusions and trace motifs. This project is a significant and original contribution in expanding the guitar's repertoire, and it uniquely contributes to bringing forth a significant piece of music.

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Date Created
2011

A pedagogical and performance edition of J. S. Bach's Violin sonata I in G minor, BWV 1001, transcribed for guitar: transcription, analysis, performance guide, pedagogical practice guide, and recording

Description

Johann Sebastian Bach's violin Sonata I in G minor, BWV 1001, is a significant and widely performed work that exists in numerous editions and also as transcriptions or arrangements for various other instruments, including the guitar. A pedagogical guitar performance

Johann Sebastian Bach's violin Sonata I in G minor, BWV 1001, is a significant and widely performed work that exists in numerous editions and also as transcriptions or arrangements for various other instruments, including the guitar. A pedagogical guitar performance edition of this sonata, however, has yet to be published. Therefore, the core of my project is a transcription and pedagogical edition of this work for guitar. The transcription is supported by an analysis, performance and pedagogical practice guide, and a recording. The analysis and graphing of phrase structures illuminate Bach's use of compositional devices and the architectural function of the work's harmonic gravities. They are intended to guide performers in their assessment of the surface ornamentation and suggest a reduction toward its fundamental purpose. The end result is a clarification of the piece through the organization of phrase structures and the prioritization of harmonic tensions and resolutions. The compiling process is intended to assist the performer in "seeing the forest from the trees." Based on markings from Bach's original autograph score, the transcription considers fingering ease on the guitar that is critical to render the music to a functional and practical level. The goal is to preserve the composer's indications to the highest degree possible while still adhering to the technical confines that allow for actual execution on the guitar. The performance guide provides suggestions for articulation, phrasing, ornamentation, and other interpretive decisions. Considering the limitations of the guitar, the author's suggestions are grounded in various concepts of historically informed performance, and also relate to today's early-music sensibilities. The pedagogical practice guide demonstrates procedures to break down and assimilate the musical material as applied toward the various elements of guitar technique and practice. The CD recording is intended to demonstrate the transcription and the connection to the concepts discussed. It is hoped that this pedagogical edition will provide a rational that serves to support technical decisions within the transcription and generate meaningful interpretive realizations based on principles of historically informed performance.

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Date Created
2013

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Performing Heinrich Biber's Mystery sonatas on solo guitar, and principles for arranging early Baroque solo sonatas

Description

This is a solo guitar transcription of the first five movements, known as the "Joyous Mysteries," of the Mystery Sonatas by Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber, accompanied by a history of the sonata collection, an analysis of the process of

This is a solo guitar transcription of the first five movements, known as the "Joyous Mysteries," of the Mystery Sonatas by Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber, accompanied by a history of the sonata collection, an analysis of the process of translating a Baroque solo sonata to the guitar, and a guide for performance. The work was chosen because of its significance and popularity within violin repertoire, and the suitability of the solo sonata genre for performance on a guitar. The first section of this project addresses the history and appeal of Biber and the Mystery Sonatas. It is supplemented by a brief survey of guitar transcriptions of Biber's compositions, and the value of the present edition in modern guitar literature. The second section explores the process and challenges of arranging the Mystery Sonatas for solo guitar, followed by a summation of the general allowances and limitations the genre offers to arrangers. The third section focuses on performance practice issues encountered in adapting this series and other Baroque solo sonatas to the guitar. The project concludes with the arrangement, complemented with the original violin and continuo parts for comparison.

Although instrumentations may force an arranger to impose speculative harmonies and countermelodies on a thin texture or sacrifice inner voices in a denser texture, the solo sonata's instrumentation of melody and continuo provides an effective balance. This style allows an arranger three important details: a clear and paramount melody, a flexible bass line, and harmonies with unspecified voicings. Similarly, the compositional freedom that Baroque composers allowed to performers also facilitates the arranging process and enables a variety of creative solutions.

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Created

Date Created
2014

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Three suites for cello opp. 72, 80, and 87 by Benjamin Britten: transcribed for guitar

Description

This project covers the transcription of Three Suites for Cello, opp. 72, 80, and 87, by Benjamin Britten, for guitar. These suites were chosen because of the influence of Bach, which is seen in the texture of the pieces, and

This project covers the transcription of Three Suites for Cello, opp. 72, 80, and 87, by Benjamin Britten, for guitar. These suites were chosen because of the influence of Bach, which is seen in the texture of the pieces, and because they can be played on guitar with very few changes. Music for unaccompanied cello has a history of being transcribed for guitar, including the Bach cello suites, and is a means for guitarists to expand the repertoire. In addition to documenting the changes made in adapting these pieces for guitar, a brief biographical sketch of the composer and descriptions of each movement are included. Also explained are articulation symbols and terminologies that are uncommon in music written for the guitar, and suggestions on how to perform the multitude of ornaments Britten has written in the score.

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Date Created
2012

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Ornamentation In eighteenth-century guitar music: an examination of instruction manuals from 1750-1800

Description

Profound alterations to instruments that take place over short periods of time are fascinating, and the changes undergone by the guitar during the late eighteenth century make for an intriguing transition in the instrument's history. The guitar that existed before

Profound alterations to instruments that take place over short periods of time are fascinating, and the changes undergone by the guitar during the late eighteenth century make for an intriguing transition in the instrument's history. The guitar that existed before 1750 is most commonly referred to as the 'Baroque guitar' and is vastly different from the guitar of today. It was considerably smaller than the guitars that followed, pitched higher, and used primarily for accompaniment through chord strumming. From roughly 1750 to 1800 the guitar underwent a transformation that eventually led to the design and performance practices that have continued through to this day; larger, with lower-pitched courses (and sometimes single stringing), and used increasingly more in punteado (plucked) style. By defining the instrument as it existed prior to 1750, and the changes that it underwent after 1750, we can ensure that the instrument discussed is the one that has directly led to the instrument we use today. Because instrument design and performance practice inevitably influence each other, a thorough examination of ornamentation practices from 1750-1800 can lead to a greater understanding of the instrument as it changed, and the instrument it eventually turned into. Since the early nineteenth century was one of the more productive time periods for the guitar, having a better understanding of the ornamentation performance practices that preceded it may provide insight to how the players and composers of this fertile time (Sor, Aguado, Giuliani, etc.) approached their instrument. Although there was not much music printed or copied for guitar during the latter half of the eighteenth century, a substantial number of guitars were built, along with instruction manuals featuring the guitar. Instruction manuals were examined, along with works for solo guitar and guitar in ensemble with other instruments, to explore ornamentation practices from 1750-1800. Through examination of the guitar instruction manuals of the late eighteenth century, an increased understanding is gained regarding the techniques that eventually became cornerstones of nineteenth-century guitar performance practice.

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Created

Date Created
2012

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Attitudes and perspectives of pre-college guitar students: a study to help explain difficulty with note-reading in class guitar

Description

This study examined attitudes and perspectives of classroom guitar students toward the reading of staff notation in music. The purpose of this qualitative research was to reveal these perceptions in the student's own words, and compare them to those of

This study examined attitudes and perspectives of classroom guitar students toward the reading of staff notation in music. The purpose of this qualitative research was to reveal these perceptions in the student's own words, and compare them to those of orchestra and band students of comparable experience. Forty-seven students from four suburban middle and high schools on the east coast were selected through purposeful sampling techniques. Research instruments included a Musical Background Questionnaire and a thirty-five question Student Survey. Follow-up interviews were conducted with students to clarify or expound upon collected data. Guitar, orchestra, and band teachers were interviewed in order to provide their perspectives on the issues discussed. The Student Survey featured a five-point Likert-type scale, which measured how much students agreed or disagreed with various statements pertaining to their feelings about music, note-reading, or their class at school. Collected data were coded and used to calculate mean scores, standard deviations, and percentages of students in agreement or disagreement with each statement. Interviews were audio recorded and transcribed into a word processing document for analysis. The study found that while a variety of perspectives exist within a typical guitar class, some students do not find note-reading to be necessary for the types of music they desire to learn. Other findings included a perceived lack of relevance toward the classical elements of the guitar programs in the schools, a lack of educational consistency between classroom curricula and private lesson objectives, and the general description of the struggle some guitarists experience with staff notation. Implications of the collected data were discussed, along with recommendations for better engaging these students.

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Created

Date Created
2011

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Serenade in D major by Johannes Brahms: aranged for solo guitar

Description

The German pianist and composer Johannes Brahms (1883-1897) wrote more than 122 works for a wide variety of ensembles and genres. Despite this remarkable productivity, and his widely heralded talent for innovation and technique as a composer, few of his

The German pianist and composer Johannes Brahms (1883-1897) wrote more than 122 works for a wide variety of ensembles and genres. Despite this remarkable productivity, and his widely heralded talent for innovation and technique as a composer, few of his works have been arranged for solo guitar, and these have focused primarily on his simpler, more melodic works. Conventional wisdom is that his music is "too dense" to be played on the guitar. As a result, there are no arrangements of orchestral works by Brahms in the standard repertoire for the guitar. In arranging Brahms's Serenade in D Major, movt. 1 for the guitar, I provide a counter argument that not all of Brahms's orchestral music is too dense all of the time. In Part I, I provide a brief overview of the history of, and sources for, the Serenade. Part II describes a step-by-step guide through the process of arranging orchestral repertoire for the solo guitar. Part III is an examination of the editing process that utilizes examples from the guitar arrangement of the Serenade in order to illustrate the various techniques and considerations that are part of the editing process. Part IV is a performance edition of the arrangement. In summary, the present arrangement of Brahms's Serenade, op.11 is the beginning of a conversation about why the "guitar world" should be incorporating the music of Brahms into the standard repertoire. The lessons learned, and the technical challenges discovered, should help inform future arrangers and guitar performers for additional compositions by Brahms.

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Created

Date Created
2013

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The influence of folk music in guitar compositions by Manuel Ponce

Description

The purpose of this project is to explore the influence of folk music in guitar compositions by Manuel Ponce from 1923 to 1932. It focuses on his Tres canciones populares mexicanas and Tropico and Rumba.

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Created

Date Created
2014

Five keyboard sonatas: R. 48, 50, 60, 106 and 114 by Antonio Soler, arranged for two guitars

Description

Arrangements of music from other instruments have always played a key role in expanding the guitar repertoire. This project investigates the life and work of eighteenth-century composer Antonio Soler (1729-1783), specifically his sonatas for solo keyboard. This study carries out

Arrangements of music from other instruments have always played a key role in expanding the guitar repertoire. This project investigates the life and work of eighteenth-century composer Antonio Soler (1729-1783), specifically his sonatas for solo keyboard. This study carries out a formal inquiry on Soler's influences, including a background of Soler's life and training, his connection with Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757), and an overview of the eighteenth-century sonata in Spain. Timbres, articulations, tessitura, and other aspects of Spanish folk music are discussed as related to Soler's composition style. Five sonatas are analyzed in connection to Spanish folk music, and part of this study's focus was arranging the sonatas for two guitars: R. 48, 50, 60, 106 and 114. An overview of the current arrangements of Soler's sonatas for guitar is included in Appendix A.

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Created

Date Created
2014

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Harpsichord Suite in A Minor by Élisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre Arranged for Solo Guitar

Description

Transcriptions and arrangements of works originally written for other instruments have greatly expanded the guitar’s repertoire. This project focuses on a new arrangement of the Suite in A Minor by Élisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre (1665–1729), which originally was composed

Transcriptions and arrangements of works originally written for other instruments have greatly expanded the guitar’s repertoire. This project focuses on a new arrangement of the Suite in A Minor by Élisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre (1665–1729), which originally was composed for harpsichord. The author chose this work because the repertoire for the guitar is critically lacking in examples of French Baroque harpsichord music and also of works by female composers. The suite includes an unmeasured harpsichord prelude––a genre that, to the author’s knowledge, has not been arranged for the modern six-string guitar. This project also contains a brief account of Jacquet de la Guerre’s life, discusses the genre of unmeasured harpsichord preludes, and provides an overview of compositional aspects of the suite. Furthermore, it includes the arrangement methodology, which shows the process of creating an idiomatic arrangement from harpsichord to solo guitar while trying to preserve the integrity of the original work. A summary of the changes in the current arrangement is presented in Appendix B.

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Date Created
2019