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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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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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Date Created
2012